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Evie Gold

@double_golde

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The first American reality TV show

The 1973 "An American Family" was the first reality show aired on PBS. *It offered an intimate examination of a single family alongside a powerful critique of American society.

The show was aired from January to March, but it was too realistic for a TV audience accustomed to sitcom perfection.

@double_golde

Analysis | The surprising origins of reality TV

washingtonpost.com

Today's viewers mostly understand the exaggerated and contrived aspects of reality TV, flooded with manipulative and staged dramas designed to delight or shock audiences. They feature celebrities and offer an escape from reality.

But "An American Family" was different. The producer wanted to force audiences to engage with issues that affected the American condition. He knew an accurate portrayal of an American family would shock audiences.

The producer, Graig Gilbert of "An American Family", explained that the project originated in desperation. Short on work, drinking heavily and trapped in a troubled marriage, he used the idea of using the medium of a "normal" family to explain societal issues Americans faced in the early 1970s.

Viewers watched as Pat and Bill divorces and their son Lance refused to hide his homosexuality. The realisation that a "normal" family had these issues shocked critics and viewers. It survived only 12 episodes and then disappeared, only to be rediscovered by scholars later.

  • The Laud family on "An American Family" loudly complained after reviewers cast the Lauds' as hollow and problematic.
  • Viewers experienced the shock of recognition. Some viewers wrote how much they appreciated a "real" family on TV that made them feel "not alone".
  • The Lauds accused the producer of being manipulative and staging events, even though the Lauds reviewed the footage with him before each episode was aired.

While the program attracted millions of viewers, the criticism from critics and condemnation from the Lauds served to discredit producer Gilbert's work.

The Way We Work

We normally have a tense, fidgety attitude towards whatever we are doing. We grasp and lean towards our tasks and exert ourselves unnecessarily, and even things that shouldn’t give us undue stress, end up being stressful.

Moving Through the Day with More Ease : zen habits

zenhabits.net

Our work, whether it’s a report we are making, cooking or on a Zoom video call, can be done with ease, in a relaxed restful manner.

The key is to not do any multitasking and give your full attention and devotion to one task. You'll finish the day feeling more refreshed than before.

To go through the day with ease:

  • Be nourished by nature when you walk outside, instead of being engrossed in your thoughts about work.
  • Talk to the person in front of you, being present in the moment
  • Be grateful that you are alive, and put a smile on your face.
The Legend Of Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee, the legendary martial artist whose brief existence on planet earth spawned a cult following due to a hidden aspect of his personality: A Zen Master in disguise. His insights on the nature of life made him stand out as a unique philosopher and an integrated individual.
Bruce Lee’s private letters, notes, poems and essays provide an inside view of his mind, and are available in the book Bruce Lee: Artist For Life. He wrote about self-awareness, self-esteem, and provides original insights on the oft-heard term: Resilience.

Bruce Lee on Self-Actualization and the Crucial Difference Between Pride and Self-Esteem - Brain Pickings

brainpickings.org

Bruce Lee
“The less promise and potency in the self, the more imperative is the need for pride. The core of pride is self-rejection.”

Bruce Lee explains that we need to be like water and shape-shift to be able to grow in an obstacle-filled world.

We also lack self-awareness and have to rely on others to tell us who we are. Our impulse towards conformity and rigidness is our greatest mistake.

Bruce Lee
"We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything that has its roots in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone; we are not alone when we imitate. It is thus with most of us! We are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay."

According to Bruce Lee, our misguided grasping at our self-worth is a confusion due to us mistaking pride for self-esteem. Pride is feeling worthy for an external object, position, or accomplishment, but self-esteem is derived from our own achievements.

Pride forms due to self-rejection, and we can acquire self-worth by examining ourselves and attaining self-awareness.

Bruce Lee
“Action is a high road to self-confidence and self-esteem. Where it is open, all energies flow toward it. It comes readily to most people and its rewards are tangible.”
Bruce Lee
“The maintenance of self-esteem is a continuous task that taxes all of the individual’s power and inner resources. We have to prove our worth and justify our existence anew each day.”
Naming Hurricanes

Hurricanes used to be tagged with random numbers, sometimes latitude and longitude numbers, and other times they were named after the place where they came ashore.

Now, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) coordinates with the National Hurricane Center and give every tropical cyclone (hurricanes and typhoons) short, simple names.

How (and Why) Hurricanes Get Their Names | HowStuffWorks

science.howstuffworks.com

Names are easier to remember than numbers and technical terms. It is easier for the media to report on, and for people to pay attention to, than if a hurricane was named, for example, Hurrican Two.

  • The names come in alphabetical order from a set of six lists.
  • The names used in 2020 (Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, etc.) will come around again in 2026.
  • The letters beginning with Q, U, X, Y, Z are omitted.
  • If forecasters run out of the alphabet, they turn to the Greek alphabet.
  • If a storm was particularly devastating, then those names are retired, such as Hurrican Andrew, Hugo, and Katrina.
The Habit Loop

The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.

Together, these four steps form a neurological feedback loop—cue, craving, response, reward; cue, craving, response, reward—that ultimately allows you to create automatic habits.

The Habit Loop: 5 Habit Triggers That Make New Behaviors Stick

jamesclear.com

  • Cue 1: Time - Most common way to trigger a new habit
  • Cue 2: Location - Most powerful driver of mindless habits and also the least recognized
  • Cue 3: Preceding Event - Many habits are a response to something else that happens in your life
  • Cue 4: Emotional State - emotional state is a common cue for bad habits
  • Cue 5: Other People - people you surround yourself with can play a role in your habits and behaviors.
The word 'robot'
  • 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the entry' robot' into the language.
  • In 1920, Czech writer Karel Čapek wrote a play, R.U.R., or Rossum's Universal Robots. R.U.R. refers to the name of a company devoted to making artificial people where they do the work humans prefer not to do. "You will be free and supreme: you will have no other task, no other work, no other cares than to perfect your own being…"
  • In the play, the utopia doesn't last. In R.U.R.'s wake, the robots revolt, turn on their masters and slaughter everyone on the planet.

Where does the word 'robot' come from?

sciencefocus.com

R.U.R. was first performed in Prague in January 1921 and was such a success that an English-language adaptation was on Broadway in 1922.

By 1923, the play had been translated into thirty languages. By the end of that decade, the Oxford English Dictionary defined "robot" as "a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically."

Karel Čapek first thought of calling his artificial people "labors," but was not satisfied and turned to his brother Josef for advice. Josef suggested the Czech word "robota," which referred to a system of forced serf labour.

When Čapek wrote R.U.R., he was known as one of the leading anti-fascist commentators of the 1930s. His writing, ideas, style, and attitude brought him to the attention of the Nazis, who named him "public enemy number two" in Czechoslovakia.

Listening To Music While Working

While monotonous work like making a report is tolerable with your favorite music playing in the background, any kind of creative work can be significantly impaired if it is accompanied by music.

Studies show that certain kinds of music may be ‘paired’ with your kind of work, like classical music which are stimulating and ‘positive’ or ‘happy’ can help us perform certain tasks which require ‘divergent’ or out-of-the-box thinking.

Does Listening to Music Stimulate Creative Thinking, or Stifle It?

time.com

After a problem has been examined and analysed, creative thinkers often hit a roadblock, which is actually an ‘incubation period’ where the brain works in the background to process information at an unconscious level.

This results in an ‘aha’ or a ‘Eureka!’ moment when the solution or idea pops inside the head later when we are not consciously thinking about it.

Certain unthought of combinations, associations, innovations and links between remote objects or ideas can be stimulated by specific kinds of music, provided it helps us focus ‘away’ from the problem rather than focussing more on it.

Most music that one listens to while doing creative work is just a distraction, and rather than helping us, it creates more cognitive load on our brain, which has to block out the sound.

Game On: Framework for gamification

Identify The Problems and address them like a game

Designing the Basic Framework

  1. Challenges - problems and challenges you face and habits you want to build.
  2. Activities - tasks you need to perform to overcome your challenges and build new habits.
  3. Rewards - points that will help you accomplish milestones and redeem rewards.
  4. Variable Rewards - it is okay to just receive smaller rewards every once in a while.

Assign points every time you accomplish a goal.

Maintain a progress system to help you see your progress to reaching your goals and unlocking rewards.

Design Experiment: How I Gamified My Life

medium.muz.li

A 10 Minute Daily Review

For 10 minutes, take a notepad and jot down/review your day. Be consistent, noting your achievements, shortcomings, mistakes, and learning.

"Success" habits I should have but don't.

medium.com

Meditation

Meditation, often talked about but rarely practiced, is the key to focus and something that will help us in our endeavors no matter who we are.

Yoga

Like Meditation, Yoga is the one all solution to all the problems of our body. It is a holistic, and safe way to take care of your body, mind, and soul.

Morning Journaling

Daily morning journaling helps us to focus our thoughts and stay in the present moment.

Write whatever is in your mind, customizing it as per your liking.

Weekly Review

Take 10 to 30 minutes of your time every week, and just see how you feel about the last 7 days, what all happened in the week.

Ask yourself questions about your main goal and how you are moving towards it.

Strategy For An Optimal Life: The Six-Spokes Theory

The Six-Spokes Theory divides our life into a wheel with six spokes, where all of them have to be tight and function smoothly. The aim is to lead a balanced and optimal life, and is not tied to the traditional idea of success.
The Spokes are as follows:

  1. Body: Your energy levels, diet, stamina, and strength.
  2. Mind: The ability to focus and learn.
  3. Love: The quality of relationships.
  4. Work: A meaningful and financially rewarding career.
  5. Money: How you utilize money.
  6. Play: Your recreational options.

Six Spokes Theory: Strategy For An Optimal Life

dariusforoux.com

The balance of life is temporarily fine if one of the spoke is neglected, but if there is a constant neglecting of a spoke of the wheel of life, one will see the consequences of the same.

Example: Not exercising for a week is a temporary neglection of the ‘body’ spoke, but not exercising at all will lead to illnesses and lack of energy.

  • Most of us spend our whole day working, leaving us with less energy for other important areas of life.
  • In the Six Spokes Theory, the work spoke is just as important as your love spoke or your play spoke, and everything matters.
  • One has to spend the same amount of energy in each spoke, as a thumb rule.
  • The Six-spoke theory is all about smart consumption of our limited energy, along with the best use of the limited number of hours we have during the day.

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