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Videogames, violent behavior, and mental health.

Jane McGonigal, PhD game designer and videogame advocate, appeared on The Knowledge Project podcast to talk about the psychology of gaming with host, Shane Parrish.

It was an enlightening and insightful conversation that went down many rabbit holes, but listening to it with a critical ear presented several holes that shouldn’t be overlooked.

As always, I listened for one of the five red flags that all may not be as it seems.

These red flags are:

  • Weasel words
  • Anecdotes
  • Bullsh*t science
  • Statistics

The purpose of these articles is to promote critical listening and keep podcast hosts and guests accountable. …

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It has become commonplace for people to do a lot of their learning through audiobooks and podcasts, instead of physical books.

Fast and cheap internet and smartphones have made accessing several-hour-long audio files as simple as a click of a button, and something we can do anywhere — in the gym, in the park, in our cars, and so on.

Over one in five Americans now listen to audiobooks, and the trend towards listening to audiobooks instead of reading physical books is picking up steam, especially amongst people who previously shied away from reading a physical book, opening up a new market for book publishers. …

Freedom from things and to do things is great — but the ultimate freedom comes from within.

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“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.”

Former US President Herbert Hoover’s words ring as true today as they did when they were uttered during The Great Depression almost one hundred years ago. Freedom is one of the highest human values, and one that has shaped humanity’s endeavors from time immemorial.

Oftentimes though, when we talk about freedom, we refer to freedom from things — bosses we don’t like, work we don’t want to do, and places we don’t want to be. We also refer to the freedom to do things — speak our minds, make mistakes, go surfing, build a company, travel where we want to, and select our romantic partners. …

Humanity depends on it.

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The past twenty years have seen humanity embark upon a technological revolution, one that has changed our behaviors and interactions.

The way we communicate with colleagues, friends, and family has changed.

The way we navigate the world around us has changed.

The way we access information and learn has changed.

Fast internet, smartphones, social media, and intelligent algorithms have coalesced to help us connect in ways unimaginable to someone living in the 1950s. This perfect storm of sorts has brought immense benefit to our lives, but it has brought immense pain too, whether we realize it or not.


Technology has evolved exponentially. The average number of transistors on a microchip in 2000 was just 21 million. Today, AMD’s Epyc microchip boasts 39 billion transistors — almost two thousand times more computing power than just two decades ago. …

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Recently, I gave a talk on how human beings tend to be wasteful when it comes to our most precious resource — time.

Indeed it was the Roman philosopher, Seneca, who once penned that “People are frugal in guarding their personal property but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy”.

When I asked my audience to check their daily smartphone screen time, the responses varied from 2 hours up to 5 hours a day.

Upon further interrogation, most of that time was attributable to social media, and in particular, Instagram. One audience member, who complained of being time-poor, ironically managed to spend an average of three hours a day browsing Instagram — equivalent to six weeks a year. …

Google, Spotify, and Facebook: to the victor go the spoils

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Typically, when new or potentially disruptive innovations come along, they are pursued by a large number of small players.

That’s because new innovations are characterized by uncertainty and high risk, making them unattractive to large incumbents.

Furthermore, as the late HBS professor and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen, put it, disruptive innovations are commercialized in small markets, offer small margins, and result in products that simply aren’t very good or ready for the mainstream yet.

For example, people could game early search engine results simply by including a search term in black font on a black background hundreds of times over — even on completely unrelated sites. …

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The Prophet, written by Lebanese-American poet, Kahlil Gibran, is one of the most translated books in history and has never been out of print, almost one hundred years after its initial publication in 1923. It has sold over nine million copies in North America alone.

And it is with good reason. The compact book — which took me all of one hour to read whilst sitting by the beach — is full of easily digestible but profound life lessons that run the gamut of love, work, friendship, reason and emotion, giving, and more.

Interestingly, while the book is short, it took Gibran many years to write it because he chose to wait for particular moments of inspiration, rather than forcing the words. He would later say that “the book wrote me”. This is in contrast with much of the narrative we hear from writing aficionados urging us to sit and write every day, rather than wait around for moments of inspiration. In Gibran’s case, patiently waiting around for inspiration clearly paid off. …

What I’ve Learned After 7 Years as an Entrepreneur

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Having spent almost a decade as an entrepreneur, since leaving the corporate world back in 2013, I’ve established a handful of businesses of varying degrees of success.

My first startup, Hotdesk, was a failed office-sharing marketplace. Sure, I managed to raise some seed capital, but demand and revenue were a different story.

I took some lessons out of the experience and went on to form Collective Campus in 2015, a corporate innovation and startup accelerator that has been a seven-figure company since 2016.

Collective Campus’ success gave me the financial and time freedom to explore a number of revenue-generating side projects, such as Lemonade Stand — a children’s entrepreneurship program and platform, NoFilter Media — a podcast network, and Collective Content — a content agency, among a handful of less successful ideas. …

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If you’re anything like me, then each year you sit down to review how you performed against your goals for the year, whilst also setting goals for the new year.

Typically, I’ve categorized my goals into the different dimensions of life — business, finance, health, craft, relationships, learning, and so on. This would extend to tangible and measurable micro-goals like ‘get 5 articles published by Harvard Business Review’ and ‘meditate for 10 minutes a day’ sitting alongside more confronting and perhaps less straight-forward life goals like ‘get your romantic relationship shit together’.

Come to the end of this exercise, my pages are full of both large and small pursuits, sometimes numbering more than 100 goals for the year. …

How looking at the world through a wide lens instead of a narrow one makes us better people.

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For a long time, I was dogmatic about my beliefs, and whenever somebody questioned or attacked a belief I held, I saw it as a personal attack and got defensive.

But in my early to mid-30s, having spent several years in the entrepreneurship space, and having spent much of that time reading about all sorts of myriad topics that could help me get ahead — business, technology, philosophy, psychology and so on — I found myself truly relating to Socrates’ maxim that “To know, is to know that you know nothing”.

I also had the privilege of speaking with hundreds of thought leaders across different domains on my podcast, Future Squared, which helped me cultivate a multi-disciplinary world view. …


Steve Glaveski

#Founder of @CollCampus and @LemonadeStandCC. @Future_Squared #Podcast host. #Author of #TimeRich and Employee to #Entrepreneur. Visit: #MEL

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