Movies, Books & TV Shows, Numbers

Homo Deus

In about a week’s time, I read and finished the paperback version of Sapiens. What an incredible read filled with mind-blowing stories.

Today, I started reading the second book by Professor Yuval Noah Harari. Imagine my delight when I saw an image of my favourite artist Pieter Brueghel on page 7 of Homo Deus. Then on page 52, he mentioned Mr. Data and Captain Kirk!

Oh my goodness, I am probably going to love this book.

Health, Movies, Books & TV Shows

No Alternatives

I have just watched an episode of Op één about air quality. The capital city with the worst air quality is Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Best air quality is found in Stockholm, Sweden.

Sweden, a rich and developed country, has invested heavily in the best infrastructure and sciences to improve the lives of its citizens. The opposite is happening in Mongolia where drought and bitter winters have driven hoards of country folks to the cities.

It is heartbreaking to witness a baby using a breathing machine and a little girl unable to go to school because of a nasty persistent cough. And elsewhere in the world, children are learning and taking naps in the open.

Life can be so unfair…

Flashbacks, Movies, Books & TV Shows, Travels


The mind travels far and wide when one indulge in a good book.

Reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is like entering a time machine, going back in time, to observe the past. The intriguing stories of human beings (specifically Sapiens) had me glued to the book for hours on end.

Incredibly, at certain points of my reading, the mind actually linked some of these past events with stories I have read in some of my beloved science fiction novels.

Does that mean that human minds wander the same subconscious territories regardless of time and space?

Movies, Books & TV Shows


Youth is a 2015 Italian comedy-drama film written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. It is the director’s second English language film, and stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel as best friends who reflect on their lives while holidaying in the Swiss Alps. It is a story of the eternal struggle between age and youth, the past and the future, life and death, commitment and betrayal. ~Wikipedia

Beautifully filmed stories that make one ponders of life past, present and what is yet to come.

Movies, Books & TV Shows


Last weekend, I finally found the time to watch the film classic Casablanca.

Admittedly, I have never bothered to watch it because it is known to be a love story, and I have the tendency to not spend my time on that genre. However, this turned out to be much more than what I have expected! The movie is about friendships, crafty trade deals, a multicultural society, war, political and personal motives, courage, cowardice, greed and sacrifices.

They do not make movies like this anymore…

Belgium, Jibber Jabber, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Reading Habits

On the news this past two days, there is an ongoing discussion regarding the reading capability of today’s youngsters in Flanders. These young people, specifically secondary school students, are not reading as much, nor as well as their predecessors. The individuals that were interviewed on television simply said that they do not enjoy reading, thus never develop an appetite nor habit for this activity.

Laziness? Technology? Short attention spans? Different priorities? What is to be blamed here?

I think the main culprit is CGI. When you have TV series or films with superior computer generated visuals like in Game of Thrones, who still have the brain power nor imagination to bring oneself into a self-thought-out universe?

I grew up in an environment where there was hardly any screen time. In such, I learned to develop an ability of turning simple words into an adventure or a fantastic world which my mind may wander. There is hardly any effort in visualizing stories and strange new universes in my mind-eye. It must be rather difficult for people growing up with 24-hour television, realistic computer games, and high quality visuals to develop this ability.

Business & Creativity, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Digital Colonization

I just re-read the article: The goal is to automate us: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism.

The following statement by Shoshana Zuboff scared me more this time than the first time I came across it…

“Digital natives” is a tragically ironic phrase. I am fascinated by the structure of colonial conquest, especially the first Spaniards who stumbled into the Caribbean islands. Historians call it the “conquest pattern”, which unfolds in three phases: legalistic measures to provide the invasion with a gloss of justification, a declaration of territorial claims, and the founding of a town to legitimate the declaration. Back then Columbus simply declared the islands as the territory of the Spanish monarchy and the pope.

The sailors could not have imagined that they were writing the first draft of a pattern that would echo across space and time to a digital 21st century. The first surveillance capitalists also conquered by declaration. They simply declared our private experience to be theirs for the taking, for translation into data for their private ownership and their proprietary knowledge. They relied on misdirection and rhetorical camouflage, with secret declarations that we could neither understand nor contest.

Belgium, Events, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Cinema Under The Trees

After an early dinner yesterday evening, D and I biked to De Gavers, to an event known as Cinema Under The Trees. The film that we watched is called Intelligent Trees. The venue was fantastic, the event well organised, the film was very informative and altered some of my thoughts regarding trees.

Despite the chilly windy evening and the challenging bike ride through the dark forest, I really had a good time. I shall do it again in a heartbeat – bike ride included. 😉

Movies, Books & TV Shows

Delivering Happiness

I finally got hold of the book Delivering Happiness.

Like a time machine, the book enabled me to travel back 20 years in time. The pre-2008 events had me going, ‘Ah, I have heard of that story…’, or ‘Oh, I was there when that happened.’, or ‘I was one of them!’. Many of these were happy memories which made me smile.

The post-2008 stories were enticing because they let me know how the company did afterwards. How bizarre that I am able to picture what many of the contributors look like! To remember how they were like as coworkers!

I left Zappos and the US more than 10 years ago – in pursue of happiness. Up till now, happiness has been constantly generated, delivered and received with an open-mind. 🙂

Hey, why weren’t there any Star Trek references?!

Movies, Books & TV Shows

My Brilliant Friend

I have just finished watching an 8-part series known as My Brilliant Friend.

The story depicts the trials, tribulations and triumphs of two girls growing up in an impoverished town in Naples. As much as I have enjoyed the miniseries, which ended up in a sad and angry note, I was not exactly overjoyed to learn that there might be a subsequent season. Somehow, I do not feel the need nor desire to follow the story any further.

Well, I shall decide when and if it gets broadcasted on Belgian television again…