Free documentaries

Oh You Pretty Things is a web shop run by a collective of filmmakers and visual artists based in Brooklyn NY. They make films, art, books, posters, photographs, clothing, and other fine stuff. 

Filmmaker Gary Hustwit is streaming his documentaries free worldwide during the global COVID-19 crisis. Each Tuesday he is posting another film here.

This week’s turn is a documentary about the industrial designer Dieter Rams.

Emotions touch us

The strongest memories are the ones where we’ve felt a strong emotion. Throughout the years we accumulate an archive of memories we hold on to. Here’s a video with a nice emotional story arch. This one touches me.

Symbolikon

I’ve recently watched Graham Hancock’s banned TED talk “The War on Consciousness”. Graham, during an interview on London Real, later said the only reason why it got banned was because his views “challenged a dogma of a particular faction of science”. The faction he is referring to is the faction that holds a materialist-reductionist worldview. Since I always thought TED stood for openly sharing a vast array of worldviews, so that one can approach a topic from different angles, I find it weird that TED banned his talk.

I went on exploring Graham’s website and watched a featured interview with John Anthony West, about “The Mysterious Origins of Civilization”. If you are curious about human history, I highly recommend it. You will notice that John is, well, a true character. Through Graham’s news section I stumbled upon a Fast Company article about a new project around ancient symbols. During the last three years an Italian designer named Michela Graziani has been doing research about the meaning of ancient symbols and is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for a digital library of symbols, hooray!

As some of you already know one of my current projects, VAU, is inspired by universal symbols that extend through diverse aspects of life, from nature to geometry to spirituality to art. I’ve already backed the project and I hope you will, too.

A fun fact

“It’s one kind of information. And it has its own limitations. I think there are other kinds of information that are valid. For example, the information that comes from your own experience. And I like to point out to people that in all languages derived from Latin, unfortunately not English, the word for experience and the word for experiment are the same. In Spanish, experimentar means both to experience and to experiment. So your own experience is a form of experimentation that produces useful information. You have to check it against other kinds of information. With double-blind studies, this is held out as the gold standard. And many people think this is the only kind of information we should pay attention to. But here’s an interesting thing. You can try this yourself. And it’s an assignment that I give to medical students and doctors.” Dr. Andrew Weil

Discovered via a Tim Ferriss podcast episode with Dr. Andrew Weil. Here you can find the full transcript of the episode.

Rimac

The fastest electric car is made by a company you have probably never heard of, Rimac Automobili. Since its inception, in 2009, the company is located, out of all places, in Croatia. Known for its soccer team and tourism, Croatia is rarely spoken of in connection to hardware technology. It is a remarkable entrepreneurial story of vision, innovation, team effort and plain old hard work, too. 

Named after its founder, Mate Rimac, the company now counts 450 people and has a number of international investors, amongst them Porsche. If this draws your attention I recommend the following article by the Financial Times. 

The Highest-Paid YouTuber

One of the rare email newsletters that I am daily looking forward to is a newsletter by a German magazine named Der Spiegel. One of their recent newsletters contained a link to an article about the Forbes Highest -Paid YouTubers. I was surprised to find out that the number 1 was occupied by a seven year old boy named Ryan who is reviewing toys!

Between June 2017 and June 2018 he supposedly made 22 million USD and he currently has 17 million subscribers. I find this stunning as new media channels such as YouTube are opening up opportunities like these. Everyone can nowadays be a media outlet. Here is the link to his channel. The channel only exists since March 2015 and so far it has gathered 26 billion views.  

We humans

We humans are remarkably different, e.g. in what we look like, what we think about and what we feel. We build our worldviews through nurture and nature and come to create a life so distinct from one another. Beneath all this there are a lot of similarities, though. According to Abraham Maslow,we all crave to satisfy our physiological needs, our need for safety, for love & belonging, for esteem and for self-actualization.

What is particularly fascinating is how differently we humans we can respond to the same occurrence, e.g. a serious illness. As Viktor Frankl wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

I recently watched a documentary named Dealt. Its a story about Richard Turner, one of the world’s greatest card magicians, despite being blind! Its a magnificent story about resilience, determination and about how tenderness and vulnerability open up a path towards being more human.

Addendum, 17 December 2018: here is a link to a podcast interview with Richard, Episode 124 of The Human Experience podcast.

If by Rudyard Kipling