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A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #3

Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar
Hello friends,
Welcome to another edition of my newsletter.
This week was another sunny week here in the UK (or at least where I live). It was my wife’s birthday so I had taken the day off and we went to RHS Wisley. Wisley is the second most visited paid entry garden in the United Kingdom after the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It was lovely day and we saw some amazing plant life and even some ducks. I would highly recommend people going there once if you are in London.
We also celebrated her birthday over the weekend inviting her friends over for a garden party. I must say it was really fun and our son enjoyed a lot of attention other than from his parents 🙂.

🖥️📱💻 Technology
I regularly watch MKBHD‘s YouTube videos and find them very insightful. He approaches technology in a very different way compared to other YouTubers.
In his latest video he talks about 3 gadgets that were ahead of their time.
What’s interesting about the video is not the gadgets themselves but the idea of reviewing gadgets/products years ago and making the connection with their successors today.
What we are seeing with the smartphone is a convergence of various technologies. A single device can make a phone call, send a text message, become a radio, take a picture like a camera, become a GPS device for navigation, give access to your bank accounts and many more.
Now imagine your smartphone becoming a full frame mirrorless camera. This is one of the gadgets (Samsung Galaxy Camera) MKBHD talks about in his video. I share MKBHD’s thoughts here. Even though you might have a powerful mirrorless camera, the whole process of getting the photo to your phone, editing it and then uploading it on Instagram is quite painful. On the other hand taking pictures from our phones and uploading them to Instagram instantly is a smooth process and is far more convenient than carrying a camera.
The Google Glass on the other hand is an extremely useful tech that got slammed by the media for invading privacy of consumers, but has now become a success in the enterprise sector. This is an example where technology adds value and augments a human being.
And finally, the Motorola Atrix was something that might never happen again or will it? Imagine your smartphone connecting to a device and making it your laptop or your monitor to make it a desktop. Smartphones have come a long way and they have become quite powerful in a very small form factor. But what if your smartphone can convert into multiple form factors. That was the idea behind the Atrix and now Samsung Dex.
These are very useful directions in which a smartphone company is heading and its very exciting to see what the future awaits.
🧠 Artificial Intelligence
Recently two different text to image AI models were unveiled. One was Open AI’s DALL·E 2 (a portmanteau of WALL-E and Salvador Dalí) following on from their work on DALL·E and Google’s Imagen. These are really capable tools and its amazing how technology is progressing so rapidly. Imagine you can create a
  • book cover
  • music album cover
  • YouTube video thumbnail
  • podcast thumbnail
simply by writing few lines of text. This is a really useful of technology where creativity is applied on our behalf.
I have already applied for DALL·E 2 and will apply for Imagen as soon as I can. It should help with some of the content I create for my YouTube channel and Podcast.
A side by side comparison of these two AI models has been done by Two Minute Papers in this video.
📚 Book
This week I am still reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. I have finished 40% of the book so far and loving all the new ideas I am getting from it.
Cal talks about four different philosophies by which we can try to integrate deep work in our lives.
Monastic philosophy
In order to do deep work using this philosophy, you must focus the task at hand completely ignoring all other things, like shallow work. Basically, cut off from the world till you finish what you started. No emails, texts, events, videos, tweets, etc.
Bimodal philosophy
This philosophy talks about dedicating some clearly defined time for deep pursuits and the rest of your time for everything else. This is for people who cannot succeed in the absence of substantial commitments to non-deep pursuits. For example, you need to pay the bills by working at your job, so that you can afford to take some time off to write a book.
Rhythmic philosophy
This philosophy talks about converting your deep working sessions into a regular habit. For example, dedicating a set amount of time every day to do deep work. By doing deep work every day at a set time you can get a lot done slowly. This is different from bimodal where you can’t take time off work for long periods of time.
Journalistic philosophy
This is highly specific to how journalists work. They sometimes have to switch on and off very quickly to do deep work. Imagine getting back from a war, and then immediately writing a 500 words article for your publication. This ability to switch between non-deep and deep work comes with years of practice.
🎙️ Podcast
I regularly create my own podcast with Rinat Malik but I also listen to other podcasts. Long form audio has made a huge comeback over the last couple of years and I would like to thank my wife for introducing me to some amazing podcasts.
Last week I heard an episode from the podcast The Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett. Steven interviewed the Strava co-founder Michael Horvath in this episode.
Now, I have been using Strava for many years where I actively post different form of workouts ranging from running, cycling, hiking, indoor rowing, strength training, yoga, swimming and many more. It allows you to upload all these activities, helps you connect with people who do similar activities, and track a lot more on its app. Its like the social media app for people who exercise.
The thing that struck me the most was when he talked about his wife who passed away due to cancer. We are all dying right from the moment we are born. Some will die late from old age and some will die early from a life threatening disease or a freak accident. Life is very unpredictable and it never waits. So make the most of the time you have. It is too short to care about unnecessary things. If you want to do something, do it now.
Michael talks about how he went through this journey of stepping down from being the CEO of Strava to taking care of his wife, and eventually her passing away and him joining back at Strava. This is a very personal story and its important for us to hear it from people who are at the top of their game. In the end they are only human just as we are.
Thank you for reading my newsletter. And I hope you are enjoying it. If you like what you are reading, then please do share it with your friends and subscribe to my newsletter.
Next week I want to see if I can use a voice to text software effectively to write this newsletter.
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Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar @amit_Sarkar007

Newsletters are the new form of blogging where instead of you coming to the blog, the blog comes to you. Every week I will aim to publish my newsletter to talk about things I have done, read, heard or watched. The idea behind this newsletter is to talk about my ordinary life in the hope that you might find something interesting in it.

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Bromley, Greater London, United Kingdom