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A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #7

Amit Sarkar
Amit Sarkar
Hello friends,
Welcome to another edition of my newsletter.
This week was a very interesting one. It started with me and Rinat, my co-host on our podcast, talking about Digital Legacy (episode to be published later) and then later me testing +ve for Covid 😛.
Not sure about how, what, where, and when but I managed to get it. So I applied for sick leave as I was not feeling very well initially. Thankfully my wife and son didn’t get it initially, but alas they also caught it in the end after two days.
The good thing was we recovered quickly, at least from the fever and tiredness. But the sore throat and dry cough still remain.
So with all the Covid in the family, it meant we sat around the house watching Djokovic win his 7th Wimbledon and the stage highlights from Tour de France.

💬 🔊 Transcribe audio
If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you can transcribe any audio for free using the online version of Microsoft Word.
We use it regularly for our podcast transcriptions. It’s not perfect but it’s better than not having any transcription for our audio.
Having a transcript increases better visibility in Google Search, simply because Google can’t search through audio but can through text. It also improves accessibility and helps you reach out to a broader audience.
It’s also much cheaper to use than many other transcription services.
How to Transcribe Audio in Microsoft Word
Well, what actually is the difference between dictate and transcribe?
When we dictate we convert voice/speech to text in real-time. This is useful when you don’t want to type a lot of text. You always dictate to a machine or a person.
When we transcribe we convert an audio file to text. This is useful to convert any old voice recordings into searchable text. This is also useful when the audio has more than one speaker.
📝 Logical fallacy
Arguments and debates are an important part of college and academic discourse. But not every argument is perfect. Some can be picked apart because they have errors in reasoning and rhetoric. These are called “logical fallacies,” and they’re very common.
You’ll hear logical fallacies in the classroom, during televised debates, and in arguments with your friends. It can even be challenging to avoid using them yourself.
This article lays out some of the most common logical fallacies and how to identify them.
I really enjoyed going through these and thought how many times did I try to reason with someone not based on what they were saying but on something entirely different. It’s hard to avoid falling into these traps. But equally important to know that these traps exist.
15 Logical Fallacies You Should Know Before Getting Into a Debate -
💓🩺 Health check
In the UK we have access to world-class healthcare available for free, thanks to all the taxes we pay, to all its residents through NHS.
Recently a friend of mine got her health check done using this service and she was extremely satisfied as well as happy that nothing alarming came out of the health check.
I would urge everyone living in the UK who is above 40 to avail of this service and learn more about your health. Having good health is key to our well-being. And the key to good health is to keep monitoring and measuring it regularly so you can always take corrective actions if something is not normal.
What is an NHS Health Check? - NHS Health Check
🪂🛩️ Flying & skydiving
I love watching videos of aircraft and people skydiving.
And recently I stumbled on these videos of Tom Cruise while searching for Behind The Scenes (BTS) videos for Top Gun: Maverick.
Tom Cruise is actually an experienced pilot who’s been in possession of a professional license since 1994. At the age of 60, he is someone I really admire for taking his passion for flying on-screen. He also owns multiple aircraft and even loaned one to the film.
Tom Cruise Terrifies James in 'Top Gun' Fighter Jet!
Tom Cruise Terrifies James in 'Top Gun' Fighter Jet!
He is also an amazing skydiver and has performed the below sequence all by himself. It’s incredible to think that an actor would jump from 25,000 feet over 100 times for an action sequence.
Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) - HALO Jump Stunt Behind The Scenes - Paramount Pictures
Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) - HALO Jump Stunt Behind The Scenes - Paramount Pictures
In the below video you can see him having fun with James Corden while jumping from an aircraft at 15,000 feet.
Tom Cruise Forces James Corden to Skydive
Tom Cruise Forces James Corden to Skydive
I have done tandem skydiving from 17,000 feet with Skydive Mexico, but nothing like what Tom Cruise has done.
Tandem Skydiving (06-May-2019)
Tandem Skydiving (06-May-2019)
📚 Books
This week I also finished reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. It surely has lived up to its expectations. In short, he has summarized everything into
  • Work deeply
  • Quit social media
  • Embrace boredom
  • Drain the shallows (shallow work)
I found so many tips useful from how to use email properly and how to schedule one’s time that I’m planning to apply them to my life.
I have also started reading Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon and finished 10% of it so far. It focuses on how stealing like an artist is a very normal way of being creative.
I always believed that nothing creative is ever original. It’s always a combination of various ideas combined together in a completely new way.
For example, the image of a melting candle combined with the image of a person gives us an image of a melting person. Voila!!, that’s Creativity 101 for you. We can only think of things we know of and not things we don’t know of.
Science does teach you to break those shackles by careful observation, logical reasoning and deduction. But that’s different.
More from the book in subsequent newsletters.
🎙️ Podcast
Last week I heard an episode from the podcast The Diary of a CEO by Steven Bartlett. Steven interviewed Simon Sinek in this episode. I first heard of Simon Sinek while watching this powerful video years ago, so it was refreshing to hear this podcast. Simon talks about a lot of stuff from his life, work and books and it’s a very insightful conversation to listen to.
The Millennial Question
The Millennial Question
Some interesting excerpts from the podcast are mentioned below.
Why is always positive. It’s always striving for something. So like we’re not inspired against something. We’re not inspired to stop something. We’re inspired to build something or create something or advance something.
You know our sense of joy and fulfilment and love and purpose comes from our ability to serve another human being.
And I started to realise we’ve confused things here. Which is, we don’t get to decide when we’re present, we get to practise being present, but you actually are not present until someone else says you are.
You know we don’t build trust by offering help. We build trust by asking for it. Because it’s a vulnerable thing to ask for help. Can I help you? Not so much an act of service. But the act of service really comes from allowing somebody else to serve you.
And I think it’s a big gaping hole in the curriculum. We teach, you know maths and we teach English, but we don’t teach social interaction. We don’t teach listening, we don’t teach how to have uncomfortable conversations. We don’t teach how to give and receive feedback.
Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. Please feel free to Buy me a coffee if you are enjoying what I am sharing.
Until we meet again next week, please take care, strive to be healthy and stay happy.
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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