The Awesome Value Of Edutainment

This Week’s BIG Idea

For the past few days, I’ve been looking for ways to replace television with something more educational, or as some people call it, edutainment. I cringe a little when I hear or read the word edutainment, but I think there’s value in watching something that teaches you something, but entertains you at the same time. This has been much more difficult than I had anticipated. As it turns out, I’ve been watching television for most of my life and this habit is hard to break. So I’ve been watching Netflix documentaries based on non-fiction books. First, I watched How to Get Rich (based on Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich) and now, I’m watching Live to 100 (based on Dan Buettner’s The Blue Zones). I thought both documentary miniseries were a great complement to the books they are based on.

Additionally, since I had trouble giving up television at first, I decided to use it as a tool to learn Japanese. I’ve been meaning to learn Japanese for years now. I watch an episode of an anime and I complement that with a short Duolingo lesson. I won’t become a fluent speaker anytime soon, but I am learning the basics of the language, as well as hiragana characters and some vocabulary. And let me tell you, when I am watching something in Japanese and I come across a word I know, I get a feeling of achievement that’s unparalleled.

What I’m Working on

I’ve been answering questions on Quora for some time now. I dabbled in this in the past, but I stopped at some point. Quora is great because you get data about the questions you answer, so you can easily see how many people read your responses. Additionally, there’s no unique way to answer questions, so you can write paragraphs, or answer in the form of lists if you want. For more about this, you should definitely read my summary of The Art and Business of Online Writing by Nicolas Cole.

What I’m Listening to

Mark Manson Audio Articles: I’m still going over the dozens of articles that Mark Manson turned into short podcast episodes at some point. This is a terrific way to revisit the articles without having to send all of them to Instapaper to read them. Overall, there are more than 170 articles/podcast episodes, so listening to all of them will take some time.

What I’m Reading

Sharing a House with the Never-Ending Man: I read Miyazakiworld a couple of days ago and I loved the book. I’ve been interested in going back to all of Ghibli’s movies. For those unfamiliar, Ghibli is a legendary animation studio in Japan that made some of the best animated movies in history, including My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, and Spirited Away. The interesting thing about Sharing a House with the Never Ending Man is that the book chronicles what working at Ghibli’s is like from the eyes of a gaijin (or foreigner). As soon as I picked this up, I couldn’t put it down. Don’t you love when that happens?

What I’m Watching

Hideo Kojima’s Closet Picks: I loved Hideo Kojima’s The Creative Gene in a way that I wasn’t anticipating. Ever since I started reading books, I haven’t kept in touch with video games. For those unfamiliar, Hideo Kojima is an auteur known for directing the Metal Gear Solid series, as well as Death Stranding. In his book (which is a compilation of interviews and essays from a Japanese magazine called da Vinci), the director talked about the books and games that shaped him. As soon as I found out that he’d been invited to pick his favorite movies from the Criterion Collection, I had to watch it. In the video, Kojima-san talks about some obscure Japanese gems not everyone is familiar with.

This Week’s Quote

“Your relationships will rarely be healthier than your self-esteem.

If the time you spend alone is already enjoyable to some degree—that is, if you have a healthy internal monologue and generally feel good about yourself—then you will have a fairly high bar for the type of relationships you’ll enter.

But if you’re unhappy with yourself, then you are more likely to put up with bad relationships because they may occasionally make you feel better than you do alone. If you want a great relationship, the first thing you want is to be comfortable with yourself.”

James Clear

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