Moving amidst a pandemic

Why I decided to move into my own space, coronavirus updates, the deadliest marketing in history, and TikTok

Hi friends!

The past few weeks have been quite excruciating.

Not only was I trying to move homes during this pandemic, but my work was equally as demanding. I was running between homes with boxes in one hand and a laptop in another. Thankfully, I’m 90% done with my move and should be able to ease back into finding a balance with work, content creation, and life.

A large part of moving was motivated by my roommate who did not share COVID-19 values. Although it was tolerable in the beginning when we both practiced strict isolation together, I could tell that she was struggling a month in. After two months, she started to schedule get-togethers with friends and would leave on weekend excursions. I struggled a lot trying to find compassion with this, but given a pandemic and having people pass from COVID-19 hitting too close to home, I had to depart. After thinking long and hard about what to do next, I decided a place of my own was the best solution.

Definitely a 180-degree shift from sleeping on bamboo mats last year during my meditation voyage around the world. And as I reflect on that journey from just a year ago, I am in awe that I had missed COVID-19 by just a few months. Had I waited to go on my journey, I would have been stuck in Asia during a pandemic with no choice but to go home. NYC would never have happened again.

Life is so unpredictable and yet we spend so much time and energy to calculate our entire lives. Stepping into the flow might just bring unexpected surprises and experiences our way.

How might we step out of our rational mind and into intuition?

What might come our way in doing so?


Coronavirus updates

The US has finally hit 5 million COVID-19 patients. While I’m all for record-breaking moments, this is quite an embarrassing record to hold. However, with a vaccine still unavailable, doctors resort to using convalescent plasma of COVID-19 survivors to save patients’ lives.

In other startling news, even if a vaccine were readily available tomorrow, a third of Americans would choose to not be vaccinated. Humans are very strange creatures indeed.

Marketing to die for

It was perhaps the deadliest marketing disaster in history—and remains one of the business world’s great cautionary tales. “I don’t think that, from the onset, people would look at this and say people could actually die,” says Lee Oster, a University of Idaho professor and the co-author of a risk management textbook that included Number Fever as a case study. “But even then, like the nuclear power industry or aviation, people have to be on top of things and realize the catastrophic events that can happen at the end.”

A fascinating story by Bloomberg about Pepsi’s fiasco in the Philippines.

What’s up with Tik Tok?

TikTok is quite an impressive product. It’s a data-mining platform disguised with pleasurable memes that I can spend hours watching. Just because we don’t see immediate ramifications of the data being mined, doesn’t mean that something sinister is not brewing. Take a look at our 2016 elections - the data mined from Facebook quizzes ended up toppling our elections.

I acknowledge that there are far more intelligent, wealthy, and powerful people out there in the world who will pour billions into compromising our freedom. Are memes worth it? I am not so sure.

TikTok might be pleasant, or joyful, or even subversive. But it is also an app on your phone, on the internet, connected to data centers and driving both corporate amalgamation and transnational entrenchment. It’s a bummer, but nothing is ever just an app anymore. Maybe Microsoft will save TikTok, or maybe not. Either way, there aren’t better and worse options here, so much as worse and even worse ones.

The AtlanticFor Whom the Tok Tiks

As always, thanks for reading!

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Have a beautiful day!

Metta (loving-kindness),
Steven

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