Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell

Just finished reading Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell.

As always, written very well and triggers thinking, but I was missing conclusion and tools. It is obvious that we bring bias when talking to strangers, that we do not really know when people lie to us. But are there there tools or methods for us to re-asses the situation, slow down and handler it better.

Malcom starts and ends the book with the story of Sandra Bland, describes the mistakes that where done as well as the police policy change that contributed to the incident. I found this analysis interesting, but not helpful as I live and Japan and do not encounter such scenarios.

Could relate a lot to transparency and how we perceive other people which also connected to my past work experience.

While working in a small startup, I kept feeling that my opinion is being ignored. Another Group Leader’s opinion was usually winning, when I felt (and sometimes knew) he was wrong. I realized back then that the way we communicate, look, perceived, determined this bias towards him. While I was being appreciated for being Technically strong and usually correct, I could not move the company and people towards my opinion. At some point, the R&D manager told me he perceived my opinion as pessimistic. I was rather shocked as I did not perceive myself the same way. I could have said I am more realistic, but definitely not “pessimistic”. That was an important lesson to me as I realized that my communication style was perceived wrong, not only by strangers, but by the people I work with every day.

Many years passed since then, but I keep seeing bias in companies towards employees that may be more charismatic, create an aura of “I know what I am doing”, while in some cases it is the wrong path. Companies and people do not have tools to distinguish between the “real deal” to the Charismatic “False Prophet”.

Diverging a bit, Sabbatai Zvi was a false prophet who started as a super star, as the prophet of the Jews, but ended up converting to Islam and bringing hardship to many Jewish communities.
Do we have tools to recognize the “false prophets” around us, and protect ourselves and companies ?

Nazi Like Symbols

Apparently, this brand started in 2018 by Nakata Atsuhiko from the comedy duo Oriental Radio .

How surprised I was walking in Shibuya and seeing something that looks like Nazi Symbols. Did not really understand what it was until I search the internet.

Website as well as Nakata’s website have some more logos and symbols which remind me of Nazi Germany logos and design. Maybe it is a way to create attention and make money, but obviously I don’t like it.

Nakata Atsuhiko is recently not on TV and focusing his time and efforts elsewhere, including a Youtube channel where he talks about history and more. Did not watch it, but I will definitely check it out now.

Gacha Gacha Coffee

Visited Mori Museum in Roppongi last week and loved the idea by Maruyama coffee of Gacha Gacha Coffee.

Actually, the interesting part was not the Gacha Gacha, but the self service system that was implemented there.
After one selects his favorite coffee (or Gacha Gacha machine), and then move it to a grinding machine and a pour over machine.
Love it, and will be interesting to see if will be implemented in other places.

Or maybe actually it requires more man power and effort than standard Cafe

Yebisu Beer Contents. Problems with a range

Noticed the following on a beer can, which surprised me.

How come there is a range for “Fibers”.
All the rest is fixed in value, with Proteins at 0.5g, sugars 3.4g. Is it because it is difficult to measure Fibers? Or maybe the variation is too high?

It seems 0-0.2g is a small range, but when you think about it, it is huge. It can be 0(!!!) or 0.2g.

I think I need to research more about beer filtering to understand this better .

Watching People

As I spend a lot of my time in transit, working at Cafes, I have the chance to watch many people. When I worked in Israel my daily routine was to drive to work, work, and go back home which did not give me a lot of “people watching” time.

Sometimes I feel happy watching people, sometimes sad and sometimes just surprised.

Last week I was working at a Cafe, when I noticed a woman spending a LOT of time cutting her Pie. By “A Lot”, I mean she was moving her knife back and forth not applying any pressure on the Pie, which basically means she did not cut anything.
Watched her for 3 minutes, in which she kept moving her knife, not making any progress.

Was she just absent minded, thinking about something else, or is it some kind of ritual for her. I will obviously never know.


What are the chances of me being in Yoyogi park during the weekend, bumping into a former work colleague traveling in Japan.

This goes beyond amazing!

Platinum Pen Star Wars series

Platinum pen just released their new Star Wars pen series. These fountain pens will be available only in Japan and will coincide with the release of the new Star Wars movie in Japan :

Have a feeling I am going to buy one of them

Samsung T5 on Mac OS Catalina

Update: Samsung just released new drivers (1.6.6) which resolve the issue.

Samsung T5 driver does not work on latest MacOS. The amount of anger and frustration in this support thread is quite justifiable.
It is un accepted that a company which sells SSD does not bother updating their driver. Mac Beta program is very clear and allows enough time for vendor to modify and qualify their products, but it seems Samsung did not bother doing it.

As the thread mentions there are workarounds and it works for me, but I still think this is a very bad customer experience.

Platinum pen All blacks

A bit of humor and marketing flair

Platinum pen published this in their instagram .
Today is the semi final match between England and New Zealand All Blacks

Idan Reichel – Starbucks Japan playing list

What a surprise.

Was sitting at Starbucks in Tokyo, and was surprised to hear a song in Hebrew. Hebrew in Japan? How possible?

Shazam was very helpful to identify it was Idan Reichel.

What I still don’t know is why? Who selected Idan Reichel to Starbucks playing list?