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The Goodreads Reading Challenge started in 2011 and has 2,938,424 participants in 2021. As much as this is a creative way to gamify a good habit, the focus on the act of reading obscures the purpose behind it. This might provide the wrong incentives that sacrifice quality reading for shortcutting — for the sake of numerical targets. Efficiency measures such as increasing audiobook playback to 3x speeds, book summary apps and speed reading leaves meager room for engaging with the content.

Only 16% of people actually finished their yearly book challenges in 2018. So when I see Ted Talks on


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Anyone who knows me would probably say I’m a fairly disciplined individual who follows a series of healthy, productive routines on a daily basis. And they would’ve been correct up until March 2020. At this point the pandemic forced many office workers including myself to start working from home. Many people would say that this allowed us to get some of our time back — thus making us more productive.

We were no longer chained to hour long commutes and waking up early to meet the rush hour schedule of the 9–5. We would also use our new found control…


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What are the supposed benefits of reading books?

Pulling the first result from a Google Search, these are the main benefits of reading books. But how accurate are these claims?

This also applies to so many other activities. As long as you are getting mental stimulation, your brain will benefit from the exercise. This could take the form of math problems, puzzles, learning new skills — all of which could be more engaging than reading a book. My question is — does 30 minutes of sudoku puzzles offer more mental stimulation than 30 minutes of reading?


By author in Canva

Why is everyone scared of algorithms?

The hysteria around the impact of algorithms on our lives has reached a new peak in the last few years. The devices in our pockets or on our work desk are filled with equations that are either racist, distracting, politically manipulative or mentally draining.

Algorithms are the new capitalist scapegoat. The same way we blame the media, the bankers, greedy shareholders for pulling society into a whirlpool of distress, we now blame algorithms for all the symptoms of our mental and societal decline in the 21st century.

It could be my bias as a marketer who uses algorithms to deliver


Ahh okay, this issue has jogged my memory of a limitation with pushshift.

So there's two ways to extract data from Reddit.

1. Pushshift

2. Reddit API

Reddit API is a lot more reliable but it doesn't let you pull data between two distinct dates (I mention this at the top of the article).

Pushshift gives you more flexibility to extract data between dates but it sometimes misses data. It's very annoying when doing big data extractions.

If you only want most recent submissions/comments after one specific date e.g. "All submissions after 1st April 2021", try Reddit API extraction. You can google how to do that or you can read my post back in '18 - https://rareloot.medium.com/basics-of-data-extraction-of-reddit-threads-using-python-c96854c41344

Hopefully you're about to find something that works for you. Very sorry I haven't been more helpful!


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Instagram is great for building a brand and a community of loyal followers. Here are 8 essential guidelines for sustainable growth for your Instagram account.

The short version:

  1. Choose your colour palette and stick to it.
  2. Never have more than two fonts.
  3. Save time with the right apps.
  4. Create a template once. Use it a million times over.
  5. Know your platform.
  6. Never write more than 2 sentences (on an image).
  7. Strive for simplicity and clarity
  8. Be inspired.

Choose your colour palette and stick to it


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Data Science is still one of the hottest occupations to get into which means new online courses are being sold everyday. As someone who has completed my fair share of courses, YouTube videos, TowardsDataScience tutorials and books I wanted to outline the most important factors when picking an online course.

Interactive Content


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Anyone who knows me would probably say I’m a fairly disciplined individual who follows a series of healthy, productive routines on a daily basis. And they would’ve been correct up until March 2020. At this point the pandemic forced many office workers including myself to start working from home. Many people would say that this allowed us to get some of our time back — thus making us more productive.

We were no longer chained to hour long commutes and waking up early to meet the rush hour schedule of the 9–5. We would also use our new found control…


Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Sections

  • “I want to read more books”
  • What are the supposed benefits of reading books?
  • So what makes books unique?
  • Do Reading Challenges make sense?
  • Are Book Summary Apps worthy replacements?
  • Two ways to trial books for free
  • The only reading challenge you’ll ever need

“I want to read more books”


A case study of the hazards inherent with marketing a game

Cyberpunk 2077 might go down as the most catastrophic failure of a video game launch, ahead of the likes of Assassin’s Creed Unity, No Man’s Sky, Anthem, and Mass Effect Andromeda. Just by looking at these fellow flops, you can see there’s a growing trend of video game studios imploding on their own hype.

Rare Loot

Experimenting with Python and Social Media APIs using web scraping, exploratory data analysis and amateur coding.

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