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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The Turkish word for friend is arkadaş. It is made of the word arka, which means behind, and the suffix -daş which adds a meaning of commonality to the word before it. For example, the adjective made of the word name and this suffix refers to people with the same name. So this word’s makeup describes friends as people who have a common “behind”, a common past.

Having a common past, or having gone through similar experiences is a key feature of any tight knit group of humans.

Let’s look at families. Families are by definition people who share the same ancestral past in its most recent sense. …


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Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash

Cinema is a multimedia art form. It requires a wide range of skills. But that’s not what I mean by “the art of the polymath”.

See, though cinema is usually thought as a visual art form, it involves a great deal of sound, from music to sound affects and sound design. It involves serious writing of course, writing a screenplay is an art form in and of itself with many dimensions. Cinema involves more technology than most art forms. Editing is a complex skill of both technical know-how as well as deep intuition. …


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Photo by VÍctor Daniel Giraldo on Unsplash

I want to start by saying that I am not an expert in this topic, and I welcome any meaningful criticism and discussion around the topic as a response to this article.

Second Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

— Constitution of the United States, Amendment II

The philosophy behind the second amendment

The second amendment of the U.S. constitution was intended to protect the public from a federal government that could turn against its people, much like the first amendment.

While the first amendment protects the people of the land against an authoritative government’s attempt to control and potentially abuse them by censoring information that is accessible to them, the second amendment protects the people against a potential physical military threat by the federal government. …


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Photo by Tina Rataj-Berard on Unsplash

The media industry is between a problem and a solution; it is a dark place. When you have a problem but the solution is not certain, it is quite anxiety-inducing. I choose not to look at the solution however as something that is out there and needs to be found, or worse yet, something that might be impossible to find if it’s not even there. I rather look at it as something we can come up with, something we can create from scratch. I am optimistic that together we can help media pass this hurdle.

So what is the problem we are facing? At its heart, the problem is the fact that despite putting in the same great work and producing the same quality content, the revenues in media are declining, because the economic foundations of this industry haven’t been on stable ground. The revenue wasn’t tied to the product, but a by-product. …


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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

We are born highly inadequate because we are born relatively early due to the size of our brains. If we waited a bit more, our heads would be too big to get through the uterus. This ends up causing two things: we are underdeveloped and our brains are still very plastic after birth. This ends up being a great combination. Our lack of capabilities at birth makes us very dependent which pushes us toward improving socially and that is only possible with the plasticity of our brains.

The social relationships we build among humans enable collaboration, allowing us to live way beyond our individual capabilities. The total outcome becomes way larger than the sum of the parts. If we each grew and raised every tomato we ate, built every house we lived in and every computer we used, we wouldn’t get this far. …


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Photo by Ara Güler

It’s Wednesday evening in New York City. I am at work, just finishing up some coding for the day. The lyrics of the song playing in my headphones go: “What keeps me in this city is not its Bosphorus, it’s my own past. How can you be leaving, I’ve always been wondering.”

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A photo I took of a tram in November 2017, Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul

I take a look at Twitter before I leave. As I am staring at the flood on my feed, I can feel tears going backwards into my eyes. My phone buzzes with a Whatsapp message from my sister. “I just saw it” I respond, “I was just reading it”. I send a picture of my screen where the article from Agos is open, reporting the death of Ara Güler. Why am I so saddened by the passing of a 90 year old photojournalist? Because it’s a reminder. …


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A frame from Khooneye Ma music video

A little while ago, I discovered Marjan Farsad, a lovely Iranian singer and animator with a voice as soft as silk. I decided to use one of her songs as material for learning Persian, “Khooneye Ma”.

I spent hours looking up each word in the dictionary, to make sense of the sentences. Once I understood everything on paper, I tried to listen to it while following the text. The next step was to quickly write down the lyrics as I listened to the song.

A few hours later, I was going out for a movie. So I decided to put on my earphones and listen to the song as I was walking to the theater. After spending hours studying this song, finally I was able to comprehend each word as I was hearing them. All of a sudden, the words, the meaning, the melody everything came together and pushed a single drop of tear down my cheek when I heard the following quatrain. …


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Fast forward almost two decades and we have people all around the world in awe, watching a live feed of a mannequin with a fashionable space suit riding an electric red sports car, heading towards Mars with a beautiful view of the blue planet in the background.

As he mentioned in various interviews, Elon Musk has thought becoming a multi-planetary species was crucial to humanity’s longterm survival. Landing men on the Moon was the first step towards this goal. Next step should have been Mars right? …


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Facebook has tried to clone Snapchat for a while, both before and after attempting to acquire the company. After the clones failed, Facebook took the approach of implementing Snapchat’s signature feature, stories, into it’s existing apps where it already had an audience. One by one, some form of stories was added to Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger and finally the main Facebook app. They took a lot of heat for shamelessly copying their competitor. But I think self expression via camera is more than just a Snapchat feature. …


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Magic Tricks

A friend of my dad used to bring me and my twin sister Kinder Surprise eggs every time he came to our house to watch a soccer game. He wouldn’t just give us the eggs. Instead he would make it seem like he took it out of our nose or found it behind our ear. It was a simple magic trick and both my sister and I knew it was a trick. Yet we couldn’t tell how he did it. …

About

Albert Berk Toledo

Media, Tech, Middle East, Cinema • Software Engineer at VTS, formerly at Chartbeat • Istanbul | New York • alberttoledo.com

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