August 2019


We’re an eclectic bunch at team Razor.

Each month, we’ll share with the world a flavour of what’s caught our attention and influenced our thinking and conversations in the office.


Chloë B
I’ve found Channel 4’s Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain fascinating. This three-part documentary explores her rise to fame as one of the first big reality stars ‘famous for being famous’ and how she carved out her career in the pre-social media age. It’s shocking, and sometimes uncomfortable, viewing but definitely worth the watch.
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Chloë F
I, too, have been gripped by Channel 4’s Jade Goody series, not just because Chloe B’s been watching it. I was actually alive when Jade Goody was doing her thing; it was the last series I’d watched of Big Brother. I remember everything unfold in real time – horribly, meanly, tragically. I wept my way through the first episode in this series and had to fast-forward some of the second (the bullying and shouting was just too ugly). I’m steeling myself for the third episode because we all know how it ends. It’s fascinating, even beyond ‘just Jade’. It’s reminding me of a pre-social media time when we had to find other ways to follow obsessions. It’s reminded me how willingly manipulated we are by the media sources we trust (and love). It’s reminded me how much reality TV was once a delicious, thrilling, crazy adventure. I feel lucky that I was around for its infancy. I don’t know how I feel about it being all grown up. And I feel very, very sad about Jade.
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Like millions of people, I struggle to remember a time before Brexit and the current US president dominating the daily news. As a result, I find it difficult to keep myself informed on what’s going on outside of that bubble because it means having to sift through acres of the same old rubbish before getting anywhere. Enter: The Week Unwrapped; a weekly half-hour podcast from Olly Mann, along with writers from The Week magazine, discussing global news stories passing under the radar. The topics might not be making the headlines but they’re likely to have repercussions for all our lives. (See: a) reliability of mobile phone data in court cases or b) facial recognition technology as examples.)  

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August has been all about balls, bails and Ben (Stokes). Cricket has even knocked politics down my list of things to fret about. Now, if we can just get Stokes working on Brexit…
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This month I have been blown away by a blog site I’ve found called Farnam Street and its accompanying podcast, The Knowledge Project. I love nothing more than learning about new ways of thinking and this resource is a treasure cove of different mental models and insights more effective decision making. I’ve already pre-ordered the book which will be on its way to me in October!
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Never would I have thought that one of my favourite shows would be about American football! However, Last Chance U is about much more than that. Each season it follows a community college team and their coach as they battle through each game to try and win the championship. It’s not a simple process because many of the players have had a difficult start in life and are struggling to overcome their own misgivings; that and the coaches are often battling with their own ego. It’s fascinating! You really feel for some of the players when things go wrong but get so excited when people make amazing plays on the field (seriously, I get on my feet and cheer at the TV!). I still have some favourites from season one who got signed and it warms my heart that they are doing well. What I can’t handle though, is that very few will ever make it to the NFL and, through chasing their dream, they’re putting their own health at risk.
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At a time of peak climate crisis, I’ve been looking into what various companies and workplaces are doing to reduce their carbon footprint and give back to the world. ASOS’s corporate responsibility programme really struck me. Some of its projects include plastic free canteens, recyclable packaging, foundation funds in India and delivering packages using 100% electric vans. Their wider efforts to minimise environmental impact and giving back to the wider community is something I believe more companies should adopt. By implementing this they expect to reduce their carbon emissions in central London by 62% annually! It’s inspired me to use alternative methods in daily life to reduce my own carbon footprint.
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I’ve been learning just how incredible and important virtual reality technology is rapidly becoming. Recent articles about the latest versions of Oculus Rift reveal how staggeringly absorbing and realistic the experience is. The applications for this technology are truly extensive, (and somewhat frightening!). Razor needs to get on board with this asap.
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