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Why Binge Watching Is a More Natural Way to Enjoy Entertainment
When magazines stopped serializing novels, and people instead bought entire books, nobody said fiction lovers were "binge reading," so Netflix's Todd Yellin asks why the term applies to TV.
Todd Yellin started working at Netflix over ten years ago and his current role as VP of Product Innovation revolves around changing the way people find great streaming content to watch over the Internet on their TVs, computers, and mobile devices. He is responsible for leveraging vast amounts of data, sophisticated algorithms, and best-in-class user interfaces across numerous viewing devices to create an easy, compelling way for Netflix members to find something great to watch. He also oversees member acquisition and how to best leverage social and messaging.
Before Netflix, as a documentarian, Todd became the only person ever to film Tibetan children escaping over the Himalayas; the footage was shown worldwide by Reuters. His written account was published in The Progressive and syndicated by the NYT. He also wrote/directed a short documentary for British TV on political oppression in Myanmar, which was broadcast throughout Europe.
Todd Yellin: So, it's interesting the term binging. At first when people started talking about Netflix binging I thought that would be a bad term for Netflix. It sounds very pathological and I don't know if that sounds very healthy and fun. But it actually took hold and we went with the flow. We didn't invent the term but we do lead to people binging through lots of TV shows. To us binging is really about consumer control. It's not about someone telling you you only get one hour a week and we're going to slowly parse it out of the story that you're enjoying, hold on our scenes from next week; tune in next Sunday at 8:00. It's not about that. It's about giving the control back to the consumer here's the whole story now watch as much as you want.
You know, it's been I think 170 years since anyone published a book, maybe there are examples online but it's very rare where they go we're only giving you one chapter and next week we'll give you the next chapter. They give you the whole book. You can read as much as you want or as little as you want on any given day and that's fine and that's the way TV should be. Give me the whole freaking story and then I can watch as much or as little as I want. So with that has led to some interesting behaviors. Yes, there are people when we release a show, whether a new season of Orange is the New Black comes out or House of Cards or Narcos, people will, there is a tiny minority of people who will just binge through to the whole thing in the exact amount of time from the second we launch it at midnight California time 13 hours later or however many hours are in the show they'll exactly finish. And that's a tiny percent.
Most people watch two to three episodes in an evening, sometimes longer on weekends. And it really depends on the show and it really depends on the consumer. Because what you might consider binging and what I might consider binging – because what you might consider binging and what I might consider binging could be two very different things. Me it could be a crazy binge to watch two whole episode oh my God in one night, and you might be binge, it's like seven episodes in a night. If I don't go to sleep at 3:00 a.m. and I'm falling asleep in front of the TV and practically drooling on the side of my mouth then I haven't really done a full all out binge.
When magazines stopped serializing novels, and people instead bought entire books, nobody said fiction lovers were "binge reading," so Netflix's Todd Yellin asks why the term applies to TV? At the beginning of his tenure at Netflix, Yellin didn't necessarily like the term binge watching since it implied overindulgence. But relatively few people actually binge watch, according to Netflix's definition; most users enjoy 2-3 episodes a nights. Still, the definition of binge watching varies from person to person, but it's better to let people watch when and how much they want, says Yellin.
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Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.
- Outplacement is an underperforming $5 billion dollar industry. A new non-profit coalition by SkillUp intends to disrupt it.
- More and more Americans will be laid off in years to come due to automation. Those people need to reorient their career paths and reskill in a way that protects their long-term livelihood.
- SkillUp brings together technology and service providers, education and training providers, hiring employers, worker outreach, and philanthropies to help people land in-demand jobs in high-growth industries.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute analysis [PDF]<p>Work in understanding the skills at the heart of the new digital economy is leading to novel assessments that allow individuals to prove mastery to faithfully represent their abilities—but also to give weight and stackability to the emerging ecosystem of micro-credentials that make education more seamless across time and education providers. And we are seeing the beginnings of a renewal in the liberal arts, focused on building human skills in affordable ways that are accessible to many more individuals and far more effective.</p><p>Amidst these dark times, there is much opportunity to refresh the nation's education and training solutions to support the success of individuals and society writ large.</p>