The crazy fake IPL story

Fake Story
5. General

The crazy fake IPL story

Welcome to the thirty-second edition of ‘3-2-1 by Story Rules‘.

A newsletter recommending good examples of storytelling across:

  • 3 tweets
  • 2 articles, and
  • 1 long-form content piece

Let’s dive in.

🐦 3 Tweets of the week

If you write from your heart, you probably don’t need to bother with the rules of writing.

My unsolicited take on this issue:

  • The West had a great economic run post-WW2, when both China and India were missing in the global economic race. Even ordinary citizens in the West (doing basic jobs in manufacturing and services) saw strong growth in living standards during this period.
  • Now that the two Asian giants are fully in the game, most of the basic manufacturing and services jobs have been taken up by folks who are poorer and hungrier.
  • So the ordinary citizens of the West (who still enjoy a fabulous standard of living by developing country standards) are missing the heady growth years their parents experienced.
  • The politicians, instead of recalibrating the public’s expectations, are busy getting votes on the back of unsustainable promises of taking the country back to a ‘golden age’.
  • Unless expectations are reset, this situation will continue

(Brace yourself, another long tweet coming up!)

Some fascinating implications of self-driving cars. Thought-provoking, even if you don’t agree with the scenarios.

📄 2 Articles of the week

a. ‘PowerPoint is widely reviled. How did it triumph?’ by Tim Harford

I think making PowerPoint the villain is a lazy call. The real culprit is a lack of thinking clarity and visual sense.

I do agree with the second para in this extract from the article:

… when it comes to technology, we’re lazy. We reach for the nearest familiar tool without thinking about whether it’s the right one for the job, or even thinking clearly about what the job is. Are we trying to think through a problem? Get a discussion going? Show people that worth-a-thousand-words picture? We skip that vital contemplative step and load up a slide template instead. Because everyone can use PowerPoint, everyone does. That is how highly paid managers, engineers and lawyers end up fussing about fonts and colour palettes.

PowerPoint is not to blame for this, any more than I should blame a Swiss Army Knife for poor results if I rely on it when putting up some shelves, rather than using a full set of tools. The fault is our tendency to grab whatever is within reach.

Also, I cannot agree more with this:

A great talk starts with a message. Everything else – whether a joke, a story, a statistic or a picture – should be chosen to support the message. It’s always been easy to forget that. In a world of PowerPoint on tap, it can be impossible to remember it.

b. ‘The Wild Quest to Create a Fake Indian Cricket League … That Was Just the Beginning’ by Sean Williams

This crazy story chronicles the happenings in a small village called Molipur in Gujarat, where some Russian fraudsters coaxed a bunch of enterprising Indians into creating a fake cricket league. The fake matches were then streamed on a shady YouTube channel – with the intent of getting people to bet on them.

(What’s with humanity’s craze for gambling anyway?!)

The details are fascinating:

As the games progressed, the players largely figured out what was unfolding around them. None of them were permitted near the scorer’s hut, though, whence emanated a voice eerily similar to that of Harsha Bhogle’s, India’s most famous cricket play-by-play commentator and pundit. Had they peeked through its tin-snipped viewing hatch, they’d have seen the nerve center of a wildly elaborate scam. As police reports described it, Davda, Saifi and a third man named Rishabh Jain were huddled inside, streaming games to a YouTube channel named CenturyHittersT20 and inputting scores to a ticker site. They focused the camera tightly around the 22-yard strip between bowler and batter, ensuring that, once hit, a ball’s destiny was revealed to viewers only via the hand signals of Davda’s handpicked umpires and the play-by-play calls from Saifi, the skilled Bhogle impressionist.

1 long-form watch of the week

📺 a. Kutti Stories with R Ashwin and Harsha Bhogle

I just love this conversation series between the cricketer R. Ashwin and the ‘Voice of Cricket’, Harsha Bhogle about the history of the ODI cricket world cups.

Even in a nation filled with cricket nerds, Harsha’s knowledge of cricket trivia is encyclopedic. His ability to recollect instances from almost 50 years back is staggering.

What is also remarkable is how he doesn’t allow the curse of knowledge to impact his narration. He speaks in a way that even laypersons can easily understand and relate to. His choice of words, the voice modulation, the genuine passion… this guy is a rockstar.

One complaint: The format of the video is a bit grating. By requiring to have ‘segments’, the natural flow of the conversation keeps getting broken. I would have loved for it to be more long-form and free-flowing.

That’s all from this week’s edition.

Photo from Wallpaperuse

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