Netflix’s Connected Review: How You, Me and the World are Connected to Each Other

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Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything is a documentary TV series with host Latif Nasser. The series, segmented into six episodes, investigates the awe-inspiring and surprising ways in which we are all connected with each other, the world, and even the universe.

Connected is a fun series to watch if you want to be caught unawares. It talks about the most bizarre things, things that you don’t even think about and how they connect the world and the people in different ways. How something that is taking place just outside your home might have a huge impact on another continent. It makes you feel scared, hopeful, amazed, and most importantly, it never fails to surprise you and makes you wonder how much there is to know about the planet we live in.

Surveillance

The first episode, Surveillance, talks about the surveillance technologies that have cropped up due to booming scientific discoveries. In a world where people are constantly on the hunt to figure out ways to not be constantly followed online (yet put their whole lives up on social media), how such technologies can have a massive positive impact when it comes to other aspects. Like following birds and observing their migratory patterns to predict hurricanes, figuring out if facial recognition can help to uncover an animal’s mood, and how it can be used to keep nearly extinct creatures alive.

Connected

Poop

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Definitely something we all do (yes, all) but no one wants to talk about, this episode focuses on how excrement can be an answer to a lot of questions. It delves deep into how poop can be used to detect almost everything about the person or that of an entire city. The episode also talks about how excrement can have a positive and negative impact when it comes to aquatic life.

Connected

Dust

This episode is the definition of “connected”. Starting from the Sahara Desert, Nasser follows the dust that travels from there to places that we cannot even possibly comprehend. Dust might seem insignificant if you see it just like that, but when taken together, those little fellas can help organisms in the ocean’s depth, prevent hurricanes and also provide nutrients to trees in the Amazon rainforest. It’s a truly amazing observation about how nature has the answer to every problem, and it will do everything in its power to nurture itself.

Digits

Connected

Probably one of my most favourite episodes, Digits has Nasser explore Benford’s Law – a truly amazing observation by Simon Newcomb, the story of which is simply mind-blowing. It’s amazing to see how this law, something that a human being observed, can be applied to everything that we see around us, from taxes, music, sports, crime, votes, social media and the entire universe as well. You name it, and Benford’s Law is probably there.

Clouds

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A 19th-century shipwreck gave birth to the weather forecast as we know it, the story behind which is honestly sad. However, from that, we move on to cloud computing and how the natural cloud and the not-so-natural cloud come together and combine. Nasser takes us through a truly online country, predicting and eradicating diseases, how internet cables are laid (which was horrifying and amazing to watch), how clouds are disappearing and what that might mean to the human civilisation, and how it is possible to artificially make it rain. If you have a cloud-related question, the answer might be here.

Connected

Nukes

Nasser takes us on one last journey, where he talks about how, and where, the first-ever nuclear explosions took place in 1945. Trinite, the glassy residue left behind after, may have the answers to how the moon was created. We then come back to Earth and talk about Hiroshima, how people who have survived the heartless massacre have tried to prevent such a disaster from happening again. And how nuclear blasts can help in the world of art. That’s an odd assortment of stuff that are seemingly connected, right?

Summing up: Connected

Connected
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Connected is a great documentary about how we are connected to everything and everyone around us. If you think one simple thing that you’re doing right now does not have the power to affect others, this show has some news for you. It’s informative and lively, and before you know it, you’ve breezed through it. There’s so much learn, and there’s so little we know.

Latif Nasser makes for a fun host. He’s excited to know and share new information and you’ll understand that from the way he says it. However, sometimes he does get too excited, which can get a bit distracting. But overall, a wholesome show that leaves you with a lot of knowledge and blows your mind in so many different ways.

Connected is streaming on Netflix.

Read our other reviews here.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Netflix's Connected: The Hidden Science of Everything is a fun and informative documentary with Latif Nasser that talks about how nature has it all covered and how we are all connected in every way possible. The show successfully blows your mind and amazes you in every way possible.

3 Comments

  1. Easiest way to explain benford’s law (which isn’t some huge IRS secret, it’s very basic forensic accounting/ auditing knowledge taught to anyone with a bachelor’s degree and commonly used in auditing)… EXPLANATION: you have to have 1 before you can have 2, you have to have 2 before you can have 3, etc. By the time you have 10 (thus starting “1” in the next column) all the other digits 1-9 have occurred an equal amount, and therefore have neutralized their “weighting” or effect on the curve. You cannot count 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 20,21, so, there can never be more numbers starting with a “2” than there are numbers that start with “1,” and so on.
    I mean, it’s interesting, especially for the practical uses in social media and government, but his utter shock and awe that this basic logical pattern exists was a bit tiring, and perhaps even misleading by continually presenting this pattern of existance as some form of “control” over choices, existance, or our lives. Patterns in nature aren’t “laws” per se controlling things, but they are “patterns” precisely because something repeated, naturally.

    That being said, the entire show is very informative and entertaining ????

  2. Absolutely agree, and this episode made me lose some respect for the series and the analysis and research behind it. If he had mentioned, for example, that Benford’s Law doesn’t work for distributions whose widths are around 1 order of magnitude or less, or that a normal distribution won’t satisfy Benford’s Law, it would have been clear that it isn’t really a deep law of nature to ‘wow’ at constantly, rather it’s a reflection of a) the frequency of natural quantities tends to tail off as the quantity increases and b) our counting system.

    I did appreciate, though, that they took a statistical concept and tried very hard to make it interesting for people; I think we need a lot more of that.

  3. This reminds me of the Boltzman distribution from Statistical Mechanics in Physics…

    The Boltzmann distribution says:
    Interpretation 1) Basically that nature is “lazy”, that high energy states are un-favored compared to low energy states.

    Interpretation 2) that ordered states are fantastically un-favored, statistically speaking compared to unordered states. Example: Consider a box of quarters, all heads up (a perfectly ordered state). After shaking the box, the probability of finding the quarters all heads up again is overwhelmingly small, most likely finding the quarters in a 50/50 heads up, heads down distribution (a quintessentially unordered state).

    Many everyday scenarios can loosely ascribe an energy value i.e. gross annual income, number of goals scored in a game…and many more….what do they have in common? They require that precious commodity of energy to achieve. Given this view it does not surprise me that the Boltzman distribution is all pervasive….even if they’ve given it a different name of Benford’s Law

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