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Hi! My name is Cam MacMurchy. I was born and raised in Canada and worked as a journalist before moving to China in 2004.

Today I work in Hong Kong as the Vice President of Corporate Communications of a listed company. I write about marketing, communications, and journalism, as well as technology and productivity, and anything else on my mind! I also occasionally contribute to 9to5Mac, one of the top Apple websites in the world, and run Executive Productivity. Contact me anytime.


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We need a lot more “Jantelagen”

I remember coming across the word ‘schadenfreude’ pretty early on as it was adopted into English vernacular. Its quick embrace by English-speakers is evidence that we badly needed a more precise term to describe the emotion schadenfreude refers to. People just ‘got it’, because we’ve all felt it, at some point.

To build on that success, I now humbly suggest we adopt another word: “Jantelagen”.

I first came across the term ‘Jantelagen” during an episode of This Is Pop, a Netflix show on popular music, that examined Sweden’s extraordinary success in the music industry. The country’s best producers and songwriters have influenced decades of pop music around the world, from Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys to The Weeknd and Dua Lipa.

You would think, with this kind of success, Swedes would be shouting about it from the rooftops — but they aren’t. With the host of This Is Pop badgering one songwriter to list the famous artists he’s worked with, he finally blurts out the word “Jantelagen”, before adding “the law of Jante.”

Being a Canadian, I immediately got it — in the very same way I got schadenfreude. Jantelagen loosely translates to braggart, or show-off, something frowned upon in Canada, too, although not to the same degree.

Hej Sweden:

Often times, when people at first have little and suddenly an excessive amount of something special – a lot of success, money or fame – they have the tendency to brag about it.

Swedes on the other hand remain relatively unnoticed when they reach something extraordinary. They are less prone to bragging. This is because they follow a common rule called the Jantelagen, literally translated: law of Jante. Basically it says that “You are not better than anyone else“.

I absolutely love this.

One of the songs I listened to when I was younger contained the phrase, “halfway to coal, halfway to diamond,” a reminder that anybody could end up at the top — or the bottom – quickly. It’s not that life is dependent on luck, it’s that we don’t entirely control our destiny. A bit of humility recognizes one’s good fortune, and that is usually followed by gratitude — something we all seem to lack these days.

The tale of two anniversaries

July 1 is Canada Day. It’s a fun, energetic and beer-filled day for people inside Canada, but almost completely unknown outside of the country’s borders (except for Canadians abroad). The small Canadian celebrations here in Hong Kong usually have to compete with another major anniversary on the same day: the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty, or “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day” (just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) This has traditionally made planning social events for July 1 rather difficult!

There’s actually a third anniversary on July 1 that usually flies under the radar: the anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

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My Worst Fears: More Evidence that Lack of Sleep Could Lead to Dementia

I am a person who loves to work late into the night. I’m busy during the day, with phone calls and text messages and assignments and meetings, so my productivity and focus is lower than it should be. Once the sun sets and everyone goes to bed, a peaceful calm descends, creating a serene environment for reading, working, studying, whatever it might be.

The problem with working late is the waking up part. If you start work in the afternoon, then fine. But, if like me, you still need to wake up relatively early in the morning to head to work, then you’ve probably suffered from sleepiness or even dozed off from time to time.

We already know that sleep is imperative to our health, energy, thinking, and other cognitive abilities, but cheating on a full night’s rest is easy to do because it seems like the consequences will be short term: “I’ll be tired tomorrow. I can deal with it.” But it looks like that’s the wrong answer.

I first heard of a possible link between Alzheimer’s and lack of sleep many years ago. Since then, I’ve heard unscientific anecdotes about how many people in seniors’ care homes with dementia had demanding careers and senior positions with lots of responsibility. There was already speculation that years of just a few hours’ sleep may have caught up to them.

Then I saw this from the New York Times: Sleeping Too Little in Middle-Age May Raise Dementia Risk, Study Finds. It’s the first large study to draw such a strong connection between sleep and memory loss:

It followed nearly 8,000 people in Britain for about 25 years, beginning when they were 50 years old. It found that those who consistently reported sleeping six hours or less on an average weeknight were about 30 percent more likely than people who regularly got seven hours sleep (defined as “normal” sleep in the study) to be diagnosed with dementia nearly three decades later.

“It would be really unlikely that almost three decades earlier, this sleep was a symptom of dementia, so it’s a great study in providing strong evidence that sleep is really a risk factor,” said Dr. Kristine Yaffe, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the study.

If you take pride at how much you can accomplish on such little sleep, read this — now. The article details how the study was conducted and how other variables that could have impacted the results were removed, so you can make up your own conclusions.

It’s a scary read, but better to come across it now than when it’s too late.

Blowback against venture capital in Silicon Valley

This was just too funny not to share.

A satirical Twitter account (which I’m very late to discovering) called VC’s Congratulating Themselves makes fun of VCs for their gaffes, adoration of money, ginormous egos, and occasional tone-deaf public statements. It’s definitely worth following for a bit of humor while doomscrolling.

Jason Calacanis, a well-known investor who has literally made billions betting on startups, is unquestionably successful. But in the Silicon Valley VC world, it’s not enough to be rich and successful — they want to make sure you know how rich and successful they are.


I’m not *that guy*, but received this as a Christmas gift this past year. I actually love it more than I thought I would!

Live streaming studio nearly done. Looks like a teenager’s bedroom.

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