Leo's Geography Challenge

By Leo Gura - November 15, 2023


You may have noticed that I share a lot of documentaries about far-off countries on this blog, a lot of documentaries about global politics and geography.

In my effort to gain a deep understanding of global politics and mankind, I’ve come to realize that I just don’t have enough raw experience of how people live in all the countries around the world. There’s just a lack of data in my mind. There are some countries which I didn’t even know exist, never mind knowing their living conditions and culture. So I’ve come up with a challenge to address this lack of awareness. The challenge is to watch at least one documentary about each country on the planet over the next 2 years, at a rate of 2 documentaries per week. There are 195 countries in the world. Most people don’t know even half of them. But you can find outstanding documentaries on YouTube about each country just by doing a search. I am taking on this challenge. And I will be starting with the most obscure and least-known countries (mostly in Africa) and working my way towards the most-known countries, one documentary at a time. I am especially interested in learning about each country’s geography, climate, culture, lifestyle, level of development, political situation, style of government, economy, and wildlife. I am especially interested in the least developed and most obscure countries.

I encourage you to take this challenge with me. Imagine how much deeper your understanding of the world will be 2 years from now if you complete this challenge. All you have to do is watch 2 documentaries per week for 2 years.

To make this challenge more fun I’m purchasing a scratch-off world map to track my progress.

If you want to join me, purchase a scratch-off map or globe for yourself:

If you have kids, encourage them to do this challenge along with you. This will be a great foundation for their general education and personal development. This is one of those investments that will pay dividends for the rest of your life. It also makes a great gift.

This is not a trivial challenge. I’ve come to the conclusion that to really understand mankind requires experiencing how all of mankind lives, otherwise you’re just looking at the world from a very narrow geographic, cultural, and developmental bubble. Of course, ideally you would travel of many of these countries. But this being expensive, impractical, and dangerous, the next best thing is to at least educate yourself about what is going on in all these obscure countries around the world. This will be a theoretical foundation which you can further flesh out later in life through travel.

Keep in mind, that as great and important as travel is, don’t overlook the power of documentaries. Even if you travel to many of these countries you will not get a deep a look into the underbelly of how a country works as a typical tourist. This is what makes documentaries so invaluable: you can see things which no tourist would ever see.

This challenge is a big part of what it takes in order to develop Conscious Politics, Tier 2 politics, beyond the shallow, biased, partisan kind of politics which is found everywhere online.

As extra credit for this challenge, I will also be reading the Wikipedia page for each country after I watch its documentary.

You can find documentaries on every country by searching on YouTube: “[country name] documentary”. For example: “Canary Islands documentary”. I prefer to watch longer documentaries, at least 1hr in length. And for some countries I will be watching multiple documentaries per.

The overall goal of this challenge is not to memorize random geographic trivia but to expose yourself to the radical differences in lifestyle found around the world, to help you break out of your narrow way of life. The geography and culture of where you happen to live limits the scope of your mind. This is key to realize.

The internet is an amazing source for mind expansion, but only if you use it in a deliberate and self-directed manner, not by mindlessly consuming the low-consciousness click-bait that social media algorithms serve up to you. So, part of the value of this challenge is that you are taking conscious control of your social media intake and seeking out higher quality educational content.

We have a mega-thread on the Actualized Forum where you can share your favorite documentaries and progress on this challenge: Leo’s Geography Challenge Mega-Thread

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