Hey, I cannot believe it is already July. Hope you enjoy the newsletter and have a great week.
Articles to Read.
I like to re-read these three paragraphs from Wait But Why - so exciting!
I use this analogy. If human history’s a thousand centuries, about 100,000 years. There’s 500 page book telling the story, and every page is two centuries, if you’re an alien, and you pick up this book and you’re trying to understand what the human history is like, so the first 450 pages, the first 90,000 years gets us to just hunter gatherers, that’s it. Migrations and hunter gatherers, and very, very slight biological changes. You are bored as an alien reading that book. Page 450 of the agriculture revolution, and you have cities, and you have the first wide scale cooperation, this Colossus takes a huge leap forward. Things start to get a little interesting. And that’s just the last 50 pages of the book.
And things do develop in a kind of interesting cool way. Page 490, you have Jesus, you have A.D. starts at 10 pages ago, and you have Islam starts at page 493, and around page 497 you have imperialism gets rolling, then you have the enlightenment the next page. And right at the beginning of page 500, the very last page, you have the industrial revolution, and you have the entire Colossus kind of like goes on steroids. The Colossus grows up very quickly and becomes far more powerful. The populations balloons from less than a billion to seven billion on page 500 alone. And every other page before page 500, transportation meant walking, running, sailboats. Page 500 we’re going to the space station, we’re flying around planes and cars. Communication on page 499 and earlier meant talking to people and writing letters with your hand. Page 500, we have FaceTime, we have internet. If you’re the alien reading this book, suddenly you’re on page 500 and you’re like, you just can’t believe what you’re reading, and you’re so riveted that you’re saying, “Oh my god, this is the story, this is what this has all been leading to. What’s about to happen?” You turn to page 501, and you’re just like something big is about to happen here. We all were born right then, it’s crazy.
Part of what I can do is just take humans that are every bit of smart as I am, and every bit as curious, but it’s not their job to think about this stuff, and kind of shake them and say, “Hey, we’re about to turn to page 501.” It’s either going to be the coolest story for humans or it’s the end. It is a 501 page book, and that’s it. Or this is the beginning of the new paradigm. We have a new B.C./A.D. situation. We have a B.C. which is like before something which is on page 501 when we all became immortal and all the suffering stopped, or whatever that is. And the B.C., this’ll be the real B.C., much more important than any religious thing. It’ll be the thing before humans came into their own. That’ really exciting. Or it’ll be the end, and there’ll be no more book.
With its acceleration of Prime shipping from two days to one, Amazon established a new normal. Soon after, Walmart and Target came out with their own super-speedy shipping options.
Together, that's equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of just over 7 million cars, per an EPA calculator. It's almost the combined total number of cars in the states of Illinois and Tennessee. It's also about 0.5% of the total 6 billion metric tons of U.S. CO2 emissions per year. That's "not huge, but it's big. And it's growing," says Costa Samaras of Carnegie Mellon University.
An online game in which people play the role of propaganda producers to help them identify real world disinformation has been shown to increase “psychological resistance” to fake news, according to a study of 15,000 participants.
ETFs have significantly altered the investment landscape in the 21st century, but the road to their invention was marked with the innovations of savvy investors throughout history.
There were many more crucial innovations that demonstrated the characteristics of ETFs today, but the bilateral commenda and Eendragt Maakt Magt offer two lesser known examples.
Rather than risking his own life, bilateral commenda’s offered a passive investor the ability to fund only 66% of the merchant’s voyage, and still receive 50% of the profits. Unlike the unilateral commenda, which required him to fund 100% of the voyage, the ‘sedentary’ investor could now allocate that excess capital across a diversified portfolio of multiple bilateralcommenda contracts.
Russell Horning came up with “the floss” when he was 12 years old and dancing around his bedroom. Now he’s trying to turn internet celebrity into something more tangible: money.
We’ve spent the last year wringing our hands about a crisis that doesn’t exist.
It’s a good question why deepfakes haven’t taken off as a propaganda technique. Part of the issue is that they’re too easy to track. The existing deepfake architectures leave predictable artifacts on doctored video, which are easy for a machine learning algorithm to detect. Some detection algorithms are publicly available, and Facebook has been using its own proprietary system to filter for doctored video since September.
It’s also not clear how useful deepfakes are for this kind of troll campaign, as some have pointed out. Most operations we’ve seen so far have been more about muddying the water than producing convincing evidence for a claim. In 2016, one of the starkest examples of fake news was the Facebook-fueled report that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump. It was widely shared and completely false, the perfect example of fake news run amok. But the fake story offered no real evidence for the claim, just a cursory article on an otherwise unknown website. It wasn’t damaging because it was convincing; people just wanted to believe it. If you already think that Donald Trump is leading America toward the path of Christ, it won’t take much to convince you that the Pope thinks so, too. If you’re skeptical, a doctored video of a papal address probably won’t change your mind.
In 1989, just before the collapse of the USSR, the Pepsi Company cut a deal with Soviet Premiere Mikhail Gorbachev that left it with a fleet of Russian military ships, making PepsiCo temporarily the sixth-largest Navy in the world.
More to Check Out:
- How Harvard is Changing How They Teach Economics
- A Unicorn Lost in the Valley, Evernote Blows Up the ‘Fail Fast’ Gospel
- 15 years of iTunes: A look at Apple’s media app and its influence on an industry
- Toyota’s 14 Principles - The Toyota Way
- History of the Spirit of St. Louis
Cannot believe it has been 4 weeks since I moved to SF. Crazy how fast time moves.
Do you work at a company (or are looking at an offer) that pays you in equity compensation (ISOs, NSOs, RSUs)? Thinking about switching jobs and worried about what will happen to your equity? There are many tax consequences associated with managing your stock options and grants that can be really confusing (and cost you serious money).
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Hit reply to this email - or firstname.lastname@example.org - send any questions (or thoughts) you have, and I will get them answered.
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