17 January 2021

Welcome back to the Week That Was series where we highlighting things from the interwebs which are interesting, noteworthy and/or probably worth your time.

Articles๐Ÿ“, Tweet(s)๐Ÿ“ฑ, Videos๐ŸŽฅ, Charts ๐Ÿ“ˆ all fair game with or without attendant commentary.


๐Ÿ”‡ On Censorship

Make of it what you will. The text says:

“One alone out of 2000 Million humans on earth is not allowed to speak in Germany”

Poster of Hitler with tape on his mouth claiming he is being censored. A fairly common theme in National Socialist propaganda between 1933 - 1939

On Censorship


Austrian-British philosopher, academic and social commentator Karl Popper’s take on how best to deal with intolerance still seems relevant today.



Motherboard’s ๐ŸŽงCYBER podcast explores some of the fallout of recent widespread bans on sitting US President Donald Trump’s accounts and the rise (and astounding implosion of) services like Parler.


๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ๐Ÿž๏ธ African Rivers

All of the rivers and waterways in Africa, coloured according to the major hydrological basins they are part of.

African Rivers



โ‚ฟ๐Ÿ“ˆ๐Ÿ“‰ Tethered Froth?

With the dominant cryptocurrency maintaining it’s current nosebleed levels, Bloomberg react to the completely novel performance of this nascent asset:

“While the jury is still out on whether Bitcoin is a bubble, one thing is certain: itโ€™s unlike any other bubble weโ€™ve seen.”

“Previous speculative asset-inflation episodes were either a one-off, like tulip mania in the 17th century, or the boom-doom cycle took many years, like gold. Bitcoin, by comparison, has survived three peak-to-trough drawdowns of over 80% in less than 10 years. The cryptocurrency surged past $40,000 last week to set an all time high. It has fallen more than 15% since then.”

BTC Bubble

โ€œEvery time a Bitcoin bubble bursts, another grows back to replace it,โ€ Man Groupโ€™s analysts wrote in a note dated Jan. 12. โ€œThis very frequency makes the Bitcoin narrative somewhat atypical relative to the great bubbles of the past.โ€

Bubble History


While mainstream financial journalists continue to wrangle with BTC, a fascinating deep-dive was anonymously published on Medium purporting to show even more evidence of potential nefarious activity at the very core of the BTC ecosystem - mainly facilitated by the allegedly uncollateralised stablecoin Tether.

๐Ÿ“The Bit Short: Inside Cryptoโ€™s Doomsday Machine

This is the story of a Bitcoin trade โ€” the most financially impactful trade Iโ€™ve ever made in my life. Itโ€™s also the story of the deep-yet-frantic investigation of the crypto ecosystem that led me to make that trade. And itโ€™s the story of whatโ€™s really going on in crypto โ€” and what we should do about it.

If you own meaningful amounts of cryptocurrency or youโ€™re considering buying some, youโ€™re the reason I wrote this. Please do read to the end.

There’ve been interesting rebuttals by some in the ecosystem - two threads below.




๐Ÿ“ˆ Net Worth Changes

On the continued theme of covid’s incredibly split outcomes, net worth comparison of the top 10 richest person in the world in March 2020 and January 2021.

Net Worth


๐ŸŽผ 1001 Albums

One random album every weekday.

All taken from the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.



๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธโ†”๏ธ Progressive — Conservative Spectrum

A (necessarily over-simplified but useful) political framework from WaitButWhy’s Blog

Political Spectrum


๐Ÿ“ฑโš”๏ธ Conflict & Algorithms

Per Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias:

Mark Zuckerberg is so smart that I honestly don’t know of anyone who’s better-explained the basic problem with Facebook than this chart he made


From ๐Ÿ“Zuck’s Nov 18 post outlining the service’s content governance & enforcement policy.


Distrust in the social media conglomerate continues to build, with a crescendo reached in the last fortnight after Whatsapp updated it’s privacy policy - leading to mass downloads of competing privacy-centric messaging platforms Telegram & Signal.


In a fascinating reaction to the backlash, Whatsapp has since decided to ๐Ÿ“ฐpostpone the deadline for accepting the new terms of service to May 15.


๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ’ฐ Elon brrrr

Countries that have lower wealth** than Elon Musk

Elon brrrr

Sources: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_wealth - https://www.forbes.com/profile/elon-musk/?sh=57f337867999 - Visualisation OP


** Household wealth


๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค“ Dunning-Kruger

Sahil Bloom put together a decent thread on the Dunning-Kruger effect - ultimately boiling down to two life-rules:

  1. Being an expert at ONE THING does not make you an expert at ALL THINGS.
  2. You probably arenโ€™t an expert at anything, so work harder (but if you are, see Rule #1).




Plato weighs in



๐Ÿ’‰๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿงผ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ’ฆโš• Greenzone


Great look at the vaccine revolution and mRNA technology’s disruptive potential by veteran editor and biographer Walter Isaacson.



๐Ÿ“mRNA Technology Gave Us the First COVID-19 Vaccines. It Could Also Upend the Drug Industry



Update on vaccine propagation worldwide

Vaccine Progress


Vaccine Progress 2



Periodic reminder - ๐Ÿ“COVID-19 is not influenza (Lancet): > In-hospital mortality was 16,9% with COVID-19 and 5,8% with influenza. Mortality was ten-times higher in children aged 11โ€“17 years with COVID-19 than in patients in the same age group with influenza.


Spanish Flu - WW II - Covid

(twitter link dead)




Superspreader, Maxoy,Digital, 2021


๐ŸŽจ๐Ÿš‚ Locomotive


Locomotive, watercolor and white ink, 2020


๐Ÿ’ฌโ„น๏ธ Quotes

โ€œOur planet is to information what a black hole is to matter and what a star is to energy. Our planet is where information lives, grows, and hides in an otherwise mostly barren universe.โ€ โ€• Cรฉsar Hidalgo


๐ŸŒŒ Phoenix Aurora

Rachel Tortorici shared the following once in a lifetime image of โ€œA Phoenix Aurora over Icelandโ€. Originally posted in 2016 on Nasa’s site.

๐Ÿ“ธ: Hallgrimur P. Helgason, constellation overlay by @SpaceGeck


Phoenix Overlay


๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง Oh…and one more thing

What would the UK flag look like if it represented its constituent nations proportionally

UK Flag


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