13 December 2020
Welcome back to the Week That Was series where I highlight a few things from the interwebs which I thought were interesting, noteworthy and probably worth your time.
Articles📝, Tweet(s)📱, Videos🎥, Charts 📈 all fair game with or without attendant commentary.
♟️ Piece Longevity
Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ has played a big part in boosting the game’s recent public profile.
Within any living organism, there are thousands of different proteins, each with its own unique shape. For decades, the exact formation of those shapes has been a pain for scientists to figure out. How exactly does a protein, which starts as a string of amino acids, fold itself into the funky 3D shapes you might recognize from diagrams? AlphaFold, an AI from DeepMind, may have an answer. It can predict, with heretofore unseen accuracy, the shape a protein will take.
💰🌏 GDP v Stonks
Per Holger Zschaepitz (on Dec 6th), global equities are now worth $100 TRILLION, equal to 115% of global GDP👀.
🖱️💻 Terrible UX
Creating intuitive and great user experiences is a complex art and science. We all know what bad or exploitative looks and feels like; this site brings all the worst bad UX elements together in this frustratingly hilarious experience.
🏘️📈 AirBNB IPO
The unicorn IPO’d at an astronomical $100Bn this week - representing extraordinary value for YCombinator.
YC's investment in Airbnb is likely the single best angel investment in history. $20K for 6%, which is ~$2,200,000,000 at today's close.— Hari Raghavan (@haridigresses) December 11, 2020
That is 110,000x MoM, a ~275% IRR compounded over ~11.5 years.
(I know YC <> other "angel" investments but the point holds.)
Those are the kinds of returns early crypto speculators would be proud of.
AirBNB and Bitcoin have both returned about 10,000,000% to their earliest investors.— Dan McArdle (@robustus) December 12, 2020
But *anyone* could've bought or mined some BTC, whereas the SEC makes it illegal for more than 90% of Americans to invest in startups.
🎨 Childish Gambino
Childish Gambino. Jarold Cadion. Coffee and Gold Ink, 2019
🦾📹 Cyberpunk & Kurtz
With the much-hyped release of the mega-title Cyberpunk 2077, this was an interesting partnership with Kurzgesagt. Video description:
The desire to be free from the limits of the human experience is as old as our first stories. We exist in an endless universe, only bound by the laws of physics and yet, our consciousness is trapped in mortal machines made of meat. With the breathtaking explosion of innovation and progress, for the first time the concept of leaving our flesh piles behind and uploading our minds into a digital utopia seems possible. Even like the logical next step on our evolutionary ladder.
The Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine efficacy 📚paper on The Lancet.
The expected propagation of vaccines worldwide; as expected, rich nations receiving the vast majority of early doses.
AsapSCIENCE take a quick tour of what the covid-19 mRNA vaccines do to the body.
Per Aaron E. Carroll: “Very few things in public health or medicine work as clearly as vaccines.”
this interview wins the day pic.twitter.com/HtnjnyLZwg— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) December 8, 2020
More from Martin Kenyon in his brief appearance on the Today Explained podcast.
Here I describe a brief overview of how the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines work. Taking a vaccine is one’s personal choice, and I hope this video can help someone make that decision rooted in science. pic.twitter.com/ZjFH0DH5ca— Rob Swanda (@ScientistSwanda) December 7, 2020
New Yorker with quite the 2020 cover in this edition
♦️♣️♠️♥️ The Biggest Bluff
“There has never been a more pressing need for digestible and coherent literature on rational decision-making. Enter The Biggest Bluff, psychologist Maria Konnikova’s depiction of her journey into professional poker. What at first seems a light-hearted story about a curious academic dipping her toe into shark-infested waters delivers a crucial lesson in how to thrive in an increasingly misleading world… . As someone who has read almost every piece of literature on poker, I can say that The Biggest Bluff is the best depiction yet of the game I love, and the invaluable thinking skills it teaches… . Konnikova’s is an uplifting zero-to-hero journey that will raise a smile in these trying times.”
Konnikova spoke with Freakonomics’ Stephen Dubner about the book in an episode called 🎧How to Make Your Own Luck
Peter Thiel’s advice to his younger self per Bushra Farooqui
🪐🔭 Planetary Sizing
Great graphic of the relative sizes of the solar system’s planets
⚡ Oh…and one more thing
This is possibly the most adorable animation ever made to illustrate the frequency and wavelength for different colors of light 🤩 pic.twitter.com/aawTva5Ng2— Joe Cossette (@cossettej) December 8, 2020
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