05 July 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.

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


๐Ÿ›’๐Ÿ’ณ E-commerce

E-commerce Credit


๐Ÿ’ฐ Big Bucks

Even if you have zero bucks in the bank - you’re still closer to Elon Musk & Kanye West’s wealth level than they are to Jeff Bezos’.

Big Bucks

In fact at the correct scale the clustering looks more like this

Big Bucks 2

Full Breakdown

The latter picture isn’t how we general intuit the scale; a phenomenon formalised as the Weber-Fechner Law.


๐Ÿงฌ๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Genome Sequencing

The remarkable drop in the costs of genomic sequencing. Extremely important in the age of CRISPR and Machine Learning.

Genomics Info | Credit


๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ“‰ Ok, Karen

Karen Credit


๐Ÿงพ๐Ÿ’ธ Inflation, Deflation

๐ŸŽง In this pod, NPR’s Planet Money looks at the twin inflation and deflation dynamics currently concerning economists and market participants.


๐Ÿ“„ This 2012 paper from Artemis Capital Management - which is a jargon-infused, technical trader’s deep-dive into the aforementioned dynamics; their interplay with volatility and the implications on risk assets - seems as relevant as ever (for those able to digest it).

It’s coloufully titled - “Volatility at World’s End: Deflation, Hyperinflation and the Alchemy of Risk”(PDF)

Navigating the channel is treacherous for to err too far to one side and your ship plunges off the waterfall of deflation but too close to the other and it burns in the hellfire of inflation. The global fleet is tethered by chains of trade and investment so if one ship veers perilously off course it pulls the others with it. Our only salvation is to hoist our economic sails and harness the winds of innovation and productivity.

It is said that de-leveraging is a perilous journey and beneath these dark waters are many a sunken economy of lore. Print too little money and we cascade off the waterfall like the Great Depression of the 1930s… print too much and we burn like the Weimar Republic Germany in the 1920s… fail to harness the trade winds and we sink like Japan in the 1990s.

On cold nights when the moon is full you can watch these ghost ships making their journey back to hell… they appear to warn us that our resolution to avoid one fate may damn us to the other.


๐Ÿ˜ดโ„๏ธ๐ŸŽจ Winter Sleep

Winter Sleep Jean-Michel Bihorel, Digital 3D, 2020


๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿงผ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ’ฆโš• Greenzone

๐Ÿ“ˆ A different look at the phenomenon we noted in last week’s update in terms of the political profile of the viral spread in the US.

US Infections Credit


๐Ÿ˜ท Spotted in a vintage store; escalated quickly.

Escalation Credit


Some 2020-style “Positive Propaganda” reinforcing the need for the above message.

Stay Inside Credit


๐Ÿ”ข With the focus on R0 and the directive for every government on earth to suppress it below 1, understanding a little about the dynamics of growth rates gives context for the - “why?”.

Veritasium offers a succinct and insightful explainer in the first few minutes or so of the below video. Sticking with it gives a great primer on the mathematics of chaos which connect all from rabbit populations, fluid convection to neurons firing rates. (19 minutes)


๐Ÿ’๐Ÿšถโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ”ฅ Sapiens

๐Ÿ“ “If Sapiens were a blog post” is the result of Neil Kakkar spending about 25 hours building a cut-down version of Yuval Noah Harari’s best-selling history of mankind: Sapiens. (32 min read)



๐ŸŽž๏ธโœจ The Plague Years

๐ŸŽฅ “A looke at A Journal of the Plague Year, and the multitude of worke by Daniel Defoe. In theyse times of distemper, acquit yourselfes of concern, and observe, deyre reader, the way in which hystorie enacts its grimme repetitions!” (10 minutes)


๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿพ Strength

้›จ้™ใฃใฆๅœฐๅ›บใพใ‚‹ // After the rain, earth hardens ~ Japanese Proverb


โœจ๐Ÿ”ฎ Oh…and one more thing

Science fiction legend William Gibson highlighted this tweet of some fascinating old footage predicting future public lifestyle.


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