25 October 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.


โ„๏ธ๐ŸŒจ๏ธ Arctic Ice

A few graphics from NSIDC studies showing the record low levels of continental sea-ice in 2020.

Arctic Ice


Arctic Ice 2


Arctic Ice 3


๐Ÿค– Robots & Employ

As many as 800 million people are at high risk of their (our?) employment becoming obsolete in an era of greater automation. This is according to a report released by economists Ziad Daoud and Scott Johnson.

๐Ÿ“Who Is Most Exposed to Automation?



๐Ÿฆ Market Functions

Steve Randy Waldman is a computer programmer and writer known for his commentary on contemporary economics at his blog ๐Ÿ“ƒInterfluidity.

Here’s an interesting essay of his on the four functions of markets:

  1. Markets serve as Hayekian information processors
  2. Markets naturalize outcomes, defusing social conflict
  3. Markets โ€œflip the incentivesโ€ surrounding resource utilization
  4. Markets launder history

On laundering history:

“Inscribing all the history markets erase on a blockchain or whatever, and then relying on individuals to evaluate the ethics of every stage of production of every good and service they consume, does not seem workable or effective. On the other hand, if markets launder history too well, that short-circuits the capacity of democratic politics to insist upon ethical production, as voters are shielded from the harms of cruel supply chains but enjoy the benefits of lower prices.”


๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ ex-TIME

TIME replaced its logo on the front cover of it’s magazine for the first time in its nearly 100-year history.


They explain why here.


๐Ÿ’ธ Big Plays



๐Ÿคซ Krisp.ai


Krisp is an interesting piece of AI-powered noise cancelling software which you might find useful. It baically suppresses background noise during calls.



๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿฝ Kimoji



From Rex Woodbury’s newsletter


๐ŸŽฌ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ VFX

Charmaine Chan works at the forefront of a big technological shift in special effects. As a compositor for Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), her job saw big changes on The Mandalorian - one of the first shows to use ILMโ€™s upgrade for the green screen: LED panels that use video game engine technology to place a realistic-looking world behind the actors.


๐Ÿฆ‘โœจ Counter-Illumination

The Bobtail Squid has a unique luminescence for camouflage known as counter-illumination.



๐Ÿ“œ๐ŸŒ๏ธ Revisionist History

Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the pastโ€”an event, a person, an idea, even a songโ€”and asks whether we got it right the first time.

In this episode - ๐ŸŽงA Good Walk Spoiled - he takes a look at golf… the conclusions square with my general feelings about the sport :D


๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŽท Strange Fruit

Billie Holiday performing โ€œStrange Fruitโ€ in NYCโ€™s first integrated club, 1939 - Photo by Gjon Mili/Colorized by Jared Anderson

Strange Fruit


๐Ÿฆ ๐Ÿงผ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ’ฆโš• Greenzone


With over 42m+ cases and 1m+ deaths worldwide, it’s disconcerting to note case & hospitalisation numbers trending up in many places worldwide (with commensurate lockdowns being invoked).

Oct 25 - Cases


Progress in treatments and therapeutics is heartening but still a long way to go.

Oct 25 - Deaths


Building on their paper from a decade before, Li, Mendelsohn et al published an interesting paper last year:

๐Ÿ“Human-animal interactions and bat coronavirus spillover potential among rural residents in Southern China

Whether it was animal-to-human spillover, accidental biological contagion or both - this paper’s warnings about bat-borne coronaviruses in “emerging infectious disease outbreaks of global significance” couldn’t be clearer…or more prescient


๐ŸŽจ Brush Strokes In Time

A self-admittedly challenging painting for the artist.

Brush Strokes

Recover, Acryllic, 2020


๐Ÿ’ฌ Quotes

โ€œTake actions such that you would be glad to receive the news that you had taken themโ€ โ€” Eliezer Yudkowsky

“The curious are always in some danger” โ€” Jeanette Winterson

๐ŸŒ…๐Ÿ›ฐ๏ธ Sunsets

This is what a sunset on Earth looks like from space.




๐Ÿ—ก๏ธ Oh…and one more thing


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Thanks for reading. Tune in next week. And please share with your network