- Cuisine bridges cultures. | How Political Science became irrelevant.
- A new cold war has begun. | China mocked US officially and is overtaking US in scientific research.
- Eurosclerosis. + | Is the Ukraine crisis the West’s fault? Maybe + or maybe not. +
- The new space race: Three spacecraft headed to Mars last summer. | China lands a rover on Mars. +
- The new military branch: The rise of hacking armies. +
- Tech companies are becoming «independent nations». +
- Globalization is merging democracy and autocracy: Democracy under siege: 15 years of decline. +
- Censorship and mass surveillance spreaded to democracies. | The war on disinformation is a war on dissent. + | Financial deplatforming in Canada. + | EU message and chat control. + | «Data is not the new oil – it’s the new plutonium». Resistance: Germany’s new government plans «right to encryption» and ban on biometric mass surveillance. +
- The dictatorship of the small minority: The most intolerant wins. | The electoral lessons of the working class. | Yellow vests knock out 60% of all speed cameras in France. | Obese patients and smokers banned from routine surgery.
- America’s new corporate tyranny. + | The rise of the «Liberaltarian».
- Alternative paths: Lottocracy. | 50% millennials would give up their right to vote to get student loans erased. | Norwegian oil fund for future generations. | China CCP to nationalize Alibaba.
- Futurology: Algocracy. + | Vaccine passport on a microchip implant. +
- More than 2000 journalists killed since 1992.
- In the West: Cancel culture. + | It’s not funny anymore. + | How objectivity in journalism became a matter of opinion. Resistance: Poland announces online freedom of speech bill.
- In the East: Wikipedia is blocked. | China allows some government criticism but silences collective expression. | Zoom closed account of US-based Chinese activist «to comply with local law». | Russians paint opposition name on snow to get snow removed.
- Hotel guest in Thailand arrested and jailed for defamation after posting bad reviews.
- Trading free speech for cash: On universities. | TikTok told moderators to suppress posts by poor or «ugly» people.
- Is cancel culture coming to free trade? +
- Surveillance Capitalism. | Universal basic income is Capitalism 2.0.
- Economic rationality: 40% of foreign investment is aimed at tax dodging. | 20% of China’s homes are empty. | On eve of bankruptcy, U.S. firms shower execs with bonuses.
- The Not-Com bubble is popping. | Two worlds. +
- Geoarbitrage: Living in a van in Google’s backyard. | The power of money depends on where you live. | Demonetized cost of living. | Independently poor.
- Shrinkflation. +
- Private land in the US has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few.
- Decline in unionization has fed the rise in incomes at the top. | Tech workers and university graduate students plan to unionize.
- How «places that don’t matter» fueled populism: a geographer’s new theory puts regional inequality ahead of personal inequity as a cause of revolt.
- Poor kids need summer jobs. Rich kids get them. | Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not.
- Americans are more worried about their sons than their daughters. | Young women are out earning young men in several US cities. +
- A prenup is the latest must-have for tech startup founders in love.
- For black CEOs in Silicon Valley, humiliation is a part of doing business. | Asian-Americans fight back against school discrimination. +
- On life expectancy growth: The corporatization of nursing homes. | Japan’s prisons are a haven for elderly women.
- Britain plans to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda. + | Aging Japan wants automation not immigration. | The Great Replacement.
- New visa allows 70% of Hong Kong residents to migrate to UK. +
- Neutral gender marker available on US passports. +
- A skewed spectrum: Teens who refuse to use social media. vs. Teens so addicted to cellphones they’re going to detox centers.
- Social media is a role-playing game: Proof of X. + | Parasocial relationships. + | «Influencer» is the most desired occupation among youngsters. | Young female influencer is actually a mature man. + | Chinese Instagram village. | Flattery-driven open-source. +
- No one fails anymore: everybody «pivots». | How the self-esteem craze took over America. | Addiction to outrage. +
- Male shaming: How social perfectionism kills. | Hikikomori: Japan’s modern hermits. | Incel. | Russia bans Pornhub and YouPorn. | UK to open its first sex doll brothel. | AI girlfriend seducing China’s lonely men. Collateral damage: Social exclusion fuels extremism in young men. | Boyfriend role-play.
- Why no one answers their phone anymore.
- Children spend less time outside than prison inmates. | How children lost the right to roam in just 4 generations.
- Making playgrounds a little more dangerous. | The most precious resource is agency. +
- Youtube camps that teach kids how to be famous. | We are sending more foster kids to prison than college. +
- Parents of daughters are more likely to divorce than those with sons. +
- Kids can be surprisingly mean to robots.
Education & skills:
- Focus has become more valuable than intelligence. | Monetizing your knowledge will be the next gig economy.
- On college: Elite over-production. + | Investing tuition costs nets a higher return. | American students head to Germany for free college.
- New classes: mindfulness and how not to be duped by the news. | Finland’s plan to train its population in AI.
- On didactics: Hyperinflation means the end of grades. | «Woke» math. + | Remote learning didn’t work. | Computer game on school reading list.
- Trendy skills: Elephant in the room: web design work is drying up.
- Unpopular skills: High-paying trade jobs sit empty, while high school grads line up for university. | Hand skills: doctors of sewing needed. | A CEO who can write.
- Remote work is becoming the norm: $1 billion business where all employees work remotely. | Asynchronous communication is the real reason remote workers are more productive. | When you’re a «digital nomad» the world is your office. | The unintended consequences of working from home.
- Gig economy is western people discovering servants. | Big cities no longer deliver for low-skill workers.
- Over 7 million Americans’ jobs are at risk as self-driving trucks become viable. Fortunately most people would rather lose their job to a robot than another human.
- Skills mismatch: A company hired anyone who applied. | When hiring senior engineers, you’re not buying, you’re selling. | Resumes are starting to look like Instagram - and sometimes even Tinder. | College-educated workers are taking over the American factory floor.
- Alternative paths: Four-day week means «I don’t waste holidays on chores». | Cafe opens in Tokyo staffed by robots controlled by paralyzed people.
- Unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. | In the era of hygiene, the case for showering less.
- Elevated rates of autism in transgender and gender-diverse individuals.
- Why does inflammation seem to underlie all sickness? | Fasting triggers stem cell regeneration of damaged, old immune system. | Young blood rejuvenates old tissues.
- The global fertility rate is falling. | Declines in human and dogs sperm quality. | Death rates rising for all americans.
- COVID-19 coronavirus is here forever. + | Mobility Index. | mRNA COVID-19 vaccines herald a new era for vaccinology.
- Ebola is now curable. | Promising vaccines for HIV + and malaria. +
- Mosquitoes kill more than 700,000 people every year.
- Governments worldwide consider ditching daylight saving time.
- The human genome is, at long last, complete. +
- On eyes: Patient regains sight following artificial cornea implantation ending a decade of blindness. + | Myopia correcting «smart glasses». +
- On teeth: Instead of filling cavities, dentists may soon regenerate them. | Why we have so many problems with our teeth.
- On spine: Walking again thanks to 3D printed spinal implant.
- On kidneys: Pig kidney has been successfully transplanted into a human. + | Bioartificial kidney. +
- Scientists find microplastics in blood for first time. +
- Media as food. +
- Neofeudalism and the Digital Manor. | The internet of creation disappeared. Now we have the internet of surveillance and control. | SEO is gentrifying the internet.
- Click farms booming in China. | We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads. | Netflix saves kids from up to 400 hours of commercials a year.
- The great race to rule streaming TV.
- Slow Television or confort TV.
- Superstars are losing market share in streaming. | Vinyl set to outsell CDs for first time since 1986.
- Amazon is winning at publishing.
- The most used languages on the internet. +
- The lonely work of moderating a web community.
Culture, beliefs & ethics:
- Has the world become less colourful? + | How Normie Minimalism and Farmhouse Chic took over contemporary design. | Aging parents with lots of stuff and children who don’t want it.
- As crime dries up, Japan’s police hunt for things to do. | Hedonism, sex and fear – why the Weimar republic is in vogue. | The escape room games industry is booming. | Loot boxes are gambling.
- A Tesla on autopilot killed two people. Is the driver guilty? + | On Mercedes it is not. +
- Human-monkey chimera embryos created in lab for first time. +
- Iceland to build first temple to Norse gods since Viking age. | First statue in honor of bitcoin creator. +
- «Communism is a faith». | Sharing Economy might be also. + | The vegetarians who turned into butchers.
- Eco-anxiety. + | The men getting vasectomies to save the world. +
- Personal experiences bridge moral and political divides better than facts. + | Most violence in the world is motivated by moral sentiments. | Are all world leaders psychopathic? +
- Web scraping is legal. + | Should I block ads?
- Travel democratization: Too many people want to travel. | How airbnb is silently changing himalayan villages. | 90-day minimum stay limit in Airbnbs outside resort areas. +
- «No one likes being a tourist»: The rise of the anti-tour. | Much of the seaside’s appeal comes from its association with less structure and more freedom. | Chernobyl’s «stalker» subculture. +
- Unconventional tourism: Pandemic walks. + | Randomized living. | Crowdfunded wandering. + | Voluntourism: do western do-gooders actually do harm? + | Begpacking. | Bookstore allows people to run the shop while renting an apartment upstairs.
- On track for a resurgence? Europe’s night trains. | Canteens.
- All companies are technology companies now. +
- Software is no longer sold, is adopted. +
- Eventually, everything will be a subscription: Porsches on demand with a $2,000-a-month subscription. | Citroën introduces a two-seat EV that costs €19.99 a month.
- Github is Microsoft’s $7.5b undo button. | Bringing back old features. +
- Amazon uses crowdfunding to minimize risk. +
- Tesla makes more money trading bitcoin than selling cars. +
- Democratising the right to lazyness. + | Amazon hires 427,000 people in 10 months.
- The fanciest shopping center in America is expanding while the rest face a looming retail apocalypse.
- Are the hyper-specialist shops of Berlin the future of retail? | Raspberry Pi opens first high street store in Cambridge.
- Shops return to rural Sweden but are now staff-free. +
- Shopping sucks now.
Reduce, reuse & recycle:
- There is no trash with Lego and there is no trash in a forest.
- The end of «plastic age»: Global movement towards the phase-out of lightweight plastic bags. End consumer plastics are starting to being banned also.
- Microplastics found in 93% of bottled water.
- 91% of plastic isn’t recycled. | Recycling was a lie to sell more plastic, industry experts say. | Americans’ plastic recycling is dumped in landfills. Alternative path: Recycling waste plastic into strong cheap bricks. +
- «Right to repair»: EU introduce rules for appliances and Apple announces self service repair. + | Repair is as important as innovation. | 40-year-old tractors now a hot commodity.
- People are recycling too much garbage, and it’s threatening the industry.
- The war on food waste is a waste of time. | No one wants your used clothes anymore.
- Could we reboot a modern civilization without fossil fuels? | Why did renewables become so cheap so fast?
- The photonic age. + | Solar now produces a better return on investment than oil. | Battery costs have plunged 89% since 2010. + | Supercomputer can now run on light. +
- New generation of environmentalists is learning to love atomic power. | Rolls-Royce plans 16 mini-nuclear plants for UK. | World’s largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly.
- Brewery burns iron as a clean, recyclable fuel.
- The new «gold rush» for green lithium.
Ecology & climate:
- «Climate change is water change.» | A quarter of humanity faces looming water crises. | Water futures as a commodity.
- Earth is greener today than 20 years ago. | Though forests burn, trees retake farmland globally as agroforestry advances. | Plant life expanding over the Himalayas.
- Desertification combat: Ethiopia plants 350 million trees in one day. | Egypt is planting trees in the desert using wastewater. | Man who single-handedly converted a washed-out land into a 1360 acre forest.
- On biodiversity: insect and bird populations are declining. | Bugs are evolving to eat plastic. +
- CO2 in the atmosphere just exceeded 415ppm for the first time in human history. | The dream of carbon air capture edges toward reality. +
- France will introduce a tax on airlines flying from its airports to help support the environment. Meanwhile electric cars are starting to be taxed.
- The fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. | The real price of buying cheap clothes.
- Greta Thunberg.
- True cost of cheap food is health and climate crises.
- Is organic agriculture better for the environment?
- «War on meat»: UN report calls for change to human diet. | Lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time. | How to lower the price of plant-based meat? + | The promise and perils of insect farming. +
- Innovative farms: largest urban farm on a rooftop. | floating farm. | 2-acre vertical farm out-produces 720-acre flat farm. | Farming drives toward «precision agriculture». +
- California farmers are «planting» solar panels as water supplies dry up.
- The city of the future is one with way less parking. | Cars are parked 95% of the time. Hints: Fare free public transport. | E-bikes could be the electric revolution cities need. | In a global health emergency, the bicycle shines.
- The suburb of the future. | Too many too big houses and the tiny house trend. | The allure of small towns for big city freelancers.
- The resurgence of nomadism: In a world of digital nomads, we will all be made homeless. | Dorm living for professionals comes to San Francisco. | Living on pennies with a million-dollar view: car campers in beach parking lots. | Van life. +
- Futurology: Crypto cities. + | Movable housing for scalable cities. +
- The smart home still sucks. +
- Is 3d printing the future of construction? $10k tiny house in 24 hours. | 3d printed two-story house.
- Cement produces more pollution than all the trucks in the world.
- Canadian cities take wooden skyscrapers to new heights.
- How Jakartans built an entire village on top of a mall.
- The age of car electrification: Registrations for EVs overtook diesel in Europe. | Amazon orders 100K electric delivery trucks. | Electric pickup trucks.
- Eco-friendly long travels: Electric flight is finally upon us. | China laying tracks for 1000km/h maglev trains. | Longest undersea rail tunnel between Helsinki-Tallinn.
- Private space exploration has started: SpaceX successfully launches two humans into orbit and wins contract to develop spacecraft to land astronauts on the moon. +
- Futurology: Auto bodies for energy storage. | Windowless planes. | Electrified wingsuit. | Flight by light. | Microchip implants as tickets. | Klimaticket. + | $97k personal flying vehicle is in production. +
Drones, robotics & AI:
- Autonomous drone navigates through the forest at 40 km/h. + and may fly for days with new photovoltaic engine.
- Delivery becomes a reality in remote pacific islands. | Drones can already haul a 20-pound load for 500 miles and land on a moving target.
- Drones can seed a forest | 100k trees a day | kill weeds and invasive nautical flora. They can even be used as sheep dogs.
- Drones can rescue swimmers and search for lost hikers.
- Drones map slums for land titling.
- The dark side: Cartels adopt drones armed with explosives. + | Human and car tracking autonomous drones are now on the market. + | «RoboCop» stores pedestrians’ faces and scans license plates.
- Boston Dynamics is selling a robot to the public for the first time in its 28-year history.
- Self-driving vehicles: truck delivered butter from California to Pennsylvania in three days. | Autonomous boats seem more solvable than autonomous cars. +
- First AI poker bot to beat professionals at multiplayer game.
- Machine learning: the great stagnation. + | Why is AI so useless for business?
- Computers: Your phone vs Supercomputers. + | How ARM got so successful without the public really noticing. | Apple M1 | Intel’s disruption is now complete. | Using a Raspberry Pi 400 or a iPad Pro as my main computer.
- Analogic resistance in a digital world: Mazda and US Navy will replace touchscreen controls with mechanical ones. | Vim clutch: hardware pedal for improved text editing speed.
- Timeless: Lego is the perfect toy. | Paper is the real «killer app». | Excel never dies. +
- Computer files are going extinct.
- Privacy tools: encryption against global mass surveillance.
- Elephant in the room: The Crypto-Chernobyl. + | How I heat my home by mining crypto currencies. +
- Crypto compared with fiat currencies. + | S&P to launch cryptocurrency indexes in 2021. | Belarus: the first government in the world to offer full blockchain regulation.
- The quest for use cases: Web3. + | Bitcoin is a hyperobject. + or even the singularity + | NFTs are the new conceptual art. + | Reward points are actually a good use case for blockchains.
- Traveling the world on $25m of bitcoin profits. | Crypto leaders are obsessed with life extension. +