Bone Carvers, Crypto Hamster, Ovarian Lottery and The Greatest Environmental Success
#19 of 10+1 Things
⚡ Welcome to #19 of 10+1 Things!
Thanks to everyone who bought me coffee last week. Your support keeps this newsletter up and running.
Here are 10+1 Things that I thought were worth sharing this week:
🎰 Ovarian Lottery
I'm lately exploring a lot of thought experiments and stumbled across this thought experiment popularized by Warren Buffet. The experiment makes us think about the importance of luck and the influence of when/where we are born in this world on our life outcomes. Imagine that you have the option to be born again in this world, but you don't get to choose where you are born to. If you're reading this, irrespective of your geography or financial status, you're in the top 60% of the privileged population that has access to the internet. But think of someone born in the present-day Afghanisthan or a refugee camp in Somalia. Chances are they would take the gamble and hope for a better life by taking the lottery.
[Read More on Ovarian Lottery]
If you had the choice, would you take the lottery?
🧮️ Learn Binary in Minutes
Binary is a universal language and the only language that can be understood by machines. Binary is the building block of computation and is really a cool thing to learn. I have always fancied learning binary but often found it complex and hard to remember. Recently I came across this wonderful tutorial that helps to learn binary in a simple fashion. The tutorial helps you learn binary within minutes with the help of 8 boxes with acorns that can be dropped!
[Learn Binary within minutes]
📈 The Exponential Age
Curious humans at Citizen Scholar has written a great piece explaining the 'Exponential Age' we are going through now based on the book on the same by Azeem Azhar. We are living in an age of accelerated technological growth where technology is developed and scaled rapidly, cheaper than ever before. For instance, the cost of sequencing the human genome has fallen from $100 million in 2001 to $1000 today. Also, the cost of a transistor fell from $150 in 1958 to fifteen cents in 1972 and to a few billionths of a dollar by 2014 resulting in cheap and plentiful computing power. This enabled the rise of complementary businesses for smartphones, cloud computing and faster access to the internet even in under-developed nations.
[Read more on the Exponential Age]
🌍 Greatest Environmental Success
We don't have many environmental success stories to celebrate but one exception to this is when the whole world united to heal the depleted ozone layer of our planet, marking it as one of the greatest environmental successes and international cooperative efforts in history. In the 1970s researchers found that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) widely used in refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosol sprays were harmful to the ozone layer. The resistance from industrial players and lagging action from governments delayed a quick response. But eventually, in 1985, The Vienna Convention was born to coordinate international regulations on ozone-depleting substances. The international effort was really stunning and within a decade, consumption fell by almost 80% and as of today the use of these substances has fallen by 99.7% compared to 1986.
[Read more on How we fixed the Ozone Layer ]
A collective international effort like this is essential to tackle the biggest challenge of our generation: Climate Change. What do you think?
🐹 Crypto Trading Hamster
A hamster in Germany called Mr Goxx has been trading cryptocurrencies from a high-tech hamster cage. The cage consists of an intention wheel on which Mr Goxx runs to pick the cryptocurrency to trade. Once the currency is chosen, the hamster has to enter one of the tunnels nearby: one for buy and one for sell. Based on the action, the wired electronics initiates a real trade in the trading platform. The trades done are shared on Twitter and live-streamed on Twitch. Since starting trading on June 2021, Mr Goxx's portfolio has a growth rate of 19.41% as of Sept 27th 2021. The interesting thing here is that Mr Goxx has even outperformed Warren Buffet's company Berkshire Hathaway and is performing slightly better than Bitcoin. Even though this started as a fun project by two 30-year-olds in Germany, this shows how volatile and random are crypto markets
[Read more about the Crypto Trading Hamster]
🔗 World's Oldest Torrent
World's oldest torrent turned 18 last month and is still being seeded by some users. The torrent is a copy of Matrix fan film called 'Fanimatrix' and was created in September 2003. The creators of the film shot it with a limited budget and struggled to share it with a larger audience. This was at a time when YouTube was not invented and there were no free video-sharing platforms. Hosting the file on a private server was expensive and the team after searching for multiple options decided to host it on a then-new technology called BitTorrent. The movie turned out to be a great success and in the first week itself was downloaded by 70,000 people at a time when torrents were not popular. This is quite impressive as for a file to live on in BitTorrent, at least one person has to keep sharing it and most torrents eventually die after the public loses interest.
[Check out the Torrent File]
📷 Plastic Army
This week I'm exploring the award-winning photo series called 'Plastic Army' by German photographer Dirk Krüll about plastic pollution. In the series, Krüll shows beautiful landscapes with artistically placed objects like plastic bottles, bags or caps in an aesthetic way. At the first glance, it looks like a lovely landscape but only when you inspect closer you will see the plastic army invasion that is conquering the planet. The series addresses the issue of plastic pollution in a metaphorical manner and highlights the invasion of these objects onto our landscapes causing adverse effects to wildlife, wildlife habitat and humans.
[Check out more photos from Plastic Army]
🧵 10 Lies
In an interesting Twitter thread, Julian Shapiro has highlighted 10 significant lies often told about the world. My favourite from the thread is the one that questions the common notion that people have shorter attention spans and in-depth content often fails. In reality, this is not true as people finish 3-hour Joe Rogan episodes or often binge 14 hour TV shows without any interruption. The take here is that people have low consideration spans and they must be hooked quickly to the content. Nevertheless, this is an interesting thread to read.
[Check out the thread]
🎬 Bone Carvers
I've enjoyed watching this video about the bone carvers in Lucknow, India preserving an ancient art form popularized by royals in India around the 16th century. These artists carefully chop down buffalo bones to make them straight and shave them with an electric sander to obtain smooth pieces. The smoothen pieces are then engraved using hand, glued together and washed in hydrogen peroxide to create the final art piece. The art designs often resemble the architecture from the Mughal empire who originally commissioned artisans to create art pieces using ivory. Shrinking market demand and a scarcity of raw materials have pushed many carvers away from the craft. You can check the works of the featured artisan on Instagram.
[Check out the video]
📚 What I'm Reading
Last week has been pretty productive in terms of reading as I finished two of Austin Kleon's books (Steal Like an Artist and Keep Going!) which was long overdue and started a new one called 'The Obstacle is the Way: The Ancient Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage' by Ryan Holiday. Through explaining stoic principles with short stories and real-life examples, Ryan shows us how we can turn our adversities to our advantage.
[Check out the book on Amazon]
My favourite quote so far from the book is:
“It doesn’t matter whether this is the worst time to be alive or the best, whether you’re in a good job market or a bad one, or that the obstacle you face is intimidating or burdensome. What matters right now is right now.”
🎧 What I'm listening
The week was jampacked with work and I've enjoyed working while listening to this Fall 2021 Mixtape by Lane 8:
[Listen to the Fall 2021 Mixtape by Lane 8]
📣 Growth Currency
A huge shout out to Dylan from Growth Currency who has been a supporter of this newsletter from the beginning. Through Growth Currency, Dylan curates high-value links to tools, courses, tips and resources that help you grow as a creator—every week. If you love 10+1 Things and the creator economy, you would really appreciate and love Growth Currency!
[Check out Growth Currency]
That’s 10+1 Things for the week.
This newsletter is free, but not cheap. It takes a lot of effort and time from my end (7~8 hours) to deliver this newsletter every week. You can help me in keeping it going by forwarding it to someone you like, leaving a testimonial, buying me a coffee ($1 or ₹75), sending me some crypto, visiting my blog or following me on Twitter.
See you next week!
Quote of the Week
“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.” ~ Aaron Swartz
I'm collecting testimonials from the readers of this newsletter. You can leave a text or a video testimonial by clicking here. The testimonial will be featured in the 'Wall of Love'!
Great edition as always -- and thank you SO much for the Growth Currency ⚡ shout-out, Rishikesh!