Memia 2021.13: Vaccy races💉// getting my $bitclout on🤑// accreting aircrete🏘️// solar☀️symbiosis🌾// poo💩to H2⚛️
Use isEven to tell if a number is even🔢
Welcome to this week’s Memia newsletter, scanning across emerging tech and the unfolding future from Aotearoa New Zealand.
Endnotes from last week’s issue:
The most clicked link (~9% of openers) was the hypnotic video of a bubble freezing.
Strategic defence expert Reuben Steff (author of the paper on New Zealand’s asymmetric hedging strategy covered last week) covers of the points I raised about the future of small-nation defence in his brand new book written together with University of Waikato colleague Joe Burton and Simona R. Soare: Emerging Technologies and International Security - Machines, the State, and War. On the (ever-lengthening…) reading list.
Reminder that I’m speaking at CreativeHQ in Te Whanganui-a-Tara next Wednesday 14th April evening: Emerging tech with Ben Reid: what are the opportunities for Aotearoa in 2021?
Another date for the diary, I’m presenting on emerging tech trends in marketing at the rescheduled TechMarketers conference on 30th June.
As the news settles in that the border with Australia will reopen both ways on 19th April, as at 31 March Aotearoa had administered the first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to 52,183 people (1.08% of the population).
Our World In Data is tracking national vaccination rates globally: amazing performance by the UK… and who would have believed the US would be above 30% at the start of this year? Just hope that the rest of the world is able to catch up soon as well.
Getting my $Bitclout on🤑
NFTs are, like, SO March 2021.
Last week saw the launch of the new reputation-based crypto protocol $Bitclout. I jumped in and two “Clouts” later now have a market cap of US$139.12. (Apparently🤑)
Author Jake Udell provides a gushing overview of how it all works: The Crypto Social Network is Here. Meet BitClout:
“Since Bitcoin decentralized money, it was only a matter of time until the blockchain decentralized social media. Meet BitClout.”
He describes the protocol in three parts:
A marketplace trading on creators’ social reputation
A proof of concept social application — a Twitter clone living on BitClout.com
The future — what can (and will…) be built on top of BitClout… clones of any social media app, newsletter publishing, podcast platforms…
(Slightly less breathless explainer from Coindesk here).
It’s not the first decentralised social media platform but it’s pretty impressive for a POC (although you can’t “ReClout” yet and sometimes the app times out…). This is the closest I’ve seen to a reputation market mechanism which can tangibly realise “influence” value at scale.
(With Elon Musk’s (unclaimed) coin value sitting about US$87K there is still some way to go for me, eh…)
[Thinking more deeply about the BitClout clone applications which will inevitably emerge (CloutHouse, SubClout, TikClout…) : while at an individual level the incentivisation mechanism is all about the (crypto)money, from a macro perspective these are actually just new apparatus to further accelerate memetic evolution - bubbling alembics bashing memes together at massive combinatorial velocity to create novel mutations, new memeplexes better adapted to the here and now…]
Get your Bitclout on here.
A mixed bag of tech signals from the future this week.
🕵️Two extremes of privacy:
Google’s privacy-driven changes to remove 3rd-party cookie tracking in Chrome is going to be painful for digital marketers, particularly those addicted to remarketing and lookalike-audience targeting.
Australia's Federal Government is considering a proposal to require users to provide multiple forms of identification to open social media accounts - eg on Facebook, Tiktok and even Tinder, all under the auspices of “stopping cyberbullying”. Yes, of course that’s the real reason. Nothing to see here.🤐
…Meanwhile Microsoft is building out decentralised identity infrastructure on top of Bitcoin… go figure!
Thanks Andrew Leckie (again…) for pointing me towards the environment-friendly, wonder-construction material Aircrete, which could yet be part of solving Aotearoa’s housing shortage. (Consenting powers that be, read this…)
"one litre of dish detergent with 10 gallons of water makes enough foam to produce about 2 cubic meters or 70 cubic feet of AirCrete. The foam expands the volume of cement by a factor of 5 – 7"
Farming under solar panels (“agrivoltaics”) helps plants grow with less water consumption AND produces more electricity:
💩Poo to ⚛️H2:
I covered modern alchemists Ways2H in Memia 2020.21: last week they unveiled a new facility in Japan capable of converting sewage into hydrogen.
👁️Even smarter contact lenses:
In the future, contact lenses won’t just help you see better, they will also be drug-delivery devices, digital disease detectors, myopia controllers and, of course, augmented reality portals.
Balaji Srinivasan (@balajis) is one of my favourite provocative, prescient thinkers in the world. A Silicon Valley entrepreneur, angel investor and VC by background, he regularly tweets at the cutting edge of crypto, individual sovereignty and culture.
I’m only half way through this near-4-hours podcast conversation with Tim Ferriss, it’s a gushing spring of original ideas and thinking about the future. (That is if you have the patience to keep skipping over the bits where Tim is schilling his latest health supplements or whatever…)
More Indo-Pacific geopolitics: Review of former Australian diplomat Geoff Raby’s 2020 book China's Grand Strategy and Australia's Future in the New Global Order, which provides an alternative commentary for resetting regional relations with China:
“Raby is…concerned that in place of the former policy of strategic engagement, Australia is now following the US in adopting a policy of strategic competition with China — driven by Australia’s intelligence, security, and military establishment which has taken control of China policy, while traditional diplomacy has been sidelined. This is a “strategic miscalculation,” and has seen a deterioration in relations which will impose great economic costs…which the Australian public has not been prepared for.”
…Published just before the Biden administration commenced, I wonder has much changed since?
The second E Tipu: Boma NZ Agri Summit is happening in Ōtautahi Christchurch on 11-12 May - an impressive lineup of speakers covering emerging technologies and innovative business models in the agri, food and fibre sector - special offer for Memia readers: use the code MEMIA you can get $100 off a ticket. (And if you can't join us in person, register for the virtual experience).
Pure Advantage have released a new 20 minute documentary on regenerative native forestry, O Tātou Ngāhere:
I continue to appreciate investor Rowan Simpson’s weekly Top Three Substack posts. Here he is on Paul Callaghan’s legacy 10 years on:
(And yeah…nah: Nasa chief scientist says NZ should become a worldwide Silicon Valley). 🥱
Quite a few funnies worth sharing this week:
…I was briefly caught out by RNZ Morning Report’s Bird of the Day on April 1, well played.
Budget cuts apparent at the Department of Fisheries in Hyderabad, India:
(And while on the subject… recommend that you check out the Seaspiracy documentary on Netflix… a sobering indictment of the commercial fishing industry worldwide…😟)
Prescient from 1997 (assuming this is real…):
Icelandic volleyball team training sessions are EXTREME:
Things to do in quarantine:
🔢And finally, isevenapi.xyz - comedic genius of the highest order if you know your SaaS:
As always thanks for reading, and to everyone who takes time to get in touch with links and feedback each week.
More next time!
Ngā mihi / Cheers