Memia on Sunday 20-Mar-2022: #standwithukraine week 4✊🇺🇦// the universe is *very big*🌌// 28 degrees above normal🌡️// wave 7🦠🌊 // network state: the book🕸️// empower people over algorithms🔃
A very thoughtful human
I’m working on a longer form article this weekend (and next…) so this week’s Memia on Sunday edition is a bit more compact - mostly pointers to events and insights I’ve been tracking… and a few recommended weekend reads / watches as usual.
Have a relaxing Sunday!
(I’ve opened this post up to all readers… but as always, feel free to:)
🌌The universe is *very big*
The new James Webb telescope sent back its first full image from testing… with incredible results. An image of the obscure star HD84406, 100 times fainter than what can be seen with the human eye - astronomers are more excited by the spray of tiny dots scattered across the background. Each is a distant galaxy…and this is the first time humanity has ever been able to capture them.🤯
🌡️28 degrees above normal
In case we’re lulled into thinking climate change is taking a break while there’s a war going on (50 degrees fahrenheit → 28 degrees celsius):
Over in England they’re on Covid Wave 7:
✊🇺🇦#standwithukraine week 4
Harder to read events this week. May be turning into an extended war of attrition. Some triangulation points below.
A profile of Ukraine’s 31-year-old Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, responsible for coordinating the country’s highly effective 21st-century digital communications war campaign.
A definitive historical moment as Russia exits the Council of Europe human rights organisation:
As the Ukraine war atrocities by Russia are catalogued, a special war crimes tribunal has been proposed by ex-UK prime ministers Brown and Major and over 140 others, to operate alongside the International Criminal Court’s ongoing investigations:
And a darkly sardonic take below after another Russian attack on civilians in Ukraine: I think we can all see Putin’s palace receiving “stray” missile treatment as a distinctly possible outcome of the conflict…
🤝💣Business in a time of war
To get some kind of insight on what it’s like to continue trying to run an international business through the sudden onset of war, Boma NZ’s Kaila Colbin is in conversation with Ukrainian Agritech entrepreneur Michael Utkin this coming Friday 25th:
🇨🇳💵China and world trade
Continuing attempts to divine China’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
The Economist’s coverage has been deeply insightful throughout, not least their latest piece: the war in Ukraine will determine how China sees the world…and how threatening it becomes:
“Both China’s president, Xi Jinping, and Mr Putin want to carve up the world into spheres of influence dominated by a few big countries. China would run East Asia, Russia would have a veto over European security and America would be forced back home. This alternative order would not feature universal values or human rights, which Mr Xi and Mr Putin see as a trick to justify Western subversion of their regimes. They appear to reckon that such ideas will soon be relics of a liberal system that is racist and unstable, replaced by hierarchies in which each country knows its place within the overall balance of power.”
As China’s official media censorship rules now appear to have shifted to more “balanced” representation of both pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian views, this was the most on-point tweet of the week for me:
With this in mind, read this essential thread from Bernard Hickey on the existential moment for Aotearoa’s trade relationship with China:
(Uncanny timing also for the NZ-US Council to release a report on the NZ-US trade relationship - stability and diversity in a time of change.)
South Korea is another free-trading country caught between the two elephants stomping:
Meanwhile western trade sanctions on Russia appear to be driving global economic adaptation:
🕸️Network State: the book
Coming soon from Balaji Srinivasan:
…Wondering out loud, can we realistically imagine an inhabited world where the internet (…and crypto…) doesn’t function in the foreseeable future? Modern territorial state infrastructure already depends upon technologies like written language, fossil fuels or electricity…is the internet fundamentally any different? Even with a massive solar-scale EMP event… the technology would be recoverable in a short time? Looking forward to reading the book.
🔮FTI’s Massive Tech Trends Report
Huge. Massive. Insightful: Future Today Institute's 15th Anniversary Tech Trends Report just released. Go deep.
🧠Vitalik Buterin profile
A thoughtful profile of a very thoughtful human in this week’s Time Magazine.
(That cover photo, tho…)
🫁Covid will become like smoking?
The Atlantic: Covid will become like smoking
“Smokers are 15 to 30 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Quitting the habit is akin to receiving a staggeringly powerful medicine, one that wipes out most of this excess risk. Yet smokers, like those who now refuse vaccines, often continue their dangerous lifestyle in the face of aggressive attempts to persuade them otherwise. Even in absolute numbers, America’s unvaccinated and current-smoker populations seem to match up rather well: Right now, the CDC pegs them at 13 percent and 14 percent of all U.S. adults, respectively, and both groups are likely to be poorer and less educated.”
China has released a new law “to empower people over algorithms”. Hmmm.
No time zones
🕐🕤🕧There is a vigorous debate about daylight savings time happening in the US right now, with the Senate unanimously passing legislation that would eliminate switching and make daylight saving time permanent.
Here’s a simple solution for a modern world:
(Can you imagine living in one of those timezones like the Chatham Islands which are 45 minutes out of sync with the rest of the world and trying to schedule Zoom calls with everyone else around the world…!?!)
Get out of the way!
Launching a new bulk carrier from dry dock…
Ice cream sticks domino
What else would you do on a rainy weekend?
1984: the sequel
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, see you on Wednesday!