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Weekend Links

  1. Clickbait is Unreasonably Effective. This video made me less cynical about clickbait. Top bloggers/youtubers spend half of their time just on the title and thumbnail. Youtuber “Mr. Beast” makes an appearance in this video. He’s just in his early twenties and doesn’t get bogged down in over optimisation: “Dude, just do what makes sense”.
  2. Degrowth is the philosophy is that we need to regress economically in order to solve environmental issues. From the blog: “At its core, I feel like degrowth’s appeal comes from its implicit promise to recast genteel North European decline as some sort of grandiose world-saving moral quest.”
  3. China is hammering the US on technology: The US only leads market share on electric vehicles and semi-conductors.
  4. Apple delays scanning iPhones for child porn. I was surprised Apple said they would make a way to scan content on iPhones – it just seemed to go completely against their approach of privacy for phone users and open up a pandoras box to scanning phones for many reasons. I’m not surprised they have pulled back on this.
  5. Consumer Lending in China. Uncollateralised lending is getting big in China – this means giving small personal and business loans without asking for deeds to a house or the title to a car in return. In many ways, uncollateralised loans were inconceivable until data analysis of transaction data on WeChat and Alipay. The Chinese government are wary, largely because of the disaster that was peer to peer lending some years ago.
  6. Two criticisms of the Gini coefficient. The Gini doesn’t do a a good job of distinguishing two specific issues within inequality, 1) a large group of people being poor, and 2) a small group of people being very rich. One can be true without the other being true.
  7. Steve Jobs Responding to an insult. Steve Jobs had his own vision for the future and did not fully follow customer feedback (which goes against some modern startup philosophies). He explains why he compromises on product features so that the product has a more consistent long term vision.
  8. The EU wants to only allow one phone charger. It doesn’t make sense to specify a single type of charger for electronic devices. Technology moves too fast. At the same time, it is a pain to have different adapters. I think Apple is making a mistake with all of their different chargers – yes, they can earn profits on chargers – but the customer experience (with even a Mac and an iPhone being different) is a bad one. So, I think the problem is real but this solution is bad.

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