Would you rather give up your iPhone or your toilet?
The productivity slowdown and other articles from last week (August 15)
The Great Productivity Puzzle
Read it on The New Yorker
- Productivity growth was 6x higher between 1947 and 1973 than it has been since 2010 (3% vs. 0.5% annual growth)
- Are new technologies like the iPhone and machine learning actually less important than inventions such as the flushing toilet?
Rio 2016: Michael Phelps versus the world
Read it on BBC
- If Michael Phelps were a country… he’d be tied for 35th most golds, ahead of Jamaica, Mexico, and India (which has a population of over 1.2 billion)
- If you love Michael Phelps and NY Times visualizations as much as I do, check out this nice data visualization showing all of Phelp’s races over the last 16 years
What Everyone in Autonomous Vehicles is (and will be) Talking About
Read it on Medium
- Nice FAQ on autonomous cars with the key questions and perspectives on each debate. For example… If cars can drive themselves all around, how does ownership change?
- A) UberPool model. 96%+ of the time vehicles sit unused today. Vehicles will change from owned assets to leased assets
- B) Car ownership won’t fundamentally go away because people like owning their own cars
- C) All of these ownership model changes also could mean big problems for OEMs. Light vehicle sales could fall 40% while newer players like Tesla, Faraday Future, Zoox, and more could emerge and massively disrupt the incumbents
TIL an error of Costa Rica’s border on Google Maps led to an invasion of Costa Rica by the army of Nicaragua
Read it on Reddit
- Google responded: “Google maps are of very high quality and Google works constantly to improve and update existing information, by no means should they be used as a reference to decide military actions between two countries.”
Understanding is a Poor Substitute for Convexity (Antifragility)
Read it on FooledByRandomness
- We attribute too much scientific and technological progress to luck. Here’s what really matters…
- Check out this fantastic 3-page paper on what constitutes a convex bet, why you should take them, and how to find them
The Last Big Frontier
Read it on The Economist
- Thousands of families are moving to “The American Redoubt,” a sparsely populated region in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and a strip of eastern Oregon and Washington
- The area attracts “political refugees” who are fleeing liberal states and survivalists who are preparing for nuclear bombs from North Korea and other doomsday scenarios
- Mr Rawles considers the most likely [doomsday scenario] to be a geomagnetic solar storm like the Carrington Event in 1859, when a coronal mass ejection from the sun generated sparks in telegraph lines, setting some buildings on fire. Had the nearly 3,000 transformers that underpin America’s grid existed then, a quarter of them would have burned up
I thought it would be fun to start sharing some of my favorite longer news articles (and Reddit posts) from the past week. Hit the recommend button if you enjoy posts like these!