Nerd Corner #80

Hi Friends!

Greetings from San Francisco, where things are (finally) slowly reopening. I really missed hanging out with friends and eating out!

I'm hopeful that most things will be back to normal by Springtime 😁.

A lot happened last week so let's jump right in!

Recycling ♻️

After many discussions and confusion about what can and what should be recycled, I decided to get informed and write about the topic.

My latest article, Is Recycling A Waste Of Time? is my attempt at understanding if recycling is actually useful and if we should be maniacs about it and try to recycle everything that we consume.

Let me know what you think! Do you have a recycling strategy or rule of thumb? I'd love to hear about it!

The New Kid On The Block 🎙 #Clubhouse

Of course, I'm talking of Clubhouse, the latest "social media" app that's all the rage on Twitter and Silicon Valley.

Don't know what it is?

Clubhouse is a voice-only social media. It's a bit hard to describe the experience if you haven't tried it. Basically, you log in and create or join "rooms" where other people hang out and have casual conversations. Topics range from SF's housing crisis to conversations with Elon Musk (yes, that happened).

Think of it like a voice-only zoom call you have with your friends on a Friday night.

I really like the app because it feels casual and everything is live, you can't record and listen later, and the fact that you don't have to show your face means that you can chat while doing chores, cooking, walking the dog, etc.

If you want to know more, I found this article by Andrew Chen on why a16z invested in the company very insightful.

Twitter Threads 💰💰

Twitter was all about GameStop and the short squeeze that cause chaos and euphoria all over the investing world.

I found what happened to be incredible. Wall Street investors have been used to own the investing game for a long while, but the Internet shows us that things can be different. Here are two great threads that explain and summarize what happened:

  • Chamath Palihapitiya explains in 15 tweets what happened. It is a great read because he describes in simple words how "shorts" in the stock market work.

  • This thread tells the story behind "u/DeepFuckingValue," a retail investor that put all his money on GameStop last year because he thought it was undervalued and helped create the short squeeze that cost more than 20 billion to big hedge funds.

Unintended Consequences 🤷‍♂️

I've talked before about the many unintended consequences (positive and negative) that the COVID-19 pandemic has and will cause in the future. This is both interesting and frightening because new things keep popping up that we won't be able to account them all for years to come.

The most recent example is about airline pilots. As reported by the LA Times, most airline pilots have been flying less because there's been less air travel during the pandemic. While this might be a net-positive for climate change—fewer flights = fewer fossil fuels burned—it is bad for travelers and the pilots.

Like athletes who have been struggling with motivation and training, in a year without many competitions, pilots are rusty and have been making more errors than before the pandemic.

So a couple of questions worth asking are. Is anybody keeping track of all these unintended consequences? Once it is over, and everything accounted for, will humanity be better (because of all the lessons learned) or worse?

Perhaps, Morgan Housel put it best, we have no idea what happens next.

Nerd Corner 🙌

I need your help!

I've been working on refining this newsletter's value proposition and just wrote a small blurb. I'd love to know your thoughts on it. Do you think that's what these emails are about? Is it interesting?

Before you go 😎

What’s the most interesting article you read last week? Anything is fair game. Just hit reply!

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I’m trying to make this one of your must-read emails each week!

Until next week!

Alberto