Dept of the near future
📈 Diverse VCs make more money according to the data, say Paul Gompers and Silpa Kovvali. “VC firms that increased their proportion of female partner hires by 10% saw, on average, a 1.5% spike in overall fund returns each year and had 9.7% more profitable exits”.
🔗 Tim Berners-Lee is “devastated” by how the world-wide-web has evolved, dominated by a few corporations. His new project? To re-decentralize the web and “give people privacy and [...] control of their data”. (See also, The Economist asks "what if people were paid for their data?" Good question to ask but a complicated issue because their are many cases where our data can form part of a public good, and be more valuable for that than by private exploitation by us or an intermediary, like Facebook.)
😡 All-time heat records are broken right across the planet from Northern Siberia to the Middle East.
🏭_ EV_ reader, Siraj Khaliq, outlines his investment hypothesis for the future of factories.
Dept of cities
The value of cities: According to the Brookings Institute, the 300 largest metros in the world accounted for 36% of global employment growth and 67% of GDP growth between 2014-2016, but only 21.9% of population growth. Not only are they the engine of growth, but of disproportionate growth [...] many large cities are pulling away from their surrounding areas.” (Full PDF here.) Reminder, in many recent votes in Turkey, Austria, the US and the UK, there has been a stark division between rural voters (supporting populists) and urban voters.
Cities are becoming increasingly important in policy-making, not least because they are attracting the economic growth described above. This economic growth is being driven and attracting innovation earlier. And so cities are also bumping up against regulatory tensions and other second-order effects of new technologies with regularity.
Seattle is experimenting with increasing labour protections. This includes pushing for a higher minimum wage and allowing workers to better control their work schedules. Interesting longer read.
New York looks at regulating Uber and other ride-hail companies to ensure minimum earning levels for drivers to cap the number of cars.
☕️ British town, Brighton, is the most hipster city in the world, based on an index which considers per-capita tattoo parlours, vegan restaurants and vintage boutiques, inter alia.
The city of Shanghai plans to raise $15bn of funding to support AI businesses.
I love Citymapper: what an innovative firm. They’re updating their multimodal city-navigation app to support many different bike sharing networks, coining the term “floating transport” where “users will drive operators.”
How Apple is using privacy-safe iPhone location data to reinvent their maps from the ground up.
Short morsels to appear smart at dinner parties
Doug Rushkoff: For the ultra-rich “the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape.” An excoriating take on wealth and technology.
😅 The shame of a low Uber rating. (FT, registration required.)
Contrary to many narratives, income mobility appears to be increasing in the UK.
Physicists in China broke a new record by achieving quantum entanglement with 18 qubits, surpassing the previous record of 10.
Fascinating profile of Chinese retailer, JD.com.
🎲 Reminiscent of Luke Rhinehart’s “Dice Man”,an engineer programmes a bot to make random decisions for him.
In praise of plasma, the most common state of matter in the universe.
A massive thank you to all of you who connected with me to help me with the China question. I’m still wading through the replies that I got, and I promise to be in touch in the next few weeks.
On Tuesday evening, I am speaking in a debate called **Good Work in the Machine Age **at the Royal Society of Arts in London. The event will be streamed, so so tune in if it appeals. It will finish before the France-Belgium semi-final starts, I am assured.
Hasta la Vista,
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