I’m Azeem Azhar. I convene Exponential View to help us understand how our societies and political economy will change under the force of rapidly accelerating technologies.
It’s my birthday today! 🎂 To celebrate, I’m offering a special gift: a 27% discount on annual premium membership to EV. Expires on 29 September.
This week, I asked members: What is the best way for us to relate to, and seek accountability from, superstar companies? As usual, they provided some incredibly thoughtful perspectives.
The near future
😎 EV reader Christopher Mims, on why Huang’s Law, named after Nvidia’s CEO, is the new Moore’s Law. He explains why Nvidia acquired the British semiconductor and software design company, Arm Holdings. I missed this last week, but it’s worth reading if you haven’t already:
Uses of mobile AI are multiplying, in phones and smart devices ranging from dishwashers to door locks to lightbulbs, as well as the millions of sensors making their way to cities, factories and industrial facilities. And chip designer Arm Holdings—whose patents Apple, among many tech companies large and small, licenses for its iPhone chips—is at the center of this revolution.
💨 As China consolidates its control over supply chains for electric transportation, the US is facing a “withering of its automobile industry” and the loss of millions of jobs in this sector. In 2019, China produced 72% of the world’s lithium batteries. Meanwhile, Beijing vows to build a new industrial system, with investment directed to eight strategic areas: biotech, 5G network applications, high-end manufacturing, new energy, green technologies, smart vehicles, and digital business innovation. I’m musing whether it will be possible for Western nations to avoid strong state direction around key technologies and infrastructures.
🌫️ The legacy thinking that is obscuring our worldview. Three big legacy walls yet to fall: nation-states, incumbent energy systems and political parties. Add your thoughts in the comments (open to members only).
🌐 The US is finally coming face-to-face with the consequences of the global internet.
❄️ Snowflake is a massively hot data infrastructure company. Here’s the “before it was obvious” account of one of its investors. Good read, especially for founders.
🍃 Dept of decarbonisation: 411.17ppm | 3,532 days
Each week, I’m going to remind you of the CO2 levels in the atmosphere and the number of days until we reach the 450ppm threshold.
The latest measurement (as of September 24): 411.17ppm; September 2019: 408.5 ppm; 25 years ago: 360 ppm; 250 years ago, est: 250 ppm. Share this reminder with your community by forwarding this email or tweeting this.
💯 I published a joint report with Celine Herweijer and her team at PwC that looks into the last seven years of startup activity in climate tech. Highlights here ➡️
China wants to go carbon-neutral by 2060. How?
Short morsels to appear smart on Monday
⚠️ US job postings are 18% below the 2019 trend.
Can we divorce racist philosophers from the philosophical systems they helped create? A thoughtful read.
😮 Crows can think about what they know—a trait until now thought unique to humans and some other higher mammals. See also, fruit flies enter the matrix: scientists are using VR to study small animals’ behaviour.
TikTok’s transparency report reveals the company removed 104.5 million videos in the first half of 2020. (Mind-bending numbers in there.)
🐕 Helsinki Airport is hiring dogs to sniff for Covid-19.
Don’t forget to check out what our great readers are up to. Quite a busy week for news…
What you’re up to—notes from EV readers
Kathy Peach’s team at Nesta is offering grants of up to £30,000 for experiments that generate new knowledge about combining AI and collective intelligence to contribute to the UK’s Covid-19 recovery.
Starla Griffin discusses GDP-linked sovereign bonds on the ICMA podcast.
Arjun Malhotra’s Part 1 of a report on India’s tech sector in 2020: What is Reliance Jio’s Plan?
Meera Clark on seeking social salvation beyond our digital distractions.
Alexander Mann writes about Modern Monetary Theory as a “shared delusion”.
Emily Kasriel explains why strangers are good for us, even in Covid times.
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