Week of January 4, 2021
Our weekly outlook on culture, ingenuity, and markets.
Christmas Season, Happy New Year, Let’s Put Covid Behind Us!
Stuff I read that gets stuck in my head
Charlie Brown: Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?
Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
[moves toward the center of the stage]
Linus Van Pelt: Lights, please.
[a spotlight shines on Linus]
Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not:"
[Linus drops his security blanket on purpose]
Linus Van Pelt: "for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
Linus Van Pelt: [Linus picks up his blanket and walks back towards Charlie Brown] That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown..Shultz, C., 1965. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Human Tribe & Ingenuity
People working better together and inspiring each other
Apple has been kicking around the idea for making a car for years now. Whether they produce their own vehicle, or partner with someone like Tesla, the bigger news is a new battery design that would make batteries cheaper and increase vehicle range. It is my belief that the current 200-400 mile range of electric vehicles is not enough range for most Americans. We would like to see a vehicle that can travel a minimum of eight hours without a re-charge. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-autos-exclusive/exclusive-apple-targets-car-production-by-2024-and-eyes-next-level-battery-technology-sources-idUSKBN28V2PY
Black Swans & Other Market Tidbits
What is on the horizon that could trip us up, or lead us up
Big Tech and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. In 1996, in order to stimulate the growth of the internet, President Clinton signed into law Section 230 which reads, “No provider of user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher of speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” This essentially created an open forum on the internet where anything could be published on a website without fear of defamation suits. Trump has threatened removal of Section 230 because he is angry that big tech firms are censoring. Biden has threatened removal because he is angry that big tech firms are not censoring enough. Should these companies be in charge of censoring content? With the amount of content being downloaded daily, artificial intelligence is the only way to monitor content. Do we want machines determining what you can and cannot consume? The preservation of Section 230 is important to the free flow of information. Obviously, there is content that is so morally reprehensible that it should not be broadcast. Congress would be better off defining those areas and legislate around dangerous content.