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Bitcoin and bananas
Written by Harriet Moll, creative director
8 August 2020
August is traditionally silly season for the newspapers because no business is getting done in parliament, everyone is taking time off and it’s mostly too hot to think. And so we tolerate the commonplace stories of talking dogs and religious faces in bread. But frankly people, it feels like we are trapped in a permanent silly season – many of the stories I read have been either bananas or terrifying, or both at the same time, since early March.
This week I have tried to keep it real for you and focus only on stories I know to be true, for example: friendship is all that matters, family dynasties are fascinating (in this case the Murdochs and the Kennedys) and Bitcoin is going to hit $20k by year end. Surely we can all agree on that?
Have a great weekend.
This interview on The Tim Ferriss Show with the Forrest Gump of Bitcoin, Mike Novogratz (and brother of author and Acumen founder Jacqueline Novogratz), breaks down why hedge funds are finally getting involved in Bitcoin and a lot more besides in a wide-ranging chat on the podcast I turn to the most.
And for those who want to get involved in Bitcoin as private investors, look no further than Zumo, a client of Charlotte Street Partners, based in Edinburgh, who’ve created the first UK-based app that makes buying, selling, storing and sending Bitcoin as simple as any other online purchase. Download from the App Store.
Listen to The Tim Ferriss Show – the Bitcoin conversation starts at minute 35:05.
The pages of a friendship
This year’s Booker long list includes more debut novelists than established writers and more women writers than men. Neither of these facts is necessarily good or bad of course, but the list is brimming with stories so diverse and original it’s hard to know where to begin – I want to read them all. I will start with Brandon Taylor’s Real Life, a story that follows a black biochemist in a mostly white graduate programme, and follow that with C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills is Gold. Mostly, I will start with these two because the story of their friendship completely beguiled me when I saw their tweets last week. They wrote their books sitting next to each other for endless hours and now they have hit the Booker long-list together. Emoji with the hearts for eyes.
Read in The Guardian.
Peer pressure made me buy it
I have spent far too much money online since March. Now I learn it’s not all my fault. ‘Dark patterns’ are inserted into my experience by shopping sites to nudge me into buying, or in the case of Amazon in April, to stop me buying by telling me the shipping would take 3 DAYS instead of the usual 12 hours…. read this to make sure you know how shopping sites are manipulating you too.
Read at Wired.
The Murdoch dynasty
Here we take a long look at the influence of Rupert Murdoch on the UK and on the world with this three-part BBC series. When you see his business interests and relationships laid out with all the old footage of Blair and Cameron et al, it all seems completely familiar and nostalgic almost. And yet now his influence is arguably being felt more in the US than anywhere else through the power of Fox News. A fascinating watch.
Listen on BBC iPlayer.
Coronavirus magical thinking
What are the chances of college kids wearing masks in their dorm rooms, keeping a physical distance from their friends and washing their hands all the time when they return to campuses across the US in a few weeks’ time? This article explains why all the intricate health and safety plans put in place by these institutions are likely to amount to no more than magical thinking in practice.
Read at Sapiens.
It’s all a conspiracy
The allure of conspiracy theories is not completely alien to me (no pun intended). Who doesn’t want a short cut answer to the chaos and the inexplicable cruelty of everyday human behaviour in the form of a story that may or may not contain some Martian overlords and/or the Rothschilds? But honestly there are now so many conspiracy theories that we are all liable to being swept up or at least confused by them. And none more so than the anti-vax crusade led by none other than Robert Kennedy Jr.
Read on Tortoise.
This week’s devastating explosion in Beirut has injured thousands and left nearly 200 dead. International aid is urgently needed to help this horrific crisis. Read this first-person article and feel inspired by the kindness of strangers and then, if you can, donate by clicking the link below.
Read in the New York Times and donate via the Lebanese Red Cross.
Michael O’Sullivan’s book The Levelling contains a road map out of rising global debt, central bank dependency and climate destruction, towards a new, people-centric world order.
I’ll be talking to him on Thursday, 20 August to discuss his book and the future of globalisation. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend. I do hope you’ll join me.
Buy it from Waterstones.