003: Virality of danger, automating bullshit jobs, and China's Tesla

Plus, Spotify experiments with podcasts and Wendy's gets sued

Hey! This is a newsletter about what I currently find interesting in the world.

New From Me - blog posts, projects, and updates

  1. My blog post on Pioneer is now in Pioneer’s Medium publication! Thanks, Richard!

Interesting Reads - links from around the web

  1. The US government is subsidizing farmers, but it’s still not enough. We’re probably around two years out from another recession at this point.

  2. Wendy’s is getting sued. Former employees filed a class action lawsuit against the fast food chain for collecting fingerprints that they believe are being used to track employees. 🍿

  3. Is social media making danger viral? The kiki challenge, spoonfuls of cinnamon, and now, the roundabout of death. Maybe we should all take a break from twitter.

  4. This article on bullshit jobs and this other one on programmers automating their workload go hand in hand. It should be that as technology advances, our workload should lessen because of automation, and we should have more free time to do the things that we want to do or learn. But, as it turns out, automation is creating more useless “bullshit jobs” that we don’t need, because of the political promise of getting everyone employed. When your work is boring and you can automate it, is it ethical to hide the fact you’ve only done 50 hours of ‘real’ work in three years while a computer does yours?

  5. Spotify is experimenting with podcasts. This is still in beta, but podcasters can sign up to share their podcast feeds with Spotify, and every time they upload a new episode onto their host feed, it will automatically be available on Spotify. I’m super intrigued, and hope all those iTunes-only podcasts will finally be available to the rest of us :)

  6. JD.com’s Shanghai factory might be the most automated in the world. The company currently employs 160,000 people in Asia, but wants to cut that down to 8,000 over the next decade.

  7. The medical community has a problem. A neurosurgeon known as Dr. Death was sentenced life in prison (the first case to do so!) after gravelly injuring most of his patients. He graduated from a prestigious medical program with less than 100 surgeries performed, while the requirement was at least 1000. He was allowed to operate and destroy the lives of patients for years, even after a lawsuit was filed against him, before they revoked his medical license. A true horror story.

In My Ears - podcast episodes I enjoyed

  1. [Techbuzz China] NIO - The Road Ahead for “China’s Tesla”

    China’s EV landscape is interesting. I don’t usually like to read news about an non-speaking country from the American media because it’s often incorrect and sensationalized. I found Techbuzz China a little while ago and loved this podcast episode, which details the worries of the Chinese public about EVs, NIO’s aspirations to become a luxury electric car brand, and what else is going on in China’s EV scene.

  2. [North Star Podcast] Devon Zuegel: Cities as a superpower

    Devon and David talk about two of my favorite things in this podcast: writing and cities.

Grinding Gears - new projects + teams I’m rooting for

  1. Indemnis (drones)

    Indemnis is working on a really interesting problem in the drone space around fail-safe mechanisms in case a drone malfunctions or runs out of battery. The current federal regulations require that fail-safe mechanisms for drones must pass all standards put in place before they are allowed to fly in the air over people, which explains why we don’t have drones delivering pizzas or Amazon packages yet. Their IP is really interesting, and I think they’re likely to be the leader in the drone parachute space.

The Graveyard - what shut down this week

  1. No major products shut down last week!

Tracks - song recommendations

  1. Olivia O’brien - UDK (Acoustic)

  2. Frank Sinatra - Fly Me To The Moon

  3. Leon Else - Black Car

Thank you for your time. I’d appreciate it if you would forward it to a friend :)

Lama (tweet tweet)