Grey Swan Guild — News Wrap Edition: #15 of Vol. 1
These are a series of stories and headlines we are tracking in the
Grey Swan Guild’s Global League of Sensemakers Newsroom.
Here is The Great, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of what we observed this week.
Tomorrow is May Day 2021…: Although an ancient festival to celebrate sprint, it is widely celebrated in Europe and also recognized as international workers day. In the year 2021, are workers better off; did the pandemic’s acceleration of digital journeys only benefit white-collar workers? Time will tell. 2021 Is a beginning, not an end.
Let’s dance around the May Poles, find our origins and look at more successful vaccines, finding the lost and scoring google earth points. We also have our very first wrap in mandarin as we cross the globe in a reflection on NFTs. But it is not all salt and vinegar chips and dancing at raves. There are concerning supply chain issues with beef, beer and chips, and a full-blown health crisis in Delhi and other zones in India, that the world has to help.
We didn’t start the fire. We did create more events on demand of the sensemakers who attended our Annual Recollection Event and 1 year Anniversary, The Day of the Swan. We have added almost a dozen new events which you can check out on our new handy, dandy, ics friendly calendar. You can register for events here at: www.greyswanguild.org/calendar.
Meanwhile. Let’s Wrap.
The Great 😇
1.We dig this. Science offers new insights into the origins of indigenous people in the Americas. In the past, stone tools at archaeological sites told a story about how ancient people migrated from Siberia to North America. We no longer use “rocks and sticks” to dig into our species’ history.
Molecular biology advanced the story, and new methods for analyzing genomes continue to add to the narrative. The combination of genetic analysis and new archaeological findings continues to enrich the picture that started with ancient oral histories. If we can find origins, can we not find futures?
Together the ancient and contemporary genomes paint a far more detailed picture of the origins of the First Peoples than the one sketched by the mitochondrial and Y chromosome evidence, showing where different branches of their ancestors came from and when they met up.
Source — Scientific American
2.Blinded by the light. Vaccine to combat a disease that killed four times more people in Africa than COVID enters Phase III trials. The malaria vaccine — developed by British researchers is 77% effective and the first malaria vaccine to surpass the World Health Organizations 75% efficacy goal.
The first scientific report for a malaria vaccine was published in 1910, the first trial of a malaria vaccine took place in the 1940s, and 140 malaria vaccines have gone into clinical testing.
Normally, a Phase III trial take three to five years. COVID showed the world that this timeline can happen significantly faster. In three years, 300,000 children will die from malaria in Africa. It’s time to let scientific advances save more lives. Will we ever get tired of the new speed of modern genetic and disease science? Humanity is at an inflection point of no longer accepting the rate of death from diseases that have been with us for thousands of years. When we hear the call to return turn to the past and accept “natural herd immunity”, we don’t hear progress. Source — The Irish Times
3. In the words of Han Solo, “Don’t get cocky kid.” With more data collected, we now know that vaccines not only keep people from getting sick but also keep the virus from spreading. People that are vaccinated don’t need to quarantine if exposed unless they experience symptoms.
Large scale science and post testing is happening in the UK, the US and Israel and indicates that broad inoculation coverage is correlated with flattening and declining case counts. It will take more science to move from correlation to causation, but the results are encouraging.
For the world, these advances need to progress to begin to re-open common travel practices. Just because a country is successful, external travel is a risk from hot zones in other countries. Viruses don’t respect borders. People transmit the disease.
The numbers appeared more promising for the prevention of symptomatic infections. The odds of testing positive and self-reporting symptoms were reduced by 90% after the second dose. And vaccination was just as effective in the vulnerable over-75 age group as it was in younger people.
People can’t let their guard down yet. Experts say it isn’t necessary for people that are vaccinated to wear a mask outdoors. It’s a different story indoors. The odds of indoor transmission are much higher and people should continue to wear a mask as a result. Source — CNN
The Good 😀
1.Buddy can you spare a Jab? U.S. agrees to share 60 million vaccine doses. The AstraZeneca vaccine is not yet approved for distribution in the U.S. and a stable supply from three other providers has the U.S. feeling generous. When the richest countries in the work reach out to help others outside their border, the world becomes a safer place.
The U.S. will begin sharing its entire stock of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines with the world once it clears federal safety reviews, the White House said Monday, with as many as 60 million doses expected to be available for export in the coming months.
In addition, U.S. officials plan to make raw materials needed for vaccine production available to India. This is a welcome development as a devastating wave of cases has hit India over the last few weeks. Source — AP News
2.Where’s Waldo Seriously? Sleuth uses Google Earth to find lost hiker. Amateurs are often overlooked because — well — they aren’t professionals. However, they have a long history of saving the day. Amateur spies in WWII helped solve the secrets of Germany’s Enigma machine.
Ben Kuo’s hobby involves looking at pictures and then finding their exact location.
…he has another unusual pastime: “I have always loved looking for where photos are taken,” Kuo said. He frequently tries to identify where movie scenes, television shows or commercials were filmed. He’s often successful.
Using a grainy photo and Google Earth, Kuo was able to find a stranded hiker. His starting point was a picture of legs hanging over a rocky outcropping. There were no other identifiable artefacts. It didn’t matter. After Kou shared his findings with the Search and Rescue, the hiker was found soon after. Source — Washington Post
3.Expect more zooming and less flying as we recover. The lasting impacts from the pandemic won’t be fully understood for years. However, early signs are that people aren’t going to stop using new communication tools. This isn’t great news for airlines because it means less business travel and less business for airlines by extension.
…we do expect our previous use of air travel to decrease as a result of the much greater experience and capability we have developed over the past year with other forms of communication… particularly video conferencing,”
The news isn’t all bad for airlines. Qantas is seeing 65% of pre-COVID travel. Jamie Pherous, a corporate travel executive in Australia, said bookings are back to 85% as of last week. This is amazing news for all of us. Travel will still be a thing, and people can be more intentional about the choice to travel. Source — MSN.com
The Bad 😬
1.Australian and Japanese companies want to shoot space junk with lasers. Don’t worry, the lasers aren’t worn by sharks. There are 3,300 functioning satellites orbiting the earth and a plethora of smaller junk. Other companies are considering harpoons and nets to manage the junk.
…there are currently 128 million pieces of debris smaller than 1cm, about 900,000 pieces of debris 1–10cm in length, and around 34,000 pieces larger than 10cm in Earth orbit.
To further complicate things, different debris belongs to different countries. It isn’t okay to shoot things out of the sky. Experts are working on legal and ethical solutions to address the problems — geopolitical, environmental, national. They need to figure it out before aliens start hiding in all that junk. Source — Space.com
2.Supply chain pint problems. First, it was chips and now it’s suds. What’s next, bangers and mash? We are sure this is just a glitch and the industry will hop to it for the free pours coming.
Pubs in England are running out of draught beers after opening two weeks ago. Even more remarkable, only 40% of pubs are open.
But the nation is stoic and people have made do with the selection of beers still available and the Queen is making more George Cross medals in response…
All must remain vigilant in these trying times. Source — Indy100
3.Where’s the beef? To help the planet, digital food magazine Epicurious will not print recipes that feature beef. When we first heard, “where’s the beef?” in the Wendy’s commercial, we laughed. However, beef’s impact on the environment is no joke.
These include the considerable quantity of corn and soybeans that is grown using pesticides and fertilizer to feed cattle; the amount of climate-polluting methane that cows release into the atmosphere; high rates of deforestation to make space for cows and the amount of water that is alternately needed to raise cattle and polluted as a result of runoff from their manure.
The choice not to publish these recipes is not a magic formula that will solve global warming. Government policy is a tool. Personal choice is another key to get better. Editors at Epicurious say corporate policy is their way of helping to change the conversation. We must consider if a decision like this promotes meaningful change, or draws attention away from more substantive policy decisions. Source — NPR.org
The Ugly 😱
1.Overdose deaths increased by a record 55% between 2019 and 2020. The number of pandemic deaths is bad enough. As life returns to normal, and people start to stop living in fear, a huge number of people will face long-term consequences from increases in addiction.
According to preliminary figures released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, synthetic opioid fatalities rose by an unprecedented 55% during the twelve months ending in September 2020.
People turned to drugs and alcohol as a means to cope with pandemic impacts. We all need relief or healthy stress management. In the absence of social interactions and other normal coping mechanisms, people found solace in substances. Unfortunately, there’s no vaccine to fix addiction. Society will need all the help it can get to work through these type of long-term problems that are not fully understood. Source — NPR.org
2.Speed at which glaciers melt doubles in twenty years. Glacial ice melt is a major contributor to sea-level rise (47% higher than that of melting ice sheets). A new study using data from NASA satellites offers a more precise understanding of the exact pace of glacial damage.
The authors found the pace of glacier thinning outside of Greenland and Antarctica picking up from about a third of a metre per year in 2000 to two-thirds in 2019. This is equivalent to an acceleration of 62Gt per year each decade.
Change is happening faster than ever before. If people don’t make adjustments to humanity’s effect on the world, we might get to enjoy rock skiing in the Alps. Sounds fun right? Source — The Guardian
3. Sometimes people say, “yeah, but who’s counting?” As India faces, a catastrophic second wave, and it’s like infections and deaths are undercounted. Officially, there are 350,000 new cases daily and 2,800 deaths. The numbers are increasing. Unofficially, deaths may be eight times higher than the official count. Prime Minister Narenda Modi may not be treating the situation seriously — holding large public rallies.
Strict guidance on what qualifies as a COVID death; limited testing capacity; lack of access to I.C.U. beds and limits oxygen all play into the crisis. Even though the counts are off, other indicators like excess deaths offer clues.
I think the one indicator that says a lot is hospitalizations. The fact that those are up across every big city and in every part of the country where we have information indicates that, even if you are not able to quantify the extent of underreporting, health systems are overwhelmed. All of the small factors that, added up, tell us about underreporting are clear.
What’s next? A good start is increased access to oxygen, and better transparency from government organizations. Improve vaccine distribution by reducing costs and making it more widely availably. Steps by other countries to make raw materials for vaccine production available won’t hurt either. The fact that huge state governments still aren’t taking things as seriously as they should is ugly. Source — The New Yorker
Special Wrap — Making Sense of NFT with the Chinese Audience.
This is a new article from a fellow Swan, Jennifer He, covering the emergence of nonfungible tokens and how they might impact the world. It is an introduction to the idea of NFT’s, where they come from, how they got here and how they may be used in the future. There is lots to make sense of here. Is it just a trend or will NFT’ define part of the future of valuing assets. The full article was published on Weixin (WeChat). She continues to explore the connection of commerce and virtual forms as they are embraced.
Original Jennifer He VOYO 运营号 3 days ago
近一年来，NFT（ None Fungible Token，不可替代的代币）的新闻不断跃入大众视野。上个月《纽约时报》科技版专栏作家Kevin Roose 把自己的专栏文章转化成数码图片放在网上以NFT的形式拍卖，最终赢家花了350以太币 = 56万美元成交。这是我在网上查到的最终成交信息：https://foundation.app/kevinroose/the-new-york-times-x-nft-13129 （350以太币现时$923,384.00）。自从3月下旬这幅数码图片成交以来，以太币发生了波动，按照最新的汇率，真的有人为他的专栏图片支付了90多万美元。
NFT， 英文全名None Fungible Token， 不可替代的代币。
NFT的故事得从加密货币 （cryptocurrency）讲起， 特别是比特币（bitcoin）。2008年金融危机期间， 美联储为了拯救银行，印发了大量货币，试图稳定经济。期间，有一篇神秘的论文出现在一个密码学电子邮件列表服务器上，是由一个自称中本聪（Satoshi Nakamoto）的人写的，文章提出了一种新的数字货币形式，叫做比特币，为比特币提供基础的技术就是区块链。…. more / source — Weixin
Meme of the Week — The announcer's reaction to Thug Rose in UFC 238.
Thug Rose won the UFC last weekend. Joe Rogan’s reaction to Thug Rose’s victory — priceless.
Chart of the Week:
We call this — The Da F*ck Curve or the Pandemic Checkmark
Term of the Week
Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia — The extremely rare condition that describes blood clots that can cause strokes. It has been associated with the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines.
“Thrombotic” (throm-BOT-ik) refers to the blood clots that form.
“Thrombocytopenic” (throm-bo-cy-toe-PEE-nick) means the blood has a lower than normal number of platelets.
Photo of the Week: Latest software for self-driving Tesla
It looks like a video game but Elon Musk says the next version of Tesla’s self-driving software update ‘will blow your mind.’ ( Ed. We find it slightly disturbing when Master Elon uses the verb “blow-your-mind”). Source — Electrek.co
Video of the Week
Here doggy doggy. These security robots will proliferate because they will save lives. It may be too soon in a civilian setting but these Boston Robotics Digidogs will roll out faster in military contexts. Technology is neutral when we control it. The NYPD signed a contract with Boston Dynamics for a robot police dog named, ‘DigiDog’. They decided it was time for the dog to find a better home two months before the contract was up. Although everyone’s shoes were safe from slobber, low-income communities didn’t heel to it.
That’s the Wrap! What’s Your Idea?
See you next week for Edition #16, it, May, it’s spring and our thought will turn to nature, love and learning, or, perhaps other things that are emerging along with the rock-star GDP in countries with effective vaccine programs.
The GSG Medium is The Message
Visit our Medium channel every Friday for a weekly wrap on the world’s biggest challenges and other fresh articles and points of view The Guild is sharing. Please drop by our Grey Swan Guild website (greyswanguild.org) for more publications and articles about how we make sense of the world ongoing and also the raft of possibilities to participate as a Sensemaker.
Grey Swan Guild — Making Sense of What’s Next
Every 2nd and last Wednesday of every month we onboard new members with the co-founders of the guild.
We call these sessions Regattas and Bank & Wedge sessions. Why don’t you join us and learn more about becoming a member of our movement? This March & April represented our biggest growth phase ever in the Guild so come and ride our wave alongside our 2nd thousand of members who are flocking in.
Our mission is to Make Sense of the World’s Biggest Challenges — curating and creating knowledge through observation, informed futurism, sensemaking and analysis. Our proposition is to inspire the world to think differently through Sensemaking intelligence, The Foundry learning and The Leader’s Alliance business activation realms — it’s the Grey Swan Guild Way 🦢