Around the Web 03
Russia-Ukraine crisis primer, ignorability assumptions, and romantic buildings.
1: [Russia] The Russia-Ukraine crisis is now a war. The closest I have been to war was the Ife-Modakeke war in southwestern Nigeria circa 1998. From the little I can remember, it wasn’t fun – sounds emanating from the gun, Shakabula, was commonplace. (Shakabula is an onomatopoeia, I am not sure what guns they used, probably Dane guns?) Anyways, between you and me, I know little about the history of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. But this 9-minute video was a solid primer.
Zelensky, president of Ukraine, now a wartime leader.
2: [Crypto] The Crypto/Web3 industry is growing, - a 2021 Crypto Job Report.
“Venture funding in 2021 went parabolic in the crypto sector as VCs continue to place big bets on bitcoin and crypto companies. The crypto industry received more than $30B in funding across 1,700 deals in 2021, which represents a 709% year-over-year increase in total funding.”
“With disruption comes opportunity. In 2021, thousands of the brightest minds around the world left their jobs to join the Bitcoin and crypto revolution. According to LinkedIn, Bitcoin and Crypto job postings grew 395% in 2021, representing more than 3x the growth of the broader tech industry.”
3: [Investing] Why you should be wrong more often in Investing.
“It's extraordinarily unintuitive to intentionally choose a strategy where you try to get more things wrong. You have to take riskier bets, which means a larger chance of failure, consistently. When you see "sure things" you have to look at them with a skeptical eye, and when you see options that seem like long shots, those have to seem more attractive.”
4: [Mathematical Statistics] I was stalled on a propensity score matching theorem the other day, but luckily I came across a tremendously helpful thread on the ignorability assumption (et al.) in causal inference, which was where I needed to unclog.
5: [Philosophy] Jordan Peterson sat down with Sam Harris to continue their discussion on meaning, religion, meditation, epistemology, et cetera.
6: [Philosophical Theology] A book was recently published on Thomism: ‘The Failure of Natural Theology by one Jeffery Johnson (I have not read it), but I read this review in First Things by Edward Feser.
“But Johnson sees only a dark cloud in this silver lining. He regards a resurgent Thomism as a threat to Christian belief rather than an aid to it. For the influence of Aristotle on Aquinas entails, in Johnson’s view, conclusions that are incompatible with a Christian conception of God and our knowledge of him. Or at least, they are incompatible with a Calvinist conception of these things. (Johnson seems troubled by the very idea that a pagan Greek philosopher and a medieval Catholic theologian could have influence among contemporary Protestants.)”
“…This is a curious mischaracterization of my views. In the essay from which Johnson quotes, I argue that you cannot get to theism using the methods of physics as those methods are typically understood today, which are much narrower than the methods Aristotle included as part of physics. As I go on to argue in that essay, if one does take on board Aristotle’s methods (which, these days, are classified instead as part of the philosophy of nature), then you can get to theism.”
7: [Economics] I discovered Thomas Sowell lately, during the first few months of the pandemic, in fact, and I have since then read three of his books, Basic Economics, Intellectuals and Race, and Economic Facts and Fallacies. I am currently reading a fourth: Discrimination and Disparities. So, I watched this video based on the ideas in the book. In one sentence, there is discrimination, and there are disparities; and the two things need not be the same – disparities shouldn’t imply discrimination without justification (i.e., justification other than citing the disparities itself).
8: [Urban Science] A study out of Georgia Tech shows that City design can affect romance.
“Changes in the built environment can affect the quality of personal relationships.”
“Built environment” refers not only to buildings, but also to other constructed features like sidewalks and roads, Andris said. “A forest or glacier would not be the built environment, even though it is still the environment.”
Andris believes that the personal relationship is an overlooked but promising unit of analysis for designing the built environment.
9: [Technology/History] Technological revolutions often lead to change in world power. The British rode wild on the first industrial revolution. After the second IR, the United States took over. With the fourth IR upon us, will the Chinese take over the baton? Or will the US retain it? Here is a really good talk from a postdoc at Stanford on The Rise and Fall of Great Technologies and Powers. He talked about General-purpose technologies (GTP) diffusion theory to explain potential world power transitions.
10: [Music] Two of my favorite songs from Beautiful Nubia's latest album Huruhara: Ao Dide (We will stand), recorded in a live show in Ibadan, Nigeria. The second, Orisimeta (Three types of something). I got a link from YouTube. Lovely songs. Apologies to my non-Yoruba-speaking audience, as the songs are in my native language.
11: [Movie] Mark Wahlberg’s Father Stu trailer. The movie will be released this easter. I plan to watch it.
12: [Food] A New Yorker piece about a Nigerian restaurant in Bed-Stuy, New York.
“At a new Nigerian restaurant in Bed-Stuy, Ayo Balogun makes communal dinners for twelve that might include scorching fish pepper soup, a funky stew made with fermented locust beans, and spiced grilled octopus.”