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Interesting articles I recently read: Mosquitoes, Palantir, F1 Racing, Trolls, and the Amazon (rainforest)

How Mosquitoes Helped Shape the Course of Human History [Smithsonian Mag]
We don’t know yet if mosquitoes have an absolute purpose ecologically. The males do drink nectar and pollinate plants, but not to the degree that other insects do, like bees. They don’t ingest waste, like some other insects do. As far as we know, they don’t serve an indispensable food source for any other animal. So no—looking at the historical impact of the mosquito, perhaps their role is a Malthusian check against uncontrolled population growth, and within the ecological balance and equilibrium of Mother Nature.
Techie Software Soldier Spy [NY Mag]
Another plus for Palantir: It didn’t crash nearly as often. Its software wasn’t necessarily any better at parsing intelligence, but Shyu could see why some soldiers, particularly infantry who didn’t have time to learn a complex program, preferred it. “I walked away convinced that Palantir is much easier to use,” she says
Engineers, not racers, are the true drivers of success in motor sport [Economist]
…it assigns drivers in the 1950s 58% of their teams’ points; today, that share is 19%. Fangio, who was a mechanic by training and won titles using cars from four different firms, was known as “the master”. The masters of modern F1 are engineers who sit behind laptops, not steering wheels
Internet trolls may not be the type of people you think they are, according to Japanese research [SoraNews]
…while 30 percent of replies were from unemployed people, students or housewives, 31 percent of replies were from people in managerial positions
people who write hateful comments feel like it’s their duty, and by letting their feelings known they are dealing out justice.
This is my message to the western world – your civilisation is killing life on Earth [The Guardian]
It took us thousands of years to get to know the Amazon rainforest. To understand her ways, her secrets, to learn how to survive and thrive with her. And for my people, the Waorani, we have only known you for 70 years (we were “contacted” in the 1950s by American evangelical missionaries), but we are fast learners, and you are not as complex as the rainforest
And the obligatory crypto recommendation:
“Eth can do everything that Bitcoin can do, plus a lot more” [Twitter thread]
2. BTC has simple goals: 1. >21 million coins ever, 2. max censorship resistance, 3. there is no three. Being willing to accept all tradeoffs in service of those goals means we assume BTC is likely to be the best at those 2, even if or even *because* it sucks at other things.

Paul Tudor Jones: A magical moment in a great documentary
Saturday November 21, 2020

The documentary is a fascinating and brief slice in the work life of Paul Tudor Jones, one of America’s all time great macro traders. There’s this one moment that really stands out to me, where Jones, after losing about 5% of his portfolio in a single terrible trading day (at that time, ~$6M dollars), says […]

Honduras 2020. Nissan holds 21.4% share in a market steadily down 24.8%
Monday November 16, 2020

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