Consumption Week 7

My notes from some of the media I consumed this week.

  • Vestas says it has discovered a solution that “renders epoxy-based turbine blades as circular, without the need for changing the design or composition of blade material.”
  • Once this new technology is implemented at scale, legacy blade material currently sitting in landfill, as well as blade material in active wind farms, can be disassembled and reused.
  • Sunzuan’s ingenuity lies in the use of bifacial solar modules in its design which negates the need to install the panels in a south-facing configuration [JG: in the northern hemisphere].
  • They can be used in existing fields and arable lands without sacrificing them and make it simpler to install the solar panels since no elevated platforms need to be built.


  • China currently has the entire midstream. But shipping batteries is expensive because they’re big and bulky. Therefore midstream will have to move to where the EV industry is. So: a) growth of non-Chinese companies; b) Chinese companies expanding overseas; c) Chinese cars take over the world
  • Paint that incorporates algae. Cool idea.
  • He learnt of huge lithium deposits in South America on holiday that were not being fully utilised efficiently/not known much to outsiders. Aware of a market trend (the need for lithium), he became curious, researched and learnt as much as he could, to find how he could improve the process. He asked a friend in a related industry. He contacted people in the industry, including uni professors doing research whose technology he licenced. He cold emailed lithium producers to see market size and find future customers.
  • Initially self-funded, ~$100,000 ($60k travel, $40k licencing)
  • “Why is it done this way?” “Because this it the way it’s always been done” → Opportunity.
    • Try applying existing technologies to new use cases after understanding the current process and it’s flaws
  • According to LinkedIn, he studied business and then at Singularity Uni, started own business straight out of uni, presumably made decent money (hence self-funding):
  • Similar to above: Discovered sea floor minerals exist and a potentially huge market but only option was an old, environmentally-damaging method (dredging). He developed a new method.
  • Could potentially remove the need for land-based mining until more recycling.

  • While unintelligent people are more easily misled by other people, intelligent people are more easily misled by themselves. They’re better at convincing themselves of things they want to believe rather than things that are actually true. This is why intelligent people tend to have stronger ideological biases; being better at reasoning makes them better at rationalizing.
  • For centuries, elite academic institutions like Oxford and Harvard have been training their students to win arguments but not to discern truth, and in so doing, they’ve created a class of people highly skilled at motivated reasoning. The master-debaters that emerge from these institutions go on to become tomorrow’s elites—politicians, entertainers, and intellectuals.
  • If a wokeist wishes to use the overrepresentation of white men in STEM as evidence that women and minorities are being discriminated against, then the wokeist must either ignore or explain away the fact that Asian men are also overrepresented in STEM, or that women dominate the field of psychology, or that the biggest racial disparity of all is black men comprising less than 7% of the US population but holding over 70% of dream jobs playing in the NBA.
  • Not only does intelligence in the service of wokeism lead to one-sided readings of reality, it also leads to the production of pure fiction. For instance, the common myth that black people are underrepresented in film (they’re overrepresented), the common myth that hate crimes are increasing (I [Gurwinder] debunked that here), the common myth that white people are particularly prejudiced (I [Gurwinder] debunked that here), and the common myth that rape is not about sex but power (I [Gurwinder] debunked that here).
  • There is only one thing that can motivate us to put our intelligence into the service of objective truth, and that is curiosity. Enter the curiosity zone.

  • “Short-term debt cycle”: 1) recessions that lead to 2) central banks providing a lot of credit, which creates a lot of debt that initially leads to 3) market and economic booms that lead to 4) bubbles and inflations, which lead to 5) central bankers tightening credit that leads to 6) market and economic weakening. There have been 12.5 of these since 1945.
  • “Long-term debt cycle,”: the cycle of building up debt assets and debt liabilities over long periods of time to amounts that eventually become unmanageable. This leads to a combination of big debt restructurings and big debt monetizations that produce a period of big market and economic turbulence. I believe that we are now roughly about 85% through the one that began in 1945.
  • The world as a whole [is] in what I call Stage 5 of the Big Cycle—i.e., near the brinks of financial/economic crises and big internal conflicts/wars, and in the early part of an evolving, costly climate crisis—at the same time as the world is near the brink of having amazing technological breakthroughs that will affect our daily lives. Stage 5 is the last-chance stage before going into Stage 6 which is the financial crisis and war part of the cycle. It seems to me that that will make the environment very challenging for those who are following the traditional leveraged long approach to investing in traditional areas, while it will provide great opportunities in those geographic and subject areas that are benefiting from these changes [e.g. China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia]
  • I now estimate the probability of a profoundly disruptive civil war to be about 35-40% and the probability of a profoundly disruptive international war also being about 35-40% over the next 10 years. I expect the United States and China to avoid an all-out military war.

  • With cash, when interest rates reach negative, people can withdraw cash from the bank to save it. Without it, they must spend it to avoid losing it, stimulating the economy.

  • After tax/inflation, average S&P return is 5.4% (not ~10%), so $10,000 invested with +$3000 a year would take 52.8 years to reach $1,000,000 (based on my maths at 10% it would take just ~35 years).
  • Most wealthy people, in reality: own a business (including social media scammy “get rich quick” schemes), very high salary, inheritance
  • 4/5
  • Trading time instead of output for money is a fairly modern concept, and is depressing. You can’t appear to not be working, so you have to pretend. Because of this you can’t deeply focus on something productive, such as studying something unrelated to the job you’re being paid for, or eading a book. Instead you’re limited to short, shallow consumption, such as social media, Reddit, etc. It often results in busywork or twiddling thumbs. Given we’re all going to die, wasting time in this way is an uncomfortable feeling.
  • Take opportunities, say yes - who knows where you’ll end up.
  • Running a business can be really fun! Lots of problem solving.


  • Never thought about this before, but super interesting. Worth the 2mins at 2x.


  • Love IS blind - the “mind reading” part of your brain that can tell what someone is going to do next (relating to trust and detecting cheating/lying etc), shuts down when you’re first in love.
  • There are loads of sensory signals e.g. smell so get offline ASAP.
  • Caffeine doesn’t wake you up, it blocks the tiredness receptor. It’s painkiller for tiredness. It also raises anxiety and reduces deep sleep.
  • Coffee benefits come from the antioxidants in the coffee, not the caffeine. Decaf is “better” as it doesn’t have the negatives with no loss of antioxidants.
  • Light/dark roast similar for antioxidants, finer grind has more, espresso or cold brew has more (also finer and espresso/cold brew also has more caffeine).