Thinking Bigly is back! 28 Apr, 5pm UK (Zoom) as part of The Local Authority Responsible Investment Seminar. Message me for an invite to the performance, if you'd like to see it.
Bigly is an anti-TED talk theatre performance. Think you know the colour pink, koalas and interest rates? Find out why second order thinking plus cultural changes should give you hope on climate. The world is better than in the past; the world is still awful. We can do better.
➳Thinking Bigly is back! 28 Apr, 5pm UK (Zoom) Msg me.
➳Mya-Rose Craig aka Birdgirl podcast chat with me
➳Mudlarking on the Thames, finding treasure.
➳Felt art, chemist exhibition
➳Ezra Klein podcasts: Anxiety also cognitive development
➳Nuclear Power, what’s stopping it.
➳Vaccines global shortfall, IP challenge and the surge in India
➳Amazon shareholder letter arguing for its stakeholder value
➳£10k-£30k grants and support available for social enterprises helping financial resilience
In my occasional podcast chat series I talk with birdgirl aka Mya-Rose Craig. We chat about her love of birding touching upon birdsong and the mysteries of migration. We discuss accessibility to nature, activism what in birding terms is a “lifer” and how to “pish”.
Pishing…. “Oh, no, it's a real thing, but I can't even do it very well. So this is going to be very embarrassing, but pishing is basically, birders making a funny sound that makes the birds around you go, what's that funny sound. So they hop out into the open to try and figure out what that funny sound is. And weirdly there are not many sounds that do this, pishing is one of the few that pretty much always works, at least with lots of birds. And this is going to be very embarrassing now, but it's basically like a, pshh,pshh,pshh like over and over louder and quieter. And for some reason that always gets the birds out.” Transcript and video here. And podcast version
Debate about nuclear power and climate has increased recently in a little corner of social media. Partly this is due to the EU taxonomy and on going climate debates and partly a Jason Crawford review highlighted by Ezra Klein pushed the nuclear thinkers to make some comments. I found this tweet thread of note suggesting regulation is only one component as a barrier - but also hinting that the small nuclear technology (eg supported by Bill Gates) might get round some of the challenges.
We went mudlarking on the Thames recently and found treasure. A 1960 half-penny and a 1700s/1800s smoking pipe.
There is a strange connection hunting for the lost detritus of decades and centuries ago. A pipe, a coin and a pot all lost to the river many years ago and now found in the squelching mud of the river Thames.
There is a wondrous sensation stepping on the shore and in the mud. While the hunt is mostly for man-made objects there are many fascinating objects of nature also along the squelching path. There is a mind cleansing feeling coming so close to the river water and the ducks and the shells and the stones and the mud these earth made objects right in the centre of the city. (blog here)
There’s a big debate happening over vaccine intellectual property. I thought this blog was a good summary of the pros/cons with a somewhat novel idea of buying out the vaccine technology/patents. There’s still a big challenge on tech transfer as aside from the patent concerns.
I don’t actually listen much to podcasts. I read transcripts as I find it much faster. But I’ve noted some recent Ezra Klein ones as being quite thought provoking on anxiety and cognitive development. You can find his series here. He's always been thoughtful when at Vox but I think the move to NYT has given him an even bigger audience.
Anoushka went to see a whole pharmacy made out of FELT ! She reports: "This immersive felt pharmacy blew me away with its attention to detail, sheer scale and sense of humour. I *loved* it.
From the old-timey poison bottles in the window, to soap, nappies, your everyday household remedies and OTC medication, it was better stocked than my local pharmacy. Everything is for sale and patrons are served by a white-coated Lucy Sparrow (see next post for my purchases). If they have any slots left, go and see it!" Exhibition here.
Jeff Bezos writes an intriguing shareholder letter this year. He argues for various aspects of stakeholder value eg customers (see below), employees. He also makes a big push on the environment. Believe him or not - it's a fascinating argument.
"...we save customers time.
Customers complete 28% of purchases on Amazon in three minutes or less, and half of all purchases are finished in less than 15 minutes. Compare that to the typical shopping trip to a physical store – driving, parking, searching store aisles, waiting in the checkout line, finding your car, and driving home. Research suggests the typical physical store trip takes about an hour. If you assume that a typical Amazon purchase takes 15 minutes and that it saves you a couple of trips to a physical store a week, that’s more than 75 hours a year saved. That’s important. We’re all busy in the early 21st century.
So that we can get a dollar figure, let’s value the time savings at $10 per hour, which is conservative. Seventy-five hours multiplied by $10 an hour and subtracting the cost of Prime gives you value creation for each Prime member of about $630. We have 200 million Prime members, for a total in 2020 of $126 billion of value creation...."
To further accelerate investment in new technologies needed to build a zero-carbon economy, we introduced the Climate Pledge Fund last June. The investment program started with $2 billion to invest in visionary companies that aim to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy. Amazon has already announced investments in CarbonCure Technologies, Pachama, Redwood Materials, Rivian, Turntide Technologies, ZeroAvia, and Infinium – and these are just some of the innovative companies we hope will build the zero-carbon economy of the future.
I have also personally allocated $10 billion to provide grants to help catalyze the systemic change we will need in the coming decade. We’ll be supporting leading scientists, activists, NGOs, environmental justice organizations, and others working to fight climate change and protect the natural world..." Letter here.
I chat with Rebecca Giggs on her new book looking at humanity through the lens of the whale. There is video and a transcript. Self-recommending.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to forward this letter to anyone you think might be interested in signing up.
Archive and repeat words below. Stay well, Stay safe, Ben