Iran, Saving the Internet, Walmart, Elon Musk and Hong Kong: The Week’s Most Interesting

Hi,
Since never before in our times was economic survival so intertwined with human survival, economies opening everywhere and record jumps in coronavirus cases is very similar to the Protogoras’s Paradox (https://puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/35296/protagorass-paradox-an-unsolved-court-case). I will leave it up to your imagination as to how they relate to our times, but trust me the debate has just started. There are a bunch of articles online with how it connects to COVID, but take a crack at it first before reading the other versions. This week we saw a cyclone, we saw a football league starting without any audience, usual Trump and Boris Johnson activities (denial, affairs, economic follies) and we saw a Canadian company rolling out a drone that can plant a billion trees by 2028. Do read about them as they couldn’t make the cut for this weeks articles.
That last point is important because as the world was shut down, global emissions should have come down significantly and climate change should have shown signs of reversal. In layman terms you should be able to see far away mountains ! But sadly the data is out and emissions went down by only 17% as compared to a year ago. Sadly the war to rebuild the ecosystem is not as simple as destroying it.


This week’s articles cover the globe and its varieties, A strongman from Iran, a hacker from Britain, a beast from America, a tech genius from South Africa and the struggle against China for Freedom. The last two weeks covered wide ranges of the pandemic so this week, we move completely away from COVID to some other issues. But the other thread connecting today’s articles is the grey in them. All of these articles, leave a sense of uncertainty. Will Iran change, is hacking ethically correct, will Walmart actually survive the Amazon challenge and do old stories of heroism have the power to stand China’s reality. 


1. Starting off, it is an offbeat piece, but it gives you introduction to a country which is always seen through someone else’s lenses. Our understanding of a country cannot simply be from Donald Trump’s tweets. Iran has a rich history while it’s not the happiest one, this article not only talks about recent activities, but takes you deep into history to understand the formation of the country. For anyone interested beyond this, there are some beautiful articles around Iran, would be happy to share.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/05/25/the-twilight-of-the-iranian-revolution#intcid=recommendations_default-popular_e9569a75-d4c8-47b2-a821-f34350196c93_popular4-1

2. In my second  article for the week, I introduce you to the hacker who saved the internet (literally). An extremely long article, but by far an absolute gem of a piece. It reads like a short story, and essentially introduces you to the world of cybertech, the figures in the ecosystem and quite emphatically proves that probably cyber crime doesn’t pay that much. For those not interested in the field, I would still request you to read it, for a short introduction to the field or for just to understand the frailties of youth.

https://www.wired.com/story/confessions-marcus-hutchins-hacker-who-saved-the-internet/?itm_campaign=BottomRelatedStories_Sections_1&itm_content=footer-recirc

3. While the last week’s article had enough to say on Amazon’s resounding success and unbelievable future, the pandemic was supposed to finish off the brick and mortar model. Surprisingly today Avenue Supermarkets posted a 42% YoY profit jump and surprised quite a lot of people. This week seemed a good time to look into what Walmarts been upto and how the pandemic turned out for them.

https://www.economist.com/business/2020/05/23/walmart-ekes-out-an-edge-in-groceries-during-the-pandemic

4. On May 27th, Elon Musk would become the first person to make space travel a private venture. It would be a significant win to put 2 men actually in space. What is weird is that SpaceX was built on the premise of a disaster on earth and over-crowding creating the necessity to colonise Mars in the future? Compare that to Musk’s tweets about coronavirus being stupid and you realise that probably geniuses do not worry about consistency in communication. All said and done, another giant leap for mankind. This article also profiles Musk and his journey from South Africa to Space. (as a separate note if you don’t like Musk, The Atlantic wrote an article on how the image of Elon Musk is cracking. Maybe, if you would prefer that)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-05-22/elon-musk-speaks-frankly-on-coronavirus-spacex-and-rage-tweets

5. No one can really stand up to China, no one really has with much success. Taiwan comes close. But if history books are not written by China, then the struggle of Hong Kong and its youth and elderly alike shall remain a story that will survive the test of time. This week China put forward the national security law to crush the campaign in Hong Kong. The last article does not really have an opinion but rather just what the law covers from a 100+ year newspaper based out of Hong Kong. If you haven’t read about the struggle of Hong Kong, do read it. It would be one of the most important stories of our time.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3085738/what-does-beijings-new-national-security-law-hong-kong

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