Rabbi's 🧠Deli W1 July 2020

💡Far-UVC Light 💡, Were China invests in Africa, Side Projects on your CV, Politigram

UV Light Kills The Virus 🦠

Let’s start with some Good news.

Back in March, some people were saying (or perhaps hoping) that the sun would kill the C19 virus. In general, we know the sun’s UV light is something really powerful and that dosage exposure matters. We Humans (I assume no bot is reading this) need enough of it but too much of it can lead to negative consequences like skin cancer. The reason is too much UV light damages DNA. Thus, the hypothesis is that sunlight would damage the DNA of the virus and in so doing “kill it”. I don’t really know how effective the sun is at killing the virus given the ongoing spreads of the virus in places with a lot of Sunlight (Arizona, Florida and Brazil). It might well be that infection takes place indoors where there is no sunlight.

Researchers have exposed strains of coronaviruses to different UV levels and Good news! It turns out that far-UVC exposure results in ~90% viral inactivation in only ~8 minutes, reaching close to a 100% of inactivation takes 25 minutes (about the time people charge their Teslas for with the supercharger).

The sensitivity of the coronaviruses to far-UVC light, together with extensive safety data even at much higher far-UVC exposures suggests that it may be feasible and safe to have the lamps providing continuous low-dose far-UVC exposure in public places – potentially reducing the probability of person-to-person transmission of coronavirus as well as other seasonal viruses such as influenza

I looked up what these lamps would cost and I found its quite an expensive lamp if you want one at home (starts around $900) and I was also surprised there are so many different models there are.

It’s pretty nice we could “clean” indoor places by turning on a lamp for 8-25 minutes. Makes you think how powerful a “force for good” light can be. As to indoor spaces, perhaps the future nightclub experience might be Blacklight only parties 🤷‍♂️🥳

China 🐼

African Investments 🌍

I already talked a bit about china. I talked about their strategy and their infrastructure vision here. And shared a link to how Apple converts consumers in china. This week I found that the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a think tank, has a Chinese investment tracker going back to 2005. Some times you might see articles about how big the Chinese investments are in Africa. Recently, I read on were the author used the AEI data to show that China invested $299 Billion in sub-Saharan Africa between 2005-2018 (a 13-year cycle). It is a big number that quickly becomes quite small since if (Big if) every country would receive the same amount. Officially there are 54 countries in that region. If every country has access to the same amount of investments this would mean all of them received $5.53 Billion in 13 years or about 425 million per annum per country. That’s not nothing but it sort of is given the size of African countries and the need of investment they have. I though well that’s still interesting let me look at the data myself. I was reminded that it really pays to look at the data yourself.

Strangely I couldn’t find the number $299 Billion cited in the article by the author Lonny J Avi Brooks. On the AEI website, the number is $146.3 Billion. That’s roughly half of what the article claims.

Screenshot AEI:

Here is how it was written in the article:

So anyway the number seems to be significantly smaller then what the author claimed. It is still an interesting question: Is china investing a lot in Africa? I would say not really. Sub Saharan Africa is absolutely not its biggest target (or recipient as they usually write) of Chinese investments. Simply looking at the number of deals the table below shows the USA on its own gets the biggest chunk of investments followed by the European and East Asian countries.

Investments are not made equally and the Chinese also do not invest equally in Africa either.

As I said if everyone would receive the same amount then every country in that region would have received around $5.53 Billion in investments over the years. So let’s see where the Chinese actually spend more than $5 billion.

Yep, it’s a very small list.

Alright so in these countries, what sector do the Chinese tend to invest in?

Turns out the Chinese spent most of their money on in the Energy and Metals Sector. When I say most of their money I mean that metals and Energy are good for 45% of all the investments they made in the region. So I am not yet convinced they are building Wakanda as Lonny Brooks was claiming in his Quartz article. The data rather seems to confirm the stories about Chinese neocolonialism taking place in Africa.

By the way, I really recommend you check out this post with super useful packages for data exploration using R.

Sharing Your Side Project In The Job Interview 👨‍💼

Some hiring managers like to find out what sort of things you do outside your job. I used to think it was a question about cultural fit. Basically, I imagined that I had to sound like a fun person to work with. It turns out managers (probably a lot of them) like to select for obsession. Of course, it doesn’t work for every job but it is very applicable for enough of the jobs out there. If you want to write stories for Disney I imagine writing plays as a side job wouldn't hurt your chances since the hardest part about writing is the process of writing. Doing more of it in your free time signals you don’t mind doing that difficult process too much.

If you are a software developer, writing opensource code is probably also a good side project since again writing and debugging code is the hardest part of the job. I never hired someone but I can imagine that people that obsess over some part of their day job outside of it probably stick around longer and are quite good at what they do. In the same way, obsessives like to hire other obsessives. And so there you have it “cultural fit”.

Here is part of the conclusion from a brief article, written by Byrne Hobart, “In defence of hiring based onside projects” (emphasis mine).

Using side projects to get a job is not to everyone’s taste, and it’s not to everyone’s benefit. But it’s good for the world that such jobs exist, and that there are companies trying to unite a band of obsessives. Your work doesn’t have to be the most important thing in your life, and for the majority of people it’s not. But an organization built by and for obsessives can exert a fantastic positive influence on the world.

Now that I think about it this is one of these obvious yet often overlooked truths(at least by me). The most successful people that last over time tend to be absolutely obsessed with what they do. It’s easy to think of examples for Sports, Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians and Musicians. I am pretty sure all the ones regarded as “The Best” spend most of their time thinking or doing something related to their obsession. In his little article, Byrne also shared an example from politics:

Churchill relaxed by writing history when he wasn’t busy making it. Kissinger, too

I guess others like Donald Trump somehow morphed their obsession with media attention into a job as POTUS. 😄🤷‍♂️

There is a sort of hero Journey surrounding those that are obsessed with something and in our culture, we tend to admire or at least recognize those that have turned their obsession into something bigger than themselves.

So perhaps at work, it’s not the smartest people you should worry about. Its the most obsessed ones. And it probably helps to know what people are likely to be obsessed about before you go on an interview.

Kids And Politics 📥

It is hard to imagine for me but there is a generation out there that gets most of it politics through memes. Actually to them politics = memes. Marketing refers to these people as Gen Z and they are all born in 2000. They have now come of age to be aware of politics and most of them will vote for the first time in the upcoming Election.

The way in which that generation consumes news is like we all do (in the echo chamber) except to them the echo chamber is totally normal. It’s the only thing they know. People Born in the ’90s and before are at least aware that the Echochamber used to be less extreme then it is now.

Joshua Citarella, an artist did a deep-dive into Politgram and the Post left.
Politgram is basically politics on Instagram and the Post left is basically left from Marx. And is apparently very anti-technology. To be clear the Post left is still a minority but well minorities are very good at setting the political agenda.

It is a super interesting and wild read. I recommend you take a look at it.

Things I Wrote This Week✏

I wrote a bit on my grandpa and his maps and cool maps you should take a look at.


Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

For my American Readers happy 4th of July weekend! 🥳

New month New Quote:

“Journalism is about 'events,' not the absence of events.”


P.S Feel free to forward this to anyone you like, or don’t like.
I love hearing back from so if you have any feedback just send a replay or a tweet.
P.P.S: List of past recommended 📚