The New Economy Trifecta: Energy, Time, and Attention
November 7, 2019
“We live in a world that celebrates work and activity, ignores renewal and recovery, and fails to recognize that both are necessary for sustained high performance.”
“Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.”
– Jim Loehr
The World Could Drown in Oil
Global oil production is about to surge, no matter its effect on the climate or whether a real need exists. Four relatively stable, non-traditional oil exporting nations are ramping up their offshore production: Norway, Canada, Brazil and Guyana. Together these countries should add nearly a million barrels a day to the market in 2020, and almost a million more in 2021, on top of the current world crude output of 80 million barrels a day.
The rise in production is coming at a time then there’s already a glut on the world market, even with OPEC and Russia decreasing their production, American sanctions sharply curtailing exports from Venezuela and Iran, and worldwide demand for oil slowing. The current $56 per barrel is half of what it was in the early 2000s, when prices soared as producers struggled to keep up with ballooning demand in China, and when some analysts warned the world could run out of oil.
The new boost in production, together with global efforts to cut emissions, will almost certainly push oil prices even lower. A number of financially struggling American oil companies have already slashed their exploration and production investments this year to pay down debts and protect dividends. Lower oil prices will put some oil companies out of business.
Additional production will provide a bit of economic relief to consumers at the gas pump and to importing nations like China, Japan, and India. But it will also complicate efforts to combat global warming, wean consumers and industries off their dependence on fossil fuels, and slow the transition to electric vehicles. Additional reads: Sea levels set to keep rising for centuries even if emissions targets met & Climate crisis: 11,000 scientists warn of ‘untold suffering’
Oh We’re Not Gonna Take It Anymore
- Simmering dissatisfaction exploded into tens of thousands of mostly young Iraqis protesting in the streets of Baghdad last weekend. Their anger is directed against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which they see as exerting far too much control over Iraq’s affairs.
- Younger Iraqis are bolder than the older generation and not willing to stay quiet.
- They are speaking out against the political elite, and those who have profited handsomely since the American invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, while the majority of Iraqis still struggle to get by. They have watched while the political parties, some with ties to Iran, distribute payoffs to the well connected.
- “All the ministries, all the civilian facilities in Iraq are run by Iran,” said one young medical student who was caring for wounded protesters. “We want to get rid of this government, we want our country back, we want an independent president. We can see what the world is like and we want a different life.” (NYT)
Machiavelli’s 21st Century Prince of Crime
- A report released on Monday by Human Rights Watch says activists, clerics and other perceived critics of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman continue to be arrested and tortured more than a year after the killing and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- MbS has relaxed a number of the kingdom’s restrictive social laws since becoming the government’s leader four years ago, most recently allowing women over 21 to obtain passports and travel abroad without permission from a male guardian.
- But according to the report there have been mass arrests of women’s rights activists, a number of whom have allegedly been sexually assaulted, whipped and given electric shocks. (Guardian)
The Monsters That Hid Under Your Bed Are Now The Ones In Your Head
- A report published Tuesday by the CDC says childhood trauma causes serious health repercussions throughout life. It’s a public health issue that calls for concerted prevention efforts.
- The report confirms a body of research that found Americans who had experienced adverse childhood experiences were at higher risk of dying from five of the top 10 leading causes of death.
- In particular, those children who were abused or neglected, witnessed violence at home or grew up in a family with mental health or substance abuse problems were at even higher risk. (NPR)
America’s Addiction (& Abdication) to a Chinese Social Network
- A seven-year-old Chinese company called ByteDance is making the most direct incursion yet into Silicon Valley’s turf. The company runs TikTok, which allows people to create short, snappy videos and share them around the world. That simple concept has propelled the company to become one of the world’s largest social networks.
- In the last 12 months TikTok’s app has been downloaded more than 750 million times. That compares to 715 million downloads for Facebook, 450 million for Instagram, 300 million for YouTube and 275 million for SnapChat.
- American competitors are hoping they can get some help from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal panel that reviews foreign acquisitions of American firms and is now taking a look at ByteDance’s 2017 acquisition of Musical.ly, the American company that became TikTok. (NYT, Techcrunch)
- TikTok Said to Be Under National Security Review: The review comes after lawmakers raised concerns about TikTok’s growing influence in the United States. (NYT, $)
- Social media could be one of the worst ideas ever: Facebook Isn’t Just Allowing Lies, It’s Prioritizing Them and Facebook Libra is Architecturally Unsound (NYT, $)
- Twitter hates me. The Des Moines Register fired me. Here’s what really happened. (CJR)
Additional USA News
- First Public Hearings in Impeachment Inquiry to Begin Next Week (WSJ, $)
- Pompeo Faces Political Peril and Diplomats’ Revolt in Impeachment Inquiry (NYT, $)
- Colleges Should Not Have to Have Food Pantries and Most Of Nation’s Top Public Universities Aren’t Affordable For Low-Income Students (Nation & NPR)
- America’s ever evolving views on race
- The Massacre That Spawned the Alt-Right: Forty years ago, a gang of Klansmen and Nazis murdered five communists in broad daylight. America has never been the same. (Politico)
- Buffalo Wild Wings asked a group to move because a customer didn’t ‘want black people sitting near him.’ The staff has been fired. (WaPo, $)
- The ‘race whisperer’: A black activist convinced a neo-Nazi he’d save him from legal ruin. Then the real plan began. (WaPo, $)
- How to Get Trump Voters and Liberals to Talk: Don’t Make Anyone Sit in a Circle (NYT, $)
- On Ukraine, Trump Is a Con Man, but He’s Also a Mark: Corrupt forces find it easy to manipulate this president. (NYT, $)
- America After Trump: Even if he loses the next election, the damage he’s done to our political system will be lasting. (Atlantic, $)
- Not everyone wants to rule the world but practically everyone wants more time
- We love movies and great movie posters. A movie can change how you think about the world. Some news on the movie industry:
- Hollywood assistants are in open revolt. Here’s why (LA Times)
- The Men Who Still Love “Fight Club” (New Yorker, $)
- 20 Years Later, The Insider Is Michael Mann’s Greatest Prophecy (Vulture)
- Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain – Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk, a director says. (NYT, $)
- Thoughts & Profiles on the Financial Elite, the .01%
- The Making of the World’s Greatest Investor: Jim Simons was a middle-aged mathematician in a strip mall who knew little about finance. He had to overcome his own doubts to turn Wall Street on its head. (WSJ, $)
- The World Has Gone Mad and the System Is Broken (Linkedin)
- Attack of the Wall Street Snowflakes: Why can’t financial tycoons handle criticism? (NYT, $)
- China perfected fake meat centuries before the Impossible Burger (CNN)
- How to be an Epicurean: A philosophy that values innocent pleasure, human warmth and the rewards of creative endeavour. What’s not to like? (Aeon)
“Watching television is the mental and emotional equivalent of eating junk food.”
“It is a mark of courage to set aside self-interest in order to be of service to others or to a cause.”
– Jim Loehr
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