Chiwi Journal May Issue: Digital future, the beginning of infinity, Nomadland and more
Welcome to the Chiwi Journal! Your monthly newsletter with the valuable content I filtered, curated and wrote based on 140+ hours of reading/listening time.
Quick update from my side: The UK government allows football fans to go back to the stadium for the first time this year. I was super stoked to witness Man City won another Carabao Cup trophy along with almost 8,000 attendances! I am queueing up for vaccine while enjoying springtime in London, having a picnic at a park and exploring hidden gems around the city.
Now, let's get straight into the content.
Book of the month
Not to brag, many of you know, I read 50- 100 books a year. Here is my all-time favourite books recommendation.
I re-read The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch this month because one of my online mentors, Naval Ravikant credits this book as “being the only book in the last decade—except maybe a few of Nassim Taleb’s works and maybe one or two other scattered books--that made me smarter. They literally expanded the way that I think”.
If you are into quantum mechanics, biological evolution, multiverse, cultural progress, extraterrestrial civilisations, artificial intelligence, climate change, the theory of computation and philosophical views from masters such as Aristotle, Plato, Einstein, Hawking, Feynman, Dawkins and many others, reading this book will provide the excitement of participating intellectual discussions at the highest level on the planet.
Naval also launched a podcast series to discuss this book. Each episode is only 2 minutes long.
Podcast of the month
The Tim Ferriss Show with guest Balaji Srinivasan
Hundreds and thousands of people retweet and share this episode on Twitter and consider this one of the best episodes from the Tim Ferriss Show.
Tim and Balaji talked about decentralising media, investing in BTC and ETH, a path to personal freedom, 1729 site (the only newsletter that pays you), China and the US relation, India as the dark horse, and many more!
The world has changed more rapidly between 2000 and now than it did between 1980 and 2000. The following 20 years will see even more dramatic changes than humankind could ever have imagined. With the spread of remote working and globalisation, people will move back towards a nomadic lifestyle but in a digital way. Get prepared!
Movie of the month
Ops... I almost forgot the existence of Oscar this year.
Congratulations to Nomadland, a story about a mid-aged woman who travels America living in a van after losing her job and home, won the Best Picture. The freedom of a nomadic lifestyle is always enchanting, but the stories behind the reason driving people on the road are heartache and tear-jerking. You’ll indulge yourself in the lonely atmosphere with the desolate landscape of Nevada and the soothing piano BGM. See y’all down the road!
Also, shout out to the Beijing-born filmmaker Chloé Zhao (赵婷), who becomes the first Asian woman, and only the second woman ever to win the Best Director.
My Oscar recommendations (prepare tissues at hand!):
Course of the month
In the age of the decentralised world, everyone is a media brand. It's essential to learn how to communicate your ideas and thoughts in a public space. That's why I took David Perrell's free 50 Days Writing course in the past two months to improve my English written capability.
David sends out a series of emails about every aspect of the craft, from finding new ideas to editing your writing to attracting an audience during 50 days. I also consider joining his paid writing cohort called Write of Passage starts September 1st, 2021.
Meanwhile, I aim to launch my online writing course (in Chinese) in the fourth quarter of this year. Chiwi Journal newsletter readers like you will have early access with a discount! Stay tuned!
Question from IH community:
"I've read that in China, you don't need to carry cash because you can pay for everything via an app instantly, even with small sellers on the street. This is not that common in the west - I guess because of stricter banking regulations?"
China was the first country to invent paper currency during the 7th century in the Tang dynasty but was also one of the first few countries to enter the cashless society.
There are two reasons:
1) China does not have a credit card culture and jumped directly from cash payments to mobile payments;
2) the rapid growth of the smartphone industry and third-party payment solutions, such as WeChat Pay and AliPay.
WeChat Pay and AliPay have been widely accepted in the China market. People just need to scan QR codes with smartphones or generate QR codes on smartphones for merchants to scan to finish the transaction.
Unlike credit card systems requiring credit assessment, mobile payments are open to almost everyone, even in Chinese rural areas, which provide financial services solution for the large population of farmers in the underdeveloped regions.
The newly developed facial recognition payment solution is expected to exceed 760 million users by next year.
Early this year, People's Bank of China issued the Digital RMB, which it's the first digital currency issued by a major economy and has equivalent value worth to banknotes and coins. E-CNY or DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payment) also refer to the Digital RMB.
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