Wednesday Misc and Stuff

  1. In 1810, the use of nails in the US economy was 0.4 percent of nominal GDP. To put this share into perspective, in 2019 household purchases of personal computers and peripheral equipment amounted to roughly 0.3 percent of GDP and household purchases of air travel amounted to about 0.5 percent. That is, back in the 1700s and early 1800s, nails were about as important in the economy as computers or air travel purchased by consumers are today. [AEA]
  2. “It has become one of the main occupations of mankind just watching other people… Everybody has become porous. The light and the message goes right through us… When you are on the air and on the air we do not have a physical body. You are just an image on the air. When you don’t have a physical body you are a discarnate being. You have a very different relation to the world around you. And this I think has been of the big effects of the electric age. It has deprived people really of their private identity…. Everybody tends to merge their identity with other people at the speed of light. It’s called being mass man.” [Twitter video]
  3. Famous photos and the cameras they we shot on [Twitter thread]
  4. If an article has these two images, you have to read it! [Reuters’ Dark Arctic]
Svalbard’s SvalSat downloads time-sensitive data from most of the world’s commercial and scientific satellites.

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