Monday, how we’re doing versus the S&P, with a little day-dreaming about Borealis thrown in. (I can’t help myself.)
Yesterday — which the service I pay to post these things just randomly decided not to post (grrrr) so here it is now — this Silicon Valley high school graduation speech by Nipun Mehta that starts out with what he calls the good news . . .
You might be surprised to hear this, but you are about to step out into a world that’s in good shape — in fact the best shape that that it’s ever been in. The average person has never been better fed than today. Infant mortality has never been lower; on average we’re leading longer, healthier lives. Child labor, illiteracy and unsafe water have ceased to be global norms. Democracy is in, as slavery is disappearing. People don’t have to work as hard to just survive. A bicycle in 1895 used to cost 260 working hours, today we’ve gotten that number down to 7.2.
. . . and moves immediately to the bad:
This week, Time Magazine’s cover story labeled you guys as the “Me, Me, Me” generation; the week before, NY Times reported that the suicide rate for Gen X went up by 30% in the last decade, and 50% for the boomer generation. We’ve just learned that atmospheric carbon levels surpassed 400 PPM for the first time in human history. Our honeybee colonies are collapsing, thereby threatening the future of our food supply. And all this is just the tip of the iceberg.
What we’re handing over to you is a world full of inspiring realities coupled with incredibly daunting ones. In other words: miserable and magical isn’t just a pop-song lyric — it’s the paradox that you are inheriting from us.
He goes on to pitch the joy in reconnecting through generosity.
I found some of the specifics a bit dubious. (E.g., he cites a study on generosity that showed people — when suddenly given an unexpected gift — instinctively more likely to give it away than keep it. But I clicked the link to the study and it turns out the gift was trivial. Something tells me that if it had been $5,000, say, fewer would have instinctively given it away.)
Today, back to Borealis again. They signed airberlin, Germany’s second largest airline, with 110 more planes for WheelTug. That brings the number of airlines with letters of intent to 10, on three continents, and the total number of planes to 549. So far as I know, no competitor has signed a single airline as yet.