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Wet Newspaper: Diminishing Returns

diminishing returns


An argument that science is suffering diminishing returns, as measured by a slowing rate of developing technologies and make discoveries that make it easier to make things.

Scientists develop a new magnetic storage mechanism to store information in a single cobalt atom.

Acoustic side-channel attacks represent a novel, new family of security threats. For example, a victim’s finger movements can be inferred to steal Android phone unlock patterns.

The moon of a moon is called a moonmoon.


The intertwined relationship between online poker and cryptocurrency.

Ad blocking has a positive impact on user engagement with the Web, suggesting that any costs of using ad blockers to users’ browsing experience are largely drowned out by the utility that they offer… increasing both active time spent in the browser (+28% over control) and the number of pages viewed (+15% over control), while seeing no change in the number of searches.”

In 2017, shoppers spent $7.9 billion on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. An additional $6.59 billion was spent on Cyber Monday. This year, “Black Friday sales alone are expected to jump to $9.1 billion. Last year, Amazon accounted for 45 percent of all Thanksgiving Day online purchases and 60 percent of purchases on Black Friday.”

Jho Low stole around $4 billion from Malaysia and spent more than half of it. At the height of his con, he may have possessed more liquid assets than any individual in history.


In 2015, the United States government imposed 9.78 billion hours of paperwork burdens on the American people.

The $29.8 billion Americans spent on the lottery in 1995 worked out to about $112 per capita. Today, per capita lotto spending is up to $225 dollars a year.

These are per capita figures, accounting for every man, woman and child in the country. The average lottery player spends quite a bit more than that

Analysis of state education rankings weighting alternative variables such as spend efficiency, test scores, etc. significantly rearranges long held state-by-state rankings.

Around 4.5% of families generated income via an online platform in the previous year, representing a 165% increase in five years.

The number of people commuting by bike in the US has steadily decreased since 2014

Partisan hatred has sharply increased in the past 20 years.

Mining bitcoin is more than 3 times as expensive as mining gold (17 Megajoules/$ for BTC vs 5 Megajoules/$ for gold).

Dependency ratio” is the number of people not typically in the workforce — those younger than 15 and older than 65 — in a population divided by the number of working-age people. (“Working-aaaage” being a term in dispute.”)

Thirty percent of rural areas have experienced downward mobility in recent years.


More people kill themselves in Las Vegas every year than in any other place in America.

California outlaws CBD cocktails.

Several species of fish, such as the Sarpa salpa, are known to produce LSD-like hallucinogenic effects when consumed.

Women are waiting longer to have children than a decade ago, but they are more likely to have children.

The phenomenon of seeing geometric visual hallucinations explained by patterns of connection between retina and striate cortex. Hallucinatory images are grouped into four common categories: (i) gratings, lattices, fretworks, filigrees, honeycombs and chequer–boards, (ii) cobwebs, (iii) tunnels, funnels, alleys, cones and vessels, and (iv) spirals.

Individuals with increased genetic risk of schizophrenia tend to live in urban/dense areas.

Modern humans are inactive for about 9.5 hours per day — 75% of their waking time.

“A 2015 study published in the journal Pain analyzed 84 clinical trials of pain medication conducted between 1990 and 2013 and found that in some cases the efficacy of placebo had grown sharply, narrowing the gap with the drugs’ effect from 27 percent on average to just 9 percent.”


At 597 feet, The Statue of Unity depicting Indian statesman Sardar Vallabhbhai Pate, in Gujarat, India, is the world’s tallest statue.

Qatar is the richest per capita state on earth. Saudi Arabia is planning to dig a canal along the border with Qatar, effectively transforming the peninsula nation into an island.

More than 20,000 Chinese boys aged 7 to 11 have taken part in the “that aims to rescue them from their day-to-day, all-female environment and prevent them from being ‘oversensitive, vulnerable, whiny, petty or irresponsible’”.

British Uber drivers report higher levels of life satisfaction and worthwhileness than other workers.

How urban is the world? 55-85%, depending on your measure.

About $1.4trn of Japanese assets (equivalent to 6% or so) is held/”trapped” by people suffering from Alzheimer’s.


Auction markets do, in fact, recognize artistic importance: the greatest (most critically acclaimed) artists produce the most expensive paintings.


Julian Assange on ‘the conspiracy of The State.’

SSC: “Mark Hofmann, master forger, built a comfy career for himself forging documents that discredited Mormonism and selling them to Mormon officials who wanted to cover them up – for example, a letter in which Joseph Smith confessed that instead of seeing an angel, he had only seen a salamander. Then the murders began.

“50% of human experience has happened after 1309 AD. 15% of all experience has been experienced by people who are alive right now.”


Exposure to opposing views on social media increases partisan polarization.

Occupations are strongly sorted by ideology.

Left wing political searches are gaining on right wing political searches.

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