CRF Blog

52 things I learned in 2019

by Bill Hayes

For Medium, Tom Whitwell lists (with links to his sources for each) 52 things I learned in 2019.

1. Each year humanity produces 1,000 times more transistors than grains of rice and wheat combined. [Mark P Mills]

2. The maths of queuing are absolutely brutal and counter-intuitive. [John D Cook]

3. Emojis are starting to appear in evidence in court cases, and lawyers are worried: “When emoji symbols are strung together, we don’t have a reliable way of interpreting their meaning.” (In 2017, an Israeli judge had to decide if one emoji-filled message constituted a verbal contract) [Eric Goldman]

4. Harbinger customers are customers who buy products that tend to fail. They group together, forming harbinger zip codes. If households in those zip codes buy a product, it is likely to fail. If they back a political candidate, they are likely to lose the election. [Simester, Tucker & Yang]

5. Baijiu is the world’s most popular spirit, with 10bn litres sold each year, almost entirely in China. The second most popular spirit in the world is vodka, with just 5bn litres sold. [Feyi Fawehinmi] [more]