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  • Writer's pictureJohn Foulis

Newsletter 1st November 2020

The three sleeps edition


We'll be speaking the unspoken agreements next...


A noticeable reduction in articles about working from home. It seems most opinion-spouters have pivoted to looking at what to do if your nearest and dearest turns out to be a conspiracy loon (see below). Among those sticking with it is this heretical piece suggesting nothing has changed! Others advocate writing down unwritten rules, which seems to defeat the purpose. And anyway, won’t new unwritten rules just sprout in their place like mushrooms?

In the old days if you were looking for advice people would give you, well, advice, or they might call them tips or suggestions. Now everything must be a hack. Here are some if you’ve sold your soul and become an investment banker.


What do you mean I can't get through? Don't you know who I am?


If you had aeroplane parking lots and old banking paraphernalia on your successful Corona-time businesses bingo card, then well done you.

Things doing less well include Russian vaccines and guitar wood.

We’ve covered the travails of the coffee industry previously, and this is a good breakdown of the economics involved.

Getting through the Panama Canal is also becoming difficult. What I like about this is the idea that some people just show up in an ocean-going container ship on the off-chance. You book a restaurant, surely you’d book the Panama Canal? It’s a phone call for goodness sake. In fact, I imagine you can probably do it online these days.


That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Here's 100 million.

Silicon Valley, a modern-day Shangri-La, what are its secrets? Well, apparently the best way to make it there is to come up with an idea so stupid nobody else thinks it makes sense.

In the murky world of online reviews, if allocating one-star reviews isn’t satisfying enough for you, you can now destroy companies by alleging they’re flogging dodgy schmutter.

In the old days working things out involved calculations and procedures, now everything is an algorithm.

Maybe hacks or algorithms will become one of those words applied to completely different things in order to make them sound sexier, or avoid having to admit the concept is bogus. The current epitome of this phenomenon is of course blockchain. JPM have suddenly decided lots of things they are doing are blockchain when they obviously aren’t.

I get it! It must be true..

You know why conspiracies are so popular? Because simple is in at the moment. Not simple simple mind, but complicated simple. Complicated enough to sound convincing but simple enough to understand and to stigmatise others.

Lots of advice on how to deal with mad people whether they are your mum, friends and family, or anti-vaxxers. Gently does it seems to be the gist.

Things have got so bad that you can’t search for your missing cat without being confronted by confrontational opinions, and you can’t pop into Walmart and pick up a semi-automatic and ammo. Well you can, but you have to ask; no more of those impulse purchases where you just see them and suddenly have to have one.

And the good news? Well the good news might be that Korean pop fans are on the case. Yes, maybe all that stands between us and Armageddon is an online army of surprisingly grown-up K-pop addicts. (Warning: this article will make you feel very old)



What on earth is that smell? It smells like...like...fried chicken...

Is there nothing that can’t be turned into a service? No.

How do you track a two-inch long killer insect? Very carefully.

What do you want your house to smell like in the holiday season? KFC.

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