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Matt's Thoughts In Between - Issue #45

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This week: The Thoughts in Between review of 2018...
 
December 18 · Issue #45 · View online
Matt's Thoughts In Between
This week: The Thoughts in Between review of 2018…

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2018 through the lens of Thoughts in Between
Thoughts in Between will have a two-issue break after today and will return in the New Year. As this is then the last edition of 2018, I wanted to do something a bit different and look at the highlights of the TiB year. I’ve trawled through all 44 issues and 35,000 words to find the most clicked-on articles and tweets, as well as the topics we discussed most frequently. Here goes…
Top articles of 2018
These were the articles you, TiB readers, clicked on most in 2018 (you can see the index of all the issues here):
1 - Softbank’s vision of the future (link, Issue 14) - a wonderfully mad deck outlining the vision of the firm that manages the biggest VC fund in the world [EDIT: updated link, as original was broken]
2 - The State of AI report (link, Issue 21) - a comprehensive examination of artificial intelligence - technology, impact, policy and more
3 - Professor Tim Balding on leaving China (link, Issue 24) - superb short essay from a long time China resident academic on why he’s quitting
4 - The policy preferences of technology entrepreneurs (link, Issue 24) - Stanford research on what tech luminaries want and how they’re different
5 - Saudi Aramco’s IPO woes (link, Issue 22) - WSJ profile on the challenges besetting what would be the largest IPO in history
6 - The 21st century canon (link, Issue 29) - a survey of the most important books of the millennium so far
7 - Our New Political Geography (link, Issue 27) - a tech investor discusses the cycles of history and what we should do now
8 - Negotiating with Gates and Jobs (link, Issue 38) - amusing anecdotes about the early-ish days of Silicon Valley
9 - Lifetime earnings by degree subject (link, Issue 12) - dataset on how much graduates of different university majors earn
10 - “Definite optimism” and human capital (link, Issue 28) - excellent essay on tech, innovation and public policy
Top tweets of 2018
I link to a lot of tweets in TiB. Here are the ten you clicked on most (you can see the index of all the issues here):
1 - The British Library reveals its most requested book (link, Issue 41)
2 - The funniest story ever told about Google (link, Issue 38)
3 - Extraordinary thread of photos of Kristallnacht (link, Issue 40)
4 - The incredible wealth of China’s politicians (link, Issue 26)
5 - The most compelling ideas in science fiction (link, Issue 44)
6 - Ranking of university departments by recursive ranking of their PhD placements (link, Issue 42)
7 - How an institutional investor thinks about private equity and VC (link, Issue 41)
8 - How great CEOs compound their learning (link, Issue 30)
9 - When and why do nice guys finish last? (link, Issue 35)
10 - It’s better to be born rich than talented (link, Issue 36)
Top topics of 2018
I went through and tagged each section in TiB (excluding Quick Links) with its major topics and then ranked the topics by frequency (you can see the index of all the issues here):

  1. Artificial intelligence. Discussed in issues 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, 12, 17 to 24, 26, 30, 32, 34, 40, 42 and 44
  2. Geopolitics. Discussed in issues 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 32, 36, 37, 38, 40, 42 and 44
  3. China. Discussed in 5, 10, 12, 14, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 32, 35, 38, 40, 42, 43 and 44
  4. Venture capital and startups. Discussed in issues 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 21, 25, 27, 28, 31, 33, 36, 37, 42 and 43
  5. Liberal democracy and the nation state. Discussed in issues 6, 7, 9, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22, 24, 26, 29, 32, 33, 36 and 39
  6. Culture war and post-2016 politics. Discussed in issues 3, 6, 8, 11, 16, 17, 25, 31, 34, 35, 39, 40, 41 and 43
  7. “Big Tech” (i.e. Google/Amazon/Facebook/Apple/etc). Discussed in 7, 10, 17, 20, 24, 29, 31, 35, 37, 39 and 41
  8. Talent and Education. Discussed in issues 4, 8, 13, 20, 28, 38, 39, 43 and 44
  9. History. Discussed in issues 2, 5, 27, 33 and 37
  10. Blockchain. Discussed in issues 3, 32 and 41
Your feedback
It’s occasionally gruelling getting a TiB out each week, but I can genuinely say that your comments and feedback make it worthwhile. If you enjoy TiB, do let me know. And recommend it to a friend - the easiest way is just to forward this on.
Until 2019!
Matt
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