The Data Examiner 05/14/2023

The Data Examiner – (Notable) Remarks:

** I used to walk whole blocks of San Francisco where sidewalks were taken over by encampments, not an inch of space free, which was fine because every morning I just hopped off the curb and into the street for a couple blocks. So, I hope no one plans on using a wheelchair in any Oregon city because that would be another grand every time they require a tent to move. The disabled really need to think about not being disabled! Kind of rude to want cities to have sidewalks. —- Nellie Bowles

** That’s a point worth bearing in mind amid the hand-wringing, here and abroad, about the state and character of Israel’s democracy. The country has had five elections since 2019, a function of an evenly split electorate and unstable coalition politics. It has returned Benjamin Netanyahu for his third turn as prime minister, a testament both to his political gifts and to his appetite for power. Israelis are tired of going to the polls, though 71% of the electorate still turned up to vote last week. And unlike in the United States, pretty much everyone accepts the official results. —- Bret Stephens

** In sum, this election we did not get a clean bill of health. We got a diagnosis that our political white blood cells did OK in beating back the metastasizing infection that threatened to kill our whole electoral system. But that infection is still here, which is why the doctor advised, “Behave in healthy ways, build back your strength and return in 24 months for another scan.” —- Thomas L. Friedman

“Intel for Influencers” – Who Reads The Data Examiner?

Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley, along with 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners.

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The Data Examiner – Numbers Don’t Lie:

1) OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said he thinks his company, which operates as a capped-profit organization, could eventually capture $100B, $1T, or maybe even $100T of the world’s wealth through the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI). OpenAI would then distribute money back to the people to make up for the fact that it may move the price of human labor to $0. Carry on, folks – nothing dystopian to see here.

2) Twitter revenue appears to still be way down. The site’s top 10 advertisers spent $71M from September to October. Over the past two months, they have spent just $7.6M. Musk’s company continues to push paid verification – an idea apparently so unpopular, even the King said he isn’t interested.

3) Apparently, there are college counseling consultancies that cost more than the average house. Command Education reportedly charges up to $750K to start helping seventh-graders get into elite schools, and up to $500K for ninth-graders. A reminder for parents shelling out that cash: save up a little extra for your child’s eventual therapists.

4) Crashing down to earth, Virgin Orbit – valued at ~$4B in 2021 – is now worth ~$74M, and has halted operations and laid off most of its staff after its satellite launching business failed to generate enough revenue.

5) In 2019, the top 25 Latin music tours grossed $251.3M across 2.8M tickets. In 2022, the top 25 grossed $990.8M across 8M tickets. Bad Bunny alone grossed $373.5M of that. Not bad, Bunny.

The Data Examiner – Watch:

** Inside an iconic $21M mansion once owned by Madonna. WATCH

** South Korea’s president sings “American Pie.” WATCH

** Why our ancestors didn’t have crooked teeth. WATCH

** How used luxury watches became a $20B industry – and how to spot a fake. WATCH

** The invisible barrier dividing two distinct geographical worlds. WATCH

** Oldie but a goodie: Behind the scenes of Chili’s Baby Back Ribs spot. WATCH

The Data Examiner – Bookkeeping:

** King Charles’ personal fortune is worth roughly $745M, hundreds of millions more than his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

** Mexico sells unwanted presidential jet to Tajikistan for roughly $92M, a loss from the original purchase price of roughly $200M.

** Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) becomes first female to cast 10,000 votes in the Senate.

** Plot of land on human-made Dubai island sells for record $34M–and there’s nothing but 24,500 square feet of sand.

The Data Examiner:

A Banksy Made Everyday Investors A 32% Net Return

It may sound hard to believe, but everyday investors are making top-tier returns, investing in art from Banksy, Monet and Warhol with the fine-art investing platform Masterworks. In fact, Masterworks has quietly built a track record of 13 exits, with some realizing +10.4%, +21.5% and even +35% net returns – while traditional markets like stocks have suffered. Those returns have been possible because the world of art investing is finally being democratized – as Masterworks opens a historically secretive asset to the public through fractional investing.

Still not sure? We know you like data, so let us paint you a picture. Contemporary art prices:

  • Have outpaced the S&P 500 by 131% over the last 26 years.
  • Recorded a correlation of -0.04 with Developed Equities (1985-2021).
  • Remained stable through the dot-com bubble and ’08 crisis.

India’s Population Boom:

India unseated China as the world’s most populous country, experts say, a position held by China since the United Nations began tracking data in 1950. Both countries updated population data last summer, but models project India will end the year with around 1.429 billion people, compared to China’s 1.426 billion. India has added 1 billion people in the past 70 years, and analysts say the country’s growing population may position it as a top economic power in coming decades. More than 40% of the population is under 25 years old, with an overall median age of 28, compared to 38 in the U.S. and 39 in China. Conversely, the rapid growth has strained public services and health infrastructure, among other challenges. The U.S. has a population of 333 million, having grown 0.4% last year.

As Customer Complaints Reach Record Levels, More People Seek “Revenge”:

“Broken Windows” Author Reveals

According to a recent study, Americans are more likely than ever to experience problems with the goods and services provided by businesses. A significant percentage of them are actively seeking “revenge” for their misfortunes.

Around 74% of the 1,000 consumers claimed to have encountered a product or service issue in the previous year. The study’s most recent round of data showed 66% in 2020 and 56% in 2017, respectively. When a similar version of the survey was first conducted in 1976, just 32% of participants reported having a problem.

According to the survey, the proportion of customers who have taken action to settle a score with a company using methods like pestering or public shaming in person or online tripled to 9% from 3% in 2020. That halted a declining trend in actions motivated by retaliation: Between 2003 and 2017, the typical client seeking retribution was 17%.


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The Brain On Processed Foods

Highly processed foods make up approximately 60% of the average American diet and have long been associated with adverse health outcomes, but recent studies reveal their significant impact on our mental well-being too.


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