Tomas Pueyo Profile picture
Why? Understand how the world works and help shape the future. Receive my articles in your inbox:
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14 Oct
Parag and I talked for over an hour about migration and the impact it will have in the 21st century. We covered:

- How current nationalism & the image of immigration is short-sighted historically
- The + borders you have, the - borders you have
- The existence of empires today
- African pop growth is overestimated
- The winners of the 21st century will be the most successful states at attracting immigrants
- Which countries would benefit from receiving hundreds of millions of migrants, and why. 
- What does the majority think about migration?
- The problem of Gen Z vs. Gen ɑ
- What do Germany and Japan have in common
- The optimal size for a country
- Terraforming Siberia
- How elderly Germans are changing their minds about immigration&seek it instead of fearing it
- How Bulgaria’s immigration approach has is doomed
Read 6 tweets
6 Oct
Ireland's future is at stake.

This Friday, there is a an important OECD meeting to debate the global minimum corporate tax rate.

These are the stakes for Ireland:
Countries like the US want *at least* 15% global corporate tax.
A few months back, 130 countries reached an early agreement. A handful of others didn't join. At their head was Ireland. Why?
The richest (GDP per capita) country in Europe is *Ireland*. Richer than Germany, richer than Luxembourg, richer than Switzerland.

At 117% of US GDP per capita, Ireland is a whopping 31 percentage points richer than the next big European country, Netherlands, at 86% of US GDPpc
Read 14 tweets
28 Sep
The end of nation-states is coming.
Internet and Blockchain will bankrupt them, by distributing its power to individuals, corporations, supra-national entities, and distributed organizations.

Just at the moment when they need more $ than ever
Thread 🧵
Picture this:
1. Individuals have + power.
They can access all the info in the world, and reach everybody in the world. The only thing they need is good, catchy ideas.

A single person, Satoshi Nakamoto changed the world with a pseudonym with their Bitcoin paper.

QAnon did the same
Read 35 tweets
24 Sep
The geography of Egypt is bonkers 🇪🇬🌍
Look at that image of the Middle-East by night. See that "flower" in the middle? That is the Nile.

Egypt has 105 MILLION ppl!
99% of them live in that light area!
That's 3% of its territory!

What else is crazy about Egypt's geography?
The Nile's banks are between 0.5km and 20km wide (~0.3 to 12 miles). 105M ppl live in that area plus the delta. Crazy. They do that because it's fertile AF

What's outside though? Nothing.
In the west, there's nothing for thousands of miles. There's so much nothing that in 5000 years of history, Egypt has NEVER been successfully invaded from here.

Even the nazis tried and failed.
Read 19 tweets
23 Sep
“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.”—William Gibson @GreatDismal

The future is already in the brain of the 200 million cryptocurrency holders. They can be better understood as a country, as an alternative community to nation-states.
A nation-state citizen doesn’t question the sovereignty of the gov
Doesn’t question the validity of its currency
Doesn’t fathom a world without the TVs and radio stations and notary-publics and certification organisms that make the nation-state what it is.
They wrap their heads around 20th-century country flags.
They can’t fathom the end of the nation-state, just as 1500s-era Europeans couldn’t fathom the end of the omnipotent Catholic Church.
Read 5 tweets
20 Sep
The emergence of cryptocurrencies reminds me of the emergence of writing and currencies. These are obvious to us now, but they were weird to their contemporaries.

Let's have a look 🧵
The parallel with fiat currencies is better known, so let's start with it.

Early on, ppl bartered. Inconvenient.
So they started using some currency.
First, it was something scarce, easy to value and to divide into smaller pieces (=fungible), and with some intrinsic value. Eg, salt (thus "salary")
Read 24 tweets
14 Sep
If you catch COVID, the risk of developing COVID Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are 3,000x higher than those of suffering a bad vaccine side-effect. That illness can leave you out of work and energy for the rest of your life.
The most long-lasting part of Long COVID is likely Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which so far has no cure and can last decades.

Your likelihood of catching it from COVID is ~2-3%, and it's worse for young ppl than old ppl

Vaccines appear to help. They probably reduce the odds of developing COVID CFS by 75-90%.
Read 6 tweets
13 Sep
Long COVID is confusing until we realize its most alarming outcome is *Chronic Fatigue Syndrome* (CFS).

What does CFS look like?
Is it like Long COVID? 🧵

This is a person with CFS. At 24, she had spent nearly a decade without putting her feet on the ground.
This is @jenbrea suffering from post-exertional malaise, from her documentary Unrest, which you can watch on Netflix (the 3 clips come from the documentary)
This is Whitney, who hasn't talked for years. His father:
“Whitney’s state is comparable to an AIDS patient about a week before his death. And that has been the case for the last six years.”
Read 12 tweets
6 Sep
I'm going to try a new experiment in 2022.

The idea is to create a cohort-based course with live lectures. I am still debating whether it should be about
1. How to solve any problem
2. Advanced product and growth mgmt

Would you be interested in any? LMK!
Over my career managing billion-dollar tech products with hundreds of millions of users, studying storytelling, and writing COVID and Uncharted Territories articles, I've come to think the biggest pbm of mankind is that we don't know how to make decisions.

I want to solve that.
The 3-week course would include frameworks, lectures, and more importantly, workshops so you can bring pbms to the table and we can work to solve them together, learning decision-making along the way.
Read 5 tweets
4 Sep
A majority of the world will speak English by the end of the century. This will create a new global identity. It will be the triumph of the Anywheres.

Why? Because the same mechanic happened in the past.

Here's what happened and what will happen next 🧵
Up to the 1500s, languages were not differentiated like today. In places like Europe, there were vernacular gradients, from Wallonia to Lisbon, from London to Vienna.
That's because most ppl didn't communicate with those far away from their village.
Read 16 tweets
3 Sep
Slides or write-ups? Which one is best?

According to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, write-ups. But I never understood it until very recently.

Bezos defends why writing is better. Ironically, his write-up has all the flaws that he complains about in powerpoints:
“The narrative structure of a good memo forces better thought and better understanding of what's more important than what, and how things are related”

Ok so his hypothesis: idea importance and interconnectedness are crucial, but write-ups achieve them better.

“Ppt-style presentations somehow give permission to gloss over ideas, flatten out any sense of relative importance, and ignore the interconnectedness of ideas.”

Ok 3 causes. W/ ppt, ppl:
-gloss over ideas
-don’t make idea importance obvious
-ignore their connection

But why?
Read 11 tweets
2 Sep
Has anybody ever told you "Stop being a Jack of All Trades, Master of None"?

They're wrong

It's "Jack of Some Trades, Master of One"

This is why, and how it's the only way to become the best in the world at something. 🧵…
Becoming the best in the world at some skill is nearly impossible. There's always somebody stronger than you, cleverer than you, with better genetics, who worked harder...

The more you work on standing out in a domain, the more you face these phenomenal competitors.
That's why becoming the best in the world at something takes too much work.

It's nearly impossible to be the best, but it's quite easy to be in the top 10% or so.
Read 15 tweets
30 Aug
Have you ever heard northern Europeans telling southern Europeans they're lazy?

It's false.
So why are northerners richer?

Small thread 🧵
1. Northerners work substantially LESS than southerners
2. Northerners make substantially MORE money
Here's GDP per capita PPS, indexed at 100=EU average
Read 14 tweets
29 Aug
The end of you country is coming because of internet and blockchain.

We know this because it has already happened several times in the past. Each time a new information tech appears, a new type of government appears. 🧵

Consider the Catholic Church in the 1500s
Dozens of movements protesting the Church appear over the centuries. But the Church systematically quashed them. It's easy to burn a heretic and his writings.

At the time, the Church was the most powerful entity because of it monopoly on information.
The clergy was educated, it had access to plenty of books, it could read (Latin, which most books were written on), they learned secrets via confessions, they had a monopoly on the word of God (locals spoke vernaculars), and they had European-wide correspondence.
Read 17 tweets
17 Aug
I worked for 4y in an online financial advice company. This is what I learned on how to put your finances in order. 🧵

Three types of investors, each with their own mistakes: self-directed, with financial advisor, and those who leave their $ in the bank.
Issue #1: Ppl leave their $ in the bank
This is what our $ does in the bank vs. invested
After 60y, invested $ is 10x more than bank account $.

Put in another way: 1 day of work putting your finances in order is 10x more important for $ than your entire professional career.
Another fun stat: within 15 years of working, you accumulate more $ from your investments than from your work savings
Read 26 tweets
16 Aug
After witnessing the US’ government response during COVID and Afghanistan, the only thing I can think is: weakness.

How do you think allies respond to weakness?
You can debate all you want. At the end of the day, a few proper lockdowns, mask mandates, and test-trace-isolate are 100x easier than organizing a war economy. We didn’t do it because we were weak.
The presence in Afghanistan didn’t make sense. You either go all in, integrate its economy, flood it with Americans, exploit mines… invest foe the very long term and develop the country in the process, or you get out ASAP.

You don’t promise nation-building and then drop it
Read 4 tweets
16 Aug
The 2nd part of the COVID FAQ premium article is out. 9 Q&A. Here's what we talk about:
10. What Are the Side Effects of the Vaccines? I talk about blood clots, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, myocarditis/pericarditis, and more…
11. Does It Make Sense for Some Groups to Not Get Vaccinated Then?
There's 2 groups that might want to pick the right vaccines for them
12. Should We Have Mandatory Vaccines?
There's a massive gap between mandating and not mandating. We can get freedom and good healthcare outcomes. The nuances here matter a lot.

13. How Should We Deal with Immunocompromised People?
We already have lots of experience on this
Read 8 tweets
15 Aug
Some good news: anakinra could be another drug that reduces COVID mortality. It reduces mortality in hospitalized patients by 65%.…
I’m waiting for peer reviews before celebrating. Positive: since it’s an immunosuppressor like dexamethasone, used in the same phase of the illness, I’m hopeful. 65% is much more than dexamethasone…
Negative: it’s a meta-analysis that only retains 9 studies, only 1 of which is a RCT, and which only had ~50 patients, so low statistical significance…
Read 4 tweets
11 Aug
Time for a COVID FAQ
1. Delta Update
2. I'm vaxxed. Am I Safe?
3. I’m Vaxxed. Can I Go to an Indoor Event Masked?
4. When Will We Leave This Behind?
5. Can Vaccines Stop the Pandemic?
6. Vaccine Effectiveness?
7. Fractionalization?
8. Booster Shots?
9. Mix&Match?
1. What’s the Update on the Delta Variant and Cases Worldwide?
Raising in many countries, in some it's started to fall, but it doesn't look like cases will go all the way down there.
The fact that JP TH & similar countries, protected till now, can't control the virus shows how dangerous Delta is
Read 16 tweets
11 Aug
I humbly have so many questions about #autism, esp clustering. Do you have answers?

1. Clusters
Autism is known as a spectrum, but it sounds to me like it’s not a line, rather a space. Traits don’t linearly increase or decrease. ≠ ppl have ≠ traits.

Are there trait clusters?
2. Genetic Clustering
20%-25% of autism can be traced to >100 genes. The same gene variants should produce the same traits. We know that for a few like SynGAP-1. Why don’t we for all? Why so little correlation btw gene variants and traits?
3. Non-genetic causes
Why only ~25% of autism is traced back to genes?
Is the rest too difficult to trace back? Why?
Or is it because there are other drivers?
Why don’t we know about other drivers?
(Please no antivaxxing)
Read 7 tweets
9 Aug
If you, like me, are tired of shallow and short-term reporting on China, and need to zoom out, I'd like to tell you a story. It's about an ancient, hidden force influencing its policies today, from Xinjiang to the Pacific, from Tibet to Beijing.
This is the map of China's ethnicities. The main ones are:
Han in the east (brown)
Mongolian in the north (dark pink)
Turkic in the west (light pink)
Tibetan in the south-west (orange)
Thai in the south (yellow)
But most of the people are in the east! In the Han area.
This is so stark that the line that divides the lightly and densely populated areas has a name: it's the Hu line
Read 18 tweets