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Weekly Recap #3
G-20 summit, Burning Man, India-Bharat conspiracy, YC S23 batch, Morocco earthquake and more
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A major highlight of this week is the G-20 summit which is happening in New Delhi. It is the first time it has happened in India, which is quite exciting. It has quite an impressive slogan - One Earth, One Family, One Future.
According to this, it has 6 major priorities
Green Development, Climate Finance & LiFE
Accelerated, Inclusive & Resilient Growth
Accelerating progress on SDGs
Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure
Multilateral Institutions for the 21st Century
So what are some major things that happened over G-20?
African Union has become a permanent member of G-20.
A major development in cooperation on India - Middle East - European economic corridor which includes building rail and shipping corridors. The corridor, outlined at the annual Group of 20 summit of the world’s top economies, would help boost trade, deliver energy resources, and improve digital connectivity. It would include India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Israel, and the European Union, said Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser.
Global Biofuels Alliance for clean energy and meeting decarbonization goals.
The US has reaffirmed its support for India to reform the UN Security Council with India as a permanent member. Right now it has 5 permanent members — China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. Getting into permanent membership would be very beneficial for India.
Overall, I feel this is coming along to be a great G-20 summit focusing a lot on green development and technological innovation. I hope this builds up good diplomatic relationships around the world.
A muddy Burning Man
If you have never heard of Burning Man, here is a good primer on what it is. A lot of people have various opinions on what it is and why they like it and don’t like it. I went to Burning Man in 2017 and really enjoyed my experience there. It’s something I have never experienced before. A lot of folks say, that it’s a place where Silicon Valley Tech bros hang and all (not wrong, there are a lot), but you can meet a myriad of people around if you are looking for it. I stayed over 4 stayed with 3 of my other friends, camping in the desert. The unique thing about the event is, that you stay up the whole night so that you can enjoy the art installations that get lit up at night and then you try to sleep when the sun starts to rise. But it gets hot so fast so soon that you can’t comfortably sleep (well unless you have an RV, we were camping). When I was there it was a very hot weather with a bunch of sand storms in between.
Now this year, something very different happened in Vegas. Burning Man got flooded due to rains lasting for several hours. So why is that a big deal? Well, The playa is a giant desert with a lot of sand, so with rain that playa and that sandy path to the playa became very very muddy and sticky. People were ordered to shelter in place and not drive back. It’d become hard to walk around. You probably can’t ride a bike (which is a very important means of transport around the village)
The desert saw two to three months' worth of rain in a 24-hour period on Friday into Saturday, creating a situation that required a "full stop of vehicle movement on the playa," according to festival officials.
I mean there was a freaking double rainbow there
This was quite unexpected to me but from what I heard, people managed to get out slowly and it was okay in the end. But as you can see, if was a weird burning man this year. Hopefully, next year is less eventful and people can enjoy the burn.
India <> Bharat controversy
There’s been speculation started just before the G-20 summit on India being renamed to “Bharat”. For those who don’t have context, Bharat is like Hindi way of saying India. They have been used interchangeably for decades. Now the controversy started with this tweet by Shashi Tharoor, where there was a dinner invitation for the G20 summit that said “President of Bharat” instead of “President of India”. A lot of people from both sides have been arguing over this and whether India should do it or not do it.
I feel this is kind of a moot discussion. Why can’t you keep using both? Why was this even a topic of argument? I think India as a country has more useful and interesting things to solve. India is a superpower and should focus on development rather than just what the name should be. I don’t see how it is beneficial to anyone. We have been using India (most foreign countries use India) and Bharat together and can still continue it. It doesn’t affect what India is and what India will be. I feel if you remove India, there would be a huge branding issue outside India. Even the Indian passport says “Republic of India”.
Also, Narendra Modi’s placard also said Bharat for G-20 so I am not sure what will happen to the name but I don’t think it’s something to think a lot about.
YC Summer 2023
If you are in tech, you most likely have heard of YCombinator. If not, YC is a 3-month program to help startups take off from the ground. They help mentor the founders and eventually also invest in the companies. They have funded around 4000 startups in companies like Stripe, Airbnb, Coinbase, Instacart, etc.
Recently their summer 2023 batch presented their startup at their demo day. As expected there has been a surge in AI startups due to the advent of generative AI technology and how LLMs have just changed the game. It all started when ChatGPT came along and, in my opinion, changed the course of history. You can see here how many companies are just AI companies. This also makes me wonder that eventually, they have to converge into a few companies, and the rest of them will either shut down or get merged. One of the biggest threats to these companies is OpenAI, which already has an edge in the consumer and enterprise world.
One thing I am quite excited about is AI infrastructure companies. Techcrunch posted a good article on 5 interested AI infrastructure companies from the YC S23 batch.
I would recommend folks to read about those and see what’s going on in the startup world, especially in AI, and how it can impact and improve your work. I have been using ChatGPT and Github Copilot for coding and it has been of immense help (10x programmer 😝 ).
On a sad note, there was a powerful 6.8 earthquake in Marrakesh-Safi, Morocco. It has killed more than 2,000 people and destroyed a lot of historic sites
The 6.8-magnitude quake was the biggest to hit Morocco in 120 years, and the ministry wrote that most damage occurred outside of cities and towns. At least 2,012 people died in the quake, mostly in Marrakech and five provinces near the epicenter, Morocco's Interior Ministry reported Saturday night. At least 2,059 more people were injured — 1,404 critically — the ministry said.
Hoping for the speedy recovery of people as help comes from around the world.
Book: I have started reading a book called Daemon, as in Computer Daemon. It’s quite catchy and especially if you are in technology it’s an amazing sci-fi thriller. I am still reading the first book and really enjoying it.
TV Series: I started watching the second season of Netflix’s Our Planet series. I am enjoying it a lot as I have always been very interested in nature and wildlife. Season 2 is very focused on the migration of various species around the globe and it tells how seasons affect the migrations. It also explains how some of these habits and migrations are affected by high temperatures and melting icecaps.
Article: An interesting article I read from the creator of Story Points on how the story pointing doesn’t work. Ironically Story Points were originally developed by him only. If this is the first time you are reading about Story Points, it is a very commonly used system in the tech industry to assign some estimation to a task.
Tweet: I also found this photo in a tweet. This has former US President Donald Trump and Indian cricket legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni playing golf together. This is probably the most unexpected photo I have seen this week and somehow made me laugh.
That’s all for this week folks. I hope this was interesting and if you have any comments or other interesting things to share, feel free to put in comments.