Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Happy Wednesday. I’ve been told I’m the contrarian in my group of friends: LeBron is my all-time least favorite athlete, I can’t stand Hamilton and I think cars are death traps. While my hot takes are relatively benign, today you’ll meet some brilliantly radical thinkers, take a sneak peek at the transformational potential of 6G technology (yes, 6G), nail the history of nail art and read some terrific Asian tales of love. Read to the end for the answer to yesterday’s question. But start with OZY’s specially curated Hump Day playlist.
Trump started his presidential campaign in 2015 with racist comments against Mexico. But he’s ending his White House stint with newfound respect for America’s southern neighbor. The U.S. has agreed to drop drug trafficking and money laundering charges against former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos amid bilateral tensions over his arrest. (Sources: WaPo)
Looking forward to the holidays and 2021? While Santa mall visits may be out, saving big is still very much in. You can enjoy Outerknown’s biggest warehouse sale with up to 60 percent off everything through 11/19. Don’t miss your chance to stock up on seasonal favorites, from stylish sweaters to sustainable tees to cozy, warm flannels.
Best of all, friends of OZY get free shipping within the U.S. with code OZYSHIP.
Despite the chaos of 2020, the march of modern technology continues. While mobile operators are still rolling out 5G, researchers, telecommunications companies and governments are preparing to fundamentally upend our experiences with 6G technology.
That’s essentially what 6G will be, allowing you to download 300 movies in one second — that’s 100 times faster than 5G. It would create a futuristic (and slightly scary) world where we could have sensors all around us, and potentially even embedded in our bodies, all communicating with each other. While a smart, driverless car can communicate with its surroundings using 5G, a city of a million autonomous vehicles, for instance, would need 6G to coordinate traffic. Scientists expect the technology to be ready for mass use by 2030. Read more.
Those high speeds will come with a compromise: 6G will need base stations — that receive and transmit signals — every 200 meters. That means the world will need 100 billion such mobile phone-sized stations for 6G to be accessible everywhere. Public transport, street lighting … they’ll all need to double up as 6G transmitters.
Think 6G is bold? These brilliant and provocative minds will redefine the word for you.
It’s worth the price. In 2015, Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments — a Seattle-based credit card processing company — cut his million-dollar salary to raise the minimum wage at his company to $70,000. This year he opened up a second location in Boise, Idaho, with the same policy. At a time when the concept of universal basic income is seen by critics as infeasible, Price is showing that it’s doable even in the private sector.
2. Ballet Without Borders
Ballet has traditionally been a preserve of the privileged, access restricted by studio waitlists and steep admission prices. Lagos-based Daniel Owoseni Ajala is breaking those barriers for young Nigerians with his Leap of Dance Academy. He learned ballet online and from books, and then opened a studio in one of Lagos’ poorest districts. The electricity is unreliable. Students don’t have money. And in Nigeria, the dance form and the idea of boys wearing leotards represent counterculture. But he’s inspiring a generation of ballet dancers — and they’re already winning global recognition.
3. The Myth of Free Trade
South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang has among the most pointed and provocative critiques of global capitalism. Through his books, the Cambridge professor argues that governments of big economies help out their own companies and use their power to profit from emerging economies.
Help Us Reset America
The nation stands at a crossroads as it grapples with racial injustice and economic turmoil, growing isolation and technological upheaval. OZY will continue to bring a wide variety of voices to the table to find the path forward. We want to kick this off at SXSW in 2021 — and could use your help. Click here to visit the SXSW website, create an account and “vote up” our panel. Also join us on social media for the latest on resetting America.
Nail Art Pioneers
It’s a fascinating art — and its history is just as absorbing.
As flamboyant, chic and bourgeois as acrylic nails might seem today, they had a humbler start: in a dental lab. After cutting his thumbnail in 1957, Dr. Fred Slack, in self-treating himself, developed a solution using dental acrylic to replace the nail bed, effectively becoming the first prototype of acrylic nails. Read more.
2. Flo Jo
You’ll see kids of all backgrounds wearing long, extravagant nails today, but it was once much more taboo. So much so that Florence Griffith Joyner, the world record-holder in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash, was questioned about her nails just as much if not more than her heroics on the track.
3. Inca Inspiration
The first historical record of nail art dates to the Inca civilization. The Incas would paint images of eagles and other symbols and motifs on their fingertips to display gratitude.
Speaking of nail art, here's a little quiz:
The shade of color on your nails denoted your economic and social class in this ancient culture from the African continent. Which country am I talking about?
Being stuck at home doesn’t mean your life gets put on hold. Luckily, you don’t have to wait any longer to start planning your family. Modern Fertility’s hormone test measures the same hormones they would at a fertility clinic for only a fraction of the cost. Get $15 off when you buy the test now and find out everything you need to know about your fertility.
Asian Love Notes
It’s been a tough year and we could all do with some love. But love can come with its challenges too. These brilliant Asian books take you on a journey to different strands of love — thrilling and terrifying, elevating and agonizing.
This runaway bestseller by Takashi Hiraide follows a bored Tokyo couple in their mid-30s who find their work-driven lives lit up when a neighbor's cat strays into their kitchen one day — and then makes it a daily routine. Suddenly, a dull life finds meaning. This simple urban tale of loneliness and love is a modern classic.
2. 'Swimming in the Monsoon Sea'
Set in Sri Lanka, this coming-of-age story follows a fourteen-year-old boy who develops feelings for his Canadian cousin of the same gender who visits during the 1980 monsoon season. Follow his roller coaster of emotions as he tries to make sense of culture, sexuality and romance all at once.
3. 'Once Upon a Sunset'
A perfect light, warm-hearted read for this year, it’s the story of a daughter and her mother who travel to the Philippines to find the truth about their family history after her grandmother dies. They discover secrets they’re unprepared for on a vacation of self-discovery, romance and mystery.
We asked you which self-governing, coastal region has only recently learned to fish. It’s Somaliland.