The Presidential Daily Brief

intriguing

  1. Bill Gates Muses on Concrete, Coke Cans and Modern Life

    A new book by Vaclav Smil — Bill Gates’ favorite author — explores the role of physical materials in modern life. In ”Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization,” historian Smil offers answers to the big questions of the future by looking at past trends. He argues that the most important man-made material is concrete, which allows the establishment of powerful urban centers. In the last three years, China has used more concrete than the U.S. has used in the past century — quite literally laying the foundations for its superpower status.

    Gates Notes

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