The page is a constant stream of topics I’m researching and the random findings that result:

# 2020

By IMF 18 PPP, 78 countries (upper 40%) are above world average (16.7k) including Iraq 17k, China 18k, Iran 19k, Belarus 20k, Mexico 20k

By IMF 18 nominal, only 60 countries (upper 30%) are above world average (11.3k) including Russia* 11k, Poland 14k, Croatia 14k. Below: Mexico 10k, China 10k, Arg 9k, Kaz 9k, Brazil 8k, Belarus 6k

The 48 contiguous states and DC have an area of 8080 km2 (9525, 15% smaller than the full total). This would rank the US 6th in area, below Brazil and slightly above Australia. For reference, Kazakstan is 1/3 the area of the lower 48 states. The European Union is half the size of the lower 48.

Poorest countries I visited by GDP per capita PPP

Tajikistan 3.4k, Vietnam 7.5, Uzbek 7.6, India 7.8, Ukraine 9.2, Armenia 10.1, Georgia 11.4, Indonesia 13.2, Egypt 13.3

If Alaska was an independent country, it would rank 17th in the world in area just below Libya and slightly larger than Iran.

Unrooted metropolitanism

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the size of 6 Yellowstone’s and contains one-fourth of North America’s glaciers

Alaska contains 2/3 of all land set aside by the national park service, 54 million acres

Gates of the Arctic NP is the size of Switzerland

Alaska 1718 k km2 is about the area of Xinjiang 1660 k km2

Australia is 3.5x larger than Greenland, the world’s largest island. Surprisingly, Greenland is only about 3x larger than the next largest island New Guinea

Australia is next to the world’s second and third largest islands by area

Hawaii (Big Island) is the world’s 75th largest island, about 2.5x smaller than Sicily

A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s

I’ve read 25 books over 400 pages, ranging from the Old Testament to Great Expectations

The second busiest airport in Africa (Cairo, 15m passengers) would rank about 50th in Asia, just behind China’s 20th city. Compared to 35th in Europe or 38th in North America.

Cincinnati’s airport has about 4m passengers per year. Denver has 64m (16x)

Roughly half of US households in 2018 had some credit card debt. Among those that held credit card debt, the average revolving credit card balance was $6,849 which was the driving force behind the $1,141 in average annual interest charges alone.

Colorado has the highest mean elevation of any US state at 6,800 ft. The low is 3,317 ft, higher can many state’s high. The largest city Denver is at 5,280ft, even lower than the average. The next highest are Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico.

LSU was 15-0 this year with 7 wins against top 10 teams (4 verse top 5): Texas, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Clemson

For most of the past 1000 years, Europe was behind the Chinese and Muslim world

The old world, Afro-Eurasia, contains about 150 countries (75%) and 86% pop

The new world, N-S America&Australia, contains about 50 countries (25%) and 14% pop

India’s capital city is in a poor area (Uttar Pradesh), not easily excusable to external trade, and has a higher rural pop % than the country average.  China’s capital city is in a rich area (the coast), easily excusable to external trade, and has a high urbanization percentage.

Also, China’s most populated state is on the southern coast, does not contain the capital, and it much richer than average. Meanwhile, India’s most populated state, contains the capital, far from trade and much poorer than average.

India’s most populated state with 200m people (where capital located) has an estimated 155m rural population (78%). The state we visited is the 6th most populated with 72m people and 37m (52%) rural. The country average is 68% rural.

Largest cities in the world by GDP, 2014: Tokyo 1.6T, NYC 1.5T, LA 866b, Seoul 845, London 835

China has 21 cities that are Houston size (7m) or larger

I’ve been to 14 of the top 15 cities in the world by GDP (Nominal) and 9 of 10 (PPP)

There are 243m people are living in a country they were not born in (foreign-born population). Of world population, this is 3.3%. The biggest foreign-born countries, by total people, is: the US 46m, Germany 12m, Russia 11m, and Saudi 10m. The high % big countries are: Australia 33%, Saudi 31%, Canada 22%, Germany 15, USA 14, UK 13, Spain 13, France 11, Italy 8, Russia 8

EU estimate: 52m of 512m (10.1%)

EU minus UK est: 43.5m of 446 (9.8%)

Most of the countries in the G20 or especially the OECD are above world average in foreign-born population (that is, above 3.3%) except for:

S Korea 2.9%, Japan 1.9%, Mexico 0.9, Brazil 0.9, India 0.4%, China 0.1%, Indo 0.1%

2.2% of India’s population lives abroad, Mexico 8.8%, Russia 6.8%, UK 7.5%

There are way more Indian’s living abroad than Chinese, 25m compared to 9.5m. There are more Mexicans 12.3m and Russians 10.5m living abroad than Chinese.

A little bit different numbers, but it will give some picture as to where these 10.5m Russian people abroad live:

USA 3.1m (30%), Germany 1.2 (11.4%), Israel 1m, Canada 550k, France 500k, Brazil 200k

There is now a widespread tendency to argue that one can only defend democracy by totalitarian methods. In our country… it is the liberals who fear liberty and the intellectuals who want to do dirt on the intellect.

Australia’s fires have pumped out more emissions than 100 nations combined. It’s more than the total combined annual emissions of the 116 lowest emitting countries

The Maldives is the smallest country in Asia by pop and area. It would rank 42nd in area in Europe, almost the same size and population as Malta (the smallest EU member state) or Grenada. There would still be four more smaller countries in Europe: Liechtenstein is only half this size, San Marino 5x smaller, Monaco 156x, and Vatican 718x

I would probably consider any countries smaller than Singapore (ranked 175th in area) to be micronations. Of the nearly 20 smaller, I’ve been to 3.

There are 1.15 billion Hindu’s in the world, 1.079 billion (94%) live in India or Hindustan

There are differences in city population between Defined Limits, Metro Stat Areas, and Combined Stat Areas. For example, by the 5 borough city defined limits, NYC pop is 8.6m, 20.3m MSA, and 23.6m CSA.

Of the top 100 cities in the world by CSA, I’ve been to 41, including the top 5: Tokyo, Shanghai, Jakarta, Seoul, Beijing

Of the top 100 cities in the world by CSA, 55 are in Asia, including 9 of the top 10. USA+EU = 26, Others = 19. China has 15 of the largest 45 cities (21 of the top 100).

China’s large cities clump between 10-30m, where the US is more about 5-10m, and Europe more 3-7m.

There are 8 countries with 3+ CSA cities in the top 100 (that is >5m): China 21, USA 12, India 9, Germany 6, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, Brazil 3 (the total is 60)

There are 1064 urban areas in the world over 500k. China has 259 (24.3%), India 109, EU 79, USA 73 (top four total 520 (49%))

Russia 37, Brazil 36, Mexico 30, Nigeria 26, Indonesia 24, Japan 22

It appears Baghdad was the first city to reach 1m people way back in 925, then fell below for a long while. It wasn’t until nearly 300 years that Beijing reached 1m people in 1207. It fell below 1m in 1216, then up to 3m by 1327, then back below 1m in 1644, then back over a million for good in 1647. Then finally a European city reached 1m — London, then Paris where next sometime around 1825. The next group to reach the club by 1900 was NYC, Tokyo, Chicago, St. Peters, and Moscow. Beijing was the largest city in the world from 1710-1825, then London from 1825-1925, then NYC from 1925-1965, and now Tokyo from 1965-present.

China has four direct-controlled municipalities: Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing

Shanghai literally means “City on the Sea”

Sverdlovsk Oblast is 195 kkm^2 and has 4.3m people

Colorado State is 270 kkm^2 and has 5.7m people

Federer has at least reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open 15 of the last 17 years

In 1600’s Edo, Japan the post of machi–bugyō combined the duties of mayor, police chief, judge, and fire marshal.

Kyoto was the capital (seat of Imperial court) of Japan from 794 to 1869. Kyoto means ‘capital city’. Edo was renamed Tokyo meaning ‘Eastern Capital’ in 1868 and seat of the Emperor was moved there, Kyoto was for a short time renamed Saikyo meaning ‘Western Capital’.

Yulia’s state, Sakha Republic, is about twice as big as Alaska or ~India size

St. Peters reached 1m people in 1985, 2m by 1912, dips below 1m and doesn’t reach 2m again until 1930, 3m by 1939, dips below 1m and doesn’t reach 3m again until 1958, 4m by 1970

Moscow reached 1m in 1987, 2m by 1926, 4m -1939, 5m -1959, 7m -1970, 10m -2002

Sasha and I have been to 4 of the top 5 tallest towers in the world — Skytree, CN, Ostankino, and Oriental Pearl

“Teenagers go out in the world now while you still know everything”

Luxembourg collects more tax revenue than Nigeria

Chinese cities GDP per capita is somewhere around 25k, whereas Japan and S Korea are 35-40k, Europe and America 50k, NYC and SF 65-70k

The US has 20 urban areas greater than 2m people. China has 50 (22%) , India 20 (9%), EU 14, Brazil 12, Japan 7, Pakistan 5, Indon 4, Mex 4, Germ 4,

Countries with cities in the top by GDP (7): USA 2, Japan 2, China 2, Korea, UK, France, Russia

Alaska is 2.5 times larger than Texas

The unorganized boroughs of Alaska encompass nearly half of the land area, 837k km^2, an area larger than any other US state and larger than the land area of the smallest 16 states combined. The population is 81k, only 13% of the state total.

Before Manchuria was used, the term “Chinese Tartary” had been commonly applied in the west to Manchuria and Mongolia

About 73% of Japan consists of Mountains, Forests, or wastelands — meaning only 27% of the county is habitable (only 11% arable). Further, there are no internal river systems connecting the population zones

Japan can only produce enough food to feed 66% of the nation and 90% of Tokyo’s energy sources comes from abroad

At the beginning of the 2016–17 season, 113 players from 41 countries and territories were on NBA rosters

In the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, the last Olympics before the USSR collapsed, 160 nations competed. The two prior games the USA boycotted and the USSR the next. So, in 1980 only 80 nations competed and in 1984 only 140 competed. By 1996, when former-USSR countries competed independently plus others, 197 nations competed.

The Winter Olympics is still much smaller than the summer edition, the most recent games in 2018 only had 92 nations competing.

We are what they grow beyond. That is the burden of all masters

Keep the main thing the main thing

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. – Confucius

Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated. – Confucius

Love is a serious mental disease. – Plato

Only the dead have seen the end of war. – Plato

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – Plato

The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know – Chomsky

The broad-brimmed, long-robed ministers of today pose as pillars of the constitution

Chinese History:

At the same time the pyramids are being built (2500 BC), Emperor Shun ruled China, the last of the ‘Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors’. His successor was Yu the Great (known for controlling floods), established the Xia dynasty, the first dynastic rule in China. Confucius did not live until around 550 BC, about the same time as Buddha and Socrates.

Later the Qin dynasty (the namesake of Chin-a) became the first dynasty of ‘Imperial China’ inaugurating an imperial system that lasted from 221 BC until 1912 AD. The Qin sought to create a state unified by structured centralized political power and a large military supported by a stable economy. The central government moved to undercut aristocrats and landowners to gain direct administrative control over the peasantry, who comprised the overwhelming majority of the population and labor force. This allowed ambitious projects involving three hundred thousand peasants and convicts, such as connecting walls along the northern border, eventually developing into the ‘Great Wall of China’.

The Qin introduced a range of reforms such as standardized currency, weights, measures, and a uniform system of writing, which aimed to unify the state and promote commerce. Additionally, its military used the most recent weaponry, transportation, and tactics, though the government was heavy-handedly bureaucratic. Despite its short reign, the dynasty greatly influenced the future of China, particularly the Han dynasty which followed and lasted for nearly 400 years – from 202 BC to 220 AD.

The main three sages of Chinese history are Laozi, founder of the Taoist religion with its watchword of “Tao” (Reason). His fame is obscured, however, by that of his disciple, Confucius, whose writings have probably had greater influence than those of any other human being. Mencius, the last of the classic philosophers, was later then Confucius by about one hundred years.

Mencius’ key belief of his was that humans are innately good, but that this quality requires cultivation and the right environment to flourish. He also taught that rulers must justify their position of power by acting benevolently towards their subjects, and in this sense, they are subordinate to the masses.

Kaliningrad Oblast is 15,100 km2, about the size of Montenegro

Oil and gas sales account for 40% of the Russian government’s budget

Russia supplies 40% of EU gas

Foreign country GPS

Russia – GLONASS, EU – GALILEO, and China – Beidou

The sun never sets on Russia: when it’s dusk in Europe, it already dawns in the Pacific


# 2019

The world internet penetration has just reached 50%

10 years ago, your one day forecast was as good as the fifth-day forecast today

10% of users are responsible for 80% of all tweets

China makes 72% of our shoes

Don’t try to get happier than happy


Curry swooshes 84% of his free throws

At what price paradise

Secrets are rarely in powering

On Nov 18, 1883, the US went on standard time. Local time was not fully abolished until 1966

25% of Belarus pop lost, almost all of its intellectuals, and Minsk and Vitebsk lost 80% of their buildings and city infrastructure

Only 56 countries are above world average GDP per capita (nominal) of $11,297

People don’t change unless they are going to die or go broke

The Soviet Union was bordered by 12 countries: Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia, China, Finland, Hungary, Iran, North Korea, Mongolia, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Turkey. Today Russia has 16 unique borders, 14 of which are UN countries.

None of the 18 largest economies in the world are landlocked countries

Russia provides for 40% of Europe’s natural gas demand

Bangladesh is 118x smaller than Russia, yet has 29m more people. Java island is 135x smaller than Russia, yet also has more population

Russia lost 13% of its pop in just four years during WWII, Belarus lost 25%

There was only a 20% likelihood of USSR boys born in 1923 surviving to 1946

If Siberia was an independent country, it would still be the largest country on earth, yet have a smaller population than California

The US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia account for 47% of world oil production. The remainder of the top 10 accounts for an additional 30% making the top 10 responsible for 77% of global output. Only 97 countries produce any oil.

Total world gas production is 3,712,657 million m^3. The US and Russia account for 37%. The remainder of the top 10 accounts for an additional 28% making the top 10 responsible for 65% of global output. Only 94 countries produce any gas.

one-man, one-vote only works when the majority of the population are highly educated, middle class and above

Those in the top 40% of the US economy spend five times more on their children’s education than those in the bottom 60%

Online video accounts for 60% of global data flows (in 2018). Online video does not include live video streaming, like Skype video, cam girls, etc, which account for an additional 20% of global data flows. All of this is about 1% of global emissions (Netflix accounts for about 1/3 and porn another 1/3)

Netflix has 150m streaming customers

About 15% of US-China trade passes through the city of Hong Kong. One in five people works in the trade industry in HK. The ASEAN block has a free trade agreement with HK and is its the second-largest trading partner

WTO member states represent 96% of global trade and 97% of global GDP. Iran and Algeria are the economies with the largest GDP outside of the block

Retweets are not reality

What you can download in an hour on 4G takes 30 seconds on 5G

31 countries have nuclear energy. Only ten countries have 10+ reactors, making up 369 of the 451 (82%) operational in the world

Ethiopia (Kingdom of Aksum) was one of the first Christian countries in the world, having officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century. Ethiopia was the only region of Africa to survive the expansion of Islam as a Christian state

Agriculture as irrational. You plant the best you can but have to hope for the right conditions each year which deem you profitable or unprofitable

The international financial crisis of 2008-09 led to the first downturn in global output since 1946

Saudi Arabia is now up to 3rd in the world in military spending and India 4th! France, UK, and Russia now move down to 5-7. The US spends about 10x that of Russia and China about 3x. US military spending accounts for about 1/3 of the world total

China accounts for 30% of the world’s CO2 emissions, about equal to the world’s bottom 162 country’s combined! This is 84% of the world’s countries and about 50% of world population.

China, US, EU, India, Russia, and Japan represent 67.4% of global emissions. Another way to look at is: China 1/3, US-EU-India-Russia-Japan 1/3, and the rest of the world 1/3

International shipping is equal to about S Korea at 1.82% and International aviation is equal to about Canada at 1.47%

About 10% of global financial wealth asset or over $7.6 trillion is held in tax havens.

Research into tax havens suggest a high GDP-per-capita score, in the absence of material natural resources, as an important proxy indicator of a tax haven

the first recognized tax haven hub was the Zurich-Zug-Litchenstien triangle created in the mid-1920s; later joined by Luxembourg in 1929

the United Kingdom created its first “non-resident company” in 1929, leading the creation of tax havens around the empire

About 15% of the world’s countries are labeled as tax havens

The statistical negative effect of hate is about 7x stronger than the positive effect, it’s called negative partisanship

The big four economies make up about 3/4 of the Eurozone GDP


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