Box of Amazing: Omicron... and on and on  
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Box of Amazing is a weekly digest curated by Rahim covering what's happening now and in the near future from emerging technology to trends and extraordinary articles, hand-picked to broaden your mind and challenge your thinking.

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Editor's Note
Hello from London. 

Just when you could see a glimmer of hope, we get the mother of all variants with more mutations, more transmissible and potentially worse side effects. B.1.1.529 or Omicron, as it is now called was discovered in South Africa and they are now being 'punished' by detecting the new variant.  Reverting to the data from the WHO, it feels like this variant may have already spread after its detection on November 9, and now the world scrambles, again, to shut borders. Even as the world gets the jitters, it's best to be cautious. We can speculate all we want at this stage, but be safe, mask up and be vigilant. With cases already being cited in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong, I'm hoping that the world can slow down its spread, by having some common sense (which I don't see on the Tube in London, btw!) 

The rate of growth graph that you need to see is here.

Stay curious!

Onward! - Rahim

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Must Reads
 
1. Britcoin - "The Bank of England reports that around 95 per cent of the funds that people hold to make payments are now held as bank deposits rather than cash. This, combined with the increasing interest in digital assets like cryptocurrencies, means that surely now is as good a time as any to be thinking about the digital pound, and whether the UK will introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the near future." As countries start to look at digitisation of assets, the application of technology in these spheres, the UK looks likely to follow this route despite the UK being ahead in fintech in many ways.  Just goes to show how funding and government backing can point industry in a specific direction. How likely is a ‘Britcoin’?  (Fintech Times)

2. The Trillion Dollar Opportunity of the Metaverse - Great report from Greyscale on the Metaverse. The report hypothesizes that opportunity will arise from the intersection of trends in gaming and lifestyle and looks at blockchain’s potential to provide infrastructure for digital worlds. People are spending more and more time online, and they concurrently spend money to build social status within these new paradigms. And the largest opportunity will be in games - going from $180bn in 2020 to $400bn in 2025.A must read! The Metaverse [PDF] (Greyscale)
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Recommended Reads

Now


1. Apple’s computerized glasses will be as powerful as a Mac and launch next year Link
2. What I learned from teaching the children of the 1% Link
3. Is society coming apart? Link
4. The Dangerous Experiment on Teen Girls Link
5. Keanu Reeves Knows the Secrets of the Universe Link

Near

1. The slow collapse of Amazon’s drone delivery dream Link
2. How the pandemic pulled Nigerian university students into cybercrime Link
3. Uber Eats users in Ontario can now buy cannabis through the app Link
4. The Gene-Synthesis Revolution Link
5. Pakistan’s biometric ID scheme is stripping citizenship from thousands of people Link
Recommended Links
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Climate Practicality: Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope Link

Magical neuroscience: Researchers Want to Restore ‘Good Noise’ in Older Brains Link

The Lure of Edtech: Tech-savvy teachers pick edtech startups over return to school Link
 
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