Things That Matter

The Value Of Bitcoin Appears To Correlate To The Value Of Avocados And Economists Are Left To Figure Out Why

What if we told you that there’s a correlation between the value of the humble avocado and the ever-mysterious bitcoin? But wait, it’s not what you’re thinking – bitcoin hasn’t suddenly become as affordable as an avocado, nor are avocados now overwhelmingly expensive. Rather, there’s a relationship between the indexes used to track the value of bitcoin and our beloved avocados. And, if we’ve lost you there when we started using words like “indexes,” you’ve come to the right place: we’ll explain.

Let’s start with the correlation between avocados and bitcoin.

Basically, the tea is that one astute observer on Twitter realized that if you look at a graph showing the values of bitcoin and avocado for 2019 beside each other, you’d see that both seem to rise and fall around the same times. The implications of this freaked people out, because if you’ve got the ability to map avocado prices, then maybe, just maybe, you could predict bitcoin prices, too. And remember when bitcoin was worth a lot of money? It meant that people could potentially get richfrom predicting the value of bitcoin. And who doesn’t want to get rich?

You’ve probably guessed that this is where economics comes into it: don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you.

Firstly, it’s important to know what we’re talking about when we say “index price.” It’s basically like the average price of a product, globally. It’s this that shows, in mathematical terms, the ebb and flow of “supply” and “demand” – two processes that form the foundations of economic thinking. The idea is that the value of something is determined by how much of it there is, and also how much people want to buy it.

But it’s all about supply and demand…

Instagram / @fincasagrada

Probably the best way to think about supply and demand is in terms of when fruits, like avocados, are in season. Because when avocados are in season, and lots are growing, it means that supermarkets will have plenty to sell to their customers – they have a large supply. They’ll want to sell it quickly so that they can a) make a profit, and b) do so before the avocados go bad. So, they make them cheap, or less valuable, to encourage people to buy more avocados.

At the same time, though, this process also depends on how much people want to buy avocados.

Credit: avoseedo / Instagram

If there’s a sudden craze for avocado on toast, and all of the avocados are bought from the supermarket before they can satisfy every customer’s craving, this means that demand has outstripped the supply. This can drive the price up, as the supermarket knows that people really want the avocados, and so they’ll get away with charging higher prices for them.

Supply and demand isn’t always so straight forward – which is why people are looking for a correlation between Bitcoin and another tangible commodity to begin with.

Credit: 7pmfortune / Instagram

All of this is pretty much the basis for economic thinking. Of course, it’s a bit more complicated – a whole bunch of different things can affect supply and demand, such as local politics, the environment, international diplomacy and agreements, the media, and even speculation from experts. 

But what about Bitcoin?

Instagram / @criptoinvestimentosdd

The same process of supply and demand also works with bitcoin. Even though it’s an online currency, it’s protected by software called “blockchain.” The purpose of blockchain is to basically ensure that you’re buying and selling with safe, legitimate bitcoin – remember, at the end of the day, bitcoin is made from software, so it is theoretically vulnerable to issues like viruses and counterfeiting. Blockchain technology secures it so well that so far, no-one’s been able to infect it, or produce counterfeits.

Bitcoin’s always had an aura of mystery around it – and not just because it’s difficult to “mine” bitcoin, or predict its value.

Instagram / @lisabello441

The weird thing about bitcoin is that no-one knows who actually invented the whole thing. It just kinda popped up one day, ready for people to use with transactions. There’s a lot of theories out there about who created bitcoin, and why they released it the way they did. The technology for bitcoin is so clever and complex, whoever created it is basically the next Steve Jobs. It’s possible that they just didn’t want the chaos of everyone knowing that they invented bitcoin – and created a pseudonym to protect themselves. The other thing is that, by not telling anyone the inner workings of bitcoin, it means that bitcoin is more secure and legitimate: no-one knows how to make it from scratch, or corrupt it.

So now that you know all of this, you probably want to know how exactly avocados and bitcoin are connected. Well, while we’ve gone on this whole rollercoaster of an explainer, the moral of the story is that while there is a correlation between avocado and bitcoin prices, they don’t cause each other to change in value. The price of avocados and bitcoin just coincidentally rose and fell at the same time. Correlation does not equal causation. But you didn’t learn all of that for nothing: you now know enough about it  to understand this terrible joke …

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TikTok Is Freaking Out After Realizing That The Apple Logo On Your iPhone Is An Extra Button

Things That Matter

TikTok Is Freaking Out After Realizing That The Apple Logo On Your iPhone Is An Extra Button

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Thanks to the good nerds of TikTok, many are discovering there’s a tool hidden in plain sight: the Apple logo on the back of the phone. Yep, it can double as a tool/sensor/button. What the what?!

TikToker Brit Brown posted the iPhone hack back in October of 2020 but it’s making its rounds recently. The video shows users how to program their apple to perform functions like taking a screenshot, opening a particular app, or locking your screen. And it’s not just the Apple logo. Per How to Geek, these shortcuts can be launched by tapping anywhere on the back of your iPhone.

How did we not notice this before? We’re on our phones quite literally all day long.

TikTok reveals the Apple logo on your iPhone is a special button.

So, with iOS 14 software enabled, that shiny Apple logo you’ve been covering up with a case is actually a hidden button that you can program to perform at least 30 different tasks. You can customize your iPhone settings to turn the Apple logo into a tool for taking screenshots, scrolling through Instagram, magnifying pictures, changing your phone’s volume, activating Siri, and more. 

The feature is available to iPhone users with iOS 14 software enabled, and includes an iPhone setting called “Back Tap” that transforms the entire back of your phone into a touch-sensitive tool. This means that, phone case or no phone case, double or triple tapping the back of your device will allow you to access multiple pre-programmed shortcuts. You can even set the “button” as a shortcut to automatically open TikTok, open Netflix, check the time, send a photo text, or customize your own shortcut. 

So what do you have to do to get that extra button?

Remember, it’s a double tap, so if your tech-averse parent is having trouble making this hack work, that might be why. Per How to Geek, this works on iPhone 8s or higher. 

Unfortunately, none of the hacks on here or on TikTok address a potential issue with adding a function to the back of an iPhone: Most people keep their phones in a case. And some of those cases might affect this feature’s functionality. Now, if the company could make a product that didn’t shatter into a million pieces when dropped, that would truly be a feature we could use.

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Once A Cartel Hub, Colombia’s Medellín Has Become A City Of The Future

Culture

Once A Cartel Hub, Colombia’s Medellín Has Become A City Of The Future

Nathan Willock/View Pictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Medellín, Colombia was once home to one of the world’s most powerful cartels – Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel. During the ’90s, drug gangs and guerrilla fighters controlled the city’s streets and few people ventured out the relative safety of their immediate neighborhoods.

That Medellín is a distant memory for many Paisas thanks to the fall of the cartels, but also to a distinct set of ideals and values that have shaped the city’s development over the last decade.

Medellín was named the world’s third city of the future and it’s leading in so many categories.

Medellín is nestled in a valley high in the Andes, and many of the city’s poorest residents live in comunas they built on the steep slopes. And although the city still struggles with high rates of poverty, city planners are working to bridge the divide between these poor communities with little access to public amenities and the core of Medellín.

The technology that helped save Medellín is not what you’d see in San Francisco, Boston or Singapore—fleets of driverless cars, big tech companies and artificial intelligence. It is about gathering data to make informed decisions on how to deploy technology where it has the most impact. 

Where most smart-city ­initiatives are of, by and, to a large extent, for the already tech-savvy and well-resourced segment of the population, Medellín’s transformation has for the most part been focused on people who have the least.

The city’s cable car system is one out of sci-fi novels.

Think of a gondola suspended under a cable, floating high off the ground as it hauls a cabin full of passengers up a long, steep mountain slope. To most people, the image would suggest ski resorts and pricey vacations. To the people who live in the poor mountainside communities once known as favelas at the edges of Medellín, the gondola system is a lifeline, and a powerful symbol of an extraordinary urban transformation led by technology and data.

“The genius of the Metrocable is that it actually serves the poor and integrates them into the city, gives them access to jobs and other opportunities,” says Julio Dávila, a Colombian urban planner at University College London. “Nobody had ever done that before.” As people of all classes started using the cars to visit “bad” neighborhoods, they became invested in their city’s fate, heralding a decade of some of the world’s most innovative urban planning

Designers have created safe spaces for all with parks and libraries.

The Metrocable succeeded in connecting Medellín’s poorest neighborhoods to the rest of the city – but where would they hang out? This lead to the construction of five libraries sprinkled throughout Medellín, all surrounded by beautiful greenery. These “library-parks” were among the first safe public spaces many neighborhoods had ever seen. 

The key ingredient of Medellín’s transformation, experts agree, is perspective: The city looked beyond technology as an end in itself. Instead, it found ways to integrate technological and social change into an overall improvement in daily life that was felt in all corners of the city—and especially where improvement was most needed. “Medellín’s vision of itself as a smart city broke from the usual paradigms of hyper-modernization and automation,” says Robert Ng Henao, an economist who heads a smart-city department at the University of Medellín.

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