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The100: The she-conomy, driverless cars and parkour dogs

Look away, Peter Pan

Here’s a chin stroker for you: Legal definitions aside, how do you know when you’re an adult? Megan Wright and Sophie von Stumm have surveyed 722 people to find out:

“The research suggests that many people define adulthood more by psychological markers than by social milestones – in other words, adulthood is often seen as being about more than donning the identities of ‘worker’, ‘spouse’ or ‘parent’. Instead, their views reflect that adulthood is a rich and dynamic period of psychological development, one in which individuals tend to become more self-reliant, responsible and self-confident.”

Personally (you have Fran on the keys this week, by the way), it was aged 25 and the sobering realisation that I’d be in The X Factor’s “overs” category (aka the “why are you even bothering” category) should my voice miraculously u-turn from 4.6 miles south of off-key.

The Year of the Girl 

Yelp have declared 2023 the year of the She-conomy, with their latest report showing a 17% increase in openings of women-owned businesses.

Interestingly, this includes a growing share of listings in traditionally male-dominated industries, such as plumbing and repair businesses. While the cities of Austin, Miami, Washington D.C and Denver saw the highest growth of women-owned business openings.


18 months on from the launch of ChatGPT, how’re Americans using it? Take it away, Pew Research Center: 

“The share of employed Americans who have used ChatGPT on the job increased from 8% in March 2023 to 20% in February 2024, including an 8-point increase since July. Turning to U.S. adults overall, about one-in-five have used ChatGPT to learn something new (17%) or for entertainment (17%). These shares have increased from about one-in-ten in March 2023.”

“… Except for hiring a full-time chauffeur”

Rory Sutherland has been doing Rory Sutherland things and writing superbly about what would happen in a world of fully driverless cars. He concludes that we’d see a huge increase in road traffic, but also improvements to sociability and quality-of-life, especially for the elderly and disabled:

“A team at UC Berkeley and UC Davis ingeniously simulated a world of driverless cars by providing a representative sample of volunteer households in Sacramento with a full-time chauffeur […] the use of mass transit fell by more than 90 per cent among households with a chauffeur. Overall miles driven rose by 60 per cent […] much of the increased car mileage consisted of what were deemed zero–occupancy journeys, where the chauffeur drove the car with no passenger present. People sent their car to collect a friend, then would engage in some sociable activity, before asking the driver to ferry their friend back home.”

Is the news industry dying?

Scarily, 1 in 4 newspapers that existed in 2005 no longer do so today. The New York Times has taken a long look at the decline of the news media.

“The slow crash of newspapers and magazines would be of limited interest save for one thing: Traditional media had at its core the exalted and difficult mission of communicating information about the world. From investigative reports on government to coverage of local politicians, the news served to make all the institutions and individuals covered a bit more transparent and, possibly, more honest.”

And finally…

Not even Vincent Van Gogh can escape the whim of clients. 

Meet Ninja, the parkour dog. Flipping heck.

Ever heard of the Valeriepieris Circle? It’s one-sixth of the world’s land area, but more people live inside of it than outside of it. Good fact to have up the sleeve.

You’ve had Fran in the hot seat this week while Alistair is in Spain – the lucky badger! Hopefully none of you have fallen asleep and let’s keep any typos between us, eh?! 🤪