issue 011 2021-12-08


by Paolo Belcastro

👋 Hello Morftenighter!

Numbers are a funny and dangerous thing, innit? I just typed `11`, as this is the 11th issue of Morfternight when I started thinking it's a lovely number.

I mean, think about it: it comes with that fantastic multiplication table that makes you regret having to learn the ones of 7 and 9. It's a prime number, and not only that but the smallest palindromic prime with more than a single digit. In other words, it reads identically in both directions in the decimal system.

Along the way, I also learned that it's actually the only prime number with more than one digit where they are all identical. After 11, all other integers made of identical digits are either divisible by 11 or 3. If they have an even number of digits, they can be divided by 11 (and at times by 3 too).

One thing leading to another, an hour of my time was gone.

Now I am late with Morfternight, the newsletter that has numbers in it, so let's get going!


Old school

How long do you think it'll take for gas stations to go the way of phone booths and become a legacy of the past?
More Photos...


This week, I'll recommend you two talks by Simon Sinek, explaining the difference between finite and infinite games and the danger of playing the one when in fact, it's the other going on.

But here's the deal: if you only have about half an hour, listen to this one.
Screenshot 2021-12-08 at 23.24.20
If you have 90 minutes, listen to this other one instead, a more extended and more recent version of the same presentation, including a Q&A session at the end.
Screenshot 2021-12-08 at 23.24.49
Finally, if you have two hours, listen to both so, in addition to the presentation itself, you'll be able to admire how a great speaker improves a presentation over time!


Some of you may know about my passion for trains, trams, and everything that goes on rails or is attached to cables.

So you won't be surprised to learn that this article in the NYT made me happy: Trams, Cable Cars, Electric Ferries: How Cities Are Rethinking Transit.

I recently wrote about the difference between input, output, and outcomes in a different context.

Here's an interesting short article by Anne-Laure Le Cunff (whose newsletter Maker Mind I warmly recommend):
How to learn anything with the Feynman Technique.

A beginner’s take on NFTs (v2)


Another week, another v2. Here's again the second version of a recent piece that has substantially improved after receiving feedback.
v2 - 2021-12-08

Unless you have been living under a rock in recent months, you’ve probably heard of NFTs.

I certainly have, and I am trying to document my discovery of web3 technology, philosophy, and memes, mainly to gather and organise my thoughts. I hope that this can be helpful to anyone following the same journey.

This piece is not an in-depth analysis and won’t be very technical; you probably won’t learn much if you already know what NFTs are. If you don’t, though, I hope to shed a little light on the matter, starting with some parallels between NFTs and the world you already know.

Read More

😳 🤯 😱 💨

This doomed alien planet has a year that lasts just 16 hours — it's only getting faster... Imagine a world that is slightly bigger than Jupiter, orbiting around a star twice the size of our Sun, but 40 times closer to its star than we are from our Sun, and doing that in 16 hours! I wonder if it has 4h seasons...


That's it for today! You can find more of my stuff on, and if you think that someone you know could enjoy Morfternight, the newsletter to share, please forward it to them or send them this link to subscribe.


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