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darwin's finches

by Kiel 4 months ago in fact or fiction
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Success must be because we do something right. But in the face of the complexity of natural selection logic, we don't really know what's right. So, what are the forces of evolution?

Let's start with a story.

A man is robbed in Hong Kong in June 2021. The police arrived at the scene and asked what had been taken. "Chips," he said. Made off with 14 cases worth HK $5 million.

This is the first time in my life I've ever heard of a robber taking a chip instead of a gold store.

In 2021, chips will indeed be more expensive than gold. My student Luo Xiaoxun, one of her jobs, is to help customers find chips all over the world. One of the chips, she told me, cost 179 yuan in mid-March. By the end of the day, what do you think it's going to be? 1142 yuan!

Why is it going up like this? Because of severe shortage. So why are they so out of stock? Because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, it is understandable that the epidemic has affected the catering industry, the tourism industry and so on. How can the epidemic also affect the chip industry?

At the time, no one could have imagined. But now from the perspective of hindsight, from the COVID-19 epidemic to the chip shortage, there are actually three transmission factors: the outbreak of consumer electronics, cautious expansion of factory capacity, and panic stockpiling.

Because of the pandemic, adults are working from home and children are taking online classes from home. One computer used to be enough, now one for each person. As a result, shipments of computers surged 73.49 percent year on year, and shipments of computer peripherals also increased.

Routers grew 29% year over year, mice 31%, keyboards 64%, headsets 134%, monitors 138%, and webcams 179%.

And in all of these devices, you have chips. Chips are out of stock.

Out of stock? Then work overtime. Even late for overtime? Then expand another production line and increase capacity.

It's not that simple. We often say that capacity is climbing, but what is climbing is the steady growth of demand. Capacity will not climb.

Capacity will only climb the stairs, this big step down, demand can follow up? It is widely predicted that when the pandemic does end, this "crazy" demand will plummet. Therefore, the factory dare not rashly expand capacity.

So what?

In order to prevent the shortage of chips lead to production, a large number of manufacturers began to panic stockpiling. Many brands bought enough chips for 3 months in advance. Some people even started to stock up for six or 12 months.

More stock, more out of stock.

In March 2021, Lei Jun said: not only mobile phone chips, no matter what chips in the world are out of stock, and this shortage may last for two years.

In the chip industry, which has such a high density of smart people, it is surprising that no one can do anything when the environment changes dramatically. No matter how hard you try, there seem to be more difficulties than solutions.

But is the change of circumstances only causing problems? Of course not.

There is a girl named Song Tingting, 19 years old. In the second semester of her freshman year, she set up a foreign trade e-commerce company and earned 5 million yuan in half a year.

How did she do it? Is to face overseas buyers, do cross-border live broadcast.

However, a 19-year-old novice, is how to do a business like a duck to water? Because the industry she entered, foreign trade e-commerce, has experienced explosive growth.

In 2021, I met the general manager of Alibaba International Station Zhang Kuo, he told me a data, in the first quarter of 2021, China's cross-border trade total, relative to the first quarter of 2019, not 2020, is 2019 before the epidemic, across the year on year, an increase of nearly 300%!

The huge growth of foreign trade e-commerce is also due to this reason: the pandemic.

From the COVID-19 epidemic to the explosive growth of foreign trade e-commerce, there are actually three transmission factors in the middle: a decline in global demand, a more severe decline in global supply, and the resumption of Chinese supply chain to fill the knife gap.

People stopped going out and spending money because of the pandemic, and global demand did fall. But also because of the pandemic, employees are on holiday, factories are closed, and global supplies are falling even more. This is a huge opportunity for China's foreign trade at that time.

According to the "Competitiveness Index of Small and medium-sized foreign Trade Enterprises" published by XTransfer, a cross-border collection agency, China's foreign trade competitiveness index rose sharply to 77.9 in April 2020.

The other is data from the Center for Trade and Investment in China, an official agency in the Philippines. In April 2020, the Philippines' merchandise exports, down 41.3% year on year!

The Philippines is just one example of a world where supplies are collapsing. At the same time, the Chinese supply chain is rapidly reopening. In the middle of the scissors, it becomes an opportunity to hit the foreign trade e-commerce.

Now let's step back.

The same epidemic has led to two very different outcomes: a shortage of chips and an outbreak of foreign trade.

The same epidemic even led to two distinct fates: one robbed HK $5 million by robbing chips; One earned 5 million yuan by livestreaming foreign trade.

There is a saying in the Tao Te Ching: Heaven and earth are not humane, and all things are regarded as humble dogs. In fact, heaven and earth have no mercy, it only changes according to its own path. The chip industry is suffering because of changes, and the foreign trade industry is soaring because of changes.

So, who can survive the change? For example, the fittest survive, like Darwin's finches.

In 1835, a naturalist sailed around the world in a ship called the Beagle. When their ship came to an archipelago in South America called the Galapagos, it stayed for about a month.

The archipelago, 1,000 kilometers from South America, is isolated from the rest of the world, so it's full of surprising creatures like Pinta Island tortoises, Marine iguanas, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and more. But the most famous is a plain bird with seemingly no magical powers.

The birds became famous because the naturalist collected a dozen specimens of them from different islands and gave them to famous ornithologists to study. They found that the shape of their beak, or mouth, varied greatly.

In some birds, the beak is thick and hard, because it gathers nuts on the ground. Some birds have sharp and thin beaks because they peck at insects in the trees. In some finches, the beak is not tightly fitted and slightly turned inwards, because it is easier to eat nectar and insects.

Although the beaks of these finches are so different, they are very closely related, and they come from the same ancestor.

This interesting phenomenon inspired another naturalist. In 1859, 24 years after visiting the Galapagos, he published a seminal work, On the Origin of Species. In this book, he developed his famous theory of evolution. He was Charles Robert Darwin.

Evolution has changed the way humans see themselves. Later, the Galapagos Islands, which inspired Darwin's theory of evolution, became known as the Evolution Islands. The finches, which evolve in response to changes in their environment, are called Darwin's finches.

Life scientist Wang Liming teacher said, evolution is the only reliable success on earth. You're so right.

Success must be because we do something right. But in the face of the complexity of natural selection logic, we don't really know what's right. So, what are the forces of evolution?

The force of evolution is the force of natural selection in response to a vast number of competing objects.

In the face of really complex changes, 100 randomly mutated finches, all thought they had given the right answer, and the proof seemed airtight. But there was only one correct answer -- from the bird that got the new question right.

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