(cross posted from Perspective and Context)
On Oct 25 2020, this writer set out to forecast the possible outcomes for the 2020 election, worth revisiting now. On a scale of 1/10 the correlation between possible and actual ranks at 6.8.
1- Biden wins in a sweeping 1932/1984 landslide
2- Biden ekes out a slim victory and Trump contests the win, sending the US into a self-destructive tailspin
3- Biden ekes out a slim victory and Trump huff and puffs but doesn’t contest the win, preferring to hedge his bet on the future
The last 5 months saw a relative mix…
30 years after the start of the first Gulf War, clearly fought by the US-led coalition to deter Iraq from taking over the Saudi oil fields, the world could see a decisive pivot to another “hot” conflict, this time over preserving access to semiconductor chips.
These chips could act as “the new oil”, in the sense that constant and ready access to them is key to the global economy.
President George HW Bush convinced a coalition of 35 nations to rout Saddam Hussein to ensure the flow of oil in 1990–91 and the preservation of control of the Saudi…
NB: this is a cross post from my Substack newsletter, published in Oct
Born during the baby crash years of the 1970s and coming of age in 1980s America images of the future beckoned and excited the imagination. Notwithstanding the “Day After” nuclear Armageddon fears, our childhood was bookended by the 2001 Space Odyssey-style visions of the future and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Futurists like Alvin Toffler graced magazine covers and the “year 2000” was a calling card for progress. The first 2 decades of the 21st century, rocked by terrorism, wars and climate catastrophes, and too often…
NB: originally published on Oct 17, this is a cross post from my Substack newsletter
The AP released a disheartening poll yesterday on the state of US democracy:
Add to it that US media thinks little of the fact there was no debate between the candidates for President this week says a lot about the state of America. In 2004 at the DNC Barack Obama appealed to the better selves of America and asked for a leap of faith to transcend the red/blue divide. His call to action mostly failed, due to entrenched interests and more.
UPDATE from Nov 13 Substack post
NB: this post was originally posted on Nov 13 on my Substack
UPDATE: as expected and forewarned, Xi Jinping is going to make an example out of Ma, who should really think about leaving China, now.
The probe announced Thursday marks the formal start of the Communist Party’s crackdown on the crown jewel of Ma’s sprawling dominion, spanning everything from e-commerce to logistics and social media. [..]
Once hailed as drivers of economic prosperity and symbols of the country’s technological prowess, Alibaba and rivals like Tencent Holdings Ltd. face increasing…
American media, particularly its DC/NY political media, has many virtues: doggedness like David Fahrentold who uncovered Trump’s grifting, righteousness like Eugene Robinson and Mike Barnicle whose opeds are useful chronicles of our “interesting times”. What it fundamentally lacks is the ability to think outside itself and to call out, forcefully, how we got here, with a Trumpified GOP and Roger Stone calling for Trump to imprison the Clintons, Mark Zuckerberg and even Gen. Mattis.
Murdoch destabilized democracy on 3 continents
Future analysts of the first two decades of the 21st century might wonder how 2 of the most powerful countries in the world, China and the US, managed to elevate to the highest office bombastic and flawed sons of privilege, seemingly determined in running their societies into the ground.
Current analysts also wonder how China’s supposed 5,000 year old civilization, having adhered up to now to Deng Xiaoping’s genius political system, is letting a mini Mao concentrate all power in his hands. The last time China lived under a single man dictatorship it cost millions of lives and maintained it…
It’s historical fact that starting in the 15th century Gutenberg’s press liberated the propagation of ideas vs monk-copied enluminures and directly affected societies’ very structures. The cumulative effects of mass access to broadband, mobile access to the internet and participation in social media such as blogging and tweeting are not yet fully analyzed but the past 5 years are a good indicator.
“Social” media is an oxymoron
So-called social media is an oxymoron: social implies a modicum of interaction rules, sorely lacking on Facebook and Twitter, and media implies a mediation performed by newspapers, radio and broadcast and cable tv…
VP Biden’s stirring rhetoric last night put it simply: light and darkness are pitted against each other in November. This choice has been put before America before, and in most instances, its people chose light.
What’s the source of my realistic optimism ? It’s part personal experience, part History. In previous articles I wrote about my American upbringing amid the Reagan revolution where the Great Communicator channeled “the shining city on the hill” and “morning in America”. In the weeks before the 2018 midterms I wrote about the forces that are fundamentally reshaping America and its role in the world.