Ged Carroll

Gay blood + more stuff

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Gay blood

THE GAY BLOOD COLLECTION | MOTHER GOODS – I could see this stunt on gay blood donation not working as well as the idea deserves. The symbolism of what blood means is tied up in squeamishness, despite the fact that we can intellectualise it as the very stuff of life.

Advertising agency Mother and their gay blood ink stunt

Why are Mother protesting about gay blood donations?

US FDA

In 1983, US medical regulator the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced a guideline that effectively banned men who have sex with men from donating blood, this was as the AIDS crisis came to prominence. This was amended in December 2015, the FDA moved from a lifetime ban on bisexual and gay blood donations to a deferral of one year for any man who has had sex with another man during the past 12 months. According to the FDA, the pre-screening eliminated up to 90 percent of donors who may be carrying a blood-borne disease.

In April 2, 2020, the FDA revised its policy regarding blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM), reducing the deferral period from 12 months to three months. Blood donation centres in America screen potential donors by asking a set of questions written to determine risk factors that could indicate possible infection with a transmissible disease, such as HIV or hepatitis. According to the FDA, this pre-screening eliminates up to 90 percent of donors who may be carrying a blood-borne disease.

The problem isn’t that blood donors are screened but that gay blood donors are held to more exacting standards than other groups at a similar risk of contracting HIV. US activists have picked up this issue. Advertising agency Mother London partnered with artist Stuart Semple to create inks and paints that were made from gay blood donations by Mother employees. More health related content here.

China

How Xi Jinping might change the Communist Party’s constitution | The Economist – There could be a practical advantage to resurrecting the chairmanship role, says Ling Li of the University of Vienna. Mr Xi will be violating recent retirement norms if he stays on as general secretary at the congress. He has thus avoided anointing a successor. But by becoming chairman, Mr Xi would make it clear that he plans to remain in power indefinitely, argues Ms Li. That, in turn, might make him feel secure enough to name an heir, perhaps as vice-chairman or general secretary. Mao did much the same, cycling through four heirs-apparent before his death. A successor could be revealed “at a pace and in a manner that Xi finds most comfortable”,

Slogan Politics: Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy Concepts (Book excerpt)The main argument is that those Chinese foreign policy concepts should be understood as political slogans rather than concrete strategic plans. In this book, slogans refer to short and striking political phrases used “as a means of focusing attention and exhorting to action”. The use of political slogans has a long history in China. This book argues that political slogans are not completely empty or rhetorical, but have several major functions in political communication: (1) declarations of intent, (2) power assertion and a test of domestic and international support, (3) state propaganda as a means of mass persuasion, and (4) a call for intellectual support. The primary function of a foreign policy concept is to serve as a slogan to declare intention in order to attract attention and urge to action.

Consumer behaviour

Life After Lifestyle | Subpixel – every marketer should read this.

Watch this video right though to the end, its an interesting insight into part of American society.

Economics

Why the UK is having an economic crisis – by Noah Smith 

Energy

Toyota Still Isn’t All In on EV Adoption – hydrogen is going to be more important, Li ion batteries are an environmental disaster

Finance

Goldman Sachs’ new $9.7B fund – Inside.com 

Chinese Regulator Tells Banks to Avoid Political Talk Ahead of Party Congress – WSJ – another aspect of opaqueness in China’s financial system

Health

Our Grandfather Story based out of Singapore do some of the most provocative documentaries at the moment on YouTube. This one on people suffering from stage four cancer really punches you in the gut.

How McKinsey Got Into the Business of Addiction – The New York Times 

Hong Kong

Swapping Hong Kong for Crewe: ‘We won’t go back’ – BBC News – there is a slow steady stream of these kind of stories on the UK media

Innovation

The Golden Era of the Big Tech Moonshot Is Over | Business Insider 

Media

Price hikes to force 25% of US Netflix subscribers to unsubscribe – high price inelasticity

Google Stadia is shutting down – ProtocolStadia chief Phil Harrison said the platform “hasn’t gained the traction with users that we expected so we’ve made the difficult decision to begin winding down our Stadia streaming service.” Harrison wrote that the company intends to refund all Stadia purchases, including hardware purchases of Stadia controller and Chromecast bundles through the Google Store and all software through the Stadia store, and plans to do so by January. After January 18, 2023, the service will become unavailable, the blog post reads. Harrison noted that this isn’t the end of the road for Google’s gaming ambitions, and the company intends to apply the technology learnings elsewhere – the interesting bit is that Phil Harrison is one of the most respected people in console gaming having spent a long time driving PlayStation’s success

Online

Digitization unearths history of British detention camps in Kenya — Quartz Africa 

War in Ukraine: Meta removes network of Russian accounts – Protocol – the content about Chinese information war programmes process was really interesting

Security

Microsoft’s New Security Chief Looks to AI to Fight Hackers: Q&A – Bloomberg – pattern recognition and heuristics as first line

Hackathon finds dozens of Ukrainian refugees trafficked online | Ars Technica – probably some of the most depressing reading I have done recently

How Beijing determines US hacked Chinese university, INFRASTRUCTURE, & ~80 countries and media coverage here: China alleges U.S. NSA hacked infrastructure, sent data back to HQ | CNBC 

Russia plans “massive cyberattacks” on critical infrastructure, Ukraine warns | Ars Technica 

Web of no web

Dior takes its Chinaverse presence to new heights with second virtual showcase | Digital | Campaign Asia – Dior is extending its Chinaverse push once again. On September 27, the French luxury fashion house presented its Spring/Sumer 2023 ready-to-wear show in the metaverse via digital space Meta-Ziwu in virtual universe XiRang — a Web3 application owned by Chinese search engine conglomerate Baidu. Audiences were able to watch the livestream within a digitally-rendered space complete with large-scale Dior logos and an other-wordly aesthetic.