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Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Mariah Carey, media changes in 2020, coming shortages on rare earth metals, China and Russia’s threat to the west and the power of China.

Mariah Carey @ SingaporeGP 2010
Mariah Carey @ SingaporeGP 2010 by KWSW

I found it relatively easy this year to avoid a lot of the Christmas ads. Maybe because there are much bigger things to think about like the new UK government, protests from Chile to Hong Kong and the soap opera that is the Trump presidency.

Mariah Carey on aging is just tremendous: A Brief History of Mariah Carey Refusing to Acknowledge Time over at The Cut.

My old colleague Andy at New York creative agency Praytell have pulled together a US centric set of ideas on media changes to expect in 2020. The anticipated changes to the NCAA and Instagram are very interesting.

I’ve been negative about the focus of lithium ion battery power for everything and this talk gives compelling economic and environmental arguments to look at alternatives like hydrogen fuel cells. This presentation on the coming shortages in rare earth metals should be a call to action.

Great panel at The New Enlightenment Conference held in Edinburgh looking at Russia and China and what it means for the west and the threat they present.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies produced this video on the power of China

中国 | china | 중국 传播媒体 | media | 미디어 信息安全 |security | 정보 보안 创造力 | innovation | 독창성 初 | hygiene | 기본 品质 | quality | 품질 商业 | business | 상업 在线 | online | 온라인으로 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 工艺学 | technology | 기술 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 思想 | ideas | 생각 法 | legal | 법률학 消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동 电信 | telecoms | 통신 经济 | economics | 경제학 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인 道德 | ethics | 윤리학 金融 | finance | 은행업 铭记 | branding | 브랜드 마케팅

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Mediatel: Newsline: Vodafone’s ‘matured’ digital strategy reappraises adspend“Many advertisers, including Vodafone, have come to realise that a lot of the social platforms are high frequency but very, very low attention,” she said. “When you are launching a new brand or proposition you can’t communicate it in one and half seconds.” – stating the bleeding obvious dressed up as industry thought leadership. You could have realised that a decade ago. Social is poor for brand building, but what are Vodafone going to do with it?

Vodafone taxi

Dubai Ports World and a New Form of Imperialismreport examines Gulf expansionism through a case study of the Emirates-based company Dubai Ports World (DP World). This multinational is one of the world’s leading global port operators and logistics giants—and a source of power for the United Arab Emirates. A close look at its operations in the Horn of Africa reveals the ways that a government can exert control through a modern state-chartered company. A closer look at the operations of DP World also casts light on a key driver of disastrous state fragmentation in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. DP World functions like a modern-day version of the British East India Company, serving as both a foreign policy tool and a profit engine – which makes Chinese run ports and Belt and Road projects even scarier

Project MUSE – China and World Order: Mutual Gain or Exploitation?signs are that an assertive realpolitik is China’s leitmotif. Frankopan’s New Silk Roads lays out the wide scope of China’s ambitions and hints at some of their genuinely internationalist dimensions, but it also documents the case for viewing China’s role as a wolf in sheep’s clothing—at least as rapacious as European and other imperialists in previous centuries. The latter view is supported by Burnay’s Chinese Perspectives on the International Rule of Law and the anthology Building a Normative Order in the South China Sea. Still other studies show that China’s cyber networks are establishing foundations for Chinese dominion over foreign resources and potential dependencies that, in time, can be pressured to do more than kowtow

China and Hollywood: Is the romance over? – SupChinathe upcoming sequel to Top Gun, a 1986 American action drama film, made headlines following the release of its first trailer, where two patches that had originally shown the Taiwanese flag appear to have been swapped out. Produced by Paramount Pictures, the movie has Chinese tech giant Tencent as its investor and primary promoter in the Chinese market.

The “New” Private Security Industry, the Private Policing of Cyberspace and the Regulatory Questions – Mark Button,the growth of the “new” private security industry and private policing arrangements, policing cyberspace. It argues there has been a significant change in policing which is equivalent to the “quiet revolution” associated with private policing that Shearing and Stenning observed in the 1970s and 1980s, marking the “second quiet revolution.” The article then explores some of the regulatory questions that arise from these changes, which have been largely ignored to date by scholars of policing and policy-makers

Privacy, People, and Markets | Ethics & International Affairs | Cambridge CoreMost current work on privacy understands it according to an economic model: individuals trade personal information for access to desired services and websites. This sounds good in theory. In practice, it has meant that online access to almost anything requires handing over vast amounts of personal information to the service provider with little control over what happens to it next. The two books considered in this essay both work against that economic model. In Privacy as Trust, Ari Ezra Waldman argues for a new model of privacy that starts not with putatively autonomous individuals but with an awareness that managing information flows is part of how people create and navigate social boundaries with one another. Jennifer Rothman’s Right of Publicity confronts the explosive growth of publicity rights—the rights of individuals to control and profit from commercial use of their name and public image—and, in so doing, she exposes the poverty of treating information disclosure merely as a matter of economic calculation

‘Influencing is heading into the void’: Natasha Stagg and Kate Durbin on the future of social mediaauthor Natasha Stagg joins Kate Durbin to discuss the Kardashians’ quest for immortality, ‘it girls’, and maintaining identity in the content economy

Data and Digital Intelligence CommonsThe digital economy can be understood as comprising intelligent systems running whole sectors, employing data based digital intelligence to re-organise and coordinate them. Within such a macro understanding, it is possible to apply the framework of Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) developed by Elinor Ostrom to examine the management of data and digital intelligence resources at the community level in a given sector, like transport, under the dominant model. Such an analysis reveals very suboptimal results on almost all the key IAD evaluation parameters; from efficiency and equity to accountability and sustainability

Social factory as prosaic state space: Redefining labour in China’s mass innovation/mass entrepreneurship campaign – June Wang, Yujing Tan,Redefining labour in China’s mass innovation/mass entrepreneurship campaign

Steering capital: the growing private authority of index providers in the age of passive asset management: Review of International Political Economy: Vol 0, No 0with the shift towards passive investing, the three big index providers have become actors that exercise growing private authority in capital markets as they steer investments through the indices they create and maintain. Index providers define the criteria according to which companies or countries are included into an index. Thereby, they influence investment decisions and corporate governance norms as well as strategies of those companies and states (that seek to be) included into their indices. We argue that rather than technical expertise, the main source of authority are their powerful brands that are trusted by the international investment community and which are entrenched via network externalities

Noncompete agreements | Economic Policy InstituteOur survey results show that somewhere between 27.8% and 46.5% of the private-sector workforce—between 36 million and 60 million workers—are subject to noncompete clauses. High and low level employees are being covered by noncompetes. Given the ubiquity of noncompetes, the real harm they inflict on workers and competition, and the fact they are part of a growing trend of employers requiring their workers to sign a variety of contracts that take away their rights, the authors believe that they should be abolished – having been hobbled by one, I couldn’t agree more

Telegraphic Revolution: Speed, Space and Time in the Nineteenth Century* | German History | Oxford Academicthe impact of the ‘communications revolution’ upon experiences of time and space during the nineteenth century. Focusing upon the first three decades of telegraphic communication, it unpacks the assumptions underlying linear narratives of ‘acceleration’ and ‘time-space compression’ to understand the roots of Germany’s fraught relationship to modernity. In doing so, it highlights the importance of the changes which took place between the 1848 revolutions and the early years of the Kaiserreich and which laid the foundations for the peculiarities of the Wilhelmine Era. During this period, it argues, the perceived impact of telegraphic communication, the ‘expansion’ or ‘contraction’ of space and time, varied from one person and place to another, reflecting the technology’s progressive and uneven expansion across Germany. Access to new networks of communication was dependent upon, and in turn influenced, the changing status of individuals, towns and the countryside experiencing the forces of industrialization, market capitalism and globalizationmore on the central idea behind this

Jazz Wars in the ’70s | The Village Voicejazz in the ’70s boiled down to a debate between the non­compromising eclectics and the compromising eclectics, a debate that escalated into a class war. Monied groups with major record label affiliations played concert halls; a middle class of dependable mainstream-modern attractions monopolized the established jazz clubs; the new and avant were accom­modated briefly by the loft scene, and then by a network of new clubs and theatres. Numerous exceptions to this pic­ture don’t alter its veracity. Jazz radio became fusion radio, while the record in­dustry, puffing away at the jazz-is-back myth with one overproduced confection after another – this explains Kenny G

Beyond scandal? Blockchain technologies and the legitimacy of post-2008 finance | Finance and SocietyHarnessing the concepts of ‘moral economy’ and ‘scandal’, we identify both possibilities and limits for blockchain applications to legitimate a range of monetary and investment activities. However, we also find that a persistent individualisation of responsibility for failures and shortcomings with ‘live’ blockchain experimentation has undermined the potentially legitimating aspects of this technology. Combining a reliance on technological fixes with a persistent individualist moral economy, we conclude, works against efforts to confront head-on the tensions underpinning the on-going legitimacy crises facing finance – sociological reasons why much of fintech wouldn’t work even if the tech could

Swiping right: face perception in the age of Tinder – ScienceDirectjudgments of physical attractiveness are assumed to drive the “swiping” decisions that lead to matches, we propose that there is an additional evaluative dimension driving behind these decisions: judgments of moral character. With the aim of adding empirical support for this proposition, we critically review the most striking findings about first impressions extracted from faces, moral character in person perception, creepiness, and the uncanny valley, as they apply to Tinder behavior

What’s love got to do with it? Passion and inequality in white‐collar work – Rao – – Sociology Compass – Wiley Online Librarywe argue that the passion schema has become a critical marker in the labor market for sorting individuals into occupations, hiring and promotion within organizations, and assigning value to people’s labor. Emergent research suggests that because the expression and perception of passion remain ambiguously defined in the workplace and varies by context, it is pivotal in reproducing social inequalities. In this review, we focus on how privileging passion in the workplace and interpreting it as a measure of aptitude impacts social inequalities by race, gender, and social class

CMA lifts the lid on digital giants – GOV.UK – interesting points: Each year, about 15% of queries on Google have never been searched for before. Other search engines like Bing will not have the same access to these queries, putting Google in a powerful position of being able to better train its algorithms and provide more accurate search results than its rivals. The CMA has also found that the default settings people are faced with online have a profound effect on choice and the shape of competition. Last year in the UK, Google was willing to pay around £1 billion – 16% of all its search revenues – where it was the default search engine on mobile devices such as Apple phones. – Looking at the the 15% of queries that are new to Google every year, is this cultural evolution, new brands and products or a combination of both?

Explainer: Behind the climb in Chinese companies’ defaults on bond payments – Reuters state and private companies have missed payments on more than 100 billion yuan ($14.2 billion) of bonds in the year to end-October, not far off the 111 billion yuan for all of 2018, according to S&P Global. Reuters calculations show six state-owned firms and 42 private companies defaulted on payments this year.

Marketers warn they could be ‘priced out’ of Facebook advertising | Advertising | Campaign Asia – overheating in developed markets? Really interesting when you read Mediatel: Newsline: Starcom: TV is now twice the price… but not twice as good“There’s still nothing better than [a 30 second ad],” Dan Plant said on a panel at Future of TV Advertising Global. “Unfortunately it costs twice as much now – and it hasn’t got twice as good at what it was doing. You pay twice as much to achieve the same thing.” – is this really taking into account the long term brand building role of (good) TV advertising? Also the inflation doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as Facebook for instance

China’s social credit system: The Chinese citizens perspective | UCL ASSAThe question of who to trust, and social trust more broadly is one that is pertinent to every modern society, not just China. Although the idea of someone being ‘trustworthy’ (chengxin) has long existed in the Chinese traditional moral system, it is widely believed this was fundamentally damaged in the past 50 years, starting with Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966-76), now seen as a period characterised by the ‘breakdown of public morality’.  A turbulent period characterised by families turning on each other and being forced to denounce any friends or family members deemed counter-revolutionary, the Cultural Revolution has also had the effect of eroding the concept of chengxin and therefore also mutual trust over time

Unilever warns it will miss 2019 sales growth target | Financial Timeseconomic slowdown in south Asia — one of its biggest markets — and “difficult” trading conditions in west Africa. It also said trading in developed markets remained “challenging” and that while there were signs of improvement in North America, a recovery there would take time.

Apple faces shareholder vote on human rights policies | Financial Times – shit, meet fan….

China’s TV, Film Industry Shrinks Amid Ongoing Censorship | RFAAround 65 percent of 9, 841 actors and celebrities in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan hadn’t been on television lately, while the high-profile roles are generally shared among less than one percent of the profession, the report said.Around 95 percent have had more than a year without being offered work, it said. – It’s RFA so you have to take a certain amount of it with a pinch of salt but the numbers fit with what I’ve heard. The Chinese film industry has put its eggs in fewer and fewer baskets

信息安全 |security | 정보 보안 在线 | online | 온라인으로 工艺学 | technology | 기술 电信 | telecoms | 통신 经济 | economics | 경제학

I like: Tyler Cowen on digital economy

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Interesting session with Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen at the OECD. Cowen addresses the challenge of Huawei and big tech. Cowen is pro big business, anti-small business and pro big tech.

His discussion in terms of big technology he has an interesting position, though not something I would agree with. He is very concerned about biometric recognition (facial recognition and gait analysis).

Cowen is also very concerned about the dominance of Huawei in 5G network rollout. Whilst I understand his position, it lacks a certain amount of nuance in understanding network rollout and Huawei’s place in the networks (at least in western countries).

An interesting nugget from interviews that Cowen has done (in promotion of his books) newspaper journalists were upset about Facebook, all radio journalists are anti-Amazon.

His comments on trust are interesting. The key thrust is that online has allowed elites and their faults to be more available online.

It is well worth giving this a listen over a lunch hour (its 77 minutes long).

中国 | china | 중국 信息安全 |security | 정보 보안 初 | hygiene | 기본 商业 | business | 상업 在线 | online | 온라인으로 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 小工具 | gadget | 가제트 工艺学 | technology | 기술 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 时尚 | style | 유행 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인 豪华 | luxury | 사치

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Looking back at the Snowden revelations – A Few Thoughts on Cryptographic EngineeringThe brilliant thing about the Snowden leaks was that he didn’t tell us much of anything. He showed us. Most of the revelations came in the form of a Powerpoint slide deck, the misery of which somehow made it all more real. And despite all the revelation fatigue, the things he showed us were remarkable – this is such a good read. I suspect that the level of surprise expressed is mostly a US thing. I was disappointed, but not shocked by it all. Back in the day the NSA used to publish one of the best guides to ‘hardening’ macOS – documents that they no longer seem to host online. I grew up in Europe when:

  • GCHQ were tapping all of Ireland’s overseas telecoms and data traffic via the Capenhurst tower. Having lived in the neighbourhood of Capenhurst during the 1980s and 1990s, this was well known but only confirmed in the media in 1999
  • The ECHELON network was hoovering up microwave, fax, satellite and telephone calls

Luxury watch maker Patek Philippe and Leagas Delaney launch new Generations campaign – Marketing Communication News – the most interesting aspect of this to me is the way its looking to address a younger audience. Secondly, if you look at the background with the plants and rain its moved the look and feel to more tropical than their previous campaigns that were northern European in feel. (It was actually shot in Italy). Because? My guess, China. Younger rich people due to second generation wealth. Two children reflecting the recent law changes around family size in the country

Is the era of the $100+ graphing calculator coming to an end? | The Hustledon’t feel too sorry for Texas Instruments: over a 20-year period, TI set out to manufacture demand by making its calculators mandated classroom tools. The company established partnerships with big textbook companies that integrated TI-specific exercises (complete with screenshots of buttons) into classroom curricula. It sought approval for standardized test use from administrators like the College Board. And every time a competing tech innovation came along, it lobbied to maintain its perch atop the parabola. According to Open Secrets and ProPublica data, Texas Instruments paid lobbyists to hound the Department of Education every year from 2005 to 2009 — right around the time when mobile technology and apps were becoming more of a threat. The company campaigned against devices with touchscreens, internet connection, and QWERTY keyboards” – hate the game, not the player etc. etc.

Snap Detailed Facebook’s Aggressive Tactics in ‘Project Voldemort’ Dossier – WSJ – which is being used in an antitrust investigation. No real surprises for anyone who has followed Facebook over the years. This negates Facebook’s main defence of ‘if it wasn’t us, it would be China’

The Dark Side of Techno-Utopianism | The New Yorker – the sub heading ‘Big technological shifts have always empowered reformers. They have also empowered bigots, hucksters and propagandists

New York in 1984 was the time, and the place, dance music became a culture – Features – Mixmag – great write up, the only thing missing is a name check for the Latin Rascals, Cutting Records and the Freestyle scene

Jason Dill HYPEBEAST Magazine Interview | HYPEBEAST – great interview, partly due to the car crash of journalist interviewing technique

Parenting’s New Frontier: What Happens When Your 11-Year-Old Says No to a Smartphone? – Voguemy son had decided three things about smartphones. 1. They’re infantilizing, a set of digital apron strings meant to attach you to your mother. (He was onto something there.) 2. They compromise a boy’s resourcefulness because kids come to rely on the GPS instead of learning Scout skills. 3. They make people trivial. This final observation bugs me the most, because he still expresses it whenever he sees me jabbing at my own device: “Texty texty! Emoji emoji!” And when I play my word games, he shouts, “GAMER!” That hurts. In short, my son says, he doesn’t want a phone because he wants to be free

中国 | china | 중국 信息安全 |security | 정보 보안 初 | hygiene | 기본 商业 | business | 상업 媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 思想 | ideas | 생각 消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동 香港 | hong kong | 홍콩

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

If Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be, Why Are We Living in the Past? | NewsweekOur past keeps growing, and as it does, it continues to crowd out our present, shortening the already narrow nostalgia gap. If Tom Vanderbilt thought treating last month’s music as classic was silly, think about various #TBT (“Throwback Thursday”) posts online, which celebrate historical events that happened a mere seven days ago. 

We could shrink this gap even further. Like many kids her age, my 20-year-old sister is obsessed with the 1990s. When Netflix announced that it was remaking the ABC television show Full House , she and her friends took to Facebook to share their delight that a show from “their childhood” was coming back. 

This reaction struck me as odd because my sister was born in 1996: a year after the original series ended. She does the same thing with other ’90s phenomena, taking to social media to share images and songs and neon colors from a decade that she describes not as her favorite , but as her own.

Why Zero-Emission Hydrogen Is the Best Way to Power the Cars of Future | Robb Report – great article by the Robb Report which highlights my skepticism around Tesla et al

Why Estée Lauder are spending 75% of their marketing spend on influencer marketing | The Drum – what’s the job to be done that their spend is that skewed?

Costco grand-opening hoopla gives way to disappointment in Shanghai | News | Campaign Asia – this didn’t look like it was going to end well

As Hong Kong Churns, Beijing Bankrolls Shenzhen | EE Times – interesting that they are trying to ‘overcook’ Shenzhen

Sources say China used iPhone hacks to target Uyghur Muslims | TechCrunch – the thing that puzzled me is why China would want to take off data from Chinese SNS that the government has a pipeline into anyway?