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How does the UK rank as a knowledge economy? – Soft Machines – The big story is the huge rise of China, and in this context, inevitable that the rest of the world’s share of the advanced economy has fallen. But the UK’s fall is larger than competitors (-46%, cf -19% for the USA and -13% for rest of EU) – the definition of knowledge economy used in the research doesn’t play to the UK’s strengths in areas like financial services, education, legal services, accounting services and advertising. But there is no denying the overall pattern, that the UK failed to make the knowledge economy work for it in the same way that China, the US or the EU have managed to do over the last decade
Do You Want to Buy Less Stuff? Three People Tell Us How – The New York Times – a few things about this. Ms Chai has a lot of nice things, it would be harder to do this if you were starting off with Ikea furnishing for instance
Cultural institutions in crisis | Financial Times – Financial losses from Covid-19 are not the only challenges museums face. Well before the pandemic, environmental and social activists were holding western institutions vigorously to account. Museums were already struggling with issues of diversity — both in staffing and, more importantly, in representation in their collections — the status of objects in those collections and calls for restitution. The situation is further complicated by criticism of many traditional sources of philanthropic funding and ongoing concern for the environment. The Black Lives Matter movement and other world events put a renewed spotlight on racism, illuminating the “white gaze” of western institutions. Even as museums scrambled to promise that change was afoot, they found themselves ensnared in further criticism. “Did our lives matter when you STOLE ALL OUR THINGS?” retorted writer Stephanie Yeboah when Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum, tweeted solidarity for Black Lives Matter (paywall)
As Understanding of Russian Hacking Grows, So Does Alarm – The New York Times – By staging their attacks from servers inside the United States, in some cases using computers in the same town or city as their victims, according to FireEye, the Russians took advantage of limits on the National Security Agency’s authority. Congress has not given the agency or homeland security any authority to enter or defend private sector networks. It was on these networks that S.V.R. operatives were less careful, leaving clues about their intrusions that FireEye was ultimately able to find. By inserting themselves into the SolarWinds’ Orion update and using custom tools, they also avoided tripping the alarms of the “Einstein” detection system that homeland security deployed across government agencies to catch known malware, and the so-called C.D.M. program that was explicitly devised to alert agencies to suspicious activity (paywall)
Why Markets Boomed in a Year of Human Misery – The New York Times – the jobs lost were low wages compared to the knowledge workers who benefited from home working with increased savings
Tesla blasts ‘ridiculously fabricated’ report raising quality concerns at Shanghai plant – giga sweatshop is quite a catchy sound bite
Why 2021 will be a bumper year for M&A | Vogue Business – the big three trends for M&A in 2021: conglomerates looking for an opportunity to consolidate, luxury brands stepping up vertical integration by investing in distressed parts of their supply chain, and a focus on investment in digital expertise and the APAC region. – more luxury related content here.