Decivilisation + more things

6 minutes estimated reading time


President Macron

The Threat of Decivilisation | Quillette – President Macron when having a Chatham House type discussion with sociology experts used the phrase processus de décivilisation – as a descriptor for the widespread civil and political unrest that has rocked France.

The Prime Minister leaves the Elysee Palace
Rishi Sunak and Emmanuel Macron

On the face of it, decivilisation is an appropriate term if Macron believed that there was something rotten at the centre of French society. But the phrase decivilisation is problematic and Macron has been capitalised by French on the political left.

Renaud Camus

The crux of the left’s criticism is a work by the author Renaud Camus. Camus became famous writing a book called Tricks about a series of up to 45 stories (depending which edition you read) about one-night stands he had travelling around the world as a gay man in the late 1970s. Decades later Camus became more famous for his contributions to ideas of the far right, notably the great replacement concept in reaction to increased immigration in France from former French colonies. While these works were published in French they were summarised for English readers in his book You Will Not Replace Us!

In his works he describes the gradual takeover of France as decivilisation.

The left

The left drew a line between Camus work and Macron’s phrase and assumed that it was a way to build a bridge to the resurgent far right in France.

The reality is more complex. The degree of change in French society has driven backlashes in French society, in a similar way that Brexit and small boat immigration did in the UK. The problem for the left is that these reactionaries would have been natural constituents of the left. The left, like in many countries, instead has pivoted to degree educated urban dwellers, abandoning the workers to the far right.

Is French society really breaking down?

It’s hard to tell whether ‘decivilisation’ is really happening. Civil disturbances tend to happen during times of economic unrest and in the past has been a reset. There is a body of opinion who believe that social media has its thumb on the scales, driving things harder and faster without a countervailing force to help balance things out over time, like happened in previous decades.


Shiseido will ‘turn away’ from heavy promotions in China to achieve sustainable sales growth | Cosmetics Design Asia – heavy promotion during China’s shopping festivals just cheapens the brands and educates Chinese consumers to wait until 11.11 and similar


Most mainland Chinese flying overseas via Hong Kong as talks on adding flights between country and US drag, global airline body says | South China Morning Post 

China’s New ‘Anti-Espionage Law’ Raises Complex Compliance Issues for Multinational Corporations – Publications | Morgan Lewis – handy paper that you can download

Microsoft to move top AI experts from China to new lab in Canada | Financial Times – I think there is a question of whether these researchers will be able to leave China or even stay with Microsoft…


Europe’s new success stories are built on high luxury, not high tech | Financial Times

Greggs and Pret index reveals England’s true north-south divide, say scientists | North-south divide | The Guardian


Japan Recommits to the Hydrogen Society – Akihabara News


I love electric vehicles – and was an early adopter. But increasingly I feel duped | Rowan Atkinson | The Guardian 


Has China become too cosy with private equity? | Financial Times

Japan Rail Companies Limit Train Passes Due to Chip Shortage – these stored value cards also allow consumers to buy things in combinis as well as travel. They are similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus cards. What’s happening to the chips through? Japanese YouTubers have published advisory videos around the debacle for tourists to Japan. It seems to be a drive towards registration as much as anything else

Hong Kong

Hong Kong to review car plate searches after journalist wins final appeal against conviction over accessing info for doc. – interesting that Ms Choy won her case

‘Phenomenon’ behind organ donor withdrawals similar to 2019 ‘black riots,’ says Hong Kong’s John Lee

The rise of Hong Kongers moving abroad: Diaspora, part 2: And shalt be dispersed | Brian Kern 


From Hèrmes To Bored Ape Yacht Club: The Problem With Protecting Brand IPs In Web3 | Jing Daily – a digital cesspit

Cigars are still a thing. This looks like a feature length video produced in conjunction between the YouTuber and a cigar manufacturer.


Multi-factored reasons in nature why campaigns seem to be working less well. We know that as campaigns have become more digital, campaigns have been less effective and marketers being less confident in their campaigns. Interesting the way brand building on digital is danced around. The channels often dont work and measures are BS only a technologist would love.


Rich Rare Earth Elements Deposit Found in Americas | EPS News 


Unretiring. (original post) | by John Battelle | May, 2023 | Medium – John Battelle between projects and not willing to engage with VC funding again


Are we approaching the age of digital disengagement? MIDIA Research 

NetEase’s expansion to the West is in full swing | MIDIA Research – avoiding the uncertain home regulatory environment

Children’s Media Lives – Ofcom 

Communist party accessed Hong Kong protesters’ TikTok data, former executive says | TikTok | The Guardian 

After Nissan, Singapore Airlines is the latest brand to take its influence from a popular YouTube channel’s content: The Sound of Singapore Airlines – Beats to relax to – YouTube – Singapore Airlines does its own version of Lo-Fi Girl


SHEIN Has Bootlegged the Air Jordan 11 | Lifestyle Asia 

ChatGPT is used in China for Amazon listings, flirting – Rest of World


Suspicious Activity: What Are German Fighter Pilots Doing in China? – DER SPIEGEL

Jamming JDAM: The Threat to US Munitions from Russian Electronic Warfare | Royal United Services Institute 

Cybersecurity at Risk in Automotive Industry – EE Times – worthwhile reading in the context of the Hyundai | Kia case brought by New York: New York sues Hyundai and Kia over ‘explosion’ of car thefts | Financial Times

British Airways, Boots and BBC among companies hit by cyber security attack | Financial Times

University of Manchester suffered a cyber attack | Security Affairs 

China is building the most powerful warship radar on record: scientists | South China Morning Post – based on technology from a UK semiconductor company a Chinese state owned enterprise bought when it went into administration in 2008

How hacking could affect food security and jailbreaking agricultural machinery.


INFER Public | The Pub Blog – INFER forecasters: Don’t expect GPT-5 anytime soon probably not: Will OpenAI Ever launch GPT-5? Sam Altman Has The Answer / Digital Information World

The Illusion of China’s AI Prowess | Foreign Affairs and The bearable mediocrity of Baidu’s ChatGPT competitor Ernie Bot | MIT Technology Review

Sci-fi writer Ted Chiang: ‘The machines we have now are not conscious’ | Financial Times


Marvell Launches Interconnects on TSMC’s 3-nm Process – EE Times 

Global Rise in Industrial Robot Density: China Surpasses the US – China Internet Watch – interesting. One has to keep an eye out on where the data is from and the tension between current high Chinese young adult and graduate unemployment, aging population and innovation. Finally not all robots are created equal


A global satellite blackout is a real threat — can hackers help? | Financial Times

Web of no web

Partnership Takes Wi-Fi HaLow to the Next Level – EE Times