IPA | The Wide and the Narrow of it – Building ‘Wide’, I propose, is driving a brand’s meaning and equity through the power of shared and collective cultural moments. Building ‘Narrow’ is defined as creating meaning and equity through the power of individual and personal customer experience. Both of these definitions can impact how a brand grows in the short term as well as the long term. Yet by including this new dimension to how a marketer can manage and grow their brands, it forces us to consider a more complete picture of how brands grow in the 21st century.
Can Nuclear Power Offer a Way Out of the Climate Crisis? – DER SPIEGEL – yes, but will it be politically expedient is a more pertinent question
Karl Rove on Donald Trump: “We Will Lose” – DER SPIEGEL – Rove posits that populism isn’t sustainable long term. However leaders like Putin might beg to differ
Hypercritical: Top Gun – actually a short article on good copywriting
Beekeeper in China strikes gold with live-streaming – Inkstone – romanticisation of rural life by city dwellers is key to the success in the agri-DTC business farmers are using to reach markets that they otherwise couldn’t engage with
Generation Putin: how young Russians view the only leader they’ve ever known | Financial Times – By most calculations, Russia’s economy shrank by 60 per cent between 1991 and 1999, a bigger contraction than during the second world war. Under then president Boris Yeltsin, the country fell into a national depression, cast as the loser in the cold war and no longer the powerful global actor it had believed itself to be – Putin’s sales pitch is economic and social stability
Should America’s GDP data include drug dealing? | Financial Times – On a macro level, the implications of this experimental exercise are not earth-shattering: if illegal activities were included, it seems total GDP would be about 1 per cent bigger. Judging from Eurostat figures, this suggests that the illegal sector is slightly larger in the US than in some European countries, but not by that much – also highlights law enforcement inflation of seizure values for publicity and prosecution purposes
Hu Era > Xi Era? | China Econ Talk – yep Premier Hu did a better job
Robotics and automation in the city: a research agenda: Urban Geography: Vol 0, No 0 – cities are becoming experimental sites for new forms of robotic and automation technologies applied across a wide variety of sectors in multiple areas of economic and social life. As these innovations leave the laboratory and factory, this paper analyzes how robotics and automation systems are being layered upon existing urban digital networks, extending the capabilities and capacities of human agency and infrastructure networks, and reshaping the city and citizen’s everyday experiences. To date, most work in this field has been speculative and isolated in nature. We set out a research agenda that goes beyond analysis of discrete applications and effects, to investigate how robotics and automation connect across urban domains and the implications for differential urban geographies, the selective enhancement of individuals and collective management of infrastructures, the socio-spatial sorting of cities and the potential for responsible urban innovation
When Platform Capitalism Meets Petty Capitalism in China: Alibaba and an Integrated Approach to Platformization | Zhang | International Journal of Communication – Combining platform studies with insights from research on petty capitalism and the political economy of the Chinese Internet, this article takes an integrated approach to analyze key moments in the historical evolution of the Chinese e-commerce monopoly Alibaba since 1999. It argues for a dynamic model of technological and cultural transformations that treats platformization as a set of historically and culturally specific processes and relations constituted by constantly shifting and interacting forces. It finds that in the early days, Alibaba deployed platform mechanisms of participation and commodification to position itself as a democratic and participatory platform contra the deficient infrastructure of the state, while relying on foreign venture capital to keep the tensions of commodification at bay to prioritize market expansion. After Alibaba had achieved monopoly after the 2008 global crisis, it has formed more symbiotic relations with the state, ramping up mechanisms of datafication, selection, and commodification to more effectively extract the surplus value generated through the labor of platform-based petty capitalists
Graphic Novels Are Comic Books, But Gentrified – graphic novels are comic books — or, more precisely, ‘what comics have become in an age of gentrification. This formerly popular medium now wins Pulitzer Prizes and American Book Awards, is exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and adapted into arthouse films that include the animated Persepolis and the Palme d’Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color. As the example of the graphic novel shows, gentrification has become increasingly entwined with culture as it continues to spread across urban neighborhoods and seeps into rural enclaves. When the sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term “gentrification” in 1964, she was describing how Victorian properties that served as boarding houses for the poor were being converted into representative apartments for London’s bourgeoisie. Today, we are as likely to associate it with the yoga studios and specialty coffee shops now transforming areas which were long home to large working-class and ethnic-minority populations – I don’t agree with a lot of the assertions in this
National Sovereignty, European Integration and Domination in the Eurozone | European Review | Cambridge Core – the relationship between national sovereignty and the ability to exercise independent economic policy within the EMU, as well as re-examine the development of this relationship regarding the process of European integration
The political economy of collective memories: Evidence from Russian politics – ScienceDirect – How do political elites reactivate salient collective memories to entrench their power? We study this question examining a government-led recollection campaign of the traumatic transition the Russian population experienced during the 1990s, starting with the year 2003. Using detailed data from national-level TV and radio as well as a text analysis of 3832 regional and local newspapers, we estimate a higher electoral support for the government, and a lower support for the liberal political opposition, in regions that suffered more during the transition period, once negative memories are recalled on state-controlled media – would also explain the popularity of the Conservatives in areas economically disemboweled by deindustrialisation during the Margaret Thatcher led government of the 1980s
The New Empirics of Industrial Policy | SpringerLink – Nations have and will continue to shape their economies through industrial policy. Nevertheless, the empirical literature on these interventions is thin, dwarfed by the attention industrial policies receive from policymakers across the world. In this paper, I discuss the difficulties of empirically studying industrial policy and review how new econometric work is confronting these issues. Through careful research design and attention to institutional detail, I argue that emergent studies are rapidly expanding what we know—and updating what we thought we knew—about these policies
Of New Technologies and Old Laws: Do We Need a Right to Violate the Law? | SpringerLink – I disagree with the premise of this. In reality it depends on whether as a tech bro how much you believe the BS of Aryn Rand. Just because technology can break the law doesn’t mean that it should
Enter the WhatsApper: Reinventing digital activism at the time of chat apps | Milan | First Monday – how the appropriation of chat apps by social actors is redesigning digital activism and political participation today. To this end, we look at the case of #Unidos Contra o Golpe (United Against the Coup), a WhatsApp “private group” which emerged in 2016 in Florianópolis, Brazil, to oppose the controversial impeachment of the then-president Dilma Rousseff. We argue that a new type of political activist is emerging within and alongside with contemporary movements: the WhatsApper, an individual who uses the chat app intensely to serve her political agenda, leveraging its affordances for political participation. We explore WhatsApp as a discursive opportunity structure and investigate the emergence of a repertoire specific to chat apps. We show how recurrent interaction in the app results into an all-purpose, identity-like sense of connectedness binding social actors together. Diffuse leadership and experimental pluralism emerge as the bare organizing principles of these groups. The paper is based on a qualitative analysis of group interactions and conversations, complemented by semi-structured interviews with group members. It shows how WhatsApp is more than a messaging app for “hanging out” with like-minded people and has come to constitute a key platform for digital activism, in particular in the Global South
The changing face of technology adoption – Oxford Education Blog – technology has become so ubiquitous as to render the distinction meaningless the distinction between digital natives and digital immigrants
Elsa B. Kania on Artificial Intelligence and Great Power Competition – The Diplomat – I can also recommend Ms Kania’s white papers. She’s one of the few policy wonks that’s thought about technology competition through a state power lens without shrill alarmism. AI Security and Stability Among the Great Powers | Andrew Imbrie & Elsa B. Kania for CSET – Increasingly, U.S., Chinese, and Russian leaders recognize AI as a strategic technology that could become a critical determinant of future national competitiveness.1 AI/ML may be poised to transform not only our economies and societies, but also the character of conflict.2 The military applications of these technologies have generated particular concerns and exuberant expectations, including predictions that the advent of AI in military affairs could change the very nature of warfare.3 Undeniably, AI has become a new focus of competition among great powers,4 with the potential to disrupt the military balance and undermine deterrence (PDF)
ChinaEconTalk Inaugural Issue: Huawei Hunted – interesting translation of article from Beijing Cultural Review that provides a comprehensive, if distorted view of the challenges facing Huawei. – Disclosure: I’ve previously had Huawei as a client twice, I have friends that work there but from a corporate culture point of view they’re a bag of messianic douchebags with mediocre software quality control
China’s Secret Weapon Abroad: Tourists | The Nation – to be fair, Chinese tourists seeing other Chinese people living the good unstressed life and having freedoms they don’t have at home like voting might be a dangerous idea for the CCP. Though I am sure they do try and weaponise the economics, looking at Taiwan’s tourist numbers its a weak weapon
The strange case of Paul Zimmer, the influencer who came back as a different person – I get him wanting to reinvent himself but he burned to many people to get away with it
Awash in Disinformation Before Vote, Taiwan Points Finger at China – The New York Times – At first glance, the bespectacled YouTuber railing against Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, just seems like a concerned citizen making an appeal to his fellow Taiwanese. He speaks Taiwanese-accented Mandarin, with the occasional phrase in Taiwanese dialect. His captions are written with the traditional Chinese characters used in Taiwan, not the simplified ones used in China. With outrage in his voice, he accuses Ms. Tsai of selling out “our beloved land of Taiwan” to Japan and the United States. The man, Zhang Xida, does not say in his videos whom he works for. But other websites and videos make it clear: He is a host for China National Radio, the Beijing-run broadcaster. – all this makes President Tsai’s win even more remarkable
台灣事實查核中心 | Taiwan FactCheck Center – designed to tackle Chinese infiltration. This was backed up by government legislation – Taiwan Passes Anti-Infiltration Act Ahead of Election Amid Opposition Protests – The Diplomat
Rising to the China challenge | Kings College London – this about 20 years too late for the UK
China announces new crackdown on religious freedom | Catholic Herald – and the Vatican has cosied up to them like the Nazis before
“Patient Zero”: The Philippines Offers A Preview Of The Disinformation Tactics The US Could See In 2020 – Three years after Duterte’s 2016 campaign rode a wave of false stories, paid trolling, and the resulting Facebook engagement to victory, opposition candidates who once lambasted the president and his legions of digital disinformation agents have adopted some of the same tactics. The result is a political environment even more polluted by trolling, fake accounts, impostor news brands, and information operations, according to a new study. Alarmingly, this uptick occurred in spite of Facebook investing in third-party fact-checking and acting to remove pages and accounts that violated its policies — including the takedown of a network belonging to a key Duterte social media adviser.
Has the DTC model peaked? | Mobile Dev Memo – audience overlap conflicts, upward pressure on CPMs for the most prized audience segments, the diminished power of over-used conversion events, etc. — are becoming ever more common grievances for DTC companies, it seems likely that growth for the DTC model may have peaked
bellingcat – Guide To Using Reverse Image Search For Investigations – bellingcat – it is impressive how far Yandex are ahead of Google in this
How to measure ad response with young audiences | WARC – “Children in this age group have some knowledge of advertising; they recognize the persuasive intent of commercials and are skeptical of the truthfulness of advertising claims,” – interesting article
‘China’s Facebook’ launches its Hail Mary comeback attempt – Inkstone – Renren looks to become relevant again for Chinese netizens
The Future of America’s Contest with China | The New Yorker – To a degree still difficult for outsiders to absorb, China is preparing to shape the twenty-first century, much as the U.S. shaped the twentieth. Its government is deciding which features of the global status quo to preserve and which to reject, not only in business, culture, and politics but also in such basic values as human rights, free speech, and privacy. In the lead-up to the anniversary, the government demonstrated its capacity for social surveillance. At the Beijing University of Technology, where students trained to march in the parade, the administration extracted data from I.D. cards to see who ate what in the dining hall, and then delivered targeted guidance for a healthy diet. In the final weeks, authorities narrowed the Internet connection to the outside world, secreted dissidents out of town, and banned the flying of drones, kites, and pet pigeon – basically things are going to go really dark really fast; if the Chinese Communist Party continues to be given free rein
A Look Back at the Top Apps and Games of the Decade | AppAnnie – guessing WeChat is preloaded on a lot of phones in China???
Axon v. Federal Trade Commission Media & Investor Briefing Page | Axon – Axon are famous for the Taser and law enforcement body cams. The FTC should be doing this to Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon etc
UK investigates if cyberattack led to stock exchange outage | Engadget – GCHQ intelligence agency is investigating the possibility that the failure may have been due to a cyberattack. It’s reportedly taking a close look at the associated code, including time stamps, to determine if there was any suspicious activity. The exchange was in the middle of updating its systems when the outage happened, and there’s a fear this left systems open to attack – why now?
2019 Letter | Dan Wang – China’s technology foundations are fragile, which the trade war has made evident. Second, over the longer term, I expect that China will stiffen those foundations and develop firms capable of pushing forward the technological frontier
What sank Port of Hong Kong’s claim to world’s shipping crown? | South China Morning Post – because China and western companies preferring to transship through Singapore instead
Nostalgia and eclecticism: A sociologist’s view on social media’s cultural impact | Advertising | Campaign Asia – social media is breaking apart the bonds of popular culture through which brands communicate with consumers. – Online (even before social) helped subcultures breakout and thrive creating massively parallel culture rather than popular culture per se
Chrome OS has stalled out | Android Police – interesting reflection on cloud and internet performance
1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility : Nature News & Comment – a huge problem with peer review of results
Luxury 2030: What luxury brands need to start doing now | Marketing | Campaign Asia – Chinese consumers have become the most important worldwide—now accounting for 40% of the entire luxury market. They have a different profile than Western consumers: They’re generally much younger (25-30 is the sweet spot), highly-educated and sophisticated, have high expectations, and are digitally native. But this doesn’t mean stores are obsolete to them. In fact, the opposite is true. But a store can’t just be a transaction place anymore. It has to create a unique experience to have relevance with young consumers.