New Cold War

TikTok wars, the tech perspective https://stratechery.com/2020/the-tiktok-war/

the political eye, a former S’pore Prime Minister https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3091343/china-and-us-new-cold-war-or-not-new-cold-war

funny how the technologist can go fully ideological in its conclusion while the politician sees ample rooms for continuing relations, not really a cold war, wrong metaphors shan’t be used because they might be self-fulfilling

Urchin forecast of 2020 instability

based on “structural-demographic forces for instability as popular immiseration, intraelite competition, and state weakness”

formulated here in 2010 https://www.nature.com/articles/463608a

the science behind explained here http://peterturchin.com/cliodynamica/the-science-behind-my-forecast-for-2020/

Yhe Structural-demographic model components from here https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6qp8x28p

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I just realized I bought Urchin’s book Ultrasociety already maybe 5 years https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27867828-ultrasociety

the new book “Secular Cycles” reviewd by Scott Alexander https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/3bPH2az479gzxDMbf/book-review-ages-of-discord

C’ un tenente drogo in viaggio verso le retrovie ora

gli indiani hanno costruito la strada

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verso una valle inospitale, un deserto dei tartari

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dove scorre il Galwan, incerto confine tra India e Cina https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galwan_River

negli ultimi tempi, ammasso di trupper al confine, schermaglie a pietrate perch un trattato vieta di sparare https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/20/india-china-border-brawl-superpowers-throw-stones-tensions-heighten/

fino a oggi, 20 indiani morti, a pietrate e mani nude ? https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53073338

Il Deserto dei Tartari un capolavoro che vive al di fuori del tempo

UPDATE e questo deve essere l’inizio della terza guerra mondiale combattuta come prevedeva Einstein https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53089037

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Vaccine nationalism

a bit of vaccine news and vaccine nationalism

Moderna all in one day, last Monday, first positive results of trial, collects 1,34 billion in new stocks offering at 30 billion valuation, to be used for vaccine production https://www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/moderna-eyes-1-34-billion-stock-offering-to-manufacture-covid-19-vaccine

Sanofi says US will be the first to get vaccine since they invested in it https://www.businessinsider.com/potential-coronavirus-vaccine-united-states-first-french-pharmaceutical-sanofi-ceo-2020-5?IR=T

Advent will give the UK government the first 30 million doses of vaccine co-developed in Italy with IRBM https://www.irbm.com/press-review/london-reserves-30-million-doses-of-the-vaccine-born-between-oxford-and-pomezia-rome/

Let’s zoom out, The EU held a funding conference 2 weeks ago, collecting almost €8 billion. Bill Gates donated but the US was not even there, China attended but did not donate. Neither did Russia nor India attend. The world is divided in 5 blocks, each block has its own vaccine strategy

A beautiful 3d on vaccine and geopolitics by Paul Poast. Vaccine nationalism is a real risk, an aspect of the power politics of pandemics https://twitter.com/ProfPaulPoast/status/1257642933949476866

In the general uncooperative and nationalistic stance on Covid and vaccine, a country like Italy, biggest pharma producer in EU, should bet on one or more vaccine candidates and start building productive capacity. It would be an effective industrial policy and would give more chances to get the vaccine early.

Will we grab a few billions off the ESM and invest it? Or will we wait for the EU to ivenst its own 8 billions and dictate the strategy?

 

 

 

Pessimism and positive thinking

Coronavirus phase 2

pessimism: antibodies not lasting, common cold coronavirus does not generate lasting antibodies, animal coronavirus creates trouble to vaccines https://twitter.com/statesdj/status/1252698979285991424

Positive thinkng, we can make a plan, Broad testing pun intended, Broad lab in Harvard https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/03/broad-institute-races-to-enable-coronavirus-testing/hacked to make 1 million tampons a day,

Broad Institute races to enable coronavirus testing

 

Harvard plan to secure USA with tampons would cost 15 billion but actually worth, Roadmap to pandemic resilience https://ethics.harvard.edu/files/center-for-ethics/files/roadmaptopandemicresilience_updated_4.20.20_0.pdf

Propublia 3d on what to do: https://twitter.com/propublica/status/1253351877787467779

common sense considerations by an ex expatriate, no matter you think you re staying 6 months or 6 years make your place comfortable

phase 2 could last 12 months but also longe, a word of caution by Derek lowe. Let’s build up resilience like it could be 12 years, we won’t regret anyhow. WIn win

virus, big brother and little father

big brother 1984 Orwell

little father Josif Stalin

Korea contains the epidemic with snooping technologies and quarantine

China (and Italy) is ordering everybody home in a general lockdown

fighting a virus is at the opposite end of liberal laissez faire, fighting the epidemic requires applying some power of restriction and the target of this power unveils two different model and ideas of power.

The jury is out wheter the 2 different way of tackling the epidemic are equally effective. Korea seems to have blocked it in a shorter time with less economic damage, compared to China. Will Italy’s blockade succeed in flattening the curve ?

 

 

the idea that AI reinforces totalitarian weaknesses

Fear not China, Seeing Like a Finite State Machine

“The theory behind this is one of strength reinforcing strength – the strengths of ubiquitous data gathering and analysis reinforcing the strengths of authoritarian repression to create an unstoppable juggernaut of nearly perfectly efficient oppression. Yet there is another story to be told – of weakness reinforcing weakness. Authoritarian states were always particularly prone to the deficiencies identified in James Scott’s Seeing Like a State – the desire to make citizens and their doings legible to the state, by standardizing and categorizing them, and reorganizing collective life in simplified ways, for example by remaking cities so that they were not organic structures that emerged from the doings of their citizens, but instead grand chessboards with ordered squares and boulevards, reducing all complexities to a square of planed wood

The latest link is where Italo Calvino can be used as perfect metaphor of epistemic confrontation in the field of politics

Sauron is communist, is the Palantir a libertarian tool ?

Pether Thiel in a speech, if blockchain is libertarian, can’t we say AI is communist ? He does not say where his Plantyr company stands though

“If we were to tell the two technological stories about scale at this point, one of them is still the sort of crypto revolution which is still going on with Bitcoin and has this sort of this libertarian potential. But I think there is sort of an alternate tech story which is about AI, big data, centralized databases, surveillance, which does not seem libertarian at all. You’re sort of going to have the big eye of Sauron watching you at all times, in all places. And I often think that we live in a world where the ideology always has a certain veil on it. So if we say that crypto is libertarian, why can’t we say that AI is communist, and at least have the sort of alternate account of scale?”

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/events/2019-wriston-lecture-end-computer-age-thiel#transcript

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