It's called mind over matter. If we don't mind, it doesn't matter.” - Emma Donoghue

This week, we’re following a very good advice: if you don’t feel like writing, don’t. We will only highlight the fact that some kind of backlash is growing against the tech companies. We can only hope that this trend will continue and that regulation will eventually rein in the monopolistic, job destroying tech companies.

Review of “Rest,” by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang – Working more usually translates in lower productivity, something that runs contrary to the rising fashion of working more as a way to assert one’s social status. Working between 25-38 hours is the most productive, though a good rest / break is needed to split the work load and maintain productivity.

Chelsea Manning: The Dystopia We Signed Up For – Our world is controlled by algorithms that track, check, compile, analyze and issue recommendations that have huge impacts on our lives (credit ratings, rental…), while human operators have less and less power to override the machines.

Big Tech makes vast gains at our expense – Large tech companies are offer ‘free’ services, though they earn their money by making advertisers pay for the huge amounts of data they collect on you.

The Silicon Valley Backlash Is Heating Up – The monopolies operated by large tech companies are starting to experience political challenges. It was about time.

Europe’s Globalists Tackle the Immigration Class War – French President Macron and former UK PM Tony Blair have been calling for reforms of the migration system inside the EU to protect lower paid employees, which highlights the concerns of citizens for these issues.

Heads, Saudi loses. Tails, Iran wins – Saudi Arabia’s crown prince reportedly announced that he was open to dialogue with Iran. This follows a number of large setbacks and a confused strategy. On the other hand, Iran has been steadily building its capacities and networks through a committed strategy.

What Were China’s Objectives in the Doklam Dispute? – The Sino-Indian dispute at the top of the world was dialed back but Beijing’s actions are still not fully understood. It may have been an attempt to reduce India’s credibility and see how its ‘build-it / own-it’ approach works.

The Russia-China plan for North Korea: stability, connectivity – Russia, China and South Korea are mulling plans to create infrastructure and transports across the Korean peninsula. It remains to see how North Korea would consider the project, but it’s still a better approach than war, debilitating sanctions or aggressive behavior, though as we explained last week, the US is effectively prisoner of its rhetoric.

When Wall Street Owns Main Street — Literally – Private equity funds are cashing in on their real estate investments, buying at the bottom of the housing crisis and now raising rents. The article asks how it is possible to have a housing recovery in the US if home ownership is declining.

More Signs of Private Equity Market Frenzy: Firms Selling Stakes – Private equity funds are selling part of their stake, a red flag as these managers usually have a good market timing: the industry is overcrowded, returns are lower than advertised, and the large central banks are working on lifting their QE programs.

Picture of the week: Passiflora caerulea

 

About Carlito Riego

"Great perfection may appear imperfect, but its usefulness is inexhaustible. Great abundance may appear empty, but its usefulness cannot be exhausted. Great correctness may appear twisted, great skills appear crude, great eloquence appear awkward. Activity conquers cold; inactivity conquers heat. Clear serenity governs the world." - Lao Zi