The essence of my optimism is constructive pessimism.” - Fausto Cercignani

You will find below quite a list of rather depressing links, from the job destruction from tech companies to the relentless automation of everything, from incompetent governments to obviously wrong geopolitical policies… The world was never an easy place to live in, yet for most humans life is somehow better than before. We hate this argument since it averages out the huge differences throughout the world, but let us not forget that this is a fact too. Look at documentaries from your country in the late 1990’s and be amazed at how life seems to be world’s apart from ours.

Is this tremendous wealth only a blip in history, the crest of a wave that is about to roll us upside down, teaching humans yet again another lesson about our condition as mere mortals? We are killing a huge number of animal and plant species to satisfy our primitive needs of possession fueled by limitless desires. In some cases, we rely on some of those species for our own survival. In any case, the environmental changes that we have triggered are endangering the human race’s long term survival. Humans will adapt, but it is clear that it can sustain its current consumption habits, maybe not even its population size.

Humans will need to change their organizational model, find new ways to organize and do more with less. They can also not change and return to the primitive, brutal and unequal rule of the strongest. In some places of the world (so called failed states), this is already happening. It probably won’t happen in Western countries, but the latter will have to deal with the headaches of managing the mess of those states, starting with immigration and violence (from civil war to terrorism).

The future always looks bleak. In the age of instant news across the globe, we feel that everything is disintegrating even if this impression is given by the increase in ‘bad’ news from every corner of the globe. The challenges are real but nothing is set in stone and we as a specie have the power to manage our future. It is up to us to decide where we will go.

Whole Foods Becomes Amazon Hell Foods as Employees, Managers Quit, Cry on the Job….and These People Want to Run Your Healthcare? – Idiotic targets, meaningless tasks, counterproductive time use and huge pressure to perform. Amazon makes the life of its employees miserable to the point where people regularly cry at work.

What Amazon Does to Poor Cities – Key words: Hunger Games (beat the statistics based on the average from your fellow workers), the Walking Dead (workers nearing their 2 years anniversary with Amazon), the race to the bottom (Amazon reaping off cities and decreasing average wages in counties where it operates)…

Too big to fail: worries surround South Korea’s chip industry – South Korea’s economy is relying on memory semiconductor companies Samsung and SK Hynix, who account for a combined 75% of semiconductor memory worldwide market and 1/3 of South Korea’s GDP. Yet other industrial sectors upon which South Korea previously relied are now in deep crisis, even if this fact is masked by the semiconductor boom.

China’s Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone – China’s government has installed a wide ranging system including data mining of online habits from shopping to comment posting, CCTV cameras coupled with facial recognition software matching with national IDs, and peer-to-peer ranking determined partly on peers rating you and your recorded past using algorithms. The goal: smother critical, independent and free thoughts. 1984 should now be pronounced 2020 in Chinese.

China’s plan to use artificial intelligence to boost the thinking skills of nuclear submarine commanders – Deploying AI to support submarines’ decision making could make China challenge the USA’s underwater dominance. But seeing how complex it is for car manufacturers to create autonomous cars, I wouldn’t step onboard an AI managed submarine.

UK Political Pressures Rise….Because EU Does Exactly What It Has Been Saying It Would Do on Brexit – The self denial in the UK press is so astonishing it makes one wonder if they’re not knowingly shooting themselves in the foot for no reason.

Miscalculations in Israel Could Pave Way to Wider War – The USA and Israel have been trying to manage the rapidly changing politics of the Middle East but their endeavors have now mostly failed. Previous allies are now turning their backs or too fragile to provide effective support, leaving Israel isolated and the USA at odds with most of the region regimes and populations.

In Afghanistan’s Unwinnable War, What’s the Best Loss to Hope For? – A state breakdown, warlords and continuous infighting for generations to come. My Western brain seems to struggle with the concept of ‘no-nation state’, but I guess that a country with 14 different ethnic groups (including 3 large ones), almost inexistant infrastructure, plenty of weapons and a dirt poor population can’t hope for little more.

Picture of the day: James Webb Space Telescope mirror

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