By Sheri Berman – Social democracy was the most idealistic, optimistic ideology of the modern era.
In contrast to liberals who believed “rule by the masses” would lead to the end of private property, tyranny of the majority and other horrors and thus favored limiting the reach of democratic politics, and communists who argued a better world could only emerge with the destruction of capitalism and “bourgeois” democracy, social democrats insisted on democracy’s immense transformative and progressive power: it could maximize capitalism’s upsides, minimize its downsides and create more prosperous and just societies.
Such appeals emerged clearly during the inter-war years, when democracy was threatened by populism’s more dangerous predecessor—fascism.
In the United States, for example, FDR recognized that he needed to deal not merely with the concrete economic fallout of the Great Depression, but also with the fear that democracy was headed for the “dust heap of history” and fascist and communist dictatorships were the wave of the future. This required practical solutions to contemporary problems as well as an ability to convince citizens that democracy remained the best system for creating a better future. As Roosevelt proclaimed in his first inaugural address:
‘Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for…. [Our problems are not insolvable, they exist] because rulers have failed…through their own stubbornness and… incompetence….This Nation asks for action, and action now….I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems….The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’. more>
Posted in Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Leadership, Media, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Government, Politics, Populism, Super regions, Technology
By Josh Sullivan, Josh Elliot, Kirsten Lloyd, and Edward Raff –
The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) holds great promise, but also potential for pitfalls. AI can change the way we live, work, and play, accelerate drug discoveries, and drive edge computing and autonomous systems. It also has the potential to transform global politics, economies, and cultures in such profound ways that the U.S. and other countries are set to enter what some speculate may be the next Space Race.
We are just beginning to understand the implications of unchecked AI. Recent headlines have highlighted its limitations and the continued need for human control. We will not be able to ignore the range of ethical risks posed by issues of privacy, transparency, safety, control, and bias.
Considering the advances already made in AI—and those yet to be made—AI is undoubtedly on a trajectory toward integration into every aspect of our lives. As we prepare to turn an increasing share of tasks and decision-making over to AI we must think more critically about how ethics factor into AI design to minimize risk. With this in mind, policymakers must proactively consider ways to incorporate ethics into AI practices and design incentives that promote innovation while ensuring AI operates with our best interests in mind. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Science, Technology
Tagged Artificial intelligence, Business improvement, Jobs, Leadership, Technology
World Space Week – ITU’s contribution to a world united by space
By Alexandre Vallet – This year’s theme of World Space Week, “Space Unites the World,” resounds with the never-ending work carried out by the entire ITU membership since the 1960s to ensure that adequate radio frequencies are available for space activities.
Only six years after the historical first satellite launch of Sputnik in 1957, ITU organized the Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference to allocate frequency bands for space radiocommunication purposes in Geneva from 7 October to 8 November 1963.
The Conference, which was attended by more than 400 delegates from 70 ITU Member States, allocated for the first time radio frequencies for outer space activities, totaling about 6 GHz for the various kinds of space services and for radio astronomy, 2.8 GHz of which were for communication satellites. After the Conference, about 15 per cent of the Table of Frequency Allocations was available for outer space. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economy, Education, History, Net, Science, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Earth, ITU, Leadership, Technology
By David French – We usually place outsized emphasis on elections that define our politics and too little emphasis on the values that define our culture.
But it was the nomination of Kavanaugh and the wrenching debate about core cultural and constitutional values that dominated American discourse these past few weeks. It’s a debate that illustrated the fundamentally different ways in which conservatives and progressives view the world, and it unlocked not just an intellectual response but an emotional response that has radicalized otherwise reasonable and temperamentally moderate individuals into believing that the other side hates even the good people in their own tribe.
And so when Ford came forward, it’s as if her allegations landed in two different countries. The good-faith residents of Redworld were skeptical and said, “Prove it.” The good-faith residents of Blueworld believed Ford and said, “Finally, she has a chance for justice.” The presumptions were diametrically opposite, and everything that followed turned on those different presumptions. more>
Posted in Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Regulations
Tagged Business, Congress Watch, Government, Leadership, Regulations, Supreme Court, United States Congress
4 ways an Adaptive Network can overcome today’s challenges and take your network to the next level
By Françoise Pouliquen – There is a relentless push-pull from rapid business and technology change affecting operators today. On one hand, dramatic growth in subscriber demands are driving fronthaul and backhaul traffic and putting networks under intense pressure. While on the other, there’s an industry wide race to develop and commercialize new revenue-generating services, such as IoT use cases and 5G mobile services – and to implement the network technologies and architectures needed to support and deliver them. On top of that, new market entrants, including some of the largest internet companies, are deploying massive-scale network connections that support low-cost data transport between key locations and data centers with unrivalled economies of scale.
The challenges for operators are; how to take exponential traffic growth in stride; how to prepare the network for the next-generation of IoT and 5G use cases; and how to remain competitive on price with large connectivity providers in the market.
Here are four key ways an Adaptive Network can help:
- Increasing network agility and efficiency
- Future-proofing the network with industry leading packet-optical solutions
- Helping avoid vendor lock-in with open networking
- Driving network innovation in strategic partnership
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Ciena, Fiber optics, Internet, Technology
By Paul Sweeney – The privatisation of state assets in Europe has added little value and was a costly distraction from the proper management of public services and development of a strong public sector ethos, delivering excellent services. Despite the privatisation of hundreds of billions of asssets, the outsourcing of public services, and fresh privatised ways of funding public services, spending in the modern state has not shrunk, though the value of state assets has been reduced.
The public sphere, open spaces, public ideas and the scientific commons which are open to all are coming under threat of being fenced off, privatised by extensions and enforcement of Intellectual Property, trademarks, copyright laws etc.. This needs to be curbed. The state has been remiss in protecting its own assets from privatisation over the past four decades and, simultaneously, it has given away substantial parts of this public sphere to private interests. It has done this by being over-zealous in protecting the “rights” of major corporations, drug companies, tech and data companies and rich individuals through extended patent rights, and the like.
Patents serve the useful purpose of protection for inventors whose ideas should be rewarded in order to encourage further innovation. But the balance has shifted from protecting innovation to blocking it. It is the state which provides this protection through internationally agreed laws and through enforcement. The growth in patents, trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs has been very high. The state is now agreeing to renewing patents and granting extensions to the likes of branded drugs, thanks to lobbying. Many patents are acquired to build a monopoly and to act as a deterrent against rival innovations.
Some MNCs now troll and hoover-up patents and others exist to build major patent portfolios with the purpose of blocking others’ innovations, moving upstream to protect broad future possible inventions. more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, History, Leadership, Media, Net, Regulations, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Government, Internet, Leadership, Super regions, Technology
By Howard Risher – The problem, as summarized in the report’s Foreword by NAPA President Terry Gerton, is fundamental:
Over time, the alignment between the government’s mission, strategy, and tactics on one hand, and the capacity of its workforce on the other, has fallen further out of sync. The result has been an accumulating series of program failures that have grown into a genuine national crisis.
To call it a national crisis is not hyperbole.
Human capital management leads the 2017 list of GAO’s high-risk areas and workforce management is integral to each of the areas on the list. GAO’s focus was limited to the skills gap. In its report, GAO concluded, “OPM and agencies have not yet demonstrated sustainable progress in closing skills gaps.” It’s been on the high-risk list for 16 years.
The skills gap needs to be seen as the tip of the iceberg. Skills alone cannot produce improved performance. The Office of Personnel Management describes the problem on its website with this formula:
Performance = Capacity x Commitment
According to OPM’s website, “In a work setting, the capacity to perform means having available the competencies [skills], the resources [technology is an essential tool], and the opportunity to complete the job [empowered to make decisions]. If employees are missing these, the work will not get done and the results will not be achieved.” Commitment is synonymous with engagement. more>
Posted in Book review, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Leadership, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Government, human resources, Jobs, Leadership, Organization, performance, Productivity
By Guillaume Duval – Ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers people are frequently asking themselves why the crisis has done so much to strengthen populism and nationalism everywhere you go. However, economically and socially, the process that lies behind this development is, unfortunately, all too easy to describe.
During the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, central banks’ rescue of finance continued on an unprecedented scale for ten years with what is called Quantitative easing (QE). The striking effect of this was to send prices of financial assets sky-high and thereby substantially enrich the bankers, speculators and the already rich holders of these assets at levels that are much higher than before the crisis.
At the same time, ordinary people found themselves lastingly out of work on a huge scale. Governments whose own finances deteriorated steeply – not least because of their aid to the financial sector – rushed to cut back on their spending, especially on welfare. Everywhere, classic right-wing governments but also social-liberal left ones as in France adopted deflationary policies to cut the cost of labor and loosen up the labor market rules, thus making ordinary people’s working and living conditions far worse. While cutting again the taxes on the super-rich and corporate earnings to preserve the country’s “attractiveness.”
These public policies – that have put all European countries permanently on the edge of recession and deflation – are also the main reason for the pursuit of the above-mentioned monetary policy that has so significantly increased inequalities. more>
Posted in Banking, Business, CONGRESS WATCH, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Media, Net
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Ecology, Financial crisis, Government, Internet, Leadership, United States