U.S.-China Trade Dispute | Council on Foreign Relations


China can respond and will respond, almost certainly, asymmetrically, most obviously by finding ways to penalize and punish U.S. firms operating in China, but also potentially, given that the U.S. tariffs will lower its exports, it’s quite conceivable that China might want to manage its currency down and intentionally weaken its currency.

It need not be a Chinese announcement that they are weakening the currency for trade purposes; it could just be that there are market pressures that materialize that push the currency down, and China allows that to happen.

Source: U.S.-China Trade Dispute | Council on Foreign Relations

The Hidden Cost of Touchscreens | Medium


Physical interfaces are crucial for automotive usability.

Operations rely on a simple glance or muscle memory. Touchscreens, by contrast, force drivers to look. Because buttons are not fixed to specific locations, screens inhibit muscle memory and findability.

Touchscreens compete for attention with the driving process, adding to the dangers of distracted driving.

Source: The Hidden Cost of Touchscreens – Amber Case – Medium

Cory Doctorow: Zuck’s Empire of Oily Rags | Locus Online

It’s great that the privacy-matters message is finally reaching a wider audience, and it’s exciting to think that we’re approaching a tipping point for indifference to privacy and surveillance.

But while the acknowledgment of the problem of Big Tech is most welcome, I am worried that the diagnosis is wrong.

The problem is that we’re confusing automated persuasion with automated targeting. Laughable lies about Brexit, Mexican rapists, and creeping Sharia law didn’t convince otherwise sensible people that up was down and the sky was green.

Rather, the sophisticated targeting systems available through Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other Big Tech ad platforms made it easy to find the racist, xenophobic, fearful, angry people who wanted to believe that foreigners were destroying their country while being bankrolled by George Soros.

Source: Cory Doctorow: Zuck’s Empire of Oily Rags – Locus Online

How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Remade the Queens Political Machine | US News


It’s not as if Crowley completely took the race for granted. He spent $1.5 million and hit area homes with an abundance of mailers.

But the flare-up over the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the southern border became a galvanizing force for young progressives that Weinstein began noticing as he hit doors.

Crowley denounced Immigration and Customs Enforcement as “fascistic” but Ocasio-Cortez went further, calling for it to be abolished.

“This is a moral problem and your response has been to apply more paperwork to the situation, to have ICE collect more information on immigrants, and that puts our communities in danger,” Ocasio-Cortez told Crowley during a televised debate, pounding the table as she spoke.

“That abolish ICE plank hit with young people,” Sasha Weinstein says.

Source: How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Remade the Queens Political Machine | The Report | US News

The roots of writing lie in hopes and dreams, not in accounting | Aeon Essays


Who needs writing, anyway?

Seen through the filter of a military analogy, writing might be like nuclear weapons (which were developed specifically by the military), or it might be like gunpowder, which was discovered by alchemists searching for life-prolonging substances hundreds of years before its use in weapons.

The question is this: is writing the product of the state in every single stage of its evolution, invented de novo by administrative elites?

Or is it composed of pre-existing representational practices that expanded to fill the needs of the state and complex society?

Source: The roots of writing lie in hopes and dreams, not in accounting | Aeon Essays

Suspected criminals get privacy rights—what about the rest of us?


“Some of the greatest threats to individual privacy,” Justice Alito warned, “may come from powerful private companies that collect and sometimes misuse vast quantities of data about the lives of ordinary Americans.”

As he warned of “some of the greatest threats to individual privacy,” Justice Alito also cautioned against relying on the court to update privacy policies for the rest of us.

“If today’s decision encourages the public to think the court can protect them from this looming threat to their privacy, the decision will mislead as well as well as disrupt,” he wrote.

Unfortunately, this “looming threat” has been ignored by Congress.

Source: Suspected criminals get privacy rights—what about the rest of us?

How the ballooning federal debt threatens U.S. defense


Driven primarily by increased mandatory spending, the federal debt threatens to consume all other spending, including defense, in the coming decade.

Failure to reform mandatory spending now will ultimately erase any near-term gains in national defense and could result in significantly diminished U.S. global influence.

Great power competition might continue, but not with the United States as a player.

Source: How the ballooning federal debt threatens U.S. defense

Electric Vehicle Sales Foretell a Big Oil Crash


Oil and gas companies have underestimated probable electric vehicle sales and the effect they will have on their own businesses and profits, a new report says.

It said fossil fuel companies have taken into account some engine fuel efficiencies and the effect they would have on oil demand, but not the expected increase in electric vehicles themselves.

Source: Electric Vehicle Sales Foretell a Big Oil Crash

Curbs on Chinese investment could hit Detroit and Silicon Valley | Reuters


Many of those investments are focused specifically on two key areas of future transportation: electric vehicles and automated vehicles. These are keystones of Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” initiative, one of several government policies driving Chinese tech investments overseas.

Electric and self-driving vehicles also are expected to underpin the next wave of global transportation and services in the 2020s.

For now, U.S. lawmakers and Trump appear to be focused on the money flowing into the United States from China, while expressing concern about advanced technology flowing back to China from the United States.

Source: Curbs on Chinese investment could hit Detroit and Silicon Valley | Reuters

Hope for the 13

Twelve boys and their soccer coach, who were found alive after ten days trapped deep inside a flooded cave, will have to bear their ordeal longer while rescuers work out how to bring them out safely.

Rescuers are racing to pump water from the cave before expected heavy rain on the weekend threatens to complicate efforts to free the team.

As of Tuesday evening, 120 million litres of water had been pumped from the flooded cave over a period of 75 hours.

Source: Hope for the 13