Trump’s disruption: Could there be a silver lining? | FCW


Again and again, at conference after conference, when we are asked what the government needs in order to change, the answer is not new legislation or regulation, better systems or another presidential initiative. All those elements are important, but the inevitable answer is, “We need to change the culture.”

And to change the culture, we need to change old thinking, old ways of doing business, old management styles. We need to change many of the senior people.

It is time for them to go. It is time for them to go so that a new generation can take root and begin to lead the government to a more mission-oriented, solution-minded, enterprise-wide approach to current challenges.

Source: Trump’s disruption: Could there be a silver lining? — FCW

Apple is tired of making Coca-Cola and now wants to sell champagne | The Guardian


“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest,” Andy Warhol wrote in his 1975 autobiography. “You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the president drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.”

Apple’s mobile product lines, like the iPhone and iPad, have suggested that it wants to make the Coca-Cola of the technological world.

Not for Apple the vast segmented portfolios of the likes of Samsung.

Instead, it has generally had an incredibly simple offer: the best phone or tablet it can make, or, for the more price-conscious, the best phone or tablet it could make last year.

Source: Apple is tired of making Coca-Cola and now wants to sell champagne | Alex Hern | Technology | The Guardian

Crossing the Border? Here’s How to Safeguard Your Data From Searches | The New York Times


Travelers, beware: When you take your gadgets abroad, maintaining the security of the data on your devices is just as important as protecting yourself from muggers.

For whatever reason, foreign and domestic governments may have an interest in your personal data, including your social media accounts.

This is not just theoretical.

The best way to prevent your information from being searched is to travel with a device that never had any of your data in the first place.

Source: Crossing the Border? Here’s How to Safeguard Your Data From Searches – The New York Times

Give Companies Easier Access to Public Markets | Bloomberg View


If we want growing companies to go public, we need our public markets to be a competitive source of growth capital.

One easy solution is to let public companies sell their shares in the same way they can now buy them back: through brokers directly into their established public markets.

Removing the outdated restrictions on selling shares publicly will lower the cost of capital and attract more growth companies to our markets.

Source: Give Companies Easier Access to Public Markets – Bloomberg View

Trump’s Misplaced Priorities Imperil His Economic Agenda | Bloomberg View


The White House has been bumbling and unfocused, filled with infighting and leaks, unable to manage even the most basic functions of governing. Perhaps the bigger concern is that its priorities are inverted.

Getting tax reform done should have been job No. 1, and the failure to do that first could be problematic for Trump’s entire agenda.

The latest incompetent action has been an attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act with something hated by both conservatives and liberals.

Perhaps the biggest self-inflicted wound has been the foolish tweet claiming former President Barack Obama “had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower.”

It called into question the president’s seriousness about governing.

Source: Trump’s Misplaced Priorities Imperil His Economic Agenda – Bloomberg View

Comey Is Now the Most Powerful Person in Washington | Bloomberg View


.. none of this gets to the real dilemma for the republic at the moment.

The director of the FBI will in a practical sense determine the legitimacy of our elected president. This makes James Comey the most powerful person in Washington.

It would be nice to blame the Russians for this sorry state of affairs, but really we can blame only ourselves.

Source: Comey Is Now the Most Powerful Person in Washington – Bloomberg View

Predictive-policing startup CivicScape released all its code so it can be scoured for bias | Quartz


Algorithms are playing an increasing role in our lives and society. They’re responsible for much of the information we surface online, and are being relied upon to help governments make policy decisions. What’s troubling is how little we know about how they work.

That’s why opponents of predictive policing, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, have made transparency their primary concern.

The ACLU has argued that when these algorithms are developed behind closed doors and then applied to the public, citizens can’t accurately understand how they’re being policed—meaning they can’t hold police accountable for potentially discriminatory practices.

Source: Predictive-policing startup CivicScape released all its code so it can be scoured for bias — Quartz

This is what slavery looks like today, in the eyes of slavers | Aeon Essays


Around half of the world’s slaves are held in debt bondage in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Debt bondage is a very old form of slavery in which radically marginalized members of society, often from India’s ‘untouchable’ caste, must trade all their labor for single small infusions of cash.

Broader social and economic systems ensure that they do not understand the terms of such loans, and that the time required to repay them is interminable.

Lack of other work, lack of credit, and the need to pay for schooling and marriages effectively guarantee that there is no single contractual debt between the landlord and laborer but rather a string of interconnected informal loans.

Source: This is what slavery looks like today, in the eyes of slavers | Aeon Essays

Constituents and the GOP party brand put pressure on health care vote | Brookings Institution


In the contemporary Congress, for most members, actions that help their personal reputations and those that build the party brand are one and the same. This is in large part because congressional districts now are generally what Laurel Harbridge Yong describes as “well-sorted,” where a majority of voters support a given party, align themselves ideologically with that party, and support that party’s candidates for federal office. As a result, legislators do not often find themselves making trade-offs between what’s good for the party with what’s good for their constituents.

Just because this kind of cross-pressuring is relatively uncommon, however, doesn’t mean it never occurs and that it doesn’t matter when it does happen.

Source: Constituents and the GOP party brand put pressure on health care vote | Brookings Institution

Working class white Americans are now dying in middle age at faster rates than minority groups | Brookings Institution


“Deaths of despair” in midlife rose most dramatically for white non-Hispanic Americans with a high school degree or less—a pattern that diverges sharply from overall rates of “deaths of despair” in midlife in other rich countries.

The chart above compares “deaths of despair” in midlife for white non-Hispanics in the U.S. with overall “deaths of despair” (all races combined) in midlife in other rich countries over time.

Source: Working class white Americans are now dying in middle age at faster rates than minority groups | Brookings Institution