How to build a stronger middle class: With respect.


Of course, money matters here—money to buy a home, pay for college, and have the resources to care for the elderly parent. But money is not the essence of middle-class status. Being middle class is as much a mindset as a bank balance. It is about how you look at yourself, how you perceive our future, and how you are treated by others.

The critical currency here is not economic resources, but respect. Respect for oneself, and mutual respect for each other. Class is then about respect and relationships, not just earnings and certificates. This is what the philosopher Philip Pettit means when he channels John Milton to argue that a truly equal society is one where everyone “can look each other squarely in the eye.”

This idea of class as respect comes with its own problems of course.

Source: How to build a stronger middle class: With respect.

Racing to Secure Our Future

The Great Powers are in an Artificial Intelligence (AI) arms race. China publicly set a goal of becoming “the world’s primary AI innovation center” by 2030. Vladimir Putin said of AI that whoever “becomes the leader in this sphere will be the ruler of the world.”

More so than any time in human history, technology is revolutionizing how we live – and how we work. Cars park themselves… and are on the verge of driving themselves. Those same cars, along with drones, planes, small satellites – and even light posts – are sensing, collecting, processing, and sharing data at a prolific rate.

Some see automation as a choice that diminishes the importance of human expertise.

Source: Racing to Secure Our Future

Supreme Court upholds agreements that prevent employee class-action suits | TheHill


The Supreme Court’s decision Monday allowing employers to keep employees from joining together in wage and hour disputes could have a dramatic and lasting impact on the American workforce.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices said arbitration agreements that bar employees from joining together in arbitration or a class-action lawsuit to settle labor disputes are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act.

Source: Supreme Court upholds agreements that prevent employee class-action suits | TheHill

Wall Street hopes we’ve forgotten about the financial crisis; we haven’t | TheHill


One September day in 2008, the industry’s lobbyists and friends in Congress argued that subprime mortgages were a triumph of unfettered capitalism and made the dream of homeownership possible for millions.

The next day, the same people, with no apparent embarrassment, said that liberals bullied innocent lenders to give foolish mortgages to low-income and minority borrowers.

The Wall Street plutocrats behind the argument went to all the right schools and belong to all the right clubs.

Source: Wall Street hopes we’ve forgotten about the financial crisis; we haven’t | TheHill

Pressure rising on GOP after Trump–DOJ fight’s latest turn | TheHill

Republican senators believe that if Trump fired Mueller or obviously interfered in his investigation, it would backfire politically and potentially hurt their chances of keeping control of Congress.

They want to avoid an all-out war between Trump and Justice that might draw parallels to the Nixon-era “Saturday Night Massacre,” when senior department officials resigned instead of complying with orders to fire a special counsel.

Source: Pressure rising on GOP after Trump–DOJ fight’s latest turn | TheHill

Delphic priestesses were the world’s first political risk consultants | Aeon Ideas


Since the height of the Persian Wars, political and business leaders have looked to outsiders blessed with seemingly magical knowledge to divine both the present and the future. While the tools of divination have obviously changed, the pressing need for establishing the rules of the road for managing risk in geopolitics have not.

The question for political risk analysis remains the same as it was during the heyday of the Pythia: with superior knowledge (spiritual or intellectual), can we reliably do this?

Source: Delphic priestesses were the world’s first political risk consultants | Aeon Ideas

The Trump administration’s Plan B on Iran is no plan at all


There’s only one problem with the strategy: It’s not a strategy at all, but rather a grab bag of wishful thinking wrapped in a thinly veiled exhortation for regime change in Iran.

Actually, there are about a dozen other problems with the strategy that Pompeo articulated—that being the number of benchmarks that the speech laid out as the prerequisites for any “new deal” that he insisted the administration is “ready, willing, and able to negotiate” with Iran.

Despite this nod to the possibility of new negotiations, the substance of Pompeo’s remarks forecloses any realistic avenue for diplomacy with or around Iran’s current leadership.

And it will exacerbate existing frictions around a variety of diplomatic and trade issues with all of America’s traditional partners.

Source: The Trump administration’s Plan B on Iran is no plan at all

Bill to preserve ZTE sanctions clears committee | FCW


The amendment, less than a page long, modifies the $62.5 billion appropriations bill for Commerce, Justice and Science to specify that no funds may be used in contravention of an April 23 order put out by the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security that instituted a seven-year ban on ZTE from buying parts and components from U.S. technology companies.

Source: Bill to preserve ZTE sanctions clears committee — FCW

Swedes told to prepare for conflict in Cold War-style booklet | Reuters


The 20-page pamphlet titled “If Crisis or War Comes” gives advice on getting clean water, spotting propaganda and finding a bomb shelter, in the first public awareness campaign of its kind since the days of the Cold War.

It also tells Swedes they have a duty to act if their country is threatened. “If Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up,” the booklet says.

“All information to the effect that resistance is to cease is false.”

Source: Swedes told to prepare for conflict in Cold War-style booklet | Reuters

Five unintended benefits of 5G | EDN


While fixed internet access is positioned to be the first major 5G application, many more are in the wings, including mobile applications.

The huge investments in components, equipment, and know-how will spin off benefits outside of directly 5G networking. Here are five I’ve identified.

  1. mmWave everything
  2. Phased-array radar
  3. Point-to-point mmWave backhaul
  4. Gaming
  5. Disrupting the edge

Source: Five unintended benefits of 5G | EDN