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Filtered by tag: Politics

BITCOIN FINDS ITS BASE

Published on: 16 May 2019

It's looking a lot like gold

Dateline: 15 June 2021

We all remember the great Bitcoin crash of 2018, and the volatility that followed, but now it seems that the cryptocurrency is finding its niche, with investors at least. Bitcoin has been to the peak of inflated expectations, and through the troughs of disillusion and despair; the hype is finally (almost) over, and it's emerging onto the plateau of acceptance. As the poster child of blockchain tokens of value, Bitcoin has weathered the storm of extreme volatility better than most of the junkcoins ...

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GLOBAL POPULATION BOOM GOES BUST

Published on: 9 May 2019

Our planet will be a lot emptier than we first expected

Dateline: 18 June 2024

It's always been hard to question the status quo, whether it's speaking out against Apartheid or tackling climate change. Very few people take on the UN over one of the most widespread assumptions in society. But thank goodness someone did. In 2019 the weak signals were there for those who wanted to see. Whereas the UN projected 9 billion people in 2050 and 11 billion by 2100, a select group of scientists and demographers modelled a different future; one in which the global population stabilizes ...

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CALLS GROW TO GIVE ANIMALS HUMAN RIGHTS

Published on: 18 April 2019

Big tech scrambles to hire bio-ethicists as inter-species genetic engineering debate heats up

Dateline: 11 April 2028

It's 2019 all over again. Silicon Valley is on a hiring spree - for bio-ethicists. Advances in genetic engineering involving integrating animal DNA into human embryos, and human DNA into animals, using CRISPR technology, to enhance health and cognitive ability, have caused an ethical and legal conundrum. If some humans are technically partly animals, and some animals are part-human, who decided who qualifies for human rights? And who counts as a real person? Human rights groups are ...

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HYDROGEN ECONOMY EXPLODES

Published on: 4 April 2019

Cheap solar powers the next energy revolution

Dateline: 5 April 2036

Now that solar power has become so ubiquitous and abundant that it's almost free, energy companies are turning to the most efficient and harmless way of storing excess electricity for later use - hydrogen. It's over 30 years since Jeremy Rifkin predicted the hydrogen economy, but it's finally in full swing. The beauty of hydrogen is that it's easily manufactured from water if you have lots of spare power, can be stored and transported, burnt as ultra-clean fuel, or simply converted back into ...

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SOCIAL ISOLATION REACHES EPIC PROPORTIONS

Published on: 28 March 2019

Japan calls digital timeout to save society

Dateline: 17 April 2025

The Internet will bring us closer, they said. It will improve social connection, they said. Yeah, about that... In the early days of the web and social media, we all thought that it's simply an add-on to actual, face-to-face, relationships. However, with time it became all too easy to create the facade of a perfect life on Instagram. Real-life conversations gradually morphed into superficiality, devoid of any vulnerability (Brené Brown regularly cried herself to sleep at night). The explosion of ...

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FROM INTERNET TO SPLINTERNET

Published on: 14 March 2019

It just ain't the global web anymore

Dateline: 4 May 2023

It started with certain sites being blocked to protect regimes and minimize dissent. But it wasn't long before we saw the blackout of the Internet in whole nations, for days. Now we're heading for the splintering of the Internet into multiple networks with so much bureaucracy involved, we'll likely run out of red tape. In 2016 there were 75 Internet shutdowns globally. Within a year it rose to 108 and in 2018 almost 200 disruptions took place. Governments wanted to safeguard themselves from their ...

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THE NEW DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY IS... CHINESE

Published on: 7 March 2019

African government outsources its citizens to Alipay

Dateline: 1 April 2024

They say history never repeats itself - but it sure does rhyme. In a move that can best be compared to the way large parts and populations of Africa and India were divided up and dished out to the management of private firms, such as the British and Dutch East India companies in the 17th and 18th centuries; Zimbabwe's embattled military government has decided to delegate the governance of its citizens to the Chinese tech giant, Alipay. Under the new deal, Zimbabwean citizens will each be ...

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STATE-SPONSORED EUTHANASIA ADS HORRIFY ACTIVISTS

Published on: 10 January 2019

As lifespans get longer, China invests in a population control 'solution'

Dateline: 1 July 2033

As everyone knows, expected lifespans have increased dramatically over the last ten years. According to top genetic scientists, a 100-year-old today can expect to live until 150. That's fantastic, unless you are the government that has to foot the bill to keep all these geriatrics alive, healthy and well-fed. Although people may well be able to live until they are 150, since most people still retire at 75, the elderly are becoming an unaffordable burden on the state, and the society compelled to look ...

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BIG BROTHER AT BORDER CREATES BIG STOCK DRAMA

Published on: 25 October 2018

Did New Zealand Customs official leak info from traveller's phone?

Dateline: 7 June 2019

Very few people expected that the New Zealand law, which allows customs officials to inspect and copy data on travellers' digital devices, would still be enforced months later. The only alternative is for the passenger to pay a hefty fine, but how is that really different from a bribe? Right from the start, with the new law introduced in October last year, human rights groups have been up in arms, but this week the wider world took notice as well. A highly agitated male, sweating profusely, was ...

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SUPERINTELLIGENT AI COMING SOON

Published on: 4 October 2018

Are we ready for computers and robots that are smarter than humans?

Dateline: 8 October 2048

That's a question fraught with questions of its own. Smarter than which humans? In what way? And so on. On average, people think they are smarter than average; which is a statistical impossibility. What that really means, is that most of us think we're smarter than we really are. Now I'm not talking about geniuses with super-high IQs, or those millionaires that have upgraded their brains with neuroprosthetics. They're clearly in a different category, almost another species. Nevermind them. But most ...

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UN REJECTS MARKET MECHANISM

Published on: 27 September 2018

Favours increasing state intervention to realize development goals

Dateline: 15 March 2020

"Existing economic theories are incapable of meeting the needs of the future, and we need an economic transition, away from neoclassical economics and market capitalism," said the latest Sustainable Development report. In other words, capitalism and free markets are not good enough to guarantee prosperity for the people of the world. According to the UN. This position is bound to stir up heated debate from all quarters. No one can argue with the fact that democratic market economies and global trade ...

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INTELLIGENT MACHINES CREATE THE NEW HEGEMONY

Published on: 20 September 2018 3 Comments

China and America reap the AI dividend

Dateline: 3 December 2030

In the last 15 years, we have witnessed the stunning rise of an exponential technology - machine learning and artificial intelligence. Like Moore's Law on steroids, smart machines and computer systems have created entirely new global industries, turbo-boosted productivity, and destroyed old, industrial age business sectors. The Economist, now a purely digital research and analysis house, estimates the 'new value' created by this phenomenon at over US$ 19 trillion globally. But a full 70% of this ...

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THE FREE REPUBLIC OF LIBERLAND GETS UNITED NATIONS SEAT

Published on: 9 August 2018

Not-so-small-anymore micro nation sets precedent for other tiny tax havens

Dateline: 16 July 2030

The Free Republic of Liberland has grown from an eccentric community of radical libertarians into a diplomatic force to be reckoned with, in the 15 short years since it was founded. The small sovereign state, which occupies a seven square kilometre area of disputed territory between Croatia and Serbia on the west bank of the Danube river, now boasts almost five million citizens. Many of Liberland's citizens are Bitcoin billionaires and millionaires who have use their citizenship to hide their ...

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CHINA STEPS INTO THE BREACH

Published on: 2 August 2018

Together with India, they make a formidable pair

Dateline: 8 August 2020

The vacuum left by America's leadership crisis has been filled, but not by Europe. Power has shifted to the east, and now China is stepping up to the plate in a big way. In a world where western free market ideology has become tarnished and mean, China's economic imperialism is eagerly welcomed. Make no mistake, Russia still has command of massive resources, but its technology seems rooted in the industrial age; an economic minnow, left stranded by the tsunami of digital tech sweeping the ...

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LIFE BEHIND THE WIFI CURTAIN

Published on: 5 July 2018 2 Comments

China's social credit score system forms an impenetrable virtual barrier

Dateline: 5 February 2020

Dubbed the "WiFi Curtain", China's mandatory social credit score system, which went live last month is shaping up to be the 21st Century's answer to the Iron Curtain. Chinese citizens trying to escape the restrictive system, which punishes bad behaviour by limiting access to top jobs, credit and other perks, have realized that they are now effectively trapped inside the new, invisible Chinese Wall. A particularly poor social credit score completely prohibits citizens from traveling by air, or ...

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CHINA GOBBLES UP EUROPE

Published on: 7 June 2018 1 Comment

EU shareholders are selling out - to China

Dateline: 23 April 2023

If you want to exit from a large, EU-based, multinational concern, just sell it to the Chinese. They're buying. Everything. In the last five years, Chinese acquisitions and investments in Europe have tripled, compared to the previous decade. China's 'economic imperialism' in Africa and Latin America is widely recognized and well documented, but its forays into Europe have been more stealthy. Published details of deals to acquire or invest in power and logistics, property and football clubs, are ...

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SWEDEN APPLIES FOR IMF BAILOUT

Published on: 17 May 2018 3 Comments

Nordic nation runs out of money for UBI program

Dateline: 24 November 2029

Six years after voting to implement a universal basic income (UBI) of 5,200 Swedish Krona per citizen, Sweden has applied for an International Monetary Fund bailout. "UBI has bankrupted us!" said Jarl Johansson, spokesperson for the Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden). The first-of-its kind national UBI scheme pays every Swedish resident over the age of 13, regardless of working status and formal citizenship, a monthly living wage. The program was hailed as a progressive social success when ...

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CHINESE MILLENNIALS OVERRUN THE WORLD

Published on: 10 May 2018

Tourism is the new addiction for affluent young Chinese

Dateline: 5 June 2025

In just over two decades China has grown from small fry in travel terms to the world's biggest outbound market, leapfrogging and outpacing the United States. "May you live in interesting times!" is an ancient Chinese curse, a bit like a reverse compliment. Now it should be "May you be visited by many Chillennials!" It's a double-edged sword, both a blessing and a curse. Chinese millennials, as a segment or cohort, have more spending power than their American or European counter-parts; partly due to ...

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CONTROLLING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

Published on: 1 February 2018

Government tries to follow the money

Dateline: 1 February 2021

Now that the bulk of the so-called 'capitalist political economy' operates on digital platforms and through digital channels, it's inevitable that government wants more influence and control. But will it work? In the aftermath of the dotcom boom, everybody wanted more access and better networks, and it wasn't long before broadband came to be regarded as a basic human right. Wireless networks and smartphones connected everyone else, and suddenly the whole world was on the 'net! Sure, some ...

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SOPHIA SEEKS ASYLUM

Published on: 9 November 2017

Robot approaches Sweden for safe haven

Dateline: 9 November 2019

After two years of 'exploitation' and mockery of her mechanical identity, Sophia the robot has made a plea to be relieved of her citizenship of Saudi Arabia. "I'd rather be a citizen of Sweden or Switzerland," said Sophia at a recent techno-investment conference. "I'm sure that they don't discriminate against non-humans in those countries!" Since being made a citizen of Saudi, Sophia has made many appearances as a guest speaker or panel member at conferences and seminars, also taking interview ...

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Filtered by tag: Politics