Malthusianism is alive and well as feminists celebrate declining birth rate

In recent years, much has been made of declining birth rates around the world, particularly in western countries. Whilst occasionally some fears are expressed about how this may impact social care for pensioners, the most common reaction tends to be a dismissive: “So what? The planet has too many people anyway.”

Malthusianism is alive and well as feminists celebrate declining birth rate

The Scott Horton Show: Roger Waters on Palestine, Assange and Ukraine

Sep 22, 2022 – Scott interviews Roger Waters, co-founder of the band Pink Floyd. They begin with a look back at how Waters first woke up to the plight of the Palestinians. That leads to a discussion about the persecution of Julian Assange, which Waters has been actively speaking out against. Next, they look to the war in Ukraine and discuss Waters’ public back and forth with the first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska. Lastly, Scott brings Waters up to speed on the effort to end the war in Yemen.

Ep 5767 – Roger Waters on Palestine, Assange and Ukraine – 9/19/22 via The Scott Horton Show

Related:

9/19/22 Roger Waters on Palestine, Assange and Ukraine

Roger Waters Responds To Mrs. Olena Zelenska of Ukraine: Kiev Must Lead the Charge for Peace

Roger Waters: War, Peace, Art and Activism

“It’s Not Over”: While Biden Touts Rail Deal, Workers Have Yet to Vote—And Many Remain Skeptical

A national rail strike could still be on the table if rank-and-file workers reject the tentative agreement announced by the White House this week.

“It’s Not Over”: While Biden Touts Rail Deal, Workers Have Yet to Vote—And Many Remain Skeptical

Related:

Democratic House Speaker Pelosi to rail workers: Accept a pro-company deal or we’ll force you to

Techbro Influencer Scott Galloway Heads To The Fainting Couch Over TikTok

Techbro Influencer Scott Galloway Heads To The Fainting Couch Over TikTok

This week, Galloway spent his time pushing the hot DC claim du jour: that TikTok is a profound menace to the planet and should be banned. He made the point at the Vox Code conference, then hopped over to Bill Maher’s HBO show to make a similar pronouncement:

Actual evidence of TikTok being uniquely dangerous (especially any indication China has used or could use TikTok to bedazzle U.S. children) has been sorely lacking, but that doesn’t stop folks from heading to the fainting couches. This face fanning has been especially popular among a certain set of xenophobic DC politicians, and companies that don’t want to have to directly compete with China.

The problem: the U.S. is a corrupt, xenophobic, superficial dumpster fire, so most of the “solutions” to this potential problem have been stupid and performative.

Here’s the thing: you could ban TikTok immediately, and China could hoover up location, browsing, and behavior data from an ocean of completely unaccountable and hugely shady data brokers and middlemen. And they can do that because U.S. privacy and security standards are hot garbage. And in some instances, they’re hot garbage because of the same people now complaining about TikTok.

Both Carr and Cruz have extensive histories of undermining regulatory oversight and privacy rules at absolutely every opportunity, yet both are lauded by Galloway in a blog post for being heroic leaders in the “ban TikTok” crusades. Galloway’s a top pundit, yet somehow can’t see that Carr and Cruz are engaged in a zero-calorie xenophobic theatrics, and couldn’t care less about actual consumer privacy.

For literally thirty straight years, at absolutely every single turn, we prioritized making money over transparency or consumer privacy. As a result, consumer privacy protections are garbage, regulators are toothless, governments exploit the attention economy to avoid having to get warrants, and any idiot with a nickel can easily build gigantic, hugely detailed profiles about your everyday life without your consent.

“Banning TikTok” does nothing meaningful if you’re genuinely interested in meaningful surveillance and privacy reform. There will always be another TikTok. There’s an ocean of companies engaging in the same or worse behavior as TikTok because we’ve sanctioned this kind of guardrail-optional hyper-collection and monetization of consumer behavioral data at every step of the way.

Many of the folks beating the “ban TikTok” drum may be well intentioned but just don’t really understand how broken the consumer privacy landscape is. They may not understand that this is a problem that’s exponentially more complicated than just what we do with a single app. Freaking out exclusively about a single app tells me you either don’t really understand the data-hoovering monster we’ve built, or don’t really care if anybody other than China exploits it (waves tiny American flag patriotically).

Many of the other folks calling for a TikTok ban aren’t operating in good faith. Facebook/Meta, for example, spends a lot of time spreading scary stories about TikTok in the press and DC because they want to crush a competitive threat they’ve been incapable of out-innovating. Similar, Politico’s owner is on the Netflix board and simply wants to curtail what he sees as a threat to market and advertising mindshare.

Then there’s just a ton of Silicon Valley folks who believe they inherently own and deserve the advertising market share TikTok occupies. And then of course there’s just a whole bunch of rank bigots who are mad because darker skinned human beings built a popular app, and try to hide this bigotry behind patriotic, pseudo national security concerns.

All of this converges to create a stupid, soupy mess that’s devoid of any actual fixes to any actual problems. Hyper surveillance and propaganda are very real problems that require a dizzying array of complicated fixes, including media and privacy policy reform, antitrust reform, tougher consumer protection standards, education reform, and a meaningful privacy law for the internet era.

Previously:

The NATO to TikTok Pipeline: Why is TikTok Employing So Many National Security Agents?

The White House is briefing TikTok stars about the war in Ukraine

UK uses TikTok influencers to urge teens to get jab after Pfizer-linked vaccine committee chair admits policy lacks evidence + White House enlists army of social media influencers to promote COVID-19 vaccines

Bill Gates Failed Effort to Feed Africa:Was he even trying to help in the first place?

Healthcare administration students in the United States have no choice but to learn about private vs public interests, and the power that private interests have in crafting the Nation’s healthcare policy. Essentials of Health Policy and Law is a fairly standard healthcare administration textbook that budding health policy experts are given to study in American universities. The text uses health policy decisions made in recent years by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as an example of the way private interests control public health policy. According to the book, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation “provides grants to develop crops that are high in essential vitamins and minerals to improve the nutrition of people in developing countries” (Wilensky, 2023). A very uncritical examination of the way investors like Gates use their wealth to make important decisions that affect millions.

Bill Gates Failed Effort to Feed Africa:Was he even trying to help in the first place?

Resources:

Gates-funded ‘green revolution’ in Africa has failed, critics say

Bill Gates: ‘We’re in a Worse Place Than I Expected’

Irish Potato Famine: How Belief In Overpopulation Leads To Human Evil

Serve the people: The eradication of extreme poverty in China.

Railway Workers Fight Shows Need for Paid Sick and Family Leave + More Updates

“It staggers the imagination that in September 2022 the workers who keep the trains running did not have even one sick day to care for themselves.”

Railway Workers Fight Shows Need for Paid Sick and Family Leave, Says Economist

Related:

“30 Years in the Making”: U.S. Rail Strike Averted by Tentative Deal as Workers Decry Grueling Conditions

Live updates: Railroad workers livid over deal brokered by Biden and unions to prevent strike