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Comment Sino-Korean Politics Fueling This (Score 4, Insightful) 42

There is a larger Sino-Korean political conflict right now that adds a lot of context to this judgment. The PRC government is angry at South Korea for permitting the deployment of an American THAAD missile defense system on the peninsula. The South Koreans allowed it because of the continuing missile launches by the North, but China views it as another step in American encirclement of China. In retaliation, the PRC has waged an economic attack on South Korea to punish them: banning Chinese tour groups from visiting Korea, suddenly shutting down Korean retailers and other businesses in China on administrative grounds, banning of South Korean imports, and a general harassment of Korean economic interests across the board. This could easily be just another salvo in this spat.

The irony of this hamfisted approach by the Chinese is that its actually galvanized Korean political sentiment against them. Whereas before, there was a robust debate on whether or not to deploy THAAD, with the anti-THAAD faction ascendant following the fall of the Korean president, the economic retaliation has temporarily shut down that debate. In polls, China has even passed Japan as the most hated country by South Koreans after North Korea due to this kerfuffle. If you know anything about the love-hate relationship between South Korea and Japan, this is a BIG deal.

Comment Bifurcation of Labor: High Skilled vs Minimum Wage (Score 1) 99

Even if the total job count isn't shrinking any further, we're seeing a bifurcation of manufacturing labor into a small cadre highly skilled, highly paid specialists and a pool of low wage positions that only exist because it is not yet cost effective to automate their positions. Great if you're one of the new factory elite but sucks if you're the middle aged blue collar worker no longer relevant in the modern manufacturing landscape.

Comment Re:Dilemma Solution (Score 1) 396

Perhaps the right cure, but not for the reasons you state. If your goal is to penalize American companies who use robots versus human labor, then you're simply going to make those companies less competitive globally, and they will lose to Chinese, Japanese and German firms that are much more highly automated. Instead, you tax all companies that do business in the United States and use the money to provide a basic income or safety net so they can ride out the transition, knowing full well that many may not be able to adapt to the new economy. Much like the great industrial revolution: the home craftsmen and farmers who lost their jobs, their children were able to adapt to the new economy, but they were not. Best thing you can do is make sure they're taken care of.

Comment We Traded It for "Free" Content (Score 4, Informative) 147

We traded our privacy and personal information for "free" content. In the early days of the web, we wanted Social Media, but we didn't want to pay a subscription for it. We said we were okay with advertising, even targeted advertising, to pay for their services. We wanted a web of free content and told them to figure out how to make money on it. So they grasped at the one thing they could find, our identities as consumers, and it was so lucrative, it re-shaped the way the web operates.

Comment Nothing of Substance Offered (Score 2) 135

vOn Google Hangouts chats or iMessage you can exchange quotes, links, stories, media," he said. "That's a delightful, engaging media experience..."

Or a great way to create a media echo chamber. You know, kind of like my aunt Facebook.

The next phase of media is going to come out of the idea of authentic, chill conversation about things that matter.

Maybe its just me, but the only time I've ever had "authentic, chill conversation" on hot button items are when you have personal links to an individual to know that they are human even if you disagree with them on politics. Even then, that backstop might not be sufficient. There is no alternate vision laid out here for how the Internet can be great again. Instead, this sounds like just empty hope that the current situation is merely a temporary byproduct of a weird political time and that everything will just magically go back to normal.

Comment Seen Similar Pattern in Fall and Rise of Korea (Score 1) 516

I think this article is quite good because it points out both the difficulty in addressing income inequality as well as reminding people that the 1950s - 1970s was a historical anomaly for the Western world created by unusual circumstances.

What I read also reminded me of what I've seen and heard about Korea during the 1940s and 1950s. Prior to the 20th century, Korea had a highly entrenched class system made up of landed aristocracy. That system was literally dismantled and blown up by the combination exploitation under Japanese occupation, the civil war, and Communist takeover in the north. When you got to the 1950s, you had an unusually flat society in South Korea with many former landed elites scraping by after their wealth was destroyed. Yet as the country rebuilt, wealth became reconcentrated in the hands of a new group of industrialists who were able to ride the economic growth. Now, its heavily re-entrenched in Korea, albeit with new elites.

You saw a similar sort of flattening and re-stratification among Korean immigrants to the United States as well. During the post-war wave, people from both traditional educated gentry and the poorest of the poor fled the country and lived together in an initially relatively narrow wealth band. Yet as people rose to success, whether through business savvy or education, the immigrant community has begun to diverge again between new money business elites and white collar professionals on one end and poor small business owners and laborers on the other. While you still see some mobility between the two, its clear that the children of the former have a lot of advantages over the children of the latter, and I believe in another generation or two, you'll see that stratification harden.

Comment Just Use Non-State Actors (Score 1) 148

Would this make any serious impact though? Vast majority of cyber attacks aren't the life-and-death ones like bringing down the power grid. They are the more gray areas, espionage and theft, that nation-states may not be as quick to sign up for. If anything, many nations, including Western ones, view economic espionage as a civic duty in a global economic zero sum game. Why would they sign up for that? In addition, you nation-states already tend to use "non-state" actors to give them plausible deniability. Oh those hackers who hit your grid - just some vagrant teenagers.

Comment More Incentives for Bandwidth Caps, Net Neutrality (Score 2) 148

Sadly, for those of us in the United States at least, this will just give additional motivation for domestic ISP's to start capping monthly data at home. Also, with net neutrality on the ropes, they can try and extract their "cut" by forcing streaming services to pay up so that they can bypass data caps and bandwidth limitations.

Comment Joy vs. Happiness (Score 1) 280

researchers found that the parents weren't nearly as happy as they claimed they were. Their kids caused them all kinds of stress and unhappiness.

Perhaps its a distinction between joy and happiness? Joy being the macro positive feelings associated with being a part of something bigger (i.e. raising a child, building a legacy through them, satisfaction of ego, that weird love thing) versus happiness which is focused on the general condition of the person day to day (sleep deprivation, resource sacrifice, emotional and psychological strain, etc.).

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