Quick links (#26)

China’s ‘Cybercrats‘. The trouble with Alibaba. Chinese reforms are hard.

The Free World: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland (and that’s it, understandably). America bets on Modi. The European dream is dying. Strange alliances. Žižek is excited. Nigeria and Egypt in the firing-line.

Messy but sporadically insightful reflections on Bitcoin (from the left). It’s “highly problematic“. ISIS apparently likes it.

Technology and finance are breaking away. Unbundling the banks. Mechanization and the future of work. Singularity and X-Risk buzz (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The business of human cryopreservation.

Flexible brain implants. New steps in robotics.

Anomaly Detection. A call to the edge. Interviews with Pamela Rosenkranz and Peter Boettke. Terminator versus Ghostbusters. Accelerationism under discussion. Property and Freedom 2015. Leaderless. Reason worries about Creeping Neo-Victorianism.

Dark Matter sounds. This is intense.

Quotable (#36)

M K Bhadrakumar on the meaning of the Xi-Modi meeting:

… there had been a pronounced ‘militarization’ of India’s strategic outlook through the past 10-15 years, which was a period of high growth in the economy that seemed to last forever. […] In those halcyon days, geopolitics took over strategic discourses and pundits reveled in notions of India’s joint responsibility with the United States, the sole superpower, to secure the global commons and the ‘Indo-Pacific’. […] The underlying sense of rivalry with China — couched in ‘cooperation-cum-competition’, a diplomatic idiom borrowed from the Americans — was barely hidden.

Then came the financial crisis and the Great Recession of 2008 that exposed real weaknesses in the Western economic and political models and cast misgivings about their long-term potentials. […] Indeed, not only did the financial crisis showcase that China and other emerging economies could weather the storm better than western developed economies but were actually thriving. […] The emerging market economies such as India, Brazil or Indonesia began to look at China with renewed interest, tinged with an element of envy. […] Suffice to say, there has been an erosion of confidence in the Western economic system and the Washington Consensus that attracted Manmohan Singh. […] From a security-standpoint, this slowed down the India-US ‘strategic partnership’. The blame for stagnation has been unfairly put on the shoulders of a “distracted” and dispirited Barack Obama administration and a ‘timid’ and unimaginative Manmohan Singh government. […] Whereas, what happened was something long-term — the ideology prevalent in India during much of the United Progressive Alliance rule, namely, that the Western style institutions and governments are the key to development in emerging economies, itself got fundamentally tarnished. […] What we in India overlook is that the 2008 financial crisis has also been a crisis of Western-style democracy. There has been a breakdown of faith in the Western economic and political models.

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