IHP news 521: Miscellaneous

By on May 10, 2019

Social Europe – The trilemma of Big Tech


Clearly, trilemmas are in vogue since Dani Rodrik. Karin Pettersson says we can have Big Tech’s market domination, business models and democracy—just not all at the same time.”

“…It might be conceptually useful to structure the discussion of the global information space in an analogous manner [i.e. like Rodrik did in his famous trilemma on the state of the world economy]. One can have democracy, market dominance and business models that optimise for anger and junk—but only two at a time….”

Guardian (Longread)- How the news took over reality

O Burkeman; https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/may/03/how-the-news-took-over-reality

One of the reads of last weekend. “Is engagement with current affairs key to being a good citizen? Or could an endless torrent of notifications be harming democracy as well as our wellbeing?”

Burkeman concludes: “…If the colonisation of everyday life by the news is damaging both to ourselves and to democratic politics, we ought not to collaborate unthinkingly with that process. Far from it being our moral duty to care so much about the news, it may in fact be our duty to start caring somewhat less.”

You might also want to read a somewhat related article (on Vox) – Yes, the internet is destroying our collective attention span  

“Trending topics rise and disappear faster than ever.”

F2P blog – The African Continental Free Trade Area is expanding, but who will benefit?

B Kombo; https://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/the-african-continental-free-trade-area-and-alternatives-to-neoliberalism/

On April 2, 2019, The Gambia ratified the agreement establishing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). In doing so, it joined 21 other African countries, thus helping usher the agreement into force as the threshold of 22 ratifications was reached. But what does this really mean for Africa? Temporarily ignoring the African Union’s pronounced implementation deficit and focusing on the limits of free trade; how far can the initiative realistically go in its effort to “promote and attain sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, gender equality and structural transformation of [African countries]?”…”

“…Last month, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa encouraged African scholars to conduct more research on the AfCFTA. There is great need for robust intellectual engagement with this initiative and such engagement must go far beyond the usual suspects, namely: intra-African bodies, economists, and international trade lawyers. History, including the recent history of the United Kingdom’s referendum to leave the European Union, has shown us that trade is far more than a technocratic exercise involving goods and services. It is a complex site of both local and global governance. As Africa embarks on one of its most ambitious initiatives since the formation of the OAU, interdisciplinary and engaged research must unpack the AfCFTA….”

CSIS (interactive report) – Nutrition + Prosperity

A R Beaudrault; https://www.csis.org/features/nutrition-prosperity

“A new interactive report from @CSISHealth outlines the role of global nutrition as a foundation for lifelong health, economic growth, and political stability and underscores the critical contribution of U.S. funding.”


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