America’s age of animated emojis

A few days ago I watched the unveiling of Apple’s new iPhone(s). Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed…and I probably will stick with a Samsung. Of course, I know that the original iPhone was panned, and it created a whole sector and a lifestyle. We’re a bit jaded.

But this focus on lifestyle in the technology sector made me reflect on Peter Thiel’s techno-pessimism in the late 2000s, which prompted him to write Zero to One. I’m glad that the best and brightest are going to Silicon Valley in the 2010s, and not Wall Street as in the 2000s. They don’t do positive harm in my opinion, while they did in the 2000s by increasing risk and volatility. But Apple and Facebook seem to be about consumption rather than production. They don’t make us more efficient, effective, they don’t change our civilization in its bones.

There are worse places to be, but then I read that China is setting targets and goals in relation to moving from fossil fuels to electric cars. The Chinese make a lot of goals, and execution is often an issue. But they have aspirations. Do we?

Until then, animated emojis….

3 thoughts on “America’s age of animated emojis

  1. But they have aspirations. Do we?

    They have aspirations because they are a nation of rising expectations. They may have internal debates about how the pie should be split, but most of their people operate under the assumption that their pie is getting bigger. People with rising expectations tend to dream big (perhaps even impetuously). They will also sacrifice the present for the future.

    We were that way in the post-WW II years. Now we are a nation of deep anxieties about managing a decline and, on top of that, are at war with ourselves. People who think they are fighting for their share of a shrinking pie tend to be petty and not have grand dreams, and perhaps settle for today’s (material) comforts.

    We have to get out of this vicious downward spiral, and reunite the country.

  2. “But they have aspirations.”

    Yes, dreams that will never come true.

    http://www.visualcapitalist.com/animation-comparing-china-vs-india-population-pyramids/

    This talk about Chinese economic situation and the future choices they have is a must for everyone who wants to know what challenges this country faces.

    https://ftalphaville.ft.com/2017/08/18/2192460/michael-pettis-on-current-accounts-and-the-chinese-economy-alphachat-transcript/

    This is their only solution and it’s highly unlikely:

    “We now must move to a system where GDP growth slows significantly and household income growth doesn’t. So their share grows and somebody’s share must contract. We know who that somebody is: it’s the elite and the local and provincial governments, which is why it’s politically so difficult”

  3. Jack’s comment is pretty epic in missing the point of the first link he provided. From the first link:

    “China’s New Hope”

    “While this shift in global demographics is going to be extremely difficult to deal with for China, there is optimism that increasing levels of automation and the emergence of artificial intelligence will help make up for any shortfalls.”

    “The AI market alone is expected to drive $7 trillion in GDP growth by 2030, and China’s investments in robotics and automation are sure to keep the country a center of manufacturing in the future – even if those factories are being staffed with robots instead of workers.”

    And this is exactly what is happening. The Chinese state has put the Fourth Industrial Revolution (or whatever buzzwords people use these days) at the center of development. This is for three reasons. 1) Population/demographic concerns. 2) The belief that whichever nations reach the 4th Industrial Rev will continue developing at such a fast rate that it’ll be impossible for nations that haven’t developed this to catch up. 3) Therefore, based on 1 and 2, if China manages to reach the next stage of tech advancement in the next 30 years, population concerns is not that big a deal.

    Jack believes this is a dream that’ll never come true. But we know 1) China has a huge number of people in the smart faction and 2) only idiots like Gordon Chang and James Fallow seriously believe Chinese people can’t innovate. I’m not declaring China will get to the 4th Industrial Rev first, and the US might very well beat China in this race, but there’s no fundamental reason to believe they lack the capabilities to get there. Jack’s link regarding population slowdown is rather hilarious in missing the point.

    Another thing, Jack, I suggest you change your handle name since I have used “Jack” before as well on this blog.

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