Ignore Xi Jinping’s Deceptions. China Is Struggling, Therese Shaheen, National Review, December 20, 2021…

… this is a long and interesting article that makes the case that China is not as strong as one might get the impression it is through American news media… it made its case thoroughly and if that case is correct, it makes the China-US tensions seem less worrisome assuming a world where the US and Europe are united in containment efforts…

First Thoughts

… awoke with a start this AM, realizing i had forgotten to take my BP meds yesterday… a very rare occurrence… back on track now…

… months ago, i bought a vertical mouse, partly because a very expensive track ball had failed, and partly in hopes that neck pain i was experiencing was some form of mousing injury… the pain has almost disappeared… can’t attribute it to the vertical mouse with absolute certainty, but it is an interesting coincidence… i should note also that the vertical mouse has felt very natural to use…

…the HCR meter this morning is neutral… it was all about how Social Security got enacted and the woman responsible for it, Frances Perkins, the first woman to hold a position in the U.S. Cabinet… it ends on a somewhat disquieting note, a quote from Ms. Perkins…

One thing I know: Social Security is so firmly embedded in the American Psychology today that no politician, no political party, no political group could possibly destroy this Act and still maintain our democratic system. It is safe forever, and for the everlasting benefit of the people of the United States.1

… fast forward to today, Democracy is under attack and if the siege is successful, Social Security and other social safety net programs will be on the chopping block…

… i was reading about China yesterday… an article on their move to reign in their tech industry… they have given it unfettered existence to this point… one of the things they are doing is forcing platforms to play nice with one another, so that they can’t monopolize a space… this surfaced my enormous frustration with the distribution of films in this country… i have been wanting to watch the movies of Kelly Reichardt all together, one after the other… it’s impossible… they are available on different streaming services, or not available at all… one needs to sign up for every f’ng media service out there to do it… it shouldn’t be like that… i am all for companies making money from the content they own, but there must be a way that delivers more value to the customer… it should be available for rent on all services, even at a somewhat higher price, and can be offered as part of a subscription for free or lower cost on the streaming service with the rights to distribute… then services can compete to provide the best user experience, the best stable of content to provide free or lower cost, etc… nobody would have to sign up for half a dozen services to watch the variety of content they want to watch… the Chinese government could make this happen, that might be its advantage…

04 If I Had $85

… i might get this book… it promises an interesting portrait of China… from the sales page of the book…

History of Life is a collection of 415 restored photographs chronicling the history of modern China, from 1910s to the late 1990s. Compiled from over 600,000 negatives, Cai Dongdong curated the book using salvaged negatives from ordinary Chinese citizens and public records which he developed, scanned and selected. Adding a few of his own pictures into the story, the artist crafted his interpretation of the birth and growth of modern China over 3 of the country’s most formative eras: the founding of the Republic, the cultural revolution, and the post-Mao era.1