A scarier and more private Cold War

In case you’ve been cooped up raging against the news over COVID-19. Here’s something that you might have missed. The Guardian published a fantastic whistleblower account of Facebook’s inability to properly police it’s own policies.

You can read it here. Sophie Zhang was a low level employee who’s job it was to police fake engagement on the site. Essentially when someone tries to boost their own profile through getting fake likes to game the algorithm. She was let go under less than auspicious circumstances as outlined in the article.

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Stepping into the future

This weekend I got a chance to dive head first into what I think is the future of post-COVID-19 economy.

A while back I signed up for the freelancing site Upwork.com. You can check out my profile here if you’re curious.

I bid on a contract to help with some blog postings. I got it.

The contractor was in Dubai, who in turn needed the help to get a company in Somalia up to speed on how to write excellent web content for their website.

It was an enlightening glimpse into what a post COVID-19 global world might look like. As we’ve been forced to retreat from social interactions, much of our life is now done online. It is no surprise that much of our commerce is done online these days. We were already heading down that path before the pandemic. This has only sped up the change.

I found it eye opening to what could be. First off, the need for reliable internet is going to be paramount for the 21st Century. I’ve written that we need to change our perspective on internet in this country before. Second was how Africa is going to be the new frontier. Much of how China was toted as being the new economic frontier in the 1990’s, the focus has shifted to Africa. China is already capitalizing on this trend, focusing on it’s infamous Silk Road Initiative.

If our economy is going to recover post COVID-19, we’re going to have to look globally. To new frontiers and new economies to engage in. Africa is one of those new frontiers we ought to be looking at.

Trudeau’s Trip to Africa is Important…but Not for The Reasons You Think.

Prime Minister Trudeau meets with Senegal President Macky Sall
Senegal’s President Macky Sall walks alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, upon arrival at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, on Feb. 12, 2020.

No doubt you’ve read stories in the Canadian press highlighting Prime Minister Trudeau’s trip through Africa. The immediate purpose is to advocate for Canada’s seat on the Security Council of the UN. This is admirable and I am happy to see Canada take on such a role internationally.

The news of his trip caught my eye though for a different reason. For years, China has been heavily investing in African countries. At the same time Chinese business has been offshoring much of the manufacturing and low wage work that we used to associate with their economy to African nations. However, a major handicap for African nations has traditionally been poor infrastructure to facilitate a robust industrial manufacturing sector. To offset this, China has been building major infrastructure projects themselves throughout the continent.

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