Lurking beneath the surface of the economic jousting is the fact that the divide within OPEC to some degree mirrors political divisions in the region over the so-called Arab Spring democracy movements.
Readers of The Informationist will recognize this story as a critical data point in a theme that I have been developing for the past few months: The proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran that threatens to destabilize the global economy. Here's how:
Join two politically astute leaders and ardent supporters of theState of Israel, Bruce Abramson and Sam Lauter,as they discuss the effect of the "new" Congress will have on Israel re The Peace Process, the threat from Iran and other Jewish issues.This event is free and open to the publicCall 415-388-1818 Ext. 111 for information
So...having come through an election focused entirely on domestic policy, I've been invited to speak about its implications to Israel. (Or, as some might say: "Yes, yes. Jobs, health care, taxes. But is it good for the
Jews?"). If you're in the Bay Area and free Sunday morning, come join us. Should be fun all around.
I’ve been a bit delinquent in my blogging lately (it does tend to come in phases), but I have encountered a number of items worthy of an entry. A week-and-a-half ago, for example, the Institute for International Education (IIE) invited me to meet with a delegation visiting from China. I met four Chinese “scholars,” though it was not clear to me that they were all scholars. Two were from the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau; they said little or nothing. Wang Yefei, the deputy director of the Copyright Bureau, did most of the talking (actually, I did, but among the four of them, he was responsible for the lion’s share of the dialog). Zhao Hongshi, also from the Copyright Bureau and somewhat Mr. Yefei’s junior, also asked several questions. (The whole thing took place in simultaneous translation; none of the visitors spoke English).
A couple of people have asked me about the Viacom/Google battle. It seems (surprise!) that some of the people who post videos on YouTube (a Google subsidiary) post clips from Viacom broadcasts. That gives Google potential vicarious third-party exposure for contributory or induced infringement. At least, that’s what Viacom thinks. Google, I’m certain, has numerous legal arguments to counter Viacom’s claim, with fair use playing a central role in the overall scheme of its argument. Viacom, however, feels that it has a good enough case to have sued Google for a cool billion dollars.
The Commonwealth Club invited me to speak a few days ago. I was pleased to draw a full room (about 40 people), and I prepared my comments for a general audience. My title, with a none-too-subtle nod to Digital Phoenix, was: Phoenix Rising: Opportunities and Challenges in the Global Information Age.
The basic thrust of my comments started with my belief that we are living through a global transition from an industrial age to an information age. Different parts of society will undergo that transformation at different paces, but each one will navigate a predictable pattern of opportunity, displacement, backlash, and reassessment. Selected digital industries (specifically software & entertainment) made the transition early. We should therefore be able to learn valuable lessons by studying their transitions and applying them, albeit in general terms, to areas of greater significance. My first goal in this talk was to show how a pattern that has emerged very cleanly in the debate over music downloads can inform our understanding of the debates over off shoring/protectionism and globalization/terrorism. My second goal was to outline specific lessons that we can learn from these parallels--and actions we can take to improve both our individual lots and the world as a whole.
I have attached my PowerPoint slides below. Perhaps, soon, I will have a podcast link to share.
Feel free to use my slides subject to the following conditions:
1. You attribute Bruce Abramson as the author.
2. You direct listeners/viewers to https://www.theinformationist.com, where they can get their own set and see my other musings.
3. You let listeners/viewers know that I discuss these issues further in both Digital Phoenix and The Secret Circuit.
Note that my name and the website appear on every slide, and the book information appears on the last slide. Simply incorporating my last slide and leaving my footer information untouched will satisfy these minimal requirements.
Here is a link to my slides.
For those who see some irony in my placing conditions on distribution of a talk that takes a sanguine view of copyright law, I can only say three things:
1. Removing my name and claiming independent authorship constitutes plagiarism--an issue entirely independent of copyright law.
2. None of my conditions interfere with market conditions.
And most of all. . .
3. A little bit of common courtesy never hurt anyone. People who like my presentations might also like my books.
For those of you who are local, I will be speaking at the Commonwealth Club on Thursday, November 2. I’ve titled the talk “Informationism,” the Club will work with Stacey’s bookstore to sell Digital Phoenix (by the truckload), and I’ve promised people that I would explain everything that you ever wanted to know about everything.
Now let’s see if I can deliver. Stay tuned. . .
Last week, I received an e-mail request from Pei Zhao, in the People’s Republic of China. Mr. Zhao is translating Digital Phoenix into Chinese; the Shanghai Yuandong Press will publish the Chinese version shortly. He invited me to draft a new Preface. In one of the delicious ironic twists that are becoming increasingly frequent in the global information age, this Preface will allow me to address my Chinese readers from a 2006 perspective, but not my American readers. In fact, were it not for The Informationist, the English version of my Chinese Preface might never appear anywhere. Thanks to the modern miracle of the blogosphere, however, I can preserve my thoughts here in all of their original untranslated (or pre-translated) glory: