In this second round of Linkbait, I’ve got a bunch of political or economical articles to kick things of.
This eerily reminds me of Shadowrun – not in a good way:
“The new texts reveal that TPP negotiators are considering a dispute resolution process that would grant transnational corporations special authority to challenge countries’ laws, regulations and court decisions in international tribunals that circumvent domestic judicial systems.”
In other words, corporations would get the ability to bypass national courts. Its not at all surprising that this trade agreement is negotiated behind closed doors, where 100% transparency would be in order.
Speaking of making laws, here’s a nice german example where more transparency would also help the matter. Also I like the cynical formulation here:
“Die Verbände von Zeitungs– und Zeitschriftenverlegern, BDZV und VDZ, gaben nur eine dürre gemeinsame Erklärung heraus, die sich liest, als seien ihre Sprecher mit Waffengewalt dazu gezwungen worden, sie zu formulieren, und hätten den Zugang zum Presseverteiler nur im Tausch gegen mehrere Konjunktive herausgerückt.”
The Melting North
Back to more global discussions: Don’t you also agree that the melting artic is an awesome opportunity? No? Well, that’s what Shell thinks. And they’ve set up a big-ass campaign to convince others. With headlines like this:
For hundreds of years, explorers have battled the Arctic.
Today, we’re finally winning.
Those PR and counter-PR campaigns are rather useless if you actually want to get to know what’s going on in the Artic. More by chance I found a special about that exact topic in The Economist (read it on the plane to SF). The full special can be read online, starting with “The Melting North”. There’s seven more articles in that series – the links are somewhat hidden in a popup menu above the main header (look for “Special report: The Arctic”).
Keep in mind that The Economist, let’s say, isn’t sceptic of capitalism. In this case I think that’s actually a healthy perspective, as you’d want to understand the perspective of companies like Shell.
If you’ve came this far, you’ve deserved something kick back and watch. To start, someone explains how to use an Abacus. Its in german though. In particular the division, close to the end, is really interesting:
Watch Dogs Gameplay Trailer
And one more video, a gameplay trailer for “Watch Dogs”. This is pretty much the most impressive video game trailer I’ve seen in a long time. And not just because it shows actual gameplay (instead of pointless prerendered scenes). The game seems to be an open world game with plenty of gameplay options, in a setting that looks like a bit like a mixture of Neuromancer (aka pure Cyberpunk, not the Shadowrun fantasy mashup) and Daniel Suarez’ Daemon/Freedom duology (which I can’t recommend enough). Especially the last scene, where other agents are “activated” to help the main character, seems to be heavily inspired by the Darknet.