Power – gaining it and losing it
Monday 2 December 2019 IMAGE: DANIEL ZHANG YONG, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF ALIBABA GROUP, MAKES THE KEYNOTE SPEECH DURING THE APSARA CONFERENCE 2019 AT CLOUD TOWN ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2019 IN HANGZHOU, ZHEJIANG PROVINCE OF CHINA (WANG CHUAN/VCG VIA GETTY)LINK TO LARGER IMAGE.
Is soft power hardening? Professor Zaki Laidi thinks so. He says that the ‘distinction between hard and soft is becoming less relevant because soft power itself is becoming weaponized’.
Trade and the emerging trade wars are the most obvious example of this but the primary causes for this change are ‘the rise of China , the ensuing Sino-American rivalry, and the new powers of digital technology’. So will this change or might the days of soft power be almost over?
China is also expanding its technology-enhanced authoritarianism. Dr Samantha Hoffman argues that ‘for the Chinese party-state, data gathering is a means of generating information to enhance state security
-and, crucially, the political security of the CCP across multiple domains.
The party state intends to shape, manage and control its global operating environment so that public sentiment is favourable to its own interests’.
Does our government, or indeed the governments around the world understand the problem that this presents for the future and perhaps, more importantly, how will they respond?
IN CONCLUDING Amanda Vanstone said ‘You have put the wind up me …. ‘
IT is about data mining … the State connecting data mining of private internet users.
It is also about software that has been developed to capture internet users information by a company that really is not for all intents and purposes a private independent company but in fact it was far from that.
Dr Hoffman talked about the capacity, how these software programs can hoover up massive amounts of information about people, their use of the internet, what they do, what they think and so on, and this has been useful to advertisers in the past but this goes well beyond that.
This is a foreign based organisation that has yet to prove its credentials; it does not appear to be sincere and genuine research; it goes beyond that point.
Amanda Vanstone was shocked and amazed at the depth and breadth of this form of surveillance compared to the market place surveillance. The integrity of our systems are being tested. Privacy rules – you have got to be kidding! Question the validity of their assertion that they are independent of the Chinese Government … it is on a massive scale~!
LATER … in the program …
Former Governor of the Reserve Bank, Ian Macfarlane, has just released a book. It’s a collection of short biographies of ten remarkable Australians who were well know and even famous at some point in the last century, but who are now largely forgotten. So who makes the cut and is Errol Flynn’s father among them?
Did you know that Koreans’ have a kind of superpower? It’s called Nunchi, which means eye measure. As Euny Hong explains, it is the gentle art of ‘reading a room, understanding what people are thinking, feeling and needing in that moment’. Even better Euny says it’s a skill we can all learn using nothing but our eyes and ears.