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Generational Dynamics World View
Maybe people are getting wiser to spin, and the last one to lose it will get burned worst. Good reason exists for the honor codes at the military academies "Do not lie, do not cheat, and do not steal, and do not tolerate lying, cheating, and stealing by others". The secret is to not to do the things that might cause one to lie, cheat, or steal to protect a shady behavior. Lying recovers a piling up of lies to protect even a tiny lie. Cheating might get one an undeserved reputation for competence that one does not have and thus get one into a situation for which one is terribly unprepared. Stealing causes necessary assets to disappear. Deceiving an enemy in wartime needs the ring of truth. One might have to raid stores for necessary supplies, but one had better state what one takes to the source.

Spin is lying. We see much of it from the politicians that we have, and it works less well every time that it is tried. Saudi Arabia may not be the worst actor in the world, but it is not an effective liar.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

*** 16-Oct-18 World View -- WHO considers declaring Ebola outbreak as an international emergency

This morning's key headlines from
  • American CDC Ebola experts have been blocked from the outbreak zone in DR Congo
  • WHO considers declaring Ebola outbreak as an international emergency

**** American CDC Ebola experts have been blocked from the outbreak zone in DR Congo

[Image: g181015b.jpg]
Ebola health worker in DR Congo (CNN)

It has now emerged that American Ebola experts from the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) have been withdrawn from the outbreak zone in
North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This
will make the new outbreak more difficult to contain.

There are experts on the ground from other organizations, including
the World Health Organization (WHO), Doctors Without Borders (Médecins
Sans Frontières, MSF), and The Alliance for International Medical
Action (Alima).

The CDC experts are among the most experience Ebola experts on the
planet. According to Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health
Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health:

<QUOTE>"CDC has responded to nearly two dozen filovirus
outbreaks in its history and has people who’ve been working on
these issues for 30 years. It doesn’t make sense to have those
people hundreds or thousands of miles away from where the disease
is actually spreading.

It would provide a lot of value to have experienced leaders at
CDC who’ve been in the situation before contributing what they can
to the larger effort. I think it’s an important moment to think
about that."<END QUOTE>

Instead of being on the ground in the outbreak zone, CDC experts are
being given other assignments thousands of miles away, such as
advising DRC's ministry of health in the capital city Kinshasa.

News stories are providing few details about why they're blocked from
the outbreak zone, except that it's related to the attack in 2010 in
Benghazi, Libya, that killed US ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and
three other Americans. The inference that we're to draw, apparently,
is that Americans in the North Kivu war zone would be targets of
attacks similar to those against ambassador Stevens. Stat News and CNN

**** WHO considers declaring Ebola outbreak as an international emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday that it will
hold an emergency committee meeting on Wednesday in Geneva. According
to a statement: "The committee will meet on October 17 in Geneva to
ascertain whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency
of international concern."

The designation "public health emergency of international concern"
refers to a pandemic that is so serious that it might spread to other
countries. There are now concerns that it could soon spread to Uganda
and Rwanda.

WHO has resisted that designation so far in eastern DRC, but over the
weekend a "second wave" of the Ebola virus was confirmed. There are
now 211 registered cases of Ebola, 176 confirmed and 35 probable, with
135 deaths. The number of cases has been expanding rapidly, more than
twice as fast as in September. There were six new cases over
the weekend.

Many new cases come out of funerals for previous victims. Even if a
funeral is conducted in a secure manner, the risk for Ebola
transmission is high, because viral loads are at their highest level
at the time of death.

The situation in North Kivu province is the worst possible scenario.
There is a major ethnic war in progress, and Ebola is now spreading in
the densely populated city of Beni, which has become the epicenter of
the pandemic.

The entire region is a war zone, and over one million people have been
driven from their homes by armed rebel groups, the Allied Democratic
Forces (ADF), fighting government troops. The fighting is preventing
doctors and experts from reaching infected people, in order to educate
the population and do contact tracing. Without contact tracing, there
is no way to stop or slow the spread of the disease.
AFP and Reuters and Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDRAP)

Related Articles:

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Ebola,
Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, North Kivu, Beni,
Centers for Disease Control, CDC, Tom Inglesby,
World Health Organization, WHO,
Doctors Without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF,
Alliance for International Medical Action, Alima,
J. Christopher Stevens, Benghazi, Libya,
Allied Democratic Forces, ADF

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

John J. Xenakis
100 Memorial Drive Apt 8-13A
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-864-0010
Web site:
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*** 17-Oct-18 World View -- Amazon's Jeff Bezos says America must be defended, while Google repudiates its 'Do No Evil' policy

This morning's key headlines from
  • Amazon's Jeff Bezos says that America must be defended
  • Google repudiates its 'Don't Be Evil' conduct clause, and sides with China

**** Amazon's Jeff Bezos says that America must be defended

[Image: g181016b.jpg]
Jeff Bezos

At a time when employees of high tech companies like Google and
Microsoft are adopting holier-than-thou attitudes about defending the
United States of America, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said on Monday that
Amazon is going to work with the Pentagon, and that other high-tech
companies should do the same. He said in an interview:

<QUOTE>"If big tech companies are going to turn their back on
US Department of Defense, this country is going to be in trouble.
We are going to continue to support the DOD and I think we
should."<END QUOTE>

In recent months, Google has been almost enthusiastic in its
willingness to provide technology to the Chinese government and the
Chinese military, while at the same time management has given in to
demands that Google not supply technology needed by the US military to
defend the country.

Bezos acknowledged that Donald Trump is unpopular among some workers,
and particularly expressed disapproval of Trump's immigration policy,
but pointed out that this proves why America is still the best in the

<QUOTE>I like this country. I know everybody is very
conflicted about the current politics and so on. This country is
a gem.

There aren't other countries where everybody is trying to get in.
I'd let them in if it were me. I like 'em, I want all of them
in. But this is a great country and it does need to be
defended."<END QUOTE>

Amazon is in the process of bidding for a major DoD contract call "The
Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative," or JEDI, a $10 billion
development project that will make a cloud computing and storage
platform available to all of DoD.

Last week, Google issued a statement saying: "we are not bidding on
the JEDI contract because first, we couldn’t be assured that it would
align with our AI Principles...." This might actually be a blessing
in disguise. Google has said that it will accede to China's demand
that all cloud passwords for Chinese citizens and businesses will be
made available to the Chinese government and military, and this would
represent a possible security risk to US DoD data on Google's servers.
As a Senior Software Engineer, I've worked on development of these
extremely large, complex systems, and I'm aware how easy it is for
bugs and systemic failure to permit data and services to be hacked.

Microsoft is being pressured to move in the same direction as Google.
A recent letter by employees describes Jedi as "a secretive $10
billion project with the ambition of building 'a more lethal' military
force overseen by the Trump Administration," and concludes,
"Microsoft, don’t bid on JEDI." However, Microsoft management has not
yet acceded to these demands.

Fortunately, there are still some American companies not being run by
children. Amazon is expected to be the lead contender for Jedi, but
Oracle and IBM are also expected to bid, and Microsoft may do so as
well. Wired and BBC and TechCrunch and Medium

**** Google repudiates its 'Don't Be Evil' conduct clause, and sides with China

When Google was launched in 1998, it's unofficial slogan was "Don't be
evil." It was a corporate principle that "you can make money without
doing evil," and "Don't be evil" was part of the company's official
code of conduct until this year.

With no fanfare, Google removed "Don't be evil" from its code of
conduct sometime between April 21 and May 4, when it simply
disappeared from the Google web site.

Shortly after that, in May, Google announced that would not renew its
contract with DoD for Project Maven, which provides AI technology for
analyzing drone footage, because its employees objected to doing any
work for the American military.

But in December of last year, Google announced that it would open a
state of the art AI development center in Shanghai, where the most
advanced AI technology would be made available to the Chinese
government and the Chinese military.

The biggest public scandal this year occurred when word leaked out in
July that Google for almost two years had 200 programmers working on
an advanced AI search engine for China called Dragonfly that would
detect users who made requests that violated Chinese Communist Party
(CCP) censorship rules, and would make personal identifying
information about such users available to the Chinese government and
Chinese military.

Google has refused comment about Project Dragonfly, saying that it's
an experimental system, with no current plans to deploy it. But in
fact, Google's search engine chief, Ben Gomes, told an internal
meeting in July that the plan was to launch the search engine as soon
as possible — and to get it ready to be "brought off the shelf and
quickly deployed" once approval from Beijing was received.

On Monday of this week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, an American who was
born in India, defended Project Dragonfly. He said that Project
Dragonfly will still be able to answer "well over 99% of the queries”
put to it and that “there are many, many areas where we would provide
information better than what’s available." I'm not even sure that he
understood the message he was sending with that remark, but it implies
that the other 1% would be subject to arrest by China's police.

As China continues to prepare to launch a war against the United
States, it's hard to avoid the impression that Google has already
chosen the side that it wants to win that war, and it's not the United

And somebody ought to tell Sundar Pichai that those same
super-intelligent weapon systems that Google is helping the Chinese
military to build will also be used against his native India. Perhaps
that thought never occurred to him.

And finally, Chinese employees working in America should realize how
dangerous Google's policy is for them personally. During World War
II, Japanese Americans were interned. After 9/11, Muslim Americans
were jailed without trial. The path that Google is on will adversely
affect all Chinese-Americans, and an anti-Chinese public mood could
materialize overnight. Gizmodo (18-May) and Gizmodo (1-Jun) and CNBC (13-Dec-2017) and NY Times (16-Aug) and The Intercept (9-Oct) and Washington Post

Related Articles:

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Amazon, Jeff Bezos,
Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative, JEDI,
Google, Project Maven, Project Dragonfly, China,
Ben Gomes, Sundar Pichai

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

John J. Xenakis
100 Memorial Drive Apt 8-13A
Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-864-0010
Web site:
Subscribe to World View:

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