Whats Up Wednesday #9

What’s Up Wednesday #9 - Democracy in decline, Apples environmentalism and why Googles new logos are bad

💻 Google got new logos for their services. I already dislike them because they are hard to tell apart, and someone even wrote a whole post about why the new Google Logos are bad. In this article there are a couple of great truths regarding google:

  • „a company like Google, which abandons apps, services, design languages, and other things like ballast out of a sinking hot air balloon“ (I still miss Google Inbox)
  • „To paraphrase Sun Tzu, if you wait long enough by the river, the bodies of your favorite Google products will float by. Better not to get attached.“
  • „The message is clear: Out with the old — the things that built your trust; and in with the new — the things that capitalize on your trust.“

🍏 This hillarious post about a guy walking into an Apple Store is pushing Apples decision to not include a charging plug, because of environmental reasons, against the wall. „They’re pushing a wireless charging technology that wastes far more electricity than wired charging, and they have an iPhone Upgrade Program that encourages people to get a new iPhone every 12 months.“ Further, the lack to switch to USB-C on the new iPhone models also does not align with being environmental friendly. You need separate cables for your iPad (usb-c) and your iPhone (lightning). What a mess! Being environmentally friendly and just trying to look like are two different things, though.

❄️ A crucial part of the arctic ocean did not freeze this fall. Usually the Laptev Sea is frozen from Oct-May. Climate Change is changing that. And quite fast. Have a look at the chart at the economist. Clearly, there is a stark trend in this data. I damn hope that the causes of the warming do not grow exponentially in the next years. But I think they will. Even if we meet the Paris Agreements the see level will raise by 2.5 m. But it actually looks like we will do nothing and thus might end up with +6C and +8C in 150 years. This reddit comment goes on:

“That’s 1200ppm CO2 in the atmosphere in the year 2170. A fresh mountain breeze will feel stuffy, let alone the air inside your house. And that’s a best case scenario for the CO2 you breathe in 2170… CO2 levels can rise about 5x indoors. With 1200ppm CO2 outside, being inside too long could literally kill you. But here’s the kicker… People start to suffer cognitive impairment at around 600-750ppm. 1200 ppm brought about a nearly 20% decrease in test results in that study. Today, we’ve already surpassed the highest levels of CO2 in the air since humans evolved, at 415ppm. Sea level rise would be around 20 feet. The current coasts will be underwater, and by then the equator is projected to become uninhabitable for animal, plant, and most bacterial life. Given +8C average temps, equatorial temperatures would peak at 160-170F (71-77C). You know… the temperature we cook things to in order to kill everything? The equator will be a lifeless zone. Desertification will spread, making huge amounts of arable land useless for growing crops. Billions will starve. The remaining humans in 2170 will be thinking at a 20% deficit, in a world that they can’t breathe properly in, a world where they can’t feed themselves, a world with so many dead it makes the amount of dead people during the black plague look like a practice run, a world that they literally get cooked if they go to the equator. Imagine the war and suffering that would bring about.”

🗺 Democracy is something we take for granted. At least if we live in one. But this paper states that “a global democratic recession began in 2006 and has persisted – and deepened – over the past 14 years. Not only have average levels of freedom (or democratic quality) been declining globally and in most parts of the world, but the pace of democratic breakdown accelerated and the number of democratic transitions declined, particularly in the past five years.” The reasons for that are populistic leaders who “remove institutional checks, political opposition, independent media, and other forces of scrutiny and resistance in civil society.” Economic globalization makes punishing authoritarian regimes harder for democratic societies. This trend is quite alarming. Trump, Bolsanero, Putin and Erdogan are all these kind of populistic leaders damaging the democratic world. Therefore it is more and more important to stand for and defend democratic world views. This poll showing the percentage that thinks democracy is in danger in the 2020 us elections from Fox News is really interesting. 61% of Trump supporters think democracy is in danger, however they are supporting a clearly anti-democratic leader. Maybe the differences of the two parties are so stark that the other party winning is such a big damage to their worldview. Or maybe they just don’t know what democracy stands for.

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