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Alessandro Cripsta

Good afternoon.

Debate victory

It took four female moderators to get US presidential candidates to debate childcare. Five Democratic debates in the 2020 campaign have already occurred, but childcare and paid family leave—one of the most pressing economic and social problems facing Americans today—were finally discussed.

It took four female moderators to get US presidential candidates to debate childcare

The lives of working parents are complex indeed, and it's amazing to me that our political sphere is only just beginning to understand that. Our economy is one in which so many families, even quite privileged ones, are barely holding it all together. How much GDP is sacrificed when American parents are

The lives of working parents are complex indeed, and it's amazing to me that our political sphere is only just beginning to understand that. Our economy is one in which so many families, even quite privileged ones, are barely holding it all together. How much GDP is sacrificed when American parents are busy scrambling daily to arrange suitable childcare or stressing about the cost or logistics of it?

I have to keep reminding myself that these are relatively new mainstream issues for this country to confront (new, that is, for families in which the mother works outside the home as a choice versus a necessity; in some segments of society, the working-mom thing has been happening for generations, long before anyone ever heard of parental leave). But it's about time we start caring about the issue of childcare, and about time that our politicians start talking about it. I know some very stressed-out working parents on both sides of the aisle who will rather appreciate it.

The 5th democratic debates last night may have seemed relatively uneventful to the outside eye, but they brought about at least two big changes: All the moderators were women, and for the first time, the candidates were asked what they would do to fix America's childcare problem. Only 3 candidates addressed

The 5th democratic debates last night may have seemed relatively uneventful to the outside eye, but they brought about at least two big changes: All the moderators were women, and for the first time, the candidates were asked what they would do to fix America's childcare problem. Only 3 candidates addressed the question (Harris, Klobuchar, and Yang), though Warren brought up the topic of her own accord in her opening statement.

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When superpowers collide

A US show of support for Hong Kong's protesters... President Trump is expected to sign bipartisan legislation to set up regular reviews of Hong Kong’s special status with the possibility of sanctions, Bloomberg reports.

Trump Expected to Sign Hong Kong Bill Despite China Threats

This is a very complex issue which I have addressed before, having been a resident of Hong Kong since 2006. This is one issue (the only issue?) where Trump has bipartisan support - that is taking a hard line with China. In fact Congress might be even more hardline than Trump now as so many are concerned

This is a very complex issue which I have addressed before, having been a resident of Hong Kong since 2006. This is one issue (the only issue?) where Trump has bipartisan support - that is taking a hard line with China. In fact Congress might be even more hardline than Trump now as so many are concerned about the national security ramifications of a rising China. It was obvious that such a bill would have good momentum.

Looking at the Hong Kong protests: the one hand the youth of Hong Kong have much to complain about with extortionate property prices and an ultra competitive environment upon graduation. Many Hong Kong Chinese also feel that their own unique culture is slipping away because of the influence of mainland China. And the government of Hong Kong doesn't seem so empathetic to their plight: some say its because government is controlled by the wealthy real estate tycoons. And there are a lot of articles about this including a blog I wrote. In fact in some ways Hong Kong shares many of the characteristics of other cities around the world which are suffering from civil unrest (including Paris) due to historically high gaps in wealth and income. Regarding the push for 'democracy,' of course I think it's a noble cause. However, it's not all black and white. The Hong Kong government and bureaucracy has been competent in many areas. I've never encountered a civil service which is so efficient - and friendly. And when Hong Kong was a colony of my country, we did not grant it democracy. In fact, it is more democratic today than under the British! So I think the underlying causes of all of this are more economic than regarding democracy. Look at many other countries around the world which don't have democracy, the West barely comments. Why are we making such a big deal of it now (and in some ways helping perpetuate the conflict)? Some might argue that it's because China is in the cross hairs. When I forecast that Donald Trump would win the US Presidency I warned that his administration would be ultra aggressive with China, and would go much further than anyone would imagine. I also warned just before the Hong Kong protests flared up that Hong Kong was about to have a crisis. I could see the stress building up in society (as well as looking at a lot of data) and I knew that the West would probably take a strong anti China stance. For the record, I am not a blind pro China analyst. I think we should always be (constructively) critical of government actions and hold them accountable. However, I think the trajectory we are currently on is dangerous.

The Chinese government has its faults, but living in China is not anywhere nearly as bad as some journalists describe. It is true in some areas freedom of speech is curtailed (some people would say the same of Singapore) but without the political correctness the West has, in many areas there are even greater freedom of speech. I've heard many people say that, including a famous Silicon Valley VC who wrote about it in a blog. If you look at governance from the perspective or creating a society which is growing in abundance , harmonious and happy, then China might be said to be doing a good job. I interviewed Parag Khanna 2 years ago after he write his book Technocracy in America and he certainly subscribes to that view. Now is a good time for the West to examine its own system and ask profound questions - and stop intervening in other nations. If journalists went on to the streets of Hong Kong and spoke with a lot of the long term foreign residents, they would find that many of them are not happy with the actions of the extremist protestors (throwing petrol bombs and assaulting women and even children who disagree with them). We should be looking at our own system now. Personally I think its a good time to go back to the drawing board. I happened to pick up a copy of Plato's Republic this week, and somewhere it describes the events in Sparta and Greece, saying that democracies can result in senseless overseas wars and oligarchies can result in civil wars. (He recommended philosopher rulers - ironically something that the Chinese have always aspired to). The West might be oscillating between the two systems. As we move to a multipolar world and the American Empire ends (I don't think its the end of the US, just a transformed US), I think we need to move back to a more pragmatic form of geopolitics and diplomacy. I call it live and let live. If we allow a peaceful rise of China, we could actually be enter a very peaceful time of human history.

Confronting inequality

Women remain deeply underrepresented in aviation. But a shortage of trained pilots is offering more opportunities than ever for women to make fresh gains in the high-skilled profession.

Why are there so few women in aviation?

Diversity is good for our industries. Across aviation, we need women in tech roles, leadership positions, and in the air.

I've been taking flying lessons (for fun) for several years and have been amazed at the lack of gender diversity in the air. We don't encourage young women and girls to take enough risks in general, so it shouldn't be a surprise unfortunately. We need to change this across industries.

ETFs are eating the market

ETFs didn’t democratize finance. Could they? Over a third of Americans spent more on coffee than in investments last year. Getting people without much money to invest small amounts for their own good is hard. ETFs could help solve that problem. ✦

ETFs didn’t democratize finance. Could they?

Given the obvious volatility of the markets and that the ETF provides no protection convincing the public to invest in stocks should be hard.

Most people instinctively follow two adages. First if you can't afford to pay you can't afford to play. Second there is rule about a fool and money.

Even the

Given the obvious volatility of the markets and that the ETF provides no protection convincing the public to invest in stocks should be hard.

Most people instinctively follow two adages. First if you can't afford to pay you can't afford to play. Second there is rule about a fool and money.

Even the casually interested know the markets are often opaque and recent news about Uber and Wework is not going to support conference.

The ETF marketers also need to explain how they make money. Market intermediaries almost always make money no matter what the market does and small investors need to pay attention to the costs.

The new face of education

Employers shouldn’t obsess over hiring elite students. Hiring from lesser-known colleges can benefit companies in surprising ways.

Only recruiting the smartest students is a dumb hiring strategy.

It is really important to hire people who have the humility to take feedback and the confidence to give it. The college elite may not always bring that to the table. It is also equally important to get people from a wider section of the society, especially if you are building a startup that would cater to the entire country.

Who’s in charge of Christmas?

All we want for Christmas is Q

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Are Art Institutions Becoming Too Ideological?

Are Art Institutions Becoming Too Ideological?

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From Our Members

  • A classic organization mistake. I refer to it as “The branding hole.” Boards, businesses and corporations waste so much time and money writing their mission statements by committee, to a point where they are so watered down that they mean nothing allowing interpretation to slowly rot the organization

    A classic organization mistake. I refer to it as “The branding hole.” Boards, businesses and corporations waste so much time and money writing their mission statements by committee, to a point where they are so watered down that they mean nothing allowing interpretation to slowly rot the organization from within.

    What is the problem ICOM is trying to solve? Are museums not inclusive? Is there a perception problem?

    To me this is like fixing a boat by putting a hole in the hull, and then declaring “I told you it was sinking! “

  • Ridiculous. Who claims to have the right to judge what constitutes “democratizing, inclusive, and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures”? This is dangerous, especially when looking backwards. I do not like this at all. We can exhibit diverse bodies of work without a

    Ridiculous. Who claims to have the right to judge what constitutes “democratizing, inclusive, and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures”? This is dangerous, especially when looking backwards. I do not like this at all. We can exhibit diverse bodies of work without a mission statement like this one. I much prefer the current definition:

    “A nonprofit institution” that “acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study, and enjoyment.”

  • Language is defined by the people who use it . While the aims goals and desires expressed are laudable a committee changing the meaning of words is hardly democratic.

    Many museums especially those in rural communities or those that are specifically curated for example dedicated medicine would by decree

    Language is defined by the people who use it . While the aims goals and desires expressed are laudable a committee changing the meaning of words is hardly democratic.

    Many museums especially those in rural communities or those that are specifically curated for example dedicated medicine would by decree no longer considered museums. I wouldn't worry too much pronouncements of this sort are usually ignored.

    M.Platts first word says it best " Ridiculous"

  • A museum’s purpose is what it does, not what some outdated institution says it is. Cultural heritage efforts that promote understanding and break down barriers are critical today.

  • The world used to have "church vs state" distinction and lines that were clear. Today life is getting far too muddled and there are agendas for everything. Very soon we shall not be able to "smell the roses" without it being some political statement or have some agenda that we have to rethink ahead of enjoying.

  • It's interesting to see which countries (mostly European) are opposing the new definition. Mostly very socially liberal countries, so I wonder if the definition doesn't need to embrace the social differences in each region.

  • Adding my original thoughts from a separate post here:

    It's an interesting turning point for the state of museums these days. From experience-driven exhibitions (hi, Museum of Ice Cream) to changes in admission prices and policies, museums are having to find new ways to evolve in this new younger generation

    Adding my original thoughts from a separate post here:

    It's an interesting turning point for the state of museums these days. From experience-driven exhibitions (hi, Museum of Ice Cream) to changes in admission prices and policies, museums are having to find new ways to evolve in this new younger generation of technology-savvy people with shorter attention spans (which is good or bad, depending how you see it).

    This new definition idea, while being viewed as political (and I can see the reasoning), also is (to me) a smart move because it also can drive that same generation to museums and their exhibits, particularly since data and polling shows that they're more aware and interested in social justice reform and better equality measures.

    (Side note: it's amazing to me that generations in general aren't heavily interested in the latter. 🤷🏽‍♂️)

    All this said, do we need to create a new definition or just let more forward-thinking museums that are willing to evolve just take the initiative?

    I'm not so sure.

  • It seems to me that museums should endeavor to carry some of the same ideals as a free press. They should present the facts (history) through the use of their specific venue. It should be done without bias, and when editorializing they should say so. This new definition seems very left leaning and politically

    It seems to me that museums should endeavor to carry some of the same ideals as a free press. They should present the facts (history) through the use of their specific venue. It should be done without bias, and when editorializing they should say so. This new definition seems very left leaning and politically correct. Normally I would embrace that view, but in this case history should be told and displayed without applying a lens of your own bias. Just the facts please.