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  • Writer's pictureJohn Foulis

Newsletter 2nd August 2020

The 'You go away, but nothing changes' edition



Back to life, back to reality?


Apart from tech stocks the undisputed growth industry during the Corona crisis is opinion pieces on the future of work. Ideally these should have a grating white collar bias and identify heretofore unknown psychological traumas.


Some insist on suggesting the future may look a lot like the past and that working from home isn't some evolutionary step-change, as people gradually return to offices. But even here there is corn in identifying the obstacles to taming employees that have gone feral.


But the more pressing questions are addressed elsewhere. Like, how will your dog cope if you go back to work? Or the frankly self-evident, why do you get distracted working at home? And, how can I convince my boss I'm not playing Animal Crossing? Because of course, you are playing Animal Crossing.


(I've actually no idea what Animal Crossing is.)


So what will confront you on your return. Well, you might be tempted away to some suburban hellhole/hammock on a tropical paradise. You will find your leader (manager) confronting new problems. And you might even be liquidised.



What gets me out of bed in the morning? My bladder mainly.

Bankers, only interested money aren't they? Wrong!


Everybody should follow their passion. Wrong! It turns out it's just another way of asserting your privilege.



Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be the llamas


The virus continues to have unexpected consequences. Coffee is still having a hard time, diamonds are having an even harder time, farmers are going back to the drawing board, and people are chewing a lot less gum. In lockdown nobody can smell your breath. And as if that weren't bad enough, there's a massive camel surplus.


So what can save us? Well it appears to be drinking helmets, llamas and architects.


But the craziest suggestion of all is that the crisis might even force the EU to solve its capital market problem.



Recep for disaster?


Erdogan has been busy while the eyes of the world are elsewhere, as he seeks to establish Turkey as a regional power. This includes continuing to stoke the situation in Libya, using world heritage sites for populists statements, and making petty assertions of power in neighbouring countries.


Now Putin has established himself as king for life, what is he likely to do? One thing he isn't planning to do is deliver on his economic targets.



This isn't evil, is it?


On it's road to benign world domination Google is messing around with search and cookies.


And when you think about it, that motto sounds good, but really it's a pretty low bar to not be actively demonic.



Sofia, not so good


The struggle for influence in the Balkans remains a concern for the EU.


There are frequent warnings about looming demographic disasters but Bulgaria is living it.



Big Trouble In Little China


It'll take more than Corona to stop the Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, but what is really going on?


In Africa Chinese largesse may not be an entirely unmixed blessing.



We are your friends, you'll never be alone again

It's easy to mock the kind of lunatic conspiracy theories which clog up Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn, but it's no laughing matter if it's someone you care about. If you find yourself in that position this guide might help.



Dog age, lugg age, you get the mess age

Everybody knows a dog year is seven human years, right? Wrong!


Ever wondered where lost luggage goes to die? Wonder no more.


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