WWII spurred a new kind of diplomatic policy, appeasement. It means “making political or material concessions to an aggressive power in order to avoid conflict”, per wiki. Hopefully we are not seeing it revive in recent time.
First, that hopeful note about the Internet bringing us closer to the truth by virtue of increasing the amount of information is quite obviously correct.
The Internet brings us closer to both the truth and fake/dishonest information. And most often time, the latter propagates way further than the former.
Some of them are rioters for sure, but others are truly courageous to throw themselves under such destructive weapon.
Hong Kong police made 8,981 arrests beween June 9, 2019, and May 29, 2020, in connection with the protests. Among those arrested, 1,707 were under 18 years of age, including 1,602 secondary students and eight primary school pupils. Another 5,640 arrestees were aged between 18 and 30 years old. Here is where they stand.
I am sure there are rioters among this 9k arrests, and among the millions of protestors in HK. They vandalize stations, destroy shops and beat down cops and others. However, the others, quite many more, are peaceful protestors. Just like how looters/rioters and peaceful protestors in the black lives matter protest are 2 total different groups.
If China says that Pocket Casts and Castro have to be pulled from the App Store, then Apple doesn’t have much choice; if China says that Apple Podcasts has to be censored, Apple could choose to simply not offer Apple Podcasts at all. The company is following the law, which it has to, but it does seem that it is being as accommodating as possible along the way.
Gone are the days when US company were still tough enough to say no.
I am sure executives at Google, in many nights, are banging their heads to the wall, thinking how big of a market they gave up when they quitted China (and they surely are trying to go back in!); but that moment, when they say fuck it, with full of impulsiveness, naiveness of “don’t be evil” and even arrogance, are forever remembered as the shiny jewelry on the crown that is the entrepreneurship from the land of the free.
And then a miracle happened? Then it turned out that people really do want to give Hertz a lot of money, for free. Because they are bored and in lockdown, or because they believe in the Hertz brand, or because there is something exciting about bankruptcy, or because Hertz is trending on Robinhood so it must be good, or because they believe that the present value of its future cash flows significantly exceeds its debt and so there is a lot of equity value. These are not the people Hertz would have contacted when it was “making significant efforts to seek access to the capital markets”; they are small-time retail investors using an app. They are spontaneously volunteering to give Hertz money. I mean that is not exactly right—they are spontaneously buying Hertz stock in the market, from each other, not from Hertz—but deep down those things are equivalent. The stock market is a way for gamblers to have fun, and it is also a way for companies to raise money. Sometimes those two purposes come together beautifully.
We are seeing 2 things after the virus put western countries into lockdown.
First, human beings becomes (more) irrational when they are kept lockdown indoor without social contact. It certainly contributed to and accelerated the reckless looting, fierce protests, clashing between police and people, and buying stocks of a bankrupt company. This speaks how terrible isolating human being can be.
Second, how persevered Chinese can be (or how strong their government is). They suffered a lockdown that is way harsher and tougher, yet they turned out to be fine, without large scale unrest or riot. Yes there have been minor clashes between people being locked down and who locked them, but it is much more peaceful than US.