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Cuma, Şubat 3, 2023
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LONDON TOWN

Highlights of the Week: Inflation, Elon Musk, Blockchain 2.0

Top stories of the week, curated by the editors at Aposto.

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As our selection of publications keeps growing, we are sharing highlights from the English-language Aposto publications every week. Curated by the editors at Aposto, the issues will feature the best articles from our media service from business to technology, travel to literature, philosophy to wine...

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Aposto Team

TOP NEWS STORIES

Aposto Europe delivers your daily briefing on markets, politics, business, tech and more - all under 5 minutes. Don't miss out on what's happening in the world.


Friday

• Ukraine's military said Russia withdrew some of its troops from towns on the opposite bank of the Dnipro River from Kherson, with no mention of any Ukrainian forces crossing the river. Officials also said Russia had intensified bombardment across the river, knocking out power in Kherson once again just as electricity had only begun to be restored after Russia's withdrawal.

  • Meanwhile: Russia has expanded its 2012 law that required politically active organizations that receive funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents," which now includes those who have "received support and/or is under foreign influence," in a show of further cracking down on free speech and opposition.
  • In other news: China's President Xi Jinping urged diplomatic negotiations to solve the Ukraine crisis, adding that any escalation or expansion of the crisis should be avoided. However, Xi still refuses to condemn Russia's invasion and criticizes sanctions against Moscow.

Thursday

Eurozone inflation slowed for the first time since June 2021, preliminary figures from Eurostat revealed on Wednesday, as the annual rate of change in the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) —the ECB's preferred gauge— fell to 10.0% year-on-year in November from the prior month’s 10.6%, on the back of slower advances in energy and services costs, even as food prices rose more quickly.

  • GDP: In a separate post, Eurostat data showed that eurozone economic output expanded by 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in 2022-Q3.

Wednesday

The German government is set to make immigration easier for skilled workers in a bid to cover growing staff shortages in Europe’s largest economy. Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s cabinet is due on Wednesday to approve measures to allow citizens of countries outside the EU who’ve signed a contract with a domestic employer to start work immediately, according to Bloomberg.

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WEEKLY INSIGHTS

Spektrum is a weekly politics publication focusing on Turkey, city agendas and international policy.


On January 24, 1980, the economic reform program prepared by Turgut Özal, then-Undersecretary of the Prime Ministry, and adopted by the Nationalist Front government headed by Süleyman Demirel, was a public announcement of a structural transformation that went down in history as the ‘January 24 Decisions’.

Neoliberalism instead of the import-substitution system

The import-substitution system, which had offered a development strategy to developing countries, particularly in Latin America, since the 1960s, was implemented in Turkey for about 20 years. However, it collapsed after a major currency crisis. Turgut Özal, who wanted to implement in Turkey the neoliberal economic policies pioneered by Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK in line with the global economic and political system, implemented a radical economic reform package which was prepared in this direction.

The new political order and ideological doctrine created by the military coup of September 12, 1980, together with the restructuring of the economy in line with neoliberal reforms, created a new political-economic order that is still valid in 2022. One of the most prominent features of this new system, which has many goals and consequences, such as the systematic contraction of workers' rights, the suppression of trade union activities, the continuous growth of capital at the expense of labour, and the domination of labour, and the reduction of real wages, has been the redefinition of the duties and responsibilities of the state.

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POPULAR ON APOSTO

Aposto Tech gathers the best articles on technology at Aposto, curated by our editors. In collaboration with Project Syndicate, this week's issue presents an article by Jason Stanley, Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them.


Elon Musk's Not-so-Hidden Agenda

Why did Elon Musk purchase Twitter? His official answer – to defend free speech and democracy – is so unconvincing that the question won’t go away. Musk’s repeated appeals to these ideals to justify important decisions he has made since taking over are so confounding that they raise deep suspicions about his motives.

For example, Musk castigated the decision to remove former President Donald Trump’s account, arguing that “freedom of speech is the bedrock of a strong democracy.” But Trump’s account was removed because he was using it to spread conspiracy theories about the election to a wide audience with increasingly violent language. It’s difficult to imagine a more effective way to undermine democracy than to give the president of the United States a platform to claim that a free and fair election that he lost was “stolen.” How would allowing Trump, still the leader of the Republican Party and the former leader of a democratic country, to use Twitter to attack democracy make democracy stronger?

A democratic system relies on widespread acceptance of the legitimacy of its rules. This legitimacy is expressed, most obviously, in voting. So, it is no accident that those seeking to destroy the legitimacy of democracy spread disinformation that undermines trust in the electoral system.

But there are other ways to undermine democratic legitimacy. Democracy is based on political equality. The most obvious expression of this is the principle of “one person, one vote.” But political equality has a broader significance – it means that each of our voices can be heard. As the philosopher Stephen Darwall has argued, in a democracy, it must be possible to speak truth to power.

Preserving democratic legitimacy thus means protecting a democratic information space – a domain of mutual trust in which citizens feel confident that they can debate and criticize freely on the basis of a shared consensus about reality. There are well-established methods to undermine a shared sense of reality, and hence destroy the possibility of a democratic information space. Giving a platform to powerful people who spread outrageous conspiracy theories is one of them.

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FURTHER READING

Aposto Business offers the best articles on business at Aposto, curated by our editors. Topics include micro-mobility, future of work, energy, green economy, consumer products, marketing and more.


‘Blockchain 2.0’ era in the business world

Today, the decreased risk appetite of investors with the effects of the rising inflation and economic turmoils, leads to loss in value in the crypto currency sector, which is the first thing to come to our minds when we say ‘blockchain’. Moreover, the sector is not only shaken by the economic turmoils, but also the cost of bitcoin mining and its affects on the environment draw more and more criticism. The report published by Glassnode, which makes financial evaluations for the crypto technology, in the past weeks determined that the bitcoin production cost got close to the value of bitcoin and miners spend approximately 19.3 thousand dollars to produce one bitcoin, which will return either very little or no profit. In another research, economists state that the harm caused by bitcoin production to the climate has reached the estimated 35% of the market value and this is almost equal to the share of the red meat sector which holds 35%.

While bitcoin is criticised due to its high risk, the insufficiency of regulations, and its controversial levels, McKinsey forecasts that the era it named ‘Blockchain 1.0’, which is one of the areas of use blockchain in finance and is dominated by crypto currencies, will slowly come to an end and the use of blockchain technology in business processes will rise with the opportunities it offers such as an increase in efficiency and cost saving, namely the ‘Blockchain 2.0’ era will come to the forefront. In an article published by MIT Sloan Management, authors state that blockchain, which is the technology that lies under digital currencies such as bitcoin, will have deep impacts on the nature of companies. Based on this, blockchain will change companies’ way of acquiring finances, management, and value creation and will transform their functions of accounting and marketing.

So, what is the blockchain technology that meets the needs of companies from many parts of the world and from many sectors regarding supply chain problems, energy crisis, and increasing costs in such a period that they try to make savings, and what is the value it promises to companies?

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SOUL OF THE CITY

Aposto Istanbul is a weekly city guide for Istanbul lovers who want to make this city their neighbourhood. Hand-picked events, local news, recommendations and more.


Partying all the way to the new year: Year End Countdown

What is it? Party series. Now that we have opened the winter season of the city with the cats of Cihangir, we are ready to let go of the year by partying.

Where? MiniMüzikhol

When? Different dates until 24 December

Why should you go? We claim that a certain dose of partying at regular intervals is good for the immune system. Do you agree?

Duly noted: Lauren Lo Sung, Que Sakamoto, Kirill Shapovalov and many more… Find out who will start the countdown over here. 

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LONDON TOWN

Aposto London is a weekly, practical zine to London for those who want to make this city their neighbourhood.


CO-WORK AT THE LOCKE

A freelancer's dilemma: Where to settle for a long ‘in front of the screen day', filled with Zoom, and Huddle meetings, while trying to juggle the revisions given at the last minute, while also waiting for an IRL appointment who is late due to tube strikes. The answer to the elaborate question is mostly the nearest coffee shop with a window seat (now that winter has come, not so comfy), the table on the back with two plugs (the night falls around 4 p.m., a bit somnolent), a co-working space (like a sailboat, the friend’s membership is always better) or a nice desk at home away from the bed, the kitchen, and the TV.

But if I said, after trying all of the above, I found the ultimate solution to catch-22 and the answer is a hotel lobby. At the five Locke locations across London (Tower Bridge, Dalston, Aldgate, Millenium Bridge) you can see people designing shoes, websites, and briefings; writing dissertations or book chapters; on calls or meetings; lying on chaise longs or swings. The tune varies from bossa nova to nu-jazz and if you stick around long enough, you can participate in pop-up shows, exhibitions or workshops.

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Related Keywords

free speech

Ukraine

Russia

Dnipro River

Xi Jinping

Ukraine crisis

Eurozone inflation

Eurostat

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