Asia’s First, If Not The World’s First, Fully Automated Container Terminal In Port Of Qingdao, China

As of late, people all over the world are taking notice how China has become a leader in the port industry.  For an example, in 2016, August 10th, if I got the date right, Chinese shipping group, China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco), completed the majority purchase of Greece’s Piraeus port.  Since then, Cosco has turned Piraeus into one of the leading ports in the world.  Just now, China is taking its port business into the next level by turning a terminal at Port of Qingdao into a fully automated container terminal.  This means no human involvement is needed on most of the port container activities at this terminal.  Well, you get a better idea if you watch the video right after the break.

As China is continuing to automate its industries, I wonder how will they cope with more unemployment.  On business level though, things will be a lot more efficient in productivities and costs, but at what costs to the traditional social values such as full employment?  Of course, certain traditional social values can always be updated or let go, but employment is one of the things that help put foods on the table for a modern fellow.  Without employment, one would go hungry pretty fast or whatever a bad case that would be.

With roughly 1.4 billion plus population, if I’m not off on the number, China would be in big trouble if so many people won’t be able to find jobs.  Automation will definitely create unemployment problem to be even more acute than ever before.  Right now though, opportunities seem to be abundant in China still, because even some foreigners are leaving their home countries to travel to China for job opportunities.  Nonetheless, once automation becomes evermore prevalent in China, I wonder how the opportunity picture in China would form.  I can see the applications of automation will make China be evermore competitive in many global industries.  In this case it would be all about the port/shipping industry.

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Can Higher Wages Grow An Economy?

Around the world, China is increasing her presence as we speak.  As China grows her global presence in geopolitics and world economy, competitive countries such as the United States have to worry about the future in which China will have more influence in all things global.  If China is going to be too dominant and overtaking the United States in the influence of global affairs, the United States may have to find ways to cooperate with China.  If the future isn’t about the cooperation of the two biggest countries in the world in term of economics and raw power, then the future is certainly going to be very grim.  How grim?  Perhaps in such a grim situation, the grimmest outcome might be of a zero sum game.

I can’t imagine the kind of hell that a zero sum game is going to be waged by the two most powerful countries in the world in a nuclear age. The implication of such a zero sum game in our time is definitely scary.  If the United States and China are going to have a hot war in the future, both United States and China will force other countries to take side.  This means we might have a new world war if the two most powerful countries in the world are going to have a hot war.  Any sane person in my opinion would not want to witness a hot war between any two most powerful countries in the world, and so I think it’s very important for us humans to push for more cooperations to weed out the warmongers among us.  In order for one society to cooperate with another, we need to understand each other.  This means, the people in the United States need to understand more about China, and the people in China need to understand more about the United States.  I believe more cooperations between the two giants of the world can only bring more peace and prosperity to the rest of the world.  Most importantly, the cooperations between the two giants can also raise the quality of life for the people who are living in both countries (i.e., China and the United States).

In the video right after the break, professor Yasheng Huang gives a lecture on how capitalism has been developing in China, contributing to the huge growth of the Chinese economy that we’re seeing today.  I think his lecture is profound. In the lecture, he honestly points out hidden problems that are existing and may exist within China.  This means being a big country such as United States or China doesn’t mean big challenges are not there.  In fact, I think the bigger the country the bigger the problems are going to come out of the woodwork.

In the video, professor Yasheng Huang insists that personal income dictates the real wealth of a country.  He mentions how desperate a banker can become if regular people cannot afford to spend or buy house.  By this he implicates that the regular folks are the healthy roots that hold the strong economy together.  If regular folks cannot afford to spend on necessary things and housing, then businesses and housing construction have to slow down.  This means the bank institutions become poorer as people won’t have money to spend and deposit and businesses won’t have money to pay back loans and whatnot.  The real economy will decline if the everyday people cannot afford to spend on important things such as housing.

Personally, I partly agree with professor Yasheng Huang on the point that everyday folks with higher wages can grow the economy.  Nonetheless, I think professor Yasheng Huang needs to also lecture on how inflation can play a pivotal role in dictating the real strength of the personal income.  Inflation is very important in my opinion, because personal income can either be grander or weaker depends on the inflation.  For an example, one dollar can purchase a cart of lollipops yesterday but can only buy one lollipop today has great effect on how people spend their personal income to grow an economy.  In fact, I think a growing economy is the result of many positive economics factors, and the optimization of the balance of personal income and inflation is one of those very important, positive economics factors.  This is why I think China is not only wanting to grow her economy in quality and quantity, but she also wants to control her inflation in a way that it makes sense for everyday people in China.

Since we’re living in a global market, inflation can be exported and imported.  This means inflation policy in influential countries such as the United States can have great implication for the inflation in China.  Currency war is one of the tools that a country can use to import and export inflation.  If the United States imports inflation by weakening her currency exchange rate to promote export competitiveness, she can induce high inflation in China for China has accumulated United State’s treasury bonds over a trillion of dollars.  Simply put, if United States weakens her currency can induce China to mimic the United States’ inflation policy to keep China’s export market and United States’ treasury bond value up.

Nonetheless, weakening one own country’s currency to induce higher inflation means to weakening the personal income of everyday people.  I think currency war is going to hurt the everyday people a lot more in the end.  I know China knows this, and this is why we’re seeing China is gradually moving away from accumulating more treasury bonds from the United States.  Nonetheless, by doing this China can push the United States into hyperinflation as the dollars cannot find a home abroad.  More dollars will rush back to the United States, pushing the inflation to the unstoppable rate.  If this to happen, the United States economy will crumble as the everyday folks will not be able to utilize the dollar for purchasing whatever at a hyperinflation exchange rate.  Of course, the United States can reduce the inflation rate by buying up the treasury bonds herself and introduce higher interest rate, but this will make her already huge national debt harder to manage.  As right now, according to usgovernmentdebt.us website, United States’ national debt is at $18,176,295,505,000.  It’s a very hard situation for the United States to be in.

But can we really blame China?  China is also wanting to balance her inflation at a sensible rate that can help induce her own economic strength!  I don’t think there is an easy solution to the ever struggle between countries’ inflation import and export.  I guess in the end, it’s the local economy strength that helps a country to weather the inflation storm.  To fight insensible inflation rate, I guess a country needs to have strong employment and high personal income wages.  In the end, I think professor Yasheng Huang is onto something here, because I agree with professor on the importance of higher wages for everyday people.  Professor Yasheng Huang also emphasizes on the importance of building human capitals, but I guess you have to watch the video for the details as I’m going to end my blog post here.

Is It OK For Social Network Users To Be Forced Into Revealing Their Private Profiles?

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facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

Social networks such as FaceBook allow people to make their profiles private so they can have a place online where they hold their private thoughts, pictures, and what not.  Obviously, the whole idea of private profiles is to allow social network users to share such private information with people who have close or intimate relationships with the profile owners.  Unfortunately, some employers, teachers, and other people who are in authoritative positions are increasingly demanding to have access to private profiles of the people that they’re in charge of.  Is this even legal?  So, here is the question, is it OK for social network users to be forced into revealing their private profiles?

This is one tough question to answer in my opinion.  I think I should say, this is one tough problem to solve!  On one hand, I do not like the idea of sharing private information in my private profiles to anyone besides the few people who have really close relationships with me in real life.  On the other hand, I understand that employers, teachers, and the likes might want to prevent embarrass situations before such situations take place (i.e., they want to make sure the people they deal with do not post obscene materials online).

Perhaps, we can solve this sticky situation by taking the middle road approach.  It goes like this!  It’s unethical, and might be illegal for the people who are in charge to force someone into revealing the information within a private profile, but the same people can take appropriate actions against the people that they are in charge of if the private profiles of these people leak obscene materials to the mass.  So, the idea is not to take action until indecency materializes!

Obviously, the people who are in positions of demanding access to private profiles of social network users might not like this middle road approach much.  They probably hate the idea of not knowing ahead or waiting for a time bomb to explode on their hand, but it’s unethical of them to force someone into revealing the private information — whether such private information store inside social networks’ private profiles or in a bank’s safety-deposit box.

With or without this middle road approach, social network users need to safeguard their private profiles carefully.  After all, if their private profiles get hack, their real life can get really messy.  This is why I think it’s always best to keep what really private private!  By this I mean you should not post anything that is so private onto the web!

Source:  http://www.dailytech.com/Michigan+Teachers+Aide+Suspended+for+Refusing+Employers+Request+for+Facebook+Access+/article24365.htm

Pay Up, Learn How To Code, And Get A Job?

Treehouse is a new educational web service which promises to help guide whoever interests in developing the skill set in web design, web development and iOS development.  Besides promising in training whoever to become a developer in the specific technological areas, Treehouse devises a unique strategy for whoever wants to get hire in their industry.  Treehouse’s strategy is to allow whoever in their programs to take quizes/tests to unlock badges.  The unlocked badges would be presented on a Treehouse participant’s profile.  According to the available unlocked badges, employers would be able to theoretically have a better chance of knowing who might be a good candidate for them to set up an interview with.  Treehouse charges the participants with either $25 or $49 per month.  The $49 per month plan would include additional materials such as more tutorial videos.

In my opinion, nowadays it’s very easy to learn how to become a web designer, web developer, and iOS developer without having to pay a single dollar.  How?  iTunes U is the answer!  Computer users don’t have to use Mac to have access to iTunes U, because they can install iTunes on Windows machines.  After installing iTunes on Windows machines, users can open up iTunes and navigate to iTunes U to download videos that teach users how to write programs in different computer languages, developing iOS applications, designing websites, and a lot more.  iTunes U isn’t for just these specific areas of study, because iTunes U allows users to learn just about any available open course of different universities.  Don’t be fooled by having to navigate to iTunes Store before one could check up on iTunes U, because iTunes U is indeed free!  It’s free to download educational videos so one could watch it at any time.

With knowing that one might not have to pay to learn how to become a developer for the information industry, it might be hard for some people to imagine about paying for programs that provide by educational web services such as Treehouse.  Nonetheless, Treehouse looks attractive to some people, because they think Treehouse might be able to allow them to find jobs that they’re specialized in (e.g., web designing, web development, iOS development).  I surmise that some folks who already have the experiences in these technological areas might just join Treehouse to unlock badges so certain employers might come around and interview them.  This will do if one believes Treehouse will be able to attract enough attentions from various employers of big companies and so on.

I’m not sure Treehouse will definitely be a solution for whoever wants to get a job as web designer or web developer or iOS developer.  The ultimate decision will have to rest upon the shoulders of the employers from various companies in regarding to hire specific Treehouse participants.  Perhaps, Treehouse participants might get the exposures they need for getting interviews, but they still have to score the interviews before the employers hire them.  As I mentioned earlier, Treehouse isn’t providing unique learning materials, because one can just download the similar educational materials within iTunes U.  If iTunes U isn’t carrying certain educational materials, there might be other places and sources for one to acquire such educational materials.

Source:  http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/07/web-design-and-development-community-treehouse-wants-to-teach-you-how-to-code-get-you-a-job/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+
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