Moving towards a Bipolar World

[Source: cio.com] Digital is about technology, but the transformation is about people and motivating teams to change their mindset.
An Essay 

Have you visited Huawei’s website?  I have.  While I was thumbing through its digital pages, I realized how much our world seems to be  shrinking.  Smart cities, the internet, the internet of things, neural networks around the globe in which we call earth is turning into one  big ball of yarn threaded by various styles of networking whether it’s through satellite or cable and it’s getting tighter and tighter and tighter.   Huawei Canada offers to Canadians an impressive selection of products and services!

Yet, Bell Canada also offers those same products and services. One can wonder how will the two companies compete installing and servicing the infrastructure of the much anticipated 5G  network.  We’re also holding Huawei’s daughter, CFO deputy Chair and China’s beloved sweetheart  Meng Wanzhou, preparing to extradite her from Vancouver to the United States to face charges of fraud and breaking American sanctions on Iran.  Adding to all of this Google is running its hybrid project on Toronto’s waterfront in what they claim could help turn the area into a thriving hub for innovation” – that in itself should raise concerns for Torontonians.

You see much like social media and the internet we seem to be ignorant of all the permissions we give to companies when we sign on to a user service such as Facebook, Twitter and the like.  We inadvertently give them access to alot of information about ourselves as we ignorantly and dutifully complete our on-line profile.  In some cases we provide more than what we are willing to had we read those long legal disclaimers before we click “ok”.  Privacy is very personal.  You don’t know how personal it is until you’re targeted. I mused about a few privacy scenarios when I wrote about my visit to the offices of a downtown legal firm Fasken and Martineau for a technology Meet Up group.  We heard from a Bell Canada executive and a cyber security expert who were special guests speaking about the Internet of Things (IoT), and the highs and potential lows in creating the 5G network. The executive from Bell gave his presentation first showing a number asking if anyone knew what that number represented.

Here’s the number:

340, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

That’s a pretty long number!  It so turns out that’s the total number of IoT connections throughout the world available for us. Now, that’s a lot of connections!  The Bell executive gave us another number and asked if we knew what that number represented:

75,000,000,000

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Again, I had no clue. Turns out that’s how many connections we would have if we connected every single device to the “network”  in the whole wide world by the year 2025!! As you can see: 75,000,000,000 doesn’t even make a dent in the overall networks of possible IoT connections!  And using these connectivities will give agents and players a whole new way to monitor, track, invade and our privacy.

Changemakers – Transforming People Digitally

Despite the end users dilemma, it’s a very exciting time for technology companies who are leading the way in creating smart cities and various digital options. Living in a capitalist society we are encouraged to always think profits, the  bottom line, the next big thing, and similar to an industrialized system we proactively develop, package and sell while not always thinking about the human or environmental costs.  This new wave of opportunities is challenging the very way we think about technology in that we are transforming people digitally to think as a computer would rather than a computer think as a human.

You or I wouldn’t notice the transformation because we’re too busy, like we did with social media, enjoying its services and its ability to do all sorts of wonderful things that would make our lives  easier.  It might even save our lives!  Take for example; data.  “All of the data around a design and construction project” says Justin Wright, CIO of Arcadis  “or an environmental cleanup effort can be hard to interpret when it’s in a spreadsheet or a database. By putting a graphic interface on the data, by making it more visual, we allow our customers, and all the other people involved in the project, to understand the data at a glance, and then use it for predictive purposes.”

Smart Park, [Source: Huawei Corporate Website]
A leader in predictive technologies makes Google the perfect partner for creating a smart city project, with their database of “human intentions” which is a small part of a much bigger vision.”  Here’s another example, sensors can detect and alert proper authorities  in the event of an environmental disaster such as a forest fire or earth quakes and they are able to respond before it threatens life and destroys property, responders could enact the evacuation process a lot sooner at schools and in public facilities, alert emergency personnel to respond in a timely and efficient manner, enabling them to make critical decisions a lot faster.  Or even perhaps responding to a crime, or knowing which area of the city that needs maintenance such as garbage removal, towing a parked car, checking the gas meter or refilling an oil tank.  The possibilities are infinite.

“Right now, we are doing a lot of development on dashboards so that we can take very complex data-sets and turn them into something more visual and useful. “One example involves our environmental services,”  says Wright, “where we help our clients understand the various environmental liabilities they might incur and monitor their progress on resolving them. If we’re cleaning up polluted groundwater for them or helping them remove chemicals from property they own, we take the data as we’re capturing it and make it visual. They can more easily see where their issues are and track our progress on resolving them.”

Smart City, Source: Huawei Corporate Website

Yet, take one “perceived” misstep out of line and that’s it you’re privacy is gone!  The trick is to blend in and not do and say things that make you stand out and attract [undue] attention, or else you get targeted.  That’s what they want – status quo.  The scary part is, police and government authorities are the least of our worries; other agents who would want to monitor us will come from a variety of “social”, “financial”, “employment”, “medical” reasons, personal vendettas and more.  For those who enjoy their personal privacy, I am sure you will agree with me in that creating a “smart city” might very well prove to be a dumb move.  But we can’t fight it.

Speed, service and solutions

“Speed has become much more critical in a digital transformation;” says Justin, “we need to find ways to address needs as soon as they arise.” The first step is designing a strategy for the company that will make us the digital front-runner. Three major groups need to be aligned around that strategy: first is the business, the people who are doing the actual work for our clients; second is the digital team, whose job is to lead us through the digital transformation; and third is IT, who is providing the technology work to deliver on that strategy.  The next step is to make sure that our operating model makes it possible for us to achieve the strategy. The last step is to organize ourselves in a way that supports the operating model and the strategy. Right now, we are in a very collaborative mode where digital and IT and the business are working together well with a lot of alignment in how we operate.”

“Col-lab-or-at-ion”

Collaboration. Now, that would be the word of the day, for it takes collaboration with all sorts of partners – and sometimes competitors – to create the magnitude of networks we envision for 5G.   Huawei, a tech superpower that competes across a wide spectrum of sectors, yet the US has no company competing directly in the race to produce the backbone equipment for 5G networks.  For now, Huawei’s competitors for the 5G network in Europe is Nokia and Ericcson  and in the United States,  AT&T is on the leading edge working with partners including Cisco, Ericsson, Infosys, Intel, Magic Leap, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and WarnerMedia through the AT&T 5G Innovation Program” – but they don’t produce the backbone equipment needed for a 5G network.  “Whether it’s the Innovation Program, AT&T Labs, AT&T Foundry, or our various initiatives across our business, mobility, Internet of Things and video teams, what’s vital here is to create the right conditions for 5G innovation to flourish,” said Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and chief technology officer, AT&T Communications. “We believe 5G is the “yes, you can” network – regardless if you’re a global enterprise, small business or consumer. These are just some of the ways we’re fostering innovation in 5G environments to create tomorrow’s unforeseen inventions.”  Now that’s what I call, “Col-lab-or-at-ion”.

‘Why Does the Whole World Hate Me?’ rfa.org, China has demanded that Canada release Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies. Canadian authorities detained her on suspicion of evading U.S. trade…

“Huawei had an operating revenue of $92.5 billion in 2017.” says Claude Barfield of  AE Ideas, “It employs about 180,000 workers around the world (mostly in China). A key element in its current position in world competition has been a sustained investment in research and development (R&D). In 2017, the company invested just under $14 billion in R&D.”  In fact, Huawei has been known to work with colleges and universities across North America in developing technology and solving its problems.   Eventually it became a concern that Huawei had access to our top minds of tomorrow through academia and the intellectual property developed  within those universities and colleges would be owned by Huawei, while the students received scholars.   It’s big business for the universities but being a foreign company, it does present its own ethical challenges.   “Huawei [continues to] operates in a number of manufacturing and service markets, but the two most important elements in its portfolio of activities are telecommunications equipment and smartphones (an area that came late but has grown rapidly in recent years). Today Huawei is the largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment (cellular-tower hardware, routers, switches, and related equipment for 5G networks). From a low base and late start, the company has just passed Apple as the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones. Samsung is the largest and is pouring large sums of money and research into 5G equipment R&D in a late move to join the competition.”

When you step back and observe the enormity of what experts are trying to accomplish through  5G and all of its potential, that’s when you begin to realized how much our world is shrinking .  It’s almost as if we’re collectively building a brain, a neural network, is the only way I can explain it.  It could even be explained in terms of a heart that pumps gigabytes of information through the network of veins and is vulnerable similar to sickness such as clogged arteries (data build up, data dumping) even a cardiac arrest.  And when you step back to see who’s responsible for all this vast networks, infrastructure and all its implications, including who owns the data and especially national security,  you begin to see how this cyber environment is mirroring our political environments.  In the real world, those two reflective or bi-polarizing images are the two superpowers; China and the United States.  Russia is a close third but not there just yet.

Bi-polarization without a Global Leadership – “Chimerica”

Are you following China’s combat with Canada and the United States about the arrest and pending extradition of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou ?  Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei’s Founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei and his first wife, Meng Jun.  Meng Wanzhou was a high school drop out and started working at her father’s firm in an administrative capacity eventually working her way up to be today’s most influential business woman in the world.  The China-based company is one  of the world’s largest providers of tele-communications equipment, networking gear, smartphones and more. How Canada handles the Meng Wanzhou case will turn out to have very serious implications affecting us well into the future.  You see we’re in a bit of a pickle, Canada is sandwiched between two world superpowers and is being asked to choose a side. If we  choose to support China, we will have a wonderful trading partner for fossil fuel/oil exports, continue to enjoy the affordable clothing that we buy at Walmart, agricultural cattle exports, I’m sure a whole lot more but most of all, their telecommunication devices (like the iPhones that China  manufactures) and digital infrastructure networks.  Or should Canada seek to continue and improve our relationship with the United States, our geographical neighbor, where a vast 80% (I’m speculating, but the number is high) of our trade – exports and imports – that have always sustained our countries since the birth of our two nations.

Donald Trump’s Huawei ban: Where will the US vs China crisis lead to …, Evening Standard,The Huawei furore is just the latest in an escalating conflict between China and President Trump’s Oval Office says Philip Delves Broughton

A recent Toronto Star opinion article by Rachel Gwyn a former US citizen noted a trend where Canadians are already buying locally, domestically and anything-but -American because of Donald Trump. She’s suggested that perhaps this might be an appropriate time where Canada might expedite its thinking about how economically tied we want to be to the US in moving forward.     What is worrisome  even to her is the fact that there are current efforts within the United States to change its Constitution, in which she feels will be for the worse.  This little project is spearheaded by the Koch brothers and a growing number of political organizations that are pressing to change the Constitution while the mainstream media continues its hopeless obedience in being verbally supporting of it – or stay quiet.  I will leave that to investigate for another day.  However, it does speak to a growing trend and desire for Canada to look for other trade partners rather than solely being dependent on the US, economically and politically.  Do you think that Trump actually doesn’t care that we’re building a pipeline solely for the Chinese market?  What type of loyalty do you think Trump expects from Canada?  I suspect, extraditing someone to the United States wouldn’t be such a difficult choice for Canada and has been done many times before.  But the choices faced here are with two global superpowers that will polarize our world within the next ten years.  Our actions (meaning every other country in the world) will decided who’s side we are on.  They’re not strong enough alone to claim world domination. At best they will have a ying-yang relationship that ebbs and flows, mainly because their ideology in  area of leadership are polarizingly different.

[Source: YouTube] Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou arrest ‘unlawful’ lawyers say, accusing Trump of violating judicial process.
Take for example, Russia and US relations.  Not too long ago and up to the Ronald Reagan era we had the Cold War between Russia (Soviet) and the USA.   Then in 1988, Reagan declared the Cold War was over, “Tear down this wall!” and that the Soviet was no longer an “evil empire”.   Yet it wasn’t until 1991 with the fall of the communist Soviet regime that the ideology or I should say the “bi-polarization” between the two countries would disperse.  To have a Cold War it must consist of three things; nuclear weaponry “to prevent strategic rivalry from escalating into direct war”;  ideological rivalry using a binary “us vs them” where ideology becomes a competitive factor; and lastly, absolutely no economic or social contacts between the two super powers. The United States – China relationship on the other hand is different.  For example, the binary “us vs them”  is not so stark in that they are trading partners unlike that of the Soviets and the US during the Cold War, and therefore how they competitively handle each other will be different since there exists social and economic contracts between the two countries.

[Source: Radio Free Europe] “Tear Down This Wall” U.S. President Ronald Reagan speaks in front of the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987.
What also will be different is how they will be waging their wars.  It won’t be through military such as what we had during the Cold War.  Our weapons have advance tremendously and in order to really do away with the other, one country would have to use their nuclear capabilities and both countries know that would spell disaster in that it would end all life on the planet.  Therefore, a war is waging in the our digital platforms through surveillance and commerce.  The race is on to lay in the infrastructure for the 5G network that  would enable a neural network to monitor people, in their homes and place of work.  Whomever can cast the widest neural net will have a dominating advantage.  This net will provide speed for transferring [and storage] of data, the ability to offer service and provide solutions, in commerce,  security and in governance. The race is on to get as many countries on board to accept the infrastructure with its infinite possibilities.  Which country will sign on to which network will come down to the ideology in which their leaders will govern.

Source: Phys.org

We’re already seeing this played out with the 5G networks and Huawei’s digital tools and technology.   Huawei’s smart phones, tablets and digital devices are already permeating consumer markets and is applauded on many levels for quality and price.  However, its the networks, not the devices, that are concerning many.  Huawei is accused of using its technology as a way to spy on citizens and the governments.   Trump’s Department of Commerce announced that China’s Shenzhen-based Huawei would be put on the “entity List” a ledger of firms legally prohibited from trading with the US based of what Trump is accusing them of spying.  However, many believe its a case of ‘fear of competition’.  Many allied countries were considering adopting the 5 G wireless network through Huawei which would represent a huge economic loss for the US.

Turns out the US appealed to its allied countries to convince them to freeze the company out over “security concerns”.  There are many countries that have banned or are seriously reviewing  their country’s use of Huawei’s 5G networks, perhaps in part of  US’ request but more likely some countries have reported cases of espionage connected to the company; Britain (UK), Australia, Belgium, Bahrain, Czech republic, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, South Korea, Germany(etc.) and there is pressure upon Canada to do the same.   “Numerous countries allege that the company’s products may purposely contain security holes that China’s government could use for spying purposes. Also, some countries allege that Huawei steals intellectual property from foreign technology companies.”  These are allegations with very serious implications.  There are all sorts of reasons for spying; from international security, trade secrets, all the way to a disgruntled employee who is bored and/or resentful of their job and in retaliation decides to manipulate the system.  In fact, employees are counted among the highest probability in perpetrating security breeches whether its intentional, negligence or plain ignorance.  Trudeau, however, is still open to bringing Huawei’s technology to Canada but at the same time is very cautious.

[Source: Radio Free Asia on Twitter:] “My Precious The U.S. is urging allies to exclude Huawei from 5G networks. But Western countries disagree on the security threat posed by the use of equipment from the Chinese telecom giant.… https://t.co/eKBEqy9pNl”
Now let’s take a moment and see how China regards privacy among its citizens. Their ideology when it comes to managing citizens, it’s reasonable to say, will translate to how their equipment and technology would work. Epoch Times reported that China recently released its statistics for a new social-credit system and found ‘the courts have added 13.5 million entries to a list of ‘dishonest persons‘ who are subject to enforcement.  By the end of March 2019, the Chinese government reported the people who are deemed ‘untrustworthy‘ had been blocked from buying 20.47 million air tickets and another 5.71 million high-speed rail tickets.

The social credit system is set in place intended to assess citizens’ reliability to participate in a wide range of activities, such as exporting goods, accessing government contracts, converting currency and receiving Communist party promotions.  That system is intended to govern “19 key areas of dishonesty, including spreading online rumors and false information, committing financial fraud, delivering unlicensed medical treatment, evading taxes, cheating on tests and fixing sporting machines.”

Source: The Choices Program on You Tube

According to the Worldometer, China’s  current population is 1,420,341,265 as of Monday, July 22, 2019, based on the latest United Nations estimates.  That’s a lot of cell phones and digital gadgetry connected to the networks, therefore, making their own country grounds for testing the masses is a high probability and with the mechanisms that work they would just widen the scope globally.  Remember, China’s population is equivalent to 18.41% of the total world population. China ranks number 1 on the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.  Critics have raised the alarm about the construction of a “digital panoptiocon that leverages the power and rising technological sophistication of the world’s largest authoritarian regime to monitor its people for compliance to government dictates in ways never before possible.

‘Some Chinese scholars and officials have defended the establishment saying the system is used as a necessary corrective in a society of tainted by poisoned-milk scandals and financial frauds – “one that will reward good conduct and ease life for those with integrity, even as it deprives the unreliable of privileges.  Publishing the figures is to show that citizens who think it’s unfair that people go unpunished that they are doing something to deter this behavior and it is also meant as a deterrent for those who might do it again.”‘  While that might be true, but who sets the standards of what it means and who is an integral person?  Chinese government, judicial and police departments can be just as corrupt.  Honest citizens be targeted by the system (i.e. dissenters, followers of Falung Gong, journalists or protesters ).  Does the Chinese government have an anti-SLAPP legislation?

It’s not the fact that these networks and systems exists, no doubt there are a variety of reasons and more that will benefit humankind.  For example, many say that handwriting will be extinct within 10-20 years where we will just use our voice to activate a tablet or computer to transcribe our words.  Another invention that’s currently underway in being perfected are neurolinks, a way to wire [or re-wire] our brains that would be connected to a network, I wrote about this in a previous entry Bell Let’s Talk Internet of Things Elon Musk for one is developing such a device which is reported in the Hill Times by Lisa Van Deusen. Implantable Brain Interfaces (BMI) also known as Brain Computer Interfacing (BCI) are devices that are used in the medical fields to re-wire neurological disorders, but others can use it as an enhancing mechanism.  Elon Musk unveiled his invention in California, July 16 of this year, calling it a ‘brain monitoring computer chip project, Neuralink.’  He says, “You have no wires poking out of your head; very important. It basically blue-tooth to your phone,” Musk said reassuringly of the brain-hacking device.”

Elon Musk Wants to Put Implants Into People’s Brains. [Source: teleSUR English] Elon has invested around US$100 million in Neuralink since its founding in 2016.
Yeah, you heard right YOUR cell phone will be the direct hook up that links your brain to “the system”. “Notwithstanding Musk’s assurances last week that the Neuralink goal of neurosymbiosis with artificial intelligence” cautions Lisa Van Duesen “is not a mandatory thing…this is a thing that you can choose to have if you want” (like an extra shot in your macchiato)—neuro-bugs would, inevitably given the overwhelming incentives, be surreptitiously implanted in individuals considered to be high-value targets for governments or non-state actors without their knowledge.  These could include: opposition politicians; journalists; human rights lawyers; innovators whose ideas can’t be poached and repurposed any other way; dissidents; anyone deemed for reasons of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, or age worthy of degradation, experimentation, cyber-bondage, or marginalization.”

Bringing Brain Computer Interfaces [Source: The Official Blog of The ALS Association] WordPress.com
At a recent European conference, British investigative journalist and author of McMafia, Misha Glenny noted, “…there is now  a general understanding that we have a culture of political corruption and violence that crosses boundaries and lots of people are aware of it to the extent that two of the most powerful officers, political officers in the world are infected by organized crime to which are the presidency of the United States and the presidency of Russia.”  in their exclusive hands imagine what can be done with these monitoring technologies.

Neuromonitoring devices will soon be microscopic with no “kill switch”, noway of deactivating the device and will be used “for neurosurveillance by the same sort of interests who’ve deployed Pegasus spyware to hack and surveil political opponents and journalists worldwide, with predictable consequences.”  With neuro-surveillance it would reveal your “intentions meaning what you’ll be doing in the next hour, the next day or week even next year ‘for people in authoritarian regimes and corrupted democracies, can be a death sentence.’  Where as surveillance reveals what you are doing now and what you’ve already done, it can only reveal your actions from the past up to the present; neuro-surveillance will reveal you actions in present and intentions into the future.

[Source: Bespoken Bureau], Dr. Ann Cavoukian

“This technology is being introduced at a time when human rights are already under attack around the world, when the ascendant superpower is building an unchecked surveillance state, and when democracy is being hacked, corrupted, misrepresented and weaponized against itself in a way that, if the trend continues, will fatefully and profitably eliminate our consent from these questions.”

This is the new and innovative ways technology companies and governments are approaching business and technology develops for the future.  So when you think about the end use in creating a smart city,  a smart park,  smart traffic, smart water solutions, government big data (etc.) you can very well see how one’s privacy can be hi-jacked.  In fact,  a year into Google’s Sidewalk Labs project in Toronto, questions of privacy have resurfaced following the resignation of a privacy expert, Dr Ann Cavoukian, who claimed she left her consulting role on the initiative to “send a strong statement” about the data privacy issues the project still faces.

“Privacy forms the foundation of our freedom, you cannot have freedom and liberty without a solid foundation of privacy, if you value that, you have to go to great lengths to protect that.” ~Dr. Ann Cavoukian

Source: South China Morning Post, The Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Star Market presents a new funding platform for Chinese start-ups

“The purpose indeed is to demonstrate that the system has been put to real use, in particular in the sense of imposing sanctions or incentives on those targeted entities.” says Dai Xin, Professor at Ocean University of China School of Law.  In reality benevolent dictatorship such those Lee Kuan Yew, in Singapore or China under Deng Xiaping, the state has adopted a paternalistic attitude towards its citizens.  I am sure other countries are seeing the potential for the same paternalistic attitude towards their spying hence the banning of Huawei’s technologies.

“Keeping the peace between China and the United States'” says Yan Xuetong “may  mean no danger of either world war or proxy war between them, but it does not guarantee peace between other states in the coming decade.  When leading states are reluctant to become involved in security disputes between other states, especially those in regions distant from where they reside, this will give regional powers an advantage in conflicts with other states within their sphere of influence.  They will hence prefer military solutions to diplomatic negotiations when dealing with disputes with their surrounding countries, as seen in the behaviors of Russia, France, India, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Isreal, Nigeria, Congo, and Egypt.  The governments of these states are far more willing than the Chinese government, if not more so than the American leadership, to solve disputes through military solutions.  Therefore, the next decade will likely witness intensified security conflicts in the Middle East, Eurasia, South Asia and Africa.”

I think we all can agree that since Brexit, the UK is increasingly starting to have more faith in their own capabilities and sovereignty than relying on the European Union.  Meanwhile, the Trump administration withdrew membership of several global regimes, which undermined their efficiency in maintaining international order.  “A state withdraws  from an international organization only when it believes that its membership hurts its interest, rather than when it believes that it is simply not beneficial.  Other countries will keep their membership because it is not harmful, however, in the US we have seen their withdrawal from the UN, World Bank, IMF and WTO.  Yet despite doing so their withdrawal cannot change the type of basic norms based on the UN Charter in the coming decade.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations

“China’s rise is highly likely to transfer the American-dominated uni-polar configuration of the post-Cold War era into a bipolar one between China and the United States in the coming decade.  neither the United States nor China is able to provide a global leadership in the next decade.  Global leadership requires leading states to provide security protection for lesser states,either individually or collectively.  It is even less possible that China will abandon the nonalignment principle in the next ten years, which means it will not provide security protection for any country, including its neighbors.  Although the United States has more than fifty allies, the Trump administration is reluctant to undertake full responsibility to protect them.  Meanwhile, the structural conflict between the rising states and dominant states means that the United States and China cannot provide the world with a joint leadership, such as “G-2” or “Chimerica”.”  Therefore do not expect any other international character to step up to the plate to provide security if the two global entities are unwilling to do so either individually or collectively.  What will happen without global leadership?  Global governance will eventually become stagnant, meaning, any progress expecting to be made in the area of immigration, counter-terrorism, human trafficking and of course climate change will stall or progress will be extremely slow. [Yan Xuetong, Leadership, 2019]

Internet of Things (Iot) – Huawei (China)  vs Bell/AT&T (USA) – Nope!

If we end up with a G2/”Chimerica” joint leadership, symbolically it would no doubt be reflected within the two global digital networks.  AT&T is recognized as a global leader in the Internet of Things with employees in 60 countries and business customers worldwide. Match it besides Huawei there’s not much difference in what they are offering it just seems that there’s a race of how far and wide they can cast their neural net.  It is safe to assume that two global networks would mirror the two global powers political hold. Would half the world be with Huawei and the other with AT&T to reflect their solidarity with the respective global power.  Could the two networks communicate with each other?  Will their platforms be mutually compatible meaning can one country have access to both networks?  And so we are now back to our dilemma with Canada and the United States and the handling of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou who stands accused of “…misleading the US government authorities about the company’s business in Iran, which is under US economic sanctions.The US is also pursuing Huawei and Ms. Wanzhou in criminal charges including bank fraud and theft of technology.  Both reject the claims.”

 

South China Morning Post

Now coincidentally I just opened the today’s newspaper and there I saw that Huawei will be installing their networks all across the Artic, therefore, solving a long and frustrating problem of providing internet coverage to rural areas.  This was quite surprising to me and I have to admit this might be a case of ‘false information’, I’ll have to followup with some ‘people in the know’.  I say this because it was not too long ago at a telecommunication conference where executives of Bell, Rogers and Telus were present discussing the future of the internet , cell phone pricing and package deals for cell, cable for TV and internet.   CRTC opened a grant program offering those who can lay in the infrastructure to rural areas because the initial investment for the corporate partners to do so is quite large whereas the return on their investment for installing the infrastructure is quite low and will take awhile to see some net profit.  That’s where CRTC’s program came in and to my knowledge the competition was already held and winners chosen – it’s a done deal.  So what will happen to those who won the grants to do their work only to find out that Huawei has beat them to it?  Do they return the money?  Was this a trade off deal to keep China calm while diplomatic talks continues about what to do with Meng Wanzhou’s extradition to the United States?

[Source: japantimes.co.jp] It’s hard to argue that the Chinese telecommunications company has a constitutional right to U.S. government contracts.
Second of all and back to the technology Meet Up in the boardroom of Fasken and Martineau,  at the end of the meeting I raised my hand and asked specifically about the CRTC grant program, and how far away they are in installing the 5G network because it seemed a bit redundant for the grant program to continue if the 5G network will be up and running.  He said Canada ( or Bell – I’ll have to check my notes) aren’t ready for a 5G network, we’re still using 4G and we don’t expect to lay in the 5G network for another 4 or 5 years.  I would think Bell, Telus and Rogers would have something to say about Huawei given the green light to lay in 5G covering the Artic when they should have been offered the opportunity first, especially given the unique relationship that Bell has with AT&T.

The Bell Canada executive responded to my question in terms of the benefit that farmers in rural areas might receive in having such a network installed. “Well, uhhh…for example, if you’re a farmer and you have cattle grazing a large area and you lose a couple of them IoT can be helpful in locating them…” I think I caught him off guard but overall rural area didn’t seem to be a top priority for him because of the return on investment would be so low, I don’t know if that was the impression I got from him speaking personally or was he commenting as a Bell executive representative.

Woman farmer with tablet on a modern dairy farm. Smart farming. Robot shepherd. Internet of things in cattle grazing. Vector illustration.

If it’s Bell as a representative then I believe Huawei’s reason for covering the Artic would be militaristic.  Such as:  how many submarines are located by Greenland or the North Pole, how many of those subs are American, Russian, Canadian etc…  What type of weaponry do they have on board?  Is there an army base that we don’t know about on some scarce island with a stock pile of weaponry that’s nuclear, how many do they have or perhaps setting up a telecommunications and satellite hub – great for spying!

Cartoon Movement. Pitch Huawei-Spy

Just the simple fact that Bell and AT&T are affiliated with each other and given that Canada is still  holding Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou for extradition, that would most certainly interfere and perhaps cause a rift with diplomatic relations between China, USA and Canada.  What a mess that could be!  It’s like patting the dog on the head while kicking it in the ‘ass’ (sort of speak), making it a little too transparent that the holding of Meng Wanzhou is politically driven.  Also I would question Huawei’s ulterior motive for installing a 5G network that covers the Artic  given their reputation of spying.  Their interest in providing network coverage throughout the Artic, where there aren’t many paying customers, could be viewed as a militaristic operation, a plan to cover air space as a way to subvert the secrets they steal on their networks to transfer the data back to China.  I don’t know really how these thing work but one would think if you’re stealing information from your competitor you certainly wouldn’t want to transfer that data using your competitor’s networks – even if its encrypted – I wouldn’t do it.

Anvari.org, Cartoon 26 – Political Cartoons about Iran

“Domination, or safety, or peril, or destruction all is determined by the leader.” Xunzi

What type of leadership does China, and respectively Huawei, have and how do they wield their power?

  • Coercive Power:The ability to influence others through fear or punishment.
  • Expert Power:Have technical knowledge and expertise that others rely upon.  Having unique and useful knowledge is a source of power.  Individuals are likely to follow in the direction or instructions of someone who, they believe, understands the issue.
  • Effort Related Power:  Through active and dependable performance.

Coincidentally the US, under Trump’s stewardship, by the same mechanisms, makes these two leaders of equal value; one simply cannot over power the other.  Now let’s take this hypothetical situation into consideration.  Out of the three points above I would think that Huawei and China is respectively using ‘coercive power’ with Canada for Meng Wanzhou ‘s safe return to China.   They tried to demonstrate their power and might by embarking on our agricultural exports enforcing sanctions on pigs, canola and what have you – no response, she’s still here.  China has a million more ways that it could retaliate, according to an article in People’s Voice, China can devalue her currency vis-a-vis the dollar, or China can dump some of their almost US$3 trillion-worth of reserves on the money market- not so good for the US with ever more countries departing from the use of the dollar for international trade.  Or China, being part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) can levy herself high tariffs on  US imports, or stop US imports altogether, it has many alternatives to cover her demand.  Jenifer Bartman, a business adviser, explained to Global News that the issue revolves largely around U.S. and China relations — and Canada is caught in the middle. “We have this backdrop of all this uncertainty between these two parties, where Canada is not either party,” Bartman told Global News.  Which means, she said that the options for Canada in Meng’s case are limited, while the U.S. has the ability to drop the extradition.  Imagine that.  Now let’s look at the type of leadership these people possess because it’ll probably give us an indication of how all this might end.

Source: Daily Mail, Meng Wanzhou
  • Conservative Leadership – economic determinism. A state leadership that advocates maintaining an international status quo, adopts strategies that maintain the achievements of their predecessors.  Views the economy as the foundation of a state’s comprehensive capability. Policy makers have no intention on improving their country’s international status. It’s the most popular style of leadership especially with outgoing Ministers because they are leaving, they have no ambition.  This type of leadership opts to reduce international pressure by expanding economic relations with the states with whom it experiences conflict, therefore enabling them to enact sanctions to wield economic power over weaker states and subsequently improve relations by lifting such sanctions.
  • Aggressive Leadership – Social Darwinism. A state leadership with the ambition to increase it’s country’s international status through military means.  Believes in the efficacy of violent force, including military aggression and that successful establishment of an empire through wars was the only way to enlarge their country’s interstate power.  In times of peace this type of leadership may bring on disaster to its people and undermine the country’s international status.  Because forcefully obtaining benefits is a strategy favorable to the strong in competition against the weak such leadership of rising states often adopt the opportunistic policy of initiating military attacks against lesser states, including allies of dominant states.  This strategy may trigger a major war resulting from the escalation of military clashes between the rising state and an ally of the dominant state.

  • Proactive Leadership – Political determinism and believes that political talents are the decisive factor.  A state of leadership that advocates improving a country’s international status by carrying out appropriate reforms. They attribute the rise and fall of a state solely to the capability of that state’s leadership, taking no account of other factors. Favors strategies that enlarge international support for its cause and seeks allies to obtain military and political support necessary to counter dominant state suppression.  Provides strong leadership through proactive thinking.
  • Inactive Leadership – follows a Daoism of laissez-faire philosophy a state leadership that subscribes to the philosophy of governance by non interference.  maintains international current status, best strategy is non-action .

“Accordingly, one who uses the state to establish justice will be a sage king; one who establishes trust will be a hegemon’ and one who performs political deception will perish.” Xunzi

China/Huawei = coercive power and conservative leadership.  Trump/USA = Mainly uses expert power with proactive and aggressive leadership yet has no problem and will respond in kind with a ‘conservative leader’ who rules with “coercive ‘power.   And that’s why, folks, we will have “Chimerica” – a bi-polarization without a global leadership within the next ten years.  If these are the leadership styles of the two super powers, the question therefore remains how will the other countries and their styles of leadership fit within the system? How will they wield their power, would they pose a significant threat to the  two super powers? How will they influence global decision making?  And where does the UN fit into this as well as some consortium of international judiciary basically who can, and will, keep the two super powers in check?

The People’s Republic of China flag and the U.S. Stars and Stripes fly along Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol in Washington during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit, January 18, 2011. Hu arrived in the United States on Tuesday for a state visit with U.S. President Barack Obama that is aimed at strengthening ties between the world’s two biggest economies. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

Just look in the case of Venezula and the way in which the world watched helplessly as the US imposed sanction after sanctions on the country until they removed President Maduro from governing.  “Curiously these illegal sanctions or blockages of imports, most of them had been already paid for by the Venezula, it’s even reported that 40,000 people died during the conflicts with no recourse to its perpetrator, Washington.  There was no respect for law and order, no respect for human rights and human lives.”[People’s Voice, June 1-15] In response to a question I had asked about the countries  that make up the UN’s ability to ban together to intervene,  the answer given to me was that even if all the UN countries banned together collectively they still won’t have the might to weaken US [or China].   And here is where our society is at an impasse because if we do not like the prospect of a Chimerica or a G2 where all, especially humanitarian, progress is slow and everyone is weakened to these two leaderships.  The time is now and within the next 10 years to collectively work on plan B.  Now, this is just an idea that’s been perculating and you’ve certainly read murmers in my writings.

[Source: Daily Maverick]
The Venezuela crisis: US and Russia square off as Maduro must throw the dice
These two superpowers are based in a capitalist society and we already know that our earth, environments and systems can no longer sustain capitalist living.  It’s at this point we might want to learn a little Marxism for some inspiration but these world powers thrive in this type of society.  And we know that in order to avert climate disaster our societies and the way we choose to live within them have to change and its within that change you’ll see priorities changing as well. When priorities change we get new leaders who can rise to power.  Hollywood actor, Jeff Daniels, said this about the possibility of a Donald Trump re-election: ““You have to decide whether, like Atticus [Finch], you believe that there is compassion, decency, civility, respect for others, do unto others. All of that stuff you guys believe in, and you still voted not for Hillary [Clinton], or for [Donald] Trump. Where are you now?” Daniels said. “Because your kids are looking up at you going, ‘but he lies,’ and I think there are a lot of people in the Midwest who are going, ‘sigh.’ It might be enough for them. We’re gonna find out, you know, if the big gamble is to go all the way to November 2020, which I agree, and lose. It’s the end of democracy,” he said.

Sadly much of what we spoke about today will come to fruition even if the US does not choose Donald Trump as president in the next election.  It’s the “system” in which we operate that exalts these sorts of establishments and leadership styles into power and the way in which these leaders choose to govern can make it even worse.  We are having to deal with this “system” and its near future prospects because our priorities as voters and as consumerists haven’t changed. Until we do, nothing will change.  That’s why individuals such as Slovakia’s newly appointed president, Zuzana Caputova and New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Arden makes me slightly excited and hopeful because they could potentially strike a spark with their citizens or in other leaders to follow in their empathetic foot steps and a zeal for standing up  and ‘doing away with evil’.  A compassion that puts  the environment and ‘people first before economics‘.

I’m staying on the look out  for more potential leaders to report because we need to know who are the ones that are capable in doing the work and making the decision that helps save our world.  It’s got to be a collective of leaders and ones who can lead their countries in the true sense of democracy (we’ve never really operated a democratic society in its true sense) perhaps in doing so we might steer from a future of  a bi-poloar leadership.

Candidate Zuzana Čaputová attends a political debate ahead of Slovakia’s presidential elections. Photograph: Radovan Stoklasa/Reuters

Our current authoritarian leaders will never survive the type of society we need to create that would save our world.   Therefore, this “new order” will probably be brought forth by some sort of revolution, a necessary revolution not because it’s a “cool” thing to do but because we have to revolt – the safety of our planet and all of human existence is at stake! We’re doing it not because we may not “like” the leaders themselves but our very way of living is currently under threat and in order to save our environment,  save ourselves, save our children, save our world we need to operate our societies differently.  It will be highly probable that the incident that sparks a revolution would be one that follows the pattern of ‘Arab Spring’ yet it instead of spreading regionally, it will catch on globally.  It will be a type revolution on in that everyone in this world could relate for example; medical/health emergency/epidemic, economic woes, an ‘act of God’ that tears continents apart, a big crime bust, a senseless environmental disaster.  It could even be the extradition and trial of Meng Wanzhou and her path to freedom, where all sorts of issues will come into play such as cyber security, privacy, surveillance, espionage, freedom of expression, issues of in/equality, national vs individual security, national vs individual identity , GDPR, net neutrality, cyber justice and of course – the fact that she’s a woman.

What ever scenario it turns out to be, I guarantee, it would be a huge wake-up call for the world to take notice.

 

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