Best Of The Web
“The grisly revelation of Jamal Khashoggi’s detention and death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has upended the longtime elite foreign-policy consensus around the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia. But it’s not just wonks and think tankers who suddenly find themselves unable to countenance their ties with the Saudis. Silicon Valley has long looked to the vast riches of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund for investment capital, and following outcry over Khashoggi’s death, Wall Street titans, tech executives, and their media cheerleaders said they would no longer attend the ongoing Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh. Twitter announced that it was banning accounts linked to Saudi propaganda efforts, and British mogul Richard Branson declared that if confirmed, Khashoggi’s murder “would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi Government.”
But for all the hasty cancellations from the so-called “Davos in the Desert,” Silicon Valley is unlikely to totally cut the cord with Saudi Arabia. Despite the bold public statements, a number of firms reportedly sent junior-level staffers to the conference anyway — and no one has said outright that they would no longer be working with the Saudi Arabian government. Though there’s never been anything like the outrage over Khashoggi’s apparent murder, there’s too much at stake for the tech industry to forswear the Kingdom’s money piles altogether.
The relationship between the tech industry and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always made clear business sense for both parties. In the decade after the Great Recession, San Francisco Bay Area tech companies like Uber and Slack began to skyrocket in value amid exploding user growth and successive rounds of American venture capital. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s billionaire rulers, cognizant that Aramco dollars wouldn’t be flowing forever, began staking out an investment portfolio to reflect a new ambition of a greener, high-tech future for the Kingdom.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"...after five months of canceled meetings and muted statements of dissatisfaction by both countries, experts say there is no sign of progress toward the Singapore goal of so-called "denuclearization" of the North."
"The presidential news conferences have become frustrating to watch and, doubtless, are frustrating for President Trump to engage in. While we have freedom of the press in our country, we should not tolerate unprofessionalism."
"It's highly unlikely that Israel's center-left parties will form a coalition to run together in the 2019 election, but they should not abandon efforts to find common ground to fight for."
"Cam has the brilliant audacity to argue that the internet isn’t about connecting people. Netflix’s slick, saucy new horror noir understands the existential terror of losing your carefully curated fictional internet persona."
"Wealthy nations have strong currencies. A strong dollar allows Americans to buy goods, services and resources from other countries at low prices."
"China’s leaders like the internet they have created. And now, they want to direct the nation’s talent and tech acumen toward an even loftier end: building an innovation-driven economy, one that produces world-leading companies."
"At an inaugural desert festival of yogis and spirit guides like Russell Brand, an exclusive industry grapples with consumerism, addiction, and the actual meaning of wellness."
"The confusing thing about Franzen is that even people who hate him admit that he is a great novelist, and even people who love him admit that his essays are often a little on the insufferable..."
"“And just like that” or “in the blink of an eye” are familiar captions on parenting milestone photos. But for me, while the days were long, not even one year flew by."
"How the Silicon Valley set fell in love with sourdough and decided to disrupt the 6,000-year-old craft of making bread, one crumbshot at a time."
"...everyone can — and should — learn quantum mechanics. It’s not rocket science — it’s a fundamental part of how our world works, and not as complex as you might fear."
"New Hebrew University initiative brings international students to Yoga studio run by Breslov Hasidim for course on 'Judaism and the Body.'"