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Post-Trump Election Tab Dump: What I’m Reading

  • ‘Deplorables’ Rise Up to Reshape America,” by The WSJ‘s Gerald F. Seib. (yesterday):

    In short, Mr. Trump and his followers have, in one dramatic stroke, transformed the GOP from a traditionally conservative party into an avowedly populist one.

  • The Voters Decide,” by Ben Thompson (March 2016). Politics “is just the latest industry to be transformed by the Internet,” he writes.
  • Democracy’s Destabilizer: TMI,” by Virginia Postrel. (Dec. 2015). References a 2014 book I have just begun reading, “The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium,” by Martin Gurri. Postrel writes:

    Information used to be scarce. Now it’s overwhelming. In his book “The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium,” Gurri considers the political implications of this change. He argues that the shift from information scarcity to abundance has destroyed the public’s established trust in institutional authorities, including media, science, religion, and government.

  • Has Election 2016 been a turning point for the influence of the news media?” (yesterday), by Pablo Bocskowski:

    “The stark contrast between editorial dynamics and electoral preferences might lead to two trends directly affecting the news media in the short-term future.”

  • 5 Reasons Why Trump will Win” (July 2015), by Michael Moore.
  • The Cycles of American History“, a 1986 book by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. on the “recurring struggle between pragmatism and idealism in the American soul.”
  • Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy” (2012), by by Chris Hayes. “A powerful and original argument that traces the roots of our present crisis of authority to an unlikely source: the meritocracy.
  • Amazing Video: Hippo Devouring a Watermelon in One Bite

    This Vine, embedded above and online here, is mesmerizing. I saw it posted to Twitter recently.

    There’s a slightly longer version, with an alternate — and more frightening, given how close the camera is to the creature’s maw — view on YouTube here.

    And then there’s the original video, which includes a bit more footage before the chomping occurs.

    It comes from the Nagasaki Bio Park in Japan, according to this this UPI story from April, and its description reads “Learn how hippopotamus eat whole watermelon!”

    Indeed.

    Video: The Things You See in New Delhi Traffic

    Traffic here in New Delhi is often many things: chaotic, congested, beguiling. 

    It is never, however, boring. 

    Here’s a video I recorded one recent night on the way home from work. 

    Great Wall of China and South China Sea: Historical Parallels

    2016 07 01 South China Sea

    Highly recommended: The WSJ‘s Andrew Browne on parallels between China’s Great Wall, which was erected at a time of debate about the country’s role in the world, and their current claims in the South China Sea:

    Echoes of this history reverberate today in the South China Sea, where China is building massive fortifications — artificial islands dredged from the seabed — to help defend a “nine-dash line” claim that encircles almost the entire waterway and reaches almost 1,000 miles from China’s coastline.

    U.S. Adm. Harry Harris rails against the man-made islands as a “Great Wall of Sand.” Defense Secretary Ash Carter warns that China risks building a “Great Wall of self-isolation” through actions that have alarmed its neighbors.

    In a matter of days, a United Nations-backed court in The Hague is expected to rule on a challenge to China’s claim brought by the Philippines. The decision will address an issue that has preoccupied Chinese dynasties since antiquity: Where does China end?

    This has infuriated Chinese leaders; the presumptuousness of foreign jurists sitting in judgment upon what China regards as a matter of Chinese sovereignty is intolerable. Beijing has boycotted the proceedings.

    Yet there’s an even more fundamental issue at play, one that dominated the debate in the old Ming court and that has rumbled on ever since: How should China conduct its relations with the world?

    Image: Wikipedia.

    Norm Ornstein Explains the Rise of Donald Trump

    Norm Ornstein, of the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, explains the rise of Donald Trump:

    When you look at populism over the longer course of both American history and other countries that have suffered economic traumas as a result of financial collapse, you’re gonna get the emergence of some leaders who exploit nativism, protectionism, and isolationism. They’re components — sometimes greater, sometimes lesser — that are baked into the process. So you’ve got a bit of that.

    But if you forced me to pick one factor explaining what’s happened, I would say this is a self-inflicted wound by Republican leaders.

    Over many years, they’ve adopted strategies that have trivialized and delegitimized government. They were willing to play to a nativist element. And they tried to use, instead of stand up to, the apocalyptic visions and extremism of some cable television, talk radio, and other media outlets on the right.

    And add to that, they’ve delegitimized President Obama, but they’ve failed to succeed with any of the promises they’ve made to their rank and file voters, or Tea Party adherents. So when I looked at that, my view was, “what makes you think, after all of these failures, that you’re going to have a group of compliant people who are just going to fall in line behind an establishment figure?”

    Related post from last month: Michael Barone: ‘Trump Can’t Break the Republican Party.’.

    To which Mr. Ornstein might reply: It’s already broken, and that’s why Trump’s the Republican nominee.

    In This Week’s Newley’s Notes: Singapore’s ‘Smart Nation;’ Trump on India; Conroy on SC Eats; Dog Hug Warnings

    The latest edition of my email newsletter has gone out to subscribers. It’s pasted in below.

    To get these weekly dispatches delivered to your inbox, sign up here. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s brief — and few people unsubscribe!


    Hi friends,

    Thanks for reading Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter where I share my WSJ stories, posts from my blog, and various interesting links.

    What I wrote in The Wall Street Journal:

    Singapore Is Taking the ‘Smart City’ to a Whole New Level – I’m really proud of this story, which was months in the making.

    My colleague Jake Watts and I wrote about the Singapore government’s unprecedented effort to collect data and assist city planners in making the country run more smoothly. There are, as we note, some privacy concerns.

    We also worked with colleagues on this interactive feature, which includes three animated videos showing how some of the technologies work. You might recognize the narrator’s voice.

    The story has proven quite popular, spending some time among the most-read stories on WSJ.com over the last few days and attracting more than 50 comments on our site. As of this writing it has been liked and shared more than 9,000 times on Facebook, and has garnered more than 100 comments there.

    What Donald Trump Said About Indian Call Center Workers – At a rally in Delaware, the Republican front-runner described his experience calling his credit card company in what he said was a quest to investigate outsourcing.

    5 items that are worth your time this week:

    1) Dogs don’t like being hugged. I really hope this research is off-base, but it makes sense.

    2) Speaking of dogs: At a recent Atlanta Braves game, a dog in a hot dog costume ate a hot dog. I love it. (Via Patrick B.)

    3) “Why do thieves steal soap?”” An interesting look at the economics of theft, including fencing, market demand and retail value.

    4) Improbable quote of the week:

    “Now I hear millennials and people of all ages saying Crystal City is so cool,”

    Wait, is Crystal City, Virginia becoming…hip?

    5) Hunger-inducing quote of the week: Pat Conroy on South Carolina food – among the state’s many wonders:

    The subject of food is a serious one the length and breadth of this state. Our barbeque sauce is mustard-based and our peanuts are boiled and served in wet paper bags. An oyster roast in sight of a lowcountry river is an act of priest-like enjoyment and cause for a pagan-like joy. At a Charleston hospital during my Citadel years, I met a leper who told me he contracted leprosy when he killed and ate an armadillo. I’ve no idea if he was telling the truth or not, but I didn’t wish to shake his hand and armadillo meat shall never pass my lips – but that’s the kind of thing that turns up when you’re moseying around South Carolina and you don’t mind talking to strangers.

    (Thanks, Miles B.!)

    Reader feedback: Regarding the very strange upcoming flick “Swiss Army Man,” which I mentioned last week, Colin C. writes in to say: “I liked Swiss Army Man better when it was called Cast Away and starred Tom Hanks. That movie was delightful.”

    Agreed!

    Have a great week!

    @Newley

    P.S. If someone forwarded you this email, you can subscribe here.

    Michael Barone: ‘Trump Can’t Break the Republican Party’

    Michael Barone, in a WSJ op-ed Friday, puts the Trump phenomenon in historical context:

    Even if Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination and somehow overcomes current polls to be elected president, there will be few Trump clones among Republicans in Congress and in state and local office.

    If he is nominated and defeated by a wide margin, he will not leave behind a Trumpist movement with the popular and intellectual depth of the conservative movement following Goldwater’s defeat 52 years ago—his legacy may be little more than an impulse toward opposition to trade agreements and legalization of illegal immigrants. If he is not nominated and tries to run as an independent, he will not have the support of as significant a third-party apparatus as Theodore Roosevelt did 104 years ago.

    As this is written, it seems likely but not certain that Mr. Trump will fall visibly short of the 1,237-delegate majority, and that he will inflict significant damage on the Republican Party by protests or perhaps an independent candidacy. But probably nothing like the serious, though temporary, damage inflicted by that vastly more talented, experienced and intellectually serious disruptive New Yorker, Theodore Roosevelt.

    2 Recent Stories: Asia Shopping Apps and Garena Fundraising

    A recent week-long vacation combined with subsequent general busyness means I’ve been delayed in pointing out a couple of recent stories.

    The first is a story my colleague and I put together on the rise of Asia-focused consumer-to-conumser shopping apps. Think eBay, but for the smartphone age.

    The piece begins:

    Instead of listening to music or playing videogames during his daily train commute in Singapore, Jay Pang uses the down time for something different: selling rare sets of Legos via his smartphone.

    Mr. Pang frequently manages listings for his online business using a new e-commerce app called Shopee. The app was created by a unit of Garena Online, a fast-growing Internet startup in Singapore valued at $2.5 billion. Mr. Pang frequently taps away on his Samsung Galaxy smartphone during his ride, haggling over prices with customers in real time.

    The 29-year-old engineer’s on-the-go business offers a look at the changing face of commerce in the era of the smartphone and is a blueprint for how mobile shopping could evolve elsewhere.

    Consumers in the U.S. use their mobile devices more for getting directions or listening to music than for making purchases, according to a 2015 survey by the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center.

    But a handful of Asian startups are starting to change the commercial landscape by offering apps that let individuals buy and sell goods directly from one another more easily than on traditional Web-based sites like eBay. The so-called peer-to-peer commerce market is attracting funding from international investors and some companies have valuations of $1 billion or more despite the global economic slowdown.

    There’s also a video, narrated by yours truly, embedded at the top of the post and online here.


    The second story, out Thursday, is an exclusive: Singapore-based startup Garena has has raised a new round of funding at a valuation of about $3.75 billion.

    The piece begins:

    Investors are plowing fresh funds into a fast-growing Internet company focused on populous Southeast Asia despite falling valuations for some less-successful startups in the U.S.

    Garena Interactive Holding Ltd. has raised $170 million in fresh capital in a fundraising round led by Malaysia’s state investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd., valuing the Singapore-based online entertainment and e-commerce startup at about $3.75 billion, according to a person familiar with the situation.

    Garena has now raised more than $500 million, including a round of fundraising in March 2015 that valued the firm at more than $2.5 billion, the person said. The company didn’t disclose other investors in the new round. Earlier investors include the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of Canada’s biggest pension funds, and U.S.-based private-equity fund General Atlantic LLC, though neither participated in the new round.

    There’s a video for this one, too, embedded above and online here.

    By Me Last Week: Facebook Asia-Pac VP Dan Neary Talks Growth in the Region

    2016-03-20neary

    Facebook, as we all know, has a gargantuan user base — some 1.59 billion people, to be exact.

    And as its recent earnings show, the company is doing extremely well, raking in more than $1 billion in quarterly profit for the first time.

    Last week here in Singapore I spoke with Dan Neary (pictured), Facebook’s Asia-Pacific vice president, about big picture trends in the region.

    In short, the company seems to have many reasons to be bullish on continued Asia expansion.

    The story begins:

    Facebook Inc. is adding users in Asia at a much faster rate than other parts of the world, an executive said, showing the recent controversy over the firm’s free Internet service in India is not deterring the social networking giant’s expansion in this part of the world.

    Dan Neary, Facebook’s vice president for Asia Pacific, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Tuesday that some 540 million of Facebook’s 1.59 billion monthly active users were in Asia as of the end of December, up from 449 million a year earlier.

    Facebook is adding users in Asia at a rate of about 20% annually compared to 14% globally, he said.

    “The potential is greater in Asia-Pacific than it is in any other region because we’ve got two thirds of the world’s population, and it’s all mobile,” Mr. Neary said.

    Also, for the first time, Instagram has broken out the number of users in a country outside the U.S.: It has 22 million in Indonesia, up from 11 million a year ago:

    Mr. Neary pointed out that the company’s image-sharing platform, Instagram, is popular in many parts of Asia, as is its WhatsApp messaging app. Instagram is making particularly big gains in Indonesia, Mr. Neary said, which is a key global market due to its population of 250 million.

    The service now has some 22 million monthly active users, up from 11 million a year earlier, making it one of Instagram’s fastest growing markets. Instagram has not previously broken out its user base by country, though it said in September that more than 75% of its community is outside the U.S.

    Again, the full story in online here.

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