Coming April 23!
With Special Guest:
The Honorable John C. Demers
Assistant Attorney General
"Spy vs. You:
Evan Anderson, CEO, INVNT/IP
April 23, 2020
Lotte New York Palace Hotel
No matter how closely we look, 2019 and 2020 may turn out to have been two of the strangest years in memory, the former for all of the weird things that happened, the latter for those that did not. This fall, in place of the usual listicles of predictions from pundits (and what a horrid term that really is!) far and wide for the coming year's exciting innovations and events, we get articles from Bloomberg experts referring to books on why predicting is just so, well, hard.
Another article on 2020 makes the point that all the trends are ending, so, well, that guy's cupboard was bare, too.
But perhaps my favorite came from the No. 2 fellow at the CES show, running this week in Las Vegas, whose idea of the future is "5G, Streaming Media, and the Home Network." If this were 2015, he would be so right.
My suspicion is that those having so much trouble seeing forward are unaware of the deep connections between innovations, their pace and quality, and the national business models that drive them. But since this is our bread and butter, we have plenty on our plate.
This year, as last, we are offering up predictions at the annual event hosted by the Technology Alliance Group (TAG), in Bellingham, which will be happening on Friday, January 10, from 11:30 to 1:30. We'll be releasing this version of the Global Report a few minutes afterward.
For those interested in my longer comments on the general economic and technological landscapes in 2020, as well as a half-hour interview on Pattern Computer Inc. and its latest achievements and discoveries, I'd recommend staying tuned to next week, when we will post a URL for that video.
Here, meanwhile, are my Top Ten predictions for 2020, followed by a graded refresher in the "Takeout Window" on last year's calls.
(Ok, that was 11, but I couldn't resist.)
I hope these predictions shed a little light on where we're headed - and why - and I look forward to working with all of you to make the most of the coming year. Properly understood, there are plenty of new opportunities, particularly for those who have chosen true innovation over copying and theft.
A year from now, we'll review these predictions and see how they turned out. Meanwhile, members can look back at our predictions for last year in the "Upgrades" section below, together with the accuracy ratings we've assigned them.
Finally: in the spirit of the New Year, we are opening this first issue of 2020 as shareable by members with others.
Your comments are always welcome.
Mark R. Anderson
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Top Ten Predictions from 2019, Graded
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Re: SNS: Asia Letter, Q1 2020: Japan and the EU
[Author, Stealth Japan
Scott and Mark,
There is a large element of truth to this, but it overstates the case. It is not inherently corrupt to engage China. It works in both directions. As the rewards of working peacefully and constructively with the other country increase - on both sides - the likelihood of escalating conflict decreases. By all means we should be smart and self-interested in the rules and incentives we negotiate. But it's not binary - naivete or war.
The last 30 years has seen hundreds of millions of people in China, India and elsewhere lifted out of subsistence poverty. The human race has never before experienced anything like it. Some of that has come at the expense of our manufacturing base. But the US has steadily increased its manufacturing output during all that time. We have done it with far fewer workers thanks to technology and capital investments.
President Obama came into office determined to "pivot to Asia" to counter the long-term emergence of China (after climate change, the biggest geopolitical challenge of the 21st Century). That required reducing our engagements in the Middle East (which he felt have been a drain on our attention and resources out of proportion with our strategic interests). That, in turn, required getting Iran to dismantle its nuclear program (the hottest spark in the region). And, at its core, building a rules-based Asia Pacific alliance under US leadership, and excluding China - the TPP. At the same time, increasing mutually-beneficial economic ties, and exposing their best and brightest to US institutions and thought - I think that was a more effective strategy than a tariff war and belligerent bullying (Chinese, like us, are proud nationalists and aren't inclined to acquiesce in zero-sum humiliation).
[Founding General Partner
P.S. I find it tragically ironic that China is corroding our society with exports of fentanyl, mirroring the Western use of opium to weaken the Qing dynasty in the 19th Century.
Obama may have been better in Asia in terms of foreign policy. My frame of reference is the Middle East... where he was a disaster. I'm willing to accept that for Asia he was likely better... much likely better.
Mark and friends,
TPP was blatantly the very first thing on Two Scoops's list of endeavors to destroy, as part of his contract with Putin and Xi etc to destroy American influence in the world. It was HALF of his mission. Because had TPP stood, all of Asia would have been united with us. While TPP might have been imperfect, it was on-off. When we dropped it, the Philippines and Vietnam and all the rest began scurrying to bow before Beijing.
[Author and Physicist
Mark and friends,
Russ, I agree except when you introduce Obama as foreign policy strategist.... for which I heartedly disagree.
Greg, Mark, and friends,
The biggest Obama win re Middle East. While fracking has its problems we'll pay for, under his admin the US became energy independent for the first time since 1968. We took our vulnerable fleet out of the Straits of Hormuz. We gained the ability to say F--off to the Middle East and they could see it coming, with Saudi and Israel holding talks. What's the beef again?
Mark and friends,
What, specifically, was wrong with President Obama's strategic approach to the Middle East?
Which elements, in particular:
1/ Built a broad international coalition, including Russia and China, imposing crippling sanctions on Iran with the explicit goal of forcing them to dismantle their nuclear program. (That coalition and those sanctions would not have been possible in furtherance of regime change or other goals.)
2/ Negotiate the peaceful dismantling of Iran's nuclear program and the most intrusive inspection regime ever agreed to by any country. Are we better off without that agreement?
3/ Fulfilling the requirements of Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq signed by Bush in November 2008, requiring the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. Overall, withdrawing 170,000 US troops from the Middle East. Would we better off with those troops still in the Middle East?
4/ Fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq through an alliance with the Kurds that entailed a minimal US footprint. Would we have been better off with more US troops directly engaged in that war?
The end result was to free up our attention and resources to focus on Asia.
And where are we now? We alienated our allies by walking away from the Iran nuclear deal. Iran is ramping up its nuclear program again. We have betrayed the Kurds. We are tilting policy in the region heavily toward the corrupt, authoritarian Medieval royal family of Saudi Arabia. (What is our long-term strategic interest in siding with that regime in an escalating Sunni-Shia regional conflict?) And we are adding troops back to [the] region:
WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is considering a significant expansion of the U.S. military footprint in the Middle East, including dozens more ships, other military hardware and as many as 14,000 additional troops to counter Iran, U.S. officials said.
The deployment could double the number of U.S. military personnel who have been sent to the region since the start of a troop buildup in May. President Trump is expected to make a decision on the new deployments as soon as this month, those officials said.
The additional forces would join the roughly 14,000 U.S. service members sent to the region since May, when American intelligence analysts identified a threat from Iran and the U.S. Central Command commander, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, requested additional ships, missile-defense platforms and troops....
I'll take President Obama's Middle East "disaster" any day.
Subj: Re: China plays US as media and military go missing
I agree with Russ and David about the Middle East. What is this nonsense? American "intelligence analysts" identified a threat from Iran in May? It's a yo-yo. Send troops, bring troops home, send troops, bring them home. No strategy, no plan for victory, just send the cannon fodder to keep the commanders and military industrial complex happy. No permanent war, no job, no budget. Trump may think he looks Presidential in that photo with troops, but he is joining the stupid wars he complained about and which more than half of the electorate and more than 60% of Middle East war veterans oppose.
As for Asia, Trump was a Japan basher and a tariff advocate in the 1980s. He'd been waiting to impose them - and shut down the trade agreements that made them impossible - for decades. And he wanted to undo anything Obama did just because Obama did it. And don't forget, Hillary also turned against TPP, correctly reading the changing attitude of American voters toward one way, job killing, exceedingly expensive "free" trade.
So, led by Japan and Australia, the other countries involved formed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP-11 (the old TPP minus the US) and Japan entered into trade, investment and strategic agreements with the EU. No one went scurrying off to China - they already did a lot of trade with China, usually more than with the US. Trump's withdrawal from the TPP - combined with protectionism and China's ongoing trade liberalization - means that the US offers allies no growth while helping force China to open up. Which it is doing for everyone except the US. All of them - Japanese, Europeans, Southeast Asians - are expanding business with China while America shuts itself out (it used to complain about being shut out) and China steadily reduces its dependence on the US. A serious own-goal for Trump and a long-term negative for the US.
Which is what happens when shit floats to the top of a grossly mismanaged, gerrymandered, money and media driven democracy.
Mark and friends,
Don't worry, Princeling Jared will solve all the problems with our China trade relationships, having brought about Middle East peace and building The Wall (with Mexico paying):
Forget nukes, the insults are escalating!
Mark and friends,
While threatening the lives of every American west of the Rockies... a murderous communist tyrant far more seriously threatens to retract "falling in love."
It's okay, Trump is also in love with other communist and "ex"-communist dictators, whose path in the world he has assiduously helped for three years while demolishing our alliances and sciences and skilled officer corps and every fact-using profession. They'll show him more gratitude, perhaps?
(Not a chance, the instant they see him as more a liability than useful. God Bless the US Secret Service.)
I address some of Putin's "liability options" in Polemical Judo.
Mark and friends,
Jared is definitely a problem... along with Donald.
Mark and friends,
Back to China: While I am somewhat more hawkish than Zakaria, I'm in general agreement with the views he articulates here:
I think it is a useful perspective.
Mark and friends,
Yes, it is a very good article. It is too long to comment on in detail, but this strikes me as important:
It is worth noting that on the economic front, almost every charge leveled at China today - forced technology transfers, unfair trade practices, limited access for foreign firms, regulatory favoritism for locals - was leveled at Japan in the 1980s and 1990s. At the time, Clyde Prestowitz's influential book Trading Places: How America Is Surrendering Its Future to Japan and How to Win It Back explained that the United States had never imagined dealing with a country in which "industry and trade [would be] organized as part of an effort to achieve specific national goals."
"never imagined" - Really? The U.S. fought and won WWII with a command economy. America's continental railways and interstate expressways were built without national strategic purpose? I am a fan of Prestowitz, but this is rubbish. Washington, DC, was self-absorbed, that's all, the politicians and the institutions designed to analyze the rest of the world failing to do their job, as usual. They were blindsided by Japan, failed to understand Vietnam, screwed up with the Shah of Iran, indulged in wishful thinking with China, and the list goes on.
Look at the photo of Bolsonaro smiling with the other BRICS leaders. Trump has done a Great Deal with China - for Brazil.
Subj: This while they're complaining about Huawei's treatment...
Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) Tweeted:
Just published: front page of the Financial Times, UK edition, Monday 9 December
Subject: wow. I first heard this from you last week. You've got a friend.
Gordon G. Chang (@GordonGChang) Tweeted:
#China is divorcing the outside world. To protect ourselves, is it time to start barring Chinese nationals from employment in the US? Forget the failed notion of "proportionality." Our response to Beijing's discrimination must be overwhelming.
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* On January 10, Mark will be speaking at the annual SNS Predictions Event at the TAG annual meeting, at Syre Hall, Whatcom College, Bellingham, WA. * On April 23, he will be hosting the newly minted annual FiReSide NYC, again at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel. * And on October 6-9, 2020, he will be hosting the 18th annual Future in Review Conference, at The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California. Register now for the year's best rate, at: www.futureinreview.com.
In between times, he will be installing deer whistles on the embattled M3 and opening an island petting zoo. OK, kidding about the zoo.
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