The New Silk Road

There are projects, big projects, and empire-level projects. We have a global empire in the making, and this is one of most significant warning signs ever in human history. Ever heard of the Silk Road? Well, the remake will eclipse the original version this time.

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Deep Space Capitalism, here we come!

Sometimes, you have to love capitalism. I’m serious, this post is not a joke. For decades, science fiction fan and space enthusiasts like me dreamed about the first steps in the new space race, the colonization of our Solar System. A big part of this dream is related to the transformation of the asteroids in useful minerals sources, not to mention the chance to use some of them as bases in the Asteroid Belt.

There’s a beautiful site, aptly named Asterank (link here), where the available data about known asteroids are compiled and offered for public use. What amazes me the most is the purposed classification of the asteroids, something that speaks volumes about our possible future. “Most cost effective” or “Most valuable” may appear as bizarre right now, but are nonetheless an effective way to look at our rocky neighbors.

An example? The asteroid Bennu (that will be reached by the OSIRIS-REX mission for a sample-return mission) is listed at 669.96 million USD value for an estimated profit of 185 million USD. Not bad at all. Want more? The asteroid Ryugu, actually in the crosshairs of the Hayabusa2 mission for another sample-return mission, is listed at 82.76 billion USD  for an estimated profit of 30.07 billion USD. That’s much better! For many asteroids and other celestial bodies, there are not enough data so it will be pointless to estimate values. Others are too little or too far to be of any commercial interest.

Is there Capitalism in deep space? Not today. Not even tomorrow. It’s still something I hope to see in my lifetime.

France and Africa: a matter of money

The recent hush-hush between Italy and France about immigration from Africa stirred many discussions in the ‘net, with a whole lot of rage and indignation for the harsh words used by the French President and other people related to the French authorities against Italy.

When it comes to Africa and to the complex history between African countries and the former European powers the name of France stands out for a decision made in 1945, right after the Bretton Woods Agreements. They created two brand new currencies, named CFA Franc and CFP Franc, for their colonies with a fixed exchange with the French Franc. The former was created for the African colonies, the latter for the overseas territories (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna). To add a layer of bureaucratic redundancy, CFA Franc was split in West African Franc and Central African Franc.

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Italy and the Corruption Perception Index

You know, here in Italy we got a long and established relationship with the concept of corruption.

We could say that we set the whole stuff into a more organized machine back in the times of the Roman Empire and then carrying on such a damned tradition thru the Dark Ages and then to the modern world. I’m not exactly happy about that, let’s say that I’m trying to contain my rage in a box made of cynicism.

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The new frontier of Cyber attacks – physical damage

We all know something about cybercrime and cyber attacks, right? Many experienced some kind of virus and/or had one of our accounts violated by some unknown wannabe hacker (the definition of hacker is something different, see below).
The goal of such crimes is about information and money, right? Grab some password, divert money to cryptocurrency account located in another country and so on. End of the story.

No. There’s more than that. Much more.

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Gender equality is still far away

Today is about women, of course. Aside from celebrations and cultural events, the focus of this post will be about a simple concept – equal pay for women.

The year 2018 will be remembered for many different things, most still in the future of course, but one is absolutely pertinent for women. From the first day of this year in Iceland, a new law came into effect that will force firms with 25 or more workers to pay equal amounts of money to men and women. This law requires complying before the end of 2018 (link HERE).

No other country in the world got itself a similar law in effect. Let this fact sink in for a moment.

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