Here is a personal admission: I have mental health problems. I definitely suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). I may or may not suffer from severe clinical depression or psychosis (I don’t know what I suffer from as yet but I’m keeping an open mind). I did, however, suffer from severe clinical depression since 2013. I thought it was important for me to talk about my mental health to help to have an open debate about mental health and to reduce stigma by helping people understand mental health conditions. My OCD is largely under control, however. I don’t have any anxiety or severe compulsions because of the drug I’m taking called fluoxetine (which has the brand name Prozac), but I still have mild OCD where I have to do things a few times and I have to deal with intrusive thoughts, I have to be methodical about my decisions and I probably wash my hands too much (I’ll give a detailed list of what medications I’m on in another post). So this is my first blog post about my mental health. I will blog more on this subject in the future. The stigma for people with mental health problems is eroding as the years go by, but it’s still very high in Ireland (the country I’m from and live in), for example.
Nintendo is reportedly doubling Switch production. This is showing that Nintendo really created a niche for its Switch console by making it capable of being used on the go or anywhere outside of the living room. It also brought out good games like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Odyssey” to give its console some heft. However, I still believe that the Apple TV and the Android TV are the future of gaming.
If it wasn’t clear until now that there is a bubble in the tech industry, it is very clear now. Snap Inc.’s shares soared in its initial public offering by almost 50 per cent. This is crazy stuff from a company that Mark Zuckerberg is increasingly trying to emulate with its disappearing messages feature. The only thing that is uncertain is what will happen to this bubble. Will it deflate gradually or burst suddenly? It’s impossible to know but I guess that it will be on a downward trajectory of some kind at some point anyhow. Markets will be markets but what will be more interesting is how Snap Inc.’s hope of growing and changing the company will play out.
Trump only cares about his base of supporters when he carries out his actions or speaks or tweets. He doesn’t care about anyone else. He expects to get enough votes from non-decided voters in swing states in 2020. He just wants to get re-elected in four years.
Trump relaxing banking regulations could sow the seeds of the next financial crisis. I don’t think he understands that regulation is a good thing, as the consumers need to be protected, rather than a bad thing. It seems he takes his orders from Steve Bannon and somehow believes deregulation will cause growth in the short term. This is bad news for the long-term outlook for the world. Hopefully the next US president and government pushes back against this and undoes the damage before it’s too late.
The court judgement of ZeniMax getting $500m dollars for their lawsuit against Oculus will not take Oculus’s product down from the shelves, which is a great thing for the wider VR industry. That ZeniMax won this suit was interesting. It highlights that malpractice is still a part of the entrepreneurial DNA of Silicon Valley (hey, if you want to fulfil your dreams, sometimes you got to fight dirty).
Starbucks hiring refugees is something that has to be commended. These are the kinds of things companies can do to do good. CEO Howard Schultz’s insistence that he will keep up trade with Mexico is also a good thing. Still though, I cannot fully support Starbucks as a business. It’s still a purely capitalistic franchise, rather than a co-operative.
Microsoft are investing $1 billion into security. This is a very good move. Microsoft are doing very well at present. The focus on cloud computing has been a marvellous strategy, and this investment will help it offer a robust and secure cloud and enterprise offering.
The company has also diversified into mobile with its own suite of mobile apps and premium hardware, with its own computers. Its mobile strategy has been paying off big time, but I still am a bit reticent to praise its hardware efforts. It still feels like a mistake to try to take on Apple and other companies in the hardware stakes, though if they get a little success it may be worth it.
With a hard Brexit, Britain is shooting itself in both feet and then trying to dribble like Messi.
The United States is not a democracy. It is a plutocracy pretending to be a democracy. The politicians in the US always emphasise that the US is a democracy, but they protest too much. On an objective level, from an outsider looking in, it is pretty clear how corrupt and plutocratic the US is. And this was true before Donald Trump. The rich and the corporations still call the shots. The future is brighter, however. More people in the US are going to clamour for a true democracy in the future, and they will get it, eventually.