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Is Elon Musk's Neuralink a good idea?

It is a very smart idea to try to figure out how to use tiny robots to embed things into our brains that help us think faster. But there are gonna be some crazy implications if this works and a lot of people who get hurt, if it doesn't.

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Can Europe agree on extending sanctions on Russia?

Yes yes, that was done yesterday. No problem whatsoever. There wasn't even a discussion, it was just done.

Can Europe agree on a climate deal?

Yes, sort of. There has been agreement between the vast majority of member states that we should be emission neutral by 2050 - no contribution to climate change. Negative climate change from Europe by 2050. Three member states: Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary, had some difficulties with the formal decision that has to do with our dependence upon coal among other things. But I would expect them to fall in line within the next few months. So Europe clearly the undisputed leader when it comes to fighting climate change. That's the way it should be.

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I'm in Athens for a bit of a different Media in 60 this week. I'm at a media conference where everyone has been reading the same piece of research. The digital news report out of the Reuters Institute in Oxford. Really the biggest piece of media research to come out every year. I recommend you read all 150 pages. However, for now, I'll give you the Cliff Notes in 60 seconds.

First pivot to pay more and more newsrooms are moving to subscription or membership model but the number of people willing to pay for news is actually plateauing and when they do pay it's only for one subscription. So it is a winner takes all model and in a battle between the New York Times subscription and your Netflix, Netflix almost always wins.

Second is pivot to private. So we're seeing declining use of Facebook though people are not giving it up altogether. Increased use of WhatsApp and Instagram which is good for them because it's the exact same company. Those were a couple of really smart acquisitions. We're also seeing more and more sharing and commenting of news in private or semi-private groups rather than in public feeds because probably people just feel safer there.

Third is pivot to audio. Podcast is in. 1 in 3 people have listened to one in the past month 1 in 2 for the under 35 audience and finally trust always a big issue. Trust is down two points to 42% of people saying they generally trust the media less than half of people even trust outlets that they themselves go to for their news. People feel that journalists are better at breaking news than explaining it so hopefully I'm explaining here. And also we're seeing massive news avoidance one in three people just avoiding the news. It's up 11 points in the UK because people are so so fed up with Brexit understandably.

Is the deal with Mexico a huge win or a mirage?

Well it's largely a mirage. These are things the Mexicans have alreadyagreed to do on the border, coupled with agricultural purchases that Trump appears to have entirely fabricated.

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Will the Ocasio-Cortez-Cruz bill pass Congress?

I don't think so. I don't think members actually want to do that. Plus it's almost certainly unconstitutional but it's good politics on Twitter.

Will Trump put tariffs on imports from Mexico?

Yes I think he will. At least the 5% on June 10th will go into effect. Where we go from there? Who knows.

How are Democrats dealing with increased calls for impeachment?

Well not very well. Still a bit of a confused mess. They really need to make a call to begin impeachment proceedings or move on.

Now for the rant.

My rant unsurprisingly is on President Trump's visit to the U.K. He's already called the mayor of London a "stone cold loser" engaged in a debate on whether he called a member of the royal family nasty and yes he did do that, it's on tape. This all when we supposed to be celebrating the special relationship and the defeat of Nazi tyranny in Germany. Not a proud moment for the United States.

Will Boris Johnson be the next UK Prime Minister?

He is certainly odds-on-favorite. And the fact that he is a hard line Brexiteer and a very charismatic one, especially after Nigel Farage's Brexit party did particularly well in the European elections, means there are a lot of Tories that want to keep the Conservative Party together that are going end up supporting him. It is his to lose. He is very capable though of losing it.

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Should companies be fined for not closing their gender pay gap?

Kamala Harris put forth a proposal this past week in which companies with 100+ employees would be required to show the pay data and would pay fines if they‚ are not closing their gender pay gap. I am pretty open to new solutions to this problem because, for forever, there have been gender gaps in pay, gaps for minorities in pay, that have been stubbornly persistent. We know that even having laws against them haven't worked. So, disclosure, paying fines - perhaps doing something to move this along will have a great benefit for women, for their families, for people who are not in the majority of the workforce, and eventually, for the economy.

What the heck is going on with Uber after it went public?

Well, look, there are market forces, there's a trade war with China, there's the fact that Uber was sort of long in the tooth by the time it went public -- that can be contributors to the pressure on the stock. But one that I would put out there that's worth thinking about in the venture-funded companies: The investors in those companies -- the price is set by folks who want to be in them, one might say the high bidder. Whereas in the public markets, it's the average of those who are looking to buy and looking to sell, not the high bidder. So you're seeing Uber, from the last round of financing sort of settle back in.

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