Foreign Influence

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The Other Stuff Going on in the World: Hong Kong • Taiwan • Neural Pigs

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg, taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week we discuss some of the events we feel haven't gotten enough attention, as the US election and covid-19 dominate everyone's attention:

• Early on in FI we discussed the protests in Hong Kong and how we felt they were a front line in the defense of civil liberties in the 21st century. Unfortunately, things have not ended well. And it's precipitating a broader realignment in Asia.

• China and the US could be headed toward a confrontation over Taiwan and in the South China Sea unless cooler heads prevail.

• Neural pigs! On treadmills! That is to say, Elon Musk held a live demonstration of a new technology his company is developing called Neuralink, that directly connects a brain - in this case, a pig's - with a computer. Cyborgs aren't far away.

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

Truth Is Hard and That Ain’t Good • Parliamentary Politics Are Good • Our Good News Supply Dried Up

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg, taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week:

• Bill despairs at finding a common truth for Americans, while Nikolaj is just baffled by the entire spectacle. Conspiracy theories are running rampant, but it doesn't matter because we only believe people like us, anyway.

• Parliamentary-style politics might help save the day. Or at least we could feel a little better casting our vote.

• And this is a real emergency - our source for good news is running dry! Way to go, 2020.

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

Back After Bill’s Long March Back to the US

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg, taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week:

• We're back after all the baloney Bill had with moving back to the US. 

• US presidential politics holds its conventions.

• In the good news, the dogs are taking our jobs. 🤔

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

End of an Era • The West Has Given Up on Covid-19 • Masks Are for Suckers, It Seems

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg, taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week:

• Bill and Nikolaj record in the same studio for the last time in the foreseeable future. 

• The US, the Netherlands, France - everyone in the West seems to be giving up on fighting SARS-Cov-2.

• Somewhere along the line masks became controversial, and we're still confused. Stupid science.

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

Police Violence Protests Continue • Tech & Contact Tracing In Singapore • Restoring the US Reputation

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg, taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week:

• Protests against police violence against blacks continue in the US, and police are using ugly tactics against protestors.

• Singapore is preparing to require people to put on a wearable tracker when they go out in order to improve covid-19 contact tracing.

• The international reputation of the US is on the ballot.

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

The ‘Merica Edition • Protests and Riots Rage • Singapore As Another Way? • SpaceX

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg, taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week, an episode mostly on 'Merica. Highlights are below, but please make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

• Cities across the United States are exploding with protests and riots over the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the knee of a white police officer. Racial disparities in policing and the culture wars in the US over them are, sadly, nothing new. 

• Singapore might be one example of a country that prevents racial tensions through its media and housing policies, but those interventions are unlikely to get support in the west.

• The US passes a grim milestone of 100,000 dead from covid-19, but on a per capita basis, it still trails behind.

• In a hint of international news, Europe is stuck in the middle of the US-China standoff over 5G technology and Huawei.

• The good news, including SpaceX's successful launch of humans into space from US soil, an example of police de-escalating, and turning 100 with a cook, frosty American (definitely not European) beer.

Thanks for listening!

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

Hong Kong Requiem • Checking Your Expat Privilege • Masks as Middle Fingers

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week:

• China lays the groundwork for a final crackdown on Hong Kong

• Reflecting on the privileges and restrictions of being an expat, based on this NYT article.

• Masks become a culture war icon, and we're baffled

Thanks for listening!

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Also, please sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch. We'll have links, more info, and commentary from us.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, practice social distancing, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

How South Korea Crushed the Coronavirus Outbreak with science journalist Mark Zastrow

In this episode of the Foreign Influence Podcast, we shake things up a bit with Bill interviewing freelance science journalist Mark Zastrow about South Korea's response to the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus. The country has become an international model on how to contain the virus, and Bill talked to him about how South Korea has managed to crush the coronavirus curve. We find out:

• Once burned, twice shy - Asia's experience with SARS 1 and especially Korea's recent experience with a MERS outbreak (also a coronavirus) led South Korea to put the legal and technical infrastructure in place to fight a novel coronavirus.

• It involves an extensive use of already collected commercial data - like mobile phone location information and credit card transactions - to track precisely where infected people were. It does not involve a dedicated tracing app.

• Koreans are generally on board individually and as a society with doing what it takes to fight epidemics, but they don't like lockdowns anymore than anybody else.

 

Thanks for listening!

To read some of Mark's coverage of covid-19 outbreak, check out these links:

Also, please sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch. We'll have links, more info, and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue to the conversation.

And remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, practice social distancing, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

Getting Serious About Managing the Dual Crisis • Corona Is a Class Issue • Goats for Everyone

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, in which American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg - in defiance of all things corona - take you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week:

• Staying in is hard for some people.

• What it takes to make the necessary trade-offs between the public health crisis and the economic crisis.

• The danger from the virus is a class issue.

• America the leader of the world? Not according to everybody else.

• And as we always do, some good news. It involves llamas and goats. What's not to like?

Thanks for listening!

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue to the conversation.

Also, please sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch. We'll have links, more info, and commentary from us.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, practice social distancing, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

Don’t Inject Disinfectant (Language!) • How World Leaders Are Covid’ing • China Crackdowns

Warning: We were a bit wound up on this episode, so definitely some NSFW words. 🤬🥺😇

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, in which American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg - in defiance of all things corona - take you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This week:

• Once Pres. Trump casually mused about people injecting disinfectant to fight covid-19, we just couldn't take it anymore.

• We survey other world leader responses.

• China is cracking down under the shadow of covid.

• And as we always do, some good news. More of an attempt this time, really.

Thanks for listening!

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue to the conversation.

Also, please sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch. We'll have links, more info, and commentary from us.

Please remember that, if you like what you hear or read, sharing is caring. 🙏

Stay safe, practice social distancing, and be nice to one another!

Bill & Nikolaj

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