Tyler Wesley McFadden
Potential Superpowers: Cons for the EU
The European Union has plenty of people and scholars that believe in its potential to ascend to global superpower status sometime in the 21st century. There are plenty of arguments to back up this assertion. Nevertheless, there are also many people who basically give the opposite argument: they believe that the European Union will either never become a global superpower during the early 21st century or that it still has a long way to go before it meets the criteria necessary to truly be considered a global superpower and compete with the likes of the United States on a global scale. Former UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband is one of the major thinkers who believe that the European Union is not going to achieve global superpower status. He even made a statement saying "The EU is not and never will be a superpower". Part of his argument was that the European Union might be a very good multinational economic coalition, but it ultimately lacks a single unified form of foreign policy. It is great for many nations to come together in some general belief of a unified Europe, but not all European countries agree on how they should handle their relations to the rest of the world. Usually, a global superpower goes out with some unified idea of how it will handle foreign policy. The United States and the Soviet Union during the time of the Cold War may have had various states / nations that had very different individual goals, but they all had some unified idea of how they would handle international policy as well as some kind of final federal authority to enact these policies. He argues that the European Union in its current form is yet to have such a unified vision on how to handle foreign affairs. He also brings up that the European Union lacks a military. To him, superpowers have "first of all military reach [and] possess the capacity to arrive quickly anywhere with troops that can impose their government's will.". The Economist's Robert Lane Greene, an American journalist, also agrees that this lack of a military is a flaw of the European Union that can't simply be made up for through the use of the European Union's ability to project soft power. To him, the idea that the European Union would ever be able to be a global response force in the near 21st century that could rival the United States is “unthinkable”.
Potential Superpowers: European Union (Pro Arguments)
Superpowers are what people refer to as any type of state, political entity, or economic community that has the ability to project influence or power on a global scale. A superpower can use hard power and do things with military conquest, or it can spread things through a culture that people genuinely want to join or trade. You can also spread influence through technology and diplomacy. Superpowers have been around for the entirety of human history and the world that we live in has been shaped by one of the most recent conflicts between two competing superpowers: the Cold War. During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union both competed for influence across the globe. Both of these nations fought due to having vastly different ideologies and beliefs on how mankind should progress towards the future. The Cold War was considered to be the period between 1947 to 1991, beginning with the victory of the allies against Nazi Germany in 1945 and the start of rebuilding the nation of Germany - which eventually led to a situation where Germany was split into two separate nations until the conclusion of the Cold War: east Germany for the part of Germany allied with the Soviet Union and west Germany for the section of Germany allied to the United States.
Macau's Wealth Partaking Scheme
I have written on other platforms a lot about basic income, but I am here to tell you about a form of basic income that can be found if you reside in Macau, one of the semi-autonomous regions of China that is given so much autonomy that it is practically its own country. Macau has a population of six hundred eighty thousand people who all live in an area of thirty two point nine square kilometers, making it one of the most densely populated regions on the planet. It also has the fourth highest life expectancy in the world. Despite technically being part of the People’s Republic of China, Macau is allowed to have a completely separate government, currency, and economic system from mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”. Macau also has a massive gambling tourism industry that caters to people across Asia and the rest of the world. In fact, the gambling industry in Macau is seven times larger than that found in the city of Las Vegas in the United States. All of the money for the tourist industry here does not just go into the pockets of wealthy casino owners or rich businessmen...some of that money goes back to the people in the form of basic income!
Bolsa Familia: Brazilian Basic Income
In the country of Brazil, they have come up with a type of very unique social welfare called Bolsa Familia. It is a form of aid that provides money to poor Brazilian families. While there are issues I have with the program that I will mention later in this story, it has had a lot of benefits for the nation. The program works to fight off short term poverty in the nation by the power of direct cash transfers and battle poverty in the long term by providing those in poverty with the extra money they need to make ends meet & engage in entrepreneurial pursuits. It also provides free education to those who cannot afford it. This has been described by The Economist as "anti-poverty scheme invented in Latin America [which] is winning converts worldwide." While I find it ridiculous to call this form of Basic Income a 'scheme', it is winning converts who see how it is working in Brazil. In 2011, the program covered 26% of the Brazilian population and according to Wikipedia, it is "currently the largest conditional cash transfer program in the world". In 2006, the Center for Political Studies of the Getulio Vargas Foundation published a study that showed the program was able to successfully cut down on Brazilian poverty between the years 2003 and 2005. It currently pays an average of $34 a month. This might not seem like much in the United States, but this is pretty good in Brazil where minimum wage is $190 per month. & the poverty line is considered about $56 a month.
Impact of the Simpsons Intro
The Simpsons is a show that I am very attached to. I have watched a lot of episodes of the Simpsons and spent untold hours watching the show on Disney Plus. It is one of the longest running shows on television. In fact, it is actually considered the longest-running American scripted primetime television series as of the time of this writing, making it a true staple of American television history. One of the most well-known impacts on culture the Simpsons has is how much money it seems to make for whoever owns the rights to the series. The Simpsons Movie (released worldwide on July 27th of 2007) grossed $536.4 million - more than half a billion dollars - with a budget of $75 million US Dollars. This is only a small percentage of the kind of money the Simpsons makes for anyone who owns the series. Wealthygorilla.com estimates that the Simpsons franchise, by itself, is worth over $750 million dollars on its own! That is the money based on airing the show on television and streaming, not including merchandising. In 2018, it was estimated by Kantar Media that the show’s revenue was $94 million a year even with the show’s perceived drop in quality. You can read the article that talks about this estimation here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanberr/2018/08/25/is-it-time-for-fox-to-pull-the-plug-on-the-simpsons/?sh=39b3fd366527.
AWS Snapshots and Backups
In this particular story about setting up a cloud with Amazon, I will write about how you can back up data and information in a cost-efficient manner in Amazon Web Services. That way, you will not have to worry about losing information when you are working with your own Amazon cloud system. When talking about restoring information on the cloud, we need to discuss the concept of RPO and RTO. RPO stands for recovery point objective, which represents the acceptable amount of data loss for your cloud computing system expressed in the context of data lost over the course of hours. Basically, if you have an RPO of 1 hour, it means you and anyone working with you is ok with losing up to an hour's worth of data. Meanwhile, RTO means recovery time objective which is acceptable downtime of your cloud computing system due to a problem like data loss. It shows this downtime in hours and with an RTO of 1 hour, you predict that after a calamity your cloud system would be back up and running within1 hour of the problem.
Here, I am going to add information on the various services that are a part of Amazon Web Services or AWS: the subsidiary of the tech giant Amazon which allows you to use cloud computing operations. One of the services that is offered by AWS is Amazon Cloudwatch. It provides data on all of the other services in AWS in the form of metrics (quantitative assessments) and logs (records of events). While Cloudwatch is technically a service, it is actually made of a suite of various different services and tools which Amazon has decided to wrap up into one neat package. Together, the tools that make up Cloudwatch work together to collect metrics, monitor everything happening in Amazon Cloudwatch, turn the data in visual representations that can easily be understood by the user, and keep the metrics saved for 15 months. The tools that make up Cloudwatch include metrics, alarms (custom triggers that warn the user when a certain threshold is crossed), logs, ServiceLens (a tool that lets you troubleshoot any microservice apps you create on Amazon Web Services), Insights (collects, aggregates, and summarizes the data from parts of AWS in one convienent location), and Synthetics (a tool that keeps track of web application endpoints, transactions, workloads, and more). With these tools, Cloudwatch is able to monitor EC2 instances (instances of virtual servers/computers that Amazon allows you to build on the cloud) and information on these instances every 5 minutes, though you can change the settings in Cloudwatch to 'detailed monitoring' so the service checks on EC2 instances every minute instead.
Cloud Computing and AWS
Cloud computing is a new kind of service that very few people have a firm grasp on or even understand on a basic level. Fortunately, I have been working with AWS, a service under Amazon that provides cloud computing for people in general, & they provide a very good definition for cloud computing that is understandable to the layman: "Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, you can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS)." Basically, cloud computing is a service that allows you to pull computing resources like computing power or storage remotely without requiring a data center or the user setting up physical computers. The term “cloud computing” appeared as early as 1996 in official documentation starting with an internal document from the company Compaq according to MIT Technology Review: https://www.technologyreview.com/2011/10/31/257406/who-coined-cloud-computing/. After that, there were plenty of companies in the information technology industry that decided to start offering cloud computing services for their computers to use.