Musk is misunderstood

Elon Musk, the richest man in the world who will soon control one of the world’s most influential media platforms, Twitter, claims the venture is not for profit, but for the good of society. He has more than 80 million followers on Twitter, and his tweets once landed him in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which sued him in 2018 for misleading investors. But Musk usually doesn’t care too much about other people’s feelings, as his own brother Kimbal told us: “In business, he’s an academic, but his talent isn’t empathy for people.” Conservatives celebrating his takeover of Twitter Thinking that he will give Trump the green light to return to Twitter is probably a misunderstanding of him. Musk is such a staunch supporter of Obama that he once stood in line for six hours to shake hands with the former president. After Trump’s election, Musk agreed to serve on two presidential advisory committees, but resigned after less than six months in protest of the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Now, both left and right are unhappy with the status quo of social media, and it’s unclear how Musk will revamp Twitter, but he has always believed that having a trusted and broadly inclusive public platform is important to the future of civilization.

In 2015, when Apple launched its first watch, Fitbit’s fitness tracker had been on sale for six years. Global spending on smartwatches and fitness trackers now stands at $29 billion, more than half of spending on sporting goods. In the United States, smartwatches are gaining popularity as fast as early cell phones, and it is now estimated that about a quarter of Americans own a smartwatch or fitness tracker, a rate similar to that in European countries such as the United Kingdom and Finland. In recent years, wearable devices such as smart wristbands, watches, and rings have become more and more popular. They measure and collect various data of the wearer all the time. People are more and more accustomed to letting technology monitor and manage their lives. The data also shows that wearing wearables makes people move more, increasing an average of 1,200 steps per day and reducing sedentary time by 10 minutes. With about 80% of illnesses being caused by lifestyle factors, and wearables offering personalized advice on what to eat for lunch or when to go for a walk, the benefits are unquestionable. Doctors also love wearables, where they can simply look up graphs and curves instead of asking patients if they are sleeping better. Several large hospital groups in the United States are building systems that allow wearables to seamlessly integrate with clinical care.

The federal government has provided 2 billion euros for a “catch-up plan” for children and young people in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Half of the funds went to projects targeting “under-learning of core subjects”, while the other half went to social projects on early childhood education and mitigating the psychological and physical effects of the new crown. As the federal and state governments said in their May 5, 2021 agreement on the program, “it is important to prevent this period from having long-term effects and existing inequalities becoming apparent.” One year on , many states have yet to spend a lot of money, others are lost in various measures and individual programs. According to the relevant reports submitted by the states, there are basically four problems. First, a “learning situation analysis” should be done to understand who needs what help; without understanding the learning situation of children and young people, targeted support cannot be provided; if the money is allocated blindly, there will be large-scale mismanagement risk. The second is that students should receive “personalized, targeted support” in “overcoming learning deficits in core subjects caused by the pandemic”, but few federal states appear to be pursuing a clear strategy. The third problem is the lack of professionals; in order to be able to provide additional tutoring time, additional professionals are needed. Fourth, as it stands, there is no supervision and inspection, so failures will not be discovered. “We may never know what this catch-up program brings,” said Helbig, a professor at the Center for Social Sciences Research in Berlin. Without systematic and comprehensive investigation of learning gaps beforehand, it is impossible to determine after the fact whether these gaps have narrowed.

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