Pork is the most consumed meat on the planet, accounting for 36 percent of global meat intake. If Impossible Foods can get us to eat and enjoy a meatless version of it instead, it could help save millions of pigs from suffering on factory farms and curb the impact of pig farming on the environment. It could also improve human health, not least because it’ll help us combat risks like antibiotic resistance.
Faux pork will probably help Impossible Foods make inroads in Asia, a huge market where pork is extremely popular. It provides a way to guarantee continued access to the beloved meat even when, say, an epidemic hits. Since August 2018, the African swine fever epidemic has killed a quarter of all pigs around the world. China’s herd has shrunk by at least half. On the plus side, surveys have shown that Chinese consumers are very open to meat alternatives, more so than Americans.
Star Wars has always been dear to me. It’s the fantasy side of Star Wars that appealed to me, growing up. The epitome of the hero’s journey of the original trilogy. The much hated, but still interesting story (when combined with The Clone Wars) of the prequel trilogy. And the resuscitation of the series with the final trilogy.
I was very excited with the reboot. I looked forward to the setup of new stories in the fantasy world that I spent countless hours across multiple mediums in.
However, the latest trilogy has left me more disappointed than anything else. I was personally disappointed because I was expecting the stories to be designed for me. Be more complex than replaying the same story from the original trilogy.
In fact, my own rating of the latest trilogy keeps the final episode, The Rise of Skywalker, as the nadir of the trilogy, often competing with Attack of the Clones (Episode 2). However, over the holidays, with time to ruminate, I think Star Wars hasn’t changed. I think I’ve changed.
Star Wars has always been designed for the young generation to get excited about space fantasy. And in that mission, a look around the younger generation attending the movies is a very clear reminder that they are successful. They don’t worry about the plot holes (yet) and don’t worry that Rey as a Palpatine is a missed opportunity from The Last Jedi. They just enjoy the fun camaraderie between Rey, Poe and Finn. They are fascinated by the Jedi powers of force healing and force-time.
So, from that perspective, I am genuinely happy for them. For me, though, The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian have presented far more interesting plots than the latest trilogy of movies did. The books have always been a good source of complex plots and experiments on storytelling in this fantastic world.
The end in “end-to-end” sort of hides the fact there are several layers that exist before the data is fully encrypted, in a way that makes it invisible to the transport layer. First of all, you have to type it in to your phone, which exposes what you type to people (or cameras, mind you) around you. Even if your screen is covered, and keyboard, you are still leaking data from your keyboard, both visually and acoustically.
But then there’s also the operating system that your app is running on; you simply rely on the fact that your keyboard isn’t logging things as you type them, your camera isn’t recording when it shouldn’t, so on and so-forth. There are a lot of “loose” ends before the end-to-end shrouds your messages in mathematical secrecy. And then, there’s the recipient. In most cases, you have no idea what situation the recipient is in or who he or she might be. For all you care, they might be just broadcasting your texts to the building across from them.
Encryption is just part of the puzzle, it is definitely not panacea.
On one side, I do not want people over at Menlo Park to peer through my chats on Facebook’s WhatsApp nor do I want people in Switzerland to go through my ProtonMail email. I am not sure if they cannot right now, but I know without E2E, they can. I’ll take that side of the deal, and you should too. Similarly, basic encryption protects you from a customs officer at the border having a bad day, or an ex-boyfriend that just wants some dirt. The same argument goes for mitigation dragnet surveillance. Not everyone, yet, can afford NSO Group’s software.
Yet, how do you explain to tens of Indians or Myanmar residents that you simply cannot control people’s behavior, when you are benefiting from the encryption mostly? Apple put on a brave face when it resisted FBI’s attempts, but will it be able to do the same if there was a bigger threat to national security? Will Microsoft? Would we even know that these companies cooperated with the government? If Google tomorrow drops a key logger on your phone, I am not sure if anyone would be the wiser.