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Martin Varsavsky
Tech entrepreneur founder of Viatel, Jazztel, Fon and Prelude, co founder of Eolia, now Chairman of Fon and CEO of Prelude.
Tech entrepreneur founder of Viatel, Jazztel, Fon and Prelude, co founder of Eolia, now Chairman of Fon and CEO of Prelude.

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It's a pity Google+ never really took off because in design and functionality it is so much nicer than Facebook.  And I love that it's you who decides who gets to see what.  And it has no ads. But then of course, all that would change if it was successful.

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The new Gramofon! has multiroom, many new music services

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My talk on what motivates entrepreneurs 

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Just another day in the office at Magic Leap:

What I am about to write may create problems among some of my Jewish and Muslim friends, but here it goes. In this post I will compare the right wing of the Israeli government with Islamic extremists. A controversial comparison, so let me start by qualifying it.  I know the analogy may not be valid because as aggressive as the Israeli right wingers have been, the damage that they have caused is very small in comparison to what Islamic extremists have done.  During the last 2 decades the Israeli army has killed around five thousand Palestinians and Lebanese in 3 short wars. Islamic extremists however, have killed over half a million people in Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Sudan, USA, EU and other nations. But putting aside the 100x order of magnitude of the killings by Islamic extremists, whose victims are mostly other Muslims, and also the fact that even if Palestinians and Israelis signed a peace treaty we can be sure that Muslim to Muslim killings would continue, what I want to point out is that moderate Jews and moderate Muslims of the diaspora are victims of a similar prejudice. A prejudice so strong that I would call it racism (antisemitism and islamophobia).  The issue can be summarized as follows: regardless of the fact that you may be a Muslim horrified by the violence of Islamic State, Al Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, Charlie Hebdo, or some Arab dictator’s killings, or a Jew horrified by the civilian casualties in Gaza and Lebanon,  many others will think that you don't condemn the violence, or worse, that you are part of the violence. I have felt this in antisemitic remarks that I have received while living in Spain. If in doubt google "varsavsky judio". And this is wrong. If you cluster moderates with extremists you help extremists. If you believe that all Muslims support violence or all Jews support violence you help violence. I am Jewish, but I am opposed to more settlements in the West Bank, I am opposed to the last invasion of Lebanon and the last two Gaza wars. I do understand that Hamas and Hezbollah would wipe out Israel if they could, I also understand that Israel is at war with Iran via these terrorist organizations, but I see so visibly that they can’t succeed, that using excessive violence against civilians in their midst is not the answer. But what I think is irrelevant, I suffer from guilt by association, especially in Europe. When Israel kills children playing at a beach in Gaza it is not a good time to be a Jew in Europe.  Indeed antisemitic incidents rose by a factor of 5 in the UK during the last Gaza war. And when Islamists kill the editorial team of Charlie Hebdo it is not a good time to be a Muslim in Europe either. As a result I believe that the moderate Muslims of the diaspora and the moderate Jews of the diaspora share a similar threat. Just like the actions of Islamic extremists are making the life of most Muslims harder, the actions of the Netanyahu government have contributed to antisemitism outside of Israel. This is in part as a result of prejudice which clusters all Jews in one bag, as if being Jewish means automatic support for the Gaza operation.  But also in part because the violence that Israel has used has been undoubtedly excessive.  So much so that now even Israel US relations, Obaman Netanyahu relations, are at an all time low. Lastly even though it is true that Israel has been at war with Hamas and not with Al Fatah, the continuation of settlements in the West Bank is a clear indication from the right wing government of Israel, that no matter what you do if you are a Palestinian you will not get your country. And that is wrong. Israel has to show that it is willing to negotiate with moderate Palestinians, otherwise it will help all Palestinians to join Hamas. Having said this I think that the biggest threat all of us now face in Europe is the rise of radical Islam which for the first time it’s governing a new country the size of Belgium and is both receiving fighters from Europe and sending fighters to Europe.  It is time for the vast majority of the people from all walks of life to unite against this threat.

As the victory of Syriza and the rise of Podemos show, class struggle is alive in Europe. This is not the case in the USA where there is more consensus on what the country will look like, not so much at stake at election time.  But USA has another type of struggle.  It is a generational struggle.  There is more animosity between children and parents..  If you watch American films you see parents portrayed as awkward, distant, out of touch, boring, and kids portrayed as trouble makers, noisy, difficult.  And this is true in lifestyle, American kids leave their homes at a very young age, 18, around 5 years sooner than European kids, and Europeans have a better relationship with their children.  So the best thing to do, if you can, is build a business in the USA but raise your kids in Europe :)

How Greece hacked the EU

By now Greece collects enough euros via national taxes to survive, not enough to pay its debt but enough to pay its government obligations. Also, via exports and tourism and a depressed local consumption Greece also generates enough euros to buy what it needs from abroad. So Greece can afford not to pay its 170% of GDP debt and be better off not doing so. Not paying Greece has more funds for local consumption and investment.  In this way it can start reducing its 25% unemployment and make Greek people better off. Moreover Greece was able to place almost all its debt in the hands of foreigners, a huge mistake on the part of the lenders (it’s not advisable to lend to a country that at least cannot place half of its debt in the hands of its nationals). The political cost of not paying foreigners is much lower than that of not paying locals, especially when you can demonize them, as Greece is doing with Germany and the EU. Germany dug itself into a hole by providing half of Greece’s debt. 

On the political front Syriza has the incredible veto power that Europe has surprisingly given each country member of the EU. Greece vetoing Russian sanctions this week is a great example of the use of this power. Who would design the EU giving each of the 28 countries veto power? As in the UN if there was a veto power the biggest countries, France, Germany, Italy and the UK should have kept it for themselves. But not given it to every little country that can now hold the EU hostage. Greece is less than 2% of the EU economy. This is a poorly crafted governing system and it plays into Syriza’s hands extremely well. So not only does Syriza have enormous economic power by not paying and remaining viable but it has great political power via veto in the EU. Lastly Europe does not have rules that say that if you default you are out of the EU so Greece can be a rogue state and stay in use the euro benefit from free trade, and we have to live with Syriza. So what power does the EU have against Syriza? Not much.  Given the circumstances I can understand why Greece would want to default. If you could get rid of your mortgage and keep your home, would you pay every month? There was a fundamental design flaw in the EU and Greece hacked us.

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Post has attachment it's worth reading what it is about and how popular the support for Sharia law is.  99% of Afghans are in favor of it, 89% of Palestinians 

It's worth reading because we should stop wondering how is it that people who propose that the whole world abides by Sharia law, like IS or the Taliban are so popular wherever they operate. They are popular because what they propose, while a human rights violation for us, is what most people believe in most Islamic countries. Indeed one poll said that 40% of British Muslims wanted Sharia law for the UK. And even Jihad is part of Sharia Law.  

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Now I am beginning to understand why Facebook paid through the roof for this start up. When I tried Oculus Rift I got so sick I almost threw up. It was too real. Now this is another story :) 
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