Monday, December 05, 2016

Phoenixing Rising out of Ashes in Post - Jobs Future


The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak. 
— Baruch Spinoza, born on this date in 1632


“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite,—only a sense of existence.” Henry David Thoreau, letter to Harrison Blake, ... read more


Sunday, December 04, 2016

So You Think You Know About Grateful Sand and Graceful Trees?

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Twitter Has Become A Playground For Poets


“Amid the trolls and politicians blasting out 140-character broadsides, poets and their readers have embraced Twitter as a vehicle for higher language. The premium Twitter places on brevity and emotional honesty is uniquely well-suited for an artform that so prizes not just candor and exhortation, but verbal economy.”


Ms. Bagnulo said there were two major questions to consider when deciding where to open a bookstore: Which city neighborhoods are in need of one, and which can support one. 
“It’s sort of joking, but the rule of thumb is, if the neighborhood can support a farmers market, the neighborhood can support a bookstore,” she said.

Jessica Bagnulo is one of the owners of two bookstores in Brooklyn, New York. They sold 500 books in their opening weekend

Almanac of sand and bohemian picnics with Lydia and Chris et al ...: Dorothy Parker on writing for the Al fresco movies
“Hollywood money isn’t money. It’s congealed snow, melts in your hand, and there you are.” Dorothy Parker, interviewed by Marion Capron (Paris Review, Summer 1956) ... read more
...the oak of Howell fame has always been admired for its staying power…. No other tree is so self-possessed, so evidently at one with the world. Unlike the beech, horse chestnut or sycamore, whose branches reach up towards the sky, the solid, craggy trunk of a mature oak spreads out, as if with open arms, to create a vast hemisphere of thick, clotted leaves 


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Thank you Will Schwalbe: “Reading books remains one of the best ways to engage with the world, become a better person and understand life’s questions, big and small…Books are uniquely suited to helping us change our relationship to the rhythms and habits of daily life in this world of endless connectivity

“How much do you need to forget in order to continue your everyday life? How much can you remember without dying from it?" The Israeli writer David Grossman finds answers... Existentialism 


Marco Santagana, Dante: The Story of His Life.
Melancholy, by László F. Földényi.



Jack Townsend, Mens Rea Element of False Claims Crime, Includes links to discussions of wilfulness requirements as they apply here

Peter Reilly, Foreclosure Cash For Keys Not Taxable As Service Income. “…given the low stakes and the weakness of the IRS position, this really feels like everything was on autopilot from the point at which Greentree decided they needed to issue a separate 1099 for the ‘cash for keys’.”

Choose To Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier – Arthur Brooks, New York Times November 22, 2015.

“Beyond rotten circumstances, some people are just naturally more grateful than others. A 2014 article in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience identified a variation in a gene (CD38) associated with gratitude. Some people simply have a heightened genetic tendency to experience, in the researchers’ words, “global relationship satisfaction, perceived partner responsiveness and positive emotions (particularly love).” That is, those relentlessly positive people you know who seem grateful all the time may simply be mutants…”

Good Catholic storytelling has always been corporal: messy, strange, steeped in the sins of real people. I’m not talking about church thrift-store fare, devotional tales with covers of sunrises over mountains. Consider the profane piety of the whiskey priest in Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory. The lust of Obadiah Elihue Parker in Flannery O’Connor’s “Parker’s Back.” The scarred and scorned bodies searching for grace in the novels of Toni Morrison. Catholics go for crucifixes over crosses. They want their Mass wine in a chalice, not Solo cups. The Eucharist is not a symbol; it is substance

The Powerful Lawyer Who Negotiates Cold River Deals For Artistic Expression

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“Unknown to those outside Hollywood, the lawyer Nina L. Shaw is a secret weapon, a behind-the-scenes power player adept at striking deals that cultivate freedom of voice, especially for black members of the creative class whose mission it is to be artist and advocate.”


Ten years after: Allen Drury and our changing concept of shame

From 2006: Can you seriously imagine a senator, or any other public figure, commiting suicide under similar circumstances today? In fact, let’s take it one step further: can you think of anysecret so shameful ... read more




Saturday, December 03, 2016

Healing the Heart of Industrial Democracy


“A book is nothing but a cube of hot, smoking conscience.”


"Organisation don't have ideas. Only people do."

Useful maxim: “Never support any government power you would not want your ideological enemy wielding” [Coyote]


The New Workplace Is Agile, and Nonstop. Can You Keep Up? NYT. Just what we need. Another management fad. Here’s one “agile computing” debacle, although, to be fair, it was perhaps not truly agile

 Teaching ‘1984’ in 2016


WEEKEND READ: 'Unfair' politicians getting punished by voters
Crispin Hull, Newsport, 19/11/16. Behavioural psychology’s The Ultimatum Game demolished the idea that humans will act in rational self-interest. In the game, a Proposer divides $100 between the Proposer and a Responder – anywhere between $50-$50 to $99-$1. The Ultimatum Games appears now to have taken on in politics.

The first thing I do is make coffee and read the deep bloggers; feeling engaged and part of the world allows me to orient myself, it posits me in the here and now, it wakes me up ...

Mistakes are a fact of life; they are building blocks, stepping-stones, the way we learn new things. Columbus wasn’t looking for a New World, he was searching for a route to spices. All mistakes teach us something, so there are, in reality, no mistakes. Just things we learn
To come to terms with one’s enemy of yesterday is not cowardice; it is wisdom, and accepting the inevitable.“Untersuchen was ist, und nicht was behagt” [“To investigate what is and not what pleases”], Goethe says excellently. Whoever balks at fate is caught in the trap. What is the use of bruising oneself against the bars of one’s cage? In order to suffer less from the narrowness of the jail, there is nothing like remaining squarely in the middle.
I feel limitless possibilities of acceptance in me… The much greater risk for the mind is letting itself be dominated by hatred.



Healing the Heart of Democracy: Parker Palmer on Holding the Tension of Our Differences in a Creative Way:
With an eye to what is often referred to as “politics of rage” — topics of especially charged polarity — he adds:

Rage is simply one of the masks that heartbreak wears. When we share the sources of our pain with each other instead of hurling our convictions like rocks at “enemies,” we heave a chance to open our hearts and connect across some of our greatest divides.

In a sentiment of particular poignancy and resonance today, Palmer writes:

We do violence in politics when we demonize the opposition or ignore urgent human needs in favor of politically expedient decisions.
[…]
The democratic experiment is endless, unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so also is the heart’s alchemy that can turn suffering into community, conflict into the energy of creativity, and tension into an opening toward the common good. We can help keep the experiment alive by repairing and maintaining democracy’s neglected infrastructure… the invisible dynamics of the human heart and the visible venues of our lives in which those dynamics are formed.
It is well known and widely bemoaned that we have neglected our physical infrastructure — the roads, water supplies, and power grids on which our daily lives depend. Even more dangerous is our neglect of democracy’s infrastructure, and yet it is barely noticed and rarely discussed. The heart’s dynamics and the ways in which they are shaped lack the drama and the “visuals” to make the evening news, and restoring them is slow and daunting work. Now is the time to notice, and now is the time for the restoration to begin.
For those of us who want to see democracy survive and thrive … the heart is where everything begins: that grounded place in each of us where we can overcome fear, rediscover that we are members of one another, and embrace the conflicts that threaten democracy as openings to new life for us and for our nation.

Half a century after Eleanor Roosevelt made her eloquent case for the power of personal conviction and our individual responsibility in social change, Palmer adds:

Full engagement in the movement called democracy requires no less of us than full engagement in the living of our own lives. We carry the past with us, so we must understand its legacy of deep darkness as well as strong light. We can see the future only in imagination, so we must continue to dream of freedom, peace, and justice for everyone. Meanwhile, we live in the present moment, with its tedium and terror, its fears and hopes, its incomprehensible losses and its transcendent joys. It is a moment in which it often feels as if nothing we do will make a difference, and yet so much depends on us.

Healing the Heart of Democracy remains an indispensable read, immensely emboldening at this particular moment in time. Complement it with Palmer on the elusive art of inner wholeness,education as a form of spirituality, and his magnificent Naropa University commencement address about the six pillars of the wholehearted life, then revisit Mencken on reclaiming the spirit of democracy from the conformity that passes for it


France’s presidential campaign — and the related coverage — has clear echoes of its U.S. counterpart. Regardless of how the French election unfolds, however, the projects its fact-checkers are working on hint at the future of the field worldwide


“You can’t blame all this on the big, bad media. The news media reflects society and its citizens don’t want to complicate their worldviews. They don’t want facts, they want slogans.” — Media ethicist Stephen Ward   

Swedish hoax-busters Viralgranskaren looked at how a fake story spreads in two alternate realities, one where readers fact-check and one where they don't.



A high profile tweet to your fake news site can bring $10,000 in extra revenue, The Washington Post reports. So why not get into the game? Paul Horner, the "38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire," spoke to Caitlin Dewey about how dumb people are. (Dewey, one of the best journalists covering this issue, sadly is leaving the beat.) And a spokesperson of sorts for the fake news industry told Craig Silverman how concerned hoaxers are about Facebook's plans. 

If fake news is booming, at least fact-checking is growing. A new report from Federica Cherubini and Lucas Graves for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is a deep dive in the diverse and fragile universe of European fact-checking. (The number of fact-checkers worldwide is also growing).