Monday, April 23, 2018

Palantir Knows Everything About You: Most Influencial Media Dragon in MMXVIIi

Peter Thiel is a Trump supporter ... Justice Department reviewing whether Comey leaked classified information




Palantir Knows Everything About You Bloomberg see more below

Jozef Imrich - The 100 Most Influential Rich People of 2018 [Searchable List] – “TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people is a designation of individuals whose time, in our estimation, is happening right now.” Thoughts about each individual on the list are written by a wide range of iconic individuals who likewise have been pioneers in their respective profession, as well as active and engaged pioneers in change in American society over many decades. Each written bio is also accompanied by a video and photo.

SCRUTINY: A federal judge is threatening to appoint a “private prosecutor” to press a criminal investigation about FBI leaks to the press in an insider trading case

The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders – “Though it seems unlikely, Tim Cook and Indira Jaising have something in common besides membership in Fortune’s 2018 ranking of the World’s Greatest Leaders. Cook (No. 14) is the wealthy CEO of Apple, the most valuable publicly traded company on earth; Jaising (No. 20) is an Indian lawyer who cofounded an NGO called Lawyers Collective, which promotes human rights issues. Yet they share this trait: Both have multiplied their organizations’ effectiveness by harnessing the power of unbundling. Following their example is a new imperative for the best leaders. Unbundling means disaggregating enterprises of all kinds, from the smallest startups to entire nations. In business it can mean making a company more valuable by splitting it up, as Hewlett-Packard did and other companies (Honeywell, Pentair, DowDuPont) are doing. Or it can mean increasing value by delegating functions once regarded as necessary parts of the whole; Apple’s outsourcing of complex, high-tech manufacturing, and the staggering capital requirements that go with it, is a dramatic example. Technology makes unbundling possible and often inevitable. 

Killer App

Peter Thiel’s data-mining company is using War on Terror tools to track American citizens. The scary thing? Palantir is desperate for new customers.
“Founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel and some fellow PayPal alumni, Palantir cut its teeth working for the Pentagon and the CIA in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company’s engineers and products don’t do any spying themselves; they’re more like a spy’s brain, collecting and analyzing information that’s fed in from the hands, eyes, nose, and ears. The software combs through disparate data sources—financial documents, airline reservations, cellphone records, social media postings—and searches for connections that human analysts might miss. It then presents the linkages in colorful, easy-to-interpret graphics that look like spider webs. U.S. spies and special forces loved it immediately; they deployed Palantir to synthesize and sort the blizzard of battlefield intelligence. It helped planners avoid roadside bombs, track insurgents for assassination, even hunt down Osama bin Laden. The military success led to federal contracts on the civilian side. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services uses Palantir to detect Medicare fraud. The FBI uses it in criminal probes. The Department of Homeland Security deploys it to screen air travelers and keep tabs on immigrants.Police and sheriff’s departments in New York, New Orleans, Chicago, and Los Angeles have also used it, frequently ensnaring in the digital dragnet people who aren’t suspected of committing any crime. People and objects pop up on the Palantir screen inside boxes connected to other boxes by radiating lines labeled with the relationship: “Colleague of,” “Lives with,” “Operator of [cell number],” “Owner of [vehicle],” “Sibling of,” even “Lover of.” If the authorities have a picture, the rest is easy. Tapping databases of driver’s license and ID photos, law enforcement agencies can now identify more than half the population of U.S. adults…”


Founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel and some fellow PayPal alumni, Palantir cut its teeth working for the Pentagon and the CIA in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company’s engineers and products don’t do any spying themselves; they’re more like a spy’s brain, collecting and analyzing information that’s fed in from the hands, eyes, nose, and ears. The software combs through disparate data sources—financial documents, airline reservations, cellphone records, social media postings—and searches for connections that human analysts might miss. It then presents the linkages in colorful, easy-to-interpret graphics that look like spider webs. U.S. spies and special forces loved it immediately; they deployed Palantir to synthesize and sort the blizzard of battlefield intelligence. It helped planners avoid roadside bombs, track insurgents for assassination, even hunt down Osama bin Laden. The military success led to federal contracts on the civilian side. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services uses Palantir to detect Medicare fraud. The FBI uses it in criminal probes. The Department of Homeland Security deploys it to screen air travelers and keep tabs on immigrants.


Chart on Admissibility of Electronic Evidence Craig Ball posted a well documented chart, Admissibility of Electronic Evidence, authored by U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm and attorney Kevin Brady. Thanks to all for sharing!

‘Few writers are willing to put themselves on the line for free speech’

I’m not a natural activist, and I’m reluctant to embrace this 
role, but I am also dismayed by how few writers with any serious reputation are willing to put themselves on the line for free speech. …  Not only do we have to preserve the right to write characters who are different from ourselves, we have to preserve the right to have characters who think things that are unacceptable. 
Lionel Shriver: ‘Few writers are willing to put themselves on the line for free speech’ | Books | The Guardian  

Midnight Oil: MEdia Dragon Blogging is most certainly not dead

People who try hard to do the right thing always seem mad.”
― Stephen King
The Stand



There has been a rash of books in recent years by thinkers for whom the human race is getting nicer and nicer. Richard DawkinsSteven Pinker,Matt Ridley and Sam Harris are rational humanists who believe in progress, however many famines and genocides may disfigure the planet. We are en route to a vastly improved future. Perhaps this return to the values of the western Enlightenment is not unrelated to the threat of radical Islam. The philosopher John Gray’s role has been to act as a Jeremiah among these Pollyannas, insisting that we are every bit as nasty as we ever were. If there is anything he detests, it is schemes of visionary transformation. He is a card-carrying misanthrope for whom human life has no unique importance, and for whom history has been little more than the sound of hacking and gouging. One might note that Christianity is as pessimistic as Gray but a lot more hopeful as well ...
             It would have been nice if more details of this “impressively erudite work” had been cited and less of the reviewer’s judgments. I was also unaware that Dostoevsky was a fanatical God-hater.  This is, after all, the fellow who once wrote, “even if someone were to prove to me that the truth lay outside Christ, I should choose to remain with Christ rather than with the truth.”
Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray review – is every atheist an inverted believer? | Books | The Guardian



We breathed
The scent
Barbwired
The scent
  It
Lingers
Still 
 in the twilight quiet of the afternoon


Arbeit Macht Frei

Work will set you free
~M.f. latitude



What is "blogging"? Is it different from "writing"? - Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science


THE WORKING CLASS CAN KISS MY FOOT: From Thomas Piketty, of all sources, an illuminating graph of how parties of the working class in the USA, Britain, and France all became parties of university graduates.
(The title of this post comes from a scurrilous old British ditty about class warfare, sung to the tune of The Red Flag, which went “The working class can kiss my foot, I’ve got the foreman’s job at last.” The actual word sung may not have been foot.)

REBELS WITHOUT A CAUSE: “If you want to know who actually has the power in our society and who is actually marginalized, ask which ideas get you sponsorships from Google and Pepsi and which get you fired.”

Foreign students are arrested after they are caught forging signatures and withdrawing money from Australian banks in multi-million dollar scam

Foreign students Australia in multi million dollar ATM scam


When money goes missing on the way to the ATO


Story image for hacker from bedroom from The Sun

Brit teen hacker Kane Gamble posed as CIA boss to access secret ...

A BRIT teen hacker who posed as a CIA boss to access secret military files in a campaign of "cyber terrorism" has been locked up for two years. Kane Gamble, 18, hacked ... After Brennan, Gamble went on to carry out a series of similar attacks on other top security figures from his bedroom in Leics. His victims included the ...





Cyberwarfare in a World War III?


Graft, favours, bullying and barbecues at Canterbury Council


Councillor used $300000 payment to buy Gold Coast unit, ICAC ...
A reader alerted me to a letter written by Carlyle in 1843 to an unidentified young man seeking advice on which books he ought to read. Carlyle’s reply is prudent. Advice is a risky business, inviting disappointment and resentment: 



“. . . a long experience has taught me that advice can profit but little; that there is a good reason why advice is so seldom followed; this reason, namely, that it so seldom, and can almost never be, rightly given. No man knows the state of another; it is always to some more or less imaginary man that the wisest and most honest adviser is speaking.”
Corporate Planning in the Australian Public Sector 2017–18 
 

So… Blame Humanities For Today’s Bad Politics?

"The midcentury ideal — of literature as an aesthetically and philosophically complex activity, and of criticism as its engaged and admiring decoding — is gone. In its place stands the idea that our capacity to shape our protean selves is the capacity most worth exercising, the thing to be defended at all costs, and the good that a literary inclination best serves. Democratizing the canon did not have to mean abdicating authority over it, but this was how it played out." … Read More

A few weeks ago, I asked the readers of the Noticing newsletter to send in links to their blogs and newsletters (or to their favorite blogs and newsletters written by others). And boy, did they! I pared the submissions list down to a representative sample and sent it out as last week’s newsletter. Here’s a smaller excerpt of that list…you can find the whole thing here.

Several people wrote in about Swiss MissSubtractionDamn InterestingCup of Jo, sites I also read regularly. 

Ted pointed me towards Julia Evans’ blog, where she writes mostly (but not exclusively) about programming and technology. One of my favorite things about reading blogs is when their authors go off-topic. (Which might explain why everything on kottke.org is off-topic. Or is everything on-topic?


Bruce sent in Follow Me Here, which linked to 3 Quarks Daily, a high-quality blog I’d lost track of.

Marcelo Rinesi blogs infrequently about a little bit of everything. “We write to figure out who we are and what we think.”

Futility Closet is “a collection of entertaining curiosities in history, literature, language, art, philosophy, and mathematics, designed to help you waste time as enjoyably as possible”. (Thx, Peter)

Michael Tsai blogs about technology in a very old school way…reading through it felt like a wearing a comfortable old t-shirt.

Sidebar: the five best design links, every day. And Nico Lumma’s Five Things, “five things everyday that I find interesting”.

Pamela wrote in with dozens of links, among them visual blog But Does It Float, neuroscience blog Mind Hacks, the old school Everlasting Blort.

Elsa recommends Accidentally in Code, written by engineer Cate Huston.

Madeleine writes Extraordinary Routines, “sharing interviews, musings and life experiments that explore the intersection between creativity and imperfection”.

Kari has kept her blog for the last 15 years. I love what she wrote about why she writes:

I also keep it out of spite, because I refuse to let social media take everything. Those shapeless, formless platforms haven’t earned it and don’t deserve it. I’ve blogged about this many times, but I still believe it: When I log into Facebook, I see Facebook. When I visit your blog, I see you.
Ttttt

In The Guardian, Oliver Burkeman writes about the benefits of time-shifting your news reading.

One excellent way to stay calm but well-informed, I’ve found, is to consume the news a day or three later than everyone else. Print is one way to do this. But it works online, too: more and more, I find myself promiscuously cruising the web, saving umpteen articles in a “read later” app (in my case Evernote, though you could use your browser’s bookmarks). By the time I read them, the time filter has worked its magic: a small proportion of them stand out as truly compelling.

A new car loses about 10% of its value as soon as you drive it off the lot; most news depreciates a lot faster than that. Humans are curious, hard-wired to seek out new information on a continuous basis. But not everything we haven’t seen before is worth our attention. As Burkeman says, a great way to determine if something is intrinsically interesting or worthwhile apart from its novelty is to set it aside for awhile.

Social media is as compelling as ever, but people are increasingly souring on the surveillance state Skinner boxes like Facebook and Twitter. Decentralized media like blogs and newsletters are looking better and better these days…

The $211 trillion problem: IMF sends warning about record global debt

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Watson Bay Worshiping Fermentation

As    Jews  Slav Antipodean Kenyan Irish and German collective noted "Maybe our duty to Casablanca is to rescue it from the ghetto of camp and recognise in it what the novelist Erich Maria Remarque called “the refugee glance – an imperceptible lifting of the eyelids, followed by a look of blank indifference as if we couldn’t care less.” Beneath that show of indifference, beats Bogart’s sturdy heart. " 

INTERESTING:  Food fashions  -  Paellas 





New South (Head)African church celebrates drinking alcohol. “A pool table served as the altar, adorned with bottles of whiskey and beer. Six ministers at the altar solemnly blessed the chilled jumbo bottles of beer bought by most churchgoers. A few drank whiskey, brandy or other beverages, all of them similarly blessed. The congregation sang hymns praising the positive effects of drinking. Three new Gabola members were baptized with beer which covered their foreheads and dripped down their faces.”


VITAMIN D UPDATE: Study links vitamin D deficiency, higher diabetes risk

Even Pauline Kael called it “a movie that demonstrates how entertaining a bad movie can be": 
PLAYING IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN: How Casablanca was made.

Although I’m not sure I trust a journalist cynical enough to consider Casablancato be “camp.” As Roger Ebert wrote when the film turned 50:

This is a movie that has transcended the ordinary categories. It has outlived the Bogart cult, survived the revival circuit, shrugged off those who would deface it with colorization, leaped across time to win audiences who were born decades after it was made. Sooner or later, usually before they are 21, everyone sees “Casablanca.” And then it becomes their favorite movie.
It is The Movie.


That kind of quasi-religious devotion is not, generally, inspired by hokum. “Despite the artificial nature of the film it still speaks with uncommon poignancy to the exile condition,” writes Noah Isenberg in We’ll Always Have Casablanca, a devoted history of the film and its afterlife in countries such as Hungary and East Germany, where uncut versions of it circulated like samizdat. Nearly all of the 100-plus actors and actresses in the film were immigrants hailing from more than 34 different nations. Bogart was the lone American; you also had Bergman (Sweden), Claude Rains and Sydney Greenstreet (England), Paul Henreid (Austria), Conrad Veidt (Germany) and Peter Lorre, originally from Slovakia by way of London, who said that, like Brecht, he had changed countries “oftener than our shoes”. Hungarian SZ Sakall, who played the head waiter, lost three sisters to the concentration camps.

Curtiz was no Oskar Schindler-like saviour. Casablanca was the result of alchemy by acrimony, with the Epstein brothers supplying its snappier dialogue (“I am shocked, shocked, to learn that gambling is going on in here”), its politics coming courtesy of Howard Koch, its love story and ending fleshed out by Casey Robinson, with ad libs from the actors (“Here’s looking at you, kid”) while they stood waiting for the day’s pages to be handed over.
“Casablanca is best described as cinematic magic that occurred accidentally on purpose,” writes Rode in pointed rebuke of the film critic Andrew Sarris, for whom the picture was merely the “happiest of happy accidents” and Curtiz “the most divisive exception to auteur theory”. Auteur theory’s point-man in America, Sarris could no more countenance the idea that it might be the theory rather than Curtiz that is at fault – placing him in the “Lightly Likeable” category – than the old communist apparatchiks could conclude that their system was at fault rather than the people.