Monday, May 30, 2011

Payback might be a bitch, but the urge for revenge, rooted in biology, is universal, as well as the stuff of great drama...

Primo Levi has been placed in a box labeled “Holocaust writer,” but his humanism and moral clarity resonate everywhere people are not free... Here There Is a Why: Primo Levi, Humanist

Winners, losers - and revenge The stuff of Bohemian Drama
Forgive everybody everything. So say the self-help gurus. Maybe they’re right. But should forgiveness be reduced to something passive and empty, a sanctimonious way of simply moving on?

In his grand and gloomy book Civilization and Its Discontents, Sigmund Freud identified the tenacious sense of guilt as “the most important problem in the development of civilization.” In fact, he continued, it seems that “the price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt.” Such guilt made for an elusive quarry, however. It was hard to identify and hard to understand, and even harder to counteract, since it so frequently dwelled at an unconscious level and could easily be mistaken for something else.

The Moral Economy of Guilt [On the plains of New Mexico, a band of elite marathoners tests a controversial theory of evolution: that humans can outrun the fastest animals on earth.Forgive everybody everything. So say the self-help gurus. Maybe they’re right. But should forgiveness be reduced to something passive and empty, a sanctimonious way of simply moving on? Fair Chase - new explanation of how humans became hunters; Music hits the brain like sex. So can neuroscience distinguish between hearing an organ played and having one’s organs played with?Striking a False Note ; Every year, Washington swells with 20,000 interns. They fetch coffee, drive down wages, and add yet another sexual frisson to the halls of power]
• · · Bernard-Henri Lévy, moral philosopher and vain gadfly, has taken many admirable stands--on Communism, Bosnia, Darfur. So why is this well-coiffed adventure seeker so hated The Strenuous Life ; World War II revisionism – Churchill as war criminal, Allied bombers as terrorists – is often crude, but not without value. It adds complexity to our view of the past. Adam Kirsch explains... Is World War II Still ‘the Good War’?
• · · · We are known by the trail of 0’s and 1’s we leave in our wake. Who owns that information? Is sharing it – creating a data commons – a civic duty?; Harvard has lost faith in itself. Tradition has been abandoned, says Harvey Mansfield, and all that remains is prestige. Harvard will hold on to that, because somehow it can be used to deflate its pretensions
• · · · · At MIT, everyone is eccentric – and it certainly pays. Alumni have founded 25,800 companies, which generate revenues of about $1.9 trillion...; Literature and law. At the Supreme Court, Hemingway and Wittgenstein loom large. Not so the scribblings of legal scholars, which are of no use and no interest to Chief Justice Roberts... Keep the Briefs Brief, Literary Justices Advise
• · · · · · To some, the tension between security and privacy melts away with a simple retort: “I’ve got nothing to hide.” But it isn’t true. Even upstanding Arts & Letters Daily readers have things to conceal.. Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide' ; Word processors were going to liberate us from paperwork: “Machines should work, people should think.” But neither ideal is often enough the case. Now what?.. Paperwork Explosion
• · · · · · Veteran journalist Stuart Washington Google Australia's real strength is in services, not sales; Light-footed Google in $4.6bn tax dodge ;BusinessDay's Stuart Washington yesterday won the $5000 Australian Council of Superannuation Investors media award for his coverage of the collapse of the Albury fund manager Trio Capital, in which investors lost $125 million. He gave this acceptance speech at the award ceremony. Using elaborate corporate structures in exotic Caribbean tax havens, Astarra Strategic spirited away about $125 million, with ASIC eventually finding a lawyer based in Hong Kong, Jack Flader, playing an instrumental role. Astarra Strategic spirited away about $125 million