Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Burma and Bipartisanism

It is time the west made some efforts to demonstrate at least something like the domestic bipartnership they are demanding of the Burmese Burma and Bipartisanism TM wonders how this recent victory will play out in the long term... time will tell Amid both the gloom of the season and the recent uprisings in the Arab world, it is bracing to look back at the last thirty years or so and see how much has actually gone more or less well. The end of the cold war, the demise of communism, and the emergence of new democratic states of varying quality all represent important historical change. Revolution Without Violence?

Stealing Burma’s Future Reformers, like saints, can be awfully awkward people
Writing and design have laws of perspective, of light and shade, just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself. -TRUMAN CAPOTE

Reformers, like saints, can be awfully awkward people. Their singlemindedness is no small part of what makes them effective, as well as uncomfortable to be with. I've known a few, but I've never tried to get close to them. No matter how friendly they may seem, I always get the feeling that they'd be perfectly happy to have me guillotined if they thought it necessary....

Again, the statistician in me speaks up: how big is my sample? And the answer is: not very; In the early twentieth century, Burma enjoyed a higher standard of living than India and was far less densely populated [Jane Austen - Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure – In US this is what comes to their mind about Burma ; Her National League for Democracy party wants a word changed in the swearing-in oath for new Burmese MPs Aung San Suu Kyi's victory does not bring Burma freedom ]
• · Fang Lizhi’s path through life observed a pattern that is common to China’s dissidents: a person begins with socialist ideals, feels bitter when the rulers betray the ideals, resorts to outspoken criticism, and ends in prison or exile. Liu Binyan, Wang Ruowang, Su Xiaokang, Hu Ping, Zheng Yi, Liu Xiaobo, and many others have followed this pattern. Most have been literary figures—writers, editors, or professors of Chinese—who base their dissent in the study of Chinese society and culture. Fang was a natural scientist, and this made him different in important ways. On Fang Lizhi (1936–2012); IDENTITY, loneliness and survival haunt “Drifting House”, Krys Lee’s debut collection of short stories. The tales are set in America, South Korea and North Korea, unified by the theme of immigration and its demoralising struggles. As someone who has led a peripatetic life herself, Ms Lee draws on first-hand knowledge. Born in Seoul, she moved to America at the age of four, then attended Oxford University, and has spent the years since back in South Korea All the lonely people ; To understand Vladimir Putin, you need to understand his idol, Yuri Andropov. To both men, opponents are not mere rivals but enemies of the state.. Vladimir’s Tale ; The death in China of Neil Heywood, the British businessman, took on a series of dramatic twists yesterday as it was disclosed that President Barack Obama was taking personal interest in the alleged murder. A dissident website that has revealed key details in the story was hacked, suggesting that the Chinese authorities want to clamp down on the flow of information. Gu Kailai and Bo Guagua
• · · Let’s tackle one of the literary set’s favorite orthodoxies head on: that the world “needs stories.” “There is an enormous need,” Jonathan Franzen declares in an interview with Corriere della Sera (there’s no escape these days), “for long, elaborate, complex stories, such as can only be written by an author concentrating alone, free from the deafening chatter of Twitter.” But what is the nature of this need? What would happen if it wasn’t met? We NEED stories to develop a sense of overt and underlying meanings--and of ourselves. A society devoid of stories is one of meager subsistence. Do We Need Stories? ; Barry O'Farrell's office is beginning to look like the type of rainbow family favoured by Angelina Jolie. No sooner had the Premier appointed former Joe Tripodi aide and Sun-Herald journalist, Lisa Mullins, as his chief spin doctor than he has poached the president of the press gallery, Mark Tobin. Former Liberal leader Peter Collins and the Community Services Minister, Pru Goward, began their careers at Auntie Tobin is in good company; Mr Slipper was well known as an eccentric. It’s a tough reputation to live up to even in the corridors of power … Julia Gillard has refused to push the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Peter Slipper, to stand aside while he is investigated over allegations he sexually harassed a male staffer and misused his travel entitlements Mr Slipper
• · · · Anti-car literature written by militant lesbians in the bookcases. Moore greets me dressed in her trademark suit, with silver dog collar necklace At Home with ... Clover Moore ; IT WAS just one word - a throaty and emphatic ''No'' - but it could haunt the leadership of Barry O'Farrell. Another monarchist tradition has been restored to the NSW Parliament under Barry O’Farrell, with the crown returned to the top of the parliamentary crest. People can now be held accountable for their actions on social media. Heath Aston is the state political editor for the ? • · · · · MINDERS FOR THE MINISTRY - FORMER press secretary to Labor ministers Joe Tripodi, David Campbell and Craig Emerson is set to replace Peter Grimshaw as the Premier's communications director in one of the most astonishing crosses across politics ever seen in NSW. Lisa Mullins, who has been working for Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian since the election is married to a close mate of Mr Grimshaw’s, veteran former Channel 10 reporter Paul Mullins, but is understood to have not always seen eye to eye with Mr Grimshaw while working with Ms Berejiklian. Ms Mullins is a former Sun Herald and Illawarra Mercury journalist and also previously worked for the Fahey Liberal Government. Lisa has more than 30 years' experience as a newspaper journalist and government media advisor and I am delighted she is joining my staff
• · · · · · The new NSW ministerial media contact list has been published. We know, it's hardly the Australia Day honours list, but it is another little window into the soul of this new government. Brad Burden remains as Barry O'Farrell's flack but his offsider, Sam Fairlie-Cuninghame, has been passed on to the office of the new Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian. It seems the government is taking transport very seriously, as Fairlie-Cuninghame will work alongside Lisa Mullins. Mullins is married to Paul Mullins, who until his retirement in 2008 was the longest-serving journo in the press gallery, but she has more than enough of her own connections, having worked for Fairfax and News Ltd papers and even for the controversial Labor ministers David Campbell and Joe Tripodi. One of the Herald's former health reporters, Kate Benson, has jumped ship to work for the Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, while a former John Brogden staffer, Lance Northey, returns to Macquarie Street, this time with Duncan Gay in Roads and Ports. The veteran crime reporter Norm Lipson has popped up in George Souris's office, where presumably he will dispel the notion that state political media minding is a job for ambitious youngsters eager to be humiliated by talk-show hosts in the pre-dawn murk for the chance to get ahead.
IN A long career around State Parliament, the journalist Lisa Mullins (nee Carty) has shown a knack of working for all sides without fear or favour. She was a press secretary to the police minister, Ted Pickering, in Nick Greiner's government and also worked for the Labor ministers Joe Tripodi and David Campbell. With change in the wind, Mullins is one of the few with a rosy future: she is favoured to join the staff of the opposition transport spokeswoman, Gladys Berejiklian. The choppy seas of Pittwater

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gogol - The longer and more carefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes

“The longer and more carefully we look at a funny story, the sadder it becomes.” - Nikolai Gogol

With the disappearance of paper encyclopedias, a part of the Western intellectual tradition is disappearing as well . I am not speaking of the idea of impartial, objective, and meticulously accurate reference. There is no reason this cannot be duplicated in digital media… There's no need to be cruel , but sometimes the exasperation of slogging through a dull, stupid or monumentally over-hyped book gets the best of even the nicest person The excuses of a mean book critic

Passing Stranger White Until Proven Black Hunger Games: Paradox dog every step of the way
The real problem is that it is virtually impossible for the general reader to deduce from a text itself what genre it belongs to. We rely upon editors, publishers, and all others who are responsible for vetting a text before the public to tell us how to understand it. When an article appears in a newspaper or newsmagazine, we have a reasonable expectation that it is factually accurate. In a literary magazine like The Believer or another artistic venue, the standards are far less clear. Books are the most dangerous territory of all, since publishers notoriously do not fact-check, and categorization is often left to the whims of editors

Like wolves and teenagers, literary scandals travel in packs, and the first of the spring are already upon us. First came The Lifespan of a Fact, a new book by essayist John D’Agata and his fact-checker Jim Fingal, which presents the blood-and-tears saga of Fingal’s seven-year-long attempt to verify a piece by D’Agata about the suicide of a Las Vegas teenager. In a lengthy e-mail correspondence, Fingal relentlessly noted discrepancies in everything from the names of people and places to the time of the boy’s death; D’Agata, rather less effectively, made the case that a writer of creative non-fiction is allowed certain liberties with the truth. By the time reviewers had finished weighing in on this teapot-sized tempest (general consensus: D’Agata is an ass), along came a similar but more significant revelation: The theatrical impresario Mike Daisey had employed similarly unorthodox techniques of reportage in his dramatic monologue The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

Some Works of Art Can’t Be Labeled as Fact or Fiction, and That’s OK ; Pleasure is a form of attention. If you can take pleasure in something - an idea, an activity - then your brain will happily entertain it for years without aim or objective. It's therefore a particularly open form of thinking that allows you to surprise yourself and the rest of humanity. Don't let children lose sight of the pleasure principle [Read about a smell - and your brain thinks you're smelling it. Read about a soccer game - and your brain thinks you're playing it. Especially if it's fiction. Who says reading isn't a good workout? Your Brain on Fiction ; The tenets of modernism dictate that real literature needs to be difficult, otherwise it's kitsch. I'm no unreconstructed modernist, and I'm not going to tell you that Marcus's novel is good precisely because the dribbling masses wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole. Rather, I'm telling you to read The Flame Alphabet because it's unique, continually surprising, and often flat-out disgusting The realist’s guide to experimental fiction]
• · J. G. Ballard’s “Crash”: a study in the challenges of book design The Covers of J.G. Ballard's Crash: An Update ; A new book explores what the “systematic wonder” of science can teach us about happiness The secret of happiness is arguably humanity's longest-standing fixation
• · · What a difference a couple days makes! A whole new world has opened up to me, and my wallet has opened up as well. Here’s why. Apparently, there is a whole subterranean movement to collect bookplates. Over a thousand are featured on ebay even as I write, some from the Czech Republic More bookplate porn!; The controversy surrounds Backpage.com, a classified site on which pimps and johns regularly buy and sell prostitutes. Norman Mailer’s Son Protests Outside the Village Voice
• · · · In her series exposing British tabloid stars to Americans, Emma Garman helpfully explains why the world is about to receive the gift of Cold River。 When a society is as riven with conflict as today’s Britain, it takes a special kind of momentous event, the recognition of a greater enemy, to unite Tories and socialists, celebs and civilians, those who yearn for Kate Winslet’s excommunication from the planet and those who’d be content with her bleak and everlasting obscurity. Hail Tulisa, The Female Boss ; King Canute has had a raw deal from history. He took his throne down to the beach in order to show his servile courtiers that not even a king could control the waves (that was in God’s power alone). But, ironically, he is now most often remembered as the silly old duffer who got soaked on the seashore because he thought he could master the tides It was satire
• · · · · Chastity and lechery, purity and debauchery – attitudes about sex do change. What didn’t change for centuries was the role of women Some Years Before 1963 ; We Do Judge Books By Their Covers Dennis Loy Johnson of Melville House: "I recently read a survey that said 39% or 40% of people who bought books on Amazon looked at them in a bookstore first. They could know everything about the book online short of having seen it, but still the physical object had enough meaning to them to want to see it first." The little publisher that could
• · · · · · This story begins, like most stories, as a tributary to a river. The Feather River, specifically; tributary to the Sacramento, winding its way around Yuba, Sutter, and Butte counties, over and through the Sierra Nevada in Northern California, the water in the Feather River used to be warm enough to swim in before they dammed it up to create the Oroville Dam and Reservoir. Water, Water Everywhere ; Can punk aerobics, speed dating, and “edgy” book clubs save libraries? Not likely. But these days no gambit seems too unseemly or too desperate. Libraries are in crisis

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I feel the need to sin Quelle façon de parler

I am perennially on the verge of leaving, but the hypocrite from WildWest may serve, among other things, as a deformed ambassador of the truth.


Is that too much to ask?

Ach, The influenza season draws to a good start on level 12 … [U]sers are selfish, lazy, and ruthless – Jakob Neilsen, definition of the online reader in ‘Information Foraging: Why Google Makes People Leave Your Site Faster’ The responsibilities and duties of being a MediaDragon reader in the 21st century -- I wonder what kind of person would come out if I ever did erase all my inhibitions at once, what kind of being is bottled up inside me now. Would I like him? I think not. There’s more than one of me, probably. There’s more than just an id. I know that I could live with my id if I ever looked upon it whole, sort of snuggle up and get cozy with it. [..] Deep down inside, I might be really great. Deep down inside, I think not. Things They Don't Teach You In Tax Law School

Deliverance from Evil Swedish Lessons
Here in Sweden – as, I believe, in other Scandinavian countries – everyone has access to everyone else’s tax returns on the internet. I’m sure it’s sometimes circumvented, but not in most cases, and it seems to deter dishonesty and greed. People really do feel that they are ‘all in it together’ (whatever ‘it’ is). Steve Jobs rolled around in old Volvo estate when he was young, forming his thoughts, listening to Bob Dylan.

A private equity manager receiving, say, $600 million as a capital gain would pay $90 million in tax. If the same income were treated as income from salary, it would be taxed at 35 percent (and also be subject to a 2.9 percent payroll tax), bringing the private equity manager’s tax bill to $227.4 million — almost $140 million more. The ostensible purpose of the lower capital gains rate is to compensate investors for the risk they take in investing their capital. But private equity and fund managers aren’t investing their own capital. They’re investing other people’s capital. They’re simply money managers. By claiming capital gains treatment, they are passing off regular income as capital gains, simply to save themselves taxes.

When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead ; How billionaires destroy democracy ["Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity an anthology for anyone who's been broken-hearted ; Rosencrans Baldwin, author of Paris I Love You But You Are Bringing Me Down and co-founder of The Morning News, was on NPR’s All Things Considered’s “You Must Read This” segment and raved about Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado. When people asked how much of the book was biographical, Dundy responded, All the impulsive, outrageous things the heroine does, I did; all the sensible things, I made up How autobiographical ]

• · One of the greatest magazine stories of the past generation, republished in Slate The Mystery of the Millionaire Metaphysician; Everyone loves a success story and the electronic age would not be the same without the extraordinary contributions of Steve Jobs, a brilliant, but misunderstood man. Steve Jobs ;You made us all want to be better people. We wanted to not only learn more, and improve ourselves, but we wanted to share it with others。 My laptops and iPhone allow me to work. To write. They help me navigate the world, take me to places I’ve never been and allow me to learn about things I never knew before. They allow me to walk through history, and to create history. They allow me to think, to learn, to laugh, and to cry. They have helped me to expand my world You made it possible for other people to get published
• · · I am rich and I am the man Whose name is mud But what’s in a name To shame one who knows Mud does not stain Clay he’s made of Dust Adam became— The dust he was— Was he his name Exile Is always Green with hoe The river We cannot cross Flows forever The main character in Jozef Imrich stingingly sad story, “Cold River,” isn’t a person. It’s a location: along the Morava River, a very short river with a big, bizarre place in history. Freud was born on the banks of this river … THE ESCAPE OF SIGMUND FREUD ; Janet Malcom’s In The Freud Archives is the story of conspiracy, obsession, intrigue, and scholarship. ; Those who believe that Freedom by Jonathan Franzen is a great novel are the same people who think “Titanic” is a great film… But all my friends are homeless They do not even have tents
 Were I to seek a safe place I would run nights lost Ice pelting my face 
Sent the wrong way Whenever I ask —
 Afraid to run back,
 Each escape the last How do we amplify the effect of our common experiences and attenuate the everyday within a matrix of philosophy and art, language and its intervals. In my stories Havel rubs shoulders with Marx, Dubcek with Gorbacov, Zummer with Freud, Brunovsky with Hamilova. And its message is clear. We are all in this together. How much better if we see it sooner rather than later. Escape of Jozef Imrich
• · · · It's because in the print world, books are returnable, which means that if a bookstore doesn't sell all their copies of something they return it to the publisher for a refund. Ebooks Really Are More Profitable Than Print Books; All these Murphys, Malloys, and Malones do not fool me. They have made me waste my time, suffer for nothing, speak of them when, in order to stop speaking, I should have spoken of me and of me alone… I thought I was right in enlisting these sufferers of my pains. I was wrong. They never suffered my pains, their pains are nothing, compared to mine, a mere tittle of mine, the tittle I thought I could put from me, in order to witness it. Speechless: Beckett's Trilogy ; The central characters are Estrella, the fish-hair woman who uses her 12-metres-long hair like a net to retrieve the dead from the river (“trawl another victim of our senseless war”); her older “sister”, Pilar, who joins the communist insurgents; and Tony, the Australian journalist whom both had loved Merlinda Bobis, Fish-hair woman
• · · · · A poem often has a moment or a movement or an image, to deal with, not a whole series or interrelated and elaborated sequences, nor that sense of duration and vicarious experience that the novel brings. The best a novel can do is use its superstructure, all those cumulative bits of housekeeping, to achieve poem-moments Music to write to (part one) - What is wrong with this world. How is it that so few spend their lives doing things they love and so many do [what] they hate for something they do not need. I want to shout to the masses but [s]o few would listen. I would not have listened. This is it. Do it now. You will not be here again. In living there is always the terror of being stung of something coming for you on the unavoidable wave Unavoidable wave - The Important Thing That Has Gotten Lost ; Monday musings on Australian literature: Louisa Atkinson, and indigenous Australians Local Gandangara people
• · · · · · Imagine: How Creativity Works ; For a second I am mist For a second I am water For an instant I am orange flames If only the moon holds me If only the moon hugs me = Šrut was awarded the 2012 Karel Čapek Prize for his lifetime achievement in literature and has been one of the most important voices in Czechoslovakian literature in the generation after the 1968 uprising ; UK Home Office website went offline for seven hours. The hacker group Anonymous took it down, they said, as a protest against the government’s planned new surveillance legislation How to Snoop

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Havel believed that under communism and capitalism, people are threatened by what he described in his 1984 essay “Politics and Conscience” as “the irrational momentum of anonymous, impersonal, and inhuman power—the power of ideologies, systems, apparat, bureaucracy, artificial languages, and political slogans.”
When a genius dies, trouble ensues. Those charged with protecting the maestro’s legacy so very often screw it up. We know the story. Like Jozef Imrich, Van Gogh died having only sold one creation during his lifetime Afterlife of an artist
We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us. He might also have said: We shape our media dragons, and afterwards our dragons shape us World’s, Amerikan, Bohemian ongoing experiment in democracy and economic freedom is to endure

Cold War River : The Specter of Havel
Almost universally hailed today as an intellectual visionary and transformative political leader, Vaclav Havel actually struggled to live up to both of those expectations, an essay in honor of the man appearing in The Nation reminds us. He was something of a reluctant crusader, and took an approach rather nearer to postmodernism, preferring to critique “automation” by inverting maxims, dissecting social situations, and showing the absurdity of totalizing state power. His approach to philosophy came not out out of one easily-identifiable school but was more eclectic:

“I approach philosophy somewhat the way we approach art,” Havel once confessed. Despite his lack of method, he took a reading of Heidegger and a handful of homegrown metaphors and set forth in his writing powerful ideas about politics, truth and human nature. Havel believed that under communism and capitalism, people are threatened by what he described in his 1984 essay “Politics and Conscience” as “the irrational momentum of anonymous, impersonal, and inhuman power—the power of ideologies, systems, apparat, bureaucracy, artificial languages, and political slogans.” This did not make him nihilistic or even anti-traditional, though his sharp eye for linguistic laziness and intellectual deception did impart a sort of existentialist tinge to his faith. It also led him to support a nonideological, bottom-up ‘antipolitical politics’:
The last horizon might be called God, though Havel didn’t insist on the word. He did, however, insist that “responsibility establishes identity.” Responsibility is “the knife we use to carve out our own inimitable features in the panorama of Being,” he wrote. In Havel’s case, he came to a critical sense of responsibility through the ambiguous letter he wrote in 1977, appealing for release from jail. The authorities had claimed that it represented an abandonment of his dissident commitments, and although that hadn’t been his intention, after long self-questioning he nonetheless acknowledged the failure as his own. “We all tried to talk him out of it,” one friend later recalled, but as another explained, once Havel was convinced that the error was his, he set out to “provoke the police to arrest him again,” which they did. Much of his special charisma in the dissident movement stemmed from this decision to get rearrested. He acted as if such a sacrifice—in atonement for a failing that few people blamed him for—held meaning, thereby reclaiming the power to determine the meaning of his life, even in his errors. “Whether all is really lost or not,” Havel explained in one of his letters to Olga, “depends entirely on whether or not I am lost.” He meant the proposition to be true of everyone. He believed that change would come to Communist Czechoslovakia when ordinary people across the country began to insist, as he did, on living fully human lives. His faith in the effect of this “antipolitical politics” was like his faith in art; though such a politics is “hidden, indirect, long-term, and hard to measure,” he was sure it would prevail.

Whether all is really lost or not ; It wasn’t meant as a compliment. But Vaclav wore it like a badge of honor Hidden, indirect, long-term, and hard to measure [ Václav Havel's enduring ideas about politics, truth and human nature ; Rise of the gutless novelists. Where is today’s Tagore or Orwell? Wedged too tightly behind their laptops, have literary writers given up on politics? Kundera's novels are a magnificently rich blend of philosophy, psychology and politics relating to Czech Republic and France Why are English and American novels today so gutless? ; Havel tackled free will, Tolstoy the meaning of life, Imrich practiced what they preached. We all need to acquire a knack for finding beauty and charisma in the ordinary and familiar. Start reading Cold River on your Kindle in under a minute ; Criticism of a book is criticism of its author. The sting can linger for years. Kingsley Amis, however, took it in stride. A bad review could spoil breakfast, he said, but not lunch; Should Writers Reply to Reviewers? - Keith Ash]

• · To be first is everything in science and art. Immortality is at stake. Nobel Prizes, too. Originality is a grand, ignoble, fruitless pursuit... Patrick Victor Martindale White - first shot in the culture wars in The Wonderful Land of Oz; Robert Caro has spent thirty-eight years writing the biography of one man. Pencil-stained perfectionist. Robert Caro’s is a productive, wonderful mania, his epic biographies a window into how publishing used to work The Big Book ; The Titanic is about more than morbid fascination: technological hubris, race, class, gender. Our obsessions were in place long before she set sail. The magnificence, the pathos, the enthralling chivalry—Benjamin Guggenheim putting on white tie and tails so he could drown “like a gentleman”—and the shaming cowardice, the awful mistakes, the tantalizing “what if”s: for me, there was no better story The three most written-about subjects of all time are Jesus, the Cold War, and the Titanic
• · · The world’s most typical person is a 28-year old Han Chinese man with no bank account who earns less than $13,000 a year. Marx would not be surprised. About much else, he’d be shocked... Kapital Style is substance ; Fifty years from now, there will be only 10 universities in the world delivering higher education. Sebastian Thrun explains The Stanford Education ; However, good slavicintoxication is making a comeback. Ecstasy and LSD treat PTSD. Pot shrinks tumors. Mushrooms relieve depression. Why the change?. Oscillatory zeitgeist
• · · · Have fiction and philosophy parted ways? Novelists used to take abstract questions and make them real. Now, it seems, writers don’t even try. What’s the big idea? ; If we are among the romantic who are longing to hold the magnificent philosophical novel in our hands and our hours, it is possible that we will, like Miniver Cheevy, miss it.; From “Aaron’s rod” to “zydeco,” the DARE is a monument to a man who had the temerity to undertake a gigantic task – and not worry why... Native Tongues
• · · · · Margaret Fuller was brilliant and obsessive and dreadful company. “The upper lip habitually uplifts itself,” Edgar Allan Poe said of her, “conveying the impression of a sneer” A Double Inheritance: On Margaret Fuller ; From psychoanalysis to neuroscience, Eric Kandel has been driven to ask: How could people listen to Mozart one day and beat up Jews the next?.. he Age of Insight
• · · · · · As the national economy continues to struggle toward recovery from the Great Recession, 2011 was a year of grim headlines.. The federal Library of Congress lost about 9% of its budget and 10% of its workforce ; Libraries are transforming lives by providing patrons the tools needed to compete and thrive in a 21st century market place You belong @ your library as libraries transform lives through technological literacy: ; FTC - April is Financial Literacy Month News release: "April is Financial Literacy Month, and the Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, has information to help you make the most of your money whether you're a student, young adult, parent, older person, or military service member Financial Literacy

Friday, April 13, 2012

… Did you know that scientifically, there are two main differences that have been proven between those that ‘have’ and those that ‘have not’. Firstly, people with tertiary qualifications will generally earn more money during their careers. Secondly, the chances of these people being dishonest and deceitful during their careers are doubled. Source: A study conducted by Oxford University during the late 1990s. - SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS Courtesy of HM

Gabbie knows that Melbourne boasts some wonderful old universities, theatres, rich in history, fame and infamy. There is always something on … With most actors working in film and television in Australia, 16th Street offers programs exclusively in screen acting. Indeed, 16th Street Actors Studio developed Australia's first full-time training program for screen performance Good Luck with the Sweet 16nth Street Gabbie; These are some of Australia's busiest and most recognisable stars of the stage and screen, yet going back to school isn't beyond them I was in Villawood and Gabbie hopes to get to this Hollywood ; THE Most VITAL Audition Tip You will EVER Need to Know Scholarship for Actors IF YOU’VE ever wondered why Melbournians often complain bitterly about the dearth of live music far from home, here is the answer: there is lots of it where they come from. Melbourne has more live music venues than any other Australian city. Born to be loud

16th Street on Lucky Black Friday Poetry is not a luxury
For women . . . poetry is not a luxury It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of light within which we can predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives. - Audre Lorde

Blogs are sometimes overlooked as a significant source of online buzz in comparison to social networking sites, yet consumer interest in blogs keeps growing. By the end of 2011, NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, tracked over 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million only five years earlier in 2006. People are churning out more content than ever, and blogging remains an important avenue for consumer expression, according to an NM Incite report. Consumer-generated blogs have continued a strong upward trend since the company began tracking them in 2006, according to the U.S. Digital Consumer Report State of The Media: Q3-Q4 2011. While Facebook continues to be the social media juggernaut, don't count blogging out. Combined, the three major blogging platforms -- Blogger, Wordpress and Tumbler, in that order -- account for 80.5 million unique pairs of eyeballs in October 2011, NM Incite said today. (Facebook had 139.1 million unique that month.)" [a hat tip to all my blogging colleagues whose tenure is moving into a second decade - You're the beast!]

Buzz in the Blogosphere: Millions More Bloggers and Media Dragon Readers [Amazon £7bn sales, no UK corporation tax. Theguardian, 4 April 2012. Amazon.co.uk, Britain's biggest online retailer, generated sales of more than £3.3bn in the country last year but paid no corporation tax on any of the profits from that income - and is under investigation by the UK tax authorities Amazon River ; Two days into leaving, / the river's outer frond flushes worms imagined in the fire / onto the embankment of rust, / mud deep when imagination became an asterisk in the mine How is this possible? How could a book from a first-time author — with English as a second language — hit bestseller lists and stick for a decade and counting? The odds seem impossible: there are more than 200,000 books published each year in the US, and less than 5% ever sell more than 5,000 copies. Cold River: Luck and timing play a (always big) part ; Indie Bestseller Lists let you know what indie readers are buying right now Just because they say it can’t be done doesn’t make it so. Just because it’s labeled “impossible” doesn’t make it even remotely impossible. Do your homework, micro-test like a mother, and trust your conclusions. You could be wrong, and you often will be, but… what if you’re right? Indie Bestsellers | IndieBound]

• · "Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." Frank ZappaPlastic people of the bohemian universe; Did you know that there is a mathematical formula in Western music? A team of researchers from McGill and Stanford analyzed over 2,000 pieces of music by more than 40 different composers over the last 400 years and found that it's the rhythm in the tune that people respond to and enjoy... Rhythm & Response; While constant access to information enabled by digital devices has done much to improve our lives, it also exacts costs with respect to our attention and productivity that are especially harmful in a knowledge based economy. Increased public awareness of the impact of our information consumption habits—and ways to develop a healthier “information diet”—will help mitigate the negative impacts of constant connectivity Restoring Contemplation: How Disconnecting Bolsters the Knowledge Economy
• · · Bruce Hawker has withered in the full glare of publicity, so who can take his place? Before becoming a self-appointed political strategist and media commentator Bruce Hawker was the former Chief of Staff for the new Foreign Minister Bob Carr when Carr was New South Wales Premier. His links to Carr continue as he fades from the political scene and he seems to have set up Mark Arbib as his successor as the next Labor strategist. Bruce Hawker passes the Labor baton to Mark Arbib; In the most explosive evidence at Monday's hearing by the state's gaming authority, a lawyer for The Star read three texts that Peter Grimshaw, Mr O'Farrell's communications director, sent to his partner in 2010. Peter Grimshaw ; Peter Grimshaw quit following two days of sensational testimony at an inquiry by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority into whether he or others attempted to undermine Sydney's The Star casino and the position of its former boss, Sid Vaikunta. One year and one week into Barry O'Farrell's government and the first scalp is one of his most powerful aides, the Premier's communications director Peter Grimshaw. worse It has all the sordid feel of a Labor scandal. Maybe, in some ways, it is ; Peter Grimshaw ; It took a wide boy with a tax-haven tan and a big mouth to tell us what’s really going on • Those of us who try to care about this country sink from distaste to disgust to revulsion, till in the end there is nothing left to do but laugh. • Every so often (it happened three times last week) someone says to me that I should find something cheerful to write about. They’ve come to the wrong shop. All the political parties employ battalions of professional liars who can provide you with all the happy falsehoods that you want. • And the power-worshippers and courtiers of political journalism proudly pass on this tripe as if it were their own work Talk about having no shame
• · · · In the last decade, financiers have speculated billions of pounds in food, helping to make prices dearer and more volatile. Speculation by large investment banks is driving up food prices for the world's poorest people, tipping millions into hunger and poverty. Investment in food commodities by banks and hedge funds has risen from $65bn to $126bn (£41bn to £79bn) in the past five years, helping to push prices to 30-year highs and causing sharp price fluctuations that have little to do with the actual supply of food, says the United Nations' leading expert on food. The real hunger games: How banks gamble on food prices – and the poor lose out ; The Gujarat high court has ruled that banks cannot freeze accounts nor can they stop issuing cheque book or providing ATM facility where the account holder has not supplied KYC ( Know Your Customer) documents. The court has further ruled that presence of the account holder was not a 'must' for production of documents required for KYC. The ruling was given by division bench of Justice Jayant Patel and Justice Paresh Upadhyay last week while hearing a petition seeking temporary bail filed by one of the convicts of the 2008 Patan gangrape case, serving a life term KYC ; An examination of the web of “shell” companies shows that its main ownership leads to Liechtenstein through a company called Deswa Holding Establishment which owns 99 per cent of Venus Projects Ltd in which too Rishi has a stake. As of December 2009, the ownership of Tatra Sipox was between one Mrs Bozen Durdovicoca, Slovakian citizen, who owned 50 per cent shares and Venus Projects (Hong Kong) Ltd which also had 50 per cent stake. Inquiries revealed that Tatra Sipox, which was originally incorporated in 1994, was promoted by one Jozef Majsky of Cervenova in Bratislava, Slovakia and Venus Projects UK Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Venus Projects Hong Kong. Venus Projects Ltd’s address has been shown to be 2 Brentford Business Centre, Brentford Middle. TATRA ; Playing with fire Financial innovation can do a lot of good, It is its tendency to excess that must be curbed
• · · · · A whistle blower inside the ATO says it has abused its power and wasted money in a crackdown on highly wealthy people. 7:30 Report These papers (available via the link above) are a follow-up to a roundtable that reviewed the Australian tax system, the Henry Review recommendations and the extent of their implementation, and last year's Tax Summit at Parliament House. In October 2011 the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia, in partnership with the ANU and the Australia New Zealand School of Government, convened a roundtable event examining the tax and social transfer systems. Tax and social security
• · · · · · · Israeli fraudster fights UK attempt to seize assets British police want to confiscate the property of a lawyer who swindled Holocaust survivors CACT ; Eugene O’Neill never staged Long Day’s Journey during his lifetime. It was too painful. Rarely has a playwright stripped himself so bare Blood, sweat and tears
• · · · · · · An overmodest timidity has taken hold among high-style, personality-driven essayists like John Jeremiah Sullivan, who plays the doofus on the page. Why? It sells. The Son Shines Bright ; Thanks to disruptive innovations, much of our world today looks radically different than it did just a decade or two ago. Remember flying in the old days? Air travel used to be inevitably expensive and cumbersome — until Southwest Airlines. Trips to the video store and looming late fees are now a distant memory, thanks to Netflix. In industry after industry, disruptions deliver more for less and change everything from how we communicate with one another to how we work and shop. But, there's one major economic sector where disruptive innovation remains as rare as a sunny day in Seattle: the public sector Disrupting the public sector

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hundreds of mourners filled St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney today for a state funeral led by Archbishop George Cardinal Pell, 10 days after Mr Bowen's death at age 89. Even the Sydney sky shed tears for its amazing son. Few were as kind as Lionel Bowen and even though he was not a tall boy Lionel Bowen stood head and shoulders above the rest in any situation. Indeed, like no other person I met in parliamentary life, he was respected and admired across all factions and the parties and loved by all of his staff – this man had it all. I was one of the parliamentary staffers who admired the way he shared his wisdom, stories and witty joke … he really was a working class hero who represented the real labor party and let the country party to represent the peasants …
Mike Steketee at his best - "UNASSUMING" and "politician" are not usually uttered in the same breath, but they epitomised Lionel Bowen, who died this month aged 89. He rose from poor family circumstances in Sydney to become deputy opposition leader to Bill Hayden and deputy prime minister to Bob Hawke. But high office seemed to leave him unchanged: he continued living in the same modest house in Kensington, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, that he had first rented, then bought, and in which he and wife Claire raised eight children. The deputy prime minister was spotted once patiently waiting in a long queue at a Sydney bank in pre-ATM days, largely unrecognised. Bowen was a perfect foil for Hawke: solid, not flashy, a willing ear for backbench grievances, never overawed by Hawke or Gough Whitlam, the first Labor prime minister he served, but loyal to them both. His appeal to colleagues and voters was as a traditional, down-to-earth Labor person.

Mr Bowen was a member of the powerful NSW Right but was not regarded as a strong factional player. His personality was very humble, he was the ordinary person’s representative in parliament. ‘He could talk to the president of the Soviet Union in just as reasonable and. commonsense a style DIFFERENCES were put aside as Australian political heavyweights gathered in Sydney to pay tribute to Lionel Bowen, a "unique and remarkable" former deputy leader of the Labor Party. Political heavyweights unite to mourn 'decent and humble' Lionel Bowen ; Lionel Bowen a civilised and dignifying force Lionel, thanks for the memories
THE Irish surnames Brazil and Brassil are -- in the words of our correspondent, Jim Brassil -- "almost interchangeable and they both come from the Gaelic word for strife." Which is not inappropriate, given we spelled his name with a Z the other day. We were on a roll, running an anecdote related to us about Brassil accompanying Lionel Bowen on a flight in the US, only to be seated beside disgraced former US vice-president Spiro Agnew. Oops -- wrong LB. Prudently, we'll hand over to Brassil: "The man I was travelling with in January 1974 was Lance Barnard, then deputy PM to Gough Whitlam. Not that I would not have been pleased to travel with Lionel Bowen, who had been a friend since 1950. In 1974, we were both included along with Barnard among the owners of a racehorse, 'Anglos', in Launceston, Tasmania . . . Before we got on the plane for Washington in San Francisco, I was approached by one of the US security guards offering to get my gun on the plane. When I said I did not have a gun, the guard rejoined: 'The security guy for the vice-president of Australia and he does not have a gun! God help ya." Hey, we were right about Agnew. Bowen in the wind - Lionel Bowen is dryer than a bird bath in the Simpson Desert

According to some of the stories at the wake, Lionel Frost was christened as Joseph in the Catholic Church as the local priest found it very hard to accept this kind of name especially the frosty bit ... Saying goodbye to Lionel Bowen: the soul of pure crystal

Errol Simper noted where Mr Bowen found real friends - outside politics certainly not inside NSW Parliament sadly even details about certain parliamentary repoertes and managers tend to unfold like the petals of a particularlky poisonous blossom ... Few pews in this broad church

Friday, April 06, 2012

Blue Mountains of Easter

There are people who will ask you why you love Blue Mountains on Easter Friday ... And there are stories that that make our hearts move faster than our brains ...
Readers have been snapping up the books, eager to get a glimpse behind the fog of cold and hot war and ready to embrace stories that accentuate heroism instead of the often dreary developments reported in daily news accounts. Seeing some of these books rise to the top of best-seller lists, publishers are rushing to sign up similar titles, to be released in the next year. Got A Military Memoir? Now's The Time To Publish - And Sell Today’s technologies have also failed to defeat homesickness even though studies by the Carnegie Corporation of New York show that immigrants are in closer touch with their families than before. In 2002, only 28 percent of immigrants called home at least once a week; in 2009, 66 percent did. Yet this level of contact is not enough to conquer the melancholy that frequently accompanies migration. A 2011 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that Mexican immigrants in the United States had rates of depression and anxiety 40 percent higher than nonmigrant relatives remaining in Mexico. A wealth of studies have documented that other newcomers to America also suffer from high rates of depression and “acculturative stress. The New Globalist Is Homesick: A Priest Dies Craving for a Sight of his Motherland
Victim of Nostalgia: But Better to be over the hill than burried under it Havel's Specter: On Václav Havel
A specter is haunting Eastern Europe,” the Czech playwright Václav Havel wrote in 1978, “the specter of what in the West is called ‘dissent.’” In echoing the opening salvo of the Communist Manifesto, Havel was thumbing his nose at the regime he lived under, but his words had an earnest intent as well as a satirical one. Like Marx and Engels, he was trying to call an intellectual force to arms. He hoped to convoke a new kind of human organization, ad hoc and by design temporary, accruing no power in itself, and led not by designated authorities but by individuals who happened to have charisma.

Timely writing often grows stale, especially if it’s about politics. Havel knew this. Many politicians “play a key role at a particular moment,” he wrote in his memoir To the Castle and Back (2007); “a long, dull life can sometimes erase the memory.” Yet Havel’s judgment has been contradicted by his early protest writings, which have gained new relevance as the specter of dissent has returned to haunt much of the planet, from the Chinese town of Wukan to Wall Street, Cairo and Moscow. In addition to being a playwright and a politician, Havel, who died in December, was a philosopher, and his insight into how humans in groups understand themselves still speaks to the way we live in the world.

A few years later, Havel and other banned Czech writers felt they had little to lose [H avel had been repeatedly tortured by the Czech police. He was punished for demanding democracy and human rights. But perhaps Havel's experience of torture and imprisonment blinded him to how great life under Marxist dictatorship actually was. Or perhaps many Western writers are so desperate to blame capitalism for the world's problems that they're willing to forgive, even support, non-capitalist tyranny.Someone is always saying something nice about the worst totalitarian states. After Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, visited North Korea in 2010, she told the media she'd seen few signs of malnutrition. Mind you, she only visited Pyongyang and had been escorted the whole time by North Korean officials. Repeat after me: all tyranny is evil and wrong ; The world’s most typical person is a 28-year old Han Chinese man with no bank account who earns less than $13,000 a year. Marx would not be surprised. About much else, he’d be shocked... Marx at 193 ; While we're all talking about the definition of "truth" again, thanks to Mike Daisey and John D'Agata, we might as well revisit Truman Capote's famous "nonfiction novel" In Cold Blood and the seizures it must have given his New Yorker editor W. Shawn.It's the subject of a new investigation, Truman Capote and the Legacy of In Cold Blood, but Jack Shafer does a little extra digging around n Cold Blood ]
• · Some things are too complicated to study. When a question stumps the physicists, chemists, biologists, and psychologists, says Noam Chomsky, it ends up with the novelists Everything Was a Problem and We Did Not Understand a Thing ; Hilton Kramer didn’t fear making enemies. The champion of high culture, an implacable foe of the trendy and the fashionable, is dead at 84 Combative temperamen他 ; A few writers have the kind of power that believers attribute to gods: they create men and women and children who seem to us to be real. But unlike gods, these writers do not control the lives of their most famous creations. As time passes, their tales are told and retold. Writers and dramatists and film-makers kidnap famous characters like Romeo and Juliet, Sherlock Holmes, and Superman; they change the characters’ ages and appearance, the progress and endings of their stories, and even their meanings. there have been scores, possibly hundreds of dramatizations and condensations, prequels and sequels and spinoffs
• · · I don’t envy you! I would start with Louis Begley’s wonderful Why the Dreyfus Affair Matters. He makes brilliant links to whistle-blowing, rendition, forms of state autocracy in the U.S. today. I think I would say that the question of individual freedom, miscarriage of justice, the ugly side of nationalism—that none of these questions have gone away and that it is one of the first and most startling demonstrations of them in all their force. But also perhaps say how moving and significant it is that this one Jewish Army officer, sent to Devil’s Island, should have the power to split a country down the middle, that, as with the psychoanalytic symptom, you do not know where the most revealing things about a nation and its history might suddenly erupt. So a dude wrote a treasonous letter, and a Jew got blamed for it and then suddenly everyone in France was freaking out ;Many memoirs, even some of the transfixing ones, are full of 10 kinds of crap. No one's life plays out with a tidy moral. No one remembers conversations verbatim from when they were 7
• · · · Secrecy News, 12 March 2012. The Watergate scandal was a formative episode in American political culture that powerfully reinforced public scepticism towards government and fostered a heroic image of the intrepid reporter aided by his truth-telling source. But the reality, as usual, is more complicated than the received narrative. Leak: A new look at Watergate’s Deep Throat AllClear ID: Get notified when hackers get your data MIT Technology Review, 14 March 2012. A new service lets the FBI or other investigators alert you if your data is found in the wrong hands. A new iPhone app launched today will add a serious – but hopefully infrequent – note to the notifications that set your handset buzzing. AllClear ID will let you know when the FBI or other investigators have found your data in the hands of cyber criminals. Stories like the spectacular data breach that befell Sony last year mean that most of us now understand that cyber criminals actively access and trade our personal data. A less well-known consequence is that increasing volumes of it – credit card details, social security numbers and online accounts – are also passing through the hands of investigators from organizations like the FBI. FBI
• · · · · Often when an organizational problem occurs, the typical response is to create regulations to prevent that problem from happening again. For example, in a machine shop where safety gloves often went missing, the company centralized access to new gloves; required request forms for new gloves, with supervisor approval; and had auditors check for compliance. As expected, the number of lost gloves was significantly reduced. However, the new rules cost more than the gloves themselves, negatively affected morale, and reduced productivity. In many cases "controls" imposed to fix a problem become so complex that they create new problems. This eventually leads to an increasingly bureaucratic cycle of further breakdowns, more complex fixes, and more breakdowns. Too Complex

Sunday, April 01, 2012

As you may be aware, today is April Fool’s day — and while we won’t be playing any childish pranks here at Flavorpill, we do enjoy a good practical joke or two, especially when said joke is fictional and thus lacking in real-world consequences. Found today instead of yesterday, but still worth a look: the 10 Best Practical Jokes in Literature Kurt Vonnegut said, “All of fiction is a practical joke

On a business front, the Rinehart family feud continues to be played out in the public eye – more proof perhaps that ‘money does not buy happiness’.

We live in a digital life stream. A forever 'now-or-never' world built on instant expectation, instant availability and instant feedback. This week has seen the explosion of a global social media campaign around Ugandan LRA leader Joseph Kony – it has attracted world wide attention, the 30 min video receiving100 million hits in six days and garnered mass support (and some criticism). Social media also keeps tripping people up with the recently announced Miss Seattle coming under fire for a 3 month old comment where she tweeted “Ew….I am seriously hating Seattle right now” – agreed, not something you would want to be caught out saying as an ‘ambassador’ for your city! I’m more witty, worldly, on-the-go, in-the-know than you.
I'm Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Are Tracking Media Dragon on the Web. Who are these companies and what do they want from me? A voyage into the invisible business that funds the web. This morning, if you opened your browser and went to NYTimes.com, an amazing thing happened in the milliseconds between your click and when the news about North Korea and James Murdoch appeared on your screen. Data from this single visit was sent to 10 different companies, including Microsoft and Google subsidiaries, a gaggle of traffic-logging sites, and other, smaller ad firms. Nearly instantaneously, these companies can log your visit, place ads tailored for your eyes specifically, and add to the ever-growing online file about you A voyage While Google is often criticized for having a Wikipedia bias, it isn’t the only search engine that has one. When you conduct searches on Bing, you’re actually more likely to see Wikipedia prominently in your search results than for the same search on Google, namely the No. 1 spot, one of the top three spots, and on the first page of search results, according to a new Search Engine Watch study. Read on for the full details and breakdown Study Supports Bing Favoring Wikipedia More Often Than Google A secret unit within Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation promoted a wave of high-tech piracy in Australia that damaged Austar, Optus and Foxtel at a time when News was moving to take control of the Australian pay TV industry Media Dragons, Hackers and Code-cracker claims hit Murdoch firm
Dark side of digital age … If your company employs an Indian call centre, today you should be thinking twice. Reports of a widespread black market in Britons' personal data could destroy all confidence in customer services operations outsourced to the subcontinent. A Sunday Times investigation last weekend revealed that IT consultants working across the call centre industry in India are offering up the most sensitive personal details on thousands of UK residents. Worse still, British companies know it is happening but are turning a blind eye for fear of negative publicity. That strategy has now backfired Call centres are a $A7 billion industry in India

Courtesy of Judi H - Four Fazes of Life (4 Phases of Banking Life)

Nothing succeeds like excess Toxic Kapital
A toxic relationship business media, Goldman Sachs reveal bottom line on business morality
The Conversation, 16 March 2012. The worst damage to the Goldman Sachs franchise from the extraordinary attack on its corporate culture by a mid-level former employee comes from its clinical execution. With exquisite timing, Greg Smith’s opinion piece for the New York Times coincided with the early release by the Federal Reserve of stress test reports into the American banking sector. They appeared to show a sustained if patchy recovery.

Reducing capital requirements at this stage remains hotly contested. It also reopened debate on whether ostensibly stricter regulatory oversight has effected lasting change on Wall Street. Smith certainly didn’t think so. “I can honestly say the environment is now as toxic and destructive as I’ve ever seen it,” he wrote. “To put the problem in its simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money.

• Poor witnesses for people are eyes and ears if they possess barbarian souls Kapital; THE narrative of Margin Call unfolds quickly and inevitably, even if what lies behind it has been building for a time. It is set in a Wall Street investment bank in 2008, at the beginning of what we have come to know as the global financial crisis. It is told crisply, made with a powerhouse cast and an intriguing combination of restraint and directness. It has the outlines of a race-against-time thriller and the impact of a cold shower. Almost like level 13, where the mad Scotsman great ideas of madness get darker, the ironic euphemisms become coated with free-floating obscenities, scapegoats find themselves staked out, the rich protect their backs and get richer, and the public gets screwed Money Never Sleeps & The awful thing is this. Everyone has his reason [Two days into leaving, / the river's outer frond flushes worms imagined in the fire / onto the embankment of rust, / mud deep when imagination became an asterisk in the mind "The Mind is a Metaphor, is an evolving work of reference, an ever more interactive, more solidly constructed collection of mental metaphorics. This collection of eighteenth-century metaphors of mind serves as the basis for a scholarly study of the metaphors and root-images appealed to by the novelists, poets, dramatists, essayists, philosophers, belle-lettrists, preachers, and pamphleteers of the long eighteenth century. While the database does include metaphors from classical sources, from Shakespeare and Milton, from the King James Bible, and from more recent texts, it does not pretend to any depth or density of coverage in literature other than that of the British eighteenth century. The database was assembled and taxonomized and is maintained by Brad Pasanek. The Mind is a Metaphor ; Sydney Life ]
• · Challenge sessions, brainstorms and debates can be great ways to get the creative juices flowing. Most of us enjoy working as part of a team, so it comes as no surprise that group thinking is a good way to foster creativity because it gets people to consider new ideas and gather inspiration from places they would not normally look. Many of us are more creative when we are teamed up including PWC ; Jonah Lehrer wrote a book called Imagine: How Creativity Works Imagine; What allows some people to create the iPod, produce Star Wars, or develop Twitter? Is it in their genes? In an excerpt from his upcoming book, “Imagine: How Creativity Works”, Jonah Lehrer argues that creativity is not inherited or innate, but learned and developed. Lehrer also explains how researchers are exploring the science of creativity and how anyone can use their findings to learn to be creative. How to spark creativity; Cross Continent with IMANUGinative Man
• · · LLRX.com - Fiction is harder than fact, but the Web helps Via LLRX.com - Fiction is harder than fact, but the Web helps - Nicholas Pengelley's wide ranging global career spans law librarian, lawyer, law professor and analyst for a major international NGO. Now as the author of a new political thriller he explains why writing fiction is much harder to write than fact, based on comparison to work accomplished to publish academic articles in his fields of expertise, and opinion pieces on political issues. He attributes the success of aspects of this project to effective and expansive Web research for sources and information to facilitate fact checking and information gathering, as well as to the use of a manuscript editing software, AutoCrit Fiction is harder than fact ; THERE must be a Sir Humphrey Appleby clone in Canberra, someone telling any meddlesome new minister or incoming administration, ''whatever you do, don't lay a finger on that golden goose!' It seems no one wants to upset the ASIC apple cart to enforce disclosure laws.
• · · · HBR blog If you're a digital native, you should be aware that the internet may have partially rewired your brain in such a way that when you meet people face to face, you're less capable of figuring out what they're thinking.Digital natives are slow to pick up non-verbal cues; Follow up to New 'HTTPS Everywhere' Version Warns Users About Web Security Holes see the following from privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian - Firefox switching to HTTPS Google search by default (and the end of referrer leakage). "A few days ago, Mozilla's developers quietly enabled Google's HTTPS encrypted search as the default search service for the "nightly" developer trunk of the Firefox browser (it will actually use the SPDY protocol). Referrer header ; The current standard method for validating a user’s identity for authentication on an information system requires humans to do something that is inherently unnatural: create, remember, and manage long, complex passwordsActive Authentication
• · · · · Ahead of, or behind, the game The govt's public service legislation, though not without its strengths, is more a redrafting than a reform Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote, counselled those with writing ambitions: ''Do but take care to express yourself in a plain, easy Manner, in well-chosen, significant and decent terms … study to explain your Thoughts … labouring as much as possible, not to leave them dark nor intricate, but clear and intelligible.'' Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote ; Diamonds are forever: Book launch by ATINK plain language etc
• · · · · · . Google is apparently poised to launch its own third-party Net commenting platform in direct response to Facebook, which is increasingly being used as a commenting gateway on many sites 3 Ways That Google Is Searching To Secure Its Future ; Last week three of the biggest companies in technology were busy positioning themselves for the future. Collectively, their actions tell you a lot about the kind of turmoil headed for the rest of the business world. Cloud ; Predicting the future shape of the technology industry is a risky business. The future of technology…who knows?