Thursday, December 17, 2015

Annotating All Knowledge: Guilty on All Counts

INK BOTTLE“The typical political leader of the contemporary managerial society is a man with a strong will, a high capacity to get himself elected, but no very great conception of what he is going to do when he gets into office.”
~ Henry Kissinger, “Bureaucracy and Policymaking: The Efect of Insiders and Outsiders on the Political Process”

Anger and apathy have allowed the 18-month-old feline to claw nearly 91 per cent of more than 5,400 votes cast, reports The Guardian.

Dr Mark Zirnsak from Tax Justice Network Australia — a community group which has been instrumental in pushing for greater corporate tax transparency — said it would put public pressure on companies who aggressively reduce their tax bills.
"The reality is it's right for the public and members of the community to be asking companies that look to earning a lot of money here and not paying much tax to explain why that's the case," he said.

In the wake of the Holocaust, a prolific Jewish historian started stealing from European archives. Was he a restitution warrior or simply a thief   Guilty on All Counts 

Malchkin's Memories of Safaris with Kenyan Grandfather
According to characters like Henry, Political parties are like glaciers.  At a glance they appear as motionless as they are monolithic, but they are always moving.  People and ideas are forever coming and going, factions begin fracturing and re-forming, and the perpetual momentum of collective ambitions building and building until the pressure overcomes institutional inertia, something breaks and, somewhere cold and dark, a piece of ice the size of Tasmania falls into the sea.
Such moments of transformation are, due to size and scale, inherently dramatic and unexpected, but, in hindsight, inevitable.... Deb Richards ...

Every good idea has its day, says Michael Thawley, the outgoing head of the Australian Public Service. If one word could summarise his ambition for the APS, it’s “ideas”.
Reflections turn to farewells for Michael Thawley

For wise and educated characters like Dr Cope or MO'N the  main asset for them is just knowing more than everyone else ...

How can you resist a debate dealing with criminal justice system between two of the nation’s most distinguished federal appeals judges — Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit and J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the Fourth — moderated by Tim Lynch? [more; coverage, Jacob Gershman, WSJ]

Three times more than the next press.Three times!” Chad Post wrote on Sunday, on the database of American translated fiction that he runs on the University of Rochester’s Three Percent blog. “[Amazon - Even though he is not a saint like Jozef Imrich, Librarian Jeff Bezo rocks] makes up almost 14% of all the translations included on their own. That’s incredible.”
Books are becoming longer

Garden of Wisdom the Spirit of the NSW Parliamentary Library

Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous quote that “you are entitled to your own opinion … but you are not entitled to your own facts ...”  applies more today than ever .

ThePsychReport:  In a 2006 Downing Street seminar, Robert Cialdini had one message that struck particularly deeply, and led to quite a bit of nervous laughter around the State Dining Room. He talked about how often policymakers, in his opinion, not only missed the power of social norms and influence, they often inadvertently used them in a way that actually backfired How Can Governments and Businesses Avoid the ‘Big Mistake?’

Centre for Public ImpactL: We speak to the director of Denmark's MindLab, Thomas Prehn, about this pioneering approach to policymaking
Welcome to the lab

Republicans get in trouble for being cold-hearted and overly rational. In many ways that reputation is deserved as they appear unafraid to gouge each other’s eyes out on polarizing, rational tactics, but seem afraid to inspire. They can’t stand Democrats because Republicans believe the Democrat platform is big on fluffy inspiration and short on rational tactics. But here’s the problem. As Simon Sinek put it so well in a 2009 TED Talk, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”  Candidates should listen to Simon Sinek people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it 

The Cloud Catalog: One Catalog to Serve Them All – By Steve Coffman As a whole, public libraries are the single largest supplier of books in the U.S.

“As accessing information becomes less challenging for most of the world, new problems emerge. Discovering, evaluating, and most importantly, connecting relevant knowledge is overwhelming. There hasn’t been a way to bridge the chasm between isolated communities with their specific knowledge base and the rest of us – until now! launched a mission driven coalition: “annotating all knowledge” and SSRN is proud to be one of the founding members. Their recent blog post states the coalition members “realize that a robust and interoperable conversation layer can transform scholarship, enabling personal note taking, peer review, copy editing, post publication discussion, journal clubs, classroom uses, automated classification, deep linking, and much more…

lab and parakeets links
Fearless watchDog
Censys is a search engine that enables researchers to ask questions about the hosts and networks that compose the Internet. Censys collects data on hosts and websites through daily ZMap and ZGrab scans of the IPv4 address space, in turn maintaining a database of how hosts and websites are configured.  Details on the Censys architecture and functionality are available in research paper ...
A Search Engine Backed by Internet-Wide ScanningZakir Durumeric, David Adrian, Ariana Mirian, Michael Bailey, J. Alex Halderman 22nd ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS’15)

I loved my life.  I loved the life that Jo and I had made.  I loved the way that ordinary things became beautiful in our eyes.  I loved our simple, comfortable, friendly house.  I loved our garden, our modest little vegetable plot, the pathetic tomatoes on the vine it gave us.  I loved hoeing the frozen ground with my husband.  I loved our dreams of next spring. I was waiting with all the enthusiasm of a young mother to be a grandmother one day; I tried my hand at lavish cakes, gourmet pancakes, rich chocolate desserts. I wanted to have the scents of my own childhood in our house, with different photographs on the wall." ~ A Strong Belief in Wicker Author: Grégoire Delacourt Title: The List of My Desires Publisher: Orion Books, 2014 ISBN: 9781780224251

NPR celebrates literary magazines, noting their longevity in a world that would seem to have passed them by.  The Paris Review has three times the circulation it had ten years ago, which is good news for literati everywhere.
Maybe you already knew about  Free books!  How could I not have known?  There’s a huge range of material on offer, from the abstruse scientific treatise to short science fiction stories.  Take a look around and see if anything strikes your fancy.
I don’t usually link to interviews or profiles of authors, but this article about Ted Chiang just strike me as special.  If you haven’t read Chiang’s short story collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, make it your next purchase — it’s wonderful.
Writer Jo Walton explains how owning an e-reader has changed her reading habits:  “What it is, of course, is a library in your pocket,” she says, and there’s a part of me that has to agree.  We both still want actual physical books too, though, I hasten to add.

ATP - Latest Tax News Issue 2015/235 Thursday, 03 December 2015. The Federal Court has held that the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) should not be a party to proceedings concerning the validity of tax assessments.

At the Guardian, Stefan Collinis diagnosis after reading the latest volume of Isaiah Berlin's letters:
Berlin’s admirers are prone to say that there is mean-spirited, reverse snobbery at work in criticisms of his constant hobnobbing with the rich, powerful and well-connected. But the justifiable charge against him here is not that he liked the company of such people: it is that his cultivated intimacy with such circles habituated him into thinking of himself as being on the inside, able to pull strings and to drop a word in the ear of those with one kind of power or another without having to mount a properly argued case in public, which might then have been open to challenge. He enjoyed his insider status and he liked his opinions to have influence, but he hated to have to acknowledge them publicly or to be drawn into controversy over them. He undeniably possessed a streak of deviousness or even cowardice, and his genuinely liberal principles were often in tension with his equally deep need to be liked and admired.

Australian Tax Office (finally) considering going digital by default, but walk and talk don't match
eGovAU, 4/12/15. I am glad to see this consultation occurring, however feel that the way in which they are doing it leaves much to be desired and, in my view, weakens my trust in the ATO's ability to go digital by default in a manner that maximises tax compliance through making it easier and simpler for people to meet their obligations.