Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Hostages to fortune

Uncertainty is an unavoidable part of human life ...

War and Peace helped establish historical fiction but left open the genre's quandary: What's the right balance between history and fictionCertainty of non-fiction of fiction 

How does digital media dragons really affect us? 

While there are many literary giants who drank as well as they wrote, Ernest Hemingway may be the all-time champ. (Sorry Charles Bukowski and Sea of Lattituders (sic)) Hemingway's poison 

Art or farce? 

Leaders Deny Strife Caused Departures From Politico New York Times. Schadenfraude alert. Politico is a big recipient of Wall Street advertising, and its coverage reflects that. Huffington Post broke the story, and the details are juicy.

  Town haul: Developers eye richesSYDNEY’S council mergers have sparked a multi-million dollar land grab as developers eye grand old town halls, prime harbourside land and other valuable real estate gems that could become surplus to requirements Town haul: Developers eye riches

Tic-tac-toe fell in 1952, checkers in 1994, chess in 1997 and it now looks like Go, the ancient Chinese game that has a search space many, many times greater than chess, has fallen to a new AI from Google.

The shadow chancellor insisted the scandal over Google's tax affairs demonstrated a need for greater scrutiny.  He told the Sunday Mirror: 'After this week it has only confirmed a belief I have long held. The Chancellor, the politician with sole responsibility for setting taxation, should be open and transparent about their own income. 'That is why in the spirit of the 'new politics' I have taken the decision to publish my personal tax returns. 'And I will do so every year while I seek to be and hopefully one day become Chancellor. 'I think it is only fair that politicians set a good example. Especially those charged with or those who aspire to oversee the nations finances.'

I had to laugh at what Richard Brooks, author of The Great Tax Robbery, had to say about HMRC: “The reports of their success are a sort of exercise in fiddling the figures themselves – just like the tax dodgers.”  HMRC tax avoidance dispatches greg wise Channel 4

Baby cages used to ensure that children get enough sunlight and fresh air when living in an apartment building, ca. 1937

In his opening statement, Robert Stefanic said he was impressed with the dedication and professionalism of “most of” his staff and intended to build on the department’s capacity based on his experience running the equivalent agency in New South Wales.

To understand Modern hostages of fortune, pay less attention to poems and paintings than to faceless bureaucrats, agency acronyms, and legalese Holistic Kafka 

When Peter Shergold was asked to rake over major policy failures under the previous government and draw out lessons in better ways of doing public administration, he seized the opportunity to say what he really thinks. His lively report (with its mouthful title) — Learning from Failure: why government policy initiatives have gone so badly wrong in the past and how the chances of success in the future can be improved — reads like a manifesto for modern public services that attempts to go well above and beyond its terms of reference Adapt or die: Peter Shergold's manifesto for transformation