Friday, July 15, 2016

The way we think, work, love now: One Step Forward ...

“It was extraordinary how fond she had become of this man, thought Mrs. Pollifax, and she reflected upon how few persons there were with whom she felt an instinctive rapport. There was never anything tangible about this. It was composed of humor, attitude, spirit—all invisible—and it made words completely unnecessary between them.”
~ Dorothy Gilman, The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax (courtesy of Mrs. T)

“The nature of love is about paying attention to the people who matter, about still giving when you are too tired to give.”

We begin our lives with love [and] we learn human connection at home. It is the foundation upon which we build our lives — or it should be — and if the monkey or the human doesn’t learn love in infancy, he or she “may never learn to love at all.”

Editors, here are 5 tips for working with loving writers

Even in the allegedly truth-free world we live in, one thing is for sure: journalists *love* the "post-fact" trope. Two thoughtful pieces this week — by the editor-in-chief of the Guardian and in The New Scientist — looked at the effect of new media on the circulation of facts. For another perspective, Macedonian fact-checker Filip Stojanovski, writing in Global Voices, asks whether fact-checking can save democracy.

New Tools Are Enabling Employees To Be Productive From Anywhere
The Digital Transformation Playbook from BMC & PSFK Labs looks at the secure set of technologies supporting workforce mobilization

Lunatics are running the asylum: Civil service turns to Big Four for help over Brexit trade negotiations

Americans too poor to shop New York Post (Mark Twain)

Half of current jobs are in danger of being replaced by robots. What's imperiled is not only the ability to make a living but also the viability of  democracy 

Pojanowski, Jeffrey A., After Chevron Deference (July 7, 2016). Missouri Law Review, Vol. 81, 2017, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN:

“She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.” —J. D. Salinger, “A Girl I Knew”

The Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP) has announced the winners of several of its 2016 awards. The list of prizes and winners is below. But first, notice that the AAP issues an award to non-philosophers: its Media Professionals’ Award 

Gallup’s new State of Local and State Government Workers’ Engagement  Local and State Government Workers’ Engagement report shows current employee engagement and disengagement figures for the state and local governments in 43 states. The findings illustrate the need for these governments to find strategies to help curb disengagement. Leaders have the chance to more effectively help government employees understand how they fit into the government’s mission, and

Australia’s ranking when it comes to “networked readiness” has slipped from 16th to 18th, according to the World Economic Forum’s global information technology report for 2016. Network readiness is an assessment of how well a country is positioned to take advantage of emerging communication technologies — basically, the economic agileness that Malcolm Turnbull likes to go on about. As the report puts it: the Network Readiness Index “assesses the factors, policies and institutions that enable a country to fully leverage information and communication technologies for increased competitiveness and wellbeing.”
Digital painting with pixels
Official Google Blog: “It’s been two years since we first shared our workforce demographics and helped spark a conversation about the need to improve diversity at Google and across the tech industry. Today we’re updating with our 2015 demographics, and sharing some areas where we’ve seen progress in building a more diverse and inclusive Google….We’re still not where we want to be when it comes to diversity, but last year, we made progress in our efforts to build a more diverse Google…” Interesting there is no mention of age – what are the statistics on, for example, how many employees are over 40, over 50, over 60?

Sooner or later, every play becomes a history play, a time capsule whose carefully preserved contents show us something of what life was like at a particular moment in the past. Some plays, however, tell us far more than others about such moments. One of them is “Company,” the 1970 musical in which Stephen Sondheim and George Furth described what it was like to be a member of the urban bourgeoisie at the moment when America was becoming a country where marriage for life is not a normal destiny but an increasingly remote possibility. Twenty years ago, I thought that “Company” was a period piece. Today it seems prophetic, a hardheaded comedy about the way we live and love now—and its hardheadedness helps to explain why it doesn’t get done as often as it should. The way we love now

brush in hand the wind sketches
landscapes of words
sculpted mountain slopes
shadow plains
horizon enclaves

Via FAS – Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer, John F. Sargent Jr., Specialist in Science and Technology Policy. June 28, 2016: “Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology—commonly referred to collectively as nanotechnology—is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and
societal benefits. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention particularly to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness in the field; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. This report provides an overview of these topics and two others: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology.

There and in places like Nairobi, he finds the same sort of creative ferment he found in Berlin 25 years ago. "Artists are good at scenting out opportunity in the ruins. It happened in the Bombay of Salman Rushdie's time, it happened in the East Village of the '70s, it's happening now in Africa. Throw in revolutionary politics and you have the perfect conditions for very engaged, energetic art." Rob Spillman on remaking himself amid the rubble of the past in 'All Tomorrow's Parties'

Sebastian Junger, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.  

We are living in the middle of a [real-time] epidemic,” says novelist Richard Powers, in said introduction’s opening paragraph. He points to the surge in technological features — such as split screens, picture-in-picture modes, multi-tasking software — that enable people to “[cram] two moments…into one.” He observes that empowered with the ability to maximize every second of our day, society has developed such a mastery over time that “nanoseconds now weigh heavily on our hands.” He tells us that reading presents “the last refuge” from this epidemic; the collection of stories and poems that follow are assembled by “the length you might steal from the flow, and still get away with Beyond Digital vs. Print: On How We Consume Media

Governments have never been so enthusiastic about engagement, but it's debatable whether those efforts attract more than just the usual suspects. Here are five cost-free ways to drive higher engagement. Millions of visitors, a handful of comments: why engagement falls flat

The backstabbing and intrigue playing out in British politics following the Brexit vote tops any fictionalized tales in "House of Cards." Henry Farrell, a political scientist at George Washington University, also notes that it wasn't an accident that Netflix looked to Britain to find a TV show that had sharp things to say about politics. "American shows about politics tend to be sappy, banal and uplifting — 'The West Wing' is a perfect example. They usually assume that politicians are good, sincere people at heart. British shows tend to be far more cynical. People who are engaged with politics — including political scientists — tend to be cynical, too, and as a result often prefer British political TV to its American equivalent." (The Monkey Cage)

There Is No Handbook for Being a Writer

“Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Israel, Singapore, the Netherlands and the United States are leading the world when it comes to generating economic impact from investments in information and communications technologies (ICT), according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2016. On average, this group of high-achieving economies at the pinnacle of the report’s Networked Readiness Index (NRI) economic impact pillar scores 33% higher than other advanced economies and 100% more than emerging and developing economies.

Voters Add to Election Turmoil by Threatening to Jump Party Lines WSJ

Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump, or None of the Above

THE BAD OLD DAYS MAKE A COMEBACK: StrategyPage’s Wars Update. This is Jim Dunnigan’s semi-annual assessment of armed conflict on the planet. Full disclosure: I’ve been a contributing editor at StrategyPage since 1999.

This is the lead, which may be difficult to believe but the stats back it up:

The post-Cold War trend towards less violence is resuming after a brief interruption. In 2014 over a decade of declining violence was temporarily reversed because terrorism deaths were up by about 20 percent that year and nearly as high in 2015. This was mainly because of ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in Syria and Iraq and Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Scroll down to read updates on major trouble spots, from Afghanistan to Yemen.

The Myth Of Cosmopolitanism:

Indeed elite tribalism is actively encouraged by the technologies of globalization, the ease of travel and communication. Distance and separation force encounter and immersion, which is why the age of empire made cosmopolitans as well as chauvinists — sometimes out of the same people. (There is more genuine cosmopolitanism in Rudyard Kipling and T. E. Lawrence and Richard Francis Burton than in a hundred Davos sessions.) . . .

Where is Noor Salman and the media that covered up her “disappearance”? It’s a local crime story.

When, If Ever, Do Scandals Belong On A Scholar’s Wikipedia Page?

AMERICAN JOURNALISTS COVERING THE TRUMP PHENOMENON COULD LEARN A LOT FROM this piece on Pauline Hanson by Margo Kingston. “Her supporters were by and large nice people with little money who were largely uninterested in politics. They were suffering badly from the effects of competition policy, which had seen basic servicesb and jobs stripped out of their towns. They loved Hanson’s grit and plain speaking. Most of all, they loved that she listened. . . . When I tried to converse with supporters about politics I misinterpreted everything they said, and likewise. I thought they were racists and they thought I was a racist. Communication was impossible without getting to know each other first. . . . Western democracies are splitting up into warring tribes. I think Hanson’s return to our parliament is a chance to bring ours together a little bit. If we try.”

Via Bohemians at Stedman’s: offers Stedman’s online medical dictionary, free of charge, as part of our medical and drug information service. To use the medical dictionary, type in your search term, or browse the A-Z index

Piles of Dirty Secrets Behind a Model ‘Clean Coal’ Project NYT

Merger of the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and the CrimTrac Agency (CrimTrac)

On 1 July 2016, the ACC and CrimTrac merged to become the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) The new agency's website is 

An IoT-enabled aid connects to practically any device to help people with hearing impairments