Friday, September 09, 2016

Good artists copy, Great artists steal

“If it is without Consequence when we vaunt and suffer, or
If it is not, all echoes are the same
In such eternity. Then tell me, love,
How that should comfort us—or anyone
Dragged half-unnerved out of this worldly place,
Crying to the end ‘I have not finished’.”

An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.
— François-René de Chateaubriand, born on this date in 1768

"Only an artist can tell … what it is like for anyone who gets to this planet to survive it,” James Baldwin wrote in contemplating the artist’s struggle for integrity“Being an artist is not just about what happens when you are in the studio,” Teresita Fernández argued half a century later in her spectacular commencement address on what it means to be an artist“The way you live, the people you choose to love and the way you love them, the way you vote … will also become the raw material for the art you make.”

HMRC cleaners call off industrial action after hours are reinstated  

Centrelink urges clients to stay away on Friday ahead of public service strike 

Fair Work decision throws public service workplace bargaining in disarray 

On the left, "the worker" is sacred. So is a belief in solidarity and equality. But amid rapid economic fragmentation, does the left have a future? Enterprise Agreement

“Why waste those cute little tricks that the Army taught us just because it’s sort of peaceful now.”
Open plans, glass walls, communal table-desks, exposed brick: The carefully curated aesthetic of the modern office and the grim fate of the "knowledge worker"...   Exposed Strikers 

“In March, 49 people were put on trial charged with organised theft, conspiracy to commit a crime and handling stolen goods. … Their scam was rumbled following an anonymous tipoff, which led to a police operation that recovered thousands of paintings, sculptures and other objects stolen from auctioneers Hôtel Drouot.” Paris auction house porters jailed for stealing objects worth millions

How to raise a genius: lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart media dragons and their children Nature

Political comebacks road well travelled to redemption

INK BOTTLE“It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.”
~ G.K. Chesterton, “Spiritualism”

GAO:  IRS Needs To Clarify Authority Of Published Guidance

ATO presses for government-wide data storage

Government prepares open data overhaul

Just as there are no permanent allies in politics, there are few if any permanent enmities, just permanent interests. The recent reconciliation between Tony Abbott and Pauline Hanson is a neat illustration of this. A decade or so ago, Abbott was the driving force behind the prosecution that saw Hanson imprisoned (wrongly, as I wrote at the time) for breaches of electoral laws. Now he is courting her support, coyly mentioning how useful it might be to a future government with an unspecified new leader

Ars Technica: “In January, the New York State DMV enhanced its facial recognition technology by doubling the number of measurement points on a driver’s photograph, a move the state’s governor says has led to the arrest of 100 suspected identity thieves and opened 900 unsolved cases. In all, since New York implemented facial recognition technology in 2010, more than 14,000 people have been hampered trying to get multiple licenses.”

Seven Inspirational Steve Jobs views in life ...
When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through. [Steve stole this sentiment from my late father carpenter who always said that the biggest room in every house is the room for improvement ...)

Apple, after all? Apple is about people who think ‘outside the box,’ people who want to use computers to help them change the world, to help them create things that make a difference, and not just to get a job done.

Being Different is Good: Shakespearean Actresses Are Getting Nude Again, In The Name Of Free Expression

John Hatton's double as in the Underbelly John Waters once observed: "If you're angry at 20, you're sexy. If you're angry at 50, you're an asshole."

“Being like everybody is like being nobody.” If you simply try to emulate other writers, you won’t stand out on your own. If you try to copy scripts and movies that have already been successful, your work won’t stand out either. You need to showcase what you can bring to the industry, not how you can write like the others PostHumously The Making of Cold War River

Who got rich off the student debt crisis Reveal

 So You’re Going to Playtest a Roleplaying Game Adventure

The celebrity Z-list (NYT)

“Criminalizing Entrepreneurs: The regulatory state is also a prison state” [F.H. Buckley, American Conservative]

“The Godfather” and “The Wire,” have brought criminal slang to millions of noncriminal ears. Writers often seek slang lexicographers to give the shows an air of realism True crime slang

In August 2011, multiple servers used to maintain and distribute the Linux operating system kernel were infected with malware that gave an unknown intruder almost unfettered access. Earlier this week, the five-year-old breach investigation got its first big break when federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing a South Florida computer programmer of carrying out the attack. Donald Ryan Austin, 27, of El Portal, Florida, used login credentials belonging to a Linux Kernel Organization system administrator to install a hard-to-detect backdoor on servers belonging to the organization, according to the document that was unsealed on Monday. The breach was significant because the group manages the network and the website that maintain and distribute the open source 
OS that's used by millions of corporate and government networks around the world. One of Austin's motives for the intrusion, prosecutors allege, was to "gain access to the software distributed through the website."

SEC Whistleblower Program Surpasses $100 Million in Awards

Guilty plea for man who staged 50+ fake car accidents as part of eastern Connecticut fraud ring [U.S. Department of JusticeNorwich Bulletin,Insurance Journal]

Theresa May's £3150 lunch shows that democracy is still for sale 

The Defense Department's $6 billion supermarket chain needs tighter security for the secret keys fastening its hundreds of databases, Pentagon officials say.


It’s the final line that holds me and recalls a similar declaration. Isaac Babel was arrested by Stalin’s goons on March 15, 1939, and taken to Lubyanka Prison. He was accused of working for Trotsky and spying for France and Austria. His twenty-minute trial took place on Jan. 26, 1940, he was executed by firing squad the following day and buried in a communal grave. None of this was known until 1990. The transcript of his trial includes Babel’s final words:  “I am innocent. I have never been a spy. I never allowed any action against the Soviet Union. I accused myself falsely. I was forced to make false accusations against myself and others . . . I am asking for only one thing -- let me finish my work.” I have not finished ...

Revolving Doors: IFS chief joins Office for Tax Simplification board 

Capitalism and democracy: the strain is showing Government clamps down on corruption with new team

Bank executives frequently proclaim that Wall Street is vital to the nation’s economy and performs socially valuable services by raising capital, providing liquidity to investors, and ensuring that securities are priced accurately so that money flows to where it will be most productive. There’s just one problem: the Wall Street mantra isn’t true Does Wall Street Do “God’s Work”? Or Even Anything Useful?