Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Trading in Shameful Myths And Poli Lies: Killer of A Killer ...

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will... Those tale of cold war escape of East Latitude proportions are a reminder of this đź’€g


“The bonfire of hatred was lit, and it spiraled out of control.” 

– Lydie Salvayre on taxing times in the corridors of power and water coolers


‘We live in a world where the powerful deceive us. We know they lie, they know we know, they don’t care. We say we care, but we do nothing. And nothing ever changes. It’s normal. Welcome to post-truth politics.’

The man behind the likes of The Power of Nightmares and Bitter Lake is, depending on your point of view, an arch conspiracy theorist, or the only documentary-maker who remains fully #woke. His latest, HyperNormalisation – now available on BBC iPlayer – charts how our current era of post-truth politics came about, from first building up pantomime villains like Colonel Gaddafi, to how the internet now gives us each our own truths. We asked him to expand specifically on Trump, and how he went from a political punchline to within a hair’s breadth of the White House. ( Adam Curtis: Donald Trump is a product of Seventies count)

2000s "Given there are simply not enough jobs to go around for the foreseeable future, we must be more compassionate to those without jobs and find other ways to elicit well-being, participation and inclusion in our society," Revolution in A Making: Not enough jobs for the low skilled ... Definition of recesion Your neighbour loses a Job ...)

Heidelberger Strasse was divided down the middle by the Berlin Wall. It was known as "the Street of Tears" and was the site of many of the early tunnels


Zadie Smith: “What can an art of words take from the art that needs none? Yet I often think I’ve learned as much from watching dancers as I have from reading. Dance lessons for writers: lessons of position, attitude, rhythm and style, some of them obvious, some indirect.”  Dance Lessons For Writers ...

The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps ... so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in.
— Dylan Thomas, born on this date in 1914 (Bob Dylan's hero who traded in myths too)


ARS Technica: Google Brain has created two artificial intelligences that evolved their own cryptographic algorithm to protect their messages from a third AI, which was trying to evolve its own method to crack the AI-generated crypto. The study was a success: the first two AIs learnt how to communicate securely from scratch 



Apple’s Cook: ‘We’re going to kill cash’ CNET (Dan K). The hubris, it burns! Let us not forget that ApplePay is a mere app that sits on top of payment systems run by banks, and central banks have more than a little to say about how payment systems operate? And as Richard Smith notes:

Mind you, if it takes off, what could possibly go wrong? Oh…
IT’S known as the “killer of killers” because it attacks and eats some of the deadliest snakes on the planet but its unique venom could one day relieve a lot of human suffering Blue Coral snake ...

The third and final book in the official history of the Australian Intelligence and Security Organisation (ASIO) has been released.
Written by John Blaxland of the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, the Secret Cold War: The Official History of ASIO, 1975-1989, covers a period of intense activity in the history of Australian security and intelligence.
ASIO trilogy reaches final chapter 

FAS – Secrecy News – Steven Aftergood: “The Central Intelligence Agency said this week that it will post its database of declassified CIA documents online, making them broadly accessible to all interested users. The database, known as CREST (for CIA Records Search Tool), contains more than 11 million pages of historical Agency records that have already been declassified and approved for public release. Currently, however, CREST can only be 
accessed through computer terminals at the National Archives in College Park, MD. This geographic restriction on availability has been a source of frustration and bafflement to researchers ever since the digital collection was established in 2000. (See CIA’s CREST Leaves Cavity in Public DomainSecrecy News, April 6, 2009; Inside the CIA’s (Sort of) Secret Document StashMother Jones, April 3, 2009). But that is finally going to change. The entire contents of the CREST system will be transferred to the CIA website, said CIA spokesperson Ryan Trapani …”


Italy judge agrees tax probe settlement with head of Apple's Irish unit  
Corporate Welfare: Grouse shooting estates shored up by millions in subsidies - 30 estates  are owned by firms registered in offshore tax havens, such as the British Virgin Islands, Liechtenstein, Jersey and Guernsey  


Axium International CEO John Visconti Convicted of Tax Fraud
HMRC: Compliance checks: serial tax avoidance - warning notices CC/FS38  

Slippery Slope: Study Finds Little Lies Lead to Bigger Ones ABC (Dan K). Why should it be a surprise that practice makes perfect? Dan K also provides a link to the underlying study: The brain adapts to dishonesty Nature Neuroscience. This study is getting a lot of attention; Chuck L and Robert M saw writeups in two other pubs.

Christopher Marlowe credited as one of Shakespeare’s co-writers Guardian



The study of how we make decisions and why we choose to buy certain products is becoming the focus of consumer goods companies and retailers

Insights companies can draw from neuroscience and behavioural economics to make their organisations and customer experience better.



Former Pa. attorney general sentenced to jail The Hill 


How to cheat at poker, and many other games

Myths - How did the moon's orientale basin get its three rings

Adam Ozimek raises that question.  You might think a growing population is obviously better for business, but it’s actually not so clear...

Inside Higher Education, Can Your Productivity Be Measured? (reviewing Yves Gingras (University of Quebec), Bibliometrics and Research Evaluation: Uses and Abuses (MIT Press, 2016):
“Since the first decade of the new millennium, the words ranking, evaluation, metrics, h-index and impact factors have wreaked havoc in the world of higher education and research.” ...  Ultimately, Bibliometrics concludes that the trend toward measuring anything and everything is a modern, academic version of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” in which — quoting Hans Christian Andersen, via Gingras — “the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever to appear holding up a train, although, in reality there was no train to hold.”
Gingras says, “The question is whether university leaders will behave like the emperor and continue to wear each year the ‘new clothes’ provided for them by sellers of university rankings (the scientific value of which most of them admit to be nonexistent), or if they will listen to the voice of reason and have the courage to explain to the few who still think they mean something that they are wrong, reminding them in passing that the first value in a university is truth and rigor, not cynicism and marketing.”


Wall Street Journal op-ed: A Boy’s Allowance: Never Safe From the IRS, by Ragheed I.Moghrabi:
My 10-year-old wanted to open a bank account with $100. Then the trouble began.
As an American banker based in the Middle East for over 10 years, I have links back home that alternate between infrequent visits as well as the occasional get-together with compatriot working professionals in Abu Dhabi, Beirut and Dubai. Living in Lebanon with my family, I’ve grown used to the Byzantine world of U.S.-initiated tax rules on Americans abroad. But when a tax rule extends to my children—in this case an unemployed fifth-grader—I sit up, take notice and worry.

Children of the Revolution City Journal The Art of Forgetting ...

Private Jets for Corgis and Other Secrets of Putin’s Inner Circle Bloomberg. At least those oligarch are using their own (not exactly clean) money. Guys in private equity make lavish use of private jets (flying around girlfriends or mistresses is normal, and you can see tail numbers of PE owned jets zooming to sun destinations on major holiday when only a teeny minority if any are being used on real businesses).

Calandro, Joseph, Impact Investment and Risk Management: Overview and Approach (October 25, 2016). ACRN Oxford Journal of Finance and Risk Perspectives, Vol. 5, Issue 3, pp. 46-60, 2016 . Available for download at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2859007
“Managing financial risk has proven difficult over time as evidenced by numerous high profile failures over the recent past including and especially those experienced in the stock market crash of 1987, the financial crisis of 1997-1998 (also known as the “Asian Contagion”) and the 2007-2008 financial crisis (also known as “The Big Short”). Therefore, managing both the financial and social risks inherent in an impact investment, and across a portfolio of impact investments, could be particularly challenging in the absence of a practical framework. This paper profiles a framework for managing Impact Investment Risk as a function of investment risk, social impact risk, and the problem-set common to both. The taxonomy of the framework is illustrated, explained and then applied to a case study. The subject of the case is an actual impact investment that has been profiled as, “The Triple Bottom Line and Investing for Impact: The Case of Afram Plains District of Ghana.” The case analysis leads to a discussion of performance measurement, basic statistical analysis and potential enterprise risk management considerations such as exposure classification and tracking, tail risk analysis, and potential broader uses of impact investment risk information.”

Benjamin Alarie, Anthony Niblett & Albert Yoon (Toronto), Using Machine Learning to Predict Outcomes in Tax Law:
Recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning have bolstered the predictive power of data analytics. Research tools based on these developments will soon be commonplace. For the past two years, the three of us have been working on a project called Blue J Legal. We started with a view to understanding how machine learning techniques can be used to better predict legal outcomes. In this paper, we report on our experiences so far. The paper is set out in four parts.

A Dutch case suggests firms with horrible stains on their history are better off facing up to them
How to confront a dark corporate past


US CIO Makes Final Push to Shore Up Government Cyber Vulnerabilities


The approach to understanding markets and regulation captured by the term ‘behavioural economics’ is increasingly an accepted part of the regulatory narrative. At ASIC, we believe that enhanced behavioural understanding can help us to significantly improve market and consumer outcomes.







Inside the Cyberattack That Shocked the US Government


Erin Adele Scharff (Arizona State), Powerful Cities?: Limits on Municipal Taxing Authority and What to Do About Them, 91 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 292 (2016):
Cities are once again on the rise and have become the site of major public debates, from income inequality and immigration policy to where and how Americans should live. While municipal leaders are often eager to fill the void in political leadership left by Congress and state elected officials, they are often hamstrung by state home rule laws, which define the powers states grant to municipalities. These laws limit, among other things, municipal taxing authority. Recently, local government scholars have wrestled with whether and how to grant municipalities more fiscal authority, but such scholarship has not provided a unified theory of municipal taxing authority.