Thursday, November 03, 2016

Weightless Mental Handcuffs: Much Less Than One

 ‘It’s hard to listen to all those people be nice to you. You just get so suspicious that JC is behind it ...'”

Exclusive cultural revival and change journey took place at Parramatta yesterday with Kel..Co...We could either put another bandage on and hope the bleeding would stop, or we could rip the bandage off, have a look at the wound and triage. The bandage was ripped issues were exposed and the deep wound was treated ...  Co-Design and ('5 Cs' ) isn't just about the public — if services are designed for use by public servants, they should be consulted too.  Dropping like flies: the rise of workplace burnout and how to tackle it
Performance management is under-performing 

If you were designing a nation from scratch, it would look something like Australia. A Eurasian people, boring politicians, and an economy that virtually runs itself. Powering Australia’s Economic Surge ... (via BC in NYT)

The Catholic artist sees humanity struggling in a fallen world. We long for grace and redemption, but feel a deep sense of our own imperfection. Evil exists, but the world is not evil. We experience reality as sacramental: The world is shimmering with signs of sacred things. All reality is mysteriously charged with the presence of God. We also perceive suffering as redemptive, at least when we bear it in emulation of Christ’s passion and death.” … California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia on the Poetry of Life | Daily News |
Art critic Robert Hughes was one of the most outspoken critics of Julian Schnabel's work: he once stated that "Schnabel's work is to painting what Stallone's is to acting: a lurching display of oily pectorals." (Time Magazine, August 7, 2012)

Oh no. A leaf blower. Strong by noise weak by nature.  The easiest way to witness the stupidity and misplaced hopes of all humanity is to watch, for twenty minutes, a human using a leaf blower.  With this machine, the man was saying, I will murder all quiet.  I will destroy the aural plane.  And I will do so with a machine that performs a task far less efficiently than I could with a rake ...

I feel like Pablo Escobar,” he said. “It’s a mountain of cash, every day more and more.”

Image for the news result

Try literature that scares the daylights out of you. Reading ghost stories not only helps expand the imagination; it also makes us nicer and ... more humble (BC)

How to write a best seller
. Avoid fantasy, science fiction, revolutions, dinner parties, dancing. Focus on work. We're fascinated by other people's jobs... We are fascinated by Work :-) 

What a terrible time it is to be a man. Emasculated by desk jobs and postmodern gender politics, they can’t even exercise eternally manly virtues – correcting other people’s grasp of trivial facts, say, or punching them in the face. And as everyone knows, men are incapable of maintaining proper friendships, so they have no one to talk to about their problems, even if they were able to acknowledge their emotions, which of course they can’t. No wonder they commit nearly all the world’s crime. And no wonder that the single biggest killer of men under 45 in this country is suicide. Men these days are angry and sad and voting for Trump and Brexit. And it’s everyone’s problem. It’s Mangeddon. It’s the Androcalypse. Why does our culture hate men so much? Who will stand up for the downtrodden male of the species? One answer, of course, is the “men’s rights” movement, from which corner one hears mainly the distant yowl of entitled misogyny. But in a slew of new books, readers will find a variety of more competent thinkers addressing the current supposed crisis of masculinity, and what should be done about it.
“Is man meant to fight?” Samuels wonders innocently. If so, one solution is supervised and ritualised combat in the form of fight clubs or Krav Maga courses. A kindly boxing coach tells him: “Here, they can take out their angst, whatever natural aggression they’ve got in their system, in a positive way”  MEdia Dragons

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

How seaweed eating super cows will save the world Inhabitat

… Neuroscience Says Listening to This Song Reduces Anxiety by Up to 65 Percent |

Placebo sweet spot for pain relief found in brain MedicalXpress 

Speaking of brain , for whatever reason, he's been on my mind. A review of his autobiography from The Guardian:

The idea of a memoir that flowed in a canal-straight course was never going to interest Samuel L Clemens, still less his irrepressible alter ego, Mark Twain. Like the river that became his greatest subject, there would have to be meanderings and digressive tributaries, sudden floods of drama and discarded ox-bows of comic observation; moreover it would, by necessity, just keep rolling along. That The Autobiography of Mark Twain should have been begun while the author was 42, and restarted and abandoned 30 or 40 times over the course of the next three decades, that it should have eventually done away with beginnings and middles and ends and sought to submerge the reader in the unstoppable narrative of what was on the mind of America's favourite writer on any morning he chose to compose it, should therefore come as no surprise. Neither should the fact that a century after the book concluded – with the author's death – much of it still reads as compulsively as if it were being dictated in the next room.

Bards thought writing would destroy our memories; scribes loathed the printing press. Now handwriting enthusiasts have taken up this tradition of snobbery 

There’s a Californian saying that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over....

Solving a problem with warring interests and no governance framework is a tall ask, but can be made easier by following a few collaboration guidelines. Diversity and interdependence are key to authentic dialogue...
Bridging the institutional void: collaborating to solve wicked problems

Stress is a fact of professional life, but extreme and unrelenting pressures can lead to the debilitating state we call burnout. Three symptoms characterize burnout: exhaustion; cynicism, or distancing oneself from work; and inefficacy, or feelings of incompetence and lack of achievement. Research has linked burnout to many health problems, including hypertension, sleep disturbances, depression, and substance abuse. Moreover, it can ruin relationships and jeopardize career prospects. Resolving burnout often requires changes at the job, team, or organizational level Beating Burnout


Complaining has become an art form, a way of life, and, for the Tate Modern, a bizarre and misguided strategy for "client and community engagement" ...  A new Tate exhibition shows that contemporary art is now just about whinging
Caterpillars and human beings: each of us in the midst of our own singular journey, crossing a brief, bright space from one dark wood to another.
Am I oversimplifying? Anthropomorphizing? Sentimentalizing? If you spend time with the haiku of the masters (Bashō, Buson, Issa, and Shiki), you will soon become intimately acquainted with the lives and fates of fireflies, cicadas, spiders, fleas, mosquitoes, flies, caterpillars, and butterflies (to name but a few). You will come to realize that, in this existence of ours, notions of oversimplification, anthropomorphization, and sentimentality are beside the point. You will learn to banish modern irony from your life. 

Socrates set the bar too high. Sage, ascetic, gadfly: His purity of motivation is impossible for philosophers to sustain in modern capitalist society

After 1993, when Toni Morrison won the Nobel, the Swedish Academy ignored American literature. Now an American is ignoring the Swedish Academy  Bob is Nobel 

Hypernormalisation Adam Curtis Trump Putin Syria

BC via BBC Adam Curtis and his new documentary covering this many other themes "Hypernormalisation"

Adam Curtis Documentaries
HyperNormalisation” is a summation of one of Curtis’s major themes: that liberalism — since the collapse of certainty about how its values would transform politics, finance and journalism — has in fact become genuinely conservative. In a world of unpredictability, it has retreated from genuine frontiers, instead opting for holding actions that can make it feel stable and safe.
So we live, thanks to our advanced systems of monitoring, compensation and control, in a bubble of our own devising. And in Curtis’s critique, contemporary artists and hipsters do as much to create this bubble as the internet itself. “On a social-media network, it’s very much like being in a heroin bubble. As a radical artist in the 1970s, you used to go and take heroin and wander through the chaos and the collapsing Lower East Side, and you felt safe. That’s very like now. You know you aren’t safe, but you feel safe because everyone is like you. But you don’t have to take heroin, so it’s brilliant. You don’t get addicted, or maybe you do. Mostly you do.”
Under Curtis’s riffing spell, gripes so familiar as to be almost embarrassing — artists paving the way to gentrification, sure; the internet seals us up in self-flattering silos, right — appear as thunderbolts lighting up a shadowy landscape. For an instant, Patti Smith and Richard Hell are as culpable in the Catastrophe of the Now as Alan Greenspan and Wernher von Braun. Jane Fonda, too. “Fonda is fascinating because she’s ‘radical,’ and then she does the next shift, which is to say, ‘If you can’t change the world, you change yourself, your body.’ And she kick-starts the VHS revolution with her exercise tapes. Then marries Ted Turner, who doesn’t want to analyze the news; he just wants to watch the news.”

A practical guide to the application of behavioral science in US cities. The report fits into a wider movement to bring data and evidence to the fore in city administrations.

The entire continent of Australia sways (a little) with the weather

When a man is in a hurry, the devil is happy. 

Robbing public to pay private? More tiresomely, I repeated a point that I have been making for 20 years, and that (as far as I know) every economist in Australia agrees with. Selling income generating assets does not provide any additional capacity to invest in non-income earning assets such as (untolled) roads, schools and hospitals Exactly this point was made by the Secretary of the NSW Treasury in relation to PPPs back in the 1990s
John Quiggin: Selling income generating assets 

Toronto Artists Being Pushed Out By Soaring Rents

“According to commercial real estate statistics provided by the Toronto Real Estate Board, commercial space in the city’s west end has increased on average from $15.89 per square foot (annually) for spaces under 1,000 square feet in 2006 to $26.44 in the third quarter of this year.”

Overly Honest Data Repository Development. “After a year of development, the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has launched a repository, called the Illinois Data Bank (, to provide Illinois researchers with a free, self-serve publishing platform that centralizes, preserves, and provides persistent and reliable access to Illinois research data. This article presents a holistic view of development by discussing our overarching technical, policy, and interface strategies. By openly presenting our design decisions, the rationales behind those decisions, and associated challenges this paper aims to contribute to the library community’s work to develop repository services that meet growing data preservation and sharing needs.  By Colleen Fallaw, Elise Dunham, Elizabeth Wickes, Dena Strong, Ayla Stein, Qian Zhang, Kyle Rimkus, Bill Ingram, and Heidi J. Imker, Code4Lib, Issue 34, 2016-10-25

Search thousands of historical documents from the Nuremberg trials

Last year, as part of my book tour for Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), I participated in a great event at the Pasadena courthouse of the Ninth Circuit. I joined two other lawyer-writers, Robert Rotstein and Jonathan Shapiro, to talk about lawyering in fact and fiction. (You can watch the panel on YouTube, starting around the 2:26:00 mark.)
‘Goliath’: An Interview With Lawyer And Writer Jonathan Shapiro

The APSC wants to hear your ideas for a rebranding of the public service employment offer to help attract good staff