Monday, March 13, 2017

Black Money, Anthrax, Vault 7: While the Iron Is Hot

As Goethe (second only to my mother in the wisdom department) famously wrote: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it ...

In a world where neither compassion nor reason can completely survive the collision with reality, that's probably the best Monday morning links MEdia Dragon can offer:

Victoria's anthrax outbreak spreads

A Victorian farm is in quarantine after a suspected case of deadly anthrax disease, the second case in the area in just over a week

CIA contractors likely source of latest WikiLeaks release: U.S. officials Reuters. Neoliberalism’s “market state” puts government functions up for sale. So it’s not surprising that people sell them.
CIA Leak: “Russian Election Hackers” May Work In LangleyMoon of Alabama. Watch for the “atttribution problem” when CrowdStrike testifies at the upcoming Russki hearings. As I’ve said, “Internet evidence is not evidence.”
WikiLeaks strikes again. Here are 4 big questions about Vault 7. WaPo. “In cyberspace, we mainly have a reasonability problem, not an attribution problem.” Oh. OK.
Oh, that traitorous WikiTrump Pepe Escobar, Asia Times (Re Silc).

Claims about Dunedin

Claims about Anthony Burgess

Everything you wanted to know about teenagers but were afraid to ask (apologies to Woody Allen for the steal). Danish researchers from Aarhus University have discovered:
  • Teenagers grow by 8 – 9 cm per year. The reason they can seem gangly and awkward is as they get taller (girls between 12 and 13, boys between 14 and 15) their center of gravity shifts but the brain hasn’t caught up and can’t calculate how to balance its new frame.
  • Seemingly reckless risk-taking is not due to stupidity or willfulness. It’s because the human brain isn’t formed until girls are 20 and boys are 24. And the parts responsible for planning and decision-making are finished last. Teenagers’ risk assessment capabilities are only half built.
  • Teenagers think about sex every six seconds. Their brains are flooded with hormones, oestrogen and testosterone by the gallon! It’s not their fault.
  • Girls do talk more than boys. Girls’ brains are inbuilt with a head-start for language. They talk earlier, have larger vocabularies and use more complex sentences. Because of the way the brain is structure. In girls the part where we produce language has 20% more neutrons than the male; the part where we interpret language is 18% bigger in females.
  • Your teenager is not lazy. Teenagers need 10 hours sleep per day as their brains and bodies grow so quickly.
  • Their brains shut down when you nag them. The areas of the brain that process negative emotion go on full alert, while the areas that allow us to feel other’s emotions deactivate. And teenagers have poor prospective memories – they aren’t very good at holding things in their heads.
  • Teenage “Me, me, me” is not narcissism. It’s because they struggle to recognise emotions in others. They are 20% less accurate in reading fear, shock, anger until age 18 – when their prefrontal brain catches up.
Truly – it’s not their fault!

Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), Taxing Utopia, 47 Seton Hall L. Rev. 137 (2017): 
Nineteenth-century American religious movements challenged many aspects of American society. Although their challenges to mainstream America’s vision of sex and marriage remain the best-known aspects of many of these groups, their challenges to traditional American economics are just as important. Eschewing individual ownership of property, many of these new Christian movements followed the New Testament model of a body of believers that held all property in common.

The impediments of style. Terry Eagleton’s writing proceeds by jokey elaboration, winking asides, and absurdist flights of fancy. It’s fun, but  frustrating 

… New York 2140: A novelist's vision of a drowned city that still never sleeps

Huffington Post, PwC’s Other Debacle: A Tax Boondoggle That Has Ballooned Out Of Control:
If I mention the Oscars, will people read this long story on tax policy run amok? Let’s find out.
On Sunday night at the Oscars, PricewaterhouseCoopers had one job: hand the correct card to presenters who would go on stage and announce the winner of the category

Theft! A History of Music is a graphic novel by James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins and the late Keith Aoki. It’s about musical borrowing and the laws that have attempted to regulate musical borrowing and inter-mixing over the past 2000 years.
The history in this book runs from Plato to Blurred Lines and beyond. You will read about the Holy Roman Empire’s attempts to standardize religious music with the first great musical technology (notation) and the inevitable backfire of that attempt. You will read about troubadours and church composers, swapping tunes (and remarkably profane lyrics), changing both religion and music in the process. You will see diatribes against jazz for corrupting musical culture, against rock and roll for breaching the color-line. You will learn about the lawsuits that, surprisingly, shaped rap. You will read the story of some of music’s iconoclasts—from Handel and Beethoven to Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Ray Charles, the British Invasion and Public Enemy.
Theft! is informative and quite fun. I enjoyed it a lot. You can buy a paperback or get a free download.