Thursday, March 02, 2017

Cyber Times of Democracy

"Prevailing neoliberal policies have destroyed the economic security and future of hundreds of millions of people, rendering them highly susceptible to scapegoating and desperate, in a nothing-to-lose sort of way, for any type of radical change, no matter how risky or harmful that change might be. But all of that gets to be ignored, all of the self-reckoning is avoided, as long we get ourselves to believe that some omnipotent foreign power is behind it all." Glenn Greenwald Recuring 100 Year Nightmare/Dream of 1929 Stocks and Precious Metals Charts

Speaking of executives who preach about professionalism professionalism  and ethics Uber driver argument CEO Travis Kalanick Behaving Badly

'It's not what you say, it's what you DO': QBE's John Neal caught in own words

Boris Nemtsov - Russia Still in Chains: thousands march Moscow honor opposition leader slain outside Kremlin

Australia, 2017: bureaucrats who see citizens as enemies - Crikey

Russ Fox, The Hidden Bitcoin Trap: FBAR. “Coinbase is located in San Francisco; it’s not a foreign financial firm. However, Blockchain is based in Luxembourg. Any American who is using Blockchain who has a tax filing requirement must note they have a foreign financial account on Question 7a.” Yikes.

Hail to the Chief? Scuppering White House Press Corps Traditions

Sean Spicer makes changes to reduce the power of the traditional White House gatekeeper press and increase outsider access; Trump disses nerd prom.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Single iPhone Users Don’t Want To Date An Android User

Gus Lubin on the complacent class, strivers, and Millennials

Michael Anton White House Machiavelli

PricewaterhouseCoopers issues ‘sincere apology’ for Oscars blunderGuardian. Resilc: “This worked for all of the clean opinions during the financial crisis so why not now?”
 Supersmart Robots Will Outnumber Humans Within 30 Years, Says SoftBank CEO

Fired CEO is accused of epic theft

Police drawn to ad firm staffer after attempt to sell 3D printed gun for $1 million

“Matchers gain, strivers lose,” he [Cowen] writes in a new book, “The Complacent Class.”
Matchers, aka enthusiasts, are people who are motivated by personal interests, whether that’s record collecting, hiking, cooking, or obsessing about “Game of Thrones.” “The enthusiasts are not trying to come out ahead of everyone else; rather, they seek to have some of their niche   can’t afford to live in the same towns as their employers /s. in the banana republic of boston, ground zero of the 10 percent.”

Surgeons Should Not Look Like Surgeons Nassim Nicholas Taleb 

What’s It Like Writing About Soviet Spies In The U.S. While Politicians Are Calling For An Examination Of Russian Influence On The U.S. Election?

Joe Weisberg, writer and showrunner of “The Americans,” now in its fifth season: “How is this all happening again? When we started this show, the Soviet Union was gone. We were not in any kind of serious conflict with Russia. And it seemed like a good time to tell a story about those old bygone days. And how in a few short years Russia has turned into an enemy again makes very little sense.”

Slavic Fujara refuses to perform a tune in front of houses owned by the rich ...

Harvard University – “T The  Religious Literacy Project is dedicated to enhancing and promoting the public understanding of religion.  It is directed by Diane L. Moore, and enables Harvard Divinity School to continue its nearly four decades of leadership in religious studies and education in the United States. Read more.”

Is a life without risk worth living? Looking at the recent “adrenaline-themed” issue of lifestyle magazine Kinfolk, I came across a joint interview between sociologists Stephen Lyng and Jeff Ferrell that resonated with me deeply. In their conversation, the two professors talk the reader through the psychology of risk-taking, which they’ve dubbed “edgework,” taking the word from Hunter S. Thompson’s gonzo journalism classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

After meeting as graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin in the mid-1970s, the two sociologists and thrill seekers began finding ways to merge their academic work with daredevil pursuits like skydiving and motorcycle racing. In the 40-odd years since, they’ve managed to develop a renowned social theory surrounding “voluntary risk-taking” activities (everything from acts of physical courage such as BASE-jumping to emotionally and intellectually daring deeds like telling your boss to piss off!).

“We learned about edgework from people doing it—we didn’t so much invent the concept as were given the concept by the people who already engaged in it,” Ferrell explains about looking at the concept of thrill-seeking from an academic perspective. “We realized the better our skills got, the more risks we could take and the more adrenaline we could pump into our systems. Theory was living in our bodies as well as our heads, and those motorcycles and the skydiving were literal embodiments of the theories we were coming up with in the library.”

As the two friends, colleagues, and adrenaline junkies make clear, they see a profound connection between risk and living life to one’s fullest, comparing a life without risk to Disneyland. “I love the idea of the consequential edge—it could be your body and your life on the line, or it could be your career, your reputation or your relationship,” Ferrell says. “If there are no consequences at stake, then there’s no possibility of edgework. . . I’ve always been much more afraid of dying of boredom than dying in a motorcycle wreck or jumping off a building.”

All this risky business could have a biological imperative, too. One of my favorite scientific theories comes from Stephen Jay Gould, who suggested that substantive change always happen at the edges, the margins, the fringes of a species. Gould’s theory of “punctuated equilibrium” explains how evolution doesn’t take place on a predictable, linear path but with unpredictable and dramatic bursts coming from the outer reaches of the species. Not incidentally, the edge also explains why New Zealand is the future.