Wednesday, April 05, 2017

To Bell The Cat: From ‘editor’ to ‘coach’

Christ did not die for the good and beautiful. It is easy enough to die for the good and beautiful; the hard thing is to die for the miserable and corrupt
— Shusaku Endo, born around this date in 1923

Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad Todays chemical attack in Syria wasn't an anomaly

Inside the mad dash to dig through the finances of 180 White House staffers

INK BOTTLE“Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it; so that a man rich in such lore, like Sancho Panza, can always find a venerable maxim to fortify the view he happens to be taking.”
~George Santayana, The Life of Reason

Darwin worked a few hours a day. Trollope wrote only between 5 to 8 a.m. — and published 47 novels. They weren't accomplished despite their leisurely schedules; they were accomplished because of them... Slackers of Latitude Proportion ...

The story of behavioral science making the world a better place one nudge at a time is ubiquitous. But the same techniques can be used for deception and manipulation. We are living in an age in which the behavioral sciences have become inescapable. The findings of social psychology and behavioral economics are being employed to determine the news we read, the products we buy, the cultural and intellectual spheres we inhabit, and the human networks, online and in real life, of which we are a part. Aspects of human societies that were formerly guided by habit and tradition, or spontaneity and whim, are now increasingly the intended or unintended consequences of decisions made on the basis of scientific theories of the human mind and human well-being The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

First Minister’s Questions Scottish Parliament. Naked Kommunism Richard Smith gets a shout out, and a prominent one too! Congrats Richard!

Changing law and economics shape street protest [Tyler Cowen] Arizona’s bad idea on protestors involves racketeering charges, forfeiture, and more [Coyote]

As Ryan Holiday noted in a 2015 New York Observer article titled “The Real Reason We Need to Stop Trying to Protect Everyone’s Feelings,” “In the 50th anniversary edition, Bradbury includes a short afterword where he gives his thoughts on current culture. Almost as if he is speaking directly about the events above, he wrote: ‘There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.’”


“At the root of their sad stance is a lot more than a wistful yearning for acceptance in a world they never made; their real motivation is an instinctive certainty as to what the score really is. They are out of the ball game and they know it–and that is their meaning; for unlike most losers in today’s society, the Hell’s Angels not only know but spitefully proclaim exactly where they stand.”
— Hunter S. Thompson

 How to move from ‘editor’ to ‘coach’

An interview with the legendary former Manhattan District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau. [Coverage Opinions]

We live in an age of offense. Never has outrage enjoyed more legitimacy or been more a marker of moral status ... Trumpism 

A great deal, then, escapes the notice of the young observers - There was at TiME When Playboy was big

“I don’t say that we artists are more intelligent or that we know more than everybody else. Not at all. It’s just that we have more time, and we’ve dedicated our time to the search for truth. All the other people, after all, have to work to make a living as bankers, state employees, or railroad engineers. When we artists discover a little bit of truth, well, we open a new window and show new landscape, and people are thankful to us for that. They say: ‘But that’s the truth!’ And it’s even truer, because the landscape we discover, the landscape we show, is one they already know. But they never saw it in that way before.”

Deborah Cullinan: Why The Arts Need To Lead For Democracy


“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
—Hunter S. Thompson, 1972

When Breitbart News ran a blaring headline last week suggesting that new evidence “vindicates” President Trump’s still-baseless claims that former President Barack Obama put him and his team under surveillance …
The Weekly Standard

Issie Lapowsky at Wired has an interesting piece on Ro Khanna’s proposal to radically expand the earned-income tax credit. Lapowsky writes that this will be difficult to do, because “the Trump administration is gutting the federal budget.” Setting aside the fact that tax laws are written by Congress and not by the White House, the Trump administration’s budget proposal contains a 1.2 percent spending cut to the discretionary budget, i.e. a 1.2 percent cut to a portion of the budget that amounts to less than one-third of federal spending.
A 1.2 percent cut to 29 percent of federal spending is not “gutting the federal budget” under any plausible interpretation of those words by a reasonably literate English-speaking person. The reason these kinds of erroneous — indeed, ridiculous — claims get published is that magazines such asWired are full of people who suffer from similar biases and who therefore never think to challenge such claims. The same holds true for all sorts of things: guns and gun laws, for example, or questions involving religion, something that Dean Baquet at the New York Times has at least acknowledged is a problem.

  Female cockatoo

How to sift through your story ideas 


“Arts and culture organizations must understand themselves not as arbiters of taste, but as creative homes for the people. They must be places driven by artists, culture bearers, philosophers, and activists. They must be platforms for cultivating public imagination; building thick and diverse networks; convening across differences and sectors; and incubating breakthrough ideas that stick, because they spring from communities that come together to embrace truth, honor diversity, and poetically pursue freedom.”

Jean Renoir, interviewed by Gideon Bachmann (Contact, June 1960)

bellingcat - by and for citizen investigative journalists  ...

Inside Australia's 'Super mosque' prison where guards fear radical Muslims are plotting terrorist acts


Technological solutions offer a clear path for dramatically reducing tax evasion and tax fraud, which cost governments billions in lost revenue annually, according to a new OECD report.
Technology Tools to Tackle Tax Evasion and Tax Fraud demonstrates how technology is currently being used by tax administrations in countries worldwide to prevent, identify and tackle tax evasion and tax fraud. These solutions can offer a win-win: better detection of crime, higher revenue recovery, and synergies that can make tax compliance easier for business and tax administrations.
Drawing on the experience of 21 countries, the report provides real and readily-applicable examples of best practices in the effective use of technology in the fight against tax crimes.
The report was launched on Friday during the 2017 OECD Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum in Paris.