Friday, May 26, 2017

Choices: Two Dead Canaries in the Big Data

You start to think, when you’re younger, how important everything is and how things have to go right—your job, your career, your life, your choices, and all of that. Then, after a while, you start to realise that – I’m talking the big picture here – eventually you die, and eventually the sun burns out and the earth is gone, and eventually all the stars and all the planets in the entire universe go, disappear, and nothing is left at all. Nothing – Shakespeare and Beethoven and Michelangelo gone. And you think to yourself that there’s a lot of noise and sound and fury – and where’s it going? It’s not going any place… Now, you can’t actually live your life like that, because if you do you just sit there and – why do anything? Why get up in the morning and do anything? So I think it’s the job of the artist to try and figure out why, given this terrible fact, you want to go on living.

Bitcoin: Ponzi gone global Macrobusiness. Prosecution futures

HIS PEN NAME WAS RUSSIA? Kim Dotcom: ‘I Knew Seth Rich. I Know He Was the Wikileaks Source’

Laura Saunders, The Blind Spot in a Sharing Economy: Tax Collection (viathe TaxProf):

While some gig workers mean to cheat Uncle Sam, experts say others are bewildered by tax requirements that can be almost as complex for the owner of a microbusiness as for a much larger firm. Many know nothing about Schedule C (for a small business), payroll taxes and quarterly estimated payments. Often they’re unaware of valuable write-offs as well.
Like regulation, complexity favors the big.

MEdia Dragon's handshakes: ...It’s not just President Donald Trump’s handshakes that can be dangerous (just ask Justice Neil Gorsuch); he’s weaponized the hug as well, as James Comey learned. [Althouse  - Level 16 of Wang Lo]

Leon Lawson has been charged with first degree assault for punching an opponent after the bell in a boxing match. Oh, let me back up, Leon Lawson is not a boxer. [The Sun]

THE LAW AND OUTER SPACE: Who’s in Charge of Outer Space? All extraterrestrial activity today is governed by a 50-year-old, Cold War-era treaty. Will governments agree on an update before the final frontier becomes the Wild West?

Mount Everest’s famous Hillary Step destroyed, mountaineers confirm  BBC. And in this case, global warming has absolutely nothing to do with it.

If you bought $100 of bitcoin 7 years ago, you'd be sitting on $75 million now

The New York Times reports that the White House sent a letter to the head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) challenging its legal authority to request that information.
“It is an extraordinary thing,” Walter Shaub Jr., the director of the ethics office, told the Times. “I have never seen anything like it.”

Customs may have illegally accessed telco data

Alan Palmiter has a wonderful new paper out, which I liked immensely. Corporate Governance as Moral Psychology (May 6, 2017). Washington and Lee Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

This essay — part of a Washington & Lee symposium on Corporate Law, Governance, and Purpose — advances a simple thesis: corporate governance is best seen not as a subset of economics or even law, but instead as a subset of moral psychology.
Recent research in the nascent field of moral psychology suggests that we humans are not rational beings, particularly when we act in social and political settings. Our decisions (moral judgments) arise instantly and instinctively in our subconscious, out of conscious view. We rationalize our moral decisions — whether to feel compassion toward another who is harmed, to desire freedom in the face of coercion, or to honor those matters we consider sacred — after we have made the decision. We layer on a veneer of rationality, to reassure ourselves of our own moral integrity and to signal our moral values to like-minded others in our group. This is particularly so when we operate in the “super-organism” that is the corporation, where specialized roles have led to almost unparalleled human cooperation.

A virtual training and research centre in international law 

Leslie Book, Court Rules Abusive Tax Shelter Penalty Has No SOL; Laches Also Not A Defense (Procedurally Taxing). “Over the last couple of decades there has been a vast increase in the number of civil penalties in the Code. When Congress gets around to revising the civil penalty regime, it would be well served to look at these non return based penalties and impose some outside limits on when the government can  assess these penalties.”

Anger is a popular emotion. It is seen as an engine of progress, a check on injustice. But it also pollutes democratic politics and is of dubious value in both life and the law, says Martha Nussbaum... Emotions 
South African author Karel Schoeman has died, an apparent suicide; see, for example, Renowned author Karel Schoeman described how he took his own life in The Times(South Africa). 
       Archipelago published his novel, This Life, not too long ago; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.comor 

Jim Maule, No Tax Benefit for Being Nice. “One hopes that people would be nice for reasons other than a tax incentive to do so.” To listen to some people, nothing good happens without a tax credit.

Lew Taishoff, THE RIGHT PAPER. “But once again, the power of attorney is useless if it fails to empower the agent to do what is needful.”

Center for Data Innovation – “Online grocery service Instacart has published a dataset containing information on 3 million grocery orders from more than 200,000 de-identified users from 2017. The dataset contains information on what products users purchased, the sequence they bought them in, when they placed the order, and the amount of time between Instacart orders. Instacart is releasing this dataset in the hopes that others will use it to develop algorithms that can predict what items shoppers will buy again or may be interested in.”