Monday, April 23, 2018

‘Few writers are willing to put themselves on the line for free speech’

All artists know that the deeply personal is the only real gateway to the universal; that we are only free to see to the farthest horizons after we have closely examined our most intimate landscapes. Some swing these doors of perception with virtuosity orders of magnitude greater than others, as did William Blake (November 28, 1757–August 12, 1827). “It is the mark of a genius like Blake,” Alfred Kazin wrote, “that what is purest and most consistent in his thought burns away his own suffering and fanaticism, while his art speaks to what is most deeply human in us.” ~Esperanza Spalding Performs William Blake’s Short Existential Poem “The Fly”


I’m not a natural activist, and I’m reluctant to embrace this 
role, but I am also dismayed by how few writers with any serious reputation are willing to put themselves on the line for free speech. …  Not only do we have to preserve the right to write characters who are different from ourselves, we have to preserve the right to have characters who think things that are unacceptable. 
Lionel Shriver: ‘Few writers are willing to put themselves on the line for free speech’ | Books | The Guardian  

We'd like to draw attention to the Daphne Project, announced by the OCCRP and Forbidden Stories which honours the life and courageous work of murdered Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The project begins today, marking six months since her brutal assassination.  …

Continuing the work of murdered journalist #DaphneCaruanaGalizia, 6 months on

Ice-breaker question I came up with a few years ago that I call the “off-diagonal” question: Tell me about something you love doing that you’re terrible at. And tell me about something you really do not like doing that you’re great at.
That is from Mike Kim on Twitter

WATCHING YOU: Your data. Peter Thiel’s sticky fingers. What could go wrong? “Palantir Knows Everything About You,” by Bloomberg’s Peter Waldman, Lizette Chapman and Jordan Robertson.

Cybercrime prevention – a unified message towards online criminals

Biological threats: new challenges for experts across Europe


Tax abuse and insolvency - GOV.UK

Summary. We are seeking views on how to tackle the small minority of taxpayers who abuse the insolvency regime to try to avoid or evade their tax liabilities. This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 20 June 2018. Consultation description. At Autumn Budget 2017 and Spring Statement 2018, the government ...

Tax Abuse and Insolvency: A Discussion Document

This document seeks views on how to tackle the small minority of taxpayers who abuse the insolvency regime in trying to avoid or evade their tax .... taxpayer's affairs. When HMRC finds underpaid, undeclared or understated tax, they issue assessments to the taxpayers concerned, or amend the incorrect.

The woman who is reining in America’s technology giants.
"European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager has become the de facto global regulator for U.S. companies such as Google and Apple." (Wall Street Journal)

US vs EU: antitrust, data, and privacy policy.
Is EU consumer law protections the real champion for the public in smaller nations like Australia? And should US law be discounted entirely? Half a dozen Nobel laureates in economics discuss antitrust, data and privacy policy.


Another 1000 private contractors to answer Centrelink phones.
"Our investment in these 1000 operators will greatly enhance our ability to answer more calls and ensure that the service we deliver is in line with customer expectations." (The Canberra Times)

ASIC benches top AMP lawyer as Clayton Utz hits back over report.
"Clayton Utz are not going to be at top of the list of any government's list for law work in the next while, you can guarantee that." (The Age)