Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Want To Succeed? Listen To Those Who Disagree With You

Nothing is more painful to me than the disdain with which people treat second-rate authors, as if there were room only for the first-raters.
— Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, born in 1804

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In Praise of Idleness: Bertrand Russell on the Relationship Between Leisure and Social Justice

“Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.”

How do you judge fiction? How do you say one story is better than another? Doing so is hard to distinguish from deep prejudice. Or you can use a softer word, like taste  

Say goodbye to the cold, hard cash in your pocket Australian Financial Review

Ho hum.  The military culture that is China.
Jeff Sachs quits Twitter

Wunderkind of socialism. How Bhaskar Sunkara built Jacobin, the most successful American ideological magazine to launch in the past decade... Ja Co Bin 

Reality Winner’s Interrogation By The FBI Becomes A Play — With Not One Word Changed

A 25-year-old Air Force vet and translator for a U.S. intelligence contractor, Winner was convicted of leaking a classified NSA report on Russian hacking of US voter databases. For The Intercept, the web site to which Winner gave the report, Alisa Solomon writes about how director Tina Satter found the transcript of the FBI’s questioning of Winner and knew she had to stage it verbatim. —The Intercept

The New York Times: “Technology companies like to promote artificial intelligence’s potential for solving some of the world’s toughest problems, like reducing automobile deaths and helping doctors diagnose diseases. A company started by three former Google employees is pitching A.I. as the answer to a more common problem: being happier at work. The start-up, Humu, is based in Google’s hometown, and it builds on some of the so-called people-analytics programs pioneered by the internet giant, which has studied things like the traits that define great managers and how to foster better teamwork. Humu wants to bring similar data-driven insights to other companies. It digs through employee surveys using artificial intelligence to identify one or two behavioral changes that are likely to make the biggest impact on elevating a work force’s happiness. Then it uses emails and text messages to “nudge” individual employees into small actions that advance the larger goal…”

Washington Post: “When you dive into popular literature on retirement, you could be forgiven for thinking there are hordes of Americans in their late 50s or early 60s, desperate to leave the paid workforce as soon as they can. Blog posts and academic studies beg people to hold off on collecting Social Security until the age of 70, so they can maximize their benefits. There is Bloomberg Businessweek’s article Not prepared for retirement? Here’s a solution. Don’t retire and Inc.’s Want to Retire Early? Here are 3 Reasons You Probably Shouldn’t.Few listen. The most common age to file for Social Security is 62.
Why? Well, many of these people are not downscaling their professional lives or exiting the workforce entirely because they want to do so. They are likely victims of age discrimination. That’s the searing conclusion that can be drawn from a recently released joint Urban Institute-ProPublica analysis of data from the Social Security Administration and National Institute on Aging’s joint longitudinal Health and Retirement Study. The researchers behind the report found a majority of workers over the age of 50 are likely at some point to be shoved out of their jobs, either via an overt firing or resignation under pressure of demotions, loss of future benefits or deteriorating work conditions. The damage to their bottom line is often permanent. When many find new positions, they are often jobs that are significantly below both their skill levels and previous pay grades, such as the former corporate executive ProPublica discovered working at a print shop, as a bartender and staffing the front desk at a local gym…”

LedermanLeandra Lederman (Indiana), Tax Evasion and the Fraud Diamond:  
There is an extensive set of literatures on tax compliance and evasion, often discussing the traditional economic model (the deterrence model) and/or behavioral theories such as social norms or tax morale. (For recent examples summarizing the theories, see this article by Kathleen Delaney Thomas [The Psychic Cost of Tax Evasion, 56 B.C. L. Rev. 617 (2015)], this one by Adam Thimmesch [Testing the Models of Tax Compliance: The Use-Tax Experiment, 2015 Utah L. Rev. 1083], or this one by yours truly [Does Enforcement Reduce Voluntary Tax Compliance?, 2018 BYU L. Rev. ___].) There is also a separate accounting literature on fraud.
A key concept in this accounting literature is the “Fraud Triangle.” Yet despite the important role this theory plays within the accounting literature, the Fraud Triangle does not seem to have permeated the tax compliance literature, particularly the relevant legal literature. ... 

When he turned 106, Mordie Rochlin, dressed impeccably in a suit, held court for more than two hours at his favorite neighborhood restaurant, the Toledo, as Paul Weiss chairman Brad Karp and a handful of guests listened in rapt attention.
A tax and estates lawyer who retired 35 years ago but still works at the office, Rochlin is the only man alive who knew all five Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison name partners. And whether he’s recalling hearing tenor Enrico Caruso singing “Over There” at a war bonds rally, watching a horse-drawn fire carriage race down Columbus Avenue, leaving first grade early to celebrate Armistice Day or learning of the death of legal legend Louis Stixx Weiss, he recreates the moment in such vivid detail that it’s mesmerizing.

ROGER SIMON: Bye-bye, 2018 —The Year of Living Hatefully.

Irish Times, Eileen Battersby: Inquisitive and brilliant, lonely and kind. 

Quartz: “The Internal Revenue Service is looking for ways to scour social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in its ongoing quest to catch tax cheats. That’s according to a request for information issued December 18 by the IRS’s National Office of Procurement. The mining of social media data by the agency has been suspected in the past, but the IRS has never before confirmed the practice.

In Defense Of A Good Hate

“So let me clarify: we have forgotten how to hate well. We have forgotten how to hate rigorously and virtuously. This is, I believe, because we have forgotten how to distinguish between hate’s negative and positive iterations. In the former camp is racial hatred, religious hatred, and other forms of intense, frothing, violent dislike inflamed by malformed ideological doctrines and blind prejudices. The latter, more productive, form of hating is conceived as a form of rigorous, ruthless critique.” – The Walrus

A Statement Concerning Recent Allegations – Reluctant Habits.Do I deserve anything? I don’t know. What I do know right now is that a number of people believe that I am deserving of hatred and humiliation and condemnation and, in one case, even death, and I have to listen to that while also looking out for my mental health and wellbeing.

US politicians cannot block social media foes, court rules

A federal appeals court issued a decision that could affect President Donald Trump's appeal from a similar ruling in New York.

Want To Succeed? Listen To Those Who Disagree With You

Philosophers go to conferences to find critics who can help them improve their theories. All of us need to recognise the value of listening carefully and charitably to opponents. Then we need to go to the trouble of talking with those opponents, even if it means leaving our comfortable neighbourhoods or favourite websites. – Aeon 


Too Big, Too Well-Funded And Too Scared: A BBC World Service Veteran On Why The Network Is Becoming Sclerotic

Owen Bennett-Jones writes that the network is now so top-heavy with senior managers who are terrified of negative public attention that it takes months to get a project approved — and that reporters who have serious stories to break are sometimes reduced to leaking them to The Guardian or The Times because their managers will only feel comfortable broadcasting those stories if they’ve seen them in print. — London Review of Books