Thursday, June 13, 2019

How Can We Overcome the Challenge of Biased and Incomplete Data?

A new business opened and one of the owner’s friends send him flowers for the occasion. 

The flowers arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card, “Rest in Peace.” 

The owner was angry and called the florist to complain.

He told the florist of the mistake and expressed his anger.
“Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake,” the florist replied. “but rather than getting angry, you should imagine this: somewhere, there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying, “Congratulations on your new location!"

Martin Luther King said “sometimes silence is the greatest betrayal of all’, or as General David Morrison put it “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.  With a microphone in hand she approached any man who shouted out to her and turned the experience into an episode of the US radio program, This American Life

Intellectuals easily uncover Orwellian traits in American politics. They have a harder time, writes George Packer, acknowledging the Thought Police closer to home... Thought Police 

The vocabulary of the all-powerful Party that rules the superstate Oceania with the ideology of Ingsoc—doublethinkmemory holeunpersonthoughtcrimeNewspeakThought PoliceRoom 101Big Brother—they’ve all entered the English language as instantly recognizable signs of a nightmare future. It’s almost impossible to talk about propaganda, surveillance, authoritarian politics, or perversions of truth without dropping a reference to 1984. Throughout the Cold War, the novel found avid underground readers behind the Iron Curtain who wondered, How did he know?
Who Runs This Place? is a four-part series on RN presented by Richard Aedy, exploring how power works and how it is changing.

Google made $4.7bn from news sites in 2018, study claims

Chernobyl is IMDB's highest-rated show for good reason

By using events in 1986, set under a totalitarian regime that later collapsed, the show is able to comment on 2019.

  • by Craig Mathieson

Four years after sale was announced, Sirius building sits empty

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore says the lack of action is completely "unacceptable", with 60,000 people on the housing waiting list.

If The Terminator were set in today’s world, the movie would have ended after four and a half minutes. The correct Sarah Connor would have been identified with nothing but a last name and a zip code—information leaked last year in the massive Equifax data breach. The war against the machines would have been over before it started, and no one would have ever noticed.
 In 1984, a science fiction movie starring an up-and-coming Austrian-American actor took the box office by storm.

-Yi Oei (Boston College) & Leigh Osofsky (North Carolina), Constituencies and Control in Statutory Drafting: Interviews with Government Tax Counsels, 104 Iowa L. Rev. 1291 (2019) (reviewed by Ari Glogower (Ohio State) here):

Tax statutes have long been derided as convoluted and unreadable. But there is little existing research about drafting practices that helps us contextualize such critiques. In this Article, we conduct the first in-depth empirical examination of how tax law drafting and formulation decisions are made. We report findings from interviews with government counsels who participated in the tax legislative process over the past four decades. Our interviews revealed that tax legislation drafting decisions are both targeted to and controlled by experts. Most counsels did not consider statutory formulation or readability important, as long as substantive meaning was accurate. Many held this view because their intended audience was tax experts, regulation writers, and software companies, not ordinary taxpayers. When revising law, drafters prioritize preserving existing formulations so as to not upset settled expectations, even at the cost of increasing convolution. While Members, Member staff, and committee staff participate in high-level policy decisions, statutory formulation decisions are largely left to a small number of tax law specialists.

Bowen drawn into 'dirty' NSW Labor leadership battle

Internal NSW Labor invoices showed Mr Bowen received a $100,000 donation from the Australian Chinese Teo Chew Association in April 2013.

There's a reason why it's hard to change people's minds

Fresh documents in Morrison's sacking

Adrienne Rich on secrets - Clancy Martin - Bookforum Magazine
The great philosopher of secrets in the twentieth century is Adrienne Rich, especially in her collection of essays On Lies, Secrets, and Silence. Rich is concerned with the secrets we fear to tell anyone, the secrets that isolate us from one another. For Rich, the human wish to keep and share secrets goes to the very heart of why we want intimacy at all, and why we value art. Rich was herself familiar with secrecy: She felt that she had to keep her own sexuality hidden until after her husband’s death (he committed suicide when Rich was forty-one) 
COMING SOON TO HOME BOLSHEVIK OFFICE: Russia to Make Its Own Chernobyl Film Blaming U.S. and CIA for Nuclear Accident.

Whistleblower Rudolf Elmer: legal opinion on latest ruling

Read Article 

Seventeen ways to think about the Finance Curse

Read Article 

How Can We Overcome the Challenge of Biased and Incomplete Data? “Data analytics and artificial intelligence are transforming our lives. Be it in health care, in banking and financial services, or in times of humanitarian crises — data determine the way decisions are made. But often, the way data is collected and measured can result in biased and incomplete information, and this can significantly impact outcomes. In a conversation with Knowledge@Wharton at the SWIFT Institute Conference on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the Financial Services Industry, Alexandra Olteanu, a post-doctoral researcher at Microsoft Research, U.S. and Canada, discussed the ethical and people considerations in data collection and artificial intelligence and how we can work towards removing the biases. This interview is part of an editorial collaboration between Knowledge@Wharton and the SWIFT Institute…”

Whistleblowers pay high price regardless of outcome, former customs official says 

Chicken Farmers Thought Trump Was Going to Help Them. Then His Administration Did the Opposite. ProPublica

EveryCRSReport – Technological Convergence: Regulatory, Digital Privacy, and Data Security Issues. May 30, 2019: “Technological convergence, in general, refers to the trend or phenomenon where two or more independent technologies integrate and form a new outcome. One example is the smartphone. A smartphone integrated several independent technologies—such as telephone, computer, camera, music player, television (TV), and geolocating and navigation tool—into a single device. The smartphone has become its own, identifiable category of technology, establishing a $350 billion industry.
Of the three closely associated convergences—technological convergence, media convergence, and network convergence—consumers most often directly engage with technological convergence. Technological convergent devices share three key characteristics. First, converged devices can execute multiple functions to serve blended purpose. Second, converged devices can collect and use data in various formats and employ machine learning techniques to deliver enhanced user experience. Third, converged devices are connected to a network directly and/or are interconnected with other devices to offer ubiquitous access to users…”

Why do right-wing authoritarian regimes allow so much citizen exit?

Derek Bonett emails me:
I’ve been considering the differences between left-wing authoritarian regimes and right-wing authoritarian regimes throughout history. One particular difference springs to mind that I do not believe has been explored:
Left-wing authoritarian regimes very frequently restrict emigration. Legal emigration from the U.S.S.R. and the Eastern Bloc was very difficult, same with Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, the DPRK, “Democratic Kampuchea”, Ethiopia under Mengistu, the list goes on.WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A PHILOSOPHER?