Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Libra: A Facebook-led Cryptocurrency Initiative

Everybody wants to make pain interesting—first the religions, then the poets, then, not to be left behind, even the doctors getting in on the act with their psychosomatic obsession. They want to give it significance. What does it mean? What are you hiding? What are you showing? It's impossible to suffer just the pain, you have to suffer its meaning. But it's not interesting and it has no meaning—it's just plain stupid pain, it’s the opposite of interesting…

Overwhelm originally meant "bury" or "drown" and the root of of the word is "over the helm" as in stormy seas breaking over the side of the ship. 

You can now use your smartphone as ID in NSW. Here's how

NSW citizens are now finally able to have their driver's licence on their phones, almost five years after it was first proposed.

EveryCRSReport.com – Libra: A Facebook-led Cryptocurrency Initiative October 21, 2019: “On June 18, 2019, Facebook announced that, with 28 other members, it had founded the Libra Association, which planned to launch a new cryptocurrency, called Libra. The association released a white paper that outlined the characteristics of Libra and described its goal of creating a cryptocurrency that would overcome some of the challenges faced by other cryptocurrencies and deliver the possible benefits of the technology on a large scale. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin raised concerns about the Libra project, as did several Members of Congress during Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services hearings, although some Members were more welcoming of efforts to advance financial innovation. The House Financial Services Committee majority has drafted legislation that would effectively block the Libra project. Internationally, the G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed that Libra raises “serious regulatory and systemic concerns, as well as wider policy issues, which both need to be addressed before such projects can be implemented.” Subsequently and reportedly in part due to the level of official scrutiny of the project, several prominent members, such as eBay, Mastercard, PayPal, and Visa, withdrew from the Libra Association. This Insight briefly describes the potential benefits and concerns raised by Libra. For more information about cryptocurrencies and digital currencies, see CRS Report R45427, Cryptocurrency: The Economics of Money and Selected Policy Issues and CRS Testimony TE10034, Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain, by Rebecca M. Nelson….”

BBC: “A painting seized by the Nazis from a Jewish family in Germany in 1933 has been found at a museum in New York. The artwork – entitled Winter, by American artist Gari Melchers – was on display at the Arkell Museum until it was recognised last month. Before being taken by the Nazis, it was owned by German philanthropist and publisher Rudolf Mosse, who was Jewish. The piece is being held by the FBI until it can be returned to the Mosse family. The recovery is part of an international effort to locate artwork that was seized by Nazis…”

  How to Be a Leader Even If You’re Not the Boss

Google and IBM Clash Over Milestone Quantum Computing Experiment Quanta Magazine


In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace

An update on America’s changing religious landscape – “The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.
Both Protestantism and Catholicism are experiencing losses of population share. Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And one-in-five adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009. Meanwhile, all subsets of the religiously unaffiliated population – a group also known as religious “nones” – have seen their numbers swell. Self-described atheists now account for 4% of U.S. adults, up modestly but significantly from 2% in 2009; agnostics make up 5% of U.S. adults, up from 3% a decade ago; and 17% of Americans now describe their religion as “nothing in particular,” up from 12% in 2009. Members of non-Christian religions also have grown modestly as a share of the adult population….”

15 Oct 2019
The huge numbers of international students are unprecedented in the history of Australian tertiary education. We are educating swathes of the Chinese middle class at a time of geopolitical tension.

Ancient Teeth Reveal Social Stratification Dates Back to Bronze Age Societies Scientific American