Tuesday, September 15, 2020

MEdia Dragon and Google of OpenSecrets

It is the classic fallacy of our time that a moron run through a university and decorated with a Ph.D. will thereby cease to be a moron.
— H. L. Mencken, born in 1880

A Sydney university has recommended staff self-censor teaching material to keep students in China enrolled during the pandemic.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) conducted a working group in February to discuss how to keep Chinese international students enrolled by teaching them online.

An internal university memo obtained by the ABC highlighted concerns the Chinese Government may "turn off" all communication from the university over any teaching material that may be seen as politically sensitive.

UTS staff told to censor for Chinese students, Newmarch resident records false positive

Emails about emails



How tech billionaires’ visions of human nature shape our world

REMEMBER THE TOILET PAPER? The utopian vision of human nature sees people as naturally good — the world corrupts us, but the wise can perfect us. The tragic vision sees us as inherently flawed — our sickness is selfishness. Science supports the tragic vision.


The New York Times Magazine – “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. This series documents lesser-known stories from the end of the conflict, through original reporting and first-person accounts from people who lived through it…We set out to explore the end of the conflict and its aftermath, focusing on lesser-known stories both personal and profound.”

Google Blog: “For many people, Google Search is a place they go when they want to find information about a question, whether it’s to learn more about an issue, or fact check a friend quoting a stat about your favorite team. We get billions of queries every day, and one of the reasons people continue to come to Google is they know that they can often find relevant, reliable information that they can trust. Delivering a high-quality search experience is core to what makes Google so helpful. From the early days when we introduced the PageRank algorithm, understanding the quality of web content was what set Google apart from other search engines. But people often ask: What do you mean by quality, and how do you figure out how to ensure that the information people find on Google is reliable?…”


The Nation – the largest corporations in publishing want to change what it means to own a book. “…The Internet Archive is far more than the Open Library; it’s a nonprofit institution that has become a cornerstone of archival activity throughout the world. Brewster Kahle is an Internet pioneer who was writing about the importance of preserving the digital commons in 1996. He built the Wayback Machine, without which an incalculable amount of the early Web would have been lost for good. The Internet Archive has performed pioneering work in developing public search tools for its own vast collections, such as the television news archive, which researchers and journalists like me use on an almost daily basis in order to contextualize and interpret political reporting. These resources are unique and irreplaceable.


N & M Martin Holdings Pty Ltd v Commissioner of ... - Judgments

ATO takes a close look at Greensill

The last few years have been extremely favourable to financier Lex Greensill and his family.

The former Bundaberg farmer has become a bond issue king with his outfit Greensill Capital now worth more than $5 billion and with offices from New York to Frankfurt.

Now, however, the Australian Taxation Office has taken a keen interest in the family’s affairs — in particular the offloading of more than $50 million of Greensill Capital shares between 2015 and 2017.

Capital gains of foreign residents, again 


Capital gains, discretionary trusts, and foreign residents ...

The Internet Archive is a tech partner to hundreds of libraries, including the Library of Congress, for whom it develops techniques for the stewardship of digital content. It helps them build their own Web-based collections with tools such as Archive-It, which is currently used by more than 600 organizations including universities, museums, and government agencies, as well as libraries, to create their own searchable public archives. The Internet Archive repairs broken links on Wikipedia—by the million. It has collected thousands of early computer games, and developed online emulators so they can be played on modern computers. It hosts collections of live music performances,78s and cylinder recordingsradio showsfilms and video. I am leaving a lot out about its groundbreaking work in making scholarly materials more accessible, its projects to expand books to the print-disabled—too many undertakings and achievements to count.

For-profit publishers like HarperCollins or Hachette don’t perform the kind of work required to preserve a cultural posterity. Publishers are not archivists. They obey the dictates of the market. They keep books in print based on market considerations, not cultural ones. Archiving is not in the purview or even the interests of big publishers, who indeed have an incentive to encourage the continuing need to buy



Editorial: has it really come to this?

CHRIS JOHNSON: It doesn’t matter the competence, the decisions, or the attitude of any public servant in question – anonymous deaths threats are as abhorrent as they are cowardly.