Friday, July 30, 2021

Whistleblower Week: Global phone hacks expose darker side of Israel's 'startup nation'


Related:  Don’t Fear the Leaker

Shorter version here

MIT Technology Review: “The world first learned of Sophie Zhang in September 2020, when BuzzFeed News obtained and published highlights from an abridged version of her nearly 8,000-word exit memo from Facebook. Before she was fired, Zhang was officially employed as a low-level data scientist at the company. But she had become consumed by a task she deemed more important: finding and taking down fake accounts and likes that were being used to sway elections globally. Her memo revealed that she’d identified dozens of countries, including India, Mexico, Afghanistan, and South Korea, where this type of abuse was enabling politicians to mislead the public and gain power. It also revealed how little the company had done to mitigate the problem, despite Zhang’s repeated efforts to bring it to the attention of leadership…”

THE PROBLEM ISN’T SALESMANSHIP, IT’S A LOSS OF TRUST, AND A REACTION TO BULLYING:  Emphasize personal health benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, researchers say. Especially the bullying.


When members of multidisciplinary teams are asked to describe their colleagues, many will say their peers are collegial, professional, and accomplished. While we would all love to be on a team that’s not dysfunctional, behind this insipid description lurks a peril that is far from bland: the lack of collaboration between siloes.

7 Strategies to Break Down Silos in Big Meetings

Dividend-tax trades were criminal and ‘blatant’ money grab, German court saysJosefine Fokuhl, Karin Matussek, Miriam Steffens and Clancy Yeates

Global phone hacks expose darker side of Israel's 'startup nation' image 

About 300,000 Australians who may have made purchases of luxury cars, private jets, yachts, thoroughbred horses and artwork are being warned by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to declare all their income or they could face a review or audit.

ATO matches insurance info on luxury goods with declared incomes to catch out tax cheats

Philosopher Awarded Nearly $1 Million Grant for Memory and Forgiveness Project

Felipe De Brigard, associate professor of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience at Duke University, and leader of the Imagination and Modal Cognition Lab there, has been awarded a grant of $988,602 for his project, “Forgetting and Forgiving: Exploring the Connections between Memory and Forgiveness.” (more…)

NSW The Great Escape II

PEA Soup, a blog about “philosophy, ethics, and academia” that has been running for 17 years, is in need of new leadership.

AI firm DeepMind puts database of the building blocks of life online

The Guardian: “Last year the artificial intelligence group DeepMind cracked a mystery that has flummoxed scientists for decades: stripping bare the structure of proteins, the building blocks of life. Now, having amassed a database of nearly all human protein structures, the company is making the resource available online free for researchers to use. The key to understanding our basic biological machinery is its architecture. The chains of amino acids that comprise proteins twist and turn to make the most confounding of 3D shapes. It is this elaborate form that explains protein function; from enzymes that are crucial to metabolism to antibodies that fight infectious attacks. Despite years of onerous and expensive lab work that began in the 1950s, scientists have only decoded the structure of a fraction of human proteins. DeepMind’s AI program, AlphaFold, has predicted the structure of nearly all 20,000 proteins expressed by humans. In an independent benchmark test that compared predictions to known structures, the system was able to predict the shape of a protein to a good standard 95% of time…”

Moscow plans expansion of trans-Arctic shipping Splash 24/7


Swiss prosecutors end Magnitsky ‘dirty money’ probe without bringing charges FT

ANALYSIS: Substack: Last, Best Hope for Free Speech.

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Patience may be a virtue, but it's a difficult one to cultivate — especially in a world that is moving ever-faster. Yet with this quote, Enlightenment-era philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau reminds us that patience also comes with great rewards. Such rewards are never instant, but can increase over time, like an investment that must be allowed to mature. Research suggests that people who cultivate patience experience better mental and even physical health, and have happier relationships with others over the course of their lives.