Sunday, November 27, 2011

Scientists have discovered that we’re engineered for kindness – or not. The caring button is a genetic trait that determines how we respond to oxytocin (aka the “love” hormone); some of us have it, some of us don’t; most people can spot it a mile off.... Who Cares?

Here’s one to rattle the cage of True Blue Aussie Blokes who prefer a handshake to a hug. A study has found that Australian men who love a good hug are happier and healthier than those who don’t, and also tend to bank more. It’s time to embrace change, mate... Come On Mate, Gimme A Hug

A ONE-MAN MARKET - Money and art Evasive tactic
Oscar Wilde claimed to have put all his genius into his life, leaving only his talent for his work. Many a great conversationalist has done much the same thing. Most people (though not all!) find it easier to talk than to write, and some, like the now-forgotten Desmond MacCarthy, talk so well that they never manage to write anything memorable.

For the professional writer, blogging is an intermediate state. It's writing, but writing of a peculiarly ephemeral kind, the postmodern equivalent of penning a thrice-weekly newspaper column, and those who do it too assiduously run the risk of dribbling away the stuff books are made of. Hilaire Belloc once managed to finesse a similar problem by publishing a collection of more than usually ephemeral essays called On Nothing and Kindred Subjects, but the fact that On Nothing is now as forgotten as Desmond MacCarthy suggests that he was kidding himself.

What I won't do is bore you by making constant excuses for not blogging more often. You can henceforth take it for granted that I wish I were doing so--and that
I'll be back on the case as soon as possible. [When we exist without thought or thanksgiving we are not men, but beasts Taking aim at middle-class aspirations, Dwight Macdonald drew a bazooka when a pistol would do. He didn’t open the conversation, he killed it.. ]
• · Jürgen Habermas is angry. “Our politicians have no political substance.” If the EU fails, he warns, democracy will be set back 100 years; The two can’t be disentangled. But some entanglements are more troubling than others. Culture is in retreat before the brute dollar. Jed Perl explains Money and art; Demonstrating the increasing role of the network in people's lives, an international workforce study announced today by Cisco revealed that one in three college students and young professionals considers the Internet to be as important as fundamental human resources like air, water, food and shelter
• · · Economics might act like a science, but it isn’t one, says Robert Trivers. Its key ideas are naive, and it’d take more than a nudge to fix that... Nudge thyself; Americans read Nietzsche without becoming Nietzscheans. As for those few who go whole hog, they’re rarely intellectuals of the first rank. America’s Superman
• · · · Auction prices for his work have jumped 3,400 percent in 25 years. Time for a market correction in contemporary art.. The Warhol bubble - A ONE-MAN MARKET ; The merchandising of Milosz. Pens, postcards, T-shirts, even biscotti – few poets have been commodified and branded with such rock-star exuberance Czeslaw Milosz around the world
• · · · · How a Canadian in a bathtub, together with transgender radicals, and a “mystical anarchist” organized a revolution on Wall Street... Wall Street... The origins and future of Occupy Wall Street ; Advocating for the means to make informed decisions
• · · · · · News must be really hard to follow for an everyday consumer of a newspaper website. First tweets go out, sometimes with no links to additional coverage. Then a few grafs go up on a blog, followed by additional updates, either to the top of that post or as new posts. Eventually, a print story gets started, which is posted through an entirely different workflow onto a different-looking story page. This version is usually written as an hourglass-style narrative, following typical print conventions. For the rest of the day, new updates start going to this story rather than the original blog post. Having a hard time following? Here’s a graphic to help.. The New, Convoluted Life Cycle Of A Newspaper Story, ; Unprecedented news - 99% of NSW Police Force Marching in Macquarie Street ; Escort Tiffanie says minister told her: If you knew who I was you'd be very surprised - On the first day of an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry yesterday, counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson, SC, alleged property developer Ron Medich and former boxer Lucky Gattellari arranged for Mr Macdonald to "take his pick" of a group of young women "kept" by Mr Gattellari with the knowledge of Mr Medich "for themselves and their guests 'Gross' minister made me feel sick, escort tells ICAC; Google Sexual favours for Macdonald: ICAC

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Never underestimate the role of the will in the artistic life. Some writers are all will. Talent you can dispense with, but not will. Will is paramount. Not joy, not delight, but grim application.
-Alan Bennett, The Habit of Art - There you have your title. I believe that’s why Americans always want to tell the story of the world. They believe that when you master the story or the tale, it is as if, if something were to happen, they would be the first ones informed The Narrator Never

Party scenes. Not big ones, balls or weddings, but more intimate gatherings, friends gathering over dinner, drinking themselves senseless, arguing about profound nonsense. Sometimes the party is a regular event, not really a party at all but just a routine social activity. A little piano playing, some snacks, some cards. The Crime of Father Amaro and Cousin Basilio both structure the entire book around this kind of scene. Sometimes the party is a rarer bird, a chance to indulge. The Maias has some superb scenes of this type. Chapter 2 of The Illustrious House of Ramires has a good one, too ...
Father Soeiro, his sunshade under his arm, made his way slowly back to the Tower, in the silence and softness of the evening, reciting his Hail Maries and praying for the peace of God for Gonçalo, for all men, for the fields and the sleeping farms, and for the beautiful land of Portugal, so full of endearing charm, that it might be for ever blessed among lands

This is the fantastical tale of Dan Dong, an unemployed factory worker whose life takes a series of unexpected twists upon his discovery that simply by posing as a journalist he can eat exquisite gourmet meals free of charge at state-sponsored banquets. But the secrets Dan overhears at these events eventually lead him down a twisted, intrigue-laden path, and his true and false identities become increasingly harder to separate. When he becomes privy to a scandal that runs from the depths of society up to its highest rungs, Dan must find a way to lay bare the corruption - without revealing the dangerous truth about himself. Like Buz Luhrman, Dan Dong, has konektions to the NSW Parliamentary Library

CODA: If they're worried, then it's working:

A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.” The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association. CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead. According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.” Undermining the Occupation: Memo to Media Dragon

Monday, November 21, 2011

What the Anthropologists Say about shopping in Sydney (or Broadway ...) - small is beautiful!

Surely that little pseudo-gothic church on Broadway, hidden amongst the skyscrapers, is symbolic of the age! On the whole face of the globe the civilization that has conquered it has failed to build a temple or a tomb.
-André Malraux

Paddington's new place to spot chairs, jars and prints
If you’re cuckoo for curios, say hello to your new nest.

This artfully cluttered emporium is chockablock with colourful genie bottles from the ‘60s, vintage glass pharmaceutical bottles, and brushed aluminium canister sets from the ‘50s. Old bric-a-brac sourced from all over Australia mingles with new wares for a special kind of eclectic magic. And what’s more, these Paddington proprietors have kept their prices down to earth so you can snaffle a beauty for a bargain price
i like birds
14 William Street, Paddington 2021
T: 02 9331 5501 The best deals of 2011 - bric-a-brac

Media Dragon Likes Birds Too Tamara: Once there was season of color crimson lake
If fabulously floral chinaware, retro glassware, vintage ‘kitchenalia’ and adorably kitsch collectables are your cup of tea, then you simply must visit the delightfully charming store, I Like Birds, nestled in the heart of Paddington’s uber-trendy shopping district - William St.

A gorgeous collection of both new and vintage homewares sourced from all over Australia, I Like Birds is more treasure chest than standard homewares store. Upon entering the canary yellow terrace and embarking upon your voyage of discovery through this eclectic store, it soon becomes evident that this is quite a special little shop indeed. Every glass vase, quirky cushion cover, flying duck, cowhide rug, bell jar, mohair basket and vintage apothecary bottle has been carefully and thoughtfully selected by the shop’s inspired and passionate owner, Tamara. Nothing is there without reason; no product chosen without love. Awww!!!

ilikebirds loves modern, urban interior design & classic decorative art ... so much so we go to great lengths to source rare, new & vintage homewares from all around Australia and abroad to bring you that perfect piece for your office, home and garden. We have a hand picked selection of homewares, gifts, prints, collectables, glass, soft furnishings and much more. We also have an urban garden nursery with both indoor and outdoor pots and plants.
Birds, Plants and Past Voices of Silence ; [When price and small size matter Gifts - Labor of Love ; Part Bird]
• · Customers have mixed feelings about Black Friday shoppin ; You're going to spend more this holiday season, you'll probably shop both at stores and online - possibly with a smartphone or tablet computer - and while you're at it, you might buy something for yourself 10 Holiday shopping trends
• · · Many small businesses try to outwit the giants this holiday by offering a personal touch Midnight is new riching hour; Jozef Imrich & Media Dragon When the clock strikes 12 ... the Black Friday shopping will begin ...
• · · · Wall Street Journal open a rare window into a new global market for the off-the-shelf surveillance technology ; Keep it simple
• · · · · Though reluctant to work with the U.S. military, anthropologists have a lot to say about the war in Afghanistan. Alex Star listens...What the Anthropologists Say ; Thanks to the Internet, everyone has a say, everyone is a cultural arbiter. A golden age of criticism? Nonsense. The Web has made criticism obsolete.. A golden age of criticism? Nonsense
• · · · · · Alienation and misanthropy. Stephen Sondheim’s muse is misery – about success, relationships, aging, and mankind itself. With Stephen Sondheim’s second collection of his lyrics, the hyper-articulate, neurotic, modernist master Broadway songwriter takes a curtain call the-art-of-making-art ; If you’ve been at death’s door or your wit’s end, about to bite the dust or cast the first stone, you’ve inhabited the King James Bible With more bone breaks in my body than you've got bones in yours; The Book of Genesis is a bedtime soporific, not a page-turner. God, says Jonathan Rée, is the death of narrative, and narrative the death of God..
• · · · · · · Jonesing for Freakonomics: Social psychologists are addicted to findings that make headlines. Data massaging is warping the field Freakonomics: ; Liberals are stupid, according to a ballyhooed study. Now it’s been retracted. Turns out conservatives are stupid, too..

PS: Can you understand, my father used to ask, the despair of that condemned beauty, of its days and nights? Over and over again it had to rouse itself to fictitious auctions, stage successful sales and noisy, crowded exhibitions, become inflamed with wild gambling passions, await a slump, scatter riches, squander them like a maniac, only to realize on sobering up that all this was in vain, that it could not get anywhere beyond a self-centered perfection, that it could not relieve the pain of excess. Józefina Szelińska - That whole lumber room of ancient beauty has been subjected to a painful distillation under the pressure of years of boredom

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What is man? A miserable little pile of secrets.
--André Malraux, Antimémoires

A new camera captures hundreds of images and lets you choose your own reality Creative expression is a wonderful thing. It makes you feel alive. Small wonder then, that one of the most enduring forms of self-expression, writing, should turn out to be good for our physical and emotional health. So next time you’re feeling down or out of sorts – write it up! Real stories come from the successes and failures, joys and sorrows of everyday life. And 20 years of research tells us that devoting 15 minutes each day to writing about what we’ve experienced , felt or dwelt on can help improve almost any ailment, body or mind. Write the wrongs ; Putting pen to paper can reap surprising health benefits Time is a river, a violent cold current of events...

Never underestimate the role of the will in the artistic life. Some writers are all will. Talent you can dispense with, but not will. Will is paramount. Not joy, not delight, but grim application.
--Alan Bennett, The Habit of Art

Happy Scribing Sometimes Even to Live is an Act of Courage
Stock analysts are not known for being a rebellious sort. Their jobs generally involve writing up dry technical reports on public companies. But Mike Mayo is not your typical stock analyst.

Since joining the industry nearly 25 years ago, Mayo has shaken up the financial world with his bold and forthright analysis of the banks he researches. In 1999, he told investors to sell all bank stocks. In 2007, he was ahead of the pack in downgrading Bear Stearns Cos. and Citigroup Inc.
Perhaps predictably, this hasn't earned him a lot of love, given that he has worked at banks himself and that his employers wanted to do business with many of the banks he was analyzing. This led to often short and stormy tenures at UBS, Credit Suisse and Lehman Bros. before he landed in his current position at Credit Agricole Securities.
Now, after a financial crisis for which banks have taken much of the blame, Mayo has written a book, "Exile on Wall Street," chronicling the problems he sees with the procedures in place for monitoring the financial system. He contends that regulators, accountants and credit rating firms do not have the right incentives to serve as good watchdogs. He slams his fellow stock analysts for providing misleadingly positive portrayals of public companies because of conflicts of interests.

Watchdogs ; [It is a deep irony that FAMU student Jan Látal's newest documentary is titled Paroubek of a Thousand Faces. The finished product, admits the 31-year-old director, fails to uncover the "real" politician and erstwhile prime minister of 16 months. In fact, Jiří Paroubek wore his "politician's face" for the duration of the shoot, Látal says. Politician has a face for all occasions ; Only two-thirds of Czechs proud of their nationality - poll Only two-thirds ]
• · Having charted Billy Beane’s sports-management breakthrough in the best-selling Moneyball. Billy Beane’s sports-management revolution, chronicled by the author in Moneyball, was made possible by Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. At 77, with his own new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, the Nobel Prize-winning Kahneman reveals the built-in kinks in human reasoning—and he’s Exhibit A. Michael Lewis on the King of Human Error ; In novel after novel, he floats lofty, universal ideas, and then unzips his fly. The Grapes of Roth: Solipsism and lust
• · · Pakistan lies to us, sponsors militants who attack American troops, and may have knowingly harbored Osama bin Laden. With a friend like this, who needs enemies? The Ally From Hell; Kurt Vonnegut wrote - We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” He heeded his own advice The novelist and master of self-marketing became an icon of the counterculture
• · · · Fire snowball mask movie: how leaders spark and sustain change, Peter Fuda and Richard Badham, Harvard Business Review, November 2011, p145-148. Transform to become an effective leader using interdependent metaphors - fire (representing ambition), snowball (accountability) , mask (authenticity and movie (self-reflection). It takes utter courage to name the mask.; Going to work is a high-pressure business! Between the state of economic challenges, your personal issues and family concerns—it’s easy to overlook the value of a forgotten virtue called courage (and its intrinsic value). Courageous Leadership—Dare to Take Control
• · · · · Three dead at Moravian factory as gunman was brother of arms dealer Karel Musela opened fire at the Aircraft Industries (AI) plant, killing Pavel Vlach and Petr Veselý, both members of the company's board, and injuring director Ilona Plškova, before turning the gun on himself; A libertarian economist discovers that our political leanings leave us more biased than we think. I Was Wrong, and So Are You
• · · · · · A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but anyone with even a poor sense of smell and negligible knowledge of botany will have noticed that some roses smell sweeter than others. The same goes for the names of books. As some titles evidently smell particularly sweet, there can be some rather unexpected bookish twins. Inside Books: What’s in a name?; Italian clothing company Benetton withdraws publicity shot of Benedict XVI kissing grand sheikh of al-Azhar mosque in Cairo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dullness in matters of government is a good sign, and not a bad one - in particular, dullness in parliamentary government is a test of its excellence, an indication of its success.
---Walter Bagehot

Top Trends

This week Ronda Miller was appointed Clerk of the Legislative Assembly for the NSW Parliament – the first female Clerk of the lower House. She replaces Russell Grove who recently retired after 21 years of service as Clerk

The first female Clerk of the lower House: Asamblea de Ronda Ronda Mary Miller - Magna Carta
The NSW Parliament is the mother legislature of Australia and also one of the oldest public buildings in nation of Down Under. A building where Ronda and Media Dragon used to receive paper cuts from newspaper clippings.
I have very much pleasure in announcing that following recent recruitment action I have requested the Premier to recommend to Her Excellency the Governor approval for the appointment of Ms Ronda Mary Miller as Clerk of the Legislative Assembly. The Premier has confirmed that the recommendation will be made to Her Excellency the Governor and the appointment is expected to be made next week. Congratulations, Ronda.


I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the staff of the committee for their untiring work during the year, particularly the director, Mrs Patricia Azarias; Mr Ian Clark, then the senior project officer; Mr Joseph Imrich, clerk to the committee; Ms Caterina Sciara and Ms Debbie Isted, who provided administrative support; and our accounting and auditing adviser, Mr John Lynas, who is now on secondment from the Auditor-General's office. I should like to pay special tribute to Ms Ronda Miller, the Clerk-Assistant (Committees) for her ready and constructive assistance to the committee on many occasions.

Some people suggest that the problem is the separation of powers. If you had a parliamentary system, the struggle for power would not result in such complex peace treaties that empower so many different people to pursue so many contradictory aims.
-James Q. Wilson

The first organised opposition by women to women's suffrage in England dates from 1889, when a number of ladies led by Mrs Ward appealed against the proposed extension of the Parliamentary suffrage to women.
-Millicent Fawcett

The standing orders of the Parliamentary Party, however, apply to me, apply to every other Member of the Parliamentary Labour Party and they put into a context the way in which those rights to freedom of speech should be exercised.
-Ron Davies

Unlike the previous parliamentary Marco Polo, Ronda invaded roads less traveled, but with very colourful characters such as Mr Barry O'Farrell to boot to San Francisco of all placed in July 2003 ...
• · Art of Hansard; Magna Carta of Assembly Lines; [ The New South Wales Parliament presented a Mace to the National Assembly for Wales in recognition of the historical connection between these two parts of the world. The Mace was carried into the Siambr by Ms Ronda Miller, Serjeant-at-Arms of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, presented to The Queen; Robyn McClelland (C’lth) stepped down as Chair of the Committee in 2007 and Ronda Miller (N.S.W.) was appointed as her successor by the Executive Committee. John Mandy (W.A.) and Carol Rankin (N.Z.) were asked to continue on the Committee and Rick Crump (S.A.) was co-opted during the year. Lessons from Abroad; Legislative Assembly and Council Privileges Committee Search Warrants & Parliamentary Priviledges]
• · · All Legislative Roads Lead to Dr Cope Parliamentary Librarian; Sad history
• · · · As the friendliest and considerate President in my time in NSW Parliament, Johno Johnson, noted: In 1991 Dr Russell Cope, the Parliamentary Librarian, concluded 40 years of meritorious service Dr Cope is one of those living treasures that few institutions have; The Clerk advises the Speaker and members impartially on parliamentary procedure and manages the Department of the Legislative Assembly. The current Deputy Clerk of the Assembly is the Assembly's first female Clerk. She became Deputy Clerk in 2004. In 2007 the Assembly appointed its first female Serjeant-at-Arms. Lynn Lovelock has served NSW Parliament (The Lords of the Upper House) in many roles. In 1987 she was a parliamentary administration officer, in 1988 she was appointed as the Usher of the Black Rod—as members know she was the first woman to hold that position—in August 1989 she was appointed Clerk Assistant, and then in December 1990 she was appointed Deputy Clerk. In 2007 Lynn was the first woman appointed Clerk of the Parliaments and Clerk of the Legislative Council Women on Top
• · · · · Machiavelli's teaching would hardly have stood the test of Parliamentary government, for public discussion demands at least the profession of good faith Another book lover; Review of Note on MD first birthday
• · · · · · ... THE 99% of Another WORLD: Many seasoned political professionals in Washington are deeply jealous of the copywriting skills of the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd. The young movement’s slogan – “We are the 99 per cent” – is one they wish they had thought up themselves.The funny thing, walking through “Occupy DC”, the fast-growing little brother of OWS camped a block from the White House, is that the movement’s followers don’t look like 99 per cent of anything other than a ragged modern-day counter-culture. For a better litmus test of the country’s political mood this week, you had to travel far from the tents of McPherson Square in downtown Washington to the bellwether state of Ohio. We Are the 99 Percent; Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world said this year that “There has been class warfare going on... and my class isn’t just winning, I mean we’re killing them”. The onset of neo-liberal capitalism in the late 1970s that saw a shift away from manufacturing because the rate of profit for the corporations therein had flatlined, towards a finance capitalism in particular, facilitated a huge squeezing of the US working class, dashing the American Dream for the majority and massively increasing the wealth of the tiny minority of super-rich. Website lets wealthy 1% show support for the other 99%; Quotes

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

I know all about couch grass, and the fearsome bindweed, and the way to get the dandelion with its root . . . . Apple trees and pear trees shed their fruit barely formed and the currant bushes, as if taken by surprise in order to please me, are going back to the wild.

This song was dedicated (and vocalised by Helen's David) to our well-balanced friend, Mark, who was born under the relevant star-sign … Indeed, advanced age is not so bad when you consider the alternative.
We sang So may you live to be 100, Sto Roky, Mark!

Man of the Moment Libra Tango (instead of Libertango)

Having forgotten Petersburg and my criminal character
I found a way to please my wife quite legally:
I sometimes go to a dancing soiree with her
And there I am forced to count “one-two-three” like a lunatic

They teach me there to dance salsa
And tango and a bit of waltz…
But no matter how hard Eugenia trains me
When I dance waltz the freylekhs (folkloric jewish dance) comes through

I want to forget reality when dancing
To think that I am still 20 or at lease just over 30
But there is this orthodox part in me that
Does not let me get away from the Jewish rhythm

My wife dreams that I lead her properly in the dance
But when dancing with other women that I should behave myself
But the moment I see other people
My soul and lips are both ready for a kiss

I don’t get to go to parties on Sundays, -
I just pop in for a minute or two…
Then I spend another 15 minutes kissing
And for the rest of the night I have a party with my passengers

So what if there are cameras out there
And “film directors” hiding in bushes with radars, -
Nothing will interfere with my party -
Neither red lights nor huge fines.

Fellini is crying, Bertolucci is weaping,
As neither of them will get as much attention as me.
I am rushing forward, and I won’t brake,
‘Cos life is beautiful, and that’s what matters!
-Partly composed by his better half, Eugenia, who is a genus of flowering plants in the myrtle family Myrtaceae.

The Bronze Horseman (Russian: Медный всадник, literally The Copper Horseman is an equestrian statue of Peter the Great in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Commissioned by Catherine the Great, it is also the name of a narrative poem written by Aleksandr Pushkin about the statue in 1833, widely considered to be one of the most significant works of Russian literature. The statue came to be known as the Bronze Horseman because of the great influence of the poem. The statue is now one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg, in much the same way that the Copper Harbour Bridge is a symbol of Sydney or Statue of Liberty is a symbol of New York City. Saint Petersburg has inspired great works of literature by Russian authors such as Aleksandr Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ivan Turgenev, and Nikolay Gogol. The city that arose from the swamps and rivers in the early 18th century became the grace and wonder of the northern lands; Mark's Petrograd

Peter the Great: Krasny Window to the West World Wide Web of Global-literature Tour
The Guardian's been doing a world-literature tour, asking readers to name "the best authors and books from a series of countries, creating an atlas of literature." (Yes, they already know about Jozef Imrich)

Agreed that the World Lit tour is very valuable when it identifies little-known authors from little-known countries, but the classics shouldn't be neglected just because they are classics (and not everyone has read all the classics). For Russia, I would single out Pushkin ('Yevgenii/Eugene Onegin') and Chekhov's short stories for the 19th and early 20th centuries, and Mikhail Bulgakov's 'The Master and Margarita' (not mentioned yet, I don't think) for the mid-20th century. Don't miss Nabokov's memoirs Speak, Memory
We put the names in a hat and pulled out ... the Czech Republic

On the River Again [Birthdays are like girlfriends, they come and go-unless you enjoy them Job Watch and Media Dragon's Signature; Steve Jobs wasn’t an inventor. He was a tweaker, an idiosyncratic perfectionist who took Media Dragon's ideas and made them better.. The real genius of Steve Jobs ; Wall Street Journal blogger Steve Yang offers insights into the genius Apple co-creator and CEO of the world's second most valued company (and for some moments #1). The key is that much of Jobs' brilliance and the beauty of Apple's creations can be traced back to the influence of Zen Buddhism and an emphasis on absence defining presence...Absence of his Signature Defines Presence ]
• · Social science is wrong: Crowds are not violent forces that submerge individuality and destroy rationality. In fact, they bring out the best in people CROWDS R US ; When the day was done, P.G. Wodehouse returned to his chief pleasure: writing stinkers to people who attack media dragon A life in letters
• · · When obsessive math whizzes mate, it’s bad genetic news for their offspring, says Simon Baron-Cohen. That’s the theory, anyway... Simon Baron-Cohen noticed that children with autism are drawn to 'systems' such as machines and numbers. Geeks in love ; From Lionel Trilling to Huey Newton: What is it about this anti-Christian, antidemocratic madman that appeals to Americans?.. Nietzsche-mania Born in the USA; Vladislav Davidzon's story about reading Isaac Babel in modern day Odessa made Bookslut aka Jessa miss Odessa. (“The Godly city, the star of our exile, that reluctant wellspring of all our troubles!”) Even if the only things I learned there was that vodka with honey drizzled in it is delicious and how to hitch rides without being raped/murdered. (Old cars! Only get into old cars without power locks.) His story will make you miss Odessa, too, even if you have not been
• · · · In private, Samuel Beckett was as you might imagine him: sullenly professing distaste for his own work, too fatigued to do anything new. How I dislike that play now ; The lament of an aging professor: Everything is suddenly a distraction to William Ian Miller. His brain is balsa wood floating in a helium sea. In truth, his brain is shrinking. And so is yours Losing It
• · · · · As creatures of thought, we are thinking all the time, but that does not necessarily mean that we are thinking well. Answering the law school exam, like solving any problem, requires that the student exercise thinking in an effective and productive manner. This Article provides some guidance in that pursuit Thinking' in a Deweyan Perspective ; Will you still house me, when I’m 64?
• · · · · · This highly personalised political sphere provides the perfect environment for populist politics No role for the drover’s dog: the contemporary emphasis on leadership; Strategies without tactics is the slow road to victory . . . it is better to have the right strategy and then work out the tactics - Major General Jim Molan AO Leadership – Strategy rules!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Courtesy of TM (Trademark of Intel):
The Dunning–Kruger effect is acognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them themetacognitive ability to recognize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.

Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. As Kruger and Dunning conclude, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others". The effect is about paradoxical defects in cognitive ability, both in oneself and as one compares oneself to others.

Although the Dunning–Kruger effect was put forward in 1999, David Dunning and Justin Kruger have quoted Charles Darwin ("Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge") and Bertrand Russell ("One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision") as authors who have recognised the phenomenon.

The hypothesized phenomenon was tested in a series of experiments performed by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, both then of Cornell University. Kruger and Dunning noted earlier studies suggesting that ignorance of standards of performance is behind a great deal of incompetence. This pattern was seen in studies of skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis.

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

Dunning has since drawn an analogy ("the anosognosia of everyday life") to a condition in which a person who suffers a physical disability because of brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of the disability, even for dramatic impairments such as blindness or paralysis.

Everyone knows teens live with abandon online—exposing their secrets, likes, dislikes, sexual preferences, home addresses, phone numbers, and so on—in ways their parents can’t understand. But it’s not just this generation’s sense of privacy that’s eroding. It’s their sense of permanence. They act as though the words they write and pictures they post and texts they send vanish into the ether. But in fact they’re leaving a running transcript behind, a digital trail of their hopes, their anxieties, and, in the case of at least one small Canadian town, even their crimes:
When Kruse IM’d Kim to see if she was done babysitting, no response came. But he didn’t expect one. The instant message was a cover. Kruse knew Kim had never made it to her job. She was right there in his house with him and Cam. Bound. Beaten. Raped. And, by the next morning, stuffed in his freezer. Dead

PS: Kimberly Proctor was born on January 1, 1992.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

All eyes are on India as the world awaited the arrival of its seven billionth child and my parents in law might actually meet the baby in the holy gurudwaras.. Good tidings as the spirit of Diwali is still spreading in the land of wonders...

A nice way to finish the week - Chief Executive magazine from New York has named this missive among its Top 10 CEO blogs. KRConnect has been going for five years now, covering whatever comes to mind, falls across my path, or is close to my heart. A rough count makes this post 1,046. KRConnect

The world had changed suddenly, but I hadn’t. I think part of me knew that it passes, and then it moves on. All you have to do is hold on through the wave, so that you don’t get washed away. It does pass. It was very peculiar. You’re turned into some kind of object, and writers are determinedly subjects. Recently people have been starting to say that it’s all about sales, that the companies behind it are very proud of the sales of the books, and nobody’s talking about the books. There’s quite big PR machine behind it, and we know how PR machines are. The writer is a kind of incidental figure in the middle of this global PR exercise. Presumably writers dream of having such a thing happen but actually what we dream of is the fantasy of suddenly breaking free from your critics, which is not actually what happens. You’re freed from a certain amount of financial tension, but if you weighed money too much in the balance you’d never become a writer in the first place. When you get into it, it’s for whatever kind of reward is there. Though I am very interested in what money does to people, because I’ve had money and I haven’t. The years from 1993 to 2007 were pretty thin. I’m interested in how stressful it is not to have money, but also how, if you do have money you cannot imagine what it is not to have it

Man of the Moment Lessons From Leaders: Leaders and leadership are not always the same
Great leadership is uncommon, but given the state of the world, at the moment more than uncommonly necessary.

Major global trend-forecasters are sounding the alarms that humanity is on the verge of entering into the most tumultuous period in our history. The prospects of a global depression, global war on an unimagined scale and societal collapse are increasing.
Governments have been optimistic with all their happy talk. Is the worst really behind us? Raising interest rates is one way to find out! Maybe our leaders need to look at the facts! Is the economy in deep trouble - hence the delay in raising interest rates now?
Worldwide, the economic crisis has many bubbles. The main event on the horizon is the "bailout bubble" and the general world-debt bubble, which could plunge the world into a Great Depression.

• < Is the economy in deep trouble [ The power of political soap opera Stress tops list of long-term absence causes - Stress is now the number one cause of long-term sickness absence as employees struggle with heavy workloads and job loss worries. Mental health problems hit manual and non-manual staff; Tracking the Trackers: Where Everybody Knows Your Username Tracking the Trackers: Where Everybody Knows Your Username by Jonathan Mayer - Click the local Home Depot ad and your email address gets handed to a dozen companies monitoring you. Your web browsing, past, present, and future, is now associated with your identity. Swap photos with friends on Photobucket and clue a couple dozen more into your username. Keep tabs on your favorite teams with Bleacher Report and you pass your full name to a dozen again. This isn't a 1984-esque scaremongering hypothetical This is what's happening today ]
• · Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing - Today’s digital media environment is rapidly evolving, driven by the proliferation of devices people use to consume content both at home, at work and on the goSheding light on the direction of the ever-evolving digital media landscape ; Personal technology at work: IT's Arab spring, The Economist People are demanding to use their own gadgets in their jobs. Trying to thwart them is futile
• · · Risk Leadership: How to be heard, Risk Management Partners, 2011. This risk management white paper has found that the secret to communicating a risk management message to the right people was knowing the audience; learning how to talk to them in their language; and telling them what they wanted to hear while telling them what they needed to hear. Risk professionals needed to draw senior management a picture of what risk management really was. ; The Peter Principle revisited: a computational study Winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Management for mathematically demonstrating that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random
• · · · Anger management: there's an upside to seeing red at work - New research from the Australian School of Business shows tempered anger in the workplace can have a positive effect. Venting may clear the air or have a catalytic impact, signalling a matter of importance. It could even be a necessary "evil", just part of the job. But before letting fly, be mindful that things may turn sour if it's out of control - and the cause of the outrage will affect how it's perceived; GRAHAM Richardson was a 'gifted liar', and an 'archetiypal trickster' as Labor Party warlord, Bob Hawke's biographer and wife Blanche d'Alpuget says. However you choose to describe him, just like his old boss, Paul Keating, he knows when to throw the switch to vaudeville. This week he sprung a masterful media trap for Kevin Rudd to help spruik his incarnation as a political commentator on Sky News Richo a tart for publicity
• · · · · One world many stories ; Edward de Bono recently made an appearance on ABC down under, sharing some typically flamboyant thinking, mostly around the subject of thinking itself. I’ve been a de Bono fan for years and this was fresh as ever. Among his key insights were: Fresh Thinking ; They say bad luck runs in threes, but these crises aren't luck, they are all of our own making. As with diseases of the human body, problems in business become much easier to resolve if detected early. The Australian - We're the richest nation on earth, according to a Credit Suisse report. 20 October 2011. AUSTRALIANS are the world's wealthiest people on a median basis and second in the world behind Switzerland on an average basis, According to a new Media Dragon report
• · · · · ·Increase your productivity by doing less- A change of attitude could be enough to see us doing jobs sooner, easier and better ; Jenni is heading to Praha for 5 weeks Only in Bohemia ;-)