Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Fifth Estate of Recluse: For All the Gold in the World

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
~Abraham Lincoln

Even good enemies of MEdia Dragon Love Us with Gusto and Attitude ;-) .... We write ourselves  into corners ... If enjoying 15 minutes of fame is wrong, I don't want to be right ;-)
MEdiaDragon aka Josh Topolsky wants you to love The Outline…or hate it

"We think we live in an information age of wheelbarrow", that does not mean MEdia Dragons rely on information for all that they do that is nowhere more the case than in how they respond to presidential elections James W. Cortado, writing for the Oxford University Press blog 

CJR’s new editor is optimistic about the future of journalism

“I was standing by the window once a few years ago, and a tour bus had stopped outside. I heard the guide tell the passengers that Fleet Street no longer had any journalists working here. I stuck my head out and shouted: ‘We are still here" Fleet Street: Last journalists leave former home of national papers

MEDIA PRIVILEGE: It’s voter information fraud 

Terror Suspects in Europe Collected Welfare Benefits Wall Street Journal. Note now that more people are engaging in random acts of violence as a result of social isolation and economic stress (which pretty much any reader of Mark Ames’ Going Postal would have foretold, as we did), the immediate response is to depict them as a possible terrorist before facts are in. And now we have” terrorists = people getting social safety net payments” and “big social safety nets breed terrorism” as new memes

And yet, there is zero chance that the jurors (or anyone else) will heed that admonition ... A New York advisory (@jordanzakarin on Twitter)

Think of Harper Lee or Frank Ocean. “How could someone with such an astute understanding of the world apparently want so little to do with it? How could someone craft so perfect a piece of art, only to shy away from the acclaim it produced?” Recluse 

Jeremy Corbyn’s media strategy is smarter than his critics realise New Statesman. Much to ponder here for the left 

The Tories’ intellectual decline Stumbling and Mumbling

McPherson’s eulogy is the foreword for The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake, the only book from the writer, posthumously published. Pancake’s suicide at 26 still feels like a shock to McPherson, whose eulogy is calm, not breathless; pensive, not certain. “Whatever the cause of his desperation,” McPherson writes, “he could not express it from within the persona he had created…How does one explain the contents of a secret room to people who, though physically close, still remain strangers?”

“A new generation of young European writers is reinventing political literature—and people are listening. Some of the brightest new voices on the continent are making their names through overtly political books, showing that literature, even books of poetry, can still play a significant role in shaping public discourse.” The Politics Of Europe’s New, Hot Superstar Writers

Scooop: Opa-locka turned public utility into extortion racket Miami-Herald. The water department… 

Ukrainian hackers leak IDs, personal data of journalists
A Ukrainian nationalist website has published what it says is an email archive with copies of IDs and personal data of Ukrainian and international journalists, raising new concerns about their safety
CRS Reports & Analysis Legal Sidebar via FAS – Prosecution of Criminal Offenses against Congress, July 26, 2016

Emergy with an m and environmental accounting for Maines landfills ...

It’s all about the way the thalamus (mis-)interprets the 
signals from the tiny, liquid-filled motion sensors in the inner ear inScience of Us 

Cover to Cover, a new book from Penguin Classics, is the closest I can get to looking at pornography in the office. I’ve stared at it for hours, flipping back and forth between covers I’ve passed a hundred times in bookstores and covers I’ve passed a thousand times on my own shelf. The book itself is a model of beautiful design—wide pages with a combination of text and imagery so pleasing that those like me—with a layman’s understanding of graphic design— can only offer some vague guess that it has something to do with that golden ratio people talk about The fascinating complicated art of designing a book cover

Amazon, Facebook Now Bigger Than Berkshire Hathaway

Last week, journalism lost its most incisive, stubbornly accurate, and unfailingly hilarious chronicler of the failings of the mortgage industry with the death of Doris Dungey of ovarian cancer, at age forty-seven. Never heard of Dungey? Thousands of devoted readers knew her as “Tanta,” the blogger who made up one half of Calculated Risk, the hard-hitting and informative chronicler of the industry that brought us Exploding ARMs, NINJA loans, and other abominations of finance that have brought down millions of homeowners and now the world’s economy. Those readers included a number of journalists, and I’d like to add my own voice to those who have celebrated her role.

When it comes to writing, the world is divided between Pantsers and Planners. Pantsers fly by the seat of their pants; planners plan. Everyone else believes there areno rules to writing 

6 scribes from The New York Times who ‘write good’

The 20th-century was a once-in-a-species-lifetime aberration and the 21st century will be one of prolonged slow growth.

That is essentially what gets said in William D. Nordhaus’s NYRB review of The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War by Robert J. Gordon. In this, it echoes many of the things said in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century.

The message of Rise and Fall is this. For most of human history, economic progress moved at a crawl. According to the economic historian Bradford DeLong, from the first rock tools used by humanoids three million years ago, to the earliest cities ten thousand years ago, through the Middle Ages, to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution around 1800, living standards doubled (with a growth of 0.00002 percent per year). Another doubling took place over the subsequent period to 1870. Then, according to standard calculations, the world economy took off We Are Entering a Prolonged Period of Slow Growth

Sophie Murguia, July 28, 2016 – “The Pentagon has updated its Law of War manual to clarify that journalists are generally protected as civilians under international law. The changes, announced last week, came after media groups expressed concern that some language in the original version could put reporters at risk of being considered spies or combatants

A legal analysis of the Donald Trump’s possible relationship with Russia that has sparked a lot of debate recently. [Lawfare]

To satisfy his creditors, Fyodor Dostoevsky famously wrote The Gambler in four weeks. He was a roulette demon with a habit of losing more than he won. If he finished this new book in less than a month, all his debts would be cleared; if he failed, he’d lose everything. Dostoevsky pulled it off, of course; and in a final coup, he later married the stenographer who’d helped him One More for the River”: On Writing Challenges

"Journalist facing jail over hacking seeks reprieve from Obama": Josh Gerstein of Politico.com has this blog post ...

Microsoft Keeps Dossiers On Journalists And Sent Us One By Accident

Warner, Richard and Sloan, Robert H., Defending Our Data: The Need for Information We Do Not Have (July 29, 2016). Available for download at SSRN:http://ssrn.com/abstract=2816010

With ‘Podcast Garage,’ PRX hopes to free podcasters from drinking and working in isolation

4 lessons BuzzFeed learned from using a bot to report on the political conventions

Margarita Simonyan, editor of the Kremlin-funded 24-hour news network RT and a cheerleader for Russia’s propaganda efforts in the west, has come prepared. When I enter Zharko!, the restaurant her family runs on the outskirts of Sochi, she is waiting for me armed with a beer, a tape recorder and her family for support. Lunch with the FT: Kremlin media star Margarita Simonyan

WHO EMPOWERED PUTIN?: This is a bump, but the last half of the essay documents the culprits– with dates and actions

7 ways to improve your video storytelling

“Girls like to reveal their secrets, and they like to be secretive.” Good Omen: Girls are writing the best crime novels without heroes

Cynthia Ozick’s poem about the marketplace, a response to a critic of her volume

Bad books remind us of our failings and that such failings are always closer to us than we imagine. As writers, we have to be our own best advocate; we have to invest in the underdog. And by the same token, we must be our first critic, our arch nemesis. Anne Lamott posits in Bird by Bird that radio station KFKD (“K-Fucked”) is playing in our heads each time we write, with “the endless stream of self-aggrandizement” blasting in the speaker of our right ear, while “out of the left speaker will be the rap songs of self-loathing.” We can tune these out but not turn them off. Similarly, Orson Scott Cardcontends in How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, “Writers have to simultaneously believe the following two things: 1. The story I am now working on is the greatest work of genius ever written in English. 2. The story I am now working on is worthless drivel.” The bad book on my shelf reminds me that I will contend with both ideologies at any given moment, and at any given moment they are true Art and Artlessness lessons from bad books

NCBI Insights: “PubMed is free, but finding the important articles on a topic can cost a lot of time. To help you keep on top of the literature – with a little help from your fellow PubMed users – we are introducing a new type of link called “Articles frequently viewed together”. For some PubMed abstracts, you may see this link in the “Related Information” section in the right column.”
How do you sift through 794 economic blog posts in a single morning? Giles Wilkes navigates through the squawking heads ...
I once saw a cartoon — I wish I could find it — of an infinite, celestial library. In my mind’s eye, scattered groups of heavenly citizens quietly browse shelves that stretch far into the cloudy horizon. In the foreground, an archangel goggles at one of the elect, a curly-haired man with staring eyes. “What?” splutters the angel, “you’ve read them all?” 

There ought to be an ugly Germanic word for it, the anxiety at not having read enough (I like NichtLesenAngst). Imposter syndrome — a constant fear of being exposed for the busking frauds we are — is meant to be a common affliction for all sensible journalists. I have had it my whole adult life, whether working as a broker, adviser, policy wonk or a writer on the FT’s Lex column. It only gets worse if you try to cure it. Shafts of light just illuminate the void of ignorance beyond.
This ought to give me every reason to hate the economic blogosphere. It is no celestial library but evokes the same despair-inducing sense of shelves stretching into the horizon, refilling at nightmarish speed. In scale, it can feel like trying to ascend a landslide; in manner, like wandering into a common room filled with bickering academics, journalists and student politicians, all shouting across one another, scribbling equations upon every available surface and constantly telling you to read something else. This is on a good day. Professors DeLong, Cowen, Nick Rowe, Scott Sumner, Tony Yates, and Paul Krugman
How Giles Wilkes learned to love the economics blogosphere


Interfluidity, the blog of Steve Randy Waldman

Brad DeLong

"Gridlock": Law professor Josh Blackman has posted online at SSRN this draft article, the final version of which will appear in the November 2016 issue of the Harvard Law Review

How would one go about “tyrant-proofing” the U.S. presidency, after years in which many were happy to cheer the expansion of White House power so long as the office was held by someone *they* liked? Key point in Ben Wittes’s 3-part series at Lawfare: the hardest to tyrant-proof are not the extraordinary and covert national security powers held by the chief executive, but the everyday powers over the Department of Justice and regulatory agencies [parts one, two, three].
More: Neither Donald Trump nor his progressive opponents have shown themselves loyal to the principle of the rule of law [John McGinnis, Liberty and Law] Nature of the Presidency lends itself to authoritarianism and despite retrenchment under Coolidge and Ike, that’s been the trend for a century or more [Arnold Kling] And quoting William & Mary lawprof Neal Devins: “A President Trump could say, ‘I’m going to use the Obama playbook’ and go pretty far.” [Marc Fisher, Washington Post] And: Tyler Cowen on FDR, McCarthy, the politics of the 1930s-50s, and “our authoritarians” versus “their authoritarians.”

“Watching somebody type on a computer is about as interesting, aesthetically and dramatically, as watching cows eat grass. Though at least grass-eating cows would be a change from routine, unlike computers, which many of us type on all day. This seems especially ridiculous when it’s Hollywood stars doing the typing.”
The National Post (Canada)

Europe’s “Bought Journalists” Conterpunch (guurst)

The lessons of breaking news coverage can make your newsroom better every day

(1) The Duke Reporters' Lab looks at the growing role of local media in fact-checking state and local politicians.  (2) Here's an interesting thought: Does believing non-facts help us feel safe? Read this Harvard instructor's essay.  (3) Catholics for Trump faux-checks a Washington Post fact check and hands out "four Hillarys."  (4) A mobile art installation is visiting cities around the world with its "Truth Booth" to record visitors' ideas on truth. (5) People magazine's feature called "The Week in Fact-Checking Donald Trump  hmmmm, sounds so familiar tackles Vladimir Putin and the NFL. 

The Information's Jessica Lessin on What Media Brands Are Doing Wrong