Saturday, August 06, 2016

Raconteur: Giving Suffering Poke in the Eye

Words I seem to come across every day  "fragile"  "frightful people",  “lightning rod,” “political football,” and “albatross ...”

As the digital world pummels us with more information and choice, many of us react by walling off the things we simply won’t pay attention to. It’s a survival strategy. We increasingly define ourselves by the things we choose to pay attention to, and bestowing attention is a form of currency we are reluctant to squander.
This is a problem if you’re trying to grow an audience. Building a better mousetrap doesn’t matter if you’re in a world where mousetraps of any kind are on the other side of the wall. You’re less likely to find new audiences for your orchestra with better programming or brilliant performances if orchestras are on the other side of the attentional wall called Ironal Curtain...
 Attention Deficit Disorder: Our Walled-Garden Problem

Down Under Academic and other virtual social animals are czeching out thi story today Government admits organisers of census were not prepared for flood on enquiries

Almost daily we're faced with new atrocities. And the newspapers, television, internet and social media make sure we don't miss a minute of it. Headlines, images and violent videos are delivered in a continuous cycle of 24-hour social, emotional and political manipulation. We're scaring ourselves to death

Art doesn’t have to be true to life to be good, but when a work of art is true to your life, it strikes a special chord. On occasion poetry has this effect on MEdiaDragon ... "Poetry is like an old clock that stops ticking from time to time and needs to be violently shaken to get it running again." Enter Jana Prikryl... Janka 

Curran, Vivian Grosswald, Law and Human Suffering: A Slice of Life in Vichy France (July 25, 2016). Journal of Law and Literature, Forthcoming; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-20. Available for download at SSRN:

Transport Trends ... 

Being Unfit May Be Almost as Bad for You as Smoking. “Poor fitness turned out to be unhealthier even than high blood pressure or poor cholesterol profiles, the researchers found. Highly fit men with elevated blood pressure or relatively unhealthy cholesterol profiles tended to live longer than out-of-shape men with good blood pressure and cholesterol levels.”

The NSW Premier turned a world city into a casino dotted wasteland. It’s part of a broader political project that has squeezed people and their voices to the fringe, writes Xiaoran ShiOn Tuesday, Melbourne’s 24-hour public transport services were granted extra life when Premier Daniel Andrews announced they will be operating until at least June 2017. By contrast, some 900km north of the Victorian capital, Sydney’s public transport system is in the midst of crisis as the Baird government presses forward with its $16.8 billion WestConnex tollway project and Opal fare increases, set to take effect next month https://new04/ Mike Baird mike Baird's Sydney is a  soulless ghost town
M.A.Orthofer has long been an underappreciated chronicler of underappreciated fiction, foreign and otherwise, at the complete review, started in 1999 to provide reviews (his own, graded, with copious links to others'), and augmented in 2002 by the Literary Saloon, with news on publishing, prizes, and much else besides. It's been my go-to site for well over a decade, a catholic and reliable guide (my own assessments generally differ by no more than a plus or minus from his letter grades), and so I was skeptical that I might derive further benefit from his latest offering The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction 

The Department of Justice goes about the business of prosecuting tax defiers as one of its principal activities. I suspect that there is a long list of possible targets. A recent tax evasion case out of the 8th Circuit, US v West, caught my attention. In West, the court struck down conditions of supervised release relating to computer and internet use that the government sought to impose to limit a tax defier from spreading his ideas after his 51 month jail sentence ended. 8th Circuit Strikes Down Restrictions on Internet and Computer Use Special Conditions for Convicted Tax Evader

Jack Townsend: Leslie Book has a great Procedurally Taxinging Blog entry on a recent 8th Circuit case, United States v. West, ___ F3d ___ (8th Cir. 2016), here.  The Blog entry is 8th Circuit Strikes Down Restrictions on Internet and Computer Use Special Conditions for Convicted Tax Evader (Procedurally Taxing Blog 8/3/16), here.
Jack Townsend on Federal Tax Crimes 

HMRC IT chief Mark Dearnley to leave job 

Amazon, Facebook Now Bigger Than Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett says he'll release his tax returns if Donald Trump does too 

George Soros Is The Villain In Ex-Icelandic Prime Minister’s Retelling Of His Tragic Story   

We have a nuanced canon of war literature. Motherhood, however, is missing from our literary and philosophical tradition. That's beginning to change 

The paper title is “Strip Clubs, ‘Secondary Effects’, and Residential Property Prices,” and the authors are Taggart J. Brooks, brad R. Humphries, and Adam Nowak, here is the abstract maybe strip clubs are more popular than I thought ...

Over the past two years, 18 cities have reported how many bookstores they have, and 20 have reported on their public libraries. Hong Kong leads the pack with 21 bookshops per 100,000 people, though last time Buenos Aires sent in its count, in 2013, it was the leader, with 25. New York does OK, with around 840 bookstores for 8.4 million people, but London, whose population is only slightly bigger than New York, counts only 360 stores. 
Taipei and Madrid do well too.  In terms of what you actually get, I think of Buenos Aires and Madrid as standing at the top.  My casual impression is that a lot of the Asian bookstores are more vocational than useful to a reader such as myself or Michael Orthofer.
For libraries Edinburgh is #1 by more than a factor of five. M R has a piece by Elias Khoury on The nightmare of reality. 
       He writes:
I do not believe that writing is an act of despair. On the contrary, it lies beyond despair, when a portal opens onto the darkness that is mixed with shades of light. In this darkness the ink lights up our souls and takes us to a place where we are both witness and agent, where witnessing broadens the horizons of the human situation -- defending man's right to live and dream, to rip the veil off taboos and to resist military and religious tyranny.
       Well, we're definitely living in portal-needing times ..... 

 New networking opportunity? [Law and More]

…anyone with a grandparent born in Ireland is entitled to claim Irish citizenship, and the numbers entitled to that status in Britain may exceed the entire population of Ireland.
The Story Behind The Irish Passports

By the age of 50, Basil Bunting had been a balloon operator, military interpreter, and spy. He'd survived assassination attempts and jail. Then he became a Poet 

The World is at War and the Peace Has Been Lost:

From the quiet country churches of Normandy through the civil wars of Africa, the killing fields of Syria, Putin’s war against the modern European order and China’s lawless surge into the waters beyond its shores, the dark storm clouds gather. Pope Francis has noticed. . . .
Francis is not always the world’s clearest thinker on matters of politics and policy, but he hit the nail right on the head here: we have lost the peace. It is an interesting counterpoint to the Democratic establishment’s celebration of itself and its wisdom last night. And the Pope’s point suggests what is likely to be the starting point of historians’ analysis of Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy: not how he succeeded, but how and why was the peace lost on his watch?
Hillary Clinton is pursuing a job that will be much harder than the job her husband faced, and she will need to do something that many of her most ardent supporters hope she won’t have to do: when the world is at war because it has lost the peace, you have to think outside the box and go well beyond the world of stale liberal truisms of the Boomer Progressive Synthesis.

red tailed hawk links

The tech giant is using the leafy green machine from Freight Farms to feed and educate its employees  

Meet Philip Hersh, the reporter who’s covering his 18th Olympics

What would cities be like if government didn’t enforce minimum parking requirements on builders? Miami is getting good results [Scott Beyer, Forbes] And on streetside: “The Tyranny of Free Parking” [Ike Brannon, Cato, related podcast

Laura Collins-Hughes, reflecting on Brenda Withers’s new play The Kritik: “I did what so many young critics do. In love with the sound of my own voice, unaware of how lastingly harmful meanness could be, I was sometimes far harsher than I should have been.” New York Times
Growing up in Lavender Bay on the lower north shore in the 1960s, Michael Contos lived a charmed “Huckleberry Finn” life, building rafts on the water’s edge, fishing and catching octopus off the rocks:
Sydney's 10 most liveable suburbs revealed

What would our morning or evening readings be like without Giacomo Leopardi  who writes in his Zibaldone: “Passions, deaths, storms, etc., give us great pleasure in spite of their ugliness for the simple reason that they are well imitated, and if what Parini says in his Oration on poetry is true, this is because man hates nothing more than he does boredom, and therefore he enjoys seeing something new, however ugly.” (At the young age of 38 Leopardi died but it was not of boredom)

Supplements Can Make You Sick “Dietary supplements are not regulated the same way as medications. This lack of oversight puts consumers’ health at risk.” By Jeneen Interlandi

Who Pays for White-Collar Crime?
HBS Working Knowledge, 22/7/16. Using a proprietary dataset of 667 companies around the world that experienced white-collar crime, we investigate what drives punishment of perpetrators of crime.

Somehow saying something is like a poem serves as a better advertisement than identifying something as a poem. Aren’t we supposed to prefer the actual to the resembling?” Los Angeles Review of Books

US Government Mucks up Money-Laundering in Real Estate, Puts Luxury Housing Bubbles at Risk Wolf Richter 

The Use of Lotteries to Promote Card payments
TEN, July 2016. In the city of Bergamo in Italy, the municipality and payment card companies collaborated to promote electronic payment methods, over cash. They called the project Cashless City

"Court rejects Sen. Robert Menendez's attempt to get corruption case thrown out": John Bresnahan and Josh Gerstein of have this report.
The Associated Press reports that "Appeals court refuses to toss charges against Sen. Menendez."
And Jonathan Stempel of Reuters reports that "U.S. court rejects NJ senator Menendez's bid to dismiss indictment." 
Study shows amber-tinted glasses can reduce manic symptoms in just 3 days

‘Hypernudge’: Big Data as a Mode of Regulation by Design’
Information, Communication & Society (2016) 1,19. Unlike the static Nudges popularised by Thaler and Sunstein such as placing the salad in front of the lasagne to encourage healthy eating, Big Data analytic nudges are extremely powerful and potent due to their networked, continuously updated, dynamic and pervasive nature (hence ‘hypernudge’).