Friday, January 27, 2017

Desired Traits: Secrets Within Bluest Mountains

Brushing the dust from your clothes, you make your way into the town, as if it has been waiting for you all your life, but the town knows nothing of your existence, even after you have spent years wandering its streets. Footsteps clump past your tiny room each night. The same door slams shut at the end of the corridor. Someone calls your name. The voice is always behind you, no matter how many times you turn around.
– Ian Seed, Anonymous Intruder

 “Mr Cogito and the Imagination” (trans. Alissa Valles, The Collected Poems 1956-1998, 2007):

“Mr Cogito’s imagination

moves like a pendulum

“it runs with great precision

from suffering to suffering

“there is no place in it
for poetry’s artificial fires

“he wants to be true
to uncertain clarity”

Three pipes in the morning, four in the afternoon, three more in the evening. After the death of a friend, Jean Cocteau turned to opium  

“Now that I know the future, I would never act contrary to that future, including telling others what I know,” says Louise. “Those who know the future don’t talk about it. Those who’ve read the Cold River: Book of Ages never admit to it.” Yet Another World ...

White House vows to fight media ‘tooth and nail’ over Trump coverage Reuters. I figured the legitmacy crisis would come when Republicans impeached Clinton….


“I am ill & cannot help. Forgive. So go ahead without me.” With that, Samuel Beckett, committed to correspondence yet overwhelmed by his epistolary duties, signed off... It is suicide to be abroad”, grumbles Mrs Rooney in Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall, “but what is it to be at home . . . what is it to be at home? A lingering dissolution.” Like Mrs Rooney, the ageing Beckett ventured abroad with eloquent reluctance, treating the smallest brush with the wider world as a stage on his via dolorosa, but the latest (and final) volume of the Cambridge edition of his letters frequently finds him in peripatetic mode, whatever his protestations. “Find suitable hole and lie down for keeps, sole ambition Black diamonds of pessimism

 Chinese robot gets byline in Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily: According to a report in the China Daily NewsXiao Nan, a robot designed and built by a team of researchers at Peking University, has written, delivered, and published a news article in the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily. The 300-character story covers Chunyun, the Chinese spring festival that sees about 2.9 billion individuals returning to their home villages to celebrate the lunar new year.

Wan Xiaojun, who led the Peking University team, realizes that this kind of automation might, you know, freak journalists the fuck out, not least of all because “they fear they might lose their jobs.” But, by Wan’s own admission, “Robots are still unable to conduct face-to-face interviews and respond intuitively with follow-up questions. They also do not have the ability to select the news angle from an interview or conversation.” Which is to say that they are not competent journalists. Then again, neither are most human journalists. BOOM!

By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Originally published at New Economic Perspectives.

The Wall Street Journal recently published a summary of a study of “desired director traits.”

A survey of 369 supervisory directors from 12 countries by search and advisory firm Russell Reynolds Associates asked which behaviors they thought are most important to creating a board culture that drives effectiveness and company performance.

The Ideal Director’s Traits

The study found that the five most highly valued traits in a director are, in descending order:

  • Courage
  • Willing to constructively challenge management
  • Sound business judgment
  • Asking the right questions
  • Maintaining an independent perspective and avoiding “group think”

IRS Logo 2

A federal judge has ordered four current or former top officials at the Department of Homeland Security, including Secretary Jeh Johnson, to preserve emails in their private accounts that may be responsive to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss issued the order Wednesday morning to Johnson, former Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, former chief of staff Christian Marrone, and former General Counsel Stevan Bunnell, telling them to copy relevant messages to thumb drives.

Moss said the Justice Department indicated that all four men agreed to preserve any responsive messages that might be in their private accounts, but he still granted the preservation order sought by the conservative group Judicial Watch, which said it feared the government might lose easy access to the records as Obama appointees ship out.

Shenzhen, a city in southern China known for electronics manufacturing, stood out last year, completing 11 such skyscrapers. That’s more than the US and Australia combined. The city was also China’s hottest real estate market last year.
Next was Chongqing, noted for its fast GDP growth (link in Chinese), and Guangzhou, which completed a new finance center with 111 stories and especially fast elevators.

Neil Gordon – POGO – “Last week, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and NASA issued a final rule that will deny taxpayer funds to businesses that force employees to sign away their rights to blow the whistle on possible fraud, waste, and public health and safety dangers. The rule implements section 743 of the 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act

·        Britain's Universities Must Change to Survive. Higher Education Reform Is the Way Forward

What's a $10 million vacation look like? Well, in a sense, it looks like the difference between an "r" and an "x." In 1988, Banner Travel, a California travel agency, took out an ad in the local yellow pages for $230. The ad was supposed to be for "exotic vacations" -- safaris, island hopping, etc. -- but the Pacific Bell Yellow Pages titled it "erotic vacations" instead. The owners of the travel agency sued for $10 million, according to the Associate Press, and, according to language site Grammarly, the travel agency won.

Britain as a tax haven? It already is Politico 

Why is work making us miserable? FT 

Australia fails to improve ranking in global corruption index

Anti-Corruption Populists Tend to be More Corrupt, Report Says