Sunday, July 09, 2017

6666 posts on MEdia Dragon: It had all the Hallmarks of a Good Story: A Habit Worth Picking Up‎

The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s goodbye to the Bill of Rights.” 
H.L. Mencken, “A Time to be Wary

These are Heinlein’s Crazy Years — we just live in them

Drone dropped "tools" enabling inmate to escape, prison officials say
"We believe a drone was used to fly in the tools that allowed him to escape."...

Though Germany hates misinformation for good reason, the country's Network Enforcement Act (or NetzDG) to fight fakery is misguided, unmanageable and "full of a whole lot of subjectivity."  Read the Vox story.

JOHN MENADUE. Why I am still a Catholic


GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Revising history 1914-2017 - (Graham used to be an institutions in Woolahra as he had the constitutional walk with his friedly dog ... Now Graham is back at his Bribie Islands ...) [ Small stature Graham could even drink moi under the table - just like Keiko ]

For octogenarians like me, the most astonishing development since the collapse of the Soviet Union is that so much of the West’s hopes for international sanity, civility and peace should now rest with, of all countries, Germany.  
As an Australian of German descent (we came to Queensland in 1870, just before Bismark proclaimed the German Empire) I have more or less distanced myself from all things German (Beethoven etc. excepted). I feel, however, entitled to speak freely on these matters. My father was wounded at Gallipoli and my uncle was killed at Messine 

Between the madness of Trumpery * (see the Oxford definition below) and the stupidity of Brexit, where is the West to look to uphold our values if not Germany?

I predict that the new relevance of Germany will involve considerable historical revisionism.

Using one’s own head is often the easiest way of losing it ... And yet Kafka is swift to recuse himself of authority on music:

Music for me is rather like the sea… I am overpowered, wonderstruck, enthralled, and yet afraid, so terribly afraid of its endlessness. I am in fact a bad sailor.
I am a Stranger like You ...

Still, for Kafka the magnitude of his overwhelm was perhaps the most direct measure of the intensity of his love. “I don’t want to know what you are wearing,” he once wrote in one of his beautiful and heartbreaking love letters“it confuses me so much that I cannot deal with life.”

SO IT’S COME TO THIS: Newborn baby may be the first to be registered ‘gender unknown’ because its mum insists only the tot can decide what sex it wants to be

For two people to be honest with each other about what is most difficult, even when truthfulness comes with a razing edge of sorrow, is a hard-earned privilege measured by the magnitude of their love for one another. In thinking through this recently — or, rather, living through it — I was reminded of Adrienne Rich’s beautiful sentiment about how relationships refine our truths“An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word ‘love’ — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.”

Is Shakespeare More Powerful Live Or In Cinemacast? Let’s Use Heart Monitors To Find Out

The Royal Shakespeare Company will put the devices on a group of theatre patrons in July and simulcast viewers in August; the idea is to measure not only whether one medium is more or less emotionally involving, but also whether violence in mainstream movies has desensitized screen viewers to the brutality in the play. And which play’s brutality will be the test case? The one that’s really notorious for gore.

The sheer size of realized-pay numbers is one concern. For most of corporate history such riches were associated with risk-taking entrepreneurs, not managers. It is doubtful investors need to fork out so much for managerial talent, and the practice encourages anti-business sentiment, populist politics and eventually regulations like the U.S. pay ratio, part of the Dodd-Frank reforms.
Better Ways to Measure Your Boss's Pay

The glory of the Hollywood memoir. Idiosyncratic, biased, boastful, unctuous, and vain, it nevertheless gives us a revealing glimpse into the past... Hallmarks of Memoirs 

For the good doctor, grotesqueness was not an insult, but instead an insight into the human condition. More than half a millennium later, in a world dominated by indignation and outrage, and largely abandoned by laughter, a dose of the grotesque might help to better digest events, if only by having a good – and right kind of – laugh.
What laughter means. In medieval times it was a great leveler, inclusive and communal. For modern satirists it is a way of standing apart... Latitude to Humour Two things rise to the top in Mittleurope 
Shit and Cream 

Transcendent Experiences – Who Was Right About Them, Freud Or James? And Are They Actually Good For You?

“Transcendence is a fundamental part of the human experience. Since the dawn of our species, people have been losing themselves in ritualistic prayer, song, and dance. Even so, for a long time, the prevailing consensus in psychology was that such experiences were pathological rather than natural. Freud believed that ‘oceanic feelings of oneness’ were neurotic memories of the womb and the signs of a deranged mind. … The person who got transcendence right, [research psychologist David] Yaden says, is William James.”

How Middle-Class America Got Fleeced Bloomberg. UserFriendly: “Holy cow and from April Bloomberg nails neoliberalism to the wall.”

Aussie bonds go to one mystery whale with record $800 million appetite

The Economist – Global Forecasting Service. This is free portion of a fee based service that is updated regularly – covering the World, North America, Europe, Asia & Australia, Latin America, Middle East & Africa.

Australia has fallen down to seventh spot in the United Nations International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) list of countries most committed to cyber security for 2017.
The ITU's second global cyber security index (GCI) scores Australia highly for legal, technical, organisational, and capacity building capabilities and commitment when it comes to cyber security. However, Australia's 2017 ranking has seen it drop four places since the first GCI report in 2014 [pdf], despite having launched a dedicated national cyber security strategy in mid-2016 Australia drops its cyber - all is forgiven Paul Shetler ...

Sonia Paul, June 28, 2017: “It had all the hallmarks of a good story. Journalists from around the world, renewed with a sense of vigor amidst a political maelstrom, braved hazardous weather conditions to talk shop and glean insight from each other, to continue to fulfill their purpose in society. As the annual Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) Conference unfolded this year in Phoenix, Arizona, from June 22-25, daily temperatures of 117 degrees became the new normal for the unfamiliar. Attendees took refuge in more than 150 panels, hands-on classes and presentations in AC-filled rooms. As with many conferences, networking and catching up with friends was an added benefit to the tips and strategizing. But real talk from some attendees and speakers show that while inspiration is up, the hard work of digging for details, getting audiences to care, and accurately reflecting society continues to be a struggle…”

Follow up to previous posting – Trump’s Election Integrity Commission seeks personal info on all US voters back to 2006 – see news from The Hill -“At least 29 states are pushing back or outright refusing to comply with the Trump administration’s request for voter registration data. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, formed by President Trump to investigate his widely debunked claim that millions of illegal votes cost him the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, sent letters this week to the 50 secretaries of state across the country requesting information about voters. The letter, signed by commission vice chairman and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), asked for names, addresses, birth dates and party affiliations of registered voters in each state. It also sought felony convictions, military statuses, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting records dating back to 2006, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Hill. Many states immediately raised concerns and voiced their opposition to providing the information. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) said that she does not intend to release the data. “The president created his election commission based on the false notion that ‘voter fraud’ is a widespread issue — it is not,” Lundergan Grimes said. “I do not intend to release Kentuckians’ sensitive personal data to the federal government.” Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, similarly said he won’t turn over any information to the panel, telling members of the voter fraud commission to, “go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.”

  1. See also “President who won’t release his tax returns wants to publish every registered voter’s social security number, DOB, and party affiliation” — Jason Kander (@JasonKander) July 1, 2017.