Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Painful Realities

Is Western democracy Orwellian? Neoreactionary “Dark Enlightenment”theorists think so, making their case via cybernetics, The Matrix, and H.P. Lovecraft Kafkaesque: Is This How the World Sees Us Now? - - Sex with the boss: why it will never end well

In Chinese cities something wacky is always happening.  Someone is screaming, backslapping, bumping fists, or screaming while backslapping and bumping fists.  Interactions appear to be random, highly intense, and short in duration.  The following interaction is more intense yet.  It reminds me of that old Humphrey Bogart movie “Beat the Devil.”
A Chinese mall has introduced “husband storage” facilities for wives to leave their spouse while they shop, it’s reported.bAccording to The Paper, the Global Harbour mall in Shanghai has erected a number of glass pods for wives to leave any disgruntled husbands that don’t want to be dragged around the shops... Amen!

WHEN DID USURY STOP BEING A SIN and become respectable?

Revolution and Counterrevolution, 1917–2017 Monthly Review (JH). Hoisted from comments

At a four-star veterans’ hospital: Care gets ‘worse and worse’ Boston Globe 
Winnie the Pooh blacklisted by China’s online censors FT / Hard core Irony Coming to Australia near you soo ...  Poohs of Terror alert and Alam ...

A look at how Marc Kasowitz’s firm does business. [Big Law Business]
What not to do in a disaster BBC

Overseas landlords shun the UK, as tax changes bite

“It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.”

Major stresses like divorce and getting fired can age your brain by 4 years

‘Everything Flows’ (Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman: review - Telegraph is the  best, most honest, diagnosis of what went wrong with Communism in the Soviet Union. About two-thirds of the way through ‘Everything Flows’,    UK's Home Office

Philip Larkin's things include a Hitler figurine, empty spines of the diaries that he wished shredded after his death, and ample evidence of his own self-loathing  Before Jordan 

A Maine nonprofit paid its disabled workers less than minimum wage, while its executives got six figures Bangor Daily News. And another neoliberal infestation, this time in Medicaid

Digital text alone is impoverished and, on occasion, emotionally arid. It lacks the nonverbal cues — body language — of spoken communication. That's why we need Emoji 

Government prepares for assault on encryption before the end of the year 
GOVERNMENT IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR THE THINGS WE CHOOSE TO DO TOGETHER: Malpractice in America’s Crime Labs Is Putting Innocents in Jail, Letting Convicts Off the Hook 

There is a crisis in America’s government-run crime labs—and it’s not just the result of a few rogue operators. The problem is long-festering and systemic.
In April, Massachusetts state crime lab chemist Annie Dookhan made national headlines after investigations  and lawsuits over her misconduct prompted the state’s Supreme Judicial Court to order the largest dismissal of criminal convictions in U.S. history 
Prosecutors were forced to dismiss a stunning 21,000-plus drug cases after Dookhan admitted to forging signatures, misleading investigators, and purposely contaminating drug samples en masse over nearly a decade  

Mind your language and step into your boss's shoes: how to speak ...

Government agencies have a higher ethical obligation than other organisations because they exercise the unique powers of the state, ethics expert Simon Longstaff argued at yesterday’s Data+Privacy conference in Sydney
When it comes to big data, Longstaff said people working for any kind of organisation should use their “moral imagination” — a kind of empathy — to put aside their employer’s objectives and honestly consider what a regular person might think about what they are doing with data analytics

THIRTY-ONE years ago, The Economist created the Big Mac index as a way of gauging how different currencies stacked up against the dollar. The index is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity, the idea that in the long run, exchange rates should adjust so that the price of an identical basket of tradable goods is the same. Our basket contains one item, a Big Mac.

The latest version of the index shows, for example, that a Big Mac costs $5.30 in America, but just ¥380 ($3.36) in Japan. The Japanese yen is thus, by our meaty logic, 37% undervalued against the dollar.