Sunday, October 15, 2017


“All investigations of Time, however sophisticated or abstract, have at their true base the human fear of mortality.” Thomas Pynchon,Against the Day ... read more

Proverbs 29:18 in the King James Bible states, "where there is no vision the people perish"

Border Force trials iPhones for identity checks

Exclusive interview with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Axios. Not a transcript, but a summary. “Facebook owes the American people an apology — ‘Not just an apology, but determination’ for our role in enabling Russian interference during the election.”
How Facebook’s Ad System Works NYT. Interesting discussion of ads on mobile as opposed to the desktop. Includes a sample of a “Russian” ad. It looks like the $100K “the Russians” spent was worth every penny…

CHILDREN OF OUR ERA by Wislawa Szymborska
translated by Joanna Trzeciak
We are children of our era;
our era is political.
All affairs, day and night,
yours, ours, theirs,
are political affairs.
Like it or not,
your genes have a political past,
your skin a political cast,
your eyes a political aspect.
What you say has a resonance;
what you are silent about is telling.
Either way, it’s political.
Even when you head for the hills
you’re taking political steps
on political ground.
Even apolitical poems are political,
and above us shines the moon,
by now no longer lunar.
To be or not to be, that is the question.
Question? What question? Dear, here’s a suggestion:
a political question.
You don’t even have to be a human being
to gain political significance.
Crude oil will do,
or concentrated feed, or any raw material.
Or even a conference table whose shape
was disputed for months:
should we negotiate life and death
at a round table or a square one?
Meanwhile people were dying,
animals perishing,
houses burning,
and fields growing wild,
just as in times most remote
and less political.

If You’re Not Sick To Death Of Politics, Hey, The Observer Calls These The Best Political Novels And Plays

You want to read about fighting against despotic leaders who have almost total spy control over their populations, right? Right? Or maybe you just want to read Richard III again. You'll find all of that here. . . 

The Latitude of Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek (1923)

Hašek’s furious and hilarious satire of the first world war remained unfinished at his death in 1923, but inspired every subsequent act of rebellion in eastern Europe and beyond. Based on his own experiences in the conflict, the grim adventures of Hašek’s indelible infantryman established the idea of war as the ultimate human absurdity. Joseph Heller often said Catch 22 could never have existed without it.The book was banned by Nazis and Soviet communists, but Švejk’s mixture of cunning and resilience had the last laugh among Czechoslavakia’s samizdat intellectuals who reflected its spirit, and cited its influence, in the 1989 revolution. …[Read More]

British author A.C. Grayling has now turned his brain to the collapse of democracy - but even greater issues are preoccupying him, Jacob Greber discovers. Materialising beside me, as I wait in springtime sunshine and light harbour breeze at one of Otto's outside Woolloomooloo wharfside restaurant tables, is British philosopher AC Grayling. With trademark swept back grey hair, thin-framed glasses and open collar, Grayling is superficially the epitome of what some might sneeringly attack as the quintessential ivory-tower professor specialising in talking to other comfortable elites. As he has just published a book on why democracy is in deep strife, I can't help but wonder - as we sit down to break artisanal bread at the Sydney harbourfront restaurant - if the cheap shot is warranted.

Professor AC Grayling on what artificial intelligence means for work ... ARE WE HORSES OR MEN, ASKS PHILOSOPHER; Lunch with the AFR

Prominent barrister and human rights advocate Julian Burnside, QC, says art is more important than law in many ways. "The rest of us - lawyers, economists - leave our footprints in the water. Artists leave something that later ages can look at," he says. Julian Burnside on why 'art is more important than law'

Agnès Varda and JR’s “Faces Places” Honors Ordinary People on a Heroic Scale

In their new film, the directorial duo travels to small towns in France that are threatened by the economic and social forces of modern life.