Friday, February 16, 2018

Barlow Rules

Viklický And The JCLO In Brno
In their tour of the Czech Republic, last weekend Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra teamed with the eminent Czech pianist and composer Emil Viklický. Viklický crafted an arrangement ... read more

THIS IS GOING TO BE ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE “EVERYONE KNEW” THINGS, ISN’T IT? Mayor Megan Barry’s chief of staff began approving bodyguard travel expenses after affair began

Barnaby Joyce throws Coalition into crisis over PM's 'inept and unnecessary' attack

Russian operatives conducted 'information warfare' against the US. Here's how they did it

KIM WINGEREI. Book review of “Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom” by Thomas E. Hicks, Pulitzer Prize winner.

At first glance they may seem like an odd couple, but their influence on the seminal events and the thinking of the 20th century is equally profound. Winston Churchill defined and led the resistance against the tyranny of Adolf Hitler; George Orwell understood and explained the nature of totalitarian regimes. They were both men who were prepared to change themselves in order to change the world.
 Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas E. Ricks has written an insightful account of these two men whose paths never crossed and came from opposite ends of society and ideology. The book focuses on their life and deeds from the late thirties until after the Second World War. Ricks does not eulogise either man, he recognises their flaws and earlier failures, yet puts them both in the historic perspective that they deserve. Continue reading 
"Police can't be fired for having affairs with other officers, court rules": Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle has this report on a ruling that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued today, giving rise to an acknowledged circuit split.

"Meraux woman pleads guilty to stealing $116K from Louisiana Supreme Court":Laura McKnight of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans has this report.
And Ramon Antonio Vargas of The New Orleans Advocate reports that "Meraux woman admits she stole $116,000 from state Supreme Court through elaborate scheme."

"How to Get a Wiretap to Spy on Americans, and Why That Matters Now": Charlie Savage has this article in today's edition of The New York Times.

Justice Poker: Sometimes capital punishment is just the luck of the draw."Andrew Cohen has this post online at The Marshall Project

"Lawyers Faced With Emojis and Emoticons Are All 😎 ; Chipmunks, kissy lips and champagne bottles are becoming bones of contention in legal disputes; a court considers the ':P'" Mike Cherney will have this front page article in Tuesday's edition of The Wall Street Journal.

Surveillance Valley Yasha Levine, Baffler
Don’t use Huawei phones, say heads of FBI, CIA, and NSA The Verge (Kevin W). So we consumers are told to prefer the backdoors installed by the FBI, CIA and NSA to the ones installed by the Chinese?

Owls are the most human of birds, fixtures of mythology and literature. They're remarkable, but can they really cure certain medical conditions?
To say freedom of conscience had a difficult birth would understate the matter, writes Marilynne Robinson. So she's surprised to find it disappearing before her eyes 

RettigCharles Rettig (J.D. 1981, Pepperdine; Tax LL.M. 1982, NYU), tax partner at Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez (Beverly Hills, CA), is slated to be President Trump's nominee to be IRS Commissioner.  Wall Street Journal, Trump Soon to Nominate Tax Lawyer Charles Rettig to Run IRS:
President Donald Trump will nominate Charles Rettig, a California tax lawyer, to run the Internal Revenue Service, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Rettig will take one of the most thankless jobs in Washington. He would run an agency that despite a shrunken budget is responsible for implementing the sprawling Republican overhaul of the U.S. tax system passed by Congress last year. He would also be charged with overseeing the agency Mr. Trump has said has been auditing his tax returns from 2002 onward. The president has cited that process as the reason he hasn’t released those documents to the public.
Mr. Rettig’s selection departs from the recent trend of IRS commissioners. The most recent Senate-confirmed commissioners—John Koskinen, Douglas Shulman, Mark Everson and Charles Rossotti —weren’t career tax experts when they were picked.
Russian Nuclear Scientists Used Supercomputers To Mine For Cryptocurrency International Business Times "Prosecution futures

1. Novel: Stanislaw Lem, Solaris, all about identity and erotic guilt.  Next in line would be any number of Isaac Singer novels, I don’t have a favorite offhand.  Soon I will try The Family Moskat.  Gombrowicz is probably wonderful, but I don’t find that it works for me in translation.  Quo Vadis left me cold.

2. Chopin works: The Preludes, there are many fine versions, and then the Ballades.  The Etudes excite me the most, the Mazurkas and piano sonatas #2 and #3 are most likely to surprise me at current margins of listening.  I find it remarkable how I never tire of Chopin, in spite of his relatively slight output.

3. Painter: This one isn’t as easy as it ought to be.

4. ArchitectDaniel Libeskind was born in Poland.  But more generally one can cite Krakow, and I suspect the older versions of Gdansk.

The wooden churches and folk art of southern Poland also deserve mention.

5. Political thinkerCzesław MiłoszThe Captive Mind, about the capitulations of artists to communism, though subtler than just an anti-state polemic.  He once stated: ” I have never been a political writer and I worked hard to destroy this image of myself.”  I do not feel I can judge his poetry, though last year’s biography of him was a good book.

6. Astronomer and originator of the quantity theory of moneyCopernicus.

7. Television showThe Decalogue, perhaps #4 is my favorite.  Here is good NPR coverage.

8. Movie: Any of the Andrzej Wajda classics would do, maybe start with Kanal or Ashes and Diamonds.  More recently I would opt for Ida.  I like Kieślowski’s TV more than his films, and prefer Hollywood Polanski to Polish Polanski.

9. Classical pianist: There are many, but I will cite Kristian Zimerman over Artur Rubinstein.  The former plays the piano better.  Josef Hofmanndeserves mention, but there are dozens of picks here.

10. Jazz musician: Trumpeter Tomasz Stańko.

11. Economists: There is Kalecki, Hurwicz, the now-underrated Oskar Lange (doesn’t Singaporean health care work fine?), and Victor Zarnowitz. I had thought Mises was born in Poland, but upon checking it turned out to be Ukraine.

Silicon Valley visionary John Perry Barlow died last night at the age of 70. When he was 30, the EFF founder (and sometime Grateful Dead lyricist) drew up a list of what he called Principles of Adult Behavior. They are:

1. Be patient. No matter what.
2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
4. Expand your sense of the possible.
5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
7. Tolerate ambiguity.
8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
11. Give up blood sports.
12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
19. Become less suspicious of joy.
20. Understand humility.
21. Remember that love forgives everything.
22. Foster dignity.
23. Live memorably.
24. Love yourself.
25. Endure.

Here’s what these principles meant to Barlow:

I don’t expect the perfect attainment of these principles. However, I post them as a standard for my conduct as an adult. Should any of my friends or colleagues catch me violating one of them, bust me.

You can read remembrances of Barlow from the EFF and from his friends Cory Doctorow and Steven Levy. The EFF’s Executive Director Cindy Cohn wrote:

Barlow was sometimes held up as a straw man for a kind of naive techno-utopianism that believed that the Internet could solve all of humanity’s problems without causing any more. As someone who spent the past 27 years working with him at EFF, I can say that nothing could be further from the truth. Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good. He made a conscious decision to focus on the latter: “I knew it’s also true that a good way to invent the future is to predict it. So I predicted Utopia, hoping to give Liberty a running start before the laws of Moore and Metcalfe delivered up what Ed Snowden now correctly calls ‘turn-key totalitarianism.’”
Barlow’s lasting legacy is that he devoted his life to making the Internet into “a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth … a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.”