Friday, August 17, 2018

Each Dairy and City is like a game of chess

If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

There were times, especially when I was traveling for 'Eat, Pray, Love,' when, I swear to God, I would feel this weight of my female ancestors, all those Swedish farmwives from beyond the grave who were like, 'Go! Go to Naples! Eat more pizza! Go to India, ride an elephant! Do it! Swim in the Indian Ocean. Read those books. Learn a language.' 
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Big consultancy firms call the Federal Government 'The Dairy' because they milk it for all it's worth, inquiry hears


Heaven's DoorMelbourne v Vienna

Melbourne has just lost the crown of the world's most liveable city to Vienna, but there are many threads to a city's fabric that can't be scored by a number. So how do the two places really stack up?

↩︎ Sleepless Cities filled with People via Observer
Researchers are conflicted about why money developed in certain ancient societies and not others.
↩︎ Science News  The arrest culture that is Slovakia Verdi what happened to the Coase theorem?.

Dragon Awards 2018 Finalists

Excessive tattoos and mental health: Rick Genest ska Zombie Boy dies.

Christmas tree crops hit hard by drought Politico. More from Politico’s daily newsletter:

1540 ALL OVER AGAIN? The rivers dried up, the leaves turned brown mid-summer and wildfires swept across the Continent. Temperatures climbed above 40 degrees. Sound familiar? Sitting in Wittenberg in July of that year — 1540 — a desperate Martin Luther wrote to his wife: “Day and night there’s an unbearable heat and dryness everywhere. Come, dear Judgement Day, Amen.” A few days later they burned a witch in Wittenberg. But even that didn’t help end Europe’s worst drought. About 40 million people lived in Western Europe at the time. And about a million more people than usual died that year.

Kerry Cue says she always wanted to be Annie Oakley and now she knows why (Image via Kerry's blog 

Last week, Kerry Cue almost overdosed on Melbourne. You do need to be careful!

Last week, Kerry Cue almost overdosed on Melbourne. You do need to be careful!

ONE DAY last week, I overdosed on Melbourne: 17 TEDx Melbourne talks and performances at the conference centre, South Wharf, and then 10The Moth Melbourne open mic stories hosted by comedian Cal Wilson at the North Melbourne Town Hall. Throw in some single-origin coffee, boutique tea, smashed ava, mini-chirizo burgers, wine in tumblers, and whinging about the weather and I experienced that singularity moment: Melbourne’s unique, edgy, bookish, intellectual, artsy vibe condensed into one day.

↩︎  Images of house where insomiacs live and read Cold River: This Isn't Happiness
 Robert Muller early years - San Francisco Chronicle

↩︎ Paintings by Christina Quarles

↩︎ Trump and Paranoia - The Washington Post ↩︎ The New York Times Magazine - Some advice from outgoing House speaker Paul Ryan: quit taking the bait when Trump tweets. About anything.
Excess Management Is Costing the U.S. $3 Trillion Per Year Harvard Business Review. From 2016, still germane

Why The Social Media Platforms Are Going To Lose Their InfoWars Battles

The battle over InfoWars illustrates how what was once these tech giants' greatest strength has become their greatest weakness. For years, Facebook and YouTube spent so much time defending anyone's right to say almost anything on their platforms, they forgot to remind users that it wasn't really a question of rights at all. Only the government can violate a person's First Amendment rights, however wrong or hateful that person may be. … Read More


       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Lutz Seiler's Kruso, now out in a US edition too. 

       This came out from Australian publisher Scribe -- yet another instance of an Australian publisher taking the lead in translation, as has been happening more often in recent years -- but they've had a UK presence for a while, and now also some US distribution. But this book, which has been out for a couple of weeks in the US now, has gotten terribly little attention here (and not that much in the UK either). This despite it having won the German Book Prize ! 
       Okay, the German Book Prize winners don't seem to have the greatest in-English track record, but still, it was widely praised and a great success in Germany, and it's a good and fairly significant book. What gives ? 
       (When I posted the review yesterday, the German edition actually had a better sales rank (1,445,088) than the English US edition (1,756,479) .....) 
       For all the apparent greater interest in works in translation, I'm still astonished how many of the significant works that I cover (and the many more that I too can't get to ...) get little or no American print-media notice, with the online community only picking up some of the slack. Disappointing. 

Jim Moffatt, from The Philadelphia Inquirer, always said, "Leave the truth to   themselves. They seek to curry favor with the boss through flattery or “face-time” or both. Bosses must continually be on the lookout for sycophants. They must uncover these self-promoters as quickly as possible, because their self-aggrandizing ways are not compatible with business success in an age that values cooperation and collaboration.   

The next generation of corporate officers will have to be more diverse, globally aware, and innovative than the current generation 

The local-news crisis is destroying what a divided America desperately needs: Common ground Margaret Sullivan, WaPo. Oddly, no mention of private equity.

The 10 Must-Know Commandments of Southern Hospitality

New Chief Scientist is one ‘super woman’
"How Dr Cathy Foley managed to turn her tribulation into determination and resilience." (CSIROscope)

Sweden wages war on waste with incinerators
"Everywhere we went in Sweden, people emphasised the benefits of burning waste for district heating." (ABC)

From JFK to Omarosa: history-making moments
"What happens in the Situation Room is supposed to stay in the Situation Room." (Washington Post)

Should Cold Rivers Have Rights? A Growing Movement Says It’s About Time - Yale Environment 360: “…In Chile, as in other places, we have come to this point because the traditional Western view of rivers — and of nature generally — has failed us. Western legal systems and governments traditionally viewed water and water rights as property, leading to overuse and contamination. 

You’ll often read in this newsletter about the financial and social impact of the secretive offshore financial system but what about the environmental effects?

A new research paper released this week has found that tax havens – and the financial secrecy they provide – may bolster industries tied to Amazon deforestation, illegal fishing and the unsustainable management of natural resources.
"We need to start seeing the environmental costs of tax havens" and "how financial actors and financial flows are shaping the planet in very profound ways," said the leading author of the report.
ICIJ reported on rainforest destruction in Indonesia and the offshore ties of a major fishing company in Namibia as part of our Paradise Papers investigation, and we’ll continue looking into every corner of the offshore finance industry in collaboration with our media partners.