Monday, August 31, 2020



Producer 9th Wonder on Producing Beats for Kendrick Lamar

I’ve said this before, but I could sit and listen to musicians talk about how they make their music all day long, particularly rap & hip hop producers because of all the history and context they are intentionally inserting into the music. In this video, 9th Wonder talks about DUCKWORTH., a song from Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. that he created three beats for.

In an associated article, Marcus J. Moore (author of The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America) writes:

But it’s on album closer “DUCKWORTH.,” produced by 9th Wonder, that the elements of jazz, hip-hop and soul come into the sharpest focus. 9th has a history of blending records from all genres into kaleidoscopic sets of deep soul and hip-hop. Each track has its own distinctive flair, but you can still tell it’s a 9th Wonder beat — the drums lock into a hypnotic groove and the vocal samples crack with nostalgic beauty. “DUCKWORTH.” mashes three beats into a tight coil of repurposed folk, progressive rock and experimental soul, on which Kendrick details a chance encounter between his father, Kenny Duckworth, and his future label boss, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith. Years before “Top Dawg” became a music mogul, he walked into a Kentucky Fried Chicken and saw Kendrick’s future father working there. “Top” was planning to rob the restaurant and stood in Kenny’s line to demand the cash. But Kenny had seen “Top” rob and shoot up the store before, so to spare his own life, he gave him free chicken and two extra biscuits to get on his good side. “You take two strangers and put ‘em in random predicaments,” Kendrick rapped. “Whoever thought the greatest rapper would be from coincidence?”

Watch all the way to the end of the video — you get the rare treat of watching someone realize something about their own work and their collaborating partner that they hadn’t before…

NSW Treasurer being white-anted

Travels in the Library: Dying makes people do strange things

Google wants to listen in to whatever you get up to in hotel rooms The Register

Facebook, Snapchat and the Dawn of the Post-Truth Era Wired. From 2018, still germane. The author comments

Chinese calculations in the Himalayan clashes with India

…she forced her husband to cancel his planned death…

If ever there was a study in contrasts on how to lose a glittering TV career, it has been in the respective departures of the ABC's Emma Alberici and Seven's Melissa Doyle from our screens.

The embers are still smoking around the bridges Alberici burned down on her way out of the ABC after her messy exit from the national broadcaster was finalised, just as Doyle was praising her bosses when her 25-year career at Seven came to an end.

Emma Alberici and Melissa Doyle - Lawsuits and tweets: A tale of two very different TV exits

Premier Berejiklian on the ropes

When the Premier cannot rely on the unanimous support of her Cabinet to oppose lifting the ban on uranium mining, or she accepts a rotten compromise to save her skin, such a government has run out of steam and its end is nigh.  Continue reading 

NSW Treasurer being white-anted

Two weeks ago Dominic Perrottet was set to take an elevator ride to the Premiership. Now he’s assailed on all sides by the icare workers’ compensation scandal. Continue reading 

Privatisation – who’s it good for?

Privatisation is one of those terms which politicians avoid using. That is because the public does not like the idea, or its outcomes. It can be used in a number of ways, but most of us regard it as meaning “selling off a publicly owned asset, usually to the detriment of good government”.  Continue reading 

As Bezos’ Net Worth Tops $200B, Luxury Is Next Stop For Amazon Safe Haven. Misfire in the making. Amazon cheapened Whole Foods, and can’t even figure out how to buy decent fish. 

Small-time scams are dissolving America from the inside The Week. Resilc: “Great link. I have a friend who is a foreign service financial officer, there is an uptick of petty financial irregularities with career people too in last few years “

Raising orphaned baby wombats under lockdownNational Geographic

Fed’s new inflation goal lifts stocks and dents bondsFT

Bank Capital in a Public Health Crisis: Reflecting on Twin Challenges Regulation Asia

Past world economic production constrains current energy demands: Persistent scaling with implications for economic growth and climate change mitigation PLOS One

Tax, economics, audit and accounting are all intimately theoretically related – but almost no one seems to notice Tax Research UK

Deep Fakes and National Security

 Awake in the dark

In the middle of the night

Silence embraces.


Donald Trump Approval Rating

Deep Fakes and National Security, August 26, 2020. “Deep fakes”—a term that first emerged in 2017 to describe realistic photo, audio, video, and other forgeries generated with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies—could present a variety of national security challenges in the years to come.As these technologies continue to mature, they could hold significant implications for congressional oversight, U.S. defense authorizations and appropriations,and the regulation of social media platforms…”

See also:

Judicial independence: the Nazi or the Australian way?


‘Funk Money’: The End of Empires, The Expansion of Tax Havens, and Decolonization as an Economic and Financial Event Oxford Academic 


Bonuses not off the table for AusPost bosses

REMUNERATION: AusPost has announced record revenue of $7.5 billion; the CEO has taken a proposal to the board calling for executive bonuses to be paid, but a final decision has not yet been made.


The sick culture at the heart of corporate Australia

You mightn't believe me, but this happened: by attending the corporate box at a rugby game, a man with no experience in the insurance game was appointed as the chief executive of a major Australian insurer. And, with a reference from a radio shock jock, a man with no experience in the motor vehicle repair industry was appointed as chief executive of a large motoring service.


The OneCoin scam is at the centre of popular BBC podcast The Missing Cryptoqueen, which investigates the disappearance of OneCoin founder Dr Ruja Ignatova.

The Bulgarian-based organisation has been accused of running a Ponzi scheme and did not respond to questions from The Sunday Age and The Sun-Herald.

Konstantin Ignatov, a prosecution witness appearing in the criminal trial of OneCoin lawyer Mark Scott, told the New York Southern District Court in November that Mr Abdulaziz was “one of the main money launderers” in the scam.

“I learned that Amer Abdulaziz took the money he stole and he started to buy a lot of racing horses for more than 25 million euros,” said Mr Ignatov, who has pleaded guilty over his involvement in the scam.

When asked where the money for the racehorses came from, Mr Ignatov responded: “OneCoin investors”.

Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel said the regulator was investigating Phoenix "to ascertain whether there is any issue with them racing horses in NSW".

This article considers the risks of money laundering in the world of online games, and whether current anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorism financing (CTF) laws are sufficient to address these risks.

"The risks of money laundering in the world of online games"



NSW Community Services bureaucrat used role to pocket $1.67m, investigation finds

CORRUPTION FINDING: ICAC found the bureaucrat had authorised or arranged FACS payments to real estate agents or property owners who then paid his company.

TAFE has been drained of funds for poorly performing and dodgy private providers

What a  difference  there is between the public vocational education and training provider, TAFE, and private for-profit training providers.  Continue reading 

Judicial independence: the Nazi or the Australian way?

In an age when the Parliament nearly always does the bidding of the elected government and in a country which, uniquely amongst democratic nations, has no Bill of Rights, the courts are vitally important as a protection against arbitrary power. 

Continue reading 

Flower vortex

California DMV Is Selling Drivers’ Data to Private Investigators - Motherboard: “The California Department of Motor Vehicles is selling drivers’ data to private investigators and bail bondsmen, according to an internal DMV document obtained by Motherboard. The document in all lists nearly 98,000 entities that have had access to some form of DMV data, including trucking companies and insurance firms. The revelation highlights how not only private companies are in the business of selling information but some government bodies as well, and has reignited calls for laws around drivers’ data to be changed. The news comes after Motherboard previously revealed that the California DMV makes $50 million a year selling data of drivers…”

ZDNet – The COVID-19 virus and our reaction to it have accelerated an emerging shift in our conventional ways of doing things. “Companies that return to the old ways without understanding that shift are likely to fail. The Next Normal is vastly different than the normal before the pandemic…To repeat, as soon as we stopped forming in groups, the economy fell apart. And it wasn’t just the economy. Despite all the obvious differences between commerce, education, healthcare, entertainment, travel and hospitality, religion and other institutions, they were all organized in the exact same way; a commercial, cultural and social world based on physical grouping, aggregation, massing, or centralization of employees, customers, students, patients, worshipers, travelers, fans and spectators, old people, prisoners, and others, into controlled environments where the associated functions (employment, commerce, education, healthcare, religion, etc.) took place. 

In a nutshell, our economy and our Old Normal were built on and were dependent on centralization. The second part of the story, the part about our current state, is more complicated. It’s complicated because it wasn’t planned, intentional or chosen, and because it isn’t “normal.” We are, in effect, in an extended state of emergency, an abnormal or exceptional set of circumstances. No one believes that this is a way to run an economy or live a social life…”

Vomit fraud in Uber.

Wikipedia on monoclonal antibodies.  And in the Covid-19 context.

Semi-herd immunity has come to Manaus without a lockdown (to be clear, I am not recommending this approach!  But you should use this data to recalibrate your mental models).

Finis Welch has passed away

We find no consistent relationship between gender [of leadership] and pandemic outcomes.”

It is therefore reasonable to assume that life has evolved – or possibly began with – a universal computer that yet remains to be discovered.

Are cold storage requirements for vaccines a binding constraint?

New on-line magazine Works in Progress, very good people are behind it!  I will be covering this more

Freddie Sayers questions Michael Levitt on his predictions.  Although he has been broadly right on some matters, I don’t think overall Levitt does so well

Nonetheless, this does feel like a little bit of a changing of the guard moment in the NBA — the Bucks did not feel compelled to consult LeBron James or Chris Paul before their decision not to take the court Wednesday.

The new Elon Musk stuff, explained in words

ChicagoTeachersUnion, recommended, guess who thinks they will be running the Gulag?