Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pinterest whistleblower launches resources to help tech employees speak out

 The power of Dionysus—Effects of red wine on consciousness in a naturalistic setting PLOS One. n=102. ” Red wine increased pleasure and arousal, decreased the awareness of time, slowed the subjective passage of time,

In leading their teams and organizations through a crisis, women have repeatedly stepped up to the plate. How have they done it? By flexing the leadership capabilities that set them apart, such as taking initiative and communicating powerfully.

Leaders to Learn From

The wealthiest 10% of Americans own a record 89% of all U.S. stocks

Are You Lost In The World Like Me - Steve Cutts

increased the attentional focus on the present moment, decreased body awareness, slowed thought speed, turned imagination more vivid, and made the environment become more fascinating. Red wine increased insightfulness and originality of thoughts, increased sensations of oneness with the environment, spiritual feelings, all-encompassing love, and profound peace. All changes in consciousness occurred regardless of volunteers drinking alone, in dyad or in group. Men and women did not report different changes in consciousness. Older age correlated with greater increases in pleasure. Younger age correlated with greater increases in fascination with the environment of the wine bar. Drinking wine in a contemporaneous Western environment designed to enhance the pleasurableness of the wine drinking experience may trigger changes in consciousness commonly associated with mystical-type states.”

Ian McAuley’s guide to good reading and listening for the weekend has moved.

Ian McAuley’s regular Saturday column, “Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend”, will no longer be published each week on Pearls and Irritations. But his loyal readers can still find the same regular post every week at his website,

Ian has been a valued part of the Pearls and Irritations community for many years, and we thank him for his support and contributions.

Unless we realise that behavioural change is key to our survival we simply won’t make it

From our readers: Preserving Australia’s future by electing more independents

In our first letters to the editor column: electing independents to Parliament, the decimation of Australian universitie…

Jeremy Bearer-Friend (George Washington; Google Scholar), Colorblind Tax Enforcement, 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. ___ (2022):

NYU Law ReviewThe United States Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has repeatedly taken the position that, because the IRS does not ask taxpayers to identify their race or ethnicity on submitted tax returns, IRS enforcement actions are not affected by taxpayers' race or ethnicity. This claim, which I call “colorblind tax enforcement,” has been made by multiple IRS Commissioners serving in multiple Administrations (both Democratic and Republican). This claim has been made to members of Congress and to members of the press.

Simon Jenkins can be the most annoying of commentators in The Guardian. He can also get things right. He did when discussing the need for
Read the full article…

Wealthy schools pocket millions in JobKeeper funds despite profits

In the high-stakes battle between states and technology companies, the rights of internet users have become the main casualties. Key Findings:

  • Global internet freedom declined for the 11th consecutive year. 
  • Governments clashed with technology companies on users’ rights. Authorities in at least 48 countries pursued new rules for tech companies on content, data, and competition over the past year. With a few positive exceptions, the push to regulate the tech industry, which stems in some cases from genuine problems like online harassment and manipulative market practices, is being exploited to subdue free expression and gain greater access to private data.
  • Free expression online is under unprecedented strain. More governments arrested users for nonviolent political, social, or religious speech than ever before. Officials suspended internet access in at least 20 countries, and 21 states blocked access to social media platforms. Authorities in at least 45 countries are suspected of obtaining sophisticated spyware or data-extraction technology from private vendors.
  • China ranks as the worst environment for internet freedom for the seventh year in a row. Chinese authorities imposed draconian prison terms for online dissent, independent reporting, and mundane daily communications. The COVID-19 pandemic remains one of the most heavily censored topics. Officials also cracked down on the country’s tech giants, citing their abuses related to competition and data protection, though the campaign further concentrated power in the hands of the authoritarian state.
  • The United States’ score declined for the fifth consecutive year. False, misleading, and manipulated information continued to proliferate online, even affecting public acceptance of the 2020 presidential election results. The new administration took promising steps to enforce stronger protections for internet users…”

It’s time to start taking digital identity seriously
Source: GCN

Digital fraud has never been more prevalent, potentially costing the world $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, a truly staggering sum. In the U.S. alone, $382 million was stolen in COVID-19 related scams, often by fraudsters registering for stimulus checks and unemployment benefits with stolen identities.

The underwater arms race: China, Aukus and a deepening submarine rivalry South China Morning Post

In China, Home Buyers Who Went All In Say They Want Out NYT

How freelancers are tackling big stories, solo

Fast Company Pinterest whistleblower launches resources to help tech employees speak out: “One day after the testimony of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, a group of civic organizations led by another well-known whistleblower—Ifeoma Ozoma, who spoke out about her employer, Pinterest, in 2020—is launching a new website that might help other tech employees come forward to speak about wrongdoing within their companies. As was made clear by Frances Haugen’s story, whistleblowers are usually the main reason governments learn anything about the inner workings of tech companies, which can be insular and secretive. But tech employees who decide to speak out to the media or a government agency face the prospect of losing both their job and prospects for future employment in the industry. They’re often bound by non-disclosure agreements that are commonly written in such legally broad language that they effectively silence employees from sharing any information about their company even after they’ve left the job…”

The Tech Worker Handbook is a collection of resources for tech workers who are looking to make more informed decisions about whether to speak out on issues that are in the public interest. Aiming to improve working conditions, direct attention to consumer harms, or otherwise address wrongdoing and abuse should not be a solo or poorly resourced endeavor…The site contains legal, security, and media guides supplied by Ifeoma Ozoma and a group of whistleblower support organizations…