- Sep 2016
The Gamma: Programming tools for data journalism
(b) languages for novices or end-users, [...] If we can provide our climate scientists and energy engineers with a civilized computing environment, I believe it will make a very significant difference.
But data journalists, and in fact, data activist, social scientist, and so on, could be a "different type of novice", one that is more critically and politically involved (in the broader sense of the "politic" word).
The wider dialogue on important matters that is mediated, backed up and understood by dealing data, (as climate change) requires more voices that the ones are involved today, and because they need to be reason and argument using data, we need to go beyond climate scientist or energy engeeners as the only ones who need a "civilized computing environment" to participate in the important complex and urgent matters of today world. Previously, these more critical voices (activists, journalists, scientists) have helped to make policy makers accountable and more sensible on other important and urgent issues.
In that sense my work with reproducible research in my Panama Papers as a prototype of a data continuum environment, or others, like Gamma, could serve as an exploration, invitation and early implementation of what is possible to enrich this data/computing enhanced dialogue.
- Jun 2016
The warning came in the wake of a Justice Department investigation of the role that certain Swiss banks had played in helping United States citizens evade federal taxes.
I am surprised the New York Times did not mention the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program for Offshore Assets. According to the IRS, "voluntary programs have resulted in more than 45,000 voluntary disclosures from individuals who have paid about $6.5 billion in back taxes, interest and penalties." (See IRS June 6, 2014 Press Release available here
There is a good chance that some of the tax-payers tax structures analyzed in preparation for this article came into compliance through it. To make matters worse, the NY Times reported on it numerous times since its first incineration in 2009— with the latest Jan. 10 2012 on page B6, available at — which only makes this passing mention of investigations by the Department of the Treasury that much more disappointing.