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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Links - 22nd September 2018 (2)

Angelina Jolie divorce lawyer Laura Wasser quits - "A new report claims that Jolie, 43, has become so hostile and uncompromising throughout the split that her lawyer Laura Wasser is on the verge of quitting and has “made it known” to Jolie because it’s become too “venomous”."
Too bitter for a divorce lawyer...

As Google Maps Renames Neighborhoods, Residents Fume - The New York Times - "it was suddenly rebranded on Google Maps to a name few had heard: the East Cut. The peculiar moniker immediately spread digitally, from hotel sites to dating apps to Uber, which all use Google’s map data. The name soon spilled over into the physical world, too. Real-estate listings beckoned prospective tenants to the East Cut. And news organizations referred to the vicinity by that term... how Google arrives at its names in maps is often mysterious. The company declined to detail how some place names came about, though some appear to have resulted from mistakes by researchers, rebrandings by real estate agents — or just outright fiction."

From Tokyo to Paris, Parents Tell Americans to Chill - The New York Times - "In much of the world, parents tend to regard such free-range parenting practices as developing a child’s self-reliance. But as a popular Sunday Review article by Kim Brooks, a writer in Chicago, pointed out, many in America see these practices as neglectful"

A Dream Ended on a Mountain Road: The Cyclists and the ISIS Militants - The New York Times - "the couple was biking in formation with a group of other tourists on a panoramic stretch of road in southwestern Tajikistan. It was there, on July 29, that a carload of men who are believed to have recorded a video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State spotted them... the Islamic State released a video showing five men it identified as the attackers, sitting before the ISIS flag. They face the camera and make a vow: to kill “disbelievers.” It was a worldview as diametrically opposed as imaginable to the one Mr. Austin and Ms. Geoghegan were trying to live by. Throughout their travels, the couple wrote a blog together and shared Instagram posts about the openheartedness they wanted to embody and the acts of kindness reciprocated by strangers... “You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Mr. Austin wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. “I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own … By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.” “No greater revelation has come from our journey than this”"

Ordering The Vegetarian Meal? There’s More Animal Blood On Your Hands - "Published figures suggest that, in Australia, producing wheat and other grains results in:
at least 25 times more sentient animals being killed per kilogram of useable protein
more environmental damage, and
a great deal more animal cruelty than does farming red meat...
This environmental damage is causing some well-known environmentalists to question their own preconceptions. British environmental advocate George Monbiot, for example, publically converted from vegan to omnivore after reading Simon Fairlie’s expose about meat’s sustainability. And environmental activist Lierre Keith documented the awesome damage to global environments involved in producing plant foods for human consumption... When cattle, kangaroos and other meat animals are harvested they are killed instantly. Mice die a slow and very painful death from poisons. From a welfare point of view, these methods are among the least acceptable modes of killing. Although joeys are sometimes killed or left to fend for themselves, only 30% of kangaroos shot are females, only some of which will have young (the industry’s code of practice says shooters should avoid shooting females with dependent young). However, many times this number of dependent baby mice are left to die when we deliberately poison their mothers by the millions. Replacing red meat with grain products leads to many more sentient animal deaths, far greater animal suffering and significantly more environmental degradation. Protein obtained from grazing livestock costs far fewer lives per kilogram: it is a more humane, ethical and environmentally-friendly dietary option."

The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes - "A loose confederation of do-it-yourselfers were working on a system that would eventually help link an insulin pump to a glucose monitor and connect both to a smartphone app. The idea was that the wearer—or her parents—could track and adjust her blood sugar, in person or from afar. That would mean fewer pinpricks, and far fewer alarms, because her blood sugar would stay out of the danger zone. Most of the time, the contraption would be able to regulate the wearer’s insulin itself."

Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments - "All of this illustrates that the same severe dangers from state censorship are raised at least as much by the pleas for Silicon Valley giants to more actively censor “bad speech.” Calls for state censorship may often be well-intentioned — a desire to protect marginalized groups from damaging “hate speech” — yet, predictably, they are far more often used against marginalized groups: to censor them rather than protect them. One need merely look at how hate speech laws are used in Europe, or on U.S. college campuses, to see that the censorship victims are often critics of European wars, or activists against Israeli occupation, or advocates for minority rights."
Although the writer gets upset when neutral laws restrict "minorities", he at least accepts that having restrictive laws in the name of "protecting" "minorities" can "backfire" - which is why they shouldn't exist
When liberals cheer Facebook and other social media outlets silencing non-liberals, they forget that parties they favor are also silenced


Cafe deemed racist for putting Union Jack flags on sandwiches
This suggests that it's not a conservative lie that some liberals do hate their countries

The Meme Policeman - Posts - "Openly defying and brazenly disrespecting your president, while hoping that he fails, is not called patriotism... It is called TREASON."
"If you still support Donald Trump and plan to vote for him again, you are a traitor!"
"Well, it’s finally happened. Occupy Democrats has gone full circle with their infamous treason meme! Just 2 years ago, openly defying the president was treason. Now, treason means supporting the president."

Singapore’s slow poison - "All the rationalisation is lost on the people. They see only one thing: We have highly-paid ministers. And we measure their monetary worth against every screw-up or warts. We do not cut them some slack, as Mr Goh would like, because we do not see them as our parents but as chief executives and general managers... I know the argument that the G has for defending their salaries, chief of which is to keep our leaders free from temptation that high office can bring, in other words, money politics and corruption. I would like to think our citizens are made of sterner stuff and our watchdogs far more vigilant than those elsewhere. In fact, I wouldn’t mind paying the watchdogs a lot more to ensure they do their jobs well. And even have caning introduced for corruption convictions! So why not just pay the politicians more you say? Because leadership is not just a “job’’, it is a “relationship’’ built on, yes, trust."

Woman detained in Slovakia for playing Verdi for 16 years - "the woman, identified only as Eva N, played a four-minute aria from Giuseppe Verdi's 'La Traviata' non-stop, in her house with on speakers full blast, from morning until night... a British woman from Walsall was jailed for repeatedly playing Ed Sheeran's Shape of You and causing "a wholly unacceptable level of disturbance""

Jeremy Corbyn and the cynical tactics of the left | Coffee House - "The official response from the Labour party for this story is that Corbyn didn’t know he was the head of the British chapter of this organisation and ‘has asked to be removed’. So there you have it. The Labour party’s line is ‘Might have happened to any of us.’ Though it’s enough to give you pause isn’t it? The ease with which any of us might end up heading the local branch of a Holocaust denial movement... There is the decent option – which is also the hardest. This would consist of sincerely trying to work out why the main party of the British left is now led by a man who keeps turning up in every international anti-Semitic fever swamp. There doesn’t seem like there’s much of an appetite for that option... Thus it is that portions of the left have decided to counter what they regard as the ‘anti-Semitism card’ with the ‘Islamophobia card’... anti-Semitism is a centuries (indeed millennia) old disease, rooted not in facts but in conspiracy-theories, and which in living memory led to the physical annihilation of a third of the world’s Jewish population. Whereas ‘Islamophobia’ is a concept invented by Islamists in the 1990s in order to try to prevent any and all criticism of the religion of Islam... The far-left, meantime, are simply trying to cover for the fact that on an average Sunday it is no longer especially newsworthy that their leader should be exposed as having yet another affiliation with yet another Holocaust denier. A Holocaust denier, incidentally, who chose in adulthood to convert to Islam. Who knows why he might have done that? Or who would dare to speculate?"

Suspect who tried to rob Boon Lay pawn shop is a Bangladeshi who overstayed - "The man suspected of trying to rob a pawn shop while wearing a pink turban is a Bangladesh national who overstayed"

Hungary Bans Gender Studies From Universities - "The government's stance is that the programs have no tangible use and are based on "ideology rather than science," according to a report in Hungarian political magazine Heti Világgazdaság... Bence Rétvári, Secretary of State of Hungary's Ministry of Human Resources, explained the decision by arguing that, while university degrees must have a scientific groundwork to justify them, gender studies are more rooted in ideology than in science, likening the field of study to Marxist-Leninism in that, in his view, it should not be taught at a university-level... The spokesman said that gender studies programs are not sustainable for state-run universities, arguing that they "take away valuable resources from other programs, deteriorating the economic stability of universities.”... Marta Pardavi, -- co-chair at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights watchdog organization -- criticized the Hungarian government with an "#academicfreedom" hashtag."
Presumably many of the people condemning this (after first calling it fake news) are in favour of removing Divinity/Theology from universities and are upset at Creationism in classrooms

Hungary to stop financing gender studies courses: PM aide - "Hungary’s government will stop financing gender studies university courses, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said on Tuesday, marking one of the first concrete steps in a cultural shift signaled last month... Chief of staff Gergely Gulyas cited low enrolment numbers, which he said would be reason enough alone to shut down the courses... ELTE did not immediately comment on the decision on Tuesday. It could not immediately give a total number of enrollees. Last year it planned to enroll 18 students in its master’s program but only 10 applied... CEU said it has 44 students enrolled in a two-year master’s program that offers two degrees, one Hungarian and one American. The Hungarian degrees are now at risk for future enrollees. CEU’s other gender studies students and PhD candidates only get U.S. degrees, which are unaffected."

Viktor Orban moves to ban gender studies courses at university in 'dangerous precedent' for Hungary - "Hungary’s ministry for human capacities said the proposed ban, which would come into effect at the start of the 2019 academic year, had been introduced because employers showed no interest in graduates from the subject."

“What Have We Done?”: Silicon Valley Engineers Fear They've Created a Monster - "Uber kept fares in a perfectly engineered sweet spot: just high enough for them to justify driving, but just low enough that not much more than their gas and maintenance expenses were covered... As the gig economy grows, so too does the danger that engineers, in attempting to build the most efficient systems, will chop and dice jobs into pieces so dehumanized that our legal system will no longer recognize them. And along with this comes an even more sinister possibility: jobs that would and should be recognizable—especially supervisory and management positions—will disappear altogether"

The automated in-car navigator that predated satellites - "The Iter-Auto had map scrolls instead of a screen."

You Are Almost Definitely Sharing Memes Made By Nazis - "Several times, I was told that taking memes from Nazis is kind of like citing philosophy from Martin Heidegger, who contributed widely to fields of phenomenology and existentialism … but was also a Nazi."
Since the left can't meme and since anyone to the right of Stalin is far right, this article is true

Crazy Rich Asians: Michelle Yeoh on how 1980s Hong Kong parties prepared her for role of socialite and glamorous matriarch in film - "“I lived in Hong Kong in the heyday of the 1980s, with all those galas and parties and charity organisations,” she tells the Post. “I’ve seen this world and I understand it. So I thought, ‘what’s so unusual?’”"

Scientists accidentally discover drug that may stop weight gain - "During their experiment they edited out two genes, thinking it would make the mice fat. But despite eating a high-fat diet the mice actually stayed skinny."

Links - 22nd September 2018 (1)

Who Is Fact Checking The Media Fact Checkers? - "In the past, fact checkers tended to focus mainly on debunking urban myths or clearly false claims made by political leaders. But lately, fact checkers have appointed themselves as arbiters of the credibility of news outlets. And now, giant tech companies like Google and Facebook have enlisted these "experts" to weed out "fake news."... The problem is that fact checkers themselves can be unreliable sources for what's true or not. Fact checkers make their own mistakes. They sometimes change ratings based on new information. Or they make determinations based on arbitrary standards that can change from one review to the next. Case in point: PolitiFact called a 2012 Mitt Romney campaign ad its "lie of the year" for a statement about Jeeps being made in China. PolitiFact admitted that the "lie" in the ad was actually the "literal truth." We had firsthand experience with errant fact checks when Snopes published one in April claiming that IBD had "resuscitated" a "false" claim about 3.5 million more registered voters than eligible voters. In fact, we'd published that editorial eight months earlier — as was obvious from the time stamp on the article itself. (It went viral this spring on Facebook.) Snopes later rewrote that section of its fact check — but never acknowledged its original mistake. It also changed the ruling on the underlying claims from "false" to "mixture." Fact checkers also often "check" opinions, rather than factual claims, even though two people can form diametrically opposed opinions based on the same facts. Worse, many media "fact checks" use other media sources to check facts, apparently forgetting that journalists get their facts wrong almost as often as politicians... [they] often seem to spend most of their time trying to debunk claims made by conservatives rather than liberals. Thankfully, Real Clear Politics has stepped into the breach by creating what it calls Fact Check Review. Not only does the site regularly review problematic "fact checks," it constantly updates a database on fact checks published Snopes, FactCheck.org, PolitiFact, New York Times, Washington Post and the Weekly Standard. It then rates them based on how often each site checks opinions rather than facts... "It's basically a way for a bunch of reporters with no particular expertise to render pseudoscientific judgments on statements from public figures that are obviously argumentative or otherwise unverifiable. Then there's the matter of them weighing in with thundering certitude — pants on fire! — on complex policy debates they frequently misunderstand." In the end, the best way to judge the veracity of claims being tossed around is to become better informed about the issues, not contract out that job to people who aren't necessarily qualified to do for you."
When partisan hacks do "fact checking"...

Biased Media, Average Americans Not In Sync On What's Important - "Based on recent news, you would be forgiven for thinking that everyone in America is talking about Russia and Vladimir Putin. But it ain't so. Indeed, if you go down the whole range of media preoccupations and biases, you find that average people just don't care about them. That's not just opinion. The Gallup Poll people each month ask respondents to answer the following question: "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?"... survey after survey show that average Americans believe the media to be both a.) liberal and b.) biased. It's a big reason why the media float near the bottom of nearly every survey of most respected institutions in America. Maybe the media shouldn't be so worried about fake news, but instead about their own irrelevance."

Women finding themselves locked out of corporate Canada’s boys' club in wake of #MeToo - "A lawyer is asked whether a male executive should leave the door open when meeting with a woman. A consultant’s longtime male client will take a meeting with her only if someone else is in the room... leaders in corporate Canada have so far been left unscathed. Still, women in business say they are facing a resulting “chilling effect” on their relationships with male colleagues and supervisors... Toronto employment lawyer Sunira Chaudhri has fielded an increasing number of calls from her corporate clients worried about sexual harassment in their workplace – mostly from those wondering whether they need to change policies around co-ed one-on-one meetings, mentorship, office parties, business trips and dinners... many small- and medium-sized workplaces don’t have the resources to formally train workers and managers around handling sexual harassment or office dynamics. Others, she said, simply don’t have the nerve."
In the world of #metoo, false accusations never happen

Honeytrap spy stole secrets of new RAF jet: Female agent hacked airwoman's Tinder profile to target stealth fighter crews involved in the £9bn F-35 project - "a serving member of the RAF had their online dating profile hacked. It subsequently transpired that the perpetrator then attempted to befriend another serving member of the RAF to apparently elicit comment and detail on F-35"

Women-only network appoints male chairman - "AllBright announced that Allan Leighton, chairman of the Co-operative Group, had taken the role"

Inducing People’s Employers to Fire Them Should Be a Civil Wrong - "In societies lacking functioning legal systems, feuds founded on self-help can descend into vendettas. Jared Diamond in The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? details his experiences in Papua New Guinea, where a driver named Malo accidentally strikes and kills a young boy named Billy. Diamond notes that in Papua New Guinea, drivers are allowed to flee the scene and head to the nearest police station because bystanders might drag them from their cars and beat them to death... While “an eye for an eye” may look bloodthirsty to us now, it was in fact an effort by ancient civilizations to forestall blood vendettas. In other words, the retributive response to an injury should be proportionate to the original injury, and the matter ends once proportionate retribution has been taken. Unlike Malo, the victims of a social media mobbing can’t flee... civil recourse theorists argue one of the aims of tort law is to prevent self-help as much as possible, particularly when it takes violent forms if people feel they’ve been wronged. Instead, courts vindicate the victim’s rights in a public forum. While social media inflames tensions, the law aims to remove emotion and passion from disputes... I could fit into several disadvantaged boxes if I wanted to, but I have spent my life trying to overcome disadvantage, not being defined by it... I’ve received it myself for expressing certain opinions in public, and I’ve recently seen others (both colleagues and friends) receive similar abuse. Entire topics are off-limits for public discussion for me because of the abuse I received in the past. After my experience, several people told me, “We think the same as you do, but we’d never say it publicly.” Goodness knows, many others may have similar doubts to me, but we’ll never know, and in the meantime social policy will be predicated upon a totally different set of assumptions."

Saudi Arabia appeared to threaten Canada with a 9/11-style attack in a feud over human rights - "Saudi Arabia’s state media on Monday tweeted a graphic appearing to show an Air Canada airliner heading toward the Toronto skyline in a way that recalled the September 11, 2001, terrorist hijackings of airliners that struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The graphic warned of “Sticking one’s nose where it doesn’t belong!” and included the text: “As the Arabic saying goes: ‘He who interferes with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him.'”"

Saudi Arabia crucified a man in Mecca while aggressively calling out Canada over human rights - "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia put a man to death on a cross in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday, while waging a public relations battle to call out alleged human rights violations in Canada... Saudi-owned media blasted Canada for arresting a holocaust denier and other citizens. TV pundits brought up Canada's suicide rate in what appeared as a broadside against the country's way of living."

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't

No, women aren’t at risk from men - "The bind for today’s professional feminist is the more power and influence she gains, the harder she needs to work to show that women are still oppressed. Some career feminists get around this conundrum by claiming they are not representing their own interests but selflessly fighting for other women. Apparently, countless hordes of downtrodden women, unable to speak up for themselves, are just waiting for feminists to give voice to their concerns. But as only a small minority of women identify as feminists (estimates vary between a third and seven per cent), the response to all this speaking on behalf of others seems to be a resounding ‘no thanks’. The last resort of the professional, well-paid, powerful feminist, desperate to prove her credentials as a member of an oppressed group, is to allude to violence... Conflating the experiences of women all around the world, and of adult women with children, allows professional feminists to claim suffering by proxy. At the same time, the definition of violence seems to broaden by the day. The internationally agreed definition of violence against women and girls is: ‘Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women [or girls], including threats of such acts.’ In the UK and the US, violence encompasses sexual harassment – which includes winking, whistling and looking at someone for too long. Amnesty International describes women’s experiences of ‘violence and abuse on Twitter’. In 2017, the organisers of a women’s strike against President Trump described ‘the violence of the market, of debt, of capitalist property relations, and of the state; the violence of discriminatory policies against lesbian, trans and queer women’. This is not violence as a physical act, but violence as metaphor. No wonder it is experienced everywhere... we also learn that two women are killed each week by a current or former partner. And here, immediately, is the problem with violence as metaphor. Real violence becomes relativised. When winking and nasty tweets are described as acts of violence, the word is no longer enough to describe acts of physical brutality and murder. Violence has become nothing more than a badge permitting membership of an inclusive feminist club, and this does little to support women who really are in need of help... In presenting women as vulnerable and men as violent, feminists rehabilitate some aged stereotypes that demean both men and women... Inflated claims of violence are used by feminists to justify new laws and increasingly authoritarian interventions into our everyday lives... There is nothing to suggest that rounding up street catcallers will do anything to make life better for women who are suffering from domestic violence, or girls being targeted by grooming gangs, but it will no doubt further justify the salaries, platforms and power given to today’s professional feminists."

Opinion | Among the Abortion Extremists - The New York Times - "this is a case study in exactly the problem establishment editors are trying to address by widening their pool of writers: the inability of contemporary liberalism to see itself from the outside, as it looks to the many people who for some reason, class or religion or historical experience, are not fully indoctrinated into its increasingly incoherent mix of orthodoxies. By this I mean that my pro-choice friends endorsing Williamson’s sacking can’t see that his extremism is mirrored in their own, in a system of supposedly “moderate” thought that is often blind to the public’s actual opinions on these issues, that lionizes advocates for abortion at any stage of pregnancy, that hands philosophers who favor forms of euthanasia and infanticide prestigious chairs at major universities, that is at best mildly troubled by the quietus of the depressed and disabled in Belgium or the near-eradication of Down syndrome in Iceland or the gendercide that abortion brought to Asia, that increasingly accepts unblinking a world where human beings can be commodified and vivisected so long as they’re in embryonic form."

France to stop Muslims praying in the street, interior minister says - "Worshippers began praying on the roads in March to protest the closure of a local mosque which was turned into a library... Muslims in a number of towns have resorted to praying in the streets, fuelling anti-Islam sentiment touted by France's Front National (FN)."

Fighting for the right to pray - "They knelt in the road to pray, despite the cold. Four or five hundred young men had left their offices in City law firms and banks on Friday lunch time to come hurrying through the streets of Spitalfields for the salaat al-jumma, the most important prayer of the Muslim week... Even as Allah was praised in Spitalfields, across London in the High Court a judge was ruling that it was unlawful for councils to start meetings with prayer... "Will the next step be scrapping the prayers which mark the start of each day in Parliament? "These legal rulings may also mean army chaplains could no longer serve, and that the Coronation Oath, in which the King or Queen pledges to maintain the laws of God and the lessons contained in the Gospels, would need to be abolished"

Can people own land in the ACT? - Curious Canberra - "The first 99-year leases granted will expire in 2023. It's almost universally assumed that the Government will simply roll over those leases for another 99 years."
HDB justifies 99 year leasehold by saying Hong Kong and Canberra do it too

Math is Racist: University of Illinois Professor - "A math-education professor at the University of Illinois wrote about some of the more racist aspects of math in a new anthology for teachers, arguing that “mathematics itself operates as Whiteness.”... Think that math is just math? Well, you’re wrong; math might as well be called “white math,” because as Gutierrez explained, “curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.”"

Feminist prof says 'traditional science' is rooted in racism - "Sara Giordano argues that "traditional science" relies on "a colonial and racialized form of power," and must be replaced with an "anti-science, antiracist, feminist approach to knowledge production.”... Sara Giordano, who left the field of neuroscience to become a Women’s Studies professor at UC-Davis, opened up about her feelings towards the sciences in a recent essay for Catalyst, a journal of feminist theory."
There're interesting parallels with Kurt Wise, whose story of throwing away science because it contradicts the Bible Dawkins relates

Friday, September 21, 2018

Links - 21st September 2018 (2)

Sarah Jeong and the battle of the Twittermobs - "The same people who cheered the sacking of Roseanne Barr, who was dropped by ABC over a racist joke, have suddenly developed an extraordinary sense of tolerance. The double standard is glaring. The NYT ended its relationship with another soon-to-be editorial board member, Quinn Norton, earlier this year because of her use of slurs in old tweets and her friendship with the alt-right hacker known as ‘weev’. Even though, in Norton’s case, it was far from clear whether she even held the hateful views being attributed to her: she said she was trying to convince weev of the errors of his ways... when Jeong later provided examples of the supposed torrent of online abuse she has faced over the years, she could only find two, one of which didn’t even refer to her race... That right-wingers are now weaponising offence is the depressingly predictable consequence of the censorious outrage culture created by left-wingers, who are now rendered incapable of criticising the right-wing version from a position of principle."

Ben Shapiro on Twitter - "1. Asian-Americans are so successful that colleges discriminating against them in admissions is appropriate.
2. Asian-Americans are victims of white society and therefore Sarah Jeong’s anti-white tweets are okay.
Pick one, woke Leftists."

Paul Joseph Watson on Twitter - "Candace Owens copied Sarah Jeong's tweets, replacing the word "white" with "Jewish" and "black". She was immediately given a 12 hour suspension. Jeong's account remains unaffected. The absolute state of this platform. #FreeCandace"

Nick Monroe on Twitter - ""For a period of time she imitated the rhetoric of her harassers." How big of a timeframe are we talking about, here? Because at a glance I can pull *at least* a two year timespan. She's not "imitating" shit. There's a clear pattern of standard behavior demonstrated...
Jeong's anti-white rhetoric dates back to at least August 2013... as we reach the tail end of December 2013, take the time to reflect on the SHEER VOLUME of tweets we have from Jeong about white people. Like, throw away the face value outrage. Focus on the consistency of it. Look at how many of these tweets there are... From February 2014 to March 2014. In this one Sarah Jeong manages to attack her audience with an anti-white slam... At this point I'm confident in accusing @nytimes of not doing an independent assessment of Sarah Jeong and just taking her word at face value...
"White people have stopped breeding. You'll all go extinct soon. This was my plan all along" - Sarah Jeong, August 2014. http://archive.is/BmBJ0 Sarah Jeong advocating for a white genocide count is currently at 3, for folks following along at home...
The truth is Sarah Jeong is still racist against white people. As I go through and read 2017's tweets, that much is clear to me."
Anti-racism means hating white people

A writer at Vox defends the New York Times hiring of a racist editor. - "It’s classic postmodern wordplay. ‘It’s not racism because she didn’t mean ALL whites’. ‘It’s not racism because it is just shorthand.’ ‘It’s not racist because it means something different when they say whites’. ‘It’s not racist because that’s how they talk’. ‘It’s not racist because she isn’t in a position of power’. (Really? An editor for the NYT from one of the highest performing demographics in the country isn’t in a position of power?)"

Can Sarah Jeong Be Racist Against Whites? Ask The Jews. - "adjacent to the question of whether it’s possible to be racist against whites is the question of whether the left’s definition of racism — prejudice plus power — would include or preclude Ashkenazi Jews... “The word societies for centuries have used for punching up is satire. The word we generally use for punching down is bigotry.” This point of view — that one can’t be bigoted against someone who has institutional power — is mainstream in the left today. And yet, we Jews know how inadequate, and even dangerous, defining racism as contingent on power can be, precisely because anti-Jewish racism is always based on the belief that Jews have power, and are therefore deserving of hate."
What a strange definition of satire and bigotry
When you despise power and success...


How Anti-Semitism’s True Origin Makes It Invisible To The Left - "the hatred of Jews stems from the belief that Jews are a cabal with supernatural powers; in other words, it stems from the models of thought that produce conspiracy theories. Where the white racist regards blacks as inferior, the anti-Semite imagines that Jews have preternatural power to afflict humankind. This is also why the left is blind to anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism differs from most forms of racism in that it purports to “punch up” against a secret society of oppressors, which has the side effect of making it easy to disguise as a politics of emancipation. If Jews have power, then punching up at Jews is a form of speaking truth to power — a form of speech of which the left is currently enamored. In other words, it is because anti-Semitism pretends to strike at power that the left cannot see it, and is doomed to erase — and even reproduce — its tropes... Today’s conspiracist blends the mindset of the medieval magician with the viciousness of the inquisitor. The old fears about crop fouling and well poisoning, for example, are now directed at genetically modified organizms and fluoride in the water. The idea that doctors and sorcerers were one and the same surfaces in paranoia about AIDS and vaccines. And flat-earthers rehearse astrological debates about the cosmos... Above all else, anti-Semitism is a conspiracy theory about the maleficent Jewish elite. And it’s this that makes it easy to disguise as a politics of liberation, or, at least, to embed anti-Semitism quietly in efforts for social justice."

The Untold Story of Silk Road, Part 1 - "He had been hired by Dread Pirate Roberts, the mysterious figure at the center of Silk Road. DPR, as he was often called, was the proprietor of the site and the visionary leader of its growing community. His relatively frictionless drug market was a serious challenge to law enforcement, who still had no idea who he or she was—or even if DPR was a single person at all. For over a year, agents from the DEA, the FBI, Homeland Security, the IRS, the Secret Service, and US Postal Inspection had been trying to infiltrate the organization’s inner circle. This bust of Green and his Chihuahuas in the frozen Utah desert was their first notable success."

Christopher Robin banned in China because of war on Winnie the Pooh

Making sense of 'The Handmaid's Tale' hysteria - "there's something infinitely more interesting going on beneath the surface of the great "Handmaid's Tale" brouhaha, and it highlights one of the biggest, most baffling problems of modern feminism: the consistent insinuation that women have no personal agency. It is a theme that quietly underscores almost every panicked article about "The Handmaid's Tale." But perhaps Atwood puts it best, suggesting to the Times that America — a country where minors can get IUDs without parental consent in 21 states, while Republicans earn mass panic for suggesting that Planned Parenthood doesn't need taxpayer help — is on the verge of a Ceausescu-like regime where women are "forced" to have babies... In the feminist world, babies just seem to "happen" to women; it's almost as quaint as the stork. It also all takes place in an imaginary world where modern birth control and individual agency don't exist. (Spoiler alert: Birth control, despite what you may read, is not about to get banned. It will also likely remain subsidized to the hilt.) Weirdly, for all of their talk about women needing to "control their own bodies," feminists often act as if women are helpless and completely incapable of doing so on their own — unless, that is, they're guided by a large, expansive, paternalistic government. Good heavens. Forgive me, but for a moment, that almost sounded like "The Handmaid's Tale.""

Why You Shouldn't Wrap Your Food in Aluminium Foil Before Cooking It - "My research found that the migration of aluminium into food during the cooking process of food wrapped in aluminium foil is above the permissible limit set by the World Health Organisation."

Google Struggles to Contain Employee Uproar Over China Censorship Plans - "Google bosses were scrambling to contain leaks and internal anger on Wednesday after the company’s confidential plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China was revealed by The Intercept."
"Don't be evil"

The greedy ways Apple got to $1 trillion - "Apple gives you that tingly feeling in the worst way. Can it not build Lightning cables and MacBook chargers a little sturdier? If you avoid losing one long enough to put in some serious use, it inevitably ends up splitting where the cord meets your iPhone or exits the laptop power supply...
Want to cancel your Apple Music subscription or some other service you got roped into with a free trial? It’s SUPER easy. First, click the totally unlabeled and generic circle with a blotch in it that’s supposed to be a profile picture icon. You should see a “Manage Subscriptions” option…but you don’t. Instead, you’ll have to know to tap “View Apple ID”. Once you auth in with the same face or thumbprint that opened your phone in the first place you’ll find the option to cut them off. And as thank you for this convenience, you’ll get to pay 30 percent extra on some subscriptions if you pay through Apple. It’s clearly exploitative dark pattern design...
What’s the opposite of “it just works”? Paying extra to lug around a slew of gangly cord connectors you need just to plug things into your laptop or phone. Dongles are the emblem of Apple’s abandonment of the user experience"

Assistant engineer jailed five years for sex with 15-year-old girl - "A man indulged in a series of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) sex activities with a 15-year-old schoolgirl after she posted an advert online looking for "someone who (can) afford to pay for my tuition fees". Lim Chee Keong, 33, met the girl on a website offering commercial sex but never paid her a cent... he never intended to pay her. In fact he used a fake name to engage her and also communicated with her using a pre-paid SIM card and discarded it after their sexual encounters. It was further revealed in court that Lim had engaged over six women in 2016 in the same way, promising to pay them for sex but never actually doing so."
If she'd been 16, this would presumably have been better than paying her

The Atlantic Was Wrong to Fire Kevin Williamson - "Word of Williamson’s hiring was greeted by some as if by mercenary opposition researchers determined to isolate the most outlying and offensive thoughts that he ever uttered, no matter how marginal to his years of journalistic work; to gleefully amplify them, sometimes in highly distorting ways, in a manner designed to stoke maximum upset and revulsion; and to frame them as if they said everything one needed to know about his character. To render him toxic was their purpose. That mode was poison when reserved for cabinet nominees; it is poison when applied to journalistic hires; and it will be poison if, next week or year, it comes for you. Insofar as opinion journalists indulged in it, the mode is also a professional failure... I reject the assumption that social justice or civic progress are advanced, that repressive outcomes are avoided, or that vulnerable groups are best served, by partisans who focus on everyone’s most extreme, or wrongheaded, or taboo, or outlying, or shocking, or problematic view—all but guaranteeing needless polarization...
'I’ve spent my entire adult life in an academic and media environment that put a premium on shocking the conservative conscience. Advocate for the most barbaric abortion practices? Fine. Celebrate an artist who dips a crucifix in urine? Cool. Decry 9/11 first responders as “not human” because of white supremacy? Intriguing. But the marketplace of ideas isn’t for the faint of heart'...
Robert P. George posed this question on Twitter: “Thought experiment: Imagine that The Atlantic hires Peter Singer, but critics demand that he be fired for saying it's not in principle morally wrong for parents to kill newborn infant children. Conservatives: Would you support his being fired? Liberals: Would you oppose it?”... That Williamson was fired, for better or worse, does not render The Atlantic a small tent. It remains depressingly difficult to find many bigger tents in American media."

Rihanna's Skinny Eyebrows on Vogue - Skinny Eyebrows and Mexican Culture - "I guarantee had, say, J.Lo or Gina Rodriguez graced the cover of a magazine with pencil-thin brows, they would have been ripped apart on the Internet for looking like a girl from the hood at best, or a chola at “worst.” To most Mexican and Mexican-American women, drawn-on eyebrows are a look historically representative of a marginalized culture—my culture—and have become a Latinx street style viewed as “trashy” by the rest of society. That is, until Rihanna wears them"
Uhh...

New Zealand goose: How one blind bisexual bird became an icon - "his stint as a father was short-lived, as he had his babies stolen by another goose who raised the babies himself... it is not uncommon for geese to be bisexual, though he adds that the duo were the only pair in the Waikanae Estuary to mate with the same sex. It is also not unheard of for geese to mate with swans, with the offspring of a swan and a goose known as a swoose"

English as the hardest European Language (to learn to read)

"The results for English appear grossly different from the other European languages. In the Scottish sample, analysis suggested that two or more years of experience were needed before word identification in English matched the accuracy and fluency levels achieved in the majority of languages before the end of the first school year...

The most extreme disadvantage occurs in English. Although the Scottish grade 1 children were ahead of age expectation, they read only 29% of nonwords correctly and were extremely dysfluent (6.69 sec/item). Grade 2 children, aged 6.56 years, read only 64% of nonwords at a rate of 3.17 sec/item, well below all other languages tested (except for the Danish grade 1 group). Seymour et al. estimated that the reading age needed to match the level of the majority of European languages was above 7.5 years, implying that the English-speaking groups needed 25 years of learning, or more than twice as much time as most other languages, to establish a most minimal and basic decoding function."

--- Early Reading Development in European Orthographies in The Science of Reading: A Handbook / ed Margaret J. Snowling, Charles Hulme

Links - 21st September 2018 (1)

Forget About Income Inequality - "if Grusky wants to measure market-generated income inequality, household income is not the proper metric; individual income is. That’s because market rewards—paychecks, capital gains, and dividends—go to individuals, not households. Gini coefficients, which measure inequality, decreased slightly for individuals between 1994 and 2010, while showing a modest uptick for households, meaning that individuals became more equal and households less so... Many progressives paraded the October Congressional Budget Office finding that between 1979 and 2007 after-tax income of the top 1 percent of households grew 275 percent. They failed to mention that the same study also found a 65 percent income gain in households in the top quintile; for those in the 21st through 80th range, 40 percent; and the bottom quintile, 18 percent. In short, no group lost ground... As economist Tyler Cowen has described, the difference between the basic goods available to average Americans and mega-rich folks such as Bill Gates has steadily decreased. Gates might have personal jets and private gardens. But thanks to technology-driven productivity increases and lowered trade barriers, almost every American can afford bypass surgeries, laptops with Internet access, cars, TVs, and occasional air travel. What’s more, America remains a highly income-mobile society where poverty is a stage of life, not a way of life. There is no permanent underclass here. A study by Thomas Garrett of the St. Louis Federal Reserve recently found that between 1996 and 2005—nine short years—roughly half of taxpayers who began in the bottom income quintile moved up to a higher one."

The places that ‘don’t exist’ - "He frequents conflict zones, lonely ice roads in Siberia and unrecognized breakaway republics, places that he says, “don’t exist”. His passion is bringing together like-minded travellers at his “Extreme Travel Congresses” in places like Chechnya and Somalia. For him, life is “just perfect” when he’s in an obscure place."

How do you survive in the coldest place on Earth? - "In Siberia, the winter temperature can drop to -60C, making it one of the coldest places to live in the world. In the first of our series on extremes, Adam Mynott finds out how the people of Oymyakon district cope with everyday life under such extraordinary conditions."

Blacks in Power Don't Empower Blacks - "Since 1965, the number of black elected officials has exploded. Between 1970 and 2012, it grew from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000.” One would expect that such political gains would lead to economic prosperity for African Americans, but not so says Riley. Actually, as black political influence has grown, African Americans have actually lost ground economically. This is what happens when our leaders assume identity politics provides the pathway to progress... “A strong case can be made that to the extent that a social program, however well-meaning, interferes with a group’s self-development, it does more harm than good. Government policies that discourage marriage and undermine the work ethic—open-ended welfare benefits, for example—help keep poor people poor.”"
This also suggests that some of the key arguments for quotas are wrong

Terry Gilliam on diversity: 'I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian' - "“It made me cry: the idea that ... no longer six white Oxbridge men can make a comedy show. Now we need one of this, one of that, everybody represented... this is bullshit. I no longer want to be a white male, I don’t want to be blamed for everything wrong in the world: I tell the world now I’m a black lesbian... My name is Loretta and I’m a BLT, a black lesbian in transition.” He added: “[Allen’s] statement made me so angry, all of us so angry. Comedy is not assembled, it’s not like putting together a boy band where you put together one of this, one of that everyone is represented.” Gilliam follows fellow Python member John Cleese’s angry response to Allen’s comment, who tweeted: “Unfair! We were remarkably diverse FOR OUR TIME ... We had three grammar-school boys, one a poof, and Gilliam, though not actually black, was a Yank. And NO slave-owners.” Gilliam has previously attracted controversy for his comments on the MeToo campaign, likening it to “mob rule” and saying: “ It’s crazy how simplified things are becoming.”"
Many "comedians" nowadays are just SJWs so they would disagree. But it remains to be seen if they'll stand the test of time like Monty Python

Does religion shape people’s sense of humour? A comparative study of humour appreciation among members of different religions and nonbelievers - "Hindus demonstrate overall the highest humour appreciation among all the groups, while Christians were the least amused by the jokes presented on the survey. Muslims had overall robust humour responses, despite reporting the highest incidence of being offended. Atheists were the least likely to be offended, and they generally enjoyed irreverent jokes. All groups agreed that if a joke was seen as offensive, its funniness was reduced."

'Nature' Says We Need More Diverse Scientists To Improve Science. They Present No Scientific Evidence To Back It Up. - "How much of that disparity is due to discrimination, how much of it is due to social background, and how much of it is due to choice? Why, that’s just the sort of question you might expect Nature to ask, given that it is a journal of science! But nope. No such question is asked. Instead, we are to assume that it is merely sociological barriers that create disparities"

Our Idea of Healthy Eating Excludes Other Cultures, and That's a Problem - "There’s more than one (Eurocentric) way to eat a healthy diet."
The traditional Indian diet is one reason for India's diabetes epidemic
Traditional white people food is also unhealthy. They've just made healthy variants
White people food is neutral - just like one of the reasons English is Singapore's working language rather than Mandarin, Malay or Tamil


Brain scans suggest women sustain more damage heading soccer balls than men - "regions of damaged brain tissue were five times bigger in female soccer players than in male players"
Misogyny!

Roofer fined £300 for carrying sandwich wrappers and crisp packets in his van - "Waltham Forest Council workers told Mr Gosling he was breaking the law for carrying the rubbish without permission when they carried out spot checks in east London... They searched his vehicle before asking him if he had a waste carriers' licence, which are required by any business that transports commercial refuse... "The waste in this case was being transported in commercial refuse bag in the trader's vehicle. "Regardless of what the items are, if waste is being stored in a commercial refuse bag in a trader's van it is necessary that they have a valid waste carriers' license.""
Uhh...

Canadian sex worker turned to fake marriage to pursue cosplay dreams - "Wong subsequently offered 1 million yen to Sasaki to engage in a fake marriage so that she could obtain residency. An initial payment of 700,000 yen was to be followed by monthly installments of 30,000 yen each. In February, an investigation was launched after the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau received an anonymous tip. The results of the investigation revealed that Wong, who is currently employed in the fuzoku (commercial sex) trade, is not living a life of matrimony with Sasaki."

How men pay more than DOUBLE the price for some toiletries than women
So much for the "pink tax". It's almost as if companies make product and pricing decisions based on market characteristics

How to Make Friends, According to Science - "The average American trusts only 10 to 20 people. Moreover, that number may be shrinking: From 1985 to 2004, the average number of confidants that people reported having decreased from three to two. This is both sad and consequential, because people who have strong social relationships tend to live longer than those who don’t... don’t dismiss the humble acquaintance. Even interacting with people with whom one has weak social ties has a meaningful influence on well-being. Beyond that, building deeper friendships may be largely a matter of putting in time. A recent study out of the University of Kansas found that it takes about 50 hours of socializing to go from acquaintance to casual friend, an additional 40 hours to become a “real” friend, and a total of 200 hours to become a close friend. If that sounds like too much effort, reviving dormant social ties can be especially rewarding. Reconnected friends can quickly recapture much of the trust they previously built, while offering each other a dash of novelty drawn from whatever they’ve been up to in the meantime. And if all else fails, you could start randomly confiding in people you don’t know that well in hopes of letting the tail wag the relational dog. Self-disclosure makes us more likable, and as a bonus, we are more inclined to like those to whom we have bared our soul"

'Crazy Rich Asians': How the Asian Rom-Com Happened Without Netflix - "Kwan fielded pitches that included turning his heroine into a
white woman; "It's a pity you don't have a white character," he was told by one producer... there was a bit of backlash in some corners of the internet (the Malaysian-English actor is biracial, while Nick is Chinese-Singaporean).“What is the level of Asian-ness you need to be to be profiled as Asian?”
Isn't it more diverse to have one non-Asian main character than none? What about the whole spiel about desexualised Asian men?

Study Finds Adopted Children Do Worse In School, Despite Having Better Parents - "Being adopted can be one of the best things to happen to a kid. People who adopt tend to be wealthier than other parents, both because of self-selection and because of the adoption screening process. Adoptive parents tend to be better-educated and put more effort into raising their kids, as measured by things like eating family meals together, providing the child with books, and getting involved in their schools. And yet, as rated by their teachers and tests, adopted children tend to have worse behavioral and academic outcomes in kindergarten and first grade than birth children do"

Could You Have a Lithium Deficiency? - "Scientists first figured out lithium could help stabilize mood in bipolar disorder in the late 1800s when the mineral salt was also used to treat gout. Lithium was the original "up" ingredient in 7-UP soda... To this day, lithium is one of the few medications proven to decrease the risk of suicide... lithium has been shown to be the only effective drug (at least to slow the progression down) in another inflammatory, progressive, and invariably fatal neurotoxic disease, ALS, which is also known as Lou Gerhig's disease, and lithium is being studied in HIV, dementia and Alzheimer's disease... counties with higher lithium levels in the water had a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of homicide, suicide, arrests for opiates and cocaine, and violent criminal behavior. Now to put things into perspective, a high lithium water content translates to about 2mg of lithium a day. Pharmacologic psychiatric doses typically start at 300mg daily... human longevity increased with the amount of trace lithium in the water"

Medicine doesn’t come from the hardware store: Don’t drink turpentine – Science-Based Medicine - "If you reassure someone that they don’t have an infection that requires antibiotics, they’re generally pretty happy. But when you explain that “detox” is a marketing term, and there is no need to waste money on a “detox” kit, sometimes it only seemed to reinforce the belief that supplements were useful. Several times I was presented with a prescription, and a simultaneous request for a supplement recommendation as a substitute for the drug, based on the belief that supplements are as effective as and safer than prescription drugs. I’d explain that following a heart attack, and considering quality, safety, and efficacy, that red yeast rice was a poor substitute for a statin. Some would feel otherwise. Many had a very negative perception about the risk and benefits of prescription drugs, with the opposite perception about the merits of various “alternative” remedies."

People who don't drink any alcohol are more likely to develop dementia, suggests study - "People who are teetotal in middle age are at greater risk of developing dementia than those who drink moderate amounts, with benefits particularly apparent in wine drinkers, a new study has found... Among abstainers, the study also found increased risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease... Moderate alcohol consumption has previously been shown to help protect against these conditions, by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and it may be this which is responsible for the dementia protecting benefit."

How Cloudflare Uses Lava Lamps to Guard Against Hackers - "Anything that the camera captures gets incorporated into the randomness"

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not - "Followers of Shinto, unlike Judeo-Christian monotheists and the Greeks before them, do not believe that humans are particularly “special.” Instead, there are spirits in everything, rather like the Force in Star Wars. Nature doesn’t belong to us, we belong to Nature, and spirits live in everything, including rocks, tools, homes, and even empty spaces... Friends express concern when I make a connection between slaves and robots that I may have the effect of dehumanizing slaves or the descendants of slaves, thus exacerbating an already tense and advanced war of words and symbols. While fighting the dehumanization of minorities and underprivileged people is important and something I spend a great deal of effort on, focusing strictly on the rights of humans and not the rights of the environment, the animals, and even of things like robots, is one of the things that has gotten us in this awful mess with the environment in the first place. In the long run, maybe it’s not so much about humanizing or dehumanizing, but rather a problem of creating a privileged class—humans—that we use to arbitrarily justify ignoring, oppressing, and exploiting."
Robots rights activists are already here

The Neurologist Who Hacked His Brain—And Almost Lost His Mind - "It will be a long time before anyone starts sending fully formed thoughts to a computer, he says—and even longer before anyone finds it really useful. Think about speech-recognition software, which has been around for decades, Schalk says. “It was probably 80 percent accurate in 1980 or something, and 80 percent is a pretty remarkable achievement in terms of engineering. But it’s useless in the real world,” he says. “I still don’t use Siri, because it’s not good enough.” In the meantime, there are far simpler and more functional ways to help people who have trouble speaking. If a patient can move a finger, he can type out messages in Morse code. If a patient can move her eyes, she can use eye-tracking software on a smartphone. “These devices are dirt cheap,” Schalk says. “Now you want to replace one of these with a $100,000 brain implant and get something that’s a little better than chance?”"

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Links - 20th September 2018 (2)

How a Fille du Roi Brought the 'Mother's Curse' to Canada - "So well-documented is French Canadian genealogy that professional geneticists and demographers use the data for research, too. Whenever a small group of people leave a large population (France) to found a new one (New France), they bring with them a particular set of mutations. Some of these mutations will by chance be more common in the new population and others less so. As a result, some rare genetic disorders disproportionately impact French Canadians."

Starbucks and the Swimming Pool - "I don’t deny that racism exists. Nor do any of the black people (or most of the white ones) who question the modern orthodoxy on “white privilege,” racial preferences, and reparations. What we question is what that kind of racism—subconscious, residual, and passing—affects. For example, I can say quite honestly that neither of those incidents affected me in the least... Life is never perfect, and there are much grosser imperfections in mine than petty misinterpretations by people I’ll never see again... Black American public school students at Dunbar High in Washington, DC in Gaslight Era America, in the wake of Plessy v. Ferguson, in a country in which lynching was legal, were regularly trouncing white students on standardized tests—and we know what would have happened to any of them if they had even ventured near a white café or pool. Or—if racist encounters so conclusively stanch black initiative and mental acuity that we cannot be expected to do well on tests, then why does no one expect us not to do well as, say, musicians? Coltrane and Questlove have known their microaggressions quite well, thank you very much... A key part of dignity is resilience; another part is the ability to distinguish the passing from the fundamental... I think it infantilizes black people to be taught that microaggressions, and even ones a tad more macro, hold us back, permanently damage our psychology, or render us exempt from genuine competition"
Of course this black writer will just be called an Uncle Tom

For years, this popular test measured anyone’s racial bias. But it might not work after all. - "When I first took the implicit association test a few years ago, I was happy with my results: The test found that I had no automatic preference against white or black people. According to this test, I was a person free of racism, even at the subconscious level. I took the IAT again a few days later. This time, I wasn’t so happy with my results: It turns out I had a slight automatic preference for white people. According to this, I was a little racist at the subconscious level — against black people. Then I took the test again later on. This time, my results genuinely surprised me: It found once again that I had a slight automatic preference — only now it was in favor of black people. I was racist, but against white people, according to the test... According to a growing body of research and the researchers who created the test and maintain it at the Project Implicit website, the IAT is not good for predicting individual biases based on just one test. It requires a collection — an aggregate — of tests before it can really make any sort of conclusions... the IAT is only “good for predicting individual behavior in the aggregate, and the correlations are small.”... it’s not clear if the test even predicts biased behavior better than explicit measures... It seems like the IAT predicts some variance in discriminatory behaviors, but its predictive power to this end seems to be quite small: Depending on the study, the estimate ranges from less than 1 percent to 5.5 percent. With percentages so small, it’s questionable just how useful the IAT really is for predicting biased behavior — even in the aggregate... changes in implicit bias don’t seem to lead to changes in explicit bias or behavior. This suggests that strategies that mitigate implicit bias aren’t going to have real-world outcomes. "

Name-and-Shame Approach Puts More Women on Singapore Boards - "a government-backed group has started calling out companies with no female directors"
When will they start doing the same with race? Whither meritocracy?

Opinion | Inside the World of Racist Science Fiction - The New York Times - "To understand why white supremacists back the president, we have to understand the books that define their worldview."
Comments: "By contrast to the badly written bilge described here, which appeals only to white supremacists, two of the best known religious books, the Bible and the Koran, plus the Hindu scriptures, have led to the deaths of millions."
"I have no doubt that these books are nasty. I despise Trump. But the article doesn’t credibly establish a link between the two. And why is anyone quoting the Southern Poverty Law Center as if it is a trustworthy authority on extremism, acting with due diligence and without fear or favor? It has a record of incorrectly designating people and organizations as ‘extremists’ apparently because it disagrees with their politics. One of the reasons the SPLC can do this so successfully is that journalists continue to uncritically cite it as if it were a reliable and neutral arbiter, lending it a credibility it does not deserve."
"It attributed 49 murders to white supremacists over the 17 year period, or about 3 murders per year. There are about 18,000 murders per year. This means white supremacists account for about 0.0166 percent of murders. Not all the 49 murders committed by white supremacists from 2000 through 20016 were racially or ethnically motivated hate crimes"
"This is a bizarre essay. Is it permissible to hate hate-groups, and members of hate groups? It was particularly interesting that this article cites the Federation for American Immigration Reform as a hate group. The main objective of this group seems to be simply to enforce the Immigration Reform Act of 1986, duly passed by Congress, and flouted by many liberal groups."
"This article couldn’t conjure a picture more recent than 2003 of the literature it mentions, and seemed not to be able to name any recent books being published either, despite it being easier to publish (and find publications) than ever. Then the author admits that they have no statistics to back anything up (not even some cursory search volume stats?). Then they move to the standard Atlas criticism that must come with any liberal review of distasteful literature to ensure Shrugged continues to move towards equivalency on the “evil scale”."


Meanwhile, the Chinese think Trump is a genius - "My interlocutors say that Mr Trump is the US first president for more than 40 years to bash China on three fronts simultaneously: trade, military and ideology. They describe him as a master tactician, focusing on one issue at a time, and extracting as many concessions as he can. They speak of the skilful way Mr Trump has treated President Xi Jinping. “Look at how he handled North Korea,” one says. “He got Xi Jinping to agree to UN sanctions [half a dozen] times, creating an economic stranglehold on the country. China almost turned North Korea into a sworn enemy of the country.” But they also see him as a strategist, willing to declare a truce in each area when there are no more concessions to be had, and then start again with a new front...
Note that the Chinese guy Leonard quotes is the very Chicom, now-former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs He Yafei, who had fun browbeating President Obama openly in Copenhagen a few years ago, and Obama just took it. He's not talking the same way about Trump."

Why I’m Deleting All My Old Tweets - "There are practical reasons to delete your tweets. Increasingly, old tweets are being used as ammunition to get their owners fired or ruin their reputation by people with an ax to grind... Once tweets have been sent, they exist out of context. There’s no way to easily tell, when looking back at someone’s timeline from years ago, what jokes were trending, what the national mood was like, what everyone was faux-outraged by. Twitter is a reaction to stimulus. Once that stimulus is gone, though, the tweets linger, like a too-loud laugh at a joke no one else heard. What was funny? Who knows. We’re all going to die anyway."

Akira Toriyama Breaks New Ground by Introducing Two NEW and ORIGINAL Female Super Saiyans Who Kick as Much Ass as the Men Without Kicking the Men Out and Taking Their Place. He Is Successful
Marvel Comics Replaces Pre-Existing Male Characters With Female Copy-Cats Who Pale in Comparison to the Men They Are Meant to Be Replacing. Marvel's Comic Sales Drop Exponentially in Response


I infiltrated a Feminist Witchcraft group - "Like Dakota and Ender, most members of the group identify as Pagans, witches, queers and several other identities that I don’t even know existed. They hate the patriarchy, white privilege, male privilege, rape culture and every other crazy theory Social Justice warriors are known for. Its basically your average Feminist group, only worse, because they think they can perform magic."

Shark disguised as baby stolen from aquarium in pushchair

Higher Temperatures Linked to Increase in Suicide Rate - "when temperatures rose 1 degree Celsius above the average in a given month, suicide rates climbed by about 0.7% in the U.S. and 2.1% in Mexico. The researchers’ analysis of “depressive language” across 600 million social media updates suggested that overall mental wellbeing deteriorated during periods of higher than average temperatures as well."

WhatsApp suggests a cure for virality - Breaking the fever - "Starting this month, however, users of WhatsApp will find it harder to spread content. They will no longer be able to forward messages to more than 20 others in one go, down from more than 100. In India the upper limit is just five and WhatsApp has removed the “quick forward” button from audio, video and images, adding an extra step to the process of sending content. The goal is not to prevent people from sharing information—only to get users to think about what they are passing on"
Maybe this is racist to Indians

A stressful job: are surgeons psychopaths? - "This is not the first time that doctors have been found to have increased psychiatric tendencies compared with the general population... consultants at teaching hospitals score higher on a scale of psychopathic personality than DGH consultants, who in turn score higher than the general population"

Elin Ersson’s ‘citizen-activism’ comes at a heavy price | Coffee House - "a 22-year old Swede called Elin Ersson made headlines around the world for her ‘citizen-activism’. Learning that a failed asylum seeker from Afghanistan was to be deported from her country, she bought a seat on the plane that was due to take him part of the way back home (as far as Turkey). Once she was on board the plane Ersson refused to sit down. Filming the whole thing on her mobile phone (natch) Ms Ersson insisted that to send the failed asylum-seeker to his home country would be consigning him to ‘death’ because Afghanistan is ‘hell’. After about 15 minutes of this Ms Ersson got her way. The Afghan migrant was taken off the flight. Some passengers applauded. Ms Ersson cried. And soon she was being lauded as the Millennials’ answer to Rosa Parks. The self-appointed leaders of the sisterhood were especially vocal. A writer at the website that used to be the Independent told us that Ms Ersson has shown us ‘how effective individual action can be.’ Britain’s Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, applauded the ‘brave action by this young student’. And Caroline Lucas MP – joint leader of Britain’s Green Party – tweeted out motivationally ‘If ever you think one person can’t make a difference, then watch this! Huge respect to Elin Ersson, a student at Gothenburg university, for – literally – standing up for what she believes in. A true inspiration.’ Of course anyone with any knowledge of the facts could tell you that the real headline story here should have been ‘Sweden actually deports failed asylum-seeker’. In the last few years alone, Sweden has taken in around a hundred thousand people who the country itself recognises have no right to be there... Very few illegals with no right to be in Sweden ever actually do get deported... it has turned out that her 52-year old failed asylum seeker had reportedly been issued a two-year prison sentence in Sweden for assault. This sentence is on the harsh side in Sweden for an assault charge, so it will be interesting to discover just how severe the assault was that Ms Ersson’s illegal migrant was convicted of, and who the victim – or victims – of that assault might have been... For people like Ms Ersson there is only something to gain from deciding to arbitrarily impose your own personal migration and asylum policy. ‘Let them all stay’ has no moral taint to it, yet for the time being ‘Let the person who shouldn’t be here go home’ still does.
So Afghanistan is a shithole country?

Afghan whose deportation was blocked by crying Swedish girl, whipped his wife and daughters

How Beyonce's 'Ivy Park' Label Should Solve Sweatshop Scandal: Switch Suppliers - "While Sri Lankan women are making the clothing celebrating female empowerment, they’re clearly not seeing many if any of the benefits. Despite the owner of Topshop ranking 107th on Forbes’ richest list, with a net worth estimated at $6.7 billion, that wealth isn’t trickling down to Beyonce’s women working as sweatshop slaves in South Asia for just 64 cents an hour... Fashion companies need to stop shifting the burden of proof to its suppliers. Brands know full well what they’re getting into."

“Sin” taxes—eg, on tobacco—are less efficient than they look - The price of vice - "The Institute of Economic Affairs, a free-market think-tank, has produced a series of reports on the net fiscal costs of drinking, smoking and obesity to the British government (see chart 2). They estimate that, after accounting for sin taxes, welfare costs, crime and early death, tobacco and alcohol are worth £14.7bn ($19.3bn) and £6.5bn a year, respectively, to the Treasury. Obesity, in contrast, costs it £2.5bn a year... since most of the damage smokers, drinkers and the obese do is to themselves, rather than to others, governments need to think carefully about how much they want to interfere. Moreover, any cost-benefit analysis on the social impact of these vices needs to take into account that people do find them enjoyable. There is more to life than living longer."

Donald Low - "just looking at direct costs and savings, the evidence says that smokers save us money. This finding is one that moralists and conservatives find objectionable. Indeed, psychologists have found that one of the essential differences between conservatives and liberals is that the former find vices inherently objectionable. This is why people who say that smokers should be denied health subsidies (as the former dean of the NUS School of Public Health once suggested) are speaking religiously or moralistically, not scientifically or empirically. Interestingly, and almost as counter-intuitive, obesity imposes net costs to society since obese people don't pay higher taxes, and they DON'T live shorter lives (they just live sicker, and hence costlier, lives). So if conservatives and moralists need to berate somebody, it'd make a lot more sense for them to go after fat people than smokers"
If morality were only about costs to society, the terminally ill should just kill themselves, and the Japanese guy who stabbed 19 disabled to death is a hero

Mansplaining, explained in one simple chart
Ironically, feminists are against gendered slurs and gender based double standards when they're directed at women

The Normal Distribution

Michael Malice on Twitter: "The error I find most baffling, illustrated… ":


"The average of this normal distribution is here."
"Well then, how do you explain the fact that THESE points exist?! YOU CAN'T."

Links - 20th September 2018 (1)

The Art of the Australian Breakfast - The New York Times - "This cooking style features bright mashups of foods that are healthy, natural and luxurious all at once, and that even the most hardened bacon-egg-and-cheese lover may not be able to resist."

An Old Scam With a New Twist - The New York Times - "These sorts of online extortion schemes — which try to guilt people into paying off hackers claiming to have compromising information — are nothing new. But a new wave of messages that began popping up in mid-July has stepped up the ploy by showing passwords in the subject headers as attention-grabbing “proof” that someone has deeply burrowed into your computer and has your personal information"

The Affluent Asian Millennial, Fuelling Luxury Consumption in the Region - "many affluent Asian millennials take photos of the luxury goods they purchase and then post them on social media. This serves as an indirect touchpoint of influence for luxury brands to pay attention to, especially considering that a lot of these millennials have bought a luxury item recommended by a social media influencer. Chinese and Thai millennials are the most likely out of all Asian millennials to do this, whereas Koreans are the least, which is interesting to see considering Korean millennials are very well connected digitally. Perhaps, this might be attributed to the fact that it is frowned upon for Koreans to display their wealth openly?... 2 out of 5 affluent millennials in Hong Kong and Singapore travel 3-4 times a year. This consumer segment travels in style and pays attention to the quality of experience. 3 in 4 Chinese, Malaysians and Thais prefer to book their trip on business or first class"

Examining The Growth Of The Luxury Industry In Asia Through 'The Cult Of The Luxury Brand' - "Chadha and Husband's book examines the cultural and economic reasons for Western luxury brands's popularity in Asia. For example, they argue that the conspicuous wearing of luxury clothing has become a way for Asians to define their position in society. This trend, they say, has been influenced by the significant social changes in Asia in the past half-century. Examining The Growth Of The Luxury Industry In Asia Through 'The Cult Of The Luxury Brand' | Seeking Alpha - "Chadha and Husband's book examines the cultural and economic reasons for Western luxury brands's popularity in Asia. For example, they argue that the conspicuous wearing of luxury clothing has become a way for Asians to define their position in society. This trend, they say, has been influenced by the significant social changes in Asia in the past half-century... a region's per capita sales of personal luxury goods correspond directly to the region's stage on the "Spread of Luxury" model"

On Alex Liang, a Singaporean who gave up his Singapore citizenship - "I hate being sent warning letters each time I forget to notify MINDEF when I travel. I am not a criminal. My only crime was being born a Singaporean male. I hate being sent a “birthday wish” SMS from MINDEF to remind me to take my IPPT or risk getting charged. Thank you. You are always the first to wish me happy birthday without fail each year and spoil my mood for the day."

On National Service - "I do not have the perfect answer to how the system can be improved. It is the job of the full time staff in MINDEF and SAF to look into it. This does not mean I am not qualified to complain. If you are served a piece of rotten chicken at KFC, do you need to be able to show the kitchen staff how to cook the chicken before you can say anything? Please don’t give me crap about “constructive criticism”. It is my most hated two words which are ironically, oxymoron. They are convenient replies to cull off any meaning debates by forcing people to come up with solutions before they can even raise any problem...
At some stage, you have to fend for yourself, your family and your loved ones. Unless you are an extraordinary martyr of sort like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela, which I am not. Even our Ministers justified their high salaries with the same self-serving logic. Why can’t I do the same as an ordinary Singaporean?...
For those who keep asking me to AWOL, migrate or get out of Singapore if I am unhappy with the system, I am very sorry your worldview is so narrow you cannot even accept difference in opinions."

Laugh track - Wikipedia - "'Who are these laughing people? Where did they come from?'" Gelbart persuaded CBS to test the show in private screenings with and without the laugh track. The results showed no measurable difference in the audience's enjoyment. "So you know what they said?" Gelbart said. "'Since there's no difference, let's leave it alone!' The people who defend laugh tracks have no sense of humor.""

Ogilvy’s Award-Winning Campaign Completes Bottom Half Of Famous Portraits - "Titled "Portraits Completed", the award-winning campaign completes the bottom half of famous paintings to reveal the subjects' shoes"

Mandate that businesses serve free water - "In England and Wales, all licensed premises - such as restaurants, bars, clubs and other establishments that are open to the public - are required by law to provide free potable water to customers upon request. In Singapore, however, the vast majority of restaurants, bars and clubsare legally able to refuse to serve customers tap water, let alone for free. In my experience, many premises will say that it is not their policy to serve tap water, or "we can't ensure it's hygienic, so we serve bottled water only". This is the case even as our Health Ministry starts a serious campaign to wean citizens off sweetened and aerated drinks, and towards drinking more water for better health outcomes, especially to combat diabetes. The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources has also spent huge sums of money to ensure that our tap water is safe, potable and always available. Furthermore, there is an active drive towards reducing the use of plastic"

Joyce TOO on Twitter - "Not one self-described Communist ever sees himself as a worker in the future socialist paradise. They all imagine themselves as some kind of party official, dictating doctrine while some other poor bastard hammers steel all day, stinking of cheap soup and filth"

Canada is using ancestry DNA websites to help it deport people - "In another example of the extraordinary lengths Canadian immigration officials go to deport migrants, the Canada Border Services Agency has been collecting their DNA and using ancestry websites to find and contact their distant relatives and establish their nationality."

Prof Bumps Female Students’ STEM Grades (Because They’re Women) - "University of Akron professor Liping Liu sent an email to his class sections saying certain categories of students—including women—may see their grades "raised one level or two." Liu claimed his approach was a part of a "national movement to encourage female students to go [in]to information sciences." Fortunately, the plan appears to have been vetoed... Liu isn't the first college instructor to toy with identity-based grading. In April, a teaching assistant at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Denisha Maddie, tweeted: "Grading papers for my mentors and I'm giving these white students a runnnnn for their grade honey!! The exam is on race." She added two purple devil emojis and one laughing face emoji."
This will instill confidence in people that women who do well in the sciences deserve their grades

Transgender model called Muslim airport worker "terrorist" in two-hour meltdown after she misheard 'ma'am' for 'man' - "Francesca Camicia, 23, shouted the comments during a two-hour meltdown at London's Heathrow Airport while travelling to Italy for a breast augmentation. Camicia also got in the face of one officer and shouted: "This guy hates transgenders and wishes me dead. You're the terrorist." Camicia, of Hammersmith, who is identified as female on both her British and Italian passports, told court: "When someone calls me 'man' I feel so desolated." She was convicted at Ealing Magistrates Court of using threatening behaviour towards Mustafa Abbas and supervisor Fahad Arshad on September 17 and was conditionally discharged for two years... "I've been a woman for 20 years. To call me 'Sir' is a crime. I've got a diplomatic passport, you can't do anything to me, I know my rights." Camicia, who has a PhD in law, was upset there was no Jewish Torah on which to swear an oath. She told the court: "It's okay. My rights are breached everyday. "Since I was born I felt like a woman and it has been a real struggle, it has been hell, but I've been so strong. "I am here today, but I shouldn't be. I'm proud to be a woman, proud to be a transexual woman." The court heard Camicia has undergone 15 gender reassignment surgical procedures and she claims to be insulted by Heathrow staff whenever she passes through."
Transphobia! Violence against transsexuals!

Man jailed, fined for filming women changing in flats, possession of obscene films - "the two men were having breakfast at a coffee shop when they began discussing how women dressed. They made a plan to roam around a block of flats in Queenstown to see if they could watch any woman changing... she shouted and Lo immediately withdrew his phone and ran away with Khoo. Later that same day, Lo used the Airplay function on his iPhone to send the two videos of the first sister to Khoo. Police identified the two men and arrested them at a lift lobby in Queenstown on Aug 1, 2016, while they were preparing to scout for women again. Forensic investigations on Lo's phone revealed three obscene photos of Lo and his wife in the nude. Further investigations showed that Lo had sent these photos to Khoo in 2015... Forensic investigations found 1,424 video files containing the same number of films without a valid certificate in Lo's possession. Lo also had 413 obscene films."

Jail, fine for nightclub bouncer who phished for Facebook credentials to trick ‘friends’ into sending nude photos - "Rostam logged in to his victims' Facebook accounts and interacted with friends of the victims to ask for photographs of their breasts. He pretended that he was representing a modelling agency, or was running a breast cancer screening campaign... Rostam asked for photos of her naked so that he could “know her sizes” and determine which bridal gowns would fit her properly. The woman sent them to him, believing that she was communicating with her female friend. He later managed to take control of the woman's aunt's Facebook account. Pretending to be her aunt, he told the same 20-year-old on that same day that “she” was suffering from breast cancer and wanted to spend more time with her. He then asked for photographs of her in her underwear and more pictures of her, explaining that these would be used to get her modelling contracts. The victim was not suspicious as she had previously told her aunt that she was interested in modelling, and sent those photos along with a video. While still pretending to be her aunt, Rostam also told the victim that he was going to die soon and that he wanted to see her touch her private parts. Again, she took a video of herself and sent it."

With DaaS Windows coming, say goodbye to your PC as you know it - "For over 30 years, we’ve thought of PCs primarily as Windows machines, which we owned and controlled. That’s about to change forever"

Services like UberPool are making traffic worse, study says - The Washington Post - "The explosive growth of Uber and Lyft has created a new traffic problem for major U.S. cities and ride-sharing options such as UberPool and Lyft Line are exacerbating the issue by appealing directly to customers who would otherwise have taken transit, walked, biked or avoided the trip... Jon Orcutt, a spokesman for the New York-based advocacy organization Transit Center, said the blame does not fall on individual users for finding ride-hailing services attractive, but that the burden is on local governments and transit agencies to respond to their growth with policies such as congestion pricing, the prioritization of buses through features such as dedicated lanes, and a general push toward frequent, reliable and affordable transit. It’s no coincidence, he says, that ride-hailing’s explosive growth has taken place amid transit system collapses in several major cities."
If public transit doesn't serve users well...

New Zealand to replace 'sexist' road signs after 7-year-old girl's plea - "New Zealand's transport authority said on Tuesday (Jul 31) it would adopt gender-neutral signs after a seven-year-old girl said it was "wrong and unfair" to suggest only men could work on roadside power lines. Zoe Carew spotted a "linemen" hazard sign - to warn drivers about workers repairing or installing electricity and telecommunications cables - when she was en route to her grandparents' house last month"
Time to banish all talk of females and women too

Manchester Arena bomber was rescued from Libya by Royal Navy - "The Manchester Arena suicide bomber was rescued by the Royal Navy from the civil war in Libya three years before he killed 22 people at a pop concert"

The best way to prevent terrorist attacks? Let’s welcome refugees. - "Western countries should be doing everything possible to enfranchise, empower and support the vast majority of Muslims arguing against the hate being spewed by the radicals in their midst. Helping Muslim refugees, both by offering aid to countries hosting them and by welcoming vulnerable and vetted refugees to our own shores, is not just right in itself; it also plays a part in the wider effort."
Of course Muslims are all of one mind. This is why Sweden being the most welcoming country in Europe to refugees per capita (in both numbers and the assistance afforded them - and the highest per capita receipient in the OECD) does not have thousands of violent Islamic extremists according to Swedish Security Service director Anders Thornberg, Gothenburg, in western Sweden was not one of the largest recruiting grounds for ISIS and Sweden is not one of the largest per capita exporter of jihadists and there was no Stockholm truck attack in 2017
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