"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Links - 15th July 2019 (2)

The UK needs to spend more on researching green energy | Coffee House - "Climate policy has been littered with broken promises ever since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Indeed, the core promises written into the Paris Agreement are not being met. A recent study revealed that only 16 countries — the likes of Samoa and Algeria — are living up to their vows to reduce carbon emission growth, and they’re only doing so because they promised to do very, very little... Despite governments encouraging the roll-out of green energy technology, renewables still have two big problems.First, they take up an amazing amount of space which often replaces nature. To produce the energy equivalent to a one-hectare gas-fired power plant you would need 73 hectares of solar panels, 239 hectares of on-shore wind turbines, or an unbelievable 6,000 hectares of biomass.Second – and more importantly – solar and wind power are intermittent or unreliable... We often hear that wind and solar energy are cheaper than fossil fuels, but at best that is only true when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. On a windless dark night, the cost of wind and solar power is literally infinite. That is also why it is deeply misleading to compare the energy cost of wind or solar to fossil fuels only when it is windy and sunny. Since all solar energy is captured around the same time, the value quickly drops dramatically — one study shows that in California, when 30 per cent of the market share is solar energy, it will lose two-thirds of its value. What’s more, because modern society requires 24 hours of power, even when solar or wind is introduced, it’s still necessary to pay for back-up service from fossil fuels (for when there’s no wind or sun). Only, these are now more expensive because fossil fuels have fewer hours to pay back the capital.Battery technology is far from ready to help solar and wind energy last longer: in the US, total battery storage could power the nation for just 14 seconds... The International Energy Agency‘s newest report finds that when adjusting for the unreliability of solar and wind, existing coal will be cheaper than new solar and wind in all the major regions until at least 2040."

College Admissions: Shaky Ethics - "the University of California at Berkeley made decisions on two of our students this year, both Californians. Student A was ranked in the top third of his class, student B in the bottom third. Student A had College Board scores totaling 1,290; student B's scores totaled 890. Student A had a record of good citizenship; student B was expelled this winter for breaking a series of major school rules. Student A was white; student B was black. Berkeley refused student A and accepted B. One wonders what messages about effort, ethical behavior and action-and-consequence each of those students received. One wonders if we have moved from a position of equal opportunity to - in this case, at least - affirmative-action cubed."
From 1988

Liberal education and the moral homicide of America -- Society's Child - "Mr. D'Souza provides numerous examples of the results of this scramble for minority candidates. Florida Atlantic University offers free tuition to every black student who is admitted, while at Pennsylvania State University black students who maintain a grade point average of C to C+ get a cash bonus of $580 a year; if they do better, they receive $1,160; neither white nor other minority students are eligible for this reward. As one observer remarked, "Everybody wants a piece of these students. The competition for them has become very keen." A black graduate from Stanford was rejected from Harvard Law School only to receive a flurry of phone calls a few days later from embarrassed administrators who offered him admission: with your grades, they explained, "We assumed you were white."Not surprisingly, there have also been numerous calls for revising the Scholastic Aptitude Tests and other objective measurements of accomplishment in order to make them less culturally "elitist." A professor of religious studies at the University of Tennessee whom Mr. D'Souza quotes epitomizes this attitude: "when you see the word 'qualifications' used, remember that this is the new code word for whites." And what is meant by an alternative to traditional "white" academic "qualifications" (the ability to read, write, and compute fluently, a good stock of general historical and literary knowledge, etc.)?"
From 1991

The myth of male homosexual monogamy - "Male sexuality, whether oriented toward females or other males, craves variety. But whereas almost all heterosexual men, perhaps after “sowing wild oats,” settle down with one woman, homosexual men do not settle down. Ever. A classic, large-scale study by Bell and Weinberg conducted during the 1970s and published by the Kinsey Institute found that forty-three percent (43%) of white male homosexuals had had sex with 500 or more partners, and twenty-eight percent (28%) had had sex with 1,000 or more partners. Seventy-nine percent (79%) said that more than half of their sexual partners had been strangers.[i] In 1985, Pollack found that gay men averaged “several dozen partners a year” and “some hundreds in a lifetime” with “tremendous promiscuity.”[ii] In their 1997 study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven, et al., found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners was 101-500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[iii]These numbers are extraordinary, to put it mildly.[iv] Outside of a few privileged categories—such as rock stars, movie stars, elite professional athletes, and royalty—heterosexual men do not have sex with hundreds or thousands of women. Straight men may want to behave, and sometimes fantasize about behaving, in this way, but very few actually do. A 2011 survey conducted by Britain's National Health Service found that the average number of lifetime sex partners for heterosexual men was 9.3; only 25% of men had been with more than 10 women in their entire lives. A 2007 survey in the U.S. found that the median number of lifetime sexual partners for men was seven.The reason heterosexual men do not have sex with hundreds of partners is that straight men have to seduce women, and the idea that there are hoards of promiscuous, easy women is itself an absurdly false myth... The British NHS survey found that women averaged 4.7 lifetime sex partners, and 24% of women had been with only one man in their lives. The 2007 U.S. survey found that the median lifetime number of sexual partners for women was four (4); only 9% of women reported having had more than 15 sexual partners... A study of homosexual relationships in Amsterdam found that steady partners contribute more than casual partners to HIV infection, because gays tended to engage in risky behavior (unprotected anal intercourse) more often with steady partners than with casual partners... A famous study conducted in 1983 by Pepper Schwartz and Philip Blumstein of the University of Washington found that only a third of lesbians in relationships of 2 years or longer had sex once a week or more frequently. Almost half of these lesbian couples (47%) had sex once a month or less. Schwartz and Blumstein also reported that lesbian couples seemed more limited in their range of sexual techniques, and less sexual as couples and as individuals, than either heterosexual couples or homosexual males. These findings led Pepper Schwartz to coin the term “lesbian bed death.”"

What Does Teaching ‘White Privilege’ Actually Accomplish? Not What You Might Think (Or Hope) - "nearly everybody has at least some advantages in life. It feels perverse for someone who has suffered so much [with her husband killing their sons, then himself] to be confessing their perceived advantages... it’s not even clear that being white in any way constituted a form of privilege. Recent research has found a huge surge in white working-class suicides. In 2017, whites in the United States had a suicide rate of 17.8 per 100,000; for Hispanics, that rate was 6.9; for African-Americans, it was 6.9. The only group with a higher suicide rate than whites was Native Americans, at 22.2.The phenomenon of suicide is not perfectly understood, but it is generally believed that loneliness and alienation are driving factors... among social liberals—i.e., participants who had indicated that they hold liberal beliefs about social issues—reading a text about white privilege did nothing to significantly increase their sympathy toward the plight of poor blacks. But, as Cooley told me, “it did significantly bump down their sympathy for a [hypothetical] poor white person.” (Among conservative participants, there was observed no significant change in attitudes at all.) What accounts for this? One possibility is that social liberals are internalizing white-privilege lessons in a way that flattens the image of whites, portraying all of them as inherently privileged. So if a white person is poor, it must be his or her own fault. After all, they’ve had all sorts of advantages in life that others haven’t... If we extend the logic of privilege beyond the issue of race, it’s easy to see the flaws with this approach. We know, for instance, that 93 percent of people in U.S. federal prisons are men. In nearly every part of the criminal justice system, in fact, men on average have it worse than women do. But does that then mean we should be discussing “female privilege”?... Asking whites to publicly confess their white privilege—in a manner that often resembles a religious ritual more than anything else—may lead us to unfairly flatten the experience of whites while, ironically, actually shifting attention away from those who are underprivileged. The Cooley study shows that this isn’t just a hypothetical concern; it’s a reality that has been demonstrated through research. One alternative to white-privilege discourse would be to focus on the causes and consequences of deprivation rather than on naming groups of people we believe to hold special advantages—and to stop referring to things that we should expect for all people as “privileges.”"

Evan Horowitz: IQ rates are dropping in many developed countries and that doesn't bode well for humanity - "One potential explanation was quasi-eugenic. As in the movie “Idiocracy,” it was suggested that average intelligence is being pulled down because lower-IQ families are having more children ("dysgenic fertility" is the technical term). Alternatively, widening immigration might be bringing less-intelligent newcomers to societies with otherwise higher IQs.However, a 2018 study of Norway has punctured these theories by showing that IQs are dropping not just across societies but within families. In other words, the issue is not that educated Norwegians are increasingly outnumbered by lower-IQ immigrants or the children of less-educated citizens. Even children born to high-IQ parents are slipping down the IQ ladder."

How Did a Tortoise Survive 30 Years in a Box? - "Tortoises are famous for living to a ripe old age. One giant tortoise named Adwaita is said to have lived 255 years in the Calcutta Zoo—he finally died of liver failure in 2006.But news of a tortoise that lived 30 years in a shed suggests that the survival skills of these hardy creatures may be even more astounding than we had imagined. A red-footed tortoise named Manuela mysteriously “disappeared” from a home in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1982. The Almeida family assumed that their pet had lumbered out of the house after builders at the site left the front door ajar, according to Brazil’s Globo TV. (Watch turtle and tortoise videos.)Recently, Leandro Almeida was cleaning out a storage shed and threw away an old wooden box... red-footed tortoises have been known to go without eating for two to three years in the wild—but 30 years is off the known charts. He speculated that Manuela had survived by eating termites and other small insects and licking condensation... In the dry forests and grasslands of South and Central America where they live, red-footed tortoises will consume virtually anything: fruits, flowers, leaves, dead animals—even feces."

How Anti-Humanism Conquered the Left - "Whether it’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioning the morality of childbearing, a birth-strike movement that encourages people to forego parenthood despite the “grief that [they say they] feel as a result,” or political commentator Bill Maher blithely claiming, “I can’t think of a better gift to our planet than pumping out fewer humans to destroy it,” a misanthropic philosophy known as “anti-natalism” is going increasingly mainstream... Various prominent environmentalists, from Johns Hopkins University bioethicist Travis Rieder to science popularizer and entertainer Bill Nye, support the introduction of special taxes or other state-imposed penalties for having “too many” children. In 2015, Bowdoin College’s Sarah Conly published a book advocating a “one-child” policy, like the one China abandoned following disastrous consequences including female infanticide and a destabilizing gender ratio of 120 boys per 100 girls, which left around 17 percent of China’s young men unable to find a Chinese wife. Even after that barbaric policy’s collapse, she maintains it was “a good thing.” Modern-day anti-humanism emerged in the 1970s, midwifed by a doomy strain of environmental pessimism led by Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich (but with intellectual antecedents dating back to Thomas Malthus in the eighteenth century)... Undeterred, Ehrlich and many likeminded doomsayers are still claiming that disaster is imminent, despite their previous predictions repeatedly failing to materialize. Just last year, Ehrlich compared human population growth to the spread of cancer... Once anti-humanism had infected the environmental movement, it soon spread through the political Left. Robert Zubrin’s book Merchants of Despair gives an overview of the Left’s reversal of its traditional commitment to advancing the human condition, in favor of a project that viewed humanity as a plague upon the Earth... The late University of Maryland economist Julian Simon rejected the idea of overpopulation as a problem. He believed that, on the contrary, more people in the world means more people to solve problems, and less resource scarcity"

PutLocker - Watch Free Movies Online on Putlockers in FULL HD Quality - "Watch Movies Online for Free on Putlocker. All Your Favorite Movies & TV Series Full in HD-720p Quality are Here."

Choa Chu Kang cemetery to be redeveloped again - "The concrete crypts complement a burial policy introduced in 1998, which limits the burial period to 15 years. After this period, graves will be exhumed and the remains cremated or re-interred, according to religious requirements.These measures have lengthened the life of the cemetery, which is expected to be kept open till 2130.Under the new project, 33,684 crypts for Muslim fresh burials and 4,700 for Muslim re-interment will be built. For Chinese fresh burials, 2,847 crypts will be built. For Christian or lawn fresh burials, 1,451 will be built.Religions such as Islam require their dead to be buried."
So non-Muslims in Singapore can still get to be buried

Female fruit bats take food from males in exchange for sex, study finds - "Male Egyptian fruit bats will allow female bats to take food straight from their mouths and scientists believe they know why: the bats are trading food for sex."
Damn patriarchy, making female fruit bats prostitutes!

Philippines’ Duterte says he used to be gay, but then ‘cured himself’ - "Philippines’ president Rodrigo Duterte made a rather unexpected admission while visiting Japan, saying he used to be gay before he met his ex wife… then he “became a man again.” Duterte is something of a self-styled expert on the question of who is and isn’t gay, if the frequency with which he makes the accusation is any indication. After accusing "most" priests in the Catholic church of being homosexual earlier in the year, during a speech Thursday he decided to ‘out’ a political opponent, and then himself... While he has never been quite so explicit, this is not the first time Duterte has hinted about his proclivities: In 2017, he joked about having considered bisexuality so he could “have fun both ways.” That is apparently not the only thing he wants both ways, as he has also flip-flopped on the issue of legalizing gay marriage in the predominantly conservative Catholic country"

How Chinese overseas students are learning harsh life lessons

How Chinese overseas students are learning harsh life lessons

"“The one word that describes my impression of America before coming is ‘freedom’,” says Lian, who currently studies at the University of California, Irvine. “[But] after I studied here for a while, I started to kind of understand American society. My impression went from good to bad.”

And that had a knock-on effect, on her as it had on others. “A lot of [Chinese] students become more patriotic,” Lian says...

The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) announced on Facebook that the Dalai Lama would give a commencement speech later in the year. The Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, widely respected internationally, has been deemed by Chinese leaders “a wolf in monk’s robes” who stirs up ethnic tension in order to split China.

UCSD’s Facebook page was immediately flooded with comments from Chinese students echoing that sentiment, some saying the school’s decision was tantamount to inviting Osama Bin Laden. The university’s chapter of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) threatened “tough measures to resolutely resist the college’s unreasonable behaviour” and said that it had been in touch with the Chinese consulate about the matter.

A New York Times report three months later highlighted connections between the 150-odd CSSA chapters around the world and Chinese consulates, suggesting that Chinese authorities may play a role in such student backlashes. The report asserted that, in addition to the tuition dollars and international diversity that Chinese students bring to Western universities, “those students often bring to campus something else from home: the watchful eyes and occasionally heavy hand of the Chinese government”...

Han says that since coming to the US, he has been disappointed by American uninterest in understanding, or even listening to, views like these. Growing up in China, he explains, despite government propaganda, he came to see the US as a beacon of freedom, liberalism and open-mindedness. “But after a lot of people come here, they realise it’s not like that,” he says. “If you’re Chinese, when people talk about politics and democracy, you’ll always be targeted [...] They try to put us under one very radical label, like, ‘Chinese people are lovers of dictatorships,’ things like that. At times, it’s very aggressive.”...

Most of his Chinese classmates have complicated views toward their country’s policies and can be quite critical of their government, even if they don’t advocate its overthrow. This makes it especially irritating when American classmates dismiss them as “brainwashed” for not opposing one-party rule.

“If we’re all brainwashed, why would we come to the United States?” he asks. “We want to learn about how things work here. On the contrary, many Americans have never been to China, never read anything serious about China and just indulge in propaganda themselves.”

Henry Chiu Hail, an American PhD candidate in sociology at UC Irvine, recalls befriending a Chinese classmate a decade ago, while studying for his masters. “I thought I would shock her with American democracy, and show her all this stuff she never knew about her own country,” Hail says. “I think a lot of Americans get off on that idea: that they’re going to liberate the minds of overseas students.”

As he began sending her materials critical of China’s government and the bloody Beijing crackdown of 1989, he found that her interest quickly turned to defensiveness and even charges that Americans are anti-China. The experience piqued his curiosity, leading him to conduct a qualitative study in which he interviewed 18 Chinese students at the University of Hawaii about past political discussions with Americans. “On some level, every single one of them was able to relate to this idea that Americans are biased or ignorant about China,” he says.

In many ways, interactions like these play into the Communist Party’s patriotic education campaign, which Chinese students are subjected to growing up...

This narrative also asserts that China’s economic success under one-party rule shows that Western-style democracy is unsuitable for the country. Those who say otherwise are arrogant, don’t understand China or have ulterior motives. One question from a graduate-school entrance exam, for instance, juxtaposes the 2008 global financial crisis with American political scientist Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 “End of History” essay, which claimed Western liberal democracy to be the endpoint of mankind’s ideological evolution. “However, 20 years of history has shown us that history didn’t end,” the test asserts. “What ended was the Western sense of superiority.”...

“In China, I never noticed I’m Chinese because everyone is Chinese,” he says. “But then, coming to the US, the first thing people ask is where you’re from, and then their interaction with you goes from that point on.”

Wang was mortified to learn that, for some of his peers, his identity included things like eating cats and dogs, and that he should answer for sociopolitical issues he hardly knew or cared about. When challenged on these issues, he often found himself resorting to propaganda phrases he didn’t necessarily believe in: “That’s our internal affair” and “The West always applies double standards.”

Even as he gained a better grasp of these issues, he argued with classmates, even if deep down he agreed with them. “Maybe just 5 per cent of these conversations were rational dialogue, where we were trying to learn more and be open-minded,” Wang says. “Most of it was just knee-jerk reactions on both ends. When we’re 18, we’re very self-conscious and pretty insecure about our self-identity anyway. I think the combination of dealing with national identity and personal insecurity is a pretty potent mix.”

Hail recalls that during his interviews his study subjects would often criticise such things as China’s widespread corruption, only to backtrack and express guilt for betraying their country in front of an American. Many affirmed that they had frequently criticised the Chinese government when they lived in China.

“While abroad, however, the concepts of ‘the people’ and ‘the government’ tended to blend together as national identity became more salient”...

There are also those like Yang Shuping. Last May, the graduating University of Maryland senior was chosen to deliver a commencement speech. “When I took my first breath of American air, I put my mask away,” she said in her eight-minute address. “The air was so sweet and fresh, and oddly luxurious [...] At the University of Maryland, I soon [felt] another kind of fresh air for which I will be forever grateful – the fresh air of free speech.”...

Yang received a standing ovation from those in attendance, but within a day, Yang learned that what might endear you to American peers can make you public enemy No 1 back home. Videos of her remarks went viral on Chinese social media. The University of Maryland’s CSSA quickly released its own video, expressing pride in China and calling Yang’s statements “deceptions and lies”. Chinese state media piled in with a raft of articles and commentaries condemning Yang. Some social media users called for a “human flesh search” to dig into her background – the supposed home address of her family was circulated in the comments sections of articles. Even the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs weighed in...

If the aim was to deter others from espousing views like Yang’s, it worked. Many students interviewed for this article say her vilification has influenced what they’re willing to say publicly.

The day after delivering the speech, Yang posted an apology on Weibo. “I love my country and hometown and am proud of its prosperity,” she said. “I’m deeply sorry and hope for forgiveness.”

Young adults like Yang who develop an enthusiastic appreciation for Western societies (particularly in the political realm) are one of the Communist Party’s greatest fears, and some analysts say the Chinese state is going to greater and greater lengths to neutralise them.

In 2013, an internal Party communiqué instructed cadres to stop schools and media from discussing taboo topics that included Western constitutional democracy, universal values, civil society, neoliberalism, press freedom, historical nihilism and questioning whether China’s system is truly socialist. It is widely thought to be what precipitated an extensive campaign against “Western values”.

Over the past year, this campaign has zeroed in on domestic universities, with ideological inspections of teaching staff and the bolstering of political education. But the roughly 800,000 Chinese students who are studying in overseas universities not under the Party’s control present a blind spot, and authorities view them as a critical constituency – potentially even a security threat.

Some Party arms have tried to disincentivise studying abroad. Restrictions have tightened on international schools that prepare students for overseas study. Some students have reported trouble accessing foreign admissions websites through China’s censored internet. Meanwhile, state media provides a steady drumbeat of reasons not to study overseas (it’s hard to find a marriage partner; it no longer assures you employment; you can get kidnapped and murdered, and local authorities won’t care, etc).

Minzner, a professor of Chinese law and politics at Fordham University School of Law, in New York, and author of the forthcoming book End of an Era: How China’s Authoritarian Revival Is Undermining its Rise, says that the ethos of the post-1979 reform period has been that China needs to learn from the outside in order to develop at home. But that page is now turning.

“There are questions being raised at a very deep level within the bureaucracy about how valuable that stuff from outside is,” Minzner says. “This nativist turn is leading Beijing to steadily impose stronger curbs on influences viewed as ‘foreign’ – whether it be Christmas traditions or overseas academic publications.”

The Communist Party’s United Front Work Department, charged with managing relations with critical groups outside of the Party, has identified overseas students as one of 12 special targets for ideological guidance and promotion of Party policies. The organisation has said focusing on these students is important for “consolidating and expanding the Party’s popular base”. A 2016 Ministry of Education document similarly called for a network linking “the motherland, embassies and consulates, overseas student groups, and the broad number of students abroad” in order to harness “patriotic energy” among overseas students.

As Chinese student numbers have grown internationally, so have warnings that this “patriotic energy” has indeed been activated to the detriment of academic freedom and Western higher education. Nowhere has the volume of these warnings been louder than in Australia, where students from mainland China now make up more than 6 per cent of the country’s total university enrolments (compared with 1.7 per cent in the US).

Last year, four incidents involving Chinese students in Australian universities gained national notoriety. One lecturer used a map showing China-claimed territory as belonging to India. Another referred to Taiwan as an independent country and was secretly recorded in a confrontation with Chinese students. A third posted a warning not to cheat, written in English and Chinese. And a fourth used a test question suggesting that Chinese officials are only truthful when “drunk or careless”. News of the incidents spread on social media, were picked up by Chinese state media and yielded fierce backlashes against the lecturers – three of whom issued apologies; the fourth was suspended by his university...

The scope of these operations is difficult to determine, but professors at universities around the world have recounted instances of students reporting back to higher officials on the activities of their classmates and lecturers, sometimes under duress.

Robert Barnett, director of Columbia University’s Modern Tibetan Studies Programme, recalls having had students apply to be his research assistant, only later to discover that they were acting at the behest of Chinese consular officials. He also knows that his lectures, and what Chinese students say in them, have been monitored. “I’ve had students suddenly given warnings by Chinese officials about me or things they’ve said in class,” he says. “In one case, it happened within a few hours of it being said.”

Sally Sargeson, an associate professor at Australian National University who teaches courses in Chinese politics, says Chinese students have expressed fears of this happening to them. “I had a student in tears in my office, saying that she dare not speak up in class,” Sargeson says. “Other students I know of have had parents in China contacted by public security, invited to come have tea, and told they need to keep their child in Australia in line.”

Essentially, CSSA branches are campus groups that organise social activities and practical assistance for students, and so are a natural attraction for many new arrivals transitioning to life abroad. Recently, though, they’ve come under scrutiny for some chapters’ murky ties to Chinese consulates and attempts to shut down activities critical of Communist Party interests. Last year, the CSSA and Chinese Embassy in London teamed up to try to block an event at England’s Durham University featuring Falun Gong-practising Chinese-Canadian beauty queen Anastasia Lin, who has been outspoken against the Communist Party. Later in the year, a student journalist at Australian National University reported that he was followed and intimidated by CSSA members while covering an “I love China 2.0” gala organised by the CSSA and funded by the Chinese Embassy in Australia...

One 2014 Australian government survey found that mainland Chinese students’ satisfaction with opportunities to interact with Australians is nearly 10 per cent lower than for other international student groups...

International students willing to pay for their tuition represent a welcome source of revenue for Western universities struggling with budget cuts, particularly since the global financial crisis. A 2016 California state audit, for instance, found that the University of California system had lowered admissions standards for out-of-state students (36 per cent of whom are from mainland China) for the purpose of collecting more tuition fees.

Many critics charge that this has yielded large sub-groups of Chinese overseas students who are linguistically and academically unprepared to succeed...

One 2016 survey of nearly 1,000 Chinese students studying at Purdue University – a large public college in rural Indiana – found that 29 per cent reported developing a more negative attitude toward the US since their arrival, with 26 per cent reporting a more positive attitude, and the rest remaining unchanged...

Opinions were a bit less diverse when it came to their own country. Forty-four per cent said their attitude toward China had become more positive since coming to the US, with 17 per cent reporting a more negative view...

One Yale University study found that 45 per cent of Chinese students surveyed at American universities reported symptoms of depression – triple the rate of the general population. Studies in Britain and Australia have yielded similar results...

She remembers biting her lip once when a Taiwanese classmate referred to Taiwan as a country. “It was in front of many Chinese students and no one stood up to defend,” she recalls with disappointment. “I should have [challenged her], but I was such a coward, so I didn’t.” In another situation, she did speak up – to defend China’s claim to the Diaoyu Islands when a peer said the disputed territory belonged to Japan. “It p***ed me off, but that’s when I realised I was really affected by the Chinese education system – always taught to defend our country no matter what.”

A recent graduate from Shanghai, who goes by the name Forrest Sam, recalls that when he was preparing to study in the US, a family friend warned that his son’s English actually got worse while studying in Canada for four years. This made Sam determined to avoid falling into a Chinese bubble.

When he arrived at University of California, Berkeley, he was indeed struck by how many of his classmates insulated themselves in Chinese enclaves. Referring to religious clubs for students, Sam says that Chinese automatically split up according to their place of origin. “Even for one religion, there are four separate clubs for students from the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau,” he says. “They’re so good at creating divisions.”...

“I want to stay out of the political s**t,” he says. “It’s just too messy. I normally don’t start a conversation with people saying, ‘What do you think of Taiwan?’ That’s pretty much picking a fight.”...

One 2007 survey of students at several Beijing universities found that 56 per cent said they liked the overall American political system; only 4 per cent disliked it (the rest were neutral). This decisively beat the 28 per cent who said they liked China’s overall political system; 22 per cent expressed dislike.

A 2011 survey of students at one college found that 73 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement, “Western political systems are very appropriate for [China].” Only 7 per cent disagreed. The same study found that the political education that Chinese students are subject to isn’t particularly effective at endearing them to their leadership – greater comprehension of the education didn’t correlate with greater support of the Chinese government (though it did make them less inclined to express dissent through activities like joining a strike or protest)...

Overestimation of foreign countries’ socioeconomic conditions strongly correlated with interest in going abroad. It likewise correlated with having more negative views of China and the Chinese government. “But once they come to the West, they often realise there are a lot of things that aren’t as good as they thought before,” Huang says. “So they update their perceptions.”"


I guess Yang Shuping learned that China really has free speech after all

Maybe Chinese students are just prone to depression - even in China

Links - 15th July 2019 (1) (John Cleese on London being English)

RAMZPAUL on Twitter - "These are the people discussing what it means to be English
Good Morning Britain: *6 brown people around a table*
'John Cleese: Racist Tweet? Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Comedian Dom Joly have criticised the post'"
We are told that diversity is important - but that only applies in one direction. Panels without representation from 'minorities' are a bad thing, but presumably it's good to have no majority representation

John Cleese Criticised for Saying London Is 'No Longer an English City' | Good Morning Britain - YouTube
It's amazing how much some of the guests read into his tweet.
Luckily the female host pushed back and pointed out he could be talking about things like humour, and that Russian and Arab money had really changed London
Also one guest suggested that 42% of the population not being born in the country means something, if 50% of the people in London were Scottish we could say it was very English and that since he was born in Russia he can't say he's from London/England and that he identifies as British not English. And another said it was nostalgic, not racist


John Cleese on Twitter - "Some years ago I opined that London was not really an English city any more Since then, virtually all my friends from abroad have confirmed my observation So there must be some truth in it... I note also that London was the UK city that voted most strongly to remain in the EU"

British actor John Cleese says his comments about London are 'culturalist' not 'racist' - ""It might interest those people who seem to think my remarks about London are racist as opposed to culturalist, to consider that what I like about spending time in Nevis," the 79-year-old posted. "Nevis has excellent race relations, a very well-educated population, no sign of political correctness......He continued: "......no sign of Rupert Murdoch, conscientious lawyers, a relaxed and humorous life style, a deep love of cricket, and a complete lack of knife crime And, of course, wonderful weather (sic)." The Monty Python star was not done there and, in another dig at the UK city, he added: "And the icing on the cake is that Nevis is not the world centre for Russian dirty money laundering.""

John Cleese defends remarks about London 'not being English city' - "The comedian said: 'For example, I prefer cultures that do not tolerate female genital mutilation. Will this will be considered racist by all those who hover, eagerly hoping that someone will offend them - on someone else's behalf, naturally.'... 'I suspect I should apologise for my affection for the Englishness of my upbringing, but in some ways I found it calmer, more polite, more humorous, less tabloid, and less money-oriented than the one that is replacing it.'"

Why the herd hates Cleese - "Cleese had said that London is “no longer an English city”.The remark was made in the aftermath of the 2011 riots – during which several nights of violence paralysed the capital and briefly spread to other parts of the country. The point Cleese was making was obviously based on personal observation and said not in a spirit of venom or demagoguery but merely one of observation and regret. Which in any sane and normal world would have been an end to it... You would get the same response, as I have explained in my last book, if you were to remark upon the official findings of the 2011/12 UK census. Which found that people who identify as ‘white British’ are a minority in London.Whether it is Conservative or Labour politicians in charge, after the initial outrage, the mob always comes back after any such observation is made: “Diversity is our strength.” This means, then, that the progression of their general argument in relation to the demographic and cultural make-up of London goes something like this: 1) You can’t say that. 2) It’s not true. 3) It is true but it’s great.Whenever anybody discusses the findings of the last census, this is the response: don’t mention it; you’re lying; it’s true so deal with it... In 1979, when ‘The Life of Brian’ was released, Cleese and his Python partner Michael Palin were memorably involved in a television debate with the then Bishop of Southwark, Mervyn Stockwood, and the then prominent Catholic convert Malcolm Muggeridge. The debate can still be seen through the miracle of YouTube. It has generally been agreed in the intervening years that Stockwood and Muggeridge did not win the argument.In that studio, 40 years ago, Cleese and Palin stared down the clerical, po-faced, literalists, one of whom was of course literally wearing clerical gowns. On that occasion, Cleese made an especially impassioned and precise defence of the rights of comedians and anybody else to say what they liked even about those things which other people held to be sacred.And he also, crucially, insisted on sticking to the significance of facts... In the world of social media mobs, this is an un-returnable move. To not prostrate yourself before the mob is an unforgivable move. To behave like an independent adult, with a mind of your own, confident in your own opinions and receptive (though dismissive when necessary) of the opinions of others, is something the herd cannot deal with.Well good. Forty years ago Cleese’s opponents actually wore clerical frocks. Today, they might as well. Forty years ago they talked of “heresy” and “blasphemy”. Today, they talk about “diversity” and its “celebration”. They are the same breed, these opponents. Always scolding. Always unamusing. Always hypocritical. What a glorious sight it is to see that while the clerical class has entirely changed over the last 40 years, John Cleese has not."

The John Cleese copypasta. Courtesy of /pol/ : copypasta - "he was a progressive liberal degenerate comedian in 1960s uber-white uber-polite Britain that could take the piss out of the people he saw as uptight and repressed while enjoying the clean, safe streets and quiet little hamlets full of those same, uptight, repressed, polite-to-a-fault, helpful, white Christian anglos. the best part was that those same conservative British anglos were generally pretty humorous about themselves, so when you made fun of them they laughed along with you and shook their heads, saying "haha, you know Margie, he's got a point!" it was heaven on earth for him. be a popular "counter-culture" icon loved by conservatives and liberals alike for being hilarious, but also enjoy the benefits of a strong, stable, homogeneous culture.
now he's an old man staring at a desolate wasteland where London is majority non-white, everyone is suspicious, the hamlets and villages are economic dead-zones, every week there's a new group you're not allowed to make fun of, no one has a sense of humor anymore, little girls are being sold as sex slaves by your own politicians, women are being harassed in the streets and the white men are all suspicious and surly over their lowered living standards. the sinking realization that the world he made fun of, but loved more than anything, is gone forever and will never come back. and the horrifying suspicion that his own counter-culture irreverence may have helped kill it. so he impotently gripes on twitter and wonders where the laughter went? when did the jokes stop? where are those wonderful, repressed and uptight conservatives?"

A city without citizens - "I know someone, now in the twilight of her life, who has lived on the same London street for the past 45 years. Many of her local friends have died or moved away. Where the street once buzzed with English, spoken in a variety of accents, now you can go through an entire day without hearing English. From her small terraced house, she hears Pashto over one garden fence, Romanian over the other. In the nearby row of shops, the English-speaking Indian-owned mini-supermarkets have given way to Polish shops outside which young men gather every evening, speaking Polish. The cockney greengrocer and small butcher’s are distant memories – they disappeared three decades ago – and the most common shops now are African barbers and Eastern European markets with grand names like ‘International Food Emporium’. The people inside rarely speak English.This person says she often feels lonely and isolated, like a foreigner on her own street. Does that make her racist?... The time she feels nostalgic for is one in which her nextdoor neighbours, and best friends, were a black family. And where her other neighbours were a Jewish couple (the first Jews she ever met). And where you couldn’t buy anything locally without having a conversation with an expressively English-speaking Indian shop-owner. Life was diverse then, but diversity wasn’t the purpose of life. The accidental fact of diversity was entirely subservient to the conscious yearning for common speech and common concerns. People spoke English, they spoke about similar things, they felt connected. There were many foreigners, or descendants of foreigners, but the street didn’t feel foreign.That has changed. This street, like others in London, feels foreign now... The 2011 census found that one in 50 people in the UK cannot speak English well or at all. In Newham, Brent and Tower Hamlets, more than eight per cent of inhabitants do not have an ‘effective command of English’. Should we celebrate that as diversity, or see it as entirely debilitating to the individuals concerned that they cannot converse in the national language? Isn’t cheering the ‘diversity of languages’ deeply irresponsible given that it detracts attention from the fundamental alienation these non-English speakers must experience on a daily basis?... To me, however, it is clear that London feels like a city without citizens, and while that might benefit elites that prefer their populations to be passive and separate, it is a disaster for the people of this great city and for the values of the United Kingdom"
Presumably you don't need to speak English to be English. That's racist

Afghan asylum seeker 'was fuelled by desire to kill English people' - "An Afghan asylum seeker who allegedly attacked random members of the public with a knife was 'fuelled' by a desire to kill English people, a court heard.Samiulahaq Akbari, 32, is accused of swinging a 10ins kitchen knife at three 'total strangers' within a 10-minute period in Thornton Heath and Croydon in south London after 'demanding to know their nationality'.Jurors at the Old Bailey in London were told he approached the first alleged victim, Nicholas Speight, in a Tesco Extra in Thornton Heath on January 8, tapping him on the shoulder.After Mr Speight confirmed he was English, Akbari allegedly 'took a powerful swing at him' with the blade"
He didn't get the memo about everyone in London being English

Willem Pearson on Twitter - "I'm an ethnic European whose family has been in South Africa for 330 years. I was born in KwaZulu Natal (place of the Zulus) and can speak Zulu yet these same people would laugh at me if I told them I was a Zulu."
"> European with roots in SA going back 3 centuries --> still not African
> African who arrived in Italy yesterday by boat --> just as European as you!"

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Links - 14th July 2019 (2)

IRCTC Just Schooled a Man Who Complained About Porn Ads on Their App - ""Obscene and vulgar ads are very frequently appearing on the IRCTC ticket booking app. This is very embarrassing and irritating," he wrote, asking the railway ministry, IRCTC and union minister Piyush Goyal to look into the matter...
"Irctc uses Googles ad serving tool ADX for serving ads.These ads uses cookies to target the user. Based on user history and browsing behaviour ads are shown. Pl clean and delete all browser cookies and history to avoid such ads"."

Logic, Empathy, Honesty - Posts - "Girls' and womens' feelings AND bodies are valued INFINITELY more in the West than those of boys and men, and paradoxically, this is the reason people believe they are oppressed."
"This was shared to r/unpopularopinion. It was removed by moderators. Just think about that for a minute."

McDonald's Curry Sauce, so good it almost caused a riot - " Sometime in the 1990s, Curry Sauce was added to McDonald’s in Singapore.
Before 14 Nov 2011, it was truly a great time to be living in. People had UNLIMITED CURRY SAUCE privileges.
But alas, good times never last. 14 Nov 2011, Singapore unexpectedly ran out of curry sauce (!!!) #ripcurrysauce
A week later the curry sauce was back… but tasted different.
It just wasn’t the same. People cried. People rioted. The old sauce had peanuts. The new had soybeans.
From then on, unlimited curry sauce privileges were removed from the population and we had to ration curry sauces.
Times were bad, and people had to fork out hard earned money for a meager portion. Some even begged secondary school kids for curry sauce (evidence required).
Feb 2015, the sauce once again disappeared, this time due to a congestion at the United States West Coast ports.
June 2015, it returned.
July 2016, McDonald’s sold 375ml bottles of the stuff for S$4.50, limited to 4 per customer, Purchase with Purchase. Apparently sold out in a week or two.
30 May 2019, McDonald’s to sell 375ml bottles again, for S$5.50, limited to 4 per customer, Purchase with Purchase."

CPD Files Show Smollett Paid O Bros For Pot, Ecstasy and Cocaine - "Newly released investigative files from the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax show that the Empire star used Venmo to pay his accomplices for pot, ecstasy, and cocaine. The documents, which were made public on Thursday, a week after a Cook County Circuit Court judge ordered their release, reveal in detail how the Osundairo brothers described the staged attack.The documents also show that police found inconsistencies between what Smollett told them right after the alleged attack and what he later claimed during his interview on Good Morning America.And in a brand new development, Chicago police described in one document that the Cook County State's Attorney's Office informed them on February 28, almost a month before the charges against Smollett were dropped, that they would be settle with Smollett, and have him pay $10 thousand in restitution to the city of Chicago, as well as do "community service."... Judge Steven Watkins said in his order last week that Smollett’s actions both before and after his case was dismissed "did not appear to be those of someone seeking to maintain his privacy."
Maybe there're liberals who still believe that the police are making everything up and that Smollett was really a victim

Police Release Records On Jussie Smollett Case: Read The Full Text - "The final release will be pertinent video files that require a heavy amount of digital redaction for things like license plates of unrelated vehicles and the blurring of faces of individuals not involved in the criminal investigation. We hope to have that completed by the week after next."
The Chicago Police Department is really dedicated in forging hundreds of pages of records

Facebook Users Value the Service More Than Investors Do - "He and his team asked some 1,300 Facebook users, from colleges, community, and online samples, to put a dollar number on the value the social network brings to their lives. Specifically, they asked users how much they'd need to be paid to deactivate their accounts. And the stakes were real. If a user's offer was accepted, she'd have to deactivate her account, for up to a year. And Cash—remember, that’s the actual name of the economist, Cash—would have to pony up the money."We did have some budget breaking surprises."But how big of a surprise? Cash and his team found that, on average, users asked for more than $1,000 dollars in exchange for shutting down their accounts for a year... If you divide Facebook's market capitalization by its number of users—more than 2.2 billion—you'd find that each user is worth about $175 bucks to investors. But actual users seem to prize access to the platform at more than five times that. Not that Cash and his team are suggesting CEO Mark Zuckerberg should charge that much for access. What they're measuring instead, is what’s called consumer surplus—or more simply put, the additional perceived value—that users get from using the service."

Malaysia will use Huawei 'as much as possible', says Mahathir - "Dr Mahathir said: "Yes, there may be some spying. But what is there to spy (on) exactly in Malaysia? We are an open book.""Everybody knows, if any country wants to invade Malaysia, they can walk through, and we will not resist because it's a waste of time."
I knew Singapore's National Service was pointless!

Rein in politicized judges and their injunctions - "on issue after issue, liberal district judges have blocked President Trump’s executive orders or rules promulgated by his administration. The most prominent example occurred when Trump ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program. Even though DACA was created out of thin air by an executive memorandum by President Barack Obama, three separate district judges ruled that Trump could not undo it using the same presidential power. All three said their orders apply nationwide... district judges have issued at least 37 nationwide injunctions against the Trump administration in barely more than two years. They issued such injunctions only 27 times in the entire 20th century, he said. The Trump administration has been hounded by such injunctions more than any other, but the threat applies across ideological lines. A trial judge in Texas, for example, blocked an ill-advised Obama administration directive that public schools allow students to use bathrooms corresponding with their chosen “gender identity,” not their biological sex... A New York University Law Review paper in October 2017 listed many practical problems with such injunctions, and its key point was that they violate constitutional principles, undermining "the structural design of the federal courts by allowing a single lower court to make nationwide law.”"

Bikini Car Wash (Funny video)

Abrams: 'Identity politics is exactly who we are and exactly how we won' - "Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Wednesday urged Democrats to embrace identity politics, at a time when the issue has become a source of debate within the party.Speaking at the Center for American Progress’s Ideas Conference, Abrams warned that the term “identity politics” had been twisted by those aiming to silence emergent minority voters seeking political power for the first time... Buttigieg, a 2020 presidential contender who is white and gay, ignited a fierce debate among Democrats earlier this month when he said that “so-called identity politics” had contributed to a “crisis of belonging” in the country that has “divided and carved up” people of different backgrounds... In his speech to a prominent LGBTQ group, Buttigieg said that “divisive lines of thinking” had seeped into the Democratic Party, leaving some feeling as if they need to “choose between supporting an auto worker and supporting a trans woman of color, without stopping to think about the fact that sometimes the auto worker is a trans woman of color.”"
I guess this is why she won. Oh wait, she didn't.
Then again some people claim Bernie won in 2016


An Influencer With Two Million Followers Couldn't Sell 36 Items From Her Brand

White Women Can Now Go To Dinners So That They Can Be Shamed For Racism - "Race To Dinner is aimed at white women and was co-founded by Saira Rao after her 2018 congressional run, according to the website.The group’s website points out that the company’s goal isn’t to make white women comfortable. Its aim is to be seen and heard by white women, whose only job is to sit during the dinner and “bear witness” to their pain, which they say white women have caused... Even if you don’t think that you are racist, you are, according to Race To Dinner. Denouncing Trump, the KKK and Nazis does not exempt you from racism, this group says. Rather, “as a white person in America, you are an active participant in upholding white supremacy.” Everyone is a part of the system, the website says, but “Black and Brown” people are “on the receiving end of white supremacy” while white women “are on the giving end.”"

Did Cellphones Bring Down Crime Rates in the '90s? - "The intriguing new theory suggests that the arrival of mobile phones made holding territory less important, which reduced intergang conflict and lowered profits from drug sales.Lena Edlund, a Columbia University economist, and Cecilia Machado, of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, lay out the data in a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. They estimate that the diffusion of smartphones could explain 19 to 29 percent of the decline in homicides seen from 1990 to 2000... The criminologist Maria Tcherni-Buzzeo published a review of the contending theories in 2018 that found no fewer than 24 different explanations for why crime began a multi-decade decline in the early 1990s, through economic times good and bad, in different countries and cities, under draconian policing regimes and more progressive ones... For the period from 1990 to 1999, the Brennan Center found that all the following factors combined explained only about a quarter of the drop: increased incarceration, increased police numbers, aging population, growth in income, decreased alcohol consumption, and unemployment. They also concluded that the decrease in environmental lead exposure and crack use and the increase in abortions “possibly” had some effect... While most of the researchers above have focused narrowly on the 1990s crime decline, Tcherni-Buzzeo has a different temporal perspective. In her review paper, she showed a broader pattern of centuries of declining human violence. From that view, all the ways the entire world has changed can be summed to more peace, and the real aberration was the spike in crime from the 1960s through the 1980s."

Ultra-Orthodox Jews Flee After Protesters Strip To Bras - "Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews clashed with police in Jerusalem over the weekend in protest of the Eurovision Song Contest final, which was held on Shabbat... The protestors, shouting “Shabbes” in Yiddish, claimed the scheduling of the international contest was a “desecration” of the Jewish day of rest, the BBC reported. A small group of women held a counter-protest by taking off their shirts, revealing their bras and causing the protesters to go elsewhere. Orthodox Jews live by strict modesty codes and are forbidden from looking on immodestly-dressed women."

Jesse Singal on “The problems with implicit bias tests”

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 192 - Jesse Singal on “The problems with implicit bias tests”

"'A solid minority of even black test takers are also implicitly biased against their own race... The most common alternative explanation, and this has been proposed in literature a lot by several different researchers is: if you're aware of negative stereotypes about black people, you might be quicker to associate words like “crime” with black faces or victim or violence with black faces. If that's the case then that could generate a biased score of IAT, even though you're not implicitly biased against black people, you're just aware of these negative stereotypes.

There was one particularly ingenious experiment in which researchers actually created a new non-existent you could call either a race or a species called Noffians, N-O-F-F-I-A-N-S. By inducing in the experiments participants the idea that Noffians are this down-trodden group that society doesn't like, they were able to generate-... When Noffians were oppressed for example, people would score a higher IAT about Noffians.'

'More biased, more -- what we would have naively assumed was bias against Noffians?... And obviously they can't actually have any reason to think Noffians are bad because they're a made up group. And all we know is they have been oppressed.'

'Right, exactly. That was what was so ingenious about the experiment, was in this case there was no other explanation but that if you view a group as down-trodden, it might boost your IAT score regarding that group'...

'We're talking about, in some cases, a difference in reaction time of a couple hundred milliseconds. If you have a pie that is 200 milliseconds, how big a slice of the pie is actual implicit bias? How big is associations? How big is problems with the way the test is designed, or with error?The basic problem is that people have assumed the whole pie, or most of it, is something that we can genuinely call implicit bias against a group. But the studies trying to connect IAT scores to actual behavior in a lab setting simply haven't really shown that...

The most recent sophisticated meta-analysis showed that IAT scores account for less than 1% of the variance in racist behavior in a lab setting... this test does not come close to the level of test / re-test reliability we would expect for any instrument professionally used to measure anxiety, depression or anything else.The reason why it blew up the way it did and became this viral sensation, despite performing so poorly in terms of its psychometric attributes, is an important question...

It fairly consistently finds that women are more implicitly biased against women than men are... it basically shows that white women have the highest level of implicit bias. And any kind of man, white men, black men, Hispanic men are less implicitly biased when it comes to gender... It's basically just reported as implicit gender bias, which we can take safely to mean just that men are better than women, or better qualified for certain positions than women...

Generally speaking all women are more biased than all men, more implicitly biased... even strongly liberal women, they're more implicitly biased against women than far, far right men, so think about that for a minute...

I think this test tells white liberals a story they want to hear, and I'm including myself in that because I'm very much white and very much a liberal. There's something about the experience of taking this test that can make white liberals feel like they are taking part in the fight against racism.

Despite -- I'll try to be gentle, but often times white liberals don't really do much but take the IAT or tweet about racial injustice. Oftentimes, because of the crappy system that we have set up, we are perpetuating many of these forms of inequality. I think the IAT might give us an easy way out, to feel like we're fighting the good fight without actually doing anything.'

'There's this sort of ritual that people seem to go through of reporting their score with this really troubled, emotional tone, almost like a confessional, like ... This wasn't your phrasing, but it reminded me of some of the circles in the early '70s, like at Esalen or something, where people were sort of confessing their sins to the group in this really emotional way, almost exercising their bigoted demons or something.'...

'They made claims that significantly ran ahead of the evidence. That's most striking in some of the text of their book, where they really say, "This test does a great job predicting behavior, better than anything else we have, better than explicit measures."Two years later, they themselves are admitting in an academic journal that no one's going to read, "This test should not be used to diagnose individual levels of implicit bias." They themselves have admitted that.Why was there all this excitement over a test that, 20 years in, the architects of the test had to say, "You shouldn't use this on individuals."'...

'There's also this thing that I've seen some of ... Not from all proponents of the IAT, but from some of them, that's like: when they encounter criticism or pushback on the claims, they use the defense, "If you're criticizing the IAT, then maybe it's because you're a racist, or you don't care about racism," or something like that.'...

'It's just weird to see a totally different set of standards apply to the IAT than would apply to basically any other scientific project.'"

Links - 14th July 2019 (1)

“Men Are Scum”: Inside Facebook’s War on Hate Speech - "Facebook was taking down “men are scum”?Belsky hopped on a 500-person (Facebook) group of female comics. A bunch of them were getting banned for similar infractions, even as they reported sexist invective being hurled their way. They decided to protest by spamming the platform. On November 24, dozens of “men are scum” posts went up. And then … they came right down. Belsky was put back in Facebook jail. The women of Men Are Scum became a brief Internet cause célèbre, another data point in the never-ending narrative that Facebook doesn’t care about you... Another idea is to treat the genders themselves differently. Caragliano cues up a slide deck. On it is a graph showing internal research that Facebook users are more upset by attacks against women than they are by attacks against men. Women would be protected against all hate speech, while men would be protected only against explicit calls for violence. “Women are scum” would be removed. “Men are scum” could stay.Problem solved? Well … not quite. Bickert foresees another hurdle. “My instinct is not to treat the genders differently,” she tells me. “We live in a world where we now acknowledge there are many genders, not just men and women. I suspect the attacks you see are disproportionately against those genders and women, but not men.” If you create a policy based on that logic, though, “you end up in this space where it’s like, ‘Our hate-speech policy applies to everybody—except for men.’ ” Imagine how that would play... For philosophical and financial reasons, Facebook was established with one set of universally shared values. And in order to facilitate as much “sharing” as possible, no one group or individual would be treated differently from another. If you couldn’t call women “scum,” then you couldn’t call men “scum,” either... Facebook’s campus exists, in other words, as a physical manifestation of its business model: a privatization of the public square... Bickert is articulating not just the classic Facebookian position that sharing is good, but also what used to be a fairly uncontroversial idea, protected by the First Amendment, that a democratic society functions best when people have the right to say what they want, no matter how offensive. This Brandeisian principle, she fears, is eroding. “It’s scary,” she says. “When they talk to people on U.S. college campuses and ask how important freedom of speech is to you, something like 60 percent say it’s not important at all. The outrage about Facebook tends to push in the direction of taking down more speech. Fewer groups are willing to stand up for unpopular speech.”
So much for feminism being about equality and feminists not hating men (at least Facebook is slightly less bad about double standards than, say, Twitter).

Reebok Russia stirs controversy with 'face-sitting' slogan in feminist ad campaign - "“Sit not on the needle of men’s approval – sit on men’s face.”The provocative slogan could have come straight from a Femen protest but it was actually featured in an advert by sportswear company Reebok in Russia."

Dear Men, Feminism Needs You – Jessica Valenti - "men can and should figure out for themselves how to be a true ally to women — without creating more work for us"
Given that she's busy bathing in male tears, this speaks to an immense sense of clueless entitlement

How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain | George Monbiot - "Among the world’s biggest political spenders are Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries, a vast private conglomerate of oil pipelines and refineries, chemicals, timber and paper companies, commodity trading firms and cattle ranches. If their two fortunes were rolled into one, Charles David Koch, with $120bn, would be the richest man on Earth... We found three payments over the past two years from the Charles Koch Foundation. They amount to $170,000 (£130,000), earmarked for “general operating support”. The payments were made to Spiked US Inc... the Charles Koch Foundation has now given Spiked US Inc a total of $300,000, “to produce public debates in the US about free speech, as part of its charitable activities”. She claims the foundation supports projects “on both the left and the right”. The Koch Foundation has funded “a free speech-oriented programme of public debates on campus titled the Unsafe Space Tour” and four live events, the first of which is titled “Should we be free to hate?” She told me: “We’re very proud of our work on free speech and tolerance, and we are proud to be part of the programme.”"
Libertarianism and free speech are the new "hard-right"
It's only okay when Soros does it - and if you complain about him, you are a "hard right" (or "far right") anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist


Even More Evidence That We’re Eating All Wrongt - "“The American Heart Association recommends that you keep your total fat consumption to less than 30 percent of total calories, and to keep your saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories,” says Dr. Sonia Anand, the director of the population genomics program at Canada’s McMaster University and an author on the studies. But Anand and her colleagues argue that current research fails to support the idea that saturated fat is the real heart killer. “This study adds a whole large data set for such bodies to consider," she says. "And it may be time to revise that recommendation.” ... The second study focused on fruit, vegetable, and legume intake. As expected, consumption of produce did indeed reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. But while the USDA recommends five servings per day, Anand and her colleagues found that the benefits (at least in terms of avoiding death from heart-related trouble) tapered off around three servings of fruits and vegetables per day. They also noted that raw vegetables seem to confer a stronger benefit than cooked. It may be that some of the nutrients destroyed by the cooking process are key"

Making A Fortune: 19 Million Public Employees Across America Cost Taxpayers Nearly $1 Trillion - "Tree trimmers in Chicago lopped off $106,000. New York City school janitors cleaned off $165,000 while out earning the principals at $135,000. Lifeguards in Los Angeles County, California, made up to $365,000. In the small school district in Southlake, Texas (8,000 students), the school superintendent earned $420,000... There were 105,000 local and state government employees out-earning every governor of the 50 states at a salary of $190,000 or more."

Friends Don't Let Friends Become Chinese Billionaires - "China Daily reported Friday that unnatural deaths have taken the lives of 72 mainland billionaires over the past eight years. (Do the math.)Which means that if you're one of China's 115 current billionaires, as listed on the 2011 Forbes Billionaires List, you should be more than a little nervous.Mortality rate notwithstanding, what's more disturbing is how these mega wealthy souls met their demise. According to China Daily, 15 were murdered, 17 committed suicide, seven died from accidents and 19 died from illness. Oh, yes, and 14 were executed. (Welcome to China.)I don't know about you but I find it somewhat improbable that among such a small population there could be so many "suicides," "accidents" and "death by disease" (the average age of those who died from illness was only 48). I'm only speculating but the homicide toll could really be much higher"

Legos have a surprisingly high price on the second-hand market - "According to research from Russia’s Higher School of Economics, Lego boasts an extremely high value when sold secondhand — and it actually has a higher rate of return than gold, bonds, and stocks.The study, published last month by assistant professor Victoria Dobrynskaya, is titled “The Toy of Smart Investors.” Dobrynskaya studied 2,000 Lego sets that were released between 1980 to 2014. She then compared their retail cost to how much they’d yield on the secondhand market in 2015. Dobrynskaya was surprised to find that plenty of Lego sets yielded a return rate of 11 percent, while others could be flipped at a whopping 613 percent.“Although it may seem odd to invest in a toy, a huge secondary market for Lego sets with tens of thousands of investors developed in the 2000s,” the study notes. “Lego is not just a toy, but also a reasonable alternative investment with average returns comparable to stock returns, low market and crash risks and a positive alpha.”"

Four-Year-Old Girl Calling Out Disney's Aladdin Goes Viral - "Madison questions why Jasmine needs Aladdin to show her the world, seeing as she's more than capable of exploring it herself"
"4 year old girl coached by her feminist mother tries to stir up shit about a movie that existed outrage-free in animated form for almost 30 years goes viral."

Goodbye Humanities—Hating White Males Is Not a Curriculum - "If you regard literary studies in the 1950s as a time when tweedy scholars were putting together standard editions of canonical writers such as Emily Dickinson, the respondents recall something else, “a moment in which white men possessed the power to determine the worthiness of the things around them.” If you think the job market was an embarrassment of riches for everyone in the field, you have only glamorized those “halcyon days of overabundant employment for white men whose purported civility wasn’t, it turns out, so civil.”There is more. If you have any nostalgia at all for those boom times, you fail to recognize “the very necessary unsettling of white male dominance.” After reading that line, you know that a list of previously excluded identities will soon follow... how many 19-year-old students want to take a class taught by teachers with such a racial and sexual chip on their shoulders? Apart from a batch of social justice kids who relish blaming the White Man for all social ills, few undergraduates find the approach appetizing... Undergraduates choose English because they love the material and are inspired by the teachers. English can’t rely on the kind of pipeline effect that feeds psychology, chemistry . . . whereby students choose those fields to “become” them (psychology majors become psychologists, chemistry majors become chemists. English has, at best, a weak parallel; English majors becoming English teachers.This is to say that English thrives only when its subject matter is treated affirmatively, and teachers have some charisma. How many students want to listen to identitarian teachers stand at the podium and complain about racism and sexism for 15 weeks?"
At least if you demonise white men, you have a ready market of racist and sexist students

Thread by @ZachG932: "1/n Spent some time on LexisNexis over the weekend. Depending on your political orientation, what follows will either disturb or encourage y […]" - "Spent some time on LexisNexis over the weekend. Depending on your political orientation, what follows will either disturb or encourage you. But regardless of political orientation, I'm sure we can all say 'holy fucking shit'
Number of news articles mentioning:
'Diversity and Inclusion'
'Whiteness'
'Critical Race Theory'
'Unconscious Bias'
'White Privilege'
'Systemic Racism'
'Diversity Training'
So many of these graphs look the same that, without the title, it looks like I'm simply reposting a single chart
Some of these terms (such as the one below) turn up so many results that I had to limit the search to a single news source
Number of New York Times articles mentioning:
'Privilege'
'Discrimination'
'Social Justice'
'Police Brutality'
'Marginalized'...
Note that the slope begins pointing upward before 2015, which is consistent with my findings that the 'wokening' was underway before Trump entered the picture."
The rise of political correctness, quantified

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Links - 13th July 2019 (3) (General Wokeness)

Google tends to push stories for left-leaning readers, study shows - "Google tends to only feature a handful of news outlets (all with a left-leaning audience) in their Top Stories box — a spot in search results every newsroom is clawing for. The study shows articles from publications with left-wing readers get about five times as many views as those with a right-leaning readership.The researchers from North Western University in Illinois used data from 2017 to test 30 articles for a month, collecting more than 6,300 links... Their audit showed outlets with a left-wing audience had 62.4 per cent of all article views compared to 11.3 per cent from the right. Even when accounting for stories that weren’t rated as having right or left readers, the researchers say the trend is still clear.The monopolization also became more apparent with certain searches. CNN and The New York times racked up three of four article views in a search for “rex tillerson.”... Newsrooms with left-wing readers produce twice as many stories as their counterparts, but Google seems to exaggerate the difference to three times as many stories, which means those articles end up in the Top Stories box more often."

“This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls” - Who are we really staging this for? | Facebook - "I watched Pangdemonium's This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls (TIWHTPG) on the night of Tuesday, 14 May 2019. I left Drama Centre Theatre distressed not just by the content of the show per se, but the means that Pangdemonium adopted to subvert the gross misconceptions that those who think they know "what happens to pretty girls" (which I still find a highly problematic title)... The way TIWHTPG was staged - I felt that the focus was shifted away from empowering survivors to say what they want to say, and towards giving a neutral bird's eye view of what happens in a consentless world. I respect the attempt to not be didactic, and to trust the audience to be independent and mature enough to think critically about what they watched. But when you stage a scene where one character is being forced to give a blowjob to another (this is just one example of the instances of sexual violence portrayed in the play) and follow it up with another intense scene involving victim blaming, without metaframing why sexual violence was portrayed with such realism - what are the implications?... Yes, ending sexual violence is a topic that everyone should think about, and talk about more openly. But to broach the discussion in such a in-your-face manner like in TIWHTPG? Now that I have watched the play, I have misgivings about bringing someone who has little to zero prior engagement with discussions of sexual violence. And I definitely wouldn't bring someone who has survived sexual violence to watch TIWHTPG. No one comes to the theatre to be reminded of the literal hell that they have gone through/are still going through."
Aka "This play is problematic because it doesn't shove the simplistic feminist narrative down the audience's throat. A play on sexual violence should not contain sexual violence, and should be a group therapy session"

White liberals dumb down language with minorities - "Democratic candidates used fewer words related to competence when speaking to minority audiences than they did to mostly white audiences. Meanwhile, the speeches of conservative candidates showed no significant difference... In a separate series of experiments, the researchers asked white participants to select words from a list to draft a hypothetical email to a stranger. Each recipient had been given a stereotypically white or black name — such as "Emily" or "Lakisha" — and the researchers had ranked each word on the list for competence and warmth.The results showed that participants who self-reported liberal views tended to avoid words that could make them look competent when addressing the black recipients, but not white recipients. Again, conservatives showed no significant difference in the language they used to white and black recipients."
Since treating people of different races equally is considered racist, this shows that Republicans are the true racists

The Infantilization of Black America - "We are expected to think, act, and vote as one, and any attempt to step outside the bounds of our pre-determined spectrum of thoughts can lead to summary excommunication. Our diversity pertains to our race, ethnicity, gender orientation, or sexual preference when set against the rest of the American population, but the diversity of opinions, beliefs, and values found among American blacks is seldom acknowledged. Even though the ‘black community’ in America includes immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, as well as multiracial individuals and descendants of the slave trade, we are often grouped together as one large indistinguishable ideological bloc... Black voters are expected to be Democrats—or at least left-leaning in their politics—not because of their views on this-or-that policy initiative, but because of the perceived racial attitudes of Republicans. But this has resulted in an odd paradox—despite black progressives’ professed hatred for ‘systemically racist’ government and institutions, they continue to trust in and empower those same institutions by voting for policies that strengthen them and their ability to hold sway in our lives. If you believe the government is oppressing you, it is surely counter-productive to demand that it take more of your money, that it institute policies that further criminalize your behavior, or that increase its ability to infringe on your privacy. Well-meaning white progressives, meanwhile, treat black Americans more like the family pet than the family friend, condescending to praise us when we align with their views, and ferally attacking when we don’t... While black Americans have been voting Democrat, the wealth gap between blacks and whites has widened... Of the ten poorest cities in America, nine are run by Democrats. Of the ten cities with the highest levels of unemployment, nine are run by Democrats. Of the ten most dangerous cities in America, eight are run by Democrats. In each case, those affected are disproportionately black, with blacks having higher rates of poverty, lower rates of income, and higher rates of criminality. Despite a dearth of evidence that voting Democrat has an inherently positive impact on life as a black man or woman in America, progressives continue to demonize any attempt by blacks to look for solutions beyond the Democratic echo chamber. The saddest part of this narrative is that liberals seem to think they have little of value to offer black voters besides apologies for past transgressions and a savior complex that promises to police current society’s racial shortcomings. Often the voices screaming the loudest following instances of racial animus or law enforcement misconduct belong to white progressives who have taken it upon themselves to champion causes on behalf of the politically mute or ‘marginalized.’ This embarrassing spectacle sometimes resembles an adult who humors a fractious infant just to reassure it that he is an amiable and unthreatening figure... The monocausal progressive explanation for black disadvantage is dangerous for two reasons. Firstly, it imposes a false conformity that helps ensure alternative hypotheses which might improve understanding of the underlying complexities of racial disparities in America are left unexplored and undiscussed. Secondly, the reflexive imputation of racial bias in situations where alternative explanations for behavior are readily available risks inducing a skeptical fatigue. So, when racism does rear its head, it has already been trivialized and risks being ignored"

Researchers publish U.S. data on police-related injuries - "An estimated 55,400 people were injured as a result of legal police interventions in the U.S. in 2012, a study found.Those interventions accounted for less than half a percent of all arrests that year... Miller had expected higher rates of death and injury during stops or arrests of minorities. “But it turns out, the probability you will be killed or seriously injured if (you are) stopped/arrested by the police is not affected by your race/ethnicity,” he said."

Black lies matter - "You would never know it from the activists, but police shootings are responsible for a lower percentage of black homicide deaths than white and Hispanic homicide deaths. Twelve percent of all whites and Hispanics who die of homicide are killed by police officers, compared to 4 percent of black homicide victims.That disparity is driven by the greatly elevated rates of criminal victimization in the black community. More blacks die each year from homicide, more than 6,000, than homicide victims of all other races combined. Their killers are not the police, and not whites, but other blacks. In Chicago this year through Aug. 30, 2,870 people, mostly black, were shot.If you believed the Black Lives Matter narrative, you would assume that the assailants of those black victims were in large part cops. In fact, the police shot 17 people, most of whom were threatening lethal force, accounting for 0.6 percent of the total... Police critics have never answered the question of what they think non-biased policing data should look like, in light of the vast differences in rates of criminal offending. Blacks commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. Black males between the ages of 14-17 commit gun homicide at nearly 10 times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined... Other research this year shows that blacks are actually shot less than whites by the police.The most sophisticated lab study of police shoot-don't-shoot decisions to date, published this year in Criminology and Public Policy, found that officers were three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects and took significantly longer to decide to shoot armed black suspects than armed white suspects.Lead investigator Lois James, from Washington State University, hypothesized that officers were second-guessing themselves when confronting black suspects, due to their awareness of the potential negative repercussions of shooting a black civilian. James' work anticipated a much-discussed working paper by Harvard economist Roland Fryer. He found that police officers in Houston were nearly 24 percent less likely to shoot blacks than whites... an analysis of police use of force by the Center for Policing Equity concluded, consistent with James and Fryer, that whites were disadvantaged compared to blacks when it comes to lethal force. Officers' use of lethal force following an arrest for a violent felony was over twice the rate for white arrestees than for black arrestees... Why, then, the widespread perception that there is a law enforcement war on blacks? Because the mainstream media relentlessly focuses on a handful of police shootings of blacks and ignores police shootings of whites, as well as the crime that brings officers into disproportionate contact with black suspects... In fact, fatal police shootings are rare, no matter the race of the victim... Police officers are far more likely to be killed by a black person than vice versa. Over the past decade, black males comprised 40 percent of all cop killers, though they are 6 percent of the population. That means that an officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer... Officers are routinely surrounded by hostile, jeering crowds when they try to conduct a street investigation or make an arrest. Resistance to arrest is up, officers report. Cops have been repeatedly told by Obama and the media that pedestrian stops and public order enforcement (known as "broken windows policing") are racist. In consequence, they are doing less of those discretionary activities in high-crime minority communities.The result? Violent crime is rising in cities with large black populations... The victims of this politically driven de-policing, what I have called the "Ferguson effect," are overwhelmingly black"

This filmmaker sat down neo-Nazis and jihadists. Here’s what she learned. - "In two documentary films, White Right: Meeting the Enemy and Jihad: A Story of the Others (both of which are currently streaming on Netflix), Khan sits down with white supremacists and jihadists (respectively) and tries to understand what’s really motivating them... it’s really, really easy for everybody involved to hate each other from afar, to judge each other from afar, but it’s much more difficult to hate up close and personal... Part of the reason people subscribe to these movements is that they feel shunned in their lives, in their personal lives or in wider society. These movements are deeply rooted in a sense of victimhood, real or imagined. So if we exclude them, if we shout at them, if we condemn them, that completely feeds into that. And then the monster gets bigger, not smaller... Much of it doesn’t come from hate. It comes from a lot of other basic human needs that are not being met. To be sure, there are political and social and economic factors involved on both sides, but if you dig deep, you find that it’s about much more than that.I tried to understand the core psychological draw of these movements. I found that a sense of belonging or purpose was a major factor... he actually became friends with the pastor of a mostly black church who lived in his apartment complex. The pastor invited him and his fiancée to his church, and Ken basically stood in front of everyone there and said, “I used to be in the Klan, now I’m in a neo-Nazi organization, these are the views I hold ...”And after he was done, people came up to him and hugged him and said, “Look, we detest what you stand for, but it takes a lot of courage for somebody like you to come in here and share what you have shared.”That was the last straw for him, where he realized that the people he hated so deeply are showing him nothing but kindness and compassion and an open heart, and are showing it to him even though he doesn’t deserve it. His whole ideology fell apart... we have to become active citizens and active human beings, and no matter what happens, we cannot afford to give up on each other. That means even people that we disagree with and people that we dislike. In fact, it matters more. It’s easy for me to like you. It’s easy for me to be nice to you because we probably see the world fairly similarly. That’s easy. That’s not when our principles really matter.It matters when you are able to extend it to somebody who might not deserve it, or who you might not like or might not agree with. Otherwise, we become just like them — and, in the process, do their bidding."
Funny, I thought screaming at them and punching "Nazis" was the answer/solution

Deeyah Khan's 'White Right' Shows How to Fight Racism - "anti-racists departed from the conventional wisdom that bigots are best excoriated and shunned (if not punched and kicked); engaged prominent, hard-core racists; and managed through civil interactions to persuade some of them to renounce their beliefs.Khan described similar results from her efforts to combat both jihadism and white-supremacist extremism—an outcome that she didn’t expect.“I’ve had experiences of racism most of my life,” she said. “As a result, I’ve been an anti-racist, anti-fascist campaigner for most of my life. I’ve done everything that you would imagine. I’ve gone to anti-fascist protests. I’ve shouted at these guys. I have flipped them off. I have thrown stuff at them. I’ve done all of that. And none of that really did anything.”Judging and condemning jihadists and white supremacists “feels great,” she declared, but yields little"

The Morality of Hypocrisy

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, The Morality of Hypocrisy

"[On being a libertarian] ‘I'm saying you're overregulating and taking away my freedom of choice. *You* are the one who has low standards, low standard of freedom and respect for civil liberties.’

‘Would you, would you like, the same applies to your kids as well?’

‘Obviously not. There are no libertarian fathers of teenage daughters. I can tell you that… if you want to ask about my hypocrisy, they better not be listening tonight.’...

‘There is an issue here with using hypocrisy as the sole element of how we judge somebody. In the political world, one of the things that we should look further, it's not just motive. It's not just attitude. It's not just what people say. It's what they actually managed to achieve. And in that respect, Michael Gove has an excellent record. In fact, if this whole drugs business wouldn't come up, he would be very much one of the front runners.

If you look at results, if you look at what people actually achieve, then you have to say to yourself, well, we don't necessarily want saints as our politicians. We just had a saint, she didn't achieve anything. That's not great. You know, I'm perfectly happy to have somebody who does more than just run through a field of wheat, if it means that what we actually get at the end is a well governed country’...

‘Is it quite hypocritical to accuse people of hypocrisy?’

‘I think it is, because we're all hypocrites. And the reason why from a psychological perspective we enjoy accusing other people of hypocrisy is because we get to project our own conflict onto them and say, that's the hypocrite over there. It's not me’

‘Misdirection’...

‘If you're going into politics, and you're a normal human being with all our normal hypocrisies, it seems that completely different rules apply to politicians. It’s, it's like, perhaps that’s why we get terrible politicians’

‘In a sense. I mean, there's an analogy I was thinking of just before, which is, if you found a really good cardiologist, and you found out they were a smoker, you might be a little bit offended that a cardiologist was a smoker. But if they're a great cardiologist, you still might want them to work on your heart. If however, you found out that the director of a smoking cessation charity was a smoker, you'd have a very different opinion of that, because they're, they’re so much more involved in that role.’...

‘Which in your view, is the greater problem, the hypocrisy or the deed?’...

‘I think neither is necessarily a deal breaker. You know, it's not it's not the end of the world. I think if someone has tried a Class A drug, I don’t think it means they should not be in public life. And I think an element of hypocrisy is on one hand necessary, that a politician has to uphold the law. If you're a public servant, you have to be seen to be upholding the public rules. So I think there's an inevitable hypocrisy and the word comes from the Greek of playing a role. And, you know, that's what public servants do, they have to pretend to be a bit purer than they are. And if we’re grown up, we'll see that that's, you know, part of life’...

'Hypocrisy might actually be useful to us. Because if we were to simply like Paul, rewrite all the laws so that we could live honestly, we might have no law whatsoever'...

'The fact that we've become so obsessed with this idea of hypocrisy. It's the one thing, and you know, we talked to the psychotherapist and he said, look, we're all bloody hypocrites, all of us are. And so how come it's this thing that's now, it Paul’s [sp?] stains, it’s the great gotcha in our media culture? And that's because we probably haven't got anything else. You know, we don't believe in any of the other stuff. And that’s essentially, rather terrifying’

‘In his words, the only peg you can hang people on’

‘That's extraordinary, not character, not morality, not what's right and wrong. Just hypocrisy.’...

‘That's part of where Donald Trump comes in. Everything leads back to Donald Trump inevitably. It's very difficult to explain why conservative evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, and he breaks every single one of their rules about character... people make excuses for the people that agree with and they see him as their weapon. And in a weird way, his lack of character is a good thing, because it suggests transparency. So in an odd way, he is not hypocritical and as much as you know what he's guilty of, and he smirks, and he admits to it, and therefore he is a legitimate weapon, because he's, he's their guy, he's their hypocrite’"
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