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Valar Qringaomis

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Links - 25th May 2016

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Meet the author: Marina Lewycka - "In fiction, not as in real life, the author is in control. So things can happen: you can have an argument with your boss at work, you get a parking ticket. But if you're writing about them, you can turn them into something funny and something in which you're the person that has the power"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 'There was no question that he was in charge' - "[On his class photo from 1983 with people of mixed ethnicity and religion]
There are more than 30 of us in this picture, and more than half of the people in this picture were either killed or had their family members killed.'
'One of the difficult things for you is that among those imprisoned with you were some of your old classmates, but also some of those classmates were themselves perpetrators.'
'Well some of my classmates were my prison guards. My high school teacher was my interrogator and my torturer. I knew most of the people who ran this place. And I didn't have a clue that I would end up in the same room. So when I saw him in there, I was shocked. Because you never expect your teacher to be in a place like that, cos, and especially this guy - we loved him. He was such a popular teacher. He was very nice to us. People were being taken out, tortured, killed. Women were raped and I could actually hear this happening just behind the wall of the room which I was kept. So it was a living hell. When I went back to Bosnia, 10 years after I was taken to the Omarska camp, I wanted to speak to him. I wanted to understand why him. At no point was he prepared to accept any responsibility for his involvement in those things, but ironically in a way he asked me to forgive him. And I couldn't forgive him at the time. I did forgive him after he died, I forgave all of them, but he died 2 years later so I never had the chance to talk to him again but today I work with his son'

Your inherited genes control your IQ and may affect how well you do at exams - "genes contribute to success in the full range of subjects from maths to art—and that the genetic influence stuck around even after they factored out the effects of intelligence. Other genetic, inherited traits might include mental health, personality, or motivation... A population that shows high levels of heritability can be interpreted as a sign of equality—the environment can't be radically different, or it would be the dominant influence. Take height as an example: people become taller or shorter adults because of a combination of their genes and various environmental factors, like nutrition in early childhood. In a country with high inequality, where some children receive adequate or excellent childhood nutrition and others starve, nutrition will play a very important role in how tall people are able to grow regardless of their genes—children with the genetic capacity to be very tall could be stunted by a poor environment. On the other hand, in a population where pretty much everyone is well-fed, the differences between people’s heights will be decided largely by genetics. The same goes for education: when everyone is receiving pretty much the same standard of education and has an equally good home life, their inherited traits and tendencies will play a more important role in their eventual results. When some people receive excellent education and others receive a much lower standard, educational “nutrition” will play an important role in the academic heights people can reach...For the authors, the most important result here is that intelligence isn’t the only heritable trait affecting results: echoing decades-old popular sentiment, they point to other traits like personality and motivation as important factors. They note that genes aren’t just a passive inheritance: genetic tendencies are likely to affect the choices made by teenagers and children, both selecting and interpreting their experiences of the world."

Testosterone Levels in Men Decline Over Past Two Decades, Study Shows - "The reasons for this decline are unclear; the study suggests that neither aging nor changes in certain health factors, such as obesity or smoking, can completely explain the phenomenon."

Cleveland Clinic says first uterus transplant in U.S. fails - "Other countries have tried womb transplants, and have reported some failures. Sweden reported the first successful birth in 2014, with a total of five healthy babies from nine transplants so far. The experimental technique is a new frontier that might one day offer women born without a uterus or who lost it to disease a chance at pregnancy, an alternative to adoption or surrogacy."

Why the Captain America: Civil War Movie Worked When the Comics Didn't
Maybe it's because the comics are fiendishly complicated and the movie universe, not so

Mom, I Love You, But Please Don’t Write Foreign Leaders Without Telling Me - "a letter from JFK to his mom, dated November 3, 1962. In it, the President tells his mother he has signed the copies of a photo he received from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, which Khruschchev apparently had previously autographed at the request of Mrs. Kennedy. He makes sure to tell her that he thinks the picture "is most interesting and will be highly regarded.""

It’s Time to Retire ‘Crap Circles’ - "These pernicious circles-and-arrows diagrams infest PowerPoint and other business presentations, purporting to clarify an idea while actually obscuring it."

Thick Fog Turns Dubai into a City Above the Clouds

DDB Brussels and Volkswagen introduce the "slowmercial". - "The slowmercial is an almost static TV commercial that works for both live- and fast-forwarded viewing. Live viewers will get to see the 30second ad showing the car slowly opening its roof, while being invited to VW's open door days. Meanwhile the voice-over taps into the difference between live- and delayed viewing. Those who watch the ad in fast-forward mode will also see the car for a couple of seconds, showing the message as it was a print ad. No matter how this commercial is viewed, it won't escape the viewers' attention."

One Mexican town finds more security by throwing out the police

Map of China with "translated" placenames (x-post from r/Mapporn) : China

Come Home, America - The New York Times - "World War II, and the relative impotence of the United Nations, convinced successive administrations that America had to fill the breach, and we did so, with great success. The world was far more secure in the second half of the 20th century than in the disastrous first half. The percentage of the globe’s population killed in conflicts between states fell in each decade after the Truman Doctrine. America experienced more wars (Korea, Vietnam, the two Iraq wars, Afghanistan) but the world, as a whole, experienced fewer. We were not so much an empire — the empire decried by the scholar and veteran Andrew J. Bacevich and celebrated by the conservative historian Niall Ferguson — as an umpire, one that stood for equal access by nation-states to political and economic gains; peaceful arbitration of international conflict; and transparency in trade and business... NATO’s first secretary general, Hastings Ismay, famously said the alliance existed “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”"

Why We May Never Beat Stigma - "Dumbing down addiction to apply to any bad behavior gives jerks a free pass. But when the label loses its meaning, real addicts also lose credibility as people with a disease."

Journalists took secret money for critical pieces about Malaysian opposition candidate

McDonald's Four Shapes Of Chicken McNuggets - "the perfect McNugget needs a lot more than a well-aligned shape, according to McDonald's standards. The company tests flavor, breading texture, meat texture, bite firmness, color, coating, and a whole lot more. It's a strangely thorough process."

Gaming the System - The New York Times - "Inside Higher Ed had a fascinating article a couple days ago about some college students who unanimously boycotted their final exam and all got A’s under a grading curve loophole. It’s a great example of game theory at work."

Nigeria: Muslim cleric arrested for role in sparking murders of polio workers - "Today, Nigeria is one of only three countries where polio remains endemic, the others being Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Hmmm. What do those three have in common?"

More travel means better sex, says survey - "the romance and better sex enjoyed during travel lasts long after the trip is over."

Singapore’s outdated national security policies - "Singapore’s national security policies are outdated and in dire need of revision. These policies are heavily influenced by the paranoias of the 1960s, when a vulnerability fetish gave rise to a siege mentality amongst Singaporean leaders that persists today. But Singapore’s main security threats now are not other states but non-state actors, specifically pirates and terrorists... Singapore has become too important to the global economy. Some 80% of the world’s oil flows through Singapore. Singapore sits at the centre of global aviation and shipping routes. MNCs from China, Europe, India and the US have sizeable operations in Singapore. High-net worth individuals from every Asian country have second homes in Singapore. If Singapore were embroiled in a conflict, there would be an immediate and direct impact on many other countries in the region. As shipments of natural resources to China were halted, its economy might sputter to a halt. Peace in Singapore is a non-negotiable prerequisite for Asia’s stability. In other words, the biggest deterrent to would-be aggressors is not Singapore’s Armed Force; it is the Armed Forces of China and the US, hovering around the broader Asia-Pacific region...Singapore is possibly the only modern state that has never been embroiled in a major military conflict but still insists on maintaining a conscript army."

Reimagining the Singapore Armed Forces and National Service - "even if Singapore demilitarises as suggested here, we must always keep open the possibility of remilitarisation. This will not be a difficult or costly process. It might take a couple of years, just like it did in the mid 1960s. But our geopolitical considerations will not change suddenly overnight. They will do so gradually, if at all... is it really possible that hundreds of thousands of Singaporean men have shed blood, sweat and tears, toiling in the impossibly narrow slivers of rainforest on this tiny island, some losing their lives while fighting imaginary wars against phantom Muslim neighbours, led by Generals who have never stepped on a battlefield but will one day rise to a plum post in a government-linked company—by merit, of course—all because our country is still guided by the national security paranoias of fifty years ago?"

Bridging the Generation Gap, One Meal at a Time - The New York Times - "For some, a new social milieu means adopting a vegan diet or giving up carbohydrates, while others, like my brother-in-law, drink only Blue Bottle coffee made in a handblown Chemex coffee maker. My friend Barry Dale says the only thing tougher than telling his Southern parents he was gay was telling them he was gluten free. (He does not have celiac disease.)"

Community Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be - "I was spending more time on the travel blogger group than I was on my own Facebook page or my own blog.
I was getting sucked into arguments that didn’t mean anything.
I was letting myself get agitated over things that shouldn’t have mattered.
I was answering questions from people who didn’t bother to take 5 seconds to do a Google search to find basic information. They wanted everything handed to them.
I didn’t know most of the people in the forum. They were part of the “community” but they weren’t my friends. I’ve never spoken to most of these people nor had they ever introduced themselves to me."

Sticks and Stones

Lucas Lynch - Donald Trump has said derogatory things about...

"Donald Trump has said derogatory things about Muslims, which the left fears will lead to hate and crime against Muslims and recruitment for ISIS.

Hillary Clinton's decisions and counsel as a Senator and Secretary of State have lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslims. This same faction of the left loves her.

Donald Trump wants to put a *supposedly* temporary ban on all Muslim immigration into the United States, particularly among Syrian refugees, which the left is horrified by in wanting to help desperate people.

Hillary Clinton's decisions and counsel as a Senator and Secretary of State helped make them refugees and desperate people *in the first place*, but this same faction of the left loves her.

So you get to choose between a man who is verbally unkind to Muslims and wants to keep them out, or someone who is verbally kind to them but whose death toll in this regard beats Donald Trump by the order of *hundreds of thousands*.

For those people who actually *do* consistently care about the plight of the innocent in the middle east, you are screwed in November."

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Links - 24th May 2016

Anti-Semitic statements of 'joy and peace' selfie star - "The iconic picture above has been widely shared on social media over the last few days and reported on by BBC Trending and a host of other news outlets around the world. Many who saw it were charmed by Ms Belkhiri's stunt which seemed to use humour to defuse a potentially awkward confrontation outside a Muslim lifestyle exhibition in Belgium. Photos of the event showed that even some of the placard-carrying demonstrators from the far right Vlaams Belang group seemed to find it funny... since then a series of deeply disturbing anti-Semitic statements made by Ms Belkhiri on social media have come to light. In one tweet dating from November 2012, she wrote: "Hitler didn't kill all the Jews, he left some. So we know why he was killing them." And in another Facebook post from March 2014, she used an expletive to describe Jews before adding: "I hate them so much." After these and other statements emerged, Ms Belkhiri deleted all her social media accounts"
If the BBC says the same thing as Breitbart, is Breitbart still wrong?
If anti-Semitic people justify their anti-Semitism by claiming it's just anti-Zionism, does it suggest that much purported anti-Zionism is really anti-Semitism?

Former President of Mexico Compares Bernie Sanders to Hugo Chávez - ""In Latin America, we have a century of experience of suffering from messianic, populist leaders that have broken our economies, that have brought poverty into all of Latin America," he said in response to a question about Sanders during an interview with Mother Jones this week. "Yes, I'm talking here about the Hugo Chávezes, the Evo Moraleses, the Kirchners in Argentina, the Peróns in Argentina, and so many of those populists that we've had in Latin America"... Sanders' popularity, he said, shows that the United States is "moving towards extreme left, extreme populism, extreme demagoguery"... "These are two false prophets that are going to take you to the desert. They are going to take you nowhere. So for the first time now, Latin America can speak with the voice of experience. We have experienced the Bernie Sanders, many of them throughout Latin America. We have experienced the Trumps, many throughout Latin America in the 20th century. So please, America, don't listen to these false prophets.""

Activist roasted on Facebook for slamming Kho Jabing’s execution - "A Singaporean anti-death penalty activist earned a drubbing on Facebook after she wrote an emotional tribute about Kho Jabing, the Sarawakian who was executed in the island state yesterday for the murder of a Chinese national. Angered by the hero treatment they claimed Kirsten Han had given the convicted killer, Facebook users flooded her timeline with comments, many angrily telling the activist to pay the same respect to the murdered Cao Ruyin. “If Kirsten wants to make the murderer the victim and martyr and the victim anonymous, I have very serious doubts about her own personal values.
Just because I am against Amos Yee being prosecuted doesn't mean I lionise him as some sort of hero. What more this?

Tiananmen Square: the long shadow — - "He is more optimistic about the desire of young Chinese to learn the truth of 1989 – a taboo in China – from what he hears from his mainland students in Taiwan. “Many of them are eager to know the truth … what happened 25 years ago,” he says, explaining that when they arrive in Taiwan, many go straight to Facebook, which is banned in China, to learn about Tiananmen. “They still have curiosity and are eager to know, that is very important.” But he thinks the current generation will fight differently – using the internet as a potent tool – and for a slightly different cause than the protesters who filled Tiananmen Square in 1989. “Our generation fight for the benefit of the country or the state. Democracy for us is for China,” says Mr Wang. “For the young generation, the post-90s generation, sooner or later they will stand up to fight, but maybe fight for their own benefit, for the freedom of themselves”... The rescue of Tiananmen Square student leaders began just days after the tanks rolled in and the government published its most wanted list of “counter-revolutionaries”. It was called Operation Yellow Bird after a Chinese proverb: “The mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the yellow bird behind.” Its goal was to smuggle prominent members of the movement to safety in the west. The operation was extremely successful. It brought together an unlikely mix of ordinary Chinese citizens, sympathetic Communist officials, Hong Kong activists, western intelligence agencies, diplomats and Hong Kong triad gangsters... The extraction missions, aided by MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, and the CIA, according to many accounts, had scrambler devices, infrared signallers, night-vision goggles and weapons. Sympathisers helped student leaders travel more than 2,000km from Beijing to the Hong Kong border by bus, boat, train, car, donkey cart and in storage tanks."

Fictitious Dishes: Elegant and Imaginative Photographs of Meals from Famous Literature

Worst passwords of 2013: 'Password' is no longer the top choice - but what is? - "In news that will have computer security experts celebrating and shaking their heads, it seems that the most popular password is no longer ‘password’. It’s ‘123456’... security experts recommend that instead of trying to memorise a random jumble of letters and numbers such as ‘d73h58fjk’ we pick phrase passwords – combinations of known words such as ‘monkeysteeplefacejacket’ that tend to stick in the memory.ecurity experts recommend that instead of trying to memorise a random jumble of letters and numbers such as ‘d73h58fjk’ we pick phrase passwords – combinations of known words such as ‘monkeysteeplefacejacket’ that tend to stick in the memory."

How Could Disney Do This To Maleficent? - "Maleficent's plan is to keep the Prince alive and well, until he's too old for Aurora. To let him sit in misery for 100 years until she releases him as an old man. Prince Philip would be able to save his beloved, only to have her wake to a shriveled, 100-year-old stranger. That is rough. It's chillingly cruel, but astoundingly brilliant. You had to admire this monster for her creativity. This is where I depart from the new, live-action origin story. She's just not that clever. Every act in Maleficent's life is completely reactionary and pretty hasty... The original movie offers zero explanation for why Aurora would meet the sharp end of a spinning wheel and fall asleep. Were they all really into spinning wheels at some point? Is that a metaphor for women being constantly attacked by little pricks all the time? Who knows? But finding out that the reason Maleficent cursed Aurora with a spinning wheel was because it was TO THE LEFT of the King was disappointing to say the least. The significance was entirely arbitrary; it could have been an old sock, a pile of leaves or a raccoon skeleton they found in the basement. It makes no sense. In a way it's like a metaphor for this movie: Why should we make a Maleficent movie? For no reason at all... at the very end it's revealed that Princess Aurora is the movie's narrator. So it's no wonder this story doesn't make any sense, because it's being told by an idiot"

Are 'Tiger Moms' Better Than Cool Moms? - "They found both parenting styles can be effective; the key is in how the child views his or her relationship with the mother. In Asian-American culture, children are often expected to rely on their families, but European-American families tend to value and encourage independence. Parental pressure provokes different reactions in each culture: Asian-American students said they felt like parent involvement in their lives is a form of support, while European-American children resented the pressure to perform."

Genius man used one first class airplane ticket to eat free for a year - "He booked a first class ticket on China Eastern Airlines and went to the VIP airport lounge at the Xi'an airport in Shaanxi, China and ate a delicious meal before his flight. Just like any first class traveler would. Except he never takes the flight. After he finished eating, the man changed his flight's departure for another day and went back home. Until tomorrow. Armed with a brand new first class ticket for a new day, he comes back to the airport lounge, eats another fantastic free meal and after he finishes up, yep, pushes his flight back again. Lather. Eat. Repeat. For free... The best part though? When China Eastern Airlines started investigating this heroic man for changing his flights too many times, he simply canceled his airplane ticket and got a full refund"

Is Marvel Intentionally Sabotaging Its Relationship With Fox? - "It's not enough for Fox to have an underperforming movie: the logic behind these moves could be that if Marvel stays silent, the Marvel fans that guide the word-of-mouth will keep Josh Trank's upcoming The Fantastic Four from being profitable, leading to Fox surrendering the rights to Marvel... one of the unusual nuggets that Marvel keeps from Fox and Sony are the merchandising rights. If any other studio owned the merchandising rights to someone else's blockbuster, they'd start churning out toys immediately. Instead, you can't go to the store to find a single toy or gizmo tied to X-Men: Days Of Future Past because Marvel flat-out didn't make them... It's looking more and more like Marvel is being seduced by the movies, and surrendering their legacy as a result, one issue at a time"

Plastic Legacy: Humankind's Trash Is Now a New Rock - "Melted plastic trash on beaches can sometimes mix with sediment, basaltic lava fragments and organic debris (such as shells) to produce a new type of rock material"

How great would Sweden’s proposed six-hour workday be? This great. - "Studies have shown that there appears to be an inverse relationship between the number of hours worked by OECD countries and how efficient they are (though the United States is an outlier here, working both long and hard). Unfortunately, of course, life is not quite that simple. The Swedish town of Kiruna actually gave up its six-hour working days in 2005 after finding that the increased intensity of work was not a positive. "People have seen there that the intensity of the job increases significantly, with negative effects on health as a consequence," Carina Bildt at the National Institute for Working Life told the Swedish press at the time. "It has certainly helped to improve productivity, but sickness has also increased.""

Artillery shell casings from Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral to be given to individuals, organisations
I rather have hairs from his head; if this violation of the Arms and Explosives Act is unproblematic it's no wonder 377A isn't either

How Muslim Governments Impose Ignorance - The New York Times - "Even the Bible, the world’s best seller, is banned in Saudi Arabia — no matter that the Quran praises it. In Egypt, under the iron fist of President Abdelfattah al-Sisi, a range of literary works can be outlawed. Last month, a novelist was sentenced to two years in prison for “violating public modesty.”... When Muslim minds aren’t challenged by “dangerous” ideas they cannot develop the sophistication needed to articulate their own... Today, many Muslims, including those who censor books or punish “heretics,” long for that “golden age of Islam” and lament that our civilization is no longer great. Few seem to realize, however, that the greatness of Islam was made possible thanks to its openness to foreign cultures and ideas"

French woman aged 91 gets PhD after 30 years - "“It took a bit of time to write because I took breaks,” Bourlier said, explaining the decades it took her to complete her work."

80% of Americans Support Mandatory Labels on "Food Containing DNA" - "A survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics finds that over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” about the same number as support mandatory labeling of GMO foods “produced with genetic engineering... A 2012 National Science Foundation survey even found that about 25% of Americans don’t know that the Earth revolves around the sun, rather than vice versa... It would be a mistake to assume that widespread political and scientific ignorance are the result of “the stupidity of the American voter,” as Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber put it. Political ignorance is not primarily the result of stupidity. For most people, it is a rational reaction to the enormous size and complexity of government and the reality that the chance that their vote will have an impact on electoral outcomes is extremely low. The same is true of much scientific ignorance"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 'I was accused of abusing my own children' - "She never thought it would go as far as this, because she's used the false allegation tactic before and nothing ever happens to her. Very very few women end up in court accused of making false accusations... It's such a common tactic used... It's affected my mental health. I was diagnosed with stress. It affects your reputation, damages your reputation. People think there's no smoke without fire. And obviously it affects your children. I don't know what my ex-wife says to them but at the end of the day they will know that their dad has been accused of being a criminal, when that's not the case"

The Malay Ideals: lndolence Perpetuated (On Malays Being Lazy)

[In contrast to the Chinese and Indians] The Malays on the other hand when forced to work for the benefit of the colonialists made a silent protest by doing as little as possible and resisted following instructions. This perpetuated the notion of the lazy native or the stupid. native. The English constantly foisted the idea that they were the most excellent and honourable while the natives were the worst kind of people. Over decades, the Malays began to believe in this propaganda and thought themselves of being incapable of doing even the easiest job on the face of this earth...

lndolence Perpetuated

The Malays were unfortunately well known for their indolence and laziness, unjustifiably so. This is primarily thought to have stemmed out from centuries of evolution. The Malays are from the Polynesian group of people who used to be nomads wondering over great distances in search of better living conditions when their group had grown larger. The Polynesians stretched over thousands of kilometres from Sumatra to the New Guinea and even as far as the South Pacific and Hawaii. Because the conditions of the land and the seas as well as the forests were so rich in the abundance at food. supply and resources, there was little need for innovation, exertion and hard persistent work. An hour’s toil would produce food for a week, it is said, and meanwhile, to fill their time, they would indulge in excessive entertainment and relaxation. This conduct is passed from one generation to another by way of culture and passive learning through observation and experience. In addition, the climate was swelteringly hot and humid which sapped their energies and strained the most industrious of the Malays, in which persistent hard work would be impossible, it is argued.

We however believe that this is a problem of values and observation. The Natives from all over the world, from the Aborigines of Australia, to the Eskimos of the Arctic; the Amazonians of South America to American Indians of North America; the Natives of Central America to the Natives of Africa, if anyone observes these peoples, who are hardly touched by industrialisation or the hectic metropolitan life, he will have perceived that they are somewhat "indolent" by Western standards. Western standards dictate that a person has to be seen of hoarding massive amounts of wealth in order to be classed as successful. Who works day and night to accumulate a mountain of money. Who has to stampede one another in the rush for more gold and glory. Who has to compete every single day to maintain his “successes” and to thwart any affronting competition. Always on the look out for fear that someone might shove him off his pedestal of achievement and take over his temporary kingship. This is the standard of success and industriousness of the West where greed has taken toll of their lives. Where wanting is not enough but wanting more and more is good.

With the Natives however, the above precepts are not yardsticks of success because materialism has not taken sway of their lives. They have not been touched by the so-called ”civilisation”. There has not been a population boom in their communities that necessitate a struggle for existence. They work with nature and relied upon it to replenish their sources of food. They do not destroy their environment. They allow nature to resuscitate itself. They take time in hunting and fishing. They take time in planting for their daily meal. Food is plenty for everyone if they do not try to plunder it. They seek self-sufficiency. There is no competition where one tramples upon another. There is humility and courteousness in the lives of natives. They are not puffed up with pride unlike the Westerners who think that they are the most knowledgeable and the noblest of mankind. The search for personal wealth seldom occurs with the natives "untouched" by civilisation. They do not compete, but they cooperate. They cooperate with people. They cooperate with nature. There are no losers. There are only winners. They do not horde gold but they share whatever little profit there is to share. They assist one another and mutually benefit one another in their own community. To the Westerners, this is laziness and indolence. To the Natives, the Westerners are just greedy, a classic difference of values.

Even so, a casual observer may note that when a Malay declines to undertake upon a task, whether it be a work or other ventures, when questioned, the Malay would usually give the reason that he or she is just "malas” (lazy). With the Malay person, there is a tendency to use the word universally for any excuse. The reason for not venturing with the task at hand is of course not laziness. However, the word is summoned at every occasion as an excuse. This is because the questioner would not ask any further upon hearing that answer. It is more of a reflex answer and a habitual response than a thoughtful and reasoned explanation of unwillingness to perform a particular act. The Malay person rarely ever gets lambasted for the frequent mentioning of the word. The use of the word is never censured in the Malay community either. Other communities only use the word ”lazy" as a last resort to justify their unwillingness to work. They would employ more reasoned explanations, such as "tiredness", “being unwell", "not in the mood" or "busy” and others. Understandably, the Malays frequent use of the word gives the impression to outsiders that the Malays are indeed a lazy people.

Nevertheless, there is an inherent danger of misusing the word "lazy". When the word "lazy" is summoned almost all of the time, the Malay society unconsciously and inherently tolerates laziness. This is achieved through constant, daily and widespread use of the word within the community. When other communities see indolence as a trait to be despised, the Malays unknowingly see it as acceptable. "Laziness" and its acceptability in the Malay community is promulgated through its constant reference by Malays themselves. This helps to spread the attribute in the Malay individual indirectly. Passiveness in selecting the proper word to explain the proper reason for inactivity is mirrored in the easy attitude that they take when working, which is a reflection af a mentality which prefers to take things easy, avoid hardships, which conjures up the picture of a people lacking in commitment. This could have resulted from the Malays' acceptance of laziness in their culture and attitude and the fact that this character (laziness) is something not to be feared but inadvertently embraced

--- The Malay Ideals / Asrul Zamani

Among other things, the author is saying that as per the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Malays have become lazy

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Malay Ideals: Conflict Avoidance

Tolerance Bar None

The Malays by nature are very tolerant, humble and unassuming people. They are probably one of the most tolerant races on the face of this earth... The Malays are so tolerant and accommodative to the extent that when a Chinese or an Indian speaks in Malay to a Malay individual, the Malay person would spontaneously alter his manner of speech and talk to suit the Chinese or Indian speaker. The Malay would vocalise words to the extend that he would speak Bahasa Melayu the same way a Chinese or an Indian speak his broken Malay. This still widely occurs today...

Conflict avoidance will always come into play. The Malays will usually retreat away from facing the problem that confronts them and adopt a timid-like posture of reaction. Thus, they become less aggressive and seem unable to meet challenges thrown in their path. It is not that they cannot face challenges, it is just that to the Malays it is the most common mode of mechanism in dealing with stress, avoidance. Had they faced these challenges and stresses, without doubt they would be able to handle them, but they chose not to, therefore, stresses were avoided but they would not have better themselves in the process...

Conflict avoidance is also the reason why, the Malays try so hard to avoid confrontations as much as they can and have over centuries developed the kind of tolerance, courtesy and politeness not seen in any other nations on earth. This level of tolerance and the humble nature of the Malays were even acknowledged by Raffles when he first came into contact with the Malays. The Malays developed a penchant for compromise and appeasement not seen in other communities. That is why, grievances were kept hidden, and ultimately they could not remain inside much longer and an outburst occurs in the form of amok and directed at all including the innocent bystander. This tendency to avoid conflict much as possible has led the Malays to be rather sensitive individuals, they avoid “attacking” other Malays openly and expect others to behave in the same manner towards them. Not surprisingly, the unwillingness of the Malays to confront directly has led them to resort to an extensive use of the ”surat layang” (poison-pen letters)“ in order to express dissatisfaction, if they were no longer able to hold down their feelings. This unwillingness to confront, has also led Westerners to stigmatise the Malays as being docile without justification. Out of the nature of a hierarchical community structure of the Malays, came out other Malay values such as respect for the elders, loyalty, hospitality and generosity. All as a result of the way the community was generally made up. That is why the spirit of collectivism is highly overweighed against the spirit of individualism in the Malay world. And as such, there is little desire for personal wealth and acquisitiveness.

--- The Malay Ideals / Asrul Zamani

Links - 21st May 2016

Iranian Media Clash Over Ahmadinejad’s Embrace of Chavez’s Mother - "Islamic law forbids the touching of unrelated men and women. The reaction from religious circles was swift."

The Chinese Prostitutes of Belleville - "At first glance, you wouldn’t have made much of the women on the streets. For the most part, they are modestly covered and wear loose-fitting garments. But then you realise it is not about how much skin they show. The women prefer subtle signals such as black fishnet stockings, make-up and a small hint of personal glamour: a gaudy pendant glinting on an open neck in the dead of winter, leopard prints, a brightly coloured coat, heeled boots. Many have long, straightened hair dyed too long ago, with the roots showing halfway down the shoulders. They often stand in groups, hands in their pockets, laughing like they are high-school friends waiting to be picked up for a date... “Don’t live here,” she said, shaking her head. “It’s a filthy area. The people are no good.” The 42-year-old mother was referring not only to the shady reputation of the neighbourhood, but to the southern Chinese community that dominates it. Coming from Dongbei, which means northeast China, YuanYuan was a social outcast in Paris’s second largest Chinese community. And like herself, all the other women “standing the streets” along the boulevard were from Dongbei. Police estimate that in 2003 there could not have been more than a hundred prostitutes of Dongbei origin, but Lotus Bus – a Doctors Without Borders programme that specifically provides support to these Chinese prostitutes – says that today there are more than 750 of them. They are considered “cheap”, charging as little as five euros for sex...From the outside, the roughly 700,000-strong Chinese community in France appears monolithic and united. In truth, it is deeply fractured between southern and northern Chinese, a consequence of decades of socio-economic inequality in China. With wealth increasingly concentrated in the south, those from Dongbei are considered to be uncouth and backward by the southern Chinese, who hold a reputation for their entrepreneurial skills... In China, the further south you go, the more they despise you for being a northerner... It is difficult to imagine the point at which hundreds of women like YuanYuan decide to prostitute themselves rather than to work in Wenzhou households, but it is a clear preference for those who have gone through the experience... "These women had been here longer than us. They told us how to do it, and especially, that we could always rely on the Lotus Bus, which gives free condoms”... “I tell you: The French are kinder than the Chinese.”
If giving advice on preventing sexual assault is victim blaming, isn't giving sex workers free condoms encouraging them to stay in sex work?

/h/ makes a shocking discovery - Imgur

Apostrophe now: Bad grammar and the people who hate it - "Grammar is not just an educational issue. For some adults, it can sabotage friendships and even romantic relationships... Grammarians argue it ensures clarity and elegance. For others, it is a series of archaic rules beloved of pedants, bearing little relation to how people really communicate... Placing a comma before the "and" - known as the Oxford comma - would be marked wrong despite being an accepted form of English, he says. "If so, it means the whole output of Oxford University Press is wrong," Crystal says. Grammarians push Standard English at the expense of other forms, he asserts. It's an elitist view that ignores, for example, Americanisms and all the different ways of communicating online. Context and appropriateness are what really matter, Crystal believes... Moral panic over grammar has been around since at least AD63, according to Columbia University linguist John McWhorter. And yet, the opposite trend is at work, Kuper argues, with social media promoting more memorable, pithy writing. People have a tendency to believe that they're in the right on grammar; it is other people who let the side down."

The Tragic Truth About India's Caste System - "Maya herself clings to her caste because it offers her the best possible life, even in modern India... When Maya got married at the age of 16, her father-in-law paid another dalit $20 for her wedding gift: the “rights” to service 10 houses in our neighborhood, including ours. Maya has no formal deed to these “rights” and no court would ever enforce them. Yet they are more inviolable than holy writ. Maya’s fellow dalits, who own the “rights” to other houses, can’t work in hers, just as she can’t work in theirs. Doing so, Maya insists, would be tantamount to theft that would invite a well-deserved beating and ostracism by the dalit community. No one would lift a finger to help a “poacher” in distress or attend her family functions like births, weddings, or funerals. She would become a pariah among pariahs. This arrangement has given Maya a guaranteed monthly income of about $100 that, along with her husband’s job as a “gofer” at a government lab, has helped her raise three children and build a modest house with a private bathroom, a prized feature among India’s poor, in one of New Delhi’s slums. But Maya’s monopoly doesn’t give her just money. It also hands her— and her fellow jamadarnis or sweepers— clout to resist the upper caste power structure, not always for noble reasons. None of Maya’s 10 employers dare challenge her work. Maya takes more days off for funerals every year than there are members in her extended family. Complaining, however, is not only pointless but perilous. It would result in stinking piles of garbage outside the complainer’s home for days"

'Shy' star turns 'sexual deviant' - "To fight the signs of ageing because Bane can't die or look older - thus explaining why he's 300 - Gao took the initiative to apply mask on his face daily. The SK-II ambassador revealed that as a spokesman for the popular skincare brand, his face masks are sponsored... Gao said he is shy and reserved, and is looking for a girl who can bring him out of his shell. He said: "I like women with long hair and a big smile. "If she's sincere, down-to-earth and can joke with me on our first meeting, that would be great.""

Andrej Pejic models bra - "Australia's head-turning androgynous model Andrej Pejic is once again making waves, this time in a push-up bra ad. The gender-bending male model - a runway favourite of Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs - acknowledged he's the svelte blond "woman" featured in a Dutch advertising campaign for bras."

How to Win Friends and Lovers (Mainly Lovers) With Your Online Profile - "I wear maternity clothes by choice and not out of pregnant necessity. Okay, full disclosure, sometimes I am pregnant and wearing the clothes but that's quickly taken care of with a visit to the nearest PP... I am pro-choice, and it's a big part of my life...
No racists, homophobes, furries, or Republicans."
It is clear that many pro-choice people are actually pro-abortion

The Comic Sans creator explains how he made the world's most-hated font - ""A typeface is an answer to a question," he tells me later. "Everything I've ever done is a solution to somebody's problem." The problem that Comic Sans solved concerned a short-lived Windows interface called Microsoft Bob... Ward learned that something called the Interesting Conference had been cancelled, and jokingly tweeted that he would put on a Boring Conference instead. "The moral of the story is never to joke on the internet," he said. "Someone will say: 'That sounds good', and then you'll have to do it." If the speakers at Boring IV have anything in common, it's that they are prepared to examine a potentially boring subject in such pitiless detail that it immediately becomes fascinating. Lecturer Martin White gave a talk on "Boring German Interpretations of English Language Humour", which he demonstrated using movie poster translations. For example: in Germany the title of the film Airplane! was translated as "The Unbelievable Journey in a Crazy Aeroplane"; Smoky and the Bandit 2 became "A Crafty Rascal Is on the Road Once More"."

10 Unbelievable Diet Rules Backed by Science - "We all know that dinner is the most popular meal to eat with friends and family, but most people think eating after dark is the cardinal sin of weight loss. Nothing could be more incorrect. Italian researchers compared eating earlier in the day (10 a.m.) to eating later in the day (6 p.m.) In that study, there was no difference in weight (pounds) lost, but the late eaters lost more fat. Several follow-up studies concluded the same thing—timing doesn’t matter. This statement from University of Oregon researchers sums it up well: “Eating too many calories causes weight gain regardless of when you eat them”... When Canadian researchers compared eating three meals per day to six meals per day, breaking the six into three main meals and three snacks, there was no significant difference in weight loss, but those who ate three meals were more satisfied and felt less hunger... there’s no research showing any relationship between eating a lot of protein and developing kidney problems. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research tested eating up to 400 grams of protein per day without any negative consequences."

Les régions françaises vues par les Parisiens, Bretons ou Marseillais…

What China Loses by Forgetting - "Modern China's forgetfulness did not start or end with Tiananmen. Even before the summer of 1989, dozens of darker, crueler incidents lay hidden in Chinese history. Today's leaders cannot acknowledge their stated ideology before 1949, the principles that helped the Communists gain power over the Nationalist government: establishing a democratic and law-abiding society, ending the one-party system and having an independent judiciary. In 1989, the students in Tiananmen Square asked for those same things. Since then, they've become unmentionable."

How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently - "It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion."

Susan Sontag on Censorship and the Three Steps to Refuting Any Argument - "Find the inconsistency
Find the counter-example
Find a wider context"
Finding the counter-example and wider context get me accused of changing the topic or trolling

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades - - "psychologists and neuroscientists say it is far too soon to declare handwriting a relic of the past. New evidence suggests that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep."

Is China's Duanwu Festival the world's first gay Valentine's Day? - "The poet's memory is honoured annually today on Duanwu Festival (端午节) by millions of ethnic Chinese around the world with the eating of rice dumplings, which according to legend, were thrown off dragon boats by locals to feed the fish so they would not feed on his corpse. Academics have proferred another reason for Qu Yuan's suicide than his supposed love for the nation. The poet, they say, was more of a romantic than a patriot, and it was his love for -- and subsequent abandonment -- by the King Huai of Chu (楚怀王) that led him to immerse himself into the river."

This study showed that high-skilled immigrants create jobs for Americans - "Every 1 percent of "shock" from H-1B rejections meant that the number of jobs in a city for US-born tech workers without degrees grew by 7 percent less than it would have. But US-born workers with college degrees didn't do nearly as badly: their job growth only fell 1.3 percent. Where US-born workers with degrees did suffer from the bad luck of their cities was in wages. Every 1 percent in "shock" hurt wages for tech workers with degrees by .26 to .79 percent. In practice, the average US-born, degree-holding tech worker would have made $861 to $2,672 in a world where high-skilled visas were available to everyone who applied."

How to Keep From Being So Easily Offended (with Pictures) - "If someone says something potentially offensive, question if you really do feel burned because their take is that important to you. You might just be martyring yourself to illuminate a faux pas or rude remark just for the hell of it--out of self-righteousness or a desire to control who says what... having a stronger sense of your own values will help you feel less threatened when they are challenged. Trusting your values makes others' opinions less important... Before you react to a slight, think about the consequences. Remember that one consequence of taking offense often is that people may begin to walk on eggshells around you or feel a little nervous discussing their thoughts or feelings. What's more, you are keeping yourself in a place of increased tension and anxiety--a harmful state for your body, even if you see other benefits to taking offense. You are also blocking yourself off from hearing potentially useful and exciting new ideas"
Unfortunately, offence culture militates against these sensible tips

Friday, May 20, 2016

Links - 20th May 2016

Don’t do this to our city, Internet users say of new KL tourism logo - "A new logo and tagline to promote tourism in Kuala Lumpur has drawn online criticism from Malaysians, who poked fun at the design and the words used to describe their beloved capital city."

A Point of View: Why people shouldn't feel the need to censor themselves - "We should remember, however, that offence can be taken even when it has not been given. There are radical feminists who search every innocent remark about women for the hidden sexist agenda. Even using the masculine pronoun in the grammatically sanctioned way, so as to refer indifferently to men and women, can cause offence and is now being banned on campuses all across America. It is not that you wish to give offence. But you are up against people who are expert in taking it, who have cultivated the art of taking offence over many years, and who are never more delighted than when some innocent man falls into the trap of speaking incorrectly. Typically a joke tries to cut things down to size, so that you can feel at ease with the thing you laugh at. Most ethnic jokes are like that - ways of dealing with ethnic diversity, by helping people to feel content with their own group, and not threatened by the others. Sometimes it is your own group that is cut down to size - as in the many Jewish jokes that show some Jewish foible to be an amusing eccentricity rather than a threat. Jokes become popular because they soften things, making reality, with all its divisions, less of a threat... Humour of that kind is pointing both to the absurdity of sectarian conflict, and also to the fact that it is a pretence, an excuse for hatred rather than a response to it. It is reminding us that the art of taking offence is used by small-minded people to gain an unwarranted advantage over the rest of us... You cannot legislate against offence. No legislation, no invention of new crimes and punishments, can possibly introduce irony, forgiveness and good will into minds schooled in the art of being offended. This is as true of radical feminists as of sectarians and radical Islamists. While we have a moral duty to laugh at them, they have also made it dangerous to do so. But we should never lose sight of the fact that it is they, not we, who are the transgressors.... Racist opinions won't go away just because we forbid their expression. Indeed, forbidding them may give them a special allure. What was most destructive about the Nazi propaganda against the Jews was not so much the expression of those nasty opinions, but the suppression of those who sought to refute them... black people in America earned their status as equal citizens partly because of free discussion, which persuaded ordinary Americans that racial stereotyping is both irrational and unjust. It is because they gave voice to their opinions that the racists were defeated... Self-censorship is even more harmful than censorship by the state. For it shuts down the conversation completely"

If Sweden and Germany Became US States, They Would be Among the Poorest States - "Since Sweden is held up as a sort of promised land by American socialists, let's compare it first. We find that, if it were to join the US as a state, Sweden would be poorer than all but 12 states, with a median income of $27,167... But, I'm really being too conservative with the US numbers here. I'm comparing OECD countries to US states based on a single nation-wide purchasing power number for the US. We've already accounted for cost of living at the national level (using PPP data), but the US is so much larger than all other countries compared here, we really need to consider the regional cost of living in the United States. Were we to calculate real incomes based on the cost of living in each state, we'd find that real purchasing power is even higher in many of the lower-income states than we see above... None of this analysis should really surprise us. According to the OECD's own numbers (which take into account taxes and social benefits, the US has higher median disposable income than all but three OECD countries. Sweden ranks below the US in this regard, as does Finland and Denmark"

Will Apple Music complete iTunes’ destruction of my will to collect music? - "Pinkstone claimed that he had lost 20 years’ worth of music files as a result of signing up for Apple Music; as he explained it, the service had hoovered up the collection of MP3 and WAV files he had been keeping in his iTunes library and replaced them with streaming versions that lived in an Apple-owned cloud. The original files, as Pinkstone understood it, had been deleted off his computer in the process. To his surprise, when he called Apple Support to find out what happened and how to fix it, he was told that this was exactly how Apple Music—the company’s year-old streaming service—was supposed to work... a lot of the songs Apple Music had allegedly removed from Pinkstone’s hard drive weren’t properly replaced. For example, instead of a rare, early version of a Fountains of Wayne song that Pinkstone had at some point downloaded or ripped to his computer as an MP3, Apple had plugged in a less distinctive, more widely available version of the song... Here was yet another reason to hate Apple’s music software—something I’d been doing for years, with iTunes as the primary source of my discontent. To date, that discontent had been fueled by the utter disarray in which iTunes had left my digital music library... As Farhad Manjoo wrote in Slate in 2012, in a piece titled “Won’t Someone Take iTunes Out Back and Shoot It?” the software had become a bloated monster that wasn’t good at doing any of the things that Apple was forcing it to do... when I thought for too long about the impact iTunes was having on the texture and structure of my music consumption, I was overcome with a bitter sense of loss... Apple has repeatedly wiped my digital collection clean of all the songs I ever downloaded, except for the ones I had purchased directly from the iTunes store. That’s how I remember it, anyway. The truth is I am a helplessly unreliable narrator in this story, because whenever I use iTunes, I find that I have absolutely no idea what’s going on, or what the consequences of my actions will be... It doesn’t make sense that everyone I know who still uses iTunes despises it, and that many people, including me, have abandoned it in favor of streaming because managing their libraries became too much of a chore."

Of Course Facebook Is Biased. Its Real Problem Is That It Won’t Admit It. - "anonymous former Facebook “curators” described the subjective process by which they assembled the Trending section. Facebook had publicly portrayed the section—which you can find near the top right of or under the search tab on the Facebook app—as an algorithmically driven reflection of the most popular stories its users are reading at any given time. But the ex-curators said they often filtered out stories that were deemed questionable and added others they deemed worthy. One, a self-identified conservative, complained that this led to subtle yet pervasive liberal bias, since most of the curators were politically liberal themselves. Popular stories from conservative sites such as Breitbart, for instance, were allegedly omitted unless more mainstream publications such as the New York Times also picked them up... There are ways to grapple with this problem honestly—to attempt to identify and correct for one’s biases, to scrupulously disclose them, to employ an ideologically diverse staff, perhaps even to reject objectivity as an ideal and embrace subjectivity. But you can’t begin to address the subjective nature of news without first acknowledging it. And Facebook has gone out of its way to avoid doing that, for reasons that are central to its identity as a technology company... If the curators’ job was really just about cleaning up the data, Facebook seems to have forgotten to tell that to the curators themselves, who described their mandate very differently"

Teaching kids philosophy makes them smarter in math and English - "Nine- and 10-year-old children in England who participated in a philosophy class once a week over the course of a year significantly boosted their math and literacy skills, with disadvantaged students showing the most significant gains, according to a large and well-designed study"

“Why do all old statues have such small penises?” - "Firstly, they’re flaccid. If you compare their size to most flaccid male penises, they are actually not significantly smaller than real-life penises tend to be. Secondly, cultural values about male beauty were completely different back then. Today, big penises are seen as valuable and manly, but back then, most evidence points to the fact that small penises were considered better than big ones... A famous example of a small penis is Michelangelo’s David (1501 – 04), a Renaissance sculpture from Florence, Italy. There’s an interesting theory for why David’s penis is so small, apart from the Greek influence. In 2005, two Florentine doctors published a paper arguing that David’s penis was shriveled by fear"

Why Switzerland Airlifts Its Cows - "The sight of a cow flying through the air isn't so rare in Switzerland: When a cow is injured—or dead—a helicopter may arrive to bring it to safety, or, if dead, to incineration. The practice, Aeon reports, isn't just about caring for our bovine friends, or keeping the landscape free of dead cows. Instead, it's tied to the maintenance of Switzerland—environmentally, economically, and even culturally"

Reading 'Fifty Shades' linked to unhealthy behaviors, researchers warn - - "Reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” is linked to unhealthy behaviors, according to a researcher at Michigan State University. In fact, readers of this book are more likely than nonreaders to display evidence of eating disorders and have a verbally abusive partner. Plus, women who read all three books in the series are at a heightened risk of binge drinking and having numerous sex partners"

This Is What Gentrification Really Is - "Gentrification is a form of immigration, though almost nobody calls it that. People who gentrify are usually new transplants to a city, changing it to suit their particular cultural needs and whims. That's why the criticism of gentrification often sounds like a distorted version of anti-immigrant sentiment... The difference is that the people we call immigrants are usually not rich. Gentrifiers are... It's easier to blame the aliens for what's happened to your city rather than face up to the complicated reality of urban life. City planner Spiro Kostof writes that cities are not static — they are "a process," always changing over time. Today's Mission district in San Francisco, for example, was once a working class Irish and German neighborhood. And some of those "alien" techies invading it now come from the same Central and South American countries that its current residents do... San Francisco's anti-development policies are actually harming the low-income communities they were originally designed to protect"

That Lying Beggar Auntie - "So there is finally a newspaper report about her scams. Wanbao followed up on a lead through STOMP and discovered that this auntie makes over a thousand dollars a night begging, lying and scamming. She has asked me for $500 before, but then I uncovered her scam over 45 minutes once I bought her tea."

In China, Myths of Social Cohesion - - "“The story that most Chinese know is completely made up,” said the man, an ethnic Uighur, who asked that his name be withheld for fear of angering the authorities. “The truth is she isn’t even buried here.” In the six decades since coming to power, China’s Communist Party has devoted enormous resources to composing historical narratives that seek to legitimize its rule and obfuscate its failures. The disastrous famine that claimed millions of lives last century is said to have been caused by bad weather, not Mao’s misguided policies. Chinese history books often blame the United States for starting the Korean War, not the Communist troops from North Korea who, most historians agree, first invaded the South. When it comes to China’s ethnic minorities, the party-run history machine is especially single-minded in its effort to promote story lines that portray Uighurs, Mongolians, Tibetans and other groups as contented members of an extended family whose traditional homelands have long been part of the Chinese nation... James A. Millward, a professor at Georgetown University who studies China’s ethnically diverse borderlands, said the drive to shape history, while not unique to China, was zealously practiced by each succeeding dynasty in an effort to malign an emperor’s predecessors and glorify his own rule. But the Communists have also sought to use history as a tool against separatist aspirations and to legitimize their efforts to govern potentially restive populations."

5 Things the Star Wars Prequels Did Right - "1) Aesthetics
2) New Worlds (and Worldbuilding Generally)
Whether or not we like the story Lucas chose to tell in the prequels, it's pretty easy to reconcile with the original trilogy we all know and love, which may be one of the reasons fans rebel against the prequels so much - they blend too easily with what we originally loved, so that it's difficult to separate the two entirely.
3) Politics
The prequels were always going to be political, there's basically no two ways around it. They're movies about the fall of the Republic - a democratic if corrupt system - and its replacement by the Empire, a totalitarian regime based on a principle of might makes right. Unless Lucas was going to ignore what was happening in the Republic altogether, the prequels were going to have to deal with politics.
4) The Jedi and the Sith
5) The Chosen One
The Chosen One story of the prequels doesn't follow most of the usual rules... It's hard to think of another case where a messianic prophecy goes so wrong; other examples exist I'm sure, but it's a rare choice in storytelling"

The Myth of the Fag Hag and Dirty Secrets of the Gay Male Subculture - "In my mid-twenties, I learned that taking your female friends to a gay bar is like taking a vegetarian to a butcher shop. There is a lot of meat, a lot of prime cuts, and even a little tripe, but nothing they can eat... If there isn't any kind of transactional exchange happening, then women lose their value in gay male subcultures... "I'm gay" gets handed down as an acceptable excuse for gay men to probe and disrespect women's bodies... The crux of McIntosh's argument focuses on male and white privilege, but is very applicable to how gay privilege is fomenting and replicating... McIntosh's comments about white male privilege can be ported to gay male privilege. As gay men, we are being wholesale conditioned to believe that when we diminish women, it's okay, because we have been victims of oppression ourselves and we're gay and women "understand.""
If homosexuality is no longer seen as making you more of a "minority" than being a woman, maybe drag will soon no longer be acceptable

Why has drag escaped critique from feminists and the LGBTQ community? - "a drag queen named Daytona Bitch was fired from a Toronto Pride event for a blackface performance in which, as Laura Kane reports, “she dressed up as Miss Cleo, a kitschy telephone psychic from the late ‘90s, complete with black face paint”... it feels as though drag queens are given free reign to insult women and adopt over-the-top sexist language (bitch, ho, etc.) and objectified depictions of women in ways that women don’t even get away with, within a feminist context."
Not all "minorities" are equal

The Malay Ideals: Simple Nature of the Malays

Simple Nature of the Malays

Traditional Malays usually worked in the paddy fields or were forest product gatherers, boatmen and fishermen. The Malays were used to a relaxed atmosphere as a way of life. The environment and the easy life of the equatorial nations over thousands of years may have produced this mentality and contributed to the ”malaise” of the Malays. This problem does not only beset the Malays but almost all Polynesians. Possibly this is a genetic trait of the Malays that has been imparted from times gone by. It could also be due to the inclination of the Malays to make marriage ties with close relatives that amplifies recessive genes...

When the emigrant community arrived in Tanah Melayu in the 19th and 20th centuries, this value and nature of the Malays have made them less prepared to meet the highly competitive spirit and industriousness of the emigrant communities, who had come from far away places and had faced extreme vicissitudes in their lives and had escaped the dire situations and conditions in their homeland. More importantly, those who ventured out were also highly entrepreneurial who bore extreme will power and had been educated under extreme adversity. Those who were less ready and less able to make great sacrifices were left behind. The former became known as the overseas Chinese and the overseas Indians...

Most of the indentured labourers who had made their way way to this "newfound land" were coaxed and lured into believing that the trail of riches lied in their path. They came to Malaya and were found instead to be abused and treated as forced labourers... all of these experiences hardened the Chinese and Indians and better prepared them for their eventual success. They had to do their best in the new country because because their bridge had been burnt behind them and had to struggle with all their might to survive.

The Malays conversely had not faced such hardships, as had the immigrant communities. Life had been fair and comfortable because they had decided, paraphrased, "not to participate in the capitalistic schemes of the Westerners”, and spurned participation on being mere labourers, and stuck to doing what previous generations had been good at; that being occupied with traditional occupations. Thus life was tolerable to most until however, the emigrant community arrived and especially after the surrender of the British. At this juncture, they were ill prepared in the face of serious competition; the competition for commerce and in other economic activities. Most Malays were unable to cope and they retreated further into the remotest part to escape the natural consequences that would have been unavoidable had they remained where they were.

Inability to Meet Challenges

This phenomenon is still occurring within the Malay community, the lack of inability or unwillingness to meet daily challenges that are thrown in their path. Those who stand firm in facing uncertainties or challenges that come their way, have been successful, but a great deal of the Malays prefer to veer away from the conflict altogether and scorn at making changes. They would rather remain the way they have been for generations. If a small town for example, underwent development and consequently had grown big with increasing population and with that crept increasing competition for survival, some Malays would then pack up and move to a more remote area that resembled their previous existence... some Malays would still cling on to the old fashioned way of living handed down from one generation to another i.e. the art of living with little effort and work.

--- The Malay Ideals / Asrul Zamani

Publisher's Note:

In line with the aspirations of our beloved Prime Minister Y.A.B. Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, this book THE MALAY IDEALS appears to be a 'wake-up call' to all the Malays who are still not completely independent, even after 45 years of gaining independence (Malaysia's Merdeka). The author, who is a medical practitioner by profession, reveals in his book the actual and current situation of the Malays, the 'new Malay Dilemma' as expressed with concern by our Prime Minister..

The author has conducted a detailed research on all the matters discussed in this book and substantiated the sources with facts and figures. Definitely this book will be an 'eye opener’ for all concerned Malaysians.

Hj. Dr. Syed Ibrahim.

First they came for the Shark's Fin

First they came for the Shark's Fin, and I did not speak out—
Because I did not eat Shark's Fin.

Then they came for the Foie Gras, and I did not speak out—
Because I did not eat Foie Gras.

Then they came for the Halal meat, and I did not speak out—
Because I did not eat Halal meat.

Then they came for the meat—and there was no one left to speak for meat eaters.
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