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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

New blog pic:


June 5th
"Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them." - Paul Valery

***

.:: Welcome to CTLAB200801 - Decision Making Behavior of Blogger ::.

"Thank you for your interest in this research study. This study is an experiment designed to understand the decision making behavior of individual blogger. This study is opened to the general public. However, you need to meet certain prerequisites before you may proceed with the study. Please refer to the registration instruction below for more information. Upon successful completion of the study, you will be entered into a lucky draw that will win prizes worth over $500. More information are available below.

1 x Apple iPod nano 4 GB
1 x Apple iPod shuffle 1 GB
10 x $20 Starbucks Coffee Gift Voucher

... In order to participate in this study, you need to meet the following 2 prerequisites:

1. Have an existing personal blog that is being actively updated.
2. The blog must be at least 12 months old.

This experiment requires you to read 2 personal blogs which belong to an undergraduate, each blog is about 2 screens of text, and answer a series of questionnaires. The entire experiment including the registration process will take about 20 to 25 minutes. This experiment is conducted through the internet and should be compatible with most web browsers such as the latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Please note that you must complete the study in a single attempt immediately after successful registration.

The result of the lucky draw will be announced through email on May 31, 2008. You must be residing in Singapore at that time in order to receive the prize. Otherwise, you will need to pay for the postage to have the prize delivered to you. Each individual is only allowed to participate once. We reserve the right to disqualify any multiple entries in the lucky draw.

There are currently 99 slots available for registration."
"I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia." - Woody Allen

***

We also have a right not to have a religion

"We also have a right not to have a religion

I READ with interest the article, 'Couple charged under Sedition Act' and letters by Mr Goh Ah Seng ('Is it illegal?'), Mr Julius Koh ('One can always say no to hard-sell religion') and Mr Dudley Au's ('Incident was not against the law') (ST, all April 16), the latter of which are in response to Mr Wee Feng Yi's letter, 'Let's respect a person's private space in public' (ST, April 12).

We may need to question and reconsider how religious freedom is being defined in the Singapore Constitution.

While I feel the adoption of religion should be voluntary, the notion of its propagation should be rethought.

We only have to look at history where various religions have exercised sexism, racism, xenophobia, discrimination and the condescending discrediting of other religions, class discrimination and other exclusions.

There is, apart from doctrinal baggage, the cultural, political and historical baggage in the propagation of religion.

As society becomes multicultural, owing to colonisation and immigration, religious institutions have to adjust themselves to allow for inter-faith integration. This results in a reinterpretation of otherwise authoritative scriptures, and a re-branding and marketing of the faith.

Hence, the concept of religious harmony now does not centre on wholesale conversion and homogenous communities, but coexistence of religious diversity. Coexistence is very problematic when there are communities that profess to have the one and only true set of beliefs.

Doctrinal ideas that once promoted social exclusion now have no place in diverse modern society, and are eventually harmful to the economic imperative of the ruling class or the state. That is why rules are in place to ensure no 'hate', as however appropriately defined by those in power, is expressed.

As much as everyone has a right to religion, we also have a right not to have a religion. I believe there should be adequate protection against public religious-oriented speech and expressions that could induce guilt, fear, anger or hate.

When different religions enter the public domain, there will be a contestation of many different ideas, despite their sharing many similarities. Furthermore, in the midst of such dialogues, we should also consider the interests of the non-religious, who are as equal a stakeholder as any one else in this country.

With this in mind, religious doctrine should be at best confined within religious communities and spaces.

Ho Chi Sam"


Unfortunately, we have crazy people who believe that people with no religion have no rights in this field. But then, over here it's always about the letter rather than the spirit of the law.

In other news, the Chick couple have appeared on a site collating news on Christian Persecution. Wth.

Persecution: The act or practice of persecuting on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs that differ from those of the persecutor.
(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language)

This is a very interesting interpretation of 'persecution'. Presumably the implication is that offensive evangelism is intrinsic to Christian belief.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place." - Billy Crystal

***

Someone: hooray for USP and UE mods
because i think history girls cmi

so i rely on other classes for eye candy


Someone else: soci is fucking easy lah

rigourous my ass
they're the most insecure of the social sciences
always emphasizing how "scientific" they are

bullshit

a lot of us from lit do soci modules invariably get As

in fact
a certain lit girl, fairly mediocre in terms of lit grades, always aces soci, so much that she's now decided to do soci masters
hahahahaha

to his(her?) challenge to come ace soci first then talk
it's like
ludicrous
cos
we've all done it already!!

it's like Iraq saying to USA right now, "come bomb us if you dare!"
and USA is like
"been there done that liao, what else you want"


Someone: my gal friends say im in a lucky relationship
coz the guy is more into the gal

Me: gah
this reminds me of an anecdote

Screwed Up Girl said you should get a guy who makes the first move. cos that means he really wants you. I said that means you don't want him if you don't make the first move

female logic. bah.

Someone: haha

oh well
it's not about logic

the logic is we hurt much more easily


Someone else: what kinda friends do you have man

you never fail to remind me of how normal i am
thanks HAHA (:


Someone: i bemoan the state of youth today

the gf's sister goes to city harvest

the one who abandoned her family
very much espousing christian values

Me: oh
then what happened

Someone: then nothing happened lah. she only comes one once a year during chinese new year.
and tells them to go city harvest to save their souls from eternal damnation

Me: oh well
jesus said he cleaved families
hurr hurr

Someone: hurr

but her eldest sister also goes to church what (not CHC)
and contributes to the family
i mean, contributes to household expenses

so i conclude it's CHC
"expand your wealth... by screwing over your parents"


MFTTW: actually maybe you shoudl do something quite out of the box

i like the idea of having non=conventional friends hurhurhur
everyone i know is like some stupid doctor or stupid gahmen slave


Someone: friend teaching at NUS:

"one of my students handed in a paper where she claimed American influence in Singapore is causing wild sex orgies to happen cos of liberalism and then these wild sex parties are destroying family values then cos of family values being destroyed ppl cannot love"

"without love society becomes evil and then ppl become - *GET READY FOR THIS* - cannibals. then she put in a picture of a severed arm in a sink."

he said he wnated to give her a F but [couldn't]

" got another one said American values are bad for Asians cos we are too different from each other. this is after we had 2-3 classes showing the similiarities between the constructs of "Asian values" and "American conservative values""

"and nearly everyone wrote that american values are bad. ie American values are hollywood values and then Asian = good family values"


Someone else: screw that organic stuff, really

i did a project on it in yr2
utter rubbish

you sprinkle the cabbage lovingly with scented mineral water, pat it everyday and then sell it at a 10x markup

we went to the organic deli at holland v


Someone: MFM?

i thought it stood for mothers fucking mothers
which is hot


Someone else: I think Jack Chick can actually be an excellent vehicle for religious harmony

all the religious leaders can all point and laugh at them
and condemn them
instead of just wayang-ing with press statements and stuff
or showing up at inter-faith dialogues that don't quite seem to achieve anything


Someone: "when a woman wants to have a conversation with a man, she wants to hear her own opinions but in a deeper voice"


Someone else on bra cup inflation in Singapore: thank god i am flat with pride
hehe
Chee Soon Juan is in the Arts Canteen now giving out pamphlets.

Maybe *** will call Campus Security.

Climax girl wants to know where he got the funds for his shiny pamphlet from, since it's not cheap. I suggested she tell him that she wants to start a dissident movement too, and needs tips on funding.

Eisen suggests that his Queen's Counsel paid for it. Time to exit the Commonwealth!


He said he was going to NTU next.

If their Campus Security is ready for him, that would be sad (if not entirely unexpected).
"The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease." - Voltaire

***

Sent to me by someone else (really: I don't trawl the net looking for shit 24/7 [unless it's 2girls1cup mirrors]):

NUS FEMALE student who need packet money S$250/- per month

"I'm doing Master's in NUS on part-time basis. Any NUS FEMALE student who is in short of packet money, in the age group of 18-30 who is doing full-time or part-time program , interested in "no-string-attached" discreet and confidential relationship for monthly once can contact me. I'm ready to pay S$250/- per month till you complete your graduation. I'm doing this for the first time hence cleanliness is assured and expecting the same.

As prostitutes can fake as students, I'll be checking for NUS IDs to verify in the NUS library. Sorry that I'm rude at this stage, I'll polite afterward which you will realize.

Please don't reply me with one line adv. This is a genuine adv."


I'm insulted. His target audience would probably charge $250 per session.

I'm even more insulted that people thought I posted this ad. Even if I were inclined to do this sort of thing, I would have more dignity than to pay this measly sum (up from $200 a month, at that).

He must be mad. With this sort of rates, he's just asking for someone to come expose him. Even other PRCs won't accept this sort of rate.


A: im guessin its the 200 undergrad offer?

preposterous
even having a regular NUS undergf costs more than what that chump's offering
take her out to dinner once a week $50 already

i saw it and i thought, that guy is fucking retarded
even a geylang hooker charges like 100 a session

wah 50 bucks more she can spend in about.. 2 minutes

u shld do one of your spot surveys
do a cross-faculty comparison of how much girls would 'hypothetically' charge
to be a 'girlfriend'

i think science girls might pay you to be their bf even hoohoo


B: for 250 bucks a month, i'd condescend to maybe 2 movies (paid by him) and to be arm candy. no more.

C: someone posted in hwz. then the chinese papers went to state that the threadstarter was the masters student

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers." - H. L. Mencken

***

Honey, will you marry... Oh. Never mind... - "Hajji, of Hackney, east London, had concealed a $12,000 engagement ring inside a helium balloon. The idea was that she would pop the balloon as he popped the question. But as he left the shop, a gust of wind pulled the balloon from his hand and he watched the ring -- and quite possibly the affections of his girlfriend -- sailing away over the rooftops... "But I had to tell her the story -- she went absolutely mad. Now she is refusing to speak to me until I get her a new ring.""
He's better off marrying someone else.

eSnailer - "Q. What is eSnailer? A. Start by addressing the envelope below then write a letter to a friend or relative. We will print, envelope, stamp, and send your letter via regular U.S. postal mail 100% free of charge. You pay nothing!"

Why first-born children have higher IQs - "According to new research due to be published this week in the journal Intelligence, the oldest children in families are likely to have the highest IQs, and the youngest the lowest. The research is based on more than 1,000 children whose IQ was tested through childhood and adolescence up to the age of 18. The Dutch study shows a birth-order effect on intelligence in each of the tests. Overall, the IQ of the first-born child was higher than the second-born, which, in turn, was greater than that of children who had two or more older siblings. This is only the latest research to suggest that the order of birth can have a fundamental effect on diverse factors, ranging from the risk of cancer, asthma and eczema, to weight and even premature death."

Shock confession of maths prodigy Sufiah Yusof who turned to life of vice - ""Guys are much better in bed with an escort than a girlfriend. I have men who are thrilled about my passion for mathematics. In fact one made me recite equations while he pleasured me, then I gave him oral sex while he chatted about algebra. It drove him wild."... "I have a nice life and I am in control," she says. "I hate this stereotype society has of escorts being exploited. It is so far from the truth."
The next bit is even better:

myAsylum: Sufiah: Black Magic Woman? - "'Based on discussion with Islamic medical practitioners and several divine guidance, we are convinced that Sufiah is under the influence of black magic. For that reason, a delegation from Malaysia headed by Ustaz Trimizi Zainal will depart Malaysia on 19th April to treat Sufiah using Islamic Medical practice. Ustaz Trimizi Insha'Allah will be in UK for 1 month and Insha'Allah he will treat Sufiah for the whole of the duration.'... Unless these morons plan to abduct Sufiah, Rambo-style, to some undisclosed location to carry out their "exorcism" treatment. Abducting somebody on religious grounds may be (almost) acceptable in Malaysia, but certainly not in the UK."
From the website: 'Assalamu alaikum, A team of Islamic medical practitioners will be arriving in the UK sometime this month, Insha'Allah. They will be organising mobile clinics at locations throughout UK. Treatment will only be limited to those who have been affected by jinn and black magic. Question and answer sessions on sihir will be held prior to any treatment session. The discussion will include a short video footage on one of Ustaz Trimizi previous sessions, evidence of sihir in Islam, current efforts to promote Islamic medical practice to the west etc. Modern medicine do not have the answers to every disease especially those relating to "paranormal" factors.' Malaysia Boleh!

World's top 20 tourist attractions include a few surprises - "Would you be surprised to learn, as I was, that nine of the world's 20 most visited tourist attractions are in the United States? That eight of these premier worldwide sites are theme parks? Or that such culturally significant destinations as fabled Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu and Petra aren't even on the radar screen for the top 20?"

Lungless 'Jabba' frog offers evolution clue - " Bickford surmised that the frog had evolved to adapt to its difficult surroundings, in which it has to navigate cold, fast-moving streams that are rich in oxygen. "It's an extreme adaptation that was probably brought about by these fast-moving streams," Bickford said, adding that it probably needed to reduce its buoyancy in order to keep from being swept down the mountainous rivers."
And now we have another missing link!

A life to die for - "IT is a job many men would die for. The job description - flirt, party, and drink with beautiful women on a full-time basis - may be enough to make some draft a resignation letter from their current job. The pay? Over six-figures a year if you're an above-average worker. Higher if you're really good at it, putting you on the same pay scale as some CEOs. And this doesn't include the gifts you receive from satisfied clients, which can include luxury cars, and even property. The best part? No experience or educational qualifications are required. On paper, working as a male host in one of Japan's host clubs seems like a dream job... While some hosutos are known to offer sex as part of their 'service', many in the industry frown on the practice. This is based more on economics than moral principle, though. Once a host sleeps with a client, she has no reason to patronise the club any more."

J.K. Rowling Tries Not to Cry in Court, Calls Potter Encyclopedia 'Theft' - "J.K. Rowling says the Harry Potter characters she created are as dear as her children, too precious to allow an inferior Potter encyclopedia to be published without letting the world know the ordeal is draining her of her will to write... She also said she recently started work on her own encyclopedia but does not expect to complete it for two to three years. If Vander Ark's lexicon is published, "I'm not at all convinced that I would have the will or the heart to continue with my encyclopedia," she said. The case caused her to stop working on a new novel, as well, she told the packed courtroom."
Boo hoo. Let's all buy a Harry Potter lunchbox, or she will lose the will and the heart to continue with more works.

Female millionaires set to rise - "Women are set to represent more than half of Britain's millionaires by 2020, according to a UK think tank. High divorce payouts and longer lives will mean 53% of millionaires will be women, says the Centre for Economics and Business Research."
Add the number of wives of millionaires and it's clear that women are doing very well out of 'patriarchy' indeed.

Fainting Fireman Sues to Get Job Back - "A firefighter fired for fainting is suing the city of Saratoga Springs. Nathaniel King lost his job with the city fire department in December when he failed to complete newly required paramedic training, according to a lawsuit filed against the city in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County. Now he's suing to get his job back and for back pay. The problem is, needles are his nemesis. During paramedic training, King fainted dead away every time he had to give an injection or start an intravenous line."

The Smell Test - Weird News Story Archive - "Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago wants to know what odors turn people on. He has been subjecting volunteers to various odors while measuring genital blood flow to gauge their sexual arousal. Hirsch says women are turned off by cherries, barbequed meat, and men’s cologne. Like men, women are apparently aroused by the smell of lavender and pumpkin pie, and also cucumbers and baby powder. But the most arousal in women was elicited by the odor of Good ’n’ Plenty candy."

Open Source Living - "Open Source Living is a community-driven dynamic archive of Open Source software spanning all major platforms. Through a simple, elegant and efficient presentation of resources and information, OS Living aims to highlight small and large OSS projects, to inform and raise awareness to OS ethics, and to reinforce the credibility of OSS as a viable alternative to corporate funded, closed source software."

High-Speed Chase: Supersonic Sheep Impresses Police Pursuers - "If sheep had Olympic Games, this one would be a gold medalist. A runaway sheep chased by police in northern Germany reached speeds of 45 kilometers an hour before jumping over the police car."

Center for Bible Engagement - Biblical Engagement - "The lack of biblical literacy in America is at epidemic levels, says Ron Rhodes, President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. And when he talks about the lack of Bible reading among Americans, he is not talking about the population in general - he is talking about people who call themselves born-again Christians. In an interview with Assist News Service Rhodes quotes a recent poll, which indicates that 35% of born-again Christians do not read the Bible at all. In addition, Rhodes indicates that among those who say they read the Bible, the vast majority only read it during the one hour they attend church each Sunday morning."
Joan of Arc was Noah's wife.
"Get Lucky with Hotel 81

SAVE $10 off all published room rates ONLY for ISIC / IYTC /ITIC cardholders.

Enjoy the comfort and quality of Singapore’s largest (26 hotels and counting.) Budget Hotel Chain, Hotel 81!

Starts on 1st May!"


Hurr hurr.

You're going to need to get lucky before you get lucky with Hotel 81.

In other news, a Fragrance Hotel recently opened near NUS, just down the road from Pasir Panjang Inn. I foresee competition on hourly rates now.

They must have heard about the housing shortage and moved in to fill the gap in the market!
I saw a link to my blog with the post title BIG News....

I thought it would be someone shocked at the latest application of the sedition act.

Turns out it was talking about Dawn Yang.

Oh well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"The reason lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place is that the same place isn't there the second time." - Willie Tyler

***

Couple charged under Sedition Act
By Elena Chong

A COUPLE were charged on Tuesday with distributing a seditious publication to two others.

Ong Kian Cheong, 49, and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng, 44, are alleged to have distributed The Little Bride, an evangelistic material, to Sembawang resident Irwan Ariffin last Oct 19.

They are also said to have distributed the same publication to one Madam Farharti Ahmad at her home in Woodlands on March 6 last year .

It is not clear why they face the Sedition Act and the Undesirable Publication Act when the publication is the same.

Ong, who works in a telecommunications company, and his wife, a bank employee, were represented by Mr Selva K. Naidu.

The police prosecutor sought an adjournment of the case pending a Health Sciences Authority on handwriting specimen.

The couple were freed on $10,000 bail each. Their passports were impounded.

The case will be mentioned on April 29.

Under the Sedition Act, the maximum penalty is a $5,000 fine and/or a jail term of up to three years.

The maximum penalty under the Undesirable Publication Act is a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 12 months.

(News indirectly through Mr Wang)


At this point, I will note that there is an interesting case of doublethink going on here, because what many religious texts say about other religions is far worse than what you can read in "The Little Bride".

I will also note that all of the claims in the tract were referenced, mostly to original source material, so does this mean the original source material is also seditious?

Also, I am quite sure that Jack Chick's anti-Catholic publications have been distributed to Catholics by many fundamentalists, but we don't see them being charged under the Sedition Act.

(In order to promote the cause of Religious Harmony in Singapore, I would have linked to a website which slams "The Little Bride" panel by panel and thoroughly debunks it and exposes its folly, but in a Kafkaesque twist, that would have been seditious in and of itself, so I guess no one will ever be able to read the tract and find out how ridiculous it is on their own terms, and will only have to rely on vague summaries from the media and court proceedings)


Christian friend: things like this make me sad to call myself christian

i'm not ashamed of my faith, merely of people who are poor proponents of it
it's like the relatives you wish you never had to admit relation to


Addendum: Some people have expressed shock that what they perceived as mere evangelism was prosecuted under the Sedition Act, but not having seen it (and being officially unable to see it, thanks to MDA's blocking of the chick.com domain) they were unaware of its offensiveness.

Unfortunately, since doing so would have been an offence under the Sedition Act itself, I was unable to fully appraise them of the piece's true offensiveness.
"A man's silence is wonderful to listen to." - Thomas Hardy

***

Should deaf people be allowed to ride motorcycles? (or drive cars too, for the anal)

Earlier, some of us ordered dinner via delivery service, and the person at the despatch centre told me that the deliveryman would give me an SMS but not a call.

Later when the deliveryman came, I asked him a question but he did not reply and just gestured vaguely at the bill.

Coupled with the fact that the company proudly proclaims that they are socially responsible and employ people with disabilities (perhaps because they can pay them less due to their reduced bargaining power), I concluded that he was deaf.

For those who do not understand why it might be thought that we should deny driving licenses to deaf people, the answer is very simple: horns. Although horns are often not used for their intended purposes, there are many times when they are used to warn other motorists about some danger, past present or future.

Whereas, if you do not use a seatbelt or motorcycle helmet (e.g. Sikhs), you are only putting yourself at risk (discounting the greater disutility of splattered brains on others' windshields, or the freak possibility of your body becoming a human projectile and sailing out of a shattered windscreen into other people or objects), if you cannot hear horns not only you but other people's property and lives are at risk. Ambulances and police vehicles aren't as much of a worry because they have flashing strobe lights

In Singapore, at least, I think you cannot drive if you have any degree of night blindness, no matter how mild it is. This despite almost all roads being well-lit and cars having headlights. I don't know about colour blindness, but I'm sure it depends on your degree and type of colour blindness (and anyway the relative positioning of red, amber and green lights is pretty much fixed). I do know that we ban people whose eyesight is deficient beyond a certain level (about degree 1000, IIRC) from driving. Where deafness is concerned though, I have no idea.

One objection might be that we should also ban deaf people from crossing roads, but then when you cross the road you look around you. Also, if you have no driving license there're alternate, convenient means of transport (this being Singapore and not the cornfields of Illinois). If you can't cross the road people might bring you across, or you could use overhead bridges or underpasses, but the inconvenience is much greater than that of not having a license.

Another objection is that we should also ban people who ride or drive with earphones or headphones. To this, I will say that not all earphones are equal, and not all block out all ambient sound (unless you pay >$100). In any case, driving while holding a mobile phone is not only banned, you go to court if you do it - we could plausibly do the same if you drove or rode with both ears plugged.

Yet another quibble is that some people drive while playing music at top volume. We can't enforce a ban on ultra-loud music so we shouldn't ban deaf people from the roads. Yet, this is like saying that we can't live forever so we should kill ourselves now (or work, smoke, eat, drink and drug ourselves to death).

Some might say that we don't *need* horns to drive safely. That might be true, but we don't *need* many things (see above about colour and night blindness). Also, power braking, hazard lights, brake lights, turning signals, unleaded fuel and more have various degrees of necessity/usefulness. If you want to say people rarely use their horns properly, you can also say that people rarely ever signal that they are going to turn and thus that turning lights are useless.

Lastly, you might say that people who are not deaf make the roads even more dangerous than deaf motorists. That may be true, but if you are a danger to other road users your license gets taken away and you may even be prosecuted, so mechanisms already exist for dealing with such people.

Of course, it is possible that the rider was not totally deaf and he could hear loud sounds; he did not take off his helmet to call me or reply to me because he was lazy. Yet, this seems implausible since a motorcycle helmet does not take *that* long to take off.

At the end of the day, the question probably is: how far are we willing to trade road safety for a desire to be inclusive? Some countries are willing to let deaf people drive; others are not.

At the very least though, we need signs on vehicles to indicate that the drivers are deaf (I didn't see if his motorcycle was special).


Tips on Car Care & Safety for Deaf Drivers


UPS must hire deaf drivers

"The ruling puts employers in a "damned if they do and damned if they don't" situation, said Joe Beachboard, a Los Angeles lawyer who represents employers.

If UPS doesn't employ deaf workers as drivers, it can be sued under the disability act, he said. But if a deaf UPS driver has a serious accident, the company also could be sued."
"A specification that will not fit on one page of 8.5x11 inch paper cannot be understood." - Mark Ardis

***

Million Blog List

"First off, welcome to the site. It is said that there are over 70,000,000 blogs in existence. This is an experiment to see how long it will take to get 1,000,000 blogs to list themselves on our site. Will it work? We think so. The experiment is to see how long will it (sic) take. What do you think? take our poll. We started April 10th, 2008."

I'm # 289
Get listed at www.millionbloglist.com


It's proceeding much slower than I expected (though there're helluva lotta Singaporean blogs).

It might not help that the page occasionally chokes up in loading. And that the badge code is broken; at present, it reads:

I'm # XXX
<a href="http://www.millionbloglist.com" mce_href="http://www.millionbloglist.com">
<img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2284/2406162033_bff6aef1c9.jpg"
mce_src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2284/2406162033_bff6aef1c9.jpg"
alt="Get listed at www.millionbloglist.com" width="173" height="35" /></a>
An xkcd strip I got from 3 people:


"Important Life Lesson. If there's any possibility of sex, do NOT leave your music library on "Shuffle all."

*Gasp* MMMMM- *Go Go Power Rangers!*"
The War on Patriarchy/Racism/Homophobia/Neo- or Post-colonialism (the last is problematic, but let's leave it at that for simplicity) etc is like the War on Terror.

[Addendum: More keywords: The War Against Terror, The War Against Patriarchy/Racism/Homophobia/Transphobia/Bigotry, The War Against Bigotry]

Although it may be necessary in some places and at some times, it is a war:

- against a vague and undefinable enemy only those waging the war can identify
- where the definition of the enemy is loose: one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter
- against an ideology (Terror) rather than actors (Terrorists)
- that can never be won and thus will never end (perhaps because it is defined in a way that makes it unwinnable; slimming ads can be considered to be coercive and oppressive)
- which creates fear and loathing among the population
- we are constantly urged to report suspicious activity
- where ideology and emotion prevail over reason and facts
- where faux equivalence is asserted between grossly unequal actions (lynching gays vs banning them from donating blood)
- used to justify otherwise unacceptable actions (discriminating against people due to their race viz. Affirmative Action)
- fought to satisfy interest groups
- that polarises everyone ("If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem")
- which you question (even legitimiately) at your peril, for fear of being labelled unpatriotic; even those sympathetic to the cause can be vilified for insufficient dedication and zealotry and thus be discursively labelled as the enemy
- fought for the purpose of assuaging collective guilt at past atrocities
- where the ghosts of defeated enemies can be invoked to justify its continuance
- which plants the seeds of its continuance (eg the Invasion of Iraq), not least by discursively reinforcing the enemy
- where false parallels are drawn between it and earlier wars (e.g. the fight against Nazism and then Stalinism)
- no matter how long the war has been fought, or how close we are to victory, we are told that we are in as much peril as when the Twin Towers were first brought down

[Addendum:

- fighting the problem with a war forecloses strategic options]
"Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well." - Samuel Butler

***

Sent to Starhub:


Your website is horrible.

I was trying to look for a new phone, but your website is totally unfriendly. I'm better off reading the newspapers.

Firstly, I had to hunt around for the list of mobile phones. It wasn't in the sidebar, it wasn't in the main page - it was only in the Quick Links dropdown menu ('Mobile Phone Offers').

When I finally got to the list of mobile phone offers (not the partial listing under https://secure.starhub.com/shop/jfn?entry=MOBILE_HOME which only lists very few phones, but the one I get to after clicking ‘more’ under the 3G listing), I found I was unable to open each phone’s listing in a new page/tab so I could compare them side-by-side; I had to click on the ‘Select’ button to get to an individual phone’s details page.

After viewing one phone, I pressed my browser’s Back button to get back to the list of phones, but found myself redirected back to the phone’s details page. Only pressing the ‘Back’ button on the bottom of the details page worked.

I tried your ‘advance (sic) search’ option to narrow my search to Nokia phones, and after viewing one phone I pressed the ‘back’ button – only to be returned to the main phone listing (not the listing of only Nokia phones). What is the use of ‘advance (sic) search’ when you are only allowed to view one phone at a time, and when your search results are wiped after viewing only one of them, I ask?

After putting up with all of this, I decided to painstakingly open each phone’s details page in its own tab:

i) Open a new tab
ii) Load the Starhub page
iii) Click “Mobile phone offers” under “Quick links”
iv) Click “Phones” in the sidebar
v) Select “Nokia” under the “Brand” dropdown menu
vi) Click “Search”
vii) Click on phone name

so I could compare them side-by-side. To my horror, after a few minutes, each phone details page refreshed and dumped me back to the Starhub Shop page.

After this, I just gave up.

The best part is that when I tried to submit this form, it told me I had exceeded 1,500 characters.
"I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life." - James M. Barrie

***

Apple is evil.

They keep trying to push Safari to me with their "Software Update" (which is supposed to be used only to push security updates to me, and which thus can be described as a trojan horse).

It's bad enough that they force me to install Quicktime, but this is preposterous.

To disable Apple's Software Update, it's not enough to tweak msconfig; you need to play with Scheduled Tasks.

Or better yet, just dump all Apple shit.

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Is this a true story?" - girl in the row behind me at the end of 'The Other Boleyn Girl'


My No 1 Fan: haha. women.
haha they were all fixated on scarlett's breasts :)

A: Obviously its true - henry 7 is well known for his 7 wives.

B: Did you stand up and turn to tell her that It's based on the life of natalie portman?

C: If you ask me about whether death note is a true story i'll be able to answer that


Someone: not everyone brainy like you maaaah

how would anyone who is new to the story know otherwise?

does it say right at the beginning of the show that it was based on historical fiction?

did it have magic and spells and whatnot that would immediately disqualify it from being actual history ?

Me: no notice about historical fiction
but this is quite a famous part of history lor

no magic and spells
pfft

Someone: not famous enough for the girl sitting behind you, and not famous enough for me.

it's like if i faulted you for not knowing the henri cartier bresson incident at flickr

Me: so if I showed you pearl harbour and you didn't know it was based on history I wouldn't be able to fault you lah

Someone: yup

Me: if LKY's memoirs were made into a movie and people didn't know the movie was based on history you couldn't fault them

Someone: yes

Me: ..

Someone: what would it take for you to understand that different people have different experiences ?

what more would it then take for you to respect that ?

if that is too much to ask of you, don't answer.

Me: if everyone is right, then everyone is also wrong

Someone: what. ever.

Me: when did you last call someone stupid?

Someone: i can't remember. I have called many, many people rude though.

Me: when did you last say someone was wrong?

Someone: not since i got to know you, gabe.

Me: hurrah
we are all right

Someone: whatever you want to tell yourself to make yourself feel better.

you're an ass, and you know it.

Me: better an ass than a relativist

Someone: so are you gonna call me stupid if i told you i don't know what that is ?

Me: the bar for 'relativist' is higher than the bar for king henry viii
which in turn is higher than the bar for pearl harbour (which is arguably around the same level as for LKY's memoirs)

but they're probably all on the same level to you
like someone being dumb enough to eat shit
"The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time." - Friedrich Nietzsche

***

Crisis In The American Universities
Camille Paglia

"I will continue to attack the well-meaning people who think they're protecting women and in fact are infantilizing them... My generation of the Sixties, with all of our great ideals, destroyed liberalism, because of our excesses. We have to face that. And we have to look for something new right now.

The situation right now is that we have on one side people who consider themselves leftists but to me, as far as academe is concerned, are phonies, people who have absolutely no credentials for political thinking, have no training in history...

The whole thing is nothing but a literary game. I'm exposing it... What I don't like right now is that there's a kind of knee-jerk, intimidating way of calling someone "neoconservative" if they happen to criticize the liberal academic establishment--"Right, you're a neocon." Now, when people call me a neocon, what kind of idiots are they? I'm someone who is on the record as being pro-pornography--all the way through kiddie porn and snuff films... rather than blaming The New Criterion or Roger Kimball for all the problems of the world, it's time for the liberals of academe to critique themselves, to reform it from within...

As for the Lacan, Derrida, Foucault people, who needs them? Put them on an island and let them float out to sea. This is what I say!... There's no authentic self-sacrifice, no direct actual experience of workers or working-class people. It's appalling, the situation. It's everywhere, it's everywhere in the Ivy League.

Now, one of the reasons I'm so angry. I really went on the warpath last year, especially about feminism. I consider myself a feminist... There was a point where feminism and I agreed. I was thirteen though. It was 1960, okay? That was a time when I said, "Men are terrible. The sexes are the same. Men must change. Society must change. And all the problems between the sexes are coming from the fact that men are so awful." I was thirteen! That's an unevolved position. It's thirty years later, girls! Let us move on! Oh, God!...

No one wants to talk about nature now. Meanwhile, the entire student population of the world is thinking about nature, the environment, they're thinking globally, but our faculty are off in their little corners talking about social constructionism. They haven't thought about nature in twenty years, okay, they are so behind. You mention the mere word "nature"--"Essentialism!" That's it.... The thing about the Sixties is that we had a comprehensive world-view. We saw the injustices of society, and we wanted to remedy them. We focused our negative energy against society to change it. At the same time we saw the enormity of nature. And we honored the enormity of nature. It is appalling, the situation now, that you could think about talking about sex without thinking about nature.... The contempt for science that's going on among humanists is contemptible...

The disaster of women's studies today is that women are being prevented from understanding that there's a hundred-year history of sex-theory, sex-commentary. Instead they're being forced to read these very narrowly trained contemporary women. And most of it is junk! It's junk! It's appalling!...

Diana Fuss... show[ed] a series of slides that she had made of contemporary ads and pictorials from Harper's Bazaar and so on... There was a Revlon ad of a woman in a blue pool of water, and she was beautifully made up, and there was obviously a reflector being used to shine the sunlight especially intensely on her face. This was a beautiful ad. And Diana Fuss was going, "Decapitation--mutilation."... Such radical misinterpretation of reality is psychotic. But it's a whole system. Psychosis is a system. People within that system feel it's very rational... Now, what I hated about this was you had two hundred young women, who didn't understand a word of what she was saying--it was all that Lacan gibberish--and they're all going, "Ohhh, wow! The woman from Princeton--a big woman from Princeton. She's so brilliant!"...

She knew nothing about art. And I also could tell she knew nothing about popular culture. Now you see the problem here. You cannot just suddenly open a magazine and look at a picture of a nude woman and then free associate, using Lacan. You cannot do that! Because fashion magazines are part of the history of art... I made a huge statement that night--the whole audience gasped. I went, "The history of fashion photography from 1950 to 1990 is one of the great moments in the history of art!" And everyone went, "How can you say that?" Because obviously fashion is an oppression of women.

And beauty, according to, um, Miss, um, Naomi Wolf, is a heterosexist conspiracy by men in a room to keep feminism back--and all that crap that's going on... if you read Lacan, this is the result. Your brain turns to pudding! She has a case to make. She cannot make it. She's full of paranoid fantasies about the world. Her education was completely removed from reality... We had this huge fight about the song "Under My Thumb." I said it was a great song, not only a great song but I said it was a work of art. And these feminists of the New Haven Women's Liberation Rock Band went into a rage, surrounded me, practically spat in my face, literally my back was to the wall. They're screaming in my face, "Art? Art? Nothing that demeans women can be art!"...

Feminism is 200 years old. Ever since Mary Wollstonecraft wrote that manifesto in 1790. It's 200 years old. It's had many phases. We can criticize the present phase without necessarily criticizing feminism, I want to save feminism from the feminists. What I identify with is the prewar feminism of Amelia Earhart, of Katherine Hepburn--who had an enormous impact on me--that period of women where you had independence, self-reliance, personal responsibility, and not blaming other people for your problems. I want to bring that back...

There are two huge areas that feminism has excluded that need to be integrated within it... One of them that was excluded was aesthetics... I don't feel less because I'm in the presence of a beautiful person. I don't go [imitates crying and dabbing tears], "Oh, I'll never be that beautiful!" What a ridiculous attitude to take!--the Naomi Wolf attitude. When men look at sports, when they look at football, the don't go [crying], "Oh, I'll never be that fast, I'll never be that strong!" When people look at Michelangelo's David, do they commit suicide? No. See what I mean? When you see a strong person, a fast person, you go, "Wow! That is fabulous." When you see a beautiful person: "How beautiful." That's what I'm bringing back to feminism. You go, "What a beautiful person, what a beautiful man, what a beautiful woman, what beautiful hair, what beautiful boobs!" Okay, now I'll be charged with sexual harassment, probably. I won't even be able to get out of the room!

We should not have to apologize for reveling in beauty. Beauty is an eternal human value. It was not a trick invented by nasty men in a room someplace on Madison Avenue...

Its politics is also naive, a politics which blames all human problems on white male imperialists who have victimized women and people of color. This view of history is coming from people who know nothing about history. Because when you think of the word "imperialist," if you automatically just think "America," then you don't know anything. Because someone who's studied the history of ancient Egypt knows that imperialism was practically invented in Egypt and in the ancient Near East. If you want to talk about imperialism, let's talk about Japan or Persia or all kinds of things. It's not just a white male monopoly.

What we need, you see, is really systematic training in political science and history... Instead, it was sort of like, "Hey, we need history! Let's see. Oh--there's Foucault!" It was sort of like that. It's sort of like ducks when they're born--the first thing they see, you know? So if they see a vacuum cleaner, they think it's their mother. They'll follow the vacuum cleaner. That's what happened. Foucault is the vacuum cleaner that everyone followed...

And unfortunately what's happening today, with this kind of very sanctimonious and sermonizing talk about sex that's coming out of the rape counselors and so on... we cannot have this scenario being projected of male rapaciousness and brutality and female victimage. We have got to make women realize they are responsible, that sexuality is something that belongs to them. They have an enormous power in their sexuality. It's up to them to use it correctly and to be wise about where they go and what they do. And I'm accused of being "anti-woman" because of this attitude? Because I'm bringing common sense back to the rape discourse?

Now when people say to me, "Oh, you're always talking about feminists as if they're monolithic. We're not monolithic. We're very pluralistic. We have so many different views." No, excuse me: the date-rape issue shows that I am correct. Because there is one voice speaking about date rape from coast to coast, one voice, one stupid, shrewish, puritanical, sermonizing, hysterical voice. And where are all these sophisticated feminists supposedly out there? Where are they?... There's not one voice raised to bring some sense into this hysteria...

If a real rape occurs, I will help to lynch the guy from the nearest tree... But this sort of thing is disastrous. We cannot have this, these white middle-class girls coming out of pampered homes, expecting to do whatever they want. They don't understand what's going on, that there's a sexual content to their behavior, that maybe there's a subliminal sexuality, a provocativeness in their behavior. "Don't say 'provocative'! Because then you're blaming the victim!" Well, women will never be taken seriously until they accept full responsibility for their sexuality...

And you know what's so ridiculous about this is that these people want "multiculturalism," they want to talk about various ethnic groups. At the same time they want to deny there's any difference between those ethnic groups. This is insane! It's illogical. It's incoherent. If you're going to have the ethnic groups and if you're going to draw a firm line separating those groups, then surely those groups have characteristics that separate them and that should be the subject of comment. But no--the amnesiac liberal establishment wants to draw lines and erase all of our mental life within those lines...

The idea that feminism is the first group that ever denounced rape is a gross libel to men. Throughout history, rape has been condemned by honorable men. Honorable men do not murder; honorable men do not steal; honorable men do not rape. It goes all the way back through history. Tarquin's rape of Lucretia caused the fall of the tyrants and the beginning of the Roman Republic. This idea that somehow suddenly feminism miraculously found out that women were being exploited and raped though history is ridiculous... Look--ethics has always condemned such abuses. You do not have this endless series of atrocities through history. Men have also protected women. Men have given women sustenance. Men have provided for women. Men have died to defend the country for women. We must look back and acknowledge what men have done for women... In America, woman is at her freest. Never in history have women been freer than they are here. And this idea, this bitching, bitching, kvetching about capitalism and America and men, this whining--it's infantile, it's an adolescent condition, it's bad for women. It's very, very bad to convince young women that they have been victims and that their heritage is nothing but victimization. This is another perversion.

All right. Here's something: Germaine Greer. What a loss. What a loss! If that woman had stayed on her original track, all of feminism would have been different. She was sophisticated, sexy, literate. What happened to her? After three years, she turned into this drone, this whining, "Woe is me, all the problems of the world!" Something went wrong in feminism... Sometimes women have failings. Sometimes everything is not because of male conspiracy. Sometimes women do stupid things, okay, and become vain and conceited...

For all the talk of academic feminism about how they care for women--they think they speak for women--they don't speak for women! You go out in the street, most women on the street have contempt for feminists. Why? It's because of the excesses of feminism. They like to go through this ritual, "Oh, yes, we have such solidarity with Third World women." They don't know anything about Third World women! So much of academic feminism today is nothing but the complaining of white upper-middle-class women. They don't even realize the extent to which they're trapped in their own class. They don't realize it. And they just have to be broken out of it...

The abuse of language has got to stop. Throwing around words like racist and homophobic and so on. Now, homophobic has a specific psychological meaning. It means someone who's obsessed with homosexuality, so that you go out and maybe kill or maim someone who is homosexual because of your own inner fear that you may be having homosexual impulses. It's a true phobia. We cannot allow the word homophobic to be constantly used for anyone who says, "I don't like gay people" or "I think homosexuality is immoral, according to the Bible." We cannot be misusing this word. We cannot condemn as bigotry everything that we don't agree with. Words like bigotry have to go. Or you don't get enough money for AIDS: "Genocide!" When you use words like this--this is what they were shouting up in Kennebunkport when Bush was on vacation on Labor Day--"Genocide!" Now what does this do? I mean, you totally destroy the true meaning of genocide as it was authentically embodied under Hitler. That's what you do. You destroy meanings, you anesthetize people, and you turn people off. You turn the mind off. You kill the brain. We cannot have this. We cannot have this abuse of language going on...

I demand that the profession go cold turkey on the conferences! There must be an accounting. Every college, every university, we must ask for an accounting. The funds that are being used to send people on plane trips to Monte Carlo and around the world should be going to the students and to development...

What I'm asking for is a true multiculturalism. Not this phony stuff, where you have these people who say [imitates smug, airy woman professor], "Oh, I'm multicultural because to my novel course I've added, yes, two novels by black women and one by a Chinese-American woman. See--I'm multicultural!" That's not multicultural! If you were really multicultural, you'd be studying, the way we did in the Sixties, Hinduism and Buddhism. You'd be studying other world cultures. These people are lazy, good-for-nothing pretentious people! Hypocrites! Hypocrites masquerading under this flag of multiculturalism."
"Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else." - James M. Barrie

***

The 25 Year Old Virgin's current desktop wallpaper (it used to be Paul Frank):



(from the hilarious SBF thread: 18yr old local Qiqi from IRC (NSFW) - read till at least page 3)

The 25 Year Old Virgin: "Why do I have a bad feeling?"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done." - Andy Rooney

***

Quotes:

Sourpuss. I can't forget that face.

[On laying waste the earth for future generations] The majority of them are economists. Do I have any evidence of that? In fact, I do... Typically, economists do not worry about people living 2, 3,000 years from now.

[On the deteriorating Singapore environment] I first came to this country 8 years ago. I never saw a fly. I never saw a mosquito - you cannot say that it is the Singapore environment... At least from my observation.

[On drawing a psychological connection with our ancestors to draw one with our descendents to preserve the environment for them] Whether Confucius lived in Beijing or not, I don't know - whether the air in Beijing then was cleaner than now, I don't know... I think it's a dangerous thing to abandom rationality for sentimentality.

[On speculations about future generations' preferences] Blue skies give them a headache, and they prefer cloudy, polluted skies like what we have in Beijing now.

When he was appointed to an honourable position in Princeton University (honorary)

[Me: What would Singer say?] I don't know, I don't have his number.

I bought some meat the other day. It was very expensive. $36 a kilo. [Me: Aren't you a part-time vegetarian?] I am a part-time vegetarian. My wife is not.

[On theoreotical counters to Singer's utilitarianism argument for vegetarianism] You can construct an even wilder scensrio.. An animal that doesn't require any water... The living conditions are so luxurious that the animals are laughing each day.

The term 'discrimination' is tricky. You should think carefully about it. It sounds wrong to 'discriminate' but there are cases where it's morally permissible to discriminate... Being discriminating is not the same as being discriminatory.

[On mental states and anti-materialism] The word that philosophers use is not 'emergent' but it means the same thing. Philosophers like to use big words when simpler words will do. The word they use is 'supervalent'.

Business Finance teaches you how to press the calculator. Quantitative Finance teaches you how to program the calculator.

In the 1960s, multinationals were regarded as exploiters... So developing countries should develop some rules to control them. That was the perception in developing countries. [Me: *sotto voce* That's still the perception among many social scientsts]

Now the Singapore model has become a model for many developing countries... Why? I respect Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore leaders, and I think they were very intelligent. But I don't think they were more intelligent than Latin American leaders, on average. I don't believe they had more foresight.

inclave development (enclave)

[On land acquisition rules] This is also why the Singapore government can pay such high salariesto its officials.

[On population growth between 1980 and 2000] Singapore increased its population by 100,000 a year. This is not equals Singapore mothers giving birth (due to)

In Singapore, if you stay here for more than a year, you are considered part of the population. I have been here 8 years, so I am part of the 4 million.

Korea, legendary: it had 5,000 years of history, but I doubt that claim. (according to legend)

Taiwanese people still have quite good feelings against Japan (for)

[On martial law in Taiwan] Even in South Korea when the military government came into power in 1961 they have elections in 1 year. Even if the elections are a little manipulative. (had, within, were)

Good evening. You know normally when people say a speaker needs no introduction, they go ahead and give a long list of achievements. I'm not going to make that mistake.

[On a woman who says yes being no woman] That's a politically incorrect joke, by the way... I also speak in American universities. You can't tell politically incorrect jokes. In Asia it's still okay.

In America, when you begin a speech, it's traditional to make a joke. In Asia, when you begin a speech, it's traditional to make an apology. So I'm going to combine the 2 and apologise for my bad joke.

I can assure you there are 'Asian values'. If [an] Asian has values, then there are 'Asian values'

[On a local in Saigon during the war] Her house got bombed, she could only run out of her house with one thing... She ran out of her house with her homework.

[On India] 'Are you worried about a brain drain?' His answer was that better a brain drain than a brain in the drain.

If the West handed over the Middle Eastern conflict to us, we'd do a much better job... The West has failed.

[On infanticide] The economic price of an Asian woman is going to rise dramatically. So if you want to invest in a rising stock, invest in Asian women.

I wasn't trained in economics. I had the most practical training. I was trained in philosophy. *laughs from audience* It's very helpful, because when there's a crisis, you can be philosophical in the middle of it.

The other day I had dinner with an Indian billionaire. Not millionaire, you know, billionaire.

I want to give you back your ***, so during your student feedback you can tick the box 'Gives timely feedback'... [Student: We want to tick the box 'gives good grades'] Unfortunately there's no such box.

[On a talk] Any of you registered for it? Because I failed to register for it. So if any of you registered but are not going, I'll try to disguise myself as you.

Your grade comes in the form of a tick, or a tick plus plus. [Student: What's a tick?]... Actually all you need to worry about is the ranking.

A tick plus plus is an A or A+. A tick plus is an A- or a[n] A. A tick is a B+ or a B. [Student: What's a cross?] There's no cross.

In the less developed countries, if you don't pay your workers a high enough wage, the workers are malnutritioned (malnourished)

In the textbook by Eh'b'rer and Ber'narky (Abel and Bernanke)

If you look at the paper, the algebraic expressions are quite horrible.

All payments including grad'tyou'were'tees (gratuities)

A conscientious person is able to think before you think (he acts)

[On kids, cookies and temptation] Whenever I think about Michele's test, I think about the Jedi test - don't fall to the dark side. They should use the cookie test to tell the potential Jedis from the rest.

[On panadol being cheaper than condoms] People don't eat panadol everyday. [Me: People have sex everyday ah? Maybe you.]

[On preferences of people 2000 years ago being similar to ours'] I don't think they had cars then, so everyone wanted to ride a big chariot - whatever.

The father, or, to use politically correct language so as not to offend the eco-feminists, the founder.

The people who are starving in Darfur, they have a right to life. Does that mean I shouldn donate 90% of my income, I only need 10% to live... 10%. Don't think I earn so much... Does that mean I should have to forego my car, my *** leather shoes? I only have a negative obligation. Not to get on a plane and go to Darfur to shoot them... Rights and obligations are not 2 sides of the same coin.
"Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age." - William Feather

***

I am told that English teachers in China must be Caucasian and British-born.

XS is Singapore girl free size.

Juno is the first film I know of to credit an ultrasound baby and people in photos.

2 French girls were passing Frigid Girl on Orchard Road and let out an 'excusez moi'. Damn French.

Condoms are cheaper than panadol (~$1.90 for 3 vs $4.30 for 30). What is this country coming to?!

Good durian is the closest I'll come to a girl's chocolate high.

Interestingly enough, I haven't seen even Mac whores defending Apple's terse 'bug fixes' changelogs (e.g. for version 1.3 of iPod 5G firmware), even though it's in keeping with their philosophy. Hurr hurr.

For all that people are opposed to seal clubbing, it seems in many cases it's done for culling purposes, and actually preserves the herd.

Economic theory says that if you fine companies which are naughty they will pass on the costs to consumers. Yet if you don't fine them, there is little way of regulating them (contrary to libertarian fantasies, consumer boycotts don't always get off the ground due to coordination problems and switching costs).

Some people pointed out, about the marshmallow study, that it might just be that it's the kids who don't like marshmallows who do well in life.

Given that the myths about a repeat of 1969's racial riots in Malaysia have been proven empty, I wonder if they are still pushing the same myths in Singapore. If even Bolehland has progressed to the point that the savages won't start killing each other at the mere mention of race or religion, it would be downright disgraceful for the savages in Singapore to lose to those across the Crossway, no?

I wanted to coin the word 'Feminarchy' to counter the discursive void that leads feminists to attribute everything to 'Patriarchy' (regardless of whether it really originates or could originate from this alleged hegemony), but I discover others have already created this neologism (many apparently independently). Great minds do think alike. On the other hand, no one has coined 'Feministarchy', probably because it's too long.

I'm sure some post-modernist somewhere has staged a performance of Hamlet without the Prince, and found this to be a good thing.


From the Reason Driven Podcast:

It is often said that god does not give people more than they can bear. Ignoring the fact that many cannot bear what they are 'given' (and the problems with free will and determinism), a woman whose son died commented: "If I were a weaker person I'd still have my son".

A good counter to the (false) claim that there are no atheists in foxholes is that there are no theists at funerals.
"Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!" - Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

***

u r wt u wr:

- 'Community Chest' (On top of a Monopoly board) (Contributed)
- 'If you can read this, make me a sandwich'
- '*Picture of bar of soap with speech bubble* Rub me on your butt!' (Contributed)
- 'If you're happy and you know it, buy me a drink'
- 'I'm fat, really?'
- 'Every thong is better in calif'
- 'Squeeze me *picture of lime*'
- 'Hug me *picture of angel*'
- '*Picture of fairy* Okay. I'm here. So what do you want for your next wish?'
- 'I'm not shy. I just don't like you'
- 'I'm sexy *picture of lamb* *some words*'
- 'Be my valentine? *Picture of Minnie mouse ripoff*'
- 'Want to dance with me?'
- 'I only date DJs'
- 'Lovely'

- 'I'm busy. U're ugly. Go away' (Guy)
- 'Of course I'm in love with you darling' (Guy)
"Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There's a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning." - Bill Gates

***

On VR3: The Coils of Hate

"Life in the decadent city of Godorno is not easy on the Judain minority. A shrewd people of mystics and merchants, they are often accused of usury and witchcraft and anything else that happens to be amiss. Now the ruler has declared them outlaws and mobs immediately form to go about waving pitchforks and smashing shop windows. The Judain, huddling in their underground congregations, just want to go and find the Promised Land where the Chosen People can live under the one true God. I have searched this premise long and hard for real-world parallels, but nothing seems to
leap out."


On repairing wet gadgets:

"Vronko relates an unusual story in which his cell phone was on his lap during his drive home. When he got out of his car, the phone fell onto the driveway and that night was covered by 12 inches of snow. He didn't find the handheld until spring, two months later.

When he found the phone, he didn't have time to work on it, so he threw it into a freezer for another two months.

Once he found the time, Vronko cleaned out the phone with a solvent and made sure it was thoroughly dry. As a result, the phone worked just fine.

"Certain electronics don't like freezing temperatures," Vronko notes, so he doesn't recommend this approach for everything. "But, in this case, the cold kept the delicate parts from oxidizing."


"I think Mas Selamat was abducted by aliens. This is a giant conspiracy hatched by the CIA and FBI, in conjunction with the Vatican and the Illuminati.

They landed a UFO at the detention center and used mind controlling devices to wipe off the memories of the guards, who are really grand masters of the Knights Templar in disguise. The aliens then flew him to a top secret underground facility in Area 51 to be interrogated by a team of vampires and werewolves.

And do you know why they did this? Because Mas Selamat is The One --- that's right, he is Elvis Presley --- the sole descendant of the Holy Grail bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.

I fear for his fate. If they do not get what they want from him, I am afraid they will get the Abominable Snowman to feed him to the Loch Ness monster."
"Nihilism is best done by professionals." - Iggy Pop

***

Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?
Christina Hoff Sommers

"Women earn most of America’s advanced degrees but lag in the physical sciences. Beware of plans to fix the "problem."

Math 55 is advertised in the Harvard catalog as “prob­ably the most difficult undergraduate math class in the country.”...

Math 55 does not look like America. Each year as many as 50 students sign up, but at least half drop out within a few weeks... The final class roster, according to The Crimson: “45 percent Jewish, 18 percent Asian, 100 percent male.”...

Women now earn 57 percent of bachelors degrees and 59 percent of masters degrees. According to the Survey of Earned Doctorates, 2006 was the fifth year in a row in which the majority of research Ph.D.’s awarded to U.S. citizens went to women. Women earn more Ph.D.’s than men in the humanities, social sciences, education, and life sciences... Elsewhere, the figures are different. Women comprise just 19 percent of tenure-track professors in math, 11 percent in physics, 10 percent in computer science, and 10 percent in electrical engineering. And the pipeline does not promise statistical parity any time soon: women are now earning 24 percent of the Ph.D.’s in the physical sciences—way up from the 4 percent of the 1960s, but still far behind the rate they are winning doctorates in other fields. “The change is glacial,” says Debra Rolison, a physical chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory.

Rolison, who describes herself as an “uppity woman,” has a solution. A popular anti–gender bias lecturer, she gives talks with titles like “Isn’t a Millennium of Affirmative Action for White Men Sufficient?” She wants to apply Title IX to science education. Title IX, the celebrated gender equity provision of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, has so far mainly been applied to college sports...

If a college’s student body is 60 percent female, then 60 percent of the athletes should be female—even if far fewer women than men are interested in playing sports at that college. But many athletic directors have been unable to attract the same proportion of women as men. To avoid government harassment, loss of fund­ing, and lawsuits, they have simply eliminated men’s teams. Although there are many factors affecting the evolution of men’s and women’s college sports, there is no question that Title IX has led to men’s participation being calibrated to the level of women’s interest. That kind of cal­ibration could devastate academic science...

As a rule, women tend to gravitate to fields such as education, English, psychology, biol­ogy, and art history, while men are much more numerous in physics, mathematics, computer science, and engineering. Why this is so is an interesting question—and the subject of a sub­stantial empirical literature. The research on gender and vocation is complex, vibrant, and full of reasonable disagreements; there is no single, simple answer.

There were, however, no disagreements at the congressional hearing. All five expert wit­nesses, and all five congressmen, Democrat and Republican, were in complete accord. They attributed the dearth of women in university science to a single cause: sexism. And there was no dispute about the solution. All agreed on the need for a revolutionary transformation of American science itself...

During the past 30 years, the humanities have been politicized and transformed beyond recognition. The sci­ences, however, have been spared. There seems to have been a tacit agreement, especially at the large research universities; radical activ­ists and deconstructionists were left relatively free to experiment with fields like comparative literature, cultural anthropology, communica­tions, and, of course, women’s studies, while the hard sciences—vital to our economy, health, and security, and to university funding from the federal government, corporations, and the wealthy entrepreneurs among their alumni—were to be left alone.

Departments of physics, math, chemis­try, engineering, and computer science have remained traditional, rigorous, competitive, relatively meritocratic, and under the control of no-nonsense professors dedicated to objec­tive standards. All that may be about to change. Following years of meticulous planning by the activists gathered for the hearing, the era of academic détente is coming to an end...

“The list of cultural norms that appear to disadvantage women... includes the favoring of disciplinary over interdisciplinary research and publications, and the only token attention given to teaching and other service during the tenure review process. Thus it seems that it is not necessarily conscious bias against women but an ingrained idea of how the academic enterprise ‘should be’ that presents the greatest challenge to women seeking academic S&E [science and engineering] careers.”

When the women-in-sports movement was getting underway in the early 1990s, no one suggested that its suc­cess would require transforming the “culture of soccer” or putting an end to the obsession with compet­ing and winning. The notion that women’s success in science depends on changing the rules of the game seems demeaning to women—but it gives the STEM-equity movement extraordinary scope, commensu­rate with the extraordinary power that federal science funding would put at its disposal...

What is the basis for... attempts to balance the sta­tistics? If numerical inferiority were sufficient grounds for charges of discrimination or cul­tural insensitivity, Congress would be holding hearings on the crisis of underrepresentation of men in higher education. After all, women earn most of the degrees—practically across the board. What about male proportionality in the humanities, social sciences, and biol­ogy? The physical sciences are the exception, not the rule.

So why are there so few women in the high echelons of academic math and in the physical sciences? In a recent survey of faculty atti­tudes on social issues, sociologists Neil Gross of Harvard and Solon Simmons of George Mason University asked 1,417 professors what accounts for the relative scarcity of female pro­fessors in math, science, and engineering. Just 1 percent of respondents attributed the scarcity to women’s lack of ability, 24 percent to sexist discrimination, and 74 percent to differences in what characteristically interests men and women.

Many experts who study male/female dif­ferences provide strong support for that 74 percent majority. Readers can go to books like David Geary’s Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences (1998); Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (2002), and Simon Baron-Cohen's The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Brain (2003), for arguments suggest­ing that biology plays a distinctive—but not exclusive—role in career choices...

Baron-Cohen suggests that autism may be the far end of the male norm—the “extreme male brain,” all systematizing and no empathizing. He believes that men are, “on average,” wired to be better systematizers and women to be bet­ter empathizers. It’s a daring claim—but he has data to back it up, presenting a wide range of correlations between the level of fetal testoster­one and behaviors in both girls and boys from infancy into grade school...

After two major waves of feminism, women still predominate—some­times overwhelmingly—in empathy-centered fields such as early-childhood education, social work, veterinary medicine, and psychology, while men are overrepresented in the “system­atizing” vocations such as car repair, oil drilling, and electrical engineering.

Rachel Maines, a visiting scholar in science and technology studies at Cornell University, recently wrote an essay expressing amazement with women’s progress in veterinary medicine compared with engineering. Nationally, women now comprise fully 77 percent of students in veterinary schools, compared with 8 percent in the 1960s. Maines writes, “To be sure, pup­pies are cuter than microchips, but most of what veterinarians do isn’t about cute. Veterinary medicine…remains irreducibly bloody, messy, and often hazardous…. It certainly requires a rigorous scientific education that is at least as difficult and daunting as what engineering demands.”...

I located two female survivors—Sherry Gong, currently enrolled, and Kelley Harris, who com­pleted Math 55 with an A last year. “Did you encounter a hostile environment in that class?” I asked Miss Harris. She laughed. “I loved my classmates!” When she once thought of dropping out, it was her male friends in the course who persuaded her to stay. Sherry Gong was taken aback when inquired whether she felt that women in math were unwelcome or margin­alized. It was as if I had asked whether women had the vote. “It is 2007!” she reminded me...

[There is] a body of feminist research that purports to prove that women suf­fer from “hidden bias.” This research, artfully presented with no critics or skeptics present, can be persuasive. A brief look at it helps explain the mind-set of the critics and their support­ers. But it is a highly ironic story. For the three recognized canons of the literature are, in key respects, travesties of scientific method, and they have been publicized and promoted in ways that have ignored elementary standards of transparency and objectivity...

Steiger wrote to Wenneras and Wold request­ing copies of the data so he could review them himself. Wold wrote back that she would gladly send the data, except that they had gone miss­ing: “They were in a computer of a guy at the Statistics department and I got them on a dis­kette many years ago and I am afraid I will not be able to find it anymore.” Wenneras did not reply at all...

“We don’t accept biol­ogy as destiny…. We vaccinate, we inoculate, we medicate.... I propose we adopt the same attitude toward biological sex differences.” In other words, the ubiquitous female propensity to nurture should be treated as a kind of disor­der or disease.

Valian is intent on radically transforming society to achieve her egalitarian ideals. She also wants to alter the behavior of successful scientists. Their obsessive work habits, sin­gle-minded dedication, and “intense desire for achievement,” not only marginalize women, but also may compromise good science. She writes, “If we continue to emphasize and reward always being on the job, we will never find out whether leading a balanced life leads to equally good or better scientific work.”

Valian may be a leader in the equity-in-sci­ence movement, but she is not an empirical thinker. A world where women (and resocial­ized men) earn Nobel Prizes on flextime has no relation to reality. Unfortunately, her outré worldview is not confined to women’s studies. It is a guiding light for some of the nation’s lead­ing scientific institutions...

The power and glory of science and engineer­ing is that they are, adamantly, evidence-based. But the evidence of gender bias in math and science is flimsy at best, and the evidence that women are relatively disinclined to pursue these fields at the highest levels is serious. When the bastions of science pay obsequious attention to the flimsy and turn a blind eye to the serious, it is hard to maintain the view that the science enterprise is somehow immune to the enthu­siasms that have corrupted other, supposedly “softer” academic fields."
We have Christina Hoff Sommers's "Who stole feminism? : women have betrayed women" in Chinese but not in English.

This is ridiculous (but maybe I'll try it and see how far I come hahahaha)
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