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More adventurous than the average bear

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Links - 16th May 2011

"Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult." - Samuel Johnson


Multi-Tasking Can Make You Fat

STOMP - Singapore Seen - Sit properly when sleeping on the MRT -- especially if it's the Reserved Seat
"Isn't upskirting illegal? This person should be arrested for tsking this picture."

Text of Sr Consultant Dr Paul Tambyah's speech at SDP's Rally - "As a medical doctor, I come into contact with patients on a regular basis. I hear them tell me that in Singapore, you can afford to die but you cannot afford to get sick. I see people who have to sell their homes and move into rental flats to pay for their medical bills. Do you think this is right?... The problems with our healthcare system are known to you all – mostly they are about money... [Medishield] is the only national compulsory health insurance in the world that practices such cherry picking... Every year [Medifund] is not fully utilised as it is so restrictive... In fiscal year 2009, the Singapore government spent only 1.4% of GDP on healthcare – the lowest in the developed world... a government that is obsessed with annual KPIs and short term gains, cannot see far enough into the future... Do not be afraid that someone will track your vote. It is impossible. They cannot even catch a limping man in a baju kurung swimming across the sea with a rubber ducky... Dr Vivian Balakrishnan is an excellent eye surgeon. Singapore needs good eye surgeons. You can help return him to clinical practice"
Economics 101 meets Economics 404 again

Thank You, Sir! - On the Politics of Gratitude - "'a) We should be grateful to the PAP for what they have done all this while.'... On a logical level, I do not understand the notion of being 'grateful' to an institution that exists for - revelation! - the main purpose of serving a country's interests... gratitude is, in an impersonal sense, necessarily tied to supererogation: giving more than is required... It is odd and awkward to say, I suspect, that I am grateful to the Royal Mail for delivering my parcel... I'm relieved that my hairdresser Caz didn't screw up my haircut, but it doesn't quite translate into gratefulness. Above all, I might be glad for the existence of these services, especially when they prove themselves efficient... Evidently, Lee Hsien Loong went beyond his obligations as a human being to become our Prime Minister. For that reason, we ought to vote him in again. Am I the only person who thinks this is ludicrous?... I had a brilliant teacher who actively chose teaching over a high-paying job as a lawyer, because he believed it to be more meaningful... There is an element of personal sacrifice. Yet, what does this have to do with guaranteeing them their jobs? Should my teacher, then, never be sacked, even though he fails to impart the syllabus?... People do not tell each other to shut up because Labour once helped develop the NHS. I think our tendency towards simplistic gratitude is a symptom of how immature and stunted our democracy is, and we best abandon this nostalgic, irrational, backward-looking mindset if we wish to progress any further."

Jason Fried: Why work doesn't happen at work - "Managers and bosses will often have you think that the real distractions at work are things like Facebook and Twitter and Youtube and other websites... The real problems are what I like to call the M&M's, the managers and the meetings... managers are basically people whose job it is to interrupt people. That's pretty much what managers are for, they're for interrupting people. They don't really do the work, so they have to make sure everyone else is doing the work, which is an interruption... meetings are just toxic, terrible, poisonous things during the day at work"

Reasons for Supporting the Minimum Wage: Asking Signatories of the “Raise the Minimum Wage” Statement - "“A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers.” Over time, economists have become less favorable to the statement... The average level of support for the minimum wage is somewhat higher among labor economists than among AEA members"

Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis - "The minimum-wage effects literature is contaminated by publication selection bias, which we estimate to be slightly larger than the average reported minimum-wage effect. Once this publication selection is corrected, little or no evidence of a negative association between minimum wages and employment remains."

Why has the British National Minimum Wage had Little or No Impact on Employment? - "There is little or no evidence of any employment effects. The reasons for this include: an impact on hours rather than workers; employer wage setting and labour market frictions; offsets via the tax credit system; incomplete compliance; improvements in productivity; an increase in the relative price of minimum wage-produced consumer services; and a reduction in the relative profits of firms employing low paid workers"

Minimum wage effects in a developing country - "The available empirical minimum wage literature, which is mostly based on US evidence, is not very useful for analyzing developing countries, where the minimum wage affects many more workers and labour institutions and law enforcement differ in important ways. The main contribution of this paper is to present new empirical evidence on minimum wage effects for a large developing country, Brazil. Using a monthly household survey panel from 1982 to 2004 I find evidence of a wage compression effect for both the formal and informal sectors. Furthermore, I find no evidence of employment effects in either sector"

THE PUBLIC EDITOR; Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper? - "Apart from one excursion into the legal ramifications of custody battles (''Split Gay Couples Face Custody Hurdles,'' by Adam Liptak and Pam Belluck, March 24), potentially nettlesome effects of gay marriage have been virtually absent from The Times since the issue exploded last winter. The San Francisco Chronicle runs an uninflected article about Congressional testimony from a Stanford scholar making the case that gay marriage in the Netherlands has had a deleterious effect on heterosexual marriage. The Boston Globe explores the potential impact of same-sex marriage on tax revenues, and the paucity of reliable research on child-rearing in gay families. But in The Times, I have learned next to nothing about these issues, nor about partner abuse in the gay community... On a topic that has produced one of the defining debates of our time, Times editors have failed to provide the three-dimensional perspective balanced journalism requires. This has not occurred because of management fiat, but because getting outside one's own value system takes a great deal of self-questioning"

Snarky Adventures in PAP-Land - "I skipped over to George Yeo's Facebook Page, to get a feel of PAP voter sentiments. That is when I realised I had stumbled into an irony-free, sarcasm-proof place where good grammar and proper spelling retire to die. It was a little bit unsettling also to note how sycophantic and obsequious some of the remarks were...
Mohamed Sultan: I seriously think that Singapore education system is failing. Many do not know what is "Courtesy" & respect. If not because of founding father, the guy above will become cleaner in Malaysia & oversea. or he can be a fisherman.. :) fisherman from fishing village call Singapore.
Alfian Sa'at: I need look no further for evidence that Singapore's education system has spectacularly failed...
FC: Citizens of ALjunied GRC please vote wisely, if we lose a great Foreign Minister like Mr George Yeo, it would be the greatest loss of all SIngaporean.
Alfian Sa'at: We lose 10,000 Singaporeans every year because of the PAP's policies."

Teen fakes pregnancy as a school project

My vote is against fear - "My vote in GE 2011 will be against ideals and parties that disrespect me and my views. My vote will be against arrogance, bullying and intimidation. My vote is for a better place for humankind. My vote will be against fear."

Woman Uses Sperm from Oral Sex to Impregnate Self, Gets Child Support - "The courts ordered the man to pay about $800 a month child support in spite of his ex-girlfriends devious scheme"
Woo hoo! Feminism!

Photographer Ad FAIL

Mind the gap: Asian income gulf shows economic model's flaws - "Inequality, up to a point, is a spur to efficiency. But excessive inequality holds people back and stifles consumption. No one can be expected to spend freely if they have precarious, poorly paid jobs and scant social protection"

Pornography found in Osama hideout - "Three other US officials familiar with evidence gathered during investigations of other Islamic militants said the discovery of pornography is not uncommon in such cases"

University bans public displays of affection

The £12m question: how WikiLeaks gags its own staff - "This phraseology is consistent with WikliLeaks's perception of itself as a commercial organisation in the business of owning and selling leaked information. Indeed, there is no other sensible way of interpreting this penalty clause... the fact of the legal gag itself is subject to the gag... WikiLeaks is nothing other a highly commercially charged enterprise, seeking to protect and maximise its earnings from selling information that has been leaked to it. If so, WikiLeaks is nothing other than a business. One suspects that the various brave and well-intentioned people who have provided the leaked information would be quite unaware of – and perhaps horrified by – the express commercial intentions of WikiLeaks, as evidenced by this document. However, for some time it has been apparent that WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange have had a "pick'n'mix" attitude to legal obligations. They seem to feel free from any restrictions in respect of confidentiality and official secrecy; but on the other hand they make routine legal threats, especially against the Guardian, so as to uphold their perceived rights to their supposed commercial "property" – leaked, sensitive information. Abidance by the law is, it would seem, something for other people"
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