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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Links - 22nd May 2012

"'So you think *I'm* the murderer? What do I have to do to convince you that I'm not, be the next victim?'
'Well, that would be a start.'"
--- Peter Stone, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in "Charade", 1963

***

The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future - "It slipped into parody late last year with the hypothetical app, Jotly, which allowed you to "rate everything" from the ice cubes in your drink to the fire hydrant you saw on the street. The fake promo video perfectly nailed everything about the herd mentality among startups. Its creator told me to watch for "the color blue, rounded corners, SoLoMo [SocialLocalMobile], ratings, points, free iPads, ridiculous name (complete with random adverbing via 'ly'), overpromising, private beta, giant buttons, 'friction-less' sign up, no clear purpose, and of course a promo video." And then, the hilarious parody ate itself and my tears of laughter turned to sadness when the people behind the joke actually released Jotly as a real, live app... I return to Jeff Hammerbacher's awesome line about developers these days: "The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.""

What Airport Security Costs You - ""It's not clear to me that the $40 billion we've spent on screening passengers since September 11 is the wisest use of security resources," says Robert Poole, director of transportation policy at think tank the Reason Foundation, and a member of the Government Accountability Office's National Aviation Studies Advisory Panel... Because driving is so much more dangerous than flying, the thousands of more people who took to the roads rather than the skies after September 11 led to more car accidents. Blalock estimated that from September of 2001 to October of 2003, the enhanced airport security led to 2,300 road fatalities that otherwise would not have occurred"

Why the U.S. Supports Israel | FPIF - "- Israel has successfully prevented victories by radical nationalist movements in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as in Palestine.
- Israel has kept Syria, for many years an ally of the Soviet Union, in check.
- Israel's air force is predominant throughout the region.
- Israel's frequent wars have provided battlefield testing for American arms, often against Soviet weapons.
- It has served as a conduit for U.S. arms to regimes and movements too unpopular in the United States for openly granting direct military assistance, such as apartheid South Africa, the Islamic Republic in Iran, the military junta in Guatemala, and the Nicaraguan Contras. Israeli military advisers have assisted the Contras, the Salvadoran junta, and foreign occupation forces in Namibia and Western Sahara.
- Israel's intelligence service has assisted the U.S. in intelligence gathering and covert operations.
- Israel has missiles capable of reaching as far as the former Soviet Union, it possesses a nuclear arsenal of hundreds of weapons, and it has cooperated with the U.S. military-industrial complex with research and development for new jet fighters and anti-missile defense systems."

How uncontrolled immigration can destroy a nation: A comparative case study of the Korean kingdoms of Balhae (渤海) and Silla (新羅) << THE TEMASEK TIMES
I'm still trying to figure out what the argument of this article is

Can Polygamy Be Ethical? - "A researcher argues that traditional forms of polygamy — defined as a marriage with more than two partners— are inherently unequal and therefore morally objectionable"
Similarly, it is unethical to have more than one child

The Tyre Prophecy Again - "Biblical inerrantists have resorted to all sorts of verbal gymnastics to try to explain how that Ezekiel's prophecy could have been fulfilled if the site of ancient Tyre is still occupied by a city. They say such things as it never regained its former splendor, but the prophecy didn't predict this: it said that the city would never be rebuilt. Some inerrantists even say that present-day Tyre is not built on the same site, but a look at modern maps of Lebanon will show (as does the aerial photo mentioned above) that Sur [the modern name] is located on the very site of the former island. It just isn't so that each of the items in this prophecy "came to pass exactly as Ezekiel said." He predicted that the city would be destroyed and never built again, but a city is there now on the same spot that Ezekiel said would be a bare rock forever."

GM wheat scientists at Rothamsted make plea to protesters - "The protest group Take the Flour Back has vowed to "decontaminate" the site unless the research is halted. The scientists say the GM plants could benefit the environment as they will reduce pesticide use. "We appeal to you as environmentalists," they write in an open letter. "Our GM wheat could, for future generations, substantially reduce the use of agricultural chemicals." But the campaigners say the GM trial presents "a clear risk to British farming"... the Rothamsted letter pledges their results "will not be patented and will not be owned by any private company. "If our wheat proves to be beneficial we want it to be available to farmers around the world at minimum cost," they write. They are inviting campaigners in for a discussion. "You have described genetically modified crops as 'not properly tested'," they write. "Yet when tests are carried out you are planning to destroy them before any useful information can be obtained. "We do not see how preventing the acquisition of knowledge is a defensible position in an age of reason.""
When you understand why campaigners do what they do, you understand why they eschew dialogue

Coffee seduction scam blows holes... in wallets - "15 suspects were detained by Shanghai police in connection with an alleged coffee bar charging exorbitant prices for their coffee (and other items) to customers after luring them in with young women"

That’s Not Trash, That’s Dinner - NYTimes.com - "Pre-industrial cooks, for whom thrift was a necessity as well as a virtue, once knew many ways to put the entire garden to work. Fried green tomatoes and pickled watermelon rind are examples of dishes that preserved a bumper crop before rot set in"

Singapore Other Services Ads Classified Ads - SgAdsOnline
Somehow, 95% of these in the "other services" category are for sex

Sexy Dressing Revisited:does Target Dress Play A Part In Sexual Harassment Cases? - ""U.S. psychiatrists in large numbers believe that revealing attire is one of the causative or precipitating factors in sex crimes against young females"... The same general findings hold true for dress and sexual harassment... studies of rapists suggest that victim attire is not a significant factor. Instead, rapists
look for signs of passiveness and submissiveness, which, studies suggest, are more likely to coincide with more body-concealing clothing... men, using only nonverbal appearance cues, could accurately assess which women were passive and submissive versus those who were dominant and assertive. Clothing was one of the key cues: “Those females high in passivity and
submissiveness (i.e., those at greatest risk for victimization) wore noticeably more body-concealing clothing (i.e., high necklines, long pants and sleeves, multiple layers).” This suggests that men equate body-concealing clothing with passive and submissive qualities, which are qualities that rapists look for in victims. Thus, those who wore provocative clothes would not be viewed as passive or submissive, and would be less likely to be victims of assault. Along these lines, research suggests that rape victims are “significantly lower” in “dominance, assertiveness, and social presence.”"
This does not seem to gel with some feminist claims about violence, pornography, objectification and slut-shaming, but as the article admits (in a somewhat different context, "No one theory explains the current happenings with women’s dress—instead, the discussion leads to tension within feminist theory")

Insane and magical photos a father created of his daughters

Women's Rape Fantasies: How Common? What Do They Mean? - "From 1973 through 2008, nine surveys of women's rape fantasies have been published. They show that about four in 10 women admit having them (31 to 57 percent) with a median frequency of about once a month. Actual prevalence of rape fantasies is probably higher because women may not feel comfortable admitting them... she [resists] initially, but then eventually melts into submission, desire, and ultimately fulfillment... In porn for women as depicted in romance novels, the fantasy is to be desired so much that the man loses all control, though he never actually hurts the woman, and in the end, marries her"

Girl Talk: When (Rape) Fantasy Becomes Reality - "To him, this was the fantasy I’d been talking about. To me, it was not... If this had happened to any one of my friends, indeed any woman I know, I’d have been the first to rail against any sort of “blame the victim” stance. But knowing what I know about my own reticence to set concrete limits, not out of laziness but out of sheer spite for what I’d always thought was a lame, overwrought, touchy-feely set of principles, I can’t assuage myself fully from blame"

Why Men Should Fear the Rape Fantasy - "Many experts believe that women use the fantasies to alleviate guilt. "The common theme is that these women somehow feel bad about being sexual," says addiction specialist and radio host Dr. Drew Pinsky. "These fantasies give them license to say, 'I couldn't help myself—I was being raped' as an excuse"... Like with most psychological phenomena, there's no direct explanation for why some women are turned on by the notion of force while others are aroused by the idea of making love in a field of daisies—only speculation"
I proposed the former as a reason for the popularity of pole dancing and salsa

What's Behind Rape Fantasies? - ""How weird is this? We fight for the right to say yes, then once we have it we find it's hottest if we pretend to say no"... "Rape fantasies are an extension of a woman's tendency to fantasize about being a submissive person in a sexual encounter""

"The Myth of Chinese Meritocracy" - "In many ways, Bo personified the Chinese concept of “meritocracy” – well-educated, intelligent, sophisticated, and charming (mainly to Western executives). But, after his fall, a very different picture emerged. Aside from his alleged involvement in assorted crimes, Bo was said to be a ruthless apparatchik, endowed with an outsize ego but no real talent. His record as a local administrator was mediocre... Unfortunately, Bo’s case is not the exception in China, but the rule. Contrary to the prevailing perception in the West (especially among business leaders), the current Chinese government is riddled with clever apparatchiks like Bo who have acquired their positions through cheating, corruption, patronage, and manipulation... few Chinese citizens believe that they are governed by the best and the brightest. But astonishingly, the myth of a Chinese meritocracy remains very much alive among Westerners who have encountered impressively credentialed officials like Bo"
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