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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Conversations - 27th October 2012

"The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be." - Paul Valery

***

Ken: i feel like selling off my iphone 4
but then
i wouldnt have a device to jailbreak then
i have a ipod touch 2g...but tt's pretty useless besides using it as a
music player

Me: why not jailbreak the new iphone

Ken: nope
the one used for live use i wun jailbreak

Me: ...

Ken: security concerns
unless i fully reverse engineer the jailbroken tool and knows exactly
what every line of code does to the kernel
but for the ipone4 its ok since its "decomissioned"

Me: what if apple put a rootkit inside your iPhone 5

Ken: i'm assuming tt wun happen

Me: when you assume you make an ass...

Ken: of coz u buy product from them u gotta trust em
otherwise its as good as saying what if microsoft owns us all

Me: what about carrier iq in iphone4

Ken: mebbe they have a hidden proprietery protocol tt allow
them to RDP into any MS OS in the world

Me: yeah why dont you go and use linux
the source code is open to all
no chance of hidden code

Ken: haha
i do use linux too

Me: use it as your primary OS

Ken: tt's a good idea
mebbe i shld


Someone on chasing a guy: do u think im devaluing myself :(

Me: zzz
if you value yourself you will see yourself as a subject with agency
and free will

Someone: HAHAHA
i love that answer

Me: yeah. don't objectify yourself


Ken: Serving Up Malicious PDFs Through SQL Injection - Dark Reading
Morale of the story: make sure u use a virtual machine to open embedded pdf files using web browser

Me: BBC News - US 'foils new underwear bomb plot' by al-Qaeda in Yemen
moral of the story: they should ban us from wearing underwear onto planes

Friday, October 26, 2012

Links - 26th October 2012

"Always get married early in the morning. That way, if it doesn't work out, you haven't wasted a whole day." - Mickey Rooney

***

More women marrying younger men - "Last year, 17.2 per cent of all marriages involved an older bride... Mr Tan, who had three previous girlfriends younger than him, said of his wife: “I found her to be quite mature, without being cynical. Older girls bring with them a sense of stability – they have fewer mood swings and throw fewer tantrums.”"

How prostitution became France's hottest social issue - ""'No pimp, no boss' is my motto. I'd rather do this than an office job, getting shouted at by a boss for a pittance." Her strict rules include condoms for everything and no kissing clients. "You have to hit rock bottom to do this," she said. "It's not an easy job, but it's a job where you can make money quickly. People try to say we're victims, say that we're alienated, that there's a sex attack in our childhood history, but I've never been raped by anyone. This is my free choice." She never looks into a client's eyes in the moment of a sexual exchange – "I look anywhere but" – and they rarely tell her their names. But in her top drawer beside the condom supplies is a petition signed by several of them: in neat writing, stating their profession: such as "public works" or "driver". It's a protest against the new French government's war on prostitution... In 2003, Nicolas Sarkozy, then interior minister, introduced a controversial law against soliciting, making it illegal to stand in a public place known for prostitution dressed in revealing clothes. To get round this, women started working in private vans. Selling sex inside a vehicle was not breaking the law... "I'm considering a hunger strike against the idea of criminalising clients," she said. "If clients risk prison, sex work will be forced underground and into apartments, pimps will benefit, sex workers' security will be compromised"... "This is not a job everyone can do, but it's a real job. You need a lot of empathy. People come to us with problems. Sometimes I think I've got the word 'nurse' stamped on my forehead"... The new face of the union is its leader, Morgane Merteuil, 25, a postgraduate literature student"

The 11 best street foods worth blowing your diet over

Venezuela’s presidential election: Henrique and Hugoliath | The Economist - "IMAGINE an election in which the incumbent routinely commandeers the nation’s airwaves for endless campaign broadcasts while his opponent gets just three minutes a day. The incumbent uses all the resources of the state—money, vehicles, buildings—for his campaign, and he has branded state social-welfare programmes as his own personal gift. He controls the courts and the electoral authority. His opponent’s supporters fear that the ballot is not secret, and that for those of them who work in the public sector, voting against the incumbent could cost them their jobs"
At first I thought this referred to somewhere else

Newspaper Article - Manhole without a cover in busy street claims many victims

Fearless witness? Or fearful woman? - "Mr Tan referred to a Whatsapp message that Ng had sent to Ms Sue. It read: "My SP.. has a chip. It's in your body now." It was a reply that Ng wrote after Ms Sue asked him if he was stalking her - he had texted her to say "Hi" just when she stepped into the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) one day. Mr Tan asked what "SP" meant. She said: "I don't know... He's just joking he has a chip in me and that's the brand?" Mr Tan: "Seriously, Ms Sue? Sp.. refers to sperm, doesn't it?" Ms Sue: "It could refer to Singapore Polytechnic, couldn't it?" She added that it could not be "sperm" since there were only two dots after SP and the word has five letters, not four."

Japanese Culture: Why does the Japanese children's manga "Doraemon" include naked girls? - Quora - "In some cases the family likes to take a bath all together. And of course they're all naked. While bathing in western cultures is a very private thing (although it wasn't always like that - see: Romans and their baths for example) bathing was and still is often a social, famiial and sometimes even communal affair in Japan. Nudity, especially for kids, that was not meant to be sexualized and tantalizing, was not such a big deal and still isn't in Japan - although that is changing (more on that later). So, just the fact that Shizuka is often seen taking a bath does not mean it's an overtly sexual thing. It may have been mildly tantalizing for Nobita to see his girl taking a bath (and if I remember right she often threw stuff at him to make him go away) but it was overall quite innocent, and never intended to be more. This reminds me of people who object to the father in My Neighbor Totoro taking a bath with his two prepubescent daughters. Fathers often take baths with their kids in Japan, but I suppose if your mind is wired to think of any nudity as sexual, this is shocking. To me, it just shows that he's a caring father who is dearly loved by his daughters."

People of India (image)
Amused 'Christian' is one group and they're in Western clothing

Why Are Electronics So Expensive in Brazil? - "'When I was living in the US, I was running once when I saw then president George W. Bush, running as well, with security guards. He was using the same Nike shoes as I was. Here in Brazil, it’s hard to picture such a scene. Because objects still very much reflect the social segment of their owners. The sneakers, the car, the restaurant aren’t valued only for what they are, but also as status symbols. This is why it is more expensive to have dinner in Rio or São Paulo than in New York'... “Buying a plane ticket to Miami, staying there for two days and bringing back a camera or a tablet costs almost the same as purchasing them in Brazil”"

Fans requested bigger breasts in Dead or Alive 5

Who vs. Whom - Grammar Rules - "One way to remember is to check to see which pronoun can replace the questionable word. It’s a little trick I learned back in elementary school: If it can be replaced with “he,” you use who; if “him” fits better, use whom"

State not out to police marriage vows, says DPP - "Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, a civil servant who obtains gratification from a person seeking business dealings with the Government is presumed to have done so corruptly. Even if no favours were given - as in the case against Ng, the former chief of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) - such gratification can amount to criminal behaviour, and the onus is on Ng to prove his innocence. DPP Tan noted that Singapore adopts a "zero tolerance" approach to dealing with public sector corruption. Even where there is no actual interference with government procurement approval processes, the fact that gratification was obtained is cause for great concern. "Such conduct puts the integrity of government procurement into disrepute, and to excuse such behaviour as mere infidelity would be to sacrifice our zero tolerance of corruption at the altar of infidelity," he said. In his statement of facts, DPP Tan said that Ng had, in fact, not influenced the work of his colleagues who were in charge of evaluating the CNB contracts that were called into question...
"In my many years in the Bar, this is the first time I hear a critical principal witness ask for anonymity... The fact that she finds it stressful doesn't justify (an) anonymity order. We, and my client sitting here, are also stressed." - Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng, lawyer for Ng Boon Gay...
"If prosecution were right... then any civil servant who plays a game of golf or accepts a drink during half-time is guilty of receiving gratification... that cannot be the intent of the law." - Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng...
"Not seeking a gag order on me, are you? We need to use substance to show that the charges are not adequate, and not just rely on broad statements that Singapore needs to be squeaky clean." - Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng
Looks like zero tolerance is zero sense regardless of jurisdiction

Japan’s first 'cuddle cafe' lets you sleep with a stranger for Y6,000 an hour - "Sometimes, after a long, stressful day, there’s nothing more comforting than crawling into bed with your significant other and falling asleep in their arms. But what if you don’t have anyone to cuddle with in the first place? If you’re in Japan, you might think to go to a soapland or some other kind of brothel, but then you’d have to deal with all that sex when you really just want to close your eyes and rest in the warmth of another’s body. But wait! Before you resign yourself to another lonely night of shedding tears on your Rei Ayanami dakimakura, why not stop by Soineya, Japan’s first “co-sleeping specialty shop,” where customers can pay to sleep in the arms of a beautiful girl—with no strings attached...
Customer sleeps in girl’s arm (3 min) – 1,000 yen
Girl pats customer on the back (3 min) – 1,000 yen
Customer pets girl on the head (3 min) – 1,000 yen
Customer and girl stare at each other (1 min) – 1,000 yen"

HKSAR Blog: names - "Koala Cheng, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong (SCMP letters 3 September 2010)"

More Chinese brides with Caucasian grooms - "In Singapore, people say having kids is so expensive, but what else are you going to spend your money on?”
Obviously not a local, and hasn't heard of the 6 Cs

If Disney Villains Got Their Happy Endings...

Most horrible singers not tone deaf: Researchers - "Despite what you may have heard, acoustical analysis suggests that most people are not horrible singers, and most horrible singers are not tone deaf - they are just horrible singer"

On the narrative of Female Circumcision

"in anthropology there is controversy over western attitudes toward female circumcision. In many cases, the extent of the cuttings and the conditions in which they are performed are exaggerated for purposes of sensationalism and othering and the continuation of the colonialist narrative of "those barbaric Africans" while male circumcision that we are familiar with and practice in this country is hardly an issue. Additionally, most of the practitioners and defenders of FGC are women so it's really problematic to just swoop in and say "oh well you don't know, but your traditions are barbaric so you should stop them this instant!" Where is the space for agency? Why is it assumed that only Western European women speak for all women everywhere? And that they were the only ones who were ever able to stand up to patriarchy and can now help all those less fortunate women? This is a serious issue. Cultural imperialism is not a good thing. It spawns many many problems in the attempt to "fix" others so that they are more like us."

(I think this was from some Jezebel comments thread)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Observations - 25th October 2012

"To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer." - Farmers' Almanac, 1978

***

"Over 50% of trans people avoid public toilets due to perceived risk".
What if I avoid minorities due to perceived risk?

"I used to date a girl who was circumcised. She had a lot of residual anger"
"sounds like a lot of feminists"

If in-group variations being larger than between-group variations means that looking at how groups differ is useless (e.g. "Racial differences are inconsequential because there is more variation within a given racial group than between any two racial groups"), the same should apply to other contexts. For example, "Racial discrimination is inconsequential because there is more variation in treatment within a given racial group than between any two racial groups".

Critics of evolutionary psychology like to say that evolution is a lot faster than evolutionary psychologists assume, where the environment of evolutionary adaptation shaped our minds and they haven't changed so much since. Yet, probably the same people would also trumpet the line "all 'races' are the same and share almost all of their DNA" (because we evolved in the same place and evolution since then has been very minor) You can't have it both ways...


"Go office boss scream at you. Come home baby scream at you"

"why are you talkin about work life balance in the office at 8:22pm?"

Any meeting with more than 6 people and/or more than an hour long is useless.


Theory on why food courts suck: they're employees, with no personal stake

"Barnacles" is not the most appetising name for a restaurant .

At Park Mall, Sucky Sushi & Suckura are opposite each other. How appropriate


What holds less after removing things from it? Packed Singaporean trains & buses. Bloody idiots.


Lots of motorcyclists get knocked down, but they're not bourgeois enough to form a lobby (unlike cyclists).

Politicians wouldn't lie so much if their electorates could take the truth.


@onthelevel: Vietnamese restaurant with a specialty drink called
Rickshaw. Is that racist?
@katiedidwhat: Rickshaws are as American as fortune cookies, so, possibly not.
Tsk.

"Becoming a vegetarian is a big missed steak"

Ergo low birth rate! RT @greyskies: When you give birth in Japan, there ain't no shit like epidural. Just women who can bear pain.

RT @TheFunnyRacist: What is black, 12 inches long and makes women scream at night? One of my shits.

"A bargain is something you don't need at a price you can't resist"

“You know the person I mistrust the most? The one I steal away from someone else. If I betray Peter, you’ll never trust me. I’ll never trust me.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Links - 24th October 2012

"As I know more of mankind I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man upon easier terms than I was formerly." - Samuel Johnson

***

Pearl Harbour - the Preparation - YouTube

Feminism vs Multiculturalism - "Okin's feminist critique of multiculturalism exemplifies a malady of modern liberalism, whereby the virtue of toleration hardens into a crusade for conformity to the liberal vision of human flourishing, and a laudable appreciation of human diversity ossifies into contempt for ways of life that do not celebrate diversity as an ideal... veiling enables Muslim women who would otherwise stay at home because of their religious convictions about female modesty to go out into the world, acquire an education, and participate in public life. Okin... cannot see the freedom veiling creates as anything more than a crumb tossed to the wretched... Though Okin may think she is putting herself in the position of another and arguing here for justice for the underdog, her "surely" gives the game away. For "surely" is scholarly shorthand for "No argument need be given for the assertion that follows, which is too obvious to question." Yet it is perfectly reasonable to wonder whether some women, on the whole, are empowered by modest dress. And it makes good sense to ask whether "greater freedom" should be the sole measure of empowerment and ought always to be preferred to greater piety... Okin peremptorily forecloses such inquiries... Such reckless thinking and lack of sympathy for beliefs different from one's own, however, are not necessary features of the liberal mind. Rather, they reflect a failure of the liberal imagination... the editors define multiculturalism as "the radical idea that people in other cultures, foreign and domestic, are human beings, too -- moral equals, entitled to equal respect and concern, not to be discounted or treated as a subordinate caste"... What is needed is a sensibility that respects persons by respecting both the claims of autonomy and the claims of duty and community; for the inevitable clash between these goods is not a reason for rejecting either but an occasion for more refined thinking... In the rush to judgment, the prosecutor's passion and prejudice get the better of her reason. The liberal tradition teaches that human reason is constantly vulnerable to disruption by passion and prejudice. Indeed, this is one of the key reasons that classical liberalism keeps the state out of the delicate business of caring for souls. Locke's wise restraint, it bears emphasizing, bars not only religious authorities from using government to save souls but also secular types from using the state to save souls from religion"

Rembrandt lost in post by gallery in Norway - "A Norwegian art gallery has admitted losing a Rembrandt etching worth up to £5,400 in the post, after trying to save money on a courier and insurance"

If You Believe Pinterest Is Killing Feminism, Then You Must Also Believe That Women Are Killing Feminism - "writer Amy Odell wrote an article titled “How Pinterest is Killing Feminism.” She made the argument that the site is “the Mormon housewife’s image bookmarking service of choice,” and a place for the predominantly female-driven audience to scrapbook their “dream lives,” complete with DIY mason jar candle holders, inspirational quotes, Victoria’s Secret models, diet recipes and tiny food. She argues that the internet was invented, so to speak, to create less shallow and more intelligent content for women, as seen on sites like Jezebel, The Hairpin, and Feministing (and The Jane Dough!)... isn’t Pinterest all user-generated content? If women are selecting and supporting the content that gets pinned and re-pinned, and if you subscribe to to Odell’s argument, then Pinterest isn’t killing feminism — women are... In order to buy into her thesis, you have to assume that all female Pinterest users are one dimensional and easily led, which doesn’t exactly seem like a powerful feminist argument to me"
Feminists are killing feminism
Addendum: Alternative headline - "is feminism misogynist?"

Medical students in Malaysian university brainwashed into quitting - ""These students were led to believe that patients should not receive medical treatment for their condition as sickness is the result of their karma," Mr Chong said. "They are convinced that they should not become doctors as the act of treating patients will interfere with karma.""

Love Joule, Japan's First Bar Devoted To Female Masturbation, Opens In Tokyo

Who Killed Lard? - "Procter & Gamble turned all that to its advantage. It launched an ad campaign that made people think about the horrible stories of adulterated lard. The ads touted how pure and wholesome Crisco was. The company packaged the product in white and claimed "the stomach welcomes Crisco.""

The suitcase that follows you around the airport

Funny Mama - ARMOR CLASS

The material culture of suicidal fantasies - "45.6% of the participants reported at least one suicidal fantasy, their ages ranged from 18 –41 (median age = 19). Women were more likely than men to have reported suicidal fantasies... These fantasies are very specific and detail tools and materials that would be used"

More Singapore men marrying foreign Asian brides - "According to solemnisers and counsellors, Singapore men are well regarded by women from less developed economies hoping to escape poverty back home. Singapore men are also perceived to make loving and faithful husbands, compared to men in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, said women and counsellors interviewed... Marriage experts think it might be easier for some parents to accept a foreign son-in-law or daughter-in-law – as long as they meet criteria such as income and character – than a Singaporean of a different race. They struggle to get past their own biases of the other races here, even if they have no such problems with foreigners."

Authorities: Oregon Farmer Eaten by His Hogs

'Gangnam Style' dance-off turns into shootout in Bangkok

3 famous Korean chains to launch in Singapore - "According to a spokesman for government agency Korea Agro-Trade Centre which promotes Korean cuisine, 80 per cent of the Korean restaurants here serve Korean barbecue. Korean beef is banned in Singapore, so generally the beef served here would be from Australia or the United States... While most of the Korean barbecue restaurants include pork on their menus, Seoul Garden is halal-certified and 40 per cent of its diner base are Malay customers."

IKEA Photoshops Women Out of Its Saudi Arabia Catalog - "Even photos of women in which you can barely see any womanly attributes or, hell, faces — a few blurry strands of red hair behind a newspaper, the back of a woman reading a book by a lake — were apparently deemed too risque by the publisher's standards... IKEA isn't the only company that's kowtowed to Saudi Arabia's strict, sexist desires; according to the AP, "when Starbucks opened its coffee shops in the conservative, Muslim kingdom, it removed the alluring, long-haired woman from its logo, keeping only her crown." Women rarely appear in Saudi advertising, unless they're wearing long dresses, sleeves, and scarves. Body parts including the arms, legs, and chest are often censored out of imported magazines. And it's not just Saudi Arabia. Advertisers in Israel don't put women on billboards for fear they'll be defaced"
"With the exception of the very first picture ... Jezebel is just reaching here. Seems to me all people were taken out of these pictures, but leave it to Jezebel to make an outlandish headline to get people to click on the article. Gawker media gonna gawker media."
The comments on Israel being misrepresented, women appearing in some of the ads ads, non-women being photoshopped out, different pictures being used for 'comparison', this not being worse than sex being used to sell products in the West etc are more enlightening than the original


PLOS ONE: Lifting the Veil of Morality: Choice Blindness and Attitude Reversals on a Self-Transforming Survey - "participants express their moral opinions, then moments later many of them are blind to the mismatched outcome and endorse the opposite view... If previously there was the trouble of stated attitudes often not translating into actions, now we have compounded this by showing that moral attitudes sometimes can be reversed moments after they are announced... What is needed in order to navigate between the twin horrors of Scylla (‘most attitudes are not real’) and Charybdis (‘most attitude scales are meaningless’)

Facebook's "like" may land Filipinos in jail

Caffeine Can Cause Hallucinations - "The researchers found that people with a caffeine intake that high, whether it came from coffee, tea, chocolate or caffeinated energy drinks or pills, had a three-times-higher tendency to hear voices and see things that were not there than those who consumed the equivalent of a half-cup of brewed coffee (or one cup of instant coffee). "

Response of brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis) to human blood - "Ten specimens ofBoiga irregularis were presented with clean or bloody tampons. The latter were used by women during menses. Trial duration was 60 sec, intertrial interval was 24 hr, and the dependent variable was rate of tongue flicking (a measure of chemosensory investigation). Bloody tampons elicited significantly more tongue flicking than did control tampons. An additional snake is shown attacking and ingesting a soiled tampon, confirming that chemosensory interest was associated with predatory behavior."

Meeting a real-life Focker proves difficult - "Before the movie's highly successful Christmas weekend opening, Universal's publicity people came up with the idea of holding a "Focker Family Reunion" -- inviting anyone in the country who shared the "unfortunate" last name of the movie's central character to enter a sweepstakes... There are few, if any, real Fockers in America. To sidestep a public-relations fiasco, the movie company was forced to alter its original sweepstakes rules and allow entries from Canada, where the only significant concentration of Fockers in North America lives. Universal ended up inviting about 20 Fockers from British Columbia and a Cleveland family whose name was close -- Foecking."

Faithful wife in a shameful tale - "She admits that she is "a busybody" there for the entertainment, and says unabashedly that she finds it "even more exciting and dramatic than the Korean or Hong Kong TV serials". Undergraduate Kelly Tan, 24, pleads that we do not name her university... She says: "Thankfully, I managed to get in. Otherwise, I would have been so upset"... "Wah, it's really exciting. I'm glad that I decided to come. I nearly changed my mind when my sister said she couldn't make it."... "Reading the reports, I'm so amazed... I don't recall another case with such sizzling details."... She asks in Mandarin: "How come you don't have pictures of the wife smiling? "Not that she has any reason to smile lah, but I feel she looks too fierce in all the photos.""
If it is mostly men queuing to get in why did they only interview women?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tick, tick, goes the biological clock

"I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me they are wonderful things for other people to go on." - Jean Kerr

***

"If you have children, at least people won’t keep asking you when you’re going to have children.

Women are always being asked when they’re going to have children. It’s a question they’re asked even more often than, ‘Can I help you, madam?’, when they’ve just come into a shop to make a mobile call somewhere quieter, or ‘Can’t you clip that fringe back? You’ve got a lovely face,’ by their nan.

For some reason, the world really wants to know when women are having children. It likes them to have planned this shit early. It wants them to be very clear and upfront about it – ‘Oh, I’d like a glass of Merlot, the clams, the steak – and a baby when I’m 32, please.’

It is oddly panicked by women who are being a bit relaxed and ‘whevs’ about it all: ‘But your body clock!’ it is apt to shout. ‘You need to be planning at least five years ahead! If you want a baby at 34, you need to be engaged by 29, minimum. Chop chop! Find a husband! Look on Ocado! Or you’ll end up like poor barren lonely Jennifer Aniston.’

And if a woman should say she doesn’t want to have children at all, the world is apt to go decidedly peculiar:

‘Ooooh, don’t speak too soon,’ it will say – as if knowing whether or not you’re the kind of person who desires to make a whole other human being in your guts, out of sex and food, then base the rest of your life around its welfare, is a breezy, ‘Hey – whevs’ decision. Like electing to have a picnic on an unexpectedly sunny day; or changing the background picture on your desktop.

‘When you meet the right man, you’ll change your mind, dear,’ the world will say, with an odd, aggressive smugness."

--- How to Be a Woman / Caitlin Moran


Of course, the vast majority of these cries from "the world" actually come from - other women.

Once again, the worst part about being a woman... is dealing with other women.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Links - 22nd October 2012

"The middle of the road is where the white line is-and that's the worst place to drive." - Robert Frost

***

Woman gets probation for stabbing female lover's boyfriend - "Gutted that her girlfriend left her for a man, a 29-year-old woman stabbed him in a fit of rage. Describing it a "crime of passion" in his sentencing, a district judge ordered Teo Ming Min to two years' probation... The court heard that Teo had bought the knife, with a blade measuring 14 centimeters, earlier that morning for "protection"... In his sentencing, District Judge Ng Peng Hong said that it was an "exceptional case which did not warrant a custodial sentence." But he chided Teo for her actions, noting that it resulted from "poor anger management skills, poor problem solving skills and poor regard of the law.""
I also want probation for stabbing someone

Feminists Have a Tantrum - "Judge Loretta A. Preska of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan tossed out this case in which some female employees accused financial and media services giant Bloomberg LP of workplace discrimination because their bosses failed to pretend that pregnant employees and those who took time off for maternity or other purposes were really doing the same work as those who worked faithfully fulltime on the job. This is another example of the fact that the feminist goal was never equal pay for equal work, but always was more pay for less work. Referring to the way the women's case was based on a few anecdotes and not statistics, the judge wrote, "'J'accuse!' is not enough in court. Evidence is required"... as Judge Preska wrote, "The law does not mandate 'work-life balance.'" It's OK for the employer to value employees who give ultimate dedication to their job, "however unhealthy that may be for family life." Anybody who went to work for Bloomberg LP should have known that the company "explicitly makes all-out dedication its expectation." Furthermore, Wall Street is a naturally aggressive and hypercompetitive 24/7 culture... Judge Preska quoted Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, as saying: "There's no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences""
Addendum: "The judge found that women who went on maternity leave actually received higher increases in compensation – $5,789 in the year after they took leave - than those who took leaves for other reasons – $3,946."
So in other words they benefited from positive discrimination

Straightening Out the Work-Life Balance - NYTimes.com - "“Parents are a special class, and they get special treatment”... the pursuit of “work-life balance,” which sounds so wholesome and reasonable, can be a zero-sum game in the office... Some employees have come to expect that the demands of their children, in particular, will be accommodated — and not all of their colleagues are happy about it... sometimes there is no substitute for office face time... when she worked on a case with a more senior lawyer who had a part-time schedule because she had several children, Megan ran the whole case. “She swooped in at the last minute and took all the credit”... Who, if anyone, has the work-life balance higher ground: The mother with three children, the son taking care of elderly parents, or the 20-something who is learning Mandarin once a week? And should the reasons even matter and be brought to the table in the first place?... “No good flexibility policy ever put in place was for parents only.” But even well-designed policies cannot always accommodate the reality that many industries are deadline-driven or not particularly conducive to balance"

Infrared LEDs make you invisible to CCTV cameras

Pakistani mullah 'planted charred texts' on girl accused of blasphemy - "Chishti has been outspoken about his dislike of the hundreds of Christian families who live in the area, even appearing on a popular national television show to complain that the noise made by Christian worshippers had disturbed Muslim residents. He also welcomed the departure of most of the Christians from the area following the furore surrounding the arrest of Rimsha last month. With passions running high in the community – hundreds of people demonstrated outside her house, reportedly demanding the right to burn the young girl to death – most Christians fled the area."

Creationists and dinosaurs: Answers in Genesis teams with dissident scientists to deny feathered dino fossil record

Why you don't get taxis in Singapore when it rains? - "the company owning most of the island's taxis would withhold S$1,000 (about US$800) from a driver's salary immediately after an accident until it was determined who was at fault. The process could take months, and the drivers had independently decided that it simply wasn't worth the risk of having their livelihood tangled up in bureaucracy for that long. So when it started raining, they simply pulled over and waited out the storm. This unexpected revelation, a direct result of the data study, stunned the company."

New York priest says child often seducer in sex abuse cases

New rules for civil servants « Bertha Harian - "a. Do not go for business lunches. Eat in the staff canteen. And return your tray.
b. Don’t play golf. You don’t know which business contact you might meet.
d. If you do need sex, go to a prostitute. Remember to pay her. And check her IC
f. Re-screen your Facebook friends. Unfriend those who have any business with you.
h. Don’t invite relatives who are businessmen for Chinese New Year. This is to avoid you having to receive their oranges.
i. Does your work have anything to do with procurement? Ask for a transfer.
j. Ditch your Brompton bike."

Staffing woes 'put survival of smaller firms at risk' - "The firm that makes fitness and wellness products received 30 responses to its job advertisement but only 10 were Singaporeans and just two agreed to an interview. One was not suitable, while the other did not turn up. "She was still sleeping 30 minutes before our meeting," Dynaforce founder and chairman Jimmie Lee told The Straits Times. That left Mr Lee no choice but to get a foreigner even though he had hoped all along to hire a local. Dynaforce is not alone in facing staffing woes. Companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are finding it harder to hire Singaporeans."

Tom Cruise abandoning Scientology? - "Tom has had failed marriages with Katie, Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman and also experienced a high-profile split from ex-girlfriend Penélope Cruz. The thespian evidently attributes his relationship breakdowns to his affiliation with Scientology."

Switzerland's 'Dementiaville' designed to mirror the past - "The newly approved €20m (£17m) housing project is to be built next to the Swiss village of Wiedlisbach near Bern and will provide sheltered accommodation and care for 150 elderly dementia patients in 23 purpose-built 1950s-style houses. The homes will be deliberately designed to recreate the atmosphere of times past. The scheme's promoters said there will be no closed doors and residents will be free to move about. To reinforce an atmosphere of normality, the carers will dress as gardeners, hairdressers and shop assistants. The only catch is that Wiedlisbach's inhabitants will not be allowed to leave the village"

Africa's pirates have demands - and letterhead, too - "Welcome to the Pirate Action Group. Pirate commander Jamal wishes to congratulate you on being hijacked. Kindly speak to his negotiator about your ransom, bearing in mind that his demands are similar for every vessel he seizes. This is not an absurd joke -- this is how the pirates of the African coast do business"

National Gallery puts on a peep show with Mark Wallinger's nude Diana - "Wallinger's installation takes as its defining image the moment, thrillingly described by Ovid and dramatically depicted in Titian's Diana and Actaeon, when the hunter Actaeon accidentally stumbles upon the chaste goddess Diana by her bath. Her vengeance is grim: she turns him into a stag, who is consumed by his own hunting dogs – a grisly scene painted by Titian in The Death of Actaeon. "The myth of Diana and Actaeon is the ultimate fable about voyeurism," said Wallinger. "There is an extraordinary savagery with which Actaeon is dispatched and given a deadly metamorphosis. My purpose was to make that contemporary in the context of Titian and the National Gallery. This building, after all, is all about the history of the male gaze and the female nude.""

Pelosi 'Swears' Spirit of Susan B. Anthony Spoke to Her in White House

Randy Lee Tenley Killed While Trying To Create Bigfoot Sighting

Three-person civil union sparks controversy in Brazil

Anna Amemiya - A Half-Human, Half-Anime Model - "What sets Anna Amemiya apart from any other model in the world is her signature anime head. She basically has the head of a smiling anime girl and the body of a real woman, which apparently (for some strange reason) appeals to some Japanese men. It’s important to note that Anna never takes off her mask, so nobody knows what she really looks like."

Dance studio offers children pole dancing classes

Cathay Pacific Angry About Video Portraying Business Class Flyers As Perverts

'Three-parent baby' fertility technique could be made legal - "Comparing the ethical debate with the birth of Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, in 1978, she added that many people had expected the child to be a "monster" and seen conception outside the womb as "absolutely appalling", but that IVF has since become commonplace."

Time Malaysian cabbies play by the rules - "many city folk strongly believe that taxi drivers have fleeced them for far too long. From refusing to go to certain destinations or use the meter to taking circuitous routes to get from one point to another, these are horror stories of taxi drivers shared by many regular commuters... in a recent ranking of the worst taxi drivers worldwide by LondonCabs.co.uk, the cabbies of Kuala Lumpur made it right at the top of the list... Heng speaks and writes Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and English but is also able to speak like a BBC newscaster if she wants to... When Heng came back from the assignment, she had nothing positive to report as she related her experience to us. She was practically a victim of “daylight robbery” as almost all the drivers believed she was a foreigner with her Caucasian look and British accent."
Malaysia Boleh!

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

"Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious. Islam does not allow swimming in the sea and is opposed to radio and television serials" - Ruhollah Khomeini

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Why can't a man be more like a woman?

"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen." - John le Carre

***

The culture of masculinity costs all too much to ignore | Cynthia Cockburn and Ann Oakley | Comment is free | The Guardian

"If men committed as little crime as women it would pay for the deficit. They can change: testosterone need not mean violence"

Comments:

"A pair of women telling men they ought to behave more like women. It's like some kind of post-feminist mobius strip"

"A woman wakes up in the morning, in a house built by men. She starts the water to boil on a stove built by men, and sits at a chair and table, put there by men, to read a newspaper written, in part, by women…but printed and delivered by men…whoops…Time to take a shower. She turns a faucet handle installed by a man, and lo and behold…out comes HOT water, delivered by a vastly complicated water system, built by men. She drives to work, on roads built by men, powered by petroleum, drilled and refined and delivered by men. She arrives at an office building built by men. Walks to her desk, fires up her computer, and glances out her window at a city… She has NO IDEA what men actually do. Yet, according to her, and the media she consumes, men are assholes."


"People need to understand the way some feminist 'analysis' works. If you've ever come across post-modernist 'thinkers', you'll have an advantage here. It's basically a 'bait and switch' strategy, but with the affirming the consequent logical fallacy thrown in for free:

1. First of all, take some concept that is used in everyday life, say 'masculinity'. It's important that you use an everyday word, or this won't work.

2. Then create a stipulative definition, such as 'masculinity' means a certain idealised, structural role within a male-dominated power system (the 'patriarchy'). It works better if you don't make it that obvious you're using said definition, because otherwise people might ask "Why would a social scientist be interested in masculinity-as-you've-defined-it? Surely it'd be more interesting and useful to actually research what 'masculinity' means to various people rather than arbitrarily imposing a definition?"

3. Assume that the 'patriarchy' exists everywhere, and refuse to consider the question the (crucial) difference between men as a group dominating, and the dominant group being composed of males. 'Patriarchy' used to refer to the traditional father-as-head-of-household idea, which clearly was males as a group being dominant. These days, it seems to involve a simple logical fallacy of assuming that A -> B (powerful people tend to be male) implies B -> A (male people tend to be powerful). 'Patriarchy' now exists, apparently, wherever you have more men than women in positions of power and authority.

4. Make it unclear whether you're using your stipulative definition or the everyday one. Make all sorts of factual-sounding claims about 'masculinity' that aren't factual at all, but trivially follow from your stipulative definition and are thus vacuous. Thus, people will think that "Masculinity plays a part in promoting warfare" is actually saying something, but since you've defined 'masculinity' in terms of its promoting warfare, it's vacuous, and bears no relationship whatsoever to masculinity as people themselves understand it (or at least, that is yet to be established).

5. Take the resultant dissent as proof of the 'backlash' against your views, and that the 'patriarchy' is trying to silence female voices, or some other victim-stancing nonsense.

All in the game, y'all..."
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