"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Links - 16th February 2013

"Cooking is like making love, you do it well, or you do not do it at all." - Harriet van Horne


Charities Deceive Donors Unaware Money Goes to a Telemarketer - "Just 22 percent of the funds the association raised in 2011 from the nationwide neighbor-to-neighbor program went to the charity... Many of the biggest-name charities in the U.S. have signed similarly one-sided contracts with telemarketers during the past decade... “Telephone purchases and donations are made on impulse. These are dictated not by reason or logic but by feelings of emotion. We are very familiar with the emotions of fundraising: sympathy, fear, anger, guilt, etc”... InfoCision uses a hidden tactic for some charities that could lead to invasions of donors’ privacy. An obscure contract provision allows InfoCision to force clients such as the Diabetes Association to rent out the names of their donors to other charities -- if InfoCision doesn’t receive full payment on a contract"

Satanists Plan Rally in Support of Florida Gov. Rick Scott

Home Depot Syndrom, the Purple Squirrel, and America's Job Hunt Rabbit Hole - "He explores America’s dysfunctional jobs market and concludes that the skills gap—at least as it’s most commonly formulated (“Schools aren’t giving kids the right kind of training. The government isn’t letting in enough high-skill immigrants. The list goes on and on”)—isn’t really to blame. “The real culprits,” he contends, “are the employers themselves”... there’s a disconnect between the people who actually do the hiring and the C-suite executives who get asked about it. “The spokespeople at the very top don’t know what’s going on”... the top 10 hardest-to-fill jobs globally in 2011, according to a well-regarded survey from the Manpower Group, included positions such as laborer (“about as unskilled a job category as we can get”), production operator (“a factory job, typically semiskilled”), technician and skilled trade (“those skills are learned largely on the job”), and sales rep.... the Silicon Valley tech boom of the 1990s: only 10 percent of the people in IT jobs had IT-related degrees. But a lot of the same people would probably have a hard time landing similar jobs today, because employers have increasingly adopted what Cappelli calls “a Home Depot view of the hiring process, in which filling a job vacancy is seen as akin to replacing a part in a washing machine... "Like a replacement part, job requirements have very precise specifications. Job candidates must fit them perfectly or the job won’t be filled and business can’t operate.” The problem with this approach, he says, is that “unlike a machine part, no perfect fit exists between applicants and job requirements”... Narrowly drawn job criteria may be a sign that a company is ignoring possibilities for alternative, and perhaps even more effective, operational strategies... common sense is exactly what software-based hiring systems lack... "50 years ago in the US, most big employers were much more sophisticated about hiring than they are now. So they’ve actually gotten worse at this”... “Institutional holders were now quicker to insist that the company find new strategies and structures to produce,” Cappelli and Useem noted. “And the formulas they found concentrated on restructuring the companies and slashing jobs"... In the olden days, as Cappelli sketches them, HR departments served as “reality testers”.... “Those guys are gone now,” Cappelli continues. “Now the requisition often goes automatically to somebody who inserts it into the applicant-tracking system. So they kind of take the wish list from the hiring manager, who is often looking for Superman—the Purple Squirrel, as they say in IT—something that doesn’t exist”... “When I hear stories about the difficulty in finding applicants, I always ask employers if they have tried raising wages, which in many cases have not gone up in years. The response is virtually always that they believe their wages are high enough”... there is often a cost associated with letting positions remain vacant. But most of the time it’s hard to quantify—whereas the benefit of not paying another salary is as clear as day... many American workers have—and have paid for—more education than what’s required by the jobs they are doing. That can be viewed as a deadweight loss for the economy at large, and it’s getting worse"

No, It Ain’t Gonna Be Like That - "For cultural, social, and institutional reasons, Asians cannot make original contributions to basic science. I therefore doubt Miller's prediction for the Asian future of evolutionary psychology. I believe that its future will continue to be in the United States and Europe... Japan, for example, has been a major geopolitical and economic power for most of the 20th century (Small and Singer, 1982). Yet it has produced only 12 Nobel laureates, the same number as Austria, which has one-sixteenth of Japan's population. This problem has long been known to East Asian specialists as the "creativity problem"... East Asians have much higher visualization IQ than verbal IQ... Here at LSE where I teach, we receive a large number of these third-rate Chinese students dressed up as first-rate. (About 5-10% of all undergraduate and graduate students at LSE are from PRC.) Virtually every Chinese applicant to LSE boasts "the highest exam scores in their province." Apparently it has not occurred to the LSE admissions office that there could not possibly be that many provinces in China. Naturally, most of these PRC students do very poorly and fail out of the program, and, when they do, many confess to having purchased or otherwise fabricated their exam scores and transcripts before they applied for LSE... we have an enormous problem of plagiarism among our Asian students... many Asian students simply copy the work of established scholars. To them it is a venerable act of honoring their masters to "borrow" from them, by copying their words verbatim. No matter how much we tell them that it is wrong, Asian students simply cannot understand why it is wrong to honor their intellectual masters by faithfully reproducing their work. Needless to say, this is no recipe for scientific progress... What makes America great is not the Twin Towers; if it were, then Malaysia, with its magnificent Petronas Towers, will be the greatest nation on earth"
Satoshi Kanazawa *does* study Asians!

That cliché again: “Chinese people are not creative” - "He told me a story about a lecturer in an art faculty on a collage in the US, who said that Chinese students are leaving school around the 3rd weeks of their art studies. Why? On the first two weeks, all intros are taught. You learn about different artists, their work and methods. 3rd week comes, and the students are requested to create something of their own…. Chinese students come to the lecturer and say: “Tell me what to do, I’ll do it!”. The lecturer says: “No, invent something new of your own”. They just can’t…"

Guided Self-Help Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression in Primary Care: A Randomised Controlled Trial - "Access to Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression is limited. One solution is CBT self-help books."

Aubrey Ireland, College Student, Wins Restraining Order Against Helicopter Parents - "Ireland told the court that despite making the dean's list, her parents would routinely drive 600 miles from Kansas to Ohio to make unannounced visits to her at school. Then they accused her of illegal drug use, promiscuity and mental illness. Her parents allegedly became so overbearing that they installed keylogging software on her computer and cell phone to keep track of her every move. She told the court, "I was a dog with a collar on.”"

Satay by the Bay open for business, but not fully - "A LACK of manpower is delaying the full opening of the new 1,000-seat foodcourt at Gardens by the Bay... It does not help that a National Environment Agency rule does not permit foreign workers to work at food stalls or hawker stalls... locals preferred to work five days a week, from 9am to 5pm, for $2,500 to $3,000 a month. In comparison, foreigners ask for a starting pay upwards of $1,000, are willing to work six days a week and start the work day at 6am."

‘Hate crime’ victims: Young, poor, white - "The most likely victim of a hate crime in the U.S. is a poor, young, white, single urban dweller, according to an analysis of Justice Department statistics collected from between July 2000 and December 2003... While race is, by far, the No. 1 factor cited as the reason for hate crimes, blacks are slightly less likely to be victims and far more likely to be perpetrators... 38 percent of all those reporting hate crimes said the attacker was black, and in 90 percent of those cases, the victim believed the offender’s motive was racial. In incidents involving white attackers, only 30 percent attribute the hate crime to race, while 20 percent attributed it to ethnicity."
I'm trying to reconcile this with reporting claiming the reverse but the raw data seems to support this. 2010 data has removed the hate crime category, sadly

Among Religious Groups, Jewish Americans Most Strongly Oppose War - "Jewish Americans are the most strongly opposed to the Iraq war. Catholics and Protestants are more or less divided in their views on the war, while Mormons are the most likely to favor it. Those with no religious affiliation also oppose the war, but not to the same extent that Jewish people do."

Sharpton Marches Against Words He Won't Apologize For - "Sharpton publicly bashed former NYC Mayor David Dinkins as "a n----r whore," and once referred to his political opponents as "recycled white trash." Sharpton has also never publicly renounced his 1991 inflammatory public remarks against "diamond merchants" -- after which a Harlem mob singled out a random 29-year-old Jewish rabbinical student -- and stabbed him to death."

Poll: 14 percent in U.S. are anti-Semitic - "The number of blacks with strong anti-Semitic beliefs continued to remain high since 1992. The 2005 survey found 36 percent of African-Americans hold strong anti-Semitic beliefs, four times more than the 9 percent for whites. The survey also revealed 35 percent of foreign-born Hispanics hold hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs, while 19 percent of Hispanics born in the United States fall into the same category."
Perhaps "white privilege" means that you have fewer racist attitudes than others

'Whites suffer more racism than blacks': Study shows white people believe they are more discriminated against - "while both blacks and whites saw anti-black racism decreasing over the decades, whites saw race relations as a 'zero sum game' where they were losing out as blacks 'gained' the advantage... on average blacks saw anti-white bias rising slightly from 1.4 in the 1950s to 1.8 today"
Of course, the reality of lived experience only counts in certain cases

Man jailed for punching friend's boyfriend - "A salesman was jailed on Wednesday for a month for punching the 20-year-old boyfriend of an 18-year-old student he knew. Leang Shi Ming, 24, had sent her a text message at 3am on June 16 last year asking her if she was free to talk. Mr Edwin Poo Wei Lun, who was sleeping over at the student's Punggol flat, replied the text and told Leang to leave her alone as she was very young. After a flurry of text messages between the two men, they met at the void deck at 4.45am where Leang punched Mr Poo, causing fractures near his eyes."
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