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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Links - 22nd April 2014

Female Unhappiness and Revealed Preference - "while the United States is supposedly so bad for working mothers, the women (1) have more kids, and (2) work more. At least superficially, then, it seems as though the U.S. is better for working mothers, not worse. Now, one can certainly argue against this behavioral argument. Maybe men in the U.S. are so poorly paid relative to Europeans that the women have to work. (I think this is clearly untrue.) Or maybe the lack of universal health care means people don't want to risk only having one person with employer-provided insurance (more plausible to me). But the burden of proof is clearly on those who claim the U.S. is on a whole worse for working mothers, since so many more of them seem to be choosing the lifestyle"

Yohan John's answer to What percent chance is there that whole brain emulation or mind uploading to a neural prosthetic will be feasible by 2048? - Quora - "the concept of mind uploading is still incoherent
from both philosophical and scientific perspectives...
We don't know what the mind is from a scientific/technological perspective.
We don't know which processes in the brain (and body!) are essential to subjective mental experience.
We don't have any intuition for what "uploading" means in terms of mental unity and continuity.
We have no way of knowing whether an upload has been successful...
the idea of uploading minds is even more problematic than faster-than-light travel, because the idea does not have any clear or
widely accepted scientific meaning, let alone philosophical meaning. Faster-than-light travel is conceivable at least, but mind uploading
may not even pass that test!"

What's Wrong: Thought Catalog - fuck advocacy - "5 Things College Teaches You About Life
Here's TC's five-step guide to college success, based on their list:
1. Don't pay for anything, but make sure you have the stupid high standards of veganism and a strict Whole Foods mentality.
2. Drink, but don't expect to actually find anyone worthwhile while doing this. This is actually good advice, but —
3. Have sex with as many people as possible. Wait. Hold on. Don't drink, because you won't remember somebody's number, but who cares because you should just have sex with them? Don't do what your parents did? I'm confused. Why can't I drink and fuck?
4. Oh, and while you're drinking and fucking everybody at these crazy college parties (you must be at one of those shitty state schools that has too many liberal arts), throw up a profile on OKCupid and get that online hookup engine revving as well.
5. And you know what, since we're all having so much sex, we can't accomplish anything, so don't bother graduating from college. Just stay in your shitty adolescence forever. Why not. Whatever happened to that girl earlier who had that one great two-month relationship on a beach at 18? Why even bother going to college in the first place? Seems legit...
What have we learned.
Thought Catalog should either start reading its own articles to create a recursive self-destructing feedback loop, or we should just stop pretending it's acceptable. Stop reading it. I'm never going back again. I made a horrible mistake reading enough of it to write this blog post. I'll let you judge for yourself whether TC is "fun, smart,
and creative"."

Women Are Unfair, And it is against their interest to be so -"Women are an unfair specie. They live longer.
Q: Why do men live less years than women?
A: Because they want to...
Women are an unfair specie. They can multi-task... Women are an unfair specie. They can articulate better"
This (or a version of it) got published
in the Business Times, but as of the time of writing AWARE had not protested (of course)

E-mail error ends up on road sign - "When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed. Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated". So that was what went up under the English version which barred lorries from a road near a supermarket... The blunder is not the only time Welsh has been translated incorrectly or put in the wrong place:
• Cyclists between Cardiff and Penarth in 2006 were left confused by a bilingual road sign telling them they had problems with an "inflamed bladder".
• In the same year, a sign for pedestrians in Cardiff reading 'Look Right' in English read 'Look Left' in Welsh.
• In 2006, a shared-faith school in Wrexham removed a sign which translated the Welsh for staff as "wooden stave".
• Football fans at a FA Cup tie between Oldham and Chasetown - two English teams - in 2005 were left scratching their heads after a Welsh-language hoarding was put up along the pitch. It should have gone to a match in Merthyr Tydfil.
• People living near an Aberdeenshire building site in 2006 were mystified when a sign apologising for the inconvenience was written in Welsh as well as English."

Potsdam University Removes Masculine Generic from Official Documents - "The governing body of Germany's Potsdam University ruled this week that the feminine forms of titles like Professor and Research Assistant will become the standard generic reference in official university documents. It was the second university to make such a decision in the last month, but controversy broke out when several news organizations, including this one, began reporting that the feminine form would have to be applied in specific cases, meaning that male professors would have to be called "Herr Professorin" (literally, Mr. female professor). The reports sparked a wave of public ridicule and disapproval... the University of Leipzig became the first German university to officially implement the generic feminine form, using it to refer to all professors in a new version of the university constitution. A footnote explains the reason for the usage.
Sexual equality means prioritising women
Comment: "Does anybody else think of Orwell when they read this, this particularly: ""If you want to change the reality, you have to change language too," says Pusch ""

41 Secretly Incredible Travel Destinations
Cappadocia, Nuremberg, Mont Saint Michel, Fes, Alexandria, Hallstatt, Segovia, and the Giant's Causeway are off the beaten path?! The Alcazar of Segovia doesn't look like that. Also 2 of them are in the Crimea

Containing atheism - "A number of academics and experts have underlined the need for serious efforts to contain atheism in the Kingdom. Claiming that there is a link between the spread of atheism and extreme religious views, the experts said a moderate image of Islam must be promoted and any doubts youths may have about religion must be addressed in a convincing manner... Their comments came in light of a poll that showed the Kingdom is the first country in the Islamic world where the number of atheists had crossed the 5 percent mark... Ghazi Al-Maghlouth, professor of Islamic culture at Al-Ahsa University’s Faculty of Shariah, said atheism is not at all linked with religious discourse. It is purely related to the personality of individuals who have some confusion about certain religious doctrines, in addition to having a skeptical mind. They always search for mysteries behind anything and everything and ask questions for which there may not be any clear-cut answers”... Al-Maghlouth specially referred to the controversial book by the Egyptian philosopher Abdul Rahman Badawi, titled “A history of atheism in Islam.” In the book, Badawi explains how several Muslim philosopher-scientists and students of the medieval period questioned and often refuted some basic Islamic tenets and eventually became atheists"
This is surprisingly civilised

Bread Shaming - Eating Bread in Public - "Welcome to the era of Bread Shaming, where your ciabatta roll is suddenly everyone’s business. “I get weird looks in the street,” says Laure Ayel, a lithe blonde Parisian who works in advertising and lives in Manhattan, “because I am eating a piece of a fresh baguette, and the women make weird faces at me!”... “It’s like a competition! But it’s not fun… nobody ever wins.” “That’s exactly what it is,” says Isabel Foxen Duke, a health coach and emotional eating expert whose job is to help clients separate food and self-worth. “In [our] culture, women constantly compare their weight and their food intake with each other. Sometimes it comes out as a ‘holier-than-thou’ declaration, like, ‘How can you eat that? It’s so bad for you!’ Note the people saying that are almost never doctors or nutritionists, by the way… but then there’s also a competitive aspect some friendships foster around food. You’ll think, ‘If you have a piece of bread, am I allowed to have a piece of bread? If you have a piece of bread, am I stronger and better than you because I can resist it?’ When Bread Shaming happens, it’s because in a relationship, the bread is being used by weight-obsessed people as a substitute for worth or power. And the more obsessed someone is with their weight, and their worth compared to others’ around them, then the more aggressive they’ll be about it. So you just have to say, ‘If you Bread Shame me, that’s your fucking problem. Because I feel like when you do, you’re really saying, I wish I were eating bread, too!'”... she found Bread Shaming so uncomfortable, she actually changed her friends. The last straw? “I had a pizza and movie night,” she recalls. “I was in charge of the movie and my friends ordered the pizza… Only when it arrived it was not pizza, but wheat-free, gluten-free cardboard.” After suggesting they order a “real” pizza, too, Montgomery was met with so many glares that she made a new social rule: “I love you if you eat carbs”... 'most girls who make me feel gross about eating bread are the same ones smoking, and chewing gum, and drinking diet soda'"

The forces of evil easily triumph over Krugman and DeLong - "Krugman wisely decided to avoid this bet, which suggests he’s smarter than he appears when he is at his most political... For a guy who is right about everything Krugman sure seems to have been wrong about an awful lot of recent events. Over at Econlog I’m about to do an important post documenting Krugman’s consistent attempts to shift position in order to avoid seeming to have been wrong about fiscal stimulus. Of course on monetary policy nothing can prove him wrong. If it works, great, he’s a fan. If not, well he was skeptical all along... PS. If Krugman regards Mankiw as evil, what possible adjective could he use to describe Ed Prescott?
PPS. My comment about Krugman avoiding the bet was a joke. I actually don’t think academics are required to bet their beliefs. Public humiliation is more effective in any case."
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