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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Links - 23rd October 2014

The Case for Delayed Adulthood - - "Studies reveal adolescence to be a period of heightened “plasticity” during which the brain is highly influenced by experience. As a result, adolescence is both a time of opportunity and vulnerability, a time when much is learned, especially about the social world, but when exposure to stressful events can be particularly devastating. As we leave adolescence, a series of neurochemical changes make the brain increasingly less plastic and less sensitive to environmental influences. Once we reach adulthood, existing brain circuits can be tweaked, but they can’t be overhauled... For many, after its initial novelty has worn off, marriage fosters a lifestyle that is more routine and predictable than being single does. Husbands and wives both report a sharp drop in marital satisfaction during the first few years after their wedding, in part because life becomes repetitive. A longer period of dating, with all the unpredictability and change that come with a cast of new partners, may be better for your brain than marriage."

How To Dance Like A White Girl

How I Rebuilt Tinder And Discovered The Shameful Secret Of Attraction - "some judgments are too secret — and shameful — to say out loud, or even admit to ourselves. Katie never said “too not-white,” “too poor,” or “too uneducated.” We cloak those judgments in language that generally circles the issue: “Nothing in common,” “he wouldn’t like me,” “I can’t see us together.” Those statements aren’t necessarily lies, but they’re also not always full truths either — and often rely on overarching assumptions about what differences in race, class, education, and religion dictate not only in a relationship, but any interaction, romantic or otherwise... Tinder’s lack of information forces assumptions from its swipers, which is is a perfect example of what makes Tinder so unique and perfect for this experiment. On OkCupid or Match, there would be clear markers of one’s political views. But on Tinder, you have only the presence of a pair of pleated khaki pants to tell you if the person is, say, conservative, “a douche,” and thus unattractive... he raw idea of attraction — that knee-jerk “thinking from the genitals” decision — has less to do with our unmentionable parts and much more to do with a combination of our deepest subconscious biases and with our most overt anduncharitable personal politics. And if that’s the case, it’s no doubt the reason why Tinder is so popular, addictive, and ultimately insidious."

Rats Regret Making the Wrong Decision - "Redish believes their results speak to a continuity between humans and other animals. “We’re not surprised by hearts or legs being similar, so why should we be surprised that brain structures and computations are similar?” he says."

Nature of war: Chimps inherently violent; Study disproves theory that 'chimpanzee wars' are sparked by human influence - "A team of 30 ape researchers assembled extensive data sets spanning five decades of research gathered from 18 chimpanzee communities experiencing varying degrees of human influence. In all, data included pattern analysis of 152 killings by chimpanzees. The key findings indicate that a majority of violent attackers and victims of attack are male chimpanzees, and the information is consistent with the theory that these acts of violence are driven by adaptive fitness benefits rather than human impacts."
Claiming that chimps only wage war because of humans sounds like claiming that formerly colonized people only do bad things because of the White Man

Will IGP, Zahid dare to arrest Dr M for saying 'Malays are lazy’? - "He called them "lazy", "unashamed of being failures" and accused them of "lacking integrity in handling money" and even went as far as suggesting that they are petty thieves. Such derogatory remarks are far worse than calling Umno "celaka" and one wonders if Umno Youth would storm the octogenarian's house in protest. Furthermore, aren't Mahathir's remarks considered seditious? Will the current sedition law dragnet include him as well?"

Shall we stick on the sex tape, darling? - "Middle class lovers are 70 per cent more likely to film themselves in the act of coitus than working class couples, according to a YouGov poll, suggesting that stereotypes of stiff-upper-lipped prudes are no longer relevant... Agony aunt and sex expert Dr Pam Spurr agrees that filming yourself during sex is now “exceedingly common” as it’s a nifty way to satisfy sexual curiosities and “broaden your sexual repertoire”. Dr Pam suggests that familiarity with eroticism in European films might encourage couples to try creating their own sex tapes as “it might lead to a potentially higher level of curiosity about life, and that includes your sex life,” she says. But before you start panicking about the number of skills on your sexual CV and stocking up on Kama Sutra books, take heart: making sex tapes is a relatively tame type of sexual exploration. Cox says that even timid couples are more open to making sex tapes than role play. “Very few people really get into role play because it’s embarrassing and they’re very self conscious,” she says. “A sex tape is completely different – there’s no acting required, you can just be natural. You don’t feel like you’re going to make a fool of yourself.”"

To Make Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians, Stop Talking About Moral Equivalency - "Speaking at a conference in Tel Aviv earlier this week, the White House Coordinator for the Middle East, Philip Gordon, declared: “This is a moment for leaders on both sides to demonstrate reason and calm,” mainly because “there has clearly been far too much recrimination and some reprehensible examples of racism on both sides.” Gordon then called on the Israelis in the room to work toward finalized borders, and promised that the United States will protect Israel and “guarantee” its safety—presumably, one assumes, in the same way this administration has “guaranteed” the security of Iraq. The laughable nature of Gordon’s remarks was demonstrated very clearly when the conference in which he was speaking was interrupted because of missiles launched at Tel Aviv from Gaza, which Israel, striving to work toward finalizing its borders, exited from in 2005; it is hard to escape the conclusion that the result of exiting the West Bank at this point in time would be twice as many rockets with a much greater range. As The Times of Israeleditor David Horovitz wrote in a stellar account of Gordon’s speech, “sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”"

“Women who attract chikan, and women who don’t”: The illustrated guide that’s provoking debate - "Those most at risk from chikan, the notes below the image tell us, are school students in uniform, and meek-looking women in demure clothing. Women who wear loud clothing, or who look tall or powerful, are less likely to be attacked."
Fortunately, most people don't get distracted by feminist red herrings about victim-blaming and consider the useful/interesting information here. But then, this is Japan.

Cross-dressing man in women-only train car causes controversy in Japan

Are Women-Only train cars illegal in Japan? - "for reasons that are difficult for us to fathom, a small subsection of “Men’s Rights” guys in Japan take particular offense to the existence of women-only train cars, arguing that it somehow singles out all men as potential gropers/rapists. As if being a man wasn’t already a pretty cushy gig, these guys for some reason want in on the one last refuge women have available to them to escape the groping hands of men on their morning commutes. One of the main arguments coming from this group is that women-only cars aren’t legally enforceable because it’s technically a gender-discriminatory practice. While that’s true, it’s one of those things we’re probably all better off quietly accepting – since, you know, men not being able to ride one particular train car at limited times during the day isn’t going to kill anybody."
In other words, the editorial stance is that it's okay to discriminate against men

‘Teach men not to rape’: Turn off the outrage machine - " this logic seems almost entirely at odds with how the real world operates with regard to all sorts of criminal acts. No one would ever suggest that companies selling home alarms are promoting a “burglary culture” or that public transit crime prevention tips urging vigilance against pickpockets promote a “theft culture.” No one would argue that, instead, we really should be teaching potential criminals not to pick pockets or break into homes. Nor would anyone claim that we are condoning pedophilia by educating kids about inappropriate touching instead of teaching people not to molest children. In most areas of life, urging caution among people who are at risk of being victimized is simply a matter of common sense. Yet when it comes to stopping sexual assault on college campuses, such advice is the subject of heated controversy... the overwhelming majority of men need no teaching that rape is a repugnant crime. Yet some men still commit it — just as people steal, rob, and even kill despite strong legal and social prohibitions. Research by Boston-area clinical psychologist David Lisak finds that a tiny minority of young men — about 4 percent — are serial predators who knowingly coerce unwilling women into sex, usually by taking advantage of their intoxication. These men are also very likely to commit other offenses, from battery to child sexual abuse. The message “don’t rape” is likely to be lost on them... Much has been made of claims that a Canadian poster campaign reminding men that an unconscious woman cannot consent led to a 10 percent drop in reported sexual assaults. But correlation does not prove causation. In crime surveys in the United States, the rate of sexual assaults dropped by more than 50 percent from 1999 to 2005 with no targeted educational campaigns. Today’s campus sexual assault prevention programs built around teaching men not to rape focus on telling male students to make extra-sure they have their partner’s consent, even if she seems willing. Such advice is likely to make many decent young men super-anxious or super-chivalrous — to the point of condescension — without having any impact on actual bad guys. It also perpetuates the idea, which Lisak has criticized, that acquaintance rape is a misunderstanding rather than a deliberate act of violence."

The Naive Idiocy of Teaching Rapists Not To Rape - "One bit of obfuscation that the Perpetually Outraged Everybody’s A Victim crowd likes to engage in is lumping all sexual assaulters into one bucket, even though it is a complicated subject with several different types of offenders. So if you say that concealed carry, pepper spray, or martial arts is helpful against one type, they’ll respond by saying “but that does nothing against rape within marriage or date rape, and so does nothing at all!” That’s really either profoundly stupid or disingenuous. That’s like saying I’ve got fire extinguishers in my house, but because fire extinguishers are useless for combatting thousand acre wild fires, I should throw them all away, and if I don’t then I’m pro-arson."

One Theory of Marriage and Kids: 'Very Cute in the Abstract' - ""For men, yeah, being married makes you happier, and the good news is, it doesn't matter at all who you're married to. It could be like a mail-order bride from Russia—does not matter at all"... For women, happiness fluctuates significantly based on the quality of their marriages... "What else do we think makes us happy but really doesn’t? Children," said Sanderson, the mother of three kids who must have been raised with excellent dinner-table banter. "Children are very cute in the abstract," she said. "In the abstract, they’re much easier—like, they’re much quieter. The idea of children is very appealing. But the reality is, if you ask people who have children, especially young children, life consists of chores they don’t really like doing." And they're damned expensive. "Has anyone here looked at their children and said, 'If I didn’t have you, I’d have a vacation home?'" she asked the room...
"My husband and I have been married 20 years, and the secret to our marriage is as followed: We have three kids, and we have a dog. We decided several years ago that if one person left the other one, the person who left would have to take all three kids, and the person who didn’t leave would get the dog," she said. "And that has kept our marriage so strong.""

The 'lost world' of Socotra, a remote island with plants up to 20 MILLION years old
Ahh... the powers of Micro Evolution!

Fifty Years in America - "A book that influenced me was The Socialist Phenomenon (1979), by Igor Shafarevich, a Russian mathematician and a friend of Solzhenitsyn’s. Socialism began as a Christian heresy, he points out, and it has three primary goals: the destruction of private property, the family, and religion. If achieved, this would ensure that everyone will be dependent on the state or the ruling power."
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