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Valar Qringaomis

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Links - 16th November 2014

“Fast-Food Civil Rights”: Would You Like Fries With That, Comrade? | Thought Catalog - "This notion of “justice” being applied to fast-food jobs is the latest way to organize and make demands. Once it’s politicized it becomes an argument that takes on a whole new tone. If you don’t support this call for a “living wage,” suddenly you’re against civil rights, and that makes you a racist bigot who is beneath contempt. But I believe framing this as a civil-rights issue is ludicrous and an insult to the people who endured the civil-rights struggles of the past. Even though Rep. John Lewis has compared the movements, calling the pay “starvation wages,” no one is being forced to work at any fast-food restaurant against their will. Ronald McDonald isn’t siccing the dogs or turning the fire hoses on these poor souls. The restaurant industry has responded that the jobs are meant to be entry-level positions and not lifelong careers. Their concern is that if they had to pay employees $15 an hour, customers would feel the pinch. It doesn’t take a business whiz to realize that if a fast-food worker starts at $15 an hour then the industry will change how it conducts business, either by drastically raising prices or laying off workers—probably both. That would be ironic considering other low-wage earners would then likely be priced out of the one restaurant experience they can usually afford. Some of the fast-food workers at Saturday’s convention were wearing T-shirts that said, “We Are Worth More.” But are they really?... a reporter speaking to the two dozen or so activists at a Krystal hamburger restaurant noted that the majority were not actually workers, but union organizers or members. The Service Employees International Union has been providing financial and organizational support to these protests. So this movement would seem to be more about consolidation of union power and union dues than any real concern over civil rights. It was also noted that one protester held a sign quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stating “Capitalism has outlived its usefulness”... Only anti-capitalists would organize for a union that would seek to suck the profits and wages in union dues from a business instead of banding together to start their own business to compete in the marketplace. But then again, whining for what you want is always easier than working for what you want"

The Math Sex Gap Revisited: A Theory of Everyone - "With a male-to-female variance ratio of 1.15 and zero gap in the means, filling tenured faculty slots in rank order of ability imposes the following bounds:
Case I: No more than 26% of faculty positions will be occupied by women.
Case II: No more than 33% of faculty positions will be occupied by women.
Thus, "the discrepancy in variances is not large" means that it only restricts female participation in this segment of the marketplace to between 26% and 33%. And we have not considered the sex gap in the means. Accounting for it, the bounds drop to between 16% and 22%... If we incorporate this proclivity factor of 5 into the rank-order calculation, the ceiling on tenured women faculty in math-intensive fields at research institutions drops to between 4% and 6%. In elite departments, say the top five, the ceiling will be lower still. Prenatal testosterone supplements might improve the numbers... The ACT composite score is a weighted average of English, math, reading and science scores. In Colorado and Illinois, where there are no sampling problems, as well as nationally where there are, girls outscore boys in English and reading, while boys outscore girls in math and science. And, as in SATs, boys outnumber girls 2 to 1 in the highest ACT levels of mathematics achievement... Allowing for statistical fluctuation, it is evident from Table 1 that:
MATH-ABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS OF MEN AND WOMEN HAVE NOT CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY IN AT LEAST HALF A CENTURY."

Why Don’t I Criticize Israel? : Sam Harris - "this is an incredibly boring and depressing question for a variety of reasons. The first, is that I have criticized both Israel and Judaism. What seems to have upset many people is that I’ve kept some sense of proportion... Whatever terrible things the Israelis have done, it is also true to say that they have used more restraint in their fighting against the Palestinians than we—the Americans, or Western Europeans—have used in any of our wars. They have endured more worldwide public scrutiny than any other society has ever had to while defending itself against aggressors. The Israelis simply are held to a different standard. And the condemnation leveled at them by the rest of the world is completely out of proportion to what they have actually done... What would the Jews do to the Palestinians if they could do anything they wanted? Well, we know the answer to that question, because they can do more or less anything they want. The Israeli army could kill everyone in Gaza tomorrow. So what does that mean? Well, it means that, when they drop a bomb on a beach and kill four Palestinian children, as happened last week, this is almost certainly an accident... What do we know of the Palestinians? What would the Palestinians do to the Jews in Israel if the power imbalance were reversed? Well, they have told us what they would do. For some reason, Israel’s critics just don’t want to believe the worst about a group like Hamas, even when it declares the worst of itself... Every day that you could read about an Israeli rocket gone astray or Israeli soldiers beating up an innocent teenager, you could have read about ISIS in Iraq crucifying people on the side of the road, Christians and Muslims. Where is the outrage in the Muslim world and on the Left over these crimes? Where are the demonstrations, 10,000 or 100,000 deep, in the capitals of Europe against ISIS? If Israel kills a dozen Palestinians by accident, the entire Muslim world is inflamed. God forbid you burn a Koran, or write a novel vaguely critical of the faith. And yet Muslims can destroy their own societies—and seek to destroy the West—and you don’t hear a peep... apart from the influence of Jewish extremism (which I condemn), Israel’s continued appropriation of land has more than a little to do with her security concerns"

Big breasts discourage women from exercising (except when they don’t) - "the research specifies that there is no observed link between breast size and physical activity, meaning it’s not just larger-breasted women who are put off exercising. So exactly why so much coverage specifies that it’s big-breasted women who are put off is anyone’s guess. It’s almost like mentioning big breasts in a headline is more likely to get web traffic or something... The fact that breast size isn’t linked to reluctance to exercise suggests the main reasons are more social or cultural. Women can only be too aware that their breasts get a lot of negative attention. It’s also worth considering that, despite the declarations of the headlines, the original study shows that breasts are ranked 4th as a reason for not exercising, behind lack of energy, time constraints and health reasons. All of these reasons are perfectly valid, but clearly aren’t considered as important or interesting as “having boobs”"

Mega Uses Random Data From Your Mouse and Keyboard To Beef Up Its Already Insane Encryption (Updated)

Video Game Racism "The New Norm"? - "this sort of rumination seems to me to be picking a fight where none exists. And it points up the difference between sensitivity and tolerance. Not everything has to provide a teachable moment or avoid an uncomfortable subject altogether. Look at film"

Moderate Muslims in Singapore must speak up. - "the Malay Muslim community in Singapore should unite and speak up to counter the image that ISIS and local extremists have portrayed on the whole Muslim community. Funnily, the local Muslim community were so vocally anti-Israel when the Jewish state launched ground offensive against Hamas with some even called for the boycott of McDonalds but the community were muted when it comes to ISIS and its local supporters."

Telegraph Journalist Accuses World Health Organisation of Gay Stereotyping - "The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been accused of promoting gay stereotyping following it’s report published last week, which urged gay men to use antiretroviral drugs as an additional method of HIV prevention."
Apparently it's better to let gay men die than to 'stereotype' them

Israel, Hamas, WhatsApp And Hacked Phones in the Gaza Psy-War - "Liron Shamam, a popular anchor on Israel’s most-watched morning news show, was sitting in her apartment in Tel Aviv, wondering what it must be like for those living in Gaza. So she embarked on a quest to find her Palestinian doppelganger. “I was so sad and depressed,” she said. “I couldn’t help but think there must be someone in Gaza, sitting in their apartment wondering the same thing about me.” Minutes after posting a message on Facebook, she was talking to a Palestinian journalist in Gaza. But the conversation was cut short when the man on the other end of the line had to run to the shelter. “Before he hung up, I told him, ‘be safe!’ and he wished me the same.” Ironically, rockets began flying over Shamam’s apartment in Tel Aviv that very moment. The symmetry of their experiences only made her more determined to continue her journey. “I remember thinking, this is fucked up.”"

Lawrence Kurniawan's answer to Why are women so negative about the "picking up women" school of thought? - Quora - "the rabbit hole goes really deep and some women have only tasted the breadcrumbs the old rabbits left behind. Suffice to say they didn't like the mould... What you read from Neil Strauss's The Game is old and just the tip of the iceberg. I'm guessing that some women didn't like pick-up because of some techniques advocated there (like negging) and the objectification of women, amongst other things. I agree that they are horrible, but they don't represent the whole pick-up field. To say that pick-up is nasty because of that is akin to hating Biology because you think cloning is immoral... Does pick-up benefit women?
Yes, in many ways.
1. Many things taught in pick-up are actually androgynous. They are transferable to life in general and business, especially networking. It teaches you how to read people better, connect with strangers, take calculated risk, act despite fear, be a better person and the list goes on.
2. More men with better dating skills mean you will have better love life and better selections.
Every good things in this world can be used for bad purposes, pick-up is no exception."

Prostitution Law Canada: Should Bill C-36 Debate Hear From Johns? - "Atchison says that what's missing from the new law is a basic understanding of how many johns there are in Canada and what motivates them to buy sex. He says the best comparative numbers are from Britain, New Zealand and Australia, where four to seven per cent of the male population have purchased sex. "[But for Canada] there is no indication at the broader level. Which then begs the question, how is it that we can have this legislation that has been proposed to address a problem when nobody knows the magnitude of the so-called problem." In his research, Atchison has spoken to "literally thousands" of men who bought sex. The act itself is the main reason they visit prostitutes, but it is not the only one. Johns have told him they want companionship, conversation, physical touch. Some are handicapped or suffering from degenerative diseases that leave them paralyzed. Perhaps most surprising, there are johns who have long-term connections with a sex provider that in some cases last for years. They are what he calls "pseudo-monogamous relationships." In a recent interview on CBC Radio's The 180, James Rodney admitted to having been a regular user of sexual services in the 1990s. He was working at a fly-in job in a remote area of Canada and didn't feel having a one-night stand was fair to the woman... John Lowman, a criminologist at Simon Fraser University who has studied prostitution and the law since 1977, thinks Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — equality rights — will get a workout this time around. He explains that the proposed law would allow a woman to sell sex without fear of prosecution. "Then the full weight of the law can be brought against the man who buys those sexual services. It is institutionalized, state-sponsored entrapment," he says. On top of that, argues Lowman, this approach will just put prostitutes at as much risk of violence as they were under the old regime — the exact opposite of what this law is supposed to do. "I think that [abolitionists] are quite prepared to sacrifice sex sellers in the name of their particular ideology, which is about creating what they think is an equal society by abolishing prostitution," says Lowman."
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