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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Links - 21st January 2015

Are We Teaching Our Kids To Be Fearful of Men? - WSJ - "Are we teaching children that men are out to hurt them? The answer, on many fronts, is yes. Child advocate John Walsh advises parents to never hire a male babysitter. Airlines are placing unaccompanied minors with female passengers rather than male passengers. Soccer leagues are telling male coaches not to touch players. Child-welfare groups say these are necessary precautions, given that most predators are male. But fathers' rights activists and educators now argue that an inflated predator panic is damaging men's relationships with kids. Some men are opting not to get involved with children at all, which partly explains why many youth groups can't find male leaders, and why just 9% of elementary-school teachers are male, down from 18% in 1981... "It's not a witch hunt," he says. "It's all about minimizing risks. What dog is more likely to bite and hurt you? A Doberman, not a poodle. Who's more likely to molest a child? A male.""
Generalisations and stereotypes are only okay in some circumstances

A better country (with fewer lawyers) - "The discovery process in civil litigation is tightly restricted in Canada, for instance. By contrast, generous U.S. discovery rules, which often impose on defendants millions of dollars in expenses, permit opportunistic plaintiffs to hold up defendants with settlement offers that are less than the costs the defendant would incur on discovery alone. Canada (and the rest of the world) makes losers pay for a portion of the successful party’s costs. That doesn’t happen in the United States, and that gives unmeritorious American plaintiffs a greater incentive to sue. The right to have civil cases adjudged by a jury is afforded Constitutional protection in the United States. In Canada, civil juries were abolished as a sensible reform measure. These differences serve to increase the costs and risk of failure for Canadian plaintiffs, and decrease their expected damage awards. If litigation rates are four times smaller in Canada than the United States, this should not occasion surprise: Subsidize something and you get more of it; penalize it and you get less of it... America is also an outlier in its substantive tort law. Unlike U.S. courts, Canadian courts do not impose strict liability on manufacturers for product defects. Instead, a finding of negligence is required. Canadian courts also are a good deal more parsimonious in assessing damages... In America, and sometimes in Canada, the idea has taken hold that tort law should provide consumers with a kind of insurance against product defects. But tort law is an imperfect vehicle for insurance, since American trial lawyers typically will take 30-40 percent of the recovery as their fee. And that doesn’t include the defendant’s costs... A decade ago, the New York Stock Exchange launched half of the world’s new public companies. By 2006, this had dropped to one in 12, as firms moved to the London Stock Exchange and other venues. The American Illness lays much of the blame on Paul Sarbanes and Mike Oxley, sponsors of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation (“SOX”), whose photographs (as their favorite Americans) are displayed by London brokers: They know whom to thank for legislation that drove the American securities industry to Britain and other countries."
Addendum: quaskx comments: "The lawyer article is factually wrong. There's no right in the US to a jury trial in a civil case; the right exists only in criminal cases."

Study finds gender perception affects evaluations @insidehighered - "In teaching evaluations, previous studies have focused on how female instructors are expected to be nurturing and supportive; when they’re not, it may count against them in evaluations. At the same time, if they are nurturing and supportive, female instructors risk being perceived as less authoritative and knowledgeable than their male counterparts, according to the study."
Unfortunately I was unable to find this article, but it might not have been double blind

Gay Palestinians Are Being Blackmailed Into Working As Informants - "While his sexuality remains hidden from his direct family, Saif said local Palestinian Authority police are aware and keep files on him and other homosexuals, blackmailing them into working as spies and informants... Before being released, Majd was ordered to attend a “secret meeting” with the Alon several days later. “I felt I was in really deep trouble,” Majd said. “If I didn’t go, I was sure the Israelis would inform the Palestinian Authority, who view homosexuality as a sickness linked to collaboration with Israel. It would mark me as a traitor.”"

The feminist freakout over the scientist's gaudy shirt - "why are feminist motives so special? What if you're a devout Christian, Muslim or Jew working in the humanities? What if you like cartoonishly sexy ladies, but you hate guns? What if you're simply the kind of person who thinks male professionals should wear a jacket and tie on TV? In short, feminists want a monopoly on when everyone must be outraged or offended. A few weeks ago, feminist idiots rolled out a video of little girls dressed as princesses, cursing like foul-mouthed comedian Andrew Dice Clay. Unlike Taylor, they set out to offend. But that was in support of feminism, so it was OK. (I'd like to see the parents of those kids tearfully apologizing for exploiting their kids as cheap propaganda props.) We live in an age of diversity, defined not merely by gender and race, but by lifestyles and values. That's mostly a good thing -- mostly. Like all other good things in life, diversity comes at a cost. And a big part of the tab is a lost consensus about what constitutes good manners and propriety. So instead of knowing how to behave, we spend vast amounts of our time worrying and arguing about it, with combatants on every side insisting it's "Live and let live" for me but "Shut up! How dare you!" for thee."
Someone claimed that everyone was very nice and civil until the anti feminists ruined the show, but Rose Eveleth did say "Thanks for ruining the cool comet landing for me asshole.", which certainly qualifies as nasty

Hirsi Ali slams feminism's 'trivial BS' - "Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a harsh critic of Islam’s treatment of women, said Wednesday that modern American feminism is focused on “trivial bullshit” and needs to be reclaimed... Hirsi Ali reminded her audience of how far feminism has strayed from its original purpose. “I want you to remember that once upon a time, feminists fought for the access — basic right — access of girls to education,” she said... feminism has taken that victory and squandered it. “What we are now doing with the victory, and I agree with you if you condemn that and I condemn whole-heartedly the trivial bullshit it is to go after a man who makes a scientific breakthrough and all that we as women — organized women — do is to fret about his shirt?” Hirsi Ali said, referring to the controversy generated by the shirt featuring cartoons of scantily-clad women worn by the scientist who helped land a robot on a comet. “We must reclaim and retake feminism from our fellow idiotic women.”"

Sexual violence in Delhi: what the numbers say - "Two out of three cases, court records revealed, concerned parents criminalising the acts of consenting young couples and broken promises of marriage. Under 3 per cent involved rapes by strangers, and conviction was nearly certain in such cases"

‘Tuition can worsen existing inequality’ - "In Hong Kong, it was bad enough when parents began sending their children at the kindergarten levels for tuition. Now they are sending babies as young as six months for lessons on recognising colours, he says. The Hong Kong tuition class sizes have also ballooned with tutors drawing in teenagers by dressing up as glamorous movie stars. In some centres, more than 100 students pack lecture theatres at night, with webcasts for students in adjoining tuition classrooms, he says. His global research shows that once shadow education swells, it cannot be easily made to contract."

We've Been Incorrectly Predicting Peak Oil For Over a Century

Is it ever right to negotiate with terrorists? - "We have long negotiated with terrorists. Virtually every other country in the world has negotiated with terrorists despite pledges never to"

PUTIN VS OBAMA - "Putin's mom was a good Christian lady. Obama's teen-mom was promiscuous and did soft porn...
Putin: Blackbelt in Judo. Obama: winces like a girl at the sight of Judo."

Sydney siege: Don't call Man Haron Monis a 'terrorist' - it only helps Isis
Comment: "I've read several times on these pages that the actions of Elliot Rodger in Los Angeles were not those of a deranged lone gunman, but proof of the growth of misogyny in society. Indeed, none other than Jessica Valenti said the incident proved that "misogyny kills". And yet, in these circumstances, Man Haron Monis IS actually just a deranged lone gunman and not a terrorist, or acting in the name of Islam... (And, for the record, I believe that BOTH were lone madmen who hijacked an extreme position to act out their sick destinies. But the Guardian seems confused.)"
"Many terrorists are also in part motivated by their own dysfunctional personal lives and Monis is in part attached to an ideological. There is no clear dividing line between terrorists and criminals. They are often a bit of both."
"Still, look on the bright side, Guardian. At least the gunman was identified nice and early so you couldn't blunder in and say it was a white supremacist before any of the facts were known, as you did during the Toulouse shootings in 2012."

Slew of underage sex cases show lovers met online - "In Dave's case, he said it would be better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sex. Recalling the incident that took place about four years ago, he said the decision to meet started with him dropping the other party a message. After some light flirting, they agreed to meet at Dave's flat in the eastern part of Singapore. Dave said: "The guy turned up about an hour later and I was surprised by what I saw. He looked very young but insisted that he was 18. I didn't want to check his IC or to have sex with an underage kid. So I made up some lame excuse and sent him on his way.""

Monkey’s selfie cannot be copyrighted, US regulators say - "United States copyright regulators are agreeing with Wikipedia's conclusion that a monkey's selfie cannot be copyrighted by a nature photographer whose camera was swiped by the ape in the jungle. The animal's selfie went viral. The US Copyright Office, in a 1,222-page report discussing federal copyright law, said that a "photograph taken by a monkey" is unprotected intellectual property. "The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants. Likewise, the Office cannot register a work purportedly created by divine or supernatural beings, although the Office may register a work where the application or the deposit copy state that the work was inspired by a divine spirit," said the draft report"

Should fast food workers in the US get $15.00/hr? - Quora - "The "living wage" advocates seem to confuse what a job is worth with what people are worth."
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