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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Links - 22nd May 2015

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Enlightened intolerance | The Economist - "while the Netherlands has long been renowned for, or even defined by, its religious tolerance, the Dutch variety of tolerance is not the same as the American one. For example, I’ve repeatedly encountered non-religious Dutch who see no difference between a religion and a belief or opinion, and feel that religions therefore don’t deserve any kind of special consideration, be it in terms of schooling, of exemptions from public rules and duties, or of conversational deference or respect. That view may be shared in certain emphatically atheist quarters in America, but it seems much more widespread in the Netherlands"

Brandeis Caves In To The 'No Platform For Our Opponents!' Crowd - "Some have pointed out that Brandeis is hypocritical in its treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In the past, it has honored people who have said controversial things that might just as well be regarded as offensive as her statements. George Mason University law professor David Bernstein points out on Volokh Conspiracy that Brandeis gave an honorary degree to playwrite Tony Kushner, despite his highly derogatory remarks about American Jews who disagree with him. Bernstein writes, “Apparently, while expressing hostility to Islam conflicts with Brandeis’ ‘core values,’ engaging in vile insults against American Jews who support Israel does not”... More important than any specific bit of knowledge students might pick up in college are the rules for civilized argument. Students should learn that when people disagree with you, the proper response is to examine both your position and their reasons for opposing it. If you then see some factual or logical error in your position, you change it; if you see an error in the argument against you, you make the best counter-argument you can. That is how we move toward truth, or at least keep disputes from boiling over into violence. Unfortunately, on many college campuses, students instead learn that when others disagree with them, it’s acceptable to stage protests, to shout down perceived enemies, or to keep them from speaking at all."

No sex please, just cutesy flirting and strawberries for China's online hostesses - "Ms Xiao Yue’s speciality is to sajiao — a very Chinese type of flirting characterised by the woman acting in a cutesy childlike manner and speaking in a whiny voice. She puts on little dance mime routines one minute, seductively eats strawberries the next."

Gold bugs cry a single golden tear when they see this chart - Quartz - "Pity the poor—and increasingly poorer—gold bugs. This bow-tie clad class of investors tends to see every economic data point as auguring a hyperinflation that never quite seems to materialize. In fact, right now we have quite the opposite... Credit Suisse analysts note that the long-term, inflation-adjusted average price for an ounce of gold is somewhere above $400. And that’s a very long way down from roughly $1,200 where gold is currently trading."


Sarah Silverman Admits She Made Up a Wage-Gap Story, Then Calls Critics Maniacs - "
Comedian Sarah Silverman admitted that a story she told about wage discrimination (in which she even went so far as to call out a specific employer by name) was a lie — and then said people who might consider her lie a reason to question the movement she was supporting were “maniacs”... Notice that the only thing she explicitly said she regrets is not trying harder to not get caught...
Silverman ended her statement by saying that people who might see an advocate having lied about a movement as a reason to question that movement’s message — something I’d consider a normal response — were “maniacs.”"

Taiwan woman honors husband by inviting strippers to his funeral
But they're clothed...

David Nicholls: Browsing bookshops then buying online is a 'genteel form of shoplifting' - "“I felt an all too familiar sadness, usually accompanied by guilt because while you’re sorry the shop has gone, you’re also vaguely aware that you hadn’t bought anything there for a while”

Fellow Liberals, Please Stop Claiming Jesus Accepts LGBT People - "There's a troubling trend in liberal America: the desire to marginalize right-wing Christians by claiming they don't understand their own religion. While this is true in a number of respects, it doesn't change the fact that they're right about something: Paul condemns queer folks. And there isn't a shred of evidence that Jesus was a fan either, assuming he existed. I'm all for dismissing opinions that are damaging and harmful. But we can't do so by being openly insincere and insecure in the process... if we bother arguing that the Bible supports us, we're conceding its validity as a moral text. And once we free ourselves from its shackles, fundamentalists can just use it to abuse the next minority group unfortunate enough to stumble across their path. The key point is that it absolutely does not matter what the Bible says about LGBTs or any other grouping of people. We don't even need to spend time denouncing the Bible's abhorrent stances on everything from slavery to rape, because it just isn't important. The Bible is an epic historical text that traces the way a large group of religious people understand their general genealogy and evolution of identity... Ethical perspectives evolve over time and shouldn't be bound by the musings of ancient writers who had absolutely no imagining of our contemporary world... Feigning respect for someone else's sacred text as a moral guidebook doesn't just reinforce bad ideas, it's not even effective"

Repatriation Blues: Expats Struggle With the Dark Side of Coming Home - Expat - WSJ - "Many repatriated expats find it hard to connect to friends again at home. Ms. Hattaway says that expat life draws people together: “You’re in a circle or tribe with other expats. But back home, you’re only one in a sea of people. Some of them have never left, some don’t have passports. And you look like everyone else,” she says... The Rev. Ken MacHarg, who served as a pastor in six countries around the world, says that he tells people that moving overseas will “mess you up for the rest of your life. You’re constantly torn between those places, and you’re a changed person.”"

QLRS - Criticism : Indecent Exposure | Vol. 13 No. 3 Jul 2014 - "Without putting too fine a point on it, I suppose there might be an audience that enjoys being moralised to, or perhaps that believes it is already on the right moral high horse. How many issues can a writer cram into one novel? Let's do a count: there's the racism issue, the elitism issue, the capitalism issue, the Christian issue, the teenage intimacy issue, the rape issue, the bullying issue, the misogynist issue and, for good measure, both the gay and lesbian issues. Chia Thye Poh is namechecked, along with Vincent Cheng and the Marxist conspiracy (by one of the novel's teenagers, no less). Tan clearly disapproves of many of the positions taken up by her characters on these issues and wishes to satirise them, but if it is possible to stereotype characters, it's as easily possible to stereotype issues, and the upshot is that many of these come across as so dull ("And then, of course, the newspaper cuttings…") as to be not worth attention. Overall, this makes the novel feel like an attempt to assert left-wing liberal credentials for the sake of being left-wing and liberal, not because of having anything urgent or original to say. "Sometimes people are their own worst enemies", says one of the civil servants in an especially bad set piece. Indeed: this has gone beyond preaching to the converted to the point of preaching to inadvertently unconvert the converted — it made this Guardian reader feel a little queasy, only stopping from reaching for a copy of the Times of London by wondering if the novel is quintessentially Singaporean because of that Singaporean inability to get the chip off the shoulder. I don't take joy in looking through smouldering wreckage, but I have felt the urgency to file this report because Singapore literature will never get where it wants to be unless the community — publishers, editors, critics, readers and, yes, writers — keeps raising rather than lowering the bar. To this end, the epigraph from Doris Lessing situated at the start of the novel is spot on: "what's terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is first-rate". Let's not be terrible."

The Real Reason Catholic Priests Can't Have Sex
Basically it's expensive: you must care for children

How To Dress Like A Leader In Any Work Environment - "If you’re not sure which level is most appropriate for your work environment, the basic rule of thumb is “the more you deal with a client’s money, the more traditional and conservative you should be dressed”... If you’re a member of the board or meeting with a member of the board, boardroom attire is most appropriate — regardless of the size of the company."

Three Chopsticks - "Apparently, though, a dish that is reminiscent of what’s found in Singapore serves only to make overseas Singaporeans long for the real article. Culinarily, they are among the most homesick people I have ever met... According to the Seetohs, when Patricia’s father was on his deathbed he whispered something that made his family gather closer, thinking that he had some final instructions or blessings to impart. What he was saying turned out to be “laksa.” They brought him a bowl of it."

Someone took a candid photo of a fight in Ukranian Parliament that is as well-composed as the best renaissance art - Imgur

This Week in 'Nation' History: Susan Sontag on the Avant-Garde, Communism and the Left - "'Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader’s Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation or the New Statesman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of Communism? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?'
She argued that the American left had blinded itself to the crimes committed by Soviet Russia by falsely positing differences between communism and fascism that, regrettably (in her view), did not exist. As most recently evidenced by the events in Poland but also much earlier, communism was, Sontag alleged, “fascism with a human face.” That this would be a relatively uncontroversial thing for someone—even someone on the left—to say today is a testament to how flat our historical thinking has become. The intellectual climate of 1982—Reagan and Thatcher ruled, and it was still several years before glasnost and perestroika—meant that Sontag’s comments created a firestorm"

Game Hunter Ian Gibson Trampled To Death By Elephant
The comments are disgusting. I suspect a lot of anti hunting sentiment is just disguised rich people bashing

Sheryl Sandberg tells Salon: I was wrong about women - "You know, I give advice to young women. I say “pick a partner.” If that partner is female you are in good shape because you are likely to split up things very evenly; the data’s very strong that same-sex couples split responsibilities much more evenly. If you are a female and your partner is likely to be male, this is something to really pay attention to. I say in the book, date the bad boys, date the crazy boys, but do not marry them. Marry the boys who are going to change half of the diapers."
If that partner is female there is also a higher risk of domestic violence.
Comments: "Remember back in the good old days? When feminism was opposed to "Sleep with the sl*ts, but do not marry them. Marry the virgins who will raise your children."
"The message is- Sleep with the bad boys and reject the good men. Then after you become less attractive try to trick the good men into financially supporting you." (aka “Alpha Fux, Beta Bux”)

A Voice for Men: "This advice is even more valuable to men. "Be bad, be cool, be commitment-phobic, be crazy. You'll get all kinds of easy sex with young, attractive women. When they want to 'settle down' dump them promptly, date their younger hotter counterparts, and let some chump jump on the greande." Thanks Sheryl! You're the best!"
Addendum: Original quote from book: "When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier."
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