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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Links - 21st June 2015

You Think You’re So Funny—If You’re a Man, You Might Be Right - "we did find that, on average, men were funnier than women, though the differences are not huge. Regardless of the actual sexdifferences in humor ability, it seems that men are perceived as funnier, and now we have the science to back it up... the current study replicated the findings in my own study, where both the male and female raters found men to be, on average, funnier than women. The effects were smaller that what I have found, but nonetheless significant (it is possible that the relatively small sample size in the current study, more than 12 times smaller than my own, is responsible for the small effect)"
Men are indeed funnier than women

Loving bonobos have a carnivorous dark side - "Don't be fooled by their reputation for altruism and free love - bonobos hunt and kill monkeys just like their more vicious chimpanzees cousins, according to new research. "Bonobos are merciless," says Gottfried Hohmann, a behavioural ecologist at Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He witnessed several monkey hunts among bonobos living in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and says, "they catch it and start eating it. They don't bother to kill it"."

Limits in the Seas No. 143. China: Maritime Claims in the South China Sea - "China’s own Declaration on its territorial sea of 1958 states:
This provision [a 12-nm territorial sea] applies to all territories of the People’s Republic of China, including the Chinese mainland and its coastal islands, as well as Taiwan and its surrounding islands, the Penghu Islands and all other islands belonging to China which are separated from the mainland and its coastal islands by the high seas [emphasis added].
The reference to “high seas”—maritime space under no country’s jurisdiction—separating China’s mainland and coastal islands from “all other islands belonging to China” indicates that in 1958 China made no claim to the entirety of the ocean space within the dashed line"
Keywords: China renounce sea claims, south china sea

Bro Bash - "the brohavior he’s observing isn’t just butch etiquette or aggro nerdery, but rather the very use of data itself. Bady’s quips are only a small part of a troubling new trend in younger leftist circles: the reduction of feminist critique to the Fear of The Bro and His Insidious Patriarchal Methodologies. This line of thinking insinuates a sort of “men like facts and women have feelings” essentialism... Pop quants don’t speak to you authoritatively, like the economist of a political administration. They’re not dad — they’re brothers. Maybe they did well in math class, but the impression is that they’re mostly just privy to a few simple facts you have yet to learn. They’re not “numbers men,” they’re “guys who know a little something about numbers,” and they get away with flattening, distorting, and obfuscating reality because they’re brilliantly adept at hiding their condescension behind ingratiatory populism... since the nineties, anti-elitism has been the battle hymn of the most progressive academics. Online social justice culture is heavily enmeshed in the academy (whether they admit it or not), and its inheritance of anti-elitism has simply morphed into the more colloquial anti-broism... It’s fair to say the front lines of my generation are not endangered by overconfidence in either our intellectual convictions or our expertise. In fact, the only thing we do seem to be sure of is our condemnation of injustice and the overconfidence of our predecessors, the dick-swinging bros that came before us"

Giddyup, Trigger - "Ovid tells his story, and a number of other equally appalling ones, in the Metamorphoses, a text continually read and immensely loved since Ovid’s own day. Ovid is omnipresent in Dante, and Shakespeare, and… everywhere, really; or at least was, until the the fashion came in for illiterate writers. Mean old Ovid, however, is too strong for the stomachs of certain sensitive souls at Columbia University... I feel very grateful to have bailed out of Academe when I did. My idea of a classroom is one in which nobody ever feels safe — least of all, the teacher. The piece linked above deploys just about every buzzword associated with the current cult of hysterical hypersensitivity: safe, self-preservation, triggered, survivor, share, concerns, offensive, marginalize, identity, intervention, transgression (this one not at all in a good sense, but an unambiguously bad one); insensitive, traumatize, silence, facilitate, support, training, best practice, framing, engage, effective, feedback, addressing (‘issues’, not letters). The only one missing is ‘inappropriate’. In general, the impression one receives is that Columbia undergraduates are hagridden, traumatized, oppressed, disadvantaged, suffering souls, shying from a trigger a minute like a skittish pony in rattlesnake country; easily intimidated and silenced, and so distressed by the coarseness of their teachers that they can barely force themselves through the classroom door. "

The New 'McCarthyism' Exists, but It Has Nothing to Do with Ted Cruz - "if Arthur Miller were writing The Crucible today he would likely be less interested in effusive senators from Texas and more interested in the more modern pathologies that the Cruzes of the world tend typically to disdain. Presumably, Miller would look at our universities and our media, at our malleable “speech codes,” our self-indulgent “safe spaces,” our preference for “narrative” over truth, and at our pathetic appeasement of what is little more than good old-fashioned illiberalism, and he would despair. Ted Cruz, frankly, wouldn’t enter into his thinking... You will note, perhaps, that it is not Ted Cruz who is causing these problems. Quite the opposite, in fact... Judith Shulevitz offers up a bizarre story about a Brown University senior named Kathryn Byron who sought to involve the university’s authorities when she thought she might have to hear arguments that contradicted her beliefs... observers began nervously to suggest that the details [of the Rolling Stone rape story] didn’t quite add up, and to ask skeptical questions of the sourcing and its corroboration. For their trouble, they were accused of being “rape apologists.” Next, a number of conscientious reporters looked into the question, and they did not like what they found. For this diligence, they were slammed as “idiots” and “misogynists”...
what is important here is that we do not permit reality to “invalidate people’s experiences.” At its root, The Crucible is such a terrifying and illuminating piece of work not because it involves witches and because witches do not exist, but because it depicts the gradual victory of delirium over reason and of passion over truth"

Watch: CNN’ers having a hard time coming to terms with implosion of Rolling Stone’s rape story - "For CNN contributor Sunny Hostin, what is really important in this case is the Greater Cosmic Truth that exists independent of objective truth. She found it next to impossible to abandon the preconception to which she declared unflinching fealty all those months ago"

White Hot Harlots: A personal account of how call out culture has harmed teaching - "This isn’t an issue of hypocrisy. This is a matter of real, palpable fear. Saying anything that goes against liberal orthodoxy is now grounds for a firin’. Even if you make a reasonable and respectful case, if you so much as cause your liberal students a second of complication or doubt you face the risk of demonstrations, public call-outs, and severe professional consequences. My friends and colleagues might well agree that the student-teacher relationship ban is misguided, but they’re not allowed to say as much in public... Personally, liberal students scare the shit out of me. I know how to get conservative students to question their beliefs and confront awful truths, and I know that, should one of these conservative students make a facebook page calling me a communist or else seek to formally protest my liberal lies, the university would have my back. I would not get fired for pissing off a Republican, so long as I did so respectfully, and so long as it happened in the course of legitimate classroom instruction. The same cannot be said of liberal students. All it takes is one slip—not even an outright challenging of their beliefs, but even momentarily exposing them to any uncomfortable thought or imagery—and that’s it, your classroom is triggering, you are insensitive, kids are bringing mattresses to your office hours and there’s a twitter petition out demanding you chop off your hand in repentance... we reasonably do not take any risks vis-a-vis momentarily upsetting liberal students. And so we leave upsetting truths unspoken, uncomfortable texts unread... This is what call out culture has begot. An academic climate where teachers are afraid to make students think, and where academics themselves are afraid to say a single word that bucks the status quo. Congrats, guys. You’ve won."

Why Northwestern investigated a professor for writing an essay about "sexual panic" - "Kipnis was cleared of wrongdoing. But by fusing the legal power of Title IX with the emotional debate over the campus culture wars, her experience brought together several trends that are troubling to many professors, free speech advocates, and others. The debate over her essays didn't end with petitions and protests, but extended to potential legal consequences. The fact that those consequences didn't materialize doesn't mean the debate is over."

The Man Who Has Eaten At Every Michelin 3-Star Restaurant Says The 'Jiro Dreams Of Sushi' Spot Is Not Worth The Hype - "While there’s no question that diners are eating some of the freshest and most perfectly prepared fish available, the meal is often rushed. The Michelin Tokyo Guide warns “don’t be surprised to be finished within 30 minutes.” That’s the equivalent of spending 1,000 Japanese Yen — or $10 — per minute... some people claim the service itself can be hit or miss at Sukiyabashi Jiro depending on who you are and who you’re with. Foreigners who don’t speak Japanese, known as gaijin, have a hard time getting a reservation at Sukiybashi Jiro in the first place and an even harder time being served. Since Chef Ono doesn’t speak English and his son speaks very little, their explanations and any diner questions or requests are often completely lost in translation. Bringing along a friend or guide who speaks fluent Japanese is not only highly recommended by every reviewer, but often necessary. Some reviewers even describe a hostile relationship between Chef Ono and foreigners, with some going so far as to claim discrimination"

How much longer can they satay? | The Economist - "The main problem is that Singaporeans have grown used to paying prices that the market can no longer bear. When the government moved the first generation of hawkers off the streets and into fixed locations with electricity, clean running water and regular hygiene inspections, it kept rents artificially low as an incentive. Roughly half of the 6,258 government-managed stalls pay rents as low as S$160 ($120.80) a month. The other half, however, must pay market rates, which can exceed S$4,100 a month. These stallholders must compete with each other on price. People will not pay S$8 for a bowl of fishball noodles that they can get for S$3 two stalls away. Some newer hawkers have turned to branding across multiple centres. This works well for foods such as fishballs and chicken rice that can be made in a central kitchen and then delivered to multiple stalls. It works less well for dishes such as char kway teow—Singapore’s hot mess of fat rice noodles, sausage, cockles and bean sprouts—that need a master at a wok. Some chefs have gone upscale: pasta, for baffling reasons, commands higher prices than Asian noodles. Others treat stalls as incubators, trying out their talents before taking the plunge and opening a restaurant... In 20 years’ time, a S$3 bowl of Teochew minced-meat noodles could be as hard to find as a free table at lunchtime."

Rola Misaki sex slave scandal: Japanese adult star denies deal with Chinese businessman - "The half-Russian half-Japanese adult video star achieved high popularity in China and was often compared to another former adult actress, Sola Aoi. At present, Rola Takizawa is a staff member at a high-end "delivery health" out-call establishment in Tokyo."

Roswell hoax: UFO researcher admits 'dead alien' picture was the mummified body of child - "Researcher Floren Cabrera de Teresa identified the images as those of a three or four-year-old mummified child kept at the Smithsonian Museum. He accused an unknown party of doctoring the images: "There are deep questions to ask of those who dare derail our search for the real disclosure of the existence of extraterrestrials," he told Mirror Online."
It's a coverup!
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