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Monday, June 29, 2015

Links - 29th June 2015

Sir Tim Hunt investigation reveals flaws about Connie St Louis' testimony - "Troubled by Sir Tim’s fate, a collection of eminent scientists, including eight other Nobel Prize winners (and several senior female academics) chose to speak out publicly in support of him... All of them called for UCL, the Royal Society and the ERC to re‑instate him. The institutions, however, refused to play ball. Then, early this week, the simmering dispute took a further, seismic twist. It came courtesy of The Times newspaper, which revealed the contents of a leaked report into Sir Tim’s fall from grace compiled by an EU official who had accompanied him to the Seoul conference. This individual, who has not been named, sat with him at the lunch and provided a transcript of what Sir Tim ‘really said’. Crucially, it presented a very different take to the one which had been so energetically circulated by Connie St Louis... The report’s author added: ‘I didn’t notice any uncomfortable silence or any awkwardness in the room as reported on social and then mainstream media,’ going on to describe the speech as ‘warm and funny’... Perhaps, therefore, we should ask two other related questions: who exactly is Connie St Louis? And why, exactly, should we trust her word over that of a Nobel laureate?... it’s demonstrably false to say she ‘writes’ for The Independent, Daily Mail and The Sunday Times. Digital archives for all three newspapers, which stretch back at least 20 years, contain no by-lined articles that she has written for any of these titles, either in their print or online editions. The Mail’s accounts department has no record of ever paying her for a contribution... ‘He just ploughed on for five to seven minutes, actually,’ she said. ‘It was really shocking. It was culturally insensitive and it was very sexist.’ Strangely, the passage from Sir Tim’s speech that St Louis has so far made public is exactly 37 words long. It would take, at most, 20 seconds to recount. So did Sir Tim really ‘plough on’ for five to seven minutes? And, if so, what did he say? Why did she selectively quote just one statement from his toast? And how did such a remark end the 50-year career of a Nobel laureate? Once more, readers must draw their own conclusions."
Impressive investigative journalism by the Daily Mail!

How (Not) To Interpret and Report Main Effects and Interactions in Multiple Regression: Why Crawford and Pilanski Did Not Actually Replicate Lindner and Nosek (2009)
The title alone is awesome

Sex history calculator: Is your number of sexual partners low, average, or high?

If Your Car Will Be Idling for More Than 10 Seconds, Just Turn it Off

Stockholm riots leave Sweden's dreams of perfect society up in smoke - Telegraph - ""We have tried harder than any other European country to integrate, spending billions on a welfare system that is designed to help jobless immigrants and guarantee them a good quality of life," said Marc Abramsson, leader of the National Democrats Party. "Yet we have areas where there are ethnic groups that just don't identify with Swedish society. They see the police and even the fire brigade as part of the state, and they attack them. We have tried everything, anything, to improve things, but it hasn't worked. It's not about racism, it's just that multi-culturalism doesn't recognise how humans actually function." Aje Carlbom, a Swedish academic and author of a critical study into Swedish immigration policy, added that despite the increasing appeal of Far Right parties, mainstream Swedish politicians were still reluctant to even ask the kind of questions that the likes of Mr Abramsson was already offering answers to. "Anyone who wants to regulate immigration is immediately classified as a nationalist, which also implies a racist as well," he said. "It is still almost impossible to debate this question.""

How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression - "Contrary to previous understandings, posts with negative, even vitriolic, criticism of the state, its leaders, and its policies are not more likely to be censored. Instead, we show that the censorship program is aimed at curtailing collective action by silencing comments that represent, reinforce, or spur social mobilization, regardless of content. Censorship is oriented toward attempting to forestall collective activities that are occurring now or may occur in the future --- and, as such, seem to clearly expose government intent."

Double standard allows soccer star Hope Solo to stay in the game - "Yet another renowned athlete has been hit with charges of domestic violence — allegedly pummeling two relatives, leaving a 17-year-old boy bleeding from a cut on his ear and a woman’s cheekbone swollen and purple. But while beleaguered officials of the NFL have made belated attempts to stop the violence — exiling players accused or convicted of using their hands for reasons unrelated to a playing field — this sports figure continues to smack a ball around... why is Solo, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, still allowed to play ball? Simple. She’s a woman. The double standard is alive and well.

A Half Century of Mate Preferences; The Cultural Evolution of Values - "The qualities people believe are important in selecting a marriage partner afford one domain for assessing human values. We examined the cultural evolution of these values over more than half a century. Building on existing data on mate preferences collected in 1939 (N= 628), 1956 (N= 120), 1967 (N= 566), and 1977 (N= 316), we collected data using the same instrument in 1984/1985 (N= 1,496) and in 1996 (N= 607) at geographically diverse locations. Several changes in values were documented across the 57-year span. Both sexes increased the importance they attach to physical attractiveness in a mate. Both sexes, but especially men, increased the importance they attach to mates with good financial prospects. Domestic skills in a partner plummeted in importance for men. Mutual attraction and love climbed in importance for both sexes. The sexes converged in the ordering of the importance of different mate qualities, showing maximum similarity in 1996. Discussion speculates about causes of the cultural evolution of values."
Male preferences have shifted more than female preferences, contrary to sociological theories where one would expect women's lib to have made a bigger difference

Sir Tim Hunt 'sorry' over 'trouble with girls' comments - ""I did mean the part about having trouble with girls," he said. "It is true that people - I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it's very disruptive to the science because it's terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field. I found that these emotional entanglements made life very difficult. "I'm really, really sorry I caused any offence, that's awful. I certainly didn't mean that. I just meant to be honest, actually." On his remarks about women crying, he said: "It's terribly important that you can criticise people's ideas without criticising them and if they burst into tears, it means that you tend to hold back from getting at the absolute truth. "Science is about nothing but getting at the truth and anything that gets in the way of that diminishes, in my experience, the science.""
How can Science pursue Truth if you fire scientists every time they say something controversial?

Sweden school choice: The country’s disastrous experiment with Milton Friedman and vouchers. - "It’s the darker side of competition that Milton Friedman and his free-market disciples tend to downplay: If parents value high test scores, you can compete for voucher dollars by hiring better teachers and providing a better education—or by going easy in grading national tests. Competition was also meant to discipline government schools by forcing them to up their game to maintain their enrollments, but it may have instead led to a race to the bottom as they too started grading generously to keep their students."

Islamic 'radicals' at the heart of Whitehall - Telegraph - "Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim woman to sit in Cabinet, handed official posts to people linked to Islamist groups, including a man involved in an “unpleasant and bullying” campaign to win planning permission for the controversial London “megamosque” proposed by a fundamentalist Islamic sect. He sits – alongside other radicals or former radicals and their allies – on a “cross-Government working group on anti-Muslim hatred” set up by Lady Warsi and Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister. Some members of the group are using their seats at the table to urge that Whitehall work with Islamist and extremist-linked bodies, including one described by the Prime Minister as a “political front for the Muslim Brotherhood”. Some are also pressing to lift bans on foreign hate preachers from entering Britain, including Zakir Naik, who has stated that “every Muslim should be a terrorist”... The working group was set up after Lady Warsi claimed in 2011 that Islamophobia had “passed the dinner-table test” and was “widespread and rising”. According to police figures at the time, anti-Muslim crime had been falling"

‘Muslim didn’t not (sic) eat food from church brand’: A tale of Chickens from Texas - "The little-known origins of fast food outlet Texas Chicken prompted one customer here to complain over its “Church’s” brand dipping sauce that he claimed was not suitable for Muslim consumption. In a question directed to the fried chicken chain on Facebook, the man attached a photograph of dipping sauces with the Texas Chicken label removed to show the original foil underneath bearing the word “Church’s”. “Dear TCM ... Please do explain your dipping sauce brand at Malaysia franchises ... Most of ur customer is a Muslim ... AND Muslim didn’t not eat food from church brands — feeling worried,” the man wrote. It is unclear what the man meant by “church brands”, but he was likely claiming that Muslims may not eat food from churches. There is no such prohibition in Islam. Texas Chicken Malaysia responded to explain that “Church’s Chicken” was the chain’s name in the US, and not related to Christianity."
Comments: "Charlotte Church the singer for example. Now they will not listen to her. Idiot."
"They will now avoid cross-roads because of the word 'cross'. what will they put on a ballot paper, not a cross. How about the plus sign. The list is endless. Where will all this idiocy stop?"
"The funny part of this from 2004-2009, Church's Chicken was owned by an Islamic VC firm called Crescent Capital Investments. They required their franchises to discontinue selling any pork-based products, which led to at least one lawsuit that I know od, from someone whose franchise failed at the Baltimore airport"

Africa - Tunisia's Amina quits ‘Islamophobic’ Femen - "Amina Sboui, the Tunisian activist who sparked controversy for posting topless pictures of herself on Facebook, said Tuesday she had left the radical feminist group Femen, accusing it of Islamophobia and a lack of financial transparency."

How Sexually Dimorphic Are Human Mate Preferences? - "Sex differences are large in multivariate terms, yielding an overall D = 2.41, corresponding to overlap between the sexes of just 22.8%. Moreover, knowledge of mate preferences alone affords correct classification of sex with 92.2% accuracy. Finally, pattern-wise sex differences are negatively correlated with gender equality across cultures but are nonetheless cross-culturally
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