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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Links - 4th July 2015

For Some, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Falls Short of Expectations in Myanmar - - "human rights advocates and even members of her political party are raising questions about her performance in the broader political arena. In the four years since she emerged from house arrest as a world-famous champion of democracy, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, 69, has hesitated to take on many of her country’s biggest issues, critics say, and has failed those who expected a staunch human rights advocate. She has instead emphasized a general call for rule of law, a critical issue for a country emerging from a half-century of dictatorship but one, they say, that falls short of addressing particular grievances... Perhaps most surprising of all, she has refused to admonish the government for its harsh policies against the Rohingya Muslim minority... In public comments, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has equated the plight of the Rohingya with that of the region’s Buddhists, saying that it was important “not to forget violence is committed by both sides.” Human rights advocates, who argue that most of the violence has been committed by the Buddhist majority against the Rohingya minority, say they are astonished that she has abdicated what they see as her moral responsibility to shine a light on obvious human rights abuses"
It is harder to be a politician than an activist

The Gallup Poll - FAQ - "People generally believe the results of polls, but they do not believe in the scientific principles on which polls are based. In a recent Gallup "poll on polls," respondents said that polls generally do a good job of forecasting elections and are accurate when measuring public opinion on other issues. Yet when asked about the scientific sampling foundation on which all polls are based, Americans were skeptical. Most said that a survey of 1,500-2,000 respondents -- a larger than average sample size for national polls -- cannot represent the views of all Americans... Common sense - and sampling theory - tell us that a sample of 1,000 people probably is going to be more accurate than a sample of 20. Surprisingly, however, once the survey sample gets to a size of 500, 600, 700 or more, there are fewer and fewer accuracy gains which come from increasing the sample size. Gallup and other major organizations use sample sizes of between 1,000 and 1,500 because they provide a solid balance of accuracy against the increased economic cost of larger and larger samples. If Gallup were to - quite expensively - use a sample of 4,000 randomly selected adults each time it did its poll, the increase in accuracy over and beyond a well-done sample of 1,000 would be minimal, and generally speaking, would not justify the increase in cost... Anyone using the Gallup Poll can do so with assurance that the data were obtained with extremely careful and reliable sampling and interviewing methods"

Stressed and Depressed, Koreans Avoid Therapy - The New York Times - "“Talking openly about emotional problems is still taboo,” said Dr. Kim Hyong-soo, a psychologist and professor at Chosun University in Kwangju. “With depression, the inclination for Koreans is to just bear with it and get over it,” he said. “If someone goes to a psychoanalyst, they know they’ll be stigmatized for the rest of their life. So they don’t go”... Meanwhile, the suicide rate in South Korea is nothing short of alarming, nearly three times higher than in the United States. The rate here doubled in the decade between 1999 and 2009. Suicide pacts among strangers who meet online is a growing phenomenon. Suicides by drinking pesticides, hanging or jumping from tall buildings are the most common... Consulting a shaman is still common among many Koreans, usually when they come down with the blues, the odd illness or a run of bad luck. Indeed, shamanism has made something of a comeback in South Korea in recent years, with an estimated 300,000 shamans ministering to clients. Many shamans, known as mudang, even operate sophisticated Web sites these days (complete with online fortunetelling), even as they continue to strangle chickens, walk barefoot on razor blades and commune with dead relatives whose spirits reside in trees, chimneys or woodland creatures. “More Koreans see fortunetellers than psychiatrists,” said Dr. Yoon Dae-hyun, a psychiatrist at Seoul National University Hospital and an official with the Korean Association for Suicide Prevention. “Our biggest competitors are fortunetellers and room salons. They certainly make more money than us.” Room salons are after-work clubs frequented by hard-drinking businessmen who select from a bevy of personal hostesses who ply them with expensive drinks and listen to their problems over the course of an evening... Young people in South Korea are certainly unhappy, even chronically so, in part because of ferocious academic pressures that begin early on. A recent survey here found that young Koreans — for the third straight year — were the unhappiest youngsters in a subset of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries."

Are Male Executives Too Nervous to Mentor Younger Women? - "A 2010 study from the Center for Talent Innovation (formerly the Center for Work-Life Policy), found that nearly two-thirds of men in senior positions pulled back from one-on-one contact with junior female employees because of fear of being suspected of having an affair. Meanwhile, half of junior women reported being nervous about one-on-one contact with senior men for the same reason."
Actually, the report says: "Interestingly, sexual politics are less of a barrier to sponsorship in the UK. While 64 percent of senior men in the US are hesitant to have one-on-one contact with junior women for fear of gossip or lawsuits—a sentiment reciprocated by 50 percent of junior women—only 38 percent of senior men and 26 percent of junior women in the UK feel the same way."
Addendum: Th US-UK differential is telling - the lawsuit-happy culture in the US doubtless explains this

Opinion: Obama comment sexist? I call it a compliment - ""Thank you, Mr. President, you're not such a bad-looking guy yourself." That would have been my response if I were California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who finds herself in the middle of a media dustup after President Obama introduced her as: "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country," at a fundraiser earlier this week... President Obama's observation is not a major offense to women around the globe. Ridiculous flaps such as this one have always made me uncomfortable with calling myself a feminist, especially if that means I have to fly into a fit each time a man makes an awkward comment about a woman... Luckily, sometimes life isn't serious. Sometimes, we can laugh at ourselves and know that not every man is out to hold us down"

Nude Photography by Leonard Nimoy - The Art History Archive - " In addition to being a movie director, producer, author and actor (Spock from Star Trek), Leonard Nimoy has been a professional photographer for 40 years. His topic of choice? Nude women."

Giuliani: 93 Percent of Blacks Are Killed by Blacks - "Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says that the media focusing on the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury should spend more attention on why white police officers are in black neighborhoods to start with. "I find it very disappointing that you're not discussing the fact that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks," Giuliani said Sunday on "Meet the Press." The case of white police officers killing blacks are the exception rather that the rule, he said. "We are talking about the significant exception," Giuliani said... Giuliani said 70 percent to 75 percent of crime in New York City takes place in predominantly black areas, and that's why there is a large police presence in those places. "The white police officers wouldn't be there if you weren't killing each other," Giuliani said."

Female Thor Is What Happens When Progressive Hand-Wringing And Misandry Ruin A Cherished Art-Form - "Thor a woman? It’s hard to believe the most macho, overtly masculine character in the comic canon could possibly be reimagined as a broad. But that’s almost certainly precisely the reason Thor was chosen: as a screw-you to so-called nerdbros from the achingly progressive staff of today’s comic book establishment. This has led to some questions from comic book fans. Questions such as: will Wonder Woman turn out to be a tranny? Is the Incredible Hulk only incredible because he endured cruel fat-shaming as a teen but didn’t let his size define him? And shouldn’t Spider-Man be a gay latino?... We’re told “erasure,” whereby people’s pasts are scrubbed out by those in authority, is a social justice issue. Well, right now there’s erasure going in the basic, canonical biographies of some of Marvel’s most cherished superheroes... What sticks in the craw of the fans I’ve spoken to about female Thor is how utterly transparent the political posturing is behind the change. No one likes their thunder stolen but there is simply no good literary justification for making Thor a woman, they say–and the results have been execrable. You can write intelligent satire about masculinity without making a classic masculine icon into a girl, an observation that seems to have escaped Marvel’s writers...
'If I was directly addressing the Thor creative team and editors who seem to want gender equality in the Thor line, this is what I’d say. Make a damn effort to promote Thor’s female support cast; Jane Foster, Roz Solomon, Lady Sif, Valkyrie, hell even Angela since you’re bringing her in (and I have the feeling Angela is going to be the new Thor now.) Believe me when I say female characters need more promotion and treatment in comics but make them new characters or flesh out the old ones you have. Don’t shoe horn a female character into a male hero’s position as, at the end of the day, she’s still defined by the male character, not her own legacy. I know Marvel are going for the “anyone can wield the power of Thor, even women” approach but this is ultimately detrimental to the female hero. Why? Because making a female version of a male hero demeans the male hero and leaves the superheroine being solely defined as a female replacement of the male hero."

Vox Popoli: Men in women suits - "I have three main objections to strong female characters. First, the basic concept is a lie. Barring mystical powers or divine heritage, the strong female character is simply nonsense. They don't exist, they aren't convincingly imagined or portrayed, and they're essentially nothing more than token feminist propaganda devices. Freud would, in this case correctly, put the whole phenomenon down to penis envy. Second, it is tedious. As both women note, strong female characters are neither new nor interesting. If you're blindly copying a trope that hasn't been new for three decades, you're just boring the reader. And third, it is dreadful writing. Most "strong female" characters observably are not women, they are simply male characters dressed in female suits. They don't talk like women, they don't act like women, and when we're shown their interior monologues, they don't think like women either. They're about as convincingly female as those latent serial killers who like to wear those bizarre rubber women suits. They are, in fact, the literary equivalent of those freaks... Ironically, men tend to write more interesting "strong female characters" because at least they know what men think like when they are writing about men in women suits. When women do it, they're writing what they imagine the man the female writer is pretending is a woman would think like. It's convoluted, it's insane, and it should be no surprise to anyone that most stories based on such self-contradictory characters don't turn out very well... the behavior of the character and its interior monologue is so haplessly inept and unrealistically bland that the reader cannot even ascertain something as intrinsically basic to human identity as the mere sex of the character. Can you imagine if you couldn't tell from their behavior if Anna Karenina was a woman or if Aragorn was a man? Would that inability improve or detract from the story?"

leesjuanpat world: The difference between Joshua B.Jeyaretnam and Kenneth Jeyaretnam. - "Due to KJ unreasonable leadership, a mass resignation began when about 10 RP members resigned enbloc when the GE 2011 was drawing near. Two scholars in Hazel Poa and husband Tony Tan were in the mass exodus. So, RP was crippled for good... KJ got to swallow his own medicine as the most incompetent Secretary-general to be so disgraced by nobody but himself! With that, National solidarity Party (NSP) gained by the exodus when many ex-RP members including Nicole Seah joined NSP. Suddenly NSP was a 'force' to reckon and RP sank deep into the abyss. To this day RP is so mediocre and devastated. The party is almost a shell only !"

Startling dating graphs reveal what ages men and women find the most attractive in a partner - "Women who are, say, 28 find guys who are also 28 about the most attractive, and so forth. Up until about 40, when that’s getting too old”... But the male version is very, very different... So women over 22 are disregarded when it comes to men on dating sites?"
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