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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Links - 24th November 2015

I am part of my people, says Palestinian lawyer in viral photo of tear gas kick - "11 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings, and 68 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, including 42 said by Israel to have been involved in attacks or attempted attacks... The Israeli government and many Israeli media outlets have framed it as a “wave of terror” unleashed by what they portray as Palestinian incitement. They point to a stream of bloody videos and fiery speeches by Palestinian leaders circulating on social media. Palestinians say there’s no need for anyone to incite, arguing that their day-to-day reality is infuriating as it is... Mr Ajaj, meanwhile, was cautious when asked what he considers permissible protests against occupation. “We are lawyers, we don’t throw stones,” he said, but added that he believes stone throwers have a role to play. He said he won’t condemn those who carry out stabbing attacks, arguing that they were driven to such acts by Israeli measures, such as land confiscations and movement restrictions. The “violence question” is rarely debated openly in Palestinian society. Mr Abbas has repeatedly argued that armed attacks counter Palestinian interests and has instructed his security forces to try to prevent them, but has not condemned the recent stabbings in deference to popular opinion. Many Israelis believe that repeated rounds of violence over the years, including the current one, prove the Palestinians do not want peace with them... social media also plays a negative role, encouraging Palestinians to live in a virtual reality and romanticising the idea of resisting occupation at a time when they lack a clear way forward."
What would happen if Israeli leaders released a stream of bloody videos and fiery speeches? What if Nelson Mandela had continued to support violence?

Don't assume I'm an internet troll just because you disagree with me - "Troll is a perfect word for the internet age, speaking to the general sense of distrust we operate under on the web. We receive tweets, emails and Facebook messages from people pretending to be people other than themselves, or robots pretending to be people, forwarding an informative link, just like we do... But I think we have more to lose by erring towards suspicion than we do towards gullibility. We hurt ourselves when we dismiss people too quickly. It’s easy to just lob an accusation of intellectual dishonesty out there and skate past any disagreement without engaging it. Better, I think, to suspend suspicion whenever possible, to give the benefit of the doubt, to take statements at face value... paranoia is a very unhealthy outlook, one that we should eschew. (Skepticism and vigilance are fine, even advisable; paranoia is, by definition, an errant excess.) It is, as Ray Davies told us, a “destroyer”. It destroys possibility. It cuts off communication. It makes the world smaller... the troll is not really arguing – the troll is laughing. The troll is laughing at you for taking him seriously. The troll does not take you seriously. I, however, do take you seriously. I imagine you are a person much like myself, sitting in front of a computer screen, reading and writing words just like I am. Communicating in these new, exciting and sometimes treacherous ways that these marvelous new machines now allow."

That Chinese Passport Story Sure Looks Like a Hoax [Update: It's Fake]

Men May Like The Idea Of A Smart Woman, But They Don't Want To Date One - "men were into hanging out with a smarter woman when they had yet to meet her, but they weren't so excited to hang out with a living, breathing intelligent woman staring them in the face. Men also felt less masculine when they were faced with a smarter woman sitting next to them than when they never saw said smarter woman. This study sheds light on one reason dating is so complicated: We don't always know what we want, even if we think we do"

A white guy named Michael couldn’t get his poem published. Then he became Yi-Fen Chou. - "Hudson, who is white, wrote in his bio for the anthology that he chose the Chinese-sounding nom de plume after “The Bees” was rejected by 40 different journals when submitted under his real name. He figured that the poem might have a better shot at publication if it was written by somebody else... perhaps because of its Rachel Dolezal-esque tangle of questions about identity, authenticity, political correctness and “affirmative action,” it didn’t take much longer for the wider world to notice. Pen names, as some on Twitter pointed out, have long been a staple of the literary world. And there are plenty of cases in which initials or a pseudonym have worked in the opposite direction — most often for women like Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot), Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) and Joanne Rowling (J.K. Rowling), who thought they would be taken more seriously or better reach their target demographic if they didn’t appear to be female. But Hudson’s critics said the literary bait-and-switch was fraudulent, racist and fundamentally different from Charlotte Bronte publishing “Jane Eyre” under the name Currer Bell. “When you’re doing this from a position of entitlement, you’re appropriating an ethnic identity that’s one, imaginary, and two, doesn’t have access to the literary world,” poet and Chapman University professor Victoria Chang told The Washington Post. “And it diminishes categorically all of our accomplishments. He sort of implies that minorities are published because we’re minorities, not because of our work. That’s just insulting because it strips everything we’ve worked so hard for”... “Yi-Fen Chou” benefited from a form of minority writer nepotism... How important is an author to the meaning of a poem? When seeking out diversity, are we looking at names or at content?"
White Privilege means not having your poem published - and being told that this is racism against minorities (?!)
Comments: "I fear that so much social and political writing--with all the usual English department "race and gender" themes and NPR-inspired "issues"--will undervalue those minority writers who are truly great not because of the color of their skin or their names, but because they are simply world class writers, like Ha Jin and ZZ Packer. There is a creepy race celebration going on in literature. We do a disservice to great minority writers when we champion stories and poems that are not first and foremost excellent."
"The name test has been used to uncover systematic bias in job applications and grades using the same material but swapping male/female or white/minority names. This made the SJWs mad because this time the bias was demonstrated in favor of minorities. When it's reversed they make hay about it (justifiably). Can't they just admit that racial bias exists and move on?"
"Just remember that 2+2=4 only when it benefits a person of color. If 2+2=4 benefits a white person, then 2+2=5. This is to make up for billions of years of white privilege."
"Perhaps if we would stop ourselves from playing a twisted game of progressive pokemon, trying to catch 'em all, entities would stop making ridiculous decisions to try and stave off the pitchfork PC squad."
"Diversity, for its own sake, is neither inherently good or bad. It is simply diverse. When seeking pure gold, diversity is most unwelcome. Yet too often, we lose sight of the real stated goal - quality - while focusing on only one aspect, that does not lend quality innately, merely happenstance"


How 'A Clockwork Orange' Author Anthony Burgess Soured on Stanley Kubrick (Book Excerpt) - "Years earlier, Burgess had sold the film rights “for a few hundred dollars,” he groused. Regardless of how the film version performed at the box office, Burgess would see no profit points... I realized, not for the first time, how little impact even a shocking book can make in comparison with a film... He wanted to see how Americans were responding, and found that “the theology passed over their coiffures.” He was especially dismayed by “the blacks” in the audience who shouted, “Right on!” at the thug-hero Alex... “Neither cinema nor literature can be blamed for original sin. A man who kills his uncle cannot justifiably blame a performance of ‘Hamlet.’ On the other hand, if literature is to be held responsible for mayhem and murder, then the most damnable book of them all is the Bible, the most vindictive piece of literature in existence”... Burgess, for his part, grew to hate the film. Or Kubrick. Or both. A decade later when he adapted his novel for the stage, he made sure to include the following stage direction: “A man bearded like Stanley Kubrick comes on playing, in exquisite counterpoint, ‘Singin’ in the Rain‘ on a trumpet. He is kicked off the stage.”"

Florida eighth-grader gets detention for hugging a friend
Too bad she's white

Parental Age, Especially The Father's, Is Linked To Genetic Mutations In The Child - "Fathers passed on about four times the number of genetic mutations to their children than did mothers, which also agrees with earlier evidence. It’s believed that sperm cells are more likely to contain genetic errors because of the high rate at which they’re produced – hundreds of millions of cells per day – which increases the odds of a manufacturing error. The team also found that the older the father, the more likely was the child to have genetic mutations. And the risk just keeps rising with the father’s age. For example, a 20-year-old father will contribute about half the number of mutations of a 36-year-old father. A 70-year-old father will pass on about eight times the number of mutations as the 20-year-old."
If you claim to be against incest because of birth defects, you should be fine with homosexual incest - and you should be against older people having heterosexual sex

Promotion ads of green tea and soft drinks to face banning - "He said Thais’ daily sugar consumption is over four times the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recommended level... Promotion campaign of soft drinks that offered cars and gold to consumers has encouraged over consumption of sugar, he said."

Japanese tourist center asks small-penised travelers to not make a mess in the bathroom
"Why is the Japanese message so different from the English one
In Japanese it means "thank you for always keeping the toilet clean while using""


Nixon: I chose to be a lesbian - "Actress Cynthia Nixon refuses to bow to pressure from the gay community to change her opinion that her homosexuality is a "choice", despite facing criticism for her beliefs... Nixon, who also has an 11-month-old son, Max, with Marinoni, is convinced her change in sexual preference was just that - a preference - because she considers herself a heterosexual who simply fell in love with a woman... In a candid interview with the New York Times Magazine the actress says, "I gave a speech recently, an empowerment speech to a gay audience, and it included the line, 'I've been straight and I've been gay, and gay is better.' "And they tried to get me to change it, because they said it implies that homosexuality can be a choice. And for me, it is a choice. I understand that for many people it's not, but, for me, it's a choice, and you don't get to define my gayness for me... "I also feel like people think I was walking around in a cloud and didn't realise I was gay, which I find really offensive. I find it offensive to me, but I also find it offensive to all the men I've been out with.""

Epigenetic 'tags' linked to homosexuality in men - "The biology of sexual orientation has been one of the most vexing — and politically charged — questions in human genetics. For the first time, researchers have found associations between homosexuality and markers attached to DNA that can be influenced by environmental factors. Twin studies and family trees provide strong evidence that sexual orientation is at least partly genetic. When one identical twin is gay, there is about a 20% chance that the other will be as well. But because this rate is not 100%, it is thought that environmental factors play a role as well. One of the best characterized is the 'older brother effect': the chance of a man being gay increases by 33% for each older brother he has. The reason is not clear, although one hypothesis holds that the mother’s immune system begins to react against male antigens and alter the fetus’s development... By scanning the twins’ epigenomes, the researchers found five epi-marks that were more common among the gay men than in their genetically identical straight brothers. An algorithm they developed based on the five epi-marks could correctly predict the sexual orientation of men in the study 67% of the time"

What should you do if your son says he's a girl? - "You could insist that he is a boy and try to put an end to behaviors such as cross-dressing and saying that he is a girl. The alternative is to let him be a girl: grow long hair, choose a new name, dress as he (or “she”) pleases, and when it is time, obtain the necessary hormones and surgeries for a female body. As scientists who study gender and sexuality, we can tell you confidently: At this point no one knows what is better for your son... Gender dysphoric children have not usually become transgender adults. For example, the large majority of gender dysphoric boys studied so far have become young men content to remain male. More than 80% adjusted by adolescence."

Keeping Char Kway Teow Cheap—At What Price? - "
while hawker centres were traditionally celebrated as meccas for cheap food, in
recent years, hawkers and customers alike raised concerns over rising business costs, and the resultant increases in hawker food prices. Furthermore, the survival of the hawker sector was threatened by younger Singaporeans’ lack of interest in becoming hawkers, which was seen as a backbreaking, unglamorous and poorly paid vocation"

Case urges all hawkers to display prices - "The survey also found there was no change in mode prices - prices most commonly charged by hawkers - compared with a similar study in July last year for five surveyed food items. The mode prices were: $5 for chicken nasi briyani, $3 for chicken rice, $3 for fishball noodles, $3 for mixed vegetables rice (two vegetables and one meat) and $1.80 for roti prata (two plain pratas)."
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