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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, December 04, 2015

Links - 4th December 2015

Forecasting Fox - The New York Times - "pundits and experts are terrible at making predictions. But Tetlock is also interested in how people can get better at making forecasts. His subsequent work helped prompt people at one of the government’s most creative agencies, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, to hold a forecasting tournament to see if competition could spur better predictions... participants were taught to turn hunches into probabilities. Then they had online discussions with members of their team adjusting the probabilities, as often as every day. People in the discussions wanted to avoid the embarrassment of being proved wrong. In these discussions, hedgehogs disappeared and foxes prospered. That is, having grand theories about, say, the nature of modern China was not useful. Being able to look at a narrow question from many vantage points and quickly readjust the probabilities was tremendously useful... forecasting skill cannot only be taught, it can be replicated."

Penang removes playground structures with pig-like designs - "Several playthings that resembled a pig were removed from the Esplanade hours after photos of the structures went viral in cyberspace... Penang Muslim non-governmental organisations coalition secretary Ahmad Yakqub Nazri said he was shocked when he saw the structures that resembled a pig. "Those who installed such items are clearly insensitive to the Muslims in the state," he said. MBPP secretary Ang Aing Thye said that the officer-in-charge of the project had been told to submit a report. "We are investigating the matter. Action will be taken against those at fault," he said."

Ministry weighing proposal to segregate trolleys for non-halal products - "Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin said the move was to ensure that Muslims would not have to “worry” if the goods they bought had mixed with non-halal items."
Comments: "Our God in Malaysia is very strict about food on trolleys. But not so strict with corruption and discrimination and non-halal money that exchange hand between halal and non-halal hands everyday."
"Why not just separate the country into 2, naming Halal Malaysia and Non-Halal Malaysia?"
"Dare you even suggest that the hospital blood bank should have halal blood and non-halal blood? After all, blood donated by non-Muslims may have been "contaminated" with foods consumed by donors deem not halal by Muslims."
"If my money has touched pork will BN not tax it?"

Philosophy majors actually earn a lot more than welders - "Marco Rubio took a strong stand in favor of vocational education. "For the life of me I don't know why we stigmatize vocational education," he said. "Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders than philosophers"... According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of a welder is just over $37,420 a year. As you can see, philosophy majors do considerably better than that"

Project Unspell | Indiegogo - "Now that most text is electronic, the time has come to tackle the problem of English spelling—by auto­mating it. The ubiquitous use of spell-checkers is a relatively tiny step in the right direction: at least we know that the words we type actually exist. Unspell will take us the rest of the way: it will tell us how to pronounce each word correctly, and how to spell it correctly as well. Most importantly, it will allow us to avoid having to learn English spelling, saving a lot of time and effort."

They did what? Travel selfies gone terribly wrong - "Just this week, a teen in Romania was killed while attempting to take the “ultimate selfie.” 18-year-old Anna Ursu and her friend went to the local railway station and laid on top of one of the train cars. After sticking her leg in the air, Ursu was struck with 27,000 volts from the electrical field surrounding the overhead cables. Ursu’s body was engulfed in flames. She later died at the hospital with burns over 50 percent of her body."

Melbourne mum mistakenly shames man she thought was taking photos of her kids - "A woman has mistakenly shamed a man on social media who she believed was taking photos of her children when he was actually taking a selfie next to a Star Wars display. The mother took a photo of the man at the Westfield Knox shopping centre at Wantirna South, in Melbourne's east, and shared it to Facebook on Wednesday along with a status branding him a 'creep'... The man said he was considering his legal options after the post had been shared 20,000 times and seen by friends, colleagues and family around Australia. He added that he had received death threats... He said the woman who made the post on social media had not apologised to him. ‘There’s been a number of apologies from some sharers which I really appreciated. The fact is they’ve made a mistake out of concern but in real terms it was not credible information,' he said. 'Once it's out there it can't be retracted... and the retraction post has only been viewed one-fiftieth of the times the original post was viewed'... the incident serves as a reminder of the dangers around social media and spreading inaccurate and alarming information"

The science of protecting people’s feelings: why we pretend all opinions are equal - "people have an “equality bias” when it comes to competence or expertise, such that even when it’s very clear that one person in a group is more skilled, expert, or competent (and the other less), they are nonetheless inclined to seek out a middle ground in determining how correct different viewpoints are. Yes, that’s right — we’re all right, nobody’s wrong, and nobody gets hurt feelings."

And Here's The Entirety Of 'Alice In Wonderland' In Emoji - "Joe Hale may very well be the world's first emoji author. His pièce de résistance, in our humble opinions, is his adaptation of Lewis Carroll's 27,500-word novel Alice in Wonderland into a 25,000+ emoji lattice."

Walking through Alice’s Waterloo Wonderland - "Attractively located close to London’s iconic Southbank, a new 35,000 sq ft serviced office building located in the Waterloo quarter opened its doors earlier this year to reveal a truly magical environment filled with serviced office space with fantasy back drops, eight meeting rooms and communal areas, each room more enchanting than the last and all inspired by Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel, Alice in Wonderland."

Pornhub promises to plant a tree for every 100 videos watched

Amazon Kindle: This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War - "The more fantastic story, however, involved the temple priest who had invited his six-year-old granddaughter’s friends home for her birthday. The party was broken up by the police because there were more than a dozen children in attendance and no police sanction had been sought for this gathering"

Relationships Are More Important Than Ambition - "Ambition drives people forward; relationships and community, by imposing limits, hold people back"

Hikaru Skirt - A Japanese Skirt That Illuminates Your Thighs with LEDs
Is this asking to be upskirted?

It’s a hookup culture, not a rape culture - "the rape culture narrative is not only wrong, but completely off the mark. It has been aggressively conflated with what is actually “hookup culture,” and the evidence for this can be found not only in nations with “real” rape cultures, but through examining our own culture as well... There is simply no systemic tolerance for rape, no prosecution of victims and the general disgust for rape and rapists may only be trumped by the general disgust for pedophilia or murder; indicating that it is not, contrary to what many say, an institutionalized part of our “culture.” Outlier events of injustice are just that, outliers, and are not indicative of any culturally normative problems... In shifting the responsibility for the abundance of ambiguous rape cases onto nonexistent problems in society, we completely overlook the true contributing factors in these instances: alcohol and the disregard for personal responsibility and safety that hookup culture so shamelessly advocates"

5 Reasons 'Star Wars' Tanks Make Absolutely No Sense - "The whole point of a troop transport is to get fighters and their equipment to the front lines without exhausting them in the process. To do it, a troop transport needs range and speed to achieve the element of surprise during an advance, and armor to protect the troops and gear inside. Which makes us wonder what the Star Wars weaponeers were thinking when they debuted the AT-AT in The Empire Strikes Back. The name stands for "All Terrain All Transport," but even with all these longstanding rules for making a good ride, the designers gave the Empire a bunch of top-heavy four-legged walkers that are vulnerable, slow and easy to spot."

Sulawesi's fifth gender - " In Australia we tend to assume that there are only two genders, woman and man, and two matching biological sexes, female and male. The Bugis acknowledge three sexes (female, male, hermaphrodite), four genders (women, men, calabai, and calalai), and a fifth meta-gender group, the bissu... A useful analogy suggested to me by Dr Greg Acciaioli is to imagine the Bugis gender system of South Sulawesi as a pyramid, with the bissu at the apex, and men, women, calalai, and calabai located at the four base corners. Calalai are anatomical females who take on many of the roles and functions expected of men... Calabai, conversely, are anatomical males who, in many respects, adhere to the expectations of women. However, calabai do not consider themselves women, are not considered women. Nor do they wish to become women, either by accepting restrictions placed on women such as not going out alone at night, or by recreating their body through surgery. However, whereas calalai tend to conform more to the norms of men, calabai have created a specific role for themselves in Bugis society... Bissu, calalai, and calabai challenge the notion that individuals must conform to one of two genders, woman or man, and that one's anatomy must support one's gender. Bugis gender reveals the diverse nature of human identity. It makes me question our own notions of gender. For example, why should Australia insist on a boring old two-gender system?"
Why stop at 5 genders? A 5 gender system is oppressive to those who believe in more than 5

Spastic Children's Association drops 'spastic' in new name - "The Spastic Children's Association of Singapore has changed its name to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore. It is the latest charity serving the disabled to re-brand itself with a more politically correct name. The 56-year-old charity, which runs a special education school and other services for those afflicted with cerebral palsy, made the switch in mid-April."
In another 56 years time they'll need to change their name again

#GamerGate Isn't A Harassment Campaign, States WAM! Report - "If you needed any kind of legitimate, peer reviewed proof that #GamerGate wasn’t a harassment campaign based on the claims centered around the blocklists, the Women Action Media! organization has released a detailed report proving just that: #GamerGate is not a social media movement to harass women out of the tech industry... In section 1.2 of the WAM! harassment report on page 24, it’s stated that “Most Alleged Harassers Were Unconnected With GamerGate”... If #GamerGate was such a disruptive force of harassment against women why was 88% of the harassment reports unconnected with #GamerGate even when measuring the data from Randi Harper’s autoblocker?"
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