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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Links - 29th April 2016

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, The Showdown Summit - "Successive British Prime Ministers have been openly dismissive, disparaging, even hostile at EU summits, playing to their Euroskeptic gallery at home, EU suits say knowingly, sotto voce, with a nod and a wink. But then in meeting rooms behind the garish stage curtains, we really do value you British, Spain's former minister for the EU told me. You have humour, a no-nonsense approach and you think outside of the boxes, he added, whispering that these virtues were not always so frequently found amongst other EU colleagues. We see Britain as a mother or a father figure in Europe, a politician in Angela Merkels' CDU party explained to me last week, and we can't imagine you leaving the family. Even though you're always clamouring for extrawurst he said. Extra sausage, you know. I think you call it cherry-picking . The UK always has to be the most special among EU equals"

My Name Got Me a Job! - "Research on the name pronunciation effect from the Journal of Experiential Social Psychology shows that easy-to-pronounce names are judged more positively than difficult-to-pronounce names... The popularity of a name also has an effect on how that person is perceived. A study by Marquette University found people with common names were more likely to be hired compared to those with unique or unusual names. Separate research by Mehrabian, A. & Piercy, M. (1993) also identified names that were unusual or that had unconventional spelling (e.g. Nicky as Nikki) were perceived by hiring managers as being less successful, less popular and even less cheerful than their traditional counterparts."
Given that minorities have less popular names (sometimes on purpose) and harder to pronounce names...

Burma’s Rohingya Muslims Targeted By Buddhist Mob Violence - "Paradoxically, democratic reforms have fed the jingoistic chorus. Over the past year, Burma’s new government has dialed back the heavy press and Internet censorship of the previous military regime, allowing journalists greater independence and web users nearly limitless access to sites. But freedom of speech has unleashed pent-up prejudices. Online forums contain rafts of posts referring to the Rohingya in expletive-filled terms, and Burmese newspapers have shown the Rohingya no quarter. Eleven, one of Burma’s largest-circulation newspapers, has focused its coverage of Rakhine State on slamming the Rohingya. Ho Than Hlaing, their correspondent in Sittwe, says the “Bengalis” living in relief camps are quarrelsome freeloaders who receive better care than displaced Buddhists—in fact, conditions in camps for the much smaller number of displaced Buddhists are markedly better than those in Rohingya camps, some of which are blocked by authorities from receiving international aid. The rhetoric has carried over into daily life. A recently launched campaign urges Burmese to only patronize shops that display “969” signs—a code referring to Buddhist teaching—in their storefronts"
When one Burmese person (who was condemning racism in Singapore) was asked what he thought about the plight of the Rohingya, he said: "the rohingya issue started with them demanding voting rights even though they are migrant refugees..it was denied..I'm sure you won't allow foreigners to vote here too..
The situation got worse when a girl was raped and murdered by a group of rohingyas in rural burma..the family of the murdered girl tracked down the group (notice only the perps yeah?) And gave them some mob justice..i understand 1 or 2 of the group died from their injuries..but of course the rohingya community started to say that they are targeted based on theit race/religion and incited others to take revenge..and that's where we are now..perhaps if you've been in the country for 21 years like I've been in singapore, you might know a little more of what ur talking abt... they are migrant refugees and at any point of time are subject to be sent back..sure the ruling junta is fucked up towards them..but they're fucked up towards burmese citizens too..at the end of the day, the girl is talking abt how she is treated by local population in general rather than the policies the govt imposes on her...don't get those 2 mixed up..if a rohingya was to say that they get less food at a shop, or get racial slurs used on them then sure we have a similar situation..otherwise don't mix up policies set in place by the corrupted govt and the way people treat each other.."


When Self-Censorship Norms Backfire: The Manufacturing of Positive Communication and Its Ironic Consequences for the Perceptions of Groups - "Do norms compelling self-censorship of negative communication work? An attributional analysis suggests that awareness of self-censorship norms causes people to be suspicious of other people’s positive communications about groups, thus causing the norms to backfire. Three studies tested this informational contamination hypothesis. Participants read stories in which they imagined that some friends’ conversations painted a particular fraternity in a good light. Results from all three studies revealed that when participants were exposed to a cue encouraging self-censorship—the presence of a member of the talked-about fraternity—this self-censorship norm backfired, instead leading them to talk disparagingly about the fraternity in a different context... Counterintuitively, those very things that are intended to discourage negative stereotypes can in fact end up leading to their increase. Just as the direct command of a business authority figure to engage in a consensual behavior can lead people to reject the behavior (Conway & Schaller, 2005), self-censorship cues can ultimately lead to more communication of the censored belief... it may help us better understand why social movements like political correctness do not appear to be entirely succeeding"
Self-censorship to prevent offence doesn't work

North Carolina governor wants to change 'anti-gay' law - "Major companies such as Bank of America and Apple have criticised the law and others vowed to curtail their businesses in the state because of it.
The fallout included:
Pay Pal dropped plans to open an operations centre in the state that would have employed about 400 people
Deutsche Bank stopped plans to add 250 jobs to the state
Rock singer Bruce Springsteen cancelled a concert in Greensboro
A TV production for the streaming service Hulu relocated to Canada
Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau said five groups have cancelled conventions with 16 others considering"
Should companies boycott countries that are anti-gay? If boycotting anti-gay institutions is alright, how about boycotting pro-gay ones?

Why can’t world leaders ever admit they were wrong? - "when political leaders admit error, however, that’s a moment that can cause even pure partisans to doubt their loyalties. And although opponents of that political leader might be happy to see that kind of candor, they are not going to switch their vote just because a president they dislike acknowledged being wrong. So from a political perspective, even if a leader knows that he or she is wrong, a public admission of error generates zero political upside and risks alienating one’s base. But what about someone like Putin, who operates in a more authoritarian political system? Actually, the incentive not to admit error is even stronger in these countries. Authoritarian or semi-authoritarian leaders always have to worry about civil uprisings, and will go to great lengths to communicate that all is well and that they are super-competent leaders. That is part and parcel of how they stay in power and demoralize any opposition into believing that resistance is futile. Even memes that mock authoritarian leaders can be viewed as a political threat."

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Pornography and the Internet - "[On pornography normalising certain sexual behaviors] Is it the case then that these young people are completely living in a bubble? Because it seems to me that young people could look at, for example, the beheadings of people on the internet and they could go: Oh. it's normal to go around beheading people, I must go and do that. They could look at a whole range of violent imagery and say: Oh, I'm going to go and shoot everyone. Oh look everyone's taking heroin, I'll take it...
[On the idea that the Sun should not have Page 3 because of the message it sends to kids] On my way to Broadcasting House this evening... I saw a number of women wearing miniskirts or T-shirts, whatever. I'm sure if I was a 13 or 14 year old boy I would have looked at those women - reasonably scantily clad - and it would have formed certain thoughts in my mind in terms of my own desire, in terms possibly the availability of women, in terms possibly the message those women were subliminally sending me about their own status. Is that an argument for saying that women should cover themselves up?... if there's a harm associated with it, if it's leading young men to misunderstand, to think women are sex objects?"
Ahh, the monkey see monkey do theory of human behavior

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Food and Nostalgia - "90% of what we call taste is really smell. So for instance if you hold your nose and eat chocolate, it tastes just like chocolate has no taste at all. If you hold your nose and eat and an apple and onion or carrot and potato, they taste the same... the quickest way to induce recall of a pianist (?) quicker than with any other sensory modality, is with smell, because the part of the brain that we think smell or the olfactory lobe is actually part of the limbic system or the emotional brain. So you smell a smell and you need to decide: I like it or I don't like it. And then you figure out what it is... which is totally different than all the other sensory spheres. For instance you see a picture of a cow or tree or horse, you identify t, and then you decide if you like it or not. With smell it's the exact opposite. It's a pure affect of our emotional sense. And hence when you have memories for food, emotions are laid down concurrent with those memories. So when you're eating food you're not just eating food that you're tasting or smelling at that time, you're eating all the memories that are associated with that food... What odours made people nostalgic for their childhood. We looked at 989 people from 49 states and 39 countries. We found the Number One odour that made people nostalgic for their childhood was that of baked goods but after that it depended upon where you grew up and when you grew up. So if you grew up in the East Coast of the United States, the smell of flowers... in the South, it was the smell of fresh air. In the Midwest it was the smell of farm animals. In the West Coast it was the smell of meat cooking or meat barbequing. And it depended on your country of origin as well. from England, they described fish and chips. From Africa, many people described the smell of maize. From Scandinavia, herring. From Canada, from Quebec, something called tourtière, a meat pie like substance. So what we found is that your nostalgia for childhood... is so often the food you're exposed to as a child."

Can the Pedestrian Be at Fault in a Car-Pedestrian Accident? - AllLaw.com - "imagine a driver was operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A pedestrian, who has a "Walk" signal, enters an intersection while texting. The driver’s vehicle hits the pedestrian, causing injuries. The pedestrian sues the driver, and the jury determines that the driver was 75% at fault for the accident while the pedestrian was 25% at fault (because an alert pedestrian could have seen the driver coming and avoided the accident). The pedestrian's total damages (medical bills, lost income, etc.) amount to $10,000. In states that follow a "pure comparative negligence" rule, the pedestrian's damages award would be reduced to $7,500, or the total award minus 25%, which accounts for the pedestrian's share of the fault."
Victim blaming!

Thomas Friedman's answer to What should be done to promote peace in Middle East? - Quora - "I wish I could tell you I see any way, but other than in Tunisia I really don't... right now, other than Tunisia, it seems that, as an Israeli analyst once pointed out, there are now just two governing paradigms in the regime: SISI and ISIS. Sisi or the Islamic State."

Cafe owner ordered to remove extractor fan in case smell of frying bacon offends passing Muslims - "Planning bosses acted against Beverley Akciecek, 49, after being told her next-door neighbour's Muslim friends had felt 'physically sick' due to the 'foul odour'. Councillors at Stockport Council in Greater Manchester say the smell from the fan is 'unacceptable on the grounds of residential amenity'."

Pedestrians with right of way 'must still share responsibility' - "Even if the lights are in their favour, pedestrians still have to check for oncoming traffic. This was held in a rare 2-1 Court of Appeal decision in which the Chief Justice dissented. Judge of Appeal Chao Hick Tin and Justice Quentin Loh, who were in the majority, explained their reasoning by highlighting a Highway Code rule that requires pedestrians to be on the alert. "Pedestrians should take charge of their own safety," the court said in judgment grounds issued on Thursday, and decided the injured victim in the case before it was 15 per cent to blame despite having the right of way."
Singapore has a car accident culture! Victim blaming!

Film and race: How racially skewed are the Oscars? | The Economist - "as our analysis of film casts and awards shows, the number of black actors winning Oscars in this century has been pretty much in line with the size of America's overall black population. But this does not mean Hollywood has no problems of prejudice. As the data show, it clearly does... The numbers indicate that, whereas the film industry most certainly fails to represent America’s diversity, the whitewashing occurs not behind the closed doors of the Academy, but in drama schools (shown in the SAG membership) and casting offices. For most of the past 15 years, the Academy has largely judged what has been put in front of them: minority actors land 15% of top roles, 15% of nominations and 17% of wins. Once up for top roles, black actors do well, converting 9% of top roles into 10% of best-actor nominations and 15% of the coveted golden statuettes, a bit above their share of the general population."
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