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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Links - 28th June 2016

London as a separate city-state? The capital needs to check its privilege - "It is now seemingly permissible to mock anyone who voted the “wrong” way, and for the “wrong” reasons. They shouldn’t have been allowed to vote in the first place. They obviously didn’t understand the voting system. They didn’t think their votes counted (I completely identify with that, because in elections they often don’t). They are all self-harming, wrong-headed idiots!... Rich London may be the centre of the world, but where does the fuel come from that powers its engines? Has the rest of the country nothing to contribute but its oafishness? I cannot believe what I am hearing. Absolutely undemocratic sentiment from those who claim to be progressive, who claim to know better... class contempt works both ways, and it is not hidden by the elites on the left and the right. All that contempt has now handed back a broken plate to the entire establishment. The only question is why it took so long. This is not a revolution. It is a revolt."
Those calling out xenophobic/racist remarks by Leavers seem to be silent about the contempt for Leavers by Remainers

The UK is now two nations, staring across a political chasm - "Even those who understand that something seismic is afoot among predominantly working-class voters are still too keen on the idea that they are gullible enough to be led over a cliff by people with whom they would actually disagree, if only they knew the facts. But most people are not really being “led” by anyone. In my experience, Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove et al are viewed by most people with as much cynicism as the people fronting the remain campaign. Moreover, this argument is dangerously redolent of that lousy old Marxist trope of “false consciousness”, whereby people enthusiastically following the supposedly wrong cause are only a speech or poster away from enlightenment, and a sharp left turn."

How did turnout affect the EU referendum result? - "our analysis shows how areas with older voters also recorded higher turnouts... The Scottish turnout was particularly disappointing. Three in five Scots backed Remain and they were expected to have the highest figure after "referendum fever" saw 85 per cent of Scots vote in the 2014 independence vote. But in the end they had a lower turnout than every region except Northern Ireland."
If the young want to blame the old for ruining their future, they should blame those who didn't vote first

Brexit: A Very British Revolution - WSJ - "As a recent editorial in Der Spiegel put it, Brits “have an inner independence that we Germans lack, in addition to myriad anti-authoritarian, defiant tendencies”... Deals negotiated through the EU always move at the pace dictated by the most reluctant country. Italy has threatened to derail a trade deal with Australia over a spat about exports of canned tomatoes; a trade deal with Canada was held up after a row about Romanian visas. Brexit wasn’t a call for a Little England. It was an attempt to escape from a Little Europe... In theory, the EU is supposed to protect its external borders by insisting that refugees claim asylum in the first country they enter. In practice, this agreement—the so-called Dublin Convention—was torn up by Ms. Merkel when she recklessly offered to settle any fleeing Syrians who managed to make it over the German border. The blame here lies not with the tens of thousands of desperate people who subsequently set out; the blame lies with an EU system that has proven itself hopelessly unequal to such a complex and intensifying challenge. The EU’s failure has been a boon for the people-trafficking industry, a global evil that has led to almost 3,000 deaths in the Mediterranean so far this year... The Brexit campaign was led by Europhiles. Boris Johnson, the former London mayor turned pro-Brexit firebrand who now seems likely to succeed Mr. Cameron, used to live in Brussels and can give interviews in French. Mr. Gove’s idea of perfect happiness is sitting on a wooden bench listening to Wagner in an airless concert hall in Bavaria. Both stressed that they love Europe but also love democracy—and want to keep the two compatible. The Brexit revolution is intended to make that point."

"The worst people to serve are the Poor people" --Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba - "Give them free, they think it's a trap. Tell them it's a small investment, they'll say can't earn much. Tell them to come in big, they'll say no money. Tell them try new things, they'll say no experience. Tell them it's traditional business, they'll say hard to do. Tell them it's a new business model, they'll say it's MLM. Tell them to run a shop, they'll say no freedom. Tell them run new business, they'll say no expertise. They do have some things in common: They love to ask google, listen to friends who are as hopeless as them, they think more than an university professor and do less than a blind man."

Does Maltreatment in Childhood Affect Sexual Orientation in Adulthood? - "Our results suggest that from half to all of the increased prevalence of childhood sexual abuse experienced by sexual orientation minorities compared with heterosexuals may be due to the effects of sexual abuse on sexual orientation, possibly through previously proposed pathways: (1) abuse of boys perpetrated by men causes boys to believe they are gay; (2) abuse of girls by men leads them to be averse to sexual relationships with men; (3) abuse survivors may feel stigmatized and different from others and may, therefore, be more willing to behave in ways that are socially stigmatized, including acknowledging same-sex attraction or having same-sex partners"

Anita Sarkeesian is now going after Overwatch for its highly stylized depictions of women (while ignoring the fact that there's a talking gorilla, robots, a dwarf, and equally stylized male characters) - "She pointed out that games rarely feature women as standard enemies and said that game designers she’s interviewed often say that this is done to avoid depicting violence against women."
"wow its almost like throwing a fit anytime a women is shown to be assaulted in media makes people wary of adding it to games , who wudda thought it."
"Back in January she was on ABC saying killing female NPC's in GTA V and Watchdogs was misogyny and promoting violence against women. Now 11 months later she has decided not killing female NPC's is misogyny."

NPD Survey Shows Core Gamers Are Male, Casual Gamers Are Female - "The survey found that the majority of gamers in the two "core" groups were male, while the casual group was "overwhelmingly female.""

Women Get In on the Action in Video Games - The New York Times - "Men favor immersive, narratively complex games laced with violence that have a steep learning curve, according to Peter Warman, the chief executive of Newzoo. The most popular video game franchise among male players in France, Britain, the United States and Germany is “Max Payne,” a noirish third-person shooter game about a fugitive NYPD detective. The game includes a “kill cam,” which, according to GameSpot, shows the player’s ammunition “soaring through the air and striking its target in grisly detail.” Women, on the other hand, prefer so-called “casual” games that are easy to learn but complex to master, Mr. Warman said. The most popular franchise among women is the rhythm game “Just Dance,” designed for Nintendo’s Wii platform, in which players mimic dance moves set to popular songs by artists like Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue. The runner-up among women is the Candy Crush Saga, a puzzle game that has become ubiquitous on Facebook and smartphones... women are still seen as a less lucrative part of the video game market because they are much less likely to buy the expensive “core games” designed for PCs and consoles like Xbox, Mr. Warman said. That could explain why only an estimated 15 percent of playable characters in video games are female"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Why are Ahmadiyya Muslims subjected to prejudice? - "'Talking with you, saying salaam to you, is a sin. Is a haram'.
'When I told the lil kids who I was, an Ahmadi Muslim, they went along to their mosque, asked their Imam, came back saying them "we've been told if we want to succeed in life, we shouldn't go near you. Cos that's where everything's coming from, that's the Imam" They also told me that posters have appeared in shop windows calling them non-believers... derogatory leaflets have been circulated at a nearby mosque...
'Were people standing outside your shop telling other Muslims not to come in?'
'They think we are not Muslim'...
It starts with one group, but then it goes to other groups, of course. And then you'll find it starts with the Ahmadis, as it happened in Pakistan, it started with our community, but now it's spread to other communities. So the Shias, the other Christian communities are now being affected by that same hate message. And the clerics who are coming from Pakistan are now propagating that same hate message in this country. They must be stopped"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Food, Power and Punishment - "[On prison] Food was really, was vital in many ways. Well first of all becuse it kept me alive but beyond that food is a little joy, a little happiness, just something that gives you a reason to wake up in the morning because there might be frosted flakes instead of cornflakes. And there you go, you've been blessed with something in a harsh world with very little potential for anything happy to happen to you. So thats why small things like frosted flakes begin to mean something. I once saw a can of vegetables preserved in cognac go for $100. But that's because people were drinking it of course... I myself bought prime rib and I bought lox when guys didn't want raw fish, as they called it... the prime rib was expensive. I had to pay two packs of cigarettes for it, even though I knew the guy didn't like it. He didn't know whato do with it. He wanted Doritos. Things like that actually have much more cachet with the prison population. They love the brand names. They love the packaging. They love the shiny foils and plastic. Not just Dorito's but anything that really is kind of familiar. So if you have ah cookies that are called Chips Ahoy which is a well known brand versus a store brand, they are identical in reality. But the ones with the bright label that's familiar is gonna be worth twice as much. And, y'know that seems like just a shallow sort of idiosyncracy, but it's a bit of a taste of freedom. There's a little more to it than just going for the advertisements. The foods really do bring the guys back. It makes them happy for a moment... Feeding prisoners well is probably the cheapest way to keep them content and not very violent and okay with their conditions. It's really an inexpensive way to mollify a population that just doesn't want to be there, they're there against their will, because one riot costs as much as 10,000 turkeys that you could've fed the guys... Food has always been used as part of the punishment process, even though that's not what's supposed to happen...
I have facilities... I can't serve fruit in because they make homemade alcohol with it, or they stuff it down the toilet and it clogs up the plumbing... he takes his first order. Which to be honest with you, is probably the hardest thing that they've really really afraid of. And I'll even say: 'you don't mind going to rob a bank, you're too scared to take an order'"

Dutch Feminism: Why Dutch women don't work longer hours | The Economist - "The Dutch began identifying women's failure to participate in the workforce more aggressively as a major social problem in the 1990s, which led to a tax reform intended to incentivise women out of the cosy "trap" of part-time work. Instead, most women used the better tax treatment as a way to work less... The Dutch, both men and women, place a much higher value on free time as a luxury good than Americans do"

Women in the Netherlands work less, have lesser titles and a big gender pay gap, and they love it. - "the Dutch women around me take a lackadaisical approach to their careers. They work half days, meet their friends for coffee at 2 p.m., and pity their male colleagues who are stuck in the office all day. Though the Netherlands is consistently ranked in the top five countries for women, less than 10 percent of women here are employed full-time. And they like it this way. Incentives to nudge women into full-time work have consistently failed... Some women cite the high cost of child care as a major factor in their shorter hours, but 62 percent of women working part time in the Netherlands don't have young children in the house, and mothers rarely increase their working hours even when their children leave home.. studies of female happiness in the U.S. find that even as our options have increased and we have become financially more independent than in any previous time in our history, American women as a whole are not getting any happier. If anything, the studies show that we are emotionally less well-off than we were before. Wasn't the whole point of the fight for equality in the workplace to improve our wellbeing? Dutch women could be considered extremely progressive when compared with most other women in the world—they have enviable reproductive rights and rates of political participation. But they are often responsible for only a small portion of the family income—25 percent of Dutch women do not even make enough money to be considered financially independent... When I talk to women who spend half the week doing what they want—playing sports, planting gardens, doing art projects, hanging out with their children, volunteering, and meeting their family friends—I think, yes, that sounds wonderful"
Feminists can't have it all

In Barcelona, do it in Catalan—or pay the fine | The Economist - "Citizens can report language culprits anonymously, and many have proven eager. A few years ago a patriotic librarian, Roger Seuba, claimed to have denounced 5,000 companies. Business owners say other citizens take the law into their own hands, smashing shop windows or spray-painting their façades. The Spanish and Catalan languages enjoy co-official status in the region. When reviewing Catalonia’s independence status in 2010, the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that imposing either language on private enterprises violates the constitution. Yet fines kept being imposed. In February 2016, Catalonia’s superior court of justice banned parts of another language protocol that obliged public servants to initiate and continue all conversations in Catalan. The Catalan government said it would ignore the decision... Forcing businesses to translate every public communication into a local language with a few million speakers may widen its appeal for some. For others it has the opposite effect. Since he was fined, Mr Centeno, a Catalan born and bred, refuses to speak in his mother tongue. He demands that all government documents sent to his mailbox be written in Spanish"
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