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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Links - 13th September 2016

Man calls S’pore a ‘fu**ing sh**’ country, Internet rages, man gets fired within a day
Will there ever be a backlash against the internet lynch mob?

‘Rapist’ Pulled Out Of Jail, Beaten To Death By Mob. There’s NOTHING To Be Proud About Here - "How are we ANY different from the rapist if we commit a crime as heinous as murder, no matter who is at the receiving end of it?"

What Is the Difference Between Sunscreen & Sunblock? - "Sunscreens contain chemicals that absorb UV radiation and reduce the amount that reaches the skin, according to the American Melanoma Foundation (AMF). Sunblocks physically prevent UV radiation from reaching the skin. Sunscreens tend to be transparent and are invisible when applied, whereas sunblocks are thicker, remain visible when applied and are more difficult to wash off than sunscreens."

Pornography has a big race problem - "Deen asked up front via text message whether a female performer had “issues with black dudes.” She wrote back, “Personally no. Sexually, I’d rather not at this time lol.” He responded: “Racist,” then added, “I will find someone else for this scene.” She tried to save face, writing, “I’m only 5 months in. Havnt done IR yet.”"
Consent is racist.
It's homophobic if a straight woman refuses to sleep with a lesbian. It's transphobic and homophobic if a straight woman refuses to sleep with a pre-op transwoman. It's transphobic if a straight woman refuses to sleep with a pre-op transman

President Obama: 'Very hard to untangle' the motive of Micah X. Johnson - "President Obama said on Saturday that it is "very hard to untangle the motives" of Micah X. Johnson, who killed five Dallas police officers on Thursday. "First of all, I think it's very hard to untangle the motivers of this shooter. I'll leave that to psychologists and people who study these kinds of incidents. "I think the danger is that we somehow suggest the act of a troubled individuals speaks to some larger political statement across the country, Obama said."
Yet, "Dallas Police Chief David Brown said Friday that Johnson had told authorities “he was upset about the recent police shootings” and “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” and “White nationalism infuses our political ideology”: Dylann Roof is just the beginning

Singaporean Tells of Khmer Rouge Aid - - "China, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand spent more than $1.3 billion in a largely secret program in the 1980s to support Khmer Rouge and non-Communist guerrillas in Cambodia fighting Vietnamese troops and allied Cambodian forces, the Singaporean senior minister, Lee Kuan Yew, has disclosed in his memoirs"
Isn't this interfering in other countries' internal affairs? By supporting genocidaires too

Intern Fired for Dress Code Petition Is the Case Against Social Justice Education - "the intern's justification of his actions is illustrative. This is what he learned in school: if you don't like your company's policies, create a petition or organize against management. As if that's how professional people in the private sector handle disagreements. Perhaps an education in social justice activism is not as valuable as university planners want their students to believe it is. It's also quite funny that these socially conscious interns didn't immediately recognize the one actually marginalized person in the situation: the disabled veteran."

Discrimination and instructional comprehension: Guided discretion, racial bias, and the death penalty - " instructional comprehension was poor overall and that, although Black defendants were treated only slightly more punitively than White defendants in general, discriminatory effects were concentrated among participants whose comprehension was poorest. In addition, the use of penalty phase evidence differed as a function of race of defendant and whether the participant sentenced the defendant to life or death. The study suggest that racially biased and capricious death sentencing may be in part caused or exacerbated by the inability to comprehend penalty phase instructions"

Scores of police officers injured in Berlin protests - "German police said more than 120 officers were injured and 86 demonstrators were detained during leftist riots in the German capital which police called "the most aggressive and violent protests in the last five years"... Activists had called for the demonstration to protest against police operations at buildings taken over by squatters in the eastern part of the city last month."

Some Eurasians frustrated at being mistaken for foreigners in Singapore - ""I'll deliberately answer in Mandarin to see the shocked looks on their faces. It's interesting to hear which countries others think I'm from." There are perks of boasting an exotic parentage too. Mr Shelley jokes: "I've never been short of pretty and sexy girlfriends. They all want to show off to their friends that they are dating an 'ang moh kia'."

This is the greatest university graduate photo shoot in S’pore that is keeping it real - "Perhaps tired of seeing those clichéd jumpshot photos with flowers, teddy bears and that glimmer of hope in the newly-grad’s eyes that envisions a promising future where the world is their oyster because a starting $4k salary can finance their dreams, the concept of her graduate photos kept it as real as the economic reality of being a fresh grad in Singapore today"

Five stars – says who? My trouble with TripAdvisor - "It was in a small seaside town in Croatia that my dislike of TripAdvisor petrified into loathing... Despite the fact that virtually every week brings a new story about how useless TripAdvisor is, how it enables users who are corrupt/greedy/mendacious, the site trundles on like a marauder, spewing an ever-increasing volume of freely given, unpaid “content”, as it has since its conception in 2000... Regardless of the fact that it is riddled with fakes and idiots, a huge number of otherwise sensible people continue to give credence to the aggregated opinion of, at best, unqualified strangers... I hate TripAdvisor because the top listing in one Italian town was utterly fictitious. Because it gives awards to hotels like the Tunisian one closed months earlier after 38 holidaymakers were shot dead. Because there is a whole industry dedicated to churning out fake, by-the-yard “reviews”.

Too much education is bad. Don't over-educate the young: Nassim Taleb - ""education is the enemy of entrepreneurship. If you start having a high level of education, you start hiring people based on school success"... Empirical investigation, he writes, shows no evidence that raising the general level of education raises a country's income level."
I don't know what empiricial investigation Taleb is looking at. All the studies I can find conclude education benefits economic growth

Amos Yee and child pornography - "Unfortunately, since his first jail-term (he may have another one coming up), Yee has transformed himself from a creative and articulate activist for political freedom to—ugh! — a narcissistic anarchist with a huge chip on his shoulder and an even bigger stick up his arse. While his views on Singapore’s socio-political tyranny remain worthy of discussion, his yappin’ on other issues — especially his mockery of religion—contains more than a whiff of the psychotic... And Yee calls himself a genius on Twitter every three seconds"
The claim about needing skin in the game to speak is even more annoying than the "you cannot criticise if you can't do better" fallacy

"Good Girls": Gender, Social Class, and Slut Discourse on Campus - "Women's participation in slut shaming is often viewed as internalized oppression: they apply disadvantageous sexual double standards established by men. This perspective grants women little agency and neglects their simultaneous location in other social structures. In this article we synthesize insights from social psychology, gender, and culture to argue that undergraduate women use slut stigma to draw boundaries around status groups linked to social class-while also regulating sexual behavior and gender performance. High-status women employ slut discourse to assert class advantage, defining themselves as classy rather than trashy, while low-status women express class resentment-deriding rich, bitchy sluts for their exclusivity. Slut discourse enables, rather than constrains, sexual experimentation for the high-status women whose definitions prevail in the dominant social scene. This is a form of sexual privilege. In contrast, low-status women risk public shaming when they attempt to enter dominant social worlds"
Blaming men for slut-shaming is like blaming women for men dying when playing the chicken game (with cars) - unless you have ultimate causes in mind (and almost no one does)

Surprising New Evidence Shows Bias in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings - The New York Times - "“It is the most surprising result of my career,” said Roland G. Fryer Jr., the author of the study and a professor of economics at Harvard. The study examined more than 1,000 shootings in 10 major police departments, in Texas, Florida and California. The result contradicts the image of police shootings that many Americans hold after the killings (some captured on video) of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.; Tamir Rice in Cleveland; Walter Scott in South Carolina; Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La.; and Philando Castile in Minnesota... officers were more likely to fire their weapons without having first been attacked when the suspects were white. Black and white civilians involved in police shootings were equally likely to have been carrying a weapon. Both results undercut the idea of racial bias in police use of lethal force."
Some dismiss the study showing that police officers are slower to shoot blacks, but this is empirical confirmation
Looks like Black Lives Matter needs a new name

Why it's OK to celebrate the rise of female leaders, even if they're not good feminists - "Merkel has been mostly reluctant to prioritise women's rights; but at least she's honest about her lack of feminist ethos. "Perhaps [I'm] an interesting case of a woman in power, but no feminist," she told a panel audience in 2013. "Real feminists would be offended if I described myself as one"... Women who enter politics with strong feminist ideals are likely to find their ethos compromised, or they will not last long. Julia Gillard's Prime Ministership is a case in point. Few could argue that Gillard is not a feminist, or that her political agenda wasn't deeply informed by feminism and social justice. But despite her admirable efforts on climate change, education and disability reform, Gillard's record on asylum seekers, single mothers and marriage equality were a huge disappointment to many feminists... We don't have to welcome our new female world leaders with feminist fervour. But if and when the western world wakes up to find itself dominated by women"
Feminists don't want women in power - they want feminist women in power - while pretending they're speaking on behalf of women
If Sadiq Khan is not a "good" Muslim, should his being mayor of London be celebrated?
Instead of fulminating about patriarchy, perhaps a better response is to reflect that feminism is not conducive to successful politics
If feminism is about equality, why does this feminist want the world to be dominated by women?

A Saudi Morals Enforcer Called for a More Liberal Islam. Then the Death Threats Began. - The New York Times - "For years, Mr. Ghamdi stuck with the program and was eventually put in charge of the Commission for the region of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. Then he had a reckoning and began to question the rules. So he turned to the Quran and the stories of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, considered the exemplars of Islamic conduct. What he found was striking and life altering: There had been plenty of mixing among the first generation of Muslims, and no one had seemed to mind. So he spoke out. In articles and television appearances, he argued that much of what Saudis practiced as religion was in fact Arabian cultural practices that had been mixed up with their faith. There was no need to close shops for prayer, he said, nor to bar women from driving, as Saudi Arabia does. At the time of the Prophet, women rode around on camels, which he said was far more provocative than veiled women piloting S.U.V.s.He even said that while women should conceal their bodies, they needed to cover their faces only if they chose to do so. And to demonstrate the depth of his own conviction, Mr. Ghamdi went on television with his wife, Jawahir, who smiled to the camera, her face bare and adorned with a dusting of makeup.It was like a bomb inside the kingdom’s religious establishment, threatening the social order that granted prominence to the sheikhs and made them the arbiters of right and wrong in all aspects of life... Officials I spoke with were upset by the kingdom’s increasingly troubled reputation abroad and said over and over that they supported “moderate Islam.”But what exactly did they mean by “moderate Islam”? Unpacking that term made it clear how wide the values gap is between Saudi Arabia and its American ally. The kingdom’s “moderate Islam” publicly beheads criminals, punishes apostates and prevents women from traveling abroad without the permission of a male “guardian.” Don’t even ask about gay rights... “When is your birthday?” Confused, she switched to Arabic. “We don’t have that in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “That’s an infidel holiday.” Shocked, her father asked where she had learned that, and she fetched one of her government-issued textbooks, flipping to a lesson that listed “forbidden holidays”: Christmas and Thanksgiving. Birthdays had been part of the same lesson... The first thing many Saudis will tell you about Wahhabism is that it does not exist.“There is no such thing as Wahhabism,” Hisham al-Sheikh told me the first time we met. “There is only true Islam”... She disputed the Western idea that Saudi women lack rights. “They believe we are oppressed because we don’t drive, but that is incorrect,” Ms. Sheikh said, adding that driving would be a hassle in Riyadh’s snarled traffic. “Here women are respected and honored in many ways you don’t find in the West,” she continued... Regardless of how much the royal family lauds its Islamic values, when it wants to earn money or innovate, it does not turn to the clerics for advice. It puts up a wall and locks them out"
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