"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Links - 14th September 2016

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "Low interest rates really steal growth from the future. What they do is they take spending that would take place in the future and they bring it forward to today. And so whilst in the short term that's a good thing - it was the right thing to cut interest rates in 2008, 2009 in order to stimulate the economy in the wake of the financial crisis, now that the economy is back to sort of close to full employment, interest rates should really start going up in the US in particular because otherwise you just end up pulling forward more and more spending and eventually you have to get the payback"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, What is it like to live under siege? - "[On Aleppo] 'I would give them a hug. They need to feel that we are compassionate and to remain their human dignity is the most important thing of all'
'You haven't used the word hope. You have not said I would give them hope'
Because it would be very hypocritical. You know. How can we give them hope? To give them hope would be to lie to them and I don't want to lie to them'"

What Are You Waiting For? - Freakonomics Freakonomics - " FISHBACH: When other people were joining the line, then people reported that the smoothie tastes better.
Which, to Fishbach, showed that a line can signal value.
FISHBACH: In other words, once we wait for something, we value it more than if it was effortless, than if we never had to wait."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, What does Brexit mean for Felixstowe? - "You're reminded that the golden rule of politics, of every election campaign, of every referendum, turned out to be fool's gold. It was not 'the economy, stupid'. It was instead concerns about democracy, sovereignty, control that triumphed...
'I'm not nervous at all, however it goes, because real people, in real lives will adapt. The people that are really worrying aren't normal people on the ground - it's the Establishment'"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, China v UK: The unexpected battle for second - "How's it going down on the Chinese media?
'Who has poisoned our dream team?'
'The worst performance in 5 Olympics'
'Are the judges biased against our athletes?...
When it comes to willpower, grit and pluck, Chinese expect to come top. How to cope then with the shock display of their national character from: Britain? Strategy Number One: Denial.
'We fell behind a small island country troubled by separatism? I don't believe it. And I refuse to give in'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, How human behaviour changes online - "The DSM doesn't... recognise internet addiction and I agree with that, because we cannot be addicted to air, and we cannot be addicted to water. We need technology to live in this day and age. So I actually like to consider it as maladaptive behavior...
'Around 3 or 4, there are some - there's some research to show positive aspects of interface with technology in terms of looking at language acquisition or fine motor skills, but certainly not under the age of 2. But more important than what age a child should look at a screen is, I turn the question back to parents and say: What age should you expose your infant to your screen use? Do you know that the average person checks their mobile phone 200 times a day?'
'And if you're doing that in front of your children and distracting from dealing with your children, you're doing them harm'
'Absolutely. And you're not making eye contact. Studies show: ethnographic studies looking at people in fast food restaurants, show that caregivers 60% of the time spend their time looking at their devices and when they speak to their children, they don't make eye contact'"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Cruising, Cruising: Bad for the World? - "You go to a hotel. You check in to a hotel. The person behind the counter, they only know your name because they see it on a computer. That's the last time they know your name. When you cruise, oh you never meet anybody staying in a hotel. When you cruise, you unpack. Within days you know all the staff. Within days you know many of the passengers. You develop friendships and relationships that you're going to have for the rest of your life. And it adds to the travel experience...
When you're at home, how many days a week do you see your best friends? Once, maybe twice? Here, you see them every day... A cruise becomes your second family'

Clinton friend Terry McAuliffe says Hillary will flip-flop on TPP — again

The Animation Pioneer Who Helped Disney Create Mickey Mouse - "Famous animator Chuck Jones once said of Iwekrs “Iwerks spelled backwards is screwy,” but maybe you need a screw loose to invent like Iwerks did."

India’s Cow Vigilantes - "In the state of Gujarat, four Dalit youths caught skinning a cow were stripped, tied, and beaten with iron rods by cow vigilantes who accused them of killing the animal (they had not). In BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, two Dalit women were assaulted for supposedly carrying illegal cow meat (it was legal buffalo meat). In Punjab, two young Dalits were beaten and urinated upon for the same “crime.” A 16-year-old Kashmiri Muslim boy was murdered for having hitched a ride on a truck that was transporting cattle"

Topless tourists face fines as France cracks down on public nudity

Let it be known to Hitler’s “Hindu” fans that he thought of them as “Asiatic jugglers” and was planning to brutally rule over them

10 surprising facts about Mark Zuckerberg - "Facebook is blue because Zuckerberg is color-blind"

Thailands’s ladyboys and go-go girls face the axe — is seedy sex tourism over in Thailand? - "a clampdown could devastate the economy, which is still reeling from a massive recession in 2014. Some prostitutes make 5000 Baht (A$189) in a single night, which is sixteen times the minimum wage, and many send their income to relatives in rural parts of the country. If the industry is dissolved, thousands could find themselves out of work. However, some researchers suggest sex tourism is an entrenched part of Thai society, and that it links all the way back to the Korean and Vietnam wars. Manpavan Kaur, a research analyst at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, calls it the “military sexual complex”."

How Paul Krugman Made Donald Trump Possible - " If you use the most vile language available on a good man like Romney, or on real candidates like Rubio and Cruz, you find you have none left for the Donald Trumps of the world—and no one is listening to you anyway. If every Republican is always unfit for the presidency then Trump is no different and it shouldn’t be surprising that rank-and-file Republican voters are lining up behind him. They know there aren’t actually any Republicans of which the media approves. There’s a joke among Republicans that the only GOP candidate the media likes is one who has no chance of winning. John McCain was a media darling when he lost in the 2000 primary to George W. Bush but not when he was actually running against a Democrat in 2008. The media bear a lot of responsibility for the creation of Trump, and treating all Republican presidential candidates as if they’re a danger to American society is just one way they’ve done it"

New National Poll Finds: More Americans Know Snow White's Dwarfs Than Supreme Court Judges, Homer Simpson Than Homer's Odyssey, and Harry Potter Than Tony Blair - "Americans are more familiar with the Seven Dwarfs, The Three Stooges, Harry Potter, Homer Simpson and Superman than the news of the day, world leaders or classic literature... Americans' knowledge of fictional super heroes and boy wizards eclipsed our collective knowledge of astronomy and world leaders. Krypton was identified correctly by 60% of the respondents as Superman's planet of origin, while only 37% were able to name Mercury as the closest planet to the sun. Our British counterparts might be surprised to learn that more Americans (57%) were able to correctly identify Harry Potter as the name of J.K. Rowling's fictional boy wizard who lives in England than were able to successfully name Tony Blair as the current Prime Minister of England - only 50%. "

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 159 - Colin Allen on "Do fish feel pain?" - "If we talk about fish generically, as a category, first, fish constitute 60% of all vertebrate species. It's a hugely diverse taxonomic group. Asking what it's like to be a fish, or are fish conscious, or do they suffer or feel pain, is even a broader question than asking, what is it like to be a primate, for instance. Primates are a relatively small taxonomic group compared to fish... If we talk about fish generically, as a category, first, fish constitute 60% of all vertebrate species. It's a hugely diverse taxonomic group. Asking what it's like to be a fish, or are fish conscious, or do they suffer or feel pain, is even a broader question than asking, what is it like to be a primate, for instance. Primates are a relatively small taxonomic group compared to fish."

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 164 - James Evans on "Using meta-knowledge to learn how science works" - "it's certainly taking people longer to produce professional science in some ways. What we don't know is whether that's because we've exhausted all of the low-hanging fruit, or if we've exhausted all the low-hanging fruit on the trees that we've chosen to pick from"

Episode 38: Pride Cometh Before The Fall - "It was, in fact, the PAP leaders themselves who caused the split and affected their own standing with the public through their own actions. And their downfall starts with how they treated the most popular politician in Singapore, the former Mayor of Singapore, Ong Eng Guan... The PAP leadership abused their powers by ordering Special Branch to dig up dirt on Ong. Allegations of perjury, dishonesty, and bigamy were leaked to the press."

Episode 37: The Nature of Colonialism - "The key difference between Lee, and Marshall and Lim Chin Siong, of course, was a moral one. That will come as no surprise to regular listeners of this podcast. Marshall stood up for justice. He never locked up anyone, and when the British locked up people against his wishes, he sought to have them put on trial as soon as possible. Lim, likewise, meant what he said, and stuck to that position throughout his abbreviated political career. If he locked people up without trial, he would then take responsibility for it and go to the people and explain why he did it for the common good. But Lee Kuan Yew of course interpreted “take responsibility” in a different way. He interpreted it as “avoid responsibility”. He did not want to take responsibility for locking people up without trial because he knew it was unpopular. Like the British and Lim Yew Hock, Lee also wanted to use detention without trial, to lock up his enemies and keep them locked up, but he knew that it was extremely unpopular, that it was associated with colonialism. The ability to arbitrarily destroy people’s lives, by slavery, by torture, by locking them up without trial by a government unaccountable to the people – those are the hallmarks of colonialism. But from Lee’s perspective, if he could lock people up while avoiding responsibility, well, that was okay too. He had no moral issue with destroying people’s lives. To him, it was a political issue. Can I destroy lives while ensuring that I get no blame, or better yet someone else takes the blame? If so, that’s okay. And that’s what Lee set out to do."

Episode 40: The Mercy of the Tunku - "Nine days before the Hong Lim election, the PAP Assemblyman for Anson, Baharuddin bin Mohamed Ariff, died of a sudden heart attack. His death triggered another by-election, to be held on 15 July. The PAP leadership, who had treated Hong Lim as a referendum on their government, doubled down, now declaring Anson a second referendum on their government. Can you imagine. It’s like people who lose a referendum demanding a second referendum… that’s crazy. That’s undemocratic. Anyway, the PAP leaders did the same thing as Hong Lim. They vilified their opponents and described apocalyptic scenarios if the PAP lost"
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