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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Links - 23rd November 2016

"There is a tendency on the left, to think if someone in any way disagrees with the left it must be for the lowest possible reason and if you found the lowest possible motive you have found the right one" - Christopher Hitchens

Apparently this is from a now unavailable YouTube video (quoted here)

Full quote:

"I would never make a political disagreement the cause of a quarrel with a friend. I think it’s silly to do that. But there is a tendency on the left—and I bet there are people here who know what I’m talking about—to think that if someone in any way disagrees with the left, it must be for the lowest possible reason, and that if you’ve found the lowest possible motive, you’ve found the right one. There’s this whole culture of: no one would leave us or quarrel with us if they weren’t a sellout. It’s actually a very sick mentality, and very widespread, and people who think like that or feel like that can dump me if they want, but that’s almost to as much as to say that they weren’t much of a friend."

Another version in Hitch-22: A Memoir: "I had become too accustomed to the pseudo-Left new style, whereby if your opponent thought he had identified your lowest possible motive, he was quite certain that he had isolated the only real one. This vulgar method, which is now the norm and the standard in much non-Left journalism as well, is designed to have the effect of making any noisy moron into a master analyst"


Shonky Choice awards: Samsung Galaxy, Nestle among this year's 'worst-performing products' - "A family favourite, the drinking chocolate Milo, was also criticised with Choice rejecting Nestle's claims it was a "core dairy product". Choice said at 46 per cent sugar, Milo's four-and-a-half-star rating should be downgraded to one-and-a-half star, describing the product as "delicious chocolate dirt"... Also in the firing line was Vanish Preen Powerpowder, a carpet cleaning product which Choice said was "outperformed by water"."

Singapore’s bar scene is one of the world’s best, say pundits

Annoyance Is a Sign of a Good Relationship - "The real death knell of a relationship is not conflict… it’s emotional withdrawal. When you’ve reached the point where you can’t muster any feelings about your partner – not even annoyance or frustration – that’s a sign that you’ve emotionally checked out of the relationship."

Kiwis have trust issues - "only 31% of Kiwi employees trusted all of their co-workers. In fact, 54% of respondents had their trust broken by a co-worker and those who had their trust broken were considerably less prone to have faith in their colleagues. The survey also showed that hearing colleagues talking negatively about others was the chief reason to have a lack of trust in the office."

What’s on the lunch menu for UK employees? - "UK staff rushing for time have confessed to spending an average of a paltry £5 (S$8.83) a day on lunch... Employees are going for sandwiches (59%), bringing food from home (54%), or settling on unhealthy choices such as burgers and fast food (eight percent), sweets (19%), pasties (seven percent) and cakes (15%)"

Almost 70% of neighbour disputes heard by tribunals involve ‘excessive noise’ - "Other common causes of disputes include littering and “interfering with moveable property”, with each representing about one-quarter of the cases. Some cases involved more than one type of complaint... The tribunal issued a protection order that prohibits a man from approaching and loitering at the homes of a woman and her mother, and using threatening and abusive words against them and the woman’s sister. The woman had complained that she felt sexually harassed by him. He would patronise the drinks stall she ran with her mother and sister, trail her home, and look at her “from top to bottom”. He also used vulgarities and rude hand signs in front of her stall. As part of the resolution, the woman had to reimburse him S$200 in medical fees for hitting and hurting him one time with a stick of sugarcane."

John Simpson in Singapore: absurd nannyism and superlative service - "Once, years ago, I plucked up the courage to suggest privately to the presiding spirit of Singapore, its great re-founder Harry Lee Kuan Yew, that he had created an overly nannified state. He gave me his knowing smile, showing wolfish teeth. “I rather agree,” he said, “but our people like it that way”... Some years back Singapore decided to license a Speaker’s Corner, as in Hyde Park, where people could say exactly what they liked. When my cameraman and producer and I turned up, we found it was taking place in the car park of a big police station. We, and everyone else who went there, had to put our names down in a ledger, and various characters in plain clothes wandered round with expensive little video cameras, taking an interest in the turn-out. Not surprisingly, Speaker’s Corner Singapore-style lacked something of the cutting edge of the original. No matter: I still like Singapore immensely. It may not be sharp and freewheeling like Hong Kong, but you can get just about anything you want there, and it has an unequalled culture of service... Somehow, the Singaporeans seem to get service just right: not obsequious, not impersonal, not intrusive, but ever-present when you want it. And the quality of service certainly isn’t restricted to the expensive hotels"
Maybe you must be white to get good service

Want to stop global warming? Then STOP having babies, says academic - "A radical concern for climate change is precisely motivated by a concern for human life – in particular, the human lives that will be affected by climate disruptions. A valuable philosophical contribution here is the distinction between 'making people happy' and 'making happy people.' .. I would argue that it is more 'anti-life' to prioritize creating new life over caring for, or even not harming, those who already exist."

Should the first in a queue be served last? - "Danish researchers have recently made a shocking suggestion - that queuing on the basis of last-come-first-served may sometimes be more efficient... They tend to arrive at staggered times, resulting in shorter queues. "It would be more risky for people to arrive early because it could mean that you may not be lucky enough to be served immediately, so you would have to wait for a long time until all those who arrive after you have been served," he says. "There will be some people trying their luck arriving early but on average people will arrive later and it means on average that everyone will be better off." At the airport departure gate, people would be more likely to stay in a cafe for a while, or sit reading a book rather than rushing to be first in the queue... "As long as everyone knows it from the beginning, in a sense it's fair that everyone faces the same rules and the rules apply to everyone. But it's true that many people would object to serving the last because it will result in some people having to wait for a long time. In that sense it's not fair and probably it's against many people's intuition about fairness in queues," Osterdal says. Abandoning the first-come-first-served principle would be easier in internet or phone queues though, Osterdal points out. People kept waiting a long time may not be happy, but at least they would not see people who arrived in the queue after them getting served first."
Keywords: queue last, last first

Children Can Predict the Outcomes of Elections Simply by Looking at Candidates’ Faces - "As the researchers note, (Charles) Darwin recorded in his autobiography that: “he was almost denied the chance to take the historic Beagle voyage — the one that enabled the main observations of his theory of evolution — on account of his nose. Apparently, the captain did not believe that a person with such a nose would possess sufficient energy and determination.”"

Man 'accidentally' gets hemorrhoid surgery while waiting for his wife to give birth - "The hospital said that it had made a mistake and offered to pay him 5,000 yuan in compensation. Though, the hospital did add that Wang really did have hemorrhoids."

The many (distinctive) faces of leadership: Inferring leadership domain from facial appearance - "We find that human judges can identify business, military, and sports leaders (but not political leaders) from their faces with above-chance accuracy. However, people are surprisingly bad at evaluating their own performance on this judgment task"

Lena Dunham Wants to Improve Men by Making White Straight Men Extinct

Lena Dunham supports that sushi is cultural appropriation

Lena Dunham Accuses Odell Beckham Jr. of Completely Ignoring Her at Met Gala - "Dunham continued, unofficially dubbing the event the so-called "Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes" while slamming Beckham even further"
If it'd been a man, he'd have been blasted for male sexual entitlement

This Teen Is SUING Her Parents for Posting Her Baby Photos on Facebook

Just going on vacation may change gene activity - "Vacation and meditation seemed to turn down defense responses, inflammation response and innate immune response, Schadt said."

An anti-Islam leader staged a fake ‘Islamic invasion’ — featuring a camel — in Prague

7 Words That Came About from People Getting Them Wrong - "The confusion about which word the 'n' belonged to could end up swinging the other way too. A newt was originally an "ewt" ("The carcases of snakes, ewts, and other serpents."), but "an ewt" could easily be misheard as "a newt," and in this case, the 'n' left the "an" and stuck to the the "newt.""
Purists undoubtedly use these words

Jihawg Ammo: Pork-laced Bullets Designed To Send Muslims Straight ‘To Hell' - "“With Jihawg Ammo, you don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell. That should give would-be martyrs something to think about before they launch an attack. If it ever becomes necessary to defend yourself and those around you our ammo works on two levels”... The company’s website bills the bullets as “Peace Through Pork” and a “peaceful and natural deterrent to radical Islam.” There’s a related line of apparel that feature slogans like “Put Some Ham in MoHAMed” and a target poster that says “Give Em a Spankin with some Bacon.”... Shannon Dunn, assistant professor of religious studies at Gonzaga University, said South Fork’s concept is based on an inaccurate understanding of the Quran. “There is no penalty for coming into contact with pork given by the Quran,” she said, pointing to verses that prohibit the consumption of pork and carrion that are reminiscent of Jewish dietary laws outlined in Leviticus. “To my knowledge, Muslims, especially unknowingly, would not be banned from heaven for eating or getting hit by pork,” she said. “There are some interpreters who suggest that Muslims should eat pork rather than starve, if faced with that alternative.”"

Hindsight Bias - "researchers Martin Bolt and John Brink (1991) asked college students to predict how the U.S. Senate would vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Prior to the senate vote, 58-percent of the participants predicted that he would be confirmed. When students were polled again after Thomas was confirmed, 78-percent of the participants said that they thought Thomas would be approved."

The Economics of ‘Slut-Shaming’ - "We would expect a patriarchy to weigh the trade-offs of maintaining power by repressing female sexuality against the option to easily satisfy a considerable carnal appetite. Given the high value ostensibly placed on both, any patriarchy’s optimal allocation of sexual repression and sexual objectification would not likely be as one-sided as observed in history and today. A society ruled entirely by misogynists would probably not discourage, or might even actively encourage, female promiscuity... Before the mass exodus of women into the public sphere, entering into lucrative sexual congress was a surefire way for shrewd suppliers to secure material well-being. Unfortunately, women’s natural endowments are as fleeting as their youthful competition is ever-regenerating. Even if a woman of yesterday managed to net a suitable husband, the spectre of wandering eyes and brazen temptresses haunted housewives. As such, there is a strong incentive for women to restrict competition, price-cutting, and client-stealing in the sexual mating market. Slut-shaming, prohibitions against paid sex work, censorship of pornographic images, and gender segregation are all tools that restrict supply in the sexual market. Anxieties and incentives cause women facing sexual competition to psychologically exhibit similar, although uncoordinated, cartelistic behaviors. Thrill-seekers and erotic entrepreneurs that buck the sexual syndicate find themselves at the mercy of moral indignation and exclusion. A review of the literature on sexual suppression suggests that the evidence is more consistent with the female cartel theory than the patriarchy theory: Periods of sexual restraint coincide with sellers’ markets. Although men historically enforced sexual norms, female self-interest shapes them."

Former Vietnamese refugee in Singapore on quest to find Norwegian rescuers from more than 30 years ago - "most of them were given shelter at the Hawkins Road Refugee Camp in Sembawang. The camp, which was run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 1978 and 1996, was the first and only refugee camp here... From 1975 to 1996, Singapore hosted a total of 32,457 Vietnamese boat people. At that point, Vietnamese refugees who could prove they could go to another country afterwards were given food and temporary shelter here. Many were also able to find employment outside the camp as cooks, waiters and movers, among other jobs. Others were turned away, with restrictions on their influx keeping the camp free of the overcrowding and disease that plagued other camps in regional countries like Indonesia. The majority - 32,364 - were resettled in third countries, while the remaining were voluntarily repatriated to Vietnam in 1996 when the UNHCR decided to close all its camps in the region... Businessman Michael Bui, 55, has fond memories of the 90 days that he spent in the Singapore camp in 1979. They were allowed to work outside the camp in addition to the stipend, and he found a job as a labourer. "We went shopping, ate out and watched movies in Sembawang and Marsiling. It represented some of the best days in my youth which I never want to let go," said the US citizen who returned to Singapore for a visit in July. Mr Bui hopes that something can be built in the memory of the camp. He said: "She opened her arms to us...tired, poor and huddled masses yearning for freedom. Singapore is small but her heart is so big.""
So it's not true Singapore rejected refugees

Following the no makeup trend? Here's why it could be more expensive than wearing makeup - "women who wear makeuptend to out-earn women who'd rather let their natural beauty shine. This might be due to the fact that wearing makeup at work makes you feel confident, which in turn makes you appear more competent to your colleagues... Radiant Makeup-Free Skin Requires Expensive Prep... Effective Acne Scar Removal Costs Thousands of Dollars"

"HOLDING BACK": NEGOTIATING A GLASS CEILING ON WOMEN'S MUSCULAR STRENGTH - "women in fitness - particularly those who seek muscular strength in the weight room - may find their bodily agency limited not by biology but by ideologies of emphasized femininity that structure the upper limit on women's "success.""
According to feminism, biology doesn't exist

Futile attempts to buy medicine despite prescription - "How can a hospital refuse to sell to a patient medication prescribed by a certified medical practitioner? Until today, I have still not managed to purchase the medicine for my mother. Her infection has worsened and we have to submit a new urine sample to the lab to determine another course of treatment. My fear is that this whole process may start again."
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