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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Links - 22nd February 2017

List of Shark Products
Sharks are the coconuts of the sea - every part of them is useful

Gravity Payments’ $70K minimum salary: CEO Dan Price shares result over a year later - "sales skyrocketed after the announcement, and Gravity Payments continues to take on new clients at a rate it never had before. It reports nearly doubling profits in a year, from $3.5 million in 2014 to $6.5 million in 2015. So Price is re-evaluating the metrics, and still trying to decide what his income should look like. "

Does True Love Exist? A Social Escort Responds. - "if my clients didn’t love their partners despite whatever that is lacking in their relationships, they would’ve left. But they didn’t. Maybe their partners don’t pay attention to them in the bedroom, or they have certain fantasies that they know their partner would never be comfortable with doing. Paying me (and other escorts) is also an admission to the fact that they never wanted to leave their relationship at all. Love, sex and relationships are complex things, and while they do overlap, understanding that they can be separated has allowed me to continue believing in love."

Virologist urges HIV 'bug chasers' not to infect themselves - "A leading scientist has expressed alarm at a trend in the West in which gay men use social networks to seek HIV-carrying sex partners in order to get infected. The "bug chasers" are often motivated by a desire to secure life-long medical care and social welfare benefits. French virologist Francoise Barré-Sinoussi, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for her life-long work in fighting Aids, said in an interview with the Post that she was unhappy to see such abuse of valuable medical resources and warned that the people doing it might not be well informed of all the risks."

Jay Liu's answer to Has political correctness made it impossible to communicate honestly or effectively? - Quora - "People are always quick to point out that political correctness is not a form of censorship because it's not part of the law. The obvious problem is how "censorship" is confined to "state censorship".
Yes, violating the subtle rules of political correctness will usually not land you in jail, but getting your entire career, public image and social standing destroyed is arguably just as bad as a stint in an actual prison. The reality is that political correctness is a far more effective and sophisticated form of censorship and thought policing than anything Goebbels could have come up with. The closest parallel I can think of to modern day America in terms of political correctness is the Cultural Revolution in China... Don't these Red Guards remind you of some other young, energetic people in the US who have tendency to organize and persecute those who hold beliefs other than their own? Oh yeah, the Social Justice Warriors!"

Why salad is so overrated - "Salad vegetables are pitifully low in nutrition. The biggest thing wrong with salads is lettuce, and the biggest thing wrong with lettuce is that it’s a leafy-green waste of resources... Charles Benbrook... and colleague Donald Davis developed a nutrient quality index — a way to rate foods based on how much of 27 nutrients they contain. Four of the five lowest-ranking vegetables (by serving size) are salad ingredients: cucumbers, radishes, iceberg lettuce and celery. (The fifth is eggplant.) Those foods’ nutritional profile can be partly explained by one simple fact: They’re almost all water... The corollary to the nutrition problem is the expense problem. The makings of a green salad — say, a head of lettuce, a cucumber and a bunch of radishes — cost about $3 at my supermarket. For that, I could buy more than two pounds of broccoli, sweet potatoes or just about any frozen vegetable going, any of which would make for a much more nutritious side dish to my roast chicken... Salad fools dieters into making bad choices... Salad has unfortunate repercussions in our food supply. Lettuce has a couple of No. 1 unenviable rankings in the food world. For starters, it’s the top source of food waste, vegetable division, becoming more than 1 billion pounds of uneaten salad every year. But it’s also the chief culprit for foodborne illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, green leafies accounted for 22 percent of all food-borne illnesses from 1998-2008"

Polish nationals less likely than Dutch to claim welfare - "Polish nationals are less likely to claim welfare benefits than the native Dutch, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS which were released on Thursday. However, other groups of immigrants and refugees are much more likely to be on benefits, the figures show.
For example, the CBS says seven out of 10 Somali nationals and six out of 10 Syrians live on welfare (bijstand), compared with just 3% of the Dutch. Afghans, Eritreans and Iranians are also much more likely to be living on welfare. ‘A high percentage do not speak the language sufficiently and a relatively large percentage are low-skilled or without any relevant education,’ the CBS said."

Trump Supporters Are Prejudiced—and So Are You - "“People with both relatively higher and lower levels of cognitive ability show approximately equal levels of intergroup bias,” write psychologists Mark Brandt of Tilburg University and Jarret Crawford of the College of New Jersey, “but toward different sets of groups”... “people with lower levels of cognitive ability express more prejudice towards ethnic minorities and gays and lesbians.” However, the researchers also found that “people with higher levels of cognitive ability express more prejudice toward Christian fundamentalists, big business, Christians, the Tea Party, and the military.” Overall, “lower levels of cognitive ability are associated with prejudice towards groups perceived as liberal/unconventional, and as having less choice over their group membership,” the researchers write. (You have no say in your ethnicity.) “At the same time, the data also suggest that higher levels of cognitive ability are associated with prejudice towards groups perceived as conservative/conventional, and as having more choice over their group membership.” (No one forces you to become a business executive.) Brandt and Crawford argue that some cognitive processes utilized by less-intelligent people do lead to prejudice, including an inability or unwillingness to see things from another’s perspective; elevated sensitivity to threat; and the need for certainty. But they note that brighter people can come up with “more self-convincing justifications for prejudice.” In other words, we can use our superior minds to convince ourselves that our emotion-based assumptions actually have merit."

BBC World Service - The Documentary, The Year Everything Changed - "Vaclav Klaus is one of Europe's longest serving political leaders. A former Prime Minister and President of the Czech Republic.
'What we really wanted in the moment of the fall of Communism... was freedom, democracy, market economy and... to be again a normal European sovereign and independent state. After 3 centuries of belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. after half a century belonging to the Soviet Empire, we really wanted to be free. Nothing more... Our slogans on the streets in Prague in November 89 were 'Back to Europe'. And I was the first one who very soon started to explain the people here: back to Europe doesn't mean exactly avante [?] into the European Union... we wanted to become a normal European state.'
'That's what you are isn't it?'
'We are not. We are a member of a very specific conglomerate, grouping of countries called the European Union. To speak about independence is a joke. We wanted to be integrated in the EU but not unified. I think that the role of the national government is now rather limited. Most of the decisions come from Brussels, not from Prague here, so this is not independence'"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 03/07/2014, What books should politicians read? - "The idea of Harold McMillan going into the garden on No 10 Downing Street and reading Jane Austen novels when it all got too much, I've always found very appealing. And I think voters might that quite appealing. I always thought it was PR but actually when you read Harold McMillan's letters, he mentions terrible times when he's Prime Minister over the Middle East and he says my only solace was reading Emma. Thank goodness for that...
Some of those classics we've mentioned, of course they're books we should all read but the thing a lot of them have in common: Emma, Middlemarch, Great Expectations is that they're wonderful studies in what is surely a politician's abiding vice, which is self-deception"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Rob Young - "He believes his life of crime has left him with, I suppose recruitment professionals might call them 'transferable skills'... One of my parole hearings... she said you treat crime like it's a corporate venture. You do a cost-benefit analysis to everything you do. I had to agree. A lot of guys that do that crime at that level - if you put them in running Apple or Microsoft, they would do just as good as a CEO"

DTR Podcast from Tinder & Gimlet Creative - "Mixed Signals" - Product Hunt - "Glasses make a right swipe 12% less likely"

Pornhub's 2016 Year in Review – Pornhub Insights - "Countries like Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, Norway and Colombia are all hitting up our ‘lesbian’ category the most. While South America, Russia, and a good portion of Western Europe and Northern Africa are more common frequenters of Pornhub’s ‘anal’ category. The sage color you see represents the higher proportion of views in the ‘Ebony’ category, which is more concentrated in Africa. And the orange that covers most of Asia, shows where the ‘hentai’ category gets the most love. There is still quite a bit of yellow spread throughout the map, which indicates a preference for the ‘teen (18+)’ category."

Isolated Low Temps May Reassure Climate Skeptics - "cold-influenced-denial may be playing out across the U.S., in particular in Appalachia and the South. Because it turns out those areas have had lots of record low temperatures in the last 12 years. And they're also by and large the same parts of the country that have high numbers of global warming skeptics. So researchers have a theory that personal experience with cold snaps could be trumping scientific facts"
The reality of lived experience!

Shoppers who wear pyjamas in Tesco are given a dressing down - "So-called "all-day pyjama syndrome" is widely seen as a growing social and sartorial problem in the UK. Earlier this year a headteacher at a school in Darlington appealed for parents to stop wearing their pyjamas at the school gates after she noticed an increase in the number of parents failing to get dressed for the school run. Some were even wearing pyjamas to school assemblies and meetings, she said."

Can't remember Marina Bay before Marina Bay Sands? This photographer captured it all through the years

Study: Ice Cream For Breakfast Boosts Brain Performance

11 really good reasons why your country should have a monarchy - "monarchical states seem to promote cohesion. A study by Sascha Becker and others shows higher trust and less corruption inside the borders of the old Habsburg empire than among the people who live just outside the empire’s historical borders... Former Bank of England rate-setter Tim Besley wrote a working paper earlier in the year suggesting that “in a country with weak executive constraints, going from a non-hereditary leader to an hereditary leader, increases the annual average economic growth of the country by 1.03 percentage points per year.” That’s a lot!"

The Evolutionary Dominance of Ethnocentric Cooperation - "ethnocentrism eventually overcomes its closest competitor, humanitarianism, by exploiting humanitarian cooperation across group boundaries as world population saturates"
"Racism" is evolved

Automated book-culling software drives librarians to create fake patrons to "check out" endangered titles - "Two employees at the East Lake County Library created a fictional patron called Chuck Finley -- entering fake driver's license and address details into the library system -- and then used the account to check out 2,361 books over nine months in 2016, in order to trick the system into believing that the books they loved were being circulated to the library's patrons, thus rescuing the books from automated purges of low-popularity titles."

Healthcare workers prioritize helping people over information security (disaster ensues) - "In Workarounds to Computer Access in Healthcare Organizations: You Want My Password or a Dead Patient?, security researchers from Penn, Dartmouth and USC conducted an excellent piece of ethnographic research on health workers, shadowing them as they moved through their work environments, blithely ignoring, circumventing and sabotaging the information security measures imposed by their IT departments, because in so doing, they were saving lives... IT's imposition of password rotation schedules meant that no one knew what their passwords were from moment to moment, forcing them to write them down and share them (in some cases, IT might have had this policy set by vendors or regulators/insurers). Aggressive timeouts on terminals meant that clinicians spent an undue amount of time logging in, making it impossible to get their work done."

Elderly Catholic woman has mistakenly been praying every day to Elrond from ‘Lord of the Rings’

High marks for standardized tests - "If an exam effectively gauges a student’s mastery of U.S. history or English grammar, then teaching the test is simply a matter of helping students develop that knowledge. Teachers who feel that a test ignores something essential should commit to fixing the test, not condemning the entire practice of testing."

Japanese company replaces office workers with artificial intelligence

Muslim Groups Are Reportedly Circulating This Illustration of Santa Getting Punched in the Face - "The Anatolia Youth Association’s Istanbul University branch released an illustration of a bearded Muslim punching St. Nick in the face... a similar illustration of Santa being punched was also seen in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia"
No wonder Santa shot up the Istanbul nightclub

The Reina atrocity shows how deeply Islamic fanaticism has taken hold in Turkey - "The victims of terrorism are called “martyrs” while the names of urban landmarks are changing, slowly, into Martyrdom Hill or Martyrdom Street. Ministers greet police officers, wishing them to sacrifice themselves for the nation. “God willing, you shall be martyrs too,” says the minister of urbanisation, Mehmet Özhaseki. The government is trying to cover its incompetence in both foreign and domestic policy with the language of jingoism and patriotism. Those who question the official line are labelled “betrayers” and “pawns of western powers”. Young people are told that we are a country surrounded by water on three sides and enemies on all four. As paranoia, distrust and fear intensify, the culture of coexistence dissolves... even after the horrific act of cruelty in Reina. Islamist commentators appeared on TV to say: “We are against New Year. We are against drinking alcohol and celebrations. Whoever wants to blow up whatever place may do so.” What is puzzling is how, in a country where anyone who writes anything critical about the government can be instantly sued, and possibly even arrested and put on trial, such religious or nationalist hatemongers rarely have action taken against them... Once we thought Turkey would be a shining role model for the Muslim world; now we are worried that our country may in fact be following some of its worst examples"

Santa Gets Circumcised in Turkey - "Just a day after Christmas, the Islamist whippersnappers took to the streets of Istanbul with an inflatable Santa Claus to protest against Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in Turkey. One of the protesters took a blade to the doll’s genital region and stabbed it multiple times. Prior to the knifing, demonstrators placed empty beer cans and a syringe in front of Santa, supposedly as a warning about the dangers of celebrating Christmas."
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