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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Links - 26th April 2017 (1)

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Animal Farm - "He gets masses out of Wigan. It is his first reconciliation with England. But being Orwell, he goes to Wigan to attack capitalism and comes out of it attacking socialism. He goes to Spain to attack fascism and comes out of it attacking communism. You never quite know where you are with this guy, but you do after 1941, and he's onsite, and he's happy...
Jonathan Cape actually says yes I will [publish it]. But then he thinks oh I better ring up the Ministry of Information who tell him: no, you better not. Stalin's our ally. Actually the guy who tells him is a guy called Smollett who's a spy working at the Ministry of Information...
What about Nazism? That's totalitarian to. And I think Orwell felt he somehow, there's a mixture of the vile, the vicious and the absurd in Soviet Russia that I think Orwell just doesn't see in Nazism and he's very angry when people represent Hitler as a buffoon but there's just that strange mixture of the hilariously ridiculous. All of these animals going and confessing their various transgressions in these show trials for which they're instantly slaughtered...
[He] was inveighing against people who complained about poor people spending their money on luxuries. He says: when you're poor, it's the little things you don't need that are most important to you. They don't matter to rich people...
Early 1990, we had some Polish academics over. And the thing I wanted to ask them was: what was it like to live in a regime like that relentless, and they said: you just never believe anything at all, ever. Now that's not what you get in Orwell. What you get in Orwell is the sense that you don't know and so you're credulous. What's it like in North Korea at the moment? I don't think it's like Animal Farm or 1984. I think it's more like Poland"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morality - "If you think about someone like Achilles, you don't imagine him having a rich and complex interior life. If he wants to do something, he just does it. He doesn't brood, he isn't anxious and self-reflective. He just gets out there - he gets very annoyed when his honour is being insulted, but it's part of Nietzsche's story that a confluence of an entry into society and the restructuring of the society by the values of slave morality introduces a much sharper distinction between the inner and the outer in our lives. And one way in which Christianity contributes to that is through the practice of confession. The idea is that if you want to have the right relationship to God, you have to make sure that not just your actions conform to what's right but you don't have evil thoughts either. And the only way you can do that is by developing a form of scrupulous self examination in which you disclose the furthest reaches of your interior life to the priest in the confessional"

Black British history and Charles I’s children | Podcast | History Extra - "16th century... you have a medieval mindset that is fascinated by the colours black and white and their contrast and their extremes, where blackness is associated with all sorts of diabolical, devilish things. The night, superstition, magic, and whiteness is associated with purity and virginity. Human blackness is an immensely exciting, exotic and erotic challenge to that colour aesthetic. But also again Africans are associated with wealth, with their continent... Africans are seen as challenging to European ideas...
A lot of people have presumed and understandably perhaps is that all black people in Britain when we discover their lives or their remains must have been slaves. We know that this is not the case for many of the black Tudors. A lot of them are servants. A lot of them are people with specialist skills from Europe who've come into the Iberian world... there's a risk we project what happens later on earlier periods. This is the 16th century. This is not the 18th century...
We've forgotten how proud people in this country were at Abolition... there is a period in the 1830s and 1840s when opposition to slavery is seen as part of what it is to be British... millions of people sign petitions against the slave trade. Britain does go out to West Africa to try and suppress the slave trade"

Historians in parliament | Podcast | History Extra - "I was thinking of applying for PPE at Oxford and I was dissuaded by my school teacher who said that I'd learn more about politics if I studied the court of Henry VIII. I actually have...
I think... being a politician helps you become a better historian, but necessarily the other way round...
Doesn't it give you a kind of gyroscopic effect as a politician? You know that these things will pass...
When I look at politicians, effective politicians, the 2 most arguably effective politicians in the last 50 years, arguably, were Thatcher and Blair and both of them were incredibly unhistorical. In terms of their knowledge and approach"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Raymond Briggs: I could do more work - "I don't like Christmas at all. I don't think anybody does... I get letters all the time from people saying: we agree with you. It's dreadful. It's full of anxiety, isn't it? Have I got enough? Have I spent enough? Have I spent too much? We had them last year so we have to have so and so this year. Oh dear. No, I can't bear it really"

A new 600-digit number each month: Even cyber spies can’t remember their passwords - "He said that the NCSC has recently determined that demands for regularly changing, long passwords using numbers, capital and lower case letters, mean people are effectively being asked to memorise a new 600-digit number every month under the official guidelines. Martin also criticised websites which bar people from being able to paste their passwords online, saying it was “completely pointless” and actually damaging security... Ian Levy, technical director at the NCSC, said asking members of the public to remember so many passwords was “dumb”"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, The door-to-door poet - "It's not just homophobia. His mother was German and when she moved here, he remembers people spitting at her in the street. Swastikas were painted on the door

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, How has language changed in American political debate? - "[Glenn Beck:] It started before Trump. It started with the Left and Michael Moore, saying horrible things about George W Bush who I think is an honorable man. I really strongly disagreed with his policies but I think he was an honorable man and he never struck back. The Right did, but the Left was just pummeling. And then when they came into power, we learnt from that and they hit them harder than they hit us

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Will the UK welcome President Trump? - "Marches and petitions are very good at bringing one side together and feeling good about each other and where they stand. It's not very good for, to bridge that divide"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, The Holocaust: The secrets we don't know - "Once I started meeting former Nazis 25 years ago, they don't give you the answers that you imagine they're going to give you. For example I thought they'd say: oh, we were all acting under orders. Actually many of them say: do you know, at the time I thought it was the right thing to do. So there was an internalisation within them of thinking: actually this is a good thing. And that's something you want to keep probing away at...
You cannot see this as Adolf Hitler having a blueprint in the early 1920s of what's going to happen. It happens in a much more intriguing complicated way, which is you have a political leader in Adolf Hitler who is a visionary. And he has a vision which is a psychopathic hatred of these people. And he believes something's got to be done, and what form that something is changes and evolves over time according to a whole series of other influences and circumstances...
None of this need have happened. None of this was inevitable. There wasn't, it's not like a heist movie and psychologically we want to believe that - some people do...
'When you talk to former Nazis, they will sometimes say to you - will they not? The Jews had got above themselves. The Jews had got too much power. The Jews had to be sorted out in society'...
'You also find that they blame the British for this. There's a level of mentality here that's quite extraordinary... The Nazis genuinely believed in the Summer of 1940 that Britain was going to make peace because it was the logical thing to do as they saw it. And so what happened was then there never would have been the Holocaust as they saw it'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Michaela DePrince: From a Sierra Leone orphanage to the London stage - "'Why do ballerinas smoke?'
'I don't know why they smoke. When I started it was because I wanted to lose weight'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, What makes a good political speech? - "Every speech is normally incremental change dressed up in hyperbole

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Who is Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch? - "The acting attorney-general who was a holdover, went quite a bit further than simply raising issues about part of the order and she seemed to imply that she disagreed with it. That's fine. And people sometimes even resign when they have a disagreement, but to order the Department not to defend it because she doesn't like it is really an overstep and I think it was unfortunately something that led to this dismissal

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "What I find fascinating about Twitter is that once you have more than a relatively few number of followers, it's almost impossible to read anything at all. So it's all about talking rather than listening and maybe that says a lot about the age in which we live"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Is the Trump dossier fake? - "[On the Trump orgy] He would have to be a congenital idiot to have participated in anything like that, and whatever else he is, he is not a congenital idiot...
Why is it being released by a Western source? The answer is it is his political enemies who seem to be behind the release of it... I haven't seen one shred of practical evidence. Not a foot of film or a few beats of recorded conversation
So if you look at the possibility that it really happened, you have to admit only the FSB could have organised it. Only they could get access to put in this extraordinarily complicated technology in the Presidential suite of this particular hotel in Moscow. So if they did it, they organised it, it is not they that are doing the releasing"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Is Turkey's President Erdogan a democrat or a dictator? - "From a minister telling women not to laugh in public, to the President calling anyone who drinks an alcoholic, to Mr Erdogan rejecting mixed sex university dormitories, the government's conservative message has hardened. They came to power 14 years ago appearing to bridge divisions between pious and liberal, but it changed...
A few years ago Turkey was held up as a model. A Muslim democracy bringing together different sides."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Tuesday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "Money goes where it is wanted and stays where it is well-treated"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, The inauguration of Donald Trump - "He has enough money so at least he won't go in there and steal anymore"

Paul Diamond: 'Religious accommodation with outer limit' - "Islamic law says that you cannot drink alcohol. We cannot serve it, we cannot buy it, we cannot sell it. We shouldn't even sit at a table where alcohol is being served. The rule is not the same for pork. We cannot consume pork but the rule is not as strong on that... Will a till worker refuse to process a cake that has got champagne in it or chocolate that has got brandy in them?... We can't eat any meat that's not Halal. So will they refuse to process any chicken or meat or lamb because it's not Halal? I don't know how far we're going to go"
Strange. I thought pork was more haram

Hey from DTR on podbay - "In English speaking countries, each month more than half a billion messages are sent on Tinder. Half a billion. And guess what? 1 in 5 of those messages on Tinder, that's 100 million per month, start with the word hey...
I think that hey is the dating app conversational equivalent of the bread basket that is on the table when you go into a restaurant. It's just to try and you know get the ball rolling, get the gears going, get the stomach ready for the meal that's going to come. It's not like you go into the restaurant and eat the bread and leave. You're doing that before you get into even your appetiser...
Michelle used to hate getting hey... Once she started initiating the messaging, putting herself in the guy's shoes, things changed dramatically. She tried finally tailoring her opening lines before making them unique to each guy, but those didn't work either. And so she found herself resorting to 'hey'. It turns out if you turn hey over and look at it from the other side, it's not an empty gesture. It's a blank slate.
'I have so much more empathy than I used to. It's definitely... there's a really bad return on investment with sending crafted messages, so I'm just gonna say hey and if she's like interested or he's interested, they can write back and we can take it from there'...
People who use GIFs on Tinder messaging are 30% more likely to get a response than those who don't. And not just that but people who use GIFs are more likely to have conversations that last twice as long...
They chatted exclusively in GIF form for almost a week"

Dick Pics from DTR on podbay - "I have a confession to make. I actually like dick pics... We assumed most women were like Katie. Like thanks but no thanks. But that assumption was based really on nothing other than gender stereotypes. Like I said, I love receiving DPs. Mainly because they're a shortcut to knowing whether someone's into me. It totally takes the pressure off. And then I don't really have to worry about impressing him that much because clearly he's buying what I'm selling...
Males display their penis and sometimes in some species the penis is very brightly coloured. The penis seems to be used as a kind of display ornament... For these female monkeys, seeing the genitals before you commit to a mate is sort of like a routine part of the research. And it's not just monkeys. Other animals do this sorta thig too...
[On Kinsey] More than half of the women reported never being turned on by looking at a dick. And Kinsey wrote that many women were 'surprised to learn that there is anyone who finds the observation of male genitalia erotically stimulating'. But for the dudes in Kinsey's study it was almost completely reversed. They loved looking at their own dicks. 56% of them reported being turned on looking at their own genitals...
'It is difficult for most males to comprehend that females are not aroused by seeing male genitalia. Some males never come to comprehend this'...
'Straight guys out there who think you're real cool sending a woman a dick pic that doesn't want to see it. You know what? If she's got gay friends, there's a good possibility she's passing that on'"

I'm a 5, He's a 10 by DTR - "The shallowest humans on earth.
'Babies. Their pupils will dilate when they look at photos of their mothers but also when they look at photos of attractive people'...
Guys have what we call a unifactorial model of women. Whereas women tend to have a much more complex model...
The vast amount of data he's seen at Tinder shows that when men rate women they tend to do it on a single scale. 1-10, based on looks. That simple. Whereas women tend to have multiple scales...
Guys are incredibly easy to predict. Women are much harder to predict...
One study out of University of Texas at Austin called 'Levelling the Playing Field' found that when there's a big discrepancy in looks, it's often because people started out as friends...
'People thought she was a relative or a friend as opposed to a girlfriend'"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Turmoil in Thailand - "These protestors are speaking of what they know about their own country. This is after all a place where for a modest sun assassins can be hired for a modest sum. Where children of wealthy families can get away with serious crimes, where helpless refugees are sold as slaves by Thai police"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Higher Powers - "I remember one chapter in the English book on quadratic equations where they discussed the process known as completing the square. This is where you convert a quadratic equation... into a different form... This A level text explained the method with a song.
This is how we complete the square, complete the square, complete the square
This is how we complete the square of a simple quadratic equation.
Half the coefficient of x, fficient of x, fficient of x,
Half the coefficient of x and subtract that squared from the constant
In France if anyone suggested teaching quadratics with a ditty, they'd have conniptions. Just not done. No, here the method is very clear. It's dry as dust, it makes heavy use of symbols, it's very abstract, it's formidably logical. In a word, and the word after all comes from their first great master of maths, it is Cartesian...
This French approach to math seems to me very much aimed in typical French style at seeking out an elite. That lucky tranche who really get it. They can then be hothoused to create the country's Republican Guard of brilliant engineers, programmers and theoreticians. Most people I fancy find the abstract symbol based method off-putting and if they survive it's mainly by memorising rather than understanding. The second thought... many people over the centuries have observed that the French think differently from the Brits. They think in concepts. They crave all-explaining systems. They dislike what cannot be categorised. They find nothing laughable in what we scoff at as high falutin theory. In my brief foray into baccalaureat maths, I've caught a brief glimpse of why this may indeed may be so"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Changing Fortunes - "The carpet will be sold along with hundreds of others just like it to Turkey...
But Turkey is not a country short of carpets I say cautiously, not wanting to offend. Why the demand?
It's hard to explain, he smiles. You know that a lot of so-called Bokharan carpets are nowadays made in China? Well a lot of Turkish carpets are made here in Margilan. They like the quality."

Gay marriage plebiscite could lead to suicide: Shorten - "The fate of the plebiscite, which could be held as early as next year, is in Labor’s hands but Mr Shorten has ramped up pressure on the government to drop it and allow a parliamentary vote instead, introducing a private member’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage. “The idea of young people, perhaps yet to come out, seeing the legitimacy of their identity debated on the national stage, that is not an ideal which we should inflict on any citizen when we have a better path,” Mr Shorten said as he introduced his bill. “Let me be as blunt as possible: a No campaign would be an emotional torment for gay teenagers and if one child commits suicide over the plebiscite, then that is one too many. Mr Speaker, achieving marriage equality should be an occasion for joy, a unifying moment of celebration.”"
The emotional blackmail of the gay lobby apparently has no limits
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