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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Links - 18th May 2017 (2)

Demand for female tutors '21/2 times that for male' - "When it comes to tutors, women are in greater demand than men, a recent local study has found. For some parents, this preference results from a wary attitude towards male tutors, and the stigma that surrounds them."
Presumably the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP) doesn't cover this because it's not employer-employee employment. Of course AWARE was silent on this

The Crisis of Western Civ - The New York Times - "This Western civ narrative came with certain values — about the importance of reasoned discourse, the importance of property rights, the need for a public square that was religiously informed but not theocratically dominated. It set a standard for what great statesmanship looked like. It gave diverse people a sense of shared mission and a common vocabulary, set a framework within which political argument could happen and most important provided a set of common goals. Starting decades ago, many people, especially in the universities, lost faith in the Western civilization narrative. They stopped teaching it, and the great cultural transmission belt broke. Now many students, if they encounter it, are taught that Western civilization is a history of oppression. It’s amazing what far-reaching effects this has had. It is as if a prevailing wind, which powered all the ships at sea, had suddenly ceased to blow. Now various scattered enemies of those Western values have emerged, and there is apparently nobody to defend them... These days, the whole idea of Western civ is assumed to be reactionary and oppressive. All I can say is, if you think that was reactionary and oppressive, wait until you get a load of the world that comes after it."

After Weight-Loss Surgery, a Year of Joys and Disappointments - - "Nearly 200,000 Americans have bariatric surgery each year. Yet far more — an estimated 24 million — are heavy enough to qualify for the operation, and many of them are struggling with whether to have such a radical treatment, the only one that leads to profound and lasting weight loss for virtually everyone who has it. Most people believe that the operation simply forces people to eat less by making their stomachs smaller, but scientists have discovered that it actually causes profound changes in patients’ physiology, altering the activity of thousands of genes in the human body as well as the complex hormonal signaling from the gut to the brain. It often leads to astonishing changes in the way things taste, making cravings for a rich slice of chocolate cake or a bag of White Castle hamburgers simply vanish... surgery immediately alters the activity of more than 5,000 of the 22,000 genes in the human body."

How Did Walmart Get Cleaner Stores and Higher Sales? It Paid Its People More - The New York Times - "The idea is that, sometimes, it is in an employer’s best interest to pay more than necessary to get a worker into a job. The 18th-century economic thinker Adam Smith described the need to pay a goldsmith particularly well to dissuade him from stealing from you. More recently, economists (including Janet L. Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, who worked on these topics as an academic economist in the 1980s) have found evidence that people are more productive when they are paid above the market rate."

Immigration blunders that led to Brexit - "Paradoxically, Britain's current problem with immigrants - which led directly to the country's rejection of the EU - is not the result of bigotry but, as incredible as it may sound today, precisely because the Brits wanted to show the rest of Europe how open they can be. In effect, Britain knocked itself out of the continent after attempting to be more generous than the continent... Evidence that not all was well kept pouring into British government offices from all directions: the pressure on housing became acute, schools could not cope with the demand for spaces and daily wages in some sectors like construction fell by a whopping 50 per cent, as labour supply far outstripped local needs. But successive British governments did nothing... the country's working class which used to be praised as the "salt of the earth" ultimately came to be treated as "the scum of the earth". Yet bizarrely, the entire political class still refused to do anything. In what is by now one of the country's most iconic modern episodes, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown publicly dismissed as "bigoted" a middle-aged voter who, during the 2010 general election campaign, dared to ask him in polite terms what he proposed to do about East European migration. Yet current PM Cameron also maintained the same air of political correctness, by pretending that the problem is not migration as such, but the people who complain about it. The rebuke to Britain's rulers came during the EU referendum, when the so-called "scum of the earth" suddenly stood up and demanded to be heard... European governments ought to remember that immigration is not only about ensuring adequate labour supply or sustaining economic efficiency; it's also about challenging existing national identities and community spirit, about maintaining the implicit contract between those ruling and those ruled"

The Straits Times - Posts - "Do-Not-Call registry: Firms want calls, SMS to be separated"
This article from 2011 is no longer accessible. Why don't Straits Times articles have durable permalinks like world class publications like the New York Times?

Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo states that Boba and Jango Fett are not Mandalorians. Let the meltdown commence. : StarWars

Error access is denied (Write to disk) uTorrent in Windows 10.
Addendum: file permissions - uTorrent error: Access is denied - Super User - "Solution 3:
Change the compatibility of uTorrent or BitTorrent to Windows XP SP3.
Right-click on the program's shortcut, .exe file, or installation file.
Click on Properties.
Click on the Compatibility tab.
Check the Run this program in compatibility mode and choose SP3."

Ma Bo Lor Mee @ ABC Brickworks on the App Store - "Through the Ma Bo Lor Mee mobile app, user can interact with us more effectively and will be updated regarding our stall at anytime, anywhere."
Why does a Lor Mee stall need an app?

The rise of left-wing, anti-Trump fake news - ""On the left if you're consuming fake news you're 34 times more likely than the general population to be a college graduate"... the more you consume fake news, the more likely you are to vote... Brooke Binkowski, who is managing editor at Snopes website, warns newsreaders to stay aware of the emotions they feel when consuming content"

Facebook’s fake news problem won’t fix itself – Poynter - "A BuzzFeed analysis of six hyperpartisan Facebook pages found that posts with mostly false content or no facts fared better than their truthful counterparts... disinformation spreads faster and wider than related corrections"
The analysis shows not only that the left wing sources have lots of fake news too, but that it's shared a lot more than the right wing sources

9 More Viral Photos That Are Completely Fake - "Did the new president of Taiwan really say “I won’t buy the whole pig just for a sausage?... The message is seen as one of female empowerment and independence here in the United States, but it wasn’t meant that way when the anonymous Chinese hoaxer created it. I contacted the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office to try and confirm the quote. And as I suspected, it appears to be a fabrication by Chinese bloggers hoping to make the new president look silly.”

Chinese man builds fake police station in flat and poses as cop in elaborate con - "During a search of his home-cum-interrogation centre, security officials uncovered a cache of forged documents, a GPS tracking device and a miniature surveillance camera, according to the newspaper report. They also found a copy of The Story of the Stone, a classic work of 18th century Chinese literature that opens in a place known as the Land of Illusion. “Truth becomes fiction when the fiction’s true,” the book’s opening line reads. “Real becomes not-real where the unreal’s real.”"

Gullible Huffington Post Falls for Hoax Article Calling for White Men to be Stripped of Voting Rights - "HuffPostSA editor Verashni Pillay wrote an article (archived post) defending its publication. She highlighted examples of complaints sent to the website, and blamed readers for having a poor understanding of the “pretty standard feminist theory” Shelley used. Pillay has since deleted the defense. Then, following the extensive backlash, Huffington Post deleted the article, replacing it with a meek apology and a claim that they were unable to confirm that Shelley Garland was a real person. They even had to hilariously clarify that they are in favor of universal voting enfranchisement... The hoaxster says that her editors at Huffington Post did not correct any of the false claims, factual errors and logical fallacies she purposely embedded in the piece, and accepted it without question.
'A further indictment on the Huffington Post is the fact that its editor, Verashni Pillay, then took it upon herself to defend the total garbage that I had written.'"

Lucasfilm Consider Ending Main Star Wars Movies & Focusing On Spinoffs - "As strong as the Skywalker / Solo brand may be, sooner or later Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are going to want to step out of the saga. That doesn't matter if you're writing novels; but if your ongoing Star Wars movie franchise is centered around these actors, then you have a real problem."

It's impossible to present history in a way that won't offend someone: Neil Macdonald - "if anyone ever uncovers evidence proving or disproving the existence of Jesus Christ, he'd better either bury it or go into hiding, because that sort of thing can get you killed... CBC is sort-of apologizing again, this time for broadcasting a series rather inoffensively titled Canada: The Story of Us, produced to coincide with the country's 150th anniversary celebrations... it's probably not possible in this day and age to present a version of history that won't offend someone. In this case, such an effort would have to view Canada's founding equally through English and French eyes, as well as those of Indigenous people, the Métis, the Acadians, the Catholics and the Protestants. (But not too much so, as to avoid cultural appropriation). Any depiction of what happened at the Plains of Abraham would have to take care not to name a winner, but rather characterize it as just one development in the history of Canada's two founding nations. It would need to avoid androcentricity, while at the same time recording that men were completely in charge and made all the big decisions... if your main goal is to avoid giving offence, it's safest to ensure such efforts are terminally boring. Because everyone wants to own history. In these hypersensitive times, there is no canon"

Harambe: Stop making memes of our dead gorilla, Cincinnati Zoo pleads

On landing, the pilot made an announcement so psychologically astute that I wanted to offer him a job - "‘I’ve got some bad news and some good news,’ he said. ‘The bad news is that another aircraft is blocking our arrival gate, so it’ll have to be a bus. The good news is that the bus will drop you off right next to passport control, so you won’t have far to walk with your bags’... Nothing had changed objectively, but now we had a new story to tell ourselves... The reason we hated being bused to the terminal was not because it was intrinsically bad, but because nobody knew of any redeeming advantages to help us see it in a positive light. Once we knew there was an upside, we were free to minimise the pain of cognitive dissonance by choosing to see the bus as a convenience and not an annoyance... It seems we can mentally cope with trade-offs: what is intolerable are those experiences where there is no discernible upside at all. In such cases there is nothing to help us escape the pain of cognitive dissonance. Even when people make fairly silly decisions, they can usually post-rationalise them. What upsets us most are those inescapable things where there is no apparent positive — paying tax, speed-camera fines, season-ticket increases, utility bills. The very act of choosing something generally makes us like it more... Last week in The Spectator, Peter Jones suggested something I have long believed — that the tax system should offer some kind of quid pro quo, even if it is largely symbolic, to people and companies who pay more tax. The Greeks, he explained, designed their system of wealth tax so that it offered bragging rights to those who provided public goods. Rich Athenians relished competing among themselves to fund a better trireme than their fellows.

Permitting modern businesses to display some sort of tax kitemark would at least allow them to justify to themselves why it was worth paying more than the legal minimum. It may be a small thing in economic terms, but at least there is some positive spin to be put on it. Remember, when we construct stories, our intended audience isn’t only other people. It is also ourselves"

Real-time HTML Editor - "Type HTML in the textarea above, and it will magically appear in the frame below."
1997: Hacking HTML in Notepad
2007: Using a modern browser to surf the web
2017: Looking at HTML in Notepad to get around paywalls. Or rendering it with this

Popup Killer: How to Bypass Website Barriers Without Signing Up or Completing Surveys - "You've probably experienced these popup windows, known as Lightbox modals, all across the web, especially on magazine and newspaper sites that have yet to fully embrace the ad-supported digital world. And let's not forget about those pesky "fill out this survey to continue" content blockers (don't even get me started on those)... Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer make accessing the web inspector very easy. Below, I'm using Chrome, but the process is nearly identical in Firefox and IE.
Step 1: Inspect Element
Step 2: Delete the Lightbox Mask
Step 3: Delete the Lightbox Window
Step 4: Get Your Scroll Bar Back
Step 5: Close the Developer Tools...
Safari's process is no different than Chrome and Firefox, other than that you have to enable access to your web developer tools. To turn them on, simply open the "Advanced" tab in Safari's "Preferences," and click on the box at the bottom that says "Show Develop menu in menu bar.""
Another reason not to use Macs - Safari is emblematic of the trouble you need to go through

Will politicians finally admit that the Paris attacks had something to do with Islam? - "All these leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie. The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a ‘noble lie’, provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. ‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake. First, because the general public do not rely on politicians for their information and can perfectly well read articles and books about Islam for themselves. Secondly, because the lie helps no one understand the threat we face. Thirdly, because it takes any heat off Muslims to deal with the bad traditions in their own religion. And fourthly, because unless mainstream politicians address these matters then one day perhaps the public will overtake their politicians to a truly alarming extent... If you do not know the ideology — perverted or plausible though it may be — you can neither understand nor prevent such attacks. Nor, without knowing some Islamic history, could you understand why — whether in Mumbai or Paris — the Islamists always target the Jews... in contemporary Europe, Islam receives not an undue amount of criticism but a free ride which is unfair to all other religions. The night after the Charlie Hebdo atrocities I was pre-recording a Radio 4 programme. My fellow discussant was a very nice Muslim man who works to ‘de-radicalise’ extremists. We agreed on nearly everything. But at some point he said that one reason Muslims shouldn’t react to such cartoons is that Mohammed never objected to critics. There may be some positive things to be said about Mohammed, but I thought this was pushing things too far and mentioned just one occasion when Mohammed didn’t welcome a critic. Asma bint Marwan was a female poetess who mocked the ‘Prophet’ and who, as a result, Mohammed had killed. It is in the texts. It is not a problem for me. But I can understand why it is a problem for decent Muslims. The moment I said this, my Muslim colleague went berserk. How dare I say this? I replied that it was in the Hadith and had a respectable chain of transmission (an important debate). He said it was a fabrication which he would not allow to stand. The upshot was that he refused to continue unless all mention of this was wiped from the recording. The BBC team agreed and I was left trying to find another way to express the same point. The broadcast had this ‘offensive’ fact left out... al-Azhar University in Cairo declared that although Isis members are terrorists they cannot be described as heretics."

The questions nobody wants to ask about Asad Shah's murder - "On Maundy Thursday a Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow was brutally murdered. Forty-year-old Asad Shah was allegedly stabbed in the head with a kitchen knife and then stamped upon. Most of the UK press began by going big on this story and referring to it as an act of ‘religious hatred’, comfortably leaving readers with the distinct feeling that – post-Brussels – the Muslim shopkeeper must have been killed by an ‘Islamophobe’. Had that been the case, by now the press would be crawling over every view the killer had ever held and every Facebook connection he had ever made. They would be asking why he had done it and investigating every one of his associates... In Britain whenever there is a vaguely positive news story about Islam it almost invariably involves Ahmadi Muslims. Remember the bus adverts a few years back saying that Islam had ‘love for all, hatred for none’. That was paid for by Ahmadiyya Muslims. Remember the stories of a Muslim group not burning poppies but actually selling them for the Royal British Legion? Ahmadiyyas again... the Imam of the Grand Central Mosque in Glasgow (Scotland’s biggest mosque) had been caught posting messages on the net praising the Muslim extremist who murdered Pakistani governor Salman Taseer for opposing blasphemy laws. This is the mosque that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon went straight to after the Paris terror attacks in November... nobody will ask for instance which Muslim leaders in the UK stoke hatred of Ahmadiyya Muslims... As it happens, the Imam of the mosque that Sadiq Khan himself attends in Tooting is one Suliman Gani. This is a man who has in the past openly acknowledged that he uses his position to agitate against Ahmadiyya Muslims... nobody will ask about this, because almost nobody knows, or cares to know, or cares to hear the answers"

The menace of memes: how pictures can paint a thousand lies - "it’s worth remembering that not every accusation levelled at Westminster is fair. Over the past couple of years, a trend for internet memes about politicians has grown. Those graphics tend to juxtapose two images from Parliament, one showing lots of MPs apparently very interested in something, another with a handful of sleepy politicians loafing about on the Commons benches. Naturally, the first image bears a caption suggesting that MPs are debating something that benefits them personally, while the second claims they’re voting on something that affects very vulnerable people... You might argue that, for many MPs, it is more constructive to be outside the Chamber during those sessions if they can influence government policy by scrutinising it in other ways. A select committee, for example, or writing parliamentary questions, briefing journalists on the failure of a certain policy or taking a delegation of MPs to lobby the Prime Minister. But very few people understand the different sorts of Commons business and assume that everything that takes place in the Chamber has the same import. It doesn’t."

It’s time for me to face the truth – I am no longer a feminist - "it’s with dismay rather than despair I read this morning’s Australian, which broke the news that Victorian high school students are going to learn about male privilege... As my colleague Dr Jeremy Sammut pointed out, this is indeed an example of “taxpayer-funded indoctrination” that ignores the complex social problems that inform domestic and family violence. More than that, it’s truly sad that a program originally labelled “Respectful Relationships”, instead inspires alienation, and peddles guilt and shame, when put in practice."

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