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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Links - 20th July 2017 (2)

It's Time For Congress To Privatize The Welfare State - "George Gilder and Charles Murray did pioneering work showing that the welfare state was not benignly helping people in temporary need. It was subsidizing a lifestyle. With the passage of time the case for that position has gotten stronger and stronger... University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan estimates that half the excess unemployment we are experiencing can be directly tied to the incentive effects of entitlement programs. In other words, half the people who should have a job don't have one because we are paying people not to work."
People respond to incentives

From Hock Lam’s Beef Noodles to Funan’s Computers - "The Hainanese styled beef noodles are typically served dry with beef tendons and beef balls. Two pioneering Hainanese beef noodle hawkers Lee Suan Liang and Kian Teck Huan were credited in popularising the dish before the war. On the other hand, the Teochew beef noodles are generally soup-based, topped with slices of beef and innards. Tan Chin Sia was one of Singapore’s earliest beef noodle hawkers when he set up his stall at Hock Lam Street in 1921."

Actually, epistocracy might have helped Clinton defeat Trump - "various epistocracy proposals likely would have helped Clinton over Trump. But such proposals would have especially helped Romney over Obama. (In fact, before anyone on the left gets too mouthy about the average political knowledge of Trump voters, they should note that the 2016 ANES data suggest that Trump voters were at least as knowledgeable on average as Obama voters.) And it’s entirely more difficult to say what the implications would have been for a contest pitting President Romney against challenger Clinton in 2016, though the ANES sample suggests that epistocracy proposals would have perhaps given a small boost to Romney."

Mary Ellen Wilson - Wikipedia - "Laws preventing cruelty to animals were used to remove her from the home, as laws preventing cruelty to children were yet to be created then. Hers was the first recorded child abuse case in the United States"

How the Times failed you - "After concluding that the best thing about America is its “diversity” (i.e. the fact that it no longer practices genocide on its minority residents), Krugman would return to the patriotism theme in October, asking: “why does the modern right hate America?” (During the Bush years, Krugman would have been the first to point out the juvenility and repulsiveness of the “X hates America” formulation.)"

Taking a nap in the house of God - "For men, however, prayer houses have long served in Indonesian Islam not only as the places of worship but also as places for taking a rest. They are typically spacious and their floors are regularly cleaned. The temperature in mosques and other prayer houses is also usually pleasant, thanks to the high ceilings and the natural or mechanical wind that blows from outside or from fans and air conditioners. Add thick carpets, and they offer a free and comfortable space to lie down and relax for a short while after prayers."

Justin Bieber Linux

Gaunt and weak, the sham diet guru who refuses to see the light - "Jasmuheen, who is about to tour Britain, recently agreed to be closeted in a hotel room by an Australian current affairs programme, 60 Minutes. She was watched day and night by a female security guard to ensure she took neither food nor water, and her medical condition was checked regularly by Berris Wenck, a doctor who is president of the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association. Deprived of conventional sustenance, Jasmuheen, 42, became dehydrated and lost weight. Her speech slowed, her pupils dilated, she appeared listless and gaunt... To have seen this self-styled prophet of the Breatharian Movement, as it is known, exposed as a mere mortal on national television might have been considered entertainment, were it not for the fact that the deaths of three people have been linked to her theories - and that thousands more deluded disciples around the world are putting those same theories into practice... Jasmuheen claimed on 60 Minutes that the dice were loaded against her during the trial because city pollution from the road outside the hotel limited the nutrients that she was able to derive from fresh air. Two days into the fast, producers moved her to a mountain retreat, but 48 hours later Dr Wenck warned that Jasmuheen faced kidney damage if she persisted... An American Breatharian guru, Wiley Brooks, who claimed not to have eaten for 19 years, was discredited in the 1980s after he was spotted emerging from a fast food shop clutching a chicken pie."

The Feminist Leader Who Became a Men's-Rights Activist - "[Karen DeCrow] endorsed Serpico’s argument on feminist grounds. “Just as the Supreme Court has said that women have the right to choose whether or not to be parents, men should also have that right,” she told The New York Times, calling this “the only logical feminist position to take.”... Quite a few feminists disagreed... she wrote that since men have no legal power to either veto or compel an abortion, it is only just that they shouldn’t have to pay for a woman’s unilateral decision to bring the pregnancy to term: “Or, put another way, autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice.” DeCrow also championed men’s rights as fathers, arguing for a “rebuttable presumption” of shared custody after divorce... DeCrow framed her position as a feminist one, arguing that getting men more involved in parenting was essential if women were to achieve equality in other pursuits... Plenty of feminists have endorsed this idea when it comes to things like equal parental leave or shared responsibility for housework and child care; Gloria Steinem has said that “women are not going to be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.” But few were willing to take the extra step of framing custody in terms of men’s rights, or siding with men against women who wanted sole custody. DeCrow was willing to do it, and to say that many divorced mothers whose professional lives would benefit from shared custody were unreasonably opposed to this option—not only because of the social stigma of being viewed as “bad moms” but out of sheer hostility toward their ex-husbands... she applauded Katie Roiphe’s critique of “rape-crisis feminism,” The Morning After, as a courageous challenge to a “new puritanism” that depicted women as perpetual victims of male predation. Recalling the bad old days when girls were taught to deny both their brains and their sexuality, DeCrow was tangibly impatient with the idea that “being whistled at, or even slurped at” amounted to “oppression.” There were other heresies, too. DeCrow, who started her feminist journey by fighting sex discrimination in the workplace, contributed a foreword to Warren Farrell’s 2005 book, Why Men Earn More, which argued that the pay gap is due largely to men’s and women’s different workplace behavior and career choices; understanding these patterns, DeCrow believed, could help women’s advancement... NOW was openly hostile to the fathers’-rights movement, arguing that women were the real victims of bias in family courts. An “action alert” issued at the group’s 1996 annual conference compared fathers’-rights activists to batterers seeking control over women; a resolution three years later made it NOW’s official policy to champion women’s interests in divorce and custody cases and counter the “undue influence” of fathers’ group"
"Not all feminists" doesn't mean much when only a minority follow through on their supposed ideals
You either die a feminist or live long enough to see yourself become a bigot (see: Germaine Greer)

Swordfight after man robs shop with sword but shopkeeper pulls out huge scimitar

Becoming an expert takes more than practice - "Deliberate practice may have less influence in building expertise than previously thought, according to an analysis by researchers at Princeton University, Michigan State University and Rice University... the amount of practice accumulated over time does not seem to play a huge role in accounting for individual differences in skill or performance in domains including music, games, sports, professions and education... deliberate practice — activities designed with the goal of improving performance — accounted for only about 12 percent of individual differences observed in performance."
More evidence against Malcolm Gladwell's rubbish 10,000 hour rule

1 in 3 Singaporeans suffer from sleep apnea: Study - ""Interestingly, the study showed that the Chinese have high OSA rates among the three major ethnic groups even though they have the lowest obesity rates. This study, done in the local context, collaborates with previous studies performed in the West, which also found that Chinese appear to be more at risk,” Dr Tan noted. She added that craniofacial structure is one of the key determinants of predisposition to OSA, and the Chinese have been shown to have more severe craniofacial restriction as compared to Caucasians in previous studies"

Philippines only country in Asia where teen pregnancy rising - "The Philippines is the only Asia-Pacific country where the rate of teen pregnancies rose over the last two decades and the slow decline of its overall fertility rate may deprive the country of the faster economic growth expected in places that have more working-age people than younger and older dependents"

What’s causing Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese brain drain? - "“Every country has its own political and welfare issues, Australia included, but I feel that I get more rights as a second-class citizen here in Australia. My religion and ethnicity do not come into play.”... of the 56,576 Malaysians who renounced their citizenship between 2006 and 2016, 49,864 were Chinese... almost half of ethnic Chinese had a strong desire to leave Malaysia... “Malaysia is getting more backwards and religious,” she said, citing the persecution of transgender women by Islamic authorities, laws governing conversion and apostasy, and the recent tabling of a bill in parliament that would enable sharia courts to hand out harsher punishments. Ethnic Chinese in Malaysia have long complained of discrimination. Various politicians have exhorted the Chinese to “return to China”, pro-Malay groups have urged them to “be grateful”, and state-linked media have produced advertisements depicting the Chinese behaving inappropriately during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. And, in 2013, when the last general election saw increased support for the opposition, one newspaper ran a headline asking apa lagi Cina mau (what more do the Chinese want?)... The number of Malaysian professionals overseas returning home has dropped by more than half since 2013"

Victoria Coren: My dad's memorial service was going so well. Then the ghouls turned up - "I could never prove that the members of this gang, whoever they were, had not met my father at some stage in his 70-year life. But I could damn well prove that they had never met Sir William, because I invented him. The broadsheet classifieds announced a memorial service "and drinks reception" for Sir William Ormerod on 14 August 2008... They would turn up to Sir William's service, they would sit through the Bible story of the thieves who beset the grieving family (which wouldn't take me long to write), and then the doors would be locked and they would be told, in front of 100 fake mourners, just how evil they were."

My-Ngoc To's answer to What are some top Harvard admissions essays? - Quora - "Sometimes, when I found myself too big for the current one, I was either unable to or unwilling to get another because of the implications behind the transition—if every new bra meant the death of another star, then the adult world was nothing to me but a lifetime of darkness. I tried so hard not to kill any more stars, but my resistance was not enough, and I found myself adding layer after layer to the ever-increasing pile of bras. With this mindset, I prepared myself for the end, for the moment in which my entire universe would be engulfed by the black hole forming in my closet."

irememberSG » Two is Enough: Salleh Sariman - "Kandang Kerbau Hospital was a hive of activity and I noticed the staff were under tremendous pressure to show declining birth-rate figures to their big bosses. During filming, whatever was said and done in front of the camera was carefully crafted — but what was being said behind the camera to mothers who were delivering their third child was totally unpleasant to hear... Those mothers who were considered ‘uncooperative’ were chided by doctors, nurses and hospital attendants. The stigma of having more than two children was so strong that many of my office colleagues and friends did stop at two... Our family doctor showed his displeasure when he knew my wife was conceiving our third child. So we stopped seeing him. Whenever we took our three children for an outing at public places, we did notice the disapproving look on people’s faces. Such was the effectiveness of this campaign in slowing down the growth of our population"
It is significant that even in 1972, 7 years after independence, social engineering was already so powerful. Suggesting that Singaporeans only became after decades of PAP rule are misleading

Men who are physically strong are more likely to have right wing political views - "Men who are strong are more likely to take a right-wing stance, while weaker men support the welfare state, researchers claim. Their study discovered a link between a man’s upper-body strength and their political views... The researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women"

Indonesian police arrest 141 men over 'gay sex party' - "Indonesian police have arrested 141 men attending what they called a "gay sex party" at a sauna in the capital Jakarta late on Sunday. Police said attendees, including a Briton and a Singaporean, paid 185,000 rupiahs ($14; £10) to attend... Homosexuality is not illegal under Indonesian law, except in conservative Aceh province. But Jakarta police spokesman Raden Argo Yuwono said some of those detained could be charged under Indonesia's harsh anti-pornography laws... Earlier this month, Indonesian police arrested 14 people in the city of Surabaya for allegedly holding a gay party. They could also face charges under anti-pornography laws."
These aren't even Aceh so people can't make that excuse
The homophiles will still make noise about 377A in Singapore
Where is Reza Aslan?

The Smart Are MORE Biased To Think They Are LESS Biased - "we examined bias blind spots connected to some of the most well-known effects from the heuristics and biases literature: outcome bias, base-rate neglect, framing bias, conjunction fallacy, anchoring bias, and myside bias. We found that none of these bias blind spot effects displayed a negative correlation with measures of cognitive ability (SAT total, CRT) or with measures of thinking dispositions (need for cognition, actively open-minded thinking). If anything, the correlations went in the other direction."

Evie is an affordable AI personal assistant - "It works as advertised. Include her in your email thread, and say something like “Hey Evie, please schedule a Skype call with John and Amy.”"

Why I turned down $500K, Pissed off my investors, and Shut down my startup - "The business had what I considered to be an unfixable flaw. My investors and my team wanted us to take the funding and figure out how to fix the problem before the money ran out. I’ve started four companies in the past with a mixture of exits and bankruptcies, so I understand that this is what startups are supposed to do, but I just couldn’t do it this time."

PA and Fatah quick to honor murderer who killed 13-year-old girl in her sleep - "Fatah’s official Facebook page immediately posted his picture, declaring him a Martyr - “Shahid,” the highest honor achievable in Islam according to the Palestinian Authority. WAFA, the official PA news agency, likewise honored the terrorist, referring to him as a Martyr - “Shahid.” According to Palestinian Authority law, the family of today’s murderer will immediately start receiving a monthly PA stipend that the PA pays to the families of all the “Martyrs.” The mother of the terrorist told a local Hebron news network that her son was “a hero” who made her “proud”"

No, Palestinian Terrorism Isn't a Response to 'Occupation' - "If occupation was indeed the cause of terrorism, why was terrorism sparse during the years of actual occupation? Why did it increase dramatically with the prospect of the end of the occupation, and why did it escalate into open war upon Israel's most far-reaching concessions ever? To the contrary, one might argue with far greater plausibility that the absence of occupation – that is, the withdrawal of close Israeli surveillance – is precisely what facilitated the launching of the terrorist war in the first place; just as it was the partial restoration of security measures in the West Bank during the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield and its aftermath (albeit without reassuming control over the daily lives of the Palestinian population there) that brought the Palestinian war of terror to an end."

Video Game Violence and Pseudoscience: Bad Science, Fear, and Politics - "Hall, Day and Hall (2011) warned that the scholarly community risked a credibility crisis by making increasingly extravagant claims about the alleged dangers of violent video games, much as the alleged dangers of “immoral” comics purported by psychiatrists in the 1950s are now generally considered a cautionary tale about moralistic excess in science... some of the serious methodological issues that have limited much video game violence research. These have included aggression measures that bear little resemblance to the types of behaviors of interest to the general public (for example filling in the missing letters of words such that kill is more aggressive than kiss, or giving consenting opponents in a reaction time game bursts of annoying noise), the unstandardized use of aggression measures (which potentially allow researchers, even in good faith, to select outcomes that best fit their hypotheses while ignoring those that don’t), and the failure to control carefully for variables such as gender and family violence that might explain correlational relationships between video game violence and aggression (or failure to inform general audiences that controlling for these other variables reduces correlations to trivial levels). Unfortunately, to a great degree, these problematic issues persist in the field. The field continues to ignore the warnings of Hall, Day, and Hall (2011) by making big claims based on weak and inconsistent data"

When being Malay is no longer good enough - "Resentment and distrust against non-Malays’ economic advancement, and increasingly, of other Malays’ success... DAESH are their Muslim brothers and sisters. They have to… sort of support them, no? “Being Malay is equatable to being bad, lazy, corrupt. So the only (identity) we have is being a Muslim.”... Trust fund babies of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, working-class young Malays of Gombak, aspiring middle-class professionals in Bangi and not forgetting the youth we met in Kedah and Terenganu – they all said the same thing. They felt as if they were under siege. They have been told at school, in college and university, by their families and teachers that everyone hated them for being Malay"
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