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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Links - 11th August 2017 (2)

Doctors Wasting Over Two-Thirds Of Their Time Doing Paperwork - "for every hour physicians were seeing patients, they were spending nearly two additional hours on paperwork... the amount of paperwork may be getting worse over time. Previous estimates such as from this 2005 study in Annals of Family Medicine were that paperwork consumed a third of physicians' time. Thus, in a decade, paperwork has gone from being a large chunk to a majority of a doctor's time... physician dissatisfaction affects patient care and thus patient satisfaction. For instance, a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine of 11 general internal medicine practices in the greater-Boston area demonstrated that patients of more satisfied physicians also were more satisfied with their health care"

This Is Why Women Crave Chocolate, Men Want A Burger - "Forty percent of women in the U.S. report chocolate cravings, while just 15 percent of men lust after it. And maybe unsurprisingly (depending on who you are), “half of the women [in the U.S.] who crave chocolate say they do so right around menstruation,” Dr. Julia Hormes, an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Albany told The Huffington Post over the phone... Chocolate is marketed as a way for women to deal with negative emotion (like, say, the stress and headaches that come with PMS), Hormes said. It is an “indulgence” because it is an exception to the rule — women who diet and subscribe to a certain ideal of beauty should only consume chocolate when they “need” it. Only in America. In Spain, for example, women don’t report craving chocolate perimensturally nearly as much as women in the U.S. do. It’s not that Spanish women have a different make-up to their cycle, it’s really that tampon and chocolate ads aren’t aired during the same commercial break. In the U.S., it seems, there’s something so strongly feminine about chocolate that fewer men report wanting it. But, “Spanish men are almost as likely to crave chocolate as Spanish women.” In Egypt, neither men nor women really report craving chocolate; “They tend to crave savory foods”

5 Foreign Talents explain why they cannot stay in Singapore indefinitely but yet have job security - "“Singaporeans all think alike, that’s why we need to hire foreigners, and why we expats have job security.” – an American and former MBA student of Professor Lim who worked in a senior position in two global banks for ten years in Singapore.
“The Singapore journey to meaning is one of a clear path—defined by good grades, good schools and eventually, a good job” (resulting in a society that he found “myopic”, “monotonic” and “monochromatic” compared with his home, which he acknowledged was chaotic but also colorful, exciting, stimulating—and much more entrepreneurial.) – an Indonesian who studied here since age 15
“I always knew that I couldn’t stay in Singapore for the long term. Had I stayed any longer I would have become very inflexible and unable to adapt to other locations.” – Professor Lim’s Indian MBA student at Michigan who studied and worked in Singapore for 12 years, and is now a McKinsey consultant in Chicago
Another Indian student of Professor Lim used the word “claustrophobic”.
“Singaporeans have a predominantly strict attitude to life, marked by clear authority structures and distinct social status lines…..Singapore government managed so well that the local people are very lawful, strict and structural. Sometimes, I needed a breath though.” – Professor Lim’s woman MBA student who grew up in communist China, then worked in Singapore as a semiconductor engineer and is now at a Silicon valley tech company"

For Army Infantry’s 1st Women, Heavy Packs and the Weight of History - The New York Times - "Hair is one of the few places where standards still diverge. All men get their heads shaved on arrival. Women don’t. Not wanting to be held to a different standard, though, many of the women decided a few weeks into training to shave in solidarity. They would earn back their hair, just like the men... The Army is determined not to sacrifice performance for the sake of inclusion, and many women have not been able to meet the standard. Of the 32 who showed up at infantry boot camp in February, 44 percent dropped out. For the 148 men in the company, the dropout rate was just 20 percent. Commanders say the higher dropout rate among females is in line with other demanding boot camps for military police and combat engineers, which have been open to women for years. In part, they say, it is a consequence of size. A 5-foot-2 woman has to carry the same weight and perform the same tasks as a man who stands a foot taller, and is more likely to be injured."
Using feminist logic, the higher dropout rate for women must be due to discrimination

Don’t make bicyclists more visible. Make drivers stop hitting them. - The Washington Post
"Eben Weiss writes the Bike Snob NYC blog and is the author of "Bike Snob," "The Enlightened Cyclist," and "Bike Snob Abroad."" Figures.
When victim blaming rhetoric moves out of the realm of feminism
Comments: "
4/18/2015 1:05 PM GMT+0800
I have been a supporter of cyclists safety awareness for most of my life but have grown increasingly annoyed in recent years but what it is morphing into. I just got my motorcycle license, and took a safety course to get it, and the jist of the course was about how dangerous motorcycle riding is and how the main objective of riding a motorcycle is to do everything possible to avoid injury and death. I wish the same tune would start to come out of the cycling community. If you want to spend your leisure/exercise/commute time with flying metal coming up behind you, often in not much more than ballet panties, that's completely fine. But stop fantasizing about how its everyone else's job to make you more safe. Most cyclists I know come from a background of privilege and are used to the world bending to their privileged will."
"I don't have a problem with cyclists wanting to feel safe. I don't have a problem with cyclists being upset with drivers who break the rules. I have a problem with
-cyclists who believe they are inherently morally superior because their preferred mode of transport is not mine
-cyclists who believe that because they care about the environment, they get to dictate which means of reducing one's carbon footprint is the most appropriate
-cyclists who write articles like this one "
"because the people who care most about climate change happen to be ones least likely to need cars, we've adapted this idea that cars are the problem"

A white guy named Michael couldn’t get his poem published. Then he became Yi-Fen Chou. - The Washington Post - "Hudson, who is white, wrote in his bio for the anthology that he chose the Chinese-sounding nom de plume after “The Bees” was rejected by 40 different journals when submitted under his real name. He figured that the poem might have a better shot at publication if it was written by somebody else... the scandal was all over “Poetry Twitter,” which can be just as rancorous and swift to outrage as regular Twitter, but with a wider vocabulary. And, perhaps because of its Rachel Dolezal-esque tangle of questions about identity, authenticity, political correctness and “affirmative action,” it didn’t take much longer for the wider world to notice. Pen names, as some on Twitter pointed out, have long been a staple of the literary world... Things only got hairier when Alexie published a defense of his decision to keep the poem on Tuesday. In a blog post for the Best American Poetry Web site, Alexie explained that he read submissions blind, to the extent that he could. He didn’t look up authors to learn more about them or their past work... he acknowledged that he was “more amenable” to the poem because he thought its author was Chinese American... The award-winning Native American author, who has been involved in the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign, said that “Yi-Fen Chou” benefited from a form of minority writer nepotism, just as many white, male writers have long benefited from white, male writer nepotism."
Maybe we need the equivalent of orchestras' blind auditions

ISIS Is Not a Terrorist Group | Foreign Affairs - "If ISIS is purely and simply anything, it is a pseudo-state led by a conventional army. And that is why the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies that greatly diminished the threat from al Qaeda will not work against ISIS... al Qaeda’s image is deeply unsexy; indeed, for the young al Qaeda recruit, sex itself comes only after marriage—or martyrdom. Even for the angriest young Muslim man, this might be a bit of a hard sell. Al Qaeda’s leaders’ attempts to depict themselves as moral—even moralistic—figures have limited their appeal. Successful deradicalization programs in places such as Indonesia and Singapore have zeroed in on the mismatch between what al Qaeda offers and what most young people are really interested in, encouraging militants to reintegrate into society, where their more prosaic hopes and desires might be fulfilled more readily. ISIS, in contrast, offers a very different message for young men, and sometimes women. The group attracts followers yearning for not only religious righteousness but also adventure, personal power, and a sense of self and community. And, of course, some people just want to kill—and ISIS welcomes them, too. The group’s brutal violence attracts attention, demonstrates dominance, and draws people to the action... Compared with fighting al Qaeda’s relatively austere message, Washington has found it much harder to counter ISIS’ more visceral appeal, perhaps for a very simple reason: a desire for power, agency, and instant results also pervades American culture... The sobering fact is that the United States has no good military options in its fight against ISIS. Neither counterterrorism, nor counterinsurgency, nor conventional warfare is likely to afford Washington a clear-cut victory against the group. For the time being, at least, the policy that best matches ends and means and that has the best chance of securing U.S. interests is one of offensive containment"

How to Call B.S. on Big Data: A Practical Guide - "Bergstrom believes that calling bullshit on data, big or otherwise, doesn’t require a statistics degree—only common sense and a few habits of mind. “You don’t have to understand all the gears inside a black box in order to evaluate what you’re being told,” he said"

China’s Students Are Sharing Their Secrets … In English | Foreign Policy - "“Speaking English,” one former student told me, “I feel like another person.” When speaking Chinese, he is deferential, bashful, and reserved. In English class, he is adventurous, open, and forthright. Speaking English he takes risks he wouldn’t dare in Chinese. English, to the Chinese speaker, may be like a mask, creating a buffer between speaking the truth and the listener’s reaction. Students focus on how to speak rather than the gravity of what is being said. If there’s a misunderstanding, English can take the blame... It may be that simply speaking in a foreign language — any foreign language — encourages openness. Research from the University of Chicago has found that making decisions about moral issues in a foreign language results in more utilitarian, or “rational,” outcomes... Rosie’s English vocabulary is now expansive, but she still can’t find the words to describe her feelings toward the English language. “English makes me feel I am different,” she told me. “English is beautiful.”"

The Media’s Ominous Ambitions - "The media have decided that reporting the news is no longer sufficient for them. They’ve decided they want to participate rather than just observe and report the passing scene. For example, they have taken upon themselves the negating of the results of the 2016 presidential election. They’ve arrogantly concluded they’re entitled to greater responsibilities and influence... Ideally and traditionally the role of the press is to bring transparency to the government, to shine the light of day on politics and politicians. Ironically, the press is not even being transparent about its own objectives and motivations. There’s a fundamental dishonesty about what the media are up to. Why can’t they be open and honest about their motives? Probably because they know what they’re doing is wrong and cannot be admitted... Judging from their behavior the election of Donald Trump is the worst thing that’s ever happened in their lives. (What does that say about their lives?)... It might be an asset or a liability, but Trump seems to bring out the worst in his political enemies. The ways he causes his opponents to behave makes them look positively deranged. The hatred of Trump bleeds over into a hatred of those who voted for him. The Trump despisers cannot even begin to relate to anyone who would vote for someone they find so utterly despicable. They are fomenting hatred and doing their best to spread it as far and wide as possible. A problem for them is that Trump supporters comprise a large portion of their potential customer base. They hate Trump so much they’re willing to ignore that fact."

'Work Hard, Play Hard' Lifestyle Is Real, Says Science - ""People who work hard really do play hard," says Aarssen. His results show that almost 40% of the data is explained by the link between accomplishment and leisure. Both were also correlated with mortality salience, which suggests that understanding death influences whether you're motivated to succeed in life."

Study: Women's Brains Are More Sensitive To Negative Emotions; React Differently Than Men's - "higher levels of testosterone were most frequently associated with lowered sensitivity to the images, while higher estrogen levels, regardless of the person’s sex, almost always meant increased sensitivity... “A stronger connection between these areas in men suggests they have a more analytical than emotional approach when dealing with negative emotions,” said Stéphane Potvin, associate professor at the University of Montreal’s Department of Psychiatry. “It is possible that women tend to focus more on the feelings generated by these stimuli, when men remain somewhat ‘passive’ toward negative emotions, trying to analyze the stimuli and their impact.”"

Cheshire Police Warns Facebook Users 'Offensive' Comments May Land Them in Prison in Wake of Terror Attacks - "Cheshire Police are under fire for issuing a warning to Facebook users to “think carefully about what they are saying” online in the wake of the London Bridge terror attacks, or they might end up in prison... Cheshire Police are not the first British police force to be criticised for an apparently inordinate focus on policing social media posts. Greater Glasgow Police was roundly mocked after warning Twitter users to “Think before you post or you may receive a visit from us this weekend” just days after the Brussels terror bombings in March 2016. Last summer, Assistant Chief Constable Maurice Mason told a council meeting in Thurrock, that: “Some members of the public complaining about Nigel Farage, or whatever, that will get recorded as a hate crime no matter what it is. If the person feels it’s a hate crime it will get recorded as a hate crime.”"
No wonder they can't catch the terrorists

Victorian burials and the history of psychology | Podcast | History Extra - "[On the Leningrad Symphony] People said at the time, well, it was just ripped from Ravel's Bolero. Why this endless repetition of this stupid little theme? As Marina told me, the stupidness is precisely the point. The whole thing symbolises the idea that something so mundane, so banal, so simple can become so evil. Can become an agent and a harbinger of such destruction and sort of ideological, physical rather than warfare. And as she says in the film... What are Stalin and Hitler but a mediocre poet and a mediocre painter? And you know, look what happened"

The Brontës and a revolutionary artist | Podcast | History Extra - "The picture features very prominently a Native American in the foreground. There were no Native Americans at the Battle of Quebec but what West was doing and this is quite a difficult concept to get our heads around is that he was looking for a deeper kind of truth. The 18th century was less obsessed with literal truth and more obsessed with a sort of inner truth. You know they didn't care so much about the details of what actually happened on that day. But they wanted a kind of core of truth. Truth as it should have been. So for example West very prominently put a North American Indian in the foreground because that would immediately convey to viewers: hey, this is an event that took place far away, in North America. And it also added a hint of the wilderness and exoticism which was very appealing. It helped to draw people into the picture. So literal truth wasn't really terribly important to the 18th century"

Martin Luther and the making of the USA | Podcast | History Extra - "For decades now, if not well over a century, the political discourse of the United States has looked back at the Founding Fathers as though it were a sort of font of ultimate wisdom and that you can always read the clear intentions of the Founding Fathers by looking at the Constitution and one or two other documents like the Federalist Papers but in fact when they were writing the Constitutions, their general feeling of the Founding Fathers - incidentally Founding Fathers are always, their name is always capitalized with two Fs when written in the United States. The Founding Fathers said that they thought it would be a miracle if a constitution last for ten years without a major collapse or a major revision. What they did was introduced the system of amendments which enabled the Constitution to adapt to changing political and economic circumstances. Which was, which was very very useful. So it was seen initially as basically a sort of improvisation with a lot of difficult questions kicked into the, into the long grass...
[On Luther's anti-Semitism] I think what animates Luther is the feeling that his own church must be the chosen people of God, and that's the Jews' historic role - they are the chosen people. So he has to take away their role as the chosen people and claim it for his own church"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Love Those Shoes - "Clicquot was the first female champagne producer. A few more followed. All were widows - the only women French society of the time would allow to take such a public role. They did a remarkably good job. In fact, the champagne widows were so successful that some champagne houses without a widow added 'Veuve' to their labels nonetheless... Champagne was first bought for the mistresses of the kings of France. And even today she continues, to seduce a woman a man wouldn't buy red wine. He would buy champagne"
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