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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"
Uhh...

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"

What have the British ever done for us?

"The 1940 Colonial Development and Welfare Act was in some ways more of a response to the 1930s than the war (see Chapter 1 for the Act’s origins). One of the most important influences on both American and British thinking during the Second World War had been the experience of the Depression in the 19305. The experience of the economic slump with the spectre of unemployment (and possible social unrest) haunted those in power. Melodramatically The Times recalled in 1943 that ‘next to war, unemployment has been the most widespread, the most insidious, and the most corroding malady of our generation: it is the specific social disease of Western civilization in our time’. The concern of the authorities to avoid a repetition of the slump shaped much of the response to the problem of the Second World War.

The Colonial Development and Welfare Act proved to be very timely in 1940. Although many of the elements of the act had been planned for some time, it was a tremendous aid to the Colonial Office in substantiating their claim to be developing the colonies, particularly once its budget for research had been increased. Christopher Thorne called the budget a 'niggardly amount’, although Viscount Bledisloe proudly claimed that ’no country except Great Britain would dream of embarking during a great war on social and industrial development involving a great outlay from the national exchequer.'

The interesting point about the introduction of the Colonial Development and Welfare Act was the recognition of the importance of the propagandistic element of economic policy. Malcolm MacDonald, when he spoke for it in the House of Commons, argued that the bill ‘breaks new ground’. In particular, he emphasized that the bill would increase the cost to the taxpayer of bringing about colonial development — implying that this was the morally higher goal.” When later, in 1942, Harold Macmillan reiterated the need for the Colonial Development and Welfare Act, he reminded the House of Commons of the political embarrassment of the problem of poverty and exploitation in the colonies."

Given that rights, citizenship and political status were major demands, it is significant that the Colonial Development and Welfare Act proposed changes on the level of economic support rather than increased moves towards self-government and equal political status. One of the expenses of the Act, however, was to establish a research committee to investigate both political and economic development. Hailey was appointed to chair and organize this committee once he had returned from a fact-finding mission in Africa to investigate ‘the volume and tempo of calls for self—government in the colonies’ and the future policy for native administration. In his report, he presented colonial policy as changing as a result of changed domestic politics, which viewed the ’government as an agency for the active promotion of social welfare’.85 Hailey recognized that economic development was a way of reinvigorating the imperial relationship, of reposing in this ‘new conception’ the ‘basis of a new philosophy of colonial rule’, as the Colonial Office repositioned itself as a vital guide in the path towards independence:

The interest now taken in this must not be viewed merely as the outcome of a humanitarian impulse or a manifestation of the general sentiment of ‘trusteeship’. This improvement of the economic and social life of the colonial population is an essential part of the policy, to which we stand committed, of fitting them to achieve a self-governing status.

The need to distance the Empire from any association with ‘exploitation’, particularly in the eyes of America, was not just a semantic question. Lord Bledisloe, in his attempt to back up Hailey’s argument for a ‘constructive interpretation’ of colonial trusteeship and, in particular, for the budget earmarked for colonial development and welfare, told the House of Lords frankly that:

Enemy propaganda which tried to disparage our treatment of the native races, and, on the other hand, the magnificent support in money, material and endeavour which the native races had afforded this country, made it desirable to emphasize that this was not a window—dressing policy which it was not our intention to carry out.

Hailey even claimed that the existence of racial consciousness in the colonies was itself proof of economic growth that had improved education and living standards."

--- Lord Hailey, the Colonial Office and Politics of Race and Empire in the Second World War: The Loss of White Prestige / S. Wolton

Links - 11th August 2017 (1)

Trump achieves what few presidents have: Strong economy, low approval ratings
Funny, I thought it would be a Historic Election as he would make history as the Last President of the United States

Google Can’t Seem to Tolerate Diversity - "Silicon Valley has a very peculiar definition of diversity that requires proportional representation from every gender and race, all of whom must think exactly alike. Given that Google has failed to reach this ideal despite nearly a decade of efforts, Damore might be right to suggest that it try a different tack... Suppressing intellectual debate on college campuses is bad enough. Doing the same in Silicon Valley, which has essentially become a finishing school for elite universities, compounds the problem. Its engineers build products that potentially shape our digital lives. At Google, they oversee a search algorithm that seeks to surface “authoritative” results and demote low-quality content. This algorithm is tuned by an internal team of evaluators. If the company silences dissent within its own ranks, why should we trust it to manage our access to information?"

The Culture Wars Have Come to Silicon Valley - NYTimes.com - "Such fractures have been building in Silicon Valley for some time, reaching even into its highest echelons. The tensions became evident last year with the rise of Donald J. Trump, when a handful of people from the industry who publicly supported the then-presidential candidate faced blowback for their political decisions. At Facebook, Peter Thiel, an investor and member of the social network’s board of directors, was told he would receive a negative evaluation of his board performance for supporting Mr. Trump by a peer, Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix. And Palmer Luckey, a founder of Oculus VR, a virtual reality start-up owned by Facebook, was pressured to leave the company after it was revealed that he had secretly funded a pro-Trump organization... Steven Pinker, a Harvard University cognitive scientist, said on Twitter that Google’s actions could increase support for Mr. Trump in the tech industry... Some prominent Silicon Valley figures are concerned there is too much political conformity in the tech industry. On a podcast in May, Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist, said he knew of only two Trump supporters in Silicon Valley, Mr. Thiel and Mr. Luckey. “What does it do to somebody when they feel like they literally can’t express themselves?” said Mr. Andreessen, a Facebook board member who backed Mrs. Clinton last year."

Not lack of ability but more choice: individual and gender differences in choice of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. - "mathematically capable individuals who also had high verbal skills were less likely to pursue STEM careers than were individuals who had high math skills but moderate verbal skills. One notable finding was that the group with high math and high verbal ability included more females than males."

Why so few women in CS: the Google memo is fundamentally right - "Women want to work less and have more flexibility (Lubinski et al. 2014), and this explains why there is no ex-ante wage gap in industries with constant return to hours, and large ones in industries where working more increases productivity more than proportionately (Goldin, 2014)
Finally, differences in the mean can become magnified when one gets to the tails of the distributions."...
Whatever happened in 1985 and 2003 [to decrease women enrolling in Computer Science] was not something that affected only women... Going back to out 1985 peak, some people at reddit adventure some explanations. One is the one at NPR, that computers were seen as a male thing. But this does not explain why male CS enrollment also fell. Another explanation is not that women stopped liking computers because they were a male thing, but men instead began liking computers more, as they came to be regarded as a thing to hack and tinker, not a boring office tool. Another possible explanation, advanced here is that men are more financially driven, and that they were attracted more than women to CS careers. This explanation aims to explain why there were two bubbles in the time series. The computers-are-for-boys thesis does not explain this. We knew there was a dotcom bubble in the early 2000s. But was there a bubble around 1985? Not a financial one, no. But there were capacity contraints (Roberts, 2016). As more and more people enrolled into CS due to the boom in personal computing, the colleges found themselves without enough capacity to attend the growing demand. So they restricted the number of positions open for new students. Making the process more competitive (i.e. sampling further to the right in the distribution of skills) will get you relatively more men... Lippa et al. find that 40% of the variance in the gender between occupations is explained mostly by things vs people orientation"

Malaysian women redefine gender roles in technology - "in Malaysia, where women make up between 50 and 60 percent of the computer industry’s employees and many hold mid- and upper-level management positions. The country’s burgeoning technology industry has brought about dramatic changes to women’s roles in society, changing traditional perceptions of class, ethnicity and gender... In contrast to the U.S., in Malaysia jobs in technology are seen as appropriate for women: Men do not perceive indoor work as masculine and much of society stigmatizes women who work outdoors as lower class. Computing and programming are seen as “women-friendly” professions, with opportunities opening up since men are not interested in competing for these types of jobs. “It’s a woman’s world in that respect,” said Mellstrom."
It looks like "patriarchy" is good for women, given how women are so much into STEM in all the countries with more strict gender norms

Does stereotype threat influence performance of girls in stereotyped domains? A meta-analysis - "The estimated mean effect size equaled − 0.22 and significantly differed from 0. None of the moderator variables was significant; however, there were several signs for the presence of publication bias. We conclude that publication bias might seriously distort the literature on the effects of stereotype threat among schoolgirls"

How Big are Psychological Sex Differences? - "Hyde (2014), for example, reviewed several psychological sex differences and concluded there are relatively moderate to large sex differences in spatial rotation abilities, agreeableness, sensation seeking, interests in things versus people, physical aggression, certain sexual behaviors (e.g., masturbation and pornography use), and attitudes about casual sex. Smaller sex differences exist in measures of gregariousness, reward sensitivity, conscientiousness, negative affectivity, relational aggression, and self-esteem. Some of these sex differences persisted in size across cultures and time periods, others did not (see also, Lippa, 2009; Schmitt, 2014)... Ellis (2011a, 2011b) used his evolutionary neuroandrogenic theory as a guide to examine psychological sex differences and amassed evidence of 65 apparently universal sex differences. These sex differences were shown to be universal across cultures, with not a single replication failure across 10 studies... sex differences in many aspects of personality, sexuality, and cognition are actually much larger in cultures with more egalitarian sex role socialization and greater sociopolitical gender equity. This includes sex differences in extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, openness, Machiavellianism, Narcissism, psychopathy, social dominance orientation, dismissing attachment, intimate partner violence, spatial location ability, spatial rotation ability, crying behavior, depression, benevolence values, love, empathetic occupational preferences, enjoying casual sex, mate preferences for attractiveness, self-esteem, and subjective well-being"

Sex differences in chimpanzees' use of sticks as play objects resemble those of children - "Sex differences in children's toy play are robust and similar across cultures. They include girls tending to play more with dolls and boys more with wheeled toys and pretend weaponry. This pattern is explained by socialization by elders and peers, male rejection of opposite-sex behavior and innate sex differences in activity preferences that are facilitated by specific toys. Evidence for biological factors is controversial but mounting. For instance, girls who have been exposed to high fetal androgen levels are known to make relatively masculine toy choices. Also, when presented with sex-stereotyped human toys, captive female monkeys play more with typically feminine toys, whereas male monkeys play more with masculine toys. In human and nonhuman primates, juvenile females demonstrate a greater interest in infants, and males in rough-and-tumble play. This sex difference in activity preferences parallels adult behavior and may contribute to differences in toy play. Here, we present the first evidence of sex differences in use of play objects in a wild primate, in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We find that juveniles tend to carry sticks in a manner suggestive of rudimentary doll play and, as in children and captive monkeys, this behavior is more common in females than in males."
Patriarchy strikes again!

Women are far more anxious than men – here's the science - "Women faced with life stressors are more likely to ruminate about them, which can increase their anxiety, while men engage more in active, problem-focused coping"

Personality and gender differences in global perspective - "Empirically, evidence suggests gender differences in most aspects of personality—Big Five traits, Dark Triad traits, self-esteem, subjective well-being, depression and values—are conspicuously larger in cultures with more egalitarian gender roles, gender socialization and sociopolitical gender equity. Similar patterns are evident when examining objectively measured attributes such as tested cognitive abilities and physical traits such as height and blood pressure. Social role theory appears inadequate for explaining some of the observed cultural variations in men's and women's personalities. Evolutionary theories regarding ecologically-evoked gender differences are described that may prove more useful in explaining global variation in human personality."

Federal Judge Halts Disciplinary Action for Students Accused of 'Liking' Racist Instagram Post - "A federal judge has ordered the Albany Unified School District not to take further action against four students threatened with expulsion for “liking” racist images posted on Instagram, citing First Amendment concerns... the teenagers refused to cave in and brought a lawsuit against the Albany High School administration claiming the school’s punitive actions were both disproportionate to their behavior and violated of their right to free speech. They also accused the school of “publicly shaming” them in front of other students as part of a so-called “atonement exercise” in which their peers were allowed to hurl insults at them on a make-shift public square. School officials failed to provide adequate security for the teenagers during the exercise—causing two of them to be hit in the head by a demonstrator—the suit claims."

Swedish military lion gets the snip after women troops protest - "The proud lion of Sweden's Nordic Battlegroup's coat of arms has been emasculated because a group of female soldiers lodged a complaint with the European Court of Justice. Christian Braunstein, from the Tradition Commission of the Swedish Army, said: "We were forced to cut the lion's willy off with the aid of a computer"... "The army lacks knowledge about heraldry. Once upon a time coats of arms containing lions without genitalia were given to those who betrayed the Crown." Vladimir Sagerlund told the Göteborgs-Posten"

Brain Drain from Southeast Asia Poses Obstacle to Growth - "Close to 10 percent of the highly-educated citizens from the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam live in OECD countries. For Laos and Cambodia, the ratio is about 15 percent. The emigration comes even as Southeast Asia has made tremendous progress in boosting education in recent decades. More than 50 percent of Filipinos, Malaysians, and Singaporeans in OECD countries are highly educated, compared to the average of 30 percent. Immigrants from Southeast Asia are also often more educated or more experienced than what is needed for the jobs they hold"

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Links - The Google Diversity Memo

Google Employee's Anti-Diversity Manifesto Goes 'Internally Viral' - "At least eight Google employees tweeted Friday about a document that was circulated within the company calling for replacing Google's diversity initiatives with policies that encourage "ideological diversity" instead. The document, which is the personal opinion of one senior software engineer, was shared on a company mailing list but has since gone "internally viral"... The person who wrote the document argued that the representation gap between men and women in software engineering persists because of biological differences between the two sexes, according to public tweets from Google employees. It also said Google should not offer programs for underrepresented racial or gender minorities... While the vast majority of Google employees did not support the document's arguments, some did. According to Dogan, who works on the company's Go programming language, the document's author was emboldened by some of the positive responses he got. "The author is now in contact with me explaining why he received *supportive* response," she tweeted. "If HR does nothing in this case, I will consider leaving this company for real for the first time in five years," she wrote in a threaded tweet"
Of course all the sexists and racists (e.g. feminists) are dismissing him because he's a white male. Ironically someone said discrimination against conservatives was justified because they were essentialist assholes.
Some people claimed if you have 2 equally qualified people, offering the minority the job as a matter of policy didn't count as discrimination. I wonder what they would call it if the minority was not offered it as a matter of policy
What does it say if you expect HR to crack down on someone because he disagrees with you, or you'll leave the company?
I wonder how many of the people condemning him have read what he wrote


Exclusive: Here's The Full 10-Page Anti-Diversity Screed Circulating Internally at Google [Updated] - "Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change...
Women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things
We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration. Unfortunately, there may be limits to how people-oriented certain roles and Google can be and we shouldn’t deceive ourselves or students into thinking otherwise (some of our programs to get female students into coding might be doing this)...
While Google hasn’t harbored the violent leftists protests that we’re seeing at universities, the frequent shaming in TGIF and in our culture has created the same silence, psychologically unsafe environment."
This guy knows his stuff and can cite all the scientific findings supporting his position.
I'm not sure what is worse - those who didn't read it but bashed him based on a caricature or those who did read it and still bashed him on a caricature (e.g. "Saying that a very large group of people can't do their jobs because of their chromosomes"), given that the conclusion was the exact opposite: "I'm also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I'm advocating for quote the opposite: treat people as individuals"


Here Are the Citations for the Anti-Diversity Manifesto Circulating at Google
Conveniently, Gizmodo left them out so his case looked less ironclad than it really was. Then again those who go on the sexism bandwagon won't bother to read the citations anyway, but it's good for reasonable to know that they are there

Google on Anti-Diversity Manifesto: Employees Must 'Feel Safe Sharing Their Opinions'
At least there's this, though she claimed it "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender"

So, about this Googler’s manifesto. – Yonatan Zunger - "(1) Despite speaking very authoritatively, the author does not appear to understand gender.
(2) Perhaps more interestingly, the author does not appear to understand engineering.
(3) And most seriously, the author does not appear to understand the consequences of what he wrote, either for others or himself."
Tellingly, his responses are:
1) Dismiss what he said as false without presenting any evidence at all
2) Reconceptualise engineering (this is at least somewhat defensible)
3) Threaten him and shoot the messenger
Luckily many (the majority?) of the responses challenge him
Comment: "“I certainly couldn’t assign any women to deal with this” — funny that you’re the one displaying a paternalistic attitude over women here. I realize that this isn’t as fun as straight out blackballing the author, but perhaps you could ask the woman’s opinion before banning her for her own good?"


Google Fires Author of Divisive Memo on Gender Differences - "James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”... firing him could be seen as confirming some of the claims in the memo itself – that the company’s culture makes no room for dissenting political opinions. That outcome could galvanize any backlash against Alphabet’s efforts to make its workforce more diverse... The subject of Google’s ideological bent came up at the most recent shareholder meeting, in June. A shareholder asked executives whether conservatives would feel welcome at the company. Executives disagreed with the idea that anyone wouldn’t. “The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking,” Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt said at the time. “You’ll also find that all of the other companies in our industry agree with us.""
So much for freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking

Google has fired the employee who penned a controversial memo on women and tech - "In a memo to employees, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the employee who penned a controversial memo that claimed that women had biological issues that prevented them from being as successful as men in tech had violated its Code of Conduct, and that the post had crossed “the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” He added: “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”"
Maybe a conservative company should fire an employee who talks about evolution, because that promotes harmful stereotypes about humans and insults human dignity. And the military should fire people who talk about how transgendered people who are on hormones should not be deployed to warzones on combat roles because it will be hard for them to fight.

NPR: Women at Google were so upset over memo citing biological differences they skipped work
SPOING!
This is what happens when you hire SJWs who need exams postponed because Trump won


Internal Messages Show Some Google Employees Supported James Damore’s Manifesto - ""Let's take a step back," the Googler wrote, "and look at what is actually making everyone in Google upset on this thread and in general since the start of the 2016 election season"... Call for employees to give each other hugs at an all hands meeting because the wrong candidate won a presidential election in the country, following by a mass mailing on how to help your kids deal with grief due to the same occurrence
Ok now we know what happens when SJWs graduate from college and go into the workforce

Kirsten Powers and others who’ve read the Google ‘anti-diversity’ memo slam hysterical media coverage - "Probably the most terrifying thing about Darmore is watching people, in real time, lie about what he said, even though we can all read it"

The Most Common Error in Coverage of the Google Memo - "Whether one regards those suggestions as brilliant, rooted in pernicious gender stereotypes, or anywhere in between, they are clearly and explicitly suggestions to increase diversity in a manner the author regards as having a stronger chance of actually working than some of the tactics that he is critiquing... To object to a means of achieving x is not to be anti-x. The failure to apply that same logic to the author of the memo is straightforwardly frustrating for those who agree with many of the views that the memo expressed. And it should also frustrate those who disagree with the author but care about social justice. Every prominent instance of journalism that proceeds with less than normal rigor when the subject touches on social justice feeds a growing national impulse to dismiss everything published about these subjects—even important, rigorous, accurate articles. Large swathes of the public now believe the mainstream media is more concerned with stigmatizing wrong-think and being politically correct than being accurate. The political fallout from this shift has been ruinous to lots of social-justice causes—causes that would thrive in an environment in which the public accepted the facts... To me, the Google memo is an outlier—I cannot remember the last time so many outlets and observers mischaracterized so many aspects of a text everyone possessed... coverage rooted in stigma will be no more effective in stopping the embrace of beliefs expressed by the author than it was at stopping Donald Trump from being elected president."
If the media lies, why is it problematic to call it the lying media?

On That Google Memo About Sex Differences - "A Google employee (James Damore) was recently fired for sharing a memo that referenced some of my scholarly research on psychological sex differences (e.g., personality traits, mate preferences, status-seeking). Google's Vice President of Diversity, Integrity, & Governance, Danielle Brown, deemed the employee's claims "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender"... In the case of personality traits, evidence that men and women may have different average levels of certain traits is rather strong. For instance, sex differences in negative emotionality are universal across cultures; developmentally emerge across all cultures at exactly the same age; are linked to diagnosed (not just self-reported) mental health issues; appear rooted in sex differences in neurology, gene activation, and hormones; are larger in more gender egalitarian nations; and so forth (for a short review of this evidence, see here). In my view, claiming that sex differences exist in negative emotionality is not an "incorrect assumption about gender." It is an empirically well-supported claim (at least, based on the best psychological science we have so far)... Culturally universal sex differences in personal values and certain cognitive abilities are a bit larger in size (see here), and sex differences in occupational interests are quite large. It seems likely these culturally universal and biologically-linked sex differences play some role in the gendered hiring patterns of Google employees"
Science is evil. Don't be evil

Google's Other Ugly Secret: Some Managers Keep Blacklists - "Within Google, a few sympathetic employees were dismayed to see Damore so vehemently criticized by their colleagues. In a poll distributed on a mailing list dedicated to discussing the manifesto, opinion broke down differently than it did in non-anonymous Google Plus posts. The contentious internal discussion revived a concern dating back to 2015: An unknown number of Google managers maintain blacklists of fellow employees, evidently refusing to work with those people. The blacklists are based on personal experiences of others' behavior, including views expressed on politics, social justice issues, and Google's diversity efforts... one Google employee declared his intent to quit if Damore were not fired, and another said that he would refuse to work with Damore in any capacity... Damore's manifesto wasn't classic political speech, said Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, an experienced business and labor lawyer. Rather, it's what she called "controversial speech," not unlike any other opinion that might anger co-workers. She added, "These are not insane views that he's extolling here -- they're [just] out of the mainstream. He's entitled to hold views that are inconsistent with the mainstream." As to whether Google had an obligation to fire Damore, "The question is whether he's acting on those views in a way that violates discrimination law""
36% either strongly or almost agreed with the document's point of view, 57% disagreed that the document was harmful and shouldn't have been shared
The fact that an anonymous poll had different results is evidence of virtue signalling
If many of a company's employees refuse to work with a gay person or threaten to quit if a gay person is not fired, should the gay person be fired?


The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond - "The author of the Google essay on issues related to diversity gets nearly all of the science and its implications exactly right... The social science evidence on implicit and explicit bias has been wildly oversold and is far weaker than most people seem to realize... It is a painfully familiar atmosphere, one that is a lot like academia. Here, I mainly focus on the reactions to the essay on the Gizmodo site, which indirectly and ironically validate much of the author’s analysis. Very few of the comments actually engage the arguments; they just fling insults and slurs. Yes, slurs. In 1960, the most common slurs were insulting labels for demographic groups. In 2017, the most common slurs involve labelling anyone who you disagree with on issues such as affirmative action, diversity, gaps, and inequality as a racist, sexist, homophobe, or bigot... The arrogance of most of the comments reflects exactly the type of smug self-appointed superiority that has led to widespread resentment of the left among reasonable people...
Among commentators who claim the memo’s empirical facts are wrong, I haven’t read a single one who understand sexual selection theory, animal behavior, and sex differences research. When the memo went viral, thousands of journalists and bloggers transformed themselves overnight from not understanding evolutionary psychology at all to claiming enough expertise to criticize the whole scientific literature on biological sex differences... Google’s new ‘VP of Diversity’, Danielle Brown, criticized the memo because it ‘advanced incorrect assumptions about gender’; I was impressed to see that her Michigan State B.A. in Business and her U. Michigan M.B.A. qualify her to judge the scientific research... almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate. Moreover, they are stated quite carefully and dispassionately... Graded fairly, his memo would get at least an A- in any masters’ level psychology course... no gender feminist I’ve met has ever been able to give a coherent answer to the question ‘What empirical findings would convince you that psychological sex differences evolved?’...
‘equality and diversity’ dogma... relies on two core assumptions:
- The human sexes and races have exactly the same minds, with precisely identical distributions of traits, aptitudes, interests, and motivations; therefore, any inequalities of outcome in hiring and promotion must be due to systemic sexism and racism;
- The human sexes and races have such radically different minds, backgrounds, perspectives, and insights, that companies must increase their demographic diversity in order to be competitive; any lack of demographic diversity must be due to short-sighted management that favors groupthink.
The obvious problem is that these two core assumptions are diametrically opposed... corporate diversity was never justified to shareholders as a way to avoid lawsuits, PR blowback, or moral shame; it was justified as a competitive business necessity."

No, the Google manifesto isn’t sexist or anti-diversity. It’s science - "As mentioned in the memo, gendered interests are predicted by exposure to prenatal testosterone – higher levels are associated with a preference for mechanically interesting things and occupations in adulthood. Lower levels are associated with a preference for people-oriented activities and occupations. This is why STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields tend to be dominated by men. We see evidence for this in girls with a genetic condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, who are exposed to unusually high levels of testosterone in the womb. When they are born, these girls prefer male-typical, wheeled toys, such as trucks, even if their parents offer more positive feedback when they play with female-typical toys, such as dolls. Similarly, men who are interested in female-typical activities were likely exposed to lower levels of testosterone. As well, new research from the field of genetics shows that testosterone alters the programming of neural stem cells, leading to sex differences in the brain even before it's finished developing in utero. This further suggests that our interests are influenced strongly by biology, as opposed to being learned or socially constructed. Many people, including a former Google employee, have attempted to refute the memo's points, alleging that they contradict the latest research. I'd love to know what "research done […] for decades" he's referring to, because thousands of studies would suggest otherwise. A single study, published in 2015, did claim that male and female brains existed along a "mosaic" and that it isn't possible to differentiate them by sex, but this has been refuted by four – yes, four – academic studies since. This includes a study that analyzed the exact same brain data from the original study and found that the sex of a given brain could be correctly identified with 69-per-cent to 77-per-cent accuracy."

The Evolution of Culturally-Variable Sex Differences: Men and Women Are Not Always Different, but When They Are…It Appears Not to Result from Patriarchy or Sex Role Socialization - "In this chapter, evidence is marshaled across 21 data sources that directly challenge this foundational assumption of social role theory. Empirically, sex differences in most psychological traits—in personality, sexuality, attitudes, emotions, behaviors, and cognitive abilities—are conspicuously larger in cultures with more egalitarian sex role socialization and greater sociopolitical gender equity. Even sex differences in many physical traits such as height, obesity, and blood pressure are larger in cultures with more egalitarian sex role socialization and greater sociopolitical gender equity. Three alternative evolutionary perspectives on psychological sex differences—obligate sex differences, facultatively mediated sex differences, and emergently-moderated sex differences—appear to better explain the universal and culturally-variable sex differences reliably observed across human cultures"
The previous article cites this as showing that "women are, on average, higher in neuroticism and agreeableness, and lower in stress tolerance"

Asja Francisti: "After I have seen the way #GoogleMemo story evolved, I am 100% sure that American feminists were sent from some dystopian Margaret Atwood/Iranian mullahs wet dream future to destroy both feminism and women in general. I mean what better way to prove that you're not manipulative, hysterical, emotionally unstable sufferer of eternal victim complex than to dox a guy and get him fired by accusing him of the things he never said and willfully misinterpreting every word he did say? Today, these women are a sad, walking, talking caricature of the worst misogynistic joke."

Julian Assange offers job to fired Google employee who wrote anti-diversity memo - ""Women & men deserve respect. That includes not firing them for politely expressing ideas but rather arguing back." He had previously tweeted: "Identity politics 2.0 wars come to Google. Oh no. But mass spying is fine since its equal opportunity predation.""

"Can Hiring Quotas Work? The Effect Of The Nitaqat Program On The Saudi" by Jennifer R. Peck - "This paper studies the effects of quota-based labor regulations on firms in the context of Saudi Arabia's Nitaqat program, which imposed quotas for Saudi hiring at private firms. I use a comprehensive firm-level administrative dataset and exploit kinks in hiring incentives generated by the quotas to estimate the effects of this policy. I find that the program increased native employment at substantial cost to firms, as demonstrated by increasing exit rates and decreasing total employment at surviving firms. Firms without any Saudi employees at the onset of the program appear to bear most of these costs."

Study offers clues on why women choose medicine over engineering - "the girls in their study tended to choose careers in the biological sciences--social sciences, environmental sciences and medicine--over the mathematically based sciences because they perceived the latter to be less people-oriented and to have less value to society... girls and boys who were more people-oriented--who placed a high value on doing work that helped and involved people--were two to three times more likely to chose college majors and careers in the biological sciences than the mathematically-based sciences. Girls were more likely to be people-oriented and placed a higher value on English than mathematics, while boys ranked the value of mathematics more highly... The researchers also found that math and science self-confidence and performance anxiety played smaller roles in career choice in their study than previous studies have found, indicating that simply raising girls' confidence about math and science is not enough to draw them to mathematically based sciences"
Of course, it's sexier to blame sexism

Chivalry Is Dead? Researchers Say No, People Are More Likely To Protect Women And Children - "participants of both genders were more likely to sacrifice a male or gender-neutral bystander than a woman... participants were told that if they decided to keep all of their money, the individuals they met would be subjected to mild electric shocks. But if they sacrificed their money, the people would be spared. Again, participants were more likely to save women from a negative fate than men. Both experiments show an aversion to harming women, a notion typically associated with chivalry. Interestingly, however, women in particularly were loath to shock other women in the second experiment... “There is indeed a gender bias in these matters: society perceives harming women as more morally unacceptable”"
I've finally found research on how both men and women have a pro-woman bias and want to protect women, not men. Now to find the article where a journalist said when he finds a sad story of a male child he will ask if there's a female child with the same problem, since people show more sympathy

Moral Chivalry. Gender and Harm Sensitivity Predict Costly Altruism - "women typically receive more help than their male counterparts (Eagly & Crowley, 1986), and in the Dictator game—where one can choose to forgo money in order to be fair—female players are allocated more money than male players"

An issue whose time has come - "“Be careful, it's the third rail.” I received this strong advice to steer clear of studying sex differences from a senior colleague around the year 2000 when my research into brain mechanisms of emotional memory began drawing me into the issue of sex differences—or better yet, sex influences—on brain function. And in a way, he was right. For the vast majority of his long and distinguished neuroscience career, exploring sex influences was indeed a terrific way for a brain scientist not studying reproductive functions to lose credibility at best, and at worst, become a pariah in the eyes of the neuroscience mainstream... Due to a deeply ingrained, implicit (but false) assumption that “equal” means “the same,” most neuroscientists knew, and even feared that establishing that males and females are not the same in some aspect of brain function meant establishing that they were not equal. This assumption is false and deeply harmful, in particular to the health of women (see Cahill, 2014), but remains deeply impactful nonetheless. As a result of these powerful but misguided driving forces, today, sex influences of all types-and-sizes run unexamined and uncontrolled in neuroscience... Fortunately, times are changing. The past 15 to 20 years in particular witnessed an explosion of research (despite the prevailing biases against the topic) documenting sex influences at all levels of brain function. So overpowering is the wave of research that the standard ways of dismissing sex influences (e.g., “They are all small and unreliable,” “They are all due to circulating hormones,” “They are all due to human culture,” and “They don't exist on the molecular level”) have all been swept away, at least for those cognizant of the research. This themed issue of the Journal of Neuroscience Research (JNR) heralds a zeitgeist shift. It is the first ever from a mainstream neuroscience journal entirely devoted to the issue of sex influences on brain/nervous system functioning. Papers from about 70 groups of authors, from those who have been investigating the issue for decades to those uncovering them only recently, forcefully document the fact that sex influences on brain function are ubiquitous, regularly reshaping findings—hence conclusions—at all levels of our field, and powerfully demonstrating how much “sex matters.”"
Unfortunately it is still taboo in many quarters
So much for Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender (which is not peer reviewed, and got negative reviews from many academics in the field)


It may be illegal for Google to punish engineer over anti-diversity memo—commentary - "federal labor law bars even non-union employers like Google from punishing an employee for communicating with fellow employees about improving working conditions. The purpose of the memo was to persuade Google to abandon certain diversity-related practices the engineer found objectionable and to convince co-workers to join his cause, or at least discuss the points he raised... the engineer's memo largely is a statement of his political views as they apply to workplace policies. The memo is styled as a lament to "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber." California law prohibits employers from threatening to fire employees to get them to adopt or refrain from adopting a particular political course of action... the engineer complained in parts of his memo about company policies that he believes violate employment discrimination laws. Those policies include support programs limited by race or gender and promotional and hiring scoring policies that consider race and gender. It is unlawful for an employer to discipline an employee for challenging conduct that the employee reasonably believed to be discriminatory, even when a court later determines the conduct was not actually prohibited by the discrimination laws. In other words, the engineer doesn't have to be right that some of Google's diversity initiatives are unlawful, only that he reasonably believes that they are."

Rebels of Google: 'Senior Leaders Focus on Diversity First and Technology Second' - "Breitbart News is now exclusively publishing a series of interviews with Google employees who contacted us in the wake of the manifesto’s publication to confirm its allegations. The interview series, entitled “Rebels of Google,” will be published in full over the coming days. Because every employee who spoke to us fears for their job if their identities were made public, we have provided aliases in place of their real names. In the first interview of the series, a Google employee (alias “Hal”) speaks of witch-hunts and intolerance at Google, as well as dysfunction at the company’s upper echelons... A lot of social justice activists essentially spend all day fighting the culture war, and get nothing done. The company has made it a point to hire more people like this. The diversity gospel has been woven into nearly everything the company does, to the point where senior leaders focus on diversity first and technology second. The companywide “Google Insider” emails used to talk about cool new tech, but now they’re entirely about social justice initiatives. Likewise, the weekly all-hands “TGIF” meetings used to focus on tech, but now they’re split about 50/50 between tech and identity politics signaling. For conservative employees, this is obviously demoralizing, but it is also dangerous. Several have been driven out of the company or fired outright for sharing a dissenting view. Others have had their promotions denied or suffered other forms of deniable retaliation. Most of us just keep our heads down because we can’t afford to lose our jobs... The pro-censorship voices are very loud, and they have the management’s ear. The anti-censorship people are afraid of retaliation, and people are afraid to openly support them because everyone in their management chain is constantly signaling their allegiance to far-left ideology. Our leadership (Sundar in particular) is weak, so he capitulates to the meanest bullies on the block."

Rebels of Google: 'Constant Abuse, Sneers, Insults And Smears ... Sometimes You Get Punched' - "sometimes you get punched. I know at least one engineer did get punched in retaliation for something he posted — I am sure he will corroborate this to you directly... To my understanding, none of these activities were subject to H.R. action. But why would that be the case — bias in support of these discriminatory and hostile behaviors goes pretty much all the way up, management’s just clever enough not to add to the fire (often) but just to let the lower ranks make it happen. You have to remember these people are quite intelligent... The message is clear: if you do not align with SJWs, you do not belong here. Not only do you not belong here — our resident SJWs will gossip around to get you to never, ever work in a good job again. So shut up."

Debating British monarchy

Debating British monarchy | Podcast | History Extra

"[On George V] He was terribly good as being the father of his people. He wasn't very good at being the father of his own children...

For the first twenty six years of his life George the Fifth as he became did not expect to become king and he went on to be a hugely successful king. And many, certainly in modern times, of this country's most successful monarchs - Queen Victoria, George the Fifth, George the Sixth, the present Queen were not born expecting that they would rein.

So one of the slightly quixotic conclusions that one might draw from this and I can't suppose this would necessarily play all that well at Highgrove House is that the best preparation to be a monarch is not to be born expecting to be a monarch... Maybe actually if you're going to be a monarch who reigns rather than rules, maybe it's a positive advantage not to be very well educated. I mean that sounds slightly perverse and again it may not play very well at Highgrove but there is a kind of case for that...

There were two different parts of the English constitution - the dignified part and the efficient part and the efficient part allegedly was the cabinet and the House of Commons and the dignified part was the monarchy and the House of Lords and Bagehot said that a monarch had three rights - to warn, to encourage and to be consulted and this is often trotted out as the essence of how to be a constitutional monarch...

'All the kings we're talking about here like all the other forty one subjects of these books and like Elizabeth the Second today were crowned and anointed with holy oil in a ceremony full of mystery and sanctity... If Prince Charles, when he becomes King, wishes to be crowned not just Defender of the Faith which is of course the Protestant faith in a Protestant service but Defender of All Faiths. There's going to have to be some very nifty theological footwork to try to make that work.'

'At which the English monarchy has of course excelled since the sixteenth century'...

Monarchs historically are generically male and that's because they're supposed to be warrior kings and philosopher kings and lawgivers. And that's historically what monarchs were supposed to do in a time when they ruled. Whereas constitutional monarchy is in a sense emasculated monarchy. They don't do any of those things anymore.

And there's a sense in which it's feminised monarchy. It's much easier for a woman to be a constitutional monarch I think than for a man because if you are a man you are still hankering after these macho things. Doing things, interfering. Whereas actually the point of being a constitutional monarch is that you don't interfere. And the Queen has done that very brilliantly I think. We don't really know what the Queen thinks about anything and to have sustained that across sixty years is a truly extraordinary-'

'And culturally we are used to the idea of figureheads being female. That figureheads on ships are female, statues of great conceptual qualities: justice or liberty are female'...

'Part of the challenge of constitutional monarchy is finding other things for them to do... finding alternative things for them to do which keep them occupied, keep them in the public eye but keep them out of the business of government is in a sense the challenge of constitutional monarchy'"

Links - 9th August 2017

Gaza on the Brink - "If you ask Palestinians in either Gaza or the West Bank who’s responsible for their suffering, most would probably say Israel. But what would they say if they were safely overseas and no longer needed to fear their own governments?... why have so many Gazans fled or tried to flee? The Palestinians Bar’el met had a uniform answer: Hamas. Not a single one of them even mentioned Israel in their responses... There are numerous UN agencies ostensibly devoted exclusively to helping the Palestinians, while human rights groups allocate disproportionate attention to this issue. In both cases, their only real interest in Palestinian suffering is finding some way to blame Israel for it. They couldn’t care less about protecting Palestinians from the abuses of their own government. That’s why they keep issuing reports accusing Israel of being the “key cause” of Palestinian suffering, as one UN agency put it this week, despite all evidence to the contrary... For Palestinians, blaming anyone other than Israel for their problems risks serious repercussions from either their own governments or vigilante groups affiliated with both governments... Blaming Israel is always the safest solution, even in cases where it’s patently untrue... the very fact that Israel is the one party no Palestinian fears to criticize is in itself a potent refutation of Palestinian claims that Israel is an oppressive regime. People who truly live under an oppressive regime are generally afraid to go on record criticizing it."

There Won’t Be Peace While the Power Is Out - "just like in Gaza, the Israeli taxpayer got stuck with the bill, because Israel cares more about Palestinians’ electricity needs than either the PA or Hamas does. If all this were happening because both governments were simply broke, it would be understandable. But in fact, both seem to have plenty of money for their top priority: incentivizing or directly funding anti-Israel terror. The PA, for instance, spent $129 million last year paying above-market salaries to convicted terrorists sitting in Israeli jails, and another $175 million a year in stipends for families of terrorists killed while trying attack Israelis. In other words, its entire debt to Augusta Victoria comes to less than 15 percent of what it spends on anti-Israel terrorists every year, while the “unpayable” portion of its debt to the IEC amounted to just over 40 percent of what it spends on those terrorists every year. So it’s not that it can’t afford to pay for medical care or electricity for its people; it simply considers paying terrorists higher priority."

Egypt 'starts flooding Gaza tunnels' - "The Egyptian military has begun flooding tunnels used by Palestinian militants and smugglers under the border with Gaza, reports say. It is the latest move by Egypt to destroy the tunnels, part of an offensive against insurgents. Excavators have been digging there for weeks to turn the area into what authorities say will be fish farms. Egypt has destroyed thousands of homes and evicted families from the border, where it is creating a buffer zone."
It's only wrong when Israel does it

Why Singapore’s Army Sang Israeli Songs - "Shortly after Singapore declared independence in 1965, the newly created sovereign city-state waited for military assistance from Egypt and India, but got no reply. It was then that Israel’s ambassador to Thailand and Mossad officer Hezi Carmel agreed to help... Singapore’s army, which is now considered one of the strongest in Southeast Asia, adopted a number of IDF practices, including its models of conscription and reserve service (and, for a minute, its marching songs). You know how it goes: ex-British possessions got to help each other out."

Look to Israel for a case study in proportional representation's flaws - "Israel is dogged by a perpetually hung parliament thanks to PR, which has regularly hampered leaders' attempts to push through controversial policies. In the words of Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser: "Designing policy in Israel is like writing poetry while standing on a ball."... Successive governments have paid dearly for forming coalitions with radical minority partners, especially when it comes to the perennial problems associated with the Palestinian conflict. Instead of Israelis having faith in one party to see out its full tenure without having the rug pulled from beneath its feet, reality has meant a constant battle between warring coalition members – often leading to mid-term collapse of governments and early elections. Too many cooks routinely spoil the broth – especially when many of them hail from the extremist, fundamentalist end of the political spectrum... Ultra-orthodox parties use horse-trading to siphon off a significant part of the national budget in order to fund their supporters' unproductive lifestyles (in which most adult males spend their days learning in seminaries rather than as members of the workforce). The unswerving loyalty of ultra-orthodox voters to certain political parties is repaid by their elected officials digging in their heels, time and again, whenever there are calls to reduce the over-generous funding of the religious sector."

Engineering student says Canadian school rejected him for being Israeli - "A Canadian trade school reportedly turned down an Israeli student applicant simply for being Israeli. Israeli civil engineering student and amateur carpenter Stav Daron, who initially spoke with Mako News reporter Ido Daniel, said that he applied to study at the Island School of Building Arts, a Canadian trade school specializing in wood construction and design"

Don't use Chinese privilege to shame me - "In the recent flame war unwittingly initiated by the influencer (Ellie) who panned the food at Ramadan bazaar and suggested her followers give it a miss, a Twitter user accused her of assuming that the bazaar was there for her “privileged Chinese ass”. Aside from my bewilderment at the fact that an opinion on food could take on ethnic connotations, that comment got my (Chinese) hackles up. I’m peeved that the incident was turned into a racial debate, when clearly, it was simply a matter of ignorance and insensitivity. On this point, I’m prepared to throw myself to the wolves (i.e. trolls) and align myself with Xiaxue in saying that I feel the influencer should’ve stuck by her guns... when did it become the done thing to pull the race card to shame someone into recanting a perfectly legitimate personal opinion?... Does being Chinese make us the poster children of privilege? Because being the majority, I was told that we’re lucky to be insulated from being discriminated against. Someone tell that to Ellie."
It's a lot sexier to shame people for being "racist" than to actually make a coherent argument

Man drinking pint while fleeing terror becomes symbol of London spirit

London attack: CNN accused of ‘fake news’ over ‘staged’ anti-ISIS protest in viral video - "In a video uploaded by user @markantro on Monday, CNN anchor Becky Anderson can be seen standing to one side while police and TV producers assist a group of Muslim women assemble a makeshift memorial featuring flowers and protest signs. “Look at all the people around me here, behind me here, sad about last night but hopeful for tomorrow,” Anderson says in the news clip. “On the left here, Londoners came to help hurt, behind me you can see a sign here, hashtag ‘turn to love’, hashtag ‘for London’, hashtag ‘ISIS will lose’, and flowers left in remembrance of those who left their lives.” The original uploader described it as “#fakenews”. “CNN creating the narrative,” he tweeted. “Note the white police officers leaving before the CNN shot & the Asian officers coming in. They then left after they went off air! Amazing thing is, I was getting called a ‘weekend warrior’ by several journalist [crews] while filming this.”"

Margaret Court: Tennis is 'full of lesbians', says Australian Grand Slam legend - ""When I was playing there was only a couple [of lesbians]," Court said. "But those couple that led took young ones into parties and things. What you get at the top is often what you'll get right through that sport.""

Aiswarya Ashln on Twitter: "Walked into Pizza Hut and they said non muslims can't eat here until 8:30, lol at our country honestly"
Malaysia Boleh!

Indigenous knowledge systems can help solve the problems of climate change
Comments: "Sorry but aboriginal Australians did not live 'completely sustainably' as you say, they were responsible for a number of megafauna extinctions, mainly because the fecundity of said fauna was so low"
"Piffle. We already KNOW that we can heal climate change if we reduce our numbers to less than a million, roam in small groups as hunter gatherers and return to the stone age."
"Interesting facts, but they really have no place here. This is about identity and feelings, and other stuff. Hope and justice. If you want facts, data, history and logic, I suggest you take your elitist attitude over to a scientific journal." (this didn't seem to be a parody)
"So reduce life expectancy back to 30 something and infant mortality up to 50%, problem solved."
"Yep. And chuck the disabled onto anthills"


Baby boomers caused millennials' destructive spending habits - "Millennials are threatening dozens of industries. They don't buy napkins. They won't play golf. They aren't buying homes or cars. And they're not even eating at Buffalo Wild Wings."
Apparently industries are entitled to our money

Why Wonder Woman's Ending Doesn't Work - "Few would deny that Wonder Woman is a good film. It’s the best entry in the DC Extended Universe by a wide margin, offering up some intense action underscored by impressive central characterisation – Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman and Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor gives us the best superhero love interest ever put to screen. In fact, Patty Jenkins’ direction is so assured that she manages to make the character’s electric theme from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice work in a 1917-set adventure. However, that only gets us two-thirds of the way. Just as undeniable as basic quality is that the ending’s a major deflation, letting down Diana Prince and Trevor, and reaffirming several systemic problems with the franchise."

Batikhäxor: Swedish feminists accused of widespread sexual exploitation of young refugees - "The “Batikhäxor” are the explosive new scandal rocking Sweden. Swedish social service workers tend to be older women that are outspoken advocates of socialism, feminism, multiculturalism, ect. It is now being alleged that many of these women actually get involved in social services in order to have sex with young immigrant men. Some Swedish media outlets are even accusing these women of “exploiting teenagers” for sex. These women are being called”Batikhäxor,” which is sometimes translated into English as “Dye Witch.” It is a derogatory Swedish slang term for an unattractive woman who is an outspoken advocate of feminism and political correctness. Similar to what is called a “Social Justice Warrior” in the USA, but specifically for older women. The ongoing double-murder trial of Johanna Moller has brought the scandal to the forefront. Moller is accused of having an Afghan refugee murder her husband and father. During the trial, it has been alleged that she routinely plied underage refugees with drugs and alcohol and had sex with them. She even took naked pictures with them, which were leaked to the press. Swedish commentator Ann Heberlein says that she personally knows of numerous cases of female social workers having sex with young refugee men"

Report: Swedish Women Prove Their Tolerance by Having Sex With Refugees - "another Swedish woman has been exposed as performing lap dances for “child refugees” (migrants in their 20’s and 30’s) and having “intimate relationships with them at an asylum centre in Åmål. Volunteers working at the Calais migrant camp in France before it was demolished were also accused of having sex with migrants by other charity workers. A whistleblower who worked at the Calais camp said women were having sex with “boys believed to be under the age of consent,” as well as prostituting themselves out to several different sexual partners every day. The founder of CareForCalais, a volunteer charity, also left her husband for a relationship with a Tunisian migrant who later ripped her off for thousands of pounds. Clare Moseley began a relationship with the migrant after she had “promoted her charity’s no sex with migrants policy”."

YouTuber Laci Green Slams 'Everyday Feminism' for Publicly Excommunicating Her - "Feminist YouTuber Laci Green’s decision to reach across the political aisle and engage with individuals critical of her views has been met with a mixture of acceptance and skepticism—but mostly acceptance. Critics of progressivism generally embrace discourse and debate as productive pursuits. The same can’t be said of leftist feminists, who’ve taken to vilifying the popular YouTuber for “sleeping with the enemy,” both literally and figuratively. Green’s apparent closeness with non-social-justice YouTubers has led to misogynistic remarks reducing her to her sex, and stripping her of personal agency. This serves as the perfect example of how modern feminism isn’t empowering... “Liberal feminist card: REVOKED! Dialogue is OPPRESSIVE! There’s NO SUCH THING as hating men! Identity politics are VALID CRITICISM!” quipped Green on Twitter. “[I’m] looking forward to dragging all the blatantly anti-science bulls**t on this condescending ass website without feeling guilty”... “The witch hunts and censorship and labeling everyone a Nazi is actively hurting the causes feminists fight for,” replied Green. “[T]he silence is more harmful to feminism at this point [in my opinion]. My main beef with it comes from the sex [education] world. To me, caring about it means speaking up about toxicity within, even though that toxicity will likely turn itself on you. If you do decide to say something: my advice is to be as patient and self-aware as you can. Stay true to yourself, know what you stand for and who you are, and don’t let others bully you into silence on either side.”"

Elderly German Woman Fined 1,350 Euros After Sharing Anti-Migrant Joke on Facebook - "A 62-year old woman living in Berlin, Jutta B., had her home raided and arrested by police for the crime of sharing an image on Facebook captioned as “Do you have anything against refugees?”... Following the fine, the woman received a number of abusive messages from others on Facebook. A left-wing “anti-fascist” group, Anti-Fascist Action, has reportedly sent death threats to the woman."

Canada's New Law Lets Government Take Children Away If Parents Don’t Accept Their Gender Identity

Canada's New Law Lets Government Take Children Away If Parents Don’t Accept Their Gender Identity - "The Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act of 2017, also know as Bill 89, was passed in Ontario by a vote of 63 to 23, The Christian Times reported. The law, which replaces old laws governing child protection, foster care and adoption services, instructs all child services and judges, to take into consideration a child’s “race, ancestry, place of origin, color, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.” Minister of Child and Family Services Michael Coteau, who introduced the bill, said “I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently”... The child services in Ontario, Canada got into hot water back in April after it removed two foster children from a Christian couple’s home because they said no to lying to the girls that the Easter bunny is real"
How come children can opt to take hormone blockers which damage their health even if most non gender conforming children don't turn out to be transgender, but yet can't consent to sex?

At Evergreen State, Hand Gestures Are Microaggressions - "vergreen State College has become a total and complete clusterf**k, like if Tumblr kids did the French Revolution. The college has been shut down for three school days due to violent threats, as a mob runs the campus. Student protesters have managed to beat down the wills of the school administration so much, that they can prevent them from making any hand gesture at all because they believe it is a “microaggression.”"

Evergreen State Activists Demand Humiliating Video Be Deleted - "the activists demanded that the video of their campaign be taken down from the Internet—because they claim it was “stolen” by “white supremacists.” The video of the students’ shrieking arguments and attempts to bully the professor into agreeing with them made the rounds on social media, causing humiliation for both Evergreen and the student activists involved in the debacle. The mob demanded his resignation following the spread of the video"

When the Left Turns on Its Own - The New York Times - "Reasonable people can debate whether or not social experiments like a Day of Absence are enlightening. Perhaps there’s a case to be made that a white-free day could be a useful way to highlight the lack of racial diversity, particularly at a proudly progressive school like Evergreen. Yet reasonable debate has made itself absent at Evergreen. For expressing his view, Mr. Weinstein was confronted outside his classroom last week by a group of some 50 students insisting he was a racist. The video of that exchange — “You’re supporting white supremacy” is one of the more milquetoast quotes — must be seen to be believed. It will make anyone who believes in the liberalizing promise of higher education quickly lose heart. When a calm Mr. Weinstein tries to explain that his only agenda is “the truth,” the students chortle... photographs and names of his students were circulated online. “Fire Bret” graffiti showed up on campus buildings. What was that about safe spaces?... Shutting down conservatives has become de rigueur. But now anti-free-speech activists are increasingly turning their ire on free-thinking progressives. Liberals shouldn’t cede the responsibility to defend free speech on college campuses to conservatives. After all, without free speech, what’s liberalism about?"

Parasitism

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Parasitism

"[They make up] Half the world's biomass - humans have 400 parasites knocking about the most of us...

Most of the cells within your skin are not your cells - they're the cells either of parasites or of bacteria who for the time being are being helpful rather than parasitic but can switch... the proportion of cells in your body which are human are equivalent to your left leg from the knee to the toe. That's the only human cells. All the rest are other cells...

If the hosts are too successful... if you grow mice in the lab... and ensure there is absolutely no other living creature, parasite or bacteria or anything else within these mice: they're called axenic mice, then they're very very feeble and weak and they die... Many things which have been thought to be harmful parasites, almost inevitably turn out to be doing good things as well as bad things...

'The famous mitochondria... started life off at the dawn of time as an intracellular parasite, has been reduced by this battle between the host and the parasite to become an essential part of the cellular machinery but can now and again itself, tiny as it is, turn on its owner and destroy it'

'Parasites can have a positive and good'

'Trouble is, words like positive and good don't really belong in biology. It turns into theology then'...

There is a strong tie between various psychiatric conditions things like schizophrenia, depression and so on. People with those conditions are much more likely to have the toxoplasma in their brain and there are claims - and the figures are fairly impressive - that if you look at people who have been killed by dangerous driving, they are twice as likely to be have been infected by toxoplasma as is the general population...

A lot of parasites, for example some of the worms that infect our guts, lay their eggs and they come out in our feces and they go into the environment. And because those eggs then have to last survive very well in the environment in order for the next host to pick them up, they are very resistant in the environment so they got hard shells around them and so on. So that means that quite often they are very well preserved in archaeological remains...

When flush toilets first came in to Brian what did they do to Cholera? They made it worse. Because what happened was that they just pumped it straight into the river Thames...

If we were to remove all parasites quite simply in nature there would, nature would be less diverse. We would see less diversity at the genetic level, looking at traits and behaviors. Even talking about all the different ways that parasites can shape hosts' behaviors and traits and appearance and also genes. But also at the ecosystem level.

So it's been shown recently in the tropics that if there is one particular host species which is quite dominant in the community the parasites can target that species, knock it back and that would let otherwise inferior competitors to flourish. That is until they themselves become common and parasites can go after them...

There is a new wave of research showing that the microbes residing within us and ones as part of our microbiome, the microbial community that we harbor can actually provide a barrier of defense against parasitic infection"
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