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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Links - 13th March 2018

“Someone must have been sleeping on the job” – Expert who helped convince LKY to build MRT network says signalling system was to be upgraded in 2002 - "Transportation expert Bruno Wildermuth... “was also critical of the frequent train service disruptions in recent years due to signalling faults. “”When we were designing the MRT system. we stated that the signalling systems were meant to be replaced after 15 years,” he said. “But the upgrading of the signalling system, initially slated to be completed by 2002, only got off the ground in 2016 and will now be completed by the middle of this year (2018). “Someone must have been sleeping on the job,” he said.”
Wildermuth, a Swiss National and Singapore Permanent Resident who has been here since the early 1970s, has been credited as an integral figure who convinced the authorities to build the MRT network in Singapore... Wildermuth took a position with the MRT Corporation and helped build 67 kilometers of the train line – ahead of schedule and under budget. In 1988, Wildermuth was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) for his contributions to the country’s public transport system. A year later, the expert joined TransitLink where he set up the world’s first integrated ticketing system in Singapore, which led to the creation of the stored-value transport card... This is not the first time Wildermuth has spoken up about the recent state of Singapore’s public transport system. In the wake of the the massive train service breakdown in 2015, Wildermuth called on the authorities to initiate an independent assessment of the state of the rail network. Wildermuth has also criticised other local systems, such as service fees that are levied for card payments as factors that hinder Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiatives. In the same Straits Times interview, that has been trending online, he said, “Someone must have the political will to solve this problem once and for all.”"
Maybe he'll be slammed as a spoilt whiner who doesn't know what he's talking about
Comment: "this issue was also brought up during the enquiry and notice NO ONE wants to look into it or talk about it…!! Instead they rather spend time asking WP’s Sylvia Lim to apologize for something she brought out in Parliament…sigh Such is the state of our Politic."

German police sue American woman for calling them 'Nazis' - "Police say the woman, a 49-year-old professor, became "unreasonable and irritated" when they told her she had too many liquids in her carry-on during a screening for explosives... her case got worse when she published an incendiary 4,000-word tirade about the incident in the Huffington Post... Nazi insults have a long history in postwar Germany, mainly in the form of comparisons to Hitler or Goebbels or references to the Gestapo and concentration camps. In 1947, Der Spiegel nicknamed the minister for denazification the "blond Hitler," in a not-so-subtle reminder that he had been very friendly with the regime before it collapsed. Less than 20 years later, a West German paper compared East Germany to a concentration camp with its leader Walther Ulbricht as the overseer. None of this, however, means these comparisons have ever been acceptable in Germany. As linguist Thorsten Eitz notes in a 2010 essay called Loaded words, each time this taboo is broken publicly, the media quickly reprimand the word choice "because it violates the consensus in German society about the singular nature of Nazi crimes." Hence, it's a disproportionate comparison... Calling someone a Nazi invokes "the entire spectrum of a totalitarian dictatorship, the belief in conforming to one reality," Kämper tells DW. "It conjures up the oppression known under that type of state."
What Germans know that Anglo liberals don't
Aka "German police sue American woman for calling them 'Nazis'"
In Germany where they know a thing or two about Nazis, they don't throw the term around willy nilly and you can get sued for calling someone a Nazi. Perhaps, according to American liberals, this is because Germans are all Nazis

Framed, Arrested and Robbed by the Police in Frankfurt: A Not-So Funny Thing Happened on my Way to the Forum in Delhi - "An officious woman with the professional pleasantries of a grave digger said in a threatening tone and wavering English “I must check your bag for explosives.”... As an observation about Frankfurt Airport’s resoundingly loathed “customer service” process, it would not have truly pained this uniformed harridan to explain what happens in these circumstances. The vast majority of customers torturing themselves by flying through this wretched airport whose bag tested positive likely felt the same anxiety and concern as I did and likely had no actual explosives either. (Frankfurt Airport routinely is ranked among Europe’s worst airport in part due to curmudgeonly employees like this woman and her associates in other billets at the FrankFart Hellport.)... Then came the drama over “liquids.” The woman explained that I was in this situation because I committed the crime of not removing my liquids... I asked once again to speak with a manager. I also kept thinking, if these rubes behave this way with me how would they behave with a more vulnerable passenger? The police officer bellowed “I am the manager and that is a liquid.” I said politely. No. It is clearly not a liquid and you are not the manager. You are a police officer. And you are a rude police officer... C. Christine Fair, PhD Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service"
Amazing article written by the lady above. Amusingly, all the comments are slamming her.
From r/Europe: "I am delighted to hear this. Americans throw that word around like confetti. It's done in very bad taste."
"They don't know the first thing about Nazis. It's why they consider half their country to be one."
"It's so ironic considering how sensitive they are towards other words, it just shows a lack of culturall sensitivity."
Unsurprisingly she's the same professor who 'went into meltdown after ex-colleague admitted voting for Donald Trump'

If It’s OK to “Punch a Nazi,” Then It’s OK to Punch You - "At this moment there are probably millions, or perhaps hundreds of millions, of people in the world who are certain that some of your ideas (perhaps those about abortion or religious figures or politics) are despicable and downright evil. Are they justified in punching you for your “evil” ideas? If not, why not? The only way to ensure that you don’t get punched for your “unacceptable” ideas, is to ensure that no one is allowed to punch anyone to further political ideals... In the might-makes-right past, the “best” idea was the one advocated by the biggest brute — the chief, king, strongman, theocrat, dictator — who had the physical power to crush you — to punch you — if you disagreed. The freedom and civilization that you enjoy today began the moment this rule of force was replaced by the principle of free speech — the principle that all words, ideas, thoughts, discussions, and debates must be protected from the realm of brute force. Because the free exchange of ideas is the only way we fallible humans have of groping toward the truth. When you advocate for “Punch Nazis!” you are advocating a return to the pre-civilized rule of brute force — the rule of the strongman, the inquisitor, the thug with the biggest club. And that, I would argue, is far more dangerous than letting a few neo-Nazis speak their minds... By advocating “Punch Nazis” you are striking at the root of freedom itself. And since your idea is so dangerous, by your own logic you should be punched immediately before you can spread this vicious idea further"

The curious rise of the ‘white left’ as a Chinese internet insult - "baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”... Only a fraction of the arguments can be considered interests-based... In an academic-style essay that was retweeted more than 7000 times on Weibo, a user named ‘fantasy lover Mr. Liu’ ‘reviewed’ European philosophy from Voltaire and Marx to Adorno and Foucault, concluding that the ‘white left’ as a 'spiritual epidemic' is on its way to self-destruction. He then stated that Trump’s win was only “a small victory over this spiritual epidemic of humankind”, but “western civilization is still far from its self-redemption”"

How Do We Make Society Better? Left vs. Right #5 | PragerU - "Conservatives believe that the way to a better society is almost always through the moral improvement of the individual -- by each person doing battle with his or her own weaknesses and flaws... The Left, on the other hand, believes that the way to a better society is almost always through doing battle with society’s moral failings. Thus, in America, the Left concentrates its efforts on combatting sexism, racism, intolerance, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, and the many other evils that the Left believes permeate American society. One important consequence of this Left-Right distinction is that those on the Left are far more preoccupied with politics than those on the Right. Since the Left is so much more interested in fixing society than in fixing the individual, politics inevitably becomes the vehicle for societal improvement. That’s why whenever the term “activist” is used, we almost always assume that the term refers to someone on the Left. Another consequence of this Left-Right difference is that, since conservatives believe society is changed one person at a time, they accept that change happens gradually. This isn’t fast enough for the Left, which is always and everywhere focused on social revolution... From the founding of the United States until the 1960s, schools -- and parents -- concentrated on character education. But, with the ascent of left-wing ideas, character education has all but disappeared from American schools. Instead, children are taught not to focus on their flaws but on America’s. Social issues have replaced character education... We are now producing vast numbers of Americans who are passionate about fixing America while doing next to nothing about fixing their own character. The problem, however, is that you can't make society better unless you first make its people better."
"Be the change that you want to see in the world"

PC mob shuts down forum that asked ‘Has political corrrectness gone too far?’ - "Sommers managed the score of the night. Interrupted by a scream of “stop talking to us like children,” she shot back: “Then stop acting like a child.”"

The first-person industrial complex: How the harrowing personal essay took over the Internet. - "This is a key problem with the new first-person economy: the way it incentivizes knee-jerk, ideally topical self-exposure, the hot take’s more intimate sibling. The mandate at xoJane, according to Carroll, was: the more “shameless” an essay, the better. Carroll describes how “internally crushing” it became to watch her inbox get flooded every day with the darkest moments in strangers’ lives: “eating disorders, sexual assault, harassment, ‘My boyfriend’s a racist and I just realized it.’ ” After a while, Carroll said, the pitches began to sound as if they were all written in the same voice: “immature, sort of boastful.” Tolentino, who worked as an editor at the Hairpin before Jezebel, characterizes the typical Jezebel pitch as the “microaggression personal essay” or “My bikini waxer looked at me funny and here’s what it says about women’s shame,” and the typical Hairpin pitch as “I just moved to the big city and had a beautiful coffee shop encounter, and here’s what it says about urban life... The first-person boom, Tolentino says, has helped create “a situation in which writers feel like the best thing they have to offer is the worst thing that ever happened to them.””

Blog: The Chinese dialect that influenced the Low Lands (but has rarely been appreciated for it…) - "“Eigenlijk is spaghetti natuurlijk gewoon een soort van bami, maar toen ik dat vorige week tegen Emanuele zei verwijderde hij me diezelfde avond nog van Facebook.” (Spaghetti is obviously just another type of noodles, but when I said so to Emanuele last week, he deleted me from Facebook that very evening.)"

Antifa attack a disabled veteran. : PublicFreakout - "I've had my class accuse me of being racist for not supporting having open borders. I'm brown."
"Those girls got indoctrinated young. A lot of SJWs become teachers to indoctrinate kids, and I wish I was joking. But I have met several that have become teachers and they openly brag about how they're going to turn the next generation. It's both frightening and infuriating."
"Some Antifa supporters confronted my gf and I. Proclaimed we were offensive white supremacists. I could tell he was a scrawny pasty white kid. Then I asked if he was really yelling at the Asian guy with his Indian girlfriend. The group started screaming that we were self loathing and secret Trump supporters and stormed out of there. We couldn't stop shaking our heads about the snowflake mafia trying to act tough. The girlfriend really wanted to smack them around and yell "MAGA" just to rub it in their faces."

Authorities 'missed signs' of Yeovil child sex abuse, report finds - "Six girls, aged 14 and 15, were groomed by two men who were jailed in 2016 for sex offences in Yeovil. A report found there were 14 missed opportunities, and criticised social services for not investigating concerns when the girls repeatedly got pregnant... one girl was visited by one of the men while she was an inpatient at a mental health hospital in Somerset, and got pregnant again. The report said lessons must be learned after one of the girls was wrongly taken to court for alleged racial abuse against her abuser, while her abuser was not investigated until years later."
Maybe racism is worse than child sex abuse

How Hitler Tried To Redesign Christmas - "Songs that mentioned Jesus, like Silent Night, were rewritten with new lyrics espousing the benefits of National Socialism by none other than chief Nazi ideologist Alfred Rosenberg and Heinrich Himmler, one of the masterminds of the Holocaust. At the height of Nazi Christmas revisionism, any mentions of the Savior were replaced with mentions of the “Savior Führer.”... Although the modern Christmas tree is an explicitly German invention, the star that is traditionally placed on the top represented a problem for Nazis: either it is a six-pointed star, and becomes the Star of David, or it’s a five-pointed star, and resembles the red star of Communism. Ideologically, neither would do. Instead, the Nazis encouraged revelers to place a swastika, a German sun wheel, or a sig rune (the lightning-shaped symbol used in the emblem of the SS) atop their trees instead"

In the beginning, there was fan fiction: from the four gospels to Fifty Shades - "No sooner had the novel emerged in the 18th century than popular authors such as Daniel Defoe started protesting that his work was being "kidnapped" and bowdlerised by amateur writers who reduced the value of his creations with inferior impersonations... A cult of dedicated literary fans called themselves the Janeites and the novel Old Friends and New Fancies – an Imaginary Sequel to the Novels of Jane Austen by Sybil Brinton, published in 1913 was the first published work of Austen fan fiction. This is an example of continuation fic – the creation of storylines that use the same characters but elaborate on unresolved threads within the originals to create new episodes. A century later the Jane Austen Fanfiction Index now catalogues over two hundred thousand works of Austen fanfic, while Goodreads currently lists 242 published books of fanfic derived from Austen. Titles include Vanity and Vexation and Dating Mr Darcy. A great number of Austen fanfic stories are pornographic... There are literally millions of fanfic stories in which sex and humiliation (fuelled no doubt by fan boredom) are the only possible outcome of such contrived and meaningless confrontations."

Fandom Is Broken - "Captain America had actually been a Hydra double agent his whole life. It was a shocking reveal at the end of the comic, and nobody yet knows what the narrative payoff to it will be. But that didn't stop people from really just freaking the fuck out and flooding the Twitter feed of writer Nick Spencer with so much hate that he simply had to log off. They began going after writer Ed Brubaker, who hadn't written a Cap comic in five years. They started calling people anti-Semites (because, they reasoned, Cap was created by two Jewish kids to fight Nazis and now Marvel had made him a Nazi... then the death threats came in"

Your fancy zippers are forcing Chinese laborers into mind-numbing drudgery - "most customers perceive plastics with a mirror-finish to be of a higher quality than those with a satin finish. While functionally there is no difference in the plastic’s structural performance, it takes a lot more effort to make something with a mirror-finish. For all that effort, for all that waste, what’s the first thing a user does? Put their dirty fingerprints all over the mirror finish. Within a minute of coming out of the box, all that effort is undone."

Yoga fanatics want designer vagina surgery to look good in pants - "Studies show demand for “designer vaginas” has risen five-fold in the UK since the late ’90s — even though most women do not need the surgery."
And yet female circumcision is illegal

There’s a world championship for Excel spreadsheets
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