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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Monday, March 05, 2018

Links - 5th March 2018 (2)

Why I’ve Started to Fear My Fellow Social Justice Activists by Frances Lee - "Callouts, for example, are necessary for identifying and addressing problematic behavior. But have they become the default response to fending off harm? Shutting down racist, sexist, and similar conversations protects vulnerable participants. But has it devolved into simply shutting down all dissenting ideas? When these tactics are liberally applied, without limit, inside marginalized groups, I believe they hold back movements by alienating both potential allies and their own members. In response to the unrestrained use of callouts and unchecked self-righteousness by leftist activists, I spend enormous amounts of energy protecting my activist identity from attack. I self-police what I say when among other activists. If I’m not 100 percent sold on the reasons for a political protest, I keep those opinions to myself—though I might show up anyway. On social media, I’ve stopped commenting with thoughtful push back on popular social justice positions for fear of being called out... I am also concerned about who controls the language of social justice, as I see it wielded as a weapon against community members who don’t have access to this rapidly evolving lexicon... I am not the first nor the last to point out that these movements for liberation and justice are exhibiting the same oppressive patterns that we are fighting against in larger society... Rather than base cultural identities solely on power, could we tap into what we all have in common: our humanity, no matter how trampled it is? Black public theologian Christena Cleveland practices envisioning the humanity in those who challenge and attack her. According to her, training herself to cultivate love for her enemies makes it more effective for her to communicate and speak her truth into their hearts. She is as concerned about her well-being as she is about transforming antagonistic people in her life into “liberated oppressors.” Black elder activist Ruby Sales firmly tells her oppressors, with unyielding love in her voice: “You can’t make me hate you.”... If we as activists do not feel safe in our experimental microcosms of justice and liberation, what can we attempt to replicate across larger society?"

Makers of Spam launch new product: Spammy - "The makers of the iconic luncheon meat Spam have introduced a fortified turkey spread to aid malnourished children in Guatemala."

SPAM® with Portuguese Sausage Seasoning | SPAM® Flavors

The startup lie - "The startup lie is that everyone ought to aim for a massively scalable, massively valuable business. Go unicorn or die trying. The startup lie is that anything less than Jack Ma or Mark Zuckerberg levels of success isn’t actually success at all. The startup lie is that you can have all of that if you just work hard enough... There are many founders who’ve made equally huge personal sacrifices, worked dangerously long hours, and destroyed relationships with friends and family all for startups that failed miserably. That is, after all, what happens to most startup founders."

Apple's head of diversity apologises for saying a group of 12 white men can be as diverse as a team with women and minorities - "Denise Young Smith, who is herself African American, told a conference in Colombia that diversity did not necessarily mean a range of skin colours or gender. “Diversity is the human experience,” she said. “I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of colour, or the women, or the LGBT.
So much for diversity of ideas. Racism used to mean stereotyping people by their skin colour. Now that is the definition of anti-racism

Apple’s diversity chief out after outcry - "The 20-year Apple veteran, who previously served as the company’s head of worldwide human resources, later apologized for her remarks, telling the staff that they “were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it”... Smith will leave the company at the end of the year, TechCrunch reported. Taking over as VP of inclusion and diversity will be Christie Smith, who spent 17 years as a principal at Deloitte"
Amusingly, the new VP of diversity is white

Apple shareholders overwhelmingly reject diversity proposal - "Apple shareholders rejected a proposal yesterday that would have required the company to improve the diversity of its top ranks. This is the second year in a row that Apple shareholders have shot down the proposal, with just over 95 percent of the vote opposing it this time around — slightly more than last year."
The invisible hand

Norwegian quota decreased companies’ values while accepted gender diversity adds value - "After Norway introduced a mandatory 40 percent quota of women on (supervisory) boards of directors for all publicly listed firms, the value of those companies has decreased... The study also found a significant decline in Tobin’s Q (key performance indicator for value) over the following years: the value of all the companies affected, decreased by 12.4 percent over the period when the female/male ratio had to be increased by 10 percent"

Lesbian couples two and a half times more likely to get divorced than male same-sex couples, ONS figures reveal - "The findings mark a further rise in a trend that emerged in 2013, when ONS statistics revealed that lesbian couples were nearly twice as likely as gay men to end a civil partnership... women in Norway, Sweden and Denmark were twice as likely to dissolve their civil partnerships than men."
Given that most divorces are initiated by women this is no surprise. The only way to blame this on men is to invoke the P word

Class struggle: how identity politics divided a campus - "I received a letter from two Reed students of colour that was being distributed among alumni like a piece of samizdat. The students didn’t reveal their names for fear of being ostracised, but they described a campus that had been overtaken by militants who routinely shamed as racists anyone who didn’t agree with them. One of those singled out had been a freshman named Hunter Dillman who had been branded a racist after asking the organiser of a Latina student group an innocent question. He was ultimately hounded off campus... After he asked her a couple of times to be more specific about how the group planned to stop Trump, she accused him of being a racist for challenging a Latina student support group... I talked with a group of white students. They told me that they didn’t feel completely free to discuss issues of race and identity in class. Sometimes seminars were taken up with predictable discussions about whether a particular author was racist or not rather than focusing on the key issues in the text... She described a conversation she had with a professor about whether the humanities programme perpetuated racism. When the professor disagreed, she told her: ‘It doesn’t matter what you say. An entire body of students of colour believe that it perpetuates racism. I don’t think white faculty have the jurisdiction to decide whether Hum 110 is racist.’"

Prof calls diversity of thought ‘white supremacist bullshit’ - "At a recent conference on Critical Race Theory, professors discussed how "there is no virtue in whiteness," with some saying "whiteness" is "inherently violent." Other conference-goers reportedly called the concept of intellectual diversity "white supremacist bullshit," while another said "research" is a "colonial, white supremacist, elite process.""

Hiring bias study: Resumes with black, white, Hispanic names treated the same - "The findings, announced last week by the University of Missouri, diverge from the results of a famous study from more than a decade ago that found Lakishas and Jamals were far less likely to get job interviews than Emilys and Gregs... One of the criticisms of that study was that Lakisha and Jamal can denote socioeconomic status, and that employers may have made assumptions about education and income rather than race. Hoping to capture the effect of race alone, Koedel and his co-author, Rajeev Darolia, conducted their experiment using surnames that the U.S. Census shows overwhelmingly belong to whites, blacks and Hispanics, while using first names to signify gender."

Hoop earrings criticised as cultural appropriation

White supremacists endorse Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s black separatism - "Retweeting Farrakhan, the white supremacist foundation said his sentiment is an example of “the sort of self-determination we and the broader Alt-Right support.”"

Odds Favor White Men, Asian Women On Dating App - "Women get three times the interactions men do.
All men seemed to be more interested in people outside their race.
Black men and women get the lowest response rates to their messages.
All women except black women are most drawn to white men, and men of all races (with one notable exception) prefer Asian women"

Infants prefer individuals who punish those not like themselves, Yale researchers find - "even before their first birthday, infants too prefer individuals who share their own tastes in food or clothes. Wynn’s research team introduced babies to two hand puppets that had expressed contrasting preferences (for example, one preferring green beans to graham crackers, the other preferring the crackers to the beans). Babies who themselves preferred the crackers were much more likely to reach for puppets that liked crackers... Babies prefer someone who is nice to an individual similar to themselves, but they also prefer someone who is mean to a dissimilar individual."

Scarlett Johansson's divorce case shows why men are scared of being stay-at-home dads - "one wonders, will Johansson continue her quest for gender equality and give half her fortune to Dauriac, or at least half the dough she earned while he kept baby?... Johansson is requesting residential custody of their daughter, which Dauriac’s lawyer, Hal Mayerson, describes as “laughable,” adding: “He believes that her schedule makes it impossible for her to have physical custody – unless she intends to have her children raised by nannies and helpers... In Britain, we're currently seeing a rise in the number of stay-at-home dads – it's roughly quadrupled in the last 25 years, according to research by the Pew Research Centre. But are these really the men that careerist women want? Perhaps not, says divorce lawyer Vanessa Lloyd Platt, who claims that divorces where the man is a full-time dad have doubled in the last five years, and now account for 10 per cent of all marital break-ups. "In my experience, 25-30 per cent of couples where there is a stay-at-home dad end in acrimonious splits — and it is almost always the woman who initiates proceedings""
If families with stay at home dads get a disproportionate share of divorces that suggests being a stay at home dad is bad for your marriage

I want my genitals removed to become a ‘genderless alien’ - "A make-up artist wants to remove his genitals to achieve his dream of looking like an alien – but plastic surgeons have said it may be impossible. LA-based Vinny Ohh, 23, has already spent $60,000 transforming himself into a “genderless alien.” However, the surgery he wants next is his most extreme yet – getting his genitalia removed entirely so he is neither male nor female... despite the warnings Vinny has received from medical professionals, he is adamant that he will go ahead with it, saying that he needs it in order to become his true self. Vinny said: “I am so happy and proud for the way I am living my life. “People think I am crazy for the way I look but I think I am doing something good by pushing boundaries and changing the way people think.”"
The overlap between sex change surgery and extreme body modification (like the transabled) gets ever bigger

The Power in 'Choosing to Be Gay' - "In politics, the notion of being gay by one's own volition is like Voldemort—dangerous even to be uttered. Biological determinism is the new normal, yoked to tolerance claims much as magic hews to Harry Potter. It was not always this way, but a determinist ethos began to insinuate itself into gay politics in the late 1980s or so... It is a big leap from thinking that homosexuality is a deep part of one's sense of self to asserting that particular sexual formations and desires are biologically predetermined... In searching for a biological basis for homosexuality, most scientists cannot help but re-inscribe the most constrained definitions of sexual identity, definitions that have been vigorously challenged by theorists and historians for decades... desire itself shifts and changes over the course of a lifetime. Seemingly contradictory sexual practices coexist, even as we insist on their absolute separability. One is no longer someone who likes a little this or a little that, but one is a gay person, part of a class or even species of person...
'Linking human rights to some scientific theory as yet completely un-proven is risky... as soon as we start to encourage and embrace as part of a political agenda scientific research in this area, we lead to re-medicalization of sexual orientation'"

Proportional representation and government instability - "Coalition governments are fine – why not have a coalition? But the trouble with coalitions is that once there are problems that occur in the country, whatever kind of problems, be they economical, social, political, the government collapses. So the country, when it most needs a government, just does not have a government, and they have what we call a caretaker government. That is dangerous for demacracies."

Curriculum: The Key to Boosting Knowledge Retention—Even Among Adults Who Haven’t Been in a Classroom for Ages - "Research shows that people can often retain certain information long after they learned it in school"

'Diwali Mubarak'?: Trudeau's use of Arabic raises eyebrows - "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Twitter feed is lighting up with comments from irritated members of Canada’s Indian community, after he used an Arabic word to wish them a happy Diwali. The Diwali festival of lights is traditionally observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists, to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. But it’s not of particular significance to Muslims, whose religious texts are in Arabic. Nevertheless, Trudeau used the Arabic word for “blessed” in wishing people a happy Diwali on Twitter this week."

Press Release - Prager University (PragerU) Takes Legal Action Against Google and YouTube for Discrimination | PragerU - "“Watch any one of our videos and you’ll immediately realize that Google/YouTube censorship is entirely ideologically driven. For the record, our videos are presented by some of the finest minds in the Western world, including four Pulitzer Prize winners, former prime ministers, and professors from the most prestigious universities in America,” stated PragerU founder Dennis Prager... "It constitutes unlawful discrimination under California law, is a misleading and unfair business practice, and breaches the warranty of good faith and fair dealing implied in Google and YouTube’s own Terms of Use and 'Community Guidelines'”... “This is not a left/right issue. It is a free speech issue, which is why prominent liberals, such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, are supporting our lawsuit”"

Education NGO Faces Backlash from Academics After Retracting Essay Citing Intelligence Research - "A British education training nonprofit is being accused of censorship after it retracted an opinion essay challenging environmental determinism from its website. The essay, titled “Are there any limits to what schools can achieve?” was published on the website of Teach First last Thursday to foster more dialogue following an education summit in Wembley a day earlier. The essay’s author and summit panelist, Toby Young, says he was blindsighted at the sudden retraction two days after its publication... In Mr. Young’s essay, now republished on his website, he questions how much schools can raise students’ cognitive abilities. “Having immersed myself in psychology, particularly psychometrics, I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is naïve to think schools can do much to ameliorate the effects of inequality,” he wrote. “A child’s general cognitive ability is the strongest single predictor of how well they do in their GCSEs, with differences in I.Q. accounting for more than half of the variance in exam results.” Mr. Young refers to a 2007 longitudinal study published in psychology journal Intelligence, in which a strong association between psychometric intelligence and educational achievement was found in 70,000 English school children... Other prominent U.K. academics and educators I spoke with privately agreed with Mr. Young’s essay but declined to speak on record, citing the need to be perceived as neutral... Teach First and other educators ignore the scientific literature on psychometrics for ideological reasons. “Teach First styles itself a champion of an evidence-based approach to education, yet when confronted with robust scientific evidence that nature is at least as important as nurture when it comes to educational attainment, it simply sticks its fingers in its ears”"
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