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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Links - 26th April 2018 (2)

What Would Be the Best Universal Language? (Earth 2.0 Series) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "SCHOR: The history of language invention, which goes back millennia, has to do with reversing the curse of Babel...
In the 13th century, for instance, Ramon Llull, a Majorcan philosopher with Franciscan ties, sought to create the perfect language for channeling “the Truth,” and converting people to Christianity.
SCHOR: He created a formula for generating propositions from letters and words. He felt that some of them would be propositions to which an infidel would, of necessity, have to consent. But Llull’s truth was not the Truth, or at least it didn’t seem like the truth to the Saracens who eventually murdered him...
McWHORTER: I almost wish that there was some reason that everybody had to learn colloquial Indonesian. It’s the only language I’ve ever encountered where you can learn a whole bunch of words and, even though you’re going to sound like an idiot, you can get an awful lot done. You don’t sound nearly as much like an idiot stringing together your Lonely Planet words in many parts of Indonesia. There’s no such thing as the moon being a girl and a boat being a boy. None of those things that make languages hard to learn. Really — almost none! I thought this should be the world’s universal language. Indonesian is one of those languages, like English, which has been learned by so many different people speaking so many different languages that it’s relatively user-friendly as languages go...
What would you do to make English truly accessible to everyone, especially non-native speakers?
McWHORTER: Something that we must get rid of is linguistic prescriptivism, and by that, I mean that we live with an idea that some ways of speaking a language are bad, broken, and some ways aren’t. It’s all based on myths"

How to Launch a Behavior-Change Revolution - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "Wendy WOOD: The things that we’re really good at right now is changing behavior in the short term. We’re also really good at changing people’s knowledge and beliefs. We’re not so good at changing long-term behavior... the five-a-day fruits and veggies. Anyone remember this? This was really successful in one way. It was a tremendously large-scale intervention. It was successful at changing our knowledge. We now know that we should eat more fruits and vegetables. It had no effect on behavior. In fact, consumption has gone down since the program started"

How Can I Do the Most Social Good With $100? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "LEVITT: When I was in India I went to try to see tigers in one of the national parks. We got to talking about guns and tigers... I asked the guy if he ever had to use a gun against a tiger. He looked at me like I was crazy and he said, “We can’t. We could never. We can shoot the gun in the air, but we absolutely could never shoot a tiger.” I said, “What if the tiger was eating me?” He said, “No. The tigers are more valuable than people. It’s only after a tiger has eaten three or four people that we then would relocate the tiger to a place where there weren’t so many people around”... “Surely you must value the tourist life higher than one of the local people’s lives, don’t you?” But he very clearly suggested to me that no, tourist lives were still nothing near the value of a tiger’s life."

I created “Medusa Magazine” and I am shutting it down because Feminist stupidity has surpassed satire - "we put out another article titled “Why we should believe women who accuse right wingers of rape more than those who accuse liberals”. The article is a total caricature intended to be as ridiculous as possible, basically arguing that because liberals are good people, we should forgive them when they rape women. We thought no one in the world could possibly hold views as ridiculous as that, so we wrote it as satire and published it. So imagine our surprise when an actual Feminist and self-proclaimed expert on “rape culture” wrote an article for The Washington Post no less, using the same rational and reasoning as our satirical article that was written just a few days before... this batshit-insane Feminist isn’t alone in her thinking, others seem to share her views on the topic... there is no point in operating a caricature website of Feminism anymore when real life Feminists are now more insane than any caricature we could ever dream up. If you enjoyed our content and are sad to see us go, then just go follow any legitimate Feminist blog or any of the many obnoxious Feminists on Twitter. Their content is the same as ours."

5 Social Theories That Prove Health Is Constructed - Everyday Feminism - "1. Healthism
Healthism (Crawford, 1980) describes a political ideology wherein a biomedical understanding of health is given social power and individuals are held responsible for their ability to uphold their own health...
2. Social Model of Disability... "Society is organized in such a way that barriers and restrictions exist for disabled people. That’s not on individuals — that’s on society.” It suggests that it’s society’s responsibility not to be disabling, not individuals’ responsibility not to be disabled"
Since health is socially constructed we shouldn't subsidise healthcare as that privileges one narrative over another

Campus Rape and Sexual Assault Researchers on 1-in-5 | Time - "it’s likely you’ve heard some variation of the claim that 1 in 5 women on college campuses in the United States has been sexually assaulted or raped. Or you may have heard the even more incorrect abbreviated version, that 1 in 5 women on campus has been raped. As two of the researchers who conducted the Campus Sexual Assault Study from which this number was derived, we feel we need to set the record straight. Although we used the best methodology available to us at the time, there are caveats that make it inappropriate to use the 1-in-5 number in the way it’s being used today, as a baseline or the only statistic when discussing our country’s problem with rape and sexual assault on campus."

Post/Kaiser poll shows that 20 percent of women sexually assaulted in college | The Washington Post
The Washington Post advertises this 2015 survey with the Kaiser Family Foundation which supposedly validates the one in five statistic, but it sneakily conflates drunk sexual activity with sexual assault: "unwanted sexual contact while you were unable to provide consent or stop what was happening because you were... drunk... these situations might include times that you voluntarily consumed alcohol" (and even then it's still not advertised as one in five being raped). Grinding and kissing are also included in the definition of sexual assault here, but most people wouldn't use this definition. So if a woman is drunk at a club and someone grinds her and she likes it, this would be considered sexual assault according to this study. The Campus Climate Survey Validation Study seems better (but somehow hasn't gotten much press) but still implicitly uses a "yes means yes" notion of consent

Erwin Schrödinger: a misunderstood icon of physics - "Despite devising both the defining equation and the defining thought experiment of quantum physics, Erwin Schrödinger was never comfortable with what he helped to create. His “Schrödinger’s Cat” paradox, published in 1935, was an attempt to expose the flaws in the physics that flowed from his eponymous equation. And yet, that cat – both dead and alive – has become an icon of quantum physics rather than a warning against its shortcomings."

Actress Susan Sarandon: Feminism Is 'Warped,' 'Hillary Was Dangerous' - "The 71-year-old actress told the Guardian on Sunday that she's suffering a wave of attacks because during the 2016 presidential election she chose not to back Hillary Clinton and instead backed the third party candidate, Jill Stein. "I’m not attacked from the right at all,” Sarandon told the U.K.'s left-leaning publication. Instead, she says, "she is accused of not checking her white privilege, of throwing away her vote on a third-party candidate during the U.S. presidential election, and of recklessly espousing a political cause that let Trump in through the backdoor." The interview focuses mostly on Sarandon's continued success as an actress despite being in her seventh decade — an age that many in Hollywood would consider simply too old — but Sarandon, who has always been politically involved even when other celebrities were shying away from even outspoken liberal-ness (hardly a courageous position to take in the entertainment industry), says it's her political ideals that seem to have caused her the most trouble."

'If the sex is bad, leave': South Korea wakes up to its sexual revolution - "“Why do you need to be engaged or feel some deep responsibility to have sex?” she wrote. “If they’re hotties with bodies just hop on.” “Who cares about goddamn attachment,” Lin wrote in another post, adding an expletive-filled sentence that expressed her hatred of men who underperform in bed. “From now on, I’ll try them out and if the sex is bad, I’m never gonna meet them again”... the shop tries to shake the seedy image most associate with sex toys. Staff ensure every customer receives a pamphlet with a detailed drawing showing the location of the clitoris... In a sign of lingering conservative attitudes, South Korea’s most popular search engine, Naver, has blocked results for searches for the store’s name, forcing Kwak to place a sticker on each item explaining how to circumvent the ban.
I wonder what Lin would say about men who called women hotties with bodies

Learning to code will eventually be as useful as learning Ancient Greek - "Evidence suggests that coding will increasingly be implemented, even planned, by AI systems. This is part of a natural progression from computer-friendly to human-friendly systems

Winston Churchill on the Arts - "The anecdote goes as follows: The prime minister was once asked to cut funding for art programs in order to support the war effort. Churchill refused, according to the story, and said that preserving the arts was the only reason that the war was worthwhile... there is no record of Churchill saying this... A spokesman for the International Churchill Society confirmed to us that the quote was fake, but added that Churchill did express a similar sentiment about the importance of the arts in 1938...
“The arts are essen­tial to any com­plete national life. The State owes it to itself to sus­tain and encour­age them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the rev­er­ence and delight which are their due.”
But this was, of course, before Britain was engaged in a war for national survival."

The Push to Make French Gender-Neutral - "“My homeland is the French language,” author Albert Camus once wrote—and many French people would agree... Some scientific research does seem to suggest that gendered languages like French lead to more sexist perceptions than gender-neutral ones like English. But those studies are limited in that they can’t control for outside factors like culture, which are extremely important in determining sexist attitudes... Many philosophers and scholars came out strongly against what they saw as feminist activism masquerading as linguistic science—and using children as guinea pigs. Emmanuelle de Riberolles, a literature professor in the Picardie region of France, argued that “children should not be dragged into struggles that do not concern them.” Even the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, came out against inclusive writing, explaining that “language is a bedrock of life that we owe to children” and that it “must not be instrumentalized, even for the best of causes.” The French Academy, the highest council for matters pertaining to the French language, issued a strong statement, saying that the additional grammatical complications of inclusive writing would lead to “a disunited language, disparate in its expression, creating a confusion that borders on illegibility.” What’s more, “faced with this ‘inclusive’ aberration, the French language is now in mortal danger, a fact for which our nation is now accountable to future generations.” The statement also warned that inclusive writing would “destroy” the promises of the Francophonie"
Wait till the non-binary and 256820 gender people come onto the scene, which might happen in a few decades (there is a lag effect from when a progressive moment surfaces in Anglo culture)

I'm calling out the loons who make Israel bashing the mother of all virtues - "The lazy analogy that BDS rests on is with South African apartheid. But unlike apartheid-era South Africa, Arabs make up 20 percent of Israel’s full citizenry. Most of these Arab-Israeli citizens are Muslim. There are mosques on Israeli beaches. Alongside Hebrew, Arabic is an official language of Israel. An Arab-Israeli judge has even impeached and convicted former Israeli prime minster, Ehud Olmert. And though many problems with integration persist – as they do with minority communities across the West – when surveyed 77 percent of these Arabs expressed an overwhelming preference to remain Israeli, rather than become citizens of a future Palestinian state. The reason is obvious, Israeli-Muslims have more freedom of religion than other minorities – and even other Muslims have in all other Middle-Eastern countries. The problem lies in the status of the West Bank and Gaza, not with any imaginary apartheid system inside Israel proper... An unexceptional land dispute: this is all that it was. Until it became fetishised. The truth is, there is nothing unique about the Israel conflict deserving such disproportionate attention by people who have little connecting them to this land. Baluchistan, Kurdistan, Cyprus, Kashmir, and Taiwan are but a few other disputed territories not fetishized like Palestine is by our left, by Muslims, at the UN and in our media... activists with little ancestral connection to Palestine have become obsessed with instramentalising this particular dispute to grind their own ideological axes... It is not uncommon on Western university campuses to witness absurdities such as student groups refusing to condemn ISIS for fear of causing anti-Muslim bigotry, or proudly partnering with pro-jihadist groups such as CAGE UK, all the while calling for the entire people of Israel to be boycotted. No doubt, many of these same student groups would support Obama’s deal to ease sanctions on Hezbollah-terrorist-supporting, Assad-backing, theocratic Iran, while simultaneously calling for sanctions to be imposed on a democratic Israel... As a British author I would be mortified if my work were censored around the world due to the actions of my government—such as the invasion of Iraq, which I have always opposed. How would Turkish authors feel if they were held responsible for the increasingly unhinged, autocratic Erdogan’s Islamisation of Turkey, or his approach toward the Kurds? And yet, amid Chinese abuse in Tibet and Xinjiang, Burmese oppression of the Rohingya, the Kurdish people’s struggles, the plight of women and just about any free thinker in Saudi Arabia and Iran, the rights of practically everybody in North Korea, and the Ukrainian struggle to liberate the Crimea, the only foreign government that seems to attract the constant ire of our National Union of Students is the one that – with all its imperfections – is more democratic and transparent than most of the above: Israel... Arab despots point to Israel as their excuse for never holding free and fair elections, ever."

A Sex Difference in Sports Interest: What Does Evolution Say? - "females' underrepresentation in sport — both as participants and spectators — generally reflects their lesser sports interest, not merely fewer opportunities for involvement. Moreover, this sex difference occurs in all societies described thus far, from hunters and gatherers to large contemporary societies. For example, in every society with available data, males participate in sports at least twice as much as females in terms of frequency or duration... sports serve as courtship displays that advertise participant quality to the opposite sex. This hypothesis effectively explains some aspects of females' sports interest... no experimental manipulation or systematic historical comparison has ever shown a decrease in the sex difference. Moreover, several studies indicate that prenatal hormones contribute to males' greater sports interest."

How do sports news shows disguise sexism against women's sports? - "Women's stories averaged one minute and 17 seconds on SportsCenter—nearly 50% shorter than men's sports stories... Game footage highlighting impressive plays accompanied most of men's sports segments—83.1% of local news and 88.6% of SportsCenter stories. Instead of featuring in-action game footage, women were frequently shown on the bench cheering for their teammates or hugging one another while celebrating a victory... Sports commentators rarely gave women lavish compliments, though they regularly called men's athletic accomplishments "perfect," "beautiful," or "amazing.""

USA women's team suffer 5-2 loss to FC Dallas' U-15 boys - "The USA women's football team were convincingly beaten by a team of adolescents in a embarrassing defeat for the world champions. They were roundly outplayed, losing 5-2 against FC Dallas Under-15s academy side who took full advantage of their big day. "
I'm sure a study will find there is ageism against adolescent sports leagues with less coverage of them, less game footage highlighting impressive plays being highlighted and their getting fewer lavish compliments

Matildas lose 7-0 to Newcastle Jets under-15s side in Rio Olympics warm-up - "Australia's national women's soccer team have suffered a devastating defeat in the lead up to the Rio Olympics - going down 7-0 to the Newcastle Jets under-15 boys side. What is particularly concerning for the Matildas is that despite resting some regulars, they were still able to field experienced international stars including former AFC player of the year Katrina Gorry... While the Matildas played with a rotating squad, there is no denying losing to a team of school boys is far from ideal preparation for the world's fifth ranked team in their quest for Olympic gold at Rio. Assistant Matildas coach Gary van Egmond was as surprised as anyone about the result admitting his side were outplayed... It may not be the first time that the Australian team have suffered a heavy defeat against school boys with claims that they were 'smashed' by an under 16 Sydney FC team last year circulating."

The US Mens U-17 soccer team played the USWNT three months before they won the Gold at the Olympics. The U-17 Men's team won 8-2. - "My former boss played the Norwegian national team with his U-14 team when he was a kid (the late 1980's) and they won 10-0 or something along those lines. People who don't watch a lot of football will probably not realize how incredible inferior the female game is, even lower league sides in most European nations would probably beat the US national team comfortably. Men are a lot bigger, stronger, cover more ground, can jump higher etc. etc., female goalies are also usually horrendously bad and struggle with shots that average male goalkeepers would save. There is a reason the women's champions league final only attracts around 20 000 spectators, most Europeans are used to proper football and can't really stand watching the women's game. Kinda like the WNBA in the USA."

Man vs. Woman: Exploring a Bad Idea - "While still a kickboxer, Lucia Rijker fought a man, Somchai Jaidee. At the time of the fight, Somchai Jaidee had 13 wins, 1 loss with 9 wins coming by way of KO, or at least that’s how he was billed. When one watches this fight, one gets the feeling that Somchai is a legitimate fighter. Rijker isn’t looking for a “one and done” push over. She wants to fight a real male kickboxer. As amazing and dominant a striker as Lucia Rijker was, a true legend, she got knocked out in the second round by a male kickboxer, one who hasn’t left a mark on Google beyond this one fight. Rijker deserves credit for her courage and warrior spirit but even this unbeatable female fighter got knocked out, rather easily, by a nearly anonymous male... Real fights between men and women almost never go the way we want them to but they almost always go in the depressing ways we should expect them to"
Lucia Rijker, billed as "The Most Dangerous Woman in the World", lost to a nobody man
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