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Friday, May 11, 2018

Links - 11th May 2018 (1)

Gad Saad on Hysteria and “Collective Munchausen” around Donald Trump, Speaking Out as an Academic, and Evolutionary Psychology 101 - "these people have built their whole ethos, edifice, zeitgeist on Identity Politics. Identity Politics leads to victimology poker and the oppression olympics. These groups just end up competing to see who is more oppressed because it is the mechanism through which they attempt to solve problems... These are professors, these are colleagues of mine who feel perfectly comfortable departing from reality in this way... As somebody who escaped Lebanon and actually hid under desks to avoid death squads, I don’t take well to these idiots from Wellesley College who say, “I’m scared to go and buy my hamburgers now that Trump won,” because it trivializes what true trauma is... The academic setting, media elite, and the Hollywood elite are all part of the Left-wing lunacy. So everyday I don’t face the threat of the KKK or Right-wing fascism but I do see the extraordinary harm that is caused by what takes place in universities. That reality is caused by Left-wing lunacy. Hence as a person with a functioning brain I don’t need to provide equal amounts of criticism — that doesn’t mean I’m condoning Right-wing craziness... in my daily life, I see a lot more danger coming from the Left... they’re scared to even “like” one of my Facebook posts because someone would see it and that would mean they’re supporting supposedly “fascist” ideas such as freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, rights for Jews, and rights for gays... postmodernists hate evolutionary psychology because it’s rooted in the fact that there are universal laws in general and human universals in particular. Radical feminists hate evolutionary psychology because only “Nazi bigots” would argue that there are innate sex differences. But of course, the way Homo sapiens is defined as a species is that we are sexually dimorphic, namely that we possess evolutionary-based sex differences. Yet you can attend radical feminist seminars where people espouse the notion that only “Nazi bigots and eugenicists” believe in innate sex differences... “Why do men prefer shapely women? Well it’s because of Nicki Minaj’s music videos.” If it weren’t for her videos, men would apparently be mating with trees"

Gwyneth Paltrow and the Fear-Based Women's Media - "Not surprisingly, the growing online media market for women is using the same tactics traditional media does: fear. Before there was online “click bait,” women’s magazines used the fear factor to grab women’s attention... Paltrow’s media profile brings together both the fear factor and one other aspect that thrives in women’s online media: the myth of Pinterest perfection. Every day millions of women log into Pinterest and see perfectly organized laundry rooms, mudrooms, and DIY projects that require more patience than paint"

Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital is good for peace. Britain should do so too - "It is an accepted norm in international relations that every sovereign state has the right to decide its own capital city. Even when some countries have changed their capital – as did Turkey in 1923, China in 1949, Brazil in 1960 and Germany in 1999 – this norm has been upheld, and embassies have been relocated accordingly. Only in the case of the Jewish state has this norm not been applied... Whenever the international community has put forward comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace plans over the past 20 years, they have consistently acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. For President Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, which officially claims to seek statehood alongside Israel within pre-1967 lines, Jerusalem’s status as established in 1949 should be beyond contention. Some have opposed the United States’s decision on the grounds that it risks encouraging violence... Unfortunately, this is nothing new: terror groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah have repeatedly made such declarations over the years. Those who wished to murder innocent civilians before the American decision will still want to do so after the decision. We should therefore be clear where the moral blame for violence lies: with the perpetrators themselves."

Did You Know: The 'Gong Xi Gong Xi' CNY Song Has A Dark History No One Knows About - "it was written by popular composer Chen Gexin to celebrate China's victory and liberation following Japan's defeat at the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1945... Some believe that the atrocities of the war might have had a deep impact on Chen and influenced his music thereafter. That might also explain why 'Gong Xi Gong Xi' was written in the minor key, which is typically used to project sadness and melancholy in a piece of music, to convey China's bittersweet triumph in the war."

The Islamist war against Sikhs is arriving in Europe - "Jews and Christians have felt the brunt, but the Essen bomb was a reminder that Sikhs are also facing up to the menace of Islamic extremism... As Sikhs well know, they are not the only minority group in the region to be targeted by Islamists. Much of the religious brutality that Guru Tegh Bahadur railed against remains to this day. According to Amnesty International, Hindu women are frequently forced to convert to Islam in Pakistan’s Sindh province, before being married off to Muslim husbands. Blasphemy laws are used as a tool to persecute minority faiths, including the Ahmadiyya sect, which faces criminal charges for simply practicing their faith. Much of this has been ignored by the West. But echoes are now being heard across Europe, so it is becoming harder to turn a blind eye"

History of the Yellow Jewish Star - "the origins of this practice date back much earlier than 1938. It began approximately around the year 717... Informing Ahmadinejad’s ideology regarding the Jews is an Islamic institution developed in the Pact of Umar, attributed to Mohammad’s second successor. The pact is said to be founded on a letter addressed to Umar I by Christians in Syria indicating the terms under which they would be willing to submit to Muslim rule. Scholars, such as A. S Tritton, question this rendition of history because it was not common for the conquered to decide the terms on which they will be admitted to alliance with the victors. What is certain, however, is that the pact emerged from a Muslim desire to establish an interethnic etiquette in an inherently hierarchical society. The official Hamas charter, called “The Charter of Allah,” echoes this premodern desire for Islamic hegemony over non-Muslims. Article 31 of the charter still reads: “Under the shadow of Islam it is possible for the members of the three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism to coexist in safety and security. Safety and security can only prevail under the shadow of Islam, and recent and ancient history is the best witness to that effect.” As the Pact of Umar suggests, Jews and Christians could gain “safety and security” if they were to remain obedient “under the shadow of Islam” by wearing a yellow seam on their upper garments. History also informs us that from 717 onward, Jews were subject to this oppressive treatment in other Islamic societies. For example, in 807 the Persian Abbassid Caliph Harun al-Rashid ordered Jews to wear a yellow belt. Later, in 815 another Persian ruler, Caliph Al-Mutavallil issued a yellow badge edict. The most humiliating example is found in a letter from Baghdad describing decrees regulating Jewish clothes: "…two yellow badges [are to be displayed], one on the headgear and one on the neck. Furthermore, each Jew must hang round his neck a piece of lead with the word dhimmi [a social status given to tolerated infidels] on it. He also has to wear a belt round his waist. The women have to wear one red and one black shoe and have a small bell on their necks or shoes." The incident closest in time to the Nazi period occurred between 1315—1326 when Emir Ismael Abu-I Walid forced the Jews of Granada to wear a yellow badge"

New Law Provides Advocates for Abused Animals - "In a contested divorce between parents or a child custody dispute, Connecticut law provides a court with the authority to appoint a guardian ad litem to ensure that the child’s best interests are fully protected. With the enactment of measure known as Desmond’s Law—named for a dog that was beaten, strangled, and killed by an owner who served no jail time for his actions—a similar advocate can work on behalf of an abused animal in an animal cruelty case"

Facebook confesses: Facebook is bad for you - "simply reading Facebook leaves students feeling worse at the end of the day than if they had posted or engaged with friends on Facebook. Another study noted that status updates gives negative social comparisons; by only seeing others' (mostly) positive status updates we think our own lives are worse in comparison... heavy users, those who click more links and like more posts, reported worse mental health"

Have You No Shame? : Japanese media are saturated with sex and violence. By comparison, U.S. entertainment is puritanical. So why is it being blamed for nurturing an amoral society? - "What are we to make of a society in which pornography is readily available, violence pervades the arts and the media, men frequent bawdy shows and children are raised with the greatest permissiveness? I refer, of course, to Japan. This is the Japan that is almost unique among industrialized nations for its remarkably low rates of crime, especially violent crime, and its legendary ability to control the spread of dangerous drugs... what is most interesting about the debate is that most critics of the industry seek to shame, not to censor them, while most defenders of it prefer to talk about censorship rather than shame. Shame, in fact, lies at the core of our dilemma. The reason that Japan can behave so properly, despite depictions of violence and licentiousness and even permissive (at least in the early years) child-rearing, is that it has a culture that powerfully induces a sense of shame in its members. The reason that Americans behave less properly, despite a much greater reliance on law enforcement and criminal sanctions, is that we have become shameless."

Media Violence: Japan vs. America - "A 1981 study comparing Japanese and American television found major differences in the way violence is portrayed on screen between the two countries. One of the major findings was that the amount of violence on Japanese and American television is roughly the same. The nature of the Japanese television violence, however, is different. Violent scenes are less frequent in Japanese-produced programs, yet tend to last longer, are more realistic and place a much greater emphasis on physical suffering. The study also found that the violent acts in American-produced programs were equally performed by "good guys" and "bad guys," and the assaults were overwhelmingly against villains - individuals for whom the audience has little compassion and whose demise is often cheered. In Japanese-produced shows more than twice as many violent acts were performed by "bad guys," with the heroes suffering the consequences 75 percent of the time. The researchers concluded that, compared to American shows, Japanese programs emphasize the consequences of violence. The modern-day hero in Japanese drama, much like the classic samurai figure, is noble, honest, highly disciplined and hard-working. When these heroes are wounded or killed, it arouses distress and evokes sympathy rather than applause."

Japanese Response To UN Proposed Ban For Media Depicting Sexual Violence Is Cogent And Sane - " Kumiko Yamada of the Japanese Women’s Institute Of Contemporary Media Culture has stood up to defend the usage of sexual violence in media with a refreshingly cogent and sane set of arguments. In recent weeks, the United Nations has been making moves to propose the banning of Japanese media that depicts sexual violence toward women, the specific media in question being that of manga, anime and videogames. Their argument is that these media are in breach of human rights, as they sometimes focus on the abuse of women... “The so-called sexual violence in manga and video games is a made-up thing and as such does not threaten the rights of actual people; therefore, it is meaningless in protecting the rights of women.” Whereas the second point states that, “In Japan, and especially when it comes to manga, these are creative fields that women themselves cultivated and worked hard by their own hand to create careers for themselves. If we were to "ban the sale of manga that includes sexual violence," it would do the opposite and instead create a new avenue of sexism toward women.”"

Effects of Flowering and Foliage Plants in Hospital Rooms on Patients Recovering from Abdominal Surgery - " Patients in hospital rooms with plants and flowers had significantly fewer intakes of postoperative analgesics, more positive physiological responses evidenced by lower systolic blood pressure and heart rate, lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue, and more positive feelings and higher satisfaction about their rooms when compared with patients in the control group. Findings of this research suggested that plants in a hospital environment could be noninvasive, inexpensive, and an effective complementary medicine for patients recovering from abdominal surgery"

Effects of Toxoplasma on Human Behavior - "the personality of infected men showed lower superego strength (rule consciousness) and higher vigilance (factors G and L on Cattell's 16PF). Thus, the men were more likely to disregard rules and were more expedient, suspicious, jealous, and dogmatic. The personality of infected women, by contrast, showed higher warmth and higher superego strength (factors A and G on Cattell's 16PF), suggesting that they were more warm hearted, outgoing, conscientious, persistent, and moralistic. Both men and women had significantly higher apprehension (factor O) compared with the uninfected controls."

People didn't vote for Brexit because they're racist, study finds - "People are more concerned by an immigrant’s criminal record than their race or ethnicity, the research found, and there is support for migrants who can fill ‘socially useful’ roles – such as doctors and teachers – to come to the UK."

How the GOP and the Democratic Party Differ in Handling Sexual Assault Allegations - "In the GOP, the people taking the harshest line against Moore are congressional leaders like Mitch McConnell... In the Democratic Party—so far—it’s largely the reverse. As of Thursday night, not a single Democratic senator had called on Franken to resign... The pressure on Franken to resign is coming from the bottom up"

Sir Ian McKellen: Some Actresses Exchange Sex For Roles - "many women in 1960s would objectify themselves for the sake of getting roles. “The director of the theatre I was working at showed me some photographs he got from women who were wanting jobs,” he said. “Some of them had at the bottom of their photograph ‘DRR’ — directors’ rights respected. In other words, if you give me a job, you can have sex with me.” McKellen said that behavior was far more common than it should have been, declaring it "madness." He also warned against the witch hunt environment that leads to false accusations and lives ruined over allegations... When the first groping allegation against Sen. Al Franken first broke, before more accusers came forward, Michelle Goldberg at The New York Times said that she wanted him to fall regardless of the truth because "the current movement toward unprecedented accountability for sexual harassers will probably start to peter out." That means unless the heads start rolling, people will lose interest and go home. A scary thought indeed."

LV survey finds stay-at-home mothers are more satisfied than other professions - "Only one in seven stay-at-home parents say they are dissatisified with their role, a level of unhappiness that is less than half that found among civil servants or salesmen and women... They scored 87.2 per cent in the happiness ratings. The others in the top five were those working in: hospitality and events management – 86.3 per cent; creative arts and design – 84.4 per cent; the charity sector – 83.9 per cent; leisure, sport and tourism – 83.7 per cent. The least satisfied were working in marketing, advertising and public relations, with a happiness rating of 53.8 per cent... Government surveys have also shown that more than a third of mothers who go out to work would like to give up their jobs and stay at home with their children."
This suggests that claims that it, including child rearing, really is a tough job are unfounded

Silicon Valley Leaders Begin to Worry That Political Correctness Is Stifling Innovation - "Y Combinator, which has been the largest incubator for start-up tech companies in Silicon Valley, sent a form out to 3,500 local entrepreneurs to gather personal information about venture capitalists (VCs) and their attitudes toward women. Manalac added, “We don’t call it a blacklist,” but she then admitted, “that is essentially what is happening.” Many of Silicon Valley’s moralizing progressive tech leaders over the last five months have found themselves increasingly stuck in the web of political correctness they wove to combat conservative ideas — or, critics suggest, to stifle conservative ideas.. Examples include of big names shamed out of business include Andy Rubin, who led the Android smartphone software effort at Google; top venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Google’s top lawyer David Drummond; tech blog-star Robert Scoble of Scobelizer; Uber founder Travis Kalanick; Uber top engineer Amit Singhal; Binary Capital VC founder Justin Caldbeck; former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich; and Dave McClure, who founded the 500 Start-Ups tech incubator. Facebook COO and progressive icon Sheryl Sandberg commented in early December that she wrote in her bestseller, Lean In that 64 percent of tech senior male managers were afraid to be alone with a female colleague, due to fear of being accused of sexual harassment. She warned that the recent witchhunt was causing a blowback against women: “We have to be vigilant to make sure this happens. I have already heard the rumblings of a backlash: “This is why you shouldn’t hire women”... Y Combinator President Sam Altman lamented that he feels more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than in San Francisco... Altman claims that restricting speech leads to restricting ideas and therefore restricted innovation. Concerning the future of Silicon Valley, Altman says he is seeing many of the smartest people Silicon Valley moving out, “because they feel stifled in the Bay Area.”"
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