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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Links - 21st May 2018 (1)

The Internet has raised over $200,000 to appeal the Count Dankula nazi-pug ruling
Now it's over £191,441 (of the £100,000 goal)

Trudeau bans anti-abortion groups from summer jobs funding - "A new clause in the grant application for the Canada Summer Jobs programme and the Youth Service Corps demands that applicants check a box that says:
"My organisation's core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada… these include reproductive rights and the rights to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability or sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.""

Science Is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost - "Medical teams spend enormous effort, time, and money to deliver babies safely and nurse premature infants back to health. Yet physicians often support abortion, even late into fetal development."

Why every office should scrap its clean desk policy - "The most successful office space was called the empowered office. Like the enriched office, it offered the same tasteful prints and same shrubs, but participants were invited to spend time arranging those decorations however they saw fit. They could even have asked for them to be removed entirely, perfectly mimicking the lean space, if they wanted. The empowered office could be lean, or enriched, or something else — the point was that the person working in the office had the choice... The empowered office was a great success — people got 30 percent more done there than in the lean office, and about 15 percent more than in the enriched office... if they disliked the office space, they also disliked the company that was hosting it, and they disliked the task they were doing in it... apparently trivial freedoms, such as the right to paint your own wall, help people define personal space, and make people happier and more productive."

FraternityX Scene Shows Trump-Supporters Raping a Bisexual Resister

Man fools officers with car made of snow, gets fake parking ticket - "A man in Canada and local police had a good laugh after the Montreal resident fooled officers with a full-size car made entirely of snow. According to CBS affiliate WGCL-TV, Simon Laprise sculpted a life-size model of a DeLorean DMC-12 in the middle of a local snow removal zone."

Social influencer Elle Darby hits back at White Moose Cafe owner in Dublin 'exposing her' for asking for free hotel stay - "If I let you stay here in return for a feature in your video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room?"
Trololo

Swarm of armed DIY drones attacks Russian military base in Syria - "The drones appear to have assembled from a small engine, cheap plywood and a number of small rockets."

Treatment of Inappropriate Sexual Behavior in Dementia - "Inappropriate sexual behavior (ISB) is a relatively common and potentially disruptive form of behavior in people with dementia. It can cause considerable distress and put placements and people at risk"
It's easier to shout #metoo and pillory Stan Lee and George HW Bush

The European Origins of Economic Development - "Although a large literature argues that European settlement outside of Europe shaped institutional, educational, technological, cultural, and economic outcomes, researchers have been unable to directly assess these predictions because of an absence of data on colonial European settlement. In this paper, we construct a new database on the European share of the population during colonization and examine its association with the level of economic development today. We find: (1) a strong and uniformly positive relationship between colonial European settlement and development, (2) a stronger relationship between colonial European settlement and economic development today than between development today and the proportion of the population of European descent today; and (3) no evidence that the positive relationship between colonial European settlement and economic development diminishes or becomes negative at very low levels of colonial European settlement, contradicting a large literature that focuses on the enduring adverse effects of small European settlements creating extractive institutions. The most plausible explanation of our findings is that any adverse effect of extractive institutions associated with minority European settlement was more than offset by other things the European settlers brought with them, such as human capital and technology."

Secret life as a social escort in Singapore - ""Playing the part of a loving, fun girlfriend is not hard, but during times like these - it becomes a little too easy. I don't act on my crushes because I like to remain professional, but can I really control who I develop a crush on?"... "Pursuing this vocation comes with dealing with the stigma that comes with it. Protecting my identity is the most important thing to me. What if we have an ugly breakup and the ex-client threatens to expose my real identity to everyone? Conversely, it would also be extremely unfair to date a client in a purely non-work context but for him to never get to know my real name or meet any of my friends." In reality, Rebecca is 21 this year, a university student pursuing a bachelor's degree. "I felt that I wanted some excitement in my life, and as an escape from strict conservative parents, where I could relax and let go," says Rebecca. An eye-opening experience, it allows getting pampered and experiencing new things that would normally be out of reach for her... Initially a sugar baby, she realised that the boundaries weren't as easily enforced and asserted throughout. "I very quickly realised that it was too much for too little. The sugar daddy had several emotional issues that he could not work out on his own and projected them all on me.""

21, Sex Worker, and ... a Feminist? - "“I would flip this around and say that you cannot be a feminist if you don’t support sex workers and their rights. If you don’t support women’s choices because they don’t fit your ideal, you’re not a feminist. You’re just a hypocrite who wants to feel superior to everyone else,” she says.

SAF regular jailed for having sex with girl, 13, after her parents found him in their home - "Tan Yong Jin, 24, and the minor had already dressed when her mother and father found them... the girl asked Tan to meet her at Clementi Mall. Two hours later they went to a nearby cinema. When the movie ended at around 3.30pm, the pair took a bus to the girl's home in Jurong to have sex, as her parents were out."

Women Should Stop Insisting Men Are Bad Because Of Sexual Tension - "Here’s the problem with all of this feminist gobbledygook. They think a man expressing his natural masculine sexuality is sexist and dangerous. Instead of focusing on criminal behavior (sexual abuse, assault, harassment, or rape), which has nothing to do with a man’s masculine identity but everything to do with a person’s evil choices, they focus on men for simply being men. This is one of the things that troubles me with the #MeToo campaign—it’s not just about sexual violations any longer. It’s about anything that has made a woman “feel” uncomfortable... If you start down this path, it’s no wonder women who have been made to feel “uncomfortable” by a man conclude that all men are sexual predators and sexists. What these women don’t recognize or understand is the normal sexual tension that exists between men and women and the healthy unease this creates... Shutting down of masculine energy will create either passive males who emulate women, or men who resent being forced to douse their natural fire. They’re frustrated because they no longer feel truly alive. They don’t feel like they’re living an authentic life—and they’re not. As a result, they either become depressed and confused, or sometimes they become angry and bitter and transform into the predators they’ve always been told they are. This isn’t to say all sexual predators are a reaction to a kind of social oppression, but this can be the result as anger takes root."

How the Queen – the ‘last Christian monarch’ – has made faith her message - "To the royal household, it is known as the QXB – the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. To millions of people, it is still an essential feature of Christmas Day. To the Queen, her annual broadcast is the time when she speaks to the nation without the government scripting it. But in recent years, it has also become something else: a declaration of her Christian faith. As Britain has become more secular, the Queen’s messages have followed the opposite trajectory."

Poll: 90% of ME views Jews unfavorably - Middle East - "In the predominantly Muslim nations surveyed, views of Jews were overwhelmingly unfavorable. Nearly all in Jordan (97 percent), the Palestinian territories (97%) and Egypt (95%) held an unfavorable view. Similarly, 98% of Lebanese expressed an unfavorable opinion of Jews, including 98% among both Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, as well as 97% of Lebanese Christians. By contrast, only 35% of Israeli Arabs expressed a negative opinion of Jews, while 56% voiced a favorable opinion"
If they're really so terrible you'd expect those who experience them every day to have the worst opinions

The Israeli Arabs: Trailblazers of a Better Middle East - "According to polls, 77 percent of Israeli Arabs prefer to live in Israel while only 21 percent want to live in a Palestinian state. They remained quiet during Israel’s ten wars with their brethren after 1948 and some have even volunteered to help out on the home front. Two-thirds say Israel is a good place to live."

Keep feminist pressure groups out of schools - "NEU and UK Feminista conflate sexual harassment and sexism. Their report sets out to reveal ‘the voices of girls around the country who are being subjected to sexual harassment and sexism’. Sexism and sexual harassment are not the same thing. Sexual harassment can encompass serious incidents of groping and sexual assault. Sexism, on the other hand, is today used to describe a teacher asking for ‘a strong boy’ to help move some furniture, having different uniforms for boys and girls, or separating boys and girls for PE lessons. The report assumes sexism leads to harassment and that presenting girls as different from boys legitimises sexual assault. What a misanthropic view of young people. Sexism, according to the report, is endemic. But the sexism described is difficult to pin down. It is described as ‘prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex’. It seems to be primarily a feature of language: we’re told that ‘30 per cent of female students in mixed-sex schools have personally been described using language they felt was sexist, compared to 18 per cent of boys’. But when even referring to pupils as ‘boys and girls’ is considered by some to be a dangerous form of gender stereotyping, it is only surprising that as few as 30 per cent of girls report being victims... What we are not told in this latest sexism panic is just how well girls are doing at school. They outperform boys from their first days and across all subject areas. Girls do better overall in public exams aged 16 and 18. This year, 55 per cent of young women went on to university compared with only 43 per cent of young men. And this is not new: girls have been outperforming boys for a quarter of a century now. If school is really such a daily torment of misogyny and sexual harassment for girls, then it is clearly not holding them back. Unfortunately, the proposals to challenge sexism in schools could well be to the detriment of both girls and boys. The report suggests an astonishing 69 per cent of teachers claim an overly heavy focus on academic subjects prevents them from tackling sexism. In other words, they want to spend less time teaching children subject knowledge and more time warning them of the evils of sexism. This will further redefine the role of schools away from education towards an explicit socialisation agenda"

You don't like the Ghomeshi verdict, fine, but don't take it out on the judge - "Even before Ontario Court of Justice Judge William Horkins finished reading his reasons for acquitting Jian Ghomeshi, social media began to fill up with the inchoate, point-and-screech bile for which it's renowned. The judge was immediately portrayed as an aging, shameful, misogynistic, hate-filled, victim-blaming, ignorant, abusive, sickening, brutally vilifying, mansplaining, privileged white male... far more popular was the ad hominem attack, a perfect example of which was offered by Andrew Burke, an associate professor of cultural studies at the University of Winnipeg. In his professorial view, "That was a total masterclass in misogynist, arrogant windbaggery just now from Judge Horkins." Further, Burke tweeted, Horkins was "competitive in the stupidest and most offensive thing said ever category"... Ghomeshi's accusers had colluded, misled and lied, to reporters, to police, to prosecutors and ultimately, to the court itself."
Due process is misogynist

Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society - "Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about the company he helped make... Palihapitiya’s criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem. “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said, referring to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”... He says he tries to use Facebook as little as possible, and that his children “aren’t allowed to use that shit.”... Palihapitiya’s remarks follow similar statements of contrition from others who helped build Facebook into the powerful corporation it is today. In November, early investor Sean Parker said he has become a “conscientious objector” to social media, and that Facebook and others had succeeded by “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” A former product manager at the company, Antonio Garcia-Martinez, has said Facebook lies about its ability to influence individuals based on the data it collects on them, and wrote a book, Chaos Monkeys, about his work at the firm."
Aka "Former Facebook executive has sworn off social media because he doesn’t want to be “programmed”"

Why 'I Have Nothing to Hide' Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance - "did you know that it is a federal crime to be in possession of a lobster under a certain size? It doesn’t matter if you bought it at a grocery store, if someone else gave it to you, if it’s dead or alive, if you found it after it died of natural causes, or even if you killed it while acting in self defense. You can go to jail because of a lobster. If the federal government had access to every email you’ve ever written and every phone call you’ve ever made, it’s almost certain that they could find something you’ve done which violates a provision in the 27,000 pages of federal statues or 10,000 administrative regulations. You probably do have something to hide, you just don’t know it yet... The state of Minnesota, for instance, legalized same-sex marriage this year, but sodomy laws had effectively made homosexuality itself completely illegal in that state until 2001. Likewise, before the recent changes making marijuana legal for personal use in Washington and Colorado, it was obviously not legal for personal use. Imagine if there were an alternate dystopian reality where law enforcement was 100% effective, such that any potential law offenders knew they would be immediately identified, apprehended, and jailed. If perfect law enforcement had been a reality in Minnesota, Colorado, and Washington since their founding in the 1850s, it seems quite unlikely that these recent changes would have ever come to pass. How could people have decided that marijuana should be legal, if nobody had ever used it? How could states decide that same sex marriage should be permitted, if nobody had ever seen or participated in a same sex relationship?"
Plus if you've nothing to hide, you shouldn't mind having CCTVs in your house or fear your sex videos being uploaded to a centralised database

You May Think You Have Nothing to Hide ... But You Are Still Breaking Laws Which Government Spying Could Discover and Use Against You - "Attorney Harvey Silverglate says that the average American commits 3 felonies every day … without even knowing it. And that’s just federal laws."

Does the Government Only Label Bad Guys As Terrorists? - "the government labeled its own employees who were privacy officers “terrorists”. Complaining about the taste of your tap water could also get you labeled as a potential terrorist. Having “strange odors” or “bright colored stains on clothes” (what if you eat mustard or ketchup?) could get you labeled as a potential terrorist. Complaining about U.S. drone assassinations could get you labeled a terrorist. So could expressing fears of big brother or of economic collapse … or otherwise believing that we’re in a crisis. (Irony alert: if you’re afraid of the government, the government might go after you?) Indeed, any American could be labeled as a potential terrorist by our government on a whim."
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