"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Links - 26th May 2018 (2)

What's the difference: button up vs. button down shirts - "all button down shirts are button up shirts, but not all button up shirts are button down shirts... Button up shirts are effectively all shirts that have buttons all the way up the shirt... Button down shirts aren’t really that much more complicated. They have buttons all the way up the shirt like a button up shirt, but also have two buttons on the collar, to fasten it down to the shirt. So the phrase ‘button down’ actually refers to fastening the collar down."

Most Sith have yellow, glowing eyes. Why does this not hold true for Count Dooku? : StarWars - "From my understanding the yellow eyes only occur during times that the Sith are closest to the dark side. I believe this is mentioned in the commentary on either the DVD release or the blu rays."
"No one has mentioned yet that Dooku used to be a Jedi trained by Yoda himself. I think your assessment of him being closer to the middle of the spectrum is something a lot of people miss. Think about it, he's relatively polite, avoids confrontation, and treats his prisoners well (by sith standards at least.)"
"Because he had a beard and bad guys in Star Wars cannot have beards, hence Dooku wasn't a bad guy, thus he can't have yellow eyes."

The Minimalist Pixie Dream Girl: Who She Is & Why I Hate Her - "General Lifestyle Porn. It’s photo sets and blogs and magazine profiles designed specifically to make you feel badly about yourself, like the inadequate, sweatpant-clad loser you are, to remind you that there is someone out there living their best life, and none of it involves eating an entire bag of Doritos in a fugue state while watching House of Cards."

Man Drives Fake Porsche Cayenne and Has Sex with New Girlfriend 17 Times, Girl Dumps Him After Finding Out - "a man in China who drove a knock-off Porsche Cayenne successfully wooed a lady he met at a gathering party with the car being a huge deciding factor of why the lady to decided to be with him. It’s reported by ET Today that the new couple had had sex for 17 times after being two weeks together. The lady flaunted the pictures of her then-boyfriend car to her friends only to later find out that the car was actually a China knock-off brand called Zoyte"

Controversy Looms as Mythical Achilles is Played by Black Actor in New BBC Epic - "Social media users have expressed their anger at a new series produced by the BBC and Netflix in which Greek mythological figures such as Achilles, Patroclus and Zeus are being played by black actors."
Some people are defending this blackwashing by saying Achilles is fictional, but so are Major Motoko Kusanagi, The Ancient One and Allison Ng. Besides, Homer calls him blonde.

White men who can’t get jobs say they’re being discriminated against - "Pew asked a nationally representative sample of white men with jobs in science, technology, math and engineering (or STEM) fields whether they thought their gender made it harder for them to succeed. Of the 14% who said yes, more than 1 in 10 said they had been affected by reverse discrimination. When Pew posed a similar question about race to the survey respondents, nearly 20% of those who said race made their job harder cited reverse discrimination as the reason for their challenges."
Prioritise personal exepriences. Unless you're a white male

Conservative Google employees are blacklisted, lawsuit alleges - "The most jaw-dropping allegation is that "Google publicly endorsed blacklists" of conservatives. The suit claims that several hiring managers publicly vowed not to hire people categorized as "hostile voices" - aka conservatives... The suit cites another post from another hiring manager that read: "If you express a dunderheaded opinion about religion, about politics, or about 'social justice', it turns out I am allowed to think you're a halfwit ... I'm perfectly within my rights to mentally categorize you in my [d---head] box ... Yes, I maintain (mentally, and not (yet) publicly)."... The lawsuit shows that in at least one case, a manager, a white woman, was contemplating keeping some kind of actual public list of employee names. The manager wrote on an internal post, "I am thinking of something like a google doc that accepts comments, and which calls out those googlers that are unsupportive of diversity," she wrote. She wondered, in the post, whether special "trials" should be held for employees nominated for the list, to determine whether they belonged on it... conservative employees reported such lists or other attempts to block them and their comments on Google's internal social-media sites to HR who told them that employees have the right to block others or make statements about the type of employees they liked to work with"

The Dirty War Over Diversity Inside Google - "the diversity advocates say some employees have “weaponized human resources” by goading them into inflammatory statements, which are then captured and reported to HR for violating Google’s mores around civility or for offending white men."
According to WIRED, whistleblowing is a bad thing; it is significant that they never present the evidence from Damore's lawsuit, only claiming that diversity advocates were "goaded" (presumably violence is alright if someone says something you don't like). Ironically they quote Yonatan Zunger, despite his literally threatening violence against people he disagrees with

Google Engineer to James Damore: 'I Will Hound You Until One of Us Is Fired' - "One, in particular, comes from a Systems Reliability Engineer at the company, Alex Hidalgo. Hidalgo emailed Damore personally after the publishing of Damore’s viewpoint diversity memo from last year with the subject line, “You are a terrible person.” In the email Hidalgo insults and threatens Damore, encouraging him to pass the email on to Human Resources, when Damore did this, little was done by the company’s HR department... 'You’re a misogynist and a terrible human. I will keep hounding you until one of us is fired. F*ck you.'... Hidalgo’s email came just days after a Director at Google, George Sadlier, sent a mass email condemning James’ memo and James himself. Hidalgo worked under Sadlier who called James’ memo “repulsive and intellectually dishonest,” according to the lawsuit, and promised that an HR investigation would be done into Damore as an employee. The lawsuit also claims that Sadlier encouraged posts that called for violence against James... the Google Recognition Team awarded the coveted “Peer Bonus” — which are usually reserved for outstanding work performance — to employees that argued against Damore’s views. One employee gave a Peer Bonus to an employee stating that the bonus was for “speaking up for google values and promoting [diversity and inclusion] in the wretched hive of scum and villainy that is [Damore’s Memo].” This was reviewed and approved by the Google Recognition Team. Colm Buckley, a high-ranking systems reliability engineer director at Google, also received no punishment for his comments that seemed to call for violence against Damore, and openly stated his intent to stifle discussion on Google’s internal message board. Colm discussed Damore’s memo on the message board stating, “Yes this is ‘silencing’. I intend to silence these views; they are violently offensive.”"
Of course, if you have reading comprehension problems and even after supposedly reading the memo still think Damore was saying that women are biologically incapable of being engineers, you will think this was justified

James Damore's Lawsuit Is Designed to Embarrass Google - "The claims of political discrimination are not based on the First Amendment, which does not apply to private employers, but rather on a California law protecting political points of view. Damore’s lawyer, Harmeet Dhillon, claims to have won settlements in California based on discrimination against conservatives before, arguing that treating white, conservative men as a protected class “would not be a precedent, it would simply be an application of the law.”... she said Google violated the law when it allegedly created quotas for hiring women and underrepresented minorities... Dhillon said Google shareholders will be “pretty shocked to find” that employees are spending their time “talking about furry sex clubs and toxic whiteness,” rather than doing their jobs. Dhillon also mentioned evidence of an employee wondering if Google should tweak its search results to reduce the prominence of studies that Damore cited in his memo. Dhillon said she didn’t know whether Google was actually doing this, but said employees openly discussed altering rankings to not display racist, white supremacist, anti-gay and anti-semitic content"

James Damore sues Google, alleging intolerance of white male conservatives - "The evidence appended to the lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, includes a message from Rachel Whetstone, who worked as a senior Google executive after a career in the UK Conservative party, bemoaning “prejudiced and antagonistic” political discourse at the company... Screenshots of internal communications reveal numerous employees appearing to support the idea of being intolerant toward certain points of view, such as one post arguing that Google should respond to Damore’s memo by “disciplining or terminating those who have expressed support”. In another post, a manager stated his intention to “silence” certain “violently offensive” perspectives, writing: “There are certain ‘alternative views, including different political views’ which I do not want people to feel safe to share here … You can believe that women or minorities are unqualified all you like … but if you say it out loud, then you deserve what’s coming to you”. Internal posts discussing the debate around diversity at Google, such as a meme of a penguin with the text “If you want to increase diversity at Google fire all the bigoted white men”, are filed as an appendix to the lawsuit under the heading “Anti-Caucasian postings”... In the 2014 email from Whetstone, who served as senior vice-president of communications and public policy at Google for several years before departing for Uber, she wrote: “It seems like we believe in free expression except when people disagree with the majority view … I have lost count of the times at Google, for example, people tell me privately that they cannot admit their voting choice if they are Republican because they fear how other Googlers react.” The complaint argues that Google’s tolerance for “alternative lifestyles” – the company has internal mailing lists for people interested in “furries, polygamy, transgenderism, and plurality” – does not extend to conservatism. One employee who emailed a list seeking parenting advice related to imparting a child with “traditional gender roles and patriarchy from a very young age” was allegedly chastised by human resources... Gudeman, the second named plaintiff, was fired following a post-election controversy in another online forum at Google. A Google employee posted that he was concerned for his safety under a Trump administration because he had already been “targeted by the FBI (including at work) for being a Muslim”. According to the suit, Gudeman responded skeptically to the comment, raising questions about the FBI’s motives for investigating the employee, and was reported to HR. Gudeman was fired shortly thereafter, the suit claims, after Google HR told him that he had “accused [the Muslim employee] of terrorism”."

YouTube CEO: Tech is 'very geeky male industry' that affects diversity - "from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki... one reason for the lack of women in tech is its reputation for being a "very geeky male industry."... She blamed the problem on the public perception of the industry and the pipeline problem for recruiting women from college, rather than addressing the questions of retention and inclusion of women and diverse talent after they're recruited to the industry... In the conversation, Pichai noted the differences between what women look for in jobs and men. "Women typically look for jobs with a purpose. Studies show that. I think it’s important for them to see the why of why you need to need technology," Pichai continued."
James Damore on Twitter: "Did I read this right? Susan Wojicicki said that women find “geeky male industries” (as opposed to “social industries”) “not very interesting” and Sundar cites research on gender differences."

Most Interesting Parts of James Damore’s Class Action Filing - "“The only lifestyle that seems to not be openly discussed on Google’s internal forums is traditional heterosexual monogamy.” This section of the complaint also references a presentation from an employee who identifies as “a yellow-scaled wingless dragonkin” and another who identifies as “an expansive ornate building.”... “Not only was the numerical presence of women celebrated at Google solely due to their gender, but the presence of Caucasians and males was mocked with ‘boos’ during company-wide weekly meetings.”"

Silicon Valley Will Pay the Price for Its Lefty Leanings - "ironically, Damore probably has the least to lose from this case. If he had been fired quietly, even in a case of clear political discrimination, then he would have very good reason to keep his head down, find another job, and gripe to his friends over the occasional beer. But Googlers leaked his memo to the media, and then management fired him in a very public and humiliating way that was bound to make it very hard for him to get another job. By doing so, they ensured that he would have little reason not to sue the firm, if he could find a lawyer to take the case -- and also ensured that there would probably be a number of angry conservative lawyers interested in taking the case. That was stupid, because Google has an immense amount to lose, even if a court ultimately vindicates its corporate culture. The company’s internal systems, featuring an immense array of internal employee communications, will be ripped open to scrutiny. If I were a Google executive, I wouldn’t want to bet that employees haven’t said much worse things in emails and on message boards than those featured in the lawsuit. Things that are plainly, inarguably, expensively illegal. But I also wouldn’t want even milder utterances to turn up as testimony in a lawsuit. Because every nasty comment and intemperate remark about Republicans or white males or conservative Christians is going to get broadcast to the public when this case goes to trial. And as you may have noticed, those folks are half the country... This is one reason public corporations have historically tried to keep politics out of their business. It is internally divisive, and it paints a giant target on your back for your political enemies. Whatever small gains you may get, from internal bonding among like-minded employees, or external rewards from like-minded politicians, are almost never worth the blowback. This is a lesson that Silicon Valley hasn’t had to learn yet, because it is so rich, and so new, that these sorts of concerns haven’t really registered. Presumably that’s why Google managers complacently allowed a corporate culture to grow up that at the very least tolerates some degree of progressive militancy at work, and quite possibly encourages more than a little of it. That was incredibly short-sighted"

An Interview With James Damore - "there's special treatment during the interviews (like more being given) and there are high priority queues for team matching after an employee gets hired. Also, there were calls to holding individual managers accountable for the "diversity" of their team, which would inevitably lead to managers using someone's protected status (e.g. gender or ethnicity) during critical employment situations... we need to rethink these practices because they may be illegal and actually increase intergroup tensions, as we've seen in academia, which is exactly what we don't want... "microaggressions" are being taught and compared to actual violence. There's also a weekly email that goes out to about 20,000 Googlers where people submit examples of these... One was complaining about someone suggesting to use a picture of an attractive person on an ad to increase the number of clicks. Which is apparently a case of "lookism."...
CY: So, among the women who work at Google, there are many who don't agree with the standard progressive view of women in tech—i.e. that all disparities are due to sexism?
JD: Correct, and many of them are tired of being made to feel like victims by that narrative.
CY: What were the negative responses you received?
JD: Most were just name-calling or public shaming. I did get a few personal threats, though... There were some threats of violence and many public displays of retaliation within the workplace—i.e. internally public posts stating that they will never work with me and will sabotage my projects.
CY: Even before the memo went public?
JD: Right."

Why stuntwomen are in more danger than men - "She researched athletes who risk injury to their knees: female figure skaters turned out to be the best role models. Figure skaters perform pirouettes on one of the hardest, most slippery surfaces in the world, while balancing on thin blades and wearing minuscule dresses. Baird discovered they use crash pads made with gel to protect their hips, shoulders and knees from smashing against the ice. By dipping them in tea she matched the gel pads to her skin tone to make them invisible on screen. The idea has now spread throughout the stunt community... Throughout her 22-year career she never questioned the fact that men have the benefit of being fully padded while she’s flung off galloping horses in a tight leather skirt. “It’s just what needs to be done for film. It’s not life-threatening; it just hurts a lot more,” she says"

The gendered roles of stunt men and women - "the violence depicted against women in films is often much more personalised. A male stunt performer gets many generic ‘soldier’ or ‘henchman’ roles where they are killed with brutality but without empathy. These are almost throw-away deaths that add colour, but no depth to the plot. The female performer is often a direct target of violence which solidifies the bad guy as the worst of the worst in the eyes of the audience... she actually plays more heroic roles than the average male stunt performer, who may spend his whole career playing soldiers in trenches and the occasional flailing fruit man."
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