"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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Monday, May 07, 2018

Links - 7th May 2018 (1)

Why President Trump Deserves Credit for Progress in North Korea - Dilbert Blog - "His reputation as a deal-maker offered the possibility of an off-ramp for Kim in which Kim survives and potentially thrives after reunification.
Built a good working relationship with China’s Xi
Built a good working relationship with Japan’s Abe
Built a good working relationship with South Korea’s Moon
Ordered General Mattis, the scariest general in the universe, to demonstrate overwhelming force on their border"

15 Years Later, Why Do We Still Believe in the Blank Slate? - "The Blank Slate (The mind has no innate traits), The Noble Savage (society corrupts people; we are born pure, unselfish), and The Ghost in the Machine (a soul which exists independently of our biology). After showing these beliefs are not true, Pinker meticulously lays out why they were promulgated through the academy and have seeped into the mainstream and why many continue to cling onto them when most evidence points to the contrary... bona fide scientists (or “radical scientists” as Pinker calls them) were responsible for ignoring and obfuscating the results from the new sciences and the mistreatment of its participants. For example, Stephen Jay Gould whom I considered a stalwart of popular science, took part in a campaign with Richard Lewontin to discredit E.O. Wilson’s Sociobiology by lumping Wilson in with eugenicists and social darwinists. Pinker also tells us of the anthropologist Margaret Mead — the same person who said something as uplifting as “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — consciously neglecting the effects of genes on human behavior and denigrating the proponents of the new sciences, but telling her daughter in private that she credited her own intellectual talents to her genes. The protests, slanders, and libels Pinker reports by activists and scholars that were heaped onto individuals who dared to explore the roots of human nature are, read a decade and a half later, as disturbing as they are prophetic... industrial-scale atrocities can occur from believing we are Blank Slates as well. They are not the domain of one ideology; as Pinker notes: “though both Nazi and Marxist ideologies led to industrial-scale killing, their biological and psychological theories were opposites.”... Mao and Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, who exterminated far more than Hitler did, explicitly endorsed the Blank Slate view of humanity. Believing that all individuals are born equal in tendencies, traits, and talents leaves an adherent of this view to wonder why is it exactly that some do better than others. Class, hidden wealth, cheating, scheming, etcetera are all answers offered in response. Those who were believed to be bourgeoisie carried a permanent stigma in post-revolutionary regimes and were persecuted for being “rich peasants” and privileged."

Female Economic Dependence and the Morality of Promiscuity - "In environments in which female economic dependence on a male mate is higher, male parental investment is more essential. In such environments, therefore, both sexes should value paternity certainty more and thus object more to promiscuity (because promiscuity undermines paternity certainty). We tested this theory of anti-promiscuity morality in two studies (N = 656 and N = 4,626) using U.S. samples. In both, we examined whether opposition to promiscuity was higher among people who perceived greater female economic dependence in their social network. In Study 2, we also tested whether economic indicators of female economic dependence (e.g., female income, welfare availability) predicted anti-promiscuity morality at the state level. Results from both studies supported the proposed theory. At the individual level, perceived female economic dependence explained significant variance in anti-promiscuity morality, even after controlling for variance explained by age, sex, religiosity, political conservatism, and the anti-promiscuity views of geographical neighbors. At the state level, median female income was strongly negatively related to anti-promiscuity morality and this relationship was fully mediated by perceived female economic dependence. These results were consistent with the view that anti-promiscuity beliefs may function to promote paternity certainty in circumstances where male parental investment is particularly important."

When Men Pay Taxes, Women Become Promiscuous. - "The woman is free from the man, but as a group, women are still completely dependent on men. Men are still the providers of society, but instead of having full autonomy over their money, the government takes a large chunk of it to finance services that will mostly be used by women."

Female police captain in Indiana suspended after ‘white male privilege’ remark - The Washington Post - "“I was racially and sexistly slurred by Captain Carri Weber while I was asking a question of the instructor in training,” the officer wrote in the complaint. “I am now firmly aware of the discriminatory belief she just verbally communicated. … There is no place in the Plainfield Police administration or supervision for someone who holds and espouses her discriminatory views.” Weber was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 16. She was previously suspended in August for violating a department policy by driving her squad car within eight hours of drinking alcohol and for having alcohol in her squad car"

Korean Gamers Outraged Over Western Feminist Revisions To Their History - "This outrage stemming from the Western developers choice to have the nation be represented in game, by the historical Queen Seondeok. A ruler with a far from positive reputation among Koreans. Traditionally in the Civilization series, nations are represented by a single leader that normally is the best or at least most famous in that country’s history. In the latest game in the series however, greater emphasis has been put on adding “diversity” to the roster of leaders. Its own developers stating, “We strive to have a diverse and varied selection of leaders, and it is also very important to us to include female leaders.” While adding more female leaders is perfectly fine, in the legitimate cases where a reasonable candidate exists. The reason so many Korean gamers are up in arms, is that they firmly believe anyone with even a basic knowledge of their history would understand that Queen Seondeok doesn’t fit that bill. A totally separate issue is simply how the Queen is being physically portrayed by the American developer. With many people suggesting she simply doesn’t even look ethnically Korean"

Artificial Wombs Are Nearly Here and Feminists Are Already Freaking Out - "Some Feminists have even already expressed their panic at the idea that abortion laws could possibly be changed to forced extraction of the undesired child rather than simply killing it. Other Feminists simply seem wary of handing “over women’s sacred birthing ability to science”... Samantha fully admits that the technology will help many women, but then immediately raises objections against it because it might hurt “the cause”."
Yet, feminists were crowing when Dolly came out and were happy that men were no longer needed

Men Love Skinny Women and the Left Hates Science, What Else Is New? - "This battle between the left and a still for now free and objective scientific community played out again just this past week when a peer reviewed study from 2015 was released to the public online. Entitled, The relationship of female physical attractiveness to body fatness, this new study had the feminist contingent of the SJW brigade up in arms over its mere existence let alone the results. The results didn’t help matters though when it found that rather unsurprisingly, men tend to find skinnier and younger looking women to be more attractive. For the purposes of the study men from 10 different countries around the world were asked to rank a series of different body shapes in order of attractiveness. The 10 countries were chosen in hopes of showing that at least on some level men’s tastes were influenced by local culture and societal norms rather then just a basic universally shared biological predisposition to a certain body type. Unfortunately for those body positive feminists out there the results were amazingly consistent across the board. From the UK, to Kenya, to China. Men tended to prefer thinner women unanimously"

How to Tell If You’re Living in a Patriarchy: A Historical Perspective - "A better criticism of the concept of patriarchy as a simplistic gendered power-structure is that this ignores the fact that there are different spheres of power and different ways to exert it and that whilst women may not have had much legal power, they possessed it in other forms. Much of my work has focused on the ways in which women obtained autonomy and authority for themselves using the systems of law, social expectation, community justice and religion. Recent social history attempting to uncover women’s history has revealed a far more active role for women than was previously assumed... there would be no need to keep telling women to avoid talking a lot, talking loudly, talking angrily, arguing with husbands, visiting friends, markets, taverns, getting drunk and attending wrestling and blood sports if they weren’t doing all those things fairly consistently... Further complicating simplistic ideas of patriarchy is the fact that women were generally accepted to have the right to police the moral behaviour of other women... Since women have had access to all professions, they have quickly come to dominate education, healthcare, publishing and psychology. Does this make these heavily social fields, which guide how society thinks and feels, matriarchal?... we have a society in which violence by men against women is taken very seriously and punished more harshly than violence by men against men and much more than violence by women against anyone. Violence against women is also despised culturally and men are by far the greatest victims of violence. We have shelters for women and very few for men. We have a special register for sex-offenders and they have to be segregated from other violent offenders in prison because hatred of them is so profound. It is very difficult to argue that a culture which regards sexual abuse of women as so abhorrent is a rape culture or that one which is so much more concerned about female victims of violence than male victims is a patriarchy in which women are devalued and abuse of them is acceptable... it is demonstrably false to claim that society approves more of sexist men than sexist women. We saw Tim Hunt reduced to tears, contemplating suicide and feeling compelled to resign following a joke about sexist attitudes and recently an Uber director resigned following outrage that he had said a meeting with more women in it was a meeting with more talking. Meanwhile prominent female figures including politicians have been able to use the term “mansplaining” without comparable censure."

Logan Gaudreau's answer to Has there been any case of enemy soldiers showing respect in WW2? - Quora - "Colonel Hans von Luck, while fighting the British in the deserts of North Africa, communicated with the British commander and they agreed to fight a ‘gentleman’s war.’ Every day at 5 pm, they would have ‘quiet time’, and war would shut down - the British to brew their tea, the Germans their coffee. This was also because it got dark and there were incredible sandstorms after 5 pm, which were very tough to operate productively or safely in, especially for vehicles and aircraft."

“It’s Ok to Be German” Signs Popping Up Everywhere Around Germany - "According to a popular 4chan post, the purpose of the initial flier campaign, was (or rather, is) to gauge reactions towards the statement to prove a point. Not too long ago, a survey was taken that showed that a majority of white Americans feel discriminated against. Although much of the media scoffed in the face of this claim, the overall reaction to the assertion, “It’s okay to be white,” goes to show that such feelings of being discriminated against may not be entirely unfounded"

Immigrant Crime Rates in Germany, by Anatoly Karlin - "I do find the killer performance of the likes of Lebanon, Tunisia and Algeria in the homicide rates to be unduly impressive. After all, according to international homicide rate statistics, the Maghreb is actually rather civilized – 2.2/100,000 in Tunisia and Morocco, and a mere 0.7/100,000 in Algeria (lower than in Germany itself at 0.8/100,000). Lebanon for all its chaos is also at 2.2/100,000. Homicide rates are the one major type of crime that can be reliably measured across countries, so that actually makes them safer than large chunks of Eastern Europe, including Poland before the 2000s. But for some reason when they come to Europe their homicide rates soar by an order of magnitude. What could be the cause? Lower migrant quality relative to their average population? Being overwhelmingly drawn from ethnic groups with a higher relative proposensity towards violence? (hbd*chick noticed that a disproportionate number of Muslim terrorists in the Paris Attacks had Berber backgrounds; does this extend to “ordinary” criminal violence?). Or perhaps this is one case where it is not so much a case of ethnicity as of culture – namely, traditional and/or authoritarian societies being better at keeping a lid on violent crime than the dissolute anomie of Western urbanism? I don’t know, but this discrepancy has to be explained. Note that 70% of prisoners in French jails are Muslim"

What is going wrong in France's prisons? - "he filmed life inside with a secret camera, footage from which was used in an April 2009 documentary. It showed the violence of life in Europe’s largest prison – but also the ingenuity; food was cooked on improvised stoves, marijuana was given to the guards to keep them on side, and messages were passed from cell to cell with “Yo Yos”, plastic bottles swung between bars on a ripped strip of a bed sheet. “It’s a school of delinquency,” said one of the inmates. Coulibaly, fanatic about his PlayStation and football games on the computer, was furious about having it confiscated by guards."

Primary schools allowing hundreds of girls as young as five 'to wear hijabs as part of uniform' - "The growing trend has been criticised by some campaigners who pointed out the headscarf is supposed to be worn by a girl when she reaches puberty - not a child."

SWTOR Former SWTOR Dev Damion Schubert Talks About Loot Boxes - "The number one mistake that I’ve seen in F2P games is devs who don’t understand that NOT SPENDING IS NORMAL PLAY. Most of your customers will NEVER give you a dime... MTX will fail if it *doesn’t feel good to spend*. It will fail if it creates a poisonous environment around the game instead of excitement"

Christopher Restemayer's answer to What are some of the rarely mentioned facts about the Roman Empire? - Quora - "My Latin professor once told us that if you really want to understand a culture, ignore their dramas (They’re all the same), and examine their comedy. The Romans loved excessively crude humor. Dick jokes… Fart jokes… Sex jokes… All of it. That was their thing."

The 1 % of the population accountable for 63 % of all violent crime convictions - "The majority of violent crimes are perpetrated by a small number of persistent violent offenders, typically males, characterized by early onset of violent criminality, substance abuse, personality disorders, and nonviolent criminality."

Why Universities Have Shifted to the Political Left in the past 20 Years - "some disciplines skew substantially further to the left than academia as a whole. While roughly 60% of all professors self-identify as liberals, that number tops 80% among English professors. History, political science, fine arts, and the other humanities and social sciences are all substantially more liberal than the academy as a whole. They have also shifted further left with the overall trends seen in the chart above. The leftward skew of the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences matters because these disciplines have also exhibited faster growth in faculty employment than the rest of academia, despite having notoriously saturated job markets in many cases... the two biggest declines in percentage points were the natural sciences (-1.79) and engineering (-0.87).... The cumulative effect is to pull the university system as a whole even further to the left, yielding the overall pattern we have seen in the faculty survey at a time when the American public at large has maintained a fairly stable liberal/conservative divide"

Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar Back Away From Chinese Projects - "Pakistan, Nepal and Myanmar have canceled or sidelined three major hydroelectricity projects planned by Chinese companies. The rejection of the three projects, worth nearly $20 billion, comes as a serious jolt to China’s ambitious trade-linking project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)."

Scott Adams: Trump Will ‘Probably Be One of the Most Consequential Presidents of All Time’

Looking for the ‘Bad Mother?’ She’s Still Here - NYTimes.com - "It was 2005 when Ayelet Waldman declared in Modern Love that she was the only one in her Mommy and Me class who was still having sex with her husband (the novelist Michael Chabon) — and liking it. She went on to aver that she loved him more passionately than she did their four children, and that she thought she could survive their deaths, but not his. The backlash was swift and vicious, as mothers everywhere howled their protest... Ms. Waldman found a note on the gate of her family’s Berkeley house, threatening to turn her in to social services"
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