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Friday, June 15, 2018

Links - 15th June 2018 (1)

Dominant or Submissive? Paradox of Power in Sexual Relations - "“The desire of the man is for the woman; the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man” (p. 109). If a large part of a woman’s arousal derives from feeling sexually desired—or even better, irresistible—then we can appreciate the essential plot line of virtually all romance novels, which for decades have been hugely popular. And if this continually repeating fictional fantasy never seems to grow old, it’s because so many female readers seem hard-wired to respond to it... Now, unequivocally, she’s become his love object. Hopelessly enamored of her, he’s now totally dedicated and committed. Their emotional bond permanently secured by the heroine’s (ugh) Magic Hoo Hoo, relational power shifts to her and (as romance authors describe it) for the good of both of them... each of them now has control... but in different ways. Historically, a great number of romance novels have spotlighted the heroine’s non-consensual, and even degrading, sexual deflowering by the hero. And, according to Ogas and Gaddam, rape was a frequent occurrence in such fiction in the ’70 and ’80s. But there’s nonetheless a certain consent implicit in the female reader’s tacit agreement to vicariously participate in (or surrender to) such a dangerous, threatening, yet terribly exciting, experience. That is, the reader’s involvement in episodes of possibly brutal domination is essentially voluntary, volitional. So, in identifying with the heroine, the "spectator" not only can bask in the experience of being physically irresistible to the hero but—through simultaneously distancing herself from anything that might be too disturbing about the heroine’s deflowering—also maintain sufficient control over the situation. The formulaic ending of the romantic adventure is that whereas the innocent, submissive heroine may earlier have been sexually deflowered by the alpha hero, now he’s emotionally deflowered by her. Her Magic Hoo Hoo has, after all, both tamed and conquered him, so at last he may become the strong, steady, safe and protective mate of the heroine's dreams."

Cues of upper body strength account for most of the variance in men's bodily attractiveness. - "Estimates of physical strength determined over 70% of men's bodily attractiveness. Additional analyses showed that tallness and leanness were also favoured, and, along with estimates of physical strength, accounted for 80% of men's bodily attractiveness. Contrary to popular theories of men's physical attractiveness, there was no evidence of a nonlinear effect; the strongest men were the most attractive in all samples"

Singapore's e-payment space gets overcrowded - "the unique mobile payments such as NetsPay, DBS Paylah, Grabpay, and Alipay, led to the need for multiple payment terminals and the need for multiple payment apps. "This has hindered the take up of fintech, with consumers and merchants alike requiring multiple systems"... This was seen in the system launched at a hawker centre in Jurong West, where stalls accepted eight kinds of e-payments, including EZ-Link cards and Apple Pay. BMI Research cited a report that said hawkers faced broken down machines, expensive use of e-payment terminals, lack of customer interest, and lag in obtaining credit from the systems."

Why the Center-Left Became Immoderate - WSJ - "Contrast the centrists with leftist standard-bearers like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They’re no fans of Mr. Trump, but they haven’t been at the forefront of calls for impeachment or intensifying the Russia investigation. Instead, they have focused their efforts on broadening the Democratic Party’s base with a more inclusive populism that takes seriously the systemic causes of inequality. Both have resisted the urge to write off Mr. Trump’s supporters, and Mr. Sanders in particular has made outreach to Republicans a major part of his postelection message. Mr. Sanders seems instinctively uncomfortable with identity politics, a Democratic preference that makes it harder to reach out to Trump voters since identities are more fixed than interests or ideas. The mainstream media generally share a center-left worldview. Most reporters aren’t Marxists or even Sandernistas, and anti-Trump alarmism—what some scholars have called “tyrannophobia”—has become a consistent theme. The idea of a Trump dictatorship may be compelling, but that doesn’t make it right, particularly when it distorts how one perceives actual tyranny. Consider the weekend’s fawning Olympic coverage of Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un... politicians who are committed to a set of ideas also tend to have less to prove. They don’t need to play to the base; they can lead the base"

How Cashews Explain Globalization - WSJ - "In Kollam, having achieved domination of the global cashew trade, political leaders discouraged mechanization and the job losses that would entail. “When mechanization comes, who loses jobs? The poor people. We can’t do that,” says R. Rajesh, managing director at the Kerala State Cashew Workers Apex Industrial Cooperative Society, commonly known as Capex, which operates 10 processing facilities. Private processors were inhibited from aggressively automating by local laws that prevented them from laying off workers and thus denied much of the cost savings and efficiencies more machines would have brought... The result has been disaster for Kollam. Private processors have moved operations to other states in India, often just across the border from Kerala, where wages are lower and they can mechanize factories. Kerala state government-controlled companies, which cannot move production, simply operate in the red... Earlier this year Capex couldn’t afford to buy raw nuts and had to shut down for weeks. To trim its workforce, Capex says it hasn’t hired new workers in more than five years. Through attrition, it now employs 3,500, half its workforce in 2010. Its goal of protecting jobs has backfired badly."

Distorted Campus Assault Math - WSJ - "Forty-one percent of Tulane’s undergraduate women have been sexually assaulted since arriving on campus, the university reported last month. That’s a shocking statistic, but is it true?... The school goes beyond rape or attempted rape to include any form of unwanted sexual contact, including a stolen kiss or hug. The latter may be unwelcome but are they assault? This definition helps explain why nearly 38% of female undergraduates and 16% of males said they’d been victims of unwanted sexual contact... Students were asked if they agreed with the statements, “I don’t think sexual violence is a problem at Tulane” and “there isn’t much need for me to think about sexual violence while at college.” Disagreement indicates that sexual violence is a pressing issue. But students who agree risk being seen as ignorant or uncaring, which some campuses and activists say is evidence of a “rape culture.” ... U.S. military sexual-assault prevention training sessions recently claimed “one drink means you can’t consent.” The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals said in 2016 that this standard was a “legally-inaccurate proposition.”... Stanford student Rhea Karuturi described how female students suffered from “rape anxiety”—the perception that “when you’re walking, when you’re going somewhere new, whatever—that there is a danger you could get raped.” Increasingly, campus-climate surveys tell women they’re in perpetual danger, though federal crime statistics suggest they’re safer from sexual assault in college than off campus. If the goal is to protect women, this is the wrong way to do it."

Artist who painted Penang murals barred from Malaysia - "“At that point, I requested to talk to the immigration officer. I had explained my situation and reasons for travel, to which the officer responded that my passport has already been stamped and I won’t be able to enter the country with that stamp in my passport. To any further questions, I was threatened to be dealt with by airport security staff,” the artist said. .. he has reached out to the Malaysian High Commission here in hopes of an explanation or solution. However, once again he was told that the ‘denied entry’ stamp in his passport is an immigration officer’s decision that cannot be changed or revoked... He said it all comes down to what he called the incompetence of the immigration and the airline staff. “Their behaviour was poorly informed and unprofessional that led to all this nonsense to happen in the first place.” “Even during my visit to the Malaysian embassy in Singapore, I met a 20-year-old German guy travelling to Malaysia with his Malaysian mother, and he too was denied entry with no resolution. These things happen every day but do not make the news very often” "
Malysia Boleh!

Why is Thaipoosam not so famous among people in Tamil Nadu as compared to Tamils in Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius etc? - Quora - "Let us now come now to Malyasia - the land responsible for the resurgence of the festival. The festival was revived in Malaysia in the new temple Batu caves, about 10 miles North of KL. In the 1880s, a certain Tambusamy Pillai is said to have a divine vision for a temple for large number Tamil migrants. Today the festival draws nearly a million pilgrims, dwarfing even Palani in its enthusiasm. There is nothing like that anywhere in India: people in trance carried forward by their relatives or the intense multiple piercing that is banned in India. Enthusiasm for this festival in Malaysia means it spread everywhere there is an overseas Tamil population: Singapore, Seychelles, Mauritius, Thailand, etc... Tamil diaspora overseas adopted a Kavadi tradition based on Palani - the most famous of Muruga temple - whereas in Tamilnadu itself, there is no just one day where all temples take Kavadi or dedicate to Muruga. Hence there is no Thaipusam festival holiday in Tamilnadu but it is very much there where there are the overseas Tamil communities. The festival Thaipusam - though rooted in tradition - is, thus, mainly a diaspora thing."

Different impacts of resources on opposite sex ratings of physical attractiveness by males and females - "Parental investment hypotheses regarding mate selection suggest that human males should seek partners featured by youth and high fertility. However, females should be more sensitive to resources that can be invested on themselves and their offspring. Previous studies indicate that economic status is indeed important in male attractiveness. However, no previous study has quantified and compared the impact of equivalent resources on male and female attractiveness. Annual salary is a direct way to evaluate economic status. Here, we combined images of male and female body shape with information on annual salary to elucidate the influence of economic status on the attractiveness ratings by opposite sex raters in American, Chinese and European populations. We found that ratings of attractiveness were around 1000 times more sensitive to salary for females rating males, compared to males rating females. These results indicate that higher economic status can offset lower physical attractiveness in men much more easily than in women. Neither raters' BMI nor age influenced this effect for females rating male attractiveness. This difference explains many features of human mating behavior and may pose a barrier for male engagement in low-consumption lifestyles."

A guy asked me out today and I told him 'no', but I wanted him to try harder. Why didn't he try again? - Quora
When a lady says no...

Best of Money: ‘We’re struggling to get by on £200,000 a year’ - "“In theory, with our household income, we are in the top 5 per cent of the UK population and yet it does not feel that way,” she says. “If you’re earning millions of pounds, then you’re OK — and at the other end of the spectrum you get everything paid for. We are caught in the middle where we are paying for everything.”... They may be in well-paid jobs, but having started a family, are seeing their income sapped by rising property prices, school fees and childcare costs. At the same time, public policy has moved against them. The removal of child benefit and entitlement to tax-efficient childcare vouchers for higher earners — while a politically popular move — has added to their expenditure, as have new requirements to provide nannies with pensions."

5-Figure Income Family Who Wants Help From Budget 2018 Triggers Netizens
Someone told me each kid costs $2,000, so no wonder 3 kids are so expensive

Gender Wage Gap: Women Invest Less, Carry More Debt - "women don’t invest as much as men do. And they don’t invest as early as men do, either. Of all the assets women control—both inside and outside their portfolios—they keep a full 71% in cash, according to a survey by BlackRock, whereas men hold 60%. Cash may feel like zero risk, but it also has zero potential to grow as stocks do over time. And even with low inflation, the purchasing power of that cash will decline over time. So the price of certainty you get with cash is high... women are carrying more debt for the exact same things that men do"
Of course they make the classic mistake of looking at women who do invest, seeing that they do better than men and concluding women are better investors (i.e. ignoring selection bias)

Informal service: In the Israeli military, gays serve openly, women can let their hair down and everyone is on a first-name basis - "“I know a few gay people in the army and people knew and their commanders knew and it was not a problem,” Altmann said. Still, he said, they did not serve, as far as he knew, in the infantry. “The whole ambience — it’s very masculine,” he said. “In a combat unit, if he would say he’s gay, it wouldn’t be comfortable for anyone.”"

Matthew Shepard and the gatekeepers of the gay orthodoxy - "the Matthew Shepard story, a US 21-year-old student who was allegedly beaten to death for being gay in 1998, as it has been popularly told has little, if anything, to do with the details of Matthew’s life and death...
‘There is something terrible about the alchemy that tries to turn a human into a symbol… To turn a human into a symbol, you have to take away the humanity.’... To me, it’s a subtle form of homophobia to exclude from Matthew’s memory all those things that made him human, including his flaws. As gay people, we shouldn’t be held to a different standard of being human than anyone else...
Speaking after Charlie Hebdo, Salman Rushdie said that ‘frontiers are dangerous places’, since writers and artists are vulnerable when they venture on to sacred ground. I imagine that you’ve learned plenty about what Rushdie describes as the ‘people in the world who don’t want the universe opened up a little more, who in fact would rather prefer it to be shut down’."

The scammers gaming India’s overcrowded job market - "Americans lose around $1.5bn to tech-support scams every year; 86% of them originate in India... It’s often just a matter of time before the new recruits forget their life goals and start to thrill in their ability to pull off a scam. “Everyone thought they were characters from Wolf of Wall Street,” said Singh. “People turned up at work high on weed. Everyone abused each other across the floor for not being able to cheat like a pro.”... “In Delhi, you can’t become an important man without pulling some kind of fraud”"

Why exercise won't make you thin - "The Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical research establishment in the US, reports that, in general, studies "have demonstrated no or modest weight loss with exercise alone" and that "an exercise regimen… is unlikely to result in short-term weight loss beyond what is achieved with dietary change."... From a practical perspective, then, exercise is never going to be an effective way of slimming, unless you have the training schedule – and the willpower – of an Olympic athlete... there was no significant difference in weight loss between those who had exercised – some of them for several days a week – and those who hadn't... Some of the women even gained weight... In some cases, they were less physically active in their daily life as well... have we confused cause and effect? Terry Wilkin, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, argues that we have. The title of his latest research is: "Fatness leads to inactivity, but inactivity does not lead to fatness"... "physical activity is controlled by the brain, not by the environment – if you're given a big opportunity to exercise at one time of day you'll compensate at another."... moderate exercise such as "low-intensity ambulation" (ie walking) may help to burn calories "without triggering a caloric compensation effect" – ie without making you reach for a snack the moment you're done... research has confirmed that it is more difficult for women to shed the pounds than men, because women's bodies are simply more efficient at storing fat"

Slavery exhibition featuring black actors chained in cages shut down - "A controversial art exhibition featuring black actors chained and in cages to depict the horror of slavery has been closed by the Barbican gallery following a vociferous campaign of protest... The installation arrived in the capital with an enviable reputation. Peter Brook described it as “an extraordinary achievement”. A review in the Guardian said the South African artist’s work was both “unbearable and essential”. According to the Barbican itself, “Exhibit B critiques the ‘human zoos’ and ethnographic displays that showed Africans as objects of scientific curiosity through the 19th and early 20th centuries.” The 12 tableaux featured “motionless performers placed in settings drawn from real life.” Together, it said, the images “confront colonial atrocities committed in Africa, European notions of racial supremacy and the plight of immigrants today.” But protesters said any good intentions were outweighed by the scenes of degradation. Among the strongest supporters of the project were the actors involved"
Isn't art supposed to be provocative?
Will people dismiss the actors' views because they gained personally from the project?

Racehorse named Horsey McHorseface in Boaty McBoatface homage - "A two-year-old gelding destined to race in Australia has been saddled with the name Horsey McHorseface. The name is a reference to Boaty McBoatface, the leading choice in a public poll to name a British research vessel."
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