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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Links - 16th June 2018 (2)

Countries with Higher Levels of Gender Equality Show Larger National Sex Differences in Mathematics Anxiety and Relatively Lower Parental Mathematics Valuation for Girls - "we tested a number of predictions from the prominent gender stratification model, which is the leading psychological theory of cross-national patterns of sex differences in mathematics anxiety and performance. To this end, we analyzed data from 761,655 15-year old students across 68 nations who participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Most importantly and contra predictions, we showed that economically developed and more gender equal countries have a lower overall level of mathematics anxiety, and yet a larger national sex difference in mathematics anxiety relative to less developed countries. Further, although relatively more mothers work in STEM fields in more developed countries, these parents valued, on average, mathematical competence more in their sons than their daughters. The proportion of mothers working in STEM was unrelated to sex differences in mathematics anxiety or performance. We propose that the gender stratification model fails to account for these national patterns and that an alternative model is needed"
This is a blow to the "role models" and "normalisation" theory of motivation (which is used, among other things, to justify quotas). Again, feminism fails (absent elaborate ad hoc hypotheses and falsifiable voodoo logic)

The More Gender Equality, the Fewer Women in STEM - "women in countries with higher gender inequality are simply seeking the clearest possible path to financial freedom. And often, that path leads through STEM professions... in almost all the countries—all except Romania and Lebanon—boys’ best subject was science, and girls’ was reading. (That is, even if an average girl was as good as an average boy at science, she was still likely to be even better at reading.) Across all countries, 24 percent of girls had science as their best subject, 25 percent of girls’ strength was math, and 51 percent excelled in reading. For boys, the percentages were 38 for science, 42 for math, and 20 for reading. And the more gender-equal the country, as measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index, the larger this gap between boys and girls in having science as their best subject... the countries that minted the most female college graduates in fields like science, engineering, or math were also some of the least gender-equal countries. They posit that this is because the countries that empower women also empower them, indirectly, to pick whatever career they’d enjoy most and be best at."
Presumably, in Google this would be considered hate speech

Study: Leftists just as likely to be dogmatic authoritarians as those on the right - "left-wing authoritarianism was associated with liberal views, dogmatism, and prejudice among both samples of participants, suggesting it is a valid concept."

Guess Which Mass Murderers Came From A Fatherless Home - "As University of Virginia Professor Brad Wilcox pointed out back in 2013: “From shootings at MIT (i.e., the Tsarnaev brothers) to the University of Central Florida to the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., nearly every shooting over the last year in Wikipedia’s ‘list of U.S. school attacks’ involved a young man whose parents divorced or never married in the first place.” His observation is largely ignored. In contrast, conversations about black-on-black violence often raise the link between broken households (or fatherless homes) and juvenile delinquency. But when the conversation turns to mass shootings, we seem to forget that link altogether."
Those who talk about "toxic masculinity" argue at the same time that having no fathers doesn't affect children (despite plenty of research showing this is false)

Negative adult influences and the protective effects of role models: A study with urban adolescents - "adolescents’ exposure to negative adult behavior was associated with increased externalizing, internalizing, and substance using behaviors, as well as more negative school attitudes and behavior. We found that role models had protective effects on externalizing and internalizing behaviors and compensatory effects on school outcomes. Collectively, our findings indicate that role models can contribute to the resilience of African American adolescents who are exposed to negative nonparental adult behavior...
When asked to identify significant persons in their lives, adolescents overwhelmingly name parents and other members of their immediate and extended family (Blyth, Hill, & Theil, 1982; Galbo, 1983; Hendry, Roberts, Glendinning, & Coleman, 1992; Shade, 1983), with females more likely to list their mothers, and males more likely to list their fathers as the most significant adult in their lives"

Russia Only Bought Facebook Ads After Trump Won The Election - "Facebook’s vice president of advertising Rob Goldman took to Twitter to state that even though most of the coverage on Russia’s alleged involvement in Trump’s victory at the polls revolves around their supposed attempt to influence the outcome of the election, the Russian ad spend only occurred well after the election... “The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election,” he continued, launching into a condemnation of the mainstream media. “We shared the fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Trump and the election.”"

Simon Lanham stabbed by his girlfriend faces double standards - "During his stay in hospital he claims one doctor said; 'So mate, we are all dying to know did you deserve it?'"

SOROS: Online Speech Is a 'Public Menace' that Must Be Regulated - "Since the populist outcome of the Brexit vote, George Soros has met with the European Union’s unelected leadership 11 times. Britain’s elected Prime Minister, Theresa May, pales in comparison with only 3 meetings. Soros has aggressively opposed Brexit, recently providing half a million British pounds of support to groups blocking the historic vote to leave the E.U. Social media’s effectiveness has surprised Soros in multiple elections with ideas that would otherwise only be spread by those with vast financial means."

Apple's Excellence in Design Leads to Employees Smacking Into Glass Walls - "It’s hard to imagine a more metaphor-packed scenario than Apple’s products distracting its employees as they weave through a perfectly designed office and bang their faces into glass walls"

A Prosecutor's Disillusionment With India's Fight Against Rape - "A study by the Delhi commission for Women found that 53.2% of rape cases filed between April 2013 and July 2014 were proven false. Another study of rape cases in Delhi found that in over 20% of the cases, the alleged victim admitted to having filed a false complaint or turned hostile to the prosecution... The current scenario of an unrealistically low burden of proof (the law presumes a woman will not falsely claim to have been raped) coupled with an unacceptably high rate of false accusations is a perfect recipe for miscarriage of justice. Contrary to what we have been led to believe, India has one of the strongest anti-sex crime laws in the world. The presumption that a woman would never falsely claim to have been raped due to stigma attached to being a sex crime victim, and ‘rape on breach of promise to marry’ are exclusive to the Indian criminal justice system. In my experience as a public prosecutor, a rapist walking free due to legal technicalities is unheard of... The knee jerk approach of increasing criminal liability and enacting overly broad laws without understanding its unintended side effects has and will continue to only lead to questionable convictions and frittering away of resources from genuine victims... The most important change, however, is a change in society’s perception of women, a change that involves viewing women as equals to men, not the weaker sex that needs to be protected by special laws."
In other words, victim culture entrenches women's inferiority

Civil servants are 'refusing to probe illegal immigrants' - "Some Whitehall ministries outright ‘refused requests’ for information while others asked for a fee, according to the study by immigration watchdog David Bolt."

Fundamentalists vs The New York Times - "It ought to have been obvious to all but the most stubbornly obtuse that Weiss was using Nagasu’s accomplishment to salute the part played by immigrants in America’s successes, and that she did so to signal her explicit disapproval of xenophobic politics. A backlash might therefore have been expected from the retrogressive Right, but it came instead from the retrogressive Left. Nagasu, Weiss’s critics complained, had been born in California to immigrant parents, so describing her as an “immigrant” is evidence of racism. As condescension and abuse piled up in her mentions, Weiss deleted the tweet but her refusal to apologise only sent her critics into new paroxysms of high dudgeon... Criticism of Weiss’s tweet grew to encompass her views on unrelated topics, and articles that she (and even members of her family) had written for the Wall Street Journal were circulated on social media as further evidence of her political transgressions... Mutiny stirred even within the New York Times itself, and as their embattled colleague tried to defend herself on social media, Times employees took to the Slack chatroom to bellyache about “microagressions,” the merits of mandatory “implicit bias training,” and the “hostile work environment” allegedly produced by Weiss’s innocuous tweet... The accusations made by the Farrow family are in fact extremely dubious, but certainty regarding Allen’s guilt seems to have calcified into an article of faith among progressive millennials, in particular. To disagree is, by itself, enough to be considered morally and politically suspect... Stephens was not the first person to point out that, if the statistics routinely cited by anti-rape activists were accurate, levels of sexual violence on college campuses would be comparable to those found in the war zone of East Congo. Nevertheless, for Osita Nwanevu at Slate, Stephens’s use of this analogy was prima facie evidence of racism... All of the accusations against Stephens fell apart once subjected to a moment’s critical scrutiny, but the prevailing mood amongst the readership and wider Left was one of denunciation not inquiry... as the Left continues to divide against itself in the Trump era, heterodox opinions on a whole range of complex questions are being re-described as heresies so that the sphere of reasonable disagreement diminishes while the list of non-negotiable orthodoxies lengthens. Invited to discuss the vilification of political scientist Charles Murray at Middlebury on Charlie Rose last year, the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt described the incident in explicitly religious terms. “The best way to understand what happened,” Haidt argued, “is an auto-da-fé – a religious rite.” That is why the protesters were so adamant that the event be moved off-campus, he explained: “The campus is like a church and you cannot have blasphemy on campus.”"

Bari Weiss, Outrage Mobs, and Identity Politics - "In our identitarian age, the bar for offense has been lowered considerably, which makes democratic debate more difficult—citizens are more likely to withhold their true opinions if they fear being labeled as bigoted or insensitive. (The irony, of course, is that I can be a critic of identity politics without being labeled racist in part because of identity politics.) In the longer term, the effects of identity-driven discussions become even more pernicious. As I recently argued, basing our positions on who we are rather than what we believe is polarizing precisely because identities are more fixed than ideas. This is why identity politics can sometimes seem like a new sort of political theology. Belief and conviction are good things, but only if there’s something to believe in. Identity politics and the virtue-outbidding it necessitates often signal the absence of religion in search of religion—with followers mimicking its constituent elements: ritual, purity, atonement, and excommunication. In purely practical terms, moral posturing doesn’t usually change anyone’s mind, because people intuitively interpret it “as a form of jockeying for in-group status.” But it doesn’t need to change minds, nor is it necessarily supposed to. Its point is to transform politics into a question of purity. It’s not enough to have the right opinion or intent: The precise words used to convey the right opinion become just as important, as Weiss herself quickly found out. Within this framework, acknowledging the legitimacy of different opinions—if the language used can conceivably be seen as insensitive to a disadvantaged group—becomes more than difficult, too; it becomes a moral failing"

Classical Music’s White Male Supremacy is Overt, Pervasive, and a Problem

Exclusive: Fake black activist social media accounts linked to Russian government - "A social media campaign calling itself "Blacktivist" and linked to the Russian government used both Facebook and Twitter in an apparent attempt to amplify racial tensions during the U.S. presidential election, two sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN... Both Blacktivist accounts, each of which used the handle Blacktivists, regularly shared content intended to stoke outrage. "Black people should wake up as soon as possible," one post on the Twitter account read. "Black families are divided and destroyed by mass incarceration and death of black men," another read. The accounts also posted videos of police violence against African Americans. The Blacktivist accounts provide further evidence that Russian-linked social media accounts saw racial tensions as something to be exploited in order to achieve the broader Russian goal of dividing Americans and creating chaos in U.S. politics during a campaign in which race repeatedly became an issue. The Facebook account had 360,000 likes, more than the verified Black Lives Matter account on Facebook, which currently has just over 301,000."
That moment when you rage against the Russians but simultaneously stoke identity politics tensions yourself

The Korean grandmothers who sell sex - "Sex with them costs 20,000 to 30,000 Won (£11-17), but sometimes they'll give you a discount if they know you"

Orientalist Feminism Rears its Head in India - "“Native informants”–people who can give us the illusion of authenticity in promoting these narratives by identifying as nationals from the countries and societies in question, such as Mona Eltahawy and Ayaan Hirsi Ali–are key to this narrative"
Lived experience only counts when it supports the narrative, and everywhere on earth is equally bad

Why is Modern Art so Bad? - "something happened on the way to the 20th Century. The profound, the inspiring and the beautiful were replaced by the new, the different, and the ugly. Today the silly, the pointless, and the purely offensive are held up as the best of modern art... Beginning in the late 19th century, a group dubbed The Impressionists rebelled against the French Academie des Beaux Arts and its demand for classical standards. Whatever their intentions, the new modernists sowed the seeds of aesthetic relativism -- the "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" mentality. Today everybody loves the Impressionists. And, as with most revolutions, the first generation or so produced work of genuine merit. Monet, Renoir, and Degas still maintained elements of disciplined design and execution, but with each new generation standards declined until there were no standards. All that was left was personal expression. The great art historian Jacob Rosenberg wrote that quality in art "is not merely a matter of personal opinion but to a high degree . . . objectively traceable." But the idea of a universal standard of quality in art is now usually met with strong resistance if not open ridicule."

H.I.S. ‘fly with girls of Todai’ campaign crashes as travel agency assailed - "Major travel agency H.I.S. Co. has been forced to cancel a sales campaign offering customers the chance to travel with “beautiful girls” from the University of Tokyo after an online backlash... Under the campaign, the winners would get a chance to sit next to one of the girls on the way to a foreign destination, with their female travel companion providing highly knowledgeable travel commentary en route about the destination and its tourist attractions."

Shari'a and Violence in American Mosques - "mosques that segregated men from women during prayer service were more likely to contain violence-positive materials than those mosques where men and women were not segregated"

In vitro meat probably won’t save the planet, yet. - "Cultivation of in vitro meat requires more industrial energy—often produced by burning fossil fuels—than pork, poultry, and maybe even beef. As a result, the global warming potential for cultured meat is likely to be higher than that of poultry and pork but lower than that of beef. The reason for these differences is that animals must perform a variety of functions to build muscle mass: They must digest food, circulate nutrients and oxygen, maintain an optimal body temperature, and protect against disease. Food energy fuels these processes in organisms, but carneries will have to use industrial energy, i.e. fossil fuels, to accomplish the same tasks. For example, unlike animals, meat grown in a factory will not have an immune system. That means everything that touches it must be sterilized to avoid contamination with harmful microbes. Both heating water and using chemicals for sterilization could require a great deal of energy... To complicate matters even further, meat is not the only product derived from livestock. Inedible components such as blood, internal organs, hide, and feathers are used for a variety of applications including leather, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and many other household and industrial products"

The Economy Seat Concept That Will Have Passengers Booking the Middle Seat - "Because of its clever staggered design, airlines can fit more passengers in the Economy cabin while each passenger in a triple enjoys a greater sense of separation with room to stretch out in both directions"

Being a Go-Getter Is No Fun - "people do, in fact, assign more tasks to those they perceived as more competent... A separate experiment found that participants not only assigned more tasks to the go-getters—but underestimated how much work it would take to get the job done... high performers were not only aware that they were giving more at work—they rightly assumed that their managers and co-workers didn’t understand how hard it was for them, and thus felt unhappy about being given more tasks"
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