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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Links - 5th June 2018 (1)

Megan McArdle's '12 Rules for Life' - "1. Be kind. Mean is easy; kind is hard... Making yourself feel bigger by making someone else feel small takes so little skill that 12-year-olds can do it. Those with greater ambitions should leave casual cruelty behind them...
2. Politics is not the most important thing in the world. It’s just the one people talk about the most. That’s because everyone shares the government; only you are married to your spouse... your spouse and others around you matter more to your happiness than the government does. You will notice, as you go about your day, that many, many important things are riding on your spouse, things that will have immediate costs and benefits to you. Very few of the things that irritate you or bring you joy have anything to do with the government. So keep some perspective about politics. It doesn’t matter as much as the real people around you, and the real things you can do in the world. If you have to choose between politics and a friendship, choose the friendship every time.
3. Always order one extra dish at a restaurant, an unfamiliar one. You might like it, which would be splendid. If you don’t like it, all you lost was a couple of bucks. If you can’t afford to order that one extra dish, then the restaurant is too expensive for your budget and you should find a cheaper one.
4. Give yourself permission to be bad. You know what you’re really good at? Things you’ve done many times before. Mastery is boredom...
5. Go to the party even when you don’t want to. Nine times in 10, you’ll be bored and go home early. But the 10th time, you will have a worthy experience or meet an interesting person. That more than redeems those other wasted hours.
6. Save 25 percent of your income. No, don’t tell me how expensive your city is; I have spent basically my whole life in New York and Washington, DC. You can save if you want to; what you really mean is “There are all these things I want more than financial security.”...
7. Don’t just pay people compliments; give them living eulogies...
8. That thing you kinda want to do someday? Do it now...
9. The great modernist mistake was to decide that if books without sewers were unrealistic, “reality” must be the sewers...
10. Don’t try to resolve fundamental conflicts with your spouse or roommates. The only people who win marital arguments about bedrock values are divorce lawyers...
11. Be grateful."

Europe: Making Islam Great Again - "Professor Ednan Aslan, Professor of Islamic Religious Education at the University of Vienna, recently interviewed a sample of 288 of the approximately 4,000 predominantly Afghan asylum seekers in the Austrian city of Graz, on behalf of the city's integration department. Members of the department understandably wanted to know the views of the Muslim newcomers there. The results were published in a study, "Religiöse und Ethische Orientierungen von Muslimischen Flüchtlingen in Graz" ("Religious and ethical orientations of Muslim refugees in Graz").
ccording to the study, two-thirds of the asylum seekers are men, mostly under 30 years old. They are all in favor of preserving their traditional, conservative, Islamic values.. Half of the migrants (49.8%), report that religion now plays a larger role in their daily lives in Europe, than it did in their native country. 47.2% are convinced that Jews and Christians have strayed from the "right path", and 47.8% think that the future of Islam would be in danger if Islam were to be interpreted in a modern and contemporary fashion. For 51.6% of the interviewees, the supremacy of Islam over other religions is undisputed. 55% believe in hell for unbelievers... In 2016, a study of nearly 800 migrants from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea in the German state of Bavaria was conducted by a German think tank, the Hanns Seidel Foundation. This study showed that patriarchal beliefs were widespread among the migrants... A 2016 UK poll showed that 43% of British Muslims "believed that parts of the Islamic legal system should replace British law while only 22 per cent opposed the idea"... In Germany, intelligence agencies warned in the early fall of 2015 that, "We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law.""

Mandatory diversity course not effective, prof discovers - "A professor at East Carolina University recently discovered that the diversity course she teaches isn’t actually “effective” in changing students’ racial or gender biases. Dr. Michele Stacey, who teaches criminal justice at ECU, assessed the efficacy of the school’s diversity course by surveying 288 criminal justice students’ attitudes towards women and minorities both before and after taking the course... Race, Gender, and Special Populations in the Criminal Justice System is a three-credit course that is required for the ECU major and minor in criminal justice... The ineffective course remains a requirement for Criminal Justice majors at ECU"

Emma, why did you sign a petition to help Polanski? - "how credible is Hollywood’s decision to strip Weinstein of his membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (which awards the Oscars), when it continues to treat the film director Polanski as a deity? Unlike Weinstein, who has yet to be charged with a crime, let alone convicted, Polanski pleaded guilty to ‘unlawful sex’ in an American court in 1977 — a plea bargain after he had drugged, raped and sodomised 13-year-old Samantha Galley, a would-be model. He then fled the country before sentence could be passed... the Academy awarded him an Oscar in 2003 — and the first person captured by the cameras leaping to her feet to applaud was Meryl Streep. The very woman who last week said the revelations of Weinstein’s decades-long abuse of her fellow actresses came as an appalling surprise — which makes Streep about the only person in the business who didn’t know about his predatory practices... Weinstein himself was a big donor to the Clintons, and also very friendly with President Obama — he gave Obama’s daughter, Malia, an internship in his company. You can bet this is one young woman he didn’t grope. In recent years, it would do an actor’s Hollywood career more harm if he came out as a Republican than would the sleaziest sexual behaviour... Weinstein has been thanked by actors in Oscar ceremonies more often than any other entity (including God).And that’s the other Hollywood deal: the artist is above the law... Bill Browder, whose book on his experiences fighting corruption in Putin’s Russia is now being made into a movie, recently told me: ‘Hollywood is a far worse place than Moscow.’ When I asked how that could be, given that friends of his had been murdered by the regime, he replied: ‘There are some good guys in Moscow. There are none in Hollywood.’

12 things you might not know you could be punished for in Singapore - "1. Annoying someone by behaving badly in public while drunk
2. Annoying someone in a public place through an act, or by reciting or uttering a song with lyrics that are obscene
3. Sale, distribution, rental of all things "obscene", including paintings, books, figures
4. Purposely obstructing a person, so as to prevent him from proceeding in any direction that he is allowed to walk in
5. Using false weight or measure
6. Your dog injuring a person
7. Bathing or washing yourself in on a public road, in a public tank, reservoir, or any water body
8. Flying a kite that obstructs traffic on a public road
9. Annoying someone by making noise in any way, including by an instrument
10. Taking alcohol into a public hospital
11. Making business deals at MRT stations
12. Leaving your vehicle engines idling"

BBC Falls Victim to 4Chan Trolling - MSM Caught Sounding Like Idiots - "The BBC is claiming a “far-right smear campaign against Antifa” was “exposed” by “investigative researchers,” but the campaign was publicly viewable to anyone browsing the popular imageboard 4Chan."

The Minority Victim Value Index - "The Victim Value Index is calculated based on one overriding factor: Disruptiveness. Those who are most disruptive go to the head of the line. This can be mistaken for a "Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease" phenomenon, and occasionally in the micro it is, but in the macro it goes to the question of why progressives value minorities and for what purpose. To be a progressive is to be committed to perpetual reform in the name of perpetual grievance for perpetual power. Grievance is to their government feudalism what the Divine Right of Kings was to feudal rulers. It justifies their right to agitate and undermine, to seize power by any means necessary and to implement their programs legally or extra-legally... Anyone who is shocked that the left would make common cause with Islamists has forgotten the Black Panthers. From the left's point of view they are doing the same thing by bringing on board a group with some revolutionary energy and a willingness to overthrow the system. Associating with them gives the left some revolutionary cred and the supposed ability to turn the violence on and off... Speech codes are an easy way to determine VVI status. As a black man, Juan Williams was a high-status VVI, allowing him to make otherwise politically incorrect observations. He was only purged for offending Muslims, a group with a higher status VVI. But black sportscasters who make jokes about Asian men are rarely reprimanded because Asians have a lower VVI status"

The Hidden Truths about Calories - "Differences exist even within a given kind of food. Take, for example, cooked vegetables. Cell walls in some plants are tougher to break down than those in others; nature, of course, varies in everything. If the plant material we eat has more of its cell walls broken down we can more of the calories from the goodies inside. In some plants, cooking ruptures most cell walls; in others, such as cassava, cell walls hold strong and hoard their precious calories in such a way that many of them pass through our bodies intact... Peanuts, pistachios and almonds all seem to be less completely digested than their levels of protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber would suggest. How much? Just this month, a new study by Janet Novotny and colleagues at the USDA found that when the “average” person eats almonds she receives just 128 calories per serving rather than the 170 calories “on the label.”... Proteins can require ten to twenty times as much heat-energy to digest as fats, but the loss of calories as heat energy is not accounted for at all on packaging... the more processed foods are the more they actually give us the number of calories we see on the box, bag or other sort of label. This applies not just to cooking and pounding but also to industrial processing... Even if two people were to somehow eat the same sweet potato cooked the same way they would not get the same number of calories... Russian intestines are about five feet longer than those of, say, Italians. This means that those Russians eating the same amount of food as the Italians likely get more out of it"

9 Ugly Lessons About Sex from Big Data - "1. Straight men think women have an expiration date... While men often set their age filters for women into the 30s and beyond, rarely do they contact a woman over 29.
2. Straight women are far less likely to express sexual desire than are other demographics.
4. Searches for “Is my husband gay?” occur in states where gay marriage is least accepted.
5. According to Rudder’s research, Asian men are the least desirable racial group to women…
6. …And black women are the least desirable racial group to men.
7. Users who send copy-and-paste messages get responses more efficiently.
8. Your Facebook Likes reveal can reveal your gender, race, sexuality and political views...
In states where it’s hotter, people shower more; where it’s colder, people shower less. Still, the Northeast is relatively well-washed. Except, that is, for Vermont"

Williams College Students Can Report Each Other for 'Making Comments on Social Media' About Religion or Politics - "Williams College is one of at least 100 campuses with a system in place for students to report each other for saying or doing something slightly offensive. These trivially disturbing occurrences are known as "bias incidents"—and at Williams, virtually anything could qualify... Mocking someone's disability on Twitter would be awful. "Making comments on social media" about another person's religious or political beliefs isn't remotely similar. Some people's religious and political beliefs should be discussed, challenged, and even mocked. As the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker once observed, "that's the difference between a university and a madrassa."

Oberlin College Is Hiring Students to Be Social Justice Activists, Host Microaggression Training - "The position is called "Social Justice Education Facilitator," pays $8.15 an hour, and requires "knowledge on the various forms of oppression, including but not limited to: race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, citizenship, etc."... It's one thing for a professor within a classroom setting to teach students about the nature of oppression, or to discuss how certain people have been marginalized because of their gender or skin color. It's quite another for the college to train—and pay!—students to serve as activists outside of the classroom."

From Promise to Promiscuity - "For women, infidelity is thought to be driven more by emotional needs and is most likely when they are not satisfied in their marital relationship, especially when it is not a partnership of equals. For men, infidelity has long been more independent of the state of the marital relationship... the therapeutic world has remained fairly fixed in the belief that affairs occur because something is radically wrong with the marriage... 70 percent of couples choose to rebuild the relationship after infidelity, although they may not know how. Even couples for whom the violation is so painful or incomprehensible that divorce seems the only alternative often later regret a decision made in the highly disorienting days after discovery. Studies indeed show that relationship dissatisfaction is associated with engaging in extramarital sex. But there's evidence that in almost two-thirds of cases, marital problems are the effect, not the cause, of extramarital involvements. Further, affairs themselves skew perceptions of the marriage. Once infidelity has occurred, partners tend to look back on their primary relationship and see it as having been flawed all along—an attempt to reduce cognitive dissonance... Affairs, says Washington, D.C., psychologist Barry McCarthy, are "the absolutely best example of behavior being multicausal, multidimensional. There are many contributing factors. Sometimes they have nothing to do with the marriage. The most common reason for an affair is high opportunity. People fall into affairs rather than plan them." Another very common cause of affairs, he observes, is that "people do not feel desired and desirable in their marriage, and they want to see if they can be desired and desirable outside it." For others, he notes, the affair is a symptom of a mental health problem like alcohol abuse or bipolar disorder... By far the biggest predictor of affairs, experts agree, is sheer opportunity—how people vary in access and desirability to others. And the workplace is the great benefactor, providing large numbers of people with constant contact, common interests, an income to camouflage the costs of socializing outside the office, and an ironclad excuse... Living in the midst of a city abets infidelity. Not only is there exposure to large numbers of potential partners, there's more opportunity to escape detection. The larger the city one lives in, researchers have found, the greater the likelihood of an affair... Situations that deplete self-control—exposure to alcohol, an exhausting day of travel, doing highly challenging work—raise the risk of infidelity. They disable sexual restraint... "Everyone starts out in marriage believing they will not have an affair. Why do data from around the world consistently show that infidelity occurs even among people who are happy in their marriage? You can feel deep attachment to a partner but also feel intense romantic love for someone else while also feeling a desire for sex with other partners... For the vast majority of American couples today, sexual satisfaction plummets at the birth of the first child and reemerges, if at all, after the last child leaves home... In healthy marriages, sex plays what he deems "a relatively small part, a 15 to 20 percent part"—but it energizes the whole bond and allows each partner to feel desired and desirable. When couples abandon sex, they wind up draining the entire relationship of its vitality. "You not only lose the marriage connection but your sense of self," McCarthy finds. "An affair can be an attempt to regain a sense of self."... Fewer than 25 percent of cheaters leave a marriage for an affair partner, and those relationships are statistically extremely unlikely to endure."

Oxford Scientist Confirms Starting Work, School before 10 AM is Torture - "During his stint as a head teacher at Monkseaton Middle School in North Tyneside in 2009, Dr Kelley moved the school start day from 8.30 am to 10 am and found that starting an hour later improved grades in core subjects by 19%. Since his earlier experiment was a success, he stresses that children aged 8 to 10 should start school at 8.30 am or later, 16-year-olds at 10 am and 18-year-olds at 11am... “before the age of 55, the circadian rhythms of adults are completely out of synch with normal 9-to-5 working hours, posing a serious threat to performance, mood and mental health.”"

The Economics of Dodgy Massage Parlours - "One customer that I ran into outside one such establishment shared that he preferred these massages because they feel more intimate. He tells me, “When you pay for sex, sometimes they just lie there until you finish. And you can see when they’re not into it because you can see their face. These places, the girl lies next to you and you can touch her, close your eyes, pretend it’s your lover. It’s nicer.” To get some sense of the scale of this industry, we dropped by the districts most well-known for it, like Parklane Shopping Centre and Orchard Towers. Spend enough time in one of these malls and you begin to recognise the smell of vice: a heady combination of cold air, fresh laundry, and cheap perfume–not unlike the smell of most hotel rooms. But apart from these, we also visited some lesser-known ones in Katong Shopping Centre and along Macpherson Road. In total, we covered 127 of such establishments over four days, mostly clustered around the Central and Central/East parts of Singapore... Some of the women we spoke to share that the bulk of their expenditure goes towards food, make-up, mobile plans, and other personal expenses. Many of them live in-house (which explains why many massage parlours operate 24 hours a day), and so they don’t fork anything out for housing. One lady shared that she was saving up so she could return to China to start her own business. On average, she manages to save about 60 percent of her salary. Others shared that they were happy with their work, and had no plans at the moment... Contrary to what one might expect, this clientele includes everyone from sloppy uncles to sharply dressed professionals, both local and expat. Many of them also look like they wouldn’t have problems picking up women. After speaking to 6 of them, all of whom declined to share their names, I learn their reasons for patronising these establishments"
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