photo blog_head_zpsfscr4tie.jpg
More adventurous than the average bear

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Links - 13th July 2018 (1)

Japan Is Doomed Unless It Learns to Love Inflation - "the gold standard of unconventional policy is, well, when FDR took us off the gold standard in 1933. As you can see in the chart below from Brookings, industrial production exploded when he did"
So much for the gold standard being the gold standard

Natalie Portman: Holocaust is no more tragic than other genocides
The Alt Right will doubtless find some way to spin this into still being a pro-Israel conspiracy

Mexico: dismembered corpse dumped after presidential candidate says 'cut off hands' - "When a Mexican presidential candidate proposed in a televised debate that public servants who steal should have their hands cut off, his comments were initially greeted with disbelief, and then mockery. Hours later, however, there was a much grimmer reaction: drug cartel members dumped a dismembered corpse in the Pacific city of Acapulco with a sign saying that they were already enforcing the punishment"
Politicians love to censor citizens, but their words have more impact

Claims of conspiracy to subvert parliamentary processes ‘clearly preposterous’: Oxford academic - "Any notion of a conspiracy on the part of Oxford Project Southeast Asia to “subvert (Singapore’s) parliamentary processes is clearly preposterous”, said Dr Philip Kreager, chair of Oxford Project Southeast Asia, in an online statement... Mr Chong said in his statement that the email correspondence between two trustees of the Oxford Project Southeast Asia - Professor Jeff Burley and Dr Kreager - suggests that “there has been a coordinated attempt, with foreign actors involved, to try to influence and subvert our parliamentary processes”... “Members of an organisation keep each other informed of events and exchange views. Historians, like other professionals, do likewise. “The conspiracy that Mr Chong claims to have discovered in our private correspondence exists only in his own imagination”... "‘the Minister (K Shanmugam) repeatedly expressed disdain for Dr Thum’s research, rephrasing its findings in general terms that misrepresented it, and attempting to get Dr Thum to agree to those rephrasings by attempting to force him to provide only yes/no answers.” Dr Kreager also responded to Mr Chong’s statement that it was not accurate to call Dr Thum an academic historian. “To the contrary: He is a member of the University of Oxford whose historical research here and in Southeast Asia is a matter of public record. “This sort of vilification of him must stop, and we reiterate our call for an apology from the Select Committee to Dr Thum for his treatment"... an Oxford University examiner and the joint doctoral supervisors of Dr Thum’s doctoral thesis also released a statement defending his academic status. Dr Thum’s thesis on Chinese Language Political Mobilisation in Singapore was “written to the very highest standards of historical research that Oxford expects of its doctoral students”, said Professor Judith Brown, Emeritus Beit Professor of Commonwealth History, Dr Peter Carey, Emeritus Fellow of Trinity College, and Professor John Darwin, Emeritus Professor of Global and Imperial History. “Dr Thum pursued his research where the historical evidence took him, without fear or favour. This conclusion is confirmed in the examiner's report which stated that it was 'a well produced thesis [...] based on an excellent understanding of the historiography relevant to the subject, and on a significant range of primary sources',” they wrote. “As the holder of an Oxford DPhil in History and an active researcher who has produced a number of refereed academic books and journal articles on his chosen subject, Dr PJ Thum is and remains an academically trained historian.”"

Shut down TRS - Home - "The conduct of Dr Thum Ping Tjin aka ‘PJ’ (hereinafter referred to as “PJ”) in his writings and his oral evidence at the Select Committee on the ‘Deliberate Online Falsehoods’, in which he sacrilegiously accused Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as being the biggest creator of fake news in Singapore, a liar, and that Operation Coldstore was based on falsehoods."
Apparently Lee Kuan Yew has already been deified

OPINION: Singapore, Indonesia and the Lessons of History - "If the government of Singapore is genuinely interested in discovering the truth about Operation Coldstore and cognate events related to its decolonization process, then there is a simple solution: open the state archives and allow historians free access to interrogate the documentary evidence... Singapore is many times richer than Indonesia in per capita GDP, but when it comes to a sophisticated awareness of its recent history there is no question which state has the greater sensitivity and understanding of the deep wounds inflicted by the Cold War."
One FAP suggested that declassifying the archives would endanger surviving informants, then somehow didn't understand what the common practice of document redaction was about

PJ Thum's Follow Up Cites British Reports Suggesting PAP's Involvement In Hock Lee Bus Riots - "The report released in the weeks following the riots suggests that the PAP did – and that party leaders directed the United Front (of students and workers) during the Hock Lee riots."

More than 130 academics sign open letter in support of historian Thum Ping Tjin, academic freedom - "“We hope you will offer Dr Thum a full apology for his unacceptable treatment by your committee, and exercise your responsibilities as chairman to ensure in future that the committee sticks to its remit and is not used to intimidate your fellow citizens.”... Also backing the letter was Prof Mohan J Dutta from the National University of Singapore (NUS), who was in the news last month after his invitation to Hong Kong-based Singaporean media academic Cherian George to give a talk at NUS was delayed due to an administrative oversight... Some of the academics said they signed the letter as they felt the committee’s conduct amounted to a form of harassment, and constitutes a threat to academic freedom... Prof Dutta, who is serving notice at NUS after tendering his resignation last month, told TODAY: “What we had in the exchange is a politician, a representative of the state, interrogating an academic mostly with ‘Yes/No’ questions, with artefacts being presented without the opportunity for serious engagement.”... Prof George, a professor of media studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, concurred that the way Dr Thum and his work were treated is “bound to have a wider chilling effect”. “As it is, there are too few historians researching our post-war history. Dr Thum’s unhappy experience will therefore have a disproportionately large impact on the future of the field,” he said."... Dr Nicholas Harrigan, a former assistant professor of sociology with Singapore Management University, said the saga will “further silence the Singaporean academy”. Singaporean economist Linda Lim, who is a business professor at the University of Michigan, felt that the episode “not only discourages academics from addressing controversial subjects in their research and from participating in civic activities like the public hearing on ‘fake news’, it also discourages citizens who are not academic experts from developing and voicing their own independent opinions, and from participating in civil society”. She added: “As an economist, I am particularly concerned about this because our economic future hinges on successful indigenous innovation, which by definition requires a collective habit of questioning established ways of thinking and doing, such as academics are trained and required to practise.”... the committee’s treatment of Dr Thum “demonstrates very clearly to the whole world that academic freedom is under very serious threat in Singapore”. “That is why principled scholars find Singapore so unattractive,” he said."

SINGAPORE: Open Letter on PJ Thum and Academic Freedom in Singapore - "I am aware that you have already replied to our letter before we actually sent it to you. Curiously, your response reached most of our signatories through a coordinated online campaign involving what we understand to be Russian bots, which somehow identified the signatories’ email addresses and sent them messages using fake accounts based in Switzerland. Perhaps your committee should consider investigating this strange event. We are working with computer experts to trace the origins of this bot campaign and will be happy to share the results with you, and the wider public."

Follow up Submission to the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods, Parliament of… - "On Chin Peng, Secretary-General of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP): As I noted in the hearing, and as reflected in the pages from Chin Peng’s book “My Side of History” (Media Masters, 2013) that were displayed, Chin Peng wrote
a. “Throughout the emergency I had been unable to exert any reasonable degree of control over the CPM’s operations on the island. One committee grouping after another had been smashed by British-directed police action in early stages. Thereafter our island-wide political network was continually being compromised by betrayals and defections.”"

Did MP Charles Chong spread ‘fake news’ on the eve of 2015 GE? - "People's Action Party candidate for Punggol East Charles Chong distributed flyers alleging Workers' Party has somehow "lost" $22.5 million of town council funds."

They made it their mission to talk back to Trump on Twitter. But is anyone listening? - The Washington Post - "Most Twitter users, though, don’t bother to click on Trump’s individual tweets to see the thousands of replies each receives. If they did, they’d discover a little-known community: LeGate, Williams, Uhl and scores of other recurring names — the folks who’ve made a devout habit of talking back to the commander in chief on Twitter. “I have a notification set up so that when Trump tweets, the lights on my phone flicker,” Le­Gate says. “I try to respond right away.” It might sound like an absurd, self-indulgent or exhausting hobby. To Trump’s most dedicated Twitter rebutters, it feels more like a responsibility. “I was waking up at 4 a.m. to catch his early morning rants,” says Kristina Wong, a comedian and performance artist in Los Angeles. “The mania of trying to keep up with this s--- is insane, but it was the only thing that gave me a sense of agency.”... Most assumed it would be a cathartic howl into the digital abyss. Instead, thousands howled back."
This is quite sad

Accused Flinders St driver Saeed Noori allegedly wanted to harm as many people as possible - "A police summary released today by Magistrate John Hardy said Noori’s motives remained unclear, but that he wanted to cause carnage. “It is alleged the accused drove a motor vehicle into pedestrians ... with the intention of killing or causing really serious injury to as many people as possible,” a police summary states. Noori appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today charged with 18 counts of attempted murder following last week’s Flinders Street incident... After his arrest, Noori made comments about the poor treatment of Muslims"
Of course this was proclaimed to be non-terror related

A Highway Pickle Mystery Is Preserved in Missouri - "On the ramp that leads from I-270 North to Manchester Road, near a grocery store and a busy shopping mall, there often sits a quiet and mysterious jar of pickles. When it falls, breaks, or disappears, it is always replaced. It is the highway’s warty lodestar.""

UNPOPULAR OPINION: Men's Domestic Violence Shelters Are a Misuse of Nonprofit Funding
This is what a feminist looks like

[Premium]From tapas to pub grub, more eateries go halal : singapore - "At first glance, The Great Mischief, which opened in February, looks like a traditional Spanish tapas bar, serving up small plates inspired by the region of Catalonia. On closer look though, diners will notice that dry-cured ham and alcoholic sangria are missing from the menu. The restaurant in Little India is among a growing number of new and innovative eateries catering to Muslim diners here... According to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), there has been an upward trend in the number of halal certificates issued over the past three years, with an average annual increase in requests of 10 per cent. Muis certified 4,456 premises and 54,378 food products manufactured in Singapore last year alone... The duo also hope their eateries can change the perception among non-Muslims that halal Western food is sub-par"
So even some Muslims know that non-Muslims know that halal Western food sucks; I'm told the Great Mischief is awful

Bill Cosby's sex assault trial now in hands of jury - "Defense attorneys portrayed Constand as lying about the sexual encounter, which Cosby has claimed was consensual, and jurors returned to the courtroom early Wednesday afternoon to ask, "What is the legal definition of consent?" Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill said that he couldn't give them a legal definition and that they would have to answer that question on their own, using their "common sense.""
Maybe we don't need judges if we can just use common sense definitions

Swedish Meatballs Are Actually Turkish, According to Sweden - "Sweden has admitted that Swedish meatballs — the signature food served in traditional holiday meals and in Ikea cafeterias around the world — are, in fact, Turkish. “Swedish meatballs are actually based on a recipe King Charles XII brought home from Turkey in the early 18th century”"

Ikea Is A Nonprofit, And Yes, That’s Every Bit As Fishy As It Sounds - "Ikea is a nonprofit dedicated to furthering the advancement of architecture and interior design–a cause they give a pittance of $2 million or so to a year... Kamprad is a publicly frugal man who despises taxes. He and his Swedish design label actually fled to Switzerland in 1976 to avoid taxes. (Kamprad didn’t deploy his nonprofit scheme until the ’80s.)"

Sajid Javid reveals 770,000 people living in UK cannot speak English as Government unveils plan to boost community integration - "We believe there is about 60 per cent of ethnic minority pupils, all ethnic minority pupils in this country, they go to schools where ethnic minority pupils are in the majority."

South Korea credits Trump for talks with North - "South Korea's foreign minister has said she believes President Donald Trump is largely responsible for bringing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table... the combination of tough rhetoric and economic and travel sanctions were instrumental."
Some people would rather see the world destroyed than credit Trump with anything. Just like others can bring Trump into a discussion on chocolate chip cookies

Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize for North Korea talks, Moon says - The Washington Post

A Nobel Peace Prize for Trump? He deserves it more than many of the recipients - "If a US congressional group can nominate Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang for the prize, who’s to say it’s preposterous that war-talking Trump deserves a peacemaker prize? ... Bill Clinton signed a framework deal which eventually collapsed. His successors George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who both served two terms each, couldn’t do much on North Korea, either. Trump made progress in just over one year"

Mother, 19, stabbed boyfriend during sex after telling him men should only be used for 'human sacrifice' - "Zoe Adams, 19, has dressed up as a clown and put a pillow over Kieran Bewick's head to make their encounter more exhilarating... Mr Bewick, who is afraid of clowns, had declined Adams' earlier suggestion to be tied up with the tape, and the pillow was a compromise... Adams claimed... she had no idea why police found a record on her phone of a search about the sentence for attempted murder - the charge she originally faced."
Toxic femininity?

Two Chinese science institute employees sacked over Taoist ritual at building site

Chinese perk for male computer coders: women to relieve their stress - "The bulk of her work is tending the front desk, organising social events, ordering snacks for tea breaks and chatting with the programmers. She may call a programmer to a conference room and ask him, "Did you have to work overtime?" before listening to his various frustrations... Zhang, the human resources executive who was part of the panel that hired Shen, stressed that it was important for a programmer motivator to look good. She said the applicants needed to have "five facial features that must definitely be in their proper order" and speak in a gentle way.They should also have a contagious laugh, be able to apply simple make-up and be taller than 157 centimetres... Shen said that does not consider her job to be sexist. "Many feminist ideas are too extreme now," she said. "I think women should be independent, self-reliant and have self-respect. And that's enough." Xu Jiaolong, one of Chainfin's few female programmers, who gets massages from Shen, did not see anything wrong with the job. The way she saw it, it was a mere "division of labour". But, with a smile, she said the company could consider hiring a man to motivate female programmers, too."

It’s time to give Firefox a fresh chance - "Chrome has outgrown its competition in a way that’s unhealthy. My colleague Tom Warren already detailed the deleterious effects of Chrome’s outsize influence, with web developers optimizing and coding specifically for Chrome (and Google encouraging the practice), with unhappy connotations of the crummy old days when Internet Explorer was the dominant browser for the web. Chrome came to liberate us from the shackles of IE, but like many revolutionary leaders, too many years in power have corrupted Chrome’s original mission."
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes