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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Links - 22nd July 2018

Study Philosophy to Improve Thinking—A Case of False Advertising? - "The central problem for philosophers’ aspirations to teach thinking is that it is supposed to be about transferring what is learned in a philosophy class to a wide variety of very different real-life situations and in highly diverse jobs and careers. Empirical research has not found much support for this kind of transfer (so-called “general transfer”). In a well-known book about transfer of learning we read: “Again, beyond a minimal level, the literature clearly shows that we’ve failed to achieve significant transfer of learning, historically or currently, on any level of education.” In a highly influential article on transfer the author concludes: “Transfer has been studied since the turn of the [twentieth] century. Still, there is very little empirical evidence showing meaningful transfer to occur and much less evidence for showing it under experimental control”... With many leading philosophy departments and philosophy associations repeatedly assuring us that those who study philosophy will become much better thinkers, many students may conclude that even a huge investment of money and time in this kind of self-improvement would eventually pay off. If no goods are delivered these people will be harmed in a way that could have easily been anticipated."

Smearing Free Thought In Silicon Valley - "Like much of the media coverage on this issue, the article misrepresents what Damore said in his memo, claiming that he argued that women “were biologically less capable of engineering.”... the article makes it out as if only men have supported Damore’s conclusion... The article claims that “studies and surveys show there is no denying the travails women face” in technology, although not a single example of a study providing such conclusive proof is given. In fact, many of the studies commonly cited to back up this claim suffer from major methodological flaws that call into serious question their accuracy... professors who study the differences between male and female brains could be considered to be engaging in harassment by simply discussing their area of expertise... As a college student, I came to question the narrative that women are systematically disadvantaged in science as a result of reading some of the research used to support its claims and seeing how weak it was. I also observed how many of my colleagues, both male and female, would stifle dissent on this issue by casting anyone who disagreed with the accepted dogma as being a misogynist... I have seen a female executive disparage “men who don’t support women” as being “sub-human.” Her use of the word “sub-human” echoes the ways in which Jews and other minorities have been dehumanized in the past, in order to justify violence against them. When diversity efforts have been contorted to the point that their supporters actually start to sound like Nazis, it is clear that something is severely wrong... I fear that the greatest casualty may be the public’s confidence in The New York Times itself and the media in general"

UK Gov't To Allow Citizens To Head To Nearest Newsstand To Buy Porn... Licenses - "The UK government's continuing efforts to save the country's children from the evils of internet porn are increasingly ridiculous. Filtering efforts applied by ISPs have managed to seal off access to plenty of non-porn sites while still remaining insanely easy to circumvent. The government -- with a straight face -- suggested there was nothing not normal about internet customers turning over personal information to ISPs in exchange for the permission to view porn. It's as if building a database of the nation's porn aficionados was the government's original intent"

UK Porn Filter Architect Arrested On Child Porn Charges

Patrick Rock, ex-David Cameron aide, walks free for making indecent child pictures as judge says punishment is his 'very public humiliation' - "While none of the girls were naked, prosecutors claimed they were in "sexualised" poses in skimpy clothing, including swimwear and bras."
Are child beauty pageants in the US like strip shows?

CIA: Collect It All by Mike Masnick — Kickstarter - "CIA: Collect It All is a competitive card game based on the CIA game Collection Deck. Players take on the role of agents who are collecting intelligence and tackling security threats over multiple rounds... Collection Deck was designed by CIA Analyst David Clopper and it is used to teach new recruits about intelligence collection techniques. It was originally classified as Top Secret. The CIA recently declassified the game and Douglas Palmer and Mitchell Kotler secured its public release through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request via Muckrock."

Wikileaks Makes Bombshell Announcement About Stephen Colbert - "A newly discovered email exposes Stephen Colbert and John Podesta working together to push the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) as far back as 2013. Stephen Colbert’s role as the conservative newsman on the Comedy Central hit show, The Colbert Report, was a prime source of news for many millennials. It was also a chief avenue of propaganda for the Clintons years before Hillary ran for president. Wikileaks revealed on Tuesday that Colbert and his team at Comedy Central were making episodes at the request or order of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) back in April of 2013."

Growing Up in a Progressive Utopia - "I grew up in one of the most progressive societies in the history of humanity. The gap between the rich and poor was tiny compared to the current gulf between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ we find across much of the West. Access to education was universal and students were paid to study and offered free accommodation. Healthcare was available to all and free at the point of use. Racial tensions were non-existent, with hundreds of different ethnic groups living side by side in harmony under the mantra of ‘Friendship of the Peoples.’ Women’s equality was at the very heart of Government policy. According to the prevailing ideology “all forms of inequality were to be erased through the abolition of class structures and the shaping of an egalitarian society based on the fair distribution of resources among the people.” You are probably wondering whether the idyllic nation from which I hail is Sweden or Iceland. It was the Soviet Union... With this background, I am—perhaps understandably—hypersensitive to the emerging far Left in Western politics. I can’t help noticing similarities in the rhetoric about “eradicating inequality,” “smashing the class system,” and a new age of “radical egalitarianism.” And when I do, I shudder. I shudder because such people no longer appreciate what they have in the West: one of the most prosperous, free, fair, equal, tolerant, peaceful, and open societies not just in the world today but in the entire history of our species"

The Behavioral Ecology of Male Violence - "we see high rates of lethal violence in sectors outside the reach of, or poorly covered by, the influence of states, such as among gangs and organized crime. When it comes to high-demand products prohibited by the state, such as illegal drugs, it is violent organizations that effectively control these markets, as the state fails to offer a resolution when conflicts occur. In Codes of the Underworld, social scientist Diego Gambetta writes, “Mafia-like groups offer a solution of sorts to the trust problem by playing the role of a government for the underworld and supplying protection to people involved in illegal markets or deals.” U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions unwittingly touched on this in an op-ed he wrote last year for the Washington Post, where he noted that, “Drug trafficking is an inherently violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t, and don’t, file a lawsuit in court. You collect it by the barrel of a gun.”... legalizing many illegal drugs and having the state protect property rights for these products might reduce the lethal violence associated with the drug trade... among the Gebusi of New Guinea, most homicides occur in the context of sorcery allegations [which] are often precipitated by lack of reciprocity in marriage exchanges. He writes, “In this sense sorcery homicide is ultimately about male control of marriageable women.” Even where socialization and ideological factors play a role in lethal violence, they may be a proxy for underlying fitness interests."

Floating island is planned with government, cryptocurrency and houses - "It's an unapologetically libertarian concept: Governments under the Floating Island scheme would exist only as service providers, according to Mezza Garcia, and the "floating communities" could self-govern. "If you don't want to live under a particular government," she said, "people will be able to just take their house and float away to another island.""

Volkswagen’s bestselling product is … a type of sausage!?!? - "Listed as item number 199 398 500 A, the Volkswagen currywurst is celebrating its 45th birthday. Last year alone, the automaker made 6.8 million sausages – more than the number of VW vehicles sold worldwide... In addition to the pork sausage, VW has been making a vegetarian version since 2010, and has its own ketchup formulation"

B&M Brown Bread in a Can - "In New England, one of the most popular varieties of brown bread is made by B&M in Portland, Maine, and it’s sold in a can. Canned bread might sound strange to the non-native Yankee to imagine buying bread in a can at the supermarket alongside the baked beans (which B&M also makes with pride), but if you’ve ever steamed a loaf yourself at home, you know it can take awhile, making brown bread in a can a handy alternative."

Go Ahead, Skip that Networking Event - "I reviewed dozens of studies on networking for my latest book, and the overall implications are that these events don’t live up to their billing. Most of us, when put into a situation where the only goal is to meet new people, default to staying inside of our comfort zones. That means talking to people we know… or at the very least people who are similar to us. That means most networking events are doomed from the start, by their very design... In terms of both new conversations and diverse connections, the most successful networker at the event turned out to be the bartender... we are more likely to develop new relationships with a diverse set of individuals by focusing more on activities to participate in rather than relationships themselves... The problem with networking events is that there’s no bigger purpose other than just having conversations with people, and without that bigger purpose — without that high-stakes activity — there’s little incentive to move beyond conversations that make us comfortable"

Is there any evidence linking creativity and mood disorders? - "the connection between mood disorders and creativity influences the very way we view the creative work of others: university students who were told the story of Van Gogh cutting off his ear before they examined his painting Sunflowers (1888) took a more favourable view of it than those who weren’t told the story. Similarly, students priced a piece of artwork higher when a fictitious artist’s biography briefly mentioned that he was ‘often described as very eccentric’."

‘Five-second rule’ for food dropped on the floor approved by germ scientists

People's Park Complex, People's Park Centre, Golden Mile Complex and Golden Mile Tower attempting collective sales - "RIDING on the wave of en bloc fever, four post-independence landmarks in Singapore, known for their gritty appearances, might disappear from the Republic's landscape. The fate of People's Park Complex and People's Park Centre in Chinatown, as well as Golden Mile Complex and Golden Mile Tower at Beach Road, hangs in the balance. These structures are mostly half-way into their 99-year leases.People's Park Complex, Golden Mile Complex and Golden Mile Tower are widely recognised by experts as architecturally and historically significant. The trio were inspired by the Brutalist-architectural movement. The style usually features monumental structures made of off-form concrete without being plastered over, for an appearance of "strength and solidity". They also represent a chapter in the island's post-independence architectural history. The three were completed as part of the Government's first Land Sales Programme beginning in 1967 where land parcels were offered for sale with a leasehold of 99 years... [People's Park Complex] is home to a podium of shops and offices, as well as a 25-storey residential block. Occupying one hectare, it was once the largest shopping complex in Singapore. It also featured the country's first atrium shopping centre for residents and other users in the community to socialise, eat and shop... many of these structures do not have enough time to evolve to a "heritage age" before they are torn down... circumstances have created a "perfect storm" for historical modernist buildings completed in the 1960s and 1970s. "A combination of factors - an ageing property with a dropping value combined with maintenance issues and an increased appetite from developers, are driving many owners to seriously consider collective sales.""

Singapore’s got a taste for Hong Kong cooking – and it’s coming back for more - "Kam’s Roast opened its doors here, although it was without its signature item – roast goose – after the restaurant could not source geese from Hungary or United States, the only two countries allowed to import the birds into Singapore... Food blogger Daniel Ang said most Hong Kong food in Singapore was at about 70 per cent of the standard back in Hong Kong, which is largely due to logistical challenges. “The businesses face difficulties in getting the same supply of ingredients and kitchen help who are able to churn out food consistently”"

How To Make Black Burgers - "The buns get their dark color from bamboo charcoal (takesumi), so, well, get some bamboo charcoal and grind that into a fine powder. In Japan, takesumi is used in cooking, and it might be difficult to procure in the West"

A Bangladeshi student screamed Allahu Akbar as she stabbed a man - "A father has told how there was 'blood everywhere' when an ISIS-inspired woman wearing a burqa and staying at his house screamed 'Allahu Akbar' as she allegedly stabbed him in the neck. Momena Shoma, a Bangladeshi student, allegedly attacked the man as he was sleeping in front of his five-year-old daughter, who watched in horror"

University of Toronto Professor Rinaldo Walcott Says Free Speech Is 'White Supremacy' - "Walcott argued that free speech and academic freedom are rooted in white supremacy... Even though Walcott believes that universities are hotbeds of white supremacy, he is invited to speak at publicly-funded universities at conferences centered on leftist sociological concepts like “white privilege.”... Walcott called embattled Wilfrid Laurier teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd a “crying white girl” after Shepherd was accused by school officials of breaking the law over her decision to display a Jordan Peterson debate clip in the classroom."

Activists Tell White Professor that She Can't Teach Native Canadian History - "The course, which is specifically about controversial Canadian boarding schools that were attended by indigenous children, was assigned to white professor Martha Walls who has an expertise in the course’s subject matter."
There are interesting parallels with Eastern Europeans with bad English being favoured by PRCs to teach English in China over ABCs

What is High End Resilient Flooring? - "High end resilient flooring is a new type of flooring recently introduced into the flooring Singapore market; it is an improved version of flooring to laminate, wooden flooring. It is also known as "water laminate flooring" by some interior designers and contractors in Singapore. It basically provides the solution to two of the most common problems in which laminate flooring and wooden flooring are facing namely, water and termites attack."
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