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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Links - 12th August 2018 (1)

Does the President Have an 'Absolute Right' to Self-Pardon? - "numerous scholars have argued that such an action would likely be constitutional, as the power to pardon is exceptionally broad — by design"

I,Hypocrite - Home - "My teenager... came downstairs blathering that feminism is cancer. We intervened immediately... Anyone who replies with Nazi propaganda like "diversity of thought" gets blocked. Fuck your thoughts."
Freedom of speech, habeas corpus and diversity of thought - Nazism sounds steadily better
Comments: "It's gone full circle. The evangelicals calling everything fun Satanic have been replaced by leftists!"

Solange and Jay-Z: it's simply not the same if a man is hit by a woman | Barbara Ellen

Rethinking dietary cholesterol. - "The European countries, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Korea and India among others do not have an upper limit for cholesterol intake in their dietary guidelines... Although numerous clinical studies have shown that dietary cholesterol challenges may increase plasma LDL cholesterol in certain individuals, who are more sensitive to dietary cholesterol (about one-quarter of the population), HDL cholesterol also rises resulting in the maintenance of the LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio, a key marker of CHD risk."

Eggs and Cholesterol — How Many Eggs Can You Safely Eat? - "Because getting cholesterol from the diet isn't always an option, the liver actually produces cholesterol. But when we eat a lot of cholesterol rich foods, the liver starts producing less (1, 2). So the total amount of cholesterol in the body changes only very little (if at all), it is just coming from the diet instead of from the liver"

Miss America is scrapping the swimsuit portion from its pageant - ""We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance. That's huge," she said. Carlson also said the new Miss America competition will be more inclusive to women of "all shapes and sizes." The official Miss America Twitter account tweeted a short video of a white bikini going up in a puff of smoke with the hashtag #byebyebikini."
"we don't tell Lebron to solve calculus while he's three-pointing the ball into the net, we don't tell Usain Bolt to talk about philosophy while he's doing the 100 meter dash, why the hell do we expect beauty contestants to answer dumb arbitrary 'brainy' questions just to win a beauty pageant?"
Bye bye ratings

Apple's new diverse emoji are even more problematic than before - The Washington Post - "Apple has allowed for further racial segregation with these new emoji. Because I’m black, should I now feel compelled to use the “appropriate” brown-skinned nail-painting emoji? Why would I use the white one? Now in simple text messages and tweets, I have to identify myself racially. I’ll now question other people’s emoji use when they’re speaking to me: Why is he sending me the black angel emoji specifically? Why is she sending me the black-girl emoji instead of the white one? What Apple has done is introduce race into everyday conversations where it doesn’t necessarily need to be. Clorox already has felt the weight of that reality, when in response to the new emoji, the brand tweeted “where’s the bleach?” The barrage of criticism that followed the face-palm moment pressured the company to tweet an apology, noting that it never meant the comment as a reference to race... there’s nothing specifically “black” about an emoji with browner skin. Deepening the skin color of a previously white emoji doesn’t make the emoji not white. It’s just a bastardized emoji blackface. The blond-haired emoji man and the blue-eyed emoji princess are clearly white, but you can slip them into a darker-colored skin. These new figures aren’t emoji of color; they’re just white emoji wearing masks. Understandably, Apple didn’t want to create caricatures, giving those emoji an afro or thicker lips"
You can't win

Report: Quitting Facebook cost WhatsApp’s founders $1.3 billion

Google touts 'inclusive' vegan salad emoji for diversity - "“If you need any evidence” that Google is making those ideals a priority, she went on, behold the latest change to the emoji lineup: an egg-less salad. The bowl of leafy greens and sliced tomatoes, minus the egg, makes a “more inclusive vegan salad,” Daniel asserted"

Read Google employees’ shareholder plea to link diversity to compensat - "The lack of clear, communicated policies and actions to advance diversity and inclusion, with concrete accountability and leadership from senior executives, has left many of us feeling unsafe and unable to do our work."
Why hiring snowflakes is bad for business

A Camel Through the Eye of a Needle, and Other Wild Tales of Translation - "Other mistranslations are more sinister, like the popular translation of “arsenokoites” as “homosexuals,” which is a bit absurd, as there is a separate Greek word for that. “Arsenokoite” is a cognate of “man” and “bed” and no one knows what the word means because its usage is so rare. It’s been suggested that it was a reference to gigolos, but that’s an equally unsupported guess. Because the word occurs next to “malakos” (luxurious) it is more likely a colorful reference to the soft-living and pleasure-loving rich (who have a harder time in the New Testament than camels do). Malakos (soft) also gets mistranslated “effeminate,” mostly in order to support the reading of “arsenokoites” as “homosexuals.” But “malakos” doesn’t mean effeminate; there’s a different word for that, too. Malakos means luxury-loving, softened by easy life and too many soft cushions. In Greek, that concept doesn’t carry gendered connotations. Romans associated that with being “like a woman,” and because Romans had issues with effeminacy/masculinity*, we inherited both their commentary and their misreading. But the Greeks didn’t have these issues. (They had other issues.)"

Tunisia keeper 'fakes' injury to help players break Ramadan fast - "After drinking some water and eating a few dates, the North African nation bagged an equaliser six minutes later and went on to hold the European champions for the next 30 minutes to a 2-2 draw."

How to Buy Happiness - "t’s not so much that doing things makes us happier than having things—it’s that we like doing things with people. This is particularly true for extroverts: In one study, they got significantly happier after shopping with others, no matter what they bought... Extroverts were happier when forced to spend money at the bar, while introverts were happier spending at the bookstore... When people were assigned to buy goodies for either a hospitalized child or themselves, those who bought treats for a sick child reported more positive feelings. The effect was the same in a rich country (Canada) as in a poor one (South Africa). Spending on friends and family likewise gives us a boost because—unsurprisingly—it brings us closer to them"

AI winter is well on its way - "Predicting the A.I. winter is like predicting a stock market crash - impossible to tell precisely when it happens, but almost certain that it will at some point. Much like before a stock market crash there are signs of the impending collapse, but the narrative is so strong that it is very easy to ignore them, even if they are in plain sight. In my opinion there are such signs visible already of a huge decline in deep learning (and probably in AI in general as this term has been abused ad nauseam by corporate propaganda), visible in plain sight, yet hidden from the majority by the increasingly intense narrative"

Case Study — Musicians and Mortality - "Through a synergy of sloppy data graphics, careless reporting, excessive hype, muddled thinking, and uncritical use of social media, we end up with misleading meme that reaches orders of magnitude more people than the original scholarly research did. We see this as a serious problem and urge actors at every stage — from scholarly authors to data visualization experts to the people hitting "retweet" on twitter — to do their best to prevent this from happening."

the death of romance and the rise of 'the loner' in collectivist south korea

Why won’t Twitter suspend Iran’s Supreme Leader after threatening tweet - "A controversial tweet by Iran’s top leader has many (once again) questioning Twitter’s terms of service. On Sunday, the “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took his long-standing hatred of Israel to social media, tweeting, “Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.” As many quickly pointed out, it felt very much like a threat–one openly calling for an entire country’s destruction"

J.Crew under fire for promoting boy in a feminist T-shirt
I'm sure many who cheer this would be against it if he were wearing a religious T-shirt

Only a man can run an airline, says Qatar boss - "Akbar Al Baker, International Air Transport Association chair and chief executive of Qatar Airways, said his job could only be done by a man."

Row over 'staggering' failure to pick woman for Bank of England MPC
Having a vagina makes you understand economics better

The Big Read: No easy answers to HDB lease decay issue, but public mindset has to change first - "homeownership is “far more popular than renting in Singapore and, arguably, an intrinsic part of the social compact”, said Singapore Management University (SMU) law don Eugene Tan. “Relying on a contractual understanding of the leases is legally appropriate (for the Government) but politically limiting and divisive,” he noted... At the heart of the debate is a very Singaporean view of public housing flats as “sure-win” investments — a mindset that the Government is partly responsible for shaping, experts pointed out... At a dinner for the International Housing Conference held in 2010 by HDB, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong linked the value of HDB flats to the strength of the economy: “Provided Singapore continues to do well, our flats will maintain their value, and Singaporeans can enjoy an appreciating asset.” In 2011, then-National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan also reiterated the importance of the policy as he rebutted a suggestion by the Workers’ to peg the prices of new flats to the incomes of qualifying households instead of resale market prices... Since the first million-dollar HDB flat transaction in Queenstown, at least 89 flats have been sold S$1 million or more"

Lee Kuan Yew Promised in 2013: The Value of HDB Flats Will Never Drop

I went to Takarajima 24, an onahole internet cafe - "Takarajima 24’s basically got you covered no matter what. They had DVDs for fetishes I didn’t even know existed, like women coated in gold body paint? Living statues or something? There were multiple releases for that genre... I took a proper look at the bin, and it changed everything. ‘Would you like to review what your life should be…?’ it asked, as I held an increasingly slippery foam cup filled with my sperm in a depressingly dark and tiny room whilst on holiday overseas."

Professor of physiology says transgender athletes have advantage in speed, power - "Otago University professor in physiology Alison Heather has researched transgender changes, particularly in top level sport... the IOC changed their regulations to include trans women in the women's category of events if they remained under the testosterone levels of 10 nanomoles per litre (NMOL/L) a year prior to competing, as well as during competition. However, a CIS female (a born female) can reach nowhere near the testosterone level of 10 NMOL/L. The average female sits at 2.8 NMOL/L and the average male 23-25 NMOL/L. This means the likes of Hubbard competes at three times the amount of testosterone to other weightlifting females... after transitioning a trans woman's muscle mass, lung capacity and muscle memory all remain the same as when they were CIS male... British Journal of Sports Medicine scientists Stephane Bermon and Pierre-Yves Garnier found there was statistically significant differences in the performance of higher testosterone female athletes versus lower testosterone athletes at the 2011 and 2013 International Athletics Federation World Championships across five separate events."

Who Made That T-Shirt? - The New York Times - "In 1904, the Cooper Underwear Company ran a magazine ad announcing a new product for bachelors. In the “before” photo, a man averts his eyes from the camera as if embarrassed; he has lost all the buttons on his undershirt and has safety-pinned its flaps together. In the “after” photo, a virile gentleman sports a handlebar mustache, smokes a cigar and wears a “bachelor undershirt” stretchy enough to be pulled over the head. “No safety pins — no buttons — no needle — no thread,” ran the slogan aimed at men with no wives and no sewing skills. Someone in the U.S. Navy must have seen the logic in this, because the following year, the quartermaster’s office specified that sailors should wear undershirts with no buttons under their uniforms; soon thousands of men became acquainted with the comfort of the cotton pullover."

Koalas Have Been Caught Pole Dancing In Brisbane

Another Reason Companies Fail - Price's Law - "Price’s Law says that 50% of work at a company is done by a small number of people. Specifically, it says that 50% of work is done by the square root of the number of employees."

Betsy DeVos and the Politics of Campus Sexual Assault - "The politicization of sexual assault on campus is surprising, even in a hyper-partisan environment. For one, there’s evidence of a dramatic shift in how Democrats think about students’ rights. Ever since the 1950s and ‘60s, when the fiercely liberal Warren Court—an era of the Supreme Court during which Justice Earl Warren presided as Chief Justice—dramatically expanded the rights of the accused in landmark decisions like Miranda v. Arizona and Gideon v. Wainwright, defendants’ rights have been associated with progressive activism. Yet that’s flipped in recent years, with Democrats overwhelmingly focused on the victims of sexual assault and Republicans overwhelmingly focused on the victimization of those accused of it... why did Obama adopt this stance in the first place, effectively bucking traditional Democratic norms by requiring universities to relax their standards for due process? The answer is likely—and unsurprisingly—political. After a devastating 2010 midterm election, Democrats in Congress looked to Senator Michael Bennet’s campaign in Colorado—one of the few bright spots for their party in 2010—as a model. Bennet had relied heavily on identity politics, rallying women, minorities, and millennials. And he had triumphed."
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