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Monday, September 10, 2018

Links - 10th September 2018 (2)

What Motivates People to Join Terrorist Groups Like ISIS? - "This reflects a broader consensus in the social sciences about violence: namely, that it is “socially determined,” a product of deeper historical, economic, or cultural forces over and above the individual... “whatever the validity of the hereditary, psychological, and social-ecological conditions of crime, many of those in the supposedly causal categories do not commit the crime at issue, ... many who do commit the crime do not fit the causal categories, and ... many who do fit the background categories and later commit the predicted crime go for long stretches without committing the crimes to which theory directs them.” Or as the British writer David Aaronovitch once joked, “Why don’t black lesbians blow up buses? Aren’t they alienated enough?”... “The most valuable interviews I’ve conducted [with former terrorists] have been ones in which the interviewees conceded, ‘To be honest, I don’t really know,’” he writes. “Motivation is a very complicated issue. To explain why any of us does anything is a challenge.” It’s a challenge further compounded by the fact that some actions are informed by multiple motives, and even if these can be reliably identified it is often difficult to disentangle them and calculate their respective causal weight."

Leeds school uses spoons to help prevent forced marriage - "A school is attempting to tackle forced marriages by handing out spoons to urge students to hide them in underwear to trigger metal detectors at airports."
If you don't want to tackle the real problem...

Study finds women -- including feminists -- are more attracted to 'benevolently sexist' men - "“We realised that theoretical perspectives on mate preferences, especially parental investment theory, could solve this puzzle,” Gul said. “It could be that women’s attraction to benevolent sexist men is because they perceive these men as willing to invest, which could even outweigh the downsides of benevolent sexism. This explanation was entirely absent in the literature, and so that is what we wanted to add to this literature."... Feminist women were as likely as non-feminist women to prefer benevolent sexist men over more egalitarian men... “We haven’t coined the term ‘benevolent sexism’, previous researchers did,” Gul added. “I don’t agree with this and I don’t think we should phrase it that way. It is not our job to say what is and isn’t sexist.”"
Feminist theory fails once again. It is notable that they critique the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, which is rubbish

Baltimore police stopped noticing crime. A wave of killings followed. - "Police officers reported seeing fewer drug dealers on street corners. They encountered fewer people who had open arrest warrants. Police questioned fewer people on the street. They stopped fewer cars. In the space of just a few days in spring 2015 – as Baltimore faced a wave of rioting after Freddie Gray, a black man, died from injuries he suffered in the back of a police van – officers in nearly every part of the city appeared to turn a blind eye to everyday violations. They still answered calls for help. But the number of potential violations they reported seeing themselves dropped by nearly half. It has largely stayed that way ever since... The surge of shootings and killings that followed has left Baltimore easily the deadliest large city in the United States. Its murder rate reached an all-time high last year; 342 people were killed. The number of shootings in some neighborhoods has more than tripled... "If you want crime to go up, let the ACLU run the police department," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a gathering of police officials... “Officers no longer put themselves on the firing line,” says Victor Gearhart, a retired lieutenant who supervised the overnight shift in Baltimore’s southern district before he was pushed out of the department for referring to Black Lives Matter activists as “thugs” in an email. “These guys aren’t stupid. They realize that if they do something wrong, they’re going to get their head bit off. There’s no feeling that anybody’s behind them anymore, and they’re not going to do it,” he says. “Nobody wants to put their head in the pizza oven when the pizza oven is on.”... Nearly three-quarters of police officers who responded to a Pew Research Center survey last year said high-profile incidents had left them less willing to stop and question people who seem suspicious. Even more said the incidents had made their jobs harder... “What it says is that if you complain about the way the police do our job, maybe we’ll just lay back and not do it as hard,” says Jeffery Robinson, a deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, which had advocated for an overhaul of police agencies in Baltimore and elsewhere. “If it’s true, if that’s what officers are doing, they should be fired.”"
There're parallels with how men are treating women after #metoo - and being scolded for not opening themselves up to false accusations

I Was the Mob Until the Mob Came for Me - "I once had a well paid job in what might be described as the social justice industry. Then I upset the wrong person, and within a short window of time, I was considered too toxic for my employer’s taste. I was publicly shamed, mobbed, and reduced to a symbol of male privilege. I was cast out of my career and my professional community... I now realize that my social-media hyperactivity was, in reality, doing more harm than good. Within the world created by the various apps I used, I got plenty of shares and retweets. But this masked how ineffective I had become outside, in the real world. The only causes I was actually contributing to were the causes of mobbing and public shaming. Real change does not stem from these tactics. They only cause division, alienation, and bitterness. How did I become that person? It happened because it was exhilarating. Every time I would call someone racist or sexist, I would get a rush. That rush would then be reaffirmed and sustained by the stars, hearts, and thumbs-up that constitute the nickels and dimes of social media validation. The people giving me these stars, hearts, and thumbs-up were engaging in their own cynical game: A fear of being targeted by the mob induces us to signal publicly that we are part of it. Just a few years ago, many of my friends and peers who self-identify as liberals or progressives were open fans of provocative standup comedians such as Sarah Silverman, and shows like South Park. Today, such material is seen as deeply “problematic,” or even labeled as hate speech. I went from minding my own business when people told risqué jokes to practically fainting when they used the wrong pronoun or expressed a right-of-center view. I went from making fun of the guy who took edgy jokes too seriously, to becoming that guy... I am a kinder and more respectful person now that I’m not regularly on social media attacking people for not being “kind” and “respectful.” I mobbed and shamed people for incidents that became front page news. But when they were vindicated or exonerated by some real-world investigation, it was treated as a footnote by my online community. If someone survives a social justice callout, it simply means that the mob has moved on to someone new. No one ever apologizes for a false accusation, and everyone has a selective memory regarding what they’ve done... Aggressive online virtue signaling is a fundamentally two-dimensional act. It has no human depth. It’s only when we snap out of it, see the world as it really is, and people as they really are, that we appreciate the destruction and human suffering we caused when we were trapped inside."

What We Eat Affects Everything - "when you put makeup on, like foundation and eye makeup and so on in the morning, by the end of the day it’s gone. Literally gone—it looks like you don’t have anything on. Where does it go? It gets absorbed into our body. And the opposite thing can happen when you eat certain foods; you can see the effect coming out on your skin. There’s this incredible connection between the two. And the same way we overuse antibiotics and expose our digestive tract to chemicals that alters this delicate balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria, we do the same thing to our skin... Most of us are “toxing” 80 percent of the time and detoxing 20 percent of the time. And we should really think about flipping that—we should think about detoxing 80 percent of the time. And I’m not suggesting anything extreme... the female colon is longer than the male colon, on average, about 10 centimeters longer... Women have this rounded, gynecoid pelvis so that when the uterus expands there’s room for a baby. Men have a narrow, android pelvis. What happens in women is that more of the colon drops down deep into the pelvis. In women, the colon is really right there mixed up with the uterus, and the ovaries, and the Fallopian tubes, and the bladder. In men, the only hardware you have is this little bitty prostate gland, and the bladder, and that’s it... because of differences in hormonal levels with men having more testosterone on board, you guys have a well-developed abdominal wall. So even a man who’s overweight and has a big beer belly still has a tighter, more robust abdominal wall just because of the testosterone. Men will complain that they’re fat, but will rarely complain that they’re bloated because that tighter, more defined abdominal wall, the rectus abdominis sheath, which is, to some degree dependent on testosterone, that holds the bowel in place"

Why Do Old People Smell? The Science of Odor as We Age - ""Old people smell" is a real phenomenon. The chemical composition of odor-producing molecules changes as we age, plus there are other factors that affect scent"

Canada's Secret to Welcoming Immigrants - "For decades, Canada has sustained exceptionally high levels of immigration without facing an illiberal populist groundswell. It is the most inclusive country in the world in its attitudes toward immigrants, religion, and sexuality, according to a 2018 survey by the polling company Ipsos. In a ranking of the most important Canadian symbols and values, its citizens put “multiculturalism” right next to the national anthem—and just behind their flag. In the U.S., those supportive of multiculturalism say they’re the least patriotic; in Canada, patriotism and multiculturalism go together like fries and cheese curds... The Quebec Act provided an accidental blueprint for the Canadian experiment, Russell said. If the United States was a nation conceived in a life-or-death war for liberty, French Canada was a hyphenation hammered out in messy compromise between the public and private realms: English common law in the streets, French Catholicism in the sheets. From the start, Canada was a curious bargain—a multinational nation... Canada’s indigenous people have won legal victories allowing them to retain large swaths of land... It’s easier to cultivate a history of openness to strangers when outsiders haven’t spent several centuries trying to kill or conquer you. Plus, it’s harder to illegally immigrate to a country surrounded by cold, vast oceans; so, Canada has been spared from sudden, shocking influxes of undocumented foreigners. But there is a subtler benefit of Canada’s immensity. The country has a lot of space to fill, and it’s always needed outsiders to fill it... Foreign-born Canadians have always accounted for between 15 and 20 percent of the country’s total population since the country’s founding. In the U.S., immigrants have never exceeded 15 percent of the total population since the 1850s... Canada has developed a “points-based” system of immigration that carefully selects for skill... Even conservative Canadians see incoming workers as an economic benefit... its most successful populist movements to date have been pro-immigrant... Canadian conservatives have historically seen free trade and multiculturalism as a weapons to take on the political dominion and cultural elitism of the eastern provinces"

Canada's Immigration Policy Isn't Really That Welcoming - "its methods of controlling immigration are simply quieter, subtler, and less obvious than America’s. It’s that commitment to policing immigration that has, paradoxically, sustained such high levels of support... the movement of people into the country has generally been so law-abiding and orderly as to be uncontroversial and barely newsworthy. Canada, unlike the U.S., is a country where nearly all arrivals come in through the front door, in the open, during daylight hours... more than 75 percent of visa applicants from countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria were turned down. The Canadian government’s aim is to discourage anyone from trying to permanently relocate to Canada by anything other than regular, legal means. Despite Canada’s open-door reputation, the country has some of the world’s most restrictive visa rules. A World Economic Forum survey of travel and tourism professionals ranked Canada among the worst in the world—120th out of 136 countries—for the restrictiveness of its visitor visa requirements. It’s a quiet but effective means of preempting irregular immigration... While [asylum seekers'] cases are being adjudicated, Canada releases most border-crossers into the population, giving them social assistance and free medical care and allowing them to work, legally. It’s a sensible and humane system, but it risks breaking down if too many people use it. It also creates perverse incentives. Lengthy delays in processing claims, combined with the ease of entering the asylum system, means a refugee claim made on Canadian soil is a backdoor way for an economic migrant to spend a few years, possibly many years, legally working in Canada."
If you're a liberal who equates legal and illegal immigration, this won't make a difference

Harvard study: Heat slows down the brain by 13%

Star Wars: Leigh Brackett and The Empire Strikes Back You Never Saw

Episode 78: Hot Takes: Black Panther — The Art History Babes - "'He was there to help'...
'He was the token white man'
'He was there for some good laughs, but he was not integral.'
'He was not multi dimensional'
'He didn't need to be... it was great'"
If Martin Freeman's character had been a token black man in another movie...

Episode 80: Red, Red Wine — The Art History Babes - "[On bug dye] England wanted the dye so badly, by the 17th century they owned 15% of the world's supply of cochineal, but that wasn't quite enough for them. There were even English pirate ships that targeted ships carrying cochineal... There was a really funny statistic where they compared the amount of nuns versus sex workers in Venice in the Renaissance, and the sex workers outnumbered the nuns like five to one."

GoFundMe campaign to make Kylie Jenner a billionaire
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