"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Links - 19th September 2018 (2)

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Tuesday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "'If you're worried about a robot or some kind of artificial intelligence taking your job... according to the accounting firm PWC robots are likely to create more jobs than they eliminate... what types of jobs are most at risk from artificial intelligence and robots in general?'
'I think in general it's jobs that can be reduced to some sort of routine... Law. You can analyze a huge number of past cases using AI and then the lawyers can do more. They can come up with new types of arguments, they can tackle new types of cases. So as long as your skills are complementary to the machine, then you can actually gain from it, and you can gain higher productivity, higher wages and increased wealth. But if your skills are very easily substitutable by machines, by being more routine, and if you're not flexible enough to address, then it's a problem.'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Are we heading for 'designer babies'? - "'It's not always so easy to determine where the line should be drawn [between therapy and enhancement]. Personally, I'm someone who is autistic. I was diagnosed when I was 12. And there are many social contexts in which that can be very disabling and there are others in which it can be something that's quite pleasant and a very important part of my identity'...
'Eugenics was about ideology, science is about science and about making life better for people. We can surely at this stage in our development as human beings distinguish between those two.'
'Well, eugenicists thought so too, we have to remember that eugenics-'
'But they were wrong and we know that now. That's the point, society has moved on. That's really my point.'
'Well, I think the issue is they thought they had moved on too. Eugenics was a mainstream science. It was recognized and celebrated in the highest of medical and government circles. I think we have to ask ourselves a question and I would ask you this, John, Why do we suddenly believe that we have it all figured out now, that we can decide for future generations, for all time of humanity, even as we recognize that we had been wrong and we have made grievous errors in every generation prior to now.'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Margaret Hodge defends attack on Corbyn - "Jewish MPs and others in the party are angry because the leadership hasn't accepted the entire definition of anti-Semitism, which is written by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Trump visits Britain - "At the end of the day, you know the funny thing is, he sends those tweets out and then he's perfectly fine, he doesn't really have, hold a hostile feeling or anger...
'The giant Trump baby balloon'...
'Well, he'll think that it's about him. So it's probably a positive thing... he does find some of these things funny and interesting, and look, this is a man who has been involved in controversy for almost his entire life in public life and business life. So he's used to it... it gives him energy, all of this controversy, so he enjoys that.'...
He got elected... from the very notion from the voters in the US on the basis that he was going to upset this world order, he was gonna turn it upside down. He will go back and say, look at the amount of people at the protest against me because they don't like it when I put America first. They don't like it when I stand up for American jobs, they don't like it when I don't want to pay as much into the NATO pot as everybody else and I make them pay more. You know, this is a vote winner for him in one way or another. I think sometimes the best way to treat President Trump is to turn your back on him and ignores him"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Tuesday's business with Rob Young - "It's interesting, I think that EU fines are now listed as a regular business expense in Google's financial statements. Does that suggest that the fines, perhaps, aren't big enough?"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Erdogan wins: but has he peaked? - "I think that the only event really that could do that is an economic crash. And it's long being talked about, it's long been speculated. There's on the horizon, there have been some economic problems. Inflation is already at 12 percent. The Turkish Lira has lost almost a fifth of its value this year against the dollar. And yet despite that, he won re-election. Now, people will tell you, well, it's because the ordinary people on the street don't yet feel the impact and if there is a real economic collapse, then potentially that is a thing that could begin to shake his support base. But what the government does is, it turns it into a narrative that this is a foreign plot to try to hijack President Erdogan and to destroy the country, and for a nation that is addicted to conspiracy theories, they buy that. A lot of people buy that. It would really need to be a massive financial crash for them to begin to doubt him... Turkey likes a strong man. Ataturk was one, Erdogan is another. And when you go to Erdogan rallies, there are posters of Erdogan beside a poster of Ataturk"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, The challenge to the EU - "At the town hall in Seoul, they've been shutting off the power on Friday evenings, to encourage the workers to go home"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Trump points the way to NATO - "What we've seen here is the Trump method. You say exactly what you really believe, as he did apparently in the interview with the Sun newspaper about Britain and Brexit and Mrs May. And then when you have the next formal occasion, you moderate, you pull back a little bit and then you pronounce everything the greatest success in the world...
We forecast that by 2030, Asia will essentially have eradicated extreme poverty as a continent"
Ahh capitalism! Of course anti-capitalists will claim that it's really science and technology that did the job - despite Communist countries' poor performance despite prioritising science and technology

What the Mystery of the Tick-Borne Meat Allergy Could Reveal - The New York Times

This autistic student asked for a 'fist bump' and a selfie. He got two Title IX investigations. - "A “fist bump” and a selfie may have ended Marcus Knight’s educational career right as it started. The student, who has autism, cerebral palsy and a shunt to relieve fluid pressure on his brain, was not allowed to defend himself against allegations in two Title IX investigations"

Man injured after 'upskirting' camera explodes in his shoe

Obama administration approved $200G grant to group with Al Qaeda ties - "The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated the Islamic Relief Agency in Khartoum in 2004 a terror-financing organization because of links to Usama bin Laden. But 10 years later, in March 2014, USAID awarded $723,405 to a charity called World Vision Inc., with $200,000 of those funds being directed to the Islamic Relief Agency"

Kuwaiti blogger slammed for 'racist' post says criticism is 'Islamophobic' - "The beauty blogger who sparked outrage after complaining about new laws giving migrant workers better rights has refused to apologise for her remarks, instead accusing her critics of attacking Islam, the hijab and Kuwait... Ms Qattan called the backlash to her comments a “foreign media campaign” designed to attack Islam, the hijab, Kuwait and the wider Gulf region."

New Extremist Political Movement Recklessly Engages In Civil Discourse - "The Southern Poverty Law Center says that it is currently tracking more than 2,300 extremist civility groups in the country, citing an alarmingly high rate of instances of open interactions at unprecedented levels of respectfulness. “It’s like they’re trying to set the clock back,” said extremism advocate Duncan Whitehead. “We thought the troubling days of people like G.K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw—two men with wildly opposing viewpoints yet a disturbing amount of respect for each other— were far behind us.” Liberal activist Danica Hartley says the movement is driven by “privilege.” “If you’re treating your neighbor with respect, you’re part of the problem,” she said. “Our party didn’t spend decades enraging and dividing people just to have groups like these reigniting the tired, dead philosophy of loving your neighbor.”"

Half a million South Koreans sign petition against immigration policy - "Nearly half a million South Koreans have signed a petition against their government’s refugee friendly migration policy. 520,000 people have signed a petition asking their government to “put Koreans before refugees” and are seeking to revoke the Yemenis refugee application. Hank Kim, owner of Core Travel Agency, has posed that people are worried about how immigrants have lived in Europe... “It has become really bad in recent weeks and it is all because Jeju introduced a program that enabled people from 186 countries to come here without a tourist visa.”... “We are not against all refugees. But we should not accept foreigners who try to exploit the policy as a means of seeking economic interests and dodging the draft in their countries""
Clearly, South Korea is the closest safe country to Yemen

Inside Germany’s first brothel to specialise in SEX DOLLS where randy punters claim to prefer romps with silicone models to real women - "Evelyn claims they are being used around 12 times a day for £70 a go and is planning to expand her female line-up. She said: “From those on benefits to judges. Seventy percent of men also come back."... Evelyn even claims wives are proving understanding of the bizarre fetish, with some “waiting outside in their car” while their man pops in for a sex doll session... France's sex doll brothel in Paris was recently saved from closure after campaigners claimed it fuels rape fantasies."

Deep-sea 'aliens' no one knew existed, unearthed in Singapore-Indonesia expedition

So cute I could eat it: The science behind 'cute aggression' - "They posit that the feeling is similar to nervous laughter or tears of joy, an attempt to regulate emotion by going in the opposite direction and thus bringing ourselves back down to a normal state"

Lamarck's bizarre theory of evolution may turn out to be right after all - "Before Charles Darwin, the leading evolutionary theorist was Jean-Baptise Lamarck, who believed organisms acquired traits over their lifetimes that they then passed onto their children. This theory has been roundly disproved...but in the case of roundworms, Lamarck was actually right... This isn't the first time scientists have found latter-day evidence for Lamarckism, but all previous findings have been deeply controversial in part because nobody could figure out a clear biological mechanism to explain them. Indeed, one of the most famous examples involves humans, as Dr. Rechavi explains:
"The classic example is the Dutch famine of World War II. Starving mothers who gave birth during the famine had children who were more susceptible to obesity and other metabolic disorders — and so were their grandchildren.""

Online trolls may be barred from being MP or councillor - "A joint analysis of tweets in the run-up to the election in 2017, by the University of Sheffield and BuzzFeed News. found that male Conservative candidates received the highest percentage of abuse on Twitter. Amnesty International had carried out a separate analysis of the accounts of 177 female MPs in the six months leading up to the election and found that Labour's Diane Abbott received almost half (45.1%) of all abusive tweets that were sent to female MPs."
That's one way to prevent your opponents from being elected
Funny how male Conservatives got the most abuse - when abuse is supposed to be racist, sexist etc

How The 'College-For-Everybody' Agenda Harms Both Students And The Economy - "Many in higher education worry continuously over the fact that only roughly half of students who enroll in college ever graduate, and that those who do graduate often take more than four years to do so. But few seek to go to the roots to attempt to discover the ultimate causes explaining these depressing statistics. One of the few who makes such an attempt is Charles Murray, whose contrarian explanation is, “Too many people are going to college.” Regardless of whether one agrees with its conclusions, Murray’s Real Education, published in 2008, has received far less attention than the gravity of its arguments merits. Real Education defends what he deems are four simple truths about education, but truths that cannot be said publicly without engendering the wrath of a culture fallen prey to what he labels “educational romanticism.” They are “(1) ability varies; (2) half of the children are below average; (3) too many people are going to college; and (4) America’s future depends on how we educate the academically gifted.”... the vision “that everyone should go to college”—like all well-intentioned projects suffering only tenuous connections to reality—asks “too much from those at the bottom, . . . the wrong things from those in the middle, . . . and too little from those at the top.”... Murray presents a higher-education system in which too many students are forced to spend too much time chasing their tails. His thesis that too many are going to college today goes no small distance toward explaining why roughly half of those who enroll in college fail to graduate. It goes a long way toward explaining why, of those who do graduate, 36 percent show little-to-no increase in the critical-thinking and writing skills that a degree is supposed to signify. It goes a long way toward explaining why, in the ‘60s, college students studied on average 24 hours a week, whereas today they spend only 14. Finally, it goes a long way toward explaining the rampant grade inflation perpetrated by universities eager to “accommodate” the masses of new students in college who can’t cope there. In the ‘60s, 15 percent of college grades nationwide were A’s. Today, that percentage has nearly tripled: 43 percent of all grades today are A’s. In fact an A is now the most common grade given in college."
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