"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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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Links - 20th September 2018 (2)

How a Fille du Roi Brought the 'Mother's Curse' to Canada - "So well-documented is French Canadian genealogy that professional geneticists and demographers use the data for research, too. Whenever a small group of people leave a large population (France) to found a new one (New France), they bring with them a particular set of mutations. Some of these mutations will by chance be more common in the new population and others less so. As a result, some rare genetic disorders disproportionately impact French Canadians."

Starbucks and the Swimming Pool - "I don’t deny that racism exists. Nor do any of the black people (or most of the white ones) who question the modern orthodoxy on “white privilege,” racial preferences, and reparations. What we question is what that kind of racism—subconscious, residual, and passing—affects. For example, I can say quite honestly that neither of those incidents affected me in the least... Life is never perfect, and there are much grosser imperfections in mine than petty misinterpretations by people I’ll never see again... Black American public school students at Dunbar High in Washington, DC in Gaslight Era America, in the wake of Plessy v. Ferguson, in a country in which lynching was legal, were regularly trouncing white students on standardized tests—and we know what would have happened to any of them if they had even ventured near a white café or pool. Or—if racist encounters so conclusively stanch black initiative and mental acuity that we cannot be expected to do well on tests, then why does no one expect us not to do well as, say, musicians? Coltrane and Questlove have known their microaggressions quite well, thank you very much... A key part of dignity is resilience; another part is the ability to distinguish the passing from the fundamental... I think it infantilizes black people to be taught that microaggressions, and even ones a tad more macro, hold us back, permanently damage our psychology, or render us exempt from genuine competition"
Of course this black writer will just be called an Uncle Tom

For years, this popular test measured anyone’s racial bias. But it might not work after all. - "When I first took the implicit association test a few years ago, I was happy with my results: The test found that I had no automatic preference against white or black people. According to this test, I was a person free of racism, even at the subconscious level. I took the IAT again a few days later. This time, I wasn’t so happy with my results: It turns out I had a slight automatic preference for white people. According to this, I was a little racist at the subconscious level — against black people. Then I took the test again later on. This time, my results genuinely surprised me: It found once again that I had a slight automatic preference — only now it was in favor of black people. I was racist, but against white people, according to the test... According to a growing body of research and the researchers who created the test and maintain it at the Project Implicit website, the IAT is not good for predicting individual biases based on just one test. It requires a collection — an aggregate — of tests before it can really make any sort of conclusions... the IAT is only “good for predicting individual behavior in the aggregate, and the correlations are small.”... it’s not clear if the test even predicts biased behavior better than explicit measures... It seems like the IAT predicts some variance in discriminatory behaviors, but its predictive power to this end seems to be quite small: Depending on the study, the estimate ranges from less than 1 percent to 5.5 percent. With percentages so small, it’s questionable just how useful the IAT really is for predicting biased behavior — even in the aggregate... changes in implicit bias don’t seem to lead to changes in explicit bias or behavior. This suggests that strategies that mitigate implicit bias aren’t going to have real-world outcomes. "

Name-and-Shame Approach Puts More Women on Singapore Boards - "a government-backed group has started calling out companies with no female directors"
When will they start doing the same with race? Whither meritocracy?

Opinion | Inside the World of Racist Science Fiction - The New York Times - "To understand why white supremacists back the president, we have to understand the books that define their worldview."
Comments: "By contrast to the badly written bilge described here, which appeals only to white supremacists, two of the best known religious books, the Bible and the Koran, plus the Hindu scriptures, have led to the deaths of millions."
"I have no doubt that these books are nasty. I despise Trump. But the article doesn’t credibly establish a link between the two. And why is anyone quoting the Southern Poverty Law Center as if it is a trustworthy authority on extremism, acting with due diligence and without fear or favor? It has a record of incorrectly designating people and organizations as ‘extremists’ apparently because it disagrees with their politics. One of the reasons the SPLC can do this so successfully is that journalists continue to uncritically cite it as if it were a reliable and neutral arbiter, lending it a credibility it does not deserve."
"It attributed 49 murders to white supremacists over the 17 year period, or about 3 murders per year. There are about 18,000 murders per year. This means white supremacists account for about 0.0166 percent of murders. Not all the 49 murders committed by white supremacists from 2000 through 20016 were racially or ethnically motivated hate crimes"
"This is a bizarre essay. Is it permissible to hate hate-groups, and members of hate groups? It was particularly interesting that this article cites the Federation for American Immigration Reform as a hate group. The main objective of this group seems to be simply to enforce the Immigration Reform Act of 1986, duly passed by Congress, and flouted by many liberal groups."
"This article couldn’t conjure a picture more recent than 2003 of the literature it mentions, and seemed not to be able to name any recent books being published either, despite it being easier to publish (and find publications) than ever. Then the author admits that they have no statistics to back anything up (not even some cursory search volume stats?). Then they move to the standard Atlas criticism that must come with any liberal review of distasteful literature to ensure Shrugged continues to move towards equivalency on the “evil scale”."

Meanwhile, the Chinese think Trump is a genius - "My interlocutors say that Mr Trump is the US first president for more than 40 years to bash China on three fronts simultaneously: trade, military and ideology. They describe him as a master tactician, focusing on one issue at a time, and extracting as many concessions as he can. They speak of the skilful way Mr Trump has treated President Xi Jinping. “Look at how he handled North Korea,” one says. “He got Xi Jinping to agree to UN sanctions [half a dozen] times, creating an economic stranglehold on the country. China almost turned North Korea into a sworn enemy of the country.” But they also see him as a strategist, willing to declare a truce in each area when there are no more concessions to be had, and then start again with a new front...
Note that the Chinese guy Leonard quotes is the very Chicom, now-former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs He Yafei, who had fun browbeating President Obama openly in Copenhagen a few years ago, and Obama just took it. He's not talking the same way about Trump."

Why I’m Deleting All My Old Tweets - "There are practical reasons to delete your tweets. Increasingly, old tweets are being used as ammunition to get their owners fired or ruin their reputation by people with an ax to grind... Once tweets have been sent, they exist out of context. There’s no way to easily tell, when looking back at someone’s timeline from years ago, what jokes were trending, what the national mood was like, what everyone was faux-outraged by. Twitter is a reaction to stimulus. Once that stimulus is gone, though, the tweets linger, like a too-loud laugh at a joke no one else heard. What was funny? Who knows. We’re all going to die anyway."

Akira Toriyama Breaks New Ground by Introducing Two NEW and ORIGINAL Female Super Saiyans Who Kick as Much Ass as the Men Without Kicking the Men Out and Taking Their Place. He Is Successful
Marvel Comics Replaces Pre-Existing Male Characters With Female Copy-Cats Who Pale in Comparison to the Men They Are Meant to Be Replacing. Marvel's Comic Sales Drop Exponentially in Response

I infiltrated a Feminist Witchcraft group - "Like Dakota and Ender, most members of the group identify as Pagans, witches, queers and several other identities that I don’t even know existed. They hate the patriarchy, white privilege, male privilege, rape culture and every other crazy theory Social Justice warriors are known for. Its basically your average Feminist group, only worse, because they think they can perform magic."

Shark disguised as baby stolen from aquarium in pushchair

Higher Temperatures Linked to Increase in Suicide Rate - "when temperatures rose 1 degree Celsius above the average in a given month, suicide rates climbed by about 0.7% in the U.S. and 2.1% in Mexico. The researchers’ analysis of “depressive language” across 600 million social media updates suggested that overall mental wellbeing deteriorated during periods of higher than average temperatures as well."

WhatsApp suggests a cure for virality - Breaking the fever - "Starting this month, however, users of WhatsApp will find it harder to spread content. They will no longer be able to forward messages to more than 20 others in one go, down from more than 100. In India the upper limit is just five and WhatsApp has removed the “quick forward” button from audio, video and images, adding an extra step to the process of sending content. The goal is not to prevent people from sharing information—only to get users to think about what they are passing on"
Maybe this is racist to Indians

A stressful job: are surgeons psychopaths? - "This is not the first time that doctors have been found to have increased psychiatric tendencies compared with the general population... consultants at teaching hospitals score higher on a scale of psychopathic personality than DGH consultants, who in turn score higher than the general population"

Elin Ersson’s ‘citizen-activism’ comes at a heavy price | Coffee House - "a 22-year old Swede called Elin Ersson made headlines around the world for her ‘citizen-activism’. Learning that a failed asylum seeker from Afghanistan was to be deported from her country, she bought a seat on the plane that was due to take him part of the way back home (as far as Turkey). Once she was on board the plane Ersson refused to sit down. Filming the whole thing on her mobile phone (natch) Ms Ersson insisted that to send the failed asylum-seeker to his home country would be consigning him to ‘death’ because Afghanistan is ‘hell’. After about 15 minutes of this Ms Ersson got her way. The Afghan migrant was taken off the flight. Some passengers applauded. Ms Ersson cried. And soon she was being lauded as the Millennials’ answer to Rosa Parks. The self-appointed leaders of the sisterhood were especially vocal. A writer at the website that used to be the Independent told us that Ms Ersson has shown us ‘how effective individual action can be.’ Britain’s Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, applauded the ‘brave action by this young student’. And Caroline Lucas MP – joint leader of Britain’s Green Party – tweeted out motivationally ‘If ever you think one person can’t make a difference, then watch this! Huge respect to Elin Ersson, a student at Gothenburg university, for – literally – standing up for what she believes in. A true inspiration.’ Of course anyone with any knowledge of the facts could tell you that the real headline story here should have been ‘Sweden actually deports failed asylum-seeker’. In the last few years alone, Sweden has taken in around a hundred thousand people who the country itself recognises have no right to be there... Very few illegals with no right to be in Sweden ever actually do get deported... it has turned out that her 52-year old failed asylum seeker had reportedly been issued a two-year prison sentence in Sweden for assault. This sentence is on the harsh side in Sweden for an assault charge, so it will be interesting to discover just how severe the assault was that Ms Ersson’s illegal migrant was convicted of, and who the victim – or victims – of that assault might have been... For people like Ms Ersson there is only something to gain from deciding to arbitrarily impose your own personal migration and asylum policy. ‘Let them all stay’ has no moral taint to it, yet for the time being ‘Let the person who shouldn’t be here go home’ still does.
So Afghanistan is a shithole country?

Afghan whose deportation was blocked by crying Swedish girl, whipped his wife and daughters

How Beyonce's 'Ivy Park' Label Should Solve Sweatshop Scandal: Switch Suppliers - "While Sri Lankan women are making the clothing celebrating female empowerment, they’re clearly not seeing many if any of the benefits. Despite the owner of Topshop ranking 107th on Forbes’ richest list, with a net worth estimated at $6.7 billion, that wealth isn’t trickling down to Beyonce’s women working as sweatshop slaves in South Asia for just 64 cents an hour... Fashion companies need to stop shifting the burden of proof to its suppliers. Brands know full well what they’re getting into."

“Sin” taxes—eg, on tobacco—are less efficient than they look - The price of vice - "The Institute of Economic Affairs, a free-market think-tank, has produced a series of reports on the net fiscal costs of drinking, smoking and obesity to the British government (see chart 2). They estimate that, after accounting for sin taxes, welfare costs, crime and early death, tobacco and alcohol are worth £14.7bn ($19.3bn) and £6.5bn a year, respectively, to the Treasury. Obesity, in contrast, costs it £2.5bn a year... since most of the damage smokers, drinkers and the obese do is to themselves, rather than to others, governments need to think carefully about how much they want to interfere. Moreover, any cost-benefit analysis on the social impact of these vices needs to take into account that people do find them enjoyable. There is more to life than living longer."

Donald Low - "just looking at direct costs and savings, the evidence says that smokers save us money. This finding is one that moralists and conservatives find objectionable. Indeed, psychologists have found that one of the essential differences between conservatives and liberals is that the former find vices inherently objectionable. This is why people who say that smokers should be denied health subsidies (as the former dean of the NUS School of Public Health once suggested) are speaking religiously or moralistically, not scientifically or empirically. Interestingly, and almost as counter-intuitive, obesity imposes net costs to society since obese people don't pay higher taxes, and they DON'T live shorter lives (they just live sicker, and hence costlier, lives). So if conservatives and moralists need to berate somebody, it'd make a lot more sense for them to go after fat people than smokers"
If morality were only about costs to society, the terminally ill should just kill themselves, and the Japanese guy who stabbed 19 disabled to death is a hero

Mansplaining, explained in one simple chart
Ironically, feminists are against gendered slurs and gender based double standards when they're directed at women
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