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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Links - 22nd September 2018 (2)

Angelina Jolie divorce lawyer Laura Wasser quits - "A new report claims that Jolie, 43, has become so hostile and uncompromising throughout the split that her lawyer Laura Wasser is on the verge of quitting and has “made it known” to Jolie because it’s become too “venomous”."
Too bitter for a divorce lawyer...

As Google Maps Renames Neighborhoods, Residents Fume - The New York Times - "it was suddenly rebranded on Google Maps to a name few had heard: the East Cut. The peculiar moniker immediately spread digitally, from hotel sites to dating apps to Uber, which all use Google’s map data. The name soon spilled over into the physical world, too. Real-estate listings beckoned prospective tenants to the East Cut. And news organizations referred to the vicinity by that term... how Google arrives at its names in maps is often mysterious. The company declined to detail how some place names came about, though some appear to have resulted from mistakes by researchers, rebrandings by real estate agents — or just outright fiction."

From Tokyo to Paris, Parents Tell Americans to Chill - The New York Times - "In much of the world, parents tend to regard such free-range parenting practices as developing a child’s self-reliance. But as a popular Sunday Review article by Kim Brooks, a writer in Chicago, pointed out, many in America see these practices as neglectful"

A Dream Ended on a Mountain Road: The Cyclists and the ISIS Militants - The New York Times - "the couple was biking in formation with a group of other tourists on a panoramic stretch of road in southwestern Tajikistan. It was there, on July 29, that a carload of men who are believed to have recorded a video pledging allegiance to the Islamic State spotted them... the Islamic State released a video showing five men it identified as the attackers, sitting before the ISIS flag. They face the camera and make a vow: to kill “disbelievers.” It was a worldview as diametrically opposed as imaginable to the one Mr. Austin and Ms. Geoghegan were trying to live by. Throughout their travels, the couple wrote a blog together and shared Instagram posts about the openheartedness they wanted to embody and the acts of kindness reciprocated by strangers... “You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Mr. Austin wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil. “I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own … By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.” “No greater revelation has come from our journey than this”"

Ordering The Vegetarian Meal? There’s More Animal Blood On Your Hands - "Published figures suggest that, in Australia, producing wheat and other grains results in:
at least 25 times more sentient animals being killed per kilogram of useable protein
more environmental damage, and
a great deal more animal cruelty than does farming red meat...
This environmental damage is causing some well-known environmentalists to question their own preconceptions. British environmental advocate George Monbiot, for example, publically converted from vegan to omnivore after reading Simon Fairlie’s expose about meat’s sustainability. And environmental activist Lierre Keith documented the awesome damage to global environments involved in producing plant foods for human consumption... When cattle, kangaroos and other meat animals are harvested they are killed instantly. Mice die a slow and very painful death from poisons. From a welfare point of view, these methods are among the least acceptable modes of killing. Although joeys are sometimes killed or left to fend for themselves, only 30% of kangaroos shot are females, only some of which will have young (the industry’s code of practice says shooters should avoid shooting females with dependent young). However, many times this number of dependent baby mice are left to die when we deliberately poison their mothers by the millions. Replacing red meat with grain products leads to many more sentient animal deaths, far greater animal suffering and significantly more environmental degradation. Protein obtained from grazing livestock costs far fewer lives per kilogram: it is a more humane, ethical and environmentally-friendly dietary option."

The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes - "A loose confederation of do-it-yourselfers were working on a system that would eventually help link an insulin pump to a glucose monitor and connect both to a smartphone app. The idea was that the wearer—or her parents—could track and adjust her blood sugar, in person or from afar. That would mean fewer pinpricks, and far fewer alarms, because her blood sugar would stay out of the danger zone. Most of the time, the contraption would be able to regulate the wearer’s insulin itself."

Facebook Says It Is Deleting Accounts at the Direction of the U.S. and Israeli Governments - "All of this illustrates that the same severe dangers from state censorship are raised at least as much by the pleas for Silicon Valley giants to more actively censor “bad speech.” Calls for state censorship may often be well-intentioned — a desire to protect marginalized groups from damaging “hate speech” — yet, predictably, they are far more often used against marginalized groups: to censor them rather than protect them. One need merely look at how hate speech laws are used in Europe, or on U.S. college campuses, to see that the censorship victims are often critics of European wars, or activists against Israeli occupation, or advocates for minority rights."
Although the writer gets upset when neutral laws restrict "minorities", he at least accepts that having restrictive laws in the name of "protecting" "minorities" can "backfire" - which is why they shouldn't exist
When liberals cheer Facebook and other social media outlets silencing non-liberals, they forget that parties they favor are also silenced

Cafe deemed racist for putting Union Jack flags on sandwiches
This suggests that it's not a conservative lie that some liberals do hate their countries

The Meme Policeman - Posts - "Openly defying and brazenly disrespecting your president, while hoping that he fails, is not called patriotism... It is called TREASON."
"If you still support Donald Trump and plan to vote for him again, you are a traitor!"
"Well, it’s finally happened. Occupy Democrats has gone full circle with their infamous treason meme! Just 2 years ago, openly defying the president was treason. Now, treason means supporting the president."

Singapore’s slow poison - "All the rationalisation is lost on the people. They see only one thing: We have highly-paid ministers. And we measure their monetary worth against every screw-up or warts. We do not cut them some slack, as Mr Goh would like, because we do not see them as our parents but as chief executives and general managers... I know the argument that the G has for defending their salaries, chief of which is to keep our leaders free from temptation that high office can bring, in other words, money politics and corruption. I would like to think our citizens are made of sterner stuff and our watchdogs far more vigilant than those elsewhere. In fact, I wouldn’t mind paying the watchdogs a lot more to ensure they do their jobs well. And even have caning introduced for corruption convictions! So why not just pay the politicians more you say? Because leadership is not just a “job’’, it is a “relationship’’ built on, yes, trust."

Woman detained in Slovakia for playing Verdi for 16 years - "the woman, identified only as Eva N, played a four-minute aria from Giuseppe Verdi's 'La Traviata' non-stop, in her house with on speakers full blast, from morning until night... a British woman from Walsall was jailed for repeatedly playing Ed Sheeran's Shape of You and causing "a wholly unacceptable level of disturbance""

Jeremy Corbyn and the cynical tactics of the left | Coffee House - "The official response from the Labour party for this story is that Corbyn didn’t know he was the head of the British chapter of this organisation and ‘has asked to be removed’. So there you have it. The Labour party’s line is ‘Might have happened to any of us.’ Though it’s enough to give you pause isn’t it? The ease with which any of us might end up heading the local branch of a Holocaust denial movement... There is the decent option – which is also the hardest. This would consist of sincerely trying to work out why the main party of the British left is now led by a man who keeps turning up in every international anti-Semitic fever swamp. There doesn’t seem like there’s much of an appetite for that option... Thus it is that portions of the left have decided to counter what they regard as the ‘anti-Semitism card’ with the ‘Islamophobia card’... anti-Semitism is a centuries (indeed millennia) old disease, rooted not in facts but in conspiracy-theories, and which in living memory led to the physical annihilation of a third of the world’s Jewish population. Whereas ‘Islamophobia’ is a concept invented by Islamists in the 1990s in order to try to prevent any and all criticism of the religion of Islam... The far-left, meantime, are simply trying to cover for the fact that on an average Sunday it is no longer especially newsworthy that their leader should be exposed as having yet another affiliation with yet another Holocaust denier. A Holocaust denier, incidentally, who chose in adulthood to convert to Islam. Who knows why he might have done that? Or who would dare to speculate?"

Suspect who tried to rob Boon Lay pawn shop is a Bangladeshi who overstayed - "The man suspected of trying to rob a pawn shop while wearing a pink turban is a Bangladesh national who overstayed"

Hungary Bans Gender Studies From Universities - "The government's stance is that the programs have no tangible use and are based on "ideology rather than science," according to a report in Hungarian political magazine Heti Világgazdaság... Bence Rétvári, Secretary of State of Hungary's Ministry of Human Resources, explained the decision by arguing that, while university degrees must have a scientific groundwork to justify them, gender studies are more rooted in ideology than in science, likening the field of study to Marxist-Leninism in that, in his view, it should not be taught at a university-level... The spokesman said that gender studies programs are not sustainable for state-run universities, arguing that they "take away valuable resources from other programs, deteriorating the economic stability of universities.”... Marta Pardavi, -- co-chair at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights watchdog organization -- criticized the Hungarian government with an "#academicfreedom" hashtag."
Presumably many of the people condemning this (after first calling it fake news) are in favour of removing Divinity/Theology from universities and are upset at Creationism in classrooms

Hungary to stop financing gender studies courses: PM aide - "Hungary’s government will stop financing gender studies university courses, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said on Tuesday, marking one of the first concrete steps in a cultural shift signaled last month... Chief of staff Gergely Gulyas cited low enrolment numbers, which he said would be reason enough alone to shut down the courses... ELTE did not immediately comment on the decision on Tuesday. It could not immediately give a total number of enrollees. Last year it planned to enroll 18 students in its master’s program but only 10 applied... CEU said it has 44 students enrolled in a two-year master’s program that offers two degrees, one Hungarian and one American. The Hungarian degrees are now at risk for future enrollees. CEU’s other gender studies students and PhD candidates only get U.S. degrees, which are unaffected."

Viktor Orban moves to ban gender studies courses at university in 'dangerous precedent' for Hungary - "Hungary’s ministry for human capacities said the proposed ban, which would come into effect at the start of the 2019 academic year, had been introduced because employers showed no interest in graduates from the subject."

“What Have We Done?”: Silicon Valley Engineers Fear They've Created a Monster - "Uber kept fares in a perfectly engineered sweet spot: just high enough for them to justify driving, but just low enough that not much more than their gas and maintenance expenses were covered... As the gig economy grows, so too does the danger that engineers, in attempting to build the most efficient systems, will chop and dice jobs into pieces so dehumanized that our legal system will no longer recognize them. And along with this comes an even more sinister possibility: jobs that would and should be recognizable—especially supervisory and management positions—will disappear altogether"

The automated in-car navigator that predated satellites - "The Iter-Auto had map scrolls instead of a screen."

You Are Almost Definitely Sharing Memes Made By Nazis - "Several times, I was told that taking memes from Nazis is kind of like citing philosophy from Martin Heidegger, who contributed widely to fields of phenomenology and existentialism … but was also a Nazi."
Since the left can't meme and since anyone to the right of Stalin is far right, this article is true

Crazy Rich Asians: Michelle Yeoh on how 1980s Hong Kong parties prepared her for role of socialite and glamorous matriarch in film - "“I lived in Hong Kong in the heyday of the 1980s, with all those galas and parties and charity organisations,” she tells the Post. “I’ve seen this world and I understand it. So I thought, ‘what’s so unusual?’”"

Scientists accidentally discover drug that may stop weight gain - "During their experiment they edited out two genes, thinking it would make the mice fat. But despite eating a high-fat diet the mice actually stayed skinny."
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