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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Links - 5th September 2018 (2)

Is Saudi Arabia the next big heritage tourism destination?

Tainan, Taiwan's food capital: Danzai noodles and more

In praise of gentrification - Urban myths - "The most careful empirical analyses conducted by urban economists have failed to detect a rise in displacement within gentrifying neighbourhoods. Often, they find that poor residents are more likely to stay put if they live in these areas. At the same time, the benefits of gentrification are scarcely considered. Longtime residents reap the rewards of reduced crime and better amenities. Those lucky enough to own their homes come out richer. The left usually bemoans the lack of investment in historically non-white neighbourhoods, white flight from city centres and economic segregation. Yet gentrification straightforwardly reverses each of those regrettable trends... Those who bemoan segregation and gentrification simultaneously risk contradiction. The introduction of affluent, white residents into poor, minority districts boosts racial and economic integration. It can dilute the concentration of poverty—which a mountain of economic and sociological literature has linked to all manner of poor outcomes, including teenage pregnancy, incarceration and early death. Gentrification steers cash into deprived neighbourhoods and brings people into depopulated areas through market forces, all without the necessity of governmental intervention... arguing against gentrification can amount to insistence that poor neighbourhoods remain poor and that racially segregated neighbourhoods stay cut off... Opposing gentrification has become a way for people to display their anti-racist bona fides. This leads to the exaggerated equation of gentrification with white supremacy. Such objections parallel those made by white NIMBYs who fret that a new bus stop or apartment complex will bring people who might also alter the culture of their neighbourhood—for the worse. The term gentrification has become tarred. But called by any other name—revitalisation, reinvestment, renaissance—it would smell sweet."

The Hottest Social Scene in Town Isn’t the Singles’ Bar. It’s the Supermarket. - WSJ - "Bo Sharon, owner of Boulder, Colo.-based Lucky’s Markets, says about 25% of his stores are devoted to nonretail space, whether that’s tables in a cafe, performance areas for local musicians, or a designated community room where neighborhood groups meet."

Would You Like Some Strife With Your Meal? - WSJ - "My hometown [Portland Oregon] became a foodie paradise starting a decade or so ago, when I lived in California. At first it was beautiful... an anonymous Google spreadsheet began circulating warning about restaurants that served ethnic cuisine: “These white-owned businesses hamper the ability for POC”—people of color—“to run successful businesses of their own . . . by either consuming market share with their attempt at authenticity or by modifying foods to market to white palates.”... When I was growing up here, I adored the city’s unofficial slogan, “Keep Portland weird.” Nowadays it leaves a bad taste in my mouth."
It is easier to destroy than it is to create

An Asian-American Awakening - WSJ - "Have progressives poked a sleeping giant? A thousand New Yorkers showed up Sunday at City Hall to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bid to substitute de facto racial quotas for a merit-based admission test at the city’s elite public schools. Two things make the protest striking. First, the protesters were Asian-American. Second, the big local dailies, save for the New York Post, didn’t cover it... “For years Asian-Americans have been viewed as the ‘model minority’—you know, quiet and well-behaved,” says Chunyan Li, a professor of accounting at New York’s Pace University. “But when we see the effects of social engineering on the future of our children, we can get nasty against the politicians too.” It wasn’t supposed to work like this. In theory, only the white patriarchy loses from affirmative action, and all people of color share the same interests, regardless of their history or socioeconomic status or achievement... one minority’s floor is another’s ceiling—and that the effect of race-based admissions is to set one group against another. It is all the more galling for the signal it sends, which is that if you happen to be the wrong minority, you will be penalized for your hard work and achievement... Any change that introduces criteria other than merit will mean that qualified Asian applicants will be denied seats in favor of unqualified black and Latino ones. The signs Asian-Americans waved at Sunday’s protest reflected this understanding: “Keep the test,” “Excellency is color blind,” and “I also have a dream.”"

Bill de Blasio’s Plan to Displace Asians In New York's Top Schools - "Defending the mayor’s plan against protests from Asian parents, New York City’s Department of Education Chancellor Richard Carranza said: “I just don’t buy into the narrative that any one ethnic group owns admission to these schools.” But Asians don’t claim to own the specialized schools by some ethnic birthright. They earn their spots in them, and these kids would be the most qualified students by any objective measure that anyone can imagine. The mayor is trying to abolish competitive admissions in favor of race-based allocations, he is trying to exclude the best students by limiting the number of seats in the specialized high schools that the best middle schools can earn... Test detractors... argue that it is unfair that Asian American families are highly motivated to get their children into top schools, that the kids study very hard, and that the parents are willing to spend all they can afford on test prep. However, socioeconomic factors cannot explain the demographics of NYC’s specialized schools. Asian Americans have the highest poverty rates of any racial group in New York, and 44 percent of students at the specialized high schools come from families poor enough to qualify for free or reduced school lunch. Moreover, the city has spent millions of dollars to provide test prep to black and Latino students, so all talented students in the city should have access to prep materials. And if getting into the specialized high schools was as simple as paying for expensive prep to get a top score, there would be a lot more affluent white kids at these schools... The fact that the SHSAT reaches substantially the same results as both early-childhood gifted and talented assessments and college entrance exams suggests that some trait exists which all these tests are identifying in the same students. Studies have shown that high test scores correlate strongly with career success across numerous fields, and the long lists of famous and successful Stuyvesant and Bronx Science alumni shows that the SHSAT has a record of identifying talent... taking a school that admits only students with elite test scores and opening it up to students with mediocre scores is the very definition of watering down admissions standards... Policymakers are failing to prepare black and Latino children to compete for selective admissions, and then they are claiming that the idea of selective admissions is racist because they don’t like the outcomes of their own policies."
Apparently it is unfair that people who do well and want to do well are rewarded

Opinion | De Blasio’s Plan for NYC Schools Isn’t Anti-Asian. It’s Anti-Racist. - The New York Times
Comments: "What racial or discrimination legacy is helping Asians to make it to these school?"
"if this plan goes through, it is inevitable the classes will be dumbed down so no one will feel bad and everyone will get fabulous grades, and youngsters who are like I was, will not have the life changing experience I had."
"Do we have affirmative action for us in sports? If you don't believe test is unbiased, you should cancel all of competitions, from NBA games to election debates. Actually, after years of efforts to expand free test prep programs and expand access to the test in underrepresented schools have not increased the share of black and Hispanic students... According to Mayor's plan, those unable to pass even state exam in some middle schools can go to these selective high schools. How ridiculous it is!"
"Mayor De Blasio should spend less time trying to fix the 9 public high schools that already work well and more time on fixing the hundreds of primary schools that DON'T. Don't punish hard working kids with motivated parents. And don't punish students at the elite high schools by dumbing them down (which is what will happen, along with a higher drop-out rate when unqualified affirmative action kids -- of various races -- can't keep up)."
"People should be asking why NYC schools failed the black population if they are in so much need of training wheels. How patronizing but, then again, that is the Democrat way. I read that Trump might well see record numbers of African-americans voting for him. Guess why?"
"You did well in school? Liberals will punish you. It is as simple as that."
"White people like to hold up Asia, Indian, Jewish success as a way to legitimate racism against Latinos and Blacks. And the so called super-minorities achieve "success" by mimicking whiteness, not through "hard work" and "talent", which is just coded racist notions for laziness and intellectual inferiority. We need to address how certain immigrant groups ascend the American hierarchy at the expense of Latinos and Blacks by uncritically accepting the values of whiteness. And Asians, Indians and Jews themselves need to think about how their success depends on whiteness, not their agency. You're either part of the problem or part of the solution." (I'm not sure if this was satirical)

The SHSAT Controversy in New York's Public High Schools - "In the current debate over representation at specialized schools, it’s often forgotten that three decades ago, there were sizable numbers of black and Latino students at Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech... What changed?... tracking—separating students into different classes by academic ability—had fallen out of favor nationally... Now, instead of tracking within schools, there is effectively tracking between schools"

Opinion | No Ethnic Group Owns Stuyvesant. All New Yorkers Do. - The New York Times - "44 percent of Stuyvesant students are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced lunch or are eligible for Human Resources Administration benefits. The school is diverse in other ways, too: 36 percent of Stuyvesant students self-report speaking a language other than English at home... by describing the majority populations of these schools as “one ethnic group,” it fails to appreciate the socio-economic and other diversity among these students and internal to Asian communities"

Jockeying for Position: Strategic High School Choice Under Texas' Top Ten Percent Plan - "Beginning in 1998, all students in the state of Texas who graduated in the top ten percent of their high school classes were guaranteed admission to any in-state public higher education institution, including the flagships. While the goal of this policy is to improve college access for disadvantaged and minority students, the use of a school-specific standard to determine eligibility could have unintended consequences. Students may increase their chances of being in the top ten percent by choosing a high school with lower-achieving peers. Our analysis of students' school transitions between 8th and 10th grade three years before and after the policy change reveals that this incentive influences enrollment choices in the anticipated direction. Among the subset of students with both motive and opportunity for strategic high school choice, as many as 25 percent enroll in a different high school to improve the chances of being in the top ten percent. Strategic students tend to choose the neighborhood high school in lieu of more competitive magnet schools and, regardless of own race, typically displace minority students from the top ten percent pool. The net effect of strategic behavior is to slightly decrease minority students' representation in the pool"

‘You look like the help': the disturbing link between Asian skin color and status - "Joi Barrios Le-Blanc, a lecturer with the South and Southeast Asian Studies department at The University of California, Berkeley, tells me that Filipino preference for fair skin dates back to the Binukot, a pre-Hispanic practice reminiscent of Japan’s geisha. The Binukot, often a wealthy girl, was chosen for her beauty from a very young age, was not exposed to sun and was raised on a hammock so her feet never touched the ground. Described traditionally as “pale as the moon and incomparably beautiful,” the Binukot retained their fair complexions because they were not allowed to work in the fields. Like the Binukot, who was pale simply because her higher class status forbade outdoor labor, fair-skinned immigrants receive privileges their darker skinned counterparts did not... Filipinos are “ranked lower socially” because Filipino immigrants in South Korea commonly take maligned gigs as nannies or prostitutes. “Filipino women were seen as second-class and unfit to teach the uber-rich students at my Hagwon”... the Tagalog phrase “Mukha kang katulong,” which translates to “You look like the help,” is a fairly common insult within our community"
At least this isn't blaming colonialism for the prizing of fairness

This Asian Guy Became a Pornstar to Prove Against that 1 Asian Stereotype - "Well you might think that because we’re so underrepresented that the porn industry is racist and it would be difficult for an Asian guy, but I haven’t experienced anything even close to that. Everyone has been very enthusiastic about working with an Asian guy, and most people think as a genre there is incredible untapped market potential."

Contraceptive implants are being given to girls as young as 12 on the NHS - "More than 10,500 underage girls have been given contraceptive implants on the NHS in the past two years. Some were just 12 or younger and four years below the legal age of consent of 16, but because of patient confidentiality laws, doctors and nurses are not allowed to tell their parents... critics say the NHS is giving girls a ‘licence’ to have illegal, underage sex without their parents’ knowledge. The procedure can be carried out by a specially trained nurse and does not have to be signed off by a doctor. In some areas of the country the devices are being fitted in schools."

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