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Saturday, September 08, 2018

Links - 8th September 2018 (1)

Women's March Releases Statement SLAMMING Trump's SCOTUS Nominee. There's Only One Problem. - "the Left lost their mind right on cue over the announcement of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. No matter whom the president was going to choose, the Left was going to paint the nominee as an extremist who threatens democracy, basic human rights, and enjoys drowning puppies. This cheap strategy used to rile-up the Democratic base was glaringly evident in a statement fired-off by the Women's March (emphasis added): "In response to Donald Trump's nomination of XX to the Supreme Court of the United States, the Women's March released the following statement," started an email from the feminist group. Clearly, the statement was pre-written, with the name only added in after the nominee was learned by the public, save the one "XX" spot at the beginning. Oops!"

Donald Trump on why he picked Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court: "He's got the votes" - "Kavanaugh's 300 opinions and his private conversations, he showed "a willingness to demand transparency and accountability from an ever-growing administrative state."

NVIDIA Unveils AI That Removes Noise, Grain, and Even Watermarks

University entry 'should be background, not just exams' - "The university access watchdog says students' backgrounds should be taken into account when awarding places, to improve "equality of opportunity""
Time to call the handicapper general

iPhone crashing bug likely caused by code added to appease Chinese gov’t - "this is the code that caused crashes on certain iDevices when users typed the word Taiwan or received messages containing a Taiwanese flag emoji"

FACT CHECK: Do Police Kill More White People Than Black People? - "CLAIM: Police shootings kill more white Americans than black Americans.
RATING: Mixture
WHAT'S TRUE: In absolute numbers, more white people than black people are killed in police shootings (because white people outnumber black people in America)...
Any “analysis” of police killings will of course show that in absolute numbers, more white people are killed in police shootings than black people, because (non-Hispanic) whites comprise a roughly five times greater share of the U.S. population (62% vs. 13%). So any “analysis” that is based on nothing more than absolute numbers and does not take demographics into account is inaccurate and misleading... According to those statistics (adjusted for racial demographics), black people had a 2.7 higher likelihood of being killed by police than whites."
What happens when Snopes does fact checks
Of course, they ignore the fact that you need to adjust the killings of black people by police by the crime rate to avoid having inaccurate and misleading "analysis"


PayPal told customer her death breached its rules

Astronaut Chris Hadfield says we could have gone to Mars decades ago — here's why we haven't - "“The majority of the astronauts that we send on those missions wouldn’t make it,” Hadfield said. “They’d die.”... According to a 2016 study published in Nature, the flight to and from the moon exposed 24 astronauts who made the trip to a much greater risk of deadly heart disease... A long slog to Mars increases the risks of explosions, radiation, starvation, and other problems. Technologies that could mitigate these issues – such as lightweight yet effective shielding, hibernation capsules, and bioregenerative life-support systems – don’t yet exist."

Women pay more for insurance because they have higher health-care costs - "per-capita lifetime health-care expenditures for women run $361,200, or nearly $100,000 more than per-capita lifetime health-care expenditures for men. Part of that is related to the fact that women live longer on average, but that does not account for the majority of the difference... The higher premiums charged to women are not rooted in the malice of wicked insurance executives but in the thing that our progressive friends claim to love: science — in this case, actuarial science. The argument for charging women higher premiums may not be persuasive to you, but it has some basis in reality. The argument against doing so has no obvious basis in anything other than preference."

Why Women Pay Higher Prices for the "Same" Products | Mises Institute - "When discussing the pink tax, we can dispense with the notion that women pay more money for exactly the same products that men use. In order for goods to be identical, the two products must be viewed as homogenous units by the consumers themselves. Clearly this is not the case, and hygiene products — even ones designed to do similar things — are viewed differently by men and women. First of all, men’s and women’s products generally smell different from one another. This fact alone is enough to distinguish them as separate products if the sexes treat the products differently. Moreover, in terms of physical amenities, men’s and women’s razors are different in a number of ways. As indicated here, women’s razors are often larger and have more stuff around the blades to help women shave a larger area. Women pay more for dry cleaning and haircuts. This is partially due to the fact that women’s dry cleaning and women’s haircuts takes more time, and is more labor intensive. More importantly, female consumers of dry cleaning are willing to voluntarily pay the higher prices... To believe that women only buy women’s products that are identical to men’s due to clever advertising campaigns would be to assume that women have no brains and can be endlessly manipulated by firms"
Men pay more for waxing than women. A gay guy described this as the gay tax

Gender Identity, Consumption and Price Discrimination - "The mediatic presence of contents regarding pink tax, even though it is a claim for audiences, it unleashes discomfort and mistrust among citizens. To warn can be a potential way of approaching the problem, but it is not exempt from risk since it evokes in the consumer an attitude of general rejection and mistrust towards brands. It is indispensable to clarify the reality behind the pink tax claim... Data for price analysis were classified in 4 groups: (1) identical/ quasi identical products targeted to women and men in a differentiated manner; (2) similar products with nonfunctional differences, (3) similar products with functional differences, in both cases aimed specifically to women and men, and (4) products exclusive for a gender, either male or female. Results of analysis performed show three facts: first, that the existence of the pink tax, understood as an extra price in identical/ quasi identical products is not significant; second, that price differences in similar products are supported by differences in product features and are potentially generators of value for consumers. And lastly, the enormous offer diversification targeted to women is demonstrated. A wide offer of personal care products is destined to them – without equivalent for men-, a consumption that points at them and moves them closer to a social ideal of beauty linked to success"
In other words, the pink tax is (another) feminist myth

Women have more accidents per mile - "Of course the debate over which is the superior sex, at least behind the wheel, is an old one - and apparently a very well-research one, too. Take this study called Sex differences in driving and insurance risk ( http://www.sirc.org/publik/driving.pdf). Men will be gratified to hear that the research says women are more likely than men to be involved in car accidents on a per-mile-driven basis (it's a U.S. study). Yes, yes, we have quicker reflexes and better spatial perception skills than women. On the other hand, when men crash, we do it big-time. We're flat-out dangerous -- more likely (by 50-100 per cent versus women) to be in crashes involving loss of life. Men tend to ignore the law, engage in more risk-taking behaviour, race for pink slips, drive drunk and behave aggressively behind the wheel."
In short, men are better drivers than women but more dangerous (in a sense)

World Cup 2018: How do Belgian footballers speak to each other? - "Sources say the players speak neither Dutch nor French but English in the changing room, to avoid the perception of favouring one language over another. They also speak English on the pitch... The country also has a large number of migrants who speak neither Dutch nor French as a native language and so English can be used to integrate them too... "All Swiss language communities accept the notion of the Swiss nation, which is defined plurally," says nationalism expert Klaus-Jurgen Nagel of Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University. "But this is not the case in Belgium where the narrative of the nation is contested. In Flanders, a lot of people define [themselves] in the first place as members of the Flemish nation, rather than as Belgians.""

Effect of prolonged and exclusive breast feeding on risk of allergy and asthma: cluster randomised trial - "These results do not support a protective effect of prolonged and exclusive breast feeding on asthma or allergy"

Oscar Martinez's answer to What are the biggest reasons not to join the military? - Quora - "One day while I was in it dawned on me: I will have seen more naked men in person than I ever will naked women. This saddened me and those with whom I shared this observation"

Sheila Parkins's answer to As a Canadian, what do you find different about the U.S.A. when you visit? - Quora - "one thing that stood out to me a lot was the black people. There are a lot more of them in the US than in Canada. And it really took me aback - they acted like the stereotypes you see on TV. I’m very much used to black people more or less either a) being local and acting more or less just like everyone else or b) reflecting the culture of wherever they immigrated from, which generally is not the typical black American way of acting. I mean, I think I knew on an intellectual level that the stereotypes came from somewhere, but it still just was so odd to see people talking and acting in a way I had only ever really seen, to any large degree, on TV.“

Restoring women’s voices - History Extra - "13 percent of the blue plaques in London represent women, I think it's less than three percent of the statues in the UK currently represent women who were real historical women, so not a mythological character or a representation of an idea. And weren't royal because obviously there's a few knocking around of Queen Victoria. So there's actually, there's just a lot of missing women women missing from pedestals"
Maybe women only did 13% of the things worthy of blue plaques

The national debt dilemma podcast: what can we learn from history? - History Extra - "What's happening in the French public finances in the 18th century because just at the same time as the British were making their big play for constitutional monarchy in 1688, Louis the 14th in France was going in exactly the opposite direction. He dismissed all his ministers, he refused to call Parliament and had an absolute monarchy and that made it rather difficult for the French financial system to move forward from its rather cumbersome, medieval roots. And so all the way through the 18th century you had a very odd eccentric French tax system. Taxes were really contracted out to a vast array of tax collectors and money lenders. Even the French Ministers of Finance effectively had very little idea of how much they were in debt. If they were in debt"

Britain’s Catholic emancipation - History Extra - "If you were a member of a Catholic family, you could suddenly say, I'm Protestant by the way, and inherit everything"

World War One at home - History Extra - "'To what extent do you think it's acceptable to sacrifice some level of accuracy in order to ensure the story works?'...
'I think there are various elements. You can't shift dates of battles or whether people have rationing or who's been conscripted and how things are dealt with in that way. I think that sort of element is absolutely important to get right. But then I think it's very difficult to create a feel of an era and it's quite difficult to create attitudes and values, and behavior that people had then for people to comprehend now. So we have a very different idea about how children are treated, and if we created the historical accuracy of 1914, I think people would find that very difficult. I think there are some things which were the way in which people spoke to each other or spoke to women, or spoke to people who were non English. You wouldn't want to recreate that on radio nowadays. I know there was an interesting debate early on about the first years, first months of the war, there was a massive level of anti-German feeling and urban myths about things that the Germans had done in Belgium when they went in to Belgium. Now, actually to recreate all of that I think would have been quite problematic cause you can't recreate the feel and the rumor and the way in which they spoke about it without almost sort of propagating really quite anti-German feeling in this country at this moment.'"
Of course, those who claim that art has a responsibility to reflect reality would be outraged at historical accuracy that was politically incorrect

America's changing dream - History Extra - "Among American conservative commentators and in the right wing media in America there's an explicit argumentative, provocative assumption that the American dream is antithetical to social democracy, that it is actively hostile to regulated capitalism and the American dream and free market Capitalism are one and the same, and they always have been. And to say anything else is unamerican. So it came to me as shall we say a point of interest to discover that the American Dream was in fact coined to articulate the need for regulating capitalism and to articulate the need for social democracy. So whatever else you may say about the American dream as a phrase, it is absolutely not inimical to the idea of social democracy or to the idea of regulated capitalism...
How to stop bad millionaires, not how to become one...
All of the ideas that people have now about what they think the Republican party has always stood for, which it didn't. It was the party of Lincoln. So it was actually the Civil Rights party, which people forget. The party of Teddy Roosevelt, who was an anti monopolist, but in the name of Republican small markets...
[Wilson] was using it to try to navigate a very complicated political terrain between a very strong isolationist sentiment in America at the time, a strong urge toward political neutrality, which is not necessarily the same as isolationism. And one things I explained in the book is that the reasons for American neutrality in the First World War were much more complicated than I think people often appreciate. For example, the number of Irish Americans living in the country who were absolutely outraged at the idea of venturing an alliance with Britain. And that was a feeling that only strengthened after 1916 and the Easter Rising. So the idea that it was simple isolationism or that it was just Americans not wanting to get involved over simplifies the issue. You've got German Americans, Irish Americans, you've got this, you've got this is what happens when you have a melting pot. How do you actually negotiate that? But Wilson was an internationalist. So what he did was he gave a speech in which he said, we need to put America first, but not by being last to do anything, but by being first to lead."
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