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More adventurous than the average bear

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Sunday, September 09, 2018

Links - 9th September 2018 (2)

Elderly amputee who was denied Eldershield benefits dies weeks after authorities reconsidered his case - "the paperwork his family had to fill out before receiving help was unbelievable and that his brother struggled before he passed"

Men who accused Gamergate of misogyny; where are they now? ... (In jail) - "At the height of #GamerGate, gamers faced mischaracterization as misogynistic monsters by the male feminist allies of social justice. Years later, many of these men stand accused of stalking, sexual predation and worse"

'Influencer' deletes 95 Instagram posts after followers discover they came from Google image search

18 spectacularly wrong apocalyptic predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year - "In the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine, award-winning science correspondent Ronald Bailey wrote an excellent article titled “Earth Day, Then and Now” to provide some historical perspective on the 30th anniversary of Earth Day. In that article, Bailey noted that around the time of the first Earth Day, and in the years following, there was a “torrent of apocalyptic predictions” and many of those predictions were featured in his Reason article. Well, it’s now the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question again that Bailey asked 15 years ago: How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong”"

On Becoming A Person Of Color - "I realize people think I don’t speak English because of my Singaporean accent. On the one hand I think, fuck them, they go to an Ivy League school and don’t know the difference between “their” and “they’re.” On the other hand, I start curling my “r” and flattening my “t.”... my white classmates are distant, my Latinx and African American classmates wary. It will only be years later, when I understand anti-blackness and other forms of racism within Asian communities, that I will understand why. My Asian American classmates, however, seem to take it for granted that we will be friends. So I accept invitations to karaoke nights, even though I have never been to karaoke even once back home. I attend parties thrown by Asian American student associations and pretend to know the difference between soju and sake. When eating out at Chinese restaurants, I feign aptitude at eating rice with chopsticks, even though back home I eat rice with a fork and spoon... “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman,” Simone de Beauvoir writes in The Second Sex. I read these words in an undergraduate philosophy class and forget them right away. I only think of them years later, when I become a woman myself. Becoming happens in ways that are heartbreakingly tedious: being groped at parties, talked over in conference rooms, asked to smile, again and again... Some nights I lie awake in the dark, tracing the contours of my thirty years of life. I tally up the economic disadvantages and personal setbacks, the slurs and unconscious biases, trying to square them with the personal blessings, the racial privileges, the strokes of sheer, unbelievable luck. I count them on my fingers, first on the one hand, then the other. I finish counting and start over, trying, always, to solve the equation of myself. Woman. Foreigner. Minority. Person of color. I say the words in my head, over and over, uncurling my ”r,” sharpening my “t,” hoping one day, I will sound like myself again."
This suggests that contrary to feminists' claims, the US is more sexist than Singapore
I guess checking your privilege to fall asleep is more creative than counting sheep
"A lot of the Indian and chinese in America screaming racism and "check your privilege" are actually super privileged people in their home countries"


Research: The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45 - "Our team analyzed the age of all business founders in the U.S. in recent years by leveraging confidential administrative data sets from the U.S. Census Bureau. We found that the average age of entrepreneurs at the time they founded their companies is 42. But the vast majority of these new businesses are likely small businesses with no intentions to grow large (for example, dry cleaners and restaurants). To focus on businesses that are closer in spirit to the prototypical high-tech startup, we used a variety of indicators: whether the firm was granted a patent, received VC investment, or operated in an industry that employs a high fraction of STEM workers. We also focused on the location of the firm, in particular whether it was in an entrepreneurial hub such as Silicon Valley. In general, these finer-grained analyses do not modify the main conclusion: The average age of high-tech founders falls in the early forties. These averages, however, hide a large amount of variation across industries. In software startups, the average age is 40, and younger founders aren’t uncommon. However, young people are less common in other industries such as oil and gas or biotechnology, where the average age is closer to 47. The preeminent place of young founders in the popular imagination may therefore reflect disproportionate exposure to a handful of consumer-facing IT industries, such as social media, rather than equally consequential pursuits in heavy industry or business-to-business sectors... when you look at [the] most successful firms, the average founder age goes up, not down. Overall, the empirical evidence shows that successful entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged, not young."

Ranchi: Sister of 'Missionaries of Charity' arrested for illegal child trade

Gender pay gap due more to fewer women in higher-paying jobs than unequal wages, study finds - "That the average woman is paid less than the average man is a statistic that has been demonstrated in a number of studies, Korn Ferry said. Indeed, the Korn Ferry Gender Pay Index, which analyses more than 12.3 million employees in 14,284 companies in 53 countries, showed that men are paid on average 16.1 per cent more than women on a global level. But the gap fell to 5.3 per cent globally when evaluating the same job levels alone, such as people holding a director position. The gap was further narrowed to 1.5 per cent when considering the same level at the same company. If men and women at the same job level and in the same company were also in the same function, the gap shrank to 0.5 per cent... The average gap is widest - at 19.3 per cent - in Asia's mature markets, like Australia and New Zealand. But in Asia's growth markets like China and India, the gap is lower at 14.4 per cent; in the fast-growing markets like Indonesia and Vietnam, the gap narrows further to 11.5 per cent. Female employees are actually favoured in fast-growing markets. Women in these markets are paid 1.3 per cent more than men working at the same level at the same company. Women are paid 3.1 per cent more than men at the same level, company and function in these markets."
In other words, once again the gender wage gap is bullshit

WhatsApp now marks forwarded messages to curb the spread of deadly misinformation - "The forwarded message designation is meant as a measure to control the spread of viral misinformation in countries like India, where the company has 200 million users"

Masterpiece Cakeshop & the Slippery Slope of Anti-Discrimination Law - "If a barrel of wine takes on the public interest when it crosses a river and then carries that interest with it, effectively undiminished, everywhere it goes, then the public sphere is effectively infinite, as is the mandate for regulation"

Breastfeeding is overhyped, oversold, and overrated - "1) In countries where women have access to clean water, the health benefits of breastfeeding are probably very small... six women have to breastfeed exclusively for six months in order to prevent a single ear infection. That's 5,400 hours of breastfeeding to prevent one ear infection. The numbers for respiratory infections are even less impressive.
2) There is strong evidence that breastfeeding has no impact on obesity. Or Type 1 diabetes, asthma, allergies, dental cavities, or the following types of cancer: acute non-lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, central nervous system cancers, malignant germ cell tumors, juvenile bone tumors, and other solid cancers. The evidence of other long-term health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or Type 2 diabetes, is either weak or inconclusive...
4) Recent government initiatives to promote breastfeeding actually support breast pumping
5) There is no research comparing health outcomes among babies who are breastfed with outcomes among babies who are fed breast milk from a bottle... If breastfeeding protects against infection, breast milk that has been pumped, stored, refrigerated or frozen, and thawed may not. The routine processes that go along with pumping and storing human milk also degrade some of the proteins, vitamins, and micronutrients in that milk. At any point in the process breast milk could pick up bacteria that might actually cause illness. If breastfeeding improves cognitive development, some experts believe it is because of intense mother-child interaction at the breast, not because of the chemical composition of human milk...
6) Breastfeeding has become big business
8) Not all women can breastfeed... Doctors estimate that up to 15 percent of women do not produce enough milk to feed their babies — but the number could be much higher, because it so often goes undiagnosed...
9) Not all women should breastfeed"

Owning an iPhone or iPad is the top way of knowing if you’re rich or not - "owning an iPhone gave them a 69% chance to correctly infer that the owner was "high-income""

Sorry, Immortality Is Mathematically Impossible - "aging is the price of admission into the multicellular organisms club"

Matabele Ants Are First Animal to Systematically Heal Wounded Comrades - "This discovery marks the first time non-human animals have been observed systematically nursing their wounded back to health... In his earlier work, Frank discovered that injured ants release a pheromone that acts like a signal flare, alerting the raiders that there’s a man down. But this time, he noticed another strategy: playing up their injuries. When no help was in sight, injured ants made a beeline for the nest. But when nest-mates were near, they stumbled and fell, appearing “more injured” as a way to attract aid."

Spiders Use Earth's Electric Field to Fly Hundreds of Miles

The Battle Over the Hendra Horse Vaccine in Australia - "A lot of horse owners, however, don’t vaccinate against Hendra, citing its expense, the rarity of the disease, or anecdotal reports of severe side effects. According to a survey published last year in the journal PLOS One, approximately 43 percent of horse owners in Queensland haven’t vaccinated their horses. In some inland parts of the state, that number is as high as 70 percent. “I don’t believe in injecting chemicals into horses, especially if it’s not tested,” Carloss said, referring to the fact that regulators, citing the danger posed by an outbreak, initially allowed the vaccine to be sold under a provisional license. “More people get hit by cars or shark attacks.” Many vets see the situation differently. Because Hendra is ranked in the same biosecurity category as Ebola, vets called out to treat unvaccinated horses are legally required to don protective masks and clothing, and the amount of care they can provide is limited until Hendra can be ruled out with a test—a process that typically takes a day or more. The vaccine has divided the horse community, pitting owners against vets and revealing that science alone is not enough to prevent the next global pandemic... Anti-vaccine movements have existed for almost as long as there have been vaccines. That’s in part because one unintended consequence of a successful vaccination campaign is that few remember just how bad the disease actually was... statistics hold little sway with vaccine opponents, who see a conspiracy at every turn. “It’s the money,” one horse breeder, Kathy Drew, told me. “Look at Zoetis’s shares, look at their growth!”
Of course, supposedly pro-science people in turn dismiss claims they don't like because of supposed funding/money issues

Cancer patients who use homeopathy and alternative remedies as part of treatment twice as likely to die from disease, study finds - ""I’m faced daily with scaremongering and studies like these, which are intended to steer cancer patients in a certain direction but nothing will change my mind – I do not believe in damaging the body in an effort to make it heal. I am confident in the routes I am taking to treat my breast cancer. "Knowing that the pharmaceutical industry controls what cancer treatments are recommended, and they do this for profit, makes me sure in my decision.""
Say no to Big Medicine!

CareShield Life sparks hot debate over gender-differentiated premiums - "when an insurance scheme is optional — which will be the case for existing cohorts consisting about 2 million Singaporeans — there will be "risks of adverse selection" if the Careshield Life premiums are not actuarially priced and in line with market practice... Experts and insurance agents whom TODAY spoke with noted that gender-differentiated premiums are common among insurance policies offered by the private sector in Singapore, including disability insurance... not only do women live longer than men, they are more likely to remain in disability for a longer time, and hence draw on CareShield Life payouts for a longer period should they remain severely disabled. Insurance economist Joelle Fong told TODAY that long-term care insurers tend to adopt gender-based premiums to "reflect the reality". In their advanced years, women are also "more likely" to have disabilities compared with men of the same age, she said... "In the case of CareShield Life, the premiums are gender-differentiated while the payouts are gender-neutral, while (for) CPF Life annuities administered by the CPF Board, the premiums are gender-neutral while the payouts are gender-differentiated... A 2008 study by economists Ray Rees and Achim Wambach showed that differentiation by risk exposure is not considered discrimination by insurers, but indispensable for private insurance to function in a competitive market."
How come no one complaining CPF Life is sexist? Maybe this is just proof of the phenomenon of loss aversion: people are more sensitive to costs than benefits. So what CareShield Life should've done was to make premiums the same between genders but the payout different
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