"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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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Links - 20th November 2018 (1)

Maldives marine artwork destroyed for being a 'threat to Islamic unity' - "A new sculptural work, Coralarium, created by artist and environmentalist Jason deCaires Taylor, was demolished last week after it was deemed anti-Islamic. The semi-submerged artwork was criticised by religious leaders and scholars in the Maldives, where Islam is the official religion. The depiction of human figures in art is discouraged under Islamic law."

Asafoetida - "This is a gum from a variety of giant fennel, which naturally has a horrid and offensive smell, rather like rotting garlic, as in foetid. Yet it is considered the most blessed of flavourings amongst Jain and Brahmin Indians, who eat neither garlic nor onions, for it adds a very similar savouriness. Asafoetida is also a Godsend to the many millions of others who won’t eat or can’t properly digest raw or undercooked onion or who don’t like garlic, either to eat or subsequently smell on their breath"

A Breakthrough for U.S. Troops: Combat-Ready Pizza - The New York Times - "To qualify for M.R.E. duty, a food item has to be able to survive years of storage in a dank ship’s hold or a sun-baked shipping container, withstand Arctic freezes and tropical monsoons, stave off assaults by insects, and remain intact through a parachute airdrop or even a free fall from 100 feet. Forget 30-minute delivery — Army regulations say it has to stay fresh for 36 months. And after all that, the pizza still has to be tasty enough to eat... To accommodate an increasingly diverse force and to combat what the Army called menu fatigue, the directorate doubled the number of M.R.E. varieties, adding entrees like Thai chicken and vegetarian tortellini."

3 Ways Men Wanting to 'Focus On Her Pleasure' During Sex Can Still Be Sexist - Everyday Feminism
Since men are sexist whatever they do, they might as well reap the benefits and not bother getting woke to try to appease a crowd that will always despise them

Video: These women are stripping down for men's rights - "According to these women, feminists are dominating the conversation about gender issues, and it’s time for men to get a turn. That’s why they formed the “Lovely Ladies for Men’s Issues” and are releasing a calendar, full of sexy pictures and facts about the issues men face in today’s world."
These women look like feminists but...
Among other things they call out the misandry that's endemic in feminism

The Ombudsman: Are Top Executives Paid Enough? An Evidence-Based Review - "Our review of the evidence found that the notion that higher pay leads to the selection of better executives is undermined by the prevalence of poor recruiting methods. Moreover, higher pay fails to promote better performance. Instead, it undermines the intrinsic motivation of executives, inhibits their learning, leads them to ignore other stakeholders, and discourages them from considering the long-term effects of their decisions on stakeholders. Relating incentive payments to executives’ actions in an effective manner is not possible. Incentives also encourage unethical behavior. Organizations would benefit from using validated methods to hire top executives, reducing compensation, eliminating incentive plans, and strengthening stockholder governance related to the hiring and compensation of executives."
Higher pay = worse performance

Performance for Pay? The Relation Between CEO Incentive Compensation and Future Stock Price Performance - "Measures of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) excess compensation are negatively related to future firm returns and operating performance. The effect is stronger for more overconfident CEOs at firms with weaker corporate governance. Overconfident CEOs receiving high excess pay undertake activities such as overinvestment and value-destroying mergers and acquisitions that lead to shareholder wealth losses. "

Why We Choke Under Pressure (and How Not To) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "BEILOCK: There’s research showing that when you have friendly faces in front of you, people who are supportive — although that could feel nice, it actually creates pressure-filled situations. You often start thinking of yourself as they might. And so when my mother is in the room, I sometimes think of myself as a young girl. And you also are quite self-conscious... We know that sometimes people don’t perform up to their potential, precisely when they want to the most. And sometimes that happens because people pay too much attention to the details of what they’re doing, details that should be left on autopilot...
It’s a standard assumption in labor economics that higher pay leads to more effort, and that more effort leads to better performance, or at least higher productivity. What happened in this case, when the stakes were raised all the way to $10?
GNEEZY: So, the findings were striking. You see reduction in success rates across the board. All six games that we played resulted in lower success rate when the incentives were really high."

Does Money Really Affect Motivation? A Review of the Research - "if we want an engaged workforce, money is clearly not the answer. In fact, if we want employees to be happy with their pay, money is not the answer. In a nutshell: money does not buy engagement... for every standard deviation increase in reward, intrinsic motivation for interesting tasks decreases by about 25%. When rewards are tangible and foreseeable (if subjects know in advance how much extra money they will receive) intrinsic motivation decreases by 36%... The more emotionally stable, extraverted, agreeable or conscientious people are, the more they tend to like their jobs (irrespective of their salaries). But the personality of employees’ is not the most important determinant of their engagement levels. In fact, the biggest organizational cause of disengagement is incompetent leadership"

Time To Rethink CEO Compensation: Those With Higher Pay And Equity Lead Worse-Performing Companies - "Companies that paid their CEOs above the median have performed poorly in comparison with those that compensated their chief executives at or below the median (even though equity accounts for 70% or more of the typical annual pay package). This finding has held true especially in the long run"

The verdict on juries: fair, effective and efficient - "Ministry of Justice research has debunked some myths about juries, including the idea that they discriminate against black defendants or won't ­convict rapists, or that there are some crown courts where the police are unlikely to get convictions... all-white juries in Nottingham, a racially diverse area, appeared to be more sensitive in cases involving racial conflict and were more likely to convict a white defendant accused of assaulting a black victim. In rape cases the study found that, contrary to popular belief and previous official reports, juries convict more often than they acquit, with a 55% conviction rate in crown court rape trials"
White people overcompensate and are more favourable to black people when in a jury

8 Ways Domestic Cats Are a Serious Threat to Nature - "In the United States, an estimated 60 to 100 million cats range free, and the number of domestic cats has tripled during the past 40 years. Scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimate that domesticated cats—both free-roaming pets and feral—kill as many as 4 billion birds and 22 billion small mammals in the U.S. each year. This makes them “likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for U.S. birds and mammals”...
In Cat Wars, Marra tells the story of Stephens Island, off the south island of New Zealand, where cats drove an endemic, flightless wren to extinction in—wait for it—roughly one year."

Left Outside the Social-Justice Movement's Small Tent - "“I never voiced my personal disagreements because having dissenting views is strictly forbidden in the activist circles I was a part of,” he explained. “If you’re white, you will be charged with being a ‘bad ally.’ (There's also certain gatherings you cannot come to because your mere presence might be threatening.) If you’re a person of color, your disagreements will usually be dismissed as some form of ‘internalized racism,’ ‘internalized sexism,’ or ‘respectability politics,’ among many other activist jargon's thrown at individuals who do not conform the groups views.”... “I discussed how trigger warnings have almost been rendered useless now that they’re used to alert individuals when talking about normal everyday things, like food, cars and animals. And that their use could potentially have adverse effects on academic freedom. I was accused of being outrageously insensitive and apparently made three activist cohorts have traumatic breakdowns.”... I asked if he thought his race and ethnicity made it easier or harder to dissent. “A little easier, I guess,” he replied, “But it really doesn't feel good being a called a ‘house nigger.’” He says he was ultimately kicked out of student-led social justice groups."... too many left-wing student groups treat no one as badly as students of color or women who consider themselves to be classical liberals, libertarians, or conservatives, or who merely disagree with the actions of progressive protesters on campus. They’re seen as special kinds of traitors."

On Campus, A Minority, and Reflecting on Free Speech - "The perception that minority students are so incompetent at formulating rebuttals against speech that is offensive or intolerant — read: conservative — that they need to be “protected” from it is beyond backward. It is both patronizing and paternalistic. I’m gay, black and an immigrant, and believe me, I’m more than capable of speaking up in defense of my values — especially in the face of those who despise my mere existence. As a minority student, I often encounter this kind of well-meaning, but deeply misguided dialogue that advocates for minorities by assuming their grievances. This effectively misrepresents and reduces these alleged victim groups to the very stereotypes and misconceptions protesters want to draw attention to, and, in most cases, wish to censor. Furthermore, this argument implicitly assumes the bigoted and racist stereotype that racial and ethnic minorities “all think alike” simply because we happen to “all look alike.”... this type of wanton censoring, in fact, dates back to the 1980s and ’90s, when speech codes — university policies restricting expression protected by the First Amendment — proliferated across colleges and universities. The theoretical underpinnings for such punishments appeared mostly in the legal doctrines of critical race theorists who argued that racist speech needs to be severely penalized as a means of protecting minorities from both physical and mental violence. Due to their unconstitutionality, speech codes did not survive legal challenges and, in some cases, harmed their intended beneficiaries. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 20 black students were charged by whites with “offensive speech.”"

How Free Speech on Campus Protects Disadvantaged Groups - "Every attempt to censor Charles Murray or Milo Yiannopoulos makes it easier to mount a campaign to fire someone like Lisa Durden (who made controversial comments about holding an “all black Memorial Day celebration” that excluded whites). Progressives lose the moral high ground they would need to defend radical and provocative speech—which is unfortunate because they are arguably the ones who need free-speech protections most. Americans tend to be politically to the right of most university faculty and students—and as a result the public is more likely to be shocked and offended by views expressed by progressive scholars than by academic conservatives, who are few in number, generally rather moderate politically, and usually cautious about what they say publicly. Politicians are also more likely to throw their weight behind campaigns against left-leaning scholars, given that Republicans control most state governments, and thereby the purse strings of most public universities. And if progressive scholars face a constant threat from the right coming from off-campus, they also face a threat from the left on campus. Many of the student-led campaigns that have made national news in the last two years have targeted professors who, themselves, identify as liberal or progressive—but who managed to challenge or violate some tenet of the prevailing activist orthodoxy... as Harvard’s President Faust warned in her commencement address, any effort to limit some speech “opens the dangerous possibility that the speech that is ultimately censored may be our own.”"

Racism In High School: 'I'm Not Oreo Or Ghetto -- I'm Just Being Me' - "It can be tough and scary to approach people this way, when I know that some people will turn out to be not nice at all. But I’ve seen how shameful race-based judgments are, and I would be ashamed to let those experiences change who I am."

'Kept male companion' to businesswoman fails in bid to rescind ex-wife's maintenance - "A man who claimed that he has no personal income and was just a “consort” to a lover who was a successful businesswoman has failed in his attempt to rescind a monthly maintenance of $2,000 for his ex-wife... “All I need to do is keep (the partner) happy as her consort…. Here is the danger: if the day should come that (the partner) tires of me, I will no longer be her consort and be out on the streets”. The man also submitted to the court a private investigator’s report to show that his former wife did not require maintenance as she was using money to play mahjong."
Maybe maintenance could be used to justify the gender wage gap in Singapore - even if it were real

Forget Nature Versus Nurture. Nature Has Won - "In Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are Robert Plomin makes the case that genetic differences cause most variation in psychological traits – things like personality and cognitive abilities. The way your parents raise you, the schools you attend – they don’t have much effect on those traits. Children are similar to their parents, but that similarity is due to shared genetics, rather than shared family environment... The children of successful professionals get higher-than-average scores, but that’s because they share genes linked to greater achievement, rather than gaining from their home environment. Parent-offspring similarity in occupational status and income is chiefly due to genetic factors and almost nothing to do with upbringing. There are (on average) genetic differences between people in different professions, and between different social classes. I’m sure that absolutely everyone will be happy to hear that... The science discussed in the book is generally sound, as you’d expect from one of the world’s leading psychometricians... Steven Pinker said: “For most of the twentieth century it was assumed that psychological traits were caused by environmental factors, called nurture.” This was completely wrong. Problems like p-value fishing and the current ‘replication crisis’ are nothing compared to the tsunami that’s coming. Indeed, social scientists have done such a terrible job that it’s hard to see how the field can be repaired. They wanted the false results they got, and they still do. I’m sure their descendants will as well. Isn’t heritability grand?"
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