"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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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Links - 8th November 2018 (2)

Metal straws and reusable bags may not be as eco-friendly as you think - "you have just unwittingly contributed to 2.8 billion pounds of toxic waste from mining metal, 20 per cent of marine litter from international shipping and over 2 million tonnes of waste from packaging... Keeping in mind the adverse effects these 'greener' options might have on the environment, it does seem that our pro-environmental initiative may not be as beneficial as we thought, especially when we do not continue to use the item incessantly."

Yoda actor and Bert creator Frank Oz denies Sesame Street character is gay and says 'I know what and who he is' - "MANY Muppet fans were left heartbroken when Sesame Street poured cold water over one of its writer’s claims that live-in characters Bert and Ernie were gay. Now Bert’s creator Frank Oz has also disagreed with Mark Saltzman, who said he based the characters on his own gay relationship, by tweeting: “I created Bert. I know what and who he is.”... Saltzman, who joined the iconic kids’ show in 1984, effectively “outed” Bert and Ernie in what proved to be a controversial interview with Queerty. He said he based them on his own relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman, ending a decades-long debate over whether the Muppets who shared a basement apartment on 123 Sesame Street, but slept in different beds, were lovers... “It seems Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. “It’s fine that he feels they are. They’re not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? “Why the need to define people as only gay? There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.”... Jon Stone, another writer on the show, said they were based on the real life frienship between Oz and Henson. The idea behind the characters was to show that two people with wildly different personalities could still get on... Social media turned on Oz for shattering the hearts of millions so brutally and argued the characters have evolved beyond their original parameters into icons for gay young people... Saltzman... appeared to pull a U-turn last night, telling the New York Times his comments were misinterpreted. Saltzman said he and Glassman were like Bert and Ernie, opposites who found a way to love each other."
As usual those preaching love and tolerance are full of hate

Believe (Some) Women - "“believe women” may not actually apply to all women judging from the media cycle this week following a rare interview with Woody Allen’s wife Soon-Yi Previn published in New York Magazine last Sunday... she has been labelled a liar and/or a victim (of Allen’s), both labels serving only to undermine Previn’s story. One of her fiercest critics this week was her younger brother Ronan Farrow, the reporter whose story on Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse effectively launched #MeToo and earned him a Pulitzer Prize. Yet despite his leading role in a movement that demands “believe women”, Ronan published a statement in which he not only disputed his sister’s allegations, but erased her entirely from her own story. Chillingly, nowhere in his statement, which was published on Twitter, does Ronan mention Previn by name, instead reducing her to an anonymous “ally” of Allen’s... Previn’s treatment reveals two inherent contradictions in the #MeToo movement. The first is that #MeToo decrees that all women are victims (since all men are predators) thus denying them agency in their own stories... Previn is a 47-year-old mother of two adult children who last year celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary with Allen: she clearly does not consider herself a victim of anyone except Farrow. Such a scenario, however, does not sit comfortably with proponents of #MeToo who must cast her as a victim in order to further demonize Allen. Which brings us to the second inherent contradiction: #MeToo demands that all women must be believed — except where their stories upset the prevailing narrative. In this case, Previn is doubly damned, for not only does she refuse to demonise Allen herself but she instead goes on to castigate Farrow, who, with her numerous adopted children and political activism – not to mention her crusade against Allen – has become something of a modern-day apostle in the public consciousness. Previn, therefore, has upset the natural order of #MeToo, not least because if one woman accuses another of abuse and #MeToo demands we “believe women”, how do we automatically know which woman to believe? As the revelations concerning Asia Argento – one of Ronan Farrow’s key sources in his Weinstein story who was recently accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy have also demonstrated, the reality is that the world is a complicated place... Ultimately, dividing the world into victims and villains, as #MeToo demands of us, fails to take into account the complexities of human nature. And the trouble is that it’s a much more difficult concept to believe"

Most racism is from disaffected blacks: FW de Klerk Foundation - "The FW de Klerk Foundation says it has submitted a complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission regarding 45 social media postings that incite extreme violence against white South Africans... Sparrow described black beachgoers as “monkeys” on her Facebook page, and has since been reported to the police. The foundation noted that most media commentators viewed Sparrow’s remarks and the subsequent far ‘less controversial’ comments of Chris Hart and Gareth Cliff as evidence of rampant and pervasive white racism... “The messages are replete with threats to kill all whites – including children; to rape white women or to expel all whites from South Africa”"
Presumably it is more racist to call black beachgoers monkeys than to threaten to kill white people, because white people have the power in South Africa

Ian Buruma: victim of Sexual McCarthyism - "MeToo has officially entered its McCarthyism stage. The ousting of Ian Buruma from the New York Review of Books is confirmation, for those who still needed it, that this hashtag movement is more about vengeance and censorship than justice. For Buruma’s crime was not to touch a woman without her consent or verbally harass his female workforce. It was merely to publish an essay by a man (Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi) who was accused of sexual assault and then acquitted in a court of law. When an esteemed editor can be expelled from polite society for publishing the words of a man who has not been found guilty of any crime, you know we live in dark, ugly times. MeToo is the midwife of this medieval-style policing of dissenting speech... for commissioning an essay and defending the right of an individual to continue to have a public presence after he has been acquitted of criminal offences — Buruma has been driven out of New York’s literary circle. It is unclear whether he resigned or was sacked, but it’s clear that he’s out because he dared to suggest we need nuance in the discussion about sexual misdemeanours and harassment... It used to be considered socially conscientious to treat acquitted people, and even ex-cons, fairly and humanely. Now it is seen as a social crime. MeToo wants everyone who is merely accused to be punished forever. That is a nasty, Stalinist and utterly unjust approach to public life. Buruma is defending the pillars of the free, civilised society; MeToo is attacking them."

Racism and the American Pit Bull
Presumably the statistics showing pitbulls are responsible for a large proportion of attacks are racist

Where is incest legal in Europe? Map shows countries where family members can have sex
The France information is outdated

As Japan's JET Programme hits its 30s, the jury's still out

The Physics of a Star Wars Bomber Dropping Bombs in Space - "why does the bomb fall at all? The gravitational force from the asteroid is likely MUCH weaker than that on the surface of the Earth. However, the bomb "falls" down with an acceleration MUCH greater than it would on Earth. So, what's the deal? Really, there is no way of knowing for sure. One answer would be that the bombs aren't falling at all. Instead they are tiny little rockets with thrusters on them to push them down. Would that still be a bomb? Who cares—it still looks cool in the movie. Wait! There is another example of bombers in Star Wars. In The Last Jedi, the movie starts off with some Resistance bombers attacking a First Order star destroyer. SPOILER ALERT: only one bomber makes it close enough to drop the bombs. But the bombs do indeed drop. In this case, you can actually see the bombs falling out of the spacecraft just like they would fall out of a B-17 bomber in WWII. There are no rockets on the bombs. They are just bombs. It's a bit harder to justify the physics in this scene."

Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’ - The New York Times - "In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a “form of slave labor”... The legal challenges are all the more important because the doctors have lost a common backup plan: going to the United States. The American government, which has long tried to undermine Cuba’s leaders, established a program in 2006 to welcome Cuban doctors, with the aim of exacerbating the island’s brain drain. But in one of his final attempts to normalize relations with Cuba, President Barack Obama in January ended the program, which had allowed Cuban doctors stationed in other countries to get permanent residency visas for the United States."
So much for the success of communism

The 'Mandela Effect' and how your mind is playing tricks on you - "This form of collective misremembering of common events or details first emerged in 2010, when countless people on the internet falsely remembered Nelson Mandela was dead. It was widely believed he had died in prison during the 1980s. In reality, Mandela was actually freed in 1990 and passed away in 2013 – despite some people’s claims they remember clips of his funeral on TV."
Memory is treacherous

Nas Daily responds to S’porean criticism of his “almost perfect country” video with epic burn - "One thing my travels have taught me is that a lot of people lack PERSPECTIVE. And in Singapore, too many people lack it. I flew to Singapore from Papua New Guinea, on my own dime to promote my own beliefs. Now I’m in China making the same videos. I’ll happily take you along the ride and see how life is like outside of your bubble. But to be honest, I would never hire you. I don’t work well with crybabies.”
It's quite an achievement to so piss off someone whose brand is built on positivity

Ipswich woman 'terrified' by nursery rhyme alarm - "The "eerie" sound of a nursery rhyme which was used as a burglar deterrent "terrified" an Ipswich woman for about a year. The woman, from Bramford Road, heard the sound of "It's raining, it's pouring", but she had no idea where it was coming from... the song had begun playing continuously due to an itsy-bitsy spider... "Every time the spider went across the CCTV it set off the alarm"."

Why Brexitphobes are crap campaigners - "That these people have turned out to be lousy campaigners is, then, little wonder. Their instinct is to hector, dictate and direct, which clashes with one essential part of campaigning – listening. Asserting a monopoly on logic and morality, and insulting others in the process, is not the way to win people over."

I tried the Chinese practice of ‘sitting the month’ after childbirth - The Washington Post - "When my aunt learned I was pregnant with my fourth child, she begged me to respect the Chinese tradition of zuo yue zi, or “sitting the month.” Traced back to as early as the year 960, zuo yue zi is a set of diet and lifestyle restrictions practiced after birth to restore a woman’s “broken body.”... I could not resist examining the evidence relating to zuo yue zi — and I found inconsistent results. On the plus side were findings that a long recovery period improved a mother’s health-related quality of life and led to better bonding with her child. But a 2014 study of Chinese women found that limiting physical activity for a month was bad for muscular and cardiovascular health and increased postpartum depression."

The truth about a viral graphic on rape statistics - The Washington Post - "Among the tweets being circulated is a jarring graphic from December 2012 by the Enliven Project, intended to show the low rate of false reporting among rape victims. The Enliven Project is described as “a campaign to bring sexual violence out of the closet and lift survivors to their full potential”... When The Fact Checker asked Beaulieu why she did not change the graphic to fix errors she admitted, she said: “The original one is already the one that has gone viral and is the one that’s continuing to be circulated. I think what I did do was make sure that the link back to the site that’s on the graphic links to the full explanation that acknowledges the distinction.” Yet the link isn’t even a hyperlink, so the explanation is not readily accessible to those who may be scrolling through their news feeds. You literally have to type out a complex URL to find her explanations. Beaulieu said she intended the graphic to be a conversation-starter... the Enliven Project earns Three Pinocchios."
This is quite a consistent result - to feminists lying is acceptable to "start a conversation" (other examples include the gender wage gap)
Using more consistent methodology, since there're 2 falsely accused for every 10 jailed, we could conclude that 1 in 6 rape accusations is false


Police are being offered 'banter training' in a bid to tackle bullying and political incorrectness - "The three-hour course - which has been likened to "something out of The Office" - aims to reduce employment tribunal claims by "excluded and unhappy" staff... They also branded it a waste of cash as the force battles a 20 per cent increase in crime with 500 fewer officers due to cuts."

Fed-up residents create 'drug-dealer only' signs to highlight spiralling crime levels in their neighbourhood - "Guerrilla street artists have painted a parking bay marked 'drug dealers only' and installed six signs on lampposts after being commissioned by neighbours in Tower Hamlets, east London."

Observations - 8th November 2018

Maybe people are religious about their diets because they are hard so they need religious zeal to sustain them

"People used to curse taxi drivers and companies and praise Grab and Uber
Now they curse Grab and praise... taxi companies
Market competition!"
"It IS the lesser of two evils. Especially with Grab, they can just ban you from using the app without giving you proper reasons. And if you have GrabPay unused credits, they can forfeit it."
"my recent uber driver who is forced to go onto grab says that uber drivers and passengers are more civil towards each other than grab ones :S
he said it's because uber charges passengers if they cancel or MIA and this puts the onus on them to wait for the drivers who will usually return the courtesy... and that grab passengers are usually late which causes the drivers to give angry calls to the passengers who then turn up in a foul mood so it's a vicious cycle"

"Beauty fades, dumb is forever"

If a news story came out reporting that a study concluded that fire could be useful in the development of civilisation, there would be people indignantly condemning it in the comments and talking about how fire killed 10 kids the previous week


"those of my friends who have gone to work in chinese companies/ take the chinese govt grants etc have always ended up having to push the PRC agendas
i can't recall any exceptions...
basically writing all sorts of articles to say which China is correct, why what they advocate is correct etc etc"

"[China is] finalising the research which shows that Zheng He reached USA
before Columbus
Guess who is gonna kena claimed..."

"China has not been completely successful in its efforts to support science over mythology. But it has been successful in reducing the influence of religion at the national policy level – that is a real triumph"
When you hate religion so much you promote human rights violations


So if you use an iPhone, when you're overseas your phone may incur data roaming charges even if data is disabled because of automatic VoLTE connections. No wonder it's a phone for rich people

Modern version of fengshui: Finding and eliminating wireless dead zones


If someone tells me not to buy him a present and I do so anyway, technically I am violating his consent

"I am becoming increasingly sceptical of rape claims
Thanks in part to my female friends that said they were raped
Your instinct is to believe them, but as time goes on and the more details they add to their story you get the impression that a lot of things are not kosher about the truthfulness of their narrative
It also starts to come off as them trying to convince themselves they were victimised
i think there is only one case in which i came across where the female was victimised. the other cases I had fell apart when critically examined. if anything it seems to be good material for a study into how women may actually be instinctively using victimisation as a tool of male manipulation. it stands to reason that women descended from ancestors that were good at the art of male manipulation"

"One can speculate why- but women have a drive to invade male spaces and control them... it is a constant sore point for feminists that while women make up most of consumers in society it is the enterprises started and run by men that generate the most value
Creating enterprises from the ground up is too difficult for feminists- so the natural drive is to invade, co-opt and control already successful enterprises run by men
Be it demanding top companies promote women to their board, lowering standards for women in the military and fire service, or taking successful male-oriented cultural franchises and destroying them to get women on board"

"Stop being offended by what someone said to you, by that Facebook post, by a piece of art, by people displaying their affection. Be offended by WAR, POVERTY, INJUSTICE."


"The difference between being romantic and being creepy depends on how attractive you are"

I would pay money to see what happens when undesirable women throw themselves at incels

"I think relationship should be like Nintendo 64-Classic, fun to spend hours with, and every issue easily fixed by blowing on it then shoving it back in."

"sex work is the only activity where hiring a professional is considered wrong and is often illegal"

"aiyah after awhile u realise PMS = pre, present and post
ie. perpetual"

"I spent my whole life trying not to be careless. Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men"

"A woman's loyalty is tested when her man has nothing. A man's loyalty is tested when he has everything"

"I once had a chat with prostitute who was fishing for business at a karaoke place and she told me not to feel sorry for women in their profession as they are very clear about their motivations. It was always about easy money, and no other job pays better. And don't be moved by their sob stories because it was just a sales tactic to increase your generosity."

Links - 8th November 2018 (1)

Army to introduce gender and age-neutral fitness tests - "The Army is to scrap fitness tests that make allowances based on gender and age and will introduce new “gender and age-neutral” physical assessments, the Ministry of Defence has said. The new tests, which will be rolled out next year, aim to ensure all close combat soldiers are physically prepared for the rigours of modern battle. Field Army Sergeant Major Gavin Paton said: “I don’t care if you are a man or a woman, I don’t care what you do, and the enemy doesn’t either.”"
The pushback against 'diversity' begins?

Man jailed for 'sexting' underaged girl; police unable to ascertain victim’s identity - "In what is believed to be the first such case heard before the courts, a 53-year-old married man was jailed for four months on Friday (Sept 21) for "sexting" a purportedly underaged victim, whose identity is unknown... The victim later told Syazili that her brother had seen her performing the sexual acts, and had thereafter engaged in other sexual acts with her... Syazili chatted with the unknown victim for nearly four hours at his mother-in-law's home using her Wi-Fi network, so as to mask his identity. The Internet plan was registered under the name of his wife's step-brother"
Presumably it would still be a crime if he were sexting a 80 year old man pretending to be a girl

Trans activist complains that women suffering breast cancer are delaying "top surgeries" - "In a perfect example of how insane the transgender movement has become, the Twitter user “Feminist Roar” posted a screen cap of a tweet from Toby Sinbad Walker that more succinctly displays the staggering self-absorption of the transgender movement than anything else I’ve seen yet: “Trans patients were called last week and informed their long-awaited top surgery had been cancelled to let more cancer mastectomies happen. It’s not their responsibility. Our surgery is not cosmetic. Transgender wait times are fatal and I #WontDieWaiting.” Following that tweet was a long discussion in which many trans activists actually weighed in and said that trans people getting perfectly healthy breasts surgically removed due to gender dysphoria was just as essential as women suffering from breast cancer getting life-saving surgery... It is this sort of thing that is ensuring that the transgender movement becomes increasingly repulsive to most ordinary people."

The Time He Desires gay Muslim furry romance is a book against the Trump era. - "Kyell Gold’s new novel may lie at the most unlikely intersection in literary history: a gay immigrant Muslim romance involving furries—that is, people who feel a close identification with anthropomorphic animal characters. “I wrote this book in part as a response to the wave of Islamophobia in this country”"
This is your brain on identity politics
I wonder how most Muslims would react to this


‘New York Times’ Announces Appointment Of Anonymous Source As Editor-In-Chief

Wealthy L.A. Schools' Vaccination Rates Are as Low as South Sudan's - "vaccination rates in elite neighborhoods like Santa Monica and Beverly Hills have tanked, and the incidence of whooping cough there has skyrocketed... Unlike in Santa Monica, however, parents in South Sudan have trouble getting their children vaccinated because of an ongoing civil war... The anti-vaxxer turn is a frustrating development for a city that's obsessed with health and fitness"

A Man Says His DNA Test Proves He's Black. He's Suing. - "“Black Americans,” according to the federal regulations for DBEs,“includes persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.” The lawsuit calls this definition “impermissibly vague” and criticizes the lack of “any minimum percentage of DNA, or other objective criterion.” “He considers himself to be Black based upon DNA evidence,” Taylor’s lawyer asserted in a letter included in the lawsuit, which also called DNA “objective” and “unalterable.”"

Woman on vacation reportedly finds dead tortoise in her vagina - "A British woman has been questioned by police in Spain after doctors found a dead tortoise inside her vagina"

How I was hounded off campus for saying ‘women don’t have penises’ | Coffee House - "Less than a month after sending that tweet, I had lost my position as president-elect of Humanist Students as well as my role as assistant editor of Durham University’s philosophy society’s undergraduate journal, Critique. I was also given the boot as co-editor-in-chief of Durham University’s online student magazine, the Bubble. All for saying something that many people would surely agree with... The government is also hardly helping matters here by refusing to accept there is even a debate to be had on this subject. When the equalities minister Penny Mordaunt announced the government’s consultation on gender, she said the starting point is that ‘Trans women are women’. But what about those who don’t agree with that statement? In my case, I have found out the hard way: for those who fail to adhere to the new orthodoxy on transgenderism, the punishment is swift."

Student editor who tweeted that 'women don't have penises' is fired from university - "The since deleted tweet has received backlash from former chair of LGBT Humanists Christopher Ward who claimed the post was 'factually incorrect' and not 'worthy of a debate'. He wrote: 'As former chair of LGBT Humanists UK, the opposition I experienced from a number of longstanding Humanists members to trans people and trans issues was a stain on an otherwise great organisation. 'And here's the new President of Humanist Students RTing horrific transphobic s**t.'... 'No effort was made, beyond name-calling, derogatory comments, and ad hominem statements, to convince me of the truth of the other side's position."
Biology is transphobic

Swedish professor accused of bigotry for saying men and women ‘biologically different’ - "A Swedish university is investigating a professor for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said there are biological differences between men and women. He is being urged to retract his comments. The professor, Germund Hesslow, who works in neurophysiology at Lund University, was accused by a student of making “transphobic” and “anti-feminist” statements in a lecture — but he has refused to back down. During his course on ‘Heritage and Environment’ at the leading academic institution, Hesslow cited empirical research which supports the idea that there are differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and therefore genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone”. The complainant suggested that Hesslow’s comments were at odds with the Swedish “value base” — a concept which requires all schools in Sweden to adhere to a common ethical policy, which includes upholding values like egalitarianism, individual freedom and equality of the sexes."

Now This Is Cancer - Posts - Anita Sarkeesian‏: "REFUSING TO PLAY GAMES WITH WOMEN BECAUSE YOU ARE MARRIED AND DONT WANT HYPOTHETICAL RUMOURS TO START IS THE MOST BONKERS LOGIC IVE EVER HEARD WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU??"
">Be a feminist
>Foster an environment of false allegations
>Watch as men suffer the repercussions
>Get upset when men attempt to remove themselves from risky situations
>Disappear in a puff of cognitive dissonance"
Pablo de Santiago on Twitter: *screenshot of Sarkeesian's profile with a "trust no man" accessory*
""TRUST NO WOMAN" logic, maybe? … "

How ‘gender neutrality’ could screw up the next generation - "Unfortunately, the campaign to popularise gender-neutrality is not confined to promoting sensitivity to others. It is also fervently committed to linguistic policing and forcing people to adopt a language that is alien to their outlook and values... One of the most disturbing targets of linguistic policing are daycare centres and primary schools. The aim here is to socialise children into a gender-neutral culture, and to prevent them from adopting the language and values of preceding generations. As far back as 1995, a daycare centre at La Trobe University in Australia banned the use of around 20 words, including the gender-related terms ‘girl’ and ‘boy’, in order to further its mission of altering traditional sex roles. Those who violated the code were forced to pay a fine and treated as if they had used a dirty word."
If you think your agenda is positive, you don't have a problem forcing it on other people and people who oppose it must be evil since they are against something good

Marine Le Pen ordered by French court to undergo psychiatric test over anti-Islam tweets - "French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is refusing to undergo a court-ordered psychiatric exam for tweeting brutal images of Islamic State violence, comparing the demand to methods used in totalitarian regimes... "I thought I had seen it all: but no! For having denounced the horrors of #Daesh in tweets, the 'justice' is submitting me to a psychiatric evaluation! How far will they go?" Le Pen wrote on Twitter."

How anti-immigrant rhetoric crept into Chinese Canadian politics - "The notion of a vulnerable country being exploited by “welfare queens,” many of whom are foreign outsiders, has been a familiar refrain of the political right. Equally popular is rhetoric related to “law and order,” which is how anti-refugee sentiments are often couched. Proponents of these ideas try to frame them as in perfect alignment with “Chinese morals.”... According to Liu, the Chinese community is among a number of Asian communities who would rather work hard to get ahead than portray itself as a marginalized group that “take[s] advantage of social assistance or the loopholes in society.” As a staunch proponent of “law and order,” Liu has emphasized that “safety and security” is the “number one item” on her platform... “Illegal border crossers” are thus threats to this safety. They’ve also been framed as the recipients of undeserved privilege by the federal government, which critics claim allows them into the country with minimal screening while making it nearly impossible for legal, Chinese immigrants to sponsor their family members from overseas. “I don’t have a problem with admission of legal refugees, meaning they go through passport control and all that to seek asylum,” says Joe Li, a Markham regional councillor who hails from India’s Hakka Chinese minority. “But I do have a difficulty when it comes to Chinese people who’ve spent years going through the system and fail to bring their families over, while they’re letting in all these bogus refugees — I have strong feelings about that.”"
The "far right" steadily increases in numbers. Soon it will become as diverse as the left, with LGBTs, black people and more

Father of Man Murdered by Migrants Heckled, Called 'Nazi' After Speaking Out - "The father of a 30-year-old killed by migrants was heckled by far-left activists at a demonstration in Schweinfurt over the weekend and labelled a “Nazi” for speaking about the case of his son. Karsten Hempel attended the demonstration “Kandel is Everywhere”, a reference to the murder of 15-year-old Mia from the town of Kandel who was stabbed to death by her migrant ex-boyfriend in December last year, on Saturday to talk about his own experience losing his son... he claimed that the local media tried to paint his son as a Nazi, while a press release from police claimed that Marcus and his friend had been verbally assaulted by the migrants, after which a fight broke out. Baffled by the fact the prosecutor and the police had contrary reports, Karsten hired a lawyer to go over the CCTV footage... The video contradicted the prosecution’s statement which claimed Marcus had been punched once — not three times — and that Marcus had been the first to engage physically... In one of the Chemnitz protests, organised by local football hooligans, German media and Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of “migrant hunts” but these claims were dismissed by the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency Hans-Georg Maassen. “Based on my cautious assessment, there are good reasons to believe that this was intentional false information, possibly to detract attention from the murder in Chemnitz”"

Tony Award-Winning Actor Cynthia Erivo Has Been Cast To Play Harriet Tubman And Not Everyone Is Happy - "Black British actor Cynthia Erivo has been cast in the lead role of an upcoming biopic of the iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman but not everybody is happy about it... some people still feel that because Erivo isn't American, she isn't the best actor to help tell Tubman’s story."
This suggests that complaints about 'whitewashing' and similar 'problems' are just rent-seeking

Microsoft drops data center into the sea: 'It will keep working for five years' - "Microsoft has dropped a 40-foot long data-center pod onto the seafloor off the coast from the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, north of Scotland. That's a fairly remote location, but Microsoft's thinking behind phase two of its data-center-in-the-sea research, Project Natick, is to bring its cloud servers closer to where people live... Microsoft designed the pod to operate without maintenance for up to five years -- about the time it would take before the servers inside would be retired anyway. The prepackaged undersea data centers could also cut deployment times from two years to 90 days... The Natick team also explained the pod's cooling system and how it uses ocean water to cool liquids inside the system."

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Links - 7th November 2018 (2)

Dissent through the centuries - History Extra - "The first act, if you like, of bringing down the monarch wasn't to challenge his authority, it was to start ridiculing him. And that ended it in an execution. It’s that first moment when you start to question whether that person is as great as they say or they think they are. And usually, not always but usually that starts with a joke, a bit of humor"

Sex differences in personality are larger in gender equal countries: Replicating and extending a surprising finding - "Sex differences in personality have been shown to be larger in more gender equal countries. We advance this research by using an extensive personality measure, the IPIP‐NEO‐120, with large country samples (N > 1000), from 22 countries. Furthermore, to capture the multidimensionality of personality we measure sex differences with a multivariate effect size (Mahalanobis distance D). Results indicate that past research, using univariate measures of effect size, have underestimated the size of between‐country sex differences in personality. Confirming past research, there was a strong correlation (r = .69) between a country's sex differences in personality and their Gender Equality Index. Additional analyses showed that women typically score higher than men on all five trait factors (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness), and that these relative differences are larger in more gender equal countries. We speculate that as gender equality increases both men and women gravitate towards their traditional gender roles"
*Patriarchy intensifies*
Keywords: personality differences, social role

Shayne Downs - In United States law, the Bradley Amendment (1986,... - "In United States law, the Bradley Amendment (1986, Public law 99-509, 42 U.S.C. § 666(a)(9)(c), Bill Bradley) requires state courts to prohibit retroactive reduction of child support obligations.
Because of the Bradley Amendment:
Bobby Sherrill, a Lockheed employee in Kuwait from North Carolina, was captured by Iraqis and spent nearly five months as an Iraqi hostage. Sherrill was arrested the night after his release for not paying $1,425 in child support while he was a hostage.
Larry Souter was wrongly convicted of murder in 1992 and spent 13 years in prison before being exonerated and released in 2005. Upon release, he was ordered to court to explain why he shouldn't be held in contempt for failing to pay $38,000 in combined back child support, interest, and penalties"

Japan’s AI schoolgirl has fallen into a suicidal depression in latest blog post

Pretend Billionaire Jho Low Threw Insane Parties for Celebs and Vanished - "From hosting champagne-drenched ragers on the French Riviera to helping arrange funding for the 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' Jho Low seemed to have it all—until his world started falling apart."

For Taiwan, a Year to Go to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - "I visited Taipei at the invitation of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan. I met with activists campaigning for equal marriage rights, but also with Vice President Chen Chien-jen, members of the national parliament from various political parties, and the counsellor and executive secretary of the City of Taipei government. Some jurisdictions, including the city of Taipei and other large cities in Taiwan, as well as nine other counties in Taiwan, allow same-sex couples to register as partners. But partnership provides less rights than marriage. For years, Taiwanese activists have pushed for marriage equality. In May 2017, Taiwan’s constitutional court struck down the legal definition of marriage “between a man and a woman” as unconstitutional. This landmark decision paved the way for marriage equality. The court gave the Taiwanese legislature a limited time frame of two years to provide for same-sex marriage in law. The Taiwanese legislature could simply amend the definition of marriage in the civil code or introduce new legislation on same-sex marriage. If the legislature fails to deliver within two years, the court ruled that same-sex couples will automatically be able to marry."
For those who claim that the repeal of 377A won't lead to gay marriage in Singapore because Asia is different - despite Singapore being probably the most Westernised country in Asia

[Premium]Image inciting acts of terror posted on Instagram account linked to Nanyang JC; police investigating : singapore - "An Instagram page believed to have been set up by junior college students is coming under police scrutiny after a post was uploaded that appeared to advocate acts of terror. The social media page nyjcmememachine satirises current events in Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) and around the world. It posted a meme on the 17th anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks that featured former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In a play on sports apparel giant Nike's "Just do it" advertising campaign, the words on the meme read: "Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing 3,000 lives and two steel towers."... A 23-year-old undergraduate who declined to be named said he lodged a police report as he found the material a threat to national security. He told The Straits Times: "We just need one person to be wayward and be self-radicalised to pose a threat to our security. It is not too far-fetched a possibility, seeing news reports all this while.""
It's no wonder there's no creativity in Singapore when satire gets you a police report

Swedish student whose flight disruption went viral now faces charges - "Student activist Elin Ersson protested against the Swedish government’s policy of deporting some rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan by boarding an Istanbul-bound flight that carried an Afghan man who was to be returned home after being denied asylum."

Maine restaurant sedates lobsters with marijuana - "Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound, a restaurant in Maine, says the process is more humane as it lessens their pain before death... The owner of Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound, Charlotte Gill, says eating the sedated lobster will not make customers high and using marijuana leads to better quality meat, as the animal is more relaxed when it dies."

South Africa's highest court legalises cannabis use - "This judgement is a reminder that South Africa's hard-won constitution is among the most liberal in the world, backing individual rights, and in this case the right to grow and smoke your own marijuana in private, against the government's concerns about public health and public order... In political terms, the landmark ruling emphasises the primacy of South Africa's constitution, which brushed aside the united opposition of numerous government ministries at a time when the authority and credibility of many of this young democracy's other institutions have been eroded by corruption and poor governance... In April Zimbabwe became the second country in Africa, after Lesotho, to legalise the use of marijuana for medical use"

Abu Dhabi named safest city in the world for second year running - "Abu Dhabi has been ranked the safest city in the world for the second year, with Dubai close behind in 11th place, according to a website that collates crime statistics on the world's major cities... The remaining nine safest cities were Doha, Basel, Singapore, Quebec City, Osaka, Tokyo, Bern, Munich and Zurich, in that order. The most dangerous was San Pedro Sula in Honduras and Caracas in Venezuela, where gun violence, drug dealing and kidnapping are rife. Also in the bottom ten were the South African cities of Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg, despite a recent economic revival in the latter."

Study finds people flock, or behave similarly to others, despite reasoning abilities - "people are usually driven to "flock," or behave similarly to others in a given situation. Seth Frey, an assistant professor of communication at UC Davis, said this happens "even when people use the fancy reasoning processes that are supposed to make humans so special.""

The whiff of sandalwood makes the human head sprout more hair

B.C. mosque removes link to anti-Semitic website following questions - "The website of a B.C. mosque that federal charity auditors said received funding from Qatar included a link to anti-Semitic content that urges an “Islamic jihad” against Jews, denounces democracy and approves the killing of ex-Muslims."

Ex-Muslim asks Lakemba locals if it’s OK to criticise their faith – and gets some strong responses - "Iranian-born author Armin Navabi visited Lakemba - considered Australia's unofficial Muslim capital - to act out the controversial social experiment... The majority stressed it was important for any criticism or questions to be posed with the utmost respect... After further questioning of one man, Mr Navabi was told he believes the Muslim community eventually wants Sharia Law to be established worldwide. '100 per cent that is my goal – and every Muslim's goal. To establish Sharia law on earth,' the man claimed. Mr Navabi questioned whether this meant 'somebody like me' who had turned his back on Islam would be 'killed' if Sharia law was in place. 'That's Sharia law, that's what I believe in,' the man stated. 'There's two choices, Islam or death.' Another man said that anyone who criticised Islam should be attacked by police."

Facebook - "2017: Imam Tawhidi says there are Muslim Extremists in Sydney, Lakemba, who are willing to kill.
The ABC: Imam Tawhidi is a liar, a charlatan, a Fake imposter. Ignore him!
2018: Extremist Muslims in Lakemba publicly say: Islam or death!"

Clarkson's Sunday Times Columns - "Jeremy Clarkson: argue with today’s youth and they’ll call you a racist — then start blubbing
Over a lovely lunch on my holiday this year, one of the “old people” around the table said that Britain’s super-slack immigration policy means we are letting an army onto our shores. Well, the mood couldn’t have changed more quickly if she’d said: “I’ve just murdered 14 tramps.” One of the young people began to sob. Actually sob. And another fixed the old person with a stare made from rage and bile, and explained that everyone from anywhere should be allowed to live wherever they like. And between mouthfuls of padron peppers, I agreed with this, saying that I’d love to live in George Clooney’s house on Lake Como."

This Is Why Koreans Have Blue Sponges On Their Cars - "The origins of the rectangular sponges come from the manufacturers. They are attached to the cars for the practical purpose of protection during transit. It helps stops them getting damaged between the factories and dealerships. They remain on the cars until they're sold... but a lot of people aren't taking them off. Small car spaces are common in Korea, so it stands to reason that owners want the same protection afforded their cars before they're sold to avoid scratches and dings."

Michigan mom charged after taking away daughter's iPhone won't go to jail - "Charges have been dismissed against a western Michigan woman who faced possible jail time after taking away a cellphone from her 15-year-old daughter as punishment. Jodie May of Grandville tells WOOD-TV she took away the iPhone 6 in April after the girl got in trouble in school. May says she was "just being a mom, a concerned parent," but she was arrested on a misdemeanor larceny charge after her ex-husband filed a complaint saying he owned the phone."

Soon-Yi Previn on Mia Farrow and Woody Allen - "“I should be the poster boy for the #MeToo movement,” he recently told Argentine TV. “I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses, and not a single one — big ones, famous ones, ones starting out — have ever, ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all”... With regard to almost every aspect of life in the Farrow household, Soon-Yi’s story, like those of her younger brother Moses and Allen himself, is strikingly different from what’s put forth by Mia and Dylan as well as their son and brother Ronan Farrow... "I don’t need kids out there who have similar traits to me and look similar to me and Woody. Why is one’s DNA so special? Why would one keep on breeding when there are so many kids out there who need a loving home?”"

Why is South Korea so intolerant of its gay community? - "Incheon, South Korea’s second-biggest port city, held its first-ever gay pride parade. Things took a violent turn, however, as more than 1,000 anti-gay protesters, including Christian groups, verbally and physically pushed back the 300 parade participants. The event was expected to last 20 minutes, but took hours due to the conflict. Since 2003, homosexuality has no longer been classified as “harmful and obscene” in South Korea, but discrimination against the community remains widespread... the South Korean military has been accused of targeting and exposing gay personnel, even creating fake dating apps to track down gay soldiers, according to the Military Human Rights Centre of Korea. Soldiers can be punished for “disgraceful conduct”, a term used to refer to homosexual behaviour, and jailed for up to two years, according to Human Rights Watch"
If only South Korea would repeal Section 377A, gay men there would live great lives

Non-Economic Factors in the Economic Retardation of the Rural Malays (4/4)

"Some of the features of child-rearing in rural Malaya help to reinforce and perpetuate these tendencies. Both M. G. Swift and Judith Djamour mention the tendency of Malay parents to tolerate or even encourage indulgence on the part of their younger children. This takes the form of either giving the child anything that it requests or pampering it whenever it has a tantrum. Swift asserts, from an early age the Malay is brought up 'to see only a loose connexion between reward and effort', something which spills over into his economic attitudes and organization in his later life. On the other hand, the over-protection given to the child discourages it from learning to be self-reliant, and this merely helps to reinforce any tendency to accept without question what exists, and to discourage experimentation with anything new. And this, when combined with the effects of the hierarchical social structure, does lead to a general dislike of making decisions for oneself. Anyone who has lived in a Malay village cannot help remembering the frequent coffee-shop discussions about various local matters, where points are made and re-made, argued and re-argued, in an attempt to arrive at a consensus, with nobody ever appearing to make a decision.

The Malays' resistance to radical changes in their way of life is in no way irrational, but it does preclude great changes in the ways in which they combine the available factors of production. Were the Malays to accept the changes that offer good opportunities for higher incomes, these changes would all cause a major disturbance in their way of life; indeed it would need a significant change in Malay attitudes and beliefs for these changes to occur at all.

Modern psychologists and sociologists maintain that a strong motivating force in the lives of most of us is the desire to succeed. This desire to succeed is no more absent from rural Malay society than it is from any other, but to the Malay success means something quite different from what it does, for example, to the Malaysian Chinese. The Chinese seem to regard success as being the improvement of their economic position even if this requires some fundamental change or innovation. The Malays seem to regard success as doing what their forebears have approved and practised, but doing it as well as they can. Wealth and economic advancement are desired by the Malays, but not at the expense of renouncing utterly the traditions and traditional occupations of their forefathers to which they have grown accustomed, and which offer them a level of satisfaction greater than that offered by the mere pursuit of economic advancement and wealth.

The economist's maximizing postulates can be interpreted in a similar way. The Chinese and the Malays, because they possess different cultures, attitudes, values and motivations, maximize different things. Neither one is necessarily superior to the other, it is simply that the maximizing postulates of the Chinese are more likely to lead to economic development in the Western sense than are the maximizing postulates of the Malays...

It has been said that 'shrewdness in handling money was an important part of the equipment which the ordinary Chinese took with them when they went overseas in search of a livelihood. Their financial skill rested above all on three characteristics of the society in which they were raised: the respectability of the pursuit of riches, relative immunity of surplus wealth from the confiscation by political superiors, and the legitimacy of careful and interested dealings between neighbours and even close kinsmen.'... succeed or fail, the main point is that they are not content to accept, or to follow unquestioningly, a financially unrewarding occupation if it is in their power to change that occupation. It is the fact that so many of them are trying to improve their economic lot, trying to master their economic environment, and are willing to take risks and to innovate, that enables many of them to succeed. And it is upon this type of creative individual that economic growth under capitalism, rightly or wrongly, depends...

There is nothing irrational about Malay values, and to criticize them
in terms of other values is reprehensible. But if the values of the Malays
remain basically unaltered, and there is no reason in Malay terms to
explain why they should alter, then it is likely that economic advance
for them will remain relatively slow."

--- Non-Economic Factors in the Economic Retardation of the Rural Malays / Brien K. Parkinson (in Modern Asian Studies, 1967)


Footnote on Malay exploitation:

"Even though 'exploitation' is difficult to define in economic terms, the 'exploitation' of the rural Malays has not been a racial clash as some commentators seem to imply, even though most of those who do the 'exploiting' are non-Malays and many of those who are 'exploited' are Malays. It is more accurate, and far less dangerous, to think of this 'exploitation' as being a clash of groups, the one exerting its superior bargaining power on the other. The character of the two groups is coincidental to the 'exploitation'. The Chinese 'exploit' other Chinese in just the same way as they are said to 'exploit' Malays, and vice versa. In Temiar Jungle, by J. Slimming (London, 1958), p. 20, it is observed 'the Malays are probably more unscrupulous than the Chinese' in the way 'they advance payments to unsuspecting aborigines who are kept constantly in their debt'."


I was inspired to look up this article because of:

Lee Kuan Yew on Malay vs. Chinese Culture

"In Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas, his biographers relate how Lee sought explanations for the different economic approaches -- and degrees of success -- found in Singaporean Chinese and Malay communities. Long before becoming Singapore's Prime Minister -- in fact, while still a student -- he had rejected colonialist notions that some races were superior to others, and so he sought other explanations. Turning to contemporary anthropology, he came upon a convincing one in the work of Bryan Parkinson, a Fellow at the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Hull, whose 1968 article in the journal Modern Asian Studies argued that Malays and and Chinese had different "maximising postulates" or ways of conceiving success...

Attempting to solve this "extremely delicate problem," Singapore has tried several approaches, the first being a form of affirmative action that provides "free education from primary school right up to university for any Singapore citizen who is a Malay. This is something we don't give to the majority ethnic group -- the Chinese. They pay fees from secondary school onwards." Second, the government has employed "judicious intermingling of the communities so that, thrown into the more multiracial milieu we have in our new housing estates, Malay children are becoming more competitive and more striving""

Links - 7th November 2018 (1)

South Africa farm murders: Jacob Zuma calls for white land to be confiscated - "Official statistics on farm attacks are non-existent, due to what human rights groups have described as a “cover-up” by the notoriously corrupt — and potentially complicit — South African government... While South Africa has one of the highest rates of violent crime anywhere in the world, the attacks on white farmers are no ordinary crimes. In a 2014 report, “The Reality of Farm Tortures in South Africa”, AfriForum wrote that “the horror experienced during farm tortures is almost incomprehensible”. “The well-known ‘blood sisters’ from the South African company Crimescene-cleanup have rightly indicated that, in their experience, farm tortures are by far the most horrific acts of violence in South Africa,” the report said. “They are of the opinion that the term ‘farm murders’ is misleading and that the terms ‘farm terror’ and ‘farm tortures’ are more suitable.”... human rights groups say the excessive brutality may be intended to send a message to the general farming community — get out of our country... The number of white farmers in South Africa has halved in a little over two decades to just 30,000... “The average murder ratio per 100,000 or the population in the world is nine, I believe. In South Africa, it is 54. But for the farming community it is 138, which is the highest for any occupation in the world.” Since 2007, at the direction of the government, South African police have stopped releasing statistics about the race of the victims. Monitoring group Genocide Watch says the cover-up has been exacerbated by American and European governments, which have “remained silent about the problem, reinforcing the campaign of denial”. The rise in farm attacks has been blamed on increasingly anti-white hate speech, particularly from the ruling African National Congress."

Do white people have a future in South Africa? - "In South Africa you are twice as likely to be murdered if you are a white farmer than if you are a police officer - and the police here have a particularly dangerous life. The killings of farmers are often particularly brutal... They stole next to nothing. It seemed to be a deliberate, targeted killing. Soon afterwards the son died of his injuries. Belinda van Nord, the daughter and sister of the men who died, told me how dangerous the lives of white people in the countryside have become. The police, she said, had seemed to show little interest in this case... There used to be 60,000 white farmers in South Africa. In 20 years that number has halved."

Real action on land needed to counter extreme EFF rhetoric - "For Julius Malema to use language, as he did on the weekend, that whites should "go to hell" and that the EFF plans to "cut the throat of whiteness", complete with a finger across the throat, is not tolerable in any real democracy."

Excoriating whites not the way to go - "Three years ago at the ANC’s January 8 celebrations in Bloemfontein, President Zuma sang the “Shoot the Boer” song to a stadium full of ANC supporters. The words are as follows:
“We are going to shoot them; they are going to run; we are going to shoot them, with the machine gun; they are going to run. You are a white man – we are going to hit them and you are going to run! Shoot the Boer! We are going to hit them – they are going to run! The cabinet will shoot them with the machine gun! The cabinet will shoot them with the machine gun! Shoot the Boer!”
Can one imagine the leader of any respectable country in the world expressing such deplorable views about a national minority?"

somegreybloke on Twitter - "People are so easily offended these days. That's why I only ever make jokes at the expense of white men, whose thick skins and calmly rational attitudes make them impossible to upset."

STEPHEN HAWKING: How to build a time machine - "All you need is a wormhole, the Large Hadron Collider or a rocket that goes really, really fast "

Pro Revenge Stories — The mad bartender. - "I played Cedric Sartone, simple farmer turned tavern owner who eventually turned it into THE BEST PLACE IN TOWN. It was poppin every night, I was buddies with every adventurer, soldier, mage, druid, and ranger that played the game. After they went out and grinded their skills and did their quests, I was waiting for them with a warm fire and plenty of ale. I’d buy their ingredients and make awesome food and booze (max level cooking!) and was privy to all the gossip. Little did they know I had a side hobby, I was brewing massive amounts of the most gamebreakingly toxic poison possible. For over a year I roleplayed with these people as a simple barman, pretended to be their friend and confidant, and then during a harvest festival where every player on our server was in attendance and I was payed to provide the food and drink… I poisoned every last morsel of food, every drop of drink and after the reagent delivered his speech and all of these fools raised their goblets for the toast and took that deadly sip, I stepped onto the stage and revealed what had happened. They where all going to die, and die they did."

Media Exposure and Romantic Relationship Quality: A Slippery Slope? - "total TV viewing time statistically predicted lower commitment to the relationship, while viewing of programming focusing on romantic relationships predicted lower satisfaction and stronger tendency to engage in conflicts. Consumption of media other than television and the control factors did not predict any indicator of relationship quality"

Tinder Woes, Suspicious Landlords and Snarky Bosses: Young and Russian in D.C. - "Former counterintelligence officials say Russians are particularly fond of the honey trap, the use of attractive young people, usually women, to compromise or gain influence over intelligence targets, usually older men... One former top counterintelligence official described his consternation at the recklessness of State Department officials of both sexes during the Obama years who indulged in sexual favors from in-room masseurs during their stays at the Moscow Ritz, the same hotel made infamous by the Steele dossier’s unsubstantiated allegations about Donald Trump’s behavior in the presidential suite."

A review of the carbohydrate–insulin model of obesity - "The carbohydrate–insulin model of obesity theorizes that diets high in carbohydrate are particularly fattening due to their propensity to elevate insulin secretion. Insulin directs the partitioning of energy toward storage as fat in adipose tissue and away from oxidation by metabolically active tissues and purportedly results in a perceived state of cellular internal starvation. In response, hunger and appetite increases and metabolism is suppressed, thereby promoting the positive energy balance associated with the development of obesity. Several logical consequences of this carbohydrate–insulin model of obesity were recently investigated in a pair of carefully controlled inpatient feeding studies whose results failed to support key model predictions. Therefore, important aspects of carbohydrate–insulin model have been experimentally falsified suggesting that the model is too simplistic. This review describes the current state of the carbohydrate–insulin model and the implications of its recent experimental tests."

New low carb link to life expectancy should be interpreted with caution - "The study, conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, concluded that diets which are high or lower in carbohydrate were associated with greater mortality, an increased risk of early death... The questionnaires relied upon people remembering what they ate, and it is this information that scientists used to estimate the proportion of calories they received from carbohydrates, fats and protein. There are often accuracy issues with food questionnaires and it is not possible to verify the accuracy of the answers in the study. Furthermore, with diet composition only reported at the start of the trial and six years later, the researchers acknowledge that dietary patterns could have changed over the subsequent 19 years of follow-up"

Latest Low-Carb Study: All Politics, No Science - "How is anyone supposed to recall what was eaten as many as 12 months prior? Most people can’t remember what they ate three days ago. Note that “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember” or “I gave up dairy in August” are not options; you are forced to enter a specific value. Some questions even require that you do math to convert the number of servings of fruit you consumed seasonally into an annual average—absurd. These inaccurate guesses become the “data” that form the foundation of the entire study. Foods are not weighed, measured, or recorded in any way. The entire FFQ used contained only 66 questions, yet the typical modern diet contains thousands of individual ingredients... The lowest-carbohydrate group in the study reported consuming 37% of their approximately 1,558 calories per day as carbohydrate. This 37% translates to a whopping 144 grams of carbohydrate per day. Nowhere else would this be considered a low-carbohydrate diet. Most low-carbohydrate practitioners recommend between 20 and 50 grams of carbohydrate per day. Truly low-carbohydrate diets were not studied... The authors imply that people who eat low-carbohydrate diets can delay meeting their Maker by replacing animal protein with plant protein:... This is rather misleading, as nobody substituted anything for anything else in this study—this was not an experiment. These substitutions took place only in the researchers’ minds... The field of nutritional epidemiology has a dismal track record when it comes to the validity of its guesses—more than 80% of its hypotheses are later proved wrong in clinical trials (human experiments). This is why nutrition headlines are so confusing—one day eggs are bad for us (epidemiology), the next day they are perfectly fine (clinical trials)."

Deming, data and observational studies - "It may not be appreciated how often observational claims fail to replicate. In a small sample in 2005, of 49 claims coming from highly cited studies, 14 either failed to replicate entirely or the magnitude of the claimed effect was greatly reduced (a regression to the mean). Six of these 49 studies were observational studies, and in these six, in effect, randomly chosen observational studies, five failed to replicate. This last is an 83% failure rate... We ourselves carried out an informal but comprehensive accounting of 12 randomised clinical trials that tested observational claims – see Table 1. The 12 clinical trials tested 52 observational claims. They all confirmed no claims in the direction of the observational claims. We repeat that figure: 0 out of 52. To put it another way, 100% of the observational claims failed to replicate. In fact, five claims (9.6%) are statistically significant in the clinical trials in the opposite direction to the observational claim. To us, a false discovery rate of over 80% is potent evidence that the observational study process is not in control. The problem, which has been recognised at least since 1988, is systemic"

Raising Kids With Religion Or Spirituality May Protect Their Mental Health: Study - "It turned out that those who attended religious services at least once a week as children or teens were about 18% more likely to report being happier in their 20s than those who never attended services. They were also almost 30% more likely to do volunteer work and 33% less likely to use drugs in their 20s as well."

China Once Looked Tough on Trade. Now Its Options Are Dwindling. - The New York Times - "China does not import nearly enough from the United States to target $200 billion in American goods — let alone the additional $267 billion in Chinese goods that Mr. Trump has threatened to tax... more drastic moves, like closing factories or encouraging consumer boycotts of American goods, could eliminate Chinese jobs. They could also permanently damage China’s reputation as a place to do business and only accelerate corporate plans to look to other countries."

After a Suicide Attempt, the Risk of Another Try - The New York Times - "A common yet highly inaccurate belief is that people who survive a suicide attempt are unlikely to try again. In fact, just the opposite is true. Within the first three months to a year following a suicide attempt, people are at highest risk of a second attempt — and this time perhaps succeeding. A recent analysis of studies that examined successful suicides among those who made prior attempts found that one person in 25 had a fatal repeat attempt within five years."
Are suicide prevention and euthanasia promotion compatible? If not (if one claims that euthanasia is only for those with terminal conditions and/or those whose {physical} conditions cause them unbearable pain), is this stigmatising mental illness by viewing it as less real than physical illness

Scots and Catalans - History Extra - "There's an editorial in the Times in the 1850swhich says the Scots are a country in manifest want of a grievance. Aand that sense of a grievance, annoying sense of grievance does play its part in the maintenance and the fermenting of Scottish nationalism. But in comparison with the Catalans Scottish grievances are frankly minimal"

Spanking (Children)

For some reason, many people get very excited over the subject of spanking (children), and go on long diatribes about how bad it is, how traumatic it is to children and how parents who do it are bad.

I suspect there is some deeper motivation behind the excitement. Maybe many people of a more liberal bent just don't like to see kids being spanked.

Yet, as we know, visceral dislike of something doesn't make it bad.

Anyway, here is a consolidation of past featured material on spanking, about omitted variable bias and some contrary research that actually finds that spanking is good:


What Science Says--and Doesn't--about Spanking - "Ferguson did try to control for the effects of preexisting child behavior in a 2013 meta-analysis he published of the longitudinal studies on this issue; when he did, “spanking’s effects became trivial,” he says. As a further demonstration of the importance of careful statistical controls, Robert Larzelere, a psychologist at Oklahoma State University, and his colleagues reported in a 2010 study that grounding and psychotherapy are linked just as strongly to bad behavior as spanking is but that all the associations disappear with the use of careful statistical controls. It makes sense that disciplinary tactics used as responses to bad behavior will be associated with such behavior, Larzelere says, unless care is taken to control for children’s preexisting characteristics and temperaments."

Some Kids Are Never Spanked - Do They Turn Out Better? - "In NurtureShock, we described some extensive cross-ethnic and international research on spanking by Drs. Jennifer Lansford and Ken Dodge. Their data suggested that if a culture views spanking as the normal consequence for bad behavior, kids aren’t damaged by its occasional use... are kids who’ve never been spanked any better off, long term?Gunnoe’s summary is blunt: “I didn’t find that in my data.”... those who’d been spanked just when they were young—ages 2 to 6—were doing a little better as teenagers than those who’d never been spanked. On almost every measure... children of progressive dads were acting out more in school... perhaps the consistency of discipline is more important than the form of discipline. In other words, spanking regularly isn’t the problem; the problem is having no regular form of discipline at all."

Why parenting may not matter and why most social science research is probably wrong - "Children who are spanked (not abused, but spanked) often experience a host of other problems in life, including psychological maladjustment and behavioral problems. In a study led by my colleague J.C. Barnes, we probed this issue in more detail and found some evidence suggesting that spanking increased the occurrence of overt bad behavior in children. We could have stopped there. Yet, we went one step further and attempted to inspect the genetic influences... much of the association between the two variables (spanking and behavior) was attributable to genetic effects that they had in common. The correlation between spanking and behavior appeared to reflect the presence of shared genetic influences cutting across both traits"


And some new material:

Research on Disciplinary Spanking is Misleading | American College of Pediatricians

"most research against spanking uses methods so flawed that such studies would be rejected if they were being used to halt a medical procedure, such as chemotherapy for combating cancer. The anti-spanking research suffers from three major fallacies or defects that invalidate its conclusions. These flaws are evident in a recent summary of research on spanking by Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff and her colleague, Dr. Andrew Grogan-Kaylor...

The first step in assessing the effectiveness of an intervention, whether a medical intervention against a disease or a disciplinary action to correct behavior, is to ensure the intervention is both well-defined and appropriately implemented... only four of the 75 studies in the latest Gershoff overview ensured that spanking was used appropriately, and those four studies actually found disciplinary spanking to be at least as effective as the three alternatives with which it was compared. In contrast, all the evidence against spanking came from the other 71 studies which suffer from three major fallacies, any one of which would be a fatal flaw in medical research. Let’s examine each of them in turn.

The correlational fallacy: Correlations, or associations between two variables, do not prove causation. Correlations are especially misleading when evaluating actions chosen to correct disciplinary or medical problems, called corrective actions.

The extrapolation fallacy: Even if infrequent spanking is correlated with better outcomes than overly frequent spanking, that does not prove that zero spanking is best.

The lumping fallacy: Only 4 of their 75 studies were limited to two open-handed swats to the buttocks for child defiance. The other 71 studies lumped together all “spanking” regardless of how it was implemented and why it was used...

most of their evidence is based on “cross-sectional” correlations, i.e. correlations between disciplinary spanking and child behaviors during the same time period, regardless which occurred first... This is the kind of flawed correlational evidence contained in 55% of the studies that Drs. Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor considered relevant for their meta-analysis... However, one must ask which came first, the spanking or the aggressive behavior? Did the aggression occur first and elicit more spanking from the parents, or did the spanking occur before the aggression? One cannot tell from cross-sectional correlations.

Now consider their strongest evidence against spanking: the 21% of their studies that were longitudinal and documented that spanking preceded the child’s aggressive behavior. Correlations indicate that children who were spanked tended to be more aggressive at school the following year when compared to children who had not been spanked. Is this sufficient evidence to oppose this corrective disciplinary action by parents? Again, the answer is no. The medical field would not be impressed by the fact that patients who received chemotherapy last year are now more likely to still be battling cancer than people who had never had cancer. Medical doctors would ignore such longitudinal correlations unless the research (1) compared patients who had the same severity of cancer to start with, and (2) showed that another treatment was more effective than the selected chemotherapy. Gershoff & Grogan-Kaylor’s meta-analysis did neither. Even their strongest correlations could be explained by the possibility that children who were more defiant caused their parents to try all their disciplinary tactics more often, including but not limited to spanking... By limiting their meta-analysis to correlations, Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor ignored evidence from studies that took pre-existing child differences into account, such as the crucial fact that some children are more defiant than others. A better meta-analysis in 2013 included 45 longitudinal studies, with 25 taking pre-existing child differences into account with statistical adjustments. This analysis concluded that “the impact of spanking . . . on the negative outcomes . . . are minimal”...

Incredibly, Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor have failed to find any disciplinary response that is linked to reductions in children’s behavior problems, despite investigating eight other disciplinary responses in a large international study. That is because their reliance on correlations makes all corrective actions look harmful or ineffective, just as it would all cancer treatments...

If low-dose chemotherapy against cancer is associated with better outcomes than high-dose chemotherapy against the same cancer, is it correct to extrapolate that no chemotherapy will yield even better results for the patient than low-dose chemotherapy? Of course not! Yet, this is precisely the kind of flawed reasoning Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor use in their anti-spanking research. The meta-analysis recommended that parents never use spanking despite including only one study that actually compared a never-spanked group to a spanked group. Moreover, that one study suggested a beneficial outcome in that American soldiers who recalled being spanked as children had lower rates of drug abuse than those who did not recall being spanked. Thus, not only is their no-spanking recommendation an extrapolation based upon a comparison of infrequently spanked children versus those spanked too frequently, but it is also contradicted by the only directly relevant study included in the analysis.

Other studies of never-spanked children do exist, but they were not included in this latest meta-analysis. For example, one retrospective study found slightly better adolescent outcomes for those whose spanking was phased out before age 12 compared to adolescents who were never spanked, replicating similar prospective results by a leading spanking-ban advocate...

Two other meta-analyses published since Gershoff’s2 initial meta-analysis have gone beyond correlational evidence to obtain stronger causal evidence of the effects of spanking. One concluded that any adverse effects of spanking were “trivial,” whereas the other found that child outcomes of physical punishment were worse than outcomes of other disciplinary responses only when it was used too severely or as the main disciplinary response. The latter meta-analysis also identified an optimal type of back-up spanking, which led to less defiance or aggression than 10 of 13 alternative disciplinary tactics and was just as effective as the remaining three tactics studied. Back-up spanking is used non-abusively when a child refuses to comply with milder disciplinary techniques, such as time out (based mostly on research with 2- to 6-year-olds). Back-up spanking teaches a defiant child to cooperate with the milder disciplinary technique, thereby making spanking less necessary in the future...

This matter of misrepresenting the science on the effects of spanking in children is significant in that it is being used to influence legislators worldwide to ban spanking by parents... Remarkably, there is no objective evidence that any of these bans have curbed child abuse or teen violence as intended. In fact, there is more evidence that the incidence of each has increased following these bans, especially in countries that enforce them more vigorously"


Cited paper on spanking bans increasing violence:

Swedish Trends in Criminal Assaults against Minors since Banning Spanking, 1981-2010

"Compared to 1981, criminal statistics in 2010 included about 22 times as many cases of physical child abuse, 24 times as many assaults by minors against minors, and 73 times as many rapes of minors under the age of 15. Although the first cohort born after the spanking ban showed a smaller percentage increase in perpetrating assaults against minors than other age cohorts, those born since the spanking ban had almost a 12-fold increase in perpetrations altogether, compared to a 7-fold increase for older age cohorts. Although some increases might reflect changes in reporting practices, their magnitude and consistency suggest that part of these increases are real. Recent increases may be due to expanding proscriptions against nonphysical disciplinary consequences. Future research needs to identify effective alternative disciplinary consequences to replace spanking. Otherwise, proscriptions against an expanding range of disciplinary consequences may undermine the kind of appropriate parental authority that can facilitate the development of impulse control in oppositional children and appropriate respect for others, especially the physically vulnerable."


Is it harmful to smack your child?

"I have replicated this strongest type of evidence against customary use of spanking and found very similar evidence against everything else that parents use to try to reduce oppositional defiance in young children, including privilege removal, grounding, sending children to their room, docking their allowance, and getting professional help (child psychotherapy or Ritalin)...

Getting professional help in the form of psychotherapy or Ritalin also appears to be just as harmful as customary spanking. In other words, when using the same statistical methods that provide the strongest causal evidence against customary spanking, Ritalin appears to be just as harmful as spanking. This shows additional evidence that the superficially harmful outcomes of spanking are due to the remaining poor prognosis of children whose behavior causes parents to use every kind of discipline more, rather than being due to any harmful effect of spanking...

Interestingly, one of the leading anti-spanking advocates also published a recent study showing that spanking did not have any adverse effects if parents were no longer spanking at age 9, and such phased-out spanking was associated with better outcomes in conservative Protestant families, apparently because it was more likely to be perceived as appropriate parental discipline rather than evidence of parental rejection.

There is, however, an alarming amount of child physical abuse in some quarters of society. Isn’t it worth banning physical discipline altogether for the sake of children vulnerable to real abuse? Aren’t alternatives like time out and withdrawal of privileges enough for good parents?

This is the main rationale for spanking bans, using the same logic that was used for the Prohibition Amendment in the United States a century ago. Unfortunately most evidence indicates that enforced spanking bans lead to increases in physical child abuse as well as other forms of violence as children grow up without effective discipline...

A five-nation comparison in Europe found that some kinds of verbal and physical violence are higher in countries that have banned spanking compared to those who had not banned spanking. For example, 79% of intimate partners say that they insult their partners in Sweden, compared to 36% in countries without spanking bans. A surprising 34% of partners get tackled or hit in Sweden compared to 18% in countries without spanking bans...

There was a similar finding for how they were disciplined as children. Those receiving mild spanking but not severe physical punishment were less likely to use severe physical punishment with their children. This supports a speculation we made in 1999 that mild spanking can serve to bring a frustrating discipline episode to a conclusion before parents get so frustrated that they erupt by hitting the child harder than they otherwise would...

One of my mentors, Dr. Gerald Patterson started by trying to reinforce (reward) children for good behavior, assuming that their behavior would improve with that method alone. He still supports reinforcing good behavior, but said in his major book, Coercive Family Process, in 1982: “If I were allowed to select only one concept to use in training parents of antisocial children, I would teach them how to punish more effectively. It is the key to understanding familial aggression” ( p. 111). By that, he meant timeout, because he personally opposed spanking.

All the other gurus of behavioral parent training -- the primary psychosocial treatment supported for ADHD In the guidelines of clinical child psychologists, pediatricians, and child psychiatrists -- also used timeout, but they recommended a two-swat spanking to enforce cooperation with staying on the timeout chair -- until spanking fell into disfavour in the 1990’s.

So parents should prefer the mildest disciplinary response that can get acceptable cooperation from children. But children need to learn that persistent defiance in response to milder responses will not let them get their way. In such cases non-abusive spanking can be a very effective enforcement of milder disciplinary responses, which is why most behavioral parent training protocols recommended that from the late 1960’s, when they were developed, to the mid-1990’s. By then the gurus could no longer get research funding if they continued using the spank backup (but they never found anything more effective).

And what about children's dignity and rights?

As children grow up, they develop rights and responsibilities together. We require many things of children that are not required of adults (vaccinations, school attendance). A balance of love and limits, which is called authoritative parenting, has been shown to be optimal for children to achieve their potential. The polarized extremes of authoritarian parenting (limits without love) and overly permissive parenting (love without limits) fall way behind in developing their potential competencies across a range of outcomes.

The argument that children should not be subject to negative disciplinary consequences that would be unacceptable for adults is an argument against most negative disciplinary consequence, including timeout, grounding, etc. To maximize their potential, children need both love and limits when they are young, so they don’t need to learn lessons about cooperating with people around them when they are older and the negative consequences are worse and longer lasting."


Addendum: For those who don't like the American College of Pediatricians, here're more of the cited papers:

Spanking, corporal punishment and negative long-term outcomes: a meta-analytic review of longitudinal studies.

"the impact of spanking and CP on the negative outcomes evaluated here (externalizing, internalizing behaviors and low cognitive performance) are minimal. It is advised that psychologists take a more nuanced approach in discussing the effects of spanking/CP with the general public, consistent with the size as well as the significance of their longitudinal associations with adverse outcomes."

Published in Clin Psychol Rev - IF 8.897 (Note that "0nly 213 journal titles, or 2% of the journals tracked by JCR, have a 2016 impact factor of 10 or higher")

Comparing child outcomes of physical punishment and alternative disciplinary tactics: a meta-analysis.

"effect sizes significantly favored conditional spanking over 10 of 13 alternative disciplinary tactics for reducing child noncompliance or antisocial behavior"

Published in Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev, IF 4.171

Monday, November 05, 2018

Links - 5th November 2018 (2)

Evidence of education as a signal - "Under signaling, an increase in the minimum school-leaving age implies also an increase in the number of years of education chosen by individuals not affected by the new requirement. In contrast, under the human capital model, this should not be the case. Using data from the years where this natural experiment took place in de USA between 1910 and 1970, Lang and Kropp show that there is in effect evidence for the signaling hypothesis... Within the standard human capital model, local universities provide lower-cost postsecondary alternatives and consequently increase university enrollment, but, within the signaling model, they might also increase the high school dropout rate. This is because if it becomes easier for students to go to college, and high ability students go in a higher proportion, then the average skill of individuals with only a high school degree is reduced, and thus the incentive to obtain this degree is diminished for those not pursuing college education, and dropouts increase. Following this, Bedard studies the effects of the presence of local universities in high school dropouts and finds that the prediction is supported by the data. In particular, the percentage increase in high school dropouts is at least 33 percent of the percentage increase in university enrollment, something we should not see under the alternative hypotheses... The self-employed, especially those who do not need to signal to customers, is the sector where signaling should not be an issue, as opposed to the sector of the employed, where employers may demand a signal, and of self-employed, like lawyers or medical doctors, where it is the customers who may demand the signal. The authors test directly for the differences in returns correcting for possible underlying causes of self-employment. In summary, they find substantially smaller returns to self-employed for secondary education, vocational education and university and suggest this is indicative of the role of education as a signal."

When young men play the victim – and then take the lives of others - "Jihadist groups such as the Islamic State, for instance, promote a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam by convincing young Muslims (who are often recent religious converts) they are unhappy because Europe and North America are prejudiced, hateful places for Muslims. Far-right extremists and neo-Nazis similarly tell young white men that life is difficult because immigrants and diversity advocates are turning the West into a prejudiced, hateful place for whites. Other ideologies that encourage violence, such as the inner-city gangster subculture responsible for many of Toronto’s 17 other homicide victims this year, similarly teach victimhood. Young men learn that being a gangster is acceptable if you’re poor or you need money you can’t easily get elsewhere. These gangsters are taught to think they’re victims of others’ immorality and as victims, they can justify being immoral in return, which is why so much gun violence is retaliatory. Self-victimization has grown far beyond extremist groups or gangs... We can’t stop every young man from being angry, but we can compete to influence him to do something positive and constructive with that anger."

Nova Scotia judge who said ‘a drunk can consent’ cleared of misconduct over sexual-assault ruling - "Saying that it is important to protect the judiciary from “mob justice,” a committee has cleared a judge of misconduct over a sexual-assault ruling that drew street protests, a 37,000-signature petition and 121 formal complaints to the Nova Scotia Judicial Council. Provincial Court Justice Gregory Lenehan acquitted a Halifax taxi driver last year of sexual assault involving an intoxicated female passenger. Police had found the woman partly naked and passed out, with the taxi driver holding her urine-stained underwear. Justice Lenehan, in an oral ruling, said, “clearly, a drunk can consent,” and explained that he had no direct evidence on whether the passenger had consented to sexual activity... Justice Lenehan had shown no gender bias, the committee said, and was accurate in his statement that inebriated people may still be able to consent to sex under Canadian law."

FACTSHEET: Statistics on farm attacks and murders in South Africa
Multiple sources show that the attacks have been steadily increasing for years

Stella Creasy’s war on thoughtcrime - "Creasy wants to make things worse by making misogyny a punishable motivation to a crime. There are so many problems with this. How would we know the suspect was motivated by misogyny? What if he is just a pervert? If he really hates women and wants to take pictures of their knickers, does that make him worse than a knicker-obsessive who really loves women? Does it hurt more if you are punched by a man who hates women than if you are punched by one who is just drunk?... data from Nottinghamshire (where the treatment of misogyny as a hate crime was trialled two years ago) showed that levels of street harassment are negligible"

Arabisation and the threat to Singapore culture - "A segment of the community is relegating its own culture and heritage while opting for Arabic culture and lifestyle. Malays are evidently more comfortable wearing Arabic-style garments compared to their traditional baju Melayu... Arabic phrases are preferred by some over their Malay equivalents: For example, hijab to replace tudung (headscarf), Eidul Fitri rather than hari raya (a day of celebration after the fasting month of Ramadan), and syukran instead of terima kasih (thank you)... there are some who view Malay music, dress, dance, and arts as not conforming to Islam, by which they are referring to its Arabised form."

Misogynist conversations women have all the time - "“I could never stay at home with kids. It’s too boring.”
“You’re so smart, you can do anything!”
“I’ve never fit in with other women.”
Women having an opinion = misogyny

The misogyny of #MeToo - "Forget those tragic internet threads inhabited by men whose fury with women is one part concern about feminism and nine parts because they’ve never had sex; look, instead, at the thoroughly mainstream, celebrity-endorsed #MeToo movement whose fear of men is easily matched – outdone now, in fact – by its seething contempt for women who think for themselves... [Katie] Roiphe has been so publicly shamed, and ideally silenced, by women who claim they want women’s voices to be heard. But not Roiphe’s voice, it seems; not that bitch; shut her down. The outpouring of hatred for Roiphe has been astonishing, even by the low standards of Twitter debate and 21st-century virtual intolerance. Guardian feminist Jessica Valenti swiftly did to Roiphe what she accuses men of doing to female journalists: tried to silence her... Sady Doyle, a writer for Elle, branded Roiphe ‘pro-rape’, which really just means evil, witch-like. A writer for feminist mag Bustle wondered if ‘Katie Roiphe’ is a ‘pseudonym shared by a group of 65-year-old men’, because any woman who disagrees with us correct feminists must be a man really, right? Just as any black person who votes Republican or Conservative is a ‘coconut’... Roiphe, you see – like any other woman who criticises the new victim feminism – suffers from ‘internalised misogyny’. This deeply patronising idea holds that women do not really know their own minds and are easy prey to the allegedly misogynistic culture that surrounds them... the B-movie actress Blanca Blanco got in trouble for daring to wear a red dress to the all-black fashion and virtue-signalling shitshow that was the Golden Globes. How dare women wear what they want? Or express their opinions?... We are now starting to see that #MeToo is not a pro-woman movement at all. It is a highly politicised campaign driven by, and benefiting, well-connected women in culture and the media, who must maintain their alleged victim status at all costs because it is leverage for them in terms both of their career and their moral authority in public discussion"

Aman Ali - "as if it was some kind of Pavlovian reflex, I grabbed him by his shirt and came inches away from punching him in the face so hard that I probably would have altered the structure of his face. The only thing that stopped me milliseconds before doing it was the look he gave me. He had a smug smile on his face as if he was telling me "Yep, I knew it." I froze when I saw that smile. I knew I had lost this argument because I essentially reinforced everything he believed that I was trying so hard to passionately counter... What if I was the only exposure to Muslims he ever had? What if that's the opinion he carries about Muslims for the rest of his life? What if he goes around at dinner parties and tells others "Those Moslems, man. I had a class with a Moslem once and the dude tried to punch me for no reason at all." And in unison, everyone at the party would go "Yep, I knew it.""

Trump upgrades Martin Luther King birthplace to national historic park
What a failure of a white supremacist

Trump Nominates First Female African-American Marine General

The case of the purloined poultry: How ISIS prosecuted petty crime - "In a terrorist version of the "broken window" school of policing, the Islamic State aggressively prosecuted minor crimes in the communities it took over, winning points with residents who were used to having to pay bribes to secure police help... Even residents who suffered abuses at the hands of the militants gave them points for their policing, saying that for nonreligious disputes, they were not only fair but also willing to wade into problems that might have been brushed off by most authorities."

The European Union: To leave or not to leave? - "One of the strengths of the Continent has been its diversity. The separate experiences of Europe’s countries have acted as inspirations and warnings to others... The history of multinational ventures in Europe is not a good one. Over 400 years, the Habsburg Empire was unable to cement a workable enterprise. It only held together in the 19th century by striking bargains between the various national groups and by keeping them all, in the words of one Austrian prime minister, ‘in a condition of even and well-modulated discontent’. It is the same in the EU today... A political union will prosper only if its peoples feel a common sense of belonging that makes them willing to make sacrifices for one another. This is lacking in the EU"

Online Bettors Know If Psychology Studies Will Replicate - "scientists seem to be remarkably good at predicting which studies in psychology and other social sciences will replicate, and which will not?... “If researchers can anticipate which findings will replicate, or fail to, it makes it harder to sustain dismissive claims about the replications or the replicators”... several of the studies that didn’t replicate have another quality in common: newsworthiness. They reported cute, attention-grabbing, whoa-if-true results that conform to the biases of at least some parts of society. One purportedly showed that reading literary fiction improves our ability to understand other people’s beliefs and desires. Another said that thinking analytically weakens belief in religion. Yet another said that people who think about computers are worse at recalling old information—a phenomenon that the authors billed as “the Google effect.” All of these were widely covered in the media."

Harvard and M.I.T. Are Sued Over Lack of Closed Captions - The New York Times - "Advocates for the deaf on Thursday filed federal lawsuits against Harvard and M.I.T., saying both universities violated antidiscrimination laws by failing to provide closed captioning in their online lectures, courses, podcasts and other educational materials. “Much of Harvard’s online content is either not captioned or is inaccurately or unintelligibly captioned, making it inaccessible for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing,” the complaint said, echoing language used in the M.I.T. complaint. “Just as buildings without ramps bar people who use wheelchairs, online content without captions excludes individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.”... Harvard and M.I.T. had been leaders in putting university content online"
This is why we can't have nice things; the perfect is the enemy of the good

UC Berkeley Removing Public Course Content Over Accessibility Costs - "video and audio recordings of entire courses that used to be open to global, public consumption for free are now gated by login info only supplied to the official students, faculty, and staff of UC Berkeley."

Woman, 43, who kidnapped a teenage girl and drove her to a flat where she was raped is spared jail - "A woman who kidnapped a teenage girl before she was raped in a flat has avoided jail after a judge said it would be 'unfair' to send her to prison."
Male privilege!

WEF: Machines are going to perform more tasks than humans by 2025 - "Developments in automation technologies and artificial intelligence could see 75 million jobs displaced, according to the WEF report "The Future of Jobs 2018." However, another 133 million new roles may emerge as companies shake up their division of labor between humans and machines, translating to 58 million net new jobs being created by 2022, it said... An analysis from global audit firm PwC also made similar predictions"

Pamela Anderson declares herself an ‘anti-feminist’ - "the 49-year-old discussed her concerns over gender roles as people become more 'androgynous'... 'I obviously believe in treating people equally, but men and women are different for a reason, with very important roles to play,' she explained. Pamela also claimed she worries the 'world will forget how to make love'."
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