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Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Links - 1st January 2019 (1)

Former model who stabbed a man in the heart after he rejected her romantic advances walks from court - "Her victim, who suffered internal bleeding, was forced to undergo a number of high-risk surgeries to survive. Baker's two-year and three-month prison sentence was suspended by Justice Peter Barr, who did not believe Baker genuinely though the victim was trying to kill her"
This is what male privilege looks like

How Bosses Waste Their Employees’ Time - "At many companies, meanwhile, employees become aware of how self-absorbed their bosses are, and so focus on telling the bosses what they think the bosses want to hear, and on doing things they believe will keep their bosses happy. This leads to what Dr. Rao and I call “executive magnification,” when people bent on buttering up a leader react far more strongly to his or her words or actions than the leader ever intended. For example, an executive told me a story, perhaps apocryphal, about a CEO who commented that there were no blueberry muffins at a breakfast meeting. He wasn’t especially fond of them; it was just small talk. After that, his staff sent strict instructions about this preference to every host. It took him years to discover why there were piles of blueberry muffins every place he went... How can leaders stop making these mistakes? How can they recognize that they have created an atmosphere where wasting time is more the norm than the aberration?They can start by being skeptical when they hear nothing but sunny feedback from followers. They should also be vigilant about their minor complaints and offhand remarks. When they say anything that could be misconstrued as a command or desire for change, it helps to add, “Please don’t do anything, I am just thinking out loud.”And when leaders encourage candor and criticism from employees, they should make sure it isn’t just lip service, and back it up with actions... Research on psychological safety led by Amy Edmondson at the Harvard Business School shows that the best employees for promoting organizational learning are often those who never leave well enough alone, pointing out mistakes and flawed practices. But those who management rates as top performers are often those who silently do what they’re told and what has always been done—and don’t annoy their superiors with complaints and questions about flawed practices. My work with Dr. Rao reveals similar problems: Employees who start big programs are often celebrated, but rarely those who end old, obsolete and ineffective programs and practices. And managers who lord over big teams and keep adding underlings are rewarded with prestigious titles and big raises—even when their ever-expanding army of bureaucrats adds unnecessary rules and procedures that sap time and energy from people who do the most important work."

Personality differences between the sexes are largest in the most gender equal countries - University of Gothenburg, Sweden - "The self-rated personalities of men and women differ more in more gender equal countries, according to recent research from the University of Gothenburg, University West and the University of Skövde. In the study over 130,000 people from 22 different countries filled in a validated personality test"
The finding that increased gender equality increases gender differences is increasingly replicated

Patriarchy paradox: how equality reinforces stereotypes | News | The Times - "Dr Stewart-Williams, author of The Ape That Understood the Universe, said an explanation could be that those living in wealthier and more gender-equal societies had greater freedom to pursue their own interests and behave more individually, so magnifying natural differences.Whatever the reason for the findings, he argued that they meant we should stop thinking of sex differences in society as being automatically a product of oppression. “These differences may be indicators of the opposite: a relatively free and fair society,” he said. If this contradicted some feminist analyses, he said it was also a surprise to pretty much everyone else too. “It seems completely reasonable to think that, in cultures where men and women are treated very differently and have very different opportunities, they’ll end up a lot more different than they would in cultures where they’re treated more similarly and have a similar range of opportunities.“But it turns out that this has it exactly backwards. Treating men and women the same makes them different, and treating them differently makes then the same. I don’t think anyone predicted that. It’s bizarre.”"
Of course, this won't convince feminists. But given that they still spout lies about the disproven gender wage gap, that's no surprise

The millions in EU funding the BBC tried to hide | Coffee House - "Over the last three years the BBC has secretly obtained millions of pounds in grants from the European Union. Licence fee payers might assume that the Corporation would have been compelled to disclose the source of this money in its annual reports, but they bear no trace of it specifically. In the latest set of accounts, for example, these funds are simply referred to as ‘other grant income’. Instead of making an open declaration, the BBC’s successful lobbying for this money had to be prised out of it using a Freedom of Information (FoI) request lodged for The Spectator, proving that there was never any danger of the state broadcaster’s bosses volunteering it willingly."
Somehow, many people who are quick to make claims of conflict of interest in other cases wouldn't make them here

He Helped People Cheat at Grand Theft Auto. Then His Home Was Raided. - The New York Times - "“Cheaters do tend to ruin the game experience for others, but not everything that is antisocial is illegal, nor should it be,” said Mitch Stoltz, a senior attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit in San Francisco that defends digital privacy and free speech.Mr. Stoltz said the legal arguments being raised by game publishers pushed the boundaries of copyright law, which generally applies to making permanent copies, rather than temporary modifications. Changing a game “isn’t actually distributing a new version of the game, just as watching a movie through tinted glasses isn’t watching a new movie,” he said... The use of search and seizure orders in copyright cases is not uncommon in Australia, said Nicolas Suzor, a law and digital media researcher at Queensland University of Technology. But having them obtained in a closed courtroom hearing without the defendant being represented is concerning, he said... Copyright and anti-circumvention laws could also be used to deter competition, criticism of corporate policies or reports of security vulnerabilities"

Brooklyn Democrats Pick Socialist Over Tainted Incumbent In New York Senate Race - "[Julia] Salazar has been called out for falsely implying she’s an immigrant (she was born in the U.S.) who was raised in a Catholic-Jewish faith family (neither of her parents practiced Judaism) and graduated from Columbia University (she’s taken classes there, but doesn’t have a degree). Citizens Union, a government watchdog group, earlier this month rescinded its endorsement of her, saying she had misled the organization about her academic credentials. While these fibs made headlines, Salazar’s policy platform earned her the enthusiastic grassroots support of the Democratic Socialists of America, New York congressional candidate ― and progressive heroine ― Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Cynthia Nixon, a progressive who challenged incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary."
Identity trumps integrity?

Shirkers: The stolen Singapore film that finds a home on Netflix - "How a Victoria JC student lost her film in 1992 and found a Netflix debut 26 years later... Their film director Georges Cardona absconded with the entire footage. All 70 reels of it.The man, who the trio met at Singapore’s first 16mm filmmaking class – which he ran at The Substation – disappeared without a trace, along with the film that could have been."

Labour Party announces it will be banning TalkRadio's Julia Hartley-Brewer from next year's conference after she shouted 'boo' in a 'safe space' - "Labour accused her of committing a “hate crime” against disabled people who felt vulnerable."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Gig economy workers' rights - "‘You say exploitation, but government would point to research saying that the majority of people working in the gig economy either very or fairly satisfied with their experience.’"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Rob Young - "[John Chen of Blackberry on autonomous vehicles] ‘What are the odds then that a car somebody is driving or more accurately would be sitting in and would be driving itself, that it could be hacked?’
‘Very likely. People could take over the control of your car. Especially the newer version of car like the autonomous drifting car have about ten to 15 computers in it - that’s hundred million lines of code, which by the way is more lines of code than a fighter jet. Are actually provided by hundreds and hundreds of sources. People like myself, people who work for the car company that wrote the code, people who work with a third party that provided the application. The list goes on. Now, once you have all these concurrent of a lot of the different code, you expose yourself to a safety as well as security hosts. A hacked car is literally a weapon. I myself would not feel hundred percent safe, knowing what we know, that having a car running out there and by itself and interacting with cars that are driven by other people, human’
‘It's refreshingly honest to hear the chief executive of a company say the product that we are selling is not quite there yet, but we hope it will be one day’"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Fashion after Brexit - "The most recent figures released this week by the British Fashion Council shows that it employs almost as many people as the finance sector"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, EU summit in Salzburg - "I'm sure you can understand why a party leader who wants a referendum on Scottish independence, doesn't necessarily like the idea that the country can make a major decision by referendum like Brexit or on independence and then be asked if they want to reverse that decision a couple of years later."

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Russia and China join forces - "[The EU] might try and tie those payments to the concept of adhering to European values. And if you’re a Hungarian or a Polish nationalist politician you might say those European values are just the values of liberals in Western Europe, they don't reflect values here in Central or Eastern Europe"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Rob Young - "The problem is not the city. The problem is the oversized city. The international research by the IMF, the International Monetary Fund, by the Bank for International Settlements, and many others is overwhelmingly clear. Countries that grow their financial sectors beyond a kind of optimal size are damaged by it. They are harmed by it. And Britain passed that point long ago. We need the city. We need finance, but we don't need it to be this size. It needs to, it needs to shrink and it needs to turn back towards its most effective roles. Just as an example, the city of, business lending from the city to British manufacturing, only 4% of it is is to manufacturing. 75% of business lending goes back into the financial sector or real estate. This is a grossly distorted misallocated system and it needs to be completely changed and it needs to be shrunk if Britain is to prosper."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "We have a lot of houses, but perhaps not in the right place, and not the right types of houses"...
"Some of the tightest planning restrictions are in some of those areas where the demand is highest. So you see these very big increases in prices in London, the Southeast and the East of England. And actually they're very often the places where it's most difficult to build a new property. So it's no good as it were building new properties where house prices aren't rising, where there isn't much demand"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Jane Fonda and Me Too - "They were too scared to question her, Dr. Ford... directly for fear of appearing the way Joe Biden and others who questioned during the Clarence Thomas hearings, so they hired a woman lawyer to do it. You know that's a cop out, what cowards"...
"Although you are, of course, very critical of President Trump, you've also talked about the need to show some empathy for him"
"We're not making any progress if we're all roiling in a cauldron of hate, and it hurts us. We have to realize that bad behavior is the language of the traumatized"
Women's voices don't count when they're Republican
Presumably the only way to not get excoriated is to accept everything (Democratic) women say

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Should the UK stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia? - "There were plenty of other sources of arms procurement and and of course, what it does mean is that you lose any influence in those countries... Saudi has played a very stabilizing role in the Middle East in its relationship with Israel, and that's probably the most explosive issue in the Middle East. So losing influence in Saudi Arabia you have to be very very clear what you're doing but what you have got to recognize is that there are points beyond which you must not go and Mr Khashoggi's murder has undoubtedly provoked the right response"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Good Grief, Charlie Brown! - "They're much more than charming comedy for children. The philosopher Umberto Eco said that the children are monstrous infantile reductions of all the neuroses of a modern citizen of industrial civilization"
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