"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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Monday, March 11, 2019

Links - 11th March 2019 (1)

Youngest Black Legislator In America Won on a Platform of 'God, Guns, and Babies' - "The West Virginia House of Delegates convened Wednesday with a record-setter in its midst – freshman Del. Caleb L. Hanna, who became the nation’s youngest black legislator following his election at age 19 in November 2018"
"He's younger than AOC and he's black? I wonder why in the world most of media outlets aren't falling all over themselves to write about him....."

UPDATED - Added some comments that have surfaced... - Bill Hart-Davidson - "Hey gang - this post two photos of yourself thing feels like a way to gather a data set to train a machine learning classifier for facial recognition to be more accurate in ID'ing people based on an old photo. As a machine learning researcher let me just say that paired photos associated with the same name with a positive ID and the time interval is the gold standard data set to do this. I know of similar projects that have used photos available in the public record to do similar classifier training (celebrity photos, yes, but also mug shots) because they share the data characteristics I mentioned above. The risk would not be to you individually. This is more of a herd immunity issue. The better these things get at IDing us from any particular photo, the closer we are to the world of John Anderton in Minority Report."

Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth clashed before royal wedding - "THE Queen warned Prince Harry over Meghan ­Markle’s behaviour and attitude before the royal wedding following a row over the bride’s tiara.Her Majesty stepped in after the couple were unhappy at being told “difficult” Meghan’s first choice, which featured emeralds, was off limits due to uncertainty over its origin... Meghan, 37, eventually wore a diamond and platinum headpiece selected by the Queen despite Harry telling staff before the big day: “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets”... “Meghan had her heart set on this tiara with emeralds and Prince Harry hit the roof when they were told it was impossible for her to wear it... "There was a very heated exchange that prompted the Queen to speak to Harry. She said, ‘Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she’s given by me’. “The Queen also questioned why Meghan needed a veil for the wedding, given it was to be her second marriage.”... “Meghan can be difficult.“She has very high standards and is used to working in a Hollywood environment."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry lose three staff members in 'stampede' - "The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry's personal assistant quit this weekend after just six months in the job.And the pair have seen two other private staff members call time on their roles, too... Two long-standing aides have also departed, with insiders likening it to a "stampede".Kensington Palace faced a damage limitation exercise after Meghan's father Thomas provided a running commentary to the media on whether he would be attending the big day... Harry was allegedly warned by the Queen about "difficult" Meghan Markle... The Queen warned Harry that Meghan needed to mind how she spoke to staff and to make sure she follows “family protocol”"

Meghan Markle 'left Kate Middleton in tears' over her strict demands for Princess Charlotte's bridesmaid's dress - "ROYAL newbie Meghan Markle left Kate Middleton in tears over her demands for Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress, it emerged"

ROYAL CLASH: Wives’ friction blamed for RIFT between William and Harry - "Growing up, Prince William and Prince Harry, who are just two years apart in age, were thick as thieves and it would be reasonable to assume that the Sussexes would prefer to be surrounded by family when they welcome their first baby next spring. An insider has claimed that the force pulling the brothers apart is friction between their wives, possibly down to their polar opposite backgrounds and life experiences... “Kate and Meghan are very different people. They don’t really get on.”It comes just weeks after a Palace insider claimed that Meghan’s attitude had caused such a stir among Royal wedding-planners that the Queen was forced to intervene and sit Harry down for a straight-talking, no-nonsense chat."

Americans Used to Support a Border Wall. What Changed Their Minds? - "If there is only one thing people know about Donald Trump, they know he wants to build a border wall. And if there’s only one thing people know about Democratic lawmakers, it’s that they rarely turn down multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects... just a few years ago a majority of Americans supported building a border wall or fence. In 2013, an ABC News/Washington Post survey found that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans supported building a 700-mile fence along the border with Mexico and adding 20,000 border patrol agents.The same survey found a slim majority (52 percent) still favored building a wall even when told it would cost $46 billion—much higher than Trump’s current request. Similarly in 2011, a majority (57 percent) supported building a security fence, even without additional patrol personal, a Quinnipiac poll found.Not only that, but in early 2006 a Time/SRBI poll found that a slim majority (52 percent) of Democrats also favored “building a security fence along the 2,000-mile US-Mexican border.” Sixty-one percent (61 percent) of Republicans also agreed. Between 2005 and 2015, polls show that nearly half of Democrats continued to support building a border barrier of some kind. However, things changed in 2015 when Donald Trump announced his bid for the presidency...
Here I offer four reasons that may explain why Americans turned against building a border wall.
1) Harsh Rhetoric Makes People More Sympathetic to Immigrants
2) People Feel Differently About a ‘Wall’ than a ‘Fence’
This conception of what a wall means is demonstrated through a very poorly written survey question from pollsters Greenberg Quinlan and Rosner Research, when they asked voters if they favored or opposed: “Building a fence along the Mexican border to keep Mexicans from entering the country.” No serious Republican lawmakers are calling for a wall to prevent all Mexicans from immigrating to the United States. The fact that these pollsters misinterpreted the intentions of the wall show that many Americans believe the wall is motivated by animus toward Hispanic migrants and their descendants.
3) The Border Wall Has Become a Symbol
4) Democrats Will Oppose What Trump Supports
Trump is a polarizing figure, particularly for Democrats. Survey experiments conducted by Reuter/Ipsos found that simply telling Democrats Trump supports a policy turns them against it—even universal health care... Republicans given the same treatment moved only by 6 points. A third (33 percent) of Republicans supported government-guaranteed health care when they were not told that Trump once supported it. But among those who were told Trump made that statement, 39 percent supported it...
Democrats talk a lot about the benefits of compromise. In fact 75 percent of Democrats in a 2016 VOTER Survey said they’d rather lawmakers “compromise to get things done” rather than stick to principles. Yet Democratic leadership hasn’t shown signs of budging on building a wall, at least for now.It’s not particularly credible for Democrats to say they oppose the wall because it’s not “cost-effective.” If they opposed it for that reason, why did many support a border barrier just a few years ago? It’s equally cost-ineffective today as it was then."

Why You Should Surround Yourself With More Books Than You'll Ever Have Time to Read - "An antilibrary is a powerful reminder of your limitations -- the vast quantity of things you don't know, half-know, or will one day realize you're wrong about. By living with that reminder daily you can nudge yourself toward the kind of intellectual humility that improves decision-making and drives learning."
So presumably according to Taleb the less we know, the smarter we are. So not only should we have more unread books, we should read even fewer books. Brilliant.
I guess adding books you have heard of but never read to your Goodreads list every day doesn't have the same effect, since it doesn't effectively virtue signal to people the way a big library of physical books does


CNN's Areva Martin Calls Out David Webb For White Privilege - "2019 is so woke that you don’t even need to be white to be accused of “white privilege” anymore... In a debate on his radio show about what makes some people qualified for certain jobs over others, Webb said as a general rule when applying for jobs he cares more about his work-related expertise and experience, not skin color... Webb asked, “How do I have the privilege of white privilege?”“David… by virtue of being a white male you have white privilege,” Martin began, when Webb interjected:“Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I’m black.”"

Pigeons' discrimination of paintings by Monet and Picasso - "Pigeons successfully learned to discriminate color slides of paintings by Monet and Picasso. Following this training, they discriminated novel paintings by Monet and Picasso that had never been presented during the discrimination training. Furthermore, they showed generalization from Monet's to Cezanne's and Renoir's paintings or from Picasso's to Braque's and Matisse's paintings. These results suggest that pigeons' behavior can be controlled by complex visual stimuli in ways that suggest categorization. Upside-down images of Monet's paintings disrupted the discrimination, whereas inverted images of Picasso's did not. This result may indicate that the pigeons' behavior was controlled by objects depicted in impressionists' paintings but was not controlled by objects in cubists' paintings."

Woman who failed infant test given ‘pass’ by the Army until furious male soldiers staged rebellion - "A female soldier was allowed to continue on an Army selection course even though she failed a vital fitness test – triggering a rebellion among male troops who had passed.Corporal Daisy Dougherty was hoping to become one of the Army’s first female infantry instructors following the landmark decision last year to let women join combat units and Special Forces... Despite being a qualified personal fitness trainer and a member of the Army’s athletics squad, the 29-year-old took too long to finish the challenge. Under course rules, she should have been immediately ejected and sent back to her unit.But Cpl Dougherty – the only woman on the course – and 14 others who also failed were told they could carry on, sparking a furious backlash among the 75 soldiers who passed the test.The soldiers rounded on commanders at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon, Mid-Wales, accusing them of lowering standards to suit women. When top brass refused to back down, troops contacted The Mail on Sunday to expose what they claimed was ‘positive discrimination’. Fearing a public backlash if they allowed her result to stand, commanders backed down and asked Cpl Dougherty and the other soldiers who failed the march to leave.Last night, a soldier on the course said: ‘The blokes were livid because it is written in black and white in the course handbook that if you fail the march, you’re pulled off the PSBC [Platoon Sergeants’ Battle Course] immediately. There is no review... When Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced last year that women could join infantry regiments, officials insisted standards would not be relaxed and said female candidates would have to be as fit as male soldiers...
An Army instructor who filmed a weeping female recruit as he verbally attacked her has been cleared of bullying – and awarded the MBE...
The Ministry of Defence tried to censor a documentary about the Parachute Regiment – for fear that it made members of the elite regiment look too aggressive.Whitehall mandarins pleaded with officers to curb their violent behaviour and foul language when cameras were filming them training their troops – but the battle-hardened veterans refused... The scenes, seen by more than two million viewers, fly in the face of the MoD’s moves to soften the image of the Army and its current recruitment drive encouraging sensitive ‘snowflakes’ to enlist to plug shortages in troop numbers. Para commanders ignored the mandarins’ requests, insisting their proven methods should be represented accurately on screen."
In theory, allowing women into combat roles is no problem if they meet the same standards
In practice, fear of people who will claim no women qualifying means there's sexism means some women will be shoehorned in
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