"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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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Links - 16th March 2019

Differences in Intelligence and Creativity between Tattooed and Non-Tattooed Students - "Tattooed students seem to be neither less intelligent nor more creative than other students."

Does Study Really Link Tattoos, Deviant Behavior? - "people who have four or more tats are more likely to report the regular use of marijuana, the occasional use of other illegal drugs and a history of being arrested. To a lesser degree, they were also more likely to binge drink, cheat on college work and be sexually promiscuous... the students who had just one tattoo (the "posers") were no more deviant than their peers."

1,500 private jets expected at Davos, where attendees are discussing ‘safeguarding our planet’ from climate change - "Despite global warming being one of the major issues discussed at Davos every year, some 1,500 private jets are expected this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, according to an estimate from Air Charter Service, up from 1,300 last year. “We have had bookings from as far as our operations in Hong Kong, India and the U.S.,” Andy Christie, private jets director at ACS, said in a statement. “No other event has the same global appeal.”"

Cleopatra should be played by a black actor – but not just because it might be more historically accurate - "After the internet collectively groaned at yet another Cleopatra remake, a “whitewashing” debate began to emerge. Should Lady Gaga or Angelina Jolie, both white actors, be playing the Egyptian queen in the first place?... the answer to whether or not Cleopatra should be played by a white woman shouldn’t come from an ethnological examination of ancient Egypt.The casting should be informed by the racial and social dynamics of today... Our obsession with telling the same stories over and over again, as well as our infatuation with traditional period dramas, greatly reduces the number of parts available for BAME actors... Just to be clear; yes, I’m advocating a double standard. I’m saying that white people shouldn’t be given non-white parts, but that people of colour should be able to dramatically portray white-skinned figures."
This reveals that bitching about 'whitewashing' isn't really about violating the integrity of a role by having someone of the wrong race in it - but a cynical way to secure employment for certain demographics through explicit racism

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 213 - Dean Simonton on "The causes of scientific and artistic genius" - "great scientists tend to end up at major universities, working under distinguished mentors.In fact, one of the best predictors of whether or not you'll get a Nobel prize in some scientific field is whether you worked under a previous Nobel laureate. Well, the question is, what's causing what in that?...
Charles Darwin was trying to figure out the source of all these different species on the planet. You know, he saw all the tremendous diversity on the Galapagos Islands and he realized that the islands are very young, that had to happen relatively quickly, so how could you have all these different cinches of stuff there. And he found the solution by reading a book on political economics. A biologist has no buisness reading a book on political economics! It was Malthus's essay on population, in which Malthus argued that the population grows geometrically, whereas the food supply at best grows arithmetically. And so you're gonna end up with competition. You're gonna end up with what Darwin's word was, struggle for existence.As soon as he read that book he realized that was the key. That species produce more offspring that can possibly survive, and so that provides the engine for selection. Only those that are better adapted are gonna survive to produce their own offspring.So the point here is that he was reading something that had no relevance whatsoever to what he was working on... that is kind of antithetical to the view of this 10,000 hours thing — or, sort of, the “drudge theory.” Where you study and study and study and study and focus and focus, focus, and get rid of any superfluous hobbies, and don't play the violin or sail on a boat like Einstein used to do. You know, he used to play the violin, he used to play Mozart violin sonatas.You know, because, that's gonna be a distraction. Well, guess what? It's not. It turns out to be an essential part of being a creative genius is having that kind of breadth, and that means this could take you away from that meticulous, methodical study, study, study...
most people think that the greatest single work of Pablo Picasso is his Guernica, where he depicted the horrors of war, because of the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It's so well known. It's like archetypal. It's like the Sistine Chapel of the twentieth century.Fortunately for us, he actually saved the sketches that he did, as well as he took photographs periodically of the canvas. He actually took six separate photographs in various conditions.What's astonishing about those sketches -- and I've actually published an empirical study on this, where I content-analyzed the sketches -- the amazing thing is that, it doesn't look like he knows what he's doing. He produces ideas, and they end up falling by the wayside"

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 207 - Alison Gopnik on “The wrong way to think about parenting, plus the downsides of modernity” - "the general fact of “Do you have a number of warm attentive caregivers?” that makes a difference. But the kinds of things that people think that they can consciously manipulate by, say, reading a parenting book or having certain kinds of techniques or others, there's not very much evidence if that makes much of a difference in the long run...
There's really fascinating work for instance by Eric Turkheimer who's actually a behavioral geneticist working in this field, that shows that the degree of inheritability of various kinds of features, varies depending on socioeconomic status... In a middle class environment, everyone's providing about the same amount of care, everybody's providing resources for the children. Then as I said before, the sort of small differences in parenting technique are not going to show up, and genetic differences are going to be more noticeable... those interventions aren't about “Do you let your baby sleep it out or not? Or does the baby sit in the front of the stroller or in the back of the stroller? Or do you use this parenting technique or do you use that parenting technique?” Those interventions are about “Do you have the basic resources to be able to care for children at all?” Then in those cases, you can really see rather striking long term outcomes"

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 205 - Michael Webb on “Are ideas getting harder to find?” - "A kind of classic one we start with is Moore's law. So, Moore's law is this famous law that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 18 months. This is a very well-known fact. It's amazing how straight the line is, if you plot it on a log graph over time.What people perhaps don't know quite so well is the fact that it just takes so many more researchers today to get that same level of growth that it did originally. Compared to 1970s, it takes about 20 times the number of researchers to get that same rate of progress."

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 201 - Ben Buchanan on "The Cybersecurity Dilemma" - "What's also interesting to me is one of the ways in which nations – so, not the cybersecurity research community, but nations -- resolve the attribution question, is they hack each other to see what the other sides are up to. Sometimes, in advance of being hacked themselves.Now, the New York Times reported, for example, that one of the reasons the United States was so certain, so quickly, that North Korea was the one that hacked Sony in 2014 was not just because that forensic evidence was pretty clear, which it was, but that North Korea had suffered an intrusion from the United States. That American intelligence hackers were watching the North Korean networks and watching the North Korean hackers, and saw them carry out the attack on Sony.Now, the challenge there, of course, is that, when you're hacking for attribution purposes, it animates a lot of the same risks that the security dilemma would -- that a nation suffering the intrusion doesn't think that you're hacking just for intelligence collection purposes or defensive purposes. They think you're preparing an attack. So it gets us back to square one, unfortunately, when it comes to the cybersecurity dilemma."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "Now, the Chinese authorities in Canada, they are saying this is a breach of her human rights, her arrest, and they are urging the authorities there to correct their wrong doing"
China talking about human rights hmm...

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "‘A lot of people think that stock markets are still, you know, people in red braces shouting down telephones, but they're not. 85% of all US stock trades are now done by computers. There’s no human involved, apart from the original setting up. Does that exacerbate these big market swings?’
‘I think there's a risk that it does very definitely. Because what you will find is that a lot of these funds are trend following funds. So that if they see the market going up, the algorithm will tell them all to pile in. But if the market starts going down, it will tell those funds that are able to do so either to sell and take cover or even go short and actually try and benefit from share prices going down. So it could make things fall more quickly, just as it's probably helped them rise more quickly’"

I,Hypocrite on Twitter - "No woman nominated for Best Director.
No woman nominated for Cinematography.
No woman nominated for Editing.
No woman nominated for Music.
One woman nominated for Adapted Screenplay.
One woman nominated for Original Screenplay.
My Academy fam, we must do better. #OscarNoms"
Is it possible that maybe women need to do better?"

Anti-Trump Doctor Eugene Gu Faces Allegations Of Sexual Abuse - "Dr. Eugene Gu was among those responsible for one of the most frivolous lawsuits of the year, suing President Donald Trump for blocking him on Twitter... It all started with a Twitter user who began looking into Gu’s criminal record, finding a public arrest record showing charges of false imprisonment by violence and battery of a spouse... an ex-girlfriend from after Gu’s subsequent divorce is coming forward with some allegations of her own, some of them similar... The two returned to his apartment, where she said Gu forced himself on her. Gu, by the way, is public about his support for the anti-sexual harassment “#MeToo” movement. I guess he was overcompensating for some guilt"

Eugene Gu, doctor who sued Trump and won, loses job at Vanderbilt - "A Tennessee doctor who became a social media sensation because of statements on President Donald Trump, racism and Colin Kaepernick - and who later sued the president over First Amendment rights - is losing his job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center."
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