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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Links - 16th April 2019 (1)

The Rise of Instagram Prostitution - "Have you ever seen a group of girls sporting skimpy bikinis on a gorgeous yacht? Or that “model” who continually posts thong and hand-bra pics and is ALWAYS traveling to the most exotic (and expensive) places?I always used to wonder, “how does she have so much money?” Flights alone are expensive, not to mention her designer shoes and Celine sunglasses. Do you ever notice she never posts a photo of who she’s with? There’s a reason for that... Usually, a guy slides into your DMs. Apparently, the most common prospect is either a younger, attractive, middle-eastern man or an older middle-eastern man... At a shoot, a source started showing me all the models that were prostitutes. Many of them had huge followings. High six figures, even millions. “But why would she be a prostitute? She’s signed with [a top five agency]!” I exclaimed. “Models generally make decent money, especially those with that kind of following.” The source laughed. “Most models in LA, if they’re lucky, will make $2K for a shoot. But someone in Dubai will fly her out to sleep with him for $20K. What do you think she’d choose?”... there are MANY legitimate bloggers and influencers who make a living traveling and creating content for hotels and brands in exchange for complimentary stay or fees. Those are not the people I'm talking about. The easiest way to differentiate? The borderline pornographic content they post. These pages, full of sexual teasers, are their advertisements. Their honeypots. Their portfolios, if you will."

Parliament: 'No conflict of interest' in appointing new Auditor-General, a Senior Minister of State's wife - "There is generally no conflict of interest between the Auditor-General's Office and the ministries it audits, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in Parliament on Thursday (Feb 28).Mr Chan, who is the Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, also set out how people are identified to fill key constitutional appointments.He was responding to Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC), who had asked the Government to confirm if the recently appointed Auditor-General was the wife of a Senior Minister of State, and if so, how that might affect the public's perception of the independence of the office.She did not name names, but Ms Goh Soon Poh, who took over the role earlier this month, is the wife of Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How."
"The PAP wants us to believe that when WP appointed FMSS as it's managing agent, there was a massive conflict of interest and that it was wholly improper to award such a position to someone in that position of closeness to the WP."

'American Psycho' Writer: Nobody Actually Thinks 'Black Panther' Is Good - "The Marvel Studios superhero flick was only nominated for a Best Picture Oscar because of a “huge fatuous inclusivity and diversity push,” Ellis opined on the latest episode of his paywalled podcast, “Low Key.”... the Academy Awards reflect the culture of Hollywood, which he said values progressive trends over artistic quality."

Hannah Gadsby Is ‘Comfortable’ Not Being Funny in First Stand-up Set After ‘Nanette’ - "The polarizing show, which begins as a fairly unremarkable set, before taking a serious twist into Gadsby’s account of a hate crime, prompted two tiresome debates: one over whether it heralded the end of stand-up, and another over whether it constituted stand-up at all... “It’s hard to know what this show should be,” Gadsby told the audience Thursday night, “because I quit comedy.” Douglas is a work-in-progress at its most fundamental. (“This is rough as guts,” she says at one point, “but I feel pretty comfortable, because Nanette wasn’t funny, and, well...”) A willfully half-finished ninety minutes of performance, it’s almost admirably sloppy"
So basically this is an admission that feminist comedy isn't funny

.Men Banned From National Debate Competition: Trans and Women Only - "“Our decision will empower women and non-binary people.”A national college debate group banned men from participating in an upcoming tournament at George Washington University in the name of providing a “safe space” for women and transgender students... Employing segregation as a means to fight discrimination is not an uncommon strategy on college campuses. Last month, Indiana University announced a series of “racial equity” events that would be presented separately to white campus dwellers and those of color."

WALSH: The Terrifying And Dangerous Transphobia Of The Democrat Party - "After President Trump's State of the Union Address, which included a compelling section calling for the prohibition of late-term abortion, senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris took to Twitter to register her objection. "Politicians should not tell women what to do with their bodies," she wrote, eloquently emphasizing each word with little clapping hand emojis. It was the most transphobic statement ever tweeted. I, for one, was devastated. Harris knows as well as anyone that gender is a social construct. Issues of reproductive health are not exclusive to women. Why would she assume that Trump was telling only women what to do with their bodies? Men can get pregnant, too. Men can have uteruses. Man can have ovaries. Men can give birth"

“ So let me get this straight... Men are not allowed to talk about abortion because they don’t have uteruses, but they are allowed to identify as women even though they have penises. ...Liberals have lost their minds.” - iFunny :) - "T. Russell Hunter"
Can post-menopausal women and women who've had hysterectomies talk about abortion?

40 more maps that explain the world - The Washington Post - "A French non-governmental organization put together this map of the world's major physical barriers – its most consequential walls. The red lines indicate walls and barriers meant to prevent or control immigration; you see a number of those particularly where there are rich countries next to poorer countries. The green walls are mostly political barriers, such as the 1,700-mile-long "Moroccan Wall" dividing Morocco-occupied Western Sahara, the West Bank separation barrier and the Korean demilitarized zone...
This study by the University of Maryland-based National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism tracked every single terrorist attack in 2012 (the most recent year for which all data was available). This should drive home how remarkably safe Americans are from terrorism today. It drives home who the real victims of terrorism are. And it reveals some of the global hotspots for terrorist activity and all the instability and mayhem that can bring. Some readers might be surprised to see how much terrorism there is, for example, in Nigeria, in Kenya and most especially in eastern India, where the Maoist "Naxalite" insurgency has been wreaking havoc for almost 50 years...
American ancestry by county"
America is mostly German

Lies, Damned Lies, and STEM Statistics - "Concerns about the number of women in STEM are misplaced for three reasons. First, the definition of the “T” is STEM is narrow and arbitrary (a lie); second, the definition of the “S” in STEM is narrow, arbitrary, and flagrantly wrong (a damned lie); and, third, while the causal attribution of sexism to explain low numbers of women in STEM (narrowly defined) is undoubtedly true in particular cases, it is unconvincing as a general explanation of the relative low numbers of women in some broad fields of PhD study. Better explanations for these disparities are readily available. In the US, women have earned more PhDs than men for the past nine years... Of the 11 broad fields, four have parity, four are female majority and three are male majority... No concern was expressed about the underrepresentation of men in any broad field of science. So, surprise, surprise, STEM (as usual) is the problem... There was no mention of any need to encourage more men to study health or social sciences at a higher level. Representation of men in four broad fields at a level below parity is apparently not a problem. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. However, when people speak of “STEM” it seems they understand the “S” in STEM to refer to “hard” sciences like physics and chemistry but not “soft” sciences like psychology and neuroscience. The “T” in STEM seems to refer to computers, cars, oil refineries and aircraft but not to X-ray machines and fMRI scanners used in health, carbon-dating technology used in archaeology and vast corpuses of textual data processed on computers used in linguistics and political science... When STEM is accurately defined, using broader and more realistic definitions of science and technology, it turns out that women earn 50 percent of STEM PhDs... If we assume that there is overall parity between the numbers of men and women and that roughly the same numbers are available to enter any broad field of PhD study, mathematically, you cannot have emphatic majorities of women in some sectors (e.g. health science and education) without emphatic minorities of women in other sectors (e.g. engineering and computing)... It strikes me as bizarre to suggest sexism is holding women down dramatically in some buildings of the contemporary university and not holding them down at all in adjacent buildings where they achieve emphatic majorities in terms of completing PhDs... There is no escaping the see-saw: unless, of course, men become an emphatic minority at university"
Nicole Barbaro on Twitter - "Men>Women=sexist

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Venus - "‘It dispelled once and for all the idea that Venus was some sort of twin to the earth’
‘Absolutely, yes. So. And in fact, I mean, we can now call it the evil twin because it's turned out completely... the wrong way… it wouldn't be nice for us to live on. I think that's probably, this may be a bit unfair to Venus to say it’s that evil… because it started off so similar to the earth, there is a bit of a puzzle as to why exactly it has turned out so differently’"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Papal Infallibility - "In the ancient world, we just have this very important patriarchate of Rome, but there are also other very important patriarchs. At Antioch for example, or at Alexandria and from the fourth century onwards from Constantinople but for a series of reasons the Bishop of Rome becomes more and more important. Many of these are political reasons. With the fall of the Roman Empire as it were the Popes in a sense can start afresh. Yes they have to deal with the barbarian invasions but they're not tied down as they would have been if they’d been in Constantinople because they're not tied to any imperial system anymore. So they’re freer. And then we also get the problem that Antioch and Alexandria who have great claims to be important patriarchs because of ideas of apostolic succession, in the seventh century they are overrun by Islam. And so for that reason their power diminishes while that of Rome grows."

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Long March - "'I think there's a... fundamental mistake in the way that the government was run, the red area was run, because there was a Red Terror. Basically, when I was growing up, we were always told the Communist Party is our Savior. Then the peasants are joined, flocked to the party. But what happened in the red area? Because the nationalist government’s are bombing. And because there's a penetration of skies. So there's internal, almost a parallel, and huge purge started by Mao which killed 20,000 men. Very, very capable men. Soldiers, officers just in one go. And the later on, as the campaign intensified, the purge also became. This is long before Stalin. What happened was they started target specific people who they suspected being the ene-... this is before they broke out. So what happened, they target the rich peasants, the farmers, the merchants, and the traders. And in the end they target 300,000 people who all became the enemy of the people. And what happened in the Soviet at this time, there was a less than 3 million people. And then 10% became the enemy from within and there's no way they could, you know, could sustain. So they had to leave'...
There's a second army. The second army had 10,000 people when they on, sort of on the road, and of course the most enlightened were the educated intellectuals who trained in Moscow. But these were the people least trusted by the party. So they have death squads. Every battle they put these trained intellectual into the death trap. If you went through, you're on to the next death trap. At the end of the march, there was not even one person who could speak and who could write. You know, they want to promote somebody to the Commissar, to lead the thing. They said we can't find anybody who can take notes from instructions from the central government. So they find a trader who could keep account of his purchase. So they made that is when you have enemies chasing you, you have this internal doubt and persecution. I think that's really really hard...
Really worth stressing, the violence internally. You know this was not a calm convo of people making their way in a sort of ordered retreat, these people were fighting with themselves, often more than they were actually fighting with their opponents. And that actually just leads to something that you said in passing at the end, Melvin, which, you know, is a huge topic in itself, that is the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution is probably the single most violent time in modern Chinese history. And you can see plenty of the roots in that internal faction fighting that starts in the 20s and 30s and is there on the Long March"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Samuel Beckett - "Samuel Beckett, 1906 to 1989 lived in Paris and wrote his plays and novels in French, not because his French was better than English, but because it was worse... He wanted to show the limitations of language - what words could not do, together with the absurdity and humor of the human condition"
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