"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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Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Links - 9th April 2019 (2)

How Lowering the Speed Limit Can Actually Hurt Pedestrians - "The problem with the 20mph limits is twofold. The first one: up to 81 percent of British drivers are ignoring the limits completely. Enforcing those limits with speed bumps gets the environmentalists angry, because accelerating and decelerating over and over again decreases fuel mileage and increases effective CO2 emissions... The second problem is this: in some areas, lowering the speed limit is actually increasing fatalities... One theory, as proposed by the firm that studied the fatalities: Cyclists and pedestrians become increasingly careless as the traffic speeds around them decrease... Slowing traffic down with artificial measures doesn’t calm drivers; it agitates them. And if you “calm” them forcefully enough, they will take out their rage on cyclists, pedestrians, and fellow drivers. Furthermore, as noted above, the lower limits are often ignored by people simply because those people feel no compulsion to follow what they feel is an unreasonable law—and when they ignore the law, they end up going faster than they would if they were following a speed limit that seemed more reasonable to them... In the case of the British municipality mentioned above, they apparently spent £800,000 pounds, or more than $1 million, lowering the limit. They don’t have the funds available to bring it back up"

Speed Limits: Slower Does Not Mean Safer - National Motorists Association - "speed limits are the most safe when they are set using the 85th percentile speed...
'Historically, before and after traffic engineering studies have shown that changing the posted speed limit does not significantly affect the 85th percentile speed. The driving environment, which includes other traffic on the road and roadway conditions, is the primary factor which influences the prevailing speed... Use of the 85th percentile speed acknowledges that 15% of the drivers are traveling above a speed that is reasonable and proper. This is the 15% of motorists at which enforcement action is directed. Studies have shown that this is the group of motorists that cause many of the crashes and have the worst driving records... Contrary to popular belief, lower speed limits do not necessarily improve safety. The more uniform the speeds of vehicles in a traffic stream, the less chance there is for conflict and crashes. Posting speed limits lower or higher than what the majority of drivers are traveling produces two distinct groups of drivers: those attempting to observe the speed limit and those driving at a speed they feel is reasonable and prudent. These differences in speeds can result in increased crashes due to tailgating, improper passing, reckless driving, and weaving from lane to lane.'"

Man fined for painting road signs to aid his commute - "a driver in eastern Zhejiang was fined after surveillance footage captured him drawing his own parking space with chalk on a road."

Richard Ankrom puts up fake freeway signs all around Los Angeles - "Ankrom donned an orange vest to look like a city worker and put a fake decal on his truck. "Aesthetic De Construction," read the decal.“I also made a fake invoice, so if I did get asked any questions by the authorities, I could show an invoice and then just play dumb," said Ankrom... It took the California Department of Transportation to realize the sign was there in the first place. But they didn't take it down.“They said, well we don’t want him to do it again, but it was actually accurate, so they left it there""

Netflix conducted an anthropological study on people who spoil shows - "spoilers are mostly an American phenomenon: 76 percent of U.S. respondents said that spoilers are “just one of those things that we have to live with these days”—specifically, because we are creating them, like climate change and mass shootings. That’s compared to the less than 4 percent of British respondents who believe spoilers are acceptable, owing to the “much stronger adherence to social conventions than in the U.S.”... Americans’ typically cavalier attitude can likely be attributed to the growing reality that spoilers equal power. “To know about a show that you don’t know about is to have power,” McCracken told The New York Times, rather ominously. “I live in the future that you are about to occupy.” As these advanced time travelers wield their mighty foreknowledge, they generally fall into what McCracken has identified as the five types of TV spoiler people—the most dangerous of which is the Power Spoiler, who uses spoilers to crush their enemies and ruthlessly climb the evolutionary ladder, one Game Of Thrones plot twist at a time. Indeed, all on the Internet must bow before their superior adaptive ability to watch or read things on a slightly faster timetable, particularly the lesser breeds of the Shameless Spoiler (amoral, but not immoral), the Impulsive Spoiler (annoying, but helplessly so), the Coded Spoiler (just annoying), and the Clueless Spoiler, the blundering Neanderthal who will be first to be wiped out in the coming spoiler-related cleansing"

(PDF) Are Women More Loyal Customers Than Men? Gender Differences in Loyalty to Firms and Individual Service Providers - "Prevailing wisdom assumes that female consumers are more loyal than male consumers. The authors report conditions under which the reverse is found, depending on the object of customer loyalty. For example, whereas female consumers tend to be more loyal than male consumers to individuals, such as individual service providers, this difference is reversed when the object of loyalty is a group of people. The authors find a similar crossover interaction effect for loyalty to individual employees versus loyalty to companies. This effect is mediated by self-construal in terms of relational versus collective interdependence. The authors discuss the managerial and theoretical implications of these gender differences."
This suggests that men would work better in groups and for abstract causes

Eric Wolfsbane's answer to If Trump loses the 2020 general election, and he refuses to leave the White House, which I believe is a possibility, what would be the procedures taken by the government in this situation? - Quora - "Have you thought about getting treatment for your mental illness? Trump will leave the White House when his term is over, just like every other president has done since time immemorial.
Back in the 2000s, my idiot liberal friends were sure that George W. Bush was going to institute a dictatorship and attempt to remain in power.
In the 2010s, my idiot conservative friends were sure that Barrack Obama was going to institute a communist dictatorship and attempt to remain in power."

The left is heading for a reckoning with the new genetics | Coffee House - "The standard progressive explanation for the under-representation of children from disadvantaged backgrounds among high-performers on standardised tests is that various environmental factors conspire to impede their cognitive development – poor nutrition, chaotic home life, low parental expectations, etc . – and a number of policies have been introduced to compensate for this. That’s one reason left-wing intellectuals have been so hostile to intelligence researchers who suggest there’s a strong genetic component to how children from different backgrounds perform in tests, although nurture clearly plays a part as well.So it’s naïve to imagine that these same people won’t object to the latest findings of behavioural scientists, using GWAS data, which point to the same conclusion. I recently co-authored a paper with Robert Plomin, whom Philip Ball correctly describes as ‘one of the leading experts on the genetic basis of intelligence’, looking at the differences in exam performance between pupils attending selective and non-selective schools. We found that the higher the socio-economic status of a child’s parents, the higher that child’s polygenic score for years of education (one of the genetic markers linked to intelligence). Similar discoveries have been made in Australia and New Zealand... The nub of the issue was identified by EO Wilson, the Harvard biologist who attracted the ire of left-wing scientists in the 1970s when he suggested that sociology and Darwinian biology could be combined to explain many facets of human behaviour:
When the attacks on sociobiology came from Science for the People, the leading radical left group within American science, I was unprepared for a largely ideological argument. It is now clear to me that I was tampering with something fundamental: mythology. Evolutionary theory applied to social systems is an extension of the great Western traditions of scientific materialism. As such, it threatens to transform into testable hypotheses the assumptions about human nature made by some Marxist philosophers. Its first line of evidence is not favourable to those assumptions, insofar as most traditional Marxists cling to a vision of human nature as a relatively unstructured phenomenon swept along by economic forces extraneous to human biology. Marxist and other secular ideologies previously rested secure as unchallenged satrapies of scientific materialism; now they were in danger of being displaced by other, less manageable biological explanations...
It’s a dangerous fantasy to think that, once you’ve eradicated socio-economic inequality, human nature will flatten out accordingly – that you can return to ‘year zero’, as the Khmer Rouge put it. On the contrary, biological differences between human beings will stubbornly refuse to wither away, which means that an egalitarian society can only be maintained by a brutally coercive state that is constantly intervening to ‘correct’ the inequities of nature. Seen in this light, it’s not surprising that nearly every hard left socialist experiment has resulted in the suppression of free speech, the imprisonment and torture of political dissidents, economic stagnation, mass starvation, etc. The standard response from Marxist apologists for Stalin and other Communist dictators is to say you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. To which Orwell retorted, ‘Where’s the omelette?’... I interviewed Charles Murray about this for a Radio 4 documentary I presented last year and he thinks we’re only a few years away from some kind of collective nervous breakdown by the left. In particular, he’s concerned that once left-wing intellectuals finally let go of environmental determinism they may veer too far in the opposite direction and embrace gene editing technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 to try to create the perfect socialist citizen"

Ethics: Taboo genetics : Nature News & Comment - "“Any time there's a taboo or norm against studying something for anything other than good scientific reasons, it distorts researchers' priorities and can harm the understanding of related topics,” he says. “It's not just that we've ripped this page out of the book of science; it causes mistakes and distortions to appear in other areas as well.”"

"This is what a war on women looks like." : MensRights - " Your abortion. Your birth control. Your leave hours, regardless of reason. Your family medical insurance. Your care.
There is no war on women. This is what your responsibility looks like."
Comments: "While birth control for women is covered from barrier methods (diaphragms, sponges) all the way through sterilization (IE, tubal ligation), no birth control for men is covered from barrier methods (condoms, vasalgel) to sterilization (vasectomies). Worst case scenario, women working for religious asshole employers may be... treated just like men."
"When you're privileged your whole life, equality feels like oppression."
"all female contraception is covered, from barrier methods which have no hormone impact to sterilization which also has no hormonal impact... If the mandate was only for hormonal contraception used to treat hormonal imbalances, you might have a point. Unfortunately, I could also point out that "men use condoms for medical reasons" is a very valid point, as it blocks STIs (along with the more long range reasons), and yet it's still not covered. This is despite it being a barrier method similar to a sponge or diaphragm which is specifically covered."

Hansard - Wikipedia - "Though the history of the Hansard began in the British parliament, each of Britain's colonies developed a separate and distinctive history. Before 1771, the British Parliament had long been a highly secretive body. The official record of the actions of the House was publicly available, but there was no record of the debates. The publication of remarks made in the House became a breach of Parliamentary privilege, punishable by the two Houses of Parliament. As the populace became interested in parliamentary debates, more independent newspapers began publishing unofficial accounts of them... Several editors used the device of veiling parliamentary debates as debates of fictitious societies or bodies. The names under which parliamentary debates were published include Proceedings of the Lower Room of the Robin Hood Society and Debates of the Senate of Magna Lilliputia. The Senate of Magna Lilliputia was printed in Edward Cave's The Gentleman's Magazine, which was first published in 1732. The names of the speakers were carefully "filleted"; for example, Sir Robert Walpole was thinly disguised as "Sr. R―t W―le"."

CBC News In Depth: Canadian government - "Do MPs ever abuse Hansard?
In his book Nice Work: The Continuing Scandal of Canada's Senate, journalist and author Claire Hoy wrote that the late Philippe Gigantes, during a filibuster in the Senate, read one of his books into the record, which contributed not only to the filibuster but also provided a compete French translation he later had published"

Do Wine over Those Brussels Sprouts - "Taking a swig of red wine before eating Brussels sprouts appears to moderate Brussels sprouts' polarizing flavor"

Kya Hemp's answer to What is it like to be pretty/very attractive? - Quora - "Here is what I’ve noticed after losing the weight:
1)Women were nicer to me. Not men. Men would hold the doors open and do other polite things, but when it came down to dating or meeting random guys at bars, they seemed to have attitudes with me, as if they half expected me to be a stuck up bitch to them or something. Women from my work however started inviting me out more frequently, wanting to get to know me more, etc. Guys actually hit on me less at bars- maybe because they thought I would turn them down. Either way, I remember having a lot more one night stands as a fatty...
6) I have more opportunities. It’s amazing really. Now that I’m almost 30 and I’ve been thin for about 7 years, I’ve noticed that with age, both men and women alike treat me with respect. It is easier to meet people, go places, and get help in times of need. It’s pretty crazy how many people have stopped to try to help me in when I was traveling abroad just because I looked lost... Ultimately people notice you more and care more about pleasing you. But often there is stigma attached. People assume you are snooty, too good for them or that you’ve always had things handed to you"
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