"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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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Links - 30th May 2019 (1)

Religion, ethnicity, coping style, and self-reported self-harm in a diverse non-clinical UK population - "White participants and participants with no religious affiliation were more likely to report repeated incidents of self-harm, mainly scratching and cutting skin. Hindu religion was associated with lower levels of repeated self-harm. Asian males were less likely to report self-harm than both Asian females and other males. Black students were less likely to report cutting and scored highest on Rational coping style"
Maybe religion provides a way of coping with stress

GraphicsPedia - Posts - "Weirdest People Ever Spotted Riding On The Subway"

Meme - "Congratulations to the Man Who Unmatched With Me the Moment I Told Him I Was a Journalist
Keep It Classy Middle America
Also Guess Who's Name I'm Running Through the Court Records Tonight"
Looks like he dodged a bullet

Daniel Jordan - I have a fair bit of conservative friends on... - "Questions raised about Canada’s embrace of female leaders after Notley is turfed from office in Alberta"
"I have a fair bit of conservative friends on Facebook, not a single one of them said anything misogynistic about Notley or alluded to the fact that they think her policies and ability to govern which they did not agree with has to do with her being a woman.What I do see is almost every left leaning person on my feed declaring half the province are women haters, homophobes and racists. And I see all the left leaning MSM playing that narrative. There is a perception gap here big time.

Vegan Feminist Cafe That Imposed 18% “Gender Surcharge” on Men Closes Down - "A vegan feminist cafe in Australia that imposed an 18 per cent “gender surcharge” on men and gave women priority seating has closed down.The Handsome Her cafe, which only opened a few years ago and was located in inner city Melbourne, described itself as “by women, for women”.The venue attracted headlines in 2017 for challenging the “gender pay gap” (which doesn’t exist) by charging men extra.At the time, the cafe’s management claimed the attention left them “jam-packed with customers showing their support”... The cafe attracted numerous negative reviews on Trip Advisor, with one man saying he had to deal with an “aggressive and irate woman” who called him a “vile beast” because he said he was dissatisfied with his meal.Perhaps if the staff had focused on providing a good service for everyone and not discriminating against men, it might have been more profitable."

Faith Politics on the Rise as Indonesian Islam Takes a Hard-Line Path - The New York Times - "Nearly 5,000 miles from the birthplace of Islam, Indonesia, the nation with the world’s largest Muslim population, has been widely seen as proof that Islam and democracy can coexist and prosper... Yet as the Muslim world has wrestled with Islam’s role in modern society, Indonesia, too, has engaged in a national spiritual reckoning. In recent years, the country’s Muslim majority has embraced more overt signs of religiosity and shifted toward Arab-style devotion: flowing clothes and veils, Arabic names and Middle Eastern devotional architecture.Most of all, a puritanical Salafist interpretation of Islam, which draws inspiration from the age of the Prophet Muhammad, is attracting followers in Indonesia. Bureaucrats steeped in austere Wahhabism draw converts in government prayer halls. Hundreds of Indonesians joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and hundreds of thousands more cheer for the group on social media. Pushed aside are the syncretic traditions that were long the hallmark of Indonesian Islam, a blending with indigenous beliefs that gave the faith its distinct local flavor. “In Indonesia, Salafi ideology has penetrated urban and rural, civil servants and villagers,” said Din Wahid, a theologian at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University. “They see corruption all around them and say that it is only Shariah and restoring a caliphate that will be able to fix society.”Mr. Joko’s opponent in the election on Wednesday, Prabowo Subianto — the European-educated son of a Christian and a connoisseur of fine wines — may seem an unlikely figurehead for hard-line Islam. But he is an astute politician who has shouted for jihad and vowed to welcome home from self-imposed exile Rizieq Shihab, the head of the Islamic Defenders Front, which gained notoriety for attacking nightclubs in Jakarta, the capital, and calling for Shariah law... “Ahok’s downfall was because of populism, like Trump or Brexit,” said Zuhairi Misrawi, a researcher for Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Islamic social organization, which promotes moderate Islam. “Now, political parties are aiming to get more votes by showing how Islamic they are, and it is changing our Indonesian political identity.”... The flowering of a more conservative Islam in Indonesia accelerated after the overthrow of Suharto in 1998, after more than three decades of corrupt, dictatorial rule... “We were colonized for so long by Christians, so we have an inferiority complex,” he said. “But this is a country with the world’s largest number of Muslims, so we must show our true Islamic nature.”As it has elsewhere in the Muslim world, conservative dress has become more common in Indonesia. Polygamy and child marriage are also on the rise here, as democracy has allowed personal freedoms repressed during the Suharto era to prosper. “Radical groups understand that they can use democracy to their advantage,” said Musdah Mulia, a professor of Islamic political thought at Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University. “They say that democracy is bad because it allows infidels to have a vote, but then they manipulate it for themselves.”"
What would Reza Aslan say?

The Perverse Effects of Rent Regulation - The New York Times - "these programs actually make the city much less affordable for those unlucky enough not to live in a rent-regulated apartment, Mayer says. The absurdity of New York City’s housing market has become a standard part of many Econ 101 courses, because it is such a clear example of public policy that achieves the near opposite of its goals. There are, effectively, two rental markets in Manhattan. Roughly half the apartments are under rent regulation, public housing or some other government program. That leaves everyone else to compete for the half with rents determined by the market. Mayer points out that most housing programs tie government support to an apartment unit, not a person. “That is completely nuts,” he says. It creates enormous incentive for people to stay in apartments that no longer fit their needs, because they have had kids or their kids have left or their job has moved farther away. This inertia is a key factor in New York’s housing shortage. One East Village real estate agent told me that only 20 to 30 units are available in the entire area any given month. This might be acceptable if all the rent-controlled and rent-stabilized units were inhabited by the poor people the programs were designed to help and if most poor people lived in rent-regulated units. But according to data from N.Y.U.’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, a majority of people in rent-regulated Manhattan apartments make far above the poverty level... [without rent regulation] the subset of apartments that had been market rate would see their rents fall, because there would be, suddenly, twice as many apartments in the market... this is proof that rent regulation is an incredibly expensive program, preventing billions of dollars of development. It also creates an odd lotterylike system in which those who are lucky enough to have a rent-regulated apartment can live in the best parts of the city for next to nothing and everyone else is shunted aside. Eliminating rent regulation would be such a huge windfall for landlords, Mayer says, that he could imagine a sort of grand bargain. The programs go away, but landlords have to pay higher property taxes. The extra city revenue could go to a fund to help poor people afford market-rate apartments. In theory, this could be designed to make the shift win-win-win. The city could stay socioeconomically diverse without any six-bedroom apartments renting for $225."
On rent control

Cow dung hurled by rival Indian villages to mark ‘war of married gods’ (VIDEO) - "Flying cow dung filled the skies of the Indian village of Kairuppala on Sunday as people hurled dung cakes at each other at the annual ‘Pidakala War’. The ritual is believed to bring health and prosperity.The event takes place the day after the Ugadi festival and sees people from Kairuppala and nearby villages in Andhra Pradesh take part in a symbolic war signifying a mythological Hindu marriage dispute. One side throws cow dung cakes, or pidakala, in the name of Goddess Bhadrakali, and the other side does so in the name of Lord Veerabhadraswarmy. After a winner is called, everyone celebrates the two gods’ wedding."

Exposure to opposing views on social media can increase political polarization - "Social media sites are often blamed for exacerbating political polarization by creating “echo chambers” that prevent people from being exposed to information that contradicts their preexisting beliefs. We conducted a field experiment that offered a large group of Democrats and Republicans financial compensation to follow bots that retweeted messages by elected officials and opinion leaders with opposing political views. Republican participants expressed substantially more conservative views after following a liberal Twitter bot, whereas Democrats’ attitudes became slightly more liberal after following a conservative Twitter bot—although this effect was not statistically significant."

Are Social Media Driving Political Polarization? - "tweets with more emotive and moral words were more likely to be retweeted. All voters responded more to words showing moral outrage, but effects were somewhat stronger for tweets from Republican candidates, and Republicans were more likely to respond to emotional words about patriotism or religion. This work suggests that if politicians want to maximize their impact on Twitter, they need to resort to more moral and emotive vocabulary. This in turn might help explain why encouraging people to follow politicians from the opposing side appears to worsen polarization: Politicians tweet the policy positions that their political base wants to hear, of course—but they do so in moral and emotive language that may create negative reactions from the opposing side... According to Gordon Allport’s “contact hypothesis,” contact between groups lessens prejudice. However, decades of research testing this hypothesis has found some limitations. Although intergroup contact does tend to increase cooperation—and reduce prejudice—the positive effect may depend on important contextual factors, such as the nature of the conflict and whether the groups have equal status or a common goal. As Allport put it, sometimes more contact can lead to more trouble. That appears to be the case on Twitter."

Dietary total fat, fatty acids intake, and risk of cardiovascular disease: a dose-response meta-analysis of cohort studies. - "higher dietary trans fatty acids (TFA) intake was associated with increased risk of CVDs [RR:1.14(1.08-1.21)]. However, no association was observed between total fat, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), saturated fatty acids (SFA), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and risk of CVDs. Subgroup analysis found a cardio-protective effect of PUFA in the studies that has been followed up more than 10 years"

Star Wars Sales Keep Dropping For Disney - "More bad news for Disney as the company makes it known in its latest financial report that sales for Star Wars keep dropping.Disney reports in its First Quarter Earning results for 2019 that the company had lower income in its first fiscal quarter ending December 29, 2018 for their Consumer Products Division due to a decrease in Star Wars and Cars products... Disney's 2018 financial report offered that sales in their Consumer Products Division, which also includes Marvel Comics, made less money compared to previous years, so we see the trend is continuing. Worth a note is that presumably due to their Consumer Products Division not making money, Disney now combines in their financial reports the Consumer Products Division along with their Parks and Experiences Division - which does make money - so unless you take a good look at their financial report, the loss from the Consumer Products Division doesn't seem to be happening as it is offset by the success of the Parks Division. Star Wars consumer product and licensing sales have been dropping consistently for Disney since the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This December does see J.J. Abrams' Episode IX released, so more than likely there will be an uptick in numbers if fans respond favorably... Disney's Consumer Products division is also the only division at Disney to have lost revenue in 2018."
Get woke, go broke

Blogger Cries Over Prospect Of 9-5 Job After Instagram Account Is Deleted - "An Instagram blogger who had 113,000 followers has shared an emotional appeal on YouTube after her profile was deleted.In the video, Jessy Taylor can be seen in floods of tears as she warns people to 'think twice' before reporting her because her Instagram account is how she makes her money, and a 9-5 job is not for her... "I'm nothing without my following, I am nothing without my following."... "I was a fucking prostitute... I don't do that anymore because I make all my money online. I don't want to go back to that life."What some of you guys have to realise is I have no skills, I'm twenty-fucking-thousand dollars in debt from college so I can't even go to college if I wanted to."I used to work at fucking McDonalds before I did YouTube, Instagram, before I had 100,000 followers, before I had everything in my life I was a fucking loser... "I have no job qualifications, I could never work a normal job.""

Singapore among world's top digital economies but ranks worst at meeting psychological needs: Survey - "Asia Pacific reflected a very low psychological need score – which measures the impact of digital technology on health and well-being, as well as quality of life – of 28% compared to the global 38%.This comes even as the region’s respondents continue to embrace digital products and services, with 55% more likely to use an app to hail a taxi compared to last year, versus just 44% globally. 81% of Asia Pacific survey respondents also were more likely to shop online than last year, as opposed to the global 76%. Interestingly, Singapore topped this year’s Index across the indicators of dynamism, trust and inclusion in the digital economy despite being a newcomer. Yet, the city state has the lowest score of all markets surveyed with a psychological need score of only 25%. The next-lowest five scores are all from Asian economies as well."
Or maybe the two are linked
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