"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, June 13, 2019

Links - 13th June 2019 (2)

Is anything creepier than a ‘male feminist’? | The Spectator - "who doesn’t recognise the legendary matriarchs who rule many Indian families? The Jewish mother who controls her husband and the children with a rod of iron has, until recently, been a classic comedy figure. Men’s terror of women has been well-documented, epitomised by those tough old boots of the North, who demanded men’s pay-packets every Friday night. (Remember Andy Capp, the poor beleaguered anti-hero of the Daily Mirror cartoon, whose wife waited at the end of each strip with a frying pan or rolling pin to give him a good hammering because he’d spent too much money at the boozer?) Not to mention Les Dawson’s ferocious mother-in-law and Giles’s Gran in the Express. There are three reasons men declare themselves feminists. Firstly, they’re frightened... There’s another category of men who simply hate themselves. Little do they know how unattractive this is to women as they announce, thinking they’re being honest, that they’re actually loathsome, vile human beings, horrible people who can’t help thinking about sex all the time, slimy abusive toads, worthless fantasists who, if it weren’t illegal, would, at the drop of a hat, love to be popping out from behind bushes to assault passing women. They go along with the idea that men are the oppressor class, attributing collective guilt to an entire category of human beings. And we all know where that kind of thinking leads.And finally, there are the ones who declare themselves feminists in order to establish male superiority. They know we’re weak and vulnerable, and they want to take care of us and protect — all of this with the deeply patronising assumption we need protecting."

Britain will prosper with a 'hard but smart' Brexit say top German economists - "Embracing free trade would limit the damage caused by a "no deal" Brexit, give a bounty of cheaper imports to consumers and strengthen Britain’s hand in EU negotiations, according to top German economists.Slashing all import tariffs after Brexit would cut costs for households and businesses, giving the economy a boost, the Ifo Institute said in a new report, calling this model a “hard but smart” Brexit.At the same time it would rebalance the power around the negotiating table, which is currently based on a "no deal" Brexit harming the UK because it would involve Britain imposing WTO taxes on its own consumers.The EU has used this imbalance to its advantage. However, Britain is free to scrap these taxes across the board, freeing itself from this damaging trap, the Ifo said... Ifo economists estimate their "hard-but-smart" deal would mean Brexit costing about 0.5pc of GDP for the EU and for the UK, with a similar cost on the German economy.Meanwhile, Ireland would be hit far harder with a loss of more than 5pc of GDP - 10 times the hit to the UK - because it would have to impose a hard EU border on its imports from Britain, even as the UK trades more openly with the rest of the world.By contrast, leaving with no deal and imposing WTO tariffs would cost Britain closer to 3pc of GDP... “There would be no supply shortages because all goods and services would simply be waved through,” said Mr Felbermayr, noting that EU rules match UK standards now and will change little in the short-term.“There would also be no traffic jams on the French side of the English Channel or in Ostend; the snakes would be on the British side, caused solely by the EU, which is barely more prepared for customs clearance than the British.”"
It's ironic how the crowd who usually rage about the neoliberal agenda, look suspiciously on economic growth and proclaim that GDP is useless as a measure of wellbeing are so fixated with the damage Brexit will supposedly inflict on the British economy

Tim Pool on Twitter - "This is why they keep calling everyone "far right"
The right barely moved and the left has gone off the rails"

The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider | Pew Research Center - "in 1994 there was substantially more overlap between the two partisan groups than there is today: Just 64% of Republicans were to the right of the median Democrat, while 70% of Democrats were to the left of the median Republican. Put differently, in 1994 23% of Republicans were more liberal than the median Democrat; while 17% of Democrats were more conservative than the median Republican. Today, those numbers are just 1% and 3%, respectively."
Source of chart Tim Pool highlights
Interestingly from 1994 to 2004 the median Democrat and Republican didn't change that much. The extremism of Democrats in 2017 is really shocking
Interestingly there're consistently more liberal Republicans than conservative Democrats


The Lifespan of a Thought Experiment: Do We Still Need the Trolley Problem?

Hajnal line - Wikipedia - "The Hajnal line is a border that links Saint Petersburg, Russia and Trieste, Italy. In 1965, John Hajnal discovered it divides Europe into two areas characterized by different levels of nuptiality. To the west of the line, marriage rates and thus fertility were comparatively low and a significant minority of women married late or remained single; to the east of the line and in the Mediterranean and select pockets of Northwestern Europe, early marriage was the norm and high fertility was countered by high mortality."

Between the Lines - "What if the free and abundant parking drivers crave is about the worst thing for the life of cities?... For businessmen and courts around the country, the invention of the parking meter was on par with shooting at a judge. In Alabama in 1937, the state supreme court declared Birmingham’s parking meters unconstitutional and ordered them removed. In Los Angeles the Times editorial staff went full steam. Three city attempts to install meters during the 1940s were beat back by stories that described parking meters as “illegal,” “immoral,” and “a perversion.” Nonetheless, in 1949 in North Hollywood the first 400 meters were installed on Lankershim and Magnolia... The problem, according to Shoupistas, is that meters are priced equally. “Imagine what would happen at Dodger Stadium if every seat cost the same and went on sale game day,” says Dan Mitchell, an engineer at DOT. “Everyone would run for that seat behind home plate—it would be insanity. But that’s what we have now with parking—equal pricing.” This spring the DOT plans to introduce an $18.5 million smart wireless meter system... Should a block remain empty, its meters will drop their hourly rates over the course of a month. Nobody, of course, really knows what will happen once L.A.’s system powers up. After Seattle conducted its own study on performance-based parking, engineers noticed an oddity: When prices dropped on certain blocks, drivers actually parked less. No one can explain this... "county workers were offered free parking downtown when federal workers had to pay. ” Link’s student employees proposed a study. “They found that 72 percent of county workers drove to work alone,” says Shoup, “but 60 percent of federal employees carpooled, took public transportation, or even walked. These were workers in the same professions, driving to the same location.” When forced to pay a practical value for their parking, drivers were twice as likely to carpool—traffic congestion was halved, carbon emissions were halved. “The more I thought of that,” says Shoup, “the more I thought there was a perfect storm here. No one can tell you why parking prices are set as they are. But when people pay comparatively little for something that’s expensive to produce, the result is collective irrational behavior.”... Shoup is not opposed to all parking lots; he’s against cities requiring parking lots. “Would you require every home to come with a pool or every office to include a dining room because someone might want it?” asks Shoup. “Why not let developers build parking where the market demands it and charge its true value?”"

Snopes Introduces New 'Factually Inaccurate But Morally Right' Fact Check Result | The Babylon Bee - "Popular fact-checking site Snopes.com confirmed Wednesday they are debuting a new "Factually inaccurate but morally right" fact check result for claims they don't want to debunk because they coincide with Snopes editors' worldview... "We were often running into situations were a truth claim was absolutely absurd, but it supported progressive causes," said one Snopes editor. "So sometimes we just called it a 'Mixture,' but then people might get the idea that our favorite politicians are being slightly dishonest sometimes.""

Hadi: Muslims who view Islam as non-political matter are deviants - "PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang today chastised Muslims who view faith as a private non-political matter as deviants, declaring the aim for Islamic political power as integral of the faith... “There cannot be an exercise of Islam that is incomplete or imperfect; the religion is all-encompassing”... “One of Islam's key teachings is do no evil, prevent evil. Establishing (Islamic) political rule is the ultimate manifestation of this teaching. “If it's not political it's not Islam”"

Single? Female? Over 30? Chinese companies bring in ‘dating leave’ for Lunar New Year - "Two companies behind a Song dynasty-themed tourist attraction in eastern China are giving their thirty-something single women employees extra time off during the Lunar New Year to “go home and date”.

Food products containing alcohol exempted from liquor control laws following review: MHA - "From Friday (Jan 18) onwards, food products containing alcohol can be sold and consumed in public places after 10.30pm."
So much for getting drunk on rum and raisin ice cream

The Economics of Boasting - "why do humans want to appear richer than they actually are? Evidence points at an evolutionary advantage, as command over resources seems to contribute to the sexual attractiveness of a person (in particular of males, who, for evolutionary reasons not to be discussed here, compete more fiercely for mating partners than females). It has been shown, for example, that the relationship status is a reliable predictor for the extent of a man’s conspicuous consumption – single men buy more expensive smartphones and cars than those who are married (e.g. Hennighausen and Schwab (2014): “Relationship Status Moderates Men’s Conspicuous Consumption of Smartphones”, Letters on Evolutionary Behavioral Science 5, pp. 13-16). Like male peacocks, whose lavish plumage indicates to females that their reproductive resources are so abundant that they can afford to have highly visible (and therefore risky), resource-intensive, and even obstructive feather coats, a human male who buys a Rolex shows to human females that he is so rich that he can afford to buy a watch for several thousand dollars which essentially yields the same utility as a $20 watch. Paradoxically, conspicuous consumption seems to be more frequent in poorer societies. Moav and Neeman accumulated a lot of evidence for this (detailed sources can be found in their paper): median spending on festivals comprises about 10-15% of annual income in rural India, and Black households in South Africa spend on average a year’s income on an adult’s funeral. At the same time, they typically spend less than 1% of their income on less transparent forms of entertainment like movie theaters. A New York Times article describes the case of a poor Indian farmer who sold his land for $109,000 and then rented a helicopter for $8,327 to fly his son two miles to his wedding party.The explanation given by Charles, Hurst, and Roussanov (2009) is that conspicuous consumption is more effective in a society of poor people (“Conspicuous Consumption and Race”, Quarterly Journal of Economics 124, pp. 425-67)... a veritable poverty trap can arise from conspicuous consumption. The first problem is that conspicuous consumption competes with more useful expenditures, say, like saving for one’s retirement or the education of children: “The very poor spend only 2-3% of their income on their children’s education, do not eat well, experience ill health, and report that they are worried and anxious to an extent that interferes with their sleep and work. In many cases, they fail to make trivial investments in their business and save so little that they cannot avoid cutting back on meals when they suffer a temporary decline in income.” The second problem, according to Moav and Neeman, is that conspicuous consumption becomes more important the less human capital a person has acquired. Having a degree or a title is a strong signal about one’s income and reduces the necessity to buy, say, a Mercedes Cabrio.A vicious cycle may be the result: when people or societies get poorer, they expend more on conspicuous consumption and less on the education of their children"
So much for conspicuous consumption being a survival strategy for the poor
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