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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Links - 25th June 2019 (2)

DILLON: Australian Universities Are Threatening To Ban Sarcasm, And I Am Offended - "According to the Institute of Public Affairs’ Free Speech on Campus Audit 2017, the University of Queensland, Western Sydney University, and Charles Sturt University all ban sarcasm, and their anguish is palpable and justifiably overwrought... Both the Charles Sturt University and the University of Queensland include “sarcasm” in their bullying policies, lumping it together with ridicule. Western Sydney University includes “sarcasm’” in its guide about how to identify potentially aggressive behaviors and warns to “be careful with humour and sarcasm” when trying to use proper “netiquette” (politeness on the internet)."

Getting Triggered at a White Privilege Conference - "she started throwing around the term white feelings—as if the emotions of Caucasians differed from those of other races—I got antsy. As I did when she explained that when we debate some aspects of racial injustice, we “take time away from the real issue”—an attitude which is the polar opposite of being open to dialogue. As much as I cringed at these statements, I can only imagine how the average white American would react.Then the presenter said something that literally made me gape: “Racism is a white creation.” Not, white people birthed modern racism or even white people invented the worst kind of racism, but that they came up with the phenomenon itself. During the Q&A segment, a second middle-aged white man raised his hand. Identifying himself as an archaeologist at a local museum, he related how pretty much every culture around the world has practiced, and continues to practice, some form of racism. He even posited that racism may have emerged as early as hundreds of thousands of years ago, when Homo sapiens oppressed Neanderthals. But soon a woman in her early forties—let’s call her Lucy—interrupted him to say, “I feel like some whitesplaining is going on.”Since all but two of the attendees were white, the statement could technically have applied to almost anyone in the room, including the presenter and Lucy herself. However, her goal was clear: to get this man to shut up—which he instantly did. An influential local figure who obviously cared enough about racism to pay $145 to attend the conference, the archaeologist was someone we should have embraced, rather than shamed and silenced. Nevertheless, at lunch, I found him sitting alone at an otherwise empty table. One of the most effective things a movement can do is critique itself from the inside, vetting anything that, once unleashed on the outside world, might needlessly turn people off the cause. Here was a perfect opportunity to do just that. Yet, sadly, not only is criticism from within unwelcome, it’s typically met with hostility... if the anti-racism movement is interested in persuasion, this kind of emotional thinking and its resulting outbursts have got to go. The day’s second workshop was entitled “Hot Buttons and Triggering Events: Increasing Our Capacity to Respond Effectively.” Much to my surprise, the presenter asked a roomful of social justice warriors why they found themselves triggered so easily and often... The presenter then encouraged us to ponder any “unmet needs” or “ego-driven desires” that may have contributed to our triggering. Did a lack of recognition cause Lucy to seek attention? Was she hoping to make the archaeologist “feel the pain and hurt” she had suffered? Or did she crave control, or want to be seen as an ally?... As satisfying as it feels to attack those you disagree with—whether fellow social justice activists, Trump supporters or bona fide white nationalists—if you’re not inviting someone to join you, all you’re doing is pushing them further away."

Could Google rankings skew an election? New group aims to find out. - The Washington Post - "Epstein’s latest initiative includes the public support of 12 academics in four countries, from institutions such as Stanford University, the University of Maryland and the University of Amsterdam... This would resemble a system that Epstein and several colleagues used to track alleged bias throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, during which they recruited 95 monitors in 24 states who ultimately captured more than 13,000 sets of search rankings and the 98,000 pages to which they linked. In that election, Epstein said searches related to the election were more likely to produce links to Web pages offering a favorable impression of Democrat Hillary Clinton than to ones favorable to Republican Donald Trump."

Sainsbury's launches £1.50 edible insect range in UK supermarket first - "Sainsbury's has become the first UK high street supermarket to stock edible insects.Barbecue-flavour roasted crickets are being put on sale in 250 stores across the country from Sunday.The Eat Grub's "smoky BBQ crunchy roasted crickets" are described as "crunchy in texture with a rich smoky flavour".Packets of the insects will cost £1.50."

Why Tall People Make More Money - "Thomas Gregor, an anthropologist at Vanderbilt, traveled to central Brazil to see if height was prized by people beyond the developed world. For years, he observed the Mehinaku, a group that lived in the tropical forest and was so thoroughly unmodern that they had never seen eyeglasses. He spent time with the Navajo and the Trobriand Islanders of Papua New Guinea, too. “In no case,” he would later write, “have I found a preference for short men.”... Some studies suggested that taller people have better social skills and more self-confidence (“noncognitive” skills, as academics would say). People who were taller as children, the thinking goes, were treated better, so they developed more emotional stability, which has been shown to help on the job. Meanwhile, other studies have found that taller people are inherently smarter: As early as age three, they do better on aptitude tests... For every two-inch increase in a child’s height, the improvement on cognitive and noncognitive assessments is roughly equivalent to the difference between growing up in a lower-class family and a middle-class family. And it’s not just height in childhood that goes on to shape future earnings: 11-year-old boys who were considered “attractive” (creepily enough, these ratings were determined by teachers) went on to make 6.5 percent more money in their thirties than their more homely peers did. For girls, it was a 10 percent boost... each additional inch of height makes one slightly more likely to be an entrepreneur, as opposed to working a desk job... employed people who were tall said they were more pleased with their professional lives than did shorter employees. If those cursed with below-average height have made it this far in the article, they might want to finally jump ship and ignore this final line: Those taller employees also reported being happier with life in general."

20 Obscure Places In Singapore You Can Now Explore Along The Downtown Line

Viral 'Momo challenge' is a malicious hoax, say charities - "It is the most talked about viral scare story of the year so far, blamed for child suicides and violent attacks – but experts and charities have warned that the “Momo challenge” is nothing but a “moral panic” spread by adults.Warnings about the supposed Momo challenge suggest that children are being encouraged to kill themselves or commit violent acts after receiving messages on messaging service WhatsApp from users with a profile picture of a distorted image of woman with bulging eyes... The NSPCC said there is no confirmed evidence that the phenomenon is actually posing a threat to British children and said they have received more phone calls about it from members of the media than concerned parents... The rumour mill appears to have created a feedback loop, where news coverage of the Momo challenge is prompting schools or the police to warn about the supposed risks posed by the Momo challenge, which has in turn produced more news stories warning about the challenge.Tremlett said she was now hearing of children who are “white with worry” as a result of media coverage about a supposed threat that did not previously exist... An identical claim was made in 2017 about a similar supposed viral suicide craze called Blue Whale, which was also linked to exactly 130 teen suicides in Russia. This figures came from a much-criticised single report in the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, with later reporting suggesting that not a single death could be conclusively linked to the game."

Downside to Gluten-Free Diets: Diabetes Risk?

GP could lose his job for asking Muslim mum to remove niqab during appointment - "A GP could lose his job after asking a Muslim mother to remove her niqab during an appointment after admitting he found it "difficult to hear" what she was saying.Dr Keith Wolverson, 52, told the mother to remove the veil covering her face as he had difficulty hearing her explain what was wrong with her child.The GP claimed he only politely asked her to take it off as the three sat alone in the hospital consulting room at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent.The mother willingly agreed to the doctor's request, he said.However, after her husband arrived half an hour later, she complained to hospital bosses about the incident. The couple wrote to the General Medical Council (GMC) who will investigate Dr Wolverson for alleged discrimination.Outraged at the claims, Dr Wolverson insisted he was just trying to do his job properly... According to the complaints received by GMC, the mother said she felt “victimised and racially discriminated” against during the consultation."
If he had diagnosed her wrongly because he couldn't hear her, he would have lost his job. So...

Doctor who faces inquiry for asking a Muslim to lift her veil says he will quit after 23 years as GP - "Dr Wolverson, who has practised as a GP for 23 years and has an unblemished record, said regardless of the outcome of the investigation he now plans to leave his job.He said: ‘I feel a major injustice has taken place. This is why you are waiting so long to see your GP and doctors are leaving in droves. This country will have no doctors left if we continue to treat them in this manner. I’m deeply upset.‘A doctor’s quest to perform the very finest consultation for the safety of the patient has been misinterpreted in a duplicitous manner to suggest there has been an act of racism committed. I absolutely no longer want to be a doctor.’... ‘One would think that any parent would be wholly supportive and grateful that a doctor was trying to safely treat their child.’According to Dr Wolverson, the mother complied with his request without raising any objections.But half an hour after the consultation, her husband arrived and declared he was making a complaint about the GP’s behaviour.‘He sat outside my consultation room and threateningly made eye contact towards me whenever I went out to fetch each patient,’ Dr Wolverson said. ‘He then made a formal complaint and I was prevented from working at the walk-in centre again."
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