"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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Saturday, July 06, 2019

Links - 6th July 2019 (2)

Federal Offenses: As U.S. Federal Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared - WSJ - "As federal criminal statutes have ballooned, it has become increasingly easy for Americans to end up on the wrong side of the law. Many of the new federal laws also set a lower bar for conviction than in the past: Prosecutors don't necessarily need to show that the defendant had criminal intent... A lobster importer is convicted in the U.S. for violating a Honduran law that the Honduran government disavowed. A Pennsylvanian who injured her husband's lover doesn't face state criminal charges—instead, she faces federal charges tied to an international arms-control treaty. The U.S. Constitution mentions three federal crimes by citizens: treason, piracy and counterfeiting. By the turn of the 20th century, the number of criminal statutes numbered in the dozens. Today, there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, according to a 2008 study by retired Louisiana State University law professor John Baker... It's partly due to lawmakers responding to hot-button issues—environmental messes, financial machinations, child kidnappings, consumer protection—with calls for federal criminal penalties. Federal regulations can also carry the force of federal criminal law, adding to the legal complexity.With the growing number of federal crimes, the number of people sentenced to federal prison has risen nearly threefold over the past 30 years to 83,000 annually. The U.S. population grew only about 36% in that period. The total federal prison population, over 200,000, grew more than eightfold—twice the growth rate of the state prison population, now at 2 million, according the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics... retired race-car champion Bobby Unser told a congressional hearing about his 1996 misdemeanor conviction for accidentally driving a snowmobile onto protected federal land, violating the Wilderness Act, while lost in a snowstorm. Though the judge gave him only a $75 fine, the 77-year-old racing legend got a criminal record... Some of these new federal statutes don't require prosecutors to prove criminal intent, eroding a bedrock principle in English and American law. The absence of this provision, known as mens rea, makes prosecution easier, critics argue.A study last year by the Heritage Foundation and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers analyzed scores of proposed and enacted new laws for nonviolent crimes in the 109th Congress of 2005 and 2006. It found of the 36 new crimes created, a quarter had no mens rea requirement and nearly 40% more had only a "weak" one... One area of expansion has been environmental crimes. Since its inception in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has grown to enforce some 25,000 pages of federal regulations, equivalent to about 15% of the entire body of federal rules."

CONFIRMED: Obama Admin Sabotaged Trump’s Transition To The White House - "According to The Times, Obama White House officials waged a campaign to procure, save and disperse classified intelligence regarding Trump associates’ contacts with Russians.The campaign also involved curtailing the Trump team’s access to highly classified information and of lowering classification ratings on other information about the ongoing Russia investigation so that it could be more widely shared across the government.According to The Times’ sources, the Obama officials waged the campaign out of fear that the Trump administration would cover up or destroy some of the information... The scheme would seem to lend support to Trump’s claims that the Obama White House sought to undermine his presidency by leaking classified information."

Cosplayer Transforms Into Mai Shiranui, Thanks To Plenty Of Padding - "Australian cosplayer A.K. Wirru pulled off a terrific cosplay of iconic fighting game character Mai Shiranui. Here’s how he did it."

Modern feminism needs to 'stop blaming men,' says Camille Paglia - "In Paglia's recent collection of writings from 1990 to today, Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism, she argues "Women will never know who they are until they let men be men."... "I think people are looking for a religion," the atheist declares, pointing to a feminist ideology that is universal."That's what makes it very difficult to argue with anyone because they're so locked into the commandments that they've absorbed."...
"Hillary Clinton has ridden her husband's coattails her entire life … She's never accomplished a thing … She was a terrible secretary of state who destabilized North Africa and caused that refugee influx into Italy."
"I think that the way women dress is also ultimately undermining the seriousness with which men take them ... I love sexy clothing, but I'm saying women really need to look at themselves and realize, when you are dressing with short skirts, bare legs and stiletto heels in a professional workplace, you are saying that your sexuality is part of your power … I'm not saying stop wearing that sexualizing clothing. I'm saying, you cannot just offer yourself as an ornament."
"We're not talking about sexual assault [on campus]. We're talking about, often in the case of undergraduates, we're talking about both individuals are drunk. The men are looking for sexual experience. The women aren't sure what they want ... What I've said from the start, and I maintain I'm correct: a girl who goes to a fraternity party and is asked by a young man, would you like to go up to my room — I still maintain to this day that a woman who says yes is signaling she is ready for sex."

Why are Malaysian princes in love with foreign brides? - "more than a decade ago, 41—year—old Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra, the Kelantan princes’ younger brother who was stripped of his title in 2010, attracted headlines over his marriage with Indonesian—American model Manohara Odelia Pinot, who was just 16 years old at the time of their marriage in 2009. The couple divorced shortly after the teenage bride accused Muhammad Fakhry of kidnapping her. Pinot, now 27 years old, ran as a legislative candidate in the Indonesian elections on Wednesday... Westerners would have an easier time converting to Islam, said Aaron W. Hughes, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Rochester. “In terms of Islam, it would be much easier for someone from the West since they would be familiar with the basic Iudeo—Christian themes that Islam continues: God, creation, prophecy, the Day of Judgement, and so on,” he said. “A Buddhist or a Hindu, for example, would have a much more difficult time grasping such issues.”"

Research highlights class divide between ‘poor’ Apple iPhone and ‘rich’ Huawei users in China - "Apple iPhone users in China are generally less educated, hard—up and with few valuable assets, compared to users of other mobile phone brands such as Huawei Technologies or Xiaomi, according to a report by research agency MobData. The Shanghai—based firm also found that most iPhone users are unmarried females aged between 18 and 34, who graduated with just a high-school certificate and earn a monthly income of below 3,000 yuan (HKS3,800). They are perceived to be part of a group known as the “invisible poor” — those who do not look as poor as their financial circumstances. On the contrary, Huawei phone users are generally married males aged between 25 and 34, hold a diploma or bachelor’s degree and whose monthly incomes register between 5,000 yuan and 20,000 yuan. The research also found that a large proportion of Huawei users own f‌lats and cars while Apple users do not. MobData did not disclose the number of respondents who participated in the research."

Outcry as Chinese erotic writer jailed for more than 10 years over gay sex scenes in novel - "An erotic writer in China has been sentenced to over a decade in prison for writing and selling a gay porn novel, sparking shock and outrage over the severity of her sentence. The writer, surnamed Liu but better known by her internet alias Tianyi, was handed a 10—and- a—half year jail term for “producing and selling pornographic materials” last month, according to a television report on Friday. The book that landed her into trouble was a 2017 novel named Occupy, which sold 7 ,000 copies through the internet... The heavy sentence imposed in this case ignited an uproar. Outraged social media users were quick to point out that many serious crimes, including rape, violence and manslaughter, carried a lower sentence."

Geylang, oh Geylang! How mainland Chinese fell in and out of love with Singapore’s red-light district - "Singapore’s tightening foreign labour policies, heightened security after an unprecedented riot in 2013, and the sex trade going online have all chipped away at the country’s “Little Chinatown”... Desperate for cheap accommodation in expensive Singapore and with worker dormitories few and far between, they found the perfect home in Geylang. In particular, these workers unearthed cheap housing in two Geylang condominiums — Wing Fong Court and Sunny Spring. “No Singaporean in their right mind wanted to stay there. Those two condos were surrounded by brothels and streetwaltkers,” says a long-time Geylang resident, a taxi driver in his 603, who asked not to be named. “If you had a wife or daughter, you can be assured that they would receive heckles and cat calls every time they went out. The f‌lats were struggling for tenants. So when [mainland Chinese] workers came knocking, the condominium owners welcomed them with open arms.”... For as low as S$150 (US$111) a month, these workers received bed space in Geylang rooms that they shared with others — about half what they would pay in Chinatown... While Geylang had been reliant on foreign sex workers — largely from other Southeast Asian countries — the 20003 saw an unprecedented rise in those from mainland China. They avoided the licensed brothels approved by the government, which carried strict periodic medical checks. “In its heyday, you would see up to a hundred [Chinese] women standing along the footpaths at Lorong 14,18 and 20,” said the long—time resident, referring to the three roads in Geylang most notorious for the sex trade. In Chinese—majority Singapore, the demand was strong for mainland Chinese sex workers... The presence of all things Chinese began to wane after 2013, because of an event in nearby Little India. That year, a riot took place after intoxicated migrant workers reacted violently when an Indian worker was killed in a traffic accident... Residents in Geylang told This Week in Asia that shops selling Chinese food and wares have been gradually closing down in the last two years. It did not help that tech—savvy Chinese sex workers have increasingly been going online. According to Ho from Project X, online sex workers in Singapore, most whom are Chinese nationals, are reaching out to customers directly through websites and apps — using social media and smartphones as middlemen... “Geylang is increasingly quiet and businesses are suffering,” said the long—time resident. “No alcohol and no girls. There’s no reason to come to Geylang any more. “The Chinese are slowly leaving. In a few years, Geylang won’t be ‘Little Chinatown’ any more.”"

The changing nature of Singapore’s swingers scene - "“Couples who are looking to swing generally organise their meet—ups in four or five—star hotels, or host them in one another’s homes,” Seah explains. “Hosting at home isn’t as common, as not many people are comfortable with inviting new acquaintances to their homes. However, lately, with the introduction of Airbnb, it has become easier to organise swings in multiroom apartments, which can accommodate more couples. This is the latest trend that we have been seeing. “Sadly, in Singapore and around Asia, our authorities do not allow the exploration of lifestyles like ours and we are unable to have off‌line clubs, unlike our Western counterparts in the swinging community.” Seah says the demographic of the community is largely working adults, ranging from about 26 to 45 years old. “Most are in fast-paced industries, who deal with large amounts of stress or are simply getting tired of routine bedroom activities. They are the ones who are looking for that spark to reignite a relationship, or to start a journey of exploration,” he says. Another way swingers in Singapore harness the connectivity of technology is through Feeld — previously called 3nder — which is essentially Tinder for threesomes. Operating on a similar matching system as Tinder, the London—based app has only about 100 active users in Singapore, most of whom hide their identities. The user base includes many couples who share their photos and freely post about their sexual interests... “I know a well-to-do, middle—aged Singaporean man whose prenuptial terms for his wife were that he would still be allowed to have fun on the side, so long as he provided well for her. I also know another tycoon who has two wives who are aware of each other, and has in fact drawn up a will that includes both his families,” she says. According to Singaporean lawyer Geraldine Ong, the law is silent on swinging, although it is provided that marriage is a monogamous contract between two individuals and such is its sanctity."

What Happened When We Tried to Debate Immigration

What Happened When We Tried to Debate Immigration

"It was initially titled, “Is Rising Ethnic Diversity a Threat to the West?” This was certainly a provocative title, designed to draw in a large audience who might hold strong views on the topic but who would nonetheless be exposed to a moderated and evidence-led debate. Though we would later change the title, we couldn’t escape its powerful logic: On the night itself, we repeatedly returned to this phrasing because it is the clearest way of distinguishing competing positions...

As soon as the title of the event was published it provoked a strong backlash. Rather than a genuine debate, it was interpreted as an open attack on immigrants and minorities. Before the event had taken place, before a word had been spoken, one professor accused us of “helping to advance a white nationalist agenda” and engaging in “nativist and racist discourse.” Other academics retweeted accounts that suggested we were “complicit in violence,” including the U.S. mail bombs and the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue (two of our panelists are of Jewish heritage). Still others contended that we were contributing to racism, that by posing the question we were “devaluing” scholars from minority backgrounds (Kaufmann is of mixed race).

In the spirit of compromise, and to meet our critics halfway, we changed the title of the event to: “Immigration and Diversity Politics: A Challenge to Liberal Democracy?” But that was not enough. Even after this change, academics joined with self-described anti-fascist activists to publish an open letter on the platform Open Democracy. Titled “Framing ethnic diversity as a ‘threat’ will normalise far-right hate,” the letter claimed that the debate “was framed within the terms of white supremacist discourse” and “automatically targets communities already suffering from discrimination as part of the ‘problem.’” While the letter did not call for the debate to be cancelled, it concluded that “no other alternative factor or scenario is identified as a ‘threat.’” that the event had “racist presumptions,” “contributes to far right ‘dog whistling,’” and “serves to normalise ideas that should be firmly challenged.” These claims, they continued, were “undeniable.”

An e-mail account was launched and others were urged to sign the open letter, which was also shared on Twitter by a prominent (Routledge) academic book series as “an important response from anti-racist & anti-fascist academics to recent efforts to mainstream far right ideas & discourse.” One of our Wikipedia pages was vandalized while others sought to interest the press in a smear campaign. A network of activist academics and students—both inside and outside of our institutions—raised complaints with our universities. While we were not formally asked to cancel the debate, one of us came under pressure to withdraw. Like many such incidents, much of this activity was informal, relying on trolling, reputational damage and peer pressure to police virtue...

We faced criticism from liberal commentators outside of academe who, writing in national newspapers, criticized our decision to change the title as obfuscating a pressing subject that urgently requires rational discussion... “Ironically and tragically,” argued columnist David Aaronovitch, who joined the debate, “this idiocy by the liberal left allows the far-right to pose as the champions of free speech and therefore as champions of true British aspirations.”...

In the world of academic research, the word “threat,” which many of our critics found so troubling, is commonplace. Stick the words “threat” and “immigration” into Google Scholar and you will see more than one million entries... some academics have openly debated, in top journals, questions like “Is Hispanic immigration a threat to American identity?”

Furthermore, the reason that academics have spent so much time exploring the idea of “threat” is because large numbers of people across Western democracies do feel under threat from immigration and rising ethnic diversity. There is no point shying away from it. It is reflected in countless studies and surveys, such as an Ipsos-MORI study last year, which found that across 25 countries an average of 42 percent of people believe that immigration is having negative effects on their country, while just under half feel that immigration “is causing their country to change in ways that they do not like.”...

But there is also a deeper issue here, which concerns the “normalization hypothesis.” Warning against the “normalization” of the far-right has long been a cornerstone of thinking among anti-fascist and left-wing activists. The argument is that mainstream institutions like universities, the media and political parties should never give a platform to fascist or far-right figures because this treats them as legitimate actors, risks increasing their appeal, and fuels hostility towards immigrants and minorities. Merely adopting the language or phraseology of these controversial figures, it is argued, even as a basis for a public debate or critical reflection, lends credence to their ideology.

The “normalization hypothesis” is widely accepted by journalists and academics... Those who do not adopt this line are criticized, often with support from left-wing journalists.

Setting aside the fact that we are not members of the “far-right,” normalization is a perfectly reasonable hypothesis where genuine far-right speakers are concerned. But, like all theories, it must be open to falsification. It should only gain strength after surviving repeated attempts at refutation. Once a theory congeals into what the anthropologist Scott Atran has called a “sacred value,” something that lies beyond question (such as the divinity of Jesus for Christians), it stifles the progress of social science and restricts freedom of enquiry. Or, even worse, it can backfire, abetting the very forces it opposes. Given the importance of free expression and inquiry in any open society, we believe it is incumbent upon those who demand an ethical limit on free expression in the interests of sensitivity to offer rigorous evidence of harm, and a method of demonstrating harm that is transparent and can be replicated and falsified...

There are actually some good reasons to be skeptical about the claim that engaging with controversial ideas, even far-right ideas, or even giving controversial speakers a platform, has an effect on public opinion. Recently, voting results before and after the involvement of Steve Bannon at the Toronto Munk debate suggested that his appearance had zero effect on people’s views. In Britain, the appearance of a right-wing extremist leader on a popular television show in 2009 had no statistically significant increase in support for his party (which one year later promptly collapsed). While there are plenty of studies that show priming or framing effects (i.e. people who read a negative passage about immigration become more concerned about it), the idea that exposing a controversial speaker to critical questioning, or using a controversial phrase to frame discussion on a “mainstream” platform somehow increases support for extremism, has no basis in social science. The “normalization” charge is an article of faith rather than a conclusion based on an empirically-verified theory. The fact that it is so often invoked to no-platform speakers on university campuses, or silence enquiry, means that it must be held to empirical account...

Our critics, including those who signed the open letter, put forward two claims. First, that our debate was deeply offensive to immigrants and ethnic minorities. Second, that the “white supremacist framing” “normalized” public hostility toward these minority groups. Let’s interrogate the first claim, that deep offense has been given. To answer this question, within a modest budget, we conducted surveys of people in Britain and America, using the online platforms Amazon Mechanical Turk and Prolific Academic. These have been used by thousands of academic papers. Those who take these surveys skew more liberal, young and white than average–this is not a random sample of the population...

One group saw our original title (“Is Rising Ethnic Diversity a Threat to the West”), another saw a picture of John Esposito’s (1993) book The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality, and a control group saw a blank page. Note that the cover to Esposito’s book included, at the top, a New York Times endorsement saying it was “a useful antidote to the barrage of exaggerated views on Islam.”...

The average level of offence among those who read our (original) debate advertisement was very low, at just 28 out of 100. This was, however, slightly higher than for the blank page (11/100) and the picture of John Esposito’s book (18/100). Indeed, there were a few individuals who gave our ad a 100 score, demonstrating maximum offence. But who were they? If we focus on the 79 individuals (41 white and 38 non-white) who were shown the debate poster, we find no significant difference in the degree to which whites and minorities find it offensive. However, the one group that was most offended (giving a score above 50 on the “offensiveness scale”), were those who self-identified as “extremely liberal” on a seven-point liberal-to-conservative scale. In other words, it was extreme liberals who were the most likely to be highly offended by the initial title of our debate.

What about the second charge, that we are “normalizing” racist discourse? If this was indeed the case, we would expect whites who were shown the description of our debate to alter their perception of ethnic minorities–to become more hostile. But the 41 whites who were shown details of our debate did not express any less warmth on a 0-100 thermometer scale towards Muslims, Asian and African immigrants, black people or European immigrants than the group of 33 whites who viewed a blank page, or the 51 that saw Esposito’s book cover. Like those who viewed the Munk debate, the effect on “hate” is again nil. These results are consistent with representative U.S. surveys showing that largely white “solid liberals” (16 percent of people) or “progressive activists” (eight percent of people) are much more radical than the political tribes occupied by most minority voters.

We academics—and those in discursive bubbles more generally—can sometimes possess a fine-tuned sensitivity, and a greater sense of our own importance, which others do not share. This holds as much for offenses against the right, as those against the left. Take the case of one of those who signed the open letter against us, the “radical political theorist” George Cicarellio-Maher. On Christmas Eve 2016, Cicarellio-Maher tweeted “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide.”... We decided to re-run our analysis, only this time we showed respondents the tweet by Cicarellio-Maher. In sharp contrast to the description of our debate, of the 130 respondents who saw the tweet (65 each in UK and US), most were offended, though not overly so... as with our debate, there was no significant difference between whites and ethnic minorities...

White respondents who read Cicarellio-Maher’s “white genocide” tweet did not become more hostile toward minorities and immigrants. If anything, whites who were exposed to his tweet became warmer towards African and Asian immigrants (though no effects were visible for other minorities). They were offended by the tweet but this appeared to make some people more sympathetic to minorities. Why does this matter? Well, it goes to show that people aren’t the impressionable pieces of clay which the proponents of “normalization” would have us believe. While ideas have consequences, those consequences are complex and they often refuse to cooperate with simplistic narratives that enjoy support among activist scholars but which, when put under the microscope by evidence-led researchers, fall apart. Unlike our critics, we don’t invoke ethereal concepts like “normalization” or sacred narratives; our methods are transparent and open to replication and falsification (we will happily share these data)...

There is also compelling evidence from large-scale survey data that whites’ perceptions that they are being discriminated against is a driver of Trump support and this kind of tweet may have fed those perceptions (due to a sense there is a double-standard in which only white people may be abused, especially among “cultural elites”)...

Effects would need to be substantial to provide sufficient grounds for censuring debate in a free society. After all, discussion of controversial topics like Britain’s Middle East policy or Israeli settlements can give ammunition to Islamist extremists. This does not mean that these subjects should not be discussed in plain language and in a moderate, reasonable way. Moving forward with debate must be weighed against the cost of not doing so, which could involve ideas gaining popularity underground or giving ammunition to conspiracy theories against “elites.”

As the Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said: “Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears. To justify suppression of free speech, there must be reasonable ground to fear that serious evil will result if free speech is practiced.”...

The open letter and... the vitriolic attacks that followed... were aimed at smearing our reputations. As Haidt notes, the use of open letters, which seek to close down serious deliberation, has increased dramatically from 2017: “Such letters are efforts to win by applying social pressure, magnified by social media, rather than using the proper method of the academy: Reasoned argument.”"


No wonder liberals claim freedom of speech supports white supremacy and are so keen on deplatforming and censorship - if you ban people from discussing ideas behind "white supremacy", then "white supremacy" will never have a chance of being evaluated and everyone will need to accept their claim that "white supremacy" is bad.

Interesting study showing that extreme liberals are much more likely to be offended than minorities - so when they claim to be speaking on behalf of minorities they are doing no such thing. Rather they are projecting their views onto them, ironically silencing them. So speaking on behalf of minorities is a sham - once again (extreme) liberalism is white supremacy.

Ironically most people found the products of anti-racism (i.e. cheering white genocide) more offensive than the "racism" that anti-racists claim they are fighting.

Links - 6th July 2019 (1)

Is Safetyism Destroying a Generation? - "Historically, campus censorship was enacted by zealous university administrators. Students were radicals who pushed the boundaries of acceptability, like during the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in the 1960s. Today, however, students work in tandem with administrators to make their campus ‘safe’ from threatening ideas... it is not just the American mind that has been coddled. Consistent with Haidt and Lukianoff’s findings in the United States, there has been a substantial increase in youth mental health issues in other Anglosphere countries such as Britain and Australia... La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia almost banned sex researcher Bettina Arndt from speaking about sexual assault issues on campus. While the university reversed their earlier decision, it nevertheless informed students that counselling would be available – solidifying the idea that the mere existence of a contrarian voice necessitates therapy. Students have continued to demand censorship of Arndt on the basis that her ideas make them feel ‘unsafe’."

The “Campus Free Speech Crisis” Ended Last Year - "So, if not self-censorship, and if probably not new laws or policies, what does explain the changes on campus last year? Well, protests and deplatforming are tactics, and like all tactics, they tend to lose their effectiveness over time. What first has the advantage of novelty becomes familiar and, eventually, anticipated. Often this triggers a cycle of tactical innovation and adaptation, in which the targets of activism develop their own counter-tactics in response. Campus politics is no different. By now, university administrators, student organizations, and controversial speakers themselves all have a wide repertoire of tactics at their disposal to counter disruptive student activism. Common examples include increased security, invite-only ticketing, and preemptive affirmations of university values, all of which were deployed throughout 2018... the broader national political climate may be an even more important factor. Few observers truly appreciate how deeply the culture on campus is shaped by events taking place off it, which is why I suspect there is too little recognition that many of the events of 2016 and 2017, when concern about the “Free Speech Crisis” was at its height, were tied to the presidential election."

Controversial Speeches on Campus Are Not Violence - "the psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett, a highly respected emotion researcher at Northeastern University, published an essay in The New York Times titled, “When is speech violence?” She offered support from neuroscience and health-psychology research for students who want to use the word “violence” in this expansive way... Chronic stress can cause physical damage... “gossiping about a rival,” for example, or “giving one’s students a lot of homework.” Both practices can cause prolonged stress to others, but that doesn’t turn them into forms of violence... If students are repeatedly told that numerical disparities are proof of systemic discrimination, and a clumsy or insensitive question is an act of aggression (a “microaggression”), and words are sometimes acts of violence that will shorten your life, then it begins to make sense that they would worry about their safety, chronically, even within some of America’s most welcoming and protective institutions... People do not react to the world as it is; they react to the world as they interpret it, and those interpretations are major determinants of success and failure in life... diversity training, when not carefully and sensitively implemented, can create a backlash, which amplifies tensions... The social psychologist Jean Twenge has just written a book, titled iGen (which is short for “internet generation”), in which she analyzes four large national datasets that track the mental health of teenagers and college students... Lines drift mildly up or down across the decades as baby boomers are followed by Gen-X, which is followed by the millennials. But as soon as the data includes iGen—those born after roughly 1994—the rates of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and suicide spike upward... if social media is the biggest cause of the mental-health crisis then the solution lies in changing the nature or availability of social media for teenagers. Making the offline world “safer” by banning the occasional stress-inducing speaker will not help.We think the mental-health crisis on campus is better understood as a crisis of resilience. Since 2012, when members of iGen first began entering college, growing numbers of college students have become less able to cope with the challenges of campus life, including offensive ideas, insensitive professors, and rude or even racist and sexist peers. Previous generations of college students learned to live with such challenges in preparation for success in the far more offense-filled world beyond the college gates... This is why the idea that speech is violence is so dangerous. It tells the members of a generation already beset by anxiety and depression that the world is a far more violent and threatening place than it really is. It tells them that words, ideas, and speakers can literally kill them. Even worse: At a time of rapidly rising political polarization in America, it helps a small subset of that generation justify political violence... In a 2010 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit—Rodriguez v. Maricopa County Community College District—Chief Judge Alex Kozinski noted “...the urge to censor is greatest where debate is most disquieting and orthodoxy most entrenched…”"
So is it violence to demonise white people all the time?
In other words, if you're told you're being oppressed, it's a self fulfilling prophecy


Like the Campus Thought Police - "Smith College police chief Daniel Hect was put on administrative leave after becoming an object of campus hate. Chief Hect’s crime was ‘liking’ (not writing) tweets that fall outside of academia’s ever shrinking zone of toleration. Behold the offending tweets:
“Stay the course Pres. Trump”
“BUILD THAT WALL!!”
“The National Rifle Association wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas!”...
If you are not familiar with Twitter, know that liking doesn’t always imply support... Imagine you are a Smith student who supports Trump, his wall, or gun rights. How comfortable would you now be speaking up in class? Even if you know your professor doesn’t punish heresy, you should fear that your fellow students might."

Vietnamese community rallies together to fight back against Sudanese gangs terrorising their shops - "Young Vietnamese people are vowing to take action after video of their elders being attacked by thugs went viral.The shocking footage shows people, believed to be shopkeepers, defending themselves with chairs against a group of men of African appearance.Screaming, shouting and smashing can be heard as the group of Vietnamese people try to push back against the group, who allegedly attacked them after asking for a cigarette and being rejected... Another Vietnamese man said it was 'time to prove who we are'.'This message to all Vietnamese people in west Melbourne!'You rather just stand there and watch your children or family member been [sic] robbed, bashed, raped then do nothing - or join us to protect our love [sic] one from this.'... Another message claims the men of African appearance had come back after the fight and stolen from customers... The woman claimed the men of African appearance did not 'deserve' to be in Australia, and claimed her immigrant community had done a better job of assimilating than the one the alleged attackers belonged to. 'Why we let them in, feed them and give them money for making trouble to us, what is the Australia law?' she wrote.'It's not fair - we are working hard, paying tax and support these mother f***ers.'"

Ten scams tourists face in Vietnam - "Most countries in SE Asia f‌ind ways of scamming western tourists. In most cases these experiences are more insulting than they dangerous.Sometimes they are cheeky although there are situations that could claim your entire travel budget, not to mention a brush with the law... Many prices for food, toiletries, and other items in small shops are usually made up at the whim of the shopkeeper. Never assume that a price is the same as you paid yesterday. Always use shops that display their prices."

How Real Is Systemic Racism Today? - "It is unfortunate that the political climate in the US has for many years been strongly opposed to even the possibility that behavioral traits are in any way pre-determined. Best-sellers like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers (2008) claimed that persistent hard work—the “10,000-hour rule”—will propel anyone to success, with the implication that there is no such thing as natural talent. We could all compose like Mozart if we just practiced long enough. The playing field of the nature-nurture debate has not been, and is not now, level. Honest writers on this topic have been attacked and their employment threatened by unfair attacks on their purely academic, non-ideological writing. Moderate, evidence-based views—IQ is a product of nature as much as nurture, “racial” groups differ in IQ—are caricatured as racist extremes. The view that IQ is genetically fixed—like an instinct—is in fact held by none of the leading researchers in this field. Yet it has been used to stigmatize distinguished scholars such as Linda Gottfredsen and Charles Murray.Philosopher Michael Levin was called an unabashed white supremacist following the publication of his 1997 book Why Race Matters. His crime was to take too seriously the fact that blacks and whites as groups differ in terms of IQ and possibly other socially relevant psychological measures and that these differences should be taken into account in evaluating racial disparities... Fear of treatment like this from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and similar groups with a political agenda and no interest in understanding the complex issues involved has, in effect, shut down research on endogenous racial differences as a cause of racial disparities... Young males are more likely to act violently than older ones. The black population tends to be younger than the white. Does controlling for age reduce the black-white disparity? No doubt other relevant variables should be examined. The point is that the incarceration disparity may have a non-racial cause... a charge of “racial discrimination” can be justified only when other possible causes of disparities have been eliminated... Systemic racism is a poor concept. First, it is almost impossible to prove, because racism is discrimination without any reason other than race. To prove discrimination, all other possible reasons—reasons like differential ability, interests, criminality, etc., as in the examples I gave earlier—must be eliminated... in practice not only are they not eliminated, efforts to explore these other causes are actively suppressed. So, the second, and perhaps most important, problem with the charge of systemic discrimination is that it deflects attention from the proximal causes, endogenous as well as exogenous, of the racial disparities that led to its invention... The beauty of “systemic racism” is its air of permanence. It is here forever, and its victims must be compensated in perpetuity. It has become the elusive and inexpugnable cause of all the ills of people of color. And it provides an endless supply of ammunition for those whose careers depend on the persistence of racism. It has become a cause of racial division rather than part of the cure. It should be abandoned."

WSJ: Facebook Pressured Palmer Luckey to Vote Libertarian, then Fired Him for Trump Support Anyways - "Lucker’s firing appeared to be the start of Silicon Valley’s extreme liberal bias being questioned by the masses. The issue of Silicon Valley’s liberal bias became so well known that Zuckerberg was even grilled by Ted Cruz during a hearing before Congress about Luckey’s firing"

Distorted Campus Assault Math - WSJ - "Forty-one percent of Tulane’s undergraduate women have been sexually assaulted since arriving on campus, the university reported last month. That’s a shocking statistic, but is it true? The number is worth breaking down because Congress may soon require all colleges to use similar surveys to inform their practices.One problem is how broadly Tulane defines sexual assault. The school goes beyond rape or attempted rape to include any form of unwanted sexual contact, including a stolen kiss or hug. The latter may be unwelcome but are they assault? This definition helps explain why nearly 38% of female undergraduates and 16% of males said they’d been victims of unwanted sexual contact... Students were asked if they agreed with the statements, “I don’t think sexual violence is a problem at Tulane” and “there isn’t much need for me to think about sexual violence while at college.” Disagreement indicates that sexual violence is a pressing issue. But students who agree risk being seen as ignorant or uncaring, which some campuses and activists say is evidence of a “rape culture.”Self-selection almost certainly occurred to some extent. Tulane highlights its large pool of 4,500 respondents. But the university boosted participation by offering “incentives for Greek organizations, residence halls, and graduate/professional schools” to recruit members to take the survey... Among students who said they were sexually assaulted, 73.5% of undergraduate women and 86.7% of men said they were incapacitated by alcohol, not force. Tulane never defined how many drinks render someone incapable of consent, leaving that to the discretion of students... U.S. military sexual-assault prevention training sessions recently claimed “one drink means you can’t consent.” The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals said in 2016 that this standard was a “legally-inaccurate proposition.”... Stanford student Rhea Karuturi described how female students suffered from “rape anxiety”—the perception that “when you’re walking, when you’re going somewhere new, whatever—that there is a danger you could get raped.” Increasingly, campus-climate surveys tell women they’re in perpetual danger, though federal crime statistics suggest they’re safer from sexual assault in college than off campus"

Friday, July 05, 2019

Links - 5th July 2019 (2)

Cats killing billions of animals in the US - "Cats are one of the top threats to US wildlife, killing billions of animals each year, a study suggests.The authors estimate they are responsible for the deaths of between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually.Writing in Nature Communications, the scientists said stray and feral cats were the worst offenders.However, they added that pet cats also played a role and that owners should do more to reduce their impact.The authors concluded that more animals are dying at the claws of cats in the United States than in road accidents, collisions with buildings or poisonings. The domestic cat's killer instinct has been well documented on many islands around the world.Felines accompanying their human companions have gone on to prey on the local wildlife, and they have been blamed for the global extinction of 33 species."

The Collar That Can Stop a Bird-Killing Cat - "Brennan already knew George couldn’t become an indoor cat, but her past attempts to keep him away from birds had failed. She had tried tying extra bells on his collar, but it seemed the cat moved too stealthily for the bells to have any sort of warning effect on his prey.Then she recalled something she’d read about birds—they have excellent color vision... She took up her sewing tools and gathered some multi-patterned fabric, piecing together something that resembled a ruffled Elizabethan collar with a bright color scheme. She fastened it as a cover over George’s usual collar and let him outside... She began tinkering with the prototype and created a website to sell the collar, which she named Birdbesafe. Over the next few years, she used customer feedback to zero in on which colors and patterns worked best... Birdbesafe wasn’t just effective for birds—compared to control animals, cats wearing the collar killed 47 percent fewer animals with good color vision, a group that also includes reptiles... Willson believes that Birdsbesafe collars could be used in feral-cat colonies as well. Feral cats kill more birds than owned cats do, she said, and their numbers are huge"
Much cheaper to just cull the feral cats

Toxoplasmosis: how feral cats kill wildlife without lifting a paw - "Australian marsupials are very susceptible to toxoplasmosis. Species such as the eastern barred bandicoot typically die within 2-3 weeks of infection. As a result, toxoplasmosis has thwarted conservation attempts to introduce the species to French Island in Victoria. But bandicoots are not the only victims. Toxoplasmosis is a confirmed killer of other Australian wildlife, including Tammar wallabies, koalas, wombats, and several small dasyurids.In Tasmania, toxoplasmosis kills Bennett’s wallabies and pademelons, with infected animals found dead or stumbling around blindly during the day, vulnerable to predators or cars as they stumble onto busy roads... mothers infected with Toxoplasma have been found to give birth to more sons in both mice and humans... 84% of feral and stray cats tested in Tasmania were infected with the parasite. Previous studies have found a similarly high prevalence in feral cats on both Christmas Island and Kangaroo Island."

'Which hairstyle makes a woman look good at her job?' asks Japanese survey - "Tokyo-based AB&C Company, which manages the Agu hair salon chain, asked 200 Japanese human resource managers for their opinions.To start with, the majority, 63 percent, said they’ve been bothered by the hairstyles of new employees (who generally start working in April under Japanese hiring practices). However, only about half of the personnel managers, 52 percent, said they’ve actually cautioned an employee over their hairstyle’s appropriateness for a workplace environment... The respondents’ answers showed they’d place the most faith in the women who had neat, smoothly combed, but not heavily styled hair... permed, loose-hanging, and obviously dyed hair inspired the least confidence"

Buddhism and Islam in Asia: A Long and Complicated History - "At the root of this tension is the fear among Buddhists — not completely exaggerated — that Muslims will swamp them demographically. Many Buddhists also fear that their countries will lose their culture and become Muslim, as had been the case in many parts of modern day Central Asia, Xinjiang, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, which were majority Buddhist before the arrival of Islam in the 7th-11th centuries. Often, the arrival of Islam went hand-in-hand with the destruction of Buddhism. When the Muslim Turkic Qarakhanids captured the Buddhist city of Khotan in Xinjiang in 1006 CE, one of their poets penned this verse: “We came down on them like a flood/We went out among their cities/We tore down the idol-temples/We shat on the Buddha’s head.” In the Islamic world, a destroyer of idols came to be known as a but-shikan (بت شکن), a destroyer of but, a corruption of the word Buddha, as Buddhism was prevalent in much of what became the eastern part of the Islamic world... Buddhism was arguably the world’s largest religion a century ago, if one counts everyone who also followed Chinese folk religion, Shinto, Muism, and other East Asian religions. In the modern era, Buddhism has been particularly vulnerable, however, to both secularism and evangelism from other religions. According to a Pew survey, alone among the world’s major religions (including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Chinese folk religion), Buddhism and its adherents are projected to decline both in terms of raw numbers, and as a percentage of the world population... In 845 CE, China’s Tang Dynasty launched the great anti-Buddhist persecution, stimulated in part by the fact that too many people were entering tax-free monasteries. Neo-Confucianism thereafter became the dominant philosophy among the elite in China; a similar process unfolded in Korea with the rise of the Joseon Dynasty in 1392, and in Japan, where the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868) promoted Neo-Confucianism and Shinto at the expense of Buddhism, mostly for political reasons.Buddhism also all but vanished in South Asia, as folk Buddhism was reabsorbed into Hinduism, with the Buddha being acknowledged as an avatar of the god Vishnu. Hinduism was simultaneously less dependent on state promotion for its survival, and more attuned with the ritual and political needs of kingship, as well as being more aligned with folk beliefs. The destruction of the great Buddhist university at Nalanda in 1193 by Muslim Turkic invaders sealed its fate"

Peer effects in sexual initiation: Separating demand and supply mechanisms - "peer‐group norms have a large effect on the timing of sexual initiation for both boys and girls. Changes in opposite‐gender search behavior (i.e., partner availability) also have a large impact on initiation rates for boys, but not for girls."
This is consistent with female mate choice

Habit Persistence and Teen Sex: Could Increased Access to Contraception Have Unintended Consequences for Teen Pregnancies? - "We develop a dynamic discrete-choice model of teen sex and pregnancy that incorporates habit persistence. Habit persistence has two sources here. The first is a “fixed cost” of having sex, which relates to a moral or psychological barrier that has been crossed the first time one has sex. The second is a “transition cost,” whereby once a particular relationship has progressed to sex, it is difficult to move back. We estimate significant habit persistence in teen sex, implying that the long-run effects of contraception policy may be different from their short-run counterparts, especially if the failure rate of contraception is sufficiently large. Programs that increase access to contraception are found to decrease teen pregnancies in the short run but increase them in the long run."

The Effects of Sex Education on Teen Sexual Activity and Teen Pregnancy - "enrollment in sex education was associated with earlier sexual activity for females in this cohart. Sex education also was associated with earlier pregnancy for some group of females, but these effects are smaller and not always statistically significant. For both types of transitions, the effect of sex education appears to have been larger for women with fewer alternative sources of sexual information. In contrast, sex education had much less impact on male transitions into sexual activity. Within‐family analyses using sibling data reveal qualitatively similar patterns. Overall, the evidence suggests that sex education in the 1970's had some causal impact on teen sexual behavior, probably in significant part by providing information that enabled teens to alter the risks of sexual activity."
This suggests that parental fears may be right - sex education is really sex instruction

THE EFFECTS OF STATUTORY RAPE LAWS ON NONMARITAL TEENAGE CHILDBEARING - "Many policy makers view the enforcement of statutory rape laws as a way to reduce teenage childbirths. This article considers whether unmarried teenage girls covered by a state statutory rape law are less likely to give birth than girls who are not covered by a statutory rape law. The presence of statutory rape laws is negatively correlated with nonmarital birthrates for white females but is not a significant predictor for black or Hispanic females. In contrast, the enforcement of statutory rape laws has a deterrent effect on teen childbearing for blacks and Hispanics but not for whites."

Random behaviour or rational choice? Family planning, teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections - "Rational choice models of teenage sexual behaviour lead to radically different predictions than do models that assume such behaviour is random. Existing empirical evidence has not been able to distinguish conclusively between these competing models. I use regional data from England between 1998 and 2001 to examine the impact of recent increases in access to family planning on teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection diagnosis rates. I find consistent evidence that access to family planning services is not associated with reductions in teenage pregnancy rates. I also find consistent evidence that increased promotion of emergency birth control in youth family planning clinics has not affected the relationship between clinic services and teenage pregnancy rates, but has significantly worsened the relationship between clinic services and teenage sexually transmitted infection diagnosis rates. Most of the observed relationships are inconsistent, with teenage sexual behaviour being the result of a random decision‐making process."
Family planning services don't reduce STI/STDs, and emergency birth control doesn't reduce teenage pregnancy, but worsens STIs/STDs. Basically teenagers are flighty

The economics of family planning and underage conceptions - "no evidence is found that the provision of family planning reduces either underage conception or abortion rates. Socio-economic variables such as children in care rates and participation rates in post-compulsory education are found to be significant predictors of underage pregnancies."

First the diploma, then the date: how China’s educated elites find love - "Jesse Fang, a veteran relationship expert and specialist in matching people with elite educational backgrounds, said some of her clients found the right match within two months;but others were not so lucky, particularly if the client was very picky.“A lot of girls in their 30s found themselves unhitched even though they have high pay,excellent education and their own flat,” Fang said. “They will not lower their standards and consider anyone out of their circle. But actually the men whom they consider to be in their circle tend to look for younger women.” Fang said many men in their late 30s think they can offer women material comfort and are therefore very picky about the woman’s looks. But they fail to consider that women can provide themselves with material comfort and expect good looking men... “Usually she was set up with older men and she would complain why bother to marry, at all?”Fan said. “She also insists her boyfriends must be very handsome. I told her to watch less television.”"

50 People On ‘The Most WTF Thing Someone Did While Hooking Up’ - "Guy I knew in college got super drunk and hooked up with a girl at her sorority house. He wakes up the next morning, still drunk – she’s gone and he can’t find his clothes. He assumes that she is fucking with him and decides that he must escape out the window to prevent the sorority-house humiliation. Before doing so, though, he decides the best course of action is to shit in her bed. After he finishes up and covers the mess with the sheets, she walks in and says, “hey, I cooked some breakfast if you want some. Also, your clothes had vomit on them so I put them in the wash.”"

What Childless Older People Give: Is the Generational Link Broken? - "the support networks of childless older people tend to be somewhat weaker than those of parents and that links with members of the younger generations in the family are stronger for parents than for those without children. The results also indicate, however, that the differences in transfer behaviour between parents and childless adults are small, and that the support networks of the childless are more diverse than those of parents, and characterised by stronger links with ascendants and lateral relatives and with non-relatives. Moreover, people without children tend to be more intensely involved in charities and comparable organisations."

The Problems with America’s Best Teacher Training Programme

The Problems with America's Best Teacher Training Programme

"A question central to Plato’s Republic is “What should we teach our children?” Judging from the parents I’ve talked to, this question is not getting the consideration it deserves...

I received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the premier schools of education in the country, occasionally nudging out Columbia and Harvard for the top spot in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of education programs. In reality, it was a series of graduate courses that featured various arts and crafts projects.

To their credit, the faculty seek to ameliorate legitimate and pressing concerns that our schools face: racial disparities, stagnant scores that are falling behind other countries, defective spending structures, high teacher turnover, and a host of other problems. However, they promote a philosophy of education that is effective at exposing these problems but impotent to solve them. The root issue is that the three elements of a progressive worldview I discuss here—restorative justice, contemporary literary theory, and an antipathy to intellectual diversity—result in an education that questions all systems but fails to offer students a coherent alternative.

Restorative justice is a central tenet of contemporary educational philosophy and one of the culprits behind the current state of behavior in many public schools. The theory posits that students act out not because they are ‘disrespectful,’ but rather because they either have not learned how to act appropriately from parents or are expressing a deeper emotional need in a destructive way. As such, discipline has little to no place in schools...

Imposed on schools is the necessity for equal rates of suspensions across demographic groups and softer punishments—a discussion with a counselor instead of a suspension. In theory, weakened discipline structures and circles work together to retrain teachers’ brains to see poor behavior as either a mere cultural difference or a cry for help that requires support not punishment; concurrently, students learn how their behavior negatively affects others and so intuitively learn better behavior.

After the RAND Corporation completed a comprehensive review of its effect, media reported restorative justice a striking success; overall suspension rates decreased and the disparity of discipline among racial groups shrunk. Having taught in a school that adopted restorative practices, though, I question what change affected the data. For my school, behavior did not improve; instead, student actions that formerly would have earned a suspension either went unreported by teachers or unaddressed by the administration. Running parallel to my observations is a survey of student perceptions, nestled within the RAND study. According to the students, schools that adopted restorative justice experienced an increase in bullying, an uptick in classroom disruptions, and an overall deteriorating school culture.

Restorative justice isn’t working. It seeks to question what qualifies as a good and bad student; it critiques traditional responses to disruption and misbehavior. In its place, this deconstruction of behavior norms has resulted in few—if any—systems of consequences, leaving administrators unable to call poor behavior what it is and without any tools to fix it. School cultures are suffering for it.

While literary theory may be an esoteric trifle to most, students read the foundational texts of Western literature in school, making English classrooms the space where teachers most inculcate a worldview and civic values. Thus, the philosophy of how literature should be taught is arguably one of the most important ideas in education. Unfortunately, contemporary theories impart a way of thinking that closes the mind off to the new ideas and ideals literature has to offer.

In a broad scope, there are three approaches to reading. What could be called the “traditional approach,” sees any work of literature as containing a definitive statement by its author, which the reader is asked to uncover. A more popular approach is “reader response theory,” which says that there is no way to uncover any definitive meaning in a text and so all that is important is our subjective experience. The third general theory, the one that is taught at the university, is “critical theory.” It treats any work of literature as a cultural artifact through which we critique the society in which it was written.

In a method’s course, where we were to learn the practical aspects of teaching, we spent a day on literary theory. Scattered across various tables were short explanations of each theory. Moving throughout the room, my classmates and I analyzed the same poem through different “lenses.” We moved from critical race theory to feminist theory, Marxist theory, and deconstructionism—all variations on the overarching “critical theory.” At each table, what the text actually said or taught was secondary to how it exposed oppression or cultural assumptions.

In this mindset, gone are the varied perspectives on love that Shakespeare provides in Romeo and Juliet: Romeo’s idealism, Lady Capulet’s utilitarianism, Mercutio’s flippancy, and the Friar’s doctrine. Instead, Romeo and Juliet become a story of female oppression and class battles. These are important discussions, yes, but with this theory, the same discussion of oppression is then repeated with Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, Don Quixote, or any other work of literature.

At the root of the issue is the lack of an ideal with which literature can present students when analyzed through critical theory. The child psychologist James Marcia studied identity development and determined two things that adolescents need to develop a well-adjusted sense of personhood: exploration and commitment. They need to explore potential vocational paths and moral codes, and then they need to make a definitive choice.

In contrast to critical theory, T.S. Eliot believed that the ideal poet removed himself and his emotions from his work, introducing the reader to ideas themselves. Thus, a book, a poem, a play, or any other work of art is not just a cultural artifact but a statement to be considered. Understood this way, books give students, as Marcia recommends, substantive alternatives to both explore and choose, thereby aiding the achievement of a healthy mental state.

Critical theory, however, closes ears to the voice of the author and instead encourages a deconstruction of preconceived notions—about gender, politics, ethics, religion, etc—without providing the students with an alternative apolitical reading. Once a student has criticized or deconstructed their culture’s norms, they have no tools to seek something better. It leaves them in a state that Marcia calls “identity moratorium,” a listless state of purposelessness and anxiety.

The antipathy towards intellectual diversity on campus has been much discussed. It will come as no surprise that I was accused of white supremacy and intentional segregation for allowing a student of color to self-select a seat in the back after they had asked in private to sit there—they had been too close to their friends and unable to focus. Similarly, I am not the only student in a university who has received audible clucks of disgust because I asked if an article contradicted itself. However, a teaching program that practices intellectual uniformity has a unique consequence: the monotony and mediocre homogeneity of public schools will not change in this environment...

Ken Robinson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Warwick, popularized a critique of the “factory model” of schools; that students are shuffled along a conveyor belt, responding to bell calls and repeating motions, and end up carbon copies by the time they graduate. Perhaps a progressive model of education would break this specific norm, but in its place, it just creates another carbon copy model...

When my advisor accused me of racism for expressing conservative views, I asked what she would she have me do. She gave no response and ended our final conversation. Contemporary educational philosophies seek to question Western society and various cultural structures but fail to provide any substantive alternative. In response to Plato, educational departments across the country are saying “nothing.”"

Links - 5th July 2019 (1)

Punjab Candidate Cries After Getting Only 5 Votes, Says There Are 9 Members In His Own Family - "Neetu Shuttern Wala, who hails from Jalandhar, stood independently in the recently held polls and claims to have gotten only 5 votes. When he was being interviewed, he broke down before the camera and started crying. Well, he is crying not because of the alleged 5 votes. He is crying because he got 5 votes despite having 9 people in his own family. Yes, his own family members betrayed him and didn't vote for him."

How Google Photos Became a Perfect Jukebox for Our Memories - The New York Times - "Photos would lean on Google’s famed A.I. to address what it saw as the key problem of the smartphone era — the fact that we all take photos but rarely look at them... I worry, given all this, about how A.I.-curated memories are shaping our narratives about ourselves. I think of Samara and children like her: how she will one day watch videos like the one Google produced of her, and she will come to certain conclusions about her childhood only because a for-profit, ad-supported tech company’s machines made choices about what sort of scenes to show and what to hide."
Alternatively his daughter could never see the photos and not remember her childhood

Misunderstanding Dunning-Kruger - "the DK effect does not apply only to “incompetent people” but to everyone, with respect to any area of knowledge... The best way to summarize the data is to say that the difference between self-assessment and performance increases with lower performance below about the 80th percentile, with slight underestimation of performance for those above the 80th percentile (or a test score of about 70%). So almost everyone overestimates their performance, not just those who are “incompetent.” Even if you scored 60% correct and were in the 75% percentile, you overestimated your ability a little.Further I need to emphasize that the data does not apply to “people” who are generally in the low percentiles of competence, but to everyone with respect to where they are with each individual area of knowledge. So the same person may be in the 80th percentile in one knowledge area, and the 20th percentile in another, and the graph above applies to them in both cases. Having said that I want to point out that these are average scores. Individuals will vary in terms of how humble or boastful they are, depending on basic personality, training, insight, and experience. That, in fact, is my primary point in discussing the DK effect and making sure it is properly understood. The goal is to provide critical thinking insight, so that people will generally be more self-aware and humble in assessing their own knowledge and abilities, to offset the general tendency toward overconfidence... those at the lower end of performance did not rank themselves as highly as experts, but rather ranked themselves as being a little above average (but still lower than people who performed better). This is consistent with other research, which shows that people generally think they are above average pretty much in everything... The vast majority of people who bring it up seem to think that it applies only to dumb people and that it says dumb people think they are smarter than smart people. Neither of these things are true. Further – if you think it only applies to other people (which itself, ironically, is part of the DK effect) then you miss the core lesson and opportunity for self-improvement and critical thinking."
Ironically, those who keep going on about Dunning-Kruger to mock stupid people are themselves victims of the effect

Alligator Spotted on Alligator Pool Float at Miami Airbnb - "Jacobs' wife called the Airbnb's owner, who contacted someone from wildlife management. Eventually, the gator wrangler was able to fish the reptile out of the pool. He told Jacobs he's been busy lately because it's mating season for alligators."

A crocodile in Florida was spotted using a pool noodle to swim

Gator with knife in head spotted swimming in Texas lake - "Brazos Bend State Park Attendant Chris Bishop told KRTK the gator isn't in pain and could live with the knife in its head for some time."

Yes, This Photo from Everest Is Real - "American climber Don Cash died on Everest hours after he had reached the summit. As Alan Arnette reported for Outside, Cash was one of about 200 people who went to the top of the world that day, and he encountered a traffic jam on his way down. “When Cash and his Sherpa guides got to the Hillary Step they were forced to wait their turn for at least two hours”"

MGTOW is becoming more popular (Google Search Trends) : MGTOW
More and more searches for MGTOW, fewer and fewer for how to get a girlfriend. Though each line is not comparable

German Crossbow Victims Were Part of Medieval Sex Cult - "Weiss was found dead with crossbow bolts protruding from his neck and skull on a double bed on the second floor of a quaint B&B in the picturesque Bavarian town of Passau. By his side was 33-year-old Kerstin Enders, who had succumbed to similar fatal injuries.On the floor in front of them in a pool of blood was 30-year-old Farina Caspari, suspected of honoring Weiss’s dominator command to first kill him and Enders and then take her own life, which she clearly did, according to investigators.Weiss and Enders left wills at their sides, presumably to ensure that the motives were clear. "Investigators suspect they were all members of a kind of sex circle with a focus on the Middle Ages,” according to RTL news quoting local investigators on the scene. “[Weiss] may have been the guru of the group.”

The World's First Vaginal Beauty Pageant [INSIGHTS] - YouTube - "Surely, working in the sex toy industry doesn’t automatically designate a person an asshole. But then, not every sex toy manufacturer uses a contest to design their products. More specifically, an online vaginal beauty contest that prompted “everyday women” to upload pictures of their vulvas to be rated on a scale of 1-10. http://www.vaginacontest.com/ It’s a concept that -- critics would argue -- quite literally objectifies women. Brian sees it differently, "They didn’t call it sexist when dildos were made from men’s penises.""
This is the autoblow guy

Thomas Chatterton Williams on Twitter - Celeste Ng: "It must be fucking incredible to be a rich white man. It’s like the world passes through noise-cancelling headphones that make even direct insults and criticism sound like praise to your ears."
"Something in this tweet keeps nagging at me: If this is how even our major novelists—whose job is to probe the depths of human psychology, to empathize with the “other”—are now incentivized by social media to gloss over all complexity, then literature and art won’t save us"

Playboy who ‘slept with 6,000 women’ dies while having sex - "A legendary Italian playboy has died at age 63 while having sex with a 23-year-old tourist.Maurizio Zanfanti, dubbed the Romeo of Rimini, claimed to have slept with more than 6,000 women after becoming famous as a nightclub promoter in the beach-side city in the 1970s.He was entertaining a tourist from Romania in the back of a car Tuesday night when he suffered a fatal heart attack... Local media said it was the way the man once called “Italy’s most successful lover” would have wanted to go.“Zanza died after doing what he did best — loving women”... Zanfanti started his illustrious career at age 17 in 1972 while working for a nightclub called Blow Up. His job was to chat up mainly German and Scandinavian tourists in the street and persuade them to come inside.With olive skin, long, flowing locks and a hairy chest, he had little difficulty.He boasted that in a successful summer in his prime, he could sleep with around 200 women... His exploits became so famous that some of his lovers erected a wax statue of him in a Swedish town... He claimed to have once seduced a French journalist who was interviewing him.Two years ago, he was a guest of honor at a Rimini nightclub when a group of Swedish women who had visited in the 1980s flew in for a reunion.In his final interview with German newspaper Bild in 2014, he announced his retirement and said: “At 59, I’m getting too old for it.”"

YouTube star lets best friend ‘try out her boyfriend’s penis’ - "YouTuber Lena Nersesian, who calls herself Lena The Plug, told her 900,000 subscribers she wanted her friend Emily to have sex with Adam so she can “try his penis.”In an odd twist of logic, she reasoned that as Emily knew everything about her sex life, she should join in."
Since they'd been in a MFF threesome and serviced each other...

Protected industries: Why more than a third of the Canadian economy is walled from competitiont - "the lack of foreign competition in Canada largely comes down to governmental factors. “When governments in Canada protect industries, Canadian consumers pay higher prices, have less choice and/or less innovations compared to consumers in other countries”... the low-bound estimate of restriction is around 22 per cent.However, the report goes beyond the regular definition of protection to include both interprovincial barriers and the potential impact of occupational licensing, which is how the study arrives at its 35 per cent figure... The Fraser study also cites the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) foreign direct-investment restrictiveness index, where Canada ranks 48th out of 62 countries — behind Ukraine and Korea and slightly ahead of Russia, Mexico and India.In specific industries such as air transportation, Canada ranks 54th out of 62. In both telecommunications and media, the country is 59th out of 62."

Where R All The Good Men? - Posts - "Let's be honest I'm on Tinder and my first picture is of me in a bikini, I'm not looking for a relationship or a friend."

JKF 紅燈區2.0 - Posts - "訓練
要成為男人必經的訓練"
Gym workouts for men to improve their bedroom skills

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Links - 4th July 2019 (2) (Homelessness and other Californian Problems)

Ten Plagues of California Are Turning The Golden State into a Third-World Hell Hole - "In your typical Third-World megalopolis, basic city functions fall into disrepair, while once-eradicated diseases run rampant -- and the local bigwig boasts about saving the world.Los Angeles is quickly becoming a typical Third-World megalopolis, and the rest of the state isn't far behind... the problem goes back at least to last October, when the city noticed nine cases of typhus... "out-of-control rat population can even lead to the spread of dangerous strains of salmonella and bubonic plague."

Rats at the police station, filth on L.A. streets — scenes from the collapse of a city that’s lost control - Los Angeles Times - "We’ve got thousands of people huddled on the streets, many of them withering away with physical and mental disease. Sidewalks have disappeared, hidden by tents and the kinds of makeshift shanties you see in Third World places. Typhoid and typhus are in the news, and an army of rodents is on the move."

California to pay full health benefits for illegal immigrants - "California will become the first state in the country to pay for some adults living in the country illegally to have full health benefits as the solidly liberal state continues to distance itself from President Trump’s administration... to pay for part of it, the state will begin taxing people who don’t have health insurance"
Priorities!

Opinion | America’s Cities Are Unlivable. Blame Wealthy Liberals. - The New York Times - "The economy here is booming, but no one feels especially good about it. When the cost of living is taken into account, billionaire-brimming California ranks as the most poverty-stricken state, with a fifth of the population struggling to get by. Since 2010, migration out of California has surged.The basic problem is the steady collapse of livability. Across my home state, traffic and transportation is a developing-world nightmare. Child care and education seem impossible for all but the wealthiest. The problems of affordable housing and homelessness have surpassed all superlatives — what was a crisis is now an emergency that feels like a dystopian showcase of American inequality. Just look at San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi’s city. One of every 11,600 residents is a billionaire, and the annual household income necessary to buy a median-priced home now tops $320,000. Yet the streets there are a plague of garbage and needles and feces, and every morning brings fresh horror stories from a “Black Mirror” hellscape: Homeless veterans are surviving on an economy of trash from billionaires’ mansions. Wealthy homeowners are crowdfunding a legal effort arguing that a proposed homeless shelter is an environmental hazard. A public-school teacher suffering from cancer is forced to pay for her own substitute. And there is no end in sight to such crushing success. At every level of government, our representatives, nearly all of them Democrats, prove inadequate and unresponsive to the challenges at hand. Witness last week’s embarrassment, when California lawmakers used a sketchy parliamentary maneuver to knife Senate Bill 50, an ambitious effort to undo restrictive local zoning rules and increase the supply of housing.It was another chapter in a dismal saga of Nimbyist urban mismanagement that is crushing American cities... there is the refusal on the part of wealthy progressives to live by the values they profess to support at the national level... What Republicans want to do with I.C.E. and border walls, wealthy progressive Democrats are doing with zoning and Nimbyism. Preserving “local character,” maintaining “local control,” keeping housing scarce and inaccessible — the goals of both sides are really the same: to keep people out."

The Bipartisan Cry of ‘Not in My Backyard’ - The New York Times - "people who live in whiter neighborhoods today are more supportive of restrictive development, and that cities that were whiter on average than their respective metropolitan areas in 1970 have more restrictive land use in the 21st century, a pattern that helps explain why segregation persists.. Beyond race, the crucial divide in the politics of housing development isn’t between left and right, but between people who own homes and those who don’t. William Fischel, an economist at Dartmouth, has long argued that homeowners who fear threats to their property values are motivated as voters to protect them.More recently, Andrew Hall and Jesse Yoder at Stanford compared voter file data with housing deeds for 18 million voters in Ohio and North Carolina. They found that buying a home prompts people to participate much more in local elections, particularly when zoning questions are on the ballot. And the effect of homeownership is far larger — boosting turnout by about four percentage points — than most strategies political campaigns use to drive voters to the polls, like personalized phone calls.The more expensive the home people buy, Mr. Hall and Mr. Yoder find, the larger the increase in their likelihood of voting. That suggests that homeowners aren’t more likely to vote merely because they become invested in their communities. Their motivation also appears to grow as the value of their asset does.One possible interpretation: “It’s not that you become more selfish, but you become more likely to translate selfishness into political action,” Mr. Hall said of homeowners. “Renters could be just as selfish, but they’re not getting their act together as a group to vote.”Generations of American politicians have argued that homeowners make good citizens — and in the early days of the nation, only property owners could vote. It seems reasonable that a financial stake in the community would make people more likely to care for it. But this research suggests that homeownership can also prompt people to oppose what’s good for their communities in a larger sense — at least if you believe, as Mr. Carson does, that many communities need more housing... liberals who say they support redistributive policies also oppose new development around them. Their ideology on national issues clashes with their personal interests as homeowners, and if forced to pick one they tend to choose the latter. Even being shown messages reminding them of the benefits of new housing for low- and middle-income families does little to alter their views."
Hypocrisy adds insult to injury

Homelessness jumps 12% in L.A. County and 16% in the city; officials ‘stunned’ - Los Angeles Times

How to Solve Los Angeles's Homelessness Crisis - "The mayor’s response has been to increase public spending on homelessness sharply, but he’s had frustratingly little to show for it. When the homelessness issue burst onto front pages a few years ago, Garcetti jumped into action with an ambitious plan to build emergency shelters in all 15 districts of the city. But as the mayor soon discovered, the issue with an “emergency” plan oriented around construction is that Los Angeles is a far cry from Bob Moses’s New York. Eighty percent of the shelters have been held up by red tape and community resistance... the mayor had been touting the 20,000 people the city had moved off the street and into some form of housing... while the Garcetti administration was helping to move 380 people off the street each week, some 480 others were joining the ranks of homeless Angelenos. Put another way, until someone does something about the city’s larger housing crisis, homelessness will be as much a part of the city’s landscape as Runyon Canyon. Would building more housing bring an end to homelessness in L.A.? That might be too much to ask. As in most U.S. cities, a large share of the city’s homeless are thought to be mentally ill... the city’s mild climate makes living outdoors a more viable option than in colder communities... Los Angeles also attracts an enormous number of homeless young adults from elsewhere in the United States and abroad. Among the 18-to-24-year-olds living on L.A.’s streets, whose numbers grew by nearly 25 percent this past year, a disproportionate share are newcomers to the city, who don’t have strong ties to the region... One of the ironies of this unfolding humanitarian disaster is that homelessness is a problem most pronounced in successful cities, where dynamic economies all too often meet rigidly regulated housing markets... Detroit’s poverty rate is twice that of New York City’s, but because of its notably inexpensive real estate, it maintains a homelessness rate a third the size... you start to see a rising rate of homelessness once a city’s average rent reaches 22 percent of median income, and an even more rapid rate of increase once that number hits 32 percent. In Los Angeles, the average rent is 49 percent of median income. Some studies have shown that the city has as many as 600,000 people who regularly put as much as 90 percent of their monthly income toward rent. Simply put, these people need a lucky bounce to not end up homeless... Governor Gavin Newsom set the goal of building 3.5 million new housing units in California over the next seven years, an implicit acknowledgment that insufficient housing supply was the driving force behind the state’s ruinously high rents. This was a controversial stance for a progressive politician whose ideological allies often prefer to blame profit-hungry landlords and absentee owners... the bill died in committee, sunk by anti-growth legislators who denounced it as a threat to local control. When a bill to help the most vulnerable people in California fails, one can hardly blame Sacramento’s dwindling band of conservative legislators, because they are very much on the margins of the state’s political life. They can hardly muster the votes to name a park bench, let alone decide the fate of California’s housing regulations. As Michael Hendrix, also of Manhattan Institute, has observed, the real culprits are self-described progressives... their resistance to one form of disruptive change, as represented by the gradual replacement of single-family homes with higher-density apartment buildings that could house many more families at far lower cost, is contributing to another form of disruptive change—the transformation of large swaths of Los Angeles into unsanitary homeless encampments, where women, men, and children are forced to spend much of their waking hours fending off vermin."

Writers blocked: Even fantasy fiction is now offensive

What happens when you write for an age group that contains a lot of SJWs who are very free and need targets for their hatred, and work in an industry full of them (literature departments, after all, are full of Critical Theorists and their ilk):


Writers blocked: Even fantasy fiction is now offensive | The Spectator

It was Lionel Shriver who saw the writing on the wall. Giving a keynote speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival three years ago in which she decried the scourge of modern identity politics, Shriver observed that the dogma of ‘cultural appropriation’ —which demands no less than complete racial segregation in the arts — had not yet wrapped its osseous fingers around the publishing industry. But, she warned: ‘This same sensibility is coming to a bookstore near you.’ Reader, it has come.

Next month a young, Asian-American author called Amélie Wen Zhao was due to celebrate the publication of her debut novel Blood Heir, the first in a three-part fantasy series for which Zhao was reportedly paid a six-figure sum by Delacorte Press, a children’s imprint of Penguin Random House. Set in the Russian-inspired ‘Cyrillian Empire’, Blood Heir tells the story of a magic-wielding princess who is forced to flee her kingdom following her father’s murder. ‘In a world where the princess is the monster, oppression is blind to skin colour, and good and evil exist in shades of grey… comes a dark Anastasia retelling,’ blurbed the publishers.

Before the manuscript had even reached the presses, however, a furore erupted when Zhao, a 26-year-old banker born in Paris and raised in Beijing, was accused of racism. Armed with merely the blurb and a handful of excerpts from the book, her critics — many of them fellow authors, editors and bloggers in the Young Adult genre (known as YA) — repeatedly tore into Zhao on sites such as Twitter and Goodreads, outraged by, among other things, the novel’s depiction of indentured labour. For despite Blood Heir’s Slavic setting, her detractors assumed the plot was inspired by American slavery and thus something Zhao had no business writing about because she is not black. In a tirade that might surprise students of Russian antiquity, one critic reportedly raged: ‘[R]acist ass writers, like Amélie Wen Zhao, […] literally take Black narratives and force it into Russia when that shit NEVER happened in history.’

One prominent writer even claimed the very premise of a fictional world in which ‘oppression is blind to skin colour’ was racist and joined others in pillorying Zhao for creating — and then killing — a ‘black’ character in the novel. No matter that the only discernible evidence for the character’s ethnicity was a vague description of dark curls and ‘bronze’ skin. Another YA author, Ellen Oh, who joined in the fray by piously tweeting ‘colourblindness is extremely tone deaf. Learn from this and do better’, was herself forced to issue an apology after being castigated for using the phrase ‘tone deaf’, a turn of events that would be comical were it not so preposterous.

For Zhao, the onslaught proved too much and in January she released a statement titled ‘To The Book Community: An Apology’ in which she confirmed she had withdrawn Blood Heir from publication. However, in a volte-face last month, Zhao revealed that, with help from multicultural scholars and ‘sensitivity readers’, she had re-written the novel and would now be publishing it in November.

Would that Zhao were an outlier. If anything, hers is now a typical experience in the vicious world of YA publishing. Last year another fantasy novel, about a young protagonist rebelling against a sectarian society, inspired an 8,000 word blog post calling it ‘the most dangerous, offensive book I have ever read’ and set off a wave of recrimination against the author on social media. Around the same time Keira Drake, a marketing consultant turned YA writer, agreed to pulp hardback copies of her debut fantasy novel and re-write it with help from — you guessed it — sensitivity readers after critics claimed it contained ‘damaging’ depictions of Native Americans.

Because this persecution on the most spurious grounds is endemic — and because so many of its actors are themselves YA authors — plenty of those brandishing the proverbial pitchforks have, upon publication of their own novels, subsequently found themselves staring down the sharp side of a four-pronged rod. In February, Kosoko Jackson, a gay, black, erstwhile sensitivity reader who had previously joined in the skirmishes against other authors, pulled his own debut novel, A Place for Wolves, after his peers pronounced it ‘insensitive’ to Muslims on account of its Albanian Muslim antagonist.

Nor is the contagion confined to American authors. Last month John Boyne, best known for the Holocaust novel The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, received such a barrage of abuse prior to the publication of his latest book, My Brother’s Name Is Jessica, which features a transgender central character, that he was briefly forced off Twitter. Critics labelled the book ‘transphobic’, suggesting that because Boyne is not transgender the story ‘lacked authenticity’ and its title ‘misgendered’ the fictional protagonist.

At almost the same moment that Boyne was deleting his Twitter account, Lincolnshire-based Zoe Marriott, a prolific writer of YA fiction, was also being hounded on the site over her new fantasy novel, The Hand, the Eye and the Heart, because it’s set in ‘fairy-tale China’. One prominent YA blogger warned: ‘White authors need to stay the hell away from the stories of people of colour.’ Curiously, said blogger’s day job involves manning the tills at Foyles, one of London’s most revered bookshops — pity the poor sod who dares trouble her for a copy of Othello, or Tolkien for that matter. The father of fantasy fiction has come in for criticism for his portrayal of orcs in The Lord of the Rings. Some feel his work is ‘racialised’. And what’s a sensitive young bookseller to do if a young customer requests a C.S. Lewis, whose Narnia books were branded ‘blatantly racist’ and misogynistic by fellow fantasy author Philip Pullman? Pullman has since been labelled ‘transphobic’ himself after tweeting in October that he was ‘finding the trans argument impossible to follow’.

Once you start seeing goblins in fairyland, there’s no end to it. Even the most enlightened author can cause offence. It is only a matter of time before it begins to eat away at every genre until, as Shriver predicted, ‘All that’s left is memoir’.

Already poets might understandably feel anxious: last summer The Nation, one of America’s most venerable literary magazines, published a 14-line poem about homelessness, which was swiftly accused of co-opting a ‘black vernacular’ and criticised for its use of the word ‘crippled’. Instead of defending the verses it had previously deemed worthy of publication, the magazine immediately issued an apology so spineless one of its own columnists said it resembled ‘a letter from [a] re-education camp’.

But it’s not just writers who ought to be worried. The logical apogee of a prohibition on cultural intercourse is a future in which each person is allowed to document only his or her precise subjective experience. A future, in other words, where fiction is history. And that sounds like a very dreary prospect for us all.


On the same topic:

The return of book-burning

"You could argue that she has ‘listened to feedback’ and acted accordingly. But the line between listening to feedback and being bullied by very angry zealots is a thin one, and this incident seems to have crossed it. Zhao relies on these people for her income and is scared. That’s understandable. And really, really bad.

Our cultural landscape is increasingly controlled by the permanently outraged. Books – even trashy fantasy novels – are a key component of civilisation. They are tangible, material repositories of humanity, in all its forms. Burning books is the sign of a society going wildly wrong. Banning books, also. Scaring authors into pulling the publication of their books surely sits in the same egregious territory.

Nobody has a monopoly on morality and it is gross to try to force writers to comply with your particular worldview. There is no requirement for any minority group (or, for that matter, any majority group) to be represented in a story. There is no requirement when representation does occur for it to be positive or negative. People who think otherwise have forgotten what fiction is, and they have forgotten what freedom is, too...

Perhaps most dangerous of all, our schools and universities are becoming infected, too. English literature degrees are being restructured to avoid offending students. History syllabuses are being manipulated to teach what we wish had happened, rather than what did. Obsessive identitarians try to get writers fired because they don’t sign up to the latest woke teaching on gender or Brexit.

If you insist upon politicised representation of minority groups, framed in the values of 21st-century Guardianista academics, then any study – or enjoyment – of literature is dead. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen – they’re all going to send you scurrying for your safe space...

The tragedy is, we all know where oppressive moral authoritarianism ends, and we know that largely thanks to books"


Social Justice Warriors Harass Chinese Immigrant Author Into Cancelling Her Own Book After Charges Of Racism

"Zhao was instantly accepted in the young-adult literature community — for awhile. She supported writers of color and spoke out on diversity issues. But she didn’t alienate anyone, writing in one tweet: “I’ve been asked several times why I didn’t write a Chinese #ownvoices novel. I don’t want to be boxed into the permanent ‘Other;’ I want diverse books written by PoC to become part of the mainstream.”

That all changed a week ago when vicious rumors began circulating in the community about her. Some influencers started claiming someone was harassing people who didn’t like her book and disparaging “authors of color.” One woman named Zhao as the culprit, though no proof was provided.

Rosenfield reports that more accusations surfaced, including charges of plagiarism and racism over a scene in her book that involved a slave auction...

She included the reason why she wrote about a slave auction. She did not intend to evoke thoughts of American slavery, but was instead writing “a specific critique of the epidemic of indentured labor and human trafficking prevalent in many industries across Asia, including in my own home country.” These issues are still happening today.

But American social justice warriors can’t look past themselves and their own perceived victimhood, and read anything about slavery as pertaining to America’s own history, ignoring the horrors that are still going on in the world today. It didn’t matter that Zhao was actually writing about a problem in Asia, she was locked into the American social justice view of slavery.

“The narrative and history of slavery in the United States is not something I can, would, or intended to write, but I recognize that I am not writing in merely my own cultural context. I am so sorry for the pain this has caused,” Zhao added in her statement.

Do other people get to decide an author’s intent? Books are regularly discussed, so it was possible for Zhao’s book to be used as a discussion topic relating to slavery throughout history and around the world, but the chattering class didn’t want this to happen. Instead, they silenced a minority woman."
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