"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Links - 25th July 2019 (2)

Racial and gender biases plague postdoc hiring - "Faculty members in biology viewed male and female applicants to be similarly competent and likely to be hired—a result that Eaton “was happily surprised to see.” But in physics, it was a different story: Faculty members preferred male applicants, giving them a one-point higher competence rating—on a nine-point scale—and a two-point higher hireability rating than female applicants.Faculty members in both disciplines exhibited racial bias. In physics, Asian and White applicants were given higher competence and hireability ratings than Black and Latino applicants. In biology, Asian and White applicants were viewed as more competent than Black applicants. Asian applicants were also viewed as more hirable than Black and Latino applicants. (The ratings they gave other groups didn’t statistically differ.)"
Of course they can frame this as 'white supremacy' by claiming Asians have 'whiteness' rather than consider why Asians and Whites might be preferred

iPadOS first look: how Apple’s new tablet OS will boost iPad user experience - "the photos illustrating this piece are from Apple’s official media site, but I couldn’t directly download the original zipped files to my iPad Pro because the device lacks a download manager and the ability to store files locally. Instead, I had to send the photos to my Android smartphone, which has a download and storage system akin to computers, and unzipped them there."
To bad for iPhone users

She Put Our Dogs Down When We Divorced – The Narrative - "Six months later, when our divorce was final, I asked my daughter how her mom was doing. She looked down at the floor, cleared her throat, and scuffed her feet. “Mom’s doing OK,” she said without looking at me, “She had the dogs put to sleep.”My mouth fell open to the floor. I was livid.Burn the butcher block clock I’d made as a gift for our fifth wedding anniversary? Sure.Pawn all the jewelry I’d bought over the years? You bet.Kill living creatures who loved you as a parent? Karma’s going to be waiting for you.I’ve discovered since then; this is not an uncommon thing in a divorce"
Meanwhile there're women who fight for custody of dogs just to put them to sleep

Man jailed for hitting autistic 5-year-old boy at Yishun indoor playground - "The boy tried to take the shovel again and when he could not, he became frustrated and hit Soo’s back. Soo then kicked the victim on his abdomen, causing the boy to stagger backwards. Soo also threw the shovel to the side so that the boy would stop approaching him, the court heard.When the child tried to hug him from behind a short while later, Soo pushed him again.The boy hit Soo on the back in response. Soo then stood up, swung his right arm backwards and hit the boy’s upper body. This caused the boy to fall backwards and onto a slide."
Self-defence against persistent attacks is a crime

How to Change Your Mind (Ep. 379) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "There are a lot of reasons why it may be easier to change your mind when you’re younger. It could be the fact that your brain is simply more plastic then — something scientists assumed for a long time but now are starting to question. Or it could be that your positions are less entrenched, so it’s less costly to change them. Or it could be that the stakes are lower: the fate of the world doesn’t hinge on whether you are pro-broccoli or anti-broccoli... most people were not able to explain climate-change policies in much detail. But here’s what’s interesting. The level of confidence in their understanding of issues, which participants were asked to report at the start of the experiment, was drastically reduced after they tried, and failed, to demonstrate their understanding...
SLOMAN: If instead of saying, “Explain how the policy works,” if what we said to them was, “Give us all the reasons you have for your view on this policy,” then we didn’t get that effect at all. That didn’t reduce people’s sense of understanding; it didn’t reduce their hubris."

Algeria shuts southern borders to Syrians over security fears - "Algeria has barred all Syrians from entering the country via its southern border with Mali and Niger to keep out members of defeated rebel groups from Syria deemed to pose a security risk"
Islamophobia!

Morocco slams Algeria over expelling Syrian refugees to its borders - "“It is immoral and unethical to manipulate the moral and physical distress of these people, (and) to sow trouble in the Morocco-Algerian border.”"

Pluralist - Twitter Slams Parents of 10-Year-Old Drag Queen for ‘Child Abuse’ - "“Desmond Is Amazing” introduces himself in the video as a “drag kid” who lives in New York City.”... “If you don’t see that this child is being exploited then ideology has possessed you to the core.”... “If this were a little girl, @HuffPost would be calling it sexist & the fault of the patriarchy.”

It's time to start calling this what it is: Pedophilia - "VICE Canada is celebrating the next generation of drag queens with a video promoting a new documentary about preteen drag kids.The documentary follows four young boys dressed as sexualised women parading about on stage for the entertainment of adults... "In what moral universe is it acceptable to encourage a 10-year-old boy to dress like an adult male mimicking a sexualized adult female, use that as a ticket to fame and then claim it as virtue?""

Segments of Random Thoughts - Posts - "Kids can handle the kink at Pride parades, families say"
"“Children” and “kink” are two works that don’t belong together but this is the far left and what they want."
"Don’t forget “drag kids” and “drag queen story hour”. They’re using the LGBT community as a shield because they think people won’t speak up against these things in the fear of being labelled a homophobe or transphobe. I think they’re wrong. Sexualisation of children is a step too far. I reckon most people would gladly die on that hill."

Keith Douglas - Photos from Toronto Pride 2019. All the yellow... - "Photos from Toronto Pride 2019. All the yellow dots are covering private areas that are actually exposed in the original photos. I covered them just so the image remains FB friendly.This is taking place in a public space. You'll notice cops in one photo (doing nothing about the public indecency) and a child in another photo. There are many other photos out there, these are just some that I came across online.Now I am all for the LBGTQ having equal rights (not special rights). I am even all for them having pride events where they celebrate it. I simply have a problem with the events involving nudity and kink in public spaces where children are involved.By all means, do whatever you want at a private, 18+ only event. Go all out. Be as sexually free as you could possibly want to be. No shame! Have fun!Just leave the kids and public spaces out of it."

The Truth About Waiting to See a Doctor in Canada - "On average, Canadians pay 30 percent of their total health costs where the provincial plans cover 70 percent. So in that bucket would be medications, if you weren’t in a program — durable medical equipment, other health disciplines like psychotherapy, physiotherapy, social work outside of the hospital, skilled nursing, or nursing care in your home. It’s not that none of that is covered, but a lot of that is not covered... the one that people will talk about [for long wait times] is cataracts, hip surgeries, non — not cancer type surgeries, where there — things will get worse if you don’t get treated. And so you can wait months for those surgeries."

8 facts that explain what’s wrong with American health care - "If the health-care system were to break off from the United States and become its own economy, it would be the fifth-largest in the world... The US, which has a mostly private health-care system, manages to spend more on its public health-care system than countries where the health-care system is almost entirely public. America's government spends more, as a percentage of the economy, on public health care than Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, or Australia. It spends even more than that on private health care... we have much higher administrative costs than most other countries... American hospitals tend to throw more technology at health problems — a heart attack, for example, is treated with more scans and tests in America than elsewhere, and that also drives up the price of going to the doctor in the United States... we've created a tax system where the people with good jobs are getting their health care subsidized by the people with worse jobs or even no jobs... here's one fact about insurers that often gets lost in the debate over health care: Their profit margins tend to be relatively small... As to who makes the most money, it's mostly drug companies and device manufacturers — the people who make the things that insurance companies buy. They typically run profit margins around 20 percent. One reason the cost of American health care is so high is that insurers are so weak. Having hundreds of different carriers, for example, means no one insurer has lots of negotiating power — hence those high prices drug and device makers can charge."

The U.S. Leads the World in Health-Care Spending (The Worst Patients in the World) - "One hint that patient behavior matters a lot is the tremendous variation in health outcomes among American states and even counties, despite the fact that they are all part of the same health-care system. A 2017 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine reported that 74 percent of the variation in life expectancy across counties is explained by health-related lifestyle factors such as inactivity and smoking, and by conditions associated with them, such as obesity and diabetes—which is to say, by patients themselves... healthy community norms are particularly evident in certain places with strong outcome-to-cost ratios, like Sweden. Americans, with our relatively weak sense of community, are harder to influence... Saha fostered health-boosting relationships within patient communities. She notes that patients in groups like these have been shown to have significantly better outcomes for an array of conditions, including diabetes and depression, than similar patients not in groups... we must consider Americans’ fairly unusual belief that, when it comes to medical care, money is no object. A recent survey of 10,000 patients found that only 31 percent consider cost very important when making a health-care decision—versus 85 percent who feel this way about a doctor’s “compassion.” That’s one big reason the push for “value-based care,” which rewards providers who keep costs down while achieving good outcomes, is not going well: Attempts to cut back on expensive treatments are met with patient indignation... Lopes has also practiced in Singapore, where his very first patient shocked him by refusing the moderately expensive but effective treatment he prescribed for her cancer—a choice that turns out to be common among patients in Singapore, who like to pass the money in their government-mandated health-care savings accounts on to their children. Most experts agree that American patients are frequently overtreated, especially with regard to expensive tests that aren’t strictly needed. The standard explanation for this is that doctors and hospitals promote these tests to keep their income high. This notion likely contains some truth. But another big factor is patient preference. A study out of Johns Hopkins’s medical school found doctors’ two most common explanations for overtreatment to be patient demand and fear of malpractice suits—another particularly American concern... some of his patients used to come in demanding laparoscopic surgery to investigate abdominal pain that would almost certainly have gone away on its own. “I told them about the risks of the surgery, but I couldn’t talk them out of it, and if I refused, my liability was huge”... In most of the world, what the doctor says still goes... American patients’ flagrant disregard for routine care is another problem. Take the failure to stick to prescribed drugs, one more bad behavior in which American patients lead the world. The estimated per capita cost of drug noncompliance is up to three times as high in the U.S. as in the European Union. And when Americans go to the doctor, they are more likely than people in other countries to head to expensive specialists. A British Medical Journal study found that U.S. patients end up with specialty referrals at more than twice the rate of U.K. patients. They also end up in the ER more often, at enormous cost. According to another study, this one of chronic migraine sufferers, 42 percent of U.S. respondents had visited an emergency department for their headaches, versus 14 percent of U.K. respondents. Finally, the U.S. stands out as a place where death, even for the very aged, tends to be fought tooth and nail, and not cheaply"

Do I really need a primary-care doctor? - "the commonly held belief that we all need a yearly physical is false. An annual physical is not currently recommended for the healthy adults by the governing health bodies in the US, Canada, or the UK... America’s physician workforce is composed of roughly 33% primary-care doctors and 67% specialists. Other high-performing health care systems, like Canada or Australia, have more balanced ratios... the lifestyle of a specialist is far better, involving less punishing hours while making millions of dollars more over their careers... Kids need a consistent pediatrician. The elderly need a consistent internist. The chronically ill, no matter their age, need a consistent team and place to receive care. But for the rest of us—around 75% of the population—the old-fashioned “doctor-patient relationship” is unrealistic and largely unnecessary in our society. Rather than spend time and energy trying to pin down a primary-care doctor, it could well make more sense to simply stick with an urgent-care clinic when you come down with the flu."

We Have Too Many Specialists and Too Few General Practitioners - "Wherever I travel around the world, I find the same problem -- too few GP's, too many specialists... Medical mistakes are far too common because each specialist is treating (or more likely over treating) her own pet organ. No one is considering the whole patient to organize a global, integrated, safe, and effective treatment plan. The less time doctors talk to patients, the more unneeded, costly, and often harmful are the tests and treatments they order."

America’s Epidemic of Unnecessary Care - "Virtually every family in the country, the research indicates, has been subject to overtesting and overtreatment in one form or another. The costs appear to take thousands of dollars out of the paychecks of every household each year. Researchers have come to refer to financial as well as physical “toxicities” of inappropriate care—including reduced spending on food, clothing, education, and shelter. Millions of people are receiving drugs that aren’t helping them, operations that aren’t going to make them better, and scans and tests that do nothing beneficial for them, and often cause harm... The United States is a country of three hundred million people who annually undergo around fifteen million nuclear medicine scans, a hundred million CT and MRI scans, and almost ten billion laboratory tests. Often, these are fishing expeditions, and since no one is perfectly normal you tend to find a lot of fish. If you look closely and often enough, almost everyone will have a little nodule that can’t be completely explained, a lab result that is a bit off, a heart tracing that doesn’t look quite right.Excessive testing is a problem for a number of reasons. For one thing, some diagnostic studies are harmful in themselves—we’re doing so many CT scans and other forms of imaging that rely on radiation that they are believed to be increasing the population’s cancer rates. These direct risks are often greater than we account for.What’s more, the value of any test depends on how likely you are to be having a significant problem in the first place. If you have crushing chest pain and shortness of breath, you start with a high likelihood of having a serious heart condition, and an electrocardiogram has significant value. A heart tracing that doesn’t look quite right usually means trouble. But, if you have no signs or symptoms of heart trouble, an electrocardiogram adds no useful information; a heart tracing that doesn’t look quite right is mostly noise. Experts recommend against doing electrocardiograms on healthy people, but millions are done each year, anyway... we’ve added thousands of dollars in costs and, sometimes, physical risks, not to mention worry and days of missed work. Overtesting has also created a new, unanticipated problem: overdiagnosis. This isn’t misdiagnosis—the erroneous diagnosis of a disease. This is the correct diagnosis of a disease that is never going to bother you in your lifetime... the number of people with permanent complications from thyroid surgery has skyrocketed... unnecessary care often crowds out necessary care, particularly when the necessary care is less remunerative... unnecessary care could crowd out necessary care—but enough that dedicated primary care could cut death rates in half?"

Stephan Guyenet on "What causes obesity?"

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 189 - Stephan Guyenet on "What causes obesity?"

"'If we look at the history of calorie intake and calorie expenditure in this country, what we see is that, for most of the last hundred years, people have been able to roughly match calorie expenditure with an appropriate calorie intake. If you look at calorie intake a hundred years ago, it was actually pretty high. It was almost as high as it is today, and yet, there was very little obesity.

Presumably, that's because almost everyone was working manual labor jobs, we barely had any automobiles, there weren't washing machines, there weren't automatic dryers. We're doing a lot of things that required physical effort, building things in factories, milking the cows, weeding fields. What you see over the course of the next 40 or 50 years in the United States is that our calorie intake actually declined'...

'Obesity really has two fundamental characteristics and this is something that's been pointed out by my mentor, Mike Schwartz, at the University of Washington. That is, first of all, it developed due to this imbalance between intake and expenditure -- but the second is that you actually have a change in how the brain regulates body fatness and how the brain regulates the amount of energy that is coming in. Essentially the brain, instead of defending a lean state, it begins to defend an obese state against changes... That's why weight loss is so hard, is that once your brain is defending that high level of body fatness, if you try to lose weight, your brain is like, "No, this is not what I want to do."...

[On the Biggest Loser] Researchers had actually followed up on the people who lost these massive amounts of weight, 100+ pounds on The Biggest Loser and they tend to regain most, if not all, of that weight in fairly short order after the show.That's not really what you would expect if body weight were not regulated. If there was not some change that occurred or some difference in the way that these things are regulated, between someone who's obese and someone who's lean, because they're gaining weight at a much faster rate than you would expect for someone who started off at that lower body weight. Someone who starts off lean and tries to stay lean, it's going to be a lot easier than someone who starts off obese, becomes lean and tries to stay there...

There's a lot of evidence independent of that, that there is this regulation of body fat levels that does regulate around a specific preferred level. There's a researcher named Rudy Leibel, for example, who's done a lot of this work. If you take people who are either lean or obese, basically the same either way, and you get them to weight reduce by 10%, you see very profound changes in their physiology and their brain response to food cues. What you'll find is that they will have a decrease in their metabolic rate that is disproportionate to the amount of weight that they lost.It's not just because their bodies are smaller but there's actually this starvation response that kicks in that actually conserves energy even beyond that, to try to regain the lost fat.

That also has neurobiological correlates, where you can put people in an fMRI machine and you see that, basically, all of the brain structures that are responsible for making us crave food light up like a Christmas tree after the weight loss.Also, you find that when you give them food, the same amount of food is less satiating after they have lost weight. We know a lot about the mechanisms underlying this. This is why I'm so confident about this, is that we actually have a really good picture of how this works.

It relates to a hormone called leptin that's produced by fat tissue and that is a signal to the brain of how much fat is in your body. When a person loses weight, their leptin goes way down and that's really the key signal to the brain that causes that so-called starvation response that tries to bring the body fat back. The reason we know that that's key signal is that if you replace leptin back up to the pre-weight loss level, you don't get those responses..

When leptin was first discovered, it was thought of as this incredible potential miracle weight loss drug. It was very clear that it played a really important role in body fat regulation. There's almost a century of research leading up to the discovery of leptin.Basically, when you just take people who are overweight or obese and you inject leptin into them, it doesn't really do anything. It doesn't cause them to lose weight. What they figured out is these people already have high-levels of leptin, and increasing those levels further, in other words telling the brain, "Well, actually you have even more fat," doesn't really tell the brain to eat less. The brain is really responsive to decreases of leptin as a starvation signal, but is not really responsive to increases of leptin as an excess signal'...

'It's not about causing weight loss, it would be about keeping weight off'...

'There was actually this inflammatory process occurring in the hypothalamus which is the part of the brain that regulates body fat and receives that leptin signal.It turns out, from other groups as well, that this is part of a generalized stress response that occurs in the hypothalamus of animals that are becoming obese. There's increasing evidence that it actually plays a causal role. If you can prevent that inflammation from happening in the hypothalamus and these other associated stress response changes, you can actually attenuate the fat gain that occurs in experimental models of dietary obesity.We actually were able to extend that into humans...

People who have obesity actually have MRI signals in their hypothalamus that look a lot like they are also inflamed. The more signal you have in your hypothalamus that looks like inflammation, the higher your body fat in this level is likely to be.'...

'If you look at animal models of obesity, the absolute most fattening thing you can possibly give to a rodent, for example, is to give them a variety of highly palatable human junk foods. Human junk food is insanely fattening to just about any species... You actually see, also, calorie expenditure effects. What I mean by that is, at least, in certain contexts, what you'll see is that they actually burn less energy than they should on those diets. It's not quite that simple in rodents.Although in humans, you really see a lot of more effects on the energy-in side than on the energy-out side. People who have obesity have a higher level of calorie expenditure, a higher metabolic rate than people who are not obese.'...

'The difficulty with the calories out argument is that people who have obesity almost invariably have higher calorie expenditure, not a lower calorie expenditure. You can't really explain obesity by saying they have a reduced calorie expenditure because they don't, they have a higher calorie expenditure. The only way you can really explain it thermodynamically is by saying the calorie intake is higher so then, the question becomes why is the calorie intake higher.'...

As far as we currently know, if you really look at the most tightly controlled studies available in humans, of which there are a number, as far as we currently know, the calorie value of food is the only food property that meaningfully impacts body fatness. There are a number of studies that have varied other things like the carbohydrate to fat ratio, varied things like sugar intake, even varied protein. There are many, many other hypotheses that you could test about how food compositions affects body fatness that haven't been tested yet.But in terms of the basics like macro-nutrients, it doesn't have any effect. It's independent of calories, is what current evidence suggests. And so we don't really have any evidence, right now, that things other than the calorie value of food impacts that food's effect on your body fat. We do actually have pretty good evidence that the macro-nutrient composition -- that is the fat, carbohydrate and protein composition -- does not affect body fatness independently of calories...

We had these animals that their "preferred weight" or defended body weight is dependent on which diet they were on, not how many calories they're currently eating. If you take those animals that have gained a bunch of weight from eating these really awesome, calorie dense, delicious food and you switch them back to a healthy diet, a lower calorie density, unrefined diet, they will spontaneously lose weight even if you let them eat as much as they want. Their set point actually changes. It can actually go back down even if it had gone up.

And I think you see the same thing in people. Not everyone who diets does so by forcing themselves to eat smaller portions. Sometimes, when people change their diets in ways that are qualitatively better, like going from a refined calorie dense, junk food diet to a lower calorie density, healthy diet that's fresh vegetables and meats and fruits and whole grains and potatoes and things, you will see that people will spontaneously lose weight. Their appetite will spontaneously decrease... What people tend to do when they go on really bland, repetitive diets, they don't feel as hungry, they don't eat as much...

They had another group of people that they asked to lose the same amount of weight over the same period of time by just applying portion control to their habitual diet. It's like, you're going to eat the same foods you always eat, you're just going to eat less of it to match this weight loss curve of this other group.What they found is that the group that lost weight by portion control was ravenous. They had very, very different responses. They reported in the study that the people were very uncomfortable, they were dreaming of food. I'm not going to go into it because it would take a long time to explain, but they had some more physiological measures of hunger drive.

Basically, what they found was that people who lost weight on the bland diet weren't any more hungry at the end. People who lost weight by portion control were super hungry, and their food motivation kicked in so that starvation response was activated in one case but not the other, presumably because the set point had changed...

'There are a lot of randomized controlled trials that have compared low carbohydrate to low fat diets. Generally, the low carbohydrate diets cause more weight loss, although they both cause weight loss.But when you really start to dig in to those studies, the answer becomes less obvious than it seems on the surface. The reason is that if you really look at the low fat diets that are typically used as a comparator, they're really, really wimpy low fat diets...

They're not very low in fat, first of all. They're usually not as low in fat as the low carb diet is low in carbs. Second of all, they tend to be based on this antiquated concept of low fat diets, where only the low fat matters and you don't care about any other aspects of quality'

'People often replace the fat with sugar to make it taste good.'...

'Focusing on diet quality, I should say, gives you better effectiveness to not caring. You get better weight loss... the quality aspect matters independently of the macro-nutrient aspect... By quality, I'm talking about the degree to which a diet is refined junkie food.'

More evidence against the insulin-carbohydrate hypothesis of obesity

Links - 25th July 2019 (1)

Countries With the Best Quality of Life - "1. Canada
2. Sweden
3. Denmark
4. Norway
5. Switzerland
6. Finland
7. Australia
8. Netherlands
9. New Zealand
10. Germany
11. Belgium
12. UK
13. Japan
14. Luxembourg
15. Ireland
16. France
17. USA
18. Singapore
19. Portugal
20. China"

Athletics coach’s phone records show he did not ‘keep calling’ former trainee - "Accused of pestering his former sprint trainee with multiple phone calls, veteran track-and-field coach Loh Siang Piow on Tuesday (Dec 11) said his mobile phone records show that her claim could not be further from the truth.The 74-year-old’s call records showed that he had phoned the then-18-year-old trainee once a month at most, in the 10 months between July 7, 2013 and May 6, 2014. There were six months in which he had made no phone calls to her. During that period, the teenager — who is accusing him of molesting her — made up to three calls to Loh in a month, records showed... The trainee had testified that she did not agree that she called Loh — who is better known in the sports fraternity as Loh Chan Pew — voluntarily on Nov 6, 2013."
When #BelieveWomen and the reality of lived experience are dismissed by patriarchal logic

High heels for women in workplace ‘occupationally necessary and appropriate’, says Japanese minister - "A Japanese government minister has provoked controversy for saying it is “socially accepted” and “occupationally necessary” for women to be made to wear high heels at work.Takumi Nemoto, Japan’s health and labour minister, defended the controversial practice which has forced women to wear heels in Japanese offices for many years.His comments came after a recent campaign challenged the practice – with more than 19,000 people in Japan signing a petition to ban the requirement. Supporters have been tweeting the petition alongside the hashtag #KuToo in solidarity with the campaign – echoing the #MeToo movement against sexual assault and harassment. The slogan is a play on the Japanese words for shoes “kutsu” and pain “kutsuu”."

8 ways high heels can be GOOD for you - "According to Jolene a leading physiotherapist, the good news for those of us who can’t or simply don’t want to give up our beloved heels, is that certain types of high shoes are actually better for you than flats.“It goes without saying that spending a lot of time in very high, stiletto heels with pointy toes is going to be bad for your feet and your back, never mind increased chances of falling and hurting your ankle, they also make walking difficult and painful. What is surprising is that as far as your back and feet are concerned certain types of high heels can actually be better for your feet than some types of flat shoes”.Wearing a shoe with a heel can protect your back and feet as they naturally allow some support through the arch of the foot; whereas, flat shoes like Uggs, flip flops and ballet pumps are worse for your feet and posture... The best heel height is 2 inches (about 5cm), that should be just about right"

Should you stop wearing neckties?—wearing a tight necktie reduces cerebral blood flow - "Negative cerebrovascular effects can be expected by compressing jugular veins and carotids by a necktie. It was already demonstrated that a necktie increases intraocular pressure. In many professions, a special dress code including a necktie and a collared shirt is mandatory although little is known about the effect of this “socially desirable strangulation.” In this study, the effect of wearing a necktie concerning cerebral blood flow and jugular venous flow by magnetic resonance imaging... The examination resulted in a statistically significant decrease of CBF after tightening the necktie (p < 0.001) while the venous flow did not show any significant changes." It's only bad if it hurts women

The war against neckties is heating up - "Reduced blood flow to the brain has negative implications for both productivity and creativity... A previous study from the University of Glasgow found that “wearing a tight collar or tie may compromise the venous drainage of the brain and thus impair cerebrovascular reactivity,” possibly increasing the incidence of a stroke in those already at risk. Another study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology found that a tight necktie increases intraocular pressure and “could affect the diagnosis and management of glaucoma.” Two weeks ago that evidence drove R. Rex Parris, 66, the mayor of Lancaster, Calif., to seek a ban on requiring employees to wear the corporate noose... women are discouraged from wearing uncomfortable high heels in court by their firms. “I always look at things from a trial attorney perspective. So I ask myself, ‘Do women have an advantage?’ ”... Foley regularly experiences tension headaches and neck cramps that he associates with wearing a tie. Because he shaves daily, his tight collar can also irritate his skin.“Wearing ties may make me look nicer in meetings, but it does come with consequences — headaches, neck aches and razor burn,” he says... Even professional tailors — who argue that necktie discomfort is a clear sign of a collar that is too tight — admit that it’s difficult to get a perfect fit... the collars of most off-the-rack shirts will shrink after a couple of washes."

What's the point of a tie? - "Doctors should stop wearing "functionless" ties which could pose a hygiene risk, says the British Medical Association - as part of the drive to stop the spread of hospital superbugs... a JobCentre worker in Manchester won the first round of a sex discrimination case that it was unfair for men to have to wear a tie, when women did not have a similar dress code... Tony Blair has promoted this image of a tie-less prime minister, hands in pockets, dressed more like a mate than a boss - sending the message that he's one of us, rather than a member of some closed club. And Tory leader David Cameron has not been shy in shedding his neck apparel for casual appearances.So, given that Bill Gates can run a multi-billion pound business without ever being sighted with his top button done up, do we really need ties any more? What ties offer is a "point of difference", says John Miln, chairman of the Guild of British Tie Makers. They give people a chance to say something about their own personality. Tie sales are slightly down compared to a decade ago"
From 2006

Bjørn Lomborg - Posts - "Where does almost all renewable energy come from?
Not solar
Not wind
Not even hydro
It is wood!
Old-fashioned wood, linked to poverty and indoor air pollution provides 70% of all renewable energy."

The Relationship Between Happiness, Income Inequality, and Economic Growth - "While happiness did track the level of economic development across these 16 advanced nations, the results changed when inequality was added to the equation. Higher levels of inequality led to lower levels of happiness, even in the most economically advanced nations... [In Latin America] in contrast to the findings for the advanced nations, they found that happiness did not increase alongside economic growth... A detailed 2008 study found that more unequal metros actually had slower overall rates of growth, after controlling for education and skill levels. A recent International Monetary Fund study found that lower levels of inequality are strongly and positively associated with faster economic growth, and that a greater redistribution of wealth contributes to economic growth as well. Studies of U.S. metros have also found greater inequality to be associated with less economic growth. My own research on 138 nations finds inequality to be negatively correlated with creative capacity and competitiveness"
For those who claim economic growth doesn't make people happy (and those who claim inequality is not an issue)

The frantic race to save every NSFW Tumblr for posterity - "GeoCities, Vine, Friendster–communities live, thrive, and often die on the net. But the two-week timeframe in which content will disappear from Tumblr is unprecedented, says Jason Scott. He cofounded Archive Team, a volunteer project running software that scarfs copies of endangered websites for posterity.They are now scrambling to preserve an estimated 700,000 Tumblr blogs that are expected to partly or entirely disappear due to a new, broadly defined ban on “adult content”... “Usually we’re given 30 or 60 days or 90 days warning. Fourteen days is insane”... the real problem was always that Verizon couldn’t sell ads next to porn... Prior to the Verizon acquisition, a commonly cited study found that 22 percent of Tumblr users were consuming explicit content (though only 1 percent was producing it)... many of Tumblr users are women, much or most of the explicit content on Tumblr “was made by, for, and about women,” and that Tumblr’s “all porn” reputation stems from the fact that “women were thrilled to finally find porn that fit their interests, and wanted to foster that community as much as possible.” The decision to squash all that, she says, is gendered, and a major loss... Who owns your work? Who will protect it? How do you even make the argument that what you’re making or who you are is important to anyone?... even though D’Onofrio’s post stated that explicit text will be permitted under the new rules... many Tumblr users are already watching their work disappear and having to fight for it in appeal, often saying they’ve received no explanation and can see no clear reasoning behind the platform’s decision. Though text is supposedly safe, Tumblr’s own text-only post about the changes was reportedly flagged by its porn-hunting bots... Where will that community go now? The problem is no one can decide. Twitter looks appealing for visual NSFW content, but it’s not well-suited for text. WordPress might be safe in some ways, but it has limited community and discovery features. Reddit has no reblogs. Instagram has even stricter content filters than Tumblr; the Tumblr user base is too young to remember or trust Newgrounds. Blogging platforms like the LiveJournal-based Dreamwidth or the Kickstarter-funded Pillowfort could be okay, but how do you make everyone move together?"

How Tumblr went from being the most porn-friendly social media site to banning porn - "In 2013, TechCrunch reported that a full 11.4 percent of the top 200,000 Tumblrs were adult-oriented, and adult sites were sending Tumblr a sizable amount of traffic. Porn helped build Tumblr’s empire, and Tumblr gave porn fans a safe playground to explore their interests"

Tumblr Fans Abandon Ship as Tumblr Bans Porn (NYT) - "“Most of the popular content was coming from professional producers,” said Luca Maria Aiello, one of the authors of the study and a former researcher at Yahoo Labs. That content often appeared as GIFs — looping, second-long videos pulled from pornography produced by others — and were shared across the platform on blogs like Lady Cheeky. “This is how porn started on the internet, with these little thumbnail galleries back in the late ’90s,” said Chauntelle Tibbals, the author of “Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment.” What set Tumblr apart, in this internet era, was the range of content available, and as Brett L., a 28-year-old New Yorker who runs one of the most popular adult Tumblr accounts, put it: “Tumblr always was a place for all.”"

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Links - 24th July 2019 (2)

Culture–gene coevolution of individualism–collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene - "Culture–gene coevolutionary theory posits that cultural values have evolved, are adaptive and influence the social and physical environments under which genetic selection operates. Here, we examined the association between cultural values of individualism–collectivism and allelic frequency of the serotonin transporter functional polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) as well as the role this culture–gene association may play in explaining global variability in prevalence of pathogens and affective disorders. We found evidence that collectivistic cultures were significantly more likely to comprise individuals carrying the short (S) allele of the 5-HTTLPR across 29 nations. Results further show that historical pathogen prevalence predicts cultural variability in individualism–collectivism owing to genetic selection of the S allele. Additionally, cultural values and frequency of S allele carriers negatively predict global prevalence of anxiety and mood disorder. Finally, mediation analyses further indicate that increased frequency of S allele carriers predicted decreased anxiety and mood disorder prevalence owing to increased collectivistic cultural values. Taken together, our findings suggest culture–gene coevolution between allelic frequency of 5-HTTLPR and cultural values of individualism–collectivism and support the notion that cultural values buffer genetically susceptible populations from increased prevalence of affective disorders. Implications of the current findings for understanding culture–gene coevolution of human brain and behaviour as well as how this coevolutionary process may contribute to global variation in pathogen prevalence and epidemiology of affective disorders, such as anxiety and depression, are discussed."
Socialisation is so powerful it affects genes

Massive boulder that rolled onto Colorado highway is too expensive to move, will now be a tourist attraction

Audi on Twitter - "Women are still paid 21% less than men. As a brand that believes in progress, we are committed to equal pay for equal work. #DriveProgress"
"Unfortunately for @Audi, the women in your company are paid less than their male peers doing the same job. Hypocrisy much?"
"Hi Susan. When we account for all the various factors that go into pay, women at Audi are on par with their male counterparts"
How convenient

Set-dancing's 'reel' benefit for Parkinson's sufferers - "Therapeutic benefits of Irish set dancing were recently noticed much closer to home, in a pub in Feakle, Co Clare when an Italian neurologist playing music at a traditional music festival, noticed a man shaking and unsteady on his feet with Parkinson’s disease enter the pub, drop his walking stick and dance fluidly to a reel played on the doctor’s guitar... “The steps and beat of the music appear to be important,” says Clifford, “and its potential benefits are universal.” Volpe agrees. “There is evidence that micro vibrations stimulate the spinal-ponto-thalamus network and that really helps with balance in PD. Irish music has a strong rhythm which helps bypass the mismatch between the supplementary motor area (SMA) and basal ganglia (BG) network in Parkinson’s, so patients can move normally,” Volpe says."

Trump Derangement Syndrome Causes Woman to Stab Herself - "A Florida woman stabbed herself in the stomach multiple times over the weekend because she was tired of living in President Donald Trump’s America, police said"

Segments of Random Thoughts - Posts - "Be gay do socialism 🏼 & deplatform the bigots. 🤫"
"I grew up in a socialist country. You would have been locked up and persecuted for being gay there. You live in one of the few places in the world that is truly free - stop crying and learn some gratitude."
"Carlos Maza is the activist masquerading as journalist over at Vox who started the censorship campaign "Vox Adpocalypse" that resulted in tons of conservative channels / commentators getting banned or demonetised by YouTube."

Catherine Oakeson, who advocated plus-size positivity, dies at 49 - StarTribune.com - "“She was a size-acceptance pioneer,” said Kim Julin of Crystal, a longtime friend. “She didn’t let her size stop her. She just got out there and lived life and encouraged everyone to do the same.”Oakeson, who grew up in Stillwater, died last month at home in Las Vegas after a heart attack. She was 49... “She could have been a millionaire if she wanted to be,” said Peter Gujer of St. Paul, another longtime friend. But she was more interested in her artwork and challenging stereotypes about plus-size people."
She must have died due to the discrimination and negativity she faced from a fatphobic society

Muslim gangs ‘beat prisoners’ who will not convert to Islam | News | The Times - "Muslim gang leaders are orchestrating violence in top-security jails, including administering beatings to force inmates to convert to Islam, a report has said.The gangs operated under the guise of religion, with a hierarchy of leaders, recruiters, enforcers, followers and foot soldiers, the report by the Ministry of Justice said. One non-Muslim inmate said: “There is an underlying pressure for people to convert and join the gang."... The findings are based on interviews with 83 male prisoners and 73 staff at three of the eight high-security prisons in England, which are not named.Terrorists often held the most senior roles in the gangs, which enforced rules such as wearing underpants in the shower and a ban on cooking bacon. Prisoners who could speak Arabic or learn passages of the Koran were favoured in the ranks, while beatings were used to force inmates to convert to Islam and join the gangs... Inmates who tried to quit gangs faced punishment, the most serious of which was for denouncing Islam, it added. One prisoner said: “If I said I didn’t want to be a Muslim, I’d need to watch out in case someone stabbed me.”"
Islamophobia!

NUSSU - NUS Students United - Posts - "Before the anti falsehoods bill (POFMA) was passed, we had said that the POFMA is ill equipped to deal with situations where the truth is contested between competing narratives and it would be undesirable to choose one over the other narratives as the “truth”.
Therefore, it is of divine irony that this issue of contested truth has come home to roost so quickly against the PAP government, albeit involving fellow ASEAN countries. Was the Vietnamese armed incursion into Cambodia an “invasion” or “liberation”? It depends on which side of the coin you look at, but either narrative is no less true than the other. Hearing the Vietnamese and Cambodians calling Lee Hsien Loong’s characterisation as “false” or “fake” is exactly the kind of undesirable outcome possible under the POFMA in a contested truth situation.
That it has boomeranged back on the PAP so quickly after POFMA was passed... think we can rename POFMA as KARMA."

Asifa(8) and Twinkle(3). Spot the difference.... - Prakash Parambil - "I am Hindustan. I am Ashamed. #JusticeForOurChild 8 years old. Gangraped. Murdered. In ‘Devi’-sthaan temple. #Kathua"
"What has happened to baby twinkle is. Heartbreaking and horrific. I pray for her and her family. I also urge people to not make this into a selfish agenda. This is a little girls death, not a reason to spread your hate."
"Asifa(8) and Twinkle(3).
Spot the difference.
Religion of Victim matters. No one is ashamed now. It's just a rape like everyday faced by hindu girls. No Prime Time debates, No placard, No Candle Light March.
Life goes on."

Suraj Ingole on Twitter: "… " - "Types of Rapes:
Within a community:
Accused & Victim: Hindus - BJP Ruled State - Blame CM
Accused & Victim: Hindus - Non BJP Ruled State - Blame PM
Accused & Victim: Muslims - Its their internal matter. Keep mum
Inter-community:
Accused: Muslim, Victim: Hindu (Secular Rape) - Keep Mum or fight for justice of accused.
Accused: Hindu, Victim: Muslim (Communal Rape) - Nationa level outrage Blame Hinduism, Modi, Yogi, Cows, Trump, Netanyahu"

Instagram's Diversity Wars Revisited - "even though she is a disabled woman, Davies was a legitimate target because she is also white, straight, and middle class, and her business is thriving, which implies a degree of affluence. Many of the influential activists on Instagram are academics. They draw on the work of scholars such as DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility, and recommend Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad to those needing a lesson in “how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of colour, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.” Only by adopting the correct political views, espoused in precisely the correct jargon, can an accused person demonstrate to the satisfaction of her persecutors that she is now a “true ally” who has “done the work.” It’s all about as inspiring as it sounds.Each fresh campaign would last a few weeks before moving on. Inevitably, some other company or individual would make some trivial but apparently unforgivable error, such as giving their pattern or yarn the incorrect name... These campaigns are risible, but they are also ugly. They license pettiness, cruelty, and ruthlessness in the name of causes they do nothing to advance. They threaten the businesses and livelihoods and professional reputations of good people struggling to navigate a dense web of ideological trip-wires. Everyone has to watch what they say lest an innocuous remark is seized upon as a new excuse to denounce and shame. And yet, this intolerable situation persists because everyone involved is silently complicit in the pretence that this is noble behaviour motivated by loving concern and righteous anger. It will only end when the revolution eats itself or when a critical mass of participants say, “Enough.”"
Political correctness ruins everything

NYC Burger King has been passing off beef as Impossible Whoppers

Gladiator Diets Were Carb-Heavy, Fattening, and Mostly Vegetarian - "what we know about gladiators’ diet and physiques suggests a very different physical appearance than the one depicted in classical art and contemporary popular culture. According to archaeological research, their abdominals and pectorals were likely covered in a quivering layer of subcutaneous fat. Why? The evidence suggests gladiators carbo-loaded. They ate a diet high in carbohydrates, such as barley and beans, and low in animal proteins. Their meals looked nothing like the paleo or meat-and-fish centric diets now associated with elite warriors and athletes... Interestingly, according to the researchers, gladiators’ primarily vegetarian diet was not a consequence of their poverty or slave status... one might assume that a carb-heavy, mostly meat-free diet was a cost-cutting measure. After all, why feed prisoners extravagant fare?Well, you might do it to improve their battlefield performance. The Vienna team posits that the fighters ate weight-gaining foods because extra fat created a layer of bodily protection. Nerve endings would have been less exposed, and bleeding cuts would have been less perilous. As an added benefit, the extra, protective layer of fat would have created a more satisfying spectacle: The gladiators could sustain wounds and gush blood, but, because the wounds were shallow, they could keep on fighting... the gladiators’ extra fat doesn’t mean they were unhealthy, and their treatment wasn’t all harsh. In fact, both the archaeological evidence from the Ephesus site and writing from the period suggest the opposite. Gladiators were a significant investment, and archaeological sites evidence the fortresses as “also [including] heated floors for winter training, baths, infirmaries, plumbing, and a nearby graveyard.” Though prisoners, they likely received superior medical care... They also regularly drank calcium supplements made of either charred plant or bone ash. Like modern athletes, they took their calcium—scholarly analyses describe the calcium levels in gladiators’ bones as “exorbitant” compared to average citizens."

Would the World Be a Better Place Without Religion?

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS129 - Would the World Be a Better Place Without Religion?

"One of the things that annoys me about this thing, this issues is that, you know, I do expect one side of the issue to ignore the data, but I don't, but I'm really bothered by, when, when, when skeptics and you know, atheists who think of themselves as skeptics as well, you know, people that value, you know, rational thinking, evidence based anything, then they go on and to make these statements not only on the basis of no evidence, but in fact, sometimes contra the evidence.

I mean, there's a couple of interesting examples that Scott and Rahel mentioned in their, in their article. One is that in Breaking the Spell, Dan Dennett claims that there are no studies bearing on the question of religiosity and violence. But in fact, there are. There are actually several dozen studies such studies, and at least two large reviews. And Dan just didn't, you know, obviously didn’t know about it, I'm not saying that he just sort of ignored that on purpose. But it's kind of, you know, before you make that kind of statement, you know, use Google and check it out. Google Scholar in particular.

Similarly, in The God Delusion, Dawkins makes the claim that there is a lack of evidence on the question, and the only thing that he cites is his friend, Sam Harris, about this idea that there is a correlation between incidents of sort of violence and states in the United States that have a higher degree of religiosity. But again, Dawkins doesn't seem to be aware that there are dozens of peer reviewed studies actually available on the issue.

And also, the idea of citing sort of population level studies as evidence is at the very least controversial because, you know, Scott points out that from a statistical perspective, it's often not the case that you can scale up or down things from a population level to an individual level. You may find a correlation between two variables at the population level, which actually doesn't hold in the individual level. And it's the result of essentially sort of artifactural or third effects or third variable effects and things like that...

‘Citing examples of religious violence or citing examples of, you know, religion doing good in the world. And Scott also references some of these examples from, from the books you referenced, like The God Delusion. So for example, in the intro to God Delusion, Dawkins says, imagine with John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bombers, no 911, no Crusades, no witch hunts, no Israeli Palestinian wars, etc, etc, etc. So these are all like, you know, examples in support of the case that religion is making the world a worse place, a less humane place. And, and of course, religious people have their examples as well’...

‘Imagine a world without Stalin, without Pol Pot, without Mao, and so on, and so forth’

‘And all the other cases in which yes, in which very cruel and inhumane things were done, not in the name of religion, so citing examples doesn't really tell you very much about the overall effect, the net effect of religion.

And then the other category I want to, to vent about is this kind of a priori reasoning, or if not entirely a priori then at least sort of abstract principles that people cite as to why religion makes the world a worse place.

Like, I'm going to paraphrase this one, something along the lines of, you know, like, in any world, like good people can do good and evil people can do evil. But in order to have good people do evil, you need religion... and the logic behind that is, you know, of course, like, if someone's well intentioned, but they have a false model of the world and how the world works, then they can totally think they're doing good by, you know, baptizing and then killing babies, if they think that that will lead to, you know, that will prevent an eternity of suffering for those babies. So, and that there are cases in which like, well intentioned people did harm to the world because religion gave them a false model of the world.

But again, there are plenty of examples of well intentioned people or people who are basically good, doing harm to others, because of other totally non religion related effects, like, you know, conformity or authority effects, which are just very deeply ingrained in the human brain. If you set up a an Asch’s conformity experiment, or… the Milgram experiment. Yeah, this didn't really have anything to do with religion... when you look at the full story, the picture just becomes so much murkier.’...

There is a an experiment… back in 1972, which apparently has not been replicated...that particular experiment actually looked at the differences, if any, between religious people, very religious people and you know, non religious people and very non religious people, in their tendency to obey the authority of the scientists and actually administer the electrical shocks to the subjects.

And the results were kind of interesting, because the experiment found out that extremely religious and extremely non religious people actually were less likely than moderately religious, or moderately non religious people to administer the shock. And it's not clear why...

[On religiosity reducing crime] The effect, in fact, seems to be moderated by the attendance to church and other praise or worship. In other words, it’s not just religiosity per se, but you have to go to church. And it also seems to be particularly relevant, the effect seems to be particularly relevant for what is called intrinsic religiosity. So these are people who go to church because they want to not because there is social pressure, or even they don't actually go to church, they pray on their own. That sort of stuff. So these are people who actually, truly, fundamentally believe in in their religion...

‘Often a hypothesis that I hear advanced, often by, you know, atheists or secular humanists, in response to these correlations is, well, you know, it seems plausible that it's not really that the church per se, or the content of the church that causes more pro social behavior, but the fact that you're part of this community. Which seemed quite plausible to me so...

I’m a little surprised that when you control for religiosity reduces the effect but controlling for social attendance doesn't actually’...

‘The bad news for us secular is is that not only is it true that religiosity is statistically correlated with self control in moderation, but it's also true that lack of religiosity is moderately correlated, in fact, weakly correlated with psycho pathological traits...

There's this research that shows that intrinsic religiosity, for instance, in high school students, makes them more prone to pro social and empathic behavior. And there is also a research that shows that religious people are capable of more sophisticated moral reasoning than average. So all these things are and one of my favorite is actually that you can, subconsciously prime people with religious references, like, you can expose them to a scrambled words that that, that if they were not scrambled, they would spell God or religions or heaven or something. And that increases their generosity...

All of those things I find very interesting, and at the very least, sort of, should be cautioning us about making sort of these sweeping statements about a world without religion, which is, would be just much better, obvious. And obviously so. It doesn't seem obvious at all’...

It is a fairly well known, not particularly well kept secret that a lot of people who teach religion, especially in the Catholic Church, are actually either agnostics or non believers, I'm talking about priests, ordained priests...

I think we could agree that fewer beheadings is better, or, you know, things like that. But if we're talking, for instance, about you know, general pro social behavior. Well, pro social behavior has its own drawbacks. I mean, societies that have very high levels of pro social behaviors tend to be sort of suppressing individualistic tendencies [which themselves] have all sorts of positive things on their own, to be sort of valued and recommended. So it's not quite clear that, you know, depending on what one's idea of a better society actually is, even if one demonstrates that religiosity increases prosociality, that may not necessarily be a good thing, in and of itself, or at least beyond a certain limit...

‘[The article is] titled, do lobsters and other invertebrates feel pain, and it looks at the evidence. And as it turns out, it the evidence is very difficult to come by, because it's not easy to figure out whether an animal actually feels pain or not. So for instance, you know, a lot of people say… I'm not going to eat lobsters, because... they scream in the in the hot water’...

‘It's the high pressure air going through the carapace. And not, it's not a scream’


Mentioned above:

“If You Love Me, Keep My Commandments”: A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Religion on Crime

"The results of the meta-analysis show that religious beliefs and behaviors exert a moderate deterrent effect on individuals' criminal behavior."

According to the podcast, the relationship between religion and crime was consistent and always in the same direction - and never a null result

Links - 24th July 2019 (1) (Big Tech Censorship)

Ali A. Rizvi - ""Islamic terrorists call for my murder since years because I criticise Islam. But They could never stop me from speaking out what I think. But now they have a collaborator. YouTube has just deleted my channel Hamed.TV where I discuss with Muslims about democracy"
"Dear YouTube, Why silence secular voices from the Muslim world? When white freethinkers in Christian Europe rose up against religious theocracy, we called it The Enlightenment. When secular freethinkers in the Muslim world do the same—they're banned? Isn't THAT bigotry? If you have Twitter, please retweet support for the incomparable Hamed Abdel-Samad here: https://twitter.com/aliamjadrizvi/status/1141373719874609153"
We knew it wouldn't stop at "Nazis"

Triggernometry on Twitter - "Suddenly @YouTube has demonetised a dozen interviews, including:
@Miss_Snuffy - TRIGGERING discussion about the education system
@jessbutcher - OFFENSIVE interview about why women are succeeding in tech
@DrLinda_P - HATE SPEECH about the impact of social media on mental health"

Quora users protest against platform's bias against the right-wing - "It all started when a user Deepak Mehta made posts criticizing the narrative of 'Hindu terrorism' that was being built up by some users on the platform. The matter of 'Hindu terrorism' is a sensitive political issue in India majorly pushed by leftists in order to blame Hindus for terrorism in order to appease non-Hindus... Deepak's followers first ran petitions in order to get his account unbanned. When Quora moderation decided not to unban him despite the petitions, many users started deactivating their accounts.Quora's most followed person, Balaji Viswanathan deactivated his account and made a post stating that his profile will remain deactivated for a week. This led to many prominent users like Supreme Court advocate and ex-IPS officer, Ashok Dhamija, Tejasvita Apte, Aman Khanna and many others deactivating their accounts."

Exclusive: Facebook's Process to Label You a 'Hate Agent' Revealed - "If you praise the wrong individual, interview them, or appear at events alongside them, Facebook may categorize you as a “hate agent.”Facebook may also categorize you as a hate agent if you self-identify with or advocate for a “Designated Hateful Ideology,” if you associate with a “Designated Hate Entity” (one of the examples cited by Facebook as a “hate entity” includes Islam critic Tommy Robinson), or if you have “tattoos of hate symbols or hate slogans.” (The document cites no examples of these, but the media and “anti-racism” advocacy groups increasingly label innocuous items as “hate symbols,” including a cartoon frog and the “OK” hand sign.)... The document also says Facebook will categorize you as a hate agent for “statements made in private but later made public.” Of course, Facebook holds vast amounts of information on what you say in public and in private — and as we saw with the Daily Beast doxing story, the platform will publicize private information on their users to assist the media in hitjobs on regular American citizens... The [Carl] Benjamin addition reveals that Facebook may categorize you as a hate agent merely for speaking neutrally about individuals and organizations that the social network considers hateful. In the document, Facebook tags Benjamin with a “hate agent” signal for “neutral representation of John Kinsman, member of Proud Boys”... Facebook also accuses Benjamin, a classical liberal and critic of identity politics, as “representing the ideology of an ethnostate” for a post in which he calls out an actual advocate of an ethnostate. In addition to the more unorthodox signals that Facebook uses to determine if its users are “hate agents,” there is also, predictably, “hate speech.” Facebook divides hate speech into three tiers depending on severity and considers attacks on a person’s “immigration status” to be hate speech."

Down the Rabbit Hole of Political Intolerance in Silicon Valley - "After the election, the majority of Facebook employees appeared to feel some combination of shocked, devastated, and/or horrified. This cocktail of emotions seemed to crystalize in the creation of a quickly popular internal Facebook group called “Refocusing Our Mission.” As per the page’s introductory message—“The results of the 2016 Election show that Facebook has failed in its mission”—the conceit of this group was that Trump’s victory was some sort of proof that Facebook needed to change its ways.Although it’s natural to empathize with the frustration that those joining this group must have felt, a handful of Facebook employees— people from both sides of the political spectrum—felt that something was very unnatural, creepy even, about seeing the election results as proof that Facebook had somehow failed. Because, frankly, it provided a pretty ugly answer to the question people continued to ask more and more: What is Facebook? Well, according to the founder of “Refocusing Our Mission” and the hundreds of employees who quickly joined and engaged, Facebook was basically some sort of social engineering tool—an invisible hand meant to guide its users toward the “correct” political beliefs.Or to put it another way: since Zuckerberg often described Face- book as “like a utility,” then this reaction was the equivalent of AT&T declaring that Mondale losing to Reagan meant it was time for them to rethink the mission of this whole phone line network thing."

What Infowars' Alex Jones and Voldemort Have in Common - "At a WIRED event in October, Jack Dorsey said people don’t view Twitter as a service. “They see what looks like a public square,” he said, “and they have the same expectation as they have of a public square, and that is what we have to get right.”"
An acknowledgement by Twitter that it is a de facto public square. Which makes big tech censorship even more deplorable

Facebook bans Saint Augustine quote as ‘hate speech’ - "A decision by Facebook to ban a peace-loving quote by St. Augustine of Hippo, a Catholic theologian and philosopher from the 5th century, has one Catholic writer scratching his head...
The quote Facebook deemed so offensive is as follows:
Let us never assume that if we live good lives we will be without sin; our lives should be praised only when we continue to beg for pardon. But men are hopeless creatures, and the less they concentrate on their own sins, the more interested they become in the sins of others. They seek to criticize, not to correct. Unable to excuse themselves, they are ready to accuse others...
Bettinelli is now concerned that Facebook users will end up in “Facebook jail”, i.e. not be able to post on Facebook, just for quoting the Bible or sharing a “word of encouragement from a saint.”... Facebook has been implicated in censoring conservative and Christian opinions. Recently, CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook had intentionally blocked pro-life advertisements in the run-up to Ireland’s referendum to remove the right-to-life of the unborn child from its constitution"

Facebook labels LifeSite report on left-wing textbook fake news, gives no explanation or appeal - "Facebook recently came under fire for blocking objective informational links about abortion from the American Pregnancy Association’s website, as well as an article by The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher discussing a fake hate crime orchestrated by actor Jussie Smollett."

Trump’s chief comms regulator says censorship ‘greatest threat’ to free internet - "“Unregulated Silicon Valley tech giants” present today’s greatest threat to a free internet, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai told Congress this week, calling on lawmakers to consider new reforms to protect users."

‘Nazis using dog whistles’: Internal Google email goes after Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson & PragerUs - "An embarrassing new leak shows Google employees discussing disabling features for YouTube creators they describe as ‘Nazis,’ even as the company denied allegations of political bias based on earlier leaked documents.In an email published on Tuesday by the conservative watchdog Project Veritas, one member of the Google transparency and ethics team, identified only as Liam, tells others that Prager University, Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro are “Nazis using the dog whistles you mention.”... Those named in the email reacted swiftly and with umbrage at being described as Nazis. Prager University pointed out that their founder is Jewish and has spoken against “anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, Hitler, etc.” So did Shapiro, tweeting that he “militantly hate[s] white supremacy.” Talk show host Dave Rubin, who is Jewish, spoke up for Peterson, a Canadian professor with whom he went on a world speaking tour.“Almost every night he talked about the horrors of fascism, Nazism,” Rubin tweeted. “Discussed their roots and how to fight their terrible ideology…”... Somewhat lost amid the outrage over the email labeling Shapiro, Prager and Peterson ‘Nazis’ was the fact that it seemed to directly contradict Google’s denials of Monday’s revelations published by Project Veritas, accusing the company of “re-biasing” search results to achieve “fairness.”"
Given that Jews are the new Nazis (since the most incompetent Holocaust in the world that's being carried out in the Palestinian territories has led to one of the highest population growth rates in the world), this is very fitting

Bokhari: The Real 'Voter Suppression' in 2018 Came from Big Tech - "After virtually every election, Democrats go-to explanation for why they didn’t win X state or Y district is “voter suppression.” The midterms were no different — but the complaint was particularly egregious, given that it occurred on the back of outright election meddling from Silicon Valley.“Voter suppression may have made the difference for Republicans in Georgia,” argued far-left Vox. “The GOP loves voter suppression,” concurred Slate. “Midterms 2018: when voting goes wrong” was the headline at the BBC.Most of the claims revolved around faulty ballot machines, ID requirements (how dare we ask voters to prove that they’re citizens! racism! white supremacy!), longer-than-expected queues at polling stations, and bureaucratic screw-ups like failure to secure enough power cables for electronic voting booths. None of the faux-outraged writers documented actual evidence of deliberate voter suppression. The left-wing BBC even conceded that “research has previously shown that alleged vote suppression in the form of ID laws does not seriously affect election outcomes.”... Just a few weeks before the vote, big tech stopped multiple Republican politicians from reaching their digital grassroots and energizing their voters. An ad by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony list on behalf of Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee was blocked by Facebook. Blackburn’s own campaign ad, which featured far-left protests, was refused by Google, a company whose own internal research admits to a “shift towards censorship” by tech platforms.A day before the election, Facebook also blocked a pro-Republican ad from Donald Trump highlighting the illegal migrant caravan making its way through Central America to the U.S. border. Facebook chose to stand with the legacy media, including CNN, Fox, and NBC, in stopping the ad from reaching its intended audience. Beyond the blocks of Republican ads, there were mass-bannings. On the weekend before the election, Twitter brazenly banned over 10,000 accounts at the instruction of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It wasn’t the first year big tech engaged in election meddling. In 2016, Google made a special effort to turn out Latino voters, even supporting groups that bussed Latino voters to the polls. This was purportedly a “non-partisan” attempt to drive turnout. But leaked emails revealed dismay within the company that Latinos had voted for Trump in record numbers. But when it came to outright suppression of conservative voices and the conservative grassroots, 2016 had nothing on 2018. This was a year in which top conservative and alternative media influencers were purged from the platform, including Roger Stone, Tommy Robinson, R.C. Maxwell, and Gavin McInnes. In the months leading to the election, Twitter also issued conservatives James Woods and Laura Loomer with temporary suspensions (Loomer has since been banned from Twitter permanently for criticizing a Democratic congresswoman). Together, the banned and suspended influencers were able to reach and influence millions of Twitter users — and in a crucial election year, Twitter took that powerful ability to mobilize the grassroots away from them... The double standards are obvious. Influential activists like Tommy Robinson get banned from big tech platforms for posting facts, while far-left radicals get to dox their ideological opponents, encourage violence, and cheer for “Antifa” domestic terrorists with far less interference. The result is a two-tiered system, where the left can mobilize its supporters for any purpose, while the right’s ability to do so is constantly curtailed... Democrats will cry “voter suppression” when they see a few faulty voting machines. But they’ll also call Silicon Valley censorship a “conspiracy theory,” even when big tech companies openly admit to censorship"

Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 on Twitter - "They've gone through Milo, Alex Jones, and Loomer, now they've arrived at Steven Crowder
Those who applauded the earlier cenorship were fools to think they'd be eaten last
Anyone with a brain always knew this would not end where it began"

Dave Rubin on Twitter - "So Twitter is banning people who tweet #LearnToCode at journalists. I just reported a tweet which has information about where I live and was immediately informed it’s not a violation. At what point are lawsuits the only option? Maybe we’re there already? @Barnes_Law"
Big Tech censorship means it's only harassment if it's directed at a liberal

Project Veritas Temporarily Suspended On Twitter For Exposing Pinterest Ideological Bent - "This comes shortly on the heels after Project Veritas published an article outing Pinterest for perma-banning Live Action, a pro-life organization, after months of suppressing their content via censorship.It kind of looks like more and more these social media sites are not only selectively censoring content but also attempting to suppress journalists from exposing their censorial bias being employed behind the scenes.Combining this with the fact that Google has its own blacklist of sorts and it becomes ever more apparent that big tech are working aggressively to stifle certain kinds of content and prevent people from seeing certain kinds of news"

PeterSweden on Twitter - "So let me get this straight. @Project_Veritas exposed Pinterest of censorship against Christians and pro-life group. This is investigative journalism.
- Twitter suspended their account and had them delete the leak.
- YouTube deleted their video on the leak
Big tech collusion?"

Vimeo Bans Project Veritas Account For Posting Video Exposing Google's Censorship, Political Bias - "Joining in on the fray is video hosting site Vimeo, who also banned Project Veritas account for being “hateful”, “defamatory” and/or “discriminatory”.The news comes courtesy of a tweet that Project Veritas’ head James O’Keefe shared on June 26th, 2019 confirming that Vimeo is part of the censorship brigade."

Project Veritas - Google Exec Decries Trump's Election: 'How Do We Prevent It from Happening Again' - "The report includes undercover footage featuring a top Google executive, Jen Gennai, discussing how Google might prevent an electoral outcome like 2016 from happening again... Gennai also declares her opposition to Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up Google. Why? Because, says Gennai, if Google is broken up it can’t prevent another “Trump situation.”.. Gennai also declared that no amount of soft pressure from Congress or the White House will make Google change its ways. In other words, talk won’t help — if politicians want to change Google’s behavior, they’ll have to go beyond committee hearings and actually change the law... Gennai also declared that no amount of soft pressure from Congress or the White House will make Google change its ways. In other words, talk won’t help — if politicians want to change Google’s behavior, they’ll have to go beyond committee hearings and actually change the law"... Gennai works on “responsible innovation” in the Global Affairs division of Google — the same division run by Kent Walker, the Google VP who has declared his intention to make the populist-nationalist movement represented by Donald Trump a “blip” or “hiccup” in history, which he said “bends towards progress.”"

YouTube Censors Video About Google Election Meddling; Reddit Suspends Project Veritas - "Alphabet, the parent company over Google and YouTube, is now censoring videos related to Project Veritas’ latest investigation into Google manipulating search results with the aim of tampering with the upcoming 2020 elections. In the video key staff at Google admitted that the company’s “ML Fairness” application to search engine algorithmic results are themed around suppressing content they don’t want people to see and removing results they deem problematic... As a way to keep people from seeing Project Veritas’ video, YouTube claimed that it violated their privacy policy... The video revealed that Google’s staff are intent on manipulating the upcoming 2020 elections so that Trump can’t be re-elected. They’re training their algorithm to remove or suppress certain kinds of information from getting out in order to socially engineer people to think a certain way and vote the way Google wants them to.Big tech like Reddit seem to be on board with this idea, because as James O’Keefe was attempting to promote the video on the social media network, he found out that the Project Veritas Reddit account had been suspended... So not only has Google been exposed for manipulating search results, being on record as intending to manipulate the elections, and censoring news in order to maintain a specific narrative, tech companies are also censoring the people attempting to deliver the message."

Pinterest appears to remove the term "Christian" from its internal blacklist after leaked report exposure - "It appears that Pinterest has removed the word “Christian” from their Sensitive Terms blacklist. This comes one week after leaked documents by a Project Veritas insider revealed that it blacklists “Christian” and “Bible verses” from its auto-complete search suggestions... Pinterest was caught by Project Veritas blacklisting pro-life content from the group LiveAction. They falsely labeled the website as “pornography.” This was alleged to be part of the suppression of pro-life content, making it harder to for users to view it."

Twitter mysteriously suspended several accounts linked to women who say they are refugees fleeing abuse in Saudi Arabia - "Twitter has suspended accounts claiming to belong to two Saudi Arabian sisters who fled the country to seek asylum, as well as the account of an activist who was posting on their behalf... INSIDER has asked Twitter repeatedly over the past 24 hours to explain why it removed the accounts, but has yet to receive an answer.Social media has proved a valuable tool for women fleeing Saudi Arabia, where the ultra-conservative legal system gives men formal power over the women in their lives."
Maybe they were suspended due to Islamophobia

Logic, Empathy, Honesty - Posts - "Carlos Maza, a man who has explicitly called for violence against conservatives, is currently crying on the internet because he could only shame youtube into demonetizing, not outright banning, Louder with Crowder for calling him a queer. He even has the audacity to call Stephens critique of his videos "harassment", apparently immune to the irony of his own disgusting smear campaign. This illustrates beautifully a trend we've seen for years. Far left activists have become so privileged and so powerful that they think having to deal with differing opinions is persecution, and that their own tyrannical censorship is morally justified."

O’HANDLEY: The ‘#VoxAdpocalypse’ Shows Big Tech Needs A Reason To Fear Justice - "YouTube rewrote its entire speech policy, stuffing it full of “woke” campus activist word salad that can’t be described as anything other than an arbitrary standard under which anything the left does not like can earn a ban for “promoting hate.”... Silicon Valley has long relied on conservatives’ natural aversion to the regulation of and intervention in private companies, but they’ve clearly begun to abuse that freedom.Solving the problem will be no simple task. The power of the institutional left in Washington, in the media, and in the halls of Silicon Valley’s office campuses themselves can hardly be overstated.In the meantime, luckily, there’s something else they might fear: antitrust enforcement. After all, the political bias of Google and the other tech giants is only worrisome because of their monopolistic dominance of the modern public square.As the iconic Republican President Teddy Roosevelt wrote about monopolies back in 1910, “[O]ne of the most sinister manifestations of great corporate wealth … has been its tendency to interfere and dominate in politics.” Big Tech has undoubtedly given in to that meddlesome tendency, and that’s why the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission’s decision to move forward with a long-overdue investigation is so important. Big Tech needs to fear real justice more than it fears the political left."

Facebook Says Using the Word “Honk” Violates Its Community Standards - "Clown world strikes again."

Facebook Removes Conspiracy Site Natural News - "Facebook on Sunday removed the page for Natural News, a far-right conspiracy outlet that had nearly 3 million followers... Natural News used the page to push its trademark combination of natural remedies and far-right conspiracy theories, including disinformation about vaccines."
The definition of "Far right" grows ever broader

Paul Joseph Watson on Twitter - "Yet another reminder. The mainstream media promoted the most verifiably fake, harmful and downright ludicrous hoax - "Russian collusion" for years. They faced no consequences. No deplatforming. No algorithmic suppression. They lost the right to be called "authoritative"."

Chateau Heartiste Shut Down By Wordpress - "Chateau Heartiste just recently got canned by WordPress.Why?Ideological differences. WordPress didn’t agree with the things he said, you know how it always goes. Same with Infowars. Same with social media. So the third pillar has started falling: hosting providers. First news. Second social media. Now the hosting providers. Wonder if GoDaddy and the others will begin to follow suit.Before you know it, we’ll all have to be hosting out of East Europe or Switzerland. That is, if they don’t also go for ISPs as well.Seems like the natural progression of censorship. Take them out from news, take them out from social circles, then finally take down their websites. No more interconnection available for them anywhere online, except in very hidden corners most won’t put the effort into going too...
Some general lessons from this:
As society continues downhill, nothing is safe.
Don’t host with WordPress. You can use them to blog as a platform, but if you do anything slightly controversial and host with them you run the risk of getting clicked out of existence.
Always keep a f***ing backup"
On Big Tech censorship

CrossFit | CrossFit, Inc. Suspends Use of Facebook and Associated Properties - "CrossFit, Inc. defends relentlessly the right of its affiliates, trainers, and athletes to practice CrossFit, build voluntary CrossFit associations and businesses, and speak openly and freely about the ideas and principles that animate our views of exercise, nutrition, and health. This website—and, until recently, CrossFit’s Facebook and Instagram accounts—has long catalogued CrossFit’s tireless defense of its community against overreaching governments, malicious competitors, and corrupt academic organizations.Recently, Facebook deleted without warning or explanation the Banting7DayMealPlan user group. The group has 1.65 million users who post testimonials and other information regarding the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. While the site has subsequently been reinstated (also without warning or explanation), Facebook’s action should give any serious person reason to pause, especially those of us engaged in activities contrary to prevailing opinion.Facebook and its properties host and oversee a significant share of the marketplace of public thought. To millions of individuals and communities across the world, Facebook and its properties remain the platforms where ideas and information are exchanged. Facebook thus serves as a de facto authority over the public square... CrossFit, Inc., as a voluntary user of and contributor to this marketplace, can and must remove itself from this particular manifestation of the public square when it becomes clear that such responsibilities are betrayed or reneged upon to the detriment of our community"

YouTube is deleting videos on Nazi history as part of its hate speech crackdown - "Hate speech, and how to police it, isn’t a new issue for YouTube or other social platforms. But this shows just how fraught and complex the balance is, and highlights the risk of unintended consequences when policies and algorithms are tweaked. It’s also a reminder of just how much power big tech companies have as gatekeepers of the material we consume online."
Ironically, the Nazis were big on censorship

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Links - 23rd July 2019 (2)

STAR WARS "PREQUELS" FANS - "How old were you when you realized that the reason they hate droids in a New Hope... Is because they waged a Galactic War with droids a generation earlier?"

Hundreds of F&B outlets in Singapore to stop providing straws - "By July 1, over 270 food and beverage (F&B) outlets in Singapore will remove straws completely from their premises or provide them only on request.These include cafes and eateries such as Nando’s Singapore, Pastamania, A Poke Theory and Bettr Barista as well as those run by Spa Esprit Group which include Tiong Bahru Bakery and Open Farm Community.Wildlife Reserves Singapore and the Accor Group — which operates Raffles, Swissotel, Fairmont, Sofitel, Novotel and other hotel brands — have also come on board the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) initiative, which is part of the group’s PACT (Plastic ACTion) business coalition and supported by the National Environment Agency and Zero Waste SG."
Hundreds of places to boycott. Or at least not buy cold drinks from, since any drinks served with ice will be dilute and uneven, and drinks served without it will become warm
One day they find out that straw hysteria was a corporate conspiracy to save costs and look good while doing it


The Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom on Twitter - "My friend runs a midwife non profit. Today a bunch of boxes arrived. They're full of donated t shirts.
Her non profit doesn't need t-shirts.
Some white people led org just assumed because she goes to African countries that she needs...t-shirts.
And she literally has no time to figure out how to get rid of the boxes but she needs to because they are taking up space for the work. We are now crowdsourcing assistants to help her figure out how to dispose of this "donation".
It's about to take three black and brown women to deal with the mess created by white donations.
Anyway, whiteness."
Clearly white people need to stop trying to help brown/black people, since that is "whiteness". And brown/black people never make mistakes

Matt Adams - I was strolling through college campus unaccompanied... - "I was strolling through college campus unaccompanied as I often do. Not worried about being harassed or raped because I am a man. See group of young ladies struggling to set up a folding table. Two strong women have extended the legs and are trying to flip the table upright. I approach them uninvited and say hello. One flees, triggered. "let me help with that girls" I easily flip the table upright with... my masculine strength. Now upright, I can see the sign taped to the table top. FEMINIST BAKESALE. I give a low-pitched chuckle with my testosterone privileged vocal cords. "See you girls have been busy in the kitchen, what did you bake?" One strong woman stands with a box to rest on the table. Her eyes are welled with tears at the oppression she is suffering. "C-cupcakes" - "I love cupcakes, let me see what you have there" I reach my phallic hand over and open the virginal box this poor woman is holding. My male gaze objectifies the cupcakes. "Oh those look good. How much?" Another strong woman speaks up, images of Susan B. Anthony flash in her head. "They're a dollar for men because of the corrupt patria--" I stop her short in a textbook case of verbal rape. "That sounds fine. Give me the whole box." I pull out a capitalist paper bill with the image of a Cis White Male Slaveowner on it. The strong woman before me whimpers in psychic pain as I hand the bill to her, she has been reduced to a slave -- nay -- a commodity. "Thank you" she says meekly, feeling violated. I give a sensual grunt as I bite into one of the sweet, moist cupcakes. "Mmmm... It was my privilege.""

People in the UK are now called Nazis if they don't want to surrender their national sovereignty to Germany. : conspiracy

Entertain Your Nerdy Ass ☑️ - "*Hayley Atwell in figure hugging dress*
""The reason why Captain America stayed in the past"

Reighe on Twitter - "But the nazis were SJWs. They decided that a particular ethnic group is unfairly occupying too many positions of power in society, and warred against that perceived social injustice. That's the definition of SJW"

Apostate Prophet on Twitter - "You know what's crazy? Being a former Muslim with Muslim parents, relatives, and friends and being told by naive Californian white people that you're a bigot and a hateful islamophobe because you analyze your former religion."

Apostate Prophet on Twitter "Apparently,- if you do what I do and your work consists of studying and presenting Islam and its problems, you have to worry about being censored on platforms like Twitter and Facebook for voicing your opinion or sharing basic knowledge.
This never happens with other religions.
Even if you are a former Muslim and you suffered under this religion, are subject to oppression by this religion, and face death sentences for your existence in a dozen countries, some idiots in California will tell you that you just can't speak out because it's bad for business...
Corporations like these and their political allies (usually on the left of the political spectrum) are so ill-informed, emotionally driven, and fooled, that they think everything negative about Islam is equal to racism, bigotry, and hate; that it must be isolated and silenced.
In their warm seats in the safe West, with their money-hunger & their naivety, they don't allow those who are oppressed to speak up: because working with the government of Pakistan is better business than entertaining thought criminals waiting for their death in Pakistan prisons.
If my personal account is banned, simply for criticizing MY former religion, then I won't use this platform in any way, because I don't want to be part of a platform that is run by hypocrites and fascists who judge minorities of minorities because they think they know everything.
If I have to be careful here and self-censor, because these corporations can't tell what is good and what is bad, because they want to shut you down for having opinions, then I don't want a part of that.
To hell with you and your platforms. Keep licking the blood on your hands."

Anti-trump activists leave behind a mountain of litter after listening to ranting Corbyn blast Trump - "Anti-Trump protesters have left behind swathes of litter after listening to Jeremy Corbyn slam the President for his stance on the environment... Organisers admitted that the total turnout was only in the tens of thousands, despite predictions that hundreds of thousands would march against the President."

Filipinos Visit DepEd Website More than Pornhub - "Alexa—the data company, not the virtual assistant—has released its list of The Top 500 Sites on the Web. And while the Philippines has made the news more than once for being the country that spends the most time on Pornhub, it turns out that Filipinos spend even more time on the Department of Education's official website."

It isn’t Trump who’s a big baby – it’s Sadiq - "There’s only one problem with their self-satisfied flapping over Trump’s online namecalling – Sadiq started it! He was the first name-caller in this ridiculous, teenage Twitterspat. He likened Trump to fascists... Sadiq likened Trump to the people who destroyed Europe and murdered and gassed to death millions of Jews; Trump called Sadiq a midget. I’m saying Sadiq got off very lightly here."
Apparently if Sadiq insults Donald and Donald insults him back, Donald is in the wrong. But then, he is automatically wrong, so

A new book says married women are miserable. Don’t believe it. - "Women should be wary of marriage — because while married women say they’re happy, they’re lying. According to behavioral scientist Paul Dolan, promoting his recently released book Happy Every After, they’ll be much happier if they steer clear of marriage and children entirely... The problem? That finding is the result of a grievous misunderstanding on Dolan’s part of how the American Time Use Survey works. The people conducting the survey didn’t ask married people how happy they were, shoo their spouses out of the room, and then ask again. Dolan had misinterpreted one of the categories in the survey, “spouse absent,” which refers to married people whose partner is no longer living in their household, as meaning the spouse stepped out of the room.Oops... Dolan’s other claims also “fall apart with a cursory look at the evidence”... author Naomi Wolf learned of a serious mistake in a live, on-air interview about her forthcoming book Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love. In the book, she argues that men were routinely executed for sodomy in Britain during the 1800s. But as the interviewer pointed out, it appears she had misunderstood the phrase “death recorded” in English legal documents — she thought it meant a person had been executed, when it actually meant the death penalty had been deferred for their whole natural life. That meant that the executions she said occurred never actually happened... in many respects we got lucky in the Dolan case. Dolan was using publicly available data, which meant that when Kimbrough doubted his claims, he could look up the original data himself and check Dolan’s work. “It’s good this work was done using public data,” Kimbrough told me, “so I’m able to go pull the data and look into it and see, ‘Oh, this is clearly wrong.’”Many researchers don’t do that. They instead cite their own data, and decline to release it so they don’t get scooped by other researchers... Books often go to print with less fact-checking than an average Vox article"

Happiness and Academic Malpractice - "it’s pretty clear that few survey respondents are unhappy. Indeed, the .2 difference between bars represents the entirety of the difference between “happy” and “fucking miserable” as represented by Dolan in the Guardian article. This is a pretty trivial difference by any stretch of the imagination. Is the difference statistically significant? Dolan doesn’t say. Are these results adjusted for socio-demographic differences between respondents? Dolan doesn’t say that either. Are both heterosexual and same-sex marriages depicted in Figure 10? More silence from Dolan.Indeed, Dolan’s book contains very few methodological details. He is candid about not doing the data analysis himself... Dolan’s book, in short, doesn’t appear to support what he said in the Guardian interview... Dolan’s suggestion that marriage isn’t related to women’s physical health is refuted by the earlier research he cites in his book. The American Time Use Survey data he invokes offers no evidence in support of the contention that the “healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children.” Moreover, my own analysis of data from the General Social Survey supports Kimbrough’s findings—and repudiates Dolan’s. The figure below shows that married women are much more likely to report being “very happy” than are their previously married or never-married contemporaries. The only part of the story that Dolan appears to get right is the claim that people with kids are a bit less happy. Elsewhere Dolan offers claims that can be refuted just as easily. For instance, in a portion of his book excerpted by the Guardian in January of this year, he claims that people who make over $100,000 a year are no happier than those making under $25,000... Academics make mistakes, even dumb ones. Dolan could have easily come clean about everything, but he didn’t... Dolan’s “findings” about marriage were spread far and wide in the days after the May 25 Guardian article. The Guardian itself repeated the fiction two days later (and again, two days after that), but couldn’t be bothered to correct it. Meanwhile, the story had already popped up in clickbait at the New York Post, the UK’s Telegraph, and myriad other sites. Far fewer have set the story straight (two exceptions are the aforementioned BBC segment and a detailed explainer in Vox)."
If the Daily Mail once got a story wrong 10 years ago, that means it can't be trusted and only idiots read it.
If the Guardian repeatedly gets things wrong (and unlike the Daily Mail doesn't update or retract stories), there's no problem


Teenage who was sexually assaulted multiple times ends her own life through legal euthanasia
Luckily this was the Independent and not the Daily Mail, so we don't need to write off everything they publish even though they got this (and other stories) wrong
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