"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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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Links - 28th August 2019

ZUBY: on Twitter - "Women: "Men have unrealistic standards for women!"
Data: "LOL"… "
*OkCupid data on men rating women's attractiveness relatively evenly, e.g. 88% were rated 2-6/7*
*OkCupid data on women rating men's attractiveness with insane expectations - 81% were 5-7/7*
Hypergamy!

How America made Scandinavian social democracy possible | FT Alphaville - "places largely populated by voluntary migrants and their descendants — such as the United States — are more entrepreneurial, wealthier, and more unequal than source countries, such as Europe. New research presented at the annual conference of the Economic History Society suggests the stereotype fairly describes the outcome of migration from Norway and Sweden to the United States in the second half of the 19th century... the migration flows, which were small relative to the native population of America but equivalent to about 25 per cent of the total population of Scandinavia, changed the character of Norwegian and Swedish society by removing the most ambitious and independently-minded people.In other words, Scandinavian social democracy might not be possible without America’s historic willingness to absorb those who refused to follow the “Law of Jante”. The methodology centres on names. Psychologists have long found that people with relatively rare names are more likely to be “unique”... This presents interesting questions for policy.If you want a highly individualistic society, with all the benefits and pitfalls that entails, you should want large-scale immigration, particularly from places that are far away. If you prefer more tight-knit communities and a large welfare state, you might prefer to avoid taking in ambitious nonconformists from abroad and instead try to get your own “troublemakers” to leave.Perhaps it’s no coincidence that America’s greatest period of social conformity and social democracy occurred when immigration was essentially zero"

Meme: - "WHEN WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE VICTIMS
Muslims Are on Alert for Misplaced Retaliation After Paris Attacks
As a Muslim Woman Who Wears Hijab I Made a Conscious Decision to Remain at Home the Day After the Paris Attacks So I Could as I Told My Friends 'Stay Out of Harm's Way'
'I'm Frightened' After Attacks in Paris New York Muslims Cope With a Backlash
De Blasio Pledges to Protect City's Muslim Community
Australian Muslim Leaders Wary of London Attack Backlash
Why Muslims Should Never Have to Apologize for Terrorism
You Shouldn't Blame Islam for Terrorism Religion Isn't a Crucial Factor in Attacks
Don't Blame Islam for One Cowardly Man's Attack in New York
Muslims 'Absolutely' the Group Most Victimized by Global Terrorism Researchers Say
Terrorists Don't Kill for Their Religion It's Something Else Entirely
After Bastille Day Attack Young Muslims and Arabs Fear for Their Future in France
The Worst Thing We Could Do Is Blame the Australian Muslim Community
WHEN MUSLIMS ARE THE VICTIMS
In Solidarity With Muslims New Zealand Jewish Community Shut Synagogues on Shabbat for First Time in History
New Zealand Massacre Highlights Global Reach of White Extremism
Morrison Government Bans Milo Yiannopoulos in Wake of Christchurch Massacre
DON'T JUST CONDEMN THE NEW ZEALAND ATTACKS - POLITICIANS AND PUNDITS MUST STOP THEIR ANTI-MUSLIM RHETORIC
Trump Downplayed the Threat From White Nationalists After the Deadly New Zealand Attacks
Jews, Christians, Sikhs and Others stand with Muslims after New Zealand Attack
New Zealand Mosque Shootings: John Legend Urges Trump to Condemn, Fight White Supremacy
New Zealand Mosque ShootingsL How US Racism Might Be Fueling Hate Around the World
Robin DiAngelo on Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
The New Zealand Shooter's Manifesto Shows how White Nationalist Rhetoric Spreads
Confronting Domestic Terrorism Means Confronting White Nationalism"

NUSWhispers - Posts - "Generally, North Asian girls tend to be classier with Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese girls being at the top of the table. Hands down, they're far prettier and act with more class and grace than any local or SEA girls. With China girls, it's tricky.... there are very beautiful china girls as well but they're often very materialistic and superficial hence you need to be lucky. Moving on, I would say that Hk girls are the prettier and smarter cousin of Singaporean girls. Both are very similar in that they're equally shallow but the difference with HK girls, I would argue is that their TOP girls are very well rounded and they do NOT date bums or angmohs for the fun of it. They are "smarter" in the sense that they know their value goes down when they date poorly so they tend to stick to an elite crowd of bankers, consultants etc.. again, they're generally snobbish like Singaporean girls but FAR more astute. I have seen well rounded expats getting the cold shoulder in Singapore doing very well with them."

Teach "Don't Steal", not "Lock your doors" - Posts - "you must uncritically accept my worldview
why??
umm it’s called being a decent human being"

Teach "Don't Steal", not "Lock your doors" - Posts - "'white cis men are an evil cancer on humanity and the world would be a peaceful paradise without them destroying everything good'
'no we aren't'
'haha wow so sensitive
your fragile white masculinity is showing lol male tears'"

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 225 - Neerav Kingsland on "The case for charter schools" - "'we have pretty decent evidence that you don't see massive drops in academic learning as charter schools scale... I don't think the point of a public school system is to increase its revenue, it's to increase learning. I think we should think about the public dollars being more associated with children than any one given institution.I don't view movement of dollars as a moral positive or negative. I'm much more concerned about, I think if we were watching charters grow, and then that was causing crazy academic drops in the traditional system, then we have to think are we hurting some of the people that aren't getting it. And we just don't see that'...
'It's also interesting because it suggests … If you follow that logic it seems to suggest that we should maximize class sizes, and so on, because we wanna get more benefit per dollar.'
'Exactly. When you're thinking about public interventions, I think you should start with the baseline that almost nothing works. Here, with urban charter schools, we have something that works, something that's getting better overtime, something that works more cheaply and is higher productive. Something that’s scaling fairly rapidly and something that doesn't hurt the existing system.That's as close as you get like a miracle in public policy. I've just become a huge believer, and I think the politics of it are unfortunate.'...
'That seems like it would imply that the students left behind in the non-charter schools have less involved, or less motivated, parents. How could it be that we don't see educational outcomes dropping in the regular public school system?'...
'As the charters were growing, the district kept on getting better and better, and we really got to an “all boats rising” situation.That's my hope, is that the competition creates more nimbleness in the traditional system, and that's better for the kids and educators in that system too.'...
'I think in New Orleans it was roughly, parents who were willing to travel an extra mile or two for ever letter grade bump in the school... Parents care more about absolute student achievement than academic growth.'...
'The last objection that I can think of off the top of my head to charter schools, that we haven't covered, is just: parents who put their kids in charter schools then having less stake in the public school system, and being probably less inclined to vote for superintendents who are gonna do a good job, et cetera. Is that something you're worried about?'
'If forcing people to attend crappy schools is a way to increase civic engagement to then fix the schools, we've run that playbook. And it hasn't worked... that's an idea that might be a good talking point but it doesn't really hit reality when you look at the unfortunate lack of democratic accountability and civic participation.'"

Once Threatened, Europe’s Night Trains Rebound - The New York Times - "“The most important thing for me these days is the climate discussion, because they are really climate-friendly alternatives to middle-distance flying,” Bernhard Knierim, an activist with Back on Track, said of trains. For Mr. Knierim, the optimal distance for overnight rail travel is “anything up to 1,000 kilometers,” or about 620 miles... Not only do night trains allow travelers to avoid the guilt of flygskam, but train travel can also be productive, thanks to the onboard Wi-Fi that many night trains offer for free. For most travelers, however, the main “productive” time will be spent sleeping. They are also cost effective: These trains eliminate the need for booking a night of accommodation... “There’s something really great about waking up and being dumped off in the center of the place you’re traveling to, instead of 20 or 30 kilometers out, as you are with most flights”"

Princeton grad, 34, faces life behind bars, convicted of killing dad who cut off his allowance - "Thomas Gilbert Jr., now 34, was 30 years old when he became angry with his father, whom New York authorities said had made cuts to the son’s weekly allowance of as much as $1,000. The son had been living a lavish lifestyle of golf, surfing and travel – all paid for by his parents, prosecutors said."

Can you trust TripAdvisor and Yelp, or does ‘wisdom of crowds’ theory fail when applied to online review sites? - "the crowd’s supposedly superior wisdom depends upon a diversity of independent opinion... Independence prevents the copying of others’ mistakes, as is likely if most existing views tend in one direction, which can cause a cascading effect that leads not to wisdom but to an avalanche of ignorance.Those looking to form their own opinions on a product or service who visit review-driven sites read a mass of existing material before returning to contribute... As Galton pointed out about the ox competition, “The 6d fee deterred practical joking.” But there’s no such restraint online, where the only qualifi­cation for posting on most sites is a willingness to do so, permitting advice not only from well-intentioned ignorance, but from bias, a desire to mislead for economic gain, or sheer mischief... Some recommend ignoring the top 10 or even 20 restaurants in any particular location on the grounds that these are the ones most likely to have manipulated the reviews, or to have been praised by those simply carried along by the hype. Some argue that restaurants with fewer than five reviews should be ignored, and at least there’s some logic in that... buyers tended to choose products with larger numbers of reviews. Even when there was a choice of two products each with predominantly negative reviews, buyers would still choose the one with the most comments.But the law of large numbers says that the more data points there are, the more likely the average is to be accurate, and so the product with the most negative reviews should be the one that’s avoided... buyers tended to choose products with larger numbers of reviews. Even when there was a choice of two products each with predominantly negative reviews, buyers would still choose the one with the most comments.But the law of large numbers says that the more data points there are, the more likely the average is to be accurate, and so the product with the most negative reviews should be the one that’s avoided."

Tim Pool on Twitter - "Its kind of terrifying that Trump just made history trying hard to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula and 'resistance' personalities and media hate Trump so much they are actively trying to sabotage him
Vox even said Tulsi Gabbard had a "conservative stance on wars" what the fuck is wrong with these people. This is dangerous sociopathy. These people *want* death and chaos"
If Trump were pro-vaccine, liberals would be anti-vaccine

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 194 - Robert Wright on "Why Buddhism is True" - "One of the models that has come along in psychology that I think has a lot to be said for it, and is especially, although not only, associated with evolutionary psychology is called the modular model of the mind. The idea here is that the mind consists of a lot of little actors... This is in a lot of ways compatible with Buddhist thinking, and it's compatible with a particular observation you hear from meditation teachers, and advanced meditators. They'll say, "Thoughts think themselves." What they mean by that ... What they mean is if you get your mind to a sufficient state of quiet, and you observe thought, suddenly it doesn't seem like you're generating them, it seems like they're kind of drifting in from left field. You realize that maybe normally the situation is thoughts actually just kinda enter my consciousness from somewhere in my brain and I automatically take ownership with them and assume that I'm the originator of them. But, if you really calm your mind you realize that actually, thoughts are being injected into consciousness. So that's a case of an introspective meditative observation, that's kind of nicely compatible with a model from modern psychology, that I think has a lot to be said for it"

Monday, August 26, 2019

Links - 26th August 2019 (3)

In Montreal, a Berlin Wall of the Mind? - The New York Times - "Fast-forward three decades, and separatism is largely in retreat. One in four Anglophones in Quebec marry French Quebecers... provincial legislators unanimously passed a resolution calling for shopkeepers to stop saying “Bonjour-hi” when they greet customers and to say simply “Bonjour” instead.Meanwhile, Valérie Plante, the outward-looking mayor of Montreal, was recently criticized for releasing highlights of the city’s budget in English... Chloe Molson, a university student with a Francophone mother and an Anglophone father, said that when she sometimes used English to greet customers at the Westmount supermarket where she works part-time, they sometimes rebuked her.“One woman said to me, ‘Don’t you understand French?!’” she said.But her Anglo friends sometimes become panicked when addressed in French."

As young home cooks seek convenience, the fate of Singapore’s wet markets hangs in the balance - "Many other wet market vendors that TODAY spoke to also said business has been getting tougher for them over the years, as shoppers are increasingly turning to supermarkets and grocery delivery services.A National Environment Agency (NEA) survey conducted last year found that 39 per cent of Singaporeans had not been to a wet market in the previous 12 months.The number has been steadily rising. In 2016 and 2014, the corresponding figures were 33 per cent and 23 per cent respectively... Besides slowing demand, vendors also face an uphill battle in convincing their children to take over the family business... Undergraduate Sean Lew, 22, is fairly typical of young grocery shoppers who spoke to TODAY — he said he prefers supermarkets as they are air-conditioned and more hygienic.“I would only go to the wet market for beef, because beef there is way cheaper than in the supermarkets,” he said.Fellow undergraduate How Ying Hui, 22, added that the short opening hours of wet markets make them too inconvenient.“I would prefer to get fresh meats and vegetables at the wet market, but because most of the stalls are closed by noon, there would not be many stores open if I go after school.” Ms Cheong Bao Wen, 23, an operations executive at a private equity firm, said that she has only been to a wet market once and is unlikely to ever return.“The wet market is very warm and smells sometimes. Plus anything that I can get there, I can also get it from the supermarkets. And supermarkets are also more accessible than the wet markets.”"

Judge gives doctors go-ahead to abort mentally-ill woman's baby despite mother's religious objections - "A judge has given doctors the go-ahead to perform an abortion on a pregnant mentally-ill woman.Mrs Justice Lieven has concluded that a pregnancy termination is in the woman's best interests after analysing evidence at a hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are considered, in London.Bosses at an NHS trust responsible for the woman's care had asked Mrs Justice Lieven to let doctors perform an abortion. Specialists said a pregnancy termination was the best option.The woman's mother, a former midwife, was against abortion because of her Catholic faith and said she could care for the child... the woman, who is in her twenties and is 22 weeks pregnant, had the mental age of a child aged between six and nine"
This is like giving a 9 year old Jehovah's Witness a blood transfusion against his will

Spies fear a consulting firm helped hobble U.S. intelligence - "America’s vast spying apparatus was built around a Cold War world of dead drops and double agents. Today, that world has fractured and migrated online, with hackers and rogue terrorist cells, leaving intelligence operatives scrambling to keep up.So intelligence agencies did what countless other government offices have done: They brought in a consultant. For the past four years, the powerhouse firm McKinsey and Co., has helped restructure the country’s spying bureaucracy, aiming to improve response time and smooth communication. Instead, according to nearly a dozen current and former officials who either witnessed the restructuring firsthand or are familiar with the project, the multimillion dollar overhaul has left many within the country’s intelligence agencies demoralized and less effective.These insiders said the efforts have hindered decision-making at key agencies — including the CIA, National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They said McKinsey helped complicate a well-established linear chain of command, slowing down projects and turnaround time, and applied cookie-cutter solutions to agencies with unique cultures. In the process, numerous employees have become dismayed, saying the efforts have at best been a waste of money and, at worst, made their jobs more difficult. It’s unclear how much McKinsey was paid in that stretch, but according to news reports and people familiar with the effort, the total exceeded $10 million... In each case, bureaucratic changes that slow response time or hamper intelligence collection capabilities could cause the loss of company secrets, private government data, the democratic process and even American lives. Already, some projects at the NSA have been cut or delayed as a result of disgruntled employees leaving the agency."
Strange, libertarians tell us that the private sector is always better than the public sector

Ice Cream Man Charges Influencers Double Because They Keep Asking For Free Ice Cream - "CVT Soft Serve in Los Angeles took to social media to share its new policy: ask for a free cone and you must pay double... the well-established brand doesn’t need free promo from influencers, as it already has some pretty famous customers, like actor Bill Murray"

China slips app into phones of visitors, sifting their data - "China has turned its western region of Xinjiang into a police state with few modern parallels, employing a combination of high-tech surveillance and enormous manpower to monitor and subdue the area’s predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities.Now, the digital dragnet is expanding beyond Xinjiang’s residents, ensnaring tourists, traders and other visitors — and digging deep into their smartphones... China’s border authorities routinely install the app on smartphones belonging to travellers who enter Xinjiang by land from Central Asia, according to several people interviewed by the journalists who crossed the border recently and requested anonymity to avoid government retaliation.Chinese officials also installed the app on the phone of one of the journalists during a recent border crossing. Visitors were required to turn over their devices to be allowed into Xinjiang.The app gathers personal data from phones, including text messages and contacts. It also checks whether devices are carrying pictures, videos, documents and audio files that match any of more than 73,000 items included on a list stored within the app’s code.Those items include Islamic State publications, recordings of jihadi anthems and images of executions. But they also include material without any connection to Islamic terrorism, an indication of China’s heavy-handed approach to stopping extremist violence.There are scanned pages from an Arabic dictionary, recorded recitations of Quran verses, a photo of the Dalai Lama and even a song by a Japanese band of the earsplitting heavy-metal style known as grindcore"

Kim Jong Un's elite bodyguards run beside his car because of a Clint Eastwood movie - "“As a boy, he’d seen the movie ‘In the Line of Fire,’ in which Eastwood plays a US Secret Service agent who had been guarding John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in 1963. Eastwood’s character and other agents run alongside the president’s car,” Fifield’s book says. Becoming a bodyguard for the North Korean leader is extremely difficult. Lee Yeong Guk, a bodyguard for Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, has said it’s “harder than passing through the eye of a needle.”Recruits are chosen from the military and must pass through several tests to judge their health, eyesight, looks, personality, and family background, according to Fifield.“Those charged with guarding the Brilliant Comrade must have excellent political credentials and come only from the most loyal classes,” Fifield’s book says. They must be around the same height as Kim, and they are among the only people allowed to carry firearms near the leader... North Korea takes extraordinary measures to protect Kim, including taste-testing food before it’s served to him and toting around his personal toilet so no foreign government can analyze his DNA for health information"

Opinion | Why Fiction Trumps Truth - The New York Times - "When it comes to uniting people around a common story, fiction actually enjoys three inherent advantages over the truth. First, whereas the truth is universal, fictions tend to be local. Consequently if we want to distinguish our tribe from foreigners, a fictional story will serve as a far better identity marker than a true story... The second huge advantage of fiction over truth has to do with the handicap principle, which says that reliable signals must be costly to the signaler... If political loyalty is signaled by believing a true story, anyone can fake it. But believing ridiculous and outlandish stories exacts greater cost, and is therefore a better signal of loyalty... Third, and most important, the truth is often painful and disturbing. Hence if you stick to unalloyed reality, few people will follow you. An American presidential candidate who tells the American public the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about American history has a 100 percent guarantee of losing the elections. The same goes for candidates in all other countries... Even if we need to pay some price for deactivating our rational faculties, the advantages of increased social cohesion are often so big that fictional stories routinely triumph over the truth in human history. Scholars have known this for thousands of years, which is why scholars often had to decide whether they served the truth or social harmony. Should they aim to unite people by making sure everyone believes in the same fiction, or should they let people know the truth even at the price of disunity? Socrates chose the truth and was executed. The most powerful scholarly establishments in history — whether of Christian priests, Confucian mandarins or Communist ideologues — placed unity above truth. That’s why they were so powerful."

Poll: Americans Are Highly Critical of the State of Public Discourse - "Eighty-five percent of Americans believe political debate has become less respectful. Seventy-six percent think it has become less fact-based. And 60 percent believe political debate doesn’t focus on issues as much as it did in the past... Could the negative political debate – devoid of facts and substantive issues – be the result of the free society in which we live?That’s part of the argument advanced by Richard Weaver in a few essays on propaganda. Writing several decades ago, Weaver explains that propaganda – that fact-less fluff so many Americans resent – is to be expected in a free and pluralistic society, because “a pluralistic society is one which must countenance propaganda from many sources.”...
'we have largely ceased to teach rhetoric. If democracy means anything, it means that every person is an active advocate of policies. He must listen to many arguments, and he must make arguments in refutation. He cannot do either of these well—he cannot make his honestly held views acceptable to others, and he cannot disarm an opponent in an argument—unless he has some understanding of the probative value of statements.'"

Foodie Calls: Dating For a Free Meal (Rather Than a Relationship) - "23% of women in this first group revealed they’d engaged in a foodie call. Most did so occasionally or rarely. Although women who had engaged in a foodie call believed it was more acceptable, most women believed foodie calls were extremely to moderately unacceptable... those that engaged in foodie calls scored higher in the “dark triad” personality traits.“Several dark traits have been linked to deceptive and exploitative behavior in romantic relationships, such as one-night stands, faking an orgasm, or sending unsolicited sexual pictures”"

When a libertarian cites Sweden you know there’s something fishy going on - "When a libertarian cherry picks an ownership model from Sweden – which has a world-famous cradle-to-grave welfare system and hence is a country to send shudders down libertarian spines – you know there’s something fishy going on.It’s true, private road associations manage two thirds of the road network in Sweden. But what Wellings doesn’t reveal in the executive summary is that the Swedish Government subsidises these road associations. Furthermore, the privately owned and operated roads are mostly dirt tracks, in the middle of nowhere, with incredibly low volumes of traffic. Municipal roads in Sweden, just like municipal roads in most places in the world, are owned by the municipalities concerned. Private ownership of all city streets would lead to dystopian horrors, in Sweden and everywhere else.The private roads in Sweden see very low numbers of vehicles, less than 50 vehicles per day from outside the area and 70 local journeys per day."

Sikh drivers are transforming U.S. trucking. Take a ride along the Punjabi American highway - Los Angeles Times - "Over the last decade, Indian Americans have launched trucking schools, truck companies, truck washes, trucker temples and no-frills Indian restaurants modeled after truck stops back home, where Sikhs from the state of Punjab dominate the industry.“You used to see a guy with a turban and you would get excited,” says Pal, who is in his 15th year of trucking. “Today, you go to some stops and can convince yourself you are in India.”Three interstates — the I-5, I-80 and I-10 — are dotted with Indian-American-owned businesses catering to truckers. They start to appear as you drive east from Los Angeles, Reno and Phoenix, and often have the words “Bombay,” “Indian” or “Punjabi” on their storefront signs... At a Subway in Amarillo a few hours later, he grabs his go-to lunch when he’s taking a break from Indian food: a chicken sandwich on white bread with pepper jack, lettuce, tomato and onion. At home, the family is vegetarian. Pal relishes chances on the road to indulge in meat. He used to depend solely on his wife’s cooking. Today, he has other options. It’s a luxury to switch from homemade meals to Punjabi restaurants to fast food."

Malaysian Chinese and Integration

An article that is both problematic and interesting at the same time:

Mak Khuin Weng - マク - Posts

"This is a VERY LONG article written by Tai Zee Kin back in 2013. I can't find the original post on his Facebook Page, so I'm just going to do a copy and paste here.

I would say that there is merit to what he wrote considering that other research papers that I have read on the Chinese school subject show that the primary reason we still have it in Malaysia is to ensure the Chinese language continues to thrive and prosper even though it is a language that is not used by Malaysians of other races within their own community.

I think this article provides a very good insight into the psyche of the Chinese educated under the Chinese education system.

........................................................................................
Ethnic Han (chinese)-Malaysian, please wake up from our ancestors' grievance and deparis!

马来西亚汉裔同胞,从我们祖先哀怨和悔恨的沉睡中醒起来吧-

(Preface - This article was originally written by me fully in Mandarin. However i have not gathered enough courage to publish the mandarin version, having anticipated attacks from Chinese Chauvinists in Malaysia. I've seek many advices from wise people before putting my thoughts together in this issue. In the spirit of Malaysia, I shall put forth this to you. I dedicate this to every Malaysian, especially our brothers and sisters from different races and ethnicity.)

- "I was listening to a song by the name of 黄河怨 (Grievance of the Yellow River). The wordings of the song reflected the grievance and mourning by the widows and children of chinese men who went on to fight the japanese. The wordings of the song was painful. they were saddening, and full of regrets."

1) The Great Divide - of Northern and Southern Chinese Immigrants

Being a chinese malaysian/ Han Malaysian, when you know another new Han Malaysian friends by their name, you would then supplement another question that other races wouldn't common asked : "What is your dialect clan"?

are you a hokkien? are you a cantonese, are you a hakka, are you a fuchiew, are you a TiewChew, are you a hainamese, or are you a Kwongxi?

many wouldn't go all the way to ask if you are a kwongxi.

Had it occur to you, that NO ONE ever asked, if you're a : Shanghainese, SiChuanese, BeiJingnese, Nanjingnese, HeBei, ?

During the last Dynasty and the reign of the last Manchurian Emperor Pu-Yi, with the influences and bullying by the 8 foreign-alliances on China (八国联军), as well as persistent civil war lead by Dr Sun-Yat Sen, many Han Chinese, who forms the majority of the Chinese population couldn't bear it any longer. They were living in absolute poverty and were suffering from impoverishment. Deep inside their guts, they couldn't swear absolute loyalty to their king, who were of a different ethnicity from north - the ethnic manchuria, who practices distinct culture from the ethnic han from almost every aspect.

Northern Chinese were commonly known as the 官人 (the rich/upper class). If you trace the english word "MANDARIN", it came from the ancient Sanskrit connotation of "MENTRI/MENTERI", which means "of the upper class". Mandarin, was known as the "dialect of the northern upper class". People who speaks Mandarin dialect, were the beijing officials from north. - I will elaborate further on this later.

Southern Chinese, like the Hokkiens, FUchiew, Hainamese, albeit adhering to the same writing system, spoke it differently. THese are the farmers, petty merchants, or commonly perceived as the "lower class" among the ethnic Hans. They long succumbed to the fate that northerner who speaks the upper class dialect (官语)-which later was known as the "mandarin" dialect are far more superior and richer.

living through poverty under the last ching dynasty, and severe instablity during the Nationalist Party's Reign under Yuan Shi Kai, many Chinese decided to leave the country.

Don't get it wrong here however.

The northern Chinese left China, with the intention of leaving it for good. they are comprised of the the poor, but mostly the rich. These people fearing that their assets would not survive through persistent civil warfare and lateron, the world war two, brought everything along with them to "better places", such as the USA and Europe.

The southern Chinese however, were "less" affected by the political instability, not being located in the crux of the game of thrones as much as the northerner. They, on the other hand, were those who seeked to "Change" the fate of their family. With that in mind, they went down south, as brought and offered by the British, to the Nusantara. (British was one of the 8 country alliances that dictated alot of china's politics).

They were brought in as Miner, labourer, and petty merchants to Nusantara countries, in order to work for the colonial masters' economical favour.

They were clinging on the hope that one day, upon gathering enough wealth, they could bring back their wealth here to China, and change the lifestyle of their Family in China. Some came alone, leaving their wive and children. Many others, bring along their immediate family members.

They suffered through the difficult passages to commute down south through massive ships, squeezing into the cramped little room for 1 month with technically minimal hygene provisions, just to get their way to Malaya.

They, were our ancestors.

__________________________________________________________

2.) Do you know that most of your ancestors do not speak the language you are speaking now?

MY grandgrandmother Chan Seong Lan, who died 3 years ago at the age of 105, was one of the migrants. I had the privileged of hearing 1st hand experience from her regarding her journey. Granny Chan came from TeowChiew.

When i was young, I had terrible communication problem with granny Chan. I spoke mandarin eloquently. but She doesn't. She speaks perfect Hakka and Teow Chiew, but never mandarin. To be honest, I've never heard she uttered a single mandarin phase. (what made me proud was that her MALAY was really good. She always "sembang" with the lady who sell laksa in front of her house, so i was told).

Our ancestors came down to Malaya with their dialect and language. they were very ignorant over the mandarin dialect (common acknowledge as a "language" in modern days). They do not even think that there was a need to learn mandarin. Most of their culutral practices and behavours were defined by their dialects, such as the Hokkiens and Teow Chiews' "Pai Ti Gong" ceremony on the 9th day of Lunar New Year or the Hakka's food like "Son Pan Zi", "Hakka teoh Fu" etc.

They came in with the simple thoughts of gathering Money, and bring it back to China so that it would benefit their relatives and family up in China. If you still have relatives above the age of 85, do ask them if they have siblings in China, and why didn't they go back to reconcile and reunite with them. we shall explore "why" they didn't go back in the next discussion.

_________________________________________________________
3.) Our ancestors who wanted to go back to China, did not go back. Why?

As mentioned above, their main reason of coming down to Malaya/other south east asian country, was not to settle down permanently, unlike the northern Chinese who migrated to Europe or the US.

Our Ancestors taught us a thousand year old virtue, of " Ru Xiang Sui Su 入乡随俗“ ( if you're in another foreign/alien land, you assimilate or integrate into the culture and practices of that society). "Ru Xiang Sui Su" was the guiding principle of the chinese who wanted to permanently migrate into a new society. You see the American Chinese migrant adapting Christian name, going to US schools, reading their news papers (of course you still have chinese circulation or chinese food in China town, which will be discussed later - as in the comparison between the china town of chinese who wanted to settle down in new society permanently, and the china town of Malaysia, former are likened to be a "remembrance" of their root, later is just a facade). The Chinese in Europe too incorporated into the european culture fairly quickly, where they won't be satisfied until their english is rich of British Accent. They did not forget their root nontheless of being ethnic chinese/han, but in terms of lifestyle and routine, they've assimilated and integrated into the society they've migrated to. You see that in places like Japan, Korea, or Thailand too for that matter.

However, this virtue of "Ru Xiang Sui Su" did not apply to southern chinese who've migrated to Malaya. This is simply because they never wanted to stay permanently.

Furthermore, the fact that our ancestors started Chinese school in early 1900, (first being Foon Yew High School in Johor) , started of Chinese Press (Kwong Wah Jit Poh, which is much earlier than Utusan) proved the irrebutable fact that our Ancestors WANTED to ensure that their next generation to be "well equipped" with the Chinese language and culture/customs, so that when they are back in China they would be able to adapt into the norms/culture in China easily. Chinese who migrated with the intention to permanently settled down in a foreign country, never started chinese school or chinese press in the scale that our ancestors did. Back then, Chinese school was not unified. You have Penang's "Fu Jian High School", which conducts it's lesson in Hokkien (currently, renamed "Penang Chinese Girl School/ Bin Hwa High School"). The name of the chinese schools also pretty much reflect on our ancestor's "reminder" of the fact that their presence in Malaya was temporary. you have "中华CHONG HWA". Chong Hua is the abbreviation of the "Chong hua/ tiong hua" race (not ethnic), which then is another rephase of the term 中土大园的华夏民族 (the Hua Xia (deepest root of the chinese) race from the main land ground). Contrary to popular believe, Chong Hua is not derived from China's Full Name "中华人民共和国“'s "Zhong hwa". in fact, both China's name, and CHinese School's name in Malaya derived from the first root of Chinese race (again, not ethnic Han), which is the "Main colossal Land's Hua Xia race 华夏 race).

what was the reason that they then stayed permanently?

If you read my previous blog post of "bumiputra, for non-bumiputra" ----> Link www.facebook.com/taizeekin/posts/10151559295110306 you would have realized that they CAN'T go back to China, against their desire.

soon after they came down, the world war two started. japanese invaded China, and there were civil war in CHina between the Communist fraction and the Nationalist fraction. Fact that Dr Sun Yat Sen started off his revolutionism from Penang, before recapturing China from the last manchurian emperor shows how deep an affinity between the CHinese in Malaya and China (of course he got his later funding from alot of oversea chinese in europe and USA as well, but he started in Penang, Malaysia).

Our Ancestors had NO CHOICE to go back to china and reunite with their siblings, family and loved one. As soon as the war ends, Communist party defeated Nationalist party lead by Chiang Kai Sek, and practiced "Close Door Policy". the Whole china, like North Korea, was sealed. No one was to enter and no one was to leave (technically).

Malaysian ethnic Han/Chinese will have no choice, but to negotiate for a settlement plan. They GRIEVE and MOURNE over the fact that they could no longer go back and reunite with their family in mainland China. But settlement in Malaya, was never meant to be perpetually. That's why they actually agreed to alot of terms that were seemingly compromising meritocracy on their part, but INSIST on venacular education. (read my previous blog above for an understanding about citizenship en mass). Venacular education, is the ONLY way they can ensure that their descendant like you and me, would be able to converse in our native mother tongue used in China, so that we could adapt the China's society when we're back.

The GRIEVANCE and MOURNING were then inscribed in our blood, and as a matter of fact, in the Federal Constitution right to vernacular education was guarenteed as a result of the "great trade off". the native nusantarian had no problem giving citizenship to assimilated Chinese/Indian/Europeans as long as they do not withhold their loyalty to their country of origin. Much to the malay's dismay, the chinese back then had almost all loyalty, in my humble opinion to China. Those who choose to assimilate would then be known as "peranakans", who speaks and behave like native nusantarian. the nusantarian would treat them as part of them. But because of the technical definition of them being "Chinese", they were bound by the faith of the 1st Generation Chinese Migrant unfortunately. The Seranis (eurasians) were not included in the "CHinese/INdian" package deal in the constitution. they assimiliated into the Nusantarian culture and was accepted. Again if you want to attack on this point, do read my previous blog first (Bumiputra, for non-bumiputra ---> www.facebook.com/taizeekin/posts/10151559295110306 )

Therefore It's suffice to say that Our ancestors, who wanted to prepare their next generation to go back in their stead (they couldn't because of the close door policy and world war two), instilled in our blood the "Legacy" of mandarin, the very gateway language to go back to China.

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4.) Chinese School : To protect the 5000 years old culture and knowledge, or its just about the language as our Ancestor's legacy to become a gateway to go back to China?

I used to ask my friends from Chinese school, independent, UEC, or SMJK, on why would they go to Chinese School INstead of an ordinary National School.

i got 3 kinds of answers.

a.) The Chauvinistic answers
- Chauvinist (沙文主义) would tell me that it's our duty to protect the 5000 years old wisdom and culture. thats why we have to send our children to chinese school.

what these chauvinists failed to convince me, is how going to chinese school would ensure that they would protect the 5000 years old history, culture and knowledge?

- I asked them, do you know the "Si Shu Wu Jing (四书五经), the four main literature and 5 great mantras of the chinese. They couldn't even quote me the title of the 9 most important literature work of the chinese literature.

- I asked them, do you know the different school of thoughts between the confusionism 儒家思想, taoism 道家思想,or Mahayanian Buddhism 大乘佛理. they couldn't even distuingshih religion rituals and philosophical ideology behind the Chinese Culture-based religion

- I asked them, of the 4 great dishes in Chinese Culture, 四大名菜,京菜,粤菜,闽菜,and 川菜 (Beijing culinery culture, Cantonese culinery culture, Fu Jian culniery culture, and sichuan culinery culture) , how many dishes can they name? they couldn't even name ONE.

- I asked them, do you know the different between our Ethnic Han's tranditional costume, the HAN FU (汉服) and the Manchurian Bannerman's CHEONG SAM/ KEI PO (长衫, 旗袍,旗服) ? they thought that our traditional costume was Cheong Sam/ Kei fuk / Kei pou ), which was a disgrace to our ancestors. we were ethnic HAN with HAN surname like Tan, Lim, Chong, Teoh, but we called the Manchurian's costumes as our traditional costumes. Manchurians have surname like Yehonala, Nurhachi, Aisinjeoro. Not LIm, Tan, Chong. They didn't even know that.

Having said that, I , who camed from a Malay school, knew more about Chinese Culture, History, Wisdom and knowledge than them.

their defence of chauvinism hence became obsolete, as you DON'T NEED Chinese school to defend the culture/knowledge of the 5000 years old wisdom.

b.) For the language, Economical reason since China is big.

That reason is even worse. Singapore has ZERO Chinese School, but mandated everyone to brush up their mother tongue. Singaporean ethnic chinese ended up speaking better Mandarin than Malaysian ethnic CHinese/Han. THey didn't even need Chinese school for that?

If Mandarin is there for economical and practical reason, they SHOULD acknowledge that and propogate mandarin's learning through the right way. Not the chauvinistic way. I went to Malay school, but took up mandarin all the way to SPM, ended up knowing more about mandarin the language, and Chinese culture than many of the Chinese School graduates.

c.) Don't Know, just follow my parent's wish

That is the most dangerous part. This is exactly the very reason many chinese are living in our ancestors' legacy of Grieving and Mourning over the fact that they COULDn"T go BACK to china, and to make sure that their descendant are at least well equipped with the language so that when they eventually go back to CHINA they would be able to adopt at least in terms of language.

Chinese Education, is different from Chinese Education system. I think it is important for people of every ethnic origin to keep trace of their cultural route including language.

But we MUST not create an Education system purely to accomodate that aspect. Our Ancestors had valid reason to create a separate education system for chinese, for the very reason to prepare themselves and their next generation to Go Back and adapt to CHina. but now that we are permanently settled down in Malaysia, we should defend our mother tongue as a "language to trace our root", but not a SEPARATE SYSTEM altogether that would alienate a racial group from another throughout their growing time.

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5.) China Premier Zhou En Lai's visit

in the 70s, when China ended it's close door policy and begin to build foreign ties, Zhou En Lai visited Malaysia. He then made a statement, asking Malaysian Chinese to Swear our loyalty to Malaysia, to our King the Yang Dipertuan Agong.

That puts an END to our grievance and despair of our ancestors, in an abrupt way. No more going back to CHina. CHINA closed it's door to them.

Instead of moving on and , like every other chinese around the world, to assimilate and integrate, our second generation ancestors were very CONFUSED. their affinity to Chinese school system is now changed, from initially being an affinity to mainland china, to purely the school system. It's like , I am an Alumni from Chong Hwa school, and i would NOT let it be replaced/closed. There are 1297 Chinese school in Malaysia, and every each of these schools have alumnis who would, for the sake of their affinity to the school per se, defend and justify their existence.

It soon became and issue of "Quality of Education".

Chinese School was preferred, in the modern context, mostly because of their quality. I have people telling me, Chinese School has better teacher and better quality, thats why we send our kids there.

Therefore it's imperative that we do not hide under the facade and hypocrisy of "Defending 5000 years old culture", and admit that the reason they go to chinese school is because of practical/economical/and quality consideration.

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6.) Chinese's ability and willingness to adapt.

The Chinese, in fact, are among those who are most willing to adapt and modify our culture to intergrate with another culture that we look "highly" too. (of course, keeping a trace of our ethnic han route)

How many Chinese couples wear our traditional Han Fu costume during weddings. westernized, no?

Why many Chinese would adopt "Christian" name (NOT western, i am talking about name like Michael, Kelvin, Joseph, which are CHRISTIAN name) despite not being christians, and fact that it's very foreign to Chinese culture? of course they keep their enthic HAN route by keeping the surname/given name.

Why so many Chinese are willing to modify our offerings to the Deities? instead of candle light, many are now replaced with, hmn... red bulbs?

Talk about food, do you know that many of the SO CALLED Chinese food like Hokkien Mee, Bak Kut Teh, Hainam Chicken rice, can NEVER be found in Hokkien, or Hainam China? it's a modification and adaptation to the South East Asian CHINESE taste and preference. If you can modify most of the important cultures, it means you are flexible!

Chinese has a fairly flexible mode to adapt.

fact that the reason Chinese refuse to adapt to the Native nusantarian culture and behaviour, is very worrying. That's the root of Racism, sparked by FAKE chinese chauvinism.

have you seen a Zikri Tan Boon Hook? or Fatimah Ng Siew Lai? ok lets try with malay names instead of Islamic /arabic/persian name. how about Mawar Liew Mei Siew? or Delima Ong Mai Ling? no? you see more Christophers, Kelvins, Michaels (no offence to many of my friends who've adopted christians name) than ever.

Why did we fail to adapt to the native customes and culture is something that we have to ponder upon. i WOULD NOT spell the words out here and risk being labelled a "traitor to the race" like what Emeritus Professor Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim has been treated rudely by the ignorant chauvinists.

For my Chinese Friends who speaks hokkien.

How do you call a Malay person in Hokkien? HUANNA 蕃仔 ? please use baidu.com to find out what that really means. it's a disgrace and i felt ashamed.

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7.) China Town

Have you been to the China Town in US big sities, and also London's CHina Town? the China town in Western Countries are VERY chinese. It serves as a "remembraces" and "traces" of the Chinese origin for the migrants, as well as , for economical purposes sell off the unique chineseness to the foreigners. Most Chinese migrants in these country, who're well assimilated in their respective native culture, would from time to time, visit China Town to remind themselve about their root, in the form of remembrances more than "embracing" them.

Have you been to the China Twon in Kuala LUmpur, and feel the sorry state of it even being duped as "china town"? There is NO NEED for a China Town in Malaysia. most town in Malaysia is China Town. Chinese bill boards, Chinese advertorials, Chinese signboards etc. Why is there a need for a "CHINATOWN" anymore? any Street in Penang or Certain street in KL/ Serdang/Puchong could well beat London's China town as a more "china" china town.

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8.) Malaysian First, or CHinese First?

Funny enough, If you ask that question, Many Ethnic Han Chinese Malaysian would answer you that they are Malaysian first, and Chinese second, without KNOWING what it means to be Malaysian first.

(Caution, if you are a URBAN BANANA, this does not applies to you. according to cense report, there are only 9% of you existing. rest 91% are Chinese educated ) You wake up every morning and watch TVBS Asia, pheonix channel, CCTV4, or hua hee tai. Shows that 80% of other Malaysians who are not chinese will never watch. Tune in to 988, myFM, aiFM, OneFM, channels that 80% of Malaysians don't understand and will never listen to. You reach your office, open up SinChew, NanYang, GwongMing, KwongWah, China Press, Oriental daily, something that only 80% of Malaysians CANNOT understand. you MIGHT have lunch with your malay/indian colleagues, and chat about life and work. once you go home from work, you talk to your family, children in Mandarin, a language that 80% of Malaysians CANNOT speak or understand. before you sleep, you go to facebook and scroll through. You post among your friends, whom 80% came from your ethnic.

in your daily routine, you are only a MALAYSIAN for 20%, but Chinese 80%. and you call yourself a MALAYSIAN FIRST? hmn... then perhaps, you could tell me how would Chinese first or Malaysian first make a different to you? Lets not quote me example of "WHEN YOU ARE OVERSEA" because you know what, how long are you over sea? so you're only Malaysian first when you are oversea? hmnnn.

The goal of me posting this long post, is to ASK for the ethnic HAN chinese Malaysian, to really reconsider our stand on issues pertaining race. Stop being chauvinistic and start to integrate and assimilate, WITHOUT compromising your ethnic identity. CHinese in UK/ US/ Thailand all did that willingly. why can't we? it's our ancestors' teaching that we SHOULD do that.

WAKE UP from our ancestors grievance and despair of not being able to go back to China. We are done with that. Let the grievance and despair follow our ancestors to their grave. Start rethinking about your stand as Malaysian.

Please INTEGRATE and ASSIMILATE into the native culture, and OF COURSE , keep mandarin as a language that would trace your ethnic origin. NOT THE OTHER WAY round or you are still TRAPPED in our ancestor's grievance.

___________________________________________________________

P/s I will write another post on HOW Mandarin, a dialect of the northerner, KILLS OFF our mother tongue (which is our dialect). Mother tongue for Chinese is different, it's not the language, but the dialect that our ancestors used. Do you know that great poet LI BAI 李白 wrote his poem in HE BEI dialect, which is the current "Hokkien Language", and the HE BEI dialect was the OFFICIAL language used in TANG dynasty royal palace and court? and there you think everyone in the movie speaks mandarin it must be the spoken language back then. MANDARIN is killing off your mother tonger. THe language is called HAN language 汉语。mandarin, (formerly 官语,(language of the aristocrats), now 普通话 putong hua, 华语 huayu) is MERELY a dialect of the northener. Chinese language is HANYU + your DIALECT. NOT Hanyu + MANDARIN.

that i will discuss in another post.

I further dedicate this post to Joan Lai, Wayne Teo, Jeffrey Foh, and every Chinese Malaysian who thinks that we MUST learn how to integrate into the native Malaysian culture.

Regards

TAI ZEE KIN"


My thoughts:

The main issue with this piece is that the author conflates the concept of Malaysian with that of Malay and/or Muslim. To him, to be a Malaysian you need to be (or be like) Malay and/or Muslim (most of the essay isn't about this, but this seems to be what animates his grievances). Certainly that is one model of integration, but nowadays that isn't fashionable anymore. Besides that he has other factual and historical errors.

Why is it wrong to want to preserve your minority culture?

If it was Northern Chinese who left China but went to "better places" like the USA and Europe, why are the older generation of Chinese restaurants (i.e. before the recent wave of PRC migration) all Cantonese, and why do overseas Chinese of that generation all speak Cantonese and not Mandarin?

In view of the above, it is no surprise that the author is also ignorant of the fact that many of the Chinese who went to the US, for example, also wanted to return to China (The History of Chinese Immigration to the U.S.), or of how the Chinese formed ghettos in the US (i.e. they did not integrate). And doesn't consider that the Chinese could create so many of their own schools in Malaysia because they had a critical mass - not that they didn't elsewhere; for example Chinese immigrants in the US set up their own Chinese heritage language schools whose aims sound a lot like that motivating the "chauvinism" he decries in Malaysian Chinese (Chinese Heritage Language Schools in the United States).

Malaysian Chinese speak the "dialects" pretty well - why does the author assume Malaysian Chinese only speak Mandarin? Or ignore the English-speaking Malaysian Chinese (many of whom can't write in Mandarin even).

Do Malays really treat "Peranakans" as "part of them"? Does speaking a Malay creole and having some Malay influence in your food count as adopting Malay customs?

Singapore is a very bad example to use for Mandarin proficiency. I highly suspect Chinese-educated Malaysians have better Mandarin than Singaporean Chinese. Not least since if Mandarin is your medium of instruction you're forced to be better in it.

Why does following your parents' wish for you to go to a Chinese school means they want you to go back to China?

How come when he asks them, no Malaysian Chinese say they go to Chinese schools because the national schools are shit? Or because national schools are effectively Malay schools (a Malaysian Malay describes the discrimination non-Malays face in national schools and how non meritocratic they are at Malaysian Teacher Shares Why Non-Malays Prefer Vernacular Schools Over National Schools - National School Discriminate Non-Malay Students In Schools Every Day - The Coverage) But somehow he parks it under the Zhou Enlai point?

If a separate school system alienates other racial groups, are Madrasahs in Singapore a good idea? How about Tamil schools in Malaysia?

What sort of non-Christian Western names does he have in mind? Kelvin comes from a Scottish river, not Christianity so already one of his examples is rubbish.

Why must Malaysian Chinese convert to Islam, adopt Malay names and customs etc to show that they are Malaysian? Why does he take Malayness and/or Muslimness to be Malaysianess?

Indeed he goes even further and claims that not adopting "Native nusantarian culture and behaviour is "the root of Racism, sparked by FAKE chinese chauvinism". That is a very bizarre claim and besides is ignorant.

The Chinese languages as spoken in Malaysia are influenced by Malay and other languages, Malaysian Chinese food is influenced by Malay food (e.g. sambal kangkong) and Datuk Gong is Uniquely Nusantarian:

"Around the Malaysian countryside some small, yellow-colour or red-colour painted shrines by the roadside or under a tree can be found, and these shrines are usually worshipped by the residents living around the neighbourhood. The shrines are normally of a fusion Chinese-Malay design, with Islamic elements such as the crescent moon decorations. Inside the simple room, a small, decorated statue is venerated, depicting the Datuk. Around the statue offerings are brought, sometimes on a small altar in front of the datuk statue.The Statue of Datok Kong (拿督公 Nadu-Gong) is commonly represented by a Malay man dressed in Traditional Malay Costume,wearing a formal Songkok (hat) on the head, Kris (Malay sword) & other traditional Malay court regalia & ceremonial objects would also be placed on the altar" (TAOIST SORCERY: Datuk Gong - Malay Deity of the Chinese)

Is a Malaysian Tamil who speaks Tamil, consumes Tamil media and mostly has Indian friends Malaysian (consider that more Malaysians don't understand Tamil than don't understand Mandarin)?
Is a Singaporean Malay who speaks Malay, consumes Malay media and mostly has Malay friends Singaporean (consider that there are more Singaporeans who aren't Malay than Malaysians who don't understand Mandarin)?


If you feel my characterisation of his thesis statement is unfair, he explicitly states in the linked post:

"till chinese in malaysia decide to tone down our “chineseness” (*not getting rid, just tone down), we cannot do away withbumiputra policies. it’s too dangerous.

The exit clause of the Federal Constitution Contract is clear.

1.) Either we honour it until time immemorial if we are still carrying our ancestors’ legacy (chinese school, chinese language, chinese chamber of commerce, the word “chinese” trumpts over malaysian in education and economical aspect)

or

2.) We assimilate into the Nusantarians. IE, become a malay.
That’s the exit clause.

But to put the contract to an “END”, we need to find MORE common grounds with the nusantarians."


He claims Malaysian Chinese only need to "tone down" their "chineseness", but his prescription involves getting rid of Chinese schools, the Chinese language(s), the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Chinese involvement in the economy (or at the very least, presumably toning it down till they are only responsible for 24% of the economy to match their numbers).

That or becoming Malay.

You can't get more clear than that.

Links - 26th August 2019 (2)

Effects of sexualized video games on online sexual harassment.
Oddly, the study's official abstract doesn't mention that it was women who were doing more harassing in *both* the pre- and post-treatment conditions - of both men and women, or that men were sexually harassed more than women. Doubtless, the study will then be used to bash men for being creeps
The authors posit that the moral panic about men sexually harassing women could have led to these results - women don't see what they do as sexual harassment, and men aren't seen as objects of sexual harassment. Which shows the obvious harms of bashing men


Medieval Weapons That Maimed and Killed - "The humble caltrop, a spiked metal device, was scattered on the ground to puncture enemy feet. The sharp objects were important enough that Philip the Good of Burgundy included caltrops in his niece’s dowry.Unlike many medieval weapons, it is still used today, scattered across roads by drug gangs to puncture police tires."

Maria Folau, ANZ Bank: Netball New Zealand statement | Israel Folau, GoFundMe - "Netball New Zealand is standing beside Maria Folau as controversy surrounds her support of husband Israel, and her religious views... One of Netball New Zealand’s major sponsors, ANZ, has raised concerns about Folau’s support for her husband.The Adelaide Thunderbirds star, like her husband is deeply religious, and reposted Israel’s Instagram post, where he asked for people to donate up to $3 million to help him fund his legal battle against Rugby Australia."
It is leftist wrongthink to support your husband's attempts to raise funds for court - even if that's not endorsing any of the views that got him un-personed. Apparently due process is bigotry

Israel Folau’s GoFundMe page shut down - "Israel Folau’s GoFundMe page has been pulled down with refunds to be issued to all donors.The fund-raising account, which had raised over $700,000, was taken down due to the breaching of GoFundMe's terms of services, with the company declaring they “do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion”... Folau had his $4 million RA contract terminated in May after a post he made on Instagram citing the Bible was deemed homophobic"
It is only okay to exclude certain groups

Israel Folau supporters call for boycott of rugby and Qantas after sacking over anti-gay social media post - "“Israel Folau is from a devoutly religious Polynesian family. He has not sought to impose his views on anybody. He has merely repeated, as one correspondent wrote at the weekend, ‘what his religion has held for thousands of years. “Whether you choose to believe it is up to you. And if you don’t, then probably you don’t believe in hell either. I suspect that had Folau been a Muslim stating exactly the same religious beliefs that, in the unlikely event he was dismissed, it would have led to calls of Islamophobia’.”"

Israel Folau and the right to freedom of expression | Coffee House - "The list of ‘sins’ outlined in the Instagram post goes far beyond homosexuality. Despite this, most articles led with headlines about an ‘anti-gay’ or ‘homophobic’ post, which led me (and I assume many others) to believe that homosexuality was the only issue mentioned. Where are all the outraged ‘fornicators’ and atheists?... is it genuinely ‘hateful’ to express views on what is sinful behaviour? The contents of the bible may well be offensive to anyone who doesn’t believe in it, but are we comfortable with the ‘hate’ label being used if we disagree or are offended by its contents?... can we genuinely say that we are perfectly happy with people holding controversial views, but just not expressing them? What if Folau was asked about it at a press conference? What if Folau was giving a sermon in church on the subject? This is a difficult, if not impossible, line to draw. Just ask former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron – he felt it would be far easier to deny having views on homosexuality than trying to defend holding them. One of the more controversial aspects of this whole situation is the involvement of Rugby Australia’s main sponsor Qantas airlines, and its CEO Alan Joyce. Joyce is gay, and was one of the most prominent advocates of same-sex marriage during Australia’s 2017 referendum... Now the irony here is that Qantas’ CEO seems to be a great defender of people (and businesses) using their platform to speak out on social issues, but clearly not if he disagrees with them...
Is it ‘hateful’ to support a person that has made a ‘hateful’ comment?
A very hostile reception awaited any rugby players who expressed solidarity with Folau, particularly if they ‘liked’ the Instagram post in question. Billy Vunipola, the star number 8 of the English National Rugby Team, posted his own thoughts on Instagram after receiving multiple calls from people telling him to ‘unlike’ the post, clarifying that he didn’t ‘hate’ anyone but rather saw Folau’s post as an encouragement to live ‘closer to how God intended’... It’s also clear that sponsors should not be given an unchecked right to censor or shape the views of players. A recent example of a sensible compromise on this was when New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams, who is a Muslim, was exempted from wearing the logos of banks, alcohol brands or gambling companies on his club’s kit... it’s not a stretch to imagine an athlete saying that he wasn’t going to fly – not because he was scared, but because he thought that carbon emissions were destroying the planet. How comfortable would we be for that player to be sacked because his views conflicted with the interests of an airline sponsor?"

Israel Folau found guilty: Anthony Mundine claims ‘it’s about racism’ - "Controversial Aussie boxer Anthony Mundine has waded into the Israel Folau saga claiming the dumped Aussie fullback was a victim of racism in his war with Rugby Australia... “People are missing the point here, it’s not about the Bible or the Biblical quote that Izzy put up, it’s a black man expressing it,” Mundine, a devout Muslim, told Channel 7 on Wednesday afternoon.“If it was about the biblical quote then why don’t they push to ban that... “We take oaths of office in every court of the land. The Prime Minister is sworn in with his hand on the Bible — the same bible which Israel Folau has quoted and he’s now had his dignity, his integrity, his employment, his vocation and his income stolen from him.“I coached Australian rugby, I was proud of it, I was proud of the boys and I was proud of everything we stood for. Today, I’m ashamed of the people who’ve inherited our proud legacy."

If Sonny Bill Williams was treated like Israel Folau – Whale Oil Beef Hooked - "just like the American news story of the Christian bakers who didn’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding the media is not interested in shining the same spotlight on Muslims.Many Muslim bakeries did not want to bake cakes for gay weddings either but only new media commentator Steven Crowder was prepared to make that point. Once he made his point and provided the video evidence the Muslim bakeries (unlike the Christian bakery) were not targeted by the mainstream media or with lawsuits by gay couples and they did not have their businesses destroyed."

Imam Tawhidi - "People are emailing me requesting that I speak about the #IsraelFolau matter. I haven’t said anything because I am utterly disgusted by the level of hypocrisy Australia is witnessing. Islamists wish death upon Gays and then dine with PM Turnbull, but quoting the Bible is hate speech? The same Bible our government and all of its Judicial departments use to take oath? We have to accept the fact that religious texts reject and accept many things, but from an ethical perspective we need to find a common ground to accept one another regardless. For the sake of the stability of this country. I have opinions many don’t like, but you won’t see me going crazy on Burka street, Melbourne. Unfortunately a lot of greed was involved in this case as well."
2016: Malcolm Turnbull regrets inviting homophobic sheikh to Iftar dinner | LGBT rights | The Guardian

Man who won $30M lottery while in middle of divorce ordered to share winnings - "The Michigan appeals court says a marriage isn’t over until it’s over. It means Mary Beth Zelasko can keep $15 million awarded by an arbitrator, although she and Rich Zelasko had been separated for two years when he bought the Mega Millions ticket in 2013"

So, Gutenberg Didn't Actually Invent the Printing Press - "Gutenberg himself is a, but not the, source of printing. Rather, key innovations in what would become revolutionary printing technology began in east Asia, with work done by Chinese nobles, Korean Buddhists, and the descendants of Genghis Khan—and, in a truth Davis acknowledges briefly, their work began several centuries before Johannes Gutenberg was even born."

Teacher's remains found buried under Chinese school after 16 years - "Deng Shiping had refused to approve a new sports facility because he felt it had been poorly constructed.A man reportedly involved in building the site has now confessed to killing and burying Mr Deng in January 2003, police say."

Males with a uterus and fallopian tubes, a rare disorder of sexual development. - "A man (46,XY) is described with an intraabdominal uterus and fallopian tubes. His testes, each of which contained a gonadoblastoma, occupied the intraabdominal adnexal position, leaving the scrotum empty. His external genitalia were unambiguously male. A vagina opened into the urethra. His presenting complaint was inguinal hernia. This developmental defect has been described previously, but genetic aspects and its relation to other conditions, "mixed" gonadal dysgenesis in particular, remains obscure pending the recognition and reporting of more cases studied in the light of recent cytogenetic advances."

New FDA Warning Cautions Against Grain-Free Dog Food - "Grain-free dog food used to be a relative rarity, reserved for pets with certain dietary issues. But in the past decade, millions of dog owners have shied away from conventional foods that include ingredients such as rice or oats, out of concern that grains might be bad for dogs’ health. Now grain-free options constitute almost half of the dog-food market in the United States. Over the same period, gluten-free and low-carbohydrate diets also exploded in popularity for humans. Leaving grains out of your dog’s diet, however, might be a far greater health risk than keeping them in. According to a warning from the Food and Drug Administration released last week, grain-free food might be giving dogs a life-threatening heart problem called dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM... Contrary to the broad cultural embrace of grain-free diets in recent years, science has offered little evidence to support their adoption among America’s canine companions. “It’s extremely, extremely rare for dogs to have a grain sensitivity,” says Lisa Lippman, the lead veterinarian for the in-home veterinary service Fuzzy Pet Health, in New York City. “This misinformation is a battle we face almost every day in the clinic, and it’s something that’s definitely been a source of frustration for us since before [the FDA warning] even came out.”... “People will anthropomorphize or project onto their pets whatever they think they need to eat themselves”"
Is it animal abuse to put a dog on a keto diet?

What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs - The New York Times - "Dynamic and wildly profitable Internet companies like Facebook and Google may get most of the attention, but Silicon Valley is littered with firms that just get by doing roughly the same thing year after year — has-beens like Ask.com, a search engine that no longer innovates but happily takes in $400 million in annual revenue, turning a profit in the process. Mayer, who is 39, was hired to keep Yahoo from suffering this sort of fate... Generally speaking, there are only a few ways to make money on the Internet. There are e-commerce companies and marketplaces — think Amazon, eBay and Uber — that profit from transactions occurring on their platforms. Hardware companies, like Apple or Fitbit, profit from gadgets. For everyone else, though, it more or less comes down to advertising... At its peak, Yahoo’s market capitalization reached $128 billion. It was $20 billion larger than Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s holding company. But this growth obscured a looming problem. While Yahoo was busy enlarging its portfolio, a new generation of start-ups was focusing on perfecting one single product... Mayer’s refusal to delegate became a sticking point, too. She insisted on personally approving every hire. One executive complained to a friend that Mayer spent as much time deliberating Yahoo’s parking policies as she did strategizing over the sale of its Alibaba stock. Mayer also had a habit of operating on her own time... Mayer’s largest management problem, however, related to the start-up culture she had tried to instill. Early on, she banned working from home. This policy affected only 164 employees, but it was initiated months after she constructed an elaborate nursery in her office suite so that her son, Macallister, and his nanny could accompany her to work each day. Mayer also favored a system of quarterly performance reviews, or Q.P.R.s, that required every Yahoo employee, on every team, be ranked from 1 to 5. The system was meant to encourage hard work and weed out underperformers, but it soon produced the exact opposite. Because only so many 4s and 5s could be allotted, talented people no longer wanted to work together; strategic goals were sacrificed, as employees did not want to change projects and leave themselves open to a lower score... Aswath Damodaran, a professor at N.Y.U.'s Stern School of Business, has long argued about the danger of companies that try to return to the growth stage of their life cycle. These technology companies, he said, are run by people afflicted with something he calls the Steve Jobs syndrome. “We have created an incentive structure where C.E.O.s want to be stars,” Damodaran explained. “To be a star, you’ve got to be the next Steve Jobs — somebody who has actually grown a company to be a massive, large-market cap company.” But, he went on, “it’s extremely dangerous at companies when you focus on the exception rather than the rule.” He pointed out that “for every Apple, there are a hundred companies that tried to do what Apple did and fell flat on their faces.”... All breakthrough companies, after all, will eventually plateau and then decline. U.S. Steel was the first billion-dollar company in 1901, but it was worth about the same in 1991. Kodak, which once employed nearly 80,000 people, now has a market value below $1 billion. Packard and Hudson ruled the roads for more than 40 years before disappearing. These companies matured and receded over the course of generations, in some cases even a century. Yahoo went through the process in 20 years. In the technology industry, things move fast. “Sometimes,” Damodaran told me, “companies have to act their age.” For Yahoo, embracing its maturity means settling for a business that earns close to $1 billion in profit every year. It has outlasted other formerly iconic Internet portals, from AltaVista to Excite, and even dwarfs more recent web sensations like Myspace and Ask.com. For a company that started out as “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” that’s not a bad way to grow old."

Different concepts of being Chinese

When people talk (in English) about being 'Chinese', the discussion is muddled by the fact that 'Chinese' in English has multiple senses.

Critics of multiculturalism sometimes counter that there is no way a foreigner can become 'Chinese' - but really, this depends on what you mean by being 'Chinese'.

Mandarin is more helpful in delineating the different senses of being 'Chinese' (as one might use the English term):

中国人 - Chinese (nationality)
华人 - Chinese (ethnicity) - including the 55 officially recognised ethnic minorities (at least from the 20th century onwards)
汉人 - Someone of Han Ethnicity (about 92% of China's population)
华侨/华裔 - Chinese (diaspora)

Links - 26th August 2019 (1)

Several US states consider legislation to decriminalise prostitution - "Lawmakers across the country are beginning to reconsider how to handle prostitution, as calls for decriminalisation are slowly gaining momentum.Decriminalisation bills have been introduced in Maine and Massachusetts; a similar bill is expected to be introduced to the city council in Washington DC in June; and lawmakers in Rhode Island held hearings in April on a proposal to study the impact of decriminalising prostitution.New York may be next: some Democratic lawmakers are about to propose a comprehensive decriminalisation bill that would eliminate penalties for both women and men engaged in prostitution, as well as the johns whom they service... Kamala Harris became the first candidate to endorse some manner of decriminalisation, an idea also floated by another contender, the former governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper.“When you’re talking about consenting adults, I think that yes, we should really consider that we can’t criminalise consensual behaviour as long no one is being harmed,” said Ms Harris, in an interview with The Root.Supporters of decriminalisation see their efforts as part of a larger, decades long liberalisation of American mores, like lifting Sunday bans on selling alcohol and legalising marijuana.They also frame the issue as an act of harm-reduction for prostitutes and a tacit admission that modern law enforcement and age-old moral indignation has done little to stem the practice."

The Feminist Divide Over Decriminalizing Sex Work - "One woman, who asked only to be identified as Adrian, held a sign reading "Listen to Sex Workers," and another woman, who goes by SX, brought one that said "Consensual Sex Workers Against Sex Trafficking." They shouted a common mantra for sex workers: "Nothing about us without us." Anti-decriminalization activists attempted to step in front of them and cover their signs, and SX told Broadly hers was later confiscated by an NYPD detective.As the rally continued, some speakers made rhetorical gestures to Adrian and SX, calling them "ignorant" of their own oppression... Adrian told Broadly it's "frustrating" to be spoken about as though she doesn't know what's best for herself. "There are so many different experiences within the sex trade," she said. "Some experiences are horrible and exploitative. Other people have empowering experiences. Mostly, it's just a job—it can be very mundane. Sometimes you hate it, some days you like it. It's really frustrating having people paint us all as victims.""They don't understand the basic concept that you have ownership over your body and you have your own choice," SX added. "That basic idea isn't there for them. As much as they're listening to survivors and trafficked people they're not listening to consensual sex workers as well.""
It's feminist and empowering to tell women they're too stupid to know they're being oppressed
So much for My Body My Choice


Influencers Aren't Flooding Chernobyl to Take Photos - "Three of the four people that Zupan chose to highlight in his tweet aren’t influencers at all... people still struggle with how to best format their posts from solemn places. A crying photo will get you ridiculed for being inauthentic or cringey. Present yourself too seriously and you’ll look like you’re “posing for a rap album cover amid the abandoned buildings”... You could, as some seem to wish, not share anything at all. But as Natalie Shure, who researches history for TruTV, notes, “Most people do it specifically because they want to remember the site and what it meant to them. Those goals are in line with those of public history projects, not antithetical to them.”... most of these users are all trying to say the same thing: I was here."

Indigenous body positive brand asks white people not to wear their shirts - "California-based clothing brand, Nalgona Positivity Pride released a controversial statement specifically to its ‘White Allies’ asking them to not wear their clothes and thanking them for “not culturally appropriating”.The move has been criticised by some on social media for trying to empower one group while broadly negatively categorising another. For a brand that promotes positively, some believe this is perhaps not the right approach to get attention.
How long till they go bankrupt? Apparently cultural appropriation is okay if you're not white - as usual white people are evil
"DEAR WHITE ALLIES
ALL SHIRTS WITH INDIGENOUS DESIGNS WERE CREATED FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND PEOPLE OF COLOR TO WEAR.
BEFORE YOU PURCHASE ASK YOURSELF, "DOES THIS BELONG TO ME?" APPRECIATION FOR ANOTHER CULTURE DOES NOT GRANT PERMISSION TO TAKE, CONSUME, OR RE-PURPOSE MARGINALIZED CULTURES. INDIGENOUS CULTURES CONTINUE TO EXPERIENCE COLONIALISM, CULTURAL GENOCIDE, & LAND THEFT. WE ALL HAVE A ROLE IN THE DISEMPOWERMENT AND EMPOWERMENT OF LOCAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES. ASK YOURSELF, WHAT HAVE I DONE LATELY FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES? HOW HAVE I USED MY PRIVILEGE TO HELP UNCOVER THE VOICES OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN MY COMMUNITY?
SUPPORTING INDIGENOUS EFFORTS GOES BEYOND WEARING A SHIRT. WANT TO SUPPORT IN OTHER WAYS? PURCHASE OTHER NON-CULTURALLY RELEVANT SHIRTS OR DONATE TO NPP.
THANK YOU FOR NOT CULTURALLY APPROPRIATING"


The conversation surrounding cultural... - Sophie's Obsessions - "The conversation surrounding cultural appropriation has been so severely mutilated by white “allies” that the original intention behind that conversation has become almost unrecognizable in most social contexts. To explain what I mean, the conversation around cultural appropriation was started by black and native people to discuss the frustrations we feel at being punished socially and financially for partaking in our cultural heritage while white people could take, I.e. appropriate, aspects of our culture that we are actively shamed for and be heralded as innovators. It was about the frustrations we feel when the same white people who shamed us would take our culture and wear it as if they were the ones who created it while still actively shaming us for doing the same. The original push behind naming cultural appropriation and having these conversations were so that we as a society could evaluate why we were punished for our heritage while white People were not. It was supposed to be about seeking solutions. The idea was to create a society where we could celebrate our cultures with impunity. It was never about telling white people that they “weren’t allowed” to do certain things"
I've seen non-white people bitching too, so it's convenient to only blame white people

Restaurants on level 5 of Jewel Changi Airport hit hard by requirement to stay open till 3am - ""We can only serve appetisers after midnight and we came up with the midnight high tea menu to resolve this problem. It is available from 10pm to 3am but there are still no customers despite this"... The only restaurant that is doing well in the wee hours is Rumours Bar & Grill, which is the only outlet on the fifth level that is allowed to sell alcoholic drinks past midnight... The picture is more mixed for restaurants opening late in other parts of Jewel."

The Men’s Mental Health Double-Bind - "many mental health organizations and high-profile individuals are sending out an insistent message that men must talk more about their mental health... However, other individuals and organizations are sending out a completely different message, namely that men as a group need to remain silent and "check their privilege."... Such messages can be seen all over the Internet, with pleas for men to shut-up or stop whining. Of note, these pleas come from both men and women. These echo comments men often hear in face-to-face interactions, even from their intimates and their employers.Indeed, such perspectives can emanate from high places, including the U.S. Senate, with Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono recently stating, "I just want to say to the men in this country: just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change." For some, male silence is a sign of moral rectitude.This situation creates a men’s mental health double-bind. On the one hand, men are being told to talk more and open-up; on the other hand, men are being told to check their privilege and be silent. This can only create cognitive and emotional distress... Numerous groups have attempted to organize discussions about issues affecting men’s mental health. These are sometimes met with hostility.For example, a group of male and female students at Ryerson University created a men’s issues group, holding events to discuss men's mental health. This group was refused official status by Ryerson University’s Student Union on numerous occasions, with members being stigmatized and abused by some campus activists... other groups have invited well-known mental health scholars as guest speakers, with unforeseen consequences. For example, the University of Toronto Men's Issues Society invited Dr. Warren Farrell to talk about men’s mental health issues, but his lecture was met with violence and vandalism by protesters who tried to shut down the event... Several British psychologists recently formed a male psychology group offering public lectures, a website, a newsletter and a social space to discuss men’s mental health issues (full disclosure: I am a member).As the group grew, the leadership applied for the group to be recognized as an official section of the British Psychological Society (BPS). This would require a vote from the whole BPS membership.Bizarrely, this was opposed by an organized group entitled "no to male psychology," which campaigned for a no vote. In the resultant ballot, over 4,000 BPS members voted, with two-thirds in favour of the new section. This was welcome news, but it can not go unnoticed that 30 percent of BPS members who voted did not want a male psychology section."
So much for feminism being about men

'Check your privilege' means 'Shut your mouth' - "Fortgang is quite right to complain that being obsessively on the lookout for white male heterosexual bias can obscure more than it reveals, in part by ignoring how much heterosexual white men can differ.In any case, Fortgang didn't complain about being asked to reflect on the incompleteness of his worldview. He complained about the dismissal of opinions based on who was uttering them.And while the phrase "check your privilege" could be used, hypothetically, to deepen a conversation instead of to shut it down, the critics don't seem all that interested in doing so. One of the most-linked critiques announces in its very first sentence that the author has been un-friending people who linked approvingly to Fortgang's essay.It's a free country, and people can be as narrow-minded as they like. But they should know that they're proving Fortgang's point about the illiberalism – on college campuses and elsewhere – that's too often behind the cliche."

The surprising truth about Indian food - "I was in a narrow kitchen in Mumbai, one of India’s most strikingly modern cities, watching an ancient Indian meal being cooked on vessels of baked clay. Utensils made from leaves, wood and metal were scattered across the kitchen. The food was being prepared using only ingredients native to the subcontinent, which meant that the sharpness of chillies (native to Mexico) and the starch of the potatoes (imported from South America) were missing.“No cabbages, cauliflower, peas or carrots, either,” said Kasturirangan Ramanujam, one of the cooks preparing the meal. But that won’t stop him from making an elaborate feast for my family that will include rice, the mulligatawny-like saatramudu, protein-rich kuzhambu gravy and an astonishing array of vegetables and snacks.This is the shraadha meal that is eaten by many Hindu families in southern India on the death anniversaries of close family members – in this case, the anniversary of my father-in-law’s passing. While the feast is believed to feed families’ departed ancestors, it has inadvertently created a living memory of the region’s culinary history, because it is made entirely from recipes and ingredients that have existed on the subcontinent for at least a millennium"

Man gets jail, caning for scrawling racist graffiti in Geylang - "She said that "a strong deterrent sentence" ought to be imposed, adding that the High Court had previously noted that offences involving racial relations needed to be deterred "as racial harmony forms the bedrock upon which peace and progress in Singapore are founded"... When asked by District Judge John Ng if he had anything to say, Chen, who was not represented, said "I think nine strokes is OK".The judge said that even though Chen was "prepared to accept the sentence", the court would be giving a marginally reduced sentence in view of the aggregation principle, which holds that the total sentence should not be crushing on the offender.He ordered the permanent marker used in the offences to be forfeited to police."
Strange how there wasn't a racial riot over this

Norway Now Kills More Whales Than Japan And Iceland Combined - "The IWC has not formally commented on Norway’s whaling since 2001 and the international community has not presented a demarche to Norway since 2006,"

The wrong side of history has become a crowded place. Time to rethink - "Like the crevice down the back of a sofa, full of coins and old bits of Play-Doh, the Wrong Side of History has become a crowded place in recent years. Among those consigned to it have been Brexiteers, anti-vaxxers, vaccine proponents, feminists who don’t accept the idea of gender as an innate essence, the leftwing Somali-American politician Ilhan Omar, and Benjamin Netanyahu. When the online publication Vox asked a panel of experts what we’d look back on with shame in 50 years, answers included the war on drugs, laws restricting the purchase of sex, and meat-eating. But perhaps what we should really look back on with shame is banging on about the right and wrong sides of history. A clue to the problem came when the ethicist Karen Swallow Prior, responding to Vox, nominated abortion as the thing we’ll come to agree was an immoral horror. The average progressive would object vehemently, of course. But who’s to say Prior is wrong? Appealing to the judgment of history involves consulting a bunch of imaginary people from the future, so it’s hardly a surprise when they turn out to agree with whoever is doing the consulting... Khan opposed Trump’s visit on the persuasive grounds that “the far right is on the rise around the world, threatening our hard-won rights and freedoms”. But that helps to show why the “wrong side of history” idea makes no sense. If the far right’s eventual defeat were guaranteed, there would be much less to worry about. The real hazard, though, comes when the idea is used by contemporary pontificators to avoid confronting the possibility that they, themselves, might be wrong. Once you’re confident of history’s position, you needn’t ask whether your critics might have a point; you can dismiss them as anachronistic fuddy-duddies who haven’t caught up with the latest advance toward moral truth. The irony is that it is a good idea to reflect on the judgment of history – not to reinforce your opinions, but rather to unsettle them, and infuse them with a dose of humility. The past is full of periods when people endorsed ridiculous or horrifying views, but they evidently didn’t think so at the time. Why should any of us be immune, just because our time happens to be now?"
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