When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools." - Herbert Spencer


A Dreamcatcher's Plan

"The following five years will be an extremely exciting period for me. The engine of my career has started, and I believe that that of my family will begin soon. This is the period that I will truly cherish.

Price or Value?

Should I liberalize, so that I will be able to marry a 'better' girl (whatever that means)? Or should I maintain an exclusive consideration policy right from the beginning, so that if she's the one, then I would have provided maximum loyalty possible to her?

But there is a problem. What if she's not the one? Life usually does not progress in a linear fashion, especially romance. We may make meaningless roundabouts, as long as one party is uncommitted. Hence, my forecast could turn out to be horribly inaccurate.

From my own perspective, liberalization could serve to raise my 'price' but reduce my 'value'. My price is raised because by attracting multiple considerations, the invisible hand goes to work to raise my price, hence making myself more desirable to certain other girls. If I do this well enough, I might generate some sort of a "Kelvin Mania" and get myself overpriced, allowing me to choose a 'hotter' girl before it dies down.

However, the price of something does not always reflect its value, especially when the value could be adversely affected by its price. Values such as consistency and faithfulness could be compromised if executed wrongly. Worse, I could alienate the very type of girls that I am seeking to attract. In the end, I could be left with girls who have no long term holding value, and the girls with the lasting value of diamonds would be married off to less pricey but more valuable guys.

This dilemma is a very interesting problem to dissect. Thankfully, we live in a four-dimensional world, so the matching inefficiencies could be ironed out by time. Even if I mis-valued a girl, thinking that she's the dedicated type but actually she's not, by locking on to her, I might decimate my own price (because I could be labeled as a desperado) in the eyes of some, but boost my value in the eyes of others (due to my loyalty and forgiveness) as time progresses.

Eventually, I would have to drop her, and by then I would have been in the radar screen of the value-investing type (loyal and loving) due to my lower price-to-value ratio (similar to PERs), and near-zero volatility, with long-term fundamental appreciation value (I hope). And since this operation is a mutual merger and acquisition that both of us cannot sell, pro-value behavior would be the optimal choice.

The wise girl would have studied my capability to build the happiness that she could nurture and multiply before committing her heart (should I be worth it, keeping fingers crossed! >.<). The average girl however would have just stopped at the price tag and moved on. I would be standing by to 'merge' with a woman with significant synergistic properties and the best way to make this happen is to preserve and boost my value as far as possible...

I have ordered Kokoro-chan to disengage her indefinitely based on Omoi-kun's recommendations. Kokoro-chan's influence has been too powerful for Omoi-kun to operate rationally. Furthermore, the thoughts are beginning to turn malignant, a sign that the devil is creeping in, so an emotional injunction is necessary at this point.

With Game Theory's help, the plan is in place, such that should she be the one, it would be a powerful testimony for God (1 Corinthians 13:8). If she's not the one, I would have been consistent with my conscience, her, my family, and most importantly, my future wife. She would have full access to the files of this case, codenamed "Cherub", during our courtship, so I'm keeping a close tab on the incoming information and archiving all of my thoughts...

Proving My Love 2

ii) Why did Christ have to come down Himself to save us?
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Alright, this time round the model looks like this:

i = each of His subjects, i.e. everyone who was ever born or will be born
e.g. 1 = Adam, 2 = Eve

Notice that God is sinless. Hence, there is a big fat 0 at the spot where sin usually lies. In order words, God’s love is infinite. So, no matter what you do, for as long as you elect to be within His grace through faith, salvation is yours to have...

Introducing: Kokoro-chan (心ちゃん)

The profile draft is out! This is a sneak preview of ケルバーズ心, or Kokoro Kelvers. As extensively elaborated in "The Seven-year Promise", Kokoro-chan represents my emotional self. And yes, she's female, despite the A-cup.

She is, if I'm allowed to quote myself, a manifestation of "softness, kindness, sweetness, and all things adorable [that] should be attributed to the female type". First born in May 09, 2005, as one of two consciences (the other is Omoi-kun, my mind) engaging in a dialogue in "The Hopes of the Heart and Mind" ("心思意念"), finally the readers will be able to have a confirmed visualization of the girl who is my heart, thanks to the tireless effort of Bonniez, my deviantartist brother.

Even in the first draft, we can see that she is kind of an extroverted, dramatic girl who cannot sit still. Her favourite expression is "Kyah~~~~" (out of adoration), which appears without fail when she encounters something cute, cheesy, or just plain random.

Whenever I think about my future happiness, this is how she would look (on the left). Sometimes she gets to excited that I would have to stop fantasizing, otherwise I'll start to puke (just joking).

Kokoro-chan would just stay at home most of the time, and her favourite past time is none other than eating. Don't worry, she only consumes food for thought, which contains 0 kcals, which also explains her A-cup. Recently she was let out to play for about a month and came back exhausted, so seeing her upbeat with that favourite bowl of rice of hers is very reassuring.

As you can see, she has beautiful hair which is slightly curly at the ends. This is her usual relaxed self. There would be times where she would be summoned to love, of which she would shed her usual cheerful, carefree self and enter combat mode to engage the other Kokoro-chan. (Her hair reaches waist length when in combat, of which the visualization would be ready in due time.) The recent stint, despite certain miscalculations due to information asymmetry, could be considered successful. Kokoro-chan was able to accomplish the mission objectives set and returned only with minor scratches which have fully healed. I asked her, "Are you okay? Hurting anywhere?", of which she replied "うん!大丈夫よ!" ("Yep, I'm fine!")

She should be two to three times stronger on her next assignment. I'll be training her further still with the current simulator that I have, which I hope is representative.

Finally, the scar. By the way, she's wearing a bikini bottom, so please don't worry. She sustained major injuries during her first and what we thought would be a lifelong mission. Due to the amount of dedication she put in, she was unaware of the hallucination that she was suffering and in the end had to be placed on life support for awhile. Alas, she recovered fully and emerged far stronger than before. What remains of that episode, is the scar that runs diagonally across her back, as a result of the impact that came from behind.

And there you have it - Kokoro-chan! She will be playing a major role in ensuring that I will be a caring, sensitive and romantic husband of the future for my wife-to-be. Let's go Kokoro-chan, to a whole new world!

Illustration: Aaron "Bonniez" Tan (shilun on deviantart)
Character Development: Kelvin "Komo" Tan"


And it's bad maths to throw a division by zero into your model.
Somehow I doubt Shutdown Day (today) will be very successful, especially in Singapore/among Singaporeans.

Leave a comment if you're not taking part.

Addendum: As I post this, the website for Shutdown Day is down. Finally - people who practice what they preach!

When Is International 'Shut Up Day'?

"You know what else would be impossible without computers and the Internet? International Shutdown Day! They could never organize such an event without their Web site, plus online publications and social networks to spread the word.

I don't accept the conventional wisdom in some quarters that computers and other gadgets are some kind of addiction, a dark mental prison that keeps us from living our lives.

In fact, the opposite is true. Internet connected computers and mobile devices can free us from being chained to a desk or a factory floor. If people choose to spend all day, every day using computers, then that's what they should do. If they want to unplug this Saturday, every Saturday or every day, well, technology gives us the choice.

My proposal is that we all celebrate something else this Saturday. How about "International Computer Appreciation Day"? Or "Ironic Non-Profit Organization Day"? Or -- best of all -- "International Shut Up Day" -- a day where we all just leave each other alone to enjoy the technology we are so lucky to have access to -- every day."

Friday, May 02, 2008

Notes from Thomas Sowell's Affirmative action around the world: an empirical study:

AA In Malaysia: History
- "Where some Malays did work alongside the Chinese on rubber plantations, their output per worker was less than half that of the Chinese... The frugal Chinese lifestyle, for example, was very different from that of the Malays, who were known for free spending and for going into debt for the sake of social celebrations"
- Despite preferential treatment for Malays under the British (free education, no restrictions on owning land, bureaucratic jobs), the Chinese outperformed them
- Singapore's expulsion from Malaysia is "one of the few times in history when a country has voluntarily divested itself of part of its own territory"
- More than half the officers in the Malaysian air force were Chinese in 1969
- Suppression of public questioning of racial policies has been "a severe limit on the kind of racial demagoguery that has torn other multi-ethnic countries apart"
- The 1969 riots (which justified the NEP [New Economic Policy]) were caused by angry Malays rioting in response to jubilant Chinese celebrating the UMNO-led coalition's close election victory (the coalition compromised in the face of Malay extremism)
- The NEP was supposed to end in 1990, but was replaced by the National Development Policy (the same under a new name)

AA In Malaysia: Practice
- Those who benefit from the transfer of corporate equity are "elites whose political support was important to the ruling coalition"
- The NEP is a way to dispense patronage: UMNO politicians' business enterprises get preferential treatment from the government
- The Malays were benefit are members of UMNO or relatives or proteges of UMNO officials. Those who oppose the coalition were cut off from benefits
- "Loans to give Malays preferential access to credit to start businesses became in practice gifts because of a widespread feeling that these 'loans do not have to be repaid'"; the debtors were also politically untouchable
- Of 314 companies set up by SEDCs (State Economic Development Corporations), in 1982 <1/3 made a profit, 125 lost money and 86 didn't bother to file reports
- AA primarily benefitted those who were already well off/well connected
- AA was not because the Malays were wretchedly poor, but because their relative standing was embarrassing

AA In Malaysia: Education
- The switch to Malay as a medium of instruction marginalised the Chinese and the Indians, who were used to being educated in English
- Most Indians seeking higher education left Malaysia
- In 1993, education in English at University was permitted in science, technology and medicine, where they lacked skilled personnel and they could not get enough Malays to replace the other races
- "Malay students, who sense that their future is assured, feel less pressure to perform"
- Educational standards have declined in the universities after AA's effects on student admissions and faculty hiring

AA In Malaysia: Economy
- There has not been much difference in the relative incomes of Chinese and Malays after the NEP (official statistics have used changing measures over the years), but income shifts were also affected by Chinese migration, urbanisation and the shift in the economy (from Primary to non-Primary industries)
- Between 1976 and 1985, $12 billion of capital left Malaysia, mostly Chinese-owned
- An early evaluation of the NEP was that "at most 5 percent" of Malays benefited from it
- The income share of the top 10% of Malays rose significantly

AA In Malaysia: Singapore
- "Some Malays express a preference for Chinese neighbors 'because they consider that the Chinese will not intrude or interfere in their personal or family lives.' Some Malay parents and children 'choose schools where there are more Chinese and few Malays, in the hope that the student will learn good study habits from the Chinese while also avoiding Malay company'. Chinese as well as Malay parents recognize such differences. As one study found:
Some parents note with pride that their children have mostly Chinese friends, because they mix with fellow Chinese students at school and avoid Malay company in the neighborhood. In the process of attempting to gain social mobility through education, it is not only non-studious children who must be avoided but Malay children in general, since non-studiousness is a trait taken by Malays (as well as non-Malays) to characterize Malays as an ethnic group.

While it is fashionable in some quarters to dismiss such views of groups as 'stereotypes,' the people who hold these views are in daily contact with the groups in question, while those who dismiss their beliefs are often far removed from the scene. Moreover, the same view is shared by both ethnic groups in this case." [Ed: so much for the reality of lived experiences]
- AA cannot be the reason why Malaysia has seen peace between Malays and Chinese, because Singapore doesn't have it either. What they both have is draconian laws.
- Malays in Singapore have better education and economic status than in Malaysia

AA In Malaysia: Conclusion
- "Extraordinary economic prosperity and growth, combined with extraordinary repression of free speech, can make preferential programs politically viable and repress mass intergroup violence"
- "Malaysia's experience is very relevant... to a widespread belief in some countries that ethnic imbalances can only be a result of discrimination against the under-represented group - and that any suggestion that this is due to a failure of the group itself to achieve the same qualifications as others is 'blaming the victim,' if not racism. No one is Malaysia has been in any position to discriminate against the Malays or to victimize them otherwise"
- Even when the University of Malaysia was run by Malays, Malays were underrepresented
- Mahathir "lamented the fact that bumiputeras are not serious in completing government projects because they tend to sell them to second, third, and fourth parties. According to the prime minister, nearly 85 percent of the projects have not been completed."
"Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come." - Carl Sandburg


I am reading Thomas Sowell's Affirmative action around the world: an empirical study. Uncharacteristically, instead of pasting extracts, I shall just post a few points:

- In considering affirmative action (AA), people usually look at the theory and rarely at the results
- The term was coined by JFK, but he meant it as assurance that everyone had equal employment opportunities regardless of "race, color, creed, or national origin" (ah, how ironic)
- Though AA is always proposed to be temporary (In India, a 10 year period was proposed for untouchable quotas - in 1949), it not only persists but grows. Sometimes it expands way beyond its original intentions - AA in Pakistan was designed in 1949 to benefit Bengalis, but they continued even after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971
- Besides 'affirmative grading', ethnic studies are another way of helping members of minority groups (e.g. Maori studies in New Zealand and Malay Studies in Singapore)

The nature of inequality
- Although the intention to eliminate economic inequality is good, economic inequality spans "virtually the entire world and virtually the entire history of the human race". A temporary program to eliminate a perennial problem is a contradiction
- Worldwide, "All multi-ethnic societies exhibit a tendency for ethnic groups to engage in different occupations, have different levels (and, often, types) of education, receive different incomes, and occupy a different place in the social hierarchy". For example, 40% of Tsarist Russia's army high command was German (1% of the population)
- "People differ - and have for centuries.... Any "temporary" policy whose duration is defined by the goal of achieving something that has never been achieved before, anywhere in the world, could more fittingly be characterized as eternal."

People respond to incentives
- When there is AA, people try to get classified as members of that group (Australian aborigines, American Indians, Minorities in China)
- Members of preferred groups become fronts for others (e.g. Ali Baba enterprises in Indonesia and Malaysia)
- AA leads other groups to lobby for privileges too (e.g. Eunuchs and others in India, resulting in the untouchables, the original targets of the policy, becoming marginalised)
- AA often benefits the least disadvantaged members of the target group (who might be better off than the average citizen)
- Both members of privileged and non-privileged groups may work less hard, either since they don't need to work or working will be useless anyway. A zero-sum game becomes a negative-sum game.
- Members of non-privileged groups emigrate, impoverishing the country
- The success of members of privileged groups is attributed to quotas, not to their ability

Intergroup relations
- The backlash against AA in the US was not because Blacks displaced Whites, but because they displaced them unfairly (In colleges, Asians displaced Whites even more, but there was little backlash against them)
- AA contributed to riots in Gujarat and the Sri Lankan civil war

- Before/after comparisons are inadequate (post hoc, ergo propter hoc)
- The proportion of blacks going to college doubled in the 2 decades before the Civil Rights revolution, and in many other metrics, blacks advanced quicker before than after the 60s

AA In India: History
- 16% of the population are untouchables, 8% members of 'backward tribes' and 52% belong to 'other backward classes' (that's 3/4 of the population)
- Atrocities against untouchables have increased with time (at least 13,000 a year in the 1980s and 20,000 a year in the 1990s)
- AA benefits only 6% of untouchable families
- Enforcing untouchable rights in Ceylon in the 1930s led to violence (luckily they did not write discrimination into the Constitution to forestall the violence)
- Some people didn't consider untouchables Hindus since they were literally outside the caste system but later they were included to increase the Hindu:Muslim ratio for political reasons

AA In India: Practice
- The really poor do not benefit from educational quotas, since you need a certain level of wealth to be able to go to school in the first place (books and supplies, distance to schools, the opportunity cost of lost labour): even with lower admission standards, AA groups do not manage to fill their quota
- Members of AA groups go to less demanding institutions, read easier (and less well paying) subjects, take longer to graduate and drop out more often
- Besides education, other benefits like government jobs, housing subsidies, health benefits etc need preexisting resources to be utilised, which is why more prosperous members of AA groups take most of the benefits
- Chamars, one of the most successful scheduled castes, crowd out other AA groups
- Quotas for legislative seats don't work: only 5/65 untouchable subcastes were represented in Andhra Pradesh's legislature and most legislators in untouchable seats in Rajasthan were not born untouchable
- Adoption is a way to get yourself reclassified as an untouchable
- Besides AA resulting in polarization, groups also resort to violence to get their quotas
- Indian cities were renamed not so much because their British names were disliked but more so they would have the names they had before the Muslim conquests
- Xenophobic movements seeking AA has led to more xenophobia: Valentine's Day celebrations are banned in Uttar Pradesh and in Orissa Christians have been attacked
- Neither the rich nor the poor, of AA or non-AA groups, are likely to be affected by it. It's the middle classes who suffer or benefit
- "Affirmative action in India has produced minimal benefits to those most in need and maximum resentments and hostility toward them on the part of others"
- AA has led to non-objective standards being used, which increases the complexity and the mess
- To fix the mess, AA groups need to be told unpleasant truths, members of AA groups which don't need the help need to be chased off and taxpayers must fork out more money to cover complementary costs. No one has done this
- Intellectuals need to "give up easy indulgence in moral melodrama", look at practice instead of theory and stop advocating easy feel-good gestures

Thursday, May 01, 2008

"Millions for defense, sir, but not one cent for tribute." - Charles Pinckney


One of my favourite poems:

(A.D. 980-1016)

Rudyard Kipling

It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
To call upon a neighbour and to say: --
"We invaded you last night--we are quite prepared to fight,
Unless you pay us cash to go away."

And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
And the people who ask it explain
That you've only to pay 'em the Dane-geld
And then you'll get rid of the Dane!

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.

It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
For fear they should succumb and go astray;
So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
You will find it better policy to say: --

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that pays it is lost!"

Rational expectations, negotiating with terrorists and all that.
"It is better to be quotable than to be honest." - Tom Stoppard


I was at a Gender Studies symposium, which was quite interesting. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was only one paper (of 5) whose contents I found seriously contestable, confirming my impression that NUS is not as ideological as many North American universities.

One paper was on male violence against women. It stressed the interaction of 4 factors: proximate biological causes (i.e. hormones), evolutionary psychology, culture and one more I forget, rather than harping on about culture.

The proximate biological evidence is inconclusive, but that's because the studies aren't all studying the same thing, and they all study different samples. I think there might be sample bias because many studies look at prisoners.

It was claimed that the media are obsessed with inconclusive scientific research into the proximate biological research about male violence against women. That might be so, but it was also said that in Science there is a growing acceptance of the role of nurture in causing this phenomenon. Yet, it has always seemed to me that it was the other way around: scientists (at least in more recent decades) have accepted the role of nurture, but now people (sans feminists) are recognising that natural causes also play a role. The red herring of a 100% scientific/biological cause was thrown out (I am unaware of learned people who espouse a view of biological determinism), and it was said that we must recognise that scientific theorizing takes place on a cultural background (I would not that the reverse is also true).

Culture cannot be the sole cause of male violence against women, because people don't imitate everything they see: socialization is not a monkey see monkey do process. Furthermore, there're matrilineal African societies where rapists' masculinity is ridiculed, yet we still see rape there (presumably).

It seems that feminists say that the likelihood of being a battered wife is the same for all women, but this is patently false because it is dependent on many other things, not least SES (Socio-Economic Status). Low SES is also associated with male violence against women, but this is not just due to socialization but also because such men are more stressed and have fewer coping resources.

It was no surprise to find that working- and lower-class families discipline their children physically more than middle-class ones, but I thought this was more to do with violence in general than male violence against women.

There have been studies on rape, but research is not holistic since there is a lack of research on non-patriarchal societies. The presenters only found one source about rape in matrilineal societies, and it had methological problems since the researchers and the people studied had different definitions of rape (I note that this might tie in to the problem with the discourse on female circumcision, since many African women who have undergone clitoridectomies seem to still be able to climax).

I asked the presenters about female violence against men, but unfortunately they had nothing to say about it. Pity, since it would've made for a more interesting topic.

The next paper was on John F Kennedy and masculinity.

The only interesting points I took away was that his campaign projected him as young enough to do what was needed, while old enough to know that it was needed; physically he was very sick and took 10-12 medications a day when he was President.

The next paper, "The (Re)production of Masculinities in the Singapore Cityscape", was a hoot.

The Renaissance idea is that the city is where the ideals of the mind (coded as masculine) are expressed. I can't remember where feminine ideals are expressed, but maybe it's the countryside.

The CBD in particular is masculine because it is a hotbed of economic activity and a "space of production" (presumably this means Services are also 'masculine', together with Agriculture and Manufacturing; feminine spaces are those of reproduction and the family). The CBD and the Boardroom embody power, and the power of men, not of women.

The public sphere is egalitarian, which is a masculine trait. Meanwhile the private sphere embodies familial deference (I assume this means inequality is a feminine trait).

Naturally, Freud made an appearance. The skyscraper is a phallic symbol (what a surprise). Following from this, tall buildings are rational, modern and masculine because they are vertical and straight, and curves and horizontal structures are feminine. I found this very appropriate because only a woman would build a curved skyscraper that would collapse (or would build a low building in Singapore, let alone the CBD, where land is even more incredibly expensive).

In the CBD there was a Christmas tree made of featureless figures. In it, women were underrepresented (she went to count) - there were only 3 coloured women figures, and on top of the Christmas tree there was a man (this represented a hierarchy).

At one construction site, there was a sign:

"Work in progress. Sorry for the inconvenience"

There was a picture of a man with a safety helmet and in construction site attire. This was supposedly an example of subordinate masculinity since he was not dressed up as an office worker (like everyone around). The bow of apology was construed as a submissive gesture. I trust that only feminists would not understand why this interpretation is so ridiculous.

A photo of the ION Orchard promotional boarding was also displayed. It had a lot of jagged lines - this was supposed to be masculine.

Besides hegemonic masculinity there was also internal hegemonic masculinities – men dominating men.

The people who sell food at the bottom of the skyscrapers are supposedly subordinate masculinities because office workers don't notice them. Parents telling their children to become professionals is also supposed to be an embodiment of masculinity, since no one tells their children to become artists.

Someone asked why she didn't look into the role of women in the CBD. Unfortunately she didn't because she was looking for dominant and subordinate masculinities.

To her credit, the presenter thought all this ridiculous.

The last paper (skipping the one on Royston Tan's 15 and homosocial/homoerotic gangsters) was on contesting hegemonic masculinity in Singapore (a form of masculinity supposedly guaranteeing dominant position of men).

According to Fuller (1996), the core attributes of hegemonic masculinity are the Possession of work/money, Heterosexuality, Non-femininity, Manliness and the Denial of vulnerability and emotion.

2 traditionally female roles were looked at: nursing and childcare (stay-at-home fathers).

8% of registered nurses in Singapore are male (I wonder how many administrative staff in offices are male). They assert their masculinity to challenge the pereption their job is feminised. For one they call themselves 'health care professionals' rather than 'nurses'. They specialize, especially in departments like the ICU and ER, where there's more adrenaline. They don't socialize with their female colleagues – for example they don't like gossip. They emphasise the physical aspects of their job, and reconstruct it as masculine: loading syringes is compared to loading bullets in guns. They also stress how they gain knowledge on the job.

Token men in traditionally female professions apparently benefit more than the token women in traditionally male ones (I assume this doesn't occur in countries with gender quotas for managers and/or politicians). They are put on the fast track with regard to promotion opportunities, and are pressured to move into management; the female nurses think they are promoted because they are male that’s why promoted. They are assumed to have more knowledge than the females, and allegedly get away with more mistakes than the female nurses and have a better relationship with their superiors.

On the job, they are made to lift heavy patients and restrain violent patients.

Interestingly, only one of the male nurses interviewed (I forgot to ask/note the sample size) said he liked to care for people. The rest cited economic/career reasons for choosing nursing.

For stay-at-home fathers, 6 were interviewed. Curiously, unlike in other countries, all earned as much or more than than their wives. None of them were in it full-time - except for those who homeschooled their kids, they took 1-2 years of unpaid leave and stressed the temporary nature of this arrangement, because Singapore was expensive and you needed both parents working.

When asked why they chose to take care of their children, they said it was a chance to have fun and play with their children and bond with them, since they usually would not be able to. It was also a break from work; all the fathers emphasised their eventual return to the working world. They did not want to hire maids because they would be outsiders.

Since childcare was viewed as female work, it was viewed as a challenge to them. The fathers weren't as emotionally involved and protective of their children as mothers would be, and took a playful, rough-and-tumble approach to childcare and brought in a high level of activity, with sports and the outdoors (characterised as healthy and exposing the children to fresh air). Risk taking was emphasised through outdoor learning.

One father highfived and piggybacked his children back from the kindergarten – as a way of distinguishing himself from the mothers (IIRC, he used to wait a distance from the kindergarten at first so as not to be mistaken for a pedophile).

The men's wives praised them for taking care of the children, but many did not do housework because they said they took leave in order to play with their children, not to clean the home. Nonetheless, the women said they felt grateful to them.
"Most modern calendars mar the sweet simplicity of our lives by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary of some perfectly uninteresting event." - Oscar Wilde


People are looking at scientific and mathematical pickup lines (e.g. 'You've got 206 bones in your body, want one more', 'You're as sweet as 3.14'). There're also a few for liberal arts majors (e.g. 'My love is like communism; everyone gets a share, and it's only good in theory', 'Do you want to help me with my project on the tit- I'm sorry, TET Offensive?') and musicians (e.g. 'Are you a piano, or a forte?', 'I wish I was your flute...then you could press my buttons and blow me all night long').

Here are some for economists:

Economics Pick up Lines

22. Pareto dominate me, baby!
21. Your presence is one big positive externality.
20. You don’t have to prove your love, it’s just intuitive.
19. There are no diminishing returns with you.
18. I suggest you lower barriers to entry to encourage free exchange.
17. With you there is no reason to diversify my portfolio.
16. I love you, ceteris paribus.
15. Nothing can separate the two of us–well, nothing but a hyperplane.
14. Being your prisoner is no dilemma.
13. Tell me what I have to assume to be able to identify your phone number.
12. Whoa, you’re the most robust structural model I’ve seen in a while.
11. I’m not indifferent towards those curves!
10. My interest in you has compounded continuously.
9. When I’m with you I experience hyperinflation.
8. I love it when you whisper sweet equations in my ear.
7. Wow! You have one nice asymptotic distribution!
6. You’re deriving me crazy.
5. You enjoy monopoly power over my heart.
4. Is that a discontinuity I see or are you just mighty kinky?
3. You are unique…well, at least locally.
2. My utility is strictly increasing in you.
1. I’ll be capital, you be labor–you know the rest.

* I couldn't help but notice your monetary base. Do you let a guy get to M3 on a first date?
* You have a boyfriend? That's ok. The wife and I are into credit-swapping.
* I'm not like other guys. I'd never withdraw my deposits without at least offering a wraparound.
* Baby, that booty is a moral hazard!
* When it comes to you, my demand curve slopes upward.
* Do you have a job? Because I thought maybe we could enjoy some frictional unemployment together.
* I know there are competitive bidders, but ask any of the girls here, and they'll tell you my tongue has absolute advantage.
* Are you a Keynesian? Because you sure make my monetary policy inflate.
* You've got the loveliest supply curves I've ever seen.
* I know it's a Saturday, but do you think you'd be open for some direct deposits later?
* I think you and me would have great potential output.
* So, what kinds of permissable nonbank activites are you into?
* If you want to invite your friend, perhaps we could explore multilateralism.
* C'mon, it's getting late, and we both know I'm your lender of last resort.
* Let's blow this popsicle stand and see what happens when we let our indifference curves intersect.

Facebook | It's time you experienced my positive externalities...

"I'll maximize your utility.

What do you say we expand our production possibility curves?

What do you say I eliminate some dead weight loss and add to your consumer surplus.

I don't know about you, but it's all about macro where I come from.

Your subsidy, our social benefit!

Do you work for the Fed, cause your raising my reserves.

You're like the village commons...*sigh* what a tragedy!

You won't find any elasticity with my demand, cause there are no substitutes.

I see ourselves in ten minutes engaging in a series of mutually offsetting investments in performance enhancement stimulated by a positional externality...sounds like a position arms race to me.

It's OK baby...I'm a price taker.

Porkbellies rising!

You've been spending too much time with the invisible hand...time for some external intervention.

You can price discriminate against me!

I'm a pure public good...you can free-ride on me any time you want.

My unit is elastic...what you give is what you get.

We're like a capital market...your investment equals my interest.

Let's strip your rust belt and see how our economy develops from there!

We're like monopolistic competition...all we care about is the short run.

There's no deflation where I come from...not when you're playing with my ratchet!

Our society is underproducing...but I'm sure if we hooked up we'd achieve an efficient allocation of resources.

I'd like you to OPEC my energy markets.

My fiscal policy is all about contributing to your private sector.

Are you in TANF? (Temporary Assistance for Needy Fannies)

Your industry shows promise...time for my firm to break the barrier of entry."

GekiRed: Wait! Hey!

RinJyu Crane Ken Ruutsu: Is there any fool stupid enough to wait when told to? Idiot.

(JyuKen Sentai Gekiranger, Lesson 14)
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell


Free BJ day (Tuesday) was slightly more fun than last year; I also had had a different type of BJ the previous Sunday, only 2 days before.

I had 2 this year, and 'Disgusting' Chris and Weizhen had 5 each (I gave Chris another one that night). Interestingly, I went with a girl who used to sell them.

There were 2 cows this year - a big one and a small one. The big one had a fistable mouth, but I already fisted the cow last year; the small one was this incredibly perky European-looking woman, so I paid 50 cents and milked one of her udders (someone said it was disgusting, looking like a scrotum with 4 penises attached, and at an unfortunate location too).

As usual, they had their bevy of act-cute girls. The worst of the lot had even more eyeliner than California Girl, had a ridiculously high-pitched voice and shouted 'Chotto Matte Kudasai'. People suggested that I stuff a free cone in her face, or hit her with my hair (and that I was jealous that they had nicer hair than me). UD #6 pointed out that this is the sort of girl Singaporean guys like (and that I'm in the other 1%), but the 2 guys with me averred that this was a bit too much. I said she could work there, and the response was: "come on!!!i am not one of those annoyingly perky girls man!" My comment was that the exclamation marks told you everything.

Of course, people asked me what a BJ was again. My description was less poetic than last year's.

This year's: "It is something you usually get from girls. It gives you pleasure. It can get sticky and messy. You can enjoy it at home, in public or at a commercial establishment"

Last year's: "BJ is something that makes me very happy. It is all-natural and there is much licking and slurping involved. It is given out by cute girls (sometimes, cute guys - you know how things change) and when things get hot, the result is creamy. After having one, I cannot have another too soon or I'll feel sick.

BJ is enjoyed by both guys and girls, even though the girls complain about ingesting it because of perceived health/beauty effects."
I put on my wizard robe and hat
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat." - Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio


u r wt u wr:

- 'Free hugs' (anyone taking up the offer might be liable to be charged for molest]
- 'Make love not war'
- 'Lovely jewel'
- 'Kiss *picture of lipstick stain* me'
- 'Nacho girl friend'
- 'Do you believe *many words*' (I think this read: 'Do you believe in love at first sight or shall I walk by again?')
- 'Better forget it 'cause you'll never get it'
- 'Once kissed, twice shy'
- 'I am the one ur dentist warned u abt' (???)
- 'Kiss me! Before my mother come back!'
- 'Your lips look so lonely. Would they like to meet MINE?'
- 'Candy stripper'
- 'Meet your match *picture of 2 tennis racquets*'
- 'I am a BellyDancer'

Most of the girls who wear these shirts are quite ugly.

- 'Save a mouse *picture of a mouse* Eat some pussy' (Guy) (Variant of earlier shirt)
- 'The only thing I wear in bed' (Guy)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"My parents only had one argument in forty-five years. It lasted forty-three years." - Cathy Ladman


Someone pointed me to Student & Graduate Statistics - Registrar's Office - National University of Singapore, which gives statistics of undergraduate and graduate enrolment for each course, divided by year and gender (finally answering for once and for all the question of gender ratios in the different faculties). Interestingly enough, the gender ratio in Computing 3 in 2006/2007 was 2.64, but a massive jump was seen in Computing 4 in 2007/2008 with 6.41. Clearly, patriarchy is rearing its ugly head! Meanwhile, the gender ratio in Arts and Social Sciences 3 in 2006/2007 was 1.80, but turned to 2.12 for Arts 4 and Social Sciences 4 in 2007/2008. This is clearly evidence that guys are being unacceptably discriminated against and deserve affirmative action are useless. [Someone: if those year 4s were smarter, they would not be doing their honours at all cos it has no value for computing]

Everyone else in Arts started out with Theses due earlier than us, but many ended up with Theses due later than us. Gah.

This semester, NUS SAVE (Students Against the Violation of the Earth) has got a few initiatives implemented. The thermostat of centralised air-conditioning was raised to 25 degrees from 24, the co-op charges 10 cents per plastic bag, the drinks and fruit canteen stalls charge 10 cents per plastic bag and printing in school is set to double-sided by default. These are of varying utility (some places can be really hot and you should get a free plastic bag if buy a lot) but what they all have in common is that they cost the people who implement them nothing - in fact, they benefit (from lower power bills and lower expenditure on plastic bags and paper) and thus are more than enthusiastic in implementing them. Now that SAVE has exhausted (or almost exhausted) the easy options, I wonder what they'll go for next.

When I came into NUS more people coloured their hair than not. Now it's the other way around.

Another reason to ideologically object to Flag: people collect fewer T-shirts to raise their per capita takings.

I saw a vending machine where 7-up was $0.90 and Coke was $0.80. This is the first time I've seen differential pricing for similar drinks.

Apparently the CCTV in the Arts canteen catches couples at the walkway doing worse stuff than kissing. Hurr hurr.

The NUS doctor sells the Pill. Hah.

I ordered Subway online. I didn't get the student discount, but the looks on people's faces when I waltzed past a 30 minute queue was worth it.

The Forum coop places sanitary pads under food. Uhh.

I've heard alarms ring in the exam hall more than twice - maybe even 3-4 times. I'm quite sure it's a ploy to pull the curve down by distracting other people. I have half a mind to set my phone to keep playing the 2girls1cup theme during an exam - that'll be sure to get people distracted.

Before one exam there was a queue in the guys' toilet which extended out the door. This must be a first.

After one exam, there was a group of guys at the urinals, and one said 'Length is not important'. I did a double take, then he said 'It's the relevance' and all was made clear.
"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance." - Kurt Vonnegut


In the past, I have been accused of being racist for calling Canadian 2-for-1 Pizza 'Malay 2-for-1' (because almost everyone working there is Malay)

Old website picture (~2004)

New website picture (today)

Yet, when minorities complain about essentially the same thing, not only do people not condemn them, the complaints are seen as legitimate.

The example I have in mind:

"TCS should stop being a 'Totally Chinese Station'
Straits Times Forum, 20 November 1999

I AM getting really tired of reading from travel brochures that Singapore is a multi-racial country.

Any foreigner who watches our local English dramas would not be able to see the richness of our multi-racial society.

It seems TCS has the notion that only the Chinese can act and speak English.

Apart from Under One Roof, all the other English dramas produced by TCS - including the new ones, Spin and The Ride Home - have Chinese as the lead actors, even to the extent of putting Channel 8 and foreign artistes of Chinese descent in these new dramas.

Even though the Malays and the Indians are the minorities on this tiny island, was any effort made to seek an actor or actress from these races to make the shows more racially balanced?

They can speak English too, if not better than the Channel 8 artistes.

The lives of Singaporeans are not only based on the Chinese. The Chinese do not make Singapore nor do the Malays or the Indians.

We are all Singaporeans and the shows on Channel 5 should portray the lives of all Singaporeans.

The fault probably lies with the producers of these shows who do not consider the sensitivities of the minorities.

They suffer from the same disease that inflicted the American producers of television shows in the US in the early 50s to the early 60s, who felt that Black and Asian Americans were not suitable to have lead roles on their shows.

Ironically, Bruce Lee was one such victim when he was taken off from being the lead actor in the Kung Fu series.

Now, we see the same treatment being meted out to budding Malay and Indian actors and actresses.

The chance for them to get a job on Channel 8 is extremely remote even if they can speak Mandarin. It is even harder for them to get a chance to act in the English dramas if the mentality of these TCS producers does not change.

Until TCS changes its ways, it will always be known as the "Totally Chinese Station".


This is despite the fact that if you conduct a random draw in Singapore, you're more likely to get a sample that is 100% Chinese than one that is 100% Malay (leave apart the question of sample size and selection bias [the writer ignored the examples of Gurmit Singh, Daisy Irani, Norleena Salim and Zaibo, as a TCS executive pointed out in his reply] here).

Even if you invoke the excuse of nation-building (State media should make attempts at social integration), this just means that the State media have more of a positive duty to increase racial representation above what it might normally be, and not that private companies do not have a negative duty not to have abysmally low racial representation.
"We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys." - Eric Hoffer


One tenet of the happiness discourse that is an aspect of motivational bullshit is that if you're in a situation that other people would consider miserable, if you are happy, your happiness is justifiable.

One example is Nick Vujicic, who praises his god for giving him no arms and legs and is delighted that he can use this to challenge the Riddle of Epicurus (incidentally this is like praising Hitler for the Final Solution, because that meant the Jews came out stronger as a people).

However, the corollary of this is that if you are in a situation that other people would consider fortunate, if you are unhappy, your unhappiness is also justifiable.

For example, if you earn US$8,000 a month, work in a top investment bank, have a loving family and women swarm over you, yet claim that life is a living hell for you and that you want to die, this is also justified.

This is because the presumed reason why a person in objectively miserable circumstances can justifiably say he is happy is that all that matters is one's subjective well-being (i.e. your evaluation of your life). In that case, the person in objectively fortunate circumstances can just as soundly say that he is unhappy.

The only other reason I can think of for why a person in objectively miserable circumstances can justifiably say he is happy is that happiness is considered a good thing, and that if someone deludes himself into thinking that he is happy, this is good, but then this is begging the question.
"Behind the phony tinsel of Hollywood lies the real tinsel." - Oscar Levant



I think they reasoned that we wont get any action, because we are half crippled, and half insane. [Me: That's why you need to pay for it.] We are also the most poorly paid... Half our monthly salary.

Where is the clitoris? Thanks. [Me: Err.] I know it's the female vagina, but where is it. Nevermind, it's for guys to know.

[Me: Did you just change?] I took off my sweatshirt. Girls can do it quickly.

You name yourself after Gabriel, your boobs will grow bigger

[Me: 'Sit on the sofa and you get a vaginal infection'... Why would there be yeast on the sofa?] Because other girls have yeast and they do things on the sofa.

[On the US elections] Hasn't finished, this election? [Someone else: Hasn't even started yes, please.]

Every Sunday my family dinner will be Long John Silver's and porridge... For the past 8 weeks. Only this Sunday I'm not going back. I miss my fries. I mean, I miss my family.

[Me on a cushion: Do you want to get Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?] Gabriel, do you know you are a goddamn advertisement for the GEP system.

Are you okay? Don't cry. If you cry I'll cry also. [Me: We go for boob job together lah.] Excuse me, I have ample. All I need is a good pushup.

You want a guy who will go up there and subtly insults her... Mystery says this only works if the woman is really really attractive.

Freeze outs, in which the pickup artist agrees with and redirects the resistance. So I hope the guys are listening properly.

One of the nice things about USP is that we learn about Orientalism. How many here have learnt about Orientalism? *No one raises their hands*

[On the East-West dichotomy] In Indonesia... Walking in the market *some words*. How often do you see that? *Arms wide open* I like you.

Virginity is being lost at 18, and people are getting married at 25 or 26. But everyone's a virgin at marriage... The interesting thing about Indonesia is you can have your virginity magically restored to you before marriage. Loss of virginity is not necessarily a permanent thing.

[Student 3: What time is the bus?]... [Student 2: Take BTC... BTC is fun-ner.] Because if you mss your stop, you'll end up in BTC. You have to stay awake. (more fun)

[Student: Don't you think he looks like ***?] [Me: You think all fat people look the same ah?] She's a fat-ist. Go see her Facebook. Fei Zhai all over the world are going after her.

[Student: He's speaking in Chinese.] I'm drunk. That's why.

One is cinematic discourse. It's so fluffy. It's almost like lit.

I would avoid ecofeminism like the plague... Anything to do with feminism... Defending it would make you a feminist, and attacking it would make you an anti-feminist. [Me: Either way you're screwed.]

This university is good with equipment. In fact too good. My old computer, by old I mean 3 or 4 years old, when I'm getting used to it, they come along and say: 'Here's another one'.

The collected works of Aristotle would fill an entire bookshelf. Same thing with the collected works of Kant... What the Master says - a few pages... No more than 50 pages. We need to interpret.

[On Virtue Ethics] What is a good man? What is a good man's function? Woman too.

[On human Arete] In other words, the best life is that of a philosopher. *laughs from people*... Not too long ago, was at a bookshop... There was a textbook on biology. First year biology textbook. Written by a biologist. What was the title? 'From Cell to Philosopher'... Aristotle didn't say that... For him, the Biologist, being a philosopher is the aim of human development.

[On Virtue Ethics] Is loyalty a virtue? What if I'm loyal to Osama bin Laden? What if, I'm loyal to Hitler?

[On saving the environment though he has a car] Walk instead of - well, I walked upstairs. I did not use the lift.

The classic ring tone: 'Ring ring. Ring ring' mimics a human cry... 'Pick up the phone!'... Someone needs something. [Me: I thought it's because you're pissed off at the noise {or words to that effect}]

[On someone reading in the toilet] What the fuck is she doing in the toilet? [Me: I don't know. USP is full of weird people.] [Student 2: I used to do that a lot too, until I got piles.]

On average people have, my friends all have 9 or 10 credit cards. The credit card companies all say 'Your credit rating is so good. Why don't you use my credit card?'
"America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair." - Arnold Toynbee


Funny GNOME bug report Bug 472370 – crash in Movie Player: starting new mpeg (ignore the security certificate warning):

"What were you doing when the application crashed?
starting new mpeg


----------- .xsession-errors (843 sec old) ---------------------
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/aroma milk lactating preg porn.movstarting
xterm -e mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/aroma milk lactating preg porn.movstarting
xterm -e mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/Paola Rey - Little Miss Innocent.mpgstarting
xterm -e mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/Cum slut helps 16 strangers make 18 yo blonde
pregnant - xxx adult porn sex fucking creampie gangbang babymaker tits oral
felatio bj blowjob.mpgstarting xterm -e mpla
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/Girl in Yellow Lab Studios Tanning Bed Busted
and Forced to Fuck and Suck Janitor Gag Gang Rape, Anal Pain, Worldtaker Pro.
SeXiuN.mpgstarting xterm -e mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/Jhene-D.O.G.mpgstarting xterm -e mplayer
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/Exploited Moms Housewife.mpgstarting xterm -e
mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/private farm video - extremely perverted
animal sex porno!!!!!!!!.mpegstarting xterm -e mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/Cum slut helps 16 strangers make 18 yo blonde
pregnant - xxx adult porn sex fucking creampie gangbang babymaker tits oral
felatio bj blowjob.mpgstarting xterm -e mpla
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/Paola Rey - Little Miss Innocent.mpgstarting
xterm -e mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/A Sharks.Tale. (Excellant
Quality).mpgstarting xterm -e mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/aroma milk lactating preg porn.movstarting
xterm -e mplayer $URL$
xterm -e mplayer /home/tom/Video/private farm video - extremely perverted
animal sex porno!!!!!!!!.mpegDOUBLE-CLICK: 400 --> -1 THRESHOLD: 8 --> -1 xiTK
received SIGSEGV signal, RIP.
Window manager warning: Invalid WM_TRANSIENT_FOR window 0x4000040 specified for
0x4000490 (Shutting d).
Window manager warning: Invalid WM_TRANSIENT_FOR window 0x4000040 specified for
0x4000490 (Shutting d).

Comment #2 from Dirk Sohler (points: 2)
2007-09-05 19:50 UTC [reply]
I'm sorry for your bug, pal... But WTF is "extremely perverted animal sex porno"? If you do a bugreport next time, reproduce it with a fresh instance and cleared cache :)

Comment #3 from Philip Withnall (totem developer, points: 22)
2007-09-05 22:04 UTC [reply]
(In reply to comment #2)

Our concern is not what the bug reporter is watching; we just want to fix the bug. Please stay on topic, and don't comment if you don't have something useful to add. ;-)

(Sorry for bugspam about bugspam.)

Comment #4 from nixaan (points: 0)
2007-09-06 20:13 UTC [reply]
these movies play without issue on my installation

Comment #5 from Olav Vitters (developer, points: 22)
2007-09-06 20:20 UTC [reply]
Changed reporter from original to bugmaster@gnome.org as to prevent harassment.

(In reply to comment #5)
> these movies play without issue on my installation

This is useless without totem version, gstreamer version. Further, I doubt you are being honest.
"There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher." - Victor Hugo


Someone: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/04/25/twitter.buck/index.html?iref=mpstoryview
next time if i'm in danger i just twitter from my handphone to Twitter la

since you always look at my updates
i'm relying on you to call for help

Me: hahahahaha
I'm more likely to get arrested than you :P

Someone: haha oh ok lor
works both ways

Me: if I twitter "Arrested" how ah

Someone: gssq: "Air-con treatment".

then i call Queen's Counsel

Frigid Girl: haha sex complicates everything hee hee hee

Me: yeah
so does education

well actually
what complicates things is love
not sex :P

love is a lot more messy hurr hurr

and also emotions like jealousy, guilt etc

which is why actually paying for sex is the cleanest way of having it

Someone else: who's nice and sweet girl
first time i've seen you call a girl something that isn't derogatory haha

Me: your lab got new girl or what

Someone: no

she didn't even last the day

my boss was interviewing a new postdoc candidate. but she is really so lousy that he's not giving her an offer.

it's not really that she's lousy

she doesn't have a v diverse background, despite having worked with 2 quite famous people in the past... and she doesn't really sound that dedicated.. and we're scared after the last female postdoc quit after 3 weeks cos she got pregnant (!!!!!!!!!!)

Me: err

Someone: indeeed.

well, she was already pregnant i think. then the project she was working on involves viral vaccines (despite her knowing it involves viral vaccines). and i think she got scared off. even though it's a VACCINE. but she can't get over the viral part. so anyway, she was a complete useless twat.

Me: so what can we conclude

Someone: the conclusion is, women have no place in the lab.

they should return to the kitchen.

Me: eh so what are you doing in the lab

Someone: of course i can be in the lab lah. clearly i'm an exception.

there are always exceptions to the rule.
like [male] doing mass comms.

Me: any more horror stories of girls in lab?

Someone: no, cos i'm the only one

we had a female undergrad... she was good... graduated liao

we have 7 grad students, 1 postdoc, and 1 UG for each of the grad student/postdoc
and only 1 female

last time my lab had predominantly females... alot of needless drama
my friend's lab now... female boss, mostly women in the lab... also forever got drama

with the boys...as long as you can put up with penis jokes and mom jokes and gay jokes... they don't hold grudges

it's true lah. even *** is the only girl in her lab. but she does computer modeling stuff, which is more male-dominated anyway. but you should hear her go off on the general uselessness of female engineers.

there are always good female grad stduents.. but rare.


1) many feminists are social scientists (i.e. "fake" scientists) and not real scientists/engineers

and therefore have never met real scientists
or worked with them

it's really two different things to say that women scientists get a raw deal, and to also say that many women scientists are not very good at all (they could be causative though)

2) they have not worked in science/engineering fields

the hard core bio labs have a lot of females though. and about parity in terms of % female faculty.
i think 56% women faculty

quick, cry discrimination against men!

Me: nah it just shows they're being limited by patriarchy

Someone: actually here the biggest headache is not women, it's minorities

eh it's retarded lor. how to hire black professors when there are no black grad students.

there are no black grad students because there are no black students in the top programs

they are all failing their courses

Me: because white professors are discriminating against them

Someone: NO MAN
quite the opposite

Me: yeah well that's the standard answer

Someone: so ok.

I TA-ed this thermodynamics course
* years ago

it was mixed population of materials science and BME undergrads
and here the BME UG are definitely better than the mat sci UGs

but anyway

1) all the black students were in Mat sci
2) they were all failing
3) the professor even specially sent them emails to set up one on one tutoring times with them
4) they were STILL failing
5) white students/asians did not get personalised tutoring from the professor

Me: was the prof white?

Someone: yes
white, [Ivy League]-educated professor

Me: aha
obviously he was unconsciously discriminating against them

Someone: er

the hw were graded by us

we even gave them a free pass on turning in identical HWs

Me: dunno
it's too late to think up modern liberal mumbo jumbo

Someone: anyway

i have to go teach myself how to do dot blots now
due to institutionalized sexism that prevents anyone from teaching me.


i dunno about philo lah.
see unlike socios i don't comment on things i don't know about.

HWMNBN on SIA stewardesses: apparently:

a) the hot - ie. younger - stewardesses earn really really little. just that all their expenses tend to be taken care of

b) apparently most white men - at least in the last 2 days of extensively quizzing my stewardess contacts - don't really go beyond flirting because , in her words: "chances are the guy is going somewhere to do something is he can afford to sugar daddy you
and if he's going somewhere to do something you probabl won't fit in the schedule"

and apparently a LOT of them are fighting fo rth elimited pool of sugar daddies

so it's a supply/demand mismatch

plus most of them concede that sia stewardesses standard has fallen significantly in the last 5 years

actuall a disturbing number of si astewardesses (or maybe i'm self-selecting based on the type of ppl i tend to interact with) appear to be highly intelligent but dysfunctional types

who end up stewardessing beacuse they either have no options or are emotionally and morally depraved enough to be flying whores
"Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true." - Niels Bohr, to a young physicist


The story of O - "One of the themes of the book is that when women have skillful partners, they get a much better deal out of sex. From what I can tell -- nobody's ever experienced both -- the female orgasm seems to be a hell of a lot better than ours... More than 50 percent of the people in Western, urban cultures divorce at some stage, and you don't have to be a marriage counselor to know that practically all the problems stem from sex. Sex is the battleground on which marriages are fought... Incidentally, Jesus had no stated views that we know of about sex. He must have presumably liked it quite a lot, hence Mary Magdalene... I think Jesus would have probably taken a dim view of these excesses in his name, the most appalling of which is celibacy... Just look at the mess [with sexual abuse] in countries like Ireland, where you have Catholic priests who are maintaining this absurd celibacy, which was only imposed on them as a method to avoid priests having children, because the church was terrified that the church property would end up in the hands of priests' children... Men deprived of orgasm in their normal way seek them in other ways. So you have whole families destroyed, you have communities destroyed, purely based on an 11th century edict originally promulgated as a property-protecting measure... You talk about the !Kung bushmen, who, as you write, believe "if a girl grows up without regular sex, she will lose her mind and end up eating grass and dying." Then there are the Muria of India and the Mangaia in the South Pacific, who teach children how to give sexual pleasure."

Commentary: Putting the heat on Hong Kong 'traitors' - "In Lee's article, he appealed to U.S. President George W. Bush and other international leaders "to take a broader vision of the possibilities for the Beijing Games," saying they "should press for a significant improvement of basic human rights in my country, including press, assembly and religious freedoms." Lee voiced disagreement with those who would boycott the Beijing Olympic Games, however... Many pro-Beijing political figures and media in Hong Kong responded to the article with furious attacks on Lee, calling him a traitor, while he was still out of the city... In the past, when Emily Lau said that the Taiwanese people's freedom of choice should be respected with regard to their own future, she was also branded a "traitor" for a few months. This is to say that the so-called "traitors" are Hong Kong's determined group of democrats, whereas the "patriots" are supporters of dictatorship and opportunists who unreasonably oppose democracy with nationalism."

Délifrance - Home - "7th Délifrance Sandwich French Cup. Wednesday 19th march 2008, 9:15 AM to 14:00 PM. EUROPEAN SANDWICH & SNACK SHOW. Espace Délifrance, Palais des Congrès, Place de la Porte Maillot, Paris XVIIème arrondissement"
Shit, they've invaded France.

Student 'Twitters' his way out of Egyptian jail - "James Karl Buck helped free himself from an Egyptian jail with a one-word blog post from his cell phone. Buck, a graduate student from the University of California-Berkeley, was in Mahalla, Egypt, covering an anti-government protest when he and his translator, Mohammed Maree, were arrested April 10. On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a message to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging site Twitter. The message only had one word. "Arrested." Within seconds, colleagues in the United States and his blogger-friends in Egypt -- the same ones who had taught him the tool only a week earlier -- were alerted that he was being held."

I'm Dangerous <3 - A 15 year old girl's blog, with a URL http://www.underage-girl.blogspot.com/. She's also running for Singtel Grid Girl. GAH.

Possibly the most misogynistic and sexist lyrics ever - This thread is hilarious.

Anna Melville-James listens to terrifying tales of sibling rivalry - "I was six weeks old when my brother buried me in the back garden. I can't remember it, of course, but the story is often told in my family. He dug a hole, lifted me carefully out of my pram and put me in it. Then he heaped earth on top. He was three and a half at the time and, fortunately for me, didn't realise that live burial works best if you stamp the earth down, so although I was completely covered I could still breathe. My mother was in the kitchen, chatting to a friend. The first she knew of what he had done was when my brother started tugging at her skirt, trying to get her attention: 'Mummy. Mummeeeeee ... I've buried the baby!' It was some time before she stopped fobbing him off with 'Yes, darling, very nice ... ' and actually listened to what he was saying. You can imagine how she felt when she went outside and saw an empty pram alongside a newly dug grave."

Bloggers offer glimpse of uncensored Cuba - "Yoani Sanchez writes the "Generacion Y" blog and gets more than a million hits a month, mostly from abroad — though she has begun to strike a chord in Cuba. On her site and others, anonymous Cubans offer stinging criticisms of their government... "Cuba is the only country in the world whose principal newspaper, the official organ of the Communist Party and the official voice of the government, has the ridiculous name 'granny,'" she wrote. Piling on the heat, she added that the name "perpetuates the memory of that yacht that brought us so much that is bad.""
Obviously the enemies of the Revolution have mislead them.

A Different Kind of Homework for Singapore Students: Get a Date - "It was like a college mixer, a classroom full of young men and women seeking a recipe for romance. The relationship classes are an extension of the government’s aim to help boost the birthrate, one of the lowest in the world. They had assembled for the first class of “Love Relations for Life: A Journey of Romance, Love and Sexuality.” There was giggling and banter among the students, but that was all part of the course as their teacher, Suki Tong, led them into the basics of dating, falling in love and staying together. The course, in its second year at two polytechnic institutes, is the latest of many, mostly futile, campaigns by Singapore’s government to get its citizens to mate and multiply. Its popularity last year has led to talk of its expansion through the higher education system."
Why NUS don't have ah

Chinese Students in U.S. Fight View of Their Home - "A plastic bottle of water hit the wall behind the monk... At Duke, pro-China students surrounded and drowned out a pro-Tibet vigil; a Chinese freshman who tried to mediate received death threats, and her family was forced into hiding. And last Saturday, students from as far as Florida and Tennessee traveled to Atlanta to picket CNN after a commentator, Jack Cafferty, referred to the Chinese as 'goons and thugs.'... By and large, they do not acknowledge the cultural and religious crackdown in Tibet, insisting that ordinary Tibetans have prospered under China's economic development, and that only a small minority are unhappy... Rather than blend in to the prevailing campus ethos of free debate, the more strident Chinese students seem to replicate the authoritarian framework of their homeland, photographing demonstration participants and sometimes drowning out dissent... Students argue that China has spent billions on Tibet, building schools, roads and other infrastructure. Asked if the Tibetans wanted such development, they looked blankly incredulous. “They don’t ask that question,” said Lionel Jensen, a China scholar at Notre Dame. “They’ve accepted the basic premise of aggressive modernization.”"

The demise of Turkey's pork butchers - ""We're going filming at a pork butcher's and a pig farm," I told my Turkish cameraman in a text message. Slightly anxious, I added: "Is that OK with you?" A moment later a message from Gokhan flashed back. "Yes," he wrote. "I like a good pork steak!" He is not the only one. Another Turkish friend told me that eating pork, which is forbidden by Islam, is increasingly popular in secular high society here. She described this as an act of defiance by some Turks who fear religious dictates have begun creeping into their lives since a government led by devout Muslims took power. But those people could soon be looking for a new way to rebel because Turkey's pork industry is on the brink of extinction... In a typical "Istanbul" twist, the customer himself was Jewish. Behind him I spotted my Muslim colleagues - munching contentedly on ham sandwiches."

Video: Best Ad ever for a Slurpee (NSFW)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Sure i'm for helping the elderly. I'm going to be old myself some day." - Lillian Carter, in her 80s


"È la fede delle femmine
come l’araba fenice,
che vi sia ciascun lo dice...
dove sia nessun lo sa...

Nel mare solca,
e nell’arena semina
e il vago vento spera
in rete accogliere
chi fonda sue speranze
in cor di femmina...

Tutti accusan le donne
ed io le scuso,
se mille volte al dì
cangiano amore,
altri un vizio lo chiama,
ed altri un uso
ed a me par necessità del core.
L’amante che si trova
alfin deluso,
non condanni l’altrui,
ma il proprio errore.
Già che giovani, vecchie,
e belle, e brutte,
ripetete con me:
così fan tutte."
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