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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Links - 6th August 2011

"When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." - R. Buckminster Fuller


It's Time to End the War on Salt - "A meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease"

A Win for Women: Females Hold More Advanced Degrees - "Women are also more likely to have finished high school than men. But the news isn't all good. Females continue to lag behind males in the areas of business, science and engineering"
Comments: "it's a victory as long as women and minorities have the advantages, but if white males do, it is discrimination" "We have over thousands of years shown over and over again and again that a woman can do a much better job then any man can."

Witches fear being driven out of town following 'hostility from Christians' - "What we are suffering is racism from people with a 16th century mentality"
The fact that people use the word 'racist' willy-nilly tells us it's a catchy signifier which doesn't mean all that much

Candy wrapper resistance - "We have created a monster of a migrant worker policy that is almost designed to exploit the vulnerable... This half-baked policy that we have for dealing with worker grievances effectively means that employers feel a certain sense of immunity. You could quite fairly say that our government encourages exploitation and crime"

YouTube - ‪Trolling Saruman‬‏

The Copyright Lobby Absolutely Loves Child Pornography - ""We must filter the Internet to win over online file sharing. But politicians don’t understand that file sharing is bad, and this is a problem for us. Therefore, we must associate file sharing with child pornography. Because that’s something the politicians understand, and something they want to filter off the Internet"... a support group for adult people who were abused as children [is] very outspoken and adamant on the issue of censoring child pornography. Censorship hides the problem and causes more children to be abused, they say. Don’t close your eyes, but see reality and act on it"

Our Culture, What’s Left Of It - "Ideologists find anything that escapes their conceptual framework threatening - because ideologists want a simple principle, or a few simple principles, by which all things may be judged... I suppose that people who feel little control over their own lives or destinies can obtain a slight sense of agency by interfering in the lives of others, in tiny ways... Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better... Tolerance is the greatest moral virtue and broadmindedness the greatest intellectual one. Moreover, no decent person can be other than a feminist. People therefore want to be both multiculturalist and feminist. But multiculturalism and feminism obviously clash; therefore, you avoid the necessity to give up one or the other merely by disregarding the phenomena. How you feel about yourself is more important to you than the state of the world"

Alleged Norway Killer's Manifesto Denies Faith in Chrsit - "Breivik, although claiming to stand up for Europe’s “Christian culture,” in no way links that ideal to true Christian faith. He writes on page 1307 of his online manifesto: “If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.”"
This is far better evidence than the "no true Christian" fallacy

Penangites too lazy to cook assam laksa

Police in Ga. shut down girls' lemonade stand - "They didn't have a business license or the required permits. Midway Police Chief Kelly Morningstar says police also didn't know how the lemonade was made, who made it or what was in it."

Glenn Beck likens Norwegian dead to Hitler youth - "His latest comments about the "disturbing" nature of political youth camps may come as a surprise to Beck's followers in the Tea Party movement. The anti-tax, anti-immigration movement has been holding summer camps in states including Florida and Missouri where children have been taught a curriculum based on God, the US constitution and "the defence of economic liberty""

Unintentionally Sexual Church Signs

Former Google CIO: LimeWire Pirates Were iTunes’ Best Customers - "That same “try-before-you-buy” discovery was echoed in another study we reported on last week which found that users of pirate sites, including the recently-busted Kino.to, buy more DVDs, visit the cinema more often and on average spend more at the box office than their ‘honest’ counterparts"

Preserving memories key to a strong home: PM Lee
Yet they tore down the National Library for a tunnel. MFM: it's OK, they will put a tiny replica/photo of it on a 'heritage trail'

Why the Norway Shooter May End Up Serving a Life Sentence - "All the Norwegians with whom I spoke agreed that their country’s handling of Breivik will be superior to how a mass-murderer would be treated in America. That is, none of them said Breivik should be executed... the fact that Breivik is Norwegian will force judges to place the blame where it truly belongs. "Everybody here is so damn happy that this was a Norwegian," he says. "We cannot blame anyone else for it. The hawks are silenced and have no argument for going out to kill someone on the other side of the face of the world, or attacking some poor Middle Easterner in the subway in Oslo""

Breivik no Christian nut, just nuts - "He says he’s a member of the Knights Templar, an order of soldiers that fought the crusades, but was disbanded 800 years ago. He even talks about Dan Brown’s conspiracy theory novels about the Christian church... He thinks knights go and kill innocent people with car bombs and at summer camps. Half of Breivik’s manifesto is cut-and-paste essays from people ranging from the Unabomber to Winston Churchill to Gandhi to even modern-day bloggers. But Breivik has turned it into justification for murdering people. So a murderer quotes Gandhi. So a fascist quotes Churchill. A Satanist calls himself a Christian soldier. But that was enough to shift the coverage in the mainstream media"

‪Oslo: ALL Assaults involving Rape commited by Non-Western Men‬‏ - YouTube
According to the translation of a news program quoting a police spokeswoman, from 2006-2010 86 sexual assaults involving rape were reported, and "in 83 cases the man was described as having "non-western appearance"" (Google Translate backs the translation up)

Oslo rape statistics shock - "Of the 111 charged with rape in Oslo last year, 72 were of non-western ethnic origin, 25 are classified as Norwegian or western and 14 are listed as unknown... While 65 percent of those charged with rape are classed as coming from a non-western background, this segment makes up only 14.3 percent of Oslo's population. Norwegian women were the victims in 80 percent of the cases, with 20 percent being women of foreign background"
Alternative analysis concludes that there is no epidemic and that Norway (with more immigrants) is safer than Iceland

Heavy Boots - "About 6-7 years ago, I was in a philosophy class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (good science/engineering school) and the teaching assistant was explaining Descartes. He was trying to show how things don't always happen the way we think they will and explained that, while a pen always falls when you drop it on Earth, it would just float away if you let go of it on the Moon... "You saw the APOLLO astronauts walking around on the Moon, didn't you?" I countered, "why didn't they float away?" "Because they were wearing heavy boots." he responded, as if this made perfect sense (remember, this is a Philosophy TA who's had plenty of logic classes). By then I realized that we were each living in totally different worlds, and did not speak each others language, so I gave up"

Aggie Catholics: Report Says All Women Should Have Free Contraception - "Top 10 Reasons Free Contraception For All is A Terrible Idea... 4 - Contraception makes a woman into an object. When a woman's fertility is seen as a bad thing, then the whole person is not respected. The woman is then turned into an object to be used for mere pleasure. Pope Paul VI predicted this outcome in his encyclical Humanae Vitae"
Reading this was a great start to my day

Shinkansen expert Satoru Sone: Unbelievable China is disassembling and burying train carriages - "Many of the journalists working on the Wenzhou train crash story are finding it hard to believe the railway ministry's denials that it's burying train bodies and parts to hide the truth... The Shinkansen has not had a single major accident like the Wenzhou crash in its 47-year history, despite regular earthquakes and typhoons in Japan"

N.Korean Students Forced into Construction Labor - "There are rumors that the real reason the students are being forced to work on building sites is to avoid an uprising emulating the Jasmine Revolutions in the Middle East, since students are among the most likely to have heard about the uprisings."

Friday, August 05, 2011

Female Sexuality: Complicated (2/3)

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker (attributed)


Gender Differences in Erotic Plasticity: The Female Sex Drive as Socially Flexible and Responsive

"In socially impoverished environments such as laboratories and hospitals, males consistently outperform females at estimating their own bodily reactions such as blood pressure, heartbeat, stomach contractions, respiratory resistance, finger temperature, and blood glucose levels. This gender difference disappears when measures are taken in naturalistic and meaning-rich settings, in which multiple cues about sources of feelings are available. Roberts and Pennebaker proposed that men judge their emotional and arousal responses based on direct detection of physiological cues, whereas women rely more on social and situational cues to know how they respond."

"Newborn sheep and goats were exchanged, so that the sheep were raised by goats and vice versa. After they reached adulthood, they were reunited with then: biological species, and their mating preferences were observed. Consistent with the hypothesis of female erotic plasticity, the adult females were willing to mate with either species. The males, in contrast, preferred only their adoptive species and refused to mate with their biological conspecifics, even after living exclusively with their own kind for 3 years. These results suggest that male sexual inclinations are based on a process of sexual imprinting that occurs early in life and then remains inflexible, whereas female sexual inclinations can continue to change in adulthood"

"The present investigation was initially stimulated by a conclusion drawn by Ehrenieich, Hess, and Jacobs (1986) in their history of the sexual revolution in the United States, namely, that that revolution was mainly a change in women not men. Men's sexual desires and attitudes were pretty much the same after the sexual revolution as before it, although men had more opportunities for finding satisfaction afterward. It was women who changed fundamentally. Indeed, according to Rubin (1990), women changed several times, at first embracing a promiscuous enjoyment of casual sex like men, then shifting toward a more limited permissiveness that accepted sex in affectionate relationships but did not eagerly seek out sex with strangers"

"Ard's (1977) data. When asked about their current frequency of sexual activity and their current preferences for frequency of sexual activity, the wives' answers indicated that their marital practices corresponded almost precisely to the amount of sex they wanted, whereas the men reported a significant gap between what they wanted and what they were able to have."

"Women changed their sexual standards toward being more permissive as they accumulated dating experience. Men did not seem to change as a function of dating experience"

"The relatively large bisexual community is regarded by the exclusively lesbian contingent as a threat, and the gay-bi conflict is thus greater among women than men (see, e.g., Rust, 1993). Many lesbians view bisexual women as being in transition and as denying their true sexuality, and they regard them with distrust"

"Many women swingers begin having sex with other women "in order to please their husbands or to be sociable" (p. 223) but then come to enjoy it"

"Gagnon and Simon (1968) examined homosexual activity in prisons and concluded that half the women in prison, but less than half the men (estimates range from 30% to 45%), engaged in homosexual physical acts, most of which were consensual. When one considers that (a) base rates of homosexuality are higher among men than women, (b) men force other men more than women force other women (Propper, 1981; Scacco, 1975), and (c) women can live without any sexual contact more easily than men, these results point toward a substantially greater willingness among women than men to indulge in same-sex activity during prison."

"Among elderly women, they found that church attendance strongly predicted not masturbating (19% vs. 83% for nonattenders), whereas no significant effect was found among men"

"A White female virgin at Time 1 who had a nonvirgin best female friend was six times more likely to lose her virginity by Time 2 than a White female virgin with a virgin best friend... Males showed no such effect."

"Daughters' permissive sexuality was increased by having older parents, earlier parental marriage, parental divorce, mother's premarital pregnancy, and mothers with permissive attitudes"

"Consistent with the view that lesbianism can reflect personal choice and social construction, there are reports that some females became gay for political reasons associated with the women's movement. Blumstein and Schwartz (1977) reported that some women became lesbians under the influence of political ideology that defined heterosexuality as a form of sleeping with the enemy whereas lesbianism was the only politically correct form of sexuality... 12% of a sample of lesbians (and a similar proportion of heterosexual women) cited political reasons as the basis for their sexual orientation and relationship style choice. Charbonneau and Lander (1991) found that a third of their sample of women who converted to lesbianism during midlife cited reading feminist texts as a reason, and they spoke of the feminist path to homosexuality in which lesbianism was an outgrowth of the commitment to feminism."

"Education produced only about a one-third increase in males' likelihood of engaging in anal sex (from 21% to 29%), whereas it more than doubled the women's likelihood (from 13% to 29%)."

"College education doubled men's likelihood of becoming gay, whereas for women, the likelihood increased by a factor of nine"

"Catholic males engaged in slightly more cunnilingus than the atheists and agnostics"

"More education was associated with less sexual dysfunction for women, whereas there was no significant effect for men"

"There was also a category of people making the doubtful claim that their most recent sex act had lasted more than an hour, the effects of education were not linear, reflecting perhaps some mixture of altered time perceptions and boastfulness"

"Antonovsky, Shoham, Kavenocki, Modan, and Lancet (1978) devoted special study to the inconsistency between attitudes and behavior in their study of Israeli adolescent girls, in which they found that a third of the nonvirgins endorsed as important the value of a female remaining a virgin until she married. These researchers found that such apparent self-disapproval was partly maintained by making external attributions for their past sexual experiences—yet the girls continued to engage in sex even when they disapproved of their doing so"

[Ed: I highlight this Attitude-Behavior Consistency/inconsistency between professed beliefs and actual behaviors in particular for showing how what women say they want, what women think they want and what women really want aren't always the same, and that when a lady says "no", she means "maybe".

Keywords: when a lady says no; What women say they want, what women think they want and what women really want aren't always the same

One can also profit by reading What Do Women Want? - Discovering What Ignites Female Desire

Of course another interpretation is sexual coercion, but this is not mutually exclusive (it also depends on how one defines 'coercion') and then we run into the complicated and contested issue of consent (also see below on "submission"). More bluntly, the only other way to explain this heterosexual attitude-behavior inconsistency is to posit a massive date rape epidemic. But then if there is a date rape epidemic, it would seem that lesbian women are also raping straight women]

"[In singles bars] only 28% of the women said they anticipated sometimes having sex with someone they had just met, but the majority (59%) had done it. The high rate of having had sex with a new acquaintance was especially remarkable in view of the findings that the women reported high rates of guilt over such activities (72%) and low rates (2%) of saying they consistently enjoyed them. The authors pointed out that this inconsistency was peculiar to women, although they had not predicted it and had no explanation"

(to be continued)

Ed: Balderdash: Female Sexuality: Complicated (1/3)
Balderdash: Female Sexuality: Complicated (3/3)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Rape Culture vs Castration Culture

"Nothing ever goes away." - Barry Commoner


Someone pointed me to Xiaxue's post on why you should not trust your partner:

"If he is already sleeping with someone else, when you find out you can plan your next step. If you are married, you can hire a PI - submit evidence to court and get half his fortune. Cease sleeping with him in case you get some disease. Cut off his penis. Or forgive him, depending on the severity of his crime."

This casual mention of castration brought home the fact that people talk about punitive castration a lot more casually than punitive rape, even though it is a lot worse.

Castration is permanent, irreversible physical damage - worse than female circumcision, because the penis is used for urination as well as fornication.

People also talk very casually (even joyfully) about castration as a punishment for rape, which brings to mind the Hudud tradition of cutting off thieves' hands. This is whereas saying we should cut off thieves' hands marks one out as a barbarian.

This is all contrary to feminists' claims about "rape culture". One queried my claim, so here is the explanation:

i) Feminists claim that there's a rape culture
ii) In a rape culture, rape is normalised and could even be seen as commonplace or not a big deal
iii) In a rape culture, there are other pro-rape attitudes which are held and promulgated freely (let's ignore the loose, catch-all and barrel scraping claim that even sexist jokes are part of "rape culture")
iv) Yet we see that rape is one of the most harshly punished crimes around - not just in the legal system but extra-legally
v) Among other things, people talk freely - indeed enthusiastically - about castrating men as a punishment
vi) Castration is a lot more normalised than rape. It is even celebrated in some instances
vii) Yet no one would claim that we have a castration culture. Indeed the very claim would be seen as ludicrous
viii) The wildly differing attitudes to rape and castration are striking
ix) Therefore the claim that there is a rape culture is doubtful

Coincidentally, the recent case of Catherine Kieu Becker is apropos. Reactions range:

"I worked as a nurse at a small hospital once where someone had put a label on the large paper cutter naming it Lorena. Being a man in a predominat­ely womans occupation­, and somewhat offended, I complained to my supervisor and she told me to "get over it" and laughed"


"this man must have cheated many times before for her to chop off his penis and put it in the garbage disposal ctfu !"

"If any of my nudes ever leaked out on twitter i would chop whoevers penis off that leaked them"

"Men make women do crazy things so I'm sure it was justified "

"Any man that lets a woman chop his penis off!! Deserves to be dick-less. Wtf was he doing to let her overpower him !"

These reactions are not isolated, with some women saying "She’s just livin’ the dream" and apparently more women being amused than appalled and shocked.

It has also been noted that: "Domestic violence against men is often treated as a joke; late night comedians had a field day in the wake of the Bobbitt assault. It seems unlikely that the public would have been as amused if a man had cut off his wife’s breasts, or mutilated her genitals with a knife."

Clear evidence Science is sexist

"Which is bigger: the earth or the sun?
% answering 'the earth'

straight men: ~4.8%
gay men: ~5.0%
gay women: ~9.8%
straight women: ~10.3%

Sample size: 642,533 OkCupid users"

This potentially explains a lot.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Links - 3rd August 2011

"In this business you either sink or swim or you don't." - David Smith


Saudi Arabia's 'Anti-Witchcraft Unit' breaks another spell - "In accordance with our Islamic tradition we believe that magic really exists"
Cultural Imperialism! I am not surprised it is under the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice

Have Your New Sneakers Delivered To You By Pigeons

World's 50 most delicious foods

Singapore sour over assam laksa - "Penang assam laksa's rise to the CNN top 10 ranking of most delicious food in the world has rankled foodies in the neighbouring country down south... Chef Florence Tan... said she had never tasted any chicken rice that “blew her hat off” in Singapore. Celebrity Chef Ismail Ahmad said he was “very, very proud” Malaysian food was recognised and commended Thailand on taking first place. “However, I would say chili crabs and chicken rice are 100% Malaysian,” he said, explaining that it was brought over when Malaysia and Singapore split in 1963"
We love ignorant Malaysians

What Makes People Gay? - "Most of the men who identified themselves as bisexual showed gay arousal patterns... the environment most worth focusing in on is the one a child experiences when he's in his mother's womb... Of the boys with inadequate penises who were raised as girls, he says, "I haven't found one who is sexually attracted to males." The majority of them have transitioned back to being males and report being attracted to females... the research suggests that early on in the womb, as the fetus's brain develops in either the male or female direction, something fundamental to sexual orientation is happening... It's not a question of what genes you have, but rather which ones you use, says Bocklandt. "I have the genes in my body to make a vagina and carry a baby, but I don't use them, because I am a man""
This actually talked more about homosexuality in women than most such stuff I've read, but even then the subject is often elided

Bastille Day malware spammed out to French computer users - "What's strange about their entire attack is that it is clearly targeting French people, but is the social engineering is conducted entirely in English. You have to think that the malicious hackers behind the campaign would have been more successful if they had used French language throughout"
The English of the text is actually excellent - something you don't see in other malware

Racism a thing of the past? Think again - "Prof Lee posits that racism is a phenomenon limited by and large to the elderly and the less educated, and cites the substantial Indian population in her working environment and in her social circle as evidence of that claim... I believe the conclusion that Singaporeans are mostly a colour-blind people is an assumption that members of the dominant racial group here, such as Prof Lee and myself, are privileged with, since we do not bear the brunt of racial discrimination and prejudice... don't let the privileged majority fall into the easy trap of believing that racism is a thing of the past, or being complacent with racial diversity and forgetting the pursuit of social justice"
As someone commented, "For Tamilians like me, the discrimination comes mainly from Northern Indians (especially the new citizens and expats). They have brought their caste system into local society, I'm afraid". Naturally, a dogmatic and simplistic obsession with "privilege" (and with bashing certain groups) blinds one to such intricacies and subtleties of racial dynamics

Altruism Can Be Assessed Correctly Based on Impression - "Coding of nonverbal behavior of the targets revealed that altruists exhibited more “felt smiles” than non-altruists, which also supports the results of the previous study"

Satoshi Kanazawa Causes Firestorm After Claiming Black Women Are Less Attractive
I read the original article and though he likes to write nonsense in Psychology Today, its tone was actually level-headed (especially by his standards). Though apparently he misinterpreted the data and "has repeatedly been criticised by other academics in his field of research for using poor quality data, inappropriate statistical methods and consistently failing to consider alternative explanations for his results". As for his postulation that differences in testosterone explain the difference in attractiveness, the research is mixed (some speculate this is why black men get prostate cancer more than white men) though the weight of the evidence seems against him. Though one wonders why "the very prestigious journal American Psychologist" accepted an article of his if it sucks.

Guest Blog: The Data Are In Regarding Satoshi Kanazawa - "I agree with Psychology Today blogger Mikhail Lyubansky, PhD, when he says, "[e]xtraordinary claims ... require extraordinary evidence and editorial oversight." This does not lead us to censorship; it means requiring that an inquiry bring us closer to – not farther from – the truth. Kanazawa does not earn censure with the political incorrectness of his question, but earns social and scientific irrelevance through the weakness of his research. This irrelevance earns Kanazawa a special place in hell in today's link-driven media economy – one where no one will hear him scream"

Sweden trails Denmark in happiness league - "Danes are the happiest people in the world... Sweden comes in a full 13 places behind the Danes, while Norway fares even worse with its 19th place finish... Maybe the Danes are just thrilled to have finally edged out big brother in the tax stakes. As The Local reported earlier this year, Denmark recently overtook Sweden as the country with the highest taxes in the world"

Help them quit smoking - "Low-income Singaporeans who are on financial assistance undergo compulsory smoking-cessation programmes where they learn budgeting skills and are told about the heavy financial burden smoking is on their families. HPB said it has found that in some households, as much as 80 per cent of financial aid goes towards sustaining smoking habits."

Apple stopped innovating with the iPhone. You’re welcome. - Apple - "Apple’s last innovation in mobile was the iPhone. Everything since then has simply been perfecting the work of others."

My problem with Barack Obama isn't that he's black… - "One of the clever things about the term “racist” in its modern, catch-all sense is that it’s a bit like witchcraft in the 17th century: denial just constitutes further proof of guilt. That’s why liberals like Twitterer DCPlod – who branded me yesterday with the hashtag “racistpig” – so enjoy deploying the deadly “R” word against their ideological opponents. It enables them to play judge, jury and executioner without having to go through any of the tedium or intellectual challenge of offering their antagonists a fair trial... For the record, though, I probably am a teeny bit racist. For example, I have to confess that I have a slight bias towards black conservatives and libertarians over white ones... Any black person can be a liberal-leftie; indeed as we saw from voting patterns in the last US presidential election it’s almost de rigueur. To be a black conservative, on the other hand, now that requires some cojones.... white liberals so often [take umbrage on blacks' behalf] it that superior, patronising way of theirs. It’s as if they think black people are far too stupid and inarticulate and helpless to stick up for themselves, so they must therefore step in to help them and nurse them at every turn... [Black History Month] implies that they are not free-thinking individuals capable of a range of nuanced views, career options, intellectual achievements and lifestyle choices but a lumpen mass defined largely by their skin colour."

The strange, racist attack on Herman Cain - "AlterNet doesn’t just attack his positions or his ideology, both of which are fair game, but attack him for the color of his skin and declares him inauthentic. In doing so, they make the same assumptions that Jamie Kelso makes and tried to propagate at CPAC, which is that a black man can’t decide for himself what kind of politics he likes, honestly and authentically." Calling minorities "Borneo man, a Venus Hottentot or a tribe of cannibals from deepest darkest Africa or Papua New Guinea on display" or "a monkey in the window" is far more racist than so much of what is typically condemned as such

Les 400 culs: L'affaire des cartes postales de seins, la suite - "L’autre accusation - «diffusion d’un message pornographique ou violent susceptible d’être vu par des mineurs» – est également caduque pour une raison très simple: aucun mineur ne travaille à la Poste. Nous sommes dans un pays où les enfants vont à l’école, quelle chance."

Facebook gaffe brings 1,500 to party - "A German teen fled her own 16th birthday party after more than 1,500 guests turned up after she forgot to set it as 'private' on Facebook."

The Hitchhiking Game by Milan Kundera

Upcoming Apple Store in Hamburg, Germany pranked by Windows fanbois (Updated)
There aren't actually Windows Fanbois so I'm guessing it's just people pissed off by Mac Whores

Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed - "1. I
wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life
others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier."
Dynamic Inconsistency. "Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo."

In a College Study, Grading Curves Follow Partisan Lines - "The authors were interested in whether Democrats professors gave out a more egalitarian distribution of grades, since liberals believe more strongly than conservatives “in the justification for governmental action to reduce inequality.” And their hunch appears to be right... black students receive significantly lower grades than white students when taking a course with a Republican professor as opposed to a Democratic one — but again, the reasons are open to interpretation"
"Republican professors were more likely to be in the Sciences and Democratic professors in the Humanities."

Cat Hugging Kitten Video: What’s Really Going On?

M'sian police slammed for cattle-branding women
Malaysia Boleh!

Woman forced to have sex for free cab rides
Malaysia Boleh!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

More Swedish Madness

"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music" - Kristian Wilson


Gender Bias Fought At Egalia Preschool In Stockholm, Sweden

"At the "Egalia" preschool, staff avoid using words like "him" or "her" and address the 33 kids as "friends" rather than girls and boys...

Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.

To even things out, many preschools have hired "gender pedagogues" to help staff identify language and behavior that risk reinforcing stereotypes.

Some parents worry things have gone too far. An obsession with obliterating gender roles, they say, could make the children confused and ill-prepared to face the world outside kindergarten.

"Different gender roles aren't problematic as long as they are equally valued," says Tanja Bergkvist, a 37-year-old blogger and a leading voice against what she calls "gender madness" in Sweden.

Those bent on shattering gender roles "say there's a hierarchy where everything that boys do is given higher value, but I wonder who decides that it has higher value," she says. "Why is there higher value in playing with cars?"...

Nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no "Snow White," "Cinderella" or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes...

Egalia's methods are controversial; some say they amount to mind control...

Gender studies permeate academic life in Sweden. Bergkvist noted on her blog that the state-funded Swedish Science Council had granted $80,000 for a postdoctoral fellowship aimed at analyzing "the trumpet as a symbol of gender"...

"The kind of things that boys like to do – run around and turn sticks into swords – will soon be disapproved of," he said. "So gender neutrality at its worst is emasculating maleness"...

What matters is that children understand that their biological differences "don't mean boys and girls have different interests and abilities," Rajalin says. "This is about democracy. About human equality""

Only in Sweden.

And somehow they're allowed to discriminate against heterosexual dual parent families with birth children.

And if biological differences mean boys and girls don't have different interests and abilities, it's time to abolish women competing in different categories.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Female Sexuality: Complicated (1/3)

"Science is a lot like sex. Sometimes something useful comes of it, but that's not the reason we're doing it." - Richard Feynman


Gender and erotic plasticity: sociocultural influences on the sex drive

"Female sexuality is inherently more amenable than male sexuality to influence by cultural events, historical circumstances, socialization, peer influence, and other social variables...

A man’s sexual tastes appear to be fairly well set by young adulthood, but a woman’s may change significantly...

Some heterosexual women may begin to experiment with lesbian activities in their 30s or 40s. Some lesbians begin desiring sex with men after many years of exclusive same-sex orientation. Far more lesbians than gay men have had heterosexual intercourse...

Women with advanced degrees were significantly more likely than women with just a high school education or less to engage in oral and anal sex, to have tried same-sex activity, to use birth control when appropriate, to enjoy a variety of sexual practices, and so forth. Men with advanced degrees were not much different from men with high school only. Highly religious women were less likely to engage in such practices than non-religious women, whereas again men’s sex lives did not differ much between the most and least religious men...

It appears that cultural differences in female sexuality are bigger than male sexuality (e.g., Barry & Schlegel, 1984), and there is also some evidence that when people move to a new country and embrace its culture, the women’s sexuality changes more than the men’s (Ford & Norris, 1993). Peer groups seem to affect adolescent girls’ sexuality more than boys’, and parents have more influence on daughters than on sons...

Genes play a more central role in male than in female sexuality...

Women and girls perform more sex acts that they themselves disapprove of. Women’s views about same-sex activity, or infidelity, or casual sex, or condom use in general are weaker than men’s views at predicting whether they will actually engage in those activities...

There are scattered signs that the male sex drive has a phase of plasticity during childhood. Paraphilias, for example, which are thought to originate in childhood experiences, are much more common among men than among women. And perhaps surprisingly, some very rigorous data suggest that childhood sexual abuse has a stronger and more lasting effect on adult sexuality in men than in women (Laumann et al., 1999). There are even some experimental studies with non-human animals suggesting that childhood experiences can affect male sexuality via a kind of imprinting, whereas female sexuality either does not have imprinting or has sufficient plasticity in adulthood that the effects of imprinting can be easily reversed...

When I first published my survey of findings on erotic plasticity (Baumeister, 2000), I offered several possible explanations and said there was no way of distinguishing among them. One explanation invoked the gender difference in physical strength and political power. Because women have long had to find sex partners who had more power than the women themselves, it may have been adaptive for female sexuality to be flexible so as to accommodate to the men. A second explanation was based on the idea that women’s sex drive is milder than men’s. A less intense motivation may have greater plasticity, whereas strong and powerful drives are less prone to socializing and civilizing influences. A third explanation was based on the gatekeeper role: In sex, women start off saying no to most advances, and so sex mainly occurs when the woman changes her vote from no to yes...

My views have come to favour the second explanation... that men’s sexual motivations are stronger than women’s. Somewhat to my surprise, I learned that this conclusion is hotly disputed on political grounds, to the extent that most major sex textbooks either explicitly say it is wrong or at least present it as a quaint stereotype rather than an established fact. Popular wisdom is perhaps less questioning in this regard, and I recall the reaction of a female colleague when I mentioned that we had embarked on a literature review to see whether women desired sex less than men: ‘Anyone who’s ever had sex knows that!’ she insisted. In any case, we did survey a great many findings, and essentially every measure and every study pointed to the same conclusion, namely that men are more sexually motivated than women...

The general principle would be that weaker motivations lead to greater plasticity. The test case would be to find some motivation that is stronger in women than in men and see if in that case men exhibit greater plasticity. Most experts would assume that the desire to raise and care for children is stronger in women than men. And, sure enough, the father role seems to have much greater plasticity than the mother role... This suggests that higher plasticity is not simply a trait of women generally (as the differential power explanation would predict) nor something that pertains only to sexuality (as the gatekeeper explanation would suggest)...

The high level of erotic plasticity among women suggests that many of women’s sexual problems will not respond easily to purely physiological interventions, and therapists might instead find it useful to work with the woman’s interpretation and understanding of sexual events. In contrast, the lower erotic plasticity among men suggests that meanings play a much lesser role, and therapeutic interventions may do better by emphasizing body instead of mind. Put more crudely, the first step in dealing with a presenting complaint about sexuality may be to ask the woman about her thoughts and feelings but to perform a physical check-up on the man...

Second, sexual self-knowledge and self-understanding will prove far more elusive for women than for men... Even if she achieves a full and thorough understanding of her sexual self at age 20, this knowledge may be obsolete at 30 or 40.

Third, the prospects for successful sex therapy may be better for women than for men in many cases. As already noted, recovery from childhood sexual trauma appears to be more common and thorough among women than among men (Laumann et al., 1999). (It is even worth speculating that female erotic plasticity may have evolved in order to help women recover from childhood sexual events, insofar as girls are more likely than boys to have been targeted by adults for sexual exploitation during our evolutionary history.)"

His original paper, Gender Differences in Erotic Plasticity: The Female Sex Drive as Socially Flexible and Responsive, is also good. [Ed: Corrected wrong link]

I will post extracts in future posts.

Ed: Balderdash: Female Sexuality: Complicated (2/3)
Balderdash: Female Sexuality: Complicated (3/3)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Links - 31st July 2011

"Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man." - J. Robert Oppenheimer speaking of Albert Einstein


Benako.com - Raymond Queneau: Exercices de Style - "Ung joor vare meedee ger preelotobus poor la port Changparay. Eel aytay congplay, praysk. Jer mongtay kang maym ay lar jer ay ger vee ung ohm ahvayk ung long coo ay ung chahrpo hangtooray dunn saughrt der feessel trayssay. Sir mirssyer sir mee ang caughlayr contrer ung ingdeeveeduh kee luhee marshay suhr lay peehay, puhee eel arlah sarsswar. "

How girl who drowned herself in Paris became 'most kissed face of all time' - "A user of CPR, in the 1950s he developed Resusci Annie, otherwise known as Rescue Annie, a life-like mannequin used to train people in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. His website says he was so moved by the unknown woman's tragic background, he adopted her mask for his first-aid doll."

53.1% of You Already Know What This Story's About. Or Do You? Need a Hint? - "Daryl Bem, Ph.D., and Sandra Lipsitz Bem, Ph.D., were even interviewed in the first issue of Ms. magazine about their egalitarian, gender-­liberated marriage. The Drs. Bem lectured together for years, giving three-hour seminars to packed houses about a partnership in which housework was split evenly and careers were equally important. Though both are now professors emeriti at Cornell, they don’t share a home; neither divorced nor legally separated, they’ve been apart for eighteen years. “I always loved living alone,” Bem says. “And then the other thing is, I identify as gay.”... “Colleagues of mine, especially those in biological science, say, ‘Daryl, your theory is beautifully written and well argued and almost certainly wrong.’”"

Singapore Heritage: The Old and the New - "The historic Changi Prison, built by the British in 1936 and used by the Japanese to house civilian prisoners during WWII, was torn down in 2000 despite petitions and appeals. Today, all that remains of it is a replica of the chapel built by POWs and a museum."
Luckily I visited it before it got blown up

CPF Minimum sum and why you will never get all of it - "Unless you make a CPF nomination. Under the Act, your entire CPF savings will be distributed to the government if you do not have a single living relative when you die."

Children of divorce score worse in math, social skills - "The detrimental effects on the children do not start until after the parents begin divorce proceedings."

Egyptian women accuse soldiers of conducting 'virginity tests' on protesters - "We didn't want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren't virgins in the first place. None of them were"

Trouver ses magasins et artisans à Paris - Recuperer son Ex en utilisant la psychologie masculine - "Si vous utilisez correctement la psychologie masculine, vous pouvez le faire courir après vous comme jamais auparavant. En fait, ce n'est pas nouveau. Des millions de femmes utilisent la psychologie masculine pour obtenir ce qu'elles veulent de leurs hommes, parfois les hommes sont conscients que leurs esprits est utilisés, parfois ils ne savent même pas ce qui s'est passé... il y a deux strates de l'esprit - le conscient et le subconscient. Ce dernier est responsable de toutes les décisions que l'homme prend"

Dress Codes in New York Clubs - Will This Get Me In? - NYTimes.com - "The New York City Commission on Human Rights opened an investigation (still in progress) into the Continental, a sports bar in the East Village on Third Avenue, for its “no baggy jeans or bling” policy, which civil rights groups called a barely concealed ploy to keep out blacks... for what it’s worth, the crowd was about 30 percent black on a visit in April... Mr. Smith’s defense illuminates a truth about dress codes at even the most exclusive velvet-roped clubs: they are frequently intended to keep out a certain type of person. The clothes themselves are secondary... Mr. Satsky suggests that his male patrons wear “a blazer, a solid button-down or a solid sweater.” For women, shoes are key. “Minimum five-inch heel”"

Wedding’s off, now here’s your $132k bill - "He is now unable to continue with the purchase as he has since broken up with his fiancée, who is a foreigner... he will now have to pay a penalty of 20 percent of the purchase price... Despite his appeals to the developer and seeing his MP twice, he was told to get married, failing which the developer will proceed to forfeit his deposit. John is now harbouring suicidal thoughts as it means he will be thrown into debt... Another solution is for him to get a new fiancé. However, he is again thrown in a dicey situation. As the ethnic ratio quota for Chinese had been filled, he can only marry a non-Singaporean. "Now that the Chinese quota has been filled, I cannot find someone who is Chinese to get married to take over the flat. I have to find other races. This is really very stupid," said John. John said he had asked the HDB and the developer to help him search for a new fiancée who fulfils this criterion, but they were unable to help... "Under such circumstances, the developer can allow another buyer, provided there is an eligible one, to take over such a unit," said the spokesperson. Interested buyers would have to comprise one Chinese and another non-Chinese applicant in order to be eligible"

Asian Women with White Men Suck? - "I am an Asian woman with a white boyfriend... Asian women only suck when they don’t think twice about saying things like:
- I have a cultural/aesthetic preference for white guys.
- Asian men have small penises, trust me, I’m Asian.
- White guys are much more physically attractive compared to Asian guys.
- Asian men are nerds and geeks and quiet losers.
- Asian men aren’t romantic.
- White guys are hot and sexy, while Asian guys are just loyal friends.
- I will never date an Asian guy, I only date white guys.
- I can’t date Asian men because they’re like my brothers.
- Caucasian features are more attractive compared to the round face, olive skin, small squinty eyes Asian guys have.
- Etc. along the same lines.
I’ve heard enough Asian women say these things as if they were absolute truths, without questioning how they came to their racial preferences, and not realizing how much these seemingly flippant remarks harm Asian men, create a rift between Asian men and women, and breed negativity towards Asian women who don’t hold these views. Sometimes I wonder how an Asian woman can say she prefers white men because they are more aesthetically pleasing, when one day she might have a son that looks more like her side of the family than his father’... some pairings cannot be entirely race-blind if Asian females are marrying out at a higher rate than any other minority in the States"
Some of those items can actually be statements of fact

Animal suicide sheds light on human behavior - ""For (St.) Augustine and (Thomas) Aquinas it goes against natural law and so goes against God's law," Ramsden told Discovery News. They called on the lack of suicide in Nature as proof that people should not kill themselves"

King Tiger's World War 2 Battlefield Tour (Europe)

China seeks to muzzle reporting on train crash - "Journalists have been ordered to focus on 'touching stories' and avoid questioning official accounts of the disaster, which killed at least 39 people"

Headless zombie squid and dead frogs dancing - "It is possible to re-animate dead appendages with a little salt, either table salt or in solution form as soy sauce. Be warned, this may put you off your breakfast"

Prostitution and Sex Crimes: Publications: The Independent Institute - "In this paper I examine the hypothesis that the frequency of rape is increased when another source of sex (prostitution) is limited or unavailable. To test this theory I regressed the rape rate in available OECD countries against a proxy for the availability of prostitution. The relationship was found to be anti-correlated at about the 90% confidence level. Using this model, it is estimated that if prostitution were legalized in the United States, the rape rate would decrease by roughly 25% for a decrease of approximately 25,000 rapes per year"

Amish man in Indiana arrested, accused of sexting girl, 12 - "[He] arrived in a horse-drawn buggy for a presumed rendezvous... The Amish community Yoder lived in can use cell phones for professional purposes only and charge them away from their homes -- for instance barns"
Elsewhere: "the proposed sex act would happen inside the buggy... the numbers of Amish on social networking sites like Facebook are increasing"

New Facebook trend: Amish kids - "Several have photos of themselves in traditional garb as well as in "English" dress on their Facebook pages. The photos themselves may seem a leap for Old Order Amish, many of whom refuse to carry photo identification because they regard photographs as violating the second of the Ten Commandments, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.""

Penguin takes wrong turn, ends up in New Zealand

Welfare before the Welfare State - "Many people think life without the welfare state would be chaos. In their minds, nobody would help support the less fortunate, and there would be riots in the streets. Little do they know that people found innovative ways of supporting each other before the welfare state existed. One of the most important of these ways was the mutual-aid society."

My Ex-Gay Friend - NYTimes.com - "“I don’t think the gay movement understands the extent to which the next generation just wants to be normal kids. The people who are getting that are the Christian right”... “I’d always been told that if you had doubts about the rightness of your homosexuality, which I had been having for a while but was trying to silence, that it was because you just hadn’t worked through all your internalized homophobia. But that didn’t feel true now”... he went on, adding that he has never undergone reparative therapy or attended an ex-gay ministry... [he] was fascinated by queer theory — namely, the idea that sexual and gender identities are culturally constructed rather than biologically fixed... I couldn’t help wondering if Michael’s new philosophy might, in a strange way, be a logical extension of what he believed back then — that “gay” is a limiting category and that sexual identities can change. Ben nodded. “A radical queer activist and a fundamentalist Christian aren’t always as different as they might seem,” he said, adding that they’re ideologues who can railroad over nuance and claim a monopoly on the truth... “you used to always insist that I say ‘forward’ when we drove,” I reminded him. “You corrected any gay person who said ‘straight’ in a car.”"

u r wt u wr - 31st July 2011

"Oh, I don't blame Congress. If I had $600 billion at my disposal, I'd be irresponsible, too." - Lichty and Wagner


u r wt u wr:

- J'♥ime P-Eiffel Tower-ris (She was wearing a tank top so the spire of the Tower pointed squarely up the middle of her cleavage, and unfortunately towards her face)
- [Contributed] 'I am a virgin' ("[She was] astonishingly ugly... It took me a lot of self-control not to blurt out, "I believe you."")
- 'Regrets let's make' (If I were her I'd regret wearing such a translucent white top with dark-patterned bra underneath)
- '-picture of bicycle- Come ride my bicycle'
- [Contributed] 'Committed to being single for life' (Maid; Singapore's Foreign Worker Policy - ruining foreigners' lives)
- 'I'm awesome true story'
- 'I think therefore I am single'
- 'Pick me'
- 'Beauty school' (it looked like she'd just joined)
- 'Am I cute? -caricature of a bunny face-'
- 'Enjoy'
- 'L'amour est liberté'
- 'I'm single. Please don't tell my boyfriend'
- 'It all begins with a smile'
- 'Sooner you'll be mine -something in reverse script-'
- 'have you seen my cat?'
- 'Loor at my eyes! -lifelike sketch of a girl whose eyes are positioned above the middle of the wearer's cleavage- -something- image' (this was not a low cut top)
- 'Feel good is all I want'
- 'Saving it for a rainy day' (all the letter were solid black except "it" which was striped with white)
- 'Romantic rebel'

wtf is this for a strip show on Twitpic
This is possibly an outfit for a strip flow (or after a shark attack)

I saw a girl in a top which read "Army". However it exposed her shoulders, had cap sleeves on her upper arm and a very broad V neckline. Perhaps this is the Female Army that slaves dream of.


- 'No animal testing for this t-shirt'
- [Contributed] 'Stalking is Cool!' - 'Under your love spell' - [Fuzzy font] 'Today is my lucky day' (it took me a while to realise the meaning of this)
- 'I know how to meet ladies' (He was holding a girl's hand)
- 'Hey pirate wench. Want to shiver me timbers?' (I told him I liked his tee, he was strangely mute and looked bemused, and shrugged. Later I heard the group speak what sounded like an Eastern European language)
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