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Friday, December 12, 2014

Links - 12th December 2014

In bid to shore up Malay land reserves, Johor MB says will next seize non-Malays’ land - "Even as the size of Malay reserve lands in Johor increases, the state Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said these lands will also be seized from non-Malay owners."
Malaysia Boleh!

Where Men See White, Women See Ecru - "Neuroscientists have discovered that women are better at distinguishing among subtle distinctions in color, while men appear more sensitive to objects moving across their field of vision... women proved slightly better at discriminating among subtle gradations in the middle of the color spectrum, where yellow and green reside. They detected tiny differences between yellows that looked the same to men. The researchers also found that men require a slightly longer wavelength to see the same hue as women; an object that women experience as orange will look slightly more yellowish to men, while green will look more blue-green to men. This last part doesn’t confer an advantage on either sex, but it does demonstrate, Abramov says, that “the nervous system that deals with color cannot be wired in the exact same way in males as in females.” He believes the answer lies in testosterone and other androgens. Evidence from animal studies suggests that male sex hormones can alter development in the visual cortex."

Muslims Discovered the Americas, Claims Turkish President - "It is becoming increasingly painful to write about Turkey these days. Every week, there is a controversial incident or statement from Turkey that is difficult to explain to the American public... Many articles from the international media mocked Erdogan's statement, but the Turkish president refused to recant it. Instead, he insisted that domestic critics who questioned his claim lack a sense of self worth. "These people have never believed that Muslims could achieve such a thing. They are also the people who do not believe that their ancestors [Ottomans] carried warships over land [during the conquest of Istanbul]. This is a matter of a lack of self-confidence"... Turkey behaves more like a Middle Eastern country -- not a European one -- with every passing day, and this makes it tough for her Western friends to support Ankara. The Turkish government's strong ties with the Muslim factions and its divergence from Western politics (despite its NATO membership) has alienated Turkey from the Western world. The Western frustration with Erdogan is obvious. In private meetings, Westerners often use words like "hubris" and "narcissism" when they speak about Erdogan, while many question Turkey's allegiance to its Western allies... In their desperation to support Erdogan so wholeheartedly, the American leaders turned a blind eye to who Erdogan really is and gave far too much credit to Turkey's Islamist government. In the end, "moderate Islam" satisfied neither the Muslims nor the Americans"

Dr Matt Taylor’s shirt made me cry, too – with rage at his abusers - "I watched that clip of Dr Taylor’s apology – at the moment of his supreme professional triumph – and I felt the red mist come down. It was like something from the show trials of Stalin, or from the sobbing testimony of the enemies of Kim Il-sung, before they were taken away and shot. It was like a scene from Mao’s cultural revolution when weeping intellectuals were forced to confess their crimes against the people. Why was he forced into this humiliation? Because he was subjected to an unrelenting tweetstorm of abuse. He was bombarded across the internet with a hurtling dustcloud of hate, orchestrated by lobby groups and politically correct media organisations. And so I want, naturally, to defend this blameless man. And as for all those who have monstered him and convicted him in the kangaroo court of the web – they should all be ashamed of themselves. Yes, I suppose some might say that his Hawaii shirt was a bit garish, a bit of an eyeful. But the man is not a priest, for heaven’s sake. He is a space scientist with a fine collection of tattoos, and if you are an extrovert space scientist, that is the kind of shirt that you are allowed to wear. As for the design of the garment, I have studied it as closely as the photos will allow, and I can’t see what all the fuss is about. I suppose there are women with long flowing hair and a certain amount of décolletage. But let’s not mince our words: there are no nipples; there are no buttocks; there is not even an exposed midriff, as far as I can see. It’s the hypocrisy of it all that irritates me. Here is Kim Kardashian – a heroine and idol to some members of my family – deciding to bust out all over the place, and good for her. No one seeks to engulf her in a tweetstorm of rage. But why is she held to be noble and pure, while Dr Taylor is attacked for being vulgar and tasteless? I think his critics should go to the National Gallery and look at the Rokeby Venus by Velázquez. Or look at the stuff by Rubens. Are we saying that these glorious images should be torn from the walls? What are we all – a bunch of Islamist maniacs who think any representation of the human form is an offence against God? This is the 21st century, for goodness’ sake. And if you ask yourself why so few have come to the defence of the scientist, the answer is that no one dares. No one wants to take on the rage of the web – by which people use social media to externalise their own resentments and anxieties, often anonymously and with far more vehemence than they really intend. No one wants to dissent – and no wonder our politics sometimes feels so sterilised and homogenised. There must be room in our world for eccentricity, even if it offends the prudes, and room for the vague other-worldliness that often goes with genius. Dr Taylor deserves the applause of our country, and those who bash him should hang their own heads and apologise"

A sharp instrument must be used when M'sian state implements hudud law, says faith healer - "“Whether the authorities use a machete, sword or even a guillotine, the fundamental law is that the instrument must be sharp,” he told The Star, adding that the offender should be conscious when the punishment is meted out so that he will feel remorse for committing the offence."

There Are Very Few 'Uncommon' Sexual Fantasies - "The researchers found that only two sexual fantasies (bestiality and pedophilia) were statistically rare (where 2.3 percent or less of respondents included it as a fantasy) and nine were considered statistically unusual (15.9 percent or less). Urinating on one’s partner and wearing clothing associated with the opposite sex were among those considered unusual. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there were five fantasies—wanting to feel romantic emotions during sex, oral sex, having sex in an unusual or romantic place, and having a special atmosphere—considered typical (more than 84 percent of the responses). The remaining 39 were common (more than 50 percent of the responses), meaning 44 out of the 55 sexual fantasies were experienced by at least half the people polled. These included dominance and submission, as well as bondage, group sex, and anal sex. The study authors noted that calling a sexual fantasy “unusual” might not be correct anymore given how common the majority of them were."

Journal of Interpersonal Violence: Study suggests attackers choose victims based on the way they walk. - "“Don’t be a victim.” That’s a phrase you’ll hear a lot if you take a crime-prevention class, or if you befriend J.J. Bittenbinder. Basically, it means that there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood that you’ll be mugged, assaulted, or otherwise attacked. Don’t wave wads of cash around like you’re in Brewster’s Millions. Don’t space out on the subway. Walk with a purpose. That last one is particularly important, because according to a new study from the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, some criminals are very good at sensing weakness based on the way you walk"
Victim blaming!

Ferguson Cop Had 'Serious Facial Injury,' Source Tells ABC News

WSJ's Riley Unloads On Obama, Sharpton, Media Over Ferguson - "“The black crime rate in 1960 was lower than it is today,” he said. “Was there less racism or less poverty than in 1960? This is about black behavior. It needs to be addressed head-on. It’s about attitudes toward the criminal justice system in these neighborhoods, where young black men have no sense of what it means to be a male or what it means to be black.” “And he needs to talk about that head-on,” Riley repeated, “not dismiss it as a product of poverty or racism, which is a dodge.” The WSJ editor also took aim at black civil rights leaders and the media campaign they’ve created. “There’s this false narrative being pushed out there by folks like Michael Eric Dyson and [Al] Sharpton and the rest of the hustlers,” he said, “[and it's] that black men live in fear of being shot by cops in those neighborhoods. That too is nonsense.” “I know something about growing up black and male in the inner city,” Riley explained, “and it’s not that hard to avoid getting shot by a cop. They pull you over, you answer their questions. you’re on your way.” “The real difficulty is not getting shot by other black people, if you are a young black man in these neighborhoods!” Riley continued. “And again, that is something we need to talk about more! Cops are not the problem.”"

What does it say about America when African-American parents in 2014 need to tell their boys how to respond to police when out and about in order to come home safe and alive? - Quora - "I don't understand where the presumption comes from that it's any different for whites. My parents taught me how to behave in an exchange with the police, and my decisions to abide by the lessons I have been taught are something I have no reason to question."
"Parents of all races, of children of all races (they don't always correlate), should talk to their children about police. For most parents and children this is not a difficult issue."
"Whenever this issue comes up, I think about a black student I had in a criminal justice class at a state college in West Virginia. He was born and raised in Washington, D.C. I asked him after class one day, "Have you been harassed or mistreated by the DC police?" He replied, "No. I've never been stopped by the police." He was a quiet young man, a good student, and always respectful without being obsequious. I appreciate that he may be an anomaly, but I suspect his lack of bad experiences with the police have a lot to do with his demeanor and conduct. Claims of being harassed by the police are not limited to racial or ethnic minorities... I don't deny that racial profiling occurs, but I think that many of these stops are brought on by people who say, "...I wasn't doing a damn thing," when in fact they were doing something they weren't supposed to be doing. Avoiding adverse contacts with the police often involve no more than what most of us learned in kindergarten"
"there are about 40 million African Americans alive and well in America. To the best knowledge anybody has, an average of 96 are killed by police each year. Fewer African Americans of any age are killed by police than Americans are killed in car crashes with deer. The FBI reports 3.4 million arrests of African Americans per year. Do the math. Does it sound like anyone has done a logical risk assessment here?"
"If you rob a convenience store, don't assault the police afterwards, possibly fracturing their skull."

Artist sets up an arts grant for other artists - "Dancer-choreographer Eng Kai Er has recently set up No Star Arts Grant and she is offering S$1,000 a month — out of her own salary — to fund art projects in all genres, “including (but) not limited to fine art, visual art, dance, music, circus, theatre, film and literature.” According to the grant’s Tumblr site, applicants should be able to explain why the proposed works are “important FOR THEMSELVES (and not for “the community” or “the nation”)”. Eng will be leaning towards projects that are overlooked by other funding sources such as those with “LGBT themes, sexual themes, political art (and) other marginalised type(s) of work”... Of course, there are other conceptual layers to this project beyond being an experiment in and exploring the idea of arts philanthropy, not least of which has to do with Eng’s background as an scholar who is, as the website says, “bonded to an organisation that cannot be named, under a scholarship programme that also cannot be named”. It continues: “Eng Kai Er is not interested in her bonded employment at all, but has to serve her bond or pay, as of 30 September 2014, around $741657.37 in order to quit her job. Since she understands the pain of having a paid job that is not aligned with her interests, she wishes to change the world by having more instances of paid jobs aligned with people’s interests, and No Star Arts Grant is her own small way of doing that.”"

Equality vs Freedom

Free To Choose Media - Free To Choose: Volume 5 - Created Equal

MILTON FRIEDMAN: From the Victorian novelists to modern reformers, a favorite device to stir our emotions is to contrast extremes of wealth and of poverty. We are expected to conclude that the rich are responsible for the deprivations of the poor — that they are rich at the expense of the poor.

Whether it is in the slums of New Delhi or in the affluence of Las Vegas, it simply isn't fair that there should be any losers. Life is unfair; there is nothing fair about one man being born blind and another man being born with sight. There is nothing fair about one man being born of a wealthy parent and one of an impecunious parent. There is nothing fair about Muhammad Ali having been born with a skill that enables him to make millions of dollars one night. There is nothing fair about Marlene Dietrich having great legs that we all want to watch. There is nothing fair about any of that. But on the other hand, don't you think a lot of people who like to look at Marlene Dietrich’s legs benefited from nature's unfairness in producing a Marlene Dietrich?

What kind of a world would it be if everybody was an absolute identical duplicate of anybody else? You might as well destroy the whole world and just keep one specimen left for a museum.

In the same way, it's unfair that Muhammad Ali should be a great fighter and should be able to earn millions. But would it not be even more unfair to the people who like to watch him if you said that in the pursuit of some abstract ideal of equality, we're not going to let Muhammad Ali get more for one night’s fight than the lowest man on the totem-pole can get for a days unskilled work on the docks? You can do that but the result of that would be to deny people the opportunity to watch Muhammad Ali. I doubt very much he would be willing to subject himself to the kind of fights he's gone through if he were to get the pay of an unskilled docker...

A myth has grown up that free market capitalism increases such inequalities, that the rich benefit at the expense of the poor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wherever the free market has been permitted to operate, the ordinary man has been able to attain levels of living never dreamed of before. Nowhere is the gap between rich and poor- nowhere are the rich richer and the poor poorer, than in those societies that do not permit the free market to operate, whether they be feudal societies where status determines position, or modern, centrally planned economies where access to government determines position.

Central planning was introduced in India, in considerable part, in the name of equality. The tragedy is that after 30 years, it is hard to see any significant improvement in the lot of the ordinary person...

New classes of privileged have been created to replace or supplement the old. The bureaucracy, secure in their jobs, protected against inflation both when they work and after they retire; the trade-unions, who profess to represent the most down-trodden workers but who in fact consist of the highest-paid laborers in the land, the aristocrats of the labor movement; and the new millionaires, the people who have been cleverest, most ingenious at finding ways around the rules, the regulations, the laws that have emanated from over there, who have found ways to avoid paying tax on the income they have acquired, to get their wealth and their money overseas beyond the hands of the tax collector. A vast reshuffling, yes; a greater equity, hardly.

The Yehudi Menuhin School in the south of England is also a place of privilege. Musically talented children from all over the world compete for a chance to come here to study.

Much of the moral fervor behind the drive for equality comes from the widespread belief that it is not fair that some children should have a great advantage over others simply because they happen to have wealthy parents. Of course it is not fair, but is there any distinction between the inheritance of property and the inheritance of what, at first sight, looks very different? These youngsters have inherited wealth, not in the form of bonds or stocks, but in the form of talent. That 15-year-old is an accomplished cellist. His father is a distinguished violinist. It’s no accident that most of the children at this school come from musical families. The inheritance of talent is no different, from an ethical point of view, from the inheritance of other forms of property, of bonds, of stocks, of houses, or of factories. Yet many people resent the one but not the other...

The ethical issues involved are subtle and complex. They are not to be resolved by resort to such simplistic formulas as fair shares for all. Indeed, if you took that seriously, it is the youngsters with less musical skills, not those with more, who should be sent to this school in order to compensate for their inherited disadvantage.

When the evening started, all of these players had about the same number of chips in front of them. But as the play progressed they surely didn't; some won, some lost. By the end of the evening some of them will have a big pile of chips; others will have small ones. There will be big winners; there will be big losers.

In the name of equality, should the winnings be redistributed to the losers, so that everybody ends up where he started? That would take all the fun out of the game. Even the losers wouldn't like that. They might like it tonight, but would they come back again to play if they knew that whatever happened, they would end up exactly where they had started?

What does Las Vegas have to do with the real world? A great deal more than you might think. It is one very important part of our life in highly concentrated form. Every day, all of us are making decisions that involve gambles. Sometimes, they are big gambles, as when we decide what occupation to pursue or whom to marry. More often, they are small gambles, as when we decide whether to cross the street against the traffic. But each time, the question is who shall make the decision -- we or somebody else? We can make the decision only if we bear the consequences...

The failure of the drive for equality is not because the wrong measures were adopted; not because they were badly administered; not because the wrong people administered it. The failure is much more fundamental.

It is because that drive goes against the most basic instinct of all human beings; in the words of Adam Smith, “The uniform, constant, and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition, to improve his own lot and to make a better world for his children and his children's children.” When the law interferes with that pursuit, everyone will try to find a way around. He will try to evade the law, he will break the law or he will emigrate from the country...

During the 19th century, and especially after the Civil War and on into the 20th century, the idea of equality came to have a much more definite and specific meaning than the abstract concept of equality before God. It came more and more to mean that everyone should have the same opportunity to make what he could of his capacities; that all careers should be open to people on the basis of their talents, independently of the race, or religion, or belief, or social class that characterize them. This concept of equality of opportunity offers no conflict at all with the concept of freedom. On the contrary, they reinforce one another, and it is no doubt the concept that, even today, is the most widely held.

But in the 20th century, beginning especially abroad and, at a later date in this country, a very different concept, a very different ideal has begun to emerge. That is the ideal that everyone should be equal in income, in level of living, in what he has; the idea that the economic race should be so arranged that everybody ends at the finish line at the same time, rather than that everyone starts at the beginning line at the same time. This concept raises a very serious problem for freedom. It is clearly in conflict with it, since it requires that the freedom of some be restricted in order to provide greater benefits to others.

The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither. The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both...

THOMAS SOWELL: First of all, I would disagree violently with the notion that the people are stirring. A very small handful of intellectuals have generated an enormous amount of noise. When I look at opinion polls, particularly when I look at opinion polls of blacks in the United States, most blacks in the United States do not take any strong position in favor of equality of results. In fact, most of the polls that I've seen of blacks put them, if you want to use this expression, very well to the right of most intellectuals on most of these social issues. It is not the people who are stirring; it is a handful of intellectuals...

Black people have never supported, for example, affirmative action, quotas, anything of that sort. Wherever polls have been taken of black opinion on such matters as should people be paid equally or should there be this or that, black people have never taken a position that you described. So it is not a question of what black people chose to do. It's what you choose to put in the mouths of black people and it's what you choose to project. It is not what any black people have ever said anywhere that you could put your finger on.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Links - 9th December 2014

Timeline Photos - Cats of Singapore - ""The PSLE school posting results are coming out soon. My son hopes to study at a SAP school, like Hwa Chong Institution. I'm actually worried that he might get accepted."
"Is it because SAP schools promote ethnic segregation and elitist, Sinocentric thinking? And that they reinforce the idea that Malays and Indians are inferior to the Chinese?"
"What? No. Have you seen the human traffic jams on Bukit Timah road? Someone's definitely going to step on his tail."
#KittiesOfBukitBatok #MustMaintainRacialBalanceHor #EliteUncaringFace #AllAnimalsEqual #ButSomeMoreEqual"
Apparently it is okay to bash SAP schools for this, but to bring up parallels with Madrasahs brings about "hatred, segregation and disunity" and has an obectionable tone

Lena Dunham, Zuckerberg Controversies: Dangers of Feminist Overreach - "Last week, in his first-ever public Q&A, Mark Zuckerberg was asked why he wears plain gray t-shirts apparently every waking moment of his life. “I’d feel I’m not doing my job if I spent any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life,” the Facebook CEO replied. Sounds innocuous enough, right? Not to some feminist critics... Zuckerberg did not explicitly—or, I'd argue, implicitly—contrast himself with women, but merely stated that he finds fashion concerns to be "silly" and "frivolous." If anything, he was referring to his fellow male tech CEOs, like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and his Prada suits; after all, only 6 percent of Silicon Valley CEOs are female. But in criticizing Zuckerberg, Davis and Krupnick relied on a stereotype that he himself did not—that only women care about clothes—and perhaps even reinforced that stereotype in sounding the feminist alarm... [many feminists] eviscerated Dunham and attacked anyone, including other feminists, who dared defend Dunham’s actions as normal—or, at least, not criminal—childhood behavior. This culminated with one feminist writing a public letter to Planned Parenthood asking them to drop Dunham as a spokesperson due to her “pattern of coercion that happened over the course of years, and the near-pornographic and remorseless way Dunham describes these incidents as an adult.” There is a hashtag, of course: #DropDunham. The deeper irony here is that Dunham has been one of the leading celebrity figures in the mainstreaming of feminism today. None other than Taylor Swift credits Dunham with Swift’s own feminist awakening. Dunham's hardly perfect—her handling of race comes to mind—but does she really deserve to be on feminists' hit list?... if feminism becomes like the boy who cried wolf—if girls, and women, cry sexism too readily and often—America will stop listening. The minute feminism becomes hypercritical and humorless, it becomes too easy for the mainstream to dismiss our more valid complaints... there are millions of undeniable victims of sexual assault in America, and thousands of perpetrators who are never held accountable. Does the seven-year-old Lena Dunham really rank high on the scale of prosecutorial priorities? Her sister Grace has denied that she is a victim—issuing a series of tweets including, “As a queer person: I’m committed to people narrating their own experiences, determining for themselves what has and has not been harmful.” The desire of some feminists to “speak truth to power” ran headlong into Grace Dunham’s desire to speak her own damn truth.In her essay about the Dunham debate, Time’s Jessica Bennett wrote about the paradox of feminists championing the success of women yet often being the first to scrutinize women when they succeed"
Yet, some feminists mock the substitution effect (that raising a hue and cry over non-issues distracts from real ones), much less the 'feminist who cried wolf' effect

Is Paternity Fraud really a “ticking time bomb”? - Marilyn Stowe Blog - "does it really matter whether a child is the biological offspring of his or her father? Does it really matter if a loving father and his child never find out? What harm is being done to the man, child or woman concerned – that is until they find out and the predictable fallout occurs?... Nor do I believe that women who have had affairs are fundamentally wicked creatures who should be required to confess all, if they have become pregnant by one man and have decided to save their relationship by shielding a partner and child – and, in most cases, themselves – from the truth... Can all that harm and all that trauma be justified simply because of the man’s “right to know”? I don’t think it is. I don’t support the decision by Boots to sell paternity testing kits over the counter. Experience has taught me, time and time again, that no good comes of opening Pandora’s Box."
Comment: "Using the logic in the article, one can easily create why raped women should never report their story to the police :)"

Physical Attractiveness, Dating Behavior, and Implications for Women - "The primary objective of this study was to determine which of two sociological theories of dating preference was more powerful in predicting women's actual dating frequency. The two theories tested were Waller's theory, which emphasizes physical attractiveness, and Blood's theory, which emphasizes personality. The present study supported Waller's theory. Discussion and implications for women and counselors are presented."

Patriarchy, Male Competition, and Excess Male Mortality - "across nations, women’s social and economic empowerment had a strong inverserelationship with the disparity between male and female mortality from both external(direct behavioral) and (behaviorally mediated) internal causes, even when accountingfor general economic inequality and the prevalence of polygyny. This study demon-strates the usefulness of an evolutionary framework for explaining contemporary socialphenomena and important public health issues."

The cost of getting lean: Is it really worth the trade-off? - "Elite bodybuilders getting ready for a contest and models getting ready for a shoot are basically in a slow starvation process. Adhering to an extremely strict and precise regimen of eating and training (and perhaps adding some drugs into the mix) is the only way way they can drop their body fat to extremely low levels... But this process is not for the faint of heart. It goes against biological cues. It requires exercising when exhausted. It demands ignoring their desire for food in the face of powerful hunger cues. It involves intense focus and dedication. And it often distracts from other areas of life that these athletes might enjoy and value."

Based on LKY's and PAP own philosophy, nobody should be paid for not working - "I refer to the article: "WHY ARE WE PAYING $16K TO AN MP WHO CAN’T EVEN STAND AND ATTEND MEET-THE-PEOPLE SESSION?"... He made several judgement errors like the stop at two, graduate mothers, joining Malaysia, playing up the Malaysia for Malaysians , detention with trail, suppressing opposition etc. hence his political career comprises of both positives and negatives. He contributed but earned a salary for the contributions and also enjoyed other financial and other benefits. The question is should we pay him ex gracia payment for his past contributions. I will say yes for being the leader of the team that built modern SIngapore. The amount subject to approval by Parliament. But should he continue to be a MP and receive 16k allowance. It is tied to job scope. If a civil servant cannot carry out his job due to ill health do we allow him to stay on the job and continue to pay or transfer him to a lesser demanding job with a reduced pay... Based on LKY's and PAP own philosophy, nobody should be paid for not working. Singapore does not have social welfare like western countries"

Researchers 'appalled' as EU chief scientist role is axed - "The final decision came on the day Europe's scientists were celebrating the success of the Rosetta mission... In contrast to the official EU position, Ms Glover said that opposing the technology was "a form of madness". During the Summer, green groups published a letter to the incoming President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, urging him to scrap the role. The claimed that the position was "unaccountable, intransparent and controversial". The CSA, according to the letter, "presented one-sided, partial opinions in the debate on the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture, repeatedly claiming that there was a scientific consensus about their safety". Despite strong support from scientific bodies, Prof Glover's mandate expired at the end of the Barroso presidency - and Jean-Claude Juncker has decided to formally close the Bureau of European Policy Advisers which included the CSA"

Murder 'comes naturally' to chimpanzees - "Prof Joan Silk from Arizona State University said the results "should finally put an end to the idea" that violence in wild chimpanzees was a product of human interference. She suggested that our perceptions of our evolutionary cousins can sometimes be distorted, because we want to believe that it is the nice behaviours, not the nasty ones, which have deep evolutionary roots... "I'm very glad they're publishing this," he told BBC News. It answers a "long, long history of resistance", Prof de Waal explained, to the idea of natural, inter-community violence in chimpanzees. "It has always been contentious - we've had meetings where people screamed at each other. "What this paper does is, instead of getting into the ideology and the history of these arguments... they have just taken the data and analysed it, and said: Where do the chips fall?" The chips, in this case, appear to fall in favour of a natural history of violence"
This is like the belief that all Evil in the world can be traced to the White Man

Chimpanzees are natural born killers, study says, and they prefer mob violence - "“The behavior of non-human primates, particularly chimpanzees, are often distorted by ideology and anthropomorphism, which produce a predisposition to believe that morally desirable features, such as empathy and altruism, have deep evolutionary roots, whereas undesirable features, such as group-level violence and sexual coercion, do not,” she wrote. “This reflects a naive form of biological determinism.”"

IDF on Twitter: "#GenderEquality means men & women carry the stretcher together. Shabbat Shalom from the #InspiringWomen of the IDF! http://t.co/AGTnvPJj13" - "#GenderEquality means men & women carry the stretcher together. Shabbat Shalom from the #InspiringWomen of the IDF!"

Male Guilt: Three Lessons from #ShirtStorm - "There are three big lesson we can learn from #ShirtStorm about the brave new world of feminist grievance-mongering that we have just landed on.
1) They’re not just going after the frat boys.
2) The new orthodoxy is total.
3) There are no logically consistent rules."

Steve Jobs Dropped The First iPod Prototype Into An Aquarium To Prove A Point - "“Those are air bubbles,” he snapped. “That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.”"

It's Official—iOS 8 Is Apple's Buggiest Release to Date

Michael Phelps' 'girlfriend' Taylor Lianne Chandler says she was born male - "She had previously detailed their first date, to a Baltimore Ravens games, to the National Enquirer. 'One thing led to the next, and we made love during halftime,' she claims in the interview. 'Later, we had sex again. The intimacy with him was amazing! It was the first time in my life that someone has made me feel like a true woman.' She also told the magazine that she never lied to the swimmer about her past, saying it just never came up"

Changing the System

"Don't like Fast Food?
Join McDonalds and Change the System from the Inside"

Monday, December 08, 2014

Links - 8th December 2014 (Women, harassment, feminism etc)

Context Effects on Women’s Perceptions of Stranger Harassment - "harassment by younger and attractive men is viewed as less harassing"

Everyday stranger harassment - "particularly young women may not view stranger harassment as a completely negative experience. In concert, the findings suggest that stranger harassment may have both direct and indirect negative effects on women's lives, but that its construal may sometimes be positive, and that it is a complex phenomenon worthy of future research."

When Contact Correlates with Prejudice: Adolescents’ Romantic Relationship Experience Predicts Greater Benevolent Sexism in Boys and Hostile Sexism in Girls - Springer - "Consistent with prior research, age predicted less sexist beliefs. Controlling for the effects of age, relationship experience predicted increased hostile sexism in girls and increased benevolent sexism in boys. Additionally, younger boys (12–14 years) with greater relationship experience tended to endorse hostile sexism more strongly. The general decline in sexism over the course of adolescence masks a contrasting effect of romantic experience, which suggests that heterosexual adolescents’ desire to attract romantic partners may foster, rather than reduce, sexism."

THE F WORD: IS FEMINISM INCOMPATIBLE WITH BEAUTY AND ROMANCE? - "Three studies examined the predictive utility of heterosexual relationship concerns vis-a-vis support for feminism. Study 1 showed that beauty is perceived to be at odds with feminism, for both genders. The stereotype that feminists are unattractive was robust, but fully accounted for by romance-related attributions. Moreover, more attractive female participants (using self-ratings) showed decreased feminist orientations, compared with less attractive counterparts. Study 2 compared romantic conflict with the lesbian feminist stereotype and found more support for romantic conflict as a negative predictor of support for feminism and women’s civil rights. Study 3 showed that beliefs about an incompatibility between feminism and sexual harmony negatively predicted support for feminism and women’s civil rights."
So feminists are ugly

Sex ratio and women's career choice: does a scarcity of men lead women to choose briefcase over baby? - "Although the ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence behavior in nonhuman animals, little is known about how sex ratio influences human behavior. We propose that sex ratio affects women's family planning and career choices. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences women's career aspirations. Findings showed that a scarcity of men led women to seek high-paying careers and to delay starting a family. This effect was driven by how sex ratio altered the mating market, not just the job market. Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances. Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby... Our central prediction was that a scarcity of men would lead low mate-value women in particular to seek financial rewards in their careers. Supporting this prediction, there was a significant interaction between sex ratio and mate value"

The Financial Consequences of Too Many Men: Sex Ratio Effects on Saving, Borrowing, and Spending - "The ratio of males to females in a population is an important factor in determining behavior in animals. We propose that sex ratio also has pervasive effects in humans, such as by influencing economic decisions. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences saving, borrowing, and spending in the United States. Findings show that male-biased sex ratios (an abundance of men) lead men to discount the future and desire immediate rewards. Male-biased sex ratios decreased men’s desire to save for the future and increased their willingness to incur debt for immediate expenditures. Sex ratio appears to influence behavior by increasing the intensity of same-sex competition for mates. Accordingly, a scarcity of women led people to expect men to spend more money during courtship, such as by paying more for engagement rings. These findings demonstrate experimentally that sex ratio influences human decision making in ways consistent with evolutionary biological theory. Implications for sex ratio effects across cultures are discussed."

Feminism is in danger of becoming toxic - "Many would hail this as a feminist victory: a big-name scientist apologising on TV and being reduced to tears for his apparent sexism. We must have come a long way to wield so much influence. But there’s another way of seeing it. As less of a victory, more of a sign of a shift in feminist tactics. Instead of attacking the root cause of women’s inequality, we’ve moved towards the vilification of individuals... The current climate of McCarthyism within some segments of feminism and the left is so ingrained and toxic that there are active attempts to outlaw some views because they cause offence. Petitions against individuals appear to be a recent substitute for political action towards the root causes of misogyny and other social ills. Petitions have taken over politics... The “ban this sick filth” approach is starting to look more like censorship than progressive politics. Political protest and heated debate has been replaced with a witch-hunt mentality... Moral superiority and “call out” culture has trumped political activism. "
When even Julie Bindel disapproves of modern feminism, you know something is up
Comment: "Nowadays it seems people are less concerned about achieving actual change for the better of all, and more with competing for the sense of intellectual self-satisfaction that comes from "beating" whoever they have cast as their "opponent" (whether they wish to be or not).
Discussion and activism has been replaced with a series of 140-character competitions for imaginary trophies of outrage, or the chance to be crowned "biggest victim".

It's Time To Push Back Against Feminist Bullies - "I know when bullies are picking on you, you might want to just get them to go away. You might think that cowering to their demands and offering a weepy testament of their superiority is a good way to go about this. You give them your lunch, they go away. You know the drill. And it may well be a good idea in the short-term. But if you care about how such acquiescing enables further bullying, you can’t do it. Time’s managing editor and Dr. Taylor made a mistake by apologizing. So has everyone else who has ever been forced to apologize for things that were either no big deal or not in any way wrong. What both should have done was tell people to grow up and gain some perspective. To stop obsessively whining about imagined slights and to cease being in a constant state of offense. Apologizing for offense used to be a great idea when people didn’t get offended by every single thing happening on the planet... Some of the people most worried about feminist bullies are women. That’s because we suffer from the image they project of women being perpetual victims. And not just perpetual victims but frail little things unable to handle cartoon images of scantily clad women. In my list of things in life that have been tough, I’d rank roughly everything before “seeing a really cool guy wearing a shirt”... It’s not just women who are hurt by feminist bullies. Everyone is. That’s because human relationships are harmed in the toxic outrage culture... No offense (or be offended, I don’t care) but people with gender studies degrees don’t land spacecraft on flying comets. They frequently detract from same with endless pointless conversations about imagined grievances... we live in a culture where third-wave feminists engage in “slut walks” to send the message that nobody should be judged by what they wear. And yet if you make cartoons of the very same things these women wear on slut walks and put them on a shirt, that’s “ruining the comet landing”? That doesn’t even make sense... It honestly may have always been this way, but there’s no disputing that right now American feminism is a tangled mess of double standards, Puritanical policing of men’s behavior, fascist speech codes, and petty grievances. It’s in a state of constant outrage. In a Q&A with the Wall Street Journal last week — before #ShirtStorm broke — Taylor was asked if his sleeves of tattoos had hurt his success. He said, “The people I work with don’t judge me by my looks but the work that I have done and can do. Simple.” Taylor is lucky he works with scientists who judge him by his work and not his appearance. Let’s all aspire to such behavior and finally help feminist bullies learn to do the same. There are many reasons why the vast majority of Americans do not identify as feminist. Feminism has its own problems. But the one thing most of us should be able to agree on is that feminist bullies are damaging civil society. We must stand up to them if we don’t want them to harm it any further. We shouldn’t be bossed around by people who constantly whine, manufacture outrage and offense, and cull the internet for things to be upset about."

Georgia State tries new approach to attract more female students to philosophy @insidehighered - "Starting next year, graduate students teaching introductory-level courses in philosophy at Georgia State, who teach about half of all such sections offered, will use syllabuses that include at least 20 percent women philosophers. That's at least double the number included on most syllabuses for the course at the university... Women generally found the course less enjoyable, and the material less interesting and relevant to their lives, than their male counterparts. They also felt they had less in common with philosophy majors or instructors and felt less able and likely to succeed in philosophy. They reported being less likely to enroll in more advanced philosophy courses or major in the discipline, and were likelier to disagree that the syllabus included a fair proportion of women authors. (Women were no more likely to report that class conversations were aggressive, or to anticipate lower grades, however)... Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, a group that advocates for a rigorous curriculum and opposes many affirmative action efforts, disagreed with the idea, calling it “on its surface, rather anti-intellectual.” Philosophy is normally taught historically and thematically, he said, and “it’s hard to imagine a grid which considers the gender of the author as relevant to either of those enterprises.” More attention should be paid to the “deep and important differences” of ideas within philosophical tradition than “superficial views of diversity” based on social groups such as class, gender and race, he said."

Couples who share the housework are more likely to divorce, study finds - "The reasons, Mr Hansen said, lay only partially with the chores themselves. “Maybe it’s sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity ... where one person is not stepping on the other’s toes,” he suggested. “There could be less quarrels, since you can easily get into squabbles if both have the same roles and one has the feeling that the other is not pulling his or her own weight.” But the deeper reasons for the higher divorce rate, he suggested, came from the values of “modern” couples rather than the chores they shared. “Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage” as being less sacred, Mr Hansen said. “In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially... Dr Frank Furedi, Sociology professor at the University of Canterbury, said the study made sense as chore sharing took place more among couples from middle class professional backgrounds, where divorce rates are known to be high. “These people are extremely sensitive to making sure everything is formal, laid out and contractual. That does make for a fairly fraught relationship,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “The more you organise your relationship, the more you work out diaries and schedules, the more it becomes a business relationship than an intimate, loving spontaneous one. “That tends to encourage a conflict of interest rather than finding harmonious resolutions.” He said while the survey applied to Norway, he was confident the results would be the same in the UK"

Footwear Guidelines from my Podiatrist

Good shoes should:

- Not be pointy
- Be laced or fastened with velcro (for a good, snug fit)
- Be broad enough and deep enough to accommodate the foot
- Have a removable insole
- Have 1 finger/thumb's width in front of the longest toe (there should be space in front of all toes)
- Have a firm sole but with some flexibility where the ball of the foot is (i.e. in front)

He also said (as everyone probably knows) that heels are bad.

Unfortunately this rules out a lot of shoes - even men's shoes (let alone women's).

He said it wasn't easy to get good shoes in Singapore, but that it was very hard to have bad sports shoes (from a support angle).
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