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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Links - 14th January 2015

Women Fighting Against Feminism - "FEMEN operated much like an advertising agency whose only objective was to create a buzz and garner as much media attention as possible. This validates what the manosphere has been saying about the fourth-wave feminism for quite some time now, that this new-age feminism is nothing more than trolling, attention-whoring and validation-seeking without any core objectives. It is also worth noting that FEMEN, who has an anti-prostitution stance, were paying prostitutes to march topless in their demonstrations against the exploitation of women. Whether the irony of this hypocritical behavior was noticed by FEMEN is still a moot point."

Menstrual leave 'good for companies' - "Providing female car workers with paid menstrual leave would improve a company's productivity and quality, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) secretary Doug Cameron said today. Production line jobs were tough on some women during their monthly cycle and their problems should be recognised, he said. A claim for 12 days menstrual leave a year for women is one of 600 improvements being sought by the AMWU from carmaker Toyota. "We've consulted with our women members for this bargaining round and they indicated that there were some women who had significant problems during the menstrual cycle""

Left-handed people earn less money - "According to Harvard economist Joshua Goodman, left handed people earn 10 to 12 percent less per year than their right handed counterparts. That's roughly the same gap created with an additional year of schooling. "Lefties have more emotional and behavioral problems, have more learning disabilities such as dyslexia, complete less schooling, and work in occupations requiring less cognitive skill," Goodman told Bloomberg. However, these disadvantages only apply to lefties born to right-handed mothers. Lefties born to left-handed mothers actually had fared as well as righties."

How Sociologists Made Themselves Irrelevant - "It explores ways to alleviate the problems of black youth. Sociologists have shied from such cultural work, fearful of critiques similar to those that greeted 1960s culture-of-poverty scholarship by Oscar Lewis, the policy studies of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and the Parsonian overdetermining emphasis on values. In focusing on ways that impoverished communities perpetuated poverty, such scholarship was criticized for blaming the victim, and for several decades, sociologists have taken pains to distance themselves not only from that approach but from studies of the cultural dimensions of poverty, particularly black poverty. The great irony in that overreaction is that throughout that 40-year period of self-imposed censorship within the discipline, the vast majority of blacks, and especially black youth and those working on the front lines of poverty mitigation, have been firmly convinced that culture does matter—a lot. Black youth in particular have insisted that their habits, attitudes, beliefs, and values are what mainly explain their plight, even after fully taking account of racism and their disadvantaged neighborhood conditions. Yet sociologists insisted on patronizingly treating blacks in general, and especially black youth, as what Harold Garfinkel called "cultural dopes" by rejecting their own insistence that their culture mattered in any understanding of their plight... black youth, and people generally, are not offended by attempts to change their values, habits, and even their modes of self-presentation if they are first persuaded that it is in their own interests to do so. Jackie Rivers and I learned this firsthand from our study of a group of inner-city youth, many with prison records, undergoing a demanding job-training program that aimed to alter those aspects of their cultural styles and attitudes toward work that made it hard for them to get or keep a job. None of them considered this a threat to their identities, as individuals or as black people... Never treat your subjects as cultural dopes. If you find yourself struggling to explain away your subjects’ own reasoned and widely held account of what they consider important in explaining their condition, you are up to something intellectually fishy... If you end up with findings that have policy implications that you would never dream of advocating for yourself or your loved ones, be wary of them"
Maybe this is why sociology gets bashed so much. If the results of your research make you uncomfortable, you're supposed to consider it fishy

Harry Potter fans can finally study at 'Hogwarts' - "Held at Czocha castle in Poland, The College of Wizardry is a live-action role play (LARP) organised by volunteers in which players take the roles of students, with veteran Nordic LARP-ers playing the staff."

Magnasanti: The Largest and Most Terrifying SimCity - "After a massive amount of planning and a great deal of trial and error, he was able to create a city with over six million inhabitants. Moreover, the city he created was remarkably stable, with no abandoned buildings and no wasted space. There are no roads — all transit is mass transit. An omniscient police force has eliminated all crime in the city. Magnasanti’s water and power needs are supplied by neighboring cities, eliminating the need for much of the related infrastructure. In SimCity terms, it is a masterpiece. But at the “street level,” so to speak, it looks like a horrifying dystopia. Unemployment is high, air pollution is stifling, education is largely absent, medical care and fire response are non-existent. Citizens do not live to reach retirement age. The police state has essentially eliminated free will and allowed the city to maximize its size while reducing quality of life to a minimum — and still maintaining total control over the citizens. Every person living in Magnasanti spends his life working and residing in one small, massively efficient block of space, until death around age 50."

What it was like to teach essay writing to North Korean college students: They all chose topics criticizing America.

A long list of sex acts just got banned in UK porn - "Pornography produced in the UK was quietly censored todaythrough an amendment to the 2003 Communications Act, and the measures appear to take aim at female pleasure."
The bans were probably meant to 'protect' women. From, among other people, themselves.

The UK's sexist new pornography restrictions aren't just an act of state censorship, but could be the first step towards something even worse - "It looks like an unelected quango is gearing up to impose foreign financial sanctions, by utilising unelected bankers to decline payments to foreign jurisdictions, based on a selective interpretation of the unelected CPS’ Guidelines on the OPA, drafted in collaboration with unelected film censors at the BBFC. This is a spectacularly dangerous precedent. It might not be your cup of tea. But pornography is the canary in the coal mine of free speech. It is the first freedom to die. If assaults on liberty like this are allowed to go unchallenged, further freedoms will fall as a consequence."

HIV is evolving to become less deadly - "HIV has evolved to adapt to HLA-B57 more than in South Africa, so patients no longer benefited from the protective effect. But they also found the cost of this adaptation for HIV is a reduced ability to replicate — making it less virulent. The scientists then analysed the impact on HIV virulence of the wide use of AIDS drugs. Using a mathematical model, they found that treating the sickest HIV patients – whose immune systems have been weakened by the infection – accelerates the evolution of variants of HIV with a weaker ability to replicate."

Why ban pickup artist when we can rough him up? - "What is interesting about the Blanc situation is that he has been banned from Singapore, in large part, because of a grassroots campaign. How many of those who signed the online petition, I wonder, also launched the campaign to lift the ban on the library book about gay penguins? Or supported film-makers Tan Pin Pin and Ken Kwek when they were faced with bans on their films? Or muttered about the cuts made to the movie The Wolf Of Wall Street? Have any of them complained of nanny-statism, over-reaching regulations, or pre-emptive restrictions on activities because of the potential for causing offence? Because it would be inconsistent to ask for one and not the other. Banning Mr Blanc because he says things we might disagree with is censorship - it is not the person, book, film or website itself that is the problem, it is the message... he has been banned for his female-objectifying language, similar to the stuff that was snipped from The Wolf Of Wall Street."

Study: Cost of Living for Citizens in Singapore higher than Seoul and Hong Kong - "Singapore has been ranked as the 56th most expensive city in the world to live in for citizens... Singapore was still far behind big, western cities like New York and London which were ranked 11th and 27threspectively, but compared to other regional and Asian cities, Singapore was one of the top. It even came out to be more expensive to live in than Seoul (65) and Hong Kong (66). Singapore also grew in the rankings compared to 2012 when it was ranked as the 60th most expensive city. Overall, Singapore is still less expensive to live in for citizens than for foreigners as it was ranked as the 9th most expensive city to live in for expats. The different is mainly due to the different consumption habits of expats and Singaporeans and the fact that Singaporeans have greater access to subsidized housing, education and healthcare."

Man injured by Amsterdam pop-up toilet - "The man was hit by a moped which was thrown up in the air as the so-called UriLift toilet suddenly rose up... The toilets are a feature of central areas of Amsterdam, emerging at night to deter people from urinating in the streets."

South African academy trains anti-poaching dogs - ""One needs to be the dominant male. Hopefully, it's the guy and not the dog," said Marius van Heerden, a 28-year-old handler who lives, works and sleeps with Venom, a Belgian Malinois whose breed is known for endurance and athleticism and has been used by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Venom probably got his name from biting trainers as a puppy, van Heerden said... The bond between dog and ranger is vital, said Holsthyzen, the South African trainer, recalling a student's mistake. "He gave his dog to someone else to go and put in the kennels," Holsthyzen said. "And my immediate question was, 'Would you have another person sleep with your wife?'""

TGI Friday's Dumb Mistletoe Drone Cut Somebody's Face Open - "When TGI Friday's announced a promotion involving mistletoe-toting drones flying around inside its restaurants, the idea seemed both dumb and unoriginal. Now, that the restaurant's gimmicky marketing campaign has shed blood in Brooklyn, it just seems dangerous. And TGI Friday's isn't even taking the blame!"
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