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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Links - 25th November 2017 (2)

Sexual Assault: US Military Bases - "Women’s sex work has long been used to help keep male troops happy—or at least happy enough to keep working for the military... Camptowns and prostitution thus became critical parts of a South Korean economy struggling to emerge from the devastation of war. South Korean government documents show male officials strategizing to encourage GIs to spend their money on women in Korea rather than Japan during leave time. Officials offered classes in basic English and etiquette to encourage women to sell themselves more effectively and earn more money. “They urged us to sell as much as possible to the GI’s, praising us as ‘dollar-earning patriots,’” recounts former sex worker Aeran Kim. “Our government was one big pimp for the U.S. military”... most Korean women working in U.S. massage parlors were once married to GIs. There have been more than half a million marriages between Asian women and male GIs since World War II; an estimated 80 percent end in divorce."

This Company Buys Every CD, DVD, And Video Game That You Don’t Want Anymore - "Decluttr buys anything–because that’s their business model. They will literally buy any CD, DVD, or video game you want to mail them. And they pay the postage, too."

Think about it... on 9GAG - "I'm so proud of being black!"
"I'm so proud of being white"
"It feels so good to be a woman!"
"I love being a man!"

American Millennials are among the world's least skilled - "Millennials in the U.S. fall short when it comes to the skills employers want most: literacy (including the ability to follow simple instructions), practical math, and — hold on to your hat — a category called “problem-solving in technology-rich environments.” Not only do Gen Y Americans lag far behind their overseas peers by every measure, but they even score lower than other age groups of Americans"

Emile Leray Builds Working Motorcycle in the Desert, with Parts from His Broken Car

Camille Paglia: How to Age Disgracefully in Hollywood (Guest Column) - "At the Billboard Women in Music Awards in New York City, Madonna was given the trophy for Woman of the Year. In a rambling, tearful acceptance speech that ran more than 16 minutes, she claimed to be a victim of "blatant misogyny, sexism, constant bullying and relentless abuse." It was a startling appropriation of stereotypical feminist rhetoric by a superstar whose major achievement in cultural history was to overthrow the puritanical old guard of second-wave feminism and to liberate the long-silenced pro-sex, pro-beauty wing of feminism, which (thanks to her) swept to victory in the 1990s... The truth, if Madonna can dare face it, is that she is having a prolonged midlife crisis like that of many great stars of the past. It is particularly painful for her as a dancer whose disciplined body always was her primary expressive instrument... If aging stars want to be taken seriously, they must find or recover a mature persona. Stop cannibalizing the young! Scrambling to stay relevant, Madonna is addicted to pointless provocations like her juvenile Instagrams or her trashy outfit with strapped-up bare buttocks and duct-taped nipples at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Gala in May. She has forgotten the legacy of her great precursor, Marlene Dietrich, who retained her class and style to the end of her public life."

Did we get more economic growth by giving up our freedoms? | Yawning Bread - "a friend mentioned to me how disappointed he was with his former classmates from Raffles Institution, a premier school in Singapore. Many have climbed to high positions in business and the professions since they left school. At the last general election, they told my friend they were leaning towards voting for opposition parties, but at the last minute, in the polling station, they changed their minds. “They said they were concerned about instability,” my friend told me. What the data above shows is that despite “instability”, Taiwan and Korea have done about as well as Singapore over the last nine years. Even Thailand!"

LGBT Opera Retrospective: How Similar Is The Opera World To Hollywood In Terms of Representation?
The rot spreads to classical music

When subtitles go wrong.. - Imgur - "How can you say you love her if you can't even eat her poop?"
This is from "Night Shift Nurses" apparently

Acetaminophen May Reduce Both Pain and Pleasure - "Previous research had shown that acetaminophen works not only on physical pain, the main ingredient but also on psychological pain. This study takes those results one step further by showing that it also reduces how much users actually feel positive emotions"

How to Make Roti Prata aka Roti Canai: Everything you need to know! - ieatishootipost - "I spoke to a patient of mine a while ago who happened to be from South India about Roti Prata. Many people have previously told me that the dish we Singaporeans call Roti Prata, (aka in Malaysia as Roti Canai) does not exist in India. My patient confirmed that it is not true. Roti Prata does exist in India, but only in a small part of Southern India and predominantly in a place called Chennai. Over there, this dish is simply called Prata. Indian migrants brought this dish to Malaya where it became known as Roti Prata. The Malaysians however, named this dish Roti Canai which means the “Roti” (bread) from Chennai.* If you still doubt that this dish is available in India, consider this: Most of the men who make the Prata in Singapore are foreign workers from Southern India. Do you really think that we brought them over to teach them how to make Prata? It’s like bringing the Chinese over and trying to teach them how to play Ping Pong right?... Once you have mastered how to make Prata, it is time to organize a Prata Party where you can invite your friends over to create new Murtabak (filled pratas) flavours! Some of the ones that worked really well for me were beef burger and cheese, parmesan and sugar, Luncheon Meat, Egg and Onions and Cornbeef, Egg and Onions.You can really go crazy thinking of all the wonderful flavours that you can put into your Prata!"

ieatishootipost - McDonald's curry sauce has quite a frenzied... - " I had bought a whole stack of McDonald's curry sauce (30 cents each) so that I can reverse engineer it. I would say that the texture and flavour is 90% of the McDonald's version. It might not be identical, but it is pretty darn close. My wife and kids actually told me they preferred my version over McDonald's when they tasted it side by side! I consider it a personal victory since they are often my harshest critics!"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Stockpiles? What Stockpiles? - "The overall global picture tells us that as countries develop they tend to move away from emergency stockpiling... There are 4 basic reasons for having stockpiles. The first one is that at the end of harvest all the grain goes into storage and then it gets sold on and that's going to year end stocks that's owned by the market. There's emergency stocks for humanitarian aid. There are stocks that governments hold in case something goes wrong with food supply, food security stocks or buffer stocks. And then there are stocks that governments hold which are particularly to underpin food availability for the poor...
'What we know from climate change literature is that the supply of food is going to become more volatile because there are going to be more and bigger extreme weather events, whether it is rainstorms knocking crops over and flooding fields or whether it is drought and extreme heat'
'I hope those people who have warned you about that have also told you about the tremendous shifts and investment in food technology and particularly seed technology. You know my family has a farming background and it's been tremendous to note the resilience of the crops over recent years. In Brazil last year where we had adverse rainfall at the wrong time, we had heat at the wrong time and not once have we had a crop disaster'...
I grew up in a household with a very large pantry with plenty of beans and plenty of what have you in there. No, I no longer do that. I have a small London flat and I can no longer fit those in the cupboard...
I live in a country which is relatively rich. The idea of things going sufficiently wrong that we would not be able to access food for two or three weeks. If that is happening access to food will be I think the least of our worries"

Rebels of Google: Softball Interviews for Ivy Leaguers and 'Underrepresented Minorities' - "the predictive model they created determined that employees who received mixed feedback at the interview stage performed far better than those who received only good feedback. Those who were most likely to receive only good feedback (“inflated interview scores,” in the words of Chuck) tended to be Ivy League graduates or underrepresented minorities. Those who were most likely to receive mixed feedback (and, according to the model, go on to achieve the most success at Google) were more likely to be white and Asian men who did not go to Ivy League schools. The insider’s team had been tasked with the project by Google’s HR department, but according to him, they promptly shut it down once they realized its results would not serve their goals... Underrepresented minorities, says Chuck, were given guaranteed phone interviews with Google. According to him, this allowed Google to achieve any racial diversity quota they want by rejecting white & Asian males early in the process and assuming enough underrepresented minorities will be approved during the interview process... Google recruiters divide schools into “Tier 1” schools (elite institutions) “Tier 2” schools (reputable schools with large numbers of underrepresented minorities) and schools that Google does not visit."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, The migrant journey to northern Europe - "If I stay here three years, how can you tell me to go back because now I don't have nothing. So how can I go back and start a life?...
'If they denied me now I might kill myself. I might hang myself. It is better for me to die here than I go and die in my country'
Last month in Italy three out of every five migrants had their asylum claim rejected but few will actually get deported. The risk is that they will stay with no rights. Part of a potential underclass of tens of thousands."
I think the blackmail only works if it's children doing it (and it's Sweden)

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele - "Three Australian brothers who were killed within two days and the mother chose the inscription for one of them because only one of them had a body. And so only one of them had a grave and in the inscription she chose: "a willing sacrifice for the world's peace" which I think is a very surprising inscription"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Under pressure: North Korea - "Well look. To think of the application of international laws of provocation is backwards in my view. North Korea doesn't need an external justification or an excuse. It is acting part, as part of a strategy, a big part of which is to extort economic aid and other forms of concessions from the international community. The international community not only has an obligation to work to push back but would be foolish to do otherwise"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Prince Philip: 70 years of service - "Seven hundred and fifty, seven hundred and eighty organizations he is patron of... fifty five different uniforms he has got to put on at one time or other...
Napoleon once said if you want to understand a man you must understand what the world was like in the year that man turned twenty one. And Prince Philip turned twenty one in nineteen forty two. He reflects the values of that generation. And though he has been blessed, he had quite a challenging childhood. I mean his parents split up before he was ten, his grandfather was assassinated, his father was arrested in the year of his birth, the family went into exile, he had a peripatetic childhood. He never talks about these things"

Reserved election 'affirms values of multiracialism & meritocracy' - ""It shows we don't only talk about multiracialism, but we talk about it in the context of meritocracy or opportunities for everyone, and we actually practise it," she told The Straits Times in an interview yesterday. She said it demonstrates Singaporeans can "accept anyone of any colour, any creed, any religion, at any position in our society, so long as they feel that the person can contribute"."

The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page: Refutation of Bishop Berkely - "After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it -- "I refute it thus.""

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Have We Cracked the Nut Problem? - "We know that allergies are increasing in urban environments and in certain societies. So for example in the UK and the US and Australia has seen these very dramatic increases in the instances of all allergies. The reasons for that are probably very complex but we know that certain things seem to be protective. So things like breast feeding for example is shown to be protective. Living in a rural environment, so living on a farm is shown to protect against development of certain allergic conditions. And also things, simple things like owning a pet for example... in very equivalent populations of children in the UK compared to Israel the rates of peanut allergy were dramatically different and one of the key observations of the population in Israel was that the children during weaning were fed a snack that contains peanuts"

The Stupidest Thing You Can Do With Your Money - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "you hire someone to navigate that for you — and they, in turn, use their expertise to pick the very best investments for your needs. This is called active management. They actively select, let’s say, the best mutual funds for your needs. And you pay them for their expertise. You also pay those mutual funds, by the way — sometimes there’s what called a sales load when you buy it; and an expense ratio, a recurring fee the fund deducts from your account. So, between the mutual fund fees and the investment fees, that’s usually at least a couple percent off the top — and that’s whether your funds go up or down, by the way. So hopefully they go up. Hopefully the active management you’re paying for is at least covering the costs?
FRENCH: What we actually found was the top 2 to 3 percent had enough skill to cover their costs. And the other 97 or 98 percent didn’t even have that...
BOGLE: There was this great poster that said “Stamp Out Index Funds.” There’s Uncle Sam with a cancellation stamp all over it, all over the poster. “Index Funds are un-American.”... The argument is, “In America, we don’t settle for average. We’re all above average”...
FRENCH: One of the beautiful things that happens out there in the market is price discovery, and I would never argue all prices are right, but prices are pretty darn good. We learn an awful lot about how resources should be allocated from what the prices are in the financial markets. If nobody is doing price discovery, we lose a really valuable service. What I always say is, “If it’s somebody I don’t like, I’m more than happy to have them go out there and spend their money investing actively because as a group, they’re making the world better off.”"

A Shocking Amount of US Millennials Aren't Buying Democracy – or Civil Rights - "Only a third of US millennials see civil rights as “absolutely essential” in a democracy, compared to 40% of older citizens. Poll results are slightly higher, but similar, in Europe. Likewise, only 20% of millennials agreed to the statement “a military takeover is not legitimate in a democracy”. A full 25% of American millennials said that democracy is a “bad” or “very bad” way to run a country, up 10% from 20 years ago, and double the rate at which European millennials responded in the same way... Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned that people will turn their backs on free and open markets if nothing is done to make those systems work for everyone"

Heart Disease and Diabetes Risks Tied to Carbs, Not Fat, Study Finds - "A large analysis published in 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that swapping saturated fats with carbs had no benefit in reducing people's risk of heart disease. But replacing those so-called bad fats with polyunsaturated fats — found in fish, olives and nuts — did. "The unintended consequence of telling everyone to restrict fat was that people ate an even greater amount of carbohydrates"

Cohabitating While Muslim in Singapore

Administration of Muslim Law Act:

Cohabitation outside marriage

134.—(1) Any man who cohabits and lives with a woman, whether a Muslim or not, to whom he is not lawfully married, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

(2) Any woman who cohabits and lives with a man, whether a Muslim or not, to whom she is not lawfully married, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

(3) The court may, instead of sentencing a woman under subsection (2), order that she be detained in a place of safety established under any written law for such period not exceeding 12 months as it may determine.

Maybe AWARE should complain to CEDAW about the sexually discriminatory nature of this law, given that men and women may be subject to different treatments.

Links - 25th November 2017 (1)

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Is there a civil war in the West Wing? - "The military is not a microcosm of civilian society. They are not there to reflect America. They are there to kill people and blow stuff up. They are not there to be socially engineered. We want people who are transgender to live happy lives but we want unit cohesion and we want combat effectiveness. There are leading studies from the medical establishment for example that state that the transgender community has a forty percent suicide attempt rate. That is a tragedy. We need to help those people. We don't need to try and force them into the hierarchical military environment where they are under the utmost pressure to kill or be killed and that is why the president is doing this out of the warmth of his consideration for this population"
Trans activist logic: trans people are so discriminated against that they have major issues and cannot function in society. Yet you should put them everywhere on the assumption that they can function as well as anyone else

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Is there a mathematical equation for love? - "One example comes from a psychologist called John Gottman in the states who has spent well over a decade filming couples having arguments basically. And scoring everything that happens in those arguments so every time that somebody laughs they get positive score, every time that somebody you know throws a bit of scorn or is a bit nasty to their partner they get a negative score and with just those scores the team can predict whether or not a particular couple will get divorced within a certain period of time. However I think the more interesting is when you look at the mathematical equations of how those conversations, those arguments spiral into negativity or how some couples managed to dig themselves out of a hole, something comes out, something called the negativity threshold is a very potent factor. And this is essentially how annoying someone has to be before they really start an argument. And you might think, if you weren't thinking about rational stuff you might think that the couples who did best were the ones where their negative threshold was really high. Where it takes an awful lot but actually the maths shows that it is the opposite. The couples who have a very low negatively threshold are the ones that do well in the long run. So couples that are constantly repairing and resolving small issues in their relationships"

British Gas website blunder reveals electricity price hike - "Expectations of a price rise were fuelled by a website blunder by British Gas staff yesterday. An incomplete statement briefly appeared on the website at noon promising to explain why it has had to raise electricity prices. It was titled 'Why we've had to raise electricity prices - our first increase since November 2013.' However, the body of the text read only 'blah blah', suggesting the upload was an error."

No Bull: Lizards Flee When They See Red - ""A lot of times we're doing work at night in people's neighborhoods and we're using flashlights to look for geckos on the sides of people's houses. And so sometimes people will think we're criminals or burglars or something." The museum's solution was neon orange shirts with the museum logo. "And we call these shirts the ‘don't shoot me’ shirts." But the bright orange left Putman with a concern: that the color would spook the very animals they were trying to study."

Flying through a Corpse's Clues - ""Within five to 15 minutes of death, blowflies or other insects begin to colonize the body." Rabi Musah, an organic chemist at the University at Albany. She says different species turn up at different stages of decomposition. "Because of that, depending on what entomological evidence you find, you can learn something about when the person died in terms of the timing of the death.""

Buying time promotes happiness - "Despite rising incomes, people around the world are feeling increasingly pressed for time, undermining well-being. We show that the time famine of modern life can be reduced by using money to buy time. Surveys of large, diverse samples from four countries reveal that spending money on time-saving services is linked to greater life satisfaction. To establish causality, we show that working adults report greater happiness after spending money on a time-saving purchase than on a material purchase. This research reveals a previously unexamined route from wealth to well-being: spending money to buy free time"

This Caterpillar Whistles While It Irks - "The North American walnut sphinx caterpillar produces a whistle that sounds just like a songbird's alarm call--and the whistle seems to startle birds"

Humans recognize emotional arousal in vocalizations across all classes of terrestrial vertebrates: evidence for acoustic universals - "Writing over a century ago, Darwin hypothesized that vocal expression of emotion dates back to our earliest terrestrial ancestors. If this hypothesis is true, we should expect to find cross-species acoustic universals in emotional vocalizations. Studies suggest that acoustic attributes of aroused vocalizations are shared across many mammalian species, and that humans can use these attributes to infer emotional content. But do these acoustic attributes extend to non-mammalian vertebrates? In this study, we asked human participants to judge the emotional content of vocalizations of nine vertebrate species representing three different biological classes—Amphibia, Reptilia (non-aves and aves) and Mammalia. We found that humans are able to identify higher levels of arousal in vocalizations across all species. This result was consistent across different language groups (English, German and Mandarin native speakers), suggesting that this ability is biologically rooted in humans. Our findings indicate that humans use multiple acoustic parameters to infer relative arousal in vocalizations for each species, but mainly rely on fundamental frequency and spectral centre of gravity to identify higher arousal vocalizations across species. These results suggest that fundamental mechanisms of vocal emotional expression are shared among vertebrates and could represent a homologous signalling system."

You Are More Likely To Be Murdered Than Die From Your Nut Allergy - " The risk that a person will die due to a random accident is 100 times greater than the risk that a food-allergic person will die from a fatal allergic reaction... while the risk of death from a peanut allergy (4.25 per million per year) is much greater than the risk of death from food allergies overall (1.81 per million per year), the risk of both is still very small."

Sundar Pichai Should Resign as Google’s C.E.O. - NYTimes.com - "Google’s diversity officer, Danielle Brown. She didn’t wrestle with any of the evidence behind Damore’s memo. She just wrote his views “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.” This is ideology obliterating reason... Various reporters and critics apparently decided that Damore opposes all things Enlightened People believe and therefore they don’t have to afford him the basic standards of intellectual fairness. The mob that hounded Damore was like the mobs we’ve seen on a lot of college campuses. We all have our theories about why these moral crazes are suddenly so common. I’d say that radical uncertainty about morality, meaning and life in general is producing intense anxiety. Some people embrace moral absolutism in a desperate effort to find solid ground. They feel a rare and comforting sense of moral certainty when they are purging an evil person who has violated one of their sacred taboos. Which brings us to Pichai, the supposed grown-up in the room. He could have wrestled with the tension between population-level research and individual experience. He could have stood up for the free flow of information. Instead he joined the mob. He fired Damore and wrote, “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not O.K.” That is a blatantly dishonest characterization of the memo. Damore wrote nothing like that about his Google colleagues. Either Pichai is unprepared to understand the research (unlikely), is not capable of handling complex data flows (a bad trait in a C.E.O.) or was simply too afraid to stand up to a mob. Regardless which weakness applies, this episode suggests he should seek a nonleadership position. We are at a moment when mobs on the left and the right ignore evidence and destroy scapegoats. That’s when we need good leaders most."

Study: diet soda can really mess with your metabolism - "A diet drink consumed by itself and on an empty stomach may be far less harmful than one consumed with carbohydrates — with a sandwich, say, or a bag of chips. But what’s troubling is that in an effort to reduce added sugars, food companies are now designing all sorts of products that contain blends of sweeteners and carbohydrates that could be disrupting the body’s metabolic response"

Why I Was Fired by Google - WSJ - "When I first circulated the document about a month ago to our diversity groups and individuals at Google, there was no outcry or charge of misogyny. I engaged in reasoned discussion with some of my peers on these issues, but mostly I was ignored.Everything changed when the document went viral within the company and the wider tech world. Those most zealously committed to the diversity creed—that all differences in outcome are due to differential treatment and all people are inherently the same—could not let this public offense go unpunished. They sent angry emails to Google’s human-resources department and everyone up my management chain, demanding censorship, retaliation and atonement. Upper management tried to placate this surge of outrage by shaming me and misrepresenting my document, but they couldn’t really do otherwise: The mob would have set upon anyone who openly agreed with me or even tolerated my views... It saddens me to leave Google and to see the company silence open and honest discussion. If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future—unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users."

Tomato flavor is broken. Can it be fixed? - "Roughly half of the flavor compounds are significantly worse in modern varieties. They’re also much lower in sugar. We found this by running a complete chemical profile of every tomato variety and asking, what’s in the tomatoes people like and what’s in the ones people don’t like? Then we took it a step further and used software that goes through the entire tomato genome and checks every nucleotide to see if it’s correlated with a particular flavor compound. When we took all the modern varieties and grouped them together and compared their flavor compounds with the old varieties, what we found the modern varieties are way lower... For decades, tomato breeders have selected traits related to performance — yield, disease resistance, how well tomatoes ship, how well they last on a shelf. Those are the things they can measure and do measure, and they’ve done very well at it. But they never select for flavor. And if you don’t select for flavor, you are selecting against it... Tomato growers know consumers prefer sweeter tomatoes. They also know that sweeter means smaller fruit size. And they don’t want to grow smaller tomatoes, because that pushes their labor costs up."

Getting A Girlfriend : The Hacker's Way - "I decided to write a python script for it and its objective was simple, try all the possible combinations of 4 digits and print the phone number whose result has “Neha” in it."

How I, a woman in tech, benefited from sexism in Silicon Valley - "I’ve had a guy asking me to join his startup because it looks good to have a female co-founder. I’ve had the feeling that a company wants to hire me just because they want to diversify their office, like one day the all-dude team would look around and say: “What’s up with all this testostorone? We need a girl in here.” In school, I keep having guys asking me to join their projects because they thought I was cute. They didn’t say it at that time, but after we’d spent some time together they asked me out. Sexism isn’t making it harder for women to enter tech. From my personal experiences, sexism makes it even easier for women to enter tech... We need to be careful when encouraging affirmative action in tech to ensure it doesn’t reinforce the philosophy of treating women differently. Lowering your hiring standards for women can give people like me the lingering self doubt that maybe I wasn’t good enough. Worse, it gives many men reasons to believe that their female colleagues aren’t as good as them, and act accordingly."

The truth about Japanese tempura - "The Portuguese remained in Japan until 1639, when they were banished because the ruling shogun Iemitsu believed Christianity was a threat to Japanese society. As their ships sailed away for the final time, the Portuguese left an indelible mark on the island: a battered and fried green bean recipe called piexinhos da horta. Today, in Japan, it’s called tempura and has been a staple of the country’s cuisine ever since... Avillez said his one complaint about the dish, in general, has always been that the beans are often fried in the morning and so they go cold and limp by the time they get to the table later that day. He remedies this by not only cooking them on demand, but by adding a starch called nutrios that keeps them crispy. After the bean is blanched, it gets rolled in the batter of wheat flour, egg, milk, and nutrios and then flash fried."

Selangor primary school criticised for 'Muslim' and 'non-Muslim' cups - "Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria said the practice was discriminatory and could lead to hatred of Islam, according to Free Malaysia Today. "This should not have happened. We should know the ruling. Don't be too rigid that others would begin despising us. Islam pays importance to human relations," he was quotedas saying. He said there was no basis to separate utensils even if Islam prohibits its followers from consuming certain kinds of food. "Even if one consumes pork, that does not mean his lips are unclean."
A Muslim apparently told someone I knew that Halal food becomes non-Halal when porky hands touch it

I Travel The World To Photograph Girls In Dresses Against Backgrounds Of The Most Beautiful Places

Lee's Betrayal of PAP and Singapore : Devan Nair - "As an ex-detainee myself, who had undergone in two separate spells a total of five years of political imprisonment in the fifties under the British colonial regime as an anticolonial freedom fighter, I recalled that I was never treated in the shockingly dehumanizing manner in which Francis was by the professedly democratic government of independent Singapore... What we launched as the independent republic of Singapore succeeded, as the world knows, all too well, only to discover that in the eyes of Lee Kuan Yew, means had become ends in themselves. First principles were stood on their heads. Economic growth and social progress did not serve human beings. On the contrary, the primary function of citizens was to fuel economic growth - a weird reversal of values. The reign of Moloch had begun. Not an unfamiliar phenomenon to those who browse in the pages of history. My old-guard colleagues and I might have been wiser men and women if we had read our history with greater comprehension than we do now. Alas, one cannot alter the past... I confess that, with every passing year, I have come to fear that the point of no return has already reached and passed. For Singapore's grey eminence lords it over the republic from the top of a tower of undeniable previous achievement. He had been the superb captain of a superb team which had led a highly responsive and intelligent population out of a savage and sterile political wilderness into outstanding success and internationally recognized nationhood. Today every member of that superb team has been eased out of power and influence in the name of political self-renewal, while Lee himself has ensured that he presides, as Secretary-General of the ruling party, not as he once did, over equals who had elected him, but over a government cabinet and a judiciary made up entirely of his appointees or nominees. In relation to old guard leaders, Lee had been no more than primus inter pares. He had perforce to deal with equals, and they were fully capable of speaking their minds. Once, in the early days of the PAP, in sheer exasperation, I myself had responded to him with a four-letter word and thought no more about it... Keep your head down and you could enjoy one of the highest living standards in Asia. Raise it and you could lose a job, a home, and be harassed by the Internal Security Department, or by both, as happened to Francis Seow... Lee forgets that in the colonial past, his British predecessors were not knocked off by free reporting on Singapore by the foreign media, even though they had to deal with an obstreperous population and its equally restive politicians who included, for instance, rambunctious types like Lee Kuan Yew and Devan Nair. In particular, he forgets that his own international reputation as a staunch anticolonial freedom fighter owed a great deal to the free and open manner in which the foreign media covered him and his party's activities."

Who Were the Witches? – Patriarchal Terror and the Creation of Capitalism - "The book argues that these gruesome executions not only punished “witches” but graphically demonstrated the repercussions for any kind of disobedience to the clergy or nobility. In particular, the witch burnings were meant to terrify women into accepting “a new patriarchal order where women’s bodies, their labor, their sexual and reproductive powers were placed under the control of the state and transformed into economic resources”"

Friday, November 24, 2017

Links - 24th November 2017 (3)

Teachers have the right to sleep with their students, Alabama judge rules - "An Alabama law barring teachers from having sex with their students was ruled unconstitutional Thursday by a state judge who also dismissed charges against two instructors who were facing 20 years behind bars for sleeping with students"

How common 'cat parasite' gets into human brain and influences human behavior - "human dendritic cells were infected with toxoplasma. After infection, the cells, which are a key component of the immune defence, started secreting the signal substance GABA. In another experiment on live mice, the team was able to trace the movement of infected dendritic cells in the body after introducing the parasite into the brain, from where it spread and continued to affect the GABA system. GABA is a signal substance that, amongst other effects, inhibits the sensation of fear and anxiety. Disturbances of the GABA system are seen in people with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar diseases, anxiety syndrome and other mental diseases"
Possible mechanism of toxoplasmosis in humans

'What if Paris attacker was treated like those who attack Jews?' - "CRIF on Wednesday posted on Facebook a tongue-in-cheek statement, questioning whether authorities would place under psychiatric evaluation a suspect who fled after ramming six police officers with his car in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret... It was a provocative reference to the handling by authorities and the media of the slaying of a Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi, in April by a Muslim man who was sent to observation as per his insanity plea even though he has no record of mental illness. He shouted about Allah while killing Halimi, his neighbor, whose daughter he allegedly once called a “dirty Jewess.”"

Muslim Immigrants Draining European Social Benefits* - "An estimated 40% of Muslim youth in France and 50% in Germany are unemployed but far from destitute. Rather, they receive a wide range of social benefits. For example, an estimated 40% of welfare outlays in Denmark go to the 5% of the population that is Muslim. According to Otto Schily, former German interior minister, speaking of immigrants in general: “Seventy percent of the newcomers [since 2002] land on welfare the day of their arrival.” In Sweden, perhaps the most acute case, immigrants are estimated at 1.5 million out of 10 million people; immigration is estimated to cost almost $14 billion per year. These high levels of welfare are accompanied by high levels of unemployment. Nor has this situation improved; rather, it is deteriorating. According to analyst Christopher Caldwell: “In the early 1970s, 2 million of the 3 million foreigners in Germany were in the labor force; by the turn of this century, 2 million of 7.5 million were.”"

What's wrong with monorails - "A railroad network is practical when it allows to be networked, that is, when severail rail lines are combined. Combining severail rail lines means that there will be several tracks which will be interconnected at junctions. Junctions need a way of having vehicles go from one track to the other; this is usually done through switches. It is plainly obvious that the network flexibility will be directly proportional to the number of switches. In return, the complexity of individual switches will directly influence the number of switches that can be installed, and thus, the very efficiency of the rail network. The main problem with monorails is precisely the complexity of their switches"

School bans senior yearbook quotes that ‘reference religion, politics or … similar controversial matters’ - "Senior Kate Geib told WYFF she submitted Psalm 18:2 for her yearbook quote, but was told via text message from the school’s yearbook staff on Tuesday that she’d have to change it. “’The Lord is my rock’ – and that’s something that’s rang true throughout my life,” she said, adding that she didn’t think the line was offensive."
People on reddit were getting very upset about 2 gay students' yearbook quotes being removed because they were potentially offensive

I smiled at a woman. This means I'm a sexist - "Apparently, men who displayed “benevolent sexism” while playing a trivia game were considered more approachable, warmer, friendlier and more likely to smile. So, boiled down, this study concluded thus: the nice guys are actually the most sexist guys. The researchers went on to warn that this “benevolent sexism” was harder to spot than the hostile version... chivalry is dead – and modern feminism is directly to blame... This is petrol for a Men’s Rights Activist’s bonfire. Why go there, unless the goal is to deliberately enflame men – whom you can then dismiss as hostile and sexist. Round and round we go"

The ideological opposition to biological truth - "These claims are based not on biological data, but on ideological fears of the Left: if we admit of such differences, it could foster racism and sexism. Thus. any group differences we do observe, whether they reside in psychology, physiology, or morphology, are to be explained on first principle as resulting from culture rather than genes... In humans, as in many other species in which males compete for females, the sex ratio at birth favors males. They then die off at a higher rate due to higher risk-taking and exploratory behavior, until at reproductive age (about 25), the sex ratio is equal. Then, as males continue to die off, the sex ratio reverses, becoming female-biased at greater ages. This is exactly what evolutionary theory predicts: if there are biological differences in mortality rates, then evolution will adjust the sex ratio so it’s equal at the time of reproduction."

Layla in Real Life: 10 Songs Written About Pattie Boyd - "Harrison and Boyd married two years later, but the beloved Beatle wasn't the only iconic rock star who was vying for Boyd's attention, and putting pen to paper to craft songs about her. Guitar deity Eric Clapton, one of Harrison's best friends, also fell madly in love with Boyd, and wrote much of Derek and the Dominos' 1970 album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, about Boyd and his forbidden love."

Study discovers forcing a smile at work is bad - "An NUS Business School study found that those who engage in ‘surface acting’ such as forcing a smile in front of customers had less self-control and tend to be more abusive towards their staff."

Contra Sadedin & Varinsky: the Google memo is still right, again - "contrary to what the article says, the article does not deny (nor confirms, fair)a genetic origin for the personality differences that the paper finds. But what is more damning, the paper does say that
the general pattern of gender differences is similar across cultures, there is also variation across cultures, especially in the magnitude of gender differences.
Also, if you cite Hyde (2004), don’t forget Hyde (2014)... The second paragraph is facepalm-inducing. The paragraph she quotes is part of the introduction, where theories are presented. It is not a conclusion. In the exact same section it also presents the other view... Isn’t this enough for you? The biological hypothesis predicts a pattern. The sociocultural hypothesis predicts another pattern. The observed pattern is the first one. How on Earth does the sociocultural hypothesis explains that the differences survive turning the dials of sexism from the minimum to the maximum? Only if you consider that, say Sweden and India are equally regressive in terms of how they view and treat women you could still maintain that it is culture. To people who think that, I just say sapienti sat"

Psychological safety - Wikipedia - "Psychological safety is a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking. It can be defined as "being able to show and employ one's self without fear of negative consequences of self-image, status or career" (Kahn 1990, p. 708). In psychologically safe teams, team members feel accepted and respected. It is also the most studied enabling condition in group dynamics and team learning research."
When you fire people who disagree like Google does...

History of the Baguette: Legends, Laws, and Lengthy Loaves - "In 1793, the Convention (the post-Revolution government) made a law stating:
“Richness and poverty must both disappear from the government of equality.
It will no longer make a bread of wheat for the rich and a bread of bran for the
poor. All bakers will be held, under the penalty of imprisonment, to make only
one type of bread: The Bread of Equality.”
Some might propose that since the baguette is enjoyed by rich and poor alike, it could have been this Bread of Equality. It’s a charming theory and a very French idea of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, but could this law truly have created the forerunner of our beloved baguette?... Those long breads that made such an impression on nineteenth century tourists must have been the forerunner of today’s more manageably sized baguette. The modern, shorter version seems to have come into being in the 1920s, when a law was passed prohibiting bakers from working between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. The current baguette was probably developed because its thin form allowed it to cook faster"

Pierre Brassau: The Chimp Who Fooled Art Critics - "Unless you’re well-versed in art history, chances are it’s hard for you to tell a good abstract painting from a bad one. In fact, no one really expects you to. On the other hand, if you were, say, a fancy art critic, you shouldn’t get easily fooled by amateur works posing as greats, especially if said works were made by a chimpanzee, right? Well, that’s exactly that’s exactly what happened back in Sweden in 1964. After World War II, the art world took a turn for the abstract, a movement that featured artists like Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. To the lay person, these paintings were strange and nonsensical, but art critics were eating them up. Noticing this strange trend, Swedish journalist Åke “Dacke” Axelsson decided to test these critics by seeing if they could tell the difference between the work of a real abstract artist and a chimpanzee. To do so, Axelsson hit up the local zoo to find an artist. He landed on Peter, a four-year-old chimpanzee...
To his surprise, the critics adored Peter’s paintings. In fact, one even went on to say:
Brassau paints with powerful strokes, but also with clear determination. His brush strokes twist with furious fastidiousness. Pierre is an artist who performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer.
Thinking that his hoax had worked, Axelsson revealed that Pierre Brassau, the upcoming post-modern artist, was actually Peter the chimpanzee from the Boras Zoo. Instead of reacting in anger, the critics were even more enthralled with the works, which even led to one of Peter’s paintings getting sold to a collector."

7 Things You Need To Know About The Charlottesville Violence And White Supremacist Terror Attack - "The Alt-Right Has Been Tut-Tutted By President Trump And His Advisors For Over A Year. Yesterday Was Nothing New. President Trump’s initial response to the attack in Charlottesville made no mention of the alt-right or white supremacy or even of racism. He simply stated, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America”...
Antifa was violent in Charlottesville. That’s not according to me; that’s according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times... Antifa has trafficked in hate and violence for over a year now — we all remember how they’ve been assaulting people asserting their free speech rights in Berkeley, and how they have been engaged in street fights with alt-righters in places like Sacramento... Charlottesville, Sacramento, Berkeley — we’re watching a microcosmic re-enactment of Weimar Republic brownshirt-vs.-reds violence in real-time, complete with the same flags being flown"

VIDEO: Protesters Attacked Charlottesville Driver's Car With Baseball Bat - "Citizen researchers have slowed the video down and spotted an African American individual hitting the car with what appears to be a baseball bat before the suspect hit the crowd with his vehicle. One such video posted to Streamable shows the driver slowing down, then accelerating quickly after his rear bumper is struck with the baseball bat... it was revealed by a journalist who spoke to numerous officers at a police station in Charlottesville, Virginia that numerous officers believed the act was not malicious, and was done out of fear... To recap: The protesters were standing in the middle of the street, blocking traffic. The car was attacked with a blunt object resembling a baseball bat by a protester. The vehicle was not speeding until a the protester attacked and the mob of people closed in on the driver."

Libs Shun NYT Writer For Daring To Report On Antifa Violence In Virginia - "New York Times White House Correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg has been denounced by several liberals online for daring to report on the violence being committed by Antifa members at the chaotic ‘Unite The Right’ rally... Meanwhile at CNN, the network’s Van Jones dismissed Antifa’s violence altogether, insisting that because the group didn’t kill anyone yesterday, their actions aren’t worth condemnation."

Former KKK leader David Duke strikes out at Trump for condemning a white nationalist rally: ‘It was White Americans who put you in the presidency’
This won't stop liberals from condemning Trump as a KKK supporter

What Singapore is saying by expelling China hand Huang Jing - "It marked the first time in more than two decades that Singapore had publicly booted out an alleged functionary of a foreign power for interference in its domestic affairs... career diplomat Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School, when he wrote an article urging Singapore to “exercise discretion” and “be very restrained in commenting on matters involving great powers”. He mentioned in particular the China-Philippines maritime dispute, saying that it “would have been wiser to be more circumspect”. A ton of bricks fell on Mahbubani. His highly influential former colleague Bilahari Kausikan called his argument “muddled, mendacious and indeed dangerous”. The powerful Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said it was “questionable, intellectually” and ran contrary to the thinking of the late Lee Kuan Yew."

Chelsea Handler Warns U.S. Generals: Remove Trump Or Posterity Will Hate You - "One wonders exactly what the prophetic Handler envisions when she writes that the generals should remove Trump. Does she mean forcibly remove him? Does she mean executing some non-Constitutional option by which they remove him without sending in the armed services?"

The cultural revolution on Western campuses - "But after living in China for six years, and observing from a distance the illiberal tendencies present on many university campuses in the West, some historical parallels do illuminate the contemporary situation. That is to say, it is not mere rhetorical bluster to suggest that the student-led witch-hunts against academics who criticise their politics, the student-dictated curriculum changes, the prevalence of trigger warnings and so on, carry an echo of events in 20th-century China... we see Yale faculty member Nicholas Christakis and his wife having to endure a verbal haranguing by students and then being forced to resign, all because they questioned the no-offence culture on campus. In another strange parallel to the Cultural Revolution, Ji, who was brutalised and beaten for many years, continued to pay his Communist Party dues throughout... Nadine Strossen, author, law professor and former president of the American Civil Liberties Union, warns that ‘free speech is being limited by making speech unsafe to listen to’."

How political correctness rules in America’s student 'safe spaces’ - " Jeannie Suk, a professor at Harvard Law School, which numbers President Barack Obama among its many notable alumni, cited an example where a student had asked a colleague “not to use the word 'violate’ – as in 'does this conduct violate the law’ – because the term might trigger distress”... “The language of trauma, which started as a term to describe extreme events, started to be used much more loosely,” Prof Suk said. “So trauma is now colloquially used to mean lots of different things including non-extreme, even everyday events.”... Lecturers unhappy with this state of affairs blame the US department of education for allowing student angst to morph into a tyranny that has many professors running scared... A professor of English and film studies at San Bernardino Valley College in California was punished for requiring his class to write essays defining pornography, according to Ms Strossen. This summer, Louisiana State University sacked a professor of early childhood education because she swore and used humour about sex when she was teaching about sexuality, often to capture her students’ attention. The policies caused such anger that 28 Harvard Law School professors signed a petition criticising the department of education’s measures as unfair to professors... That in turn spawned a backlash from some students, who accused the teachers of trying to halt progress."

Universities warned over 'snowflake' student demands - "Universities are increasingly nervous about doing anything that will create overt dissatisfaction among students because they are being told that student satisfaction is key"

What do you do with a libertarian?

A: If you're one of those Singaporeans who criticises the PAP for not providing social welfare benefits but at the same time criticise the recently suggested higher tax rates, you most definitely fit into the definition of a hypocrite. That is unless of course you subscribe to an economic theory of how wealth can be created out of thin air - in that case, please share.

Students for Liberty - Singapore - Posts

Dislike tax increases? Then learn about this thing called “libertarianism”

B: Many libertarians nowadays appear to be former liberals that are fed up with the current arc of overbearing progressivism, but haven’t shed idealistic notions about human nature yet.

C: "Former liberals" could have just read economics.

A: You sound like you have no idea what you are talking about. The whole idea of free markets (and libertarianism in general) is built on the basis that human nature IS flawed, that's why we need trial & error discovery processes through markets, instead of holding the truly idealistic notion that benevolent government politicians work in bureaucracy and interest group-free environments of politics. Read a classical liberal book, please.

B: Classical liberals aren’t really what liberals are when we talk about them nowadays, are they?

Me: Those who understand economics won't be libertarians

Because they'll know about things like risk pooling, positive externalities from education, hyperbolic discounting, the power of compound interest, public goods and the tragedy of the Commons etc

B: Maybe they focus more on the error side of trail and error.

C: Trail and error happens in the market place, not in government policies if you must know.

A: ?? It's precisely because libertarians know about the tragedy of the commons that allows them to have such a strong stance on property rights. Also, positive externalities from education? You mean positive POLITICAL externalities from education, my friend. Why do you suppose most of our citizens grow up believing in the great deeds of our leader? ;)

Me: The market place doesn't have the data to review past trials

Not sure why only libertarians believe in property rights. I believe pretty much everyone believes in property rights. There are very few communists nowadays

D: Alamak, knowledge does not exist in a single consolidated entity, Gabriel. You think governments have the data to review all past trials meh? Government is not more omniscient than you and me la bro. I strongly suggest you to read I, Pencil by Leonard Read:

Read, I, Pencil | Library of Economics and Liberty

And hor, if people believe in property rights, then they will be like the American Founding Fathers what - that time Britain want to tax them they already revolt liao. People nowadays don't even know what "property rights" really mean, how to say that they "believe in it"? Like a bit weird right

Me: Positive externalities

Positive externalities from education is quite an established view in economics

Not sure what the pencil supply chain has to do with data collection and consolidation

No one ever said government was omniscient but most people know governments have more data than virtually all private entities

Big Data and Analytics in Government

And the American revolution is???

A: "Those who understand economics won't be libertarians
Because they'll know about things like risk pooling, positive externalities from education, hyperbolic discounting, the power of compound interest, public goods and the tragedy of the Commons etc"

Almost every single concept you mentioned stems from the neoclassical school of economics, which is the favourite target dummy by economists (both Left and Right) from across the discipline. You throw terms like Tragedy of the commons around but I bet dollars to doughnuts you haven't read a single word of Ostromnian research on common resource pool governance where Hardin's concept has been proven both theoretically and empirically false. Nope, those who have little to no background in economics tend to be the most vociferous critics of markets.

Me: You don't have to think markets are a bad idea to think libertarianism is naive

You might as well say only fascists are against communism

Not sure what tossing around the big words is supposed to mean

If you have a point please make it instead of trying to confuse people

A: Yep you've made my point. The fact that you consider these "big words" just speaks volumes about your ignorance on economics. You're like the uni student that sits through 1 econs class then carries those 101 beliefs with them through their whole life. It's just amusing how you're so steadfast in your anti-libertarian views. And here I thought you New Atheists love to preach on and on about "rationality"

Me: Actually I have a first class honours degree in economics

Which is more than I suspect most of you can say about yourselves

A: That doesn't mean anything. Most mainstream econ degrees are applied quantitative mathematics in the positivist vein. They neglect theory, and they neglect the critques of the foundations that this school of economics is built on. So of course if you're holed up in your neoclassical assumptions, then Akerlof and Stiglitz's market failure theories is your biblical truth. If you're educated in economics, then formulate an argument on why free markets are "naive", stop throwing broad sweeping statements around.

Me: Here we go

The Tragedy of the Commons: How Elinor Ostrom Solved One of Life's Greatest Dilemmas - Evonomics

"groups are capable of avoiding the tragedy of the commons without requiring top-down regulation, at least if certain conditions are met (Ostrom 1990, 2010). She summarized the conditions in the form of eight core design principles: 1) Clearly defined boundaries; 2) Proportional equivalence between benefits and costs; 3) Collective choice arrangements; 4) Monitoring; 5) Graduated sanctions; 6) Fast and fair conflict resolution; 7) Local autonomy; 😎 Appropriate relations with other tiers of rule-making authority (polycentric governance)."

This is very different from "Hardin's concept has been proven both theoretically and empirically false"

So much so that you are grossly misrepresenting Ostrom's research

Shame on you

A: Did you even understand the article? The author is saying that Ostrom's research DISPROVES the commonly-held notion that the commons will automatically lead to a tragedy, given that certain conditions are present. This is exactly what in line with what I said, that Hardin's concept is false. Goodness gracious.

And in case you haven't realised, the findings of the scholars working in this tradition actually imply an anti-statist position.

E: Don't call the burn unit. Call the farm. We're gonna need a whole pig to replace the skin on this one.

F: Yea Gabriel was my NUS batch mate. I can attest to his expertise in economics.

I would like to suggest that people don't try to claim expertise and dress down others here unless you possess real expertise. There are a lot of real experts here who don't act all-knowing.

B: Libertarianism is rational?

The proponents often seen to be somewhat religious in their belief of it.

A: "unless you possess real expertise". Nice argument from authority. Fallacies 101. I would like to suggest you don't try to judge others by their accolades and certificates but to actually address their arguments (which in that case would require you to actually possess some knowledge of the argument at hand).

E: eh fist you say Gab must not have an Econs background. Then when he explains he has, you say it is irrelevant. Which is it?

Me: You're behaving like a creationist who finds something Darwin said that was wrong and proclaims that this means evolution is a scam

While Hardin was pessimistic about the possibility of the Commons not being ruined without intervention, the concept has been used by many since Hardin, and given that 8 conditions must apply for the Commons to be self-regulating it is hardly proof that the tragedy of the Commons has been proven empirically false

Furthermore Hardin does not say government is the only solution:

"Education can counteract the natural tendency to do the wrong thing, but the inexorable succession of generations requires that the basis for this knowledge be constantly refreshed."

And might I note that it's hilarious how you first go on about how economics proves you are right, then mock me for not knowing economics, and end up by proclaiming that mainstream economics is rubbish (ironically econs 101 and most libertarian arguments rely on neoclassical assumptions)

Make up your mind, won't you?

G: I'm not an economist... But i would love to suggest that someone here not keep deflecting and changing the argument.

But then again, this is definitely entertaining like the last time the liberty boys posted here

B: That's why it's a niche market, possibly for people who want to have some kind of modern religion to feel more advanced than others.

Me: Actually even for libertarians these people are fringe. For example most libertarians believe the government needs to provide public goods like roads (D: "are you saying that without the government, these things won’t exist? Private parks and roads do exist, you know.")

As Slate notes (What Is Austrian Economics? And Why Is Ron Paul Keep Obsessed With It?),

"“Austrians” in Paul’s sense refers to something narrower, specifically the thought of Ludwig Von Mises and his student Murray Rothbard. It is a form of capitalism that is even more libertarian and anarchic than that espoused by many libertarians. Rothbard‘s followers, most prominently longtime Paul associate and founder of the Mises Institute Lew Rockwell, have been waging a decades-long war against the Koch brothers and the more mainstream form of libertarianism the Kochs represent."

(the article also mentions several of Austrian Economics's failures in explaining several economic phenomena)

Although these jokers name drop the Nobel Prize Winner Friedrich Hayek, I will add that even Hayek disavowed some libertarian concepts (for example he accepted government spending on certain causes as an articulation of society's ideals)

Wikipedia gives a good summary:

Austrian School - Wikipedia

"After the 1940s, Austrian economics can be divided into two schools of economic thought, and the school "split" to some degree in the late 20th century. One camp of Austrians, exemplified by Mises, regards neoclassical methodology to be irredeemably flawed; the other camp, exemplified by Friedrich Hayek, accepts a large part of neoclassical methodology and is more accepting of government intervention in the economy"

So these people are even misrepresenting the Austrian School of economics

B: The whole right to personal nuclear weapons thing is somewhat of a giveaway for being fringe.

Keywords: economics useful nobel, mainstream economics

Links - 24th November 2017 (2)

Police NSF who abused power to rape teen jailed 18 years - "He would sneak up on couples getting intimate at the stairwells of Housing and Development Board blocks, film them, and then abuse his authority as a full-time Police National Serviceman to extort from them. On one such instance in 2014, Muhammad Shazwan Sapuwan, 23, got sexually aroused and raped a 16-year-old girl in front of her boyfriend... he had previously targeted two other couples using the same modus operandi. According to court documents, a total of S$1,960 was extorted from multiple victims."

What’s right and wrong about AWARE today? - "Jolene Tan, a senior manager of AWARE, was thought to have behaved disruptively during a symposium organized by the Singapore Planned Parenthood Association (SPPA) on the 25th April 2014. Dr Sundardas, president of SPPA, in an interview with Yahoo! Singapore (https://sg.news.yahoo.com/controversy-erupts-over-parenthood-symposium-in-singapore-035500709.html), described that the speaker Wong had initially told her (Jolene) to stop interrupting him while he was talking. Among Jolene’s live tweets that decried the content shared at the symposium, she claimed that when she tried to speak up, ask questions or express disapproval, she was asked to keep quiet or leave, and was called “confrontational”. According to Yahoo! Singapore, Jolene was said to have clapped her hands “in response to parts of what he said that she agreed with.” It does sound fair to clap if you agree with something - so how did she disrupt the symposium? Jolene clapped loudly at points where no one did, and deliberately so. Her sudden unexpected claps disrupted the speaker each time, who asked her to stop, but she persisted. This led to people sitting around her to have no choice but to express to her in no uncertain terms that she was disrupting them. A member from the organising committee also had to speak to her about her mannerism.
Subsequently, at the Q&A, Jolene asked the first question. After making her lengthy remarks, to which the speaker said he will address it with her personally, Jolene continued to raise her hands when it was others’ turn to speak. When the mike was passed to them, Jolene remarked rather insensitively about why the mike was not given to her but to the other person instead. Her tone throughout can be reasonably interpreted as being rude and aggressive, her behaviour unruly. Her actions resulted in the speaker stopping short his Q&A as it was becoming too disruptive. After the breakout workshops, the symposium returned to the main hall, where Jolene again, stood out to attack the speaker’s credentials, and make unfair accusations at the organizers – statements which the speaker and organizers rebutted"

Singapore Planned Parenthood Association responds to parenthood talk controversy - "the SPPA had in fact wanted to bring together diverse views. "That goes without saying," he said. "If our speakers had identical views to us, why would we need to bring them in? (By doing this) we open it up for debate, and have different people commenting... if we really didn't allow diversity, we wouldn't allow people who disagreed with us to attend the programme, make comments, ask questions or make comments about this in public. We are encouraging public opinion.
Dr Sundardas also stressed that the symposium, called "Towards a Values-Centred Society", was about a person's core values, a facet of the sexuality debate that frequently gets left out in the deluge of information about contraceptives, abortion and other means of planned parenthood. The talk had attracted some 300 participants from numerous secular organisations. These included the Singapore Kindness Movement, the Parkinson's Society Singapore and a host of other smaller companies and groups. "When we do our sex education programmes we talk about abortions, contraceptives, making choices," he said. "What the speakers wanted to stress is that if you just provide information without core values, there is no way young people will know how to put things in perspective.""

The majority of sex workers enjoy their job - why should we find that surprising? - "when you ask sex workers about their job satisfaction and working conditions – as a study led by Leeds University just has – the majority of them are happy. When asked to describe their work, respondents typically selected positive or neutral words. 91 per cent of sex workers described their work as ‘flexible’, 66 per cent described it as ‘fun’ and over half find their job ‘rewarding’."

What's so wrong with dressing up your desk? - "When John Crowley started a new job at a call centre six years ago, he was allowed to put whatever he wanted on his desk. By the time he left, he couldn’t even bring his own mug... Not surprisingly, as these workplace rules became stricter, Crowley’s job satisfaction levels dropped... employees who put at least one picture or a plant in their cubicle are 15% more productive than those who don’t. Employees who can personalise their own space however they want are up to 25% more productive than those who must work in a more sterile space... Having our own stuff in our workspace makes us work harder because it lends a sense of identity to a place — work — in which we could otherwise feel like cogs in a machine. It’s also more psychologically engaging when we have our personal items around us, says Knight. “When we can enrich our space we’re happier,” he says. “And we work better when we’re happier.”... there’s no proof that Six Sigma, and similar management theories, work, says Knight, who started studying personalisation and productivity because he wanted to better understand the benefits of these theories. He soon found there weren’t any. “In every case, it’s the worst space you can put people into,” he says. “It doesn’t work and it’s entirely toxic.”

In Singapore, the Gender Gap Begins in School - "Section 88 of the Education (Schools) Regulations forbids female students from receiving any kind of corporal punishment... Of all the fights I had been in and witnessed, not once did I ever see a girl punished. Now I’m not saying any of them should have been caned. But really, not even a rudimentary telling off?... If male students grow up to become men who believe that women can or cannot do certain things, it’s probably because they’ve witnessed preferential treatment since they were kids."

Professional dominatrix available for hire in Singapore - "Mistress Anja, as she prefers to be called, assures you that she can pack a wallop in her "dungeon" (a room where discipline and bondage activities take place) when she assumes the role of a professional dominatrix or pro-domme... Mistress Anja, whose vital statistics are 36-24-35, has been at this job for four years. Money was the initial draw, admits the 21-year-old who has a degree in fine arts from a local arts school... One of her clients, who is 11 years older than her, went on to become her boyfriend. The couple plan to marry next year... "One expatriate engages my service every alternate day," she claims... Her godmother, a Dutch woman, is a fetish model in Holland. Mistress Anja says: "She knows what I do and has been very supportive"... those who enjoy kinky sex are more extrovert, more open to new experiences and less neurotic. Dr Andreas Wismeijer, a psychologist from Tilburg University in Holland, found that BDSM - bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism - practitioners "either did not differ from the general population and if they differed, they always differed in the more favourable direction"... about 20 per cent of the pro-dommes' clients are management executives and are in high-powered roles"

42 per cent of Singaporeans want to migrate: Survey - "This is despite Singaporeans rating safety (80 per cent), standard of education (74 per cent) and economy (68 per cent) as good or excellent."

Trolls like those involved in Gamergate are even more hostile when they're using their real names on social media networks like Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) - "for some trolls, online aggression is rewarded in their social networks, and is often a deliberate public signal. People are actually trying to enforce social norms against a perceived violation by a public figure or group. That means individuals are rewarded and perceived as more credible in their group once they are identified, argues Jurgen Pfeffer, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon.”In such structures it is very likely that, if somebody says something aggressive, the majority of the group says ‘Yeah,'” he explained by email."
This means the virtue signalling effect outweighs the anonymity effect

Singapore NMP Kuik Shiao Yin: There Is A Ridiculous Number Of F&B Entrepreneurs In Singapore - "Kiasu culture is also what creates a subculture of grantrepreneurs—people who call themselves entrepreneurs but are really just grant-chasers—who seize upon any kind of public monies, like the PIC grant, to use on everything but what the grant was meant to accomplish... Yesterday’s bubble tea shop is today’s hipster coffee joint. We have a ridiculous number of entrepreneurs in F&B and way too little in industries like marine and construction which have far more opportunity, profit and the need for new blood willing to go where nobody else wants or dares to go"

Hans Sloane and the British Museum | Podcast | History Extra - "Sloane is extraordinary because as we know he is a private individual who ends up turning his collection into the nation's museum. This really evolved over time... where did this idea come from? And there certainly had been various kinds of precedents in Europe and other places in England of various kinds of collection with some public aspect but never a collection that was formally deemed to belong to the people and the nation"

Voices of the Cold War | Podcast | History Extra - "On the day of the coup when General Pinochet the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff turned with his fellow generals on the President... he was later among those who are rounded up and arrested and put in football stadium in Santiago and another little detail. He says among the ways they were tortured was not just being burnt with cigarettes, we've heard about that, we can imagine that, that's what sort of thing you imagine when people talk about torturing. But another thing that happened to him was that they shaved off his beard and then they made him eat it. No I'd never heard that before"

The lost objects of South Asia | Podcast | History Extra - "[On partition] There were animals that had to be apportioned to each country. So for instance the forest department had an elephant in what is now West Bengal in India that was allocated to East Pakistan but the driver of the elephant chose to remain in India so that became, that causes huge bureaucratic saga about how this elephant be moved and by whom... This necklace that was four thousand five hundred years old. It was an object from what's known as the Indus Valley civilization... this necklace got caught up in very much and the reason we focus on it, in this sort of tug of war over who - was it India or Pakistan that could claim this civilization as their patrimony... this necklace would give them a sense of deep rootedness in the past and this is the kind of contortions that all nations states make... to be fair they decided to just hack the necklace apart and give about forty percent of it to Pakistan"

Living through Partition | Podcast | History Extra - "[On India's partition] Sometimes when people left they didn't take much with them. Sometimes they barely took anything because they literally thought they would cross the border for a couple of weeks. You know the craziness following Independence would die down and then they could go back and it didn't dawn on them until some time later that they were never coming back and a lot of people have never been back in seventy years... The kind of totemic image of Partition are the trains. And trains was one way that you could cross the border. But it was perilous and these trains could be ambushed on both sides of the border and sometimes these trains would enter the stations of you know each side and there would be no one alive. The only person alive would be the train driver who they would spare so they would take the train into the station. And we spoke to a number of people who, who saw these trains full of corpses but you had no option. You know if you stayed you could be attacked by the other religious group...
Part of the reason that people haven't talked about Partition in seventy years is because it's not clear cut. It's not like the Holocaust for example where there are very, you know it's very clear who were on the good and bad side. With Partition everybody was culpable"

The Koh-i-Noor | Podcast | History Extra - "Not just in India but it turns out there are current claims on the diamond from Pakistan, from Bangladesh, from Iran, from Afghanistan and most surprising of all the Taliban"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Louis Pasteur - "'He had to study animal diseases because he was not a doctor. He's not qualified in medicine and if he had attempted to study human diseases in humans the French medical profession would have had it in for him in a big way... in fact when he comes to administer vaccines he never administers it himself. It's always a medical qualified colleague who does it... experimentation is allowable on animals, it is criminal on man...
[On vaccination] This was really big news in Paris, people flocked from all over the world. People even in India got on a boat and traveled to travel to Paris to take the cure"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Purgatory - "The eastern churches did have a tradition of literature that talked about various things that happened in the afterlife that you go get the idea of toll houses. So people are called to account for a series of individual sins as they go through these sort of toll gates where the demons can interrogate them about their different sins. And this sort of looks purificatory and it sort of looks a bit like purgatory. But it's about accounting for sins and not necessarily kind of cleansing them in the same way...
These are saved souls but they're imperfect souls and so in the major part of Purgatory up the mountain Dante divides the mountain into seven terraces each of which corresponds to a particular vice... [On the Seven Deadly Sins] Dante would think of these as vices which are habits to be corrected rather than sins to be punished and that's a really important distinction to what happens in hell... the souls themselves willingly embrace them... the souls of the envious have their eyes sewn up... lust is a purifying fire and Dante interestingly fills the terrace of lust with near contemporary poets...
The people who are commenting on him were at pains to stress the thing which Dante was very keen on, they contradict the thing that Dante is very keen on, which is they stressed that he didn't mean it literally. Whereas Dante thoughout the text, throughout the Divine Comedy is constantly stressing the truth of what he's seen. So I think they recognize that this is in many ways a dangerous vision... it intersects with what the Church was practicing in terms of Purgatory. So the really strong emphasis on souls' conversion, the kind of psychological change. Dante's not really so interested in things like indulgences...
On the one hand the Church needs to say the pains in Purgatory are worse than any pains on Earth because the risk of course is that you are effectively saying to people sin as much as you like, you can deal with it all after you've died... at the same time say no this is a gift from God"

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Plato's Republic - "One of the most beautiful ironies of The Republic is that Plato has written a dialogue which later generations called The Republic which would I think be banned from the ideally just state that it describes because it does not meet the censorship criteria because it describes bad characters"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Katie Prescott - "Goldman Sachs is a massive contributor to the UK economy... Goldman Sachs' employees pay more tax than Tesco employees"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Government launches immigration inquiry - "Trump won in America on immigration not because most people believed he would build a wall but he convinced people that he was serious about trying to cut the numbers of immigrants no matter how long it took"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Richard Dawkins: Don't vote with your gut! - "'Some people might suggest that actually your approach alienates those people who you might want to convince and makes others lose sympathy for your arguement'
'That's a very good point. I mean I don't actually deliberately provoke. I love truth and I love clarity and I think that sometimes clarity does come over as deliberately provocative. Actually it isn't. It's just attempting to be clear, straightforward"

Frustration is not with our train system

Frustration is not with our train system

As someone who commutes daily by train, I would say Singaporeans like me are not frustrated with our public transport system per se.

We have a modern system that would make most people proud.

What we are really frustrated about is that the Transport Minister keeps blaming the design and the age of the train system for problems.

We can understand that our train networks are complex and ageing; but no more than most systems around the world (Learn right lessons from MRT incidents: PM Lee; Nov 20).

Bangkok Skytrain was built in a heavily built-up city, with its fair share of twists and turns. The Hong Kong and Taipei systems are as old as, or even older than, ours.

But, we do not hear complaints of design or age issues when there are problems.

Singaporeans' frustration is with the lack of accountability by the management of SMRT and the regulatory bodies in allowing the situation to deteriorate to its current sorry state.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan (Dr)

Links - 24th November 2017 (1)

Hidden costs drive up rent, price smaller shops out of Orchard - "Orchard Road is very boring because what is on offer as a shopping experience is no different from that of any of the large suburban malls. There is not much point in hyping up Orchard Road with the proposals mentioned if no one is going to shop there. While the suggestions for a milieu of smaller interesting shops are good, these shops can never afford the rent... the very high costs of development in Singapore. Some of these include submission fees, fees to engineers, massive development charges to the Government, and the high cost of construction and labour. It is not the landlord who is the beneficiary of all these fees and costs; it is the Government. I am sure landlords would love to have different offerings that would distinguish their malls, but unfortunately, it is the usual suspects who can afford to pay the rents to give developers a chance to recover costs and have some form of return for the risk they take."

Alt-right provocateur to dress up as 'mattress girl' for Columbia speech - "When he speaks at Columbia University next week, alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos plans to dress up as Emma Sulkowicz, the alumna who carried her mattress around campus to protest the university's sexual assault policies."

Hugh Mungus Social Justice Warrior Fail Nets Man $140,000 - "After thanking police at a September, 2016 Seattle City Council meeting for helping his addicted daughter find social services, and confronted by a frenzied social justice warrior who screamed out that she was sexually harassed by his providing a joke name, Rudy Pantoja Jr. has so far received over $140,000.00 in donations in a truly bizarre story of how sometimes being confronted by Precious Snowflakes can be not only immensely annoying, it has a potential for immense earnings... Unfortunately, it was not long before Joshi made a fool of herself once again before the city council, this time going after two members of the council. In a seething, insidiousness with almost a “yeah, we’ll be watching you” type of nefarious tone, she won another escort out of the building for causing a disruption. Of course, this occurred fittingly on Halloween. My favorite line: “After I spoke publicly against you, [councilwoman] the cops sent racist, white-supremacist, rapists after me.” I must have missed something. I wasn’t aware of the availability of the Racist, White-Supremacist, Rapist Service available to Washington Law Enforcement Officers. Were they listed on the car towing company rotation list or did I need to go through the State Patrol’s special operations bureau... she set up a fund drive for herself on the GoFundMe knockoff “YouCaring” to help alleviate financial costs inherent with being oppressed and suffering threats to her “safety”, or perhaps she just discovered another way to siphon money from other social justice warriors in a challenge to out-victim the other. She set a goal on YouCaring to raise one thousand dollars. Much probably to her dismay, many, if not most, of her contributions consisted of one dollar amounts. For a great many readers of this website, it was worth a dollar to lob insults at her"

Why Google was wrong: Did James Damore really deserve to be fired for what he wrote? - "it is not some twisted, crazy view. There are serious articles, published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, supporting it"
If Peter Singer writes for the New York Daily News, does that make what he says wrong? But then again he's a white man, so he's automatically wrong anyway

SBS Transit bus captain hails from South Africa - "he has previously worked as a freelance business analyst here, but turned to the bus company for a stable job... Mr Ellis, who is Muslim, said he once received a packet of rice porridge from a commuter while he was driving during the fasting month of Ramadan this June."

I’m an Aussie banker. I’m shocked by ruthless recruiters in SG - "Recruiters based here (some of whom are Australian themselves) are much more aggressive. All they seem interested in are their immediate sales targets. They want you to move into a new job…fast!
ithin moments of meeting them, almost all the recruiters I talked to were asking very specific and very short-term questions: what banks do you want to move to? What pay increment do you need? There was little chat about the great opportunities before me in my brand new job or the skills I needed to further my career... several friends in Singapore tell me they have been contacted by their recruiters just months after starting new jobs. The recruiters had just received their commission from the bank, so they called up their former candidates looking to move them again."

How Much Do Romance Novels Reflect Women's Desires? - "9.5% of readership of romance fiction consists of men - maybe they want to figure women out... what baffled me the most was that the plots were rather formulaic: girl meets boy, boy isn't good enough, boy transforms, girl changes her mind and they get married. A little older and wiser, and trained as a researcher in psychology, I now ‘get it.' These books are candy for women's brains. The reader can live vicariously through the heroine and fall in love with the hero, but without any of the consequence. She's not cheating on her husband (most readers are married) because it's just a novel. She isn't at risk of becoming pregnant, but she can imagine the seduction by the hero. She gets the thrill, the rush, of falling in love, all for a few dollars. Authors of these books seem to know this because they rarely describe the heroine in much detail. Presumably, they want to allow the reader to get into the shoes of the heroine with some ease... The hero, in contrast, is described in immense detail... the hero changes. He starts off gruff, rude, arrogant, and cold, but with fantastic looks. In the middle of the book, he tries to prove that he's good enough for her, and that he's changed to meet her criteria. Something happens by the end of the 180 or so pages, and he turns into a man who wants to settle down and have a few children in a monogamous relationship. He's happy to be loyal and adore the heroine for the rest of their lives... basically, women are reading stories where they meet a ‘bad boy' or cad and then he manages to turn around and become a doting dad. She gets the best of both worlds!"

Romance Novel Fans: Life Imitates Fiction - "Women who read romance novels make love 74% more often than those who do not read the sexy novels... housewives who read romance novels were "more satisfied with sex than were non-readers of romance novels," according to a report in the November issue of Psychology Today."

The Texas billionaire's pregnant bride: An evolutionary interpretation of romance fiction titles. - "First, we identified the most frequently occurring words to determine the most prevalent issues addressed by titles. Second, we performed a qualitative analysis to identify the most popular, recurring themes that appear in the titles. Our results indicate that Harlequin romance novel titles are congruent with women’s sex-specific mating strategies, which is surmised to be the reason for their continued international success"

Romance Novels Bad For Women's Health and Psyche, Psychologist Says - "a recent survey of romantic novels found that only one in 10 mention condom use, Quilliam said. In fact, in many novels, the heroine outright rejects a condom because she does not want a "barrier" between herself and her hero, Quilliam said. The survey also found a correlation between reading romance novels and negative attitudes towards condoms"

Friends prank alcoholic friend into thinking he was in a coma for 10 years - "To pull of the prank, they took a small office and turned it into a hospital room"

Orange School board vote bans Bibles, Satanic material giveaways - "Orange County students will no longer face the possibility of being offered Satanic coloring books or Bibles between classes under a new policy adopted by the School Board on Tuesday night."

Woman watching 50 Shades of Grey in Mexico arrested for masturbating at movie theater

Evolution in teaching math since the 1950s... - "6. Teaching Math In The 2000's
Same question as number 5 but if you have special needs or just feel you need assistance because of race, color, religion, sex, age, childhood memories, criminal background, then don't answer and the correct answer will be provided for you.
7. Teaching Math In The 2020’s
Un hachero vende una carrtada de maderapara 100 pesos. El costo de la producciones es 80 pesos. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?"


Verso - "The campaign endlessly touted endorsements from the ranks of the celebrity one-percenters, especially women. In the end, Clinton enjoyed a gender advantage only among the college-educated. Among white women without college degrees, Clinton lost to Trump by 28 points. It was almost as if waitresses in Ohio didn’t care that Anna Wintour was #WithHer.... The response of most establishment feminists to this national horror has been to blame the voters. Commentators like Amanda Marcotte are sure that Trump could only have won because men — and some women — hate women... Obama inspired Americans by talking about change and hope. Clinton couldn’t do talk about change because that’s not what she believes in, and she couldn’t talk about hope because hope is dangerous"

University hiring: If you didn't get your Ph.D. at an elite university, good luck finding an academic job. - "Just 18 elite universities produce half of all computer science professors, 16 schools produce half of all business professors, and eight schools account for half of all history professors... Because graduates from only a small number of universities account for the majority of faculty jobs, new ideas and discoveries from those elite institutions may be far more likely to gain traction in academia and in the wider world than those from outside this group. (Not to mention that bad ideas coming out of this core group of schools may get more attention than they deserve.)"

Faced with Angry Voters, the Elites Sour on Democracy - "The knee-jerk antipopulism of the comfortably-ensconsed politicians and their advisors isn’t necessarily wrong, of course. Many voters really are ignorant and many really do change their minds for no apparent reason. What these critics of referenda fail to understand, it seems, is that all their lambasting of the referendum process applies equally well to the process known as representative democracy. Or more likely, they do understand the contradiction, but they don’t care. The next time the voters vote “correctly,” the current critics of populism will simply pretend they had never criticized the voters at all... Many elected officials come to government with no particular expertise beyond knowledge of how to run a political campaign. There is no reason at all to assume that average legislator is better able to make “better” decisions than the general public on matters of economics, foreign policy or anything else. Indeed, veritable mountains of research how been amassed illustrating how government officials — both elected and unelected — are influenced by interest groups and personal biases. “Interest groups and pressure group politics” constitutes an entire subfield of political science. Moreover, as public choice theory has been demonstrating for decades, members of the government class tend to act in a way that benefits the very same government class."

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told he was unsuitable 25 years ago - "He’s got an appealingly dry, self-deprecating wit, once describing himself in his archbishop’s robes as looking like ‘a self-propelled toadstool with a pointy hat’."

Just Because Dating a Woman Does Not Mean I Identify as a Lesbian. Fair Enough Just Because I Stare Through Your Window While You Eat Your Girlfriend Out Does Not Mean Lidentify as a Stalker Inequality Exists Because Standards Are Not Equal

German agricultural minister calls for ban of "misleading" labeling of "vegan" meat - "“He considers names such as vegan curry sausage and so forth to be misleading to consumers,” Jens Urban told reporters. “Clarity and truth, transparency for consumers, those are the measures that should apply for the labeling of all products, always and forever.” Asked whether the measures could also affect beefsteak tomatoes, Urban said that the ministry wasn’t aware of any “consumer confusion” about such products. In the interview with Bild, Schmidt – a member of the conservative, Bavaria-based Christian Social Union – also reiterated a call for schools to serve pork. Asked whether it was right for them to leave pork off the menu out of consideration for Muslims, he said that “we should not restrict the choice for the majority of society for reasons of ease or cost.” He argued that growing cultural diversity should lead to more choice, not less."

IWF - Alberta, Canada's Progressive New Government Bans the Words "Mother" and "Father" in Schools - "It used to be: "Heather has two mommies." Now, it's: "Heather has two non-gendered and inclusive caregivers." That's the language the New Democratic Party government in Alberta, Canada, is telling teachers and school administrators to use when adressing the adults with whom students are living. Out: "mother" and "father." In: "parent," "caregiver," "partner," whatever."

Swindling is part of Chinese trading culture, Muslim group claims - "The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) claimed that ethnic Chinese businesses regularly cheat Malay consumers as a legitimate way for them to get extra profit... He did not provide any data or statistics to back up his assertion... Isma asserted that it is only natural for Malay youths to release their anger on the Chinese traders in the popular tech mall as the Malays are known for running amok, and they would not have done so if they were not provoked by what the Muslim group claimed to be chauvinists."

China’s tough stance on India dispute raising concern across Southeast Asia, analysts say - ""People are asking, if China is really peaceful, why are there so many countries having disputes with China?"... “India’s standing up to China can only be a boon for Southeast Asian countries even when they don’t say so openly,” he said, “Any major power keeping China in check can only yield geopolitical benefits to Southeast Asia as the region is wary of China’s growing assertiveness.”"
In the Facebook comments a lot of people were slamming biased Indians for this article. Ahh, daggers everywhere

Appropriate to mark 200 years of the founding of Singapore - "Unlike Mr Oei, my parents and grandparents feel / felt neither shame nor humiliation with our colonial past despite having lived through the colonial era like Mr Oei has. Far from being subjugated, colonial Singapore offered many of our forefathers the opportunity to escape the poverty of their hometowns and to prosper through hard work and entrepreneurship... It wasn’t just colonial era Europeans who enjoyed privilege, colonial era towkays enjoyed privilege too. They may not wine and dine at the same places but they certainly had their own exclusive clubs like those on Ann Siang Hill. It isn’t as though privilege ended with the end of colonial rule... Mr Oei is mistaken in saying that Raffles came to colonise us. When Raffles came, there were only about 120 Orang Lauts in Singapore. There were zero Chinese or Indians for Raffles to colonise. Raffles imported tens of thousands of Chinese coolies to build up Singapore. While life certainly wasn’t a bed of roses for these early Chinese coolies, they came of their own accord, to escape poverty and to find riches in this land of opportunity... a great number of people living in Singapore during colonial times were foreign workers who were neither citizen of Singapore nor British subject until 1959. There was thus no onus for the British government to enrich the lives of non-British subjects during colonial times just as there is no onus for the PAP government to enrich the lives of approximately 1 million foreign workers in Singapore today. Mr Oei is wrong to say that colonial Singapore was a poor Third World country. Singapore’s 1960 per capita GNI of US$4,794 (Penn World tables with some conversion) in 2010 PPP USD was already within World Bank’s classification of an Upper Middle Income nation, one rank below a High Income nation but two ranks above a Low Income nation. Colonial Singapore was thus Middle Income, not poor Third World... Mr Oei unreasonably laments about Singapore slums in 1947, just two years after the end of the Second World War and the Japanese Occupation. Does Mr Oei seriously believe that Singapore could overcome the ravages of the greatest calamity that ever befell us or the world for that matter in just two years? Even for London, 1947 was described as a year of decay, decrepitude, sagginess and rottenness where housing was a disgrace"
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