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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Links - 27th February 2018 (1)

Museum of creepy curiosities opens in London - "The permanent collection includes 19th century babies in Formaldehyde, a lion skeleton, tribal art from New Guinea, McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, erotica and stone axes"

Banning the niqab is bigoted and sexist. Or is it? - "What's notable is that the views of the English-language commentariat are out of step not only with Quebeckers but with English Canada as well. Only three in 10 Canadians across the country support the right of women to wear face coverings. Is this proof that anti-Muslim sentiment is dangerously widespread? Or does it simply mean – as I believe – that Canadians want immigrants to fit in?"

Research: Companies Are Less Likely to Hire Current Military Reservists - "My findings suggest that there is a negative effect associated with current service in the Reserves. Compared with résumés indicating completed Reserve service, résumés indicating current service were 11% less likely to be called for an interview"

Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? - "The paradoxical implication is that the same psychological characteristics that enable male managers to rise to the top of the corporate or political ladder are actually responsible for their downfall. In other words, what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well. As a result, too many incompetent people are promoted to management jobs, and promoted over more competent people."

Lili Reinhart apologizes for blackface Halloween tweet - "'Found my Halloween costume!! Inspired by the color of my soul,' the 21-year-old actress tweeted on Sunday, alongside a picture of a woman costumed as a demon with her skin painted black. The image, not intended to have racial implications, immediately drew comparisons to blackface, the antiquated practice of non-blacks performing in makeup imitating black people... the Los Angeles-based actress has taken to Twitter to show off her passion for special effects make-up and Halloween costumes. The star has nailed everything down from iconic celebrity looks like David Bowie and movie characters like Jessica Rabbit, to creating stunningly convincing bloody limbs and gory gashes."
The people who were offended are saying that black people are demons - "anti-racists" are the real racists.

The Mary Sue Rejection Hotline is Now Up! | The Mary Sue
"Saying hello to a girl who gave her number to you is 'creepy'? Not only that, she needs a hotline to handle that for her? Could she say "I am as useless as tits on a chicken" any louder?"

YouGov | Introducing the most derided ethnic group in Britain: young white men - "The people we regard as the laziest, rudest, most promiscuous, drunken drug-takers are white men in their twenties... Gender matters more than age or ethnicity. Look at the overall positive scores in the interactive table, where we combine responses to the five virtues. Five of the top six are women; five of the bottom six are men... Are young Polish men, in particular, taking jobs from young white Britons? If they are, our results suggests that it is in large measure because we hold young Polish men in much higher regard"
This is what white privilege looks like
Older people are better regarded - so much for ageism
Keywords: white men negative UK, Poles favorably seen UK, British Polish negative association, British view Polish low opinion

Donald Trump suggests Russia, FBI and Democrats colluded to pay for dossier on his Kremlin links - but provides no evidence (19 October 2017)

Report: Clinton Campaign Paid For Research That Produced Trump Dossier (24 October 2017) - "The DNC and Clinton campaign-funded research continued through the end of October 2016, according to the Post’s report."

Xi Jinping: has China’s strongman forgotten the perils of power? - "a man whose family was so deeply scarred by the excesses of Maoism is dismantling the changes designed to safeguard his party and country against further such disasters. After the Cultural Revolution, Mao’s successors resolved that never again should one person hold such power. Deng Xiaoping, and other survivors such as Xi’s father, sought to institutionalise politics. Their ideas were not codified, but they were crucial in limiting the power of the leader by setting a term limit and ensuring authority was exercised collectively. Xi has ripped up this unwritten rulebook... The leaders before Xi drew a simple lesson from the Cultural Revolution and from preceding disasters like the Great Leap Forward: strongmen breed instability and must be prevented at all costs. Xi appears to have reached a radically different conclusion: at least in this “new era”, stabilising China requires the concentration of power. It just needs to be concentrated in the right, incorruptible hands – his."

The Problem With Moana Costumes - Don't Dress Your Kid Up As Moana - "The original article, written by Sachi Feris, discusses how her white daughter was torn between dressing as Elsa, from Frozen, or the titular character from Moana. Feris expresses concern that while an Elsa costume might reinforce notions of white privilege, dressing up as Moana is essentially cultural appropriation"
You can't win against offendatrons
The fact that this was published in Cosmo is depressing

Female intuition could be linked to lower exposure to testosterone in women while in womb - "Males receive a higher amount of prenatal testosterone, which, according to scientists, has an influence on that they, for example, take more risks and be more empathic than women. Intuitive thought can be defined as that which is processed automatically and unconsciously and which, therefore, requires little cognitive effort. On the other extreme is reflexive thought, which takes greater effort and conscious analysis. The former is based on sensations and is more "emotional", while the latter is analytical and more "rational"... "prenatal exposure to testosterone predisposes people to adopt a more reflexive and less intuitive mindset. Furthermore, this effect seems to be stronger among women""
This is some evidence that men are more rational and analytical than women, who are more irrational and emotional (more)
Interestingly there is a gender interaction effect with prenatal androgen exposure

The Unfortunate Fallout of Campus Postmodernism - "The intellectual battlefields today are on college campuses, where students' deep convictions about race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation and their social justice antipathy toward capitalism, imperialism, racism, white privilege, misogyny and “cissexist heteropatriarchy” have bumped up against the reality of contradictory facts and opposing views, leading to campus chaos and even violence... This is a shift in Marxist theory from class conflict to identity politics conflict... Students are being taught by these postmodern professors that there is no truth, that science and empirical facts are tools of oppression by the white patriarchy, and that nearly everyone in America is racist and bigoted, including their own professors, most of whom are liberals or progressives devoted to fighting these social ills. Of the 58 Evergreen faculty members who signed a statement “in solidarity with students” calling for disciplinary action against Weinstein for “endangering” the community by granting interviews in the national media, I tallied only seven from the sciences. Most specialize in English, literature, the arts, humanities, cultural studies, women's studies, media studies, and “quotidian imperialisms, intermetropolitan geography [and] detournement.” A course called “Fantastic Resistances” was described as a “training dojo for aspiring ‘social justice warriors’” that focuses on “power asymmetries.” If you teach students to be warriors against all power asymmetries, don't be surprised when they turn on their professors and administrators. This is what happens when you separate facts from values, empiricism from morality, science from the humanities."

Bruno Latour, a veteran of the ‘science wars,’ has a new mission - "Latour acknowledged that the criticism of science had created a basis for antiscientific thinking and had paved the way in particular for the denial of climate change, now his main topic. Today, he hopes to help rebuild confidence in science."

Dutch Courage: Alcohol Improves Foreign Language Skills - "participants who had consumed alcohol had significantly better observer-ratings for their Dutch language, specifically better pronunciation, compared to those who had not consumed alcohol. However, alcohol had no effect on self-ratings of Dutch language skills."

Whisper it – Greek theatre's legendary acoustics are a myth - "Fazenda believes the reverence for the theatre’s acoustics come, at least in part, from a popular belief that our ancestors had knowledge that has since been lost in time"

Singapore scientists crack the durian genome - "The team has additionally traced the durian back 65 million years to the cacao plant, which is used to make chocolate"

See One, Want One: The Roots of 'Baby Fever' - ""How frequently women have the desire to have a child goes down with age, and down as they actually have children," study researcher Gary Brase, a psychologist at Kansas State University, told LiveScience. "For men, it tends to go up. … It's like men and women are converging over time"... women more frequently desired a baby than men. The researchers had suspected that socialization might play a role, theorizing that women who more strongly believed in traditional gender roles might also desire one of those roles — motherhood — for themselves. That turned out not to be the case, Brase found. "Gender role norms didn't do much as far as explaining people's desire to have a baby"... women tend to experience baby fever more than men, while men report more frequent desire for sex, "which is interesting," Brase said, "because they're related activities.""

Your Politics Stink: People Can Literally Smell Ideology - "people prefer the scents of those who share their political attitudes, even though they aren't able to match a particular smell to a particular voting pattern"

Fingernails on a Chalkboard: Why This Sound Gives You the Shivers - "this ear-splitting noise has the same frequency as that of a crying baby and a human scream, indicating that these sounds are tied to survival"

The Best Tinder Profile Is a Well-Balanced Humblebrag

‘Pompeii Masturbator’: Did this man die doing what he loved? - "According to Volcanologist Pier Paolo Petrone claimed victims of the eruption were killed by thermal shock when their organs were cooked by deep, fourth-degree burns. “There is no way to demonstrate any ‘masturbating man,’ and it is out of place to discuss such an affirmation of some young time waster”"

Bias is bipartisan: Studies find liberals just as narrow-minded as conservatives - "Research has exploded the popularly held view that people with a liberal stance on political issues are more rational than their conservative counterparts. Two new studies have revealed that bias is one of the few issues that gets bipartisan support. The snappily titled paper, Liberals and conservatives are similarly motivated to avoid exposure to one another's opinions’, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that liberals were just as averse to listening to opposing viewpoints on controversial issues as their conservative counterparts... around two out of every three people gave up a chance to win extra money so they could avoid hearing opinions that differ from their own. A separate paper,At Least Bias Is Bipartisan: A Meta-Analytic Comparison of Partisan Bias in Liberals and Conservatives, which is actually a combination of 41 studies, reached the same conclusion, finding no difference in partisanship between liberals and conservatives... Berezow notes that Seattle children have a lower polio vaccination rate than Rwanda and only five states have a lower MMR vaccination rate than Washington. "If liberalism translated into embracing science, we would expect places like Seattle to have vaccination rates of 100 per cent," Berezow says. He notes that the city also rejects GMOs and other facets of biotechnology."

Helen Dale - As of yesterday, 27 of the 28 new messages in what... - "[I was asked] to jump off my publisher’s list on the basis, presumably, that I may catch (or spread) Milo cooties... I have run through three publishers during the course of getting ‘Kingdom of the Wicked’ into print. In two out of three of those cases, I was dropped like a hot stone because other authors did not want to share a list with me. My current publishers (I have two, Ligature & Wilkinson) have also lost authors on the basis of ‘Helen Dale cooties’, but held their collective nerve. People who try to hold publishers to ransom on the basis of a commercial decision that publishers have every right to make are weak, cowardly, pathetic, low-life scum... for the ignorant, this is not a free speech issue - it’s a combination of moral peacocking and commerciality all the way down. It is, nonetheless, a civil society issue, and if you’re a leftie or a member or a minority who does this (the only people I’ve seen do it are lefties and members of minorities), then I am both judging you AND YOUR CAUSE. I am not alone in doing this, either. Insert customary observations about ‘why we can’t have nice things’ and ‘why we have Trump’."
Comments: "Maybe they should stop using Facebook et al. After all they are sharing a platform with no end of misogynists, bigots, racists, conservatives, libertarians, classical liberals and other wrong thinkers."
"If you’re not engaging in WRONGTHINK at least once a day, you’re doing it wrong."

'Fair Wage' Pizza Shop Gets Slice of Reality. It Closes.

Lesbian Privilege: Ellen Shares Tweet Only She Can Get Away With In Wake Of Weinstein Scandal - "In the wake of the monstrous Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal blowing up Hollywood, happy-go-lucky daytime host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted an image and a caption only she could get away with. "Happy birthday, @KatyPerry," Ellen wished to pop singer and fellow Trump-hater Katy Perry. "It’s time to bring out the big balloons!" she added, clearly referring to Perry's breasts. The photo accompanying the caption is one of Ellen staring straight at Ms. Perry's rack. The loud feminists eager to blast straight men for their apparent innate toxicity were oddly silent. The #MeToo brigade willing to even blast 90-year-old ex-presidents? Silencio. This is what you might call "lesbian privilege." As pointed out by Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro, how exactly would the Left react if this tweet and photo were put out by a straight man, particularly with the current heavy focus on sexual harassment?"
Female privilege, rather

'More valuable than a regular tip': Einstein's handwritten note to courier sells for $1.5m - "The note, on Imperial Hotel Tokyo stationery, says in German that “a quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest”."
Was Einstein happy?

The Alt-Right is Using Leaked NATO Psychological Warfare Tactics to Spread White Supremacism Globally
Comment: "Hol up, so yous be sayin
The Far-Right are using internet culture to convince people of their cause, whereas the Far-Left make excuses or Ignore violence by Islamists who are trying to establish a caliphate in Europa?"

USC Prof: Universities Disciplining Leftist Students Who Shut Down Conservative Speakers 'Reinforce Institutionalized White Supremacy'

Meritocracy ‘Myth’ Can Hold Companies Back, Experts Say - WSJ - "The ideal of a meritocracy may be holding back technology firms in their push to increase minority hiring, according to experts who work with tech companies on diversity."
Comments: "Saying that meritocracy leads directly to bias is absurd. Bias is a state of mind. Meritocracy actually removes bias from the decision making process and is the best way to insure a LACK of bias. The best qualified person gets the job."
"Bias towards people who best show they are likely to be successful in the job."
"This same kind of "meritocratic bias" is disgustingly pervasive in professional sports. It's why there are so few asians and jews in the NFL, not to mention a complete absence of women."

Cambridge University students given trigger warnings for Shakespeare plays - "critics such as Mary Beard, a Professor of Classics at Cambridge, say allowing students to avoid learning about traumatic episodes of history and literature is "fundamentally dishonest"... David Crilly, artistic director at The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, said: "If a student of English Literature doesn't know that Titus Andronicus containts scenes of violence they shouldn't be on the course. "This degree of sensitivity will inevitably curtail academic freedom. If the academic staff are concerned they imght say something students find uncomfortable they will avoid doing it." Another Cambridge lecturer told Newsnight that trigger warnings had been added to the timetable "without discussion", while another admitted they "self-censored" texts on their course to avoid causing offence to some students"
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