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Friday, May 11, 2018

Links - 11th May 2018 (2)

Right Swipes, Big City (Part 2) πŸ’ƒπŸ³πŸ by DTR - The Official Tinder Podcast - "Bad equilibrium and it explains why early on in courtship people tend to stick to boring topics like desserts, kitchen appliances. It's because everyone is playing it safe in the beginning. No one wants to say something provocative or potentially offensive because they don't want to alienate the other person and risk their chance of being like. So people get stymied in bad equilibrium with a whole lot of boring chit chat. This one study found that when people were forced to ask each other more interesting questions early on, one of them was like have you ever broken someone's heart, people had a better time"

113. Could Donald Trump Be a Good President? from Question of the Day on podbay - "If you're really scared about a Trump presidency for one of any number of reasons, I would argue that your fear is based on campaign rhetoric that as with any, almost any presidential campaigner, is exaggerated to the point of caricature and in fact wouldn't reflect the reality once said person was in office. Two, I would say that Donald Trump the candidate has been acting, speaking and positioning himself almost unilaterally, to a degree that is extremely rare among presidential candidates and that presidential - not only presidential power - but the presidential setup is in fact nowhere near that unilateral so that even if you consider his worst impulses to be dreadful, that he almost certainly would not want to or be able to act upon them... Donald Trump did what a lot of people in a position like his... do, which is think: hey, I'm gonna run for a very prominent office because it's kinda good for my business...
Mike Bloomberg never had any intention, never had any plan, never had any desire to be mayor... he wanted to run for mayor because it was good for the Bloomberg brand... [Trump] had no desire or intention at all to become President...
He's decisive. He's not a hemmer and a hawer. So if you're the kind of person who doesn't like President Obama because you think he's too considered and too hemming and hawing and too on the one hand on the other, too academic and intellectual, then Trump would be a different cup of tea. He is very forthright in his defence of America as an exceptional place. Which, again, if you're a diehard supporter of President Obama or in fact many Democratic candidates. You could say that, well, they seem a little bit more tortured in their patriotism and you could argue that Donald Trump really does see America as a beacon on a hill, the shining light that is exceptional and therefore worthy of our utmost defence. And I think that you could argue that a lot of the received wisdom and politically normative statements about our society that may have their heart in the right place but are in the end damaging, that he would have little patience for them and in fact he would be much more solution-oriented rather than perception-oriented...
'People after listening to this podcast and you, even though we only did this as an exercise, do you think people are going to be upset at you for coming up with anything positive about Trump?'
'To paraphrase Groucho Marx who said that any club that would have me as a
I would say that any listener or friend who would listen to me pursue this intellectual exercise, this thought experiment and who hates Trump so much that me merely expressing the thoughts that you asked me to express is not someone I would care to have as a listener or friend'"Holding People Responsible for Ethical Violations: The Surprising Benefits of Accusing Others - "Individuals who accuse others of unethical behavior can derive significant benefits. Compared to individuals who do not make accusations, accusers engender greater trust and are perceived to have higher ethical standards. In Study 1, accusations increased trust in the accuser and lowered trust in the target. In Study 2, we find that accusations elevate trust in the accuser by boosting perceptions of the accuser’s ethical standards. In Study 3, we find that accusations boosted both attitudinal and behavioral trust in the accuser, decreased trust in the target, and promoted relationship conflict within the group. In Study 4, we examine the moderating role of moral hypocrisy. Compared to individuals who did not make an accusation, individuals who made an accusation were trusted more if they had acted ethically but not if they had acted unethically. Taken together, we find that accusations have significant interpersonal consequences. In addition to harming accused targets, accusations can substantially benefit accusers."
Aka the benefits of virtue signalling and condemning "bigots" and "Nazis"

Apple confirmed a longtime conspiracy theory — and gave regular customers a big reason to distrust it - "it has been secretly stifling the performance of older iPhones... it stressed that it did so for a purely altruistic reason – to prevent older phones from shutting down unexpectedly... Apple hasn’t explained why it didn’t disclose the practice until now, after GeekBench released charts based on its data that showed how older iPhones were not performing as quickly as they had when they launched... The fact is that Apple has an incentive to push users to upgrade; it makes money selling new devices, after all. And the company has a history of artificially making older devices look inferior to new ones. The iPhone 4, for example was perfectly capable of running Siri, but Apple reserved that feature for the model that replaced it, the iPhone 4s. Likewise, the camera in the iPhone 3G was capable of shooting video, but Apple didn’t turn that feature on and instead made video recording the signature capability of its next device, the iPhone 3GS. Planned obsolescence is a long-standing practice in the tech and broader manufacturing industries."

Claire Jordan's answer to Is Prince Philip genuinely racist or ironically racist? - Quora - "a black guy who'd been a butler at the White House published his autobiography. He said that even the most liberal visitors to the White House were a bit uncomfortable with the black staff: they might be polite, but they didn't treat them as just people like anybody else. He said that his single best memory from his time at the White House was when the Queen and Prince Philip visited, and Philip came downstairs to spend some time with the black servants, and told them that he'd like to have a drink with them - but only on condition that they sat back and let him wait on them for a change."

Putin ‘wanted Franken out of Senate,’ anti-Trump ‘resistance’ claims - "Liberals who pushed Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) to resign over groping and forced kissing accusations were actually unsuspecting dupes carrying out Moscow’s agenda, according to the latest Russiagate conspiracy theory."

Difficult to uphold patient confidentiality with electronic record system - "a patient presently has the right not to mention prior illnesses when he consults his doctor... Whether this decision disadvantages him or not is irrelevant. Under the principle of medical ethics called "autonomy", the patient retains the right to control the information he shares with his doctor... the patient rightfully expects the doctor to keep private all details revealed in medical confidence. These are entered into and remain in the clinic's records. Without his permission, the doctor cannot mention them to others - not even other doctors... Can this possibly remain unchanged when the NEHR is implemented? Once entered into the computer record, the patient's entire medical past will be visible to any doctor he consults in the future, even details he considers sensitive or irrelevant. Moreover, if he cannot stop his doctor from uploading "embarrassing" personal data, like a positive test result for a sexually transmitted disease, onto his NEHR record, he will have lost privacy control over information or data arising from this consultation."
A single database means a single target for hackers
But Singaporeans only complain when something costs them money (and still go along with it anyway)

The accuracy of abstracts in psychology journals. - "Abstracts accompanying 13% of a random sample of 400 research articles published in 8 American Psychological Association journals during 1997 and 1998 contained data or claims inconsistent with or missing from the body of the article. Error rates ranged from 8% to 18%, although between-journal differences were not significant. Many errors (63%) were unlikely to cause substantive misinterpretations. Unfortunately, 37% of errors found could be seriously misleading with respect to the data or claims presented in the associated article. Although deficient abstracts may be less common in psychology journals than in major medical journals (R. M. Pitkin, M. A. Branagan, & L. F. Burmeister, 1999), there is still cause for concern and need for improvement."

Why kids love 'fascist' cartoons like 'Paw Patrol' and 'Thomas' - ""Thomas," the long-running television franchise about a group of working trains chugging away on the Island of Sodor, has been called a "premodern corporate-totalitarian dystopia" in the New Yorker, imperialist and sinister in Slate, and classist, sexist and anti-environmentalist in the Guardian... [As for] "Paw Patrol"... Buzzfeed called the show "terrible" and pointed to instances of gender and social inequality that go unchecked on the show. In the Guardian, Ryder is described as a megalomaniac with an implied "unstoppable God complex"... The neat moral order of shows like "Thomas" and "Paw Patrol" gives them a context for these feelings, explained Tovah Klein, director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development and author of "How Toddlers Thrive." Good and bad are clearly articulated states in those shows, she said, and should one misbehave, the repercussions are clear and predictable...
There are the parents who are OK with the authoritarian elements in children's media but wish the authorities didn't always have to be white and male... Here's an idea, gratis, for the creative team behind of "Paw Patrol" and "Thomas," should they want to broaden their appeal to parents without alienating their fan base: Ryder and Sir Topham Hatt retire and are replaced by their equally domineering sisters."
Not The Onion, but CNN
The world is fascist to people like this. The criminal justice system clearly articulates good and bad, and should one misbehave, the repercussions are clear and predictable. So anarchy is the only answer.
Authoritarianism is okay as long as it's by women?

Linguistics professor unearths Yoda’s ‘native language’ - "“We can find out something about Yoda’s native language by looking at how he speaks English, in the same way as I can find out about a French person’s native language by looking at how that French person speaks English. “You use English words but retain some of the structures from that native language.” The professor has concluded that Yoda’s original language, which he “grew up speaking”, was Hawaiian."

The Indian teenagers who were expelled from school for hugging

The lower your social class, the ‘wiser’ you are, suggests new study - "raw intelligence doesn’t reduce conflict, he asserts. Wisdom does. Such wisdom—in effect, the ability to take the perspectives of others into account and aim for compromise—comes much more naturally to those who grow up poor or working class"

It’s Fit For Royalty: Food Culture & The Mughal Empire - "Flavours were enhanced using exotic spices. The curry was made rich and smooth with cream and yogurt. Imperial cooks threw in spices like cloves, cinnamon and cardamom, and nuts such as cashews and almonds... Mughal cuisine was strongly influenced by the Persian cuisine of Iran, which featured dried fruits and nuts, ingredients commonly used by imperial cooks in meat and rice dishes. In fact, under the Mughals, fruit was not merely a food product. It was a symbol of sophistication and their elevated position in society. At the time of the Mughal rule, fruits and nuts were thought of as incredibly opulent and luxurious. Hence, a gift of fruits was a sign diplomacy and even a matter of protocol. When Babur, India’s first Mughal Emperor, looked about his newly conquered northern territories, he did not like it. Coming from a food-loving culture, Hindustan seemed to him a land stripped of romance. He writes in The Baburnama, “There is no grapes, quality fruits, mask melons, candles”. He did not fancy the local Indian food, which lacked the spices and flavours he was accustomed to in his native Samarkand"

The global backlash against China is growing - The Washington Post - "Interestingly, the growing negative reaction to China’s rise belies reports that the United States under Trump is no longer capable of cooperating with America’s traditional allies. In recent weeks, the Trump administration has joined with the European Union in rejecting China’s claim that, under the terms of its accession to the World Trade Organization, it should be granted market-economy status, which would protect China from anti-dumping duties. At the WTO ministerial meetings in Buenos Aires last week, the United States, the European Union and Japan confronted China over its unwillingness to scale back its industrial production and other questionable trade practices... The pushback against China is not confined to democracies. Even nations with historically close ties to China have begun chafing at the high-handed treatment emanating from Beijing as part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure program. While China has attempted to package the program as a Chinese version of the Marshall Plan, increasingly it’s being received as something more akin to Western colonialism than Western largesse. Sri Lanka currently owes Chinese state-controlled firms more than $8 billion. As part of a plan to break free of its debt trap, last week, the government handed over the strategic port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease, in a move that critics said would threaten the country’s sovereignty. In India, pundits referred to China’s move as “debt-trap diplomacy.” Even Pakistan, perhaps China’s closest foreign partner, seems to be having second thoughts about taking Chinese money. Express Tribune, a Pakistan newspaper, reported that the government had canceled a $14 billion dam project after Beijing made it clear that it wanted to own the dam after it built it. Nepal announced that it, too, was canceling a deal on a Chinese-funded dam for similar reasons. So far, China’s reaction to the growing concern about China’s power has tended toward the aggressive. In Australia, the Chinese Embassy warned Australian government officials not to damage “mutual trust” as they moved to pass laws aimed at protecting Australia’s political system from foreign money. After Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull noted “disturbing reports about Chinese influence,” the embassy cautioned Australian officials not to make “irresponsible remarks.” The embassy also accused Australian media outlets of fabricating news stories about “the so-called Chinese influence and infiltration in Australia.”"

Brazil Fights H.I.V. Spike in Youths With Free Preventive Drug - The New York Times - "Seeking to stem a sharp rise in H.I.V. cases among young people, Brazil began offering a drug this month that can prevent infection to those deemed at high risk. Brazil is the first country in Latin America, and among the first in the developing world, to adopt the pill Truvada, under a program known as PrEP, short for pre-exposure prophylaxis, as an integral part of its preventive health care policy... The drug is being rolled out at a crucial time in Brazil, with the country’s health officials particularly alarmed by the rise of the virus among young men and other groups considered at higher risk... about one in 10 men who have sex with men in Brazil have H.I.V... Brazil has long been recognized for its strong response to the H.I.V. epidemic. It challenged pharmaceutical companies in the 1990s by producing generic versions of costly antiretroviral drugs, which lowered prices globally. Brazil’s government buys and distributes more condoms than any other country, and in 2013 it started providing antiretroviral therapy free to all H.I.V.-positive adults seeking care... People have grown less concerned about H.I.V., leading to a decline in the use of condoms... People have grown less concerned about H.I.V., leading to a decline in the use of condoms... Piero Mori, 34, a systems analyst who is gay, says he never liked using condoms, which meant new sexual encounters often brought weeks of anxiety as he tested yet again for H.I.V."
So much for free drugs and de-stigmatisation being the solution to STIs among men who have sex with men/gay men

‘Willing to Do Everything,’ Mothers Defend Sons Accused of Sexual Assault - The New York Times - "The mothers lobby Congress, testify on proposed legislation and policy, and track lawsuits filed by men who say they have been wrongly accused. A bill in the California Legislature that they testified against, which would have enshrined the Obama-era regulations into state law, passed both houses but was vetoed this month by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, who said it was “time to pause” on the issue... One mother, Judith, said her son had been expelled after having sex with a student who said she had been too intoxicated to give consent. “In my generation, what these girls are going through was never considered assault,” Judith said. “It was considered, ‘I was stupid and I got embarrassed’... The most active mothers said they stepped forward because they often had more time than their husbands, and because they made a strategic decision that they could be effective on the issue of sexual assault precisely because they are women and, as some described themselves, feminists. “We recognized that power,” Ms. Seefeld said. Many women, however, feel exactly the opposite way.” A number of women’s groups and victims’ advocates have argued that a tougher standard of proof will discourage women from coming forward. They have not been shy about expressing their view of the mothers as “rape deniers” and misogynists who blame women for inviting male violence against them... her son was cleared. Additionally, a grand jury declined to indict him, she said. But, Alison contends, the investigation should never even have gotten that far, and the damage was already done. Her son had become a pariah, dropped by his friends and called a rapist by women on campus. The semester after he was cleared he called home, sobbing, to say he could no longer take it and was dropping out, she said... She described herself as a lifelong Democrat and feminist who went to college in the 1970s at the height of the sexual revolution and women’s liberation movements. Her husband and their two sons were “super respectful” of women, she said. “We don’t really need to teach our sons not to rape,” she said. Four years after being kicked out of school, she said, her son is leading a “double life,” unable to confide in colleagues at work, and avoiding college classmates and his hometown... the school did review the verdict, and nullified it because of a new development: The police said that they had found inconsistencies in the accuser’s account and that some witnesses had contradicted it. They issued a warrant for her arrest on a charge of filing a false police report. (The woman left the state and has not been arrested. She did not respond to telephone messages.)"
The Facebook comments were depressing - basically virtually everyone was bashing them, labelling people who believed in due process as rape apologists, proclaiming that all the accused men were rapists and slamming the mother whose push for due process revealed her son's accuser as dodgy as using her influence and connections to harass and intimidate the woman
This suggests that female feminists only see the perils of feminism when it hurts men they care about. And/or that you either die a feminist or live long enough to see yourself become a misogynist
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