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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Links - 14th February 2018 (3)

Turkey's new school year: Jihad in, evolution out - "For Turkey's Islamist-rooted government, the idea is for a new "education of values"... The same controversial textbook defines women's "obedience" to men as a form of "worship". But government officials say that is understandable as the book is about Islam and quotes Koranic verses. "Allah says it, not me. Should I correct him, or what?" said Alpaslan Durmus, who chairs the Board of Education."

Don't invite me to your straight wedding until we all have the right to marry - "They expressed this support for marriage equality, all while they designed their rings, those precious-metal symbols of an eternal commitment to each other — the ultimate, public declaration of being unified with the love of your life in the eyes of society and the eyes of the state and the eyes of each other... I've felt uncomfortable with the marriages of straight friends who support marriage equality for a while now."
This is why we can't have nice things

'Excommunicate me from the church of social justice': an activist's plea for change - "As a Cultural Studies scholar, I am interested in uncovering the ways that culture does the work of power. And as someone who has spent the last decade recovering from a childhood conversion to evangelical Christianity, I see a disturbing parallel between the authoritarian dogmas of orthodox religion and social justice activism. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the quest for purity. There is an underlying current of fear in my activist, queer, and trans people of colour communities. It is separate from the daily fear of police brutality, discrimination, or street harassment. It is the fear of appearing impure... I self-police what I say in leftist spaces. I stopped commenting on social media with questions or pushback because I am afraid of being called out. I am always ready to apologize for anything I do that a community member deems wrong, oppressive, or inappropriate — no questions asked... Activists are some of the judgiest people I've ever met, myself included... Telling people how to live their lives is central to dogmatic religion and dogmatic activism. Both create an environment that encourages people to tell each other what to do. This is especially prominent online. Scrolling through my Facebook feed sometimes feels Iike sliding into a pew to be blasted by a fragmented, frenzied sermon"

Swedish 'man-free' festival comes under fire from transgender groups - "She had previously suggested men should be barred from music festivals until they had "learned to behave." But the festival has come under fire from users of Instagram, the photo-sharing social network, who claimed the policy was discriminatory against transgender people. This is because the ban on men only applies to what Ms Knyckare described as "cisgender men", a term for a person whose gender identity corresponds to their sex assigned at birth. One user angrily asked whether the ban extended to transgender men - people who are biologically female but identify as male.
Is it more transphobic to ban transmen from a no-men festival or to allow them in?

Did a Premature Obituary Inspire the Nobel Prize? - "The newspaper incident is often cited as the driving force behind Nobel’s philanthropy, but historians have yet to find an original copy of the “Merchant of Death” obituary. Some now dismiss the story as a myth, while others argue that it was only one of many factors that helped shape the inventor’s decision"

The Only Way to Save Orchard Road is to Let It Die - "Orchard Road does not have an identity, and this is where we have to take the blame. While it used to be the instinctive shopping choice two decades ago, the cookie-cutter approach to establishing retail chains has hugely diluted its significance and even exterminated its cohesiveness. Take a 15-minute walk starting from Wheelock Place towards Somerset, and you will find four Zara outlets, two H&M stores and two Uniqlo shops... Shopping boulevards work when there is diversity. The Harajuku-Omotesando stretch in Tokyo exemplifies how a shopping district can cater to different demographics of shoppers. In some regard, the street is a representation of the development of Japanese youths into adulthood, starting with street fashion and outrageous designs in Harajuku and Shibuya on one end of the street, and graduating to finer luxury tastes in Omotesando on the other. Duplication of shops is rare, and even if they do, they are not located a stone’s throw from each other. Orchard Road, on the other hand, is less a shopping district and more a turf war among property developers. To ensure that they get a slice of the shoppers pie and not lose out, every developer has built their Orchard mall in more or less the same mould – an anchor departmental store complemented by a limited range of international brands and, of course, the food outlets. A popular choice is Starbucks. Also, unlike Japan, there is a dearth of local designers and labels in Singapore, thus limiting retail tenant diversity. Most ply their trades at Arab Street and Bugis, where the rent is significantly cheaper than in Orchard. Consequently, they do not get the visibility needed to grow the local industry. Of the more than 20 malls along Orchard Road, only two have dared to go against the grain in their retail concept – Orchard Central and Orchard Gateway. They are probably the worst-faring of the lot."
The fact that malls which dare to be different do the worst suggests that Singaporeans get the Orchard Road they deserve

Bringing back Orchard Road buzz - "Analysts say Singapore is "over-shopped" - too many malls for such a small country. In fact, RHB Research Institute Singapore said in an August report that Singapore has the highest concentration of retail space per capita in South-east Asia: 1.08 sq m or 11.6 sq ft of retail space per capita, compared with 0.8 sq m per individual for Bangkok and 0.71 sq m for Kuala Lumpur. But that is lower than Hong Kong's 1.5 sq m (16.2 sq ft) as at end-2015, said consultancy JLL... "Most malls are under Reits (real estate investment trusts), so they will fall back on the bread-and-butter tenants, which are more established, so as to ensure sustainable yields for the mall." This results in the cookie-cutter look of many malls. Retailers say landlords are often inflexible in rental negotiations, compounding their troubles."

White Men Have Committed More Mass Shootings than Any Other Group
If Islamophobia and blaming Muslims for terrorism creates more terrorists, what does blaming white men do?

Does Isis really 'claim every terror attack'? How do we know if a claim is true? - ""A simple tabulation of past claims of responsibility for attacks in the West shows that Isis has been surprisingly disciplined in only claiming attacks that the terror group has either directed, enabled or else inspired," Rukmini Callimachi, a New York Times correspondent focusing on Isis and al-Qaeda, told The Independent. She added: "A large share of attacks now are inspired by the terror group. They are carried out by attackers who imbibed the ideology online, as opposed to carried out by the terror group's own personnel. "What people seem to not understand is that an inspired attack is an attack by the terror group."... Making false claims would also leave the group open to accusations they claim attacks they have not committed, which while spreading fear and dismay, would undermine trust among supporters. The group's Amaq news agency "thrives on accuracy," Mr Amarasingam explained. He said some Isis supporters told him they view the group's media as more accurate than Western reporting... While the misconception Isis simply claims everything portrays them as "a bunch of disorganised and opportunistic maniacs," it "doesn't really help us in understanding their internal logic or their future trajectory," Mr Amarasingam said. Experts cautioned against underestimating the group, with Mr Sampson saying it is important not to give Isis or other terror groups "more credit than they deserve or less credit than they merit when it comes to being a danger." Ms Callimachi warned: "This misperception is not just among laypeople, but has spread to the highest levels of government."


Wimbledon station commuters flee train in 'Bible' panic - "the man's Bible-reading led to a "commotion" and a "crush". He said someone then asked the man to stop speaking "as he was scaring people" and "the guy stopped and stood there with his head down"."
Luckily this wasn't the Koran

Evergreen State College Sanctions 80 Students, Debuts 'Free Speech Guide' - "Evergreen is facing both a budget and an enrollment crisis since students attacked Professor Bret Weinstein last May, alleging that he was "racist" for choosing not to participate in an event designed to show the impact of minority students on campus — but would have required all white students and faculty to stay home. Students became so enraged at the incident that they seized control of campus facilities, driving off campus safety officers and forcing the school to shut down for several days."

Heartland brothels make residents see red - "Ms Vanessa Ho, director of sex workers' rights group Project X, believes increased police raids on unlicensed brothels in Geylang could have resulted in businesses moving to public housing... There is also a specific demand for brothels within HDB units as customers prefer to visit them because of convenience, said Ms Ho. "They don't have to go all the way to Geylang. The location is more private and discreet and they are less likely to bump into someone they know," she said... A website hawking sexual services online has introduced an app that allows clients to browse its website discreetly."

'Media Contagion' Is Factor in Mass Shootings, Study Says - "People who commit mass shootings in America tend to share three traits: rampant depression, social isolation and pathological narcissism, according to a paper presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention that calls on the media to deny such shooters the fame they seek... this approach could be adopted in much the same way as the media stopped reporting celebrity suicides in the mid-1990s after it was corroborated that suicide was contagious. Johnston noted that there was “a clear decline” in suicide by 1997, a couple of years after the Centers for Disease Control convened a working group of suicidologists, researchers and the media, and then made recommendations to the media."

Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet? - "Sometimes stories end up debunked. There’s nothing particularly shocking about that. If this were an isolated incident, one could chalk it up to basic human error that has no broader meaning. But this is no isolated incident. Quite the contrary: this has happened over and over and over again. Inflammatory claims about Russia get mindlessly hyped by media outlets, almost always based on nothing more than evidence-free claims from government officials, only to collapse under the slightest scrutiny, because they are entirely lacking in evidence... Each time the stories go viral; each time they further shape the narrative; each time those who spread them say little to nothing when it is debunked... Seeing Putin lurking behind and masterminding every western problem is now religious dogma – it explains otherwise-confounding developments, provides certainty to a complex world, and alleviates numerous factions of responsibility – so media outlets and their journalists are lavishly rewarded any time they publish accusatory stories about Russia (especially ones involving the U.S. election), even if they end up being debunked."

How Uber’s Failure in Japan Can Help Startups Everywhere - "Americans seem uniquely credulous of corporate claims of being the true champions of the consumer and of regulations existing primarily to benefit politicians and their cronies. In the rest of the world, however, when Uber drives into town claiming to be a white knight who will fight the government regulators in order to provide good jobs and affordable services, people simply don’t believe them. Nor should they. It’s a laughable claim... America jails or fines individuals who break the law, but corporate non-compliance is different. In fact, there is a school of thought in the West that when the fines are cheaper than the cost of compliance, it is not only OK to break that law, but that the CEO has a fiduciary duty to break the law."

Meet Dave Rubin, host of the most influential chat show you've never heard of - "Men have veered into some strange territory, especially over the last few decades," the 40 year-old tells me from his Los Angeles home. "Just by existing as men we are automatically guilty of everything in some people's minds. And, on top of that, we've created a situation in the media where men are only allowed to talk about politics and sport." ‘This means the ladies on [popular US female-led chat show] The View are allowed to discuss everything from their personal lives to work and politics, but men are stuck in little boxes only allowed to reveal a part of themselves. That’s why my show exists: to challenge that’... "He also made a great point about the outrage culture we live in and then people were outraged by his comments. You couldn't make this stuff up. I mean, do these people even understand irony?"

Stephen Fry tells sex abuse victims to 'grow up' prompting social media outrage - "Stephen Fry has told sex abuse victims to "grow up" because self-pity is the “ugliest emotion in humanity”"

The Real Reason We Need To Stop Trying To Protect Everyone’s Feelings - "[On Fahrenheit 451] The firemen have been doing it for so long they have no idea. Most of them have never even read a book. Except one fireman—Captain Beatty—who has been around long enough to remember what life was like before. As Montag begins to doubt his profession—going as far as to hide a book in his house—he is subjected to a speech from Beatty. In it Beatty explains that it wasn’t the government that decided that books were a threat. It was his fellow citizens...
In fact, it was something rather simple—something that should sound very familiar. It was a desire not to offend—of an earnest notion to literally have “everyone made equal.” And it’s at the end of this speech that we get the killer passage:
“You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country above all? People want to be happy, isn’t that right?…Colored people don’t like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don’t feel good about Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Burn it. Someone’s written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs? The cigarette people are weeping? Burn the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace, Montag. Take your fight outside. Better yet, to the incinerator.”...
We require kids to read this book in high school and just a few years (or months) later, they’re leading the charge on exactly the kind of well-intentioned censorship Bradbury was talking about... Real empowerment and respect is to see our fellow citizens—victims and privileged, religious and agnostic, conservative and liberal—as adults. Human beings are not automatons—ruled by drives and triggers they cannot control. On the contrary, we have the ability to decide not to be offended. We have the ability to discern intent. We have the ability to separate someone else’s actions or provocation or ignorance from our own. This is the great evolution of consciousness—it’s what separates us from the animals."

Tony Matelli's Naked Man Statue Shouldn't Shock Wellesley Students - "Other than their male professors whom, by and large, they adore, Wellesley students are not used to having men on campus. But an inanimate naked man—a statue—has caused an uproar at my alma mater. The statue is a white man in his underwear, sleepwalking with arms outstretched. It is part of an art exhibit featuring sculptor Tony Matelli at the college's Davis Museum. The sleepwalker has incited nervy indignation among some 300 students, who have started a petition on Change.org, asking college president H. Kim Bottomly to have the statue removed. "[T]his highly lifelike sculpture has, within just a few hours of its outdoor installation, become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community"... art is meant to excite, shock, unruffle. It is meant to make you "think." (Shocking!) But the students who have signed the petition will have none of it. As art history major Annie Wong told a local newspaper, “I think art's intention is to confront, but not assault, and people can see this as assaulting.""

Trigger Warnings in College Classes - The New York Times - "Incest and sexual violence are hardly the only sorts of topics that might trigger panic attacks in students. The same can happen with readings about racism or readings critical of abortion or affirmative action, which may give some students the panicky feeling of being attacked. Even depictions of love and success may induce panic in students who fear that they will never have these goods. Here’s why I don’t use trigger warnings: I’m a teacher, not a therapist, and I teach young adults, not children... my job is to provide intellectual thrills, not therapy...
It’s worth noting that many students who want trigger warnings are the same ones who are demanding programs and organizing demonstrations to confront the very issues that some find triggering. They are conflicted about how to engage in constructive discussion of very difficult subject matter."

6 Story Arcs Define Western Literature, Data-Mining Study Reveals - "“Rags to riches” (the story gets better over time);
“Man in a hole” (fortunes fall, but the protagonist bounces back);
“Cinderella” (there’s an initial rise in good fortunes, followed by a setback, but a happy ending)
“Tragedy” or “riches to rags” (things only get worse);
“Oedipus” (bad luck, followed by promise, ending in a final fall)
“Icarus” (opens with good fortunes, but doomed to fail)"

More on Men, Women and Sexual Differences

"Sexual motivation in the ovulatory cycle

Wilcox et al. (2004) found that around ovulation pairs copulate more frequently, but Thornhill and Gangestad (2008) provide a rich discussion of the otherwise mixed results on the link between ovulation and in-pair sexual frequency. There is clear evidence for an oestrus-like increase of sexual desire around ovulation in human female behavior (Thornhill & Gangestad, 2008), although women are unable to detect ovulation consciously (Sievert & Dubois, 2005). Men too seem to be able to respond to the ovulatory phase of a woman while not being consciously aware of the stimulus: they prefer the body odor of women during ovulation to body odors in any other phase of the cycle (Singh & Bronstad, 2001)...

Male mate quality and female orgasm

The role of the female orgasm is still contended. Some researchers think of it as a byproduct of the evolutionary design for the ejaculatory response in males (Lloyd, 2005; Symons, 1979), whereas others conjecture adaptive function, notable to bias conception in favor of high quality males and perhaps to signal attachment and assure paternity (Thornhill & Gangestad, 1996). In a study relating men’s fluctuating asymmetry (FA) to the frequency of their partner’s copulatory orgasm, Thornhill, Gangestad, and Comer (1995) found support for this hypothesis. Women paired with males high in FA, which indicates low developmental stability and therefore inferior mate quality, reported proportionally fewer orgasms than women with partners low in FA. This relationship prevailed when other variables were controlled, including men’s age, men’s facial attractiveness, duration of the relationship, and frequency of sexual activity. In another study (Shackelford, et al., 2000), female assessment of male sexual attractiveness was positively related to female orgasm at the most recent intercourse. A study with a sample of several thousand Chinese women revealed a strong relationship between a women’s reported proportion of copulatory orgasms and her partner’s wealth (Pollet & Nettle, 2009). Taking wealth as a proxy for mate quality, this result was interpreted as support for a functional view of the female orgasm. However, in a reanalysis of these data (Herberich, Hothorn, Pollet, & Nettle, 2010), the wealth-orgasm relationship decreased after controlling for female education and age and it disappeared after female happiness, education difference, region, and health were additionally controlled. The authors reappraise the results as best explained by the fact that women with higher-income partners are healthier, happier, younger, and more educated than women with lower-income partners. Perhaps this is not the last word, since educational difference within a couple might not be considered as a control variable, but as another measure of male mate quality (high, if male education exceeds female education). Female happiness and health may reflect an effect of male mate quality. If these variables are controlled, a meaningful part of the variance of the measure of male mate quality is shed...

Mate value and attachment

Women who rated their partners as lower in sexual attractiveness reported more expressed love and attention from their partners than women who rated their partners as higher in sexual attractiveness (Pillsworth & Haselton, 2006). This suggests that male loving care and attention may function as a means to compensate for lower sexual attractiveness and because of this nexus it may not be correlated as strongly with sexual desire of the female partner as is often expected. In a study of German students, female sexual motivation was stronger when male commitment as perceived by the female partner was lower than her own commitment at every stage of the relationship (Klusmann, 2002).

Female sexual reluctance and the time course of mateships

Analogy between ovulatory cycle and time course of a mateship

Dual-mating theory (Thornhill & Gangestad, 2008) predicts that women will display greater interest in extra-pair sex near ovulation, especially when mated to a male low in sexual attractiveness. This prediction has been supported by a host of studies...

Female sexual reluctance, male mate value, and time

In a survey study of women and men aged 45 years, mate value was operationalized as the contrast in educational achievement between partners (Klusmann, 2006). If one partner had a higher educational degree than the other, this may indicate high mate value perceived relative to own mate value. This rough measure was related to the time course of sexual motivation (see Figure 1). Female sexual motivation continued to stay on a fairly high level when the male´s educational level exceeded the female´s and it sloped most steeply when the female´s educational level exceeded the male´s...

Mate retention

Mate retention behaviors are enacted to counter the threat of mate poaching (Schmitt & Buss, 2001). Buss and Shackelford (1997) identified 19 mate retention tactics in married couples: vigilance, concealment of mate, monopolization of time, jealousy induction, punish mate's infidelity threat, emotional manipulation, commitment manipulation, derogation of competitors, resource display, sexual inducements, appearance enhancement, love and care, submission and debasement, verbal possession signals, physical possession signals, possessive ornamentation, derogation of mate, intrasexual threats, violence against rivals. For women, mate retention efforts increased with the income and status striving of their husbands; for men, mate retention efforts increased with the youth and physical attractiveness of their wife. The performance frequency of most tactics did not differ between the sexes. However, males more than females used resource display and debasement and threats, and females more than males used appearance enhancement and signals of possession...

Attachment style and relationship

Attachment style in adult life has been studied extensively with the general result that a secure style sets the stage for mutually rewarding relationships (Belsky, 1999). Securely attached men engage in more supportive interactions with their spouses than insecurely attached men, and they also display more concern for their partner’s well being. Securely attached women compared with insecurely attached women experience less conflict with their husbands, their feelings of love are stronger, and they experience their partners as more trustworthy and supportive. Conflict and negative affect are most frequent in couples in which both partners are insecurely attached (Kirkpatrick & Hazan, 1994). Avoidantly attached persons compared with securely attached persons are more unrestricted in their sexual behavior, report lower levels of trust and more often break up relationships (Simpson & Gangestad, 1991). The anxious pattern of attachment is characterized by a tendency to exaggerate one’s need for care and attention. In a mating context, this style is associated with compulsive caregiving — “mothering” the partner (Belsky, 1999). Women with an anxious or anxious ambivalent style of attachment fall in love very intensely and are often unable to protect themselves against exploitation (Feeney & Noller, 2004).

Sexual desire and attachment

In a correlational study by Davis, Shaver, and Vernon (2004), high attachment anxiety was associated with high sexual motivation and high attachment avoidance was associated with a manipulative use of sex. A study of relationship break-up (Davis, Shaver, & Vernon, 2003) showed that the desire to have sex with the partner was activated by insecurity and a posing threat to the relationship, but only if attachment anxiety was high. Gangestad and Thornhill (1997) found attachment anxiety in women to be positively related to the number of extra-pair partners. The authors interpret this relationship as indicating an attempt to hedge against being abandoned by the primary partner.

Relationship satisfaction was generally negatively related to measures of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance in a study by Little, McNulty, and Russell (2010). However, among couples reporting a high frequency of sex, this relationship disappeared. Frequent sex seems to compensate for the negative implications of an avoidant attachment style for relationship satisfaction...

Sex as a road to attachment

In Western societies, one important step toward a committed relationship is cohabitation. If female sexual motivation functions as a means to achieve commitment, if it responded to the acceleration of commitment instead of its absolute level as Baumeister and Bratlavsky proposed (1999), higher sexual motivation would be expected when the couple still lives separately and the relationship has not yet reached the stage of cohabitation. This actually was found (Klusmann, 2006).

In a study of medical students (Townsend, 1987), women reported intense feelings of being used and that something was wrong when they attempted to maintain a sexual relationship and perceived the emotional commitment of their male partner as insufficient. These feelings acted as an emotional alarm and often led to termination of the present relationship and increased sensitivity to commitment in later relationships. Males with corresponding experiences intended to avoid female demand for commitment in their future relationships. Many women reported that even when they did not want to become emotionally attached, sexual intercourse made them feel emotionally vulnerable and contemplate issues of investment and commitment (Townsend, 1995). Townsend conjectures that sex elicits attachment more strongly in women than in men...

Attachment and mate choice

In contrast to mate choice, divorce risk is strongly determined genetically (Mc Gue & Lykken, 1992)...


Bereczkei, Gyuris, and Weisfeld (2004) showed in a study of adopted daughters and their rearing families that the facial traits of a daughter’s husband resembled those of her adoptive father, which gives support to an interpretation of sexual imprinting as opposed to phenotypic matching (resemblance with self). Facial resemblance between husband and adoptive father was greatest in daughters who described their adoptive fathers as emotionally warm and supportive...

Attachment and mating strategy

Attachment does not fade quickly after the prospects of reproductive success have disappeared. A grey goose may mourn after the death of a partner for a long time and may not seek replacement (Bischof, 1989) and a chimpanzee mother has been observed carrying her dead infant with her for weeks (Goodall, 1990). Perhaps attachment is so important for reproductive success that the power of its emotional repertory evolved to paramount strength, and if attachment emotions are dysfunctional for reproduction in some situation, this cannot counteract strong positive selection or introduce complicated conditionality. Another example is provided by an analysis of the customers of a DNA-test service in Germany (Haas & Waldenmaier, 2004). Doubtful fathers only make a third of all requests; new female partners of these fathers and even more the mothers of these new female partners take the largest share. Most fathers who feel attached to a child simply do not want to know if the child is not genetically their own. Attachment seems to overrule mating strategy in this case, perhaps because male psychology is adapted to the futility of sorting out paternity and not prepared for the advent of genetic testing."

--- Sexual Motivation in Mateships and Sexual Conflict / Dietrich Klusmann

Links - 14th February 2018 (2)

White Athletes Still Standing For The Anthem Are Standing For White Supremacy
Is it any wonder why many people think liberals hate their countries?
Comment: "Whew. We've gone from "you may" to "you must" in record time on this one. A random marginal NFL player decided to protest and now if you are "still" not following his lead, you are the worst kind of human imaginable. You're stealing more than a few bases here."

Ninety Two Percent: Examining the Birth Trends, Family Structure, Economic Standing, Paternal Relationships, and Emotional Stability of Biracial Children with African American Fathers by Tiffany N. Calloway - "92% of biracial children with African American fathers are born out of wedlock and 82% end up on government assistance"

Why Swedish workplaces aren't as equal as you think - "In 2016, more than 80% of managers at listed Swedish companies were men and not a single new business on the stock market had a woman boss. The main reason for this imbalance is that traditional gender stereotypes prevail, despite decades of legislation designed to even things out, says Ms Lundeteg. "It's possible to live a gender-equal life in Sweden, but we don't do it because of traditions. "As a man you're supposed to be the one who works and brings home the meat to the cave. It's about stereotypes and privileges that will take time to break down.""
"When burning witches doesn't stop the drought, that means witch magic is very powerful and more witches need to be burnt."

What really happened when Swedes tried six-hour days? - "During the first 18 months of the trial the nurses working shorter hours logged less sick leave, reported better perceived health and boosted their productivity by organising 85% more activities for their patients, from nature walks to sing-a-longs. However, the project also faced tough criticism from those concerned that the costs outweighed the benefits... "I think the six-hour work day would be most effective in organisations - such as hospitals - where you work for six hours and then you just leave [the workplace] and go home. "It might be less effective for organisations where the borders between work and private life are not so clear," he suggests"

Asian Americans: 10 Warning Signs That Show You're Siding With Whiteness - Everyday Feminism - "Our privilege leads us to identify with systems of thought like political conservatism, white liberalism, and white feminism"
Whiteness = success? Liberals throwing Asians under the bus is not new but this just makes it more explicit

Multiple arrested after fight inside Berkeley’s ’empathy tent’ - "The protest was led by Joey Gibson, leader of a group called Patriot Prayer. Gibson had called for a rally after student organizers canceled a planned “Free Speech Week.” Counterprotesters determined to shut the event down got into shouting matches and scuffles with Gibson and his supporters inside the tent and later in a city park... “If you look at them, it’s ridiculous,” Marquis told the Los Angeles Times. “You’ve got a guy with purple hair with a f—ing lightsaber talking about Hitler. It’s hard for me to take any of this seriously.”"

The Atomic Bomb Considered As Hungarian High School Science Fair Project - "every single person I mentioned above is of Jewish descent... Ashkenazi Jews frequently did well even in countries where they were persecuted. Nor is it obviously linked to Jewish culture; Jews from other regions of the world show no such advantage. So what’s going on?... Ashkenazi Jews were persecuted for the better part of a millennium, and the particular form of this persecution was locking them out of various jobs until the main career opportunities open to them were things like banker, merchant, and doctor... Due to persecution, Jews were pushed into cognitively-demanding occupations like banker or merchant and forced to sink or swim. The ones who swam – people who were intellectually up to the challenge – had more kids than the ones who sank, producing an evolutionary pressure in favor of intelligence greater than that in any other ethnic group. Just as Africans experiencing evolutionary pressure for malaria resistance developed the sickle cell gene, so Ashkenazim experiencing evolutionary pressure for intelligence developed a bunch of genes which increased heterozygotes’ IQ but caused serious genetic disease in homozygotes. As a result, Ashkenazi ended up somewhat more intelligent – and somewhat more prone to genetic disease – than the rest of the European population. If true, this would explain the 27% of Nobel Prizes and 50% of world chess champions thing. But one still has to ask – everywhere had Jews. Why Hungary in particular? What was so special about Budapest in the early 1900s?"
Persecution and discrimination don't affect all groups equally

Transracial Adoption and the Black-White IQ Gap - "The relevance of the home environment is also cast into doubt by early intervention studies. In these studies, a group of disadvantaged kids is exposed to an extremely enriching and stimulating cognitive environment. Home life, nutrition, education, etc,. are all improved. These programs produce IQ gains while they are ongoing, but meta-analyses have shown that these gains completely disappear by the time the kids grow up (Protzko, 2015). The fact that massively improving home life doesn’t produce lasting effects on IQ clearly supports the notion that the home environment cannot explain why Blacks and Whites differ in IQ scores in adulthood... 12 of the biracial children’s adopting parents falsely believed that they had two Black parents and their IQs did not significantly differ from the other 56 biracial children. This study clearly supports the contention that differences in home environments cannot explain the black-white IQ gap. It also suggests that whatever the cause is may become stronger with time. This could be either genes or the non-home environment. Because the heritability of IQ increases with age, the so-called “Wilson effect”, a hereditarian would probably predict that the black-white IQ gap would increase with age, and/or that genes would become a more important factor in it with age (Bouchard 2013). On the other hand, an environmentalist could argue that the effect of the non-home environment accumulates over time. Either interpretation is plausible."

The Right to Religious Conversion: Between Apostasy and Proselytization - "the right to be convinced and to convert from Islam to another religion is held by only a minority of Muslim scholars. This view of religious freedom is however not shared by the vast majority of Muslim scholars both past as well as present. Most classical and modern Muslim jurists regard apostasy ( riddah ), defined by them as an act of rejection of faith committed by a Muslim whose Islam had been affirmed without coercion, as a crime deserving the death penalty . Almost all traditional books of Islamic jurisprudence ( fiqh ) deal extensively with the penalties to be imposed on apostates such as the disposition of the apostate’s property and inheritance and the dissolution of their marriages."

I Know Why So Many Angry Women Have Blue Hair - "If you’re young, were born with XX chromosomes, and want the world know you wield poison and you’re not afraid to use it, there’s no clearer or more immediate way to signal how dangerous you are than dipping your coconut into a vat of de rigueur Manic Panic. Take one look at Twitter – or, worse, Tumblr – and you’ll see that, increasingly, the barmiest, angriest feminist cry-babies in the world are rallying together under the Blue Banner... Nature has a name for wielding unusual colour as a warning sign: aposematism, from the Greek ‘away’ and ‘sign’. And blue is one of the most unnatural colours of them all... When blue hair alone isn’t enough, pray silence for the Free Your Pits “movement” (like a bowel movement, only less enjoyable) which encourages armpit hair to be dyed."

Thoughts on white people using dark-skinned emoji - "I came across an incident involving Kendall Jenner. In August, some people on social media called her out for using a fist bump emoji in a skin tone that was darker than her own. Some people accused her of cultural appropriation... The logical step, in my mind, was to get my co-workers and people on Twitter to chime in. I simply asked them if it’s ok for white people to use emoji with darker skin-tones. According to my Twitter poll, the answer is no. Of the 239 people who voted, 54 percent said it’s not, 33 percent said yes and 13 percent said “only if they’re tan.”... He then pointed to a Wikipedia page about minstrel shows, which entailed white people dressing up in blackface to negatively portray black people. He then added, “My blackness is not for your entertainment.”... Another white friend of mine on Facebook noted that when it comes to topics pertaining to civil rights and human rights, it feels weird to use a white fist, which he said he can’t help but associate with white power... the yellow one is the default. But when enough white people use yellow, it’s possible that it could result in the presumption that yellow equals white. Then, yellow is no longer neutral but becomes yet another embodiment of whiteness."
This is why introducing diverse emoji was a bad idea. Grievance mongers will always find a new angle to complain

Zombie vs Baby - Imgur

Finnish anti-rape video raises Star Wars, The Force comparisons - "POLICE in Finland have been panned over an absurd anti-rape video which appears to show a woman using ‘The Force’ to repel a would-be attacker. The video, aired on state broadcaster Yle, outlines Finnish police’s “top three methods” against street harassment: “Say ‘No!’, push and use your handbag”. The anti-rape video has been likened to advice given by the mayor of Cologne to remain at “arm’s length” from attackers, and by the mayor of the German town of Bad Scherma that schoolgirls should not “provoke” migrants to avoid being sexually assaulted... Finnish police revealed widespread reports of sexual assault committed by migrants during New Year celebrations in the capital, mirroring the Cologne attacks. Ilkka Koskimaki, the deputy chief of police in Helsinki, told TheTelegraph: “This phenomenon is new in Finnish sexual crime history. We have never before had this kind of sexual harassment happening at New Year’s Eve.”"

A Proposal for Islam - The New York Times - "I was miserable, locked in a holding cell by Malaysia’s “religious police.”... the Islamic Renaissance Front, a reformist, progressive Muslim organization in Malaysia, invited me to give a series of lectures on Islam, reason and freedom... there is a major problem in Islam today: a passion to impose religion, rather than merely proposing it, a mind-set that most Christians left behind at the time of the Inquisition. Luckily, there are antidotes within Islam to this problem. One of them is the Quranic verse that the JAWI officers repeatedly chided me for daring to recite: “No compulsion in religion.” In fact, mainstream Muslim tradition, reflecting its illiberal context, never fully appreciated the freedom implied by this verse — and other ones with similar messages. “The ‘no compulsion’ verse was a problem to the earliest exegetes,” as Patricia Crone, a scholar of Islamic history, has noted. “And they reacted by interpreting it restrictively.” The verse was declared “abrogated,” or its scope was radically limited. This is still evident in a parenthetical that is too frequently inserted into translations of the verse. “There shall be no compulsion in religion (in becoming a Muslim).” I’d known that Saudi translations added those extra words at the end. Now I have learned that the Malaysian authorities do, too"
Are people still calling Malaysia a moderate Islamic country?

North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal Threatens China’s Path to Power - NYTimes.com - "China has more nuclear-armed neighbors than any country in the world: Russia, India, Pakistan and now North Korea. But that situation is partly one of its own making."

How to Make Fun of Nazis - The New York Times - "For decades, Wunsiedel, a German town near the Czech border, has struggled with a parade of unwanted visitors. It was the original burial place of one of Adolf Hitler’s deputies, a man named Rudolf Hess. And every year, to residents’ chagrin, neo-Nazis marched to his grave site. The town had staged counterdemonstrations to dissuade these pilgrims. In 2011 it had exhumed Hess’s body and even removed his grave stone. But undeterred, the neo-Nazis returned. So in 2014, the town tried a different tactic: humorous subversion. The campaign, called Rechts Gegen Rechts — the Right Against the Right — turned the march into Germany’s “most involuntary walkathon.” For every meter the neo-Nazis marched, local residents and businesses pledged to donate 10 euros (then equivalent to about $12.50) to a program that helps people leave right-wing extremist groups, called EXIT Deutschland... Violence directed at white nationalists only fuels their narrative of victimhood — of a hounded, soon-to-be-minority who can’t exercise their rights to free speech without getting pummeled. It also probably helps them recruit. And more broadly, if violence against minorities is what you find repugnant in neo-Nazi rhetoric, then “you are using the very force you’re trying to overcome”. Most important perhaps, violence is just not as effective as nonviolence. In their 2011 book, “Why Civil Resistance Works,” Dr. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth examined how struggles are won. They found that in over 320 conflicts between 1900 and 2006, nonviolent resistance was more than twice as effective as violent resistance in achieving change. And nonviolent struggles were resolved much sooner than violent ones. The main reason, Dr. Stephan explained to me, was that nonviolent struggles attracted more allies more quickly. Violent struggles, on the other hand, often repelled people and dragged on for years."
In other words, violence (and punching "Nazis") doesn't work
This suggests that punching "Nazis" is just a cover for deeper issues

Serbian doctor tells of transgender reversals - "Prof Djordjevic fears money is at the root of the problem, and says his reversal patients have told him about making initial inquiries to surgeries and simply being asked to send a cheque in return. "I have heard stories of people visiting surgeries who only checked if they had the money to pay," he says. "We have to stop this. As a community, we have to make very strong rules: nobody who wants to make this type of surgery or just make money can be allowed to do so." To date, all of his reversals have been transgender women aged over 30 wanting to restore their male genitalia. Over the last two decades, the average age of his patients has more than halved, from 45 to 21. While the World Professional Association for Transgender Health guidelines currently state nobody under the age of 18 should undergo surgery, Prof Djordjevic fears this age limit could soon be reduced to include minors. Were that to happen, he says, he would refuse to abide by the rules. "I'm afraid what will happen five to 10 years later with this person," he says. "It is more than about surgery; it's an issue of human rights. I could not accept them as a patient as I'd be afraid what would happen to their mind." Referrals to adult and child gender identity clinics in the UK have increased dramatically over the past 10 years. In April, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the only clinic for adolescents in England, reported 2,016 referrals to its gender identity development service, a 42 per cent rise compared to the previous year, which in itself marked a 104 per cent increase on the year before that... a Monmouthshire MP, Dr Helen Webberley, was being investigated by the General Medical Council (GMC), following complaints from two GPs that she had treated children as young as 12 with hormones at her private clinic, which specialises in gender issues."

Women's groups withdraw support for joint report on gender inequality - "A group of local non-government organisations have been working together for the first time to submit a joint report on gender discrimination to a United Nations (UN) committee. But fault lines in the community have emerged, even before the final draft of the report for the UN's Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) committee was presented. A media conference on Friday (Sept 29) that would have revealed the details of this report was cancelled with about three hours' notice. No reasons for the cancellation were immediately available. The Straits Times understands that at least four women’s groups – including the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS), the People’s Association’s Women’s Integration Network and the NTUC Women and Family Unit – had previously decided to withdraw support for the report because they found some parts of the report too divisive. The supposedly contentious points in the report included a call for the removal of Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises sex between men, a shift away from abstinence-based sex education, a ban on polygamy, and tighter rules on Muslim inheritance and marriage."
Aren't the feminists concerned that they are perpetuating stereotypes that women can't work together?
Who in their right mind would think a Muslim group would remove 377A and ban polygamy?
"Ideological differences aside, why would you include a law banning men having sex with each other in a report about discrimination against women? Last time your English teacher never teach you to write on point is it?"

Why Do Orchestras Seem to Play Behind the Beat?

"Stereotypes" about men, women and sex

"In their review of sex differences, Baumeister, Catanese, and Vohs (2001) report a higher level of sex drive in men regardless of the measure used for investigation. Men think about sex more often than women, they experience spontaneous sexual arousal more often, are more readily aroused by visual stimuli, more focused on the genitals and on achieving orgasm, less easily distracted during coitus, prefer a greater variety of sexual practices, masturbate more frequently, find it harder to forego sexual activity for any period of time, and are more prepared to make sacrifices to obtain sex. They rarely suffer from hyposexual desire disorder.

Sexual desire in couples

In long-term relationships, men report a desire for a higher frequency of sex than their female partners at every stage of the relationship. This was found in the early studies by Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin (1948) and in virtually every study since (Baumeister et al., 2001; Oliver & Hyde, 1993). Men are typically more dissatisfied with their sex lives and women more dissatisfied with their partner’s emotional responsiveness and ability as providers (Rhyne, 1981). Even in the age group 60-80 years, 52% of men but only 16% of women consider sex to be important (Bergstrom-Walan & Nielsen, 1990). In a survey of couples who had been married for 20 years, Ard (1977) found that wives were satisfied with the amount of sex they had, but husbands desired greater frequency. Husbands reported more enjoyment from sex than wives and they underestimated the sexual desire of their wives while their wives overestimated their husband’s preferred frequency of sex. Julien, Bouchard, Gagnon, and Pomerleau (1992) secured reports from both partners of middle class married couples from Montreal, Canada. Husbands desired a higher frequency of sex than they actually experienced, and their wives underestimated their husband’s preferred frequency of sex - contrary to the results found by Ard (1977). Furthermore, husbands perceived themselves to be more interested in sex and gratified by sex than their wives. In a study of couples, Julien et al. (1992) conclude that both partners perceive a husband´s sexual initiative as being determined by an internal need, and a wife´s sexual initiative by the desire to display proof of her love. In an Australian study of young adults, men wanted more frequent sex than women at every stage of dating (McCabe, 1987). With increasing involvement in the relationship this discrepancy decreased but never disappeared. Women seem to require a larger dose of emotional intimacy in order to generate maximum passion, whereas men may reach a high level of passion with much less emotional intimacy (Vohs & Baumeister, 2004).

Love and sexual desire

Can there be a situation in which the sexual desire of a woman equals or exceeds that of a man? Baumeister and Bratslavsky (1999) speculate about such a situation: The love phase at the beginning of a relationship, when intimacy is increasing at a fast rate. Sexual desire, especially in women, so they speculate, is more sensitive to changes than to absolute levels of intimacy. In a blossoming relationship it responds to the acceleration of commitment. This would be expected mostly in newly-formed relationships of adolescents and young adults, and in fact Davies, Katz, and Jackson (1999) showed that in a sample of 20-year-olds who had been dating for about two years no sex differences in sexual desire occurred. A similar result was reported by Klusmann (2002) for German students aged 19-30 years. Measures of sexual desire did not differ between the sexes in the first two years of a relationship. In couples involved for a longer duration, female sexual motivation continually dropped while male sexual motivation stayed the same.

Duration of a relationship overrules age in predicting sexual activity

In a British survey of a large, nationally representative sample (n = 16700), duration of relationship was more strongly related to sexual activity than age. When only relationships in their early stages (up to two years) were considered, frequency of sex was fairly constant, independent of age, with a median of 8-10 acts of sexual intercourse per month for women and 9-10 for men, in age groups ranging from 16 to 44 years. Only in age group 45-59 years did the median decrease (Johnson, Wadsworth, Wellings, & Field, 1994, p. 155). In a student sample with an age range of 19-30 years and a median duration of relationship of three years, no age effect remained for both sexes after duration of relationship was introduced into the regression equation to predict sexual activity (Klusmann, 2002). A similar result emerged in a nationally-representative German interview study with three age groups: 30, 45, and 60 years (Schmidt, Matthiesen, Dekker, & Starke, 2006). When a middle-aged couple divorces and starts over with new partners, the frequency of intercourse will be high again in both sexes, independent of age (Call, Sprecher, & Schwartz, 1995; Vohs & Baumeister, 2004). This strong link of sexual frequency to the duration of the relationship suggests an instrumental role of sex for the formation of a relationship. However, there is no obvious reason to expect long-term maintenance of a relationship being less dependent on sexual activity than its formation and so the question remains why sexual activity decreases after about two years.

Sociosexual Orientation

Men are more willing than women to engage in sexual relations when they feel no emotional involvement (Clark & Hatfield, 1989; Townsend, 1995). In a meta-analysis, Oliver and Hyde (1993) found the attitude toward casual sex to differ between men and women with the second largest effect size - the largest was found in masturbation frequency. An updated meta-analysis 17 years later delivered the same rank order of sex differences (Petersen & Hyde, 2010). Only when the use of pornography was included did masturbation descend to rank two and the attitude toward casual sex to rank three. Sociosexual orientation (SO) refers to a personality trait ranging between two poles: unrestricted - a willingness to engage in sexual relationships without commitment or emotional closeness and restricted - a reluctance to engage in uncommitted sex (Simpson and Gangestad, 1991)...

Women who are interested in having short-term sexual relationships report greater interest in men´s physical attractiveness and are more sensitive to differences in symmetry (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000). Mikach and Bailey (1999) contrasted two groups of women who differed strongly in their number of lifetime sex partners. Women with many sex partners as compared to women with fewer sex partners reported their first sexual experience five years earlier, had a lower waist-to-hip ratio, behaved more like boys during childhood, were rated to be more masculine in their physical appearance and their behavior, and were more unrestricted in SO. There was no indication that women who had more sex partners were lower in mate value or endured greater childhood stress than women with fewer sex partners.

Much of the research on SO just particularizes and supplements the definition of the concept: Unrestricted individuals avoid sustained emotional intimacy, lack warmth and the capacity to form close relationships, they like the benefits of short- time affairs and sexual experimenting, place high value on physical attractiveness, tend to be emotional immature, egocentric, and lacking in self insight and agreeableness (Simpson, et al., 2004)...

People tend to choose mates according to their own SO. In student samples, unrestricted SO is associated with a preference for sexual attractiveness and social visibility in a potential mate, whereas restricted SO is associated with a preference for kindness, responsibility, and faithfulness (Simpson & Gangestad, 1991). These preference discrepancies held even after statistically controlling for assortative mating.

Garcia and Markey (2007) showed that romantic partners were generally matched in the prior number of sex partners. Discrepancy in prior number of sex partners was associated with lower levels of love, satisfaction, and commitment in the relationship when the partners were married, but not when they were just cohabitating.

Differences in SO are expected to give rise to conflict over infidelity within a couple but not to conflict over the frequency of sex, because SO seems to be unrelated to interest in sexual activity with the committed partner (Simpson & Gangestad, 1991)...

Self-reported motivations for having sex

Meston and Buss (2007) investigated sexual motivation with an open-ended prompt for participants to write down reasons for sexual intercourse. From the collection of anecdotal responses, 237 items reflecting possible reasons were abstracted and presented to a larger sample of students. Both women and men most frequently endorsed feelings of attraction as a reason for having sex. Of the top 25 items, 20 were checked by men and women with similar frequency (e.g., "I wanted to show my affection."). Men exceeded women in reasons having to do with physical attraction, pleasure seeking, and ego-boosting, whereas women exceeded men in endorsing love as a reason to have sex.

The 237 items were grouped into four domains: (1) physical (stress reduction, pleasure, physical desirability, experience seeking), (2) goal attainment (resources, social status, revenge, utilitarian motives), (3) emotional (love and commitment), (4) insecurity (selfesteem boost, duty or pressure, mate guarding). Contrary to expectation, men and women did not differ in the subfactor "emotional (love and commitment)".

Stated reasons for having sex ranged from trivial pursuits (e.g., because of a bet) to magnificent obsession (e.g., to be closer to god). The authors pursued this descriptive approach in a popular science book (Meston & Buss, 2009), which parallels the Hite report (Hite, 1981) but with input via internet instead of letters to a magazine and a framework of evolutionary theory instead of feminism. They used an online questionnaire to ask women if they had sex for one or more of the 237 reasons assembled from an earlier study of anecdotal responses. About 1000 women described their experiences and these descriptions were compiled into an account of the many facets of sexual motivation"

--- Sexual Motivation in Mateships and Sexual Conflict / Dietrich Klusmann

Links - 14th February 2018 (1)

Why Israel has nothing to learn from Europe in fighting terror - "after four years as the EU envoy, Faaborg-Andersen said that Israel can learn from Europe how to effectively combat terrorism... Now that is an interesting idea considering how many of the terrorist attacks perpetrated in Europe are carried out by citizens, some born and bred in their respective countries. In Israel, a small percentage of the attacks - like the recent one at the Temple Mount - are carried out by Israeli Arabs. Most are perpetrated by Palestinians. Looking at the numbers this is an even stranger idea. According to EUROPOL, the EU agency for law enforcement cooperation, 142 people were killed in terrorist attacks in EU member states in 2016. In Israel, on the other hand, 17 people were killed. While 2017 is not yet over, the discrepancy is stark. In Israel 12 people have been killed, nine of them soldiers and policemen, while in EU member states there are already nearly 60 people who have been killed in Islamic terrorist attacks."
Even when you correct for population, more people died in Western Europe than Israel to terrorists in 2016

Wikileaks: Singapore firm with government ties bought cyber snooping software - "It turns out that a Singapore-based company named PCS Security was named in the list. According to Wikileaks, the company purchased 19 licenses for the malware products in 2012, of which 15 were subsequently “deleted”, although it’s unclear what Wikileaks meant by that. Altogether, this comes out to just over €3 million (about US$4 million) in spending."

Singapore Officials Show Some Spine… - "The Singapore government has declined to reappoint Attorney General Walter Woon after his two years on the job expired earlier this month. Woon was earlier criticized by Lee Wei Ling, the daughter of Singaporean patriarch Lee Kuan Yew. Wei Ling is the head of the National Neuroscience Institute. In 2008 Woon brought a case against CK Tang department store chairman Tang Wee Sum for attempting to buy a kidney for transplanting. Both Lee Wei Ling and Lee Kuan Yew voiced public disapproval of Woon for bringing the charges against Tang.. In a defiant interview in the Straits Times newspaper, Woon, a professor of law with a distinguished record with the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education and as a former ambassador to Germany and Belgium, was asked if he thought he had "annoyed the powers that be." "It's not unlikely that I have"... Woon's testiness over the kidney decision was the second in which a Singaporean legal figure has appeared to differ with the ruling Lee family. Last year, District Judge John Ng acquitted five members of the Singapore Democratic Party of holding a procession without a permit when they attempted to walk from Singapore's Speaker's Corner to Queenstown Remand Prison in September of 2007, saying he couldn't see how the activity of walking down Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping thoroughfare, fit the definition of a procession. The Attorney General's chambers almost immediately appealed Judge Ng's decision. On April 2, High Court Judge Choo Han Teck overruled Ng and ordered him to sentence the activists. Accordingly, Ng on April 20 fined them S$500 each in lieu of five days in jail. Gandhi Ambalam, the leader, was fined S$600 or 6 days jail."

Fat women are perfect and beautiful but fat men are ugly and nasty : TumblrInAction

Learning to love myself enough to f*ck raw while Black and HIV positive - "The fact that I am HIV positive is a result of anti-Black state sanctioned violence"
"by his definition whiteness=ethical behavior"

Cop-hating professor’s bondage fetish revealed on kink site - "The anarchist John Jay College professor who tweeted “it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops” says publicly that he despises authority and punishment, but privately he’s seeking a dominatrix to rule him with an iron fist... When he puts on his “dom” hat, he likes “calling my subs dirty fascist lapdog whores,” he writes."
The lady doth protest too much

Christopher Nolan Sank a $500,000 IMAX Camera Making Dunkirk - "Christopher Nolan does not like to add effects in post-production and instead favors practical effects and one of his methods on Dunkirk was to strap incredibly expensive IMAX cameras to planes and intentionally crash them into the sea"

Are young men really skipping work to play video games? - "In the researchers’ model, the rise in how much young people value games over time predicts a drop in hours of between 1.5% and 3%, which the authors say explains the bulk of the 4% disparity with older workers who don’t value video games as much. (Recall that the disparity in question arises from the 12% decline in hours worked for young people, versus an 8% decline for older workers, between 2000 and 2015.) In other words, the reason younger men are working less than their older peers is that they’d rather be playing video games."

The surprising ways video games have shaped the economy - "I saw Edward Castronova speak in front of a learned audience of scientists and policy wonks in Washington DC. "You guys are already winning in the game of real life," he told us. "But not everyone can." And if your choice is a Starbucks server or a star-ship captain - what, really, is so crazy about deciding to take command in an imaginary world?"

Russian men losing years to vodka - "Overall, a quarter of Russian men die before reaching 55, compared with 7% of men in the UK and about 10% in the United States. The life expectancy for men in Russia is 64 years, placing it among the lowest 50 countries in the world in that category. It is not clear how many Russian men drink three bottles or more a week. Lead researcher Sir Richard Peto of Oxford University said the average Russian adult drank 20 litres of vodka per year while the average Briton drank about three litres of spirits."

Similar hanging mannequin at *SCAPE was used 3 years ago & nobody complained - "A mannequin of a bloodied, long-haired woman hanging from a tree at *SCAPE has been taken down after criticism from conservative members of the public."

Top university accepts Islamic Society’s gender-segregated event was ‘unlawful’ - "The London School of Economics (LSE) came under fire in March last year after the Islamic Society held a gala dinner for which students had to buy separate tickets depending on whether they were a “brother” or a “sister”. When they arrived at the event, held at a banqueting hall in central London, there was a large screen separating the men’s tables from the women’s ones, stopping the attendees from even looking at each other."

Michelle Obama mocked for reading 'racist' Dr Seuss books - "In an open letter on Tuesday, Cambridgeport Elementary School librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro rejected a gift of several Dr Seuss books, saying their whimsical illustrations were 'steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes'. Now Twitter users - armed with photos of Michelle Obama reading Dr Seuss books to children during her time in the White House - are mocking those claims... On Saturday it emerged that Soeiro had dressed up as Seuss's The Cat in the Hat character just months before refusing the books. In her open letter to the First Lady, Soeiro had linked to an article titled 'Is the Cat in the Hat Racist?' that accused Seuss of 'blackface minstrelsy' in creating that character"

Norwegian minister: 'We now get what Israel goes through' - "Norway’s minister of immigration drew comparisons Wednesday between the plight of Europeans suffering from increasingly common terror attacks with the experiences endured by Israel for decades... The interview took place a day after Denmark’s Immigration Minister Inger Stojberg posted a screenshot of her iPad showing a drawing of the Prophet Mohammad on Facebook, one of the satirical cartoons that caused outrage among Muslims around the world more than a decade ago. While saying that she did not necessarily agree with the caricature, Listhaug insisted her Danish counterpart had every right to publish it in the interest of free speech"

Exposé: Female IDF combat soldiers at health risk - "The document sheds light on the way the IDF integrates women into the combat force, despite the serious medical consequences caused to female soldiers, and despite the damage to the operational level of the units in which women are integrated as combatants. "Women are no different from men in motivation, command ability, leadership, personal abilities, mental and cognitive functioning," the introduction to the document states. The main difference, according to the document, "is body structure and physiology, which is reflected in differences in women's physical ability from that of men in many aspects, the most prominent of which is cardio-strength, strength (especially strength of the upper body), and speed." Under the heading "Women's Characteristics relative to Men," the Advisor notes that body weight, muscle mass, and muscle strength are significantly lower in women, and therefore, during training as fighters, they suffer far more from "weight-bearing capability" and "muscle-skeletal injuries." The key word for dealing with these medical problems is "adjustment": Adjustment of the duffel bag to each female soldier's weight, the adjustment of an effort bar so that it is lower for female fighters than men's, and fitting roles to match the physical characteristics of the girl fighters. It amounts to a drastic lowering of combat achievement requirements to accommodate female fighters... The implications of this fact, as they appear in the IDF document, are: "higher stress fractures, lower aerobic performance (running and trekking) and increased risk of heat injuries"... the female fighters should be allowed seven hours of net sleep, to ensure the presence of logistical details suitable for female fighters such as clothing, menstrual needs, weapons, and more. The document also states that "lowering weight burdens" should be performed, and specifies, for example, the use of lighter radio equipment, and "four cartridges in the vest instead of six." It was also determined that the maximum weight allowed for females is 33% of body weight compared to 40% for fighting men"
On the feminist fetish for citing Israel as how women in all combat roles will work

Will Hamas place benches to help female IDF soldiers? - ""The IDF discovered that women in combat units suffered many physiological injuries, failed the entrance tests and fitness routines, and fell behind during any strenuous physical activities. "Therefore, the IDF have adapted the training and courses, and lowered the bar to enable more women to participate... "In one of the fitness tests in the IDF Officers' School, the women run with one canteen and two magazines, and they climb over a wall using a bench. Men run with two canteens, five magazines, and must climb the wall without help. The maximum time given to men is seven minutes; the women have nine minutes."

More young Singaporeans signing up for dialect classes - "The Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan (SHHK) said interest has been growing over the last three years, especially among those in the medical field, lawyers, undergraduates and property agents."
Singaporeans are pragmatic

Why European Islam’s current problems might reflect a 100-year-old mistake - "Jonathan Laurence argues (link to English translation) that the present-day pathologies of European Islam are a kind of aftershock from a century-old mistake. Or rather, of a short-sighted policy that went into higher gear almost exactly 100 years ago. In the summer of 1916, the British government and its war allies began fomenting an Arab revolt against the political and above all, spiritual authority of the Ottomans"
How come everything is white people's fault?
Comment: "So, everything will be solved when Ergodan declares himself Caliph? Somehow, I am not convinced."
"Yeah, bollocks – if the Caliph meant so much to the Muslims, why was it successfully abolished (by Muslims themselves no less)? And why have the Muslims, by and large, not missed it for the past 100 years, and still don’t appear to do so (ISIS notwithstanding)? The answer is that the Caliphate has not mattered in centuries, not since the fall of the Abbasid empire more than a thousand years ago. And when the Mongols sacked Baghdad and killed the Caliph, but no Muslims lifted a finger to help, any pretensions to their authority banished. Such a hollow office, even if it were still alive, would have done very little to tame fundamentalist Islam"

What Makes You So Sure? Dogmatism, Fundamentalism, Analytic Thinking, Perspective Taking and Moral Concern in the Religious and Nonreligious - "although dogmatism is negatively related to analytic reasoning in both groups of individuals, it shares a divergent relationship with measures of moral concern depending on whether one identifies as religious or not. Study 1 showed that increasing levels of dogmatism were positively related to prosocial intentions among the religious and negatively related to empathic concern among the nonreligious. Study 2 replicated and extended these results by showing that perspective taking is negatively related to dogmatism in both groups, an effect which is particularly robust among the nonreligious. Study 2 also showed that religious fundamentalism was positively related to measures of moral concern among the religious."
In other words, religious dogmatism/fundamentalism isn't all bad

Chinese tourists handed 30-page list of dos and don'ts in Singapore - "The Chinese authorities put out “civilised behaviour guidelines” for mainland travellers as far back as 2006, but at the time, they only took up one page."

Dear Colleague: It’s over! Education Department rescinds controversial 2011 letter - "the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced that the April 4, 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter and an accompanying 2014 guidance document are rescinded. The 2011 letter mandated that colleges use the low, “preponderance of the evidence” standard in adjudicating accusations of sexual misconduct on campus. It also recommended the removal of other critical elements of a fair procedure, such as the right to cross-examination and prohibitions on double jeopardy (being tried for the same accusation twice)."
Maybe feminists will complain this perpetuates "rape culture" since fewer men will be persecuted

For Some Chinese Uighurs, Modeling Is A Path To Success - "wherever she goes, she says, she gets the same response. "In France, people spoke to me in French, thinking I was French," she says. "In Italy, they spoke Italian to me. The immigration officer in Europe wouldn't stamp my Chinese passport at first because he didn't believe I was from China." The only country where she isn't mistaken for a local is her own. "In many Chinese cities, people think I'm a foreigner," Dulkun says, giggling."

University: Prioritize Sexual Minorities - "The University of Alberta claims that studies say more than half of Generation Z is not heterosexual or cisgender, in a poster first seen on campus Tuesday. The university’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services presented this information and more pertaining to gender and sexuality in a poster located on campus... “What staggers me with regards to the continual pushing of these minority rights activists is the rate at which equality of opportunity turned, first, into ‘equity’ (an absolutely murderous doctrine) and now, even further — into the demand for privilege”... Peterson argued that, lacking internal borders, the egos of the activists engaged in a “narcissistic expansion,” creating an “ethical void.” “The radical leftists have become exceptionally good at using guilt and accusation to demolish all those who would otherwise enforce such limits”"

Liberalism's identity crisis - "Visit the Republican Party’s homepage and you’ll find a page entitled “Principles for American Renewal” with clear statements on 11 important areas. On immigration, for example, it declares: “We need an immigration system that secures our borders, upholds the law, and boosts our economy.” The offline GOP could hardly be said to live up to this online clarity. But at least the intent is there. Go to democrats.org and no equivalent document is immediately available. Instead, Lilla reports, “You find a list of links titled ‘People’. And each link takes you to a page tailored to appeal to a distinct group and identity: women, Hispanics, ‘ethnic Americans’, the LGBT community, Native Americans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders . . . there are 17 such groups, and 17 separate messages. You might think that, by some mistake, you have landed on the website of the Lebanese government — not that of a party with a vision of America’s future.” Identity politics isn’t just electorally hopeless, it is intellectually stultifying. Indeed, it is an assault on free thought and reason. Argument replaces taboo. Lilla understands this. Of the recent tendency to begin sentences with “speaking as an X”, he writes: “This is not an anodyne phrase. It tells the listener that I am speaking from a privileged position on this matter . . . It sets up a wall against questions, which by definition come from a non-X perspective. And it turns the encounter into a power relation: the winner of the argument will be whoever expressed the most outrage at being questioned.”... the path back to electoral success involves steering left-wing politics back towards ideas such as citizenship and solidarity, building an inclusive agenda that is less obsessed with dividing society up into distinct groups and more concerned with building common cause across those lines."
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