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Monday, February 19, 2018

Links - 19th February 2018 (2)

Oh change, how will it come? | Tan Tarn How Too - "Singapore had become even less liberal in the last three, four years. The question is whether there is hope for the future and where that will come from. First, the tightening of space in politics, the media, the arts, and academia since about 2013. After the 2011 general election shock, there was a brief desperate experiment by the government to free up. That only led to more dissent as naysayers with becoming emboldened. Government, either as a whole or individual ministers, saw that this was not helping them politically (never mind the question of whether more diversity is better for the country). How tiresome and tiring all that accountability and explaining and answering! A crackdown followed about two years later. The early casualties include Alex Au and Roy Ngerng. Even people ostensibly on their side who dared to voice different opinions were publicly censured in ways that have not been used since the mid 1990s. Understandably and as intended, a chilling effect ensued. The proverbial monkeys have been frightened. In academia, there is the case of Cherian George. Donald Low is a recent case... The above are only the public manifestations of a wider set of actions. Activists and artists have been denied work in academia. Arts groups who do “difficult” work are closely monitored, artists censored behind the scenes. Dissenters in the mainstream media newsrooms have been purged. Atomised, the actors struggle on on their own. As one of us said yesterday, “They don’t even bother with the wayang anymore.” The regression to a stricter past is made possible by the big majority of the population who don’t care for more than their own livelihood and having a good time, people who are happy that non-political individual freedom has increased (you have choice on how you live, whether hippy, homosexual or any other “alternative”) and who don’t see the roll-back elsewhere... activists and artists are speaking to the converted. The general elections are the ultimate end game for the government. Hence what it is afraid of is numbers. Change would only come if enough people say ‘No, this is no good.” (This is where the liberals have to learn from the much more effective Christian right)."

China's Latest Crackdown on Message Groups Chills WeChat Users - "Regulations released Sept. 7 made creators of online groups responsible for managing information within their forums and the behavior of members... Qiao Mu, a former journalism professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University who recently emigrated to the U.S., had four personal WeChat accounts and 16 public ones deleted without his consent... While virtual private networks can provide access to blocked messaging services such as Line and Telegram, the country is zeroing in such services. Apple Inc. is removing many VPNs from its Chinese app store to comply with local rules."

Social Media Flips Out Over ‘Racist’ Dove Commercial - "the commercial in its entirety — though brief — isn’t what’s being shared on social media. Instead, a side-by-side photo of the African-American woman changing into the white woman is what’s making the rounds... Dove has even issued an apology"

Dove's 'racist' ad and others that have got it wrong - "In 2011, British chocolate brand Cadbury ran an ad comparing its Dairy Milk candy bar to supermodel Naomi Campbell. "Move over Naomi, there's a new diva in town," the headline said, next to a Dairy Milk Bliss bar. Campbell complained that it was racist, saying: "It's upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humor in this. It is insulting and hurtful"... When Sony introduced its PlayStation Portable (PSP) console in different colors back in 2006 it decided to use a poster featuring two women to advertise the launch. A white woman with an aggressive expression held the face of a black woman, and the line "PlayStation Portable White is coming" featured. The ad was deemed racist.... [Benetton] has not shied away from featuring different skin tones in ads: a 1989 poster featured a black woman breastfeeding a white baby. But it caused uproar in the U.S. and had to be withdrawn... Nicofresh created a campaign showing a young black man embracing an older white woman, with the line: "No tobacco. No taboo."The poster ran in Belfast, Northern Ireland but was banned by the U.K.'s Advertising Standards Authority because it said consumers would believe that the ad presented mixed-race and age relationships as socially unacceptable."
Looks like Diversity is a losing proposition

No, having an Asian woman in the Dove ad does not make it less racist - "Intent isn't always important when it comes to racism. The advert is not “active” racism – i.e the black woman in it isn’t being literally harmed because of her skin colour, and the explicit goal of the advert is not to maintain the system of racism. But it is definitely “passive” racism, an action which contributes to the maintenance of racism, “without openly advocating violence or oppression”. Even including an Asian women in the video does not counter the fact that the deep-rooted, beauty industry-led systems which negatively position black women are at play. For years and years, black women have been told our skin colour is unclean, dirty, something to be fixed. A solvable problem. It could be predicted that black women watching the advert would pick up an insinuation that by using Dove’s shower gel product you can “rectify” your skintone. The Asian woman is, of course, much fairer than the black model at the start of the advert. That message of going from dark to light, from unclean to clean still feels like the subconscious message"
If there are no black people in ads, then people can't read racism into them

I am the woman in the 'racist Dove ad'. I am not a victim | Lola Ogunyemi - "[Dove] could have also defended their creative vision, and their choice to include me, an unequivocally dark-skinned black woman, as a face of their campaign. I am not just some silent victim of a mistaken beauty campaign. I am strong, I am beautiful, and I will not be erased."

Swedish lawyer says most rapists she sees are foreign - "Elizabeth Massi Fritz, a legal expert from Stockholm, has now called on the government to 'lift the lid' on the problem. Ms Fritz claims she tried to get hold of statistics from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention to back up her observations, but was told those numbers are not kept."

It's Confirmed: Women are Higher Beings
Basit Saeed: "Feminists: feminism is all about equality of the sexes. It is quite sexist to state that one gender is superior than the other.
Also feminists: women are superior and shizz.

Gay man sexually assaulted by drunk woman in Glasgow - "A gay man has revealed how he was driven to the brink of suicide and suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following a vile sex attack... 'The punishment was ridiculous. I've been told if it was man who did that to a woman, the sentence would be five years in prison', he said."

Can crows be trained to collect cigarette butts?

Icelandic Pirate Party MP forced to wear eyepatch - "A member of parliament from the Pirate Party in Iceland was forced to wear an eyepatch for a television appearance following a bizarre household accident."

No Driving Directions: Google, South Korean Can’t Reach Map Deal - "South Korea, facing the overt threat of rival North Korea, bars exporting local mapping data to foreign companies that do not operate domestic data servers. Google handles its maps service at data centers outside South Korea. The restrictions have limited the usefulness of Google Maps within South Korea, since the app cannot offer driving or walking directions... The long-time deliberation reflects growing support for Google within some government ministries that are trying to promote tourism and local firms’ overseas businesses. One of the biggest inconveniences that foreign tourists run into in South Korea, which has some of the fastest and cheapest internet access in the world, is the lack of an online mapping service with navigation and directions in foreign languages."

Khir Johari - NO ONE KNOWS WHAT HOKKIEN IS.....IN HOKKIEN PROVINCE... - "“Do you speak Hokkien?” You can ask that, but no one in Fujian (or Hokkien) province will be able to answer you. Instead, you will get puzzled looks, for there is no such thing as a “Hokkien” dialect in Hokkien province. If you are in the capital of Fujian, Fuzhou, they speak the Fuzhou dialect (variously referred to also as “Hockchew” or the Min-dong dialect). So almost no one in the capital of Fujian speaks Hokkien."

Overweight officer who quit over 'bleep test' loses case - "An overweight policewoman known as 'Blue Moon' because she was in work so rarely who quit after failing fitness 'bleep tests' lost her discrimination case today."

Grounded private jet for hire helps Russians fake lavish lifestyles on Instagram - "American rapper Bow was caught out flying on a commercial flight on the same day he posted a photo of a private jet on Instagram."

Rat Massages Get the Golden Goose - "Scientists who brushed the backs of baby rats nearly 40 years ago are among the winners of this year’s Golden Goose Awards. Their work led to the finding that massage could promote the survival and growth of premature human infants"

KASSAM: European Terror at 'Epidemic Levels', Leaders Must 'Get Real' After Barcelona - "Mr. Mauro had told of a leaked Spanish intelligence report from 2011, warning of “parallel societies” in Spain because of “foreign funded radical Islam” he said, and the existence of 100 mosques with radical imams preaching hate."

Peeling away S'pore's class layers - "the working, middle and upper classes tended to have distinct attitudes, but it was harder to discern trends across races and age groups. By class, Prof Tan means income as well as the socioeconomic group someone thinks they are part of. By and large, there is a big overlap - most middle-income people think they are part of the middle class, for instance... To help those in the working class who have neither a rich-family background nor connections, NUS sociologist Vincent Chua suggests promoting relations between classes as actively as relations between ethnic groups... THE upper and middle classes felt more politically alienated than their working-class counterparts, with those earning $8,000 per household or more a month being the most dissatisfied... seniors who do not have enough to live on also tend to have poor relationships with their children, who may themselves be poor as well... Prof Tan Ern Ser suggests public campaigns that emphasise love, to encourage family members to support each other: "When love prevails, filial piety becomes a by-product of love.""

The Rock Test: A Hack for Men Who Don’t Want To Be Accused of Sexual Harassment - "Treat all women like you would treat Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson."
Comments: "The problem with this ‘article’, besides it being condescending and demeaning is it ignores the fact many women don’t want to shut off men they’re interested in — only men they’re not interested in. Behavior that nets the wrong man a harassment charge nets the right man a date. As long as men and women choose mates, there will be problems of when it’s okay or who’s okay. I’ve watched a room full of women ogle and giggle and flirt with — and even touch — a good looking UPS driver!"
"Terry Crews , a man of about the same build and power as the Rock, revealed today via twitter that he was recently a victim of sexual assault by a powerful male industry executive and that, like Weinstein’s victims, like many victims of sexual assault, kept silent in fear of being blamed, mocked, disbelieved. In other words: your entire premise is shit and offensive."
"talking to men like they’re imbeciles is condescending at best. You don’t win men over to your cause by treating them like they’re stupid. In just the same way as men shouldn't do the same to women — they’d get blasted for it if they did."
"So basically it all falls on the man, because women never do anything wrong
Great article very unbiased thanks"
"declining all invitations and shunning women altogether seems like an easier solution, and this condescending tripe sure helps incentivize that"
"Cool, thanks for the insight. Then dirty jokes and stupid guy jokes are in play. Awesome. I was worried about some of the penis jokes i have but fortunately for me, I’m not talking to a female co-worker, I’m talking to The Rock….haha the Rock, I’m starting there…."
"Well, given the size of the bloke, the way I would treat him is to stay as far away from him as possible out of fear of him beating the snot out of me the moment I disagree with him. Much like more and more men are avoiding women out of fear of them setting the legal system on them they moment they disagree with them."

The Causal Effects of Father Absence - "The literature on father absence is frequently criticized for its use of cross-sectional data and methods that fail to take account of possible omitted variable bias and reverse causality. We review studies that have responded to this critique by employing a variety of innovative research designs to identify the causal effect of father absence, including studies using lagged dependent variable models, growth curve models, individual fixed effects models, sibling fixed effects models, natural experiments, and propensity score matching models. Our assessment is that studies using more rigorous designs continue to find negative effects of father absence on offspring well-being, although the magnitude of these effects is smaller than what is found using traditional cross-sectional designs. The evidence is strongest and most consistent for outcomes such as high school graduation, children’s social-emotional adjustment, and adult mental health."

Consent: it’s a piece of cake - "Rule of thumb: If we’re told that an issue widely viewed as complicated is actually incredibly simple… it’s probably not that simple... uppose your friend says, ‘Oh come on, just one slice. It’s really delicious!’ And you say, ‘okay, sure’. Or maybe you keep saying, ‘No, I really don’t feel like it’, and your friend keeps pushing, coaxing and wheedling you until you finally say yes. Maybe she uses guilt: she slaved for hours baking that cake just for you, or made the rounds of a dozen bakeries trying to find the perfect cake! Maybe she tells you you’ve ruined her whole evening, or just sulks and pouts visibly. Finally, you agree to eat the damn cake just to get her off your back. And maybe then she badgers you into having another slice. Or two. Is your friend being obnoxious? Sure. No one would blame you if you weren’t in a rush to visit that friend again, or complained to mutual friends about how annoying her behaviour was. On the other hand, if you suddenly decided that what your friend did was no different from grabbing you by the nose and forcefeeding you cake when you opened your mouth to breathe, or forcing you to eat the cake at knifepoint… well, your mutual friends would be likely to think there was something wrong with you. And if you walked into a police station with a story about being guilt-tripped or pestered into unwanted cake-eating, they’d laugh in your face and probably tell you off for wasting valuable police time. When it comes to sexual assault, though, respectable mainstream studies are increasingly relying on definitions that include ‘arguing and pressuring the victim’ into unwanted sex, or ‘using guilt’. On college campuses, there are educational posters asserting that ‘if you have to convince them, it’s not consent’ (obviously, someone doesn’t get the dictionary meaning of ‘convince’!), and ‘if they don’t feel free to say no, it’s not consent’. In the media, we have rape narratives that boil down to ‘I kept saying no but he kept trying until I went along with it’. And then, of course, there’s the alcohol issue. We can all agree that if you’re passed out or semi-conscious and someone shoves cake in your mouth, that’s assault. But let’s say you have a little too much to drink while at your friend’s place and then you polish off one slice of cake after another. Then a few days later you get on the scale and don’t like what you see. You may be annoyed at yourself for eating all that cake. Maybe you’re also annoyed at your friend because she kept offering you more cake. But are you going to have a sudden epiphany that you were actually forcefed the cake because you were drunk and in no state to make an informed, sober decision to eat it? No, you’re not, and your diet counsellor isn’t going to suggest such a thing, either."

So who is really behind gun control?

"Dan Malloy. Ben Affleck. Joseph Kennedy. Seth Macfarlane. Joe Biden. Anne Sweeny. Bill Clinton. Stephen Colbert. Denis Mcdonough. Samatha Powers. Martin O'Malley. Lawrence O'Donnell. George Clooney. Marty Walsh. Richard Neal. Patrick Leahy" (Irish)


NRA Board Member Ted Nugent Suggests Jews Are "Behind" Gun Safety Laws

"Mikey Bloomberg. Dianne Feinstein. Chucky boy Schumer. Frank Lutenberg. Rahm Emmanuel. Barbara Boxer. Richard Blumenthal. Carl Levin. Alan Dershowitz. John Rosenthal. Dan Gross. Max Nacheman" (Israeli flag)

Links - 19th February 2018 (1)

How head chef Chomel Yang became a restaurant owner by age 25 - "Serving at S$95++ per person, the restaurant serves to provide “good quality food” at a “decent price,” as Yang hopes that people along the streets will be able to say “ ‘Oh, I can afford [to eat here].”"

The Associated Press and the Pronoun Wars - "As one overexcited activist argued in Slate in 2014: “With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby’s life is instantly and brutally reduced from . . . infinite potentials down to one concrete set of expectations and stereotypes.” If the movement has its way, asking “boy or girl?” would become as unacceptable as smoking—or maybe even legally proscribed... Instead of the expressions “sex change” or “transition,” writers are to use “gender confirmation.” This was a deep kowtow to the transgender movement, which believes that physicians don’t alter anything essential or fundamental when they perform a sex-change operation: Caitlyn Jenner was always Caitlyn Jenner. The operation merely confirmed this ontological fact... The editors are using the AP’s style authority to declare the transgender debate over. News articles on the transgender question—still the subject of heated scientific and political debate—will now reflect the assumptions and ideological preferences of one side... As for respecting individuals, surely there are ways to do that without violating journalism’s core truth-seeking function. To suggest that Jenner was never “born” male is absurd and illogical... Such language games will only discredit the media and underscore the Orwellian aspect of the transgender movement."
"Caitlyn Jenner was Caitlyn Jenner: Caitlyn Jenner had always been Caitlyn Jenner. A large part of the sports literature of four decades was now completely obsolete"

China's bike rental firms are actually secret cash cows - "Compare the combined US$4.8 billion of deposit money with the US$2.3 billion CB Insights estimates the duo have raised through outside funding and you realise that in reality, the unwitting venture capitalists in all of this are actually China's millions of bike riders. With only 7 million bikes but 100 million users, Mobikeholds 4,200 yuan cash per bike. Ofo's numbers aren't anywhere near as favourable. In theory, such funds are like callable deposits, but in reality, the process is a little more cumbersome — most users won't bother asking for their money back because they plan to keep renting bikes. Executives from both rental companies have said publicly that this cash isn't being used to buy extra bikes or fund operations. I have no way of fact-checking such an assertion, but assuming that it's true, this would be the smartest move possible. Instead of frittering away 32 billion yuan on unprofitable assets such as bicycles, the companies can easily funnel those funds into money markets and other investments that earn around 4 per cent annually"

Singapore is making cashless payments a key to its Smart Nation, and this is a mistake - "Pushing for mobile payments simply because it works in China is not only pointless, I would argue that it is a misguided allocation of resources that more directly benefits the wealthy in society and actively harms the poor."

Detroit's Black Firefighters Back White Recruit Fired over 'Racially Insensitive' Watermelon - "A group of black firefighters from Detroit are backing their white colleague after he was fired on his first day for bringing a “racially insensitive” watermelon to work... a number of black firefighters from the same department reacted to the incident with a big show of support for Pattinson, describing him as an “amazing dude” who had “good intentions.”"
And some people still claim political correctness is just about not being an asshole to others

Colonel suspended for not thanking homosexual serviceman’s ‘spouse’ - "God and Country pointed out official military policy. “The Department of Defense explicitly — and repeatedly — said no one would have to change their views on homosexuality nor violate their religious beliefs merely because homosexuals were allowed to serve,” the military watchdog blogged... First Liberty’s demand letter notes that “there is no legal right to a spouse certificate of appreciation” (emphasis in original). Rather, a thank you document “may be issued,” according to the official Air Force Service Requirements (36-3203). Furthermore, there is no requirement that the commander sign the certificate, so it’s not a legal entitlement."

How flying seriously messes with your mind - "15% of men and 6% of women said they were more likely to cry when watching a film on a flight than they would if seeing it at home. One major airline has gone as far as issuing “emotional health warnings” before inflight entertainment that might upset its customers."

Hollywood Confronts a Copyright Argument With Potential for Mass Disruption - "At this stage of the dispute, the studios can't dispute the truth of the allegations — not only did they use stolen technology, they did so knowingly. But Disney, Fox and Paramount ask, so what? Whatever shows up onscreen is primarily the product of human input, namely film direction and an actor's performance. The technology company simply can't own the output. "Indeed, if Rearden’s authorship-ownership theory were law, then Adobe or Microsoft would be deemed to be the author-owner of whatever expressive works the users of Photoshop or Word generate by using those programs," wrote Kelly Klaus, attorney for the defendants, who also nodded to an 1884 Supreme Court opinion, Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony."

Jimmy Carter interview: Five memorable lines - CNNPolitics - "2. Players should 'stand during the American anthem'
3. Obama didn't live up to his 'wonderful statements'
4. 'I think the media have been harder on Trump'"

25 years later, Star Control 2 is getting a direct sequel - "Sins of a Solar Empire developer Stardock announced it had acquired the rights to Star Control from publisher Atari in order to create Star Control: Origins, a reboot of the space strategy series. Origins, which was recently delayed, is a prequel being made without the input of Star Control series creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III. Today, Ford and Reiche made it clear why: they were waiting for the right time to make a sequel of their own, and evidently that time is now."

21 Epic Pictures From The "Star Wars: Episode I" Premiere In 1999

Man Who Attacked Kissing Couple in Rome Was Actually From Mali, Not Malaysia - "Feeling insulted by their public display of affection, he then reportedly told the couple, “You cannot kiss in front of the mosque”. He then proceeded to push the woman and kicked her male partner!"

Why Cis Female Drag Queens Are A Form Of Cultural Appropriation - "One recent event I found out about was that of cis women dressing in “drag” by wearing dresses and excessive makeup while identifying as drag queens. They sum it up as a form of experimenting with “extreme femininity”. I was confused as to why cis women would choose to identify as drag queens when all they are doing is putting on dresses and makeup, which is something within their gender norm. I discussed this odd occurrence with some non-binary individuals and one of them quickly pointed out that this can even be considered homophobic"

Why You Can Focus in a Coffee Shop but Not in Your Open Office - "we know that workers’ primary problem with open or cubicle-filled offices is the unwanted noise. But new research shows that it may not be the sound itself that distracts us…it may be who is making it. In fact, some level of office banter in the background might actually benefit our ability to do creative tasks, provided we don’t get drawn into the conversation. Instead of total silence, the ideal work environment for creative work has a little bit of background noise. That’s why you might focus really well in a noisy coffee shop, but barely be able to concentrate in a noisy office... face-to-face interactions, conversations, and other disruptions negatively affect the creative process. By contrast, a coworking space or a coffee shop provides a certain level of ambient noise while also providing freedom from interruptions."

Rapes, sexual assaults by migrants increase dramatically in Germany and Sweden - "A German Twitter account, @XYEinzelfall (“individual cases”), has created a Google map to track police reports of crimes allegedly committed by migrants across the region. “Cologne was just the tip of the iceberg,” the page says. “Cologne is every day.”... The release of BKA’s report followed allegations by a number of women’s rights groups in Germany that a “culture of rape and violence” was developing in migrant centres, with many assaults going unreported to the police. After the Cologne attacks, which German authorities and media initially attempted to cover up, Justice Minister Heiko Maas described the incident as a “completely new dimension of organised criminality”... a poll conducted by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet found nearly half of all women in the country are now scared to exercise alone at night."
If women are afraid of men, this shows men are sexist and need to improve themselves.
If women are afraid of migrant men, this shows women are racist and need to improve themselves.

All-girl, bikini-clad 'Groping Guards' vigilantes who patrol pools in Kalmar, Sweden - "Siri, 24, an assistant nurse, is one quarter of the ‘Groping Guards’ – an all-girl, bikini-clad vigilante group who monitor the swimming baths around Kalmar, Sweden, to stop women from being molested by young migrant men. Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Siri revealed: 'Loads of women write to us and say that they have been groped by young men... groups of men 'formed rings around the girls and started molesting them'. 'They grabbed their breasts and genitals,' he told MailOnline. 'In some cases they tried to drag girls into a waiting car, but luckily those girls escaped'... Across Europe the number of women being attacked in swimming pools are increasing... In response to the attacks, copycat ‘Groping Guards’ are patrolling swimming baths in at least four towns - including Stockholm. Siri's friend and fellow guard Ella Sjoberg, 28, revealed: ‘When I was 16 and went to the swimming pool, you could see creepy old men staring. 'But for a 16-year-old girl today it is different. They are attacked by groups of boys. They charge them into corners which is totally disrespectful and must terrify them. 'Everyone knows that these attacks started after a lot of immigrants came to Sweden and everyone knows who the perpetrators are, but we can't really talk about the problem here in Sweden.' 'Integration is the most important issue we have to deal with in Sweden. But no one is talking about it. 'How will anyone be able to solve any problems if they are not discussed?' But the Groping Guards are not welcomed by everyone in Kalmar – and the swimming pool manager has objected to their presence, claiming they make people feel unsafe, and that the number of swimmers has dropped since they started patrols."

Oh My: Bernie Sanders Thinks Bread Lines Are a Good Thing - "Bernie Sanders promoted bread lines as a sign of a healthy, fair economy... 'the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants'"

Rolling stock to laughing stock: Why is Singapore’s metro struggling, when Hong Kong’s is a hit? - "The public scolding that Singapore’s public transport tsars handed down this week to a handful of rail maintenance workers over a large-scale breakdown is raising questions about where the buck stops in the management of the Lion City’s metro network, as rival Asian metropolises like Hong Kong and Taiwan pull ahead with superior train reliability... Singapore’s MRT network, once touted as one of Asia’s best, has been dogged by major breakdowns and delays in recent years... Last year, trains in Singapore travelled an average 174,000km before encountering delays of more than five minutes, compared to around 360,000km in Hong Kong, and around 800,000 in Taipei – seen as the global gold standard... “Perception of the ‘passing of the buck’ did not sit well – it was like the maintenance team was thrown under the train by their own management”"

Angry groom publicly shames bride by playing video of her cheating with another man at wedding dinner - "Guests at a traditional Chinese wedding dinner were watching a lovely montage of their relationship, before the tape was cut to reveal incriminating footage of the bride entering a hotel room with another man, with whom she was captured behaving intimately. It turns out that the groom, a local businessman, had wanted to publicly shame his wife at their wedding dinner after a private investigator he had hired to tail her captured evidence of his bride’s cheating."

Ikea removes picture of boy from store after Hitler comparisons - "Shoppers in Cardiff complained after seeing the image of a young boy with his finger held sideways across his top lip. Stevie Davies-Evans said he was left outraged by the picture, which appeared to show the boy pretending he had a moustache."

Paris Is Now Banning All Pre-1997 Cars - "these types of blanket policies still manage to anger residents. As with a similar ban in Mexico City, some people are outraged that older cars are targeted as they’re usually owned by the city’s poorest residents, who rely on those vehicles for their jobs."

Muslim workers at Paris airport sue after sacked for refusing to shave beards - "Securitas denies any discrimination, and argues that the ex-employees simply refused to adhere to company rules stating that facial hair needed to be kept short and well-groomed. The tribunal hearing is likely to be dominated by arguments over what length of a beard is "acceptable" and whether a beard can be considered a religious symbol."

Seventy Paris airport workers have security passes revoked over extremism fears - "dozens of airport staff had their security passes revoked after the terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in January, but others continued to work despite being on an intelligence watchlist as potential Islamist extremists. There has also been concern about radicalism among bus, metro and rail employees in the Paris region. Samy Amimour, one of the attackers who blew himself up in the Bataclan rock venue in Paris, had worked as a bus driver despite being on an intelligence watchlist"

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Links - 18th February 2018 (2)

How to make conservatives liberal, according to a Yale psychologist - "when social scientists get liberal-leaning experiment subjects to think about their own deaths or make them feel threatened, some left-wingers adopt more conservative values. This phenomenon played out after 9/11 — researchers found that there was a "very strong conservative shift" in the US after the attacks, with more liberals supporting Republican President George W. Bush and favoring increases in military spending... Researchers have taken brain images of people with different political leanings and found that those who self-identify as conservative have larger and more active right amygdalas, an area of the brain associated with the expression and processing of fear. A 2011 study looked at MRI scans of self-described conservative young adults and found they had more grey matter volume in the right amygdala than their liberal counterparts. In 2013, another team of scientists expanded that research to show that conservatives generally have more activity in their right amygdala when taking risks than liberals do... The researchers behind the psychology experiment told a group of participants to imagine that they'd been granted a superpower by a magic genie and were suddenly as invincible as Superman"
Facebook Comments: "so people with a grasp on reality are more conservative but people that are convinced to believe they have magic power given to them from a genie are more liberal?"
"So, if I pretend that terrorism doesn’t exist; that Iran is trustworthy and peaceful; that N Korea is just bluster and hype - no real threat; than I am likely to vote Democratic. Yes - I can believe that."

Liberal colleges are recruiting conservative professors to 'stir up some trouble', Business Insider - Business Insider Singapore - "Alumni had been complaining that the school lacked political diversity. Some thought conservative students felt unwelcome. Administrators responded, and Hayward’s position as the school’s first “visiting scholar in conservative thought” was born... “I had kind of wanted to pick a fight with the identity-politics crowd who I think – increasingly recognized by liberals – are wrecking universities and stifling discussion,” he said, referencing his blog post he had written about gender identification, which upset some students. He pointed to what he called the “special studies” fields on campus – like ethnic and gender studies – which he believes are “badly politicized” fields lacking serious scholarly thought. “I went to some of the women studies department lectures and, frankly, found them appallingly lightweight in their intellectual level,” he said. “Part of me also thinks, let them have these separate studies department and they can all work at Starbucks when they get out with their degrees”... “The advantage of having a Steve Hayward at Colorado is not that he is presenting a conservative perspective, but that he is letting college students see that you can have a conservative who is not a monster, who doesn’t want to starve welfare children, who is thoughtful and also funny and good natured and a good teacher,” he said."

Getting to Si, Ja, Oui, Hai, and Da - "The many theories about negotiation may work perfectly when you’re doing a deal with a company in your own country. But in today’s globalized economy you could be negotiating a joint venture in China, an outsourcing agreement in India, or a supplier contract in Sweden. If so, you might find yourself working with very different norms of communication. What gets you to “yes” in one culture gets you to “no” in another"... In most emerging or newly emerged markets, from BRIC to Southeast Asia and Africa, negotiators are unlikely to trust their counterparts until an affective connection has been made. The same is true for most Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures. That may make negotiations challenging for task-oriented Americans, Australians, Brits, or Germans. Ricardo Bartolome, a Spanish manager, told me that he finds Americans to be very friendly on the surface, sometimes surprisingly so, but difficult to get to know at a deeper level. “During a negotiation they are so politically correct and careful not to show negative emotion,” he said. “It makes it hard for us to trust them”... One of the most confounding aspects of international negotiations is that in some cultures the word “yes” may be used when the real meaning is no. In other cultures “no” is the most frequent knee-jerk response, but it often means “Let’s discuss further”...
don’t make the common mistake of thinking that someone who speaks the language and has a parent from the culture will necessarily make a good cultural bridge. Consider this British manager of Korean origin: He looked Korean, had a Korean name, and spoke Korean with no accent, but he’d never lived or worked in Korea; his parents had moved to Britain as teenagers. His company asked him to help with an important negotiation in Korea, but once there, he quickly realized that his team would have been better off without him. Because he spoke the language so well, the Koreans assumed that he would behave like a Korean, so they took offense when he spoke to the wrong person in the room and when he confronted them too directly. As he observes, “If I hadn’t looked or sounded Korean, they would have forgiven me for behaving badly.”"
It's not just when propositioning women that one needs to consider that yes may mean no, or vice versa. Which is why the whole cup of tea thing and sexual consent is so ethnocentric
This also shows the perils of assuming racial origin brings racial understanding (a central point of the diversity agenda)

The Causes of Emigration from Singapore: How Much Is Still Political? - "Efforts to maintain a robust Singaporean economy have had to confront the serious challenge of substantial brain drain from the city-state. To address the negative effects of this problem, Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has adopted a policy of increasing reliance on a foreign labor force. Meanwhile, the PAP appears to ignore the continued loss of human and intellectual capital. This study examines the main determinants of emigration from Singapore, specifically the political factors. The analysis is based on two primary data surveys that investigated what Singaporeans think about emigration: the 2006 Asian Barometer and the 2000–2002 Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia. Contrary to some previous empirical literature, data from these surveys indicate that anti–PAP and pro-democratic ideas strongly influence the decision of native Singaporeans to leave the island state. These findings likewise suggest that democratization and an expansion of business and technical education would be more effective in preserving economic growth than a policy of importing labor in the face of popular xenophobia."

Most Work Conflicts Aren’t Due to Personality - "While few people would feel comfortable openly describing one another based on racial, ethnic, or gender stereotypes, most people have no reservations about explaining others’ behavior with a personality typology like Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (“She’s such an ‘INTJ'”), Enneagram, or Color Code (“He’s such an 8: Challenger”). Personality or style typologies like Myers-Briggs, Enneagram, the DISC Assessment, Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and others have been criticized by academic psychologists for their unproven or debatable reliability and validity. Yet, according to the Association of Test Publishers, the Society for Human Resources, and the publisher of the Myers-Briggs, these assessments are still administered millions of times per year for personnel selection, executive coaching, team building and conflict resolution... The real reasons for conflict are a lot harder to raise — and resolve — because they are likely to be complex, nuanced, and politically sensitive. For example, people’s interests may truly be opposed; roles and levels of authority may not be correctly defined or delineated; there may be real incentives to compete rather than to collaborate; and there may be little to no accountability or transparency about what people do or say. When two coworkers create a safe and imaginary set of explanations for their conflict (“My coworker is a micromanager,” or “My coworker doesn’t care whether errors are corrected”), neither of them has to challenge or incur the wrath of others in the organization... unlike the Myers-Briggs which provides an “I’m OK, you’re OK”-type report, the Hogan Personality Inventory and the NEO are likely to identify some hard-hitting development themes for almost anyone brave enough to take them, for example telling you that you are set in your ways, likely to anger easily, and take criticism too personally. While often hard to take, this is precisely the kind of feedback that can help build self-awareness and mutual awareness among two or more people engaged in a conflict."
More on the MBTI and other similar things being crap

S M Ong: Here Today, gone tomorrow: Remember the time Mr Brown's column got suspended? - "what I remember most about the 17-year history of Today are two names, Val Chua and Mr Brown. They starred in separate (but linked) Today sagas that serve as chilling reminders of how individuals can be punished when the press (unwittingly?) missteps in the eyes of the state...
LKY's press secretary summoned Shaun Seow, Mano Sabnani, Rahul Singh [actually Rahul Pathak], Bachchan Singh and Val Chua for a tekan session at the Istana. He chided the newspaper for running provocative stories that are out of bounds. Today was asked to explain what service it does to the nation and why it shouldn't be closed down. Mediacorp was ordered to supervise Today more closely or it will be punished too. Also, all reports on local news must be written by locals, no foreigners allowed."

The dangers of being a bridesmaid in China mean some brides now hire professionals - "From the grassroots to renowned celebrities, Chinese bridesmaids are also vulnerable to verbal harassment, and physical and sexual abuse"

Fake news that groom in China died after being dropped on his head during wedding game - "the victim in question was actually one of the groomsmen who had been playing the game on behalf of the groom. The groomsman hit his head but did not die. Instead, he lost consciousness on the scene. The groomsman was subsequently sent to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion."
No wodner the groomsmen get frustrated and sexually harass the bridesmaids

Cologne Migrant Sex Attacks Dismissed as 'Entirely Debunked, a Case of Fake News' by Left-Green Leader - "Prominent British Green politics campaigner and former Green party leader Natalie Bennett has refused to accept that “anything significant had happened” on New Year’s Eve 2015/16 in Cologne, Germany"

When cleaner auntie says: Leave me some work to do - "I had slurped up my yong tau foo, and was picking up my bowl to take it to the foodcourt tray-return area when a cleaner auntie told me to put it back on the table. When I hesitated, wanting to help her, she said sharply in Mandarin: "Leave it. Leave me some work to do. Leave me my job."... While the younger and more educated among us can leave old jobs and old ways behind by picking up new skills, what will auntie do when robots wipe tables and wipe industries clean of jobs for people in her position?"

Jamal to eat ice-cream in protest against beer fest - "Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos will hold an “ice-cream eating protest” this Wednesday as a sequel to his ongoing crusade against the beer fest in Selangor... Jamal held a demonstration before the SUK gates, which saw him wrecking boxes of beer bottles with a sledgehammer after being barred from delivering them to Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali."

Myanmar: How the military still controls the country, not Aung San Suu Kyi - "As a politician, Ms Suu Kyi must strike the delicate balance between reform and not upsetting the army, who could re-take the country at any moment using the power of the National Defence and Security Council... The Rohingya insurgency in Rakhine state has been a public relations dream for the army — with many who once railed against them now vocal in their support for the institution they see as a defender of the nation. While soldiers, police and vigilantes kill and burn, the bulk of the criticism is directed towards the only Myanmar name most people know outside the country — the deified Aung San Suu Kyi. The calls for her to speak up, to do more, have merit. But they should be understood within the wider context of her limited power and the political tightrope she must walk."
By protesting about her handling of the Rohingya issue, foreigners might just be dooming her

Swedish feminist: - Why is it so bad that a Muslim man has three wives? - "Feminist artist and writer Ulla Lundegård can not understand why it is so outrageous that Muslim men bring several wives when they come to Sweden. - It may even be that they live a much more interesting life than many Swedish couples do after thirty years of being married... She states that we must not let our "prejudices and established tradition-bound norms" stand in the way of how enriching it may actually be for a Muslim man to have a whole set of wives."

New Swedish children's book: Grandpa has four wives - "Normalization of polygamy is now being presented to small children in Sweden. With the new children's book, "Farfar har fyra fruar" (Grandpa has four wives), which comes in both a Swedish edition and a Somali edition "Awoowgay aabbo waxa uu qabaa afar xaas," small children, 3-6 years, can join Asli as she goes back to Somalia to meet her grandfather and his many wives... In addition to this book, Oscar Trimbel has also written a book that is normalizing the burka, called Mormor är inget spöke (Grandma is no ghost)"

What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them?

What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them? - Freakonomics Freakonomics

"David AUTOR: We estimate that as much as 40 percent of the drop in U.S. manufacturing between 2000–2007 is attributable to the trade shock following China’s accession to the W.T.O. in 2001... the Hartz reforms lowered government assistance to the poor and unemployed; made it easier for firms to fire employees; and encouraged more part-time, low-wage, non-union jobs...

SUEDEKUM: It had a huge political cost because he lost the left wing part of the Social Democrats. It cost Schröder the chancellorship. He lost the election in 2005 to Angela Merkel. But ultimately, the common narrative is those Hartz reforms created the turnaround...
Tender Vittles Ad: Tender Vittles cat food says fresh to your cat at every meal. “Fresh!” “Fresh!”

REINHARDT: I always used that as a metaphor for businesses. The customers pour in the Tender Vittles and in the U.S., when you had a union, they would fight and spill the whole bowl of Tender Vittles. In the end, no one could eat anymore. I looked at U.A.W. “It’s insane, they’re going to kill their company.” Sure enough, they damn near did. General Motors was almost bankrupt. In Germany, the unions have representatives on the board of the company. Yes, they say, “The first thing” — that this bowl of Tender Vittles — “we have to make sure that the bowl is there. We can fight all we want, but don’t spill the bowl.” You don’t destroy your company. That was not the attitude of Anglo-Saxon unions, either in England or the U.S...

SUEDEKUM: Culturally, there is a sense [that] you have to be flexible when circumstances change, when new challenges arise. This is deeply embedded in the German approach of doing things...

Germany is a stakeholder economy in that sense. Yeah? It’s not a shareholder economy, it’s a stakeholder economy...

German C.E.O.’s are more willing to grant decision-making power to lower management. And that, she argues, improves quality. Because those are the managers who have the best sense of what customers want. This requires C.E.O.’s to have quite a bit of faith in their managers...

Also had these losers of globalization here in Germany, people who had problems because of trade. But [the] big difference is, in Germany, these people receive more support from the government. There’s a safety net. There is trade-adjustment assistance. There’s active labor market policy trying to bring these people back to other jobs elsewhere and subsidies, trying to keep the communities alive. We do a relatively better job in cushioning the losers...

ZETTELMEYER: A very important reason why traditional manufacturing has declined in the U.S. — which is completely under-emphasized, particularly by the Trump administration — is domestic competition; extremely dynamic growth in new sectors in the United States, particularly, of course, the computer industry and the software industry, the platforms, the I.T. giants. This growth sucks away labor and makes it harder for traditional companies to compete.

This has nothing to do with globalization. This has something to do with technical change, but it has a lot to do just with the general dynamism of the U.S. economy. One of the reasons why the manufacturing share is high in Germany is because the German industry lacks this dynamism. The U.S. has traditionally been a much more dynamic economy. The U.S. has a very good model and what the U.S. should focus on is to maintain and improve its model, not about copying the German one.

I wonder what the relationship of the Hartz reforms were to Germany's economic success

Socialism (in the form of a social safety net) can promote capitalism (in the form of free trade)

Links - 18th February 2018 (1)

Australia offers to help US with gun reform - "While gun violence has not disappeared, there have been no further mass shootings, in contrast to the United States where they remain common. A survey published in 2016, which examined intentional firearm death rates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, found gun-related deaths and suicides had declined since 1997... All guns in Australia must now be registered, although many arrive illegally from overseas through organised syndicates and tens of thousands of the weapons are still believed to be on the streets."

Student 'forced to leave' university after saying extremist Islamic groups kill LGBTI people - "‘The topic of one student being engaged to a Muslim came up. It was alleged that you made offensive comments about Islam to that student.’"

George R.R. Martin Is Tired of Marvel's Movie Bad Guys Already - ""I am tired of this Marvel movie trope where the bad guy has the same powers as the hero," he wrote. "The Hulk fought the Abomination, who is just a bad Hulk. Spider-Man fights Venom, who is just a bad Spider-Man. Iron Man fights Ironmonger, a bad Iron Man. Yawn. I want more films where the hero and the villain have wildly different powers. That makes the action much more interesting.""

The Data That Turned the World Upside Down - "Remarkably reliable deductions could be drawn from simple online actions. For example, men who "liked" the cosmetics brand MAC were slightly more likely to be gay; one of the best indicators for heterosexuality was "liking" Wu-Tang Clan. Followers of Lady Gaga were most probably extroverts, while those who "liked" philosophy tended to be introverts. While each piece of such information is too weak to produce a reliable prediction, when tens, hundreds, or thousands of individual data points are combined, the resulting predictions become really accurate. Kosinski and his team tirelessly refined their models. In 2012, Kosinski proved that on the basis of an average of 68 Facebook "likes" by a user, it was possible to predict their skin color (with 95 percent accuracy), their sexual orientation (88 percent accuracy), and their affiliation to the Democratic or Republican party (85 percent). But it didn't stop there. Intelligence, religious affiliation, as well as alcohol, cigarette and drug use, could all be determined. From the data it was even possible to deduce whether someone's parents were divorced. The strength of their modeling was illustrated by how well it could predict a subject's answers. Kosinski continued to work on the models incessantly: before long, he was able to evaluate a person better than the average work colleague, merely on the basis of ten Facebook "likes." Seventy "likes" were enough to outdo what a person's friends knew, 150 what their parents knew, and 300 "likes" what their partner knew. More "likes" could even surpass what a person thought they knew about themselves... Kosinski and his team could now ascribe Big Five values based purely on how many profile pictures a person has on Facebook, or how many contacts they have (a good indicator of extraversion). But we also reveal something about ourselves even when we're not online. For example, the motion sensor on our phone reveals how quickly we move and how far we travel (this correlates with emotional instability). Our smartphone, Kosinski concluded, is a vast psychological questionnaire that we are constantly filling out, both consciously and unconsciously"

10 Ways Reading The Silmarillion Makes The Lord of the Rings Better, Part 1 - "there’s one thing the elves in the Third Age don’t talk about — that almost everything bad that happens in Middle-Earth happens because of elves. One elf in particular: Fëanor. Fëanor was one of the sons of Finwë, one of the three original elf kings. Fëanor had it all, looks, skill, strength. He created the Silmarils (as well as the Palantiri, more on those later), three gems that contained the last remnant of the light of the two lamps the Valar used to light Valinor. They were incredibly powerful and beautiful gems, and Fëanor grew proud and jealous, hiding them and getting paranoid that the Valar would steal them. There’s a lot more to the story, but basically Fëanor convinced his followers to leave Valinor for Middle-Earth, and in doing so they murdered another group of elves to steal their ships. And Fëanor made his sons swear an oath that they would never allow anyone else to have the Silmarils. This oath led to countless betrayals and tragedies, as the Sons of Fëanor turned against their fellow elves, all to get their hands on those gems. All this served to aid Melkor (later known as Morgoth), the dark and evil Valar that spent his entire existence working to destroy anything beautiful the Valar made."

Why We Should Resist Calling the Las Vegas Shooting “Terrorism” - "There is no single definition of terrorism, but most scholars agree on several broad criteria. The Irish political scientist Louise Richardson, who now serves as the vice-chancellor at Oxford, has set out seven key characteristics of a terrorist act: it is politically inspired; it involves violence or the threat of violence; it aims to send a message rather than defeat an enemy; the act and the victim have symbolic significance; the act is carried out by “substate groups” rather than state actors; the victims of the violence are distinct from the audience for which the terrorist’s message is intended; and the act deliberately targets civilians. The F.B.I. uses a much less precise definition of terrorism, but it, too, specifies that the perpetrator must be pursuing a political objective... Part of the appeal of claiming an affiliation with, say, ISIS, is that it automatically raises a potential terrorist from thug to enemy combatant"
"almost universally, the muslims on my fb who commented on the vegas incident are focused on the "why the shooter is not called a terrorist" angle
not the horror of the tragedy
not what should be done to prevent it moving forward
but instead... omg they nv call him a terrorist... it is so unfair to ME"

OMG! It Started in 1917 With a Letter to Churchill - WSJ - "John Arbuthnot Fisher (Jacky to his friends), a septuagenarian who had served as the Royal Navy’s first sea lord in World War I, was the first known person to rattle off “OMG”—and not some texting teen... “People who are decrying the demise of the English language through its terrible practice of initializing neologisms regard it as characteristic of the early 21st century,” Katherine Martin, head of U.S. dictionaries at Oxford University Press, told me. But the U.S. has had its own abbreviatory fads, going back to the late 1830s when a Boston newspaper first published “O.K.” as shorthand for the jokily misspelled “oll korrect” (“all correct”)"

First, They Came for the Biologists - WSJ - "Who would have guessed that when America cleaved, the left would get the National Football League and the right would get uncontested custody of science?... Extremists on the left are going after science. Why? Because science seeks truth, and truth isn’t always convenient... Postmodernism, and specifically its offspring, critical race theory, have abandoned rigor and replaced it with “lived experience” as the primary source of knowledge. Little credence is given to the idea of objective reality... In a meeting with administrators at Evergreen last May, protesters called, on camera, for college president George Bridges to target STEM faculty in particular for “antibias” training, on the theory that scientists are particularly prone to racism. That’s obvious to them because scientists persist in using terms like “genetic” and “phenotype” when discussing humans. Mr. Bridges offers: “[What] we are working towards is, bring ’em in, train ’em, and if they don’t get it, sanction them.” Despite the benevolent-sounding label, the equity movement is a highly virulent social pathogen, an autoimmune disease of the academy. Diversity offices, the very places that were supposed to address bigotry and harassment, have been weaponized and repurposed to catch and cull all who disagree. And the attack on STEM is no accident. Once scientists are silenced, narratives can be fully unhooked from any expectation that they be put to the test of evidence... Science creates space for the free exchange of ideas, for discovery, for progress. What has postmodernism done for you lately?"

Modern Liberalism’s False Obsession With Civil War Monuments - WSJ - "liberals make a fetish of Civil War monuments because it feeds their hallowed slavery narrative, which posits that racial inequality today is mainly a legacy of the country’s slave past. One problem with these assumptions about slavery’s effects on black outcomes today is that they are undermined by what blacks were able to accomplish in the first hundred years after their emancipation, when white racism was rampant and legal and blacks had bigger concerns than Robert E. Lee’s likeness in a public park. Today, slavery is still being blamed for everything from black broken families to high crime rates in black neighborhoods to racial gaps in education, employment and income. Yet outcomes in all of those areas improved markedly in the immediate aftermath of slavery and continued to improve for decades... Are today’s black violent-crime rates a legacy of slavery and Jim Crow or of something else? Unfortunately, that’s a question few people on the left will even entertain."

Why the Left Can’t Let Go of Racism - WSJ - "The writer Walker Percy once wrote of the “sweetness at the horrid core of bad news.” It’s hard to witness the media’s oddly exhilarated reaction to, say, the death of Trayvon Martin without applying Percy’s insight. A black boy is dead. But not all is lost. It looks like racism. What makes racism so sweet? Today it empowers. Racism was once just racism, a terrible bigotry that people nevertheless learned to live with, if not as a necessary evil then as an inevitable one. But the civil-rights movement, along with independence movements around the world, changed that. The ’60s recast racism in the national consciousness as an incontrovertible sin, the very worst of all social evils... redemption—paying off the nation’s sins—became the moral imperative of a new political and cultural liberalism. President Lyndon Johnson turned redemption into a kind of activism: the Great Society, the War on Poverty, school busing, liberalized welfare policies, affirmative action, and so on."

The Case for Uniform Dressing - WSJ - "Longing for the ease with which her male colleagues dressed, she went shopping and defined her own work look: a stylish white silk blouse, black slacks and a thin leather necktie... If you feel yourself rebelling against the uniform concept, consider the approach of the late author Jackie Collins, who kept a closet full of dozens of black tank tops in her Beverly Hills home. She rotated them beneath jackets she had custom-made in varied colors and fabrics, but always with the same sharp-shouldered silhouette... People who have settled on personal uniforms say their co-workers—and even their families—rarely seem to notice them. The effect, much as with school uniforms, is to bring the focus to the person rather than the clothes. “No one ever talks about what I wear, except my shoes, and that’s exactly how I want it,” says Ms. Engberg. Ms. Kahl negotiates a discount for buying in bulk, 15 blouses at a time. “You have to ask for the manager,” she says, noting that she spends less in the long run by not shopping for work clothes for 18 to 24 months.

Happiness in modern society: Why intelligence and ethnic composition matter - "Recent developments in evolutionary psychology suggest that living among others of the same ethnicity might make individuals happier and further that such an effect of the ethnic composition on life satisfaction may be stronger among less intelligent individuals. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health showed that White Americans had significantly greater life satisfaction than all other ethnic groups in the US and this was largely due to the fact that they were the majority ethnic group; minority Americans who lived in counties where they were the numerical majority had just as much life satisfaction as White Americans did. Further, the association between ethnic composition and life satisfaction was significantly stronger among less intelligent individuals. The results suggest two important factors underlying life satisfaction and highlight the utility of integrating happiness research and evolutionary psychology."

(9) Why do societies with higher average cognitive ability have lower income inequality? The role of redistributive policies - "Past studies suggest that, across nations, the average cognitive ability of a population is negatively associated with income inequality; societies with higher average cognitive ability tend to have lower levels of income inequality. However, it is not clear why. This paper proposes that social transfers from the wealthy to the poor may be a major mechanism by which some societies achieve lower income inequality than others, because more intelligent individuals may be more likely to have a preference for such transfers. The empirical results in this study replicate the earlier finding that societies with higher cognitive ability have lower levels of income inequality, but the association is entirely mediated by social transfers. Social transfers therefore appear to be the primary mechanism by which societies with higher levels of cognitive ability achieve lower income inequality"

Same-sex twins are taller and heavier than opposite-sex twins (but only if breastfed): Possible evidence for sex bias in human breast milk

Student: Mainstream feminism 'excludes' many feminists - "Noa Rubin, a dual-degree student at Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary, recounts the disillusionment she felt when she learned that many of Columbia’s clubs target Israel. “As a Jewish student who identifies as a Zionist, I felt unwelcomed by the network at ‘Disorientation.'"
This won't stop the alt-right blaming (((them))) for everything

Largest study to date finds powerful evidence that gun control actually works - "As the US continues to stall on gun control talks, the largest study ever conducted on the topic has found a clear link between firearm regulation and fewer gun-related deaths around the world. Until now, studies on gun laws have been limited to just one city or country, and have failed to reach consistent conclusions. But the new research took a broader view - the team reviewed 130 high-quality studies conducted in 10 countries over the past 60 years. And while they stopped short of saying they've conclusively proved that gun restrictions equal fewer deaths, the research provides pretty powerful evidence to suggest that it's the case."

Bruce Pardy: Law society’s new policy compels speech, crossing line that must not be crossed - "All lawyers, it said, must prepare and submit a personal “Statement of Principles” attesting that we value and promote equality, diversity and inclusion. According to the advisory, “The intention of the statement of principles is to demonstrate a personal valuing of equality, diversity, and inclusion with respect to the employment of others, or in professional dealings with other licensees or any other person.” My first instinct was to check my passport. Was I still in Canada, or had someone whisked me away to North Korea, where people must say what officials want to hear? Forced speech is the most egregious violation of freedom of expression, protected by section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms... It is not enough that we obey. Now we must also agree and actively promote. The late Alan Borovoy, former general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said that the greatest threat to liberty is not from without but from within. “The source of the most insidious peril,” he said a decade ago in a speech at Queen’s University, “is not evil wrongdoers seeking to do harm, but parochial bureaucrats seeking to do good.”"

Benetton's most controversial adverts

10 year old commedian Saffron Herndon - Album on Imgur - "Online dating is tough. Every time I meet someone new, they end up in jail"

Syonan Gallery - "The dropping of “Syonan” has soothed ruffled feathers. Along the way, it has reinforced the Singapore Story presentation of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore history, and confirmed the entrenchment of echoed memories in a generation of Singaporeans who did not personally experience war. It remains to be seen if the sentiments driving the outrage can buttress a Singapore society that is sufficiently mature and self-confident to confront the less pleasant aspects of its past."

This Frog Can't Hear Its Own Calls - "it appears the pumpkin toadlets are not able to hear the sounds they make. Goutte and her colleagues playing recordings of the calls to the frogs to look for reactions. The researchers also traced electrical impulses from the frogs' ears to their brains, and even dissected the frog inner ear. And it turns out, the frogs just don't have the equipment to hear their own voices"

Call to strip gender talk from sex-ed classes - "Gender could be stripped from classroom talks about sex and anatomy, with body parts described according to their function rather than being considered “male” or “female”, in a proposal by two academics to make school sex education more inclusive of transgender youth. The terms “penis” and “vagina” could be replaced with gender-neutral terms, while reproduction and safe sex could be taught without referring to “sperm and eggs”. In a paper published in the Journal of Sex Education, Damien Riggs and Clare Bartholomaeus of Flinders University in South Australia have called for sex education programs in schools to extend beyond the “norm of … a male with a penis and female with a vagina”. The report, which points to sex education policy in New Zealand where “gender diversity and identities are explored”, has been seized upon by same-sex marriage opponents who have argued that changing marriage laws would lead to a resurgence of Safe Schools-style programs in schools. Coalition for Marriage spokesman Lyle Shelton described the report as a “smoking gun”. “We have them advocating for the degendering of sex education of all students and confirming the concerns raised by parents about how radical LGBTI sex and gender education would infiltrate their children’s education,” he said... Another subject suggests the term “erectile tissue” could describe both the penis and clitoris... "the language of sperm and eggs can produce dysphoria for some young transgender people. It is entirely possible ... to speak about combining the two gametes as resulting in a pregnancy, without referring to egg and sperm per se.”"

Crash Override Network and Robert Marmolejo: How an Online Abuse Helpline May Have Enabled Sexual… - "Alarmingly, some of the victims have indicated hesitation to speak out about the harassment they received from Marmolejo due to his reputation as being a “popular male feminist”. If these accusations prove to be true, they will regrettably not be the first instance of a man adopting the rhetoric of progressive politics and women’s representation in order to further their own sexual agenda. Jian Ghomeshi, Hugo Schwyzer, Charles Clymer, Devin Faraci, and Matt Hickey have been similarly indicted."

Patton Oswalt on Twitter: "The "male feminist ally turns out to be a creeper/harasser" is the "family values politician turns out to be gay" for millenials."

Another Day, Another Male Feminist Outed as a Creep - "I'd love to say this is the first time a male feminist was accused for sexual misconduct in some way, but it's not. In fact, Kilstein's behavior is downright pedestrian compared to what some male feminists have been accused of in the past. Yes, I know, accusations don't mean he did it according to objective reality -- but according to the playbook Kilstein advocated for so long, he's already guilty. So I offer him no sympathy."
Joss Whedon, Robert Marmolejo, Hugo Schwyzer... There're very interesting parallels with anti-gay advocates caught doing funny things with men

Distributor of campus rape documentary paid sexual-harassment hush money for decades - "For more than two decades before he distributed the heavily disputed campus rape documentary “The Hunting Ground,” Harvey Weinstein bought the silence of younger female employees and actresses who had accused him of sexually harassing them... The man who “presents himself as a liberal lion [and] a champion of women” distributed “The Hunting Ground” the same year that an employee, Lauren O’Connor, shared her and others’ allegations with Weinstein Company executives in a “searing memo asserting sexual harassment and other misconduct by their boss.” He regularly invited young women trying to break into the business to private meetings in his hotel rooms, asked for or initiated massages with them and asked them to watch him shower, according to their accounts."

Black Lives Matter Students Shut Down the ACLU's Campus Free Speech Event Because 'Liberalism Is White Supremacy'

Dentists Have Better Ways To Prevent Cavities In Adults - "One way fluoride helps is by seeping into the enamel and drawing the calcium and phosphate that's naturally present in the saliva. The minerals boost the teeth's natural healing process and make them more resistant to future decay. But there are other theories about how fluoride works. It strengthens the enamel before the tooth erupts, which is why it's so important for children. And it attacks the acid-producing bacteria in the mouth. One study shows fluoride makes it more difficult for these bacteria to stick to the teeth."

Vegetarian diets and depressive symptoms among men. - "Vegetarian men have more depressive symptoms after adjustment for socio-demographic factors. Nutritional deficiencies (e.g. in cobalamin or iron) are a possible explanation for these findings, however reverse causation cannot be ruled out."

Meat Consumption During Pregnancy and Substance Misuse Among Adolescent Offspring - "Lower maternal meat consumption was associated with greater problematic substance use among 15 year old offspring in dose response patterns"

Michelle Obama On Our Political Problems: 'All Men, All White' - "Governmental dysfunction and public distrust in politics is a function of too many white men in government and politics, said Michelle Obama on Tuesday. Obama received applause for her racial and sexual activism as the featured speaker of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women. The former first lady began by speaking of “diversity” on the bases of race, ethnicity, and sex, framing the implementation of diverse identities as necessarily delivering a diversity of views among those affected. She essentially called for voluntary implementation of racial, ethnic, and sexual diversity quotas in all sectors of society"
Great job for Trump 2020

Mumbai stampede triggered by rush to take cover from rain - "A morning rush-hour stampede killed at least 22 people and wounded 36 yesterday during a sudden monsoon downpour at a busy railway station in India's commercial hub of Mumbai"

Was Stalin As Bad As Hitler? In Many Ways, Yes. - "Conservatives have long complained of a double standard for Nazi and Communist crimes... It is a question of particular personal relevance to me, as a Jew born in Soviet Russia, where I lived until coming the United States as a teenager in 1980. There were victims of both Communist and Nazis barbarism in my own family. My paternal grandparents were survivors of Stalin’s gulag, imprisoned for trying to escape to Israel and thankfully released early because of Stalin’s death. My father’s uncle was killed in one of Hitler’s death camps. In the closet-dissident, mostly Jewish milieu where I grew up, the belief that Stalin was as bad as Hitler and that Communism was Nazism’s equally odious twin was entirely commonplace. More than that: there was a not-uncommon view that Communism in its Stalinist incarnation was worse... Later, in the United States, I had the jarring experience of seeing American liberals use “anti-Soviet” and “anti-Communist” as pejoratives, and frustrating conversations with people who thought Ronald Reagan’s description of the Soviet Union as an evil empire was crude warmongering... For many, it’s the ends that make a key difference. As British historian Orlando Figes wrote in his 1997 book, “A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924,” Communism is viewed as an expression of “humanity’s historic striving for social justice and comradeship,” a noble dream turned to horrific nightmare. Nazism, on the other hand, stood for racial supremacy and brutal oppression of “lower” races. Thus, Figes argues, the Communist experiment inspires some sympathy or at least respectful understanding, while the Nazi project “can only fill us with revulsion.” But how meaningful is this distinction? Figes himself shows that from the first days of the Revolution, terror was an essential part of Bolshevik creed... Nazi racial supremacism was often masked with proclamations of freedom, brotherhood and justice for (German) workers... Stalinism had its own distinct evils, including random terror that struck down even those most loyal to the regime. An ordinary German who either supported the Nazi regime or took no interest in politics generally had no reason to fear arrest... [some] ways in which Communism was the worse poison: for instance, it destroyed civil society—social bonds and institutions independent of the state—in a way Nazism did not, which made recovery from Nazism easier. Moreover, “Nazism could not be duplicated” (other fascist states did not even come close); on the other hand, “Bolshevism was exportable, and produced near-identical results elsewhere”... The goals of communism, and left-wing radicalism in general, may not be as blatantly repugnant as the goals of Nazism, fascism, and right-wing radicalism. But that makes left-wing radicalism more seductive to men and women of good will — and in that sense, perhaps, most dangerous."

Chaos during Social Justice and Feminism Debate at Milwaukee Atheism Conference - "“I think anything that happens in real life is way worse than a tweet,” Sargon said. During a discussion on affirmative action, of which Smith is a proponent, Sargon accused him of advocating for Marxist social engineering. “Freedom allows white men to control everything,” Smith said in response. Audible gasps in the audience were heard. Smith explained that it is the state’s rightful role in taking away some freedoms in order to curtail discriminatory sentiments in the public. If two applicants are the same but one is non-white, the position should go to the non-white person, Smith elaborated... Reflecting on the conference debate, Sargon expressed particular frustration with Smith’s continual demand that he apologize for the tweet to Jess Phillips. “I’m sorry, I’m not going to do that — especially not to a feminist who does not care about the male suicide rate and laughs at the idea of men having problems”"

Rukmini Callimachi on Twitter: "1. After ISIS claimed Vegas, I was waiting for them to release Naba, their weekly newsletter, to see if anything new emerged. Naba is out: https://t.co/yX8AN3OdSX" - "'ISIS has rarely claimed attacks that were not by either their members or sympathizers... I've been covering ISIS since 2014 and since then I have kept a timeline. Everytime ISIS claimed an attack in West, I jotted it down. Month later, I've gone back over list & annotated what investigation found My list is not complete but of the more than 50 cases I have annotated, I could only find 3 false claims... Beyond the attacks they've claimed, there are many more they could have claimed but didn't. These are attacks where we know it was them... Given ISIS' insistence, I'm with @AmarAmarasingam: Have any reporters asked Paddock's brother and other family members if he converted?'
'Practicing Muslims don't drink or gamble. Paddock did. Apparently never stopped. No evidence he prayed 5 x a day, either.'
'Ali Soufan cites that fighters will tend to go on sprees of the usual forbidden things before attacks. Not a negative indication.'"

This Pro-Abortion Fanatic Presented A Thought Experiment 'DESTROYING' Pro-Lifers. Here Are 4 Reasons He Fails Dramatically. - "1. Moral Instinct Does Not Always Mean Correct Moral Decisionmaking.
2. Tomlinson’s Thought Experiment Does Not Reveal The Value Of Embryonic Life.
3. Most Pro-Lifers Freely Admit The Supreme Value of Already-Born Human Life, But That Doesn’t Make Prenatal Life Valueless.
4. The Hypothetical Isn’t Reality."

Shapiro Dismantles Pro-Abortion Author's Argument. What Happens Next Is Hilarious. - "On Tuesday, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro thoroughly dismantled a pro-abortion thought experiment posted by comic and author Patrick S. Tomlinson that went viral on Twitter. In response, Tomlinson tried to dismiss Shapiro's reasoned, meticulous response by vaguely saying Shapiro somehow "missed the point" — ironically proving that Tomlinson actually "missed the point" of the entire debate — and then, predictably, Tomlinson blocked Shapiro...
The responses online to Tomlinson's claim that Shapiro somehow proved his point was brutal, with even pro-abortion followers slamming Tomlinson for failing to understand the discussion he had started. At first Tomlinson replied but then quickly disappeared"
I guess Patrick S. Tomlinson can claim that "In ten years, no one has EVER answered it honestly" because he blocks everyone who does

WALSH: Here's The Reason Why Pro-Aborts Rely On Worst Case Scenarios To Argue Their Point - "Patrick explains that everyone would choose the child, which proves that human embryos have less value, which proves, somehow, that abortion is OK. Patrick then goes on to declare repeatedly that NO pro-lifer has EVER or will EVER answer this question honestly. He's employed the very constructive (and totally honest!) debating tactic of accusing his opponents of lying before they even open their mouths...
there is a huge difference between leaving someone in a burning building because you cannot save them, and killing them outright. It is morally permissible to commit a good act (saving a child) which may indirectly lead to something bad (the embryos burning). In that case, my intention was to save the child, not to kill the embryos. Indeed, I did not kill the embryos. I just failed to save them from being killed. This is called the principle of double effect. So, just because it would be justified for me to leave the embryos to die does not mean it would be justified to kill them directly...
for some reason our discussion of abortion ignores the 99% and focuses exclusively around situations that never happen or rarely happen."

Embryos and Five-Year-Olds: Whom to Rescue - "The possibility that resources might be used and even, perhaps, lives risked to save the frozen embryos calls to mind the story with which we began our book Embryo: A Defense of Human Life. In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a police crew in New Orleans did save a canister of fourteen hundred human embryos from a hospital. Our book began with Noah, one of those embryos, who sixteen months later emerged, via Caesarean section, into the light of the world and his parents’ love. But if those officers had never made it to Noah’s hospital, or if they had abandoned those canisters of liquid nitrogen, the toll of Katrina would have been fourteen hundred human beings higher than it already was, and Noah, sadly, would have perished before having the opportunity to meet his loving family. The story of Noah shows, we believe, that the choice to rescue human embryos is not necessarily fanciful or unreasonable... imagine that Jones is faced with the choice of rescuing three comatose patients or a five-year-old girl. Many people who disagree with us about the moral status of embryos agree that comatose persons are human beings entitled to full moral respect. Yet no doubt many of these same people would opt to save the girl rather than the three individuals in comas. Does that mean that they would consider it legitimate, in a different case, to kill one or more of the comatose individuals to harvest vital organs needed to save the five-year-old girl? Not at all. Choices about whom to save are subject to particular facts of the situation without requiring a comparative valuing (or devaluing) of lives. But choices to kill are always devaluing choices... suppose you could save 1,000 comatose strangers or your own five-year-old child; and suppose further that the strangers will only come out of their coma if they are provided food and shelter for nine months. But you are quite confident that no one will, in fact, provide that food and shelter. Then, once again, it seems entirely reasonable for you to save your conscious five-year-old, without this indicating in any way that the comatose strangers are less than fully human, or deserving of less than full respect. Rather, the choice to save the child will at the same time be a sad commentary on a society that is unwilling to provide the necessary resources to nurse the temporarily incapacitated back to full health."
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