When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, April 06, 2019

Links - 6th April 2019 (2)

Veganism is on the rise, but experts say the cons of the diet outweigh the pros - "some of the science behind the campaign and the policy is partial and misleading.It is long on things that we all know are bad, such as some excesses of factory farming and rainforest clearing to raise beef cattle. But it is mostly silent on such things as the nutritional assets of animal products, especially for children in rural African settings, and the sustainability benefits of livestock in areas as diverse as sub-Saharan Africa to traditional European upland valleys. And, if vegetarian diets show that traditional markers for heart disease, such as “total cholesterol”, are usually improved, this is not the case for the more predictive (and thus valuable) markers such as the triglyceride/HDL (or “good” cholesterol) ratio, which even tend to deteriorate.More importantly, most nutritional “evidence” originates from epidemiology, which is not able to show causation but only statistical correlations. Not only are the associations weak, the research is generally confounded by lifestyle and other dietary factors. Not to mention that part of the epidemiological data, such as the PURE study, show that the consumption of meat and dairy can be associated with less – rather than more – chronic disease. In any case, even if plant-based diets can in theory provide the nutrients people need, as long as they are supplemented with critical micronutrients (such as vitamin B12 and certain long-chain fatty acids), that is not to say that in practice shifting people towards them will not result in a great many people following poorly balanced diets and suffering ill health in consequence. And when a vegan diet fails, for instance due to poor supplementation, it may result in serious physical and cognitive impairment and failure to thrive. The approach seems particularly risky during pregnancy and for the very young, as also documented by a long list of clinical case reports in medical literature. Animal products are exceptionally nutrient-dense dietary sources – removing them from the diet compromises metabolic robustness. Without sufficient insight in the complexities of nutrition and human metabolism, it is easy to overlook important issues as the proportion of nutrients that can be absorbed from the diet, nutrient interactions and protein quality... A shift towards a radically plant-based planetary diet loses the many benefits of livestock – including its deployment on land that is not suitable for crop production, its contribution to livelihoods, and the many other benefits that animals provide. It mistakenly assumes that land use can be swiftly altered and ignores the potential of farming techniques that may even have mitigating effects."

Vegan diets are adding to malnutrition in wealthy countries - "Vegans can prevent micronutrient deficiency by consuming fortified foods (food with added vitamins and minerals) and taking supplements. But supplement use is often resisted by those on a plant-based diet and they have been reported to interfere with the absorption of other important nutrients.Also, plant-derived vegan supplements tend to have low biological activity in humans. For example, studies show that vegan-friendly vitamin D2 supplements are less effective in raising blood vitamin D levels than the more widely used vitamin D3 supplements. Other supplements, such as vitamin B12, may be largely inactive in the body"

Vegan influencer caught eating fish shocked by fans outrage - "A vegan YouTuber and Instagram influencer who has nearly 3 million combined social media followers is being condemned by her foodie fans for faking her lifestyle and making money off of it after she was caught eating fish.Yovana Mendoza Ayres, 29, is known for her lifestyle brand called Rawvana, which promotes plant-based living through a vegan diet (which means not ingesting any animal-sourced products, whether meat or dairy or eggs) and skincare routines. She even sells meal plans and weight loss programs, including a 21-day raw challenge, that sell for up to $99. But after she made an appearance in a friend’s YouTube video eating a plate of fish and trying to hide it, the platform that she’s created is falling apart... she shared that in 2017 it seemed that the way that she was eating, and namely the things that she wasn’t eating, was impacting her health to the point where she was nearly anemic, and even stopped ovulating. “I wasn’t ovulating,” she said in the video. “I was basically anemic and my thyroid levels were low. It was really bad, but it was borderline.”... she not only kept her intake of fish and eggs a secret from her vegan followers, she also continued to make money off of them while promoting a plant-based lifestyle throughout the three months that she had already stopped living it"

These Vegans Really Believe Animal Crackers Are 'Problematic' - "Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Whole Foods all sell their own brands of vegan animal crackers; Barbara’s Snackimals and Stauffer’s are likewise free of eggs and dairy. Nabisco, arguably the most well-known animal cracker variety, is not only vegan but scored extra points with animal rights activists last month when it released its lions, tigers, and bears from their century-long cage captivity on the snack’s packaging. Cages linked the morsels with the circus industry, and in a letter PETA urged Nabisco to update the snack’s graphics “given the egregious cruelty inherent in circuses” towards four-legged friends. The company acquiesced, a visual tradition that began in 1902 came to a halt, and numerous headlines ensued... There's a school of vegan sociologists that steer clear of all animal-shaped foods, no matter their ingredients—bye-bye, plant-based gummy worms, Easter bunnies, Swedish fish, goldfish crackers, bear-shaped vitamins, and bunny grahams—out of concern that these could act as a gateway snack... Where do photo cakes fit in? What does this say about— gasp—people who eat gingerbread men?“Human-shaped cookies and crackers,” notes Wrenn, “are usually generic forms. If they were designed to specifically resemble Jewish persons or African Americans and were marketed to White children, we can perhaps recognize the ideological problem with animal crackers being marketed to human children in an anthropocentric society that engages in widescale, systematic violence against animals.”... Every December, American children nibble on Santa Claus-shaped cookies and it is fair to assume that they would not willingly harm a cherished idol who brings them toys and yuletide joy. Consuming gingerbread people has not been linked with a desensitization process that promotes cannibalism or violence towards others, and many animal crackers could also be considered generic. “Likewise eating gingerbread houses promotes, um,” says Karen Meyers Barbuscia, a Philly-based vegan, who doesn’t have the same hangups about food-shape, “oh fuck, I can’t even finish!”"

Student official faces recall after saying ‘retarding,’ also not asking for peers’ preferred gender pronouns - "A student government official at Western Washington University is facing a recall after he used the word “retarding” to describe the slow pace of a budget committee... [he] has also been accused by fellow student government board members of “misogyny” for voting against the appointment of a female student to a campus activities council, which at the time had only one female member... McKenzie Bolar, the student government’s Disability Outreach Center community engagement coordinator, said in a subsequent interview with the Review that the “word in itself has always carried various meanings throughout time, but the important aspect to realize is that most people do know it as a slur today.”Yet according to Merriam-Webster, to “retard” is “to delay or impede the development or progress of: to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment.”... Student government President Millka Solomon said the importance of pronouns is “not up for debate” in an interview with the Review.And Levi Eckman, student vice president for academic affairs, told the Review: “Simply assuming someone’s gender can be very harmful and has proven to contribute to a variety of consequences, much of which can create lasting trauma.”... Meza-Roa said he had a problem with appointing someone solely because of their gender"

Lara Logan: 'Seek Out Breitbart' to 'Know' the 'Other Side' - "Lara Logan, foreign correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes, said Breitbart News offers “the other side” of news media relative to what she described as a mostly left-wing and partisan Democrat news landscape in the U.S. and abroad...
' Visually, anyone who’s ever been to Israel and been to the Wailing Wall has seen that the women have this tiny little spot in front of the wall to pray, and the rest of the wall is for the men. To me, that’s a great representation of the American media, is that in this tiny little corner where the women pray you’ve got Breitbart and Fox News and a few others, and from there on, you have CBS, ABC, NBC, Huffington Post, Politico, whatever, right? All of them. And that’s a problem for me, because even if it was reversed, if it was vastly mostly on the right, that would also be a problem for me.My experience has been that the more opinions you have, the more ways that you look at everything in life — everything in life is complicated, everything is gray, right? Nothing is black and white.'...
News media homogeneity cripples many people’s desire for getting to the truth about political goings on, determined Logan... 'One ideological perspective on everything never leads to an open free diverse tolerant society. The more opinions and views … of everything that you have, the better off we all are. So creating one ideological position on everything throughout your universities, throughout academia, in school and college, in media, and everywhere else, that’s what concerns me. I don’t have to agree with everybody.'
Logan added, “Although the media has historically always been left-leaning, we’ve abandoned our pretense — or at least the effort — to be objective, today. … We’ve become political activists, and some could argue propagandists, and there’s some merit to that.”... Most news media outlets ignore the origins of ostensibly grassroots political activism, stated Logan. She pondered the geneses of such campaigns, speculating on technology firms’ roles in amplifying such campaigns... Logan dismissed news media claims allegedly rooted in singular anonymous government sources as unreliable. “That’s not journalism, it’s horseshit,” she said.“Responsibility for fake news begins with us,” said Logan, referring to journalists and reporters.Logan recalled that Media Matters for America (MMFA) targeted her following a 60 Minutes report she filed related to the September 11, 2012, Islamic terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. “I made one comment about Benghazi,” remarked Logan, “[Then] I was targeted by Media Matters for America, which was an organization established by David Brock, who has dedicated himself to the Clintons. It was their known propaganda organization.”... Towards the end of the interview, Logan quipped, “This interview is professional suicide for me.”"

Lessons From a Recovering Identity Warrior - "It’s normal to want to be proud of your heritage, especially when you’re part of a minority group that you don’t see reflected back within the larger culture you inhabit. But there’s a reason why many religious traditions treat pride as a sin: It usually doesn’t end with an innocent fondness for a flag, or a symbolic salute to a dead president or king who resembles that beloved grandfather you’d never met. Pride can easily push you into one-sided distortions of history... Blaming America for the backwards nature of my home country felt right to the resentful teenager I then was. And even as I grew older, my lefty (white) friends never called me out on it—even when I wasn’t making sense—because I was railing against The Man. I was punching up. Who needs facts, when you have a nodding, guilt-ridden white ally to vent to? It was like a woke intellectual masturbation session that offered a symbiotic catharsis. An exaggerated sense of race-based pride is birthed in the absence of a strong centre, and nourishes itself on the ego of restless young men. I began to build my own ideological world, and connected with other like-minded people who were playing the same game, feeding the same psychological appetites. Over time, it turned from a defence against the real racism of others, into a socially-accepted program of aggressive anti-white rhetoric, which continues to be encouraged, or at least willfully ignored, by the liberal mainstream and by many of my white friends."

(12) Interethnic Bias in Willingness to Engage in Casual Sex Versus Committed Relationships - "Interethnic romantic relationships are widely seen as a strong indicator of a well-integrated society. However, racial bias may still be evident in the tendency to engage in casual sex versus committed relationships. Using a large, age-diverse sample of 3,453 White British participants, this study found a general preference for White partners over racial minority partners. Furthermore, in line with social structural theory, participants reported a relative preference for marriage (versus casual sex) with White partners, but a relative preference for casual sex (versus marriage) with racial minorities. This pattern was further modified by sex: Men reported a general preference for casual sex (versus marriage) with all racial groups except White partners. Women, however, reported a general preference for marriage (versus casual sex) with all groups, but this preference was strongest for White partners. The pattern was not further modified by sexual orientation."

Singapore remains world's most expensive city - "Singapore was found to be 11% more expensive than New York for basic groceries.And together with Seoul, it was found to be the most expensive place in the world for clothes, "with prices 50% higher than New York", the EIU said."
It's not just cars

Cost of Living Comparison between Australia and Singapore - "According to the Cost of Living Survey 2017 byMercer, Australia has the 12th highest cost of living in the world, while Singapore sits in 5th position. Generally speaking, living in Singapore is more expensive than living in Australia, but costs can vary significantly depending on where in Australia you reside.Based on the most recent available data, consumer prices in Sydney are approximately 3% higher than similar costs in Singapore. Other major metropolitan areas of Australia are cheaper than Singapore, however, with consumer costs ranging from 2% lower in Perth to 7.5% lower in Brisbane, relative to Singapore. Adelaide and Melbourne also have lower overall consumer costs.Groceries are more expensive in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth compared with Singapore, but Brisbane grocery costs are cheaper. Furthermore, the cost of eating out in a restaurant is higher across Australia than it is in Singapore.Rental costs are more extravagant in Sydney than in Singapore, but this is an anomaly in an overall comparison – every other major Australian city has lower rents than Singapore."

"The best predictor of future behavior is … past behavior" - "past behavior is a useful marker for future behavior. But only under certain specific conditions:
High-frequency, habitual behaviors are more predictive than infrequent behaviors.
Predictions work best over short time intervals.
The anticipated situation must be essentially the same as the past situation that activated the behavior.
The behavior must not have been extinguished by corrective or negative feedback.
The person must remain essentially unchanged.
The person must be fairly consistent in his or her behaviors...
the situation plays a critical role in behavior. The situation is often more determinative than individual character traits. Personality theorist Walter Mischel - frequently cited in connection with the "best predictor" maxim - suggests that behavioral consistency is best described through if-then relationships between situations and behaviors, as in: "She does A when X, but B when Y." So, a person may engage in heavy drug use when in the company of drug-using peers, but may stop using when she moves away and gets a fulfilling job... with detected recidivism among sex offenders falling somewhere between a low of about 3 percent and a high of no more than 15 percent, it's pretty hard to argue past as prelude. And if we apply the mantra to murderers, as did "Dr. Death" in Texas, we will be even further off the mark. In California over the past two decades, about 1,000 people have been paroled from prison after serving time for first- or second-degree murder. Their recidivism rate for murder?Precisely zero... The best-predictor axiom ignores such base rates, which are essential to accurate prediction"
Again, ignoring 'stereotypes' is the base rate fallacy

Cangue - Wikipedia - "A cangue (/kæŋ/) or tcha is a device that was used for public humiliation and corporal punishment in East Asia and some other parts of Southeast Asia until the early years of the twentieth century. It was also occasionally used for or during torture. Because it restricted a person's movements, it was common for people wearing cangues to starve to death as they were unable to feed themselves... a typical cangue would consist of a large, heavy flat board with a hole in the center large enough for a person's neck. The board consisted of two pieces. These pieces were closed around a prisoner's neck, and then fastened shut along the edges by locks or hinges. The opening in the center was large enough for the prisoner to breathe and eat, but not large enough for a head to slip through"
So the Chinese punishment device has a name

“More Studying and Less Sex. That Is Not Something to Be Regretted.”

“More Studying and Less Sex. That Is Not Something to Be Regretted.”

"Aaron Sibarium (The American Interest): Thank you for agreeing to do this, Heather. To begin, why don’t you tell me what The Diversity Delusion is about, and what inspired you to write it at this particular moment.

Heather Mac Donald: The book is about the identity politics and victim ideology that have taken over college campuses. I was inspired to write it out of a combination of sorrow and rage. Sorrow, because I believe so strongly in the humanist mission of universities and the extraordinary privilege of being able to study the greatest works of civilization. And rage, because I see ignorant students being encouraged by faculty and campus administrators to reject the monuments of human thought on such absurd grounds as an author’s gonads and melanin...

We have just lived through a month of Gender Studies 101 with the hysteria over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The tribal victimology that characterizes college campuses is now becoming the currency of a surprisingly large sector of the Democratic Party. Many females have decided that they represent an oppressed class and that such traditional Enlightenment values as due-process and the presumption of innocence are expendable. Campus rape tribunals have discarded essential truth-finding mechanisms such as cross-examination in the service of the #BelieveSurvivors mantra. And now that contempt for rational means of proof is entering the public consciousness as well...

What matters is the dominant narrative, whether or not the majority of people subscribe to it. That narrative sees white males as the source of most everything evil in the world. The hemorrhaging of lower-class, white males from the American economy and civil life, documented by Charles Murray, may be partly influenced by such circumambient contempt.

To further buttress Mounk’s point, the Pew Research Center did a study of so-called gender equity in STEM within the last year and found that the more years of higher education that females had, the more likely they were to say that they had been the victims of sex discrimination...

I do not think that [helicopter parenting] is what is generating the maudlin campus victimology, because the demographics don’t really match up. The brothers of white females are subject to the same overprotective parents, as noted above, and yet they are not, by and large, identifying themselves as an oppressed victim group needing safe spaces and all sorts of reparations. At best, they can present themselves as allies.

Moreover, blacks and Hispanics are, on average—and I’m making a generalization here—not over-parented to the same extent. In fact, there’s often a lack of parenting on the part of fathers. Yet black and Hispanic students are eager to jump on the victim bandwagon. So my alternative hypothesis to the over-parenting, psychological explanation is that this really is an ideological phenomenon...

There are two important ironies here. First, the original poststructuralist thinkers who created the rhetoric of high theory read the Western canon exclusively. Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man, for example, deconstructed Proust and Plato; they never thought to go in search of female or black writers to fill a quota.

Second, one of the most bizarre tenets of deconstruction was that the self was a mere linguistic trope—there was no self, just language play. But in the 1980s, with the rise of multiculturalism, the self came roaring back with a vengeance. Suddenly academic victimologists were defining the self in the most reductive manner possible, in terms of gonads and melanin. The self became the subject of endless study and theorizing—but it was emphatically not a made-up construct...

We have a bizarre hybrid of promiscuity and neo-Victorianism, which is characterized by a belief in ubiquitous male predation but which also looks to males to be the unique guardians of female well-being. When you destroy the traditional restraints on the male libido as sexual liberation did—those restraints being chivalry and gentlemanliness on the one hand and female modesty and prudence on the other—you’re unleashing a force that the female libido can rarely match. Sexual liberation was premised on a fallacy that males and females are identical in their sexual drives. They are not. Nor are they identical in their emotional (and hormonal) responses to intercourse.

TAI: You suggest at one point that the only good thing about Title IX is that it is actually remoralizing campus sexuality in a weird way. That it paradoxically results in a more conservative or, as you call it, neo-Victorian sexual ethic.

HMD: More studying and less sex. That is not something to be regretted. Colleges are not primarily for partying and one night hook ups...

Just as a female can, with almost 100 percent certainty, avoid becoming what is viewed on campus as a rape victim by acting prudently and not getting blackout drunk, by not taking off her clothes and getting into bed with a guy whom she may or may not know, so, too, can every college male usually avoid the predicament of being falsely accused of rape by walking his girlfriend home after a date, kissing her goodnight, and writing her a love poem back in his own dorm room. If the bureaucratization of campus sex, with campus rape bureaucrats promulgating preposterous ten-page legalistic rules for coitus, results in less campus sex, there is simply no social cost, unlike, say, the over-regulation of natural gas production, which results in less of a socially useful product and activity...

[On the feminist myth of one-in-five college women being raped/sexually assaulted] The mother of all campus rape surveys was a study that was published in 1985 in Ms. magazine by University of Arizona professor Mary Koss. Koss found that 42 percent of the college females whom she characterized as rape victims went on to have sex again with their alleged assailant. I propose that that is a behavior that is inconceivable in the case of what most people would understand as rape. Koss also found that 73 percent of the campus females whom she characterized as rape victims, when asked directly whether they have been raped, said they had not. In other words, the feminist claim that we’re living through an epidemic of campus sexual assault depends on doing something that feminists have told us one should never, ever do, which is to ignore what females say about their own experiences...

But the other reason that I reject this narrative about an epidemic of sexual assault is that if it were the case, we would have seen a stampede decades ago to create single sex schools where girls could study in safety. Instead, the stampede of girls to get into this alleged maelstrom of sexual violence increases in ferocity each year...

Unless females are too clueless to look out for themselves and to get the word out: “Don’t go to those frat parties, they are one big gang rape,” one has to assume that this epidemic of sexual assault is not occurring...

There are very simple steps that girls can take to avoid getting raped. Do not drink yourself blotto. The drinking that happens on the part of females is done quite often to deliberately lower their sexual inhibitions. Do not get into bed with a guy you don’t know. Don’t take your clothes off. Doing those things sets in motion processes and impulses that are hard to control once you unleash them.

Do we believe that girls are capable of using their reason to evaluate risk and take simple precautionary measures, or not? If they’re not capable of doing that, I don’t know whether they even belong in college.

You say if rape culture is so pervasive, you might as well go to college because it’s going to be everywhere. But you could still have single sex schools. You could ask the adults to once again say, “No sex in dorms,” instead of saying, “Here’s a 20-page contract modeled on a mortgage to sign before you have sex.”...

TAI: It sounds almost as if you’re making a kind of feminist argument for women’s empowerment. That’s the language you’re using—“power.” Have you ever put it in these terms to college audiences, and if so what has the response been? Because although you’re denying a lot of the Left’s empirical premises, you’re also asserting that women have agency—an idea the Left can’t get enough of...

HMD: I have put the question to many a campus rape bureaucrat and said, “If you really believe there’s this epidemic of campus rape going on, doesn’t it behoove you to try to stop it? Shouldn’t your primary responsibility be female safety, and given that a message of female prudence and modesty would be an almost 100 percent prophylactic against what you insist on calling rape, why don’t you send that message of female prudence and modesty?”

And what I’m told by the campus rape bureaucrats is, “Oh, we would never send that message because then people would presume that females are responsible for being raped, and we all know that they’re not.” That means that these bureaucrats are more interested in preserving the principle of male fault than they are in guaranteeing female safety...

The 2015 surveys commissioned by the American Association of Universities on 27 college campuses found that the LGBTQ communities reported much higher rates of sexual assault than everybody else...

There is an entire campus bureaucracy dedicated to LGBTQ’s allegedly oppressed status, a status that has admittedly been somewhat subsumed of late now that trans is the top victim dog. But until trans came along, being gay on campus probably enjoyed the highest victim ranking...

[On minorities having poor writing skills] People are terrified of correcting black students or Hispanic students, because of the chance that they will be accused of racism...

If MIT admitted me to its freshman class, and I had a 650 on my math SAT on an 800-point scale, and my peers, by and large, had 800s on their math SAT, I would struggle miserably in my first year. I would not be able to keep up with freshman calculus or advanced calculus which understandably and unimpeachably would be pitched toward the average level of academic preparedness of my peers. I would flounder. I would very likely drop out of my STEM track, and I would then have two options. I could say I was admitted without competitive scores, and I am now suffering the consequences. Or I could I say that I am in a patriarchal environment which is causing me to feel trauma and flounder because I am surrounded by implicit bias.

Not surprisingly, students who are the alleged beneficiaries of preferences tend to choose the implicit bias or institutional racism explanations for their problems. There was a very good study that was done at Duke University that found that incoming Black male freshmen intended to major in a STEM field at a higher rate than white male freshmen. But by the time of graduation, the attrition rate of Black males out of STEM majors was enormous, leaving the field almost exclusively to whites and Asians. Meanwhile those Black male students gravitate into much easier fields that do not have the same objective rigorous standards. That’s part of what we see with these absolutely abysmal writing examples that I’ve put forward in the book. Not just bad writing but also bad thinking...

The Trump Education and Justice Departments withdrew guidelines that the Obama Education and Justice Departments had sent out to colleges outlining how they could best implement racial preferences within the confines of the law. The Trump Administration withdrew those guidelines and substituted something from the Bush Administration that was much less enthusiastic about racial preferences.

And predictably, the coverage of the Trump Administration’s actions in the mainstream media was completely silent about why colleges feel compelled to use racial preferences in the first place. There was virtually no mention of the academic skills gap. Indeed, the New York Times framed this as an ongoing fight for equity and integration, using language from the ’60s to imply that schools today are like Ole Miss barring the door to Black students and that we still have to force them to integrate themselves. This is preposterous. Every selective school in the country is twisting itself into knots to admit as many underrepresented minorities as possible, via the folly of racial preferences that only sets up students to struggle if not fail completely.

So, yes, it is completely verboten to mention the academic skills gap. It only comes up fleetingly in the context of, “Well, we’re not spending enough taxpayer dollars on schools.”...

One danger of this universal frenzy, the idea that everybody should go to college, is that it devalues occupations that don’t require high levels of cognitive sophistication and implies that there are certain jobs that are not worth doing. That is a trope you hear with a certain degree of regularity from the New York Times and others in discussing poverty.

In many ways, we’re a more meritocratic society than ever before in human history because we have largely cast aside the traditional kinship rules that would determine who gets hired (the Trump family White House notwithstanding). Yet we also have an incessant assault on meritocracy because of identity politics and the notion that the National Science Foundation has embraced: that the only good science is diverse science. That’s ridiculous. But nevertheless, every STEM faculty in the country is being forced to interview and hire females simply because of their gender rather than their scientific qualifications...

I do have a chapter on the Great Courses, which are video lectures by college lecturers who are screen-tested to make sure that they are able to present their material in an accessible way. My point was not that this provides a serious alternative to college; rather, it’s just to say that there’s a vast untapped desire for traditional humanistic learning that has not been colonized by high theory and identity politics. Adults feel like they have a gap in their education and hunger for teaching that speaks unapologetically about great literature, great philosophy, and ideas that changed the world, without all the harping on unending oppression.

I’m not sure that the Great Courses themselves can point us out of the dilemma, but certainly they demonstrate an untapped desire. I write about UCLA in 2011 jettisoning its requirements that every English major take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one course in Milton. This was an absolutely reasonable requirement given the importance of those authors to English literary tradition, yet UCLA replaced it with requirements in various identity-based theories. At the time they did this, UCLA had the most popular English major in the country because it was still wedded to a traditional historical approach to the study of literature. This is something that college students themselves want. One of the Great Courses lecturers on medieval history told me that if you ask students what they want to study, they’ll say kings and queens and knights, not the construction of the gendered self.

To a certain extent, schools are betraying their own students by forcing this stuff down their throats. The driving force in this entire enterprise is the idea that America today remains endemically racist and sexist and that any disparity in group representation in any institution is, by definition, the result of bias as opposed to differences in culture, skills, behaviors, and preferences. As long as that idea of endemic racism and sexism remains the dominating force of elite thought in this country, it’s not going to be possible to beat the diversity delusion back.

Then there’s the whole free speech issue, which we haven’t talked about, but which I regard as a mere epiphenomenon of victim ideology. We’re not going to solve that one either, without taking on the structural bias claim head-on. Even if more faculty issued high-sounding statements about the value of free speech, it’s not going to make a damn bit of difference as long as students are told that they are existentially threatened by circumambient racism and sexism and therefore entitled to silence others by force to protect their very lives...

A professor at the University of Southern California public policy school, James Moore, sent around an email in response to calls to “believe survivors.” Moore said, paraphrasing here, Well, if anyone in the future is ever the subject of a false criminal or tort claim, you may find yourselves to be bigger supporters of due process than you are now. Accusers sometimes lie. This provoked an absolute meltdown on the part of the school. The dean of USC’s public policy school, Jack Knott, sent around an email message exactly like Salovey’s, talking about the importance of free speech but then asserting that Moore’s mild email was antithetical to the school’s values and would make it even harder for USC’s oppressed female students to survive. So these administrators pay lip service to free speech, but then go and stoke the furies...

TAI: Now even some Never Trumpers like Bret Stephens are saying, “You know I gotta hand it to the President, he stood up for due process and didn’t let the Left totally destroy a good man’s life. Yes, he’s crude and he’s an asshole, but at least he’s fighting back.”

Is that true? Has Trump been effective at resisting identity politics, or do you think it’s a lost cause at this point?

HMD: Interesting. Well, is he effective? He’s certainly fighting back. The question is, “Is he fighting back effectively, or is he just going to create more backlash?” Is he inflaming the delusional idea that America is endemically racist and sexist more than he is putting it to rest. Again, that’s an empirical matter. I’m not sure...

I view Trump as an incredibly painful dilemma: I support his policies but deplore his personality. I don’t think he’s a racist and sexist. I just think he is the worst possible example of an adult male. He is thin-skinned, gratuitously vindictive, the opposite of magnanimous. I would think it would be very hard to raise a boy today with that as our premier male role model."

Links - 6th April 2019 (1)

Bus Fares & Ticketing | Buses | Public Transport | Land Transport Authority - "About Distance Fares
All journeys must be within 2 hours of the first boarding (on the same journey).
Maximum of 5 transfers can be made within a journey.
Multiple rail transfers allowed with no additional boarding charges.
45 minutes for transfers between rail station and bus service, or between different bus services.
15 minutes for transfers between different rail stations.
Current bus service must not be the same number as the preceding bus service.
No exit and re-entry at the same station. "
Looks like transfer fares for transfers between different train stations finally got rolled out (quietly). I checked earlier this year and it was still the old rules (despite the end 2018 timeline) but now they're different

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Taking the Buzz out of Coffee - "For many, taking the punch out of the most widely consumed psychoactive substance on the planet really defeats the point. Decaffeinated coffee, a man once said, is kind of like kissing your sister...
Wouldn't it just be easier to go back to the very beginning of the production process and develop a caffeine free coffee plant? Well, they do exist.
‘The trouble is, although they’re zero or very low in caffeine. They taste disgusting... when you taste one of these coffees, which is sometimes found in a street market in Madagascar, for example, they are extremely acidic. I have tried quite a few and you don't want to try them again... it's not easy just to knock out a single chemical or range of chemicals associated with caffeine’"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Unseen: The Rise of Eating Disorders in China - "'Girls encourage each other to binge eat and vomit afterwards. And these people call themselves rabbit because in Chinese a rabbit is Tu Zhi and it has the same sound as the sound of what you call vomiting in Chinese.'
‘This is a country with a particularly food orientated culture, famine still looms large in living memory, and the availability of a rich and varied cuisine is prized. But so too is being thin.’
‘I have had like doctors tell me things like, you know, if you have too many muscles, no one's going to want to marry you'...
‘In a global world, the global beauty ideals are largely thin ideals. And that's not such a surprise because beauty ideals are typically the state of being that is difficult to achieve. And so in our world now, where there's an overabundance of food, and it is difficult to avoid gaining weight, then the beauty ideal of the thin woman becomes all the more paramount.’
‘Is it too simplistic, then, to say this is a result of westernization?’
‘Yes, as we see the rise of eating disorders in other parts of the world, the patterns are, on the one hand, similar, but in each case, there are unique aspects to the presentation and the understanding of eating disorders in cultural context’...
[In Mandarin and curiously untranslated] If they’re too skinny, men don’t like it. Men like some meat...
On the online shopping website Taobao there are vomit tubes being sold with instruction videos. You can push the tube into your stomach, clean out what you're eating, but no one is doing anything about it. And there's no law or regulation to restrict such things."

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, André Cointreau: My Life in Five Dishes - "[On Cordon Bleu] ‘We have been the first program to be accredited by the Ministry of Education in Thailand on Thai cuisine’"
Apparently the Thais love cultural appropriation

How Much Mightier Is the Pen than the Keyboard for Note-Taking? A Replication and Extension of Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) - "Many students use laptops to take notes in classes, but does using them impact later test performance? In a high-profile investigation comparing note-taking writing on paper versus typing on a laptop keyboard, Mueller and Oppenheimer (Psychological Science, 25, 1159–1168, 2014) concluded that taking notes by longhand is superior. We conducted a direct replication of Mueller and Oppenheimer (2014) and extended their work by including groups who took notes using eWriters and who did not take notes. Some trends suggested longhand superiority; however, performance did not consistently differ between any groups (experiments 1 and 2), including a group who did not take notes (experiment 2). Group differences were further decreased after students studied their notes (experiment 2). A meta-analysis (combining direct replications) of test performance revealed small (nonsignificant) effects favoring longhand. Based on the present outcomes and other available evidence, concluding which method is superior for improving the functions of note-taking seems premature."

Gurwinder on Twitter - "Attacks on @Quillette almost always go the same way: someone accuses it of being a platform for fascists, but when asked to name specific articles, they proudly proclaim that they’ve never read it.
It’s as a reaction to this kind of incuriousness that Quillette even exists."
Ah, for the days when it was left wingers protesting censorship by people who didn't even know what they were trying to censor!

Politics is affecting dating and intimacy, expert says - "“Singles now, especially millennials singles, are more interested in having similar politics and talking about good politics than actually having good sex,” Spira said.The dating site OkCupid told HuffPost last month that for the first time in its 15-year history, the overall number of women who choose shared political views over "good sex" doubled from 2016 to 2018."

Once hailed as unhackable, blockchains are now getting hacked - "Blockchains are particularly attractive to thieves because fraudulent transactions can’t be reversed as they often can be in the traditional financial system. Besides that, we’ve long known that just as blockchains have unique security features, they have unique vulnerabilities. Marketing slogans and headlines that called the technology “unhackable” were dead wrong... Susceptibility to 51% attacks is inherent to most cryptocurrencies. That’s because most are based on blockchains that use proof of work as their protocol for verifying transactions. In this process, also known as mining, nodes spend vast amounts of computing power to prove themselves trustworthy enough to add information about new transactions to the database. A miner who somehow gains control of a majority of the network's mining power can defraud other users by sending them payments and then creating an alternative version of the blockchain in which the payments never happened. This new version is called a fork. The attacker, who controls most of the mining power, can make the fork the authoritative version of the chain and proceed to spend the same cryptocurrency again."

Kirsten Powers apologizes for her role in toxic public debates - "I recently took a hiatus from social media to reflect on what role I might be playing in our increasingly toxic public square. I was not proud of what I found. During this time, I reflected not just on my behavior on social media, but also in my public expressions both on TV and in my columns. I looked back over the past decade of my work with a clear eye to assess whether I was shedding light on issues or just creating heat. I cringed at many of the things I had written and said. Many I would not say or write today, sometimes because my view has changed on the issue and sometimes just because I was too much of a crusader, too judgmental and condemning. What’s interesting is that at the time, I was convinced that I was righteous and “speaking truth” and therefore justified behaving as I did, and that anyone who didn’t like it just “couldn’t handle the truth.” “The truth hurts” was practically my motto. When I took to Twitter Monday to apologize for my lack of grace in the public square, many people expressed concern that I would stop speaking with moral clarity on important issues. This is not my goal. I will continue to stand on the side of equality and justice, but also mercy and grace. My goal is to speak in a way that remembers the humanity of everyone involved... the thing that struck me is how much I have changed. I’m not the same person I was a year ago, let alone 25 years ago. Yet our media routinely dig up information from decades ago and demands judgment be delivered with no regard to whether the person has evolved. We need to be more interested in who people are today, not who they were decades ago... In the Bible, a scapegoat was an animal burdened with the sins of others through a ritual, then driven away. This is in effect what our society does when we designate certain people to bear our collective sins. Once it's discovered that a person behaved in a racist, homophobic or misogynist way — often in the distant past — she is banished from society, creating a sense that something has been accomplished. That somehow there has been atoning because someone was punished... It’s critical to remember that people simply are not the sum of their worst moments in life... I frequently hear people who I knew to be homophobic 20 years ago express indignance over anyone who doesn’t support same-sex marriage today with no sense of self-awareness."

Consumer group claims fish may be non-halal - "Muslims must be wary about eating fish as some farms are feeding them non-halal animal by-products, the Penang Consumers Association (CAP) claimed today... Mohamed Idris also called for Jakim’s Halal Certification Procedure Manual to be amended to include animal feed as one of products certifiable by Jakim under its halal certification scheme.He called on the government to come up with a halal standard for animal feed preparation, production, distribution, labelling and handling to enable feed manufacturers to get their feed products halal-certified.“Meanwhile Muslims should refrain from eating meat until such laws are enforced”"
If a pig swims in the sea, all seafood is non-halal

Culture Shock for French in Quebec: ‘We Smoke Cigarettes, They Smoke Pot’ - The New York Times - "Louis Myard, a politics student at the University of Montreal, whose family moved from Paris to Montreal several years ago, mused that “a Mexican and a Chinese person had more in common than a Frenchman and a Quebecer.” “We play soccer, Quebecers play hockey,” he said. “We say “diner,” (dinner) they say “souper” (supper); we prefer wine, they prefer beer"... romance in feminist Quebec also posed challenges for young men reared in “machismo” France.“I have been glared at for opening the door for a Quebecois woman and once called a Quebecois girl I liked, ‘my little baby,’” he recalled. “She got very annoyed and said, ‘I am not your baby!’”... any culture shock had been more than offset by the attraction of a society she said was far less rigid than hierarchical France... Le Monde has proclaimed Quebec an “El Dorado” for a new generation of French drawn by, among other things, an unemployment rate of about 5.5 percent, compared with more than 9 percent in France, and some advantages under immigration rules for speaking and writing French.Between 2013 and 2017, France provided the second largest number of immigrants to Quebec after the Chinese, according to Quebec’s ministry of immigration. There are about 130,000 French people in Montreal... “We Quebecers know we are very different from the French but many French who come here think they are taking the train and going to the French countryside”... While Quebecers have long looked to Enlightenment France for inspiration, Gérard Bouchard, an eminent historian and sociologist with the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi, said that as they “gained a stronger sense of identity in the 1960s, they increasingly looked to North America — not France — for self-definition.”... Gallic tempers can flare when their French-speaking cousins surpass them.In March, when Agropur, a Quebec dairy cooperative, edged out a French dairy producer to win the prize for having the world’s best Camembert... Nor are Quebecers amused by periodic breathless reports in the French media depicting Quebec as a frigid maple tree-covered frontier where, according to an article in the French magazine Elle à Table, every year pigs are “sacrificed” around Easter time before being frozen in the open air.After an outcry here, the writer of the article apologized, acknowledging that the “very ancient” ritual no longer takes place in contemporary Quebec... Cultural misunderstandings aside, the French influx shows little sign of abating... after spending $17,000 on her master’s degree in France, she was only able to find work there in a shoe store. In Montreal, she said, she found a senior marketing job in a matter of weeks.She said her generation had been galvanized by President Macron, but were frustrated by his inability to deliver on his promises.“Here I can find a good job, buy a house, am close to nature and have quality of life, and I can still live in French,” she said, adding: “I am angry at France for failing me.”"

Friday, April 05, 2019

Links - 5th April 2019

The Internet Locusts Descend on Ristretto Roasters - "The career-destroying potential of the internet mob immediately snapped into action. Articles appeared in at least four newspapers and on innumerable websites. People on social media hurried to declare that they would never again spend a penny at Ristretto and were rewarded with approval from like-minded peers. A college-age girl walked into one of the cafes screaming, variously, that the baristas were in danger, and that working for Ristretto somehow posed a threat to the community. Employees who had previously been secure in their jobs became jittery and quit. One of Din’s managers suggested that he sell the company and that I offer a public apology before it was too late.This was within 48 hours of the first news reports appearing.The mob did not seem to notice (or mind) that Camila’s email had created precisely the kind of “demoralizing and hostile environment for employees” it was ostensibly intended to prevent. Young staff now worried that maybe the next crazed college girl would do more than scream; that they’d lose their jobs (and health insurance) if Ristretto were forced to close; that I—a person with whom they’d heretofore had a perfectly congenial relationship—might be a secret monster... I’d been labeled a “rape culture apologist,” that my work was “not journalism—this is privilege talking.” “It’s all on-script,” she replied. “They respond with the right words—fighting racism, transphobia, internalized misogyny—and build a group of believers who go out and do the work for them. They’re like the puppeteer. The fundamental difference between your situation and most others is that you’re facing real financial ruin.”... Many of them have not even taken the time to check what exactly they are attacking. Below one of the various Instagram posts drumming up a boycott of Ristretto, a woman wrote of #MeNeither, “I clicked, paused, down voted, then reported on YouTube that it violates community guidelines: hateful … I didn’t listen but it’s one way to make that shit go away.” This kind of virtual attack on something she hasn’t bothered to watch, to assess on her own, strikes me as childish—it is the behavior of a toddler whose tantrum brings a dinner party to a halt until it can be placated with the attention it seeks. I have invited my critics to speak with me; the whole point of #MeNeither is to provoke discussion. Only one woman took up my offer. It is evidently easier for some random guy on Facebook to send me the message, “You are scum. Rot in hell you dirty bitch.” Those with a bit more ambition have taken to phoning all my husband’s purveyors and telling them to discontinue their relationships with Ristretto. There is purpose here; there is drive; there is, maybe, a sense of triumph at a business being eradicated. “Yes, the delight in the potential destruction of others,” agreed Heying. There had, she added, been “total dismay in some corners” when she and her husband had survived."

When Everything Is Political, Nothing Works - "“Is this political? This feels political, but it shouldn’t.”This is because the left has made everything political, and reads politics into everything... You post a funny meme about vegans? Since most vegans are leftists, it’s immediately political. You post a meme about immigrants or speaking in broken English (keep in mind I am an immigrant and while I don’t speak in broken English – I glue all my English before speaking – I do speak with a noticeable accent, something my oldest fans love to tease me about) and because the left has wedded itself to open borders (in the hopes of electing themselves a new people), blam, the post is political.Do you post about your new car? No matter what you got, an SUV or a tiny hybrid, bam, your post is political, mostly because the left has planted its blood-soaked flag on the side of human-hatred, by claiming we’re killing the Earth or something (even while their political figures refuse to live like they believe it).What else can you post about? Oh, yeah. Your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. Wait! Are you cis-heteronormative, whatever? POLITICS!I once posted something about how men and women were different and had barely time to blink before someone labeled the post transphobic (no, seriously, explain this one to me: if there is no difference, how come there are trans people? How can you be a male trapped in a female body or vice-versa if, in fact, the sexes are exactly the same except for minor external stuff? What is the whole point, even?).Honestly, it’s getting to the point I start cringing when people post about their cat, because you know somewhere in the mix there are probably PETA advocates who are going to accuse them of slavery… and then it’s political. Or people who are going to get offended because only women have cats and therefore this is sexist.There is a reason that science fiction conventions are dying. I attended one this weekend and a friend lamented that you can no longer be on a panel with anyone without the discussion devolving to politics. And you can barely talk to people in the halls because any topic can devolve into politics... the left has explicitly dragged politics into all these fields and made it unallowable to discuss them from anything but their point of view... The sad thing is that if we allow this poison to spread, if we allow leftists to take more and more debatable things out of the debatable sphere and instead enshrine them as political, which is to say “If you disagree with me, you’re a Nazi,” everything else will die too.It’s becoming hard to imagine any area of science, commerce or mere social interaction that is safe."

Man dies at Sussex care home as neighbours block ambulances sent to treat him in row over parking - "A man in his 90s died after two ambulances called to treat him were blocked for more than three hours by neighbours of his care home in a parking row.A couple used their two cars to block in the ambulances trying to reach the man in response to a "category 1 emergency" at Cedarwood House in East Sussex... "We are aware that ambulances were blocked in at the scene but there were no arrests.""
The police must be too busy dealing with hate crimes

The Independent - Posts - "Fan accused of mansplaining after telling female musician how to improve her own song"
Comments: "can we move past that a male can talk to a female and its not 'splaining" its just someone with a suggestion? FFSOr should we just stop talking to each other?I'm a chef, chefs create recipes if a member of my team makes a suggestion on a method or ingredients I don't get all "splain" about it. I listen, I discuss and we might give it a go. I don't stop and think a female told me so I'm going to get into a hissy fit over it.Now go cross your legs and shut the f**k up."
"I'm sorry, is now giving any sort of constructive criticism a bad thing? Or is it just if the criticism comes from a male? (oh, and please, do not take those questions as an example of a man asking you rhetorical questions. That'd be terrible!)"
"Do I have to mansplain what mansplaining is?"
"That sounds like a guitarist giving constructive criticism."
"Man says anything...MANSPLAINING!!!!"
"Not manspaining... what 50% of the population cannot criticise?"
"People such as yourself are trying to get it so that men aren't allowed to have an opinion, and if they manage to have one, they aren't allowed to voice it."
"She's released three albums and no one's ever heard of her. Is it possible her music needs improvement?"
"I just listened to the official song. There is no bass on it, just keyboard. It's also a really crap song."
"The Independent, always stirring the pot"

Denmark free education creates 'eternity students' who never graduate - "The country now deals with "eternity students" — people who stick around at college for six years or more without any plans of graduating, solely because they don't have any financial incentive to leave... For years, Denmark has had a program that allots students a monthly grant of around $1,000 to cover living expenses. According to Jakobsen, the freedom enables people to float in a kind of listless state, only half-considering their options for the future."

Looking up to leaders to tell the hard truth : singapore - " The pioneer generation of leaders, in particular founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, were highly critical of how things were done here and did not mince their words.He was famous for telling it as it was, scolding Singaporean managers for their lack of imagination, lamenting the low productivity of workers, highlighting shortcomings in the civil service, and the many areas that needed shaping up.Of course, he was that type of a leader and his straight-talking style might be ill-suited today.But the result was that the people came to expect leaders to be able to rise above the bureaucracy, to talk openly about its problems and not appear defensive.Over the years, however, as Singapore developed, the county has swung to the other extreme.Now, Singaporeans are constantly reminded how the country is the world’s best in this and that area and how well it is doing compared with others.This is fine if it truly is so and there is nothing left to improve.But, of course it isn’t. And the worse thing that can happen is if Singaporeans and their leaders believe their own propaganda... In fact, you do not need to go too far back into the early years to hear how Mr Lee responded to an incident.This was what he said in 2008 about the shocking escape from prison of the accused terrorist Mas Selamat: “I think it’s a very severe lesson of complacency that we are confident we have this man (Mas Selamat) sized up. It shows that it is a fallacy, it is stupid, to believe we are infallible.”Re-reading his quote, you wished someone would say it like he did about some of the recent incidents.I hope Singaporeans and their leaders will stop telling themselves how ahead they are of others and talk more often about how behind they are in many areas."

Nobel laureate Donna Strickland: ‘I see myself as a scientist, not a woman in science’ - "Strickland was surprised by the focus on gender. “I know there is certainly a lot of effort right now being placed on equity, diversity and inclusivity,” she says. “We consider that in our hiring practices and I’ve sat on many of the hiring committees. I was on the board of the Canadian Association of Physicists and we really discussed, as a board, how to incorporate these ideas. So, I’m certainly aware of the climate. But I don’t see myself as a woman in science. I see myself as a scientist. I didn’t think that would be the big story. I thought the big story would be the science.” Strickland’s focus has always been the science... From her first Nobel press conference onwards, Strickland has insisted that she has been treated as an equal throughout her career; she has always been paid the same as her male colleagues, always been given the same opportunities... She is a full-time tenured professor. The only reason she does not have the title of “full” professor is because she has never applied for the rank... Strickland would much rather talk about science than gender issues."
Maybe this shows that - surprise surprise - the way to have achievements in science is to do science, not constantly parade grievances

Napoleon: the insecure emperor - History Extra - "We are almost defined by the music we listen to as teenagers. You know, my generation won't be understood by somebody writing about them in 200 years time unless they can read all about the 60s culture, listen to the Stones and the Beatles and the whole thing and so on. And Napoleon's generation were brought up on the literature of the Enlightenment, but also on this most important influence of all was, there were two. One was that they were all brought up on Plutarch’s lives of the ancient heroes. This was sort of staple reading in every French school and military academy. And as religion, Catholic religion had actually been very much taken out of public life, it was replaced by a sort of swing back to a kind of rather gooey version of ancient mythology. So on the one hand, they all began to think that they were Romans and ancient Greeks. And in accordance with that mythology, there was always room for the sort of semi divine human being, who is the great transcendent hero. At the same time, it was the beginnings of the Romantic movement. And while on the one hand, he was endlessly sort of going on about Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. And the other hand, he was always reading, you know, the wonderful soupy novels of, of Bernard dans de Saint Pierre [sp?]. So there's this sentimentalism mixed in with heroism. They were all so excited by this that they really did, you do get quotes and letters from the times where they really, these young men really think that if they just dash into the jaws of death, they will somehow transcend it. And yes, you know, true heroism is the ultimate. It was kind of, you know latter day form of the lust for martyrdom that the Crusaders sought and it was a kind of pseudo religious urge, very very strong."

Wonders of the Middle Ages - History Extra - "‘The books did move between monasteries. And across the channel as you said, I've often been struck, how did that actually happen? There wasn't, there wasn't an interlibrary loan service was there?’...
‘Well, there sort of is in a way. Because if you create a new book, you need a copy, you need an exemplar. And if you are trying to create either a new work, a new legal text, or a collection of letters, you need something to copy from, and we have letters in this project saying, well, please, can you send me your copy of Augustine or whatever, because we, we need to, we'd like to make our own copy. And so sometimes, sometimes scribes were sent to, if the books couldn't be moved, but sometimes the books were, were sent and then came back... another reason I think you see these very close artistic connections because there's lots of circulation of text and ideas and artistic styles and people’"

Mary Anderson: singing – and windscreen wiping – in the rain - "Despite offering her device to all the early manufacturers of road vehicles, most thought the wiper unnecessary and a few even claimed it would be dangerous – one suggested that it could hypnotise drivers."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Matthew Hedges: 'I was psychologically tortured' - "‘Whenever I had to go to the bathroom, or to on occasion, use the shower, I would be escorted by four guards, and I would wear ankle cuffs. Whenever I was transported between different premises, I was blindfolded and handcuffed.’
‘And you had to stand up for quite a lot’
‘Yes. So one of the days when I had tried to, again, told the truth to the, to the interrogators, their reaction was to make me stand for the day wearing ankle cuffs’
‘All day?’
‘Do you know exactly what you confessed to, because you don't speak Arabic?’
‘I don't. All I know was that I confessed to being an MI6 agent’
‘They said you were a Captain. Bloody bizarre because there's no such rank in MI6’...
‘I was told this by not only the interrogators but also the state prosecutor. They said, in fact the state prosecutor told me you're very lucky that you've told us the truth from the start because if you hadn't you would be in jail for the rest your life’
‘And subsequently of course, you were convicted and you were indeed sentenced to life in prison’...
‘The information you had been collecting, to justify what they did to you, went far beyond standard academic practices. You took advantage of researchers in this country, you were using two different identities to gather information from your talks. In one you were a PhD researcher, and in another identity, you were a businessman, and so on.’
‘So I think at the heart of what in my response, it's academic freedom’...
‘Do you think that perhaps you were a bit naive?’

Majority Rules

AlPantuni - Posts - "25: Meanwhile in Brunei

#alpantuni #gaymuslim #brunei #satire"

"We don't want LGBT here! Respect us, this is a *** country!"
"Yes, minorities need to follow the majority, if they refuse, then leave this country"
"But this is my country too..."

France: "We don't want women wearing the niqab! Respect us, this is a secular country!"
"This is a violation of human rights! Why is the UN silent about this?"
"U said to follow the majority didn't you?"

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Links - 4th April 2019 (2)

London Banker Sues Singapore Lender for Race Discrimination - "A former official at United Overseas Bank Ltd.’s London branch is suing for unfair dismissal after saying he was denied a new job because he isn’t Asian.Daniel Smith, who worked at Singapore’s third-largest bank for 23 years, said a manager told him that a candidate from southeast Asia was a better “fit” for a role... While Cheah acknowledged that he had used the "descriptive" term that the candidate was Asian, he said "her race and nationality has absolutely nothing to do with her selection.""
Why Singapore doesn't have anti-discrimination laws

Indian Slavery Act, 1843 - Wikipedia - "Some East India Company officials opposed the act, citing Hindu and Muslim customs and maintaining the fact that the act would be seen as interference in traditional social structures"
What did the British ever do for India?

Gay dance party Poof Doof apologises for 'body shaming' and 'no girls' photo policy - "Organisers of a gay dance party in Melbourne have apologised after a list of demands made to photographers — including instructions not to take photos of "skinny boys", "boys with bad skin" or women — sparked a backlash online."
Don't women in a gay dance party invade the safe space?
Should ugly models complain about discrimination?

Muslim organisation calls for rethink on unisex toilets after family enters private showers - "A lack of female-only, closed door public showers at a popular Sunshine Coast beach has prompted a Muslim organisation to call for councils to consider religious beliefs when designing infrastructure after a family used the amenities at a members-only surf club without permission.The Muslim family were holidaying at Coolum Beach when they used the surf club's members-only private showers because there were no female-only public amenities to wash off in private, sparking a difficult conversation between the family and a Coolum Beach Surf Life Saving Club patrol captain... "I found them in the members-only showers and tried to explain to them they weren't allowed to shower there," the lifesaver said."They said they didn't have a choice as there was nowhere for them to shower in a female-only shower in private." "The Sunshine Coast Council upgraded the public toilet block a few years ago and built a new toilet block which no longer had showers behind closed doors and the toilets also became unisex."... a spokesperson for Muslim Organisation Sunshine Coast (MOSC) said the council needed to consider the region's growing Muslim population when designing infrastructure that may make it difficult for women to observe their beliefs... The unisex public toilets at Coolum beach have also come under fire after a four-year-old girl was indecently assaulted at the toilet blocks at Tickle Park two weeks ago."
Is this discrimination against a minority and Islamophobia?

'Dilbert' Creator Scott Adams Attacks Google for Labeling Him a 'Nazi' - "Adams asked: “Do you think that a fake Twitter account that has only 15 followers would have enough followers that Google’s algorithm would pick that? Of all the pictures there are of me, there are a lot of pictures of me in the public domain, in articles. I was probably in 25 major articles last year alone, and this one little 15 user fake Twitter account is the fourth image that comes up?”"

‘Disrespectful’: Google Employees Melt Down Over The Word ‘Family’ - "A Google executive sparked a fierce backlash from employees by using the word “family” in a weekly, company-wide presentation... Many Google employees became angry that the term was used while discussing a product aimed at children, because it implied that families have children, the documents show. The backlash grew large enough that a Google vice president addressed the controversy and solicited feedback on how the company could become more inclusive... “It smacks of the ‘family values’ agenda by the right wing, which is absolutely homophobic by its very definition,” she wrote, adding: “[I]t’s important that we fix our charged language when we become aware of how exclusionary it actually is. As a straight person in a relationship, I find the term ‘family’ offensive because it excludes me and my boyfriend, having no children of our own.”... Google employees had internal debates about whether to suppress right-of-center media outlets, including The Daily Caller and Breitbart, in the company’s search function. That conversation, too, included a Google vice president: David Besbris. Besbris and other participants in that conversation advocated providing contextual information about media sources in search results, and the company later did so with a short-lived fact check feature at the end of 2017.Not only did the fact-check feature target conservative outlets almost exclusively, it was also blatantly wrong. Google’s fact check repeatedly attributed false claims to those outlets, even though they demonstrably never made those claims.Google pulled the faulty fact-check program in January 2018, crediting TheDCNF’s investigation for the decision."

Google Employees Sought To Manipulate Search Results To Fight Trump’s Travel Ban: Report - "In the wake of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, Google employees reportedly discussed ways to manipulate search results in order to push back against the president’s order... Thomas suggested ways to “actively counter algorithmically biased results” for search results including “Islam,” “Iran,” “Mexico” and “Latino"... “In other words, Google employees wanted to alter search results to make them more positive, for political reasons. Thomas also suggested promoting links for making donations to organizations fighting the travel ban... Carlson previously revealed how a Google executive sought to use company resources to boost voter turnout in favor of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election."

‘THE SMOKING GUN’: Google Manipulated YouTube Search Results for Abortion, Maxine Waters, David Hogg - "The term “abortion” was added to a “blacklist” file for “controversial YouTube queries,” which contains a list of search terms that the company considers sensitive. According to the leak, these include some of these search terms related to: abortion, abortions, the Irish abortion referendum, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and anti-gun activist David Hogg... the software engineer who started the discussion called the manipulation of search results related to abortion a “smoking gun.”The software engineer noted that the change had occurred following an inquiry from a left-wing Slate journalist about the prominence of pro-life videos on YouTube, and that pro-life videos were replaced with pro-abortion videos in the top ten results for the search terms following Google’s manual intervention... The manual adjustment of search results by a Google-owned platform contradicts a key claim made under oath by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in his congressional testimony earlier this month: that his company does not “manually intervene on any search result.”... In 2018, Breitbart News exclusively published a leaked video from the company that showed senior management in dismay at Trump’s election victory, and pledging to use the company’s power to make his populist movement a “hiccup” in history... employees within the company, including Google’s current director of Trust and Safety, tried to kick Breitbart News off Google’s market-dominating online ad platforms."

Spotify Blacklists PragerU Ads - "Music streaming service Spotify has banned advertisements from Conservative educational website PragerU on its platform... PragerU has faced online censorship from multiple platforms and recently filed a new lawsuit against Google, accusing the search engine and its video hosting subsidiary YouTube of censorship of conservative viewpoints"

McDonald’s: French fries recipe changed, here’s why - "Canadian journalist Malcolm Gladwell has revealed why McDonald’s French fries don’t taste as good as they once did back in the glory days, AKA the ‘90s. Despite McDonald’s best interests for its consumers, they’re left with a product that “tastes like cardboard”, Gladwell said. “They made the world’s greatest French Fry. Then they threw it away.”... McDonald’s changed the recipe of their French fries on July 23, 1990, and it hasn’t looked back. It’s all thanks to a man by the name of Phil Sokolof, an American crusader whose heart attack in 1966 “turned him into a national evangelist of a low-cholesterol diet”... At the time, McDonald’s was cooking its French fries in beef tallow, an animal fat.Sokolof put out a full-page ad attacking the chain, headlined “the poisoning of America”, accusing mcdonalds of selling fries loaded in fat... by changing the fat, described as “Formula 47”, McDonald’s changed everything about the fry.He said that when Kroc was running the show, he was adamant over the cooking of the fry. The McDonald’s brother’s had given him strict instructions — do not cook French fries in fat previously used to cook anything else — and Kroc was strict on this matter... “It turns out to be false that vegetable oil is healthier for you than beef tallow,” he said. “So not only did they destroy the French fry, they gave us something that was worse for us from a health perspective. So everything about it was a mistake.“If they had any balls at all, they would turn around and say, ‘We were wrong, and we’re going back to fries the old way,’” he said.This writer recommends Mr Gladwell taste the chips from Red Rooster. He’s guaranteed to discover delicious."

Study Finds Increase in STIs After Starting PrEP - "Although once daily pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) prevents up to 99% of HIV transmission risk, gay and bisexual men taking PrEP are 72% more likely to acquire a sexually transmitted infection (STI) than they were before starting PrEP according to study data released last month in the journal AIDS. The study was conducted among 195 gay and bisexual men who regularly attend an LGBTQ health clinic in Montreal, Canada. Clinicians found that the rate of anal chlamydia infection alone more than doubled during the year after starting PrEP compared to the prior year. The rates of gonorrhea and syphilis increased, too, but to a less significant degree... before PrEP became widely available, yearly surveys by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that rates of condomless anal intercourse had increased steadily among gay and bisexual men from 39% in 2001 to 60% in 2014... the higher rate of STIs after starting PrEP may be due to “risk compensation,” in which individuals engage in higher risk sex due to the perceived protection due to PrEP"
Handing out drugs like candy doesn't solve the root problem

Ng Yi-Sheng - Attended Curating Colonialism last night, a talk by... - "Attended Curating Colonialism last night, a talk by ACM (Asian Civilisations Museum) Senior Curator Stephen A Murphy on the Raffles in Southeast Asia exhibition. I was late, but I didn't miss much: he was just running through the different sections of the show, explaining with great pride how they were shining a light on Raffles's dodgy scholarship, even displaying the Babad Bedhah Ing Ngayogyakarta (Chronicle of the Fall of Yogyakarta) and the Riau-Lingga royal regalia as counterpoints to the narrative of benevolent British colonialism... We really only got into the meat of things during the Q&A. Faris Joraimi asked why the marketing of the show under "Scholar or Scoundrel--You Decide!" was even giving the audience the chance to vindicate Raffles when his sins had been exposed already by historians; how we could assume that his errors were simply shoddy mistakes rather than deliberate acts to pursue an agenda of conquest. Murphy's reply was that the marketing team wasn't under his control, and anyway they were there to be objective, not to take sides. Someone else then pointed out that he'd already taken sides by pointing out all the bad scholarship. Alfian Sa'at straight up said that as a Malay person he felt objectified and outraged by the way the exhibition used the colonialist's perspective of the native, and that they shouldn't have even staged the exhibition in the first place. Murphy said that kind of opinion belonged to the Rhodes Must Fall movement (which is bad for some reason?) and that it would be sufficient to inscribe colonial sins on a plaque somewhere--completely failing to acknowledge that his exhibition had erased the bloodshed of colonial violence, mentioning the Sack of Yogyakarta only in a tiny section at the end, where visitors would pass it after they were sick of reading labels."
Nothing is ever enough for the grievance brigade. Visitors cannot be allowed to make up their own minds - no deviation from the narrative is acceptable

Are There Snakes in New Zealand? - "New Zealand is one of several large islands around the globe where there have never been native snake populations. The others are Antarctica, Iceland, Ireland and Newfoundland. Snakes are more common than lizards around the world, and yet New Zealand is home to several species of lizard and not a single snake. Since snakes have neither evolved nor been deposited on the islands of New Zealand, their appearance would be a threat to other local wildlife, and so they are vigorously repelled."

PM says we can't outsource security to anyone else but SPF does outsource its job to Nepalese - "It is interesting to note that the Singapore government does outsource some of the domestic security work to Nepalese troops, who are currently helping to maintain law and order in Singapore. Under the SPF, a Gurkha Contingent (GC) was formed consisting of troops from Nepal. The principal role of the contingent is to be a "special guard force". Historically, they were part of the British forces and were retained since colonial times to enforce security. They were especially useful to help maintain law and order in Singapore during the turbulent 50s and 60s, like quelling the Maria Hertogh riots, the Hock Lee Bus riots, the 1964 racial riots and Konfrontasi which involved rooting out saboteurs from Indonesia.
In his memoirs, "From Third World To First", former PM Lee Kuan Yew recounted the use of the Gurkhas as an impartial force at the time when Singapore had just gained independence. He wrote:
"When I returned to Oxley Road, Gurkha policemen were posted as sentries. To have either Chinese policemen shooting Malays or Malay policemen shooting Chinese would have caused widespread repercussions. The Gurkhas, on the other hand, were neutral, besides having a reputation for total discipline and loyalty."
In other words, Lee Kuan Yew trusted the Gurkhas more than the Chinese or Malay policemen, at the time.And now, after more than half a century of independence, the PAP government continues to outsource our security to Nepalese troops, instead of trusting to use our very own Singaporean servicemen and regulars 100% for the job."
Even if you quibble with the definition of outsourcing, maybe we can just hire Gurkhas to defend Singapore

Writing for Quillette Ended My Theater Project

Writing for Quillette Ended My Theater Project

"The lack of heterodoxy in Western universities has been extensively documented. When I appeared on the podcast Cosmic Tortoise to discuss the article I’d written, the host asked why I would dig into trans ideology, when it is mostly localized on college campuses. But I argued that many of the extreme ideas that percolate in universities then boil over into the arts, and, in the arts, dogmatic positions on gender identity are now the norm. Trans ideology has been met with a loving embrace, complete acceptance, and fighting words for any who dares to disagree in public...

“You’re punching down,” my director announced from across the table, our scripts and a selection of snacks between us. She said that she’d been contacted my members of our theater community who had let her know that I had hurt them. These theater people wanted to make sure that she knew about the article I’d written and what people on social media were saying. The director reviewed the thread on my Facebook timeline from July, and determined for herself that I had participated in “trans erasure,” and hurt people by equating medical gender transition to rapidly growing trends in AI and body hacking.

In point of fact I wasn’t punching anyone. I was writing in an attempt to convey a somewhat complicated idea about what human beings are and what we are becoming. This is a topic that interests me greatly, along with the vexing questions of how we ought live. These questions have been hugely influential to my research, my art work, and my writing. They are the questions that had spurred the creation of this script and the theater collective I had co-founded to make it happen.

“You are cis gender,” she informed me. “You need to educate yourself.”

“I am not cis gender,” I replied...

If anything, it is the knowledge that I don’t identify with those things stereotypically female (high heels, makeup, being quiet while the men are talking) that has led me to believe that what society defines as belonging to the domain of women or the domain of men are not what make women and men what they are. Instead, it is our bodies that have the job of determining male and female, and the mind that is free to do as it pleases no matter the confines of the physical form. Yes, the physical form has its limits, and we ignore those limits at our peril. In college, I knew a PCP user who once uttered this truth: if there’s two of you, you can fly; if there’s one of you, well then you can’t fly. Because ideally one of the two will remember that the body has limits, and no flight capability.

“I don’t want to debate this with you,” my director said.

And that, of course, is the problem. No one wants to debate trans ideology...

My exploration of the ideas behind transgender ideology was painful for people. But it was only a discussion of ideas. Because I had written about the ideas behind the social movement of individuals chemically and surgically altering their bodies so that they appear to be a member of the opposite sex, I was no longer welcome in the feminist theater company I had founded, and no longer welcome among those I had thought of as friends. Exploring a new idea in a longstanding philosophical debate regarding the interconnected nature of human mind and body was hurtful because it did not uphold the delusion that biological sex is malleable. I had committed apostasy against the new gender religion...

Divergent opinions are not censored, they are self-censored. Artists who disagree do not speak up. To do so is to risk losing funding in an industry that relies almost entirely on philanthropic donations from organizations that routinely signal their virtue to one another, the artists they supposedly serve, and the progressive milieu at large"

Links - 4th April 2019 (1)

Kellyanne Conway: White House advisor 'assaulted in restaurant' - "White House adviser Kellyanne Conway says a woman assaulted her in front of her daughter last year.The incident, which she described to US media, is said to have taken place in a restaurant in a Washington DC suburb.Ms Conway says the woman was "screaming her head off" when she grabbed her from behind and shook her in October.Mary Elizabeth Inabinett, 63, denies charges of second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. She is due to stand trial in March."

Man sexually assaulted girl on bus after she tried to help him - "A kind Devon teenager who tried to help a man catch a bus back to London was left in tears after he sexually assaulted her.Dan Wachira, 34, grabbed the 18-year-old and called her a ‘cutie’ before trapping her on the bus, stroking her thigh and fondling her bottom.The Kenyan-born asylum seeker took advantage of the girl's kindness in order to sexually harass and try to wear down her defences... He was served deportation documents the day after the incident but had lodged an asylum claim.He said because of the political situation in Kenya he would be killed if sent back.Judge Evans said his deportation was a matter for the government but it was almost inevitable he would be sent back to Kenya because he had overstayed his visa."

Finally, a New Emoji to Mock Men - "The latest batch of emojis features new possibilities for shattering fragile masculinities and capitalism alike... We’re finally getting an emoji that’s perfect for easily humiliating men when they’re being disgusting online or, you know, being men: the small dick emoji"
Elsewhere on Vice: Women Talk About the Worst Body Shaming They've Experienced
Walker’s Corner - Posts: "Liberals: “we need to end toxic masculinity and be inclusive.”
Also liberals:"
Comment: "We should just say it’s an alt-right symbol and destroy their fun!"
Presumably men who do not jump on the man bashing bandwagon have 'fragile masculinity'. Coming from people who meltdown over a 'smirk' from a teen in a red MAGA hat, or a strange man on the street saying hello (which is 'catcalling')

Buzzfeed reporter says foreigners shouldn’t celebrate Lunar New Year, Asians disagree vehemently - "Here is Kassy Cho, who is apparently a reporter for Buzzfeed based in London, with a friendly reminder.
"friendly reminder that you don't get to celebrate lunar new year unless you're literally from a country that does or if you are invited by someone who is from a country that does"...
the most heartwarming part was how Asians, who Kassy Cho deemed as the official gatekeepers of the holidays, turned up en masse to support anyone celebrating Lunar New Year."
Andy Wang‏: "friendly reminder that I hereby formally invite everyone to celebrate lunar new year"
Facepalm‏: "Rekt. Guess people are more into unity than hate/division eh @kassy?"
Keywords: celebrate Chinese New Year, can't celebrate, anyone, cultural appropriation

Derinkuyu Underground City, the World's Deepest Subterranean Metropolis - "It’s thought that the Derinkuyu underground city was started by the Phrygians, an Indo-European people, in the 8th to 7th centuries BCE. After the population became Christian in Roman times, they began to include chapels in their underground dwellings. It’s thought that the Christian population used the underground city to escape persecution by the Romans... Located in Cappadocia, the central Anatolian region of Turkey, the subterranean city is one of over 200 in the area."

Woman tasered autistic man because she thought he was staring at her breasts - "A woman tasered an autistic man as he made his way to the library - because she thought he was staring at her breasts. Hollie Baker ran off laughing after she zapped acquaintance Lee Pearson with the illegal stun gun, leaving him writhing on the ground in agony... She claimed she got the illegal Taser for protection, and would take it with her when she walked her dog late at night."
Is this toxic feminism?

Saudi study shows millennial jihadis educated, not outcasts - "A study by a Saudi research center is challenging the notion that jihadi fighters are necessarily disenfranchised and lacking opportunity, with its lead researcher saying on Thursday that a new generation of Saudi militants are relatively well-educated, not driven purely by religious ideology and show little interested in suicide missions... In contrast, issues of disenfranchisement, poverty and criminal pasts factored heavily in IS fighters hailing from European countries like France, Belgium and the US... among Saudi recruits a little more than half said they had basic knowledge of Islam. Much of the rest claimed to have intermediate and advanced religious knowledge."
"With guns you can kill terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism." - Malala Yousafzai

Racism row: Comment on Auckland restaurant receipt leaves woman shocked - "An Auckland restaurant has come under fire after a woman and her friends were referred to as "Asians" on their receipt.Staff at The Falls Restaurant & Cafe in West Auckland had written "Asians" to identify the group at lunchtime on Sunday, and then provided it to the group.The woman said she found it racist, while the restaurant called it a mistake and blamed it on a new employee.The woman told Stuff they were a "group of 'Asians' born in this country", and had visited the restaurant for coffee and drinks... The restaurant's Facebook page has been inundated with posts criticising them over their actions.One person called the incident "utterly disgusting"."
In 2019, it's racist to call Asians Asian

Andrew Dickens: Is describing someone as Asian racist? - "I wandered over to the café’s Facebook page. Funny sort of inundation. There was the original complaint and one other poster who was supporting her. So firstly this is not outrage but it’s worth a moment’s reflection"

Mother is arrested in front of her children after calling a transgender woman a man - "A mother was arrested in front of her children and locked up for seven hours after referring to a transgender woman as a man online.Three officers detained Kate Scottow at her home before quizzing her at a police station about an argument with an activist on Twitter over so-called 'deadnaming'.The 38-year-old, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, had her photograph, DNA and fingerprints taken and remains under investigation.More than two months after her arrest on December 1, she has had neither her mobile phone or laptop returned, which she says is hampering her studies for a Masters in forensic psychology... The case is the latest where police have been accused of being heavy-handed in dealing with people who go online to debate gender issues.Sitcom writer Graham Linehan was given a verbal harassment warning by West Yorkshire Police after transgender activist Stephanie Hayden reported him for referring to her by her previous names and pronouns on Twitter. "

Man interrogated by police for liking a 'transphobic' tweet - "A man said he was questioned by police for over 30 minutes after he liked a tweet that appears to mock the transgender community. Harry Miller, who believes ‘trans women are not women’, says the formal probe by Humberside Police was into his ‘thinking’ and his reasons for liking the limerick on Twitter... Mr Miller, who used to be a policeman, says an officer told him he was investigating reports of a hate crime.‘Cop said he was in possession of 30 tweets by me,’ he recalled on Twitter.‘I asked if any contained criminal material. He said “No.”‘I asked if any came close to being criminal and he read me a limerick. Honestly. A limerick. A cop read me a limerick over the phone.’After telling the PC he did not write the limerick, he reportedly said: ‘Ah. But you liked it and promoted it.’ He concluded: ‘It’s not a crime, but it will be recorded as a hate incident.’Harry said the conversation turned ‘incredibly sinister’ as the officer tried to probe his ‘thinking’... 'he told me that I needed to watch my words more carefully or I was at risk of being sacked by the company for hate speech.’ Harry says he is actually the chairman of his company and later told The Spectator how the incident made him feel like a ‘criminal’."

Is it now a crime to like a poem about transgenderism? | Coffee House - " ‘All reports of incidents, whether from victims, witnesses or third parties and whether crime related or not, will, unless immediately recorded as a crime, result in the registration of an auditable incident report by the police.’... He isn’t the first person to have such an experience. I know of several other people who say they have also been interviewed and warned by police about their entirely legal comments online about gender issues."

ALTCON - Posts - "We received reports of a number of transphobic comments being posted on social media. We take all reports of hate related incidents seriously. We will always investigate to determine if a hate crime or incident has been committed & will take proportionate action."
"You didn't investigate my brother's flat in Hull when I told you I had concerns about his wellbeing. You told me you didn't have the resources. Two days later a neighbour found his body. I wish I'd told you he'd Liked a limerick on Facebook instead now, you useless bastards."
"PC Priorities.."

Acid attack victim says police could have stopped his assailant - "A man mutilated for life in an acid attack is suing police, alleging that they failed to act on information that should have stopped his ordeal before it began.Daniel Rotariu, 33, was attacked in July 2016 by his then partner, Katie Leong, who poured sulphuric acid over him as he slept at their home in Leicester in an attempt to kill him.Two professionals had passed police information five months before the attack that Leong was acquiring potentially lethal acid and possibly intended to throw it on someone, but officers took no action"
Hate crimes must be more important

Police launch hate crime investigation after Post Office refuses to accept Scottish note - "A police force launched an investigation after a man claimed he had been the victim of a hate crime when a branch of the Post Office refused to accept his Scottish bank note.Kent Police were called out earlier this month when 48-year-old Patrick Burgess accused postal staff of racism.He claimed the post office worker's refusal to accept the note amounted to a hate crime because it was based on nationality.Mr Burgess was born and brought up in Scotland, but speaks with an English accent.An officer was asked to investigate the claim and it has been recorded for official purposes as a hate crime, which will feed into national statistics... "I confirmed with her that the only notes they would not take were Scottish or Irish, to which she replied yes. In my opinion it's racist and it is a hate crime."... Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary asked the Law Commission to consider expanding the definition of hate crime by adding misogyny and ageism.But he has faced a backlash from many police chiefs who expressed concern that their frontline officers were spending too much time investigating such issues rather than tackling serious crime such as burglary and assault."

The police chiefs vs the thoughtpolice - "A tweet calling Anna Soubry a ‘fascist’, an Asian man saying his friend looked like a terrorist, and a newspaper column by Boris Johnson: these were among the 94,098 ‘non-crime hate incidents’ recorded by the UK police in the past year. The recording of such non-crimes has exploded in recent years. In the year 2017-2018, the number of hate incidents reached record levels, rising by 17 per cent on the previous year... the police’s Hate Crime Operational Guidance actually demands that the numbers increase. ‘Targets that see success as reducing hate crime are not appropriate’, it says. It also points out that the victim’s perception is the deciding matter as to whether a hate incident has occurred. You do not even have to be present at the time of the incident, or be fully aware of what exactly happened, to have an incident recorded and followed up by the police... when Amber Rudd delivered a speech on immigration to the Conservative Party conference in 2016, an Oxford professor reported her to the police, who treated it as a hate incident. The professor later said that he ‘didn’t actually see the speech’ but he had read about it. What’s more, some incidents have to be recorded twice if they are deemed by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility towards more than one protected characteristic. For instance, if a Pakistani-Muslim feels they were victimised because of both their religion and their race, two incidents have to be recorded, even though only one occurred."

Brookline incident reports: Dec. 28-30 - "A woman called the police after a man walked by her and said, “hello,” around the intersection of Washington and Beacon streets."
The feminist future where 'catcalling' is a crime is almost here
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