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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Links - 24th July 2017 (2)

The older the doctor, the higher the patient mortality rate, study finds - "doctors’ skills may deteriorate over time or simply become outdated. Older doctors may be more likely to rely on anecdotal rather than evidence-based practices. The flip-side is that younger doctors are freshly trained in the most effective practices... Older doctors who see a lot of patients may be forced to keep up with the most up-to-date methods. Conversely, they may get more patients because they keep up."

These two S’pore cheerleaders will always take cooler couple photos than you

The prom dress: An anthropological history of America's sexual coming-of-age costume - "It’s now a rite of passage in the social life of kids in the US, and over the decades it has been a space where teens navigate—and push back against—societal conventions about gender, sexuality, tradition, and values... for girls, the dress is much more an opportunity for them to display how they see themselves, and want others to see them. For many, that often includes a distinct whiff of sexuality... “The prom is a place where young women are able to try out different ways of being sexy in a limited liability contest.”... “I also overheard many girls proudly exchanging stories of their fathers’ utter discomfort in seeing their daughters in such sexy dresses, testimonies that the girls had succeeded in transforming themselves.”"

Kaiser Kuo's answer to How common is VPN usage in China to circumvent censorship? - Quora - "We estimate that no more than 3% of Internet users in countries that engage in substantial filtering use circumvention tools. The actual number is likely considerably less... The simple fact is that most of the Internet services that most Chinese people want to use are (surprise, surprise!) in Chinese, and the overwhelming majority of Internet services in Chinese are hosted in mainland China"

Perfection | Tell Me Something I Don't Know - "For hundreds of years, people have thought that kneading bread was required to get the strands of gluten proteins that are in wheat to align so that it will trap bubbles and you could have it rise and you could have nice fluffy bread. And the reality is that the proteins align pretty much by themselves in the presence of water...
A lot of the shoreline of New York city especially Manhattan and the older parts of the city are actually built out past the original island. And a lot of the times they use foundations made of wood. Of course wood is a natural biological material and it's subject to all kinds of decay, one of which is that it's the food source of tiny marine organisms called marine borers commonly that get into the wood and eat at it until it basically disintegrates. So this wasn't really a problem for a lot of the twentieth century because we have been piping out all this sewage and industrial waste into the water and a lot of the marine life had died out. The Clean Water Act came along... within the next decade or two a lot of these structures are going to be collapsing or going to need to be closed before they collapse to to keep the public safe"

When Payment Undermines the Pitch - "Incentivized advocates for a cause are perceived as less sincere than nonincentivized advocates and are ultimately less effective in persuading other people to donate. Further, the negative effects of incentives hold only when the incentives imply a selfish motive; advocates who are offered a matching incentive (i.e., who are told that the donations they successfully solicit will be matched), which is not incompatible with altruism, perform just as well as those who are not incentivized. Thus, incentives may affect prosocial outcomes in ways not previously investigated: by crowding out individuals’ sincerity of expression and thus their ability to gain support for a cause."

Long hair - what does the Bible saids? - "To sum it up we can see that God have nothing against men having long hair. So if you want to look real Metal, do as the Nazirites, grow your hair out and grow it long!"
This is from Metal for Jesus, Your Christian Metal Source

The bombing at a Manchester Ariana Grande show was an attack on girls and women.
Comments: "This article is gross. The bodies are still cooling and you're already trying to exploit them.. for what?"
"So does this mean that the Bataclan attack was specifically on hipster ironic-sleaze-rock fans? Get over yourself and pet causes."
"As a woman i find this article extremely insulting. I didn't see anyone labeling the bombing at the Germany vs France football match a direct attack on men and boys."
"Next time, they could blow up an audience composed of mostly males, then at least it won't be such a tragedy."

In pictures: ISIS takes control of its first city in the Philippines - "Overnight, heavy clashes erupted in the predominately Sunni city of Marawi in the southern Philippines after security forces and ISIS sleeper cells battled it out for hours on end... the Philippine Army withdrew from most of the city on Tuesday morning, thereby making it the first city in southeast Asia to come under Islamic State control... ISIS members have captured the main prison in Marawi and released over a hundred prisoners, many of whom are caliphate sympathisers and may join its ranks. Dozens of military vehicles and weapons were also captured during the battle"
It's all the Philippines's fault. They shouldn't have taken part in the Crusades or invaded Iraq

Only a fraction of terror suspects can be watched 24/7 - "MI5 can monitor fewer than 50 terrorist suspects around the clock, it can be disclosed, ahead of a report into the Lee Rigby murder that will highlight the limitations in watching terrorists in Britain... “If you assume that at any given point there are 500 or 600 potentially violent extremists in the country and that it takes 20, 25 people to keep somebody under surveillance 24/7, inevitably given that resources are limited you can only watch maybe 50, 60 people at any given time 24/7. “All the others, you have to opt for lesser forms of surveillance, so constantly you have to decide who is really dangerous, who is less dangerous and who is perhaps not even dangerous at all. And inevitably mistakes are being made.”"
Just because you're known to the authorities doesn't mean you can be prevented from unleashing terror

How Surveillance Turns Ordinary People Into Terrorism Suspects - "Several months after his home was searched, his telephone rang. It was a Chico police officer who told Gill to shut down his Facebook page. Gill refused, responding that there was only one reason he thought the police wanted his account deleted: its references to Islam. The phone call ended ominously with the officer warning Gill that he was on a "watchlist." The officer may have been referring to yet another burgeoning secret database that the federal government calls its "consolidated terrorism watchlist." Inclusion in this database—and on government blacklists that are generated from it—can bring more severe repercussions than unwarranted law enforcement attention. It can devastate lives."

Six out of 10 migrants to Europe come for 'economic reasons' and are not refugees, EU Vice President Frans Timmermans says - "More than half of all migrants to Europe are motivated by “economic reasons” and are not fleeing war or persecution, the vice-president of the European Commission has said. Dutch politician Frans Timmermans said the majority of migrants to Europe are from North African countries such as Morocco or Tunisia, where there is no conflict. “More than half of the people now coming to Europe come from countries where you can assume they have no reason whatsoever to ask for refugee status... more than half, 60 per cent,” he told Dutch broadcaster NOS."

Social Psychological Origins of Conspiracy Theories: The Case of the Jewish Conspiracy Theory in Malaysia - "Two studies examined correlates of belief in a Jewish conspiracy theory among Malays in Malaysia, a culture in which state-directed conspiracism as a means of dealing with perceived external and internal threats is widespread... belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory was associated with anti-Israeli attitudes, modern racism directed at the Chinese, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation. General conspiracist ideation did not emerge as a significant predictor once other variables had been accounted for. These results suggest that there may be specific cultural and social psychological forces that drive belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory within the Malaysian context. Specifically, belief in the Jewish conspiracy theory among Malaysian Malays appears to serve ideological needs and as a mask for anti-Chinese sentiment, which may in turn reaffirm their perceived ability to shape socio-political processes."

Jury Sides With Coca-Cola in False-Advertising Suit by Pom - WSJ - "Coke dropped its Minute Maid pomegranate-blueberry juice in 2014 amid weak sales but argued the drink’s labeling complied with Food and Drug Administration requirements despite containing less than 1% pomegranate juice... the disputed product was mostly apple and grape juice"

World's largest Muslim youth organisation calls for re-examination of Islamic text - "“A wide discrepancy now exists between the structure of Islamic orthodoxy and the context of Muslims’ actual reality," said Luthfi Thomafi, a member of GP Ansor's board. "(This is) due to immense changes that have occurred since the teachings of orthodox Islam, which became largely ossified towards the end of the medieval era.” "
Hopefully they don't get called apostates and murdered

Only 4% of British Muslims believe Al Qaeda planned 9/11 - "43% support the introduction of some forms of Sharia law.
44% believe schools should be able to insist on “a hijab or niqab” as part of the uniform.
15% believe art or music should not be taught in school (artistic representations of humans are regarded as idolatry in some forms of Islamic belief).
10% would not ban tutoring that “promotes extreme views or is deemed incompatible with fundamental British values”...
The poll mirrors an older survey taken by Gallup in 2009, which also found that many British Muslims hold extreme views. That older poll, a survey of 500 Muslims, discovered that zero percent — literally none of those surveyed — believed homosexuality was morally acceptable. A later survey, taken this year by ICM, found 52% of 1,000 Muslims surveyed believe homosexuality should be illegal... "it was noticeable how a gathering of otherwise ‘normal’, well-adjusted individuals could hold fairly outlandish views""
31% thought the American Government was responsible and 7% Jews. And these are British Muslims - not those in Muslim countries
Some would dismiss this because it's Policy Exchange, but Gallup and ICM have similarly alarming results

I knew Muslims who celebrated 9/11 – 15 years on, they know how naive they were - "Many of those Muslims who celebrated on 9/11 have learned that we can’t fixate on Muslim civilian casualties at the hands of non-Muslims and look the other way when people of our faith, and in the name of our religion, kill innocents. They have also learned that we can’t flirt with anti-Semitism (indulging in conspiracy theories such as ‘Israel knew about 9/11’) and then complain about the effects of Islamophobia. We can’t always be the victims of society – even if, all too often, we still are... In 2001, many of our communities in the West still relied on Muslim-majority countries to provide imported Imams. These scholars came from countries that lacked a fully developed civil society, and had no way of rationalising complex global events except by either gloating or blaming Israel... Sheikh Adel Kalbani, the former Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca (the closest thing to a Sunni Muslim Pope) acknowledged recently that Isis takes inspiration, albeit pervertedly, from much of the Islamic teachings in the Arab world. Kalbani’s message is vital because the silent majority can no longer afford to be silent; if you can march against Salman Rushdie or Israeli collateral damage in Gaza, then you can march against extremism too. Because when we say Isis has “nothing to do with Islam” we must qualify this: they have nothing to do with our Islam, the Islam practiced by the vast majority of Muslims today... The Prophet Muhammad instructed his followers that there would be constant “Mujaddids” – renewers or reformers – for his religion"

Cosmo Praises 'Muslim' For Helping Manchester Concert-Goers. Then Something Hilarious Happens. - "Turns out, the kind "Muslim" man is actually a Sikh, as is stated on the tweet Cosmo asked to use within their story. That's right, Cosmo thinks Sikhs are Muslims."

Scientists have worked out why flamingos stand on one leg - "Professor Young-Hui Chang from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Lena H Ting of Emory University conducted a series of experiments using the bodies of dead flamingos - and found it was easier to stand them up on one leg rather than two."

Alternative Reality: 55 Percent of Democrats Think Russia Could Have Manipulated Vote Totals to Help Trump Win - "Well, so much for Democrats being the more enlightened American political sect. It looks like the media’s overuse of the phrase “Russia hacked the 2016 election” has taken a real toll on our left-leaning friends. A recent YouGov survey asked whether it’s true of false that “Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump election President.” Turns out, 32 percent of Dems say it’s “probably true” and 23 percent say it’s “definitely true.” Republicans overwhelmingly reject this latest conspiracy theory. Only 12 percent say it’s “probably true” and a mere four percent say it’s “definitely true” that Russia changed the presidential election results by tinkering with vote totals. Independents concur, with 42 percent saying it’s “probably not true” and 26 percent saying it’s “definitely not true.”"

People's Daily just rewrote China's Korean War history last night : China - "In direct response to NK's accusation that "NK has been shielding China from the US for the past 70 years therefore China should be grateful to NK, and that China should stop testing NK's patience", People's Daily said "Had Kim's granddad not tried to force an unification, there wouldn't have been a Korean War, China wouldn't have suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties, China wouldn't have had suffered 20 years of confrontational relations with the US, China would've unified Taiwan (Truman's administration publicly said they've given up on Taiwan before the Korean war), China bore most of the cost of NK's hubris." Why is this significant? People's Daily effectively said Kim's granddad started the Korean War. This is in direct contrast to all official versions of Chinese Korean War history, that SK and the US were the aggressors and China got involved defending a friend."

Macron’s victory — cause for hope or despair? - "The anachronism of the left-right ideological divide in France mirrors political developments in the United States and United Kingdom. Mr Donald Trump’s presidential campaign avoided stereotypical Republican discourses in favour of problem-oriented perspectives. In the UK, the Labour Party’s popularity declined sharply due to its incapacity to address the British electorate’s economic concerns and perceived threats to values and identity. These trends highlight that exclusive left- and right-wing discourses are rejected by constituencies because they fail to concomitantly address class and identity matters in societies"

S’pore groom gatecrashes as Chinese emperor, complete with eunuchs & concubines

Baby given gluten-free diet dies weighing just 9lbs in Belgium - "The parents determined their own diagnosis that their child was gluten intolerant and had a lactose allergy"

Daryl Bem proved ESP is real. Which means science is broken. - "Wu and the other women tested hundreds of their fellow undergrads. Most of the subjects did as they were told, got their money, and departed happily. A few students—all of them white guys, Wu remembers—would hang around to ask about the research and to probe for flaws in its design. Wu still didn’t believe in ESP, but she found herself defending the experiments to these mansplaining guinea pigs. The methodology was sound, she told them—as sound as that of any other psychology experiment... If he could get his mainstream colleagues to run the studies for themselves, and if they could find the same results, he’d be vindicated once and for all. To help get this project underway, Bem had granted researchers full access to his data and provided a detailed how-to guide for redoing his experiments—a level of transparency that was pretty much unheard of at the time... Bem’s colleagues in psychology had, for their part, been engaged in methodological debates for decades, with many pointing out that sample sizes were far too small, that treatments of statistics could be quite misleading, and that researchers often conjured their hypotheses after collecting all their data. And every once in a while, someone would bemoan the lack of replications in the research literature. (Notice how these concerns mirror those the parapsychological community alighted upon in the early 1980s.)... It’s plain to see that Bem achieved his major goal: to promote replications of the research into ESP. (“Everything rests on replication,” he told me.) As far as he and other parapsychologists are concerned, these replications have so far been equivocal. “I think the jury is still out,” says Jonathan Schooler, a psychologist at University of California–Santa Barbara who was one of the original peer reviewers for Bem’s paper. Schooler, who is very open to the evidence for ESP, admits it’s possible that Bem’s results are nothing more than artifacts of flawed experimental design. But then he says that precognition could be real. In fact, “there’s no reason why you can’t entertain both of these possibilities at once.” "
What does it say when only white guys are skeptical and they get dismissed as mansplainers?

Feminists' heterosexual relationships: more on dominance and mating

Feminists' heterosexual relationships: more on dominance and mating.

"The hypothesis that female dominance inhibits mating whereas male dominance facilitates it, and seemingly incongruous findings suggesting that dominant women take more initiative and are more interested than others in sex, are explored through comparison of feminist and control subjects, ie, women who were expected, a priori, to be located at widely separated points on a theoretical dominance continuum. Principal findings are the following: (1) sexual initiative and satisfaction appear to be greater among feminists than others, (2) there is no difference between groups in frequency of coitus in a present (or most recent) sexual relationship, but (3) there is a tendency for feminists to have had less stable first marriages than control subjects. These findings do permit more than one interpretation: the greater sexual satisfaction combined with marital instability among feminists may reflect their energy and willingness to change an unsatisfactory condition, or, in addition, the more general proposition that personal power is associated with positive sexual response in both men and women, so that there is minimal complementarity along this dimension. Both cultural and biologic factors appear to contribute to the relative instability of feminists' marriages...

The author's original hypothesis that female dominance inhibits mating whereas male dominance facilitates it was derived from empirical findings including (1) field observations of nonhuman primates that reveal that the mother/son incest taboo can be broken in the rare instance where the son challenges and then becomes dominant over his mother; (2) psychiatric studies that link various forms of male sexual dysfunction, including homosexuality3 and transvestism,' with having been reared by a very dominant mother; and (3) ethnological reports that show high divorce and infidelity rates in association with cultural patterns favoring female power. The dominance hypothesis also provides a parsimonious framework for understanding (4) experimental manipulations showing that sexually potent male bonnet macaques will not mate with females more dominant than themselves, as well as (5) psychiatric observations of the pathological condition in which male sexual arousal is dependent on degradation of the female,conversely, where male impotence and exhibitionism appear to be triggered by relationships with dominant women...

The problem was approached through comparison of mating patterns and sexual histories of (1) women active in the feminist movement and (2) more traditionally oriented women from the population at large. Assuming that the self-avowed character and goals of the women's liberation movement virtually assure that its participants have espoused demands for parity in male-female statuses, and also that power is more likely to be acquired when it is a conscious objective, there is face validity in expecting that a women's liberation group and a nonfeminist group will differ substantially in their level of dominating within heterosexual couple relationships. Thus, the research is designed to build in a wide range of values for relative male-female power.

The sample consists of 24 feminists and 26 control subjects, all of whom have a primarily heterosexual orientation, are between 21 and 39 years of age, and have completed at least one year of college. Feminists are defined as having attended, at least once, an organized women's meeting or consciousness-raising group and as being in sympathy with a majority of the goals of the women's movement... Although only one feminist who was asked to participate refused, over three quarters of married women from the general population refused. This response pattern may indicate that the most traditionally oriented women are under-represented in the control group, creating an experimental bias that probably minimizes real differences between feminists and others...

There is no difference between groups on age of first coitus or in frequency of coitus in ongoing relationships, which averages slightly less than twice a week for both groups. However, there is a nonsignificant tendency for feminists to have had less-stable marriages than more traditionally oriented women, suggesting interruptions in coital activity. Although one control subject and no feminist had been divorced twice, feminists were more than twice as likely as controls to have terminated a first marriage.

Information on their divorce or separation provided by nine of the 11 women suggests qualitative differences between feminists and controls. More traditionally oriented women report development of marital crises in the context of their having been ill-used in spite of attempting to be compliant under difficult circumstances; on the contrary, in describing their failed marriage, feminists inject themes of competition, a power struggle, or the incompatibility of marriage with other valued goals. Nonetheless, a rating of generalized hostility toward men reveals no difference between groups; a process rather than preconceived attitudes appears to explain marital disruption.

Finally, sexual dysfunction may have a higher incidence among feminists' husbands than others; episodic impotence was an associated complaint in two cases where feminists and their spouses sought professional assistance in increasing coital frequency; but partially balancing this, the second husband of one nonfeminist was repeatedly arrested for indecent exposure."

It's not surprising feminists don't have less sex. Due to female mate choice you can always find a man to bang you. The question is why feminists don't have *more* sex given that they are against slut shaming etc.

This is evidence that feminists are more likely to get divorced.

Feminists having more extramarital sex also strongly suggests that they're more likely to cheat on their husbands.

They conclude that feminists and non-feminists are equally dissatisfied in their marriages (and no doubt feminists will trumpet that this just shows that those who get divorced are exiting unhappy marriages), but considering that feminists have had more marriages, their average dissatisfaction in their marriages is most likely higher (i.e. survivorship bias).

Ultimately when feminism is taken as a proxy for dominance, there are too many omitted variables to conclude that sexual dominance in women increases sexual satisfaction (given evidence to the contrary).

Links - 24th July 2017 (1)

Fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear power - "“There is no question,” says Joseph Romm, an energy expert at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC. “Nothing is worse than fossil fuels for killing people.” A 2002 review by the IAE put together existing studies to compare fatalities per unit of power produced for several leading energy sources. The agency examined the life cycle of each fuel from extraction to post-use and included deaths from accidents as well as long-term exposure to emissions or radiation. Nuclear came out best, and coal was the deadliest energy source. The explanation lies in the large number of deaths caused by pollution... When, in 1975, about 30 dams in central China failed in short succession due to severe flooding, an estimated 230,000 people died. Include the toll from this single event, and fatalities from hydropower far exceed the number of deaths from all other energy sources."

Deaths Draw Attention to Wall Street’s Grueling Pace - - "Goldman introduced a policy for the 2,900 undergraduate summer interns in investment banking: Leave the office before midnight each day. No more all-nighters. “The policy is consistent with our goal of providing each intern with a challenging and meaningful experience,” said Michael DuVally, a Goldman spokesman. As for its full-time junior bankers, Goldman tells them to stay out of the office from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Sunday. It closely monitors violations; only senior partners are allowed to authorize exceptions, and generally just for deals that need to be completed before the markets open on a Monday morning. Of the 1,500 analysts and associates in Goldman’s investment banking business, 15 or 20 at a time are permitted to work through the weekend. Other firms have instituted their own version of these rules. Barclays forbids analysts to work more than 12 days in a row. JPMorgan Chase has given analysts the option of having one “protected weekend” each month — meaning no work on Saturday or Sunday — as long as it is scheduled in advance. After Mr. Erhardt’s death, Bank of America put in place measures to improve supervision and ensure that its employees take off a minimum of four weekend days a month... he was told of a game junior bankers play called “Misery Poker,” in which they sit around and perversely brag about their workload. “It’s a badge of honor, and that culture is one reason why I am not at all hopeful about these rules that put caps on how much people are allowed to work, because in many cases the severe culture is being self-imposed,” he explains.... Mr. Hughes wonders why Wall Street doesn’t just hire more people and pay everyone a little less?"

Risk expert: Why radiation fears are often exaggerated - "Nuclear radiation ticks all the boxes for increasing the fear factor. It is invisible, an unknowable quantity. People don’t feel in control of it, and they don’t understand it. They feel it is imposed upon them and that it is unnatural. It has the dread quality of causing cancer and birth defects. Nuclear power has been staggeringly safe, but that doesn’t stop people being anxious about it, just as airplanes and trains are an amazingly safe way to travel but people still worry far more about plane crashes than car crashes... One of the biggest risks from radiation is the psychological damage it causes. After events like the 1979 partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, and the Chernobyl accident, there was substantial psychological trauma, even among people who were not affected, because there is such a fear of radiation and its long-term consequences."

Animals feel the pain of religious slaughter - "Brain signals have shown that calves do appear to feel pain when slaughtered according to Jewish and Muslim religious law, strengthening the case for adapting the practices to make them more humane. “I think our work is the best evidence yet that it’s painful,” says Craig Johnson, who led the study at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand... His team also showed that if the animal is concussed through stunning, signals corresponding to pain disappear... Ghanem cites a 1978 study relying on EEG measurements led by Wilhelm Schulze of the University of Hanover, Germany, apparently concluding that halal slaughter was more humane than slaughter following stunning. But Schulze himself, who died in 2002, warned in his report that the stunning technique may not have functioned properly."
Finally, something building on and contextualising Schulze's results, which Muslims like to throw out when promoting Halal slaughter

Man, 44, fitted with bionic penis after childhood accident loses his virginity to a sex worker and says a 'big burden' has been lifted - "He first met Charlotte, who specialises in disabled clients, for a dinner date and then got to know each other better over a few days and stayed in a central London hotel. Mohammed was nervous and on the first attempt, his penis malfunctioned with one side of the pump failing to properly inflate... After their session together, which lasted for an hour and three quarters, Charlotte said she was 'impressed'."

Edinburgh man with 'bionic penis' has scores of women contact him for for sex - "Since it was fitted in March the man-made organ has given Mr Abad, who lost his natural penis as a boy in a road accident, 50 sexual offers from intrigued women. But despite the deluge of interest the Edinburgh man hasn't activated his pride and joy since sleeping with sex worker Charlotte Rose eight months ago. He said working 14-hour shifts meant he is 'just too tired for sex'... Mr Abad's memorable night with Miss Rose came after the 35-year-old escort waived her usual £160-an-hour fee. "

There’s a museum for everything. Even Civil War battles — depicted by cats. - The Washington Post - "We have far more museums than other countries, somewhere between 28,000 and 35,000, depending on which museum organization is counting. (Most likely, we have more museum organizations, too.) This is more than double the number since the 1990s, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services... “The growth in museums,” says Marjorie Schwarzer, who teaches museum studies at the University of San Francisco, “comes from nostalgia, nerds and natural collectors. Most people can’t collect a Renoir, but they can collect old hammers.”"

Taiwanese woman with terminal illness fulfils wedding photo shoot dream - alone

What’s the goal of “women’s studies”? - "one future pedagogical priority of women’s studies is to train students not only to master a body of knowledge but also to serve as symbolic “viruses” that infect, unsettle, and disrupt traditional and entrenched fields. In this essay, we first posit how the metaphor of the virus in part exemplifies an ideal feminist pedagogy, and we then investigate how both women’s studies and the spread of actual viruses (e.g., Ebola, HIV) produce similar kinds of emotional responses in others. By looking at triviality, mockery, panic, and anger that women’s studies as a field elicits, we conclude by outlining the stakes of framing women’s studies as an infectious, insurrectional, and potentially dangerous, field of study. In doing so, we frame two new priorities for women’s studies - training male students as viruses... Links (fixed, post from here) (bulk here so no slowdown) (newer).. This is one area of academia, it seems, where a scholarly discipline not only has explicit political goals, and a point of view that it must inculcate into students, but makes these things public. I can’t think of any other disciples with such a nakedly obvious agenda, except other areas of “cultural studies.”"

White nationalist 'asked black staff member for help' during row at gym - "Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown University, recently spotted Mr Spencer while working out at the gym in Alexandria, Virginia. She approached him and challenged him, at which point, she says, Spencer appealed for a gym employee - a black woman - to come to his aid... Dr. Fair, who specialises in peace and securities studies, also wrote: "As a white woman, I find his membership at this gym to be unacceptable. I found his membership at this gym to be an unfair burden upon the women and people of color–and white male allies of the same." Mr Spencer later received a message from the gym informing him his membership was being terminated... Of the confrontation with Dr Fair, he said: "I don't come to the gym to do politics. But she started screeching and yelling all this stuff."
So if you're a liberal, you can harass someone in public who's minding his own business - and he will get thrown out, not you

Georgetown prof who harassed pro-Trump colleague brags about harassing alt-right leader at the gym - "Fair can’t resist showing off her superior vocabulary, calling Spencer a “pendulous poltroon” (floppy coward), “flaccid, sorry excuse of a man” and “pusillanimous shitbird.” She can’t resist joking about violently raping him as if she were criminally hazing a Greek pledge:
Also..fuck him again. With a giant strap-on and no lube... She even threatened to organize a lawsuit against the gym on behalf of its employees, as well as a boycott, if it didn’t ban Spencer and fire the general manager who tried to protect a customer who did nothing more than work out by his lonesome, unlike a certain shrill elitist with no self-restraint... The professor, of course, conflated harassing someone in public with the civil rights movement of the 1960s... “I told the fellow, ‘I think we can have a deal here: You don’t let any more Nazis in, and I won’t be making a scene.’ ”"
If a liberal threatens someone who disagrees with her with rape, does it count as rape culture?

Georgetown prof who confronted Richard Spencer at gym not shy attacking opponents - "C. Christine Fair, an associate professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown vented her anger on social media back in 2016 when she went after a former friend, Asra Nomani, a "lifelong liberal" who wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about her decision, as a Muslim immigrant, to vote for Donald Trump. That conservative Daily Caller said that led Fair to go "on a 31-day screed against Nomani spanning across Twitter and Facebook." "I've written you off as a human being," Fair wrote in one message, according to The Washington Post. "Your vote helped normalize Nazis in D.C. What don't you understand, you clueless dolt?""
One response to college excesses is to say that we shouldn't take 20 year olds seriously. But with so many professors doing this... (See: Lars Maischak, Robert Weide, Marcellus Andrews, Kevin Allred, Melissa Click etc

'F**K YOU': Georgetown Prof Loses It On Muslim Trump Voter - "Nomani sent the formal complaint Dec. 23, the same day Fair called her an atheist on Twitter. Publicly stating a Muslim is an apostate by calling them an atheist on Twitter could have serious repercussions. Radical Islamic extremists often declare civilians apostates before attacking them, because in their interpretation of the Quran, renouncing Islam is punishable by death... Fair’s personal website says “she can cause trouble in multiple languages,” and her YouTube features videos like “Introducing the Pussy Avenger” and “Tales of My Pussy.” Other notable commentary on Fair’s public Facebook includes calling future first lady Melania Trump a “soft porn star,” lamenting that “gun nuts don’t shoot each other,” and supporting Black Lives Matter."

Tibetan nun becomes fetish queen after Indian massage 'reawakened her sexuality'

My Quest To Seduce The Grim Reaper In The Sims 4

Cannes: Boo Netflix, But Studios and Theaters Are Killing Movies - "Cannes is the home of the elite, but we no longer live in a world in which most filmmakers are free to pursue their visions, backed by fawning movie studios. In fact, despite the explosion of outlets and interest, it’s harder than ever to get a studio to back an original movie out of the gate. More and more, only when a movie is independently financed and finished do studio execs consider distributing it, and often, that’s just to get their names on Oscar contenders. Instead, studios have become obsessed with massive franchises that can produce sequel after sequel, ancillary products like toys and theme parks, and can be sold to the massive overseas audience without much translation; this is why the Minions are really the future of studio entertainment... Critics get to see most movies for free, and if they miss the press screenings, they usually live in cities where all new movies are out in theaters. The specialty indie-theater scenes in New York, L.A., and Austin, along with a few other cities, are thriving, making it feasible to see any notable new foreign release on the big screen. But for the most part, indie theaters across the country are shutting down, victims of digital conversion costs and ticket prices as much as the competition in people’s living rooms."

The jumbo jet transformed into a hostel at Stockholm, Arlanda

Fixing the Singapore transport system will take some guts - "If you want to keep telling people that they should aspire to be rich, and that means living a high-life and getting multi-tasking work done quickly in the world’s most expensive city, they’ll never consider taking life in the slower lane, both figuratively and literally."

Gay Activists Leave Venezuela Because People Are Too Starving To Care About LGBTQ Rights

Are Tories the workers' party? Labour polling figures suggest they are - " Jeremy Corbyn appears in this election campaign to have achieved something even Ed Miliband was unable to do: lose the majority support not only of Britain’s skilled workers, dubbed social class C2 by the pollsters, but also the DEs – the semi-skilled, unskilled and unemployed."

Biracial Asian Americans and Mental Health - "34 percent of biracial individuals in a national survey had been diagnosed with a psychological disorder, such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse, versus 17 percent of monoracial individuals. The higher rate held up even after the researchers controlled for differences between the groups in age, gender and life stress, among other factors."
This might be due to an obsession with identity politics, since mixed race people don't fit anywhere

Why Don’t the Japanese Give Priority to the Elderly on Public Transportation? | Japan Info - "I asked my neighbor – (an elderly lady who is also my landlord) about what I saw when I used public transportation and she explained that whenever she get on the bus and someone offers her a seat, she would come up with the thought: “Ah~ Am I becoming so old that I need a young man to give me priority?” This would remind her, “You’re getting old!” Also, she was sure that there are many other people in the same situation. I myself once suffered the same awkwardness when I offered my seat to a woman and her children in the bus, but the result was, no matter how much she kept saying thank you to me, she resisted sitting on that seat. Recently, a Japanese friend just told me: “Even if you have the good will of offering your seat, it doesn’t mean other people have to accept that kindness of yours”. There are some people who are afraid they will cause you “inconvenience or trouble” or simply “don’t want to receive your pity”. As a matter of fact, because Japan is a country which has a growing population of the elderly, their perspective on giving priority to “elderly” somehow different from most other Asia countries"

This is why I don't ride public transportation - 9GAG

Why we do not sleep around all that much any more - "in agricultural societies the populations rapidly expanded, so an infection in a polygynous group would quickly spread and become endemic. A critical mass of people would ensure STIs stay around... Land became increasingly scarce in agricultural societies. Splitting it up among numerous heirs would reduce its value. Social monogamy provided a solution, as only true heirs would inherit their parents' estate."

Bike lock developed that makes thieves immediately vomit - "A thief could also simply return to the spent lock, though Idzkowski insisted this would not be easy, because the noxious spray clings to skin and clothing. “You’re basically just puking on yourself the entire time,” he said. “They could change all their clothes, shower, if the bike is still there come out and cut the remaining 75% of the lock. You can’t prevent a theft 100%, so that’s why we call it a deterrent lock, not a solution. “All you have to do is be better than the bike across the street.”"
"Don't tell me to lock my bicycle, tell bicycle thieves not to steal them"
According to feminists, rape prevention tips just mean the would-be rapist will just rape someone else

Innocent man burned to death by vigilante neighbours who mistook him for paedophile - "Bijan Ebrahimi, a keen gardener, had taken photographs of youths vandalising his hanging baskets and intended to hand them to police as evidence. But someone saw him with the camera and told police that the 44-year-old, who was registered disabled and unable to work, had taken pictures of children. Police went to his flat. As officers took Mr Ebrahimi away for questioning, other residents on his estate gathered in the street and chanted, ‘Paedo, paedo’... James, 24, beat Mr Ebrahimi unconscious and then with the help of another neighbour, Stephen Norley, dragged Mr Ebrahimi into the street, doused him in white spirit and set him on fire."
When you have a moral panic about "protecting children"...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Links - 20th July 2017 (2)

It's Time For Congress To Privatize The Welfare State - "George Gilder and Charles Murray did pioneering work showing that the welfare state was not benignly helping people in temporary need. It was subsidizing a lifestyle. With the passage of time the case for that position has gotten stronger and stronger... University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan estimates that half the excess unemployment we are experiencing can be directly tied to the incentive effects of entitlement programs. In other words, half the people who should have a job don't have one because we are paying people not to work."
People respond to incentives

From Hock Lam’s Beef Noodles to Funan’s Computers - "The Hainanese styled beef noodles are typically served dry with beef tendons and beef balls. Two pioneering Hainanese beef noodle hawkers Lee Suan Liang and Kian Teck Huan were credited in popularising the dish before the war. On the other hand, the Teochew beef noodles are generally soup-based, topped with slices of beef and innards. Tan Chin Sia was one of Singapore’s earliest beef noodle hawkers when he set up his stall at Hock Lam Street in 1921."

Actually, epistocracy might have helped Clinton defeat Trump - "various epistocracy proposals likely would have helped Clinton over Trump. But such proposals would have especially helped Romney over Obama. (In fact, before anyone on the left gets too mouthy about the average political knowledge of Trump voters, they should note that the 2016 ANES data suggest that Trump voters were at least as knowledgeable on average as Obama voters.) And it’s entirely more difficult to say what the implications would have been for a contest pitting President Romney against challenger Clinton in 2016, though the ANES sample suggests that epistocracy proposals would have perhaps given a small boost to Romney."

Mary Ellen Wilson - Wikipedia - "Laws preventing cruelty to animals were used to remove her from the home, as laws preventing cruelty to children were yet to be created then. Hers was the first recorded child abuse case in the United States"

How the Times failed you - "After concluding that the best thing about America is its “diversity” (i.e. the fact that it no longer practices genocide on its minority residents), Krugman would return to the patriotism theme in October, asking: “why does the modern right hate America?” (During the Bush years, Krugman would have been the first to point out the juvenility and repulsiveness of the “X hates America” formulation.)"

Taking a nap in the house of God - "For men, however, prayer houses have long served in Indonesian Islam not only as the places of worship but also as places for taking a rest. They are typically spacious and their floors are regularly cleaned. The temperature in mosques and other prayer houses is also usually pleasant, thanks to the high ceilings and the natural or mechanical wind that blows from outside or from fans and air conditioners. Add thick carpets, and they offer a free and comfortable space to lie down and relax for a short while after prayers."

Justin Bieber Linux

Gaunt and weak, the sham diet guru who refuses to see the light - "Jasmuheen, who is about to tour Britain, recently agreed to be closeted in a hotel room by an Australian current affairs programme, 60 Minutes. She was watched day and night by a female security guard to ensure she took neither food nor water, and her medical condition was checked regularly by Berris Wenck, a doctor who is president of the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association. Deprived of conventional sustenance, Jasmuheen, 42, became dehydrated and lost weight. Her speech slowed, her pupils dilated, she appeared listless and gaunt... To have seen this self-styled prophet of the Breatharian Movement, as it is known, exposed as a mere mortal on national television might have been considered entertainment, were it not for the fact that the deaths of three people have been linked to her theories - and that thousands more deluded disciples around the world are putting those same theories into practice... Jasmuheen claimed on 60 Minutes that the dice were loaded against her during the trial because city pollution from the road outside the hotel limited the nutrients that she was able to derive from fresh air. Two days into the fast, producers moved her to a mountain retreat, but 48 hours later Dr Wenck warned that Jasmuheen faced kidney damage if she persisted... An American Breatharian guru, Wiley Brooks, who claimed not to have eaten for 19 years, was discredited in the 1980s after he was spotted emerging from a fast food shop clutching a chicken pie."

The Feminist Leader Who Became a Men's-Rights Activist - "[Karen DeCrow] endorsed Serpico’s argument on feminist grounds. “Just as the Supreme Court has said that women have the right to choose whether or not to be parents, men should also have that right,” she told The New York Times, calling this “the only logical feminist position to take.”... Quite a few feminists disagreed... she wrote that since men have no legal power to either veto or compel an abortion, it is only just that they shouldn’t have to pay for a woman’s unilateral decision to bring the pregnancy to term: “Or, put another way, autonomous women making independent decisions about their lives should not expect men to finance their choice.” DeCrow also championed men’s rights as fathers, arguing for a “rebuttable presumption” of shared custody after divorce... DeCrow framed her position as a feminist one, arguing that getting men more involved in parenting was essential if women were to achieve equality in other pursuits... Plenty of feminists have endorsed this idea when it comes to things like equal parental leave or shared responsibility for housework and child care; Gloria Steinem has said that “women are not going to be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.” But few were willing to take the extra step of framing custody in terms of men’s rights, or siding with men against women who wanted sole custody. DeCrow was willing to do it, and to say that many divorced mothers whose professional lives would benefit from shared custody were unreasonably opposed to this option—not only because of the social stigma of being viewed as “bad moms” but out of sheer hostility toward their ex-husbands... she applauded Katie Roiphe’s critique of “rape-crisis feminism,” The Morning After, as a courageous challenge to a “new puritanism” that depicted women as perpetual victims of male predation. Recalling the bad old days when girls were taught to deny both their brains and their sexuality, DeCrow was tangibly impatient with the idea that “being whistled at, or even slurped at” amounted to “oppression.” There were other heresies, too. DeCrow, who started her feminist journey by fighting sex discrimination in the workplace, contributed a foreword to Warren Farrell’s 2005 book, Why Men Earn More, which argued that the pay gap is due largely to men’s and women’s different workplace behavior and career choices; understanding these patterns, DeCrow believed, could help women’s advancement... NOW was openly hostile to the fathers’-rights movement, arguing that women were the real victims of bias in family courts. An “action alert” issued at the group’s 1996 annual conference compared fathers’-rights activists to batterers seeking control over women; a resolution three years later made it NOW’s official policy to champion women’s interests in divorce and custody cases and counter the “undue influence” of fathers’ group"
"Not all feminists" doesn't mean much when only a minority follow through on their supposed ideals
You either die a feminist or live long enough to see yourself become a bigot (see: Germaine Greer)

Swordfight after man robs shop with sword but shopkeeper pulls out huge scimitar

Becoming an expert takes more than practice - "Deliberate practice may have less influence in building expertise than previously thought, according to an analysis by researchers at Princeton University, Michigan State University and Rice University... the amount of practice accumulated over time does not seem to play a huge role in accounting for individual differences in skill or performance in domains including music, games, sports, professions and education... deliberate practice — activities designed with the goal of improving performance — accounted for only about 12 percent of individual differences observed in performance."
More evidence against Malcolm Gladwell's rubbish 10,000 hour rule

1 in 3 Singaporeans suffer from sleep apnea: Study - ""Interestingly, the study showed that the Chinese have high OSA rates among the three major ethnic groups even though they have the lowest obesity rates. This study, done in the local context, collaborates with previous studies performed in the West, which also found that Chinese appear to be more at risk,” Dr Tan noted. She added that craniofacial structure is one of the key determinants of predisposition to OSA, and the Chinese have been shown to have more severe craniofacial restriction as compared to Caucasians in previous studies"

Philippines only country in Asia where teen pregnancy rising - "The Philippines is the only Asia-Pacific country where the rate of teen pregnancies rose over the last two decades and the slow decline of its overall fertility rate may deprive the country of the faster economic growth expected in places that have more working-age people than younger and older dependents"

What’s causing Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese brain drain? - "“Every country has its own political and welfare issues, Australia included, but I feel that I get more rights as a second-class citizen here in Australia. My religion and ethnicity do not come into play.”... of the 56,576 Malaysians who renounced their citizenship between 2006 and 2016, 49,864 were Chinese... almost half of ethnic Chinese had a strong desire to leave Malaysia... “Malaysia is getting more backwards and religious,” she said, citing the persecution of transgender women by Islamic authorities, laws governing conversion and apostasy, and the recent tabling of a bill in parliament that would enable sharia courts to hand out harsher punishments. Ethnic Chinese in Malaysia have long complained of discrimination. Various politicians have exhorted the Chinese to “return to China”, pro-Malay groups have urged them to “be grateful”, and state-linked media have produced advertisements depicting the Chinese behaving inappropriately during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. And, in 2013, when the last general election saw increased support for the opposition, one newspaper ran a headline asking apa lagi Cina mau (what more do the Chinese want?)... The number of Malaysian professionals overseas returning home has dropped by more than half since 2013"

Victoria Coren: My dad's memorial service was going so well. Then the ghouls turned up - "I could never prove that the members of this gang, whoever they were, had not met my father at some stage in his 70-year life. But I could damn well prove that they had never met Sir William, because I invented him. The broadsheet classifieds announced a memorial service "and drinks reception" for Sir William Ormerod on 14 August 2008... They would turn up to Sir William's service, they would sit through the Bible story of the thieves who beset the grieving family (which wouldn't take me long to write), and then the doors would be locked and they would be told, in front of 100 fake mourners, just how evil they were."

My-Ngoc To's answer to What are some top Harvard admissions essays? - Quora - "Sometimes, when I found myself too big for the current one, I was either unable to or unwilling to get another because of the implications behind the transition—if every new bra meant the death of another star, then the adult world was nothing to me but a lifetime of darkness. I tried so hard not to kill any more stars, but my resistance was not enough, and I found myself adding layer after layer to the ever-increasing pile of bras. With this mindset, I prepared myself for the end, for the moment in which my entire universe would be engulfed by the black hole forming in my closet."

irememberSG » Two is Enough: Salleh Sariman - "Kandang Kerbau Hospital was a hive of activity and I noticed the staff were under tremendous pressure to show declining birth-rate figures to their big bosses. During filming, whatever was said and done in front of the camera was carefully crafted — but what was being said behind the camera to mothers who were delivering their third child was totally unpleasant to hear... Those mothers who were considered ‘uncooperative’ were chided by doctors, nurses and hospital attendants. The stigma of having more than two children was so strong that many of my office colleagues and friends did stop at two... Our family doctor showed his displeasure when he knew my wife was conceiving our third child. So we stopped seeing him. Whenever we took our three children for an outing at public places, we did notice the disapproving look on people’s faces. Such was the effectiveness of this campaign in slowing down the growth of our population"
It is significant that even in 1972, 7 years after independence, social engineering was already so powerful. Suggesting that Singaporeans only became after decades of PAP rule are misleading

Men who are physically strong are more likely to have right wing political views - "Men who are strong are more likely to take a right-wing stance, while weaker men support the welfare state, researchers claim. Their study discovered a link between a man’s upper-body strength and their political views... The researchers found no link between upper-body strength and redistribution opinions among women"

Indonesian police arrest 141 men over 'gay sex party' - "Indonesian police have arrested 141 men attending what they called a "gay sex party" at a sauna in the capital Jakarta late on Sunday. Police said attendees, including a Briton and a Singaporean, paid 185,000 rupiahs ($14; £10) to attend... Homosexuality is not illegal under Indonesian law, except in conservative Aceh province. But Jakarta police spokesman Raden Argo Yuwono said some of those detained could be charged under Indonesia's harsh anti-pornography laws... Earlier this month, Indonesian police arrested 14 people in the city of Surabaya for allegedly holding a gay party. They could also face charges under anti-pornography laws."
These aren't even Aceh so people can't make that excuse
The homophiles will still make noise about 377A in Singapore
Where is Reza Aslan?

The Smart Are MORE Biased To Think They Are LESS Biased - "we examined bias blind spots connected to some of the most well-known effects from the heuristics and biases literature: outcome bias, base-rate neglect, framing bias, conjunction fallacy, anchoring bias, and myside bias. We found that none of these bias blind spot effects displayed a negative correlation with measures of cognitive ability (SAT total, CRT) or with measures of thinking dispositions (need for cognition, actively open-minded thinking). If anything, the correlations went in the other direction."

Evie is an affordable AI personal assistant - "It works as advertised. Include her in your email thread, and say something like “Hey Evie, please schedule a Skype call with John and Amy.”"

Why I turned down $500K, Pissed off my investors, and Shut down my startup - "The business had what I considered to be an unfixable flaw. My investors and my team wanted us to take the funding and figure out how to fix the problem before the money ran out. I’ve started four companies in the past with a mixture of exits and bankruptcies, so I understand that this is what startups are supposed to do, but I just couldn’t do it this time."

PA and Fatah quick to honor murderer who killed 13-year-old girl in her sleep - "Fatah’s official Facebook page immediately posted his picture, declaring him a Martyr - “Shahid,” the highest honor achievable in Islam according to the Palestinian Authority. WAFA, the official PA news agency, likewise honored the terrorist, referring to him as a Martyr - “Shahid.” According to Palestinian Authority law, the family of today’s murderer will immediately start receiving a monthly PA stipend that the PA pays to the families of all the “Martyrs.” The mother of the terrorist told a local Hebron news network that her son was “a hero” who made her “proud”"

No, Palestinian Terrorism Isn't a Response to 'Occupation' - "If occupation was indeed the cause of terrorism, why was terrorism sparse during the years of actual occupation? Why did it increase dramatically with the prospect of the end of the occupation, and why did it escalate into open war upon Israel's most far-reaching concessions ever? To the contrary, one might argue with far greater plausibility that the absence of occupation – that is, the withdrawal of close Israeli surveillance – is precisely what facilitated the launching of the terrorist war in the first place; just as it was the partial restoration of security measures in the West Bank during the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield and its aftermath (albeit without reassuming control over the daily lives of the Palestinian population there) that brought the Palestinian war of terror to an end."

Video Game Violence and Pseudoscience: Bad Science, Fear, and Politics - "Hall, Day and Hall (2011) warned that the scholarly community risked a credibility crisis by making increasingly extravagant claims about the alleged dangers of violent video games, much as the alleged dangers of “immoral” comics purported by psychiatrists in the 1950s are now generally considered a cautionary tale about moralistic excess in science... some of the serious methodological issues that have limited much video game violence research. These have included aggression measures that bear little resemblance to the types of behaviors of interest to the general public (for example filling in the missing letters of words such that kill is more aggressive than kiss, or giving consenting opponents in a reaction time game bursts of annoying noise), the unstandardized use of aggression measures (which potentially allow researchers, even in good faith, to select outcomes that best fit their hypotheses while ignoring those that don’t), and the failure to control carefully for variables such as gender and family violence that might explain correlational relationships between video game violence and aggression (or failure to inform general audiences that controlling for these other variables reduces correlations to trivial levels). Unfortunately, to a great degree, these problematic issues persist in the field. The field continues to ignore the warnings of Hall, Day, and Hall (2011) by making big claims based on weak and inconsistent data"

When being Malay is no longer good enough - "Resentment and distrust against non-Malays’ economic advancement, and increasingly, of other Malays’ success... DAESH are their Muslim brothers and sisters. They have to… sort of support them, no? “Being Malay is equatable to being bad, lazy, corrupt. So the only (identity) we have is being a Muslim.”... Trust fund babies of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, working-class young Malays of Gombak, aspiring middle-class professionals in Bangi and not forgetting the youth we met in Kedah and Terenganu – they all said the same thing. They felt as if they were under siege. They have been told at school, in college and university, by their families and teachers that everyone hated them for being Malay"

The Nakba

"[A] contention is that most of the Israeli actions involving violence against Palestinian civilians were carried out by local commanders acting on their own initiative, and that there was consequently no grand Zionist design for the expulsion of Palestine's Arabs. This claim is at least partially supported by recent research, moreover, most notably by Morris's important study which documents many specific abuses by Jewish forces but nonetheless concludes that there was no explicit or official “expulsion policy."” Morris reports that until April 1948, by which time the first wave of refugees had departed, “there was no Yishuv plan or policy to expel the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, either from the area destined for Jewish statehood or those lying outside it.”" Further, the continuing Arab exodus of the next two months “caught the Yishuv leadership, including the authors of Plan D, by surprise.” And even during the fighting in July that brought Arab departures from Lydda, Ramleh, and other areas, “there was no Cabinet or IDF General Staff—level decision to expel. . . . [There was in fact] an explicit IDF General Staff order to all units and corps to avoid destruction of Arab villages and expulsion of Arab communities without prior authorization by the Defense Minister." Thus, despite his documentation of Zionist actions that contributed to the Palestinian exodus, Morris’s general conclusion is that “the Palestinian refugee problem was born of war, not by design, Jewish or Arab. lt was largely a by-product of Arab and Jewish fears and of the protracted, bitter fighting that characterized the first Israeli-Arab war.

In discussing the issue of atrocities, Israelis often assert that the use of violence against civilians was actually more common among the Arabs during the 1947-48 War, and that instances of so-called Jewish terrorism were consequently limited in relative as well as absolute terms. Those who make the case for Israel note that Arab spokesmen in 1948 threatened to carry out massacres against the Jews. They also point out that these words were in some instances accompanied by deeds. As a result, such analyses conclude, it was in reality the Arabs who waged a campaign of psychological warfare and who both threatened and practiced terrorism. Eban cites the following statement by the secretary-general of the Arab League as an example of Arab rhetoric and, presumably, of Arab intentions: “This will be a war of extermination. It will be a momentous massacre to be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades." An example of an act which gave tangible expression to such threats was the ambush of a Jewish convoy traveling to Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University, both in Jerusalem, under the protecting colors of the Red Cross. Seventy-seven Jewish doctors, nurses, teachers, and students were killed in the attack, which took place on April 11. Another was the massacre a month later of prisoners at Kfar Etzion, a Jewish community east of Jerusalem. According to one Israeli account, the Arab Legion’s conquest of the area was followed by the arrival of Arab villagers, “who massacred [Jewish] prisoners, both men and women being lined up and shot in cold blood: three men and a girl, who managed to escape under cover of darkness, were all who survived from the entire population to tell the tale."

Although some sources suggest that these attacks were an attempt to take revenge for the slaughter at Deir Yassin, there were atrocities committed by Arabs even before the Deir Yaxin episode. A vivid account is given by Uri Avnery, an Israeli journalist and politician who is highly critical of Zionist policy on most accounts. Avnery, who was himself a soldier in 1948, writes that in the early stages of the lighting “Arab irregulars and primitive villagers . . . killed and mutilated every Hebrew who fell into their hands. We all saw the pictures of the severed heads of our comrades paraded through the alleys of the old city of Jerusalem. . . No one can quite understand what happened later on without realizing the impact of these pictures on the small Hebrew community.” A related consideration is that such episodes may also have had a psychological impact on the Palestinians and heightened their own fears of Jewish terrorism, since Jews would naturally be expected to take revenge for real or threatened Arab atrocities. As Sykes suggests, “The terror was all the more since many Palestine Arabs had a bad conscience about atrocity toward the Jews." This point is also emphasized by Morris, whose account includes the statement of an English sergeant about the surrender of Jaffa: “The Arabs were frightened to death when they imagined to themselves that the Jews would do to them half of what they would have done to the Jews were the situations reversed."

Returning to the question of the Palestinian exodus, Israeli sources emphasize that the fear and panic which caused many Arabs to abandon their homes were to a large extent the result of rumors or exaggerated reports about Zionist atrocities that were circulated by the Arabs themselves, rather than by the Jews. This point is made by Sykes, among others, who adds that such behavior was highly counterproductive from the Arab point of view.

The Arab radio-propaganda dwelt on atrocity stories and exaggerated them. Unknowingly, the Arab propagandists did the work of the Irgun and the Sternists for them. The aim was to inflame men with hatred of the Jews; the effect was to fill them with terror of Arab readiness to take flight . . . became greater every day after the news of Deir Yassin had been first broadcast. It was reputed with inflated figures and invented vileness in excess of the vileness of the deed itself.

A similar assessment is made by Furlonge, who writes from a viewpoint sympathetic to the Arabs. He notes that news of Israeli atrocities was disseminated “by word of mouth and through Arab radios." He states also that “Arab governments, by trying to raise world indignation against the Israelis by spreading word of their misdeeds, caused panic amongst the unwarlike Palestine peasantry." This can be seen in the testimony of one of the refugees interviewed by Nazzal, for example. “We heard about the massacre of Deir Yassin," he recalled. “Arab newspapers and radios said a great deal. It encouraged us to arm ourselves, but it also scared us."

The conclusion to be drawn, Israeli spokesmen reiterate, is that there was no grand Zionist design for the expulsion of Palestine‘s Arabs. Actions involving violence against Arab civilians were far less extensive than charged by Israel's enemies; those abuses which did occur, while serious, were in many cases carried out by local commanders acting on personal initiative; and the panic sown among Palestinians by exaggerated accounts of “Zionist terrorism” was the result of Arab propaganda much more than a Jewish campaign of psychological war- fare. As noted above, the analyses of Morris, reflecting research rather than propaganda, are among the most serious attempts to demonstrate that there was no Israeli master plan for expelling the Arabs from Palestine. Morris repeats this conclusion in a recent exchange with critics, carried out, interestingly, in the pages of the journal of Palestine Studies, and he supports his argument with an account of Israel’s capture of the upper and central Galilee pocket in October 1948. The operation had been thoroughly planned weeks in advance, and upon its complexion “the IDF had full control of the territory, the fog of battle thoroughly covered the whole area, and Israel/the IDF could have done . . . whatever it wanted with impunity." Accordingly, Morris asks, “Why is it, then—if a policy of expulsion was in place and being implemented—that more than half the pocket's [6o,ooo Arab] inhabitants, many of them Muslims, were left in place?”

Supporters of Israel often add to their denials of a systematic expulsion policy the claim that Jews in some instances sought to prevent the Palestinian exodus. Zionists point out that Israel’s very Declaration of Independence calls upon the Arabs to remain in the country. “Even amidst the violent attacks launched against us for months past,‘ the document declares, “we call upon the sons of the Arab people dwelling in Israel to keep the peace and to play their part in building the state on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its institutions.” Zionists argue that they had every reason to work for the realization of these ideals. It was in Israel’s interest to demonstrate that the United Nations had proposed a workable as well as a fair compromise, and that a Jewish state could be established without preventing Palestinians from realizing their own aspirations for independence and statehood. This was particularly important in light of the Arab world's rejection of partition and Israel's need for international recognition.

The case of Haifa is cited most frequently to support the claim that Jews sought to persuade Arabs to remain in their communities of origin. Three weeks before independence was declared, the Jewish Workers’ Council of Haifa issued a proclamation urging the Arabs of the city not to flee. It stated, in part, “Do not fear . . . and do not bring upon yourself tragedy by unnecessary evacuation and self-imposed burdens. . . . In this city, yours and ours, Haifa, the gates are open for work, for life, and for peace for you and your family." In addition, once Arabs began to flee, the city’s Jewish mayor, Shabtai Levy, made a personal appeal to Palestinian authorities, urging them to call for a halt to the exodus. They refused, however, and Levy then went into the streets and implored the departing Arabs to remain, again without success.'” An independent account of these events mentioned by pro-Israeli sources is a British police report which declares that “every effort is being made by the Jews to persuade the Arab populace to stay and carry on with their normal lives, to get their shops and businesses open and to be assured that their lives and interests will be safe." Another account is an article in the Economist, from October 2., 1948. It states that “Jewish authorities . . . urged all Arabs to remain in Haifa and guaranteed them protection and security."

Although they applaud the efforts of the city's mayor and a number of other local Zionist officials, pro-Arab sources insist that events in Haifa are not indicative of Zionist policy elsewhere. They also point out, correctly, that supporters of Israel tend to generalize from the case of Haifa without presenting comparable documentation pertaining to other area. Nevertheless, there are at least a few other instances in which Jew: sought to prevent the Palestinian flight. During the early stages of the war, Jews sometimes distributed leaflets calling upon Palestinians to remain in their homes. Indeed, according to a credible Israeli observer, the Hagana in some cases risked the lives of its soldiers to distribute these leaflets to Arab villagers.” A few of Nazzal’s respondents also give accounts that support Israeli claims. According to a refuge from Hittin, for example, “We were not threatened by our Jewish neighbors at Kfar Hittin. As early 5 November . . . they approached us and assured us they did not want a war with us. Another, from El Khalisa, reports that the Jews distributed leaflets saying they wanted peace and asking villagers to remain in their homes, although he adds that most Arabs thought this to be a trick."

--- A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict / Mark A. Tessler

Links - 20th July 2017 (1)

South Korea’s Jeju Island, paradise with a dark side - The Washington Post - "Islanders have a reputation for being more laid back than mainland Koreans, but Jeju also has a long tradition of fiercely resisting outside pressure"

He robbed banks and went to prison. His time there put him on track for a new job: Georgetown law professor. - The Washington Post

Guns, sex and arrogance: I hated everything about America — until I moved here - The Washington Post

Is the American diet too salty? Scientists challenge the longstanding government warning - The Washington Post - "according to studies published in recent years by pillars of the medical community, the low levels of salt recommended by the government might actually be dangerous. “There is no longer any valid basis for the current salt guidelines,” said Andrew Mente, a professor at McMaster University in Ontario and one of the researchers involved in a major study published last year by the New England Journal of Medicine. “So why are we still scaring people about salt?”... To understand how divided scientists are on salt, consider that even authorities with the American Heart Association, one of the organizations promoting the current salt limits, don’t agree."

New website allows white people to offer ‘reparations’ directly to people of color - The Washington Post - "the site isn’t about atoning for slavery, says its creator, Seattle-based artist Natasha Marin. “It’s about reparations for things that happened earlier today, for yesterday, for last Thursday,” she said. “This is for the present tense.”"
As if the Original Sin of Slavery wasn't enough

Quiet nights and dark homes at Sentosa Cove - ""There are usually more people around in the day. At night, the place does feel quite empty when the non-residents return home. "If I just look at my block alone, I'd say it is probably around 70 per cent occupied.""

Scientists have discovered the exact dance movements that catch a woman’s eye - The Washington Post - "women rated dancers higher when they showed larger and more variable movements of the head, neck and torso. Speed of leg movements mattered too, particularly bending and twisting of the right knee... arm movement didn't correlate with perceived dancing ability in any significant way."

University Of Washington Cheerleading Infographic Creates An Uproar - "The infographic says women should have a “bronze, beachy glow” and their hair should be “down” and “curled or straight” which is easy to pull off when you’re Caucasian. Plus, potential cheerleaders should have a “natural tan or a spray tan,” instead of just showing up with their god-given skin colors. Women are also required to have an “athletic physique,” when athletic ability should be the only requirement"
Somehow it's okay to discriminate based on nail polish, though

Scientists have discovered what causes Resting Bitch Face - The Washington Post - "One particular emotion was responsible for the jump: “The big change in percentage came from ‘contempt,’” Macbeth said."

Young South Koreans call their country ‘hell’ and look for ways out - The Washington Post - "Almost two-thirds of the young people who got jobs last year became irregular workers, according to Korea Labor Institute figures... “My boss always said, ‘The company comes first; your family comes second.’ ”... Most frustrating of all, many young people say, is that their parents, who worked long hours to build the “Korean dream,” think the answer is just to put in more effort."

A dangerous myth about who eats fast food is completely false - The Washington Post - "America's love for fast food is surprisingly income blind. Well-off kids, poor kids, and all those in between tend to get about the same percentage of their calories from fast food"

The zombie statistic about women’s share of income and property - The Washington Post - "“Women provide 66% of the work, produce 50% of the food, but earn only 10% of the income and own 1% of the property. We can change this.”
— graphic image promoted on Twitter and Facebook by Oxfam, citing the U.N. Development Program... the statistics are too good to be true. Oddly, these statistics have circulated for decades, persistently, despite the efforts of researchers to debunk them as ridiculously inaccurate. One reason is because the statistics have been promoted by supposedly reputable organizations, such as Oxfam and UNDP. But people also often want to believe facts that appear to confirm their own biases... she relied on “various UN statistics,” “available global data,” and “fragmentary indicators at the time.” As Cohen put it, the statistics turned out to be “a guess based on an extrapolation wrapped round an estimate.”... despite ample evidence that these are fishy figures, various organizations have willy-nilly cited them, often without attribution. And when attribution is provided, it usually leads back to a report by some U.N. agency, which then itself provided no attribution. It’s like a constant feedback loop... for the first time Oxfam and UNDP have acknowledged that they have peddled false information"

Women and money: Why is talking about and dealing with finances still weird for us? - "women comprise half the U.S. workforce and control more than 50 percent of the country’s wealth... 'I remember being a young girl and thinking that I could pick any career, regardless of how it paid, because I wouldn’t have to worry about making or managing money; I’d eventually have a boyfriend or husband who did that. And I was raised in a feminist household with two breadwinners.'"
At least this doesn't blame men

Maryland parents investigated by the police for letting their kids walk home alone. - "Danielle and Alexander Meitiv explicitly ally themselves with the “free range” parenting movement, which believes that children have to take calculated risks in order to learn to be self-reliant... Perhaps if they had been black and lived in South Carolina, they would have been arrested like Debra Harrell, the single mother who let her daughter go to the playground while she was working at McDonald’s. As white suburban professionals, the Meitivs experienced a lower level of intrusion, but still one that would make any parent bristle. The police asked for the father’s ID, and when he refused, called six patrol cars as backup. Alexander went upstairs, and the police called out that if he came down with anything else in his hand “shots would be fired,” according to Alexander. (They said this in front of the children, Alexander says.) Soon after, a representative from Montgomery County Child Welfare Services came by and required that the couple sign a “safety plan” promising not to let the children go unsupervised until the following week, when another CPS worker would talk to them. At first, the dad refused, but then the workers told him they would take the kids away if he did not sign... “Abductions are extremely rare. Car accidents are not. The number one cause of death for children of their age is a car accident.”"
If the parents had been black, doubtless the treatment received would've been called racism. But now it is cited as evidence of racism

Scientists are Creating Wolverine's Healing Factor IRL

The #BoycottByron mob don't want facts on immigration, just righteous fury - "In the post-fact world in which so many of us now languish contentedly (ignorance is, after all, bliss), Twitter blazed with accusations that Byron was happy to “exploit” illegal workers before throwing them to the wolves when it looked like it might get found out – the company was painted as a sort of Pied Piper of Hamburgers, leading innocents to their doom while posting handsome profits. This despite there being no evidence for these claims. Byron fulfilled its legal duty by checking its workers’ documents, which turned out to be false. The fakes fooled Byron but were picked up by the Home Office, which has the final responsibiliy to verify immigration status. The system worked. But the Boycott Byron movement is emblematic of a knee-jerk society where there is now only black and white, good versus evil; where you are right and anyone who doesn’t agree with you is not just wrong but wicked. Reality, of course, is more complicated than that, more nuanced than 140 characters will allow, but who wants nuance? For the Left, all immigrants are angels, even the illegal ones, while on the Right, all immigrants are criminals not to be trusted, even the legal ones"

Mainland manufacturer for MTR secretly recalls 35 trains from Singapore due to cracks - "problems have been found with C151A trains since they began service in 2011. Sources said the trains are of poor quality and that the glass next to passenger seats has repeatedly shattered due to shoddy workmanship. In 2011, one of the trains’ Chinese-made uninterruptible power supply batteries exploded during repair. While there were no injuries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries-CSR Sifang replaced all of the batteries made in China with ones made in Germany."

iPhone factory 'threatened to cut funding for disabled man' - "it called for a worker who was brain-damaged in an accident at its Shenzhen plant to report back for a disability assessment and threatened to cut off funding for his treatment if he didn't comply."

Pachelbel - Canon in D: the facts - "even before the public got hold of the piece, classical composers knew Pachelbel was on to a good thing – Handel, Haydn, and Mozart all used the iconic bass line in some of their compositions in the following years."

Since when were science toys just for boys? - "Toysellers today are sending out strongly gendered messages to an unprecedented degree. More toys are on the market than ever before and gender targeted selling is seen as profitable, but there's a high social cost. It's hard to measure the extent to which toy marketing affects children, but we can be certain that it affects them"
I like how they allege there's a high social cost, but are forced to admit that they have no idea what it is

Toys get a sex change - "There’s no gender equality on the toy shelf. Boys accounted for 90% of Lego sales — that is, until the Denmark-based company sold a version designed explicitly for girls. Though some questioned the need for a version with pink blocks, “Lego Friends,” introduced in January 2012, proved to be a huge hit. Girls now account for 25% of purchases... Lego is not the first toymaker to give a popular product a sex-change operation in an effort to boost sales. Nearly half a century ago, toymaker Hasbro found a way to sell dolls to boys: call them something else. “G.I. Joe” and Star Wars dolls were dubbed “action figures.”
Unlike feminism, profit numbers reflect reality
Feminist dilemma - is it better to market toys to girls based on "stereotypes" or to leave them gender neutral and have girls not play with them?

Wealth and sexual behaviour among men in Cameroon - " men in the richest third of the population were less likely to have used a condom in the last sex with a non-spousal non-cohabiting partner (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.32–0.56) and more likely to have had at least two concurrent sex partners in the last 12 months (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.12–1.19) and more than five lifetime sex partners (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.60–2.43). However, there was no difference between the richest and poorest men in the purchase of sexual services. Regarding education, men with secondary or higher education were less likely to have used a condom in the last sex with a non-spousal non-cohabiting partner (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.16–0.38) and more likely to have started sexual activity at age 17 years or less (OR 2.73, 95% CI 2.10–3.56) and had more than five lifetime sexual partners"

Brain training turns recall rookies into memory masters - "Just six weeks of training can turn average people into memory masters. Boosting these prodigious mnemonic skills came with overhauls in brain activity, resulting in brains that behaved more like those of experts who win World Memory Championships competitions"

Why China Can't Be Trusted - "The presence of offensive weapons contradicted Beijing’s public statements that the reclaimed islands are mainly for civilian purposes. Van Jackson at the Center for a New American Security calls the apparent disconnect between China’s words and actions, “strategic double speak.” But the worsening strategic environment of the South China Sea requires a more thorough reassessment of China’s diplomacy and security overtures. One key question must be answered: is this something new or do China’s words and actions frequently diverge? A brief review of how Beijing engaged its neighbors in the past two decades reveals the latter to be the case... Instead of looking at how Chinese actions have worsened the region’s security environment, it resorts to blaming other countries."

How AI will change the shape of organizations - "It will still need human workers to review the machines’ output and make decisions AI can’t, but the greater need will be for the middle-level employees who have the experience to make judgment calls. Here’s the problem, Engelbert says: “Where do [those middle-level employees] get that experience and judgment? That’s probably the number one thing I worry about as we shift our model”... All that grunt work is actually instructive for workers. And without any experience in the trenches to draw upon, that training will be hard to replicate."

Blacks Killed More Blacks than the KKK Did - "in one year, Blacks have murdered more of their own than the KKK killed in a century and a half of lynchings... While Black demagogues like to prattle on about white racism as the major problem for Blacks in America, as if the KKK is alive and well, the real problem is Black on Black crime... I picked the year 2004 because in that year Bill Cosby told Black parents that if they wanted to see their children succeed then they must educate their children on the many different aspects of American culture, not on "being Black" or blaming whitey for all their problems"
This is like how Saddam Hussein can kill tens of thousands of Iraqis in cold blood with nary a protest but the moment the US kills one by accident...

Does High Home-Ownership Impair the Labor Market? - "rises in the home- ownership rate in a U.S. state are a precursor to eventual sharp rises in unemployment in that state. The elasticity exceeds unity: a doubling of the rate of home-ownership in a U.S. state is followed in the long-run by more than a doubling of the later unemployment rate. What mechanism might explain this? We show that rises in home-ownership lead to three problems: (i) lower levels of labor mobility, (ii) greater commuting times, and (iii) fewer new businesses"

Repeat After Me (or Lose Your Job): 'White Men are Not Being Persecuted. And They Deserve It.' - "The Huffington Post ran a column by “Shelley Garland” that argued for depriving white males of the vote... after Roodt was outed, he lost his job. No, not the editors who published the outrageous article, thinking it was dead serious and a pretty good idea. They’re still working, still shaping American minds. But Roodt was stripped of his livelihood for daring to mock the pieties of the church of multiculturalism. His employer publicly denounced him. And The Huffington Post took down the post, under the rationale that it had turned out to be hate speech. Have you got that? At first, the article seemed to call in all seriousness for hundreds of millions of people (rich and poor, including coal miners and war veterans) to be denied the right to vote because of their sex and their race. So The Huffington Post had no problem with it. They defended it, in fact. But when it came out that the piece was in fact a satire of that position, now it amounted to hate speech. Wrap your mind around that. Try “mansplaining” that to yourself. No wonder some white guys are paranoid. People really are out to get them."

Why We Lost the War on Poverty - "From the end of World War II until 1964 the poverty rate in this country was cut in half. Further, 94% of the change in the poverty rate over this period can be explained by changes in per capita income alone. Economic growth is clearly the most effective antipoverty weapon ever devised by man... But we didn’t continue the trend. In 1965 we launched a War on Poverty. And as the graph shows, in the years that followed the portion of Americans living in poverty barely budged... We now know a lot about how behavior affects poverty. In fact, if you do these four things, it’s almost impossible to remain poor:
Finish high school,
Get a job,
Get married, and
Don’t have children until you get married...
So how does welfare affect behavior?...
The number of hours worked dropped 9% for husbands and 20% for wives, relative to the control group. For young male adults it dropped 43% more.
The length of unemployment increased 27% among husbands and 42% for wives, relative to the control group. For single female heads of households it increased 60% more.
Divorce increased 36% more among whites and 42% more among blacks. (In a New Jersey experiment, the divorce rate was 84% higher among Hispanics.)"
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