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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Links - 23rd August 2017 (2)

California travel ban: 4 states added to list - "California has issued a ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel to four more states that it says have laws discriminating against LGBTQ people. The travel ban was first put into effect January 1 when state measure AB 1887 became law. The law says California is "a leader in protecting civil rights and preventing discrimination" and should not support or finance "discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people"... Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee were the original states banned by AB 1887, but Becerra added Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas on Thursday, citing what he called new discriminatory legislation enacted against the LGBTQ community in those states."
Comments: " Travel ban on states that discriminates against LGBT people:
"This is social justice!"
Travel ban on Muslim countries where LGBT people get jailed or lynched to death:
"This is Islamophobic racism!""
"It's only bigotry when white people do it."

Siam Road Char Koay Teow Closes Stall For 10 Days Because The Crowd Is Stressing Uncle Out - "The famous char koay teow stall in Penang ranked #14 in the Top 50 list at the recent World Street Food Congress 2017 in Manila, the Philippines... stall owner Tan Chooi Hong pleaded with customers to not photograph or write about him, as he is unable to cope with the sudden flood of customers... One of few char koay teow stalls that are still using charcoal to fire up the wok, customers from all over Malaysia have been known to queue for hours for a plate of the world-famous dish... Customers have also been known to start queueing even before Tan and his son arrive. In a recent Facebook video, some could be heard chanting "Char koay teow! Char koay teow!" just as the duo arrived with their push stall cart."

German police officers expelled after public sex, group urination, and a strip tease involving a service weapon ahead of G20 summit - "one of the officers involved in the party told Bild newspaper he didn’t see what all the fuss was about, because it was just a “normal night for Berlin”... The police reportedly got bored with the lack of television at their makeshift accommodation in converted shipping containers, and decided to stage their own entertainment."

The Minimum Wage: Evidence from a Danish Discontinuity - "In Denmark the minimum wage jumps up by 40% when a worker turns 18. Thus the authors, Kreiner, Reck and Skov, ask what happens to the employment of young people when they hit their 18th birthday? Answer: employment drops dramatically, by one-third...
A variety of restrictions mean that under-18 age workers can do less than adults (e.g. they can’t legally lift more than 25 kilos or have a driver’s license.) Thus, productivity increases at age 18, making the employment loss at this age even more dramatic. The authors can’t tell for certain if workers are quitting or getting fired but there are few other obvious discontinuities around exactly age 18. Students are eligible for certain benefits at age 18 but the authors are able to look at sub-samples where this objection doesn’t apply and the results are robust."

Boots apologises after outcry over skin chart - "Boots was forced to apologise after customers dubbed an in-store skincare chart 'offensive' because they believed it implied that brown and black skin 'is not normal'... One user, Sophie Watts, responded by saying: 'This is honestly one of the most disgraceful and ridiculous things I have ever seen!'... Others were angry at people with black and brown skin being told to use low SPF factors, as they believe it is 'not enough'"
If this is one of the most disgraceful things someone has seen, she leads a very privileged life
Maybe in a few years someone will call Boots racist because they don't advise darker skinned people to use less sunscreen, meaning "minorities" pay more than they should for sunscreen, which hurts them

Have lots of sex, live a whole lot longer - "women who had regular sex had significantly longer telomeres — boosting their overall life expectancy... The researchers found women who had sex during the course of the week-long study had telomeres that were up to 30 percent longer. But relationship quality had no effect on them."

Pond scum is the new kale - "The cyanobacteria collected from the surface of freshwater lakes and ponds – also known as spirulina – is turning up in blue drinks, ice cream, lattes and M&Ms, as holistic experts and plant-based nutritionists rave about its health benefits. Kate Middleton reportedly sips it in her smoothies."

PICTURES: Here's What Environmentalist Leftists Leave Their Campground Looking Like - "More than 1,000 volunteers are assisting in cleaning up litter after the Glastonbury Music Festival (GMF) in the United Kingdom. In addition to the volunteers, £785,000 will be spent on the cleanup; it is unclear if taxpayers are footing the bill... The GMF's organizers push left-wing causes; hyping "climate change" and being "green." Michael Eavis, founder of the GMF, frames his operation as environmentally conscientious"

Paradox: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Wears Islamic-Themed Socks To Gay Pride Parade

Tough shore leave rules for Chinese navy personnel during Liaoning’s Hong Kong visit - "every Liaoning carrier soldier needs to abide by Interior Service Regulations which restrict communication and interaction between people inside and outside the Chinese military, making Liaoning personnel less free than US soldiers."

More Acid Attacks In London - "There have been over 1,800 reported acid attacks in London since 2010... "Since 2014 about 74% of investigations have been wound down due to problems with identifying perpetrators, or victims being unwilling to press charges""
Maybe acid attacks are part and parcel of living in a big city

Hong Kong handover: "One country, two systems" is full of contradictions—look at the Hong Kong-China border - "For China, this boundary—once an acrimonious reminder of how Western imperial powers brought China to its knees—became handy for the People’s Republic to filter out “subversive elements” deemed detrimental to its interior stability. It helps intercept undesirable information, material, or individuals at the frontier before they slip into China and become more difficult to purge. As a measure of risk management, maintaining a boundary allows Beijing to better control interactions between the mainland and the SAR—a form of administrative quarantine."

German White Woman Completes Her Racial Reassignment - "German “model” Martina Adam is rivalling Rachel Dolezal with her latest operation – racial reassignment. Martina Adam, also known as Martina Big due to her huge implants and appearances on “Botched,” has completed her transition into her new life as a “black” female."

Bokhari: The Secret Rightwing Messages of Harry Potter - "1) Walls between different societies are good
2) Don’t trust establishment politicians (or establishment media)
3) If a group has a terrorist problem, sometimes you have to ban them"

Harry Potter and the millennial mind | The Spectator - "The ‘Potterverse’ is the millennial universe. It informs the way we see ourselves and the way we look at the world; our moral imagination. If you have ever wondered why young people are often so childish in their politics, why they want to divide the world between tolerant progressives and wicked reactionaries, it helps to understand that. Harry Potter may be a literary fantasy but for many it is also a substitute religion in a secular era. The books are about the fight between good and evil, and the power of magic... The Potterverse, then, keeps developing. Yet it is a naive landscape in which most problems are solved by magic. To believe in it, even ironically, is to divide people into goodies and baddies, and ignore the complexity of reality. For all the joy that Harry Potter brings to its millions of readers, the world cannot be sorted by a magical hat."

Harry Potter, Muggles and meritocracy - "Thus the Potterverse, as Toad writes, is about "the legitimacy of authority that comes from schools" - Ivy League schools, elite schools, US News & World Report top 100 schools. And because "contemporary liberalism is the ideology of imperial academia, funnelled through media and non-profits and governmental agencies but responsible ultimately only to itself", a story about a wizarding academy is the perfect fantasy story for the liberal meritocracy to tell about itself... Voldemort, the dark lord, has Muggle blood, but he isn't trying to rally an army of non-magic-wielders to seize Hogwarts' towers; he's trying to remake meritocratic - er, magical - institutions in his own dark image. And so the battle for Harvard - er, Hogwarts - is the battle for the world. Which is basically the premise of a great deal of youthful liberal activism these days - that once the last remnants of Slytherin are eradicated from the leafy quads of Yale or Middlebury, once Draco Malfoy's frat or final club is closed and the last Death-Eater sympathisers purged from the faculty, then the battle of ideas will have been finally and fully won."

It is not ok to joke about killing men - "At some point when everyone was busy believing that feminism had something to do with achieving equality, Clementine Ford arrived on a broomstick. She confidently announced she was here to fix gender inequality and people blindly believed her... In a copy of her book, ‘Fight Like A Girl’, she wrote a note to a fan. It asked “Have you killed any men today? And if not, why not?”... Eddie McGuire was utterly vilified for commenting he’d pay extra if Caroline Wilson stayed under water at the Big Freeze?... When I wrote in an earlier column about the male suicide crisis and the desperate need to take this seriously, regardless of gender, I was slammed as a “misogynist” while hate mail and insults poured in."

Turkey sizes 50 Christian churches and monasteries and declared them as state property - "Turkish authorities have transferred the ownership of churches, houses of worship and cemeteries that have belonged to the Syriac community for over 1,600 years to Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) as part of a process of liquidation in Mardin province"

Hair today, gone tomorrow: Serial hair-snipper arrested in Japan - "Police charged the 23-year-old graduate student with assault on Monday (Dec 5) after he admitted cutting the hair of a woman on a packed morning train in Nagoya, a city west of Tokyo... Yoshida said he had planned on selling his ill-gotten merchandise online... Local police reportedly stepped up their patrols earlier this year after receiving complaints from other women whose hair or skirts had been cut on area trains."

Portland Police Chief Says Antifa Protesters Used Slingshot to Launch Urine and Feces-Filled Balloons at Riot Cops - "He said the decision to corral 345 people in downtown streets prevented violent confrontations between right-wing and left-wing protesters. He said photographing the detained protesters' IDs sped up their release. And he said sending police into the streets wearing riot gear was necessary because of credible reports of protesters bringing weapons—reports he says proved true."

Deadly diet: Thai doctors battle cancer-causing fish dish - "Like millions of Thais across the rural northeast, his family regularly ate koi pla - a local dish made of raw fish ground with spices and lime. The pungent meal is quick, cheap and tasty, but the fish is also a favourite feast for parasites that can cause a lethal liver cancer killing up to 20,000 Thais annually... Many villagers complain that cooking the dish gives it a sour taste. Others simply shrug off the dangers and say their fate has already been fixed - a common belief in the Buddhist nation where karma can dictate decisions."

Jezebel Is Angry That Serena Williams Is in an Interracial Relationship with a Redditor - "They couldn’t let their contempt for both f—king white males and Redditors stay buried long enough to write up the news piece... being a tolerant leftist, she ends the article with a threat."

Czech nuclear power station sparks fury after holding bizarre BIKINI contest to choose their new intern - "The sexy snaps were posted on the company website, with fans asked to vote for the hottest to secure the internship job... Representatives of Temelin said the bikini contest was only one part of a beauty pageant among school graduates, adding that they were “trying to make technical education more popular”."

Justices to Hear Case on Religious Objections to Same-Sex Marriage - The New York Times - "The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear an appeal from a Colorado baker with religious objections to same-sex marriage who had lost a discrimination case for refusing to create a cake to celebrate such a union. The case will be a major test of a clash between laws that ban businesses open to the public from discriminating based on sexual orientation and claims of religious freedom. Around the nation, businesses like bakeries, florists and photography studios have said, so far with little success, that forcing them to serve gay couples violates their constitutional rights... In a second development concerning gay and lesbian couples, the Supreme Court reaffirmed on Monday its 2015 decision recognizing a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, ruling that states may not treat married same-sex couples differently from others in issuing birth certificates... The case concerned an Arkansas law about birth certificates that treats married opposite-sex couples differently from same-sex ones. A husband of a married woman is automatically listed as the father even if he is not the genetic parent. Same-sex spouses are not... State officials listed the biological mother on the children’s birth certificates and refused to list their partners, saying they were not entitled to a husband’s presumption of paternity. The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled against the women, saying that “it does not violate equal protection to acknowledge basic biological truths.”"
If a restaurant refuses to cook Kosher food for a customer, is it discriminating against Jews?

Female Rangers Were Given Special Treatment, Sources Say - "Way back in January, long before the first women attended the Army’s elite Ranger School – one of the most grueling military courses in the world – officials at the highest levels of the Army had already decided failure was not an option... whereas men consistently were held to the strict standards outlined in the Ranger School’s Standing Operating Procedures handbook sources say, the women were allowed lighter duties and exceptions to policy. Multiple sources told PEOPLE... “We were under huge pressure to comply,” one Ranger instructor says. “It was very much politicized.”... “Combat is brutal and unforgiving,” says Jim Lechner, a retired Army officer and Ranger who was wounded in combat in Mogadishu, Somalia, during the famed “Black Hawk Down” incident. “Fighters must be prepared and capable. If they are not, people will die”... While men were held to a stark pass-fail standard, women were allowed to redo the special training repeatedly"

Female Rangers: An Insider Speaks on the Record - "“Just this year we’ve had more than twenty males take Day 1 Recycles. And that’s just the ones who accepted the offer. We’ve offered Day 1 Recycles to way more soldiers than that. When a soldier doesn’t make it through a training phase, a board looks at all the factors involved and decides whether or not to give them the opportunity to start the course over. If the board believes in the soldier, thinks he’s doing his best and is physically and mentally able to succeed, he gets the chance to start over.”"

Pentagon Could Be 'Shredding' Docs About Female Rangers

NOT Fake News: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Loretta Lynch Now ALL Under Investigation - "From the nonstop coverage of Trump's alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, you'd think he was under FBI investigation. But he isn't. Instead, three big Democratic players are. But you wouldn't know that from the MSM coverage"

The eccentric MP who is Australia's new powerbroker - "He shot his major-party rivals dead in this election's most controversial campaign ad. He once serenaded his supporters with a self-composed song about the excellence of his character. When The Beatles touched down in Brisbane during their 1964 tour of Australia, Mr Katter was among a group who pelted them with eggs as "an intellectual reaction against Beatlemania"... Socially conservative, Katter opposes gay marriage and once said he would "walk backwards from Bourke", a town in far-western New South Wales, to Queensland if a single homosexual constituent could be found in his electorate"

The Japanese Eat Meat

"I was about eight years old when I had my first taste of meat. For twelve centuries, following the intro­duction of the Buddhist religion, which forbids the kill­ing of animals, the Japanese people were vegetarians. In late years, however, both belief and custom have changed considerably, and now, though meat is not universally eaten, it can be found in all restaurants and hotels. But when I was a child it was looked upon with horror and loathing.

"How well I remember one day when I came home from school and found the entire household wrapped in gloom. I felt a sense of depression as soon as I stepped into the 'shoe-off' entrance, and heard my mother, in low, solemn tones, giving directions to a maid. A group of servants at the end of the hall seemed excited, but they also were talking in hushed voices. Of course, since I had not yet greeted the family, I did not ask any questions, but I had an uneasy feeling that something was wrong, and it was very hard for me to walk calmly and unhurriedly down the long hall to my grandmother's room.

" 'Honourable Grandmother, I have returned,' I mur­mured, as I sank to the floor with my usual salutation. She returned my bow with a gentle smile, but she was graver than usual. She and a maid were sitting before the black-and-gold cabinet of the family shrine. They had a large lacquer tray with rolls of white paper on it and the maid was pasting paper over the gilded doors of the shrine.

"Like almost every Japanese home, ours had two shrines. In time of sickness or death, the plain wooden Shinto shrine, which honours the Sun goddess, the Emperor, and the nation, was sealed with white paper to guard it from pollution. But the gilded Buddhist shrine was kept wide open at such a time; for Buddhist gods give comfort to the sorrowing and guide the dead on their heavenward journey. I had never known the gold shrine to be sealed; and besides, this was the very hour for it to be lighted in readiness for the evening meal. That was always the pleasantest part of the day; for after the first helping of our food had been placed on a tiny lacquer table before the shrine, we all seated ourselves at our separate tables, and ate, talked and laughed, feeling that the loving hearts of the ancestors were also with us. But the shrine was closed. What could it mean?

"I remember that my voice trembled a little as I asked, 'Honourable Grandmother, is --is anybody going to die?'

"I can see now how she looked -- half amused and half shocked.

" 'Little Etsu-ko,' she said, 'you talk too freely, like a boy. A girl should never speak with abrupt unceremony.'

" 'Pardon me, Honourable Grandmother,' I persisted anxiously; 'but is not the shrine being sealed with the pure paper of protection?'

" 'Yes,' she answered with a little sigh, and said nothing more.

"I did not speak again but sat watching her bent shoulders as she leaned over, unrolling the paper for the maid. My heart was greatly troubled.

"Presently she straightened up and turned toward me. 'Your honourable father has ordered his household to eat flesh,' she said very slowly. 'The wise physician who follows the path of the Western barbarians has told him that the flesh of animals will bring strength to his weak body, and also will make the children robust and clever like the people of the Western sea. The ox flesh is to be brought into the house in another hour and our duty is to protect the holy shrine from pollution.

"That evening we ate a solemn dinner with meat in our soup; but no friendly spirits were with us, for both shrines were sealed. Grandmother did not join us. She always occupied the seat of honour, and the vacant place looked strange and lonely. That night I asked her why she had not come.

" 'I would rather not grow as strong as a Westerner -- nor as clever,' she answered sadly. 'It is more becoming for me to follow the path of our ancestors.'

"My sister and I confided to each other that we liked the taste of meat. But neither of us mentioned this to any one else; for we both loved Grandmother, and we knew our disloyalty would sadden her heart."

--- A Daughter of the Samurai / Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto

Links - 23rd August 2017 (1)

(This was scheduled for 18th August but didn't publish)

Kotaro Hanawa's answer to What shouldn't one do in Japan as a foreigner? - Quora - "In Japan, it’s illegal to carry any types of weapon: this even includes cutter knives and scissors. Yes, people get arrested and criminally charged for carrying scissors!! Violators can be punished up to 10 years in prison. Screwdrivers are also illegal to carry in public, under the Picking Prohibition Act... Some hostess clubs even forcefully abduct people to buy their products. I was abducted by them once during my high school trip to Osaka and was forced to pay all of my money for good. They don’t have mercy for anyone... Although it’s widely known that the age of consent in Japan is 13, you still need parental consent in order to date anyone under the age of 18 or 20... Japanese people often don’t like seeing people showing their skin. It’s generally advised to avoid wearing tank tops or sleeveless clothing during the summer — regardless of gender. If you think the weather is too hot and want to wear tank top, it’d be best to wear a see through T-shirt on top of your tank top to feel cool, without showing your bare skin, since it’s considered to be rude. If you’re a teenage or adult male, it’s recommended to wear something under your T-shirt, even during summer. A lot of girls despise boys who wear only one layer of clothing. They consider it gross, since our humid climate drenches their clothes with sweat... Although body hair on men may be considered sexy in many cultures around the world, many Japanese find it disgusting. It’s common for boys to shave their body hair. Hell, I’ve ended up shaving my body hair after being socially pressured to do so. It’s recommended that you don’t proactively show your body hair in public places, as some Japanese may find it scary and even barbaric (this is another reason why Japanese don’t like just tank tops.)... Don’t talk to strangers to find a girlfriend!! Many western cultures tolerate boys talking to girls that they find attractive, even if they’re strangers. In Japan, that can be considered sexual harassment, even if she’s your classmate. You should wait until she talks to you first instead. I learned this the hard way…"

Assassination Porn - Twenty-Six Letters - Quora - "The assault on congressional Republicans cannot really be isolated from the escalating violence of the protests against President Trump. Groups like the antifa movement employ the tactics of intimidation and actual violence—and they do so, it must be said, with the tacit approval of establishment progressivism, the media and the Democratic Party. Which leading Democratic politicians have stood up to denounce antifa street violence or suppression of conservative speech and activity on college campuses? Which mainstream media outlets have decried the rising tide of leftist street violence? Few if any. And this is hardly surprising, for the hostility of, say, CNN to Trump is only somewhat less unhinged than that of, say, MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action. Mainstream progressivism, though perhaps made uncomfortable by the violent rhetoric and actual violence of the Resistance, doesn’t really disapprove of it... it was just disgraceful to claim, as some conservatives and Trump supporters immediately did, that the Left as a whole has blood on its hands. The last point is actually correct, though you’d think that Democrats & etc., who instantly blamed Sarah Palin for the shooting of former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords despite a lack of evidence of any connection between Palin and the killer, would blush to make it. (That shooter, incidentally, turned out to be a genuine head case: a paranoid schizophrenic, long obsessed with Giffords, who believed among other things that the rules of English grammar had been cooked up by the deep state as a mind-control measure.) No, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and the Pussy Hat Brigade et al., are not guilty of murder. But on the other hand, they do bear responsibility for the climate of fear and hate in which the attack on the GOP congressmen took place. By all accounts the shooter, though he could certainly be described as a social misfit, was not clinically insane... The fervor with which Trump assassination porn is embraced by people describing themselves as progressives, devoted to social justice and all good things, shines a not-very-flattering light on the Left. Like many of the Roman senators who stood by while the conspirators stabbed Caesar to death, these progressives would not raise a hand against Trump themselves—but many wouldn’t mind seeing someone else bump him off."

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Assisted Dying - "I know it's terrible cliche to say slippery slopes but that's what we've got with abortion. There's no getting away from it. I've reread the 1967 Abortion Act. What the salient points of it today and how it has ended up, whether you're pro-abortion or not pro-abortion, was not what the people who drafted that legislation thought was happening. It was not what Parliament voted for. Everything was going to be fine because there were going to be 2 doctors. And 2 doctors who were God were going to make the right decisions. And of course it just became a matter of somebody deciding they wanted an abortion"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, 31/07/2013 (Wagner) - "One of the things that Wagner wanted to do is to put art at the centre of society and indeed at the centre of the state. He wanted the primary concern of the state to be art and actually he found a king in Ludwig II who thought the same... Wagner believed that everyone should go to the opera free of charge...
Shouldn't you really be rather satisfied because it's quite difficult now to go along to a Wagner opera without examining your conscience, which is not something one has to do about almost any other artist or any other activity?...
'I think art is reinterpreted by each successive generation. I think that's been fairly well attested to'...
Yes this music has been used in that way but it's not the way that it is being used today. I don't think, I don't anybody goes along to Wagner today because they are Hitlerian any more than because they're in favor of incest, any more than because they want to get rid of God, or any more than they are a Marxist which is what Wagner was in eighteen forty eight...
Every cultural relativist and every literary studies says that I can no longer appreciate Shakespeare because of his treatment of women. I have to now reinterpret everything in, on the context of every contemporary prejudice because you know you can no longer enjoy Robinson Crusoe because guess what? Apparently he's pro slavery and he has a servant... it's the first english novel and it's a great novel. I appreciate it. I will not have political correctness destroy art"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Talking Rot - "A lot of people in developed countries now, you know, will look at the expiration date and they'll sort of take that as gospel and they'll throw away a half gallon of milk or yogurt because the date on the package changes instead of using their senses. Looking or smelling or, or even feeling potentially. And those were skills that people in early generations in the nineteenth century, certainly in the eighteenth century - that's what they used all the time. They used their senses and I think modern people have much less of a tolerance for food that's going slightly bad. For example back in the nineteenth century there was a whole culinary genre for foods like souring milk. There was an appreciation for the tang that sour milk could give to dishes. I think there's much less appreciation now for the different taste of food at different stages of decay... Vitamins had not yet been discovered so there was not a robust understanding that fruits and vegetables were important for good health. On the contrary people often said, you know fruits and vegetables are frivolities. They're delicious but they're not particularly good for health and in fact on the contrary they can be dangerous if they're not ripe enough. The idea of eating underripe fruit in particular was seen as a special hazard for young children and many people attributed the higher rates of death in summer to the fact that they said children were eating underripe fruit and in fact people were much more likely to cook their fruits and vegetables a lot"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, May snaps back - "When you look at Japan's armed forces they are very large and very powerful already. It has a 250,000 man standing army, it has a larger navy than the United Kingdom, it has a very powerful and modern air force"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Girl Guides: The revamp - "[On World War II] All the men went to the battle front, the women were working in factories and who was left to run the country but the girls? Nobody ever asked a twelve year old: and what did you do in the war? Well she was running an evacuee hostel, she was working in a hospital, running nurseries. In France and Poland I discovered it was the Girl Guides who were the backbone of the Resistance movement"

Arlene Foster on Irish language act: 'More people speak Polish' - "Mrs Foster said if there was to be an Irish language act, there should be a Polish language act because more people in Northern Ireland speak Polish than Irish. Referring to Sinn Fein demands, she told a party event in Lurgan, Northern Ireland: "If you feed a crocodile, it will keep coming back for more.""
More people speak Polish as a main language than Irish

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Micromastery: A hidden path to happiness? - "People who win the Nobel prize are obsessed with their subject right? You can imagine them sitting there endless hour after endless hour thinking about nothing else, right? Wrong. They are actually fifteen times more likely than us mere mortals to dabble in all sorts of creative activities and we should be doing the same at least that's what Robert Twigger says in his new book called micromastery"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "The challenge of an electric vehicle is that it has only two hundred moving parts, whereas the average car is genuinely a work of a global engineering and it has over two thousand moving parts so I think it, the barriers to entry for the competition is going to be significantly lower this time"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Manchester attack: The US leaks - "This comes down to numbers. If they told us just how many people they think had these extreme views right across the UK, we wouldn't sleep at night. It's in thousands and they haven't got the watchers, they haven't got the capability to follow all of those people. So they have to go where they think the danger is the most imminent and most serious. In the case of this guy, those fears were first voiced five years ago by two Muslim workers, youth workers who phoned into the anti terrorist line saying: we're really worried about this guy, he's got extreme views. Now that was in his last year at high school when he was seventeen Salman Abedi. He didn't do anything then for five years and then this happens, and that's the problem: that somebody can suddenly switch, suddenly change"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Thursday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "'The supercycle theory was... that the traditional boom and bust in commodities which has gone on for time immemorial was going to come to an end because China was going to consume so much of this stuff that the price was just going to keep on rising forever'
'Exactly and that sort of take, fails to take into account frankly sort of human ingenuity. Commodity bull markets sew the seeds of their own demise, you know. Why do we have hybrid cars, now why do we have solar power, why do we have wind - is because oil's one hundred and fifty dollars'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Copley Medal winner: Sir Andrew Wiles - "The proof alone takes one hundred twenty pages but that's without all the thousands of pages of mathematics that precedes it... it opened a chink in the door of a big program in mathematics which is trying to unify the different branches of mathematics. The branch that's like calculus, differential equations and so on, and the branch that's like algebra. And these usually lead relatively separate lives but there's a place in my field where they seem to come together"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Critical terror threat: What is being done to counter it? - "We have to be unequivocal that no amount of excuses, no amount of twisted reasoning about a foreign policy here or a foreign policy there can be an excuse. The reality is these people hate our values. You have to only have to look at their propaganda to realize the seeds of Salafist Jihadism which this lot are currently pursuing go back way before foreign wars. They started in the 30s and 50s by a guy that went to America and didn't like the values. It's about the values they hate. They hate our rule of law, they hate our equality, they hate our democracy
Somehow victim blaming is okay when it comes to jihadist attacks

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Chess champ Garry Kasparov on being beaten by a robot - "Fear is understatement. Most of people who marched with me against Putin at our peaceful rallies. They're either in jail, exile or worse like late Boris Nemtsov"
"So and you say that President Putin at the moment, it's a problem for Russia but he will eventually become everybody's-"
"No I said it ten years ago. Now it's problem for everybody. He attacked the Republic of Georgia, Ukraine. He is a constant threat for all neighboring countries and now we have enough proof to see interference with elections in the free world"

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby: London attack link to Islam as Christians killing Muslims is linked to Christianity - "Faith leaders must take responsibility for countering the religious justification for atrocities committed in their name, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has said. The Most Reverend Welby said throughout history religious scriptures have "been twisted and misused" by people to justify hates of violence and "We have got to say that if something happens within our own faith tradition we need to take responsibility for countering that". He said politicians should not just say "this is nothing to do with Islam" and focus on the security of political aspects of it as it is also an ideological problem. "I don't think it is getting us anywhere, just like saying Srebrenica had nothing to do with Christianity", he said... One of the big problems for the secular authorities trying to combat this is that they do not seem to understand "the basic tenets of the faith they are dealing with", he said. He explained: "They are often people who are unable to put themselves in the shoes of religious believers and understand a way of looking at the world that says that this defines your whole life, every single aspect of who you are and what you are".

Justin Welby: It's time to stop saying Isis has ‘nothing to do with Islam’ - "“If we treat religiously motivated violence solely as a security issue, or a political issue, then it will be incredibly difficult – probably impossible – to overcome it...
“This requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that Isis is nothing to do with Islam, or that Christian militia in the Central African Republic are nothing to do with Christianity, or Hindu nationalist persecution of Christians in South India is nothing to do with Hinduism.”"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, The gay history of London - "'How has SoHo changed over the years?'
'Becoming I suppose more bland. It's more open. There is no longer the hint of danger or conspiracy'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "We only rent our lifestyle and we pay for that rent through our income. If we don't have that income then we're likely to be thrown out of our own lifestyle"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Language: How has it changed? - "We've never had an academy, we've always worried about English. There has never been a Golden Age. Shakespeare was criticized, Keats was criticized"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Wednesday's business with Rob Young - "IT resilience, no matter what you put in place, could always be better. At the end of the day no matter how much work you do in the area of cybersecurity: whether it's protection or resilience, there's always more you can do. The problem is none of us have limitless budgets. We have to make choices when we run a business about those things we're going to spend money on. And it means having to make decisions about what level of resilience you're going to buy yourself. How much of an outage can your business afford to take?... I have yet to meet any organization that's planning for someone accidentally cutting the wrong power cord to their whole data center. I have however heard of it happening twice now"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, When does borrowing become 'cultural appropriation'? - "'I think the best way to respect other cultures is actually to appropriate it. Take it on, try on somebody else's clothes and turn it into something new and I think the real problem with this debate, and it is extremely ,chilling is that culture has been politicized to the point where tastes, habits, whether you do yoga or where Geisha costumes are no longer seen as something that is about respecting and enjoying some else's culture but it's seen as a kind of political statement. And it turns cultural interaction into a site of intense anxiety, rather than curiosity, appreciation, experimentation and exchange'
'I have to disagree strongly. I mean I wish we lived in a world where it took Kate Moss's daughter to politicize culture. The reality is that culture has been highly politicized for millennia, and if you take African culture because that's the example with Kate Moss's daughter wearing braids, you know that's a very traditional African hairstyle. African culture has been politicized ever since Britain had an empire and you know if you look at a fashion collections for example the Valentino collection last year which was accused of culture appropriation, not only did it dress white models in African clothes which as I said you know per se not necessary anything wrong with that. But it then describes the collection as tribal, primitive. All of these terms that black people in African cultures still are routinely labeled with in a highly politicized and patronizing way'...
'I wonder if you can actually say though that it is black culture. I don't think any culture is created in that kind of cultural vacuum.... I don't think it accurately reflects those cultural projects which are never created in this kind of pure vacuum of no exchange'...
'If you look at dreadlocks for example which is the thing that we're talking about here. Are they black or I mean the first I think literary example of them is in Hindu Vedic scriptures dating from 1700 BC. The Pharaohs wore them and I don't think Bob Marley was being racist when he appropriated them without proper footnotes'
'That's a reductive argument. You have to distinguish between different cultures clearly. So I have never said that dreadlocks, you know black culture has a monopoly over dreadlocks. But Rastafarianism is definitely something that has strong roots in black culture, in black nationalism and pride and Bob Marley was referencing that specific culture with his dreadlocks. So if other people want to wear dreadlocks and make them part of their own culture that's fine. But when it's combined with this ongoing discrimination and prejudice against the black cultures that manifest these traditions then that's a problem'
If A politicises B's culture, who is B at fault?
Jedi mind trick! We need to summon Egyptians to slap Bob Marley

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Links - 19th August 2017 (2)

CNN Deleted A Story Linking Trump And Russia, Then Issued A Retraction After Questions Were Raised - "CNN late Friday deleted a story from its website that claimed Senate investigators were looking into a Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Trump’s transition team, later issuing a retraction in the story's place. The now-deleted story, by investigative reporter Thomas Frank, was published Thursday and cited a single, unnamed source who claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into a "$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump's transition team four days before Trump's inauguration"... Deleting stories without explanation is considered a serious lapse of journalistic ethics"

The future of feminism: The gender revolution has stalled because feminists think empowement is more important than power - "In the age of celebrity feminism and performative male feminists, the idea that feminism is about “equality for all genders” has become increasingly fashionable. And yet, to me, nothing says misogyny like defining feminism as equality for all—as if focusing a movement, or policy, or activism on women alone is taboo... a successful women’s movement in America must ally the 99% and the 1%, black women and white women, straight women and lesbians. Any activism that pits women against each other is not feminism, because sisterhood is our most powerful tool
A feminist admits and proclaims that feminism isn't really about gender equality. Doubtless she will be condemned by other feminists - but only if this is brought up, and otherwise ignored
Does this mean intersectional feminism isn't feminism?

Canada’s Secret to Resisting the West’s Populist Wave - The New York Times - "In 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau faced a crisis amid the rise of French Canadian separatism in Quebec. His party was losing support, and his country seemed at risk of splitting in two. Mr. Trudeau’s solution was a policy of official multiculturalism and widespread immigration. This would resolve the conflict over whether Canadian identity was more Anglophone or Francophone — it would be neither, with a range of diversity wide enough to trivialize the old divisions. It would also provide a base of immigrant voters to shore up Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party... Virtually every immigrant to Canada is brought here deliberately. Research suggests that uncontrolled immigration, for example the mass arrival of refugees in Europe, can trigger a populist backlash, regardless of whether those arrivals pose a threat."

Hong Kong’s part-time girlfriends (and a boyfriend) tell their stories - "The phenomenon of part-time girlfriends – or PTGFs – for rent in Hong Kong has blossomed on social media in recent months. They offer services ranging from dining out to watching movies, but also the full gamut of sexual services, with dates costing between HK$100 and HK$4,000, depending on what’s on the agenda. The trend made headlines last week when 10 Hong Kong women, including a secondary school pupil, were arrested on suspicion of advertising sexual services as part-time girlfriends on their Instagram and Facebook accounts... Being a PTGF has helped Celine to better understand the way men think and behave, she says. It’s also given her a clearer idea of the kind of man she is ultimately looking for. She says it will help her to better understand a future boyfriend or husband. She has no problem with the social stigma attached to being a PTGF. “People pay to hang out with me. It’s not much different from seeing a social worker. I have nothing to fear about people finding out I’m a PTGF. After all, I’m not selling my body”... “I differ from other PTBFs in that I have low self-confidence. While other PTBFs highlight their strengths on their self-introduction on Instagram, I emphasise that I’m not a good PTBF. When I think I haven’t performed well, I feel I don’t deserve the customer’s money.”

Hong Kong singles ‘world’s most desperate’, suggests data from dating app - "According to Coffee Meets Bagel, which claims to help singles look for meaningful relationships rather than one-night stands, 66 per cent of Hongkongers who have downloaded the app log on every day. That’s the highest rate of all the app’s markets... Hong Kong women were more forward than their counterparts in the US, which could be linked to the city’s higher female-to-male ratio."

Underage girls, rape … and handbags: inside the murky world of Hong Kong’s compensated dating scene - "Chief Inspector Frances Lee King-hei from the police family conflict and sexual violence policy unit said teenagers often saw compensated dating as a business and had no moral objections to such transactions. “They often think of themselves as entrepreneurs ... and they market themselves,” Lee said. “But they overestimate their ability to control the situation. They think they are in control of the situation and say they have an agreement with their clients about boundaries and rules. But who would really adhere to those rules once you’re already out with that man?”... “We got to know a case [through NGOs] in which a girl was shopping and found something she wanted to buy, but she didn’t have the money. She immediately found a client online and a few hours later got enough money to buy what she wanted”"

Chinese passenger delays flight after chucking coins into plane’s engine for luck - "A superstitious passenger delayed a flight from Shanghai for several hours Tuesday (June 27) after throwing coins at the plane’s engine for good luck"

Swedish Christian Kids Prohibited From Saying Grace or ‘Amen’ At Mealtimes - "A Christian preschool in Sweden has banned children from saying grace at mealtimes, talking about the Bible, or saying “Amen”. The decision to forbid children at the school in Umea to engage in religious practices was reached after a school inspection. The municipality’s supervisors in charge of education noted that the Christian activities violate Sweden’s educational policies"

What’s the best age gap in a relationship? - "A bright young thing considering a silver fox should also take heart from a study by Britain’s Office of National Statistics. It did not find a strong link between age gaps and divorce rates in England and Wales, though there was some evidence that women marrying later than 30 who were more than ten years older than their spouse were more likely to divorce... men with younger spouses survived for longer than those with ones of a similar age. The older their spouse, the worse their survival chances, even after controlling for things like education and wealth... mysteriously, this phenomenon does not appear to apply to women, where the bigger the age gap, the worse their survival chances, regardless of whether they were younger or older... What evidence there is, therefore, vindicates the choices of OKCupid’s users: women should pick men who are as close as possible in age to them, while men should look for younger women"

The Message in Arafat's Headdress - "Arafat's oddly-arranged keffiyeh is meant to resemble the map of "Palestine" -- the Arab state whose creation is his all-consuming goal. It is an emphatic symbol: Without uttering a word, Arafat conveys to everyone who sees him that Palestine is always on his mind. But look again. The shape of Arafat's keffiyeh doesn't correspond with Palestine at all -- not if Palestine means the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the territories Israel took from Jordan and Egypt during the Six-Day War. What it resembles is the map of Israel -- the whole of Israel, from the northern peak of the Galilee, down along the Mediterranean coast, and from there to the southern tip at Eilat. In short, the Palestine that is always on Arafat's mind is not an Arab state that coexists with Israel, but an Arab state that takes the place of Israel. The message conveyed by his keffiyeh is indeed emphatic: It is a message of war without end... Fatah isn't the only PLO faction whose emblem features a map of Palestine that comprises all of Israel. Most of them do, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestine Liberation Front, Al-Saika, and the PLO itself"

Cheetahs Are So Shy That Zoos Give Them Their Own Emotional “Support Dogs”

Men Don’t Want to Be Nurses. Their Wives Agree. - The New York Times - "some men who might have been willing to consider lower-paid jobs in typically feminine fields encountered resistance from their wives, who urged them to keep looking... while work is important to both men’s and women’s identities, there remains a difference. “Work is at the core of what it means to be a man, in a way that work is not at the core of femininity”... many clients remain suspicious of male home health care aides, worried about abuse or sexual predation, and convinced that women will be more caring. “A lot of families prefer females,” he said. “It’s sad because there’s a lot of patients who could stay at home longer if there were more males in the field. They need assistance like getting in and out of the bed, transferring to the shower — it’s a very physically demanding job.” He has also found that many patients, often older women because they live longer, enjoy having male home health aides to talk to... he interviewed recruiters for female-dominated jobs that are also expanding in this economy, such as administration. They were outspoken about their preference for women, he said. “Their rationale was that men are going to be bored in this job,” he said. “The man who is applying for this kind of job would be desperate. And you’re going to leave as soon as you get that other job.” Men can also face resistance from their female peers. Jason Mott, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, said some of his male students were teased by their female classmates. “They feel they need to really express their manhood, stressing the athletics they take part in,” he said... “I sometimes wonder if health organizations don’t want men to come into these jobs because they’ll demand higher wages,” Professor Dill said. “They’re happy to have a work force of women they can pay $8 or $9 an hour.”"
If women support "patriarchy", either it isn't really bad for women, or the women are deluded (which ironically is an anti-feminist notion which is presumably okay if deployed to defend feminism)

Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike May Have Gone Too Far - "In January 2016, Seattle’s minimum wage jumped from $11 an hour to $13 for large employers, the second big increase in less than a year. New research released Monday by a team of economists at the University of Washington suggests the wage hike may have come at a significant cost: The increase led to steep declines in employment for low-wage workers, and a drop in hours for those who kept their jobs. Crucially, the negative impact of lost jobs and hours more than offset the benefits of higher wages — on average, low-wage workers earned $125 per month less because of the higher wage, a small but significant decline... Most — though by no means all — past research has found that modest increases to the minimum wage have little impact on employment, and that if employers do eliminate jobs or cut back hours, those losses are dwarfed by the income gains enjoyed by the majority of workers who keep their jobs. But those studies were mostly based on minimum wages that were much lower than the ones beginning to take effect now. Even some liberal economists have expressed concern, often privately, that employers might respond differently to a minimum wage of $12 or $15, which would affect a far broader swath of workers than the part-time fast-food and retail employees who typically dominate the ranks of minimum-wage earners"

Why the Cross Put Chickens on a New Road - "“Interestingly this time period coincides with a…substantial increase in chicken consumption known from the archaeological record. Historians suggest that a key driver behind these changes was the rising popularity and spread of Christian traditions, which discouraged and also on occasions even banned eating meat from four-legged animals.” But fowl were fair game. “What is really exciting about this new study is that for the first time we can directly link genetic changes in domestic animal with cultural shifts in human food preference"

Keep Rolling Luggage Upright with Physics - ""And the first reaction you will have maybe is to slow down. But actually if you slow down you'll experience very big rocking oscillations." The way back to a smooth ride, he says, is to keep up your speed, or move even faster, once rocking begins. The study is in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A. [G. Facchini et al., The rolling suitcase instability: a coupling between translation and rotation] There are other solutions to suitcase instability—like doing a better packing job. "If you put heavy stuff close to the axis of symmetry, or close to the wheel axis, then it's stable, too." And Courrech du Pont has one more piece of advice to avoid rocking in the first place: "If you go slow enough it will always be stable." Keep that in mind, next time you're running to your gate."

Measures to mitigate risks from ibuprofen, other painkillers adequate: HSA - "In Singapore, low-dosage ibuprofen (200mg) was reclassified from pharmacy-only to general sale list (GSL) in 2016, which means that it can be obtained freely from any retailer without a prescription."
Given how in many places it's OTC...

Your Identity is Not an Argument - "If your physical features, constructivist identity tropes and subjective experience are the only grounds on which you feel confident to give an opinion then you are at once both underselling your value as a rational thinker and overselling your value as a speaker for all who share some arbitrary feature. As Douglas Murray so pithily said upon admitting that this sentence starter was his personal bugbear: “If your point is good it will be valid whoever is saying it.” So, no, I don’t care who you are speaking as but I do care about the full contents of what you’re saying. Insofar as it is on the spectrum of reasonable and supported in some regard by reason itself, it will have value. Insofar as it is self-referential, grounded in narcissism, funnelled through personal biases, hampered by subjectivity, built around your lived experience and intuitive only to those who share your specific piecemeal identity, well then the value is in entertainment only. Facts are facts precisely because they have been proven to be true free from biases, tested under the rigor of empiricism and embraced or questioned along humanist lines... the authority we grant to certain identities does real world damage. For example, I have heard of white feminist groups at two different universities who were so obsessed – and evidently threatened – by intersectionality theory that they felt they could not debate Beyoncé’s feminist credentials as they did not feel comfortable giving a full account of the racial dimension of her activism, not being black themselves. Such a corrosive reduction of humanity to the unthinkably narrow-minded and the impossibly apathetic is worrying."

Mizzou Loses Applicants Thanks To Political Correctness, Forced To Rent Dorms For Football Games - "After the debacle in 2015 when the University of Missouri embraced political correctness, allowing flimsily-supported racism charges to go unchallenged, resulting in the resignation of the university’s president, enrollment plunged. As The Daily Wire has reported, “Many parents and alumni responded by refusing to contribute money to the public university. For example, donations to its athletics department dropped 72% last year.” Now the University of Missouri is attempting to recoup some of its massive losses by renting dorm rooms to football weekend visitors."
Is the University of Missouri a small, unrepresentative elite college?

FROM BAD TO WORSE: After Caving to Black Lives Matter, Mizzou Closes Seven Dorms, Cuts 400 Jobs - "the university is temporarily closing seven dormitories and cutting over 400 positions, including those of some non-tenured faculty members... You might expect that the decline in enrollment occurred primarily among whites... But here’s the big surprise: as the Times notes: “Students of all races have shunned Missouri, but the drop in freshman enrollment last fall was strikingly higher among blacks, at 42%, than among whites, at 21%.” Mun Choi, the new University of Missouri System president, told the Times, “The general consensus was that it was because of the aftermath of what happened in November 2015"
The invisible hand is more powerful than social justice

Muslim contributed terrorism - "Egyptian TV host Youssef Al-Husseini said: "Why do they hate us?! If they didn't, there would be something mentally wrong with them." Claiming that the Muslims have contributed nothing to the West except slaughter, massacres, and terror attacks, Al-Husseini said: "And you still expect them to love us?!""

Mia Khalifa punches a fan for taking her picture - "Khalifa later implied on Twitter that the man had jumped in front of her and shoved his camera in her face"

Charlie Gard's parents lose their final appeal - "Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, wanted to take their 10-month-old son - who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage - to the US to undergo a therapy trial. Doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, where Charlie is being cared for, said they wanted him to be able to 'die with dignity'... specialists at Great Ormond Street said therapy in the US is experimental and will not help and added that life support should stop... the ECHR rejected a last-ditch plea and their 'final' decision means the baby's life support machine will be switched off"... barrister Richard Gordon QC, who leads Charlie's parents' legal team, has given indications of the case the couple are mounting in the European court. He has suggested that British government ministers may be in breach of human rights obligations as a result of decisions by judges in London. He has said parents should be free to make decisions about their children's treatment unless any proposal poses a risk of significant harm. Mr Gordon also suggested that Charlie's rights to life and liberty might have been breached and the couple's right to respect for family life infringed.
This is an inevitable consequence of the fetish for ""protecting" children" and the slippery slope of euthanasia

Distrust of vaccinations on the rise across EU - "“I would like to give people two pieces of advice. Firstly, there should be no rush to vaccinate babies, as their immune systems are too fragile to receive vaccines in the first year. Secondly, be vigilant for side effects and declare them to the pharmacovigilance organisation,” Serge Rader said. “This is in the interest of public health, which today is dominated by financial interests,” he added.
If doctors stand to benefit financially from vaccination, then they are biased sources and cannot be trusted, and we should discard their recommendations
Post-modernism and autistic banging on about conflicts of interest have consequences

Feminists vs the Reality of Jane Austen

Today program podcast 30/10/13: 'It perpetuates the myth of the safe Jane Austen'
(on the portrait of her used on a bank note)

"The warm cozy consensus has been shattered by an argument over the picture that is going to be used of her. Joining us now is Paula Byrne, a biographer of Jane Austen and Elizabeth Proudman who's chairman of the Jane Austen Society which worked with the Bank of England in fact on the selection of a picture for the note...

'There's only one authentic sketch but really we don't know what Jane Austen looked like and the authentic sketch was done by her sister Cassandra in eighteen ten and it's not a particularly attractive picture. All you really know about what Jane Austen looked like was she had very expressive dark eyes and that her hair curled naturally around her forehead'...

'It was by people who did have some connection to Jane Austen.'

'They were people who knew her and it seems to me this is the best, really the best image of her we could have'

'It's a Victorian highly sentimentalized makeover. She looks like a doll. Her eyes have been, her eyes are over large. It is honestly, it's like a Katie Price makeover of the funniest writer who walked this planet. And she's made to look dim witted'

'And it's a kind of frilly little bonnet kind of thing'

'Exactly. And it just perpetuates this image that Jane Austen is a safe cozy writer. She's not. She's a subversive writer, she is a feminist, she writes about social class. And it perpetuates this ridiculous myth of the safe Jane Austen and to make her look like a doll honestly I find it unforgivable'...

'It seems to me that she is looking out of some fairly fairly appraising eyes. She is looking out with a fairly sharp look I think'

'Elizabeth, do you agree with Paula's interpretation of who Jane Austen was and what she represented. This biting person of a feminist and all these feisty characteristics'

'No I don't. I think she was a very, a critic, very much critical of the mores of her age but she was not a feminist. I don'-'

'She was. She wrote about women. She wrote about women's situation, she wrote about female consciousness, she wrote about women's status, limited power'

'She wrote the gray heroine centered novels. She put the novel on the map. How could she not be a proto feminist? I simply can't understand how anybody who reads Jane Austen can think that she's not writing about women'

'Oh she's certainly-'

'Well that's proto feminism!'

'She's certainly writing about women but I don't think she's a fighter. She was- *feminist gasps* She was describing what she saw and I am not sure that she wanted to change necessarily what-'...

'When they thought they were going to put Jane Austen on the banknote they thought it was an uncontroversial decision. They thought it was safe'...

'Well, come off it. What, I mean there is no other portrait they could have used of her. I would say that it's prettified and she's wearing a bonnet and so on but of course she always did, she did always wear it'

This is yet another instance of how feminists are eager to make up stuff to push their agenda.

It's okay for feminists to fem-splain non-feminists apparently (though maybe not if a male feminist does it to a non-feminist female).

Links - 19th August 2017 (1)

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Richard III - "'Within a few days of becoming Prime Minister Winston Churchill sank the French fleet with massive loss of life. Do you think if he had been empathetic and conscientious we would have won World War II?... I think I'd feel a bit happier not being led by someone empathetic and conscientious you know if for example Mr Putin becomes a difficulty to us...
She seems to make a division, division between the past and the future and there is no such division you know. We are just in a point of time. So basically her view seemed to be it was perfect alright to have ruthless people in the past because we needed them in the past but in the future we didn't need ruthless people we want people with soft skills and empathy and so on. And I think that is a dangerous that point of view because we don't know what the future holds but to judge by the past it's likely to hold a very large numbers of dangers and it seems to me that we've done pretty well by having some of these people, some of whom may have been quite close to being psychopathic but they've turned out to be people who could defend our values at times when-...
[On celebrities] I think they are the jesters of modern society. They provide vast amounts of entertainment. The people who hound them ruthlessly, who are the tabloid press would of course be immensely disappointed, not to say put out of business if these people didn't have these exotic private lives to be hounded"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Moral imagination and migration - "For me the issue is the way that those two people make an extraordinary logical leap between identifying a problem which is deeply emotionally awful and a solution which is let everyone into Britain. I don't understand the leap between those two things. Why can we not experience the emotion and then have a rational debate about what to do about those people that could include for instance, refugees safe zones around their country, spending more money on their countries, dispersing across Europe. Why is it that particularly here in Britain it feels, we always jump on to: and let everyone in...
'Eritrea is a giant concentration camp. Somalia is a total mess. Everybody in those countries could, have a you know a reasonably justified fear of prosecution. They all might qualify as asylum seekers. I mean would you have more?'
'Absolutely. So here's the thing. I think when, the point at which I think that we can't or people think that they can't take any more, I think is the point where we fail. Our moral imagination has failed. Our capacity has failed. I don't prize it, I don't say this is absolutely fine. I think we should, we must, it's like how much you give to charity. When people ask me how much to give to charity, I go: give as much as you can, give until it hurts and then give a bit more and I think that's the number of people we should have in this country'
'When it comes to empathy, I find this example useful. A father is sailing with his son and his son's friend. The boat capsizes. The father can only save one of them. Who does he save? If he saves the stranger he is an amazing humanitarian because he's put his son aside and he saves someone he didn't even know. But he's a bad father. And the same goes for nation states... It is understood when we elect MPs or we elect governments it is understood they will act primarily in our interests... it will be a pretty odd democratic government if it said: let in everyone at the cost of the welfare of their own people...
If we do allow in another hundred thousand will there not be another hundred thousand encouraged to set sail? Will we not then be responsible for the next five thousand who drown in the Mediterranean because we have given them the impression that if they can just make it to France or Italy they will be admitted to the United Kingdom?"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, The Work Ethic - "'The protestant work ethic is a big mistake by Max Weber. In in the heart of Protestantism is the belief that we are saved by grace and not by works and Max Weber was making a sociological point but absolutely not a theological point'...
Anyone who's read any Greek philosophy or any philosophy indeed or ever listened to a piece of music or read a novel or read poetry will know that idleness is the source of all culture and all that's good because idleness leads to a sort of loosening of the creative juices. They start to flow when you're resting, when you're going in between wakefulness and sleep. Idlesness is also called contemplation. It's called prayer. It's called reflection. It was valued by the ancient Greeks, it was valued by the Romans. The Romans had the word otium for leisure"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Islamic Terrorism - "Should we change our foreign policy then? Tell you what, we need to the kids who apologizing and apologists for ISIS. I mean I wish I'd read a few books on foreign policy. I mean a lot of them don't know anything about the history of the Middle East. They've got absolutely no interest. They talk about the ummah, but then they sound like kind of identity politics kids at uni just like a feminists or something moaning about the-...
We should have more confidence in Western liberal values. The thing is is that I think he slightly underestimated how under assault they were and not from ISIS. That's my problem, I mean. You know if you kind of talk to me when you go and talk to a lot of young people and say you know they're the ones who'll sort of say oh well we know we've made terrible errors, we've got to compromise. You know who believes in progress anymore? These aren't, you know, Muslim kids. It's got nothing to do with religion. Guess what? They're members of the Green Party or something. Sort of say we've got to curtail our free speech you'll find out that they're feminist. So it seems to me that there's a major assault on all of the gains of western society"
If terrorists not knowing a lot about Islam means terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, terrorists not knowing about the history of the Middle East means terrorism has nothing to do with the Crusades, Sykes–Picot etc

Word of the Day: Acronym | Merriam-Webster - "When acronym first entered English, some usage commentators decreed that it should refer to combinations of initial letters that were pronounced as if they were whole words (such as radar and scuba), differentiated from an initialism, which is spoken by pronouncing the component letters (as in FBI and CEO). These days, however, that distinction is largely lost, and acronym is a common label for both types of abbreviation."

Original Recipe | This American Life - "The formula for Coca-Cola is one of the most jealously guarded trade secrets in the world. Locked in a vault in Atlanta. Supposedly unreplicable. But we think we may have found the original recipe. And to see if the formula actually might be Coke, we made a batch. Or, anyway, we asked the folks at Jones Soda and Sovereign Flavors to whip up some up, to see if it tastes like Coke"

The Legend of the Chanel Logo's Double C - "The explanation that Chanel (the modern company) and biographer Justine Picardie subscribe to is that the answer can be found at the Chapel of Aubazine, a Cistercian monastery and abbey that also housed an orphanage where Chanel spent the latter half of her childhood."

The History of the Condom - "In ancient Egypt, historians believed people used a linen sheath around the penis as protection against troublesome insects and tropical diseases. To prevent infection, the Chinese wrapped oiled silk paper around the penis, while the Japanese used leather and tortoiseshell sheaths. During this time period, using materials made from animal parts was very common. The Romans developed condoms made of goats' bladders."

Faut-il mettre un accent sur les majuscules ? - "En imprimerie on a longtemps utilisé des caractères de plomb à taille fixe. Toutes la majuscules avient la même taille. Si on accentuait ces capitales alors leur hauteur aurait été supérieure. Pour la réduire il aurait fallu graver des caractères spéciaux pour les capitales accentuées afin de réduire leur hauteur pour leur ajouter au-dessus l’accent. Solution trop complexe et surtout peut-être trop coûteuse. De plus les machines à composer ayant été le plus souvent d’origine anglo-saxonne il n’était pas prévu de mettre des accents sur les capitales."

Evolution, Accelerated - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "If you knew that your potential mate was of high likelihood of developing early dementia, you might think twice before getting married. Phenotypes are for hookups but genotype is forever. So the technology for that is here now. It could be used in fertility clinics. It could be used on dating apps, where people could put their genetic profile linked from 23andme to OKCupid."

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Turning a Blind Eye and the Law - "Apparently there's still a law on the statute book dating back to the Middle Ages that all males over fourteen should do a minimum of two hours a week with a longbow in front of a vicar too. The police seem a bit slack on following up on this which is hardly surprising but then they seem increasingly reluctant to enforce a whole raft of more modern laws which raises more serious questions. Many forces it seems have effectively stopped taking shoplifters to court. Most are largely turning a blind eye to people using cannabis. Prosecutions for using a mobile while driving have halved in five years and they've already singled they haven't the time or the manpower to enforce the new law against smoking with a child in the car...
Recently a theft allegation was taken up by the police of a daughter who used one perfume puff of her mother's perfume. Another case where an element of theft was investigated by the police by someone who mowed someone else's lawn by accident and there was theft of the grass"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Finsbury Park attack: How can different religions work together? - "'Some of the interfaith work not only avoided the difficult conversations that were needed but it also provided an unchallenged platform or legitimacy to those whose views and values actually undermined cohesion. It's the argument that you're trying, all trying so hard to be inclusive that you end up with a rather soft feeling initiative.'
'I completely agree and tea and samosas does not only not do the job sometimes it acts as a smoke screen. And what we need to do and is starting to happen are real, tough conversations. Conversations around Israel-Palestine. Conversations around British values. Conversations around conspiracy theories'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Wednesday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "People were very enthused by price comparison websites until they found out the technology was being used not to give them necessarily the best price but the one that the people who set up the website have been incentivised to provide"

TV ads 'have little effect' on children - "Television advertising has little influence on children's real desire for consumer products and cannot provoke irresistible pester power against parents, according to new research. After analysing 20 international studies on children as consumers, Adrian Furnham, professor of psychology at University College, London, said there was no evidence to support calls for stricter controls on the advertising of sweets, toys, music and other goods aimed at children... "When children are as young as three they can tell ads from programmes and by the time they are seven they realise that advertisements can mislead," he said. "Television advertisements are far less intrusive upon children's lives than is imagined. German data shows children between three and 13 spend only 1.4% of their waking time watching television advertisements... The evidence showed authoritative parenting styles - laying down rules and expectations, but explaining decisions and valuing the child's point of view - were more likely to nurture responsibility in children. This was better than authoritarian or permissive parenting styles. "Agreeing rules about pocket money and what it should and should not pay for helps turn children into responsible consumers. Banning advertising delays a child's understanding and decision making""

Singapore is falling behind Hong Kong, just do the math - "People in Hong Kong on average have US$29,000 each a year to spend on themselves while Singaporeans have only US$19,000, and the margin is growing rapidly in Hong Kong’s favour."

BBC Radio 4 - Our Man in the Middle East, Part 3: Retreat to the Mountains - "[On non intervention post Gulf War I] 'Mr George Bush is reponsible for all this. He could destroy Saddam and his army but he don't try. All this because he don't want Kurdish and Shia to be leader in era. To run Iraq. Kuwait is one million. We are five million. Saddam Hussein bombing bomber helicopters destroyed us. Why? We are human!'"
America is evil if they intervene. America is evil if they don't intervene. Maybe non-intervention also radicalises Middle Easterners into becoming terrorists

BBC Radio 4 - Our Man in the Middle East, Part 4: Jerusalem - "Jews had prayed for a return to Jerusalem since the temple was destroyed and by building on top of its ruins, Abdul Malik sent them a message - that history had moved on. He had one for Christians too, inscribed around the top of the arches that support the Dome. Sternly, a verse from the Koran pointed out errors in their beliefs. It tells how god could only be one god. He couldn't be split into a trinity as Christians believed, and he could never have a son...
I was filming near the Western Wall when a woman stopped with her own peace plan... 'The only hope for Jerusalem is you take God and move him somewhere else'"

BBC Radio 4 - Our Man in the Middle East, Part 9: A Blunt Instrument - "The regime - the tiger - could without a doubt have done more. It used money to rebuild palaces that could have been spent on food and medicines. But sanctions were a blunt instrument. Twenty years on they're still seen as a way of exerting pressure short of all out war. But since Iraq in the nineties the UN, the US and the European Union have tried to target sanctions. The Syrian leadership for example has been heavily sanctioned so far without any noticeable effect"

BBC Radio 4 - Our Man in the Middle East, Part 13: The Unravelling - "I used to go jogging in the early mornings in Baghdad. People looked at me as if I was mad. In most of the Middle East it is not dignified for a grown man to run down the street like a child. But it wasn't dangerous or difficult. I never felt unsafe alone on the streets of Baghdad in my sports gear. That was during the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. The thing about brutal police states is that there's very little violent crime unless someone gets ordered to do it"

New Christopher Nolan WWII Movie 'Dunkirk' Portrays White People as White, Runs Afoul of Diversity Police - "It used to be that high-profile Hollywood World War II movies got called out for taking liberties with the facts. These days, they’re getting in trouble for being too historically accurate."

USA Today Complains About Lack of 'Women' and 'No Lead Actors of Color' in Movie 'Dunkirk' - "Complaining about the lack of women and minority actors in a movie about Dunkirk is like complaining about the lack of Sinatra music in Straight Outta Compton or wondering why cancer failed to get equal time in Philadelphia or hectoring Hollywood over the omission of realistic sex scenes in the Toy Story trilogy."

Why Does Hollywood Get World War II So Wrong? - "Some movies have altered perceptions of the war itself. Historian W. Patrick Lang has pointed out how the story of the Pacific War has been twisted over the decades to become what is essentially a PR success for the U.S. Marine Corps. After WWII, General George C. Marshall, the US Army Chief of Staff, had in mind a plan to trim the Marines back to little more than a small naval landing force, naval prison guards, detachments on board capital ships and the like. The Marines were saved from that fate by John Wayne’s movie Sands of Iwo Jima. “This film made such an impression on the collective American mind that a massive reduction in marine force structure became impossible,” argues Lang. There is no mainstream postwar Hollywood epic centered on the Philippines Campaign of 1944-45 in which about 300,000 Japanese soldiers died, probably because virtually no Marines took part in the Philippine campaign. Overall, black-and-white movies were more accurate than recent ones, as there were more people alive in those days to rebuke producers and studios if they weren’t, and they also hired veterans as consultants. One of the greatest color movies of WWII, Patton, was co-produced by no less a figure than Frank McCarthy, who had been military secretary to General Marshall."

The joy of hate-watching - "“Today’s media culture is one of constant mockery and cynicism and evaluation,” Joli Jensen says. “Social media has made us all creators, in a sense, so we feel like we have more of a right to be snotty about someone not doing it as well as we think they should. We feel more entitled to judge and critique.” If only we knew how close our hate is to love."

A man helped a lost toddler find her parents, police say. He was smeared online as a predator and fled town. - The Washington Post - "A man trying to help a lost toddler find her parents was misidentified as a kidnapper on social media over the weekend, according to police in Lakeland, Fla., prompting him to leave town in fear for his safety and the safety of his family. The man was also punched by the child’s father who told local media that he “thought he was trying to take my daughter” and “wanted to kill him.” The whole episode prompted the Lakeland Police Department to warn citizens to “be careful about what you post on social media so as not to victimize an innocent person … Before posting information on matters such as this, we encourage people to identify the source and the validity of such claims before sharing them”... The father made no apologies for his actions but told The Post, “All that matters is that my daughter is home safely.”"
Ahh, the moral panic about "protecting children". Now in future fewer people (or men, anyway) are going to help lost children and more children will suffer

Sex offenders including paedophiles should be allowed to adopt, Theresa May told - "Helen Reece, a reader in law at the London School of Economics, called on Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to relax rules which automatically ban sex offenders from caring for children, saying that this could breach their human rights. In an article in the respected Child and Family Law Quarterly, Miss Reece suggested that reoffending rates were not high among sex criminals, adding: “despite growing public concern over paedophilia, the numbers of child sex murders are very low”... Individuals are placed on the “Barred List” and banned from working with youngsters or vulnerable adults if they are convicted of a sexual or violent offence, or one involving the mistreatment of a child. Miss Reece criticised the rules for leading all sex offenders to be “tarred with the same brush,” saying that while “careful screening” was “important,” the issuing of a “blanket ban” violated the rights of criminals who wanted to adopt or work with young people. She highlighted the case of a grandfather with a conviction for having sex with a 15-year-old dating back to when he was 29, who was refused permission to adopt his own grandchildren... Comparing sex offenders to cohabiting couples, she suggested that if blanket bans on the former were allowed, it would make sense to bar those who were not married from adopting because parents who were wed were less likely to separate with harmful consequences for the child. She also highlighted the case of four nurses who recently won a High Court challenge after being barred for having convictions. One of the nurses was banned over a police caution for leaving her own children alone in their home... A Home Office spokesman said: “It is safe to say that the vetting review will not be considering allowing paedophiles to adopt. It wouldn’t exactly go down well with the public"
It is better that 1,000 children have no parents than one is at risk of being abused

Friday, August 18, 2017

Marx on Alienation

philosophy bites: Jonathan Wolff on Marx on Alienation

"The worker is alienated in four different ways under capitalism... the most straightforward is alienation from the product. Imagine someone on a production line or someone in a factory makes things and those things are taken away from the worker. The worker doesn't come to own them... It's not just that the product is taken away from the worker. But rather the product sort of reappears in alien form. One thing to bear in mind in all the notions of alienation is not just that something is removed, two things come apart. But what is lost reappears in some sort of alien form. It will often be that something that is part of the human essence comes back to dominate or oppress human beings in some unexpected way... [On things like boom-bust cycles] Marx says that we become playthings of alien forces but the facts about them, the metaphysics of these forces is that they are our own product. Capitalism as a monster that controls us that we created so this really I think it is the notion of alienation from the product at its deepest for Marx...

Alienation from productive activity and here he has particularly production line technology in mind. Human beings in producing reduce themselves to a level of a machine so that human beings have this tremendous potential. Human beings can Marx says even create in accordance with the laws of beauty but for most workers under capitalism certainly as Marx saw it they didn't exercise their will or consciousness or design. They were just told what to do, act in a mechanical way and Marx says that though human beings are essentially productive we feel most human when we're away from work. When we are eating, drinking and procreating which is a sort of parody of what human life should be because we should be at our most human when we creative and working...

Alienation from species essence and alienation from other human beings. Now all of these categories are somewhat merged together but we've got the third one now which is alienation from species essence. What Marx means by this is a human beings as a species have a particular essence. There are things about human beings that are distinctive to those human beings and Marx claims that under capitalism the vast majority of human beings don't enjoy their essence in their daily activity. For Marx the essence splits into two: part of it is the notion of what is special about human beings? What distinguishes human beings from animals in terms of what can we do? And here a point we've already touched on. Marx says that human beings are essentially creative... many animals produce things. We do the same thing but we learn from each other. One generation is better at producing things than the previous generation... under capitalism the vast majority of us are not able to do that...

Marx and other economists have distinguished two different forms of division of labor. One is a social division of labor - some people make shoes, some people make hats and you exchange it and there's a division of labor within the workplace whereby you get great specialization of tasks. Very famous example of this: Adam Smith wrote about a pin factory... Imagine an alien looking down on human life and seeing people going to shop people going to work and not understanding money. And think of what human beings have achieved is this incredible global system of cooperation. The martian might think how wonderful. Human beings can cooperate in this fantastic way. They're all doing these things for each other...

For the ordinary person, unreflective person they go to work, they get some money and they go to shops and they buy things with that money and they're cut off from this incredible division of labor that we're all part of... Marx says were alienated from other human beings...

'Marx said it's not for him to write the recipes for the cook shops for the future'

'That does sound a bit of a cop out'...

Marx's working method quite often was to pace around the room dictating. It's said that Marx couldn't read his own hand writing"
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