Sunday assorted links


5 ie, the tournament director is a suppressed child predator, but very tempted.

She's fortunate that these enlightened people let her keep all of her limbs.

This would not have happened had she worn a burka to express solidarity with Muslim women everywhere.

In my area it seems to be a pattern that attractive Muslim women wear a head scarf and quite tight jeans. We should all consider this an acceptable trade-off.

The young Muslim lasses in my area are rumored to engage willingly in premarital anal sex to preserve their vaginal virginity for their husbands. Allah Akbar!

"The young Muslim lasses in my area are rumored to engage willingly in premarital anal sex to preserve their vaginal virginity for their husbands. "

Interesting enough, I have heard the same about Protestant American women. Sola Scriptura.

Not true. How would you explain the countless number of Protestant women who get impregnated by random dudes in the trailer parks and inner cities of America?

I heard from Brazilians who studied at American coleges that it applies only to women of high income/high educational profiles. They do not want to be saddled with "illegitimate" children, I guess.

Aka Saddlebacking

How would we have reacted if a female player had shown up at a U.S. tournament in a minimal bikini, or if a male player had wanted to sit down to the chessboard in a Speedo? If the organizers had told such a person that they couldn't play unless they covered up more of themselves, would be we railing about sexually repressed fundamentalists? If not, what set of principles do we use to determine the level of nudity that's universally acceptable in a chess tournament?

The girl was not provocatively dressed. Period. Your examples are asinine. The fact that she was pulled in the middle of Round 2 suggests that she was doing too well in the tournament for the tastes of the organisers. Not surprising in a culture where they think they can get away with calling a dress like that provocative.

If intimidation is a legitimate tactic in chess, why not sexuality?

Iran banned their top female player because she failed to wear the hajib - at a tournament in Spain.

As long as we treat barbarism as "just another in the wonderful tapestry of cultures," this crap will only get worse - like the teen girl in the London subway whose hair was set on fire for being uncovered.

The probability that he's a child predator is pretty low. But he is a member of a society in which seductiveness is considered dangerous but is poorly defined. So he has to spend a certain amount of time thinking about what is seductive and what isn't. Since the dividing line between seductive and non-seductive isn't specified, he has to draw inferences from past experiences where other people were accused of being seductive. Naturally, everybody in his society has different experiences and draws different inferences. Statistically, if there are enough tournaments for young people, there's a high probability that the director of at least one tournament will accuse a 12 year old girl of wearing seductive clothing.

Here in the west, I recall reading about a female concert pianist who was criticized for performing in a dress that was too short. You can avoid this problem if you require all females to wear burqas in public.

If the tournament director were not on the lookout for seductively dressed 12 year old girls, someone else might find them and the director would be blamed for allowing it to happen.

This incident becomes one of the experiences that people use to draw inferences about what is seductive. It's the invisible hand; a group of people, each working in their own self interest, unintentionally cooperate to create something that none of them could have created on their own.

BTW, this is not an argument for burqas.

Canadians don't seem any different from anyone else. This is a long standing issue. The gradual introduction of the giant pepper mill dates back from the 1980s at least and Paul Fussell pointed out somewhere it was to cope with theft. A small salt or pepper shaker is much easier to steal. A giant one less so.

4. That seems convenient. But it is pre-selection or learned behavior?

5. A Malaysian minister said recently that rape victims could solve their problem by marrying their rapists and 9 was a fine age at which to get married. So I am not surprised. Malaysia seems determined to become more like Saudi Arabia and less like the tolerant quasi-Muslim country it used to be.

"Malaysia seems determined to become more like Saudi Arabia "

That's all of the sunni muslim world doing that. Globalization is not just about fun new street foods but also about standardization where there used to be diversity and sunnis are abandoning former (often lax) observance of islamic norms and converging to Saudi norms and part of that is reserving public spaces for men and covering up women as much as possible so they have as little social identity as possible (the ideal being having no social identity apart from the being the property of males who enjoy them in private).

And it's only a matter of time before the Muslim mores infect the USA. I can see the burkini being a 'must have' accessory pushed by the Kardashians (wasn't their now deceased lawyer father once a Persian? Could be wrong) Bring back sexist rock & roller Iggy Pop!

But it's true in SE Asia you cannot even hold hands in public without raising eyebrows or getting stares. Kind of like interracial marriages used to be and still are in certain parts of the USA. When in Rome...

Ha, once a Persian. The cool thing about Armenians is that you can tell them by their surname about 95% of the time.

Nobody is ever wrong quite like ray. Armenia is known as the first Christian country. I'm going out on a limb here as I know next to nothing about the kardashian kids, but their father was definitely Armenian.

Also yes, you can usually tell by their last name. Many times it's blatantly connected to biblical names/places.

OK, OK. Aronian, is that surname Persian or Armenian? Anyway, in the Middle East you'll find "Christians" identify as "Muslims" when it comes to morality (no, I'm not making this up). So I'm right, in a way, again, though I was wrong about Kardashian being Persian.

If the American regime had stopped supporting Sunni terrorism, those things would not happen.

Cleary the solution to this is to ban travel to the US from various Muslim countries but not Saudi Arabia.

I guess it is. I mean, when have Saudi nationals ever commited any act of violence against the American people?

Exactly! Many people do not seem to see the obvious and plain fact that a travel ban against the citizens of a country is not an act against the government of this country, but against its citizenry. Government members can still come to the US, at least to New York and its surrounding area, under an UN visa. And in general they are happy that their citizens are not given the option to vote against them with their feet, by
going to the US.

So, what's the rationale for the choice of countries in the travel ban, at least what's my rationale? The government of Saudi Arabia supports islamism everywhere, but that's not a reason to punish its citizens, its first victims (especially women, homosexuals, bloggers, etc.). The countries that are in the ban, like Syria, Yemen, etc. are a different story. They are in terrible civil wars, involving not only some government forces, but large parts of the population fighting in various camps (in Syria: pro-Government forces, "main stream" Sunni rebels, ISIS, Kurds, Turkish-speaking population, etc.). Most, if not all, of these camps have committed war crimes and all kinds of atrocities.
A refugee coming from such a country, especially a man in fighting age (and at least in Europe, it is well-documented that many of the refugees from Syria are in this category), has a non-trivial chance of having been a fighter in one of the camp and of having committed various crimes. His flying his country may be because his side is losing, either in the whole country or simply in the zone where he was fighting. It is perfectly fine, I believe, to not accept those people in the US (or in Europe), and to work to devise a system to recognize them for those who are only victims of the war.

Then what about Iran? Well, my opinion is that Iran should not have been included in the ban, for the same reason I gave for KSA. I guess its inclusion was essentially for signaling reasons, Trump willing to show that he is though against Iran. Sad.

'Globalization is not just about fun new street foods but also about' ...

... a bunch of Wahabi lunatics, confident not only in the money they are raking in but also in America's dedicated and unswerving protection of their racket, being able to spread their religious fanaticism for over a generation.

A) they're not lunatics. They just happen to act and organize their society in accordance with their professed beliefs. Of course they have their ingrates and royal trash. By and large, however, the populace has a shocking degree of commonality between what they say they believe in and their actions. I think westerners cannot handle the lack of hipocripsy in the day to day lives of the average Muhammad on the street.

B) the process of harmonization of Sunni Islam has been accelerating due to the internet and the availability of local translations of Arabic. The language part is key. The Qur'an is in Arabic only. The farther away from Arabia the population, the greater the probability of lax Islam. This was an unnatural state and definitely not the long term equilibrium. When malays can read translations of the Sunnah and the Hadith, they will obviously move towards a more accurate/hardline Islam.

C) ironic that you move to Germany and start hating religious minorities. When in Rome....

3. Oxford University sorry for eye contact racism claim.

They do know that 1984 was a warning, not a manual don't they? I like that they did not back away from it because of, well, sanity but because they found another minority group that was offended. Victims poker is an endless source of problems for the politically correct.

David M. Davis tweeted: "This is just discrimination against autistic people. One sign of autism is avoiding eye contact. How dare Oxford be so insensitive."

I hope Mr Davis's tongue was in his cheek: is it really impossible to shame these twats unless you out-grievance them?

Here is the joke I made 15 years ago:

"If you become autistic: Don't tell anybody!"

Thumbs up.

#3 Oxford should also apologize to people with Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia), many with PTSD, people with schizophrenia, many Japanese, many sincere Muslims, my Navajo friends, etcetera.

Good Grief!

And with me. I prefer to avoid eye contact.

That's why you're here.

Evidently, if people eyed insistently while I write, I wouldn't be here.

mashyyat Allah

"Victims poker is an endless source of problems for the politically correct."

Possibly interesting to flesh out in some detail, with structure?

...another comment section ruined by Nathan.

Veritably I say.

There shall be no middle ground!

There shall be no constructive discussions.

There shall be no meeting of opposing ideas in absence of flying shit, mud, and general incivility.

Just stop. STOP! Before you find the other is not half as crazed as you have been led to believe, and same the other way around.

FYI folks, I'm supposed to interpret that as intimidation for the fact of knowing my name.


Nathan, you're an idiot.

Sigh, Nathan. The ever complaining victim who asks to be trolled, literally.

So is the claimed compatriot the victim today or belittling others by painting them into such corners?

Has the history professor accustomed himself to paragraphs in excess of 100 words yet?

Competitive victimhood, as Hameiri and Nadler say (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, no. 4. April 2017, pp. 555-569.
The more your group is or has been victimized, the more you can claim in compensation, the less you have to compromise.

And you, the victim, is in the position of insufficient mastery of the victimhood culture, thereby constituting your source of victimhood.

(P.S. - those with legitimate grievances should feel extremely free to speak.)

Not a victim, super man.

This kerfuffle reminds of sound advice from a great John Ford US Cavalry movie ("She Wore A Yellow Ribbon"). Captain Nathan Brittles (John Wayne) tell a shave-tail, "Never apologize. It's a sign of weakness."

Besides, everybody knows that racism is disagreement with the left's superstition du jour.

The initial asinine determination and subsequent apology are evidence of weakness. To wit, we see here a fake university and a fake professor. But, what/who isn't. Opinion is not truth.

6) Tacky American weddings, redux

Whatever happened to Martha Stewart?

#5 - headline is misleading; the story has nothing to do with chess, and everything to do with islam, and how it's increasingly infecting nominally "moderate" countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. Indonesia especially is routinely praised by the head-in-sand MSM as a model of moderation, even though women are publicly flogged there for trifling offenses. Sad.

The public floggings you refer to are confined to Aceh, which was granted a degree of autonomy by the central government to quiet separatism there. In the Pew poll that people often cite to show troubling trends in the Islamic world, Indonesia as a whole comes out looking pretty good and measurably better than Malaysia. There is extremely high support for religious freedom, tepid support for Islamist political parties and a majority think Muslim extremists are a negative influence on the country.

and how it’s increasingly infecting nominally “moderate” countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. I

The rubrics of social relations in Malaysia are and have been quite peculiar to westerners. To take one example, matriliny in property inheritance is bog standard, and the efforts of Britian to induce patrilineal patterns failed pretty comprehensively. To take another, men and women who are not related within a certain degree do not spend time alone with each other. An anthropologist of my acquaintance pointed to a young woman attending a guest seminar and said "you to me, five minutes alone, compulsory marriage". Marriages are arranged and 1st marriages usually end in divorce.

Not optimal, but neither is our family court system or our hook-up culture or the 700,000 contraceptive abortions performed in this country.

You can avoid emotional upsets induced by Malay culture by staying out of Malaysia.

Sound advice.

"East is East. West is West. And, never the twain shall meet."

"When in Rome do as the Romans do."

Are you sure about that? From what I can see, the Minangkabau of Sumatra are matrilineal but no other Malay or quasi-Malay group. Especially not the Malays of Malaysia. Do you have a source for that?

It is bog standard Islamic law that men and women who are not related cannot be in close proximity. That they might have to be married rather than murdered is nice but it is not obviously different from Muslim practice elsewhere which would have been well known to the British.

Men and women sit near to each other in transportation throughout most Islamic countries. Propriety is attempted to any possible reasonable extent (consider very crowded transportation, for example).

Saudi Arabia is an exception. I gather there might be some others.

If 1 person or 1% of persons in a country are a certain way, this should not be used to tar the other 99+%.

1. Hobbyism isn't the right term for participation in politics today, not unless we can also describe the business of Google and Facebook as hobbyism. What business are Goggle and Facebook in? If you answered "tech" you aren't paying attention in class. If you answered manipulation, or phishing for phools, you get an A. Google and Facebook are in the advertising business, selling products and services produced by the many companies who advertise on their web sites. Today's politics, at least the successful variety, is all about manipulation, or phishing for phools. What I admire (and fear) about Trump is that he is so damn obvious about it. Political success in the past has been achieved primarily by manipulation of voters: saying one thing but actually delivering another all the while pretending not to do it. Trump, on the other hand, wears his manipulation on his sleeve for all to see, and his supporters love him for it, as if being the phool is what connects Trump's supporters to Trump. Is that hobbyism?

I think you get it completely upside down. Trump was a political hobbyist, with no deep interest in issues or solutions, who was nonetheless elected President of the United States.

He was elected because the cable news, social media, and hobbyist machine is strong and wide, even if (or because) it is not deep. Thousands can wear the shirts and shout in the call-and-response. They can get excited about things they do not fully understand, they can endorse plans (like a multibillion dollar border wall) that actually have no internal logic. That is what got us Trump.

The only way out is for voters, and hobbyists, to demand more.

This NYT article covers the problem (the emergent system) from the Facebook side:

It is very well written

Serious question - it seemed like Obama was the first to really leverage 21st century advertising methods and platforms. His party at the time almost seemed proud of it - was the left first to secumb to hobbyist politics?

No, because it was all grounded in wonkery, communication of diligently researched plans to voters. This is, without laying it on too thick, the actual foundation of democracy.

An easy illustration is the ACA. It was complex. Foes cried that it was too complex. But what did we really learn in the six years since? The foes were the hobbyists, who didn't really understand it, who just took "repeal the ACA" as a chant.

Now, when given power and responsibility it became “nobody knew that health care could be so complicated."


To be fair, foes only had eight years to think what they wanted to replace Obamacare with.

I was genuinely looking for a non-partisan respond.

What a let down.

I am a political independent who can name things I dislike about both parties. (Democrats like to spend without considering ROI, Republicans like to cut spending without considering ROI.)

Don't think fair criticisms are partisan, or you won't get far toward solutions.

It is absolutely a fair criticism that Republicans do not have a health plan.

Yes, except my original question was about which party was first to modernize targeted marketing and messaging.

My view is it was the Obama administration that really took the marketing game up a level. Trump is v2.0 from what I can tell.

'It is absolutely a fair criticism that Republicans do not have a health plan.'

That is unfair - Romney had a Republican health care plan a decade ago.

Sorry for the name switch above.

I guess I am not seeing it. Everyone does communication. When your doctor tells you to cut out the smokes, that's communication. When Bernie Madoff tells you he can provide amazing return, that's communication.

It matters less to me who is more skilled at communication, or how much big data they use, than that they are honest and diligent about the thing they are selling.

Here's today's actual pitch from the President. Is it honest and diligent?

You're claiming things.

But you are not substantiating them. (My point is that I would like you to substantiate them so I can learn from your perspective, not to attack the fact that I do not feel they are substantiated.)

The fact that in some nebulous manner there are similarities between 2008 and 2016 campaigns of two modern day candidates does not mean that their campaigns are substantively similar.

Trump's campaign included an army of online trolls who issued all manner of death threats, rape threats, and all manner of childish and even proto-genocidal content.

So, the other 98% of his supporters should without question be willing to dissociate themselves from those types. You don't want to be associated with such embarrassments to humanity.

@Anonymous: " I am a political independent who can name things I dislike about both parties. "

... and just what are the core principles of a "political Independent" ??

You are obviously a liberal-progressive, likely a refugee from the muck & decline of the establishment Democratic Party... and never ever supported the Republican Party.
Absence of formal party membership does not demonstrate non-partisanship (neutrality).

Who did you vote for last November.... Mr proud Independent ??

As it happens, I was a happy Reagan Republican. I thought the pendulum needed to swing that way. But even then I actually drew an amateur political cartoon and mailed it off to the White House. It showed two cars heading for a head-on collision. The two cars were labeled "Democrats" and "Republicans." I titled it "cancel the real the real supercollider" a reference to

I abandoned the Republicans in response to essentially the Downing Street Memos. So that was a pretty long run.

That you demand loyally is funny, and sad. Loyalty day was yesterday, right? Toe the line. Don't think. Right Evan?

But that is the tragedy of these times. Trump has proven himself an incompetent, but to the Evans of the world, not voting for the incompetent is proof of liberal-progressivism.

Obamacarr was intentionally complicated to obfuscate costs. You are swooning over a more effective con. It doesn't change it being a con.

What you wrote doesn't have any precise meaning. PPACA was complex because it attempted to provide insurance to the currently uninsured that was 1) affordable and 2) available regardless of pre-existing conditions but 3) without interfering too much in the existing market for employer-sponsored coverage. That turns out to be difficult to do. Relax one of the three constraints and the options become much simpler.

Another illustration, from Fox News:

In that screen shot we see that Fox is catering to, relying on, viewers who will not process what they see in any intellectual manner. They will not ignite their brain enough to remember what happened in 2007-2008, they will just ride the emotion of the moment. Obama bad.

When that kind of thing happens all day on Fox and CNN what do we breed? A great number of politically motivated but poorly educated voters. Not even hobbyists. That implies some effort. An audience instead, reacting with an audience's attention span.

That's hilarious.

When they need to drum it into you on a 5-minutely basis "we're not biased, we're not biased", you know it's going to be nothing but propaganda borderline brainwashing.

I've noticed that the staffer/journalist who writes about issues related to the UN, while continuing to play in some propagandistic stereotypes emanating from the American right, they seem to have actually done their research and now have some basis of understanding of what the institution is, what it was made for, and some notion of how it works. (E.g., it's not any sort of world government, not monolithic - all actions are based on resource allocations made by independent nations, with the constraint of no actions that cannot pass through the UN political process - which tends to reduce, not increase, the scope of action.)

"... but poorly educated voters."

... but, but -- we have a fantastic public school system that 90% of Americans attend !

How is it even possible that these government run schools fail to produce "educated voters" ??

I see nothing wrong with that graphic.

Can something be "not wrong" while ignoring all meaning and teaching opportunity?

I think they were more proud about actively involving large numbers of volunteers who were from groups who traditionally had low levels of participation, and who gave large volumes of small donations.

#3 Oxford should also apologize to people with Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia), many with PTSD, people with schizophrenia, many Japanese, many sincere Muslims, my Navajo friends, etcetera.

Good Grief!

Restaurant Thievery

I have been eating in restaurants for 60 years and have never stolen anything. I find the theft to be incomprehensible and reprehensible.

I have never heard of people stealing things in Brazilian restaurants.

just don't leave your purse around

I do not carry purses, only bags and briefcases. Anyway, this kind of crime is rare and illegal. In the 50s, when the dollar was much more valuable, a gust of wind took away Brazilian writer Rubem Braga's dollars and spread it, thousands of dollara. The neighborhood's children happened him to pick even the last dollar from Rio de Janeiro's streets. In the first years of the Empire, the Treasure (Fazenda) Minister had his wage stolen or he miaplaced it and, when the Emperor proposed to pay him again, he refused it because the people's money should not be diverted from its planned uses.

We are glad that crime in Brazil is illegal. Truly the bold and visionary Brazilian people have achieved this outlawing of felonies in a way that has eluded other countries.

In Iceland (which should be part of Brazil were it not for the treachery of the Thais/Australians/Paraguayans), crime is celebrated, and has been legal since the beginning.

Illeagal AND rare. Yet, friends of mine had their apartments looted in New York City. The point is, all in all, Brazilians tend to be much more honest than foreigners.

".... I find the theft to be incomprehensible and reprehensible."

There ought to be laws against theft, then -- based upon your new, special insight.

Theft has always existed in human society everywhere. Petty theft and shoplifting are common, but committed by only a small percentage of people. Most people are honest, otherwise society could not function on a large scale.

Large scale society enables theft and dishonesty. Smaller societies, where interpersonal knowledge of individuals is common, are inherently more honest and less corrupt. People don't have a problem justifying dishonest behavior toward strangers, even though they stand up for the same national anthem.

#2 - in the 80s I waited tables at a restaurant that billed itself as the perfect place for a romantic occasion. They stole everything that wasn't nailed down. Especially the teaspoons. Over time the owners stopped purchasing stuff with the logo on it. The customers would ask "do you have any of those teaspoons with the rose on it?"


Moving the inlaws. A massive number of towels of all kinds. Colors from every decade. And then, even more towels with hotel logos on them. "You want some of these?"

Ah, no thanks.

Tyler, FYI, it's spelled Eitan Hersh (there's no C). Great paper though...

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