Thursday, January 28, 2016

Human Nature: Are female politicians less warlike than men?

“Most lives consist of choosing the wrong things.
We try to compensate by choosing more,
As if sheer mass bestowed integrity.”
~scribbled in a book facing the garden filled with nudes statues Italy's nude statues covered for iranian president's visit

The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens (Castle Lectures Series) Implementing Vaclav Havel's VISIONS

Another Hamlet like most tragic study (source TF) finds that queenly reigns participated more in inter-state conflicts, without experiencing more internal conflict. Moreover, the tendency of queens to participate as conflict aggressors varied based on marital status.
Among married monarchs, queens were more likely to participate as attackers than kings. Among unmarried monarchs, queens were more likely to be attacked than kings. These results are consistent with an account in which queens relied on their spouses to manage state affairs, enabling them to pursue more aggressive war policies. Kings, on the other hand, were less inclined to utilize a similar division of labor.
This asymmetry in how queens relied on male spouses and kings relied on female spouses strengthened the relative capacity of queenly reigns, facilitating their greater participation in warfare.
 Are female politicians less warlike than men? Some evidence from European queens

The Art of Travel is not a guide to travelling but an exploration of the role of travel, broadly understood, in the lives and work of some eminent artists and writers. De Botton doesn't attempt full biographies, but provides fawcettish insights into nature of who we are and more who we really want to be ... So Gustave Flaubert was obsessed by the exotic from childhood, but was not, somewhat surprisingly, disillusioned when he actually went to Egypt.
"[He] insisted that he was not French. His hatred of his country and its people was so profound, it made a mockery of his civil status. And hence he proposed a new way of ascribing nationality: not according to the country one was born in or to which one's family belonged, but according to the places to which one was attracted." TYson Exloring together with Tyla philosophy of exotic travel and escapes

Unserious naked shock art 

wolfpack links
Hunting secrets of the Venus flytrap PhysOrg.“Fascinating! SES behaviour captured in the wild”

What Snyder Knew: Flint Email Dump Shows Attempts to Shift the Blame Common Dreams and Nightmares as Jozef Imrich is blamed for anything that goes wrong in rotten systems ...

The first (maiden) time I realized I had the ability to make someone laugh was in the church in Vrbov when I made a sound of a bird with a piece of tissue in the middle of a sermon by Father Glatz... Jokes are one of the only truly democratic art forms. If a large enough percentage of people laugh at something, it is defined as funny. It might not be good or clever, or add to the conversation, or even be socially aware. But it is funny. We can track whether or not something is funny, then, by figuring out how many people are laughing. And a lot of people have laughed at MEdia Dragon's ability to stir the wicked part of the soul of the saddest looking crown employees and taxing art collectors ;-)

Welles and Hemingway first met in 1937 in a projection room, when Welles was narrating the commentary for The Spanish Earth, a pro-Republican civil war documentary. Not realising Hemingway was in the room, Welles made various criticisms of the author’s text. Welles later said: “Then I heard this growl from the darkness. ‘Some damned faggot who runs an art theatre telling me how to write narration.’ So I began to camp it up... ‘Oh, Mr Hemingway, you think because you’re so big and strong and have hair on your chest that you can bully me.’ So this great figure stood up and swung at me. So I swung at him. 
“Now you have the picture of the Spanish civil war being projected on the screen and these two heavy figures swinging away at each other and missing most of the time. The lights came up. We looked at each other, burst into laughter and became great friends.” (Tillotson and Clune)

Joshua Wolf Shenk, Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014).  The story of innovation, at least in the case of the digital revolution, has in the past often been reduced to the image of solo inventor in his or her garage, paradigmatically in Silicon Valley.  Shenk takes aim at this truism and highlights the power to be found in creative pairs working together toward breakthrough innovation.  Think Marie and Pierre Curie; Lennon and McCartney; Jobs and Wozniak and you get the idea.  (Not surprisingly, Walter Isaacson wrote one of the blurbs: “We sometimes think of creativity as coming from brilliant loners. In fact, it more often happens when bright people pair up and complement each other.  Shenk’s fascinating book shows how to spark the power of this phenomenon.”)

From a U.S. Attorney press release:
Yolanda Castro, 48, an employee of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in Fresno, pleaded guilty today to aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Castro was employed by the IRS for approximately 20 years, including as a tax examiner and contact representative. Between 2007 and 2013, she prepared and filed false federal income tax returns for herself, her family members and others in which she fraudulently claimed tax deductions and credits. For instance, on her own 2008 tax return, Castro claimed a credit for education expenses that she did not incur, and provided the IRS phony textbook receipts to support the claim. Likewise, in tax returns she prepared for herself and others, Castro claimed child care expenses that had not been incurred.

Danish town says pork must be served at public institutions Guardian 

Marissa Mayer Has Become A Symbol Of Silicon Valley’s Disastrous Tokenism. “The jokes write themselves. But just in case you’re out of ink: a token female CEO who immediately goes on a disastrous spending spree — colour me shocked!”

The younger generation’s new wave of political correctness is a danger to society. “Suddenly, those of us who had never worried about being seen as politically unsound are being cast as ageing, right-wing bigots.”

Who are the Cossacks, and Why Did the Bandidos Biker Gang Want Them Dead? “The word ‘outlaw,’ Wilson says, ‘was never attached to us till May 17.’” 

Why Danes Happily Pay High Rates of Taxes 

As Mark Steyn wrote a decade ago, “So you’re nice to gays and the Inuit? Big deal. Anyone can be tolerant of fellows like that, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti masochists.” 

A few hours before delivering that State of the Union, President Obama met with rapper Kendrick Lamar. Obama announced that Lamar’s hit “How Much a Dollar Cost” was his favorite song of 2015. The song comes from the album To Pimp a Butterfly; the album cover shows a crowd of young African-American men massed in front of the White House. In celebratory fashion, all are gripping champagne bottles and hundred-dollar bills; in front of them lies the corpse of a white judge, with two Xs drawn over his closed eyes. So why wouldn’t the president’s advisors at least have advised him that such a gratuitous White House sanction might be incongruous with a visual message of racial hatred? Was Obama seeking cultural authenticity, of the sort he seeks by wearing a T-shirt, with his baseball cap on backwards and thumb up? 

“All you would be asked is the same few rubbish questions,” said the lawyer. “Just make it up.” However, the 2010 conversation was being secretly recorded by the feds as part of an investigation that “has led to the prosecution of at least 30 people” including lawyers, paralegals and others employed by ten law firms, as well as a church employee “accused of coaching asylum applicants in basic tenets of Christianity to prop up their claims of religious persecution.” [Kirk Semple, Joseph Goldstein and Jeffrey E. Singer, New York Times] Earlier on asylum law here, here, here, etc.

Mr. Alli was a participant, which extracted more than $50 million by impersonating and victimizing some 30,000 credit card holders: he “admitted to being personally responsible for $70,000 to $120,000 of the multimillion-dollar losses to banks and credit card companies”. Start deporting people like that, and where is our next generation of scam artists supposed to come from? [New York Times, Patrick at Popehat]

The grand illusion of empowerment Gillian Tett, Financial Times. She seems to think people have not figured it out. Low voter turnout in the US suggests citizens here have. As I’ve said, the fact that you’d never here the word “elite” used outside Marxist or equivalent or further leftist discourse and now it’s used routinely says that the public is aware of who is in charge.

In which Shakespearean play does Portia disguise herself as a lawyer?
Hint: At the time of the subterfuge, Portia is accompanied by her maid, Nerissa, and they are disguised as a male lawyer and his clerk. Did you chant Venice?