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Today I Read (and Learned) ...

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by citricsquid, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. citricsquid

    citricsquid Well-Known Forumite

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    I read a lot of articles and learn a lot of things on the internet but they're rarely things outside my sphere of interest, I think it would be interesting to learn more about the things that other people find interesting. Share articles that provide insight into subjects of interest to you, or just articles you find interesting! Also facts and books are fair game too.

    No obligation to read what I share, but I'll read every article shared by others.

    I don't see an existing thread that this fits in, hit me if there is one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
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  3. citricsquid

    citricsquid Well-Known Forumite

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    I'll go first, here are some articles I've read recently that others may find interesting on various subjects:

    An Unbelievable Story of Rape
    A long form piece about a woman who was convicted of making a false rape allegation, it deals with a dark subject but it provides fascinating insight into such a misunderstood subject.

    Secret Thermal Camera Footage Allegedly Shows Seven Pro Cyclists Using Illegal Motors In Bikes
    I had no idea that this was even a concern, fascinating.

    The Minecraft Generation
    A piece from the New York Times magazine about the cultural impact of Minecraft on the current generation of children and young people. A very good insight for those aware or not aware of Minecraft.
     
  4. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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  5. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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  6. littleme

    littleme 250,000th poster!

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    I read an article yesterday (which I now can't find) about a psychologist experimenting with LSD buy giving it to an elephant (Tusko?), it died. Anyhow, I was called away to do other things & never found out why on earth anyone would even think of giving an elephant LSD....
     
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  7. citricsquid

    citricsquid Well-Known Forumite

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    Recreational drugs like MDMA and LSD have potential to be valuable in medical applications, the real danger with recreational drugs is not knowing what you're taking, if you're confident about the substance you have they can be taken safely. There is ongoing research into MDMA and the potential it has to help people with aspergers and PTSD, and there are ways that individuals can use LSD to improve productivity and happiness, something called Microdosing is quite popular at the moment. I assume it was for medical reasons, or maybe they're just crazy scientists.

    I had not heard about Tusko before, I'm reading this article from erowid about him now, what a crazy amount of LSD to use.

     
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  8. littleme

    littleme 250,000th poster!

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    That's a great link thanks @citricsquid, it was a ridiculous amount to use, & why did West think it would induce 'musth' in an elephant when in humans it induces happines/silliness ? ... Lots of the other articles don't mention the other 2nd elephant either, I think I probably would of started off with a smaller animal.

    Plenty more for me to read though, Jolly West & behaviour modification here I come... :)
     
  9. citricsquid

    citricsquid Well-Known Forumite

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    The Battle Over the Sea-Monkey Fortune
    An article about the history of Sea-Monkey's and how the widow of the inventor is suing a company she partnered with years ago because they're now producing knock-off Sea-Monkey's and stiffing her on the proceeds.

    Privatised probation staff: stressed, deskilled and facing job cuts
    An interesting article about the probation service, "Last year 8,600 probation staff were outsourced. Now, with job insecurity and high workloads, many are questioning their professional identity", shared by @Withnail in another thread.

    How the “what’s your current salary?” question hurts the gender pay gap
    Some interesting information I hadn't considered about why women are disadvantaged when it comes to salary negotiation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  10. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    Today I read a letter from HMRC.

    I learned, once again, that they are a prize bunch of fuckwits with no clue whatsoever.

    Still, at least they keep my accountant in BMWs.
     
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  11. Withnail

    Withnail Well-Known Forumite

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    It is an issue that the Eye has had an eye on for some time.

    One thing i would have liked to reflect upon in the 'another thread' to which you refer, but didn't because i didn't, is the disconnect between the reality of the actual 'business' of crime 'n' punishment as it is experienced by those who are caught up in it, and the lens through which it is filtered to us, those that aren't. Well at least i hope most of us aren't...

    I was particularly taken by a phrase that will take me a few moments to find - *takes cigarette break first* -
    *nicotine cravings satisfied* moments to find found -

    "As far as the brevik case you mentioned goes, the victims parent who believes in him having his human rights respected is more than likley a product of the rampant pc, social engineering bullshit that is a cancer on most of those scandinavian countries "

    Now the interesting thing about this particular comment is that it actually makes no sense. As you indicated either before the sentiment was uttered or after, Norway has the lowest rate of recidivism in the World. It is, tbf, not an easy comparative, because every Country has their own parameters, but 'those scandinavian countries' consistently better other 'Western' nations in this endeavour - ie lowering re-offending rates - by quite considerable margins. Empirically one would have to conclude that 'those scandinavian countries' are doing something 'right', would one not?

    But suddenly empirical evidence has to give way to the anecdotal evidence of someone's best friend's cousin's Aunt's hairdresser's son - who's been working 'in prisons' for twenty years and he says they're all scum and should be put down so that's what i think too.

    The 'another thread' hints heavily at the difference between the two 'systems - with that word, 'scum'

    The mentality in this country seems to be content with this - salaciously detailing the 'wickedness' whilst wagging the finger - managing to simultaneously shake heads in disapproval and nod them when asked if they'd like to hear a bit more.

    This is a serious issue, and it needs to be considered a bit more seriously.
    -
     
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  12. Katniss

    Katniss Well-Known Forumite

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  13. Katniss

    Katniss Well-Known Forumite

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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  14. John Marwood

    John Marwood I ♥ cryptic crosswords

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    Take
    Your
    Med
    Ication
     
  15. Katniss

    Katniss Well-Known Forumite

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    blah blah
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  16. Katniss

    Katniss Well-Known Forumite

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  17. citricsquid

    citricsquid Well-Known Forumite

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    The smug style in American liberalism
    Very interesting article, I try not to fall into the trap of knowing and take the time to learn about something before discussing it, but I can definitely see times when I've been smug or when my understanding has been too shallow. This article is a good wake up call, to be a better person when discussing divisive issues by understanding why others might feel that way.

    "Abandoned and without any party willing to champion their interests, people cling to candidates who, at the very least, are willing to represent their moral convictions. The smug style resents them for it, and they resent the smug in turn."

    Trying to Get Right
    A piece about drug addiction treatment and the policies surrounding it in some American states, an insight into the struggles faced by doctors and patients.

    "Reach asks to see his arm, to look for tracks. Again, the boy hesitates. He sort of curls in on himself in shame. Reach rolls up his shirtsleeves and points to the scarring from his forearm up to his bicep. “Can’t be this bad,” he says. The boy’s face changes. He rolls up his own shirtsleeve and now they’re comparing."

    Should We Get Used to Mass Shootings?
    A reporter (who reported on Columbine in the 90s) follows the story of mass shootings over a 10 day period in America. Heartbreaking. Contains interviews with various people, including the father who lost his son in the Sandy Hook shooting.

    "Ten days, 14 reasons, from terrorism to protest, suicidal nihilism to revenge, Old Testament plotlines included, replete with angry loners, half-wits, gangbangers, and normal people snapping, practicing their right to free speech with a gun. You get an eye-for-an-eye, and in this case it looks like more than 100 with shot-up bodies of varying severity (this one unable to use her hand; this one partially paralyzed; this one with a bullet in his groin), and 27 funerals. Times those ten days by 36—there's your rough year, America."

    The Best Welfare Reform: Give Poor People Cash
    "When governments give people in-kind support like food, it frequently costs more to deliver that support than it would to distribute cash—and for the same or even a lesser impact." [...] "But is it time to revive the idea—not only in America, but around the world? As a tool to encourage consumption and investment, it should appeal to bleeding hearts and the up-by-the-bootstraps crowd alike."
     
  18. citricsquid

    citricsquid Well-Known Forumite

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    American Sheriff
    A profile of an American Sheriff who opposes criminal justice reforms and thinks that the police are too soft on criminals.

    "In 2013, he released ads urging Milwaukeeans to buy guns because “armed criminals are being put back in the street by a soft-on-crime court system even before the ink dries on police reports.” In another ad, he said, “You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back.”"

    Why working-class actors are a disappearing breed
    Although broadly focused on the impact of social mobility on acting, there is interesting information about social mobility in general.

    "Britain has changed so quickly, the gains of 40 years of social progress undone in half a generation, that most of us are still struggling to compute it, but the evidence is right there in front of us, on our cinema and television screens."

    The Social Mobility Index
    A government report from the Social Mobility & Child Poverty Commission, a lot of very interesting information. Stoke-on-trent, Wolverhampton and Cannock Chase are some of the least socially mobile places in England.

    "The Social Mobility Index compares the chances that a child from a disadvantaged background will do well at school and get a good job across each of the 324 local authority district areas of England. It examines a range of measures of the educational outcomes achieved by young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and the local job and housing markets to shed light on which are the best and worst places in England in terms of the opportunities young people from poorer backgrounds have to succeed."
     
  19. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    An uncle of mine did 22 years as a cop in Harlem - through the '60s and '70s - and never fired the gun - it got 'produced' regularly, but "it was just too dangerous to fire it, you would almost certainly hit the wrong person".

    He also learnt, quite early on, why city car chases were so rare in reality - he put it in through the front of a greengrocer's shop and emerged covered in tomato pulp, like a spoof horror film. He lost four other cars, as well, two more were demolished in collisions and two were stolen.
     
  20. citricsquid

    citricsquid Well-Known Forumite

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    Almost certainly indeed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Empire_State_Building_shooting

    "New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said that it appeared that police might have accidentally shot civilians during the incident. The day following the shooting, Kelly confirmed that all of the bystanders had been wounded as a result of police gunfire."
     
  21. citricsquid

    citricsquid Well-Known Forumite

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    I have been reading more books recently.

    Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
    A fascinating and in-depth look at the realities facing those living in poverty in America, focused around housing and eviction. Eviction is one of the most important problems faced by those living in poverty and a problem that has so many consequences. A really great book, the author spent time living with the subjects and provides first hand accounts of their experiences.

    I learned a lot from the book, one of the most interesting points made was that often the cost of renting a place in a poor area is no less than the cost of renting a place in a good area, however because of racial prejudice, eviction records and a dependence on state support the poor can only find landlords willing to rent to them in the poor areas. The landlords take advantage of this for financial gain at the expense of their tenants. A tenant may come to a landlord unable to pay a deposit because they live month to month, the landlord will take leniency and allow the tenant to move in with no deposit, and then use that leniency as pressure to force the tenant to accept subpar living conditions, to allow the landlord to avoid her legal responsibilities.

    Although the situation is much better for the poor of of Britain the insights into the lives and mindsets of those living in poverty are universally valuable.

    Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
    Everybody would benefit from reading this book, although again based in America it provides some really interesting universal insights on such an important issue. I don't think I can do the book justice. This book was especially meaningful to me after my experience on the jury of a sexual assault case, it answered a number of questions I had and helped round out my views.

    back to articles:

    Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker
    "A former Stanford swimmer who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman was sentenced to six months in jail because a longer sentence would have “a severe impact on him,” according to a judge. At his sentencing Thursday, his victim read him a letter describing the “severe impact” the assault had on her."

    Harrowing account of sexual assault, mirrors a lot of what I read about in Missoula, a very very important read, a lot of food for thought.

    Putting a Number on Smoking’s Toll
    “These things are very important, but the size of the benefit pales in comparison to what you can get from stopping smoking,” he said. “The notion that you could add 10 years to your life by something as straightforward as quitting smoking is just mind boggling.”

    Nothing But The Truth: A radical new interrogation technique is transforming the art of detective work: Shut up and let the suspect do the talking.
    "A number of scholars have called for a wholesale shift from a “confrontational” model of interrogation to an “investigative” one — one that would redesign interrogations around the best evidence-based approaches to eliciting facts from witnesses and suspects."
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
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