Categories
Misc

On the Beating of Children

[…]

The story illustrates the level of violence we accept amongst children in otherwise non-violent societies, but it gets even worse: differing speeds of development lead to huge differences in size and strength, meaning bullying is often like getting picked on by a Shaq-like giant.

[…]

Yes, in the developed world “corporal punishment” (literally “bodily punishment”, an eloquently Latinized euphemism for “beatings”) is on the decline, but if a 19th-century person told you that though wife-beating was still legal, it was on the decline, you’d look at them at least a little bit askance.

Corporal punishment, while permitted for children, is never allowed for adults, even for convicted murderers. It’s legal to beat a child for talking out of turn, but not for adults who have repeatedly, viciously, murdered people (*).

Countries that do beat people for talking out of turn are universally regarded as brutal dictatorships, just so long as those beaten include grown-ups.

[…]

Children are expected to never resort to violence. If on the playground they’re hit, they should not hit back, but find an authority figure instead. Generally, this authority will do nothing meaningful, and the only result will be the status penalty of being labeled a tattle-tale, resulting in an even more vulnerable personal position.

[…]

Meanwhile, if a reasonable adult simply feels threatened, such as from having popcorn thrown at them (**), they can shoot someone to death.

[…]

The value of truth as a virtue and liars as dishonorable is universally held, except when speaking to children.

[…]

Source

Very insightful article, and many of what they touch on is true in a western society.

(*) Singapore is an exception.

(**) Probably only in the US.

Categories
Misc

Bakfiets

Wish this was an option in Singapore — sadly, driving a bike here is needlessly dangerous. But likely a viable mode of transportation when we move back to Europe.

Categories
Misc

Gecko

Source: Nerdland

Using Van Der Waals force, geckoes are able to stick to pretty much any surface, including slippery windows. Their feet have millions of tiny hairs.

Pretty damn cool — never thought about it (*) until Nerdland talked about it.

(*) Singapore has a lot of geckoes. They are considered to be pests here… But I love them… 🙂

Categories
Misc

Singapore’s safety law

It doesn’t serve Singaporeans to have the government acting as our nanny, covering our eyes while clutching her pearls. When it seizes the power to decide whether the people are “reading the right thing,” it is depriving Singaporeans of opportunities to develop media literacy, exercise critical thinking, and become savvier navigators of online spaces. This benefits the government because it fosters among the people a culture of dependency on those in power to exercise control over all aspects of people’s lives. But it hurts Singaporeans by curbing our agency and freedom, trapping us mentally within authoritarian frames and environments.

Source: Kirsten Han, Rest of World
Categories
Misc

Changing from a car-centric Paris to a cycling city

Also: (free) sparkling water dispenser. Genius!

I’ve not been in Paris since 2015, I believe. Feel like I should probably pop-by again and see if it really changed that much. I remember it to be mostly one big traffic jam with all the 2 and 3 wheeled motorcyclists racing in between.

It would be interesting to see if other major cities in Europe follow suit.

I’m actually quite looking forward to the biking future: riding (e-)bikes, a proper last-mile method (i.e. combing rental bikes or e-scooters with public high-speed railway).

Brussels definitely had a change of heart (for the better), but it’ll take 10+ years to properly realise all these projects. Is it too little, too late?

Bike Highways are becoming a thing in a few cities in Belgium (but not in Wallonia; and sadly, the one in Vilvoorde will take 4+ years to build). But I’m excited to see what this will become once all this is finalised.

Would love to see Singapore work on something similar.

For a very brief moment, we had rental bikes in Singapore that were hugely popular. That is, until the gahmen decided to regulate rental bikes because of stupid wild parkers; a lot of these companies either pulled out of Singapore or went bankrupt.

And we had e-scooters, that were banned pretty much overnight (or well, “only allowed on biking lances” — however, Singapore probably only has 5, or some absurd low number, biking lanes across the entire island; so it was an effective ban).

Since then, the desire of car ownership only went up (there is technically a cap — which is good, but leaves little alternative for families that need a car for things that are impractical with ride hailing). Speaking of, ride hailing companies are doing tremendously (prices nearly doubled in the past 2-3 years with the lack of competition).

I see an increase in (amateur) bikers, but it’s insanely dangerous as there’s no dedicated lanes except for a couple of PCN.

So dear Singapore, please please please build a city that does not revolve around cars (the plans are there, but all new development seem to still have all roads on top, with little to no cycling lanes).

Make it easier to use (e-)bikes, (e-)skateboards, unicycles and what not!