Sunday, October 21, 2018

Push notifications

Roughly every 15 minutes I get a "push" notification on my computer screen.  They are a fairly recent phenomenon. Instead of someone sending you an email that you have to open, the sender puts his message right on your screen before your eyes without you having to open anything or do anything.  But they are there only for a matter of about 10 seconds so you can easily ignore them if you want to. Conversely, if the message looks interesting, you have to click on it straight away if you want to see more.

Without even asking, I am sure that many people are complaining  about push notifications.  I even know the word they are using.  "Bombarded".  They will regard such messages as intrusive and distracting.  Some pain-in-the-ass types will even want a law passed to stop such messages.

I on the other hand regard them as a great leap forward in communication.  How wonderful it is that there are people all over the world  (OK, mostly in America so far) who are sending me bits of information that they believe might be interesting to me! Instead of me seeking out information, it just comes to me with no effort on my part.  It is an improvement in civilization itself.

So how do you become a recipient of such messages?  It happens  when you are reading something on the net that interests you.  The site owner will put up a requester that asks you whether they can send you more information about the sort of topic that they cover.  Once, if you replied "Yes" to such requesters, you would have to provide your email address and the extra info would come to you in an email.  Such are the wonders of modern technology, however, that they no longer need your email address.  Instead of getting more email, these days you will just get a one or two sentence summary projected onto a corner of your screen.  They "know" where you are and how to access your screen.  I imagine that could be abused in some way.  There is not much that someone has not abused.  But, as far as I can tell so far, it is completely harmless.

It greatly reduces what I have to do in information seeking. It actually gives me more free time.  Isn't that great?

UK: Officers wasting time investigating wolf whistles under drive to target hate crime, police leader warns

The drive to target hate crime is forcing police officers to spend valuable time investigating wolf-whistles, bad manners and impolite comments, a police leader has warned.

Sergeant Richard Cooke, the recently elected chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, said forces were expected to record and follow up reports of hate crime, even when no criminal offence had taken place.

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Cooke warns police officers would be dispatched to offer words of advice to people, but this meant they had less time to focus on "genuine crimes" such as burglary and violence.

Mr Cooke said he did not believe this was what the public expected of its police service. While applauding the principle behind protecting those at risk of hurtful abuse, officers have expressed their frustration at being drawn into what they see as social rather than criminal issues.

Mr Cooke, who represents 6,500 rank and file officers in the country's second largest police force, said: "I fear a dangerous precedent could be set, where our scant resources are skewed further and further away from the genuine crisis in public safety taking place on our urban homes and streets.

"Nobody, especially police officers, would ever want to see any elderly person or woman subjected to any sort of crime. The same goes for any other innocent member of the community. But we do have laws to address all manner of crimes and anti-social behaviour already."

Earlier this week the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that he had asked the Law Commission to consider whether misogyny and ageism should be added to the list of categories that constitute a hate crime.

It is hoped that by broadening out the definition of the offence, police and prosecutors will have more power to tackle and punish those who deliberately target vulnerable groups.

Newly published figures show how religious hate crimes rose by 40 per cent last year with attacks on Jewish people representing 12 percent of all offences.

Abuse against gay and transgender people and the disabled has also risen.

But there are increasing warnings that in the drive to identify and tackle the problem, police priorities are being impacted.

Mr Cooke said: "We all abhor and want to end genuine crimes motivated or aggravated by intolerance and prejudice. They should be investigated, and those who commit them should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, as should those who incite them."

But he went on: "Let us focus urgently on genuine crime, supported by basic evidence. Let’s not encourage people to think we can solve deep social problems or give impolite people manners.

"Are we really going to be required to routinely record, and potentially act on, incidents like a builder’s wolf whistle or an insensitive comment towards an elderly driver?

"I do not believe for one second that this is what the public, outside of the politically correct 'court of Twitter', expects or wants us to do."

South Yorkshire Police recently came in for criticism after urging people to report insults that did not necessarily constitute hate crimes.

Last month the newly elected chairman of the Police Federation, John Apter, warned that common sense policing was disappearing with officers forced to spend time intervening in trivial social media disputes rather than attending burglaries and other serious crimes.

He said it was time for a debate sensible debate about what the public expected of its police service.

"Where we get drawn into local disagreements, the argument over the remote control, the dispute in the playground, the row on Facebook it is frustrating. I certainly think police time can be better spent and it makes a mockery when we are so stretched," he said.


What's wrong with equality?

Hardly a day goes by where we are not bombarded with calls for employment quotas, free speech restrictions and other mandated equality measures. It is alarming how fast this politically correct agenda has become part of mainstream politics and media.

The impact of cultural Marxism is not unique to Australia. After a speech to the UN General Assembly, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, received thunderous applause. Arden’s speech, dubbed "Me Too must become We Too", had collective action on gender equality at its core. This is the same leader who proudly proclaimed that "capitalism has failed New Zealand". Prime Minister Arden, like many leaders of today, has taken to using Hollywood-rhetoric and other populist lingo to further her leftist agenda. She is a perfect example of the impact of the long-march through education systems.

The UK Government has now announced a public-private partnership with Bloomberg L.P. to "improve" on the measurement of the difference in payroll between men and women. It aims to improve transparency on "a global scale" and builds on the UK government's Gender Gap Service legislation, which requires an organisation with more than 250 employees to submit an annual report with details of their payroll.

The UK's new proposed organisation is quite similar to Australia's Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which was established as part of the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. On top of that, Australia also has "Equal Opportunity Commissioners" and various other agencies throughout our states and territories. Despite all these organisations working tirelessly to achieve "equality", and hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent, it is amusing that a recent government report on the South Australian public sector found that their gender pay gap was larger than that of the private sector.

It is well documented that publicly reporting business' payrolls will have unintended consequences. Is it really any wonder that Australia's workforce is in the midst of a so-called "casualisation" after decades of ever-more restrictive workplace laws? Have any of those well-meaning politicians and bureaucrats thought about how these tax and regulatory burdens may affect the incentive to take on new staff? And have those same people ever had to hire someone where they had financial "skin in the game"?

And let's not forget that the gender pay gap is not as straightforward as it is made out to be. There are serious flaws in the way it is measured; simply totalling and dividing the hourly earnings of women and men in clearly leaves out important variables such as career choices, time spent on (maternity) leave and other key factors. As renowned feminist Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute put it: “If employers could save 16.2 percent by hiring women, they’d fire all the men.”

At home in Australia, Bettina Arndt has devoted her career to bringing these issues to the public sphere. We are pleased that 14 Western Australian students recently got to listen to Bettina at the second annual LibertyFest in Brisbane, as part of a Mannkal scholarship. A large part of the LibertyFest focused on the failure of identity politics to provide a cognisant narrative and a solution for bettering the opportunities for both sexes. We can't wait to see how these students, and future Mannkal Scholars, will pass on the genuine wisdom of these talks.

Via email from Mannkal:

Real Christians: Sydney Anglicans set to ban gay weddings and pro-LGBTI advocacy on church property

The Sydney Anglican diocese is set to ban same-sex weddings from any Anglican church or building, and prohibit its properties from being used to promote homosexuality or "transgender ideology".

Critics within the church say the far-reaching policy could stop pastors and teachers from speaking in favour of marriage equality, and stifle student-led LGBTI support groups at Anglican schools.

Documents obtained by Fairfax Media also reveal the church sees the current debate about its right to fire gay teachers as a "key threat" to its ability to foster a Christian ethos at its schools.

The 51st Synod of the Sydney diocese will next week debate the introduction of a property policy to ensure church-owned buildings are used only for "acts or practices which conform to the doctrines, tenets and beliefs of the diocese".

The policy specifies it would be inappropriate to use church-owned property for "advocacy for transgender ideology (e.g gender-fluidity)" and "advocacy for expressions of human sexuality contrary to our doctrine of marriage".

It also bans local Anglican boards from allowing property - such as school halls - to host same-sex marriages or receptions associated with same-sex weddings.

Joel Hollier, a gay Anglican and former pastor who co-chairs the LGBTI group Equal Voices, said the proposed crackdown was a "silencing act" designed to quell dissenting voices.

"The message is potently clear - no priest or pastor has the right to speak in favour of marriage equality," he said.

"Nor are they able to speak freely to the reality of parishioners experiencing gender dysphoria. Churches that suggest otherwise will face the consequences."

Under Archbishop Glenn Davies, the conservative Sydney diocese of the Anglican church was one of the key forces opposed to same-sex marriage, donating $1 million to the "No" campaign last year.

Bishop of South Sydney Michael Stead, the senior clergyman who authored the proposal, told Fairfax Media that the use of church property had "always been governed by various regulations" and the new policy merely sought to consolidate those into a single document.

"The new policy doesn’t represent a change in our position and I wouldn’t expect it to have an effect on any activities currently occurring on church trust property," he said.

"Because the federal government has changed its definition of marriage, the policy makes clear the church’s doctrine of marriage has not changed and that property use scenarios relate only to man/woman marriage."

By contrast, the Uniting Church in Australia recently started conducting same-sex marriages.

Bishop Stead's report noted "man-woman marriage" was not explicitly defined as a tenet of the Sydney Anglican church, and it would be "prudent" to do so in order to harness the power granted to the church through exemptions to NSW anti-discrimination laws.

"A key threat to maintaining the Christian ethos of our Anglican institutions is in relation to the
employment of Christian staff," he noted.

Philip Ruddock's review of religious freedom, which is currently being considered by cabinet, urges new laws to "make it clear" religious schools are not required to provide their facilities for any marriage providing the refusal conforms to the tenets of their religion.

Mr Ruddock also recommends schools retain their right to hire and fire teachers on the basis of their sexuality, provided they have a written policy on the matter. However, the leaked Ruddock review has prompted Labor - and some Liberals - to propose removing that right altogether.

The government intends to remove religious schools' right to discriminate against gay students next week, and has shared the legislation with the Labor Opposition.

Steff Fenton, another co-chair of Equal Voices, described the Anglican proposal as a "grab for privilege" by the church's leaders, who were out of step with the majority of Anglicans.

"Worldwide we can see the movement of the Anglican communion is toward the full inclusion of LGBTI people," she said.

The senior bishops "have so much power and seem to speak for a lot of people, without the data to back up how many people are behind that ‘majority’," Ms Fenton said.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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