A cross-cultural historical overview of meritocracy in bureaucracy

That's the first tweet in this thread. It manages to illustrate this in various different parts of the globe - with Europe making up more a minor part of this with examples from, e.g., China, India, and the Persian Achaemenid as well as Ottoman empires. If more data was available I suspect you'd find much the same elsewhere.

Random links

When the Muses Strike: Creative Ideas of Physicists and Writers Routinely Occur During Mind Wandering
" Participants reported that one fifth of their most significant ideas of the day were formed during spontaneous task-independent mind wandering ... There were no differences between ratings of the creativity or importance of ideas that occurred during mind wandering and those that occurred on task. However, ideas that occurred during mind wandering were more likely to be associated with overcoming an impasse on a problem and to be experienced as “aha” moments, compared with ideas generated while on task."
Amazon’s new Kindle is a boring device that can’t do very much
A positive review of an e-reader. The selling features: battery life and the lack of distraction from, e.g., email or social media.
Which Is a Good Diet—Veg or Non-veg? Faith-Based Vegetarianism for Protection From Obesity—a Myth or Actuality?
"In an Asian Indian cohort, we found that vegetarian dietary patterns were associated with a higher incidence of morbid obesity culminating in bariatric surgery. Our study is a myth breaker that all vegetarian diets are healthy diets."
How an Islamic State Rejected Islamic Law
On postcolonial Sudan: "English common law emerged from colonialism as a default option that helped local elites bridge deep social, ethnic, and political divides. Because democratic-minded intellectuals were unable to agree on a common implementation of Shari’a (roughly translated as Islamic law), English common law provided a less satisfying but (to them) more practical basis to form a new state. Choosing common law over Islamic law allowed intra-elite conflicts, particularly among political parties and ethnic groups, to lay dormant during the transition to independence. But it also marginalized progressive Islamic jurists who had sought to create a democratic state built on Islamic principles of justice and equality."

"Do men really have it easier? These transgender guys found the truth was more complex"

I've seen articles of this sort mostly looked at peoples perception now being perceived by others as a women vs having been perceived as a man before. This Globe and Mail example seems fairly representative of that sort - basically you might as well consider "male privilege" the refrain - but this article from the Washington Post was different:

My general view is not that people don't treat others differently on the basis of their perceived sex but that the "male privilege" take only sees half the story.

Random links

Singapore’s founding father thought air conditioning was the secret to his country’s success
"Air conditioning. Air conditioning was a most important invention for us, perhaps one of the signal inventions of history. It changed the nature of civilization by making development possible in the tropics. Without air conditioning you can work only in the cool early-morning hours or at dusk. The first thing I did upon becoming prime minister was to install air conditioners in buildings where the civil service worked. This was key to public efficiency."
Association between sexually transmitted disease and church membership. A retrospective cohort study of two Danish religious minorities
"For the entire cohort, we expected a total of 32.4 events of STD, and observed only 9."
Western newsletter: Consent, consensus and the complicated business of Indigenous land
"Each Wet’suwet’en clan is governed by a hereditary chief, as is each house. ... The clan chiefs have opposed the natural gas pipeline. The Wet’suwet’en are also governed by five elected band chiefs. Each of those chiefs have supported the pipeline"


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