RationalWiki:Saloon bar

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Saloon bar
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This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
Icon beer yellow.gif For previous conversations see the automagic barchives. Beer.gif

What is going on?

The Bar
(talk) (talk) (talk) (talk) (hic)

  1. Can we get improved link previews, like wikipedia? (21:36, 24 May 2017)
  2. Should public libraries contain anti-scientific books? (19:57, 24 May 2017)
  3. Long term goals (22:31, 22 May 2017)
  4. Geocentrism (19:25, 20 May 2017)
  5. If I CALL my OPPONENTS smug I'm automatically RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! (15:49, 18 May 2017)
  6. Site name should be changed to Feminist Wiki (20:56, 13 May 2017)
To do list


Conservapedia-space deletions discussions/voting (sticky)

There is a lengthy community-wide debate/discussion going on about which CP-space articles this site wants to keep and which ones it wants to delete as part of a massive clean-up of the Wiki. Please go here and join the discussion and voting. Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 13:14, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

This should be intercomed, esp. since it's not in recent changes, and, believe it or not, not everyone looks at the SB. steriletalk 16:50, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Jesus, this is the third Saloon Bar thread about it in as many days. I think anyone looking at this page already knows about the CP space deletions. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:14, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Not everyone goes to the Saloon bar, for fuck's sake. I often ignore it as it's largely boring and just skim Recent Changes, and it doesn't appear in recent changes. steriletalk 17:19, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
P-Foster intercommed it, to group "General site news". Which is arguably correct, just not effectively so, as most people (e.g. me until I changed it just now) are only in "Site wide (urgent)" by default. So it was announced in a way that most users won't see. Sterile could put up a "Site wide (urgent)" announcement too, if he feels it rates it. Using P-Foster's wording, of course - David Gerard (talk) 20:48, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
No, he can't. larronsicut fur in nocte 20:58, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
of for fucks sake. --Pink mowse.pngGodot What do cats dream about? 21:10, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm a new guy....just a troll at this point really...but the CP space thing i would talk about. Its what brought me here, and from what i've seen on these pages, it is the raison d'etre of this site. The site has moved on, of course(we all believe in evolution don't we? ;))but the fact remains that incredibly nonsensical things like this should be watched. And made public.

Traditionally the site wide messaging has been restricted to either technical issues or fundraising messages. Not sure about starting to use it for issues that are important to only a sub-section of the site. That is what the other groups are technically for. Perhaps we should think of a way to make it more obvious to users about how the intercom groups work. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:16, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

The only group that can presently be assumed to do anything at all is "Site wide (urgent)", unless we specifically set the other settings to "on" for anyone who's never touched them. Assuming we can tell who's never touched them - David Gerard (talk) 21:21, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
didnt even know such settings existed til today--il'Dictator Mikal 21:23, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
So we need to do a better job marketing it and disseminating information about it. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:29, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, despite being here since 2007 I can't post to urgent; I can't remember what was decided about that, but it isn't everyone. (There were too many at first...) Actually, leaving it in Recent Changes would have accomplished the same thing. The only reason I caught on was the "resolved" thing that came up. I don't always look at the Saloon Bar, honestly, as it tends to be irrelevant to me. Anyway, I might take a wikibreak for awhile, but thanks for doing this. steriletalk 21:33, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
At the moment it's reserved for tech and mod group members only. Perhaps we should rethink the whole intercom structure. I am not wedded to the current design. Perhaps this is a conversation the site can have once some of these other issues are resolved. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:43, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
There's chalkboard and forums too, at the top, if anyone looks at those. And I don't suppose they do. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 22:22, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

The "State of the Bible."

Fewer Americans believe that the Bible is "sacred literature. Fewer Americans agree that the Bible contains "everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life." "Nearly half (46%) of Americans couldn't differentiate between the teachings of the Bible, the Koran, or the Book of Mormon.". Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 00:55, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

last two paragraphs are sickening."Pink mowse.pngGodot Tout s'acheve par commencer un autre voyage 01:00, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
"So, if you look back in the early days of the formation of this country," says Vest, "it's impossible to separate the formation of our democratic republic from the foundation of Scripture." The survey reveals how much more work is needed to prove to the public that the Bible is not a dusty out of date, rule book. The ABS, says Vest, is not trying to get people to go out and buy new Bibles, just to make good use of the ones they already have." —{{{2}}}
Yes, yes they are. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 01:03, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
The original survey seems to suggest that the bible still has significant impact on the US.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 07:08, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Though the funny stuff comes at the end. When asked: "The Bible says that Abraham raised his staff and Red Sea parted. Please tell me if you think this is true or false." only 50% were confidently able to answer "false". And when asked how often they actually read the thing the majority either never looked at or only opened it a handful of times a year.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 07:19, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
It's not like you need to go through it, after all, how many people do you think make Cthulu references and LOTR references without having to trudge through HP Lovecrafte and Tolkein respectively? For the most part, you can hold your own just through memetic osmosis, and not least because everyone else you'll ever really talk to about it will have the same level of knowledge! The difference, of course, is that the religious equivalent hold their book as some awesomesauce moral code, to be held in regard above everything else, and as essential reading to save your immortal soul. Being someone who has "just watched the film" is a little less understandable. Scarlet A.pngpostate 10:13, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Even by cultural osmosis you'd expect more than 50% of the these people - who seem to generally maintain that they get so much benefit from the Good Book - to get the test question right.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 13:58, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
You'd think that. Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:22, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Well I know everything I have learned from the bible I have gotten from Mel Brooks Gibson. For some odd reason I also have a weird distrust of jewish people. So the vile secularists are winning?!?! Ignition 2012! TheCheatI run on alcohol 13:39, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, cultural osmosis. But I don't think the Bible is special except for its abuse as a moral code. People who've seen Aliens are still quite likely to believe that Marines! We are leaving! is a line from the movie. They've sat in a theatre and heard the actual line, and they'll still probably get less thsn 50% correct if asked about that. (talk) 15:53, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
OK. I'll take it all back. It's not at all surprising that 50% of bible readers did not know that the bible does not say that Abraham raised his staff and the Red Sea parted.:-)Perhaps that sentence would flow better if I cancelled out some "nots". --Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 16:03, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── None of this is terribly shocking to me, given the ignorance of most of the bible thumpers I talk to...but I still find this way more disturbing and indicative of current conservative attitudes in America. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:05, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. Another biblical "verse" which does not, in fact, exist is "Spare the rod and spoil the child."--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 18:20, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Is the concept of a paraphrase new to you? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:14, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
And...exactly HOW is atheism in decline? -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:32, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Where does it say that? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:30, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
On CP. Duh :p -- Seth Peck (talk) 21:22, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm confused. Why does the Bible society collect these statistics? Are they going to change the Bible to appeal to a broader audience if reverence for it falls off too much? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:48, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
When you get away from agendas of these types, there is an interesting thing happening in religious expression in the US. It appears from most academic accounts, that religiosity is declining, as is the idea that a "religion" has a right to define how a person interacts with god. Study after study is showing things like : Youth turning form organized religion to form discussion groups on social networking sites about their own personal experience of God and Jesus (and/or spirituality in general); decline in church attendance; an increase in the understanding that xianity is one of many paths, not "the" path. All bad signs for the fundamentalists. Yet at the same time, as something is dying, it screams the loudest. More rules in the US to try to push fundi views onto the country; France, German, and teh Uk reporting an increase in Fundi views; and the biggest, baddest of the churches with all the money to scream their messing - being funded by people who are not feeding the plebes what the plebes care about. which is workign, for now... but is (to me, at least) a death keel for Xianity in the very near future. kids/youth who self identify as christian or "believers" don't identify with the message they are being force fed. Pink mowse.pngGodot Tout s'acheve par commencer un autre voyage 21:17, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
That's the interesting contradiction in American politics -- organized religion is in decline, but the political machinery built by the Moral Majority et al in the '70s and '80s gives the fundamentalists disproportionate access to political power. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:49, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

As the percentage of those who don't hold any religious book to be sacred has increased by ~50% I think that proves that American atheism is on the rise. Olé! Olé! Olé! Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 09:02, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

OK, I know rationalists are NOT supposed to believe in meaningful coincidences, but....

A major academic defender of creationism is

Michael Ruse.

The pioneering advocate of Edward de Vere's "authorship" of Shakespeare's plays is

J. Thomas Looney (pronounced "LONE-ee", but still!)

and a major advocate of Holocaust denial is

Arthur Butz

Just saying...--WickerGuy (talk) 18:11, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Ruse is as much a defender of creationism as Gould was. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:21, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
He's a proponent of evolution. Damn fine lecturer. Ajkgordon (talk) 18:44, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Ah, you might be confused because he's heavily critical of Dawkins' attacks on Christianity. Ajkgordon (talk) 18:52, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
For a lot of our editors, attacking Saint Richard Dawkins is akin to being a creationist. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 19:00, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think so -- hell, I've directly "attacked" Dawkins' views on evolution itself and not caused much of a stir. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:15, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm coming to the conclusion that the stereotypical Dawkins fan boy is very much a minority, if hardly existent at all. Mostly because they have a very short lifetime; restricted to about three months between finishing The God Delusion and realising most people don't give a fuck that they can recite it backwards. It seems that most of the "atheist community" is actually quite open to (reasonable) attacks on Dawkins. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 16:52, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Wow, I guess I was taken in by Conservapedia's claim of him as a creationist. I'll have to double-check everything ther.--WickerGuy (talk) 19:26, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
"I have to double check everything at CP" NO you don't. just assume it's wrong. No double checking involved.  :-) --Cyan mowse 2.pngGodot 20:38, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Not so much a coincidence as nominative determinism. --PsyGremlinSpeak! 10:03, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Which is just "(coincidence + selective reporting) * improbable things happen" Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:17, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

The Luddite Leeches Again

Hey chaps, another request if I may. You really helped me out on the genetic issue regarding the Hapsburgs, and I really appreciate that. I give you history, you give me science. If I may be so bold, I have another favour to ask. Me no speaky Machine, thus is it possible to save an existing webpage to some sort of file? I'd like to save my Conservapedia World History Lecture pages, and my Faculty personal page, plus my posedown photos from last year may not last forever (I tried copying them as JPEGs, but they keep saving as GIPs, or GIFs, or GIMPs, or whatever the hell they do). Is this feasible?

Thanks RWiers, I'll owe you a favour. Ironclad (talk) 23:58, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Damn, I thought this thread would be about how the technocracy is taking our jobs and creating lumpen. I was all excited because I thought I might get to cite Huey Newton. And as for saving a web page, right click on the page and go to "save page as."--"Shut up, Brx." 00:03, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
For saving webpages, I use my Zotero database. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 00:05, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Ohh if you want to talk lumpenproletariat Brx, I'm game! Thanks to both yourself and Theory - so if I click "save page as" it will save a carbon copy of the page, even if said page goes offline in the future? Ironclad (talk) 00:32, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
And will this save the photos too? Ironclad (talk) 00:36, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
you can always use our User:Capturebot2 too for single pages. Tmtoulouse (talk) 00:38, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Toulouse, this looks great. I must confess, though, I'm massively confused by how to use the Capturebot2. Is there some sort of step-by-step? Ironclad (talk) 00:56, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
User:Capturebot2/sandbox has a short guide. Just follow the lead of the ones already there. Peter tanquam ex ungue leonem 01:01, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
"it will save a carbon copy of the page, even if said page goes offline in the future?" - yes. It will save the content of the page rather than the link.
"will this save the photos too?" - yes. The photos will be put in a separate directory with a name like 'webpageurl_files'. --Tweenk (talk) 01:35, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
If you get really desperate, you can always use printscreen. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:50, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi. Could you elaborate on this request: "plus my posedown photos from last year may not last forever (I tried copying them as JPEGs, but they keep saving as GIPs, or GIFs, or GIMPs, or whatever the hell they do)"

What are "posedown photos" and where are they at the moment? Cheers.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 07:26, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Did you not know that Ironclad is a bit of a bodybuilder? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 23:51, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I didn't. And having googled "posedown photos" I now understand what they are.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 20:24, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Tomb of Jesus

Anyone knows whether this find is genuine or a hoax? --Tweenk (talk) 02:19, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Well, this Feuerverger person's statistical methods seem a little suspect. And doesn't "boxes from early Christian times" contradict the claim that "The inscriptions are from the Herodian Period."? Peter tanquam ex ungue leonem 02:47, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
This is actually a rather old "find." See Bad Archaeologyfor a real archaeologist's take on it, and the current lead item on the Bad Archaeology Blog for another "Tomb of Jesus" recently "found" by the same folks. (talk) 03:02, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
You'd think that Christians would be up in arms about the suggestion that there was a box containing the bones of Jesus, the guy who was supposed to have been raised from the dead and then ascended bodily to heaven. As biblical archaeology goes, if you accept this as genuine it rather invalidates the whole myth. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:05, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
OK. From what I've read, it looks like the find is genuine, and the rating is 'maybe'. E.g. it could be the tomb of Jesus and his family, or it could belong to someone unrelated. The odds are rather hard to calculate. Despite this, it seems like everyone is desperate to find something that would rule out the possibility that this is the tomb of Jesus. Christians do it for obvious reasons. Archeologists seem to do it because they don't like bold claims or upsetting Christians (and no doubt many of them are Christians themselves). --Tweenk (talk) 23:12, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Voting while not a cis white dude?

As we say 'round these parts, fuhgeddaboutit! After all, voter ID laws are totally necessary to keep ACORN from stealing the 2012 election just like they did in 2008! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:13, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

"Transgender people are the “irresponsible,” who won’t get in line and fly straight, and hence don’t deserve the franchise. I mean, such people might vote for a president that bans LGBTQ housing discrimination or something." Continued in my unwritten essay, "Why I'm voting for Obama regardless of his macroeconomic policies." This is also why I've never understood LGBT Republicans. Uke Blue 06:34, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
(EC) It is highly amusing to watch the parade of identity groups that the anti-voter-ID people are trotting out. One person tried to argue, with a straight face, that the laws will disproportionately affect women because soldiers will find it harder to cast a ballot (but this apparently does not apply to the 87% of soldiers who are men).
Me, I suspect that there is only one group of voters that the backers of these laws aim to pare down, viz., the group that votes Democratic. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:39, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
No shit, Sherlock. Voter ID laws are entirely political, and I doubt anyone could seriously claim otherwise. Seme Blue 06:43, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
As to the gay Republicans, there was a debate a few years ago about whether to insert a plank in a state Republican Party platform advocating the reintroduction of sodomy laws. Gay Republicans, opposing this, cited the Republican "core values" of private property and individual freedom. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:48, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Ditto with Coulter suggesting to raise the voting age from 18 to something like 26. Except for soldiers, of course, because they're a nationalist/Republican voting demographic they've served their country. Seriously, though, how much fraud can someone genuinely commit thanks to not being challenged for ID? Can one person on their own grab maybe 2-3 extra votes before someone thinks "hang on, something is up here..."? The scale and sheer concerted effort required for effective (as in, election deciding) voter fraud is unheard of, and probably impossible to slip under the radar. These efforts are better directed at more general political corruption. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:47, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
"These efforts are better directed at more general political corruption." I think you missed the point of "these efforts." BTW, voting while not Republican is "fraud." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:23, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. Republican voting "fraud" laws are designed to make it has difficult as possible for Democratic-leaning groups to register and vote. Seme Blue 19:04, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Reminds me of a Guignols de l'info skit, where a Sylvester Stalone puppet would run "random" security checks on any black people going to vote--"Shut up, Brx." 19:10, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Mostly because I think these people genuinely do think that they're addressing "voter fraud". So yes, I see it as a genuine effort to reduce fraud and corruption in the democratic process. Just few, if any, stumble upon the realisation that they've restricted "voter fraud" to something that only disadvantaged demographics do - hearts in the right place, brains far less so (as usual). Scarlet A.pngtheist 09:05, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
They know perfectly well which demographics are less likely to have IDs. They don't give a rat's ass about fraud. It's partisan electoral maneuvering, nothing more. Uke Blue 11:24, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
No, they really don't care about fraud. Next you'll be telling me "redistricting" is really all about changes in population! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:46, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Ross Douthat brings the stupid to a discussion of religion and politics

This is the last entry in a week=long exchange between Douthat and William Saletan at Slate. His petulant, logic-defying last word in short: liberals are heretics, because Christianity was behind everything good about the Enlightenment. This is, by the way, one article where the bottom half of the internet is more intelligently written. Junggai (talk) 11:24, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

It annoys me whan they claim the "good" things for their side while completely ignoring where the bad things came from in the first place. It's hardly like the middle ages were awash with atheists keeping Christians in the dark.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:42, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you have to give Douthat a bit of credit for how he's using the word "heretics." This isn't an Andy-like "liberals are heretics, they are bad," kind of thing. In his book, he talks at length about how religious folk on both the left and the right in contemporary America have moved away from older understandings of religion, and such heresies as the "prosperity gospel" and the megachurch and even anti-science Christianity on the one hand and touchy-feely "God is just love" new-agey Christianity on the other are both "heresies" in that they have both evacuated Christianity of something he sees as vital. I've read enough Douthat for the week, so I prolly won't read the exchange in question, but his book makes some thought-provoking (mot "correct," but "thought-provoking") points....Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 13:54, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't see anything of value here. Just someone with a Christian-centric worldview ignoring actual history and claiming everything that is truly moral came from their religion. Q0 (talk) 17:15, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Douthat is right that the concept of universality as applied to human rights grew out of Christianity, but note how he omits the anti-clerical aspect that was a result of religious persecution in cases such as the Calas affair. Also, I'm sure Saletan will be pleased to have his "liberal creationism" flap dug up again. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:22, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
@Theory: Well sure, one might give Douthat credit for putting forth a more nuanced argument than Schlafly, but that's about the faintest praise imaginable. And in a way, his arguments could be seen as thought-provoking if they require a bit of thought (at least they did for me) to pinpoint just what about them make them sound dubious. The basic problem with his definition of heresy is that if you take it seriously, every fucking Christian in history has been a heretic. Why then damn just a few types and ignore the others?
Actually Andy Schlafly did spring to my mind when Douthat tries to argue that liberalism and democracy were a Christian legacy. It reminded me of a more serious version of Schlafly's "no humor before Jesus" argument. Junggai (talk) 21:02, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
TNR didn't like it, apparently. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:49, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Indeed: My problem with Douthat’s book is not that his opinions differ from my own. My problem is that he does not seem to have any idea what he is talking about. Couldn't have said it better myself. Junggai (talk) 22:15, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Arizona 1070 - "anti immigration" bill to be heard Wed

Attention legal geeks, this Wednesday should be a fun ride. USSC will hear the orals on Arizona's 1070's. The nasty piece of work that let's Arizona do whatever the fuck it wants, regarding immigration. To me, personally, there is no substance in Az's argument. enforcement of immigration laws are the purview of the Feds, not the State. You cannot know if there are pending issues; exceptions; or political balances for any individual non-citizen, so deporting him is simply not your job as a state. But, this is a Robert's Court. Nothing is as it "should be". --Cyan mowse 2.pngGodot 15:03, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

I might have to go protestin' if they uphold it... Cow...Hammertime! 21:29, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
There will be huge protests if they don't. Americans are astonishingly anti-immigration. I think on no other issue are Americans more conservative on - even on healthcare reform, most Americans wanted a public option, but all possibilities for one were blocked by Congress. It's painful trying to counter the same rhetoric over and over again whenever an issue like the DREAM Act comes up ("they shouldn't have come into the country illegally in the first place" - yeah, like a child has any control over where their parents move them). Even on MSNBC (one of the last big refuges from Paulbots in the internet), anti-immigration commenters dominate discussions. On a recent article about Romney's support of the Arizona law, I saw commenters claiming "Romney is hispanic, so he doesn't have racist intentions". By that logic, John McCain was Panaman.
Sorry for another one of my rants. TL;DR: America can be extremely racist at times. One would think that a country defined by immigration would be smarter on this... Mr. Anon (talk) 00:51, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Stray div in holydaze template

This discussion was moved to RationalWiki:Technical support. Fixed. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:26, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Free to choose...very poorly

Speaking of pseudopsychology, ever notice that neo-classical economic models and libertarian political theory rely so much on it? Now, I'm off to maximize my utility, whatever that means. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:50, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Humans don't have a utility functionWikipedia's W.svg, they're much more like a state machineWikipedia's W.svg - reacting to inputs in an evolved ad-hoc manner with the sole optimised drive being more copies of the genes. This won't stop economic spherical cows for a second - David Gerard (talk) 23:50, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
So your proposed alternative to economic spherical cows is a biological spherical cow? Brilliant! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:07, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Wow, that entire article is a horrible ambit claim. I wonder what an evolutionary biologist would make of it (apart from a fetching paper hat) - David Gerard (talk) 08:29, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

A story about creationists that I post with a bit of trepidation

What happens when a dinosaur-themed park is a major economic asset in a community where a lot of folks are YECs? This article got my attention because it avoids a lot of the shrill that usually comes out when people on the left talk about religious fundies. The more time that I spend in a country where religion and politics are so strongly intertwined and where the divides because of religious belief run so deep, the less patience I have for debates that dismiss people out of hand for their beliefs, and the more interested I am in finding sympathetic portrayals of people whose beliefs are different from mine, portrayals that don't just laugh at people and call them idiots, but that keep the humanity of the subject in the foreground. This reporter does a good job of that. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 23:48, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

The link isn't loading for me at the moment, but I see what you mean. People stuck in Stage 3 can be quite annoying when you've risen a level or two above. Scarlet A.pngtheist 08:50, 23 April 2012 (UTC)


I hate it when a "natural" woo-site publishes a decent, informative article. All resources must be good or bad, stop forcing me to treat you with nuance, dammit! Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 00:12, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

You can get that same info from a reliable source--"Shut up, Brx." 00:26, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't see any nuance whatsoever in this article. It's the same propaganda bullshit repeated over and over. There is exactly zero evidence linking GMOs to colony collapse disorder. There is no correlation between CCD and GM crop use. It's a very typical strategy of the anti-GMO movement: pick some adverse phenomenon that stirs public concern, blame it on GMO. They did it with allergies, cancer, sperm cell count in males, now they do it with CCD. I'm surprised they haven't thought about autism yet.
The 'organ damage' paper they link to is from the known anti-GMO crank Gilles-Eric Seralini, who is so religious in his opposition that he completely freaked out when somebody proposed introducing an experiment involving genetic modification of bacteria into the high school curriculum. The results contradict all other studies done on this matter, and the paper uses truly egregious data dredging (searching for 'disruptions' among a multitude of 'parameters'). --Tweenk (talk) 01:31, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
The "nuance" I referred to wasn't the article itself, but the fact that bad sites can sometimes host good content. Though I concede your point that this particular article, like everything else hosted by the site, is apparently not good content. Unfortunate, considering a blogger I respect linked me to it. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 01:35, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree that bad sites can host good content, it's just that this particular article is not an example of this.
By the way, if anyone is looking for something really informative on the GMO subject, I recommend this book, and if you are concerned by the Monsanto problem, read this. --Tweenk (talk) 02:21, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
The problem with GMOs is that they're created so Monsanto can own their genes, and Monsanto are a pack of arseholes. And that GMO plants aren't actually significantly better than non-GMO plants, so Monsanto owning them is not a great public policy advantage. There's no problems been shown with the plants themselves - David Gerard (talk) 08:27, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gifGodspeed (talk) 11:59, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, goodpost. My local GMO quack spends time spreading fear by saying that we've been eating GMOs without knowledge for years and they're experimenting on us as a population because they don't know what GMOs will actually do, regardless of them being tested for equivalency in the lab, implying that even though they're claimed to be chemically the same, there's some as-of-yet unarisen consequence for them. Or that Monsanto has no interest in testing things that make them money and are somehow lying? Even though they lease their equipment and facilities to things like universities who also develop GMOs that Monsanto now has the rights to distribute and does? OK, I don't get it either. It really boils down to 'Because we haven't proven that they are bad for us, the cause must be hiding and they are secretly bad for us in some way we don't know yet!' I do believe in labeling GMOs, simply because I don't want to support Monsanto and other companies when I purchase products, but trying to take them down on the basis of they haven't been proven to be dangerous, therefore they must be dangerous somehow is ridiculous. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRfree guybrush threepwood! no new taxes! down with porcelain! 13:32, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
"GMO plants aren't actually significantly better than non-GMO plants" - I would disagree. After Bt cotton was introduced in India, sales of pesticides fell by 70% in some regions. Source. Glyphosate-tolerant plants allow no-till farming, which improves carbon retention in the soil, contributing to the mitigation of global warming.
There are also many interesting traits on the shelves, such as high-yield rice which uses the more efficient photosynthesis pathway from maize, or golden rice biofortified with beta-carotene. The only reason those traits are not available in commercial varieties yet is the very high barrier to entry caused by extreme regulation. Patent laws which allow monopolizing genetic knowledge are an additional problem. --Tweenk (talk) 00:46, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

French elections and the US media

So if you are going to get all hot and bothered about the French elections, could you at least make your articles (or maybe it's just the headlines) appear as if you understood a damned thing about the elections? Yahoo's headline "French elections headed to a runoff" sounds as if this is something, you know, surprising and rare, like it would be here. --Cyan mowse 2.pngGodot 00:44, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Je doute tres fortement que la plupart des lecteurs de "Yahoo News" aux Etas Unis ont le moindre interet a comprendre les details de la fonctionnement du politique francais. (malheuresement, je n'ai pas d'accents sur mon clavier....) Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 00:55, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
T'as raison, mais á moi, les médias rate par ne pas expliquer mieux. c'est pas un "run-off" autant que "se réduire".--Cyan mowse 2.pngGodot 01:08, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Sure, P gets a pass for having a QWERTY board, but not the French expatriate--"Shut up, Brx." 01:39, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Ta guele. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 01:46, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to beat this dead horse once, Brx. I never ever blasted you for your accents; I blasted you because you make basic gramtical errors in french. Your nouns and verbs do not agree; you do not make your adjectives agree with the nouns, and your word order is english, not french. My only comment was ever that "if you are going to claim to be french, you aught to at least make that claim without a very based noun-verb agreement error."
Damn foreigners in my internet. --il'Dictator Mikal 02:28, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, what are you electing heads of state for? It distracts from who's actually running the country. Peter tanquam ex ungue leonem 02:35, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Alors? Si on prend ceux qui ont voté pour Le Pen et on les donne a Sarko, et ceux qui ont voté pour Melenchon et on les donne a Hollande, on arrive plus ou moins a l'égalité. Ca risque d'etre interessant. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 02:57, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Mon mec veut voter ici et là bas pour le même raison - dans ces deux elections chaque vote bien compte. Mais au bout de compte, on se rend compte, que tout va changer a France, et peut-etre, ici. J'ai beau les dire "voter" - cette fois, surtout. Cyan mowse 2.pngGodot 04:10, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Trouble for Sarko is that most Le Pen voters have no idea what they're voting for only what they are voting against. And that includes the establishment, the elite, immigrants, and Sarkozy. More Melenchon voters will vote for Hollande than Le Pen voters will for Sorkozy. He's screwed unless he can pull something quite remarkable out of the bag in the next couple of weeks. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:46, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
¡Vaya rollo!--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 13:00, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

UFO in the desert

Meteor my ass. Doesn't everyone know that UFOs crash in the desert. Green men are a-comin'. sterileevolutionist story telling 05:01, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Wish cool shit like that happened around here (Well, not SO around) --Revolverman (talk) 05:05, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
wasn't it Nibiru? AceModerator 05:08, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Come and pray...

From something I spotted on Facebook from someone I know, I have to ask: How fucking empty must your life actually be, to find the concept of a 24 hour pray-o-thon to be the most exciting thing in the world?? Scarlet A.pngsshole 14:26, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

What's it in aid of? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:02, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Does it matter? It won't make a difference, or could do more harm than good. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:09, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I am sure prayer if done correctly, can bring believers much peace of mind, which is no bad thing. Providing they aren't praying for hell fire and damnation for the gays AMassiveGay (talk) 21:56, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
How I envy those Christians with all their praying. What exciting lives they lead compared to my own worthless base existence. At least they will have plenty to chat about when they get to heaven. Sigh! Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 22:59, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I see your pray-a-thon and raise you a year's supply of perpetual Eucharistic adoration. Godspeed (talk) 01:06, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
"the suggested norm for having Jesus exposed in the monstrance is that there should be at least two adorers present, and He must never be left alone"
Dafuq did I just read? --Tweenk (talk) 01:24, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

There's no money or future in computers, anyway.

U. of Florida axes its Comp. Sci. department, funds athletics. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 17:54, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Weeeee... what a brilliant decision! There were more jobs for me anyhow, back when I had to do actual book and library research. with the internet, no one wants to pay me for my imposing skills of knowing how to use the citation indexes!Cyan mowse 2.pngGodot 19:59, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Meh, they merged us with CE and EE. Miles still gets paid an obscene amount. Тycommunications wire 20:01, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Mediocrity is of dubious value in something like Computer Science. Software is a rock star profession. Hire one Jamie Zawinski (not that you can any more, he retired to run a nightclub) or Raymond Chen and it's better than hiring a hundred like me. Hire one like me and you won't need hundreds of mediocre B-grade computer science graduates. So, your university CS department needs to be attracting future Raymond Chens, or if it isn't, why even bother? Most disciplines do not work this way, particularly those which actually hire serious numbers of specialist graduates. Architects, surgeons, even electronic engineers don't scale in the same way, by the nature of what they do. A medical school which turns out competent but unextraordinary doctors is praiseworthy. But why should I care about Florida's Computer Science department? I actually skimmed their faculty list and current major projects and maybe I missed something but I saw nothing there which made me think we'll miss it. (talk) 22:53, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
More of a headline than an actual story. University in funding has been slashed by 30%, and they can't raise tuition. So what can they do but cut? And they can't cut athletics, because those programs are actually separate from the main budget and function to earn money, returning much of what they earn to the university.
Frankly, as sad as it is, what the hell could they do? There's only so much you can cut from all departments before hurting their function - sometimes it's better to cut your losses. They reassigned personnel and farmed out the function of that department to other areas.
If you want to blame someone, blame odious Gov. Rick Scott and the state legislature.--ADtalkModerator 08:08, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

From last year, but relevant?

Seems like we should have this someplace or something related, even though it's a blog post. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:09, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

im skeptical of some of its claims...--il'Dictator Mikal 20:16, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd have to read those particular verses again, but some of them seem pretty legit, particularly the ones about the resurrection and the commandments. Thankfully, references are available to prove or disprove those claims (in a sort of "Han shot first" sort of way). -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:21, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
All the canonical gospels do mention resurrection, or at least Jesus appearing after his death: Matthew 28, Mark 16 (though this account of the resurrection that was apparently added later), Luke 24, John 20 (this one is two chapters long).
The point about hell is AFAIK true. The only description of heaven and hell in the Bible that is similar to their mainstream Christian interpretations is part of a political parable told by Jesus (Rich man and Lazarus), which starts at Luke 16:19. It's not supposed to be taken literally - it is a commentary on the classism ruling the Jewish society of the time. --Tweenk (talk) 01:10, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
The subject of parables has been on my mind for a while now. What do Biblical literalists make of parables? Do they think that they are true as well? Or is there a disconnect between accepting that Jesus used allegory but the Bible as a whole does not? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 01:56, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
From my understand we were to accept them as Parables, and yes, there is a disconnect between "allegory parts" and "literal true parts". True Christians simply know which is which if it isn't entirely clear.--il'Dictator Mikal 02:11, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

We mourn this day…

Freddie the Fly, Anita the Ant, Brenda the Bee, Wanda the Wasp and Bob the Beetle. Thankfully Camilla is out of recovery and ready for her next mission. There has been no word yet on the fate of the sunflower seeds. *Warning - You will need to read the whole article to get this lame joke*--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 22:48, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

"Foamboard of Death". Love it! Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 02:00, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

linux tablet question

I want a tablet, but I can hardly stand to own a device which is capable of running a full linux distro and not doing so. I know there are plenty of ARM distros, and that there is nothing stopping me from installing one of them on pretty much any tablet with an unlocked bootloader. My question is: why aren't more people doing this? Is it a problem with usability? It seems like touchscreens are well-supported. There are fairly easy fixes for auto-rotation. What else? Because if I can have a usable full-desktop experience on an ARM tablet, I really want a tablet. Like now. Occasionaluse (talk) 00:38, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

No personal experience with this, but those are some of the possible problems:
  • Missing power management in drivers that reduces battery life
  • Missing drivers for some devices
  • In many cases unlocking the bootloader voids your warranty
  • You don't get any of the closed-source applications preinstalled on the tablet (e.g. you can't run Android apps)
I once had a HP TC1100, which was something like an early tablet with a Wacom digitizer and a detachable keyboard, and I have to admit that the Linux desktop is rather hard to use without a physical keyboard, unless you spend some time to integrate one of the on-screen keyboards with it. --Tweenk (talk) 01:17, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Good points.
  • Battery life is a huge concern. I'm looking at a tegra, which Nvidia is supporting for linux, so I'm hoping it's comparable to advertised specs.
  • With the tegra support and wacom, I think I should be good. I can't think of much else there that wouldn't be supported. Then again, I'm too afraid to buy one without being sure it works out of the box, or with a reasonable amount of tinkering.
  • Yeah, but fuck warranties (we've got a badass over here).
  • I think the trade is worth it.
The screen keyboards seem lacking. Seems like a silly thing to foul everything up, but I guess it could be a dealbreaker. Occasionaluse (talk) 03:14, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Read this and it pissed me off

One of my Facebook friends from North Carolina posted this, explaining how the marriage amendment up for vote on May 8 works. I love how they make it sound like they aren't homophobic. I hope this bill gets flushed down the shitter. Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 00:48, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Honestly I think this sums up gay marriage quite well. --il'Dictator Mikal 02:08, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

North Korea

So I have the attitude of "eh, another day, another NK threat", my military friends swing between ready for war and the opposite, but people actually seem genuinely worried about this. What's exactly up?--il'Dictator Mikal 02:07, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Given that it seems to be the first time around for the new guy, and the odd nature of the threats, I could see something happening here (perhaps). But war? Some kind of botched assassination attempt, maybe—I thought it was generally accepted that N.K. simply cannot win such a war? Peter Damn pressure cookers 07:59, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
North Korea would be wiped out in a conventional war. They'd be rolled up into a small ball and stowed tenderly in someone's pocket. And in fact, I'm pretty sure that many world leaders would like nothing better. There's a lot of conventional artillery aimed at Seoul and other areas, but they have some defenses and the retaliation would be as swift as a god's thunder.
They cannot cross the mine-field without being destroyed. They cannot fly over it without being obliterated. They cannot go by ship without being annihilated.
I am not worried about a war.--ADtalkModerator 08:04, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

More Ark conundrums for creationists

Apparently more dinosaurs have been discovered in the past 20 years than in the previous 200, were they all on the Ark or is the Bible being economical with the truth? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 03:47, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

No, no Genghis you FOOL! There was only one or two kinds of dinosaur. A proto-dinosaur. FACT. PJR knows all about it. AceModerator 04:02, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Silly me. Of course with some proto-mammals, proto-birds and proto-marsupials the Ark could have been a hell of lot smaller. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 04:21, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
No leading creationists argue that there was every type of dinosaur on board. And the proto-animals would have been juvenile. You drongo, it is perfectly simple and makes more sense than evolutionist story telling. AceModerator 04:26, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
One holobaramin. (Or, as I like to think of it, a hollow baramin.) All the information was there at the beginning. No new information. No new meaningful information. sterileevolutionist story telling 04:29, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
Silly me An ad hom, even if directed at yourself, is still a logical fallacy.
Of course with some proto-mammals, proto-birds and proto-marsupials Strawman. No one mentioned proto-mammals, proto-birds and proto-marsupials only dinosaurs. Can you evolutionists even mount a proper argument?
Ark could have been a hell of lot smaller. The Bible gives measurements of the Ark and, as the bible is eyewitness testimony, is far more reliable than evolutionist musings. AceModerator 04:54, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
You are missing the logical solution that Noah took dinosaur eggs.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 05:43, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

The Age of American Cynicism

"In Nothing We Trust" for we have "lost faith in our gods." Also features an... interesting infographic, which according to it, says Americans are leaving traditional religious institutions ...to go to hip, evangelical mega-churches instead. Also, people are losing faith in the police, but they've gained a little trust in the criminal justice system? And despite it all, we Americans still trust ARE BOYS IN THE MILITARY. --CoyoteSans (talk) 07:14, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

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