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Most distasteful movie ever

Just out of curiosity, what would you consider the most distasteful propagandized movie you have ever seen? I think it is the patriot, and as I am watching it at school, I want to throw up. Your thoughts? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, by far. Cow...Hammertime! 16:46, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Why are you watching The Patriot at school? Ajkgordon (talk) 16:48, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Triumph of the Will? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:49, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
180. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:51, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Expelled or Passion of the Christ for me. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 17:01, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, we could always go for non-controversial examples promoting racism such like Leni Reifenstahl's Triumph of the Will and DW Griffith's Birth of a Nation. And if you're looking into Mel Gibson movies such as The Patriot, I haven't seen that one but was awfully thrown off by Passion of the Christ whose only virtue was to get period details more convincingly than earlier Hollywood Jesus pictures (but that's true of Scorsese's Last Temptation as well.)
Incidentally, I'm highly sympathetic to the politics overall of Michael Moore, but find his documentaries awfully heavy-handed even when I'm mostly in synch with their conclusions! A logical fallacy in one of his films is documented on this wiki, the article quote mining .
I would have skipped Expelled, fearing I would have to expel my dinner after seeing it. It wasn't playing anywhere remotely near my neighborhood.
BTW, I took the liberty of correcting a minor spelling error in the original post.--WickerGuy (talk) 16:57, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
American Revolution. Somehow, propaganda is educational. IN CANADA70.68.30.118 (talk) 18:16, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, that's weird. Your teacher should be fired. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:09, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Silence of the Lambs for content, Ace Ventura 1 for effect, but I'm biased. Seme Blue 19:24, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
THose aren't really propagandistic movies and as such don't address the question.--WickerGuy (talk) 23:22, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I take a liberally postmodernist view of propaganda. Uke Blue 23:30, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
The Robe was positively nauseating and full of glurge. ТyrannisAn iron, but caring, fist 19:29, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
What about An American Carol? Didn't see it, but the summary on The Other Wiki is bad enough. --Tweenk (talk) 22:49, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Not a movie, but 24 was hard on the border of Keither Sutherland having an erection while reading the Patriot Act out loud. -- (talk) 23:09, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I felt like taking a shower after The Voyage that Shook the World. It is 46.2% of the reason I find CMI to be such a vile pack of liars. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 00:38, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Interesting to note that two major Jesus movies of the 50s and 60s had initial scripts so bad that a script doctor was called in to completely rewrite it from top to bottom. The script doctor on Ben-Hur was Gore Vidal who put in a gay sub-theme into one scene. It was directed by William Wyler. So it's a Jesus movie directed by a Jew and mostly written by a homosexual. Is that why it's actually a half-decent film? The script-doctor on King of Kings was science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury. Whatever limited literary value it may have is destroyed by Jeffrey Hunter's performance in the lead role.--WickerGuy (talk) 23:25, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

The Bloodlust of the Jews has to be in the running. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 02:18, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Just about anything in here i'd sayil'Dictator Mikal 03:03, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
How about Ed Poor's category:movies with 12 year old girls and football coaches ? (talk) 16:45, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

The thing is most of the movies that have been named were always intended as propaganda pieces, whereas the original question was "shamelessly propagandized", which I took to mean being compromised from what it should have been to what it became. I think Blue's closer than most people because of this. I'd have to say Spider-Man 3 due to the unnecessary shot of him landing before a fucking huge colonial flag before going and fighting the bad guys, a guy with oily skin and someone made of sand... -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 11:43, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

I think you're reading a bit much into that. It's certainly gung-ho ra-ra America stuff, but I think it's a big stretch to say that the big blonde Caucasian Sandman and Topher-Grace-Venom represent other countries. That Spiderman franchise always leaned heavily on positive appeals to national/local spirit, as in the first movie when New Yorkers throw things at the Goblin and in the second movie when civilians stand in Dr. Octopus's way.
On the other hand, you chose as your moniker the name of an infamously venal traitor to the Jews, so perhaps you represent anti-semitism!--ADtalkModerator 12:15, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
I admit that in a vacuum it could be seen as equally a stretch as the validity of the time cube, but at the time with the war(s), it seemed more than the pro-post 9/11 sentiment that was expressed in the previous films. Instead of a New Yorker solidarity spirit that was expressed in the previous two film it seemed to me like a clumsy attempt to show "our hero" as the epitome of Americana going against people whose main weapons were sand and the power given by an oily looking substance. Maybe my cynicism...
As for my chosen handle, surely traitor should be looked at due the cost/benefit ratio of the overall population based on a possible Roman crackdown? Also the meaning changes somewhat if you consider the Gnostic paradigm? -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 22:08, 10 May 2012 (UTC)
Judas betrayed the jews? --il'Dictator Mikal 01:14, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah, in this case Transformers would qualify. To me it was basically a showcase of American military equipment, with the implication that even all this equipment is not enough and the U.S. needs more. Independence Day is another serious offender, and is also guilty of indulging in the absurd trope that nuclear bombs never seem to work except when used in space. --Tweenk (talk) 12:37, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
What about Team America: World Police? I'm normally a fan of the Stone/Parker œuvre, but this film ended up being an overwrought justification instead of satire. Omar (gibber) 13:21, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Independence Day didn't have military backing, though, because of the Area 51 connection whereas Transformers did. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 13:33, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Twilight pretty much has my vote. Some of the things it 'teaches' young girls is just volatile. According to the film, if a guy watches you sleeping without you know than it's heartwarming instead of creepy. It also just feels like it's setting back womens' right back by several decades. Bella is basically a piece of scenery that gets used and passed around rather carelessly and just seems to be one big plot device. Basically, I find the message as this: You need a man in your live to be truly happy, no matter how dangerous and manipulative they are. ...your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle. (talk) 18:28, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Everything Bad is Gay!!

Look out! Gays are horrible horrible people! Also, MarkCarthy, is this you? ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 23:08, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit: also, there is a dude sitting in a chair right behind her that is flipping out laughing. This man for president. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRwalls of text while-u-wait 23:11, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Did that woman get her information on the gays from Conservapedia?AMassiveGay (talk) 01:39, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh my. The weird gay obsession, the atrocious grammar - this is Ken. Ken is a transexual she-male. It all makes perfect sense. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 01:57, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
No...words.........that woman...what just happened? Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 02:16, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, now that I have composed myself... This may not be Ken, but it could very well be Gene Ray's sister. Aboriginal Noise What the hell is that thing? 02:24, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
What is this I don't even Q0 (talk) 09:40, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
It's perfectly simple: we have to choose between Jesus (a celibate) or Judas (a homo). We have to choose. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:31, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm transcribing the whole diatribe, and I gotta say, I think it comes across even better if read straight and seriously. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 02:10, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Is it just me or does it sound like she's translating from Morse code? "Gays are evil, stop. Gays recruit our children, stop." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:02, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I think she just brainstormed as many negative thoughts about homosexuality as she could come up with, then read her notes verbatim rather than try to construct them into a coherent argument. Like a dumbed-down (even further) version of the Gish gallop. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:14, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I would love to get Ken's reaction. Funny how most people in the audience didn't bat an eye (although they were also old white people). Occasionaluse (talk) 13:34, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

DSM may be redefining addiction

From the NYT. The DSM V may include an expanded definition of addiction that could include millions more individuals. Maybe it's just neat for me because I study health policy, but it will be interesting to watch how (if at all) these changes are implemented over the next few years. The paragraphs on conflicts of interest among members of the DSM working groups are a bit saddening as well. How is working for a company that stands to profit from an expanded definition of addiction and being a member of the DSM working group that is expanding addiction not a conflict of interest? άλφαΤαλκ 03:59, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I've been intermittently following it -- seems like a major clusterfuck. Check DX Revision Watch for all the dirt. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 13:05, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm generally against widening the definitions of "illnesses" like this. In many cases, the "new" addictions like shopping, the internet and even gambling, just go away when you take them away. They're not like drug addiction where the addicts go fucking crazy in a mental and biological way when you make them go cold-turkey. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:25, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
The problem is those things are, buy definition, compulsions. Addictions, or drug dependencies, result in the brain being 'rewired' and the things you listed don't do that. They are not the same and to treat them the same does not seem like a good idea. Yes, sometimes people spend to much on those things, but people need to be taught how to control their compulsions lest they fall into the same hole. ...your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle. (talk) 18:07, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
@Neb - and some of the characters they put in charge of the working groups have blatant conflict of interests. To be oblique about it, it's as if they'd put the leader of a practice specializing in treating newfangled addictions like internet/shopping in charge of the addictive disorders group. Seme Blue 19:03, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
@Blue - That section of the article surprised me the most. One of the people running the working group on addiction represented/respresents the part of a pharmaceutical company that markets drugs to treat addiction. I don't know of a more blatant example of a conflict of interest. άλφαΤαλκ 17:28, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
The lack of science in the DSM V is the wider underlying issue. nobsCorporations are people, too. 18:01, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
@Blue: I know. Check out who's in charge of the paraphilias working group. I can't wait to see if they still think I'm fit for the padded cell. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:18, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Reading Moser's comment and clarification at the bottom makes me feel someone inclined to agree with him. If you're going to classify disorders, you don't just classify them by the harmful ones, but by the harmful aspects of it. So, someone stealing shoes to sniff has far more in common with any other kleptomaniac than most other foot-fetishists who sit around watching YouTube videos of people in socks. Rapists who beat their victims have more in common with all other rapists than any other sexual sadist of the SSC kind. Far from Moser's position denying the possibly for "responsible paedophiles" to exist, it clarifies it dramatically - by making a clear separation between those who cause harm by acting on their impulses, and those who don't. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 13:46, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Question for commonwealth users

I'm somewhat curious about the general opinion of Charles from those in the countries hes going to eventually take over the spot of "monarch" for; As mostly ive heard negative to some praise about him.--il'Dictator Mikal 06:27, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

"Well-intentioned prat", would be my summary. Prodigal (talk) 06:42, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Mine is "gullible fool." But that works too. Peter with added ‼Science‼ 07:24, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
"Good-natured tit, not as obviously racist as his father, doesn't seem to mind that Harry looks nothing like him," sums it up this end.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 10:53, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Gormless, pseudoscience-promoting, inbred idiot.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 11:02, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
The second best argument for the crown skipping a generation. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:18, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
^this. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:50, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Cultural question

Ok, this might be a silly question, but at the moment my kind is boggling and I've heard it from two entirely different sources, so it must be true.

Do Americans really hold their fork in their left hand to cut food, and then transfer it to their right hand to eat the food? 'Cos if they do, that is the weirdest thing I've heard in a long time. --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 11:19, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes. ТyrannisAn iron, but caring, fist 11:23, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes. The other method is sometimes used, more commonly in the South, and is called "continental style," but remains frowned on as a deterioration of proper etiquette. Much like the word "soccer," the American style came from traditional Europe, and was preserved in the USA even as it was abandoned across the pond.--ADtalkModerator 11:51, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Americans cut food with their fork? How impractical. -- (talk) 11:55, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
(EC x2) In the US I feel like a weirdo when I use a knife and fork simultaneously. Apparently the reason is that Europeans used to eat with a knife and spoon which they carried around with them, the knife was used both for cutting and for spiking the less runny food to put in the mouth; it was your own responsibility to keep your "spike and spon" clean - hence "spic and span". The fork was a late arrival on the cutlery scene in the US and the etiquette of its use developed in Europe largely among the upper classes. The Americans carried on in the same manner of initially cutting with the knife then eating with spoon - the four-tined fork being sometimes known as a "split spoon" - and the Americans continued to utilise it like a combined spoon and spike with one hand. The widespread usage of forks for dining only really developed during the 19th century. (I got this from an American book, The Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski). Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 11:56, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
If you're right handed, all the strength is in the right hand. There's nothing unusual about wielding the knife in the right hand when cutting. nobsCorporations are people, too. 12:06, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
No there's not, but it's the transferring of the fork from left to right that's odd (to me). Using the left hand with the fork means you've got the knife there to use to help push food on to the fork. What if you're eating say a casserole, then you eat that right-handed too? --PsyGremlinPraat! 12:26, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm with the whole not-transferring-your-fork-from-hand-to-hand thing, but using a knife to push something onto your fork would be a faux pas in the States. It's really all a matter of perspective, though. Did you know that in Thailand, it's considered rude to put a fork in your mouth at all? You're only supposed to use it to push food onto your spoon. Godspeed (talk) 13:44, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
But say you're eating steak & chips & peas. You've cut up your steak and now you're going after everything one-handed, so to speak. How do you eat the peas? Stab them with fork as you chase them all over the plate? Now, that would be frowned on with us. --PsyGremlinSprich! 13:52, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
You're (well, here, anyway) supposed to use a piece of bread to push the peas onto the fork. Hey, I didn't make the rules... Godspeed (talk) 13:57, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I flip knives and forks between hands all the time (it infuriates everyone) but I at least dual-wield at all times. I might suck at drumming, but I'm co-ordinated enough to push stuff into my pie whole with either hand. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:00, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
It is a cultural question. We Americans are used to eating a big, fat juicy Texas steak, whereas the rest of the planet dines on rice, or fish, or something. Even foodstamps in the US make it possible for the least privileged to dine on beef tenderloin regularly. nobsCorporations are people, too. 12:37, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
As an American, I've never heard or thought about this issue. I'm also left-handed, though, so my hand usage is a bit random. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 12:22, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I see a lot of people do it, but I've always held the knife in my left hand. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 12:52, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Now that is unusual. Are you left-handed? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:47, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
No, I'm pseudo-ambidextrous. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:04, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I remember I had a really strict great aunt (prominent local Republican, go figure) when I was growing up who made all the kids in the family watch these videotapes on manners, one of which had a huge section on the whole knife thing. I always felt it was laughably stupid, like so many other formal dining practices. Personally, I rarely ever use a knife while eating if I can get away with it. Chop it up beforehand so that you don't have to later.
And for what it's worth, Rob was making a decent point about the prevalence of meat in the US, perhaps despite his intent. Q0 (talk) 13:14, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
The whole shift-your-fork-to-your-left-hand thing mostly exists in the kind of ettiquette films that I had to watch in home ec classes back in the 80s. I seriously don't think anyone cares anymore.
One stereotype about Americans is that they eat quickly, whereas Europeans take a more leisurely approach to their meals, so it's strange that the more cumbersome switch-your-fork style is associated with the U.S., Godspeed (talk) 13:44, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
People switch? --il'Dictator Mikal 14:43, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Ok, now that you mention it, my husband switches. I don't know if it's cause he mimics Americans subconsiously, or cause he's always do that. My mom (from german heratige, born in NY) cut all her food first, then never used the knife again the entire meal.Green mowse.pngGodot 18:06, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't cutting it all in advance just... just... why? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:14, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Haha, I meant before cooking it. Q0 (talk) 20:07, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I never realized switching was considered odd until I began traveling internationally. When overseas I keep my fork in my left hand - when in Rome, etc. But it still seems awkward no matter how much I do it. Using my dominant (right) hand just feels more natural. Of course if I had been raised elsewhere doing it the other way would probably feel more natural. Doctor Dark (talk) 20:24, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

I actually think this is something I started doing a few years ago without realising it because my right hand is so dominant. I think it might have been an injury to my left hand that has permanently weakened the grip in the last two fingers that may have started it. The fun one I have is that my future in-laws are Persian and so use a spoon and a fork for everything. They actually use the edge of the spoon for cutting. We were having lunch the other week were a knife, fork, and spoon had been set out by the host. She only noticed when she to serve desert and most people no longer had a spoon, but there were clean knives on the table. - π 10:20, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm still trying to understand this. So in the States you use both a knife and a fork. You hold the knife in your right hand and the fork in your left while you cut things up. You then put the knife down and transfer your fork to your right hand in order to actually eat the food. Is that right? Is this really what most people actually do? Or just the super-polite?--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 20:26, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that is what anyone with decent etiquette does in the States.--ADtalkModerator 20:39, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, a left handed person probably cuts and eats with their lefthand. nobsCorporations are people, too. 20:54, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
The correct etiquette in the UK is hold your knife in your right hand and your fork in your left. When using both, the fork should not be turned over like a spoon. You should only hold your fork in your right hand if you're not using your knife at all, i.e. it stays where it is on the table. And holding your knife like a pencil is a criminal offence. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:05, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
The correct etiquette is to demand your interlocutor's phone while flashing the knife semi-concealed in your dominant hand - David Gerard (talk) 12:17, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh look - a Millwall supporter. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 12:22, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
I have a knife in my hand right now (well, not right now as I'm typing) but I just can't figure out how holding it like a pencil even works. Or do people hold pencils differently over there? It certainly doesn't work with my sketch-pencil grip, held like that it would bounce off butter. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:07, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Standards are much looser in California.--WickerGuy (talk) 03:52, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

When scientists go woo-ie

I'd like to write an article about scientists who turn to woo, or hold highly non rational positions. I just read an article about Maiam Byalic (sp? Blosson)'s new book on attachment parenting, and the fact that she is anti-vax. Sam Harris thinks anyone who speaks arabic should be frisked in the airport. I'm sure there are many others. The problem is I'm not really sure how to frame it as an article. One article with examples? or articles on individaul wierdness, or what. I just find it doubly bothersome when educated, scientific type people show off their moments of "what exactly is this word 'rationality' you speak of". Any suggestions?--Green mowse.pngGodot 20:46, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

How about wp:Roy Spencer (scientist). Award-winning scientist who is a global warming denier and creationist. Doctor Dark (talk) 21:05, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Kary Mullis. sterileevolutionist story telling 21:31, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
There's the Nobel disease, but you need one of them medals to get in the club. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:39, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
I say write individual articles on individual cases rather than pigeon-holing this as a specific phenomenon. There are examples of cranks in all sectors, within & outside of the sciences. I don't think scientists (specialising in one area) holding pseudoscientific views in another area of the sciences or unorthodox views on some other aspect of society are inherently weirder than anybody else holding those kind of views. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:36, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Link added as one suggested starting point. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:22, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Shermer did a complete chapter on Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things in one of his books.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 07:07, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
That chapter in part cribs from Sternberg's Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:10, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Agree with the Weasal here. Writing individual articles about said scientists and their nonsensical beliefs is a far better route to go. Did somebody say Michio Kaku? 13:06, 15 May 2012 (UTC)


I've got an assignment at school about Bisphenol A, one of those nasty chemicals that's supposed to mimic hormones. The assignment is to investigate a "scientific controversy" (the only alternative was Phthalates, a rather similar topic) and draw conclusions. Trouble is, I can't find much information from the usual suspects—skeptical sites and what have you. Can anyone direct me to the secret stash of skeptical material showing how it's all bullshit, or alternatively inform me that I've been taken in by paid industry shills into thinking that there probably isn't anything to worry about? Peter with added ‼Science‼ 07:59, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Ugh. The Wikipedia article is a complete mess and nothing useful can be gleaned from it. First of all, I would find some data on what is the expected level of intake of BPA from the leaching of a polycarbonate bottle. All the effects listed in the wiki article might be true, but if the typical exposure is far lower than the level at which an effect was observed, it means very little.
Now regarding effects: BPA has estrogenic activity, but it is weak. There are low levels of natural estrogen-mimicking compounds in many foods, including soy, so this in itself is not a big cause for concern. There is some rather strong evidence that BPA could cause obesity if fed to small children. That being said, all the data we have is from animal models and in vitro studies, and furthermore there is still some uncertainty (for example, in female rats which had their ovaries removed, BPA actually causes a reduction in body weight).
A lot of the sentiment against BPA is stemming from a desire to find a reductionist cause of the "obesity epidemic", when in fact its causes are cultural. This red herring is mentioned even in scientific reviews. --Tweenk (talk) 12:28, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Regarding BPAs usage in plastic bottles and linking to obesity, I'd hazard a guess that the contents of the bottle were a greater factor. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 13:01, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
A good portion of the BPA panic can also be found in a series of chain e-mails about plastics: specifically chemical leaking from plastic bottles into liquids. It got a lot of exposure because one of the iterations of the email name-dropped Sheryl Crow and her breast cancer. It warns against no plastic bottles in any kind of heat, such as microwaves or a hot car, etc. The specific chemical was once 'dioxins' but once BPA really was found to leak from some polycarbonate bottles (recycling number 7 only; hard plastic bottles such as baby bottles or intended re-usable bottles) that got inserted instead when it circulates in recent years, unfortunately making the Snopes article a bit out of date. So far, this is the only study I can find regarding estrogen-mimicking activity in plastic bottles (yes, it does mention bisphenol). ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRmore at 11 13:03, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
There is also a lot of information about BPA in the reviews linked from the Wikipedia article, but not directly relevant to the problem of leaching from bottles.
Regarding Genghis Khant's suggestion: BPA is an ingredient of polycarbonate resins, which are used for baby milk bottles, CDs and DVDs, impact resistant glass (e.g. in sport helmets), optics (e.g. photographic lens and corrective glasses) and some reusable plastic containers. Soda bottles are made from poly(ethylene terephthalate) – PET, which is a different animal. --Tweenk (talk) 20:42, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I stand educated and corrected. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 20:59, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Ok, that's quite helpful, thanks. Obesity in small children, you say? I'll have to look up on that then. Peter with added ‼Science‼ 07:57, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Not sure if right or stupid

While doing some research I stumbled upon the cateogory "right-populist organizations" in the German Wikipedia, to my surpirise not only are there such organizations in there like the English Defense League, Bürger in Wut ("Citizens in Rage") from Bremen and Pro-NRW (the regional German masters of unfounded islamophobia, who have recently made "satires" of Mohamed and Islam not just in public space but in front of Mosques) and... the Tea Party movement. Now while the EDL, BiW and Pro-NRW are very clearly racist the Tea Party case for being racist is harder to make. In fact, I'm not sure if this is absolutely right, or aboslutely stupid.

For shits and giggles I looked whether there is such a category as "left-populist organizations" — no such thing exists. But, Occupy is put into the anti-globalisation category together with such organisations as attac, the EZLN, World Social Forum and Indymedia. Am I way to Americanized by now or does that seem unfair? Yes, sure there are racists in the Tea Party, but Roseanne Barr is an important figure in the occupy movement and she said something about killing (other) millionaires being and option... I'm confused… --Raga Man (talk) 17:50, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

There're certainly instances of racism in a bunch of their protests, and probably their anti-immigration goals, but I don't think they have any "openly" racist positions. I really don't see them as a solid (or even existent) entity, though. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 17:59, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
"Right-wing populist" doesn't necessary have to mean racist. I'm more concerned about the Tea Party movement being defined as an "organisation" when it's more of a meme used by various groups and events, some elements of which are associated with racism and some of which aren't. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:40, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
What Weaseloid said. Right-wing populist ≠ racist. "Left-wing populism" sounds like an oxymoron to me, since I understand that populism is defined as the imposition of an authoritarian rule on a democracy by 'bribing' the lower classes of society with popular promises. --Tweenk (talk) 20:50, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
The TP itself isn't racist, per se, but there's a reason birthers and white supremacist groups have found it to be a nice roosting spot. No such thing as left-wing populism? Fighting Bob La Follette? Huey Long? Malcolm X? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:31, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Sorry folks. I fucked up the tranlation so that Americans are getting something different from it than what is actually meant. In German "populism" is not an ideology but a style of politics. It's hard to define, but it basically entails a lowering to the most common denominator. Often simple solution that would never work for very complex problems. As this is the main defintion it is very much possible that there's populism on any side of the spectrum. Also, the German "Organisation" is much looser than the English "organisation", but there really isn't one good English word for it. It doesn't necessarily have a legal status and can basicly mean "a bunch of people doing different stuff over time with some kind of order combined by a common goal". For example, the overall Occupy movement is not an organisation in German, but the single city ones are — even though there is no clear command structure or even a clear modus operandi and they have no legal body - an organisation for Germans. --Raga Man (talk) 21:48, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Populism in the U.S. too is a style not an ideology, and not necessarily authoritarian. Any appeal to the common people against an elite (however defined) is populism. Also, what Nebuchadnezzar said - there are many notable left-wing populists. The religious right uses populist appeals to "family values" against a "[Hollywood/San Francisco/whatever] elite". The Occupy movement talking about the 99% versus the 1% is using a populist appeal. Right-wing populism is a catch-all term for movements on the right that use anti-elite appeals to the common people but don't fit neatly into harder-right categories like Fascist or Nazi. One thing I've found useful for distinguishing populism of the right and left is right-wing populists appeal to the common people against both an elite, and against threats from below. So, simultaneously ranting against the Hollywood or San Francisco elite, Disney, Wall Street, etc and against "welfare queens", homeless, illegal immigrants, and ACORN. By contrast left-wing populists include those "below" as part of the common people, hence homeless people and the suburban middle class trying to make house payments are all part of the same 99% to the Occupy movement. There's a populism of the center too: see Eric Hoffer's appeals to anti-intellectualism and the apolitical working man up against ideological elites of the left and right. Secret Squirrel (talk) 12:48, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

End of the world is not nigh

Evidently they've found the next page of the Mayan calendar. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 18:16, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

You know, I'm starting to think that basing your thoughts on the Armageddon on the archaeological findings of an ancient civilization is pretty stupid. But earthquakes and murders and starvation and bad things are happening, so the end of the world must be close. Nihilist 19:24, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
june 30th/july 1st already came back and living in texas jesus will end the world--il'Dictator Mikal 19:44, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I still say it ended in 1999. Neat that we found more Mayan calendars to read, though. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 20:11, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm waiting till Nov 7. Then I'll let you know if the world has ended. Green mowse.pngGodot 20:30, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
If it ends, I'll dish out my life savings to anyone who'll take the bet. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 21:44, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Have you thought of insurance? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:48, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Question for the Lawyers and wannabes out there

On Friday, Gov Brewer of texas signed a bill that would allow employers to ask you if you are using birth control for "medical" reasons or not. Now here's my question. When on birth control pills (or shots or the patch) one generally has much more mild cramps, fewer days on, etc. Some forms of BC even stop your period all together. So, seeing as I like those things, and would stay on the pill whether I was having sex or not, does that mean my use is "medical" or just slutty? Inquiring minds and all that. I think this is going to be overturned quite quickly. I have no idea how they think they can write laws like this. --Green mowse.pngGodot 01:17, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Both -- obviously anyone who uses the pill is automatically a slut, some just get medical exemptions. I'm kind of surprised that the GOP has let the Anti-Sex League wing of the party run wild. I mean, I know the end game for these people is a quasi-theocracy, but usually they're a little more discreet about it. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:05, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Does this bill apply to men as well? OK, I see now. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 07:35, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
For the (various types of) pill women's reactions vary a lot, because hormones do stuff to your brain and body. For every woman who finds she can shut the cycle down more or less completely (e.g. 2-4 periods per year for the branded products, off label you can push it further) with no side effects, or side effects far more tolerable than the menstrual cycle itself there are others who try several types and don't tolerate any of them even with the as-designed 28 day cycle so (if they're het) they're stuck with condoms until they can find a long term sexual partner who is willing to get himself fixed or until nature takes its course in late middle age. It seems our Godot is somewhat lucky here.
But, as a non-American who is mostly horrified by US employment law, what does Brewer think employers are going to do with this information? Is the idea to identify women who are sluts? Or women who might get pregnant (and thus cost the company money... or is the US a total third world country and you just get fired when you start showing?) Or what? (talk) 08:41, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I read more and the legal answer is "they've decided their medical insurance mustn't cover the pill unless women have some other reason to use it" (though presumably the "you're a slut and so we don't like you" aspect will come up later if this law survives challenge). I think you are just getting stronger and stronger arguments for single payer - the Obamacare approach is a typical American attempt to paper over the cracks rather than biting the bullet and solving the real problem. All Americans need healthcare, so buy healthcare in bulk for all Americans, duh. Your employer has no more reason to be making moral decisions about your healthcare than they do about your choice of reading material, but by making healthcare a responsibility of employers the US system has confused matters just as it would if you had to buy all your clothes through the employer, or the company canteen was the only place you could eat food. (talk) 10:08, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
When I worked for Texas Instruments during the 70s one of the questions on the biennial medical form was whether you had ever had a venereal disease (as STDs used to be known). The British doctor doing the exam told me to ignore it as it was none of their business. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 11:24, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
The assumption is that the state law is to permit employers to discriminate against women whose use of birth control they deem slutty. The huge problem for women is that the employer is going to articulate bullshit pretextual reasons for the discrimination tailored to whatever federal law they're trying to evade. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (part of Title VII) covers employers' treatment of women "affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions." The new federal health insurance law requires employers to provide prescription coverage that covers birth control if they provide it at all. I haven't researched whether the PDA covers staying un-pregnant, such as it is. The PDA does cover employer provided health insurance benefits, but it would impose an absurdity on congress for an employer to be required to provide birth control if it provides health insurance, yet permitted to fire a woman simply for using the pills. Beyond the PDA, treating women (they're the only ones taking birth control pills of this natre since the male birth control pill is out later this year at the earliest) different than men also implicates equal protection problems. Seems to me that Brewer is setting Arizona employers up for years of expensive litigation one way or the other. 13:47, 14 May 2012 (UTC) (this is incoherent - I'll edit it when I get off the train)
There are also all sorts of other concerning pregnancy and employment, and many parts of the USA at least where women are systematically discriminated against using their families as the excuse. For example, some employers are not required to have maternity leave, or are not required to accept the female employee back into the same position as when they left to have the child. The careers of many women are put on "mommy tracks" where they are now stuck at a dead-end (and usually lower-paying, the wage gap still exists for unmarried young women and it increases for married women, and it increases yet again for married women with kids) job because the employer expects the mother to have to break to care for her child, thus becoming a less devoted and valuable worker. Thus, women are quite often seen as less valuable than men as hires, at least within the common mothering age (and career building age) between 20 and 40 (Older women are often deemed less risky, because none of them would ever consider tending to their family, right?). They are paid less and let go more readily, but also hired quite often because of these traits. It's possible that the growing presence of birth control as an option could remove the 'risks' of hiring a woman, the idea that women are less valuable workers than men, and thus take away the usual excuses for paying them less... something I doubt many corporations would like to have happen. All of this exists in a very shady legal area I admit I don't know much about. So while I don't doubt the ideological cause of discrimination (no sluts at our workplace!), I suspect there is also a money-based cause (keeping the glass ceiling and pay gap intact) of discrimination as well... ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRfree guybrush threepwood! no new taxes! down with porcelain! 14:06, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
And, once again, I thank goat that I live in a country with socialist socialised medicine. I'm not saying the UK is perfect and we don't have mummy_tracks but a woman's reproductive choices are wholly her own concern. Bad Faith (talk) 14:55, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Again, I must breathe a big SIGH at this moronic state. Now that this somehow made it into law, I'm curious as to whether or not this will actually be implemented (i.e. whether employers will actually ask). Luckily, I happen to know at least a few people that this would affect, so I'll keep an eye out! Cow...Hammertime! 15:22, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
At least some will yeah. Long after the headlights of the oncoming lawsuit were visible some US companies continued to use "as necessary" clauses in salaried employee's contracts to work them 60+ hours per week 52 weeks per year. There was a perception that the company was entitled to use labour in this way, and if the employees didn't like it they could quit. Well, yes they could, but they could also sue and that's a lot more profitable if you win. I don't have any objection to "as necessary". I've worked at a startup, if it needs doing tonight then I'll do it tonight. But in larger companies the temptation is to abuse it and do this evening what could otherwise be done tomorrow. Any company that treated its employees like people would hear the grumbling and put a stop to it. Employees are mostly reasonable, having had their grievance addressed there'd probably have been no lawsuit. But plenty of company owners stuffed their fingers in their ears and waited until they got served. Those same owners will be happy to hear that they can now have more leverage against female employees in AZ. I hope it costs them dearly. (talk) 09:34, 15 May 2012 (UTC)


WASSUP HOMIES — Unsigned, by: ISwagHard / talk / contribs 05:36, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Fo-shizzle my mc-nizzle. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:17, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
JESUS, that's what! ~ Kupochama[1][2] 11:25, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Put a warning up before you link to Jack Chick like that! Scarlet A.pngsshole 11:30, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
But warning people would undermine the entire tract system... ~ Kupochama[1][2] 16:41, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Powdered cheeseburger and other things

So i saw this at an anime thing and... how do you come up with the idea of making a cheeseburger, french fries, ketchup and soda from powder? The cheese, meat bread also are from powder. --il'Dictator Mikal 07:08, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

An unhealthy fixation on powder and what you can do with it, evidently. Peter with added ‼Science‼ 07:55, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Surely bread has always been made from a powder known as flour? Powdered french fries have been around for a long time; dried potato powder, reconstituted and extruded they are a completely different product from the traditional British chip. I can't say I'm enamoured with powdered meat and I've never thought that cheeseburger cheese was real. You can make tomato soup from powder, ketchup is just a bit more concentrated and sodas are largely just flavourings and colour which can be in a syrup or a powder, heck I even remember a product called Creamola Foam back in the 50s which had the fizz in powder form. The essential part is that you are basically removing the water from the constituents, because water is heavy and bulky to transport. One of the major problems in space exploration is water management because you don't want to be heaving tons of the stuff into orbit on rockets. So finding native water on the Moon or Mars is tremendously important for future colonisation. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 08:30, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Didn't a Japanese company (Suntory?) try and market powdered whiskey a few years back? --PsyGremlinZungumza! 09:19, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Apparently it exists (Not April 1st) but I'm highly skeptical of "powdered" ethanol, especially given that whiskies are 30% and above in alcohol content. Now, extracting the flavours and tannins and then mixing them back up with a water-ethanol mix I can imagine, but a few spoonfuls of powder mixed in with water to make a bottle or so of whisky just leaves my "hoax" sirens screaming. Scarlet A.pngsshole 12:56, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Not convinced. The other Subyou site (from Google, not from the links there) seems to suggest it's an energy drink thing. Scarlet A.pngmoral 12:59, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Paypal charity

So I've been doing a bit of online shopping at eBay both in the US and the UK, and noticed that Paypal has a charity donation button at checkout. The US site lets you donate $1 to Blue Star Families while the UK site lets you donate £1 to RSPCA. Does this reflect a fundamental difference between the two countries? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 15:14, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

To save me the trouble of looking for myself, how do they choose which charities are available. Neither of the above particularly gets my vote. Bad Faith (talk) 15:25, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
It would appear that eBay/Paypal have just chosen them, no reason given. I've noticed a few sites adopting charities recently. Screwfix have a "round up the pennies" for a testicular cancer charity. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 15:35, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
paypal is pretty shitty when it comes to charity. you people raised 30k in 9 hours to help new orleans? FUCK YOU. other reasons paypal and charity do no9t mix--il'Dictator Mikal 15:57, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
I use eBay a hell of a lot & it always offers a different charity, so either it's randomised from a list of charities that PayPal supports (or vice versa?) or else it changes on a daily basis. I must admit, I've very rarely ticked the box. Not that I don't give to charity, but it's not something I want to stop & think about when I'm in the middle of buying something, + they're often not charities I would particularly choose. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:52, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh yeah. We're a bunch of misanthropes here in the UK. I for one would rather help a kitty than a person. Kitties are nicer than people. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:52, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Do people go outside of their designated bowel-relievement zone, scratch you when you try to pet them, and mooch off your food?
Yes. Nihilist 19:05, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
Which is why I'd rather help a dog. The worst they do is try to hump your leg. Vulpius (talk) 19:41, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
It always seemed to be RSPCA on UK website but I guess it could have been random. The Blue Star Families site does mention eBay on their home page. And for those that didn't check, the BSF is a charity supporting families of the military. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 20:15, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, so I perused the eBay website and it looks like the charity is chosen by the vendor. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 20:23, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

If we lived in a world without the wisdom of repugnance, a charitable organization could feed the homeless with meat from euthanized pets. Think of the savings! Just sayin... Occasionaluse (talk) 20:48, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Or vice-versa! Cow...Hammertime! 20:53, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
You mean feeding the homeless to euthanized pets? How would that work at all? --Tweenk (talk) 12:52, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
If you're asking about whether it says something about the country, remember that the RSPCA was formed in 1824, but it took another 57 years for someone to get around to founding the NSPCC. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 20:52, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
The two situations are pretty different though. At the time of the RSPCA's founding animals had very little criminal protection in law. Whereas at that time (and thus before the NSPCC was created) children had many of the same protections as adults. In 1824 you could kick your dog in the head until it died and nothing of consequence would happen. But if you killed your own child its death would be investigated, you might well be prosecuted, found guilty and hanged.
The behaviour of the two outfits is very different as well. The RSPCA has found it convenient to appear to be a police-like agency. Its employees wear smart uniforms and are trained to give the impression of authority they do not have without getting prosecuted for impersonating a police officer. In general animal abusers tend to be poor and not very bright, and certainly don't have lawyers so this works surprisingly well.
The NSPCC in contrast has employees who look and act a lot like social workers. They're concerned primarily with the welfare of children. Getting adults arrested for harming children is a side show, to be parcelled off to the police. (talk) 10:42, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
I was mostly being facetious, but point taken anyway. Scarlet A.pngbomination 10:47, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

When selling stuff on eBay recently ([1]) I've seen "donate" button options, with two usually presented, but a link to more. I guess. Seems stupid to me. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:25, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movements notices us

On a blog (under an assumed name) I made mention of our article and they retort...here. Lets pick this shit apart. AceModerator 23:45, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

MY main problem with them, beyond the part where they want me to say "hey, past generations? fuck you, imma just not keep us going" is that they took the "well we cant hope for ourselves to fix it beyond killing ourselves, so lets not bother trying!". Also... they said they don't advocate murder or suicide... but are perfectly ok with us taking down "artificial intelligent Robot buddies" if they are also dangerous. fuck yah genocide is ok so long as its killing what we consider bad!--il'Dictator Mikal 23:59, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
I open it up and the first thing I see is, "The world will never return to what it was like before humans evolved: we’ve already eliminated too many species. Evolution is naturally not a peaceful process."
On one hand, this person is right; the world will never return to what it was like before humans evolved. But that's how the world is, constantly, not just for humans, but for every change in population and change in environment. There's no such thing as 'going back to the way it was' in evolution. And talking about removing species as the reason for fault... no. That's just a big plea to make humans look like they're holding a smoking gun; yes, humans have eliminated species and habitats, but that's not the reason why we changed the path of adaptation on this world. It's because of not just species, but a change to a whole global environment. For somebody who wants to wipe out humans, this person is incredibly egotistical about being a human. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 00:04, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Nevermind we changed the world so that we could do what every species in general has tried to do since the dawn of time: ensure our comfortable existence while making sure our children could do the same. --il'Dictator Mikal 00:14, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah, just in time. One of my acquaintances recently announced his support of the movement. I'd be glad to devote some time to taking this down. Mr. Anon (talk) 00:20, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
It's a rather moot point anyway. Climate change will likely accelerate desertification and severely increase extreme weather occurrences to such a degree that a large proportion of the Earth will be rendered unsuitable for sustained human habitation faster than human governments will be willing to adapt to cope. I doubt humans will die out completely, but we're basically living in a global version of Rome just before the fall into the European Dark Ages. --CoyoteSans (talk) 03:05, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
More like Timbuktu prior to the decline of the Songhai Empire. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:41, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've been a member of VHEMT since the late 90s - I mostly agree with what Les has stated but I also agree with the article here. I guess my attitude (and the attitude of most members I've been in contact with) has been that, honestly, the goals of VHEMT are intentionally exaggerated for effect. That being said... yes, voluntary extinction is a stupid goal. But then again, isn't that kind of the point? Omar (gibber) 04:07, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

I like how the VHEMT blasts us for using "subjective" terms, but also uses terms like "adverse" and "beneficial." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:14, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Recall the relevant talk page: we're coming to it from a human perspective. Though by that measure, coming to it from "the antelope perspective" the world is better off it cheetahs went extinct. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:52, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
From my limited knowledge of it, it seems to be another advocation for birth control and consciously having less/no children, but with a more extreme stated endgoal. Nihilist 04:18, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

All human activity (as a whole) should be for the benefit of humans. At first one might think this statement is a justification of environmental destruction, but it is not. For example, we should not endanger species because they create points of scientific research and often animals and plants play a large role in shaping ecosystems, which has benefits to humans. If we all go extinct, who will enjoy the supposedly restored Earth? What utilitarian benefit is there? Why is the "natural" always the best way to work? Naturism has been used to justify homophobia and many other bad practices of humans. Global warming is not a problem because it is inconvenient for Polar Bears, it is a problem because it is inconvenient for us. Mr. Anon (talk) 04:45, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Naturism has been used to justify homophobia... A truer statement than you could ever guess. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:53, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Naked men disgust me because they make me feel insecure. Nihilist 05:20, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, genitals are scary. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 07:08, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

And for UK listeners, BBC Radio 4 has a series of programmes about Extinctions, starting this morning, at 11:00. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 07:42, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

P.S. We already have Lazarus taxon but we need Elvis taxon. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 07:46, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Anyone with internet access (and speakers) can listen to Extinctions on Radio 4. You don't have to be in the UK to listen to BBC radio anymore. Via the magic of the interweb, you can listen live on the BBC iplayer and you can listen to any programme transmitted in the past seven days from anywhere in the world. I'm listening to BBC Radio 5 Live right now and I'm eight time zones away in Asia. You can't see the TV programmes on the BBC website outside of the UK though. --Spud (talk) 13:49, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
I know that, and have persuaded at least one American RWian to listen to In Our Time (interesting programme on Game Theory last week), but I just thought that phrasing more appropriate. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 18:31, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Where does the "T" come from? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:22, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

All i can think is: Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, The. ONE / TALK 11:52, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Good without god, even with god

This is probably the definitive refutation of the idea that morality requires religion. It's not only philosophically flawed, but historically false. (Link in the post is borked, but the full paper can be read here.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:54, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I never bought for a minute that religion enforced moral behaviour. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 10:50, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
The idea of enforcing moral behaviour calls into question whether it remains moral behaviour at all. ONE / TALK 10:56, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
There are more ways than just fear of punishment to "enforce" behaviour, though. Scarlet A.pngbomination 11:03, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Of course religion enforces moral behavior. It's one of the single most specific things religion does. Via fear or "wish fulfilment" it says "here is a list of things that you shall and shall not do. Here are your rewards and punishments if you do not do these things. Get a scary enough religion, one that for example, will cut out your heart while you are still alive to feed it to the gods, and slide your body down a pyramid - and odds are, you will be quite willing to 'sacrifice' yourself at war, where you really have a chance to survive. We know, from studies of cultures and their religions, that this is one of the single shared halmarks of religion. To force moral behavioral conformity upon a people. --Green mowse.pngGodot 15:26, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
This article is a bit BS, though, nebby, in that he's looking for a particular set of morals. All religions, universally, force moral coding. It is one measure we use when defining a religion. What that moral coding is, varies from culture to culture and time to time, but it is present. I would ask of this author to name a single religion that does not sculpt moral behaviors via the religion. Pre modern societies, as he calls them, have religions that define the morality; it's just that it's not a moral code he is used to seeing. I'm not saying the religions create the morality, i'm saying that as a people become a people, their religion, language, culture, art, family structure all co-evolve (if you will forgive the misuse) and reinforce eachother. The religion in, say, Lakota society (a 'pre modern culture by his terms) necessarily defines that humans must be independent thinkers. Each man has a right (and each woman, actually) to make their own mind up about hwo they will live and who they will listen to; this is equally part of the religion. The healer heals because he or she is called to do so - each person comes to him or her of their own choice; each person is healed because they find the correct path with the seers/med man/medwoman's help. The religion of spiritual beings guiding hunters is the exact same thing; you search in your first adult steps, for guides in nature to provide you insight about who you are and what kind of a man (no women did this) you will be. To suggest the religion plays no role in sculpting morality and moral beliefs is to misunderstand what the religion is doing in the culture. Again this is true in every single religion - or it's not by definition, a religion. "Stark dismantles the idea that religion functions primarily to sustain the moral order. While this may be true of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and also Hinduism, it is not true of all other spiritual traditions or religions." Again here, he is looking for particular sense of what morality is, I think he misses the point. Buddhism defines what is moral and right by defining what it is to be human. Shintoism defines what is morally right, by addressing the nature of Nature, and how humans should express it, enjoy it, interact with it. It doesn't say "don't be gay", or "don't kill", but it's no less an issue of morality. Aboritinal Walkabouts are at teh core of understanding your place in society, deeply, highly religious - but at the same time, a driver of your moral being within that society. --Green mowse.pngGodot 15:37, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
(EC) I think the difference is that religions enforce a lot of things, some of which may be considered moral (or related to morality at all) by some people. The rest of it, and the means to those ends, are what cause problems.
Also, I always thought Euthyphro was the definitive refutation...though not exactly the same topic, and kind of confusing when I was younger. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 15:47, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Of course some things which are 'moral' or 'immoral' are defined solely by the religion (usually organised religion). I guess what we are really referring to is an ethical framework where the rights of others are respected, rather than whether two guys can engage in anal intercourse in the privacy of their own home. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 18:39, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Euthyphro tackles the topic from a philosophical perspective, while this is from a more anthropological one. (That wiki article is actually pretty solid from what I can tell, though)
The author seems to be defining morality as what a substantial majority of a society considers to be wrong; the result being that if people who are actively religious (taking part in rituals and rites) don't show even more positively than the rest of the society, then religion does not advance that moral cause. His conclusion is that the correlation between morality and religion only exists where there is the idea that gods are powerful beings that are concerned with morality, and has nothing to do with whether or not someone practices religion or not.
The vast majority of the paper seems dedicated simply to refuting the notion that the moral order of society is based on structured religious behavior. It really doesn't say all that much about religion teaching morality as a whole, other than to note that apparently it is not the case in many premodern societies. If I had access to the Atlas of World Cultures he references, I'd do a little digging on that point myself. Q0 (talk) 18:56, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Mind you, at no time do i suggest religion CREATES morality. I think religion co-evolves, as i said, with the rest of the culture, and what is moral to that culture is codifed into the religion at the same time what the religion describes is part of the moral code. Only recently is "religion" something so removed from the rest of the culture as to say "this peice is religious - this other peice is secular". As I said, in Lakota society, every single bit of every day is religious - or none of it is, and there is no religion (I've seen this argued successfully as well). I just don't like the author's take (or rather, how i read the author) that suggests there is some moral outside of human culture (including religion). I don't think any one thing is "moral" or "not" outside of culure, including killing, sex with babies, or putting lemon instead of milk into your hot tea).19:12, 15 May 2012 (UTC)Green mowse.pngGodot
"I think religion co-evolves..." But that's the point. Stark is saying the existing moral codes are independent of religion, but then get absorbed into the religion, generally where the gods are conscious, anthropomorphic, and morally concerned. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:38, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Very simple refutation:

  1. If God creates morality, God must have a set of moral rules.
  2. If God creates moral rules, he/she must either have a reason or not
  3. If God does not have a reason, he/she must choose rules arbitrarily.
  4. If God chooses rules arbitrarily, then this God is imperfect and unworthy of worship.
  5. If God does have a reason, then it is these reasons that the moral rules are valid.
  6. If that is the case, then moral rules are derived from logical reasons, not God.

Mr. Anon (talk) 01:25, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

In other words, if God outlaws murder, it is because he/she sees that murder is bad for whatever reasons. It is then these reasons that murder is wrong, not because God outlaws them. At most God can only be an enforcer of morality.
Of course, morality wasn't the only reason why religion was created; supernatural enforcements of moral rules can be invented without the need of a God. The main purpose of God is to explain phenomena beyond human knowledge (such as how the Earth and universe were created, why it rains, why lighting strikes, etc). Mr. Anon (talk) 01:28, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Religion rationalizes morality, but there's no correlation to suggest religious people are more moral.--WickerGuy (talk) 03:55, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
The Princess Alice experiments suggest a mechanism by which societies can benefit from superstition. In one experiment subjects (children) were told the invisible princess named Alice watches them, but the experimenters left them to do a task apparently unsupervised. Children identified separately as more superstitious were inclined not to cheat (presumably because Alice would see) while the less superstitious ones cheated. Being able to let your people work alone, "supervised" only by God and still have them not cheat (lie, steal, kill) is an advantage particularly in a pre-modern society. Of course in a modern society thanks to CCTV, anti-tamper design and other tricks you really are watched, so no need for superstition. (talk) 09:09, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Though that raises the issue of the difference between "obedience" and "moral". If someone is acting morally because they want to, they don't need the superstitions. Meanwhile, you just need one person to test the system, find out that it's bollocks ("JESUS IS GAY!!!! MUHAMMAND SUCKS DICK!!!! ...look, no lightning bolts!") and then the system can't stop them. CCTV, on the other hand, is very much observant and real. We can test that system and find that it works. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:32, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
@BON: If I remember correctly, the Princess Alice experiments didn't use an equivalent non-supernatural prime. Dan Ariely talks about similar experiments in Predictably Irrational where they get the same effect for religious and non-religious honor systems, e.g. the Ten Commandments vs. a generic "I will not cheat on this test" statement. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:44, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Cystinuria Clearinghouse

Have any of you Poe's Law enthusiasts and fans of fundy web design ever ran into this one? Cystinuria Clearinghouse - partly a site about cystinuria, a kidney/bladder condition (& linked for further reading from WP:Cystinuria), but also hosting a lot of Christian fundamentalist/paranoiac content, especially on its "Sunday Morning Sell Out" list of heretical churches.

Of the bits of text I've tried to read so far, none of them leap out as parody (although I do wonder about this "Are You A Cult?" bit), but the graphics are just unreal. Check this shit out. I also like how the cystinuria homepage (linked above) lets you choose from a selection of vivid background colours, none of which are very comfortable to look at. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:26, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

It's like she took an html class in middle school, and, by God, she's going to use everything she learned. Also, she misspelled the color "mocha." Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 19:50, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
I quite like the line "Evil triumphs when David J. does something." I'll have to borrow it for something less stupid. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 19:53, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
I quite like the line "Save me from hell you gorgeous hunk of man you!". I doubt I'll put it to much use, though. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:52, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
"proud to Be a Patriotic Neo-Natzi Anarchist Take that America the Beautiful!" What in the fuck does that mean? --Revolverman (talk) 22:44, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Diablo 3

Awesome. Released today. Awesome. AceModerator 21:49, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

CSI Miami cancelled


My userspace is getting way out of handLiquefy this page?

Any suggestions for getting it off of RW and onto somewhere else without breaking links? Like have a "bootmii:" soft wikilink to bootmii.wikia.com, the way "cp:" soft wikilinks to CP.Should we use LQT in the Saloon Bar? Bootmiiwanna play nomic? 00:04, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

God no. --Revolverman (talk) 00:24, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Despite LQT's much-ballyhooed introduction a couple years back as an addition to MW, note that WP has not implemented it. And there's a reason. It's awful. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:13, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
It's not that it's inherently awful, just that it's unfinished and buggy. Nx personally hammered it into shape for use on RW, but now that he's gone... Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 02:21, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
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