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This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
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Space age

Could someone explain to me why a private company launching into space is hailed as another brilliant triumph of humanity? For years, scientists have pushed the idea of space as something without ownership, fighting attempts to militarize it and such. Have public space programs been shafted so badly that this is now the best way to advance the technology? If true, it seems like a serious loss, and will probably end up as even more fodder for politicians to vote against funding space programs (especially in the US). Hell, the entire idea behind the project in the first place just seems designed for NASA to slowly pass on the torch.

Maybe I'm just crazy, and I'm thinking too much in terms of the distant future: corporations owning planets and such. Still, to me it seems like it's opening up the wrong kind of door. Q0 (talk) 22:43, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Yeah that seems a bit pessimistic. The NASA has already said they'd like unmanned flights to be shifed to commercial enterprises, to free up more money for manned and Mars missions. Sounds like a good idea and all, although Repubs will immediately call for cutting the budget. Away from all the theoretics of futurology, it's a big deal because this is the first time not a state but private citizen have send something up there, and everybody's hoping the laws of the markets will soon gear the industry. Honestly I have no problems with commercial space flight, I'd just like the companies to be state owned, one for profits, two for control. --Raga Man (talk) 22:58, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually, with respect to Republicans the problem is the opposite: they oppose privatization of space because NASA is a convenient and publicly popular way to give pork to their aeronautics companies in Texas and Florida and such. They don't a rat's ass about the science and research I feel should be NASA's domain, just that Boeing keeps getting sweet, over-budget contracts. --CoyoteSans (talk) 00:15, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I can certainly see the logic behind this; private competition will spark faster growth of technology than a public company could ever do; a major step in accomplishing the goal of cheap civilian space transportation.
There is one thing that concerns me. There's said to be some rare Helium-3 patches on the moon. Whatever private company gets there first will have a monopoly over the resource, and of course no government will have jurisdiction except Newt's colony. Mr. Anon (talk) 01:19, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I would not assume that a private company seeking to exploit the moon would just have carte blanche to do so merely because they get there first. There would be a lot of countries that would want to have a say in how the moon ought to be exploited. --Horace (talk) 02:42, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, all they have to do is plant a flag with their logo on it there, you see... oh wait, already been done? Q0 (talk) 03:01, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
That's definitely the argument they use, but I see the whole competition thing as equivalent to all of the other silly 'invisible hand of the free market' gags that should be given no real weight. If anything, raw competition is terribly inefficient due to the resources wasted by the companies that don't actually progress anywhere. Just for relevance's sake, we'll stay on topic. There were over 20 companies trying to get a contract from NASA for this endeavor (see: wp:Commercial Orbital Transportation Services). How many of those will actually succeed in the long term? I'm all for this kind of individual effort when it comes for designing things, but when you get to the point of actual construction and use - and eventually performing services - it becomes a serious problem. That's when you realize that you're relying on private corporations for something incredibly significant to the public interest.
Besides, it's hard enough keeping tabs on what corporations are up to on earth; can you imagine trying to reel them in when they have the technology lead in space? Q0 (talk) 03:01, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I could probably make just as strong an argument against allowing the United States or Chinese or whatever government having "such a technology lead in space." The fact is moving the space shuttling duties from public to private sector has been a long time coming. NASA (as with all government space agencies) should be focused on the parts of space exploration that DON'T have an obvious profit motive, but nonetheless enriches humanity in pursuing, not busing glorified janitors to a proof-of-concept space station and entertaining rich idiots wanting the world's most expensive thrill ride. Corporations certainly have no reason to fire off probes into the Oort Cloud, or send nuclear-powered rovers to crawl all over Mars just to take pictures and analyze dirt in excruciating detail, but the scientific data we get from doing that is immeasurably beneficial. If the private sector wants a go at shuttling LEO passengers and building space hotels and mining asteroids, I say let them. NASA is best at space science, and private companies are best at economical usage of space. Both sides have important niches to fill. --CoyoteSans (talk) 03:39, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The two go hand in hand, though. Ask any geologist about how research in their field is mostly utilized these days. The same type of work that is so important scientifically is used privately to find oil and diamonds. Along those lines, I think corporations will certainly have an interest in mining what they can in our solar system, and even in finding out how they could eventually get to others and do the same thing. Of course, they wouldn't actually share many scientific discoveries they made with the public. Trade secrets, after all.
As for the nationalist part, that too is a serious concern. Despite the fact that there are an abundance of resources in just our solar system, it's easy to see how space could become another 'new world' for the top competing nations to fight over. Q0 (talk) 04:04, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, the benefits are obvious. You get private companies to develop a spaceship using NASA research, NASA designs, NASA experience, NASA testing, NASA subsidies and start-up money, NASA launch facilities, and then sell it all back to NASA for the privilege... Hmmm, I'm reminded, as always, of the David Mitchell rant over rail privatisation in the UK: we privatise the fun and interesting bits, the parts that you can turn a profit on, but all the boring non-profitable stuff, well that can be covered by the State. You take the fun choo-choo trains, and we'll take care of the track! It's like a father who lets his over-spoilt son have a small patch of soil to grow strawberries in. The father still does all the planting, weeding, watering, tending to the rest of the garden and whatnot, and then the son sells him the strawberries for £600 million. And it was the same when the UK government sold Northern Rock - they sold the profitable half and kept the boring unprofitable half, so Virgin Money is now basically the cool front end of a bank that generates masses of interest, while the government holds all the Rock's bad investments. So, basically, all privatisation works like this, it's cool to see rockets going up and people taking it seriously again, but undoubtedly space privatisation will be no exception to the rule. Scarlet A.pngbomination 09:46, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Armondikov. Whilst everyone joins in the invisible hand wankfest over SpaceX, virtually all the heavy lifting (so to speak) is being done or has been done by state resources, both financial and physical - given that SpaceX not only took a ton of state money and existing research, but even used a government facility as their launch site before blowing their trumpet over how great the private sector is. SpaceX got $75m of government money to basically rip-ff existing work of public bodies and then sell it back to them at exorbitant prices.
Furthermore, I find the belief that having private sector involvement will in any way drive space technology forward is extremely naive. SpaceX Dragon only exists because of government funding. SpaceShipOne is little more than a toy and is far behind what the state sector was able to achieve decades ago. I am not saying that NASA in particular couldn't be more efficient (de-militarising it to reduce inter-departmental conflicts would help) but, this is completely different from the belief (and it is a belief) that putting something in the private sector through some mystical, magical process will make it more efficient and innovative. Having a profit motive doesn't lead to the best technology and engineering, it leads to finding the cheapest way to do do the bare minimum needed to make the most profit - that's why Scale Composites gave us SpaceShipOne, whilst the state sector gave us the Shuttle, Buran and Soyuz. The private sector can never be relied upon to engage in the development of the technology, nor the research of space itself that allows humankind to progress, because the most valuable work in these fields is rarely, if ever, the most profitable. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 11:25, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Although the counter argument could be made by way of using the internet as an analogous example. Started off as a state-run operation and is now almost entirely private and in many cases hugely profitable. Almost all the innovation and much of the investment has come from the private sector. Mitchell's rant about the railways is valid because it's provision of public infrastructure services with very limited competition drivers unlike, say, air travel. The defence example could be used where the government contracts private companies (BAE, EADS, Boeing, etc.) to build warships, aircraft, missiles, etc. You wouldn't want the state building these things (leaving aside the disastrous inefficiencies of defence procurement). Ajkgordon (talk) 11:48, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

This is painful to watch. I don't have the time to correct all the misconceptions, though, and I'm quickly losing the inclination. At the very least: TheEgyptian, please do some research on who built the Shuttle, who profited from it and how good it was for US human space exploration.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:48, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

Exactly. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:50, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree defense is a good example. Given that private involvement in the defense sector has given us Blackwater / Xi and all manner of scandals and abuses, I fail utterly to see how privatization of defense can be seen as an argument for privatization of space flight, though it does a lot to highlight the huge potential for serious problems.
Contracting a private company to produce a vehicles is different to them operating said vehicles - though in these cases one can reasonably demand that the private entity meet the entire development cost, since they will be selling the vehicles to the state for no small amount of profit per unit. If it is unable to do this, and do it with a lower final cost per vehicle of the same or higher specification than an in-house team, then on what basis is the claim of "efficiency" made? This certainly hasn't happened in SpaceX's case. The company isn't, and probably never will, be anything other than a parasitical enterprise that is only private in as much as it generates private profit, achieved by having the end-user pay its costs and turn over their own research before it even delivered a single product. Again the defense sector is a good example, given the cronyism and corruption in the sector, plus the revolving door between defense contractors and both the military and government itself. So we are we trumpeting these guys as the way forward?
Inviting private participation in manned spaceflight before a regulatory framework is in place is essentially giving a green light to exploitation and irresponsible actions. If a private operator were to launch a manned orbiter from a sea-launch platform or something similar, what kind of regulatory protection do the people on board have? In a more distant scenario, if private scientific or commercial activity does take place in space, who will ensure protection for workers against exploitation and dangerous conditions, or even their civil rights whilst in orbit? --TheEgyptiansig001.png 15:40, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The actual construction has always gone to private companies (Rocketdyne, NAA, etc.) - that's just how it is. The thing is, SpaceX really isn't much more than the exact same relationship taken to a minutely further extent. It's no more an "hooray for the private sector" moment than the fact that the SSMEs were built by Pratt & Whitney. If you want a real private venture, you need to look at things like Sea Launch or Virgin Galactic, which have been far more independent. Scarlet A.pngbomination 19:22, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

US Space was already private. Pretty well all of NASA's spacecraft (Space Shuttle, Saturn V/Apollo, etc.) were built by private contractors. The real change is how the contractors are being paid. Old model, they got paid just for doing work (not for producing results), and Congress imposed on them all these burdensome politically-motivated requirements, e.g. must use solid rocket boosters, who cares if it is best technical decision or not, because don't want my voters who work at ATK to loose their jobs! New model, NASA pays fixed price, contractor pays for overruns, contractor uses whatever design and subcontractors they feel are technically/commercially appropriate, not being driven by political pork considerations. So the US space program was always a public-private partnership, all NASA/SpaceX are doing is changing the nature of that partnership, and they are changing it for the better. Hop, scotch and two foot bat (talk) 12:48, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Quite. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:09, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

The Internet

Ajkgordon wanted to use the Internet as an example. But that gets very complicated. The Internet most fundamentally is a series of protocols, ie agreements on a way of doing things. It doesn't mean anything for such agreements to be "owned" by a state or a private entity, and in fact they've long been agreed by consensus at meetings held all around the world (these days after being discussed extensively in advance using the Internet itself).
These protocols allows us to connect networks together, hence internetworking. At the outset the organisations which first experimented with actually doing this (thus building an internetwork) were connected with the US military/industrial complex and the engineering departments at certain US universities which fed into that complex. But it would be quite a stretch to say that it was "state-run" unless you were also willing to say that e.g. the Boeing headquarters mail room is state run, or the Harvard dormitories are state run.
As this internet grew and became the Internet some opportunities for commercial activity arose, but actually not that many. For example, the problem of uniquely numbering things on the Internet is handled by not-for-profit organisations run by and on behalf of users (albeit some of the "users" in this case are of course multi-billion dollar corporations). The problem of correctly mapping names to numbers is handled by the root operators and while technically at least one root operator is a private company (Verisign, working under contract to the US government) far more are state owned (e.g. The US army, NASA) or not-for-profit (e.g. RIPE, WIDE, ISC).
It is true that businesses have thrived as a result of the Internet, but I'd argue that's actually largely because they were not able to control its fundamental underpinnings. The creation of a level playing field worked out very well for almost everyone, whereas if a single commercial stakeholder got to decide what constitutes "level" things might have been very different. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 13:36, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Right. The way you put it makes it perhaps a better analogy than I originally thought. States and supranational bodies like the UN have a lot of control over access to space. They essentially "control its fundamental underpinnings". But besides, it's only an analogy and, as such, simply a way of demonstrating that private enterprise and competition can work well in a sphere such as the internet or defence. I'm not sure there is a fundamental reason that access to space has to be seen differently in this regard. Ajkgordon (talk) 13:53, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't see private enterprise working well in any of those areas, honestly. Sure, companies use the internet to provide great convenience to consumers, but we have to constantly fight tooth and nail to prevent those very same entities from overtly controlling our internet life (SOPA/PIPA only being the most obvious of such attempts, and not the first or last). To me, it's bad enough that the last 15 years of the internet or so have turned it into a wasteland of advertisements and fake blogs that exist only to boost SEO (and, of course, show you even more advertisements). Q0 (talk) 03:01, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
"...it's bad enough that the last 15 years of the internet or so have turned it into a wasteland of advertisements and fake blogs that exist only to boost SEO...". Are you using the same internet as I am? The internet isn't some socialist geek purist's wet dream. It's a medium. As such it will be exploited by all sorts of people - commercial enterprises, scientists, bloggers, fundies, artists, advertisers, whatever. Just like any other medium. "They're trying to sell me toothpaste on the TV airwaves! They should be kept pure! Oh noes!" It will always be a fight to keep the various competing interests in balance. That's what legislation is for.
And as for defence contracting being baaaaaaad... shock horror, companies try to profit by playing the system, politicians can be manipulated... This is news?
Why is all this suddenly an argument against private companies in space? Look, private companies have had access to space for years in the form of all those geostationary TV satellites (as an example).
That private enterprise and competition can produce innovation and efficiencies that are simply structurally unavailable to the state is undeniable. You do not need to look very far to see numerous examples of this when markets are deregulated or privatised (debatable in the aforementioned public services example like railways). Yes, there is often excessive exploitation by unscrupulous businesses (witness Russia) but that's down to the state not doing what it should be doing, i.e. legislating for and enforcing level-playing fields, seed funding, consumer protection, environmental protection, infrastructure obligations, etc. It doesn't make deregulation or privatisation bad per se.
Sorry for the disjointed rant and I appreciate that many of you are socialists. But we can see that allowing NASA et al almost exclusive control of space has stifled this most important of human endeavours since, well for ever, but particularly since Apollo. The Space Shuttle was an awe-inspiring achievement but what did it cost? Not just in monetary terms but in that it dominated NASA expenditure while gaining only limited low orbit access to space. Time to move on. Ajkgordon (talk) 10:39, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that all of that is the classic capitalist rant against government, a self-fulfilling prophecy. You underfund government programs like NASA, and then later claim that their subsequent lack of innovation somehow 'proves' that the government is a failure. Never you mind that NASA did pretty damn well when we actually cared about it. For that matter, I also don't think Russia is very good for your argument. An oligarchy isn't exactly a great replacement for communism. And despite US propaganda claims ("We won the space race!"), the Soviet space program was highly successful, and Soyuz has long been considered the superior spacecraft. Unfortunately, both space programs were from the start more politically motivated than scientifically motivated, as is obvious from the rushes in early design and cutting funding once the space race was no longer a big deal.
What's worse, though, is assuming the brand of capitalism that leads to private companies as aggressors against the public is inevitable, and ignoring the failings of privatization around the world where it's convenient to do so. Q0 (talk) 22:41, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Sigh. No, it's not a capitalist rant. These things aren't black and white, all state vs. all private. But you seem to be impervious to the criticism of government programmes. "We" underfunding government programmes is the government underfunding them, not the capitalist ranters. It's part of the problem. Leaving the state in almost total control removes commercial incentives while pandering to the whims of four year election cycles. This is what has left America in the frankly embarrassing position of having to rely on the Russians to taxi their astronauts up to the ISS. It's no use dreaming that it would be all great if the capitalists didn't keep cutting the funding. Capitalists in government is part of your cultural and political backdrop. It's what government is, especially in the US.
(As an aside, I should point out that it is Obama who has pushed for this new paradigm, while the last "capitalist" president was going all out for the huge government Constellation project.)
Soyuz long considered the superior spacecraft? By whom and for what? Yes, it's very reliable and relatively inexpensive. But it's very limited in its function. NASA could have produced something very similar after Apollo - in fact they did and used it for several missions to and from Skylab. But they scrapped it in favour of the Shuttle.
And who is "...assuming the brand of capitalism that leads to private companies as "aggressors against the public" is inevitable, and ignoring the failings of privatization around the world where it's convenient to do so."? Are you ignoring what I said about legislation and how it should be used for protection? And the oligarchy phenomenon in Russia is the example I used as a failure of privatization.
Come on, this shouldn't be an ideological argument. The pros and cons should be argued from a perspective of practicality and sustainability. State control, either by the Soviet/Russian model or the American one, has not produced the results we should be expecting. Space is too important to the future of this planet and our species. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:17, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
But it is about ideology. We clearly agree on the importance of space projects, it's just we seem to disagree on what is the best way to get things done. I say the best way to do it is to fund state programs and work toward consolidating internationally. You seem to think the verdict is in on those programs, that they've failed. But I'll say again: they made exceptional progress... when it was politically apt to give them the necessary funding. You say the funding issue is a problem with government itself, but I see no reason it has to be that way. That's why I identified the whole thing as this base level of capitalist argument (that, and you threw around socialist a few times beforehand anyway). Government as the problem not the solution, and all that mess.
Obama moving toward space privatization is not surprising to me in the least. After all, he's just as much a capitalist as every post-Reagan president. Even coming into his presidential campaign in '08, that was clear enough to anyone who looked. He was definitely the 'best' choice out of the two candidates, but despite the laughable rhetoric about him being a socialist, he's continued on the usual path with the usual suspects (see every economic advisor, the treasury, the Fed, etc). And yes, you're right in that it would take quite a drastic change to move the US away from the politics of crony capitalism, but that won't stop me from arguing the matter. Q0 (talk) 10:41, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, yes, it is about ideology - I'm saying it shouldn't be. I don't have any ideological objection to huge state projects, as long as they achieve the goals I could support at a cost that is acceptable. Unfortunately they haven't. We have been stuck in low-earth orbit with a magnificent boondoggle which has absorbed a huge proportion of, not just NASA's, but the world's space budget. While there have been some awe-inspiring successes like Voyager, Hubble and the Mars Spirit and Endeavour mission, the last truly great achievement was the Apollo moon landings. How anyone can maintain that this counts as "exceptional progress" is beyond me. With respect it seems to me you are too focussed on the political orientation of various politicians and projects rather than what they can achieve. We know what NASA has achieved over the last 40 years. To me that is insufficient. Let's give Obama the credit for trying something new. Don't forget, it's only a bit of cargo. It's not like he's paying evil corporations to strip mine the moon. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:08, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

'Anti-Racists' Attack White Heritage Group in Family Restaurant

Not sure how I feel about this one. The Spikey Punk I'm punking my punk! 12:51, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

People ask why there's "black pride" and Black History Month but no equivalent for white people, but they don't get it. Irish, Italian, German, and Anglo-Saxon roots are celebrated everyday in the same way African-American roots are. The difference is that black culture in the US was mashed together several centuries ago when slaves were being shipped to the Americas. So don't complain that you don't get to have any ethnic pride, because you do.--"Shut up, Brx." 13:19, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
It seems pretty clear to me. Beating up people because of what they believe should not be what we do. We're the good guys. The enemy of my enemy is not necessary my friend, in this case, definitely not. And, Brx, what the fuck are you on about? Bad Faith (talk) 13:22, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I think he was trying to say that White History Month is actually the other eleven months that are not Black History Month. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 13:32, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Brx has got it right. "White" has never been an overarching cultural signifier for any group except for white supremacists. What we call "White" is a group of Irish, German, Italian, and all manner of other groups that were often at each other's throats. What we call "Black" culture, on the other hand, is something that, despite geography, has been shared by African Americans nationwide. White Power isn't the white version of Black Power, its a completely different concept with a completely different history.RachelW (talk) 14:17, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
This is a really good point and you are a smart person to have said it.--ADtalkModerator 12:34, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Brx has got it right? Yeah, I agree. Great stuff. --"Shut up, Brx." 15:44, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I view the reason why we don't have a "white history month" or why "white pride" isn't celebrated is because context matters. We don't need a white history month because white American history has never suffered suppression, same with white culture. White pride is looked down upon because historically it meant oppressing other cultures (often savagely) in order to maintain white cultural dominance and not to simply celebrate ancestral European culture.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 16:28, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
That too--"Shut up, Brx." 16:31, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The thing is, just as serious racism exists among white people. Go to Flanders, and listen to them talk about the French, often while speaking in French. On the other hand, as I've found when writing these articles, there is an identity that does exist for Western Europe, and the "white" citizens of her colonies. And that's probably why such an emphesis on the term "white" formed (? - or not, this is pulled out of my ass, of course). That is, while Felmish and French may have serious levels of racism in small towns, they still share mostly identical values and culture, when compared with say, Tibet, or Nigeria, or Dravidic India. Green mowse.pngGodot 16:41, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
While I see your point, I am highly skeptical that the "racism" between European whites is anything close to "just as serious" as the racism perpetrated by white Europeans and their descendents against people of color. Picon small.pngAcer Blue 12:48, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Probably wouldn't be a good idea to tell, for ezample, scottish or welsh folk about how their is identical to english culture AMassiveGay (talk) 17:40, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
And yet, it is the factual truth. They share the roots of a language, they share the same religion (though they call it different things, and say 'my religion uses minsters and yours uses priests), they have the same view of family and what makes a family, as well as things like "whom you can and cannot marry", the same basic moral codes, etc. It's not till you find people 'really different" from yourselves, that you see how truly similar you are. Green mowse.pngGodot 19:11, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
No they don't, really. Whether you speak of the Welsh/Scottish/English thing or broader Europe, they don't, really. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:27, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'd agree, but I would strongly argue that most of the modern U.S. francophobia stems from the assumption that French culture should be similar to "white" american culture, and the fact that it isn't pisses off white americans because white people are all supposed to have the same or similar cultures. Omar (gibber) 19:29, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

There's certainly a lot of common ground among western peoples (i.e European peoples and the descendants of their colonists in the new world), but it has more to do with shared social, historical and cultural (e.g. religion, language, communication, levels of industrialisation & development) than being "white" specifically. When people talk about "white pride", you know they're talking about racialism based on skin colour, genetic theories, etc. rather than any meaningful ideas about cultural roots. Unfortunately, phrases like "European Heritage" are often used as euphemisms for much the same thing. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:37, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
While we may not call it white pride, there's a lot of pride in Europe (and that's the only continent I know this). We Europeans take pride in our history. From the advent of democracy is Athens, over the codification of Roman that dominates all schools of law, the fall of Rome, the Enlightenment (which after all, was largely European), the Golden Age of art and culture between 1871 and 1914, the defeat of fascism (yeah ok Americans kind of helped out there), the fall of the Iron Curtain and today our social safety nets (American-style health care has reached snarl word level in some countries) our ability travel freely and life wherever we want to in the EU and mulit-culturalism. A lot of those things are *ahem* "white things", and accordingly we could be white proud of ourselves. But we aren't, coz there are other white people out there, some of them needed a while longer… It's hard to put all white people under one hat and be proud, because we're fucking everywhere. --Raga Man (talk) 23:08, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
That might work if you left out the centuries of white people from Europe brutally establishing themselves as the dominant race throughout the world and pretty effectively creating all modern systems of racial oppression. That is the legacy of "white pride" outside of the Euro-American bubble. It is nothing to be proud of. Picon small.pngLiquid Blue 13:01, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Why do people always think just because you don't mention those things you want to ignore those things? --Raga Man (talk) 13:17, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh also, the typical European neighbourly nation-bashing "polish steal cars" "germans are always punctual" "french something something baguette" "italians never get their shit straight" "english people are weird" is more of a continental past time than serious racism, we still love each other very much. It's like saying black people like chicken. --Raga Man (talk) 23:12, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
What is it with Nazis and child porn anyway? Long live the international movement of the proletariat! (talk) 20:31, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Neighbour bashing isn't European, everybody does that. You know the stereotype of Nigerian scammers? That stereotype comes from their African neighbours, anybody in West Africa is familiar with the idea that a stereotypical Nigerian is a scammer. Like most stereotypes it's not entirely without foundation but of course hugely exaggerated. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 09:28, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for attacking something I didn't even say. Now we know how it would have panned out if I would have wrote that. --Raga Man (talk) 19:28, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
You wrote "typical European neighbourly nation-bashing". I didn't attack anything, I observed a common error, the assumption that this behaviour is somehow "European" when in fact it happens everywhere as I illustrated. I thought that was interesting, you, apparently, feel attacked. Too bad. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 11:15, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I did and it's supposed to read: typical European neighbourly | nation-bashing. As opposed to other continents bashing each other, or the same thing happening globally. It is a common problem in English, though. As there's no way to mark what adjective and adverb belongs to what (no genus and in this case no numerus) as soon as several of those are put together, problems arise — in such cases it is common sense to infer from context what is meant. From you pointing it out, I can tell that you think I'm an utter dumbass, as you infered that I mean something which is clearly not the case. Which is rather hilarious in this case, as you infered that a European on an mostly American website has no clue nation-bashing exists outside his own continent, when often, that guy himself takes partakes in nation bashing outside his own continent. But there's an even more fundemental mistake having to do with properties. Because "typical European" doesn't even mean "only happening in Europe" by a long shot. For example we can say "It is so typical of Marc to drink too much, now I've got to carry the fucker home". If we use the way you interpreted "typical" this means that only Marc drinks too much and nobody else in the world does, which is clearly wrong. This is a less common error. --Raga Man (talk) 13:17, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

See: Heaven and Hell. Then delete it or move it to Fun, if I didn't already write it there. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:36, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Moved to Fun:Heaven and Hell five minutes after creation. Oniontalk/edits 02:42, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Sci-Fi movie loving geeks

I don't know if you can see this; I didn't want to post the pic here cause it's copy written. But how many of these robots can you name? [1]. I can easily get over half of them, but there are many I have NO flipping idea about. --Green mowse.pngGodot 19:01, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

My robot knowledge is lacking. However, I'm happy to spot both Marvins, scutters, Kryten, tachikoma, Robbie, Twiggy, Dalek, Robot Bill & Ted. --PsyGremlinTala! 19:21, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
BOTH marvins? Ohhh... that might help. My dad nursed my bro and I on 50's black and white B-movies and TV. it's his passion, so I know some of the more obscure ones like the robot from the original Buck Rogers. --Green mowse.pngGodot 19:25, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, as a pedantic geek, I do have to point out that neither the cybermen or daleks are robots or droids. Otherwise, bloody good fun. Worrying that I could recognise so many of them, but name so few. Names, can never remember them. I think I spotted the bloody annoying robot from Waters of Mars, but can't see R Dorothy Wainwright in there...if anyone spots her, let me know.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 19:36, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Technically, the Henry vacuum cleaner isn't a robot either. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:53, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
(ec) There's a couple of gems lurking in there - Maximillian and Vincent from Black Hole, K-9, robot from Laputa, Gort, Cybermen. Damn, I think my evening plans just turned to shit. Ooh! And the oven robot from Wallace and Grommit. --PsyGremlinSnakk! 19:37, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Bigger version here. I can only get a handful of them, although I remember Ludwig and probably haven't seen or heard mention of it in about 25 years. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:49, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The one I knew, that most people didn't was the Red Robot, near the right side, who was from an animated cult flick called "Wizards".--Green mowse.pngGodot 19:51, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Ohh, the robot maid from the Jetsons. Question, roughly left of center, 3ish rows down (as if there are rows), next to bill and ted is a black robot with a human looking head, looks a bit like rush limbaugh. anyone have an idea who that is? --Green mowse.pngGodot 19:53, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
That's Kryten from Red Dwarf. Thanks for spotting the Wizards robots. That movie was awesome. --PsyGremlinFale! 19:57, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah! Just spotted the Smash Martians. That took me back - 'For mash get Smash' . And Calculon - you know, I swear he wasn't there when I looked earlier, creepy. Oh this has made my day - Farscape! DRDs to be precise. Whoa, there's two K9s in there. That's brilliant.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 20:02, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Gawd, they even have Tor from "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" in this (towards the top right corner, in the top row, three to the left of ED-209)--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 20:20, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
The dice with the evil face (bottom right corner). I know I know that one, so it must be from kids tv, UK, early eighties, but I can't remember what it's called or what show it's from...--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 20:32, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Well fuck me, they are the Cubes from Terrahawks. An hour it's taken me to remember that. Loved that show...--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 21:16, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
As well as the evil cubes, there's also the really camp ball robot from Terrahawks in there as well. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:32, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not seeing any robots from EarthBound. That makes me sad. Vulpius (talk) 21:35, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Wow, this is like a waltz through my childhood - just spotted Metal Mickey.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 22:26, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Nice to see Ludwig in there. But what about R. Daneel Olivaw? Sophiebecause liberals 22:29, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

answers Green mowse.pngGodot 23:47, 23 May 2012 (UTC)

The robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still was an inspiration for the starmen, Vulpius. But yeah, I was also sad to not see any clearer examples. Mr. Anon (talk) 00:48, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
Just spotted Dot Matrix from SpaceBalls as well. I was expecting her virgin alarm to go off. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:36, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
The white robot with the green X's, is that from the old road safety videos? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 09:38, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks to this poster and the "answers" sheet I managed to identify a half-remembered animated movie I've been looking for for quite some time - Starchaser: Legend of Orin. Now I only have to find out how to get it... --ZooGuard (talk) 13:35, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

You know it's a pretty comprehensive role-call when Screech's robot Kevin from Saved by the Bell is beaming out at you. On that note, anyone noticed any conspicuous absences? Was surprised the Styx Mr Roboto robot didn't get a look in. Grumblejaws (talk) 18:31, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Valid vs. sound philosophy from the a-unicornist.

This rationalist blogger notes there is a difference between a "valid" philosophical argument and a "sound" one. A valid argument only requires that the conclusion follows from the premises. If the premises are false, the conclusion doesn't have to be accepted.

For example the argument that the universe needs to have a Prime Mover (or First Cause) is undercut by relativity theory.

Thus a lot of the believer's apologetic appeal to the New Atheist's lacking philosophical sophistication is a bit of bluster and bluff, as much of their philosophy has bad premises to begin with. (Alvin Plantinga for example doesn't really understand the theory of evolution.)

The full post is here. [2].

Of course, there is also a lot of really bad apologetics which doesn't even rise to the level of "valid" mostly coming from fundamentalist writers. (There's a reason why Ayn Rand admired [without agreeing with] St. Thomas Aquinas, but held other Christian philosophers/theologians in more general contempt, notably St. Augustine.)--WickerGuy (talk) 22:27, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Glad to hear logic getting a look in when it comes to arguments/debates. For those curious, their definition of a sound argument is one where the premises are actually true (probably has to be valid as well)58.163.175.174 (talk) 02:32, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Constructing an internally consistent argument with totally rigged premises is the MO of apologetics, as well as a certain brand of economic theology. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:53, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

I feel sad

Why is it that I always lay a hand to the unpopular users here? First Rob, and now Brx. Mr. Anon (talk) 05:13, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Because your a good person? you just pick parasites. --il'Dictator Mikal 05:18, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Because everyone else prefers to just sit back and watch the fireworks?
But in all seriousness, save the random deletions for when he gets really annoying, Nutty. It's not like he's even around right now to appreciate it. Peter with added ‼Science‼ 05:21, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I do too, Anon, I appreciated what you did back there because I was stuck in a meeting and couldn't log on. Perhaps it's because we have a hard-on for due process but I can't speak for you. Speaking of parasites, Mikalos can you point me to a single page that you have recently made a decent contribution to? Tielec01 (talk) 06:45, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Above post was too harsh - Mikalos you make a valuable social contribution to the wiki. Tielec01 (talk) 06:50, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
I call them a parasite because they consistently give reason for us to not like them but make no effort to improve this. as for my own contributions? Eh. --il'Dictator Mikal 06:53, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Someone who doesn't add to mainspace content but does say good things on talk pages isn't a parasite but a symbiont, n'est-ce pas? Sophiebecause liberals 07:44, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Following the parasite analogy, is a user who tries and fails to contribute a cancer? Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 09:50, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
But in all those cases, you should always attempt to remove the foreign entity, even the benign cancer. If we can make the wiki more lean and mean by removing CP cruft, should we not do the same to non-contributing "members" that do nothing but waste precious bandwidth and storage space? Er... wait a minute, I'm digging my own grave here. --CoyoteSans (talk) 17:33, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
"benign cancer" is an oxymoron. Cancer is a malignant tumor. A lump is a benign one. I did lol at Stabby's "joke" though, she's a serious pain, and always seems to metastasize. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:20, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
"Er... wait a minute, I'm digging my own grave here."
You explained the joke. Shame on you. Nihilist 04:51, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
What's going on?--"Shut up, Brx." 12:07, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

There's going to be a new astronomical telescope

A decision is due later on where to site one of the great scientific projects of the 21st Century Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:35, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

It's bullshit. They waste god knows how much money on SA and Aus bidding for it, then decide to split it between the two. Welcome to the square 500m array. PsyGremlinSermā! 16:09, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Though on two sites you can increase your baseline, because you don't need reflectors thousands of miles in diameter, you just need detectors that far apart. Scarlet A.pngsshole 16:14, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
Wait, the whole thing is BS, Psy. or just you think they way they went about wasting money is the BS part. As in, it's going to happen, yes? and it's a good project? Or no.--Green mowse.pngGodot 16:36, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
No, I think the project is amazing, but we've been fucking around for something like 3 years with proposals and feasibility studies and crap, when they could have said they're sharing it right from the start. - Psy - too lazy to type ~ on my phone
And third world NZ gets a piece of the action. Though admittedly ours will be made from rocks and twigs. AceModerator 22:01, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
^^^ funny. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:16, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Not that up to speed with radio astronomy, but a question. What will this array achieve that isn't already being done with RadioAstron / Spektr-R? Since the distance between the receivers is the key element, then wouldn't that mean that Radioastron, with an orbital element with 390,000km apogee, is going to provide greater resolving power than a completely ground based system? --TheEgyptiansig001.png 00:38, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
AFAIK, Radioastron is under-utilized because of a) they can't handle the data for some reason and b) there are not enough ground stations to act as the other piece of the interferometer. Guess what the SKA can be used as. Also, it may be working on other wavelengths.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:58, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

MediaWiki extensions?

Could someone point me to the MediaWiki extensions list used by RW? As a personal experiment to start, I want to copy my CZ articles into a MediaWiki environment on a hosted server, and then experiment with some semantic extensions, particularly in tracing political networks. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 19:26, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Special:Version. Nihilist 22:38, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
The mediawiki-l mailing list is top stuff, by the way, and is read by the developers. I understand http://mwusers.com is not bad too - David Gerard (talk) 00:16, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Now that this topic is here, is there any walk-through for extension:vandalbreak? I tried it, and it borked my wiki.RandonGeneration (talk) 05:44, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
That would be "vandalbrake" wouldn't it? (Surprisingly, even Trent managed to spell that correctly.) The "vandalbreak" extension, as you have found, borks your wiki. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 10:11, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
He spells correctly when he has to actually name the stuff he invents. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:12, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
You dont say...RandonGeneration (talk) 21:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

The RWF board need to read the Nonprofit Kit for Dummies

My review. Seriously, I needed to have read this book about 25 years ago. And five years ago, 'cos then Wikimedia UK version 1 would have succeeded rather than failing. Anyone else who's ever considered going near a charity should too. The book details US laws, but the basic framework for actually having your shit together is gold - David Gerard (talk) 00:13, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Is there a readable version of your blogpost/review somewhere? An executive summary, perhaps? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:14, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
"Readable"? Are you using a browser that can't handle WordPress or something? Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 02:23, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
UG LIKE BOOK. BOOK GOOD. BUY BOOK. READ BOOK. APPLY BOOK. I realise one of the words there has two syllables, but if you spend a few days working up to it you should cope with only minor skull trauma - David Gerard (talk) 10:08, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Facebook 404

Anybody else getting the weird "There is no site configured on this address" message when they try and get into Facebook? --PsyGremlinParla! 10:23, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

No. And DFEOJM doesn't show a problem. Refresh your DNS.--ADtalkModerator 10:30, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Myths of Skepticism

By Mike Sofka. Fails to credit Duhem, Quine, or Lakatos in his formulation of falsification, though. Tsk tsk. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:52, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Though it is nice to see people get a bit beyond Popperian falsification, which I've always thought to be highly over-rated as a demarcation tool. Though, what is the point of Myth #6? Seems to be "personal experience is equally valid to reproducible and statistically relevant facts... so...?" Not sure. If anything, I'd replace that one with the myth that science is somehow a magical medium that affects only "science" type things. Science is based on learning about the world by daring to actually look at the world. In that respect, looking both ways and listening before crossing a road is as much science as sticking someone in an MRI system to look at their brain. If you build science up as something more powerful and mysterious than that, you simply perpetuate the idea that an individual's prejudices and experiences and biases are equally valid as more solidly collected facts: "I prayed to God, and then a tax rebate came, therefore God is real!". Scarlet A.pngmoral 10:33, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Interesting article but at some level I am not sure he was saying all that much. The falsification question is one that particularly interest me. I am bit on the opposite spectrum of Armondikov and have yet to ever see a real alternative that I think captures a better demarcation system. Yah it needs a touch of refinement, but a primary argument that seems to basically say that falsification is a bad demarcation "cause that is not house science is done" doesn't impressive me that much. I think folding it into a Bayesian type system solves most of the issues in the article. Everyone has a prior and choosing the prior can be messy and does have a direct effect on how we process probabilities for hypotheses. Single observations can only adjust our expectations of the truth of a hypothesis in proportion to how far off from expected data they are, otherwise its a conglomerate of observations that adjusts are probability weight. So P(D|H) is a very important term, which takes care of the crazy mystic too. Tmtoulouse (talk) 17:06, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I simply don't think it's the be-all and end-all, especially in that naive form. A lot of fledgling skeptics treat it as some litmus test for what is "science" and what is "bunk" but I'm not sure that everyone really understands how to use it. If I'm sat with a few people hashing out reaction mechanisms, falsification is the last thing going to be on anyone's minds. We'll think of observable consequences to a particular hypothesis, but it won't be formalised in a Popperian way - are we pseudoscientists until that point? Clearly, its abuse as a hard-and-fast litmus test means we'd never get anywhere because there'd be no way we were allowed through the proto-science stage - string theory and loop quantum gravity, for instance. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:04, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
As a litmus test its about separating out "science" not sorting into one of two categories. If a hypothesis can not make predictions that are observable (technical limitations or otherwise) it fails the litmus test as it should. But what it is after that is open to debate. String theory and loop quantum gravity are not testable hypotheses (yet at least) and are not science. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:09, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Yet they actually do have observable quantities - one predicts minute wavelength dependent differences in the speed of light, for instance. But saying they're "not science" puts them in a different category to the reciprocal system, as the reciprocal system does make observable statements - it's just that Satz backpeddles like crazy every time he's wrong and formulates things ass backwards. The difference is staggering, yet this falsifiability litmus test (based on Popperian demarcation) would make Ron Satz's work "science" and stuff done by Brian Greene and Michio Kaku as "not science". Scarlet A.pngbomination 21:24, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
But when has a theory that can explain any given result ever "passed" a falsification litmus test? Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:45, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Crazy Awesome Hungover Cure

I reckon combining two Aspirin with a Berocca in a big glass of vodka and red-bull would be the ultimate hangover cure. I might give it a shot next time Mrs McWicked is out of town. If anyone knows a way of mainlining bacon and eggs I would be set for the day. AceModerator 03:01, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

How safe is that? Osaka Sun (talk) 03:06, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
What? The hangover cure or injecting bacon and eggs? The hangover cure is probably fairly safe but injecting bacon and eggs into your bloodstream is probably...also quite safe. Remember though, you are talking to a guy that drank a shot of gin through his ear. AceModerator 03:11, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Completely safe. Needs a shot of tequila in there for completeness, though - David Gerard (talk) 10:09, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, yes. Good thinking DG. AceModerator 11:20, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
If you filter the grit out of it I'm pretty sure you can inject anything into you and not die. At least not instantly. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:36, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I discovered a sure-fire hangover cure last Friday night. I was attending my university's Summer Ball, celebrating having recently finished my degree. I got home at 2am, wanting to stay later but deciding to leave after falling asleep on some couches and long losing everyone I went with. I made it home and blundered into my back garden with the intention of smoking a cigar but instead fell over and vomited violently next to the disposable bbq we'd been using hours earlier, then ate a few painkillers before going to bed. The next day was spent in the garden drinking beer and working on an awesome tan. No hangover whatsoever. El TajDon't make me do stuff 10:58, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Don't fucking lie. You Brits can't tan - you have two colours: white and red. AceModerator 11:19, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
There's also blue. Either with woad or the English winter. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 16:26, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Ancient Britons
Never hit on
Anything as good as woad to fit on
Neck, or knees, or where you sit on,
BOTTOMS UP TO WOAD!
That's only Celts - Scots, Welsh and Irish. The English tan very well. Those that can't are given a supply of fake tan by the government and moved to Essex. Besides, I have Spanish blood in me. El TajDon't make me do stuff 11:59, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Tans are for oompa loompas and the prematurely agedAMassiveGay (talk) 17:23, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

This seems nuts

Imagine having to admit you got beat up by Justin Bieber. I can hardly think of anything more embarrassing. DickTurpis (talk) 15:20, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Amazing, and he needed to go to the hospital to. This guy's life is over. It doesn't matter what he does now, he's always going to be known as the guy who got beat up by Justin Bieber. Oniontalk/edits 15:39, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I wonder what the reaction would be if it had been a girl who had gotten beat up by Justin Bieber? Nihilist 16:10, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Amazing, and she needed to go to the hospital to. This girl's life is over. It doesn't matter what she does now, she's always going to be known as the girl who got beat up by Justin Bieber. Oniontalk/edits 16:49, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I doubt it. While there may still have been some "ha, you got beat up by Justin Bieber", it'd be nowhere near the ridicule a male would get -- because, you know, Justin Bieber's effeminate and has a girly voice. Nihilist 17:01, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
A girl getting a beating from beiber would be torn apart by rabid beliebers AMassiveGay (talk) 17:25, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Probably "give it to me, baby!" Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:50, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
YOu didn't mention it was a paparazzi that got beat up by Bieber. I have no sympathy for them at all.--WickerGuy (talk) 22:30, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

NDT and skepticism in the internet age

I'm sure most of you have seen this, but it was the first time I encountered it. Neal Degrasse Tyson speaking about skepticism and the internet age. .--Green mowse.pngGodot 19:17, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Stop Alien Abductions!

Stop Alien Abductions! I can't tell if this site is for real or not. AceModerator 21:34, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Poe. It must be poe. If it isn't poe then we deserve to be conquered by Little Green Men... --TheEgyptiansig001.png 22:20, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Did you the "Skills/Tools" required section: "Dexterity, use of scissors, adept at cutting and shaping paper and plastic sheets."
Surely can't be for real. AceModerator 22:23, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
As they seem to be actually selling stuff, it could be actually a very malicious hoax.--WickerGuy (talk) 22:43, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I've seen this site before and it is definitely poe. As for it being a possible scam, well, it doesn't seem to me that the website itself is directly selling anything, its just listing a bunch of random stores.[3] Oniontalk/edits 23:45, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia used to have an article on the founder of the site and it got nominated for deletion with the decision to delete. Discussion is here [4]--WickerGuy (talk) 22:46, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Not scientific but possibly true? Massimo Pigliucci on String theory and Freud.

In this podcast [5] of the James Randi Foundation's show "For Good Reason", Massimo Pigliucci points out that Freudian psychology is in a sense unscientific because it is not falsifiable insofar as everything in human behavior could in principle have a Freudian theory. Nonetheless, MP suggests in some sense it might be true, just as string theory might be. String theory is similarly completely untestable (no known experiment can falsify it, while it is consistent with all the data), but might be true.

MP also notes the conflict within the skeptic community of global warming and notes that most of those in the skeptic community who disbelieve in global warming also tend towards libertarian politics.--WickerGuy (talk) 22:37, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Notes: I actually gave the URL of Part I of a two-part podcast. "For Good Reason" is now hosted by DJ Grothe, who used to host CFI's "Point of Inquiry" before Chris Mooney and others took over--WickerGuy (talk) 22:37, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I am in way over my head here, so call me out of this is BS, but I think "science" has to take into account more than just "is it falsifiable", to the point of saying "does the math line up?" "Do our current observations line up?" There will not be a yes/no, but a "closer" "farther" sense of it being true - and it's still science. The thing with Freudian analysis and therapy is that they could actually BE TESTED if anyone really wanted to bother. You could do long term studies on a large enough sample size, analyze for particular issues that all share (whatever those be), and see if they improve in quantifiable ways. This won't be done, I suspect, cause 1) it would cost a lot, and 2, few people buy into Freudian psychology all that much any more. (the same way they do not buy into Darwin's theories any more. Time and study have radically altered the basic idea that were presented). --Green mowse.pngGodot 23:27, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I think I agree with you on Freud. The notion that a scientific theory has to be falsifiable was proposed by the eminent philosopher of science Karl Popper, but now it's seen to be problematic, as MP points out in the podcast. But MP is using the word "scientific" in a more peculiar sense. False theories such as Newtonian physics can be "scientific", they just are not "true"!! In other words, he's using the word "scientific" in a sense of something within the purview of science to say Yes or No to.--WickerGuy (talk) 02:24, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

General POE note

Occasionally purveyors of POE put in definite clues that this is a hoax, but still fool many people. Case in point: Famed 2002 French mockumentary Dark Side of the Moon purports to demonstrate that the NASA moon landings were faked with the help of film director Stanley Kubrick. The second half of the film has increasingly ludicrous stuff including interviews with scientists with the same name as characters in later Kubrick films (one of them is "Jack Torrance"!!) and STILL audiences who saw it thought it to be a sincere documentary!!--WickerGuy (talk) 22:42, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Ummm, "we" are familiar with it. "Some of us" even added it to our Moon landing conspiracy theories article. "Some of us" even have witnessed the effect on several occasions. And it's "Poe", because it's a person's name. See Poe's law, if you haven't already.--ZooGuard (talk) 22:58, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Mea culpa on the Poe caps. Thanks for the correction. Never meant to imply folks here at RW didn't know about it- just thought that in particular it was an interesting case of strong Poe clues being deliberately put into the charade that some American viewers in general (not meaning RatiWik viewers) missed. Sorry if I was unclear!--WickerGuy (talk) 02:28, 29 May 2012 (UTC)--WickerGuy (talk) 02:28, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
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