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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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  1. Book Club (20:50, 23 Oct 2014)
  2. Has anyone ever hear William Pawelec? (05:51, 22 Oct 2014)
  3. Academia edu (05:05, 22 Oct 2014)
  4. Recommend Smart Action/Sci-Fi Novels (01:52, 22 Oct 2014)
  5. Pseudoscience in Schools (01:45, 22 Oct 2014)
  6. GMO foods (22:32, 20 Oct 2014)
To do list


[edit] Property rights versus human rights

"In its larger and juster meaning, it embraces every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leaves to every one else the like advantage. … He has a property of peculiar value in his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them. He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person. He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties and free choice of the objects on which to employ them. In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights." — James Madison, Property

Is there really that much of a difference? I was reading some of the documents on property written by the Founding Fathers and I'm wondering if their view is more accurate than the current one. What say you? — Melab (Talk) 22:16, 8 October 2014 (UTC)

I don't understand the question. What does "their view is more accurate than the current one" mean? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:43, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Property generally is an extension of oneself, that is, the substance of accumulated labor. The only time this is contested is, when one's property is inherited and not the accumulation of their own labor. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 22:58, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Most, if not all, property comes to people through ways other than "the fruit of one's labor" like gifts, use, finders keepers, and collection. The labor way always struck me as highly arbitrary. In fact, Locke most likely chose that principle so colonists could rob the Indians of the lands that they had not worked. As a result, objections to income taxation on those grounds never meant anything to me. It's good to have a conservative like nobs around here. Offers a different perspective on things. Sometimes an incredibly irritating perspective, but an alternative perspective nonetheless. — Melab (Talk) 23:31, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm also not so sure that I'd say property is an extension of the self. Not only does it sound weird, but it also certainly can't apply to property like copyright, patents, and debt. Not so sure what your opinion is on that, nobs. — Melab (Talk) 23:44, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
An example: the view that property can only exist in society is more accurate than the view that it can exist in isolation. — Melab (Talk) 23:35, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
What makes 'property' different from mere possession or discovery is the sanction of law. You can possess a human corpse; but because of law you don't have any property rights in it. You can't possess the words of a song, but because of law you can have a property interest in them. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 01:39, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Let's assume that most property does come to a person by their labor, homeownership is the best example. Yes, we do receive gifts (inheritance is a gift), let's leave that discussion til later. "The fruit of their labor" is among all but the self employed, not the property of the laborer; only a portion is, that which is paid out in wages. The raw produce of the worker is the property of the employer who allows the worker to use his/her property (or capital) to produce a value added good or service. What is paid out to the worker is indeed an extension of himself under law, agreed upon by worker & employer. If the law did not respect the substance of labor converted to some tangible property or intangible property right, we'd have a slave system. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 02:50, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
That's quite a big jump. I still don't see how the "fruit of one's labor" or even labor itself is such an important subject. You get hired, you get paid, you get taxed. That's all, really. — Melab (Talk) 04:09, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
That is true. It is also something most libertarians fail to understand. Property is a legal concept, not an economic one, and it's woven up with many other legal things. — Melab (Talk) 04:12, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
What exactly do you get paid in? Money is worthless until it is converted into the produce of other people's labor. A certain amount is consumed immediately (food, gas, utilities, etc); the remainder is some form of chattel or property. Even savings in a bank that is not consumed immediately, or the remainder of money, is property lent out at interest. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 04:17, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
(The following is personal opinion)Property as an extension of the right to the fruits of your labor isn't unreasonable, if that's what you're getting at. But the protection of rights mandates a degree of effort, and it's natural for the state to mandate that effort, sometimes directly, such as in the form of jury duty or negligence laws, sometimes indirectly in the form of taxes, which help practically fund and manage the protection of rights. Even in a purely freedom driven understanding of ideal government, mandates by the state are still completely and utterly necessary.
There's nothing inherently wrong with the notion that property rights are a kind of human right, but there's something wrong without considering the implications of an absolutist position about it. Ikanreed (talk) 14:43, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Property rights maybe the most fundamental of human rights. Law didn't invent property rights out of it's butthole, but for a reason: property as a representation of unconsumed labor is an extension of the individual him/herself. If the law did not respect the individual's right to gain, benefit and retain some a portion of their labor, other's naturally would have claim to it and we'd exist in some sort of system of perpetual indenture or slavery. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 18:54, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Again, how do you come to this conclusion that no property means slavery. The only that a lack of legal protection for property implies…is the absence of property. That's not hard to follow. — Melab (Talk) 19:36, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
The question would be, "what is the meaning of liberty?". If a person had no access to capital, or possessed no capital of their own (capital being property, or what is the same, the accumulated substance of labor) they would be entirely at the mercy of the owners of capital for the tools and materials necessary to eke out an existence, with no hope ever of accumulating their own capital or assets. This would be a perpetual state of indenture, or servitude, or in some extreme cases of indebtedness, legalized slavery. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 20:14, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
This really sounds like some of the arguments I've heard socialists make. That aside, if property isn't legally protected, then no one would be able to claim property and make your scenario true. There are two main notions of liberty in modern political philosophy: Hobbesian and Lockean. No laws against theft = more Hobbesian freedom = less Lockean freedom. — Melab (Talk) 00:19, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
You bring up Locke; as a New Yorker once told me, the Indians Natives thought the idea of owning land was crazy, so when they settled for $24 for Manhattan, who really was screwing, or cheating, who? nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 00:29, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
If I construct a really tall ladder and climb it, but doing so is really hard work, do I get a claim on the airspace I climbed into? This may seem like an odd corner case but if this is a basic human right I think we have to be absolutely clear on it. (talk) 13:58, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
"If a person had no access to capital, or possessed no capital of their own (capital being property, or what is the same, the accumulated substance of labor) they would be entirely at the mercy of the owners of capital for the tools and materials necessary to eke out an existence..." Since when did Rob become a commie? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:44, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
It does sound very much like something a socialist would argue, doesn't it? — Melab (Talk) 06:01, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Not really, it's paraphrasing Adam Smith and other classical liberals (Frederic Bastiat for example). "Life, liberty, property" more accurately would be, a right to "life, liberty, and pursuit of property". Capitalism doesn't guarantee success, but "pursuit of property" (meaning, retaining rights to a portion of one's labor after all the bills and taxes are paid) is what Thomas Jefferson meant by "pursuit of happiness". nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 20:42, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I like that TJ wised up on that little detail. Even super-crazy neo-classical economists would say that things you own and services you get aren't the only motivations to work. Jefferson cleaned up Locke's biggest misstatement, and I'm so glad he did. Ikanreed (talk) 20:49, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Yabutt "pursuit of happiness" today means the right to read Hustler magazine and smoke pot. That only makes the pimps, pornographers and dope dealers accummulate capital, while the working class consumers of their wares become more ignorant and impoverished. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 21:02, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Bastiat reads like he's got a stick in his ass. I thought he was a goto guy for libs, not cons. One more thing I've been confused by is the primary focus of people like Jefferson, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, and so forth: was it government or trade? I always considered government, law, and justice to be the main things the Founding Fathers ans Enlightenment political philosophers dealt with in their writings. Strangely, today's "classical liberals" are mostly economists or economics-oriented folks who wouldn't know the basics of law if it bit them in the ass. The scope of commercial and market matters is but a fraction of the political sphere. War, diplomacy, legislation, case law, marriage, judicial review, due process, various legal subjects, internet governance, and so forth are all missed by these "classical liberals". — Melab (Talk) 18:29, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Government, police, armies, and law evolved for one reason only: to protect property and property rights. Property (non-real property) is accumulated, undepreciated, unconsumed labor. Property rights in Real property, or Real Estate, likewise is amassed in the same manor. Now, after 1,000 years of a feudal order, the owners of property and those who retain rights never worked a day in their life. This of course led to tension among the toiling classes. The Whigs[wp] were among the first of a non-aristocratic merchant class, establishing a meritocracy, who were more qualified to run a government than the drunken lecherous blueblood heirs who by rights inherited their fortunes.

Socialists fall in to the fallacy of the "benevolence of government" argument, that government is a good thing and has the best interests of people (including the destitute) at heart. This has never been true anywhere on the planet. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 18:54, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

That seems unnecessarily reductionist and almost certainly false. Law deals with traffic, contracts, space, aviation, IP, bankruptcy, consumer protection, product liability, trusts, marriage, families, construction, advertising, wills, sailing, etc. That's a whole lot more than just "property".
I've never accused anyone of believing government is benevolent because that's almost never the case. A neoconservative who thinks we should keep the USA PATRIOT Act doesn't do think that way because he thinks government is good, but rather because he thinks security is more important than liberty. A Christian fundamentalist who wants adultery made a crime doesn't believe in "big government" or "benevolent government" either. Rather, they think the Old Testament should be the basis of civil law. — Melab (Talk) 20:31, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Deconstructing your argument, "traffic, contracts, space, aviation, IP, bankruptcy, consumer protection, product liability, trusts, marriage, families, construction, advertising, wills, sailing, etc.", virtually all are to protect property rights (some are more specialized now, like ""Family Law" & domestic violence, so there's a stretch there), and I did say evolve. Adultery being a crime would be to eliminate no-fault divorce, not promote stoning. One injured party suffers damages (again, a basis in property law) as a result from adultery, and law is suppose to redress the balance, not blame the victim thru no-fault. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 20:48, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Sure, in some tangential way, but only for some of them. What about privacy, personality rights, libel, radio jamming, inciting violence, threats, identity theft, competition law, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, cyberbullying, aiding & abetting, harassment, animal abuse, blackmail, etc.? The translations you'd need to make your point would be almost trivial and make "property" as meaningless as "like". I was only using adultery as an example of why I wouldn't say they believed in the "benevolence of government". No one, absolutely no one, is damaged by adultery. I'm not sure how no-fault blames anyone for anything. — Melab (Talk) 21:24, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Let's not get too far away from property law & property rights. Libel, for example cause damages to a person's reputation that may affect their ability to earn future income -- restricting their ability to accumulate property. Hence, property damages. Adultery violates an oath & contract. If two parties swear to be faithful, and one breaks it after 30 years, the other has been defrauded out of 30 years of his/her life. How then should he/she have to give up 50% of assts, in a community property state, accumulated over 30 years? Where does he/she go to get 30 years of their life back when they are not guilty of anything, and the law treats them as if they were guilty of breach and fraud as well? nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 21:50, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Honestly, that really seems to be stretching it. The ability to accumulate property is different from property itself. I suppose you could use that as a justification for laws against libel, but you'll also run afoul free speech values. The view of marriage as a contract doesn't resonate well with the Catholic side of me. Too commercial for my tastes (which isn't to say I hate commerce). Kind of debases the institution, really. Assuming it can be called a contract, then the most they'd be guilty of is breach. Even then, that's breach of contract, not really anything property-like (though the "transaction" still involves property). Not sure if two people counts as communal, either. — Melab (Talk) 22:07, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Marriage is a separate legal entity from the individual involved, kinda like a partnership or LLC. That's why there's different laws governing joint tax returns or joint checking accounts. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 22:21, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I never realized until now how legal-speak could suck the sacredness out of something. Getting back to your claim about property and law, I feel it's incorrect because things like, say, hacking and trespass are two very different crimes. I mean, you've got minimum wage, medical law, statutes like HIPAA, neglect, etc. Also, criminal law differentiates between property offenses and personal offenses. — Melab (Talk) 22:52, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Property confers a right, or title (from which we get "entitlement", such as food stamps today). Traffic laws are to protect property damage and personal injury, again, personal injury causes loss of the ability "to pursue happiness" in the future. Same as laws regarding sailing. Law in space is related to Real Property. Consumer protection means you can't be screwed out of your property. Likewise product liability means the property rights of buyers don't end when he sells his cash for a negligent or defective product. I could go on. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 23:08, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Done!

I moved the article on property into the mainspace. Tell me where it falls short. — Melab (Talk) 03:41, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

A good basic start. It needs RWising. Marxist and Libertarian views on property etc. How a property right is established in the first place could be mentioned. Who first gets to say "this land is mine"? SophieWilderModerator 10:17, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
James Madison's quote expresses the liberal view quite succinctly. — Melab (Talk) 20:59, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Here's a good quote:
"“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” ― Frédéric Bastiat. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 20:55, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I'll add it if it's not in there already. RW may be critical of libertarianism, but diversity of quotes in a section showcasing various opinions on the matter is important, too. — Melab (Talk) 18:43, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I think that its relevance to Rationalwiki could come through if we focus on some controversies. But I've only written a few sentences.Vajrapani (talk) 07:11, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Video games and violence

You would think that a community that has long argued that video games don't cause violence would refrain from threatening a critic with violence. I know, I know, #notallgamers, amirite? (talk) 03:20, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

And you'd certainly think they wouldn't rally behind someone who claimed that video games helped shape Elliot Rodger's fantasies, yet Milo is one of their biggest heroes. ShapeshiftingLizard ~▲~ hear me roar ~▲~ 03:37, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
There may be some overlap between those who have long argued against violance causing and those who would threaten violence, but we cannot say for sure how much. It is best not to jump to conclusions and throw around generalisations. Nullahnung (talk) 07:06, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
The email sent to USU doesn't say anything about video games and focuses instead on its author's (supposed) grievance against feminism. Men with this attitude have carried out shooting massacres before on numerous occasions, so it looks like it could be a credible threat (compared to the bomb threat at that video game awards ceremony, for example). I don't see any reason to view this particular threat as something the "video game community" has done. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:47, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Well there's the fact that nobody outside of gamers has ever heard of Sarkeesian, for one. Why the hell would a non-gamer do this? She has produced very little that isn't about video games. Abed Nadir (talk) 08:50, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
That IRC leak of the 4Chan channal showed more then a few people in this don't give two shit about games, and just liked having people to target with their bullshit. A real life version of the Hateocracy I guess. --Revolverman (talk) 10:06, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Correction: Anita has specifically stated that one of the threats she personally received "did claim affiliation with #gamergate". Abed Nadir (talk) 08:56, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Sooo, threateners overlap with GG, GG overlaps with gamers, therefore gamers overlaps with threateners... (it's a possibility, but it's not a logical conclusion nonetheless). I'd like to see a Venn diagram. Nullahnung (talk) 10:12, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you're missing the circle on the Venn diagram for "misogynistic wankers." I can't really buy this is games making people violent when there's the whole "being a hateful fanatic" part which explains it quite well on its own. I mean come on, we had this whole debate once with violent movies back when VCRs first came along. King Skeleton (talk) 10:16, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, imo this is ill-placed snark: http://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Gamergate&curid=167903&diff=1373098&oldid=1373097
"But it was too good to pass up!"
Ech, fine, if you have to. Nullahnung (talk) 10:23, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that only works if they're either treating gamers as a monolithic group with uniform attitudes, or they're actually arguing it was the exact same people both times. King Skeleton (talk) 10:30, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Talking about "gamers" and non-gamers as binary groups is pretty useless. Most likely the guy who wrote the email has played some video games, but then so have all of us. He may have heard of Sarkeesian through video game community specifically, or just as likely (given the things he says in the email) through MRA sources ranting about her. The email strongly suggests that he's motivated by hatred of feminists rather than specifically anything about video game content and criticism. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:47, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────For the record, I didn't actually mean to imply that all gamers are like this. I guess I haven't been following this conversation all that closely. I have nothing against gamers in general, but I despise Gamergate, and this guy is exactly why. Abed Nadir (talk) 16:47, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

But what even makes this guy "Gamergate" at all when his email threat says nothing about video games whatsoever, let alone anything about Zoe Quinn or alleged journalistic corruption? I find it pathetic that everyone is buying into the idea that Gamergate is the epic struggle between the video game community and its critics, rather than just one stupid incident that it's better for everybody to move on from. This is the narrative touted by the losers who inflated Gamergate as a supposed controversy in the first place; why are people who oppose Gamergate accepting it so critically? And here you're Gamergate to something that doesn't even seem to be about games at all, just because it concerns somebody who is sort of connected to some of the things that kicked off in the wake of Gamergate. Is everything that Anita Sarkeesian has ever said or done and everything that ever happens to her throughout her life now officially a part of "Gamergate"? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:05, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I have to add, it doesn't particularly help that mainstream news sources are either tacking on "GamerGate" to it or are mentioning it as part of their coverage. (See: Washington Post, Standard Examiner, Forbes, The Guardian, etc.). Noir LeSable (talk) 19:56, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Sarkeesian says some of the threat messages mentioned "Gamergate", which would be making him "Gamergate" at all. Of course, she could just be a lying bitch - David Gerard (talk) 22:59, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
She received multiple threats, one of which mentioned Gamergate. The one that's getting press attention is the email from a guy threatening to go on a shooting spree, which doesn't. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:41, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
turns out the threat was a bunch of bull http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=54179 (talk) 13:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
No, the threat was effective, on two counts: 1. It shut down Sarkeesian's talk; 2. It reminded Sarkeesian, and all women that try to speak out against patriarchy, that men will resort to violence, sometimes sexualized, sometimes physical, sometimes emotional/psychological, in order to prevent that from happening. Perhaps there wasn't a guy with a gun, but, at the end of gthe day, that doesn't mater. The pen is mightier than the sword, and the largely defensive weapon of keyboard can inflict emotional terror towards a political end as well as a gun. The threat wasn't bull; the threat itself was the weapon, and an powerful one. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 13:57, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I think [Insert Name Here] of meant that the threat was likely not genuine, rather than that it was not "effective" or that it was all just a typhoon in a teacup. Noir LeSable (talk) 16:32, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
It's pretty vague what the police have actually done to assess the credibility of this anonymous threat. But anyway, someone intending a massacre would usually just do it rather than issuing threats, and somebody issuing these threats is most likely just doing it to get the response they want rather than actually planning a massacre. The elephant in the room here is that it wasn't actually the threat itself that made Sarkeesian pull out but the fact that the university couldn't legally prevent folks bringing guns to the lecture. As somebody said on Twitter, the Second Amendment stomped on the First. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:32, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Thunderf00t is laughing it up. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:38, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
From the looks of it, I think its more of a reminder that some morons on the internet will say anything for a reaction. Let's just hope the FBI finds this person and clears things up.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 02:14, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Threats are disgusting, but let's not forget that the threats are flying both ways, even though the game media 'surprisingly' only covers one side. So if you want to generalize a group by the trolls, then everyone is a terrorist. --GTac (talk) 12:11, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Pretty much lies and bullshit. Oh look, we have an article with references - David Gerard (talk) 14:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
But it's not, and your attitude about that really is telling. Only one side is allowed, any victims on the other side are ignored. Look up Boogie's twitter posts if you want, though judging from your article you only seem to be picking out twitter posts which support your side. --GTac (talk) 14:48, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
"Should women be allowed to create and play video games without fear of being murdered in real life? Let's hear both sides of the story." - David Gerard (talk) 20:33, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Wow, you sure schooled him. How's this site gotten so full of such trainwrecks? --Someon (talk) 22:18, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Just curious: can you provide an example of the threats going the other way? (This is a legitimate question, I'm interested).TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 22:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Maram Susli, Syrian rights activists and GG supporter, was harrassed by anti-GG Robert Caruso, with such beautiful remarks like "I will enjoy your beloved Syria being torn apart with violence and Assad in exile even more". He deleted his Tweets but someone archived them.
The best thing about fence sitting is being able to mock everyone involved. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Just live your life in a series of sexy poses and pray every night for a nuclear war. 16:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
This entire dispute is getting old, very fast too. I have mostly ignored this scandal (for a lack of a better word) but my understanding of this whole situation is that some gamers and trolls got violent towards women who were making mountains of molehills. The threats and stuff directed at anti-GG people and pro-GG people must be ended, with legal action if necessary (for threats of violence), indeed the quote at the top of the Gamergate page sums up how I think of current events related to this scandal. For certain the reason why this whole mess started is because the gaming community at large does not appreciate pedantic pontificating directed towards them. But of course we've moved beyond that point and the fact that this has gotten so out of hand shows quite clearly that there are unethical (understatement) misogynists in the gaming community and self-righteous, pedantic moralists in the social justice movement. What should be taken away from this whole controversy then? Simple, this controversy blew up out of proportion first because women took video games too seriously and second because the gamers took their criticism of video games too seriously and went way past the bounds of reasonable discussion (as did the people who responded to them though apparently to a lesser degree). Could it ever have occurred to you people (all of the people involved in this controversy not just the guy I'm responding to) that not everything has to be political or that not all criticism is meant to be personal? Apparently not. Alsto003 (talk) 03:33, 22 October 2014 (UTC) Alex
That's wonderfully plausible moderation, but you write like someone who's only read about Sarkeesian's videos, not watched them - David Gerard (talk) 12:24, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the more you see of those videos, the crazier they seem. Whereas most written forms of mainstream media seem to either praise or ignore the quality of them in favor of reporting the bigger issue of death threats.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 23:33, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Adam and Eve as sexism, Christian eugenics and fictional portrayals of religion.

This discussion was moved to User talk:Exiled Encyclopedist. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 06:56, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Moving to Colorado

Any Coloradans with suggestions, communities or stuff? I'm getting a job in Boulder to be more specific. Zero (talk - contributions) 15:52, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Depending on what you like for a community, nearby burbs of Louisville and Lafayette (my home) are pretty cool and notably more affordable. For the true adventure, try Nederland. It's an almost-collapsed former mining town that, conveniently, has bus service directly in to Boulder (as do most nearby communities). Bikes? You like bikes? If so, you're in a kind of heaven as long as you find a place between the dawdling college kids and the super-fast pro cyclists. MarmotHead (talk) 15:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I like in-line skating personally. I tend to go for hours on end and there is a nice trail nearby to my home that I abuse. Aside, it would seem like the real estate in that section of town is about the same or more expensive than where I am looking. If you know of a good place, I need a 1,000 sqft apartment and would like it kept under $1k/month. Details don't matter. Zero (talk - contributions) 16:19, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
In-line skating? I don't know enough about that, but Boulder has a very friendly large bike/ped/skater trail system based around creeks (that recently had their 500 year flood). Louisville does, too, just not as much. <$1K? That's a challenge. Boulder has some kinds of restrictions on new housing size (low supply) and, when combined with being a college town (high demand), it's expensive. A local agency "Housing Helpers" has a good variety of listings on line, though. I used them to find my place. MarmotHead (talk) 17:18, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I sent them an email. Their site quite honestly has some severe defects. Duplicate listings, listings with no rent costs, etc. I was kinda looking for temporary corporate housing but with nothing under some $2,300/month for a tiny place...well. Not having it would be correct. Zero (talk - contributions) 19:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
True, true. I actually went in person (I was staying at a nearby hotel) and then researched the selections on my own. If you just teleport to Boulder, it'd be fine ... MarmotHead (talk) 19:09, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Wot? No physics here?

Why no articles on David Bohm, Ed Fredkin, Karl Zuse, Leonard Susskind and many others? Not keen on Physics here? It may be too difficult for High School editors? (talk) 08:49, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Not even a section on Kurt Godel or John Conway? Maths is not a strong point here either? (talk) 08:58, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, before you make snide comments about the content on the site, maybe you should look at the site's mission, as well as what "off mission" means, before you look like a complete tit. PsyGremlinZungumza! 09:50, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity - got a link to the mission? I've just rootled around & all I found was this. I thought there was a reference on the main page or the "welcome" template but … Scream!! (talk) 12:34, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I suppose this is it: RationalWiki. Not the clearest. Scream!! (talk) 12:38, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Try Wikipedia. — HaamerModerator 12:18, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Our mission statement is right where it's always been - and where it belongs - on the Main_page Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 15:29, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
We've got more than enough physics woo around. For instance, Nassim Haramein is in the middle of a minor edit war and the talk page is filled with woo-backers. Noir LeSable (talk) 18:20, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Oh good. Obviously psychiatry is a pseudoscience like homeopathy. Hope you have some good articles on this. Cheers! (talk) 18:31, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, because nobody has ever had their schizophrenia successfully treated with neuroleptics. I'll assume you mean psychology which you also, clearly know little about. AyzmoCheers 18:50, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
wE CAN all have our weakness in life solved by a tranquiliser ... I know more about psychology than you know about quantum mechanics ... discuss. (talk) 04:04, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
All my problems in life has been simultaneously created, and solved by liberal doses of alcohol. Tielec01 (talk) 04:06, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
It's worth noting that I know a hell of a lot about quantum mechanics. - Grant (talk) 05:20, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] On the arrogance of browsers, part II

If you, like me, switched to Pale Moon from Firefox, and you still have a 24.* version, you are going to want to at least temporarily turn off browser updates, at least for the interim, because you don't want to be frogmarched into version 25. If it happened to you involuntarily, you can get the last good version here. Be sure to turn off updates as soon as you run it.

One thing that the 'update' does to you involuntarily is that it no longer tells websites that it's a version of Firefox. This breaks many sites, including in all likelihood many banking and credit card sites. It also broke my legal research site. It also broke DeviantArt.

Apparently the old version was "lying" about which browser it was, which breaks Robot's Rules of Order or some such. Now I know that the Firefox user base has been in freefall recently, as a result of arrogant decisions by those programmers forcing detestable changes in the interface, and their arrogant response: "don't like it? Install another add on." I think Firefox jumped the shark when it removed the ability to turn off Javascript. You don't disable a security feature without telling anybody. Their arrogant response then: "Don't like it? Edit your about:config file....Or install another add on." Well, fuck you too.

So I kind of understand Pale Moon's desire to announce itself to the world, and let the dataminers know that its users aren't using Firefox any more. But this breaks the web. I understand that they're going to fix this in another update, but it hasn't been fixed yet.

Any time the browser itself steps between me and what I'm doing, it's broken. I need unchanging, stable reliability from a web browser more than I need updates. Telling me the internet's a scary place just isn't persuasive any more. Whatever dangers lurk for the users of a months-old version are remote and speculative, while the problems letting the updates run are immediate and obvious. I suppose I can eventually go back to an extended maintenance last good version of Firefox, from the time before they decided to take Javascript control within the browser itself out of your hands.

But I don't need to be handed extra chores by browser programmers who decide to change the way the browser works and impose those changes automatically and without explanations before they're allowed to happen. I'm not really all that interested in the details of web browsers. I shouldn't feel the need to monitor the developers to be aware of whatever unwelcome surprises they're planning in future versions. All I want is for the browser to do its job and get out of the way.

One more thing: the 25.* versions of Pale Moon drop support for Windows XP. Their recommendations are typically arrogant: they want you to pay Microsoft for a newer operating system that will run like sludge on your systems specced for XP. What they're eager to tell you not to do is to keep the un-updated version that still works. Do they eat with the same hands that they type that stuff with? - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 14:40, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Is it really unreasonable to tell your consumer base that they are dropping support on a OS that's been succeeded by 3 (soon to be 4) newer OS's and is no longer maintained by it's provider? At some point they are going to have to and I don't see how it's all that evil to say "get a new OS"; it isn't like i can complain something won't work on a computer i use my windows 98 disc on; things moved on.--Miekal 16:14, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I find that I have software that works on XP but not 7 as well. A good deal of the software I actually bought and continue to use is ten to fifteen years old. Nothing that costs money is an adequate substitute, because it costs money. Nothing that isn't my old software is an adequate substitute, because I already know how the software I've been using for a long time works. So I intend to continue to use XP on the systems that were built to run XP for as long as the hardware lasts. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 16:24, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
And that's fine, but again, is it really unreasonable for a company that makes updated software (that you aren't having to pay for) eventually not work on that OS? I agree with your points, and they are good points, but I just don't see how you can call them evil because they chose to not include support for an outdated OS anymore. --Miekal 16:29, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, look, it really isn't the browser vendor's responsibility to make sure every site knows that their browser exists and doesn't do stupid things based on their version string. You remember a few years back when half the big corporate/government websites required IE, but worked fine with every other browser once you falsified your user agent string? Even today, half the time sites that do this won't recognise the Linux version of the browser even though it's the same code base. What you have is exactly the same problem. The solution is to beat it in to the tiny, tiny brains of the low-rent, low-bid outsourcing outfits who make these sites that doing compatibility checking by exclusion is insane. Different browsers shouldn't have to masquerade as more popular ones to get sites to work, that's a self-perpetuating problem since no one will ever test compatibility on a browser that their web logs say doesn't exist. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
What makes it, if not evil, at least annoying, is their suggestion to downgrade to a more recent OS that will not work well with your hardware. Like Microsoft needs more of your money. Their attempt to scare people away from keeping the last good version that works with their system is also a questionable judgment call. It seems more and more that the last good browser was Lynx. (ec) In that case, wouldn't a well made browser claim to be whatever the website wants it to be? - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 16:57, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
How on earth is it going to know that? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, with a user agent string, it's possible to make Pale Moon identify as Firefox -- or as IE or Chrome. It would seem to me to be at least possible to make a browser that claimed it could be all of them at once. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 17:14, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Not really. That's just a convenient lie to circumvent bad website coding. There's no officially mandated standard as to what form the user agent string should take. You'll probably find your user agent string is already telling the site its rendering engine is Gecko version whatever, which is the important part, it may even hint that it's firefox compatible. The problem is that that string is almost impossible to parse, because it was never meant to be machine readable. The only reason anyone is attempting to read it at all is to try and be bug compatible with buggy browsers. Here's the thing though, if sites just assume that browsers they can't identify are standards compliant then the whole issue goes away. Either the site fails on that browser, or the site works as intended. If it fails, then it's a browser bug you can raise with the vendor. The other way around, there's nothing at all a browser can do about a site that just assumes it's broken and doesn't even try. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that would be ideal. But that's apparently not the way many websites I need to access operate. The only thing that actually works is to tell the website whatever it wants to hear, the truth be damned. So the ideal browser is the one that can pretend to be any browser at any site. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 19:03, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you can pretend to be anything you like, but that's distinct from being able to pretend to be, as you wrote previously "all of them at once". User agent is a free-form string, sent from the web browser to the web site with every single request it makes. So you can set it to whatever you like, but you can't set it to "everything" any more than you could change your name so that you had the same name as everybody on Earth.
The result of people trying to gues things based on the User Agent field is a mess, here's the UA for the app I'm using to write this post: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:30.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/30.0 now here's the one for a recent Safari Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_6_8) AppleWebKit/537.13+ (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1.7 Safari/534.57.2. You'll notice that although Safari and Firefox are completely unrelated, the strings are similar. Why do they both start with Mozilla? Well Firefox is made by an organisation called Mozilla.org but that's almost coincidental, the real reason is that Mozilla was the codename of the Netscape web browser project and so that string is treated as proof that you're a modern web browser and some sites assume any browser that's not "Mozilla" can't render modern web pages. OK, now the second one says "like Gecko" that's because the word Gecko is the name of the core engine of the Mozilla project and that like Mozilla came to mean "Modern" so some sites expect it. KHML is the name of the project from which Apple's Web Kit forked, so they mention that in case sites are compatible with the older KHTML browser (named for KDE, the popular desktop environmen). Tialaramex (talk) 22:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
It's also worth noting in this discussion that maintaining any kind of software support for deprecated operating systems is generally not simple (or worth the developer's time). As technology moves forward, old software tends to lose the ability to comply with new standards, so continuing to support it becomes similar to building two entirely different products; one for the modern software and one for the old software. Both of these "forks" end up requiring constant maintenance and support, and this tends to be very cumbersome. It shouldn't be surprising that companies choose to abandon outdated operating systems.
Also, Smerdis, you appear not to have paid much attention the last time I said this, but the threat of security vulnerabilities in outdated browsers/operating systems is not a scare tactic. I will repeat that the relatively low-traffic websites my web development firm builds get attacked relentlessly by bots attempting to plant malicious code. All it takes is one slip-up, or one vulnerability in the software we use, and suddenly any visitor to our sites using an outdated browser with a known security vulnerability finds themselves infected. Of course, not all web development firms provide ongoing support like we do, so plenty of sites get themselves hacked and just sit there like that. You may obviously choose to take risks with your own security if you feel like it, but shrugging off automatic security updates as mere scare tactics is silly. - Grant (talk) 22:58, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
It isn't that I'm not paying attention. Yes, I am aware of the fact that browser updates contain security patches. (Of course, they also bring new security holes as well, the same way a newer operating system would.) All I want is a browser that won't wreck my interface or break the Web because of the inscrutable whims of the developers. I don't want to be made to pay attention to the future plans of the browser developers; life is too short. I want a browser that's stable, just works, and works the same way from one month to the next. I stuck with Firefox until the Australis disaster struck, and fled to Pale Moon to escape it. It remains true that any dangers inherent in a months-old version are remote, speculative, and have other countermeasures besides browser updates. The problems caused by the updates are obvious nuisances right now. I acknowledge the risks, but do not let them force my decision. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 01:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Things change, that scares and annoys me. Tielec01 (talk) 02:41, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

It was a bit more serious than that. All of a sudden, websites I rely on to get work done were refusing to display and telling me that I needed to "update my browser" to one they would recognize. Calling Dr. Bombay did not produce a way to get around the browser check. I was forced to reinstall the last good version and turn off automatic updates if I wanted to get anything done. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 02:57, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
That was your mistake, the only reasonably response to this situation would be to light up a cigar, pour a stiff scotch and retire. Technology may change, but I reserve the right not to have to.Tielec01 (talk) 03:05, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Creation Evidence Museum growing dinosaurs

Sure, in Jurassic Park they brought dinosaurs back to life by cloning them. But the founder of this gem of a "museum" in Glen Rose,Texas plans to 'grow' dinosaurs.

From Wikipedia: "One of the museum's projects is a "hyperbaric biosphere", a chamber which the museum hopes will reproduce the atmospheric conditions that these creationists postulate for Earth before the Great Flood, and enable them to grow dinosaurs. Baugh says that these conditions made creatures live longer, and get larger, smarter and nicer."

Neato! AugustusCaesar (talk) 02:14, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

And it'll be full of jars of peanut butter. SophieWilderModerator 08:52, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I see a way to solve two problems in one. Sic PETA on him. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:01, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Wait, does this guy believe in spontaneous generation? Frederick♠♣♥♦ 03:49, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Voter ID laws

Can anyone explain to me why Americans get so upset about voter ID laws? I mean, in my country you must present your cédula (ID card) to vote and no one has ever made a big deal about it. Maybe it's because ID cards are not as necessary in everyday life as it is over here ? Are ID cards not free in the US or something? Do Americans even have the an equivalent to a cédula, as in, the only valid legal document for many, many proceedings? |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Good job guys. You were so busy karate fighting that you let Jesus escape. 01:47, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I can't speak for the States, but I will use Canada as an example, since it already provides a counterpoint. The cost and availability of ID depends on the province, and there is no overarching federal ID one can use throughout the country. Generally speaking, most forms of photo ID cost money, and those that don't still require paperwork and aren't necessary in day-to-day life. I have photo ID on me at all times because I drive, but for those who don't, ID can be a problem. In this way, voter ID laws would be more likely to affect the poorer elements of society, as they are less likely to have existing ID (from driving), and are less likely to have the time and energy to spend going out of their way to get another form of photo ID. This is probably analogous in the United States. - Grant (talk) 01:53, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I see. It's something of a culture shock for me, given how an ID is pretty much required if you want to do... well, anything. Want a driving license? Need an ID. Want to open a bank account? Need an ID. It's the norm rather than the exception in Central and South America. I thought this was something that was only done back in Dominican Republic, but then I moved to Costa Rica and learned that it's the norm. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Put de lime in de coconut, call me in de mornin' 02:20, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
ID of some kind is still required around here for things like opening bank accounts, but the majority of banks don't need photo ID in order to open an account. A birth certificate is usually enough. Of course, that differs based on the bank, but regardless, many services don't require photo ID. - Grant (talk) 02:24, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
What about people who can't afford a car and don't have enough money to bother with a bank account? Tielec01 (talk) 02:36, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
They're out of luck! Grant's right about the US, but it's not just the poor that will feel the brunt of it. In big cities, people are less likely to have cars and, therefore, less likely to need the main form of ID. In some places, student ID's are considered insufficient. Plus, the most accepted forms of ID can seem hard to get for non-financial reasons, too (bureaucracy and the like). It most heavily affects likely Democratic voters living in places with Republican governors/legislatures. Also, unlike most other developed countries, there's a strong suspicion here in the US about having any kind of universal ID. Why? Standard anti-government paranoia. MarmotHead (talk) 02:40, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
No universal ID? Come one, even Costa Rica is years ahead of you. But we have universal health care, so of course we're just some bunch of rice-eating commies. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Do you accept Madoka as your Lord and Savior? 02:43, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, this is the US, one of only 2 or 3 countries not on the metric system.MarmotHead (talk) 02:47, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
there are no Id cards in the UK either, save for driving licenses and passports. Attempts to bring them in have proved unpopular on grounds of cost and civil liberties. AMassiveGay (talk) 07:07, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. ID cards are garbage. In most cases what happens is that the card becomes a substitute for any substantive checks on ID. That's hugely exploitable. The UK issues drivers with a standard EU-style license with a photo on it, but specifically does not require them to carry it. I see a lot of foreigners can't get their heads around that. If you don't have to carry the license, how can anyone be sure you were issued one? But they're putting trust in the wrong place. In the UK the question isn't "Does this person have the requisite document?" but "Is this person licensed to drive?". The matter of establishing the identity of the driver is, correctly a key element instead of being ignored altogether in favour of a purely mechanical check. Once we're sure who the driver is, the question of whether they have a license is something a database lookup can answer much more reliably than examining some possibly fraudulent document in their possession.
The situation with voting is parallel. In the UK it's illegal to vote as someone else (without proxy paperwork) or vote more than once in the same election (since a Reform Act abolished the last privileges to do so) but the question of who you are is a matter for the police and, ultimately, a judge, not something trusted to a piece of paper or plastic. If a clerk suspects that you are breaking the law at a polling station they can call the police, and the police will decide who you are in the interim. If you have a document which claims to be proof of your ID, they might ask to see it, but they would also doubtless be convinced by other local people recognising you, or by many other forms of evidence anybody might have. Of course the US can't do that trick because Americans don't trust their police. Tialaramex (talk) 09:06, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Wot? No grace?

Materialism is a dead philosophy. Get over it. (talk) 03:57, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

To be honest.... you editors or guardians of the galaxy... are so totally unintellectual ... it defies belief. It defies disbelief (talk) 04:11, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Cool story, bro. --Revolverman (talk) 04:50, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
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