RationalWiki:Saloon bar

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

What is going on?

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

  1. Why has no libertarian society ever existed? (22:04, 29 Jan 2015)
  2. On Islamophobia (22:02, 29 Jan 2015)
  3. The most blatant Illuminati Symbolism yet (03:44, 28 Jan 2015)
  4. Arguments Against God (21:07, 27 Jan 2015)
  5. The Five Arguments for God (19:48, 27 Jan 2015)
  6. 2015 Super Bowl (07:54, 26 Jan 2015)
To do list


[edit] No More Page 3 (for real) (but not really)

So it looks like The Sun is set to ditch the page 3 pics of topless models following years of campaigners calling for it to end. Thoughts on the significance of this? And please, no "now we just need to work and getting the other 34 pages ditched" snark, even David Cameron's Twitter feed has already made that joke. Grumblejaws (talk) 08:28, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, if the most obvious snark is off the table... "And the oh-no-it's-a-female-body moral panic wins another battle." (talk) 08:43, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
THey should have gotten rid of pages 1&2 instead and put it on the cover. (Not for any good reason, just because.)--TiaC (talk) 09:15, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Won't someone please think of the poor Sun journalists who must now find time to write a whole extra half-page of lazy tripe? Queexchthonic murmurings 10:48, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm no great fan of the Sun but calling it 'lazy tripe' is a bit arrogant. There was, famously, a time when, for April Fools, the Sun and Guardian journalists were going to swap places. Of course management nixed the plan but the Sun journlists point was that writing popular, easy to understand stories which appeal to Sun readers is more of a skill than you think. Now, when it comes to laziness, the Mail simply makes up what it wants or copies lists from Cracked. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 11:39, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Well I always have the Internet for nude pinups, so no loss for me.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 13:10, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Hasn't Cameron's government repeatedly pushed to block access to internet porn in the UK? Ikanreed (talk) 13:57, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Being Tories they're obliged to at least superficially make this about choice. So they decided that ISPs have to give their customers a "choice" to filter out the porn. My ISP puts this choice in their sign up page. If you pick "Yes" it says to get a different ISP because they don't do any filtering (they also don't have the filters all the big UK ISPs have that were notionally set up for child porn but are actually used to protect Hollywood). The owner of the ISP basically lives for the opportunity to argue about that sort of thing in court. He goes after government agencies like OFCOM too and he knows they'll always let it go. From the government's point of view it's bad reverse implied odds - if they win they crush one tiny company that nobody has heard of, if they lose their whole policy is destroyed and they look like idiots. So better to turn a blind eye. Tialaramex (talk) 17:37, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Andrews & Arnold, I presume? Compro01 (talk) 09:29, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
It's editorially lazy. The angle of the article is already know, regardless of the facts. There's no time spent on analysis or reflection. No matter the skill involved in producing the actual words, I don't respect the enterprise. It's like advertising or headline-writing - it requires a very particular skillset but is ultimate using skill for evil. Like a safecracker who burgles. Queexchthonic murmurings 13:36, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I remember many years ago at school where our English teacher compared the writing styles - particularly in sports pages - between various newspapers and pointed out that the same journalist was writing different copy for the broadsheet and the tabloid. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 14:24, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
The Sun should carry on their tradition of showing tits on page 3 by printing pics of politicians.
I still can't see Merseyside rushing out to buy the rag. ProblemChimp (talk) 18:53, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
@problemchimp - very nice quip.
I don't think that pornography is a good thing, so if the Sun really did decide to take it off (heh) the lineup on their own, then good for them. If the government pressured them at all (and I certainly wouldn't put it past them given their recent anti free-speech antics), then it's reprehensible. (Agrajag (talk) 20:16, 20 January 2015 (UTC))
A purely commercial decision imo, just like closing down the News of the Screws. (TY, I thought up that quip too late to get it near the top of a Guardian CiF thread.)
By long-established tradition, the incoming British PM is ceremonially ushered into No. 10 Downing Street, and shown round the premises by the obsequious civil servants now at their beck and call. Then, they are left alone to contemplate their election victory, and the policies they will implement, in the room where supreme power resides. There, they disrobe; and spread themself across the centuries-old prime ministerial desk, replete with history, and await the entrance, by the back passage to which only he has access, of the Dirty Digger. In my opinion, the government wasn't applying pressure in this instance. ProblemChimp (talk) 22:40, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
This is sad. The world has grown greyer and more uniform; one of its colorful local features, one of its tourist attractions -- literally "one of the things to see if you visit the UK" -- has been defaced. Used to be you could tell people that there were semi-serious newspapers that printed nude pinups as well. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 02:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not convinced the Sun has been semi-serious within my lifetime. The prevailing impression is that the staff are essentially playing an elaborate practical joke at the expense of their readers. Queexchthonic murmurings 13:56, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

They should post topless cartoons of Mohamed instead.--Coffee (talk) 16:38, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Playboy article

This got me thinking. As weird as it is, Playboy is heavily entwined with feminism (no really, so is James Bond), but I wonder if there's enough to say about the whole enterprise that we could write an article about it. Zero (talk - contributions) 22:03, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Might begin by reading Hef's editorial series on the "Playboy Philosophy". I read it when I was much younger and it has been a fairly durable influence. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 02:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
285 pages. Fucking hell this is a novel! Zero (talk - contributions) 04:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] She's back

After a "mammary lapse." AgingHippie (talk) 16:21, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

So is that "Hooray for press freedom of expression!" or "boo for boobs!" not? This freedom of expression thing is a bit complicated. :-( --Coffee (talk) 17:16, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Why should it be either? Just a big old publicity stunt. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:27, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Well played. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 20:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
UK tabloid the Daily Mirror prints a picture of tits on page 3. Classic! ProblemChimp (talk) 17:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Around these parts we call birds like that "chickadees". I suppose this is another of those "rooster" things. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 05:11, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
We call them mazes. Not while speaking English though. (talk) 07:21, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
They'm akymals yer in Dem. BicyclewheelModerator 20:04, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] American Sniper: The Controversy Over Oscar Bait

Disclaimer: This is solely intended to create civil debate and discussion, and its opinions should not be taken seriously. The writer also apologizes for the haphazard writing, as this is one of the most difficult things he has ever written.

Looking back on both times I watched it, American Sniper is an example of a good movie that becomes incredibly problematic once you know the background information and the nature of those who like it. This was a similar problem I had with Grave of the Fireflies, once I found out the director intended it to guilt trip Japanese teenagers in the 1980s into respecting the sacrifices their parents had made just growing up, even though that it was in a country that rivaled the Mongols in the barbarity of their warfare. We are seeing a similar case with the reaction of the people who made Eastwood and Co. $90 million in the box office this weekend, specifically to those dissenters who dared to voice criticism over it, a feat that rivals the fandom of Twilight in terms of sheer boneheadedness.

This criticism has everything to do with the subject of the film, the late Chris Kyle. There's a good BBC article that explains the issue more thoroughly and eloquently, but here is the Cliffsnotes version: In his autobiography that the movie is based on, Kyle wrote about numerous events and factoids that have since been disproven or have been revealed to be utterly fictitious (e.g. the government paid him to shoot looters from the Louisiana Superdome following Hurricane Katrina). He also calls Iraqis “savages” and “evil” in his book.

Now, if that portion of his life made it into the movie, or if the whole thing was a documentary instead, it would have made for a more interesting character that had faith in its audience to think about it. However, not only does Clint Eastwood remove the less positive aspects, but he also removes any political discussion about the war Kyle spent the majority of his time fighting in. The problem is further aggravated by inventing an Islamic terrorist who acts like a wannabe Saturday morning cartoon villain. As a Rolling Stone article on the film puts it, "The really dangerous part of this film is that it turns into a referendum on the character of a single soldier. It's an unwinnable argument in either direction. We end up talking about Chris Kyle and his dilemmas, and not about the Rumsfelds and Cheneys and other officials up the chain who put Kyle and his high-powered rifle on rooftops in Iraq and asked him to shoot women and children." As any American who has visited YouTube and Twitter recently, the dangerous part is very much front and center. It's blatant, one-note jingoism at its worst.

In the end, this is a good movie in all technical areas (save for the baby), but is rendered unwatchable by facts and a rabid fanbase that believe Chris Kyle was a genuine, all-American hero who deserved to have his funeral at Cowboys Stadium. He wasn't, and he didn't. The reason why he has been lionized is because we live in a world that believes that men are either wolves, sheep or their sheepdog protectors, and that women are either wives or whores. That type of thinking is going to ruin us as a species. — Unsigned, by: Dwbaker994 / talk / contribs 19:19, 22 January 2015

It's never too soon to rewrite republican history. Ikanreed (talk) 20:26, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Haven't read the book or seen the movie but am reading the screenplay and a fact-check review. Disclaimer: My father, who is still alive, was a sniper spotter in the South Pacific in WWII. So I'm well aware of the ethics, traditions, and culture of this select group. And no, they are not a bunch of Eichmann's who just follow orders, neither are they braggarts like President Obama about killing people. Their is distinct, rational process, that must be taught and followed by young people, usually with no advanced education, as to when to make that decision both you and your opponent will regret. nobsISIS is SISI spelled backwards. 00:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
There were a couple of thought-provoking remarks today in a CiF thread in The Guardian (OK OK I know...).
  1. This I did know: the Soviet Army utilised many women snipers during WW2, including Ludmila Pavlichenko[wp], credited with 309 kills in one year's active service. This song about her might raise some eyebrows when you see who wrote it.
  2. This I didn't know: people on sniper selection courses think they're being assessed for intelligence. Not quite: the instructors are selecting intelligent psychopaths.
Dad fought as an infantryman in Normandy in 1944. He doesn't like to talk about it. I do though remember him once saying, 60 years after the event: "I've thrown a Mills Bomb[wp] through a doorway. There were people inside." We changed the subject, I've never seen him so upset. No way could he ever have been a sniper: no "killer instinct". No coffee-boiler, though: he was later seriously wounded while leading the battalion he commanded against a dug-in Nazi position.
Now reread knob's post, carefully, and draw what conclusions you will. ProblemChimp (talk) 02:50, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you, it was a good movie and it makes a point that when you are a soldier you have to make really difficult decisions, I recall reading a graphic novel depicting an Israeli soldier who I think fought in the Lebanese Civil War. He may have become a leftist activist later, I can't remember, but most of what the book was addressing was what exactly the fighting was doing to him. There is a scene where they are confronted by a kid who was not even yet a teenager pointing an RPG at them, and they shot him. It stuff like that which causes the enemy civilians to become dehumanized to the soldiers. That being said as deplorable and despicable as the tactics of the opposing side were, it still doesn't change the fact that had Bush Cheney and Co. not invaded Iraq for no good reason, Mr. Kyle wouldn't have needed to kill anybody. "You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!" General William Tecumseh Sherman Alsto003 (talk) 23:32, 28 January 2015 (UTC) Alex

You guys are misreading the battlelines here; it's not between gun-toting-redneck-tea partiers and and anti-war pacifists. The real fight's between Kyle supporters and Paulbots who support Jesse Ventura. You should see the angry comments streaming into Jesse Ventura's Facebook page right now. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 04:06, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't buy that crap from a guy who sees Muslims as "savages" in his own book. --Nord Ronnoc (talk) 23:45, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
You're still missing the point: the SEAL community is at war with itself. Jesse Ventura, a veteran SEAL who was at one time used by the SEALs for recruiting and to address graduating classes, lent his name to the redneck Paulbot isolationist anti-Iraq war movement, is now persona non grata among trueblue redneck redstate hero-worshipping America, leaving the Paulbots in a quandry: do they support a glorified sniper-killer like Kyle or a pacifist thumbsucking liberal like Ventura. Remember the axiom, don't stand in the way when opponent is self destructing. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 00:15, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't know where you get this, but Ventura was an UDT Operative. Just checked. So no, with that information, SEAL was not at war with itself. And Ventura was a conspiracy theorist, a 9/11 Truther. And Kyle used libel against him, so I didn't shed any tears when Ventura won.
On another note, how were your ramblings related to American Sniper in any way, shape, or form?--Nord Ronnoc (talk) 05:46, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Look at Ventura's photo in the WP bio - he's wearing a SEALs T-shirt. I've heard him brag he was a SEAL. The did not use the name SEAL til about c.1981, but it evolved out of UDTs from the Vietnam era. At the time of the incident, Ventura was in San Diego to address a SEAL graduating class; upto that point, Ventura was probably the most successful SEAL in his post-active duty afterlife having been elected governor of a state. Evidently (as I understand it), Ventura's speaking engagements (presumably to SEAL graduating classes and other public appearances) dropped off and his income decline. He allegedly suffered financial damages. This was years before the book was ever published (which never claimed Ventura did anything) or Kyle publicly told his side of the story. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 16:27, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Every time Clint Eastwood comes out with a new shoot ‘em up, it’s a sure bet I’ll be at the movie theater at least half a dozen times; and then doling out for Pay-Per-View, Netflix, and DVD’s. Eastwood has been systematically emptying my wallet for decades, and is out to do it again. There oughta to be a law… Slings and Arrows (talk) 05:05, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Board of Trustees Election

So i think it's prudent to mention that nominations (and thus acceptance of them) ends in 4 days (really 3), and that so far we don't even have enough people to fill out a majority on the board itself, let alone Elections for those spots.

This, for obvious reasons, is not a good thing. What do we do to get people to care?--Miekal 04:36, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Accept your nomination? - David Gerard (talk) 09:58, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
and be responsible for things I'm not good at? That's asking for disaster. --Miekal 17:19, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Okay, fine. Now I believe the death spiral claim people were making. Disaffection is the first sign, right? Ikanreed (talk) 17:23, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Disaffection has been ongoing a long time. The last few months I've noticed more long-time RW regulars drifting away from the site than in any other period I can remember. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:10, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Is this true? Anyone know why? OK, I guess I fit the bill here, but I think my "drifting away" is coincidental. Not sure why, really. DickTurpis (talk) 04:37, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I think the real reason that very few people responded to the nomination thing is that RNS didn't ever get the intercom message up, so most people didn't notice or forgot. (As evidenced by the fact that, when I spammed everyone on the list, everyone accepted or rejected.) So I don't know if this qualifies as "nobody caring".
Who here thinks that RW is losing its community in general? Comrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (reprimand) 05:06, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't call myself a long time regular, so it somewhat surprised me to be nominated. I'm still not sure whether I'm well matched to the culture here, and apparently managed to get myself kicked off the Facebook group. It really surprised me that I would be considered for a position of authority here. Y'all must be desperate. I stick around despite some disaffection for the site, because I have a longstanding interest in crank and curious literature. It seemed a good place to write about them, and I like doing this. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 05:15, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The Facebook group and Wiki are basically two entirely different groups and cultures that just happen to share the same name and a degree of user overlap, that's about it, so it shouldn't surprise you at all that one area doesn't negatively touch you here as well.--Miekal 05:18, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
@Fuzzy in particular, I would say that the only reason anybody (besides the 2 early acceptors) are accepting (or declining) the nominations for the group responsible for keeping the website up only after being reminded that there is even an election going on, (and that we still have less than a full board) shows a general disaffection or, worse, not caring. --Miekal 05:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Did this intercom message not post? I was able to see it. Nutty Roux (talk) 06:06, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Messages sent to the "general site news" group are only seen by those in said group, which I imagine consists only of yourself. I sent out the same message to "Site wide (urgent)" as that's the only group that everybody is a part of by default. Noisemobile (talk) 09:08, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
From what I can tell the Facebook group wields the banhammer in a manner that would make Karajou balk. I think I've escaped only because I decided pursuing certain topics wasn't worth the effort. Nevertheless, since I always personally saw RW as more of a forum than a resource, it has probably usurped some of my efforts which otherwise might have been spent here. DickTurpis (talk) 06:08, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
There are just 4 active admins (on a daily basis) on the FB site—so it is pretty much a close-knit cabal—and as far as I can tell only one is active on this wiki. Most of those who pissed off the old-guard appear to have buggered off elsewhere. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 15:04, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Ultimately every one at RW follows my orders so it doesn't matter what bogus elections you have, BECAUSE I AM THE NEW GOD OF THE INTERNET.--Palaeonictis (talk) 06:03, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I think that people might take more interest in the board if the board occasionally communicated with or regularly interacted with the site in some way.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 18:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

You are welcome to implement whatever plan you wish, Bob, when you run again (and I'm not sure what plan you implemented before). Most of this year was minor legal issues that I wouldn't discuss with the entire world, and the finances are a number that goes up and down. There hasn't been much of a stomach for off-wiki plans either on the board or here, and hence that line of thought was very minimal this year. Sterile (talk) 18:50, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I implemented no plan that I can recall. I was simply suggesting that the apparent invisibility of the board on the site may the reason for a certain lack of enthusiasm in respect of the elections. No doubt if you have a better explanation you will present it.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:02, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I think the reason people don't want to run is that people are oddly critical of the people on the board, in part. There's nothing for me to explain. I'm not sure what being less visible means--hey, we had a financial report! and we talked about legal matters! shall I post it 18 times?--and I question the assumption that the board needs to be less invisible. Perhaps you can explain your assumption. Sterile (talk) 01:13, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think people are "oddly critical" of the board at all. The only conversions I can recall about the board are ones where people wonder if minutes are going to be published. Can you give me a few examples of people being "oddly critical"?
As for giving examples of the board not being visible I must admit this is difficult, as providing examples of something not being present is a tough task. Perhaps it would be better if you could provide the numerous examples of the broad communicating with the community?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 08:23, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
This conversation is one of them. If you want to know the balance, ask Stabby or Trent. If you want to know about legal matters, no. There's nothing else to communicate about. And I'll ask again, what great plan did you have when you were trustee? I'm not responding to this idiocy any more. Sterile (talk) 14:57, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Sterile - this isn't about me or any hypothetical action I might have made taken four years ago. I'm suggesting that the problem with the present non-involvement of the community is caused by the fact that the board doesn't communicate with the community. This isn't an example of being "oddly critical" it's an example of someone making a suggestion.
Furthermore, the fact that the board says almost northing the wikii is self-evident. I have challenged you to to show this is not the case and, if you can show the the board does communicate regularly with the community, I will happily admit that I am wrong. I will be delighted to admit I am wrong. Quite honestly I don't understand your hostility to this question.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:54, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I guess for me the question is -- what am I voting for? How can I tell that the people I'm voting for are doing a good job/a bad job/taking steps that make the wiki a better or worse place? Did I vote well last time? I mean, the lights are still on, so nobody fucked it up too badly, but it's not like I cansee a community investment in the process if the only interaction between the wiki and the Board is an annual election. Other non-profits that I'm involved with, like my church and various activist groups do try to maintain some regular degree of contact between the executive level and the larger community: here are some projects we're talking about. Here's a chance for the community to give some input.Maybe if there was more dialogue between the leadership and the followership, the followership would show a gretaer degree of enthusiasm to take up some of the leadership chores. AgingHippie (talk) 02:29, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I have a few seriously dumb questions: What rule mandates that there be elections? can the by-laws be amended to create permanent trustees? What about moving toward a Retention election[wp] if necessary? Bobthe Battery Operated Boyfriend 12:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Unless they are posted elsewhere, minutes haven't been posted since July 2012, and finances since 2011. I understand that a) there are legal things that aren't for public consumption, b)the board is seperate from the editing public of the wiki and is not accountable to it in any formal way, but I do find it odd that this wiki is the site for the elections for/that I was nominated to a position on a body the readership hasn't heard from in 2-and-a-half years. Is it time to review the actual relationship between the wiki (which can barely get enough warm bodies together to run the board) and the board (which has had no real reason to communicate with a wiki made up increasingly of people who were not here when the last board minutes were published)?
Note, please, that I am not demanding any info from the board, or complaining about the job the board is doing (I can't complain about something I only have 2.5 year old updates on...); but if I'm going to vote for board members, it would be cool to know why. Right now, there's nothing written down here that makes the relationship between the two entities seem real. AgingHippie (talk) 19:14, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
There are a few items from last year on RationalMedia site, including monthly financial reports for a couple of months and agenda + minutes from one meeting. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:20, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, basically there hasn't been a lot to tell. Stuff ticks on, the wiki seems to be getting some new editors, no big plans. If you feel inspired to keep an eye on stuff, that would be superb and would not take up any significant chunk of your time unless you want it to - David Gerard (talk) 19:13, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Most nonprofits do not publish their minutes on-line. The role of the board is spelled out on wiki, and isn't really different from many other boards. I'm sorry you can't figure it out. Sterile (talk) 19:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The job is pretty much to meet, go over stuff, check things are ticking along (i.e. are we broke? is there a threat to the organisation on the horizon? is someone doing something stupid that is in the board's ambit?) and authorise spending money, requested use of the trademarks, exciting new projects in the Foundation or wiki's name, etc. Personally that suits me fine - David Gerard (talk) 19:57, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I do fit all of the requirements, but considering almost all of my edits recently have either been discussion, WIGO, or the occasional de-vandalizing, I'm not sure if I'm the type the board would be looking for. Noir LeSable (talk) 05:22, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I think that Noir LeSable's comment captures one reason why people don't want to run perfectly (doubting they're the kind of person who'd be fit for the board), while another seems to be on the order of "I don't like/care about or suck at fundraising and economic management". Then there's the "I've done my bit" and the "I don't really have the time" pleas. Unlike Sterile's claim above ("the reason people don't want to run is that people are oddly critical of the people on the board, in part"), I've seen no indication that dissatisfaction with the board or the notion that it's some sort of "hot seat" is the reason for declining to run. Hell, how many users here actually know who's on the board now? As for publishing minutes etc., sure that's fine (pretty standard organisational MO), but how many people are actually going to read them? In so many words: I doubt that there's some kind of major dissatisfaction with the board due to missing minutes or budget info, or that missing this information is what turns people off from running. My guess is simply that quite a lot of potential candidates are happy with being editors (and probably sysops) and don't want to commit to anything beyond that. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I pretty much agree with SW's post here. There are plenty of other people who I feel are better suited for the position than I believe I am (although looking over the candidates list, not many of them accepted either), and in any case, while they are few, I feel there are enough areas that the RW veteran community and I appear to not entirely agree with or have qualms about when it comes to non-science/religion matters that I'd probably end up being counterproductive. Noir LeSable (talk) 00:50, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Hey, Noir LeSable. If your main concern was disagreement over various topics/biases on RW, then I think you ought to have run for the board, since, as far as I can gather, the board's function is administrative (in the sense of organisational) and economic - though I'd understand it if that's not really your thing. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:24, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] The To-Do List

I'm not clear on how things are added to the To Do list, or whether it's even worth it to do so, especially if people are drifting away. Calieber (talk) 04:40, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Click edit. Add a new poll to the top of the list with its new number. Add your suggestion, preferably with wikilinks and external links.
Don't worry about "drift" for poting on To Do. Comrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (reprimand) 05:12, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I must have been overcomplicating it. Calieber (talk) 05:55, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] I created a wiki about rational proofs

I order to end the Pseudoscience movement, I wanted to create a wiki about rational proofs. This wiki would be a reliable source on various subject such as physics, mathematics, computer science... After a few hours of hard work, here it is: proofs.wiki. This wiki has two types of pages: prerequisites and proofs. Prerequisites are information you need to know in order to understand the proof. The target of this wiki would be to create a network of interconnected proofs and prerequisites. What do you guys think about this idea? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 10:27, 25 January 2015‎

As far as rigorous mathematical proofs go, what you’re proposing already exists: see here. (talk) 06:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm going to take a different tone and say that proving things is only very rarely necessary, and contributes a few critical basic bits of rationalism, but mostly to establish the value of empiricism, which is the overwhelming driver of a rational worldview. Ikanreed (talk) 14:27, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Furthermore proofs are only directly relevant to mathematics and logic (although both are certainly used by science.) A lot of pseudoscience is actually based off of solid theoretical thinking, thinking that just doesn't match observed evidence. Sure math and logic are useful, but we need evidence to really kill irrationality. Samstr (talk) 19:52, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
(Off topic) I feel like there was a character with the name "Samstr" in The Talos Principle. Does that name come from something I'm unfamiliar with in philosophy? Ikanreed (talk) 20:02, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Cover story nominees!!!

There's more than I thought. Can anyone push any of these forward? Potato just added NaturalNews, which I largely concur on and which is actually really important. Please do feel free to get nitpicking - David Gerard (talk) 15:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Let's do it!!! Yeah!!! Excitement!!!
Talk:Moon landing hoax#Cover! (sticky), Talk:9-11 conspiracy theories#Cover (sticky), and Talk:2012 apocalypse#Renominating all look pretty decent. Comrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (reprimand) 20:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Ben Goldacre's new book

Out in stores now. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg RationalWiki, did you kill Rita? 18:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Pseudoscience

The "Main page" makes the laughable claim that RationalWiki’s number one “purpose” is to “analyze and refute pseudoscience”. Well, nothing could be further from the truth (or more comical).

Anyone looking for a real analysis of a pseudoscientific claim (for instance: free energy, perpetual motion machines, etc.), best look elsewhere; you won’t find much of that here. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find any mathematics, physics, or science at all. So far, I have only been able to turn up one article where RationalWiki actually analyzed the mathematical claims made by a physics crank; and that was only at the most rudimentary and superficial level.

However, what I have found is article after article discussing sexism, racism, sexuality, religion, politics, etc.; and without exception, always from a progressive/liberal perspective.

Isn’t it time for RationalWiki to drop the false pretext that is concerned with analyzing and refuting pseudoscience? No one believes that. Why not just flat-out, openly admit that RationalWiki is yet another liberal social media site? Slings and Arrows (talk) 21:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I just hit "random page" ten times and didn't randomly encounter any such liberal claptrap. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:38, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
*cough* *cough* *cough* Comrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (reprimand) 22:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Does this count as a {{drink}} post? Sorta seems like it. Admittedly we don't cover ANY pseudoscience. Ikanreed (talk) 22:05, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, just looking into it, I like the implication that our article on, say, racism is just so left-wing when it talks almost exclusively about historical racism. It's like pointing out racism where it exists is left wing. I get the impression what you actually don't like is that racism is bullshit, scientifically speaking. Ikanreed (talk) 22:15, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that the numbering of the lines in the mission statement is supposed to reflect some kind of absolute priority.--ZooGuard (talk) 22:33, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, of course anything that is openly yelling conservative propaganda repeatedly is a liberal conspiracy. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:42, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Of its total, less than 1% of RationalWiki’s articles are devoted to “analyzing and refuting pseudoscience”. And of that paltry number, the articles usually amount to little more than providing links to external sites; which in turn, may or may not do an actual scientific analysis.
Now remember, this is supposed to be RationalWiki’s number one stated purpose. You’ll have to excuse me for laughing. Slings and Arrows (talk) 22:46, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
This number comes from what analysis? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 22:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It is hard to pin down an exact number; RationalWiki is constantly changing. And I did consider many statistical approaches. However, the easiest approach is to simply use the “Random Page” and count the occurrence of pseudoscience articles. Try it yourself; it consistently yields less than 1%. Slings and Arrows (talk) 23:24, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Check out my cough immediately below. You are factually incorrect. Comrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (reprimand) 23:33, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
*cough* Comrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (reprimand) 23:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
You should go see a doctor for that nasty cough, Fuzzy. Preferably a practitioner of evidence-based medicine. (talk) 23:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
As I pointed out above, the numbering is not supposed to reflect a priority, so the "number one stated purpose" line gets stale very quickly. The mission statement also doesn't mention explicitly conspiracy theories, yet a lot of pages are dedicated to them. Does that mean that they are off-mission?--ZooGuard (talk) 23:19, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The whole point being, why is it listed at all? Shouldn’t the stated purpose reflect what is *actually* taking place? And listing it first, is a blatant deception; it’s not even worth mentioning. Slings and Arrows (talk) 23:51, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
According to Essay:RationalWiki's content and mission, which I just mentioned, 18.75 percent of RW articles are pseudoscience- or antiscience-related. So how is 1/5 of content not worth mentioning? Comrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (reprimand) 00:10, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
why is it listed at all?Because its part of our mission? If you have a problem with a lack of coverage, go make the articles you think we must be missing.--Miekal 00:11, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
So, the 1% number was a lie? You are blatently deceiving to start an argument about...deception. That's all sorts of meta hypocrisy. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 00:25, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Do you really believe that 1 out of 5 RationalWiki articles are pseudoscience related? Just a quick cursory examination will show that to be false. Take a closer look. It’s less than 1%.
And I don’t think anything is missing, or needs adding. The stated purpose as displayed on the “Main page”, gives a false impression. Shouldn’t it be changed to reflect reality? Slings and Arrows (talk) 00:29, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Rationalwiki Ideal: A bunch of articles of Pseudo-X, Authoritarianism and how these are handled in the media. If we are lacking in coverage, then we are missing something from the ideal. So if you think we don't talk about Pseudo science topics enough, why not go make the articles instead of unproductively bitching about how we're liars here? --Miekal 00:33, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Your claim, your burden of proof. If someone else needs to do so because you lied about that number then it is no one else's problem. Why should anyone believe someone who lacks integrity like this? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 00:37, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
More pseudo-science articles is always a good thing, and while I think the BoN is probably trolling there is something to be said about articles that are way off ever being useful that seem to pop up (the first article that appeared for me when I clicked random article was 'British Isles'). I clicked 10 times and I had 4 articles come up that addressed pseudo-science in some fashion. For example one article was Eric Hovind, obviously not about pseudo-science but addressing his pseudo-scientific claims, another was about Phillip DeFina. The other 6 articles were about how the media reports on various issues (I forget the exact name but about moral panic in tabloids for example), and a few that should probably be deleted such as the aforementioned British Isles. Tielec01 (talk) 03:03, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Doing the same experiment. Lemonade diet - hit. Charter for Compassion - miss. Mount Rushmore - miss and WTH? Soundness - call that a hit. Kim Il Sung - miss. Marian Fitness - miss and WTH? Alphabet - hit. Food allergy - hit. Traditional values - miss. Cdk007 - miss. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 04:10, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

The words “lie” and “liar” didn’t come from me; although I have been repeatedly called a “liar”. I have only claimed that as it now currently reads, the Main Page is deceptive; it’s not a lie, but it is misleading.

So let’s examine the facts. Articles which deal specifically with “pseudoscience”, always have a light green banner which reads: “Style over substance, Pseudoscience”.

Select the “Random Page” and see how often that banner appears? It comes up less than 1% of the time. Try doing this yourself.

Also, there isn’t any “analysis and refutation”. None! For instance, check out the article on physics crank “Nassim Haramein”, which is a typical example. The article doesn’t analyze anything, it simply tells you that Haramein is a crank.

Now that is probably true, but you basically just have to take RationalWiki’s word for it. And that is pretty much the case with all of the pseudoscience articles; that is, the few that can be found. There is very little discussion of pseudoscience at RationalWiki, and almost never any “analysis”. Slings and Arrows (talk) 04:23, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Actually, the "pseudoscience" template is something of a catchall, and does not include pseudoscience that falls into more specific categories with their own templates like creationism, alternative medicine, cryptozoology, or magic. I've tried to make the templates more informative and useful and created a couple myself, but the pseudoscience template is a top level category, and esthetic considerations prevent templates from appearing on each potentially eligible article also. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 04:30, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

What is even the point of this discussion? Could the articles be better? Yes. That is why it is on a wiki so that people can come along and edit it. Really we are lacking editors with the time, knowledge and commitment to edit the 6,399 articles this wiki has. It is worth noting this was not what RationalWiki was founded for, it was originally more of a forum with a bad choice of format. That is why there are 97,907 pages on the wiki in total, most are probably talkpage archives. - π 04:50, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

That is exactly what I suspect; RationalWiki is “lacking editors with the time, knowledge and commitment”. And if it is simply a forum for discussing current events, then the Main Page should drop the false pretense and just say so. Slings and Arrows (talk) 05:22, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Nope, things are not going to be changed to suit what you want. The community wants to build such a thing, maybe it isn't fantastic just now (I personally think we have a good base to start from), but that is the aim. We will work at it slowly and if one day it meets your standards that will be a nice side-product not the objective. - π 05:32, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, I wish you the best of luck and sincerely want to apologize for having laughed at your humble start. Slings and Arrows (talk) 05:44, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Good luck finding another website to concern troll. - π 06:39, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not really following the point here. The missions (plural) are: "Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement. Documenting the full range of crank ideas. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media."

I may have misunderstood the poster but is he suggesting that the wiki should just be dedicated to one of them? Why?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 08:08, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

He mistakenly thought that because it was a numbered list and pseudoscience was listed first, that was our "number one purpose". He then clicked the "random page" button a couple times and concluded based on this small non-representative sample that we don't have a lot of articles about pseudoscience (as if a particular topic supposedly being more prioritized would necessitate that it takes up a percentually larger part of the wiki than all other topics combined). (talk) 08:27, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

The Main Page claims that RationalWiki’s purpose (and it’s listed as number 1), is “analyzing and refuting pseudoscience”. Hey, I am not making this up; look for yourself.

Well first off, there are fewer than 1% of the total articles that actually deal specifically with pseudoscience.

And second, there isn’t any analysis of pseudoscience taking place. None at all. There is just a handful of articles which typically call someone a crank. Needless to say, that is not “analysis and refutation”; it’s just name calling.

I have suggested that the topic of pseudoscience be removed from the Main Page, since it is not even worth mentioning; no one is analyzing pseudoscience at RationalWiki. It’s just flat-out not happening.

Now if you think I am wrong, then please provide links to RationalWiki articles that are doing “analysis” of pseudoscience. Put up or shut up; as the saying goes. Slings and Arrows (talk) 09:43, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

If only we had a troll picture to put just here. Tielec01 (talk) 09:47, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
To keep feeding a little: Are you aware of the existence of numbers greater than "1"? Even if we look at the first item on the list of four it says: "Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement." You are concentrating on the first part of one item of a list of four. That is not the whole reason for the site's existence.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 10:38, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
You could replace “analyzing pseudoscience” with "conducting cancer research". Hey, why not? No one at RationalWiki is doing that either. But instead, why not just list the main things that RationalWiki is actually doing; whatever that happens to be? Slings and Arrows (talk) 11:04, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
The appropriate answer to Slings and Arrows' latest post is found in two RW articles: Reductio ad absurdum & Bullshit. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:26, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Predictably, you can’t offer up a single article that does an actual analysis of pseudoscience; not even one. I rest my case. Slings and Arrows (talk) 12:09, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Cool. Congratulations you win. Here is your internet medal of bravery. - π 12:17, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
And equally predictably, Slings and Arrows is apparently too lazy to actually check some of the stuff or objections to the 1% claim which have already been mentioned, but, hey, it's no skin off my nose to link to say, homeopathy, Joseph was Imhotep (which is pseudohistory), Intelligent Design, or the anti-vaccination movement. Yup, not "a single article that does an actual analysis of pseudoscience" at all... ScepticWombat (talk) 12:27, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] So in conclusion...

Your reaction to someone posting an evidence based refutation of your claim that we don't have enough evidence based refutations of pseudoscience is to ignore the evidence. Objecting to the methodology or reproducing the experiment or embracing the data and adjusting your view to something less extreme are apparently all too hard. Ikanreed (talk) 14:27, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it is that complicated. He decided he didn't like the content so he lied in order to get it changed. Gret projection as well - decieving to get content changed he thinks is deceiving. From his own admission people often call him a liar because this seems to be a habit. I think he should take a bit more personal responsibility for his honesty, and then he is worth it to listen to. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:03, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Articles about living people (sticky)

We have a shitload of articles about named people, most of which will piss off their subjects and fans considerably. Quite a lot of these have less than excellent referencing. We seriously need to clean these up. After Kent Hovind rattled a sabre at us, that article was considerably better cited, for example.

Should we have a category "living people", like Wikipedia does? Then "related changes" on that category will catch all edits to articles about living subjects.

This is a considerable maintenance burden ... so who feels like diving in, referencing the hell out of stuff and cutting the uncited claims? - David Gerard (talk) 13:07, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

It sounds good to me. I'm in favour of a living people category. I'm also in favour of those living people articles needing references from reliable sources. That way, they can't legitimately threaten to sue us, they'll have to threaten to sue The Guardian or The New York Times instead. Spud (talk) 13:40, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I think it's a good idea. I'll create a category and start populating it from the existing categories. I don't guarantee that I'll help with more than that.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:19, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I've created Category:Living people. I've started to populate it. So far I just finished F in Category:Woo-meisters.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:51, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I AWARD YOU RW SILVER - David Gerard (talk) 16:57, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
It makes me sad to do it, but respecting even crazy peoples' right not to be libeled by a major website is important. Do we want a published standard we try to adhere to like Wikipedia's BLP? Ikanreed (talk) 16:26, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Small follow up, should I add a living people requiring review talk page category? Then we can have a progress indicator of unreviewed category size/main category size. Ikanreed (talk) 16:39, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
If people will follow and act on it, sure! - David Gerard (talk) 16:55, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd say "kids, do the bloody obvious" for now should do it, we can evolve curlicues of encrusted bureaucracy as we go - David Gerard (talk) 16:55, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
All articles about people have that "defaultsort" tag that lists them by last name, right? Is there a way to use that tag to call up a master list of articles about people that we could work through and separate the living from the less-living? AgingHippie (talk) 17:15, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I've started a progress report on Category talk:Living people. Ikanreed (talk) 17:23, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Policy: Instructions are less important than doing the work at this stage. I've put at the top of the category: "Articles about people who are still alive. Such articles should be handled carefully and well-referenced. The Wikipedia policy on bios of living people is a good start on how to be sensible. Reference contentious allegations solidly." I think that'll do for the moment, we'll see how we go - David Gerard (talk) 18:06, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Well wikipedia's BLP has a "double helping of NPOV" requirement that we should consider carefully. That particular requirement could neuter our ability to make a point about the trouble that the subject causes. Ikanreed (talk) 18:11, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
If someone is an established spreader of bullshit/woo/pseudoscience, not disclosing the nature of their practices/beliefs would be the opposite of neutral, no? (talk) 18:20, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
A person can't sue you mealy for expressing a bad opinion of them. It has to be a) false and b) detrimental to them in some way. What that means varies widely. Aim for not false and you should be safe. - π 11:36, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
What? You mean we have to say Ayman Zawahiri allegedly killed hundreds of people in the Embassy bombing's because we're afraid the head of al Qaeda may file suit in US Federal Court for defamation? nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 18:51, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Use of words like allegedly is for journalists who are responsible as primary sources. As a secondary source, all we really have to do is say what our citations tell us. Avoiding potentially defamatory statements we have no reason to believe as substantiated is all we're aiming for here.
Honestly, I think the foundation is probably responsible for this kind of editorial guidance here more than random debate among us editors, though. Ikanreed (talk) 19:12, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
No, the Foundation doesn't set editorial policy. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:56, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Can I get a Poe's Law count on this page?

https://www.facebook.com/C4MB15.0 Necromancer 13:08, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

15.0 - David Gerard (talk) 13:16, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Database connection flaky

I assume everyone else is seeing the wonky behavior. I'm pretty sure no one needs my expertise to diagnose this, but database host service going down a lot seems like a likely candidate to me. Ikanreed (talk) 15:32, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

I saw it in passing. I'll wave a spanner at it later - David Gerard (talk) 16:55, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Greece election results

We all knew that it was coming, the polls haven't changed in over a year, they all said the exact same thing, that Alex Tsipras was going to be the next Prime Minister of Greece and he now is. His coalition partner is believed to give clues as to what his intentions are for dealing with what the Greeks call the "Troika" (i.e. the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund). His party is SYRIZA which from what I can tell is slightly to the right of the actual Communist Party of Greece (abbreviated KKE). He had two choices of who to form a coalition with, To Potami (they're calling it a centrist party but to an American, even a left leaning American like me, it looks like a center left party), or Independent Greeks (abbreviated ANEL) which is a right-wing eurosceptic populist party that seems to agree with SYRIZA to some extant on issues regarding economics (in particular they share a hostility toward the Troika). However the two parties are polar opposite regarding social issues, for instance ANEL supports more Church involvement in schools, despises immigration and multiculturalism and looks like an all around "traditional values" party not much different than the Religious right branch of the Republican Party in the States (the difference being that ANEL looks like it supports leftist economic policies); to compare, the leader of SYRIZA and the new Prime Minister of Greece Alex Tsipras is publicly an atheist and lives with a partner (no he's not gay, his partner is a woman), rather than a wife (because they were never married) with whom they have two sons. A coalition with Potami would indicate a willingness to work with the Troika, a coalition with ANEL on the other hand would be seen as a hostile gesture since the only issues these two parties could ever agree on would be economic. That's how I understand it, the Europeans (and yes Americans regard British people as European firstly because you are geographically as much a part of Europe as Newfoundland or Greenland is of North America, and secondly because your country is part of the European Union), may be able to explain Greek politics better than me. In any case, two days ago SYRIZA and ANEL formed a coalition government. Any thoughts? Is the Eurozone doomed? Or is just the Euro in Greece doomed? Alsto003 (talk) 21:20, 28 January 2015 (UTC) Alex

Well, I don't see the Franc making a comeback. My big guesses: 1. This is it for EU expansion. After Greece defaulting and the problems managing the crisis in Ukraine, Euroskeptism will settle in widespread for at least a decade. Probably more. 2. People in the big markets are too happy about the bull market to worry over a smallish nation's fiscal crisis recurring. The actual withdrawal will be a speedbump for everyone not in the banking industry or Greece. These guesses are both too subjective to test myself on, but they seem like a plausible direction for things to go. Ikanreed (talk) 21:33, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
The more immediate question is, of course, whether the drachma is going to make a comeback. There are some indications that the answer to that is probably "no" as well; already we see pinkos having conniption-fits because Syriza is showing signs of walking back some of its more radical proposals. Furthermore (and what is clearly much, much worse), the party is actually thinking about considering a discussion of permitting the election of a Greek President who is not a member of Syriza.
This souring process has happened much more quickly than usual; generally one can count on the "slobbering with excitement" phase lasting at least a few months before the "sniveling about betrayal" phase sets in. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:14, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I hope this will move the EU to finally reinvent itself into something average European citizens might actually support. (talk) 22:00, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Who can you trust?

A commentator on the WMF blog responded to a self-serving defensive posting by Philippe Beaudette:

"Oh dear, it appears you’ve failed to cite your sources properly. This blog could scarcely be taken as fact by even the most delusional #gamerhate member, let alone a rational human thinker. Speaking of “rational” have you heard about the alternative Wikipedia that greatly increases quality by *not* actively seeking and banning all the feminist editors they can? It’s called RationalWiki and our lord and savior Ryulong has already made his Exodus, like Moses, to the promised land and you should to if you value the truth over slanderous anti-feminist lies. Wikipedia likes to pretend they aren’t anti-feminist with their project feminism page but that’s just smoke and mirrors. The woefully pathetic and incorrect ArbCom decision was exposed by our friends at The Guardian, which mind you is a primary source unlike this embarrassing blog which only serves as a speaking point of a jester whose rouse has been exposed so thoroughly he must desperately lash out at all those who oppose his act and hang onto the few who are still deluded in order to rebuild his kingdom of lies once again. That’s what Wikipedia is, a kingdom of lies.
"I can believe people are citing RationalWiki as a more neutral and unbiased online encyclopedia than Wikipedia. That is seriously delusional. What’s next? Conservapedia?"
[1] Hclodge (talk) 03:54, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Good to see that, no matter where you go, the internet comments sections are full of the same incoherent morons as everywhere else. I'd like to give opinions on those opinions (even the ones I agree with), but they are all just so...... shitty that I'd have to take a shower for 6 hours afterwards. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 11:41, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like irony/sarcasm to me. There are people with newfound hatred towards RW due to the Gamergate article, and some of them are trying to steer shit rivers this way.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:47, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
It'll work, of course. It's pretty easy to find something on here you personally find objectionable. And I almost agree with them about citing rationalwiki when wikipedia is available. Ikanreed (talk) 14:37, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I'll go so far as agreeing with them on RationalWiki/Wikipedia. WP has a knowledgebase that's several orders of magnitude larger, and a lot more resources, checks, and balances than we do here (I mean, ffs, we had "having excessive fat is not unhealthy" on the Obesity page for the better part of four years). I believe that RW is best used in conjunction with those other sources as it gathers together and emphasizes the bits relevant to Skepticism/critical thinking/social justice/etc. We aren't an NPOV encyclopedia. Noir LeSable (talk) 20:02, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] The topic in which we discuss the hypocrisy (or lack thereof) of taking children to places of worship.

Seriously though. It seems strange to me that religions that proclaim all about discovering "Jesus" or "God" or "Allah" in your life, need to institute children into their system at a young age, before they've (the children) even been able to comprehend about how they've (the children) arrived in this universe. The question doesn't even come up when you're young! No adult ever came up to me in third grade and said, "Hey, LAN, I know you're in third grade, but how do you think everything came to be?" The system of religion, where parents can try and force feed their child whatever they want at a young age, seems scarily like protection against learning different ideas about the universe's creation. Instead of asking children to question it, people are just trying to drill "God is real, God is good." into their (the children's) heads through repetitive church sessions, and religious ceremonies. It's ironically similar to Santa Clause. Children don't even question the existance of a God, they just learn about it at a young age, and automatically accept anything about it as truth. Anyway, that's just my opinion. What's your guys's? — Unsigned, by: ‎LAN Megalodon / talk / contribs

Oh, are we having an antitheism thread? Well... my own view is that religion is a memetic analogue to a virus. Rather than subverting the behavior of a cell to reproduce more of itself, it subverts the behavior of a brain to reproduce more of itself. And taking your kids to church is a bit like how retroviruses infect descended cells of those they infect. Ikanreed (talk) 21:11, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Hippocracy -- a political system in which the horses are the rulers. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 22:13, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Houyhnhnmland? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 13:39, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It certainly is indoctrination and not persuasion, especially since very few places of worship focus on logically proving that their god exists and most just drill the holy text of choice over and over, but I'm not sure how it's hypocritical. Aren't the Torah, Bible, and Qur'an all pretty big into "convert now, or die", not "convert now, based on the intellectual merit of our deity"? Comrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (reprimand) 22:59, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh God, another truth-seeker; if you learned it as a child, maybe you wouldn't be so confused as an adult. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 05:20, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It's clearly indoctrination as they are being told "believe this" as opposed to "evaluate this". On the other hand there are a number of other more secular values which are arguably transmitted the same way.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 12:54, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

@AgingHippie: Rather than rule by horses, I thought a "hippocracy" might be a theocracy dedicated to the worship of Tawaret[wp]. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:19, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

River horses don't count as proper equines. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 13:40, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
INFIDEL! Tawaret[wp] will surely do something inventively nasty to you for such impudent blasphemy! ScepticWombat (talk) 13:47, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, I wonder how she feels about RW's lack of an article dedicated to her worship. (talk) 14:00, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
She may be grinning (hippos really can't help it), but I doubt she's amused... ScepticWombat (talk) 14:21, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Oh god, I just realized I spelled "Hypocracy" H-i-p-p-o-c-r-a-c-y.LAN Megalodon (talk) 14:07, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Hypocrisy? I would say that the vast majority of church goers believe that taking their children is the right thing to do. As such this is not hypocritical. Misguided - well, that's another discussion. Hypocritical, come on guys, they're sincere. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 14:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
"Hypocracy" would mean "lesser/lower rule" or "rule by the lesser/lower". So that'd probably be either the opposite of meritocracy/geniocracy or an oligarchy run by midgets. (talk) 14:22, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm sure atheists indoctrinate their kids too. People are bound to impart to their children things that they feel strongly about - beliefs, opinions, culture, hobbies, etc. They fuck you up, your mum and dad. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:09, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Sure, everyone indoctrinate their children - it's called parenting. Indoctrination just tends to be used primarily for what is considered unacceptable variants. I'll be happy, for instance, to indoctrinate children on the virtues of democracy, the importance of rational and thorough scrutiny, or the usefulness of reading science fiction.
Hell, teaching (which I've also done) is definitely skirting indoctrination too, in the sense that you don't just present chemistry and alchemy side-by-side and let the pupils/students choose. As with parenting, being the (more) grown-up and (supposedly) smarter and (hopefully) wiser part of the exchange means shouldering the responsibility of not just letting the pupil/student decide what (s)he thinks is right (unlike teach the controversy). Of course, once the student reaches a sufficiently advanced stage in their education, the teacher will turn into more of a supervisor (e.g. once students have to conduct actual research). ScepticWombat (talk) 14:20, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Sure, raising your kids as you think is best is a thing, but most major religions come with an ingrained element of specifically doing things to indoctrinate kids. There's no atheist equivalent of Sunday School, e.g. In fact, my charge is that thanks to evolutionary forces, religions that don't enforce themselves upon children die off over the course of a few generations. Ikanreed (talk) 14:38, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd definitely agree that most major religions carry the kind of outdated baggage which would make any raising of kids that relies overly on zealous adherence to such religions constitute indoctrination. Of course you're right that there aren't any "atheist Sunday Schools", but that's more a question of atheism not being the kind of organised venture that religions are. And I've never been too convinced by the "if children weren't indoctrinated religion would die out"-argument. Mainly because religions propagate among adults all the time. ScepticWombat (talk) 14:53, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Kids can be reasoned with, from a surprisingly early age, if you put yourself into their head space. It takes vigilance, creativity, and constant effort, so it can be easier to try building useful habits by parental fiat instead. They may not have Sunday school for atheists, but many Unitarian congregations have open-minded, inquiry based Religious Education (RE) programs, for introducing the little savages to realms of spiritual thought and practice. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
You misunderstand me scepticwombat, I'm not saying that religion in general would die for lack of Sunday school, religiosity has a real genetic heritable component. I'm saying specific religions get out-competed by those that are better at getting into peoples' heads, and youth is an ideal time to do that. Ikanreed (talk) 15:21, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Jesus Christ

Where the fuck is everybody going? In the past few months or so, I've noticed loads of retirements and shit. Has anybody else? Why? What's happening? (talk) 11:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I've noticed. Reasons are various, but I think there's a bit of a momentum effect where long-time users see less old faces around or notice their friends retiring & feel less inclined to spend time here themselves. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:12, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It's because I joined. Everybody hates me. Ikanreed (talk) 14:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Nah, you're OK. It's because MC, Brx, and Dirk Steele don't come around much any more. The old hats are staying away in solidarity. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
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