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  1. Yahoo Answers guy (12:40, 25 Aug 2016)
  2. Roger Ailes is assisting Trump with the debates. What I think we should do. (08:33, 23 Aug 2016)
  3. Dr William Whitby - "Smoking is good for you" (00:19, 17 Aug 2016)
  4. Let's play "Have you ever considered" (21:53, 8 Aug 2016)
  5. Is Rationalwiki serious? I tried to edit something and a pretty troll-like person just keeps blanking it. (17:10, 8 Aug 2016)
  6. Something strange is happening to me... (19:25, 6 Aug 2016)
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[edit] How (un)popular are the Clintons outside of the US?

The article got at least one thing right: The Clintons are poster children for free trade and neoliberal economics. Green voters have more common ground with the alt-right, for example. Traditionally "liberal" candidates are suddenly finding themselves defending the status quo (poorly, I might add).
I've actually been browsing Reddit a lot of late. I've noticed that the European subs are generally pro-Bernie, even when they're expressing disenchantment (or outright annoyance) at frou-frou candidates like Corbyn and Hollande. To the non-Americans at RW, I'm wondering what the story is. Plutoniumboss (talk) 02:30, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

One sentence for you: Clinton is the American counterpart to Pena Nieto. Ɀexcoiler Кingbolt Noooooooo! Look! Up there! 06:58, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
How so? Peña Nieto went to a book fare once and couldn't mention three books he read. Never heard anything even approaching this level of stupid for Clinton. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 14:00, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
World outside the US tends to like your presidents that don't start reckless invasions or try to reignite the Cold War. I'm not sure if people have really strong opinions on Hillary anyway since Trump's antics get the most attention. The press does like drumming up the dynasty angle though. Vulpius (talk) 15:12, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
From my perspective including what my friends and peers say and from the news articles and essays I read in foreign press (I read sources from Spain, Belgium, UK and Canada regularly) People are overwhelmingly rooting for Clinton and few people can understand the immense hate directed towards Hillary. The mistakes that she has made and the fact that she rubs noses with a few dodgy or very rich friends...simply don't seem to warrant her portrayal of such villainy. Of all American politicians who regularly talk about difficult issues, she seems to offer one of the most humanist and realistic take on problems and realistic responses. Also...it is baffling how a clear majority of registered democrats can select her as their candidate and yet a very small percentage like her or trust her. It's all very confusing. ShabiDOO 18:06, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
For me, the simple answer is war and whistleblowers. Clinton has always been a neocon and her support for Iraq (2003) was pivotal to Democratic support. She pushed both her husband and her husband and Obama to be more hawkish. She will not free Manning or stop trying to prosecute any of the whistleblowers Obama went after.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 18:22, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
Laurogeita, you should mean the level of corruption, not stupidity. Ɀexcoiler Кingbolt Noooooooo! Look! Up there! 18:37, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
IMHO, the average American voter (rightly or wrongly) sees the Clinton's roles in (1) the Crash of 2008; (2) pre-911 failures; (3) the Iraq war; (4) declining income as the result of NAFTA; (5) the on again-off again relationship with Putin and Russia and rebirth of Cold War tensions; (6) a shitload of other issues we'll put under miscellaneous; and finally (8) basic issues of integrity, be it in government, or the examples leaders set for children and the whole society. nobsGary Johnson for Rehab! 20:44, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
What happened to example 7? Also, most people see them as a part of an upcoming dynasty.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 20:55, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree. Most people see her as the alternative to the Trump bogeyman, that's all. Bill's an STD infected slug, and Chelsea, the heir of the dynasty is another underqualified spoiled rich kid who isn't even Bill's daughter. You can't hide these things. nobsGary Johnson for Rehab! 21:38, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the conflict with seeing her as an alternative to Trump but also being a part of a political dynasty. Every American, no matter how politically ignorant or apathetic, has heard of the Clintons and they know they are involved in politics. It appears to me, though, that people are willing to swallow this pill and stagnant for four years rather than to use the enema Trump is offering.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 22:02, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
That's the dilemma. You can't complain about corruption when it's been mandated by tbe voters. nobsGary Johnson for Rehab! 03:48, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Spanish press have Trump as more-or-less insane and Hilary as the oblivious choice for President. Bill Clinton was quite popular as well. --Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:09, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

I live in Spain and I don't know a single person who isn't flabbergasted by the kind of support for trump you see on the polls taken. I think if there was an election with a candidate like trump in Spain and the opponent was any random 8 year old...95% of voters would vote for the 8 year old. That doesn't mean there aren't stupid candidates here...there totally are...super stupid ones...but they'd never get away with even one of the scummy nasty filthy offensive bullshit he spouts. It makes for incredibly entertaining news in the boring summer slow days. ShabiDOO 21:17, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
You say that but I doubt Spain is immune to this tripe. This sort of bravado worked for Brexit and it has created a strong, lasting base in the US. There are a massive amount of essays on this phenomenon both here and internationally that boil down to rage against globalization, a precarious middle class, and an unnecessary working class abandoned by their community leaders.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 22:02, 14 August 2016 (UTC)
First...if you can show me an example of a Canadian, Belgian, French or Spanish leader of a party who said something as scummy as what trump says and wasn't stripped of leadership or expelled...I'd like to see it. I cannot think of a single example. Pointless, inflamatory dishonest stupuidity yes...full out scummy nastiness...it's hard to think of a single example. Can you even think of a previous US presidential candidate that approached Trump's slimy nastiness?
You can say something that is a gross exageration, something that angers people or even full out lies...but if you ever laughed at a disabled person, called women gross looking bimbos, accused any politition of starting ISIS, suggested building a border wall that the neighbour would pay for, called for the mass expulsion of one race/religion, outright insulted an entire race/religion, called anyone a fat ugly retard...at the very least your party you strip you from being leader if not expell you. It would happen within a couple hours. Minor politicians are expelled from their parties for much less. In France or Belgium the leaders of the far right parties might get away with the insulting an entire race/religion...but only them. In any other party they would also strip them of leadership and/or expell them and they may face (probably in Belgium) will face criminal action. The leader of a far right Belgian party was heavily fined for making a veiled nasty comment about muslim immigrants. He didn't say anything that approached the full out summiness of what trump says. Another Belgian far right party was disbanded under order of the government...also for saying things less scummy than what trump says. In Canada there was mass protest against the conservative government for airing a commercial showing the leader of one party as being ugly because of his dissability. It was denounced by everyone in every party including the party leaders who were all horrified and the conservatives went on to go from 170 seats out of 295...to only 2. ShabiDOO 15:36, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
So, who holds the power in those instances and examples you give, the voters or the party? Mind you, the US is not a parlimentary system. Trump held no position within the party that the party could strip him of or boot him out. Under US law, any individual can run for office on whatever party they choose. nobsGary Johnson for Rehab! 18:55, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
This is an interesting discussion that shows up the differances between the US system and European parlimrnary systems. In 1996 Lyndon LaRouche sued the Democratic party under the Voting Rights Act for trying to keep him off the ballot as a Democrat and not awarding him delegates he won. He lost, as I understsnd it, because he was a convicted felon and felons cannot register to vote, registering to vote as a Democrat being a requirement to run as a Democrat. Trump is not an ex-con, so unless the GOP adopts convoluted bureaucratic rules like the Democrats have to rig party elections for insiders and keep out insurgent outsiders like an independant Democratic Socislist, it will happen again.nobsGary Johnson for Rehab! 20:40, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Most people here I've talked to seem to think the Clintons are just your standard-issue American politicians - they're sort of analogous to our kinda Kevin 07 or Malcolm Turnbull, except a little more pander-y to the young kids. Depending on who you're talking to, in my experience, they're either seen as "yeah I guess they're better than Trump" or "fuckin corrupt American pollie scum hey". Our left-leaning press is generally a little less terrified about Trump than other places, which I think ties into our general kind of separation and isolation from most of the world, but still sees him as a fucking dangerous whackjob, and Hillary as the boring but obvious choice. Even our super right-leaning press, like, the cunts who fucking defend Pauline Hanson and try to justify our fucking shithouse abhorrent detention centre thing, seem to think he's just a fucking demagogue, even if he has the occasional "good" party policy (usually fuckin stickin it to them fuckin muzzo ragheads "fighting political correctness") As for Sanders, the only places here that really covered him in detail seemed to be the more full-on political websites and that. Petrichor (talk) 22:04, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

I'm willing to bet the sum majority of Europe prefers Sanders to Clinton and Trump. PBfreespace3 (talk) 02:05, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
i'm willing to bet the sum majority of europe dont know whow sanders is AMassiveGay (talk) 12:39, 15 August 2016 (UTC)
I'll bet you're right.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:55, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Quote of the day

In the vast game of Darwinian musical chairs, whenever the music stopped there were large numbers of people without a seat—and some smartass had sold them guns. - Daniel Suarez Plutoniumboss (talk) 14:48, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Must be a pretty slow day. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:00, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] PSA: Living people, references, and lawsuits

[Saying this as a RatWik, not a boardmember (BoardWik?).]

RW has gotten into another potential legal issue (see here). The reason for this is that the Pseudomathematics page had a section that asserted a living person was a pseudomathematician and antisemite (among other insults) without citing any sources whatsoever. There's nothing that regular RatWiks can or should do about this -- in fact, staying away, creating no new articles, and saying nothing is probably the best action.

[edit] What you can do

RW currently has 61 articles on living people or active organizations that contain at least one uncited statement (see the "Urgent attention needed" section of Category:Living people). With the exceptions of Trump, Clinton, Kony, and Xi, each of these articles is a little bit more likely to get legally attacked.(Side note: this category should also include "active organizations" as it is really the category for "entities that are likely to sue".) Anyone with time, please comb through these articles, read the uncited statement(s), and do one of the following: [1] Nuke the article. [2] Nuke the statement. [3] Cite the statement. [insert "RatWiki needs you to increase the reference/content ratio" poster] Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 22:54, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Nuke it all?

In general, RW might consider [1] a "nuke on sight" policy for articles/sections that list people under a negative attribute (such as the old List of internet kooks, the attempted list of minor cranks, and living-people entries on List of pseudosciences) without citing each entry and [2] a semi-formal review process for all new living-person articles (maybe they go to draftspace until a consensus thinks they're mainspaceworthy). This is not because that sourced articles cannot be legal targets -- if the source doesn't say what we say it says, that's still a problem -- but because unsourced articles appear far, far more likely to receive legal threats. And given that I'm probably "that guy who keeps suggesting stupid changes", these will probably just stay thought experiments. *shrug* Worth a try. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 22:54, 19 August 2016 (UTC)

I repeat what I said previously, not that it will matter. You cannot separate a person from their ideas; they are one and the same. It doesn't matter if objectively true statements about the Kent Hovinds or Paul Elams of the world are made; they're going to sue your ass anyway because you disagree with them. --Castaigne2 (talk) 23:08, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
(Although, if nuke on sight is required, I really fucking wonder how the Encylopedia of American Loons has avoided BAHLEETION for nearly as long as RatWiki has been around.) --Castaigne2 (talk) 23:11, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
@Castaigne:
Re:SueAnyway: This is true. But [1] it's far less likely and [2] the case itself is far, far easier to argue, minimizing RW's losses.
Re:EoAL: I'd put my bet on ".blogspot.com". Easy enough to argue that it's an opinion -- and for those insulted parties to think of it as just another angry Internetier. Cømяade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 23:20, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
Then (again), if we are to be 'safe', then we need to delete all mentions of living persons in order to obviate all risk. Printing nothing that could be used, period, is more certain (which is the most important thing) than trying to assess likelihood of lawsuit. 100% certainty of avoiding a lawsuit can be achieved. It is the most practical, pragmatic solution if lawsuit immunity is sought.
But shit, I've offered several times previously for any legal issues to be sent my way so I can let my attorney deal with them - for friggin' free - and no one wanted it. *shrug* So there's really no point in me saying jack squat. --Castaigne2 (talk) 23:26, 19 August 2016 (UTC)
@Castaigne2 In my view, it's less about preventing cranks and asshats from threatening to sue, and more about ensuring they have absolutely no case, were they to proceed (mainly by citing well and by nuking spurious claims). We don't negotiate with terrorists. Awful nice of you to offer to involve your lawyer and so on, for the record. Kudos, man. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:38, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
@FCP Thanks for whipping this up, buddy! Imo, we don't need to nuke entire pages as anything but the last resort, though — going through said articles and removing dubious statements should be enough, while also adding sources where possible. The most important thing is probably that we're not the origin of a negative or possibly defamatory claim, i.e. that one of our articles which somebody threw together up at some point in the past happens to state, without sources, that some person or organization are — for example — antisemites. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:42, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
I think nuking everything is an overreaction. Take a look at the Nolo explanation of libel law.[1] A person can sue someone for any reason or no apparent reason at all; it doesn't mean they'll be taken seriously in court. The important points from Nolo to avoid losing a libel case are:
  1. A potentially defamatory statements should be true (and therefore have a reference).
  2. A defamatory statement has to be demonstrably injurious to be libelous. Calling someone a turdblossom, a kook or a crank isn't likely to be considered injurious. Calling someone a crook, a thief, or a criminal is likely to be injurious — unless that person's reputation is already damaged (like Trump). Bongolian (talk) 03:48, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but in the U.S. (which is the relevant jurisdiction, since the Foundation is incorporated in the U.S.), even a ridiculous lawsuit still requires you to retain a lawyer and respond to the lawsuit in court. If you don't respond the plaintiff gets a default judgment and wins automatically. This is how rich people can use the courts to intimidate. Even if they file totally bogus lawsuits, the target still has to spend time and money responding. The thing is most threats of legal action are toothless. The person has no intention of actually going to court; they're just trying to intimidate. But conversely, if someone is hell-bent on suing there isn't much you can do to stop them. Of course I'm not calling for us to throw all caution to the wind, but short of taking down the project we're never going to be "lawsuit-proof". --Ymir (talk) 05:42, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Also, can someone explain why Thunderf00t is showing up in the urgent attention section? It doesn't have any "citation needed"s or a "too many unsourced statements". Bongolian (talk) 03:57, 20 August 2016 (UTC)
Half of the PETA article would have to go away with this. Evolution and Metamorphosis (talk) 00:13, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Using RW to attack non-notable people is cyberbullying

With the exception of Conservapedia administrators (who are only referred by their screen names), I have a major issue with using RW to attack non notable people. It is dangerously close to cyberbullying. Someone doesn't believe i is a number? Who gives a fucking shit? We are here to refute anti cranks, but in that zeal, sometimes RW goes too fucking far. Stick to attacking pseudo ideas, and stay away from attacking non notable people in any capacity. The fact that someone felt the need to resort to a lawsuit threat should be revealing. Objective (talk) 01:58, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

And before you compare this individual to Kent Hovind or his son, Kent Hovind and his son are notable. The unsocial in question, based on a Google search, mixed it up on some forums over 6 years ago. Objective (talk) 02:14, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
I couldn't disagree more (though, the headline itself is deviously loaded as it suggests that we are "attacking" anyone, which I don't think we are). And for the record — I don't think the letter i is a number, either. Pseudoscience and unskeptical thinking knowns no creed, no religion, no class, nor age, nor gender... You appear to be making a fairly elitist argument implying there are those who aren't worth the spotlight, and those who are, based on what reminds me of the argument that we should only engage "sophisticated enough cranks" and not just anybody who has decided to personally put a public dog in the race (which we should). And the fact that several times since RW began, various people have decided to "resort to" (or rather, "attack with") lawsuits, is not at all supportive of the case you are trying to make.
Every bad idea expressed is something worth dignifying to the extent that it warrants public exploration and sometimes, within reason, ridicule from us. In fact, the people whose nonsense we cover are the exact people (and peers of whom) we're trying to help. Creationism, conspiratorial reasoning and other types of crankery are diseased forms of thinking. At the same time, they're perfectly endemic to the species, a sign of everyone's common humanity — and what's better, for many people these ways of thinking are quite accidental. These are the people we have a duty to shock back into coherency; I know, because it worked on me, for one.
We do everyone a favor by merely — and as loudly as we can — providing our diagnosis, complete with reasons why that diagnosis is given. Reaching every strata of society is the only way we have a shot at breaking up echo chambers too, because if us editors here — all regular "nobodies" — were to only engage the uncritical masses (also regular "nobodies") via the proxies of famous nutters, e.g. David Icke or Donald Trump, we'd end up polarizing and separating the communities, passing each other like ships in the night. That would per definition be contrary to our mission of reaching as wide an audience as possible — we must work to avoid the disconnect with the everyman.
And to avoid that, we must approach this all with the solidarity and intellectual "intimacy" that comes from knowing that as editors, we're regular people, and we cover regular people as well. We're not a book of past curiosities; we're writing a modern history of ideas as well. And that, with a progressive egalitarian outlook no less, demands that we focus on the grassroot effort. The purpose of this wiki isn't to make Ray Comfort change his ideas — it's to make every single regular person who quotes him on Facebook think twice about what they are really subscribing to — and more importantly, the peers of said persons.
I fear I detect a great condescension in your suggestion here; in withdrawing commentary about and, thus, speaking past the volumes of regular Joes who hold indefensible nonsense as true. That is a solidarity analogous to the "democracy" of Athens — and as a man of the enlightenment, who believes that nobody need give up their seat for a king, I don't appreciate that outlook at all. What's more; "bullying" is not a term to be used so lightly. Bullying is always unacceptable, because it is the invention of slander, the coordinated sabotage of someone's life and public image for the sake of schadenfreude. Bullying never seeks to educate anyone; it is entirely a sadistic strategy to dominate someone.
Furthermore, bullies don't leave their targets alone — while we, on the other hand, never explicitly seek to invoke cockfighting with the people or organisations we happen to cover (and whom we cover entirely as a consequence of what they themselves are proclaiming to the world, with sources). It is something quite separate from any form of bullying to actually hold people to their own words, never interrupting them, and not skipping a letter when they speak ill.
The tone I'm picking up from you here is about the same as Hannity tried to mopingly constrain Hitchens with on the day Jerry Falwell died. Some of the "regular" people we cover here openly advocate hate. Some advocate violence, often against the most defenseless. Some classify large swaths of society as "the enemy". All of them beat their chest and demand to be listened to — the whole point of them going public is in the hope that somebody will pay attention. They only get upset when they find out that "the wrong people" are the ones listening in. They want to yell as loud as they want in public and to dictate who gets to stick around and listen to them at the same time. These are people that cannot be pleased. If any of them had the thinnest straw of power, they would silence any man who spoke against them. For all they say, where are our lawsuits against them? Who are, in actuality, the bullies here?
We're all here individually against hate, insanity, the incitement of violence and the spreading of lies. We're many enough, that we were able to join together in a sort of entity against the aforementioned things. As a result, we're big enough to actually pack a punch when refuting some of the soap-boxers of hate and bullshit. To no surprise, the mere fact that we land our spotlight on the less entrenched purveyors of nonsense can seem like a destructive interference on the further credible spreading of their crap. Good; that's the point. If we can literally educate on the specifics of what any and all cranks really imply, to the point of preventing even a single person from becoming a nazi (or a fundie, or a stalin apologist, or a quack cancer cure customer or...), it's all been worth it.
Another way it might seem like we're reversely spotlighting people here as compared to, say, Wikipedia or regular news outlets is because that is the case. Not with us, but with crankery — it is, in most avenues, precisely not considered notable. Guess where we get the basis for our novelty as public educators? Why, it's by dredging those exact mud lakes for the worst crap people actually spread around, in the hopes that our presence helps construct a skeptical bridge between the realms of conviction held by cranks, the often glossing-over stance of the media outlets, and regular people — like ourselves — who are just Googling to determine if that thing they just read on social media, that "maybe some particular ethnic group did do a lot of stuff and should be considered highly suspect", has any veracity.
It's so easy to accuse us of unfairly drawing negative attention to people, when what we are in fact doing is simply drawing attention to people who have themselves produced a lot of negativity. That's very different. One could easily accuse garbage men of appearing to have some kind of "sick motive" of being as disgusting as possible (why, they pick up precisely what other people try to leave out to be rid of!) — forgetting that the function of garbage collection is to gather up and process precisely all the shit that everyone produces (though some more than others), and which would otherwise be left out like beacons of nastiness in the streets. Where the children play.
And I don't care if that process "deprives" anyone one woo-meister of their "happy-go-lucky" attitude. The important thing is firstly that we guarantee that none of our editors breaks the law (especially in the context of any slander laws), and secondly, that everyone is held accountable by us based on their own comments and actions. We seek no conflict, we just listen in on their bullshit and won't still our tounges at what we hear. And to do that is, for anyone, both a necessary moral courage and the only hope for education that the world has.
So no, I can't agree with you on this at all. I will restate that we must not slander anyone, nor depart from what sound sources allow us to comment on. But conversely, we can't allow anyone to be excluded from the — ultimately solidary — project of actually taking them by their word, cataloguing their claims, and dedicating the time and effort to understand and disseminate how and why these people are off their rockers. Thank you and Goat bless. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:56, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Gabriel is an exception

This discussion was moved to Essay talk:John Gabriel.

Compiling all the horseshit. Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (talk/stalk) 16:39, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Preventing Nuclear War

I was watching WarGames the other night. It was my first time watching it, but I had known the plot and ending beforehand, just like every kid knows who Luke Skywalker's father is. I came to the conclusion that idea that the only winning move in nuclear war is not to play is wrong. The winning move is to strike first and to convince your opponent to think logically and morally. Suppose Russia or China launch nuclear ICBMs at the United States. Retaliation would not prevent the destruction of the USA. It would only guarantee the destruction of humanity. If you are on the receiving end of a nuclear attack, the logical move is to let the attacker win and preserve civilization and the human race. To extend the Tic-Tac-Toe comparison used in the film, the situation of a country being attacked by a nuclear power is analogous to that of a Tic-Tac-Toe player. He has reached a point where he can either lose and destroy his opponent, leading to a tie, or let the opponent win. In either case, he loses, but if he lets the other person win, millions of lives are saved.

I sincerely hope that secretly, every government has a non-retaliation policy to a nuclear attack. Of course, they would never tell anyone this, since otherwise they would be attacked. The trick is to bluff. Your opponent needs to think that you will retaliate, while in reality you would never do so. But your opponent probably thinks the same way, and he will attack you, knowing that your massive retaliation policy is likely to be a bluff. You need to be very convincing in order to avoid such a situation. To prevent nuclear war, you need to convince your opponent that you are irrational and immoral, and will not be affected by reason. This shows just how crazy MAD is. In the past, I would have considered discussions of nuclear war between superpowers to be a thing of the past, but with a certain Donald Trump getting ever closer to becoming president of the most powerful country in the world, it suddenly seems very relevant. We need to find better ways to prevent war. Any ideas?

TeslaK20 (talk) 13:29, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

As Steven Pinker argued in “How the Mind Works”, the winning strategy is a Doomsday Machine, which will always retaliate and never think morally or rationally. Of course, the joke is that such a machine is featured in Dr Strangelove, but with the flaw that its design was not advertised to the opponoents — which is a crucial aspect. Consider the greaser game where two cars race at each other, and the loser is the one who evades first. The winning move is to throw out the steering wheel, though importantly, in such a way that the opponent sees it. This is also one theory why humans have visible emotions that make someone irrational, as it might have evolved (or remained) for exactly this game-theoretical calculation. Besides, I am annoyed that your example has China or Russia strike first. US wargames led humankind several times to the abyss. And US american war criminal politicians did it, like the abysmal Kennedy — who in alternate history, belongs behind bars for life. Of course, the Russians and the Chinese are terrible to their own people, and have a horrible political system. We in the West have the best system, and the values are rightfully considered universal. Though, Americans need to get off their high horse. Soon, they'll vote for another warmonger and friend of war criminal Kissinger. ~ Aneris 15:32, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Re:Tesla: Unless you think that a society dominated by [surviving country] is worse than a society dominated by the surviving South Americans, Africans, and Oceanians.
Re:Aneris: America has been overaggressive. So have Russia and China. The important conclusion is not that America will elect a warmongerer, but that humans will. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 15:45, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
That's not correct, and an explanation that rules out less is inferior, too. To say humans do something is nearly meaningless. Like it is often the case, the more you know: the US engaged in marine operations in the Barents Sea, provoked Russian submarines and also pulled the strings in Sweden (which was neutral). This was a highly dangerous game. The Russians were busy with maintaining a fascade. ~ Aneris 17:11, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
To Aneris: An automatic retaliation system which cannot be deactivated in any way but secretly does nothing would be best.
To Fuzzy Cat Potato: Let's see. A global Russian, Chinese, or American empire would have difficulty sustaining itself if it destroyed the other two superpowers, and China would actually be in the best position after the attack. I think all 3 of these nations meet the minimum requirements for ruling the world. They may not be free or democratic, but they are advanced, functional, and capable. A society ruled by surviving African nations may not look very good, given that most such countries have a low HDI and have trouble sustaining their own population, much less the world. Ditto for Indonesia and the Philippines. Brunei is advanced, but it is also an Islamic Monarchy, which is far worse than a secular oligarchy or a communist dictatorship. As for South America, many South American nations may have the capabilities to handle the world semi-competently, but crime would definitely be a problem. Also, given Trump's view on Hispanics and Mexicans, South America may not be spared in a nuclear confrontation. --TeslaK20 (talk) 17:28, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
Do you think Kim Jong-un is a rational person? Do you know the identities of the persons in control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal? because Pakistsan's democratically elected Prime Minister didn't know until the CIA told her (and these persons, by law, must be Muslim by faith; the same group that hid bin Laden for years). The logic behind MAD would prevent any first strike because the looser would survive to retaliate and incinerate the initiator. This however, is meaningless to an ideology intent on destroying God's enemies by suicide only to be welcomed into paradise by 72 virgins for doing do. And we haven't discussed limited, scaled down, or dirty nukes, or these weapons in the hands of non-governmental units. So it's a completely different world today, but I know I know, I sound like George Bush or Dick Cheney trying pitch the dangers of WMD just to scare people, right?nobsGary Johnson for Rehab! 20:15, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
"Retaliation would not prevent the destruction of the USA. It would only guarantee the destruction of humanity." Past and current nuke stockpiles are a long way from being able to destroy humanity. A major nuke exchange would wreck up the nations involved pretty well, but the survivors (and there would be a lot of them) would soon get to work rebuilding. That is, unless a hostile foreign military were taking over. Even after a thorough nuking, the US would probably be well-armed enough to be unconquerable by an intact Soviet Union, but retaliation would prevent the attempt, and it would leave the survivors with less interference from other nations. The unavoidability of costly retaliation is what prevents nuclear war, at least among parties that value material gain, and it has produced the most peaceful era in recorded history.
"if you kill your enemies, you lose" is not a universal or even widely accepted value system. Nations tend to look out for themselves and their interests, at the expense of others if that's what it takes. Rationality is about achieving goals, not what the goals are, and morality doesn't enter into consideration at all unless it's part of the goal set. The WarGames resolution relies on the computer having particular values that it probably wouldn't have been programmed to have. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 23:33, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

The entireity of this section is why rationalwiki should not be allowed to watch films. AMassiveGay (talk) 11:53, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

@nobs: When I saw your typo I couldn't help thinking of Allah saying, "Here are your 72 virgins for doing do as we say here in Heaven. You can do all the do you want for eternity." 2.126.237.246 (talk) 16:04, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Banning the word "Drumpf"

John Oliver's extension edits wikitext and screws up articles. (Recent example.) The problem is that, since the edit often affects huge swathes of an article, it can be impossible to revert. The only automatic solution that I can think of is edit-filtering "Drumpf", to follow in the footsteps of Special:AbuseFilter/3.

Special:AbuseFilter/41's contents (currently disabled) are:

spamtext:="(?i)(DRUMPF)";
rcount(spamtext, (rmspecials(ccnorm(added_lines)))) > 0

The editfilter merely warns the user and asks them to resubmit. The warning message is:


Warning icon orange.svg Please disable the "Drumpf" browser extension.

The word "Drumpf" was detected in your text. John Oliver's "Drumpf" extension automatically replaces all instances of "Trump" with "Drumpf" in the wikitext.

This screws up URLs containing "Trump", changes people's talkpage comments, and in general makes mainspace look really shitty.

Please remove all instances of Drumpf from the text. (An automated tool is available here.)

If you resubmit, your text (whether it contains Drumpf or not) will be added.

Too draconian? Not necessary? FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 20:49, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

This is most certainly necessary. I've seen plenty of edits that accidentally changed all the "Drumpfs" into "Drumpfs" which meant that I (or someone else) had to revert a usually well-intended edit.--JorisEnter (talk) 20:52, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
How the bloody hell did that happen? No, don't bother telling me. I wouldn't understand. Yes. Ban the word. It looks like it's the only way. Spud (talk)
I'm out of the loop here, but why on earth was this ever done in the first place? Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 06:02, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Because this is the state of US politics in 2016. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 08:46, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
For anyone out of the loop, don't worry — as always, RW has the scoop. Quite a humorous read, for the record. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 09:46, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
(Hey, that rhymed!) Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:18, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

That's too harsh. Reverting it is not that hard.--The (((Kigel))) (talk) (mail) 09:57, 22 August 2016 (UTC) 09:57, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

All it does is give a warning message. It doesn't stop you from saving the edit. --Ymir (talk) 10:04, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Oh, then it's OK.--The (((Kigel))) (talk) (mail) 10:07, 22 August 2016 (UTC) 10:07, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Given that nobody seems apoplectic with rage, I've enabled the filter. FuzzyCatPotato of the Booming Dishrags (talk/stalk) 10:27, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Great stuff, Fuzzy! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 11:17, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Seems to be the case for all substitution filters, so I'm likely to cause a few instances of Pigfucker Hameron, Cunty McCuntface, Twatty Twat-Twatterson, Jeremy Cunt, the Fucking Shitstorm and Hitler's Favourite Rag... Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 13:37, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] I found someone who needs a article.

This guy. https://www.youtube.com/user/Truthneversleeps/videos And here are some of his videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_MhchS6uCY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53C4UHh0jwM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giMq6DZPWfw The last one is stranger than the others.— Unsigned, by: 68.148.166.180 / talk / contribs

There are hordes of YouTube accounts posting this kind of thing. I don't think he's worthy of his own article, but nobody's stopping you from starting one; just be aware it may be voted for a nuking later on. Read Bicycle Wheel's comment in the "Using RW to attack non-notable people is cyberbullying" section above. If you do start one, you should reference anything you say about him and avoid being unnecessarily dickish. Remember that the goal is to refute disinformation like that in his videos, not to write glorified hit pieces about people you think are stupid. B) talk 23:10, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, this type of stuff is better as reference material for articles on existing topics. But again, nobody's stopping you. The problem is though, the less "notable" the figure, the more demanding the article will be to write. You have to make it all the more interesting, well-sourced, and novel (unless you want to risk deletion relatively fast). Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:22, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
There are a lot of cranks in the world. What exactly does this guy do that makes him notable? 173.71.121.36 (talk) 00:39, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
It seemed like classic conspiracy mongering + I'm-helping-people-find-the-righteous-truth-through-God, so not exactly novel. Maybe OP was thinking his 50k subscribers gave him enough of an audience to merit an article, but unfortunately that's not that out of the ordinary either. B) talk 04:15, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
He is just more insane than the others when you compare him. 68.148.166.180 (talk) 17:47, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Depends on what you want from the article. If you want "this person exists and is a poopyhead" like many skeptics enjoy, and then never revisit the article ever, then don't bother. If he has a particularly unique argument or idea that no-one else has seen before, create a page based on that idea (cf., Lunar bukkake hypothesis), otherwise use as examples on existing articles, or create articles based on the ideas that he uses that are common but haven't got articles yet. I'd point some out, but I can't physically watch a video of a talking head for more than 30 seconds - 5 seconds if it opens with a "hey YouTube, what's up" type intro. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 09:43, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Theory

I've been an agnostic all my life, but my girlfriend talked me into going to a fundamental Baptist church with her. I've been going there for a couple months now. I'm beginning to think they are right and everything my science teachers said in school was wrong. My theory is that the devil created the theory of evolution, the big bang theory, the gay rights movement, women's reproductive rights, humanism, the Democratic Party, birth control, other religions, and RationalWiki to send more people to hell. What are your thoughts on this? I think outside the box (talk) 01:50, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

I think you should study both sides and come to a conclusion. You don't have to stop going to the Baptist Church (although I would), but you should watch atheist videos and read atheist books in addition to the Bible. I believe our side is better and that you will get on our side if you properly research both sides. PBfreespace (talk) 02:05, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply. But whst if the atheist books are written by the devil to trick the mind? I think outside the box (talk) 02:09, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
MWAHAHAHA!-Satan 02:15, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
But seriously, study both sides, like Pbfreespace3 said.-DiamondDisc1(talk) 02:15, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Also take a look at Biblical contradictions and Q gospel, and don't forget God Hates Shrimp! Bongolian (talk) 07:50, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
You haven't given us any evidence or reasoning behind the claim that atheist books were written by the devil. Give us some and we'll explain why they're false. Unless you give us the correct one, then we'll cop to being agents of satan and let you on your merry way. 173.71.121.36 (talk) 12:08, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Response to original poster: how exactly would the devil write atheist books? Aren't the people who write the atheist books... atheist humans? Do you think the 'spirit' of Satan has infiltrated the cerebrums of millions of homo sapiens to do... what? PЬFЯЗЭSPДCЗ (talk) 03:05, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

The bit I like is: "My theory is that the devil created .... women's reproductive rights ..." Come on guys. It's obvious he's not serious. Biggest Poe in a while.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:21, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Uh...ok.-DiamondDisc1(talk) 22:07, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Ban Islam?

I think Donald Drumpf has the right idea. We should ban Muslims from coming to America. We should also make practice of Islamic tradition a federal offense, and establish special (privately run) prisons for Muslims. We should destroy all of the Mosques. Thoughts? I think outside the box (talk) 02:05, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

So concentration camps, just like WWII?-DiamondDisc1(talk) 02:18, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
What if Nazi Germany was punishment for the Jews not accepting Jesus? Just a thought. I think outside the box (talk) 02:21, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Really? So you'd saying, around six million people deserved to die? WTF?-DiamondDisc1(talk) 02:27, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
If Christians are correct, a lot more than that will burn in hell for eternity. I think outside the box (talk) 02:33, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Why infinite punishment for a finite crime?-DiamondDisc1(talk) 02:34, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
What if it's not a finite crime? I think outside the box (talk) 02:39, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Why does RationalWiki block people for pi times infinity? I think outside the box (talk) 02:40, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Using some whataboutism, are we?-DiamondDisc1(talk) 02:45, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
What if whataboutism is a lie? I think outside the box (talk) 02:49, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
What if it isn't?
But in seriousness, here's the correct thought process: "hey, let's ban ideology X"-- nope. That's literally all the thought required.
Atheists don't tend to say that we should ban all religion, make it a felony to believe, and destroy 320,000 churches. Mostly religious people make those kinds of proposals. PBfreespace3 (talk) 03:11, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
That is not all the thought required, and twisting a highly defensible position into indefensible hyperbole doesn't help to make the case that banning a religion and persecuting its followers is a god-awful idea. What you call the "correct" thought process has more in common with I want to put Muslims in a box's proposal than it has with a reasonable objection to the proposal. B) talk 04:40, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
TrollCorruptUser (talk) 03:50, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Yeah! Radicalize them and push them underground! What could go wrong? Lord Aeonian (talk) 04:26, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

They should hold a reality TV show to find what's the best religion, and force everybody to obey that. Annquin (talk) 08:53, 23 August 2016 (UTC)


I think outside the box (what an odd name that is), you lost all credibility when you began to engage in Holocaust apologetics. I reread your rant at the beginning of this section and if you truly believed what you were writing, you would not have acted so naive and deluded, so admit it, you're a troll. Your theistic worldview has led you to close your mind to the idea that perhaps Satan wrote the Bible in order to destroy humanity. God, being omnipotent, has the ability to write a holy book so convincing that any atheist who reads it will immediately convert. As this is not the case, and the Bible does not instantly convert many people, it seems that either God does not want us to believe and be saved, or he did not write the Bible. Like all fundamentalists, you display a shocking lack of perspective, and declare anything that you do not like to be a Satanic conspiracy, unaware that perhaps your own beliefs are part of it. Furthermore, you deny that martyring Muslims makes matters worse for everyone. Based on your postings, it appears to me that you are not here to be constructive, so try and be logical before its too late. Godspeed! --aschlafly (talk) 11:23, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Maybe the Bible does convince every human, and everyone else who isn't convinced is an alien, or perhaps a devil. Didn't think of that, did you? 2.126.237.246 (talk) 16:15, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
So all atheists and non-Christians are really reptoids whose presence on Earth is being covered up by the Illuminati, the Freemasons, and the Knights Templar? That explains everything! --aschlafly (talk) 05:01, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Guys, guys. Don't feed the troll. KevinR1990 (talk) 16:43, 23 August 2016 (UTC)


Okay how about this; we temporarily ban Islam, but we don't tell everyone that it's temporary, we just say "right we're gonna ban Islam and anyone who doesn't convert within a week will be shot dead in the street like a dog, and small children will be forced to mock your corpse." That way, all the mostly moderate muslims who aren't particularly likely to blow themselves and/or others up, or take up arms to murder non-muslims, will probably play ball and at the very least go meekly underground and become secret muslims like Obama. Meanwhile, all the crazy muslims who ARE likely to blow things up and gun down non-muslims will immediately out themselves by shouting and becoming violent and refusing to renounce islam. And then after a month or so of this and all the crazy muslims have been suitably gunned down and small child mocked, we can repeal the ban on islam and all the remaining muslims will be the mostly sensible ones who thought "fuck this, I'm keeping my head down" rather than "I guess this is the call to blow up a hospital". X Stickman (talk) 17:06, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Except you are basically creating an entire cohort of the population that hates you and wants you gone. CorruptUser (talk) 17:10, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
If we made it an annual, or even weekly, purge, the numbers should be manageable long term. X Stickman (talk) 17:15, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Are you actually trying to exterminate all of Islam? CorruptUser (talk) 17:35, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll--The (((Kigel))) (talk) (mail) 21:30, 23 August 2016 (UTC) 21:30, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Why not feed trolls, there's nothing else going on in this... thread? I don't know what they're called on wikis. X Stickman (talk) 23:20, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

They might as well have posted a bunch of those bait memes from the internet and pasted them all over.Teurastaja (talk) 02:18, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Violence doesn't work

The Soviets tried your stupid way to eliminate religion, it didn't work. Only a holistic approach which combines quality childhood education, cultural outreach and integration, and firm stand when it is necessary can successfully eviscerate the plague of ignorance - and even then it will take generations. No government has the spine to do so, because when the masses are equipped with the tools to see through the lies of their religion and culture, what shall prevent them from turning those tools against the sycophants and demagogues who compose their government? Lord Aeonian (talk) 22:31, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

Facepalm.png For fuck's sake shut up. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:46, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't know about the whole eliminating religion thing, but violence does work for a lot of things. You can't argue or fight back when you're dead. --Castaigne2 (talk) 22:55, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Facepalm.png You too. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:04, 23 August 2016 (UTC)
Definitely not endorsing the use of violence, but I really hate the argument that it "doesn't work".
But then, I want to stab people on a daily basis. --Castaigne2 (talk) 01:09, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Or just copy Mohammed; you can be whatever religion you want, except...
  1. You must pay heavy taxes each year for "protection", ensuring that my army is well funded in order to spread the Good Word and "police" you
  2. Your word has less value in a court of law than mine, ensuring legal inequality
  3. You are forbidden from owning weapons or acquiring military training, ensuring that you are unable to rebel
  4. You may not take a wife from one of mine, but I can take from yours, ensuring a slow but inevitable genocide
  5. You may not build a house taller than mine, nor ride on camel/horseback or anything else that would indicate that you might have a higher social status than me, ensuring complete humiliation
And viola! In just 200-300 years, through "voluntary" conversion or attrition, the majority is the religion of your choice! Or non-religion in this case.
It seemed like a perfect idea until the first schism. Bongolian (talk) 04:30, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

CorruptUser (talk) 00:05, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Fine, I'll bite on a serious answer... (I'd say to define "your stupid way" better but I'll assume I'm just late to an in-joke and assume you mean banning it outright by violent force)
Did you notice that you've treated religion as a monolithic entity and assumed, from the start, that it would evaporate given this "quality education" you say is central to your plan? It seems, therefore, that you're defining the "quality" of this education and the "quality" of your new culture by this end result and that only. I.e., if it didn't remove the whole set of religions you would say it was a failure, Have you considered a possibility of a future where "quality education" preserves an element of religion but actually removes the active harm it causes? If not, then you're really just operating with religion=bad axiomatically, and treating religion as set regardless of the members' individual properties, in which case your objection isn't with harm but with the label. Further, you seem to have an aim to remove it no matter the cost, hence making an emphasis of the time it would take and how governments allegedly don't have the pussy to do it, regardless of what this "it" actually happens to be since you don't go into details. I can't see how this 'ends justify the means' approach is qualitatively different to "your stupid way". You object to religion practically as a label, you then want to remove it no matter what, and just disagree on the most effective route from A to B. You might claim it's a comparatively non-violent approach, but you're using a form of coercion anyway since you've set "removal of religion" as a final objective rather than "make the world better" as a more effective proximal one. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 01:31, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I was referring to the troll above, so yes you are correct that the stupid way in question is force, see the thread above.
Have you considered a possibility of a future where "quality education" preserves an element of religion but actually removes the active harm it causes?
Why are you assuming religion is a cultural construct that can change and not a divine ordained set of practices which cannot? Why, probably because you don't invest in any superstitions yourself...and I'd wager another guess that that's because you are aware that all religious arguments are unfalsifiable or otherwise fallacious and that, facing such a condition, belief isn't rational. It certainly seems as if a quality education (we'll define that as one which emphasizes logic and epistemology to be brief) wouldn't preserve any element of religion at all, unless you would say the non-supernatatural elements could stand as a "religion" on their own, but I'm not using such an inclusive semantic.
[You] just disagree on the most effective route from A to B.
That's right, as the context and content of the post should have conferred. I don't see why you needed a long paragraph to come to that conclusion. Lord Aeonian (talk) 04:14, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
My god, it's a sorta-rational and mostly-polite discussion about religion on RationalWiki! Armondikov brings the GOOD TIMES! oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 04:17, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I will chime and say that religion tends to give people, especially the working class, a feeling that structural problems they face can be overcome even if their beliefs can be used against them. You need to show people that they don't need to believe in a higher power in order to overcome the struggles they face and that requires a whole new outlook.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 04:27, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I'd disagree with the Marxist assessment that religion is the 'opiate of the masses' adopted by those who want a higher power and, much more dangerously, certain religious systems, to comfort them, for the simple reason that neither class nor relative wealth of a society wipes out religion. Yes, there is certainly a decline in wealthy societies and among the wealthy of any given society - but yet the vast majority of people, religious or otherwise, will not say they believe to have hope, or disbelieve because they live comfortably and happily. There is even an apologetics industry of sorts, which gives believers the means to try and justify their beliefs - note that the believers in question are those who can afford to buy, consume, and benefit from the materials in the first place - overwhelmingly somewhat educated people in developed countries. Well religion certainly is used a tool by the government and ruling class, it is exploited no more so then culture itself. The Marxist structuralist approach somewhat underestimates religious belief and, in a trend somewhat common to Marxist views in general, oversimplifies human motivations for holding those beliefs. It isn't of matter of "we'll make everyone equal and fix certain systemic problems" and then, suddenly, supernatural worldviews disappear. Lord Aeonian (talk) 04:44, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't see how your views conflict with the statement that religion is an "opiate of the masses" since you believe people's beliefs are being manipulated to adhere to a ruling class-friendly interpretation. I have always found that an individual's deity's beliefs are usual a projection of their own beliefs and provide a feedback loop that everything good is meant to be a reward while everything bad is out of their hands, some kind of conspiracy, or a punishment for something they already believed was wrong.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:11, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Because I disagree with the premise that religion is more or less a psychological reaction on the part of the proletariat to emotionally adjust to the capitalist system, if not a sinister bourgeois creation entirely. Religion is an independent worldview and ideological system that, while interacting with society as all such systems do (including potential for manipulation), is neither a reaction to or dependent on the rest of the social system.
In other words, religion is not just an opiate people take to content themselves with their fate under the capitalist hierarchy. It is much more substantial ideological system.
I have always found that an individual's deity's beliefs are usual a projection of their own beliefs and provide a feedback loop that everything good is meant to be a reward while everything bad is out of their hands, some kind of conspiracy, or a punishment for something they already believed was wrong.
I agree completely, but I don't see what this has to do with the rest. While supernatural beliefs certainly have a predilection for such manipulation, and associate closely with all kinds of fallacies, it's also fair to say that the religious dogmas in question don't always support such lazy usage and, more importantly, every belief and viewpoint people have will inevitably be used in a similar manner. That's just human psychology, not a behavior specific to religion. Lord Aeonian (talk) 05:33, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Sure, political cults are just as problematic as religious cults but both can be used against people. My point that people who are religious tend to believe that their moral code is divine is that it is a psychological position but no amount of education will simply ease these feelings since these people will still need a philosophy that justifies why they are living the way they are and that they can overcome the difficulties they face in their life. I agree that religion can be indepent from the ruling class's views but Tolstoy's views, for example, have not been widely adopted.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 23:19, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" my arse!

Just what on earth are the French hoping to achieve by this asinine "burkini" ban? It's a complete farce. They are literally stripping women on the beach. Literally! https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/24/french-police-make-woman-remove-burkini-on-nice-beach. Yeah, that's not going to exacerbate things! That's not going to give more ammo to hate preachers and other Muslim radicals and Islamists. It's mind-boggling. In it's utter adherence to secularism, France is becoming the mirror image of theocratic countries, like - I don't know - Saudi Arabia! Liberte! Many westerners complain about the failure of the Muslim community to integrate into society. Well, here you have Muslim women trying to enjoy French society - bath in the sun on the beach - in a way that's compatible with their religion, in a way that doesn't mean they have to pick between their religion and integration, and what is the response of the French state? "No, you have to pick one! Your religion or our culture!" The French are actively isolating the people whose help they need in order to defeat Islamic radicalism.--Levi Ackerman (talk) 09:31, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Those crazy French. I'm not aware of any terrorists using burkinis to launch an assault on western beach-goers, but maybe in the interests of harmony we should return to the era of bathing machines[wp], or just ban beaches (which at least has a public health justification, the skin cancer!). While you could argue that the burkini is a classic case of evil misogynistic western capitalists inventing a product, tying it to women's insecurity, and marketing it, if you banned it for that reason, you'd also have to ban all cosmetics and beauty products and everything ever mentioned in a woman's magazine or the Hitlers Favourite Rag, and the French economy would be ruined. Annquin (talk) 09:45, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
It's freeing women from the patriarchal oppression of being told by a bunch of men how to dress by getting a bunch of men to tell them how to dress. Sound reasoning. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 09:49, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
So you completely reject the notion that some women who wear these "burkinis" or burkas choose to do so, even as they tell you/us that they choose to wear these garments/outfits, regardless of reason? Speaking of patriarchal oppression, wasn't this new law telling women what to wear, or rather, what not to wear, introduced by a man (be it Sarkozy in 2010, or the mayor of Corsica in 2016) or a group of men (the overwhelmingly male French legislature)? So, I take it patriarchal oppression is okay (with you), so long as it isn't being done in the name of Islam. Okay. Sound reasoning.Levi Ackerman (talk) 10:27, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
By the way, I agree that the burka (the full-face veil) ought to be banned in public. The burkini, however, shouldn't, has it doesn't cover the face. Indeed, I don't know why it's even called a burkini. It's a complete misnomer. It would be more accurate to call it a "hijabini", or, what it really is, a full-body swimsuit.Levi Ackerman (talk) 10:36, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
"So, I take it patriarchal oppression is okay (with you), so long as it isn't being done in the name of Islam." Whoosh.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 11:28, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
"They are literally stripping women on the beach. Literally!"
I know I should be opposed to this ... 90.205.44.181 (talk) 13:27, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
That is literally what I said if you read to the end. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 13:39, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Oh snap! Indeed it is. My bad! Apologies. (How did I miss that?) That's probably what Кřěĵ meant by "whoosh". Levi Ackerman (talk) 14:04, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
You have to see Skirt Day really, to understand what's happening in France. nobsGary Johnson for Rehab! 18:36, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I won't really be satisfied until we deal with the disgusting problem of men going topless at french beaches. It's completely inappropriate and only women should be allowed to sunbathe topless. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:11, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
What if the men in question are hot? --Ymir (talk) 18:06, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Please. This is about decency! ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:42, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
The state shouldn't tell the people what to wear. If they want to wear this horseshit, fine, but only if no-one forced them to wear this (which is a problem among fundie Muslims, fundie Christians, fundie Jews called Ultra-Orthodox and so on) and if they don't force other to wear it. It may look weird, but that's their business.--The (((Kigel))) (talk) (mail) 14:40, 24 August 2016 (UTC) 14:40, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
How about a compromise? Burkas are allowed in France but only if combined with a string of onions around the neck, and at least one bread or cheese product in hand? 90.205.44.181 (talk) 14:50, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I don't really support it, but to understand where it's coming from (assuming that, like me, you're not French) you need to read about laïcité.[wp] France has a very idiosyncratic concept of secularism, which includes resistance to public expressions of religious belief, borne of the long struggles between the left and right since the Revolution. Religion was identified with the right (as in many countries) and support for the ancien régime. Throughout the 19th century, whenever the French right was in power it would promote Catholicism as the state religion, and the Catholic Church would generally provide official support for the right. Napoleon III, for instance, got France into various international squabbles with a religious dimension, like the Crimean War and buttressing the Papal States, at least partly to garner support from French religious conservatives. This in turn engendered backlash on the left against any presence of religion in the public sphere, which is where this stuff comes from. For instance, all religious apparel and symbols are banned in French public schools. When supporters of laïcité see religious symbols in public, they have visions of people dismantling the Republic and bringing back the Bad Old Days. --Ymir (talk) 18:06, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

First of all, no, it shouldn't be called a "hijabini" (wtf) because the hijab refers to the veil worn to cover the hair, is not a full body outfit like the niqab, abaya, or burka. Westerners can't tell the difference between those three so using "burka" to refer to the general idea is close enough. Second of all, the burkini is skin tight and many Muslims dislike it because the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad specifically dictate that an important aspect of haya (modesty) is that women should not only be covered, but wear loose clothing that does not reveal their form. Finally, and most importantly, the concept is patriarchal regardless of whether some privileged Western munafiqeen "choose" to wear it or not. Why? Because of something called modesty culture. Islamic haya is literally the definition of modesty culture. Lord Aeonian (talk) 17:23, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Well, first of all, your "wtf" about the word "hijabini" applies equally to the word "burkini". Both are equally ludicrous terms and should be met with equal incredulity. Second of all, I say "hijabini" (with tongue-in-cheek) because, correct me if I'm wrong, the burka is the most concealing of all Islamic veils. It is a one-piece veil that covers the face and body, often leaving just a mesh screen to see through. I have yet to see one of these so-called burkini be so concealing. Have you? Therefore, as the only difference between a full-body swimsuit and the so-called burkini is the inclusion of the hijab - the headscarves traditionally worn by Muslim women, it would be more accurate to describe it as a "hijabini". I, however, would prefer we call it what it is: a full-body swimsuit (with a hijab tacked on). Levi Ackerman (talk) 11:59, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Do we have an article going into detail about modesty culture? CorruptUser (talk) 17:26, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Obviously it's patriarchal but that has fuck all to do with these bans which are straight-up Islamophobic. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:12, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. The main reason is most likely "we don't want Muslims in public places".CorruptUser (talk) 18:30, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately we do not. Modesty and Purity Culture have quite a bit of information discussing them in various feminist sites around the web, it wouldn't be hard to make a good page about it. Lord Aeonian (talk) 19:29, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Here's what I think. I think France, and indeed America should have a rule saying "If you are in America, you are one of us. Please do not dress demurely in public places." This will be taken as a burka/hijab ban, as well as a burkini ban. PBfreespace (talk) 22:21, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Note however that the french state is not (at least not directly) responsible for this dumb measure and its even dumbest enforcement: they were put in place by mayors from the hard wing of the main right-wing opposition party. I don't want to exonerate the government which has been at least complicit to the recent rise of knee-jerk anti-islam sentiment but they're not responsible for this shitty policy, neither are most French citizens. The burkini was invented as a trolling tool for exactly the kind of people who are currently in charge of Nice and Cannes and it succeeded perfectly at this; I deeply despise the islamist activists behind this but in this instance they masterfully exposed the racism of a substantial fraction of the French population and officialdom, to the point that major new outlets deem it more important than police shootings in their front-page coverings 86.233.92.123 (talk) 11:33, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

"The burkini was invented as a trolling tool..." No, that's more conspiracy bullshit. Here is the inventor writing about why she created the burkini. I don't see anything that looks like trolling in it. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:54, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Yes, "invented" was completely wrong, my apologies. On the other hand–and this is what I wanted to say–it was certainly used, by people with no connection to the original creator, as a way to discredit the laicity principle by associating it with racist policies such as the recent ban (see the front page of http://www.lecanardenchaine.fr dated August 17th). This is a real case of a "mirror image", since the far-right (most notably Marine Le Pen and the FN-affiliated mayors) has been trying to make its own discriminatory policies more justifiable by passing them under the fight for laicity. 86.233.92.123 (talk) 14:17, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

UPDATE: French's highest court has just suspended this draconian ban on the grounds that, and I quote, it "seriously, and clearly illegally, breached the fundamental freedoms to come and go, the freedoms of beliefs and individual freedom": http://www.reuters.com/article/us-religion-burqa-france-idUSKCN1111J5. Laicite my arse!Levi Ackerman (talk) 15:34, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Honestly, courts are my favorite part of democratic governments, even though they tend to be the least democratic. It's the principle of weighing the results of a law as it's actually used that just brings to the top all the problems with it. They don't always work at it, but I really appreciate the ways the impair injustice. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:09, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Hear, hear. It's one of the reasons why I chose law as a career path. Levi Ackerman (talk) 11:29, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Reverend Black Percy needs to go

Reverend Black Percy needs to leave or be banned from this site. The guy is a loon.Schizophrenic (talk) 13:13, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Guy who chose - CHOSE! - "Schizophrenic" as his username calls someone else a "loon". Please, you must send me a passport photograph at once so that I can send it to the Oxford University Press and have it printed under "irony". Levi Ackerman (talk) 13:24, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
He was just elected a member of the rationalwiki foundation board. By a pretty large margin no less. If personal sentiment about him as a person is all you've got as a charge, I'm afraid empirical evidence puts you in the minority. If you've got a more specific charge, you can always put it forward in the chicken coop ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:44, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Nerd271 (talk) 21:07, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:33, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll — Unsigned, by: Armondikov / talk / contribs
I know, and I don't care. I know Percy's a good dude, and this user's just being a dick, but I'm also going to let anyone who has a complaint against a member make it. I don't feel any compunction to circle the wagons. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:06, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree in principle with your point, ikanreed, but the nonspecificity of the initial post, lack of elaboration and a track record of trolling/Poe posts by the OP, leads me to caution against feeding what's likely a troll unless and until (s)he provides any specifics on The Rev.'s supposed transgressions. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:43, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Never mind the fact that Percy's such a handsome young go-getter... Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:46, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll--The (((Kigel))) (talk) (mail) 14:41, 24 August 2016 (UTC) 14:41, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll--JorisEnter (talk) 17:16, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll Bongolian (talk) 18:56, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll And you can check the OP's talk page for (other) examples of trolling/Poe stuff (cue, this little gem: "But the anti-Semitism in the 'far-right' is usually planted there by moles/spies/agent provocateurs (call them what you want).") You will find similar examples in the OP's contribution history, btw. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:02, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 21:50, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll PЬFЯЗЭSPДCЗ (talk) 22:08, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll B) talk 00:17, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll NameThatNobodyTakes () 14:34, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Troll Bubba41102The place where you can scream at me 04:38, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Classic scam with real credentials?

So... I just saw a link to this article which was more incredulous than I'm used to the news media being. All the classic signs of being a scam are there: patient funded trials, skipping the FDA, the word "detoxification", but at the same time, it's apparently developed by the head of MIT's department of aging research. Do we want a page on it, since the name attached to the product makes it a pretty big deal? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:48, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Weird. The man's credentials are impressive, but it seems to me that a real, science-based age-slowing treatment which actually worked would not be a simple pill, but a far more complicated process. Moreover, the use of "detox" is a huge red flag. I can think of three possible scenarios. First, it is possible that the founders of the company are aware that the product does not work and are using the placebo effect to gain money. This is unlikely because such distinguished individuals would not descend into quackery. Second, it may be that they genuinely believe that the product works. This is unlikely because few people are more qualified to understand this topic than them. Third, it is possible that it actually works, to a limited extent. This is unlikely because of the sheer implausibility of it all. Strange indeed. --TeslaK20 (talk) 19:12, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I read the article and it seems to me it's a mix of all three. The scientists at least seem to be pretty open about the limited evidence for the product. What they're selling is just a combination of two things already sold as supplements. They seem to be trying to make money with the supplement and use it to fund more research, because they say funding for anti-aging research is limited. Comes off to me as a bit cynical, but hey, if people want to buy unproven supplements I'd rather the money go towards research than lining charlatans' pockets. And I do think the issue of funding they bring up is a real one. There are huge perverse incentives in the system we have at present because any compound that isn't newly-discovered or newly-invented can't be patented, which means companies won't fund research on it. --Ymir (talk) 21:22, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, I guess I'm just used to anything being sold as a supplement having specious or no evidence, not limited evidence of effectiveness. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:30, 24 August 2016 (UTC)
I've seen this sort of thing before. 1) Preliminary research looks promising. 2) Scientist starts supplement company 3) Oops. Doesn't work in humans. Step number 2 is basically a conflict of interest: it can cloud the scientist's judgement. Bongolian (talk) 05:20, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, but wouldn't this basically kill his credibility as an academic if it doesn't work? That seems like a huge career gamble to take given his position. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:44, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
It could depend on how the seniority/tenure of the scientist and how the supplement company is structured. If the scientist is just a minority stockholder who is not active in company decisions, it may not be such a risk to the scientist. Bongolian (talk) 02:30, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] I went to the weird corners of the internet and back

and on my way I found this video. What do you think? another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 00:25, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

"Psychiatrists hate him!" Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:39, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Introverts

There seem to be a lot of articles & blogs (& cartoons & memes) about the experience of being an "introvert", written by people who self-identify as such. Examples: Quiet Revolution, Introvert, Dear (which also includes a lot of Myers-Briggs personality type stuff) & a fair number of articles in mainstream sites such as this NYMag piece on "introvert hangovers" I saw today.

I could accurately be described as introverted & can relate to a lot of the behaviours & experiences described in these pieces, but there's something, or a few things, that rankles me about the whole thing. For one thing, it seems an odd thing to identify so strongly with - not merely as a vague personality trait, but as a label or identity or even a subculture. & There's the fact that these bloggers (though they usually stop short of outright saying so) are writing about introversion as if it's a specific condition like Asperger's or OCD, & with the usual hallmarks of iffy pop-psych self-diagnosis. But most of all, there's a rather ugly smugness to a lot of it, suggesting in one way or another that "we are smarter, deeper & better people than the rest of you". Here's an egregious example. It seems a lot like overcompensating for shyness & awkwardness, & also kind of reminds me of high IQ societies.

Any thoughts? Is there any credible science behind any of it? Any scope for RW articles? ωεαşεζόίďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:47, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

Uh, well, introvert-extrovert is a personality dimension(not a binary) that's widely used in the most scientifically accepted measure of personality, the so-called "big five" which have a much better track record for yielding predictive value than the pseudoscientific and mostly unsubstantied Myers-Briggs. So... "does introversion exist as a meaningful concept?" the answer's mostly yes. Does it correspond to how people talk about it on the internet? Mostly no. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:01, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Well, I don't think there needs to be "science" behind a bland claim like "some people prefer to read a book at home rather than go out partying". It's like asking for "science" backing the claim that some people like the color orange.
I don't like the smugness either, but I do think it's understandable, because that sort of "we're not the losers, you are" is a common reaction for anyone rebelling against what they see as the dominant culture. There's a reason for the pro-introvert pushback (and the corresponding smugness by some people). At least in America, a lot of people grew up with terrible children's shows that punished anybody for having different interests. Now they're all adults, and are caught between the conformity they were taught was important and the real-life faux-meritocracy that overvalues an extremely narrow set of traits that a great many of them can't emulate with any success.
Probably the single biggest reason though is the requirement in post-industrial capitalism that you be your own hype man at all times. Employees are expected to be outgoing, ambitious, creative, adventurous risk-takers, and employers have an extremely narrow idea of what this looks like. You can be ambitious and creative, but actually being acknowledged for it requires broadcasting those qualities loudly and in a very particular way that's comfortable for many people but also uncomfortable for many others. Getting hired in the first place often requires "networking" with other people in your industry all the time. Unemployed people, or underemployed people, are expected to find opportunity everywhere, and if you aspire to any kind of "professional"/white-collar job then you're expected to actively seek out and participate in an array of social activities for the express purpose of cultivating job connections. For people who don't value socializing with strangers or large groups, it can be a punishing, exhausting process that subsumes your private life into your professional one. The pro-introvert backlash is an inevitable consequence of this. It's a rejection of the idea that good employees are loud employees and that professionalism means spending your free time with other professionals. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 20:37, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess the thing I wanted to raise an objection to is the idea that "introvert" is something you are or aren't. To qualify yourself as an introvert is to take a somewhat arbitrary threshold of the trait known as introversion and declare it an identity. And then to couple it with things like "introverts are smarter" is to take a weak correlation and make it a group trait in a way I only really could call bigotry. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:02, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
Interesting thoughts, both of you. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:28, 25 August 2016 (UTC)
True story, it's not exactly a binary. What bugs me is the incessant "HEY EVERYONE LOOK HOW INTROVERTED I AM". It's so much more hypocritical and dishonest than PFSC or Tao Lin monetising depression. 81.145.153.190 (talk) 11:37, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Wasn't it the very notably woo-friendly Carl Jung who coined the "introvert/extrovert" concept? Freud was rigorously scientific compared to that guy. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:08, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Possibly? But it doesn't really matter if something starts as pseudoscience if you can take it, and make meaningful extrapolations and testable hypotheses from it, much as how some terminology from alchemy ended up naming real chemical elements. Sensing/Judging turned out to be a meaningless intuitive deduction of Myers. Introversion has predictive value and reliable metrics associated with it(even though the inventory for measuring it has shifted a bit). ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:57, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Turns out, "The terms introversion and extraversion were popularized by Carl Jung,[1] although both the popular understanding and psychological usage differ from his original intent.". The moar you know! (From Extraversion and introversion[wp]) Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:38, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Percy, why do you hate the humanities so much? Jungs ideas were influential and useful, even if his models now appear quaint. For example, Jungian ideas have shaped such utmost important areas like screenwriting. ~ Aneris 18:03, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] How to know you are in Oakland

When you're on the bus heavily intoxicated, and there are people next to you talking about "being an empath" and "embracing ones inner spirit"'Legionwhat do you want from me 01:00, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

"Welcome to Oakland, bitch!" Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:28, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Totnes is like that too. BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 10:53, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Well that's better than the reputation Oakland has in certain circles. Too many people still think it is a hotbed of crime and violence. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 20:32, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Ah yes, Oakland, that completely drab and boring city when contrasted against its rich-asshole cousin San Francisco. Ɀexcoiler Кingbolt Noooooooo! Look! Up there! 05:40, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Who said this quote?

Feminism is largely a Western concept.

I think it came up somewhere on this site in a Gamergate-related page. Evolution and Metamorphosis (talk) 21:17, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Fairly sure that's a quote from Heraclitus. Also, St. Hildegard would have said it, had she lived long enough. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:55, 27 August 2016 (UTC)
Regardless of whether you see that as a good thing or a bad thing, any implication of that statement to those ends are pretty much pure genetic fallacy. "X came from Y? It must be good/bad" is pretty much batting 0.500 for being right. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 02:58, 28 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Is this WIGO clogs, blogs, world or somewhere else?

At any rate this is fucking hilarious. another Jewish conspiracy by (((Laurogeita Hamabost))) (talk) 23:41, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Clogs, methinks. Thank you AvengerogtheBoN for continuing to contribute to the Wiki. At least things have died down now. Feel free to continue hating the Shia in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. PbFreespace (talk) 23:43, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Gamergate: Nomination for Silver

See the main article on this topic: Talk:Gamergate#Nomination_for_Silver

Please jump in on this. More eyes the better. Sofar five in favor and one rando without a clue. Zero (talk - contributions) 18:48, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

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