RationalWiki:Saloon bar

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Saloon bar
WIGO Bar colour.png

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

What is going on?

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

  1. On Right-Wing Fatalism (13:40, 30 Jul 2014)
  2. Pseudoscience in Schools (23:23, 29 Jul 2014)
  3. Plant neurology? (18:55, 29 Jul 2014)
  4. Rational Wiki - not so rational after all (05:52, 29 Jul 2014)
  5. Recommend Smart Action/Sci-Fi Novels (18:12, 28 Jul 2014)
  6. There seems to be a LOT of people who hate us. (15:16, 27 Jul 2014)
To do list


[edit] Roulette systems

This turned up in one of my inboxes. It seems to rely on a number between 25 and 36 (or 0) not coming up 6 times in a row. Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum disease Moderator 07:47, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

It's risk-free and it always works! With endorsements like that, what could possibly go wrong? NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 09:48, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Without spending too much time on it it looks like the martingale is still alive and well in the 21st century.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 12:45, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It's an old system, but when it comes right down to it it's betting a lot to win a little, which is not a good long term strategy. Eventually, you will get those 6 losing numbers in a row, and will lose everything. DickTurpis (talk) 14:36, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Nah, anybody who actually sticks to this will usually lose everything without seeing six losses in a row. The trick (compared to a Martingale) is that it hides a lot of your losses in shorter runs. Say you lose three in a row, then win. In a Martingale you're back ahead, but with this strategy you've lost $6 overall. You had to bet $2, $4, $8 and $16 (a total of $30 from your capital) and you're only getting back $24 in "winnings" so you're down six dollars even though you feel it's working. Somebody stupid enough to do this will most likely feel they got ripped off somehow, because they kept "winning" yet their capital whittled away until they had to quit. Tialaramex (talk) 20:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Mmmm. Now I got bored and wrote a Monte Carlo simulation. Most losing sessions end with the player having no more than five losses in a row but a significant minority have six losses (typically where the player gets lucky early, then loses badly and is wiped out). In my simulation I assumed that a player who has $7 left and is next supposed to bet $4 on 1-12 and $4 on 13-24 goes home with $7 in their pocket from that session, in practice they'd probably lose it all because they're dumb enough to try a system like this. According to the simulation a player trying for the $1500 per month plan loses on average about $1200 per month, one aiming for $4500 per month loses about $3000 per month. Tialaramex (talk) 21:17, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Reading through it quickly I thought it was martingale, but I guess there are subtle differences. Either way it has the same flaw. Honestly this system works perfectly... if you have an infinite amount of money. But if you have an infinite amount of money, sitting around roulette tables to win $10 is probably the single biggest possible waste of time imaginable. DickTurpis (talk) 21:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
This system is astronomically slower than a Martingale for making $10 with an infinite amount of money. The soft losses mean that whereas a Martingale is never more than one lucky round from paying out this gets exponentially worse over time. I simulated a dozen players with infinite wealth trying this system and assumed a spin of roulette takes overall one minute. Most of them walk away with $10 after less than half an hour, and having not dug very deep into their pockets. Some had to spend a few hours, and fish out a few Benjamins to get their $10. But one of them got into deep trouble immediately, and the way this system works they're just more and more unlikely to ever recover over time. Since they have infinite wealth they never have to stop, but they should. After playing roulette continuously for a working lifetime (one million spins) they were down about $135 000 and there had never been more than a few thousand dollars on the table. The house wasn't even sweating, that's not crazy Martingale money that couldn't exist, it's just some schlub losing their life savings very slowly. Tialaramex (talk) 08:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, time to get real work done so I'm stopping the simulator. The loser was simulated for almost 8.5 million spins, at which point they had lost a total of just over a million dollars. Here's an equivalent game which doesn't involve confusing yourself with money, whether infinite or otherwise: Start tossing a coin, when you have tossed at least twice as many heads as tails you win. Like "the system" it's likely but far from certain you'll win quickly. It's theoretically certain you'll win eventually. But I won't wait around to see it happen. Tialaramex (talk) 09:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Mow I'm intrigued about your twice as many heads scenario. You say it's theoretically certain you'll win eventually? I guess if you do infinite tosses that might be true, but I guess that's why one usually doesn't do math with infinity. It seems to me if you throw 2 tails in a row you're pretty much screwed. DickTurpis (talk) 11:20, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I do know that casinos love players using a Martingale type system. Even if the player has infinite funds there is usually a table limit which will come into play. A roulette wheel that allows $1 bets almost certainly has a limit of, lets say, $1,000 or a run of ten loosing bets. Cloud Yeller (talk) 11:52, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Latest Israeli military activity in Palestine

I don't exactly get it. What is making whatever Israel has been doing to Palestine any more morally defensible than say, whatever Syria has been doing? People supporting peace or even simply condemning violence somehow get labelled as anti-semitic. With that kind of attitude/atmosphere it is difficult not to have conspiracy theories about the Jews and the media. K61824ZOYG I edit like Kenservative! 06:09, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Jews do own the media. It's not a conspiracy theory: http://www.amazon.com/An-Empire-Their-Own-Hollywood/dp/0385265573/ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/proms/10233613/The-music-behind-Hollywoods-golden-age.html http://www.goldenageofjewishachievement.com/jews-in-hollywood.html http://www.rense.com/general44/sevenjewishamericans.htm http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/jews-in-the-media-hollywood/ On top of that, don't forget the internet was a military industrial complex R+D project in a country where the military is governed by neoconservative Zionist foreign policy. --Nolidor (talk) 11:48, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
The general consensus among those who actually study these things is that this ground offensive is a bad idea, so I'd suggest you stop right there with that last sentence.
The unyielding division between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian supporters in the public debate is just a reflection of what's happening on the ground; it's politically unpalatable for anyone on either side to admit these four conclusions all at once: a) That the status quo in Gaza/the West Bank (and lack of a two-state solution) has failed miserably; b) Israel is killing a disproportionate number of people than rocket attacks can do from the opposite (though instigating) side; c) Hamas really is an organization of whackjobs that is not acting in Palestinians' best interests; and d) There cannot be further Middle Eastern resentment towards a Jewish state. What has changed since 2008 in these respects? Osaka Sun (talk) 07:16, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Proof that God really exists: lets put several different groups of people who all follow different religious ideologies into one area then tell them that I specifically give them exclusive claim to it. But seriously, the argument that being against the Israeli ground assault therefore makes you anti-Semitic is as fallacious as saying that criticizing the religion of Islam, in any shape or form, is Islamophobic. It simply does not follow. NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 10:24, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, the ultimate roots of the conflict are not religious in nature, but political. (Zionism was originally a secular Jewish movement.) The Palestinians see Israel as a violent state founded on war crimes and confiscation of their land, which was taken from the Palestinians by the British and given to Zionist Jews. But peoples tend to resort to more extreme and militant politics and religions when they are in times of distress, hence the rise of Hamas, the PFLP (which is actually secular and communist IIRC), and so on. Wykked Wytch (talk) 18:33, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Middle ground is an (Choose!: Israeli/Anti-Israeli) conspirancy theory!!!. If you don't think (Israel and DA JUICE/Hamas and MOOSELEEMS) is literally UNADULTERATED, PURE EVIL you are (ISLAMOPHOBIC CHRISTOFASCIST/ANTI-SEMITIC NAZI)!!1!!!111! <- Every online argument I've had on these matters. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Put de lime in de coconut, call me in de mornin' 15:59, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. MESSIAH OF DOOM Deserved doom shall be unto youDolan.png 16:03, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Seriously, if people stopped shoehorning ethnicity into this debate, it would be so much less tedious.
Thing is, both sides have been godawful. Hamas is a bunch of anti-Semitic, terrorist nutjobs, and Israel's offense is a terrible, terrible idea. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Because I'm a terrorist! 16:16, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, the Palestinians are Semitic. But I think I lost that case of pedantry many decades ago.Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.

Moderator 18:59, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

/but Khant, they are the wrong kind of Semetic. Just cause you look incredibly similar and have similar (and even moreso, if you go by the stories) origins is irrelevant. --Miekal 17:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Semitic is a language family, not an ethnic or racial classification (at least not a current one, anyway). The word "anti-Semitism" was coined by German racial scientists who wanted a more scientific-sounding name for Jew-hatred, and since many at the time believed Jews were of the "Semitic" race, the name stuck. However, it has always exclusively referred to hatred of Jews. Some people like to substitute "anti-Jewish racism" or "anti-Arab racism" to avoid confusion, however. Wykked Wytch (talk) 18:29, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
So people on TV generally have not studied that, including the newscasters and correspondents? Wtf.gif Or is it just Sinclair's law in action? K61824I am STILL single 14:40, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
They're all in AIPAC's pockets anyway.--Madman (talk) 01:43, 20 July 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Stop. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:16, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
No. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg But if I don't use the mayonnaise then how will her legs grow back? 22:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, somebody's denying the existence of a lobby that seeks to promote the state and militaristic government of Israel within American politics and media. Despite the obvious implications of such claims, I would like to point out that the lobbying group mentioned within my previous post is guilty of espionage against our government. Clearly, I must be a anti-semite! --Madman (talk) 13:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)The Madman
We're not denying the lobby exists. But you're heading into conspiracy territory. Osaka Sun (talk) 18:48, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

I recently recalled something could be done when the permanent security members vetoes shit and that was used in cases that involves Israel: "Uniting for Peace" from the UNGA. Anyone mind take a look on how to get that to work? K61824"6+18=24" 02:33, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Monarchism

I've been digging into the libertarian movement some more and I've started to notice that there are some very…eccentric currents within it. I'm finding monarchists, people who long for the Middle Ages, and a variety of other pre-Enlightenment philosophies. What gives? This is very strange stuff. — Melab (Talk) 00:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

See Hans-Hermann Hoppe. That's where most of it seems to come from, in addition to the overlap with the neo-reactionary movement. I have been meaning to write an article on him for some time. In short, his argument (put forward primarily in Democracy: The God That Failed) is that an anarcho-capitalist society is most desirable but is not always practically attainable. In these cases, we could see democracy and monarchy as two alternatives. In Hoppe's view, monarchy is superior and the key concept here is "time preference." In a democratic system, the government falls victim to the tragedy of the commons. Politicians in a democracy have a very high time preference (i.e., value immediate gratification) because they have to please their constituents in the span of a term in order to get re-elected. Thus, democracy is short-sighted and favors short-term gains over long-term losses. Monarchy, on the other hand, is the opposite. Monarchs have low time preference for three reasons: a, their reign lasts for a lifetime, b, they will pass their kingdom on to their heirs, and c, they have total ownership of their kingdom. Point c is especially important because, in the libertarian view, private property is better maintained than the commons (which is democracy, in this case). Thus, monarchs have a greater incentive to maintain their society. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that actual autocratic monarchs have tended to treat their nations as private slush funds, and tend to come to grief that way; Charles I of England[wp], Louis XVI of France[wp]. Another problem is that "anarcho-capitalism" is really only conceivable in historical periods that well postdate the time of absolute monarchies; when the kings were around, neither the infrastructure nor the ideologies in place for anything resembling capitalism was in place. The dominant economic model during the age of kings was mercantilism[wp], an economic philosophy based on hoarding gold. This failed only when the Hapsburgs discovered that having great gobs of gold and silver around just meant that over times things cost more gold and silver.
That said, proprietary models of government have produced protracted periods of agrarian prosperity and good order. I'm thinking more of the gentry of England and much of Western Europe. But that was no capitalist utopia either. Social mobility was frowned on; actually an advantage, but anarcho-capitalists won't think so. There was also a stiff dose of paternalism and a local but real welfare state. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 01:43, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about the others in the "movement", but isn't autocracy contrary to the premise of libertarian thought? --Madman (talk) 02:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Hoppe argues that democracy may seem preferable, but it quickly degenerates. Democratic politicians must appeal to their constituents, who inevitably demand things that require the violation of the rights of other citizens. Voters will continuously elect politicians who pay them off at the expense of other citizens through public programs. This leads to higher taxation, increasing debt burden, and violation of civil liberties. Because the democratic politicians have high time preference, they have no incentive to limit these programs. Thus, cronyism will increase to the point where the system collapses. In monarchies, on the other hand, the low time preference of the monarch will lead him to not enforce a level of taxation that will inhibit productivity. Therefore, monarchies will be a more stable form of government in which property rights are better protected and hence, individual liberty is greater. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:42, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
IIRC, though, isn't Hoppe the guy who also came up with the idea of "covenant communities" (think, neighborhood associations on steroids) that would locally enforce cultural conformity to an extent we'd say violated civil liberties. Your basic freedom is the freedom to move away; the idea is that these communities would be racially and culturally homogeneous enough to share a stronger identity and group cohesion, which would make governing them efficient. When libertarianism proposes making people less free, you have to wonder what's the point? Again, I can see this working in agrarian settings, but not in a labor force full of skilled specialists who may prefer not to join the local cult, nor in a society saturated with electronic communications. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 02:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Yep, though I don't think he calls them that. (He does use this terminology.) According to Hoppe, these communities protect the fundamental rights to private property and freedom of association. They would also have an obligation to expel "democrats" and "communists" for being threats to society. So there goes freedom of speech. But if you consider freedom of association to be the primary civil liberty, then these organizations would not violate civil liberties. Hey, I didn't say these arguments weren't ridiculous. I report, you deride. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I've looked at his argument/scenario/whatever and it comes across as horribly, horribly muddled: covenants that run with the land are not contracts. They're covenants. Like so many libertarians, he uses an incredibly idiosyncratic conception of law. I've seen Rothbard's TTToC and libs seem to use it everywhere they can, but I started to become suspicious of it when one ancap said parents could sign a contract to transfer custody. At the point, I was like "Wait a minute. They're pulling this stuff out of their asses.". Custody of children involves no "title-transfer" and though it may involve agreements between parents, those agreements are not contracts. A similar thing happened when I saw one lib say that seeds that stray into one's farm via the wind are a "violation of property rights". They apply these terms very sloppily. — Melab (Talk) 14:01, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────If we were to take the property rights to their logical conclusion, we would have a legal system of gargantuan (and impossible) proportions dedicated to lawsuits every time, say, a bit of particulate matter from a car exhaust flies up your nose or a an airplane flies through the airspace over your house (unless the airlines buy up rights to all the airspace). Either that, or we would all have to go around in hermetically-sealed hamster balls. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Good idea. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 18:34, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
You know how hard it would be to get laid like that? It'd take balls. --User:PsychoGecko 22:57 23 July 2014
perhaps you are all unaware of zorbing? AMassiveGay (talk) 16:37, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Children are interesting though, in a limited sense. Babies are clearly property. They aren't people and thus they can't very well own themselves, so they must be owned by the parents. But society has a colossal interest in this property, far more than, say, a dog (you can own a dog, but society has decided you aren't allowed to beat the dog with an iron bar for your amusement). Further unlike the dog though, most babies will spontaneously become people, and thus ethically come to own themselves. This transition is subtle and difficult to diagnose, so we are reluctant to raise it as an issue in law except at the extremes. Is it enough for your child to pass the mirror test? The smarties test? To pass a school test on Algebra (the line Dick draws in his short story inspired by Roe v Wade) ? Tialaramex (talk) 09:08, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] FIRE

(As always, feel free to delete my little pet peeve here if you need to.) FIRE bad! FIRE bad! The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, that is. I'm developing a serious hate-on for these guys. They're the guys who claim to be protecting people's 1st Amendment rights by resisting anti-bullying and anti-discrimination regulations. Those so-called cases at the end of God Is Not Dead? These are the guys claiming there's persecution. The guys who want to exclude gay people from Christian groups? They turn to FIRE. The people who want to be able to harass classmates based on sexuality? They turn to FIRE. Now a guy who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a drunk 17 year old and got kicked out turned to FIRE. He's suing the college that kicked him out. So while he gets to be protected as John Doe, FIRE went ahead and doxxed the witnesses. And they've decided that even if someone's drunk enough to black out, so long as they sent a text message, they must have been in a rational enough state of mind to consent. To quote their Senior VP, "By classifying sex while drunk as rape and stripping students of due process protections, Occidental and the federal government have rendered vast numbers of students unwitting rapists- and ensured that being accused is nearly the same thing as being found guilty." User:PsychoGecko 02:35, 23 July 2014

I recall hearing that they gave my alma mater a bad rating because the school newspaper refused to publish some racist cartoon back in the 1990s. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
This is a crowded theaterIkanreed (talk) 21:10, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I wish Hogarth were still alive to paint The Activist's Progress. This group degenerated into the sort of misbehavior associated with confident assurance of your own righteousness damned fast. I have some sympathy with their original goals. It's a basic principle of our civilization that public accusations of felony crimes have two acceptable fates: guilty, proven beyond reasonable doubt; or not guilty, at which the matter is dropped. People should not be found half-guilty of felonies by college tribunals under the weakest possible burden of proof, and where such slight technicalities as the right of the accused to a lawyer or the right to confront and cross-examine your accuser can be handwaved away for ideological reasons. This approach is simply inconsistent with some principles that should not be compromised. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 04:10, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
It's important to remember the distinction between a criminal trial in a court of law and a hearing about misconduct on a college campus. Civil stuff always has a lower bar for evidence. The police already refused to file charges, so the only thing this guy faced was being kicked out of the college. I have a little bit of sympathy if it's two adults who both happen to get drunk. A little less so when it's drunk jailbait who needed counseling afterward. But they had to have known what would happen by releasing those names to the internet, and they're going so far as to claim that a person can consent when they're too drunk to remember anything. The way they word it, how long it takes them to even bring up the alcohol, I get the sense they don't think incapacitation prevents consent. I'm a little iffy about the part where they hired their own private investigators, too. Sounds creepy. Is that normal in these kinds of circumstances? -- User:PsychoGecko 19:57 24 July 2014
Drunken sex is a problem anyway, the fact that it means lots of people have sex that's at least arguably non-consensual is just one more reason to think it a bad idea. Here's a proposal for a sociological intervention: Work hard to disconnect "sex" and "sleeping". Sleeping is an entirely natural thing to do when you're drunk, and having a bed to sleep in makes sense for us given our body plan and advanced tool making capability; but the existing connection between "lay down in bed" and "have sex" is weird modern human bullshit. Other primates don't think a bed is a place for fucking, or that nap time and sex are things that should be scheduled together. If most human sex happened at lunch time, in a play room, rather than at night in a bed it would be considerably weirder to have sex with the person who came back to your place after drinks and is now lying in your bed barely conscious. Tialaramex (talk) 20:59, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Drunken sex may be a problem. However, there are some problems where legal, institutional, and media attention will only make it worse, and I suspect this is one of those. At least in the United States, these are the sorts of things we tend to handle poorly; it's too easy to start moral panics, and every such narrative needs to identify a scapegoat. And trying to protect young people from drunken adventure is never going to sit well with me; sober people are untrustworthy. Can you think of any enterprise likelier to come to grief than an agency of the US government trying to regulate the sex lives of college students? I can see futures where this is low comedy, but I don't see any where it ends well. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:35, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
It has nothing to do with regulation of sex lives. It's all about the principles of basic contract law. One of the most basic aspects of contracts is that to be consensual, you have to enter one under sound mind. You should also be a legal adult or have a guardian approve the contract if you aren't. In situations involving contracts, courts try to see to it that both sides negotiate fairly and in good faith. It's the same sort of standard that created the doctrine of contra proferentem, which says that ambiguity is to be interpreted against the interests of the person who added the ambiguous clause to a contract. All these factors combine to say that a drunk person was harmed when having sex with a sober person, or that if one is a legal adult, the underage one was harmed. --User:PsychoGecko 11:35, 26 July 2014
My understanding is that this sort of proceeding was instituted at the strong urging of the US government, which sent every university a memo that said in essence that they all had to erect kangaroo courts to try sexual assault cases, that the lowest burden of proof in these proceedings was the only acceptable one, that the accused were not to be given a right to counsel or to cross examine their accuser in these proceedings, and that failing to establish such tribunals would be considered sex discrimination per se and subject the schools to Federal litigation. And several schools have been sued for allegedly dragging their feet on this. I do think there are several legitimate problems with the way this is being imposed, the tribunals themselves, and whether this is something any government ought to mess with. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:20, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
It's a proceeding to be disciplined by the college. They aren't getting a court order saying he has to pay them millions, and they aren't putting him in jail. For that little punishment, I can see why the burden of proof is so low. And I support efforts to stifle sexual assault. The U.S. government does too, under criminal law, and by having colleges handle it on their own, they're actually allowing colleges a lot of autonomy in order to handle this as they wish. This is in spite of all the colleges and college students who receive federal money, meaning the current system IS the small government solution. -- User:PsychoGecko 18:17, 27 July 2014
FIRE is the prime example of how Americans like to misinterpret the First Amendment to stifle opposition. Once there was a showing of an Islamophobic film at a university, which the Vice-Chancellor condemned in a mass email. FIRE took this criticism to mean that the guy wanted to "take away free speech." They seem completely ignorant of the fine print of cases like "Tinker v. Des Moines", "Bethel School District v. Fraser", or "Morse v. Frederick". Wykked Wytch (talk) 01:43, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
There is "the First Amendment", a specific legal text in the U.S. constitution. There is also "freedom of speech", a political value of which the First Amendment is one expression. Freedom of speech does not begin or end with the First Amendment. So if the issue is whether someone's statement or action reflects an inadequate appreciation of freedom of speech, it isn't good enough to claim that the First Amendment wouldn't be violated. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:20, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I am a little confused as to what you are trying to say. What I was trying to express was that FIRE holds to a particular extreme interpretation of the First Amendment that discounts the reasonable limits that must be placed on it to keep a safe environment. (Nobody would argue, for instance, that if I verbally harass someone with the intent of harming them emotionally, that is still considered harassment under the law. Except for FIRE, of course, who seems to think that "emotional harm" shouldn't be considered bullying.) Wykked Wytch (talk) 06:51, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
"My censorship agitation only involves boycotts, the heckler's veto, and shouting matches. None of this is government action to which the First Amendment applies, according to (case law). Therefore, freedom of speech is not an issue." Sorry: when freedom of speech is involved, that is not good enough. (And "emotional harm" is, if nothing else, a very slippery slope.) - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 17:14, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
According to that logic, we should just repeal all the high school anti-bullying policies that deal with cyberbullying, malicious gossip, and name-calling because it doesn't cause physical harm. Wykked Wytch (talk) 18:25, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater doesn't technically cause physical harm either. The people do that to themselves due to suddenly being emotionally agitated by thinking they are in imminent danger of dying. Ignoring all the ways psychological health in a materialistic brain is linked to physical health, you still have the fact that the classic example of a restriction on free speech applies to bullying as well. User:PsychoGecko 18:44, 27 July 2014
Shouting "Fire" ... FIRE... am I the only one who sees a connection :P Wykked Wytch (talk) 21:13, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] A little help, please

I am trying to create some new edit filters to deal with a lot of the constant page-specifc wandalism on this Wiki. An example would be the racial realism article, which is constantly locked because of BoN race trolling wandals. Another example was an edit filter I created to kick Kevin Martin off of trolling his article and its talkpage. Where I need help from the community is in identifying pages we are constantly locking because of wandalism and trolling, and examples of the sort of wandalism that said articles see. That way, I can tease it out so that it will no longer be a problem on those pages and, more specifically, we can keep those pages unlocked for the editors in good faith. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 08:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for doing that. Lately the racist stuff has been active, as you noticed. Every now and then Nassim Haramein has a defender popping up to tell RW how biased the article is. Libertarianism gets some of that too. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 11:31, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Just wait till I get Stalin apologetics done. Lotsa upset tankies rocking up to the FB group - David Gerard (talk) 12:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Roll in the tankies. I'm ready. Sig can you say.png Sig gulag time.png 21:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Most of what I've seen seems to gravitate around the whole feminism and MRA stuff, if that's of any help at all. MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM And the rain will kill us allDolan.png 13:16, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The feminist and MRA split makes sense as the online atheism community (Youtubers especially) seem to be divided on the subject. I'm not particularly surprised about the Stalin apologists either, most forums that are open to socialist ideas tend to attract them, sadly that includes academia to some extent --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 23:24, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Feminism is a touchy subject in Red circles. Depending on their dictator of choice, they may or may not be against it, with tankie Reds being more reactionary to it. But are we really surprised that people who advocate stupidly oppressive and unsustainable regimes are sexist? |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg By the way, 2 divided into 666 is 333 00:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Brocialists are a real problem in leftist circles. User:David Gerard/Stalin apologetics is in progress - David Gerard (talk) 08:08, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Well the Paris Commune was a pretty feminist government for the time. There are sadly not as many as you would expect though considering Marx and Engels own relatively feminist views. I'm enjoying the in progress article so far --Drowninginlimbo (talk) 09:15, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Most Reds don't follow Marx's original views, instead opting for Mao or Lenin or some other tyrant. I used to think tankies were to Reds what ancaps are to anarchism, but... |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg The moist fruit of bombing! 10:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Our planet from the air

As an antidote to listening to the ignorance of YEC or climate change deniers, watch this programme from the BBC. It's a little whimsical but it's beautiful and it presents science very well to a general audience. Ajkgordon (talk) 13:13, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I can tolerate a little whimsy with my science if it gets the scientific message across. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 15:39, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Available in UK only. Is there a workaround for others? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:27, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Try Hola Unblocker. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Stay by my side / Mabushii sekai wo misetai 17:04, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Multi-Column Lists

In my habit of plagiarizing stealing taking ripping-off extorting at gunpoint "repurposing" things useful from Wikipedia, we now have this to use. Clickbait inspired me to go looking for the code for this I feel this list is going to get somewhat longer soon. There's a couple options not available yet since I have to run back to what I was doing, so they're coming. I take requests by the way if you provide me the bullets template you want. Zero (talk - contributions) 15:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I've been attempting to improve the quality of my citations by using the "cite news, web, whatever" template and I just noticed that our page is empty, I bet there's even tags I'm not aware of using that could be repurposed from Wikipedia. NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 23:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
That page isn't empty (look in "edit") - it's just too much for RW - much more than we need. God knows how anyone manages to use it on WP. Scream!! (talk) 23:47, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I've seen it used once or twice in articles with really long "See Also" lists. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg A vain death of a plump bird. 00:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Sweet merciful crap! I had no idea, that is a ton of stuff! NerdyWizard (talk) you believed that why? 07:18, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
One of the things I do on Wikipedia is tart up other people's tatty bare URL links (or even worse those little blue numbers in brackets) by adding the correct cite news or cite web template. I had no idea we had them here. Mind you, on Wikipedia, there's almost always an article about the newspaper or website to link to within the template. There's often one about the author too. That's not the case here. Spud (talk) 12:54, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Please don't use the "cite" template(s). They are tailored for a very specific environment. RationalWiki is not Wikipedia.
As for the mutli-column template... Zero, if I were you, I would be working to streamline my last trainwreck before jumping on the next one.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:33, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
YMMV. Proper citation templates would arguably be useful here. However, we'd need old ParserFunctions versions for now - we don't have Lua installed - David Gerard (talk) 00:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I certainly had no intention of going through every page here and adding a cite news or cite web template. However, I did get a shock when I clicked on "What links here" on those template pages and found that quite a lot of pages did. Spud (talk) 00:58, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Stalin apologetics

Holy crap, Stalin Society. Holy crap, soviet-empire.com. I didn't know either site existed before today. TOP TOP FUCKING KEK.

soviet-empire.com is fucking hilarious, by the way, for middle-aged suburban dads who infuriated themselves in their youth trying to get socialists and anarchists to be other than useless motherfuckers as much as one sympathised with them, like me.

Fucking tankies. I spent the last two days reading actual fucking Stalin apologetics, something I literally had not realised existed. I'm fucking horrified. I'm tempted to go back to Roko's basilisk.

I'm busy actually arguing with these fucks over on the RW FB. It's like discovering a new species of Holocaust denialist, literally (Holodomor denialists). I thought the Internet libertarians were annoying. I'm actually missing the 'berts, and would love to see the 'berts and the tankies at each other's throats. Bad references at dawn!

These people really are JUST UNBELIEVABLY VILE, and politeness ACTUALLY MAKES IT WORSE. It is literally the same as having polite and cultured Nazis show up in your forum to argue their viewpoint on history. The holodomor was that bad, and denial of it is that odious.

Christ. At least my middle-aged nostalgia is for useful things, like post-punk indie rock records.

So. Never say the FB group does nothing for the wiki. It caused yet another go-to article which appears to cover ground just about nobody else on the Internet is. So that's good! I'll have another bottle to recover though - David Gerard (talk) 00:29, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Why are you shocked there's Stalin appolgists? Hell, to this day many people don't know that Mao was a bloodthirsty dictator, and still buy the line that poor weather caused the Chinese Famines in the 50s and 60s. --Revolverman (talk) 00:47, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
YOU can write that article. I'm still being horrified by these previous fucks - David Gerard (talk) 01:06, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Dude, you know I can't write. I still have two damn pages in my userspace I won't post because how shitty I write. --Revolverman (talk) 01:16, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Every atrocity generates its own apologists. Now, for that article on Brutus apologism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:47, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
We actually have an article on Maoism! |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg But is no potato. Is hallucinate from malnourish. 03:46, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

These guys are super common on leftist circles around Tumblr. Another common deflection tactic is, "Well, capitalism has killed more people altogether, therefore Stalin wasn't so bad!" Wykked Wytch (talk) 04:03, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

I've also seen a couple Stalin apologist posts on my dash. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 08:35, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Unsurprisingly, Fuck Yeah Marxism-Lenism takes pride in being called a tankie. *facepalm* (Also, that Tumblr theme is awful, why would anything think something that unreadable is okay?) Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 08:52, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Even other Tumblr leftists consider fuckyeahmarxismleninism an embarrassment, from what I understand. Partially for being a brony (which is not received well on Tumblr), and also for defending Bashar al-Assad and the North Korean regime. In other news, I also once saw an American leftist ask for evidence that Stalin's anti-Semitic purges were unjustified. Wykked Wytch (talk) 01:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Crank magnetism applies here. It's not uncommon for tankies and other Reds to be into conspiracy theory and historical revisionist crap (fitting, considering Reds are not noted for their ability to learn from history). Just like their right-wing counterparts! (By the way, unreadability seems to be a trend amongst Tumblr "website" "designers". For the worst website design in the history of time, check out this twatterbrain. ).
That's not even the worst of it. A friend of mine (whose blog I won't link here, for the sake of her privacy) has a theme that takes seven centuries to load, an annoying feature where you have to click to "turn on the light" every time you to go a new page, some annoying anime song on autoplay which you can only turn off with some barely-visible box in the corner, and pink bubbles raining down from the top of the screen that "pop" when they fall on your mouse. Every time I open her site I am afraid my browser will crash. Wykked Wytch (talk) 01:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, the brony hate got ten times worse than.... whatever the bronies did. Yes, they are annoying and draw tons of porn of the show but so is literally every other fandom out there. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg So you're telling me cocaine comes from scorpions? 21:11, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I think most of the outrage about bronies comes from the fact that they are a mostly male and adult fandom for a show intended for young girls, and that they sometimes fail to keep NSFW fanart out of areas that may be accessed by underage fans. Since the brony fandom seems a lot larger than other fandoms, and because the show is targeted toward a younger demographic than those of most fandoms, this only amplifies the effect. (For instance, there is also NSFW fanart for Star Wars, but that's marketed to a more diverse age demographic so it's not so shocking to see ten bajillion permutations of Leia in a slave outfit.) I have some friends who are bronies or pegasisters but I personally don't care about their hobby. Wykked Wytch (talk) 01:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
The more I hear about tumblr, the more it sounds like the moonbat answer to the libertarians of reddit. Reminds me why I never read the bottom of the internet. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:14, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Tumblr has a lot of stupid bullshit on it but I think all in all it gets a bad rap. Because of how users reblog each others' content, it does have an "echo chamber" effect of sorts which makes it very easy to end up with a lack of diversity of opinions on your dash, which can also skew one's perception of the political views of the website as a whole. So if you're looking for moonbat craziness, you'll simply amplify the moonbat craziness. There's actually a fairly large libertarian and conservative portion on Tumblr (such as user cultureshift, who's been featured several times on FSTDT). Wykked Wytch (talk) 06:43, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
There are also many neo-nazis and neoconfederates and other wingnuts on Tumblr if you know where to look. I say they're worse than the ones on Reddit because at least Reddit has no-doxxing rules. Occasionally, the moonbats horseshoe back into wingnuts, such as when ciscrimes reblogged a neo-Nazi thinking it was about "cultural appropriation" (a valid concept that, when applied as a mindless and slogan without nuance, turns into racial separatism). All in all, it's like a giant open air mental asylum. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Like my hand on a Sunday afternoon: beats the shit out of me! 14:24, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter, etc. and even FaceBook have largely passed me by. I feel I'm missing out but I'm not sure I really care. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:37, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
I dare say that you also missed out on "popping candy under the foreskin". Don't worry, you're life is probably far richer in other spheres. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 14:50, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
They are awesome places for getting cute cat pictures and porn, though. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg But does planting trees help bring people to Christ? 21:04, 27 July 2014 (UTC)
And porn pictures of cute cats. Uh, not that I'm into that or anything… GØØBY PLS Clam down dere, matey!!1Dolan.png 13:04, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Random observations I found poking around rational wiki

First I have an unrelated question, why do we have BONs in the Vandal bin? Anyway here's what I found, probably no news here to the old regulars but I thought it was interesting.

  • First there is no such thing as May
  • "Iran is a place where women could fail jail or corporal punishment for going outside without the ubiquitous veil"
  • we apparently have something called evolutionwiki which was silently dropped at the end to 2010 and I assume absorbed into rational wiki? a few pages where anyway. Any articles that could go there can probably go here anyway As it falls under um lets see: "pseudoscience, anti-science, crank ideas, fundamentalism and occasionally Analysis and criticism of how this subject is handled in the media."
  • oh and apparently someone thinks rational wiki is a poor investment.

Disclaimer: this whole thing is border line trolling, and I realize that the horrible persecution women face in some parts of the world is not funny, typos are however hilarious. --NonPerson (talk) 02:18, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Err ... "border line"? Scream!! (talk) 09:45, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that the lack of financial reporting was a contributing factor to Nutty Roux's resignation from the board. The blog is not a wiki but an aggregated effort of several contributors, they are human and make typos but there is nobody coming round behind them and making corrections. EvoWiki is something that we took over to host after the previous owner decided to give up on it. Although it is also a wiki the article format and tone is different to RationalWiki and there have been several discussions on how we could best incorporate its content into RW. Unfortunately, nobody has come up with a good plan. I believe that the Rip-Off Report thing has been discussed here, I think it's believed to have been posted by one of our monomaniac trolls who got pissed off with us. Redchuck.gif Генгисevolving Moderator 13:19, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Anybody who thinks that accidentally writing "fail jail" instead of "face jail" is funny is obviously very easily amused. Spud (talk) 15:13, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Incoming

Actually, already here: Special:Contributions/Forrest Noble. Homework. --ZooGuard (talk) 19:16, 27 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Reading Sam Harris is like watching a dog chase its tail

Why Harris' response to TML contest is more of the same. Assume utilitarianism! Hand-wave is-ought problem! Make vague analogy to health! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:12, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

Meh, Sam Harris has some good points but his continued insistence that his semantic argument is correct despite a mountain of good criticism behind it is somewhat maddening. Its really an arbitrary point he's making, why not just give it up and be cool? --NerdyWizard (talk) you believed that why? 19:34, 28 July 2014 (UTC)
$20k Nebuchadnezzar (talk)

[edit] Help Meh

This may be a bit nooby, but how do you do the little coloured text thingies at the end of your name? Serious business for me. DÎŁDØ THÊ BÛTT PÎRÂTÊ (talk) 04:48, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Can i choose to forcibly keep it a state secret from you?--Miekal 05:53, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Help:Wikisig should explain it all. GØØBY PLS Why weepest thou?Dolan.png 06:52, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
But whatever you do, don't make your sig too large or it will incur the wrath of other editors. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 08:07, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Moderators

What's the deal with the whole mod thang? It's my understanding that RW used to have, like, yearly elections or some shit? Is that gonna happen, or…? MESSIAH OF DOOM A sea on earth is a sea of tearsDolan.png 09:49, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

And the last time we needed the mods to step in was.... well, I can't remember. They've faded out of use because we don't need them any more (thank heavens). Cloud Yeller (talk) 10:34, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Given how the last election was so inspiring, i'm sure setting up another would just do so many things--Miekal 11:49, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
What happened at the last election? Is the community absolutely certain they're not needed? If so, what happens to the current mods? DØØM MĖSSIÅH Why weepest thou?Dolan.png 12:15, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Nothing happened, except low voter turnout. And MarcusCicero got elected.--"Shut up, Brx." 14:40, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I am, like, 99% sure MC was elected in jest. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg The devil found it objectionable, so he banished it to Dollarama 18:10, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Nope. I voted for MC on the grounds that, if he became a part of the system he was so opposed to, then he'd have nothing to bitch about, fuck off, and leave us all alone. Turns out, that was a heck of a payout on that gamble. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 05:40, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
There hasn't been any serious HCM, so people feel that moderators are no longer necessary. This attitude will prevail until the next serious HCM (which, if we're not careful, will erupt over an argument as to whether we still need moderators). If I recall, the last conflict of note on this site was spillover from Facebook drama, and special user rights weren't necessary to deal with that.--"Shut up, Brx." 14:40, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Just because there hasn't been any HCM doesn't mean that mods are redundant, it's just that the need for such a frequent replacement seems less pressing. I always thought that 6 months was too frequent; maybe in Internet terms where things move quickly, 6 months is quite long, but my own view is that we need people who are going to stick around as well as having a track record of being part of the RW community. MC got elected and promptly biggered off apart from some dropping some lovesick odes in the SB. We had a big hullabaloo over the board elections but several electees seem to have gone AWOL and I understand that the general lack of interest was one of the factors that made Nutty Roux quit the board. I specifically did not stand for the board because I knew that I couldn't commit to the meetings. If we are to progress as a resource rather than just as a fluctuating community then we need people with some commitment to the cause. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. Moderator 17:51, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm extremely interested in serving the board in principle. I cannot speak for others, although I trust that they didn't run for the board for the same reasons some of the clowns you all elect run for moderator. There's no point in discussing my reasons for resigning.
As to the RW community itself, I disagree with GK only in that a track record of being part of the community should mean nothing compared to merit. I assume he's referring to what I view as a corollary of that when he mentions RW as a resource rather than a fluctuating community. At this point, the inmates running the asylum is causing irreparable harm.
If you're going to talk about holding elections, you might consider whether you've had the right criteria in mind. Some of RW's current or former moderators leave a lot to be desired in terms of competence and proper motivation. So, if I were you, I'd leave good enough alone or you'll end up with Brxbrx and Mikal. I cringed. Nutty Roux (talk) 19:52, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
At this point, the inmates running the asylum is causing irreparable harm. Sure, yeah, the wiki's dying without you.--"Shut up, Brx." 20:02, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Given my lack of a backbone, i can't really see me being able to run the asylum, let alone into the ground. I still advocate turning moderators into what crats were, more or less, because i'd like to be hopeful and think may 2011 won't happen a second time--Miekal 23:08, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Marcus was an inspired choice for moderator, and as has been pointed out, being elected effectively made him lose interest in the site. I'm not sure if this is such a good thing, I was always fond of his rambunctious ways. Vale MC.
In any case it will be nice to see the spectre of another layer of bureaucracy slide into the past. Some moderators have been inspired, others have been insipid cretins - overall I'm not sure the experiment really did anything except introduce a mildly amusing election campaign period and some nifty election posters. Tielec01 (talk) 05:49, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
It was an attempt to revive the Loyal Jerkoffs as a means of fixing a short-term (albeit, it was drawn out at the time) problem. Once the dust settled and the noise died down, RationalWiki moved beyond the need for moderators. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 06:07, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't know that the reasoning behind "We haven't had problems recently; moderators are for problems; therefore we don't need moderators," is all that sound; however, I'm not sure our system is the best, either. Sterile (talk) 11:06, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

I think "not doing anything" is a reasonable substitute for "works" in this case - David Gerard (talk) 11:40, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Good news for sock puppeteers

Here comes ReaganBook! They won't make the same mistakes as Tea Party Community, they're going to make all kinds of new mistakes! --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 13:53, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Reminds me of the early days at CP. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 14:23, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Pass the brain-bleach. Someone has posted a goatse. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 14:25, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
They "won't make the same mistakes"? Really? Even though they're using the exact same off-the-shelf software? And making the same never-going-to-happen promises about no censorship? They'll go down the exact same way. Be trolled, become paranoid about trolls, start abusing blocking technology to smite anyone who doesn't fall exactly into line, dwindle to a half dozen genuine posters, and try to beg as much cash off their tiny userbase as the manipulative scumbags running the thing can manage.
Edit conflict: is it bad that I know exactly which internet troll-hive is doing the goatseing? Ikanreed (talk) 14:29, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
(EC Twice) It was a joke. They're going to fuck up the exact same way, I'm sure. Smartasses may hasten it, but the decline of such sites are inevitable. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 14:35, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm more curious about the name choice--Miekal 14:33, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
It's gone all 503 on me. For shame! Cloud Yeller (talk) 14:34, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
"Page not found" Scream!! (talk) 14:40, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
It turns out that you can't actually run a social network on a 1/64th share of a dedicated server. Ikanreed (talk) 14:41, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
Personal tools