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from Nutty Roux (Talk), group Site wide (urgent) at 21:22, 27 February 2015

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RationalWiki:Forum
  1. Genuine openmindedness (21:24, 4 Mar 2015)
  2. Help (02:34, 4 Mar 2015)
  3. The current state of RW's community (21:47, 3 Mar 2015)
  4. Statelessness (20:55, 1 Mar 2015)
  5. Cult of Satorn: A Conspiracy Theory (16:56, 26 Feb 2015)
  6. Woo, crank, hokum, etc (15:53, 25 Feb 2015)
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Contents


[edit] Standards for libel

It's been made clear that libel is unacceptable. However, RationalWiki doesn't have clear standards on libel. RationalWiki needs policy on:

  1. What is libel?
    1. What specific statements are libel? (ie, is calling someone a "crank" libel?)
    2. Does referencing a source prevent something from being libel?
  2. What should happen if something is libel?
    1. Should the article be deleted / protected / stripped of potential libel / pared to NPOV / equipped with (better) citations / something else?
    2. If an article is about a living person, should anything be different than above?
  3. What should happen if there's elevated risk of a libel suit?
    1. Should we remove potential libel / leave the article as is / lock the article and/or its talkpages / delete the article / something else?
    2. How should we respond to potential litigants, if at all?

I'm not the best person to bring this up. But we need something more rigorous and specific than current policy, which just says statements about living people should be referenced or removed, and current community consensus, which is "delete first, ask questions later".
Relevant, relevant, and relevant. ʇυzzγɔɒтqoтɒтo (talk/stalk) 05:33, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

What's wrong with non-standard libel? --2.39.58.123 (talk) 21:42, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
It makes people afraid to post facts about people in fear of being banned for libel, and it allows people who actually commit libel to get away with it. Necromancer 21:57, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
If RWF were rich, that'd be an excellent thing to do, but it's not. So, the relevant standard is not what is libel but what might be perceived as libel. Even a baseless libel suit costs RWF money. What would make you think of suing for libel? OK, for a start, don't do that. MarmotHead (talk) 01:40, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Why have principles, when you can save money? Am I right? This may be my Swedish roots talking, but we have dug our grave and we will lie in it.--Madman (talk) 04:16, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
@Marmot: If so, how can RW write just about anything? Pretty much everything we do directly attacks something someone said/thought/did, and they might see it as libel. What thing(s) can RW talk about? ʇυzzγɔɒтqoтɒтo (talk/stalk) 04:40, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
So basically, RWF would have more freedom of speech if it had so little money as to be judgment proof. The sites that have the most latitude to say what they want about anyone are those that are run by some indigent person using a webhost with liberal terms of service, or maybe running a beat-up web server in his mom's basement. As you become more financially successful, you become a victim of your own success because you have more to lose.
What someone should do, then, is set up a sister organization, LibelWiki Foundation (LWF), that is totally separate from and independent of RWF, and move all the libelous articles over to LibelWiki. Then people can just link to that wiki, while taking no responsibility for its content. LWF would operate on a shoestring budget and keep no assets on hand other than the bare minimum required to keep its server running. Landmartian (talk) 09:53, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
You are strongly advised not to use the word "we" when talking about RationalWiki.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:57, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh no, I broke the laws of the Pronoun Police. Woe is me. FU22YC47P07470 (gossip/stalk) 18:48, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

This is a terrible idea. What constitutes libel is determined by laws & their interpretation by courts. We can make reasonable assessments, as we have always done, about any content or comments posted onsite and amend or delete anything which is likely to be considered libellous in law, but setting up our own definition of libel is just opening the door for people posting legally dubious stuff & wikilawyering over it, something we've seen enough of already. Plus, adhering to our own definition of libel rather than actual laws is the sort of thing that probably wouldn't go down well in the event of an actual legal investigation. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:02, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

"Make reasonable assessments". So, is it "reasonable" to call somebody a crank? To call something a scam? To attack somebody's credentials? To attack somebody's ideas? When you respond, remember that you're basing your definition of "reasonable" on some standard you have for "reasonable", and that making sure RW has a good standard for "reasonable" is the whole point of this.
The whole reason I'm asking this is so that RW's definition of libel aligns with actual laws. FüzzyCätPötätö (gossip/stalk) 19:13, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
^This is the kind of shit I'm talking about. It's anally retentive wikilawyering which has no bearing on actual legality. Please leave the legal stuff to the Foundation; they're better at it than you. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:17, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Leaving it to the RMF hasn't worked, since the RMF hasn't (1) set down standards for libel or (2) policed pages in any major way. Cømrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (gossip/stalk) 19:20, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Neither of those are the Foundation's role, but RMF officers & board members have intervened (as editors) in situations where libel has been posted. Again, setting our own "standards for libel" isn't wise or desirable. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:24, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
That's only after the fact, though. If the RMF has standards for libel and monitors for it, why not give said standards to editors so that they can proactively not post libel? Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (gossip/stalk) 19:30, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Again, setting our own "standards for libel" isn't wise or desirable - because it's what the law says that's important here. Did you read the Wikipedia links you posted above? None of them include "standards for libel"; only editorial guidance and a policy of removing libellous content. If Wikipedia, who's been in this game a lot longer than us & withstood its fair share of legal actions, doesn't make up its own definitions of libel, why would we? WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:39, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
WP doesn't set standards for what is libel, but they set standards for what can be acceptably written about somebody, and skirt around the definition of libel; the standards are to prevent libel suits and to prevent hurting somebody. The purpose of this discussion is to determine what can or can't be said about someone, and part of the reason it's relevant is because RW has gotten libel suit threats; we then need standards and policies to prevent said suits. (ie, questions 1.2-2.2) ʇυzzγɔɒтqoтɒтo (gossip/stalk) 19:48, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia's "standards for what can be acceptably written about somebody" are largely rooted in its NPOV, NOR and sourcing policies, as well as avoiding defamation. We already have a sound BLP policy, stating "if it's not solidly referenced, asserts something about the article's subject(s), and the article's subject(s) might object to it, it probably shouldn't be in the article at all", which is pretty much a distillation of what WP's BLP policy is once you strip away the WP-specific things like NPOV. What you're asking for - definitive answers to inane questions like "is calling someone a 'crank' libel?" - isn't going to help us; it's just adding a weight of tedious pedantic rules which are likely to make no difference to whether the RMF is sued or not. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:13, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Then WP answers 1.2: If something has a reliable source, it's OK.
The reason I'm asking stuff like "is calling someone a crank" libelous is that, for example, RW's Con artist existed for 8 years with potentially libelous content until Nutty nixed it. So calling someone a con artist isn't OK. Is calling somebody a kook or a crank OK? Why, and what's the difference? oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (gossip/stalk) 21:01, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
So, accusing someone of a crime differs from citing allegations that someone has been accused of a crime. Ok. It gets more nuanced when discussing ethical improprieties. Avoiding argumentum ad hominem is the simplest advice. Attack the stupid idea, not the man. Just say, (stupid idea) will cause the death of civilization and the planet as we know it. Mr. X is an outspoken advocate of (stupid idea). nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 18:58, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm tired of this and I'm tired of you. If you don't know if something is libelous, then don't post it. And if you are going to attempt to push the line, then leave. Your obessiveness is obnoxious and grating. Sterile (talk) 20:29, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

my recommendation is the you contact your lawyer for legal advice. Sterile (talk) 21:17, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Fuzzy's intent seems to be to figure out what that line is so he doesn't push it. And everyone's answer seems to be "Look it up in the law, stupid." If libel is such a serious deal for RationalWiki, why is the response to a discussion about it so vitriolic? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 21:26, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Pardon my ignorance on this matter, but could someone clarify for me what the position of libel laws online actually is? Who is to say on the internet what is libelous and what is not? What's libelous in Britain is not always libelous in the USA so which standard should be used? Alsto003 (talk) 21:54, 22 February 2015 (UTC) Alex

There's a useful summary of UK defamation law here, and on the sub-pages. It's a notoriously tricky area, but it's worth noting that "vulgar abuse" is not defamatory. One requirement for launching a lawsuit is a letter before action, specifying what you're complaining about and giving an opportunity for reply. A statement of claim (to get a lawsuit actually started) has to be served on the defendant at an address within the court's jurisdiction - unless the court grants leave to "serve out". A claimant against RWF in UK would have lots of procedural hurdles to jump through, and imo wouldn't get very far if prompt action were taken to address the issue.
I think US first amendment principles should apply. Could RWF be sued outside New Mexico?
"Free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it" - lawyers' maxim. ProblemChimp (talk) 16:12, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
(EC) Well, nominally you can be sued anywhere for anything, but I'd wager achieving anything legally against RWF would be much harder outside the US, because the foundation is based here, primarily targets an English speaking audience, and has no assets to seize outside the US. But there's a whole tangled web that requires more than one very expensive lawyer to sort out if you want any certainty about the subject. Wikipedia uses US standards because they're based in the US, and we have been sorta looking to them as a model. Ikanreed (talk) 16:13, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
To paraphrase 141.134.75.236 above, Fuzzy's intent seems to be to figure out what that line is so he can sidle right up next to it. If in doubt, don't publish it. If you really feel you must, don't say it yourself, quote the New York Times and a Federal judge saying it twice. FCP, if you really want a definition, use this: "If someone on RW thinks you crossed the line, you did. What you wrote will be removed." Everyone else can probably stick to common sense. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:36, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
That's roughly the opposite of what 141 said.
Given that "common sense" hasn't prevented festering piles of libel from existing for years, I think it's pretty clear that something a little more comprehensive is needed. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (gossip/stalk) 00:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Oops, you are correct, I used the wrong word. "Paraphrase" is not what I meant. What I meant was to say what you really want. And if you find festering piles of libel, 1. that means you must know what it is when you see it, and 2. you should work to remove it. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
(1) Calling somebody a criminal is libel. What is calling somebody a crank? (2) Yes. FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 02:54, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Calling someone a crank reflects more on the person (or entity) using the pejorative than the intended target (unless you believe people are so fucking stupid and naive they take as gospel whatever crap is churned out by commentators or news outlets, which again, is a reflection on the speaker). All it says is so-and-so pisses some people off. You can judge a man by his enemies. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 16:47, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I would like to see more guidance on this too. It seems at the moment we have some gurus who make opaque decisions and brook no dissent. Indeed it seems even questioning editorial decisions about libel is enough to get you banned. On my phone so can't comment at length but I think this is a vexed issue where common sense has been tried and failed. Tielec01 (talk) 01:12, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh, FFS!!! Commonsense may not be common but it's a damn good starting point. Hairsplitting goes nowhere. Apply some simple tests, like this incomplete list:
(1) Is the target of this article a douche? (a) If no, go to jail go directly to jail do not collect $200. (b) If yes:
(2) Is the target of this article a Wikinotable-type douche? (a) If no, see (1a) above. (b) If yes:
(3) Can you back up your insults with solid references? (a) If no, see (1a) above. (b) If yes:
(4) Will any other RW editor bother to read this article when they could be giving two fucks instead? (a) If no, see (1a) above. (b) If yes, get stuck in.
BQ: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? ProblemChimp (talk) 02:33, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
a douchebag is in the eye of the beholder. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 18:46, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

[edit] So far

Consensus for policy on potentially libelous statements seems to be get solid refs or kill it, which is squo.
Questions needing answers:

  1. Does ie "X is a crank" need a ref / "Y called X a crank" + ref / deletion?
  2. If legal threats, then:
    1. How/if to respond?
    2. Lock/delete/rewrite page?

oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 04:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

If legal threats are made, comply with the demands, then discuss their merit. This is obviously better than the other way around. Do not speak for the foundation.--TiaC (talk) 07:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
That's decent policy. But what do we do if they demand that we write a piece that utterly supports their positions, even if we know said positions to be bullshit? Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 19:35, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If legal threats are made, hold it at that - a threat. Be conciliatory. Ask, "What would you propose?". Seek compromise. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 05:32, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
We have a policy against onsite legal threats. Anybody making them should be referred firmly in the direction of the RMF's contact details. Rank & file editors getting into a talk page dispute with somebody making legal threats (as happened with Kevin Martin) is a recipe for disaster. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:47, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good. Would a short template with a link to that page, the legal FAQ, and the RMF's contact details help? FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 18:24, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
FCP, I'm going to permanently ban you if you don't make this your last post on this subject. I will not see the risk of being sued personally enhanced because you believe you are entitled to invent a legal policy for someone else. No discussion. No negotiation. Stop this nonsense. Nutty Roux (talk) 19:25, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

CONSENSUS FOR POLICY:

  1. FuzzyCatPotato doesn't edit concerning living people.
  2. Everyone else tries not to be goddamn foolishly insane.

Seriously. Speaking as one of the people at the sharp end of your proposals, I think that iterative attempts to map the boundaries of how far we can push it horrify me. Please stop - David Gerard (talk) 20:38, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Because I'm definitely trying to get the RMF sued. Why does everyone assume bad faith, for me?
The point of marking the boundaries is to prevent people from getting close to the boundaries. WP does something like this with BLP policy, which is defined and then anything close to violating BLP policy is removed. This is almost exactly the same issue, and I think we should have similar policy. FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ﹐ Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 03:12, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
We already do have a similar policy. But what you've been asking for is an in-house definition of libel, which is an awful plan. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:47, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Fine. I'm done with this shit.
I'm glad that, since libel is such a big issue for RW, the community willing to set out clear policy and discuss it.
Thanks, Nutty, for deleting User:FuzzyCatPotato/DefamTemplate. It totally needed deletion -- as a proposed template that wasn't used on any pages, it really posed a threat to RW.
By the way, what would the block reason be? "Discussing policy about libel?" I'm glad RW is so vigilant about libel that even discussion goes too far.
When Kevin Martin comes back, the community argues with him, and he sues, I'm sure this will be remembered as a high point. Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 20:04, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

A legal policy on libel for the RMF is not for you to decide or participate in devising. It's just fucking not. If you disagree, have your mom call me so I can tell her what legal policies govern in your house. Nutty Roux (talk) 20:22, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Daily Stormer

Do we need an article on this racist trash? The Daily Stormer Proxima Centauri (talk) 11:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Probably, since it has been noteworthy enough for a few articles to mention it. I didn't even know there wasn't an article on it. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 12:56, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Is it actually part of Stormfront? If so a mention there would be a good start. Else hey, go for it - David Gerard (talk) 13:11, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
They both mention the other quite a bit, but that seems to be all there is to it. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 13:14, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The origin of the name seems pretty obvious - Der Stürmer[wp]. ProblemChimp (talk) 13:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I made a start but this needs work from people who know the site. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:22, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
It's not a 100% correlation, but I've noticed that right wingers and/or racists tend to use the spelling and pronunciation "moslem" more than "muslim", as is repeatedly splashed on that front page. Is there a reason for that? My grandfather also says "moslem" instead of "muslim" so I'm assuming it's generational, but I see it on more modern/younger racists too. X Stickman (talk) 18:23, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Old people that aren't racist tend to use it, too. I guess that it might have something to do with racists learning their racism from their parents or grandparents. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 19:02, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Apparently, judging from this graph, the correct form is actually "Mussulman", that one being the one with the most currency before 1820. "Moslem" overtakes "Mussulman" around 1880. "Muslim" barely exists before 1920, and takes over around 1940. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 23:38, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
"Moslem" was fairly current in textbooks and newspapers in the 1950s & 60s; by the mid 70s "Muslim" sounded more educated on the subject moreso than the vulgar stereotypes many people had. It was probably Malcolm X more than anyone who brought about the change. See here about 6 paragraphs down. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 05:49, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It's not necessarily racist in and of itself. It's differences in romanization. Arabic has sounds that the Latin alphabet doesn't have letters for, so there's disagreement on how to render those sounds in the Latin alphabet. There's over a dozen different standards and many more informal methods for romanizing Arabic. For an example of the resulting insanity, see how many different ways you can spell the name of the former dictator of Libya. Compro01 (talk) 23:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think there's anything relevant at all in the spelling unless someone's deliberately setting out to cause offence. Read the preface to Seven Pillars of Wisdom[wp], in which the Arabist T. E. Lawrence mocked attempts to transliterate Arabic into English. ProblemChimp (talk) 00:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Compare also - Al Quaida/Al Quaeda, and Koran/Qu'ran, and so on. Choice of spelling sometimes suggests an agenda, but as a onetime senior moderator on MySpace taught me - "Context makes content". ProblemChimp (talk) 00:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If you really wanted to annoy Muslims, you'd go with "Mahometan". - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 02:19, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Hopefully this doesn't get off the subject but, a Muslim friend told me that the "movements" baring a persons name, such as "Qutbism" & "Wahhabism" are self glorifying, idolatrous, and unIslamic - not far removed from the prohibitions against using imagery, cartoons, television pictures depicting persons. I suppose that is a big factor in why the Salafists have moreless divorced themselves from the name "Wahhabi" while retaining the doctrines. In fact, the term "Wahhabi" probably came about at least more than a hundred y ears ago by critics as a way of saying it was man-made, self-glorifying, cultish and unIslamic. I suspect this is the same reason the term "Mohammadism" has fallen out of use by non-Muslims, because it would be derogatory and offensive. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 21:51, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Seen on Stormer — Unsigned, by: 74.14.22.153 / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 02:40, 02 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] I feel like making a bot.

It seems like a fun thing to do, and I've got more than a decade of programming experience. Does a bot that looks at recent article edits to find typos and recent talkpage edits to find unsigned comments seem like a useful bot? My idea is that it would display the most recent information on its own subpages, sorted by probability of error, and hopefully it would be able to remove the issues form the list automatically as they are fixed. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 17:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Ooh, another idea: Providing some sort of template that maybe is something like {{red2wp|SomeArticle|some text}} that gets put into an internal list the bot keeps. The bot then automatically changes it to {{red2wp|SomeArticle|some text|redlink=no}} when the article exists on RationalWiki without being a broken redirect. The idea is that it would be an internal link if it exists, but a Wikipedia link if it's a redlink. Unless that template can be done without bots? Is there any logic for determining if a link is a redlink? Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 18:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
WP has a bot that hates unsigned posts. I'd love a copy over here. Cømrade FυzzчCαтPøтαтø (talk/stalk) 18:54, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh, and to determine if a page exists (and would thus be a redlink) you can use {{#ifexist:PAGE|DO IF EXIST|DO IF NOT}}. Beware, because it's expensive. FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 18:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
A bot that signs unsigns posts should post the "sign" template on the offender's talk page, so they learn... Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 19:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Before you do anything, make sure to look at mw:Pywikibot. A signing bot may be useful, but making a good one is tricky, as people who don't know how to sign often don't know how to comment, either, so fixing their messes may be best left to humans. As for finding and fixing typos, the usefulness probably won't be worth the additional server load, not to mention the additional issues (such as American vs English spelling and the cases when both the right and the wrong word are correctly spelled. In short: before looking for a solution, please make sure that there is actually a problem.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I was saying that it would compile a list of possible typos and signing issues, not that it would fix them. But, because the automatic signing was mentioned, I think I could actually get that to work right, if it was limited to the most obvious examples. (only one line added, no other lines changed, no links to user pages added, user does not have a link to their page elsewhere) Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 19:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Ah, OK, that part in the parentheses assures me you have put some thought in this. Make it "a block added" - a sequence of uninterrupted lines with equal indent, and leave some time for a "grace period" to allow the user to sign or anyone else to fix a fuck-up. The most reliable way to recognize a signature is the timestamp, I think - that's the only thing that's constant for all kinds of signature customizations. People are willing to tolerate a lack of a link to the user page, but the timestamp is always there if the user is using MediaWiki's signing mechanism.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:42, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I went and made the template mentioned. {{red2wp|Goat|goat}} gives goat, and {{red2wp|Four-toed jerboa|jerboa}} gives jerboa[wp]. As you can see, it has a bit of a "new line" issue that I'm going to fix really quick. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 20:19, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh, Zoo fixed it, along with making the rest of it not look like a mess. Thanks, Zoo! Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 20:24, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Alright, I finally got the Pywikibot thing to work. Anything I need to do with Mini Nyar? I would assume that captchas are a bit of a problem without autoconfirm or whatever it is. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 13:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Nope, bot's still not working right. It keeps complaining that it is unable to import json/simplejson, but I have json under C:\Python27\Lib. Do any of the editors that have bots know how to fix this? Is it because I have the pywikibot files on my desktop? I may be a great coder, but setup is my weakness. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 16:11, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm guessing I do, being a python dev myself, but your error message is awfully unspecific. Could you give me to the full stack trace on my talk page? Ikanreed (talk) 16:14, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Muhuhaha! Now I have the fluffiest bot of them all! And, as an added bonus, I can even talk to myself by using his message template. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 20:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Greetings, hoomans! (and narwhal!) ~Mini Nyar (bot) 20:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Though, maybe I should remove the timestamp from the span, or otherwise make his text easier on the eyes. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 20:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It works! While I was testing it to make sure it wouldn't bloop on a minor edit, it picked up somebody's unsigned comment. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 01:52, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Bot is now autonomous. Can somebody give it the bot flag? Also, as a note, the bot does not patrol this page. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 19:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
There's a minor problem with de-redding all links like that - some red links are essentially intentional, as in they indicate things we should have articles on. "Hiding" them makes it harder to fix - perhaps? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:58, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The redlink is a template, not an automatic search-and-destroy process. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 23:38, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh, and as the unsigned talk poster (moved some stuff on my talk page), without a link to the diff it's a bit opaque. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:00, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Also, you should include this page, as it's one of the hardest places to either re-edit in order to add a sig, or to edit to add the unsigned template. As long as the bot works fast. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Alright. Also, I'm adding an exception to < brackets so it doesn't bwoop for that again. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 23:38, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Can it reach here? — Unsigned, by: NarkySawtooth / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 23:48, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Would it be possible to program it to exclude, for example, people who have been here a long time? People who have signed their posts hundreds of times, but just forgot that one time? John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (talk) 23:56, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I can set it to ignore patrolled edits. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 23:59, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Which I will do after this last test (can't have it ingoring my taunts!) — Unsigned, by: NarkySawtooth / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 00:12, 01 March 2015 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────
That didn't go well. Once more! — Unsigned, by: NarkySawtooth / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 00:16, 01 March 2015 (UTC)
Alright. Now it's set to ignore auto-patrolled users. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 00:20, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
It might be better to have it sign, but not remind autopatrolled users.--TiaC (talk) 00:25, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
A little issue with that is that this becomes a bit less obvious.(The signing, not the page's subject.) Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 00:33, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Alright, currently it's not picking up any non-patrolled edits outside the Saloon bar. So, let's see if it picks this up as unsigned. So, here's a new idea: Should I have the bot automatically greet new non-BoN people that leave messages on talk pages? — Unsigned, by: NarkySawtooth / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 18:59, 01 March 2015 (UTC)
And it tripped the edit conflict filter (which it shouldn't have) and then it didn't stop (I forgot to put a stop in right after the warning it gives). Good thing I decided to test it. Let's see what happens this time. — Unsigned, by: NarkySawtooth / talk / contribs (signed by bot) 19:05, 01 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Tone argument/policing

When people on the internet use the term "tone argument", the premise seems to be that any tactic, term, insult, etc. is justified as long as the one using it is probably less privileged than whoever they're using it on, which seems logically unsound. It often seems to be accompanied by the notion that any criticism of tone or (good ole' definition slip) disagreement (real or imagined) with your interlocutor means that you are just as bad as Vox Day/Bill O'Reilly and should just shut up because you don't know shit. If you hand someone, no matter how right they generally are, this kind of weapon, it will be copied and abused by the less scrupulous. So when should accusations of tone policing be used, if at all?(Agrajag (talk) 02:10, 28 February 2015 (UTC))

The thing about tone arguments is that you have a right to disregard them, and continue to present your point. Rude things can be true, important things. Ikanreed (talk) 03:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The same thing is true about rude arguments, of course. You have a right to disregard them, and to assume that the point is to bring the psychodrama rather than to be persuasive or even understood. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 03:29, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
In dealing with people one must learn patience; "tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed (of your position, POV, arguments, etc)". nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 03:59, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
sure sure, that's all well and dandy for arguments where you're trying to prove a point rationally in a debate. But that's just not every argument. Sometimes arguments can arise out of situations demanding a bit of force. Ikanreed (talk) 04:58, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
An argument where the person you're arguing with isn't trying to prove points rationally is definitely an argument you should walk away from. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 17:03, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Three words: Civil Rights Movement. "If instead of all those protests and sit-ins and marches, those coloreds had instead waited politely and patiently for their turn to speak, and spoken all soft and gentlemanly with respect for their betters, I'm sure we would have given them their due."
That was a quote from my great-grandmother, by the by. --Castaigne (talk) 05:11, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
There's one in every family :D . No, no I'm all in favor of confrontation, it's more the random insults/assumption of bad faith online that I was talking about. (Agrajag (talk) 17:22, 28 February 2015 (UTC))
Telling someone they're being rude isn't necessarily a tone argument. That's when you suggest that somebody's argument is invalid or should be disregarded because they're being rude, or where you derail a discussion from its purpose & make it all about how rude somebody is being. This is like the confusion over ad hominem, which many people seem to think means the same as insult. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:35, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
there is no point in being 'right' if people stop listening because you are being a massive arsehole. Or your arseholishness causes your opponents to dig their heels in instead of conceding the point. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:16, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Except that one is not required to educate others. Too often, people wish to claim that they must be argued with civilly and politely, and what goes unsaid is that they will mire everything in diplomatic bullwash and derail the discussion. Thus eventually, the Civil Rights Movement. Thus eventually, the current gay marriage cases. As punks were well aware, oftentimes the best way to prove you're right is to show it - and screw what people say about tone. --Castaigne (talk) 18:33, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I find this notion of "derailing" problematic for the same reason I find the notion of the "problematic" problematic. It isn't a real conversation if any of the parties gets to require everything to be about their message. That's not a conversation, that's a harangue. And it's your cue to stop paying attention. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 03:38, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Your problem is that you continually assume your opponent/the other side/the other party/whatever actually intends to hold a conversation in good faith. Newsflash: the people who opposed the Civil Rights Movement did not have any good-faith intentions. Neither do the people opposing gay marriage. Or the MRAs. Or the Neo-Reactionaries. Or the YECers. There is no good faith there. And all your attempts to have a good-faith conversation with those people will end in your eventual defeat, marginalization, and if you're really unlucky or your opponents are vicious enough, death. --Castaigne (talk) 05:33, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
You're trying to cast me in the role of "the one who's optimistic about human nature!" Holy sh.... I get that. There are people who are worth listening to, and there are those who aren't. I've even tried to reason with neo-reactionaries; so it goes. All I mean to say is that "people who aren't worth your time talking to" is a two way street. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 06:12, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
But we both know that the purpose of a debate is rarely to convince your opponent, but the audience. However much "we" (insert cause here) may be annoyed by the moderates and undecideds, we need them to prevail in society at large, and random insults and trying to simply humiliate your opponent may not accomplish that. As for the notion that all "our" opponents argue in ad faith, I don't think that that's entirely true. Neoreaction, for one, seems like it could be a phase thing which could be ended early in many people with the proper tactics. I'd imagine it has a lot of appeal to socially ostracized teenagers and even older people who have seen themselves cast out by people who are (genuinely) pretty fucking stupid, and who, instead of taking steps to become less alienated or just getting on with their life, try to further their own sense of superiority by channeling their frustration into dreams of despotism/glory. I would imagine that medieval imagery, with its grand, eternal, stable aesthetics, holds particular appeal to those who feel that their life is going nowhere, and devotion to God/a monarch may play to repressed sadomasochism. Dealing with neoreaction calls for empathy, persuasion, and a sense of community to replace the negative one that has given them "shelter" so far. Similar things may be true of the MRAs/gators, a significant minority of whom seem to be generally politically liberal (remember how many of the gators got pissed off by the Colbert/Sarkeesian interview?), and who mostly consume liberal media in which they see themselves vilified. This pushes them further into paranoia, but by explaining to them why they may feel the way they do and trying to talk them out of it, many of them could be "brought back". I know because I would probably be one of them if I hadn't chosen to go to public high school. (Agrajag (talk) 17:53, 1 March 2015 (UTC))

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agree with pretty much all of that. Regardless of where you're coming from, there are discussions that seek understanding if not agreement, and there are discussions that consist of nothing but posing for applause. The first are generally more worthwhile, while in the latter you're only a supporting character, and may be cast as the villain, in somebody's melodrama. That's a role you should decline.

Not everything in the neoreactionary's, the libertarian's, or the identity politics fan's world view is wrong. More importantly, they want things that are sensible if inconsistent to want; the libertarian wants Freedom, the identity politician wants Equality, and the neoreactionary wants Order. None of these things are bad things to want. It's only that libertarianism won't make Freedom, identity politics won't achieve Equality and has an inherent need for someone to dehumanize, and the Order the neoreactionary will get will break all his toys. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 03:56, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Oh, it's far more than one. Southern gentility on one side, Nazis on the other. Still, one must prevail. --Castaigne (talk) 18:33, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
This is an interesting discussion, but might I add, it's not limited to just neoreactionary's, libertarian's, and identity politics. Today one must add the youthful targets of jihadi recruitment before they are radicalized. These young people are sitting on the fence, involved in these sorts of debates, and the evidence is, some become radicalized because of a feeling of exclusion. Their issues and POVs are not being addressed and ignored. So debate today, in public forums, shouldn't be limited to 'liberal v conservative', 'us vs them', etc. It is not non-believer vs Muslim, either. Somehow the issues that potential jihadi recruits who are lurking must be integrated (IMO) into these generic political discussions we have in the West, that seem to always be 'good guys vs bad guys = Left vs Right', etc., (hope this view makes sense to you all). nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 20:42, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
They represent a somewhat different problem. The conversation with them will be about what version of Islam to support. Being non-Muslims, our opinions come at a steep discount. We could fund Sufi foundations or try to match the Saudi propaganda machine dollar for dollar, but if word got out that some voices were getting financial support from infidels, that may not work out either. Still the underlying problem is the same: crafting a message that people will listen to rather than simply react to. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 00:36, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
But see you're at a disadvantage if coming from an atheistic approach. The more violent strains are going tho blame you for all their problems and do not want their children schooled to learn a Western tolerant approach. The less violent and non-violent strains will feel you are poo-pooing their troubles and complaints and not taking them seriously. We are not talking about a religion here. We are talking about a governmental system. (Look at the text of the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, for instance formulated by secular states). At a minimum, you will be hard-pressed to establish any measure of good faith without being suspected of proselytizing. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer swirling in dadsbag. 22:19, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Article on Defense Distributed and Cody Wilson?

Should we create an article on Cody R. Wilson and Defense Distributed? Any thoughts or notes? 74.14.49.84 (talk) 13:53, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Why? ScepticWombat (talk) 15:08, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Who's we? Not you, Mr 74. BicyclewheelModerator 18:34, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Defense Distributed is a famous movement that advocates for freedom and liberty in firearm ownership, internet regulation etc.— Unsigned, by: some twonk who can't even put his name to what he says / talk / contribs
Defense Distributed are into #D printed guns. Total freedom of gun ownership leads to freedom only for people unafraid to kill other people. Is that truly libertarian, or is it simply transferring power from the known and accountable to the anonymous and unaccountable? BicyclewheelModerator 20:49, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Although, that aside aside, why not mention the company in the 3D printing article? BicyclewheelModerator 20:58, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. There are other examples that fit the theme there already. Compro01 (talk) 02:33, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] So, I had a nightmare a few nights ago

In this nightmare, I was talking to someone in a hazy room. They looked sort of familiar, but I couldn't quite make out their facial features. And then they began to laugh. The sound was like Jeff Goldblum having an aneurism. And then, it I figured it out. There was only one person with that laugh. This is a true story, by the way. I really did have this nightmare (the subject isn't very topical anymore anyways).
On a related note, does anybody ever have "phantom editing?" Sometimes I'll feel like everything I'm doing is actually a RationalWiki edit. It's a pretty well-documented thing for video games; I once played so much Disgaea that my brain kept coming up with the most efficient ways to throw people around a room to reach the door quicker (makes sense in context). Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 03:02, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

If you do anything enough, especially repetitively, it will tend to invade other areas of life, even sleep (the assembly line worker's bane!). So don't do things a lot that you don't really enjoy. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:24, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Sometimes I walk into classes and imagine where people would fly if I shot rockets at their feet. I think it's a result of too much gaming... Bad @ splleing... (talk) 15:31, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

When I played too much Skyrim I would try to quicksave before I walked into a room. Trick (talk) 15:39, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
"I had a most extraordinary dream today. I was in a lecture theatre, teaching my class of students. Then I suddenly woke up. And do you know what? I was." ProblemChimp (talk) 18:35, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I remember when i was in seventh grade; i had a dream in which a dragon landed in the middle of the schoolyard. I shouted GOL HAH DOV: Earth,Mind,Dragon. I then mounted this dragon and proceeded to burn down the entire school.'Legionwhat do you want from me 19:33, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I had a dream once where nothing weird happened. Then I woke up and thought, That was weird, because it wasn't. Fonzie (talk) 17:23, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Forgive me but I seem to have forgotten...

What happened to "edit [0]"? Or the edit button that replaced it? The one that lets an editor edit just the section of a page above the ToC? Thanks in advance... ħumanUser talk:Human 03:22, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

It's still in the Gadgets, but whether the Gadgets will be loaded during any session seems to depend on the phase of the moon and the direction of local wind.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:12, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] The One Party State Question

So let's say that the democratic party is hypothetically banned, and we live in a one party (republican) state. Of the candidates in the 2016 primaries for republican who do you vote for? I'd personally vote for Rand Paul as he seems the least insane and most socially progressive. Even if he does believe in voodoo economics.

Donald Trump. All the Republican candidates are insane in one way or the other, so I'd want somebody who I could properly hate in office. Should provide good material for the late-night comedians, anyway. (Agrajag (talk) 18:34, 1 March 2015 (UTC))
My opinion on all Republican candidates in the last couple elections is that they've been either massively uninteresting or embarrassing to witness, or (often) both. Really, you'd think the party of the plutocrats would be better at choosing, managing and marketing their candidates than this. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 18:57, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
The chilling answer would be that they've worked out that it doesn't matter. Queexchthonic murmurings 19:28, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
This. The GOP is picking its battles. Having the White House would be nice, for sure. Having the Senate for the long term, keeping the House in perpetuity, and getting more governorships/state houses/state legislatures? That makes the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue far less relevant, and lets them do way more stuff. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 19:44, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
I already get to do this hypothetical every election - the only people are "conservatives/tea party and conservative democrats". I look for one that supports an issue i support and go "well why not". LAst election was gay marriage--Miekal 07:12, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Scott Walker, because if I go republican, I'm going all the way. Bad @ splleing... (talk) 15:36, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Once you go 'whack', you never go back? Queexchthonic murmurings 16:03, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
AgingHippie nailed it: "getting more governorships/state houses/state legislatures". That's how the GOP opposes "big government", i.e., the federal juggernaut. As someone just said at the CPAC convention, "the states created the federal government, the federal government did not create the states". nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 20:49, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Are you telling me that none of you would become revolutionaries in this scenario? Ikanreed (talk) 15:59, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
It's just a hypothetical. If you want to look too deeply into it I'm sure the party itself would suffer a schism, giving us actual people to "respect." Trick (talk) 16:02, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, there'd be a split between the Tea Party and the Normal People. BicyclewheelModerator 19:37, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
There are normal people in the Republican Party? O_o 141.134.75.236 (talk) 19:39, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
When we're talking about the republicans 'normal' and 'sane' are relative terms. Also on a completely irrelevant note: I would find Mitch McConnell sort of adorable for his famous turtle look if he weren't so evil.Samstr (talk) 00:32, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Special:Editcount

Is it possible to make it display more than 999 users? FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 20:45, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

The answer is apparently yes(Sorry rationalwiki database server, I wasn't trying to be mean). If you're running firefox: right click the text box for max results, inspect element, change maxlength variable to something larger. The script will then accept your larger input. Ikanreed (talk) 21:02, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Sneaky. Is it possible to just edit the feature's script so that this is unnecessary? Herr FuzzyKatzenPotato (talk/stalk) 21:27, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Or just edit the "&limit" parameter in the URL. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg By the way, 2 divided into 666 is 333 20:19, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Stats

If anyone cares, here's the stats that Special:Editcount unwillingly relinquished. 32℉uzzy, 0℃atPotato (talk/stalk) 22:55, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Rationalwiki?

[edit] Content dumps

For those who care, RationalWiki:Content dumps has the dumps I ran last Wednesday. They are goddamn huge. I would be interested to know if you can actually get a RationalWiki back out of them, I haven't tried. I need to get around to uploading these to archive.org. - David Gerard (talk) 20:41, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't know how to feel about that. There has been at least two attempts to fork RW by former users, including an especially deranged one, and making dumps accessible will ease such efforts in the future. Also, I sure archive.org will be overjoyed about all the cock pictures and all the other stuff with dubious copyright status.--ZooGuard (talk) 20:54, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
And forking is bad because...? |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg The middling bomb of complementing! 21:14, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, I'm tempted to open that highly compressed xml file but I feel like my computer's processor will explode. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Ritsuko, the truth is... 21:15, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Splitting the community is rarely a very good idea for a website, and many forks have high chances of one or both then dying out--Miekal 23:21, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
This site needs to be fishbowled and purged. A fork might be a very good idea. Nutty Roux (talk) 23:52, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Or forking could result in exactly what Miekal mentioned. Half of the users go one way, half of the users go the other and in the end neither site has enough regular visitors to survive. That being said I don't think having a backup is necessarily a bad idea. Samstr (talk) 00:45, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Or forking presents a way to honestly consider the direction this site has taken, create a committee of non obsessive mentally ill zealot whatever adults empowered to actually handle RW's daily business since the RMF cannot, and shunt half the active editors off to their own fork to make as disreputable and embarrassing as they wish. Nutty Roux (talk) 12:53, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
You're free to start your own Roux-RW if that's your sentiment, Nutty. ;) 141.134.75.236 (talk) 12:12, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
It's obviously not. I don't think you know who I am. Nutty Roux (talk) 12:53, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
And the people you dislike will just magically prefer whatever the fork is? That seems unlikely. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:12, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Might want to reconsider the sustainability, let alone the possibility of passing the "point and laugh" test, of RationalCitizendium with some Midwestern cobbler as arbiter of who is Serious Enough to be given edit rights. Unique pinion (talk) 14:39, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure if that was directed at me, but I'm going to reply regardless. Most wikis fail. They never gather a real audience. That's not a surprise, but that doesn't prevent anyone from making them. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:45, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
It was directed at a Great Lakes leather worker who has been complaining for a long time, about RW not living up to his dreams of how the Good Old Days might have unrolled. IMO he is chasing a forlorn hope, and letting the elite purity of his quest justify him being a bully and a griefer. Without him, the wiki would be nothing. Unique pinion (talk) 14:57, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Unless it's a wiki about a show, in which case you will find a userbase. A userbase of drooling monomaniacs, but still an userbase. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg EVERY SINGLE MISSILE HIT THE TARGET!!! AAAAAAAAAGHH!!!!! 22:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
To answer the original question: I consider those two particular fork attempts "bad" due to the nature of the people (or in one case, single person) involved. I wouldn't like to see anything similar in the future.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:08, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
It's nothing that isn't already accessible the hard way. Are you volunteering to clean up the File: space? Note, by the way, that having no inclusions doesn't mean an image is unlinked, e.g. most of the screen captures - David Gerard (talk) 23:28, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Deeper answer: pretty much the whole point of CC-by-sa is "use our stuff, please!" And any forks can use the other tine's stuff. We write all of this so that it will be used. They may just Citizendium, but they may in fact do it better - David Gerard (talk) 21:30, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Moving Pseudoscience up to cover story status

Proposal here. It's a mission-crucial article with very extensive on pseudoscientific tactics. Hopefully third time's the charm. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 02:19, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

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