RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive157

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Is this a parody website?

No, I don't think so.I'm sure they're deadly serious... I mean, any organisation that feels that the recent increase in pet-on-pet rape is a "pernicious consequence of same-sex marriage" just has to be serious, right? Bad Faith (talk) 10:33, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
My favourite by far is this little gem. I thought they had gone a bit far with The Braillettes but then I realised the beauty of Poe's law and did a little checking. Truly scrumptious. Bad Faith (talk) 10:41, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Christwire is very definitely parody. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 11:20, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh Christwire gets everyone. Falling for Objective: Ministries and Landover Baptist is so n00bish, but Christwire, well, that's a different kettle entirely because I think they may have acquired a small legit readership. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:48, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Didn't some real news outfit fall for Christwire last year? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:21, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
Fuck it, is "atheists'" so hard to spell correctly? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 00:34, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Conservapedia-space deletions discussions/voting[edit]

There is a lengthy community-wide debate/discussion going on about which CP-space articles this site wants to keep and which ones it wants to delete as part of a massive clean-up of the Wiki. Please go here and join the discussion and voting. The Punk Symphony of Noise Your mental puke relief 13:14, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

This should be intercomed, esp. since it's not in recent changes, and, believe it or not, not everyone looks at the SB. steriletalk 16:50, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Jesus, this is the third Saloon Bar thread about it in as many days. I think anyone looking at this page already knows about the CP space deletions. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:14, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Not everyone goes to the Saloon bar, for fuck's sake. I often ignore it as it's largely boring and just skim Recent Changes, and it doesn't appear in recent changes. steriletalk 17:19, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
P-Foster intercommed it, to group "General site news". Which is arguably correct, just not effectively so, as most people (e.g. me until I changed it just now) are only in "Site wide (urgent)" by default. So it was announced in a way that most users won't see. Sterile could put up a "Site wide (urgent)" announcement too, if he feels it rates it. Using P-Foster's wording, of course - David Gerard (talk) 20:48, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
No, he can't. larronsicut fur in nocte 20:58, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
of for fucks sake. --Pink mowse.pngGodot What do cats dream about? 21:10, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm a new guy....just a troll at this point really...but the CP space thing i would talk about. Its what brought me here, and from what i've seen on these pages, it is the raison d'etre of this site. The site has moved on, of course(we all believe in evolution don't we? ;))but the fact remains that incredibly nonsensical things like this should be watched. And made public.

Traditionally the site wide messaging has been restricted to either technical issues or fundraising messages. Not sure about starting to use it for issues that are important to only a sub-section of the site. That is what the other groups are technically for. Perhaps we should think of a way to make it more obvious to users about how the intercom groups work. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:16, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

The only group that can presently be assumed to do anything at all is "Site wide (urgent)", unless we specifically set the other settings to "on" for anyone who's never touched them. Assuming we can tell who's never touched them - David Gerard (talk) 21:21, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
didnt even know such settings existed til today--il'Dictator Mikal 21:23, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
So we need to do a better job marketing it and disseminating information about it. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:29, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, despite being here since 2007 I can't post to urgent; I can't remember what was decided about that, but it isn't everyone. (There were too many at first...) Actually, leaving it in Recent Changes would have accomplished the same thing. The only reason I caught on was the "resolved" thing that came up. I don't always look at the Saloon Bar, honestly, as it tends to be irrelevant to me. Anyway, I might take a wikibreak for awhile, but thanks for doing this. steriletalk 21:33, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
At the moment it's reserved for tech and mod group members only. Perhaps we should rethink the whole intercom structure. I am not wedded to the current design. Perhaps this is a conversation the site can have once some of these other issues are resolved. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:43, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
There's chalkboard and forums too, at the top, if anyone looks at those. And I don't suppose they do. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 22:22, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

"Why Do They Hate Us?" Women in Islam[edit]

A recent essay in Foreign Policy, on the endemic oppression of women in the Muslim world, has got me thinking about the matter again. I've written on the subject before, and how uncomfortable I am that two of my ideological impulses come into sharp conflict here. I believe in equality for women, yet I also believe in religious tolerance. There's several fuzzy lines here: I'd roll my eyes and consider it eccentric and stupid, if women were required to wear veils in public in a foreign country, but while it is somewhat misogynist it's something I think I'd have to tolerate in the face of their right to self-determine. But there's a line where I will start outright condemning them and become outraged at their barbarism: FGM, for example. But of course, it's very hard to say, "You can only oppress women a little!"

It's a problem.--ADtalkModerator 01:37, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't know that I've ever had an issue with this, cause you draw the line, here: consenting adults. If an adult woman wants to cut her girly parts, i'm fine with it. Whether it's for religion or kink. But a child has no say; no understanding of the religion they are in; no way to change his or her fate. They are being abused at the hands of adults. Contractual marriages, sacred markings, body modification - it's all wrong, regardless of the motivation, if the person having it done cannot give an informed consent.--Green mowse.pngGodot 03:13, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I also have a bit of a conflict here, but it's not the same as yours. I'm perfectly okay with doing away with barbaric practices that restrict the rights of others, irregardless of whether or not they are cultural or religious institutions. The problem I run into with this in the Muslim world is that these types of arguments are the very same used to gain favor in the west for support of aggressive wars. Wars which only drive other similar nations further into fundamentalism and overall repression. And when they're not being used for war specifically, they're used to justify latent racism and even just general animosity toward the Arab world as a whole (Muslim or not).
So it's for those reasons that I'm not as vocal about veils and hijabs as I am about contraceptive rights and abortion. Q0 (talk) 03:23, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
What right do you think you should have, to tell a GROWN woman that she is not smart enough, intelligent enough, or aware enough to make these choices for herself. Especially in secular states? I generally find it offensive when I see laws about what women should wear, regarding their religion - cause once again it's about controlling what a woman thinks or does.--Green mowse.pngGodot 03:27, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
It's not about banning the clothing itself, it's about banning its forced wearing. Some might overreact and ban, say, hijabs as a symbol of oppression, but I definitely wouldn't. Sorry you got that impression. Q0 (talk) 05:05, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
WfG, this is a genuine dilemma. It's not as black and white as restricting women's choices. While the laws in France, for example, are heavy-handed and counter-productive, there is a real problem with women being forced to wear or not to wear certain clothing by their patriarchal cultures and religions. What, if anything, should the state do about it? Ajkgordon (talk) 20:35, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Why should it be the state's responsibility to interfere with cultural norms? It's not like own cultures are completely free of sexist attitudes or traditions. Achieving gender equality, like all forms of social progression, is a gradual process; Islamic cultures are just (for the most part) a few steps behind western ones, but they are gradually changing. That change can only really come about by positive influences (from within & outside those cultures), not by state interference, which is only justified when there's a genuine human rights or civil rights issue. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:56, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Weasel. High heals, not wearing pants in a Court room if you are a woman, and just 100 years ago, not being able to wear anything that didn't go to your wrist and cover down to your ankels in public. Women can't go shirt less, but men can. These are all just cultural norms. I know 10 or 20 muslim women from my area who are all in healthy relationships, work at great jobs, including 2 who are at the University as professors. They choose the hajib. And one even chooses to wear a full covering "that time of hte month". To say "we know better than you, and this clothing is problematic" is to say women are not strong enough to know their choice. It is a fallacy that in the US, the UK, France or Germany a large number of women are forced to wear particular clothing. I see it sold that way, but that's really not a norm or a standard. But if you are concerned, then you make more accessible violence against women centers, you get to girls in teh highschools and let them know where safety is; you fine women (and men) in mosques to act as community assistance, to get women out of bad situations. It's the same as any violence against women. The women has to ask for help, though. And in this case, you don't make any law preventing an adults free expression for the sake of the few victims who really need your help. You find other ways to help them. (godot) (talk) 21:08, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Didn't we cover this already? It can be appropriate to forbid something even if it might be OK, when the risk from permitting it when it isn't OK significantly exceeds the benefit to those who get permission. Whatever you might desperately want to think Godot the UK for example does have a major problem with forced marriage and associated spousal abuse in some communities, full coverings are one of several "cultural norms" that help cover up the abuse. There are other things being done to improve this situation (for example, insisting on hiring third party contractors to translate fixes all the cases where the woman is saying "He did beat me, but I deserve it because I burned the food" but the translation provided by a "friend" is "No, she was never beaten, she doesn't understand why the police are here") but I can totally see why some authorities would consider forbidding covering as another measure.
It's all very well to say you can reach these women in high school. Most never attended high school, they were chosen for this life typically before they were old enough for primary school, in a country where even if women theoretically are equals the practice on the ground does not reflect that. Their parents contracted them for marriage, a guy they've never seen before shows up one day, there's a big ceremony, mum and dad weep and then they're on a plane far from anybody or anything they've ever known and the only people who speak their language are hostile. There is no reason why their limited education would have covered "laws against forced marriage and spousal abuse in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" and so if the husband tells them they'll be beaten even worse if they run away, why shouldn't they believe that? (talk) 07:03, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

"Religious tolerance"?[edit]

I'm going to flat out say this: religions can be wrong. Of course, all religions are fundamentally incorrect, but religious tolerance should never be used as an excuse for oppression. Religion has historically been intertwined with bigotry and discrimination. Christianity was used by slaveholders to justify their cruelty. The Hindu caste system has created one of the most ugly social hierarchies in the world. Mr. Anon (talk) 21:27, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

Sure. The question is just: where do we draw the line?--ADtalkModerator 00:40, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Simple: the government should not enforce religious rules. I don't care if Muslim women want to oppress themselves by wearing veils or if Hindu men only want to marry women of the same caste. What I do care is when the government enforces these rules, forcing people outside of the religion to conform to them. In that sense, I disagree with France's banning of religious symbols. Of course, in certain cases, religious rules may interfere with secular laws, in which case the law must preside. For example, Sikhism makes it mandatory for men to carry knives with them all the time. If this presents a danger on an airplane, then the state has no reason to make an exception. Mr. Anon (talk) 00:57, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
The veil in Islam is not necessarily oppressive -- that's just a Western bias. Women can walk to the market without cat calls & oogling, or sneak off to a motel for an extra marital affair. Some women are very comfortable with the veil. nobsCorporations are people, too. 10:34, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
If you have to cover up because you're getting sexually harassed by men, then that's oppressive. If by Western bias you mean an acceptance of the idea of sexual equality, then fine, it's Western bias. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:35, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
If it's forced, it's oppression. If it makes a woman feel feminine, who outside that culture should criticize? nobsCorporations are people, too. 11:44, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Obligatory Scarlet A.pngbomination 11:49, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
The veil did exist before Islam existed. It is not per se a Muslim thing, but an Arabic thing. I don't know if it was forced upon women before Islam existed, but if you think how freaking fucking hot it is down there, I don't think there were a lot of women who didn't wear it (works like a hat). That the veil is forced upon women stems from the belief that the person who causes sinful thought in another person is also guilty of a sin. That's bullshit of course, but one shouldn't go judge something one doesn't understand. And this time, Rob is right, there are lots of women that weir the veil or burqua out of their own free will. (talk) 09:18, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
The Kirpan is worn only by the "orthodox" Sikhs, and the commandment to carry it as an article of faith is usually met with some practical flexibility - though as always it depends how orthodox they are. Scarlet A.pngbomination 10:52, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't give a shit whether some women want to cover themselves in veils (I admit my "oppressive" comment may have been too hasty - most cultures oppress women in some way), but I do care when the law forces them to. Moreover, if wearing a veil causes safety issues in some places, then the law, based on a secular reason, should take precedence. As an extreme example, imagine a religion told you that you needed to kill 5 people in order to get to heaven. Should that behavior be permitted under "religious tolerance"? Mr. Anon (talk) 01:12, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

It's like snake handling. Once the practice was outlawed in several states, some people who never practiced it became involved to protest religious intolerance on First Amendment grounds. In West Virginia where it's never been illegal, it's never been more than a few oddball sects and doesn't appear to be a problem. nobsCorporations are people, too. 02:52, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Free speech is not absolute. If I say "FIRE!" in a crowded movie theater, and 5 people die as a result of the mob trampling them, that is not excusable under the 1st Amendment. There are times when public safety must be held higher than free speech/religion/expression. Mr. Anon (talk) 03:30, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
(1) In context, Justice Holmes's phrase was "falsely shouting fire in a theater."
(2) That particular interpretation of the First Amendment was rejected as overbroad in 1969.
(3) Being from Minnesota, where in wintertime most people wear more facial covering than is provided by most Islamic veils, the comparison between a veil and mob trampling strikes me as tenuous at best. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:41, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
  1. Yes, I meant in that context.
  2. Do you have a particular case example? I'm pretty sure that today doing something like that is still considered illegal.
  3. You miss my point. I was talking in circumstances where "freedom of religion" conflicts with important secular-based laws. A classic example is photo-IDs for women with veils. Photo-IDs are important for a means of identification, and veils may interfere with state or federal laws relating to the matter. Mr. Anon (talk) 03:49, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I meant that the quote was from the case that established the "clear and present danger" standard, which was later overturned by the "imminent lawless action" standard, which, as I understand it, would require that the false shout of "fire" have been made for the specific purpose of causing a riot. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:56, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Meh, probably a bad example. My main points stand. Mr. Anon (talk) 04:02, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Snake handling, religious veils on a driver license photo, or peyote use, fall under the establishment clause, or "prohibiting the free exercise thereof". nobsCorporations are people, too. 04:09, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Uh, Rob, that is the Free Exercise Clause, not the Establishment Clause. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:18, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
So what about the government saying that women can't wear veils. Is that in the same category of oppression as saying that they must wear them?--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 05:34, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
The word "oppression" is probably not the right word. But: Although it is a breach of the Western concept of freedom of religion to ban the veil by law, such bans are part and parcel of the Turkish model of secularism, which is the only one made specifically to handle Islam. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:43, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Banning veils altogether would almost always be an unnecessary restriction of religion. All I am referring to here is women being required to remove veils for certain events, such as obtaining a photo ID, or Sikhs needing to part with their knives in the specific event of boarding a plane. Mr. Anon (talk) 05:48, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Practical necessity does not interfere with the free exercise thereof. Or a Sikh kid carrying a knife to a public school. If the family feels strongly about it, they can go to a Sikh parochial school. As far as the veil on a driver license photo (unlike the Obamacare mandate) if they don't like it, they have other choices. nobsCorporations are people, too. 06:22, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we are talking about the same thing. I am saying religious practices can be limited by the government in specific circumstances, when there is a reasonable secular purpose. Sikhs can carry their knives with them in most cases, but if it presents a safety problem on an airplane or something, then public safety takes precedence. Mr. Anon (talk) 00:26, 2 May 2012 (UTC)


Interesting report that Chiropractic can kill you. (Ok, "may".)--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 19:24, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

I suppose if it were a real medical treatment, you'd call that a complication. I'll stick with the homeopathy. Water's good for you. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:57, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
And it can't do you any harm, right? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 00:32, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
The chances are probably rather slim (unless you've got someone who's incompetent even by quack standards), but anything involving spinal manipulation can kill or injure you. The most common "side-effect" of chiropractic is lightness of the wallet. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:57, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
The main risk is when they try that shit on babies. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 23:03, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Jesus is mentioned specifcially in the Constution[edit]

I'm sure this is not at all new to most of you, but it's actually the first time I've heard the claim that "Clearly, the constitution is religious, since it is dated 'the year of our lord, 1787". This guy now has me convinced. I need to get to a church or I'll loose my status as an american citizen!Green mowse.pngGodot 20:09, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

"In the year of our lord" is a translation of "anno domini" (AD), which was and is the dating convention of the time. There was no well-known alternative. Even though it technically originated in Christianity, it's the date, for god's dake. The framers also misspelled Pennsylvania and used the wrong "its", but that doesn't mean they were prescribing grammatical rules for the nation. Seme Blue 20:32, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Seriously? (the its and the Penn) that's a riot, thanks! I think we all should start an "original intention" document so we spell Penn the "correct" way.Green mowse.pngGodot 21:10, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Godot you just need to READ BETWEEN THE LINES!.its all obviously there, but only if you accept christ in your heart and mind will the truth be self evident... --il'Dictator Mikal 21:42, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Besides, Washington's letter to his nephew was heartfelt. Vulpius (talk) 22:37, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

If one understands the historical context of the time, this as actually just a convention. Essentially, it's semantics. It's kinda like saying anyone who uses the Western system of year count is "acknowledging Christianity". The founders were at the very least secular; Madison and Washington were deists, for example. The constiution in other parts clearly indicates a separation of church and state, at least in the federal government (until the 14th Amendment states could be religious). Take, for example, the "no religious test" clause. Mr. Anon (talk) 00:58, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Introduction to philosophy[edit]

Can any one suggest a decent book(s) that provide an introduction to philosophy? AMassiveGay (talk) 21:39, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

I've never read it, but I've heard people going on about Sophie's World. Then again, I've heard a few people say it was terrible. There are probably quite a few free on-line books (Google comes up with this on the first page). The generic intro-type texts aren't all that exciting, though -- to start off, I'd probably narrow it down to one branch (e.g., ethics, epistemology, etc.) or one time-period and focus on that. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:52, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Although Sophie's World was written for young adults this not so young adult - and his wife - read it aged 50+ and loved it. As for the accuracy of the philosophy, I'm not competent to judge but as a very readable book that makes you think I can strongly recommend it. Bad Faith (talk) 22:00, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Thing is, I don't think you can just have an "intro" to philosophy. At least not in the same way I could write an intro to chemistry, or even an "intro to science" in general. It's a very strange topic in that respect that ranges from talking about the finer points of what counts as morals and what counts as ethics, to how we learn, all the way to a ton of bullshitting and making up words that all end in "-ism". There is the ...And Philosophy series that looks interesting, providing you enjoy or know about the particular piece of pop-culture that comes before the "and". Scarlet A.pnggnostic 22:59, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Bertrand Russell is the name you want. His 1945 History of Western Philosophy approaches the subject chronologically and intelligently, and was one of the reasons they gave him the Nobel for Literature. It misses out on recent developments, of course, particularly with my favorite philosophers of late (Peter Singer and John Rawls) but it is the best grounding you can get.--ADtalkModerator 00:26, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
My Intro to Philosophy: Problems course I took when I was a freshman was mostly a debate course. The professor would provide the arguments for and against certain philosophical ideas (absolute vs relative morality, the existence of a God, historical arguments only) that have been debated in history and would ask us to discuss them. She'd basically make our lives heck by trying to shoot down every question we had or solution we proposed, though many things could be defeated with the knowledge and arguments we have today. It's where I learned a lot about rhetoric (a statement is true vs a statement is valid) and a lot of traditional thought-experiments like brains-in-jars, or the watchmaker problem, things that people STILL try and use as arguments today. Philosophy is a very... argue-y subject, and I think that learning it from a book would really miss out on the experience. Take a community college course in it, maybe?±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 00:39, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Hegel - History of Philosophy; you're not ready for wp:Malcolm Muggeridge. nobsCorporations are people, too. 01:01, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Rob, is there ever a time you DON'T try and red-bait? Is there anything else in your life other than a dull, lonely hatred of communists that certainly don't exist as the same threat plaguing your sad, diseased mind? Do you just go up to people in the supermarket or somewhere and go "Oh those darn reds that haven't really been important since the Cold War! I hate them with the burning passion of a thousand majestically waving flags, saluting veterans and crying bald eagles of truth, justice and the American way?"±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgarrulous en guerre 01:11, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Hey, Hegel's got everything you need under one roof -- one stop shopping. And it's at marxists.org. That's a lot to digest. Then, when you're about 35 and all grown up, you can advance to Muggeridge who was a repentant communist. Thus you get the best of all worlds, avoiding the traps of Marx-Lenin-Stalin, and following a path from Aristotle to Mother Theresa. nobsCorporations are people, too. 01:24, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Except that such a course of study would not include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, Aquinas, More, Descartes... really, it wouldn't be much of an intro to philosophy at all. So your comment seems to be mostly trying to needle other folks into a disagreement by being deliberately inflammatory, which is disagreeable but expected.--ADtalkModerator 02:10, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Hegel is part bullshit though, so why recommend him to anybody? --il'Dictator Mikal 02:12, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Karl Marx thought that Hegel had his head where the sun don't shine; that should say something, I think, about the quality of the man's philosophy. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:15, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Look at wp:Dialectic#Marxist_dialectics: "My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. "...exemplified by the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. In the USSR, under Joseph Stalin... We could throw Hitler & Mao in there as well. nobsCorporations are people, too. 03:06, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
User:Mikalos209/Nice--il'Dictator Mikal 03:43, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm going to sound crazy for saying this, and maybe it's just the amount of beer I've consumed tonight, but if you're looking at a link to philosophy and not individual philosophers, I'd recommend The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus. But then again, I'd recommend that for just about any situation. Omar (gibber) 02:14, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

This might be helpful. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 02:30, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't know how muchyou allready know, but Wikipedia articles are a good starting point if you don't really know much of anything at the start. The problem with going for the classic book is that one never gets an unbiased view of anything, therefor if Wikpedia isn't your style (too boring) go with several books on each topic and pick the authors so they have different views. One thing that helps enormously is discussing things in a group, so if you have some kind of college in your area and you really really are willing to invest 10 hours a week, try that. If you're at the level were you really want to read the original stuff a big help is if you summarize a chapter or book in an essay and try to find criticism of it by yourself and others. Don't start with Plato, most people I know just want to punch him in the face after reading him. -- (talk) 12:28, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
The trouble is that Wikipedia articles on philosophy are mostly shitty. Only obscurantists appear interested in working on them. Mind you, the SEP isn't much better for comprehensibility - David Gerard (talk) 14:31, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Or it might just be possible that summarizing a 1000 page work into 5 paragraphs is just so hard that not every detail can get mentioned. But, of course people are evil. -- (talk) 15:19, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I recommend Will Durant's "Story of Philosophy". A detailed but very clearly written history of philosophy is the 7-volume one (15 in paperback) by Frederick Coppleston (he's a Catholic priest but not horribly biased- some other books of his are bad, but largely because they came under church censorship- Bertrand Russell is better at explaining the British rationalists than Coppleston, but it's the other way around with Christian philosophers like Aquinas).--WickerGuy (talk) 18:40, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, this is a great help. I have plumped for Russell's 'History of Western Philosophy' and ordered on Amazon. If Bertrand Russell is good enough for Bagpuss, Hes good enough for me. It should arrive on my birthday. I've also ordered a beginners guide to existentialism, as I think that is the area I am interested in. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:45, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

This may sound simplistic but I found the 50 ideas series give a good taste of the subject without getting too deep. Also, you can often pick them up quite cheaply at The Works discount bookstore. Purists might knock them but if you got a few of them, you would have a reasonable grasp of quite a range subjects. My bookshelf has Philosophy, Physics, Maths, the Universe and Big Ideas. Enough to keep me up to date here without having to go back to uni. ;) Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 19:11, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Just added this expansion to one section of Engineers and woo[edit]

THought I'd throw this open to the Saloon bar. The 2nd and 4th paragraph of the expanded version of this section are my new stuff.

How engineers think

Engineers are not scientists nor are they mathematicians.[2] They are engineers. Every other field of knowledge is interesting insofar as it is useful raw material for engineering. Engineers care about results in the real world, and get these results; other people are observably utterly delusional about technology and probably shouldn't be let near scissors.[3] This breeds a certain arrogance.

In Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novel A Study in Scarlet[4], Holmes makes a distinction between analytic reasoning and synthetic reasoning, claiming that the former is rarer but essential for a detective. The synthetic reasoner can reason from cause to effect, reasoning that if this condition occurs, that result will follow, but the analytic reasoner must reason from results to underlying causes. It has been argued that synthetic reasoning is essential to engineering professions. Caroline Whitbeck argues that "engineering design stands out among college subjects in giving sustained attention to the synthetic reasoning necessary to construct good responses to practical problems. Engineering appreciates the importance of practical as well as theoretical problems, of engineering designs as well as engineering theory, and of synthetic as well as analytic reasoning. Devising a good response requires synthetic reasoning."[5] However, deducing that evolution from the present state of nature is a clear case of what Holmes calls analytic thinking, which he calls "reasoning backward" from effect to cause, the opposite of what engineers spend the majority of their time doing.

The vast majority of engineers are perfectly reasonable geeks who are fans of science and mathematics, even though those fields are not at all what they do. But respecting science is not in any way a requirement of the job. Engineers can get away with all manner of gibbering delusion as long as the stuff they design still works.

In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the every-day affairs of life it is more useful to reason forwards, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically....Most people, if you describe a train of events to them, will tell you what the result would be. They can put those events together in their minds, and argue from them that something will come to pass. There are few people, however, who, if you told them a result, would be able to evolve from their own inner consciousness what the steps were which led up to that result. This power is what I mean when I talk of reasoning backwards, or analytically. —Sherlock Holmes, fictional character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet Part 2, Chapter 7
Strikes me as too long for what explanatory power it provides - David Gerard (talk) 22:03, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I disagree with the assessment; in my view, engineers' thinking usually follows the analytic pattern: start with the effect (the task that a machine needs to do) and end with the cause (a machine that will do the task). Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX
Too long & rambling, with too many gross generalisations. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:12, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I have just posted what I hope is a much-improved version with better sourcing. Diff is here [1]--WickerGuy (talk) 18:20, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Replies off-topic begin here.--WickerGuy (talk) 18:20, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Welcome to the Saloon Bar. This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:27, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
For all the jokes about engineers all being antisocial/analytical people living on the moon, I don't really buy it. I've witnessed fierce bro-culture that would rival any frat house from engineers and programmers (brogrammers?) and a very tight-knit inner culture that actually has an impact on how many women go into engineering and programming (hint: not as many as if this culture was more open) ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 23:39, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Anyone who would be put off going into those fields because of a "tight-knit inner culture" (what does that even mean?) does not belong in them anyway.
Fun fact: The representation of women in programming took a nose-dive when the market flattened out and most programming started to be done by small software start-ups rather than large "patriarchal" institutions such as the U.S. military. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:44, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
... are you seriously suggesting that not being intimidated by a culture that regards you with horribly frat boy sexism is some sort of criteria to be an engineer or a programmer?! Imagine if you were a woman and walked into an office to not only be actively barred from the workplace culture as a foreign thing that doesn't belong? And a foreign thing that 'should shut up and get them a sandwich' at that? Boy, that was the least pleasant internship I ever was in. And don't say 'oh, that's only one case,' because it's pretty widespread in many areas. A friend of mine was even advised against going into the field by a backwards-but-ill-informed counselor even though she's amazing simply because there's a very Boys Only Club attitude simmering in the profession and she'd be denied things like promotions and even just being hired in the first place. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRcritical thinking is the key to success! 03:04, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, I am very sorry about your poor internship experience, but as a "STEM" person I am well aware that professional advancement in those fields has more to do with technical ability than participation in the "workplace culture." I would even go far as to say that many of the best scientists and engineers are on the periphery of the "workplace culture" on account of being focused on their work. Also, although I suppose my world of research (academic, military, and industrial, at different times) is somewhat different from that of the average engineer or programmer, I have worked with plenty of women who were very much accepted into the "workplace culture." I was, in fact, sometimes the one getting their sandwiches. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:33, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
You're just fucking wrong and generalising from a claimed personally ideal case. Here, have a clue. (And here's some templates for the response you're already thinking up.) - David Gerard (talk) 07:57, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────That's hilarious. My wife dropped out of her engineering program at a major school because of rampant sexism, because she was constantly told that women "weren't smart enough" for STEM careers. There's an overwhelming culture of sexism in engineering and technology. Omar (gibber) 13:42, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

It turns out that young men in groups are as stupid and obnoxious as the stupidest and most obnoxious member of the group. Who'da thunk, eh? - David Gerard (talk) 14:46, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
As someone who just went through engineering school a few years ago, I can put my 2c in and say yes, the 'bro' culture is very heavy in engineering, particularly in civil and mechanical engineering. However, now that I'm in a good job, I don't see any sexism at all here. I'm not sure if my experiences are typical or if my school or job are anomalies. Cow...Hammertime! 15:48, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Wait, weren't we talking about programming rather than civil engineering a few indents back? Whence the change? I can't agree that there was a "bro culture" for Computer Science at my university. For a start we had a head of department who'd have torn people a new one if it was allowed to happen (She had as many failings as anyone, but you certainly couldn't say she wasn't doing enough to promote women in computer science). Of the women on my course, as far as I know, none of them at all went into programming. Some have careers in allied areas, e.g. they herd cats (that is, they manage programmers), but none of them write software for a living. It wouldn't surprise me at all if it turns out that in terms of aptitude + enthusiasm you just naturally get less women in some of these careers. Programming is a weird thing to do for a living, it's not for everyone. But that's less not none. I'd be immediately concerned if a large programming team has no women at all just as I would if I looked across a fifty person call centre floor and saw not a single guy. My current programming team consists of one woman and three men (including me), if we hired eight more people and none of them were women I'd start to wonder if there was a problem. (talk) 17:26, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Where do we stand as using WP as a source? On inline-linking to WP articles?[edit]

Two seperate questions that go great together. Is WP a decent reference for a claim? How do we feel about WP links in articles? Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 13:37, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

1. No 2. Don't care for them. ТyComplaints 13:43, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I use it for both a whole lot - David Gerard (talk) 14:47, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Linking to Wikipedia is useful as a way to provide a quick summary/more information on something instead of creating an off-mission article.
It shouldn't be used instead of proper references for a claim. If there is a claim in a Wikipedia article that you wish to reference here, link to the reference used in Wikipedia, not to the Wikipedia article.--ZooGuard (talk) 15:16, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
It's a great place to find good refs to nick - David Gerard (talk) 15:52, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I see it as a good general reference, but it should be avoided in most circumstances. Only when there's an enormous mass of information or context (example: we don't list all the chakras because every sect of Hinduism and some Buddhism seems to have at least thirty minor ones, sometimes hundreds) should WP be linked as a 'if you are really interested and you'd like to learn more, here's a place to maybe start...' But when sourcing statements WP is not a measure of truth. Find a paper or book, or if it's science, the corresponding study or other source.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgarrulous en guerre 15:54, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes it's the right thing. It's the right thing in 101 evidences - that includes links to actual science, but it also includes Wikipedia links to give prospective fundie readers a view of what the mainstream world actually thinks - David Gerard (talk) 16:38, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Note that just "nicking references" is a bad practice that can cause you to come unstuck. Do it here, you'll look a little foolish. Do it in a class assignment and you may have to retake the class. Do it in your PhD thesis or a major research paper and you may end up destroying your reputation (if you have one) or ensuring you can't get a job. The reason is that without reading the source material in some depth you can't know whether it really supports the claim you're referencing. Ideally you'd write references by thinking back to an authoritative work with relevant material which you've read in full and finding the money quote. Often you can't do that, but you should try to at least "fake it" by reading around the material you're citing. Rule of thumb: If there was a picture of Jesus riding a dinosaur on the page just prior to the material you're citing, would you know about that? If not, you probably shouldn't use that cite anywhere you'd wish not to be called a fool. (talk) 17:00, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Can I make a comment as a reader, not editor? When we make inline links to WP, it is not generally obvious we are leaving the site to go to WP, and i have been caught many times thinking "wow, we wrote this?" If we link to off site references, can we make a way to more clearly note that you are about to leave the RW. While I realize there is a big ol' brain on our logo, and a something else on theirs, if you are really "into" what you are reading, you may just start reading, and not realize where you are till you are ready to go to Recent Changes or something. Green mowse.pngGodot 17:06, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I've been thinking the same thing for a while. If we could put a tiny WP logo next to WP links, I think it would be a nicer warning than what we currently have, which is "slightly brighter blue". Cow...Hammertime! 17:26, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I made Template:wpl some time ago, which does something like that. There's also Template:see-wp for the External links section.--ZooGuard (talk) 17:35, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Can I be really fussy and ask for the WP part of the Template:wpl template to be made a bit larger. Apart from that it's great and I'll use it from now on. Bad Faith (talk) 17:50, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh, i love the WPL. whoever wrote it, thanks! I'll use it from now on. It's obvious, easy to use, and very useful.Green mowse.pngGodot 19:04, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
We should use the WPA or WPL templates or wording that makes it clear we're linking to WP. It pisses me off when WP links are hidden in article text where they look like an internal link, especially as WP's layout & colour scheme are so similar to ours, so the reader may not immediately realise they've left RW when following a link. As for using WP as a source, it's best as something to refer the reader to for explanations of a subject that we wouldn't cover in depth, whereas if you want to cite something as a fact, it's better to refer to a relevant primary/secondary source (e.g. a newspaper article about a person or event) than just to a WP article. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:34, 2 May 2012 (UTC)


Anyone wanna watch CERN work in real time? Can anyone with Physics knowledge tell me what is going on? Javasca₧ no hell below him 14:04, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

I'll let Data explain it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:46, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I've either watched too much Star Trek or have an unusually high attention span today, because that wasn't nearly a fraction as babbly as I'm sure it thinks it is... Scarlet A.pngbomination 19:00, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Google DNS[edit]

I've just switched to it and I thought Firefox was fast before. Blimey…--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 13:14, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

I've been using it for a while, but I just recently got creeped out that google now sees not only my searches, but basically all my browsing. Occasionaluse (talk) 13:40, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
The safest option is to have all domain names and IP addresses in mind, so you can skip the lookup entirely. Just remember to manually add the appropriate HTTP header in the case of virtual hosts. -- (talk) 14:17, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
It used to be that the Evil Empire (TM) was Micro$oft who were out to destroy mankind by monopolising the world of computers. Then along came brave Google who were nerds and geeks and Good Guys (TM) and who would "do no evil". Why am I reminded of the last chapter of Animal Farm? Bad Faith (talk) 14:27, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Strange analogy. Google haven't been any sort of underdog for well over a decade. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:31, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
This does actually provide some solace: http://xkcd.com/792/ Occasionaluse (talk) 14:33, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
While "they see everything I do" is a legitimate concern, we should all before going into a hysteric fit look at what we actually do. If we search for the occacional book, check news sites and look up when our doctor's practice is open (only to then four hours later do some research on cough medicine), we should really ask ourselves what they could even do with that. Send the cough police? If you're not researching how to make bombs and the most populous places in the city, pretty much nothing we give them is of any use — other than for sorting out ads none of us look at anyway. -- (talk) 15:14, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I imagine some google guy sitting in cubicle saying to himself "man, that guy likes his porn weird". Occasionaluse (talk) 15:58, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Like the infosquito. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:33, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

" I just recently got creeped out that google now sees not only my searches, but basically all my browsing." Apparently, Chromium in Linux does not do this. Theory of Practice "I never set out to hit anybody. It's just that a lot of people got hit." -- Andy Roberts 14:44, 1 May 2012 (UTC) <---never mind, Google DNS is not what I was thinking about.

I've been using OpenDNS for a few years now. Very good and has some nice filtering tools. Ajkgordon (talk) 16:27, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Man, you have some weird tastes in porn. -- (talk) 18:40, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I didn't mean to click on donkey porn. I thought it said... er... monkey... er....... shit. Ajkgordon (talk) 20:42, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't recommend OpenDNS. Although they've been careful never to actually admit to it, it's pretty clear that they're opposed to DNSSEC and that's not good news. DNSSEC uses the same mathematical trick (public key cryptography) to protect DNS answers as is used to protect secure web pages, but instead of requiring expensive certificates granted by dozens of dubious for-profit corporations and foreign government agencies it relies on the same hierarchy that you see right there in DNS names. So the only people who could claim to be rationalwiki.org (if it was protected by DNSSEC) would be the bearded Unix people who run the root, the ORG registry, and the authorised contact for rationalwiki.org. As well as protecting everyone from outright criminality this means no more injecting advertisements into "not found" errors, which is one of the ways OpenDNS (and some ISPs) made their money in the past. The sooner this capability sees wider use, the safer the Internet is for everybody. (talk) 23:08, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know, they're not opposed to DNSSEC per se, only that they are frustrated with how long it's taken to implement and the overheads associated with it. Haven't they signed up to something else - CurveDNS or something? As far as OpenDNS "not found pages" are concerned, they're pretty unobtrusive search suggestions from Yahoo (I think) and no ads. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:41, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
DNSCurve and DNSSEC do different things. DNSSEC verifies that the DNS answers you get are authentic. DNSCurve just ensures that you're really talking to your DNS server and not someone else but it has no way to know if the answers that DNS server provided are authentic. This matters to OpenDNS because their business makes its money by returning inauthentic answers. They return false "that doesn't exist" or "go here instead" answers to people whose business or government don't want them looking at some sites, for example. And for you they return some synthetic answer instead of "that doesn't exist" when you typo the name. DNSSEC is the kiss of death for that business, and they know it, but they'd rather their users don't think about that too hard. (talk) 17:59, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
OK. It seems your objections are technical ones, which I can appreciate. Ajkgordon (talk) 12:21, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Stupid question on alphabetizing[edit]

In *english*, when you are alphabetizing something with foreign accents, do you just alphabetize as if they were the letter without the accent, or do you put it at the end of the list as it's own letter? I was doing Raëlons (or whatever), and wondered if a word like Raet (i know, not a word) would go before or after the alien religion?--Green mowse.pngGodot 16:17, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Depends on the exact manual of style used, but usually "ignore everything like accents, spaces and punctuation" is the norm. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 16:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
It's usual to ignore accents as most readers won't be used to them. Sophiebecause liberals 16:23, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Generally, accents are ignored. See here (a little outdated) or here. Omar (gibber) 16:24, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Without looking anything up, I'm tempted to agree with above. However, some automated alphabetizations I've encountered seem to put all such characters before A or after Z, which is stupid. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 16:42, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
on that note, someone needs to explain to me why Windows puts the caps first, then all the way down the list, the small letters. I'm looking for a file, never knowing if i capped it or not, and can never find it. :-) --Green mowse.pngGodot 16:44, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Because when it's sorting, it's comparing numeric values - not the position of the letter in the alphabet, but the number of the character in the character encoding table (e.g. wp:ASCII), and most tables list the capitals before the small letters. The more complex sorting engines are aware of the character order, but this makes them slower and/or is harder to implement, especially when multiple languages are involved.--ZooGuard (talk) 17:16, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
As pooh says... "oh bother".--Green mowse.pngGodot 17:30, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
If you want to alphabetize it in *english*, that would mean limiting it the the english character set. In java you'd use a Collator with the strength set to PRIMARY. Occasionaluse (talk) 18:39, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

co-op VPS hosting, room for a few more![edit]

So I have been doing some side work helping friends/family with setting up/improving some web projects. Shared cheap hosting sucks! So I have decided to try out a "co-op" VPS thing. Basically setup a VPS and do an invite only invitation to host websites/projects on it. The idea is to have the flexibility and resources of a VPS for significantly less of the cost. Since its only just enough projects to cover expenses you get the resources you need as well as the software or infrastructure that might not be available in equivalent cost hosting.

That said I have room for 2 more projects, this is just an offer if you have something you think could serve well drop me an e-mail for details. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:07, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Dennett article[edit]

I was thinking of adding more commentary and criticism to the Dennett article so it's not just beard jokes and the preacher thing. But he's no crank, so I feel like I'm just going to be replicating the Wikipedia article. Any ideas? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:30, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

More Rhetoric Error visualizations![edit]

Wow, I got linked to two sites within a few weeks. Here's another one.. Also, it has an application of these fallacies and rhetorical errors we all know and love to Cardinal O'Brian's anti-same-sex-marriage speech.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgoing galt: the literal crazy train 16:26, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, great, but why the hell is putlocker down?! I wasn't even going to watch porn tonight, but what else is there?! -- (talk) 20:20, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Huh? Тycommunications wire 23:09, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
The O'Brien example mis-uses ad hominem in section 21. He states that the government is arrogant because of whatever reason, this is merely expressing a colourful opinion. Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:54, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Come to think of it, it also misuses confirmation bias in section 20, as presenting an example that supports your assertion is not confirmation bias. Illustrating a point like this is part of rhetoric. Indeed, if one was obliged to provide an example and match it perfectly with a counter example it would be some manifestation of the balance fallacy. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:56, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
9 is more "JAQing off" than slippery slope, but I see where it's coming from at least. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:03, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
How the fuck is "appeal to probability" a fallacy? It's only fallacious if you assume something MUST be the case based on high probability, not if you use probability to arrive at the best possible explanation. --√2 (talk) 08:41, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
And, of course, you've just successfully predicted the present, 'cos that's what appeal to probabilityWikipedia's W.svg in fact is: assumption that "possible" means "likely" or "inevitable" - David Gerard (talk) 09:01, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
It's a terrible name, since it is way more specific than the title implies. Neither of the references actually support that name for the fallacy, and are both explicitly about the Van Gogh fallacy, which is treated as a special instance of correlation=causation in the second text. --√2 (talk) 09:35, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Only in the United States.....[edit]

Tanned mom accused of taking her 5 year old kid into the tanning salon with her. I tell ya, that lady just looks like a walking case of skin cancer. The Punk Symphony of Noise Your mental puke relief 04:53, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

What the shit. She looks like she religiously applies half a tin of boot polish to her face every morning. How can she possibly think that looks good? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:28, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I was thinking "I've seen suntanned people before... she can't possibly loo-WHAT-THE-FUCK-IS-THAT!!!!" Scarlet A.pnggnostic 12:51, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Question: why fake tan looks orange? I can probably look it up, but...--ZooGuard (talk) 17:17, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

That is one serious tan. What language was she speaking? Or had the UV managed her vocal cords?--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 20:42, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Back in my day we called tanning salons "cancer salons". Still want that to be an official synonym. --Raga Man (talk) 12:58, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


A new Chick tract. Apparently Death has a sense of humor and there will be World War III in a couple of years. Enjoy Th. Bernhard (talk) 14:05, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Good old Jack Chick. Always 15 years behind popular culture. I suppose we should probably be thankful his characters aren't still wearing bell bottoms. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
At least his story-writing is ahead of its time. "Construction workers yell random anti-religious things at each other, then WASSUP." ~ Kupochama[1][2] 16:46, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Together, I and a friend of mine sometimes go through and read these to work out some alternate universe where God is an evil deity that tosses people into fire if they refuse to be thought-slaves, and that the demons of Satan are actually the good guys saving dead souls by offering them asylum in Hell instead. The tracts are the in-party propaganda released by the people supporting the tyrannical God. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 16:52, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Your alternate universe is fitting quite nicely with the Wassup-tract. God more or less tells the poor construction fellow how much he loves him and how much he hates to throw him in the lake of fire. But alas the construction worker did not say that he accepts Christ in his heart, so I guess he deserves it. It's also quite funny that the angel climbs down to hell to tease the poor fellow. I am usually suspicious of the human converters. In the the other new tract I actually wanted to tell the boy to not talk to the strange man and to not eat his candy...Th. Bernhard (talk) 18:26, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Wassup? looks familiar. Like it's another of Chick's oh-so-racist "black" rewrites of one of his earlier "white" tracts. This one? http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0076/0076_01.asp Secret Squirrel (talk) 23:44, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
I can't imagine any black person finding this anything but insulting, who is he trying to reach here?--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 01:03, 4 May 2012 (UTC)--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 01:03, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I've read that the more detailed drawings are by Fred Carter, while the more "cartoony" stuff is by Chick himself. Chick, the Young Earth Creationist that he is, has even come out with a tract debunking climate change. (Note how he uses a "blur censor" on the Venus of Willendorf.) At least give him gredit for the "Young Frankenstein" reference, even if it is about 30 years behind the times.--Unidyne (talk) 01:58, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Back when I was a kid, actually reading the bible and rationalizing it (go figure), my initial thoughts were how Lucifer was actually the protagonist of the story. So I got a lot of laughs seeing the Good Guy Lucifer meme over at the blog WIGO. Q0 (talk) 08:44, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

The tyranny of online grocery shopping[edit]

I just impulse bought some chicken for my poor geriatric kitty, then spent about an hour trying to figure out what other stuff I could buy to justify the delivery cost. I even bought some pickled eggs, goat help me. I can't wait until we have robots we can send out to do these things. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:19, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

I get my groceries delivered maybe once a fortnight. I get so much it justifies spending a few bucks to get a couple of island boys to carry that shit up my path. AceModerator 21:37, 3 May 2012 (UTC).
Except that really won't help. In this hypothetical Consumer Robot Age, the grocers could just charge you a "Courier Fee" for sending out a robot and nullify such any advantage. Sure, you can argue free market and competition and all that, but local monopolies and collusion would probably ensure you get the fee everywhere. You will pay what the market says you will pay, little serf. --CoyoteSans (talk) 23:18, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
The robots would probably cost more to run than the delivery charge, I know driving there probably isn't much cheaper. Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:37, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

So got it from Cp but...[edit]

Somewhat curious if this is as insane bullshit serious as they make it sound or just insane bullshit, so could people whove got a better understanding explain?--il'Dictator Mikal 01:53, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Ask Rob. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 07:26, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

My first taste in prejudice[edit]

Was sitting at work discussing politics over a coffee this morning. I am slightly out of step with many of my collegues as they are very left leaning whereas I am more centrist. I said something about partial privatisation of state owned assets (a big deal here) that didn't go down very well and this guy, who I consider a friend, turned around and pointed directly at my face and said "Why should we listen to you? You're an atheist!"
I could feel the distaste in his comment. I was gobsmacked and said "What the fuck? At least i don't sit around listening to the wild ravings of an old man in a stupid hat who talks to invisible sky people". He got angry and said "I am a Jehovahs Witness not a Catholic". I asked him if he was one of the 144,000 but he just put his hand out and refused to listen to the "atheist". I was pretty horrified. Never experienced that in NZ before. AceModerator 02:14, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Welcome to the average secularists day in America. --il'Dictator Mikal 02:16, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Hahahahahahahahahahha hohahaha heeheehee ТyrannisAn iron, but caring, fist 02:18, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
So how does the lefty wing of JW fare in the US? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 07:23, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you quite understand the meaning of "prejudice". You see, you say at one point that you consider the man a friend, implying you know him fairly well. Prejudice has the prefix of pre. See, prejudice is a world that implies judging before knowing. He clearly knew you well enough to judge you. The word you're looking for is bigotry, at the very worst. Considering your reaction, it seems to me like you had it coming. If you're so willing to lash out at someone you consider a friend, I wouldn't be surprised if you had thrown around "jokes" in the past that offended the man. Furthermore, this isn't any experience unique to atheists. When was the last time a movie singled out your faith/lack thereof for criticism/satire? Because it'd take me about five minutes to compile a list of perhaps 10 movies that single out Christianity. The same can be said for almost any form of mass media. Black Metal specifically targets Christianity, but what genre specifically targets atheism? Web (talk) 07:39, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Hey thanks man. It was obviously my fault. AceModerator 07:41, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
You might consider reflecting on your behavior. If you act like the typical Richard Dawkins atheist in public, you're bound to offend someone. Web (talk) 07:44, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah you're right. From that short paragraph it is quite obvious I am a rabid anti-theist. AceModerator 07:52, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, its either that, or your 'friend' acted in a completely illogical and irrational way. People don't just lash out at others for no reason. He obviously knew that you were an atheist. It's quite possible that you made a joke about Christianity at one time or another and offended him. Considering your hostile reaction to my posts, it seems likely. You're acting overly defensive. Web (talk) 07:56, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Its OK, I have learned my lesson. AceModerator 07:58, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Joke all you want, but if you can't accept that everyone else isn't always to blame for the bad things that happen, bad things will continue to happen. Furthermore, reacting to advice in a hostile manner is fairly immature. Web (talk) 08:00, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
So you mean the cops knew Internal Affairs were setting them up this whole time? AceModerator
Stand back folks. The situation is under control. A mature person is here.--Brendiggg (talk) 08:08, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
That Ace. What a rabid atheist troll. I bet he eats kittens. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:19, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Come to think of it, I do remember this one time that Ace went to someone's house for a dinner party and brought a live baby for desert. Perhaps that's what offended the JW enough to dismiss his opinions on politics. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:08, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
That's pretty disgusting even by his standards. Everybody knows that live babies are hors d'oeuvre, not deserts. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:08, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Well played, sir, well played. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 16:50, 4 May 2012 (UTC)


Why is there no article about NazBols on this website? I'd think that they would be within RW's mission. Vug Boozhe (talk) 02:23, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Naz whats?--il'Dictator Mikal 02:25, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Because nobody has written one. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 06:37, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I've been out of the loop of RationalWiki's general etiquette, article guidelines, and notability guidelines, but it seems to me that an article about an ideology as insignificant as National Bolshevism would be rather pointless. Web (talk) 07:42, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Mangoes: I'm not very good at them[edit]

On monday i bought two green mangoes, and put them in a drawer at work to wait for them to ripen (which i believe is indicated by a reddening of the skin). They've only reddened a tiny bit, and they've gone rather soft (which i believe means they're now shit). What am I doing wrong? Why am I so bad at fruit? ONE / TALK 08:05, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Your first mistake is putting fruit in your desk drawer. The second is claiming you're bad at fruiting: no one is bad at fruiting, but there are some fruits that aren't worth the trouble. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 08:09, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Lies, mangoes are one of the fruits that are worth the trouble. Having said that, trouble it certainly is... Q0 (talk) 08:46, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
If they aren't ripe yet, wrap them in newspaper and leave them on the kitchen windowsill. Rather soft mangoes are still awesome... however, I recommend eating them in the bath. --PsyGremlinZungumza! 14:41, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Open Pandora and C development[edit]

So I got my Pandora the other day and started tinkering. I think this is the first time I've owned a device with a small enough community where actually I felt compelled to do shit myself, which sucks because I have no idea what I'm doing. Basically, I'm just trying to compile shit on ARM and package it. So much linking and editing make files and simple problems I don't know the answers to. I'm wishing I paid more attention in class.. I've been out of C so long it hardly makes sense anymore. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:25, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to paste any errors in here. I've done a fair amount of makefile and linking troubleshooting. It can be a giant pain in the ass. Cow...Hammertime! 16:39, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
My experience with this is that the most painful part is making a damn cross compile toolchain that actually works. Granted last time I did that was about a decade ago, and I understand there are piles of scripts that help now. But it probably still hurts. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:43, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Monkey, Banana and water spray experiment[edit]

Given our articles on monkeys and bananas, I found this pretty interesting...and I apologize if this has been discussed previously. If this is real, it has some pretty amazing implications towards religion (as well as other group dynamics, such as business, politics, mob mentality, etc). -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:27, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Gay is bad, but lesbian is a-ok![edit]

Good god I fucking hate this position. I just can't understand why they dont see the problem of them saying two men having sex is unnatural and wrong, but two women isnt wrong. --il'Dictator Mikal 17:37, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

One is hawt, the other is nawt. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 17:50, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Am I wrong in thinking that the Bible does not expressively condemn female homosexuality? Maybe ther's your root causeTh. Bernhard (talk) 17:54, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Nah, if it had its roots actually in the Bible, then as has been pointed out so many times before then we would see the same attitudes being levelled equally at eating shellfish and wearing mixed fabric clothing. As much as it saddens me me to tell it as it is, Genghis is right; man-on-man is icky in a male-dominated world, girl-on-girl sells. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:01, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Who seriously advances this position? This website does, but it's a parody. (They get the creepy misogyny of fundgelicals down pretty well, though.) Godspeed (talk) 18:06, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
This might answer the question. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 18:09, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
As a woman, a feminist, and when young and hot, frequently target to "oh, wanna kiss her while I watch", i have a *slightly* different take, though the roots are the same. Not about "hot and not", but "threat and not". Women are largely discounted in everything we do. We are not really expected to enjoy sex, we have no power or opinions, and we do "house things" that they boys don't want or care to know about. We could all paint ourselves blue, or go to "meetings" every day about some strange "women thing" (politics, appropriation of power, etc, heh) and the men woudln't care. But other men are a threat, if they are different. and in this case a sexual, prediatory threat. Men are the stalkers in society. They do not want, cannot fathom **being** the target. --Green mowse.pngGodot 18:19, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd buy this. It certainly explains why many men (and you'd think that this would be out of the pool of misconceptions by now!) do expect lesbians to be for their entertainment, or that they'd sleep with a man. Their activities are seen as less threatening or less serious, which means they are not seen as able or willing to protest a suggestion like that. Not to mention it's a case of two 'targets' and one 'pursuer.' Of course, I don't want to go any farther than this; this is mostly cultural generalization. Seeing women as targets is kind of disturbing on the personal scale and I do know that many if not most heterosexual men know better... eeeeek. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRjust shut up already 19:01, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Interesting. Would female homosexuality still not be a threat to male heterosexuality? Or is it not a threat, because to put it cynicaly: Lesbians could still potentially be "used" (read "rape") for heterosexual activity? I remeber reading something like that about the Nazis more lenient treatment of lesbians...Th. Bernhard (talk) 18:25, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I was rather putting a tongue in two cheeks but in the context of pornography, men (well, most of them) like to look at pictures of nekkid women and if there are two nekkid women then all the better. The idea of lesbianism in this context is not about excluding men it's about two horny women just waiting for "me" to join in with them for a bit of troilism. Also when women engage in mutual sexual activity it still revolves around the vulva/vagina whereas with two men it's up the arse (ok, so a bit of Greek also happens in the hetero world but it's not mainstream) and frankly a lot of people find that a bit icky. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 18:32, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
@TB - For most men heterosexual rape is not an issue because women are usually physically smaller and weaker; and even if they were raped by a woman then, hey it's sex! There wouldn't be the same level of violation caused by penetration which a woman might feel if she was raped. Now with male homosexual rape there is more of a threat of violence, pain and violation - it's exactly the same fear that many women have. So male homosexuality is more physically frightening to many men. They are worried that they are being sized up in the showers just the same way that they themselves might appraise women. Lesbians may undermine men's egos but it's not so much of an issue. What I have found is that many women turn to lesbianism as they get older but generally a couple of old 'dykes' don't worry most men as they are mainly interested in the younger models anyway. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 18:59, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
My sister is deathly afraid of being raped by a lesbian but is perfectly okay with gay men. ТyrannisAn iron, but caring, fist 19:05, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Most women don't have problems with gay men, especially those who might be considered effeminate precisely because they are not seen as a threat. Lesbian rape is a fact but unless there's a particular individual involved it's hardly something to be having sleepless nights over. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 19:32, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I think you are WAY overstating the "rape fear". Few women fear being raped by anyone, or we'd be scared to go to church, head out to the movies, or take a client out to dinner. If you care, the real reason we are very comfortable with gay men, is not because of the lack of threat, but the fact that we do not to be 1) either hit on when we don't want to be, or 2) "on" in the sense that you have to try harder, look better, be nicer ect., if you are around eligible men. And I've never seen a women make a distinction between effeminate gay men and butch gay men. it's the fact that you know they are gay that makes the night fun and safe. They are, in one way, just one of the girls. and in another way, holder of the great secrets of maleness. (Yes, most straight girls who have a gaypal will have pushed them for tips on pleasuring me. so there.  ;-) Green mowse.pngGodot 19:48, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
As a straight man with a lesbian best friend (and I don't mean "bro"'s, I mean walk-into-the-room-without-knocking-when-taking-a-bath-without-bubbles-best friend), it's the same thing vice versa. And it's awesome. --Raga Man (talk) 20:00, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's a serious fear, but there is a good amount of discrimination against lesbians by straight women, too. I vividly remember going to an all-girl's summer camp and watching my bunkmates harassing other kids for allegedly being 'thrivers.' It was pretty awful. It wasn't a sincere fear of someone perving on them, but much more likely just a stigma passed down to them by someone else that they used as a nasty outlet for sick humor. Then again, these were the same girls that dipped tampons in kool-aid and hung them from the beds of girls who just got their periods and then abused them about it. I guess it takes unpleasant people all around to display this kind of behavior, regardless of sex or gender.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 19:54, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Well maybe fear is too strong a word, but there is a greater concern or awareness that the threat is out there - how far you let that affect you that is another matter. I think that the vast majority of people go about their daily lives not really focusing on any particular hazard but just as women are more concerned and aware about breast cancer than men, then the possibility of rape is a factor which most men don't consider. As to my comments about effeminate gays, it's more likely that they will be noticed in the stereotypical occupations that will bring them into contact with women than a more butch gay guy. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 21:57, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm a guy and I'm absolutely adore lesbians. Gay guys, yeah, whatever, don't care. The reason I adore lesbians so much is I really wish I was one, because in my mind they are so much better than all other human beings. Maybe one day I'll become one even. Pensies are absolutely disgusting and I want to slice mine off, but I haven't got the courage to do that yet. But I don't want to "join in", because then it wouldn't be lesbian anymore. I don't even want to watch, because then I'll be there and I'll see me. I like watching lesbian media like the L Word, Lip Service, Sugar Love, Lost and Delirious, Loving Annabelle, various others. Most "lesbian" porn is utter crap, but I do have a soft spot for AbbyWinters.com. One thing about them, okay the owner of the company is a guy and most of their customers would be guys, but the crew for filming are women-only, so it's more genuinely lesbian. (If some guys are watching two or more women have sex, it's less than genuinely lesbian, but if some women are watching/filming/whatever, that doesn't make it less lesbian) — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 2012-05-04T22:12:20

You about to fling open the closet door and cry freedom! Mikal? --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 03:14, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Wha?--il'Dictator Mikal 03:47, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually I'm Bi; It's really fun being a BL and not be straight. --il'Dictator Mikal 03:51, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
You help us out when we're busy, eh? --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 04:54, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

What is the term to use...[edit]

for the act of calling climategate "leak" (of documents) while calling denialgate "theft"? Double standard seems to redirect to discrimination, so guess that's not it. ThiehZOYG I edit like Kenservative! 18:43, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

What's denialgate? Sounds interesting--"Shut up, Brx." 18:50, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
lol, thanks, dickturpis--"Shut up, Brx." 22:04, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Beastie Boys[edit]

And then there were two... AceModerator 19:55, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

Pourin' out a little Manischevitz for him. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:26, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

the Heartland Institute never fails to disappoint[edit]

Nothing like a good association fallacy to get your message across. άλφαΤαλκ 02:18, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

I literally couldn't believe this was real when it came up my newsfeed. I had to double-check, because it's so ridiculous in a "you like dogs? Well you know who else liked dogs? Hitler!" sort of way.--ADtalkModerator 03:07, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Wow, that's pretty damn impressive, in a Monckton-ish sort of way. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:13, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

An apology to the RW community[edit]

National Day of Reason[edit]

So, some places it worked. including my state ^_^ surprisingly --il'Dictator Mikal 05:07, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Shit link. Or does it load mangled because I'm using Chromium? --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 05:19, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Once again I only post when I have a geek question[edit]

Where the fucking fuck are my fucking files? I am running Ubuntu and trying to get a package called GPSIM (a microcontroller simulator) to run with a GUI, for which I need to install some other GTK shit as advised by Mr Goooogle. I've done sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev libpopt-dev libpopt0 libreadline6-dev which is successful, but where the fucking fuck are these GTK+Extra files now located on my computer so I can make and install the fucking fucker? I cannat find them anywhere, but they're there as apt-get says everything is up-to-date if I run the above command again. This is rather annoying. I must learn Linuxing better... Cheers.DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 08:19, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

I believe apt-get does that kind of thing for you, right? I too need to learn Linuxing better. Peter is procrastinating. 08:29, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
I thought/think that too, but the gadge on the Ubuntu forum in the link above says to configure/make/install them manually... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 08:43, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
OK, so the the apt-get command there is getting dependencies, that is, things which you must have before you can make GTK+ Extra. Assuming that's all you have done, and that you didn't yet download GTK+ Extra source code, that's probably what you need to do next. [2] (talk) 10:12, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Apt-get doesn't get the sources, so you won't have anything to make/install even if you wanted to. It only downloads the binaries from the debian/ubuntu repository and installs them to the right directories. If someone is advising you to make/install manually, you'll have to download the source from the developer and do it the old-fashioned way, which now that I look at that link, is here. So I guess they want you to patch the source with their modified source files and recompile. I'd recommend uninstalling any version you have first. Let me know if you have any questions. I'm not terribly experienced, but I know my way around well enough. Cow...Hammertime! 15:37, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
P.S. Are you aware of slocate? I realize this won't really help in this case since you don't have any source files to find, but it's a very useful tool. Cow...Hammertime! 15:38, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Cow, the link you provided is about GTK+, which is available as a binary, I'm pretty sure Deltastar doesn't need to build that from source. GTK+ Extra isn't a replacement for, or a patch to GTK+, but rather an additional library of widgets to go with GTK+. Presumably GPSIM requires some widget that the GTK+ people didn't think was so essential that they needed to include it, I could investigate but I am pretty busy right now. (talk) 17:36, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah you're right. Your link is better. Cow...Hammertime! 19:19, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
It only bloody works!
Thanks for the help especially BoN, I've got it working now. I feel a right spacker for not realising that I had to download the source files for the actual programme separately - thanks for explaining what apt-get actually does (and doesn't do). Now to build that PIC-based clickbot... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 02:57, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
Reply to OP: You could have just said sudo apt-get install gpsim - the program you're looking for is already in the Debian repository. --Tweenk (talk) 16:57, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
That don't work marra. The version of GPSIM in the repositories is built with the GUI disabled, owing to the GTK+Extra dependency, as this is now lacking in Ubuntu as standard. (Do I sound like a seasoned Linuxinger there) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 20:39, 5 May 2012 (UTC)


I mentioned a while back that we had some ducks come to settle on our pond. Well, they seem to have moved in more or less permanently. We've actually got three now, or I suppose more accurately two and half, since one of them appears to have only one leg.


Moar ducks.jpg

--JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:36, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

I live in the place with the highest duck-to-people ratio in Europe. You won't be so enthusiastic when they start having sex. The desperate sound of their panicked screaming stays with you forever. Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:49, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Eric the half-duck? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 16:51, 4 May 2012 (UTC)
Ducks sure know how to rape. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:07, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Republicans heard you, loud and clear - they are set to pass the Violence Against women Act[edit]

EXCEPT FOR ONE SMALL DETAIL. they plan to remove the protections that "undocumented" victims currently have. When you are undocumented, police are the last place you want to go. Even if you've been raped, or are in a domestic violence situation. Currently US law protects those women (and a few men) if they have a legitimate case, and if they continue to assist in the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrator. They are one of the exceptions, by the way, to AZ claiming it has a right to deport anyone illegal. these women are here "legally illegally", in a special status. Republicans plan to remove all of those protections. --Green mowse.pngGodot 23:50, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

If you want this fixed the way to spin it is as protection for rapists. "Republicans protect rapists". You're not going to get any pushback from a lifelong Republican voter for the idea that women just like her who aren't citizens are being treated as less than people. She doesn't care about them, but once you make it clear that she's helping to ensure that there are more active rapists on the street who might turn on her next it becomes an issue. (talk) 10:22, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif The Punk Symphony of Noise Your mental puke relief 12:45, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Another slightly geeky question[edit]

Can anyone recommend a free video soundtrack dubbing programme? All I'm trying to achieve is to make a stupid little spoof video by placing my own no-doubt hilarious script over the top of a three minute video clip. It can be on Linux or XP, doesn't have to be fancy, and I imagine there must be a few such programmes out there as youtube is full of this kind of shit. Gooogling didn't really turn much up, and the couple I find required installing dubious looking downloaders (and I was on a works PC at the time). Many thanks! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 02:29, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Audacity? --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 03:12, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
VirtualDub? Windows program, but Linux/Wine is considered a supported platform - David Gerard (talk) 08:24, 5 May 2012 (UTC)


Everything is backed up. Going to make the leap. If I vanish for a few days, you know it didn't work out.--ADtalkModerator 05:26, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm using 12.04. It's pretty good. Just watch out for the binary Nvidia driver. :( --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 05:43, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, although I don't know what that means.--ADtalkModerator 05:51, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, that wasn't hard at all.--ADtalkModerator 06:38, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I found out about the NVidia drivers the hard way. :( Good job it was not on my primary computer. --ZooGuard (talk) 10:09, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Yep, same here. Also, Unity still blows. So does Gnome 3 and KDE4. MATE is what the cool kids are doing. That or XFCE. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:03, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I can only assume that Unity is teh shiznitz on a tablet because it's dreck on anything else. I don't mind Gnome 3 but that fucking Nvidia driver! I have to boot from a recovery menu option because it makes the ttys inaccessible. Currently I'm back in a good old traditional Gnome environment with no spiffy effects. I am looking into MATE. XFCE in on my netbook. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 20:29, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Well it all seems to be working fine for me with a standard Ubuntu install (12.04 I think?). Someday soon I hope to know what the balls y'all are talking about.--ADtalkModerator 21:06, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The Nvidia driver is only an issue if you have that brand of video card. Nvidia produces a proprietary driver for Linux. Sometimes it works well and is lovely. Other times, not so much. This in an other time. I am glad you seem to be unburdened. ^.^ --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 21:12, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Last I checked, the Linux nerds had decided Canonical had sold out and made increasingly terrible decisions on the direction of Ubuntu. Unity was the straw that broke that camel's back and all former Ubuntu users use Mint now. --CoyoteSans (talk) 00:14, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
It's been a while since I last checked Mint out. I might look again. I was traditionally a Fedora user, then Arch. I'm not as hysterical as some of the 'buntu Old Guard about Unity because I just use another DTE. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 00:29, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
That's what I saw when I was researching yesterday, but Mint looked way too intimidating to try.--ADtalkModerator 04:51, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I would highly recommend Fuduntu, a distro specifically designed around netbooks and laptops. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 05:07, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I switched to mint a few months back, only to get back to gnome2. I wish the debian trunk was as active/friendly as ubuntu, it would greatly benefit the linux revolution. Unity/Gnome3/KDE4 seem designed for tablets, but they aren't on them. Occasionaluse (talk) 05:53, 6 May 2012 (UTC
What revolution? Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 06:38, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I see signs of the revolution everywhere, but it could be the medication. For all my friends who don't "know computers" and look at way too much porn, there is linux. (Completely unrelated) I switched my mom to linux about a year ago, and she pimps linux now, too. My mother fucking mother pimps linux, hoover. Revolution? Fuckin A right there's a revolution brewing. Occasionaluse (talk) 06:44, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
There is no way I could now switch to a different OS - it took me hours to fuss this one into working - it took an hour to migrate all media, import music, pictures, and books, and so on. Ubuntu it is, at least for now - Fubuntu will have to wait.--ADtalkModerator 06:47, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
AD, you've taken the first step into modern computing: switching OS's. You've come this far, don't turn back. Use another hard drive or partition to store your data (or the mother fucking cloud) and your OS/environment becomes irrelevant. Change it like your underwear, if you are so inclined. Occasionaluse (talk) 06:53, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
It takes you hours to change underwear? Damn. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 06:57, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
With USB 3 and an SSD it takes less time than masturbating. Occasionaluse (talk) 07:06, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
So to avoid paying $100 for software, I should $200+ for new hardware. If this is the revolution, fuck me in the ass and call me bourgeoisie. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 07:11, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Depends on how long it takes you to masturbate. Linux can run on a fart in the wind. That's the point. Occasionaluse (talk) 07:16, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think I could do that, OU. I switched from XP in the first place exclusively because of performance problems. It was taking a full five minutes to load OpenOffice on my little netbook. It seems like partitioning and adding other OSes would just eat up time I could spend actually doing something useful.--ADtalkModerator 07:13, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
If anything, partitions would speed things up. You use linux now; adding another desktop environment (akin to "replacing" windows XP or whatever) takes like 10 minutes and it happens in the background. The "new desktop paradigm" in Unity is so much less productive for power users than the classic paradigm. Occasionaluse (talk) 07:40, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Mediawiki based website with Citizendium style approval process[edit]

I am configuring a mediawiki based website with a citizendium style approval process. Can any one please let me know how to set this up (the basic steps)? Or if you could point me to some resources already available. I found the approval process help in citizendium confusing.

thank you in anticipation--Buscombe (talk) 09:29, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

You've read this, I assume? And why do you want to use the CZ system? Peter is procrastinating. 09:38, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Citizendium is not a site I frequent and I usually only cast a cursory glance over our own coverage of it. So out of interest I had a look at their Geology article. Four lines, but I'm sure all 100% accurate and reviewed by experts. I'm tempted to paraphrase Schlafly with a "give it up ..." rejoinder. Go home, the party's over. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 10:34, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The reason for considering the citizendium model is because accuracy is most important and there are enough contributors. I have read the obvious articles and also have read our article on citizendium. I am more interested in copying the technical aspects of the citizendium approval process. Can someone help please?--Buscombe (talk) 12:07, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Have you read this? http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/CZ:Approval_Process --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 20:31, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes. I have read that. But how do you edit the metadata? There is an extension called metadataform which is not available elsewhere. I am trying to replicate the process.--Buscombe (talk) 08:34, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
According to Special:Version, that extension has been created by CZ user Chris Key. I suggest asking him for the source. :)--ZooGuard (talk) 14:59, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Super moon[edit]

Super moon tonight. No, no natural disasters, but it will be bigger and brighter. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 13:54, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

it's just after 10:30pm in Taiwan and I've just been out to look at the moon. A bit brighter than usual. A bit more of a silvery glow. Otherwise, nothing spectacular, at least not where I am in the world.--Spud (talk) 14:24, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
What about the eclipse on the 20th. Anything interesting? (talk) 17:17, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
A bit darker than usual. A bit less of a silvery glow. -- (talk) 17:27, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
All part of the build-up to the end of the world at the end of this year.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 21:32, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
The supermoon here coincided with a nubilous eclipse. Sophiebecause liberals 08:19, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Desert Island Discs[edit]

Featuring Tim Minchin. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 10:19, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Obama's shadowy ninja squad claims another victim[edit]

Not content with bumping off Bteitbart, now Obama's personal assassination squad has done in the coroner who (maybe) did his autopsy. It must be true, some people on the internet said it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:10, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

As grandpappy Stalin said, No person, no problem. nobsCorporations are people, too. 23:22, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Search default[edit]

The default namespaces for search are Main, CP, CP talk, Essay, and Essay talk. Could we just have Main? Or at least not CP? sterileevolutionist story telling 02:43, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree, either just main or not CP/CP talk. Uke Blue 04:10, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Agree as well. ТyrannisAn iron, but caring, fist 04:11, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Also agree. Default search settings are intended for people who aren't signed in, and maybe want to see if we have an article on something. In which case, we probably shouldn't be showing them CPspace, and definitely not the essayspace. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 04:31, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Aren't 'Fun' and 'Recipe' on the default as well? And I don't think any talk pages are, thank goodness. Peter is procrastinating. 04:56, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't necessarily mind Main talk. Dare I say that recipe-space should probably disappear. sterileevolutionist story telling 06:25, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Include the RW space by default as that has the SB and the WIGOs. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:36, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
So, um, who has the ability to do this? sterileevolutionist story telling 02:56, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Old but Mostly Good News- Someone Abandons Creationism and writes a book to tell[edit]

This goes back to 1998 but I just learned about it. Author Michael Denton first publishes a creationist book Evolution: a theory in crisis (1986), then after further study abandon's that position 12 years later. The news is mixed. In his retraction, he defends the "anthropic" principle as a pointer to a god guiding the universe, but at least he has fully accepted that there is overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution. The retraction is Nature's Destiny (1998). You can find it reviewed here. [3]. Wonder what creationists did with this defector from their midst?--WickerGuy (talk) 17:03, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

There is also Glenn Morton who used to be with the ICR. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 17:34, 7 May 2012 (UTC)


Phil Plaitt mentioned RW's Poe's Law in his Heartland billboard story yesterday [4] and it was echoed @ Scholars and Rogues [5]. sterileevolutionist story telling 05:51, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Sam Harris steps in it[edit]

Read it and weep. (Or not if you're like me and didn't think he was the bee's knees to begin with.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:47, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Sam has been pushing this barrow for a while. It's tiresome and I wish he'd get the fuck over it. That said, I see his critics still flog the "Sam endorses torture" fib. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 20:23, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
PZ Myers also did a response, which highlights all the reasons he's my favorite New Atheist. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 00:07, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
As usual, a thoughtful and considered response to Sam from Pea Zed. Sammers would do well to take note of it. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 00:26, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I am a life long atheist. I grew up in a house with a minister for a father and a pretty conservative Christian brother. (at the time, he was just a geek, no religious affiliations yet). My father is one of my closest friends, and we have wonderful discussions about space, star trek, modern science, theology, historical finds that relate in any way to biblical stuff, new ideas in the study of religion and the brain... etc. I have never, ever understood Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens et. al and their visceral hatred of religion. Perhaps, as this article suggests, it might have more to do with 9-11 than I ever thought. But it is not only disengenious, it is disturbing and frustrating. These people make as many rational/logical errors as the religious types they hate, because they are working from an agenda and a set of preconceptions about the "other". The only atheists/agnostics I enjoy reading are people like Neal Degrasse Tyson and Douglas Adams, who's views are personal. They don't need to convert, and they don't need to disparage. They just want (as PZ just said) "education, education, education). It is education that will be the world's silver bullet. (even then, I doubt most people will be 'true' atheists, but rather something in the spinoza land of 'some kind of a god like thing, but it doesn't give a shit about us).Green mowse.pngGodot 01:06, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I think part of the problem is the tendency of some to see every pronouncement of a Harris, Dennett, Dawkins or whoever as some sort of doctrinal truth. A dangerous thing. I take them on each thing they say. Sam is often right but that doesn't make him right all the time. As anti-theists they go beyond the normal atheist bailiwick. They hold religious beliefs to be delusions injurious to communal welfare. Others disagree. This point of difference is good. It holds the anti-theists to account. On more than one occasion Harris has had to revisit assertions he's made. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 01:39, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I was particularly perturbed by Harris' apparent endorsement of pre-emptive nuclear war on Islamic countries. These positions of Harris heavily fueled the somewhat muddled but provocative critique of the atheist movement I Don't Believe in Atheists by Chris Hedges. It's good then to see PZ Myers publicly disagreeing with Harris. Harris is very Buddhist-friendly, but seems more hostile to Islam than any other religion or authoritarian ideology.--WickerGuy (talk) 03:24, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
The problem most anti-theists have with religion is, simply, indoctrination. Brainwashing is a horrible affront to humanity, and the real reason to want to purge organized religion. The moment you raise your children to believe things that are contrary to reason and everything we know about reality, you start a dangerous cycle. Because young children are - for reasons of survival - predisposed to believing what their parents say, it clouds the mind. Over time, the child puts up a mental block that she doesn't even realize exists. This has been my experience, both personally and with talking with many others who had similar upbringings. In my case, even though by the time I was 17 I had considered myself agnostic (still do, on a strictly philosophical basis), I had given way too much weight to Christian ideology without even knowing it. What eventually cleared my mind were arguments with friends over evolution, which made me realize there was absolutely no rational reason I was holding onto my wedge issue thinking - believing that the .0000001% chance was somehow equal to the 99.9999999% chance, so to speak.
So yeah, I would join the ranks of those who say that religion is a destructive and unhelpful force in the world, but strictly by proxy of the indoctrination and embrace of a wholly irrational mindset. It's not necessarily the horrible ideas and practices laid out in holy books that cause these problems, it's the faithful, mindless devotion to them which ignores all progress humanity has made over hundreds or thousands of years. I treat religion the same way I do postmodernism and nihilism and such - all fun thought experiments for about 2 or 3 minutes, but when you begin adopting them as constructs to live your life by, something is seriously troubling and humanity is probably going to suffer.
Even non-religious ideas that have serious merit are dangerous when brainwashing is involved, though. Just look at the religious warrior's best arguing buddy: the great evils of 'atheist' communism. Each example is/was an authoritarian personality cult, with education geared toward revisionist history and censorship of unwanted ideas - the same kind of brainwashing you'd expect in a theocracy. Q0 (talk) 04:34, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Harris has always talked in terms of a hierarchy of odium when it comes to religions. Islam is at the top and I think the Jains are at the bottom. The idea being that the more fundamentalist a muslim is the more likely he is to turn to violence, whereas Jainism at its most extreme simply leaves the believer paralysed by his pacifism. There's another fellow Peter Boghossian who is clearly very influenced by Harris but seems less phase-locked about 9/11. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 04:54, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I should note that I disagree with the idea that a lot of people actually cling to prominent atheists' words as doctrine. That idea is awfully close to the 'atheism as religion' argument that is still used far too often. If anything, most atheists are just incredibly excited to have someone with similar ideas as themselves actually speaking in the public sphere. This is especially true in the US, where I can't remember ever hearing atheism being spoken of prominently and positively, other than maybe COSMOS. Every program feels the need to 'balance' it and turn it into a debate. I mean, I will gladly recommend everyone I know to read Dawkins, but at the same time I'm well aware of the fact I don't agree with every word he writes, nor every position he takes (just the majority). Along the lines of this original post, most of these guys end up far too willing to support foreign policies that I find completely abhorrent and counterproductive. Q0 (talk) 05:02, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Q0, the problem I have with your argument, and most "anti-religion" types is that it's based on simplification and the idea that you are 1) right, and 2) better than anyone who is a "silly believer". Indoctrination is how we teach children, period. From "it's important to clean your room" to "black people are not valuable" to "working hard in life is important" to "there is a god", everything we say from day one is based on our attempt to create children who will live the way we think life should be lived. You cannot escape it. "religious" indoctrination is no better or worse than a vegan teaching her children the horrors of eating meat, or a hunter teaching his kids the value of taking life. You have values, you have views, you have opinions. Teaching your child to think, to be curious, to want to learn more is (to me) a critical step - but that does not mean you cannot teach those things AND have religion. There are plenty of people who are religious who do not think the world is 6000 years old, or that praying to god grants wishes, or that people who believe some other way are bound to go to hell (or whatever it be). Yet anti theists paint with a very large brush, all theists in the same light. I have known linguists and chemists, philosophers and theologians who's views on God or the after life, or the prelife all are well thought, well considered in the face of science, and as likely as the fact that there is "no god". I bristled when PZ said "they are wrong, adn we should teach them that" (give or take some words). Theists are no more wrong than atheists, because you cannot know if there is a god or not. It's time to stop worrying who thinks there is something more to life than life, and ask "and what are they DOING with that behavior." As atheists, we need to get off our collective high horse that we are better, more logical, more intelligent, etc., and realize that people's beliefs and knowledge come from a host of sources, including deep reason, and it's wrong to say "you don't understand your own logic, cause it's wrong logic". Do I wish christians would throw away their bibles? hell yes. But if they do not, it's not something I can judge them on. If, after not throwing their bibles away, they try to limit a man's right to marry the love of his choice, I can judge them. If, after not throwing their god away, they say medical insurance should not cover pre-existing conditions, I can judge them. If they say "god will put you into hell for thinking" i will judge them. but not simply because they believe in a God, in religion, or in something greater than this, here. Green mowse.pngGodot 06:35, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No disrespect Godot but it's this sort of relativism that allows religious loons to get away with what they get away with. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 06:57, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

What Godot said was not relativism, but nuance. That you didn't recognize it as such is exactly the sort of thing she was trying to criticize. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 07:00, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
What about "It is your behaviors I may judge" and "if you do X I may judge you" did you not understand, Matty? saying "religion is wrong" is anti-theists judging, scapegoating, and sterotyping. sayign "people who use god to justify their own hatred should be put in jail" is NOT sterotyping. I judge based on what you do, not what you believe. Even if you happen to believe that there are faries flying around your eyes. If you don't try to make me see your fairies, I just don't see the problem. Nor the reason I should "tell you that you are wrong" as PZ suggests. Green mowse.pngGodot 07:22, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Actually it's where you said Theists are no more wrong than atheists, because you cannot know if there is a god or not. in particular and the overall tone of not calling out irrational thinking in general to which I'm referring. I should have been clearer. I recommend you check out some of the stuff Boghossian has to say on this. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 07:50, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Godot, I think you're confusing something here. By no means do I embrace a belief in 'no god'. In fact, the idea of god is not even something I would have even thought about; that is, if I was not assaulted by it from the outside. In this day and age, science is advanced enough to explain the wonders of nature to such an extent, that instead of conjuring up a god of the gaps we can rest assured that one day we'll likely be able to explain what we don't yet know. So, sure, in a philosophical sense I can't know if there really is a god or not. (But then what can I know?) I prefer to take a more practical approach, because honestly even the question of 'Is there a god or not?' should be irrelevant until there is some evidence provoking it. Should be, but it's not because there are so many people claiming without any doubt that there is a god. Instead, I say that the probability of any religion I've come across (and that's a lot, especially now thanks to Wikipedia and new religious movement advocacy there) actually being true is so low that they shouldn't ever be taught as doctrine, especially to people who are in a vulnerable position.
Keep in mind I'm not out there saying religious belief should be purged from the minds of all - not by any stretch. I'm more than willing to allow people to believe whatever they'd like, as long as they're not then acting on it to negatively affect others. Unfortunately, that's what continues to happen all over the world. And, again, the worst problem is with indoctrination. Your counter-examples are not the same (even the overtly terrible ones don't advocate for faith over reason), though I would still argue against such a pedantic approach. You teach children about the world and how it works, not tell them who they should be or what they should think. It's natural as human beings to be curious about nearly everything, to want to learn about our surroundings, to ask "Why?". That's what should be explored - to the point of challenging what you've learned. Faith, on the other hand, is not open to challenge, and thus religious indoctrination stifles our curiosity completely by invoking god(s) at every question mark. This is the reason many prominent atheists are now starting to stress the idea that there are no 'Christian children', 'Buddhist children', etc.
I want to point out one more thing, at the risk of making this a true wall of text. As MTD says, it's a problem when you take the approach that "I am just as right as you are", because you're giving undue weight to one of the two positions. One is claiming that, despite there being no evidence, they're sure something exists. The other is only basing their position on that lack of evidence. Neither of them knows for sure, but they're certainly not equally wrong. Q0 (talk) 11:57, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Godot, We understand what you are trying to say. But there are some problems with your argument.

  • "religious" indoctrination is no better or worse ...............of taking life. It is acceptable when the indoctrination affects only the person.. someone leading a vegan life.. someone hunting for living etc. But it is not acceptable when the indoctrination (usually the religious kind) leads one to attempt to trample on other's rights. For. e.g the rights of gay or lesbian community or right to practise contraception.
  • Theists and atheists are not equally wrong. To believe in extraordinary claims, you need to produce extraordinary proofs. The onus to proof lies with the theists. Otherwise some one who does not believe in an invisible pink unicorn is as wrong some one who believes in one.

--Buscombe (talk) 14:13, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Except you did the same thing, once again. the assumption that religion will take away someone's rights. Please understand, the numbers of people trying to take away ANYONE's rights on anything, in the religious community are well below 25% of the religious population. You assume some 70% of the US is religious in one way or another. They can't all be trying to take people's rights away, when poll after poll on these things show the majority of people are for gay marriage and for abortion rights and for health care, etc. And that's the US. In france, where the same 70% of people are religious, polls on gay marriage, right to abortion, right to health care and free speech are significantly higher. When you say "theists and atheists are NOT equally wrong" you are mis applying statistics. Wrong is wrong. 100% all teh way. What you mean to say is "the likelyhood of theism over atheism is significantly lower. It is highly unlikely, virtually but not totally impossible any kind of 'god' like thing exists". (I would argue that a literal interp of the bible is 100% IMPOSSIBLE because of the contradictions in the bible, making this god have to be two different things at once; ie., all knowing, yet not knowing where Adam is hiding). And remember, no one is PROVING god or not god. that's the trouble with "rationalist" arguments when they say what you said. God is not being proven, he she or it is being thought about, considered, and guessed upon. But not proven. not by believers. not by non-belivers. It's why an honest atheist admits that in the technical sense, tehy are agnostic. I think Dawkins has said, "I'm agonstic with a 99.999999999999999% lean towards atheist." Religion on it's own, on any large scale study, is neither good nor bad. it is a tool. It can motivate people to do amazing things, or it can motivate people to whip out entire populations. But, that reality is called "being human". not religion. Hitler was not motivated by religion. Stalin was not motivated by "atheism" or religion. Ghingis was not motivated by religion. They were motivated by Power, Money (which is also power, I guess). Take religion away, and the same things will happen under some other guise. Green mowse.pngGodot 19:44, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
WfG, I agree with that except one thing. While the great bulk of the followers of a particular religion are not directly responsible for the atrocities committed by their fellow faithful, people like Dawkins argue that they lend the extremists a certain legitimacy. Which, of course, is true. But while you would argue that it's not the religion's fault, Dawkins et al would argue that it is the religion's fault because it lends the extremist this legitimacy while not being true. If, on the other hand, some nutter evolutionary biologist killed babies who had an inheritable disease claiming that it was best for the human race, because evolution is true (to the best of our knowledge), it is not evolutionary biology's fault. Ajkgordon (talk) 20:51, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
But that's not always the case. Religious moderates and liberals have long fought for the separation of church and state in the United States. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:12, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
But that's not the argument put forward by Dawkins and Harris. They argue simply that having faith in something that is (in their eyes) almost certainly not true is a bad thing because the bad guys also believe in it and use it to justify their actions. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:17, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
In reality, moderates and extremists are often down (mind out of the gutter) at each other's throats. Try anti-Catholicism, for example, or the practice of takfiri. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:27, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
It's not that faith is dangerous 'because bad people'; it's dangerous because it discourages critical thinking, which so often leads to disaster. While there's nothing preventing someone who is religious from also being rational about most things, there's always that sealed off 'sacred' area that can't be touched (or else it simply wouldn't be faith, and the idea of god would just be some personal fantasy they were only hopeful - not faithful - about). If we're to embrace rational thinking on all subjects, this unchallengeable faith can't play a part. I mean, if someone claims they know the world is going to end in December of this year, we think about it rationality and tend to consider anyone shouting 'ancient aliens!' to be flat out wrong. After all, they have no real evidence. But it's possible they're right... so should I really be claiming otherwise? RW does this on thousands of topics, and it's not an error applying statistics. It's basic pragmatism. In this case, I'm going to call anyone who actually believes the world will end on that date crazy, and I'm going to marginalize their position because the implications of others believing their claim to be true are dire.
So, what's the difference between this type of idea and established religious belief? Simple - humans haven't spent hundreds or thousands of years convincing each other that the world was going to end in 2012. It's not an established religion, most of us don't have loved ones that actually believe it, and so it holds no serious weight. Q0 (talk) 04:34, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
But often it is a basic error in statistics. When people talk of "discouraging critical thinking", they mostly mean "discouraging my way of thinking" - which isn't the same thing. When Dawkins/Hitchens/Harris/Dennett fanboys who hang on every word open their mouths, this is exactly what they're saying but I doubt they could justify it. This isn't to say that someone who vaguely believes in God doesn't have a completely irrational viewpoint (indeed, vague, non-predictive beliefs are considerably more irrational constructs than ones that are merely wrong, though that would kick Zen Buddhism in the teeth quite firmly) but it doesn't mean they're automagically a threat because they'll believe anything, which is precisely what the Four Horsemen approach suggests. Whatever you might think, they tend to be anti-theists firsts and rationalists or skeptical empiricists second. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:54, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

So Sam wants another Middle Eastern conflict. Someone make sure "blowback" becomes the most popular word in American politics, we've couped Mossadegh/Iran-Contra (Iran), allegedly funneled money to bin Laden (Afghanistan), and kissed Saddam's ass for years (Iraq) and he thinks we should meddle in again? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 2012-05-07T04:57:37

The Beast trashes Harris. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:51, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
It's moderately impressive that Harris and Charles Krauthammer are indistinguishable on this issue. Also, that they both somehow fail to understand that openly deciding to concentrate on certain groups just makes it easier for terrorists Omar (gibber) 13:56, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
Harris backpedals and hosts a guest post by Bruce Schneier. However, in his note, he says they will "discuss" this later. What is there to discuss, is Harris going to try to debate in favor of profiling against him or something? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:28, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

The Minnesota Filth Drugs Teens a la MK ULTRA![edit]

Apparently it's all about discrediting the Occupy movement. Also check out the competitive pricing on "survivalist seed vaults". --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 01:49, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

That website is the least credible one site I've seen all year. Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 04:45, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I consider that quite an achievement. --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 04:55, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
We have Gold bugs, but that site... do we have Silver Bugs? --Revolverman (talk) 06:03, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
The GMO-free seed packs say "left-wing survivalist," the silver buggery says "right-wing survivalist." I guess there's something to be said for servicing both sides -__- Star of David.png Radioactive Misanthrope 06:37, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
More Alex Jonesery, looks like. Left wing and right wing get lost in the mashup because it's all one big conspiracy. There was a media term in the 1990s for this, "fusion paranoia". If anything it's gotten far worse with hundreds, maybe thousands of websites like this. Is The Intel Hub a notable enough conspiracy site to merit an article here? I'm at least going to add it to the Webshites list. Secret Squirrel (talk) 11:01, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Definitely rates an article. As, by the sound of it, does fusion paranoia, if you can dig up cites. (c.f. crank magnetism and unified conspiracy theory.) - David Gerard (talk) 11:51, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I've never heard of "Fusion paranoia". I tend to describe that as "anti-establishment" - it's hard to sort modern conspiracy theorists in the right/left buckets just on the basis of their theories, they just automatically doubt everything TPTB say (or are perceived to say). Left/right leanings start to be distinguishable on the more traditional dichotomies, such as religion, race/ethnicity/nationality, etc.
As for the Intel Hub, it's in the same playing field market as Before It's News. There are other similar websites occupying the same niche. The bottom of the bottom half of Web 2.0. :) --ZooGuard (talk) 12:37, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Re: fusion paranoia, neoconservative Michael Kelly coined the term in 1995 here and it still gets used now and then. It's closely related to if not the same thing as unified conspiracy theory, and could probably just be a redirect. Kelly was referring to the infusion of right-wing New World Order and left-wing anti-globalization theories into each others circles, viewing Ross Perot as the culmination of this. I believe the term was also picked up in the media at the time to explain the bizarre popularity of centrist-liberal writer Carroll Quigley and of the anti-Vietnam War spoof The Report from Iron Mountain on the far right. The flip side is Kelly in true neocon fashion used the term to attack the peace movement - so I wonder who was really more guilty of fusion paranoia here. Secret Squirrel (talk) 12:53, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Come on Rob. Blame this on Obama. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 19:09, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Nah, you mean Obama's boss, Soros. nobsCorporations are people, too. 23:09, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
The interesting part about this whole article is that I WAS JUST DOWN AT OCCUPYMN TODAY to ask around and see if this had any teeth. The response from the people I talked to at OccupyMN: "What the fuck are you talking about, Gabe?" The Punk Symphony of Noise Your mental puke relief 07:14, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

What's the purpose of different citation formats?[edit]

The other day, I received poor marks on a philosophy assignment because, among other reasons, I used the incorrect citation format (Chicago vs. the preferred MLA). Now I'm wondering what's the point? As long as I include the title, author, year, journal name, volume, and pages, what's the point of the semantic differences in the periods and commas? I use Chicago because it's the standard in economics and it's easy to make Latex produce something similar, but I don't see how it's preferrable to one or the other except that MLA insists on including "Print" when I pull articles from online databases. Maybe this is why I'm not a philosophy researcher. άλφαΤαλκ 19:41, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Some people, like myself, think that Chicago citations are ugly and intrusive. If the author of a paper needs to tell you the name of a source for context or another purpose, they can do it on their own. But it's really just personal preference as to which one is better. My department makes me do Chicago, despite the fact that it is completely non-standard in English lit.--ADtalkModerator 20:25, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
I definitely agree. In this case I was criticised for the formatting of my references in my works cited, which seemed strange. Normally for in-text citations I use the default bibtex citations that Latex produces. My research advisor was quite blunt in saying "as long as I can find the citation, which I can really do with just the title and the author, it'll suffice." Aren't MLA in-text citations quite similar to Chicago-style citations, though? άλφαΤαλκ 21:46, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, they're similar, which is why I never use in-line citations. I hate them. I like to footnote or preferably endnote.
Your field is different from my own, though, in that title and author are not enough - there are about ten thousand different editions of Hamlet (not exaggerating) and you need a lot more info.
Be comforted with the fact that once you get out of there, you'll not only have departmental tyranny to endure, but also highly variable journal standards!--ADtalkModerator 00:26, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
What's the point? So they can grade you lower if you "mess up". It seems to me that a lot of professors and teachers have a hard time grading from their gut, so they make up completely arbitrary and unrelated rules so they can judge you your work. An economics professor once downgraded me for not putting the page numbers in the center. Na, he sad that was the reason. I used a lot of strength that day not to punch him flat in the face. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 2012-05-07T00:29:13
It gets easier when you are in a field. American Chemical Society is mostly the same. It's just the damn biochemists and the Brits who screw it up. And journals that aren't exclusively chemistry. sterileevolutionist story telling 06:27, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
When I'm grading actual reports, so long as they're consistent and useful I don't give a shit what the format is. But I suppose the non-science disciplines need something to have an OCD over, and formatting it is. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:39, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
@BON - Thankfully the professors in my economics department are quite relaxed about minor details like that. @AD - Ah journal standards. I've encountered lovely problems in that area as a research assistant, so it's something for me to look forward to even more post-undergrad! άλφαΤαλκ 13:36, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
My IT department's syllabus template actually says that failing to use APA citation is improper "and thus may constitute plagiarism." Nobody's actually complained about my lazy reference sections, though. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 14:58, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
A guy I do web work for is a literature professor. I can ask him about his opinions regarding different citation formats if you want? CrundyTalk nerdy to me 20:28, 8 May 2012 (UTC)