RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?

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What is going on?

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[edit] Just a Quick Note Before I Post This

By now I'm sure ya'll have heard about Pissgate. Personally, I think it's some kind of batshit conspiracy theory desperate leftists are latching onto in increasingly desperate attempts to take down Trump. It's sad, it really is, and I'd love to get to the bottom of what's really going on. I don't know what's really happening. But I'm going to post a Gizmodo article about it and you can upvote if you like it, downvote it if you think it's bullshit. No skin off my teeth if you downvote. Please read through it and judge for yourselves. MyNameIsMudd (talk) 21:38, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

I cannot properly form the words needed to present the mixture of Schadenfreude, pure glee and shame ( about the schadenfreude and glee) i feel when reading up on PissGate on MemeCenter. I sure hope it is fake tough. In addition i don't the hooker and watersports thing is something Trump would do... --Benaresh (talk) 21:56, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
It strikes me as not at all unlikely given the other sexual allegations made against him. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:20, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
That a fair point... Crap maybe a part of me don't want it to be true, i mean it is horrifing isn't it?--Benaresh (talk) 23:05, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
ha, watersports is pretty vanilla these days AMassiveGay (talk) 23:50, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
I remain firm in that I don't accept outlandish claims on suspect evidence. Given that it alleges a conspiracy of control on weak evidence: I will call it a conspiracy theory until such time as there is reason to call it something else. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 23:26, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
We have a name now : Christopher Steele was the former british agent who with his Company Orbis Intelligence Limited was tasked to find dirt on Trump. If his claims turn out to be true, what do you think would happen? I still doubt that it is true but i am not fully aware of the consequences... --Benaresh (talk) 07:43, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
Nothing will happen. I cannot imagine a scandal that would turn the republican party against Trump, and being that they control both chambers of congress, everything will slide. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:44, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

[edit] Why

are Guardian and NY Times links on this page? Shouldn't they be on WIGO:World? ?? (talk) 13:51, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

The Guardian publishes plenty of opinion and has a specific editorial slant. (So does the NYT.) I put a piece here rather than WIGO:World because it struck me as very tentative research for discussion rather than hard news. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:52, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
If it's an op-ed (e.g. anything in Comment Is Free or NYT Blogs), it goes here - David Gerard (talk) 17:40, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

[edit] Re: Todd Nickerson petition

"The content of this petition is under review." Not sure what this means, but it probably got removed because someone thought it was encouraging child rape or something.—CheeseburgerFace (talk) 17:40, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

[edit] Anti-space Luddite or why the Atlantic Article pisses me off without being wrong.

Sorry if i have to vent my frustation this way, while i agree with that Article i don't think the Person who wrote is really got why Elon Musk and Hawkins implore us to reach the stars. Even with a perfect Society with no problems(Utopia anyone?) staying on Earth would still result in the demise of the Human species. Reaching out unto the stars isn't about captalism it is about progress hope and the inevetability of finite ressources drying up one day.

Yes we need to solve our problems here on earth but we shouldn't let this deter from reaching out to the Stars. In fact pretending that, solving the problems of the now and space exploration are mutally exclusive is not only false but those two are connected. Satelites are used in Farming and mapping climate change, the challenges of Space Travel forwarded the Development in Material Science and Engineering and most Astronauts and Cosmonauts came back to Earth changed people, the sky looks endless from the ground and paper thin to Space Explorers, who do you think has more appreciation for the Life Boat Earth? The Guy who had to Breath in a Space suit or the guy who thinks Snow proofes that Global Warming doesn't exist?

I couldn't put my toughts terse enough to formulate why i think anti-space People are unhelpful in solving the Problems they moan about but do not let you be decieved: These People are Anti-science, and not understanding the benefits of the Space Programs all around the World shows that.

you'll to have to forgive us anti-science luddites for not particularly caring too much about progress, hope and the wonderous prospect of our great great great great great grandkids one day being able to take a shit on Mars. I guess the worry of having to make rent, pay for medication, and still have enough to eat, has warped our myopic perspective. I guess we cant all be visionaries looking at the long picture, like those billionaires like elon musk. i guess us selfish proles will have to learn to appreciate the ability to see photographs of tiny dots in the blackness of space that are tiny dots that mankind has never seen before, while hunting behind the sofa for enough change to buy a tin of beans. i know i will feel so much better about myself when i take my daily medication, content in the knowledge that a handful of pluck dreamers got to see the world fron the void of space can appreciate this squalid rock that much more than i. I'll try to stifle the notion that world war II and cold war politics was any kind of driving force for the miracles of the space race, and I know it is just churlish of me to think it is a fantasy that we wouldn't have found other drivers for technological progress, or that saintly billonaire visionaries like elon musk are the cause and/or symptom of many of the worlds problems. I'll try but i guess i'm no visionary. hmm, its a bit chilly today. so much for global warning. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:30, 9 March 2017 (UTC)

There is more to fucking life than shitting on other peoples Hopes and Dreams. Also consider this: all other Cold War Posturing had a tinge of Armageddon (Cuba Crisis for one) the Space Race was Scientific and looked less like a prelude for war and more like a Dick Measuring Contest. The US alone spends Billion on Weapons they never use Cancer Research has more funding than all the Space Programs combined. We spend little and gain a lot in knowledge in return.

Elon Musk is a Douche i don't care about, but thats the thing you seem to have a bigger problem with him and Billionaires than with Space Exploration. It seems that People as usually look for a simple solution: Just shut every Space Program down! it is sure to help you find some spare change for your Can of Beans. --Benaresh (talk) 16:30, 10 March 2017 (UTC)

(looks up at the other comments) I have this strange feeling about you guys, and our, wish to "reach the stars". Don't any of you think that this is actually a strange attitude for us to have when it comes to the subject of space exploration? It comes off as needy and desperate and almost religious. I'm not against space exploration or humans being on other planets, but for some reason every time it is discussed it seems to be motivated by some deep seated anxiety that no one wants to talk about directly. Like, seriously humanity, do we need to talk to somebody, maybe see a therapist? I hope this little rant wasn't inarticulate and hard to understand. (talk) 17:39, 10 March 2017 (UTC)Krashlia

im not sure about the anxiety, but I certainly see the religious mania for it, as exemplarised by time Peake's (the first Brit in space who isn't a woman because they don't count. even space is sexist. honestly, when he was murdering bowie, it was like Helen sharman never existed. I went to science museum recently, tim Peake's face was every where, but Helen sharman? didn't see her. sure she was, but I wasn't looking, but i wasn't looking for tim peake either but you couldn't avoid him) and Brian cox evangelically in an asinine awe struck tone talking about the wonders of space, the immenseness of it all, the insignificance of our lives in the face of the vastness of the eons old universe. the take home from it all is not some existential angst nor some near religious inspiration, but that perhaps we should be making the most of our lives now, here on earth. spend your own cash if like and can afford it, but dont ask me or ask for my tax money when people are starving, homeless, losing jobs, businesses going under, hospitals and schools going under, and people murdering each other for petty prejudices and their own religious inspiration. I particularly dislike billionaires lecturing me for not sharing a vision, nay fantasy, as to what we could achieve decades, or hundreds, of years in the future when circumstance prevents me knowing whats going to happen next week. get back to me when we star trek type replicators are a reality, though I probably wont care then either because what I would be replicating, I wont need a rocket ship to traverse the cosmos. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:11, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
This complex question actually calls for a complex answer, and here is one from 1970: Why explore space?. The letter is a bit long but worth reading IMHO since it directly addresses some of your points. TLDR: space exploration has indirect benefits for everyday people (technology, knowledge, international cooperation), and when talking about budget, we need to really think about how it works. In addition to that, different people have different tastes and aspirations: someone who is motivated by rocket science may not be motivated by cancer research, and there is nothing wrong with that. All the problems that we have are already being worked on by the smartest people; but sometimes the problems are just too damn hard, and sometimes corruption and incompetence get in the way. --Cmonk (talk) 21:47, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, sexism is like an Envelope choking everday life. In addition to Woman Black men like Bass Reeves and Native American accomplishments aren't part of Americas History leaving a white male dominated History in the minds of people. It is strange how more than 50% of Humans are considered inferior and their accomplishments attributed to men. Even stranger when those Man Babys on the WEBZ always ramble on how "3rd Wave Feminism is unneccesary cancer". My hope is that as the message of feminism is spread, female wont be talked down anymore...

You are not wrong that there is a Religiosity within AstroPhysics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZporFnmDS8I But what i get from it is a reason not to end my miserable life. Space News and its related progress is the little light in my life that lets me dream of Moon and Mars trips as poignant and awe inspiring for me as my first flights in a Plane. Also the little itch of being a Wanderer: https://vimeo.com/108650530

But most importantly we try to eliminate one of the biggest issues of Mankind: Energy. Everything boils down to it and a Dyson Swarm is propably (hey no 100% guarantee) the Key to a post-scarcity Society as envisioned by Iain M. Banks. A future i hope for!--Benaresh (talk) 17:24, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

[edit] "The alt-right didn't start out racist"

What? I'm sorry...WHAT?! The term was frigging coined by a Neo-Nazi. Blitz (Complaints Box) 17:34, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

It goes into Richard Spencer, he wasn't actually always an out-and-proud white supremacist. Some of the article is interesting, but it's all predicated on the idea that the alt-right is a "movement" with clear leaders and an organized ideology. It's more of a coalition of people who can tell you very clearly what they don't like- globalism, immigration, minorities, feminism, etc.- but don't have any coherent ideology outside of that. It's why they loved Trump so much- he was like them. The Nazi types have practiced for decades to polish their arguments and play mind games with these kinds of people, those who don't often have a deep understanding of political history or ideologies, but are just frustrated and using voting as an outlet for frustration. Your /pol/ types are the more "matured" alt-right, those with more coherent (if deplorable) ideologies close to traditional white nationalism and anti-semitism. Hentropy (talk) 23:37, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
I can confirm that there was a paleoconservative revival preceding the alt-right. Lots of Republicans including myself were not impressed with the direction taken by movement conservatism during the Bush years, and were looking for conservatisms that rejected economic libertarianism. The problem is, when you started looking for that sort of thing, sooner or later you'll end up meeting admirers of John C. Calhoun. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:30, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

[edit] The Hoaxers

This post in particular.

The biggest problem with that article is that the authors conclude that there is a problem with the entire field of gender studies rather than the problem of predatory access journals, which I think is the bigger problem.

“The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” underwent a blind peer-review process and yet was accepted for publication. This needs serious explaining. Part of the fault may fall on the open-access, pay-to-publish model, but the rest falls on the entire academic enterprise collectively referred to as “gender studies.” As we see it, gender studies in its current form needs to do some serious housecleaning.

I think it's a pretty big leap of faith. So, the content itself is good, but their conclusions, I think, is going too far. They keep emphasizing the dangers of predatory open-access journals but weaken their point by trying to criticize gender studies as a whole.

On the other hand, no one is arguing, nor has any reason to argue, that respectable journals like Nature and countless others have adopted a peer-review process that is fundamentally flawed or in any meaningful way corrupt. Much of the peer-review system remains the gold-standard for the advancement of human knowledge. The problem lies within a nebula of marginal journals, predatory pay-to-publish journals, and, possibly to some degree, open-access journals—although it may largely be discipline-specific, as we had originally hoped to discover. This is, after all, not the first time postmodernist academia has fallen for a hoax.

This hoax, however, was rooted in moral and political biases masquerading as rigorous academic theory. Working in a biased environment, we successfully sugarcoated utter nonsense with a combination of fashionable moral sentiments and impenetrable jargon. Cogent Social Sciences happily swallowed the pill. It left utter nonsense easy to disguise.

The thing is, even "hard" science has blips where hoaxes are published in things like Nature. This doesn't say anything about the field but that people are prone to biases and can demonstrate being careless. I.e. humans are human.

It doesn't help that some people in the comments section are using this as a means to celebrate denigrating gender studies, but I read some of the more critical comments and have to agree with them. So, overall, I had to give the post a down-vote, especially since I think RationalWiki is the type that would defend gender studies. --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 01:51, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes, this is a completely stupid entry and whoever put it in here is a bit gullible. I added PZ's dissection of why vanity publishing in a predatory OA journal mostly proves "I R VERY SMRT" - David Gerard (talk) 12:52, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Also, even Sokal of the infamous Sokal affair, which the hoaxers were inspired from, warned about drawing conclusions about the field, so it doesn't seem like even they were following carefully what he was doing. Anyhow, the PZ Meyers article is welcome, thanks! --It's-a me, LeftyGreenMario! 18:00, 23 May 2017 (UTC)
Legitimate social science shouldn't begin with moral or political assumptions. The stunt demonstrated at minimum that an institution in the field, however new and unestablished, took rank nonsense seriously when it appeared that the language was conventional and the gender politics oriented in the 'correct' direction of misandry. That may be a small point -- and all such abuses of trust are dick moves, that much I grant -- but it is a valid point IMO. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 18:09, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
The journal almost certainly knew it was nonsense, they wanted the money. Christopher (talk) 18:15, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Sure, but is this problem unique to gender politics? And this also doesn't demonstrate accurate representation of the field; it's a problem if it's much more widespread and it's restricted to that field, but time and time again shows that it's more likely a bigger problem of predatory open-access journals and a glitch with peer review, since other fields including "hard" science like medicine (think Andrew Wakefield) had have journals publishing drivel.
Christopher: Yeah, this might be a double play, though the first time it was attempted to be published, it was rejected and redirected to an open-access journal. Still, 600 bucks is 600 bucks.... (talk) 18:20, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Wakefield may have gotten nonsense published, but (disclaimer: I've never read it) it probably wasn't obvious nonsense, and it likely was written in prose that made sense. He fudged his data, not the text. The problem exposed here is not in any data set, but in the acceptance of text that contains incoherent posturing that is given a pass if the politics seems acceptable. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 19:03, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
I've also never read it but wasn't it a non randomised study with no control done on 12 people? That should never have been published. Christopher (talk) 19:08, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
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