RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?

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What is going on?

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[edit] Louisiana Shooter Motive

Maybe since it's a delicate subject they don't want to jump to conclusions and announce that misogynistic terrorists are targeting feminists before they have completed the investigation. From the information given it looks pretty clear cut, but they probably want to be 100% sure of the nature of the crime before they give the media reason to sensationalize it. Besides, the superintendent's quote didn't indicate whether this was immediately after the event or after the facts about the murderer were discovered, so he might not have known all the details listed in the article when he said those words.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 17:35, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Nah, they just don't want to confront uncomfortable topics, since according to conservatives, there is absolutely nothing wrong with gender relations as they stand, and anyone who says otherwise secretly hates men. ConfusedLiberal (talk) 17:45, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, why wait until the people with access to all the information make a statement when we can run around like chickens with our heads cut off? Seriously, though, it doesn't actually make a huge difference to just wait until the people with a lot more information than you can finish their investigation. Yeah, there's probably some connection, it doesn't mean you can't let people finish actually examining all the evidence before making grand pronouncements. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:51, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
That "tone down" was stupid. Both sides LOVE to milk tragedies, no exceptions.--Arisboch (talk) 11:18, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Didn't want to make it about at, but since you mention it; here. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:32, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Oh comon, we can't get another social media campaign with that attitude! -Krashlia

[edit] Chris Ladd on the European model

Probably goes without saying that an opinion piece from a Republican attempting to explain why Nordic-style social democracy is not feasible in the USA will not win fans here. The rebuttal probably begins with saying that a "volatile" economy based on "creative destruction" is not something obviously desirable. Worse -- from my perspective -- it is profoundly anti-conservative. Failure to get this is one of the reasons why the American right wing is no longer conservative. And it begs the question, why the hell are we paying taxes to defend Europe rather than building our own society here at home?

Still, it's not obvious nonsense, and seems reasonably reality-based and open minded. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 02:27, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Mr. Ladd has explained in the past that he's more of a conservative in the Burkean tradition (no relation to User:Burkean), which means that he is all about the protection of key social institutions from the inherent trend in market capitalism towards commodifying everything. So your statement that creative destruction is "profoundly anti-conservative" would be something he agrees with.
You know, being a longtime follower of his, I am beginning to wonder if I should change my username. I seem to get along quite well with center-right moderates like GOPlifer and George Pataki, with the exception that I am very liberal on social issues whereas those guys are more aloof. I am also more pro-labor. Then again, the "confused" part of my name still says it all; my positions on issues are muddled. I LIKE to think I'm center-left, but my support of this blog is making me question it. ConfusedLiberal (talk) 03:47, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Screw it, I went for it. Blitz (talk) 03:57, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
The thing is that by today's standards Ladd is outright centrist (as in a smart centrist not a VSP). Because of how far to the right our political spectrum has become Ladd is, in terms of policy, not much different from liberals he just comes at it from a different direction (i.e. a progressive conservative one). It's worth nothing that this is where the GOP (or at least a strong faction of it) use to be under people like Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower but today the poor guy (like TR and Ike) is in many ways to the left of a majority of Democrats. ClothCoat (talk) 05:03, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Eh, "liberal" isn't a particlarly clear political term either way. In much of Europe, identifying as a liberal would neatly put you on the right-wing side of the political spectrum. If you're all about "freedom", as the term originally implied, then you should really be a political pluralist, since freedom is all about having various different options available, no? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 06:30, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
I think it's intuitively obvious that real centrist freedom is whatever agrees with me - David Gerard (talk) 08:26, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
That's the opposite of what I'm talking about, though. Political pluralism would entail also putting up with political positions you don't particularly agree with. I also find the negative connotation "centrist" automatically seems to carry around here a bit eyebrow-raisy. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 14:08, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, an American centrist would be fairly right wing to most Europeans. Equally a Eupean right winger (at least one with a chance of being a member of an elected government) would be at least socialist to a Murcan. Prolly why the eyebrows are raised, no? Scream!! (talk) 15:43, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
I suppose that 'centrist' is one of those labels whose meaning depends on local context. In the US context, a Republican centrist will be a breath of fresh air. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:29, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
An article full of babble. When Americans want the same kind of mixed system that every single other developed country in the world has...then they will have it. It's not any more difficult than this. They could have it tomorrow if they really wanted it. ShabiDOO 10:12, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] The voting machines

I'm banking on gerrymandering. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar?~) 22:17, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

It's funny how an AG who speaks so passionately about "protecting election integrity" is trying to avoid an audit of the voting machines that might have skewed the election in Brownback's favor. Oh that's right, by protecting elections they mean protecting them from non-teapublican voters. Blitz (Complaints Box) 08:46, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Uber and Ride Sharing

I wasn't even sure what that article was about until a few paragraphs in. I can agree with thesis that "disruption isn't always good all the time" but people don't like Uber simply because it's disruptive (though I guess it's not that hard to find idiots who would take that absolutist a stance on disruption), people like it because it's shaking up an industry that needed to be shaken up a long time ago. Taxi companies are state-sponsored monopolistic cartels in most cities with notoriously low standards of service, and the system allows for no competition to take place. Their tech being behind the times is the least of people's worries. Liberals shouldn't feel obligated to prop up outdated and corrupt systems just to get pro-labor cred. This system would never change if it weren't for something like Uber to take hold. Also, don't pretend it's a class thing, poor people don't use taxis. If someone made "UberHealth", an app that allowed people to get decent healthcare at an affordable price by evading the Byzantine healthcare laws, liberals wouldn't be calling that "piracy", they'd be building statues to the person who came up with it. Hentropy (talk) 21:29, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Replacing one monopoly (a semi-private government cartel) with another monopoly (a highly aggressive economic killer shark) is not shaking up anything. It's replacing an inefficient bad thing with an unregulated bad thing transferring money from government coffers and drivers pockets to a giant predatory company and drivers pockets. Regulate it and introduce actual competition and your argument might stand on the slightest of foundations. 188.78.207.221 (talk) 19:19, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
I never suggested they shouldn't be regulated, only that it is not a black-and-white choice between the two. The fact is, the taxi system was never going to change unless something came along and forced it to change, and chances are that something wasn't going to be an ideal and problem-free alternative. Corrupt institutions won't change because you ask nicely, there's been numerous attempts to introduce competition into the taxi market "the right way" and they all get crushed by the powerful taxi companies. I'm not suggesting Uber is some kind of corporate Black Lives Matter or something, only that this was inevitable and pretending like opposing Uber is some kind of progressive or pro-labor position ignores the root of the problem and conflict. Hentropy (talk) 04:50, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Science is Untrustworthy?

I think Cracked could be doing a service by highlighting junk science and some of the problems of modern science but saying straight-up that "You can't trust science" is basically the same position that people opposed climate change science, evolution, and vaccines use. So it might have a decent message with a bad and clickbaitey title (I know, I know, Cracked has never done that before...) Hentropy (talk) 21:29, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

Cracked has had a bit of a problem lately with whoever titles their articles. It's well-known among regular readers. You'll see it mentioned all the time in the comments about how Title Guy has given an article the worst possible title for the contents, or how Title Guy has changed one to make it more clickbaitey. Psycho Gecko 00:36, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes it can get bad but this time it looks particularly egregious... it seems to be getting more shit in the comments than normal. Saying you can't trust science is sort of a dangerous assertion beyond the normal Title Guy shenanigans. Next week: 7 Reasons Why Calling Them Title Guy in the Comments Makes You a Transphobic Racist.Hentropy (talk) 00:48, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
Eh, that's just a bad opinion. That was actually something that was legitimately dangerous considering how that premise would easily lead one to complete dismissal of the field of medicine. A better comparison would be similar to if that article they had on ambulances was titled "Drive to the Hospital Instead: Why You Should Never Ride in Ambulances". Crow7878 (talk) 17:09, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Cracked has gotten steadily more desperate for ad revenue. First it started with Auntiememe dominating Photoplasties with stuff recycled from the main articles (she now has her own fake Photoplasty contest for this purpose, and she has admitted it's just to increase site traffic). Then "Title Guy" started messing with the titles. Then the original draft titles started prioritizing clickbait over accuracy, only to get edited by Title Guy anyways. Most recently they've started reposting popular articles to the front page feed.

Site owner Demand Media has even stated that they use algorithms to pick article topics based on how likely people will click on them, since clicks = $$$. That's why there's been a steady uptick in articles on social justice advocacy, because their algorithms state that it's the hot topic of the internet, and people will flock to the pages to engage in flamewars in the comments. The most recent article shared in the WIGO was stormed by the "anti-SJW" crowd to kindly explain to the ex-Wiki editor that she is just a thin-skinned whiner and needs to suck it up. Blitz (Complaints Box) 18:31, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

This new article was actually written in December/January; they appear to be running it now as a filler, which is why it reads like filler. (And was apparently edited way down.) - David Gerard (talk) 20:46, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
The question becomes when is it okay to cut Cracked loose when it comes their clickbaitey social justice articles. When you have to ignore the motive behind writing the article, the title, and a third of its content to get to the few interesting/funny/insightful nuggets, do they sorta stop becoming credible? Cracked is still fine in my book, but it's becoming pretty clear that their social justice articles are just being put through an algorithm that will make people argue about it, devoid of any genuine understanding of these issues and nuance in general. Considering the fact that pretty much everyone who does a social justice article is a very privilege cishet white man, it almost seems like some kind of low-information bizarro white/mansplaining. Hentropy (talk) 16:31, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
You appear to be throwing in random SJW jargon terms in the hope that if you try enough you'll throw a Yahtzee - David Gerard (talk) 21:28, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
You'll be happy to know the Cr*cked article I just added brings a small amount of science to the table - David Gerard (talk) 23:58, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] The Political Correctness Article

According to Cracked, the tweet calling out the one Philae scientist for having a "sexist shirt", "got over a thousand retweets, which is ... hold on, let me run the numbers ... just shy of being notable. Sorry: The Internet is a big place. A thousand retweets would be really great for me, one of my articles, or a joke I wrote, but as far as being a bona fide "big deal," it hardly counts." So apparently it's not a big deal when thousands of feminists get behind something? If there were even 50 MRAs who jumped on some crazy bandwagon like that, I'm sure Cracked and all its ilk would jump all over that. besides, he dishonestly acts like the was only one tweet about this issue. Which is not the case (and yes, all these articles are actively criticizing the guy, not simply reporting on the event or refuting it). And yet the author seems to think people shouldn't voice their opinions if they take issue with this, since "it's not a big deal". I'm getting tired of Cracked.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 02:48, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Like most things recently it seemed to be a case of them having a semi-decent point, most people who spend their time bitching about PC tend to just be jerks who wanna keep being jerks, but on the other hand there have been quite a few recent examples of people being overzealous and silly with it. Sargent just kinda falls for the same tribalist traps, desperately trying to defend and excuse the silly behavior (like the uproar over the shirt) while going bonkers over any perceived offense from the other side. You have to get back to basics, which politely suggesting that people don't unintentionally do things to alienate or offend people. I highly doubt any woman serious about a STEM career has switched majors because of a freaking tacky shirt, and criticizing games filled with murder and mayhem for a poor betrayal of women also isn't really helping. Sargent especially comes off as some kind of annoying born-again social justice activist, bringing us all the good news about social justice and how you're bad for not having the same exact opinions as him. It's especially grating considering the Cracked staff looks like an SAE frat party, and they always ensure the token woman on their podcasts say as little as possible. Hentropy (talk) 03:54, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
"So I'm actually wrong per your tawdry evidence, but I shall assert once more that I am actually right. Also, here's some unrelated ad hominem." Cool story - David Gerard (talk) 07:54, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
If you're going to rush to Cracked's defense for no other reason than they're on your "side" and you see any criticism of Cracked as a criticism of all progressivism, then at least do so in a manner where I don't have to guess what the hell you're talking about. If you really want a decent article, Christina H made a very similar article last year that was actually well-written, considerate, and didn't have to resort to clickbait designed specifically to generate clicks and get shared. Hentropy (talk) 16:45, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
That was clearly a criticism of your argument as written, not a defense of cracked. Please don't write motivations onto people like that. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:08, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
But apparently putting (completely irrelevant) words in people's mouth to misrepresent their argument channer-style with no further clarification is completely acceptable in a discussion forum. I'm not interested in a passive-aggressive snarkfest, if someone vaguely makes substanceless jabs against me whenever I criticize Cracked for any reason, then I'm going to infer that they are defending Cracked. Hentropy (talk) 17:36, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
"Cool story"? Wow, that's some really intelligently thought-out and biting satire. How about making a real argument instead of putting words in people's mouths?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 18:57, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
What bothered me most about that episode was the philistinism and esthetic blindness on tap there. The shirt was obviously a campy homage to pulp and comic book art. Perceiving it and calling it 'sexist' is tiresome, prudish bullshit. That's a learned reaction that needs to be unlearned. As far as I'm concerned the shirt was an awesome present from a friend and he did well to want to show it off. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 12:25, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I generally agree with Smerdis' sentiment that it was a pretty cool shirt (aesthetically at least), but seriously, whining about retweets on Twitter is like whining about likes on Facebook: utterly stupid. Don't do it. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 16:55, 19 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
Assuming the "whining" refers to me, I thought it was contradictory that he would say that a thousand retweets was "no big deal" in this case, but if some MRAs or right-wingers posted something crazy with 1,000 likes, people would jump all over it. Personally I don't think a large number of likes/retweets matters (since you can find an echo chamber for anything), but that doesn't mean you're overreacting if you criticize the post.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 19:05, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
Also, as noted above, the part that happened on Twitter touched off a round of denunciations in widely read parts of the feminist blogosphere, and got coverage in The Guardian, Slate, and Salon. Reducing the phenomenon to retweets seems special pleading. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 02:05, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Never ceases to amaze me that people can get this huffy and worked up over colorful fabric, but hey... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:15, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] African Countries score

Shall we share our scores here? I got 50/54 on my first try. Blitz (Complaints Box) 08:42, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Phew. And without cheating? 142.124.55.236 (talk) 09:20, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
And without cheating. I also got the Canaries as a bonus. Blitz (Complaints Box) 10:52, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Well, I made it to 35/54 and 2 bonus answers. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 09:48, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
54/54. But then again, I live there. Although it's a bugger because it only accepts Congo Republic and not just Congo (as apposed to the DRC) PsyGremlin話しなさい 12:06, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
There's two Congos, of course it can't accept that as a proper answer. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 12:34, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
Yes, but there's the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the other is more generally known as just Congo, not Congo Republic. PsyGremlin話しなさい 12:30, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
The other one is called Congo pretty often too (in international contexts at least). Typing "Republic of the Congo" also works, btw. "RotC" probably too. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 12:34, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
"Congo-Brazzaville" also works. Just tried it. 142.124.55.236 (talk) 12:42, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
So did "Zaire", which is what I still tend to remember it as. I got 48 of 54. Forgot Djibouti, and some of the islands countries like Cabo Verde. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:06, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Can you tell me what that tiny country bordered by Ethiopia and Somalia is called then? (Just curious.) 142.124.55.236 (talk) 12:39, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
Djibouti. BicyclewheelModerator 13:37, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
Ah, thanks! 142.124.55.236 (talk) 14:49, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)
32/54 and 4 bonus answers. Oh well. I blame the number of "republic of" countries.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 13:20, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
40 with one bonus answer. I really need to brush up on Sporcle. AyzmoCheers 17:55, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I got 30 with one bonus. For about half though, I needed to look up the exact spelling of the country. --Revolverman (talk) 00:31, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I used to participate in a lot of geography bees when I was younger, Africa was always the "true test" so to speak since it had the most countries with complicated names. Even then, for some reason I was not for the life of me able to remember Senegal. I remembered The Gambia, and the small island countries, but not Senegal. Aced all their other quizzes though. Hentropy (talk) 05:38, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I only forgot teh Seychelles, but I used to live in Togo. Researcher (talk) 04:19, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Bakker article on heavenly real estate

This site looks like a satire site: http://bizstandardnews.com/2015/08/20/jim-bakker-urging-followers-to-buy-real-estate-in-heaven/ Julyo (talk) 13:04, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Yup. "The stories are outlandish, but reality is so strange nowadays they could be true." 142.124.55.236 (talk) 13:19, 23 August 42015 AQD (UTC)

[edit] Some of those feminist_tinder conversations seem like reasonable people discussing things

Some are obviously shitheads, and I don't want to bury that, but... I pulled it up on my phone and there was a fair amount of reasonable people discussing their differences. That doesn't need public shaming. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:32, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

I take it back, I got a bit further in and found nothing but horror. There were just a couple cases of what seemed like sane discussion. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:36, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
Tinder is what, exactly - some kind of matchmaking service for people with fancy phones that do "apps?" You put up a photo that might be you, and a data sheet about your turn-ons and turn-offs, and invite the judgment of random strangers with fancy phones? Doesn't sound to me like a really good forum for meaningful political discussion. I'm not sure what reasonable expectations would be in such an environment, but probably not that. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 21:17, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
The profile's not a bad idea, but I sorta rolled my eyes at some of the "this hair style is cultural appropriation" nonsense native (and mostly isolated) to Tumblr. There's also some other immature stuff that she really didn't have to save/highlight on there. Hentropy (talk) 22:57, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
Apparently "crazy" is an ableist slur and our society gets more outraged at women standing up to misogyny than misogyny itself (in a world where when an old Nobel Laureate makes a casual joke about women, he is fired and disowned by everyone, but a "diversity officer" who excludes men from meetings and uses #killallwhitemen, she keeps her job). Basically it's someone spouting crap but looking like a genius compared to the disproportionate hate and harassment she receives. Nothing really positive at all.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 23:08, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
My impression of identity politics in general is that, at its core, it's an oppression contest and unhelpful ranting about other people's perceived "privilege" instead of actually doing something to try to remedy a particular situation. If I'm ever audacious enough to mention the difficulties I occasionally face because I have shoulder-length hair and a fairly large beard, or mention the (not major but still present) sexism I run into because I work in a very female-dominated field, the absolute guaranteed response is "SHUT UP YOU PRIVILEGED ASSHOLE I HAVE IT SO MUCH HARDER BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN/IF I HAD LONG HAIR I'D HAVE IT SO MUCH HARDER THAN YOU BECAUSE I'M BLACK/HISPANIC/ [insert minority here] SO FUCK OFF AND LET ME KEEP RANTING ABOUT HOW PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE FUCKTARDS AND CAUSE ALL OUR PROBLEMS!!!!!!" Evidently being an autistic doesn't get much street cred with the people uneducated enough to go on or agree with the aforementioned tirades, because the amount of melanin in your skin definitely impacts your life more than a systemic brain disorder (evidently it makes no difference right up until it can be brandished as a weapon to try to shut down things someone doesn't like). And as to ableism, I will until my dying day resist classifying autism as anything besides a disability. It'a A Very Good Thing most people don't think the way I do, and it's A Very Gold Thing psychologists and speech paths work to try to minimize those qualities; our species probably wouldn't have survived if most people had the awful facial recognition I do, and it definitely wouldn't have if most people chose to remain single their entire lives. I could unleash diatribes about how Hollywood and music are "privilege blind" to people like me because love and sex are such prominent themes, but I instead choose to do something most people don't ever think of; I find something that suits me, like listening to Rush or watching films like Lord of the Rings and A Clockwork Orange and Midnight Cowboy. And it's not ableist to use decent grammar when you're speaking, what's really annoying is resorting to horrible circumlocutions. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:59, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Now I wonder what the reaction would be if somebody started posting a bunch of right-wing political cant and dog-whistling into a profile on a dating/hookup app. It would be interesting to see whether the resulting conversations are any more edifying or topical. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 02:44, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Ableism is a matter of contention on various sites, as "crazy" and "insane" are such common vernacular, especially when places like "We Hunted The Mammoth" use it frequently to describe mansophere idiots. In some ways I can see where they are coming from, but so much of our negative vernacular is tied to euphemisms. Calling someone an idiot could be considered disparaging to the mentally handicapped, as well. When you take away all these things, there are basically no insults left besides rather vulgar and hateful ones, like "fucker", "trashpile", "shitlord", which is why I assume tumblr loves using them so much. In the end it's always good to take the attitude of "is anyone actually being hurt here, am I actually helping anyone, or just self-gratifying and stroking my ego?" which probably pertains to more than just social justice topics. Hentropy (talk) 04:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
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