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RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?

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What is going on?

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[edit] Wesley Morganston

So someone put in the blogs section something that belongs in the clogs. Essentially a neoreactionary commentary making fun of "the Cathedral" - a conspiratorial catch-all term for everything modern, liberal, or even conservative that disagrees with their worldview - for using demonstrations and actual humanity to demand justice. It's basically one big fat "no u" while insisting that "modern" ways of life are vacuous. And then there's a section insisting that there's no such thing as secularism, by pointing out times when government and religion were intermingled like eggs in an omelet.

And the only reason I haven't snipped it is because you dumbasses keep upvoting it and I want to see how much critical examination of things you actually do. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

I notice it started at +10 and is now at +4. Well done, you put it in and got it Internet points, that'll definitely bring about the revolution - David Gerard (talk) 08:38, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Um, the link was added by another BoN.
As for "you dumbasses", the people who visit and vote on these pages are not necessarily the same as those who edit the wiki. There seems to be a lot of people who vote on links without reading them.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:11, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Neoreactionary/LessWrong Twitter has been circulating the link going "OH WOW NYDWRACU'S IN RW" like we're the big time - David Gerard (talk) 15:17, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Honestly, I just ignored it because "the problem with religion" is one of those complicated topics that I don't expect an article by that name to properly address in the first place. Ikanreed (talk) 15:36, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, RW knows who they are and said critical things...and they nothing better to do. There's only so many times you can heat up a cheese dip, watch weird youtube videos, or write senseless 30 page screeds. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:49, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I didn't upvote it because I recognized the source, but I figure Nydwracu's words speak for themselves. I saw nothing particularly offensive there either, then again I'm not sensitive to that sort of thing either. The NR idea of the Cathedral is a bit off, but also interesting. People of all political persuasions tend to place various ideas on pedestals and react to challenges to these ideas badly. At least Nydracu's writing is a bit easier to take than Moldbug's. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 20:51, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Today I was reminded of Moldbug's ridiculous piece on Bitcoin. (My response.) That's him being relatively terse and direct, by the way - David Gerard (talk) 21:52, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Ok. I am the person who added Nort's post to this because it's actually very good, thoughtful, and contrary to what you people might assume, not NRx. But now I'm interested. Do you people actually have a proper argument for why you don't like it, or what? (talk) 22:35, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

What? The word 'Cathedral' appears once on the entire first page. Also it's almost certainly not kantbot, but whoever it is doesn't understand that different words have different meanings to different audiences so I hope he stops doing that. --Oldenglishword (talk) 07:11, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, Wes. But these people are well aware of exosemantics. (talk) 07:46, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
"exosemantics" being a word he's most of the top 10 Google hits for. 'Cos we really needed a neologism for "connotations". I blame LessWrong's encouragement of gratuitous neologism, as always - David Gerard (talk) 11:43, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Just how uneducated they must be not to know words like this in their own native language... geez. Dmytry (talk) 21:50, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Apparently Wesley denies he's NRx but none of his friends believe it. (indulgent twitter thread). Someone also said Mr. 74 is @kantbot2000, though I can't find that tweet now - David Gerard (talk) 22:47, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
For more proof, check out this twitter conversation. Does he ever betray a NRx viewpoint (pro-tech, singularitarian) (talk) 02:42, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
*psst* that conversation makes no point to anyone not already steeped in the NRx memetic swamp - David Gerard (talk) 11:44, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
More proof on his writings for Theden. (talk) 03:40, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

[edit] From "Blogs run by RationalWikians" down

Should this stuff be merged with RationalWiki:Blogroll, or does it serve some special purpose here? FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 23:56, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

*cough* FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 18:21, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

[edit] What's the skeptic stance on 'pedo'-detectors?

The cracked article talks about the studies purportedly showing that up to 50% of men are pedophiles, using some ridiculous looking penis movement recorder... what is the skeptic stance on that sort of stuff? It seems completely nuts (pun intended) - surely some pedos will not get a boner, and non-pedos may move around uncomfortably, mechanically causing false positives. Dmytry (talk) 18:23, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

I have a vague memory of someone mentioning "tumescence detectors", but I'm not sure if it was here or somewhere else. Check out User:Nebuchadnezzar, he's the psychology and neuroscience guy here, though he's not very active lately.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:32, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I was misremembering the term - the penile plethysmograph is mentioned in Pseudopsychology and has an entry on the Skeptic's Dictionary, but the Pedophilia article reports results from plethysmography studies without caveats. That article deserves attention, BTW, as its current incarnation is mostly the creation of User:Landmartian, who is a bit odd.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:40, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
"It has even been given to children as young as 10 who had abused other children. The latter was done in Phoenix, Arizona..." WTF?! Seriously, WTF?! Dmytry (talk) 21:47, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know, "has predictive value" is a pretty big deal for me as far as the pseudoscience divide goes: Discriminative and Predictive Validity of the Penile Plethysmograph in Adolescent Sex Offenders. The reasoning for calling it pseudoscience on both rationalwiki and skepdic was its deep ties to both lie detection and aversion therapy. The big risk is that people treat it like a smoking gun, when it's just a moderate correlation. Ikanreed (talk) 20:42, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, a lot of things correlate with general re-offending. Age, income, IQ, race... nobody's calling a skin albedo measurement device a detector of criminality yet it would actually work pretty well in the US. Dmytry (talk) 23:44, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Except that's exactly what I'm saying. That it has meaning, but using it as a tool for calling someone a criminal is dumb. The risk isn't that it's pseudoscience, it's that it's misapplied science. Ikanreed (talk) 23:54, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Ahh. No, my WTF was about the fact that using this test on a 10yo itself constitutes sexual abuse of a minor. As for pseudoscience, Cracked's claim should qualify, no? You can't use a weak correlate to establish a % of paedophiles among men. It trivializes paedophilia. Dmytry (talk) 04:45, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Is it me or Cracked's been sort of good lately?

The trans man article warmed me up to the site again. It was even gasp funny!

Only complaint about the article was the "Straight men, on the other hand, also won't touch you because you're too assertive, with probably a fair amount of homophobia thrown in for good measure" bit. That's probably because straight dudes aren't into dudes. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Now I'm not tense anymore, I'm just miserable. Hooray! 19:14, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

That's from the interviews series, which is just amazingly good in general - David Gerard (talk) 20:15, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Some trans men can still look kinda female according to societal standards, so it's not physically impossible for a guy who identifies as straight to have a relationship with a trans man. Not that it'd likely be a healthy relationship if it's founded on the straight guy not knowing/denying the other's gender identity. (talk) 20:30, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Since having a little girl what I'm noticing is that everyone's gender steamrolled from their very birth, starting with pink vs any non-link colours (literally turning women into people of colour lol). The toys are gendered. Imagine if the toys were raced instead, as in, rappers and gangsters in the black kid isle, other toys in white and asian kid isle. Imagine that a black kid who's playing with technical legos or merely not being into rappers gets told he's not a real black kid at every point by the society and the well meaning people of all races, perhaps he's a white guy trapped in a black guy's body? The problems that trans people experience undoubtedly stem from this utterly extreme sexism. Dmytry (talk) 08:52, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
This'll probably be solved if gendered toys stop selling. But stuff like Max Steel, Transformers, TMNT, Barbie, Polly Pocket, and My Little Pony keeps making mad bank (admittedly, Max Steel is awesome). |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Kyubey stares into your soul. /人◕‿‿◕人\\ 01:35, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
It's even worse with legos and everything else now than with barbies and transformers. You need to go look in a toy store. Not only are almost all toys sold in gender specific manner (more moving parts / more colours / more complex assembly in the boys section), they propagandise gender roles (all scientist and engineer characters in lego are male for example, girl sets have girls take care of the house and water flowers, etc etc). The toys relating to occupations are sorted into boy/girl toys, one could go over the average salaries of the occupations represented by said toys for a kick. Or count the moving parts as a proxy for educational value, or assembly steps. The toys that you think are gender neutral are in boy section. And while as a parent you could of course ignore all that, the kindergarten, school, friends, etc will not. Dmytry (talk) 02:44, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
It's tragic that Lego has actually taken steps backwards over the last few decades in that regard. There was a fuss recently that got a scientific women set released, and I understand that it's now going to become a regular part of the range rather than a limited edition set, but you look at Lego adverts from yesteryear and it's abundantly clear that some effort was taken to avoid any gender stereotyping. Somewhere along the line it was lost.Queexchthonic murmurings 10:56, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Lesbians and doctor

In honesty, the child is probably better off not going to that doctor, as it appears they're an alt med pusher. "She took a holistic approach to treating children. She used natural oils and probiotics". Compro01 (talk) 19:59, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

While I don't know why the natural oils thing was even a consideration, I don't see how suggesting a holistic approach to treating an infection is evidence of "alt medicine pushing." The USA Today article is far too vague about the doctor's approach for anyone reading it to glean that they prefer alternative medicine to standard medicine. I think it's a bit rash to rush to conclusions about this physician's approach to medicine based on this single article from USA Today, whose journalistic integrity isn't exactly "blemish-free." Mondedge (talk) 20:20, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

[edit] That tumblr thingy with -20 points

Since it was added by that troll, and it's about as coherent as that troll, shouldn't it be removed? Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyarnyar~) 13:25, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Nah, let's rub it in his face that his trolling has failed spectacularly. BicyclewheelModerator 14:37, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Stuff tends not to get removed from WIGO unless it's really old or should be moved to a different WIGO - downvoting into oblivion is just fine - David Gerard (talk) 15:15, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Downvoted it for your guys' pleasure. :) LEFTYGREENMARIO 07:44, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] That stupid hentai WIGO

Seriously? I could, if not in the interest of this site not being a pornostash, post 150,000 "sex-positive" hentai comics and images from just the sites listed in that article (I mean holy shit, Fakku has tons of good stuff, and that's one that was specifically pointed out in the thing). If I go to Tube8 and say "ugh, all the gay porn out there is just twinks being rammed up the ass, that's all there is" then yes, I would describe a thing that exists, but holy shit did I miss a lot of things and then go "UGH, IT'S ALL THERE IS" because that's all I was looking for. [Semi-anonymous rant mode OFF.] (talk) 10:02, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Sturgeon's Law must surely apply to porn as much as anything else. I guess porn has greater scope for the worst of it to be damaging (depending on how it was made) or displaying the worst attributes of its target market, but I'll take hentai over Nuts any day. Queexchthonic murmurings 10:23, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Very true. I was also disappointed the article made no mention of visual novels - most of which are erotic in nature and depict consenting adults. I'm not sure they're "sex-positive" in the most forthright, feminist sense - they sure have a lot of large breasts - but most of them don't focus on rape or other definitely immoral stuff. (There are of course some VNs that do, but they're much the minority.) Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 06:16, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Also no mention of otome games, although otome games are rarely explicit. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg I'm a survivor, keep on survivin' 13:18, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't really class visual novels as outright hentai, despite their occasional pornographic content. Plus whilst they certainly are a lot less rapey, the relationships in those tend to have a ruthless, coercive "be nice guy to get sex" sort of framing to them, as a result of the player input and premise. Not really all that sex positive either. 21:20 14 March 2015 (UTC) (talk) 21:25, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] That weak Guardian article on Militant atheism

The gist seems to be that militant atheists are largely liberal, and they think that all cultures will naturally evolve to their viewpoint. It seems like an insipid straw-man argument to me, especially considering that liberal atheists can retort that they don't expect all societies will adopt liberalism as a matter of course. — Unsigned, by: Hotwateramericano / talk / contribs

Not going to argue with that characterization. But I do think that at least for certain liberals, there is the expectation that liberalism will inevitably triumph. Its opponents stand in the way of Progress, and Progress is inevitable. (And so, standing in the way of Progress makes you a Villain.) Been this way since the days of the ancient Whigs. At any rate, I thought the editorial was not crazy enough for the clogs and fairly obviously missional. The author, John Gray[wp], probably deserves an article. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 04:39, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Davis Aurini and Jordan Owen have broken up

Is the skinny guy wearing the fedora ironically, have these losers "reclaimed" it from ridicule, a la lesbnians reclaiming the word "dyke," or does he actually think it makes him look cool? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 03:38, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Maybe he's reclaiming the fedora's ironic coolness. FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 03:51, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I thought the hat was actually the most amicable element in that picture. (talk) 07:22, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] People who are sick of activists' shit.

Seriously. Graduate students who literally spend 60 hours a week reading and writing about cutting-edge scholarship about things like gender and race attack someone who turned up for the cause and is willing to give time and effort for a common goal, but only has a GED and no idea what the fuck "gender performativity" or "social construction of race" mean or haven't learned that there are more than two possible pronouns for someone or that you shouldn't say "man up", thereby alienating a valuable ally. It happens, and it sucks. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:17, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm well aware. Being caustic helps exactly zero* sincere causes. But I still downvoted it because it seemed like exactly the sort of narrow-minded policing of language it denounced. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Telling people that engaging in narrow-minded policing of language is itself narrow-minded policing of language. Gotcha. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:38, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
It can be if all you do is say "Never call people out". If it's a gross simplification, it's a gross simplification, regardless of intent, no? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:43, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Except that's not what he said. "There are ways of calling people out that are compassionate and creative, and that recognize the whole individual instead of viewing them simply as representations of the systems from which they benefit. Paying attention to these other contexts will mean refusing to unleash all of our very real trauma onto the psyches of those we imagine represent the systems that oppress us. Given the nature of online social networks, call-outs are not going away any time soon. But reminding ourselves of what a call-out is meant to accomplish will go a long way toward creating the kinds of substantial, material changes in people’s behaviour – and in community dynamics – that we envision and need." Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:54, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
That's fair. I was overreaching. And I'm a firm believer in the extraordinary value of context. On the other hand, look at Smerdis' kinda hateful reply below to see how some people treat this kind of advice. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:01, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
(EC) Indeed. It's a bit of a shame, because I think this kind of attitude can not only alienate folks, but can also actually lessen the effectiveness of the activism in general. People like their in-groups and are more likely to listen to others within their in-group(s). Turning away someone looking to help just because they come from another background serves only to lock yourself out of that person's group and prevent your message from gaining traction. - Grant (talk) 18:06, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
To some extent I am inclined to agree with the author, though he does come off as a bit of tone troll in the article. The popular perception of those students who you mention (and who you may be aware are referred to, often derisively, as Social Justice Warriors) is that they lack any concept of proportionality. This is evident (at least to the denizens on the internet) by the fact that their responses to relatively minor actual (or perceived) social injustices tend to be regarded, even by other leftists (let alone centrists or conservatives), as being way out of proportion to the actual offense committed. Alsto003 (talk) 19:15, 4 March 2015 (UTC) Alex
Is anyone who criticizes tone a tone troll? (There's a discussion on that in the saloon, by the way.) (Agrajag (talk) 23:34, 4 March 2015 (UTC))
There's an extent to which that's true. In a totally sincere, rational world, an argument's merits do not vary at all based on the verbal framework that surrounds it. Demanding everyone's sincere concerns fall as secondary to expressing their concerns a certain way is pretty much all a tone troll does. Regardless, we don't live in a totally sincere, rational world, which entails being friendly with assholes who don't deserve it as the only way to alleviate a bit of their assholedom. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:55, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
It just seems to be that "tone troll" serves as an escape hatch - you use the term and people think "oh, that's a bad thing, isn't it? Ergo, this person must be wrong". I'm sure almost everyone here has seen it used in such a way - to dismiss as a troll anyone who criticizes you and shut down further discussion on the matter. (Not to say, of course, that tone/concern trolls don't exist, but the term seems to be far too broadly applied.) (Agrajag (talk) 02:27, 6 March 2015 (UTC))
Tone trolls are distinguished from those simply disagreeing by their lack of actual delineated counter-argument, and an insistence that the objectionable tone causes incorrectness. Very loosely, it can be thought of as a kind of ad hominimem. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:08, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] In which Smerdis shares zher opinion of activism

Activists will always need somebody to dehumanize, because that's what activism is. Activists are people who make enemies lists. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 17:26, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Your essay sucks, dude. It's twisting the definition of something, then selectively cherrypicking people to fit that definition, then denouncing similar people as problematic, on the basis of that stretched definition. That's not good reasoning, and it's exactly the sort of enemy forming you claim to denounce. As a clue, you cite LessWrong for Christ's sake. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:31, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I realized I just chastised you for the inanity of the essay, rather than refuting your central point, so let's do that too. Activism frequently and generally centers on approaching a goal. Anti-war activism doesn't demonize soldiers or politicians, for example. It just opposes military solutions to problems. You can find anti-war activists who are anti-(insert person) and make them out to be a demon, but it's neither central nor necessary to the activist approach. I find your accusation mentally lazy, your attitude ignorant of the way general human nature develops enemies(it's not just activists), and kind of insulting, even though I'm not myself much of an activist for anything. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:37, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I was there, and actually starting to pay attention, during the wind-down of the Vietnam War. "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?"[1] It is at least historically false that "Anti-war activism doesn't demonize soldiers or politicians..." It may have been that the Vietnam War was a big enough deal to justify resort to activism, but again, activism needs an enemy with a subhuman face. But the call-out culture is simply a self-righteous brand of performance art. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 18:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I've pointed out before that this is part of your issue; you continue to frame everything regarding activism, argument, etc., in terms of the late 1960s/early 1970s activism. It's very nice and historical, but does not necessarily apply to modern day activism. Frankly, your insistence that activism, feminism, and other facets of human nature haven't progressed or changed since before I was born doesn't hold up. You remind me of TERFs who insist that all feminism ended at 2nd Wave Dworkinism and hasn't moved since. --Castaigne (talk) 18:31, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Human nature has progressed or changed? Really? Now, the kinds of activism being discussed in the blog in question get criticized for being sanctimonious, aggressive, disproportionate, fanatical, and oblivious to context. I'm skeptical that other kinds of activism are even possible. But even if there's some other kind of activism that's full of hugs and flowers, this is not it. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 20:59, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
The amount of disproportionate sanctimony and aggression in this post says more than enough about the relevance of "activism" to that equation. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:06, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
You keep confusing processes and procedures with people. I'm talking about activism and methods thereof, not human nature. The map is not the territory. --Castaigne (talk) 22:55, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow the point you're making here. You were the one who said that human nature had changed over the past thirty-odd years. I'm fairly sure it hasn't. I cheerfully admit that one of the dangers of anti-activist activism is becoming the enemy. Activism leads to an arms race. And people generally aren't even aware of their actual worst behaviors. They are so current and respectable. History only sees them in hindsight. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 03:16, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
No, I did not say that human nature has changed over the past 30-odd years. Activism and the processes thereof has changed over the past 30-odd years. Activism is not human nature, and no amount of you trying to conflate the two will make it so. --Castaigne (talk) 15:49, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
That isn't what you wrote; so it goes. I'm not sure how you'd go about quantifying this -- counting numbers of pressure groups or trying to make an algorithm that measures hostility in texts, maybe -- but it seems to me that the tide of moralistic aggression is unacceptably high and rising. We're in the middle of a great civil rights catastrophe -- people being segregated, shunned, and driven out into the cold, constantly facing signs that they're unwelcome -- one that's even elaborated its own form of "scientific racism", and people who haven't met me may be hard pressed to figure out what I'm talking about. How is present day activism less cruel or invasive than the forms it took some decades ago? I'm not seeing that. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 18:34, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow you here. If we date the modern activist movement as something that started with abolitionism, was energized by the suffragettes and arguably enjoyed its best days in the last half of the 20th century with a variety of movements ranging from anti-colonialism (including apartheid), anti-racism movements in the Americas (civil rights, Black Power, Red Power), anti-war and anti-nuke activism, the women's liberation movement, the Stonewall moment and its legacy, and a host of others -- you characterise these as "cruel or invasive"? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:46, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Damn right they're cruel and invasive. All these angry loud activists have started to topple me off my privileged white male seat at the top of society. Marlow (talk) 18:58, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Right in one. I see a lot of Smerdis' type in former hippies of the 1960s, specifically my wife's parents and the parents of a punk friend of mine. They promoted the Civil Rights Movements and marched and did their thing...and now that their views have gone from "relevant in the 1970s" to "wow, that's rather retrogressive by 2000s standards", they're all pissed off. They don't want to hear that they're no longer on the front edge of today. They got comfortable with their former activist stance and stopped moving. They especially don't want to realize that they're no different than my great-grandmother or grandmother, who are still confused why "Chinamen" isn't something polite to call all Asians or why "niglet" is a no-longer-socially-acceptable label.
When my wife/friend realized this about their parents, they were shocked. I think I'm just used to it; I was born to a family of reactionary authoritarians and I had nothing but contempt for the Great Hippie Generation of yesteryear to begin with. --Castaigne (talk) 19:35, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I see it a bit different. It boils down to freedom versus authoritarianism. The side of the angels is the side that wants to dial back moralism, cut people slack, and open up new possibilities. The side of evil is the one that wants to impose value judgments, forbid what once was allowed, or impose new restraints. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 20:57, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

"Forbid what was once allowed." Do you mean slavery, lynching, denying the vote based on race and gender, imperial rule, and apartheid? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 21:04, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
People who marched for civil rights but are no longer on the cutting edge of activism are as bad as actual, vicious, racists? (Agrajag (talk) 02:22, 6 March 2015 (UTC))
Neither slavery, nor lynching, nor any of those other strawmen have aught to do with increasing the scope of human freedom and loosening the grip of social control, cutting people slack, nor dialing back moralism. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 04:23, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
What? We're talking about activism, and so I bring up some of the big causes that activists have addressed, and those causes aren't relevant? And "slavery" has nothing to do with "increasing the scop of human freedom"? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 04:37, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
But you would have been happy to allow those things to flourish rather than have people get all "angry" and "activist" and "moralist" about it. Go along to get along. At least, that's what I get from what you say. --Castaigne (talk) 15:21, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
With regard to slavery in the USA, I suspect that the military might have had more to do with its abolition than activists. The activists may well take credit for raising tensions to the point of secession and war. You could call that a success. And yes, I do think that society and everyone in it benefits from less anger and moralism, and greater tolerance and civil peace. Perhaps the worst thing about activists is their belief that they are entitled to your attention. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 17:22, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking specifically of the role of grassroots activism in Great Britain in the ending of Atlantic slave trade. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:29, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking that integrated transport was coming along fine and Rosa Parks was just some hothead who wanted to have her own way. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 17:31, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Secession and the Civil War actually had very little to do with the issue of slavery; I recommend you actually read up on the reasons for the conflict and update your thinking in that regard.
Despite your weaseling around the subject, let me be blunt: You would rather society suffer large-scale human rights abuses rather than have activists "stir things up", simply because you are afraid of conflict and the upsetting of the status quo. You choose the stagnant path of certainty and stability over change. I understand this; I really do. After all, I'm not liberal - I'm an authoritarian. I like order, hierarchy, certainty. However, certainty and stability and the status quo are not always the correct solutions to solve problems. --Castaigne (talk) 17:57, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
(EC)Let me explain what's wrong here: you're looking for arbitrarily inaccurate justifications to fit reality to your clearly flawed theory, rather than adjusting your theory for reality. Now, I'm not trying to jump on you too hard for doing that, because I do it too, but please, think for a moment about how you're dismissing large swaths of various kinds of work by great people like Fredrick Douglas and controversial people like John Brown, and outright dismissing them to put all the credit on "the military". Regardless of the extent to which the civil war settled the issue of slavery, it's pretty fucking clear that activists created the issue as something to settle. Both in matters of collective discussion, and in terms of the practicalities. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:35, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
If John Brown is an example of an activist, then his kind of activism is something that no society is ever going to tolerate, no matter how evil the society or how righteous the cause. (And slavery -- and specifically, the realization that the country was going to be populating territory ill suited for plantation slavery, and that the slave states would inevitably be politically outnumbered, a fate they saw coming to pass at Lincoln's election -- wasn't the cause of the civil war? Really?)

In many ways, I see this country looking rather like it did before the Civil War, two opposing world views, at least one of which is in a death spiral of extremism. The activities of the anti-abortion cranks, the tea partiers, and the creationists are also activism. Activism is what's wrong with the Republican primaries, and thus with the Republican party generally. Activism is not always for a worthy cause. More importantly, the problems with activism are mostly indifferent to the nature of the cause. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 03:11, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Like I said, I was thinking about British abolitionists and their activism to end the Atlantic trade, not the Civil War. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 03:22, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Are you talking about people and things like William Wilberforce, John Newton, Amazing Grace, that sort of thing? I don't know a whole lot about the politics of the period, but I saw a Christian biopic about Wilberforce some years ago that suggested that for all the good he did, he was an insufferable prick. Didn't he also found a "Society for the Suppression of Vice"? He had the printer of Paine's Age of Reason jailed. There's something wrong in the head about that kind of busybody. You wouldn't want him as a neighbor. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 04:51, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] Way late followup

science doesn't support the notion that activism is a mentally disengaged emotional activity. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:14, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

[edit] GCPGrey's trifling video.

A video about a very strained and cliched metaphor about ideas and infectious diseases? Why can't he make videos about interesting topics again? — Unsigned, by: Hotwateramericano / talk / contribs 18:54, 10 March 2015

Er. It's a discussion of Richard Dawkins's theory of Memetics[wp]. Dawkins himself makes the disease analogy in The Selfish Gene and his essay Viruses of the Mind, among other works. And I thought it was quite interesting in how controversial or anger-inducing ideas self-propagate and form themselves around maddening "effigies" of the opposing side.
Honestly, I'm just surprised at how much it's being downvoted around here. I know better to judge the views of an entire website by a votebar that anyone and everyone can vote on, possibly more than once, but still. (Also please don't forget to sign your comments with "~~~~", thanks). Noir LeSable (talk) 19:26, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I thought it was great, and hit colse to home. Never seen any of the guy's other stuff. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 02:37, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
It was a reasonably good introduction to the concept of the meme, but the "meme" concept is just that: a strained metaphor. Even I think it takes biologizing too far, which should tell you something. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 03:07, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
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