RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the blogosphere?/Archive2

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Just added a WIGO...[edit]

And it had four up and six down votes before it even loaded again on my screen. Did I screw something up? Researcher (talk) 17:55, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

You had a space in the ID. Wisest bastard Hoover! 17:57, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Ooh, how embarrassing. Thank you for fixing it. Researcher (talk) 19:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

"Blacks didn't fight" WIGO[edit]

Nice line in the blog linked to:

"...We admit no ideas that do not confirm us, hear no voices that do not echo us, sift out all information that does not validate what we wish to believe

I submit that any people thus handicapped sow the seeds of their own decline; they respond to the world as they wish it were rather to the world as it is.

So it was, so it is and so it always shall be. yummy Toast&  honey(or marmalade) 08:45, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Which former Congress-critter was it that said, "You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts."? MDB (talk) 16:17, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
"So it was, so it is and so it always shall be." World without end; amen.
I think this sort of thing is what the Bush people were talking about when they coined the term "reality-based community." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:24, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
@MDB: Daniel Patrick Moynihan (March 16, 1927 – March 26, 2003) was a four-term U.S. Senator, ambassador, administration official, and academic. (Attributed). yummy Toast&  honey(or marmalade) 16:25, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
It's all rather quantum really: It ain't real 'til I've see it, sort of thing. yummy Toast&  honey(or marmalade) 16:32, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Not only that -- it's all too common to rebut facts that don't agree with your pre-conceived notions by implying bias on the part of the source. "snopes.com is a lib-burr-ull web site." Or "but that's from Fox News!" Now, its perfectly reasonable to look into the biases of the source of the facts, especially if you're wondering what they're leaving out, but a source's own biases doesn't instantaneously invalidate them, it should merely cause you to look deeper.
@Toast: I thought it was from DPM, but I wasn't sure, and I was too damn lazy to look it up. MDB (talk) 16:41, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I dismiss out of hand any "scientific" studies that do not come from actual scientists, or from people who are scientists if there is evidence that they might have already predetermined the conclusion before embarking on the study. There is no other way to defend against kooks and quacks. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:48, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

RD.net forums[edit]

I wonder how many recursive wgets are trained on them at the moment. Professor Moriarty 17:22, 24 February 2010 (UTC)


I've started a listing of interesting(?) entries @ ScienceBlogs (where PZ hangs out) here. Please add any you find. SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:31, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Remarkably good idea. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 14:50, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Daily Fail and retractions[edit]

So the Daily Mail printing an article about "Facebook" when it wasn't even about Facebook and what they were describing wasn't even possible on Facebook - all in the name of scaremongering the public even more about threats that aren't actually that widespread. This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding lies in the British press. Of course, by law they're supposed to issue corrections but this isn't far enough. All they do is very quietly correct their online version and then issue a small, 2 point print correction in a later paper (usually buried halfway through, amongst the ads that no one reads). After reading through the comments in the dot.Rory piece, many people seem to be agreeing with a point that I've thought of for a few weeks now. Namely, tabloids should issue corrections of at least the same scale and prominence as their errors. If someone misprints a name, then fine, a quick footnote at the bottom of the next column is all that is needed. But massive headlines declaring things that are outright lies (and most of the time the papers are well aware that these are lies) should not be acceptable and one way to ensure this would be that papers should apologise and correct their information. If anything, they have a duty to their readers - their customers - to inform them of the truth. Occasionally, yes, genuine errors are made, but the genuine errors are small and harmless and are already corrected in an appropriate manner with appropriate prominence. As for "big" genuine errors - when was the last time you saw an honest mistake given extreme prominence? Next to the intentional misrepresentation, misquoting and often outright fiction that appears in headlines, genuine errors are practically non-existent. These "things" (you could hardly call them newspapers any more) should either be made properly accountable for what they say, or be forced to carry the disclaimers given to fiction books and moved to the appropriate fiction book section of the shop. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:36, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Education WIGO[edit]

I've always been a fan of education for its own sake (despite having frittered away my own). If we were merely to educate for jobs, there'd be only trade schools. yummy Toast&  honey(or marmalade) 17:05, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I would not support a purpose-free education, but I think a liberal education can help a person in a job, even if the credentials are not required: there are hidden benefits as well. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:12, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
There can be no such thing as "purpose-free" education. The learning process, by itself, enriches. There is far, far more to education than preparing for the job market. Jack Hughes (talk) 17:17, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
All education has purpose. If only to expand the mind. Without education, whether directed towards employment or not, we are as the apes. yummy Toast&  honey(or marmalade) 17:25, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Hell for me, just the experience of being at university (I went to uni in London but I lived in b'ham, so I moved to London for 3 years) was as important as the education I got. X Stickman (talk) 23:26, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Me too. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:18, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
You lived in London for three years?  Lily Inspirate me. 02:08, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Black Tea Party[edit]

That really is one hell of a kick-ass blog post.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:23, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

You are weird[edit]

Yudkowsky makes a good point, as ever, but he isn't half a dick about it. I'm pretty sure most people who study QM and still say that sort of thing are well aware of this, and use the words "wacky" and "weird" only in the context of the fact that that's what they are compared to our perception of reality. We know this, we're not stupid. He needs to get off the high horse occasionally. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:25, 30 April 2010 (UTC)


To the lad that added the MIA WIGO - calling people who take the piss out of gingers "knuckle-draggers" is missing the point. People do it because it's funny, not because they actually have anything against people with red hair. Webbtje (talk) 09:08, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Similarly, it's absolutely fucking hilarious to call those big dicked darkies and coons niggers isn't it. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:59, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Differentiation between WIGO:World and WIGO:BLogosphere?[edit]

I've always been a bit confused by the purposes these two WIGOs serve - for example, the Glenn Beck Nazi Tourette's one could clearly also have been posted in WIGO:World, no? Anyway, the point being - what's the difference? WHen is a blog the same as the MSM? DogPMarmite Patrol 17:00, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

WORLD is generally events, revelations or facts, while the blogosphere is opinion and comment - often on these events. There are a few things where the lines blur, of course. There are many journalistic opinion pieces that appear on the BBC News website that aren't specifically labelled as columns or opinion pieces, but aren't exactly reporting the news (this is usually their "explanatory" pieces, they're quite good and I've posted one or two before). The difference in that case is left to the poster's good judgement. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:21, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
That's pretty much my take on it. I try to post actual news event on world, opinion pieces on blog, and pure insanity or stupidity on clog.... SirChuckBI have very poor judgement 08:56, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
That's about what I would expect from the three wigos. Well put, Chuckie B. Cheese. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:01, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Norway: Brainwashed Science on TV Creates Storm[edit]

I was reading this interesting article, but I have to wonder, is there any weight behind what is being said here:


I was hesitant to post on the blog section as it could be just bullshit for all I know, it would be great if someone could weigh in on this. Solarius (talk) 17:36, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Rant: The Biggest Loser[edit]

Regarding the story about The Biggest Loser...

I am someone who has lost, by any standard, a helluva lot of weight, through diet and exercise, and kept it off.

I am repulsed by that series. Seriously. I loathe the idea of treating weight loss for the severely overweight as a competition. I view it as morally equivalent to a competition to see which cancer patient's chemotherapy goes into effect first.

From my admittedly biased viewpoint, that is the worst "reality" show ever. Even worse than the one shot Fox did once -- I can't remember the title, but it was for all intents and purposes, "Who Wants to Marry a Midget?" (which lead to Fox's head of Standards and Practices actually saying "we've sunk pretty low" and improving the quality of their reality shows.)

As a complete aside, the Oxygen Network has Dance Your Ass Off. It's just what it sounds like: The Biggest Loser combined with So You Think You Can Dance. MDB (talk) 12:26, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

They were both featured on a recent episode of You Have Been Watching, naturally, Charlie Brooker wasn't too impressed by them. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 14:57, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
Come on, MDB, I think we've all been reading Conservapedia long enough to know that competition is the only way anything ever gets accomplished. Deny this and lose all credibility. DickTurpis (talk) 15:07, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I will confess to a certain degree of competitiveness in the matter, in that when I see a commercial where someone says "I lost x pounds on y diet", I always respond, "feh. amateur." I have yet to see such an ad where I could not say that. MDB (talk) 15:37, 23 June 2010 (UTC)
I've never seen this show before. TV is obviously a bit too low brow for a gent such as myself. Any possibility we'll see a reality show in which people can get themselves out of debt by chugging a litre of Dulux Emulsion - ideally children getting to decide which one of their parents is about to destroy their health to save the family home. ConcernedResident omg ponies!!! 16:00, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

Forgive me Father, I'm entitled.[edit]

Quote from the item on the embezzling priest:

And when they are finally caught, they always ask for forgiveness. Because the endless supply of forgiveness they feel entitled to as men of the church is why they feel at liberty to do what they do in the first place.
Mike Jones

Just struck me as noteworthy. 05:28, 21 July 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast

Tebaggers and 4Chan[edit]

I kind of wonder when pedobear will show up at the teabaggers rallies... Jsonitsac (talk) 01:53, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps it's Anonymous punking them... It'd be quite a sophisticated job, but it's possible. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 07:29, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Teaparty has already surrendered. HOW DARE THEY CUT AND RUN. linky--MJMelcher (talk) 17:17, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Hate to burst ur bubble but some 4channers are already there... Holding Nobama signs. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 17:26, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that old lady in the picture is a /b/tard. Also, do they not know that the phrase "We are legion" comes from the bible, and is spoken by demons possessing a man? --MJMelcher (talk) 17:40, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Being a teabagger doesnt mean being a Conservative-Christian though a lot of those are teabaggers. Id say most 4channers are liberitarians. I was a /b/ tard and I hate both Bush and Obama. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 17:50, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

When I saw that Tea Partiers were adopting a 4Chan slogan, I hoped it might "tits or GTFO". It would at least explain the popularity of Sarah Palin. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

LMFAO. I don't like Sarah Palin either. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 18:02, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
My tits have been on /b/ so many times I lost count. I don't think Trent would appreciate if I posted them here. Ex-Troll Cheerleader (talk) 18:04, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Their facebook page is gone and their website is by invite only now.--MJMelcher (talk) 20:56, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Atheist Experience response to shockofgod[edit]

Wasn't sure where to post this, so here will do I guess: [1] Jaxe (talk) 13:58, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Arguments evolutionists should avoid[edit]

I really want to clarify, as I think people may jerk the knee to an AiG post being considered "good" - I don't want to put it in clogo as that's really for off the wall wrongness rather than interesting reading that you might disagree with. The arguments AiG select to avoid are, well mostly are, good ones to avoid. Richard Dawkins has postulated others, such as using Archaeopteryx as a transitional form (which i know we do in one article, but I forget where); he says its best to respond to how the question of transitional forms is meaningless and misrepresentation, rather than caving into a false line of thinking and coughing up a vain example. But AiG has a decent list and I think people need to pay attention to it. Natural selection =/= evolution is very true - although to be fair, it is obvious to all but the most amateur of creationist baiters. Their reasoning, however, is less impressive as they tend to push the "worldview" interpretation bullshit that they do oh so well. E.g., "Common designer" isn't an equal or better explanation for homology than common descent, for instance, as we can gather additional evidence for common descent but not for a common designer (could this mean multiple designers, even?). So please, do take the basic principle on board and enjoy time catching up with the stopped clock. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 02:38, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes and no. The problem is the assumption that evolutionists do make these arguments. Some probably do, but most are misrepresentations of what the actual arugments are.
  • "Evolution is fact." Well, actually, strictly speaking evolution is a theory. Fact is somewhat a play on words in this sense, and in the colloquial sense, it's fine. Certainly, the parallel contruction, "Creationism is fact" is not objectionable to them for some reason, so making the argument that one side can't make the case is absurd. Basically it's saying, "la-la-la We're going to ignore what ever evidence you send our way." And certainly, "It’s a framework built on assumptions about the past—assumptions that will never have direct, first-hand, observational proof," is just silly, and probably implies some contrived separation between macroevolution and microevolution.
  • "Overwhelming evidence in all fields of science supports evolution." Really? This means that scientists aren't supposed to talk about science and evidence. Evolution is not supported by chemistry, biology, geology, and biophysics? Sorry, don't like.
  • "It’s here, so it must have evolved." Um, what evolutionist is making that argument, especially without further evidence to back it up? Strawman if I ever saw one. OK, not a good argument, but the implication that someone is making the argument is absurd.
  • "Natural selection is evolution." Fair enough, but the number of times that creationists ignore natural selection (with a deterministic component) in favor of mutations ("random") is obnoxious. So perhaps the creationists want to pay attention to their own advice and look at both mutations and natural selection at the same time.
  • "Common design means common ancestry." Apart from the begging the question-ness of "design," are they implying that traits aren't inherited and that genetics have nothing to do with morphology? That flies in the face of genetics, and important discoveries such as developmental genes shared among many species (Hox genes). It is a type of evidence.
  • "Mutations drive evolution." Talk to Richard Lenski.
  • "The Scopes trial." Yeah, right, everyone talks about the Scopes trial these days.
  • "Science vs. religion" Creation science can never be science.

Sorry, but it's clearly a list with an agenda. Sterile kitten 02:57, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Oh, I have no doubt it is packed with straw. But there are good points the common design/ancestry one I think is quite good because it's a little more complicated, as similar features can evolve independently and some animals that look closely related are, in fact, not. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 03:00, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
It is an interesting post. Just SSDD. Sterile kitten 03:04, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Shouldn't this be in the clogosphere? I found it amusing they could find 29 bad creationist arguments, but not one for evolution. They are all the same old misconceptions, misunderstandings and outright lies. I was writing a rebuttal of each one, got half way and realised I wasn't writing anything I hadn't written before. Same old nonsense. I will still be using 1 though 5, 9 and 10. I would also use 6, 7 & 8 when stated correctly, no-one makes those arguments how they are presented. 11 and 12 have nothing to do with the validity of evolution. Jaxe (talk) 11:07, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
What you've said is pretty much that they're right that evolutionists shouldn't use these arguments - because they're shit. You say people don't use them but I have actually seen them in use by, as I said, amateur creationist baiters. I'm probably overjustifiying myself, but the reason I specifically didn't put it in clogo was because it's not outright wrongness - these arguments are really stupid, especially this "evolution is a fact" one, because it isn't; the facts are observed pieces of evidence that strongly (if not exclusively) point to that conclusion. The gravity thing is also stupid, albeit it's mostly used as a reductio ad absurdum analogy rather than an "argument" per se. But still, amateur creationist baiters rattle this sort of thing off as mantra, and if there's one thing I hate more than a bad YEC argument, it's a bad case for evolution. If this came from one of the "good guys" then people would probably freaking love it. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:41, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Five of these jump out at me as down right false
3. Overwhelming evidence in all fields of science supports evolution. As much as creationist which to protest this, it is true. From geology, to biochemistry, to paleontology, to genetics all scream evolution as loudly as they can.
7. Natural selection is evolution. Almost, natural selection is the process that drives evolution.
8. Common design means common ancestry. Besides the obvious question begging about a designer, the morphology of both living and extinct animals lends support to this theory; the whole genetics markers thing I was discussing with PJR all but cliches it.
9. Sedimentary layers show millions of years of geological activity. They do, it called radiometric dating.
10. Mutations drive evolution. This is a misconception, natural selection drives evolution, mutations are what is being selected on.
In addition 1, 4, and 5 are rhetorical devices, not arguments. 12 is not about evolution at all but a large cultural war and as Sterile said nobody gives a fuck about 11 The Scopes trial but creationist. I can't fault the on 2 though, a lot of gifted scientists have thrown their careers away rather than their preconceptions. Also 6 uses evolution apriori, which given how well established it is, that is permissible when doing ecological research for example. So this list should be more accurately titled 5 arguments we don't understand; 1 apriori that is acceptable in the correct context; 2 thing we have a hard on about; and 3 rhetorical devices and an argument evolutionists should avoid - π 11:54, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
On 7, "Natural selection is evolution", I don't really have a problem with saying that. It's close enough to the truth to be acceptable. It's like saying "You are your brain". The problem is not that it's false, just that it's an over simplification. Natural selection IS evolution, but evolution is not just natural selection. Jaxe (talk) 13:41, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Just taking number one. Evolution is a fact. It's not an argument but statement. By saying the rationalists shouldn't say it they are implicitly trying to get them to buy into their "just a theory" mindset. Most of the rest simply looks like a list of statements that AIG doesn't like.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:06, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Natural selection is a mechanism for driving evolution. They are not the same by any stretch of the imagination. Pi is right, it's rhetoric, but it's bad rhetoric. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 10:14, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
The problem is creationists use the term "natural selection" to mean "a small amount of evolution". EG You mention something like Darwin's finches, and they'll reply "oh that's not evolution, that's just natural selection." Which, as you say, is wrong. Jaxe (talk) 00:12, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

All time. Greatest. Creationist. Response[edit]

Sorry but I don't understand why this post has got so many votes. Basically P.Z. just rehashes the same item noted in WIGO world with a few jibes thrown in for good measure. As a blog post it is poor as it doesn't add any extra insight or new information. I don't expect him to compose lengthy screeds with every posting but as a good WIGO Blogs topic I find it somewhat lacking.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:57, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Everyone knows PZ worship is popular. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 10:58, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I was referring to the line, "But the teacher replied that DNA wasn't invented then." How is that not brilliant? It is the ultimate excuse for everything wrong with the "creation model". All animals on Earth should be inbred? DNA wasn't invented then. Parasitic microbes that were created during creation week should be harmful before the Fall? DNA wasn't invented then. You could extend that to other fields. Dating of rocks show them to be millions of year old? Radioactive isotopes weren't invented then. Distant starlight says that the universe must be billions of years old? Relativity wasn't invented then. I actually posted this before the World item. - π 12:49, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
P.Z. actually links to the same source as the World item. Often it is better to reference the original source than a blog just highlighting it. But as ArmondikoV said, PZ worship is popular so I will stand aside from the herd.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:20, 4 August 2010 (UTC)


I read a line in that as "I'd rather kill my kids drive on a gravel road than stick them with a big tax bill," for some reason. Although for some anti-tax wingnuts, I think that might be a recognisable sentiment. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:30, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Alternate titles for the Ten Scariest Ayn Rand Tributes entry[edit]


  • "Do Randroids Dream of Electric Palins?"


  • "Blade Rander"

MDB (talk) 14:04, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Oh dear... Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:53, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

PalMD v PZ Myers[edit]

PZ Myers18Vote
Both are right6Vote
Both should shut up2Vote

Fun times. I decided to add a poll above just to get some quick and easy and pointless opinions. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:43, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Can't wait until PZ pharyngulates this poll! DickTurpis (talk) 13:48, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure he's above such petty... oh... wait... Scarlet A.pngnarchist 14:05, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
We should get Nate Silver to run this. I've got an in. But only if I'm running ahead.-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Grüß Goat! 20:38, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, you're level pegging as of now on this poll. Looks like the entire Koran issue is splitting people down the middle! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 01:17, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

If I might annotate my vote: I am quite surprised that any member of this Wiki should be in favor of holding one's peace to avoid causing offense to a brace of theocrats who also happen to be liars, acting like they are all offended and oppressed by the little bonfire and want "tolerance," when in truth they consider the offense to be against God and want executions for blasphemy. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:35, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

In that case, there is a discordance between what I meant to convey and what you understood from your reading. -- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Grüß Goat! 15:45, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I got, "Let's not burn Korans; we might scare the Muslims' socks off." By that logic, of course, one could also say to Muslim immigrants, "Don't talk about your religion or even come to this country; you might scare the xenophobes." I take issue with the idea that people have any sort of right not to be scared. I also take issue with the perception that the average Muslim is more than tangentially involved with this; it is a dust-up between pressure groups. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:30, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
When my upstairs neighbours play loud music, I prefer holding my peace to going upstairs, banging on the door and screaming insults at them. If it ever got really bad, I might go up and politely request that they turn it town. The book burning in this case was a way of doing the former. People were going out of their way to cause offense, and that's the problem I have with it. That was the message I got from PalMD's blog too. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 15:54, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you can make a point without being a cunt, basically. People wanting to burn Korans know it's offensive, they know it's going to be perceived as an attack, they know they're opening cans of worms and I'm pretty sure they know they're being insufferable pricks about it. This all combines together, in the wider context, of people saying "you can't practice your religion here because we hate it" - as PalMD correct argues, if my interpretation of it is correct, at least. While I agree that Islam's adherents need to get over themselves, this is a deeply rooted cultural thing where they need to be desensitized to the wonders of free speech gradually, and a campaign of shock and hate and, above all, destruction isn't how to go about it. Darw Mohammad day was a bit better as, as has been previously discussed, it was about creating, and it produced some quite good satire amongst the shitty MS Paint jobs that were barely worthy of 4Chan - contrasted to that, I don't think there is a single way you can be clever or witty or creative about a book burning. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:55, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
But it is not "Islam's adherents" in general who are kicking up the fuss here, just as it is not "Evangelical Christians" in general who kick up a fuss about the Homosexual Agenda or whatever. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:30, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
In addition, draw mohammed day was a direct response to attempts by radical muslims to squelch free speech in europe by violence, and by law (viz UN pronouncements). In the US, the situation is a bit different.-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Grüß Goat! 18:23, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I think the problem is the clash of two kinds of fundamentalist nuttiness - Christian and Islamic. They both think there is something meaningful in what they are doing.
As I understand it the whole Muslim world is not up in arms over this. From reports in the Spanish press the reaction in North Africa was - "Ho Hum, more American weirdness". The thoughts of the majority of Christians were to the effect that the book burner was just some small-town jerk.
But for the fundamentalists on both sides it is quite different. It is evident that the Christian loonies think there is something "real" or at least significant about the action or they wouldn't bother doing it. Exactly what they think isn't clear - it's not like they imagine that burning the book will actually remove it from society. Presumably therefore it is simply a calculated insult. And that is a bad thing to do.
Equally, reacting to the destruction of a handful of copies of a mass-produced and easily-replaced objects with violence is pretty nutty.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:55, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Books are not what they were.  Lily Inspirate me. 21:22, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Equally, reacting to the destruction of a handful of copies of a mass-produced and easily-replaced objects with violence is pretty nutty. I think this is what most people are on about when they talk about over-reactions and how Islam needs desensitized to that sort of thing. It's not a big deal, it's on par with burning a flag. Symbolic, yes. Actually meaningful, not really. But when it comes to symbolism, it's what you make of it. If book burners want to do it as a symbol of how much they hate Muslims, then that is what it means, if Muslims go on hissy fits about their holy book being burned or their religion criticised, that that is what it means. It does go slightly beyond the actual tangible parts of the act itself. Indeed, this is what PalMD and that "camp" of rationalist seem to agree on; yes, it's pretty nutty to go ape shit over burning a book, but understandable when you look at the wider context and look beyond the actual act itself. It is unfortunate that this is the reaction that such an act provokes, but it's something we need to deal with just as equally as Muslims and molehill mountaineers need to deal with the symbolic gestures themselves. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:51, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
The point I was trying to make (and I'm not sure if it's worth making) is that the fundamentalists on both sides are speaking the same language. They are speaking a language of symbolism which is insanely important for them but to which the rest of the world reacts to by saying WTF? I just think this similarity and "understanding" between them is interesting.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:32, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Not directly about the PalMD vs PZM, but a Former RWian has something to say on the matter. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 20:17, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I suppose from "the inside" then, people who don't understand the symbolism and take it as Serious Fucking Business are equally unfathomable. I'm reminded of a friend who once threw an American flag out of a window while on an exchange trip, invoking the wrath, he then did the same with the British flag and went on a rant about how it was "just a symbol" - they just stared at him blankly as if he was mad, totally incapable of seeing the "just a symbol" attitude. Now, working from the premise that religious fundamentalists are A) morons and B) incapable, by definition, of changing their thought patterns, it's really only the rationalists that are capable of adapting our thoughts. So "as rationalists we should" take into account how people view symbolism, rather than merely dismissing it because it's not something we "get" - we should be able to think like that quite easily. The entire point of being a reality lover is that you can see all perspectives practically simultaneously, including taking into account how seriously people treat symbols, if only just for pragmatic reasons such as "let's avoid a bloody riot". Scarlet A.pngnarchist 20:52, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I find ludicrous the idea that I should respect any random stranger's pathological attachment to an object that I own. I agree with the poster here.--Quantheory (talk) 03:15, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

PalMD moved his blog, link on wigo page no longer works. Please fix. Also please put links above poll for simplicity. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:06, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Wealth disparity WiGO[edit]

Interesting article, though I always thought the x% of the population controls y% argument of wealth was a bit of a trap. The wealthiest 10% control a much larger proportion of the wealth by definition; that's what makes them the wealthiest 10%. It seems somehow implicitly implied that those numbers should be much closer to each other in an equitable society, but obviously if 10% controlled 10% that would mean everyone earns the same (or close to it), which is neither feasible nor desirable. The fact that many of the respondents seem to balk even at the idea of 20% controlling more than 40%, as that number has this "twice as high as it should be" implicit presentation, makes me think that these numbers and what they actually mean haven't been thought through too carefully, in general, nor what it would actually mean in the real world. The inverse of this can be seen when presented with tax data. A while ago a conservative guy I used to work with, in order to show how overtaxed the wealthy are, showed statistics that the top 1% pay some huge proportion of the taxes in this country. Now, I bet you could use the same logic to get people to say this was far too high, and the top 20% should carry 32% of the tax burden, instead of something like 75% (which may be the current figures; it's hard to find a reliable source). What that statistic left out was that the top 1% own a huge proportion of the wealth, so their taxes will reflect that number, not the population percentage number. Those statistics also don't tell you that nearly 15% of the public live below the poverty line, and even more pay almost no federal taxes because they don't earn enough, so they're removed from that equation entirely. I'm not sure if this way of presenting data is intentionally misleading, but it certainly is in some cases. DickTurpis (talk) 13:01, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

This is proably an example of lies, damned lies, and statistics. The statistical measure used for measuring income disparity is the Gini coefficient, which lets different countries be compared; it rather puts the lie to all that "growing gap between rich and poor" gabble, which was largely code for "We hate Ronald Reagan," but also establishes that a sort of middle ground seems to be best in this area. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:01, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Book Bans[edit]

See also this BBC article covering the same ground. Personally I like these lists - they keep me in touch with what I should be checking out. Jack Hughes (talk) 18:01, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Of course. As the BBC one wryly signs off with, contraband is cool. I may look up Myracle's books. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:08, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
ttyl: "it gained attention for being the first-ever novel written entirely in the style of instant messaging conversation" Oh hell no. BAN IT! BAN IT!!! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:08, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

IVF and porn[edit]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/25/bad-science-pornography-ivf-nhs In the comments for the Guardian version of Goldacre's blog, someone mentions CGI porn. Now, this is interesting because of the whole "moral" brigade that says it's exploitative - but who does it exploit when it's computer generated? But anyway, what bemused me was that the comment said that such porn would be "coming soon" (pun, presumably, not intended). How naive! Have you seen what 95% of Second Life is dedicated to? And there's pretty much only one thing I've ever seen Daz 3D and Poser used for. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:07, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Devil's advocate: I think the argument would be that, while no single individual is victimized by CGI porn (ignoring the possibility of it being designed to look like celebrities), it's still a general degradation of people as a whole. MDB (talk) 15:11, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Plus, some people believe that it encourages rape and other things like that. So naturally they would see it as a social harm. Tetronian you're clueless 15:14, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
(EC)That is a odd moral (and legal) situation. What about CGI kiddy pr0n? It should be obvious that it's a bad idea, but as you say, no-one was exploited or committed a crime. This could get very dodgy indeed. That said, didn't "Max Hardcore" get sent down (or at least arrested) for getting a young-looking 18 year old to say on camera she was only 12 or similar? (yes, I have an odd friend who loves Max Hardcore and tells me all about him, including a movie called something like "Fist of Fury" o_O ) CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:16, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Aha, see here: "The fact that the actress was over the age of 18 was not disputed; they brought charges based solely on the fact that the actress was portraying a character who was underage". Does seem like it was thrown out though. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:16, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Not only that, but some countries (including mine) make specific mention of "real or simulated" people being used in porn. For example, it's as bad an offence here, to be caught with a cartoon depicting kiddy porn, as with an actual picture. --PsyGremlinSpeak! 15:25, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I think the issue is the "fueling" of desire in potential paedophiles. Someone who may have a vague curiosity may gain an obsession from viewing simulated child porn and then go on to commit an offense. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:32, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I suppose the counter to that would be "yes, but how many potential paedophiles does having a 'harmless' outlet prevent from harming a child? And how many children are protected from exploitation by having computer generated kiddie porn?" It's an interesting moral question. MDB (talk) 15:56, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
When the present wife worked for the probation service, she was supervising a guy who was an IT professional doing generally well in life, whose curiosity clearly got the better of him. He downloaded a kiddy pr0n video, was traced, and arrested. He subsequently lost his job and girlfriend (and had no prospects of getting another job, having a criminal record for child porn and being on the sex offenders register) and tried to commit suicide. Curiosity did indeed kill the cat. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:02, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There was a story on NPR's This American Life (I think) some years ago about a young man who, when in high school, was a pretty serious drug user. But he saw a documentary about the National Security Agency, and said "wow, I want to work there when I grow up." He knew they'd never hire a current drug user, so he got clean, went to college, got a degree in a foreign language that NSA was interested in, and applied.

He then started the security clearance process and took the polygraph. They asked him about drug use, and whether he had ever looked at child pornography. He was honest about the drug use (was pretty heavy at one time, he's now sober), and honestly answered the pornography, "well, I have looked at porn on-line, like practically every college student. Can I guarantee they were all past eighteen? No, but I don't seek out underage models."

They told him he failed the polygraph, and asked him if he knew why. He asked "drug use?" And they said, "no, you admitted to viewing child pornography." He was rather surprised, and argued with them, but they wanted him to say how many times he had looked at child pornography. He finally picked a number, fifty I think.

So, they refused to grant him a clearance due to "habitual viewing of child pornography." He got an attorney, and considered taking it to court, but ended up working at the CIA, who was happy to hire him. MDB (talk) 16:12, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Psygremlin's point above about "real or simulated" can be a real problem. In one of the early drafts of the UK Criminal Justice Bill from last year (the one that tried to outlaw "violent" pornography, but couldn't succeed because nothing about enforcement was included, they included the word "apparent" in the phrasing about injuries. Basically, if your image "appeared" to cause an injury, it was illegal. So alternative models smearing themselves will blood, a hand-print from a particularly strong spanking, faked asphyxiation and so on... ALL would have been effectively illegal. Yet because of the oddities of the law, this doesn't apply to certain media, so Hostel in your DVD collection is perfectly fine but a couple of shots of the Suicide Girls on your hard disk isn't. Thankfully they ended up coming to their senses and rearranged the law to just be totally useless (because the shit it was supposed to be "banning" was already illegal anyway) rather than actively destructive. When we come to teach the world about the evils of Legislation by Knee Jerk, this will be the prime working example. But yeah, "simulated" indeed. But I wonder how that would fare with the moralisers who say it's okay to be gay, it's just acting on it that's the sin? Is it still "acting on a gay impulse" to fap (and vice versa for women, of course) to CG men compared to men in your mind? All good questions to ask. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:46, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

DADT: What repeal will mean[edit]

I thought I about WIGO'ing this, but I'm not sure if webcomics are appropriate, so here's what will really' happen if Don't Ask Don't Tell is repealed.

Warning: debatably safe for work. MDB (talk) 16:55, 30 September 2010 (UTC)


What a pity they called it Neptunium after Neptune rather than Formbium after George Formby. It would have been great to have an element called after my current home.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:53, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

New Atheism unappealing to women[edit]

It is probably the gung-ho, combative nature of New Atheism that attracts more men than women; rather like Odinism. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:16, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

You're funny. But seriously, your "hint" is that atheist women should avoid criticising other atheist women? WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:35, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
My hint is that in one article Ms. is questioning why more women are not advocating breaking out of the "outright violence" and "institutional oppression" of their ancestral religions, and in another making themselves part of the problem by criticizing Ayaan Hirsi Ali for doing just that. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 14:57, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Did you read the article? That's not what they're criticising her for. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:44, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
She is being criticized for exhorting women to leave Islam. Or did you think she was being criticized for something else? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:55, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
The reason fewer chicks go for Odinism is because Odinism is so much more logical than atheism and women are irrational. Or Odinists are just a bunch of freaks and geeks with strange and ridiculous beliefs and practices. To each, his own. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:30, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Real women go Church of Satan when they want to pretend they aren't atheists by bastardizing post hoc rationalizing enhancing remaining true to the principles of obscure religious beliefs. --Quantheory (talk) 23:07, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Also, was it really worth duplicating the post I made, just to get that dig in? --Quantheory (talk) 23:10, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

"Pixar employees"?[edit]

The WIGO about asking pixar to make a movie with strong female leads says: "The responses from Pixar employees range from "a Chick Flick...?" to "P.C. B.S.""

Pixar employees? As far as I'm aware, the source is just a blog about animation in general, not from pixar itself. The "a chick flick?" comment is, I assume, from the title of the blog post, which isn't written by anyone associated with pixar (according to his bio), and the "P.C B.S" comment comes from a user named "Hulk" who has no link to a page or gives any information about himself (in fact Hulk himself says "I’m sure when an interesting story with a female protagonist develops organically at Pixar, they will make that movie." in a later post, implying he's not an employee of pixar himself).

The wording of this wigo seems at best disingenous and at worst deliberately misleading, unless I am missing a great deal of backstory about the blog in general (maybe they are all just pixar employees, I dunno).

Also please forgive any mistakes I've done. I have absolutely no idea how to use mediawiki software. I can read it, though. Which is why I'm here. I also don't have an account and don't know how to sign comments. I am extremely useless. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs --Ψ GremlinParla! 06:29, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

American versus English Conservatives[edit]

The WIGO was an interesting article, and it reminded me of a thought I've had for a long time about the American political process. I think a major reason for reason to be present in the UK is that there are more than two viable political parties, while here in the US, the winner-takes-all nature of 99% of our elections almost ensures that only two are viable. I mean, look at the history and you see that anytime a third party moved itself into a position where it might win national elections, one of the existing parties was pushed out of the way and replaced. But in the UK (and a number of other nations), the fact that there are more than two major, and a number of minor parties strong enough to get seats in national governments, means that the us-v-them system must be tempered by a need to work with other parties. Of course, that system sometimes leads to points where the needed compromises results in a week government.

In the end, volumes of political science texts would not even begin to cover the debates on how to perfect either system, though. Ravenhull (talk) 04:15, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, it was interesting. But it seemed to neglect that the government is a coalition, with a bit of a mediating force in the Liberal Democrat side - however small, it's dragged it back from where it could have been. Particularly when Nick Clegg's stance throughout most of the election was "look, this shit is just too big for party politics" and it's definitely seemed to rub off on Cameron too. Plus, what they're doing isn't solely motivated by political ideology and dogma (as it mostly is in the US) but by trying to find the parts of that dogma that are practical and workable. If it were US Conservatives running the show, they wouldn't have done something like protecting the NHS, they'd have killed it dead and solved the deficit almost instantly without caring what the real effect would be. The Tories know better than to attack the NHS on this for the practical as well as political reasons. They might be trying to replicate some of Sarkozy's efforts in France. He basically told the French very frankly that they need to start working more because it's not sustainable; similarly Cameron is thinking that some very frank talking to the public about not relying on the state may help. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:19, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
The trouble Cameron has is that people can count: £1 billion welfare bill as compared to £6 billion tax that Vodafone was let off. This diminishes his credibility. He's also radicalising a whole generation of teenagers, many of whom will be able to vote against him next election in 2015. My girlfriend's middle daughter was at the demos and was kettled. She is young, smart, articulate and PISSED OFF, and so are her friends. Libtory may have fucked up here - David Gerard (talk) 12:11, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
The double trouble with that is that the contenders to the throne will be Labour. And that will be a hard election battle that I imagine would be pretty fucking dirty. Which means they're going to care even less about the country than they will about being elected. So assuming the coalition doesn't crumble and an election isn't forced sooner, we're going to be seeing some "interesting" times from about 2012 onward. And when I say "interesting" times, I mean "fucking political horsehit filled" times. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:22, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Seriously? Labour needs someone who can make the teens think someone cares about them. Ed Milliband is probably the least worst they have at present, and that's saying very little indeed. The kids who didn't go to the demos were claiming they were there. That's how cool it is to demonstrate in your school uniform and get kettled by the police is now. Needless to say, all us middle-aged troublemakers in a parental mode have our hearts warmed by this. I'm thinking of a corporate executive friend who was an anarchist activist 25 years ago giving useful hints and tips to the kids - David Gerard (talk) 14:34, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm picturing an election leaflet: "VOTE LIBTORY [picture] SUPPORT KIDNEY-PUNCHING 12yo GIRLS." They've got four and a half years to live this one down - David Gerard (talk) 14:37, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Solve the Deficit[edit]

Did it. [2] ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ no fate but what we make 03:37, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

I got it down without the big saver the medicare cap with my you all work hard and the rich pay more scheme. - π 05:17, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Although if I cap medicare, I don't need to raise the eligibility age. Win-win? - π 05:24, 15 November 2010 (UTC)
Might as well go the whole nine yards. Change the defecit into a trillion dollar surplus, which can then be used to pay off the debt; but who'd want that? --Sigma 7 (talk) 23:45, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Gay villains[edit]

RE: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-23/tron-legacy-and-gay-villains-through-hollywood-history/full/

Is this basically saying that in an equal world, you aren't allowed to be gay and evil? I suppose the guy who wrote this would have shat himself if he saw the recent BBC Sherlock series. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 01:38, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Skippy's List: a Warning[edit]

213 Things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the US Army is, technically, safe for work, except for the fact you will laugh your head off reading it.

I first read it at work one day, and had to stop at #29 ("The Irish MPs are not after 'Me frosted lucky charms'.") because I could not longer restrain myself from laughing.

MDB (talk) 16:15, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

+200 Uke Blue 05:42, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

David Cole[edit]

Is the guy who wrote the conservative constitution piece the same guy as the David Cole in the chapter on Holocaust deniers Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things? M the T (talk) 18:35, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

the Wrath of Fools[edit]

That WIGO is utter bullshit, quote mining at best, and completely missing the point of the letter at worst. Or did you even read it, LX? Seme Blue 05:05, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

The opinion column is some very familiar old dreck about how if one crazy person starts shooting, a whole range of media pundits, authors, activists, etc., are guilty of it. I submit that Mr. Pitt would change his tune rather quickly with regard to, for example, someone trying to heap guilt for the Kennedy assassination on the ACLU; a "double standard" that is best shown up by his slamming the idea of collective guilt in the same article in which he pronounces some. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:11, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
He was slamming collective guilt specifically as applied to non-guilty individuals who were related to the guilty party, and over all of that he is criticizing Derbyshire for bringing up the concept in the realm of political discourse, not for promoting it in general. Seme Blue 05:16, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Bringing up, promoting, the choice of terms does not matter; whatever Mr. Derbyshire did with the concept, Mr. Pitt also did with it (unless you are suggesting that this op-ed is not "political discourse," while Mr. Derbyshire's National Review article is).
Besides, Mr. Pitt does not seem like the kind of fellow who would use that argument, which happens to be the same one the Catholic Church used against Galileo: heliocentrism was fine to discuss in private among the learned, but squawking to the hoi polloi about it was verboten. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:26, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I totally agree that the article is counter-productive and frankly unfair. The far right is certainly guilty for a sizable portion of the cracked out rhetoric that's got everyone worried, but they couldn't possibly be responsible for the shooting. It's just impossible to pin a rational mindset onto someone who is so clearly irrational, unbalanced, and truly insane. I find it very upsetting that this blame game is being escalated in media, everyone scrambling to find some scrap of evidence that the other guy's politics are responsible for this nut job, but it's completely futile and just petty to be honest. You have Sarah Palin bitching about how she's somehow the victim here because she doesn't have any tact, but anyone with half a heart could have figured out the best thing for her to say would be something along the lines of "I'm not at fault because he's crazy, but I do realize the need to approach my politics with a more level head and for everyone to stop the political warfare" but instead she's just the same stubborn unapologetic hag that has to make everything into a Fox talking point. Doesn't she even realize that she's just perpetuating the very thing that everyone is coming down upon? She's not to blame, but damn she sure is stupid.Saladin (talk) 00:35, 13 January 2011 (UTC)


Oh goodie, I see that BillO is still an unscientific cretinous asshat. Is that the best he can do, "Godditit!!"? Darkmind1970 (talk) 09:04, 3 February 2011 (UTC)


I'm curious as to why the Thomas Jefferson WIGO got so many neutral votes. I'm always curious about the sentiment of WIGO voters. Was it because they thought the essay was boring, or mediocre? Seme Blue 05:46, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

I've given up trying to explain the voting behavior and have practically stopped bothering to pay attention to it. For instance, the top entry for RationalWiki:Best of the blogosphere is completely unfathomable to me. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:31, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
That was actually a very interesting essay. I am still mystified by the voting pattern. Uke Blue 03:21, 7 February 2011 (UTC)


Wow, that is pretty freaky. Especially if you 'watch' it with eyes closed, then open them, to find the word changes immediately. Weird thing, our brains. --PsyGremlinSermā! 11:50, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

ListenerX's WIGOs[edit]

The WIGOs that ListenerX writes here are often unfairly worded, in my opinion, so I tried an experiment. I wrote a WIGO about the same post that LX had, to see how much the wording affected voting. My wording got an aggregate +9 rating, while LX's wording got an aggregate -1 (before Armondikov commented it out). So what are we actually voting for on WIGO pages? The wording of the WIGO or the post it links to? Uke Blue 21:07, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

WIGOs are a double-edged sword. On the one hand we have the option to comment on and combine links together to form a better story - something that other link farms and aggregators can't do. On the other hand, this leads to the problem you mentioned; the way they're worded colours people's views of it and can lead to unfair down-voting. Without reverting to a mere "here is the link|here is the title they used" (i.e., slightly more boring) it's not easy to solve. IMO, WIGOs can be edited for clarity, or if others think they're unfairly written. The trouble is that votes then aren't necessarily changed if someone doesn't look at it again! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 21:11, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Que shitfest of comments in three... two... SJ Debaser 21:12, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
I hate that fucking Philip J. Rayment. Ace McAwesome 21:16, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
He and his brute of a god hate you too. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svgUser:Nutty Roux/sigtalk 21:24, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Anyone who dislikes one of the WIGOs I write is perfectly capable of editing or re-writing it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:19, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Or down-voting it. What is actually "unfair" about that? WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:28, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, the point there is that you can re-word it and BOING! it's worthy of voting up again... Scarlet A.pngnarchist 00:05, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I have always seen WIGO's as a competition (of sorts). You see something worth reporting so you come up with a witty way of expressing it to the community. That is why I personally frown on editing someone elses WIGO, aside from spelling/grammar, because its a persons own individual take on the issue at hand. Ace McAwesome 00:28, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I see them the same way as Mr McAce. I'm reluctant to modify them without good reason. Voting down should remove the cruft (probably) Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 00:39, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Except there's no actual selection so cruft isn't removed - and I view it as grossly unfair that the difference between "up" and "down" should rest so heavily on how someone writes it up. Updating WIGOs is usual, so I don't see why reasonably wholesale editing should be taboo. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 01:54, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I actually agree with Ace. It would be bad form, imho, to rewrite a WIGO that is clearly trying to express a particular POV to reflect a different POV. What I was actually asking here was what people thought they were voting up or down: either the WIGO writer's take on the article, or the article itself. (I'd always assumed the former, and my "experiment" appeared to confirm this.) Uke Blue 02:00, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Depends on the WIGO I think. Ace McAwesome 02:06, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, it does depend as WIGOs can synthesise multiple links into a new point. You don't usually get a POV issue when it's one link; in Blog or Clog because the implication is that the link is favourable or not (respectively). In World it tends to be whether the item is "newsworthy" enough. Where you start getting ridiculously long summaries there is sometimes a bit of friction, but it's not often. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 02:16, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
There was a turdblossom about this a while back. I still think that WIGOs are a community effort, just like the rest of mainspace, and anyone ought to be able to edit them at will. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:15, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Lx is just pissy because he writes shitty WIGO's. Ace McAwesome 08:29, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
No, I am "pissy" because some people think that my bad WIGOs should not be improved by others, even though their poor quality reflects on the entire Wiki. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:45, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't think editing WIGOs to improve them is wrong, but it's not mandatory either. There's a down voting button as well as an up one, & no reason to feel unjustified in using it or like you have to try & rewrite a WIGO rather than voting it down. Voting on WIGOs is basically on how interesting they are, & that includes how well written, witty, insightful, etc. the WIGO entry is, as well the story or item linked to. If this is "grossly unfair", who is the victim of this unfairness? WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:48, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Who suggested it was unfair? In my comment I was referring to the WIGOs that LX writes being unfairly worded. Uke Blue 09:11, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I understand that & the comment wasn't aimed at you. If LX's WIGOs are unfairly worded, this is why they often get negative votes by the rest of the community. This makes sense to me. But ADK has stated twice in this thread that voting WIGOs down due to how badly/unfairly they are written is itself unfair. I do not understand this concept. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:20, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
There is a whole lot of interesting stuff in the world but it depends on a teacher or reporter to engage people's interest. A good WIGO should grab someone's attention and generate emotion that may be either positive or negative. Ultimately WIGO is a form of entertainment that may be a joke, an anecdote or a feelgood story. I would suggest that if you like the story behind the WIGO but don't like the way it is written then go ahead and re-word it. And don't forget that you can give a meh vote as well as a yeah or nay.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
In the case of blog links it's unfair on the author of the blog. Their piece may be extremely well written, amazingly thought out and highly insightful, yet because someone decided to write it up like a turd it gets a big red bar against it. If it's genuinely uninteresting on all counts, then it's fine to vote it down, that's what it's there for. BUT, if the link is interesting and you down vote it purely because someone's written it differently to how you'd want it proves that you're not really voting on the story and substance at all but the superficial style. Blue showed this empirically by submitting the same thing with different wording. And for "a wiki that claims to be rational" judging something by its superficial style rather than its merit (we're still basically a link farm here, the content to judge is what we link to) is extremely fallacious. What is also worth considering is that the existing votes will colour your opinion of a piece - and I think RW owes it to its readers and users not to mislead like that. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:33, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes I pop in just to vote down WIGOs written by LX. Not necessarily because they're shitty (they usually are), but because he's an asshat. Something to keep in mind. You might be making a mountain out of a molehill on an asshat. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, that would explain the WIGOs of mine on this page that have exactly one down-vote. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:45, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
"In the case of blog links it's unfair on the author of the blog. Their piece may be extremely well written, amazingly thought out and highly insightful, yet because someone decided to write it up like a turd it gets a big red bar against it." Well, if that's the way then everything on WIGO:Clogosphere would get voted down, as would most items on WIGO:CP, since these WIGOs are primarily citing pieces which are not well written, thought out or insightful. No, the point of WIGOs is to find something interesting & present it interestingly. That's what we're voting on & there's nothing fallacious about voting down entries which fail to do that. The snarky POV (a superficial style, if you like) is a central part of the WIGO tradition as with the rest of the site. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:01, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, thanks for misinterpreting the point as that sentence clearly referred to blogs, and not WIGO:Clog or WIGO:CP. If the point is to present something interesting, then surely it should be the merit of what is linked to and not how someone announces it that determines the score. It should be "is the link interesting" - if you're happy for the criteria to be "is this sarcastic wording funny or not" then it makes a mockery of the entire point of sharing interesting links and stories. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:17, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
WIGO:CP & WIGO:Clog are also about blogs, so I don't see why this particular WIGO should adhere to different rules to them. SPOV is one of the core concepts at RW & a lot of the work on articles is along the lines of ""is this sarcastic wording funny or not". Same goes for WIGO. If you choose to vote purely on how good the blog link is, regardless of well or badly written the WIGO text is, bully for you, but don't expect everyone else to follow that pattern. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:35, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Handy edit button #1[edit]

My WIGOs get higher scores when what I say in them coincides with what "the community" wants to hear. LArron apparently is not in the mood for running new statistics on the WIGOs that would reveal that statement on my RationalWikiWiki page for the lie it is; it would follow that I have nothing to lose from rubbing the WIGO voters the wrong way. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:45, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

It's a great disappointment that people are happy to spite one individual over this. LX is right that WIGO reflects the quality of the site as a whole. WIGOs aren't signed by an individual so they're presented as "RW says this" to any casual reader. I certainly don't go checking the history to see who has added a particular item. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 09:53, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Let's just say that Rationalwiki was more fun to read way back when way less space was taken up by one person's crusade against everything to the left of Margaret Thatcher. Just look at those last few entries. 1. There are reasonable arguments to be made that bankers caused the financial crisis. Wait a sec; strike that; who the fornication else is supposed to have caused it? Little green men from Mars? 2. What is wrong with the simple observation that rich and powerful people want to get richer at the expense of others? Even if we did not have the situation right in front of our eyes at the moment, this would merely be a self-evident statement about human nature. Ah but of course, it is communism if the rich pay higher taxes. Panic! Armageddon! Utne Reader wants to build a Gulag! Or something. Haven't seen that in the article though. 3. While I have said before, and now say again, that you cannot treat socioeconomic issues like questions of scientific fact because untestable values play too large a role (how do you do an experiment to find the "best" tax code?), I utterly fail to see how the "Republicans are coming" article is anything but a compilation of facts that are publicly available and verifiable. You can read the same from people like Paul Krugman, only in more polished words, and it is not as if the tax cuts, past examples of union busting or the recent Buffalo Beast prank happened in a parallel universe we cannot see. Admittedly, 4. I have only found the time to skim over the last one, but it does seem to be very, let us say, selectively represented by the WIGO. It should go without saying, by the way, that somebody putting "socialist" into their country's official name implies about as much socialism as the phrase "democratic people's republic" implies democracy. The thing is, there are two possibilities of dealing with this: shouting matches where people try to rewrite WIGO's to suit their incompatible ideological agendas, or shrugging, sighing and reading other (actually) rationalist websites instead. I chose the second option, and coming back here and looking at this WIGO collection just confirms that it was the right thing to do. --Mintman (talk) 23:12, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

However are you going to be any sort of rational thinker, if you exit in disgust at the sight of any arguments with which you disagree too sharply? And however are you going to expect to be taken seriously, if you pretend that the presence of such arguments threatens the Wiki's rationalist status? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:49, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Face it X, the "mob" is decidedly LIBERAL and no amount of concise, right-thinking is going to change that fact. TeaPartyPlanner (talk) 23:30, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
The problem in this instance is not liberalism, but Marxism and its thousand superficial variants. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:50, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Tim Minchin[edit]

Well done that chap of whom I've never heard. Well done, I say, for a fine, albeit unsingable song. Who is this genius and where has he been hiding? DogP (talk) 01:02, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Tim Minchin gives a list of recommended songs to listen to. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 01:43, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Naiman and the No-Fly Zone[edit]

This article strikes me as somebody who gives the UN too much credit. Granted, NATO commanders have ruled out a no-fly zone without the UNSC's sanction. However, I'm not sold that an unilateral action, or an action without the UNSC's support is a bad thing in this case. The fact remains that Qadaffi did order helicopter gunships and fighter jets to attack civilians; a case should be obvious that some kind of action has to take place to reign in that behavior. While I think that alone would be enough to get the UNSC to act it doesn't mean it will. Keep in mind China was largely responsible for squashing most UN interference efforts in Darfur using the bullshit reasoning that they opposed "interference" in another country's "internal affairs." Now I'll give you the Chinese did have multi-million dollar oil deals with the Sudanese Arab leaders and were happy to look the other way because of them and I don't know that's the case here. I guess my point is that the right thing to do could be railroaded because of some bullshit reason, that's all. Jsonitsac (talk) 04:18, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Regarding "How Ayn Rand ruined my childhood"[edit]

Hypothetical speaking how would Rand herself react to the actions of the father described in the article?Ryantherebel (talk) 14:36, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Hard to guess. Objectivism kind of hits a snag with children - they're unproductive, parasitic, and NOT CAPABLE of being anything else. I don't think any of Rand's "heroes" have kids. --Gulik (talk) 00:47, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
True, but she's pretty easy on kids compared to Murray Rothbard. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:21, 9 April 2011 (UTC)