RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the world?

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What is going on?

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[edit] The beast within

The folkways of some parts of the USA with regard to alcoholic beverages are passing strange. I once went to a wedding reception where liquor was served. The drinkers all congregated at one end of the hall, and the non-drinkers at the other; there was some kind of line that was universally acknowledged and that no one crossed.

I used to chalk up the Southern Baptist prohibitions on drinking, gambling, and dancing as class based: those were the expensive amusements of the folks in the manor house, and the people in the cabins in the hills at least had the consolation of moral superiority. On the other hand, the belief that a single sip of beer sets you on the road to Hell does not encourage responsible moderation among the damned, either. So when these folks drink, they mean to get shitfaced; that's the point. And if this is the attitude your society teaches, there may be a measure of practical wisdom in advocating teetotalism. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 02:50, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Here we go again.

Oh dear Oldusgitus (talk) 14:00, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Omaha story

Ok so I'm opposed to what the police have done in Ferguson as much as anyone else but being upset with the cops for the shooting in Omaha is just knee jerkish. The police knew there was an armed robbery going on, the guy brought something that looked like a gun and fired it at the police and now people are surprised the idiot burglar was shot. Well duh that should be expected the cops only have seconds to react in their eyes. The worst part of the story is the sound technician getting killed but that's still the robbers fault more than anyones. I'm just worried rationalwiki may be attrating some of the more rabidly anti-cop parts of the internet on that one. ClothCoat (talk) 03:57, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

US cops are inadequately trained, they're blazing away like they think they're in the movies. That is the exact same problem as Ferguson, police whose department training budget allows for viewing two cop movies and a few minutes at the range blasting pieces of paper. That's going to mean a high body count. If the count was disproportionately white and rich, rather than black and poor there would be outrage.
If the goal was not to kill innocent civilians (I know, this is a radical thought for the US) you'd want to train armed cops at least as well as you train your best soldiers, because after all the armed soldiers by policy are in combat zones not in the midst of your civilian population. That training includes an improved philosophy of policing that aims to avoid unnecessary escalation. The US is terrible at this because escalation looks great on TV and feels like you're in a movie (unless you get shot). But escalation is very dangerous, it exposes the officers, any criminals and innocent bystanders to excess risk. Here it got two people unnecessarily killed. And that sort of thing is not very rare, it just got highlighted this time because of the current focus on policing and because the bystander was part of the industry. Tialaramex (talk) 08:57, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
In the UK the armed cops are generally regarded as the elite. IIRC they undergo regular training/refresher courses and they have to undertake mandatory skills tests on a regular basis to retain their certificate. I am not sure I can recall the last time a bystander was shot rather than them hitting the intended target, albeit the intended may have been inocent on occasion. But they rarely if ever hit someone other than the intended. Even in SA bystanders are rarely shot and ffs some of their cops shouldn't be allowed to walk and talk at the same time - hi Psy :-). Oldusgitus (talk) 15:44, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
So it would only cause outrage if rich white people were killed by the police by accident? You can't really get away with "nobody cares about innocent black people" when a huge string of protests, riots, and nationwide news coverage is currently happening over a black kid who was shot. I think lots of people do care when minorities are abused (at least when it is brought to their attention).TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 13:43, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

[edit] father thanks jesus

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but the inclusion of the father of the now freed men in north Carolina thanking jesus seems snarky and inappropriately mocking of a man expressing his relief at what must be a very emotional time. AMassiveGay (talk) 01:34, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

given proxima is the one who added it, an attempt to mock the religious should not surprise--Miekal 03:56, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Slenderman strikes again!

http://www.wallstreetotc.com/slender-man-inspires-florida-teen-to-burn-home-to-kill-her-family/28647/ Bullied girl tries to burn down house after growing angry at being told to go to bed. Wait, never mind. She read an e-book with Slenderman in it and used the internet, so that explains everything. She even marked her diary with "keep out"! Is it satanic panik mk. II? (Agrajag (talk) 18:36, 6 September 2014 (UTC))

I am reminded of "The Girl Who Played With Fire", where newspapers write Lisbeth as being part of a "Satan-worshipping lesbian cult which hates society" because she is bisexual and for a short period of time was part of a punk-rock band. Shadow Nirvana (talk) 11:57, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Think tanks

So, foreigners are buying influence with think-tanks? THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! That privilege is for AMERICAN corporations only! --Gulik (talk) 08:39, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Blaming the victim

The entry on the prisoner in North Korea seems to be on par with statements I've seen many people refer to as victim blaming. I'm curious of anyone can explain a real difference. DickTurpis (talk) 20:03, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Mostly it's matter of purpose, people who are blaming women for being raped cause they tempted dem menfolk and people calling you an idiot for visiting north korea with the single purpose of asking for asylum are doing two different things because the latter is an actual idiot while the former is just sexism. Unless the story is a lie, at which point then yah it's victim blaming. --Miekal 20:07, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, but if someone were to have posted the entry "Of all the places to store your nude photos, online is a pretty shitty choice," I imagine there would be a minor shitstorm. Is the difference that the North Korea example was several orders of magnitude more foolish than the other? DickTurpis (talk) 20:14, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
For me, it's the equivalent of going to a predominantly Black gang dominated neighborhood and yelling racial slurs everywhere, you got what you earned for your dumb effort. Storing photos onine isnt dumb, because you have a reasonable expectation of security, visitng north korea, tearing up your passport, and asking for asylum is not reasonable to expet anything than something insane.--Miekal 20:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Storing such photos online might not be dumb, exactly, but we've all read enough reports of hacks to know that relying on the security of the cloud for these sorts of things is perhaps unwise. It at least is well out of the "no one could have foreseen this" realm. So how stupid does one's action have to be in order to make it okay to blame them for their result? DickTurpis (talk) 21:16, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
When it's "ill go to north korea instead of staying in america"--Miekal 21:57, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Right up there with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot. Alec Sanderson (talk) 22:38, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Did Miller actually tear up his visa, or is that just what NK said? If he did, is that a crime worthy of six years in a labor camp? Was he really a spy, or is NK just paranoid/looking to drum up some outrage among the people? So, do we know if it's Miller's fault? I'm far from an expert on the matter, but I don't think North Korea has the world's most transparent legal system. What he is accused of could be a load of bullshit.--"Shut up, Brx." 23:58, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

The iCloud thing was discussed at length here. Not really a shitstorm, but there was a little friction between people blaming celebs for storing their photos online & people pointing out that this was blaming the victim. Re the guy in North Korea, six years hard labour in NK is going to be hell & deserving of some compassion, IMO. On the other hand, he did admit at trial that he intended to experience prison life in NK to get an insight into the country's human rights situation, so "be careful what you wish for" style comments aren't totally out of line. Things being as they are in North Korea, we don't know how accurate & complete what's being reported is nor what kind of persuasion was used to get this confession, but it seems like this guy has behaved very bizarrely & most likely has some issues, whether that be political or psychological. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:32, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

[edit] "God rewards the faithful by collapsing a building on them"

Speaking of blaming the victim. . . .

Dozens of people were killed in this incident. Are we supposed to gloat about it because it was a religious building? WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:25, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

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