RationalWiki's Q4 2016 Fundraiser
We are 100% user-supported!
Without you, there is no RationalWiki!
Goal: $5000 Donations so far: $3075

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
Help and donate today!

RationalWiki talk:What is going on in the world?

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

What is going on?

(talk) (talk) (talk) (talk) (hic)

This page is automatically archived by Archivist
Archives for this talk page: Archive list

Oldest archives: 0001 -- 0002 -- 0003 -- 0004 -- 0005


[edit] Noted psychology professor makes public video refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns, and decries SJWs

Imagine if this guy was your professor. My favorite part is:

"Peterson told the National Post that he decided to make the video and go public with his views after receiving a memo from university HR outlining new mandatory anti-racist and anti-bias training. 'That disturbs me because if someone asked me to take anti-bias training, I think I am agreeing that I am sufficiently racist or biased to need training,' he said in an interview."

So a psychologist is saying they shouldn't have to take anti-bias and anti-racist training, because they are too smart to have bias. Wonderful. --Olmec (talk) 07:58, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

So this professor disagrees with the actions of the Human Resources department, because he doesn't want to be forced to attend "anti-bias" training. The training seems more problematic to me. What if they say flat earth and round earth are equal, and if you hate flat Earthers you're biased and that's wrong? What if it's creation vs evolution? Religion vs atheism? Liberalism vs conservatism? The idea of having mandatory anti-bias classes is ridiculous. pbfreespace (talk) 17:43, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Anti-bias training does not have to mean that participants should give equal weight to spurious claims. The ability to determine your own biases is a very very valuable skill. It keeps a person from falling into any number of traps in regards to thinking, and prevents tunnel vision. We can't really say the idea of anti-bias training is inherently a bad idea without knowing what was in the training in the first place. --Olmec (talk) 20:07, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif I am not the Ombud's man 20:19, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

The fact that someone is a psychologist does not mean they are free of idiocy. Mark Yarhouse, Psy.D. is a perfect example of that. Not to mention that older psychologists, just like everyone else, are less open to things that "didn't exist" when they were younger. It is worth noting that this topic is not within his area of study as you don't study "psychology," but an area within psychology for your research/dissertation. Just because he says something doesn't make it important. AyzmoCheers 19:32, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Quite. Scientific racism is largely justified by psychologists like Richard Lynn, Chris Brand (no longer working in academia AFIAK because his students told him to fuck off), and the late J. Philippe Rushton, Arthur Jensen, and Richard Herrnstein. Just because you can administer some tests and write down the results, doesn't mean you're able to appreciate things in their wider context (Richard Herrnstein who co-wrote The Bell Jar was an animal psychologist). Besides a lot of places have psychologists in the arts faculty... prejudiced grumbling Annquin (talk) 15:25, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Have you heard of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea? Do you know what Pro Life is? And did you see Freethought Blogs? There are things that have a good name, with an awful ideology behind them that can mean the opposite. So instead of going by some slogan and criticising the Professor because he's apparently Pro Murder of Cute Kittens, why don't you find out about the ideologies he criticizes and for which reasons? For example, Antiracism is now often a form of identitarian cultural racialism and the opposite of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr wanted. His approached is seen as failed and as "color blind". ~ Aneris 16:25, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Rape and the US election

I feel like it hasn't been brought up much even though it seems that the US has become more conscious about rape. Both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump could enter the White House and both have been accused of rape and have settled with women over sexual assault and sexual harassment; I almost never see anyone talk about it outside of the various Trump subreddits. Why and what do you think about the claims (e.g. Juanita Broaddrick, Ivanka Trump, etc)?--Owlman (talk) (mail) 02:33, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

i think its interesting that the idea of innocent until proven guilty goes out the window when its rape and sexual harrassment, or we dont like the accused. If is true, prove it. If you cant, i suspect there is much you can criticise for that is actually provable. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:00, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Well, we aren't a jury so we can think of the individual any we see fit but there are people who don't think about any; these people tend to have their mind made up w/o investigating the claim. I think the reason you see it with sex crimes is because many people want them taken seriously and they know that rape can be very psychologically damaging. Regardless, the reason I brought it up was because I don't remember these kinds of claims against McCain, Obama, or Romney.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 16:55, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Obviously I can't speak for whether there may be unaired allegations around any of those people specifically, but it should be unsurprising that rape claims become more of a common feature of politics & public life in the times we live in than they have in the past, given the scandals that have come to light in recent years about celebrities & politicians on both sides of the Atlantic and the way the public & media has reacted to these scandals. Clearly there has (until fairly recently) been a widespread culture of hushing up sex crimes by powerful people, & the media has often been complicit in this, whereas there's now a much greater emphasis on bringing rapes to public attention & investigation. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:22, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Right, which is why I brought this up since I barely see or hear discussions about these claims anywhere. The only time I have seen Brodderick brought up is on Trump subreddits but I never see Clinton supporters even acknowledge such claims. The same can be said of Ivanka's claim which I would think would be brought up by Clinton supporters but they only ever talk about his finances and how much they fear his presidency.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 18:40, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Ivana Trump changed her story as part of the divorce settlement. (Not to be confused with Ivanka Trump who is her daughter). I don't know much about Juanita Broaddrick, but having glanced through her Wikipedia entry I see she also changed her story. That means these cases can't easily be used as fodder by the opposition nor mainstream media without straying into slander & gossip territory. But they're certainly getting attention on social media & blogs. What I find more notable is how the child rape case involving Trump & Jeffrey Epstein is going completely unreported by mainstream press, reputedly because of Trump's extremely aggressive legal team, notably Mihael Cohen who is also credited with getting Ivana to change her story. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:11, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Whoops, I guess it is Ivana and not Ivanka but who can tell when Donald wants her too. Anyways, if you are curious about Juanita's story (along with some other allegations) Vox and Buzzfeed covered it more recently. I personally don't find the changes of Ivana's or Juanita's stories to be problematic enough to not believe either. I am somewhat skeptical to the Epstein story, but even if it isn't true, it sickens me that he had a relationship with both Bill Clinton and Trump while it was known he was a child rapists.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 22:57, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Hurricane Trutherism

Counting down to the dead in Haiti all being crisis actors. OTOH, why isn't this for clogs? I get so confused. Whoover (talk) 19:25, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Heard Michael Savage insist that because meteorologists didn't know what path Matthew would take, global warming is a hoax. The stupid, it burns so much. StickySock (talk) 20:08, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Autism Speaks

As someone diagnosed with PDD-NOS young and got sufficient intervention to be reasonably functional, and who rather strenuously resists being referred to as anything other than disabled (and strongly prefers avoiding horrific mutilation of basic English grammar "person-first language", because apparently non-humans can have autism spectrum disorders or something), I never did think of Autism Speaks as being so much evil as simply misguided (if rather horribly so at times, no defense of their former anti-vaccination stance from me is forthcoming). I'll freely admit how difficult it is to have a child like myself, and I'm one of the most mildly affected, and I do understand the mentality, if not the corresponding positions, on people looking for a cure to autism; if they ever do find one I'll be in line, since he miswiring in my brain causes me and the people who know me a lot of pain and confusion. Whether or not one considers it a good organization Autism Speaks seems to be the most prominent name out there, so I've always been of the view that working with them would be more productive (c.f. Steven Brill and his take on teacher's unions, even if criticism of unions seems close to a damnable sin here). Accordingly I'm glad this change came about, and perhaps this can be the start of some more good; Bob Wright seems at least reasonably well-meaning, it'll be good if his intentions translate to similarly good work, The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:37, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Breaking: Mosul operation has begun

The military operation to liberate the city of Mosul from ISIS has begun. Over 60,000 allied troops, both Kurdish Peshmerga and Iraqi Army soldiers, have massed on the frontline 20 km from the city limits to begin an assault. There are dozens of towns and villages between the frontline and the city itself, so there will be a series of battles on the outskirts before the main battle for the city begins. US aircraft alongside British and French jets are the main air support for this operation. US artillery has also shelled the city earlier today, so serious US cover fire is likely. The battle for the city is going to take a long time (many months), as ISIS really would prefer not to lose its Iraqi capital of 1 million people. ISIS has spent years building dozens of kilometers of burning oil trenches and machine gun posts, and although it will be easy for allied heavy armor to overcome this, it will mean that the battle will be extremely bloody. The burning oil and tar will also obscure allied aircraft. There is no doubt that the allies will win, as 60K troops plus the best air support there is against just 5K enemy fighters really isn't a fair fight. The political situation will also be interesting to watch play out: I think the Iraqi government will doubtless control the city, but there may be many disputes between the Kurdish government, and Iraq over who should govern which village and where exactly the border should be drawn (here's a handy map of ethnicities around Mosul). I wonder if these disputes will become violent like they have in a couple of other Iraqi towns. Finally, I'm sure some Republicans in America will accuse Obama of starting the offensive now to get people to vote for Hillary Clinton. They can believe that if they want.

I don't pray, but my thoughts and hopes are with the Iraqi Army, Popular Mobilization Units, and Kurdish Peshmerga in this battle. pbfreespace3 (talk) 02:02, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for this update. To the allied forces, I can only say — since I certainly don't believe in prayer — be safe, and let'er rip. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:16, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

US air support has already been in full force in the past 24 hours in preparation for the offensive. This is from the Department of Defense's website: "Near Mosul, six strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL media center; damaged two T-walls; suppressed another mortar system; and destroyed an ISIL-held building, five rocket rails, four fighting positions, two supply caches, two vehicles, an anti-air artillery system, a mortar system, and a headquarters building." That's a ridiculous operational tempo, and that's only going to increase over the coming weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if we see 40-50 airstrikes per day. Even a powerful army isn't going to be able to hold up under that kind of air pressure. PBfreespace3 (talk) 02:48, 16 October 2016 (UTC) Operation has been officially announced by the president of Iraq on live TV. There are a lot of behind enemy lines operations going on in Mosul city right now. Things like ISIS cars being burnt and random assassinations. Also attempts by local civilians to rebel, which are probably going to be crushed. Very good strategy if they want to scare all the ISIS fighters to leave. A corridor is purposefully being left open for ISIS to leave the city and head to Syria, which I personally disagree with. pbfreespace (talk) 01:05, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Maybe the coalition troops hope to attack them in the open? Haven't read up on this. Fuzzy. Cat. Potato! (talk/stalk) 01:07, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Both Napoleon and Sun Tzu said never to overtly corner your enemy with no retreat left open to them. They both pointed out that once the enemy knows they are cornered they will fight harder than they could ever do otherwise, and your own men will struggle to match that utter desperation. They recommended leaving a highly vulnerable escape open instead, allowing the enemy to pick himself off (and the enemy troops consider desertion) as he entertains the fevered dream of escape. Basically, when causing a fight-or-flight response in the enemy, leave your enemy room for an unwise flight attempt, or know beforehand that you will face the fight of your life. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:18, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
There are a lot of conspiracy theories from the pro-Assad anti-US camp that think the US is trying to cause a surge of ISIS fighters from Mosul to Syria in order to increase pressure on the Syrian government. I don't believe them, but I also don't discount them. If I led this battle, I'd totally besiege it and spend years fighting to retake it regardless of difficulty of the fight. It ensures you kill all the enemy so they don't live to fight another day, and so you won't have to fight for the city again. The Sunnis in Mosul who supported ISIS need to be taught a real lesson, like the Syrian Army is doing in Aleppo. In that city, the civilians have utterly no hope of living if they don't flee to government-held areas. That's what I'd do. Pbfreespace2 (talk) 02:14, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Things are getting serious. I just saw news footage from Mosul of US aircraft dropping white phosphorus on ISIS positions in broad daylight. Definitely intended as a weapon. Baghdadi reportedly left the city just hours before the main site assault started. ISIS strategy so far is to hold main troops and spam cat bombs, which so far isn't working as all have been destroyed before reaching target. Heavy airstrikes right now on towns on the outskirts of the city. PЬFЯЗЭSPДCЗ (talk) 11:36, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Are we sure the bombers aren't just tripping the tar and gasoline traps? Also: wholly inappropriate time to joke, but part of my brain is stuck on "ISIS strategy so far is to... spam cat bombs." I know what you meant, but the mental image is too amusing. (talk) 07:46, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

The UN tweeted the following infographic on the ongoing/upcoming humanitarian catastrophy in Mosul. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:46, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

My only concerns with the invasion, besides the humanitarian costs, of course, would be the likelihood that the Kurds ethnically cleansing Sunni Arabs villages in order to increase the reach of Greater Kurdistan and whether the largely Shia-dominated central government can settle their political disputes with the Sunnis. The central government's failure to reconcile the Sunni portests[wp] led to this conflict in the first place and if they can't get the General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries[wp], one of the largest and most successful non-ISIL Sunni Arab militias led by disaffected Ba'athist[wp], then they risk continued insurgency throughtout central Iraq.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:55, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Hi Owlman
Can you show me an example of purposeful ethnic cleansing of Sunni Arab villages by the Peshmerga?
I'll wait for your response. Pbfreespace (talk) 12:31, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
I couldn't find anything specifically about the Kurds ethnically cleansing Sunni Arabs in Mosul (which is why I said the likelihood concerns me) but human rights organizations, like Human Rights Watch, have reported ethnically in various parts of Iraq, like the Ninevah.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 23:00, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Since we are talking about genocide, I think a Godwins is appropriate. "Show me evidence that death camps were real during WWII." Germany used to invite foreign journalists into the "work" camps, giving the prisoners an extra bit of bread or a potato, and heavily screen what the journalists saw and what pictures got out. Anything that said there were death camps was just "foreign propaganda". The allies didn't have access to the camps, so they couldn't "prove" anything. All they had was witness testimony, until the war ended.
So too all we have is witness testimony to what the Kurds are doing. We don't have journalists on the ground, because those guys tend to wind up dead. Or worse. We won't know what really happened until all the dust settles, and even then if the genocide is thorough enough we may not know even then.
Once again, I'll state that even if what is alleged the Kurds are doing is true, they are still the least awful side there. The other sides are Assad, ISIS, and Al Qaeda. "Moderate rebels" are just a myth. StickySock (talk) 05:31, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Well, we are talking about Iraq and not Syria.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 05:57, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Ah, right. In that case we have the Kurds, Isis, Iranian proxies, and the Iraqi government. Really hate Iran's role in all this; their Quds force spent a decade destabilizing Iraq and intentionally created the civil war. I blame them more for ISIS than anyone else. StickySock (talk) 12:58, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
That's an imperialist lie coming from an Iran-hater. The Sunnis of Iraq invited ISIS to come over and start a civil war. They captured Fallujah, al-Qa'im, Hawijah, Mosul, Baaj, and Tal Afar all by themselves before Iran had anything to do with it. The war going on in Iraq right now is the Sunnis' fault. They've made their bed, and now they have to lay in it. The few patriot Iraqi Sunnis are actually fighting alongside their comrades to retake Mosul and other places, and the rest are all traitors who should be killed. Applesauce (talk) 20:33, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
@Apple Interesting that you think Iran isn't acting imperialistically within Iraq. The Islamic Dawa Party[wp], the ruling party in Iraq, has close ties to Iran while the Badr organization[wp] is basically an Iranian proxy. Though the Mahdi Army (now called the "Peace Companies") has received funding from Iran, al-Sadr has opposed Iranian influence and his forces have been attacked by the Iraqi Army due to his opposition to the Dawa Party; despite this, the Shia militias have been implicated in war crimes. Lastly, your statement that ISIL took cities like Mosul, Ramadi, and Fallujah by themselves is a factual incorrect; the Washington Post and BBC interviewed the leaders of the General Military Council of the Iraqi Revolutionaries after they took Fallujah. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace wrote about how Maliki's alienation of Sunnis spawned this violence with the GMCIR (Sunni farmers) and the Naqshbandi Army (disaffected Ba'athists) being the main Sunni groups that were more powerful than ISIL. All of this could've been avoided had Maliki not waged a campaign of vengeance and had respected the Sunni Arabs' constitutional vote for autonomy instead of cracking down on their protests.
@Sticky You are correct but the US single-handedly created a power struggle in Iraq by dismissing their army; most of the poor young men used the Iraqi military to gain employment and were forced to join militias in order to gain political power. Inevitably, after we left, a vacuum appeared which Iran used to create a buffer zone between them and the US and Sunni militias. It also didn't help that Petreaus helped arm the Sunni and Shia militias while we were there. Oh the factions you mentioned, you forgot the Turks who have militias in Iraq w/o any approval from the Iraqi central government; you also forgot the Assyrians who are also fighting to create their own autonomous zone[wp] and have been politically against the Kurds expansion in the Nineveh.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 00:47, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Maliki is the saviour of Iraq. He led the fight to end the Sunni terrorist campaign in the "surge" as Americans call it. The country was stable until the Gulf Arab-backed pigs invaded a sovereign country, invited in by the Sunnis along the Tigris and Al-Furat. The Iraqi Sunni traitors invited in Wahhabi foreign terrorists to help them reinstall their former dictatorial power. But the Iraqi people responded to the fatwa and rose up against the foreign-backed terrorists, and began liberating their country! Never again will Iraq be ruled by the terrorists and Saddamists! Applesauce (talk) 03:41, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

[edit] Did anyone ever claim "Patient Zero" was at fault for AIDS?

I had heard of "patient zero" before, but this is the first time that I hear he single-handedly brought AIDS to the US. All I ever heard about him is that he did spread it a lot faster farther and wider than would have otherwise happened and he apparently did not change his behavior even when told to. So while this study is fascinating, the way it is sold in the media is strange. Worzelpete (talk) 20:59, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

To test this question I plugged in a google search omitting results from 2016, the first result(within my filter bubble at least) suggests patient zero brought AIDS to the world, with the only caveat in the article that "If it wasn't him, someone else would have", the second is much more in line with what you're saying. So... a mixture. Both the truth and untruth were out there. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:11, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Personal tools