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Welcome, BoN
This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
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Pointless poll

Who is Cosmikdebris' all time favourite musician (wrong answers only)?

Avril Lavigne (greatest lyricist of the 21st century)



Olivia Rodrigo (omg, her music is just so deep)



Miley Cyrus (better than Frank Zappa, whom Cosmik doesn't even like)



Billie Eilish (duh)



To do list

Progress & Regress Pokémon — Help Wanted[edit]

Hey, I've been working more on my Progress & Regress Pokémon concepts, and I'd like to get some feedback on them. I'm also running out of ideas to expand with (I'd like to end the chains with a Fire/Rock Progress Pokémon and a Poison/Fighting Regress Pokémon, to be hard-countered by Crimsolusion and Azureality, respectively), so I need some more ideas on things RationalWiki endorses and opposes. Luigifan18 (talk) 17:47, 10 February 2024 (UTC)

…Hello? Luigifan18 (talk) 18:48, 11 February 2024 (UTC)
I'll check it out. Carthage (talk) 06:02, 12 February 2024 (UTC)
I can hardly wait. (I also need some help fleshing out the ideas I do have. Like, for instance, was Leavanny really the best Pokémon to turn into the avatar of hippies? I still have some doubts about that.) Luigifan18 (talk) 05:06, 13 February 2024 (UTC)
I have nothing whatsoever against you Luigifan (I'm a big Ingress player) but if you expect RW to endorse your Pokémon enthusiasm I think you may have to wait a long time. :-( Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:04, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
…Can I get some feedback on my ideas, please? Luigifan18 (talk) 04:35, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
I got a Gameboy and Pokemon Red as a Christmas present back in 98. there were two other kids in my 5th grade year who knew anything about pokemon, and they liked the anime, so they were making Pokemon noises at each other for fun. You have to understand that this is incredible for me, not the first I've seen it but do you really get what being a fan of Pokemon would afford you in the late 90's? The game was awesome, the fandom was getting beat up. To see somebody so confidently be like 'don't y'all know Pokemon?' Like, no, I don't. I know about around 150 pokemon. But I am a little jealous of current anime fans. Their taste is bad, but everybody's taste in everything is bad, so whatever, at least they get to watch anime without being called the f word. Torrent (talk) 10:18, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
…Uh… should I take this to the saloon bar talk page? Luigifan18 (talk) 17:46, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Any ideas on what sorts of woo I can represent with a Grass/Ground-type? (Aside from herbalism, since Creikipath has that covered.) Luigifan18 (talk) 03:50, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
@Bob M By the way, what does Ingress have to do with this, aside from being developed by the same peopleWikipedia as Pokémon Go and using basically the same servers? Luigifan18 (talk) 16:21, 21 February 2024 (UTC)

The Israeli-Hamas War reminds me of the Vietnam War (hear me out)[edit]

In nearly five months the IDF has failed to bring down the Hamas government in Gaza, the IDF has flattened buildings, the IDF has displaced over a million people, the IDF has killed some of the Israeli hostages and there is nothing to show for it. Hamas keeps recruiting new fighters due to not having many standards for fighters. The Hamas military is fluid in nature where fighters and even commanders can be replaced with ease. Hamas can easily rebuild itself. Many people around the world oppose the war.

During the Vietnam War, the South Vietnamese government and western forces killed a bunch of people, flattened buildings, got civilians killed and they still couldn't bring down the Vietcong. The Vietcong could easily replace fighters and have the backing of Soviet countries. Many people worldwide opposed the war.

Israel will not be able to defeat Hamas when it functions both as a government that has some international backing and a terrorist organization in which fighters could be replaced with ease. Israeli civilians will increasingly oppose the conflict.

This war is Israel's version of the Vietnam War. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:21, 14 February 2024 (UTC)

If Israel holds back from full-scale war in southern Gaza and where refugees are gathered, then it may very well end up like that. It seems Netanyahu wants to drag out the war over time and use it as a means to staying in power throughout a time of deep unpopularity. However, there's also the possibility that Israel ends up going full steam ahead and steam-rolling all the refugees in exactly the way that Biden now apparently fears. If they do that, they thereby cross the threshold to genocide in a way that irrevocably changes their relation to the international community. It is still possible for Israel to truly crush Hamas and win militarily, but only at the cost of killing a large portion of the Palestinian people (deaths increasing many times). What path will they take, which bad end to it all? --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 00:39, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
Even if Hamas is defeated, new terrorist groups like Hamas will replace them. There are also current groups allied with Hamas such as Hezbollah. Israel is pouring fuel on the fire. --Trans Fem Agenda 00:54, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
Yes, such a victory would bring great risk of war with other groups. If no such group can grow out of Gaza any longer, it may grow out of a radicalized (post-destruction of Gaza) West Bank. There'd also be other players in neighboring countries ready to join the fray in such a future. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 01:40, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
It's quite a thing to foretell the future as an adumbration of the past. In fact, what else can one do, knowing as little as we do of these matters but tell one another stories of the past? Peoples can be conquered. There are some similarities between the war in Gaza and the Viet Nam war, yet not so many that I would accept a close analogy. To begin with, Israel is not engaged in fighting someone else's civil war, as were the Americans in Viet Nam. They regard Hamas as an existential threat. The Domino theory was a poor rationalization for defeating the spread of Communism in Indochina. The war was intended to reify a battle of wills between Chinese communism and western capitalism.Ariel31459 (talk) 01:57, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
Minus the Civil War, there are similarities. I could argue that the United States is acting similarly like in Vietnam by backing Israel in "The fight against terrorism" while Iran backing Hamas and Hezbollah in "the fight against western powers". --Trans Fem Agenda 02:57, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
5 months isn't really much time in the context of a war. Come back to me when this has been going on for 5 years, maybe. And I'm not buying the argument that destroying Hamas necessarily means another group will form; no one has replaced the Tamil Tigers or the ETA, and the groups who claimed to replace the IRA haven't (we may be thankful) carried out anything meaningful since Omagh in 1999. Making that happen will absolutely require someone besides Netanyahu and his hard-right cabinet, but it doesn't follow that Israel therefore should do nothing. Also, disband the UNRWA. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:03, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
I see you still haven't read any of the counterinsurgency manuals I linked to you. The way Israel is conducted this war is bad counterinsurgency. Collective punishment is bad counterinsurgency. This is basic insurgency theory. Carthage (talk) 08:56, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
Thing is, I don't think Bibi and his cabinet are aiming for a "good" counterinsurgency. I don't really think they believe what they are doing is working either, if the goal is to ultimately find peace. It's about keeping power and about fulfilling the sadistic fantasies of his supporters for whom cruelty IS the point. It's not about actually finding a solution. Having an an enemy is good for Bibi, and looking like you're showing no mercy to them is also good for him. NastyNugget (talk) 09:35, 14 February 2024 (UTC)

The OP's point can [and my opinion, should] be filed under 'reasonable comment'. For example, @The Blade of the Northern Lights the Gaza War can [and again, should] be seen in through the prism of being yet another part of the 'Israeli-Palestinian War' which has been going on since 1945, just like the 'Vietnam War' was just a later stage of the 'Indochina War' which ran from 1945 to 1989 [starting with the Viet Minh declaring independence from France at the end of WW2 and ending with the final withdrawral of Vietmamese troops in Cambodia].

The critical issue for American failure can be said the same as repeated Israeli failure; that of lack of 'joined up thinking'. General Westmoreland failed in Vietnam for a good part because he and his staff had 'professional blinders' on; they only thought in military terms, not the socio-politico-economic sphere which was creating/sustaining the continued popular resistance against the corrupt Saigon regime and by extension, the Americans. It was only being held up by the continued presence of overwelming military force; the moment it was removed the state fell over.

Israel is suffering the same problem; that it is attempting to find a 'military solution' to the Palestinians minus any socio-politico-economic reforms, mainly because the domestic political calculus makes any reining-back of the ultra-Zionists/fascists/settler/Islamaphobic communities impossible. I suspect much of the security/military brass knows this truth and unable/unwilling to 'solve' the problem by committing ethnic cleansing, so they do the best they can - which is to transform Isreal into a kind of 'garrison state' where the population lives in a state of paranoia, the military and civilian realms become increasingly fused and the weary forces are constantly watching, suppressing, bombing or building ever-more intricate fixed defences. This is a war with no end, because, like the Vietnamese, the Palestinians have nowhere to go and not much to lose. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:12, 14 February 2024 (UTC)

I have no doubt that Israel is behaving in a relentless and cold-hearted manner. The arrogant desire to go on fighting no matter what the cost has its limits, but they are not trivial. If you think your life is worthless, then you may believe you have little to lose. The one thing that is never going to happen, in our life time, is Israeli defeat at the hands of Palestinian militias. Unlike the Viet Nam war, which did temporarily end America's influence in Indochina, this conflict ends when Palestinians tire of dying for what they believe is their just end, and negotiate the best deal they can get. The situation is much more like the British conflict in Ireland than America vs North Viet Nam. And, as you know, the former dispute went on for centuries. Expect that. Ariel31459 (talk) 16:18, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
It'll end when the oil-money runs dry. Once Iran is incapable of funding Hamas, or whichever group replaces them, there'll be no money for the constant warfare.
I don't like that US taxdollars are funding Israel's military, but the harsh reality is that if Israel doesn't have smart-bombs they'll use cheap mortars instead, and mortars are... inaccurate. The iron dome too is expensive, but the whole point of the 'dome was that it enabled Israel to delay this war, and if were to be delayed long enough, a generation of Gazans to grow up without seeing family members die in the war, and eventually Hamas et al find it harder and harder to recruit. But Hamas forced Israel's hand, and here we are. Israel can take out the low-level fighters and the mid-level organizers, but the high-level heads of Hamas are all living a life of luxury in Qatar; Mossad's ability to perform "wetwork" is nowhere near what the internet will have you believe, and so Hamas will still be around. CorruptUser 16:35, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
Why does that matter when Israel is deliberately being indiscriminate in their razing of Gaza? They're doing this with "smart" technology. Israel demonstrably doesn't give a fuck about civilian casualties. Carthage (talk) 16:40, 14 February 2024 (UTC)
Which is why I described it as a 'garrison state', the best solution they can come up with is effectively, an Israeli boot on the Palestinian neck forever, because of the reasonable suspicions the moment they loosen the pressure a shiv will be in their stomach.
The critical issue is that for the Palestinians right now, the 'best offer' is to simply accept all Israeli demands - for carved-up 'Bantustans' in which Israel still operates suzerainty over all of the Bantustan's affairs. We saw what happened when the PLO accepted a better variant of this deal a generation back; a PA which is incredibly weak capability-wise and has little internal legitimacy as they appear to be nothing more than Israeli collaborators in it for the material kickbacks.
And while I do think the IDF et al do care about civilian casulties, the fundimental problem is that Hamas have been planning 15 years for this war and part of this strategy was to get the IDF to kill/maim lots of civilians so to make 'peace' even further away than before because the Palestinian pepole et al will be in uproar. But the IDF does care a lot more about their own losses [and is clearly the only number Bibi cares of], so prefer to bomb Gaza into ruins rather than sending in infantry to clear out the fighters at close range. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:51, 14 February 2024 (UTC)

Here is the problem: Hamas is not limited to Gaza Strip. It exists in the West Bank, Lebanon and Iran. You might as well reduce Palestinian cities in the West Bank to rubble too. Guess what that will do? Create angry survivors out for revenge. Violence breeds violence. Diplomacy is the answer; the Israeli government needs to get it's head out of its ass for once. --Trans Fem Agenda 19:32, 14 February 2024 (UTC)

At least as of now, Hamas isn't running the West Bank. I'm hardly a fan of Abbas, but the quality of life in the West Bank on average is a lot higher than Gaza. Dealing with the Jewish settlements is related, but even if there were none in the West Bank it doesn't seem likely Hamas would just flicker out of existence. Not that Netanyahu is inclined to do anything intelligent on that front... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:28, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
I do wonder what will happen post-war for Netanyahu and his gaggle of crooks? Knowing that they could have taken the diplomatic route that would have freed the hostages but Netanyahu is more worried about holding on to power. He knows that his government is doomed regardless. Netanyahu cannot keep the war going on forever as he will lose support of the people and I doubt that Israeli soldiers would want to continue entering the meat grinder. Which will it be: Netanyahu ending the war diplomatically this ending his reign sooner or drag out the collapse of his government? Either way he is screwed. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:45, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
So far there have been remarkably few IDF casualties, so I'm not sure how much of a meat grinder this is. Netanyahu is historically unpopular, and should be, but that's not the reason why; Benny Gantz and his supporters are pretty much entirely in line with supporting the ongoing military action. Also, I have to double down on disbanding UNRWA; if (to go back to the example I know best, which spawned the tactics Hamas uses) there was a UN organization discovered to be actively supporting the Tamil Tigers, they'd be disbanded in minutes. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:42, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
That has not yet been proven. Israel is hardly a honest actor in this, and we need to be careful to work out whether it's 'bad apples' or 'systemetic infiltration'. I listened to the Israeli ambassador recently talking about it and their line was basically 'yeah, we have so much evidence but no, we can't show any of it to you or anything' but then made it clear they hated UNRWA anyway. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:59, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
12 members allegedly participated in October 7th, out of an organization that employs thirty thousand people. How many IDF soldiers have partaken in violent settler terrorism in the West Bank? Why isn't the IDF as a whole being sanctioned for the actions of a few of its soldiers? This is patently absurd. UNRWA isn't even a miliary organization, it is the sole thing providing aid (food, water, shelter) to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (aid which Israel is largely blocking). Without UNRWA, a lot more Palestinians would die. Carthage (talk) 12:31, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
Right-wing Israelis hate UNRWA, and the 'why' requires an understanding of what it is.
Normally, the go-to UN org for refugee/displaced/stateless persons is the UNHCR. It has zero desire to run 'forever' refugee camps; if it becomes clear that the population getting emergency aid cannot return to their home nations/regions, they will then settle for host nation integration and/or third country resettlement [and at that stage, ceasing to be refugee/DP/stateless and thus, ending the UNHCRs job].
UNRWA is a stand-alone org, founded after the '48 war to basically 'try to provide for the needs of the displaced Palestinians and their descendants - and as decades have passed, UNWRA has become more and more a wholesale overseas-funded 'welfare state' for the Palestinians outside of Israel itself. By accident or design it was never given the remit to work for ways to 'end' Palestinians refugee status.
It's this which pisses off the likes of Bibi. How can the Palestinians 'accept their lot' and quit resisting Israeli ownership of their ancestoral homes if the damn UNRWA continues to [sic] 'continue the refugee narrative alive over generations' by continuing to do their remit? For fuck's sake, if it had been the UNHCR they would have been 'resettled' elsewhere [ideally, a very far away elsewhere] decades ago and thus, no problem for us! This was something which the Trump White House agreed with; in '18 they ended UNRWA funding and demanded it only catered to Palestinians directly displaced by the '48 war [which I guess by this point would only be a few tens of thou persons, as by that point the youngest 'direct refugee' would be 70].
Now, anyone gonna say now that the Israeli state has zero bias in reportage on UNRWA? KarmaPolice (talk) 21:04, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
I doubt this is going to get any substantial acknowledgement, but Channel 4 has found that the evidentiary support of Israel's accusations have threadbare evidentiary support. Given Israel's... spotty track record with the truth, I don't know why anyone gives them the benefit of the doubt. Carthage (talk) 17:47, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
One of the legitimate issues/questions raised is the apparent fact that UNRWA hiring didn't formally screen out Hamas members, so the idea that there were UNRWA staff who were also Hamas members isn't implausable. In fact, with the numbers of Gazan UNRWA staff hired locally it's almost a dead-curt this has happened. The claims that Hamas bunkers etc being located under UNRWA buildings doesn't mean the latter's complicity either; another narrative is that Hamas put them there with the UNRWA unawares on the belief the IDF as less likely to bomb UN buildings. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:13, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
I think everyone agrees that someone needs to be performing the functions UNRWA was art least supposed to. For an analogous, if much less of a lightning rod situation; I think everyone agrees states need to have a police organization of some kind. In my home state, in the late 1990s the state (under John Rowland of all people, the tri-state area went 0 for 3 on governors) discovered absolutely massive corruption in the state sheriff's department, a lot of which involved covering up for dirty police officers. The state disbanded it and replaced it with a state marshal system, and while some of the same people were involved they fundamentally restructured the chain of command. It was very effective at stamping out corruption (and has the side benefit of confusing the hell out of sovereign citizens who try to pull that here), and has proven to be even more effective at its stated purpose. Something of that nature would make sense, disbanding UNRWA and replacing it with an organization that can be set up for success and be definitively set apart from Hamas. And yes, the obvious problem being Netanyahu doesn't want that; if I had any great ideas on how to make it happen I'd say them. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:43, 22 February 2024 (UTC)
Any attempt to deal with UNRWA will have to come after this catastrophe is ended. Carthage (talk) 03:54, 22 February 2024 (UTC)

On Mental Health, Societal Dysfunction, The Need for Therapy, and More[edit]

Here's something I thought out just now (memory can be weird at times). I think I have another unanswered question in the back of my head again. This concerns mental health, mental care, and more stuff related to psychology. How often do you think the reason why people do rash things and cause trouble is due to a lack of proper care for their mental health? Therapy is in short supply and is woefully short-staffed, and it costs quite a bit to seek help outside of the worst cases and emergency (which only hurts the latter, as emergency care would have a lower burden if preliminary therapy prevented it). Furthermore, some folks live in areas that lack any mental help outside of online communication, which is not many options to choose from. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 13:13, 15 February 2024 (UTC)

And not having a private therapist to vent frustrations out to leads to people bottling up those awful feelings, which in turn has a detrimental effect societally, as it leads to things that would have been safely contained via therapy being released into society like a pathogen, especially on social media. These negative effects include marginalized folks saying rash things like promoting reverse discrimination or reversing societal roles, none of which would benefit society and just lead to an inverted status quo, where the oppressed becomes the oppressor. Even majorities suffer from this too, as words about entrenching their power is only going to lead to similar illiberal situations where one group lets that power get to their heads. And worst of all, the camps bouncing rhetoric off each other leads to a feedback loop of division. There's no idea if anyone's planning to put their words into action. If they had therapists to talk to, this stuff won't be out there causing trouble. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 13:13, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
Furthermore, social skills is another massive desert and void in terms of teaching methods and how it is completely bungled up in execution. I've had social skills shoved down my throat through negative reinforcement from guardian figures and school staff alike for years before. They think that subjecting me to boredom and/or emotional distress would cause me to change and become better. It's only short-term, and long-term PTSD is a likely possibility if that mindset was applied. I'm already suffering from intrusive thoughts and OCD because of this mistreatment, causing me to constantly feel concerns over what the future has in store and whether a worse case scenario would play out, stripping me of time I could have used to rest. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 13:13, 15 February 2024 (UTC)
Now some people are stubborn and/or unwilling to seek mental help, and some people don't bother because of hubris and/or power (the latter is ultimately self-harming in the end. Power in particular can have a knock-on effect on mental health.), which is another major issue. There really needs to be less social stigma on folks seeking help or therapy for ailing mental health. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 13:13, 15 February 2024 (UTC)

If your theory is correct, how come previous generations in the Anglo world didn't have this issue? I have my own theory, but want to hear others first... KarmaPolice (talk) 22:26, 15 February 2024 (UTC)

Most likely to do with ableist prejudice and a hostile environment that forced the topic to the back burner. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 05:34, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
I was medicated in middle school for anxiety with Paxil. My mom didn't like my behavior and took me. I didn't like being taken to a doctor , got interviewed and diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and prescribed Paxil. I protested enough that my mom, for months, as I'm a full 13 year old human, made me swallow the pill in front of her. Nothing changed, nothing felt better, First chance I got, I stopped taking it in secret and went through the worst withdrawal of my life. I have no interest in meth, heroin, or cocaine, because I will never forget that withdrawal. According to my mom we went back to see the doctor, she described my symptoms and he said 'so when did you stop taking it' and I froze up and she never asked me to take it again. I don't remember it that way. Unmedicated, I did fine in high school, made a lot of friends, got some scholarships. Torrent (talk) 10:06, 16 February 2024 (UTC)

Reporting bias? Clearly yes, but that doesn't explain everything. And while some conditions etc shall always exist, my personal theory is that we in the Anglosphere [with the USA at the forefront] are suffering from the psychological effects of social atomisation on a generational basis.

I subscribe to the 'Bowling Alone' theory, which tells of the decline of American social capital due to a myriad of factors from television to suburbs. I shall draw this line a little further; that a decline of social capital equals a decline in social connections, of interactions with our fellow human beings.

That we as a species need these interactions. They teach us social skills, grant us 'emotional intelligence'; giving us the tools to become part of 'the collective' when needs be. They widen our own Overton Window by reminding us of Others which aren't us. And we are a social species; we simply like being in the amiable company of others [even though some of us might have relatively low demands for this]. I firmly believe that a good % of personality disorders are created/worsened due to the lack of general social interactions that keep us grounded.

You talk about the need for 'more therapists' – I kinda disagree. For a lot of folks, I believe what they need is simply counseling. And in our pre-Bowling world, this was filled by a myriad of informal people; be it the local vicar, an member of your extended family, a Scout leader, your old school buddy or work collegue. 'Tea and sympathy', a vent over a pint in the pub, one of those heart-to-hearts at an emotionally weak moment which if the other party is tactful, shall never mention happening again. Clearly, you can't have this if you don't actually know anyone well enough to have these conversations.

Even more importantly, social connections act as a kind of community safety net. In a pre-Bowling 'town', it shall be spotted much quicker if an individual is 'going off the rails' in some manner simply because there's more regular eyes on each other. School shootings are a classic example here; there's a lot of 'red flags' in common [peer ostracisation, little/no emotional avaliablity from adult caregivers, dysfunctional/unstable home lives] which strongly suggests if only if someone was paying attention they'd spot it before it is on the evening news. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:57, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

I think that is worth it's weight. I made an appointment to see Dune 2 with a friend I go see movies with like, a year ago. He hit me up recently, we're still on for it. I am a pretty reclusive adult, but when it comes to lunches, dinners, movies, weddings, home projects, and general favors, I'll always show up. I am working on asking others if they want to come to things with me and also going to things alone. It's uncomfortable. I haven't paid a dime to experience that, just constant horrid introspection.
Being said, I don't really have a suggestion for counsel if you don't have any. There have been stressful moments in my life where I have thought, as best I can describe it, 'I need an adult,' looked around, and realized 'oh, wait, that's me.' I've survived all of them. Just a little flavor for those bowling alone. Torrent (talk) 05:27, 22 February 2024 (UTC)
Don't forget the myriad of shallow/one-off social interactions we also have; work collegues, shop assistants, the 'friend-of-a-friend' met at an event and so on. Not only does this help us keep our social skills sharp, it also unconsciously tugs us towards the Overton Window of 'socially acceptable behaviours'. In this respect, Covid was a grand social experiment - what the hell happens with people when they have months of physical social isolation. No amount of pre-pandemic 'experiments' on The Sims would have told me that I'd miss little chats with retail clerks, find the lack of the background 'hum of life' disconcerting or what the hell would happen to my appearance when released from the pressures of social conformity. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:09, 22 February 2024 (UTC)

Navalny dies in prison[edit]

Suprised it took Putin this long truth be told. From what I can tell, it seems the FSB decided to poison him (not the first time they've done something like that.) -- Techpriest (talk) 11:49, 16 February 2024 (UTC)

Putin most likely took out Prigozhin when he proved to be a potential threat to his power. I wonder if Putin is paranoid about Navalny somehow posing a threat. He's ruthless and brutal, but not stupid. IntrepidSkeptic (talk) 13:18, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
I'm sorta surprised that that Putin took so long to assassinate an opponent he had in his power. I'm waiting to see his supporters in the west to drag up excuses. (I'm looking at you American Republicans).Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:20, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
The west needs to understand that they shouldn't have helped Navalny when he was poisoned since they only prolonged the conflict and bloodshed of the "Killing Navalny War". Instead, the west should have respected Putin's security concerns of having a serious political opponent alive and should have let him peacefully be assassinated the first time./s-Ryan1257 (talk) 16:42, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
Spoken in the spirit of a true Tankie! Sadly, I expect we will see something along those lines uttered non-ironically in the future.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 21:03, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
Russian prisons are hell. While admittedly suspicious, it also (assuming we're going along with this conspiracy theory) took Putin four years to off Navalny. I think we're automatically jumping to conclusions when it's also possible Navalny died because of the hellish conditions of the Russian penal system (a crime against humanity in and of itself.) Of course, his death is Putin's responsibility either way. Carthage (talk) 17:31, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
True. The conditions in a prison above the Arctic Circle are ostensibly intended to be unkind, to say the least. And you are right that Putin is responsible either way. Navalny was a fool for returning to Russia, but he was a beautiful fool who made an ineradicable mark in his country's history. On the other hand, Putin has nothing to show for his brutal regime. He does not deserve the benefit of any doubt. UncleKrampus (talk) 22:37, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
You should not mourn Navalny. In many ways he was a worse leader than Putin and is only adored by the West because of his opposition. He was a staunch Russian nationalist who wished to rid the Caucuses of their ethnic populations, and participated in the far-right Russian Marches, waged war on “illegal immigration,” and even launched campaign “Stop Feeding the Caucasus” directed against government subsidies to poor, ethnic minority-populated autonomous regions in the south of the country. Not only he is a virulent racist, he's also an opportunist who openly adopted several leftist slogans and co-opted leftist groups when it was convenient and then left them to rot in Putin's prisons when he no longer needed them. I respect him for his anti-corruption measures and I also despise Putin, but Navalny was not a good hope for Russia, unless you preferred a much more nationalist, irredentist Russia over the the thing it is now. You can read more here. CaliML (talk)
Of course we should mourn Navalny! He was one of the very few people in Russia brave enough to stand up to the bastard Putin. He was actually prepared to return to Russia and and face almost certain death for his beliefs. I wonder of many of his critics would do the same? As for the rest, like most politicians, he was far from perfect - but any attempt to compare him to the murderous Vladimir Putin is frankly grotesque! Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:33, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
This is a problem on the extremes of political culture. I understand why the horseshoe theory is advanced when leftists can get so extreme that they think there is no big difference between a common thug like Putin and a man who demonstrated such courage as to endure the end he has come to in an attempt to improve the future of Russia. To call a man racist who so lately has been assassinated after so clearly demonstrating his integrity is less than small-minded. It is despicable.UncleKrampus (talk) 17:02, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
Would you support a fascist if he was against Putin? Just because someone is opposed to something you don't like doesn't mean that they are aligned with your own interests. No doubt Russia would be better off without Putin at the helm, but you can also criticize his opposition. Navalny was a despicable human being who held even more irredentist views that Putin. His allies were all part of the far-right, especially Russian fascist groups and contemporary Neo-Nazis in Russia. I repeat, Putin is a despicable person, but his opposition was not any better and in some regards, they were worse. Here is some more reading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_march http://eastbook.eu/en/2012/02/uncategorized-en/ukraine-in-big-time-politics-of-alexey-navalny/ CaliML (talk) 07:42, 17th February 2024 (UTC)
LOL, this eastbook.eu front page is casino ad spam crap, wut?
There's no doubt that Navalny had some questionable racism, particularly in his early nationalism days. But these screed honestly reads like whataboutism from a tankie. You're comparing someone who said some racist things in the past (but is better known for standing up to Putin's thuggery) to a mob state leader who has no qualms killing his opponents. One does not compare to the other, and it really is grotesque for you to insinuate otherwise. BobJohnson (talk) 20:08, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
I'm still withholding judgement until concrete evidence is given that Navalny was killed by Putin. Why would they kill Navalny during an election year? That would only make him a martyr. This death is suspicious, don't get me wrong, but I think there's some double standards at play here when conspiracy theories about, say, the death of Malcolm X are called conspiracy theories and not conspiracy theories about the death of Alexei Navalny. The evidence in favor seems pretty circumstantial so far. As for whether or not Navalny was a piece of shit, I think you can ethically object to someone being a racist POS while still acknowledging the fact they were the figurehead of the liberal opposition (a racist being the figurehead of the liberal opposition says more about Russian politics than it does about Navalny IMO) to a literal dictator. However, if I'm reading this conversation right, Navalny's fascist ties are pretty questionable, and I don't think we should so quickly dismiss them. That said, that's not an excuse for assassination, if Navalny was actually assassinated. Carthage (talk) 20:16, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
My "skim read" impression is that his 2010s ties with neo-Nazis weren't that deep, but they were there. Can't really dismiss that, no. However, I don't really see a whole lot of caustic right-wing stuff since he joined / formed what is now known as the Russia of the Future party. In fact, such leads to my conclusion that this poster is a tankie troll, since this shift clearly was omitted. Russia of the Future is considered centrist, and even the Jacobin article the troll linked to described him moving left (though true to Jacobin style, not left enough for them :) ).
Yes, I agree that there is a lot we don't know about this particular event at the moment, so assigning blame to Putin (or his thugs) at the moment is perhaps premature, albeit the "Occam's Razor" bet I would say. This assassination does seem a bit strange and rash in some ways, but Putin's been behaving strange and rash for a few years now. What we can say is that there's a good deal of certainty that Russian higher ups have been involved in numerous assassinations / assassination attempts of Putin opponents. The best documented one I found on a quick search was the Novichok poisonings in the UK, of which Bellingcat (with others) found much evidence that Russia's military agency, the GRU, was responsible. [1] BobJohnson (talk) 20:39, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
This is false. Navalny has never decried his support for Neo-Nazis, who were a major part of his support base pre-2010 nor has he moved past racist politics. His party, Russia of the Future has no ideological platform, and most of the ideology section on the Wikipedia page comes from a magazine analysis. In the Jacobin article, it denounces him for leaving the leftist parts of his coalition out to dry. I'm begging you, find other Russian opposition leaders to look up to. Ones that are actually popular too. Navalny lost the only election he participated in by quite a wide margin, where the results were declared free and fair by many international observers, the 2013 Moscow Mayoral election. Western support for Navalny tracks a long line of supporting seemingly "popular, liberal democratic" opposition figures in countries that they deem "authoritarian" when these opposition figures are bankrolled entirely by the NED and NGOs. I want regime change in Russia. I do not like Putin. I don't support Navalny and consider him a far-right POS. None of these positions are contradictory. Please don't jump to a purely realpolitik analysis of the situation and worship him simply because someone tells you to. Employ some critical thinking. CaliML (talk) 09:16, 17th February 2024 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The archaeology of fascism can be quite tiresome. It seems to me that Putin is a de facto fascist. The Late era Soviets were generally indistinguishable from fascist type governments. Typically classical fascism entails one central or main father/leader figure acting as a dictator. The people are expected to devote themselves to the state. They are expected to have no greater desire than to die for the fatherland. The potential for War is central to the modus operandi of the government. Wealth can be distributed through a plutocracy but typically the economy is not ordinary capitalism, but designed to bleed off the wealth of the nation to special interests, also known as party members. Also but not necessary, there is a racial-identity component similar to that found in Russia today. Putin is an obvious fascist. The country is lousy with fascists. You can't swing a dead cat overhead there without hitting one. Holy shit man, you say Navalny was once known to talk to fascists? Well well well. Not impressed.UncleKrampus (talk) 21:01, 17 February 2024 (UTC)

You're bringing this thread off topic by bringing in the Soviets, but by no means were the late era Soviets fascist. Ever since the 60s, the Soviet Union operated on a policy of collective leadership, where most decisions had to be approved by the Politburo and Central Committee before they could be implemented. Your other two statements are simply not true, the only time those sentiments were employed was during the Second World War. How many wars was the USSR in after 1945? How many times did they declare war? The Soviet Union was not a plutocracy either. The Gini coefficient at its highest in the Soviet Union was lower than contemporary Scandinavian countries at their lowest. There was no racial-identity component to the Soviet Union. Russian nationalism and orthodox christian values were employed during the Second World War, but that was to boost morale and served as propaganda. Brezhnev and Khrushcev were both ethnic Ukranians and many Soviet top brass came from a myriad of Soviet republics. Say what you will about contemporary Russia but in no way can the Soviet Union or any other Communist country be classified as fascist. CaliML (talk) 09:25, 17th February 2024 (UTC)
I'd also like to know how the USSR at any point met the 14 characteristics of fascism. Trumpism fits far more closely than Marxism-Leninism. Carthage (talk) 21:32, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
Fascism can be found characterized by Russell in his essay, Ancestry of Fascism which will give you a better idea of what fascism really amounts to. Putin is a fascist. He has been a fascist since he became president. He is the richest man in Russia. Also, one of the most evil. Most fascists are better sorts of people than Putin. Stalin acted similarly as Hitler with respect to his foreign policy and they did quite a bit of business until Hitler got greedy. And there you have it. Let's just agree Putin is an evil fuck and Navalny was not as far as we know, and let's not reify the label "fascism" more than is needed.UncleKrampus (talk) 21:42, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
LeninismWikipedia and StalinismWikipedia (applied in various ways over the USSR's lifespan) define Soviet Union policy, methinks. It is the later that has been compared to fascism, particularly the Nazis, and a few characteristics do match. Though I think it is quite a stretch to say that Stalinism *is* fascism (a lot of characteristics do not), and as Wikipedia notes,Wikipedia such a comparison has been used for controversial purposes, notably when some German intellectuals applied their own whataboutism regarding the Holocaust (HistorikerstreitWikipedia). OTOH I think there is no question that Russia under Putin is a unique "flavor" of fascism, branded ruscism these days. BobJohnson (talk) 22:00, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
There is a world of difference between saying Stalin ran a fascist government and Stalin behaved like a fascist, which is my thinking. The Katyn Massacres sure look a lot like Nazi atrocities don't they? A person acts like a fascist if they have similar modes of behavior. They may not control their form of government. Who cares how the lower classes were cared for? UncleKrampus (talk) 22:21, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
The ignorance you display is quite astounding. The fact that the lower classes were cared for at all indicates that Stalin was not a fascist. Your claim that Stalin acted like a fascist makes no sense. Did he collude with big business? Was he an ethnonationalist? Was he a corporatist? Was he a militarist? Please learn how politics and ideology work. CaliML (talk) 12:07, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Stalin definitely was a militarist and he definitely did commit atrocities against certain minority groups within the Soviet Union. Not to say he was a fascist, but you do kinda mischaracterize him there. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 00:28, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Stalin was such a militarist that he invaded a total of 1 country during the 30 years he was in power? This is such a stupid argument. Plus claims of being Russian ethnonationalist is kinda nonsensical when he was a Georgian himself. He even professed to be a Georgian nationalist in his early political days. But yeah, the Polish operation and other population transfers are certainly indefensible, for any sane communist, but Stalin wasn't an ethnonationalist, not in any meaningful sense of the word. CaliML (talk)05:26 18 February 2024 (UTC)
I don't think Stalin was a fascist either, but as far as my memory goes, between 1939 and 1941, Stalin invaded Poland, Finland, and the three Baltic countries.Not that you need to invade countries to be a warmonger (see North Korea). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:15, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Stalin wasn't a fascist, yes, but he was still a fucking dictator responsible for countless atrocities. That said, whether or not Stalin was fascist is irrelevant to the contention that Navalny was. Carthage (talk) 00:13, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
FYI @UncleKrampus, I don’t think historians of fascism are particularly in favour of Russell’s account. Having read Kevin Passmore, I think applying such a label so radically divorced from fascisms protagonists runs the risk of getting into semantic disputes that often direct attention away from the actual moral consequences we are trying to avoid. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:38, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
That may be OSD, but I don't think any of them were philosophers of Russell's stature. You should know better than most, that philosophy is mostly a lonely trade. Russell's account is based in the idea that philosophy has an impact on later generations. I imagine that students of fascism do not generally read Fichte, as German Idealism is beyond the capacity for most to swallow. I cannot say I have a rounded knowledge of his work. But he was a father of German Nationalism. His ideas supported eventual popular movements resulting in fascism. Fichte, for example, championed militaristic national ideals, and the race myth of the Germans and, by the way, anti-Semitism. The Muslims weren't much around in the European 18th century. "Fascism" is a worn out term that still means something yet is called out as indiscriminately as "pedophile." That is an awful thing to call someone without substantiation.UncleKrampus (talk) 01:20, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Why are you assuming that a philosopher is more reliable here on this matter than academic historians? Also, as a philosophy student, Russell was incredibly influential on the tradition of analytical philosophy, but like Frege before him, he is widely regarded as being wrong about many of the things he wrote about. Like most folks don’t buy into logical atomism anymore, his knowledge by description and knowledge by acquaintance distinction runs into problems with the “myth of the given”, and his descriptive theory of language is considered refuted by Kripke. Like even his intended project of grounding mathematics in logic has been considered a dead end in the advent of Godel’s incompleteness theorems. Appealing to his status as a philosopher, is kind of an appeal to irrelevant authority fallacy anyways. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:23, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
I don't make that assumption. I assume that Russell is better because I have studied his opinions. The nature of fascism is explored in his essay on fascism as a a philosophical consequence of anti-rationalism. Anti-rationalism reifies as the kind of atavism one would expect to see in primitive societies. It leads to factitious narrative, similar in the way they oppose reason in praise of the worst tendencies of human nature. It is no surprise, on the other hand, that he blamed continental idealism for anti-rational movements. I don't think he was wrong. Post Modernism is an example of an anti-rational category of intellectual movements. As to the disagreements about some of Russell's more arcane ideas, that was to be expected. Most philosophers are idealists. What else is new?UncleKrampus (talk) 14:40, 18 February 2024 (UTC)

It looks like Russian government attempts to smear Navalny go back to at least 2017. It is not surprising to see their campaign ramp back up.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:19, 18 February 2024 (UTC)

The reason it "took so long" is that it had to at least LOOK like Navalny died due to crap prison conditions, and not actual poison. Plausible deniability and all that rubbish also applies when you are a dictator who wants to be seen as not a dictator of course. Don't hold your breath waiting for the relies to get a body (not THE body - just any body....)! Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 09:05, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
That could be the case. But now, having finished with him, they really need to get their stooges damaging his reputation. Bizarre, desperate nonsense claims like "he was a worse leader than Putin" will no doubt be pushed hard.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:55, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
If the Russian Government does not release the body of Navalny for examination by neutral medical examiners, that would be all the evidence a competent jurist would need to conclude Navalny was, more likely than not, murdered by extra-judicial orders of the Russian authorities. Maybe the guards just got over zealous following an order to give him rough treatment and he was beaten to death. That does not mitigate anyone's responsibilities (Putin). Ariel31459 (talk) 14:47, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
The Bellingcat investigation got one of Putin's people explicitly admitting to trying to murder Navalny in 2020. At that moment Navalny was not completely under their control. In prison they could murder him at their leisure. So we know they tried to murder him previously - and failed. Did they explicitly kill him in prison or did they simply simply let him succumb to the conditions?
Does it really make any difference? Putin wanted him dead, undoubtedly tried to murder him previously - and Navalny then died under when he was completely their control. There is no way for the Putin's mad regime to avoid responsibility.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:19, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
There is 'the deed' and 'the intent', along with someone at a lower rank 'assuming what the intent is' (with Thomas a Becket being where the assumption was wrong) - and whether they are punished or not punished for making this assumption. And - given that Putin has form with 'unalived opponents' other people will make assumptions as to his actual guilt.
Is mention of the essay 'The power of the powerless' appropriate here? Anna Livia (talk) 16:01, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

People, language, and ethics: all rubbish[edit]

Something I've mulled over for years is the great gap between the language people use to describe everything about ideals, ethics, etc., and by contrast thought and mentality beyond words and actual actions. The gap has been central to shaping the lives of people as long as politics and sophistry have been big things in society, meaning at least half a dozen thousand years. Weaknesses of human intellect allow that gap to both grow big and remain big, in a way that probably can't be fixed within the limits of the species.

All manner of debates about ideals and ethics center around abstractions that are greatly cared about in the abstract, but only in the abstract; outside of such abstract concerns, these constructs which are debated play little if any role. The jarring contrast is smoothed over through the use of clever rhetoric, and various cultural narratives, and most of the time this works (is accepted) when the person doing the smoothing-out has a higher social status.

People can reason well about a lot of things in theory, but it generally has no bearing on how they are and live and act. The two are almost entirely separate (including in theory); sometimes something of the former however becomes codified in law, slightly reducing the gap. But the gap may also be widened by the former kind of thing being created or shaped to rationalize the latter, which happens at least as much.

The point here is that most of the great debates of the ages are all fluff and filler, having very little to do with life beyond games people play with words, concepts, and rhetoric. At times I'm torn on whether attempts to convince people otherwise are really good-natured and naive, or actually cynical deceptions. The disagreeable whole of this impression grows slowly over time, year after year.

Maybe this stuff could be sorted out in theory by some radical far-future sci-fi means, like genetically engineering a much more intelligent and wise species to replace humanity. One that can actually try to make something sensible out of life, unlike the human species. Otherwise, I don't really think there's any hope looking at the big picture. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:05, 16 February 2024 (UTC)

It sounds like whatever you have been doing is taking a lot out of you. I mean, if you are talking about the discovery that most people are only interested in their own personal concerns, I am afraid you got that right. It's hard for me to imagine a species that evolved on earth, developed intelligence, took a look at the world as it is and did not think it must look after itself before all others. I mean what else could you expect? Get some fresh air, and be sure to get enough sleep. UncleKrampus (talk) 22:46, 16 February 2024 (UTC)
It's not so much anything new, it's old stuff that remained indigestible for too long. While in part I soaked up too much naive idealism in earlier years, there's something else that's bigger. I already faced that people are mostly selfish in those years of peak naive idealism (though became galvanized to strive for something else, which didn't work -- it was a cult's trap). It's about all the things that mask that selfishness and present it as something else, using crazy-making language and thought. Cultural constructs (theories, language, and more) which makes things seem other than they are. That's what bothers me far more than anything else, this omnipresent mixture of psychological warfare and self-deception. There's so much of it, and everything seems to turn into it as soon as it is no longer abstract theory, and both ancient and modern theorizing and language usually denies that transition into the fake and that most in practice is such fake.
I recovered from being in a cult in earlier years. Of course, the cult tried to turn things around and say that the rest of society is the real cult. Stripping away all the conspiracy theory and other rubbish from that, the cult can then thereafter be given half credit for its descriptions of the worlds of business, politics, etc., and also, its descriptions of how meaningless nearly all philosophy is. The fake stuff suffusing everything means that most crank camps demonizing the mainstream can be given half-credit in that way (while themselves being worse in their fakery).
Nowadays I sleep too much and get too little done. I've dealt with a lingering depression and inertia for some years now, or maybe not really dealt with it. I'm looking to piece together and inwardly organize and describe something, but it takes very long. Maybe it'll help to do that, as I feel it does when something falls into place, or maybe much of my time simply slips away uselessly. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 02:01, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
In some sense all of our earliest experiences are cultlike--the cult of childhood. It took me a long time to learn that most people, of every political sort, hold untenable, incoherent or impossible beliefs. Language can express those beliefs, but it cannot make a random audience accept them. It is important to recognize, and many of us do, that language cannot explain everything to everybody. We are too disabled by the dogmatic content of our past experiences.
I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, and I do not pretend to understand the reason you are suffering from what may be called a disillusionment. One approach I can recommend is the further development your own philosophy. Philosophy, to be as basic as possible, must be personal. Philosophers of the past can serve as guides to bring you to where you can start work on your own ideas about the world. Other people will not agree with you about everything. A philosopher should be able to agree with himself, that is hold a coherent view of the world and of people. Some philosophers of the past have sought to arrange and sort abstract moral concepts so as to make a science of the methods by which we act the world. None of them have been effective.
Not to apologize for the inadequacies of philosophy, I claim that philosophy can never be complete. Some philosophers are awful teachers, proposing terrible solutions to human problems. The philosopher may not be able to explain the world so that the world we experience is generally understood by everyone in the same way. But, he should be able to explain it to himself, making allowances along the way that he may be, in some respects, mistaken. This is, I think, the enduring value of philosophy. UncleKrampus (talk) 15:40, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
It's more like finding words for something that's weighed me down for long, than any new disillusionment. (The ideas in mind are just a little more clear and cohesive now.) Sometimes it takes me a terribly long time to organize my thoughts about some area of concern, so that I can even attempt to express it well, even if I've already felt and fuzzily contemplated a lot connected to it for long.
There's not much new in your suggestion. Given the extent of all my thinking, it's long been clear to me that I'm some kind of philosopher. But not so good at it, by which I mean that most of my thinking is poorly organized for expression in words, and most even unexpressed. At this rate maybe I'll get what matters most in good order and written down in a book in a few decades, as I grow old.
My bigger intuitive thoughts don't mainly use words, nor images. It's large things that I mostly lack words for (as do I for their constituent parts), arranged and in large part given meaning by visuo-spatial relations, which can exist without any visual (though there's often a little shape and color). With abstract senses of texture, shape, and other attributes often part of the whole. Sometimes it makes for large thoughts in short time. Sometimes the whole remains a vague aggregate rather than a whole with clear structure and meaning. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:52, 17 February 2024 (UTC)

The funny thing about this whole rant is that the paradigm example of an abstract object are numbers. Do you feel similarly about the realm of pure mathematics? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 05:32, 17 February 2024 (UTC)

No, but there the situation is not only different, but pretty much the opposite. The problem is not theory or abstraction, but its relation to life and the concrete world -- the presence or absence of confusion, a "gap" in understanding.
When dealing with pure and abstract maths and keeping the focus there, people know it and there's no category error confusing it for irrelevant attributes in the concrete world. When maths is applied to the world, in the result there is no "gap", instead it all truly works as in STEM. (It can be difficult to learn and teach, and people may need to slow down and double-check and triple-check as their minds are error-prone, etc., but that's another thing -- a challenge people face and deal with.)
By contrast, in politics, ethics, much philosophy and other cultural thought, and everything abstract of that nature, there's all-around confusion surrounding the theory, often bad results whenever anything is applied, and the work of the best and most sincere people floats in a curious limbo in-between the world of what works and the world of outright charlatanry. Observations are routinely discarded and bogus theory asserted to be true. And the mere existence of a hand-wavy theory is often treated as if it were proof of the purported concrete results as well (especially in politics, but often also in ethics and psychology), different schools of thought each treating their competing theories in that way. It's an ancient clown show that so far shows no sign of ending, as whatever learning may hypothetically lead to something better is maybe not possible or just doesn't happen. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:52, 17 February 2024 (UTC)
how do you determine what is a “bad result” without using an abstract theory about what is good/bad? You seem to be making explicitly ethical judgements about the inapplicability of ethics, and that seems like a performative contradiction akin to “there is no such thing as objective truth”. I don’t not see how you are not making evaluations from your own particular standpoint of cultural thought here. You are proposing your abstract theory about the nature of abstract theories on how they relate to the concrete world. Why is your theory not also bogus here? What is the similarity to the empirical success of applied mathematics to justify your particular abstraction/generalization that you propose? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:31, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
I'm using the definition, "bad" = "didn't match", as in the theory was contradicted. It doesn't require any additional theory, it only requires that you recognize the basic idea that something may be correct vs. incorrect, which you seem to be taking as a given anyway (since you take objective truth as a given). So your objection doesn't make any sense, I have no idea what you mean. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 00:50, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
So you are assuming a philosophical theory of truth, namely a correspondence theory of truth? How do we even determine whether or not an ethical theory “matches” the moral facts? Are we even sure there are moral facts? Be wary of the fallacy of personal incredulity, and like, if such a notion was so obvious and “basic” there wouldn’t exist such disagreement about what constitutes making a statement “correct”. Certain mathematical statements (such as the mathematical definition of a straight line, or the mathematical definition of circle) are presented as counter-examples to correspondence theories of truth, btw. Unless you want to maintain something like Platonism. Regardless, no concrete particular examples of real world circles “matches” the definition of a circle in mathematics. Is that not a relevant “gap” in this instance? It looks like you need a different standard for what makes a statement “correct”. The law of non-contradiction is a abstract axiom about logic btw, a discipline of philosophy, one that some maintain do not “match” with the facts of the world (see: Graham Priest and the liars paradox). - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:06, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
You don't get my overall angle, or what I was getting at in my rant. You seem to think I'm criticizing proposed goals as such, but I'm not. Rather what I ranted about is a gap between models of things in the world used in theories and the things. Such models, mainly abstractions or idealizations of people and how they work, are used in all kinds of arguments. Sometimes these models are found in nothing more than a few assumptions evident in how language is used, sometimes they're more elaborate. Things fail to correspond when such fictional humans do not work the way real humans do, and the theories therefore do not work, and proposed goals are therefore not reachable, or the intellectual constructs turn out to be about something completely other than about human life -- as in actual humans.
No, you don't get the basic point at all about maths. It is trivial. The difference between an ideal circle and an actual one can be measured. Such differences can be taken into account, giving a margin of error. Such things are routinely done in engineering. The theory in use includes all that. There is thus no confusion, and no problem. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 02:37, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
I don't think you understand fully how you are still subject to this exact problem. You are making a suggestions about what makes a particular model good/bad, using a particular theory that itself is one that is criticized for not reflecting how human beings actually use the concept. Not to mention, I don't think you realize the extent to which models in science and applied mathematics are idealizations that don't correspond to how the world "actually" works. Think about the assumptions about containers of infinite size that are built into our models of statistical mechanics for thermodynamics, look at how classical physics will model light as if it is a projectile that travels along a straight line, look at the ways classical economics assumes that economic systems are reducible to rational actors who make decisions to maximise their utility. If what makes the "gaps" of these things acceptable is how they can be measured from the concrete realities, how do we even come to understand that there is a "gap" to begin with? In some way, we need to some means of detection. If we can know that these social models have "gaps" to how concrete humans actually behave or "work", then we have already have establish a means of measuring the "gap". There is no reason why there can't be a "margin of error" in this case as well, or by some means we are only suggesting that these especially problematic gaps exist when he have no real evidence for them. Do you think engineers seriously measure every point of a round object, and give a set of all the total discrepancies between a concrete circular object and "ideal circle"? They don't do that because that's a waste of time and on a pragmatic basis completely unnecessary.- Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:59, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
Perhaps you're trying to laser-zoom in on the quick clarification I made earlier that when I use words like good/bad, I talk about how well stuff works, not moral values. I think you're zooming past the crux of the matter and into some vast, imaginary space filled with theories and controversy that doesn't actually exist. Here's an equally good way to rephrase how I use the words good/bad here: I'm using the word "good" as synonym for "it works out, or hasn't failed to work out" (the latter part is important in an empirical study), and "bad" as synonym for "it fails to work out". In science, saying something didn't work out implies saying something didn't match, so the two wordings are rather close. But there's countless things that could be focused on besides the real problem, shifting attention from it, and that's what you're doing with your talk of maths and models being idealized -- that they are is both obvious and irrelevant, as they do work out, i.e. can be used to make calculations or predictions with results that match.
However, you're (perhaps accidentally) approaching the crux of the matter with your mention of economics. Homo economicus is indeed a fictional type of human being which is kind of infamous for being a lousy model in many ways. It makes for a good example of what I meant, though it's a narrow one. "Homo economicus" has been applied and believed in, not only in the rather limited scope in which it may work out fine, but also in ways that are unwarranted, and plainly do not work. Game theory models based on homo economicus behavior may result in a stable order, while real human behavior in the same place may result in chaos; and it would unambiguously be an error to design for homo economicus when human behavior at odds with it must be accommodated by a system for it to function. See the categorical difference? You have taking that "gap" into account, vs. not doing so or even pretending it doesn't exist. (In engineering measurements of imperfection in shapes are indeed carried out for specific purposes, and not all the time. It is routine in the areas of concern, e.g. calibrating equipment which traces shapes so it behaves acceptably. More broadly there's a good track record of making things as precise and accurate as needed for whatever is to be done. In social or "softer" fields, the track record is in large part one of failing to do so, with less method and regard for accuracy and precision, with "physics envy" a substitute for the track record of physics.) --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:12, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
is it possible you learned to talk in riddles and grandiosity from this cult? If you are worried about it, whittle it down and try again. Torrent (talk) 05:38, 22 February 2024 (UTC)

David Gerard in Foreign Policy[edit]

Our very own User:David Gerard has just published a book review in Foreign Policy, "The Crypto Con Years Aren’t Over Yet: Three books explore the failures of regulators—and sometimes journalists." It reviews Michael Lewis' Going Infinite, Zeke Faux's Number Go Up and Peter Howson's Let Them Eat Crypto. Bongolian (talk) 18:15, 18 February 2024 (UTC)

That’s really cool! Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 18:57, 18 February 2024 (UTC)
It's surprisingly not paywalled, so here's the web link: [2] BobJohnson (talk) 22:01, 18 February 2024 (UTC)

And Donald drops the other shoe. Kind of.[edit]

He's selling sneakers. Gold sneakers. Kencolt (talk) 05:57, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

Grifters gotta grift, and be the gaudiest of them all to boot.
(It's not like Joe Biden doesn't sell the merchandise on his campaign site to help finance things, but at least there, it's more like $22 coffee mugs amusingly promoting the Dark Brandon meme.) BobJohnson (talk) 03:54, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
To paraphrase 'a gold plated [whatever] is nothing more than a gold plated [whatever].
How much will they be worth 'this time next year' - and the (as yet theoretical) NFT version? Anna Livia (talk) 15:51, 19 February 2024 (UTC)


Even to non-Iowans, Iowa is obviously becoming infested with EXTREMELY right-wing ideology. For anyone unaware, the formerly great state, which used to have the BEST education in the country, now has one of the worst. Books are being banned left and right, mostly because of blatant homophobia. Kim Reynolds rejected federal funding for hungry children because "childhood obesity is already a big problem". Abortion policies are getting more and more restrictive. Since I, a native Iowan, hate Iowa, this post is just to shit on them. Please help me make a full list of every stupid thing Iowa has done. IDK why I am doing this, I'm just very bored

-K — Unsigned, by: AzuraSilver / talk / contribs

Its the same in Nebraska. Jim Pillen did the same thing because he "doesn't believe in welfare". Ψ (talk) 04:18, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. Bongolian (talk) 05:16, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
Why blame Iowans completely (other than for being a sucker vote for the Republicans)? Iowan public education definitely has slipped,[3][4] albeit more like from top tier to mid pack. But the Heritage Foundation loves Iowa for its current "academic freedom" (we know what that means).[5]
It is certain rich dumbass billionaires pushing the things like "charter schools" that are the core of what is hurting public education overall in the "red" states that have embraced it. (And I mean "dumbass", because anyone with a brain knows that this classist shit will dampen national brainpower in the long run. It's pretty clear more than ever that you don't have to be smart to be rich.) BobJohnson (talk) 14:16, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
Iowa and Kansas, as I remember, were always paragons of public education. I went to elementary school in a couple schools in Kansas in the 90s. I took the bus and got to school in time for everyone to get breakfast. Breakfast same as every other kid, after breakfast everyone would move to the halls and sit outside their class until school started. Moved to Nebraska, elementary school did not have a bus, didn't have breakfast. Middle school had a bus that you literally had to buy tickets for, no breakfast. Torrent (talk) 06:42, 22 February 2024 (UTC)

Random thought I just had[edit]

Moved to Conservapedia talk:What is going on at CP? Keep your fucking Conservapedia shit out of the fucking Saloon Bar. Spud (talk) 15:59, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

In case anyone's been wondering where I've been[edit]

I've been busy replaying Desktop Dungeons. That game has a goat obsession rivaling ours — which is saying a lot. Luigifan18 (talk) 05:09, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

Wrote an essay explaining how to use Wikipedia to format sources here on RW[edit]

Tired of spending half an hour to find the perfect synthax to your source? Check my new Essay:How to use Wikipedia to add beautiful sources, perfect sources to your articles. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:38, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

You've got a typo on the page name ("do" -> "to"). Bongolian (talk) 09:01, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
Thanks. Spud already moved it for me. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 23:19, 21 February 2024 (UTC)

Netanyahu saying that "a Palestinian state would reward terrorism"[edit]


The Israeli government has no qualms about rewarding Settler terrorists/colonialists in attacking Palestinian villagers. The Israeli government has a guy who was convicted of terrorism in their government.

I seriously doubt that the issue is "rewarding terrorists"; more along the lines of the Israeli government being complete racists who are in favor of ethnic cleansing. --Trans Fem Agenda 22:03, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

Yeah, a lot of governments like to pick and choose what terrorism they take umbrage with. Hence the saying "your terrorists are our freedom fighters". Luigifan18 (talk) 22:32, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
Why not just stick to one definition? If you are going to frame people for terrorism to silence dissent then you don't need multiple definitions. --Trans Fem Agenda 23:02, 19 February 2024 (UTC)
Seems fair - much like the expansion of Israeli territory has rewarded war. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:04, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
Someone remind me how exactly Israel was founded again? The Zionist movement didn't get their ethnically cleansed state through holding up hands singing "Kumbaya". Carthage (talk) 04:07, 22 February 2024 (UTC)

Still getting nowhere in life.[edit]

Not much has changed in a while, yet I still feel like the cruel arrow of time is sapping away any productivity I could have had and leading to fatigue. OCD doesn't help either, as my mind can't seem to behave, generating completely involuntary thoughts that bother me a lot. I'm bound in a situation where if I did work, external deadlines and the arrow of time would push against me and cause undue stress combined with my OCD, and if I don't work, I feel like I get nowhere. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 22:12, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

I don't remember if you said whether you have you sought out medical therapy for OCD? Bongolian (talk) 09:07, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
I am using clomipramine, but I am unsure if the effect is still a placebo or not. My autism makes finding help even harder. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 15:55, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
You might want to advise your doctor that you're not sure if this medicine is working for you. I know that with antidepressants, for example, it sometimes take some switching of pharmaceuticals before the patient finds one that works for them. Bongolian (talk) 20:43, 20 February 2024 (UTC)

Institutional Science Communication as a Fundamental Injustice: thoughts?[edit]

Please, please, please read the paper before commenting as it is very likely you will be running with false assumptions about what the argument in this paper entails: https://institutesymposium.dmns.org/media/hb4bxmtq/s11948-017-9977-0.pdf

That being said, I’ll paraphrase the argument. The author argues that science communication as a public funded enterprise is epistemically unjust because it unfairly elevates the seriousness of science communication (here meaning bio-physical sciences), over and above other disciplines like history, law, politics, economics, etc. The author affirms that science has a special relationship to producing reliable knowledge, and that science misinformation results in certain harms. The argument essentially boils down to, as bad as pseudoscience is, so to is, psuedo-history, pseudo-law, and cultural misinformation. The author thinks that the process of elevating the expertise of some members of certain disciplines over others as worthy of public funding and attention necessarily requires decisions be made on which evidence and testimony ought to get distributed to the public which itself is often based in unfair distributions of education, knowledge, and training, etc.

I think what is interesting though is how communities like Rationalwiki, or even wikipedia, or even grassroots skeptical movements as whole, can be framed as a more just alternative. Given that to contribute to such communities it does not rely on personal clout, but quality of contribution. Giving serious considerations of all forms misinformation.

I wondering what folks here think about this? I think I may do my masters research on related topics. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:53, 19 February 2024 (UTC)

I only read through the article quickly, but quite a few good points. I agree that there is a problem with science communicators being drawn on beyond their field of expertise, and I would say that this constitutes both a credibility excess for the communicator and an epistemic injustice against their audience, insofar as they may be deceived about the status of the topic at hand. Dawkins strikes me as an apt example. With regard to the technicality of science, I wonder if there's an argument to made that there's something objectionable in trying to communicate, via substantial simplification, ideas to a general audience which they cannot be expected to understand fully fleshed out; it seems to me that pop-sci is often oversimplified to the point of being misleading. The points about the danger of misinformation and importance to our lives were good ones, and I imagine a lot more could be said about either point. I think one could also take the angle that it's objectionable for audiences to be cut off from the process of deciding what topics are important for them to learn about (how could they be integrated, given that they likely don't know what is important/influential in expert knowledge fields?), but at a glance I'm not sure whether that's an epistemic injustice. I'm not sure that the argument really establishes that institutional science communication is fundamentally unjust; I imagine that somebody like Nozick might make some objections that aren't addressed here. Taking for granted that there is epistemic injustice here, do you think that some group is blameworthy for the injustice? One concern about moving to a broader concept: given that we already have issues with credibility excess within the relatively narrow science communication, shouldn't we expect that broadening the scope to something like "complex issues communication", as opposed to developing new narrow-scope communication bodies for other fields, and without other accompanying changes, will lead to a greater problem of credibility excess (since the communicators will be drawn to communicate knowledge from even more fields)? The funding for the broader scope version would also have to be structured carefully; as opposed to having separate communication bodies (and hence, funding) for various fields, combining things into an overarching "complex issues communication" potentially creates opportunities to continue directing funding in a heavily biased way while gaining a veneer of greater openness.
With respect to online communities, do you think there are any special problems that might confront such communities? What distinguishes a place like RationalWiki or Wikipedia from one like Conservapedia (perhaps, before they cracked down hard on account creation), or Citizendium (which developed problems with alt-med promotion despite having a system that aimed to favor expert contributors). Also, some Wikipedia articles are virtually (or actually) incomprehensible to somebody who does not already have a background in the relevant field; at some point, doesn't this constitute its own form of injustice, whereby the most convenient knowledge sources are most accessible to those who already have the most knowledge? Does Wikipedia do better to provide as much detail as possible, or to preserve readability for a general audience? Do Wikipedia editors have an obligation to reorganize highly detailed articles so as to maximize readability while preserving detail (e.g. by keeping the lead non-technical and allowing technical details to filter in only as the article goes on)? (Sorry if this seems like an interrogation; it's not meant to be!) 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 01:09, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
From my perspective: I don't disagree with many of the issues of science communication that this paper points out, but I'm not quite sure what the aim of this paper is? Inherently, a central issue with research-level science is that it is extremely narrow and very technical by design. There seems to be a conflicting dual argument that the author believes that this narrow focus and purported science self-importance (not sure about that?) is "epistemically unjust", and also a disparagement of popular science communicators for speaking beyond their knowledge on a topic. Regarding pop-science, certainly there are issues, but I think it's fine to have both "broad overview, easily understood technical" as a stepping stone personally. I see the point that some complex university level topics do *not* have a "lie-to-childrenWikipedia" popular distillation as more of a communication fault of that discipline, not of science for having pop-sci. Of the argument that science communication should be more interdisciplinary in its communications... to be honest, I thought that many of the great popular science communicators in history already did that?
I will add a note and say that to look at one of the papers this paper referenced, I put on my yo-ho-yo-ho-pirate's-life-for-me hat on and headed to sci-hub. :p I personally consider the "university publisher paywall" to be a more important topic to debate on regarding scholarly communication at this point (although this was touched on in the paper).
The "who judges the experts?" question is indeed an issue in sciences and *many* other fields, but one that I don't think there's a great answer for at this point. BobJohnson (talk) 01:14, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
I wonder if the very concept of "epistemic justice" is coherent. Indeed, I imagine that some would say it doesn't need to be. Certainly it is not a scientific concept. Justice as a systemic ruler determining and adjusting the equality of distributions of anything is understandable. But calling that justice seems more like a factitious proposition rather than a scientific one. Knowledge is not like music, which anyone can hear and appreciate. But that, I admit, is not the point, it is the the idea of "reliable knowledge." How do our societal shot-callers get reliability out of the philosophical constructs? I wonder at the audacity of "Science communication is epistemically unjust in the way it implies (through omission) that concerted efforts to communicate reliable knowledge from non-science disciplines is less worthy or unnecessary." I should think the austere difficulty of generally applying that conclusion would be apparent.UncleKrampus (talk) 15:51, 21 February 2024 (UTC)

@Serene Sorry for the late reply. I think your reaction is very similar to my own, where I agree with the individual points which I think are really well made but I am not convinced that the overall thesis is sufficiently supported. I think, even though I claim they have the potential of being more just alternatives, there is still no doubt an issue of testimonial injustice that occurs on Wiki platforms — especially in regards to cultural inclusivity that makes people willing to contribute. Accessibility, no doubt, also relates to this, so I appreciate your point about technical jargon. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:23, 22 February 2024 (UTC)

@UncleKrampus It helps to have some familiarity with the literature in this case. I would recommend looking into Fricker (2007), Dotson (2012), and/or Werkheiser (2020). The notion of epistemic justice is more specifically about the distribution and access of information/evidence, and one’s ability to engage with and contribute to knowledge making practices. There is also a component of “testimonial justice” which is specifically conceived as unjust when testimony is discounted for epistemically irrelevant reasons (i.e. it is dismissed because the testimony comes a member of an indigenous community, or a punk rock fan, a Mexican, or gay person, etc.), or alternatively, the testimony is given inappropriate weight, (i.e. the young children’s testimony about daycare during the satanic panic, a chiropractor on the medical appropriateness of vaccines, an evangelical christian beliefs about the tenets of islam, etc). Also, keep in mind, when talking about “coherency” you’re already brushing up against certain epistemic norms to which the meaning of which is hotly contested. If we are simply meaning logically consistent, then I don’t see why prima facie one would suspect that the notion of epistemic justice is incoherent. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:23, 22 February 2024 (UTC)
Yes. Thank you OSD. "...epistemic norms...the meaning of which is hotly contested," is exactly the intractable sort of problem that I see here. I am not inclined to do extensive research in an area I have assumed is problematic. But if you can recommend an article of no more than, say 20-30 pages reviewing or outlining the main arguments on the subject I would give it a read.
The problem with incoherence may not be logical at all, but due to a necessary lack of clarity involving cultural or even biological causes. The problem is obviously that we cannot agree upon general rules for deciding when the division of resources is just. If we pretend we can, then, of course, the problem vanishes.
This type of philosophical question reminds me of a student's story about economic theory: A physicist, a chemist, and an economist were lost on an island and starving when they found a crate of canned beans. The physicist tried to open the cans with impact tools with poor results. The chemist tried to use heat to burst open the cans and only made a mess. The economist then said, "gentlemen, I think we need to assume we have a can opener." UncleKrampus (talk) 16:20, 22 February 2024 (UTC)

The Use and Abuse of Tier Lists[edit]

Well, I think it's about that time I bring this topic up. It all started with competitive gaming and e-sports to codify and rank in-game assets based on viability (often with numerical data as well, something that the following examples don't have.), but ever since then, many uninformed idiots have used tier list after tier list to shove opinions down other people's throats and in extreme cases, whitewash racism and hate speech via the format, attempting to justify their false narratives and mental delusions as fact. Anything else to say about this? TheEternalOutsider (talk) 18:40, 20 February 2024 (UTC)

And here's a few offenders of this kind of content. That site in question has no moderation and thus does absolutely nothing to stop such racist content from being produced and uploaded onto their site and eventually onto search engines. Not going to hyperlink them directly as a result of the racism. Plug them into archive.is instead. "https://www.tierlists.com/cover_img/based-30c7e449-cc2c-42a2-a0cd-679f4a07d01e.png". "https://tierlists.com/cover_img/cool-9b4b6e52-c359-4e27-a039-2c92450bdea4.png"
Sorry about that. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 20:19, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
I mean, assholes will use anything they can get their hands on to be assholes. I don't think tier lists are anything special in that regard. (talk) 23:13, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
You're talking about something generally used by the gaming community, well known for its racist Internet tough guy edgelords in certain quarters (eg notorious in online FPS games). If these kids were actually raised right, their mothers should drag them out of the basement and wash their mouth out with LifebuoyWikipedia for having such a nasty potty mouth. Alas, some gamer children never grow up. It's why Gamergate happened. BobJohnson (talk) 23:58, 20 February 2024 (UTC)
Funny to mention that. Gabriel Newell, president of Valve, actually got a letter from a US senator back in 2022 for failing to moderate and remove neo-Nazi content from Steam. I still haven't heard back on that ordeal as it seems to have been swept under the rug by Newell. TheEternalOutsider (talk) 00:37, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
So, what are "Tier Lists"?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:03, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
There's a wiki article on it.Wikipedia The Google also seemed to show a site solely dedicated to "tier list". I admit that this is the limit of my knowledge on them since, while I play some video games every now and then, I am in no way in very deep in Video Game Culture, nor do I want to be. Basically it sounds like a fancy term for a list for ranking things (in this case in various "tiers"), which is hardly a new concept. BobJohnson (talk) 13:14, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
I sort of got that far before asking here. I'm still not sure what the issue is.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:48, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
I hate to say it, but I can definitely see why racists and fascists would be drawn to tier lists like moths to a flame; just one more way to scream "my tribe rules, everyone else drools!" into a metaphorical bullhorn at the top of one's metaphorical lungs. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:09, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
But yeah, like the BoN said earlier, assholes will use anything they can as an excuse to be assholes. Which is why you've gotta eliminate, say, the fundamentalists and not the religion they're bastardizing. Removing the latter from existence won't. Solve. Anything. The people who actually need religion will just be sad, and the assholes will just latch on to something else to use as an excuse to persecute people, like nationalism or communism. Luigifan18 (talk) 16:14, 21 February 2024 (UTC)
That, I disagree with. Getting rid of religion wouldn't solve the problem, but taking away a tool from fundie assholes would mean they could cause less harm to the world. If someone believes in divine command theory, how do you possibly shake it? It's inherently anti-empiricist. IntrepidSkeptic (talk) 18:02, 21 February 2024 (UTC)