RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive100

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Superstitious belief in interpersonal relationships?[edit]

So I'm looking for some quick advice from those of you (most, I presume) with more experience than me in interpersonal relationships, especially those of the enduring kind. I fancy myself a rational, skeptical to the point of abrasiveness, etc, person, and as of now, my significant other is someone with relatively similar rational thinking in many ways. However, while I care a lot about this person, I'm worried about the level of little superstitious beliefs that she holds. Have any of you found that to be a problem or an indication of problems down the road? I'm not interested in advice for this specific relationship, since I'm 20 and thus harbor no illusions about the statistical future of such a relationship. I'm just curious what anyone else thinks. I worry that belief in ghosts, astrology, etc, signifies a deeper unwillingness or inability to approach issues rationally, which obviously would worry me. For the future, any ideas/advice/thoughts? Much appreciated. άλφαTalk 18:51, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Just realized that someone around my age posted above on a relationship-related topic... sorry to add to the spam at the bar today. άλφαTalk 18:54, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
So let's take the most basic superstition, i.e., god. What's the general stat usually thrown out for that -- 85-90%? Now cut that remaining population in half (assuming you're not bisexual). That's 5-7.5% of the population. Do you see where I'm going with this? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:36, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
That can be an interesting one. And having been in the "I'm only 20, and hold no hopes for it being long term" I've been with my wife since I was 18, and back then felt much the same way. Although she doesn't hold too many beliefs like that, she does have a few.. Tarot, runes, she's a pagan, etc.. Mostly, we agree on far, far more than we ever disagree on, so it's not too bad at all. I sometimes pick on her for some of them.. Mostly she just ignores me. Usually I participate in her pagan rituals, and I even find them fun at times. Anyway, we've been together for a bit over 12 years now, and married for almost 6 years.. (What can I say? I move slow as molasses.. And, when younger, assumed we'd not last..) So, every relationship is different, and our single biggest rough spot was when she was convinced by one of our "friends" to look into christianity.. It didn't last long, and eventually broke down when I gave a "whatever you choose to do, I'll support you" and she abandoned that quick as shit, since I was the only one who just supported her, and didn't make her feel less than human for not being Christian. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 19:57, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think any of my serious relationships were ever with people who believed in gods or any of that crap. It was always important enough to me, I think, to select from the pool, however small, that I could respect. That said, at least one is now a conservative and at least one is a Bible-thumper (and quite a few are now parents...). Thank you facebook! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:03, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Before getting married, all of my serious relationships were with non-religious or atheist women. As it turned out, the woman I married is a Christian from another cultural background (Korean). This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it keeps the peace with my fundamentalist parents back home, I get free lunch every Sunday, and am surrounded once a week by gorgeous, well-dressed women in the nursery who treat me like a prince since I'm the only man who's willing to help out with the kids, when in reality I'm just there because I have no interest in what the pastor has to say. So, Ken, in case you're listening, I'm an atheist/agnostic who has no problem with the Asian ladies! Junggai (talk) 06:53, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
My mother in law has some crazy superstitions, some of which have rubbed off on the wife. Luckily she knows they're bollocks though. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:02, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Glenn Beck gone!!![edit]

As well put by the awesome Jon Stewart. Let us have a laugh. Rationalize (talk) 19:51, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Old news is old.[1] ТyTalk. 19:53, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Aw, I just saw that video on facebook. Fail. Rationalize (talk) 20:20, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
You're my bitch now. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:23, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
Eh, Stewie and Stevie seem to repeat every other week these days... It was funnier the first time I saw it, but only less so the second because I was groaning to myself "another freaking week of repeats?" ħumanUser talk:Human 03:00, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
A Thribbian tribute (or Thribbute):
So. Farewell then
Glen Beck.
Fox News idiot
I do not know if
You had
A catchphrase.
But you
Did not know many things
Either. I suppose
In that way
We are brothers.
Harmonic drug Hoover! (Age 17½) 12:00, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Pottery! Nice. I like pottery. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:47, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Kids these days![edit]

Grading finals....on the short answer questions. There is actually a significant use of emoticons and LOL speech on the fucking exams! Who the fuck puts LOL on an exam? Why the need to add sideways winky faces to shit answers! Argh! Kids these days! Tmtoulouse (talk) 01:35, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

F! ТyTalk. 01:37, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Must be a hard sciences thing. I've been grading history papers at 2 unis, one Canadian and one US, for 5 years now, and I've never encountered that kind of nonsense. P-Foster (talk) 01:38, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
lol i no wut u mean :p ThunderkatzHo! 01:38, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I think I got a lol once, but the score was already well below F anyway. I guess I could have just ripped the test up. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:44, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, teenagers. Just think, there are actually people out there who believe that the very same age group that puts "lol" on their science finals are responsible for the greatest achievements of humanity. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 01:48, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
What course is it? Out of curiosity Rationalize (talk) 02:34, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Sensory perception. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:38, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Well that makes sense, then. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:58, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Can you put a huge "F- LOL" as their grade? ATP (talk) 03:25, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Just think. In a few years time, these people will be conducting research for themselves. Can't you just see it now? "We said we iz presenting a linear time solution to n-SAT, and all our peeps wuz like NO WAI! But we sez YES WAI! and they wuz all like OMGWTFBBQ! LULZ." --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:32, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

I once nearly slapped a geography student for writing an essay in comic sans. Haven't seen it in a report I'd have to mark, though. That said, I did once use a smiley face when marking, but they did actually do something good to deserve it. ADK...I'll break your bridge! 08:17, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, anyone know where I can get a rubber stamp with "CITATION NEEDED" on it? ADK...I'll edify your ape! 08:18, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
If you are serious then try rubberstampz.co.uk or Speedystamps. Alternatively those small print shops often do custom rubber stamps, a friend of mine got a BULLSHIT! one made up.  Lily Inspirate me. 08:53, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Granite State Stamps has a feature where you design your stamp on line and order it. Pretty impressive, though you'll need a more cost-effective solution, i.e., local shipping. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:03, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
My boss used text message abbreviations in my performance appraisal. MDB (talk) 12:12, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
A few years ago my younger brother was supposedly doing a degree in some semi-nonsense but English-based subject (Creative writing I think, after transferring from 'media and cultural studies' when even he realised it was bollocks) and one piece of coursework I saw - a monologue - was littered with text message abbreviations. I couldn't believe it. He said "oh it's fine, because that's the way people speak and it's meant to be realistic". I did my best to explain that people do say "alright mate" instead of "how do you do", but no one ever says "hi emm-eight". Even as someone whose closest association with university is being signed in to students' union bars a few times, this really annoyed and troubled me... DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 16:01, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Us kids will be kids. Ex-Troll CheerleaderGive me a G, give me an O, give me an A, give me a T, give me an S.GOATS! ♥ 15:23, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

One thing I came to appreciate visiting Europe[edit]

High speed rail.

Two hours on a train to get from Kaiserslautern, Germany to Paris. Infinitely preferable than air travel for shorter trips -- no security hassles, roomier seats, you're able to see the countryside as you travel, no need to arrive two monthshours in advance (though my sister and I were contemplating murdering her husband who came within two minutes of making us miss our train by running back to the car to get a jacket), etc etc etc.

Obviously, the longer the distance, the more appropriate air travel is, but I can appreciate why the Obama administration is pushing for the US to develop such a system. MDB (talk) 12:54, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Yep, those Europeans do have their public transport sorted. Just don't come to Blighty expecting the same. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 12:57, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I was seriously thinking of doing London next summer -- I saw a nice Virgin package for eight days, hotel and airfare plus some tourist-y stuff for around $2500, if I went now. Then someone reminded me of the London Olympics. Perhaps I'll wait till the fall. MDB (talk) 13:10, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
London Olympics is next year Bro. (assuming you mean you don't want to be in London whilst it's on) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, by "next summer", I meant Summer 2012. But yeah, I don't want to be there during the Olympics. Actually, it might be nice, but the hotel rates will probably approach astronomical. MDB (talk) 13:27, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Right, I see. I thought you said "if I went now". You're spot on about the hotel rates during the Olympics; many people working in the London tourist industry (hoteliers aside) fear that they might see a reduction in business due to the profiteering by hotels. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:31, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
The "if I went now" was just referring to current prices. Even ignoring the Olympics, who knows what the prices will be next year? MDB (talk) 13:48, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
If you come to the UK then fuck London, it's crap. Come oop North. Stay in Liverpool, Manchester, the Lake District, Newcastle. And, if you want to see a stone circle, don't do Stonehenge. Sure it's nice but they don't let you anywhere near ti nowadays and it's full of woo meisters. There are much better ones - if not quite so fancy. Jack Hughes (talk) 12:20, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Europe's public transport is great, I am impressed with the way the retrofitted it into cities built for horses. Pity it is so far away. I am currently at Singapore Airport waiting to board a plane to get home for 6 and a half hour flight, after having just done a 11 and a half hour flight to get here, after a one and a half internal Europe flight. The beer in Eastern Europe is terrible. Thin lagers the colour of my piss when I have been drinking water all day. Found some nice brewpubs though. - π 13:44, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
When I went to Japan, I found the rail system great. I had a three-week JR pass, which made practically all train rides free and simple, and was cheaper than buying tickets. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 16:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Japan's rail network is pretty much the best I've seen. There are good rail networks in Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, etc. Rail in some other parts of Europe isn't so good (e.g. Eastern Europe, Greece). Rail travel in the UK can be an ordeal (sometimes, not always). The US rail network (for passenger services) is unreasonably limited. I took a train in California last time I was in the States, but next time I think I'll just do internal flights. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:40, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

For those that do indulge...[edit]

...Happy 4/20. MDB (talk) 13:12, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Oh yeah. That's why tonight was initially set aside by my friends to do pot brownies. Scheduling conflicts moved it to tomorrow anyway. I guess it won't be quite the same. DickTurpis (talk) 13:21, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh crap. It's Hitler's birthday? I used to smoke. A lot. But I've quit, aside from special occasions (like today, apparently) but have no connections here.. Oh well. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 13:28, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I can't claim to never indulge, but I rarely do. If someone offers me some, I might, but I don't seek it out. Anyway, it's main effect is to make me sleepy. MDB (talk) 14:52, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Aha... heh heh... heh... heh heh... ahaha... ha... heh... heh... heh... ha... ha... heh... heh... heheh... heh... ha... heh... heh.............. heh... SJ Debaser 15:01, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
This is pure serendipity, but I did happen on this while looking for Dolly Parton songs. (And yes, I know, Peter, Paul and Mary argue vehemently it's not about drug use.) MDB (talk) 16:26, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Creeping like a communist, it's knocking at our doors/Turning all our children into hooligans and whores/Voraciously devouring the way things are today/Savagely deflowering the good ol' USA/It's reefer madness! Reefer madness! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:56, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm actually not sure was 4/20 signifies, but 4/19 is Bicycle Day, which is normally celebrated with abandon. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 09:52, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
4/20 is the Feast Day of Saint Agnes of Montepulciano of course!
Of course, if you're a godless heathen or a liberal (same difference), it might refer to something else. MDB (talk) 11:20, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


I'm concerned. User:AMassiveGay rarely has a break from posting, but hasn't posted for over two weeks now, and this was the last thing he posted. Anyone know his email? ONE / TALK 15:55, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Let's hope he's getting help. MDB (talk) 16:12, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Do we know that the BoN is him? EddyP Great King! Disaster! 16:20, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, he signed in and corrected it after. I left him a message on his talkpage about a week ago and haven't heard anything from him. I hope he's alright. SJ Debaser 17:17, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
We can't know what people get up to in their off-wiki hours but he was a bit down. So I do hope he is getting a bit of therapy or a break away from everything and hasn't done anything silly.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:01, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I apologise for not responding sooner, but I was just taking a step back from things. I appear to have come through my rather maudlin mood without throwing myself in front of a bus, and I promise not to do so any time soon. I am genuinely touched by all your kind words and concern, and am now a little bit embarrassed. I thank you all. Its nice to know that there are folk I can talk if I ever find my self on the brink AMassiveGay (talk) 20:46, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Glad to hear you're okay. My email is always active should you need a pint with someone ugly to make you feel better about yourself in comparison. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 21:02, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
The relief I felt when I saw that AMG posted in this thread was remarkable. Just wanted to say. Senator Harrison (talk) 00:08, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I felt a "whew" there too. AMG, try playing old Clash records really loud. Worked for me, anyway... when they were new, of course. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Sounds like depression. I hope he sees a doctor for an Rx and stops his drug use. Rationalize (talk) 01:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm glad that you're feeling better. Things actually can get better, you know. ATP (talk) 03:20, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I too am glad you're feeling better BUT you still should get help. Please. Seeking treatment while you're feeling a little better is actually a good thing to do, because it lets you approach your situation more rationally. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:06, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
It's good to see you're ok. But definitely, get professional help. And try doing some exercise - it's supposed to help a lot when you're feeling down. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 09:15, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
He's obviously found Jebus. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:33, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
As a fully paid-up member of the mental club myself (bi-polar disorder), seriously, get help. You'll feel silly and embarrassed doing it, but trust me, it's one hell of a lot better to catch psych problems early, rather than have to receive diagnosis and treatment on a psych ward because it turned into a catastrophe.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 11:35, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm a little hesitant to suggest a church on this site, but if there's a Metropolitan Community Church near you, and you're not full-on opposed to anything religious, seek them out. The Church was founded as gay friendly, and the pastors are specifically required to refer people seeking help to professionals if they're not qualified to counsel you on your specific issues. Even if you go in there and say "I think religion is a load a crap; I just need some help", I think they'll at least refer you to someone who is qualified to help you, and at least gay-friendly, if not actually specializing in treating the gay community. I know there's at least one pastor (or he may not have been formally ordained yet) that spoke to the MCC I used to attend that was in a situation very much like yours, and now is the denomination's expert on drug use in the gay community. And I'll echo what others have said: get professional help. Coming on here and getting support from well-meaning people here is fine, but we're not qualified mental health professionals, and even if we were, we wouldn't be treating you over the Internet. MDB (talk) 12:28, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


Hey all. I've been unemployed for a few months, and want to start doing voluntary work and some fundraising. I'm trying to pick out a good charity or two to support. Do any of you have any charities you particularly support, or any ideas... just looking for more ideas and options. I'm based in Leeds, England, if it's relevant... but if you support a charity elsewhere, we probably have a similar one here! DalekEXTERMINATE 00:28, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

amnesty international--Brxbrx (talk) 00:30, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Habitat for Humanity is one of my favorites, and they're international. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm biased because my Dad volunteers for them. MDB (talk) 00:31, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure what's local to the UK, but Amnesty is everywhere. There's probably a chapter at the closest university. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:37, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I've found a site which shows charity shops in the local area, so I reckon I'm going to pick Mind (the UK's leading mental health charity) and offer to do a couple of days a week there. Also going to do a sponsored thing or two, and set up my charity pub quiz team. Won £50 in cash last time I played a pub quiz with friends, so I reckon we should do a weekly pub quiz, but give the cash to charity if we win. And if we get the runners' up prize of booze, that's just a kicker.DalekEXTERMINATE 00:47, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Human rights campaign. Rationalize (talk) 01:49, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The best way is to do as you say and volunteer in local charity shops and such. I rate Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation very highly. (some right bargains in there too!) DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 02:01, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
It seems like you are asking two different questions here because fundraising and voluntary work are separate issues; it also depends what your own priorities and abilities are. Fundraising is best for overseas unless you can commit to the time to travel, as far as I know Habitat is mainly overseas and you have to pay your way which might not be feasible if you are unemployed (I'm not denigrating it, it might just be a better option for those who are in work and want to give something back). You can do voluntary work for the National Trust, RSPB or a local museum but you may want to feel that you are helping people in which case something like Help The Aged Age UK where you could be driver, handyman, gardener or IT instructor, rather than just helping out in a shop. One of my favourite international concerns is water as lack of clean water and sanitation is a major killer and cause of disease in poor countries. Amnesty is good and you can get involved by "adopting" a political prisoner and writing to them (to let them know that they are not forgotten) and writing to the authorities to protest but you don't need to be unemployed to find the time to do that. There are so many deserving causes out there that it is important to find something that matters to you and which matches your skills. You could also try your local town hall or public library and see if they know of local organisations requiring volunteers.  Lily Inspirate me. 06:42, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
P.S. I don't wish to knock charity shops but that is something that retired people can do. If you're young(ish) and able then do something which requires those attributes.  Lily Inspirate me. 06:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Kitties are the way to go. Try the Blue Cross. Be warned, it's pretty much a job interview type thing even if you're just volunteeering for them. I guess they get more volunteers than they need. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 07:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Where I live, being "unemployed for a few months" tends to mean desperate financial straits. What socialist wonderland do you live in where you can afford food and rent and still volunteer your free time? ħumanUser talk:Human 09:13, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

It depends on you're skill set and what you're willing to learn as well, but Mind's a good idea, especially if they have an advocacy program that you can volunteer for. I was an advocate for Mind for years, and it's well worth it, especially as you can get some interesting cases come in that will really stretch you. Bear in mind though that about 75% of your client work will involve filling in DLA forms though. On the other hand, if the particular advocacy service you're attached to deals with DLA Appeals, that is something that is well worth doing. You'll need to do a fair amount of work to bring yourself up to speed understanding what DLA law is in that regards, including case histories, but the advocacy service should train you in that, and preparing case work for an appeals case and then presenting it is an incredibly rewarding experience, and looks bloody good on the CV as well.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 11:40, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

If you are between 18 and 30 and an EU Citizen, I think, you could consider spending some time abroad as a volunteer with the European Volunteer Service (?) (see destinations). Editor at CPmały książe 12:14, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Carl Sagan[edit]

Anyone know where I can dig up some decent pics of the guy, preferably hi-res? All I can find on Google Images are the same four or five shots, and a lot of the sites that come back seem to have viruses. I need it in rather a hurry. --Kels (talk) 00:32, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Try: this it's fairly HR {1011x 1600) & CC3. --Scream!! (talk) 00:48, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
A good start, certainly. Thanks! --Kels (talk) 00:56, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Walking Dead[edit]

World's most famous zombie

At this time of year, commemorating the world's most famous zombie, Amazon is pleased to offer a 75% reduction on "The Walking Dead" --Scream!! (talk) 01:31, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Awesome. Great show, too. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 01:33, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, May is zombie awareness month... - Gameboy (talk) 02:06, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
"World's most famous zombie"? --Kels (talk) 02:39, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Surely you're mistaken, he was history's first astronaut. Clearly he was just...resting. --Kels (talk) 03:37, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Help me buy a new TV[edit]

Okay, I've decided to upgrade to a flat screen TV. (I have an HDTV now, but it's a massive console model that I can't even lift myself. I'm going to have to get the new one delivered just so I can get the old one hauled away.)

Here's my requirements:

  • 40"-50" range
  • 1080p resolution
  • At least three HDMI inputs, preferably four
  • One component video port for my Nintendo Wii (I don't think Nintendo makes an HDMI output for the Wii)
  • A port to connect my Windows laptop
  • Internet ready
    • Wireless capability should be built in (or come with the required dongle), or have an Ethernet port (it will be next to my router)
    • Apps:
      • Definitely NetFlix
      • A built-in YouTube app would be nice, too.
      • A general web browser would be good, too, since Amazon now offers free streaming videos to Amazon Prime members.
  • 3D support would be nice but not mandatory (I think with what I'm looking at, it might be hard to find one that's not 3D)
  • Price under 2K USD.
  • The manufacturer offers a separate sound system designed for easy connection

I'm not sure of the differences between plasma, LCD and LED-LCD.

Advice? MDB (talk) 11:45, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

I might be talking out of my arse, but avoid plasma, as it apparently leaks out over time and you will lose picture quality faster (and irreplaceably) than with LED or LCD. --PsyGremlinPraat! 11:48, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The plasma leaks out? Thats awesome. Can you make mutants using it? DamoHi 12:26, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
If you can, I'm definitely going with plasma. MDB (talk) 12:29, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
How about a pair of walking boots for $80? Everything's in HD and 3D! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:03, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
But that would require me to... go out of my house! #shudder# MDB (talk) 13:09, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Avoid plasma like the plague. It doesn't even react well to being switched on and off (a consideration that you need to take into account when running a computer to the screen, or even just have toddlers around who have just found the off switch). Best bet is to print out your requirements, take it into your local tv outlet and see what they recommed, make sure to see at least two different working models. At that point make a note of the make and model number, leave the shop without buying and have a look online at reviews of what's been recommended to find the model least likely to crap out, and then have a look for the best price online.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 13:16, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
LED gives a much sharper picture, they don't get as hot as LCD TVs, and the TVs are usually a lot thinner (if you like that sort of thing). If you want 3D then I'd say leave it for another year. They'll be 70% of the price they are now. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 13:23, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Psy is talking out of his ass. Plasma lifespans are now longer than you'll keep the TV (~100,000 hrs 'half-life'). Go plasma. LED is annoying to watch. Advances in plasma TV technology have leveled previous deficiencies. Anyone telling you to avoid it like the plague did their research a few years ago and never tried to watch a full-length feature film on an LED tv. Picture motion is another plus for plasma. If you're a big nascar fan or plan on playing modern video games for extended periods without going mad. Occasionaluse (talk) 13:27, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

This is the one I'm currently considering most heavily. MDB (talk) 14:12, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Promise me you'll watch one for at least 90 minutes before you buy. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:14, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
What store is going to let me do that? MDB (talk) 14:38, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The kind of store you're going to buy a $2,000 TV from. Or go to a friend's house. I just think it'd be a shame for you to look at one and think "Ooh! It's so sharp and bright!", taking it home and going "AAAH!!! It's so sharp and bright!!" (talk) 14:43, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Good point. MDB (talk) 14:56, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I thought you were in the UK? If you are buying, pay buy credit card, so you get additional consumer protection from it. If your credit card's limit is less than the cost of the TV, then pay the cost into your card before hand (putting it into credit). If you buy the TV by mail-order, then can return it within 7 days for any reason under the Distance Selling laws, (assuming the TV isn't damaged by you) some companies will give you longer, so you can get a friend with a good eye for details to check the image quality. CS Miller (talk) 16:14, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Nope, I'm a Yank. MDB (talk) 10:37, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Is it just me...[edit]

Or does anyone else feel a little nauseous when reading that list of proposed specs? There seems to be a secret puritan down in the depths of my soul that longs to drag you from your house and put you in the stocks for even considering such a purchase. What's wrong with the TV you already have? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 01:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

I cannot imagine wanting to play the majority of YouTube clips on a 50" screen.  Lily Inspirate me. 04:51, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
The new TV might be far more energy efficient, if the old one has a cathode ray tube. That said, why not just buy a giant monitor? Computers and "hifi" are moving ever closer with every year, finally. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:40, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Eh, I'm a techno-geek with plenty of dollars, but very little sense. (That joke works better spoken.) And yes, the old one is CRT based. MDB (talk) 10:37, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Australian Detention Centre Riots[edit]

When I saw this, I could only think "oh, you fucking idiots". They might have genuine grievances, but nobody will know what they are now. Nobody will care.

Hardliners get a field day. Meanwhile, in the minds of the public, thousands of innocent people in genuine need are tarred by the brush of a five second news clip showing burning buildings and a few rioters.--Brendiggg (talk) 12:47, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

We had the same problem here. Dustbin men out on strike. No problem, until they march through town, tipping over every bin they find and leaving a helluva mess and looted shops behind. Now, public sympathy = 0. --PsyGremlinSpeak! 13:03, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Exactly how many years has this been going on without anyone giving a damn about their genuine grievances? 20? Setting detention centres on fire seems to me exactly the right response. One that here in the UK seemed to do the trick pretty nicely. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:47, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
The problem for the rioters, is that they have made their likelihood of winning their cases much less by rioting. Their cases had been rejected by the bureaucracy; but it is very common in Australia for refugee claims rejected by the government to nonetheless succeed in the courts. That is part of why they are detained for so long - they can't be forcibly deported until they have (inter alia) exhausted their legal appeals, but the courts have a big backlog due to the number of cases. Yet, some of the criteria the law considers includes good character, criminal record, danger to national security. Now, even if they succeed in their appeals based on the original situation, they've just given the government several new reasons to reject their application. I sympathise with the frustration the rioters must feel, but the rioting is unlikely to achieve anything except worsening their chances. --(((Zack Martin))) 12:29, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Another apologist with no clue about science or biology.[edit]

Philosopher Peter Kreeft's argument for the existence of God. Same old tired tripe, starts with the "the argument from change" and goes downhill from there. --PsyGremlinTal! 10:20, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Is this guy attempting the world record for how many different ways you can state the cosmological argument? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:16, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Facial hair[edit]

Looking at MDB's pictures I notice that he sports a beard, Human too has affected this facial adornment, Cracker's mugshot is also hirsute; so I was wondering how many others at RW have facial hair and if so is it an atheist trait given that there appears to be some antipathy to beards amongst the evangelical community (although Ken Ham looks decidedly chimpy in some pictures and Rowan Williams going for the Moses look).  Lily Inspirate me. 12:31, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

PZ Meyers, Thunderf00t, Dan Dennett, Terry Pratchett... Ancient Greek Pegasus icon.png 12:33, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I have a beard off and on (more off). It isn't due to atheism but often out of being too lazy to shave (which may be connected to atheism). I guess we need to prepare for Ken's new magnus opus cp:Atheism and facial hair. Can't wait. DickTurpis (talk) 12:35, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not really an atheist, just an increasingly cynical believer. And those pictures show me desperately needing to get my fuzz trimmed. MDB (talk) 12:56, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Grew my beard to look older when I was 25 and still getting ID'd for beer (at the time, legal age was 18). That was a few decades ago and I still like not having to bother with shaving etc. FWIW not an atheist. Doctor Dark (talk) 12:58, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I have my own theory that facial hair is directly proportional to religiosity. I have worked in Poland, a big catholic country, where every bloke over 30 has a moustache, and in Texas, bible-basher central, where every man has a ridiculous goatee. Then you've got the koran-bashers with their big beards, orthodox jews and hindus never shave, and Saint Nicholas has the most famous beard of all. I rest my case. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 13:54, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
(stupid phone)I have had some form of facial hair pretty much continuously since 17. Every male I've seen at LSU who is an atheist has a beard of some sort. Pic is on my userpage. Goonie has a goatee, but is not an atheist, Ace and Nutty's pics both have some form of facial hair. Concerned Resident has a beard. ТyTalk. 13:09, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I alternate between a John Waters pencil mustache or some lambchops that come nearly to my chin. The mustache makes me look like a pedophile; the sideburns make me look like I should have chewing tobacco juice stains on my coveralls and be named Cletus. Atheist and troublemaker. Nutty Roux (talk) 13:17, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I have a ridiculous goatee. I'm also currently sporting more of a beard, but that's due to laziness, and just recently moving, and not knowing where my razor is at the moment. My friends track when my last interview was based on my facial hair. I've posted pics previously with it. I also sport long hair, which is also due to laziness. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 13:26, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
My beard reaches the floor. ADK...I'll calcify your sceptre! 13:30, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I have a nice, Scott Ian-style goatee. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 13:43, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I shave every few days, so i always have rugged manly stubble--Brxbrx (talk) 14:12, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I've had facial hair as long as I've been able to do so, once having a goatee to the middle of my torso, but I'm not an atheist. Aboriginal Noise with 4 M's and a silent Q 20:13, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
PermaStubble (warning: tab explosion) at least, but usually just a regular beard. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:28, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm currently sporting a 2-week+ chin goatee with tash and chop stubble from a few days ago. I'm basically an atheist, but that's irrelevant, I'm just too lazy to shave frequently. SJ Debaser 21:53, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
gooniepunk, I did an image search for ian scott, but all I got was porn. which makes me think your goatee resembles a woman's bush--Brxbrx (talk) 20:37, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Maybe he meant Scott Ian from the band Anthrax? Aboriginal Noise with 4 M's and a silent Q 21:35, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes I did mean Scott Ian. I was very drunk this morning.
I tie my beard into long ropes and wrap multiple strands of it around my head like a Sikh's headdress. Confuses the enemy. --DogP (talk) 22:00, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I hate shaving, but hate wearing a beard too, so normally wander around with a couple of days' stubble, unless I'm seeing clients and stuff. But for eg, with the long weekend coming up, chances are next time I'll shave will be Tuesday morning. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 09:45, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Wait, Lily, where did you see either of my beards? I only posted them to FB, IIRC. Are we friends there unbeknownst to me? All I know is it saves me some shaving cream and makes the teenagers at the grocery store drool and embarrass themselves. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:42, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

PJR has a beard (although he doesn't seem to want to talk about it), so I doubt it's especially atheist. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:07, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I think it's mostly a gay thing, rather than atheist. ħumanUser talk:Human 10:15, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Beardy and, in tribute to this site, goatee. Worn one for years, but it is more maintenance than a lot of people think. First you've got to get the angles on the downstrips right to compliment your face, you've got to work out which part of the inner needs to be shaved so it looks good, and then, if you like curries and wotnot, you've got to grade your beard with a hair trimming razor as well, a 4 on the chin, a 3 on the horizontal bits either side, a 2 on the vertical and then a 1 for the moustache. Saves on the emabarresment of having your moustache glued together with bits of massala all night.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 11:29, 21 April 2011 (UTC) Goodpost.gif ħumanUser talk:Human 07:14, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Beard update; talking to my friend in the pub last night, she asked what was going on with my goatee. I said, "oh yeah, I'm growing one as I'm too damn lazy to shave. Why, do you like it?" to which she replied, "yeah, it's alright, you're kinda pulling it off." She seemed apathetic, and when I told her my mother liked it she seemed less than impressed. SJ Debaser 09:53, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Dude. Bringing your mother into any conversation with a girl = mood killer and will result in you going blind, with hairy palms. --PsyGremlinPrata! 10:16, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I know, I said it for comic effect. I'm now blind with hairy palms, but it was totally worth it. SJ Debaser 10:18, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Full graying beard, long graying hair, a few extra pounds, play guitar. My transformation into Jerry Garcia 2.0 should be complete in a few years. P-Foster (talk) 15:27, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

For those who have yet to see it - Woo Water, now with added electrons[edit]

Seriously. Nice piece in the Granuiad about it.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 13:17, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

That is by far the worst abuse of chemistry I have seen in my entire life. ADK...I'll pander your asparagus! 13:31, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
"many food and beverages ... are devoid of electrons" I smell a Nobel! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:05, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Ow. That kind of stupid should be illegal. Or should at least hurt the person saying it, instead of me. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 01:34, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Yikes. Luckily, my tap water runs pH 7.6-7.8, dH about 40 ppm and kH about 3, IIRC. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:05, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
You forgot dKH and TDS. That reminds me, I've had to buy a fucking huge DI column to use post-RO for my marine tank, because our tap water is about 400 TDS. Even after 3-stage RO it was coming out over 30! CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:48, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

For the first time EVER...[edit]

...a majority of Americans support same sex marriage. So much for a growing conservative society, Andrew. Be sure to thoroughly look at that graph. Anti-gay marriage? Now you're the minority. Rationalize (talk) 01:49, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

idgaf what the majority thinks. the majority doesn't have the right to infringe on the rights of the minority. outlawing gay marriage, or not establishing it, counts as limting someone's rights--Brxbrx (talk) 02:24, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Dude, you read worse than Andy or JPatt. The majority SUPPORTS gay marriage. P-Foster (talk) 02:29, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
yes, I know that. what i'm saying is that even if the majority didn't, that's no reason--Brxbrx (talk) 02:32, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
ah. Sorry. P-Foster (talk) 02:34, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Interesting. I remember seeing a poll on this on WIGO recently, but I was skeptical about it as a lone poll doesn't mean a whole lot. Nate Silver is pretty trustworthy when it comes to stuff like this as well. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:35, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
But why let a majority infringe on the rights of a minority to be homophobic?? Ancient Greek Pegasus icon.png 18:24, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
What? Nobody is infringing on anybody's right to be homophobic. They can hate fags all they want if it makes them feel better. What is being taken from them is the ability to deny gay people equal access to the institution of marriage, equal access to the legal and material benefits that come with it, and equal respect for the inherent dignity of their love. This ability, however, is not a right. Mountain Blue (talk) 18:30, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Erm... sarcasm?? Ancient Greek Pegasus icon.png 18:32, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh. Sorry. Mountain Blue (talk) 19:10, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I think the phrase is "your right to swing your fist ends where my face begins". ADK...I'll steal your Hyundai! 13:59, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Bitterly dissapointed.[edit]

I donated $41 dollars to attempt to make the fundraiser end on exactly $666, but it seems like funds donated through the donate button don't show up in the applet. Satan has once again been foiled by clever programming. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 07:05, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

You gotta play games like that during "off peak hours". Like, say next month, donate $666, and pwn the robots with your cunning! ħumanUser talk:Human 09:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

The CBP has competition[edit]

A Bible (sort of) for secular humanists. MDB (talk) 17:46, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Been mentioned on here at least twice & once in a WIGO somewhere. --Scream!! (talk) 18:03, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
But it's not really a bible translation is it. Ancient Greek Pegasus icon.png 18:28, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
It is probably like the God Delusion. They're both bibles (sorta). Colbert|FanI know what I don't know 18:55, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Are these people MAD?[edit]

From the office of the Governor: "... I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas." Fucking hell!!!!

sorry! Checking, I see it's been WIGOed but still: WTF? --Scream!! (talk) 18:49, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Texas? Only three days? Occasionaluse (talk) 18:55, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Yup! 3 days: the time it took to zombify JC (allegedly). --Scream!! (talk) 19:16, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Perry isn't just an idiot, he's a hypocrite. He's always railing about getting the Feds off our backs -- but now he's begging the Feds to come in and help. Doctor Dark (talk) 19:23, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Well maybe he's not such an idiot as the Weather Underground forecasts a chance of thunderstorms for Monday and Tuesday (I only checked for Austin). So he can claim prayer works when it rains.  Lily Inspirate me. 19:28, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
What THE FUCK the Weather Underground is now the name of an ad-supported WEATHER SITE? Desecration! Have they no sense of decency, at long last? Mountain Blue (talk) 20:19, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
When they said Weather Underground and rain, I immediately thought of some form of bombing campaign. Some of us who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, knew what "the" Weather Underground meant back then.. Revan (talk) 06:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

So how is prayer different from magic spells in this case? --Kels (talk) 14:39, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Fewer animal sacrifices, ergo, fewer oldies getting a free dinner.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 18:01, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Tuesday Dr. Steven Novella will be on Dr. Oz[edit]

I just thought I'd mention it and figured this is the place that would get the most interested traffic. Dr. N. hosts the Skeptics guide to the universe and Dr. Oz is Oprahs woo man. --Opcn (talk) 03:22, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Should be interesting, though Novella is always mild-mannered so there probably won't be any epic asshole-ripping. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:43, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll never understand those Oprah types as long as I live. In fact the whole idea of "being in touch with my feelings" sounds vaguely creepy. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:08, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
You guys don't like Dr. Oz? Senator Harrison (talk) 04:15, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Inside Job[edit]

I got around to watching Inside Job (no, it's not a troofer flick). It's nothing new to me, but I think it might be the best summation of the financial crisis made so far. Essential viewing. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 10:57, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

John Sullivan[edit]

has passed away. And if you don't know who he is, you're a plonker. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 14:00, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

And if I don't know what a plonker is? -- (talk) 16:45, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
You're a Rodney, then. CS Miller (talk) 22:20, 23 April 2011 (UTC)


This discussion was moved to Talk:Drug.14:12, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Medical Update[edit]

Anyone following on fb has seen cryptic posts about a medical problem in my family. I can't get into the details but my wife developed a surgical problem which has not gone as well as expected. That's about all the detail I can get into at this point. -- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --If it looks like a donut... 03:56, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

If I believed prayer worked, I'd be praying so hard right now. Instead, I wish for the best...still really hard. Occasionaluse (talk) 04:00, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, all the best to your family. Here's hoping the worst is behind you. --Kels (talk) 04:02, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
With SusanG's recent death and PalMD's familial problems it does bring home that your health is really the most important thing. That's why proper healthcare is such an important issue. I do hope Peter's wife pull's through.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:01, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
All the best, and thanks for dropping by. :) ADK...I'll exterminate your newspaper! 08:20, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks Doc. I know this must be trying, so I forgive you the lack of details. But we want to know which gods to pray to and which devils to pray against to help your wife out! Seriously, I hope it comes out well. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Best wishes from London. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 08:26, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Sorry to hear about that. Hope it works out OK.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:02, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
Good luck, I hope things work out! Have you tried homeopathy? (I kid, I kid.) ATP (talk) 03:22, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
As one whose had his elderly parents going through medical issues over the past 2 years, my thoughts are with you and yours PMD. Hope it all resolves itself happily. --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 09:42, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
Best of luck man. I hope your wife gets through this alright. My thoughts are with you both. - π 05:42, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
My thoughts are with you, Peter. Hope it all works it OK. SJ Debaser 14:15, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
SusanG died???-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --If it looks like a donut... 05:35, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think her talk page covers it. Hers and user:scream!'s. Sad. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:13, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
What?? - π 05:38, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Hey PalMD! How's it going? still playing video games or vandalizing websites in the back room while patients wait patiently in the waiting room? Oh yah, and you need to get some new magazines out there while they're waiting, too. nobsdon't bother me 06:14, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

dude... don't you have, like, values or something? Empathy, maybe?--Brxbrx (talk) 08:16, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Geez Rob, get a sense of decency. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:13, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
As I've said before, Rob doesn't understand basic human decency. I just wish he wouldn't prove it so often. --Kels (talk) 13:42, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
No doubt you will say to me, "Physician, Heal thyself!" A prophet is not without honor in his hometown. nobsdon't bother me 14:04, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
No, I'm going to be a geek and quote Star Trek. As in, "I said shut up! As in close your mouth and stop talking." --Kels (talk) 14:15, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Seriously Rob, seriously? I've always taken you to be a moron, but now I see you're a cunt too. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 14:22, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Back on subject[edit]

Hey, Pal. Good luck. Keep us all posted. P-Foster (talk) 14:21, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Best wishes. Nutty Roux (talk) 15:53, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Good luck. Gauss (talk) 18:38, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Trump: Troll or epic troll?[edit]

While the Don's birther campaign is probably a publicity stunt, is it possible that he's also a deep cover liberal? Trump donated far more to Democrats in New York than Republicans. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:45, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Don't feed the wigSuspectedReplicant retire me 19:58, 20 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think he's a deep cover liberal; I think he's an out-in-the-open asshole.
Consider the possibilities:
  • He's seriously running for President. That means he's basing a campaign largely on a conspiracy theory.
    • If he really believes the birther stuff, he's an idiot.
    • If he doesn't believe it, then he's seriously debasing American politics, knowingly, just to garner support. Thus, he's an asshole.
  • He's not seriously running, and this is a publicity stunt.
    • Whether or not he believes in birtherism, he's an asshole for creating a phony Presidential campaign just to garner publicity.
So, three out of four scenarios make him an asshole. Maybe not enough for scientific proof, but good enough for these purposes.
(To be honest, I've thought he was an asshole ever since he first gained public notice in the Eighties.)( MDB (talk) 11:52, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I vote for "asshole", "egomaniac", etc. Well, no, I wouldn't vote for him... ħumanUser talk:Human 07:11, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
If the matter wasn't serious, I'd hope for him to run jointly with Rod Blagovitch, with the campaign song being the theme from "Hair". Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 11:12, 24 April 2011 (UTC)


We're being hit by a lot of BoN based spam and blanking in recent days. Anyone think this is a transitory or normal thing or just some (pardon the cynicism) attempt to force us into restricting open editing? ADK...I'll stir your pile of flaming horse feces! 17:31, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

It may be spammers that can't post their links. All of the BONs seem to be open proxies and/or have previous recorded spam activity.
There's also the idiot who warned us to beware the Easter bunny on the Main page talk page...--ZooGuard (talk) 17:53, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
This all happening after Rob got super pissed off re: treason talk and being called out for being a cunt to PalMD? Coincidence? P-Foster (talk) 23:02, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I will turn on captcha for anonymous edits for now. Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:17, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, boss. P-Foster (talk) 23:24, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
ADK says "recent days" and you cite crap that happened this morning, "This all happening after Rob got super pissed"; and they call me dense? nobsdon't bother me 23:45, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Fuck, Rob, are you even familiar with the concept of the "joke?" P-Foster (talk) 23:49, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Still, it's nice to know that he's spending his time in a more productive manner: reading & responding here rather than at CP. --Scream!! (talk) 23:57, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Scream!!, please point out Rob's productive edits here. His writing at CP only serves to harm the cause of fundie Christian conservatism - and that is a good thing in my book.  Lily Inspirate me. 05:38, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I was being rather altruistic: Rob himself would be mentally, morally and politically improved by being exposed to the environment here rather than at CP. Clapping.gif --Scream!! (talk) 06:09, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
In which case I feel very righteous in helping him over his difficulties with the English language.  Lily Inspirate me. 06:12, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
But Rob, of course we would never think that a CP member would ever engage in such a hypocrisy. Why do you think we keep making these *cough* jokes. Oh btw, us being dense would not constitute the point that you are dense wrong, we could both be dense. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 18:44, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

France burqa ban[edit]


I'm not sure if this has been discussed elsewhere here, but I'm curious to see what my fellow RWers think about this. As for me, I'm a bit conflicted on the issue. While I feel that the burqa is a symbol of Islamic oppression of women, which I despise, I can't help but see this ban as a sort of an example of "thought police." The idea of someone being subjected to prosecution for their choice of dress or their religious views is something I despise even more. PACODOGwoof, bitches 05:47, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Jon Stewart did a bit: if you ban burqas for being oppressive to women, then you must also ban high heels and miniskirts. Ultimately, all we can do is ensure that wearing the burqa remains a choice, and that intimidation not be a factor--Brxbrx (talk) 05:54, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Pardon me. Are there now, or have there ever been, laws requiring women to wear high-heels and miniskirts? No. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. The enforcement of such laws would be a waste of resources that could be better spend actually fighting the religious suppression of women, instead of simply banning one of its symptoms. If you ban burqas in the public space, the women who used to wear them will simply stay at home, either because they've been brainwashed into accepting this custom or because their husbands force them to. Once they've completely retired into the private space, it gets much, much harder to actually help them. Instead, you could offer more opportunities for those women who'd like to escape their fate, like safe retreats, education, and legal advice for divorces. But such laws are usually not made with the interests of oppressed women in mind, but rather for the comfort of people who don't want to see any trace of Islam that would disturb the nice European, Christian scenery. Röstigraben (talk) 06:52, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I think many "liberals" are in two minds over this; how do you balance individual liberty against perceived oppression. I think that France got it wrong by banning burqas in public. Given that we accept bans in certain locations on motorcycle helmets or face masks on security grounds, then a requirement that the face be exposed should not be unreasonably applied to burqas. France already demands that no religious symbolism should be worn in state schools so extending that to a burqa is not too difficult, although I would probably argue that the burqa is more ethnic than religious attire. Now I wonder how all those Japanese tourists with their little white face masks will be affected by this ban.  Lily Inspirate me. 07:32, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes I am in two minds on this one (and I am a liberal). It really is a tricky position. I guess on balance I am happy with a ban because I can see that long term culture changes can cause some short term pain for some people. I wonder what is the majority "liberal" position. DamoHi 07:38, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I guess the proof of the pudding is in the eating here. If any women feel their religious liberties are being trampled on, then civil disobedience would be the obvious choice of protest. If there are actual cases of people being prosecuted for continuing to wear the burqa out of religious conviction, then it was a bad idea. If, on the other hand, women seize on the opportunity to cast it off for less uncomfortable forms of "modest" dress, then we can probably say it does more to promote than to retard liberty. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 07:47, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I dont know if anyone has been prosecuted so far, but as it stands, wearing a burqa should result in a fine of € 150. Either you enforce the law or not - if not, it's meaningless posturing anyway, and if it's done, the victims will be penalized further. The state presents them with three alternatives: cast off the burqa and get into a conflict with your relatives, wear it in public and be punished, or stay at home. The first option would have some merit, as it could lead to a long-term improvement in the women's situation, but that can only happen if the French authorities would show any interest in helping the women in this struggle. As it stands, they do not, which leads me to conclude that this law was passed for an entirely different reason and will have adverse consequences for women who are already in a horrible situation, which is why it's impossible for me to support it. Röstigraben (talk) 08:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)


The problem I have with it is two-fold. First, it's just a piece of xenophobic, placate the crowd, piece of legislation meant to help Sarkozy's party in the forthcoming election, where the polls are not looking good for them. The other argument against it is this: Yes, no doubt in France, as in other places in the world, some women get bullied or abused into wearing the burqa, but many of the women in France that wear it aren't forced into it, they make a conscious choice that nobody should have the right to take away from (after all, they aren't hurting anybody else by their own choice of dress). As to the small part of the population that gets forced to wear it, France almost certainly has domestic abuse laws in place that could deal with that, a blanket (spot the pun) ban is massively uneccesary and overkill. It's like turning around and saying that despite the fact that domestic abuse laws exist, domestic abuse itself also continues to exist and therefore a law needs to be made that no person may ever come into contact with another person, populations will be managed with anonymous IVF, and the children will be reared by the state in vast creches (so they don't grow up weird by having a lack of contact) before being the enforced isolation the law requires comes into effect. The law would solve the problem of domestic abuse, but only with such gross overkill that it creates problems of its own, and that's what I'm seeing with the burqa ban.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 10:58, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

I've always identified as liberal, but perhaps when it comes to society "libertarian" would be more more apt. I believe people have a right to do whatever they want (within reason) so long as it doesn't conflict with anyone else. Banning the burqa is an outrageous infringement on people's rights. For all we know there are plenty of French Muslim women who want to wear them. How are you supposed to determine the ones that are forced to wear them from the ones that want to? SJ Debaser 11:06, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
This is not a ban on the burqa, it's a ban on any face covering in public places. If you want to wear a ski mask it's the same. Harmonic drug Hoover! 16:29, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
As Charlie Brooker pointed out this is a burqa. Which no one in France actually wears. Ancient Greek Pegasus icon.png 18:21, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Australia's a bit upset with Nigella. --Scream!! (talk) 18:27, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
You all make good points but I wonder if what you are describing as a fundamental right is really just an example of oppression. I don't really see the difference between being forced into wearing a burqua and living in a family/culture where wearing the burqua is "encouraged". Yes the woman may think that she wants to wear it, but I maintain that this thinking has a detrimental effect on her life that we should attempt to remove. If we change the culture by making it illegal then perhaps there will be some short term pain, but I believe there will be good to come out of it in the long term. I think its one of those cases where reasonable people will always fall on one side or the other. DamoHi 23:00, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I absolutely see your point, but it is reminiscent of hardcore feminists that say all sex is rape, and then tell women who actually, you know, enjoy sex (yet alone the rough degrading stuff practiced by some people) that they must be brainwashed or coerced in some way. It's an argument that I find is a very dangerous one to make because it blurs the distinction between working in people's best interest and respecting their choices. You're certainly not a mind reader so it would be highly presumptuous to say you're sure that this is oppression and not a truly free choice ("the woman may think that she wants to wear it, but..."). Can you get into their heads and really know that? You can apply the argument equally to many things; am I an atheist or do I just think I am, perhaps if I was forced into church there would be short term pain but I'd see the light long term? It's a widely applicable argument that seems to make the assumption that everyone wants the same thing - and that importantly it just so happens to be what us Enlightened Liberals want. This is, incidentally, one of the criticisms of The Golden Rule, should you take it as being about specifics rather than a more generalised respect. But the argument is also kind of circular in a way. They want to wear the burqa because they're brainwashed, we know they're brainwashed because they want to a the burqa. ADK...I'll drink your cat! 06:17, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you can apply the argument to many things, but we are capable of deciding to which side of the line each case falls. For example female genital mutilation should (unarguably surely!) be banned whilst choosing to attend church on a Sunday should not as it is basically harmless. I am not as sure as you that wearing burqas falls on the harmless side of the line. But then I should stop myself from getting roped into defending this point, sometimes I play devils advocate and end up arguing vociferously for positions I don't really believe! DamoHi 06:44, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Just to punish you for your devil-talk nitpick, I'm not sure I'd support banning voluntary adult mutilation. Then again, I don't think it's usually voluntary or adult, so that's a bit of a straw man... ~ Kupochama[1][2] 10:14, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
OK maybe the example was not the best, though I definitely would ban adult female circumcision, but I stand by the principle. As a society we are capable of passing laws that ban practices we find oppressive or harmful even if the participants willingly participate. Whether this is one of them I don't know, but I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand based on the notion of religious freedom. DamoHi 10:35, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Like many things, we can trade examples where the principle would seem good and examples where it would seem bad. It's a matter of perspective. Certainly non-consensual genital mutilation is wrong, on many levels, but what if it was consensual? After all, the part I'm taking issue with is assuming that people can't consent to that sort of thing meaningfully and thus we should ban it. Is it when you can't comprehend possibly consenting to such a thing, particularly genital mutilation (I'll take a brief aside to grind the axe that male circumcision is ALSO genital mutilation, but that's beside the point)? Take a look at what Pauly Unstoppable has done to his face in his time, for example. Is the guy sane? Has he really consented to that? I'm as far into the "alternative subculture" as I can get without disappearing up my own arse but I cannot comprehend why anyone would do that. I won't even get a piecing or single tattoo, officially because I won't risk something that permanent because I'm fickle, unofficially because I'm a tremendous physical coward. So should I crusade to ban that sort of thing? I can say that I don't comprehend how someone could consent to it, therefore it's wrong. Sure, when it's a sign of oppression and actively forced upon someone unwillingly it's wrong, but when it is consented to how can you judge (and why does anyone have the right to judge?) if they're truly consenting and happy or just "tricked" or more slyly coerced into an act, whether it be genital mutilation, fasting, wearing a burqa and so on and so forth. Again, take the example of the hardcore feminists that say women who enjoy sex are just brainwashed by beastly men into "thinking" that they enjoy it. How could you disprove that? Protestations and reasons, however heartfelt, just add to the view and reinforce the opinion that they're just tricked. Similarly, your psychoanalyst saying that your denial of having sexual feelings towards your own mother is proof that you do. Thus these assertions become massively unfalsifiable. So if someone does consent to something, regardless of their background, we have to take that consent at face value as we may never be able to understand and comprehend the mindset that leads to consenting to certain things. There's certainly things I get up to that people don't understand, and I'd be pretty pissed off if they tried to ban it just for that reason - as if they knew better for me than I did. So there is little sense in banning these things outright, after all, the burqa represents only perceived oppression. ADK...I'll forsake your gas tank! 13:58, 23 April 2011 (UTC)


When considering this new crop of laws restricting Islamic practices, I would pay some heed to the example of the Turks, who have spent the last century or so trying to make a secular country out of what was once the Islamic capital. Although I do not know the Turkish rules on the wearing of the niqab in general, they have in the past banned the veil in government buildings and schools. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Besides being red meat for Sarkozy, it's an abrogation of religious freedoms, simple as that. Imagine if this kind of thing happened in the US -- quite a few people would be going apeshit. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:42, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Western rules on freedom of religion have not really had to deal with Islam before; it is quite a different challenge from Protestant Christianity. Similarly, the U.S. and Europe have marked differences in their political cultures. Here in the U.S., calls for restrictions on the niqab are not taken any more seriously than calls for the limitation of freedom of speech on the subject of the niqab. Over in Europe, on the other hand, so-called "liberals" slobbered with enthusiasm when Abdullah Gül urged them, quite openly, to adopt blasphemy laws. Their naming as "defamation of religion" laws or "hate speech" laws threw the hoi polloi off the scent, of course, but the political landscape is still very different. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:57, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
"Western rules on freedom of religion have not really had to deal with Islam before;"
The Austrian Empire used to have a sizable Muslim minority in its final years. The UK and France acquired sizable minorities through immigration from former colonies after their respective empires collapsed. I should say that much of Europe has a lot more experience with Islam, especially political Islam, than the US. The rules have had a lot of time to mature. Up to the Nineties, when large parts of Europe's lower middle class began to backslide and started to want scapegoats to hate on, the rules worked reasonable well for all concerned.
"slobbered with enthusiasm when Abdullah Gül urged them, quite openly, to adopt blasphemy laws. Their naming as "defamation of religion" laws or "hate speech" laws threw the hoi polloi off the scent"
We've had laws against defamation of religion since time immemorial, it's just that they were traditionally enforced only against defamation of the respective state church, or at most against defamation of Christian churches in general. The situation became complicated following WWII. Many wanted to strike these laws in the name of secularism, at the same time nobody wanted to be seen not protecting Jews against incitements to riot. The general tendency was to keep the laws on the books but not enforce them very much. Currently this trend is reversing somewhat. No big deal.
Nobody not completely Randian wants to go back to the libertarianism of the 1930ies, where you could bully an entire people out of business with complete impunity. Hey, we're not a state actor, we're a private militia! We're not initiating violence, we just stand in front of this fucking kike's shop entrance all day with angry sandwich signs, yelling at people! It's freedom of speech you commie! Mountain Blue (talk) 06:26, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
The Austrian Empire did not really have any significant influence on the development of fundamental Western ideas on freedom of religion; indeed, they were a bit of a backwater in that area. I was talking about the immigrant minorities as providing the catalyst for the first real grappling of these Western ideas with Islam.
No big deal. I find it somewhat of a big deal that countries are enacting, and now enforcing, these laws while concurrently attempting to maintain the pretense that they have freedom of expression.
Up to the Nineties, when large parts of Europe's... To which I can only reply: Huh?
Nobody not completely Randian... I beg to differ. To illustrate this, let me inject some alternative words into that ironic rant: "Hey, we're a labor union! We're not initiating violence; we're just beating up dirty scabs and class traitors who won't do what we tell them, that's all! It's freedom of assembly, you petty-bourgeois capitalist fascist!" Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:52, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
" I find it somewhat of a big deal that countries are enacting, and now enforcing, these laws while concurrently attempting to maintain the pretense that they have freedom of expression." We all agree freedom of expression does not include the right to yell fire! in a crowded theater, right? We all agree, in other words, that freedom of expression has ended where the danger some utterance poses to innocent bystanders' lives and limbs, or to innocent bystanders' property, is completely out of any semblance of proportion with that utterance's value as a contribution to public discourse, or to the arts. We just draw the line at different points.
I have lived in several European countries in which mobs have been incited to beat minorities to death or burn down their houses in recent years. There is a certain patterns these crimes follow fairly consistently. In particular, they usually involve a very specific type of economically disenfranchised morons and a very specific type of dehumanizing followers of the pertinent religion. Penalizing people for embarking on this very specific kind of dehumanization in front of this very specific kind of angry mob is not abridging someone's freedom of expression, it's taking out arsonists.
"Hey, we're a labor union! We're not initiating violence; we're just beating up dirty scabs" Well, if they're beating up scabs they are initiating violence, as near as I can tell. The early SA didn't do that very much, they just used their freedom of assembly to congregate in front of Jewish shops, and their freedom of expression to bully shoppers into staying away from them. Mountain Blue (talk) 08:06, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
We all agree freedom of expression does not include the right to yell fire! in a crowded theater, right? We were not talking about incitement-to-riot laws (which, in the U.S., are now bound by a higher standard than Justice Holmes's when it comes to the free speech question), but about blasphemy laws, under which people can be arrested even if they were not trying to incite a riot, did not incite a riot, and were nowhere near a riot.
The early SA didn't do that very much... The whole raison d'etre of the "early SA" was brawling with communists and democrats. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:46, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
It's basically that freedom of speech and expression is a) not the same as freedom of action, after all, we don't protect people's right to do as they please if it involves shooting people and b) doesn't absolve you from responsibility for what you express. When people try to use "freedom of speech" as an excuse to voice bigoted opinions they often clamour to the latter as their excuse. ADK...I'll liberate your pizza! 00:06, 25 April 2011 (UTC)


Again, we are talking about blasphemy laws, not incitement-to-riot laws. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:58, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

You're trying to shoehorn European discourse into Anglo-Saxon taxonomy. It's true we're not talking about "incitement-to-riot laws" in the traditional American sense of that term, but we're also not talking about traditional "blasphemy" laws. We're talking about highly specialized anti-slander laws, or perhaps anti-defamation laws if you will.
My native Austria (I left five years ago) for example has the proposed kind of law on the books. It's still legal for me to call Mohammed a fraud, draw a picture of Allah with the head of a pig, or use the Koran for toilet paper. It's still legal for me to state that Mohammed was a pedophile and so are all his followers. However, the country did recently convict some Reich wing cunt for declaiming that Mohammed was a pedophile and so were all his followers in front of an angry mob debating if they should start destroying mosques "in national self-defense" after their attempts to have mosques outlawed had come to nothing. The area this was happening in had already seen attempts to torch mosques and everybody knew the place was close to having it happen again.
Traditional incitement-to-riot laws would not have applied here because she was not overtly asking or advising anyone specific to do anything in particular. She was merely providing verbal alcohol serving to further disinhibit an already disinhibited mob and to help them rationalize violence. The cunt, by the way, was not thrown in jail or anything; she was sentenced to pay a trivial symbolic fine. These "blasphemy" laws are not meant to actually punish anyone, they're meant to draw a line in the sand. Mountain Blue (talk) 06:43, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Drunken ramblings[edit]

So I got pretty whammed last night and spent some time picking up a pint glass, dropping it and thinking about general relativity (I blame reading Marcus Chown's Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You on the train...). Two things came from this that I'm sure I'll regret.

1) Consider that the "big bang" happened everywhere. It wasn't so much an explosion into anything, but a massive expansion of space and time everwhere. I.e., it has no center at all. So is there any physical or philosophical advantage of thinking about it in terms of the universe staying the same size but matter and energy shrinking inside it? The effect is essentially the same, but we just reverse it by shrinking matter, scale and energy to mimic the expansion, while the actual space remains the same. This kind of gets around the conceptual problem of thinking that space expands.

2) And this is where the dropping the pint glass comes in. Gravity isn't exactly the same as a force, but seems to be an acceleration intrinsic to objects in space-time. Now, we know there's intrinsic momentum in quantum mechanics. It's spin, intrinsic angular momentum held within particles. So, is it possible that particles have intrinsic linear momentum too? And because this is linear, they all move in the same manner and with each other and we actually see this manifest at the macroscopic scale as gravity.

I think I need another coffee. ADK...I'll meditate your gymnasium! 11:11, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

You must be a boring drunk. I was shitfaced last night and spent the entire night talking about which girls in the club I'd fuck. (I'm an uncouth man.) SJ Debaser 11:28, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Hey, there is nothing boring about sitting in a pub and trying to explain quantum mechanics using nothing more than beer mats and a pool table! ADK...I'll yank your tomfoolery! 11:41, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
You lost me when you got on the train.  Lily Inspirate me. 12:55, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I thought I could tonicize a subtonic triad last night. It got me thinking: could you create the feeling of an authentic cadence between a fully diminished chord with a major third above it and a diminished triad, both based on the same root? The answer is no. Hour wasted. Blue (is useful) 23:25, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm a physics minor, and mechanics is what I'm (sorta) good at. Sorry, can't help you much. ТyTalk. 23:32, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
ADK, d'think you're gonna impress a girl with that line of crap? she's gonna think you're too full of yourself and probably looking down one her. Get a real job, like a banker, sales, or whopper flopper. Girls like money. They'll be more impressed. nobsdon't bother me 00:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
And what is it you do for a living Rob? ТyTalk. 00:17, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I am a self-employed President, CEO, Chairman of the Board, CFO, COO, HR Director, Entrepenuer, Humanitarian and Benefactor. I also run the research, marketing, and promotion debt. nobsdon't bother me 02:49, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
So: Rob's existence is defined by his desire to attract the opposite sex? --Scream!! (talk) 00:34, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Uhm, isn't ADK one of the ladies? (and, as I assume by statistical probability, straight)? --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 00:52, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Rob, if you have to pay a girl for a date, I don't think it qualifies as a relationship. --Kels (talk) 02:08, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

(EC)For the record, and feel free to add this to RWW if you feel the need as it's very rare I ever reveal anything that's actually true about me; I am very happily married, have a PhD and on course to earn what we refer to as "a metric fuckton of money" in the coming years. By the standards presented above, I'm a chick magnet. ADK...I'll recollect your aviator! 02:13, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
"I'm a chick magnet" According to what you just posted, you only need one... --Kels (talk) 02:22, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
<accent style="family;borat">If I give you good price, will you please put chick magnet in the Armondikov?</accent> --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:41, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, FYP by emphasising the important bit. I assume you do this, then. But hey, if you're threatened by someone using big words, just say so. I'll stop bruising your ego by talking about aspects of science that you will never understand in front of you. I wouldn't stand in front of someone in a wheelchair and shout "Ha ha!! My legs work!! My legs work!!" so I really shouldn't mock the intellectually disabled either, I'm sorry. ADK...I'll vomit your nostalgia! 08:57, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Sagan again[edit]

What a pleasant chap!

Just to check back in, here's what I did with that reference I asked for a few days ago (big ups to Scream!! for the sauce). Hope y'all like it, and feel free to add it to the appropriate article. --Kels (talk) 02:06, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

magic! Beer.gif --Scream!! (talk) 02:21, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Nice one. ADK...I'll vocalise your muffinface! 08:37, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Nice work indeed! ħumanUser talk:Human 13:46, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Cracked on "Body cleansing"[edit]

I'm sure we have articles on some of these things. Nonetheless, a fairly satirical look at all those ways to purge "toxins" that are inhabiting your body. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 01:50, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Teach the controversy.[edit]

One kid gets it, at least.
I lolled. P-Foster (talk) 00:05, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Best answer on a test since "Find x. Here it is." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:16, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
10/10 --DamoHi 01:19, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Not as good as this one. Garçon (talk) 09:24, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Am I the only person who suspected that drawing might be a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal? MDB (talk) 10:37, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Most moronic argument?[edit]

Rant time: So I recently got into an argument with some wingnut over trickle-down economics at a debate site I frequent on occasions. I posted some statistical analyses showing no significant correlation between top tax rates and GDP and employment rates. Then the wingnut started looking at the graphs, picking out little bits and pieces where the lines kinda-sorta looked like they have some correlation (which, half the time, they didn't even then because he was just eyeballing the chart instead of looking at the raw numbers.) From there, the debate went something like this:
-I basically said in nicer terms (the forum is heavily moderated, so all the curses are in my head), "No you dumbfuck, you can't just eyeball a graph and read a correlation into it."
-Him: "Ah, you claim there's no correlation, but it looks to me like there is."
-Me: "No, open a fucking statistics book, moron. The graphs are worthless where there's no correlation. And I'm not claiming there's no correlation, it's how the goddamn math works out. The null hypothesis, i.e., that there is no correlation, is not rejected."
-Him: "Contrary to what you claim, the null hypothesis is whatever common sense and logic support, and common sense says you get less of something if you tax it."
-Me: "Wow, you're a fucking idiot. (Links to definition of null/alternative hypotheses at wikipedia). LRN2STATISTICS!
-Him: "Your link claims there is a choice of null hypothesis, therefore, the null is what I say it is." (The wiki article is actually referring to the choice between a one-tailed and two-tailed analysis.)
At that point I called him a clueless moron or something and got the thread deleted. I've seen idiocy before but I don't think I've ever argued against someone rewriting the basic rules of statistics as they go along. Godfuckingdamn. I dare you to find a more dumbfuck argument than that that isn't TimeCube or something. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:15, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

All right, I forgot about the existence of the YouTube comments section, but still... Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:38, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I remember in my statistics class people just completely unable to understand basic concepts. We had a project where we had to examine hiring practices in a company, and it turned out to be within a standard deviation, yet most of the class claimed the hiring was sexist, since it wasn't a dead 50/50 split. That was the class I'd literally show up not knowing what was going on, and spend the time showing those around me what was going on. Like, I'd show up to tests having not looked at the material, and learn it on the fly while taking the test and get an A. Open book tests for the win. And I don't know that that's even on the list of worst I've been in. People who back stupid principles often are like that. Just look at the arguments about Evolution. All. fucking. retarded. If I hear one more person make claims about missing links, or no fossil proof, I'm punching them in the throat. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 22:03, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Proving atheist wrong with science[edit]

Submitted with no further comment. Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:52, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Wow. So much stupid. Are we sure this isn't parody? DickTurpis (talk) 05:54, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Not at all. Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:56, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
wow. I'm impressed at the stupidity of the writer. And I feel bad. To think, he's never peed in his entire life.--brxbrx-brxbrx 06:01, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
The water cycle is an atheist conspiracy. Tmtoulouse (talk) 06:02, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
where did you find this?--brxbrx-brxbrx 06:10, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Better stock up on Poland Spring -- peak water is coming! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:16, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
In other news, 95% of all creationists are unable to locate their own penises. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 07:18, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Are you sure it isn't parody because it fails on so many levels. Not only the water cycle but there hasn't been 6 billlion people on Earth for every day since it was formed. Also he neglects that rain is continually replenishing the seas so that they will never run out. ;)  Lily Inspirate me. 07:21, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but compare it to the shit we know is real, like the Flying Kitteh and Bananaman... ADK...I'll bomb your verb! 07:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Though we could assume that someone with the mental faculties to use Wolfram Alpha wouldn't be dumb enough to make this. ADK...I'll discombobulate your vortex! 08:13, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Reminds me of ASchlafly on TalkOrigins arguing about that butte... ħumanUser talk:Human 08:43, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Somebody give that guy a link to Conservapedia and we will have a lot of fun. --UHM, Your favorite pain in the ass! 08:54, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm in pain just reading this; admittedly I'm no student of biology, but does the author really think that water never leaves the human body? My guess would be parody, since as stated it's such a failure on every level. άλφαTalk 09:07, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Must be parody. No-one who is literate enough to provide footnotes is this stupid. People who compare this to bananaman are wrong - this isn't in the same ballpark (hell its not even the same sport). DamoHi 09:50, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
No-one who is literate enough to provide footnotes is this stupid. I don't know, good point but I've seen some pretty stupid people use footnotes. I suppose the correct use of footnotes gives it away... ADK...I'll jerk your operating theater! 12:18, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd just like to say that I've met a whole lot of educated idiots. Educated enough to use footnotes, but too stupid to understand basic concepts. Like pissing. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 16:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

News sources[edit]

Any favorite news sources? I posted mine on my user page but any other online sources you use? Does the SB count as a news source since I read it in the morning while I'm checking the news? άλφαTalk 09:09, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I get all my news from WIGO:World these days. :D ADK...I'll reward your Doppelgänger! 12:11, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Glad I'm not the only one. ТyTalk. 12:13, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
My Facebook links and WIGO sync up quite nicely, in fact. ADK...I'll bless your mad axe-murderer! 12:17, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Worried of Worksop[edit]

I note that Maratrean and JimJast are talking to each other. I have concerns that this might lead to a black hole forming from the sheer mass of verbiage, sucking the whole wiki in and subsequently inflating into a whole new wiki with its own laws --Scream!! (talk) 15:32, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Eh, I wouldn't worry unless Lumenos and Newton show up and they have a 4 way. ТyTalk. 16:00, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of which, why not encourage them to make their own wiki (a la Lumenos), rather than use this as their personal hosting space? ThunderkatzHo! 17:58, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I suggest we make a namespace just for cranks and give them and only them permission to post in it, and not here. Nutty Roux (talk) 18:13, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Fundraiser report[edit]

For those interested I have put up a brief summary of our fundraiser, RationalWiki:RationalWiki Foundation/2011 Q2 fundraiser. A huge thanks to everyone that donated. It was a huge success! Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:44, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Well thanks to everyone, especially whoever stumped up the grand. (That would nobs, right?)  Lily Inspirate me. 20:12, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Maybe it was the estate of TK. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:08, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I can imagine the lawyers just doing massive "WTF?" at that. Leave money to a website? ADK...I'll regurgitate your mandate! 23:26, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
No one donated in pi increments? What the fuck? I thought that was how we rolled. DickTurpis (talk) 23:35, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
My recollection is that there was one of those pull-down menu thingumies that only had boring ordinary amounts like $5, $10 and so on. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:09, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
On behalf of the RationalWiki Board of Trustees, I'd like to thank all of you who contributed to this most recent fundraiser. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 02:37, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

The Lenski experiment gets some attention...[edit]

Blog post on some of the longest-running scientific experiments. P-Foster (talk) 03:14, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


That, for at least a short time, we close down Essay namespace. Our famed tolerance is allowing nutters (e.g. MARATREAN and JIM JAST) to use RW as a platform for out and out crap. Either we make the criteria for essay space tighter or we close it altogether. Enough is enough: time to call a halt! --Scream!! (talk) 08:38, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

(think I might have got up in a bad temper this morning)Failing that, how about we shove 'em into user space? --Scream!! (talk) 09:00, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't know anything about the controversy that prompted this section but I think essays should be in user space as a matter of principle. They're not just not encyclopedic, they're also personal, by definition, in a way and to an extent that eg. Fun: articles are not. Mountain Blue (talk) 09:40, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Maratrean and JimJast should go to lumeniki. They'd fit in nicely. -- Nx / talk 11:07, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Lol, Nx made a joke! I like... ħumanUser talk:Human 13:59, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
JimJast is much worse than Maratrean. At least Maratrean is likeable. Blue (pester) 18:07, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
The point of the essay space is that it collects things together so that they're searchable and can be collected. Things in subpages aren't quite the same and could become scattered and difficult to track down. RW's mainspace is best described as "collective essays" rather than "articles" so the essay space is a continuation of this principle, but with (generally) only one author. ADK...I'll defenestrate your paper! 00:13, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Couldn't we just have a nice category for them that users can add to the essays in their user pages if they want them to be found/read? -- Iscariot Andy Schlafly for Congress 2012! 17:47, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I had this conversation with Eira. There is great fear about opening the imaginary floodgates (by not deleting this stuff, I guess). She is terrified that we will be buried in a layer of nonsense and no one will be able to find anything. Of course, this is complete bullshit. Not allowing cranks to crank is basically censorship. Allowing cranks to crank is the best way to refute them. Having them do it here just makes it easier. We have plenty of dedicated users who 'cat' shit like this all day. Letting them spew can only help us. Not letting them spew actually hurts us. As always, as a logical, rational member of the community, you are free to ignore whatever you want. If you don't want to deal with the bullshit, believe me, someone else will come along and do it for you. If the cabal wasn't so obsessive about micromanaging every nutjob, we could get a lot more refutation/analysis done. Occasionaluse (talk) 17:54, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
What needs catting? ТyTalk. 21:52, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Glad I don't live in the US[edit]

A mayor threatened Atheists and accused them of being the reason we do not live in a “heaven on earth.” What sort of country do you people have? --Scream!! (talk) 02:31, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

That's just Jesusland. Fortunately, I live in the United States of Canada/Logic and Reason. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:39, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
@Scream What about your crazy princes? And the BNP received half a million votes in the last election, if you don't recall. Blue (pester) 02:48, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Our [sic] princes are well known to be totally ignorable. The BNP are a sad aberration. but: point made & taken. --Scream!! (talk) 02:51, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I think his opinion technically constitutes heresy; most Christians hold the belief that even the saved remain sinful. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:56, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of the UK, I have two words: homeopathic hospitals. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:56, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Too Effin' true! couldn't agree more. Hopefully they are gonna be defunded soon. --Scream!! (talk) 02:59, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
old news. --Scream!! (talk) 03:03, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Concerning the U.S. versus the U.K., one can also say that our fundamentalist lunatics very rarely riot. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:00, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Check this (long) page, I think you'll count more US than UK riots. --Scream!! (talk) 03:18, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
If you will examine the American riots on that page, I think you will find that the vast majority of them were not made by fundamentalists. All the ones I saw were made by left-wing radicals, neo-Nazis, or drunks. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
So anyone who does not share your libertarian views is a "fundamentalist lunatic". Good to know. DamoHi 03:05, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
They do sometimes like to bomb abortion clinics, though. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:06, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Nebuchadnezzar: True.
Damo: Huh? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:09, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I figured you were referring those who rioted against the austerity measures. What were you referring to? DamoHi 03:12, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking more of the Islamists who made that unpleasant demonstration after the Jyllands-Posten cartoons were published, causing some people to lump all Muslims together with them and others not to squawk too loudly against the Islamists lest they be lumped in with the BNP. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, Ok sorry. Had the austerity protests on the mind at the moment. My bad DamoHi 03:30, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Heh, I just read the section above this one and realized the Carl Sagan picture wasn't meant to be a joke sarcastically calling the mayor a "pleasant chap." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:14, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Section where Rob does what he does best[edit]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── U.S. Code Title 18 § 2385 says,

  • “ Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein...... Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty year...

Should we contact the FBI for advice? you may not have to be a US citizen to be prosecuted. nobsdon't bother me 03:18, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Seriously Rob, should we call someone? You clearly took too much of something. --Kels (talk) 03:23, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
What?DamoHi 03:23, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
send for the medics! --Scream!! (talk) 03:24, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
The article didn't say if the mayor was standing for reelection -- he could have been just pandering for votes, you know. That's how a democracy works. nobsdon't bother me 03:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I will probably regret asking this, but can you point to something someone said that could possibly breach that statute? --DamoHi 03:28, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
So Rob -- where in this conversation do you see a violation of U.S. Code Title 18 § 2385? --P-Foster (talk) 04:16, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I would guess that he is trying for a reductio ad absurdum, that since we consider a military removal of President Obama to be an "overthrow of the government," by extension we must consider any removal of an elected executive, even through the democratic process, as "overthrowing the government." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:04, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Sure, but the point is so ridiculous that I don't think even he could be making it in good faith. DamoHi 04:11, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Section about Rob's business empire[edit]

Alright, this is going to sound like a lame insult, but it is a genuine question: Rob, do you have any friends? I only ask because hanging out with you seems like it would be a enormously tiresome chore. DickTurpis (talk) 03:32, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Fuck. I got hundreds. Thousands. I'm actually fairly well known in my adopted town, and can't go anywhere in a city of nearly half million without somebody saying hello to me by name, people of all ages, races and sexual preferances I swear I've never scene before. Truth is, I am somewhat of a local legend and celebrity based upon several successful entrepenuerial endeavors. I'm asked for advice on everything, by everybody. Managing time is my biggest challenge, and only have an internet presence to get away from the constant pressures on me. I guess, I have that midas touch.... everything I touch turns to gold. I only spend a dollar if its gonna bring me back 5,6,7 or 12 dollars. It costs me money just to get up and walk out the door cause soooo many people are anxious for my ear to cut deals me. nobsdon't bother me 03:47, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
And then you woke up. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:50, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Hey King Tut, we really need to have a beer together sometime. Kelly's Brew Pub? nobsdon't bother me 03:54, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Don't believe a word of it. Unless you are somehow 5000x more coherent in person than you are online (which would mean you're a troll) there is no way any of that is slightly true. This is much more how I imagine conversation with your "friends" must go.
Friend: See the Dodgers game last night?
Rob: Support from draft dodgers was the major factor in Carter's victory in 1976.
Friend: What? You're not making any sense.
Rob: Obamunism will devalue the dollar so it is worth mere cents by today's value.
Friend: Are you on drugs?
Rob: The Obama White House has set records for drug use by federal officials.
Friend: That's it. I'm never speaking to this lunatic again.
You know, Rob, I always thought you just had a small mental issue that prevented you from following logical discourse, resulting in your infamous non-sequiturs. I never took you for all-out John Nash-style delusion until now. I'd say you should seek help, but that would probably simply result in you talking to a fire hydrant believing it to be a psychiatrist. DickTurpis (talk) 04:12, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
It's posts like these that makes me wish mediawiki had a like button. --PsyGremlinParla! 09:59, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I'll settle for Goodpost.gif.--PsyGremlinParlez! 09:59, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Nah, I have hundreds of clients. And entrepenuership in my blood. I made my first sales call at age 4, cash handling & dealing with the public at age 10. I got 50 years + business experience. (My father was the executive director of the Junior Achievement organization for the state of Wisconsin when I was a kid). I know what it takes to make a business succeed. I've seen enough of them fail (and have even been part of some, sadly). My current endeavor is now six years strong, ands survived the greatest crash since the 1930s. The facts are, the U.S. Governmentis broke, I'm not. I have a greater positive net worth than General Motors. I hired more people than General Motors, Catapiller Tractor, and Microsoft at the pit of the 2008 Crash than all three combined (they laid off some 100,000 people). These are facts. This is reality. People know its true. I do not have any excuse or reason to fail, and I sure as fuck ain't going back to work for anybody else.
80% of all new jobs are created by small business. And 80% of all small businesses fail in thier forst two years. The goddamn politcians won't tell you that, cause they only look at the short term -- getting reelected. So what does it matter if politicians and government help business create jobs, when 80& of those employers or those jobs won't be around after the next election cycle? I got answers. I got solutions. And even my liberal friends and clients agree with me -- fuck the politicians. I'm a man of action. I got ideas. I get things done. I provide services to the community. And I deserve a just reward for my efforts. And I'm very entertaining to work for, and work with. nobsdon't bother me 04:36, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Would you be willing to tell us the name of your business? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:40, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Which one? I currently have six. The umbrella entity is Homey Enterprises. Orginially I was just a retail distibutor, but now have gotten into services and some manufacturing. Oh, and I started with $20 bucks I borrowed in 2005. I've been grossing $100,000+ for several years, but with the recession I've been hurt. Sales are a fraction of what they once where. To get the volume back to where it once was, I'd need to gross about $175,000. The biggest problem is jobs for my consumers, so that leads to my latest enterprise: robsjobs, an employment search service, matching people to jobs. It's behind schedule right now, but New Mexico leads the nation in job growth right now, (a lost opportunity for me, but we're working on the problems). I can do more for job seekers than the State of New Mexico does, or several employment services. I can personalize the service of matching people to jobs cause I intimatley know the clients. nobsdon't bother me 05:01, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
...And yet you can barely string two coherent sentences together. Doesn't add up. Sort of reminds me of when Ken tried to convince people his writing skills were in high demand, and he was getting paid as a professional writer. I don't know; perhaps you aren't quite as batshit crazy in real life as you are online. The link you posted below shows you are quite aware that you play dumb and use twisted logic when confronted on issues, so I guess it is possible you're a bit smarter than you seem (of course "smarter than you seem" is like "hiring more than -100,000 people": the bar isn't low, it's buried 80' underground). DickTurpis (talk) 04:49, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Somehwere in there back in 2007 I told Ames I don't go on trashing liberal binges as others do; now I got a record to stand on. nobsdon't bother me 05:01, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  • "hiring more than -100,000 people"
I didn't say that. GM, Catepillar Tractor, and Microsoft laid off 100,000 people, while at the same time I hired 7 (and they were damn grateful). I hired more people than GM Catepillar Tractor, and Microsoft combined at the pit of the 2008 Recession -- the worst recession since the Great Depression. These are just facts. And I'm nobody, and I sure as fuck didn't take the bread out of others people mouths like GM did, while others were starving, to save my own ass. I conributed something to the community. nobsdon't bother me 05:18, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Isn't laying off people negative job growth? That was your argument, right? Still a very lousy comparison. "Microsoft fired a guy today, and I paid someone to pick up dog poop in my yard! Guess which one of us is propping up the economy!" Oh, and "I sure as fuck didn't take the bread out of others people mouths like GM did"? Starting to sound a little pro-labor there. Is the mask slipping? Are you a deep-cover commie? The plot thickens. DickTurpis (talk) 12:28, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Heh, "robs jobs" - probably one of the worst names for an employment service that you could come up with.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:46, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Rob, either you really need to consult your colleague Ken about improving your Google presence through manipulation of the search algorithms, or you're flat-out lying about those wildly-successful companies you supposedly founded, which have zero web presence according to Google. The only Homey Enterprises I can find on the web is an importing service based in India, and robsjobs is a successful handyman outfit in Maryland, whose founding story sounds suspiciously like your description above. Junggai (talk) 11:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Narrow your search and you will find him on linkedin.  Lily Inspirate me. 12:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Interesting, the guy at linkedin is "Rob K.". Given what a common name "Rob" is, it's probably not him. --Kels (talk) 17:16, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, that's not what I see.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:25, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I'd looked up "Rob's Jobs". --Kels (talk) 23:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
rob, does andy know you have your daughter do manly things like changing the oil in cars? Why are you trying to subvert traditional american gender roles, man?--30px 11:37, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Just to clarify for the non-self-employed types here, "grossing $100k" can mean "earning" $10k. Especially since it sounds like NobsJobs is involved in MLM-type work. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:49, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

It does seem odd, doesn't it. How does a business turning over 100K hire 7 people? Are they all sales people on 100% commission or something equally dodgy? Sounds like Nob's Independent Traders. Stick a pony in his pocket, he'll get the suitcase from the van. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 10:12, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Unlike RatWikians, us Conservapedians have a life. Most RatWikians have no life. DMorris2 (talk) 21:55, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
OMG! We've been pwned!  Lily Inspirate me. 22:00, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
P.S. Grammar fail! Go back to Andy's basement.  Lily Inspirate me. 22:03, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
(E/C)Yes, we own you. You can't function without constantly insulting us. Y'all have an obsession, and y'all have been owned by CP. It is true. DMorris2 (talk) 22:05, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
The work of somebody with a "life."
(EC) <1% of my edits are CP related. What's your point? ТyTalk. 22:08, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
You wouldn't even be on this site if it weren't for CP, because it wouldn't exist. By the way, Flying Kitties was a parody of evolution, fucktards. DMorris2 (talk) 22:10, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Correction. Flying kitties is a fucking retarded parody of evolution. Fucktard. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 22:14, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Flying Kitties is everything wrong about CP in a nutshell, and points to how Christianity, something that could be a beautiful set of ideas that creates love and generosity in people, can also be manipulated to appeal to the base and the stupid as they try to justify their own ignorance. P-Foster (talk) 22:18, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

One of the most basic things they teach in science classes is that science is ever-changing. Considering that, how can you say that evolution is an absolute and creationism is wrong? What evidence do you have that atheism is correct? What evidence do you have that carbon dating is accurate? Is carbon dating a legal for trade measuring device? DMorris2 (talk) 22:30, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
It's arguments like that that made me lose my faith, you know. P-Foster (talk) 22:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
It's people like you that are ruining this world, you know. DMorris2 (talk) 22:35, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

More stupid shit from Rob[edit]

Moved to: Debate:Rob, Ames, and the development of Wikipedia:Biographies of Living Persons

Will RW endorse a candidate for 2012?[edit]

I know Mike Huckabee was the recipient of RW's ironic endorsement in the 2008 elections.

Will we endorse for 2012? MDB (talk) 15:35, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Still too far away for me to tell. ТyTalk. 15:37, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
has to be Trump. Palin for VP again. --PsyGremlinSermā! 15:38, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
If there is a Bachmann/Palin ticket, it has my full endorsement. Aboriginal Noise with 4 M's and a silent Q 15:52, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
But the rent is still too damn high! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:57, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Clinton for President! Doctor Dark (talk) 17:14, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Chocolate City! Get up for the downstroke. Everybody on the ONE. P-Foster (talk) 17:18, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I saw Al Sharpton on TV yesterday, and was very disappointed to see he now has a reasonable hairstyle. That cost him my long-standing support on the grounds of "best Presidential hair since Reagan." MDB (talk) 18:31, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
We've been scooped. P-Foster (talk) 18:38, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
The only logical choice is a Schlafly ticket. Phyllis and Andy, Andy and Roger, or maybe even Andy and RobS. Rob's more of a cabinet member, though. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 18:58, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
I want to see Karajou head the DoJ. Mountain Blue (talk) 20:10, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Huckabee/Palin for the win! God I'd love to see that fucking But-I'm-So-Damn-Charming Huckabee suffer an unholy debate embarrassment. His sort of beguiling Simpleton Charm is Bush 2.0 all over again - "Don't listen to anyone who knows anything - I sound more convincing". DogP (talk) 17:41, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


I am fucking sick of pro-lifers who aren't in possession of a uterus (i.e., male ones). Really, they're not at risk of pregnancy. They won't experience it. Hell, more than half the time they're the ones that can dick off after the birth, leaving the mother fending practically for herself in exchange for a bare minimum money requirement. Now, I don't consider myself a feminist by a long shot. And I think men being excluded from decision making in any sense is terrible. But this is one thing where I will make an exception. The decision is the mother's and hers along and is ultimate and FINAL. If you're not at risk of getting pregnant you should SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP.

Anyway, lovely day outside. :) ADK...I'll give your rollerblade! 12:16, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

So you say: "Now, I don't consider myself a feminist by a long shot" and I say 'Why not?'. Surely feminists are interested in the promotion of womens rights in all fields. You don't have to be a woman to be a feminist. I agree with all the rest of your post.RagTopGone sailing 13:12, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I didn't really want to get into it, but I consider the term completely ridiculous as it stands. The word has come to encapsulate all things from merely sexual equality to all sex is rape and men are bastards who should be hanged (No True Scotsman be dammed on that one). As a result it's become a bit useless as a descriptor and until it comes to represent either the Maggie Mayhem types or the Andrea Dworkin types or something even more specific, it doesn't have much practical use. Therefore I choose not to use it (as an identity) and just state outright what my beliefs and opinions are, it saves a lot more time in the long term. I only stuck that sentence in because otherwise it would have sounded like a feminist rant and as I said, I don't really identify as such. Besides, why choose a word that emphasises female when people like it to mean equal? ADK...I'll forsake your pill! 13:25, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
That's basically how I feel as well. "Feminism", "socialism", these words are so vague and can mean so many different things that they basically mean nothing at all. DickTurpis (talk) 14:43, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I long ago noticed that the most vocal pro-lifers on campus are all men, there are women, but not as many. Also, the baby's severed head on a pike sign is disgusting. ТyTalk. 12:18, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Here's another one. If you're a man and want to stop abortions there is one, and only one, legitimate course of action: don't stick your dick into anything. ADK...I'll abandon your oxygen! 12:20, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Amen.  Lily Inspirate me. 12:35, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
You're assuming pro-lifers get laid. DickTurpis (talk) 12:43, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Unless Mrs. Assfly has performed an action that is only believed to have occurred once, can't we assume teh Assfly has gotten laid at least twice? MDB (talk) 12:49, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
ima dude, and it seems pro-lifers forget that
  1. women who have abortions don't take the decision lightly
  2. you can't decide what goes on in someone else's body
of course, I always have to wonder whether or not a fetus is actually alive, which is why I'm glad that I'm a dude and the decision is not mine.--brxbrx-brxbrx 13:58, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
You sure as shit can decide what goes on in someone else's body if you're a fundie who believes women who seek abortions are under a satanic deception or by their nature as a being created from man meant to do nothing more than compliment man aren't entitled to the same freedoms as men. If believe what you believe makes me a feminist then that's what I am. Nutty Roux (talk) 14:27, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I wholly agree about male pro-lifers. However, I strongly disagree about the term feminist. The term is problematic, for a few reasons. One of which is that it's sort of an 'active position' word. With racial discrimination, the bad person takes the ism/ist. They're racist. With sexual oreientation, the bad person is the homophobe, the 'standard' position is the position of equality. Whereas, with sex discrimination, 'sexist' isn't the word that gets used as much as it should, feminism is. Feminism, judged as 'including all sex is rape' has kind of become a view held by many people. But to judge 'feminism' by these standards of radical feminism is the same as judging Christianity by Fred Phelps, or viewing the Civil Rights Movement by the Black Panthers. I think it's important for those of us who are rational and sensible not to make sweeping statements like, "I'm not feminist!" but to say, "Yeah, I guess I am a feminist, in the sense that..." and explain it. DalekEXTERMINATE 15:21, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
As a pro-choice male, I agree that it's batshit insane to have male pro-lifers. That said, being in a stable relationship, if my wife got pregnant, I believe I should have some sort of say about an abortion. But I've also always been careful of what I put my dick in. Just seems like a good way to deal with that whole "thing". And what really baffles me about being pro-choice is the weird comments from pro-lifers, about being a hypocrite for having a kid, or something. Like pro-choice literally means "pro-baby-killing" and I'm somehow violating my principles. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 16:40, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
In which case you decide together. That is just plain sensible. But it's the woman that gets the casting vote. End of story. ADK...I'll ablate your mug! 16:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
No argument there. I'm just saying it's the only time a man even gets a say. And at least a reasonable one. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 17:39, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, I wouldn't have it any other way. ADK...I'll waste your street sign! 17:57, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Every bloody sperm is sacred.  Lily Inspirate me. 18:04, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
That's why every time a woman gets pregnant, god hates you for wasting all of those other millions of sperm. Selfish jerks. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 21:57, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'm pro-choice, but I think it's wrong to characterize the pro-life position as prima facie hateful or bigoted (what actually is is wingnut bullshit like abortion-breast cancer scares and this new abortion is black genocide thing). The thing is, they really do see an embryo/fetus as equivalent to a person -- it's not just about sexism (well, not for all of them). There are actually pro-life feminists. Of course, I'd argue that it's like considering eating a bag of sunflower seeds equivalent to burning down a field of the flowers. And it would still be an imposition of religion to enact pro-life policies. The intent, however, for many on the pro-life side to me seems to be in better faith than, say, the anti-gay stuff, as murder is a violation of civil law as well and the case doesn't rest entirely on bogus conspiracy theories. ("'T'ain't natural! Gay recruitment! Homosexual agenda!") Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:01, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Fair point, but it's more the case that the decision to be against something is being taken by people who will never be in that position. So pro-lifers tend to be male or financially comfortable or with plenty of family support. In the same way, people against assisted suicide aren't the ones suffering terminal illness, politicians arguing about the age of consent are decades older than that threshold, and people in Arizona who are happy with a law that racially profiles immigrants are all white. It's utterly galling that people who are not, and never will be, in these situations get to have an opinion that's considered valid. I'm sure there are great pieces of reasoning against abortion, but ultimately anti-abortionists (and the other examples listed just there) are wanting to force people to go through a situation having never come even remotely close to it - their judgment and opinion is certainly going to be swayed by that. ADK...I'll complement your curry! 23:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
My niece (who was like, 14 when she got pregnant) had a kid, being too young, and therefor stupid, she was on anti-psychotics until she was into her 6th or 7th month. As expected from such a position, her baby had fetal hydroencephalitis. Like, he's 2.5 years now, and unable to even crawl. My 9 month old is far more developed physically and mentally. The doctors told her she should consider an abortion. Her mom said "no, that's immoral, you're not allowed" so now she's 17, and is shackled with a completely retarded baby for the rest of her life. Well, probably the rest of the child's life, as he's not expected to live much longer. Actually, they're surprised he's lived this long. But it's okay, as they both rely on state assistance. Well, until it's cut by our new republican overlords. I'm not really sure why I'm sharing all that, other than trying to show that abortion is sometimes perfectly acceptable. And at the end of the day, my only argument against pro-life is that it's never a cover-all, black and white argument. There will always be reasons to get an abortion, and those have to be made available. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 00:31, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
And for everything else there's bleach and coathangers... ADK...I'll break your bowling ball! 11:04, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Coping with the PSN Outage[edit]

So, it's been a week. Sony is saying the PSN will be out indefinitely while it rebuilds the network. Without online gaming, are your PS3s becoming paperweights? I'm thinking of playing Xenogears after I beat the story mode in Arkham Asylum.--Thanatos (talk) 23:23, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

What's a PSN? (or a PS3?) --Scream!! (talk) 23:26, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
PlayStation Network and PlayStation 3.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:16, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
You should play World of Warcraft. And start shooting heroine. (talk) 23:33, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Real men play pen and paper RPGs. ТyTalk. 23:34, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
This is old, but... Real Men, Real Role-players, Loonies and Munchkins. MDB (talk) 10:36, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Real men can grow better mustaches, child. (talk) 23:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Real men have epic sideburns. (Been reading alot of Go Nagai's old works. Devilman had given me nightmares)--Thanatos (talk) 23:59, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
My PS3 has been playing Netflix pretty much constantly while it's been down. There are a few games calling to me, but with no PSN access, they're just gathering dust. (I just got a trophy in Rock Band 2 yesterday, but didn't get it, PSN being down.. argh!) Since moving closer to some of my nerdy friends, I'm going to start playing AD&D second edition soon, but haven't gotten around to writing a story. (or getting someone else to, which I'd prefer anymore) That being said, I need to finish FFXIII. I get my RPG fix wherever I can. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 00:05, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
When I read "PS2," I think of the only sort of PS2 I ever owned. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:29, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Seems they were hacked, and everyone's details (possibly including credit card numbers) have been stolen. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:33, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Sony is gonna get sued for this, big time. Taking a full week to disclose credit card numbers may have been stolen is bad. I've been trying to remember whether I ever used my credit card on my PS3.
The outage itself has not affected me, much. I mainly use my PS3 as a Blu-Ray player and for NetFlix. I can still use NetFlix, after it tries several times to log me into PSN. (And when my new internet-enabled TV shows up this afternoon, I won't even need the PS3 for NetFlix.) MDB (talk) 10:30, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
One article I've seen says this could cost Sony 24 billion USD. Even for Sony, that's big. MDB (talk) 10:47, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking more of this, USB be dammed! <facetious point>I think people in Ethiopia should host a Playstation Aid rock concert to help all those affected by this disaster.</facetious point> ADK...I'll cure your catamite! 11:06, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I just buy those cards for $20 at Walmart to make purchases.--Thanatos (talk) 19:37, 27 April 2011 (UTC)


wtf? i just got this mail

Hi, I noticed you have been editing RationalWiki. I thought you might also be interested in Wixpert, an encyclopedia wiki that pays its writers. It's basically the capitalist version of Wikipedia. I'm not trying to pull you off RationalWiki, but perhaps to contribute to both. You can find it at wixpert.com.

--brxbrx-brxbrx 00:43, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

I haven't gotten this yet, but I'm assuming it's from the new user:Wixpert. If anyone else gets this e-mail, please post here: if it seems like they joined just to whore out their site, we can temporarily block them to prevent sending e-mails. ThunderkatzHo! 00:50, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Email recieved. I signed up, though It looks like its just me, the admin and his dog. --DamoHi 00:59, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I just got it. Twice. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 03:02, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm feeling kinda left out, here. P-Foster (talk) 03:10, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Me three. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:20, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Wait... wait... they sent the invites to the N00BS?????? What next? Josh will get one? Well, I wouldn't go anyway, even if they begged me. I'm loyal to RW. So nah. --PsyGremlinSprich! 06:45, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I got it too, but I don't really want to work for money... άλφαTalk 07:23, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Don't worry Psy, I'm still here. SJ Debaser 09:40, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Wow, even the spambots hate me... :< ТyTalk. 11:06, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Farewell and good luck, I've got no doubt that you'll make it and prosper in this golden land of opportunity. Maybe you could once in a while send a check to the rest of us left behind in the old country? Röstigraben (talk) 11:14, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Shouldn't we be reporting him to the Florida Fruit Grower's Association or whatever it was? Jack Hughes (talk) 14:53, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

User statistics[edit]

Can anyone tell me if there is a way of finding out how many posts someone has made (total and recently). I am just curious. --DamoHi 10:21, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Go to http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/{UserName}. For instance, you can see yours here. MDB (talk) 10:26, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Thans, but I was looking for stats such as number of posts made / talk page posts etc. I am familiar with the my contributions page. DamoHi 10:35, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Special:Editcount. Röstigraben (talk) 10:57, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Awesome. Cheers, I thought there was something. --DamoHi 11:03, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
lol, 48 percent of my edits were made to cp talk--brxbrx-brxbrx 13:07, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

It's somewhat unnerving...[edit]

... to find out that I agree with Ann Coulter.

(On Donald Trump being a clown, that is. I disagree with her strongly on gay marriage.) MDB (talk) 11:11, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Great(er than usual) Onion article, about higher education[edit]

This is one the most brilliant articles I've seen in the Onion for a while. The multidimensional satire aims and hits in every direction. If I had to enter a single article into a time capsule for future generations to understand what caused the death of higher education in the USA, this one explains it all. Junggai (talk) 09:06, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

“Students and the enormous revenue they bring in to our institution are a more valued commodity to us than faculty,” Dean James Hewitt said. “Although Rothberg is a distinguished, tenured professor with countless academic credentials and knowledge of 21 modern and ancient languages, there is absolutely no excuse for his boring Chad with his lectures. Chad must be entertained at all costs.”


Okay, I'm going to take the opposite side, slightly. Of course, the article raises a valid point that a brilliant professor shouldn't be expected to keep a fratboy stoner entertained. However, I'm sure everyone here who attended college had an instructor or two who might have been brilliant in their field, but couldn't teach worth a damn.
My degree is in Electrical Engineering. One of the freshman courses that every engineering major is required to take is called "Statics", which is basically forces in bodies at rest. (Hang a fifty kilogram lead brick from a beam; what are the forces in the beam?) My freshman year, the engineering department inexplicably assigned a professor who normally only taught grad students to teach Statics. I was fortunately in another section taught by a very good grad student, but the students in the professor's section were howling in protest about how poorly the guy taught, so much so the department finally said "we can't change professors mid-term, but he'll never teach freshmen again."
The purpose of a college is to teach. Yes, having brilliant scholars doing vital research is important, but if they can't pass on their knowledge to the next generation, then they're failing at their jobs. MDB (talk) 12:10, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Brilliant satire, English students attending a lecture. Hahahaha. ADK...I'll vocalise your air conditioner! 12:23, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
(EC) I totally agree, MDB, and your vigorous contrary opinion is one reason I love starting threads at RW. But actually, the reason why I find this article's satire brilliant is not only because of the obvious ribbing of university admins caring more about revenue and less about quality, but the more subtle parody of the professor's activities. There's an obvious ironic distance between their depiction of the professor as a celebrated scholar, and the bullshit-sounding PoMo titles of his works (I swear "The Violent Body: Marxist Roots of Postmodern Homoerotic Mysticism and the Feminine Form in St. Augustine’s Confessions" was not far off from one of the stupidest reading assignments I've ever been given, and I'm actually a fan of semiotics literature). You get the impression from this professor's "achievements" that his class indeed isn't a hair-raising, Dead-Poet's-Society-esque explication of great literature, rather the kind of arrogant puffery that I encountered in my own freshman-level Brit Lit class which is more likely to turn off even the most sympathetic and intellectually-engaged non major. Junggai (talk) 12:41, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, the Onion article was focused on parodying the attitudes of the students and administrators, but the professor was targeted, too.
Taking a different approach than I did above, though... teaching freshmen has to suck, really. Most of the students are just taking required pre-requisite courses for the majors, or taking the courses that are required for pretty much all students (like English 101). Plus, the lower level the course, the more likely you've got students who just aren't college material, or aren't capable of handling the major they've initially chosen. (There's a reason engineering is also known as "pre-business".) And even if you're just a grad student and not an actual professor, you're teaching material that's way below the level you operate at. When you've received acclaim from your peers for your brilliant work The Violent Body: Marxist Roots of Postmodern Homoerotic Mysticism and the Feminine Form in St. Augustine’s Confessions, having to explain why Iago really really hated Othello for the umpteenth time isn't exactly intellectually stimulating. You might have a few students who ask good question and have good answers to your questions, but even then, you've probably heard it all before, just last term from a different above average student. MDB (talk) 13:05, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
You may laugh, but any humanities student knows that essay titles like "public/private feminist deconstructive discourse in the early narratives of Catherine of Siena" aren't too far from the truth. In the basement of my faculty there's stacks of books on the randomest shit you can imagine - for example, one on irrigation in a small part of India in the 13th century. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 13:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
(EC)Okay, I'll bite on the serious side. MDB, you mention that your major is electrical engineering. STEM subjects are almost completely different to humanities like this. You're learning a skill and a vocation, you're required to have knowledge transfered to you as efficiently as possible. Hence lectures, practicals, workshops, exams and instructors and lecturers who know just as much how to teach as they know how to pull in grant money for research. Humanities on the other hand seem to be a different ball game when it comes to pedagogy. It's the bare minimum of seminars and lectures, then a "read this book and write me an essay". So much has to be self-directed that ability of an academic to give a lecture really can be secondary to their ability to write a big, long-winded book and draw some attention to the department. And yes, Junggai, the parody of the awards and nominations is pretty good too. It's what the Onion does best, it takes real situations and just takes the brakes off, so the stoner student clashing with the old-worldy professor with OTT academic awards is spot on for that. ADK...I'll explicate your zebra! 13:13, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Good point on our different experiences. Obviously, a technical major like mine is different from a humanities course of study. I only took the humanities courses I had to take to graduate (some of which were "choose from these electives"; about half of my electives were political science, because I like that.) And to brag a bit... when I started college, and right before I graduated, I took a test that surveyed my knowledge of the humanities. I did pretty damn good, so much so that after the pre-graduation one, I was personally thanked by the Dean of Engineering. He was getting pressure to require engineering students to take more humanities courses, because it was felt that engineering graduates were emerging as soulless techies (okay, that's my phrasing.) But he was able to point to my scores (among others) as evidence that "see, we do produce well-rounded graduates.) MDB (talk) 13:29, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
@MDB, EddyP, and ADK: In case it wasn't clear, I am actually an academic studying/working in the humanities, but in a different field. So I recognize how close to real life the Onion's made-up titles are. The awful freshman BritLit class I took was traumatic in the sense that my teacher was by that time so jaded that he expected every student was an idiot with no interest in reading, and in his defense he was probably accurately summing up about 80% of his audience. On the other hand, I was at the time an intellectually-oriented music major who loved to read, and anxiously hoped to get some insight into the classics that my provincial high school English teachers were lacking. Instead, all I got was dumbed-down deconstruction theory delivered in a self-important, "I know none of you are capable of getting this" tone of voice. I believe that there's a place in such courses for the kind of accessible analysis of why Iago hated Othello, because there might be at least a few curious students out there who you can turn into well-rounded, gesamtgebildete members of society. I know several music professors who take seriously this role when teaching music appreciation classes. Junggai (talk) 13:36, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of titles (I should add in just about any field), it seems like many of them would sound like gibberish to a lay reader, at least for papers that aren't in more general interest journals like Science or Nature. Here's one sitting on my desk, for example: The BDNF polymorphism affects activity-dependent secretion of BDNF and human memory and hippocampal function. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:13, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, those are words that are fairly easy to spot how they work. You may need to fill in the gaps with the terms-of-art, but otherwise the sentence structure is fine. "this stuff affects this stuff", you can see it easy enough. With your academic papers on semiotics and literature sometimes it seems like they're trying to be obtuse because if you worded their ideas in more readable terms, you'd immediately see that they're not as deep and complicated as they seem. Take some Judith Butler for instance: "There is no gender identity behind the expressions of gender... identity is performatively constituted by the very 'expressions' that are said to be its results." "There is no original or primary gender a drag imitates, but gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original." In this case, nothing could really be said to be a term-of-art so it's not that you need to get beyond a jargon buster but if we just say "all gender is performance" it starts being far less profound. ADK...I'll incarcerate your t-shirt! 18:27, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────True, though I'd say the "distilled" version is more profound because it's, well actually readable, but that's just me. I don't mean to say that a lot of this stuff isn't bunk (see Alan Sokal), but sometimes the criticism seems to go into "Why do you gotta use big words like 'hermeneutics' and 'dialectic'?" territory. Oh, and if you're going to bring up Judith Butler, might as well go all out and post her infamous 94-word sentence. :P Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:14, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Put her and Stephenie Meyer in the same room and the whole of the English language would collapse. The "big words" have their use, though, when you have specific phenomena you need to describe unambiguously and with all the nuance conveyed properly. ADK...I'll employ your Texas! 08:00, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Digression on the dialectic of jargon[edit]

I think that for the reader, the line between precise use of necessary jargon and needless obfuscation is pretty clear, even with an unfamiliar subject. Words like "dialectic" and "hermeneutic" really do have specific meanings derived from philosophy which cannot be replaced by simpler words, just like "hypothesis" and "metastasize" are essential words in the natural sciences and just like "subdominant" and "tessitura" among musicians. If there's one thing that all of these sentences nominated for the Bad Writing Contest have in common, it's that they throw fancy-sounding terms together in unconventional ways, rendering the whole phrase extremely difficult or even impossible to parse, even for the specialist. My own personal bullshit detector goes off when I see the particular construction the X of Y, for example the dialectic of hermeneutics. Imagine however that you read the following sentence: "Hermeneutic interpretation in the late 19th century can be said to have enjoyed a dialectical relationship with compositional practice." Though employing the same words, it is actually a coherent idea which someone from the same field could either affirm or deny, and the non-specialist can at least see that it's saying something definite. Compared to this, a phrase like "the dialectic of hermeneutics in late 19th-century interpretive-compositional axis" is designed to obfuscate.

This being said, I'll also admit that some really good authors deliberately manipulate the difficulty of their sentence structure when they want the reader to take more time pondering a concept. That stands in stark contrast, though, to authors who couldn't pen a coherent sentence if their life depended on it. Junggai (talk) 09:17, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

There's a very easy way to discriminate between professional language and meaningless jargon: look whether other supposed experts in the field can easily and precisely extract the meaning that was intended by the author, and see whether there is indeed any meaning at all. Sokal's hoax was already mentioned, now imagine I were to write a parody paper about a field that I know nothing about, say quantum physics. I could superficially imitate the language and mathematical formulas to make my work resemble a legitimate scientific contribution, and I could probably fool most laymen with it. But if I showed my parody to an actual physicist with substantial expertise in this field, he'd notice right away that it doesn't make any sense. The alleged experts on postmodernism, on the other hand, were completely unable to recognize Sokal's parody as such. The only explanation for this discrepancy is that deliberate obfuscation is actually a defining feature of the whole field, and it's employed by both the suposedly legitimate contributors as well as parodists. Postmodernism needs obfuscation, because it is made up of a core of utter triviality and a bunch of supposedly far-reaching, radical insights that are nothing more than non sequiturs. Neither of these is enough to successfully pursue an academic career, so they have to conceal it. As in Armondikov's example, the total vacuity of postmodernist "thought" would immediately become apparent if they expressed their ideas in arguments and language that can be easily understood and analyzed. Legitimate academics want to be understood correctly, so they will try to choose a level of language complexity that is just sufficient enough to accurately express their ideas while still being as readable as possible. Strings of jargon like the ones from that "bad writing contest" should always set the bullshit detector off. Röstigraben (talk) 09:52, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
One argues through rhetorical dialectic that the consumer draws a fine distinction of the necessary and not necessary implementation of trite language with particular respect to the unfamiliarity of the dialectic in question. ...sorry, couldn't resist attempting it. I find that science is characterised by horrible words in painfully simple sentences, while postmodernism tends to be painfully simple words arranged in horrible sentences - though I imagine that's the point. ADK...I'll explode your read-only memory! 10:06, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Fucking win ADK...I'll google your noun! 10:07, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I've been trying to dredge up from the depths of my memory something about a spoof article that was totally jargon laden. It was submitted to some journal and published as the real deal after supposed peer review. Sometime in the past 12-18 months I think. I recall a recent mention somewhere in SciBlogs. --Scream!! (talk) 15:39, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
You're probably thinking of this.  Lily Inspirate me. 19:58, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Useful heuristic: Taboo Your Words (shameless lesswrong link). Sometimes it turns out that the words themselves don't actually mean anything, so any arrangement is an obfuscating one. Also, with respect to pomo: I always found this essay to be very enlightening. Tetronian you're clueless 15:53, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I do like the Rationalist Taboo. Occasionally just stick a moratorium on certain words. Like "moratorium". ADK...I'll erect your university! 20:54, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Though I'm not sure if that can cut down jargon particularly well. If you use it seriously, you'd be very tempted to just start making stuff up and just replacing it with your own. And if you fail to define them thoroughly first and make the assumption people know what you mean because you know what you mean you just end up with unreadable masses of crap. ADK...I'll speak your rickroll! 17:32, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Just out of curiosity[edit]

What educational institutions did the rest of you attend/are currently affiliated with/whatever?

Me, I did my undergrad work at a well-known football team that runs a university as a side business.

I did a little masters degree work at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (yes, the same place Andy Schlafly once worked), but took "one term off" to work on a personal project. That was about eighteen years ago or so. MDB (talk) 18:37, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

What everyone? And I feel the football team is primary pain. ТyTalk. 19:49, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Currently on a thirty-year sabbatical between my 3rd and 6th semesters of American College. ħumanUser talk:Human 07:43, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I graduated from Michigan Tech last May with a Bachelors in Software Engineering and a minor in Psychology. Still no job, though. Apparently it was a bad time to graduate.. I wanted to get my masters, but there was such a flood of people doing so to avoid the job market, that there was no funding for it, and I can't afford it.. Some day I'll go back for it. Quaruear candle - You can't explain that! 15:23, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I am an Junior at LSU, I used to work at the LSU Center for Advanced Microstructues and Devices [2], until Jindal cut the budget and I flipped my major/minor. I then worked on logical verification of the Netgear Open router project. I like WP:Complex Event Processing, and have been considering attending the University of Waterloo in Canada for graduate school, as they are the only ones who seem to want me. I've won a few research awards, and am published, but my GPA is meh. ТyTalk. 15:45, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, LSU. Another one of those football teams that runs a university as a side business, right? MDB (talk) 15:51, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. Though that is an understatement. ТyTalk. 15:58, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm at the end of my second year of a three year BSc undergraduate course at an English Uni. I don't intend to do any qualifications after.
Also like +1 Human's comment. SJ Debaser 16:17, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I graduated from the University of Tampa and am doing my MA/PhD at the University of Otago.--ADtalkModerator 02:34, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
You have good taste AD. I did my llb there. DamoHi 02:39, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
TCD, quite some time ago now.... DogP (talk) 17:36, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Oh boy...here it goes. Creighton, ASU, NAU, brief stint at University of Vienna and MCU. Now back at Creighton. Chemistry (MS), biology(BS), middle eastern studies(BA) and now medicine. Researched water quality in 3rd world nations and pan-arabism. δij 06:56, 28 April 2011 (UTC)