RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive117

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New group level needed![edit]

Just saw ty "changed his group from sysop to sysop and bot" or something. I demand a group "sysop and bitchy women" for those days when we need to be a group unto ourselves. (ehm, live with a woman, if you aren't one, and you'll know of what i speak.) Or maybe i'll just make an icon that is a blood covered knife. "you wanna go? really? today? excellent!!!" heh. PS. did you all know adults with no children, who avoid children could still get strep throat. we can. can't figure out who i caught it from, though. Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 01:28, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Did you know PMS is even mentioned in the Bible? "And Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way to Egypt." Doctor Dark (talk) 02:28, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
There are several passages referring to menstruating women as "unholy." Nobody sit where Godot's been sitting, they might get cursed by God!--User:Brxbrx/sig 02:57, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I think there might have been a reason that women were "put apart" for their "uncleanness" in ancient Israel. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:45, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure you could set up a script to change it at the right time, and possibly auto-highlight the text in red just so it's clear. ADK...I'll drink your candlestick! 12:48, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I always suspected that teh "reason" we were "tented" in various cultures is they knew we would tell them to fuck off, during those days, and take over. I've read some new-age type feminist revisionist history (goddess culture shit) that expects you to buy into the idea that women were sperated because they took care of each other and didn't have to do mundane work so it was their only vacation... or something. uh, yeah, right. ;-)--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 16:17, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

What the fuck? I ain't paying shit so fuck off - i don't need to read your shitty website.[edit]

Since when did The Onion require paid subscription? Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 02:42, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Not here in the good ol' YOU ESS AYY. B♭maj7 RATZINGER RATZINGER RATZINGER 02:46, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
fuck you, yank. Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 02:49, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Sarcasm alert? Osaka Sun (talk) 03:50, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Those bastards. That's the end for them I am afraid. 5 pages in 30 days. Yeah right! --DamoHi 04:26, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
What the hell? NYT's success at a paywall is infecting everyone.--ADtalkModerator 04:34, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I've clicked 20+ pages open in the last few minutes. Maybe it is a US/non-US thing? B♭maj7 RATZINGER RATZINGER RATZINGER 04:37, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to be a paywall here in London. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 08:02, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Easy peasy (for written content at least). When the page you want to view loads, disconnect before the paywall loads.--Brendiggg (talk) 12:38, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Thunderbird / Yahoo! mail certificate problem[edit]

Yo saloon bar geeks computer experts! I've been using TB on my yahoo mail account for a while with no probs (other than it not always retrieving new mail) from both home and various hotel wifi connections. However I'm now using a company provided welfare internet connection and I get this error when I try to send emails. It retrieves from the imap server no problem. Why is it doing this, is it anything to worry about, or should I just add a temporary exemption? Cheers. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 06:28, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

It could be a man-in-the-middle attack. It could just be a man in the middle without an attack. Do you have a "clean" connection you can try it with? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:33, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't have another connection to try at the moment, but I've never seen it before on various other connections. I almost certain it's not a man in the middle attack on the LAN end at least. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 06:46, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure last time I looked that Yahoo doesn't fully support desktop client IMAP connections. There's a Yahoo web page somewhere that says the IMAP server is only for mobile devices. That may be why you're getting the certificate error. Does it work if you set it up as a POP connection (make sure you set the "leave messages on server" thing before you first sync though)? Ajkgordon (talk) 08:12, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
The error seems to be because their SSL certificate is signed by their firewall, so effectively self signed. Either that or Forti are a registered CA now, but you don't have their root cert in your store. Alternatively if you do have the root cert installed it could be the standard FF/TB problem of intermediate certs. Sit down, children, for storytime. Basically certificates can be used to sign each other in order to create a trust chain. In usual scenarios the root certificate signs the web/mail server's certificate and so the client can just look up the fingerprint of the signing cert in its cert store and if it's there, the server cert is trusted. These days more CAs are using intermediate certs, whereby they have their root certificate which is valid for all purposes, and then one or more intermediate certificates which are signed by the root cert. They then use the intermediate cert to sign the server cert, thus creating a trust chain. Now, IE is smart enough to know about this, and so when it receives a server cert, it looks up the signing cert's fingerprint in its store. If it finds one, but it isn't a root cert, then it assumes it's an intermediate cert and so goes off to find the cert that signed the intermediate cert in its store, etc etc until it finds a valid root cert. FF/TB, however, for some unknown reason don't trust the intermediate certs in their own fucking store, and insist that any intermediate certs are send by the server along with the server cert. Most people who set up SSL on their server don't know or don't bother to configure Apache/IIS etc to send the intermediate certificate, and so FF/TB gets the server cert, looks for the signing cert in the store, and if it doesn't exist or isn't a root cert then it just bombs out and throws a security warning. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:29, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, looks like your SSL connection is being proxied by a firewall (your ISPs?)[1] CrundyTalk nerdy to me 08:32, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies. AJK, I have read that YM doesn't really support desktop mail clients, but I have got TB to work fine (at home and on various travels) using imap / smtp, pop3 doesn't work.
Crundy, thanks for the story, I think I understand! I implicitly trust the current connection, so due you reckon this is because TB isn't regressing to find the root cert? Why would this only happen on this connection though? Does the firewall issue an intermediate cert of its own instead of passing the YM root cert straight through? Are there any sites I can surf to to check/verify what it happening? I am connected via a LAN, and the internet connection is through a fun-police filter (no gambling sites etc - I'll be having words about that...), is the firewall we are seeing? Does it need more garam masala? Thanks for the help mate! DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 18:21, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
SSL is designed to detect a "Man in the middle". A system which pretends to you that it is (in this case) Yahoo Mail, and pretends to Yahoo Mail that it is you, thus "Man in the middle". But your company (or perhaps some nefarious bad guy) has deliberately installed such a "Man in the Middle". It can thus see everything sent between you and Yahoo Mail, including passwords etc. In short yes it's probably the "firewall" you are seeing. The behaviour of being warned about this is not a bug of any sort, it's quite correct - if there was a "man in the middle" in my house I would definitely want to know about it. You however, as a loyal employee, may feel that it's OK for your employer to snoop on everything you do in this way, in which case you can install the "Fortigate CA" certificate mentioned in the dialog as a trusted CA certificate, and no further warnings will occur. On computers provided by the employer it is common these days to pre-install such a certificate, with the effect that everything the employee does with the computer is being monitored. For this reason I don't use a company-provided computer (but then I'm in the lucky situation of being someone who gets hired even if they go through the contract with a black pen crossing out clauses they don't like). (talk) 22:50, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Car opinions wanted[edit]

Anyone out there have a Ford Fusion, either standard or hybrid? I'm considering buying a new car, and I've been very impressed with that car. MDB (talk) 10:24, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

I just bought this over the summer. Very energy efficient, easy to park, handles really well. B♭maj7 RATZINGER RATZINGER RATZINGER 15:51, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Ooh, purdy. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:19, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Presidential Vacations[edit]

Obama is on vacation. Republicans are outraged.

Go back four years, substitute Bush for Obama and Democrats for Republicans.

Yawn. The Presidential vacations "issue" is a meaningless one.

  1. The President is never truly on vacation; it's not a job you can leave behind. Modern communications technology insure that he is never out of touch.
  2. Presidential vacations are generally taken when Congress is in recess, anyway. There isn't much going on domestically this time of year.
  3. Yes, it presumably costs more to provide security in Martha's Vineyard or the ranch in Texas or wherever he vacations. But it's something we allow every President, and really, do we expect him to spend every minute at the White House? It's grueling job and rest is beneficial.

And yes, I was saying this when Bush was President. MDB (talk) 12:50, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

I never whined about Bush's vacation, cause it always seemed to me, that he was on vacation from teh day he took office. ;-) But in all seriousness, i've never bitched about the money it costs for a president to fly to switzerland for business or "fun", to spend a weekend in Maine campaigning or visiting whatever maine has for attractions. Now, i might bitch if we sent them to disney land for a day, cause i can't imagine that this wouldn't involve basically shutting that down for the rest of us. I strongly remember when the Right whined about the girls (mom, malia (sp) and sasha) going to Paris, cause they were "poor representitives of the US, with their hair in corn-rows and dreadlocks, and wearing "ghetto cloths". but that had more to do with the blatent racism shoved into two young girls' faces.Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 16:14, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
I whined about Bush's vacations, but I was about 14 at the time, so I think I get a pass--User:Brxbrx/sig 16:59, 18 August 2011 (UTC)


Huhhhhhh....Riiiight. If you say so. --Dumpling (talk) 15:31, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Never mind the whole low gas prices = probably we're in a recession argument. I just love it when free-market fundies bitch that the government isn't doing enough to keep the prices of their favorite commodities where they "should" be. Gas costs $3.50 a gallon because people are willing to pay that much for it. The market works! B♭maj7 RATZINGER RATZINGER RATZINGER 15:46, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
You could just be happen that here we are paying per gallon, something similar to what UK and Europe pay per liter. and if i remember my metrics at all, a liter is not all that much different from a quart. Course, if you didn't want your big ol' truck that sucks up gas at a rate of 10 mpg, you might not care so much. but damned if you will let the US tell you not to drive your big ol' truck. or change lightbulbs. or recycle! God bless teh USA and pass me my 5th helping of steak.--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 17:05, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
...and a pony! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:25, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Steak and pony... with lots of A1 sauce. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:00, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I've always wanted to eat a pony. Тytalk 02:38, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

"In Texas, we teach both creationism and evolution."[edit]

Wowsers.... Rick Perry actually said that. I hope the media jump on it, but I'm not holding my breath. steriletalk 02:31, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

No shit, was just about to post about this - the full quote is better: "I know your mom is asking about evolution," he said. "It's a theory that's out there and it's got some gaps in it. In Texas, we teach creationism and evolution because I feel you're smart enough to figure out which one is right." So you are saying you are knowingly teaching something that is false? Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 02:37, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Great minds think alike. In the span of a couple days we learn of his global warming denialism and this. Grrrrr..... steriletalk 02:39, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
But it's fucking crazy. He is implying he knows creationism is false but is teaching it anyway in the hopes that maybe you are smart to figure it out. Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 02:42, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
JUST FUCKING SECEDE ALREADY!!!!!Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 02:42, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Just saying, as a warning, if one of these idiots get into the Presidency (and with the intelligence level of a lot of Americans it's possible), you might as well get out of the country as fast as you can. I'm serious. Us Canucks will welcome you. Osaka Sun (talk) 06:05, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Don't worry - he has no chance.--ADtalkModerator 06:07, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
You really think so, AD? I mean, um, we have had a conservative, evangelical governor from Texas before who "didn't believe" in science. steriletalk 10:48, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
He's opposed by basically every major GOP group. Social conservatives strongly resent his executive order mandating the administration of the HPV vaccine Gardasil to Texas schoolgirls, the tea party considers him a career politician and suspects him of corruption, and he scares the establishment with his clumsy attempts at anti-federalism. He is unpopular in Texas (he won his last term only because it was a four-way race), not a very good campaigner, and probably doesn't even himself believe he can win. More likely his advisers have set him into this in a similar way to Huntsman: to build credibility and name-recognition, and start making the contacts necessary to build a SuperPAC to run in 2016.--ADtalkModerator 11:23, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
If you want to get semi-conspiratorial, there's the idea that some of the GOP elites encouraged him to run, on the idea he'd split the conservative vote with Bachmann, helping Romney win the nomination, because "they" want Romney to win, because he's the only one who can beat Obama. MDB (talk) 13:42, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
AD, I'm not that convinced. :P Osaka Sun (talk) 16:28, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, it's a pretty good point. While "because I feel you're smart enough to figure out which one is right" is quite clearly code for "I know which one is right and if you don't agree with me...." but it really does imply that he knows one of them is wrong, and so we'll teach that wrong thing. Surely go all out or hide behind the "teach the controversy" bullshit. PLease. #ADK...I'll liberate your governor! 16:50, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
It was kind of a half-assed version of "teach the controversy." Wonder if the Disco 'Tute will go after him for this since they don't like when someone lets it slip that ID = creationism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:08, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I see a subtle but important difference between "let the children decide for themselves" and "they'll see which one is right". Both equally weaselly, in fact disgustingly so, but the latter has an implication that the individual has finally abandoned any pretence of it being a free choice. It's like the next step on from teaching both and intentionally mis-teaching evolution. ADK...I'll jerk your Pac-Man! 00:15, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia to start censoring?[edit]

Interesting, the talk page is particularly intriguing. My general thoughts are that if things stopped with the implemented proposal its not a bad idea per say. But it does put into place the infrastructure to make non-voluntary censorship easier (i.e. the labeling and categorizing is in place). Tmtoulouse (talk) 17:30, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

This is basically what we already have with the NSFW thing except it will be implemented properly, not as a 15 minute hackjob. -- Nx / talk 17:38, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
We have an NSFW thing? Not here we don't. Please explain. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:57, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Help:Images#Image filtering -- Nx / talk 18:00, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Yah it sounded like our NSFW, but I think the nature of WP makes it more questionable to implement. Basically its high profile nature may lend to third parties developing non-voluntary censorship tools. Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:02, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Cogswell, you think that's NSFW? That's tasteful.--User:Brxbrx/sig 18:16, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I may not understand this right, but i think the intent is to hide some types of images from some readers? if that is true, I think it's something that has to happen. As far as I know, there is no internal rating or filtering system at wiki for things that are objectionable. I'm a grown up, and pretty much get that if i don't want to see it, don't google it - but my kids not so much. And frankly I don't want to accidently trip on photos of death - as they upset me. So if i find such a picture and FOR MY OWN ACCOUNT, say "don't show this again", i'm not sure how that is censoring?Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 18:39, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Oui, Madame, veuillez considérer cela que M. Toulouse a écrit ci-dessus.. (Jeezz, I hope I didn't say anything rude there.) Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:26, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Yup, Brix, that fine-ass Mary Magdalene is NSFW. I'd have caught holy hell from my boss for having it on my screen in a bygone job, if she had peeked into my cubicle and seen it. Office cubicle, not lavatory stall, for aficionadistas of the Queen's English. Wouldn't have mattered that she mostly had an eye for the colleens; she had this big workplace boner for me. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:17, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
I guess, Toulouse & Cogs, it sounds like concern trolling to me. who would implement 3rd party software, other than people who would choose that as their default choice?Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 19:40, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Schools, workplaces, some libraries, and other institutions of that ilk would be my first guess. I have seen nannyware applied to public computers in a business-class hotel, 4fuxxache. If WP provides the hooks, they will build it. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:59, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

When conspicuous consumption goes bad.[edit]

For you have a new hero! I wonder if she's an atheist? B♭maj7 Racist Fucker or War Hero? Only his stylist knows for sure. 00:05, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Assfly would CUM if he found out that she was an atheist! (talk) 04:22, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

"Secularism and Its Discontents"[edit]

an arbitrary edit button[edit]

This recent essay in The New Yorker is a must-read. "[T]he question is whether an “upper language,” in which we describe altruism as noble and admirable, can be fully captured by a “lower language,” of instrumental and biological explanation, a language that scrupulously avoids the vocabulary of purpose, intentionality, design, teleology." Very intelligent and unprejudiced essay. Check it out.--ADtalkModerator 04:17, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Amazing, how many people still cling to the delusion known as "idealism." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:38, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Clinging to a delusion? There is no evidence idealism is false. (((Zack Martin))) 10:16, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
As one fellow wrote in my alma mater's newspaper: "Ever try doing school work with a fever?" Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:46, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
That is not evidence against idealism, it is only evidence against a strawman distortion of idealism. As an idealist I have no problem with the concept that having a cold makes it hard to concentrate. Both are patterns of qualia, and their correlation is also a pattern of qualia. And as an idealist I claim that all that exists is minds, qualia, and patterns in those qualia. (((Zack Martin))) 04:17, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
What are "qualia," and what have they to do with the rhinovirus? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:46, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
See hereWikipedia. Or here. The rhinovirus is a pattern in qualia. (((Zack Martin))) 05:14, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I see. And the fact that nobody even knew what a rhinovirus was, let alone being able to see one, until very recently does not put you off to that notion? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:13, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. The rhinovirus is a pattern in qualia. The pattern only appeared in qualia relatively recently though, when as you say it was discovered. Looking at things through a microscope, well that is a pattern in qualia. Of course, this "rhinovirus" pattern integrates some much older patterns (the patterns of the symptoms), although not completely since, the same symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, i.e. other patterns also integrate those same older patterns. (((Zack Martin))) 00:28, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
I see. Another question: Are qualia a method for output from minds, or only input? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:04, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
They are a method of input. Purely internal phenomena, like thoughts, feelings, memories, dreams, I believe they are types of qualia too (internal qualia). But, suppose I say something to you. I have qualia of saying it (which includes qualia of hearing my own voice, feeling my mouth move and my breath, having an intention/thought to say something, etc.) You have qualia of hearing it from me. We have two patterns in qualia, each in our own mind. But there is also a pattern-in-qualia between our minds, a correlation, i.e. two intra-mental patterns and a trans-mental pattern which incorporates them both. (((Zack Martin))) 19:25, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Your world-view is beginning to sound like the plum pudding model of the atom, mental plums floating in quale pudding. What are your thoughts on free-will? You seem to be on the deterministic side, if your mind can have no effect on others' "intra-mental patterns." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:10, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
What does it mean to say A affects B? Well, I see that as a pattern involving both A and B. So our intramental patterns affect others intramental patterns, because both intramental patterns participate in a larger intermental pattern. As to free will, I see it as a relative thing — whether we have free will or not depends on the standard we are judging our will against. So judged by the standards of everyday life, we have free will; but against the divine, the ultimate, we lack it, since our will is entirely under its will. (((Zack Martin))) 10:29, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
But a quale is exclusively for "input"? The mind cannot affect the qualia at all? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:04, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes and no. I hit the desk. This involves several qualia — internal qualia of carrying out an intention, qualia of bodily movement, qualia of touch as I hit the desk, qualia of hearing as I hear the noise. The earlier qualia "caused" the later qualia. But what is cause? It is a pattern in qualia. So there is nothing but minds, qualia, and the patterns in them; minds can "cause qualia", but all that means is that a certain pattern exists in their qualia, a pattern we label causation (and the very process of labelling is itself a pattern in qualia). (((Zack Martin))) 11:20, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
It still seems to me like your world-view has everything happening in the qualia, with minds reduced to the role of spectator. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:09, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I think the mind is like a container for qualia. It has no properties or attributes beyond containing qualia. Relationships exist between minds, including relationships of identity and non-identity, but I see those relationships as ultimately reducible to which qualia they contain. (((Zack Martin))) 05:13, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
So how is this different from materialism, beyond the way it cuts the universal pancake in vertical strips (qualia) instead of horizontal strips ("patterns in qualia")? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:37, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, if you look at it that way, it is two different ways to cut the pancake, the end results are mostly the same. A few differences do come about though. For one, an afterlife becomes much more plausible—if the mind is not reducible to the body, but rather the body to the mind, we no longer have any particular reason to assume the end of the body is the end of the mind. For another, materialists generally assume that questions about unobserved times and places have definite answers, even though we will never know those answers (e.g. how many T. Rex were alive on this day 66 million years ago?). By contrast, my view suggests that unless there were minds to observe that event, questions about it do not have definitive answers. (((Zack Martin))) 06:00, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

yet another arbitrary edit button[edit]

Actually, thank you AD for this article, this is a very good quote: “Why?” is not very different from Job’s “Why, Lord?”. Atheists see the "problem of evil" as a problem for theists, but I see the "problem of evil" as a problem for everyone, be they theist, atheist, agnostic, or something else. (((Zack Martin))) 11:05, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
From WP "problem of evil is the question of how to explain evil if there exists a deity" - How can this possibly be a problem for atheists? Jack Hughes (talk) 11:58, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
That's a very good question, and will doubtless receive a ten-thousand-word response.--ADtalkModerator 12:22, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The first 8,000 will be expelled on redefining the sentence and a largely irreverent mathematical example. - π Moderator 12:32, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The theist asks, "God, how could this be?" - yet it is. The atheist asks the same question, it is just that they no longer has anyone to address it to, so they address it to no one in particular. Another way of putting, ...“Why?” is not very different from Job’s “Why, Lord?”. Also, doesn't Nietzsche present an atheistic solution to the problem of evil - Did you ever say yes to a pleasure? Oh my friends, then you have also said yes to all pain. All things are linked, entwined, in love with one another. (((Zack Martin))) 12:45, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Handy edit button #1 (Pippa and 1 have an offshoot argument)[edit]

The bollocks you come out with is at times impossible to respond to. ONE / TALK 12:51, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Never mind, I'll try anyway. The atheist's solution to the problem of evil is "There is no God to prevent evil occurring". Do you have a rebuttal? ONE / TALK 12:59, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
No, there is no problem of evil because there is no evil. 13:10, 11 August 2011 (UTC) Pippa (talk)
How are you defining evil? We must have different definitions. ONE / TALK 13:16, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Evil is the limit of "I/we don't like that!", with good being towards the "I/we like that. end. They are both totally subjective and changeable. You only have to consider e.g. homosexuality or bear baiting to see how time, place and society change things. 13:43, 11 August 2011 (UTC)Pippa (talk)
Then we are defining it differently (see my post below). ONE / TALK 13:49, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
As I think the same way I be so bold and jump in: good is the opposite of evil, evil is the opposite of good. The fact that there are different definitions (and because it does not correlate to anything in the material world a.k.a. "bound to the laws of nature") leads at least me to conclude that good and evil do not exist - in an idealistic sense of the meaning "exist" -, but are only definitions of contradiction of each other. In short: the words "good" and "evil" are only rethorical shells for meanings. It's like "low" and "high" you don't have one without the other - and which is which depends on where you stand. --ʤɱ heretic 13:29, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
As I see it, the existence of evil can be inferred from the existence of suffering, which most certainly does exist on a very biological level. ONE / TALK 13:46, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
So, what is "evil" about a migraine? I suffer most vilely from them but have never considered them evil. 13:49, 11 August 2011 (UTC)Pippa (talk)
Nor would I, actually. To me, evil implies intent on the part of the agent... but having breifly read up on the "problem of evil", it seems suffering presents the same problem (i.e. if a good god exists why would he not prevent needless suffering at the hands of, say, a natural wildfire). So in this context it seems reasonable to use them interchangeably. ONE / TALK 13:53, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
You are therefore relying on a "god" to be evil or at least to allow evil? Point! Pippa (talk) 14:14, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, but what about ethical problems? For examply think about the ability to kill Hitler before or in power. On the one hand you would be able to stop suffering of many but in the same way you would cause suffering (depending on when in time, also for many), hence no matter what you do you would do evil. Or for example to go in the other direction, what about masochism? You cause suffering to bring joy (which I'm going to guess would be doing good?), is that good or evil, or both? (btw, I'm not trying to enlighten you or anything, I just get that way when I see a problem in a definition.) --ʤɱ sinner 14:15, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I think those circumstances are irrelevent. My point is simply that suffering exists (indisputable, I imagine) and that suffering and evil are essentially interchangeable when considering the "problem of evil". I'm not suggesting that suffering = evil in all cases. ONE / TALK 14:44, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
You have a strange definition of evil. Pippa (talk) 14:50, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
It's only my definition in the context of the "problem of evil". And I'm certainly not the only one to have it: consider this part of the Wikipedia article, which talks about "natural evils" (such as forest fires). ONE / TALK 14:53, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
In the case of e.g. forest fires, what is being evil? Is it nature or god or what? I'm afraid that I would just have to say that a forest fire is "something that I don't like". Without them, however, sequoia would probably die out "The United States Forestry Commission started--and particularly their fire department--started in 1905, thinking they were doing good, stopped forest fires so completely, and the sequoias need forest fires, every 5, 10, 15 years at the most, in order to breed, because they need to clear all the other trees. They survive them--" QI. So is a forest fire "good" or "evil"? Neither, it's an occurrence, that's all. Pippa (talk) 15:29, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, here's what I'm trying to get at:
BON: The atheist position is that there is no "problem of evil" because evil does not exist.
Me: Ok, suppose it doesn't. But suffering does, and the "problem of evil" describes a problem which applies just as well to suffering as it does to evil.
Ok? That's what I meant when I said suffering and evil are essentially interchangeable when considering the "problem of evil". I'm not suggesting that suffering = evil. ONE / TALK 15:41, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

You've tied yourself into a semantic knot. Evil, to me, implies an intent on the part of the evildoer; i.e. it is someone doing something I really don't like because it affects me or those with whom I empathise in a negative manner- that's all. Evil, as a concept in itself, does not exist. Pippa (talk) 15:50, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, what's your answer to the Problem of Suffering, then? I'm guessing your answer isn't going to be "No, there is no problem of suffering because there is no suffering." Whatever it is, we're probably going to agree. Something along the lines of "there is no God to prevent suffering", perhaps? ONE / TALK 16:03, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Suffering? That's a whole different question. and a rather facile one, if I might say. Sorry, but that's like asking "what's your solution to me not liking getting wet in the rain". As long as we have nervous systems and empathy there will be suffering. Reduce it as much as possible.
What happens when one's suffering is another's pleasure is a dodgy question too(no - not BDSM, before someone jumps in). It boils down to personal feelings then. Pippa (talk) 16:19, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
You said that the problem of evil does not exist because evil does not exist. Yet when I look at the problem of evil article, under the "argument" section, it clearly refers to evil and suffering. Suffering clearly does exist (as you say, it will always exist so long as nervous systems do). I contend that, given that suffering exists, the problem of evil exists. Do you retract your previous claim and if not, why not? ONE / TALK 17:04, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Evil/badness requires a mark to be judged against. There is no "Good" as an objective thing (there is "good for me", "good for humanity" in the sense of beneficial. When a child is told "be good" they are being told to conform - nothing wrong with that) similarly there is no evil: I care not what the "problem of evil" article says: as of now I haven't read it - I will after this post.
There is a continuum: "Things I/we like/approve of/condone" → "things about which I/we care not" → "things I/we really don't like/don't approve of/don't condone".
You choose to label one end of this spectrum "good" and the other "evil": it's all subjective. Suffering is totally unconnected with good or evil - shit happens. Pippa (talk) 18:10, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Problem of evil is rubbish: it presupposes a god. There isn't one so that's out of the window. Pippa (talk) 18:13, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem of evil is only a problem for certain conceptions of god. What if god is a dick? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:20, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
How strange, I said "The atheist's solution to the problem of evil is "There is no God"" and you said "no" (in bold font, no less). But now it seems you agree! Fancy that! ONE / TALK 10:28, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Discussion prior to offshoot continues here[edit]

(EC) Atheists don't ask that question except in a rhetorical sense. Speaking for myself, anyway, I might say, "Good God, why?" along with "God bless you!" and "God damn it!" as purely conventional functions of the language. Feeling despair at the shape of things, is not, by the way, an endorsement of some potential plan.
Nietzsche is not presenting an answer to the "problem of evil" for atheists, because there is no problem of evil for atheists. Presenting a philosophical proposition that claims that pain is necessary in a world with pleasure - explaining the existence of pain - is very different from trying to figure out why a benevolent deity might act maliciously.
What utter nonsense you spout, phrased in the most roundabout way.--ADtalkModerator 13:18, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The article is really good. Only the pedantic native speaker of the German language feels te need to comment on this: “the elimination of magic” really isn't the best translation for "Entzauberung" it's more like "demagification" or "dewonderification" as the "-zauber-" part also has a fine meaning of "mythical" and "wondrous".
And now for the bit from a Philosophy student and for a few people to facepalm about: I think many people don't "get" (or don't want to "get"?) the difference between "cause" and "reason". Let me explain. As "cause" I see backstory of events in the world of matter as possible through the laws of nature to lead the event in question, as "reason" I see the justification of actions by the laws logic purely based in the realm of the mind. For example, the reason why I eat is to make the hunger go away, but the cause of eating is my body telling (through hunger of course) me to take in chemical power so that I can stay alive.
The Big Bang theory, the theory of evolution and all these scientific explanations don't mean that there is no reason but they explain the cause of these things. And as I link reason to mind and as back in that time there was no mind (which is off course an atheistic assertion), I see no reason to ask for a reason behind the existence of the universe (or anything "above" that), because it is obvious to me that the question is null from the beginning. So I feel no need to know as I know that the question is as I would ask "why isn't the city of Kramantion capitol of the state of Penetia, which is located in the Pacific Ocean?" - I "know" that there is neither a city of Kramantion nor a state of Penetia, so the question doesn't even come to mind. The same thing goes for most atheists that haven't freed themselves from their former faiths with help of the problem of evil, as it is already clear to them, then the question is null, therefor they do not ask it themselves - but only to those who believe in god and just and only as a rethorical device. --ʤɱ digital native 13:59, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Has anyone read Thus Spake Zarathustra? Doesn't Nietzsche essentially present an atheistic theodicy?

O man! Attend!
What does deep midnight's voice contend?
'I slept my sleep,
'And now awake at dreaming's end:
'The world is deep,
'And deeper than day can comprehend.
'Deep is its woe,
'Joy—deeper than heart's agony:
'Woe says: Fade! Go!
'But all joy wants eternity,
'Wants deep, deep, deep eternity!'

The theist uses theodicy to justify the fundamental goodness of reality; God as the source and origin of reality is the ultimate focal point of reality, and through justifying or rejecting the goodness of God, we justify or reject the goodness of reality as a whole. Nietzsche has presented a theodicy to justify the fundamental goodness of reality, yet one from which God is absent. To the theist, the "evil" is an objective evil, to Nietzsche a subjective one; but I think, what motivates this problem at an emotional level, is what feels evil to the agent, whether or not it is evil in an objective sense, whether or not there even is any objective ethics it could correspond to. Thus, I think focusing on whether the evil is objective ignores the fundamental unity of what the atheist and theist are doing. (((Zack Martin))) 19:38, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

No matter what, Maratrean, I always skip over most of the things you say because you sound like a preacher. HollowWorld (talk) 19:43, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
A preacher quoting Nietzsche? (((Zack Martin))) 19:47, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
A preacher quoting whatever falls out of his ass. HollowWorld (talk) 20:04, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Now now, play nice. (((Zack Martin))) 20:12, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Emotionally grappling with the existence of suffering is very different than trying to explain its existence in a world guided by a benevolent deity.--ADtalkModerator 21:03, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree. I think both atheist and theist are dealing with what is fundamentally the same problem, but approaching it from two different directions. (((Zack Martin))) 08:50, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
People who believe in a benevolent deity have to explain that deity's tolerance of evil and pain. That is a problem to explain. Atheists don't have any inconsistencies to explain - suffering exists, and that sucks and we have to deal with it, but there are no inherent contradictions in the philosophy of its existence. It is absolutely not the same problem.--ADtalkModerator 10:32, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Step back before anyone argues about whether or not there is a deity, and we have a problem of evil, that needs to be explained. Maybe we have adopted a system of thought which claims it doesn't need an explanation, but many of us (both theists and atheists) feel a deep need for such an explanation. The specifically theist problems follow on from that broader issue, and are really seen as a subset of that broader issue. Since God functions as a focal point for reality, when we introduce God as a source of all reality, our questions about reality as a whole get transformed into questions about God; and, in that context, a rejection of God on this basis should be seen as taking a position with respect to that broader pre-theistic question. (((Zack Martin))) 10:42, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
...do you... do you know what we're talking about? We're not talking about some nebulous emotional need for an explanation for the existence of evil.
We are talking about the very specific philosophical problem of theodicy. It's totally a thing, look it up.
Now, if you're going to agree that atheists have a need to understand the presence of suffering and evil, that's fine. I don't think many people will disagree with that. I feel that need myself. It's especially acute for atheists, because we lack the comfort of the stories provided by religion that assure us that everything really is for the best - an atheist must recognize that things aren't always for the best, and that sometimes things are terrible for no good reason. That is what should inspire us to urgency of action, to make things as good as we can for as many of us as we can, during our short span of existence.
So if you want to make that claim, that's fine. But no one is jumping on you for that claim. People are jumping on you for claiming that atheists face the problem of theodicy. That doesn't just seem wrong, it doesn't even seem coherent. And your reply is, frankly, just squirming.
If you don't want to argue on these terms that have "God as a focal point" or within this flawed "system of thought," then don't start shit like this for attention.
Atheists need no theodicy, because unlike theists we face no philosophical contradiction that needs to be resolved. If you still disagree, then clearly say so, and why. Otherwise, it's way more reasonable to admit, "Well, shit, I maybe overstated things, sorry." Don't try to backpedal with squishy paragraphs trying to redefine your statement until it's somehow correct.--ADtalkModerator 12:56, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Maratrean, the problem of evil is "Why does God let suffering occur?" Since atheists don't believe in a god, that problem simply does not apply to them. Perhaps you're talking of some other problem of evil which you've thought up yourself, but you sure as hell aren't talking about THE problem of evil as is commonly discussed. Look it up. ONE / TALK 14:04, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Let me put it this way — this problem of "how to understand suffering and evil", is this not a problem which Nietzsche addresses in Thus Spoke Zarathustra? But, can't his solution to that problem, be transformed into a potential solution to the theistic "problem of evil" — that is what I believe I have done. My reading makes sense in light of Hollingdale's account of Nietzsche's later atheism as a "return to Christianity", albeit crypto-Christianity; by transforming Nietzsche's atheistic ideas into theistic ones I am in a sense decrypting him. And working in the other direction, most theodicies can be transformed to remove God from them and turn them into answers to "how to understand suffering and evil" without mentioning God. For example, the "character-building theodicy" can be taken by an atheist, remove God from it, and then say "evil builds character" as an answer to "how to understand suffering and evil". So, you seem to want to treat "how to understand suffering and evil?" and "how could a good God make an evil world?" as two completely separate questions, when I see them as two closely related questions, since answers to one can be transformed into answers to the other. (((Zack Martin))) 23:56, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Here are the various squishy terms of mitigation you used: "be transformed", "potential", "in light of", "in a sense", and "closely related." Through these terms, you are engaging in a remarkable kind of alchemy, whereby something that is almost by definition false is colloidally squiggled into shouting distance of almost maybe being true.
The discussion was of theodicy, and you chimed in with the comment that atheists also face the problem of evil. Because the problem of evil seems to require, by its very nature, the existence of a God, everyone immediately broke up into gales of laughter. Staggering and teary-eyed, they managed to tap out questions and objections, phrased plainly and concisely.
In response, you gave a quote from Nietzsche that seemed beside the point, since it addresses the very different issue of how to emotionally deal with the existence of suffering, rather than how to logically explain why a benevolent God permits evil. And now you're claiming that you were right because that quote can be transformed into a potential solution to the problem of evil in light of an unprovided reference to a philosopher whose utility you don't bother to explain except to say that it decrypts the quote. So please explain exactly how the quote can be decrypted to address theodicy. Are you saying that by agreeing to the experience of pleasure, we give God license to burn children in fires and starve them with drought?
You segue away from that point then, midway through your dense paragraph, to pick a different example, apparently because you aren't doing so well with the Nietzsche one and need a smokescreen, and move into a different idea of "character-building" and how it can be transformed by an atheist to a way to grapple with the existence of suffering.
But note that if there is no God, then there is no need to explain the existence of suffering. It can't be explained, because it lacks any agent that can possess motivation or intent. Nothing causes suffering: suffering just exists. So there's no philosophical dilemma involved. And because theodicy is specifically that philosophical dilemma, it is just sheer nonsense to say that atheists face the problem of theodicy.
There are different tactics you can take to reply. For example, you might choose to spend a long paragraph telling me how I should really be familiar with Hollingdale's translation and explication of Nietzsche and then explaining in an opaquely dense fashion why it is perhaps almost pertinent.
Or you could decide to redefine the entire discussion by setting up some kind of Bayesian dialectic in the matter, reducing any further disagreement to squabbling over definitions as you by degrees alter the terms until you manage to make yourself almost correct.
But I think you will rely on the old standby of sheer volume. We'll see.--ADtalkModerator 02:51, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Theodicy comes from θεός (theos, "God") and δίκη (dikē, "justice")—A vindication of the justice of God. But, closely related to theodicy is cosmodicy (κόσμος and δίκη), the vindication of the justice of reality (even when viewed atheistically). You insist that these two questions are "very different", I insist they are closely related, essentially two different versions of the same question. You say "if there is no God, then there is no need to explain the existence of suffering" — but I think there is still a need for explanation, even if you have adopted a system of thought which insists there is no need for one, the heart still demands one. That was one of the points of James Wood's essay.
How do we transform Nietzsche's atheistic cosmodicy into theistic theodicy? Simple — "If you have ever said Yes to a single joy, then you have said Yes to all woe as well" → "If you have ever said Yes to God for a single joy, then you have said Yes to God for all woe as well". That is what I mean by transformation. And decryption? Well, if we accept Hollingdale's contention that the later Nietzsche is a crypto-Christian, then reformulating his thoughts in an explicitly theistic way is taking the crypto- out of his crypto-Christianity — decrypting him. (((Zack Martin))) 03:52, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I have literally never heard of cosmodicy, but this is a very clever tact. I see that by juxtaposing the Greek roots of theodicy and the little-known cosmodicy, you are trying to help drive home the point that they are similar, much like autocracy and democracy are similar.
Seriously, though, your response boils entirely down to "I think there is still a need for explanation" - surprisingly, none of your other words actually supports that thought. So why is there a need for explanation in the sense of justification, as it's used in theodicy? Whose actions are we explaining? Are you suggesting that there needs to be a philosophical justification for the existence of suffering in an unguided world? Who would we be trying to justify? Random causality? I assure you, rolls of the dice need no essays on their behalf.
As for the Nietzsche thing, which seems to have branched off on its own tangent: I entirely agree that when you change words in sentences, you change their meaning. I believe most people would agree with that. So you can alter poetic sentiments about the difficulty of accepting the existence of suffering to be poetic answers to theodicy. If you change some more words, you can also alter them to be poetic sentiments about how salami is the best of all cured meats. But in all three examples, the basic philosophical thrust of the sentiments will have also changes: in the first, Nietzsche is talking about the angst of a world of pain, in the second, Nietzsche would be talking about why God is justified in torturing mankind, and in the third Nietzsche would be taking a very controversial position with regard to the arguably-superior prosciutto. They're all very different philosophical thrusts.
To wit: whenever you have said yes to God for pleasure, you have said yes for all woe as well is not a very good attempt at theodicy, because it proposes a God who is unable to even reduce suffering and still permit pleasure.--ADtalkModerator 04:35, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I am not the only person who sees theodicy and cosmodicy as deeply related. See for example Devenish, Philip E. “Theodicy and Cosmodicy: The Contribution of Neoclassical Theism”, Journal of Empirical Theology 4 (1992): 5-23, which proposes a nuanced view in which theodicy and cosmodicy are rendered complementary, rather than alternative concepts. See also Van Der Ven, J.A. “Theodicy or cosmodicy: a false dilemma?”, Journal of Empirical Theology, Volume 2, Number 1, 1989 , pp. 5-27(23).
You seem to struggle with the concept of cosmodicy; maybe read James Wood's article again, since a lot of what he talks about is cosmodicy, even if he doesn't explicitly use the term. Maybe if you understand it, you'll see its connection with theodicy goes a lot deeper than just a commonality of roots.
Yes, you can transform any sentence into any other sentence, but the question is whether that transformation can be justified or not. Cosmodicy is a major theme in Nietzsche (see e.g. Mark Balto, “Logos As Will And Cosmodicy”, Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy Vol. 10 2006), and Hollingdale's idea of Nietzschean crypto-Christianity supports the idea of Nietzsche's cosmodicy as a crypto-theodicy (even as Balto sees his cosmodicy as more rooted in the pre-Socratics — but these two origins are not mutally exclusive). Combine this with the argument that theodicy and cosmodicy are deeply related (in general, as opposed to specifically in Nietzsche), and we have a rational justification for transforming Nietzsche in this way; whereas transforming his statement into one about salami is not justifiable in the same way. (((Zack Martin))) 05:08, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, because you are referencing now no fewer than four philosophy papers of graduate-level difficulty, naturally I can no longer helpfully contribute to this discussion. Because I am not a trained philosopher, not just the content of much of those papers but even many of the very terms used are new to me. You seem to indicate that they help prove your point that atheists require theodicy of their own in the form of cosmodicy, and further that Nietzsche was all about atheist theodicy.
If you are unable to explain yourself in your own words in a way that the average reader could comprehend (a point increasingly in question) then I guess there's not much more to say. I still think your assertions are not just wrong, but downright humorous, but I lack the jargon and training to understand the papers that you say prove them. It's as if you began speaking in German - it might prove your point - might even be necessary to prove your point, but in the end it just amounts to me taking your word on it.
So, um, I guess you win in the uniquely Internet sense of argument where you have successfully become so obscure that you are impossible to follow.--ADtalkModerator 05:36, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
Did I win an Internet?
Putting theology and philosophy papers aside, here is the basic question — do you understand what cosmodicy is? Here is a definition of it: A justification of the fundamental goodness of the universe, especially in regard to the existence of evil and suffering in the world; a work or discourse justifying the ways of the universe.. Looking at James Wood's article, is not cosmodicy one of his themes, even though he does not use the word? I have a friend, an analytic philosopher and convinced atheist, who told me that she sometimes wakes in the middle of the night, anxiously turning over a series of ultimate questions: “How can it be that this world is the result of an accidental big bang? How could there be no design, no metaphysical purpose? Can it be that every life—beginning with my own, my husband’s, my child’s, and spreading outward—is cosmically irrelevant?”.
You seem to me to be saying that cosmodicy is asking illegitimate questions, but then isn't that kind of thought exactly what James Wood bemoans when he says In the current intellectual climate, atheists are not supposed to have such thoughts, i.e. thoughts of cosmodicy? (((Zack Martin))) 06:05, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

And then, of course, there is good old-fashioned paganism, in which the Gods are perfectly capable of throwing fatal curveballs, so there is no need of such tap-dancing dreck as theodicy. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:46, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Depends on the type of "old-fashioned paganism". I would suggest that many educated Hellenistic pagans would approach this issue issue not too dissimilarly to how Christians deal with it. Since they read myths allegorically rather than literally, they did not believe the "curve-balls" of the myths literally happened. The conflict between the traditional myths and their own mores was a major motivator behind the development of allegorical interpretations. (((Zack Martin))) 08:50, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
By "old-fashioned paganism" I mean hard polytheism, from before the fool philosophers blundered in with their heads where the sun don't shine. I meant Jupiter Tonans, not the monistic Jupiter of the Stoics, although I do not think Stoics need a theodicy either. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:20, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd just like to say that I wish that I had the time and patience to read this thread through from the beginning because I'm darned sure that I'd have something pretty important and profound to contribute. You bet! Shame there is no automatic executive summary button. Anyway, please carry on.

Does anyone remeber where it was that Rob said that we contributed to TK's passing?[edit]

Anybody keep those diffs lying around somewhere? B♭maj7 RATZINGER RATZINGER RATZINGER 16:49, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

The page that was deleted yesterday seemed to either state where or be the place itself. I didn't see the deleted page. but if there is a way to search "deletes" you might find it.--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 16:58, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Deleted here? By whom? Nothing looks relevant in the delete log....B♭maj7 RATZINGER RATZINGER RATZINGER 17:01, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
please remember i was and am stoned from being sick, but yesterday i wound up at a page that you all were discussing TK's death, and someone said "this page is offensive" and someone else said "Its ok, i've already deleted the page. It was a strange title... or i dreamt it. give me 10 minutes and i'll find the page in yesterday's edit logs.--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 17:07, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh, that was an image that I deleted. I was just looking at [File_talk:Law_and_order,_CP_style.jpg] that very talk page where I brought up the question, and qanted to find the evidence to back myself up. B♭maj7 RATZINGER RATZINGER RATZINGER 17:09, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
OH. sorry then. can't help.--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 17:11, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Is this it? _Death_By_Google_Search_Tactics Refugeetalk page 18:50, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Refugee. That got me there. B♭maj7 RATZINGER RATZINGER RATZINGER 20:39, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Lol, ah yes, TK's fake Yahoo account, which we created in 1999. --PsyGremlin講話 13:37, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Psy, how many times have I told you not to abuse your time machine to the detriment of RW's reputation! ADK...I'll confuddle your respiratory system! 16:53, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
You think that's bad, just wait until they find out what I did to Andy's birth certificate in 1961! --PsyGremlinFale! 09:17, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

That Jerry Buell thing[edit]

So, I stumbled over this through CP, but I'm not going to ramble about CP here. This story opens some questions for me. How bad are these comments in the US? Is that rethoric really mainstream?

I'm from a country in which teachers aren't actually allowed to express there own opinions on politics, religion or moral issues (if non-illegal) if they aren't asked for it. For example an economics teacher would be allowed to discuss ideas scientifically but blatant fear spreading of an socialist agenda or speaking about how the bourgeois will one day be overthown by the united forces of all workers would lead to being fired. Neither are teachers, as representatives of the state, which by law is not allowed to help or hinder any religion, allowed to openly wear religious symbols, as this would be thought of favoring one religion over the other. For example, if you would ask a teacher that is teaching religion (which is parted into confessions and atheists) if acting out your homosexual needs was right, he would not be allowed to answer with his own opinion, but only in the "they say yes, they say no" fashion - only if he was asked for his very own opinion he would speak his mind (this questions are almost always to be thought of with an unsaid "we won't tell anybody" behind them).

So I'm having a little problem grasping the issue in the US here… Help? --ʤɱ atheist 08:24, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

I graduated from a Catholic high school in Toronto and it wasn't even that big of a deal. Seriously. We would discuss homosexuality once in a full moon in class, but it was never such a biased issue. Nothing where you'd have to ask for a teacher's particular opinion, and in no position where he/she would go into some anti-gay tirade (and I extremely doubt anyone actually had such hateful beliefs). I've always been dismayed at the lack of moderation in the United States with religion and society...something's definitely skewed down there. And this is in a public school, right? Osaka Sun (talk) 09:06, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Depends on where you are. My Biology II teacher was a Hindu creationist and would allow us to basically ignore the section on evolution and rip it apart using bible verses, in a public school (Odd as she was Hindu). In addition we had quite a bit of politics pushing from the English department. In college, not so much, though I have had a few math and physics professors make snarky political remarks, often on the subject of Conservative force. Homosexuality was barely mentioned in High school, there was a club called "gay-straight alliance" but they were kept in their own area when clubs met, that was it, no teacher ever mentioned it. Тytalk 11:56, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
A good teacher should not let their students know their opinion on subjects they are teaching. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:59, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't see what his being a teacher has to do with it as he didn't make the comments in his capacity as a teacher. Unfortunately, that sort of talk is not uncommon among the "family values" crowd. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:19, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia article "ratings"[edit]

Lately I sometimes see a "ratings" box at the bottom of a WP article, offering the opportunity to view or add input regarding how "trustworthy," "objective," "complete" and "well-written" the article seems. Based on the ratings of some articles I've written or heavily re-written there, along with the box I see at Intelligent design there, I am of the firm opinion that those ratings boxen are complete bollocks. What's next, rating WP articles by the number of facebook "likes" that they get?

I see that rating system as less than useless, possibly harmfully misleading. It may even come under the aegis of the RW mission, since it applies a science-y veneer to pseudo-statistics. It could perhaps be argued that the statistics are real, but it would be hard to deny that the underlying data, coming as they do from a skimpy self-selected set of article "evaluators," signify very little. Looks like window-dressing to me, an instance of WP trying to lend itself an air of credibility, to an audience with scant clue about what WP is and does. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:07, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

WP's main aim at the moment is to attract users who won't be familiar with wiki-code and aren't already up to their eyeballs in WP policy bullshit. Because let's face it, it's horrendous and even I can't get my head around the template system used for academic references - this is something that has prevented me doing a serious re-write of an article I know isn't quite up to scratch, it's just not worth my time. This is what it needs to do to grow and develop beyond the "encyclopedia any teenager can vandalise", though I imagine a lot of wiki nerds being dead set against that. It's a worldwide community project, and by that it means worldwide community, not some sub-group of people who can be bothered with the minutiae of the beast of WP. So the ratings boxes right up front and centre are the direction they need to go in in order to figure out what needs done and where. But don't be put off by the fact that some, particularly pages that are protected (for a reason), may be a little off. Think about the people who are attracted to a WP article on intelligent design and the group that will use it. It's selection bias and one of the reasons IMDb uses an algorithm to sort out its film ratings from the votes; a straight up average just doesn't work out. But where you don't have this "controversial" shit happening, the ratings are likely to be far more representative and you can't call complete bollocks on something based on a select set of articles where you know people will come in droves to 1-star it on principle. ADK...I'll drink your error! 00:07, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Mmm, I was looking at a straightforward physical science page regarding specific practical application, nothing anywhere near controversial, with only middling scores. Completely trustworthy, nowhere to go but objective, perhaps a bit stubby, outstandingly well written by yours truly (I flatter myself that I know my way around expository writing) and it scored near 2.5 all across. The umpiring staff on that one is definitely blind. Completely. I haven't surveyed a very wide horizon, but my small sample shows a definite bias towards bolloxsome.
If you read the intelligent design talk page, you will see a concern troll asking about "boosting the objective score." That is a blatant example of where to ignore the scores, in my view. As I find time, I might look at some plain vanilla articles to see if their scores match my idiosyncratic assessment. Not sure I see the difficulty with their reference templates; most of them have a fill-in-the-blanks example available for cut&paste, with most fields optional. I think all you really need is a title and perhaps author's name, with a url being nice to have if it applies. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:40, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
The "ratings" crap is the Wikimedia Foundation's latest attempt to prove that they are totally, utterly, and irremediably out of touch with the Wikipedia community. Their previous attempt was some shit fool "WikiLove" button that left pictures of kittens on people's user pages. With every announcement of a new "initiative" by the WMF I groan and think "fucking hell, now what the fuck are those goddamn dickheaded retards trying to pull?" And I'm not someone who usually swears much. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:47, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Can we put in any user rating system, or is that too easily abused? Osaka Sun (talk) 06:02, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
We have up-down arrows, polls and a few other extensions that can be used for that purpose. However, the main issue with the entire thing - because yes, it has come up here before, several times IIRC - is that when an article "improves" the old scores are still counted. There's no clear cut way of saying "hey, we've improved it, let's wipe the board clean and vote again" because A) that'd be tedious bullshit and B) that'd be tedious and boring bullshit. People would have to re-read the page they voted on and, making sure they're on the same IP because that's how it's recorded, change their vote. Imagine doing that for every article. On a regular basis. And without the larger user base that Wikipedia has that smooths everything out. That's why RW:RATE needs to avoid getting bogged down in too much formal voting like that, we simply don't have the user-power to pull it off. ADK...I'll program your baby! 12:40, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Though back on the user-rating on Wikipedia, you also have an additional problem in the subjectivity of dealing with what counts as 1 and what counts as 5 stars. In theory the wide user base should even that out, so it's less of a problem, but for that you need hundreds, if not thousands, of participants. You can't make the criteria too inflexible because people wouldn't find it to be worth their time, but at the same time little guidance leads to more subjectivity and some people could genuinely be rating very good articles at 3/5 because they view 5/5 as something almost transcendental, and different people will have different views as to what counts as 5/5. Again, a larger n evens this out. But providing you know the limits of the data then it is still useful. I think in this case it will be better for identifying crap articles than good ones because there's far less ambiguity over what counts as 1/5 than 5/5. You know, if it's awful it's awful and you'll give it the lowest score regardless of what your threshold for maximum points are. Unless you're Len Goodman, in which case your lowest is 7/10. ADK...I'll untie your buddy! 12:47, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Can't really assume that there is a larger n on Wikipedia. The WP article on everyone's favourite waterfowl is highly rated, but by one reviewer or two. The tenuously related article on Ibsen's play, "The Wild Duck", is not quite so highly rated, but still by only two reviewers. In cases like that, I smell conflict of interest.
Even setting aside the perils of "voting on the facts," without some way of controlling the population of raters (Citizendium, anyone?) that system doesn't even give an accurate picture of how the "public" sees WP. I wonder what they think they will measure with it. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:38, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Never mind. I've been to some of the relevant wikimedia pages, and seen enough power-pointesque slides to sense what kind of mentality is behind it. In better news, ratings expire after 30 edits to the article, so they say, so the freshness of the rating will be a sort of rolling average. I also found that I can go to my preferences and disable display of the widget. Now there is a statistic I hope they are keeping track of. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:50, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

That's an interesting way of tracking the ratings as the article "evolves". Certainly works well as an automagic option. Still open to problems, as an article can be improved greatly with just one edit and hardly changed in 30. COI is, as you say, the biggest problem but assume it can be ironed out. Perhaps if it's disabled for users so that, in theory, only "public" can rate articles. Although keen individuals can still sign out, it would be a layer to discourage signed-up users who are already whining constantly from clicking buttons. ADK...I'll liberate your arcade! 13:22, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Rick Perry and a Christian "test" for politicians?[edit]

My father mentioned to me offhandedly about a comment by Rick Perry that he'd like to see politicians tested for Christian beliefs before they're allowed in office. Unfortunately, I can't find anything about this through a few google searches; has anyone else heard about this, or is my father just mistaken? I've heard about this other comments (teaching the controversy, global warming denialism, etc.) that are covered in threads above, but I'm wondering specifically about this. άλφαTalk 21:15, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

If he did say any such thing, there is bound to be somebody pointing out that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." So says some old handwritten parchment that they keep in dry nitrogen with lots of burglar alarms around it, I think, but who actually reads that stuff?. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:31, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
True. Still, I was hoping to find something about it as yet another piece of evidence that the man is a lunatic. άλφαTalk 21:33, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to stop them. Awaiting further developments, Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:36, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Never heard anything like this, nothing comes up with a quick Google search. I really doubt even Perry would say something like that, and it would inevitably be trumpeted by the liberal blogosphere if he had. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:42, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
@Neb - That was my initial thought too. My father hasn't provided a source for that statement either, so I'm sceptical, but I figured if he had said something to that effect, someone here would have heard of it. Next time I call him I'm sure we'll discuss it and I'll badger him for more details. άλφαTalk 21:47, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
That's funny because I'm pretty sure the US still has a very high rate of laws explicitly barring non-believers from holding political office. Granted, I doubt those are federal, but considering the fragmented clusterfuck that is US law, it's easy for states, counties and local towns to pull that shit quite easily. ADK...I'll crinkle your nuke! 23:38, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
There are still some state laws barring non-believers and in some cases non-Christians from public office (including TX, natch). There are lots of laws still on the books in individual states that would get overturned by SCOTUS if they were to actually be enforced and challenged in court, though. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:05, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Ultimately it doesn't so much matter what the constitution says, nor what SCOTUS says, what matters is how people behave which is closely tied to how they think. You have to change attitudes. Create a situation where the average American thinks an atheist would be a good Chief Paper Pusher, and you can have an atheist Chief Paper Pusher, any law against it or whatever will be crushed. But in a situation where the average American thinks an atheist would inherently be unsuitable as Chief Paper Pusher, you can't fix that with the law. During the 20th century there was no law against black presidents, no law was needed, because for the majority of the 20th century it was inconceivable that most Americans would vote for a black. It wasn't even really racism, you might as well have asked them if they'd vote for a Martian because the idea was so alien. (talk) 08:51, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Not really racism? It is racism. Ajkgordon (talk) 22:01, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
I think it means racism carried to such an extent that the very concept of racial equality becomes something unthinkable 1984-style. This is racism that transcends what we understand racism to be today into something almost completely different - specifically, something that's an accepted norm as it only became "racism" when it ceased to be acceptable. ADK...I'll pass your glue! 03:23, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Pretty much, I meant the situation where someone like John Harlan -- who wrote a lone dissent when SCOTUS threw out the 19th century Civil Rights Act and in Plessy v Ferguson and correctly predicted the latter would join Dred Scott as a famous example of an unjust decision by the supreme court -- would see nothing wrong in anti-miscegenation laws. Today this seems incoherent, but at the time it did not. The subsequent history of those cases illustrates my central point further, anti-miscegenation laws were hopeless because people like fucking (we might draw an analogy to modern laws that prohibit consensual sex between teenagers...) and the modern Civil Rights Act survived a constitutional challenge not because the constitution changed but because by that point SCOTUS judges as individuals recognised that throwing people out of a restaurant for being black is wrong, no matter what you think about "states rights" and no matter what you think about the founding fathers. (talk) 07:33, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Or, "... on an emotional level, conservative nostalgics like Boehner are primarily driven by regret at the loss of social privilege by white men. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:45, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

An interesting Tea Party article, with links to follow[edit]

Here. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 15:21, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Set off the ol' irony meter when I saw the author was John Dean. Jus' sayin'. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:28, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
No clue who he is. But wikipedia reveals. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 09:40, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
That was about the time in the Nixon-era US when "unindicted co-conspirators" and "expletive deleted" made it into everyday speech. In this day and age, more people need to read Bob Altemeyer's book on the authoritarian mindset, which Dean mentions in his article. Good for him. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 11:55, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Tech question re: Adblocker plus.[edit]

Running Chromium on Maverick. Adblock plus with Fanboy, Easylist and Recommended filters for Google Chrome selected. This site still gives me a ton of ads, even after I've created a custom filter for those that it will let me do so for. I hate ads on websites, but I like reading the local news. Any ideas as to why they won't block? B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 00:56, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

What exactly are you trying to block? That grocery thing on the top? -- Nx / talk 06:13, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
That, and especially the big "Food and Grocery" ads-scroller between the "Top Stories" and the "Today in Ann Arbor" sections. I got rid of the thing at the top, for a while, but it came back when they changed the ad. B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 12:53, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that the middle thing is not really a normal ad, it's integrated with the recipe thing, so something like Adblock won't detect it. If you're comfortable with playing around with css, you can try Stylebot and simply display:none it away. -- Nx / talk 19:30, 21 August 2011 (UTC)


…looks like it might be about to fall to the rebels. Usual sources, BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera English and Guardian.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:45, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Let's hope we haven't made another Taliban.--User:Brxbrx/sig 20:48, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
9.56pm: Al Arabiya TV reports that Gaddafi's presidential guard has surrendered to the rebels, citing the rebels' National Transitional Council.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:00, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Unconfirmed reports: Two of Ghaddafi's sons have been captured by the rebels.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:03, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Confirmed: Saif Al-Islam has been captured. UPDATE:Confirmed by the UK representative Head of the Transitional Council, so perhaps not as confirmed as I originally thought.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:05, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh, and apparently Sky is getting its pictures from Tripoli via a Mac, mini-satellite transmitter and the lighter socket in the car. MacGyver would be impressed.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 21:07, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Unconfirmed rumours that Gadaffi has been assassinated. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 22:15, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Transitional Council now saying that Muhammed, Gaddafi's eldest son, has now surrendered to them. So according to them, they have three of the sons, Saif, Al-Saadi and Muhammed.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 22:21, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
It's official. Alex Crawley has liberated Green Square for Sky News. There might have been a couple of rebels with her.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 23:06, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

The End is Nigh![edit]

Here's a fun page I found. This one should sound familiar:

It is entirely possible that the coming election may be the last free one that the United States of America will see. Certainly, if there are to be four more years of blind spending and the further broadening of a deficit which already has us on the very brink of financial disaster, will that not mean ruination for every man, woman and child within our borders, carrying down banks, life insurance companies, securities of all kinds and result in the eventual confiscation of all private property…The mob will even take the capital assets of industry and individuals. Nothing will be safe and the goal of Communism will have been reached. There will be no more free elections, no congress, and no courts of justice, as we formerly knew them.

Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:16, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Jon Stewart said it perfectly this week: "You really have no f**kin' clue what socialism is, do you?" I'll take a guess and say that these guys probably believe that Fannie Mae & Mac and the (Randroid-controlled) Fed were actually responsible for the recession (gummintdidit). They'll then claim that the ever-decreasing tax rates and deregulation had no effect on the current situation (and then call you a laughable idiot for thinking that) and cutting them further is the only solution, all ending in a massive case of lulz. Predicting the nuts are almost so easy. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:35, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
The left seems to have similar trouble with fascism (though so does the right). Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:46, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Look at how many NSFW protest pictures are all over that front page. I can't stand knowing that a penis exists other than my own, God will smite their immorality! Osaka Sun (talk) 02:58, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
If such wingnuts knew the first thing about communist rhetoric, they would know that they are spewing a very lightly altered version of it. Instead of the secret bourgeois/fascist dictatorship whose members are quietly channeling all wealth to themselves via business transactions, they posit a secret communist dictatorship whose members are quietly channeling all wealth to themselves via heavy taxation and/or expropriation. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:44, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
In other words... REDSREDSREDSREDSREDSREDS!!!!!!--User:Brxbrx/sig 18:34, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I do find it funny how often anti-communist rhetoric employs the same style of rhetoric as the commies, whether the wingnuts are fighting their Kulturkampf culture wars against the "cultural Marxists" or economic wars against (alleged) real Marxists (or both a la Newt's secular-socialist machine). I don't know how much that is a product of them aping communist rhetoric so much as political binary is the most natural way of framing political struggles, i.e., us v. them, good v. bad, dark v. light. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:30, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
May I posit that all political rhetoric sounds the same and uses the same devices? Thus it is all equally shitty like that. ADK...I'll coach your hybrid engine! 02:31, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually, no you can't. I have been bored to death by German political-talk shows that go pretty much the same way - always… A: "You fucked it up!" B: "No, you fucked it up!". While I see a different pattern in the US: R: "You are socialists!" D: "You have no empathy!". Of course these are paraphrased, more than often there are good arguments on one side. --ʤɱ constructivist 17:47, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Kill kill kill kill kill the poor[edit]

After watching the latest round of squawking about "class warfare" on TDS, I saw this in WIGO World. The rhetorical gymnastics, like the trend of putting "rich" and "poor" in dick quotes, get better every day (though I don't think anyone can beat Rand Paul's Zen-like rambling). Obligatory Dead Kennedys reference. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:54, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Outstanding work on quoting my favorite band of all time! Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 12:14, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
TBQH, nothing the "fiscal conservatives" in the GOP do or say would surprise me now. However low you set the bar, they will find a way to limbo under it. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 22:11, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
What I want to know is how letting payroll tax cuts expire doesn't violate the blood oath. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:23, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
When Republicans finally find a tax increase they'll support, Obama's apparently against it. It's sad that even when hell freezes over, the government can't agree. Of course the tax increase the Republicans support hits everyone, not just the rich. [sighs helplessly] SoCal But said it would be legal... 00:35, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
They specifically want to increase the taxes on those workers who do not pay income tax, saying they are not "paying their share". when you look at the tax bracket, to pay "none" to "very little" (as a worker, not a corporation - corporations have had tax cuts to the point where they pay virtually nothing anymore) - the tax bracket to pay 0 to 100 dollars in taxes per year lays on people making 30,000 or less with 2 mouths to feed. or 17,000 if it's only one person. Yet Bachmann has whined that "there are people who are not in the higher tax brackets who do not pay EVEN ANY taxes. that need to end. they should pay their share just like the rest of us." Course, when you are making less than 30,000 K trying to feed two other people, the 100 bucks you save on taxes will actually feed your kids for a month, even more. Bachman? she can get her nails done once or twice more. I hate these people.Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 00:52, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Normally I'd say that saying you hate someone has some pretty strong implications and such but the unbelievable stances Bachmann and these other Republicans take make "hate" an increasingly appropriate word. This just shows how deep they are in the pockets of corporations and their interests. The rich can afford to pay higher taxes to help run the country and pay their fair share but if they're made to it's an abomination. But poor people who don't pay this tax are lazy and don't pay their fair share (I don't think poor people having to pay an extra tax is really fulfilling their "fair" share). But y'know...they're poor...who cares if they fall into worse financial trouble. It's the rich who count. SoCal But said it would be legal... 01:12, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec)Of course, you're only talking about federal income taxes, which is the rub. The 47% statistic has been bandied about in the wingnut outlets for over a year, despite being obviously misleading (you mean there are taxes other than federal income taxes? No shit?). However, with the power of willful ignorance, this number translates to "Stop mooching off our Galtian overlords, looters!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:18, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
@Socal: Please refrain from using the word "rich," they are "job creators." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:28, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
What percentage of the wealth does the bottom 50% earn again? Less than 5%? Reminds me of the aristocratic era before the Enlightenment. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:56, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
The what in the what now? There was no "Aristocratic Era" in my history text. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:09, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
(EC) I never really understood the obsession with wealth distribution. Money is just that, money, and its purchasing power is subject to change over time. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:11, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, wrong terminology. I meant this. And this. Or I should have compared it to the Gilded Age? You know, the upper class gets the vast majority of cash, the bottom gets peanuts, causing civil unrest, that sort of thing. Cause that isn't very good right now in the US. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

"Money is just that, money." Great. Please send me a cheque for one-half of all yours then, if it's no big deal. B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 04:13, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Huh? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:22, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
If you think wealth distribution isn't that big a deal, why not distribute some of yours my way? It's just money, after all. B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 04:25, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Because I went to some bother to get the money together and (not thinking wealth distribution a matter to get one's knickers in a twist over) I have no disposition to alter the distribution by parting with it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:38, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Are we going to get into a taxation argument? Osaka Sun (talk) 05:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Unless you are taking the position that the State has no right to tax those within its jurisdiction, I doubt it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:08, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Apparently, this meme goes back to 2002 -- before they were the 47 percenters, they were the "lucky duckies." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:51, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

For all those who loved Demon's Souls[edit]

A bit more info on its spiritual successor - Dark Souls. This looks like a game that's going to hurt the brain, a lot.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 15:52, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Release the data! Jail the scientists![edit]

Of course Rick Perry would hop on board the climate conspiracy bandwagon, but the funny thing about that is that yet another (useless) Climategate investigation has just been completed by the NSF clearing Michael Mann. That makes this the seventh (!) Climategate investigation (which, no doubt, the fools at Climate Fraudit will be declaring a whitewash by tomorrow). But, rather than deal with actual science, it's much easier for deniers to scream CLIMATEGATE CLIMATEGATE CLIMATEGATE RELEASE THE DATA ARGLE BARGLE! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:21, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't think i've ever even understood what the whole issue was, other than some people can take words so out of context as to say anything they want. Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 17:40, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
The whole issue is that scientists are using "tricks" to "hide the decline" to pad their grant funding and help Al Gore make loads of dough off carbon credit schemes...UN, one world government, ecofascism, etc. No, actually, you pretty much summed it up in one sentence. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:51, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
No surprise here: WaPo catches Perry using the Oregon Petition. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:07, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Bogus petition project[edit]

Speaking of the "Petition Project", I was thinking maybe we could have one page dedicated to collecting bogus petitions as every crank idea needs a petition of "experts" supporting it. I know of at least these:

  • AGW: Oregon Petition, Heartland's "500 scientists" list, Inhofe has put out a few as well
  • Evolution: Disco 'Tute's "Dissent from Darwin"
  • Troofers: "Scholars" for 9/11 "Truth" (I recall seeing eminent engineers such as Barney Rubble on that list)

Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:31, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

I love when they need to point out, by name, the "many" scientists who disagree with the mainstream. It's so silly noteworthy. And it's not even that the names on their lists are of unknown, irrelevant scholars. I mean, Lawrence Krauss could come out and say "it's all wrong. I lied for 40 years. there is a conspiracy, and creationism is right". wouldn't change a thing, cept that we would wonder what meds Krauss was on, and where we can get them. To explain that to a "list maker" is for them, to say "see, we aren't listening". they would say "you aren't listening to your own Dr. Krauss". and we would say, "in light of the vast pile of evidence against him, no, we aren't".Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 20:35, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Is it me...[edit]

Or does it seem like the USA needs a war every decade or so? Maybe I'm a wee bit blind but it seems like the USA has spent most of it's time at war during the 20th century, and we practically began the 21st century at war. If I was to say the USA was a comic character, it'd be the Major (whoa shit is that a Godwin you made, Johnny?). Basically, the US seems to really like war. HollowWorld (talk) 06:11, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Brings in the money. We are rather dependent on the Military-Industrial Complex for nice dinners for congressmen. And what's the point of all this stuff if you don't use it?Тytalk 13:01, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Most empires need to resort to armed force every now and then in order to keep things together. B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 13:40, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
The US lost the Vietnam war in 1975 No doubt Obama had something to do with this. When was the next real war after that? If we don't count limited little excursions or peace-keeping operations then I make it the 1991 Gulf war. Though I may have missed one.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:46, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't like using the term "limited excursions" to define out what were clearly wars, notably Grenada. If invading a sovereign country in order to overthrow its government isn't a war, I don't know what is. Not to mention strong involvement throughout Central America all throughout most of that time, having an army amassed on the Korean border, having another army amassed in Europe, having a military presence in more than 100 countries, and being at all times about a half-hour away from obliterating most of the people on the planet. America has been on a war footing, if not in an actual war, since Pearl Harbour. B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 16:01, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I guess that it's a question of definitions. I was using "war" to mean a confrontation between two armies where there was at least the possibility that one army could resist the other. But I understand that there are other points of view and that my definition is arbitrary. --BobSpring is sprung! 19:17, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
HollowWorld - there's a tendency to look at the wars the US is involved in, as something different from what the rest of the world is doing and saying. But really, it's not that different. We just have bigger bombs, more tanks, and big giant budgets that make it seem different. We are not actually "going to war every decade", we've never stopped being in wars, since 1947 or so. The general public doesn't pay much attention until the media screams "notice it!!" "now now now" "here here here", but we have had on going actual battle ground situations for the entire modern era. But so has France. UK until the last 2 decades was deeply involved in skirmishes in the Middle East, in southeastern Asia, and to a lesser extent, India. China is always involved in everyone's business in Asia. Germany has been quite, but it's had a unification to deal with. And russia? well... you know they are our foil, so if we are somewhere, so are they most likely. War is not only good business for us, it's protective business for trade, "humanities" (in quotes cause i'm always dubious that any of this is really about "the good of the people", but, "whatever") and political positioning in a region. (by the wya, You know all this. I'm mostly ranting cause the people who ARENT on places like RW, the people who pepper my Facebook wall with ignorant or simplistic rants make me want to rant back. :-) But i do know that YOU personally, know everything I just said. but, you became my foil.) Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 16:13, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
The other thing to take into account is the phrase "actively involved in" - because then the US has been a busy little beaver. Ignoring the Granada, Panama and Haiti invasions (if you want to fill the gap between Iraq and Vietnam), they've usually had a finger in a conflict somewhere - especially during the Cold War. When we were in Angola, joining up with the US-backed UNITA forces against the MPLA and Cubans, it was fairly commonplace to walk dusty and dirty into a camp after a patrol and be greeted by a "Howdy!" from the Spec Ops guys training the UNITA forces. --PsyGremlinParla! 16:20, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I remember reading somewhere that the USA's democracy is bound to become 'ill' once people(or in this case corporations) figure out how to exploit it. So perhaps constant warmongering, in both the interest of the corporations and as a way to push away the questions on how companies got so much power, is the placebo for an ailing government. Or maybe the USA just loves war. Any war. HollowWorld (talk) 17:05, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Again, I'm not the normal "go USA", but it's not the "US" who loves war. It's pretty much every major county who wants to play in teh big leagues. it's the way you say "feel like fucking with me? I wouldn't. just watch what i'm doing over here to Lybia". It seems it's way too easy for some people to bash the US, without putting the bash into context on world events.Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 17:47, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
There are some of us who love...no...NEED conflict in their life, and like the feeling of having drama. Then there are the few of us, who avoid conflict like the plague. --Dumpling (talk) 18:41, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
IT seems to me that the countries who are most involved in conflicts are first the US, then the UK then France. The rest of "the west" doesn't seem to get that involved. I know that in Spain if a single soldier gets injured or - heaven forbid - killed- then it's front page news for days.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:57, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

This reminded me of this Daily Show interview with Fareed Zakaria a couple of months ago. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:02, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

But - our Forces go to where there is no democracy. And although war is not such a good thing - The UK, USA, Canada and the rest of the Allied Forces did keep the world from complete take over - on that note - I would prefer to talk to these other countries -but when they don't understand how to 'communicate', and then kill their own people -those people need our help to get their lives back - when an abused person calls - the Allied Forces whom ever they are Arrive ..... yes? TLOS 23:02, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

TLOS, you have the stupidest posting style ever. Please stop putting them in fucking blocks, man, or I'll do something about it. If you're going to keep doing it, I'm going to start putting everything in a telegram like way. Also, it's cute how you put 'communicate' in little quote things as though they're retarded children, it's like we've never killed our own people before either... oh wait HollowWorld (talk) 06:33, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Here's a good PolitiFact article entitled "Is there a difference today between war and peace?" The answer is essentially "no," and I would agree. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:54, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

I'm just followin' you - man you're a creep - and only Bullies use the word stupid - I'm just learnin' your 'vocabulary' so if you don't like my writing fine - so then do something about it - but I won't waste my time saying crap like you!!! Don't read my stuff then - I didn't ask you too! Since when is it a freakin' crime to write a few words on a page? It was just a freakin' comment! Thanks anyway about the reading but I don't need too - I understand war and what it takes to kill! TLOS 00:20, 23 August 2011

But - our Forces go to where there is no democracy. - And what exactly is it that gives the USA the right to interfere? You're effectively saying the USA has the right to invade any country where they don't like the political system. Jack Hughes (talk) 08:59, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
You can always rely on Tom Lehrer
For might makes right,

And till they've seen the light, They've got to be protected, All their rights respected,

'Till somebody we like can be elected.
[2]Jack Hughes (talk) 09:02, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
You posted it so other people can read it, welcome to the wiki! You're not doing yourself any favors with your words TLOS. But this is just a FREAKIN' COMMENT IFIGUFJHJS IF YA DON' LEIK IT DUN READ IT K PARDNER? You're not learning the vocabulary, you're being a damn idiot. Also remember to spell understand with an s. Yeah, you definitely don't do much reading, do you TLOS? Oh my god you know what it takes to kill? How many bodies do you have in your basement ahahaha. HollowWorld (talk) 13:28, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Breathe Hollow dear. No Stabface today. --Dumpling (talk) 17:43, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

wow ..... really got you going, hey - isn't that the point of these communities - conversation - but I don't think your kind of bulling is what this is supposed to be about. My initial comment only refered to what was being said-as far as making a kinder point for the armed forces - the fact that you jump all over something so trivial - and then called a person you absolutely don't know - who has only commented using very few words - is quite interesting. I accidentally found this forum while looking for one of your cohorts pages and had to enlist. On doing that I have come down this path of total verbal carnage - and find that also very interesting. I've been asked if I was a sock, told a couple of times about my bad writing habits, harshly written word yelled at and called names --- and all this time I thought that this was a conversation forum for the scientifically minded intellectually brilliant minds who wanted to cover all subjects with vision and clarity..... but I may have been wrong? What do you think? ps: I also fixed my 's' so you can cool your little tirade on my lack of typing/spelling aptitude too. TLOS 11:30, 23 August 2011

'Very few words' does not appear to be something you are capable of, TLOS. You must forcefully eject logorrhea upon the site to drown out the fact your statement is basically "well you know, this is for conversation, i was just liek, making a piont, and ur rely rely mean 2 me, also i am a sarcastic motherfucker". If you knew how to be more sufficient with your speech, how to not come off like you're trying to suck excretion from rectums, and stopped acting like a troll, maybe my conversations with you would be less harsh. You are not capable of this, so therefore my words shall forever be an unending torrent of hate and bile in your direction. Good day, sir! HollowWorld (talk) 18:51, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

A question about dictators[edit]

Why do dictators always seem to hold on so desperately?

With the tragic exception of China and Tienanmen Square, it seems that recent history shows a popular uprising can't be perpetually denied. But then you hear about, for instance, Qaddafi continuing to hang on beyond all reason.

I remember the Ceaucescus in Romania seemed genuinely shocked they weren't loved by their people, so we can chalk that up to stupidity or their staff keeping reality from them. And Hitler only gave up as Berlin was crumbling around him, but he was completely insane at that point.

But if I were Qaddafi, I'd be considering some kind of bargain now -- "let me live in exile and I'll cede power." What's keeping him from doing that? MDB (talk) 16:50, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

In a way, i'm wondering if this is a serious question from you. There is no greater power I can think of (other than old world Kings and Emperors) than a dictator. You answer to no one. You ask no one anything, if you choose not to. your smallest whim is the land's law. The type of person attracted to that power, and what that person becomes after years of being feed off that power will not "give up". It's not in their view of themselves. They ARE the power. they ARE the country. the people? who needs them.Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 16:56, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
It was a serious question -- as in "why can't these guys understand it's over for them?" Hell, Qaddafi was the first leader to give Idi Amin shelter once he fled Uganda -- surely Qaddafi would rather end up like him then, say, Mussolini, with his corpse strung up on public display. And if the rebels get him, he's a dead man. If he's lucky, he gets a trial before being executed. MDB (talk) 17:07, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I think there's a few factors:
  1. the delusional / megalomaniac factor: they believe in the myth of themselves so much, that they can't see how it could possibly go wrong (even Hitler was talking about a miracle weapon that would save the Reich, right up until the end)
  2. the vested interests problem: there's probably an awful lot of his (read: the people's) money tied up in Libya at the moment - a lot of it in not-easy-to-convert-into-cash things either. Money - or rather the fear of the lack thereof - can be a big motivator. The longer he's in power, the longer he has the wealth, or the time to try can turn some of it into cash.
  3. puppet on a string: we much the same with Mugabe. Yes he's a syphilitic despot, but the people keeping him in power are the heads of the police and military, because they know what will happen to them when Mugabe goes. The same could apply in Libya.
There were a few other points, but I've forgotten them. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 17:20, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
As far as the cash goes -- Qaddafi may be a dictator of debatable sanity, but he's not stupid. Surely he's been stashing away money in a Swiss bank account, for the possibility of this day coming. He might not be able to continue the lifestyle to which he's become accustomed, but he's not going to end up in poverty either. MDB (talk) 18:07, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Re the Tienanmen Square protests- It's not so much that the popular uprisings are guaranteed to succeed, but that they are guaranteed to succeed if there's no clear alternative to violent revolution. I think that the number one reason why the Tienanmen Square fiasco blew over was because that the people saw that there was enough economic growth and opportunity for social advancement within the system that the inevitable chaos that would result from a toppled government wouldn't be worth it, and they were right- China is on-track to becoming the richest country in the world in a few years, and it almost certainly has the fastest-growing standard of living. I think that people can deal with some censorship and infringement of rights if they have a serious opportunity to suddenly be middle-class with cell phones and TV's when they were previously just dirt-poor farmers or laborers. Now, contrast that with Libya and the Middle East, where the leaders ave shown zero interest in spreading the oil wealth unlike China (anyone remember "To get rich is glorious"?), so there's really no strong argument for keeping the dictator like there would be in China. --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 17:46, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I see your point in general, but Tienanmen Square was in 1989 -- wasn't it several years before China seriously started to arise as an economic powerhouse?
On the other hard, considering Tienanmen Square started as a student uprising, I wonder how many of the participants are now wealthy. MDB (talk) 18:15, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
I imagine the idea of ending up as strange fruit probably preys upon the minds of most soon-to-be-toppled tyrants. --Robledo (talk) 17:42, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Tienanmen Square is putting the cart before the horse--liberalization came after that episode for sure. I think, if anything, what Tienanmen Square might show us is that in an age where the whole world is watching all the time, it's harder and harder for states to exert the full extent of their power against their people if they want to cling not only to power, but to whatever shreds of legitimacy that they have. We all "know" what happened in Beijing, but we still don't really know how many people the government killed. That sort of thing is much harder to hide now. There are lots of exceptions, of course -- Syria, I'm looking at you -- but it seems like taking the gloves all the way off might be less of a viable option. B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 18:49, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
There was significant liberalization before Tienanmen. Mao and his policies were disowned in pretty much all but name as soon as he died (1976) and Deng Xiaoping, who took over, was significantly more liberal. The Tienanmen protests started as an expression of support for one of Deng's allies, who was ousted by anti-reform elements in the CCP.
On another note, the CCP is in for a shock fairly soon. For now, at least, China's middle classes are content with increasing standards of living, but when that hits the ceiling and stops growing, god help the CCP. EddyP Great King! Disaster! 19:43, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
They hang on for so long because the alternative is poverty, prison and death. Whatever agreement they strike at a given moment may be overturned five years later by a new government. There is also the problem of the entourage who may not be prepared to permit them to stand down.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
And if they buy into their own bullshit about them having some sort of god-given right to rule, why wouldn't they hold on at all costs and regardless of the actual situation? ADK...I'll forsake your yellow submarine! 13:01, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Wish me luck...[edit]

My company let me know last week that it's unlikely they're going to find new work for me since my last contract ended, and that it's time for me to be sending out resumes. (I've not been given notice yet, but they said it's coming unless they find something for me. I'd be surprised if I was still drawing a paycheck here at the end of September.)

It sucks, too, because I love this company, and they love me, but our work has shifted since I started here, from software development to web content development, and they just don't have work for my skill set right now. They don't want to let me go, I don't want to go, but they can't keep me on as a charity case. (And that's basically what I am now. I have nothing to do at work right now. I've expressly I can use my time to hunt for a new job. I'm doing that and playing games on my phone.)

So, I've been sending out resumes. I've got a phone interview tomorrow for a position I'm not 100% qualified for, but for the jobs appropriate for a mid-career techie, finding a perfect fit for a job is rare. And a talent search company called me Friday about a position -- they've passed my resume on to their client, and they think I'm very good fit for it. I'm waiting to hear back from them. (You've probably not heard of the first company. I've been asked to keep the name of the second one quiet for now, but you've probably heard of it.)

There's another one I applied for -- it's for a software company where an old acquaintance of mine is the Chief Architect. The downside is... well, you'll note I said "acquaintance", not "friend", and that's because I long suspected he didn't like me. On the upside, it's been years since I've seen him, so hopefully he's forgotten me, or is mature enough to say, "we didn't get along personally, but I'm not going to let that affect my evaluation of his professional skills."

I'm lucky in at least two regards:

  1. The recession didn't hit the software development industry too badly.
  2. The recession didn't hit the Baltimore/Washington area (where I live) too badly, either.

So, gang, wish me luck. Or if anyone knows of anyone that needs a software CM guy/Perl jockey in the Baltimore/Washington area, let me know. MDB (talk) 17:03, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Good luck. But as you said, your line of work should still be in high demand even in these times, so I don't think you've got reason to worry. Röstigraben (talk) 17:07, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
The one downside is that it's not like I'm a Java developer or an Oracle admin or something, where I can have five offers in three days. I've got good skills and good references, but software CM isn't quite as in demand. But then, it's not like I'm an auto worker in Detroit, either. MDB (talk) 17:09, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
GOOD LUCK! :DDDD--Dumpling (talk) 17:11, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
If you get desperate, or need some "carry me through" type money, the company my hubby works for, pays for shit (hence the reason they actually have jobs), but always needs tech support and low level developers. They are the contract for Second Life. he's paid about 60-75% what he got before this job, so like i said, they are way below standard. I guess they can get more people cause it's a video game or something.... Also, I have a friend who's company works out of boston, but who do remote work for their developers. They pay well, but they are demanding. I'll ask her the company's name, and send it along to you. --Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 17:44, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, so far, so good. I have two phone interviews with two different companies tomorrow, one of which I think I'm a very good fit for. MDB (talk) 18:00, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
It sucks to lose a job at a company you love, but from the sounds of it you're well positioned to move on. Good luck! EddyP Great King! Disaster! 19:32, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

There is want of app's - also heard that it's the O/S and software that is wanted - your company will probably return to roots once they find that the web has become to 'busy' - do some research on an app that the kids will love and then patent find Your way and cut Your path my Friend and all will be 'perly'. (note: also heard it's not in the hardware at all - no one cares - it's the software/O/S compatibility). TLOS 22:37, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

What's software CM? DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 07:43, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

What is Software CM?[edit]

Since DeltaStar asked...

CM stands for "Configuration Management".

The best way to explain what it is is with examples. Microsoft is constantly developing Windows -- they're creating fixes for old versions, plus working on the latest new version. There's also many thousands of files involved in developing Windows -- source code and the like. Further, proper software development practice involves the developers making their changes incrementally -- you don't, for instance, have a developer re-write the entirety of the networking system and dump it in all at once -- he'd change a few things, see that it builds and works, change a few more things, repeat the process.

CM involves supporting the tools that make that possible. It might also support an approval process -- someone might have to approve the developer's changes before they get into the production version.

CM also keeps track of versions of products. You might think of Windows versions as being XP, Vista and Windows Seven. But within each of those, there's at least three individuals versions -- one for home use, one for office use, and one for use on servers. Some code is relevant to all of those -- for instance, I'd assume every version uses the same code to display a GIF. But only the server version gets the code that allows the computer to run as a web server.

CM also supports automated build processes. With an automated build process, every time a developer checks in changed code, the project might be re-compiled and turned over to the testers. But if you have a smart CM person running the automated build process, only what changes gets re-built -- on a huge project, that could be a substantial time saving -- minutes versus hours or even days. And if the developed checked in code that failed to build, it's CM's job to tell the developer "fix it." Though since most developers build their own code on their own computers before checking it in, it's usually a flaw in the build process that caused the failure, and it's CM's job to figure that out.

CM also generally maintains the tools used for defect tracking -- when testers find bugs, they log them in a system, and then they get assigned to developers to fix them.

There's commercial and open source tools for all of that. I've got experience with a wide range of both, but I'm strongest in the commercial tools ClearCase and ClearQuest (IBM products for version control and defect tracking) and SubVersion (open source version control.)

It's really the type of work I enjoy. It involves a lot of short-term problem solving and use of a wide range of software tools. MDB (talk) 10:49, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

You might enjoy http://www.jwz.org/blog/2011/08/weaponized-tinderbox/ while we're on this subject. It sounds like you already do continuous integration but do you fire foam missiles at people who screw up? :D There is also a handy lesson about the importance of recognising names in the top few comments.
As to Windows, actually for reasons you might appreciate all the different "versions" (Microsoft would call them SKUs) of say Windows XP that you can buy are identical software with just a tiny configuration change at install time. Writing one operating system that can do all of these things (but remembers what you bought and restricts itself appropriately) is far easier than making several separate operating systems with overlapping functionality. Because of this, some people took to altering this configuration setting rather than buying the more expensive product and so partly to combat this the product range was later split in two. For example there is no direct consumer equivalent of Windows Server 2003, and there is no server edition of Windows Vista. However the vast majority of development effort remains common between these two product lines, they would be "branches" in the version control systems you're used to. The real reason for all the different SKUs is market segmentation. (talk) 13:32, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, it was on an earlier project we did continuous integration, but I do love that idea. MDB (talk) 16:10, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Hey me too[edit]

I'm leaving my current company next week. Luckily here in Europe at least the market seems to be very good for developers, I've been having interviews almost nonestop for the past 2 weeks. Don't like a lot of them though, there are a lot of companies out there where it's 40% sales, 30% consultants, 15% tech support, 10% upper management, 4% administration and 1% development who create the actual product. I'm really tired though, can't wait til my final day here. GTac (talk) 11:36, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Best of luck! MDB (talk) 12:58, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Evolution Fairytale Forum[edit]

There is post on Evolution Fairytale Forum about RationalWiki's "Global Flood" page. Amazing, that they cannot understand how their "giants" argument is flawed.--Cms13ca (talk) 20:22, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

"As tall as cedars" (or "whose height was like the height of the cedars" in your KJV) seems pretty self explanatory for an infallible book and your Biblical literalist, so who isn't reading this properly again? ADK...I'll bless your bat! 20:29, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Red, White, and Blue Spring[edit]

http://october2011.org/frontpage I'm betting only five people will show up for this. HollowWorld (talk) 01:47, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

I dunno, they're already 1/4 of the way to their fundrasing goal; I haven't seen them on my Democracy Now/Truthdig/Truthout feeds, so they're doing okay for not (apparently) getting any of the big lefty outlets behind them. B♭maj7 You know that nervous feeling you have before you're about to take an exam you don't feel ready for? That's pretty much how I feel all the time. 01:55, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Fucking Commies. ADK...I'll calcify your skull! 01:59, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Plz don't use Thor's Hammer upon them. HollowWorld (talk) 02:23, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Inn-teresting. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, That date holds karmic significance for both my spouse and myself; I hope it will be encouraging, constructive and loverly. Pay no attention to Armondikov's emotional outburst. The wee hours of the morning are more conducive to ephemeral insight than the rational discourse we have come to expect from that corner. Still, I would welcome our cousins across pond joining in proleterian solidarity with US. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:36, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Sarcasm, but I'm sure you knew that. ADK...I'll murder your Andrew Schlafly! 13:48, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I naively bat my innocent eyelashes in your general direction... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:51, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I not-so-innocently touch Sprocket. HollowWorld (talk) 19:11, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Right. Will I see you in the square on Pennsylvania Ave then? It is within reasonable striking distance for me, but not really a day trip. I've got extended family nearby I could crash with, and the wife is mildly enthused about going. Thursday will be possible, since weekends are when her business picks up. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:09, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to go, but unless I can arrange a ride by carpool or something I might not be able to get there. I live all the way across the country. HollowWorld (talk) 22:36, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Jack Layton's Final Words to Canada.[edit]

Every now and then, someone puts together a string of words that just says it so well. If you're Canadian and on any social media platform, you've probably read these words a dozen times today. If not: "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton, 1950-2001. B♭maj7 You know that nervous feeling you have before you're about to take an exam you don't feel ready for? That's pretty much how I feel all the time. 02:19, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

I've never felt like crying after the death of a political leader, but today I made an exception. --YossarianSpeak, Memory 04:16, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm still in outright shock. It felt like he was going to be fine and back in Parliament in September. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:19, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Jack Layton said some years ago that he would change the landscape and face of politics and politicians, and everything he set out to do - worked and happened in one respect or another - Jack Layton will be very missed here in Canada but one thing that is known - Politics here will never be the same!!! Thank you Jack for all of the work that you did for the Canadian People - We'll miss you! TLOS 23:09, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Shocked and genuinely sad that he is gone. He did amazing and great things for the NDP and progressive policies in Canada. I hope the momentum he created can continue. A decent guy and a great speaker. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 08:53, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Archiving articles?[edit]

I was wondering if we have a practice for archiving articles. we have two articles on Genesis - which are in fact effective duplicates. I want to merge them in to the Genesis article, but I don't want to actually delete the Guide to article, just in case I missed something. do we routinely archive articles like this?--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 23:54, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Make redirects. The history will be preserved. That is what you're looking for, right?--User:Brxbrx/sig 03:25, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Loriot is dead[edit]

A sad day :-( larronsicut fur in nocte 10:51, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

For people unfamiliar: WP:Vicco von Bulow.--ADtalkModerator 11:00, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Yeah but what about Elvis?? -- (talk) 15:03, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
He's dead too. Sadly. Rursus (talk) 12:36, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

The Fairness Doctrine[edit]

Remember the "ZOMG!!!!111!!!! Obama will bring back the Fairness Doctrine and we won't be able to listen to Rush and Sean and Glenn anymore!" predictions from the right during the 2008 elections? (Despite the fact a simple Google search revealed Obama opposed it's reinstatement.

In response to a White House executive order, the FCC eliminated the last remnants of the Fairness Doctrine. MDB (talk) 15:42, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

The Fairness Doctrine has been a wingnut bogeyman since the Clinton era, I'm pretty sure. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:00, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
There have been proposals from time to time to bring it back, but the right wing noise machine inevitably blows them all out of proportion. After all, it's perfect material for talk radio hosts -- "see how the evil liberals are trying to persecute us!" MDB (talk) 11:03, 24 August 2011 (UTC)


OK, a bit old but this made me laugh my ass off. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 10:53, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

How will you manage? Redchuck.gif ГенгисunbelievingModerator 11:00, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm always told I talk shit, so I have no need for an ass. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 12:41, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

The US is doomed, a graphic representation.[edit]

Country = Fail. B♭maj7 So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. 16:04, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Calamities of Nature- the source of the chart - is always worth a look. Here's another for you chart fans. Jack Hughes (talk) 17:46, 24 August 2011 (UTC)


I don't know how many of you get the eSkeptic newsletter but there is a review of Bart Ehrman's new book Forged which analyses the authenticity of many of the NT books. It may be of interest to some here. Redchuck.gif ГенгисunbelievingModerator 16:57, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I generally have loved most of Ehrman's works. Forged bothers me a bit. he seems to be going more "anti-religion" and "over skeptic" than truly academic here. It's a pop book, based on his academic writings -- and i guess that's where the problem for me is. He's not agreeing with his own conclusions in his academic writings. He's pushing the limit of what we can know, to say "therefore, it's likely not what the Church thinks". That small aspect aside, it's good reading, and he's a really valuable scholar -- one of the few who's willing to take on the "church" when it whines about what academics are finding out about the early chruch, Jesus, and the other truly Jewish "christian" churches that Paul pretty much washes away in favor of his own brand of theology. I'm glad he's writing for a 'pop' audience, to highlight aspects that most christians aren't even aware of. Ones that aren't even contraversial--Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 17:22, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

New Apostolic Reformation[edit]

In my rambles round the net I find these folk. The organization has become increasingly involved in political activism, with many of its leaders supporting the 2012 presidential candidacy of Rick Perry. (WP) There's a nice article here that makes them seem rather nasty. "… the NAR has run a campaign to reclaim what it calls the "seven mountains of culture" from demonic influence. The "mountains" are arts and entertainment; business; family; government; media; religion; and education." Worth an article? Pippa (talk) 19:55, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Here's an article on the Perry connection. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:00, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
They are the fucking "demonic influence!!!" (talk) 21:43, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Fainting goats![edit]

[3] That is all. steriletalk 02:14, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Fuck man, that's old fucking news. What's with all the old news? Why are you so fucking obsessed? What the fuck man? Jesus. Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 02:28, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
That is rather old. Either way, still made me giggle. --Dumpling (talk) 02:35, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Giggle? Giggle!? What are you, a 12 year old girl? God damn, this shit is important - if your giggling it means you aren't paying attention. there's a war on, man. Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 02:39, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Technically speaking. Quite possibly. And of course I'm not paying attention...I'm easily distracted.--Dumpling (talk) 02:42, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Bah, you are just another peddler of human misery. Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 02:48, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
^u^ But, of course.--Dumpling (talk) 03:09, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Ace, your attitude is thoroughly arousing. My body is ready for you. HollowWorld (talk) 03:12, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Excellent, I have successfully derailed a conversation and turned someone on. My work here is done. Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 03:14, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
"Oh Ace!" Everywhere, women growing aroused, men fainting, transvestites going into a frenzy at the mere thought of Ace McWicked's rippling masculine form. HollowWorld (talk) 03:18, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Men fainting? I thought this was about fainting goats. Aceof SpadesSilverbrain.png 03:20, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Men are goats. HollowWorld (talk) 03:28, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah. So men who stare at goats are really men who stare at other men. That explains a few things. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:49, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, Ace, being a virile and strong man, the epitome of masculinity, is turning men homosexual. HollowWorld (talk) 03:55, 25 August 2011 (UTC)


Help me out here. Is RINO pronounced like the animal (RHY-no), or like the city in Nevada (REE-no)? Or is it something as retarded as the acronym itself, like arr-EYE-no? --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 16:51, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

The voice inside my head that speaks when I read stuff pronounces it "rhy-no". SJ Debaser 17:07, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I've heard it said Rhino, and you'll see cartoons (Karatoons, mostly) or descriptions of moderate Republicans as rhinoceroses. --User:Brxbrx/sig 17:11, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Which raises the question: "WIGGO," "WEEGO" or "WYE-GO." B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 19:51, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
"WEEGO", definitly. It's the only pronunciation that makes sense.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:47, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
"WYE-GO" for me. Ajkgordon (talk) 22:03, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
"WIGGO." --B♭maj7 Define "talk." Define "page." 22:10, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Mais non! Ca ce prononce wigeaux--User:Brxbrx/sig 22:59, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
WEEGO it is then. The mob has spoken with an outstanding majority of 1-1-1-1.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 23:30, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Now this we've definitely done before. "WIG-GO", although I've never actually said it out loud this is what the internal monologue calls it, my actual voice may render it differently. ADK...I'll forsake your dollhouse! 02:15, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
"Wit-go". Don't axe me where the "t" came from...and yes, this is how I say it in my mind as who talks about these things out loud to anyone? 17:02, 22 August 2011 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
I've always thought of it as "WYE-GO," probably because it's similar to RINO. Tetronian you're clueless 02:17, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Everybody who says "WYE-GO" needs to be dragged outside and spanked like a red-haired stepchild. It's WEEGO, based on the hard "i" in "what is going on". Unless you say "what ys going on, boyo?". Sheesh, what next? People worshipping goats, instead of Mighty Lord Jerboa? --PsyGremlin講話 11:16, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Ahem. "What is going on" The unbusinesslikeman of business 21:07, 25 August 2011 (UTC)


...who felt the earthquake? DickTurpis (talk) 18:12, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Not me. Where I'm from, we get Hurricanes. But hope everyone who did go through the earthquake is okay. D:--Dumpling (talk) 18:19, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Totally felt it here. Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:31, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I did. I was at work, and thought at first someone was stomping around on the floor above me. When it didn't stop, and then got worse, pretty much everyone had a "holy shit!" moment and left the building. MDB (talk) 18:45, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Not me. Very close to it, though......--Lefty (talk) 18:58, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
By the way, I know you all know this, but as much as you love yoru friends and relatives, and want to make sure they are ok, please don't call to a Cell number that's in the VA area. let them call you. the cell networks are overloaded, and people with real emergencies are having hard times getting through. Land lines (if they work) do not apparently have this problem. Pink mowse.pngEn attendant Godot 18:59, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm supposed to have a phone interview today at 4:00 -- with someone in Northern Virginia, and I'm in central Maryland... and he only had my cell phone number. I called him and left a voice mail with my office land line (I don't have a land line at home anymore) to call my desk phone at work. MDB (talk) 19:12, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The hwat? ADK...I'll castigate your peat moss! 20:24, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
People near me today did (in PA), but the building I was in damps things well. But I bet Godddidit. steriletalk 20:32, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I felt it, but I thought it was just the windows and furniture rattling from a convoy of massive trucks that happened to be driving by at the same time. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:17, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
I thought I was being punked or something when I heard about it. But then again, there was so much devastation. Blue (pester) 00:28, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I realized something this morning[edit]

I live between DC and Baltimore. We had an earthquake yesterday and there's a hurricane coming this weekend.

I'm also the first-born son... Perhaps I should go to the butcher counter of my local grocer and buy some lamb's blood for my front door. MDB (talk) 10:36, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Just remember to add Jalapeño jelly when you eat the lamb. The unbusinesslikeman of business 21:09, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

This is what I love about you Americans[edit]

You always see the bright side of things. --ʤɱ pirate 11:48, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Hahaha. Wow.--Dumpling (talk) 12:49, 24 August 2011 (UTC)