RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive129

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is an archive page, last updated 23 November 2011. Please do not make edits to this page.
Archives for this talk page:
<1>, <2>, <3>, <4>, <5>, <6>, <7>, <8>, <9>, <10>, <11>, <12>, <13>, <14>, <15>, <16>, <17>, <18>, <19>, <20>, <21>, <22>, <23>, <24>, <25>, <26>, <27>, <28>, <29>, <30>, <31>, <32>, <33>, <34>, <35>, <36>, <37>, <38>, <39>, <40>, <41>, <42>, <43>, <44>, <45>, <46>, <47>, <48>, <49>, <50>, <51>, <52>, <53>, <54>, <55>, <56>, <57>, <58>, <59>, <60>, <61>, <62>, <63>, <64>, <65>, <66>, <67>, <68>, <69>, <70>, <71>, <72>, <73>, <74>, <75>, <76>, <77>, <78>, <79>, <80>, <81>, <82>, <83>, <84>, <85>, <86>, <87>, <88>, <89>, <90>, <91>, <92>, <93>, <94>, <95>, <96>, <97>, <98>, <99>, <100>, <101>, <102>, <103>, <104>, <105>, <106>, <107>, <108>, <109>, <110>, <111>, <112>, <113>, <114>, <115>, <116>, <117>, <118>, <119>, <120>, <121>, <122>, <123>, <124>, <125>, <126>, <127>, <128>, <130>, <131>, <132>, <133>, <134>, <135>, <136>, <137>, <138>, <139>, <140>, <141>, <142>, <143>, <144>, <145>, <146>, <147>, <148>, <149>, <150>, <151>, <152>, <153>, <154>, <155>, <156>, <157>, <158>, <159>, <160>, <161>, <162>, <163>, <164>, <165>, <166>, <167>, <168>, <169>, <170>, <171>, <172>, <173>, <174>, <175>, <176>, <177>, <178>, <179>, <180>, <181>, <182>, <183>, <184>, <185>, <186>, <187>, <188>, <189>, <190>, <191>, <192>, <193>, <194>, <195>, <196>, <197>, <198>, <199>, <200>, <201>, <202>, <203>, <204>, <205>, <206>, <207>, <208>, <209>, <210>, <211>, <212>, <213>, <214>, <215>, <216>, <217>, <218>, <219>, <220>, <221>, <222>, <223>, <224>, <224½>, <225>, <226>, <227>, <228>, <229>, <230>, <231>, <232>, <233>, <234>, <235>, <236>, <237>, <238>, <239>, <240>, <241>, <242>, <243>, <244>, <245>, <246>, <247>, <248>, <249>, <250>, <251>, <252>, <253>, <254>, <255>, <256>, <257>, <258>, <259>, <260>, <261>, <262>, <263>, <264>, <265>, <266>, <267>, <268>, <269>, <270>, <271>, <272>, <273>, <274>, <275>, <276>, <277>, <278>, <279>, <280>, <281>, <282>, <283>, <284>, <285>, <286>, <287>, <288>, <289>, <290>, <291>, <292>, <293>, <294>, <295>, <296>, <297>, <298>, <299>, <300>, <301>, <302>, <303>, <304>, <305>, <306>, <307>, <308>, <309>, <310>, <311>, <312>, <313>, <314>, <315>, <316>, <317>, <318>, <319>, <320>, <321>, <322>, <323>, <324>, <325>, <326>, <327>, <328>, <329>, <330>, <331>, <332>, <333>, <334>, <335>, <336>, <337>, <338>, <339>, <340>, <341>, <342>, <343>, <344>, <345>, <346>, <347>, <348>, <349>, <350>, <351>, <352>, <353>, <354>, <355>, <356>, <357>, <358>, <359>, <360>, <361>, <362>, <363>, <364>, <365>, <366>, <367>, <368>, <369>, <370>, <371>, <372>, <373>, <374>, <375>, <376>, <377>, <378>, <379>, <380>, <381>, <382>, <383>, <384>, <385>, <386>, <387>, <388>, <389>, <390>, <391>, <392>, <393>, <394>, <395>, <396>, <397>, <398>, <399>, <400>, <401>, <402>, <403>, <404>, <405>, <406>, <407>, <408>, <409>, <410>, <411>, <412>, <413>, <414>, <415>, <416>, <417>, <418>, <419>, <420>, <421>, <422>, <423>, <424>, <425>, <426>, <427>, <428>, <429>, <430>, <431>, <432>, <433>, <434>, <435>, <436>, <437>, <438>, <439>, <440>, <441>, <442>, <443>, <444>, <445>, <446>, <447>, <448>, <449>, <450>, <451>
, (new)(back)

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History[edit]

Just heard this for the first time. Anyone here a fan? B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 22:30, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Dan Carlin can have my metaphorical babies. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:48, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
But Nebby, you promised them to me. HollowWorld (talk) 00:45, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Must remember to stop RWing under the influence. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:47, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I also remember that he did one somewhat (though not totally) credulous episode on psychohistory, which should be taken with a shaker of salt. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:50, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I have been a fan for about a year, ever since I met a guy in Yemen who told me about him. I particularly enjoyed his Ghosts from the Ostfront series having recently been to Volgograd. You may also enjoy his Common Sense podcast as well. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 15:24, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I listened to the one about dangerous ideas and anarchism yesterday, and started the one about Magellan, white people and globalization. I have many, many, many hours of mindless work coming up, his two 'casts will make it that much more bearable. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 15:31, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

His last one of The Death Theoes of the Republic series is almost 5½ hours long, so you have a lot of listening in store. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 19:25, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

RSS feeds for WIGOs[edit]

I used Yahoo! Pipes to make RSS feeds for the WIGOs. For the two of you who use RSS feeds (joke), here they are:

If there are any errors, let me know. Also, I don't know if there should be a link on the individual WIGO pages. steriletalk 01:47, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't know what this "RSS feed" thing is, but yes, add links. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:39, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, I put them there. Now people will probably yell at me, move them to the left or right, make them not orange, and make them smaller. steriletalk 03:16, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I say down a line, and add some alt text. Will that do for yelling? Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 03:28, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I'll look at it in the morning. steriletalk 03:33, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

8 out of 10 cats[edit]

Any of my UK friends watch this show? Worth it? --Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 02:09, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Generic comedy panel show. If you like the comedians involved such as Jimmy Carr or Sean Lock, you'll be suitably entertained. Don't expect to learn anything (this isn't QI). A large portion of the show is dedicated (perhaps surprisingly given the apparent premise) to current affairs, like most other comedy panel shows in Britain. This means watching episodes more than a week old, or when living outside the UK or cut off from events is at best a bit surreal and more likely just boring. It's from Zeppotron but it's far from being either their best idea or the one you're least likely to see done better (or at all) elsewhere.
Some of the above thoughts might be a bit harsh because I'm getting sick of comedy panel shows. They're the new reality TV. QI gets a pass for being, at least every so often, genuinely quite interesting. But most of the rest are just excuses for comedians to tell topical jokes. I'd rather have some good new sketch show talent, or even better, something properly biting like a modern equivalent for Yes, Minister or Drop The Dead Donkey. (talk) 02:33, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
The Thick Of It is a pretty good Yes Minister substitute, not quite as biting perhaps but worth a look. I tend to watch QI on youtube and occasionally Would I lie to you (mainly for David Mitchell's rants) and very occasionally mock the week, but 8 out of 10 cats is pushing it. DamoHi 03:57, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't know anything about the show, but if Jimmy Carr is in it, it can't be all that bad. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:22, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
What 82 said. I like it, but I find that panel shows seem to be the only thing I use the TV for. So it's a bit generic but like all generic things they have their place. I can think of much worse ways of blowing 25 minutes. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 21:54, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Guess who found authentic Soviet propaganda on YouTube?[edit]

It's true. It's in two parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzvKCYrWY6E - Part 1, not translated
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsf3CeBE0rc&feature=feedlik - Part 2, translated into English

The good news: I managed to learn how to say and write "gunpowder" in Russian. It's порох, pronounced "porock" (I think), if you're too lazy to actually watch the video.
The bad news: I've got that one song the Kopeck was singing stuck in my head, and I have no idea what the fuck it means. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:18, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Why are you starting the same thread on multiple pages? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 03:51, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Since when was that a wiki-crime? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:58, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Why are you doing it? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 04:07, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
-has much soviet propaganda on my computer already, especially from the pre Great Patriotic War era---il'Dictator Mikalosa (talk) 04:28, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
And you have this on your computer because why? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 05:37, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Why not?--il'Dictator Mikalosa (talk) 15:53, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Irrelevant. Now please(?) answer the question or kindly fuck off. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 05:37, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Are you looking for an argument here? Jegus, kid, learn how to interact with a modicum of politeness and/or friendliness. It'll do you good. Blue (pester) 06:36, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I prefer Soviet Winnie the Pooh myself. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:40, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Soviet schmoviet. Nothing and I mean nothing beats the DPRK for propaganda. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=north+korea+propaganda Secret Squirrel (talk) 00:59, 14 November 2011 (UTC)


I won't be able to make it In time for the origins debate at the Smithsonian a few days from now. Ergo, I'd liken to ask all of you how to set up an origins debate from home on a low budget. Something which I don't have to spend a lot of money on, but get a fair amount of publicity and be able to post in more than one part on YouTube. I want something real, not online.

(Sorry for the relatively poor grammar and spelling compared to my other posts. I'm typing this on my iPad, so correcting errors you don't spot immediately gets to be a real pain in the ass.) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 05:33, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

you can debate via anything like yahoo messanger , you need a microphone and maybe a webcam. who do you want to debate ? some you tube vids have taken clips from people like Hovind and added a reply as though they were in a real debate. OOps , you did say not online. CamStudio is a free recording from a web cam or other video source. Hamster (talk) 05:53, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
No, you don't understand. I don't want to have to debate over the Interwebs. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 15:48, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Stand outside a church and punch the reverend in the face when he walks out. Tell him he's your wife now and then drag him to your home. Chain him to the radiator or something else suitably strong. Then have your debate. Record it with webcam and put it online. Then kill the reverend and bury his body somewhere. Repeat as needed. HollowWorld (talk) 20:20, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Great, now I'm turned on and creeped out at the same time. --ʤɱ heretic 01:12, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Teehee. "YOU'RE MY WIFE NOW!" -bitchslap---Dumpling (talk) 20:30, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Choose somebody who is well known in their field & write them an "open letter" somewhere on the internet calling them a chicken. Insist that they debate you, but that you will charge them money to do so (that way you keep your expenses down & might even turn a profit on this thing). Suggest that if they do not debate you, then it shows that they lack machismo & might be unappealing to members of the opposite sex and/or certain ethnic demographics. How could they then resist the invitation? ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:04, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Slightly tilted[edit]

I notice we've picked up several BoNs whose primary contributions have been to insert the phrase "slightly tilted" into various articles. Is there some kind of in-joke I'm missing here? Balaam (talk) 08:31, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

It is now... Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 08:36, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
It's obviously a slightly tilted joke. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:34, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
A search on "slightly tilted on this wiki gets a remarkable number of hits. Has somebody won a competition to get the phrase inserted the most number of times? A clean-up might be in order.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:35, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I've removed most if not all of them, I think. Blue (pester) 17:43, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Gotta catch 'em all. Scarlet A.pngbomination 17:48, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Is Herman Cain's campaign a piece of Performance Art?[edit]

Maddow has a revelation. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/rachel-maddow-kicks-herself-for-not-realizing-herman-cain-is-a-performance-art-project/Ryantherebel (talk) 16:06, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I think Maddow has finally gone off the deep end... Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:43, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I've been suspicious that he was a parodist for quite some time. Now that a pundit has said it, my opinion is verifiable truth. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:53, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
The republicans are a work of performance art. in general. (godot, didn't want to log in) (talk) 23:04, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Hitler finds out Rick Perry completely failed at the CNBC debate[edit]

I know, I know, Godwin's Law, but...

Osaka Sun (talk) 17:46, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I died laughing. --Dumpling (talk) 20:32, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Secular religions and secular humanism[edit]

I've rewritten parts of the secular religion page so its scope is more than "some wingnuts called atheism and evolution secular religions." Using a functional rather than substantive definition of religion (that page is coming in handy), all-encompassing secular ideologies fall under the umbrella of "secular religion." I'll argue that secular humanism would fall under that as well, since most of what goes under the banner was essentially cooked up by European (and later American) intellectuals who ripped off liberal Christian ethics and systematically removed the god and supernatural bits Thomas Jefferson style (see, e.g. the "invention" of natural rights). Huxley famously called Comte's Religion of Humanity "Catholicism minus Christianity." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:44, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Great work, sir. You have earned your cookie for today. Sam Tally-ho! 00:15, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Eh, I know someone's gonna get pissy if I put it in the secular religions page. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:36, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

More Galtian overlords lulz.[edit]

Guess someone completely erased the recession from his mind. The evidence is right in front of their faces (Greece is not even close to being the top spenders in Europe), so why do the Fraser Institute wingnuts mindlessly scream FREE MARKETZ SOLVE EVERYTHING!!!1 whenever a tax-evading bad egg shows up?

Do they have any semblance of compromise? I swear every year bets are up on the Nordic Model failing, then Scandinavia does the exact opposite. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:56, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

It's called "propaganda." You might as well expect the Disco 'Tute to start publishing actual science. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:03, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Don't read the comments - they're channeling Schiff. An article on sovereign default wouldn't be a bad idea. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:09, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Thrill killing verdict[edit]

So this soldier encouraged his men to shoot upon some unarmed civilians and is given life with parole after ten years. He admitted to cutting off fingers for trophies and had called people savages. The soldier's lawyer pleaded for leniency saying 'oh he's had time to think about it, he's not the same person'. What do you guys think? HollowWorld (talk) 05:34, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

No one should kill just for the 'thrill' of killing. I don't approve of violence in general, unless it's absolutely necessary. But seriously? Those were unarmed men. 10 years isn't even enough in my book. --Dumpling (talk) 08:14, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Not ever having been in a war, so i am just guessing, but i would imagine it can be quite stressful and dehumanising. Some folk are bound to snap in such a fashion. Perhaps this is was a factor in sentencing. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:19, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps. But it's really scary to think that there's a point where one can be stretched so thin to the point where they do snap, and lives just become numbers on a killing spree. --Dumpling (talk) 08:28, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether 10 years is enough, but in any such case - and I think you'll agree - "deterrent" wouldn't be a factor in the sentence. No deterrent will prevent people snapping. So all that is left is raw punishment, and like AMG said, the punishment was probably adjusted for the fact that the convict was not really at fault for snapping. That said, if he really did cut off fingers for trophies, that sounds less like an issue of snapping and more an issue of him being an unstable dick. ONE / TALK 12:32, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
This might be just a wrong perception, but I get the feeling that soldiers are punished less than the average person commiting the same crime. That's pretty damn outragous. If anything they should be punished harder because they represent a whole damn country by serving. If you feel you can't take it any more, if you feel depressed or under a lot of stress you should be able to just tell you're commander and get the hell outta there. --ʤɱ pirate 13:14, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
He did get a life sentence. -- (talk) 20:34, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
With parole. There shouldn't be any parole. --ʤɱ soviet 20:48, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
The most difficult part of training soldiers is training them to kill. Part of the process is dehumanising the enemy so that soldiers are not killing people but "charlie" or "ragheads" or...
Once this dehumanisation has been done it's no surprise that atrocities occur. I'm not saying it's excusable, but spare some compassion for the guy who is acting as he's been trained to do. Bad Faith (talk) 14:00, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
You must also understand how the individual soldier is utterly subservient to the chain of command. If a higher ranking soldier or officer implicitly sanctions your acts, then a "cracked" solder can take that as encouragement.
While the highest standards must always be demanded of our soldiers, you must take the conditions that soldiers work in into account when passing judgement. No excuses, only mitigation. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:33, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I used to work with a guy who had been a squaddie in Northern Ireland during 'the troubles'. Even five years after he had had left the service he carried around photographs of some of the people his platton had beaten up. Most of the time he was a good guy until one evening after having had a few beers he suddenly punched another guy in the face for no apparent reason and we had to get rid of him. I don't pretend that he's typical but putting people in stressful situations is going to take its toll and we should not underestimate the peer pressure to join in with existing abusive systems where loyalty to your unit and colleagues is so highly prized. Because of the hierarchical nature of the armed services ethics have to come from the top. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 16:04, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
There are three kinds of people I can hardly feel anything for (not only empathy, but also any kind of need for revenge): Murderers, child abusers and soldiers. The first two are pretty common. The last one I just don't understand myself why. So even if I may intectually understand what you mean, any soldiers has lost all credit for me by becoming a soldier. I don't know why I feel that way. I just do. --ʤɱ soviet 20:48, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Then you're a fucking idiot. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:13, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Classy. --ʤɱ pervert 21:21, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Not at all. You lump soldiers in with murderers and child abusers and can't even be bothered to come up with a reason why. That's fucking idiotic. You need to pay just a little bit more attention to the myriad of reasons why people become soldiers, the sacrifices many of them are prepared to make for genuinely ethical and moral reasons, and then leave your facile and puerile condemnation of them as no better than murderers and child abusers at the door. You're obviously a bright and educated person, but that has to be one of the most offensive and stupid things I have ever read on this site. Particularly today. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:28, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
First of all I don't "lumb them together". Those are three distinct categories, for which I incidentally have the same feelings. Second of all, it's a feeling. That means that I can not explain it. You sure know the concept of such a thing, right? (If not, let's talk about god...) Intellectually I understand that my feeling on this topic is weird. I understand that I should be thankful and all that stuff, but I'm just not. By all means it is illogical, but I can't force myself to feel a certain way — and I don't think anybody can. If you think that is idiotic or stupid, well do so, because I really couldn't give less of a fuck what you think. (AND I am NOT saying with that, that I would not consider what you say, that you hold an opinion on any topic is simply irrelevant in that evaluation process of that particular topic — you know, as the laws of logic actually are supposed to work)
Little Trivia: Today is Veteran's Day. A day on which the United States honor their veterans. Why does (a) my opinion on soldiers matter? And (b) the United States are not my country, why should I care? And I will not censor myself, because it might be offensive (if as above anybody against all reasoning would give a fuck what I think, feel or believe) to somebody, I can say what I think, feel or believe and not give a fuck if it causes somebody to feel uncomfortable because not everybody honors their heroes. Edit: As I just found out, today is also "Armistice Day". I still don't give a fuck if I offended some WWI veteran.
The reason I responded to this at all is to give an opinion, nobody forces anybody to give a fuck about what I say. --ʤɱ sinner 22:01, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, Veterans Day is the American thing. Armistice Day is somewhat out-moded and most countries that commemorate it use it to remember the war dead generally including current wars and operations. Indeed many countries don't even call it Armistice Day - they call it Remembrance Day (or Remembrance Sunday in the UK). One of the last countries to make this change from simply commemorating the end of WW1 was France yesterday. Oh, and the last WW1 veteran died earlier this year so you have little chance of offending him, even if you don't give a fuck.
Now, of course, you're German (even if you'd prefer to be European) and so your take on the whole thing is bound to be different and there's little reason for you to know much about the various traditions of the Allies. You also, as a German, may have a built-in cultural mistrust of anything military (although of course I'm guessing) and that's something that most of us deeply respect and understand.
Incidentally, the last time I was in Germany I was invited to a colleague's house for a drink. He had a small glass display cabinet with models of WW2 era German tanks. I asked him which direction the turrets were all pointing. "Kent", he said.
But back to murderers, child molesters and soldiers. While I get that you don't think they are the same, you must understand that writing "There are three kinds of people I can hardly feel anything for (not only empathy, but also any kind of need for revenge): Murderers, child abusers and soldiers." is bound to be seen as an implication that you do, however much you qualified it afterwards. If you don't understand that or simply don't care then you are being idiotic. Or simply trolling.
Look, I'm not offended and I doubt anyone else is by you not honouring any heroes, particularly if they're not your heroes. Which they obviously aren't. (Not that "heroes" has anything to do with it anyway.) I was calling you out on implying that soldiers are no better than murderers or child abusers, whether or not you intended to. That's the beef.
That you don't understand why you feel no empathy or respect for them is perfectly valid, but secondary. I feel the same way about traffic wardens. However, I'm surprised that a philosophy student with strong political views in an era where militarism is still such a powerful force in the world is willing to admit no empathy for soldiers but unwilling to even want to understand why.
That you don't give a fuck about my opinions is a given. But there it is. Ajkgordon (talk) 10:21, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
The thing is, the guy didn't 'snap', he and the men he encouraged did it because they were bored. Bringing along plant weapons seems a bit less like snapping and a bit more 'premeditated'. HollowWorld (talk) 16:30, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, what it "seems" to be to us is probably along way from what it actually was. I reserve judgement on this because I don't know all the facts. What I disagree with is comments like the one above demanding tougher sentences for soldiers because... well, they're soldiers. Ajkgordon (talk) 16:35, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
If he did this in Texas, he probably would have gotten executed you know (or maybe not since it was just a bunch of Afghan people after all, what's one of their lives to a good true American's life? Maybe 1/6th?). Life without parole is pretty lenient! Yet somehow he got life with the possibility of parole after ten years. HollowWorld (talk) 16:44, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
1/6th is kind of low balling them, can we do a 3/5ths compromise? TheCheatI run on alcohol 20:27, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Or is 1/6th the average weight ratio of Afghans to Americans? TheCheatI run on alcohol 20:29, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
No wait it was too much, it's more like 1/8th. Because only Americans are people derp derp.HollowWorld (talk) 20:34, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
American exceptionalism is fucking awesome if your an American :-). America, fuck yea! TheCheatI run on alcohol 20:38, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
@AjkG--There's been a full court martial, so if you want to apprise yourself of the facts, you can read about it. If we don't know all the facts now, it seems like we never will. I think I genrally agree with where you're coming from on this, that sometimes soldiers snap in combat and that they shouldn't be punished more simply because they're soldiers, but this doesn't seem to be a case of battle-induced stress. According to the news accounts, the soldiers trained for Iraq, but were ultimately sent to Afghanistan, which was more peaceful at the time and called for a gentler approach to counterinsurgency. They weren't in battle and wanted more action. The actions of the defendant and his men were not only completely against the laws of war, they undermined the NATO mission in Afghanistan. If something related to this defendant being a soldier was a mitigating factor here, his defense attorney does not seem to have presented it at the court martial. Godspeed (talk) 21:53, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually I don't think I talked about snapping - that was someone else. But yes, I don't think soldiers should be punished in principle any more than anyone else who commits the same crime. While it seems this soldier might have just been an evil dick (but I haven't appraised myself of all the facts so I don't know), that he is a soldier is largely irrelevant to the crime. Ajkgordon (talk) 10:29, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
You used 'cracked', which could be a synonym of 'snapping'. Goddy said you can go look at the facts if you want to, but you do not seem inclined to do so. You said that the conditions which a soldier is in must be taken into account as well... which does make it relevant to the crime. While the highest standards must always be demanded of our soldiers, you must take the conditions that soldiers work in into account when passing judgement. No excuses, only mitigation. That's what you said. HollowWorld (talk) 00:01, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, yes. And? I'm choosing not to judge. (His sentence rather than his guilt or innocence, btw.) What's the problem? That the criminal is a soldier can be used in mitigation, just like the circumstances of any other criminal. In fact it could be used as a reason to pass a heavier sentence in some cases. What I object to is sentencing a soldier more severely just because he's a soldier. See? Ajkgordon (talk) 10:05, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I see that you're an idiot. HollowWorld (talk) 20:11, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I see you fail to read what I wrote. Let me spell it out for you again.
My argument is purely about the comment all the way up there, by UHM I think, about judging or sentencing soldiers more harshly because they are soldiers.
That's it.
Guilt or innocence, parole or no parole in this particular case is not my concern. (Obviously it could be but that's not the point I was making.)
That you disagree is fine. That you think (maybe) that soldiers know what they are getting into, are put in a position of huge physical power over other humans, are representing their country or the UN or whatever, and so should be held to higher standards and punished more severely than a civilian who commits the same crime is also fine.
We disagree. Get over it. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:24, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that's what Hollow meant. You said the working conditions should be taken into account. Now if you take the conditions into account you will almost always come out with a lower punishment than for normal people, because normal people would not be under such conditions. But soldiers should, if they take up service, know what they are getting into. --ʤɱ atheist 21:59, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, absolutely agree. There will be occasions, probably most of them as you say, where the mitigating circumstances of a soldier being in an extremely high stress position (the intensity of which few of us will ever experience) will play in his favour when being sentenced. However there are occasions (and this isn't theoretical) where a soldier will be sentenced more severely because of some of the reasons above, e.g. abuse of power and so on.
I'm not commenting on this case in particular but on the idea that soldiers should be punished more severely in principle. I maintain that each case should be judged and sentenced on its own merits.
I will take you up on one point though. Most soldiers actually don't know what they are getting into until they get into it. However good the training and the preparation, the intensity of war can be so extreme that little can prepare you for it. The violence, the horror, the danger, the physical discomfort, the fear, even the noise. Many soldiers are still teenagers when they are first exposed to this kind of environment. Most teenagers don't know what they're getting into when they go their first late night bar, let alone a war zone.
I repeat, none of this should ever be used as an excuse. But it can be and is sometimes used in mitigation. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:56, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd just rather have this guy put away with life without parole. He has no excuse. None. War is hell but the punishment must fit the crime. HollowWorld (talk) 20:41, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi, Funnyman![edit]

It's nice to be able to talk to you on RationalWiki! Welcome to the cluh-ub, welcome to the cluh-ub, welcome Noah, welcome Noah, welcome to the clu-ub! The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:48, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

This is how you make a reply, Noah. It'll make sense in source mode. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:51, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
If you're saying hello to someone, can you use their talk page instead of the SB? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:23, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
He's new. Give the poor boy time. HollowWorld (talk) 20:23, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
...He's had well over two months... Blue (pester) 23:46, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Still counts. And he's getting better... Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 00:02, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
He's the most flamboyant noob we've seen in a while. Blue (pester) 00:05, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
*sighs in relief* Sam Tally-ho! 00:20, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
If he's the worst we've dodged quite a bullet there. Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 00:26, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Definitely not the worst. I take it you never met CUR? Blue (pester) 00:47, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Or Colby. Colby was bad, though I kinda miss him. Тytalk 00:56, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
No, I never met CUR - reading rww I don't regret that either. Still, if he's the worst even in a 2-month period... Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 01:13, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Colby made CUR look like a young connoisseur of teh interwebs. Colby provided me and much of the community with many unintentional lolz through his interactions. SJ Debaser 11:37, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

How evilutionists say grace[edit]

Before sacrificing the turkey to Almighty Darwin. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:53, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Hehehehehehehe... Scarlet A.pngpostate 22:17, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
The worrying thing is I actually did this tonight. --Veni, Vidi, Feci (talk) 23:13, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I always thanked my turkey (or chicken) for giving up its life for me. Cause i always felt bad when the food was animals shaped.Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 23:29, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
So if I mold it into the shape of a boat would you feel better? :D RJ 13:18, 14 November 2011 (UTC)


It's 12:12 and I have to learn about 150 vocabs until 17:00. This is gonna be a tough one. --ʤɱ libertarian 11:15, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Ick. GOOD LUCK! --Dumpling (talk) 13:37, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Somehow I made it. Second best learning perfomance of my life. --ʤɱ structuralist 19:29, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
WOOOOOOT! -confetti party- :D--Dumpling (talk) 03:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
That really is quite impressive. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:57, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

One way to encourage kids to read[edit]

What do you mean Sasha Grey isn't awesome? Favourite comment has to be this one: "Who cares that she was reading to them, the kids themselves should be too young to know who she is anyway. If they do know who she is, you can only blame bad parenting." Exactly. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:47, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Precisely. --Dumpling (talk) 16:06, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
So really, what the fuck? Unless she is reading from See Jane Have Dick, I cannot see what the problem is. Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 16:09, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Porn stars are automatically bad. Hell my university wouldn't let you enrole (my spellcheck says that isn't a real word but spellcheck isn't the boss of me) if you'd done anything "adult" (including just nude photos). X Stickman (talk) 16:37, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Good god, where do you go to school? Colordo U asks "can you pay?" then maybe asks "and what were your grades like in highschool or undergad".Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 16:51, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Where I did my undergrad and MA they held a mirror up to my nose. If it fogged up....B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 17:01, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

She looks like she's really enjoying herself, and the kids seem to dig her. I can't imagine the teacher introduced her as a porn star. Just a nice young lady who came by to read to you. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 16:44, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

So it's not a big deal.

--Dumpling (talk) 16:56, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

"What's a porn star, mummy?" "..." BWAHAHAHAH!!! Scarlet A.pnggnostic 17:06, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Site running really slow today?[edit]

Yes? B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 17:03, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Very.--Dumpling (talk) 17:08, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

It's been on-and-off for me in the last 24 hours or so. Pages seem fine, dynamic bits like editing and special pages are a bit iffy. But you have EC'd me twice in the Saloon Bar in quick succession. For this, we must fight to the death prepare to die. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:09, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

I thought it was just me and my connection. but yeah, i click, then get some coffee... type, hit submit, then go do some accounting, etc. reminds me of dialup. "write your letter" log in, send letter, come back 20 minutes later to see if it's sent!Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 17:26, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Google Help[edit]

does anyone know where google has hidden the "advanced" search. I was trying to find a recipe for Salade Nicoise for hubby, and he said "those arent' right, try some french ones" - but I couldn't find the advanced search anymore. Am I just blind?--Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 01:35, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Right at the bottom, I think. Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 01:39, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
It appears they have, in fact, removed it from their front page. I had to google something before "Advanced Search" would appear at the bottom of the results page. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:40, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Founder of Dispora just died[edit]

at 22, no less. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/co-founder-social-network-diaspora-184353108.htmlPink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 03:12, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

That's rather sad. D: Poor guy...--Dumpling (talk) 03:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Wait...I think Ace got to this before you. About...2 sections ahead.--Dumpling (talk) 03:22, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
yeah, i see that, and missed it with Stubby's bold rant. ;-) --Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 03:26, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Haha. I completely missed it too, until I scrolled up. Then I was confused for a moment.--Dumpling (talk) 03:30, 15 November 2011 (UTC)


which of you are a frequent RWW editor? I want to ask you a question off line.--Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 01:18, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm one. Even when I don't have time to edit, I still check RWW so I at least have a vague idea what's going on here. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:23, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm also a fairly active lurker there, though I rarely actually edit. Blue (pester) 01:33, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes. Sam Tally-ho! 01:46, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Lurker.--Dumpling (talk) 01:49, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I suppose almost frequent by RWW standards. I go when I remember about it. Scarlet A.pngmoral 01:58, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
wrote ~20% of site, almost daily edits, RWWW Cabal member. Whatcha need? Тytalk 02:01, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I do somethings some times at RWW. Recklessly Noise Punk What's this button do? Uh oh.... 11:32, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

We should stop providing life support for that site. Let someone buy it or let it die. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:22, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

I've been trying to get ahold of Trent for some time to discuss my plans to buy it off the RWF for a ehile. For some reason, though, I've yet to receive a response. Recklessly Noise Punk What's this button do? Uh oh.... 15:06, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Adding a "top viewed" section for popular articles?[edit]

Would it be a good idea? And place it somewhere on the home page? Osaka Sun (talk) 02:03, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

We have this. I'm not sure it's really necessary for the main page, though. Sam Tally-ho! 02:15, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, Special:PopularPages aggregates all-time pageviews, and that's not likely to change often. It can be accessed via DPL:

Extension:DynamicPageList (DPL), version 3.3.4: Error: No selection criteria found! You must use at least one of the following parameters: category, namespace, titlematch, linksto, uses, createdby, modifiedby, lastmodifiedby, or their 'not' variants

Or, a variation with just the fun namespace and no counter:

Extension:DynamicPageList (DPL), version 3.3.4: Error: No selection criteria found! You must use at least one of the following parameters: category, namespace, titlematch, linksto, uses, createdby, modifiedby, lastmodifiedby, or their 'not' variants

Maybe more interesting would be a monthly most-viewed pages list, but AFAIK there's no extant MW extension function for that. Blue (pester) 02:24, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
If space can be made for it on the main page (e.g. by cutting the WIGO section down to the WIGO Nav, & taking out the redundant duplicate links below it) I don't think it would be bad idea to have a short list (5-10) of popular articles, alongside one of recently created articles.

Extension:DynamicPageList (DPL), version 3.3.4: Error: No selection criteria found! You must use at least one of the following parameters: category, namespace, titlematch, linksto, uses, createdby, modifiedby, lastmodifiedby, or their 'not' variants

Like so. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 02:50, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
How about like this? Blue (pester) 03:20, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Not bad. Just need to make sure that Popular Articles doesn't include the main page as one. :P
If we later do find an extention for a monthly most-viewed list, make sure we get it in there somehow as well. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:00, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
(EC x 4?!) Pretty good. Could it include links to Special:PopularPages & Special:NewPages for readers who want to view a longer list? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 04:06, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
"Popular this month" or "popular this week" would be awesome. But perhaps difficult. Blue's sandbox page looks like an interesting thing to play about with, though. Scarlet A.pngtheist 21:59, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I personally would not highlight "recently created articles", cause some of our articles are just shit. i would though, highlight "recently bronzed" articles as "new". and also give a shout out to anything awarded silver or gold. just my .02$Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 23:26, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
A recently rated list would have to be updated manually - in other words, it wouldn't get updated. Gold articles are already featured. Maybe instead of "newly created" articles we could have a list of high-importance silver articles. Blue (pester) 23:43, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Still think recently created articles should be highlighted. A lot of them are shit, but that's why they should be noticed so that they can be improved or deleted rather than left hanging around in poor condition. This should be alongside links to featured & popular content of course. Maybe also a section that links to random selections of bronze, silver & gold articles so readers can look at highly rated content as well as articles that could be improved. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:48, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

My day. Let me tell you about it. (Computer failure)[edit]

So I have a publication deadline and a funding application coming up fast, so I need to be writing all day. It's 10 AM or so. I'm editing the application which is a Word document that I've downloaded from the website, saved as an ODT file, and am writing in. Until my computer shuts down and goes straight to the login screen. Weird. I re-boot, work for a bit, same thing happens. Again. And again. And then it won't reboot at all because it can't mount the hard drive. Okay, no reason to panic, I'm really anal about backing up, and I have two lappys. So I decide to bring the main computer, the one I was working on, to the repair shop; could be a hard drive failure, could be a few things. The tech said she'll call me back tomorrow. Worst case scenario there is I buy a new hard drive and lose about 4 CDs which I ripped the other day and never backed up. All of my research, etc. is saved multiple times over.

I go home, fire up my take-to-the-coffeshop-and-library computer and....THE SAME FUCKING THING HAPPENS minus the bit about it not being able to reboot/mount the hard drive. What the fuck? And now, every time I open a LibreOffice document, it restarts on me. (I'm running Zotero too. Wondering if either one, or both together is fucking up my system). Now I know that the odds of both my machines having the same hardware problem is remote, so I decide to re-install Ubuntu 10.10 on the backup machine. And it seems to be working okay as I type in an ODT document. I have not tried to deal with the Word doc from the funding agency that started me on this spiral--I'll just write everything here and transfer it to Word on a computer at the office tomorrow. And I'll be up all night writing now.

Anybody have any ideas about what caused this clusterfuck? B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 01:23, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

It didn't shut down all the way did it? If it just logged out without warning then that's been happening to me on Mint 11 for ages... Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 01:27, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Correct--it went to the login screen, until, on the first one, it couldn't anymore. But it's NEVER done that before, and now on 2 different machines on the same day? it's gotta be a bug with that document, right? B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 01:32, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd try to convert the file that seems to be the cause of it into an altogether different format (pdf or tex) at best on an all together different system. If it works then, the running programs might have scewed up things. If that is the fact, try shutting down those programs. I don't know if it would help, but can you run a virtual desktop doing that? Or maybe a protable version of Linux that leaves your hard drive alone. --ʤɱ federalist 01:38, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
At this point I'm not touching that document with a 10foot pole. No way. I'll scratch out everything on the machine with the new OS, and cut/paste into the form on a Windows machine at the office tomorrow. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 01:53, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
....and another random reboot. Without ever opening the accursed document. Always while running OpenOffice, it seems. AAARGH.
Abiword perhaps? Тytalk 04:34, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

doesn't work with Zotero, and there's no reason why Open or Libre should randomly make my computer reboot. I'd rather fix that problem than run away from using the software I should be using with this OS...B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 04:42, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Just convert it to a different format. -- (talk) 06:02, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, but that's not really the point. If a clean install of an OS is crashing when using the software that came packaged with it with the formats that are native to that software after years and years of never doing that, to me, that means that there's a problem that needs fixing, not a jury-rigged work around. It's SUPPOSED to be able to run Open Office and ODT formats without crashing. That's really not a lot to ask of the system. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 06:10, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Have you tried the file on, say, a Fedora install for a control? It would be worth finding out whether it's OO or Ubuntu that's doing it... Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 06:43, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I have not, but I did check out the file:///var/log/syslog file and there was a bunch of stuff about ALSA/Pulseaudio there before it crashed. I just installed Banshee the other day, and I suspect that maybe it doesn't play well w/ OO on my system. I'm going to go back to Ryhthmbox and see what happens. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 06:48, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
That could be it then. But didn't you say a clean install did it too? I'm pretty sure 10.10 didn't come with Banshee by default. Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 06:56, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Hierarchy enforcement[edit]

The systems most of you are running these days are what is called "protected mode" operating systems. In these systems the hierarchy looks like this:

- The hardware can cause any type of problem. Crashes, reboots, total data loss, smoke and fire, it's limited only by the laws of physics. Hardware faults tend to cause broad sweeping effects, and rarely affect very different machines.

- The operating system runs on the hardware. If your hardware is fine, bugs in the operating system can cause the hardware to do anything it was designed to do, even if you don't command it. Crashes, reboots, total data loss, but not smoke and fire, because that's a hardware fault.

- The programs run on the operating system. If your operating system is fine, the programs are limited by what the operating system allows. For example, the program might crash, but that shouldn't e.g. reboot the entire computer or even drop you to a login screen. If it does, that's an OS fault.

Of course this was all built by humans, who are fallible, but while it's conceivable that a mistake made by the CPU designer results in the CPU resetting when you open this one particular ODF file, it's about as likely as HIV spontaneously becoming airborne. So, this doesn't sound like an OpenOffice.org fault, at least not entirely. I'd be looking at the OS first and foremost. Video drivers maybe. (talk) 12:16, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Video drivers is highly possible. As is OOo/LO doing something that takes down X due to a driver bug. At that point everything disappears and the system drops back to a login screen; the OS hasn't technically crashed, but the user's shit's gone - David Gerard (talk) 16:32, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Alright, I reinstalled back to 10.04 and am about to try OO again. If the problem was with the driver, would a clean install fix that, or does one need to get the driver separately? B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 16:36, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
That really, really depends. Try it with a clean install if it's still acting up, try to manually install some new drivers. It really could go either way.. And those re a pain to diagnose.. the most likely culprit, knowing X11, is a vid driver fault. But it still could be, say, a bad section of memory, or a fault on the vid card itself.. Quaruliquid goo - You can't explain that! 02:16, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Sounds about right. By the way, LibreOffice is worth the trouble of installing in 10.04. PPA. - David Gerard (talk) 16:10, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

The Argumentarium[edit]

Would anybody be interested in joining a new project I'm starting up? It's called Argumentarium, and the idea is to logically present opinions that people hold on any subject, from philosophy and religion to conspiracy theories and alternative medicine. Each argument is a separate page with a clearly defined scope and a list of sub-arguments for and against. You can help explain and apply logical fallacies and organize accurate knowledge. It's an open wiki so feel free to dive in or ask me questions. Conclavion (talk) 06:53, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

In theory, yes. But in my experience whenever anyone attempts to formalise things like this it falls apart very quickly because people invariably spot something they need to talk about NOW and butt in. It's because things work best if they go from point-to-point naturally and interplay with each other - it's not often you can keep things isolated and controlled in that way. If you can somehow get around this without destroying the organic essence required for constructive discussion, it would be very impressive. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 10:15, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah that is a concern. I think I'll keep a very tight lid on things and keep each page very distinct and written as though it is accurate (e.g. a page entitled "The Christian God created the universe less than 10,000 years ago") so proponents of various arguments can sort of have a page that expresses their opinions, and they'll be happy (I hope) because each statement can be supportive, even if the overall format of the wiki is unbiased. I'm sure some people won't accept anything less than exuberant acceptance of their ideas, but I think we can do it. Conclavion (talk) 00:02, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Could be interesting.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:33, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Kittens on album covers[edit]

The cute, it's too much! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:59, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

SO. MUCH. SQUEE. Now I have a distraction for the next....hour or so! --Dumpling (talk) 03:28, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Fucking Hallmark cards. I could never in my darkest dreams have invented a scenario in which Sonic Youth and the Wu Tang Clan get co-opted by adults who hang out at the mall food court. I just threw up in my mouth a little. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 13:27, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

cat insanity[edit]

I just got home, crawled into my lounge mode, and was relaxing when "thumpthumpbruffthmp" and "puddahpuddah" all over the house, as cat ran up onto the bed, off the bad, down teh stairs, back onto the bed, off the bed, onto her tree, onto the dresser, back to teh bed huffing and puffing, then stared at me like **I** was the crazy one. --Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 23:36, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

And then they're immediately calm like nothing ever happened. It's like some sort of spontaneous, super intense catnip trip. Sam Tally-ho! 00:07, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
[6]--Dumpling (talk) 03:26, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Do I really need to go all-out Maru on you all?
Osaka Sun (talk) 04:14, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
"...then stared at me like **I** was the crazy one." Maybe you're not all there...yourself. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:20, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
KYAAAAA! MARUMARU!♥ I love Maru! Actually...Maru has a book now...So cute. But, But...Nebby-Oppa! Being crazy is so much fun~ --Dumpling (talk) 04:26, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
You can't help that, most everyone's mad here! Hahahaha! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:30, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Off with their heads. Mad you say? As a hatter you say? off with your heads, then.--Pink mowse.pngGodotI smell roasted chestnuts. droollllllll. 04:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
First, pardon any mistakes I'm about to make. I'm a long term lurker, but I had to comment on this on. Our cat did acted like that a while back. First, staring, then loud meowing, then crazy running, then complete calm. Then dieing. Yep, it was seizures, which killed him in a couple of days. Just wanted to warn you in case it's more than just young and crazy catness. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Sad story, but it's probably only a cause for concern if the cat is really eratic. Cats do odd little incomprehensible things all the time so I wouldn't put one-off craziness down to seizures. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:32, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I never noticed before, but Maru is declawed. Poor kitty :( --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:41, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

You tube[edit]

Some time ago I thought we decided that we were going to post links to youtube videos rather than the space-filling, bandwidth-eating pictures. Any chance we could go back to that?--BobSpring is sprung! 13:24, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

We could, but once people have discovered the magic #ev tag, would they actually do it? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 13:41, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Bob. Video transclusions are fine on userpages/user talk, & if used very sparingly in articles where appropriate (e.g. the banana fallacy), but in the Saloon Bar they're too space-hogging/attention-hogging, & often get few or any responses. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:46, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Unless they're filled with cats. Scarlet A.pngbomination 18:42, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

How to avoid the truth about climate change[edit]

Good talk by Barry Bickmore, geo-chemist and Republican, on his shift from (pseudo-)skeptic to climate science bulldog. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:03, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Also, name drops for the Galileo gambit and the Journal of Dog Astrology. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:29, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not convinced he's Republican. That would disturb the very balance of the universe. Osaka Sun (talk) 17:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

A rant[edit]

So, the CDU had it's party convention in Leipzig. I've never been a big fan of that political party, but now they are getting ridiculous. Their new programm? Minimum wage, a reform of the education system, anti-nuclear energy and last but not least compulsory military service. Standard issues? Yes, but a few years ago they were against three of those. Minimum wages? Oh, hell no! Reform of the educational system? No we just need better spending (while secretely cutting funding as nobody looks)! Nuclear energy? Oh come on, green energy won't do the trick!

What happend you might ask? Fukushima and the financial crisis happend. You'd think she changed her opinion? Well, yes of course she did, she just only said it after the newest polls got in. You know, like millions of Germans she just realized this stuff at the same time — it's not like she's the chancellor of this fucking country and can just look up the stats on all of this, but no in this womens head the only stats that matter are her poll numbers.

I guess it's only a matter of time until they'll speak of the working class instead of the middle class, propose a law allowing they gayz to marry, legalize weed (or, hey how about all drugs? that'll give 'em another two percent in the next election), etc. Nice conservative party you've got there.

Back in the day an orange flag blew over the CDU, now it's red and green. But one thing is for certain, it'll always blow in the wind of public opinion.

</rant> --ʤɱ digital native 19:58, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I hate to tell you this, but Europe is really no different/better than the US, they just like to strut around on the fact that they are. "new world order" is a conspiracy theory in one sense, but it's very real in a "show me the money" sense. Corporations rule the US, they are international corporations so they will eventually rule everything, cause money talks. Politicians are politicians. They'll say and do whatever it takes to get reelected. Yes, i am very cynical, but ...such is life.Pink mowse.pngGodotMoi j'dis, laisse beton 20:03, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes public opinion and political opportunism converge. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth as they say. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:05, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Rick Perry's great new idea[edit]

"Lets privatize Homeland Security!" Wait, WTF? Aceace 20:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Just forget about it, you're risking brain damage whenever he says anything. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:49, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Wait, WTF? I thought it already was. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:05, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Is Perry ripping off Ron Paul now? TheCheatI run on alcohol 22:32, 15 November 2011 (UTC)


Tweet: @lecanardnoir (Andy Lewis) Video from dangerous homeopath Jeremy Sherr. (Note bookshelves filled with journals supporting his claims.) youtu.be/75nkZ3F5yOM Scream!! (talk) 21:34, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Suicide Drug= Happy Drug[edit]

[8] Basically...The 'new rave' going on in NK is taking suicide pills. "It's much better than the suffering of starvation". The article.

Really, NK? Really? HollowWorld (talk) 05:16, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Really. This came out in news yesterday? Today. In Korea time. It's sad that it's gotten so bad that people are ready to take this 'happy pill'. --Dumpling (talk) 05:19, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
You'd think the country is so shit now the leadership would be willing to sell it. -- (talk) 06:04, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
My reading comprehension must be failing me because I can find nothing about taking 'suicide pills' in the Korea Times article: taking drugs or committing suicide, yes, suicide pills, no. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 08:03, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I can see the next "club drug" moral panic already: "Are your children getting high on...cyanide? More at eleven." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:00, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
And the Fox News version: "will Obamacare death panels distribute cyanide?" MDB (talk) 17:10, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I am reminded of Children of Men --Sethpeck (talk) 16:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Now THIS is some porn.[edit]

Wanna see what happens inside a girl gettin' her jollies? Young'uns and overly sensitive types should avert their eyes. (...also, my research--especially my methodology--now seems nowhere near as fun and cool as it once did). B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 00:07, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

That sure is some intellectual porn. Flubbertalk to me :D 01:23, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Heh, so I see I'm not the only nerd who thought this would be a great idea. There was also the guy who won the Ig Nobel for doing an MRI of the real naughty bits. Unfortunately, with only one subject, it doesn't say a whole lot besides "shit goes crazy in the brain!" Which is pretty much the expectation. I've wondered what those kinky pervs' brains look like during my preferred "bedroom activities" as well. I want to apply for a grant for that one day, whether or not it has any chance, just for the reaction. "You want money to study WHAT?! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:03, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Since you need to lie perfectly still in an MRI scanner (I've just given a talk on shimming magnets, incidentally, so seriously don't fucking move), you'd think they probably have to use "kinky pervs' brains" because being restrained like that in a medical environment isn't exactly the typical person's idea of a sexy setting. Though you've now put the idea of "3T MRI with spanking attachment" in my head. Thanks for that. Scarlet A.pngpostate 13:15, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I know someone who goes, in her own words, "subby as fuck" when getting a tattooed - who else would by a tattoo machine and very notably not pick up any ink for it. Now, providing you can solve any issues with bringing a metal tattoo gun into the stray field of an MRI (I have nightmares about this sort of thing) that is something where I'd really know what is going on in there. Scarlet A.pngsshole 13:30, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
"...being restrained like that in a medical environment isn't exactly the typical person's idea of a sexy setting." Ah, now I see the problem with these experiments. "Well, our results were, let's say extremely biased, by the fact that our sample could only include medical fetishists." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:44, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Don't Make Me Go Back, Mommy: A Child's Book of Satanic Ritual Abuse[edit]

Er... wow. One of us needs to hunt this thing down. Balaam (talk) 13:58, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Samuel L. Jackson anti-gun violence badassery[edit]

I have had it with these motherfukin' snakes...

I'm sure everyone from the political spectrum would love this video (although Jackson has always been a staunch Democrat), but as usual, the gun crazies are out everywhere in the comments saying that a teensy bit more regulation would help out in the country with the largest firearm ownership and the highest amount of homicides in the world per capi--HITLER! YOU'RE HITLER! Osaka Sun (talk) 16:35, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Relevant pictures that don't suck[edit]

I've been inexplicably clicking the "pics that don't suck" website... dear fuck help me. Anyway, found two amusing and relevant ones:

Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:17, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

This is why unconditional hatred backed up by the Bible will never end well. I'd like to know exactly how what Shirley said constitutes a "defence" - basically, if it exists, she goes to hell, and if it doesn't, she goes to oblivion, where she can't tell people that some random god hates them. In other words: Her own personal hell. Neat-o! --Veni, Vidi, Feci (talk) 18:43, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Goals for Content on RationalWiki[edit]

There's a new project to overhaul how RationalWiki handles references and categories in its articles at RationalWiki:Goals for Content on RationalWiki. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:54, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Okay, this is weird yet funny.[edit]

Fun fact! By the end of this year, the word "interwebs" will be used by people trying to be funny more often than the actual word "internet". Euphemism treadmill at work! Soon, another word will replace "interwebs". I give it five years, tops. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 15:49, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I fail to see either the weird or the funny in this--il'Dictator Mikalosa (talk) 15:54, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Or the "fact." Tetronian you're clueless 16:20, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Hasn't "interwebs" been and gone already? Randall Munroe's been using it for years. --Veni, vidi, cacavi (talk) 17:32, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
That isn't the euphemism treadmill; it's just a silly meme. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:11, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Same idea, though. Word B is used specifically to avoid the use of Word A, and eventually takes on Word A's exact meaning. The difference is only in motive for doing so. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:59, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Not really. People say "interwebs" because it is/was gimmicky (i.e. kooky or cute), not to avoid saying "internet". It will go out of style as people gradually find it less cute & more tedious. The same way RW articles once used to use "teh" for "the" a lot but now you hardly ever see it. This is the meme treadmill: new meme is cool, becomes mainstream meme, becomes old meme used by people trying to be cool, is uncool. In this case it's one word used in place of another (as with euphemisms) but it's not really about changes in meaning as the meme process is the same as for other internet or pop culture memes. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:01, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Put that way it makes far more sense. Scarlet A.pngmoral 00:29, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Diaspora Co-Founder dead.[edit]

Hmmmm. Aceace 20:22, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Stabby pisses on someone's grave, for no goddamned reason[edit]

(Disclaimer: Every death is a tragedy, and my heart goes out to his family and friends.)

"... he was super passionate about building a world of hacker spaces, maker culture, and other techno-utopian tripe." A real shame, considering his true talent was, clearly, securing funding for doomed projects. ($200,000? Jesus. If he had put that into promoting his other passion—bicycling—, he would've had a legacy that wouldn't be relegated to the dustbin of history in a couple years.) Or, maybe not, because the only reason anyone noticed his start-up in the first place was because he said the magic words "open source alternative" and, lo, misguided nerds threw money at him.

As a cynic, I'd like to point out "like X, but better, and more consistent with my personal philosophy" is always a terrible reason for a start-up to exist. History is overflowing with people who thought, "I have an idea! And the rest will take care of itself, right?" (Pro tip: At least try to look like you know what the fuck you're doing. Or not.)

If anything, it goes to show how misguided my generation is, believing things like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs *magically* change the world. The truth is that all technology is only useful insofar as it helps people be people. For a given technology to succeed, it must fill a human need, beyond simply being technically superior or "freer". But Zhitomirskiy was a hacker, which means he was so sold on the idea of technology being some grand savior of humankind, he decided to waste $200,000 of other people's money. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:30, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Yeah, but don't say that in public, otherwise you'll have the ghost of Julian Simon sic'ed on you. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:59, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I think phrasing it as "like X, but better, and more consistent with my personal philosophy" pretty much sums up what niggled in the back of my mind about it. It was a completely ridiculous idea from the get go, to think that 5 open source nerds could solve any of the manufactroveries (seriously, the privacy problem on Facebook isn't Facebook, it's the users) around Facebook. In the time it took them to get to Alpha alone, FB re-did their back end coding almost from scratch and Google made Google+, both of which have now effectively solved the "problems" with privacy. Well, they haven't magically added 20 IQ points to the average user so they've solved what they can. So Diaspora's reason for being has been completely removed. So FB and G+ users are now experiencing a service equal to what Diaspora offered, but without this ridiculous seed/node thing that, as that blog points out, is carnage waiting to happen. Scarlet A.pngpostate 07:26, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I remember when both Chris McKinstry and Push Singh committed suicide, very near to each other. I never met or spoke to either of them, but the whole thing was rather depressing. Although I did find one particular Slashdot commenter's answer to suicide worthy of reading (((Zack Martin))) 11:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Distributed systems[edit]

Diaspora is/was a distributed system. That's an important architectural difference, which none of the alternatives mentioned above (e.g. Google+) attempted to address. I'm not sure whether people don't understand why that's important because they're ignorant of the architecture of the other systems they do use, or because they don't understand the implications. So, let's see if I can figure this out from surveying people here. You're currently viewing the Rationalwiki web site which often comments on, links to, or ridicules another web site, Conservapedia. Without checking, do you think the Rationalwiki web site is provided by the same company or organisation as Conservapedia? If not, how does that work? Do you think this arrangement is a good thing? To reach this site your browser used the address rationalwiki.org (if you are reading this via netcat, congratulations on your ninja skills, however this survey doesn't concern you). What authority manages these addresses? Is it practical for a single entity (say, Google, the Mafia, or the Israeli government) to prevent someone from obtaining such an address for a web site on some particular topic? Why or why not? And is that desirable? (talk) 13:14, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

How does it benefit social networking where everything needs to be integrated? It's nothing like Conservapedia and RationalWiki being hosted by different companies, it's like our homeopathy article being hosted by one and the evolution one hosted by another. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 13:45, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
What needs to be integrated and why? Try to be as specific as you can, showing why (whatever your example is) needs a single monolithic system. (talk) 14:44, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Name that book in…[edit]

Quite possibly never, if I'm honest. However, here we go. I seem to remember, back in the eighties when I was so desperate to read that I'd read the ingredients on a pack of cornflakes, reading either two trilogies, or two pentalogies, of a fantasy bent that involved an established preistesshood that used rings to draw power, I think in the first set of books they drew power from the sun, then in the second series, the moon. Unfortunately, that's all I can remember about the books in question, no author or titles. Does anyone here have an idea what those books were called? It's starting to nag at me that I can't remember them, apart from the above sparse details.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 02:32, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

It sounds vaguely like the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. The 2nd set, where they draw power from the Sunbane. PsyGremlin말하십시오 03:19, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
There are no Priestesses in CoTC, and nothing about the moon that I recall..B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 03:34, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Covenant's supposed powers were from his white-gold ring and the stated time period correlates with when I read them. I guess the other details may be confused since I cannot remember much else about them. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 11:32, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Definitely not the Chronicles, they are all on my favourite read list, so usually get read once every two years. No, these books weren't anywhere near as good as the Chronicles, it's just bugging me that I can't remember what they were called.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 13:05, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, have you read the latest Covenant books? I loved the original series, and really liked the second, but I've tried the "Final" Chronicles, and was unimpressed. (I suspect Donaldson needed the money.) MDB (talk) 14:02, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I want to read the last book before I make up my mind. They certainly don't have that haunting beauty and duality of symbolism that the First Chronicles had, but it would be impossible for them to do, short of recreating the First Chronicles with a new character and a new disease, and that really would be money-grubbing. I will give it to this series, it is exploring the consequences of actions, and I do love the strange mirror symmetry of having Covenant learning pretty much all the right lessons in the First Chronicles to serve him well in the Second Chronicles, but Linden's first sojourn into the Land seems to have taught her all the wrong lessons for her second time in the land, almost certainly because she's trying to use the lessons that Covenant learnt, whereas her sojourn was for her to come to terms with her own problems her own way, not Covenant's way, and so this is really fucking her over her second time on the merry-go-round.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 22:16, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I think part of my problem is I've never liked Linden Avery. Covenant was never likable, but he was still compelling. Linden just grates on me. MDB (talk) 00:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
And there's still the common criticism of Donaldson that, as I heard it once, "he writes like someone who was just given a thesaurus." MDB (talk) 00:10, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Nah, he writes like someone who's been given an "Obscure Word of the Month" calender. A thesaurus would imply that he was able to find the occasional synonym, as opposed to relentlessly beating the same word to death in chapter after chapter.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 11:15, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Is America Really Becoming steadily more GODLESS?[edit]

Key Findings and Statistics on Religion in America The numbers who don't believe in god doubled since 1990, within a generation Protestantism will be a minority. Godlessness is becoming mainstream. Great!!! Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:07, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

If America is becoming godless, then that might not actually be a bad thing. If the hardcore religious righties realise that atheism works, I'd like to see their reactions on YouTube. --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 19:20, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you could argue effectively "more godless' cause that's such a strange concept. "Is buddhism godless or godded?" But i think you can easily say, and prove, that America is slowly becoming less religious. They are turning to personal religion, finding "god" for themselves; turning away from dogmatic "stone your kids, don't touch a woman, and gays are icky" type religion, and in many cases, probably turning to some level of atheism or agnosticism. And we are politically moving more and more toward a secular country, though it's painstakingly slow for some of us. Pink mowse.pngGodotMoi j'dis, laisse beton 19:24, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Isn't that a couple of years old? ARIS 2008 said basically the same thing. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:29, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I would not be at all surprised if it's the guys at Westboro putting people off. They'd put me off being religious any day. But that's just me jumping to a conclusion with no way of backing up my claims, as I happen to do a lot. Shame. --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 19:32, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it's 2008. It would be interesting too see if beliefs in the power of crystals, homoeopathy, alien abduction and other such nonsense have shown a rise at the same time that religion has dropped.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:48, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Excellent, soon atheists will be a persecuted majority! (in-joke) Scarlet A.pngpostate 20:10, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
@Bob: I've tried to do that before, but I haven't found any poll that's consistently replicated using the same questions. If sorted through all the polls and pulled out the numbers for responses to similar questions, you could probably get something halfway decent, but it would be a big PITA to do that. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:24, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
PITA? That's - "Personally Interesting Task Ahead" - right? But it would be an interesting set of stats. (statistics) --BobSpring is sprung! 12:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Nope, Pain In The Ass. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I see that I forgot my humour indicator.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:18, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Facebook What the Fuck![edit]

Why are people posting pictures of bestiality porn on Facebook?B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 03:55, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Because it's hot? — Unsigned, by: Fallacy / talk / contribs 2011-11-16T20:01:58
You can't prove that was my comment! Fluckedtalk to me :D 04:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Anonymous again? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I dunno, but I'm scared to click on anything now, lest all my friends think i "liked" something. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 04:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not getting anything. O_____o--Dumpling (talk) 04:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
See Scream!! (talk) 05:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Apparently it comes from people pasting javascript into their URL bars... fucksake. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:45, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Lewis Black discusses evolution, the Bible and Creationism[edit]

An oldie but a goodie and funny as hell. Enjoy. Recklessly Noise Punk What's this button do? Uh oh.... 10:32, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

One for the class…[edit]

State symbols: (s) solid, (l) liquid, (aq) aqueous solution, (g) gas, plasma?--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 11:29, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

What's the question? ONE / TALK 12:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I doubt plasma would have one, as you're unlikely to encounter it in a chemical reaction as a "state". If it's just an ionised gas, then you'd mark it up as a gas (g) and put a charge on it. Or it'd be something like (p) or *(pl), whatever is least ambiguous, if you really need it, similar to how supercritical fluids are often marked (sc). Scarlet A.pngbomination 12:04, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. It's for electrons on an ionization enthalpy reaction. They wanted the state symbols for each of the components in the reaction and with the best will in the world there's no way I'm going to treat released electrons as being a gas.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 13:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
That's wrong. The only reason you'd want electrons accounted for individually is as part of a half-reaction. But as those are just theoretical constructs for electrochemistry, redox and some energetics calculations then they don't have a state, and it's certainly not fucking plasma. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:46, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
And yet, that's the question they keep on asking on the exam papers: Ionization enthalpy reaction for X complete with state symbols, and you don't get your marks for the state symbols unless you stick something next to the e-. Fucked up, I know, but that's the question on the exam paper.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 20:59, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
On the paper I'll be taking, they don't expect the e- to have a state. A cloud of electrons is not important enough to havea state where I live. As for ionised gas, that's just a (g) with a charge. It's a lot easier to deal with when you're screwing around with redox reactions, really. --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 22:10, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
In that case, just use (g) and if you really want just add a note to the effect that electrons don't exist in an unbound state at this temperature. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 22:28, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

To clog or not to clog[edit]

The purpose of government is to transfer wealth from the middle-aged to the elderly Premises seem okay (talking about pensions and welfare, really) but the conclusion? I'm not sure if it's an horrendous idea or a good observational piece of snark (not that the difference is always clear)... Scarlet A.pngpathetic 13:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Methinks someone can't tell the difference between "purpose" and "consequence". ONE / TALK 15:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Is it trolling...[edit]

...to consistently respond to long comments with very short remarks. I imagine it infuriates people immensely. Scarlet A.pngbomination 13:59, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

No. --PsyGremlinParla! 14:13, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Damn. Will try harder. Scarlet A.pngtheist 14:16, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Oh......' I see what you did there. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 14:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think so. In fact, I always try to keep my responses as short as possible. Basically because I usually don't read long ones and I assume that other people don't either.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:27, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I ramble, babble - I assume that's worse. Pink mowse.pngGodotMoi j'dis, laisse beton 15:19, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but at least rambling takes effort. Pithy responses are less so. I only ask as I can see someone getting remarkably frustrated this way, and that one of the definitions of trolling is that you waste the maximum amount of your target's time with the minimum effort on your behalf. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:35, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Woudln't it depend on the nature of the situation/conversation. If you are trying to argue about the rights to abortion; or if you are trying to defend a page on wiki, vs., asking if someone wants to go to dinner? If I were having an abortion rights argument, and posted (babble or not) a paragraph outlining what I see as critical points, and you say "1) no, 2) never, 3) nuh-uh... as a response, it would tick me off. Pink mowse.pngGodotMoi j'dis, laisse beton 15:43, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, in context I've found someone who is trying to say that the "inverse theodity" thing that was recently posted to WIGO:Blog is wrong because... well, after a half a dozen posts of 3-4 paragraphs each I can't really tell. Something about you not being able to switch good and evil around like that, but all my responses are "this is arbitrary, you haven't said why this is the case." From which we get another set of 4 paragraphs. To which I have to find yet another variant on ""this is arbitrary, you haven't said why this is the case." I'm just wondering if I'm goading the poor guy with this too much or whether I'm actually within my right to say "you're just bullshitting" and little else. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:52, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
In all honestly, ADK, I suspect you are doing a bit of both. He's probably seeing your response as petty and unresponsive (ie., trolling), and therefore missing blatantly the fact that you are actually making a point. If you want to continue, it would be worth one example for him of which line is "arbitrary" and why. I doubt he will hear you, but it is rather dismissive to just say "arbitrary, do it again". Does that make sense?Pink mowse.pngGodotMoi j'dis, laisse beton 16:16, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Madlibs it is. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 16:33, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I think it's the best tactic against PJR's green screeds.--BobSpring is sprung! 18:49, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Precisely, I think this is why long posts are the bane of internet arguments. How exactly do you address them efficiently if not to just cut your response short? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:19, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
There are, of course the big guns Scarlet A.pngsshole 22:15, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


I need input from you 'orrible lot. Although I have been hellish busy lately, I've also run out of ideas to blog. CP has officially become TBTB (too boring to blog) and I'm not au fait with US politics to blog about Bachmann et al. What's out there worth looking at? The lst bunch of loonies to attract my attention were the creeps at Nuke Lies... --PsyGremlinSnakk! 14:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I second the Nuke Lies idea, if I come across any other hotbeds I'll be sure to let you know. Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:49, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Lew Rockwell's site has a pretty wide range of lunacy: Neo-Confederate nonsense, gold buggery, climate denial, diet woo, quackery, creationism, etc. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:04, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
You could save me from looking at WND and send out your takes on their highlights. Also, Michael Crook. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 16:05, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Chris Mooney discovers political neuroscience[edit]

His earlier two books, Republican War on Science and Storm World, are worth the read, but his latest seems like it's going to be pop psychology mixed with political hackery. Time to put a fork in him? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


It's apparently currently being debated in Congress. Please let this bill die. Sign the petition, if you like. Blue (pester) 19:59, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Get this everywhere. Put it on the RW front page, WIGO it. This is some really serious shit for you guys. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:14, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Holy crap. That thing would cost more jobs than it could ever create. --ʤɱ atheist 20:16, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Tumblr has one too, for US residents. Blue (pester) 20:18, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Didn't an earlier version of this get killed last year? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:48, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
You mean COICA? --ʤɱ socialist 20:55, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Sounds familiar. Probably. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:07, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Here's the main site. Also see here.
One of the top responses: "I am thankful everyday for not being born in America." Agreed. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:09, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
That reminds me of something. --ʤɱ atheist 21:28, 16 November 2011 (UTC).

I AM FUCKING ANGRY. Blue (pester) 00:26, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Simmer down now. We've got rich people on our side too. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:31, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
But you have even more rich people on the other side.
Does anyone want to do the censor logo/website blocked thing for RW? Osaka Sun (talk) 00:57, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm down with censorlogoing us, maybe the day of the vote. Blue (pester) 01:53, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Why not start now? Osaka Sun (talk) 02:15, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Question -- does anyone have a reasonable solution to the problem of artists, etc. getting ripped off left right and centre through the torrents, etc.? B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 01:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd assume it was something other than crippling and censoring the internet and putting massive legal power in the hands of richly moneyed entertainment firms. Blue (pester) 01:20, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I think some EU countries, maybe France, put a tax on the ISP bill, funnel that money back into the music industry, and let the downloaders go hog wild. Also, it's mostly the labels getting "ripped off" -- most artists' actual cut of profit from album sales is a pittance. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:27, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Stop whining and do more concerts? It's not like those who are heavily downloaded really produce anything worthwhile…
Anyway shutting down whole websites with millions of users because somebody may have posted something is much more harmfull than letting somebody download something and not get 5 bucks for it. If Congress passes this bill everything they are saying is "We've got no clue how the economy works". --ʤɱ pirate 01:31, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
"Stop whining and do more concerts? It's not like those who are heavily downloaded really produce anything worthwhile." So there should be a "okay to rip this guy off or force him into a different business model if UHM doesn't like him" clause?
"much more harmfull than letting somebody download something and not get 5 bucks for it." Unless you're the person trying to make a living off of that 5 bucks. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 01:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but as Nebby said, that 5 bucks isn't going to the artist, it's going to the label, who in turn gives the artist a tiny share. If you want to talk about injustices for artists, talk about unfair contracts, much more than IP violations. Blue (pester) 01:48, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Oh, I agree artists are getting hosed by labels; no argument there. but I still fail to see the difference between walking into HMV and cramming a bunch of DVDs into my bag and running out and the Pirate Bay. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 02:00, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

The ones from HMV probably won't have a "THIS FILM FOR PREVIEW PURPOSES ONLY" banner running across the bottom the whole time. (Rimshot) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:03, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
No not UHM-don't likee-clause, but I don't see the point in somebody who's "work" isn't much more than comercial contentless bullshit, often not even written by "the artist" but solely sung in once and a thousand times shaken their butts on it, smiled in the camera and the whole fucking marketing shit getting money. Do I give real artists money? Oh hell yeah, but only "real artists". What are 5 cents if you already have a million anyway? Not much, and neither is a second million going to do you much good. At some point even though it is illegal not to a person simply doesn't need more money. So is it illegal to download? Yes. Is it illegitimate? Sometimes.
There's also that little reverse effect in there, the effect that now people go to concerts more, because they are now able to actually listen to the music beforehand. --ʤɱ sinner 02:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
That might or might not be so re: the concerts, but what happens there is 1--you replace evil record companies with evil tour promoters as the people benefiting from the artist's work; consumers dictate a new business model on artists; if i download a Miles Davis CD, the rightful owner of that music, the Estate of Miles Davis, can't really dig Miles up and put him on tour to make up for the lost income. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 02:11, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Again, there's a clear difference between trying to ensure a rational way that artists can get money off their work and literally being able to imprison someone for 5 years if they upload a song they like on YouTube. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not their song to do that with, and it's not YouTube's song to use as content to generate ad revenue. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 02:18, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
So you're agreeing with the formation of the US equivalent of the Great Firewall of China? Osaka Sun (talk) 02:23, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Don't put words in my mouth, asshole. Read my first comment. I never said I supported this legislation. What I'm looking for is a fair and workable solution to the fact that I can access virtually any media in the world for free. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 02:28, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Whoa, no need to swear. And if you clearly insinuated that you didn't want this to go through there wouldn't be this entire argument. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:35, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I insinuated no such thing. What I said was that a system in which anyone could take content and have it for free is neither fair nor workable.Find me a system in which I can't download the entire Joni Mitchell catalog in a few hours without Joni getting a penny. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 02:40, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Apparently the ISP tax idea was rejected in France. Here's a piece from the EFF on collective licensing vs. ISP tax, FWIW. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:09, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
See, that question implies there are other systems in which Joni Mitchell does get a penny. The system before the Internet sure didn't. Literally, major labels never pay any artist [9] - David Gerard (talk) 11:49, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Rat Wiki style question[edit]

I know, "better places for this" and all that, but forums never seem to get good answers like the saloon does. Anyhow, here's a question for you all, just for some opinions. I'm re-writig/editing an article about translating the bible. The stuff I'm talking about is so "first hand" to me that I'm not citing anyone (I could cite myself, but that would be crass,heh). would a "References" or "see also" section work instead of cites. or is it really worth grabbing out a modern text book, for example, and saying "see, this guy says so". thanks for any opinion, beforehand.Pink mowse.pngGodotSome would use a tautology to describe it ("The way things are done around here is the wa 16:43, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Depends who you're writing for. If you're writing for people who are already supposed to know this, just stick the relevant text in the bibliography. If you're writing for people who aren't expected to know it, an explanation of where it came from might be in order. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 16:49, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, if it's an RW article, then she's writing it for the sort of people that read RationalWiki. (And now, "We want to attract more people to RationalWiki by appealing to the sort of people who would read RationalWiki" is my favorite tautology.) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:39, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but now we are back to my favorite push. Articles here should be resources for people who are fighting with idiots in the real world, not just our own circle jerks! I've been chatting and not even gone back, but I think I can use references or see alsos rather than actually citing to web pages for most of it. I am generally loath to cite to web pages, cause frankly, most of the stuff out there is poorly researched and not reviewed for mistakes or misquotes. But I don't mind referencing articles and sources. It's all good. and you all might rip the article to bits anyhow. who knows. Pink mowse.pngGodotSome would use a tautology to describe it ("The way things are done around here is the wa 19:46, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I never even considered that this was an RW article--I thought you were writing an article article. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 21:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
This is why the Historical Jesus article bothers being half made of really terrible and stupid arguments: because those are the arguments used in the real world. See if you can find real-world rubbish to argue against - David Gerard (talk) 11:51, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Well, this should be fun...[edit]

"Suspicious package" near my office in DC. (I'm just off K Street, surrounded by offices of lawyers and lobbyists.) MDB (talk) 14:42, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Even better -- our office manager used to work with the bomb squad and she said what they're doing means their taking this seriously. MDB (talk) 14:54, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not on Fox News, so it's not happening yet. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 14:57, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not even on the local news station's web sites. Or the WaPo's. MDB (talk) 14:58, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Considering this got barely any coverage either, don't expect anything. Osaka Sun (talk) 15:10, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
That's gotten plenty of local coverage. And this will, just due to street closures. MDB (talk) 15:16, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, local coverage. Everywhere else it was relegated to the back page. :P Osaka Sun (talk) 15:23, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
All clear. The police re-opened the streets. MDB (talk) 15:34, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Dude, have you ever thought about your underwear?[edit]

I mean, really, really thought about your underwear?

Underwear made from hemp. MDB (talk) 14:57, 18 November 2011 (UTC)


Unshelved, one of my favorite on-line comics, promotes Discworld in their Friday book club.

For what it's worth, Unshelved is about the staff of a public library. It's somewhat similar to Dilbert in tone, except there's hope for the humn race. MDB (talk) 15:36, 18 November 2011 (UTC)


What's with the huge influx of spam lately? Sam Tally-ho! 19:54, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

My guess is that RW has gotten noticeable enough to attract the spammers. I assume Trent, with his Bayesian server magic, could give us the full answer. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:00, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Oooooh, squirrels! -- (talk) 20:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Christmas creep article?[edit]

Should we start writing a Christmas creep (aka War on Thanksgiving) article? --AmazingTechnicolorCheeseWedge (talk) 18:28, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Vague objections to commercialization are hardly the sort of thing we should host articles about.— Unsigned, by: Stabby the Misanthrope / talk / contribs
Who said they have to be "vague objections?" The amount of time, money, effort--and the ways in which people who don't buy into "the Holidays" and refuse to play the game are looked at as weird loners or freaks--says a lot about societal expectations, conformity, etc. etc. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 21:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
That theme is kindof already covered in the War on Christmas article, so I'd suggest adding Christmas creep stuff to that in the first instance, unless you already have enough material for a separate article. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:38, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Does this mean CPR is coming back? I mean, if we're going to play fast and loose with the mission, we may as well resurrect articles that are actually on mission, right?--User:Brxbrx/sig 11:56, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Stop hijacking conversations and making them about you. I gave you back your CPR article a few days ago. Now be a good little boy and go work on it since it's so damn important to the website and leave the grownups to talk about things okay? B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 14:05, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I guess i'm old, but just cause people whine that there is too much commercialism in the holidays or "they start too soon" or whatever, isn't really my idea of something that needs explained, unless of course there are studies showing that the US has been adding drugs to our fruit loops so that we are forced to buy buy buy... and knowing the US, they probably are trying that very thing.--Pink mowse.pngGodotSome would use a tautology to describe it ("The way things are done around here is the wa 14:33, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I'm not talking about whining that the holidays are commercialized, I'm talking about getting at why they exist, and how if you try to ignore them and maybe want to get some work done next Thursday/not want to go to your parents' place for dinner on Thanksgiving or Christmas/not want to participate in a Secret Santa thing/not want to acknowledge Christmas you're some sort of freak. That's some serious enforcement of conformity there...B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 14:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Ah. So the "Christmas creep" isn't an unpleasant person then?--BobSpring is sprung! 14:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of Christmas creep, and things that creep you out at Christmas, when are we expecting the Santa Hat to appear on the brain this year? WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:50, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Superstition? I guess?[edit]

Here's a thing I find interesting about myself (and it's not unique to me, I'm just using myself as the example here); I consider myself a hard atheist (as in, I think the claim that there is no god is valid, rather than I don't believe in one), I don't believe in ghosts, psychics, mediums, an afterlife or anything of that sort. And yet I would be scared to, for example, spend a night in Prypiat (the abandoned town near Chernobyl). Not out of fear of radiation, or a fear that I'd get shanked by a Stalker, but simply because the place is "creepy". I find this hard to reconcile with the rest of my beliefs. My thinking brain says that there's nothing to fear; it's an empty city, nothing more. In fact, that part of my brain makes the claim that it could be fun to run around an empty city/town. You don't get that opportunity very often. However, my feeling brain tells me to fuck right off if I even consider it.

I've used Prypiat as an example because it's fairly well known but I feel the same about anything else, really. Urban exploring is an idea that appeals to me in part, but I know I won't do it because I'd be scared of the empty buildings. Again, not out of fear of people/gangs who might be lurking in there, but simply because they are creepy, which is a term I can't properly define in my head. It's not creepy because it has x y and z traits, it's simply creepy or it's not. Does anyone else have similar thoughts / feelings? X Stickman (talk) 00:18, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I think that's just a natural part of the human mind to feel that way. Fear of the unknown, creepy abandoned buildings, or what have you is just an innate thing in humans. I'm wouldn't say it's superstition. I've found that I can be mildly superstitious when it comes to running even though I'm an atheist and not a believer in stuff like that. If I find I run a good race in a certain pair of socks, I'll want to wear them again for my next race to make sure I do well again. I know that it's not the socks that make me do well, but there's that feeling where I want to stay consistent with the apparent pattern it see. There's some psychology term for it. Interesting topic you brought up, though. Sam Tally-ho! 00:55, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Eh, almost everyone has irrational fears. Mine is polystyrene. I'm not kidding. I can't stand the stuff. I think it's the way it doesn't conduct heat at all, it feels so horribly unnatural. And the horrible sound it makes reminds me of the texture and feel of it. Ugh. I can barely stand to look at a block of it. Rationally I know that it can't hurt me, but that doesn't stop me having a visceral horror of the stuff. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:58, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
If you want to "fix" that, you can just have your amygdala removed. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:15, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
If you can genuinely think your way out of those sorts of feelings and behavior, you've solved human rationality. But you'd probably also destroy any way that you can meaningfully communicate with others, leaving you in a sad and lonely world of just yourself. Scarlet A.pngsshole 01:34, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Thats just your brain reminding you that you have no idea what live in the town.
Although I like to think of myself as a rationalist I recognise that what makes us human is our irrationality: music, love, fear, allegiance to a sports team etc. So I'd hate to eliminate all irrationality. I think the creepiness you feel about a deserted town is that buildings are quintessentially human constructs and a town without people is unnatural; it obviously indicates that something terrible has happened. Although it may be completely empty you can't 'know' that there isn't someone else around. Steven Kavanagh (talk) 08:35, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Damn I'd LOVE to spend a night in Pripyat! Sure it would be creepy as hell but WHO CARES, if I could afford it I'd be there right now. No kidding. -- (talk) 09:51, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the IP above. The idea of spending a night in a place which some idiot feels is haunted is rather appealing.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:13, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Try Detroit. Like Pripyat it has large numbers of long abandoned and deteriorating buildings, in "no go" zones where anyone you see probably shouldn't be there. Plus, unlike Pripyat very little of Detroit is dangerously radioactive. (Most of Pripyat isn't dangerous, but some bits are, and there aren't labels in many cases). http://www.amazon.com/RUINS-DETROIT-Yves-Marchand/dp/3869300426 (talk) 22:54, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

Can I write at all?[edit]

Is this complete shit, or not? Flitzertalk to me :D 04:04, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

It's not shit, but a bit bland and unremarkable.
Firstly, Your sentences are too long. I suggest breaking them up (the first sentence is particularly egregious).
Secondly, nothing happens for an entire page. You need a hook, something to grab the audience's attention, in the very first sentence (or at least the first paragraph).
Thirdly, don't spend paragraphs describing the setting, especially in the intro. Spread your descriptions of the setting throughout the narrative, so that the story's world falls into place as your character interacts with it.
(Keep in mind, advice I give is based on my personal tastes, so take it with a grain of salt.) I hope that helped. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:15, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I know you like your pronouns, but it might be worth a very small font explanation the first time they are used. had I not read your article the other day, about inclusive language, i'd have no idea what they are. And this is "rude" of me, but i didn't keep reading beyond a paragraph or two. Nothing made me curious about anything, so i sorta said "eh".Pink mowse.pngGodotMoi j'dis, laisse beton 04:19, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I have an idea -- I could move the dream sequence to the beginning, so that it's not so boring at first. That would require a large rewrite though. Fartertalk to me :D 04:24, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Pick British or American spelling. Color Gray or Colour Grey.
Never, never, never provide lists of setting elements, like technology, as you do in the first paragraph. It destroys any attempt at immersion, since the reader becomes acutely aware of your efforts at world-building. In the same way, do not spell out the obvious derivations of technology - if your reader can't figure out that "holo" is short for "holographic screens," then they have bigger problems on their hands than understanding your story.
I hate gender-neutral pronouns. It is jarring and makes it almost impossible to enjoy the story. Think very hard before sticking with it.
The writing is not good, but not terrible. You need to cut. "In a small apartment located in Seattle, Washington, lived a twenty-two year-old named Seth Markinsen" is more easily and naturally rendered as "In a small apartment in Seattle lived twenty-two year-old Seth Markinsen." You can retain things like "Seattle, Washington" if you feel it's absolutely necessary, but overall you need to go through this with an axe and remove a lot of redundancy and cruft. It adds nothing to the story to tell us that the bedroom is on the apartment's east end (note my capitalization - "East" is a direction, "east" is a descriptor).
People in the future do not think of themselves as being in the future. They think of it as the present. Accordingly, drop things like "more traditional keyboard." Keep it vivid and in Seth's present.
Rewrite the paragraph about Seth's appearance. Then take the current version and burn it in a fire.
You do not appear to understand the mechanics of dialog. Find a book, something like Daisy Miller, and look at the dialog. Notice the punctuation. Also avoid the common mistake of using replacements for "said," like "chimed." Qualifying a sentiment's expression requires a mental effort on the reader's part, so you should do so sparingly. "Said" is invisible to the reader, don't worry.
It's hard to tell at this point, but your story is strongly reminiscent of the video game Assassin's Creed.
Hope that helps.--ADtalkModerator 04:25, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm always jealous of people who actually understand the structure of good/competent writing. I just go with what "feels right," then fret endlessly if I'm doing everything right. It makes me want to take a creative writing class just so I can say something beyond "I want to do that thing with the words." Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:32, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I doubt a creative writing class would help. Just read a lot and think about what you've read and how it affected you. Then talk to someone else about such things.--ADtalkModerator 04:43, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Huh. That's how I learned to evaluate writing—nice, how that works out. I also want to learn about terminology, though. Someone praised my "dialogue blocking skills", and all I could do was stare at them and go, "Oh, is that what it's called!" (Then I spent an hour tweaking it, because I wanted to make sure I was doing whatever I was doing right.) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:30, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

*puffs up chest* If you're interested in antidote to that blandness, I wrote this short story. (Yes. Yes I did just show off.) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:27, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

I like your opening line in that story, RA. A lot. B♭maj7 (talk) Anachronistically anachronistic 04:31, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. You don't know what it means to hear that. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:30, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
(EC)I don't know what's going on with those pronouns, but, what WfG said. Also, rule numero uno of fiction writing: "Show, don't tell." On the first page, you describe the floor as clean because there was "nothing to untidy it." That's minutiae but it adds to the scene because implies something about the character living there. But the last paragraph is just a laundry list of descriptions. Every time you crank out a paragraph like that, chop it up and see if you can re-insert the sentences in parts of the story where they have some relevance. If not, throw 'em away. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:30, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the help, rats. Obviously, I don't agree with all the suggestions (I'm keeping the spelling in the title, explaining the X pronouns is kind of unnecessary), but they helped me to realize that I needed a different set-up. So, now I erased everything but the dream sequence. What do you guys think of that? I think I tried too hard to be non-redundant and used too many synonyms. Fluckedtalk to me :D 04:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Needs editing and rewriting very badly. It's frustrating to read this and see all the typos and errors of punctuation, and realize you're asking for comment on something you haven't bothered to copyedit. "Fire flare" ... "is mind" ... before asking for criticism, do the courtesy of reading your own work and fixing obvious problems. It's two pages, couldn't take too long.
The chief's name is ridiculous. Change it. It is impossible to look at and understand, instead requiring work for the reader and clotting the very first moment of your story. A bad idea. Change it or at least move it back in the paragraph so you can compensate for its terribleness.
Stop being cute, like with the repetition of "near." You can work at being cute after you've mastered basic skills. Also maybe give the protagonist a name or label, since it's confusing. Also, see my advice about dialog, above.
Be active. Your character "was riding" and "could hear." It would be better if he just rode and heard.
You appear to have difficulty writing a coherent narrative. The character is just there, then he is riding, then he is standing. It's hard to understand who the protagonist is with this fuzzy action and imposed anonymity.
Try simple writing exercises. Write a coherent, simple, unadorned story about a boy buying a sandwich. Concentrate on correct grammar for the dialog, clear and humble narration, and sensible transitions between events.--ADtalkModerator 04:59, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Slow down, AD, you'll run out red ink at this rate. :P Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:29, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Oh man. AD is hardcore! YEAAAAH!--Dumpling (talk) 05:33, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
A harsh critic is an honest critic. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:38, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
"A harsh critic is an honest critic." Nah, sometimes he's just butthurt, or completely boozed up. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 09:27, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
That's why I am very careful never to negatively comment on writing unless someone actually wants criticism. Some people just want others to read it. You only confuse the two once or twice before you inadvertently make someone cry.--ADtalkModerator 09:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
And usually a very good one. Woot! --Dumpling (talk) 05:44, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Ooh, are we whoring our creative writing-for-pleasure? If so, might I present the female!12th Doctor epic fanfic I'm writing. If Doctor Who fanfiction (semi-AU) is your thing... Blue (pester) 07:47, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
OOOOH! WILL READ!--Dumpling (talk) 07:56, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn't get to read the first person's story - it was all erased except for the title by the time I clicked the link. I did read RA's story, was interesting. Everyone has their own style, Stabby's reminds me of the style of writing in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Refugeetalk page 08:13, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
-legasp- You're right! --Dumpling (talk) 08:18, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
But, but... my writing isn't comedy *pouts* Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
-patpat- No. It isn't comedy, but the writing style is similar. I don't think writing style is the same as genre. I don't think...though it could be what makes the genre? No? I don't know. I ramble. Either way, I know when your writing is serious and when it's not. But your portrayal of BB is really good. :D--Dumpling (talk) 08:41, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I shall also read. And since it's on FF.Net, I'll also review. :) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn't mean it was comedy, I meant the flow, the phrasing, the style, the easy readability.. is like hitchhiker's guide.. it's a good thing, not a bad thing! Refugeetalk page 08:28, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Ah. Thank you very, very much. ;__; (Those are tears of joy, not sadness.) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:43, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Aww.(ó㉨ò)ノ--Dumpling (talk) 08:45, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

So this is what happens when the wiki isn't in HCM. I always wondered... Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 08:11, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

HAHAHA! I prefer this over HCM anyday.--Dumpling (talk) 08:18, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Now we need an artistry thread, so Dumpling and Kels can show off their artwork. : ) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:24, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Haaaaaa. No. Maybe of Kels and Armondikov! :D--Dumpling (talk) 08:41, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I quite like AD's pointers. Although without getting to read much of the original I couldn't comment on their validity. One of big problems I noticed with my own writing was that it got very verbose and florid, it was only after reading through Reasoning With Vampires that I started to cut it down. It still gets out of hand, and my run-on sentences still occasionally make a come back if I'm not concentrating or am writing too quickly, but I try to keep it down. The trick, that I think is very difficult to ever get right, is to keep it short and punchy but without it being repetitive - like you find yourself writing an entire paragraph of 6-7 sentences all beginning with "He then {verb} {adjective}...". Scarlet A.pngnarchist 11:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
If you guys want to read my deleted version you can go to File --> See revision history (I think). I'm planning on rewriting it now. Fuckertalk to me :D 14:38, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Ah, gender confuddled sniper. As you do. The only thing I'd pick up on is the semicolons and dashes, but that's only because I overuse them myself - as you'll probably all know. Semicolons are for joining related remarks; clarifying or adding detail to a previous clause, for example. They're not for where you might want to start a new sentence instead; I used to run these into each other a lot because MS Word is a bit trigger happy for suggesting semicolons over commas. The dashes are for - albeit only informally - for asides. Like parentheses but not. In most of your cases you could probably drop them or split the sentence instead; particularly if you end up with a long sentence because you've used both - see what I did there?
Turns out that when I want to intentionally overuse dashes and semicolons its really hard. Scarlet A.pngpostate 00:26, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
If you do insert an aside using dashes then make sure you don't repeat yourself. ;) Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 16:27, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

(YOu all suck, such good writers! :-) On Blue's comment about 'whoring' does RW have a page you all could list some of your writing. I'd love to read it.)Pink mowse.pngGodotMoi j'dis, laisse beton 15:22, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

So there isn't a Forum:Writers' Club? Why not? Peter talk, or type, or whatever... 01:08, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Look -- I turned your red link into a blue one. I guess I'm just awesome like that. Fartertalk to me :D 21:56, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Pointless poll: I think we have a winner.[edit]

Declare our endorsement now?

Endorse what? RW can't endorse political candidates because of the foundation's tax status. What is this? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:44, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
In the 2008 election, RW "endorsed" Mike Huckabee for the Republican primary. Тytalk 22:46, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
:-/ The Mauritania was launch in September 20, 1906. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:57, 19 November 2011 (UTC)


  1. Osaka Sun (talk) 15:30, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  2. Absolutely. MDB (talk) 15:40, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  3. For sure. What is it we're endorsing? Doctor Dark (talk) 01:21, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
    This freak of nature as the RW endorsement for the Republican nomination. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:12, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
    Oh, her. Mom taught me it wasn't nice to point and stare at crazy people, but I think it would be okay to make an exception this time. Doctor Dark (talk) 22:42, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
  4. Aye. --MtDPinko Scum 00:19, 21 November 2011 (UTC)



I always vote GGP. Fidgetertalk to me :D 15:40, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Those neutrinos again[edit]

Obviously it's not enough to definitively confirm they're superluminal, but it's cool that more tests indicate they may be. Sam Tally-ho! 01:45, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

But they haven't checked the clock syncronisation issues that have been flagged up on ArXiV. Without that it doesn't matter what systematic errors they can iron out. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 01:50, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
True, but still, the prospect is kind of exciting. I have feeling, though, that it'll turn out they're not faster than light. Sam Tally-ho! 01:57, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
For now, we can only say one thing - Eat the shorts! Eat the shorts! Osaka Sun (talk) 02:00, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. It's a shame because I really want to see some shorts eating. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 02:01, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
OK, I've been doing a bit of math (because as a student taking two lots of maths, two lots of sciences and philosophy to A-level standard, I'm not allowed to have any kind of life) and, assuming that the general laws of physics apply to these things, which it apparently doesn't, this is what I came up with:
speed = distance/time. The neutrinos had to travel 732km(ish) and, at c (299792458ms-1) this would take .00244168917685 seconds. The neutrinos took 6x10-8s less than that, putting us at .00244162917685s. Plug that in, the speed they went at was actually 299799825ms-1. So if we got c wrong, it's probably not a rounding error. This is scary for me, because I'm applying for physics courses at university and I might end up having to rewrite a lot of modern physics. Or change the value of c, I'm not sure. TOO MUCH PRESSURE! AAH! --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 10:17, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Little update: I'm sure the guys in Switzerland have probably taken this into account, but if the signal from the launcher in Switzerland has to travel through about 18 metres more of wire than the signal from the detector in Italy has to travel to get recorded there, that would actually account for the .00000006s discrepancy. I'm not entirely sure how it works, and like I said, they've probably taken that into account, but it was just a little thought I had. --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 10:23, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Two words. Time. Travel. Osaka Sun (talk) 10:24, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Seventy year old in a marathon. They took the bus when no one was looking.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 12:26, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Usain Bolt on drugs. He disappeared like the DeLorean from Back To The Future, reappeared as an old man at the finish line, said "Beware China!" and crumbled into dust. --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 14:42, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
The speed of light, c, is defined, not measured. So it's not really a case of it being a rounding error. Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:58, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
I'll start taking this seriously if the results get published. Until then it's science by press conference. --BobSpring is sprung! 17:10, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
The effect of "defining" this constant was just to mean that more precise measurements alter the length of the metre (or, arguably, the second) rather than requiring you to update physics textbooks. Before the relevant committee decided to do it this way the metre was a specific distance, and the speed of light constant was known only approximately. Now the speed of light constant is known exactly, but the metre is only an approximate distance. -shrug- (talk) 22:49, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I think a metre is absolutely defined as the distance between two marks on a platinum bar that's in Paris somewhere. Or something like that. I'm not sure, but I don't think they're going to change the length of the metre or the second. --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 10:50, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Metre definition: "Since 1983, it is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458 of a second. Scream!! (talk) 10:57, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
This is nothing like the science-by-press-conference as we're used to it, though. It's science by ArXiV, which while it has it's own quirks is something a bit different. What we're seeing is how science works before it's published. We're seeing one baffling result out in the open. No one is really saying they ARE traveling faster than light and it IS because of this reason, we're seeing the "huh, this is funny" stage that's usually hidden away. In reality there's often very little between this and being published, there's no magical barrier that says it's only "valid" once it's published. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:54, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

10,000-year clock[edit]

Has anyone heard of this clock called "the long now?" Brian Eno, who designed the chimes which will never repeat the same melody for 10K years, discussed it on Colbert this past week. It ticks once a year, the century hand moves once every 100, and a cuckoo comes out once a millennium. Humans are welcome to visit in inside a mountain and wind it up. This is seriously one of the coolest ideas I've heard of in a while. Junggai (talk) 13:45, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

I've heard of it. But my puny brain cannot quite comprehend the scale of it. Scarlet A.pngsshole 16:14, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Here's the Fora TV thingy on it from last year. Also, Brian Eno is involved which makes it automatically awesome. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:51, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Wasn't Neil Stephenson's Anthem inspired by this?--ZooGuard (talk) 20:48, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
I saw it on TV somewhere. Might've been Through the Wormhole. Sam Tally-ho! 21:09, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
Reminds me of that piano i heard about that plays a song really fucking slow--il'Dictator Mikalosa (talk) 21:36, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
You're probably thinking of John Cage's As Slow As Possible which has been performed merely very slowly as a piano piece (an hour or so) and is being performed ridiculously slowly on an organ over a period of many years in Germany. (talk) 00:45, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
F**king Cage. No one likes a smartarse. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 00:55, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Scheduled to take 639 years to play. "The actual performance commenced in the St. Burchardi church on September 5, 2001 with a pause lasting until February 5, 2003. The first chord was played from then until July 5, 2005." Dendlai (talk) 02:26, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Debunker's handbook[edit]

Skeptical Science is running a series on the psychology of debunking myths: Part I, Part II. It deals with climate change as its subject like the rest of the site, but the general idea applies anywhere. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:39, 20 November 2011 (UTC)