RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive141

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BBC radio plug[edit]

I keep recommending BBC Radio 4's In Our Time podcasts. Today they covered The Scientific Method. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 16:10, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Do you really need to recommend R4? Surely everyone listens as a matter of course. Scream!! (talk) 16:42, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Everyone on a small island in the Atlantic. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:48, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I do to the under 40s. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 16:57, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Radio 4? What is Radio 4? SJ Debaser 16:59, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Radio is for listening to. O U KDZ & UR TXT SPK. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 17:05, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, good to see Duhem is on the reading list. Too many people still think falsification started and ended with Karl Popper. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:02, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
The strength of In Our Time is that they have three experts on the topic who may not always agree with each other. For any intelligent listener with an interest in history/science/philosophy/culture it serves up an interesting mix of topics. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 19:25, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
@SJ - Radio 4 is really called The Home Service. The only other two radio stations are "The Light Program" - which the staff listen to - and "The Third Program" for musical listening. Jack Hughes (talk) 08:24, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
@Genghis: That sounds like a good format -- too often popular media let scientists peddle their pet theories as if they were carved in stone on Mt. Sinai. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:41, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
You know that there are no restrictions on downloading the podcasts from the US? Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 09:33, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The follow-up newsletter indicates that they plan to do an evidence-based medicine programme. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 17:57, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The stupid, it burns![edit]

I've been having fun over at WND, on their new, outsourced, mostly unmoderated talk pages, mostly here, but I'm about to terminally headdesk myself. Creationists are stupid. There's no other word for it - no creative thinking at all. They're all parroting the same old tired arguments, mostly along the lines of "show me a fish with a foot." My favourite was the home-schooling mum, who claims that "fossils are a lie, they don't exist." --PsyGremlinSiarad! 05:08, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh god, you read the bottom of the internet? Why would you do that?! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:11, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
It's the masochist inside me. --PsyGremlin話しなさい 05:25, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Do I need to join to read comments or is it just because I'm behind a DoD firewall and running IE7 here at work? I do so enjoy reading your various antics, Psy. The Foxhole Atheist (talk) 05:33, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure - I use FireFox with NoScript and I had to "temporarily allow" a bunch of stuff before the comments were visible. Just another wonderful feature of how stuffed their new look is. --PsyGremlinSnakk! 05:53, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I suggest replacing our Webshites article with the following title: Sites that induce brain damage. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:43, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The FSTDT Facebook page has been slowly killing me recently. People should have Internet Licenses. Scarlet A.pngpostate 09:26, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Bricks is gone?[edit]

I'll live to regret this, I'm sure[edit]

I commented on Terry's latest birther stupidity.

It's "awaiting moderation", so here's what I wrote.

You birthers remind me of the immortal Bullwinkle J. Moose, and not because of the amazing stupidity you share with that famous cartoon moose (Bullwinkle was, of course, funny.)

The similarity I see is Bullwinkle’s repeated attempts to pull a rabbit out of his magician’s top hat.

Let me refresh your memory. I’ll emphasize the key parts.

  • “Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!”
  • (And Bullwinkle pulls out a tiger, or a rhino, or Rocky, and some funny remark is made.)

You keep trying to pull the same rabbit out of that hat, and every time, every time, you’re demonstrated to be a fool, but you keep coming back, insisting “this time for sure we’ll prove Obama wasn’t really born here.” Those of us in the audience laugh at you, but unlike when we laughed at Bullwinkle, we’re sadly shaking our heads at how truly idiotic you are.

You’ve been laughed out of court on this. Orly Taitz has been fined for her ridiculous legal antics. But this time for sure! You’ve got a state administrative law judge on your side! After all this trying, even attempting to get the Supreme Court to hear your madness, you get someone whose authority is only a couple of steps above the drivers license examiner at the DMV.

And though you trumpet Obama’s lawyer not showing up as a victory, it’s actually, once again, demonstrating how dumb you really are. (This time for sure!) The attorney didn’t show up because you have no chance of succeeding — just like the other times Obama’s attorneys didn’t show up for your other failed attempts that were really really going to prove Obama’s ineligibility (this time for sure!) If this gets further, the attorney will show up in Georgia, plunk down the d*mn long form birth certificate you obsessed on for so long, and you will, once again, be shown the courthouse door, and hopefully fined for wasting the court’s time. If he even shows up — FedEx would do just as well.

But please, though, keep it up. Keep reminding America just how pig-ignorant the far right really is. MDB (talk) 13:22, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

They should also read through absence of evidence, but I imagine that's a little advanced for birthers. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:51, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Good job you posted it here, because that will never see the light of day on Terry's blog. --PsyGremlinSiarad! 15:13, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
It hasn't yet, and they've posted other comments. He does take some comments from critics, though, it seems. MDB (talk) 15:41, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Nor did he post the second set of questions I sent him:
* If the evidence is so overwhelming, why did the McCain and Hillary Clinton campaigns not make an issue of it?
* If this is truly such a great Constitutional crisis, why did they wait until the inauguration to start filing suit? Why take it to court during the election, unless your real goal is nothing more than political distraction?
MDB (talk) 00:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Well, we just dodged mass extinction[edit]

At 10:30 EST, an asteroid passed by the Earth, 1/5 the distance from the moon.

(Okay, it was so small, it would have burnt up if it entered the atmosphere.) MDB (talk) 15:35, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

When is that one that swings by in 29' supposed to come back?--il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 15:40, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Um...I dunno, who's buried in Grant's Tomb? -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Any reason why...[edit]

...the current poll only has European languages as the candidate for "most beautiful language"? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 15:35, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Because the question is inherently facetious. -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:38, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The inherent bias that everybody here is probably a native european language speaker. --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 15:39, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, do you see the bit about "please add"? --PsyGremlin말하십시오 15:49, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Read some of the articles on Conservapedia about "beauty" and you'll get a better idea of the joke behind the question. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:05, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Half the beauty of a language comes from who is speaking it. PongoOrangutans are sceptical 17:22, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
It's because I'm extremely biased against people who don't speak a European language. Also, I didn't realize I had a CP joke behind it. Sam Tally-ho! 22:18, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
You're too intelligent for your own good, Sam. -- Seth Peck (talk) 22:31, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Chris Christie sez "Quit yer whinin'! That's my job!"[edit]

Brilliant! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:28, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The thing is, there are enough bigoted people in NJ (I know, I live there) that he can get away with this kind of move. What I don't understand is why people outside of NJ think he is some kind of conservative icon. Inside the state nearly everyone - including conservatives who want to slash the budget like Jason Voorhees - hates the man's guts and wants him out of office. Tetronian you're clueless 16:40, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
He has lots of fans down here in the Bayou for being "the well spoken genius of the GOP" etc. Many disappointed people that he didn't run for president. TyAnnoy 17:18, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

On Iran[edit]

Too harsh? The article's getting mixed reviews, some liking it and others calling it anti-Western Neville Chamberlain commie propaganda. Lulz. Osaka Sun (talk) 00:10, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

It's basically what you see on a daily basis in European (minus UK) countries as left-wing mainstream. And when I say left-wing mainstream I mean democratic socialists. So, for the North-American right it is radical Marxism with hammer and sickle on top. Even though they simply are the facts, the fact that they go in ad hom mode that fast is telling.
On Iran I kinda feel icky, on the one hand I wish the regime would have been brutally brought down a long time ago, on the other hand they have a right for nuclear energy if "they" (the government that doesn't really represent the people, but still claims to do so), but not for a-bombs. So on the one hand yes, on the other no. --ʤɱ sinner 00:41, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I mostly agree with this article. It is true that calls for non-proliferation made by nuclear weapon states are rather hypocritical. If there is no reason for Iran to have nuclear weapons, why is there a reason for the UK, the USA and Israel to have them? Note: I'm actually in the evil batshit insane lunatic camp in that I think Iran should be allowed to have the bomb. Preferably, one of the nuclear weapon states should lend them a few. This would remove any incentive for Iran to make their own, and when its foreign relations become more normal, it would be far easier for Iran to give them up.
The most positive thing anyone could do right now is to acknowledge that it's unrealistic on the basis of simple game theory to expect countries to voluntarily give up nuclear weapons, and focus on ensuring that the weapons are secure from unauthorized use and accidental detonation rather than on desperately wishing them out of existence. The current politics are not only ineffective but actually putting us at an unnecessary danger. For example the U.S. could not give Pakistan the blueprints for Permissive Action Link systems that secure U.S. nuclear weapons because of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Pakistani warheads are still not as secure as the U.S. ones. --Tweenk (talk) 03:10, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Remember when they were all squawking about this loon's nuke testing? Everyone will stop caring in a few months unless Israel decides to go in and take out their nuke program. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:57, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I remember not so many years ago all the squawking about Iraq's imaginary WMD program. Pardon me if my first instinct is to regard the current Iran hysteria with a truckload of salt at best. At worst, those Mike "Barack, who do you want to nuke?" Gravel was right suspicions. Secret Squirrel (talk) 04:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, at the end it might not be Israel doing the bombing. It feels like yet another Iraq.
At least with Obama we can expect some restraint. Romney, Frothy Mix, and the serial adulterer, on the other hand... Osaka Sun (talk) 04:19, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Remember that old Beach Boys song? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:28, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Your turn, Europe[edit]

ACT up against ACTA! https://secure.avaaz.org/en/eu_save_the_internet_spread/?aBwLTab&s=1. I can't do much here from the states, cept let people who are Euros know it's out there if they don't. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 23:52, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Better do it quick Euros; ACTA sounds really bad, worse than SOPA, and you won't find many governments more inefficient than the American one, so there won't be as much time to take action as it was with SOPA.Z3100x (talk) 17:52, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Idea! Sparkle sparkle.[edit]

In computer ed class, I was bored out of my wits. We were going over the basics of how to use Microsoft Word, something which probably all of us in the room had been doing for years on end, and has a handy button shaped like a question mark to explain without having to waste 40 minutes every day. I was told I couldn't go on the Internet, and I typed qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcbnm repeatedly and "goat" on my keyboard in succession with my eyes closed. I opened up Microsoft Paint and began doodling about. I came up with something very vaguely reminiscent of the immune system. I built on the idea, drawing in more random shit, until I came up with an ad hoc explanation of homo-toxicology. I'm thinking of learning HTML (so I can actually learn something in computer ed) and making a Poe website, e-mailing code back and forth between home and school so I can keep working on it. Do you think I should do this? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:42, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

inb4 common response to your posts. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 03:43, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
They dont let you use the internet in those classes anymore? --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 03:45, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Nope. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Put the computer down, kid. Step away from the computer. Back slowly away. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:49, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I think that learning HTML would be a good idea. It's a useful skill and the internet is only going to become bigger. No I don't think that making a poe website is a good use of your time. Rationality is not about who can write the most fake things pretending that someone else said it, its about being, err, rational, aka, some other words I would associate with it being clever, strategic and logical. So if you are going to spend time then make something fun and interesting and put it in your portfolio for the future. 10000 Bonus points if you manage to make money out of it before finishing school and having done that using school time. Sen (talk) 04:25, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Add to that CSS and PHP, and those are just the starters. Flitzertalk to me :D|see my shit 04:51, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Why not get one of these babies and see what you can come up with? You might earn some respect. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 08:45, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I can't remember who said it but there was someone with influence wanting to change IT curriculum in the UK to include actual coding. It may seem a little esoteric but think about it; computer code uses logic at its very heart. You could do much worse to teach kids to actually think than to get them to process logic from a young age. I don't think it's a coincidence that many aspiring rationalists have a comp-sci background due to this. Scarlet A.pngsshole 09:30, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I think you are confusing the chicken with the egg. People become programmers on account of being good with reasoning, not the other way around. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:53, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
[citation needed] 06:03, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Unwarranted generalizations ahoy! Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 06:09, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Do you seriously think geeks get the way they are by repeated drilling in the art of reasoning? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:30, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Aschlafly.png If only that were true the other way around... -- Seth Peck (talk) 21:50, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe you're a wee bit young to remember, but the BBC Micro and the Sinclair ZX80/81 and Spectrum spawned a whole generation of kids programming in their bedrooms. I'm sure that the relatively high profile which the UK has in the games and CGI markets is as a result of this. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 17:55, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I was writing basic BASIC games on the old Acorn Electron by the age of ten. Unfortunately, my family didn't upgrade to a more modern computer until late in the 90s, & I've never really had the time to learn any coding since, so I now don't know any computer code at all, apart from possibly some dimly remembered & completely useless odd scraps of 1980s BASIC. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:59, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I was just on the tail end of that, where computers still needed Start of the Day disks. So I did some BASIC and a lot of Logo. Scarlet A.pngbomination 22:06, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Computer code classes and requirements for them are outdated in general; atleast at my Campus to get into actual coding classes smy friends have to take a bunch of pointless math classes. --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 02:48, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." -- Dijkstra. The math is half the fun. TyAnnoy 02:56, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
When you already can do the coding though; the math is tedious. Not that math isn't tedious (and easy) anyways. --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 02:59, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
So? Oh and the math for CS isn't even vaguely tedious. The math for Physics is much nastier. When you've spent 5 pages describing the motion of a top, or spring pendulums connected to springs connected to more pendulums then it might be tedious. TyAnnoy 03:06, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Handy Dijkstra quote. I recall Douglas Hofstadter saying something along the lines of "I have no interest in computers." Yet people always think CS involves learning Microsoft Office or something like that. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Microsoft Office? You need to learn that? Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 03:21, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Hey, some people are really computer illiterate. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:23, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
(EC)It's a course required for GT graduation here, unless you take CS I. TyAnnoy 03:26, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Anti-abortion cartoon[edit]

I've got a friend whose devoutly Catholic and politically somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. (We don't discuss politics, except in the broadest sense. We've realized we'll never chance each other's minds and it just makes us mad at each other.)

He posted a comic panel to his Facebook that I didn't comment on there, but I will here.

A man asks God, "why haven't you cured AIDS or cancer?"

And God says, "I sent you someone to cure them... but you aborted them!"

Okay, so, God decided to send the brilliant scientist to a mother likely to have an abortion? Not very bright of him, is it? Or was he doing it to teach us a lesson about abortion? Pretty spiteful, and pretty subtle, too. MDB (talk) 13:29, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

As a joke, I guess it's funny, but only in a very morbid way (especially to the religious) and probably only to people who are pro-life (it's difficult to find a joke funny if it makes a point counter to one's political persuasion). But I do hope nobody takes it further than a joke and thinks it a serious point. I mean, it's so easy to counter it with "yeah we've probably aborted a few rapists, maybe a couple hitlers too". ONE / TALK 13:34, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I once saw a Catholic make the argument that the reasons there's a shortage of men entering the priesthood (and that's a real problem in the Catholic church) is that so many of them are being aborted.
I seriously doubt that -- the families most likely to produce priests are the loyal Catholics, the ones least likely to have abortions. MDB (talk) 13:54, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to reduce that cartoon to absurdity. A Neo-Nazi is praying to God. "Dear LORD, why haven't you provided us with another ruler to wipe out the abominations across the world?" God replies, "I tried sending you one. Hell, I tried sending you several dozen over the past decade. Problem was, they were aborted." The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 14:02, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

It's also very much misrepresenting how you'd actually cure AIDS... you think that sort of thing hinges on just one person. Scarlet A.pngsshole 14:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY. ONE / TALK 15:08, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The belief that research and engineering is a one person job is actually very common among the conservatives/libertarians down here. TyAnnoy 14:55, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Fucknuggets. Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:58, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
You see the same thing when they focus on Tebow and ignore the rest of the team. And lets not forget that Edison invented everything, completely on his own. PongoOrangutans are sceptical 15:01, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
As an adult, it is very difficult for me to watch Juarrasic Park because of the lunch scene withtout screaming "That's what science is you moron!" TyAnnoy 15:02, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
On the subject of Tebow, I WND is whoring themselves with "Tebow for President" bumper stickers, with an advertising blurb "America need a new hero". Once again I'm reminded of Bill Hicks: "When did mediocrity become something to aspire to?" --PsyGremlinSprich! 15:16, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Wow, considering WND obsesses on birtherism, you'd think they'd remember Tebow isn't old enough to be President. Or have they decided that if Obama can break the rules, so can Saint Tim? MDB (talk) 15:38, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Not to mention being born in the Phillipines. -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:39, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Whereas libertarians crank out propaganda perform ruggedly individual research for those front groups fonts of learning and liberty! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:42, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
No only does science not hinge on one person, becase of the nature of discovery, if one person does not discover something, it will be discovered by someoen else. maybe not as soon, but it will be. If pythagrous did not say (whatever the math thing he said), someone else would have come along and shown the same thing. If the 1700's had not produced modern democracy, some other group would have at some other time. it's the way of life. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 17:14, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Nonsense. The history of the world is but the biography of great men. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:17, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Isn't this the same sort of reasoning that implies F=ma would have (somehow) been different if Newton was female? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 17:18, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Same formula, but Ms. Newton would have figured it out quicker, because she would have stopped to ask for directions. #rimshot# MDB (talk) 17:26, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I have read some very compelling arguments (started by the woman who figured out what pulsars was, but didn't get the Nobel cause she was just a women) that it is important to have women in science, cause women see things differently. (not men/mars and biology, but sociologically). Women are raised with different values, different was of doing work, etc., and so we may find discoveries that men overlook. But again, eventually, even if she hadn't found the pulsar, someone, somewhere would have. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 17:29, 27 January 2012 (UTC) (ec)

The cartoon sounds like another shitty variation on the old "aborting Beethoven" motif. Yes, any foetus could hypothetically end up as a great scientist/artist/politician/whatever, or by the same token they could turn out to be a murderer/dictator/terrorist/whatever. That has nothing to do with the parent's choice to have children or not; it's just the different directions a person's life can take. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:50, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

"Hey, why is your grandmother still alive? Because the guy who raped and murdered her was aborted." Let's face it, same logic. Scarlet A.pngtheist 19:43, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Help! Existential crisis at hand.[edit]

This is probably a side-effect of hanging around WND, but somebody needs to explain the mechanics of evolution to me. Not natural selection - but for example, how does a fly go from not flying to flying. How did wings develop? Were they useless, transparent things for several generations, until one fly went "What are these for? Oh... hey!" Likewise, bee navigation. Could bee ancestors navigate before they could fly, or were early bees thundering around aimlessly? Anteaters are another good example. How did they go from mouth with jaw, to fused mouth with long tongue. The intermediate versions must have looked very odd.

I know these are "what good is half an eye" questions and I'm not about to convert or anything, but damn if this isn't bugging me. So, one of you clever people, please explain. --PsyGremlinPrata! 17:19, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The intermediate versions are probably no odder than the original or current version. It's just that you are used to the current one. I guess that if you follow the punctuated ToE route then there might be an environmental change which results in more competition for resources, any individual with a slight advantage would be more likely to survive and mate. Their offspring would also have the same adaptation but owing to the natural flaws in DNA reproduction that variation may show up to a greater or lesser degree in the offspring. Natural selection is a bit like educational selection. You need to pass exams to get to a higher levels but after several steps you are no longer the same individual who took the first exam. The point is that nobody knows what is going to be in the exam until you get there. PongoOrangutans are sceptical 17:42, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Evolution != natural selection. I think that needs to be stapled to the desks of some evolutionary theorists. There are other mechanisms such as genetic drift, horizontal gene transfer, etc. Furthermore, traits may be by-products of natural selection that are not themselves selected for and then possibly later may develop usefulness, or what Gould and Lewontin called "spandrels" and "exaptations." When it comes to insects, there is no consensus on how wings evolved. AFAIK, the two main hypotheses are aquatic wing development where airfoil-like appendages developed on aquatic insects or that the earliest wings were incapable of flight but could only be used to glide. Here is an interesting experiment testing the latter. Now let's have some real questions. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
It's always best to think of appendages and parts as things that accomplish a task rather than something in themselves that are supposed to do a certain something. For instance, our own arms could, in principle, be used for flight - as we can flap them pretty hard, make a bit of down force and jump. The trouble is, they're simply shit at this, if the arms were a bit bigger, flatter and more powerful, and we were lighter, they'd be a bit better at it. So, remember the maxim about the eye: don't ask "what good is half an eye", ask "what good is an eye that sees half as well". Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:01, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec)That's all well and fine. But did they go from "no wing" to "wing" or were there many generations of "useless wing" - and if the wing was useless, what's the evolutionary benefit of having it? I understand the arms race between say speed and agility/armour, but what evolutionary pressure is driving an unformed and useless wing? Or as you said, what good is a wing half (or quarter) as good at flying? --PsyGremlinTala! 18:03, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
A proto-"wing" would be pretty useful in water -- ever seen a keel on a boat? As I said above, it would also be useful for gliding. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:18, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
But to function as a keel or glider, it has to be a certain size. Unless it popped into existence fully formed within one generation, it would have spent many generations developing and being essentially useless, especially at first. And if it's useless, what's the evolutionary force driving its development? --PsyGremlin講話 18:24, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The hypothesis is that they were initially an extension of the gills. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:26, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Psy, in most cases, the end result is not the origin purpose. Bat wings, for example, were originally limbs similar to the front legs of other rodents. With insects, one of the competing theories is they are adapted antennae. In fact there has been some recent research into a particular species of insect that uses very long antennae to glide (you'll have to google it). But whether they are adapted limbs, antennae or even gills, the evolutionary process is similar, i.e. that a previous body part used for something else, had a secondary characteristic that was useful and therefore selected for. At each step over thousands and millions of generations, that original body part came closer to the wing we see today and lost its original function. Ajkgordon (talk) 19:09, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
EC There were no "half-formed" or "useless" wings. No animal "looks like" an intermediate form when it's alive and running around. Every animal is just good enough to survive in the environment and the predator/prey situation in which it finds itself. I frankly don't know the evolutionarily path of fly wings and it's not the sort of thing that would fossilize very well (though amber might help you out).
EC So bird flight is a better one to investigate. If I remember correctly it looks like feathers were one of the first things to arise and they were probably first used for insulation. Later these were co-opted into primitive flight and so on.
EC The question is really not "what use is 5% of a wing?" but "what use is 5% of the ability to fly?"--BobSpring is sprung! 19:17, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Good call on birds -- early birds' feathers were more likely advantageous for insulation rather than flight. Assuming feathers are "for" flight is a teleological explanation. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:25, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks guys, so far, but I guess what I can't get my head around is: if you draw a timeline of insect ancestors, then on one end you've got "not flying" and on the other you've got "flying" - but at some point in between a generation arose from the non-flying, that were able to fly, or glide, or hop long distances or whatever. To use the example above, one day a generation of bats was born, with wings big enough to fly. Now if no predecessors had flown, how would they know to fly? And up until that point, what was the evolutionary advantage of essentially losing your front limbs, as they stretched out and became webbed? --PsyGremlinKhuluma! 19:34, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec)Sorry if I'm asking dumb-sounding questions, but mentally I've reached the point where, for me, evolution breaks down. (Like the big bang, that theory's fine, until you ask, well, where did that proton come from? And why did it explode? Another break down point for me.) All the theories of macro evolution are fine, I'm happy with those, but it's here at the coal face that I'm finding things dodgy. Like the anteater - what came first - the snout, the pencil tongue, or the fused jaw? At some point in the equation, something doesn't make sense - you can't have a normal tongue with a fused jaw, but without a fused jaw, there's no evolutionary need for a pencil tongue. ARGH! --PsyGremlin말하십시오 19:43, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Parachuting? Rennie McGreet (talk) 19:39, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Evolution always involves trade-offs. There can be costs, sometimes massive costs, for any adaptation, but if the benefits outweigh it, it will still be adaptive. Also, repeat the mantra: "Evolution != natural selection." Evolution doesn't "need" anything. There's lots of chaos and randomness in evolutionary processes. If you want to get a basic understanding, pick up Williams' Adaptation and Natural Selection. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:48, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
(EC)This is precisely the difficulty most creationists have with it. I mean, it is a genuine issue but, as always, I think it's in our perception rather than the theory. We like to bundle things into neat little categories: "flying" animals and "non flying" animals, to run with that example. But there's absolutely no reason that nature should be beholden to the fact we can only comprehend the world through neat categorisation. You don't have "flying" at one end and "not flying" at the other, you have "good at flying" and "shit at flying" basically. They're not distinct activities, but it's all based on how well it performs the function. So there's never a single generation where they change from "not flying" to "flying", they just gradually get better (or worse) at that particular task. This sort of thing drives everything simultaneously, so you don't really get one feature first and then another; the organism is what it is, and sometimes it's better at certain things than others. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 19:53, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks guys. I'm going to go and pray sleep on this and see if I can sort it out. --PsyGremlinPraat! 20:03, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Try this for starters. It looks pretty good. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:10, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
[EC] In the struggle for life an organism doesn't need to be perfect - just better at something than its competitors, even if that just means a slightly flatter limb makes it jump a little further. It wouldn't take very many generations for the flattened-limb-jumper to predominate. And we know how many generations flies get through each year. Rennie McGreet (talk) 20:14, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Dawkins devoted a book to this question.--BobSpring is sprung! 20:27, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
And Murphy's law - it's about the only one of his books I haven't read. Off to the library tomorrow. Thanks for the help everybody. --PsyGremlinSermā! 20:34, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Yuh, all the Dawkins. Remember that this is what he is actually a professor of. The Greatest Show On Earth is instructive in showing you just how shit many of the things evolution comes up with actually are - you'll realise just how many of the organs we have ourselves are pretty much "half an eye" - David Gerard (talk) 21:44, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I reckon Psy's fallen victim to seen the light of the QE campaign. Praise Ken Jebus. Ajkgordon (talk) 22:12, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh yes. Ken's mastery in regards to debating and skewering evolution on the internet, have convinced me that in regards to creationism he is correct. Sheesh, can't a guy question the very foundations of atheism 2.0 without being labeled a fundie? </snark> --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 00:28, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
You love it. You'll have Spanish ladies swarming all over you. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:15, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"...just how shit many of the things evolution comes up with actually are..." Yeah, anyone who's studied certain parts of anatomy in-depth would never say "But look how perfectly designed it is!" Speaking of the eyes, for instance, they've got big blind spots where the optic nerve connects, the image appears on the retina upside-down, the optic nerves connect up to the opposite hemispheres, where vision is ultimately processed is at the exact opposite side of the brain in the occipital lobe, etc. If god existed, he certainly failed Bio Engineering 101 at Deity University. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:42, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
There's more to that. The retina in the human eye is facing backwards, but it is facing the correct way in the octopus (and it has no blind spot). God did it right with the unclean seafood, but then totally screwed up with those made in his image. --Tweenk (talk) 03:21, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
But we're not supposed to eat them... hmmm, anyone else think that the only deduction we can make is that it's actually the Octopus that is God's Magnificent Creation™ and we're just the silly things that need controlled? I mean, it fits the evidence. Scarlet A.pngbomination 15:15, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Don't overhype the Octopus, they're screwed too. They don't live very long, they don't handle big complicated social structures, they're configured to drop dead soon after reproducing. We got very lucky, to have been accidentally gifted the understanding of the terrible situation we are in. Now we just need to decide what if anything to do about it. (talk) 15:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

For all you non-Americans[edit]

Probably (another) silly question, but I'm curious as to the amount of coverage countries around the world give to stuff happening in the US, such as presidential elections, American sports, and American culture for example. I've looked over websites like BBC News and the Telegraph to get a rough idea but I'd like to hear from people themselves as to how invasive common American news and stuff is their respective countries. The impression I have now is that US stuff is covered quite a bit, at least compared to how much America covers other countries' stuff, and American pop culture is frighteningly prevalent. Sam Tally-ho! 02:23, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

It all depends on proximity. We've got this hybrid thing going on in Toronto. Just keep the nutters away. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:35, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
American elections and pop culture gets a lot of coverage. Nobody outside the US cares about American sports. Dendlai (talk) 02:45, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
What Osaka said; although I can say from using Foreign based news sites that the US coverage is pretty lite in comparison. --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 02:51, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Over here, there were some stories on the TV on the GOP primaries. There are info screens in the subway that sometimes display tedious syndicated news about American entertainment, e.g. about Fox's plans for a teen-oriented crime series, but this is an aberration. --Tweenk (talk) 03:32, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
It's fairly erratic here. It takes a bit to get US (or generally foreign) news on the front page of the paper, but even this week there was a day where the entire front page of the world section was filled with US stuff. The next day I don't think there was anything at all on the front from the US, but you still do get a disproportionately large amount of coverage, along with nearby Australia. Today, for example, on the world section front page there was one article from Libya, one from the US and one from PNG. Yesterday was the Australia Day stuff and something about Somalia. It varies. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 04:12, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I think I see quite a different perspective of the elections from French news, cause they aren't as into the gamesmanship. Never heard any sports, even during the superbowl - though we get lots and lots of UK sports. And I've heard some really odd coverage lately of what you called "culture", things I was asking "why is this news?" Like our hero worship of Abe Lincoln, and what TV shows are popular. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 04:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Bullshit. Abe Lincoln was a bloodthirsty dictator, war criminal, and the originator of big gummint. Real 'Murricans hate Dishonest Abe. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:20, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
All the coverage the US gets around the world makes me feel like the US is a bit too dominant. I'm pretty sure that if we were to get a lot of coverage of, say, Russian politics and pop culture then it would be really weird and almost invasive in a way. Kind of a follow up question: Is it annoying to see lots of American stuff in the media or is more like meh? Sam Tally-ho! 04:31, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Almost no sports coverage on our news, although our cable channel has ESPN, unless it's a tennis player or golf. Good economic reporting, current news events, but very little about the pre-election stuff. My folks don't go on-line, and they have no idea who people like Bachmann or Santorum are. As the primaries draw to a close we'll probably hear more. Then again, out local state broadcaster is very much "Look how awesome the ANC is!" for 20 minutes, with 30 seconds of other news. --PsyGremlin말하십시오 05:01, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
In Spain no sports. No real pop culture except obvious international things like the Oscars. Politics is really superficial thumbnail sketches of the the top individuals. But I'd bet that the only American politician most Spaniards could name would be Obama. Few would be able to explain the difference between Democrat and Republican. So I wouldn't call it "invasive" at all.--BobSpring is sprung! 08:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps I should add that there is quite a lot of anti-American sentiment in some Spanish sectors. There is some in the UK too, but there is a lot more in Spain.--BobSpring is sprung! 08:19, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
From the UK perspective, the BBC is often criticised for reporting too much US news - almost as home news rather than foreign. It's almost all politics though. There's virtually no sport except maybe small pieces on the Super Bowl. There's a bit of cultural coverage from the likes of Stephen Fry and Louis Theroux but a lot of it is pandering to the American stereotypes or simply taking the piss. And of course the obligatory Oscars coverage. The current main critical reporting is about guns, capital punishment, military aggression, global warming policy (or lack thereof), and the overwhelming view that Obama has been a great disappointment. And that's all from left and right alike.
In France there's virtually nothing except the biggest US domestic events like Presidential elections. But nothing like as much as in the UK. French media is often very disdainful of American culture and foreign policy.
While it is easy to criticise the media for reporting too much American news, the US is still probably the most influential country on the planet and is likely to remain so for many years to come. It's newsworthy so it's news. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:19, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Probably true of the main BBC1 news, but if you check the BBC News Channel, it often features proper world news, as in what the fuck is actually going on around this 13,000 km wide globe of ours, and you even run the risk of learning something by watching it! In fact, because of this there's comparatively little news from the US involved, or at least it's in a better proportion. Meanwhile, at night it tends to broadcast ABC's (I think it's ABC) World News which is news from... around the US. Scarlet A.pngsshole 14:38, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
At the moment the Republican primaries get a lot of attention in Europe, but mostly for their entertainment & wtf-style curiosity value than their political meaning. Editor at CPmały książe 12:19, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
In the UK the Guardian even covers American football - possibly they're trying to attract US readers to their website because gridiron's popularity (a national league started here in the eighties but died two years ago) has long passed. Rennie McGreet (talk) 13:43, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Now I think about it some more, Fox news used to be available on a cable channel I had here in Spain. Fortunately (for the reputation of the US) the accents, the speed of delivery and the nature of the opinions (he can't have said that, can he?) make it incomprehensible to most Spanish people.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:55, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
You lucky bastards. I want to get out of my state for college. Its name starts with "O" and it's not Ohio or Oregon. Look it up and you'll see why. Z3100x (talk) 18:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
In Austria, newspapers and other media report a lot of American political news during election years, and much of the editorializing is more sophisticated than your average American outlet. One of my favorites was an editorial after the Iowa caucus that declared Obama the winner (i.o.w. that the division among Republicans can only be good for the incumbent). As for US sports, no one here gives a shit, even during championships. Junggai (talk) 20:45, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Paulbot Article[edit]

Someone said on an essay I wrote some time back that we could create an article on the Paulbot phenomena, and I was wonder if anyone else thought this was a good idea or a waste before I go make a stub, also help would be appreciated. Hollow (talk) 04:45, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Isn't the main Ron Paul article enough? Or more than enough? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't cover all the degrees of crazy, maybe. Hollow (talk) 06:26, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Is a paulbot like a randroid? ONE / TALK 21:13, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Didn't we make that comparison in the main article? Osaka Sun (talk) 23:38, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Osaka had suggested it Hollow (talk) 04:55, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

The perils of downloading[edit]

Thought I was getting 11-11-11... turned out I was getting The Asylum's 11-11-11. Urgh! --PsyGremlinSprich! 05:35, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Hahahahaha! That is all. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:37, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Pwned. That'll learn you. At least to read about what you're torrenting, anyway. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 06:34, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh fail. Though I'm pretty sure that's why they do it, to confuse the hell out of people. Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:39, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not just downloading: remember when I told the story where my dad rented out the first Transformers movie and got the spelling wrong? Osaka Sun (talk) 14:49, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I would have thought there would be copyright issues with using "11-11-11" (unless you can't copyright a number?). Facepalmed as soon as 'The Asylum presents" came on screen, watched about a minutes, skimmed through it and deleted it. Seriously, who buys these guys' rubbish? --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 15:00, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
They knock out their scripts in less than a week yet, for some reason, their budget per flick is like $100,000... how? You've seen most fan-films with zero budget, right. And even my friends' production company produces better special effects (what can I say, I'm good with Lightwave and After Effects :P) with no budget at all. What are they spending that sort of money on‽‽‽ Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Prolly actor salaries. Occasioanlly there are real actors who I've seen in far better movies (I'm looking at you Lance Henriksen) in their films in addition to the washed up 80s teen pop stars. TyAnnoy 15:14, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
You sure you weren't looking for 11-1-11? Occasionaluse (talk) 15:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
You can't copyright anything that small. It has to be a substantial creative work. Hemingway's "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn" is probably too short to be protected. You were probably thinking of trademarks, which are a completely separate law that sometimes gets lumped together with copyright under "Intellectual property", more or less as if people were to insist that bats and eagles are all just "Flying animals". Trademark law varies, but generally there are is a law of trademark, which grant protection to any identifying mark, name, logo etc. which helps consumers distinguish your product from other people's and then there are registered trademarks in which for a fee the government takes away your burden of proof on various matters by registering the specific words, images, etc. to be protected and by ensuring that the different registrations are all different enough in their opinion to avoid confusion. Trademarks may use the ™ sign while only registered trademarks may use ® and there may be a fine or other punishment for affixing that symbol with the intent to mislead people about whether you have registered a trademark. (talk) 15:21, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
You can copyright anything, small or large. People have copywritten 3 word poems. How you enforce that copyright, I don't know. But "for sale" is protected. Or was, I suspect it's fallen into common domain. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 16:29, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, you can't enforce a copyright on any melody shorter than 8 notes. Blue (is useful) 16:46, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
The primary purpose of international copyright law is to give people the time-limited exclusive right to profit from their creations. If your "creation" consists of a commonly used two-word pairing then good luck with demonstrating in court how infringement of your "copyright" has cost you money and subsequently getting damages in court. Depending on the country your creation falls into public domain after time.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:00, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Google demographics[edit]

I decided to check how Google sees me for their ads preferences and got the following:

Business & Industrial - Aerospace & Defense - Space Technology
Computers & Electronics - Consumer Electronics - Camera & Photo Equipment - Binoculars, Telescopes & Optical Devices
Computers & Electronics - Software - Multimedia Software - Photo & Video Software
People & Society
Science - Astronomy
World Localities - North America - USA - New England - Rhode Island

Not too bad but where did that last one come from? Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 11:18, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Mmmmm. Interesting. How do you get to that information?--BobSpring is sprung! 11:32, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Have a look here. For some reason, Google thinks I live in Oceania and search for beauty and fitness products. I call fail. There's also an option to opt out. --PsyGremlinSprich! 12:26, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
It has me down as 18-24. Ten years off my age. Happy with that. I will use that as my age on my gaydar profile. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:40, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I ended up with:
Arts & Entertainment - Comics & Animation - Anime & Manga
Arts & Entertainment - Humor
Computers & Electronics
Computers & Electronics - Consumer Electronics - Game Systems & Consoles - Nintendo
Games - Card Games - Collectible Card Games
Games - Computer & Video Games
Games - Roleplaying Games
World Localities - North America - USA - South (USA) - Kentucky
Even the last one isn't that many states away. Sparky! geeky
The moral of the story is that demographics don't really exist except in the mind of marketing statisticians. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 14:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I clicked the link, but where does it show who or what you are? I'm just getting a vid on the new privacy policies. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 16:34, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
You need to log-in with your Google details. If you don't have a Google log-in, the very fact that you're on that page, means some nice gentlemen from Seattle will be at your door shortly to assimilate you. --PsyGremlinTala! 16:37, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
People actually have accounts on Google and *shudder* log in with their Google details? No wonder I don't have anything there either. I chalked it up to using Scroogle or Ixquick and never Google, running Adblock Plus, and using Gnash instead of Flash. Secret Squirrel (talk) 17:53, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
What are you, some sort of communist? Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 17:56, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I get nothing either even when logged in. Apparently I haven't opted in for something. Ajkgordon (talk) 18:01, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I had to opt-in to it, which I just did because I'm not a communist.
By the way, how well does Gnash work? Flash is a piece of shit in (x64) Ubuntu, but I'm wondering if it will work better in Arch, but if it doesn't, I might consider the open-source alternatives. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 18:02, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Ubuntu? Rob! Rob! There's one over here! Ajkgordon (talk) 18:05, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Gnash doesn't always work. YouTube videos play fine, some others don't. Most flash web features work but not all. Gnash was some trouble to install and get up and running in Slackware. (Yeah, I know, Slackware. More evidence of REDSREDSREDSREDSREDSREDS!!!!!! under the beds.) I've heard Lightspark is better and will probably try it at some point. Secret Squirrel (talk) 18:30, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

What source did they get this from?[edit]

Since they wisely never cite any sources (I'm guess it's from some place like Conservative News and Views). Fluckedtalk to me :D|see my shit 19:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

This might help. P-Foster Talk "Watched Mad Men thinking it was supposed to be a sit-com. Found it disappointing." 19:15, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I guess I could have done that. Flubbertalk to me :D|see my shit 19:29, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Looks like the school has been pretty stupid (not that suing is a particularly reasonable reaction). WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:37, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure what the school did, but I support removing the piece. What people seem to forget is that, in school and work and other various fun places, you don't have freedom of speech -- at least, not fully. It's part of the school administrators' jobs to maintain a safe and welcoming environment (cliché phrasing, I know) for every student. That doesn't mean that opposing viewpoints can't be tolerated, but there has to be a reasonable limit. Want to say that, basically, gays deserve to be put to death? Put it on your stupid fucking online blog or something.
And I'll wager that 98% of these right-wingers claiming "CENSORSHIP!" are giant fucking hypocrites. What would they say if a student published a piece in the student newspaper stating that Christians are inferior people and shouldn't be allowed to adopt, and quoted somebody saying that they should be hanged? Does anybody really need an answer to that? God, I want to strangle people sometimes. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 19:46, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely what Fallacy said. The student's op-ed might have been okay if only the statistical objections to gay adoption were quoted, but allowing someone to say, "According my religion gays are all going to hell" is the very definition of hate speech. That being said, the newspaper's faculty editor must have been sleeping/drinking on the job. Junggai (talk) 20:51, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
True. I think I misinterpreted it as the school publishing the paper & then revoking the article, whereas it was actually a student-led paper. Nevertheless, a very poor editorial decision. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:48, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Il Etait une Fois... La Vie[edit]

One of my favorite TV shows, it dates from the mid- to late eighties. It is based off of human anatomy, and I have found it great and wonder why it isn't on the air today. Although it was originally French, an English translation was made and all the episodes are available on the YouTube channel of a very kind man by the name of isgota. I could imagine the fact that the reality of evolution is acknowledged in it (they even go through a walkthrough of the evolution of the human brain) has to do with it. Anyway, I was wondering: what would it be like to be one of those anthropomorphized cells? I wanted to write a fanfiction based off of the series. I first needed to choose what type of cell I would be (hence my question on what blood cell you would be). I was sometimes leaning towards a red corpuscle, as a lot of series focuses round a trio of such. Then, I was leaning for a helper T cell: the series didn't feature any, although featuring the immune system heavily (were Th cells not discovered in 1987?). I then came up with the perfect idea: a pluripotent stem cell, who, after all these years, has yet to decide what kind of cell to become. My stem cell self decides to explore throughout the body, see what possibilities are out there, and make an informed decision. He comes under the wing of Professor Globus, and is able to explain to all the phagocytes that he's not going to divide and make a tumor reminiscent of the final stage of homotoxicology. I then base each fanfiction on an episode of the show, inserting myself as a stem cell as described above. I feel writing all this would help me a) learn more about anatomy, b) serve as an allegory for my own thoughts and feelings, and c) let me practice my writing skills. Do you think this is a good idea? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 23:52, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Dude, you are really into cells, huh? Sam Tally-ho! 23:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
(EC)How should we know if this is a "good idea" for you? We don't know you. But if you actually want people's opinions on this stuff... I would say the whole concept of anthropormorphized cells makes me feel a bit icky. I got very nauseated after watching Osmosis Jones several years back. Blue (pester) 23:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Wow. That's... stupid. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 03:34, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
MOyeshimon! [1]Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 00:15, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, they're so cute. I wish I could speak two words of Japanese :) Is there an English translation somewhere? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:32, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I am. But, what do you think, Sam? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:32, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I've never heard of the show, but if you want to write about it, knock yourself out. Writing's good for the soul. Sam Tally-ho! 03:37, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
It sounds interesting. See if you can beat Fallacy here to finishing the first paragraph. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 03:39, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh snap, it's on!! Best story gets a moderator spot next election. Sam Tally-ho! 03:44, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
...What? Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 03:50, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll make you posters and everything. That's how Ace won, right? Peter Monomorium antarcticum 03:52, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't do fan-fiction -- sorry. Fartertalk to me :D|see my shit 03:55, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't mean that you should do the same story, I mean race between your story and his. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 03:57, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh. Well, I'm trying to make it a novel (a very lofty goal indeed, but at least I have a goal), so it might not be entirely fair. On that subject: [2] Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 04:00, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
We'll say 'best', by the time of the opening of nominations, and not necessarily finished then. Subjective judging ftw! Peter Monomorium antarcticum 04:07, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh shit -- I need to get moving then! Flitzertalk to me :D|see my shit 04:10, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Google "Tales of Aggricultre", they anime is subbed. there is also a live action - that one you might have to visit d-addicts or something. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 03:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
I hope that's no relation to Veggie Tales. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:03, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Hey, I like Veggie Tales, even if it is Christian. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 04:06, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
God no. it's jap-anime show about a kid who can see microbes. they are his friends, and he's all into sake brewing. ;-) --Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 04:07, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Kids and sake? Sounds highly illegal to me. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

This keyboard[edit]

I'm not sure I like it or not. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:17, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Dare we ask ...? Doctor Dark (talk) 03:06, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Ask it which is its favourite Star Trek series, that'll help you decide. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:29, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Newt Skywalker[edit]

Fuck everything else. I've just learnt that Gingrich wants a manned lunar base by 2020. He's got my (non-existent worthless foreign) vote. Ajkgordon (talk) 22:04, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

GWB pledged to do the same thing, before 9-11 happened. -- Seth Peck (talk) 22:12, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I especially liked that he wants it to be the 51st state once it reaches 13,000 people by the end of his second term. 13,000? By the end of his second term? I love this guy. Where can I donate? Ajkgordon (talk) 22:16, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
We were just taking about it at WIGO:talk. Watch Jon Stewart's reaction. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:19, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I think he needs to visit planet Earth before looking at the moon, to be honest. Scarlet A.pngmoral 23:03, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The guy's totally shooting for his head on Mt Rushmore. He seems to think he'll be the greatest president of all time. Sam Tally-ho! 23:10, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Haven't you learnt anything about politicians, especially Republican politicians? When they're running for office, every one of them without exception wants to put boots on Mars, Venus, Jupiter. Hell, Santorum even wants to go to Uranus. However, when they're in opposition their attitude is more "we're spending how much on NASA?!? SHUT IT DOWN AT ONCE!" and when actually elected they transfer all that money to people who make big, expensive weapon systems that will never be fired in anger. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
"Hell, Santorum even wants to go to Uranus." I see what you did there... Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:50, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeww... Scarlet A.pngmoral 23:55, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
"Remember when Newt did that global warming ad with Nancy Pelosi? Well, he's realized that the Earth is very sick, and he wants to leave it for a younger planet." Blue (is useful) 00:02, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Speaking of weapons systems, I remember a flash website back in 2008 that mocked the possibility of Sarah Palin being the president (outside the Oval Office window was a mushroom cloud). They should create one for that this year. Osaka Sun (talk) 00:05, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

I have to say, it certainly won't make me vote for Gingrich, but as a near life-long space exploration fan, I love the idea of a moon base. Hell, if I was younger and in better shape, I'd volunteer to be a colonist. MDB (talk) 00:45, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Everyone loves the idea of a moon base, but where's the money going to come from again? Osaka Sun (talk) 02:03, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Quantitative easing.--BobSpring is sprung! 08:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
No no no. The government isn't going to build the base; that'd be socialism. It will be built by the private sector as soon as Newt repeals all anti-moonbase legislation and red tape. Turpis 3:16 (talk) 10:24, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Newt is a disciple of Alvin Toffler's The Third Wave and William Strauss and Neil Howe's The Fourth Turning. Newt has been known to scribble on napkins that his primary mission is to be the definer of civilization, arouser of those who form civilization, and the leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces. Newt believes the transcendent issue of our time is "American exceptionalism vs the radicalism of Saul Alinsky". Newt has, in the past, supported the death penalty for possession of more than a small amount of marijuana and mandatory drug testing of the entire U.S. population. Newt believes we are in World War III right now, and WWIII is just the beginning. It doesn't surprise me at all that he wants a manned lunar base by 2020. He reminds me of a character in Allen Steele's (unfortunately now badly dated but still a good read) first novel Orbital Decay, one Henry George Wallace, leader of the free world in space in his paranoid mind. Or of a Lyndon LaRouche minus the cultism and with Beltway respectability. Secret Squirrel (talk) 12:27, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
What good would a moon base be any way? I think Gingrich wants to go there for the precious moon cheese minerals. But i doubt that would pay off. Would it not also be problematic for the moons orbit, if you took a large chunk of its mass away?--Th. Bernhard (talk) 17:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
There's a lot of stuff from the Bermuda Triangle that can be salvaged. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:20, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Mostly I think what Newt has in mind isn't anything practical, just more manifest destiny. Secret Squirrel (talk) 23:30, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Here's an interesting take from another 'candidate'. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 23:13, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Ayn Rand pull-string doll[edit]

I want a real life version of this. It would be a great companion to the R. Lee Ermey motivational action figure. "Produce, you looter. Back to work! A=A! Existence exists!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:37, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

It's cute, in a rather disturbing way. I can imagine it popping up in a horror film. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 10:51, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Heh. "My name is Talky Ayn, and you'll be sorry, parasite!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:00, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Goodbye nightmare-free sleep... Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:03, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Low IQ & Conservative Beliefs Linked to Prejudice[edit]

But we knew that all along. --PsyGremlinFale! 07:34, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

This was discussed briefly above. It seems pretty self-explanatory, from talking with researchers on my campus I feel like there might be a barrage more evidence coming soon along these lines or similar. One of my old supervisors is currently looking into the links between AGW denialism and racism with some surprising findings.
Oh, some denizens here found the study inadequate because they don't agree that IQ tests measure intelligence FYI.Tielec01 (talk) 07:43, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Intelligence is subjective -- IQ readings are just one standard to test for a specific definition of it. Fartertalk to me :D|see my shit 07:51, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
All reasonable measures of intelligence correlate strongly. -- (talk) 13:52, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Shorter Nebby shpiel on these studies: "Conservatives dumb hurrdurr, where are the error bars?, what is the effect size?, controls for socio-economic status?, obligatory reference to Satoshi Kanazawa, request to go read Keith Stanovich on IQ." Good enough. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:53, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Is it just me or are these appearing more often? Osaka Sun (talk) 08:39, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
You have to be really careful here. It's so easy to get into the "all conservatives are thickos - otherwise they would agree with my carefully thought out liberal positions" way of thinking and, by denying "the other side" any intelligence, any rationality, all you do it widen the divide. it's always the nuttier voices that scream the loudest but not every Christian is a member of the Westboro Baptist Church and you'll find many liberals who aren't saints either. I can see "Low educational achievement has a correlation with simplistic political views" - but don't go rushing into demonising those with whom you disagree. Jack Hughes (talk) 09:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Damn right. I am never more suspicious than when I see a study like this, and even if it's on the up-and-up I remain skeptical.--ADtalkModerator 10:27, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
We all read (or have read) Conservapedia and have watched the GOP do some seriously mind bending stuff over last couple of years, so this sort of thing seems instinctively true (and AD is right, always be most suspicious of research that agrees with you). Even if you could prove a significant (that's in the conventional and statistical senses) link between intelligence and political views you still have two problems. First, the obvious is the the "correlation does not equal causation" problem. Does being an idiot make you conservative or does being conservative limit your intelligence? But less obviously, is there a bias in the way we think of intelligence? Are we simply defining "being a racist" as a stupid thing and acting all surprised when it turns out that, "hey, racists are stupid!"? Scarlet A.pngbomination 10:50, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
People with lower IQs are more likely to hold a simplistic world view. That won't necessarily always be a conservative &/or racist one, but given the political demographics of modern USA, it's easy to see how the correlation emerges. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:06, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────We tend to think of "conservatives" as a group, but they're not. Sure, there are the low-IQ bigoted types but there also are the Wall Street "Rockefeller Republicans" (think Romney for a modern example), the moderate Midwest brand of conservatives (a la Bob Dole), and so on. The latter two groups are at least average in terms of measurable intelligence. Doctor Dark (talk) 16:22, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I suspect that the belief: "Everybody who doesn't agree with me is stupid" is pretty widespread. No doubt a bit of confirmation bias will help people to find evidence of this.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:39, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, obviously everyone who doesn't agree with me is stupid. I wouldn't think of a stupid opinion, would I? If it was stupid I wouldn't think it! So I'm right, and everyone else is wrong by definition, and being wrong is like being stupid. QED. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:46, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
There's still the question of whether the difference is practically negligible. Many of the studies I see like this find something like a 3-6 point IQ difference, which can be "statistically significant" if you crank up the number of subjects and/or comparisons enough. However, said results tend not to actually mean anything with such a small difference, it's just "Look, p < 0.5! Success!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:03, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Isn't the error bar for individual IQ tests like +/-20 points or something silly like that anyway? Scarlet A.pngsshole 22:38, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
No, that would be pretty massive, but I think it's somewhere ~3-4 points, if not a little more. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:27, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As the measure of racism used was the level of disagreement with statements such as "I wouldn't mind working with people from other races," I suspect that the test only caught those racists who were dumb enough as to give an honest answer. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 22:43, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Or honest enough to give a dumb answer. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:54, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • People with lower IQs are more likely to hold a simplistic world view. That won't necessarily always be a conservative &/or racist one...
Seems to be a simplistic world view; why not liberal &/or racist? nobsModerated 00:44, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Regardless of political ideology, I have found that IQ tends to drop off precipitously the closer to the fringe extreme you get. --Inquisitor (talk) 01:09, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I am not so sure about that; there are quite a few crank professors, especially in departments that were set up on account of political pressures. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about it either read Smart People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer. --BobSpring is sprung! 10:20, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Tell me about it. You should hear some of the things that come out of the mouths of my students from the business school. P-Foster Talk "Watched Mad Men thinking it was supposed to be a sit-com. Found it disappointing." 03:04, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The first professor that popped into my mind was actually a fellow from your discipline, Jack Manahan, who married Anna Anderson, the woman who had the fixed delusion that she was a member of the Russian imperial family. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:53, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of racists and crank professors, see: Kanazawa, Satoshi; MacDonald, Kevin; Murray, Charles; Rushton, J. Philippe. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:13, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Also Oliver, Revilo P. and Coon, Carleton S. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:53, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm getting better![edit]

I did my tax return with a whole 40 hours to spare this year! Compared to last year where I think I had something like 5 hours left 'til the deadline, I think this counts as huge success. No, but really I truly suck out loud. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:37, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I signed off four years worth last Thursday with the good news that I'm due a nice rebate. The increase in penalties has really made me get my ass in gear. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 08:44, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Gays and biological determinism, part the second[edit]

Another interesting paper, though with rather unsurprising conclusions: Liberals endorse genetic determinism for sexual orientation, conservatives for socio-economic status. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

"Citizens are more likely to invoke genetic causes where they wish to see government refrain from behavioral regulation." It looks like eugenics really is dead. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:12, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The underlying logic is still alive, but the policy prescription has been inverted. And not even totally in that case. It was the progressive/leftist strain of eugenics that generally advocated state intervention. The laissez-faire side of the spectrum generally saw the prevention of state intervention as allowing the "natural order" to take its shape as it should. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:31, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Surely, whether you have rich parents is certainly "biologically inherited". Scarlet A.pngnarchist 10:25, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
There was an interesting article in the NYT this weekend around this. In among the comments
From a scientific perspective, my understanding is that there is a continuum of sexual orientation from purely gay to bi-sexual to purely heterosexual. For people at either end of the continuum, sexual orientation certainly isn't a personal choice. For those in the middle, it would appear to be a choice, as bi-sexuals could choose to be with the same gender or the different gender and that choice might change over time. But the fact that they are bi-sexual to begin with is genetic.
But the point of the article was that it shouldn't matter. We should respect peoples love, whatever the reasons. Jack Hughes (talk) 10:39, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The point is that people seem more likely to accept "it's genetic" if they already think it should be tolerated and left alone - because you can't change your genetics, it makes no sense to discriminate on those grounds. From what I can tell, the paper above doesn't go into bestiality and pedophilia, which would be an interesting extension to see if people were accepting of that as genetically determined. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 10:55, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The whole subject is a political minefield. Although IANAP I think that I have come to the same conclusion that Jack posted above purely through life experience, and I am more aware now that life in general is grey rather b&w, than I was as a teenager. But hey, sometimes it takes an extremist to get things changed and I would never want to eradicate the idealism of youth. The problem as I see it is that it is even greater than nature v. nurture as according to David Eagleman brain chemistry is a contributing factor. I'm sure Nebby will pooh pooh it but in Incognito Eagleman recounts the case of a guy who developed paedophile tendencies because of a brain tumour. Now this does not mean that everyone with the same condition might go the same way but it is an added dimension in how society deals with people who may deviate from some perceived "norm". Also let's not forget that research on prison populations in the US (and many other countries) shows that there is a particular set of genest which makes someone about 10 times more likely to commit assault or homicide and 40 times more likely to commit sexual assault. What should be done with people who are identified with that condition?  Lily Inspirate me. 11:32, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, on that very last point you need to consider test sensitivity. If I remember a particular documentary on it, an old Horizon possibly, then the guy who found this miraculous "serial killer gene" actually tested himself and found it on his own genome. So it's pretty useless if, say, a significant proportion of the prison population has the "serial killer gene", but only a minute proportion of all people with the "serial killer gene" are actually in prison. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 14:58, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
In this example the particular genetic difference is a Y chromosome. :)  Lily Inspirate me. 15:32, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Consider the same logic applied to the fact that there's a disproportionate number of ethnic minorities in prisons. Or even more illustratively, consider that the vast, vast majority of people in prison posses human DNA. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:40, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Has this place lost its sense of humour?  Lily Inspirate me. 16:37, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
No, I'm just saying it's a great illustration of P(A|B) != P(B|A). Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:41, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
No joke, there was an attempt to connect Y chromosomes with heightened criminality using flawed research on XYY syndrome in incarcerated males. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:28, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually that takes you back to a place we've already visited. My sexual attraction to 12 year olds and goats is OK because we suppose I have no choice about it, but my actually having sex with 12 year olds or goats is not OK. That's the position taken in some churches over homosexuality. Yes, god apparently configured you to only be attracted to people of the same biological sex. But, He specifically forbade acting on that, so you mustn't. It turns out actual gay people don't like that rule. they see it as discriminatory.
So, biological determinism doesn't really help you very much, unless you're arguing with real lunatics who think people don't actually like buttsex and are only doing it to annoy a guy who lives in the clouds. The real ethical problems involve deciding what people should be permitted to do for their pleasure and under what circumstances. You get some pretty nuanced results (e.g. if you're 14 and your 15 year-old best friend has been wondering whether getting fucked in the ass would be fun, you may agree to try, in the UK if you get caught that's a crime -- the law says no fucking under the age of 16, no matter which orifice or why, but because it was mutually agreed "sexual experimentation" and you're of similar age you will get a very light punishment even if someone calls the police and it goes to trial). (talk) 11:40, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I guess I'm naive, but why is choice an issue for liberals. I get why it is for those who want to make "gay" bad, cause it's not really fair of your god to make a bunch of people desire something that is morally wrong, but why are liberals into "genetic". What if it's 100% choice? so what? What if it's something your mom ate when you were 2 days? or the fact that your mom made you listen to too many show tunes in your crib? how does any of that matter? if it doesn't' harm anyone, who you live is your choice and more importantly, your right. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 15:10, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I presume it's only an issue for liberals as a reaction to the social conservative charge of it being solely a choice. Ajkgordon (talk) 15:13, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Most of that's accounted for in the paper's footnotes. But it's about who is most open to "it's got a genetic component" as a reason, not that this is the exclusive reason. See the quotebox I copied below. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:24, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I remember some old toilet graffiti:
'If I gave her the wool would she make one for me?
 Lily Inspirate me. 15:36, 30 January 2012 (UTC)


As a point, it's worth mentioning this footnote, which encapsulates the main paradox involved here.

We do not mean to imply that only a genetic argument can be employed to justify social liberalism on the topic of homosexuality, or that only liberals have employed genetic arguments in this area. Some pro-gay rights scholars have found genetic immutability arguments to be problematic; this is in part because such arguments open up the possibility that homosexuality may be treated as a disease that can be “cured” – perhaps by scientifically altering a gay person’s genetic makeup – a view that has been endorsed by some who oppose homosexuality.

Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:04, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

"It's not a choice" is not very useful for gay rights advocates, especially if they involve the Unfortunate Implications genetic argument. It goes without saying that "it's not a choice" is a social and medical necessity for trans people, but the genetic argument has equal potential for destruction there too. Blue (pester) 17:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not useful for that reason, but when the opposition says "it is a choice" (unless, as discussed above, we're confusing the distinction between attraction and acting upon it) then you're effectively left with a dichotomy that forces you into having to use it, at least by implication. With trans, I think the issue is still problematic because you can call it a medical necessity and "not a choice"... but then where does the "gender is a social construct" thing stand? Such people wouldn't exist if gender was socially constructed, we'd just easily grow into the "assigned" gender that society constructs for us and no one would ever feel the need to change it. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 18:09, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The only reason this whole genetic argument came up anyway was because of reparative therapy and other wingnut bigotry. But honestly, does it really matter if it's a choice or not? Osaka Sun (talk) 18:45, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
We can say that just because it may not be 100% genetically determined does not mean 'it's a choice'. 'Choice' is an ill-defined term anyways -- as a non-free_willist, I don't think it really has much meaning. And the "transpeople wouldn't exist if gender was a social construct" argument is bullshit. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 18:50, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
This is why the social constructionist school of thought ends up being the flip side of the coin. The "transgender people wouldn't exist" argument was widely adopted by transphobic radical feminists. This puts them in the position of denying the fact that there could be a possible mismatch between anatomical sexual characteristics as represented in the sensory and motor cortices of the brain. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:14, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
All I can think of is the num-ber of obscure-ly placed dashes and the fact that it talks about penises and uses the word "penetrating" with a straight face after-wards... Scarlet A.pngnarchist 00:33, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

It makes no difference to me[edit]

I'm sure this is all of some scientific interest, but as a self proclaimed massive gay, whether I am what I am through choice or biology, or for that nature or nurture, it is an irrelevence. People who hate the gays don't really care either. The choice thing is merely there to rationalize their hate. If they were saying it's biological then they would be saying we are freaks of nature or ill - something that can or should be cured like you would any other illness. That said, I without any evidence what so ever, I said it's a mixture of nature and nurture that leads to my sexual preferences. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:47, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

I love your username, by the way. Osaka Sun (talk) 18:48, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Without any evidence either, I say 'probably'. Flinttalk to me :D|see my shit 19:06, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
All this time I have been reading it 'Am ass I've gay' O.O just kidding TheCheatI run on alcohol 22:53, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
All this is saying is that you need to tread carefully on the "nature vs nurture" debate - and certainly not rely on it anywhere near exclusively. But it also applies more widely, not just to sexuality. Hell, the paper cited above goes into a discussion on The Bell Curve, which is very relevant to this stuff. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 23:12, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The (pseudo-)debate has always been more political than scientific because we all love us some naturalistic fallacy. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:36, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Isn't that the point of the paper above, that the conclusions people are most likely to readily accept are politically motivated? Not that this precludes a scientific approach to the question "Y sum men no like sticking pee-pee in hoo-hoo though that no make babby??" Scarlet A.pngd hominem 03:52, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Though to answer a previous question, that post there is why you shouldn't drink and wiki. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 03:53, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
True, I mean to say that you are going down a philosophical road to hell once you start basing ultimate moral values on biology. However, it is very revealing about the political ideologies that endorse certain positions. TBC is a great example of how hard-line libertarianism is really just authoritarianism with a funny moustache and glasses. Instead of the "natural order" being maintained by the king or the state, it is maintained by the all-knowing invisible hand. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:05, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Legal Question[edit]

Just something I've wondered about...

A media source says "Senator Snort is a cannibal who eats babies." That's libel (unless Senator Snort really is a baby-eating cannibal.)

A media source says "There are rumors that Senator Snort is a cannibal who eats babies." Is that libel? MDB (talk) 15:02, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

UK or US, and the second in the US is not at all, cause you are reporting on rumors. even if you start them first. UK libel laws are apparently really different from US laws.Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 15:07, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, I'm in the US, so I was thinking about the US. MDB (talk) 15:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
For some bizarre reason, UK libel laws effectively presume that the person making the libel comment is guilty and must prove that it's true - so you have to prove public interest. Everywhere else the suing party needs to prove that it damages their reputation significantly before they can proceed. There are also very different standards of journalism, notably in what you have to do with sources and the distinction between on and off the record. Sources aren't protected in the US as much as they are in the UK, so in the US even if you reported "rumours that..." then the person originating those rumours would be fair game. In the UK, the source of the rumour can be given anonymity and protection by journalists - though this may change with libel reform, as for instance police informants can't be held accountable for misleading the public a la the Jean Charles de Menezes case. But the suing party can just sue for libel and the press would have to a) prove those rumours and b) prove a public interest. So with Simon Singh, for instance, his libel trial was practically all about whether chiropractic medicine actually worked, so justifying what he wrote about it. If it was in the US, then this wouldn't have been the case, the chiropractors would have had to prove that Singh was wrong first and say that he was damaging their reputation with false information. But this isn't all: if you can prove that the comments can be read in the UK and that the person has a reputation to defend in the UK, then you can sue in the UK. Hence the term "libel tourism", so you can't simply say "I'm in the US, it doesn't matter". There's a reason that (sans proxy) you can't access The National Enquirer from here. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:22, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
If the second one was libel, Fox News would be off the air and Glenn Beck would on the street begging for food scraps. -- Seth Peck (talk)
That's exactly right. by saying "someone has said", or "Fox has found out that..." they remove all responsibility. Also, "in my opinion, Seth Peck smokes dope and rapes chickens" is a valid statement. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 16:41, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
IANAL but the UK version is the word "allegedly" as in "allegedly WfG wears a chicken suit whenever Seth Peck comes around." However, Private Eye, the kings of "allegedly" also have the record for the most sued magazine. Jack Hughes (talk) 16:52, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
An entire round of Have I Got News for You involved them saying ridiculous things but prefixed with "allegedly". And of course, there's also Charlie Brooker's rumours that David Cameron is a lizard. It's a very weird thing that you can say whatever you like just by choosing certain words over others. cf. charlatan. Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:10, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I object to this slander libel. I do not rape chickens! I have pictures that prove this! -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:13, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I would like to see the informed consent forms.  Lily Inspirate me. 17:20, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
They're too hard to read. The writing is like chicken scratches. #rimshot# MDB (talk) 17:22, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
You know, I was thinking of that in terms of a logical positivism joke rather than a "hey, look at this face, the chicken is totally consenting" kind of way. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:26, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The general rule is that one who repeats a defamatory statement is just as liable as the original speaker. However, in some states there's a "neutral reportage privilege," which is asserted as a defense, as to a journalist reprinting libelous material if it's done in the public interest, is newsworthy, offered without bias toward stating or implying the statement is true, etc. The privilege doesn't apply to private figures. If a court doesn't recognize the existence of the privilege and is thus bound to treat the reprinted statement no differently than if the journalist originated it, I imagine it would still be bound by the burden shifting New York Times v. Sullivan does to the common law defamation torts - the public figure plaintiff would be required to prove that the defendant published the false statement knowing it was false or in reckless disregard for its truth or falsity. Frankly, it seems to me that a defendant has it a lot better under NYT v. Sullivan where the plaintiff bears the burden of proof than with the "neutral reportage privilege" where he bears the burden of asserting the privilege. I don't know enough about public figure defamation to really say. I only handle commercial disparagement and the like. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:05, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"I never said he was (taking ibogaine), I said there was a rumor in Milwaukeee that he was. Which was true, and I started the rumor in Milwaukee. If you read that carefully, I’m a very accurate journalist." -Hunter S. Thompson Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:04, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Tom Tomorrow[edit]

This Modern World on the Republican primary. MDB (talk) 15:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Political demotivators[edit]

Spotted these two on DeviantART. *Sigh*, the political stuff that pops up on there is always draining... but do these people actually live in reality or just parrot what Fox News tells them? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:46, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

What gets me is just how unclever those are--especially the second one. At least put some thought into it, folks. P-Foster Talk "Watched Mad Men thinking it was supposed to be a sit-com. Found it disappointing." 15:59, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Terribly unfunny. Osaka Sun (talk) 16:20, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Same guy did both.  Lily Inspirate me. 16:42, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The rest of the gallery isn't much better, either. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 17:08, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Fucking internet... Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:23, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Given the site name I was hesitant to click the link. The first one is humorous and true, but the second is classic racism by Paul supporters. Talsley (talk) 17:43, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
If you want to use DeviantART as a source of cheap porn, you'll have to create an account like everyone else. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 21:01, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
This is flying very close to Poe's Law (read the text & comments). Still erring on the side of idiot rather than parodist, but it's a close call. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:19, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
That's nothing. For seriously bad political cartoons on the web, try Chris Muir's Day By Day or Michael Claymore's The Pigman Cometh. The former is conspiracy-laden conservative incoherence inserted into a cartoon very obviously traced from pornography, and the latter is an MRA atheist liberal crapfest sloshed onto MSPaint. Terrible stuff from both sides.--ADtalkModerator 23:58, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The one I spotted on the latter was marginally funnier, if only because I have a soft spot for irony and a loathing of the "mysterious ways" argument. Scarlet A.pngbomination 00:08, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh wow, I actually used to read Day By Day but stopped in, I want to say early 2009. It was being heralded as "The right wind Donnesbury at the time.TyAnnoy 00:12, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
It's probably the closest thing there is to that, but Doonesbury is intelligible, whereas DBD is very difficult to follow. They're about equally funny, I think. Oh, and of course DBD is filled with outright lies.--ADtalkModerator 00:15, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

"We reserve the right to refuse service to asshole state senators"[edit]

Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield, author of the "Don't Say Gay" bill, was refused service by a restaurant for his stance on the bill. (Ironically, the restaurant is on Knoxville's Gay Street.)

I don't like that. If the shoe were on the other foot -- if he had introduced a pro-gay bill in Tennessee and an eatery refused to serve him, pointy-headed lefties everywhere would be frothing with rage. I don't think this is any less wrong.

The appropriate response would be to serve him, and for the owner to say "Senator, I'm a businesswoman, and I'm going to serve you. But I'm also one of your constituents, and here is what I think..." MDB (talk) 15:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Disagree on a strategic level -- she follows your idea, and we're probably not talking about it. Political theatre needs to be grand. There's nothing newsworthy about someone sharing a dissenting opinion with an elected official. P-Foster Talk "Watched Mad Men thinking it was supposed to be a sit-com. Found it disappointing." 16:02, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The fact it's good political theater doesn't make it right. MDB (talk) 16:20, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm more tolerant of these moves when it's a minority that's being protected. I think if a straight guy had stopped a gay person, that would be outrageous. But what power do gay people have to say "enough is fucking enough". this is not even a guy who says "don't get married", he said "don't mention your sexuality, don't talk about yourself, don't exist". Unless you have a better way to stand up to people who abuse others like this. Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 16:28, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
There's also something to be said for using the prerogative of "personal freedom" against people who would use that concept to limit the rights of others--Ron Paul thinks that laws that prevent establishments from discriminating are a bad idea? Fine. Let him try to drink at my bar. P-Foster Talk "Watched Mad Men thinking it was supposed to be a sit-com. Found it disappointing." 17:16, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, you always have that right to refuse service... but on that political theatre angle, I don't think most western politics is set up so that you can have one-to-one disagreements with your representatives that mean anything. It's all done through pressure groups and petitions and emails that get moved into the pile marked "ignore these cranks". So in the rare opportunity to make a political statement comes up, people will take it. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 17:21, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
"As a former restaurant manager", and having a fairly conservative boss, I can tell you that the right to refuse service is one of the best AND worst practices a private establishment can engage in—but you have to do it for the right reasons. There's no way any restaurant, especially in these economics times, would turn away large groups of people they didn't agree with on some sort of blanket notion of impropriety ("We don't take kindly to your kind here!") AND expect to stay in business—particularly with minor influences such as restaurant review sites and much more major influences such as social media sites (It wasn't popular back then, but today I would CERTAINLY loathe a bad review being shared on Facebook). Usually the assholes that we didn't care whether or not returned were the people who said they wouldn't return if we didn't give them their money back ("fool me once..."). I remember one particular guest came in on a busy night without a reservation (Valentine's Day) and INSISTED on being seated. He later sent us a three page letter complaining about all the problems that he experienced (which he did NOT choose to address during the meal, when we could have fixed said problems), some of which were bullshit, some of which were legitimate but lacked the understanding of how fucking busy we were. We took a red pen, corrected all of his spelling and grammatical mistakes, then mailed it back to him.
But publicity is a double-edged sword. If this particular nitpicky asshole decided to post his review and our response on a website, we could just as easily post a rebuttal, and only the particular viewers of that website would even care (and they might not). In the case of the State Senator, refusing to even seat the jerk would almost assuredly make news (which it did)—such an action would likely INCREASE the popularity of the restaurant among reasonable individuals whose views on homosexuality disagree with the Senator's. Sure, it was ultimately a political/personal decision to refuse the customer, but from a purely business-related standpoint it was probably their best move. The Senator can eat elsewhere. Smart move, I say. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah. There is a distinction worth making between refusing service to an individual based on your opinion about that individual, and refusing service to a class of people based on some prejudice you have about that class. Obviously it may be difficult to diagnose which is happening in a particular scenario. Another distinction worth making is between refusing to do business with someone on a matter concerning a luxury, versus refusing them service of some necessity. If all the electricity providers in a region are pressured into refusing service to the Senator's house then we have a problem. However, if BMW works through their dealers to ensure the Senator can't buy their new limited edition 7-series after he says Germans are "murderers and thieves" who can blame them? (talk) 17:58, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
So you're basically saying it's a gamble about whether it ingratiates you to customers. Double-edged sword indeed, but all publicity is good publicity from that angle. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 18:00, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe not a "gamble", AKV, but definitely a risk. There are always other reasons to refuse service...we asked one guy to not come back because even though we would drop several hundred dollars a week on bar tabs, he made one of our bartenders uncomfortable (actually, we agreed that he could come in, but only if he came for dinner and didn't sit at the bar). Another guy would come in and teetotal at the bar during the day and talk on his cell phone, bothering other customers, but every once in awhile he would have drinks with a business contact. We told him to do his phone business elsewhere (in the hotel lounge across the street). Neither of these events made news. I would say the decisions weren't always in the best interest of the staff, though. My boss really liked the owner of the Anti-Gym, because he would come over after classes on Friday nights and eat steaks and drink martinis with some rather attractive company. This same owner and his employees would stage fake "No Chubbies" protests and call out fat people on the street (including at least one of my kitchen staff). But, ultimately they're all business decisions. If someone brings in business, great. If they drive away business, bad. If kicking them out will bring in business...well, it's not a hard decision to make. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:10, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm just recalling recent cases where a pair of Christian B&B owners refused a double room to a gay couple and that made the news. I think they received a lot of hate mail for it and a bit of negative press (although some aspects of the media sent them down as martyrs instead). Of course, if your decision isn't going to attract national attention, you just play it by what you know - so shooing people off for antagonising some of your staff is just good sense. But it's a risk if you can't judge what the majority of people will make of your decision. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:14, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Speaking as a former Knoxvillian, I have to say that, even though I disagree with the decision, I admire the chutzpah. Knoxville is hardly a hotbed of liberalism; it's a very conservative city, especially on the social issues side. The restaurant could well lose business for this. Now, it is affiliated with a live theater, so it's market is primarily an "artsy" crowd, which does attract the more progressively minded, but this action will upset a lot of locals. And not like this former local is upset by it; it will be "how dare they persecute this great state senator for standing up to the hoe-moe-seck-shew-ulls!" Overall, it's a shithole of a city and I'm glad I left it. But I digress. MDB (talk) 18:27, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Aren't the wingnuts all in favor of segregation "freedom of association"? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:37, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Someone watch a video for me[edit]

The prestigious Prager University has a profound new video on the huge differences between the way men and women think. I haven't seen it yet because I'm waiting till I get home, but I'm hoping it will be filled with stereotypical, outrageously generalized, 50s-style assumptions and pseudoscience. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 21:02, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh, fuck. I forgot a link. Damn. That sucks. Flitzertalk to me :D|see my shit 21:06, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
[3] Flitzertalk to me :D|see my shit 15:36, 32 January 2012 (UTC)
You have a human spirit and a human animal. Spirit is rational and thoughtful while animal is primal and instinctual. That is as far as I made it. TheCheatI run on alcohol 22:46, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Lol, do they really say that? It's more stupid smarterist than I thought. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 23:05, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Prager University? Is that like a remedial school for Beck U drop-outs? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:06, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
No, it's roughly the equivalent of printing out a fake diploma from the Internet, except you didn't even bother to change the default lorem ipsum. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 23:09, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Show me on the doll where the invisible hand touched you[edit]

Ideas for sale, indeed. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:34, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Maths and theology joke...[edit]

Why does God hate dividing the opposite by the hypotenuse? . . . . . . . . . . . Because it's a sin! *ba-dum-tish!*Scarlet A.pnggnostic 19:59, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

LOL Sam Tally-ho! 20:01, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
You are a terrible person. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:01, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll be hear all week, darling. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 21:00, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
That literally made the left hemisphere of my brain shrivel up. Flinttalk to me :D|see my shit 20:02, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I thought that this might be a bit obtuse for me but it's just the right angle.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:03, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Stop making these silly jokes, cos they're hurting my brain. Sam Tally-ho! 20:08, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll tan your backside if we have any more of those.  Lily Inspirate me. 20:13, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
But then he won't be able to sit on his cot! Occasionaluse (talk) 20:16, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Just a sec, I can't think of a csc joke. TyAnnoy 20:33, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Was it really stupid of me to see the heading "Maths and theology joke" and expect something funny? Turpis 3:16 (talk) 20:35, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Give me 2sec to come up with something funnier, cos it's pretty difficult. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 21:13, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
YOu're alwasy off on such a tangent.Pink mowse.pngGodotGrow a vagina 21:17, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh come on, csc jokes are a sinh. Can someone who doesn't know trig read this section? Cosecant! --Benod (talk) 22:39, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
^ Best one so far. Sam Tally-ho! 22:54, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, but I think you're being a little hyperbolic... --Benod (talk) 23:21, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
The humor in this thread is growing exponentially weaker. But then I'm an old square. Doctor Dark (talk) 02:08, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm reminded of the story of the Native American chief, with three wives. The two junior wives each had their own wigwam, covered in buffalo hides, but number one wife's wigwam was twice as big and covered in hippopotamus hide. Why? Because the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the squaws of the other two hides. --PsyGremlinHable! 02:30, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I hate to be a square, but hippopotamuses don't live in North America. A radical notion I'm sure. Copperhead (talk) 03:14, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Funny story. I was 13 when I first heard that joke, and I couldn't stop laughing for a good 15 minutes. It got me into puns, a proclivity I retain today. Blue (pester) 03:39, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't get this thread. I'm too obtuse. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:43, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Which might have been funny if it hadn't already been used. sined Genghis Khant 10:35, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
While looking for a suitably snarky repost (and failing), I see that there's such a thing as a Schläfli symbol. Ajkgordon (talk) 10:51, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised if that's a relative of Andy as WP says that his father's grandpappy immigrated from Switzerland in 1854.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:27, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
That was acute comment. --PsyGremlinSermā! 11:17, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I feel like I've been transported in f**king Flatland... Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:20, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
And your point is?  Lily Inspirate me. 11:27, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

This argument has gone off on so many tangents that I'm afraid I'm going to have to vector it back to the origin, lest the magnitude of puns becomes to great. Sum times these go to far. CopperheadHisssssss 13:17, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Phwoa, what a punner![edit]

The Sun newspaper is renowned for its punning headlines but its best has to be the home defeat of mighty Celtic by minnows Inverness Caledonia Thistle (known as Caley for short) in 2000:


Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 10:51, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

According to Kate Fox (of Watching The English fame), newspaper headlines should be a source of national pride. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:03, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
The Liverpool Echo beat them to it back in the 70s when Ian Callaghan produced a brilliant display against Queens Park Rangers - "Super Cally Goes Ballistic, QPR Atrocious". In Liverpool we'd only use The Sun for cleaning up dog shit; that is, if you could find a copy.  Lily Inspirate me. 11:16, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Really? Over 20 years on the feeling is that strong still in Liverpool? I was actually there briefly a while back and I meant to go look in some newsagents to see if they carried the Sun (I'm not stupid enough to ask a local why not if it's not there) these days. That's a serious grudge you have there. (talk) 16:07, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Well it's The Sun. They're not really missing anything. X Stickman (talk) 18:06, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Closure on the Mohammed/London School of Economics thing[edit]

The LSE student union has passed a motion that "Islamophobia is a form of anti-Islamic racism". The discussion can be heard here, including a particularly unhinged student arguing very, very loudly that race is a social construct, and therefore speaking of an "Islamic race" is no more inaccurate than speaking of a white race or black race.
The decision's being protested by the leader of the atheist group, Chris Moos. (Great name. Still not as good as the new president of the University College London atheist group, who is named - ironically enough - Michael Thor.) Balaam (talk) 22:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Defining Islamophobia for us:
...a form of racism expressed through the hatred or fear of Islam, Muslims, or Islamic culture, and the stereotyping, demonisation or harassment of Muslims, including but not limited to portraying Muslims as barbarians or terrorists, or attacking the Qur'an as a manual of hatred
Hmmm... so when the Qu'ran says shit about killing people, pointing it out will be racist? Do these people even think things through?!? Scarlet A.pngpostate 22:40, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

race is a social construct, and therefore speaking of an "Islamic race" is no more inaccurate than speaking of a white race or black race

is pretty solid reasoning, and I agree with it. Fidgetertalk to me :D|see my shit 22:48, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Really treading on tight water here. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:55, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
This would be much less idiotic if they stopped insisting on redefining it as "racism" instead of "xenophobia." Islamophobia is simply modern-day Know Nothingism, but that doesn't stop the Qur'an from being full of violence, hatred, and magical nonsense. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Neb, stop being awesome. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:57, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure I've made the point elsewhere that the UK has a xenophobia problem, not a racism problem. Now, in practice the two can appear very similar but I'm pretty sure we're not going to stop it if we confuse the two root causes. Scarlet A.pngsshole 23:05, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
[EC] The problem is that she was using that argument to justify the clampdown on "anti-Islamic racism". If you want to go down the "race doesn't exist" path then that's one thing, but the corollary is that racism doesn't exist either - and if you want to argue otherwise then you'll have to have a solid definition handy, which she didn't. Her argument boiled down to "racism means what I want it to mean". Balaam (talk) 23:00, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
[ec] Well, the problem is many right-wing islamophobes do make it racism -- as in, if you're Arab or middle-eastern or look like you could be from a predominantly Islamic country, you're a Muslim and thus a horrible, anti-'Murrican person. I agree with the other points made though. Fidgetertalk to me :D|see my shit 23:03, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Playing off what ADK said above, racism and religious discrimination come from the same root cause of xenophobia. The two are often intertwined. Is anti-Semitism religious discrimination or racism? The answer is obviously both. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:21, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
So it's not far-fetched to call it racist. Fuckertalk to me :D|see my shit 23:25, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Depends on the motive of the indiviudal and what you can infer from what they're saying and how they say it whether you really should call it racism. In the UK, when charvers hang around on street corners shouting abuse at people they're blatantly doing it to feel better about themselves and assert some dominance (oooh, look at me all pop-anthropology like...). If you actually watch them and listen to them there's the exact same motive between them shouting at "pakis" and shouting at "goths". Yet the muder of Sophie Lancaster isn't classed as a hate crime, even in all respects other than Sophie's skin colour, it was. Contrast that with racism which implies some belief in racial inferiority (lynchings, slavery, segregation) and I'm not convinced they're the same. Religious discrimination I'm less sure about, but generally in the UK religion is such a complete non-issue that I really can't see that being a problem. The problem isn't discrimination it's complete apathy, LSE is massive as a uni but could only muster a few hundred votes on that motion, which otherwise is a pretty fucking serious attack on free speech (hell, I managed to get more people to vote for a bloody pirate than that). Scarlet A.pngd hominem 23:42, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
As a reminder, the whole debate stemmed from a Jesus and Mo cartoon being uploaded to a Facebook page. The student in question specifically argues in the audio file that drawing a picture of Mohammed drinking beer is racist. Balaam (talk) 08:41, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Which would pretty much destroy the use "racism" has as a class of discrimination if something like that classes as racist. Scarlet A.pngpostate 09:34, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
TRIVIA: regarding the race thing, I think the National Union of Students (NUS) still defines anyone "non-white" as "black". So their racial equality officer is still called the "black student's officer" even though they represent everyone from Chinese to Indians to eastern Europeans and everything else too. This may have changed very recently as I recall a campaign pointing out how dumb it was, but never heard anything following through on it. Anyway, the NUS does have quite an obsession with racism. Scarlet A.pngbomination 23:08, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Though someone from a Tory group turning up at one of the general meetings a few years back and holding up a "BRING BACK SLAVERY" sign probably didn't help... Scarlet A.pngbomination 23:14, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Relevant post from Ophelia Benson. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:58, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
That's the oddest No True Scotsman formulation I've yet seen. Scarlet A.pngbomination 17:36, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
I feel like I've completely missed something here, but wasn't this thing started by an LSE atheist group posting a Jesus and Mo cartoon? Ignoring whether or not muslims can be considered a "race" (thus making "islamophobia" a racial thing), did they ever demonstrate that there was anything bad about posting the cartoon at all? They seem to have missed a step. Or I have. X Stickman (talk) 18:04, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
There's a recording of the debate here - I can't remember all of it, but the strongest argument against the cartoon really did boil down to "drawing silly pictures of Mohammed is making fun of Islam, Islam is a race, therefore drawing silly pictures of Mohammed is racist". Balaam (talk) 18:40, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

So. Fucking. Jealous[edit]

A certain friend of mine who shall remain nameless has, somehow, managed to find himself inside the VAB at the Kennedy Space Centre and is currently sat right next to Atlantis and Endeavour. Scarlet A.pngmoral 01:12, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Pics or it didn't happen. P-Foster Talk "Watched Mad Men thinking it was supposed to be a sit-com. Found it disappointing." 01:19, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
It's on Facebook and it's not photoshopped. Scarlet A.pngbomination 01:25, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
A guy I used to work for had worked at NASA previously. He had walked inside every space shuttle. I offered to kiss his feet in respect when he told me that. MDB (talk) 13:27, 31 January 2012 (UTC)