RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive161

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This seems nuts[edit]

Imagine having to admit you got beat up by Justin Bieber. I can hardly think of anything more embarrassing. DickTurpis (talk) 15:20, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Amazing, and he needed to go to the hospital to. This guy's life is over. It doesn't matter what he does now, he's always going to be known as the guy who got beat up by Justin Bieber. Oniontalk/edits 15:39, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I wonder what the reaction would be if it had been a girl who had gotten beat up by Justin Bieber? Nihilist 16:10, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Amazing, and she needed to go to the hospital to. This girl's life is over. It doesn't matter what she does now, she's always going to be known as the girl who got beat up by Justin Bieber. Oniontalk/edits 16:49, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I doubt it. While there may still have been some "ha, you got beat up by Justin Bieber", it'd be nowhere near the ridicule a male would get -- because, you know, Justin Bieber's effeminate and has a girly voice. Nihilist 17:01, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
A girl getting a beating from beiber would be torn apart by rabid beliebers AMassiveGay (talk) 17:25, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Probably "give it to me, baby!" Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:50, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
YOu didn't mention it was a paparazzi that got beat up by Bieber. I have no sympathy for them at all.--WickerGuy (talk) 22:30, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
the only people allowed to be beat up and get no sympathy are deniers. --il'Dictator Mikal 16:34, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I feel sorry for the guy, getting beaten up by a girl is bad for one's image. --Raga Man (talk) 10:54, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
It's funny, because you implied he was of the inferior sex. Nihilist 16:29, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Troll--ZooGuard (talk) 11:37, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

NDT and skepticism in the internet age[edit]

I'm sure most of you have seen this, but it was the first time I encountered it. Neal Degrasse Tyson speaking about skepticism and the internet age. .--Green mowse.pngGodot 19:17, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I think you've got the wrong link. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 11:47, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Not scientific but possibly true? Massimo Pigliucci on String theory and Freud.[edit]

In this podcast [1] of the James Randi Foundation's show "For Good Reason", Massimo Pigliucci points out that Freudian psychology is in a sense unscientific because it is not falsifiable insofar as everything in human behavior could in principle have a Freudian theory. Nonetheless, MP suggests in some sense it might be true, just as string theory might be. String theory is similarly completely untestable (no known experiment can falsify it, while it is consistent with all the data), but might be true.

MP also notes the conflict within the skeptic community of global warming and notes that most of those in the skeptic community who disbelieve in global warming also tend towards libertarian politics.--WickerGuy (talk) 22:37, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Notes: I actually gave the URL of Part I of a two-part podcast. "For Good Reason" is now hosted by DJ Grothe, who used to host CFI's "Point of Inquiry" before Chris Mooney and others took over--WickerGuy (talk) 22:37, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I am in way over my head here, so call me out of this is BS, but I think "science" has to take into account more than just "is it falsifiable", to the point of saying "does the math line up?" "Do our current observations line up?" There will not be a yes/no, but a "closer" "farther" sense of it being true - and it's still science. The thing with Freudian analysis and therapy is that they could actually BE TESTED if anyone really wanted to bother. You could do long term studies on a large enough sample size, analyze for particular issues that all share (whatever those be), and see if they improve in quantifiable ways. This won't be done, I suspect, cause 1) it would cost a lot, and 2, few people buy into Freudian psychology all that much any more. (the same way they do not buy into Darwin's theories any more. Time and study have radically altered the basic idea that were presented). --Green mowse.pngGodot 23:27, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I disagree -- Darwin's ideas were the groundwork for half of the modern evolutionary synthesis (along with Mendel). Freud's ideas have been largely rejected by modern psychology. The ones that haven't (e.g., certain defense mechanisms, the unconscious) are mostly ones that Freud didn't invent anyway. Plus, Darwin didn't fabricate a good deal of his data. There's also a good meta-analysis of studies similar to what you describe, which suggests to me that talk therapy in general is to a great degree just an elaborate placebo. Though the line between placebo and treatment is pretty blurry in clinical psychology. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:23, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I think I agree with you on Freud. The notion that a scientific theory has to be falsifiable was proposed by the eminent philosopher of science Karl Popper, but now it's seen to be problematic, as MP points out in the podcast. But MP is using the word "scientific" in a more peculiar sense. False theories such as Newtonian physics can be "scientific", they just are not "true"!! In other words, he's using the word "scientific" in a sense of something within the purview of science to say Yes or No to.--WickerGuy (talk) 02:24, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Freudian psychoanalysis did make plenty of falsifiable predictions that have since been, er, falsified. See our very own Sigmund Freud page. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:03, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
This is the problem I have with falsifiability as this great science litmus test: people just present their straw man version of the theory, say its unfalsifiable and declare it non-science. Done. There's a good post that I think is by Lee Smolin (and I want to find it again) explaining in very clear terms how LQG and string theory are falsifiable, it's just that the differences are subtle and only really conceptually accessible to anyone is who isn't balls-deep in theoretical physics. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:08, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Mis-application of something doesn't discredit the thing itself. (If that were so, one of the first things to go would be evolution.) Popper's attack on Freud is more in reference to its practitioners' severe case of confirmation bias. I actually doubt Popper knew or read much of Freud in reality, because large parts of psychoanalysis are clearly (and easily) falsified. Read Loftus, Webster, Cioffi, etc. Or Grunbaum, who attacked Freud and Popper at the same time. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 11:27, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I've read Loftus and I totally agree with you.--WickerGuy (talk) 13:41, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

General POE note[edit]

Occasionally purveyors of POE put in definite clues that this is a hoax, but still fool many people. Case in point: Famed 2002 French mockumentary Dark Side of the Moon purports to demonstrate that the NASA moon landings were faked with the help of film director Stanley Kubrick. The second half of the film has increasingly ludicrous stuff including interviews with scientists with the same name as characters in later Kubrick films (one of them is "Jack Torrance"!!) and STILL audiences who saw it thought it to be a sincere documentary!!--WickerGuy (talk) 22:42, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Ummm, "we" are familiar with it. "Some of us" even added it to our Moon landing conspiracy theories article. "Some of us" even have witnessed the effect on several occasions. And it's "Poe", because it's a person's name. See Poe's law, if you haven't already.--ZooGuard (talk) 22:58, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Mea culpa on the Poe caps. Thanks for the correction. Never meant to imply folks here at RW didn't know about it- just thought that in particular it was an interesting case of strong Poe clues being deliberately put into the charade that some American viewers in general (not meaning RatiWik viewers) missed. Sorry if I was unclear!--WickerGuy (talk) 02:28, 29 May 2012 (UTC)--WickerGuy (talk) 02:28, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Bah, so this entry isn't even about Power Over Ethernet? Something something... I thought this was supposed to be Rat on a Wiki yet there are all these pictures of Goats? (talk) 07:33, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Confuddling, isn't it? Anyway, my acid test for parody has always been style over substance, but sometimes it can be very subtle because parody/satire doesn't have to be fart-joke funny (ah, the number of people I went to school with who didn't know Scream was satire!). Sometimes you have to know where to look to see if someone is being sent up by a parody. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 09:39, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and I have sent Onion articles (about right-wing movements) to friends (liberals in the MidWest) who didn't get it was satire.--WickerGuy (talk) 13:39, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
That probably has more to do with the Midwest than it does with the Onion  :-) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:42, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

How has no one already made a thread about this year's Eurovision song contest? Clearly it is the most important thing in the world. Personally, I think Hungary deserved far better than 24th(!!) place and I have no idea how Albania managed to get anything above 26, yet (let?) alone 5th. Also, Russian Grannies, just because. X Stickman (talk) 08:06, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

my only experience with eurovision are these three SATW images, so i really cant talk about it. --il'Dictator Mikal 08:10, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Sweden seemed to have some dance hit from 1997 and a girl pretending to be MC Hammer, complete with the crab stepping and billowing trousers. So while I will never understand, it was a clear winner from the off. And while I only caught the end of the Hump's effort, I don't think it was that bad! Scarlet A.pngbomination 09:34, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
As someone who has watched Eurovision long enough to remember Puppet On A String - and I'm not (that) gay - I feel that the standard is dropping. The Balkan/Baltic voting blocks have distorted the voting to the point that it's ridiculous. I really miss Terry, or even Katie Boyle (ask your mum). And it's been ages since we've had an Abba, or anything that you would listen to outside of the contest.
No, like the rest of the world, it's going to rack and ruin (mumbles into his pint, muttering gently as the men in white coats come and take him gently back to the Home For Gentle Folk). Bad Faith (talk) 11:08, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Turkey's entry, with the remarkably flamboyant backup dancers who made a boat out of their capes, and whoever's entry started with a man moonwalking onto the stage while playing the bagpipes, were the highlights of the evening for me, frankly. Also I *do* think Humperdink was that bad, although I think Albania was far worse. X Stickman (talk) 11:29, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, I only caught the end of it, and it sounded like vague Tom Jones style crooning. Perhaps it was more offensive in the middle. The standard is dropping somewhat. We need to get Finland to take the hint and send Apocalyptica, or Nightwish or pretty much any of its metal there because it's just so much better, and their record with Lordi speaks for itself - and think, the UK could have sent Justin Hawkins at some point (who doesn't like flamboyant rockers?), but we ended up with Scooch. In short, I think the UK takes it far too seriously. No one wins Eurovision by taking it seriously. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:13, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
We almost sent Nightwish in 2000. As usual, the jury fucked everything up. Vulpius (talk) 19:49, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
The moves were definitely weird but, being a fan of almost anything from the 90s, I loved Sweden's song. I also liked Israel's entry, while Georgia and Montenegro had just the kind of insane shows I like seeing in Eurovision, so it's a shame they didn't get in the final. Hell, Montenegro's singer was named Rambo Amadeus. That alone deserves a few points. Vulpius (talk) 12:10, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
If a novelist used that name for a character, they'd never live it down. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:41, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

A question to ponder[edit]

Could have the American Revolutionary War been avoided if the colonies had been given seats in Parliment? I got to wondering this when I found a quote by George Mason saying that all they want is their "Rights as Englishmen". Clearly they thought of themselves as English rather than American and felt they had inherent rights as a result of this. Interestingly enough most of the Bill of Rights existed in English law at the time (establishment clause being the obvious exception, but disestablishmentarianism was alive and well in England at the time) it just did not apply to the colonies, for example, if you lived in England the crown could not take your gun away, but if you lived in New York they could. Point being, if the Parliment had treated the colonial subject equal to their breathren in Great Britain would the US of A exist today? Pi 3:14 (talk) 13:55, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Probably; though something like it (or a mix with canada more likely) would have eventually happened. --il'Dictator Mikal 14:07, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Wait... so instead of one nation under God, it's "erm... can we be English please?" --PsyGremlinParla! 14:41, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I know that some of the founding fathers where originally willing to negotiate with the crown before the war broke out, but the English refused to give the colonists full rights or representation in Parliament. They also caused economic problems with the Tea Act and all that, and as we know for a fact that the economy is what sways public option. If the English had simply treated the colonists as Englishmen rather then treating the colony as an economic asset then there would have never been a need for a USA. Oniontalk/edits 15:16, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Though no one can ever know, I do think that we would have demanded independence at some point. It's simply too rich a nation (as in natural resources), and too much land for grabbing to think we would not at some point say "we have more than you, and we are going to trounce you". It's how humans seem to think. As long as being part of the UK served us, we might have stayed, but how long could it really be that they provided something useful for us, and not the other way around? --Green mowse.pngGodot 15:41, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Before the revolution and during the Articles of Confederation period immediately afterwards, each of the 13 colonies had their own colonial identity. Early US history has plenty of state vs. state conflict. Without anything like the USA to tie the colonies together, there could be serious conflict. The United Kingdom would be useful as a mediator to prevent conflict and keep the colonies working together. Simple forces like patriotism would also have a big impact in preventing revolts. Also, would Napoleon sell Louisiana to the UK? If there was no Louisiana purchase, then there's not a lot of land to grab without starting a war. The British empire could definitely help with that kind of expansion. Oniontalk/edits 16:03, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
The french revolution? --il'Dictator Mikal 16:16, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah silly me, I forgot that the french revolution would not have happened. My mistake. That of course is a big deal, the world would be a lot more monarchist and there would be no Napoleonic code. Oniontalk/edits 16:20, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Napoleon would certainly not have sold Louisiana to us, seeing as he was at war with us and sold it because he needed the cash. Sophiebecause liberals 20:07, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Everyone knows the Miami cannibal story, right?[edit]

Meet LSD on steroids. (talk) 18:10, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

It's all just speculation at this point. General consensus is that the guy was very high on something, but until autopsy results are available, it's all just people guessing what he was on. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:27, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
It's the zombies, silly! On a serious note, this was what my class was talking about for a good 20 minutes after the bell...RandonGeneration (talk) 19:54, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
All over my GD facebook feed as a "zombie apocalypse!1!one!" status update. All I can think is (a) uh, no, he was shot, (b) his victim didn't turn into a zombie, and (c) angel dust is a helluva drug. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:37, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Plea for help[edit]

I posted this I think in the forums but never got a bite. I am in production at the moment with | Media for Social Change to collaborate on a cool potential new project for RW/RWF using video mediums and we are putting together a promo vid to shop the idea around. We need pictures though to use for an intro animation. The idea is to highlight as many examples of the kinds of topics we cover at RW as possible, so we are looking for as high res as possible images that depict any of our topics, religion, woo, conspiracy theories, medicine, people, proponents, whatever. Anyone want to help cull photos on RW that would be good, perhaps upload some more? Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:11, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Medical Schools Don't Necessarily Teach Scientific Method.[edit]

See this post Medical training versus scientific training which goes a bit of a ways towards explaining why this year's commencement speaker at Emory can be an accomplished medical doctor (at Johns Hopkins no less) and be creationist.--WickerGuy (talk) 18:57, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

I really dont care if my doctor is a creationist or an atheist or anything else wicker, so long as they know how to be a doctor. --il'Dictator Mikal 19:06, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm really torn. (general belief in 'god' or religion aside), if you are willing to believe that the world is 6000 years old, you might be likely to accept that vaccinations are not critical, or think that my vagina is your business - well, i guess it would be, but you know what I mean. heh. On the other hand, that you believe in a god, or think the world was generically created by god doesn't bother me. --Green mowse.pngGodot 19:18, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I sure hope so. --god 19:27, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you don't need to know what or who created a machine to make the thing work again, you need to understand how the thing works. As for the other things, let's keep that under "not guilty, until proven guilty". Although I should say, should I ever meet a doctor rambling on about how the damn liberals are ruining <insert country name here> or that it's all the damn gayz fault, I'm gonna ask for another doctor, just to be on the save side. --Raga Man (talk) 19:27, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
What's that Asimov story where the troubleshooters figure they're going to die because the robot controlling the space station thinks it is god? Anyway, the robot performs its function perfectly, they don't die, and they realise that it's actually carrying out its instructions perfectly well, it just has this rather... eccentric... perspective on why the instructions need carrying out. If you just want the job done you don't care if the people doing it are crazy. On that basis educating medics about science is important only for the same reason as educating painters about science, or TV presenters, or whoever.
Most practitioners don't make a lot of big scientifically guided decisions, relying on a smaller group of doctors who mostly do have scientific training because they've got PhDs to make those calls. And ordinary doctors are currently strictly forbidden from doing informal medical experiments, even though they're excellently placed to do so. There are pairs of treatments where both are used to treat a specific condition and it's unknown which is best. Doctors prescribe one or another based on personal familiarity, the inclination of the patient, or on a whim. That's legal. But if they instead assign half the patients randomly to receive one of the treatments and half the other, then measure the outcomes, that's an experiment and they legally require additional training, independent oversight and lots of extra paperwork. So even if they do this, they mustn't tell anyone for fear they'll lose their livelihood (talk) 22:07, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Practice and research are often disconnected. That's why it doesn't surprise me when practitioners become cranks. Speaking of creationist doctors, the Disco 'Tute has one of them. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:34, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Doctors are technicians that think critically. They don't normally do experiments, I hope. sterileevolutionist story telling 01:14, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
While the thought of doctors as creationists does bother me, I agree that it's not the most serious concern. I worry much more about the for-profit medical industry in America, and how it's becoming increasingly difficult to find doctors whose primary concern is to help you - not themselves. And, of course, being able to afford to see the right doctor is difficult enough. Those of us forced to visit clinics and nurse practitioners and such get to realize that even they are often out there trying to sell you something. But, look no further than prominent physicians in the political sphere; why do you think people like Ron (and Rand) Paul, Tom Coburn, Bill Frist, et al. went into medicine?
On a side note, there's a doctor close to where I live who has a sign on his building stating that you're not welcome to his services if you voted for Obama. Q0 (talk) 11:19, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Donald, you’re beginning to sound a little ridiculous[edit]

CNN's Wolf Blitzer calls out Donald Trump's birtherism. Fucking hilarious. The Symphony of Punk Can't sleep, clowns will eat me! 12:54, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

"Beginning"? Seme Blue 13:00, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
^^ what she said! --Green mowse.pngGodot 20:31, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
*snicker*--Raga Man (talk) 22:10, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

pro life logic[edit]

I was just told on some opinion site (I know, don't read the bottom 1/2 of the internet. worse, don't play down there) that "if we keep abortion legal, the human race will go extinct". yeah..... at 7 billion, statistically "most" families having 4 children, I'm just not worried that the 2 million abortions per year in the us will have us going "extinct". Stupidity knows no bounds.--Green mowse.pngGodot 21:17, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

That sounds a lot more like trolling than somebody's honest opinion. Link? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
huffpo. hang on... [2] - and i guess I misread it. "the human race will be extinct by then" meaning "if you wait till humans care for our own". --Green mowse.pngGodot 21:29, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Please someone restore mine mop and bucket (for a few days)[edit]

As above. 04:14, 31 May 2012 (UTC) C®ackeЯ

If you like. Peter with added ‼Science‼ 04:16, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I do not mean to complain but when I left I turned in a Dirt Master 4000 mop head on an aluminum shafted, nylon head-holder, the one I got just now is from Walmart and smells like scotch and vomit. C®ackeЯ
I take that back, I DO mean to complain. C®ackeЯ 04:24, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Talk to somebody from management to sort you out. Peter with added ‼Science‼ 04:38, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Uh, Lamborn, you are the management. Nihilist 04:54, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
No, that's the mods. Peter with added ‼Science‼ 04:55, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Costumer service takes your complaints ver seriously, please stay on hold.--il'Dictator Mikal 04:57, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Out here in the wastelands, there are no mods. Nihilist 04:58, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

So I went to a Tea Party meeting...[edit]

mainly because this ball of crazy was going to be there and I wanted a laugh. It really did deliver. Those people just hate goddamn everything. They were so far-right that even Fox News (and everyone on it) is on their shitlist for not bringing up their birther bullshit.

"Lord" Monckton showed up looking almost exactly like this, cowboy hat and all, spouting the usual anti-science nonsense and everyone in the room just ate it up. Then there was a Q&A where he got asked about 5 or so questions about Agenda 21, which was pretty funny. Oddly enough he got asked about Chemtrails and he basically said they were bullshit, so a point to him for that.

Overall, I take some solace in the fact that the average age was probably triple my own, so they won't be voting much longer. Cow...Hammertime! 15:49, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

As harsh and morbid as it may sound, the only thing that's going to thin the world of right-wing nutters is them slowly dying off. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:09, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Too bad that hasn't worked for racism/sexism/anti-intellectualism that still persists in The South. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:45, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
The Tea Party has less in common with the Boston Tea Party and more in common with the Mad Hatter's Tea Party from "Alice in Wonderland".--WickerGuy (talk) 18:55, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
thank you for telling us something we've known for... what, 2, 3 years?--il'Dictator Mikal 19:31, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
CowHammer, I forgot that you're in batshit crazyland when it comes to tea-drinkin' Republicans. That puts a different perspective on what that meeting must have been like.-- Seth Peck (talk) 20:39, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
This was not only in Arizona, but the city with the oldest people. Fuck, they had specifically-marked sections for golf cart parking. They were passing around donation buckets to support Sheriff Joe's Cold Case Posse. The first speaker was implying Obama is literally Satan. It was absolutely bonkers. I proudly wore my bright green ASU LGBTQ shirt I got at last year's Pride and I'm surprised I didn't get turned away at the door. Cow...Hammertime! 20:50, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I really can't wait for him to try and implement his "i can keep fed's out of my county" thing.il'Dictator Mikal 20:57, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Did you get his autograph? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:55, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Haha he did use that logo on the powerpoint slides, so yeah he's definitely still using it. He did mention people saying he's not a lord (probably because he's not), but he used a bulletproof argument of "hey look what it says on my passport: blah blah blah Viscount. checkmate". I was considering getting a picture with him, but my brain was hurting after he was done and I felt compelled to leave. Cow...Hammertime! 14:49, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Marriage derangement[edit]

Not to reveal my own prejudices in the subject, but for all of you who voted that gay marriage is "the most pressing LGBT issue in the West" above - or those who would be inclined to agree - can you explain why, please? I am very curious. Uke Blue 20:11, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

I said bullying. Marriage is largely a social construct, although it provides important legal benefits (like visitation rights and such). I figure bullying is most important because otherwise LGBT will feel ostracized and stuff. Let gays be accepted by society, then let us give them equal rights. Or something like that. Made more sense before I started typing.--"Shut up, Brx." 20:26, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
  1. It's easy to implement; no real gray area.
  2. It truly is the most important issue for a lot of people in long-term same-sex relationships.
  3. It's indicative of a larger societal shift in the views of homosexuality in this country.
I'm not saying the other issues aren't problems, but damn this is an easy one to fix. Cow...Hammertime! 20:32, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Kind of a chicken v. egg problem. Which will come first...same-sex marriages being recognized by the United States (all of them), or gays being accepted? I disagree with Brx that the latter should come first: after all, only one of those two can be legislated. Plus, if you compare this to previous civil rights movements, acceptance (women voting, racial integration in schools, etc) only came after laws were set forth saying "it's not okay to discriminate"...and in many places, acceptance still has not been achieved (as anyone in the South can tell you), but the rights are there, inscribed in the law. I also disagree that marriage is largely a social construct; it is entirely a social construct. However, that's a different subject altogether. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:34, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Pardon my terminology, but I believe that same sex marriage rights will create a domino effect that will help us solve all the other problems. Self harm for example - "I have the same legal rights as everybody else, so maybe if the government thinks I'm OK then there's nothing wrong with me!" Oniontalk/edits 20:44, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
i second what onion said. Same sex marriage will change how str8 folk see us and it will change how gay folk see ourselves. We often talked of as dirty promiscuos beasts and why dissuade them of that when your attempts of at monogamy or whatever are not taken seriously. I however will remain a filthy beast marriage or no marriage. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:56, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, gay marriage should come first. I am changing my mind.--"Shut up, Brx." 20:58, 29 May 2012 (UTC):
Besides most of the other stuff is already being tackled. In the UK at least. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:00, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I think they're both slowly coming at the same time, but legalizing same-sex marriage will probably be a huge boost to acceptance. Nihilist 21:05, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I recently saw a bit of a Richard Dawkins video with someone wearing a T-shirt saying "Marriage is so gay".

More seriously, I support gay marriage because it is a kind of point of no return for gay rights which therefore should be strongly lobbied for.--WickerGuy (talk) 23:31, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

"it is a kind of point of no return"
Unless you live in California. Nihilist 23:44, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh you hippies and your states were people can be openly gay without bars in their windows and a CWP. ТyrannisAn iron, but caring, fist 00:35, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Blue rants at you all[edit]

In other words, you are all arguing for the trickle-down effect vis-a-vis civil rights. Marriage is not the lynchpin of LGBT (LGBT NOT GAY) rights; it's the cherry on top. This is why in places like the UK where heads are screwed on straighter than the American Bible Belt, marriage equality will be the last civil right to be codified, not the first. You are insisting that once we get the cherry, the sundae will materialize because the shop owner of society will think, "Oh, they have a cherry, I should really give them a bowl and ice cream and toppings to go with it." I simply don't understand it, at least when we're talking about the U.S.

This is not to mention the fact that since gay marriage is widely considered the end-all, be-all of LGBT rights, if it comes first, society will be much less open to more important legislation in the future, including anti-discrimination ordinances for sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. "They got their marriage, what more could they need?"

How will the ability of two (statistically) economically empowered lesbian and gay people to sign a marital contract lead to the direct betterment of the hundreds of thousands of homeless LGBT youth on the streets? Answer me that. I'm speaking to the Americans here, apologies to those in Europe.

Welcome to the modern American LGb(t) rights movement, where two adults signing a piece of paper is more important than the suicides of children at the hands of their peers. Where that piece of paper is worth more than the right not to be fired or denied a roof over your head on account of who you are. I do hope the “Human Rights” Campaign are happily sipping their appletinis at the thought of all the bourgeois white gay people they’ve helped.

Oh, how far from Stonewall we’ve come. Seme Blue 00:06, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Well, I stand by my stance that marriage should be abolished entirely, and the legal perks that go with it should be restructured to better reflect the fickle nature of human relationships and commitment; ie, tax benefits and division of assets after a split up (divorce, as it is now). I think that would be a much better approach as it would benefit a much larger number of people. However, I know few would actually go along with that plan, so gay marriage is the next-best alternative. --CoyoteSans (talk) 00:15, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against gay marriage. Why should I? I just boil with rage at the fact that the bourgeois normativists swooped in and diverted the LGBT movement toward their own ends. States like Connecticut and Massachusetts can afford to have the marriage debate, because most of the rest of civil rights are in place. Other places should not be focusing on marriage when it matters little to the real people on the ground. Seme Blue 00:24, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
For god's sake, blue, it doesn't work that way. Gay rights is very young, and very new. It took 2000 plus years to get equality (sorta) for women, and 100 to get blacks the right to vote, after being freed as slaves. The world does not say "everyone is equal" and bing it happens. You chew at it, and then you chew some more. You need tangible goals, like gay marriage. Ones you can easily explain to everyone, and show in logical ways that current status is discriminatory. You need reasonable goals. You need specific goals. And one of the most important issues you need, is to bring yourselves into the open where people can touch your curly hair and your black skin and see for themselves it does not rub off. I know no one who thinks marriage is the "be all" of gay rights. They think it is one of hte many important steps (in the US, it goes with repealing DADT, and then DOMA). It removes the only real LEGAL barrier for full citizenship, then you have to work on teh social barriers. But hate to tell you this sweety, that takes a lot more than a law or many laws. Women, as you know, are still facing a world where we are 2nd class citizens in some aspects, where we have 1/2 to 1/4 the power we should have (ie., equality or 50% of house, senate, local positions). Blacks are still held down by a system that sees them as criminals. ALL WE CAN DO, the ONLY THING WE CAN DO is make gays legally equal. And marriage is the single most visible aspect of that.Green mowse.pngGodot 00:26, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
(see other response below) And I very much enjoy being lectured at about how best to go about obtaining legal equality by a straight cis person. Because we all know that cis straight people know best about LGBT rights. Seme Blue 12:50, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
If you're not interested in straight cis people's opinions on LGBT rights, why post this question here rather than at a primarily LGBT site? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:22, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
No, I wasn't interested in being told "hate to tell you this sweety" and "it doesn't work that way" by a straight cis person. You can have opinions without using your privilege to reinforce yourself. It's the same idea as "mansplaining." Uke Blue 21:28, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
WfG is right. Legal rights will help get rid of the rationale for other forms of discrimination. I do agree however that anti-discrimination laws need to to be tougher and apply to every state, especially for transgendered persons. Oniontalk/edits 00:38, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Wouldn't LGBT youths on the streets be more of a homeless issue? I say we build more homeless shelters and more opportunities for the homeless to get back on their feet.--"Shut up, Brx." 00:53, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
My eyes are wet. Marriage is not "the only real legal barrier for full citizenship." Did you know, if I were to move to where Ty lives down in Louisiana, it's highly likely I'd face extreme difficulty getting and keeping a job because in that state it is FUCKING LEGAL to discriminate against my kind and they do it with glee? How is that not clear? How is unreasonable to ask for the LEGAL PROTECTIONS of the Civil Rights Act to extend to people like me? How is it not "specific" enough, not "logical" enough, not "tangible" enough to ask for the LEGAL RIGHT not to be thrown out a public place for being who I am? Forget it. I don't think you even want to try to understand. Seme Blue 03:07, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
So what you're saying is our true challenge is that we still have to fight against discrimination to have the basic right to participate in society (without being in the closet, and unless one lives in San Fransisco), and a piece of paper that would make it easier to pay taxes is less important? I think I'm starting to see your point now. So, what should we be doing to help solve this problem? Oniontalk/edits 03:29, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
you can complain all you want that 'straight people can't tell gays how to get equality" but I've been there, done that. We as a nation have fought for equality for women and blacks, we know how its' done. And it isn't by saying "dont' tell me how to do this, cause you are not one of us." Malcom tried that, didn't work so well. Yes, gays can be fired legally in LA. Give them gay marriage, and that goes out the door. know why? cause of the 14th amendment. By the way, you are talking right now as if this is a unique issue gays (trans, whatever) and gays alone have experienced. You define a class of people and right now say "they are not fully equal, cause they can't get married". Change that, and it changes teh whole damn game. By the way, while it's not legal to fire someoen for being black in teh US, it happens all teh time. and until the 1950's it was fully legal to do so. I get that it's a terrible thing. But the "peice of paper" is EXACTLY what legally changes this. Cause it's the only single thing right now, that can be used to justify other legal discrimination. Green mowse.pngGodot 21:37, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Oh, so only straight white males have to keep their traps shut. Which is clear because there are no other grounds of discrimination, like (non-)religion, political beliefs or the most common "looks". --Raga Man (talk) 22:07, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Look, I know I get emotional over this debate for the very fact that it's so personal to me, but I appreciate this dialogue happening, I really do. It's intriguing to me particularly because even though you (WaitingforGodot) and I agree on almost everything politically, we disagree so fundamentally on this issue. I can sort of see the premise of your point of view but I simply can't fathom where the conclusion comes from. I have a feeling we disagree fundamentally on the definition of citizenship, its relationship with legal rights, and the origin of legal discrimination. I could pull out Supreme Court cases and the Civil Rights Act and the legacy of Stonewall and the history of the HRC, but I don't think we can overcome that fundamental disagreement.
Raga Man - lol. Seme Blue 02:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Why is this being discussed as an either/or thing? can't all these things be tackled simultaniously? AMassiveGay (talk) 07:11, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

They need to be tackled in individual jurisdictions. In the UK, there's not much we can do about discrimination in Louisiana, for example. Obviously it's important to raise LGBT rights awareness internationally, but issues of civil rights can't be settled internationally, which is why the whole question of the "most pressing LGBT issue in the West" is flawed. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:28, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Having just now seen this (and not voted), I'll say that it's a bit problematic. It all depends on how you look at things, and how you define what it pressing. To me, out of the things listed, the first priority should be to help those that are homeless and disenfranchised. That is clearly the most pressing issue in the world today, along with the subsequent lack of education it causes (which only makes things worse for LGBT rights in the long run). However, the issue I think would have the most impact on the social mindset is adoption. While the backlash over same-sex marriage has little to do with whether or not such a union can be successful, the inherent idea blocking those very same couples from adopting is exactly that. It's plainly stated that same-sex couples are unfit to raise children, to the point where a good number of people actually believe gay = pedophile. To me, combating that type of bullshit is a lot more serious than fighting for gay marriage. After all, not being able to get married makes you a second class citizen, while not being able to raise a child makes you a second class human being.
Still, you can argue that even this argument misses the point. Not all people get married, and not all people have children. The best approaches are ones that directly help all LGBT people, which I think is what Blue is trying to get through in the first place. Q0 (talk) 08:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Mind if I share this rant amongst various LGBT types (I really can't think of a better term for "people who are really interested in sexual rights and discussion on account of multiple factors, including but not limited to being homosexual, bisexual or transgendered themselves" right now) and see what they think? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 08:53, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Blue, I get why you are pissed, but the question was about "the West" and in a lot of places there such discrimination doesn't happen at all or even if, it is extremely rare. If the qustion was about the United States, I wouldn't have voted for same-sex marriage but for bullying. And if it were Luisianna I would have picked workplace protections.
The problem with LGBT-people not being treated fairly is that it can't always be legislated. While you can have legislation for fair treatment at a workplace in public places and all that stuff. You can't legislate parents to love their kids, and you can't legislate for LGBT-people to have friends, you can't legislate for people not to believe that LGBT-people "demonicly possesed" or some other homophobic shit — and yes, these are very pressing issues, but not in all of the West. These things are like fighting cancer, they just don't go away because you had a "very special episode" about homophobia with some homophobes, just like cancer won't go away after one session of chemotherapy. Most of these people won't change their mind, but what they will accept is that the rest of society thinks differently from them and that if they act on their hate people will treat them badly. One way to teach them this lesson is gay marriage, others are all the other legal issues we have to tackle. But sadly the best we can hope for is them dying out in the next decades. --Raga Man (talk) 08:58, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
@Armondikov - if you were talking to me, sure.
@Raga Man - I completely see your point, and my perspective is too Americentric to apply to everyone who answered the poll. I do think that LGBTphobes are a dying breed (slowly, but surely), even in the U.S. where support for LGBT rights is massive among young people and small among the elderly. Uke Blue 12:55, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

And to wrap this up - it's also worth noting that my "ranting" opinion is shared by quite a few people. It appears that a vast number of LGBT people share my belief that marriage is not the most important issue. I'm not trying to go argumentum ad populam here, but in identity politics, context matters. It's questionable that the beliefs of so many are not being respected by the gay rights movement (inc.). Trans people especially will not easily forget decades of being told that their rights (yes, rights, as in the legal ones) are too inconvenient to fight for. A poll with a much higher votership than this one in the bar on the HuffPost revealed 67% of respondents saying that there were other issues facing the community more important than marriage.

Please understand that I don't begrudge same-sex advocates their marriage, I merely resent the way the "LGBT/Human rights" campaigns have focused their energy. The HRC and assorted "equality" lobbies spent millions on gay marriage in New York and Maryland, but when the trans anti-discrimination legislation came up, they were nowhere to be found. Both bills are set to fail. There is something rotten in a social movement when that happens, I submit to you. Uke Blue 19:08, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

The 21st Floor Wiki Project[edit]

"The 21st Floor Wiki Project plans to open up scientific research to the public by offering plain-language summaries of important scientific research. If you have written or read anything that has been published in the scientific literature, please feel free to create a page which summarises the work." here. Interesting? Scream!! (talk) 23:04, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Is that different from Wikipedia?--"Shut up, Brx." 23:29, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
Wiki P fairly intentionally does not address research with more than a cursory "several theories exist to explain this". This project will actually take your paper that is written in science-babel and turn each individual study into something someone like me could understand. I'm dubious, only because if a scientific paper could have been written in "plain english" it would have been. it needs techno babel cause the author doesn't want to spend 10 pages explaining one word that every reader already knows. But if they want to, more power to them.--Green mowse.pngGodot 00:05, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
I'd be curious to see if this can be made to work. I think Blue is basically right, and to make them understandable to the layman it'll either need to over simplify everything, defeating the purpose of the paper, or go off on tons of tangents explaining everything in layman's terms. Or just fuck everything up completely, like the media does with science all the time (eg "dinosaurs were killed by their own farts"). DickTurpis (talk) 08:25, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
It would be cool if we could, you know, just actually have access to the papers themselves a lot of the time. That's a big issue for WP itself. When your goal is to accurately lay out what the sources say, and yet you can't even gain access to the required evidence because of the cost, there's a problem. Even when certain editors do have the papers on hand, there's no way for those of us who do not to actually check them. It sure puts a damper on that whole freedom of information thing. Q0 (talk) 08:33, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
There's a small movement to push academics to do this already, specialist bloggers already do it. But even the most lay interpretations of the stuff I do ("Okay, so we align this spinny magnetic things...") seem to be met with wide-eyed staring. Scarlet A.pngmoral 08:49, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Add open-mouthed drooling to the wide-eyed staring. Fortunately, they made cartoons to explain things for me. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:31, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Freedom of information does not mean that a scientist or author should not have the right to copywriter his or her articles, or be paid for them. All the articles are available, online. they are just not free. If you want free, most libraries have access to the very same articles and you can just walk in and use them. Just because it's in the scientific arena and part of the peer review process does not mean it's "free".Green mowse.pngGodot 00:34, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
How dare you try to educate me with cartoons! Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:08, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

The thing about wiki sites is that sites with lots of users tend to be more successful (obviously), and this site appears to have the founder and a few spambots as it only contributors. So regardless if its a good idea or not, it's nothing but an empty husk right now. Oniontalk/edits 23:33, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Cognitive biases vs. science[edit]

This paper must have won some kind of "most unnecessarily meta" award. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:54, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

(I think I am losing my ability to read academic writing - either that, or it's BS. I can't tell which, but i was actually so lost on the abstract I was left saying "HUH?" I need to read Twilight, I think.) But really at my core, i'm curious why this is even a question. If i get where teh guy is going, he is saying that if he can prove science and scientific thinking is evolutionary, it's more valid than if it's just something we invented out of the blue. and if that is a framing statement, my question is "why". If science works, how is it more or less valid because it "evolved"? --Green mowse.pngGodot 00:08, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
"But really at my core, i'm curious why this is even a question." Mostly because of stuff like this. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:17, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
You've hit the nail on the head. The paper is a rebuttal to Alvin Plantinga.--WickerGuy (talk) 18:55, 31 May 2012 (UTC)


In theatres today in Europe and on June 8th in the US. Who's going to see it? — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Me! Though Michael Fassbender is a big part of that, I'll admit. Uke Blue 20:22, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Hey. It's Ridley Scott's first Alien movie since Alien, although he's being coy about the connection.--WickerGuy (talk) 18:57, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Alien/s (there were no other movies) fan squee! ТyrannisAn iron, but caring, fist 19:02, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Police aerial drones[edit]

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell thinks police drones flying over Virginia would be "great" and "the right thing to do." He joins a growing chorus of US officials, such as D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier and chief of police for Fairfax County David Rohrer, who are chomping at the bit for the domestic use of UAVs for regular police work over American soil.

Next, I predict the FAA will clear private security companies the use of UAVs, and corporations and the ultra-rich will finally have their own private armies of robotic soldiers to deter the unwashed masses. --CoyoteSans (talk) 22:11, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Unless something is done about that Fourth (and 14th) Amendment, this will not last very long. Mr. Anon (talk) 22:14, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
We took care of that problem back in 2001 with the PATRIOT Act. Sky cameras for everyone! Except for the plebeians, of course. --CoyoteSans (talk) 22:17, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm just not seeing the Constitution saving us from much of anything like this anymore. They'll eventually justify it with whatever bogeyman they can come up with at the time.
Besides, given the TSA, and stories like this, what exactly is an 'unreasonable' search or seizure these days? Q0 (talk) 22:30, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
Constitutionally, or even practically, is there a difference between police flying around the skies in helicopters and them having unmanned drones do the same thing? DickTurpis (talk) 00:37, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Unmanned drones are scarier. Nihilist 00:44, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Damn, I did forget the Scary clause of the Fourth Amendment. DickTurpis (talk) 00:55, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, that and it's a slippery slope -- i mean, if we implement this, how far away are we from half-dead cops being made into cyborgs? Nihilist 00:58, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. You need, what, one or two warm bodies for a helicopter? Right now you only need one operator per drone, and that's only if human attention is needed and it's not just in an autonomous patrol mode or something. The technology is only going to get more sophisticated, and the AI running these things is going to get better. You can bet the military is spending plenty to fund research into better auto programming for their drones, and those results will trickle down into the domestic units. Imagine a few dozen drones over a state overseen by a single cop.
Also, remember "drones" does not mean just the Predator class vehicles. I foresee bomb squads using those packbots the military currently uses to disable IEDs, and who's to say variants of those little hummingbird drones from the CIA won't find their way into a precinct near you? --CoyoteSans (talk) 01:11, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Technology is going to evolve. I don't think there's really a way to stop it. Nihilist 01:15, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
No, and I'm not claiming we should try. I'm actually all for anything that further legitimizes and grows the robotics industry (particularly on the domestic front), but I feel the kind of scalable power these particular robots gives authority figures warrants laws and regulations to provide oversight for their inevitable use. There really isn't any framework in place for such a situation yet, and the people pushing for this certainly don't seem inclined to allow that to happen. --CoyoteSans (talk) 01:19, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, that's agreeable. Nihilist 01:21, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
So the difference, really, is scale. DickTurpis (talk) 01:52, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

The difference between the Patriot Act and this is that the Patriot Act required some authorization of wiretaps. There was a large lack of oversight, which was a concern, but it's wiretaps required approval of an executive agency. Unmanned drones flying across the skies, at least based on this description, would indiscriminately spy on civilians, without any kind of warrant. That said, some parts of the Patriot Act are probably in violation of the 4th amendment, but this would be considerably less sketchy. Mr. Anon (talk) 02:22, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

The difference with the TSA is that people are subjecting themselves to such searches, rather than here, where a robot decides whether or not you have rights. Mr. Anon (talk) 02:24, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
The drones are doing pat-downs now? DickTurpis (talk) 02:46, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
It'd be a lot less offensive if they were.
I think he's saying that traveling is not a right, or something. "As long as you just sit in your home and don't communicate with anyone, your rights are not being violated!" Or maybe it's "Don't worry, the President himself signed off on the government spying on you. There must have been good reason." Q0 (talk) 08:10, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
But how is this any different than what's been going on for decades with manned aircraft, other than the potential for use on a greater scale? How is a drone flying over you "searching" you? DickTurpis (talk) 11:53, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not claiming there's something extra-sinister about drones themselves; the idea is a bad one whether or not people are directly involved. The only thing that makes this a significant development is that drones would make surveillance easier and more practical. Technology will increasingly do so, and that's why it's important to take the initiative before things become standard and accepted. You know, like surveillance from manned aircraft.
As for How is a drone flying over you "searching" you?, how is a camera on every street corner "searching" you? This kind of argument is exactly why I take issue with people saying the constitution is somehow going to protect us from draconian law.
More importantly though, this is just another reactionary response that solves nothing. While I ask "What makes someone commit a crime?", they ask "How can we best round up criminals and put them into jail?". Q0 (talk) 14:33, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm not arguing that this is a good idea, I'm merely questioning those who seem to say it's an unconstitutional violation of the 4th amendment. Cameras don't search people, so it isn't an unreasonable search or seizure, any more than a cop watching you walk down the street is. I don't see how it's a robot deciding whether you have rights. If they're looking in your windows or anything like that, that's a different story. DickTurpis (talk) 15:16, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
You're right. The argument is of the 'spirit' behind the text, which is the same complete and utter nonsense that leads people to claim the second amendment gives them the right to own a truckload of automatic/semi-automatic largely defensive weapons of gun firearms.
In the case of search and seizure, I happen to agree that the idea should be extended to include surveillance... but that's not what the text states. And if the constitution doesn't say what it needs to say, amend it. Q0 (talk) 15:50, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

North Carolina trumps AZ and FL in total stupidity[edit]

They legislators there are proposing a law that defines how science shall calculate predicted rises in sea level, and goes on to say no govt agency of any level (municpal, county, etc.) shall make plans using any numbers other than those prepared in accordance with this rule. and the rule? Only data from the 1900s forward can be used, and the rate may ONLY be calculated linearly from those numbers, with no additions from other "ohhh scary" sources that would suggest other than a liner progression. Wheeee... if you can't beat mother nature, just legislate her out of existence. see § 113A-107.1.(e).--Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 02:27, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Facepalm.png Seme Blue 02:30, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
... but... what?--il'Dictator Mikal 02:35, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
here, in case you dont' want to read the whole thing: The Division of Coastal Management shall be the only State agency authorized to develop rates of sea-level rise and shall do so only at the request of the Commission. These rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of sea-level rise may be extrapolated linearly to estimate future rates of rise but shall not include scenarios of accelerated rates of sea-level rise.
Ordinarily, examples of this sort of foolishness rely heavily on a deep understanding of some relevant specialisation. The water does not just lap slowly but surely up the sides of the coastal walls, inexorably flooding a city over a period of years. Instead it rises and falls, there are floods and then periods where it doesn't flood for months or years making the picture confusing. This makes it easy to convince the layman that nothing serious is wrong even when experts are certain there's a serious problem.
But you can see the exact same fingers in ears determination to ignore reality for IPv4 address exhaustion, where the statistic being measured and the reality it measures are identical, there are 2^32 addresses, we're using them up, when will they run out? The answer had been "Somewhere around 2010" for over a decade, but the "sceptics" spent that decade denying that we would ever run out at all. In 2011 exhaustion occurred, as planned for by the rational people managing these things. But out in the real world "scepticism" had won and we're in for a painful decade (or more) as projects to cope with the consequences that should have been started a decade ago are finally begun in an era of painful austerity. You thought investment banks were irresponsible, wait until you see how poor the strategy has been at your ISP... (talk) 08:40, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
This immediately makes me wonder what AZ is going to come up with next to top this. I have a theory that they have a contest to see who can legislate the craziest thing. Cow...Hammertime! 15:30, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Would it be just too silly to ask if this is against the First Ammendment??--WickerGuy (talk) 18:59, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Given it has nothing to do with the Free exercise of religion, speech, press, association and assembly/petition, yes.il'Dictator Mikal 19:02, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
exactly. no one is saying a scientist cannot give better numbers, or complain that the state isn't using better numbers. However, where it might be a problem is that a larger governmental unit is telling a smaller govt unit how to conduct local business. That would depend on each state's constution.Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 19:50, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Eh, doesn't beat the Indiana pi bill, but it's close. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:18, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

A shill buys his soul back[edit]

It looks like notorious denialist Michael Fumento decided the money isn't worth it. It's either a David Brock moment or an elaborate troll. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:56, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Feh. Another lifelong Republican has a Dr. Frankenstein moment where he realises the monster he's spent his career helping to create actually isn't very nice. And like all his fellows he doesn't have even a decent sense of shame enough to be apologetic for it. It's not his fault after all, who could have predicted that spreading misinformation to appeal to racists, religious fundamentalists and other such like-minded crazies could possibly ever come back to bite you? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:30, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Radioactivity and nuclear power FAQ[edit]

I want to make a FAQ that's similar to RationalWiki Atheism FAQ for the Newly Deconverted, but dealing with radioactivity & nuclear power. There is a start in my userspace, which is lifted from the bits I wrote in radioactivity, but I don't really have a good idea what questions are 'frequently asked'. Therefore, I'm asking the mob for suggestions. They can be put here or on the userspace article's talk page. --Tweenk (talk) 00:58, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Can I get superpowers from nuclear radiation? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:53, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
If cancer is a superpower, then yes. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 02:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm all for it. Have you seen the attempts to convert radiation doses into bananas before? There are a lot of ways to visualise and graph radiation dose concepts that I think would benefit this greatly. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 17:06, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I saw it, and actually the 'banana dose' is overestimated. The dose would be correct if you removed all stable potassium-39 from the banana - then the potassium-40 would displace some of the stable potassium in your body and your radiation dose would increase. But in reality, the potassium from the banana has the same isotopic composition as the one in your body, so the increase in potassium content is transient (you quickly pee away any extra potassium).
A more useful comparison is airplane flights. One 7-hour trans-Atlantic flight = 30µSv = 1 chest X-ray. --Tweenk (talk) 00:06, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I wondered about that comparison. The trans-atlantic flight is much the same today as it ever was, especially because Concorde doesn't exist any more so the jets really are the same flight profile (typical cruising altitude, typical cruising speed) as they were decades ago. But is the chest X-ray still the same? Every hospital X-ray department I've visited (so, three?) had signs reminding staff about ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable, because we lack any better model we assume Linear-No-Threshold damage from X-rays, so doses must be as loss as they can be). Obviously X-rays aren't going to start penetrating human tissues more effectively, but hasn't the film or film processing got any better either? Sometimes these comparisons become dogmatic, so it's possible every layman's introduction still says 30µSv but a modern radiographer would be horrified to use more than 20µSv (talk) 08:51, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Chest X-rays? What about all the foot X-rays I had as a child whenever I got new shoes? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 12:23, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Transit of Venus[edit]

Anyone have plans to see the Transit of Venus next week? Oniontalk/edits 00:48, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

With my city's weather, it's going to be raining:(RandonGeneration (talk) 02:59, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
The last one was a nice fine day in the UK and I observed it with pinhole projection. Now I'm tooled up with proper equipment and solar filters but it will only last for about an hour, at dawn, and probably be raining or cloudy. I thought I remembered someone saying a while back that they were going to view it from Iceland. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 07:50, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Iceland's an odd place to view it from, from there you can see the start and end of the transit but not the middle. As for me, the weather forecast is calling for some clouds and rain and it'll only be visible at sunset, not to mention I have no equipment, so my chances are not the best. Oniontalk/edits 18:00, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I hope to see it, but like Khant, I'm in the UK so it's only briefly visible, plus I live in the city centre, so not sure if I'll be able to find a decent place to view it where the sun won't be obscured by the skyline. If I had the chance, I'd visit some relatives who have a fantastic flat roof and live out in the sticks... It's a stargazers heaven (by British standards, anyway) --TheEgyptiansig001.png 19:00, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

So, Who's looking forward to the upcoming transit of Venus? Just wondering, since the next one is not for over a hundred years, and because I am really looking forward to it.--Toasterstrudel64 (talk) 23:56, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

So I watched "Cards Against Humanity"[edit]

some people from my Anime Clubs game room were playing it; and... I feel so ashamed of myself and humanity in general. --il'Dictator Mikal 00:57, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Don't worry, my most shameful experience from an anime club was watching Bondage Game. Surely it can't be worse. Scarlet A.pngtheist 15:09, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
At least it wasn't tentacle porn...or was it? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:18, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

I never know how seriously[edit]

to take the media and disease. and that really bothers me--il'Dictator Mikal 04:20, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

I am reminded of the Mark Crislip quote: "if they get it wrong in an area in which I am knowledgeable, how can I trust them in areas in which I need to defer to the expertise of others?" Peter with added ‼Science‼ 04:28, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
That's my problem with the media, I can't trust them to actually tell me useful info at this point; though on my own research nebraska doesn't have any speices of the insect that carries it due to being nebraska; yay for being to far north for tropical disease!. --il'Dictator Mikal 05:03, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that information. I worked in Colombia in the 80's and came down with a fever, vomiting and diarrhoea which shortly passed. A test for malaria proved negative; I had the same symptoms about 7 years later. Recently I have experienced tachycardia and have had treatment for arrhythmia, I also experience occasional syncope. One more thing to worry about. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 08:07, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Stop Alien Abductions![edit]

Stop Alien Abductions! I can't tell if this site is for real or not. AceModerator 21:34, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Poe. It must be poe. If it isn't poe then we deserve to be conquered by Little Green Men... --TheEgyptiansig001.png 22:20, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Did you the "Skills/Tools" required section: "Dexterity, use of scissors, adept at cutting and shaping paper and plastic sheets."
Surely can't be for real. AceModerator 22:23, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
As they seem to be actually selling stuff, it could be actually a very malicious hoax.--WickerGuy (talk) 22:43, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I've seen this site before and it is definitely poe. As for it being a possible scam, well, it doesn't seem to me that the website itself is directly selling anything, its just listing a bunch of random stores.[3] Oniontalk/edits 23:45, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia used to have an article on the founder of the site and it got nominated for deletion with the decision to delete. Discussion is here [4]--WickerGuy (talk) 22:46, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
This is another site ran by Menkin. Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs are a real duo in the alien abduction world, but it seems like the site is just name dropping rather than being associated with them. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 10:15, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
It's a pretty funny site. Nihilist 17:43, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

I think we should ban dihydrogen monoxide, the odorless, tasteless killer, maybe the aliens would leave us alone then. ♥♥Alyssa Bryant♥♥Leave me a note 17:53, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

How delightful! Instructions on how to make my very own thought-screen helmet! I've wanted to make one of those for years, but I've never had the time! Barrack Hussein Obama and his filthy commie New World Order will never be able to read my thoughts now! --Bdor24 (talk) 15:43, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

In a few parts of the UK they teach atheism to school kids.[edit]

  1. PRIMARY school children in Blackburn are to be taught atheism. And surprise, surprise a Roman Catholic Priest doesn't like that. Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:43, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  2. Anger over call to teach children atheism in school
  3. Why Philip Pullman wants to teach children about atheism
School sponsored athiesm is a little bad sounding to my ears; as much as school sponsored religion is. --il'Dictator Mikal 16:47, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
In the USA there is the tradition of teaching neither religion nor atheism officially. In the UK the tradition is to teach religion, in faith schools Christianity or some other faith is given priority. Teaching atheism as well as religion is an improvement over teaching religion only. Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:51, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Serious question. how do you "teach" atheism. There is nothing to teach. one sentence and you are done. "some people don't believe this". --Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 16:55, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
As Andy Parsons on Mock The Week said (this is old news, because it's from a fairly old MTW) "kids are apparently going to be given lessons in atheism. That'll be a short lesson; 'there is no God, see you next week.'" In fact, there's some good documentaries in the BBC for schools section on it, I think we even discussed one a while back on RW. But really, "being taught atheism" and "being taught about atheism" are two different things. Now, I may have been out of school a while and not had an RE lesson since 2001, but it's always been learning about religions and philosophies. In fact, I really only enjoyed it at high school where I did one year of it and we actually discussed philsophical concepts such as ethics and morality. But, you know, since when did the people who want to enforce teach Christianity to all our children want them to learn about other possibilities? Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:03, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

I think it's good that they teach kids about religion and atheism. I do think they should teach both fairly and neutrally and let the kids decide with an open mind. Alyssa Bryant (talk) 17:16, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

  1. They are teaching stuff like how to be moral as an atheist and that is more important than just saying that some people don't believe it.
  2. They are teaching what terms like atheist and agnostic mean and that is more valuable than saying that some people don't believe it.
  3. They are teaching school students how to evaluate arguments and that is more valuable than saying that some people don't believe it.
    RE studies 'should cover atheism'. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:20, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
But children could be confused! WHY WON'T YOU THINK OF THE CHILDREN?! Nihilist 17:38, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
In all my life, I have never met a child that was confused about two adults having a differing opinions. If anything they were interested in what those sides were.
Imagine a child never having seen two adults with differing opinions: their parents always had the exact same idea what's for dinner the next day, their parents always had the exact same idea what to buy, they never had arguments over rather you are allowed to watch that movie or not, never could there have been any discussion with the neighbours, or relatives, the workplace of either parent has to be in absolute harmony, because sooner or later parents talk about there jobs during a meal. Never in their whole life have they heard a "but", "or", "instead of" or any contraction putting two sentences up against each other. Never have they heard that ever was there something different in history. You could not read them huge portions of the NT because people disagree with Jebus all the time. You would have to say that nothing was ever thought of differently than it is right now. You wouldn't be allowed to teach them about anything other than what they are used to. No teaching about other religions or processes of thought. No other countries or languages. Those kids would not be able to survive in society. "What? There are two different companies that made pepper? But I thought the one we always had in exactly that portion we always had was the only way everybody did it. Now there are two sorts? What if one tastes much better or completely different from the other? Mommy, Daddy help me please!" --Raga Man (talk) 18:18, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
People like Ed Poor that frequent 12chan "think" of us children. ♥♥Alyssa Bryant♥♥Leave me a note 17:56, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
It’s not only Christians who have a problem with children and young people learning about atheism. Suppose religion declines as fast as Daniel Dennett hopes. Then that could harm academics in Departments of Religious Studies at universities etc. Funding for such departments will be harder to obtain so few young students or graduates will be attracted to that field. We will be treated to the spectacle of aging academics competing for ever fewer posts in shrinking departments. Academics in Departments of Religious Studies should consider learning some other area of social science while they are still young enough to learn a new field. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:02, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Religion has been around since the beginning of human history, so to think that it's going to disappear is like thinking that music is going to disappear. ♥♥Alyssa Bryant♥♥Leave me a note 18:06, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Dennett doesn't suggest that religion will disappear soon. I think in 40 years there could be a non religious majority in the United States as there is in the UK and Sweden today. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:10, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
In 2006, he said religion would be virtually gone, and not as we know it in TEN years. that's soon. BS, but soon. --Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 20:30, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Did Dennett say that in 2006??? Please give links. I hope you're not using a Straw man argument. Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:06, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Academic hits out at atheism in our schools Quotes from the new atheists
Children to study atheism at school These articles have more about how atheism can be taught in schools. The first is a Christian objecting to teaching atheismProxima Centauri (talk) 18:22, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Religion will never disappear, change forms yes, but never go away.il'Dictator Mikal 18:44, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
There is a whole LOT to teach about the history of atheism. It's a cultural movement as well as a philosophical position. And if old religions die, radically different ones may take their place.--WickerGuy (talk) 19:04, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Sure, as long as there's something out there we don't know everything about, someone is going to claim a god of the gaps. But it's definitely conceivable that eventually religious belief will decline to the point where religious studies are under history departments, with religions themselves explained in a completely historical context (just as we do with 'dead' religions today). Q0 (talk) 19:24, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
also not going to happen. il'Dictator Mikal 19:26, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Not with that attitude, buddy! Q0 (talk) 20:13, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I don't think religion has to never go away -- but stupidity and irrationality in general probably never will. Nihilist 20:25, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Ever read foundation? Thats how new religions arise in an age where we are a interstellar species; beyond that just because we can explain something doesn't mean people will abandon religions; theres enough liberal branches of religions that can survive with science; and then, like nihl said, more non sciency will also survive. --il'Dictator Mikal 20:29, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Question there — and an honest one at that — when you both talk about religion, what do you mean? Would humanism (every person in born with rights) qualify, or would it have to be some sort of adherence to supernatural phenomena? --Raga Man (talk) 20:48, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

edit break[edit]

I mean specifically any belief system which is based on faith or spirituality. Secular humanism is most certainly not a religion (though, there is also religious humanism).
My argument is that if you teach a child about the universe as we know it, without first clouding their thoughts with one of the various human religions, you'll find that science and the sum of human knowledge have sufficiently expanded to the point where, already, we no longer need to arbitrarily explain what we do not understand as the workings of some divine entity. No longer does every natural force - things which controlled our daily lives to the extent that they seemed insurmountable in ancient times - need to have a god behind it. This is why there's really no such thing as 'atheist indoctrination'; even if for some deranged reason you wanted to indoctrinate someone, why go through all the trouble when all you have to do is explain reality to them in factual terms?
I'm getting the feeling that Mikalos might just be taking a pessimistic approach here, assuming that religion will change forms when necessary to fulfill its role as a tool to control the masses. I admit that's a definite possibility as long as there are still large numbers of poor and uneducated, like we see today. Q0 (talk) 22:36, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Religion has more functions than acting as a placeholder for scientific explanations. Having a full account of the natural world doesn't get you a system of morality or a social institution. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:17, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
You are right Neb, but in principle we can provide a course on ethics (Which is actually really fascinating, somebody linked some good material on ethics a while back on this page) and the URL to 4chan -- then they've got a foundation for morality that actually tackles the difficult questions and a social group that won't automatically judge them on race or gender (but it will make fun of their spelling and use of Comic Sans). (talk) 09:02, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
We need to do more to promote secular morality, we need to prevent a moral vacuum as religion declines, also we need to counter suggestions that atheists are immoral. We shouldn't generalise about 4Chan the Moralfags can certainly help. Proxima Centauri (talk) 09:07, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
A proper education does tackle those very issues. Reading Mill and Marx and others provides you with a far better base for morality than any holy book I've ever encountered. And education itself - when it encourages debate, interactive elements in the classroom, and groups for common interests - is a profoundly social experience. Furthermore, compassionate parenting acts as an extremely important example of both. These elements do not 'fill a gap' religion supposedly leaves behind; they supplant it with something far more powerful and enlightening. While religion often has ethical and social functions in daily life, it is by no means unique (or by any means best) in providing them. Q0 (talk) 12:06, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
That's reasonable. Your first post just made it sound like people would just stop believing in god if we taught them enough about evolution and particle physics. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:15, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think religion is going anywhere soon. Many people simply want to believe and simply educating them won't change that. As evidence, consider something like homeopathy. It has no basis in science and is not effective. If people were rational then they would not believe it - yet it continues to both exist and thrive.
If people are prepared to believe that something like homeopathy can fix physical illnesses, how much more likely are they to believe in something which claims to deliver immortality?
And yes, I know there is more to it than that.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 09:03, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
In fact simply consider religion itself. There are huge numbers of educated rational intelligent good people who are religious. That surely tells us that it won't go away any time soon. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:44, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't follow your point. I don't think that religion is going to go away soon but the fact that some religious people are "good" would seem to be neither here nor there. Some religious people are also undeniably "bad".
But neither of these facts tells us much about the permanence of religion. Presumably some homeopaths are "good" too. Or do I miss your point?--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 15:06, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, you missed my point. My fault probably. It's simply to counter the argument put forward that once everyone is sufficiently well educated, religion will die. The "good" thing was to pre-empt the (albeit unlikely here) argument that educated rational intelligent people who are religious are more than likely to be fleecing those who aren't, e.g. Hubbard. Ajkgordon (talk) 15:26, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah. Then I missed your point because my previous comment, to which you seemed to be responding was, Many people simply want to believe and simply educating them won't change that. I had assumed that you were disagreeing or expanding on it somehow but I wasn't sure how. --Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 16:09, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Not really expanding on your point (although I agree with it). More about how the existence of religion among the highly educated is the best evidence that religion is not likely to die out any time soon. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:29, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
If religion dies, it will be a slow, painful, prolonged death, and not likely to happen anytime this century. Nihilist 17:31, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, define 'highly educated'. Do you just mean persons in academia? And by that same token, do you attribute no weight to the plethora of studies showing a significant decline in the religiosity of people in higher education, especially in scientific fields? It certainly seems like that's evidence supporting the idea that religion shrinks as education grows.
To me, a core element of education is the idea of challenging our own beliefs about the world we live in. You really have to wonder how much an otherwise rational person who holds irrational beliefs has truly challenged them. For that matter, take two preeminent experts: one in a field that does not directly challenge common religious beliefs - say economics or the social sciences; and one in a field which does - say science or history. Which do you think is more likely to be religious, and why? Q0 (talk) 19:28, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
You act like everybody will 1) get the same level of education 2) will still choose to drop theism and 3) said education will get through. il'Dictator Mikal 19:40, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Can you tell me why those are bad ideals to have? Should we not direct education policy toward #1 and #3, for that matter? Q0 (talk) 19:44, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Because as nice and ideal as #1 is, it won't be achieved any time soon, if it ever will so long as education is done as it's done, while #3 is completely on the person being educated, not the educator and therefor impossible to really work on. --il'Dictator Mikal 19:54, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, as much as we might like to wish otherwise, humans are not completely rational beings so religion - along with belief in luck, superstitions, ghosts and other supernatural phenomena - will probably be around for quite a while. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 20:03, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"And by that same token, do you attribute no weight to the plethora of studies showing a significant decline in the religiosity of people in higher education, especially in scientific fields?" That relationship is dependent on demographics and geography, though. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:10, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, Q0, of course I recognise that. But it only shows a decrease, not an elimination. Besides, the sciences make up a smaller proportion of higher education than they used to. You can't just ignore the fact that there are many highly educated religious people, including some scientists. No. Whatever your wishes, religion will not disappear quickly. It will remain an incredibly important and powerful social phenomenon for many decades if not centuries to come. Ajkgordon (talk) 20:30, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
And frankly, as long as you move continually away from the dogmatic; as long as you are continually evaluating your own religion in the face of reality; and as long as our laws are as far from your beliefs as they can be - there is nothing wrong, and probably many good things that come from religion being a "powerful and important social pehnomenon". Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 20:38, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
@Neb: What you linked offers a good example of the point I'm attempting to make. Those studies are in regards to general education in various societies, while what I mentioned were experts in academia (see even papers like this one, which despite being written specifically to cast doubt on atheism being more common amongst college professors, shows just that). The difference is that while a general education tends to be pedantic in nature - and is very unobtrusive - scholarly research is quite the opposite. While a general education varies widely with where you receive it, focused research into the nature of truth and about how the world works does not. The latter requires actively digging into troublesome areas and questioning preconceived notions, which is bound to include faith at some point. I know I've learned far more in my own personal quest for knowledge than I ever did when I was simply expected to memorize facts and figures.
@Ajk: It's not about the fact that religious scientists exist, it's that less religious scientists exist than in the past. And, as with before, far less religious scientists exist than religious economists. I don't think these facts are just happenstance.
@Mikalos: I really don't understand the idea that we should give up on something just because it likely won't be achieved in the near future. As far as education 'getting through' goes, that's a significant aspect of why teachers go to school to teach. All humans are curious about the world around them to some extent, after all. Q0 (talk) 21:49, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Totally personal question - why do you think we shouldn't "give up on it". What is wrong with religion? In your mind.--Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 21:53, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
It's not the scientists we need to worry about, it's the bloody engineers. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 21:55, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I was saying we shouldn't give up on making sure everyone gets a quality education of around relatively the same level. By no means do I view education as simply a way to destroy religion, if that's what you're implying. I just see the decline in religiosity as a side-product of factually explaining the universe and how humans relate to it. But more to your question, my actual gripes with religion are in how it affects the world. I don't think it occupies a unique place in the modern age (as mentioned above, I find its moral and social aspects to be vastly lacking in comparison to other outlets), and I have serious concerns regarding any propagation of faith and superstition and the like. And propagation it is - imagine a world where religion does not seek to multiply its adherents, and you can easily imagine a world without religion. Will that get rid of superstition entirely? No, but it would go a long way in doing so.
On a side note, I do find it funny whenever I'm forced to take the most radical approach against religion in a debate. In some discussions, I've been the one accused of being soft on religion due to my support for religious social justice movements in places like Haiti. I do think religion can be a great force for positive political and economic change in societies with significant poverty and disenfranchisement. You know, just as long as it's not espousing the need for suffering or some other bullshit. Q0 (talk) 22:18, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
This conversation isn't (I didn't think) about whether religion was a good thing or not. It was about how quickly it is likely to disappear and what role education has to play in that. You rightly point out that religiosity is less prominent among the better educated, particularly scientists. But even in societies that are very well educated and have a much more atheistic culture (some of the Nordic countries, for example) religion is still a very important and prominent part of their culture. And they've been at it for decades. I think you are under-estimating religion's resistance to eradication. I think you are also ignoring the continuous creation of new religions. Or new forms of older religions. How do things like Mormonism, Scientology and the Moonies become and remain popular even among relatively well educated adherents? Ajkgordon (talk) 08:49, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Q0 - ohh, i'm totally with you then. I think education is what brings us to better equality, pushes the dogma from religion (should religion survive, I don't really know or care, but it needs to change, we all can agree I think), and gives all people more individual freedoms. Including teaching the facts about religion - one or two dogmatic religions in particular, at least in the west).
Ajk - nothing is ever about "one thing". a good logical argument in a formal paper might be - but in general one thing necessarily goes with the other. The "value" of religion, of atheism, and even agnosticism as "things" which can be taught about in any meaningful way are part of this discussion. My own studies on this suggest to men that the human mind creates religion. Take one guru who was crucified from the menu, and some other guru who tells his people to kill themselves in a bombing attack on a train (or was it metro?) in japan will take over. We have people right now who are transfixed by various conspiracy theories of aliens abducting them that have all the trappings of full on religion. It's like its human nature to want to believe in something bigger than us, to help us justify our human existence. be it gods or aliens. I doubt anything changes, even if you have good science education, and good overal education. I'm just praying that we give everyone a chance to break out of the current set of religions that exist to confine them, rather than pushes them to expore. Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 14:10, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Sure. I was simply steering the conversation back to whether religion would die out soon or not, 'tis all. Ajkgordon (talk) 16:41, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Godot wrote, "I'm just praying that we give everyone a chance to break out of the current set of religions that exist to confine them, rather than pushes them to expore." Did she mean that? Was it a joke? Does Godot pray? Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:14, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I have heard that Godot prays to a giant statue of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by a choir of indoctrinated altarboys who sing hymns while flagellating themselves for Godot's religious gratification. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:47, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Certainly, the cultural aspect of religion is very resilient, but you greatly overstate its influence in places like Sweden. Japan is a much better example. Shinto practices are commonplace nearly everywhere you go, but belief in actual Shinto deities and spirits is questionable at best. In that way, you'd have incredible trouble trying to identify everyone in Japan who is a part of Shinto (or Buddhist) rituals as religious. It's a really interesting topic, which really complicates the use of the term religion. If most Japanese say they neither believe in gods nor belong to any religion (wp:Religion_in_Japan has a pretty good summary of that in the lede), at face value you'd call them atheists. But at the same time Shinto and Buddhism are present in daily life, and many superstitions prevail. Q0 (talk) 19:28, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
How am I overstating religion's influence in places like Sweden? A good fifth at least attend church regularly (although not every Sunday) and lot more than that are believers in a god even if many of them might be less than sure about which god. It doesn't matter. The point is a significant proportion of the population are either religious or use religion's cultural aspects as anchors for various events such as christenings, weddings and death. So even in countries like Sweden, religion still has significant cultural impact and not a small number of adherents. Yes, Japan is a better example but not in the way you claim. It is a very good example how a population that is largely devoid of any formal religious adherence nonetheless has a deeply held religious conviction and culture. I'm sorry, but thinking that declining church members or low Sunday turnout is indicative of the imminent demise of religion in general is naive. Religion is much more complicated than that and has a habit of morphing and surviving through history, whether it be through dishonest political manipulation or through genuine need for spirituality. Ajkgordon (talk) 20:32, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

The economy[edit]

Things don't look to good for Obama. A lot of the fault comes from austerity measures by Republicans last summer, but Obama's campaign for the last few months has relied heavily on good economic signs. Ideally, he would be able to pass another stimulus to address the economy, but he won't get away with that again.

Quick poll: if Obama loses re-election, and Romney drives this country to the ground, could Obama run again in 2016? Mr. Anon (talk) 20:32, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

IT's june 1st; the election is in November. --il'Dictator Mikal 20:46, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
It's true that the election seems a long way off, but the economy always stands out as an important issue in bad times. If the Republicans try to push the country towards default over the debt ceiling again, though, it could give Obama a cudgel to use. Maybe the economic data will improve as well, but I'm not sure anyone knows for sure. Who knows? As you know, macroeconomists have successfully predicted the last nine out of five recessions. I'd say our track record is quite good! άλφαΤαλκ 13:56, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Obama is now distinctly an underdog - there is very little prospect of significant improvement before the election.--ADtalkModerator 23:58, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree. If he wins, it will only be because Romney looses. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 00:56, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Early onset Alzheimer's[edit]

I noticed this article on the BBC a few days ago, and I want some thoughts on part of it. I sympathise with the emotions the families feel, as I remember growing up when both of my parents were experiencing similar situations with several of their family members. That being said, however, that part of the article isn't what stood out to me. The article discusses one case in particular, that of a man named Mike. It briefly describes genetic factors and the testing that can be done to detect them, followed by this paragraph from one of the children: [Courtney] has declined to be tested. If [Courtney's] mother had known [Courtney's dad Mike] carried the familial gene when they married, they wouldn't have had children. That's also why Courtney doesn't want to know. "I don't want to have it impact my life decisions." <soapbox> Isn't this exactly the sort of thing that should affect your life choices? This gene may be more common than I realise, and if everyone who carried this gene decided not to have children, birth rates would fall to critical levels. I don't know. I'm also not arguing for anyone to force this woman to not have children. For some reason, this just bothers me. If you could be tested and find out whether or not you were carrying a gene that could harm your children by either a) subjecting them to having a parent wither away from Alzheimer's at a relatively early age, or b) giving them an increased risk of the disease themselves.</rant> I don't know why this bothers me to such a degree. It makes me think that the person in question is thinking more of herself and maybe a desire to have children and isn't willing to let anything, even factors that could create a less-than-optimal environment for her children, override that. Thoughts? άλφαΤαλκ 13:51, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

This reminds me of one PBS program I watched on "end of the world" beliefs and how when one woman was asked the interview question of "what would you want to do if you knew the world was going to end in the next few months, guaranteed" and her response was "I've always wanted to have children, so I would really want to bring a baby into this world." What of the child? άλφαΤαλκ 13:51, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
These are all the exact reasons I choose to never have children. It's heavily suspected I have Marfan's Syndrome, and will die in my 50s or 60s from an aortic dissection. Why would I willing inflict that on my offspring? If I ever truly wanted to raise a child, I'd much rather adopt. However, I haven't had a genetic test done not because I don't want to know, but because I don't want the insurance companies to know. The Genetic Nondiscrimination Act doesn't reassure me, I'm afraid. --CoyoteSans (talk) 16:05, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Not wanting the insurance company to know is a perfectly acceptable reason to forgo testing. Skipping testing so it's potentially easier on your conscience when you have children is not. I don't know about my genetic history, but I heartily agree with wanting to adopt, if I chose to have children. άλφαΤαλκ 18:49, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Not wanting the insurance company to know is not a perfectly acceptable reason to forgo testing. It's symptomatic of a lousy healthcare system that encourages patients to gamble their medical needs against personal costs. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 02:08, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Notification of page creation on my user page?[edit]

Did anyone else get an email saying that their user page was just created (even though I already have a user page)? I got a standard email that said

Dear Alpha, The RationalWiki page User:Alpha has been created on 2 June 2012 by RandonGeneration, see http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/User:Alpha for the current revision.

This is a new page.

Editor's summary: Too quiet today

Even though I already have a user page. Nothing shows up in the revision history so is this just a glitch? άλφαΤαλκ 19:12, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

It means someone blocked you... block log

(show/hide) 19:06, 2 June 2012 RandonGeneration (Talk | contribs | block) blocked Alpha (Talk | contribs) with an expiry time of 0×π seconds (account creation disabled) ‎ (Too quiet today) - Refugeetalk page 19:59, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Oh. Nothing to see here then. άλφαΤαλκ 21:25, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

How do I archive[edit]

a LQT talkpage?--il'Dictator Mikal 22:25, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

See here for some instructions. You can move the page to a subpage or just remove the lqt thing and provide a prefindex link. Peter Blessed are the cheesmakers 23:47, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
You don't need to is the short answer, it will only display a fixed number of threads. If you wish to de-liquify your page, move it to a subpage, i.e, User talk:Username/liquid archive, and start your talkpage a fresh. - π 01:39, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

This is awful[edit]

Teen survivors of American religious brainwashing camps speak

Is it true? Have we got an article on it? Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:12, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

While "brainwashing" camps exist, this article is mostly BS. It is fully illegal to do the things described in this article/blog. If any camp is reported for doing them, they would be shut down instantly - any time children are housed away from teh home, they are regulated and monitored. Does it happen some time and some where underground? Sure. Gay's have known for a while that some of the 'reform' camps are hideous. But it is not anything standard, accepted, or normal. It may or may not be worth an article, but realize it's like writing an article on the guy who ate someone's face. True, but isolated and illegal, not indicative of anything normal. doesn't mean such an article is not warranted, though.--Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 15:21, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Their claims do seem a bit suspect to me. I'd like to see actual evidence instead of anecdotes. Nihilist 15:24, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
In many US states, religions are exempt from most of the child welfare regulations. While I wouldn't like to say definitely this is true, I wouldn't bank on there being any inspections to prevent what amounts to child abuse going on there, or there even being laws against it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:11, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I would ask you to prove that. Cause I have never heard any situation where a law allows a group *other than the parent* to do any of these kinds of treatments, religious or not. And frankly, I've never heard of parents being allowed to do it. Locking a child into isolation is a crime, regardless of your religious views, because it harms the child. Prolonged denial of food (no one is saying you can't say to your child "I cooked brocolli, eat it, or don't eat") is abuse; it doesn't matter what state or religion you are in. So, like i said, i'm highly dubious. does it go on, likely. is it at all common or legal, no. --Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 17:24, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
It's not so much a case of whether they're exempt as whether when it comes to court after the fact they manage to get off because of their religion. There are two contrasting cases that stick in my mind. The first involved parents involved in the Christian Science movement who basically allowed their child to die because they were busy praying. The second invovled parents with a strict vegan lifestyle whose child died of malnutrition, obstensibly because of their lifestyle. In the former case, the parents were fairly unremorseful and quite proud of their faith, as were the lawyers putting it before the judge. In the latter case, the prosecutor actually shouted "they're not vegans, they're baby killers!" - I seriously doubt you'd get "they're not Christians, they're baby killers!" said in other circumstances. Scarlet A.pngmoral 17:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
If true, it is child abuse and their shouldn't even be a judicial process of arresting these people, a trial afterwards yes, but nothing beforehand (I say this not comming from the judicial side of things, but from the idealistic side of things). But what is even sadder is that there are parents who would do such a thing. Just because your child has a conflicting view, you send it away for two years? These are the same people that go all hysteric when somebody says big business should change it's attitude, but they send their own child to what boils down to mixture of reeducational facility and a gulag? You know what, whatever society produces such people in masses has a real problem lying underneath. --Raga Man (talk) 17:58, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
I'm all for being skeptical, but don't the allegations warrant investigation? How many kids need to post a story like something like this before we say, "Oh, maybe!"? Think about the corresponding child abuse investigations re: Joe Paterno, the RCC, etc...how many is "enough"? -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:37, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

Instead of sending their kids to brainwashing camp, why don't they do something nicer, like send them to cheerleading camp? ♥♥Alyssa Bryant♥♥Leave me a note 17:32, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

I see what you did there. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:37, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
There are these types of schools and camps. I have a friend who was raised in a cult for several years and tells horror stories. There are sects such as the FLDS that keep their kids segregated in their community, where girls have strict rules of conduct, attend only FLDS schools, are disallowed TV/internet etc., are denied education past grade school and married to older men at a young age. The NOI runs it's own schools where young children are indoctrinated into beliefs of hatred against other races/cultures/orientations, etc. Sure it is happening. Because it isn't widely known and reported about on a daily basis doesn't mean it isn't happening. I invite you to delve a little further into the subcultures in America (and around the world). I'll dig up some links if you can't find them yourself. Refugeetalk page 21:13, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
OK, here are a couple o' links, to the two sects I mentioned. There are many types of cult-like sects and groups that control and dictate what their member children can do, they operate on a more or less small scale away from mainstream prying eyes, but it exists all over the country. FLDS "The girls of the FLDS are brought up to be married off at the earliest possible age. The Elders pick husbands for them, usually polygamous men who are much older than they. Sometimes these girls aren’t even aware they are to be married until the day of the marriage. These children are brought up in a secluded, deprived environment. They are given minimal educational opportunities, don’t watch TV, listen to radio, nor go to movies. They are taught that "outsiders" are of Satan, to be avoided. They are woefully ignorant of the outside world and are taught that forced marriages to older men is normal." NOI "Women and girls worked long hours while he regularly raped and beat them, according to five women's testimony. [] built his fortune in part on the money he saved by using child labor...[] said she began having forced sex with him when she was 10 and bore her first child when she was 16. On Sundays, the girls attended meetings,where he preached hatred of whites and Jews, and subjugation of women. Fear kept the girls silent." I only became aware of these two some years back when I met people who had been associated with them. When I began looking into it, I was surprised at the existance of so many "alternate" societies. Refugeetalk page 02:42, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

cquote problem?[edit]

This is probably a problem with my browser rather than RW, but I've been seeing text in cquote on some pages overlapping with sidebars and images. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:11, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

I get that too, both here and RWW. AceModerator 16:30, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
It'll be a an issue with floating, most likely. Bullet list points, for example, will overlap left-floated images unless you clear it or put the bullets in their own div. Are there any specific articles you can see it on? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:31, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Any article where the quote attribution is more than two or three words long -- just looked at the eugenics article for example and it partially overlaps with the sidebar. Funny thing is that this didn't start happening until recently. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:39, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Looks fine to me. I'll check over a few different resolutions. Scarlet A.pngtheist 16:46, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Take a look here. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 16:54, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Only the last two words overlap with the sidebar on that one. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:57, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not seeing it (Firefox 12, Windows 7, 1366x768). Nihilist 17:15, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
Me neither (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Win7 1600x900) Oniontalk/edits 18:04, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I need to know whether it's the align=center attribute causing it, if it is then we can switch to margin:auto; instead. Same effect, better web standard. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:20, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
This problem occurs in Chrome, not IE. Can't speak for other browsers. See the thread in tech support when I linked a few example pages. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:09, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
I'll have a look at it in Chrome. No other browser, including my really old version of whatever Red Hat's default monstrosity is do it. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:28, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Found some discussion on this at TOW: WP:Template talk:Cquote#Chrome error. It is just something in the latest version of Chrome. Hopefully it might be cleared up in a later version. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:08, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Edit war[edit]

RatWikians who understand the Muslim countries please sort out the edit war over Muammar al-Gaddafi. Proxima Centauri (talk) 10:00, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

What's to sort out? (talk) 10:02, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
I've protected the article for one hour, we need to sort which of you two is right, perhaps both are partially right. The talk page should be unprotected. Proxima Centauri (talk) 10:40, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
I've blocked the third edit warrior but changed the block settings so all three can create accounts. Proxima Centauri (talk) 10:47, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorted. --Raga Man (talk) 11:32, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

French elect their own MP "de Londres"[edit]

Strange but true. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 14:13, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

It has been hidden from the interwebs!--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 14:23, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
It's come back! It was 404, honest.--Bob"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." 15:32, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I had a malformed MW link. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 16:38, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Can't imagine the FN will be pleased. But you know what? Fuck 'em.--"Shut up, Brx." 16:48, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Seeing as only French people can vote, I don't see why they'd have a problem. Sophiebecause liberals 13:13, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't see any reason FN would give a shit. They are french citizens who happen to be working abroad, like you and your parents, and my husband. They aren't dirty reub afterall.Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 14:34, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Pat Churchland on RS[edit]

The Braintrust tour continues. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 15:17, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

In other news[edit]

This belongs somewhere here: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/06/bp-sends-chill-through-scientific-community as a comment with a footnote. scientific method perhaps? Do we have an assault on science article? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:10, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Transit of Venus Redux[edit]

Well, it looks like I will get to watch the Transit of Venus tomorrow afternoon with the aid of a safe-vision solar telescope. How it will stack up against seeing the movie Delta of Venus will be difficult to say.--WickerGuy (talk) 04:14, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

scientific method and ignorance - Science Friday interview of Firestine[edit]

Dr. Firestien had some great things to say, friday, about the nature of ignorance in scientific study. But one of the things that most made me giggle was his "palm to forehead, head smack" when they discussed the scientific method. roughly : Kids are taught that scientists look at the world, form hypothesis, go out and make experiments, revise their hypothesis, test some more, and shout eureka, it's a theory! But that's really not how science works, almost every. It's clean and pretty and we all wish it were done that way, but ususally you see something new and you look, and you poke, and you say "what happens if i mix liquid a with liquid b - oh shit, shoudn't have done that". It's not just the amount of failure, but it's that the emphasis of science is more often less on trying to form new ideas, and just about finding new things to make ideas about". I liked that idea a lot, and it does kinda conform more to what I see in the real world. He also cautioned that if we are too vested in our hypothesize, it's way easy to pick and choose (without really being aware we are doing it) the results that favor our ideas. His book is about the role of ignorance in science, and the importance and art of asking questions rather than getting answers. If you have some time, you should listen. --Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 14:17, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

That does come pretty close to what I spent last night doing. Scarlet A.pngbomination 14:37, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Students are indoctrinated with romanticized fictions? Quelle surprise! Even science says science doesn't work that way. Lakatos is much closer to the truth than your basic science texts -- ad hoc hypotheses can rescue a paradigm for quite some time. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:02, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
WfG, I don't think that recognition about how science works in the real world is anything particularly new. Science isn't unique in having a gap between its formalised structure and its in-the-field practice. One of the roles peer review plays is to counter the tendencies of vested interests and so on. It's why cranks don't like it. Ajkgordon (talk) 16:39, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't remember the exact quote, but Feynman or somebody once said the most exciting words in science are not "Eureka! I found it!" but "Huh, that looks strange." Doctor Dark (talk) 00:45, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
This author (who's real goal seems to be to get people asking questions - but learning how to ask GOOD ones), quoted Feynman who said something like "the most interesting thing to me is not what we don't know, but what we don't even know that we don't know".Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 00:54, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
And yet Rumsfeld attracted widespread derision for saying a similar thing. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 07:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Hahaha! The unknown unknowns. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:10, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I suspect a bit of that has something to do with "where you start out". But derision or not, in terrorism I always thought it was a solid point. we get attacked 9-11 style, so we start denying a-rabs the right to fly. Someone brings bombs in a liquid, and we suddenly need to only have 3 oz of anything; someone puts a bomb in their shoe, and we now have ot take off our shoews. But we are always one step behind. The next terrorist attack will be as unlikely and unimagined as flying planes into buildings was. I figure it will be some chemical into our water supply, or a pox sprayed in the air at a major football game. Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 14:25, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Chemical and biological weapons are hard. Their main investors have always been big countries that can afford to have a "mystery virus" kill a few thousand people in an outlying area when they're checking if it works. By comparison "fly the plane into a building" was a much simpler plan to carry out, and you could be pretty sure the planes won't harmlessly bounce off. Bruce Schneier invented the term "Security Theatre" to describe the practices you've mentioned which are intended (at least by those smart enough to know what they're doing) only to re-assure the masses that something is being done, and not to actually improve security. The real way to prevent future attacks is boring, expensive and invisible, which makes it really hard to get public support. Intelligence assets on the ground. No movie-style body scanners, no retina scans, no techno-wizardry at all. Just a guy who sees or hears something and makes a phone call and billions of dollars to ensure that guy is in the right place, watching the right people, listening to the right conversations, and that the message gets interpreted correctly and acted on in a timely fashion. (talk) 13:19, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

The transitional animal the flying kitty![edit]

Well, sort of. Sophiebecause liberals 13:14, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

That's just sick enough to work!
I mean, you might as well get some use out of the corpse. Nihilist 14:21, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
There are literally hundreds of things you could do with it. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
(ec) I know the first thing I think when my cat gets run over is "Let's put rotors on its corpse and fly it around!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:23, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
You don't think that because you're not artsy/creative enough. Nihilist 14:24, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
That looks like some fucking scary bdsm for kitties. Why oh why? Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 14:29, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, it was a choice between either the eating the cat or this. Nihilist 14:34, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Ehh. Teemu Mäki is still more insane. Vulpius (talk) 16:01, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
We need to one up him. Who volunteers to be plastinated so we can attach rotors to their head and fly them around in death? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:39, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

I can't wait to see the lolcat captions... --TheEgyptiansig001.png 19:49, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Drone Cat is in ur police state, spying on ur sexy time. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:20, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Why do I keep seeing the helicarrier from The Avengers movie, except a cat? ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRjust shut up already 20:29, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The cat's name was Orville, sort of fitting for a flying kitteh, but it should have been made into some Wright Flyer, not a helicopter. Now if the cat was named Igor... Aboriginal Noise Punkrock 21:57, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Does Jerry Coyne know about this one?--WickerGuy (talk) 00:13, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
and now in video Sophiebecause liberals 18:16, 5 June 2012 (UTC)


OK, so I'm about half the age of the Universe late on this one, that I am willing to concede. But can someone explain to me exactly what it is with RW and goats? Is it just a joke that stuck or is there something more sinister at work here? It's C'thulhu, isn't it? --Veni Vidi.png Feci.png 23:17, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

maybe this can help!--il'Dictator Mikal 23:57, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
In the early mists of time, before the Ways and Means were ossified and the Templates homogenized, there was much banter, and users contributed strange and stranger ideas, some of which Withered on the Vine, while Others Thrived and ate all our grimy leftovers. Such was the Goat: there's good eating on one. Be grateful you aren't wondering why our site icon isn't an image of Helena Bonham Carter. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:10, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
They are soooo cute. And have horns. And they're tasty! (Or it's just a weird in-site thing.) sterileevolutionist story telling 01:13, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Goats can climb impossibly steep terrain; goats can leap about like birds; goats can even climb trees. Male goats have massive testicles; goats are replacing humans as professional landscapers; goats produce amazing cheeses at no extra cost. The goat is God incarnate. Uke Blue 01:31, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
The goat is only worshipped by those ignorant fools who haven't submitted to the fury cuteness that is Mighty Lord Jerboa. PsyGremlinПоговорите! 13:51, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Heed not the wicked lies of the Jerboan heresy! Follow the one true goat! Sophiebecause liberals 20:15, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

We're all in this together....[edit]

It's just some of us appear to more in it than others…--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 13:04, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

So pretty much every government in the world is so into making money, they have sold out to corporations and left us (in varying degrees, depending on the country) to deal with our lives on our own, and "screw laws and consequences, much less morals?" I'm thinking French Style revolutions might be around the corner. "heads will roll".--Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 16:25, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. In this case it's probably no more than an incompetent procurer appointing a shoddy security outfit. Ajkgordon (talk) 16:31, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I don't know, given A4E, and just, some, of the crap, that ATOS, likes to pull.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 16:56, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it's very hard not to view stuff like this as some sort of inherent malice at the top of society - or at the very least purposeful negligence. Doesn't help that from an outside perspective, the idea of publicly celebrating an already publicly-funded monarchy itself is a bit crazy to begin with. Add unpaid workers to that, and it looks pretty damn ugly. Q0 (talk) 21:38, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
The unpaid workers thing is a bit more complicated than that. The scheme was designed to give the unemployed work experience for a few hours to help them get jobs, brought in, I think, by the last government. The people who took part this weekend were all trying for jobs in stewardship and they have to have work experience to get their qualifications. In any case most of them were offered the minimum wage for apprenticeships. Trouble is, the government is so inept at buying in contracts that it always seems to get appallingly bad value for money or shysters ripping off the public purse.
As for publicly celebrating a publicly-funded monarchy... well, states fund the celebration of lots of publicly-funded institutions. Nothing exceptional there, even among republics. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:54, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

The Good News Club[edit]

Has anyone read this book by Katherine Stewart yet? Unfortunately it's not out in paperback in the UK for another 6 months. Katherine Stewart has had a few good articles in the Guardian but her story on the historical revisionism in Texas, which is the topic of a recent documentary, is particularly disturbing. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 14:14, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

In the wake of "The Revisionaries" documentary, Stephen Colbert interviewed one of the culprits which you can watch here [5]--WickerGuy (talk) 17:08, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
I can't watch it here, I don't live in the Five percent of the world that it's available. Sophiebecause liberals 17:48, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Sophie, it took me a couple minutes to find it, but here is a full verbal written transcript of the show (you have to scroll down through several other bits first)Colbert News Hub April 23--WickerGuy (talk) 20:00, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. "Having to scroll through Stephen Colbert's jokes" isn't that arduous a chore, somehow. :) Sophiebecause liberals 20:26, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah, Good News Club v. Milford Central School. Yet another Supreme Court case where the dissent is the only thing that keeps me from losing all hope for humanity. Q0 (talk) 21:46, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Coping with Christians[edit]

Coping with Christians
This blog deals with a variety of American Chriatians. The site deals with Cafeteria Christians who take what they want, usually the nice parts of the Bible. The blog is more concerned over the theocratic Christians who are arming themselves, getting training in the use of weapons and are willing to kill those who oppose them. Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:35, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

That's nice. ТyrannisPlead 14:37, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
The Theocratic Christians need to be exposed. Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:38, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
You just dont get it do you? ТyrannisPlead 14:43, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Despite our rather childish view of "cafeteria christians" which is a very made up term, and not overly worthy of us, trying to suggest that CC's like "happy christianity" is superficial at best. It is true, for a large group of them, but it is not a valid comment in any sense of attempting to understand who these various people and groups are. Nothing needs to be exposed. never mind. Quoting smarter men than I. "That's nice".--Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 15:09, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Cool, but who cares? --il'Dictator Mikal 16:53, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
When I added the post I had just read 'Coping with Christians' once, now I read it a second time and read your comments. The article makes some valid points but overstates its case, a civil war between militant Christians and the rest is by no means inevitable for example. Proxima Centauri (talk) 03:01, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Just what is CC[edit]

I thought all christians are Cafeteria Christians AMassiveGay (talk) 15:15, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure one's Christianity is Cafeteria to someone else's. lol @ "the term being made up" constituting some sort of point. Occasionaluse (talk) 15:19, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
We have so many invented articles around here. Generally by people who do not know the topic, saying "this is what i think such and such a term means". (the exception is the really solid science and anti scince stuff you all work on). So something like CC is bandied about till some (generally non christian) says "oh, I know, it must be this or that" and writes a rather crap article on it. The problem with terms like Cafeteria Christians, is that they don't mean anything out side of the mind of the one useing it. They are almost impossible to "define" since there is not some body out there saying "ok, *real* Christianity allows these things, but cafetiera christians allow these other things. The fact is, like all "no true scotsman", it's a term applied by someone who says "you are not reallllyyyy like me, you must be worse". Pardon the rant, but I just read our article on CC and did a typical "what the heck does this even say".  ;-) Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 16:13, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Right, we do, but "Cafeteria Christianity" isn't one of them. It's a legit and interesting concept that we see in many forms all over the place. But fuck it, delete that shit. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:19, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong, the concept exists in teh real world, and is used all the time. Our article is... um... I don't know what our article is, and I helped create it. But we need to pull it into shape to show what CC is, how the term is used, who uses the terms, etc. I didn't mean to imply *we* made up the term, sorry. I meant, we found a real and valid term, and sorta "made up" what it means or how it's used. "or something" Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 16:22, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
A great deal of the time when you criticised what I wrote about Christianity in a range of articles I found the whole thing hard to handle. You kept insisting that you were an expert and I should not have the effrontery to disagree with you. How much else have you”sorta "made up"? Proxima Centauri (talk) 02:50, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
(EC)I had been getting you wrong. Thanks for the explanation. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:27, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
So which ones aren't the cafeteria variety? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:25, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Depends on who you ask! Which is all part of why the concept is so interesting. There are many "Christian Cafeterias" to pick from which one you will pick from. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:27, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Super easy "those other guys". "we are, of course, the True Christians". That's why the term to me seems a bit useless, but maybe I'm missing something? Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 16:27, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
In theory, the term refers to people ignoring chunks of the bible or whatever. In practice, the bible is vague and everyone just means "you're not reading it right!" when they say this. AFAIK, anyway. (talk) 16:32, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
The phrase "cafeteria Christian" is a snarl word that can be applied to most followers of Christianity in ordinary society. It implies that the person in question selects which of the principles of Christianity they intend to adhere to and assembles their beliefs from what is available, rather than letting the leaders of one particular denomination select their teachings for them.

The above is at the start of the Cafeteria Christian article. It points out that Christians always pick and choose or let Religious leaders choose for them in a time honoured way. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:53, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

That's the whole problem, or joy, of the entire mess. You have over 200 official Christian Bodies (and god knows, 1000s of unaffiliated churches) all claiming they have it at least a "little" better than the others. That doesn't even go to the point that each minister of each church will have a different take, depending on their own experiences, where they were schooled, etc. And then every single individual christian who says "I am smart enough to think about this stuff and the noah story is just bunk, but it means something to me as allegory." As OCC says, it can be quite fun to watch it play out. I have seen an online meme of two churches "fighting" over the KJV. one posts one thing on their sign, and then the other posts in reply. ahhhhhh, christian love! Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 16:49, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Eh, I never meant a Christian in my entire life who threatened physical harm, let alone wanting to actually kill me for not believing what they believe. I have known a great many fundamentalists, and I don't know of any who are readying themselves for some bloody purge of society and coup d'etat of the US government. Sure, there is a tiny minority of Christians who commit violent action in the name of their religion, but they are quite the rarity, (and I don't count things like book burnings, because if you want to be stupid enough to burn your property which you bought and paid for, be my guest). This guy's post writes a straw-man of what Christians are like and what they want, much like Conservapedia does when it comes to atheists (or anyone remotely secular), Pagans, and Muslims. It's lazy writing and fear mongering.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 16:43, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Two quick 2-cent notes.
1) I think the term "cafeteria Christian" originated as a conservative Christian criticism of liberal Christians.
2) It wouldn't surprise me if there is a growing militancy among a few fundy Christians in at least some remote rural areas. But how representative is it?--WickerGuy (talk) 17:13, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
There is growing militancy, but it's mostly bluster, according to DHS at least. It has more to do with that man in the White House and nativism than Christianity, though. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:50, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
There is a reason it's called the White House. I would love to know - or maybe not - how many real threats to his life the Secret Service has intercepted. I was quite worried, myself, that we would see several attempts on him, esepcially when he was in the less "ethnic friendly" parts of the nation. Not that this has anything to do with militant xians. I'm more worried about things like LA than these not-too-scary splinter groups. Where a whole generation of kids might be educated by religious institutions under the guise of "privatization" and "vouchers'.Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 19:54, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Bill Maher is right, our religious crazies (mainly Christians) are nothing in compared to the religious crazies in much of the world. — Unsigned, by: BMcP / talk / contribs 20:07, 05 June 2012 (UTC)
Right, but the problem lies in the argument itself, which is used to justify aggressive wars and one-sided policies which only further strengthen religious extremism. Why are fundamentalists usually less crazy in the US? Their livelihood hasn't been constantly under attack or threat of attack for their entire lives(this is what "a post-9/11 world" in America really means). I'm taking about both real violence and economic degradation here. Reverse the economic roles of the Christian and Muslim worlds, and then see how much extremism and violence comes out of each.
As far as the above goes, while I agree that original linked post was definitely lazy writing, he did at least put in a bit in there about how most Christians were not like what he was describing. But I have a question on the 'physical harm' you were talking about: would that cover hitting their child because they wouldn't go to church or fall in line with belief? (See especially The Strong-Willed Child, by the ever-so-disturbed James Dobson). I've witnessed this type of violence (and others) myself, but I realize that not all people have. Depends on where you live and what background you come from, I guess. Q0 (talk) 20:33, 5 June 2012 (UTC)