RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive165

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Want some publicity?[edit]

If RW would like some free publicity, Tara Carreon (of Charles Carreon vs The Oatmeal, the National Wildlife Foundation, the American Cancer Society, etc.) has decided they will sue everyone. I think it's reached internet-famous levels of stupidity enough to warrant a write-up here. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:35, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Let's do this. WIGO ALL THE THINGS! Osaka Sun (talk) 17:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
In the middle of writing this up... clicked a WIGO link to just get the second half of the story... crash. Lost the work. I am so annoyed right now. Scarlet A.pngmoral 10:46, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Activist judges![edit]

SCOTUS strikes down 3 out of 4 provisions of the AZ "papers please" immigration law. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:22, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Scalia: "If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State." Because, as we all know, Arizona is a fully sovereign state with a perfect right to use machine-guns to secure its territory against immigrants from Colorado. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:36, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
May I ask: exactly how did this imbecile get on the Supreme Court? Osaka Sun (talk) 22:07, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Even worse, he gets to enter two votes. Doctor Dark (talk) 22:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Do you really need to ask how? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:55, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, they upheld the big one, the one that lets police detain people until they confirm their immigration status. My hope is that they will throw it out after this inevitably gets used for racial profiling, since they plan to re-review it if it's misused. I guess I should be glad I'm white in the meantime? Ugh these people and their xenophobia... Cow...Hammertime! 22:23, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Except they fully disempowered it. Yes, you can racially profile, and yes you can ask to see papers. But you are not allowed to arrest them because if it, detain them because of it, deport them because of it. If they are being charged with a different count, you can insure they are legal with the US, and verify status, but again, you are not authorized to deport, and the detention cannot be made unreasonably longer (a few days to verify status, as I understand it) than the original charge would justify. So yes, it's left in, but despite all the fear mongering today, it's fairly impotent.Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 22:38, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Terry and his merry band of incontinents incompetents are already on the case, with Roseann even going so far as to advocate civil disobedience as a result (although she's pretty thin on what she wants people to actually do or not do). Lovely hysteria on Nick's part too, going to be interesting to see what lunacy Terry decides to toss around in comments. --Kels (talk) 23:54, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
(aside - nick and roseann?)Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 00:04, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
(Nicholas E. Purpura and Roseann Salanitri) --Kels (talk) 00:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Nick Purpura is an insane teapartier of Terry's acquaintance chiefly known for a string of birther lawsuits he enjoys wasting various court's time with. Rose-Ann Salanitri is the would-be power behind the throne of tea partiers, only the people she chooses to "manage" are hapless losers who garner about 12 votes. Mostly from Terry and co. She also writes some occasional frothing lunacy for Terry's site in which she encourages people vaguely towards bombing federal buildings. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:11, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Roseann is every bit as crazy and nasty as Terry. She also believes the world revolves around her. She claimed her and her teabagger candidate were on a mission from God, and had a fit on Terry's blog when they only got 6% of the vote. Ironically he ran on an immigration immunity policy. She should probably go back to writing the awful anti-Pope story she had on the blog once upon a time. It's worse than Terry's sci-fi. PsyGremlinRunāt! 07:08, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Any kind of civil disobedience organised by Hurlbut, Salanitri and Purpura could be one of the most dangerous things ever conceived. Thousands would die laughing. rpeh •TCE 07:56, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Weapons of Mass Derision? --Kels (talk) 16:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
We all want to see them go that route, first just to see if they actually have the cajones to put their money where their mouths are, and second, to see what they actually would do; you know it will be spectacularly bad.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 22:23, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Is the Ark Park becoming a white elephant?[edit]

AiG's ark park is supposed to have started construction already, but they still haven't so much as turned one shovel full of earth. They haven't yet garnered so much as a quarter of the cash they wanted in donations, and the whole project has been slashed back to the bear bones of just the ark itself as a kind of giant roadside attraction. Now they're tentatively putting it out there that the whole thing might be pushed back a year to 2015. Previously the plan was to open in the spring of 2014. Is it too soon to hope this whole thing might blow up in a hideous spray of lawsuits, leaving AiG with a land they have to sell off for pennies on the dollar? I have my fingers crossed. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:04, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Tasty tasty schadenfreude... so, Noah and his sons could manage it, but the well-funded AiG with modern technology at their backs can't. I think this says something. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:21, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
So I'm wondering...The largest wooden boat ever built (of which we have evidence) was 50m shorter and its timber frame sagged so badly that water leaked in through the gaps that resulted. Given their stated intent is to disprove the assertion that the ark was ..." a fairy-tale ship that is unseaworthy and would never be able to protect creatures and people from the ravages of the Flood" I can only presume they are willing to properly test its seaworthiness? VOXHUMANA 10:36, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
With appropriate steel reinforcement. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:54, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Nope, "Under the direction of Answers in Genesis, an all-wood, 500-foot-long (152 m) Noah’s Ark will be constructed." That means no nails, no steel frame... I really can't wait to see this. Who needs structural engineers when you have faith? VOXHUMANA 11:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
They'll cheat. I guarantee it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 11:24, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
"If nails were good enough to put in Jesus, surely we can put them in our Ark!" MDB (talk) 11:27, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Maybe not many of you are aware but the Mormon Tabernacle is built from timber and without nails but at 82 metres is a bit shorter than the projected Ark. However, the original architect thought that he could build it much longer. So perhaps they could just flip the roof and use that instead. Of course the photos of the Ark models that creationist websites have always show it on dry-land rather than floating and I would suspect that any full size repro would be resting on firm foundations. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 11:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Aluminium roof and steel supports these days, apparently. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:58, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I hope they fill it with animals to see how fast the methane will make you pass out. Occasionaluse (talk) 14:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Still their stated premise is to prove that the ark was seaworthy. I'm no marine engineer, but I do believe there is a fairly strong link between "the testing of seaworthiness" and "water". I'm not American so can someone tell me which sea or ocean Kentucky has direct access to? VOXHUMANA 01:06, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Not yet it doesn't... Peter Urist for Mod! 01:09, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Just noticed that Ross McKitrick is being bankrolled by my university[edit]

Found this languishing on the side of my email. Fuck. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:38, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Ross "Fuckin' radians, how do they work?" McKitrick? Does he have tenure? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:46, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
...Yes Osaka Sun (talk) 04:55, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what he was even trying to achieve with this. To the best of my knowledge about climate factors, land use and urbanisation are already taken into account because those directly affect the source and sinks of carbon in the atmosphere - yet still are only a minor aspect of climatology in comparison to the oceanography that you really need to discuss in detail to get a good working model. Explaining "most of it" with economics would make any serious climatologist laugh - and evidently it has. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:18, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the uni was trying to achieve with this either. They know quite well of his antics, and now everyone (and I believe Trent too) has to pay for him in their tax bill. Osaka Sun (talk) 16:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

News Corp.[edit]

Murdoch's News Corporation is officially splitting up its publishing and entertainment divisions. The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 06:15, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Can I has facepalm?[edit]

And lo, the mighty Thunderf00t hath descended from the lofty heights of YouTube to join the ranks at Freethoughtblogs, to much rejoicing if his intro post is anything to go by. And he gets the ball rolling by jumping into a discussion he clearly knows jack shit about, and proceeds to mansplain how sexism at cons ain't no thang, and y'all just need to STFU 'cuz you're harshin' his buzz. But, y'know, he's got a female friend who tells him cons are cool, so nobody needs a harassment policy. Cripes, this boy needs to stick to science, he's good at that. --Kels (talk) 01:48, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Tyfacepalm.jpgТytalk 01:56, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, kind sir. Facepalm --Kels (talk) 02:10, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Is this actually Thunderf00t? He can't write for shit. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:12, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Reminds me of when Taslima joined. Also ^ that. Тytalk 02:21, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Reminds me of TheAmazingAtheist's repellent book.--ADtalkModerator 02:32, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I take that back. Goes too far. This is just unfortunate, not vicious.--ADtalkModerator 02:33, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Topical.--ADtalkModerator 03:59, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, there's a difference between this and TJ's "I hope you drown in rape semen" stuff. Comparing the two not only makes Thunderf00t out to be something he clearly isn't, but it also trivialises exactly how vile and disturbing many of TheAmazingAtheist quotes are. We need to draw a distinction between vicious and misguided misogyny. Confusing the two is as bad as what happened to the Jews at Cordova! Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:24, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Meh, I see a lot of "my anecdote trumps your statistics" and I know what we'd usually think of that here on RationalWiki... (talk) 05:36, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Huh? Anyways, making a post about so-called overreacting feminists while beginning with a kitchen joke...arrogant much? (talk) 06:28, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
He made a video about it....
AceModerator 09:25, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
The world is slowly going crazy. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 10:21, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Can someone tell me why I bothered watching that video, when I knew already it was going to be more "this is why I'm right" and "Dear Muslima" silliness? I want my 3 1/2 minutes back. --Kels (talk) 13:53, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Because you're a masochist? But I'm seeing a pattern here. It seems that some skeptic/atheist makes a comment that misogyny isn't a problem. It's relatively sane and mostly just misguided and based on the fallacy that "I don't see it therefore it doesn't exist". They get flamed heavily for it. This then fires up a persecution complex of sorts ("But I proved it isn't a problem! Why are you saying it is?!?") and provokes increasingly silly responses until 95% of people watching the "debate" simply don't know what the fuck is going on anymore. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:53, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
And people wonder why there's such a low radio of females in the skeptic community. Didn't we have this discussion a few days ago? Osaka Sun (talk) 16:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't know what a "thunderf00t" is, but it looks awfully familiar. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:56, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
What, you don't think male circumcision is necessary to a discussion of sexual harassment at cons? --Kels (talk) 22:03, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Are you denying that it's a major problem? Vile misandry! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:06, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd say it is a major problem, but only on the scale that I say that the "biggest" problems are the ones we don't recognise as problems. And if you're going to have a skeptics convention then you get the most worth out of challenging what you don't see or recognise as problems - rather than just regurgitating the same crap about how creationism is bollocks. Naturally, this applies to... (we bring the derailment full circle! Ta da!) Sexism and sexual harassment, which is viewed as "not a problem". It's the perfect example where, instead of dismissing it or relying on anecdotes we can focus our senses for actual data, and get to the root of the problem and solve it. Which, last I checked, was the entire fucking point of bringing people together to form a "reality based community". But, you know, whatever, preaching to the choir is far easier. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 00:50, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
So is there some strange additive to the water lately, that's making all these rational, nice, generally accepting of women crawl into the muck and try to say "You all just THINK it's bad." (but it's not syria, or saudia arabia, so get over it!) Or another way of putting it - deja vu all over again?Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 04:39, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
If I was being nice, I'd say that you have all these people trained and conditioned to believe that if they can't sense it in any way, it doesn't exist. Or at least if it's not obvious, it's not widespread, so isn't worth bothering with. Don't see it, not a problem. So if you're complaining, you're either exaggerating or making things up. You may call this privilege, though I prefer to more accurately describe it as an observation selection effect. Does falling for this bias make them irrational douchebags? Not in the first instance because I give a lot of slack to people until they prove otherwise, but flaming them for it in a way that they won't be able to relate to (aka, calling them privileged white, heterosexual, cisgendered males with no further explanation of what this actually means) will probably trigger the inner-douche of all but the most Zen-like masters of calm - remember, no-one likes being told that they're wrong! As much as these "internet rationalists" say they love being proved wrong, they still have an in-built resentment against it. I think it's Knight of TL;DR who wrote a very good essay on "being wrong", but it's one thing to say that and another to full embrace it - fuck, it took me two whole thesis chapters to do it in a professional context! So, you have a situation where one person speaking on the subject is perceived as just making a fuss over nothing, more getting getting involved is perceived as molehill mountaineering, and someone who doesn't really want to be proved wrong refusing to back down because they succumbed to such a silly little human bias and eventually end up turning into a raging asshole in a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of way.
The "but it's not Syria, or Saudia Arabia, so get over it!" argument is a different thing entirely, and is a perspective issue. That's wrapped up in the not-as-bad-as argument; but that's far more complicated to address as people's standards for what is a fallacious and what is an acceptable not-as-bad-as argument varies wildly and is invariably hypocritical. Scarlet A.pngpostate 12:50, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

In case people haven't seen it, T-f00t has decided to dig harder, supported enthusiastically by...the MRA brigade mostly. Plus a few people who seem to hate anything PZ says solely because he's PZ. Way to go, TF, you've really made a name for yourself as a rationalist blogger! --Kels (talk) 14:24, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

RW is my "home away from home". Friends and friendly people talking about quasi to actual intellectual things. sometimes just out right silly. If someone threatened this place, it would feel like a bit of a personal attack. So I wonder, when you take your internet site, your atheism, or your rationalism very seriously, an important part of you that you've vested time and money and energy into - is it going to further set you up for this kind of reaction. That is, is Footy really saying "don't call me flawed?" I read what ADK said, and it makes more sense than the fact that suddenly a bunch of guys are just jerks. They are threatened. They wan't to be a good welcoming site, but don't want to address reality cause it means they aren't perfect. so instead they say "nope, nothing to see here"? or some version of that? Sad to see footy dig in. It would be so much easier to say "well, it's how i see it, but i admit, I'm a guy so i'll trust the gals". Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 15:55, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
As a skeptic, I understand, he has repeatedly stated his belief in trusting nothing but hard evidence. He probably sees the practice of trusting people as leading to such disagreeable events as the Salem witch trials. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:09, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Far as I can see, the progression is Do Little Research => Write Misinformed Blog Post => Get Called On Bullshit => Get His Back Up => Receive Positive Reinforcement From Slimepitters, MRA's and People With Axes To Grind Against PZ Myers/FTB/Rebecca Watson/Feminism => Double Down Without Doing More Research. Given it was the first real post on his blog, there really wasn't a community there yet to threaten. --Kels (talk) 16:12, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
He probably talked to a few women that he knows about the situation in the conference scene, got their reports of "the cleanest TAM yet," and, by way of confirmation bias, decided to "trust the gals." Unfortunately, it would appear that he trusted the wrong sort of gals. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:20, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, or he didn't take account of context. "The cleanest TAM yet" seems to imply that there IS a problem but this past year it was less than usual. Which, I gather, is something that McCright, Myers, etc. already said (but the MRA brigade won't mention). But yeah, confirmation bias for sure. --Kels (talk) 16:27, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
"Yeah, this is a totally brilliant conference, not nearly as much elevator-based harassment as last year!" Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
If it were just the one elevator incident, then this whole thing would be getting into the pissing-contest/witch-hunt territory, but it looks as though this sort of thing happens a lot. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:34, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Then the question is, "does it happen more than it does out in the real world?" - it seems to be that everyone agrees no, but then the disagreement goes "well, then it's fine, then, nothing to worry about" vs "even that isn't acceptable, 'cos we're supposed to be better than that." Scarlet A.pngd hominem 16:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Small question here, who says it doesn't happen "as much as in the real world", and what is "the real world?" I'm not trying to be philosophical here, but serious. At Religious Studies conventions, we talked about feeling like it was a meat market, but didn't have the backup in the late 80s to say much. At any convention of lawyers, paralegals taking our courses are targets (well, the young and cute ones, not the 40 and overweight ones, heh) of the assumption that "i'm a lawyer, you're a paralegal, you should expect me to hit on you, accept it, and best, give in to it". So what happened at TAM - why are we assuming it's "better" or "worse", and why separate it from "the real world?"Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 16:46, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
(EC) With the atheist community, though, one has to tackle the question of exactly how much influence is brought to bear here by Puritan prudery writ in secular terms. For example, such prudery has somewhat conflated the questions of whether it is acceptable to diddle a woman without her permission, and whether it is acceptable to ask her permission in a setting such as a bar. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:52, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
From my perspective (as the 18 hotty, not the 40 happy) was that it wasn't an issue of puritanical prudery at all. It was a basic issue of respect. The basic assumption that if I go to a bar after the conference, I'm looking to hook up, and not just have a drink with everyone. That kind of underlying assumption is what I hear from many women in academics. (never been to an atheist convention, or a free thinkers' one.) Cons from men to men are places to exchange ideas. But women step into the discussion, and you get looked over, and the mood instantly shifts. Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 17:00, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
That prompts the question of why it is not acceptable to ask a woman in a bar, "Are you looking to hook up?", so as to obviate any requirement for assumptions. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:12, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Cause it makes us feel like meat. Cause it makes us feel like the only thing that matters to men is sex. How hard is it to walk into a place and assume no one is there for a hook up, boy or girl. Trust me, if you really are, then that will be apparent without making every other woman feel like she's just a "good time" for whatever guy is looking.Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 19:20, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry to move the goalposts, but I was actually using "acceptable" in the social sense, not the moral/ethical one. To rephrase: Why would a man be afraid that if he asked that question, he would be answered with immediate rejection and, possibly, a kick in the gonads?
Cause it makes us feel like meat. Ignoring the false generalization — this meat-like feeling is not on account of the lingering effects of Puritan prudery, according to which people who would answer "yes" to that question are evil and focused on the flesh, and all good people who are focused on the spirit must answer "no" instead?
How hard is it to walk into a place and assume no one is there for a hook up... This would require cramming one's head up one's large intestine, seeing as how many people do go to bars for "hook-ups;" this is one reason why gay-bars were started, to eliminate confusion as to exactly who is seeking to "hook up" with whom. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────This is how it works if you have loads of nerds packed into one place. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:54, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Of course, in reality sexist behaviour in comic shops is a pretty active topic among female fans. One reason why a lot opt for digital or other alternate services. But since that's not the point of all this, it's sort of off topic. --Kels (talk) 20:17, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Replace "comic shop" with "convention." My basic point is: Loads of undersexed nerds + large dash of privilege blindness + already existing gender imbalance == Recipe for trouble. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:27, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Kels, I'd argue this is exactly the topic. The fake dichotomy Thunderfoot makes about "the real world" and Conventions, and the fact that women feel sexualized pretty much everywhere. Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 20:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Point. I was just a bit too sensitive to derailing, I guess. --Kels (talk) 20:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Okay, wow. Apparently Tf00t decided to add jerkwad to assholery by stealing an image, then acting like a childish little shit when asked not to. No wonder he's against codes of conduct, he clearly values doing whatever the fuck he wants over other concerns. Like, you know, not being an asshole. --Kels (talk) 20:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Didn't I say this was going to get increasingly ridiculous?
Anyway, to answer a point buried at the top, I was simply saying that the line of thinking appears to go that "there is a background level of this misogynistic crap, if the conference/convention has the same level (I never said people were claiming it to be less) then it doesn't matter". Which is ab-fricking-surd, the "background level" isn't the same as "acceptable level". The point is to be damn well better than the "background level" if not entirely beat the background level into submission. Say, 1 in 1000 people get mugged on average per day, and your convention attracts 1000 people. Then 1 mugging isn't worth bothering about? Right? Fuck no. You aim for 0 and anything else is unacceptable because you want the best damn environment possible. If that means reiterating to people that "hey, dudebro, don't be a dick to girls in bars" then so be it. Scarlet A.pngbomination 21:22, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Being "just like everywhere else" is setting the bar WAY too low. --Kels (talk) 21:31, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Not just that, it's implying that levels of harassment that's worse than "the normal" is what you expect to happen as the default level! And I think it's this implication (never explicitly stated, and I doubt it's even meant as such) that everyone takes the issue with. Scarlet A.pngtheist 22:04, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Thunderf00t what I don't even[edit]

Since when is a post full of all-caps, bold text and general hair-pulling a plea for rationality? This gets more unbelievably dumb as things go along. Entertaining, though. --Kels (talk) 15:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

It is. I wonder if it will last until McCreight gets back from vacation. Тytalk 15:23, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
This no longer seems to be even about the original issue. These people need to just step away from the keyboards and go back to laughing at fucking creationists. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:27, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
He's still at it? good lord. there are far better things to do in life. take the dog for a walk, pet the cat, eat some ice cream. --Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 15:28, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I can see "...apart from I never said I thought you thought sexual harassment at conferences was the single most serious problem..." basically summing it up. It's all people going back and forth saying "I never said I thought you thought I thought that you thought I thought you thought that I thought you thought..." STOP THE MADNESS! Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! There's entertainment value to the soap-opera-ness of course, but it's still sad to see someone ostensibly a crusader for rationality and science and all things good falling to the level of screaming and hair-pulling because they JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ME, WAAAAHH!! --Kels (talk) 15:39, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
While I am an advocate that passion and rationality are very able to go hand in hand (It is not fair to dismiss a person as 'irrational' for being mad about something, one does not have to be Spock to make a good point) this is a bit ridiculous. In the same way I don't read fanfic with a SUMMARY IN ALL CAPS TO GET MY ATTENTION, I am not that enthused about reading this either. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRfree guybrush threepwood! no new taxes! down with porcelain! 16:03, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I read some definitely passionate writers who definitely get worked up over their material. But none I can think of that resort to the sort of things TF00t has been tossing around the past couple of days. I get the impression he doesn't read his own stuff critically before he sends it out, but rather just assumes it's full of great pearls of wisdom that no one could possibly find fault with. Which I guess would explain the freakouts when people actually find fault. --Kels (talk) 16:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with passion and emotion supporting rationality, or the other way around. It's a false dichotmy. Tfoot seems to be losing good allies and making the wrong friends, at least from teh "bottom half" writers.Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 16:25, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I kind of wonder how he'll recover. I don't really like him on youtube this much, but man... this is a pretty heavy blow to him and it's all his fault. His thing is that he tries to put himself forward as a Smart Guy, but this just flies in the face of all of that. Like any other celebrity, internet celebs work off their image and his is going to take quite a few shots from this, especially if he can't be respected by other people that would have been considered his peers. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlavishly loquacious 16:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
It'd be a pretty spectacular turn around to dig himself out of this one. The best course of action is to draw a line under it and say "this is done". Who does that? Well, whoever is brave enough. This spat is looking better for TF's CV than PZ's that's for sure... or it could be an elaborate troll to draw people to ScienceBlogs and publicise the sexual harassment issue? Wishful thinking, I know... though anyone fancy pulling that stunt here? SEXISM ON RATIONALWIKI DOESN'T EXIST!!! IT'S FINE TO ASK FOR NEKED PICS ONLINE!!! HURR!!! COME ON FEMINAZIS, COME AT ME!! Anyone? No? Dust. Anyone? No? Dust. Anyone? No? Dust. Anyone? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 16:51, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Were we really expecting all that much from YouTube celebrities? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:39, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

YouTube celebrities who have successfully dealt with a lot of creationist bullshit over time and form part of a great resource for learning and sharing ideas. I don't think the medium is the most efficient, but it has its benefits and shouldn't just be written off. But I suppose this is no more different to RW's HCMs. RW has done gone stuff in highlighting bollocks, and its authors are at each others throats constantly. Just not quite with such a big audience putting in their oar in the comments box. Scarlet A.pngbomination 17:44, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't mean to write it off wholesale, but remember what that Scientology cult has to say on this. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:48, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
It's another one of the people who thinks that because he defines him self as "rational", anything he thinks is correct - and universally so. Rationality is a way of dealing with data, it says nothing about the date itself. Two equally rational people could read the same text and walk away with equally rational ideas about what it means, and how to deal with it - due to their life experiences, their personal views, their morals etc. Thunderfoot is just one more in a long line of "how can I be wrong? I'm an atheist and fight against creationism".Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 18:03, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Two different ideas? B...b...b-b-b-b-b-bbb-b-b-bbb-but!!! Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
To be fair, I was wondering at the start how a YouTube celeb like Thunderf00t would adapt to the much less visceral medium of text. I'm disappointed that the answer is "poorly". At least he's stopped peppering his posts with "amusing" graphics for the moment. --Kels (talk) 18:14, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
^Interesting^. I have always thought that to be a *good* blogger takes not only tons of talent as a writer, but lots of thought before you start writing. I can babble with the best of them. Doesn't mean it's something anyone will want to read, much less be challenged or inspired by. I suspect TF has fallen into that 'it's easy". It doesn't mean he could not write a good blog; it means he hasn't yet tried.Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 18:26, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Ugh. Re-read the first paragraph of Tf00t's original post ("It’s kinda obvious in many ways, a good argument stands on its merits, not on how many times you can call someone a misogynist" etc.) then look at how many times in the last post he says "learn to read PZ" or "admit you never read my blog" or "your professional integrity is at stake". He's just descended into a (very childish) version of the same name-calling he started out dismissing. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:39, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I suppose what Yudkowsky is sort-of talking about there is how do you test for actual rationality, when it's so easy to appear so just by noticing what other skeptics do and don't believe in. It appears to require stepping outside everyone's comfort zones - and at least trying something new, rather than just reiterating "HOMEOPATHY DOESN'T WORK!!!" like a moron who isn't quite aware of why a double-blind test is required (Another of Yudkowsky's pointing this out). The whole sexual-harassment-at-conventions issue is relatively new, and no one really has dealt with it conclusively yet. This *ahem* "exchange" is result the result of not having a Party Line to fall back on. Although those read up on feminism do have the Party Line of "call your opponents privileged", but since not everyone is aware of what this actually means (and not least those actually using the term) it's read as a dismissive insult and oooh.... lookie there! Some gasoline, let's find a MATCH! I'd call it beautiful, in its own fucked-up way. Scarlet A.pngbomination 08:33, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Your generosity is technically admirable - EY's actual article is about his ox being gored, at which point he says "you must be doing skepticism wrong." One day there will be an invocation of "pseudoskepticism" that does not immediately follow the speaker being on the receiving end of skepticism, but that post definitely isn't it - David Gerard (talk) 12:59, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I must have forgot to add the part where I think it's an extremely good method to throw at other skeptics for disagreeing with you. To say EY is guilty of that is an understatement, it's pretty much his party trick. Scarlet A.pngbomination 13:14, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
After all, the "rational = agrees with me" trope makes me want to throw my monitor out of the window. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:18, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Lack of jobs and computer tech[edit]

I know one reason why there is no work out there; computers make our jobs so much easier. Trained paralegals 20 years ago had to know how to use Citation Indexes. Now lexis, in a google like search let's us do hours worth of work in minutes. Or the layers do it themselves. To cut back on spending, i was just trained to do our accounting and basic taxes (not the year end review, of course). Cause Quick books has a button "calculate and pay taxes". They younger lawyers type everything themselves, and the Legal extension for MS produces makes the fomate a breeze - hell even gives them templates for half of what they do. So an office of 5 laywers needing about 15 people in the 90s to support it. There are two of us here, for the same 5 lawyers today. And I"m sure this is quite universal. What are all the people in "software replaced" jobs going to go? How does a society adjust for techonolgy? --Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 16:52, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

The same way it adjusted for the Industrial Revolution, I should imagine: shifting people into new sorts of employment. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:56, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The IT revolution is removing the middle classes. The 1%ers are getting richer and richer and there are still jobs flipping burgers and sweeping floors but the middle jobs are either being automated or offshored. Bad Faith (talk) 17:06, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Young people nowadays could do worse than to go into skilled trades (ideally, setting up a company so they can be their own boss). You're not going to call someone in Bangladesh to fix your leaky faucet. Doctor Dark (talk) 17:10, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Hence the reason we have a "service industry" economy.--Green mowse.pngGodotThree words: SALON DU CHOCOLAT 17:15, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
The IT revolution is removing the middle classes... The "middle classes" have been getting "removed" for over a century and a half now, according to certain accounts; but — surprise, surprise! — they are still here. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:20, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Depends whether or not you believe in the Luddite fallacy. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:37, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
There will always be a middle class. The Definition will just change. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:52, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
As long as the middle class remains a beneficial buffer for the upper class to do whatever they want, you're right. Q0 (talk) 18:52, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
It appears that as long as people continue to live in large, organized groupings, there will be a group of people labeled "middle class;" it appears also that as long as there is a "middle class," there will be pinkos attempting to divine its dastardly purpose. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:02, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
As long as the middle class exists there will be Luddites predicting its extinction.--Bonny (talk) 19:13, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah. I see that Mr X Just said the same thing, but mine is pithier.--Bonny (talk) 19:15, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but it lacked the word "pinko" or a word linking to "bullshit". Those are his trademark moves. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:19, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm wondering when we'll see the 'straight-talk' about how all of the poor are lazy, worthless human beings who could easily be successful if they tried hard enough. That, after all, is the underside of all the red-baiting and derision of any mention of 'class' being thrown around. Q0 (talk) 19:40, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
An excellently parroted straw man, but I am concerned chiefly with facts and other objective matters, not with shuffling ideals and other such dreck around — sorting people into "classes" and then acting as if these were real tangible objects, for example, or apportioning blame for social conditions. If you look further up on this page, in the section entitled "Grad school," you will see the closest I come to that bullshit belief, that the poor "deserve it." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:00, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
No one's broken out {{reds}} yet, we're all good. Scarlet A.pngmoral 21:27, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
That short tangential reply to an unrelated subject (predictably) has no relevance to what you're talking about here. But am I right in reading that you're uninterested in "apportioning blame for social conditions"? Are you at least interested in changing what is wrong with those social conditions, or is that whole 'facts and objective matters' talk just a convenient excuse to just leave well enough alone and hope things eventually fix themselves? Surely you can see how cloudy your position looks from the other side. You can't blame me for trying to read into your nonsense, especially when the consistent red-baiting itself begs the question. I mean, really, who the hell still calls people pinkos? Q0 (talk) 21:59, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
History tells us that people who try to fix those problems almost always make an enormous mess instead; most Reds, for example. What were ultimately the most successful efforts — labor-union campaigns and some welfare state measures — were cursed by all manner of radicals for being too slow and too moderate, and they eventually turned out to have their own set of problems.
I mean, really, who the hell still calls people pinkos? I do. It is more accurate than "liberal," since (1) the people in question generally profess some modified form of Marxism (identity politics, for example) and (2) freedom is generally not at the top of their priority lists and they exhibit far more disdain for liberals than for orthodox Marxism. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:57, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── - Back to the original point... Before attributing the "erosion of the middle class" to advances in technology, it might be helpful to look outside the US borders and see if other western economies are having the same problem. As technology is pretty ubiquitous in the west, if this was the cause then you'd expect to see a similar scenario in all the other western countries. As an counterexample, I live in Australia which has near-full employment, 3.5% growth, a debt ratio of 7% to GDP and is currently importing workers to fill skills shortages. As we are experiencing the identical technological shift as the US and other western economies, I'd surmise that the erosion of the middle class in the US is possibly due to other factors. (My own speculation is that it is due to the US moving away from its standard centrist economy to one of 'unbridled free-market capitalism', a philosophy based in the idea that "if we get rid of the police, then all crime will stop"). VOXHUMANA 02:32, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Heh, the free market ain't so free. Unless you consider multi-trillion dollar bailouts, corporate welfare, bribery, and swiss-cheese regulatory schemes a free market. I know some people do, but they need to put the Kool-Aid down. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:03, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I chuckle at our own situation. When the US was removing all fiscal controls from its finance sector during the early '00s, our own finance sector was screaming about how "excessive government controls are restricting our competitiveness". Then the GFC came and now our banks are boasting about how strong they are because "we strongly endorsed the responsible fiscal policy of the government". What bollocks. VOXHUMANA 03:24, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Actually, as someone who has to deal with the information literacy of first-year college students, I can say this it not necessarily true. Yes, you can type something into a search engine and get something out, but it doesn't mean that what you typed in was the best, or that you can critically evaluate what you get out, or revise the search based on getting way too many hits or way too few. Most are too lazy and take the first one or two hits. The tools are different, faster, and in a sense more accessible, but it doesn't mean people are better at using them; if anything, google makes it worse. sterileGoatsforSterile.svgno new information 05:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC) From where I sit, far from it being the middle classes who are under threat when I look back over my life it's the working classes who've had the greatests attrition and the middle classes who've seen the growth. Manufacturing has been decimated in the US and UK and the expansion of tertiary education has greatly increased the middle class. If you're finding that aren't enough jobs for middle class people it's because there's now too many of you. And for all those UK 20-somethings who bitch and moan about not being able to get on the housing ladder then look at your parents and grandparents because they've largely done very well. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 06:51, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

IIRC it turns out manufacturing never was "decimated" but it simply became invisible because of efficiencies from the automation this thread started out talking about. There's a huge factory not far from me. Fifty years go everybody would have known it was there because they'd know someone who worked there. But today because most of it is set back from the road if you point at the big buildings and ask what it is most people living around here say "Airport?" because they don't know anybody who works in the factory so they're not really aware of it. Still makes roughly the same stuff though. Likewise, I live in a port city and loads of people who live in the same city for years don't realise it's actually a working port. "What, a few ferries? One cruise liner a month? That's just for tourists" would be a typical comment. There are miles of semi-automated container and freight docks. But they no longer employ an army of unskilled and semi-skilled labour, because the machines do the boring stuff quietly and efficiently. (talk) 07:57, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I guess I wasn't specific enough, because as you point out it was the labour force that was decimated (I use this in the modern sense rather than the pedantic correct way). But western manufacturing has been affected with clothing, automobiles, ship-building, electronics, etc. being transplanted to low-wage economies. Yes there are still factories around but they are no longer on the scale of 50 years ago and tend to be more specialist or high-end. I worked in factories in the industrial midlands during my summer 'vacations' and they are now all gone. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 09:42, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. The outsourcing of white-collar jobs (mentioned early in this discussion) is small potatoes compared to the massive outsourcing of primary & secondary industry and our reliance on imports from poorer economies for so many of our resources & commodities. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
ship-building (...) being transplanted to low-wage economies
The three major players on the global shipbuilding market are South Korea (37.5%), China (33.7%) and Japan (17.3%). Two of these are hardly low-wage economies. Low wages are not a precondition of a strong manufacturing sector. Germany has high wages, yet its economy is based on manufactured exports. --Tweenk (talk) 00:46, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
South Korea was a low-wage economy when it grabbed the lead in ship-building. The three big ship-builders also have closer access to cheaper raw materials from large open-cast mines. The destruction in Germany and Japan enabled them to start with a clean slate after the war while the UK was strangled by legacy infrastructure and increasingly costly raw materials. Even Japan now outsources a lot of its manufacturing to China. However, the reasons are immaterial, the point is that working class manufacturing jobs in the last 50 years have generally been hit harder than middle class jobs whether it be cheaper labour or industrial automation. ANECDOTE ALERT - I was at a small presentation during an industry conference a couple of years ago and an American manufacturer was emphasising how the cost of their advanced product was offset by a greater reduction in labour costs, the Indian oil company representatives I was with were completely unimpressed as they said they could hire hundreds of workers at a dollar a day. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 21:37, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
As far as the "middle class" vs. "working class" thing goes, it might be partly a semantic issue: in the U.S., permanent blue-collar workers who are unionized, or otherwise make enough money, are called "middle-class." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:48, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Grey aliens[edit]

Pretty much it

I'm on a bit of a ufology kick right now and I'm planning to make an article on greys. What interests me about the subject is that the image - bulbous bald head, black slanting almond eyes - has become the definitive icon for "alien" yet seems relatively recent, so I'm hoping to put together an article about how the trope evolved (the Wikipedia article is a little shaky in this regard). Here are the key moments I've identified so far:

  • Whitley Strieber's book Communion, published in 1987, has a pretty much fully-formed grey on its cover. Right now I'm taking this as the moment when the image of the grey solidified.
  • The aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (released 1977) are pretty much there, although the eyes are smaller and less slanted than in more reent portrayals. Seems likely this is what cemented the image of the grey in the public consciousness.
  • Out of the various alleged abductees who claim to have seen greys, Betty Andreasson seems one of the more influential, and claims that her experiences go back to the 1940s. However, as far as I can tell she only began remembering her abuctions following hypnotic regression in 1977 and 1980, so Close Encounters may have been an influence.
  • According to TVtropes: "The Grey image may have originated with a 1960s book illustrating a conjecture of what humans might evolve into in a million years as a technical civilization: enlarged brain, weakened body, senses and lacking animal or sexual traits. The image began showing up in UFO reports not long after it entered the media." Unfortunately, it doesn't identify this book.
  • A 1964 episode of The Outer Limits involves aliens who bear a vague resemblence to the grey image.
  • The 1961 Betty and Barney Hill abduction is sometimes fingered as the starting point of it all. The drawings that emerged from the case can be seen here; as with the Close Encounters aliens (which may have been based on this image) the eyes are quite different but there's a definite similarity. The same page has a still from a 1975 film based on the incident, showing something much closer to the modern grey.
  • One thing I haven't found: who was it who coined the term "grey"? Balaam (talk) 07:59, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Here's a multi-part Magonia article exploring the Grey trope: http://magonia.haaan.com/2009/varicose-brains-entering-a-grey-area-martin-kottmeyer/. It appears that the Greys are just a distillation of a long trend of portraying aliens as big-headed, bug-eyed humanoids.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:14, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
If you get the Anniversary Edition DVD set of Close Encounters, there's a doco about this very topic. I can't remember off the top of my head, but I think they dated the "grey alien" to the late 40s or early 50s. They also contrasted it with iconic "wolf man" images which had dominated "scary encounter tales" in the decades prior to UFO abductions becoming fashionable. VOXHUMANA 08:18, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
According to this page, the term "greys" was coined by Paul Bennewitz (of Dulce Base fame), though there's no citation given.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:26, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
That Magonia article is on fairly shaky ground IMO, "correlation does not equal causation" and all that. While it is interesting to speculate on who may have come up with ideas that could possibly be related to the modern iconic image, he says nothing of the emergence and embedding of "the grey alien" into popular culture. As with Santa Claus, while you can easily establish that the notion of St Nick has been around for many centuries, the popular culture image of a fat man in a red suit came to us courtesy of an American magazine in 1863. VOXHUMANA 08:35, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
This image is interesting, charting aliens observed over time. There's a clear evolution towards the "Grey" by the late 80s. Although I can't really track down its source for how verifiable it is. I recognise a few of the types and they match up with the dates I know from my "ALIENS ARE TOTALLY REAL" days, so it's probably right-ish. The main trouble is that it's very cultural, IIRC, Grey is primarily a North American thing, much the same way that cigar-shaped UFOs were dominant over saucer-shaped ones in some areas. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 08:41, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain it is an American thing, but of course with evil American Cultural Imperialism™ the image has become somewhat global, at least in the western world. VOXHUMANA 08:45, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things puts the archetypical gray alien as dating back to a television special sometime in the '70s. Don't have the book with me right now, though, so I can't give any more details than that. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:58, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Hmm, think my library has a copy of that book. He was probably talking about the 1975 NBC film about the Hills... Balaam (talk) 19:42, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Dancing is Dirty!!![edit]

Is All Dancing is Dirty! a parody website? Proxima Centauri (talk) 09:47, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

We have an article on jesus-is-savior.com.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:46, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Anyone feel like improving the Jesus Is Savior article? There's plenty of silliness to research on their webshite. Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:43, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Definite parody. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:21, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Last night's Futurama[edit]

Last night's (that is, the June 27 episode) of Futurama parodied the birthers (and American presidential electoral politics in general.) Let's just say Andy has another reason to hate Comedy Central.

Saying anything more would involve spoilers. But watch it. MDB (talk) 12:01, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

ALL HAIL THE HYPNOTOAD! PsyGremlinPraat! 18:12, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Why must people get that wrong? It's ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD there's nothing about hailing. (talk) 19:03, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Libertarian until graduation[edit]

The other kind of LUG. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:54, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

And here we see demonstrated two time-honored truths: (1) people harbor a wide range of ridiculous ideas as students, and (2) most people commenting on Atlas Shrugged have not actually read it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:24, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

That's it, we're moving to Canada![edit]

Here, you can rent my apartment! Osaka Sun (talk) 18:03, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, OS. Now I need a new gut because mine burst. Off to Canada for an operation? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:08, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure they're joking, like when Limbaugh said he would move to Costa Rica. Except for Somalia, I don't think there's a single country where you can escape socialized medicine--User:Brxbrx/sig 18:11, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
These are likely mostly jokes. They have to be. or dear god we are raising some stupid people in this country.--Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 18:17, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
It's Twitter. It's intellectual capacity is second to the brilliance of YouTube comments. (talk) 18:18, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh no, everyone here has started say "eh" at the end of every sentence. That's the last straw, I'm moving to Canada! Scarlet A.pngd hominem 18:37, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I checked the first couple of tweets on that page, and it's pretty obvious both of them were joking. I'd give a Schlafly-esque guess of about 90% of the rest of them being in the same vein. I'd say 100%, but I don't have that much faith in humanity. And even less in Twitter. --Kels (talk) 19:19, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
To be fair, there is no individual mandate in Canada. DickTurpis (talk) 22:23, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I'd say you Canucks should be more worried that the country that American liberals once idealized has now become a country that American conservatives feel comfortable idealizing. That is damning praise if I ever heard it. --CoyoteSans (talk) 23:55, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh so true. (talk) 03:42, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Less than two hours left before final SCOTUS decisions of the term.[edit]

Ohgodohgod I can't even stand this. Affordable Care Act verdict is due in less than two hours now.--ADtalkModerator 12:39, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

I don't really care, but I totally want them to rule in favour of it so I can laugh at the frothing bile that spews from the CNAV crowd for weeks afterwards. It'll be hilarious. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:00, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Chaos on teh innertubez! First, everyone reported the individual mandate was struck down, now saying it will survive but as a tax. Obviously not a simple judgement. rpeh •TCE 14:14, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Yay, I get my wish! Let the cries of MARXISM! DOWN WITH THE KENYAN USURPER! begin. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:15, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
SCOTUSblog's live blog says " The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read.". CP and CNAV are about to go total apeshit. rpeh •TCE 14:18, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Chief Justice Roberts: new hero of liberalism! He voted with the usual liberals on the court to uphold the law. rpeh •TCE 14:19, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Victory! VICTORY! VICTORY!--ADtalkModerator 14:20, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Ginsburg just clarified that she, Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer would have upheld the law under the commerce clause alone, but they joined Roberts in upholding it as a tax. Still no links to the full text. Teabaggers already going mental on Twitter. rpeh •TCE 14:28, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
The traditional "swing vote", Justice Kennedy, begins his dissent with "In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety". Wow. I'd love to learn more about what went on behind the scenes on this one. rpeh •TCE 14:31, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Here's the full text of the opinions. rpeh •TCE 14:40, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

That the thing even had opposition is truly indicative of how the US has fallen. Obamacare has no public option, private companies still get their dividends in the end, but even the slightest shift to covering people gets this knee-jerk reaction? As an outsider looking in, I'm facepalming. It's not the best law in the world, but it's definitely not nothing.
I remember suggesting some sort of "Stopped Clock of the Year" award earlier; Roberts should definitely be a candidate. — Unsigned, by: Osaka Sun / talk / contribs
To be fair, the individual mandate is utterly braindead. It's the kind of thing you'd get if you told Heath Robinson to come up with the most Byzantine, expensive and round-about route to getting most people something they can call healthcare. If there were anything better on the table, everyone should be opposed to this idiocy. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:25, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Of course it's utterly braindead. At one time, it was the Republican counter-proposal to the Clinton proposal for a much more expansive role of the government in health care. (Okay, there are subtle differences, but nothing to justify why the Republicans loved it at one time and now think it's the greatest threat to the American system since... ever.) MDB (talk) 15:31, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Obamacare stays forever, unless the Republicans miraculously pick up 13 seats in the Senate and take the Presidency. By 2014, the law will be fully implemented and very, very difficult to remove. Mr. Anon (talk) 15:56, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

And just like clockwork: ACTIVIST JUDGES! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:50, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
There is no condition under which you can call a decision with Roberts and Ginsburg on the same side, "activist", you flipping Blow Holes. Though I'm still reeling. Not at the decision, but at the make up of the opinion. It's 190 pages, i hear. Not sure i'm ready to read that much.Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 17:08, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
The core reasoning behind upholding the mandate is only a few pages long and worth digesting. Tmtoulouse (talk) 17:11, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm pleased for you Americans that you're a step nearer to getting decent health care. Conservapedia is miserable and stunned. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:27, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
So will all the tea baggers and Right Wingnuts now decide Roberts is some kind of liberal? Or just a traitor?Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 17:34, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Anyone to the left of the John Birch Society is a RINO. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:38, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Gran has already said Roberts is a Commie. Тytalk 17:41, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
There's a big debate at Liberapedia and I can't follow it all because I don't know details about United States politics. US citizens please fill me in. Proxima Centauri (talk) 05:24, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Looks like the usual nonsensical banter you get with Republicans vs Democrats. The 'Omashu Rocks' person is spouting Republican talking points, and honestly just seems like a troll. While you're not missing anything important, I'll just say that if you didn't know, Romney passed a similar healthcare bill in the state of Massachusetts when he was governor. Now that Romney is running against Obama for president, people wonder why he bashes such a similar approach (the answer is that Massachusetts is a left-leaning state in US politics, and now Romney is the top national guy for a far-right party). But all of this takes the debate off of the actual topic of healthcare itself, and much of it is designed for that purpose. In reality, Obamacare is a miserable approach if your goal is actually getting everyone healthy, and the Republican position is not very far from "If people are sick and can't afford health care, let them die". Q0 (talk) 06:33, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
They are already there. --Rutherford (talk) 09:23, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Great, now the USA is only about a dozen steps away from having a functioning health care system. --Rutherford (talk) 09:23, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Christian groups at Orientation[edit]

So, I heard from the people who managed to be awake to go to New Student Orientation startup at 7 am that the Rock (one of several christian groups here) posted people by our table (Secular Student Alliance) to deflect people away. -.- This group also shows up in force whenever Pastor Tom shows up, trying to deflect people from criticizing him. --il'Dictator Mikal 16:18, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

They're frightful aren't they? What did you do about it? --MtDPrematurely Indeterminate 16:21, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I hope your actions involve paintball and/or water balloons. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:43, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

search feature and caps[edit]

I was searching for National Center for Scientific Education, to see if we had an article. I started with "ncse", and then "national center", what I didn't realize is that the caps (or really, lack of them) caused the system to choke. Is there anything we can do so the system can search by miniscule and not require an exact match? I realize one work around can be redirects, but I wanted to make sure there isn't a better answer, first. --Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 18:55, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

Write everything in Chinese. There are no caps in Chinese. -- (talk) 20:20, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
By default everything in MediaWiki is case sensitive except the first letter - which defaults to Capital and is a pain in the arse to override. Wikipedia isn't case sensitive at all at the moment, but you'd have to pester the server monkey about changing it. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 23:38, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Then a bunch of redirects, it is. Cause i really don't think it's a valid assumption that i'm the only idiot who types in small letters, even if something is a title?Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 00:30, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Obamacare will force Americans to have a microchip implanted in them[edit]

From Kent Hovind's blog claiming that by March 23, 2013, all Americans must have a microchip implanted in them thanks to the Obamacare law. — Unsigned, by: Cms13ca / talk / contribs

My only response to this man: "Um, prove it? Where does it say that?" ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRmore at 11 21:19, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Not to mention that assertion seems to conflict with exactly what the proposal was in the first place, and under what changes it was approved. Sounds like this person is exaggerating the OH NOES ITS MANDATORY THE GOVERNMENT IS TELLING ME WHAT TO DO OH NO into full-on dystopian panic mode. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgoing galt: the literal crazy train 21:21, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
And tossing in the requisite "end of the world" "mark of the beast" "number us all" stuff.Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 21:25, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
What, no Obamunist secret police? Man, this law is so lame. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:26, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I for one welcome our new UN Papal Jewish Communist jewish capitalist Obama overlords--il'Dictator Mikal 21:29, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
The origins of this are an earlier version of the bill which called for a registry of implanted devices (eg pacemakers, artificial organs, etc.) so healthcare providers could keep track of them, for recalls and other issues. Somehow that got turned into OH NOES! THE GUBMINT IS PUTTING MICROCHIPS IN ALL US! DickTurpis (talk) 21:29, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Seriously how do people come to these conclusions? I mean anybody with a brain can read what it says so I won't spell out the obvious in that it says nothing about mandating any implant and that the class 2 designation he gives is more the definition for implantable RFID's that may be put into the class 2 category (something that took 1 minute to find) but God!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry for the rant but my mind just stops dead in its tracks when I read crap like this. If I were to go on further this post would be nothing more than grunts, guffaws, and exasperated sighs. Seriously, WTF?!!!!!!!! NetharianCubicles are prisons! 21:31, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
He left out the part where Obama turns out to be a super-cool multi-headed kaiju monster. Then again, some parts of the bible are METAPHORS. Yep. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRmore at 11 21:34, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Isn't Rush Limbaugh now claiming that Justice Roberts was personally blackmailed by Obama to vote with him? Right-wing conspiracy theories are even more crazy than left-wing conspiracy theories. Mr. Anon (talk) 02:12, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
As far as conspiracy theories go that's not all that crazy. Peter Urist for Mod! 02:20, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Could someone do me a favor?[edit]

Go to World Net Daily and check out just how badly they've gone ape-shit over the SCOTUS decision today.

I'm at work, and I don't want to start shouting at my computer. MDB (talk) 15:28, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

There's no frothing opinion pieces yet that I can see. Their news article on it has some truly stupid quotes though, e.g.
Outside the Supreme Court, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, got behind a microphone to declare the decision exposes the president as a liar. “The Supreme Court has made clear that when the president says something, you need to understand that he may be lying,” he said.

Lindsey Gregory of Concern Women for America said she opposes Obamacare because she doesn’t believe that the government has the right to tell her what type of healthcare she should have.
Is that despair worthy enough for you? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:36, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
In which dimension of the multiverse does either of those quotes make sense? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:43, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm still trying to figure out what the Gohmert quote has to do with the price of tea in China.
The Gregory quote... well, Ms. Gregory, if the government shouldn't tell you what kind of health care you should have, then I assume you also don't think the government should tell other women not to have abortions? MDB (talk) 15:53, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
RIMSHOT! Scarlet A.pngpathetic 16:01, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

ROBERTS. John Roberts! Has anyone checked to make sure it's not snowing outside, cause i sware hell just froze over. Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 17:04, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Is is unusually mild for late June in the DC area, but no snow here. Nor have winged swine been cleared for landing at ReaganNational Airport or Dulles. MDB (talk) 17:06, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I take that back. The temperatures are typical for DC this time of year. (And bloody hot tomorrow.) Since I've quit smoking, I don't get to check the weather as often as I used to... MDB (talk) 17:48, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
@ADK: It makes "sense" in the context of American politics, where railing against the stifling oppression of the Feds and Big Gummint telling you what to do is a classic trope. See also the Southern strategy. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:15, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't even make sense-with-scare-quotes sense! Scarlet A.pngpostate 18:33, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I suspect he means Obama was lying about the "it's not a tax" aspect of the penalty. A semantic argument, in any case. DickTurpis (talk) 22:27, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Fresh wingnut outrage for ya. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:35, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

2 Fast 2 Furious[edit]

Today in government incompetence... Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:10, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

One of the more unusual 'scandals' seen in a while, and might be worthy of an article. From what I follow, the ATF was engaging in undercover selling of guns (similar to undercover cops during drug busts) to arrest smelly evil Mexicans illegal dealers, one of the guns was used to kill a US police officer (sparking the fiasco), and now the National Redneck Association is framing it as a war against gun rights?
Also, Issa stated himself that there was no evidence that Holder had any idea what actually went on. Politics... (talk) 16:02, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
It get's even crazier when you take this into account: http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fast-and-furious-truth/Ryantherebel (talk) 19:23, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I'll have to look into it more, but yesterday I was reading a piece about how federal agents' hands were tied because Arizona's gun laws are so lax that it's nearly impossible to charge anyone with gun trafficking. The source may have been of dubious reliability. DickTurpis (talk) 20:47, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
No, I heard on NPR that Arizona prosecutors refused to pursue charges. The whole thing is a mess that will be ridiculed in textbooks 20 years from now. Senator Harrison (talk) 23:24, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
No criminal charges for Holder, but the GOP plans to push the case on civil charges. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:31, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Texas GOP announces intention to end critical thinking skills in schools[edit]

Knowledge-Based Education - We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

The full party platform document is included in this article. This is a bad thing and depressing on so many levels. I'm even having a hard time accepting that this is a real thing that is happening. AntiDeathPill (talk) 02:00, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

The key there is to note the capital letters in "Higher Order Thinking Skills." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:25, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, I think we can safely say the US has now completely lost any claim to be country of preeminent thinkers, inventors and innovators. This sorta shit means 20 years from now the USA will be roughly where it was in 1920's. AceModerator 02:31, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Best classes I've taught were ones where the kids figured out the solutions or the problems on their own. Instead of saying "Native Americans faced the loss of religion as a way to undermine their self confidence so they would not rebel", you ask the students "what is gained, and by whom, if Native Americans have their religion taken away". It not only teaches kids how to approach texts, when the figure out an answer on their own, it sticks. --Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 02:36, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
(EC) No, in 1920 the progressive movement was at the top of its game.
Again, capital letters: they are not referring to actual critical thinking skills, but to a specific fad teaching methodology. The plank advocating the teaching of creationism, on the other hand, that puts us back to about 1850, maybe earlier.
Instead of saying "Native Americans faced... Of course, if the students answer, "The Native Americans benefit, because their souls have been saved," the teacher gets much annoyed that their JAQing off did not produce the intended result... Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:39, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Being in capital letters would make me a lot less worried if it wasn't immediately followed with "critical thinking skills", and in any case HOTS isn't any sort of methodology as it is a fancier term for pretty much the same thing taken from Bloom's Taxonomy. AntiDeathPill (talk) 03:52, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
You might be reading too much into the specific wording; it looks like the Republicans are talking about some re-hash of "outcomes-based education," no matter what label they slap on it. I am more concerned about the reasons they oppose such teaching methods, that they are "undermining parental authority," etc. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:05, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
It's heavily authoritarian and a pure reaction to the idea of 'education promoting liberalism'. It also really does seem to be completely against critical thinking of all kinds as it rails against programs that: "have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs". That's an amazing statement, as it not only claims that people should have fixed beliefs, but that it's okay for young kids to have them before they've even started their education. These are, you'd have to guess, beliefs given to them by their parents, who alone have the authority to brainwash their children. So it becomes apparent that the problem is not 'liberal brainwashing', but 'liberal brainwashing'.
Theirs is a sick, twisted world where facts and objectivity do not exist, and where children are treated like soldiers, set off into the world with fire and brimstone in their minds to fight a crusade against their peers. Q0 (talk) 06:08, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I guess America really is China now, because guess what that culture and educational system does not promote? The "free exchange of ideas" traded the wrong ones: China got our corporatist economic system, and we got their systematic thought repression. --CoyoteSans (talk) 07:52, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I have long had a pet theory that if you replaced official state atheism with official fundamentalist Christianity, a good portion of the American right would think China's system is ideal. MDB (talk) 11:58, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

I hope the rest of the USA Bible Belt doesn't become like Texas. Can we be sure Christian fundamentalists won't try to undermine teaching of critical thinking in more liberal states? Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:20, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

The main aim is summed up pretty much by the second half of that, which is effectively exactly the same thing as saying "we oppose critical thinking skills" without the capital letters. And after all, since when have *ahem* certain people been able to use terminology like this correctly? Scarlet A.pngsshole 09:35, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Steve Novella comments. There's also the whole "gays are tearing our civilization apart! (Lisa!) thing in there. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:09, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Froggies are having a larf, surely[edit]

Apparently under a new French law motorists will have to carry their own breathalysers with them. WTF? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 06:28, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

The fine is 11 Euro. But they take it seriously. wish the US did. for the US, drinking and drinking is talked about - but really it's a way to make money. at least in Colorado.--Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 07:20, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I've nothing against drinking and driving laws and can understand the reasons behind random breath tests, but having to supply your own test kit? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 09:34, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
It's so you can test yourself to see if that glass of wine over lunch pushed you just over the limit. It's actually a pretty good idea. Even if you never use, just having it there, and knowing that it's there, should make you more aware of what you've had to drink before you get behind the wheel.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 09:39, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
It wouldn't stop the stupidly irresponsible people, of course, who get completely smashed and still try to drive. But then again, a lot of people have been convicted of drink driving effectively by "accident" and otherwise aren't bad people, and certainly didn't intend to drive over the limit or felt fine enough to drive but their breath still came up positive. If they can self-test to see if they'd be arrested for it, at least the more responsible ones have a much lower chance of being punished on a technicality. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 10:20, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Why WTF? Seems like a perfectly sensible (if a little draconian) awareness campaign. They're not the breathalysers the police use - simply cheap kits that estimate if you're over the limit or not. They're only about €1 each from the supermarket. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:58, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Might encourage the (false) belief that if you test negative you're safe to drive. The drink-drive limits aren't really scientifically derived, they're arbitrary, the scientific results basically just say "Alcohol makes you suck even worse at controlling heavy machinery than you do normally" and don't draw any magic line. I bet future generations will think mass amateur driving of road vehicles is as bonkers as women not having the vote or the idea of a TV schedule. (talk) 13:05, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Right. But this is about awareness of an arbitrarily chosen legal limit. If France had chosen a zero limit, like some Scandinavian countries, then perhaps they could have chosen different kits or a different campaign altogether. I think criticism of the 50/80 limit is valid (although I don't necessarily agree with it). But while the law stands, it should be enforced. This campaign is, effectively, part of that enforcement. Dismissing it because it might encourage the belief that small amounts of alcohol are OK, ignores the huge progress that has been made in countries that have run effective anti-drink/drive campaigns. France is way behind places like the UK in this regard, and so they are having to introduce somewhat more punchy policies to rid France of drink driving's persistent acceptability. Ajkgordon (talk) 13:41, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
I think encouraging people to not take the risk far outweighs any possible instance that you might encourage people to drink a wee bit and get away with it. After all, people already know that there's an arbitrary limit and chance it anyway. This is there for those who may have gone over that arbitrary limit and not noticed. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:32, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
If I remember correctly though, those cheap breath tests are rather unreliable. There is also the problem, that, if you actually intend to use breath test, you would need a spare in your car, otherwise you'd get fined. Most drivers will just keep one in th car and never use it. --Th. Bernhard (talk) 13:19, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

It's kinda strange[edit]

I have no urge to facepalm at Thunderf00t's latest. I can only really sit in wonder that he thinks argumentum ad YouTube commenters is anything but the stupidest approach ever. This is all sort of like watching a race car drive straight into the wall at the first turn, because the driver though they were on a straight track. You've just got to wonder at the sheer foolishness of it all. --Kels (talk) 23:42, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm starting to think that Thunderf00t's rise to Internet fame was all by luck. Hell, does he want to create another Watson/Dawkins moment? Osaka Sun (talk) 00:11, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
He seriously has a bug up his butt about feminism, doens't he? "the disproportionate amount of time spent on feminism". maybe that's cause they get that equality is an important point for free thought to happen? Just saying....Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 00:29, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Not to mention how he is also responsible for the "amount of time spent on feminism" since he keeps posting about the topic. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 00:33, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
For the life of me, I can't account for his singleminded focus for any reason more noble than "How DARE they not like my post!" I keep hoping that in a couple of days he'll reveal this has all been a big spoof, and he's been trolling the shit out of the slimepitters and MRA's, but that's not very likely. --Kels (talk) 00:45, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Didn't really get past reading the "is it group-think blogs?"... I'd say this is turning into a perfect example of how to not do skepticism on the internet, but it's already that as it stands. Scarlet A.pngsshole 01:06, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
He lost me at "It’s a biological thing". Whut? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:49, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Because the "rationalist community" should aspire to discourse at the level of YouTube comments...? Digdeeper.gif Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:24, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
snicker. Тytalk 05:05, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh burned. Well, it's not the most mature of ways to bow out, but I think it sums the point up nicely. Anyway, I think we're all a lot dumber for this. Scarlet A.pngmoral 11:51, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
I've seen a couple of YouTube comments that were worth reading. Okay, granted, it was me that wrote both of them but... Scarlet A.pngtheist 01:26, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Most of the worthwhile posts I've seen on YouTube are on music-related vids. I've actually learned some interesting tidbits about contemporary music history, etc. --Kels (talk) 01:40, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
We must listen to different music because 99% of the comments I see tend to be along the lines of "this is NOT METAL!!! RARARRARRRRRARRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111" Scarlet A.pnggnostic 01:49, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Maybe he means the video responses to his youtube blog. cause those are about the biggest waste of time logical posts evah!Green mowse.pngGodotFire! Fire! Fire! (please send spare firefighters) 02:01, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
The trouble with video responses is that they suck up 5 minutes of your time. Comments can be read in about 3 seconds and blog posts can be skimmed for the worthwhile content. Hell, I do not envy Scott Clifton having to sift through all the responses he gets. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 18:16, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
The ukulele is not a traditional metal instrument. --Kels (talk) 02:15, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Although to be fair, you can do some pretty hard shit with a mandolin. Some guys I know did a wicked rendition of Metallica's "One" using only acoustic instruments. --Kels (talk) 03:07, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, these guys seems to be doing OK, though theirs is not traditional metal. (Sorry for the bad quality, this was the only version available on YouTube.)--ZooGuard (talk) 07:21, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── - The ukelele knows no bounds. Here's a clip of me playing Frank Zappa on mine. VOXHUMANA 08:03, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

There's rather a lot of punk ukulele out there these days. --Kels (talk) 21:57, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Gah, he's still going on about this. Тytalk 17:20, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Maybe he's one of those "diversity" hires -- they needed someone to fill the "concern trolling about uppity feminists" niche. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:53, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Am I right in saying that this is all he's done while he has been there? Peter Urist for Mod! 20:27, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, minus the intro post. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:41, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
You know, we have an article on this guy. Peter Urist for Mod! 22:07, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Someone with the patience and preferably some pillows strapped to their desk for safety want to write this clusterfuck up? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 23:43, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

A bit of Python[edit]

A little known Python sketch, but totally relevant even today. Appeal for Sanity VOXHUMANA 10:19, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

I read the title and assumed you meant the scripting language. I'm finally dead inside. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 11:58, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
I was going to retort and argue why I prefer Ruby to Python, but then I realised I still had some self-respect. VOXHUMANA 13:17, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
You prefer Ruby Wax to Monty Python? You certainly don't have any self respect. X Stickman (talk) 15:47, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Canada Day, Eh?[edit]

It's not Canada day yet, at least not in Canada...RandonGeneration (talk) 18:41, 30 June 2012 (UTC)✈

To allow for the globality of t'internet all "days" go from 12 hrs (UTC) before to 12 hrs (UTC) after said days. Scream!! (talk) 18:53, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, it's Canada Day up Canada way for sure now, eh? --Kels (talk) 15:43, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

In honor of Canada Day[edit]

I give you the most fucked up version of one of the most famous music Conspiracy theory. Its an interesting read if just for the leaps of logic. I dunno if its a poe, but I found the more .gifs there are on the page, the more likely its serious. --Revolverman (talk) 10:20, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Where is the Canada connection? Anyway, we have a "Paul is dead" article; it might be worth adding the links to that. Not sure if parody or not. The walrus stuff seems pretty far-fetched. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:01, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I dont thats not true really. -- (talk) 11:20, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I want not approve on it. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:24, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
The Canada day thing was a joke, and I thought the most messed up thing was the double whammy of both Paul REALLY dying in north France, and that it was the KKK who did it. --Revolverman (talk) 18:49, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Techno Mass![edit]

With the right drugs it would be awesome! --PsyGremlin話しなさい 11:41, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Verrry Innnteresting[edit]

Looks like doin's a-transpirin' over at Thunderf00t's blog. Comments on all entries are now closed, sometime within the last hour. Guess the hive-mind/femiStasi have enforced their totalitarian will on the only actual freethinker. /sarcasm --Kels (talk) 19:27, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Ha, don't joke, the hive-mind is pretty vicious. Remember that "Science: It's a Girl Thing" controversy a few days back? Well a friend of a friend had the temerity to actually do a little bit of science (what Mark Liberman would call a "breakfast experiment" though I think he must have some pretty long breakfasts). But her findings were that the video actually had the desired effect on a sample from the target demographic. And what do you suppose the reaction was from the various bloggers and other commentators who kicked off the controversy? Did they say "Oh, we were wrong. Whoops. We'll publish retractions"? Ha. Did they respond with their own data showing the opposite effect? Of course not. Did they at least say "Oh, it's more complicated than we thought, we should look at this in more detail and discuss it further"? No, silly, that's not how a hive-mind works. They began demanding her institution silence the "gender traitor". The hive-mind is bad news people, we probably shouldn't be cheering even when it is occasionally on our side. (talk) 20:55, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I dunno anything about it, since I didn't follow those posts (or watch the video). Guess I'll have to take the word of some anonymous person on the internet for it. --Kels (talk) 20:57, 1 July 2012 (UTC)


The more I read and the older I get (yes, I'm very young, but I have experienced something of an evolution nonetheless), the more it seems like radicalism of any form is problematic. Most if not all radical philosophies, be they left - radical Marxism, radical feminism, etc. - or right - anarcho-capitalism, theocratic fundamentalism, etc. - require a black and white, good-versus-evil simplification of the world. Is it ever good to believe that your philosophy is so absolutely the One True Way? Somehow I don't think so. (I'm purposefully ignoring the atheism/theism debate and any forays into philosophy of science here.) Blue (is useful) 02:59, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Unless you're a radical moral relativist... Anyways, the term radical is very subjective. If the world was dominated by a theocracy, couldn't the theocracy be supported but in a nuanced fashion? And as for believing that your philosophy is the one true way, well, duh. That's why it's your philosophy. You're confusing radicalism (a term applied to people with unorthodox beliefs with drastic application) with close-mindedness (refusing to admit that opposing ideologies might hold a glimmer of truth).--User:Brxbrx/sig 03:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I think Blue meant it as 'philosophical fundamentalism', which aligns with your "close-minded' definition. I've certainly heard it used often enough in this context (as opposed to your "unorthodox" definition). With this definition, radicalism is - at least in a sense - the exact opposite of skepticism. To be truly skeptical is more than just a refusal to believe without evidence, it also implies a willingness to be corrected, and to modify beliefs and opinions as new evidence emerges. (In political practice, skepticism aligns with being a centrist or a moderate, which has bizarrely become a pejorative term in American politics.) VOXHUMANA 03:18, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Read Oakeshott's Rationalism in Politics. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:21, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In political practice, skepticism aligns with being a centrist or a moderate, which has bizarrely become a pejorative term in American politics. I disagree with that. I think it's only a pejorative when used by wingnuts and moonbats. To everybody else, being a moderate is a virtue and makes it likelier to get elected. --User:Brxbrx/sig 03:22, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Brx - if that's true then that's great. I only get to see it from an outsider's viewpoint, and we probably get a disproportionate view of the wingbats (the Tea Party certainly made for more entertaining headlines, you have to admit). VOXHUMANA 03:27, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
(EC) As much as I'd like to be corrected if I got any definitions wrong, I never like arguing over definitions. Vox is right that I meant radicalism as philosophical fundamentalism, but as far as I know, most radical philosophies require an absolutist worldview to be believed. Blue (is useful) 03:28, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Blue about the problems with essentialistic and idealistic philosophies, and philosophies that present themselves as the One True Way. But I draw a hard line at ignoring or denying facts, since a fact does not go away when you stop believing in it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:28, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
@Blue, Voxhumana- I guess that as someone with an unorthrodox point of view, I reacted a little negatively to my interpretation of Blue's post. My bad.--User:Brxbrx/sig 03:32, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Manichean philosophies externalize evil, making their proponents infallible (at least in their own minds). The new boss will be the same as the old boss, the utopia will become a dystopia, and the pipe dream of a "perfectibility of mankind" will always fail to be realized. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:35, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I never like arguing over definitions. I once witnessed a pub argument where three people argued loudly over what was meant by "definition". I felt like I was living in a Vonnegut novel. Brx - no harm, no foul. VOXHUMANA 03:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

On a tangent, this reminds me of a speech and debate argument I encountered where arguments about definition were rebutted with a comparison to the UN debating over the term "genocide" and the ramifications of the debate (I think it was occuring at the time of one genocide or another- my memory is fuzzy).--User:Brxbrx/sig 03:41, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
On yet another tangent, am I correct is saying that Manichean philosophies grew out of Gnusticism? (Which as we all know is closely related to Goatism). Oh and Nebuchadnezzar, thanks for the link - I'm reading it now. VOXHUMANA 03:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
GNUsticism? Is that a Stallman saint cult? Do they believe that the only way to salvation is knowledge of the linux kernel and the hallows of free software?--User:Brxbrx/sig 06:54, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
"Radicalism" is often in the eye of the beholder. So here is a definition: "A radical is someone I radically disagree with".--Bonny (talk) 11:17, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
If you're just saying radicals are at the fringe, it's easy to objectively identify: they'll simply accuse anyone in the middle as being part of the far-opposite side. E.g., how the radical feminists call RationalWiki a "manarchist bro-space" while the Men's Rights Activists call us a man-hating feminist cesspool. Come on, guys, it can't be both! So, those two are very clearly on the edges. Scarlet A.pngbomination 11:29, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
It obviously can't be both. But neither side would be arguing that it is "both" one thing and the other. You are effectively putting the objectors in the same box and saying "you can't both be right therefore you are logically inconsistent". But neither would argue that the other side was correct and so would (rightly) maintain that there was no inconsistency in their individual positions. I would would argue that they are both, in fact wrong - but your "it can't be both!" argument does not demonstrate this; it only demonstrates that at least one of them must be wrong. Furthermore a position at or close to the edge does not have to be wrong - you are toying with the balance fallacy there.--Bonny (talk) 13:28, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
No, that's not the balance fallacy at all. It's saying that if you piss off two opposing idiot fringe groups, the odds of you being right begin to skyrocket. Scarlet A.pngtheist 13:56, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh for crying out loud, there are definitions for all the words you people are using.
  • Radicalism is the belief that either society or the value system beneath it have to altered. Radical comes from Latin radix, meaning root. In the beginning of the Modern Era, before the Enlightenment, the notion that people have rights was "radical", back then Classical Liberalism would have been "radical" as much as today democratic socialism is. "Radicalism" itself has no identity, but can only describe and ideology relative to the society that ideology exists in.
  • Extremism is equally as much a relative term, describing a ideology that is far from the center of a society. A third-wave feminist is an extremist in Saudi-Arabia, but at the political center in Denmark. Extremism!=Radicalism
  • Fundamentalism, even though it is often seen as only religious, can very much be philosophical as an adherence to one specific dogma. It is called this because this dogma is fundamental to how people wish to construct such a society. Fundamentalism as the only one of the three is not relative. And once again: Extremism!=Radicalism!=Fundamentalism
Let me give you a rundown here: Communism as a political ideology is radical (relative to Western democracies) and extremist, but not fundamentalist - the many different splits in Communism can't be generated by one dogmatic belief. Modern Liberalism in China is radical (transformation of society) but not extremist nor fundamentalist. American Judeo-Christian Ultraconservatism/Revisionism is not radical, but extremist and fundamentalist. Green Economism (wanting a clean green economy) can be regarded as radical, depending on what your defintion of society entails, but it is not fundamentalist nor extremist in Europe - it migt be in Mississippi. Minarchism may or may not be radical, but it is extremist and fundamentalist (the dogma being freedom till you hurt someone), but anarchism is all three, radical, extremist and fundamentalist. --Rutherford (talk) 14:15, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean --- neither more nor less." Scarlet A.pngd hominem 15:07, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The point is valid though. You can factually identify the problems in a society, and come to the conclusion that radical change is needed, all without setting in stone exactly what the ideal result should be. For example, Marxism is, more than anything else, a rational critique of capitalism. Most people identify with it not because they think communism is the answer to the world's problems, but because they think a radical transformation of the capitalist structure is needed. In fact, if you ask around, you'll find that a good portion of Marxists had most of their ideas about the world long before they ever picked up Das Kapital, and as a result they vary widely in opinion on specific topics, despite all being radicals. Q0 (talk) 18:09, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that's what Blue meant by "radicalism." As Marx once said, "what is certain is that I myself am not a Marxist." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:15, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

I don't know if this was mentioned above, but certain ideas that were considered as radicalism in their day--that women should be able to vote, that people shouldn't be property, that nations should have the right to self-determination, that workers should have the right to collectively bargain their salaries and working conditions--are pretty much what we take for graanted as the way the world ought to be. Theory of Practice Peer-reviewed articles for everybody! 21:31, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

There is a difference between deciding that the world needs to change at its roots and crafting a prescriptive plan for an exact direction that change should take, the latter of which seems to require reductionism and dogmatism. Blue (is useful) 03:09, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
TheoryOfPractice, since when have national self-determination or collective bargaining been radical ideas? The radical parts were the methods of the people advocating for them for specific populations at specific times, as well as certain other beliefs those people held. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:31, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't know about that. Even in this day and age, both involve some sort of anti-capitalist overhauls: on one hand you have a country telling some corporation to screw off the land; on the other you have workers elevating themselves to a much more equal status than they have otherwise. They're also still considered extreme, and I disagree with TheoryofPractice that they're taken for granted. In the US, union popularity is the lowest it has ever been, which says a lot since membership has never really been above 1/3 of private sector workers anyway. As for self-determination, look at the demonizing that goes on whenever a Latin or South American country decides it's actually going to nationalize some of its natural resources. Hell, look at Africa for that matter. Q0 (talk) 20:27, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Specific populations (South Americans, Africans). Specific times (this century). Certain other beliefs held by the advocates (socialism). The guilds were a form of collective bargaining, and there is also a very long tradition of people being fine with national self-determination — even if that rule is selectively applied so as to justify imperial ambitions. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 20:39, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I should have put it this way: they're radical ideas where it matters. Objecting to American self-determination is meaningless, when it can do what it wants either way. The idea that all nations have a right to self-determination has to be judged squarely on those nations which don't have the power to do so in the first place. In essence, it's more like saying that the weak have a right to not be controlled by the strong, which in foreign affairs remains an extreme and radical position to this day.
As far as guilds go, I'm going to settle on Adam Smith: People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.. Q0 (talk) 01:26, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Radicals insisting on consistent application of ideals that their opponents hold (even nominally) tend to accomplish more than radicals pushing altogether new ideals.
Objecting to American self-determination is meaningless, when it can do what it wants either way. Overestimating one's own abilities is called hubris; overestimating the abilities of one's enemy can be just as problematic. The U.S. is far from omnipotent.
...which in foreign affairs remains an extreme and radical position to this day. You are confusing the "is" with the "ought." Yes, strong countries strong-arm weak ones all the time, but the mainstream position is that this is not a good thing; Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights does not say, "All peoples have the right to rule those weaker than themselves."
I can see how the Adam Smith quote would apply to guilds and unions (with the possible exception of the Wobblies and other "One Big" outfits), but surely that is the very definition of collective bargaining? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:58, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
When I refer to foreign policy matters, I'm speaking in terms of the people who are actually making the decisions. Certainly, the sentiment of national self-determination is widely embraced around the world, but those in position to follow through with it have almost always seen things differently (usually with imperial ambitions, as you said earlier). The UN and international law are essentially useless when dealing with the larger military powers, who continue to get away with whatever they can. I'm not trying to say any nation is without limits on its influence; I'm simply pointing out that it's all a power game to the people in control. Ideals like peace, freedom, democracy, and self-determination only come into play when they're convenient. So, for a country like the US, Russia, or China to completely allow every other nation to take its own path would be an extremely radical move.
For an almost-comical example, look at how the US treats Cuba. A 50 year embargo, for what? Because they nationalized foreign holdings, and then sided with the USSR when the US got upset? Because of the communist specter? That doesn't explain why relations existed with the USSR the entire time, and why things have come as far as they have with China over the last 40 years of trade. It's clear: The US is strong, and Cuba is a weak country in the American 'sphere of influence'.
And the difference with collective bargaining is that it's not a conspiracy against the public - it's a conspiracy by the public. Q0 (talk) 05:31, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Ah. Realpolitik is indeed the philosophy of most serious decision-makers.
...it's a conspiracy by the public. How is a carpenters' local any more "the public" than the Worshipful Company of Carpenters or anyone else? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:57, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Their goals are what set them apart. A guild generally had the interests of a few in mind, while labor unions have historically had the interests of the many in mind - even when they're extremely small in scope. Consider two questions: "How are workers coming together to obtain better wages going to negatively impact the public?"; and "How is a guild going to negatively impact the public?". You come up with very different answers, no? Q0 (talk) 07:00, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
No, answers look the same to me. They're both looking after a relative handful of people and don't give a shit about the "public". The behaviour of transport unions in the UK is illustrative with the most egregious example being the TGWU striking to protect shift patterns for signallers and calling this a "safety" issue but not specifying that the union supported the less safe option... In their heads of course the workers are justifying it to themselves as not really a safety issue. They aren't monsters, they wouldn't throw a little girl under a train to fill their wallets. But replace a specific little girl with a statistically elevated risk of a fatal train crash due to lucrative but dangerous working practices and suddenly it's a different story.
I spent some of last week reading the report from the Herald of Free Enterprise. As usual for a serious accident there were a great many failures, albeit in this case the most serious was quite a doozy. But the recurring theme is that people individually didn't give a shit about safety, they were focused on getting theirs, right up until the ship actually sank and then suddenly they're all heroes and putting their own lives at risk to save other people. Board members, captains, officers, crew, shore workers, all knew the Herald was violating safety rules, all had opportunities to improve things personally and didn't take them, all kept quiet rather than tell the authorities, and all stood to benefit from the continued violations. You will be entirely unsurprised to learn that along with not taking any action themselves, and not informing the authorities, the union members on the boat never considered any sort of industrial action. Today the union wrings its hands, blaming governments, the ferry company, anybody but its own members who were in the perfect spot to prevent the tragedy. (talk) 11:18, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
Sure, you can find examples of unions getting to the point where they lose their original purpose, or becoming too short-sighted, but you can't just ignore the long history of labor organization supporting policies that benefit the majority of the people, rather than just the few. And yes, many unions have fallen along this path, staying in league with companies' profiteering tactics just so they can get a cut for themselves. In this way, they become just another cog in the system, aligning their ideals with their employers, and taking things far away from actual collective bargaining (which is what we're really talking about here). They're basically a second - less powerful - board of directors for many companies.
You can also disagree, but I would argue that any increase in pay for specific workers is an overall improvement, especially when you're talking about somewhere like the US where CEO pay is ~400 times that of the average worker. Q0 (talk) 20:41, 29 June 2012 (UTC)
There is not much difference: with either a guild or a union local, you have a group of people in a particular trade banding together to attempt to set the price they receive for their work. Their motivations in so doing, and the history of groups they identify with, are irrelevant. If they can most easily raise their wages by a way that benefits the public, they probably will; but if the easiest way involves fleecing the public, they will probably do that instead. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 00:57, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── "..their work." - With a guild it was usually not their work, but the work of their hirelings or apprentices. Q0 (talk) 23:45, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

The notion that trade unions somehow harm the public by being egoistic is ridiculous and speaks of a bad understanding of economics. When, in the simplest case, they demand higher wages, a good percentage of the surplus will be taken away by the government by a method known as "taxation" (1), as with most other things private citizens are positioned worse than companies, making it more profitable for the state to have higher wages than companies with high profits. Also the rest of the money will be invested back into the economy creating new jobs for other (2) who will again create a tax increase (1) (repeat this circle ad infitum with numbers approaching zero). A government equiped with more money is — if effective — not only creating jobs (back to (1) and (2)) but can also raise the standard of living, e.g. by creating parks, deeping the education system (which will in the long run help the economy) or creating new businesses by subsidies, own demands or general welfare. Before somebody throws the word "biased" at me, the same is true for companies.
Generally speaking, in the department of people messing up, in theory the company looks after it's profits, the union after their members and the state after its citizens by the means of regulation. If all three are good on paper, than those on ground didn't do their jobs. In many cases those that didn't (or often couldn't) are the public servants employed by the government to garanty the best safety. In many cases this is caused by underfinanced government agencies, underfinanced because somebody (guess who) lobbyed for smaller government. In these case the government couldn't do any better and the ones at fault are the companies for trying to change the rules in the game they were playing themselves. In many other cases people simply messed up, and as bad as that is, it happens. If there is a systematic error, one of the three parties isn't working well enough, more often than not it is the state. --Rutherford (talk) 01:02, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

The Smoking Gun[edit]

Anyone encountered this site before? The WP article about it paints it as some sort of Wikileaks style lifting-the-lid site, but the main attraction seems to be this voyeuristic gallery of police mugshots, apparently obtained through freedom of information requests, where Facebook users can snigger at the arrestees' tears & bruises, and idly speculate about what the got arrested for. All rather distasteful & depressing. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:49, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

I don't know about anywhere else, but here in Maricopa there's a weekly newspaper of arrests, convictions, and registered sex offenders, featuring mugshots.--User:Brxbrx/sig 18:14, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
The Smoking Gun is a favorite of a relative of mine who was once a cop. Тytalk 21:53, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
I tend to go there for the contract riders for musicians. Agreed that the mugshots are definitely voyeuristic and weird. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 22:11, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
I've had a nose at it in the past, just for fun, but the last time must have been about two years ago. I don't think they had mugshots then, nor was the background red. Sometimes websites get tackier over time.--Spud (talk) 13:20, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
That place has been legendary in its time. As far as Internet phenomena go, it's fairly ancient now, actually. But they have had some amazing scoops. That seems to be in the past, though, as it's been years since I've heard it mentioned respectfully.--ADtalkModerator 12:37, 2 July 2012 (UTC)


Is Luminosity good Science or Pseudoscience? Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:04, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

You probably mean Lumosity.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:08, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Pseudoscience. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:16, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
(ec) Another one of those "brain training" things? I don't know about this specific one, but in general the same benefits can be had from something like doing a crossword puzzle or reading a book. It's like the intellectual version of bottled water -- a way to sell you something that you used to get for free. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:17, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
So, Brain training games? :)--ZooGuard (talk) 19:22, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
It would be a good article, though there's a range from rank pseudoscience like Brain Gym to the more "bottled water" types that do have some effect but are massively over-hyped. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:31, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
The idea that you can permanently alter neuronal structure to improve specific areas of general cognitive abilities is just not true. There are a handful of things, such as the dentae gyrus/hippocampus with very significant neuronal genesis and turn over that might be more susceptible to training like this (ala the London taxi cab work in the 90s) but is very limited. Hell taking something like the transcranial magnetic stimulator and specifically working a brain area for hours with a long term potentiating procedure has at most about a 24 hour effect. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:35, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
"The idea that you can permanently alter neuronal structure to improve specific areas of general cognitive abilities is just not true." I'm not disagreeing with that, I'm just noting that there's a wide range of claims made for different types of these products. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:52, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I thought that they were supposed to enhance cognitive reserve, and it was my understanding that cognitive reserve can be enhanced. I'm not saying that these products achieve that goal, but the objective might not be pseudoscience.--Bonny (talk) 13:26, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

MediaWiki extensions?[edit]

Could someone point me to the extension list installed here? I'm planning to port some of my work to a new wiki, focused on military and political topics. I'll run it for now, although I'm investigating sponsors. My ISP will provisw bare MediaWiki hooked to the database. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 21:13, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Try here Scream!! (talk) 21:19, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I am running a co-op VPS with several wikis (RWW for example) and a few other projects. Its about $10 a month to jump in, have a few spots left. Full shell access, install whatever is needed, and I can help with tech support. Hit me up if interested. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:22, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks very much! Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 15:27, 2 July 2012 (UTC)


Hi! I'm D'Arcy. :)

I have a few queries. I'll try to be succinct.

I would consider myself quite intelligent, generally speaking. However I don't have specialized knowledge in a proportion of the subjects routinely addressed on this website. Nevertheless I would absolutely *love* to contribute in some manner, as I am an ardent votary of the aforementioned subjects (e.g. Science, psychology, philosophy, topical criticism, evolution, astronomy etc.). My aspiration is to eventually become a philosophical writer, as well as a metaphysical poet of sorts, haha. So, concluding the pretext, I'll move onto my inquiry. Would it be feasible - and permissible - if, for the time being, I contribute essays and poetry? I'm eager to inject a little artistry into RW, a juxtaposition of unsullied logic and human expression. I should qualify that these submissions will *not* merely constitute hoary diatribes with no novel insights whatsoever... I'm thinking more along the lines of my experience of existing, and the various cognitive trajectories I've traversed and the recesses of consciousness, ha ha ha :P. I write in both styles on a daily basis, and have done so for many years, so it is my belief that my material would be sufficiently cogent, riddled with existential pensées, and undoutededly tangential and the ebodiment of rampant parataxis. The preceding meander that commenced with the intent to be concise illustrates this brilliantly. :P

Aaaaaanyway, I hope you consider my pitious obtests, my destitute entreatments, while I weep silently in the Stygian inner sanctum of my obsidian heart.... :P

Peace and love, Kalokagathia (talk) 03:53, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

We have an entire section of the wiki dedicated to essays, just write Essay:whatever the title is for the page name. Тytalk 03:58, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
We do, however, frown upon people using the essay space for free hosting without otherwise contributing to the Wiki. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:00, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
And do not take the frown of ListenerX lightly. It is a frown to end all frowns. One which will shake the foundations of society to its very core, rendering all who behold it a mere hallow shell of themselves, forever trembling beneath the pall of darkness that will encompass them 'til the end of times. Or something like that. DickTurpis (talk) 04:09, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the prompt replies guys! I apologise if I came across as kinda arrogant in the original post, i have a propensity towards unconscious, bovaristic flights of fancy. ListenerX, I thought that might be the case. As such I was wondering if anybody could assist me in where to start with more orthodox editing. I have encountered several pages with syntactical issues, so I will be correcting them as I go - I am passionate about grammar! Returning to my plea form heavenly succor re: assistance, I understand the logistics and technicalities of article editing from my erstwhile Wikipedia membership, however I wouldn't really know where to begin as I said. Although... now that I'm deliberating on it, I recall a couple of articles with lacklustre references, or none at all (excluding the fun pages, etc.)... so perhaps I've answered my own question. Perhaps something more substantial when I've settled in? I dunno... I feel like a floundering fish every time I join a new wiki! xD Once more, thank you! Incidentially, where can I find your citation policies? Kalokagathia (talk) 04:22, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

here, fwiw. Тytalk 04:26, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Have at the grammatical issues. Just keep in mind that the preferred style here is "short and to the point," so that the casual reader does not doze off halfway through an article. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:30, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
You just have to go and kill my best insomnia cure, don't you? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:32, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Just get Listener to explain what's wrong with modern socialist policies, puts me right out. --Kels (talk) 04:38, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Also bear in mind that this is an international site and that we have editors from all across the English-speaking world so do not try "correcting" spelling differences without discussion. By and large use US spellings for US topics and British spellings for British topics. For generic topics stick with the spelling conventions of the original editor. Aim for consistency within a page rather than across the wiki. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 07:58, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
And welcome to RationalWiki, by the way! We're glad to have you. Look around and learn, and maybe something will inspire you to contribute or you'll see some mistakes that need fixing. I am interested to see the artistry you will inject here.--ADtalkModerator 12:26, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Why not just write an essay and see what the response is? You'll soon realise if you're on target on not. :-)--Bonny (talk) 13:19, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

And yet more catholic sex abuse...[edit]

I just watched this hour-long report on ABC TV here (that's the BBC or PBS equivalent here in Australia). Despite having heard SO many of these stories over the years, this one still managed to shock me because of the indisputable evidence of active Church complicity in a cover-up. Meanwhile a government inquiry is underway examining 40 suicides attributed to priest sexual abuse. I can't even get snarky about this, it's just horrifying. (On the bright front, the uncovered evidence may lead to criminal charges for those involved in the cover-up). VOXHUMANA 11:30, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

I know someone who refuses to accept that there's some kind of cover-up of any kind. Apparently the Church can do, and has done, no wrong in this matter. *Sigh* Scarlet A.pngsshole 12:34, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
The TV report made reference to some American bishop (or some rank) that had recently been imprisoned for participating in a cover-up. I wasn't aware of the details, but I'll try to find it. If the Australian cases lead to criminal convictions that will be a good start. The evidence was incontrovertible, they had uncovered official letters with dates and signatures where they discussed how to 'best protect the church', while giving detailed accounts of the abuse (one explicit account of forced oral sex with a young boy is termed as "an act of misconduct"). VOXHUMANA 13:19, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

There ain't no cure for gay[edit]

Looks like Exodus International is walking it back, at least on the "we can cure you" front. They're still a ways off from reality yet, but at least they've stopped pulling in the opposite direction. Going to be interesting to see how the Usual Suspects deal with this shift. --Kels (talk) 15:54, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Frothy and anti-Catholicism[edit]

A bit old, but a great piece on why this whole separation of church and state thing exists in the first place. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:36, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

Obamacare redux[edit]

I'm curious. The only argument I seem to hear coming from the right is "but... but... mah liberty!" and rumblings about Marxist Obama. Has anybody put out any sort of economic figures that show if it would be good or bad for individuals? --PsyGremlinSpeak! 14:54, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

I think the real arguments against it are opposition to being told by the government you need to have something, which I get, though I also get that it's an essential part of the rest of the system working. This is why I favor single payer, in which health care is another service provided by the government, for me if I want it, but not forcing me to have/buy/do anything. Also, there is the question of cost. You can't provide health care to 30 million people without it costing someone more. How exactly it works is confusing, and I admit I don't understand where all the money is coming from. However, unlike a lot of shit, this is something worth spending money on. These's also fear (not unfounded) that all these millions of new people on the insurance rolls will strain the system. This isn't an argument against Obamacare as much as an argument that poor people should be kept away from doctors at all costs so they don't get in front of me when I need to see mine. It's about the most un-Christian approach there is, and one the fundies are all over. DickTurpis (talk) 15:08, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
"...but not forcing me to have/buy/do anything." The whole point of socialised medicine is that it forces you to have something (health care), buy something (you gotta pay the taxes for it) and do something (every few years, I gotta do the paperwork to get a new card). I argue that it's worth being forced to do those things, but I do acknowledge the force involved. Theory of Practice Peer-reviewed articles for everybody! 15:17, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, not living in a country with universal healthcare, I'm fuzzy on the details, but I've sort of viewed it more like a library. You pay for it indirectly with taxes (which is different than being told "you must buy this if your employer doesn't do it for you"), and it's there is you want it be you're not forced to use it (until, perhaps, you're taken half comatose to a hospital after being hit by a car). What happens if you don't do the paperwork to get a new card? Are there consequences other than you don't have access to healthcare? DickTurpis (talk) 15:34, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe you are taken to a field somewhere and shot. Your family is sent the bill for the bullet. No, seriously--you can't access the healthcare that you've been forced to pay for, and, at least where I'm from, the health care card acts as the usual proof of membership in the civic community for folks who don't have a driver's licence. Good luck applying to university/voting/accessing other state benefits without it. Theory of Practice Peer-reviewed articles for everybody! 15:40, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
OK. so let's just say you're Rob Smith, and not only do you find the idea of being forced to carry health insurance abhorrent, you find the entire notion of healthcare abhorrent. Through your taxes you're forced to pay for it (which is true for anyone who objects to anything the government does, but we learn to live with it, more or less), but after that you don't need to be part of the system at all, correct? You don't apply for a card, so you can't get healthcare through the national system, but that's the way you want it. You have a driver's license, so you can get basically all other services that require a government ID. In a way it's like paying for a community swimming pool (a very very expensive pool), your taxes cover it, but you don't have to use it or buy a membership you don't want. That's basically less intrusive than the mandate. Personally I think people who oppose the mandate, being mostly people who have health insurance anyway so it basically doesn't affect them, should protest in an act of mass civil disobedience by giving up their health insurance. I don't think they'll be willing to. DickTurpis (talk) 16:00, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
"You have a driver's license." Nope. I don't. I'm blind/under 16/over 80/have a record for drunk driving and had it revoked/too poor to afford the anywhere from 88-400 bucks a year that it costs. Look, I'm not arguing against single-payer, I'm just pointing out that you have to acknowledge/resign yourself to a certain amount of coercion inherent in the system. I dunno how much of my municipal taxes go to the pool, but I bet it's nowhere near as much as medicare costs. Theory of Practice Peer-reviewed articles for everybody! 16:25, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, I don't want to argue too much about the details of this hypothetical example. In my example you're Rob Smith and presumably you drive. In the US if you don't drive you can get a non-driver's ID, which is the same except it doesn't let you drive. If they introduced a single-payer system here that presumably wouldn't change, so the ID question is moot. Back to my (not great) library analogy. Our tax dollars pay for libraries. Some people don't like them and don't use them, and bitch about paying for them, but we all pay for things we don't like with our taxes. In general we're at peace with the idea. Let's just say next week the government says "no more libraries, but from now on you must procure yourselves a membership in a for-profit book-rental service or pay a fine (i.e. "tax")." We'd all be pissed off about that, and some people are understandably annoyed that that's sort of like what we're seeing with healthcare. With single payer, all they can complain about are their taxes (which they do anyway), or about how they're paying for some poor black kid's asthma medication instead of him paying for it himself like a true Randroid. The mandate, to me, is a more authoritarian way of doing it. The irony is, the other way (single payer universal healthcare) is even more opposed by the "give me mah libberdy!" crowd. DickTurpis (talk) 16:49, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
As a citizen of a (former?) police state who has had a mandated ID card since 14 and an assigned identity number since birth, I find conversations like the one above... amusing.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:45, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Fast-forward to 2016, during the presidential campaign the term "Obamacare" will nary be heard. By this time, the effects of the PPACA will have been so positive and so popular that the Republicans will not want the program to be "named" after a Democrat. 15:21, 1 July 2012 (UTC) C®ackeЯ

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In the UK system, which is true single payer with not even the remnant of an "insurance" element, the practice is that you're assumed to be a resident and thus entitled to free‡ care. UK residents are assigned an identifying number by the NHS, but mandatory ID doesn't exist in the UK and the last governments to try to sneak it in found it was politically lethal. So, no card, no bills, no paperwork, you're just entitled. On the downside this does mean immigration have to watch for health tourists. If you get off a plane from the US with an eight month bump and tell them you're going to be "staying with friends" for a few weeks, expect to be asked for proof of comprehensive medical insurance including repatriation costs or else you'll be put back on the plane because everybody can see what will happen while you're "staying with friends" in that condition.

‡ Not everything is actually free unless you're poor. Some of the charges seem legitimate (e.g. the prescription charge is higher than the OTC price for things like aspirin, cough syrup, antihistamines to discourage wasting a doctor's time when you could just have gone to the pharmacy and bought what you needed) and others are just cost-cutting by successive governments. But mostly things really are free. (talk) 18:13, 1 July 2012 (UTC)

Thing is, we already have universal health care -- it's just the worst implementation possible. You go to the hospital dying of whatever and they can't deny you treatment and leave you to die if you can't pay. Some people prefer the "fuck 'em" system of health care, though. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:38, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
I like the NHS. We here in the First World often wonder why Americans decided to go so ass-backwards on the issue of public health. Scarlet A.pngmoral 00:02, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
I understand the sentiment, but that's still really not a good statement to make. Say I have symptoms which impair my ability to completely function on a regular basis, but don't seem overtly life threatening. I don't have the money to go to doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist to try and find the one that is able to diagnose and help me, so I have only a few options. The first is to live with it, and hope that eventually I can afford it and find the right doctor. The second is to try some cheaper alternative... either a clinic, or do what so many people do and try some form of (still cheaper than going to most doctors) alternative medicine which usually ends up making things worse.
The last is to visit a hospital, running the risk that I delay another person's more-dire treatment in the ER, and putting myself into medical debt just for the chance that they figure something out by running a few tests. Which tests they run are completely up to the hospital, decided upon both by the cost and how bad your condition is. So if you're completely honest about it, you're very unlikely to be there long enough to figure out what's wrong with you, or at all for that matter. You're also completely at their mercy, and depending on the quality of that particular hospital, and how much cost-cutting they're involved in, you could end up in worse shape. If you live in America, and don't know someone who has horror stories from the hospital closest to you, consider yourself lucky. My father in particular regularly 'gamed' the system when time was on his side, driving anyone in our family (or himself, these days) over an hour away to make sure the quality of care was better. Not everyone even has that luxury, especially when it's actually an emergency.
So, what happens when it turns out that your original symptoms were caused by something easy to deal with if treated at the time, but now have become untreatable due to your lack of options? This is something which is extremely common; the poor rarely get to hear that old line: "Good thing we caught this early!". Q0 (talk) 00:38, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
Right, I've told my story on RW before which is exactly in that category. The NHS cured me of cancer when I was young and poor. If I had lived in a place where seeing a doctor to ask about painless but unexplained swelling costs money I'd have put it off and perhaps I wouldn't be here now because as you say "Good thing we caught this early". (talk) 10:30, 2 July 2012 (UTC)
The NHS has its faults and we, as Brits, are entitled to complain about it. Which we do. A lot.
But Daniel Hannan's opinion is so far removed from almost any other UK Tory or conservative's (public) opinion on the NHS that it's like he's living in a parallel universe. Even Thatcher would never have dreamed of dismantling the NHS (even though governments of all persuasions have tried making it more efficient). While today's Tory-led coalition may have had some of its more extreme NHS policies curtailed by its LibDem partners, it's quite clear that Cameron values the system and is very protective of it - even though he may have been suckered by the reform policies. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:52, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

New post-SCOTUS ruling poll[edit]

According to a poll taken after the ruling, most Americans want opponents to shut up and move on. The Symphony of Noise The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 11:26, 3 July 2012 (UTC)