RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive169

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This is an archive page, last updated 9 August 2012. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Working to improve my reputation.[edit]

Whew, I've been wandering in RationalWikiWiki and I looked at my article. I don't know where else to say this (except for maybe the talk page), but the old conversations have faded into the past. I would like us to be able to move on, recover, and get on with our lives. I want to be able to be seen if, if not prestigious, as at least tolerable. I wish to be your friends. Now, regarding my previous transgressions, in order as mentioned on the wiki:

  • "...massive ego and an obsession with article ratings and deletion. I think that era is long ago. Bring it back to tease me in fun, remind us of my n00bish days, have a laugh, but I think I've learned my lesson about brainstars and the delete-tag.
  • The Eve fiasco. It was pretty much my first major work on an article, so I was hurt and defencive at the time. Again, I've grown up, and moved on.
  • "...is now trying to improve RationalWiki in the ways he can, which mostly consist of threatening to delete articles unless other editors improve them". I'd like to ask the last time I've threatened a deletion or used a delete-tag or anything like that. That information, I admit was what I did in the past, but I don't do that now.
  • Uploading copyrighted images. I just am always bothered by copyright and believe the world would be better off without it. Although I realised the best way to get this across isn't "upload copyrighted pictures onto a wiki that is completely not your problem if anything happens". That's just, well, freeloading. I just don't have that many options right now, and I haven't uploaded copyrighted images for quite some time.

And the talk page....

  • "Bragging about being humble". Yeah, that's pretty much what I was doing: grade-A hypocrisy. I admit that. Deeds, not actions, are what we must do. Also, claiming you just are a hard-working genius and saying the adults in your life say so isn't exactly evidence. May I just kindly ask how I can prove to you I am what I say I am?
  • Any claims I am a parodist. I would simply like to say they are completely unfounded. If you ask for evidence, I 1) call the null hypothesis and 2) will provide any reasonable evidence needed.

If I remember correctly from the previous similar discussions, I was told not to get personally attached to my edits, to spend more time in the saloon bar, etc. I've also learned that drive-by sticking tags to everything is just not the way to go, and that Google isn't a free image source. So, I want to bury the hatchet. I am simply making a humble appeal to revise my RWW article to better suit my changing attitudes, and would like to ask (once again, but with a space of several months) how I can better myself and become one of the men you respect here. Thank you. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 00:25, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Sorry Kid but this a feeble way to carry on. "I would like us to be able to move on, recover, and get on with our lives." OK boss, we'll get on it right away. You know that article has barely been edited in like three months? & Nobody really talks about you all that much when you're not around, so the notion that we're not "getting on with our lives" is pretty daft. Yet you're among the most self-absorbed characters on the wiki. I know this is an asperger's thing, but please try to look at your behaviour more objectively. Take a step back & read what you've just written; it's all about trying to control how other people view you, and that's not an option. This is something you have to accept in life; people will form their own opinions about you, & you can't insist that they fall in with your self image. Plus you keep asserting that you've matured, grown up, moved on, when you are really just repeating the same behaviours (this thread being an example). ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:41, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
I have no idea what goes on when I'm not around. My thoughts with this "issue" are simply that given that I agree with the four points of the RationalWiki mission, there's no reason why we can't be friends. I want to change, and I am simply asking "what can I do to improve your opinion of me". I have little idea on where to go so you will voluntarily choose to respect me, and I don't know how else to find out other than asking. I want to change to please you. If your standards I can't work with for whatever reason, I'll deal with that fact. But if I don't know what you want from me, how else can I know other than asking? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 01:28, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
The first thing you can do is stop the pattern of editing-aggrieved argument-defensive attention-seeking post on the Saloon Bar-LANCB. This is the third time now.
The second thing you can do is stop trying to do something useful, make some interesting edits backed up by sources in collaboration with other editors, and maybe chat a little about things in people's lives. Don't keep starting threads like this, and don't try to force the conversation to go the way you'd like - that's the equivalent of running into a room and shouting until people agree to talk about your cats.
The best thing you can do is shed your reputation by creating a new account at some point 3-7 days from now. You have nothing but negative associations with your HK account, so you stand to lose nothing, and a clean slate will help enormously (as long as you follow stops one and two, as well). We're really a very forgiving bunch.
Hope that works for you also maybe stop whining so much. Cheers!--ADtalkModerator 01:51, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Please discuss RWW on RWW. Thanks, HK.--ADtalkModerator 01:08, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
You may have noticed a couple of weeks ago that I put a shout-out to you on your talk page, praising what I saw as a remarkable improvement in the quality of your edits. KEEP BEING THE GUY THAT MADE ME DO THAT. Also, if you're going to come to the bar, or any social setting, here are some fantastic ways to start a conversation:
  • An interesting article you read, that you think others may find equally interesting.
  • A current event.
  • A question about your computer.
  • A question or comment about politics, or a band,or a comic, or a movie.
  • Almost anything else.
Here are some horrible ways to start a conversation:
  • Talking about you, how wonderful you are, and why we need to understand how wonderful you are. Just shut up and keep being wonderful. The benefits will come. Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 01:58, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, I really feel like I have friends here. Man, I am inadvertently arrogant, heh heh heh! You've given me an idea; I've been meaning to ask someone on this, but didn't know where else to.

Computer problems![edit]

First, some background. Up until a couple weeks ago, I've had a Windows 7 I bought in 2009. As it happened, the battery turned to shit, and we fucked up the system so much in trying to fix it that it's irrecoverable. I've been forced to dust off my old Windows XP (gasp).

A few days ago, cleaning out one of the rooms in my house I don't go into that much, I discovered upon an old CD on anatomy I've had many years ago. I pop it into my computer, and I get this error message (titled "Can't run 16-bit Windows program"):

Insufficient memory to run this applications. Quit one or more Windows applications and then try again. (sans italics, of course)

I didn't have any other applications up. I googled the situation, and found that increasing the virtual memory would help. I pumped it up from ~1000 MB to ~10000 MB, but the same error message is still there. I really want to get the CD working on my computer, but this is getting in the way. Any of you have an idea? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 04:06, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

XP is unable to run it You have a ancient disc (And can find all the info online in more detail then that thing will have). Also This is microsofts answer to the problem, atleast how I searched it. --il'Dictator Mikal 05:18, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. The main thing I needed from it was a single image, and by digging through the file managed to get it and save a copy to my hard-drive. Easy as that. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 18:32, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Life in two dimensions.[edit]

Anyone care for some speculative evolution? I've always just found the notion of a 2D universe fascinating. I think it stemmed from reading Flatland as a kid. Ever since then, I've wondered how life in a two-dimensional universe would really work: Abbott didn't really touch on this. I've read Flatland, Hinton's An Episode of Flatland, and Burger's Sphereland. I'm ordering a copy of Dewdney's The Planiverse right now. Until it arrives, though, I thought this would be a fun, intellectually challenging endeavor.

From my scrounging around on the Internet, this is what I've got so far.

  • Any animals would need to have no distinction between their mouth and anus. A complete digestive tract would mean the creature would be split in two. (Some people have thought of a "self-gripping gut" that keeps the two halves together, but one does wonder how the two halves are supposed to keep in contact. Only thing I can think of is telepathy or the like.) Flatworms? Yes. Hydrae? Yes. Comb jellies (ignoring the anal pores which they only sometimes use)? Yes. Vernanimalcula? Uh, no.
  • This being, life on land, intelligence, etc., could still exist. In addition to the flatworms (yes, they're actually degenerate coelomates, but this is speculative), I've heard giant legged anemones, and "aero-meduase" that are basically jellyfish with their bell filled with helium, letting them fly, their tentacles as wings. I know The Planiverse describes an intelligent race of 4-armed/tentacled hydrae, the Nsana.

Anyone have any more ideas? (If anyone read any of the books I've mentioned, that would be a great help.) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 04:16, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Given that you'd have to reinvent the way the universe worked from the ground up, I doubt you could expect to be able to create (or evolve) intelligent life in such a setup. The gut would be the least of your problem - consider the circulatory and nervous system, for one two. But if 'life' at all were possible, you could probably get single-celled creepies, but you'd have a hard time making them bigger than a certain size. Building a DNA equivalent would also be a challenge (3D is crucial there), though probably a lesser one. Peter This is not my first temporal anomaly 05:31, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Words are two dimensional. Well the letters as well, but they can only "come to life" inside a quantum computer such as the human brain, where they aren't even contiguous. C®ackeЯ 05:38, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
The difficulties involved are conveyed nicely in Flatland where Square conveniently glosses over basic functions like how they even move, though the (rather decent) 2007 film shows them with tiny cilia along their edges for propulsion. There's nothing really to stop chemistry from working in two dimensions, although structure and reaction selectivity would be notably more hindered. So you can get life, but the macroscopic issues are the problem; you wouldn't be able to have axles and wheels, for instance, which would limit technology. You also would have difficulty reading, and even seeing very well (Flatland covers that extensively). And it's technology and communication has a certain feedback with the evolution of intelligence. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 08:20, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Gah! No, the human brain is not a quantum computer. Deepak Chopra is a silly man, and so is Roger Penrose (on this issue at least). Penrose somehow (despite being a mathematician) mistook the general case for the specific. He knows that "mere" computers are incapable of solving the general halting problem. He notices that individual humans can determine whether individual specific algorithms halt and then he mistakenly concludes that this means the human brain is something more than a Turing style computer. Then he invokes some quantum woo. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 12:30, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
It occurs to me that "silly man" is probably the nicest thing Deepak Chopra has ever been called. Q0 (talk) 18:09, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
At least Penrose came up with a falsifiable hypothesis. Chopra is just spouting gibberish. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:18, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
When I'm speaking of a two-dimensional world, I'm thinking a world like Astria or Arde, as opposed to Flatland. (I suppose, if you accept Sphereland as canon, Flatland's a bit like a gas giant, but yeah.) In my opinion, I'm imagining the "humanoid" lifeform would be a very intelligent land planarian (we could get the dimorphic Astrians somewhat easily, I'll draw and upload a sequence later). With regards to the circulatory system, I argue that none of the acoelomates have a circulatory system, and presumably nutrients would diffuse from the stomach to the cells. A "nerve net" like that in a hydra or flatworm could exist; a concentrated mass toward the eye(s?) would be the "brain". I've read Ian Stewart's annotated Flatland, and he proposes that a 2D brain may work like a cellular automaton, which would allow them to be as smart as any AI. (Again, the flatworms, xenoturbellae, "acoelomorphs", and "pseudocoelomates" are degenerate from coelomate Vernanimalcula. But this is speculative evolution.) A crossing-over mechanism can be made with three XOR gates.

</br>

Also, in regards to the nature of a 2D universe regarding chemistry and physics, I think The Planiverse deals with that quite thoroughly. I've heard they even sat down and rewrote electron orbitals to work in 2D (hydrogen and helium are the same as 3D, past there things get strange). The main assumption is "assume our universe is typical, subtract a dimension from laws so it works in 2D".

</br> A couple helpful links I found:

(Oh, Armondikov, you've also seen Flatland the Film]?) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 16:45, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it's pretty good, too. Scarlet A.pngpostate

Forget gay marriage....[edit]

Mississippi church rejects black wedding. Reckless Noise Symphony 04:54, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Goddamn liberals! Osaka Sun (talk) 04:50, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
But, but, but...postracial era! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:19, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Ah, MS. Where explaing to a person what polygamy is is illegal. ТyAsk me about frog-backed securities 05:23, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
"The church is now holding internal meetings to figure out how it should respond to future requests by black couples to be married there" I don't think they have to worry about that anymore. --Mikal Harass Follow 05:32, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

So, I dicked about again.[edit]

RW experimental skin.png

Partially as an exercise in css, partially to piss off DG (who has expressed a distaste for Athena), but mostly to kill some time. Thoughts or ideas? No, I have no intention on actually doing this wiki-wide. Scarlet A.pngsshole 12:47, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

I'll have a RW-gasm over pretty much any custom skin that looks decent, which yours certainly does. A few tweaks:
  • Change the border-left on the h2 headers, unless you want to use a border-bottom-left-radius (et al)
  • Don't indent the h3+ headers as much
  • Not sure how I feel about that particular big header image
  • Why not customize some of the Vector tabs and the sidebar?
Uke Blue 13:31, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
LOVE the translucent title container, the integration with the navsidebar and the new science icon though. Seme Blue 13:33, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Loveitloveitloveit. Except the tiny letters at the bottom of the navbox barely show. But loveit. Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 13:42, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
<3 ТySo long as they pretend to care, I will pretend to listen 14:07, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, I have more time to kill, so I could start chopping up Vector itself to see what I can do about the tabs to see what happens. You can find it here but you'll need to load up this css to see it. The issue is implementing it in a highly customisable way as you can't import images with in-line css (for very good reasons). So any and every header would have to go into the site-wide css, which is problematic. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:22, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Here you go -- Nx / talk 18:38, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
Shiny. Scarlet A.pngbomination 14:12, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
On second thoughts I really, really don't want to go chopping up Vector itself. Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:12, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Gettin' down with dendrochronology[edit]

Will tree ring tones be next? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:11, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Did you just make the world's worst pun? Scarlet A.pngpostate 01:52, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
If I did, then I'm an overachiever. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:12, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

London Olympic opening ceremony[edit]

Moved to Forum:The Official London Olympics 2012 thread SophieWilder 19:20, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

SHOCKING astrological discoveries[edit]

Who wants premium astrology? Who is this Nora? If she's world famous does anyone know her second name? Is it worth while to write an article debunking her? If she's virtually unknown outside her own advertising it isn't. Proxima Centauri (talk) 08:34, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't. who cares? do people need last names? No. Well why'd you ask then?--Mikal Harass Follow 08:42, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Utter bollocks and the oldest trick in the book. What she'll do, is give you a very, very basic reading, something like you'd read in the paper and then say that for a small fee, you'll receive a detailed reading. She'll then spam you repeatedly. Someone of here (Ghengis?) was actually keeping track of one of these scams. And no, she doesn't need an article. --Psygremlin (talk) 11:23, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Would the scam in general warrant one? Scarlet A.pngd hominem 13:41, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I'll add it to the astrology article. Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:22, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
The scam in general is really no different to most online ads that offer something free - "one weird old tip for a flat belly", "free credit rating check", etc. - as a lure towards paying for a worthless service or at least sharing your contact details with scammers & spammers. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:30, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I've always wondered what the weird tip for a flat belly was - anyone here ever found out? I presume it would be something like eat less and exercise more...DamoHi 22:37, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I was working on a mammoth scam which used boiler plate text to supply "tailored" readings which weren't even linked to your birth date, which one might have expected from an astrology site. I think it used age, gender and a question about what you were concerned about to provide hooks to get you to pay for a an extended reading which is generated from a generic astrology software package. The whole thing was packaged with multiple new-age bollocks about astrology, crystals, fairies, spirit animals, and Tarot cards. Your Tarot reading used random cards but none of them were for the bad stuff. I really should finish it off. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 12:02, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Is there an internet law...[edit]

...that states the more batshit insane your website is, the more it needs to look like it was designed by a 9-year-old on LSD? More evidence. --Psygremlin (talk) 11:19, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Green ink and Timecube Law. 173.177.150.209 (talk) 14:36, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Two words: Flying Kitty. Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 14:43, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Just gonna leave this here. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 14:46, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
People still do webrings? --Kels (talk) 16:00, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I rather like The Flying Kitty Law. --Psygremlin (talk) 14:54, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Also, I'm willing to fogive GRRM - he's so busy making Arya and Tyrion do all kinds of awesome (not together, this isn't "50 shades of winter is coming)", that he can be forgiven for delegating his site design to a 9-year-old fanboy. On LSD. --Psygremlin (talk) 14:57, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
It's even worse if you go into the source. You could call this "Frontpage Law" as so many of these bad sites are coded with these old WYSIWYG editors and suck all the more because of it. Scarlet A.pngmoral 23:49, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I think that Haig's law would be a fitting moniker... based on this evidence. What say the masses? --Psygremlin (talk) 12:07, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
WHAT UNHOLY SPAWN OF FUCKING HELL IS THAT!! Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:09, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
This page not only triggered an epileptic fit on me, it gave me epilepsy first and then made me have a fit! And the links, wtf? This is an actual link I discovered at random while scrolling up and down: TranslinkCriminalVictimisationLisaParkerMatthewLonglandParasites/NamesTitlesPositions PhoneNumbersEmailAddressesTranslinkPublicSectorParasiticSlutsWankers.php
I actually had to trim chunks of that off so that I didn't make the bar span way the fuck off the screen for people not reading RW on a billboard. Psy, why why whyyyyyy? Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 12:20, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
If Tim Berners-Lee ever saw that page, he might well leave a brief note saying "I regret the entire idea", and then go off to live in a commune without electricity. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 14:10, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
For me the true irony is that, not only is the site truly broken from an aesthetic viewpoint but, when I tried navigating around, it's broken from a technical view point. Apart from the fact that there is evidently an angry and bitter person behind it all (move over, Ken, you're not the worst) there's nothing of substance to be gleamed from trying to read the articles - apart from a migraine. Bad Faith (talk) 14:28, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Israel yet again[edit]

A tacit support for both Obama and Romney to attack Iran if necessary. Not sure if seriousness or election campaign spin.

Also, we have an law for Internet comments in the mix, right? I want to forget how much "US is dominated by the Israeli lobby" I've seen today. And a new one: "neoconservatives aren't real right-wingers because some used to be liberals." Osaka Sun (talk) 22:19, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Fund raising for your presidential election campaign in a foreign country? Redchuck.gif ГенгисunbelievingModerator 07:03, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Obama does it too. Ex-pats tend to be unusually wealthy.--ADtalkModerator 07:14, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

They had better fucking not, I just put down a few g buying tickets to fly there. As it is I have to find out why one airline I booked with accepted bookings when they had suspended flight, my fucking flying spaghetti monster this holiday shit is stressful. I want to go to Antarctica, nothing is going down there. - π 07:49, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

You keep thinking happy thoughts. I've seen "The Thing..." --Psygremlin (talk) 15:15, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Isn't there an ozone hole there though? --Mikal Harass Follow 07:51, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
You can also encounter this ship. --Tweenk (talk) 00:28, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

What's the term for...[edit]

When people attempt to use science - specifically neuroscience or biology - to evince their social theories? I'm talking about things like, "Republicans' brains are dominated by the amygdala when they watch debates, therefore conservatism is fundamentally a philosophy built upon fear," or "Men's premotor areas of their brains light up when they watch porn, therefore men are programmed to look at women as tools for pleasure rather than fellow humans." The theories aren't necessarily wrong, but the attempt to shoehorn science into supporting arguments seems inappropriate. Uke Blue 07:46, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Didn't you just say it? Osaka Sun (talk) 07:50, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
There's a ton of neuro-slang for this phenomenon, but none is "official terminology." I've heard neuroessentialism, neurogenetic determinism (h/t Steven Rose), neuromania (or neurobollocks, h/t Ray Tallis, and neo-phrenology. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:00, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
One more: Folk neuropsychology. Also, check the biological determinism page if you need even more. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:17, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I would call this reductionism, which describes a more general mindset of trying to explain high-level, complex phenomena using low-level causes - for example, attributing low performance of a school to nutritional deficiencies among students. --Tweenk (talk) 22:53, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Ooh, I like neo-phrenology. Uke Blue 04:07, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Sunken chest.[edit]

Damn, I wish this had been around when I was a kid. I could've fixed my deformity while I pretended to be Tony Stark. Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 13:21, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Wow. I blame the pain from my cousin's operations for this issue for his later descent into drugs, alcohol, and more or less complete craziness (actually, as mentioned in the article). Nice to see that other people hopefully won't have to put up with this in the future. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 13:45, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I'd actually be more interested in trying harder to convince people that they don't need to feel like freaks over something that's not really a big deal. Sorry to hear about your cuz. Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 14:03, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I have a milder version of this that formed later (near adulthood), and it's never really bothered me aesthetically. But, because it happened later rather than sooner, I think it pushes around some of my organs quite a bit. Dealing with my heart skipping when my posture isn't perfect, or hiatal hernias despite being in good physical condition among other things is enough to make me consider doing something about it. Well, if I had access to a better doctor, maybe I would have already... Q0 (talk) 15:39, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
In my cousin's case, it was life threatening (only three quarters of an inch between sternum and spine), and he had already hit puberty, so it was too late for the "easy" options. He too wasn't bothered aesthetically. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 15:46, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

AOG sceptic changes his mind[edit]

US academic is finally convinced. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 19:13, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

What's all the fuss about, everybody's got air conditioning these days. --2.34.113.53 (talk) 19:55, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
More self-promotion from Muller. And now Anthony Watts is riding his coattails so he can trumpet his own blather in the media. An all-around climate clusterfuck. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:11, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
What do we make of BEST's really strange list of donors? Q0 (talk) 22:12, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Eli Rabett comments. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:07, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
WaPo sums it up: All hype, no substance. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:26, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Stoat also sums it up: "All of that is bollocks. What Muller is saying is that he read a few septic blogs, didn’t bother read any of the scientific literature, and so decided to run his own project." All we have is the dueling egos of climate hobbyists (Muller and Watts) and the journos slurp it up. This incident sheds far more light on the state of so-called "science journalism" than anything else. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
The impression I get from reading some of these articles is that Muller's "assistant" Robert Rodhe is quietly doing all the real work and explaining to Muller what it means. Then Muller picks it up and runs off to do his Cat in the Hat act, "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me now!" Doctor Dark (talk) 01:52, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Gotta love Watts' 180 on science-by-pr here as well. Shorter Watts: Why didn't BEST go through peer review first?!?! Hold on a sec, this new and VERY IMPORTANT "research" I've done is too groundbreaking to wait for peer review!! Comments on the Watts threads are rich too -- bravely going where no scientist has before and taking on the climate establishment! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Also, anyone willing to make a wager here? I'm going to bet that Watts' claptrap is going to be accepted at E&E in a few months and another eruption of denialist bloviating will follow. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:53, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

This is a completely inappropriate post[edit]

But I'm going to do it anyway, because I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

Anyone here play Starcraft II? Seme Blue 04:06, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

No. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 07:39, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
European server, Bronze Terran, and yes, it is somewhat inappropriate but people keep asking for PC help so why not. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 07:56, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I play Starcraft II. I am not very good and I haven't made it out of the practice league, but I still enjoy playing. My ID is Kom on the West Coast (I don't remember if Blizzard split the US in half or not).--"Shut up, Brx." 10:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I play sometimes, EU of course. The highest 1v1 league I ever made was platinum, but these days if I play at all, I play monobattles. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 10:20, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I refuse to have anything to do with Blizzard. here's why. Bad Faith (talk) 10:31, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, Blizzard has adopted some unsavory business practices. Which kills me because they make such great games with so few bugs on release.--"Shut up, Brx." 10:43, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I must admit that he only game I play with any regularity is International Cricket Captain. So one day, when I run screaming through a mall, bashing heads in with a cricket bat, you know what the cause is. Oh yes, and Angry Birds Space has just updated again. Cool! --Psygremlin (talk) 10:48, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I gave up computer games when my amiga died, taking Sensible Soccer (and my atrocious novel) with it. SophieWilder 10:50, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Was in Masters (playing Terran) not long after release, but given that I have some mild carpal tunnel and the game was making it worse I stopped playing. I blame years of Brood War for that...
And yes Blizzard is awful these days. I only even bought SC2 (which in my mind is much, much worse than BW as a competitive game - though what game isn't, really) because I've been heavily into the eSports scene in the past. Q0 (talk) 13:15, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
@Sophie - I assume that remark was made sitting on a bench with three other Yorkshiremen. Eeee, luxury, Ah gave oop computer games after ma Babbage difference engine.... Bad Faith (talk) 13:19, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't play Starcraft II but I used to play the original. I think it was on my dad's lap as a kid. Memories... But yes, blizzard is awful these days. It's gotten to the point where I am now just refusing to call anything that happened in WoW canon anymore. Just one too many ridiculous things that don't jive with established themes and ideas and too many people going insane out of nowhere for the sake of a new raid boss... why yes I get emotional about the motifs and themes of video game lore, I am most definitely not a big dork. No sir, not me. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRmore at 11 13:21, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it was as if they went into it saying "Hey, let's take the most likeable characters from Warcraft 3, and turn just about every one of them into raid bosses you have to kill. Brilliant!" Q0 (talk) 13:33, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
This may seem a bit petty of me, but I kind of was mad that they gave Thrall a out-of-left-field girlfriend. One of his motifs is The Journey; he's a messiah archetype, and just making up a girlfriend that is magically perfect for him rather than having him keep up his adventure through life with the people he's met along the way kind of bugged me. Especially doing it in a supplemental novel. He has to drop all his political responsibilities to go do Shaman things and hold the dimensional hole a giant dragon came through closed... and somehow in that time had the chance to find an out-of-left-field girlfriend? Why? What did this add? I think it's because Metzen is terrified the fans wanted Thrall and Jaina to hook up (after the great friendship and lots of development they've had together, I don't blame them), and all inter-race relations are Bad because that would mean factions might have to unite. And we can't have that, they have a sequel to make and everybody has to be mad at each other to make it work. Which is probably why Garrosh was invented. It's like they took a character that's supposed to have development (Tantrumy kid -> more responsible ruler, possibly) and froze him at the most obnoxious part of his character arc so he can create conflict they can turn into more arbitrary plot later. From the point of view of a storyteller and writer, WoW is a horrible snarl of pointless conflict to keep the series going and it makes me just conclude the story ended with Warcraft III. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgarrulous en guerre 13:44, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Right. Thrall can't actually continue holding power and acting like his character would because then things would end up actually working out for the better. They dug themselves too deep by sticking to both the "Orcs and Humans" thing, and the "easy" route of sticking with the established characters from the last game. It's clear, like you said, that if Thrall and Jaina were in control that there would be a lot less conflict between the factions. It's also clear that Kael and Illidan were acting in the best interests of the world and were decent people. So if they wrote it like it was Warcraft 3.5, they wouldn't have had much to go with. I think they realized that after they were planning the first expansion; instead of sticking with it and making more new enemies, the entire story just falls off a cliff in order to accommodate the old names. I haven't played it or even read about it in some time now, so I can't say how badly they've continued mangling things. But I mean, I don't think most people who played WoW cared that much about this kind of stuff anyway.
But yeah this is a bit of a tangent from SC2, haha. Can't imagine trying to follow the discussion not having played any of these games... Q0 (talk) 14:17, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, the title of discussion was 'this is a completely inappropriate post' anyway, so as far as I'm concerned, it's fine that we talk about totally impenetrable topics. Oh, shorthand for how silly WoW Lore has gotten: the bad guys have been getting so big, they had to take a break and make the next expansion have pandaren in it. That's right. The joke barely-canon race is 100 percent canon now. What's next? The secret sasquatch society? The Penguin King? I mean, those were easter eggs in WCIII too, can't see them being any less legitimate than moo-shoo-pork-level pseudo-asian panda people. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRmore at 11 14:23, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Oh screw you. Pandaren are awesome and people have been begging for their inclusion for as long as WoW has existed. Killing off all the best characters is unacceptable though and Blizzard is going to have one hell of a mess to clear up once they start making Warcraft 4. Vulpius (talk) 15:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I just don't like kung fu panda. :< ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRjust shut up already 15:34, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

I think far too much thought has gone into some of these posts AMassiveGay (talk) 18:03, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

HAHAHA! Ajkgordon (talk) 19:38, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Phrase of the week[edit]

I've been looking for a word that connotes JAQing off without necessarily having said JAQing in a question format. Paralipsis is the closest I've found, but it doesn't seem to fit quite right. I mean an "argument" loaded up with insinuation and innuendo, possibly with a pro forma disclaimer. For example, "I'm not saying that Jews are conspiring to run the world. It's an outrage that you would accuse me of such a thing! But take a look at all the top bankers in the world -- they're mostly Jews. And let's not get started on Hollywood, or academia...." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:15, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

The sensationalist documentaries on the History Channel do this a lot.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:39, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
"I'm just sayin'." Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 00:44, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Substance theory[edit]

I am trying to explain substance theory for the transubstantiation article here. I am just only beginning to follow the reasoning myself and I would like help from anyone that thinks they can contribute. This does not include Proxima Centauri. - π 08:23, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Looks like a good start. Looking into essentialism might help as well. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 08:28, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. - π 08:31, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
It's obviously stupid by definition because religious people are idiots and its so ridiculous. Why are you defending it as something that needs to be seriously studied when its clear it so silly and anti-science! (I believe my impressions of other users have some way to go yet) Scarlet A.pngbomination 11:59, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
It was actually seeing Dawkins mount that argument to a cardinal that made me look into it more. Substance theory is quite interesting, I think the Church is miss using it, but how some one who is supposedly educated and intelligent couldn't follow the argument was pretty shocking. Pi 3:14 (talk) 14:46, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that's kind of like Deepak Chopra arguing quantum mechanics. Yes, reality is non-local, but that doesn't mean any crazy thing you think of will happen. In a debate format it's much more reasonable to say 'you're a crazy motherfucker' than it is to expand on how someone is abusing something which may have merit if applied correctly. Q0 (talk) 19:37, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Oh yeah, SEP entry of course. The funny thing about Aristotelian physics and a lot of other ancient Greek natural philosophy is that it more or less lays out folk science in its pure form, which is now studied as a form of cognitive bias. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:38, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Substance theory was formulated before the advent of Newtonian physics, and is at least internally coherent and cohesive (up to a point) unlike some other metaphysical ideas.--WickerGuy (talk) 00:51, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
This reminds me of Dr Hawking's fishbowl. 64.28.250.172 (talk) 16:20, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Reality may be local! We don't have a test to distinguish between the various quantum "interpretations" yet AFAIK. In fact, nowadays I "feel" more like counterfactual definiteness is the weaker link. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 19:35, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Olympics[edit]

Not a goddamn place I can watch them here in NZ. I don't have Sky and the internet streams only show clips and the nightly summaries spend all their time on goddamn rowing and other Kiwi-centric sports. I just want to watch the goddamn boxing but it's impossible! Very frustrating.--ADtalkModerator 09:40, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

EBU 84.158.77.108 (talk) 08:01, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I've seen unblock-us.com recommended as a way to access the BBC footage. Apparently it has a 7-day free trial. ONE / TALK 09:44, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Imagine the number of companies the Beeb would suck money out of if it allowed worldwide screening of the games. It would be a technical challenge, but... Osaka Sun (talk) 09:56, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
Except the BBC doesn't have a licence to do that. Ajkgordon (talk) 10:12, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
The BBC isn't even the provider of video. Olympic Broadcasting Service supplies the images and ambient sound but leaves it to the broadcast licensees to do commentary. That's why the BBC had to apologise for some crap coverage over which they had no control in the men's cycling. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 11:53, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
If you go to "those places -arrugh!" you can find lots of the events teh next day. I am not advocating this at all. In fact it's a horrible thing to even suggest. Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 19:04, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
There are a number of sites providing live streams of broadcast TV. I know NBC has exclusive rights in the U.S., so a live stream of NBC or BBC or whatever else should have the actual events. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 19:30, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Anyone go to see Andy at the AAPS presentation in NJ Monday?[edit]

I had gotten on the attendee list but had to pass at the last minute to address a family priority. Hoping someone else made it and can describe the evening. --DinsdaleP (talk) 04:08, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Bunch of older white guys in the room. Lotta "Ron Paul 2012" buttons. Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 04:10, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I was expecting that Terry would be there, and meeting him in person would have been interesting to say the least. Was there anything comment-worthy in Andy's talk? --DinsdaleP (talk) 14:48, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I honestly don't know if I'd want to meet Terry in person, at least if I was going to tell him who I really am. Andy I wouldn't mind -- he might mutter something about liberal deceit, but I think he's really harmless. I wonder if Terry would actually harm someone who attended a public forum where he was present. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 17:05, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I met Andy in person a while back when he gave a talk at Rutgers (recap here, with additional comments on the Talk page). He's polite and personable in real life, which makes the surreal nature of some his views all the more interesting. Terry on the other hand seems genuinely paranoid and volatile in nature, and seeing him talk on YouTube backs that up. I'd think there are genuinely 50/50 odds that if I introduced myself to Terry as DinsdaleP, he'd try to have me ejected as a potential troublemaker before anyone spoke. I wonder if he was one of the "older white guys" TOP saw there... --DinsdaleP (talk) 20:19, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
@ Dinsdale. I wasn't actually there. I just figured that's what the room would be like. Humor fail. Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 20:28, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Don't worry, I got your jest. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 21:08, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
The humor fail is all on me - my wife's been having too much fun lately using me as her "straight man", too, so I'd say it's time for a vacation :-) --DinsdaleP (talk) 13:32, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Experience[edit]

Rational Wiki, does it mean anything anymore? Romney's supporters say that his stint at Bain Capital/Governor of Massachusetts/Salt Lake Olympics makes him a better choice to manage the economy better, but as a layman, how would you rate his performance in each? 99.235.129.26 (talk) 01:05, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

HAHAHA ARE YOU SERIOUS? Bain was terrible for the economy; huge parts of it were devoted to buying companies, firing everybody, and outsourcing everything at massive profit, and he committed fraud with his income and wealth from being sole stockholder of Bain. The tax that could have been taken out of his income never was as he hid money overseas. As Governor of Massachusetts, he was terrible at everything and his primary concern while being governor (I'm a Massachusetts resident) was what he was going to do after being governor. Hosting a large event is not the same as handling any kind of economic decision at all. All of these are reasons NOT to think he's a good choice, not reasons TO think he's qualified. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRfree guybrush threepwood! no new taxes! down with porcelain! 01:11, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
He could do a fantastic job at running the country like a corporation. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Aside: Careful with claims aboutBain. The Obama campaign is revving up the propaganda machine for election season, which means lots of pseudo-populist mud will be flung to deflect attention from who's footing his bill. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:23, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The experience of running a for-profit firm that (justifiably) puts profitability for the investors over the ultimate well-being of the invested companies or the people employed by them has no relevance for the Presidency. Likewise, putting the Salt Lake games back on track was an exercise in project management that depended heavily on outside subsidies and sponsorship, with nothing but money and prestige actually being at stake. Only his experience as Governor was relevant, and in that case he didn't actually do that well by the numbers, with his one signature achievement being something he has to disavow. Romney can't even fall back on being defined by his "core values", because he morphed into whatever people were buying at the time. His only consistent value was to do whatever served his interests, and while it's made him a wealthy, influential man, it's no qualification to lead a nation. --DinsdaleP (talk) 01:28, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
There's nothing inherently wrong with private equity firms, and it seems like Romney ran Bain very well. That does not give him any relevant experience for being president, however, as others have said. Seme Blue 01:42, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Am I the only person that is disturbed that public universities donate to political candidates? Just feel there is something inherently wrong with state run institutions begin directly involved with partisan politics like this.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 13:09, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
There's a reason why he's always described as Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:26, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
"a for-profit firm that (justifiably) puts profitability for the investors over the ultimate well-being of the invested companies or the people employed by them"
Aside: this is the worst piece of bullshit that somehow managed to penetrate into the collective mind. Putting short-term investor profits over the well-being of the company is NOT justifiable, it's extremely stupid. More information. Short version: the company operates in the real market, while its investors operate in the expectations market. If you allow CEOs to ignore the expectations market and concern themselves only with the real market, everyone involved fares a lot better in the long term. --Tweenk (talk) 20:48, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif See also William K. Black's work on control fraud. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:25, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Gore Vidal[edit]

The celebrated author, playwright, and commentator, ...has passed away. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 13:39, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Some of us are old enough to remember when he was the counterpart to William F. Buckley, Jr. during the coverage of the legendary 1968 Democratic convention. Their sparring was infamous then, though it would be tame compared to modern-day trash like Jerry Springer. Those were the days. Doctor Dark (talk) 14:05, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
If you think politics used to be civil, "Now listen you queer, quit calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in the goddamn face and you'll stay plastered." MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 14:19, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of. Doctor Dark (talk) 16:10, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

A Quote[edit]

Lisa Simpson: Hah! These are my only friends: grown up nerds like Gore Vidal, and even he's kissed more boys than I ever will.

Marge Simpson: Girls, Lisa. Boys kiss girls. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 14:29, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Buttermilk the Baby Goat[edit]

But who would be the jauntiest among us? Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 15:12, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

... :D ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRfree guybrush threepwood! no new taxes! down with porcelain! 15:17, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
And suddenly the world is a better place. ТyAsk me about frog-backed securities 15:33, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

The original video has been pulled, so here's a another copy of it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:05, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Improve your spelling[edit]

  1. Are other RationalWikians complaining about your spelling???
  2. Here's an add on that can stop you overnight after you restart your computer being a crappy speller.
  3. Here's an add on that can give you overnight after you restart your computer eagle eyes so you can spot and correct spelling mistakes already in an article.

Is this new quantumized brain enhancement? No, it's a spell-checker that works with Firefox.
See United States English Spellchecker
Unfortunately they don't do UK spellings, still it's better than nothing. There are spell checks for Internet Explorer but I haven't tried them. Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:59, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

I added this to the relevant help page. Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:39, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Facepalm.png -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:30, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't get it. Ajkgordon (talk) 16:36, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Prox's newest agenda is to point out (cause NONE of you knwo this) that I can't spell. and try to (ohh, ahh) embarrass me. Unless it was David G's talk comment she edited for spelling - I'm dubious of that, since he can spell. rolls eyes. --Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 16:55, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh. I was wondering if it was a paid infomercial of some sort. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:58, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The best part is I count a number of instances of poor grammar and questionable syntax in Proxie's post above. Bad enough that you're mean and passive-aggressive; but mean, passive-aggressive and hypocritical? That's hitting the trifecta! Theory of Practice "the standards of the site are ultimately an expression of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." 17:01, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Tyfacepalm.jpg Can we make a DFPC?ТyAsk me about frog-backed securities 17:04, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Skitt's Law in action! Seme Blue 17:29, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
On most Linux distributions you will get UK spelling (if appropriate) because Firefox was modified to use the OS provided dictionary. I suspect the same might be true on MacOS X. This also means your own jargon, names of relatives etc. can be added to the dictionary once and will be treated as correctly spelled across all the popular application software. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 21:50, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I wish there was an add-on that can stop Proxima overnight after she restarts her computer being a clueless idiot. Also, Firefox on Windows has an English (British) dictionary. You can find all the dictionaries at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/language-tools/ -- Nx / talk 07:40, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Now you see that's why I assumed that PC was telling a joke but that I didn't get it. Happens to me a lot. I've had French and GB English spell-checkers ever since first using FF years ago. Ajkgordon (talk) 07:50, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
By the way, the correct term is quantized, not quantumized. ;) --Andy Franklinson (talk) 11:59, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Or "quantised". Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 12:29, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

AZ Abortion law goes into effect tomorrow (rant warning)[edit]

"There is no war on women!". This law will:

  • define a pregnancy as beginning 1 day after your last menstrual cycle. Doctors routinely use 2 weeks after your menstrual cycle for the date a pregnancy starts, because that's when 99.9999999999999% of women ovulate. Lawyers clearly know more than doctors.
  • Will prevent a woman who is 20 weeks along from have any abortion for any reason other than *immediate threat to life or limb*. Most tests on babies are done at 23 weeks. this date (20 weeks, plus the 2 weeks of "unpregnant, pregnancy) means any woman who finds out her child has no brain, or no spinal chord, or has a life debilitating disease (from Downs to Taysachs) cannot choose to end the child's life before it has a fully functioning pain system. It also means if a child is dead or dying, you cannot abort. So a pregnant woman will have to carry till natural abortion or birth for her baby to die.

These "late term" laws are abhorant. 20 weeks is 5 months. No woman wakes up after carrying a baby for 5 months as says casually, "oops, I forgot to abort". Gosh, I don't feel like being pregnant anymore. The lawyers who write these laws do not seem to care that these are WANTED babies, but the mother (and usuallly family) have decided that something is wrong, medically and should be addressed, medically. Is there any other field of medicine where legislatures tell doctors how to practice?Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 18:35, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

I think the week counting thing here is correct for the problem at hand. If you were a developmental biologist then you count from fertilisation but in humans we can often only guess when fertilisation happened so it's traditional for doctors to count from the last menstrual period. You are technically correct that for the first two weeks the woman wasn't in any real sense "pregnant" but that relies on our modern understanding of fertilisation, which post-dates this counting system. So for example when someone talks about a typical pregnancy lasting "40 weeks" they are including those two weeks already. Lawyers may not know more about pregnancy than doctors, but it's doctors who are using the "count from LMP" method and have been for a long time.
Really drawing this particular line in the sand/ womb totally sucks and I feel glad that I was able to persuade myself that newborn babies aren't people and thus the whole thing is an abstract discussion about cruelty to non-persons like discussing what types of fundamental research justify deliberately blinding kittens, rather than being about killing people. For those who think babies are people I guess this is a pretty horrific thing to have to worry about, and no wonder it is so emotive. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 21:28, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The problem is that it's not about actually defining pregnancy (ha, as if they give a damn about the science), but just an anti-abortion ploy to add more and more restrictions wherever they can. Of course it's blatantly transparent, as usual. Q0 (talk) 01:02, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I find it very funny how conservatives want the government to regulate your private life but not your public life. You can be an insider trader, union buster and world-class polluter but it's all OK as long as you go to church and don't fuck guys! --Tweenk (talk) 11:37, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Anti-abortion protests[edit]

So My sister mentioned this the last time she was over that at a planned parenthood place she has to go by every day that there's this guy there protesting abortion. Now she's anti abortion and all, but the way he does it is... no. According to her the guy holds a "man sized picture of a aborted baby", and as she said on facebook now there's two of them. For her this is... especially bad since it's the same stage of development her first son was at. I'm for these guys right to protest, but... discretion should be applied if your going to make people agreeing with you uncomfortable. -.- --Mikal Harass Follow 20:05, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Seen it before. Some women holding those appeared at LSU, the police took them away as they had been banned from campus. ТyAsk me about frog-backed securities 20:10, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
About once a year a group calling themselves "pro-life action" protests on my commute with these same giant signs. They typically have a large group of children handing out pamphlets. Apparently this year I didn't treat their pamphlets with sufficient respect, as I got punched from behind by some asshole (to the organization's credit, not one of the protestors. Just some random guy) and called a "fucking faggot". I'm beginning to get the impression that these protests aren't really about winning converts, but more about proving to other activists that you are more hardcore than they are. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 13:32, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Transcendental argument for God[edit]

Our article is high on rhetoric but slim on details. We also have this incomplete essay. Anyone wishing to improve this?

After reading this version, I think the argument can be more accurately described as "2+2=4, therefore God". To deconstruct it, it should be sufficient to ask oneself whether logic and math is discovered or invented. If it's discovered, logic belongs to the laws of the physical universe. If it's invented, logic is basically a social construct and its source is the human mind. TAG attempts to take some sort of middle ground and argue that logic is neither invented nor discovered, but rather imposed from an external source. --Tweenk (talk) 23:38, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

It appears whoever first created that article didn't read our informal manual, especially the "return in the morning to add references" part. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:46, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
TAG is one of the flakiest arguments to begin with, even theologians give it a wide berth. It's an egregious case of petitio principii (fancy latin name for "begging the question" or "presupposing the conclusion"). All versions derive from the premise a) "Without God, {X} cannot exist" and b) "{X} exists", leading to c) "God exists". My favorite alternate formulation is a) "Without talking dogs, Corn Flakes cannot exist" and b) "Corn Flakes exist" which thus irrefutably proves c) "dogs can talk". (BTW, there will be a lecture at my place on Friday where Rover will discuss the deeper aspects of TAG.) VOXHUMANA 01:56, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Before or after breakfast? Redchuck.gif ГенгисpillagingModerator 07:23, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Cereal for dinner. You know it makes sense. VOXHUMANA 13:33, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Cereal with a side of toothpaste. Doctor Dark (talk) 21:42, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Bad Customer Stories[edit]

Anyone have any bad/stupid customer stories they want to share? --AmazingTechnicolorCheeseWedge (talk) 01:43, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I was getting a haircut. The cutter was acting really impatient throughout it all (it was near closing time, I think). Then, she said she was finished, and asked me if I wanted to see the back of my head. I said yes. She got wide-eyed and paused for a second, and then said that she had more to do. Ten minutes later, she was finished. Also, she cut off the sides of my bangs, landed me with V on my forehead for months.--"Shut up, Brx." 02:06, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I hope you got her to trim your awful beard. AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 02:13, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
The likely explanation is that he hasn't been back to a hairdresser/barber since. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 11:39, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I had a guy try to slap on a $25 six pack of beer once when I was making a large purchase. His story was that sometimes the last order gets added on, I am certain he was trying to get a freebie at my expense, especially as I had to ask for the receipt. Pi 3:14 (talk) 08:35, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
There goes your afternoon. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 14:45, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Was afraid someone was gonna mention that site.. Not to be grumpy or hateful but something about the stories on that site makes me loathe it.. All the 'top' stories are so horribly contrived and people being self centered and trying to be clever by twisting the story in their favor. If there was any way to check, I would bet good money that most of the 'clever' endings of those stories only happened in their head after they got chewed out by an unfair customer.. GTac (talk) 16:43, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

This one reads like a nerd's fantasy--"Shut up, Brx." 17:20, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, I can understand the customer in this one. If you have limited funds and you didn't anticipate a tax, it can be very frustrating to find you don't have enough money at checkout. That's why I like that in France the sales tax is included on the price tag. Thankfully for this one it was just a magazine. The job I worked during high school was a grocery store clerk. A guy came up to the register with a cart full of stuff, only to find that he couldn't afford it. I had to put it all back on the shelves. Took forever. A pain in my ass, but then I suppose I should be grateful that I'm not getting forcibly circumcised for being part of the wrong tribe or something--"Shut up, Brx." 17:26, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I hear that happens a lot in some grocery stores. You should count yourself lucky. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:45, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I was just preempting because I didn't want anybody to swoop in and say "white people problems" or something like that. Yes, I am very privileged to be where I am. That doesn't mean some things don't annoy me.--"Shut up, Brx." 23:10, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Not sure if WIGO-worthy, or...[edit]

This article is about a NYT writer who was forced to resign after plagiarizing Bob Dylan lyrics. Since his area of expertise appears to be neuroscience it raised a flag for me. He's only sourced once on this site, in the transhumanism article. -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:58, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

The professors in my department actually posted this up a little bit ago as a 'tween-semesters Media Ethics refresher and discussion. Their overall reaction: "Seriously...?! Seriously?! " ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlavishly loquacious 16:05, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
(EC)Technically he wasn't plagiarizing Bob Dylan. He was making up quotes and attributing them to him, which is a pretty big no-no in journalism. Cow...Hammertime! 16:09, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
My mistake, not sure why I read it that way. What you said...probably worse. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:12, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Quick poll[edit]

Should cities (Boston, Chicago, San Fransisco, etc.) have banned Chick-fil-A from establishing franchises there?

Yes12Vote
No30Vote


This seems to be the biggest issue since "intolerance by the left" is all over the wingnut-o-sphere this week. Which leaves me to ask: after the CRA, can a business' First Amendment rights extend to supporting anti-black groups in the States? (obviously not a non sequitur) Osaka Sun (talk) 19:01, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Since Chick-fil-A still provides the same service to homosexuals as it does to heterosexuals, there are no grounds to outlaw them.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:08, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I meant donations, specifically. Osaka Sun (talk) 19:57, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, you can't outlaw donations, or corporations for making donations (generally speaking- assuming compliance with campaign finance crap and tax status, blah blah blah)--"Shut up, Brx." 20:25, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, the premise is that if Chick-fil-A succeeds (in general), they will continue to funnel money into evangelical, anti-gay organizations. Let's say you feel those organizations already have too much money and power as it is; you'll probably decide not to spend your money there in the future. This is something we consider perfectly normal, as every individual consumer's choice. But a city government coming to the same conclusion has a lot more power, and can actually do something like you see here. Predictably, conservatives are all up in arms over this crime against 'religious expression'. In reality, this happens every time a city decides not to allow a sex shop, liquor store, strip club, or some other controversial business to open up there. Queue the random guy saying: "Yeah, well my religious expression involves a weekly lap dance. Who are you to judge?"
The only question now is if banning franchises in certain cities is actually helping or hurting Chick-fil-A. They're certainly getting a boost from the response to the response, but in the long run it's hard to tell. There are a shitton of Americans out there with anti-gay sentiments, so unfortunately this may just make the company more successful. Q0 (talk) 21:17, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
if the shareholders of a company want it to do something thats their right. If you dont like it dont eat their tasty chicken, eat McDonalds chicken or beef. There isn't one in my state anyway. Hamster (talk) 04:52, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Missing the point, somewhat[edit]

I think people are forgetting that the boycott against Chik-Fil-A is not about freedom of speech or discriminating against customers, but rather the donations that the company makes to groups like the Family Research Council and Exodus International—groups of fundamentalist Christians that promote laws in other countries that criminalize homosexual behavior and even advocate for things like "pray away the gay" or even death penalties for being gay, cuz that's what the Bible says. If you were to replace "gay" with "American" and "Christian" with "Muslim", then you have what sounds like a lot of terrorist front organizations that were raided and put out of business by the FBI in the last decade. And since they both advocate hostility, there's really very little difference in terms of ideology or methodology.

Furthermore, precedent has already been set in the other direction on the "moral compass" when it comes to strip clubs, tattoo parlors, and liquor stores...even for churches and other fast food restaurants for all sorts of innocuous or relevant reasons. And let's not even forget about the hell that the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" has had to go through. So I say Chicago and Boston and whomever else should make it as difficult as possible if that's what the citizens want. -- Seth Peck (talk) 03:53, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Hollywood values in action![edit]

The living dead Breitbart has its zombie knickers in a twist. Apparently it's one small step from a funny advert to actually fucking a gigantic mammal that would gore you to death with its ferocious tusks as soon as look at you. Keep it up "Hollywood" (in reality probably a New York or London ad agency), not only was that a rare commercial that actually made me laugh, but you also annoyed a prissy conservative. That's a twofer in my book. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:00, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Question on community standards[edit]

I'm uncertain whether this is the right place to ask. Cold fusion enthusiast and all-around great guy User:Abd has just protected the cold fusion page in order to get his way in a dispute. Promote him, please. Doctor Dark (talk) 22:22, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I've removed the protection, as it was bullshit. Abd is a longtime crank for cold fusion, and he was ultimately banned from WP for constantly spouting his CF nonsense. He seems to be trying to bring it here now. VOXHUMANA 22:41, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
And a bit more ABD fun from Wikipedia - Arbcom - Abd's editing style VOXHUMANA 22:43, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Who the hell thought Abd should be demoted in the first place? I think there's enough people aware of his little ways to keep things in order for now, but I'd hope to see a firm consensus of the decapitated barnyard fowl before granting him a promotion - David Gerard (talk) 23:07, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
AD, followed by P-Foster. ТyAsk me about frog-backed securities 23:33, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm staying out of this one, this time. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 01:28, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Origin and history of phrase "sophisticated theology"?[edit]

Does anyone know much about the history and origins of the phrase "sophisticated theology"? I have done the obvious Google search and some less obvious ones without turning up much. The phrase has been seized upon by the skepticsphere, of course. AIUI it sprang up after reviews of The God Delusion in which reviewers (who?) complained his theology was "unsophisticated". Presumably some atheist then asked what the "sophisticated theology" was and then the rest of us hooted with derision at the claptrap of Haught and Plantinga. But can we nail it down enough for an article on sophisticated theology? If we can, it'll be an article that hasn't really been done anywhere else.

(Origin: discussion on talk:Theology after Godot blew her top at Proxima's continuing crimes against the English language and coherent thought.) - David Gerard (talk) 14:21, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

As far as I know, in the connotation of bullshit spouted by apologists to avoid having to confront what the average religious believer actually believes, it was invented by PZ Myers. It's the reply the Courtier's Reply parodies. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:36, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
What, the justifications apologists give for belief in God that often don't reflect the God that many people choose to believe in? Sorry, just not entirely clear on what you mean and I am interested in this topic. ._. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRcritical thinking is the key to success! 15:01, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
No, rather that the god for which apologists are arguing isn't the same god that the average punter in the pews believes in. For example, if you're arguing against a literal belief in transubstantiation, the Sophisticated Theologist will claim that no one really believes that, despite it being orthodox Catholic dogma and believed by a majority of the actual faithful. Essentially, for any fact about a religion that is objectively wrong, the Sophisticated Theologist has a differing interpretation from the the average believer, making it impossible to argue the facts of the matter with them. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:17, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, so basically it's moving the goalposts. In order to justify belief in God, they define God differently than most believers actually do.So really what they're justifying doesn't match up with what the faithful actually think? ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRsufficiently advanced argument still distinguishable from magic 15:21, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
The trouble with the term, and in fact the whole concept, is that Theology isn't meant for non believers; when a non believer critiques it, he or she is doing so from the position that "it's obvious god does not exist". Theology is not an attempt to prove god (though some of it does address that,very little actually addresses it). the idea postulated by the skeptics to say "it is a claim that their theology is too sophisticated unless we've read it all", or "there's more associated stuff out there that magically explains god" (this, from a site proxie quoted), misses what the original reply to Dawkins was about. It was trying to explain that theology is not this simpleton "I need god, therefore - GOD!" idea about religion, but that theology has a 10,000 year history, and 3000 year formal history about humans and their place on earth. It's largely two different groups shooting at entirely different targets, then saying "see, you missed...I'm the better shot". Finding where teh term started and how its' used might be a matter of just going to sites for and against theism and see what's there???--Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 17:02, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
There are a lot of things that have a long and venerable history but in the modern world are utterly bankrupt and contemptible fields of study. Theology is one of them. All the truth claims that theology once concerned itself with are now more or less all demonstrably false, and anyone left calling themselves a theologian is pretty much just an apologist attempting to strike some sort of intellectual pose. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:36, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
That's a bullshit position, J. You are saying that a person who believes in god, gains no practical or other value from the study of the god, his place in the world, humans place with other humans. Again, the fact that you and I do not believe in god, changes nothing for the person who does. Studying god, the scriptures, the nature of the universe gives him or her a deep core meaning of themselves. What I compared it to earlier is saying that you can look at art from an economic position, and define that art is not worth it, but it's largely missing the point. For those who do have a belief in a god of some kind, theology is how they explore that. Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 18:44, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
It sounds like code for "It has da big words so I didn't read it." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:56, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Probably not, cause it actually is intelligent people reading it. But it's "utterly bankrupt" to someone who has no interst in God, cause he or she doesn't believe. But it's a rather dump place to stand and make a pontification. "THAT HAS NO VALUE! cause *i* don't think it does". Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 19:00, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh come on now. To justify the postfix -ology there has to be some sort of honest truth seeking. This is simply no longer possible in religion. Maybe back in the 4th century someone like St. Augustine could compose a lengthy treatise on the idea of the trinity and have it not come off as some kind of ridiculous apologetic platitude ("It's a mystery!") but now we have formal logic. We know 3 persons cannot be one person, it's a nonsense statement that has no internal consistency, let alone application to the real world. The set of things one can honestly say about any god you care to name is so small and so inconsequential, the whole study of modern theology can be written on the back of an envelope. If you want to lie to yourself and claim you know things you really don't, that's fine, but you have to recognise that what you're doing is no longer an honest discipline of study. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:01, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
"the whole study of modern theology can be written on the back of an envelope." Do you take this seriously? This is why I don't like anti theists. they take a stand that "there is no god". "everyone should agree with this", "any study of god, or of religion as a believer is worthess cause - there is no god". You seem to think theology is about proving there is a god. There is no proof required, and that's where many logicians and skepitcs and atheists trip up. We like logic, and evidence. People who believe do not have either. But it doesn't mean that they are corrupt, or their studies are bankrupt. it means they have no value for you. Again, theology is not about proving there is a god. that is a given. it's about understanding what the living/existing god is like, and wants from us, etc. Modern theology is as active, and vibrant as ever. it's not simple, stupid, or "written on the back of an envelope".Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 19:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't think theology is about proving the existence of god, I think it's about discerning true things about the nature of god. The problem is that there is literally nothing that one can honestly say about god, from its very existence on upwards. That's what it means for a discipline to be bankrupt, it has no truth in it. Even if I grant you the existence of god as axiomatic, you still need more and more axioms to say anything at all in theology. Finally, you'll discover that things you want to take as axioms, like for example that the Bible contains an accurate description of the nature of god, conflict with what we actually know of the history of the Bible in the real world. Now you have the choice of whether to remain honest and abandon the axiom, or to remain a theologian and continue to lie. The whole discipline is built on apologetic lies, things we know are wrong from the outset. It isn't honest, and no honest person can pursue it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:23, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"Theology isn't meant for non-believers" is a statement with ridiculous implications. The absurd amount of inconsistencies and conflicting ideas in just about every single religious text are all explained away by this one simple line. "Believe, and you'll understand." Well, no shit. If I believed, I'd rationalize it the same way. It really irks me, because even when I was a child and had honest inquiries about the Christian bible, the response was always a defensive: "You have to believe to understand it".
But, even if you do accept the premise that theology is something no non-believer can possibly understand, that doesn't shield it from criticism. I'll openly admit I don't know what Jesus really means to someone who crucifies and whips themselves in his name, yet I'm still going to criticize that kind of harmful behavior and its roots. I'll also admit to not understanding each individual perspective of life after death there is, but I still feel completely sound when I argue that the idea of an afterlife often has a negative impact on how we coexist in this life.
It goes beyond that, though. I ask you: what positive aspect of theology could not be duplicated and made more profound by basing it on reality? What is lost when a theologian becomes a physicist? Q0 (talk) 00:51, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Theology's value comes from the fact that it is based on ridiculous Bronze Age myths that were ossified into a cosmology. The entire field is an extended series of contrasting and intricate thought experiments. It is much like literature: not necessarily based in truth of fact, but valuable nonetheless. Science maps the universe. The humanities, theology included, allow us to chart our souls.--ADtalkModerator 01:02, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
But theology only caters to a select few; it refuses to present itself as just intricate thought experiments (which, you're right, is the only place it has any value). And because these thought experiments are structured and confined to very specific religious texts and ideas, they also tend to fall short of the ones you find reading philosophy, or in, say, a decent science fiction story. Q0 (talk) 01:17, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
You don't have to accept all the premises or conclusions of a theologian to find value in what he has to say. That is why a lot of fairly certain atheists, such as myself, find it valuable to read Boethius, Augustine, C.S. Lewis, and others. The fact that the Greek gods did not and do not exist doesn't make Euthyphro any less valuable.
But before we start talking past each other: please define precisely what you mean by "theology" and "philosophy."--ADtalkModerator 02:15, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I have no real disagreement with what you're saying (besides maybe on the worth of C.S. Lewis, haha). My position isn't that theology is without value; only that what value it has is not unique, and usually lacking. Q0 (talk) 05:20, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I know many intelligent people put a lot of effort and thought into theology but theology is still untrue. I think we need an article about the difference between sophisticated theology and what ordinary Christians believe. I fear Godot will humiliate anyone who tries to write that article till her opponents all drop out. Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:35, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

So all the results on Google come up with atheist blogs. If I missed anything, please correct this. Like I said before, it really smacks of intellectual laziness a la "It has da big words so I didn't read it." E.g., here. So according to them Dawkins and co. have responded to all theological arguments for the existence of god? My response to that is: "LMFAO!" If I use TGD as an example, Dawkins' "747 gambit" successfully and cleverly refutes conceptions of god put forth by the ID crowd by turning irreducible complexity back in on itself. However, it ignores any arguments from divine simplicity. It's not really "sophisticated" stuff, it's pretty simple -- the designer does not necessarily have to be more complex than what it designed. (Again, it's been quite a while since I've read this stuff, so tell me I'm talking nonsense if divine simplicity is actually addressed in TGD or the other books.) Also, the arguments generally target Abrahamic conceptions of god, and usually only a certain subset of them. Not that there's anything wrong with that, per se, but you can't go around claiming "We've refuted all the arguments!" afterwards. Basically the Pharyngula page seems to be saying, "If we pretend it doesn't exist, then we don't have to refute it!" Ah, well, nobody ever said atheists had to be "rational." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:37, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Also, there's quite a bit of theology that crosses over into more secular topics, e.g. Søren Kierkegaard or Reinhold Niebuhr. A lot of Niebuhr's stuff is pretty heavily political (try Father Coughlin, though, for almost all-politics all-the-time). The heavy cross-over into the political arena is important -- a lot of theology is just angels and pins stuff, but that doesn't mean it doesn't affect you (yes, you) even as an atheist. How can you understand European history without knowledge of the Reformation, or the civil rights movement without knowledge of Black Liberation Theology? Nonsense, if anything, is one of the guiding forces of history. And that's why the new atheists, while they can rebut a lot of the basic theistic arguments, fail hard, really hard, when it comes to historical/social analyses of religion. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:00, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to take this step by step.
1) It's absolutely unreasonable to expect someone to have heard all arguments on any given subject, let alone to respond to each and every one. In the case of TGD, the burden of proof isn't on Dawkins in the first place. All he has to do is show how immensely improbable any human-imagined god is, refute the major arguments thrown around for the existence of a god in the first place, and go on with his day. The idea here is pragmatism, which is why most prominent atheists focus on: countering the social stigmas against atheism; refuting intelligent design and supporting evolution; and advocating against indoctrination. Why should they worry about answering every last argument that theologians come up with in defense of religion, when they haven't even heard a single one that gave them pause?
2) Keeping in mind the earlier discussion here on theology for believers only: could there even be some sort of compelling 'sophisticated theology' out there that would give a non-believer pause? If there is, I'd love to hear it.
3) History of religion, sociology of religion, anthropology of religion, and other religious studies are not the same as theology. Learning about religion is obviously important given how significant religion has been historically and how widespread it remains today. And, in my experience, the average atheist tends to be more interested in this kind of stuff than the average believer is.
4) The knowledge that theology does affect the world at large is actually the primary reason it comes under attack. The idea isn't that theology is awful because it doesn't affect us, or because it contains no worth whatsoever. It's that the doctrines affect the state of the world substantially, and often in a negative fashion. While the Catholic Church condemns contraception, overpopulation in already starved countries causes increased suffering. When they push to enact legislation claiming providing contraception is an assault on religious freedom, even more people suffer. This is pure theology at work. Q0 (talk) 05:20, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't necessarily disagree with a lot of what you're saying here -- my comments were directed at the Pharyngula wiki page I posted. Actually, Dawkins himself would disagree with the idea that all theological arguments were refuted in TGD. TGD was not intended as a rebuttal to every damn argument in existence, but the page acts like it is, which is why I said it was laugh-worthy. So my complaint here is not with Dawkins so much as it is his personality cult. I don't think you need to worry about the latest epicycle tacked onto the ontological argument, but things like divine simplicity are not some obscure theological doctrine, which is not (as far as I recall) addressed in TGD. Really, the stuff like TGD is closer to "My First Atheist Book" than a damning refutation of all theological arguments. Again, I don't mean to say that that's necessarily a bad thing, just that you're going to look like an idiot if you claim it's a definitive refutation. If you want to get into the real shit, check out stuff like Mackie. That's something that'll give the Harvard Divinity School-types a run for their money -- Dawkins not so much. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:06, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I’ve written a new article about the Relevance of theology, please comment. Also please tell me how I can link here after the page is archived since I used this page as a reference for the article. Proxima Centauri (talk) 09:51, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Godot - by analogy, consider substituting "astrology" for "theology". Dawkins writes The Astrology Delusion showing that this stuff is so ridiculously unlikely as to be stupid. Astrologers respond huffily calling his conception of astrology "unsophisticated" and that he should read several volumes of detailed reasons why astrology actually works. Fairly obviously, this is a stupid thing to require, because the essential premise remains bogus no matter how high a stack of words you place on top of it.

Your additional attempts to claim residual value for astrology - that it's human culture, of interest, etc - constitue dodging the issue. It was the astrologers who responded to evidence of its bogosity by claiming that what was refuted was an "unsophisticated" version. They weren't claiming "well, it's still of value as culture" - a point Dawkins does not dispute at all, note that he's a fan of his local Church of Astrology carol service - they were claiming "you've only disproven an unsophisticated straw astrology, we have a much better one in this huge pile of books though I find myself strangely unable to detail a precis version right at this moment." That is, they claimed this as a direct response to his book. And, of course, this stuff turns out to be bullshit.

The difference, as has been pointed out, is that astrology isn't being used the way theology is as a direct motivation for human misery. And in conclusion, we need to ban Proxima from article space for comprehensive incompetence demonstrated to six-sigma level - David Gerard (talk) 11:26, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

So, let me try to get straight the discussion here, and tell me if I'm wrong, David (can I call you David?) PC is suggesting that while theology's basic tenets frequently contradict reality in a very bald-faced way, this is avoided by its adherents through a dodge - called "sophisticated theology" by atheist critics. Is that correct, Davey (can I call you Davey?) It's kind of hard to tell, since this also resembles the actual attitude by some theists of my experience who dismiss the lay view as the ignorance of the peasantry, thereby simultaneously defending theism, but only their own special variety - I think, anyway, Daveycuddle (can I call you Daveycuddle?) And of course there's the customary obfuscating element of PC, whose mode of expression is often none-too-clear, Dinkumdaveypokeybottom (can I call you Dinkumdaveypokeybottom?)--ADtalkModerator 11:54, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Robin Day's got a hedgehog called Frank SophieWilder 14:04, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Out of lurking come I, to tell you about the time a pre-teen girl bent my ear at great length and with superlative intensity, bordering on mania, all about the geography and lineages of the Warrior Cats universe. There's a WP article, for those unfamiliar. Might as well try to get me to care about Pokemon taxonomy.
My brother once gave me a copy of Tolkien's Silmarillion. Truly yawnsome stuff, I never made it past the first few pages. Point? I don't mind if large groups of people spend their time working on some made-up pinhead angel census, but when the evangelism starts, we begin to have problems. Resources that could be devoted to feeding an overpopulated world, or slowing down the baby-making juggernaut, get diverted to aggrandize and maintain a clerical bureaucracy with a history of damaging the human spirit. Feh.
Rant over, now I will go back to quietly rocking in a corner with my spoon and jar of Nutella. And perhaps another cup of coffee. Sprocket J Cogswell Talk to Sprocket 13:31, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I copied this to Talk:Theology as it’s relevant there. Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:21, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I never needed anybody's help in any way[edit]

Will someone who can please make a permalink. Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:23, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Why can't you? It's in the help pages. I found it within ten seconds. SophieWilder 16:15, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
How do I search the help pages for information like that? Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:31, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Using the search function. ТyAsk me about frog-backed securities 18:35, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
"The difference, as has been pointed out, is that astrology isn't being used the way theology is as a direct motivation for human misery." You can find theology being used to justify everything and its opposite. Nevertheless, I doubt anyone's getting killed over the latest issue of Ars Disputandi. "I have never seen anyone die for the ontological argument." -Albert Camus Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:13, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I almost forgot: Astrological discrimination. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:46, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Proxima, I typed permalink in the search box. SophieWilder 10:22, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Wait a minute...[edit]

The Washington Times (is that the Moonie one?) has an article, dated 1st August, talking about Rubio's plan to scrap the tax on Olympic medal honorariums. While I think this is a good thing, the article concludes by saying "All told, U.S. athletes have 64 medals — 27 golds, 18 silvers and 19 bronzes — which comes to a tax bill of nearly $350,000."

Looking at London 2012, on the 2nd August, the medal count is 14 gold, 8 silver & 9 bronze? What the fuck - is this guy lying? --Psygremlin (talk) 16:04, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

The SlTimes' ownership has varied, but it's always been affiliated with the Moonies in one way or another. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 16:58, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Is he talking about Beijing? SophieWilder 16:16, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Update: Not Beijing. The US has won over 30 golds in every Olympics they went to, going back to 1948. So what planet is this bloke on? SophieWilder 16:24, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Maybe he's from the future? If the medal count turns out to be exactly correct, I'm going to have to call the Time Cops. Cow...Hammertime! 16:27, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, if he's from the future, then why doesn't he do something smart, like invest in valuable commodities or warn the government of impending attacks or place bets on Rafalca? -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:42, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I presume that in the team sports, a win counts as one medal, even though each member of the team receives their own individual medal. It still counts as one medal win. Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 16:51, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Given that the article is partly about tax on the metal in each  medal then I believe you are correct. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 19:04, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Considering some of the recent rumours of match fixing, it's possible he's in on the number of medals the IOC promised the USA but he didn't quite get the message not to blab. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:50, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
First, it's not a tax on the medals, it's a tax on the prize that the USOC gives to winners - for team sports, every winner gets the honorarium, not just one to be split. Though the bill is obviously never coming up for a vote, this kind of grandstanding is an embarrassment. We tax Nobel honorariums, and you have to spend a lot more time practicing to get one of those. But, it got precious newscycles, so whatever. Hipocrite (talk) 20:27, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
That covers both the honorarium and the tax on the value of the gold in the medal itself is what the article says. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 20:52, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
That's some serious bull. The IRS is not coming after the $600 of gold in the medals themselves. Hipocrite (talk) 22:00, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
According to Stephen Fry's elves [QI] the "gold" medals are plated silver, If I Recall Correctly.
Honorarium: "A voluntary payment that is given to a person for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required. Honoraria are typically used to help cover costs for volunteers or guest speakers. " Scream!! (talk) 22:24, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

According to Rubio's source

Medal Tax Prize Tax Total Tax Burden
Gold $236 $8,750 $8,986
Silver $135 $5,250 $5,385
Bronze $2 $3,500 $3,502

The gold medal is about 1.34% gold and 92.5% silver. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 07:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Those are some rich-ass athletes, making more than $388,350 in AGI. RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS. Hipocrite (talk) 11:52, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, this is new. Islamophobic spam[edit]

So I just found the following fresh turd in my inbox:

"Did you know that Mohammad was a drunken, child molesting cowardly pimp? The Ayatollahs and Terrorist do not want you to know the truth about Islam and promise to harm you if you tell anyone. Fight back and read this well written, totally funny, parody of the founding of the so-called religion.

The good non-biased reviews on Amazon.com "How Fatima Started Islam" are very accurate in describing this both laugh and insult per page well written novel featuring the always drunk proprietor of Mohammad's Saloon & Brothel [bad reviews were sent in by people who obviously never read or even seen the book because they do not want you to read it]. Still, available from Amazon.com and 234 truly funny pages at only $9.99 . You will not be sorry, but do not import this book to the Middle East. The Terrorist DO NOT want you or anybody to read, publicize, promote,or purchase this book, they HATE the fact that this book exists and is being read. Buying this parody is not only sticking up for American freedom it is sending them a big message to Islam.

See sample Chapters, the backcover showing Mohammad depicted after a 5 day bender (the terrorist hate the picture), read about the never sober Mohammad having sex with camels, pre-adolescent girls, and boys, the terror, sneak attacks, killings, rapes, assassinations, mutilations, back stabbing and mental illness. No other book in the world is at all like this one, strike a blow for American Freedom by reading it."

Here's a link to the book in question. Judging by the reviews, I'm not the only one who has recently been spammed about it. Anyone else in here received this? Or, for that matter, know who's hiding behind this "Noor Barack" pseudonym and why he thinks that it's a good idea to advertise his book in the same way as they advertise penis enlargement pills? Vulpius (talk) 02:31, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

"So-called religion" - It appears the spammer doesn't know what constitutes a religion, or if he does, believes a religion's dogma has higher merit than those of a cult. It's also safe to say that he hasn't read the Bible either.
Ooh, I now have an idea for a pointless poll. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:44, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I've never seen this before, but according to some random blogger, Noor Barack appears to be a pseudonym of Daryl Johnson. I don't know if that means anything to you. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
So is this somebody flogging a book or a new logical fallacy - argumentum ad Amazonum? SophieWilder 10:14, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
It's been published on Amazon! It must be true! *gag* Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 11:29, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
"No other book in the world is at all like this one." I don't doubt that. If the spammer's the same guy who penned the book then the book isn't so much an attack on Islam as an attack on the written word.</dry British wit> El TajDon't make me do stuff 11:45, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

No credit for Mitt[edit]

Jared Diamond flunks Romney on reading comprehension. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:23, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Next time, Mittens would be better off quoting from a dead author's work. -- Seth Peck (talk) 05:07, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
How do some US politicians find time to read books when they should be re-reading the Bible? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 07:29, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
This whole episode is interesting. Even despite the fact Romney has no idea what he's talking about, and has surely never read Guns, Germs and Steel, it's still telling that he's trying to take sides. We all know what 'cultural superiority' really means. Q0 (talk) 17:11, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Dafuq?[edit]

Now fight amongst yourselves. --Psygremlin (talk) 12:43, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

That may be NSFW (depending on where you W.) MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 12:45, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

See no unemployment, hear no unemployment...[edit]

Jon Chait offers up a Twilight of the Elites-style explanation for DC's jobs fail. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:51, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Your regular dose of Ark Park schadenfreude[edit]

Actually, probably not schadenfreude, because I don't feel in the least guilty about laughing at those fuckers at AiG. It turns out that the Ark Park that was supposed to have started construction last year is still 40 odd million dollars away from so much as rolling an excavator on to the site.

In one of my earlier updates, I said that the additional phases of the park would never be built. That seems like a pretty safe bet, I know a scaling back of ambitions when I see one. But now I'm calling it. Not only will the extra phases never be built, the Ark Park will never be built at all. I just hope their irate investors find some way to sue the AiG mothership for mis-selling this monstrosity to them and the resulting litigation bankrupts them. I also look forward to excuses as to why god punished them for attempting to "do his will." --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:58, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

We can hope, though I think you're probably right. It's all gay marriage's fault. Peter This is not my first temporal anomaly 00:58, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Hang on a second - didn't Kentucky vote a whole bunch of tax cuts for the park, and divert funds from education to build roads to the park? I know we're talking fundies here, but surely if construction doesn't start soon, somebody in an office somewhere is going to say "Hey, about all those millions you've been given..." --Psygremlin (talk) 12:12, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Feh -- those would be liberals who hate God, apple pie, Donald Trump, and Chick-Fil-A. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 12:31, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I doubt even Kentucky is stupid enough to actually start the work promised until it's obvious the ark park will open. I shouldn't worry that any public money will ever be spent. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 12:33, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Well their 2012 has already cut education spending, with tax breaks for the park, so some public money is going somewhere. --Psygremlin (talk) 12:42, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
The park got a $43 million tax break. And they still can't make enough to get started. rpeh •TCE 12:54, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't look like you'll be seeing any rides at the Ark Park, but here's seven rides you probably won't find even if they do build it. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 13:10, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
If the Ark Park ever does open, I demand a RW day trip where we all go in period costume and stone Mikalos with nerf rocks for being a disobedient child. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:45, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, Jeeves hits the nail on the head. Road improvements will happen when there's a Park for people (like us, apparently?) to visit and not before. The tax break is on sales tax for the attraction. No attraction? No sales tax, no tax break. It's an automatic tax break for attractions that bring in a lot of money from out-of-state, the only controversy was whether somehow the state was obliged to withhold it from AiG, and they decided (no surprise) that they weren't. If Kentucky cut money for schools, or eliminated a program that gives people adorable kittens that's got nothing to do with AiG's silly park, blame your elected representatives instead.
Also we shouldn't start crowing too soon. The park was never scheduled to open before 2014. That's a lot of time for a "rescuer" to come along and make things happen. The sure signs it's screwed would be if the land gets sold (especially at a knock-down price), if AiG begins talking about a much smaller project (e.g. another museum) or if it opens but the crowds never come. It does not matter if the crowds are laughing at them, money is still money. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 08:34, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
if AiG begins talking about a much smaller project... Frankly, I'm really excited about seeing Noah's Rowboat. VOXHUMANA 10:23, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
If they're really strapped for cash, perhaps they can open next year as Noah's Shipyard, helpfully explaining to the true believers how Noah founded the JCB company and invented the internal combustion engine especially for building the ark. Using blueprints supplied by god of course. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:43, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
In a documentary on myth making, some generic scholar was discussing the likelihood that Noah is an archaic story of a real dude who was living on a small land locked inlet, that flooded when a rain storm made a natural levee break to allow the sea into the isolate. "ancient-dude" probably built himself a raft and saved his family and some animals. 1000's of years later, "noah" and "god" and "40 days of rain" were born. They could probably pull of that project!Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 13:49, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
If the Black Sea deluge theory is correct then that would have sparked an enormous amount of flood stories at around about the right sort of time (OK, stretching it but...) I think it's reasonable to suggest that big floods create big myths. Bad Faith (talk) 14:04, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
They should have followed North Carolina's lead, and just outlawed flooding! Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 14:12, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
This one guy on a raft with a cow flood archetype stories have always struck me as a bunch of cobblers. Since when did people need a true archetype to invent stories? It's like insisting that all the various why did the chicken cross the road jokes have their origin in a real incident of a chicken crossing the road. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:30, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Vices of our tribe[edit]

Ian Pollock has an excellent essay up at Rationally Speaking on atheism/skepticism. (Just a nitpick, but he glosses over the evidence for the evolution of a "moral sense": [1], [2]) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:23, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Goat Man[edit]

I know we all love the site's unofficial mascot, but this guy is taking things a bit far. rpeh •TCE 12:34, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Didn't CSI have an episode about this? Vulpius (talk) 13:38, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
CSI:RationalWiki? i must have missed that one. SophieWilder 14:46, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
That was the spinoff where all the characters showed up at the precinct office hung over, told bad jokes and insulted each other over trivial stuff, then wandered home at the end of the day. There weren't many episodes. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:49, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Happy birthday... I think[edit]

I saw a headline in our local paper saying "The Internet Turns 21!" and I thought that was nice, because now it can get married and vote and buy beer and stuff. So I typed 'internet turns 21' into Google, to find a story to post here... and now I'm confused. You see, Google came up with:

  • The Internet Turns 21 @ The Weekly Review (Dated 17-6-2010)
  • Happy 20th Birthday for the Internet | PCWorld (dated 2 Jan 2003)
  • The Web Turns 21 | Globe Magazine (dated 4 Jul 2011)
  • The Web turns 20 (dated 13 Mar 2009)
  • 'Dot Com' Internet Domain Name Turns 25 (dated 15 Mar 2010)

and finally

  • The World Wide Web, Not The Internet, Turns 20 Today - PC Magazine (6 Aug 2011)

So happy birthday WWW! --PsyGremlinHable! 13:41, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Our internet got married at 16 and has been drinking legally for three years now. VOXHUMANA 13:46, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Yet another shootout[edit]

How long before you Americans do anything about that largely defensive weapon of gun?

Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:10, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

More importantly, how long until Rob comes back to blame this on Obama? Theory of Practice "Trampoline" is an Olympic sport now? 19:34, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
(aside: You know, while I'm against private gun ownership of anything but hunting guns, i find it largely upsetting that anyone talks about politics before people even get a chance to take in shock and grieve. Right or left. have come class, please.)
This really looks like a targeted attack against "muslims" (yes, i know sikh's aren't muslims) rather than just some random nut job. In my mind, right or wrong, this is so much worse. to have to fear because of how you dress to acknowledge your religion (or gender, or political position or skin color - any attack against a class as domestic terrorism). Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 19:54, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
It wouldn't surprise me if this was meant to target Muslims. A Sikh temple in MI was the target of anti-Islamic vandalism a few months back. Now there's a shining example of the ignorance of bigotry. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:16, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
There's no proof of anything yet, and with the shooter dead, it'll take longer for the truth to come out. During the meanwhile, please people, don't be the bottom half of the internet. SophieWilder
"It wouldn't surprise me if this was meant to target Muslims." How is this speculation any better than CP speculating that the incident would not have occurred if people had guns? Same thing happened with Toulouse. And so much for not politicialising issues, calling for gun control is the same as CP calling for less gun control, this is no better than what Andy does... 124.183.107.243 (talk) 23:32, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if I'm being dense here, but what makes the gun control aspect 'politics' and the Sikh/Muslim/terrorism speculation not? Looks like I was beaten to the punch by that BoN Q0 (talk) 23:35, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Because imho an issue cannot be politicalised before the basic facts are known. It is known this was committed with a gun, thus it opens the debate about gun control. However, to insinuate that gun control would have prevented such a tragedy before these people have been buried is disrespectful. As for the motive, we don't know if the shooter was targeting Muslims (opening up debate about racism), an estranged father (opening up the debate about custody and childcare) or if they were a mentally unstable member of the temple (opening up the debate about mental healthcare). To push one line of speculation before any facts are released and before time has been allowed for grieving is again disrespectful. It's the same thing as what CP does (and gets criticised for doing). I'm not saying that these things should not be debated, but at least give it a bit of time and let the facts be known. 124.183.107.243 (talk) 23:54, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
"americans need to remove guns" bs. "what might be motives, reasons, or targets. Could this be part of a bigger attack", etc. very different.Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 01:21, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
And now you're getting to the heart of things. It's not really that it's something political; it's that you disagree with the usual argument. I mean, if I speak out about how bombing in Afghanistan should be ended whenever an American jet blows up some Afghan kids, are you going to tell me I'm exploiting their loss for political reasons? Am I not allowed to be upset that it happened, wish it would end, and take the most reasonable approach to stop it? I'm not being political, I'm being empathetic. It's the same with 'letting the family grieve'. Should I wait to comment on the bombings until the Afghan family grieves as well? How long should I wait? A day? A week? A month? I don't think "Oh hey, remember that tragedy a while back? Yeah, that one. I think it's finally time we do something about that!" is an effective way to actually work for change.
The main reason we get upset when the resident idiots over at CP comment immediately on these things is that they're reactionary, irrational, and wrong. For most of us, it's: bad thing happens -> try to find out what went wrong so we can stop it from happening again. For CP it's: bad thing happens -> try to find some obscure evidence that fits your previously held belief or conspiracy theory and shout it to the world. So, the moment any news story mentions liberals/gays/video games/Obama/etc, the connection is made, and they're off to the races!
In this case, you may not want to talk about guns, but what other facts can you even bring into play at this point? Speculation on the Sikh/Muslim thing is just that - speculation. I happen to agree it's the most likely scenario, and am more than willing to talk about it, but that doesn't change the fact that it's no better than discussing gun control. Q0 (talk) 03:04, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:45, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

In the UK random shootings like this happen once every decade if we're unlucky. Random attacks with weapons like knives and machetes that criminals can easily get are more frequent. I'm sure easy availability of guns is part of the problem. Proxima Centauri (talk)

This section probably would have gone over better had you not started it off with the gun control line prox. just saying. --Mikal Harass Follow 09:15, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Wisconsin Sikh temple gunman had 'white power links' Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:46, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Guys...[edit]

WIGO:World now. 99.235.129.26 (talk) 19:01, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

As if there was any doubt. -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:05, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Curiosity Rover Landing[edit]

Less than two hours until the "Seven Minutes OF HELL." NASA TV is doing a preshow right now talking about educating kids... including will.i.am for some reason. --CoyoteSans (talk) 03:43, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

The Curiosity Mars rover will attempt landing within the hour. You can watch a live stream here. If you don't know what this is or why it's exciting, watch this video.--ADtalkModerator 03:45, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Whoot! AceThe Rep Grows Bigger 03:48, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I concede defeat. Though, in my defense, I can't see the "Add new topic" link anymore. To atone for my weak wiki-fu, please accept this stream of actual scientists talking about the landing. --CoyoteSans (talk) 03:54, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I didn't see your topic when I started, sorry! Merged into yours.--ADtalkModerator 03:57, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Peak oil deceleration! Peter This is not my first temporal anomaly 05:14, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I think. Maybe not. Peter This is not my first temporal anomaly 05:15, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Whilst I admire the neat skycrane approach to landing a heavier rover, I'm a bit confused as to why this has mission has caught the public attention so much more than others such as New Horizons. I can't help but wonder how much new data this mission will return - and weather the resources would have been better deployed to a landing mission for different target such as Io, Europa, or a return to Titan with a proper rover. One mission to any of these worlds would yield far more new information and expand our knowledge than returning to the same ground with rovers following broadly the same objectives as before. Until a manned mission to Mars actually gets going, (opening up possibilities of genuinely new avenues of research that rovers just can't undertake) I think moving on to different targets would be a more productive step. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 09:20, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

It's the exobiology, stupid. :P Osaka Sun (talk) 09:39, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, MSL is the last US rover mission to Mars for the near future. It's also the last Flagship-class mission, because currently they've been put on indefinite hold - the James Webb telescope ate their budget. :) Next rover on Mars will be Europe's ExoMars, and someone (the Chinese? the Russians?) may finally send a plane or an aerostat. Except the stuff already in progress, like New Horizons and Juno, NASA's next interplanetary missions are likely to be of the cheaper Discovery and New Frontiers programs, which includes proposals such as the wp:Titan Mare Explorer.--ZooGuard (talk) 15:07, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I think the TME is a strong candidate, and it really should have been given much higher priority (I'm not convinced it'll actually happen). The Russian project for a Europa Lander as part of the EJSM also needs a firm commitment (i.e. less talk more cash). --TheEgyptiansig001.png 16:41, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

WTF, "tones", what is it? C®ackeЯ

And everything was seven minutes ago, right? It's down. 05:35, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Rover is down. Everything went successfully, and images are coming in, bouncing off of Odyssey.--ADtalkModerator 05:40, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

That was a pitch perfect landing. It even sent us a couple pictures! --CoyoteSans (talk) 05:42, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
And here they are! --CoyoteSans (talk) 05:44, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Here's the first image: First image from Curiosity. Amazing.--ADtalkModerator 05:47, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Can you imagine being in that room, 6-7 years of your life working on some part of the project, scared to death something goes wrong and 6 years is down the drain...to see it land! Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 05:49, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, that's the thing, whatever happened had already happened, you just didn't know about it until the data got home. No sense in worrying about it, kind of like life but slower and moar! excurciating. C®ackeЯ 05:58, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

More pics here when the server stops over heating, ( Try C&P this for use at a later time http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/raw/ ). C®ackeЯ 06:07, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Meh. A cheap webcam does much better than that. --2.34.113.53 (talk) 09:00, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Do you have a webcam on Mars? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 09:07, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
They're only using webcams when we know they could do better. THEY'RE FAKING IT! MARS LANDING HOAX! Osaka Sun (talk) 09:27, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I've already seen people making such arguments, and not as a joke.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:30, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
You know Buzzfeed's "proof that the Internet consists of complete imbeciles" stories? Expect that soon. Osaka Sun (talk) 09:39, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
(EC) This was a thumbnail - a low-resolution preview - from one of the hazard avoidance cameras that are on the chassis near the wheels, and it still had it dust cover on. Image size/resolution is also limited by the bandwidth of the link to the rover. Much better images are expected later.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:30, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Bah - all I saw on TV was pictures of guys in blue shirts. Why didn't they film the rover actually landing? Multiple cameras and some dramatic music - that would have made much better viewing. Damn amateurs. VOXHUMANA 09:33, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
According to Twitter, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter managed to snap a picture of the landing from orbit, like they did with Phoenix. The image will be released at the next press conference. Someone also mentioned skycrane video, but they may have been making it up.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:47, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Anyone got any good conspiracies to share about it, yet? Scarlet A.pngpostate 10:00, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
The usual: spaceflight deniers insisting it's fake, people saying what was shown was a show, grumblings about the image quality, preliminary grumbling about cover-ups of any "interesting" results. Have a look at GLP or ATS for examples. Most of CTs started even before the landing. I'm afraid to check what Hoagland says about it.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:27, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, yes, a good one - on NASA's site, there's an image of a test of one of Curiosity's instruments. It's zoomed on the eye-and-pyramid of a dollar bill. You can imagine the CT imaginations going into overdrive. :)--ZooGuard (talk) 10:33, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
And during the Olympics with a stadium that is covered in Illuminati symbolism! Scarlet A.pngsshole 11:51, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Ya know, for a fraction of the cost, the atheistic scientists could have funded expeditions to find Noah's Ark, or find dinosaurs in Lake Champion and the Brazilian rain forest. Just sayin' it before some fundie does. --Psygremlin (talk) 11:08, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
No need, we already know there is a confirmed dinosaur living in Loch Ness. VOXHUMANA 11:12, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes I question my own intelligence because I just don't see how the reality of an extant dinosaur would disprove evolution. :( Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 12:04, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Because "science was wrong, once!".
I just loved watching the tenion on everyone's face at the landing. 5-7 years work, depending on the part of hte project you are heading, sitting there knowing at any time something could go very wrong. I loved being "in" that room with them, rather than just hearing the press conference. That, NASA, is how you will sell science to kids. Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 13:51, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I still remember Mrs. Smith telling us that we would never catch up to the ones who launched Sputnik if we didn't learn our long division. Not long after that, I spent years learning about the fragility and unreliability of flying machines; few of my model airplanes survived their first flights. But I really came to this page to invite anyone who thinks there are no more dinosaurs extant to come here and say it to their faces. Might be tough to be heard over the racket the budgies are making, though. Disputatious little buggers. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:20, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Hey, not just kids! Scarlet A.pngmoral 14:23, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I just watched a video explaining how the various stages of the landing worked. Clever folk these scientist types. --Psygremlin (talk) 14:31, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
One sad thing. As far as I could tell, not one of the scientists was black. Given that they had tons of "everyone else", i have to say it's not cause they are racist, but cause science is not praised within the African American community! i hope that changes. Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 14:33, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Also because within science you don't so much get "african american" scientists, you just have the "scientific community" and all those other bumpkins. Identity within it doesn't seem to exist from what I've seen. We have no "gay scientific community" and we don't have a "female scientist community" (though we have some "women in science" events and focuses, they're not really identified as a community). It's really not broken up into communities like that. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:38, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Degrass Tyson was interviewing Reva Williams and there is quite a serious issue that such groups don't exist within the community at large because they are not "allowed" in the old school white male elite view that science was, for most of the last 100 years. And that scientists on PZ board talk about the same kinds of problems "Atheists" groups have. Feeling that if they say they are uncomfortable, they become the center of attention and should just "take" it. anyhow, just an observation.Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 14:47, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Which end causes the most discomfort, though? Your first post suggests that it's the "black" community (I really do hate these "community" terms, as if people live on in walled ghettoes and never speak to anyone else!) doesn't support science, your second hints that the "science" community doesn't support black people. Should science start doing identity politics? Or will that just result in cringe-worthy embarrassment? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:07, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
They already are. It's a fallacy to say they aren't. You can't run an EU ad about "science and girls" (using lipstick and heals, yeah!) and not say it's not part of science. Recognizing that a class of people is extremely under represented in your field is critical to expanding your field. There really is value to "how a woman thinks", and (not me, by Degrasse and Williams said) the same is true for bringing in the African american experience. Cause groups that share social upbringing, do look at the world differently. And that difference might be the next formula to do some big thing. (I really don't know what is the next big unsolved "thing", but i'm sure many are out there.) Science does not, and cannot exist outside of the real world politics, racial issues, sexism, etc. anyhow, i'll stop on this thread, my bad for distracting such an amazing rover thing! Green mowse.pngGodotL'important c'est d'aimer 17:06, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
The remarks on sexism are legit, but there are much larger obstacles to blacks entering scientific fields than the ones you're focusing on. Economic factors are extremely hard to overcome, with the fact most black children end up going to underfunded and comparatively awful schools, and then the difficulty of paying for college (or college loans) if they ever even get that far.
As for atheism, you've gotta take into account numbers like these as well. Q0 (talk) 19:46, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

I had remembered correctly - there's a downwards-facing camera (MARDI) that is supposed to have made a long series of pictures of the descent at about 5 FPS. At this bandwidth, it will take ages to transfer them to Earth, though, so don't expect a HD landing video soon. :(--ZooGuard (talk) 14:41, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

For those who haven't seen it, here's the picture MRO snapped from orbit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/msl20120806b.html --ZooGuard (talk) 18:43, 6 August 2012 (UTC)