RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive174

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This is an archive page, last updated 22 September 2012. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Netgear filtering[edit]

I apologize if this has been brought up already--I'm sitting in a dealership lobby, waiting for my car to finish being serviced, and their public WiFi is filtering rationalwiki.org as a "Sex Education" site. Apparently this is part of NetGear's security protocols (the site has been classified as such, and blocked by the dealership's settings). With the block message was a link to request a classification change--I requested "Education" and "Politics".

I realize that my situation here is both temporary and extremely rare, but I thought others might be interested in the censorship perpetrated by private businesses due to (possibly) improper classification. -- Seth Peck (talk) 14:03, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

London Borough of Ealing Libraries block many RW pages due to content. 212.85.6.26 (talk) 14:22, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Maybe we need the option of SSL to help bypass filters (on routers that don't have a man-in-the-middle attack for SSL). CrundyTalk nerdy to me 16:01, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The NG router isn't even doing content filtering, though, they're doing domain filtering based on categories, and the category it assigned seemed arbitrary and inappropriate. We may talk about sex education here, but I don't think we ACTUALLY have anything that a teenager could go to here to learn what they need to know. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:19, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Um.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 16:58, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
My bad, I was thinking more from a "How to" perspective. -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:03, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't seem uncommon. They blocked wikipedia at my HS as a "Blog" when we first got a new filter--Mikal Harass Follow 16:33, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure why "Sex Education" is something that should be blocked in the first place. It's not "porn" or "tits all over the show, jesus christ is that a cucumber what's that doing there". X Stickman (talk) 19:01, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Because sex education online may not follow the correct line the school teaches!Mikal Harass Follow 19:11, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Also a car dealership lobby isn't usually considered an appropriate time or place to be educating oneself or others about sex. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:55, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Have you never had sex in a car? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 21:00, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Plus, the skills you learn might useful in the negotiation of price…--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 19:32, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
So THAT is why that dealer had an expecting look the whole time I was out for that test drive with him. I wondered why he suggested we take it up the back roads to test the handling... Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 1013 points 00:07, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Dinesh D'Souza[edit]

We are getting a lot of search traffic since his 2016 movie is making the rounds. Currently exceeding are usual top billers like blue beam and Poe's Law. Anyone up for an improvement project on the article? Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:54, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Why does all the important stuff happen when I'm ona phone and need to sleep? Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 00:05, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Sure. I'll hit the books and work on it sometime this weekend. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 09:05, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
I had 9 tabs open all with some variant on "Dinesh D'Souza" open, looking up the Dartmouth Review stuff. Man, that guy was a complete and utter asshole in the '80s. Scarlet A.pngpostateModerator 10:38, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
So, not much has changed with him, in other words? Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 10:42, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
As D'Souza himself would say, "A bigot is simply a sociologist without credentials." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:44, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
D'Souza will be forever known to me as the guy who said "Obama is anti-Britain because he moved a statue of Winston Churchill". Mr. Anon (talk) 16:40, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Holy fuck, I never saw a picture of the guy until now. He looks like Mr. Bean! --Revolverman (talk) 19:53, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Cthulhu 2012?[edit]

Fuck you. Vote GLaDOS. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:50, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Pfft. Vote Animal King. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:12, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Obama tripled the deficit[edit]

I see this claim all over the place from conservatives, and I'm looking for a little analysis that doesn't come from WND or RedState. Is this true? Is it Republicans fudging the numbers? Can anyone point me to someone competent breaking it down? The best I got from Google was a Youtube video with very poor production values based on two headlines.--"Shut up, Brx." 20:59, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

I believe what they're saying is that the deficit tripled under Obama's first term. What they're omitting is that the deficit was run up by war actions and policies enacted by previous administrations (e.g., GWB). Even the "triple" part is wrong, I believe, because the deficit wasn't that low to begin with. Anyone but RobSmith is free to correct me. -- Seth Peck (talk) 21:03, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
That's what FRED is for. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:05, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, that's what I get for confusing the deficit with the national debt. (sigh) I think my first two sentences still stand. -- Seth Peck (talk) 21:09, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, the deficits (if unpaid obviously) accumulate to the debt anyway. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:23, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah -- they're probably fudging it by including FY 2009 (a Bush budget) or calculating deficit as a % of GDP. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:13, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Remember, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars weren't shown in Bush's budgets even though we bled money during the five years in Iraq and nearly eight in Afghanistan. Matzosphere (talk) 07:49, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
That is incorrect. Temporary and Emergency spending, such as wars, are reflected in the that budget data. There are several ways "tripling the debt" can be explained. I'll give you the inside poop how conservatives see it. Obama has chosen to keep the Bush Tax Cuts in place, and has (1) added payroll tax cuts, and (2) increased the spending side of the ledger. Since the current tax environment works from a base year when the National debt was $5 trillion, and the Obama/Pelosi/Reid congress never saw fit to repeal it during the 2009-11 session, Obama gets credit for tripling the national debt under the current tax and spending regime. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:55, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Your link to that nice graphic shows that Obama came into office while the debt was 11.5 trillion so going to fifteen is "tripling". Okay I see, I believe the correct response to this is {{fish}}, which I am sure you know what does. Matzosphere (talk) 06:22, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
At the time of the Bush Tax Cuts there were nay-sayers, pessimists, and contrarians, who said, "what if blah blah blah worst case scenario the sky is falling, Armageddon, and Jesus returns". However it was the considered judgement of a consensus of the American people and their elected officials to install a taxation regime from a base of $5 trillion in debt, knowing full well both the upside and downside risks. That tax regime has remained in place despite unforeseen temporary and emergency spending measures (such as 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, TARP, etc.) which have been met without breaking the national consensus on the level of taxation. Obama, constrained by that existing consensus on taxation, has (1) added to the tax cuts, and (2) grossly increased spending without building a consensus to pay for it. Obama has tripled the debt without building a national consensus in support of his programs. nobsCorporations are people, too 16:02, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Rob--"Shut up, Brx." 21:21, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Anyone else find lumping in decade-long wars with "temporary and emergency" a bit black comedy? Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 01:50, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Permanent spending are things like operating government departments, civil service, Social Security checks, etc.; temporary spending are things like wars, the TARP program, or Katrina relief. While disaster relief such as Katrina may be confined to one fiscal year through a supplemental appropriation, a multi-year war likewise is considered only temporary spending. It doesn't need a permanent mandate, or non-discretionary, appropriation to the Treasury like Social Security to make disbursements. nobsCorporations are people, too 16:17, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Anyone know anything about this guy?[edit]

Notice how he ignores Leviticus 19:28.--P3A58NT86 22:48, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, I couldn't make it beyond 1:10. That background music and the trippy colour reduction effects made me begin to channel Jack Torrance. --TheEgyptiansig001.png 23:55, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Who cares? Some half-dressed guy pontificating to a camera, the usual YouTube shit; video has a dozen views & no comments. As for ignoring Leviticus 19:28, that's normal. I routinely ignore it, along with the rest of Leviticus. I eat crustaceans whenever I like, & haven't put a witch to death in years. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:08, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
The reason I asked is because his videos are making the rounds on the facebook/clogs and I was wondering if he was particularly noteworthy or had an article on here. I found it amusing (though not surprising) that such a devout christian ignores his book right off the bat. If I followed Leviticus I would have to put myself to death. Barbarians...--P3A58NT86 04:44, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't the Bible forbid suicide? ;P --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 00:10, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Nothing too direct (as always). It's only just Catholic-derived dogma that says you're going to limbo for it. Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 01:20, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Canada severs all relations with Iran[edit]

Worldwide news. We're all wondering: what's the motivation? Osaka Sun (talk) 03:20, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

This is really confusing, and obviously has nothing to do with "human rights violations". Is the Harper government really that crazy that it prefers direct confrontation? Instead of remaining a good mediator for Middle East affairs, Canada would rather forcefully join the US/Israel side and further inflame tensions around the world? Incredibly stupid and counterproductive, if you ask me. Q0 (talk) 07:45, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

WARNING: spoof users[edit]

I just blocked accounts which spoofed me, Armondikov and Osaka Sun. The first one was Tweenk with a capital Cyryllic T instead of the Latin T (they look exactly the same); the second one was Armondikov with the second 'o' replaced by the Greek omicron; the third one was Osaka Sun with capital Greek omicron instead of the O. All accounts had user and user talk pages redirected to the genuine users. Just a heads up in case this pattern continues or anyone notices strange edits.

Here's an useful tool that lets you inspect each character in a suspect username: String analyser --Tweenk (talk) 06:05, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

My apologies, that was douchy of me Percival (talk) 06:36, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Though a curious set of unfunny edits. Hell, if you have a spoof account, at least do something cool with it. Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 13:28, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Just like the SteriIe account back in the day. Some things never change. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 13:58, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
SteriIe. No imaginationPercival (talk) 15:14, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Oh my lack of god![edit]

Let the whining begin! (Link to WND if you prefer your news coverage to be clogospheric.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:08, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

At this point Palin would have been the better VP pick. Osaka Sun (talk) 17:14, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Didn't Ayn Rand say something against superstition? Didn't??? Tisk, tisk, tisk. Sen (talk) 00:22, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
More info. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:25, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Reality TV gets a kick in the face[edit]

X Factor contestant burns one of the "Disney clones." Osaka Sun (talk) 20:39, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Who? Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 00:02, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
They can all burn. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 01:19, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Wow. Something on Youtube about which I lack context, understanding or interest. This must be the internet!--Weirdstuff (talk) 13:47, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Larry Flynt[edit]

Say what you will about the man, but do have some respect for his bounty on Mitt Romney's tax returns. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 06:40, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Flynt is awesome. Acei9 06:56, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

There was no surplus under President Clinton[edit]

DNC[edit]

I had really low expectations for this one, to be honest. But I just watched Michelle Obama's speech, and she really just crushes it out of the park. The final few minutes, particularly - well, my jaw just goddamn dropped.

Take a look.--ADtalkModerator 10:13, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

look out Barack, much like Penelope, Michelle has a new suitor. Hey AD, what are you like with a bow? Acei9 10:25, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
None of this matters because Faux News will just end up trolling over how her shoes don't match the dress. Scarlet A.png bominationModerator 10:41, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh, i figured Fox would just lead with chants of "Castro, Castro, Castro" and leave it there.  ;-)--Green mowse.pngGodotRIP original "muahahahah". 1...2....3...4...muahahahahah 14:18, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I'll let the sickening nationalism slide as that's just the nature of the game in US politics, but in general she couldn't have done better if she lined up every wingnut pundit and politician in a line and went "fuck you, and fuck you, and fuck you, and especially fuck you, and fuck you, and fuck you, fuck you too..." Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 10:57, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately unless I can get my VNC working through the corporate firewall I can't watch any of this stuff. But hey, the weather here in Trinidad is very nice. Redchuck.gif ГенгисunbelievingModerator 11:25, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
":Dems have better rhetoricians than the Repubs. M. Obama's speech did far more than Ann Romney's did for both Michelle and Barack's character. And she even mentioned issues too.sterilesporadic heavy hitter 11:26, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
I liked Sandra Fluke's speech, but unfortunately that's the sort of thing that goes right over the heads of anybody but the choir you're preaching to--"Shut up, Brx." 03:51, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
I have not been watching. It's just so much back-slapping, knowing they're probably going to have a good year because of the magic of "Not as bad as"... and the bar was set pretty fucking low with the GOP going off the deep end. I'll just watch the highlights when it's over. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 04:05, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
It's the national convention, of course it's full of choir preaching. Eastwood's stunt was entirely choir preaching, the difference being that the non-choir found it hilarious enough to sit through at and watch. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 10:49, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Bill Clinton certainly gave a good speech. It seems like he's becoming the party's new respected elder statesman — a Ted Kennedy-like figure of sorts. Makes me wish I could remember more of his presidency. Sam Tally-ho! 05:35, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

I think the consensus among the forums and facebook feeds that I read is equivalent to the very end of the Family Guy episode, "Bill and Peter's Bogus Journey". -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:48, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Also, someone needs to photoshop Clinton's face on this guy's frame (crazy hair and all) and put "ARITHMETIC" as the caption. I'd do it but I suck at graphic arts. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:16, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying it was arithmetic, but it was arithmetic.
Well why not, it's not like I have real work to do... Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 17:38, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
STEALING and putting on reddit. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:21, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh gawd.... Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 18:42, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
No traction on r/PoliticalHumor, but quite a few of my FB friends love it. Thanks. -- Seth Peck (talk) 21:42, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
UM..if you remember the 1990s, you didn't inhale? Secret Squirrel (talk) 21:12, 6 September 2012 (UTC)
Nobody remembers the 90s, least of all the GOP. What a great time to be in business, once Clinton had been in for a couple of years, continuing the bipartisan budget deal GWHB cut. The modern GOP, to quote Jon Stewart, seems to have been formed 3 1/2 years ago. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:11, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Speaking as someone who was a kid in that decade, the 90s seem to have been the Monday hangover after the party that was the 80s; where everyone in the world drank a cup of black coffee, cleaned themselves up best they could, and went back to work. --CoyoteSans (talk) 17:12, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Just to burst everybodies bubble: the Clinton surpluses were entirely due to a stock bubble. Furthermore, decline in real wages for everybody who wasn't rich, which began in the 1970s and accelerated in the '80s, continued, meaning the economic boom of the '90s (and Clinton's economic policies) did fuck-all for most people. Some "good old days," eh? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:28, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
The economy has been riding financial bubbles since the '70s stagflation. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:52, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Economics is a bastard like that. Even a POTUS doesn't really have any meaningful power over it. I'm not sure any individual does - despite any conspiracy theorists claiming there's an invisible order controlling it, or traders' and bankers' insistence that they have the economy under control. There's an invisible hand at work, but it's constantly spanking us for no discernible reason. Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 13:31, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Au contrere, mon frere, the hand is very visible. Wages stagnate while corporate profits continue to rise. The economy has also been increasingly financialized. Joe Sixpack now relies on debt rather than wages to keep up with the Joneses. And a certain Randroid showers Wall St. with easy credit, thus turning the place into a casino. Result: Burst debt bubble, collapse of aggregate demand, and we're thrown into a massive balance-sheet recession. A pitifully small fiscal stimulus package keeps the economy from tanking too hard, and then our Galtian overlords close in with cries of "austerity now!" You could say that the economy is centrally-planned, just by the crony capitalists and their puppets rather than Gosplan. They just manage to fuck up every now and then by always looking to maximize short-term profit to the detriment of long-term stability. The free market ain't free. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:37, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
So the spanking analogy is still pretty apt. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 14:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Good music[edit]

Any suggestions?64.180.243.158 (talk) 02:53, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Lou Reed, "Metal Machine Music." It calms the soul. Doctor Dark (talk) 06:03, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I second Metal Machine Music. Wonderful guitar work. SophieWilder 10:42, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Don't forget James Chance and the Contortions. Secret Squirrel (talk) 13:14, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Joy Division--"Shut up, Brx." 11:02, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Vexations SophieWilder 11:16, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Anything by Doris Day, Judy Garland or Barbra Streisand. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 11:29, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Le Nozze di Figaro, Covent Gardent version from 2006 wit h Miah Persson and Gerald Finley. Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 12:28, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Hotel California, because I'm in that kind of mood. Queen's always good, well, the Freddie stuff anyway.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 15:43, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I hate the fucking Eagles. Doctor Dark (talk) 16:00, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Somehow Hotel California makes me think of Sultans of Swing.
I recommend shuffling around in J.S. Bach's Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. Yo-Yo Ma delivers an acceptable performance, or you may prefer Anner Bylsma's drier, perhaps more historically accurate style. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:59, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Depends on what mood you are in...or want to be in. 'Caaaause, I have a massive list.--Dumpling (talk) 03:00, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Dumpers, get some support or you might tip over. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 03:14, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Godspeed You Black Emperor's "Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls" always puts me in a good mood. Otherwise try Beethoven. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 08:35, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Modern alternative FTW. Sam Tally-ho! 02:27, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Rob Dougan, provided you're not looking for upbeat music. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Sam Harris trolls the trolls[edit]

This is already slightly old, but an unintentionally ironic post from Sam Harris wherein he calls all of his critics "trolls" (including PZ Myers) in the wake of the racial profiling flap. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:15, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means. Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 12:10, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
It's all over when an outside expert (Bruce Schneier, for it is he) shows up and explains that the assumption underpinning your argument is wrong. Continuing to bluster, as Sam did for the entirety of their "debate" is pointless. Bruce's interjection was the moment to say "Oh, I didn't know that" and then shut up altogether. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 10:08, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't think Harris has that switch in his head that flips on and goes "Oh shit, this guy actually knows what he's talking about!" That does result in a lot of the more amusing hatchet jobs on professional philosophers, anthropologists, etc. in his books though. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:42, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

US Elections[edit]

Most every state will begin voting within the next week, with mail-ballot, or early elections. Remember, big talk is the president, but the more important issues are often tucked on page 2 of your ballot. The wiki, Ballotpedia is a good source for finding information issues in your state, county, city, and Special Districts, as well as links to state and federal congress persons who are running. For US folk here, please take the time to inform yourself on lower ticket issues, and please vote! Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 17:44, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

That site and On the Issues are good ones. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:51, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Wow, the dems aren't even running a candidate in my district. ТyILAB 17:54, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the Link up there I've been looking for that site... Been volunteering for Duckworth out here.--P3A58NT86 19:04, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh, excellent person to volunteer for! liked her speech a lot. I spend all of sept, oct, and nov working on lower ballot issues, so i get pretty sad when i see how many people vote for president, maybe senate and house, maybe the one or two big (easy to understand) state issues like pot or abortion - then nothing. Down ticket issues in Colorado tend to have less than a 20% retur/voted rate, even when the president has nearly 90% return/voted rate. Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 19:08, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
It's always important. I don't know how Joe Walsh got elected, but I bet you it had something to do with people that only cared about the presidentials. And then suddently you have Joe "I yell at people in bars" Walsh. Fun stuff.P3A58NT86 18:31, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
My friends in NE Illinois are lamenting Walsh's representation as well. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:40, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Freemasons[edit]

Got really pissed last night and woke up to discover I have joined the Freemasons. Huh. Oh well, it is better than that time I woke up as a Scientologist. Acei9 00:38, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

So are you also a de facto member of the New World Order now? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:39, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I guess so, I am not sure what happens next. I have to go to the 'lodge' and meet with some people next week. Then I suppose they issue me with chemtrails. Acei9 00:45, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I've got a second-hand apron and a trowel which I no longer need since my architectural career collapsed. Redchuck.gif ГенгисunbelievingModerator 00:48, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Ooh, when's the next Bilderberg meeting? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:54, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
If (one of) the secret handshake(s) involves a zipper, it may be a reformed Freemason outfit. (Definitely if they have a BYOL [bring your own lube] ceremony.) Matzosphere (talk) 05:03, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Aren't you supposed to keep super quiet about the fact you are a member?--Weirdstuff (talk) 10:02, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
nah, that's the stonecutters --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 15:58, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Aren't wp:Mormonism and Freemasonry cut from the same occult cloth? maybe President Romney could appoint Ace to head up the New Zealand branch of Echelon. nobsCorporations are people, too 17:58, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Atheism+[edit]

One interesting interpretation of Atheism+

Ignoring, for a moment, that this is one of the more clumsily written blog entries I've ever read in my entire life - and writing of such calibre doesn't deserve to get 125 comments on it, it's an interesting idea. In summary, is Atheism+ seems an attempt to simply distance a newly forked group from "New Atheism", purely because the latter is represented by old men (Chico, Harpo, Groucho and Zeppo Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennet and Harris). So the question is, how much of this is actually plausible? Probably not so much, though it is curious as to why an entirely new name would be thought up just to integrate specifically feminist social issues into atheism (arguably New Atheism already bolts on skeptical activism and religious social issues, so that's not needed) as opposed to taking the existing frameworks like "the skeptical movement" and "the atheist movement" and saying that they should introspectively look at how they make the world better by also taking into account liberation issues...

Then I realise this is all yet another layer of bullshitting over identity politics for non-believers, which is starting to get really fucking boring now. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 15:09, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Interesting. I see that there is an RW article on Atheism Plus already.--Weirdstuff (talk) 15:25, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Though McCreight's quote [a movement] that isn’t just a bunch of “middle-class, white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men” does lend some credence to the idea that it's to dispel the white-haired-old-guy image, but how far does it go to ostracise white-haired old guys? I intend on living long enough to go grey and am pretty certain I'm not going to turn grey or change gender any time soon... so am I actively excluded from the club in that case? Scarlet A.pngtheistModerator 15:33, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Stealing a link and an idea from the article talk page it looks like an attempt to take the essentially negative idea of atheism - I do not believe in the existence of x - and give it some positive beliefs about social justice and rationality or whatever. But as Massimo Pigliucci (hey!) points out that really takes you to secular humanism which we already have.--Weirdstuff (talk) 15:44, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Though the movements founder has some words on that very question.--Weirdstuff (talk) 15:55, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Sam Harris is an white-haired-old-guy? -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:56, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
He's the token piece of diversity in the Four Horsemen. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 20:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
From what I understand, because atheism is not a religion, atheists might be united in what they don't believe in or stand for (deities, etc) atheists are not always united in what they do believe in. So Atheism +, to me, is yet another try at making a group with concrete ideas that one (ideally) must agree with in order to partake. My own SSA is a microcosm of the problem a lot of atheist meetings have: We have a lot of socially active people and well-adjusted individuals but we've attracted some Randroids and some bigoted mouthbreathers less-well-adjusted, socially backwards people, too. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 17:00, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I don't hang out in a lot of on-line social groups, but I'm curious how much "Identity politics" dominates other groups, not focused on "non belief". Is there just as much "You are not really a good otaku (?) because you like Daragon ball and we all know that's just written for a US market", etc? or is this more obvious in the Atheist/non believer community?Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 17:32, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
If you play a Drizzt clone I will throw a splatbook at you. Matt fucking Ward. CS fucking Goto. 4e. The... ahem, Book of Nine Swords. FATAL. Rules lawyering. Munckining. Powergamers. Loonies. ТyILAB 17:44, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Off topic, since you mentioned Drizzt; did you know R.A. Salvatore is responsible for "midichlorins"? -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:13, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, he also wrote the first NJO book as well. If we're moving to Star Wars: Fandalorians. ТyILAB 18:18, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
There are always religious wars, and there are always a bunch of people taking it/ themselves too seriously. Teenagers can be particularly bad but at least they (tend to) grow out of it. If you think your culture/ discipline/ favourite hobby/ whatever doesn't have this problem you're probably just not that into it after all. It's not just on-line, it's everywhere although admittedly everywhere is now online to a first approximation. It loops back on itself even. Imagine it's the 1990s, and most people aren't online yet. One real comic book fan might sneer at another for reading stuff like Spider-Man, which is clearly just for kids while he's reading the far more serious Green Lantern. In turn another sneers at that while reading Why I Hate Saturn, and another sneers at that but insists Maus is the real deal. And looping back around, sneering at them all is a nerd who reads Spider-Man but only so that they can show off by explaining how it fits into the detailed multi-layer decades of history of superhero comics (also they will insist on spelling it that way, again to show off). Each loathes the others far more in reality than they do mere outsiders who've never even heard of these books. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 19:31, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
How much happens in atheism groups? Pretty much. Recall the incident I brought up here. It happens a lot. There's an impression wherever atheists club together that you're a Bad Atheist if you're not also a hardcore skeptic. This dissertation is worth a read as it delves a little into atheists rather than atheism. Where Atheists (capital A intentional) gather, it's usually out of some shared feeling of "we're better and more logical than everyone else" - so is it any wonder that people want to apply this to a wider range of social issues, as if combining atheism will all the other progressive liberal thought you can throw at it will just solve all the world's problems? Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 19:38, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
It's the self defined "logical" and "better" in "we're better and more logical than everyone else" that makes me want to slap them. so how a + sign will change the fact that these types (when they are part of the group) are largely self serving jerks, (and cause a good thing to turn on itself) alludes me. Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 19:43, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm suddenly reminded of the old joke that Christian Union types are the nicest people in the world until you get more than two of them in the same room. This generalises to atheist groups quite nicely - it's sort of why I prefer skeptical groups, you can rely on those types to at least want to learn and improve themselves. "Aspiring rationalists", to steal the Less Wrong phrase, are at least far more interesting to be around. Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 20:13, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
"Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump..." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:46, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The creed[edit]

Looking at the post by its creator we find that that members are:

  • Atheists plus we care about social justice,
  • Atheists plus we support women’s rights,
  • Atheists plus we protest racism,
  • Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
  • Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.

Nothing to dislike there.--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:01, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

How is it different from secular humanists?Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 18:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The founder says this about humanism - also answered above.--Weirdstuff (talk) 19:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Isn't that just a long-winded way of saying "I'm an atheist, and also not a dickhead"? I don't see what any of that has to do with atheism, or what any of that would give me cause to come together with other people to do. Indeed, if anyone felt the need to join the "I'm not a dickhead. No, really!" club, I'd wonder if they were protesting too much. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:30, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
If what I read in other internet communities is any indication, groups like the r/atheists are giving the rest of us internet atheists a really bad name. Some of us don't want atheism to be correlated with the MRAs in the general public mind. --CoyoteSans (talk) 18:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The MRA/Libertarian backlash is ugly. ТyILAB 18:42, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Bleh, the best way to do that is to spread the message that atheism isn't anything but not believing in god. That's the only thing me and any other atheist you care to name are guaranteed to have in common, and that's the way I want to keep it. I don't want to be part of any fucking atheism movement. I'm really not interested in people telling me that if I'm an atheist I have to be something else as well. Stop that shit. If you want to promote atheism, do that. If you want to promote something else, don't call it atheism. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:46, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Hence, "Plus"? -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
A completely redundant plus that only serves to indicate that they only let one flavour of not-dickhead in to their no-dickheads-allowed club. You could entirely remove the "atheism" from everything they say and the meaning would be unchanged. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:51, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
(all while being dickheads by saying they are the best not-dick-heads of them all (see Carrier and the 'you aren't rational enough about your +-ism to be a + with us. ))Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 19:45, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
And as a dickhead, Jeeves is very hurt by this notion that dickheads aren't welcome among atheists anymore. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:07, 10 September 2012 (UTC):::::::
Well, you've got my number. Since I think Atheism+ is a wankfest designed solely as a platform to no-true-scotsman certain atheists out of existence, clearly I must be a racist, sexist, homophobe randroid. Fuck you. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:42, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
...a wankfest designed solely as a platform to no-true-scotsman certain atheists out of existence - This sounds about right. In most atheist societies and groups that actually do meetings and stuff, you're already a Bad Atheist if you're not a hardcore skeptic... which is fine except most atheist groups that do this tend to be really shitty skeptics and have no fucking clue what they're on about. Scarlet A.pngtheistModerator 20:50, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
It seems more Plus-Atheism, than Atheism-Plus (see what I did there?). BUT, otherwise how do you unite "atheists"? This is a political game, and non-believers make up a massive voting block that is otherwise dissipated because religious groups can afford enormous pressure groups - there's only like 3 Jews (hyperbole, please) in the whole of the US but they exert huge influence due to affording pressure groups. You want to try and unite people by non-religion because they're likely to be pro-science and progressive, which is something that really needs to be capitalised on if you want to fend off the encroaching Religious Right. Now, that sounds confrontational, but that's what it's like. The whole War on Women stems from the Religious Right, and you have to fight them on the religious axis as much as the political axis. You do that by getting the non-religious to turn religious about their lack of religion... which is strange from a purely intellectual point of view (where you take "atheism" in isolation) but makes considerable sense when you dissolve it in society. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 20:10, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. This seems to be the latest attempt in the recent trend to try and unite various minority groups under one "big tent" to get a viable liberal political bloc going. It's a page right out of the Religious Right's playbook with the whole "Judeo-Christian" thing in the wake of Roe v Wade. --CoyoteSans (talk) 20:24, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I almost certainly brought this up last time, but obligatory. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 20:30, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Hence some of the attack against "new atheists" especially those not from teh US. If your goal is to prove there is no god, news are fine. but if your goal is to make a tent big enough to smack down the right and their idiotic religious rhetoric, you have to include people of faith in your tent. If your main schtick (sp?) is to say "religion sucks" "those who believe in god are stupid", then you lose part of your big humanist tent.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 20:34, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The original post which started it off claimed:

  • "It’s time for a new wave of atheism, just like there were different waves of feminism. I’d argue that it’s already happened before. The “first wave” of atheism were the traditional philosophers, freethinkers, and academics. Then came the second wave of “New Atheists” like Dawkins and Hitchens, whose trademark was their unabashed public criticism of religion. Now it’s time for a third wave – a wave that isn’t just a bunch of “middle-class, white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men” patting themselves on the back for debunking homeopathy for the 983258th time or thinking up yet another great zinger to use against Young Earth Creationists. It’s time for a wave that cares about how religion affects everyone and that applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime. We can criticize religion and irrational thinking just as unabashedly and just as publicly, but we need to stop exempting ourselves from that criticism."

I'm not sure if that fits the above analysis or not.--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

I'd like to short circuit this third wave of atheism, please. I'm declaring a fourth wave of atheism. Atheists who are unconscious of their atheism, because there's no meaningful alternative. Atheists for whom atheism is as natural as breathing. Atheists who assume everyone else they meet is an atheist, just as much as they assume everyone else they meet is a mammal, and who would be astonished to learn otherwise. Atheists who don't feel the need for support groups because they're just like everyone else. I've been that kind of atheist for years, won't you join me? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:57, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
(E/C)Re-reading that, I can't help but feel the aim is to have an entirely different demographic "patting themselves on the back for debunking homeopathy for the 983259th time or thinking up yet another great zinger to use against Young Earth Creationists". Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 21:03, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
@Jeeves: in the future when all the world is divided into Atheist+ or New Atheist, people like you will be stoned like the heretic you are AMassiveGay (talk) 21:05, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, doubtless that episode of south park will seem prophetic. I'll be over there with the sea otters. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:17, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
sea otters? anyhow, Jeeves, i think you'll find that most 2nd generation and/or "natural born atheists" are exactly how you describe. It seems to me it's largely those who break away from religion, that are so strident about wearing a "fuck you, i escaped!" able on their shirts. Outside of this board, it's not even something i consider about myself, any more than i consider my lack of belief in Justin Beiber. I could truly go my whole life, without ever contemplating a god like thing as real.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 21:23, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Sea Otters! It's totally coming true. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:34, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I have a lot of sympathy for the school of thought that says "atheism is a lack of belief, it shouldn't matter or occur to people, atheists shouldn't unite, they shouldn't care". But, this works in isolation, and only in isolation. This treats atheism as a purely intellectual idea completely devoid of society, the ubiquity of religion and the history of religious dominance in the world and the special treatment that religious belief has had for little reason other than the fact that it exists and it is old. Once you dissolve your lack of belief in a society where you have a lot of believers, this mock-implicit atheism ceases to work. It just isn't applicable. On an intellectual level you're aware of it and there's no way around that (you're only not aware of your lack of belief in my pet dragon because no one goes around claiming I have a pet dragon) but on a social level you become isolated as an individual in a sea of people strengthened by religious unity. It's nice in theory, but as a practice it's not a sensible approach - almost analogous to sweeping it under a rug and whistling innocently. It gets you nowhere, and <deliberate provocation> it's the sort of attitude that will leave you on the wrong side of the fence when the concentration camps come.</deliberate provocation> Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 21:45, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Except if you need to be an "ist", i have plenty for you. I'm a feminist. I'm a pagan. I'm a humanist. I'm a liberal. If the need is to stand agaist a sea of oppression, i've got plenty of places from which to do it, and which to join. And yes, people do ask from time to time, "do you believe in god", or "why don't you believe in god" and don't often ask the same about Odin, but it's a hollow question and answer. "ok, i believe in god, but it's a god of spinoza, so it doesn't mean what you want it to mean". "I believe in god, but she's pure love so bugger off with your anti women crap". There is so much more value (for me) in the other labels I walk around with. Cause they truly say something about me, about what i want to be, what i hope i support, how i hope i act. and not just do you believe in any of 1000000000 understandings of something we are choosing to call "god".Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 21:51, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, I don't think it's a particularly useful label in that respect, but the pretence of implicit atheism just doesn't work if you solvate it in a primarily religious society. "I am an atheist" gets you into the right sort of area of possible beliefs (in the same way "I'm a human" gets you into the right sort of area - arguably more efficiently than "I am male/female" as that applies to pretty much all organisms!), even if it needs a little bit of fine tuning after that. Other things have just as much of a problem. Is your "feminism" that of Maggie Mayhem or Rebecca Watson or Cathy Brenan or Germaine Greer? But, it gets you into the right sort of area. Personally, I think "atheism" focuses that down much more than "feminism" does because there are a lot more inferences you can make from the latter, while the former doesn't have as much baggage to play with. Scarlet A.pngpostateModerator 21:58, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────"If your goal is to prove there is no god, news are fine. but if your goal is to make a tent big enough to smack down the right and their idiotic religious rhetoric, you have to include people of faith in your tent." Yeah, that was the point of this post. A+ is secular humanism with edgier branding, but also with the internal contradiction of having two main goals that will conflict unless one takes a backseat to the other. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:52, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

The Crazy Straws XKCD may be more relevant than the Standards one posted above. Assuming A+ has any longevity, I guarantee it will split again. And again.--

Kriss AkabusiAAAWOOOGAAAR!!1 09:47, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Can't argue with that. Clearly this graph is bullshit. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 11:28, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It seems odd that someone would write a fairly good article with a take-home message that religion doesn't necessarily make you bad but atheism doesn't necessarily make you good, yet open up with "Over the past year, it has become increasingly clear that there are portions of the atheist community that are sexist, misogynist homophobic, and transphobic." as if such a thing was surprising! Replace "atheist" in that quote with any other conceivable demographic and I don't think you'll find many cases where such a thing seems strange. There's no vaccine against stupidity or immunisation for being a prick. And if it were, it certainly wouldn't be self-identifying with a group. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 12:04, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It's like the endless rehearsing of "kids these days" as generation after generation mistake their nostalgic feelings about lost youth for some sort of recent decay of society that threatens us all in the near future. Likewise for the threat of new media (despite society having surprisingly survived the advent of the English language Bible, the mass market novel, commercial television, and video games, no end of people queue up to warn us that it can surely not withstand the World Wide Web for long). It only takes one person with no sense of perspective. No matter, these things are largely harmless, and if a few people out themselves as racists or sexists in the process none of us are the worse for that. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 16:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Varieties of Irreligious Experience[edit]

Featured on New Humanist's homepage. Thought it was tangentially relevant. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:44, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Guide to Preventing Homosexuality[edit]

This is from a show called Homekeeper. We need a page on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=crcrVXVlfr8 --Mustex (talk) 15:18, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

In which I commandeer some crank's website[edit]

Trololololol, as they say Balaam (talk) 16:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

So, did that gay-marriage thing in Australia start a trend for hi-jacking expired URLs? Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 20:28, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Nice work, fella. Reckon it could use some I have a dream. Robledo (talk) 21:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I've started assembling a pantheon. Any nominations? Balaam (talk) 09:06, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Obama's speech[edit]

Will be alluding to FDR and the New Deal. All I'm saying is, we're repeating history again. Osaka Sun (talk) 00:43, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

FDR borrowed from Wall Street. Obama borrows from China. Big difference. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:33, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
The United States Government, not presidents, borrow, to pay for the policies which cost more than can be afforded, e.g., two wars and a horribly expensive War on Drugs. And China ranks pretty low among our debtholders. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:37, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
(I used "China" cause it sounded better than "foreigners"). The point is, Obama is not pursuing a stimulus policy similar to FDR. FDR borrowed from Wall Street, and repaid Wall Street, meaning both the capital borrowed to employ people, and the interest and principal repaid remained in the US. The purpose of the borrowing and stimulus is basically for the principal borrowed to clone itself. When the principal is later re-exported, AS WELL AS interest on that borrowing, 'THAT defeats the whole purpose of a stimulus. None of the growth from the borrowing remains in the country to employ people. There is no comparison between FDR's and Obama's borrowing and stimulus programs. nobsCorporations are people, too 21:20, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought mercantilism was considered a stupid idea ever since The Wealth of Nations, but its popularity never seems to fade... --Tweenk (talk) 01:42, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Bah. Adam Smith was a foreigner and a college professor. We're not going to take his silly theories over good old American know-how. Doctor Dark (talk) 02:16, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought capitalism was considered a stupid idea ever since Das Kapital, but its popularity never seems to fade... Q0 (talk) 07:35, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
This notion is quite simple: Obama has borrowed a principal of nearly $5 trillion from foreigners with the idea of using it as a working capital to stimulate job creation. Then, the workers employed with that capital are supposed to re-create with a profit the value of their maintenance together with savings, or a profit (or "growth"), which in turn is supposed to be used to employ more workers. When FDR did it, the principal borrowed and interest paid was returned to Wall Street, where the Wall Street investors took their repaid principals and interest earning to invest in more U.S. jobs and businesses. In Obama's case, both principal and interest must be repaid o foreigners, leaving neither the capital employed (borrowed from foreigners), nor the earnings off that principal, to circulate and employ people in the United States. This, coupled with the fact any growth to the U.S. economy from foreign stimulus capital likewise requires the purchase of foreign crude oil to fuel it. Obama's brand of Keynesian theory can't work, won't work, and will never work. And it is not modeled after FDR's domestic borrowing efforts. And the success of FDR's efforts were marginal to dubious, at best, under the best of circumstances. nobsCorporations are people, too 16:40, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Do you deny that it was massive government spending that eventually got us out of the depression? DickTurpis (talk) 17:01, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
If you count the Depression extending to 1942 and beyond, then yes, I'd agree massive government spending did get us out the Depression. But I'd also say massive government spending turned an ordinary recession into the Great Depression, as well. nobsCorporations are people, too 17:33, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I've heard several people make that claim, but never heard anyone give a feasible explanation for that theory. Wanna give it a shot? DickTurpis (talk) 17:39, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Milton Friedman criticizes the Federal Reserve for not doing the job it was created to do -- intervene and provide liquidity during the banking crisis of 1933. I'm sure Federal Reserve officials at the time argued the gold standard prevented them from stopping gold shipments out of the country at that moment which caused the run on the banks and FDR's bank holiday (we're working on some of these RW pages at the moment). Others would argue Herbert Hoover's creation of the wp:Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Hoover's own relief efforts coupled with FDR's massive increases turned the '29-33 crash into a full blown Depression, later double-dip depression (see Roosevelt Recession). I'll even argue the old standby dear to my heart, the William Wirt Incident, which got much press at the time. nobsCorporations are people, too 18:04, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, that doesn't back up your claim. "Milton Freedman says...", "Others would argue...", "I'll even argue..." Got any facts? It seems Friedman thinks the government didn't intervene enough, which is weird for guys who think the free market is basically infallible. And do you really mean to argue that a "recession" lasting from 1929 through 1933 wasn't a depression by that stage already? How specifically did the New Deal make the depression worse (or turn a slight downturn of just 4 years into a depression)? DickTurpis (talk) 18:27, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Focusing on the Unemployment Rate, there are numerous problems finding reliable data (see Origins of the Unemployment Rate: The Lasting Legacy of Measurement without Theory, by David Card, UC Berkley and wp:NBER). So let's use a source we're familiar with and we could contact if we had questions, wp:User:Rjensen. Because of the shifting definitions and inconsistent data from the 1930s in counting the unemployed, Prof. Jensen's explanations are very helpful. Look here, pg. 557 Table 1. Unemployment of Labor Force by Type, 1929 -1941, column 3 Structural and Hardcore. Jensen does a good job explaining cyclical and frictional unemployment, which have an overall impact in the rate totals. But you'll see Structural and Hardcore unemployment never wavered outside a range of 9% to 10% between 1933 and 1940. If government programs can't help this group, what use or purpose are they? As to the others outside this group, Jensen even explains how "frictional unemployment" can be a good thing, a young worker between jobs taking employment for a higher rate of pay which has the net effect of increasing overall output, productivity, and a higher tax bracket. The structural and hardcore unemployed are the most needy, and the New Deal did jackshit according to this data. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:09, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You continue to dodge the question. No one's saying the New Deal ended the depression, but how did it make it worse, or, as you argue, actually cause it? DickTurpis (talk) 22:46, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Hey, now. "The New Deal caused the Great Depression, which resulted in the New Deal" is a perfectly stable time loop, like painting the portrait that inspired you to paint and giving yourself a tax break so you can afford to build a time machine to lobby for a tax break. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 10:43, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Dick, the New Deal retarded growth rates (see chart attached to the link). nobsCorporations are people, too 01:54, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Here's an online copy of New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression on the Minneapolis Federal Reserve's website, you know, the Fed which is supposed to be independent of politics, unless you now wish to join up with the Paultard's and claim that the Federal Reserve considering the New Deal was a failure that hampered recovery is part of a Federal Reserve conspiracy. nobsCorporations are people, too 02:08, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Really? You're linking to a CP article as proof? The only chart I saw showed modest growth anyway. Perhaps your second link might be more useful, but I'm not going to read 75 pages of economic analysis right now. Can you give me a summary of how the New Deal made the depression worse. You know, something that indicates that things would have been significantly better if it never happened? Just the theory behind this hypothesis would be nice. Economics works in a pretty logical fashion, by and large. "Things were bad, therefore the New Deal made them bad" is an argument I might expect to see at CP, but we strive for better here. DickTurpis (talk) 12:30, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and I found this interesting factoid: "Although the New Deal did not fully solve the economic catastrophe that was on the verge of destroying the US economy in early 1933, it achieved many of its objectives and the period of 1933-37 saw some sectors return to economic growth." I'm sure that's more commie agitprop, though. I'll admit it isn't from the most reliable source. Just some random website called "Conservapedia" or something equally silly sounding. DickTurpis (talk) 13:47, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
From the abstract on the Minneapolis Federal Reserve site:
  • We find that New Deal cartelization policies are an important factor in accounting for the post-1933 Depression. We also find that the key depressing element of New Deal policies was not collusion per se, but rather the link between paying high wages and collusion.
Explanation of "cartelization", also known as "code authorities" cited by the same author in Wikipedia here. The quote you cite from CP is probably Prof Jensen, so he's a fairly neutral source. And as Jensen says, the prevailing economic theories of wp:Alvin Hansen, which dominated New Deal thinking, were not pro-growth at all (see wp:Alvin_Hansen#Stagnation. Such thinking has been totally rejected by modern scholarship, yet this clown was "an influential advisor to the government who helped create the Council of Economic Advisors and the Social security system." nobsCorporations are people, too 23:45, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Closer, but still lacking the analysis of how the New Deal made the Depression worse. I'm genuinely curious here. For example, I can give a brief rundown of how the New Deal elevated certain problems: People were unemployed. The New Deal directly put some people to work, therefore more people had jobs than they would have if there had been no New Deal. The unemployment rate is therefore lower than it would have been otherwise, at least to a small extent. If you can illustrate how doing this may have directly caused an increase in unemployment in the private sector, please do.Otherwise, it looks like a net gain for the New Deal, as far employment is concerned. I realize this didn't end the Depression, but I'd still like evidence it made it worse. DickTurpis (talk) 19:10, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, the "structural and hardcore" unemployed Jensen speaks of generally refers to workers 45 and older with an outdated skill set. This number remained stubbornly stuck at 10% throughout the New Deal. After 1936, the Social Security Act motivated workers age 62 and over to vacate positions, bringing unemployed workers in their 20s into the workforce. This is not creating jobs. Cyclical unemployment mostly counts part year workers; so while a worker at a ski lodge may be unemployed for 6 months of the year, and another worker at golf course for the other six months, both workers are counted only as 1 unemployed worker in the year end tally.
Back to structural and hardcore unemployed. This phenomena is nothing new and one of the problems we see today. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, or the end of American slavery, freedom gave previously unimaginable opportunities -- if you were young enough to take advantage of it. But for workers 45+ who knew no other way of life than the system they grew up in, it was also the beginning of unimaginable hardship and adjustments they were never prepared to deal with.
So, the cartelization, or above market wage and price fixing, played favorites with winners and losers. Those New Deal loyal Democrats employed in industries regulated by industrial codes got unjustified pay increases; the government imposed, artificial, higher prices led to less output; the structurally unemployed were barred from competing by providing lower, more reasonable and market justified prices. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:46, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

We get a Twitter mention[edit]

From Dr Evan Harris and retweeted by Brian Cox! It's about Poe's law, of course. rpeh •TCE 08:23, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

If only he would mention us on the telly. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 10:55, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Can we handle the server load? -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
The audience would wonder why he referred them to a 408 timeout error. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:33, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Isn't Poe's Law already generalised to include everything on the fringes? Or was that "trimmed"? Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 16:24, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

9/11 Memorial Museum[edit]

So, the memorial and museum they're building under the site is costing an exorbitant amount to construct and maintain by US memorial and national park standards, but the part I love is they intend to offset part of the operating costs "through fundraising and the sale of memorabilia." Yes, because the best way to solemnly remember the tragedy and those who lost their lives is to buy a t-shirt and souvenir snow globe from the gift shop. --CoyoteSans (talk) 21:19, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

A lot of it, I would imagine, would be bumper stickers, car decals, yard signs, and the like that you already see when driving around town. And with the amount of security they're talking about having, they might not have quite as many visitors as they'd like. If Congress goes along with funding it, I certainly hope they do the same with the national parks. Sam Tally-ho! 21:48, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
The security seems to me to be way over the top. It is bound to affect visitor numbers in much the same way a lot of tourists avoid the UK because of the agressive border security. --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 15:42, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Probably a lot of things that say "We will never forget." -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:54, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Foreget what? ;P --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 16:01, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Call me unamerican, but i'm pretty tired of being told not to forget. It's not just "forgetting" but moving the fuck on. Hell, most countries deal with this kind of shit yearly. that we have only had one major shit storm on our own soil is a good track record, but it's time to move on. Those who want to "not forget" wont' anyhow, cause likely, they lost people far more dear to them than my "american innocence" ("America has lost its innocence, today") is to me. And maybe they don't really want to walk that road on national tv every damned year.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 17:59, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
And this year it's on a Tuesday again, like it was in 2007. Cue the Lynyrd Skynyrd/Bad Company, Clear Channel-owned classic rock DJs. Myself? I'd rather see more of these shirts being sold than anymore Made-in-China jingoist "'Murica, fuck yeah!" crap. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:12, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Re Godot: "American innocence"? Did anyone seriously use that phrase? America has more shit on its plate than any other democracy: the systematic oppression and relocation of natives, the unique institution of racial slavery, the only use of atomic weapons in warfare, the indiscriminate firebombing of Tokio, the proxy wars fought with the Soviet Union, the support given to oppressive dictators to maintain "political stability" needed for business, the installation of puppet governments in foreign countries, the military actions in South America as part of the 'war on drugs' that only aggravate the problem... It's not innocence that America lost. It's the false sense of invulnerability, or more specifically - the sense of domestic immunity to the consequences of foreign policy. For a long time, the U.S. was notorious for being very naughty on the international arena and always getting away with it. 9/11 proved that it's not as invulnerable as it thinks. --Tweenk (talk) 15:37, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Secret Squirrel (talk) 23:01, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, but remember your American Exceptionalism! It's totally different when it happens to the "USA!! USA!! USA!!" because, you, well, because. Doesn't matter that a tsunami in 2004 killed two orders of magnitude more people, nor that the wars directly brought on by 9/11 have killed nearly twice as many Americans as the attacks. You know, you should just NEVER FORGET!! I don't think it should be considered disrespectful or unpatriotic to simply tell people to get a fucking perspective. Scarlet A.pngpostateModerator 20:35, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
"Yes, because the best way to solemnly remember the tragedy and those who lost their lives is to buy a t-shirt and souvenir snow globe from the gift shop." That's true -- street vendors were already peddling flags and bumper stickers within days of 9/11. Capitalizing on tragedy and crass commercialism is the American WayTM! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:48, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
In fairness, current usage of American exceptionalism, on the right, is far from the usage of De Toqueville, or its origin in the 1630 sermon by John Winthrop. Howard C. Berkowitz (talk) 02:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Just saw Prometheus[edit]

I can't help but think that if I were to fund a trillion bllion dollar expedition to a far off planet, I wouldn't crew the ship with so many imbeciles AMassiveGay (talk) 20:46, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

An extremely disappointing film. Acei9 21:06, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Never examine sci-fi too closely. I couldn't watch Sunshine without continually thinking "so, why is this mission even manned, again?" Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 21:16, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Where theres the thing, if it can't stop you from examining it too closely, a film isn't doing its job. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:29, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't really care about scientific accuracy in sci-fi (I usually lean towards the softer side of the "SF hardness" scale), but I at least expect people who are supposed to be scientists to not act like morons. Still looked good, though. Woodgod (talk) 00:14, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It is better than this. ТyILAB 00:27, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Just saw this as well, and I really felt like I was watching three or four different movies all crammed into one and elbowing for space.--ADtalkModerator 00:16, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
OT but a question. I have not seen the movie only the promotional clips. If this happens some time before the aliens movies why do the spacesuits look so high-tech ? Hamster (talk) 16:51, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Because it is an actual research/exploration ship rather than a glorified space tugboat. Also, Alien was made 33 years before ;) ТyBother me 17:06, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Speaking of Greek Mythology--Prometheus! Thursday afternoon, I was doing my job at the afterschool day care with my group of 4th graders (I have 11 kids). Crazy kids they are. They go to the LSU lab school, so they're a bit bratty since their parents are either LSU professors, or work for the state, something like that. I mean, I have one of Jindal's kids--although he never stays long because the body guard always picks him up. ANYHOO---One of my book loving kids, was reading a book on Greek Mythology, and we had a nice little discussion. And once he started reading Prometheus, I just stated a simple fact about the liver being the only internal organ in the human body that actually does regenerate. For him it was simple fun fact. He got it. But I guess the rest of the class heard it, and were like: "REALLY!?" I thought I got their attention with fun facts. I was wrong. They start asking me more questions, and by the end of the attack of questions, there was one that really stood out. "...Does that mean Prometheus is God? Since God made us in his image?...And his liver grows back...and ours grows back?" I literally head-desked, and had to clarify that 'No. Prometheus was simple Greek Mythology. And that I was just stating a fact." ...Oh Kids and their crazy notions. Hahaha. --Dumpling (talk) 03:58, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Java and mediawiki api[edit]

I just want to know, how would one use the mediawiki api with java? And for that matter, how would I then implement it, for practical uses? Thanks, RandonGeneration (talk) 03:19, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Your best bet would probably be this: http://jwbf.sourceforge.net/pw/, or http://code.google.com/p/wiki-java/ if you only need something simple. Read the documentation, check out the examples. -- Nx / talk 04:42, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
ew, I have to work with that? Actually, do you know of any very transplantable bots that are open source?64.180.242.74 (talk) 02:07, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Most of them are written in Python. -- Nx / talk 04:16, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Here's a list. -- Nx / talk 07:47, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Or there's the dotNetWikiBot framework. rpeh •TCE 05:28, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Mitt Romney's positions and statements[edit]

This may very well be a silly question, but I was wondering whether anyone thinks Mitt Romney actually believes much of the very conservative positions he appears to have and truly supports some of the awful statements he makes. He appears to have gotten more conservative the last several years and I'm wondering whether or not that's just to appeal to more of the right or because he himself is honestly shifting to the right. The statement he just made about the situation in Libya and Obama's supposed apologetic response, for example, do you think he really felt he should put it out there or do you think his staff and aids thought it would be good and pressed him to do it against his better judgement? Sam Tally-ho! 02:55, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

A lot of people have the impression that Romney will change views to get elected. And, he kinda has, with Obamacare, global warming and abortion. cf., Romney-Kennedy debates. The Libya thing is so awkward. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 03:16, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Romney believes whatever will get him elected. Prepare for more "double Guantanamo" moments. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:32, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Even The Economist, whose strong free-market views should make them allies of Romney, had a recent front-page headline "So, Mitt, what do you really believe?" The Dems need to do a better job of exploiting this obvious weakness. Doctor Dark (talk) 04:43, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Romney's not that much different than your average politician; it's just that he's much more transparent. He obviously does a lot "right" in his inner-party dealings, but his approaches to appeal to the public are laughable at best. The only thing the Republicans have to go off of this election - as of right now - is their bigotry toward and fear of Obama. And, while fear is the great motivator, it still looks nearly hopeless for them. I hope this Libya thing isn't supposed to be some sort of October surprise. Q0 (talk) 15:30, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
If Romney gets in (unlikely), rest assured that the loudest complaints would be from those to right of him - the Tea Party and all the fundies would be hideously disappointed by him. And the other truth is that America always has a right-of-center President. It's just that America's center is so far to the right, that right becomes left, sorry Socialism. DogP (talk) 22:58, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
I think the Who wrote a song about that...I heard it everytime I watch CSI:Miami (YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!) -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:23, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Romney is like an etch-a-sketch[1], just give him a shake and he will tell you whatever you want to hear. TheCheatI run on alcohol 17:04, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Kansas Board is debating Obama's position on the ballot[edit]

This would not matter a month ago, but ballots will be AT THE PRINTERS by Thursday, next, if they are to be slated into the print runs of the major printing companies. (there are only 5 or so such companies in the US). If the ballot does not get approved, or if they remove Obama - that's it. they cannot make the print deadlines. WTF. link--Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 01:00, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

While shameful, this is actually good news for Obama. Kansas' last state poll had Romney up by something like 17%, so there's almost no chance it was ever going to go for Obama - we're not talking about Ohio or Florida, here. Instead, if this becomes a major news story, it's going to look very bad for the GOP, who will look as though they're trying to cheat their way to victory (which arguably, they are). Be not afraid.--ADtalkModerator 01:04, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Except this stands to invalidate an entire ballot. House, Senate and down ticket items. But yes for o alone it's good news. How fuckers can push this shit at the last minute. I'm taking it somewhat personally, cause we have Persononhood Colorado suing to get on teh ballot. As i said, our ballots go to print in 9:50 slot on Monday at teh printer. The fiveish printers are so busy with national elections, you have literately a 1-2 hour slot (depending on the size of the job) for your ballots, then it's on to the next county/state. These people and their last minute BS stand to give some of us heart attacks or murder runs. not sure which.--Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 01:20, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
It's quite incredible the lengths to which Republicans are willing to go to keep people from voting for Obama (thinking also of the new state voter ID laws they're trying to push). Even if the guy who thinks Obama's not legally qualified to be president is sincere in his belief, the people actually considering the case and other similar ploys elsewhere are hardly bothering to disguise these shameful tactics anymore. It's unbelievable. Sam Tally-ho! 06:08, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Not enough bureaucrats. Smooth running of a democracy relies on having a large proportion of bureaucrats who don't have a dog in the race. Such bureaucrats would consider Godot's point salient, the most important thing is to hold an election and who cares which of Tweedledee and Tweedledum wins? Not the bureaucrats. But once you poison everything with party politics obviously this kind of thing is going to happen. Remember the US created the idea of Gerrymandering, because an elected official decides how to partition the vote in the next election. A child could see this won't work, but nobody credits the US electorate with a child's wisdom. But good luck electing someone who'll dismantle the system that elected them, check the history of England's Reform acts for how much fun it is doing that. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 09:31, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
You should keep in mind, though, that when it comes to national politics everyone has a horse in the race, so merely being a non-party bureaucrat doesn't make automatically make one neutral. At least politicians wear their prejudices on their sleeve. But by and large, though imperfect, it is less likely to cause these issues when it isn't as blatantly political. DickTurpis (talk) 14:43, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Free books!![edit]

Apparently GoodReads has loads of free e-books now. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:01, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

I guess it was inevitable that someone would try to continue Harry Potter on their own. Sam Tally-ho! 02:44, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Depressing that JK is one of the ones doing a prequel though.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 03:23, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that's an imposter. --CoyoteSans (talk) 04:38, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
No, it's legit. WP:Harry Potter prequel. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:43, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Booze[edit]

If you drink alcoholic beverages, what do you drink? I drink a lot of cheap wine (no particular label, I stick to reds) and snooty beer (wherever I go, I try to get a local craft beer, failing that, I'll drink the local swill). --TheLateGatsby (talk) 18:03, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Wine should be matched with food, but if I must partake I prefer a nice kirin beer, or in terms of mixed drinks I'm rather partial to the occasional Dark n'Stormy.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRjust shut up already 18:21, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I always have a box of red wine going, and have at least a glass with most dinners. Sometimes the equivalent of a bottle or more. I also drink micro-brews and imports. Ales, mostly, I never much cared for lager. If I'm drinking the hard stuff it's usually scotch. Occasionally rum or some other mixed drink (I prefer dark 'n' stormies too), but not too often. Last night I was at a party with a keg of PBR, so I drank bourbon, whiskey, and some Grand Marnier, which I hadn't had in a long time. Suffice to say I had a bit of a hangover this morning. DickTurpis (talk) 19:30, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't have too much experience with many mixed drinks: mostly because they're best enjoyed with company and the only people around to drink with are ass-backwards college students who would rather blow it on cheap beer than anything very delicious. Mixed drinks make me think of wizard potions for some reason... and I probably should avoid gin. My family has bad reactions to it.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRsufficiently advanced argument still distinguishable from magic 19:35, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Gin tastes awful, you're not missing anything. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 19:41, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Gin is lovely. Proper beer is good; lager has its place; vodka can be good; but if ever I decided to believe in a god it would be the god of Whisky. rpeh •TCE 19:47, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, most beers taste the same to me, but I prefer Pabst Blue Ribbon because it's inexpensive. Also, don't try Milwaukee Draft. That has a very unpleasant bitter taste. For liquor, I like Southern Comfort. For wine, I prefer reds, but I'm used to hearing and saying the names and not spelling them, no no suggestions from me.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:57, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
  1. Gin
  2. Single Islay malt
  3. Good blend whisky
  4. Bitter beer
  5. Guinness
  6. American Red wine (Zinfandel)
  7. Coffee
  8. OJ
  9. Milk
  10. Water
  11. Tea
Scream!! (talk) 20:04, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Bitter beer, rum, vodka, brandy. ТyILAB 20:50, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
The loved one brews mead. Authentic traditional English rocket fuel. The strawberry one is particularly successful - David Gerard (talk) 20:08, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
It's easier to answer the negative question - "What don't you drink?"
I can't stand dark rum. Everything else is grist for the mill.--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:15, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
Brx, if you're ever in Milwaukee, stop and visit the Pabst Church. They got the Pabst logo in stained glass, honestly. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:00, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I prefer beer above all, generally something ice-cold and light or something warm and dark. Guinness is one of my favorites. I'm not much for liquor, really, but gin is the exception. I just finished my bottle of Gordon's this past week - time for another! Nothing like a really good g&t at the end of the workday.--ADtalkModerator 21:16, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I only drink good, expensive stuff, regardless of what it is. -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:48, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I drink beer, me. Taiwan Gold Medal Beer (green bottle) is very nice. Taiwan Beer (brown bottle) is bloody awful. The best beer I ever had was Will Beer, made by Asahi, in Japan in 1999. It went off the market after less than a month.Spud (talk) 16:23, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
My staple drink is ale, usually ruby red moderately strong ones like Hobgoblin, Old Speckled Hen, Adnams Broadside, etc. I don't much care for generic lagers, but a witbier on a sunny day is a fine thing. I like red wine & the occasional decent cider. Scotch or Irish whisk(e)y, dark rum, cognac, calvados; no mixers. Don't mind a few traditional cocktails, but it's not really my scene, & I'm not really a fan of the clear spirits. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:04, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
To go along with meals, I like semi-sweet and sweet wines: Mogen David Concord (USA), Sutter Home Moscato (USA), Pellegrino Moscato (Italy), Frontera Late Harvest (Chile), Monbazillac (France), Eiswein (Germany). The last one is worth trying even if you don't like wine in general; it's very, very sweet and has a 'sparkling' quality to its taste, even though it's not a sparkling wine (i.e. no bubbles). For special occasions I usually have Polish-style mead, especially the 'dwójniak' varieties. On parties it's usually vodka, flavored spirits (basically alcohol extracts of various fruit diluted to vodka strength) and mixed drinks: Cuba Libre, Mojito, Tequila Sunrise; mostly the sweet / fruity ones. Improvised drinks are also fun, once you develop some intuition. I also enjoy Kahlua, Passoa, or best of all a mix of the two - sounds like a weird combination but it's absolutely delicious. Unfortunately they're a bit too expensive for me. --Tweenk (talk) 15:13, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I am yet to find an alcoholic beverage that I would happily drink if it were not alcoholic. Wine, Gin, Scotch, beer - all piss of various colours. I much prefer a nice cup of tea. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:46, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't drink alcoholic beverages because even lowest-proof ones taste insanely bitter to me. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:35, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Most recently, a clear bottle of Miller High Life, tha Champagne of Bottle Beer a couple of days ago over lunch at the corner cafe. Basic tank-truck red/plonk works for me. In my short sweet life I've gone through various stages, including "keep the gin in the freezer so it pours like syrup, and only think about Noilly Prat dry vermouth for a moment as you pour it." One nice autumn aperitif is sweet (Italian) vermouth and seltzer. Vary proportion to suit your mood. This past summer I was able to find a bottle or two of vinho verde which is lightly crackling and goes down like sody pop. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:35, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I prefer a Scottish Ale (like Belhaven), one without a high ABV. Other beers I have enjoyed are Old Speckled Hen, almost anything that my local brewpubs churns out, and pretty much anything that isn't labeled an IPA. As liquor goes, it is Scotch or nothing. I am particular to the "Glens", Glenmorangie being my favorite. Aboriginal Noise What the ... 16:22, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

What about teh menz in Vancouver?[edit]

Brilliant poster campaign, guys. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:33, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

"Because men don't matter." LOL Osaka Sun (talk) 02:44, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
It does miss the point, somewhat, as you're conflating "violence against women" in the context of domestic abuse with "violence experienced by men" in the context of (probably) getting shit faced and starting a fight. They're both problems, but don't have the same solution. I would say it's a fair criticism that often you're left feeling "you're privileged, therefore your opinion and your feelings don't matter, so fuck you", but, you know, understanding and communicating that idea requires some degree of nuance and intelligence that most vocal MRAs actually lack. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 09:00, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
But that ignores the men who are abused by the women they're in a relationship with. Why is there no recognition of them? Why does everyone get so snarky and dismissive when that topic is raised? Why can we not say that violence against anyone is wrong? Does opposition to violence really have to be contingent on the gender of the victim?—207.196.185.12 (talk) 05:13, 16 September 2012 (UTC) (actually by Chbarts (talk) 05:19, 16 September 2012 (UTC) )
It's a defacement of this poster from this Amnesty International campaign. Maybe these MRA clowns think Amnesty Intl just doesn't care about violence against men. Pig ignorant fools. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:50, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Well the data is schizophrenic at best: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-224-x/2010000/ct001-eng.htm --83.84.137.22 (talk) 13:08, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Screencap pls, I got 403:forbiden70.68.30.118 (talk) 21:45, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Because you followed a hyperlink. Copy-paste the url, or just hit enter in the address bar from the 403 page. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:48, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Or just link to it this way. You can't present something broken, then tell the audience to fix it themselves. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:51, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Anti-racism forum[edit]

I have this feeling I'm committing a serious faux pas, and that this is in the wrong place (no where else seemed more appropriate), but a couple of people I know and I have made a small forum to discuss opposition to fascism, communism, racism, and sexism and to coordinate online efforts to that effect (like on other forums). So, if anyone is interested, you can find us here. The only thing is we have had a recent troll attack so we've locked down security somewhat. So, make an account, and message me here to get into the broader forum.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 23:22, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Looks cool. Thank you for sharing. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 11:41, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Newsflash: Time passes![edit]

I got another one of those HOLY SHIT STUFF FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD IS NOW MORE THAN A DECADE OLD!!!1!!! lists in my inboxen today. I'm so tempted to make a list with something like "Remember when we used to fight over whether it was 'radio' or 'wireless' and answered the phone by saying 'ahoy-hoy'? You don't? Fucking kids these days!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:53, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Harun Yahya manages to surpass himself in being a fucking idiot[edit]

Iran is full of Darwinian-materialists don't ya know. - π 06:16, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

That is so unbelievably incorrect... In fact, Iran was a new kind of power: not a sovereign power in support of rulers; not a biopower in support of people; but a power dedicated to its religion through and through. That's probably changed with the machinations of the Revolutionary Guard, but they certainly aren't a biopower.--"Shut up, Brx." 08:37, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Somebody thinks this thread is about the Vatican[edit]

Really? That's new? So there hasn't been a specifically theocratic state in the heart of old Europe for so long it's a major tourist attraction? Was the Vatican just a social democracy all along? I mean, they "elect" the Pope right? I get it, today's Roman Catholic church no longer controls an empire, doesn't mount infantry assaults on non-Catholic states, or interfere constantly in the government of distant powers, or declare itself to have authority to investigate, try and execute evil-doers across an entire continent, but you know, that's mostly because their neighbours told them to fucking back off. It still feels able to order operatives in other countries to directly disobey the law, to shelter other wrongdoers from justice and to destroy evidence of crimes. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 10:24, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
For Sophie Wilder (the author of the above heading) and anybody else who needs everything spelled out slowly, the Vatican is a really, really old theocracy and was thus given as a non-Islamic example of how widespread and accepted theocracies have been and arguably still are. That's directly contrary to Brxbrx's claim that Iran's theocracy "a new kind of power" which is "dedicated to its religion". I chose the Vatican to head off the inevitable claims for other theocracies that they're "really" just a modern social democracy with a bunch of local traditions and to remind people that this isn't necessarily just a "passing phase". If you insist Iran really is "a new kind of power" then how about we have an actual discussion in which you actually sign your moniker? 82.69.171.94 (talk) 12:46, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh noez! I have been pwned on a pedantic note of historical interest by someone who appears unable to sign his name! Thank you BoN for your wisdom in correcting my terrible error. Now, here's my sig SophieWilder Where's yours? 13:19, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh noez! She has a sig! She must be more right than anybody! --2.39.39.47 (talk) 14:31, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
I am confused by this thread. To what does it all refer?--Weirdstuff (talk) 14:54, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Someone linked to a weird claim that Iran is communist. Brx said that Iran is unique in being a theocracy. somebody else said no, the Vatican is too and added something about me not signing a section header I made. The whole Vatican point is irrelevant (which is why I subsectioned it) - it was founded in 1929 as a political convenience so it's not that old anyway. So my point was about relevance rather that factual accuracy. SophieWilder 15:11, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
It'll make more sense if you can find "A Powderkeg Called Islam," an essay by Michel Foucault. Then you can correct me for how I misinterpreted it. Unfortunately, I haven't found a copy on the web. I figure ya'll have an easier time at a university library--"Shut up, Brx." 15:03, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Sure, I'll go to my nearest university to look up something. On a Sunday. SophieWilder 15:11, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, why can't that Foucault idiot post to the web like all normal people do. I bet he doesn't even have a sig. --2.39.39.47 (talk) 15:18, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Once upon a time there was this cool thing called the Holy Roman Empire, but that was only about Charlemagne. Q0 (talk) 21:04, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

In RW as in life[edit]

I went to a friend's barbecue today. Literally the first thing i heard as I went in the garden was "saying atheism is a religion is like saying bald is a hair colour." Then someone started talking about search engine optimisation. I had to stop myself mentioning Ken. SophieWilder 20:12, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Does the third world have barbeque's? I thought that was an American thing. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:57, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Americans are allowed to play with fire? Lawks!! Whatever next?--Weirdstuff (talk) 21:10, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Some of the best barbecue I ever had was in Eleuthera. Nashville is massively overrated. ТyBother me 21:14, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Hey Rob, the word barbeque is of French origin. SophieWilder 21:48, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Generally I've found that nothing kills conversation in a social event quicker than discussing religion, politics or cultural issues. They're fun to debate in a semi controlled setting but when out with friends... X Stickman (talk) 22:31, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
You've never been to a party full of Germans then. Last party I was at, there was two hour long discussion about tax reform. We are a weird people... Although maybe that's just academia... --K. (talk) 17:44, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Nothing kills a conversation like Rob sticking his nose in.  Lily Inspirate me. 23:44, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Probably doesn't get invited to many parties, then. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 14:50, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

Regardless of who invented the thing, I've always thought the Antipodeans own the the barbie AMassiveGay (talk) 17:48, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Sequestration Budget Cuts[edit]

"We all need to tighten our belts," says the student council to the anemic space nerd. --CoyoteSans (talk) 00:28, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Cuts in science funding are only one part of the problem. Welcome back to 1937, folks! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:54, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I thought this was about horses... Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 01:01, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
$1.3 billion... appropriate perspective is in the infobox. Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 01:26, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
An even better perspective: The entire historical budget of NASA costs less than a single year's maintenance of the MIC. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:33, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Obligatory. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:40, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

The fiscal cliff is this year's Y2K. FlamingModerate (talk) 03:53, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

'Cause I'm a Silly Dumpling...[edit]

And I never do anything productive.SO HENCE, NEITHER WILL YOU! Teehee.--Dumpling (talk) 01:58, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

I thought this was going to be a TV tropes link. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:01, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Hahaha. Naaaah. I was just bored, and taking a study break, and this happened. --Dumpling (talk) 02:14, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Laughing...uncontrollably 0.o--P3A58NT86 11:26, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
There are few songs so appallingly catchy that I need to listen to Porcelain Black to scrub them out of my head. Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 11:54, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Indulgences[edit]

Special deal, today only, indulgences, 50% off!

Infallibly yours, Benny.

PopeBenedictXVI (talk) 12:51, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

It's probably a factor of my (excessive) age but I can't hear the name 'Benny' without thinking of Top Cat. Bad Faith (talk) 13:46, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Innocence of Muslims[edit]

moved to Forum:Innocence of Muslims SophieWilder 17:08, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

For your reading pleasure[edit]

Shaken Atheism: A Look at the Fine-Tuned Universe. Why does no one mention that although human life might not have evolved, other forms of life adapted to other conditions could have arisen? I'm sure this article contains numerous quote mines buried in numerous arguments from authority ("look at us, we found an astrophysicist who isn't an athiest, therefore christianity!"), but I don't have the time to exhaustively run through all of them. If anyone notices anything off the top of their head, feel free to discuss it. άλφαΤαλκ 16:30, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, typical carbon chauvinists. Not all of us are carbon-based life-forms, y'know. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:07, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Lost me at the end of the first paragraph with: "Like the man who survives execution by a 1,000-gun firing squad, we are entitled to suspect that there is some reason we are here, that perhaps there is a Friend behind the blast."
So something highly improbable happens and we must conclude that means that there was an implicitly supernatural explanation. So no doubt all lottery winners are blessed by the almighty.
If he can come up with that in para one I'm disinclined to torture myself with the rest.--Weirdstuff (talk) 21:16, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
A few key points jumped out at me. 1) Of course, the popular creationist argument from authority of Fred Hoyle is trotted out with a few quotes, e.g. this one: "A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with the physics. . . . The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question." No mention is made of the fact that science relies on more than common sense. 2) The 5th paragraph, which begins with a quote from Marek Demianski, quotes P. C. W. Davies in his book The Accidental Universe. The article uses this quote: "fine-tuned to such stunning accuracy is surely one of the great mysteries of cosmology" but omits that the fact that in Davies' book, the quote is in fact a rhetorical question, which he proceeds to answer both philosophically and scientifically over the next several pages.
3) I notice one other item too. The article's author refers to how minor changes in certain constants or properties would render our universe unable to support life (perhaps even any life, since his argument is that the universe would be empty). In the middle of all this, though, the author makes this comment: If the size of the universe were reduced from 10^22 to 10^11 stars, that smaller but still galaxy-sized universe might seem roomy enough, but it would run through its entire cycle of expansion and recontraction in about one year. The article seems to treat this as an example of a "minor change," but either fails to realise or fails to mention that this isn't a minor change at all. Although there are a massive numbers of stars in the universe, reducing that number by a factor of 10^11, i.e. 100 billion isn't a small reduction at all. Physics is not my forte, but nevertheless, I'm not surprised that changing the universe in such a significant way... would change the universe significantly. I could go on, but the entire article is rife with similarly problematic points. άλφαΤαλκ 13:33, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
As I frequently say, it's not worth the time. Let them have their argument that there is a deist god, but then "ok, now show me an afterlife exists, belief gets you in, prayer works, god is not evil, etc.". LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 22:09, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
The problem with the term "carbon-based" is that, in fact, carbon is incidental. Carbon forms the majority of chemical backbones but the functionality is brought in by other atoms and the complex links between them. Treating things like "carbon-based" and "silicon-based" as a dichotomy is just plain silly from the perspective of chemistry. Just take a look at DNA for a minute. If you want something closer to what reality is, and something that allows a meaningful distinction with more "exotic" forms of life, we're actually electron-based. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 15:01, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I suppose if you want to distinguish between us and computer life like artificial intelligence, we're valance electron-based and AI would be de-localised electron-based. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 15:05, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Could you explain this a bit more? "Carbon forms the majority of chemical backbones but the functionality is brought in by other atoms and the complex links between them." (I know little about chemistry). Is this saying that while carbon plays an important role in that it forms the basis for a lot of molecules, carbon isn't the only important part? It's the combination of carbon and other molecules, along with the latter's abilities to form links with each other and carbon, that lead to larger, more complex molecules (and therefore proteins, life, etc.)? άλφαΤαλκ 18:47, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
It's all in here. Basically, if you just had carbon (and hydrogen to make up the numbers), it'd be pretty boring - hydrocarbons are boring as C-C and C-H bonds are considered fairly stable and tend to get ignored. If you look at amino acids, then the whole functionality of those chemicals comes from the presence of nitrogen and oxygen and proteins only exist because of what those atoms bring to the molecule; in fact, the name derives from this, amino (NH3) carboxylic acid (COOH) and totally ignores carbon. The strongest crosslinks in peptide chains tend to derive from sulphur containing groups, and the pure hydrocarbon ones do very little. DNA itself is held together by phosphorus, and the hydrogen bonding holding the base pairs together are due to oxygen and nitrogen. The main rings of the bases in DNA are 33% nitrogen, so they're not just pure carbon. If you want to just replace carbon with silicon and call it "silicon-based" life you'd still have the same issues, chemical functionality would come from the variety (not that silicon itself can replicate the vast array of interactions carbon can). Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 19:28, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Humans can be distinguished from AI by their ability to donate to SIAI, obviously. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:33, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Quiet you!! Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 18:39, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
@Armondikov - That makes quite a bit more sense to me. Thanks for the crash course in basic chemistry! άλφαΤαλκ 19:38, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Eve Teasing[edit]

I'm curious if anyone thinks this is a RatWiki topic. I'm kinda biased "everyone needs to know about this!!!" and not really seeing if this has anything to do with sexual/gender woo, and rape culture (or rather, how much of sexual woo and rape culture should be included here at RW.) Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 15:24, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Without going full MRA, I think it's an interesting concept that might be worthy of an article. Just because it happens in India doesn't mean it isn't important (I know you would never imply that, Godot)...and the concept of something that happens in other countries can put what happens in the "western world" (such as Pickup artists) into a different perspective. The idea of "different types of rape" is also addressed on this site (as are other forms of "rape woo", such as corrective rape), so why not? -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:39, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Understanding global context is actually really important when dissecting social issues, because these cultures interact... and are populated by people with different levels of economic and social privilege. The impact of a phenomenon in one culture may be different than that in another. Article worthy? Dunno. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRsufficiently advanced argument still distinguishable from magic 18:36, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe add it to Blaming the victim? -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:37, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
It's not entirely irrelevant because I know one guy who moved over to the UK to do a Ph.D and, according to the women I work with, basically did this on a fairly regular basis. He was told to cut that shit out or fuck the fuck off. I think he may have eventually chosen the latter as I've seen him about twice in the last 18 months. Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 19:55, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I'm failing to see how it differs from plain ol' sexual harassment. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:09, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
It's the excuse used to justify it and how it's embedded as just the thing that you do. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 10:51, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of Indians, I'm not sure where to put the story about Indian cops' attitudes towards women reporting rape, but I'm sure it has to be added somewhere. (Warning: You are likely to want to punch a Delhi cop after reading that.)--ZooGuard (talk) 11:11, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Fox News guests engage in cannibalism[edit]

Lord of the Flies, anyone? -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:05, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Malkin is the stock talking idiot they wheel on whenever they need an angry opinion about Muslims. I'm not at all surprised the regular hosts resent her, she really shouldn't be allowed on TV. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:56, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
She's also a young, hip Phyllis with ethnic qualities that Coulter can't touch...yep, they love her on FNC, probably as much as Rove or Frankenstein's monster Krauthammer. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:21, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
She needs more than getting laid, maybe getting her mouth sewn shut would be more apt. C6541 (TC) 17:57, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Am I the only one who finds the idea of Malkin getting laid, and thus the possibility of her reproducing, deeply disturbing? --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 20:33, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Too late, she already has 2 kids. C6541 (TC) 20:34, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Your brain on neurobollocks[edit]

Or "brain porn." It is a catchier name than "folk neuropsychology," at least. I should take out a loan and buy an fMRI machine one of these days -- it could pay for itself after one or two pop neurosci books. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:04, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

But but but but... fMRIs have proven that republicans don't think!!! i read it somewhere! and you know that study was good. --Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 23:07, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I know! The internet is frying our brains. Oxytocin is a love potion. Women are hard-wired to like pink. There's no such thing as free will. Morality is objective. You're just a pack of neurons, mate. ScienceTM said so! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:15, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Drives me nuts when people think the brain is some organ that solely consists of serotonin and dopamine and trying to explain away complex behaviours as if the brain was some sort of system of pulleys and levers. Also fMRIs. C6541 (TC) 23:17, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Also, obligatory:
1. Consider the hypothesis that <Stereotypical-Observation-X-About-People>.

2. Brain Researcher Y used fMRI to show that (some experimental proxy for) X is (somewhat) true. Now we know! 3a. Optional bonus #1: Now we know why! It happens (somewhere) in the brain!

3b: Optional bonus #2: This shows that X is hard-wired and biological, not all soft and socially constructed.
Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:21, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
"which isn't to blast fMRIs. They are amazing to see that different types of questions light up different parts of the brain. Math questions, vs any fictional, vs. relating a story, vs. rote memorization, vs reading are all things language related, but all show hot differently when a subject is talking. I've not seen them, by I'm dying for someone to ask the same series of static questions (the ones that elicit types of speech actions) to a deaf person. They must use the visual cortex to create language, so would it light differently when they "spoke" something by heart, or related a story? Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 23:39, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Pretty brain pictures. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:44, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
ohh. ahhh. ;-) Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 23:57, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Well, fuck...[edit]

My course just got cancelled - again. The fact that it's three weeks into the academic year has now really fucked things up. And it now means that there isn't a single college in my local area that is doing full A-levels in any of the core subjects required to go on and do a BSc or higher in any of the hard sciences at uni. This does explain why the South Wales Valleys are frigging deprived - no opportunity to better yourself academically.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 12:16, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Can you do an independent study with the prof? As an undergrad, I did that with Bible & Native Culture course that didn't have enough students to make. Used the texts she had assigned and mostly did it on my own.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 15:25, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, no. This third course was just a placeholder as a chance for me to do just that with the A2 Maths Modules so I could at least finish off that A-level, but with the closure of the course there is now absolutely no course at A-level being run that would give me access to a maths tutor, and there would be absolutely no chance of being put in for the exams at the end of the course. It was going to be touch and go as to whether I could be put into A2 Maths Exams at the end of this course, instead of the AS ones everyone else would have taken. What's really pissing me off is that it's three weeks into the course and it's now that they decide to pull it. That's just piss-poor organisation.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 17:18, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Looks like time to explore the OU. Ask their advice if there's any way you can do the OU without losing the chance to get a grant for university later. This is all absolutely awful, I wish our public sector were better. Proxima Centauri (talk) 09:29, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Yep. Going to leave it a couple of days though, until I calm down. Taking my current frustrations on some poor soul who's just answering a query probably isn't the best way to go.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 10:28, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Try contacting the Arthritis Foundation, they have experience advising with your type of problem. Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:47, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Does the tutor who taught you for 3 weeks understand how serious this is for you. Try asking that tutor for advice. Can you move to another part of the UK? Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:04, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, haven't scanned this far up the page for a couple of days. Unfortunately there isn't a huge amount of help the Arthritis Foundation can give me. My main problems rise as a result of severe mental health issues, which mean that I require certain support networks to be in place and easily accessible to me whilst I'm studying for a degree, which is why OU isn't really going to be that suitable (my local CMHT isn't up to providing me with the weekly support which I'd need whilst doing a degree, and the OU doesn't have the hands-on access support that I would need to fill that gap). Unfortunately moving isn't a suitable alternative either. I have a partner whose family lives in this area and so wouldn't be interested in moving from her property. Even if she was willing to move with me to somewhere else, with no local connections to any other area than the one I'm in now I wouldn't be eligible for social housing anywhere else in the country, and with the housing benefit cap coming in, it's impossible now to find privately rented, 1-bedroom ground-floor flats that aren't absolute shitpits and fall within the HB cap for the area, basically because anything half-decent has already been snapped up by singles and couples who don't want to get hit with the empty room penalty. Right now it looks like my only option is to try and get in through the Foundation School at a university that I know has both the facilities I need and is compact enough to require minimal travelling to get from accommodation to campus and back. If I get knocked back on that, then the only other option is too put everything on hold for a year and see if the A2 parts of maths and chemistry will be taught at Coleg Morgannwg next year (there's only a small chance of that, given that they've only just started teaching the AS parts of the course this year).--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 10:11, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Free Speech In Britain[edit]

moved to Forum:Free speech in Britain SophieWilder 17:39, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Women in secularism (or the lack thereof)[edit]

Susan Jacoby on the place of women in secularism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:58, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

I have the solution. we will just ship all men off to live with themselves for 2 generations, adn see if they survive and lead to be compassionate. compassion and "gentleness" being such a woman thing, of course.--Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 00:34, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Hisland? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:38, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Also, I love the inevitable intellectual masturbation whenever this comes up. Could there be fewer women in secularism because religiosity was highly valued in women? Could it be because there are loads of misogynist assholes? Nah, it's 'cause chicks 'r dummmmm!11! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:09, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what's she's talking about with the making secularism more focused on women's rights. It seems to me that that's already almost the chief focus of modern secularism. After all, religions aren't big in to discriminating against men. For the most part today when we're talking about getting god out of government, we're talking about access to abortion and contraception, those being the chief areas where religion still makes itself felt in the lives of those of us who want to opt out. Sure there's also gay rights which is another big one, but in the industrialised world we're getting to the point where that's a done deal. Other than that, the we're only left with deference to religion in tax policy. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:18, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Since that's such a sound chain of logic, right? --83.84.137.22 (talk) 06:38, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Jeeves, she's really not talking about secularism, oddly. She's talking more about social acceptance of women as the carriers of faith, and men as the definers of faith. She's been writing about that (at least semi accademically) for a long time. The fact that in every church around the nation (not sure about other countries, by the way) women are in the pews, men are say "God says!". husbands have to be dragged to church, by the mom or wife, etc. Then her question is, if they are so strong in "faith", why? and can it be translated to "faith" (as it were, the practice of faith, not the belief of faith - which is a whole other topic) be turned to secularism. One of those articles that actually has less to do with what she's saying, than what she's said, if you ask me.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 15:09, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I always explain this phenomenon with the idea that throughout history female roles have often been equated with submitting to authority (to fathers, to husbands) and the church is yet another expression. Also, in the past church was where many met their friends (social situation) and saw people in the community... for women with relatively few social outlets that didn't involve their husbands, a church group was one of the few acceptable primarily-female gatherings in the past. I feel that even in the present it's carried by that history and those expectations, too. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRjust shut up already 15:14, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I figure the answer to "why aren't there more women in atheism/secularism/skepticism/humanism?" to be fairly simple. Your figureheads and speakers tend to have age and experience on their side. Which means there were probably born decades ago and spent most of their youth in the 50s and 60s. Of course we're going to see more men than women - we can't get in a time machine and eradicate sexism and discrimination. But the younger generation coming in are far more equal. Not perfect, yet, but better. The generation below that will be better still. Once they become the old sour-faced experienced people, we'll have more women in higher positions. This doesn't mean that there isn't a fight against the likes of D'Sousza who might prefer women be chained to cookers all day, but it does mean we need to have patience to let the young generation grow up and take over the world. Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 10:49, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I hope it's that simple. I don't think it is. women are still, right or wrong, chained to parenting in a way men aren't. they have less time on their hands to devote to leisure, including joining the local atheist group. They make choices and sacrifices that right now, men generally don't make once the kids are born. and there is a real cost to women's place in society, when we are part-time participants in our own lives. Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 15:15, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
It probably will be that simple. But only for people well-off enough that they can treat parenting more equally. For your high-brow middle class it's perfectly feasible for both parents to work a bit and afford childcare, splitting parenting equally. For working class occupations, it works out more effective for one parent to work and the other to take care of the kid full time (of the people I know in this situation off the top of my head, the father is the stay-at-home one in ~30% of cases). But that reduces it not to a gender-orientated issue, but a class and wealth disparity issue. To be fair, it all reduces to that in the end. Once you've ironed out class inequalities, everything else just slots into place. Educational achievement follows from it, exposure to wider ideas follows, and general equality follows. Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 10:55, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, you say "chained" and that's an evocative word, but who did the chaining? If women tend to feel that they're incomplete without bringing up kids and men tend not to (which is distinct from society imposing some pre-conceived role on them), that's an actual difference, of the sort feminists are often quick to say doesn't really exist. And even if that's true, I don't think it sounds like a problem. Women tend to be shorter, tend to live longer, and so on, differences aren't automatically deficiencies 82.69.171.94 (talk) 16:02, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) ::::::::::It's not really possible to separate women or mend "tending" to think one way or another outside of societal preconceptions. That's the major problem here. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 16:14, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
I say "chained" because society does exactly that. Often, regardless of the women's wishes in the matter. If i had children, i would be forced either to give up my job, or let teh little brats run rampid, cause my husband will not give up his job, his status. Yet society looks a bit down on children who are being left alone in a home with no one to tend them, and they do not tend to blame the father, but the mother. Especially in a world where the mother doesn't have to work to survive. this is the reality. and again, i'm not really talking "work" here, cause moms and dads do use day care. I'm talking free time. when Dawkins the biologist also gets to write about atheism. When PZ meyers leaves his wife and kids to run to a conference on atheism and make his pontifications. Women do not necessarily "feel" "incomplete", in fact few women of my generation express it that way. but they do feel "obligated" to have kids. often (frankly) by a partner who wants to be a dad. I'm sure you don't think it's a "problem", dear BON, because you likely have a penis and get your way without really thinking about it.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 17:35, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think people who want kids should be willing to give up the time needed to look after them but I've given up expecting that to actually happen, just as I've given up expecting people who want a dog or cat to go to the rescue and adopt one of the endless supply of unwanted animals rather than paying someone to bring more into the world. A lot of the women I know seem to have taken the (perhaps bizarre to you) step of informing their long term partners that they're not interested in having kids. I think they'd regard "He makes me feel obligated to have kids" as a deal breaker, much like "He demands we go to church every Sunday" or "He insists that I never meet any of my male friends without an escort". I mean, I am given to understand that such relationships are about compromise, but there are limits right? Maybe you'd pretend something is edible for the person you love, or visit the in-laws at Christmas, but I think having kids is a bit more than just a "compromise". Personally I try not to make everything about whether the faceless people I'm interacting with have penises. Maybe I'm old-fashioned? Maybe it's a sex thing? Anyway, you might want to try that. Back to the "no kids" thing. It might surprise you to find out that this is not universally a disappointment to men either. It turns out there are loads of guys who actually don't want kids and I don't mean 20-somethings looking to avoid a commitment. My sister married a guy who was very clear about no kids from the outset, she seemed pleased enough about it. Is our society really trying to push people into 1950s family units? If so it's just not doing a very good job these days, check the statistics for yourself. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 22:41, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

There are a couple of points here
Personally I try not to make everything about whether the faceless people I'm interacting with have penises. - but when you're talking about the pressures and perceived norms that make women the de-facto child carers then the gender of the participant matters a lot. I'm guessing from the nature of your posts but you appear to be young, single male. At this point I - and probably WfG - say "and what the fuck would you know about it?" (WfG might be politer) It's like asking a Kalahari bushman about snow.
Secondly, of course the decision as to whether to have kids or not is, as you put it, "a deal breaker" but by making the decision to have children the distaff side is also making major decisions about her career path that the male side doesn't even have to begin to consider. And, yes, it is largely society that makes it this way. We all want to belong, to be part of that society and, within that the pressure to conform is massive. Bad Faith (talk) 13:50, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
So, I'm kind of stumped by the Kalahari thing. It's like Blam! Racism, right in the face when you least expected it. Maybe that's not what you intended? You're aware that the Kalahari actually gets snow, right (not often, but it does)? Not to mention that its indigenous inhabitants are just people like you and me who are capable of learning about something without having to experience it for themselves. But you know, whatever, if you're determined to ignore any comment that you think isn't grounded in the requisite amount and type of life experience I guess that's your call.
The "major decisions" thing is kinda crap. That's the answer to the question Godot didn't address very well. Women are chaining themselves up when they tacitly accept that having kids gives them the role of stay-at-home parent. If that's what you want from life, you should totally go for it. But to blame "society" is a cop-out -- as I said, the statistics show that today you're not conforming to anything except your own expectations by doing this. Both parents have to make this decision when planning kids together, and if they go into it with eyes tightly shut they've only themselves (not society) to blame. This isn't like that time he said he'd cook and then couldn't be bothered, this is serious shit. Your own parents (grandparents, etc.) are also not "society" all by themselves and Armondikov's observation applies doubly in their case. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 17:14, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
No, they are being chained when their spouses refuse to spend an equal amount of effort on child-rearing, when they are not taken seriously in the workplace or passed over for promotions, etc. etc. etc. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 17:21, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
But they chose that - just ask BoN. Bad Faith (talk) 17:32, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't going to "go here", but hey, ok. 1) you claimed that this desire is inborn, natural, part of being a woman, and therefore "not a problem". the very fact that you make such claim when it stands without any real support scientifically, is the very definition of "a problem." Then you go into "major decision", which is a real sign, to me, of you being single and young. it's not a major decision. In fact, most often, it's an unplanned decision or a flirt of the moment decision. "Oh my god, honey, those kids are so cute, we need some". or a pressure decision. Largely society says "have children". few people (less than 10% from what I've read) say "nah". And when that decision, that accidental pregancy, that spur of the moment that should never have been considered happens, it is largely the woman who bears the brunt of the toil. It is largely her sacrifice, not his. Yes, men 'help". but that very word is the problem. they think, largely (and yes, not all men do this) that when done the dishes, they should be praised or rewarded for it. cause it's her job, and they are helping. The very way most men live, at least in the US and France, i can't speak to any other country, is that weekends are their time. after work, is their time.
"women are chaining themselves up when they accept that having kids gives them the role as stay at home parent. You really know nothing about how life works, nor have you looked around and asked yourself why things are the way they are. Almost no woman in the us "stays at home", but it really IS societie's fault that they are pressured to. And again, we are NOT talking "not working", cause no family can afford the woman to not work. we are talking everything else. What time does mom get up, comapred to dad. if dad gets up early, does he go running, watch the news, read the paper? or his he dressing the kids, feeding the kids, doing the dishes and mopping the floor. What does the dad do in teh evening? and on weekends. THAT is not a woman's choice. that is society.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 17:40, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Actually I said that if this desire is innate, that's not a problem. I'm going to assume you intended the idiomatic "spur of the moment" decision rather than the strange turn of phrase "flirt of the moment decision". If so, I'm surprised that you characterise this difference as maturity, as though rash decisions about pregnancy were somehow more mature than careful ones, an inversion of the usual state of things. Based on Godot's insight gymslip pregnancies are a sign of great maturity and perhaps we should be encouraging them instead of discouraging them.
But eventually we get down to basics. When dad doesn't take care of the kids those of us who are young or have penises may think he's an individual doing something reprehensible, but Godot is sharp and has figured out that it's not a matter of individual responsibility, fathers aren't capable of that but instead the problem is caused by the nebulous "society". Dad's fine, guys, it's not your fault you said you'd split the work evenly and then went jogging instead of getting the kids fed and clothed, you can blame "society". Conveniently this also means mum has no responsibility for doing anything about it, she's powerless because it's not about getting an individual who supposedly cares about her and the kids to do his fucking share, it's just the way "society" is and you can't do anything about it.
There is one ray of sunshine though, although Godot doesn't believe in the power of individuals to make any sort of difference even in their own lives, she does believe in voting. You may live in a district where one of the parties didn't even field a candidate, and your local government may have illegally removed your name from the register, but if you just show up at the appointed time that'll fix everything, and you'll still have time for a morning jog before you tell your wife to make sure the kids have packed lunches (she won't get to vote, too busy with the kids). Presumably once enough of us vote for the right guy, they'll have a word with society and get all this changed.
Personally I think Godot is wrong here, through and through. I think individuals can bring about change, and that what you say and do is more important than a vote that's statistically likely to have no effect whatsoever. I think it's your fault if you've got kids and push all the work of looking after them onto your partner, not the fault of society at large. I think Armondikov is right, and in my opinion the statistics bear that out already. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 22:45, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I see what you did there.Green mowse.pngGodotBe informed. Vote. 12:55, 20 September 2012 (UTC)