RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive177

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This is an archive page, last updated 2 November 2012. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Phasing out hit counters[edit]

So we have done a lot on the back end based on research by David on how to better handle traffic and traffic spikes. The upshot is that we now have a multi-tiered system, with most traffic being handled by a load balancer and a couple small Squid reverse proxies. This should substantially improve our ability to handle traffic spikes particularly of the reddit/slashdot kind (anonymous readers, one or a few pages). However, several things are affected adversely the most notable to end users is the hit counters for page views are now pretty much worthless.

I can continue to pull statistics from log files on the servers and we can figure out if there is something people want published regularly but we will be phasing out the pageview counters pretty soon so if there are numbers or comparisons people want to make, now is your time. Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:27, 19 October 2012 (UTC)

Would getting rid of low substance high traffic tumbleweed joke pages help?--"Shut up, Brx." 18:41, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
In general removing content that drives traffic to our site is counter-productive. Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:43, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
To be fair, uploading pornography and celebrity gossip should bring in the same amount of traffic--"Shut up, Brx." 20:51, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
I will assume good faith in your argument and point out several problems with the analogy. First, pornography and celebrity gossip is pretty much saturated from a redistribution stand point. We would have to be primary producers of that content to drive traffic. Feel free to bring it up on the community standards talk page if you think RW should start producing skeptic themed sex videos. Second, its also about the demographics of the incoming traffic. People who enjoy our tumble weed articles are likely to enjoy our content as a whole, join up and contribute, donate to our cause, spread the word to other like minded people about our site. Those seeking homeopathic porn, not so much. Exalt those things that further our aims whether high brow or low brow, we have never shied way from snark. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:22, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Don't put yourself out. I was joking, and I won't bother pressing for the deletion of the tumbleweed articles any longer--"Shut up, Brx." 21:35, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
No, that's a ridiculously worse option than dropping the hit counters (which are, in the structure of how MediaWiki does things, an expensive extravagance for anything other than a trivial site, and it's amazing we've been able to sustain them this long) - David Gerard (talk) 20:38, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
I just realized there are no such counters on WP. Okay, I can get behind that, then. No more counters. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 20:58, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
If it makes it easier to administer the site, I'm all for it. Would it still be possible to put out a monthly hit count update log or something, so LArron can continue making their lovely graphs? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:28, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Did any of his graphs require hit count metrics? Thought most were user log/edit logs. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:34, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm looking at the hit-counters very irregularly, for the WikiFactor and similar diagrams.
  • wikipedia doesn't have hit counts on the bottom of the pages, but they provide abundant information about page rankings, etc. via various channels. I'd love to see something similar here!
--larron (talk) 21:36, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
The data's still collected (dunno how far back it goes) and there's awstats in the admin console but not publicly available. (Though that will need the new Squid data massaged into it, somehow.) Unfortunately, the code for stats.grok.se is not publicly available AFAIK, but something like that would be nice - David Gerard (talk) 21:40, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
In theory you could grep time stamp and page from the squid logs, could dump the database hits so far as the base. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:49, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
I just asked Henrik about the stats.grok.se code, but he hasn't edited Wikipedia since June so I'm not sanguine about a quick reply. As for the data, we should at least gather and put it somewhere - archive the old hit counts, save the log data for new ones. This is what Wikimedia makes available, which is just wiki, pagename, hits that hour. Then we (meaning not I) may need to write something to process them into pretty pictures in a s.g.s-like manner - David Gerard (talk) 21:52, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Rails lives for this and it would be a fun project. Imma talk about it with my pair coder buddy. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 01:16, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

I do think we need some kind of statistics so that we know where our effort would be put to best use. Keep our most popular articles polished and shining, clean up some of the ones that are trending upward, that sort of thing. Like most old-school biologists I'm not up to speed on the technical aspects of how this is done, and so defer to others regarding what strikes the best balance between efficiency and utility. Doctor Dark (talk) 00:14, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

I have got the squids dumping every page request into a log file and have a grep script to clean it up, so the data is being collected still, just need to figure out how best to process and distribute. Tmtoulouse (talk) 00:33, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Sorting out the server overload is the highest priority but I hope you can show page views again later. They show which articles get attention and which articles are worth working on. Proxima Centauri (talk) 01:42, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Just to be clear here, this isn't a matter of having to turn them off because of server load. We have fixed server load for the foreseeable future (waiting on the next slashdot/reddit hit for the big test). But the solution of shoving everything behind reverse proxies and load balancers means that the page hit counter is now meaningless it no longer tracks page views, therefore, there is no reason to have it. As stated there are other potential solutions. Tmtoulouse (talk) 01:50, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
FWIW, Slashdot is now a senile attack chihuaua mildly gumming one's server: my last Slashdotting was 6000 hits in a day. Hacker News is a bit worse (6000 hits in an hour), Reddit is what's crippled us before - David Gerard (talk) 07:56, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

The stats.grok.se code is available! GPLv3 too. Written in Python. - David Gerard (talk) 08:00, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

If someone can give me the cliff notes version of cluster analysis I will have time to fuck with this next week. In the mean time still collecting data on the squids, but need to dump the pagehits databse now and shut it down. Tmtoulouse (talk) 05:50, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
I'd love to get my hands on that data! --larron (talk) 13:34, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
I think getting you anonymised data would be a very good idea. (I would release it to the Internet a bit later, once we're sure it's actually properly anonymous) - David Gerard (talk) 15:10, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

Wait, wait[edit]

What are hit counters?--Mikal Harass Follow 07:59, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Scroll down. "This page has been accessed 1,244,134 times." -- Nx / talk 08:02, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Thats what i figured. Didn't think those were actually anything that would spawn this much of a talk though. --Mikal Harass Follow 08:04, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes it's the little things in life that count. [1] Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:18, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
This is pretty much how I feel with these things - I don't even try to tackle the problems or situations presenting, I just work at managing my grasp of the relevant vocabulary.--ADtalkModerator 08:14, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

So how's responsiveness?[edit]

Maybe it's just me, but holy fucking shit is the site fast now. Two seconds to load a random page to read, about that to read a random diff or save an edit. How is it for everyone else? - David Gerard (talk) 23:20, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

(The above edit, on this very large page, took eight seconds.) - David Gerard (talk) 23:20, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Much better, thank you. Evil fascistoh noez 23:23, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Very nice. The wiki wiki has regained it's rightful place as the harder to use site. Peter Subsisting on honey 23:26, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

Talking Whale[edit]

No shit... Listen to the audio - weird. Acei9 21:31, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

That's nothin', I knew a salesman who'd talk turkey. --Kels (talk) 22:39, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
The Republicans have a talking piece of shit running for president. Acei9 22:44, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Math mistake on "quote of the day"[edit]

I saw the following "quote of the day" on my watchlist: "Happy 6016th Birthday, World!! \ MagicCreation.jpg \ According to James Ussher, the world was created sometime the night preceding October 23, 4004 BCE." Technically, wouldn't that be 6015th birthday, as there is no year 0? LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 00:50, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Technically you are correct, but it doesn't matter as it's all bullshit anyway. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 01:59, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
"It doesn't matter"?!?!?!??! Dude! I need to know how many candles go on this goddamn cake! Stat! DickTurpis (talk) 02:07, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Theologians, philosophers and physicists get together to discuss the Big Bang[edit]

Is anything useful likely to come out of this? I can't see what can come from this as the perspectives of theologians and physicists are so different. Philosophers can find common ground with both. Still people who are more intelligent than I am think it worth doing. I'll keep an eye on this and see what if anything comes out of it.

Proxima Centauri (talk) 01:55, 20 October 2012 (UTC)

... What keeps anything from not coming from it exactly prox?--Mikal Harass Follow 02:17, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Read what Jerry Coyne says Proxima Centauri (talk) 02:29, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, if Jerry says it, it must be real. Course I'm actually curious what religious physicists say. And there are a few of them. Not many, but more than 25%. Like John Polkinghorn.Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 04:16, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Ah!! John Polkinghorne, he's really respected. Proxima Centauri (talk) 11:02, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
I imagine the main benefit is to ensure that the theologians remain close to science and understand the benefits it can bring. That they don't dismiss work on black holes or evolution or the age of the universe or relativity because it contradicts a narrow reading of their holy book. Although I imagine most of the theologians that are at this conference are unlikely to be bible-thumping fundamentalists anyway, but mainstream Anglicans, Catholics and Protestants who have no problem with modern science, or at least the theories it produces. What I presume they are seeking in return is to convince scientists to be a little more "ethical" in their work (as they see it). To make the connections between science and humanity. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:16, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
I didn't see the conference was funded by Templeton when I first started this. Since I read what Coyne wrote and also know it's one of many Templeton conferences I guess it's one more case of Money talking. The UK BBC is fairly impartial reflects the range of UK opinions fairly well but is pro-religion and the reporter who did these webpages probably doesn't know Templeton. Proxima Centauri (talk) 09:01, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that the BBC is pro-religion as such, only that it has certain obligations to reflect various religious views in its charter. And it's extremely unlikely the reporter didn't know anything about Templeton. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:35, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Wait, where does it say that Templeton has anything to do with this? Are you skimming various blog posts, misreading them, and dismissing the event because of that misunderstanding? Ajkgordon (talk) 10:04, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
I haven't seen anything that links this to the Templeton, either. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 10:16, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
"The BBC reflects the range of UK opinions fairly well." The BBC "is pro-religion." Ergo, the UK is "pro-religion" I guess. Does it pain you to live in a country where everyone doesn't believe exactly what you do, PC? OnTheInternetNobodyKnowsYou'reAGod (talk) 12:47, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
The BBC is only "pro-religion" in the same way that the Daily Mail thinks it's exceedingly left-wing. If you're of the opposite opinion, you'll consider that the BBC is biased, when in fact it's painfully neutral. Clearly, "not airing Richard Dawkins 24/7" counts as "pro-religion". It has half an hour a week dedicated to Songs of Praise, the religious documentaries on BBC4 are just that, documentaries and not support of any kind that can be considered "pro", and it's educational programming for children includes the necessary curriculum component that teaches about atheism. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 21:16, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
I know UK society is moving my way, See Religion in the UK. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:06, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
You're a Jedi? Ajkgordon (talk) 10:17, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
When you have a complete and utter hatred of religion, any religion, even academic, is to much religion. --Mikal Harass Follow 21:20, 20 October 2012 (UTC)
Going back to where we came in
It is my firm belief that whatever we as scientists may think, it is our moral duty to engage in dialogue. To that end, although I do not envy the rapporteur’s task, I am looking forward to the Wilton Park report, which should be available in about a month, and to the accompanying e-book to follow later.
—Rolf Dieter-Heuer DG CERN
So PC thinks it's a waste of time, the DG of CERN welcomes it. Innocent Bystander (talk) 10:33, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Reminds me of a creationist. Mind made up, misreads and misunderstands, cherry picks data to support view, rinse repeat. Seriously, WTF? Ajkgordon (talk) 11:02, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

proof of ghosts[edit]

This is a sorta "silly" Monday question, as we flit and flirt with Murphy and his law around my office. Someone on facebook mentioned that some paranormal dude from Discovery (ghost hunter?) will "provide proof of ghosts". That got me wondering... what evidence would science need to 1) prove ghosts, and 2) at least show "wow, ok, that really is odd and should be studied!. I've always wondered how one proves something that by definition is rather transparent. (It might be a bit easier than a god, who is not only unseen, but has the uber powers to just do what he wants when he wants, including messing with all your theories!).--Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 16:09, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Hmm, it's a bit of a conundrum because people have different ideas of what constitutes a ghost. Are they visible, do they do anything which interacts with the material world? There is a certain conflation with spectres, ghouls, spirits and poltergeists. In the UK, which is supposed to have the most reported ghosts the general idea is an apparition of a deceased which retraces a location which had meaning. Although I remember a as a youngster a friend claimed to have seen a spectral post carriage travelling along a local road. But if you watch Derek Acora in Ghost Hunter then it's often just cold feelings and creeks in the floorboards. As an interesting aside, the word ghost is an oddity in English, along with ghoul, by having a silent 'h' after the 'g'. Evidently it stems back to William Caxton, the first English printer, who imported a lot of Flemings to do his typesetting and there being no dictionaries to refer to they used the Flemish gh for the English g so that even words like girl were spelled with an h. However, this died out and the plain g became normal use, but as the Holy Ghost was in the BIble it stuck. I have no idea why ghoul retains the h though. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 16:32, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
My guess? To keep people from saying pronouncing it as "goul" as in "fowl". -- Seth Peck (talk)
Or ghoul became linked with ghost and so retained the spelling long enough for dictionaries to come out and formalise the spelling. Ghastly, as a spelling, comes from a confusion with the word ghostly circa 16th century, and given the close links between the three words it's probably the maintenance of the spelling of one word through the bible which then supported the other two.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 18:38, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Says Beefeater, "You'd best come Fridays,
If it's ghost of Anne Boleyn you seek.
Her union now limits her output,
And she only gets one walk a week.
   —Marriott Edgar
Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:07, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
For those who are still interested, ghoul is an Arabic word; and was originally spelled goul or goule when it was first used in English during 18th century. The 'h' was added later, probably being seen to have some affinity with ghost. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 08:24, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, I've learned something today! Anyway, on grounds of what evidence you need for ghosts and, more generally, the supernatural, the interesting thing is when people try to describe these phenomena and preclude any sort of evidence. As if there was no interaction with the physical world. Which, in most cases, is synonymous with "doesn't exist" (hence why strong-agnosticism is just atheism in denial). Like, someone might say you can only see ghosts with your eyes, and not a camera - but why should that be? Your eyes only pick up photons, cameras pick up photons. The only way one and not the other could happen would be if it was formed entirely within your own head - aka, an illusion. So how do you distinguish between you just making stuff up, and a "real" ghost putting it in your head? Brain scans, perhaps? Controlled experiments? I'm sure we could do the test for it (we can certainly recreate particular "ghostly" feelings with infrasound and other tricks) but the response will always be "but you can't prove it with science", which frustrates the hell out of me. "But you can't prove it with science" is just a series of words, what does it even mean apart from "it doesn't exist"? Fucksake. Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 11:15, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Seismologists Convicted for failing to predict Earthquake[edit]

Really. Six years in prision, plus paying court costs and damages. I wonder if anyone will want to be a seismologist in Italy again. --Tlaloc (talk) 18:00, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Hell, my weather man can't manage to get the weather right more than 70% of the time. i should sue him!--Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 18:59, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
That's absurd. What are the premiums for malpractice insurance in Italy? --TheLateGatsby (talk) 19:11, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Italy never ceases to amaze by how dysfunctional it is, yet still manages to produce so much world-beating engineering, style, luxury, food, wine and productivity. Ajkgordon (talk) 19:35, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Wait, what world-beating engineering? The cars aren't well-engineered, that's why it's always an Italian sports car in the news for catching fire spontaneously, or broken down at the side of the road because the gear box exploded 4000 miles after its last service, or that sort of thing. If you want engineering you buy BMW, like an M5 or something. But I mean, I'm sure Italy has produced some perfectly good engineers, it's just not something they're really famous for. The food is good though, although the Italians seriously overplay it. (talk) 22:30, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
You're kidding, right? Italian engineering is among the best in the world. (Note the use of the word "among", please.) Sure they might have a bit of a problem with their reputation for some of their cars. But that's because you're looking at their exotica, cars designed right to the limit of what modern production can achieve in terms of performance, handling and so on. But this is only a small example and your complaints are based more on manufacturing rather than the engineering itself. Italy is also strong in industrial engineering, architecture, aerospace, marine, electrical and so on. While it might not have the same reputation as German manufacturing, I maintain that Italy is still remarkably successful in many fields considering how extraordinarily dysfunctional its state and form of government appears to be. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:49, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
As an amateur astronomer I can confirm that there are some pretty good Italian scopes and mounts. Motorised mounts have to be made to very fine engineering tolerances to give smooth panning and avoid backlash. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 15:57, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, when you talk about an invention that was invented in that country, you would certainly hope so! Though, most of the glassware that goes into the scopes are made elsewhere... -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:35, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Farrari, Lamboughini, Alpha Romeo, Motor Guzzi.... Innocent Bystander (talk) 22:42, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh, the European court is going to have alot of fun with this. --Revolverman (talk) 23:05, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Innocent Bystander: Seriously, how is that possible? You didn't get even ONE of these names right: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Moto Guzzi (no r). --Tweenk (talk) 23:39, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
As a geophysicist this makes me extremely angry, because we all know whose fault it really was. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 01:55, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Wow. What are they going to do to the economists for failing to predict the financial crisis?--Weirdstuff (talk) 10:40, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Ajkgordon, I'm not kidding. The phrase you offered was "world-beating". If we're "considering" that it's an impoverished war-torn country I'm sure South Sudan's engineering is impressive too, but I won't call that "world-beating" either. And these are engineering problems because they're not a result of getting a "lemon" car which happened to be badly made, they're inherent to the design of a entire model or series. If you use plastic components (to make the vehicle lighter) you need to understand how the plastic will behave under intense heat (from the vehicle engine and exhaust) so that it doesn't catch fire. That's engineering. The amount and type of metal you need to use in a gear so that it won't disintegrate when the force from accelerating an entire car is passed through it is also a matter of engineering. (talk) 11:52, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Hey, the guys at Moto Guzzi, already back in the 60's built engines that didn't leak oil. Triumph an Norton never managed to do that. That's engineering too, y'know... Drive south (talk) 18:03, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
BoN, it's Italy. They have one of the top economies in the world (#7 maybe?) and produce some excellent products in all sorts of fields. Would you so condemn Japan because Toyota had to recall x million cars recently because of a brake problem? Or Germany because Mercedes had to recall millions of cars as well? Or the US because some 4x4 had to be recalled because it kept flipping over and killing people? These are common occurrences in countries that do lots of engineering and produce lots of sophisticated goods. While there may be some basis in your prejudice, to deny that Italy is not one of the top countries in the world for many things including engineering is somewhat exaggerated.
But you're missing the original point. Which is how well Italy does considering its dysfunctional state and government. Ajkgordon (talk) 18:07, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
"World-beating engineering" was the original point of contention. A point which has so far been defended by you saying that well, they're up there, in some fields, maybe, though you can't be specific. That's not what world beating is. Consider Jamaica. If you say "Jamaica has world-beating track athletes" that's fucking true. They brought a load of gold medals back from London to prove it, the fastest man in the world, the fastest woman in the world, you've got to literally beat the rest of the world to get those medals. But if you say "Jamaica also has world-beating athletes in the Winter Olympics" that's just not true. Getting a movie made about your underdog bobsled team does not count as "world-beating".
The Toyota thing mostly comes down to SUA and that can (and does) happen to any automobile manufacturer. It's not a traditional engineering failure, SUA happens and then you manage the PR as best you can. The last accident report I read was actually a bit like SUA, a hobbyist driver accidentally crushed (and killed) his colleague. He said (as do most drivers in SUA incidents) that he was sure he followed the correct procedure and there must have been a mechanical problem. Being a heritage steam locomotive (hence the hobbyists driving it) there was no data recorder and no CCTV, but the accident investigators were unable to reproduce the problem without omitting a crucial and easily forgotten step, engaging the mechanical lock on the reverser. Without the lock, the incident could be reproduced perfectly, just ease away backwards and the reverser gently disengages itself, smoothly driving the locomotive forwards and crushing the unfortunate victim. Now the victim had screwed up too (the rules forbid standing somewhere that could get you killed if this goes wrong) but the poor driver is no better for knowing that. (talk) 23:18, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Your analogy works. Jamaica has world beating track athletes. Not all of Jamaica's track athletes are world-beating but some are in some track events. So it's perfectly fine to say that Jamaica has world-bating track athletes. Italy has some world-beating engineering, (let's take automotive as a narrow example). Not all Italian cars are world-beating but some are by some measures. So it's perfectly fine to say that Italy has world-beating cars (engineered in Italy). Ajkgordon (talk) 12:34, 24 October 2012 (UTC)


What do you guys think? (Apologies if this is in the wrong place.) --Andynot Schlafly 02:41, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Obama dealt with Romney well. Romney was clearly less experienced than the President here (more so than any other Republican for nearly a century), so he tried to play it safe by sticking to the President on many issues, notably drone strikes, Syria, Libya, and others. Chris Hayes noted that Iran and military spending were the only substantive issues where the candidates disagreed significantly. As a result, you have a CBS poll showing Obama crushing Romney by 30%. Mr. Anon (talk) 03:22, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I laughed at the "horses and bayonets" retort, but evidently, conservative friends of mine can't take a joke, and started squalling about it.
Short answer: Obama is wrong. The Military still has horses and bayonets.
Long answer: Obama was trying to be clever, and didn't think about exceptions. US combat doctrine replaced the horse with mechanical options during the first world war. Horses are still used in parades, and I'm sure some elite units train with them for the possibility they will end up in a situation where they cannot use a mechanical vehicle.
The Ka-Bar combat knife issued to the USMC has a bayonet lug. It is not the obsolete "handleless" bayonet, like the sort you'd see in some period piece, but most armies are still trained for the possibility they would need to close with the enemy. The amount of use they see doesn't change the fact that they are issued and melee training continues. A better example would have been a saber, which, like the horse, would serve little purpose outside of parades.
Regrettably, Battleships are now just targets. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 12:23, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I thought he just said there are fewer horses and bayonets... Seme Blue 04:10, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
The wingnuts are wrong as usual. Obama's actual words were "Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed." The word "fewer" clearly implies there are still some around. He never said there were none. rpeh •TCE 12:49, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Went back and re-read the friend's language. He understood the quote and I didn't -I smugly assumed he was engaged in his usual uninformed chest-thumping and it was up to me to inject some nuance into the discussion. Shame on me. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 13:24, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
That's okay, Paul Ryan doesn't get it either. He also makes the assertion that budget cuts will make the American navy smaller than it was in World War I...not understanding that the American navy IS smaller than it was in World War I (and that we offset that "loss" of total ship count with superior firepower, submarines and planes). -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:27, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
I kinda gave up on the debates after catching a little bit of the second one on CNN. When someone who's knowledge of US politics extends as far as knowing who Barack Obama is says "I listened a little bit to this Romney guy and he just sounds fucking awful", I think it says something. Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator 11:08, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Romney said, "We see in -- in Libya, an attack apparently by, I think we know now, by terrorists of some kind...", failing to lay blame on the al Qaeda affiliate Anser al-Sharia. This is in keeping with Romney's pledge to aide Syrian rebels. What are we to conclude? (A) There is a consensus in the U.S. intelligence community among analysts of whatever partisan stripe to use al Qaeda affiliates against corrupt secular dictators who've outlived their usefulness to further the neocon agenda of democracy and women's rights in the Arab and Islamic world. This is why Obama kept on Bush appointees like waterboarding expert wp:John O. Brennan, whom Obama originally wanted as CIA director; (B) the al Qaeda bogeyman is outdated, despite Obama's own attempts to use it as a re-election issue; (C) after al Qaeda stooges do NATO, the U.S., and the neocons dirty work in removing corrupt dictators rather than spilling American blood to do so, we can deal with extremists, terrorists, and religious fundamentalists later and hope to convince them to become part of a non-violent parliamentary system later. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:09, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 20:25, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Romney endorses Obama says the trusworthy Los Angeles Times. SophieWilder 11:02, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Ready, Aim, Fire...[edit]

I've spent the past few weeks thinking about the futility of posting counter-views on sites like CP and CNAV only to get the boot at their whim. So I've decided to get off my butt and start posting to a blog I set up way back in 2010, and my first post is already striking me as far too wordy. I'd appreciate it if anyone wants to take a look and post their comments, and constructive criticism is welcome. Thx. --DinsdaleP (talk) 04:17, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

If you want people to look at it you'll need to fix the link. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:21, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
(ec) It asks for a login. Are you willing/able to make it public? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 04:22, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Fixed the link above - thanks. --DinsdaleP (talk) 04:34, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Minor typos aside (I can give you a list of you care for such trivia), I think the material itself is a really cogent, easily digestible list of things that make Romney appear to be a very poor candidate. There's nothing there that seems superfluous, so the only way I could think to address the length would be to divide it into two or more posts.
But, you're kind of preaching to the choir with me. I think Romney supporters would be unlikely to read through to the end and actually respond -- unless they're actually out looking for a fight, in which case you'll just get the empty rhetoric and vitriol you're trying to avoid. It might be worthwhile asking your question in a separate post, which tries to avoid any kind of judgemental language, but merely explores what we currently know of the Romney-Ryan "plan" and asks for help to fill in the blanks so you could actually compare it to the Democrat plan. i.e. go to great lengths to appear neutral and generally inquisitive, rather than throwing down a challenge to prove their candidate doesn't suck goats. --Editor374 (talk) 08:56, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Here's a real simple response: A vote for Obama is a vote for gridlock, and a vote for Romney is the only hope for change in a stagnant recovery slipping back into recession. People are beginning to realize this. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:44, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
What's that got to do with the price of fish? Vulpius (talk) 21:30, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
No no, Rob is correct. A GOP house and President will end the gridlock. The economy will look like Mohenjo Daro after four years, with massive tax cuts and increases in military spending on ships ramping up the deficit, but there won't be gridlock in Washington. SophieWilder 21:47, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Here's a scenario: the 2% payroll tax holiday becomes permanent allowing younger workers control over their FICA witholdings and effectively privatizing Social Security. This will provide some longterm budgetary relief. Then, ala Reagan, foot dragging on implementation of Obamacare while not implementing the previously agreed upon (from the debt ceiling deal) defense spending cuts, and funneling the aggregate totals from Obama's massive expansion of budget into maintaining defense spending. Romney pledged to do this in Monday nites debate. Reagan basically took the growth from Johnson Era Great Society social programs and channeled it into defense (to win the Cold War, of course). nobsCorporations are people, too 22:02, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Barack and Michelle divorced![edit]

According to Trump and the Daily Fail. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 03:58, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Oh, this was Trump's GIGANTIC news? Acei9 04:11, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I think i saw something to this effect about 2 weeks ago on the cover of Globe--Mikal Harass Follow 04:13, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I'd guess he'll try for something a little bigger than that. Probably some unsubstantiated claims that they considered divorce years ago because Barack cheated on her or something. DickTurpis (talk) 04:43, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Didn't the Trump claim that he had a better intel network then the CIA once? --Revolverman (talk) 04:48, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
So what? In my own experience many couples go through sticky periods in their marriage and either get divorced or at least consider the possibility. The fact that they didn't actually go through with it and have apparently made a success of their relationship should actually be a positive, especially amongst conservatives who make such a big deal about marriage. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 06:55, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
If a newspaper made a massive deal out of every time a couple in the public eye considered splitting up, they'd never have enough space to report when they actually split up. I find the colour of Trump's face on that article more concerning than this supposed news. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 10:51, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Turns out that the rumor wasn't even remotely related to what Trump's bombshell actually was. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:44, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

It's not like we didn't know this was coming. nobsCorporations are people, too 18:54, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro. --Revolverman (talk) 19:02, 24 October 2012 (UTC)


I'm working in my home-office but am being distracted by these bullocks across the road. What are they up to? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 09:07, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I think it is fairly obvious what is happening here...I'd advise you to arm yourself and stay tuned to the emergency broadcast channel. Make no mistake. The bullocks will soon be here. They'll kill you and everyone you care about. Acei9 09:27, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Just looks like a load of bullocks to me. (talk) 10:30, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
And while you're at it, keep an eye out for sheep also. Ace knows what I'm talking about. --Horace (talk) 06:15, 26 October 2012 (UTC)


Blaaaaaaeeeegh I had my accounting, business, and speech midterms this week. I'm really enjoying my business class, but if I hear the phrase "the customer is a co-producer" one more time, I'm going to flip a table over. Accounting isn't nearly as interesting, but my brother swears it gets better once you get into managerial accounting. For speech, I talked about the Higgs boson. Someone asked "what good is it?" and I answered with "It's not useful, but it is awesome." Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 02:19, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

I have two the week of Halloween which is not very convenient when the parties last for at least that whole week. Sam Tally-ho! 04:20, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
My Halloween plans always involve me reluctantly getting up to answer the door dozens of times to hand out candy. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:59, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Thank goodness I don't live in the USA[edit]

Because with the availability of guns I think that I might actually go out and shoot somebody. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 09:49, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

I kind of feel like that pouncing on this as "this guy said God intended women to be raped!" diminishes the whole debate. Yeah, you could choose to construe his statement in that manner if you want to, but anyone that supports his (actual) position is just going to say "that's not what he meant and you know it" and this whole thing becomes noise. Nobody who claims "God thinks a fertilised egg is a human being" is a valid excuse for limiting a woman's rights over her own body is going to stop to consider the validity of their position as a result of this furore in a teacup. --Editor374 (talk) 10:33, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that's what he's saying at all. He's saying that it's God's will if a woman gets pregnant through rape and therefore she shouldn't have an abortion. It's extending Akin's claim that "legitimate rape victims" won't get pregnant to exclude any exceptions whatsoever. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 10:42, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
It's more of the same language: "if you get pregnant due to a rape, you should take it as a gift from god". I don't think anyone in or around the feminsts camps, or NARAL, PP etc., thinks he wants us to be raped. he talked that back within minutes of saying it. What we think is that he dismisses women in his "go baby!" arguments. Women should see this as god's will. a sick, vindictive god who being all powerful could insure no woman got raped, or got pregnant from being raped - but you know, doesn't. Good god, there. --Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 19:05, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, given that the mother of their savior was raped by their deity...but, clearly, it wasn't a legitimate rape. -- Seth Peck (talk) 19:20, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough, it is how it seems to be being reported and reacted to though. I'd much rather they focus on substantive arguments against the position instead. For example, the fact that the "God's will" argument is so horribly broken (even leaving aside the non-existence of God) that it's trivially possible to make statements which imply you believe God is pro-rape, at least when a pregnancy results. I hadn't thought of the "extending 'legitimate rape'" angle though; I actually think it contradicts it. Akin's claim was that in a legitimate rape, the woman wouldn't get pregnant; which would make any cases where the woman did get pregnant not rape, and therefore Mourdock's position that you can't terminate pregnancies even if they're the result of rape makes no sense, since that can't happen. --Editor374 (talk) 11:00, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
This is what happens when you attempt to rationalise a strict and no-exceptions anti-abortion stance with not wanting to sound pro-rape: you actively end up sounding more of a complete asshole. Whether it be Ron Paul's "honest" rape (here, he's trying to add a rape exception, but tentatively to avoid conceding to false allegations of rape being used to gain access to abortion) or Akin's "legitimate" rape (which was just plain retarded) or any of these "accept the gift of God" kinds (which is just fucking frightening!) - it doesn't make sense because they're trying to shoehorn an idealistic position into the sad facts of reality. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 11:19, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh, goodie... I was waiting for this idiot to do something crazy since the Tea Party dislodged Dick Lugar for insufficient piety. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 11:51, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't his reasoning also suggest that the abortion would also be god's will? I guess I'm not sure where the cutoff point between "god's will" and "against god's will" is. Are there two? Where performing an action immediately prior and immediately after the rape is against god's will? Is the rapist himself carrying out god's will? If so, how does the woman summon the ability to go against god's will afterwards? God is complex, yo. X Stickman (talk) 17:28, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Mitt panders to his idiot base, again. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 18:17, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
This is an interesting debate among religious believers. Pregnancy as the result of rape could be described as Satan's will, but then that would be attributing to Satan the ability to create life and stigmatize an innocent child. OTOH, one could take the easy way out and argue for atheism to avoid such dilemmas. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:27, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
It does make the most sense. DickTurpis (talk) 19:29, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Once again, Rob nails it. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 20:18, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
So the ONLY religious answer is either "satan" or "you deserve it?" Huh. so free will does not come into play? Natrual order of what happens when penises go into vaginas, with or without consent? Most Christians do not think god actually "gave" you your baby, or actually for you, jane smith of 201 Crest View road, made it possible that you can get pregant. Most people use the words "gift from god" rather figuratively. Therefor, most people do not have a religious problem with the idea that a woman should have a right to deal with the repercussions of rape. In fact, most persons who had read their bible find that god is quite fine with making and killing babies on a whim. Just saying...Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 20:49, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Yep. Happy shall he be that dasheth thy little ones against the stones. nobsCorporations are people, too 21:49, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro. Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 08:14, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

New cquote template[edit]

I replaced the cquote template with a new version that looks much better for short quotes with an origin (there is much less vertical space between the quote text and attribution). Articles that use many short quotes, e.g. Mitt Romney, look much better now. I hope I didn't break the universe. Let me know on my talkpage if you find problems related to this change. --Tweenk (talk) 00:19, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Cheers for that. Replacing some of the dodgy table layouts with CSS is something I've been wanting to do for a while. Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 08:09, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Oh, the Internet[edit]

Image/video of guy whipping out his dong at a SlutWalk protest (and the subsequent reaction) goes viral on Reddit & YouTube, commenters rejoice and excuse him for "wanting to show off his privates like feminists want." Do we have a headdesk gif on the wiki? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:10, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

That dude face seriously makes it look like he wasn't 100 aware of what he was doing. --Revolverman (talk) 04:17, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Whatever the case, it looks like he's fucking lovin' it. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 07:55, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Prehistoric Autopsy[edit]

'Autopsy' is probably not the right word but did anyone else see this on BBC2? Although it was 'pop' science I thought it was very well done in explaining the evolution behind modern humans. It also presented some new facts (to me), such as computer tomography of Neanderthal skulls show that their inner ears were different to ours, just more proof that they weren't just some variant of homo sapiens as creationists claim, but a separate species.

There seems to be quite a few good science progs on the Beeb at the moment; so in another of my plugs for Radio 4, I have recently, while offshore, been catching up with Jim al-Khalili's excellent The Life Scientific while Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time, yesterday discussed Fermat's Last Theorem with Marcus du Sautoy (I mention that for WfG). Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 18:53, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

If you learned from it and it was well done, there's no need to put the scare quotes around "pop". So long as it isn't anything like that fucking Horizon on the Mars Science Laboratory that I didn't even get to the end of before taking a deep sigh, crashing my head onto the keyboard and shutting the laptop. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 20:12, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Just finished down loading ep 1. it is set for tonite's entertainment. I hate that the US does not have quality producions like BBC. we have a few on PBS - nova and the like, but there is so little funding, and so much competition with discovery "alien autopsy"! --Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 20:15, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Obligatory Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 20:16, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Two-months sustained traffic spike, the good and the bad (Let's talk money, infrastructure, support)[edit]

I have been waiting to introduce this to the community to make sure it appears to be the "new norm." Several factors have coincided recently (normal linear growth, changes in search engine algorithms, maybe even critical mass in social media links) that have sharply, and quickly bumped up our daily traffic. Somewhat starting in July but clearly present in August and September we saw an almost doubling of our daily traffic. While growth is always nice it leads to infrastructure and support problems. Which ultimately comes down to the issue of money.

We are skirting the edge of being able to support our traffic load with a single instance of the mid-range VPS. I am sure people have all ready noticed slow downs, a decreases in site performance, and their frequency increasing. We don't have any room for a big spike in traffic anymore because our base traffic is pushing our resources. Cost of infrastructure expansion at this point starts moving into the "hard to manage" range with our current funding model. Not to mention serious issues with technical support.

A note on technical support, I have had to move on from my grad school days and enter the "real world" and between having a "real job" and preparing for my defense I have had extremely limited time to offer more than the most palliative support to RW and its servers. A serious expansion of infrastructure if it becomes possible would mean an increase in technical support at a time when the one tech guy has the least amount of time for the project.

That leaves us in a bit of a conundrum. Doing nothing will mean that our community is now "capped" at what it can support and further growth can not be supported. It means relying on technical issues and slow response to drive down or drive away additional traffic. This keeps our "costs" the same but is not ideal, and may ultimately be a destructive path to take. But doing something requires some major changes.

To push on into the next stage we need to do a better job of raising money, and expand our support system. Both of these require moving past me as the primary instigator, writer and director of our fundraising efforts and our technical support. We need people in the community to step up who have good ideas, the motivation, and the time to put towards putting together better ways of raising funds, we need to find another couple of people that can provide server side technical support and we need as a community not to actively attempt to drive away people going above and beyond under the guise of some sort of regressive ideal of what the RW community should be.

So lets talk. Tmtoulouse (talk) 17:49, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Do we know which stories, and where the spikes are coming from? Brian Cox/Carl Zimmer noticed us, among other things, but this is where LArron comes in. Osaka Sun (talk) 18:26, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Sometime yes, sometimes no. Many social media sites use a universal referral pages so all out going links appear to come from the same generic page. But we are actually not seeing that drastic an increase in the number of big traffic referral links. Most of the big jump has come from 1) significant increase in google searches, 2) a big jump in "direct" link ala bookmarks. Google has tweaked it algorithm a lot lately and we apparently are a big beneficiary of it. Also there seems to be a big jump in the number of people that just "check in" with us daily as part of their procrastination routine. Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:39, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Those procrastinators probably stay long enough and visit often enough so they learn quite a bit. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:57, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Block every user from outside america on a server level? (talk) 19:47, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
"preparing for my defense?"--"Shut up, Brx." 20:46, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Thesis defense. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:32, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Brxbrx, the "defense" in this case is probably a PhD defense. Depending on the country/ university/ topic this usually involves a long and fairly intense meeting with two people who are acknowledged experts in your field. You need to persuade them that you're also expert and that on one specific topic you now know more than they do, that the huge document you're written (and which they've read and probably have extensive notes on) demonstrates both your knowledge of existing work and represents a unique contribution to the field. In some systems you do all this in the form of a public (though usually sparsely attended) lecture, in some there's a small committee rather than two people. Either way, most often the real decision has been made in advance, but obviously nobody's going to tell you that and it's still possible to make a bad enough impression to change their minds. For example if you seem not to understand the document you ostensibly spent years of your life working on, that would be very suspicious. Anyway, it's stressful, it can take months or even sometimes years to fully prepare, and it doesn't leave you with much spare time for maintaining websites. (talk) 22:36, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, yeah, I looked it up after Tmtoulouse's post. I am unfamiliar with academia, I assumed he was on trial for something :P
--"Shut up, Brx." 17:30, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
My own suggestion: In the short term, hold another fundraiser, move to a bigger/better server. I would advise not asking for donations from the wider internet before we move to a better server, otherwise the traffic could overwhelm our current service. Medium term, appeal to the skeptic/atheist blogopshere for support (more donations). Long term, form official partnerships with science blogging circles (e.g. Freethought Blogs, Scientopia, etc.). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:00, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I can assist with techie stuff, if you like. I've been a Unix admin for ten years and I do lotsa MediaWiki, some public-facing, at work - David Gerard (talk) 22:37, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
David, would you email or call me? I have a huge amount of respect for you for already approaching your contributions here diligently and without the least bit of pridefulness. I'd like to hear more about your technical background so I can pass it on to the Board. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:11, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
RNS just emailed me too :-) I'm contactable at dgerard@gmail.com - David Gerard (talk) 15:39, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I now have the keys to the server. MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA DRUNK WITH POWER *ahem* I promise not to be an asshole with these amazing new superpowers, as I am still quite good at being an asshole purely with words. Currently looking around and making sense of stuff. Stuff might work better soon, who knows - David Gerard (talk) 19:56, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Tuesday special[edit]

Temporarily deleting articles like Placodermi that are marginal to our mission could help. Still I suspect the high traffic articles are the ones that overload the servers. Once Trent has finished his Ph.D work and has time to update the servers these articles can be restored. Users worked hard on them, will be disappointed if they're deleted permanently. Even if our Placodermi article isn't as good as the Wikipedia stuff it still makes a good impression and encourages users to stay on this site. I'm happy to host articles like Placodermi at Liberapedia if they're deleted. Liberapedia has encyclopaedic articles and Wikia servers can easily manage the traffic. Proxima Centauri (talk) 08:51, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

This is completely and utterly incorrect. On what basis do you make the claim that this could help? Please provide all the detail that led you to make this claim - David Gerard (talk) 09:33, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Sigs with randomization, start with that. -- Nx / talk 10:33, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
PC you're talking bollocks. Half-arsed coverage of science is not where we get our hits. It's either our snarticles, debunking/SBS, or coverage of stuff that's not done elsewhere - straight factual stuff that is done better at WP is best left to them, it's only when we can impart a slant which WP's NPOV doesn't permit that we should have a corresponding article. The problem is not with non-mission content it's the number of visitors that are being attracted our way, things that grab people's attention. I think that keeping off-topic, non-mission stuff is actually detrimental as it dilutes our message. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 11:55, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
It's nearly always the tumbleweed articles that do us in. I'd rather it was something lots of us worked hard at, like Poe's Law or 101 evidences, but there you go, the internet likes snarky fluff. Placodermi ain't even worth bringing back if it gets deleted. SophieWilder 17:01, 9 October 2012 (UTC)


Not sure thats the right term, but if specific articles are being hit, and read rather than being commented on, could copies be set up to redirect traffic to ? Hamster (talk) 03:58, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

If a proper techie is available, RW can use Squid caching (if it isn't used already), but I don't know how relevant it is for a sustained increase in traffic (versus the occasional traffic spike). See David Gerard's offer for help below above, he should know such stuff.--ZooGuard (talk) 09:12, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
First let me say I understand social science better than I understand computers. One important thing that any manager needs to learn is how to delegate. There are any number of computer experts who are sympathetic to RationalWiki and understand enough to manage a server with part of RationalWiki content. How about splitting off a section of RationalWiki, say Conservapedia related articles and managing those on a separate server? That would reduce the traffic on the main server and also reduce Trent's workload so Trent can focus on his Ph.D. Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:21, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
That wouldn't be the first approach I'd take and it's not clear it would help. The way Wikimedia does it is to have lots of layers of caching, to reduce CPU load. But that's getting into fine detail - David Gerard (talk) 15:45, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

There are several different paths we could take, from moving to an even larger machine, to starting to develop multiple servers. There are pros/cons to each approach, but all of them have the same underlying issues as outlined above. Money and support are maxed out using our currently operating paradigm. Tmtoulouse (talk) 14:44, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

The next natural stage in your life, Trent will be the demands of a salaried job and the start of a career. I feel it's in your interest to find a way of dealing with RationalWiki that reduces your workload. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:09, 5 October 2012 (UTC)


Google ads. Much, much bigger sites than this one manage to support themselves with Google Ads. Just a few unobtrusive adverts can bring in a lot of money. I've suggested this before and been shouted down but given this latest announcement is there really any doubt that it's time? rpeh •TCE 20:29, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

They don't always match the philosophy of the site they land on do they? I mean you could end up with a homoeopathy advert on the homoeopathy page couldn't you? And do you have any idea of the potential income?--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:36, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
When that happens, they can be blocked. rpeh •TCE 20:39, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
And in case anyone is wondering: no, I don't work for Google. rpeh •TCE 20:39, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Before this is discussed further — as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, can we even have advertisements at all? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:38, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
We did a brief stint with ads a while back (of course, that was before we were a nonprofit). I forget why we stopped. I think no one liked them and they didn't really bring in much revenue. Ask Trent. DickTurpis (talk) 21:44, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
The context sensitivity caused a few laughs. I seem to remember psychics and foreign brides being our main add base. As such I don't suppose we had a massive click-through rate. Innocent Bystander (talk) 21:52, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
There were some weird ones, to be sure. They seemed to reflect keywords on pages, which made the ads on each userpage quite a hoot. I remember making a list of various users and some ads that appeared on their pages. I mentioned nazis on mine at the time, which I believe yielded some interesting results. DickTurpis (talk) 21:55, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Google declared us caustic to their adwords program. Our content was "harmful" to their "advertisers." Not an option. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:30, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I suppose you could call that a "good" thing. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 22:45, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
A terrible idea if we want editorial independence. And two. Google are quite happy to fuck you around if some bozo doesn't like your content, and gosh, who might complain about our content? If we do ads, we'd have to be selling them ourselves. Or use an ad network that's shit, 'cos Google is the only one that isn't. Then we might end up looking like FreethoughtBlogs, which is, no foolin', the site that finally pushed me to install AdBlock. I agree that money is a problem, but this solution is not in any regard whatsoever the slam-dunk you posit it as - David Gerard (talk) 22:33, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, David. I was hoping you'd turn up once talk turned to ads. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:40, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Ads might work if we can get the ads FtB does without (a) fucking unblockable popups everywhere (b) videos that autoplay. Might be worth asking Ed Brayton how they do their thing in a world of butthurt woomeisters - David Gerard (talk) 22:47, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
I've had it up to here at Wikia with videos that auto-play as that uses up bandwidth that I pay for. Some have sound so if I use the computer late at night or early morning I have to disable sound to make sure some unexpected loud ad doesn't disturb my neighbors. Proxima Centauri (talk) 06:53, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
We could all seek individual endorsements from corporations to plug their products nonchalantly on the Saloon Bar and various talk pages. That probably wouldn't work though. It would get really boring. Might even put you to sleep. I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep. Or I did, until I started taking Lunestra - that turned my life around. I finally feel like a normal person again. If you're having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about Lunestra. (LUNESTA acts quickly, so take it right before bed, and only if you have 8 hours to devote to sleep. Until you know how you will react to LUNESTA, you should not drive or operate machinery. Call your healthcare professional if your insomnia worsens or is not better within 7 to 10 days. This may mean that there is another condition causing your sleep problems. Walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep without remembering it the next day have been reported. Other abnormal behaviors include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, and confusion. In depressed patients, worsening of depression including risk of suicide may occur. These risks may increase if you drink alcohol. Severe allergic reactions such as swelling of the tongue and throat occur rarely and may be fatal. Call your healthcare professional if you experience these or any effects or reactions that concern you.) DickTurpis (talk) 23:33, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Hahaha, excellent! :::: — Unsigned, by: Ajkgordon / talk / contribs 07:37, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
adblock. Come on. Firefox + noscript is the only way to surf the internet! And next I'll take a position on emacs vs vi. (Btw, bash is also the right answer.) LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 23:16, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Another fundraiser[edit]

I have no long term solution, but I can see that there is a short term need for another fundraiser. I come here every day without fail (though I certainly don't edit on a daily basis). Unfortunately I've got no time to help with community or server stuff, but what I do have is cash. I chipped in $50 last time, and am happy to chip in at least that much again. Hopefully others like me see also the site as worthy of support. VOXHUMANA 23:52, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

IIRC, you can set up regular donations. While I agree the fundraisers are what bring in the dough, people who can afford to set up a monthly donation should have that made as easy as possible for them. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:06, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I would certainly do this if I knew how. I suspect $5 a month from a bunch of us would make a huge difference. VOXHUMANA 02:40, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I suppose I will set up regular donations as well - I do check here every day, several times a day.--ADtalkModerator 04:32, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Subscriptions of even small multiples of Pi help a lot. We've got a few regular donors of amounts in that range that we're thankful for. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:25, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Can someone provide info on how to set up a regular donation? I'm happy to do it, but don't know where to go/what to do. VOXHUMANA 15:28, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
You can set up a subscription from the Donate link on the left side of every page on the wiki. Donations presently go through PayPal. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:33, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Setting up subscriptions for monthly donations would probably be a good idea; Minnesota's own MPR has a "sustaining member" program allowing people to donate a certain amount on a regular basis, which was introduced just five years ago and now accounts for a large chunk of the network's revenue. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:08, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

How much are we talkin' here?[edit]

Trent, can you ballpark how much we're talking about, short- and long-term? Theory of Practice Haters gonna hate. 02:07, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

At this point I would say $400-$500 a month would get us to where we want to be for the foreseeable future. So about $5000 a year. Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:18, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Could we get some idea of what people are already giving, I'm not talking names but how many people are making regular donations or what are the amounts that people give during fundraising. If people can see the generosity of others they may be encouraged to give more themselves. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 13:18, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Fundraisers have typically netted several months of operating expenses. Earlier this year, Trent posted a report reflecting our relatively fixed operating costs from the organization of the corporation through the end of fiscal 2011. During that period, Trent moved RW to slice hosting many times more powerful than what he could offer on his own. Until the recent uptick, we more or less stayed well within our slice limits, the only exceptions being a several large traffic spikes due to articles going viral for short periods. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:24, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Community Auction[edit]

Here's an idea I've seen work elsewhere. With a well-established community, something that might work is a "Community auction". Certain members can make an offer to do something (eg - "behave a certain way for a week"), they can stick a price on it, and someone else "buys" that (all funds going to the site, of course). Community-wide things could be also be auctioned (eg. a week long ban of discussion on a tiresome topic, or two conflicted editors being compelled to play nice for a specific timeframe). It helps the main objective (raising money), but adds a "shits and giggles" factor to the process. VOXHUMANA 02:55, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

To go along with the Saloon Bar. "The Champagne Room." Get the the VIP treatment from one of our lovely models. Like Ty. Theory of Practice Haters gonna hate. 03:13, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
He's a model, you know what I mean, he does his little turn on the catwalk~ on the catwalk, yeah~ he does his little turn on the catwalk~ ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 03:41, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
0_0 ТyBother me 12:35, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
That would, of course, be a goatwalk. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator
I think this sounds like a really fun idea!--ADtalkModerator 04:29, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I wonder what it would cost to get brx and Ace to pretend to admire each other? Or to get Weaseloid to say something pleasant to... well anyone, really. VOXHUMANA 04:35, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
You could make a fortune out of Proxima.--Weirdstuff (talk) 10:40, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I'll gladly auction off me taking and posting a video of me doing something completely insane and stupid to the highest bidder. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 12:34, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I want to see you sing and dance to disco. ТyBother me 12:35, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

How about RationalWiki un-Christmas/Hannakah/Winterval cards? Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum diseaseModerator 13:13, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Rational Cards! I like this. "Have a Rational New Year" would be a good slogan. SophieWilder 18:03, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
"Have a skeptical Saturnalia, and a rational New Year".--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:09, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I would definitely buy some of them... --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 19:17, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
That is perhaps the only piece of RW-themed merch I can think of where the profit margins would make it worthwhile as a source of income! Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 02:32, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

What could I auction off? Would anyone pay to see pictures of me eating some meat? Or I could write a 2,000 word attack on the person of the winner's choice.--ADtalkModerator 23:32, 6 October 2012 (UTC)


I wonder if we can get a kickstarter going? I've told plenty of people I know about RW and I know they browse, so maybe other people who don't know about us yet would be interested in helping fund? If not a long-term solution for extended funding, it might be able to get us some new hardware? ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRjust shut up already 15:17, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Scaling needs prevent us from being in the hardware game anymore. We've been renting server slices for the wiki and bots for some time now. It's just cheaper than buying our own boxes and paying for a big enough tube to adequately serve the wiki. Kickstart is a good suggestion. I wonder how broad our support might be from people other than those who look at the wiki and Facebook page. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:31, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Kickstarter usually entails incentives, what would we be willing to offer? --TheLateGatsby (talk) 15:44, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm not shooting it down -I seriously don't know what we could give. Coffee mugs maybe, or is that too NPR? --TheLateGatsby (talk) 17:29, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
We're bootstrapping the whole way. Swag is probably outside our budget. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:32, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
We could probably give out Rob. Everybody would win. Vulpius (talk) 03:14, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
You're right. This is all a big joke. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 13:59, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, let's go back to uploading dick pictures. -- Nx / talk 08:37, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

How about Indiegogo? That was the one The Oatmeal did wonders with. Osaka Sun (talk) 18:22, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

My main concern with these fundraising sites is that they don't do anything unless you get lucky. They might tout some massive successes, but those are all schemes that managed to go viral. The vast majority of projects simply gather no traction at all and fall hopelessly short of what they set out to raise. And frankly, "hey, we need money to fund our website" is less likely to grab attention than "look at this poor kid with cancer!!!" stories. This would be just taking the normal fundraiser, and moving it away from a place where people give a shit about RW (i.e., RW itself) to a place where they really don't. Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 02:30, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Fundraising off current events[edit]

Occurs to me 'cos a friend just told me he sent RW $100 in honour of George Carey's recent comments [2]. See how that's a redlink? We should make it not one. Depending how quickly we can turn out something good, this could be a useful way to make friends and get their money.

He also thinks we need a banner up at top asking for money. - David Gerard (talk) 22:50, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Good idea, DG. Turning redlinks into something of substance always helps draw people who, in turn, might send us some money. As far as the banner goes, I think having it up 24/7/365 might be a little overkill. Or did he just mean for when we have fundraisers? Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 12:40, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
*delurks* I certainly meant for fundraisers or when there's a direct money worry as there seems to be. And I've just written a George Carey page, but it needs a good editing. Neonchameleon (talk) 15:57, 14 October 2012 (UTC)

Popular pages[edit]

The new server setup seems good so far, and we seem to have got the bugs out. So I expect we'll get around to making anonymised stats available in a while (probably next time Trent is procrastinating from Ph.D work). In the meantime, I had a look in the stats for October up to the squids coming online, and these are the top 10 popular article pages, with hit totals. (Not including WIGOs, Main Page or Saloon Bar, which are about this popular. Numbers are approximate.)

  1. Scientific evidence of evolution being a hoax 174,485
  2. Gish Gallop 43,922
  3. Scientific evidence for God's existence 25,172
  4. Project Blue Beam 13,910
  5. Poe's Law 13,338
  6. FEMA concentration camps 10,971
  7. U.S. dollar bill folding tricks 9,623
  8. Disproving evolution 5,743
  9. Mitt Romney 5,380
  10. Freeman on the land 5,047

The dollar bill folding being so popular puzzled me until a friend pointed out it was perfect Google link bait, and we benefited quite a bit from the last Google update - David Gerard (talk) 22:23, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Two of our top-5 pages are nothing but animated GIFs, and between them they have almost twice as many views than the rest of the top-10 combined. That's a pretty epic fail. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 03:55, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Think of them like supermarket loss-leaders. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 06:40, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Wouldn't that mean we're losing money on them? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:47, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, they cost bandwidth. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 07:29, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Bandwidth is actually something we have to spare at present - it's 27th October, and we've used 410GB upload out of our 1863GB quota. We're OK for CPU as well. The limiting factor at present appears to be when Apache ties itself in knots, and we're still trying to work out why the hell that happens. But we have no bandwidth problem at present - David Gerard (talk) 08:52, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Maybe my terminology was inexact as a result of Stabby's PJR-like extension of a metaphor but surely the fluff pages can cost us in performance terms when they there is a traffic spike. Although I fully recognise that you have made significant improvements to load-balancing. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 10:00, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
That's a problem of popularity. We could also solve it by shutting the site down, for instance. Neither of these is a good idea, for the same reason - David Gerard (talk) 11:48, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Hey now, it can't be PJR-like. I've been doing overextended-metaphor jokes for years. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:12, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
These numbers don't seem right.....a database dump? Tmtoulouse (talk) 04:00, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Yah for example when I query the DB I get Poe's Law at 1095076 hits, or say Lenski Affair at 295087 that's not on that list. Tmtoulouse (talk) 04:06, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
For October? Or all-time? Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 04:21, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh for October. Tmtoulouse (talk) 04:26, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, just awstats in virtualmin on apache1, so not valid in the era of the squid - David Gerard (talk) 06:55, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Hmm, name that object[edit]

We didn't receive a letter about a hyperspatial express route being built roughly where Earth is, did we?--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 17:53, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

"At at least 100,000 feet." Haha, no. Humans are terrible at judging how far away things are. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:43, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
For those bad at math, that's nearly 19 miles high. So yes, LOL. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 19:04, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
In the Utah salt flats, the mountains look about a mile away, but are actually 50 miles away or something silly like that. Perception is a pain in the arse, and people wonder why eyewitness reports are considered iffy at best. Scarlet A.pngmoralModerator 20:09, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
A relevant question would be how a sensible Brit like yourself found themselves in Utah. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 02:26, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Question for anyone that hangs around Lesswrong/knows about singularity cranks[edit]

So the singularity is supposed to be the brink where science and technology become too complex for humans to understand, right? And the proposed solution is an artificial intelligence? What if artificial intelligence is on the opposite side of the singularity? What's the singularity fanboy take on that?--"Shut up, Brx." 18:19, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Not quite. The singularity is the point where science and technology go beyond our present ability to make meaningful statements about what might come after. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 18:23, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
My understanding (as somebody who doesn't hang around Lesswrong & knows very little about the subject) is that the singularity is when technology supersedes human intelligence and becomes the dominant entity. Which would make artificial intelligence the cause, not the solution. I don't understand your third/fourth question, Brx. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:49, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't understand this point either. The general LW position is that self-improving AI (and most definitions of AI suggest self-improvement by default) will improve itself so quickly that we'll go from messing around with the equivalent of ZX Spectrums to Terminator in a literal (okay, fine, metaphorical) blink of an eye. It would very much be a cause. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 00:53, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
As I read Vinge you were right the first time. Literal blink of an eye. Two of Vinge's works are particularly relevant. In Rainbows End it's quite subtle. Most of the characters never even suspect and none are ever sure that Rabbit is an AI rather than some exceptionally talented hacker or group of hackers. Perhaps the chubby girl and her military parents prevented a cataclysm and somewhere a frightened teenage boy is just glad it's over. But it does seem more likely (particularly when you know who wrote it) that Rabbit is a nascent god, the whole thing was a glorious romp for a being that ultimately had little at stake except the possibility of losing some favourite playthings.
In A Fire Upon The Deep we get a closer view at the beginning. All the humans do is read some books in a forgotten library. True, the library is in deep space, and the books are vast alien archives, but Vinge seizes upon both the metaphor and the implications of Church-Turing. All the humans need to do is read, and in doing so they unleash a powerful evil which devours their world and many others. For a Computer Scientist it's scary because it's true. To access such an archive one would inevitably rely upon software, and one would use apparently helpful software algorithms provided by the archive itself, but doing so is inherently unsafe. Data is code. If the archive is not what it seems then the "helpful" algorithms may be deliberately set up to bootstrap something else, something much worse. (talk) 02:24, 29 October 2012 (UTC)


Adorable goat. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 21:28, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Aww that's cute. ^____^ --Andynot Schlafly 22:18, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
SQUEEEEEE Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 07:27, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Just sat through an Earthquake.[edit]


So ya. I was in my computer chair, and I was feeling really dizzy but not nauseous at all. I was really confused for a while untill my dad told me what happened. So ya. First time in an Earthquake. --Revolverman (talk) 05:24, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

You should come around these parts, we get them all the time. Acei9 05:52, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
The earthquakes here are not fun. I do not recommend.--ADtalkModerator 06:48, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I think small ones are probably stranger experiences. Big ones are at least "yep, that's a fucking earthquake, let's duck and cover". Small ones leave you wonder "what the fuck was that?!" for a couple of minutes. Scarlet A.pngpostateModerator 13:15, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, smaller ones might be poltergeists. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 16:48, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
The one earthquake I've experienced (I live in the UK so noticeable ones are fairly rare) was when I was 13-14 and in bed. I remember it distinctly because I remember hearing the neighbourhood... "character", who lived 5 houses up the street from me, yell "WAS THAT A FUCKING EARTHQUAKE" out of his window, then the rest of the street laughing. Also it synced up perfectly with what I was watching on TV, which was super weird. X Stickman (talk) 17:30, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
So join a class action and sue their ass. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:14, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro.

Hurricane Sandy[edit]

Well...this is going to be fun. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:19, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

I've caught wind (ha!) of it. Is hurricane Sandy overhyped-bad or "we're going to have to retire this one's name"-bad? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:55, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
From what I heard its real risk is combining with other systems on the east coast and actually get stronger as it goes inland. --Revolverman (talk) 04:57, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Presumably it will be combining with its friend Julian. Innocent Bystander (talk) 08:16, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Now that would be a bona storm. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 12:07, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Meh, I'm ready. I'm sitting here right now on crates of gold bullion, colloidal silver, and acorns, with a tinfoil hat on. Does anyone else not find it the least bit suspicious that this "hurricane" is coming right before the election? I suspect it's all a hoax, just like the faked moon landings, and what is really coming down is the election being suspended, martial law, and FEMA camps. Secret Squirrel (talk) 10:17, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Exactly, that's why Obama voted early. Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum diseaseModerator 11:52, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Of course. He has to keep up appearances. Anyway, none of this will matter after December 21. Election or no election, we're all pretty much fucked. Secret Squirrel (talk) 17:44, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Insert winking smiley here. Sheesh, now I find out there really is tinfoil hattery going on about Sandy. Secret Squirrel (talk) 10:44, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Right now it's a tropical storm - if it returns back into hurricane status that's where I believe we start shitting bricks. Osaka Sun (talk) 12:00, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
And now it's back to Cat. 1. Fuck you nature. Osaka Sun (talk) 12:21, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Surely it's an Act of God? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 13:54, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
It'll be interesting election day when voters show up at the local polling place in the high school gym to find it converted into a Red Cross strom refugee camp. nobsCorporations are people, too 17:18, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro.

Troll tags[edit]

If this could be redirected to a more appropriate spot, please move it.

I really think we need to get rid of the Troll Tag template. All it does is cause wheel waring, and lets people hide things they simply disagree with rather then anything that could be called trolling. --Revolverman (talk) 20:17, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

I personally think we should keep them. I think it allows us to blatantly mark discussions built around ideas that are based on factually wrong premises so people can opt out of seeing the stupidity. Not all information is opinion, and not all things are wrong just because 'we don't agree'; some of it is just bullshit. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRsufficiently advanced argument still distinguishable from magic 20:36, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Its still a very disrespectful and IMO, intellectually dishonest to just tell them "You're a troll, what you are saying isn't even worth looking at. That seems about as counter to the sites goals as you can get. --Revolverman (talk) 20:46, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Gun Man. Acei9 20:47, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
I would agree more if more of those people came to this site with the intention of actually listening to what other people have to say here about their ideas. Most of the time (from what I could tell) few to none of them would ever accept an opposing viewpoint even if they were given loads of evidence for its validity and for the wrongness of their own idea. If they were here to actually talk more often, then I'd feel differently. But most of the time they just seem to be here to slap down, "HA 'Rational' Wiki! What do you think of MY flawless idea; you're so stupid you didn't even think of that!" and then proceed to not listen when like three different people explain why their glob of terrible reasoning isn't true, and get offended when people don't go 'oh god you're right what have I been doing with my life!' or something. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgoing galt: the literal crazy train 20:56, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
No question that's shit Knight, but that's the nature in everything. In real life you can't just tape over someones' mouth when you feel like they are annoying you. Why should it be any different here? You could just skip over whatever arugment has devoled into that without just locking it away because you feel (And more often then not, that's the reason why those tags are added) it's "Trolling". --Revolverman (talk) 21:18, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
You have a point, I revise my opinion and agree with you. The other option in real life is to just walk away; the only remaining argument (devil's advocate) for trolltags I can think of is that because the social price for writing a comment on the internet is so much lower than in real life, people who would otherwise have the personal good sense to walk away will participate because they may not think they have to deal with the consequences of the resulting shitfall, so trolltags can act as a 'just walk away' warning to those people. But yeah, I see your point now and I agree with you. In terms of marking trolls, they're useless. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRfree guybrush threepwood! no new taxes! down with porcelain! 21:05, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

--Revolverman (talk) 21:00, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

The alternative is deleting comments, which isn't better. -- Nx / talk 20:49, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
The second alternative would be to just let it stay there and actually let people read it. --ʤɱ structuralist 20:52, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Why is that the alternative? Isn't the alternative NOT messing around with what someone else said? --Revolverman (talk) 20:53, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Gun Man again, it isn't a choice between tag or delete. Just fucking leave it there. Acei9 20:54, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
That's not what happens in practice. -- Nx / talk 07:26, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, lets make it what happens in practice. --Revolverman (talk) 07:27, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
You must be new here. -- Nx / talk 07:30, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Good faith in my fellows my friend. --Revolverman (talk) 07:32, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
It's misplaced. -- Nx / talk 07:35, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. I have never had a single problem with anyone here. --Revolverman (talk) 07:37, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Long ago there was a rule on RW forbidding deleting comments from talk page. Then we sorta decided that it was ok to delete trolling, or trolltop it. I was against it and for keeping the old rule, but the majority was for it. Ace himself has deleted my comments from his talk page. Funny how he then comes here to preach the opposite. -- Nx / talk 07:46, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I was told anything on the Talk page was never to be removed when I first got here. I thought that was the rule. --Revolverman (talk) 07:54, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Used to be. It's a long story. There was a vote, you're allowed to remove trolling and such from your talk page, and theoretically if someone removes your comment you can go to the coop for appeal, where you'll be laughed at and accused of causing drama etc. -- Nx / talk 08:02, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I see. I did not know that. That is, IMO, a poor rule. It still means that the site talk pages, rather then User ones, are not subject to pruning at discretion, and in those cases that's what the troll tags are used for. --Revolverman (talk) 08:10, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
My biggest problem with the troll tags is that they have been abused. It is common for people to troll tag any argument they dislike, whether it's actually trolling of not. I have no problem with them in theory, but there needs to be a better way of implementing them. SirChuckBA product of Affirmative Action 21:53, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
See above...Acei9 21:55, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
What if a) the tag was changed to show the section by default (so you have to click the link to hide it), and b) it indicated who thinks it's a troll (and possibly also who doesn't?). That way it'd be much less effective at "silencing" the argument while still making it clear which section of the page is under doubt and make it easy to skip if you want to. Part b) would add some additional accountability to whoever's tagging it as a troll. --Editor374 (talk) 14:20, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

"What constitutes "trolling" is always going to have a subjective element, especially in a community where some people confuse misogynistic/racist/homophobic hate speech with "free speech." Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 22:02, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Ignoring and slowly reverting is always the best way to deal with trolls. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 22:04, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
I can never understand how people, particularly on facebook, think free speech means they can spout whatever nonsense they want wherever they want. Hint: Having your comment about how Barack Obama is a communist child-molester deleted from the Barack Obama facebook page is not a violation of free speech....and what Sterile said. Acei9 22:05, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Legally, nothing we do is a violation of free speech, as this isn't related to the US government in anyway. That, however, is a red herring. Troll tags are still being used to shut down a debate one person doesn't like. Something that IS counter to site goals. --Revolverman (talk) 22:18, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Not all debates are worth having. Said debates can still happen within the boundaries of the troll tags. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 22:19, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
That's still a subjective call. Trolling is posting something infuriating just for the sake of infuriating people. As far as I've observed, theses people do believe what they are saying. As such, its not trolling. Using the tags is just muting an idea that the tagger dislikes. That doesn't even go into the second part of their problem. Troll tags almost always trigger wheel wars, and bad blood. Something this site needs FAR less of. --Revolverman (talk) 22:27, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Whereas letting trolls derail threads is an objective call that will trigger world peace... (talk) 06:56, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
If you haven't noticed, using the tags still ends up derailing anything. Useily much worse then any troll could hope. Besides, again. Red Herring. Troll tags are almost never used on trolls, but arguments someone doesn't like. --Revolverman (talk) 07:21, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Whoever invented the troll tag is the master of trolls. -- (talk) 12:18, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I haven't noticed that at all, and about 80% of the tags I've seen are just for Rob Smith, but okay...incidentally, people seem to just dump trolls into forumspace these days. (talk) 14:38, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
As the rifleman correctly pointed out, trolling is subjective. Instead of troll tagging everything you dislike, why don't you just ignore it. If it's not offensive/ghastly enough to delete, just leave for people to respond to/ignore as they choose? SirChuckBGentoo Penguins is the best kind of Penguin 04:50, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
One of the signal failures of RationalWiki has been the inability for editors to ignore trolls. Somebody always has to stick their fingers through the bars and then cry when they get bitten. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 08:12, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

When otherwise smart people say silly things -- Frankenstorm edition.[edit]

Got a friend. She's a really smart cookie. She is also, however, of the belief that the current "Frankenstorm" advisories are part of some sort of uber-secret government plot to disenfranchise masses of people in the progressive North East. Even though the storm has already killed 50 people. Even though trained meteorologists are in agreement that this storm has the potential to be a real horrible thing. Even though their timing would be way off, being that in 8-9 days this is all gonna look real different. Even though the federal government and most of the state governments doing the advising are, you know, Democrats who want the progressive North East to vote them back in. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 18:34, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

I understand that only Republicans are being prevented from voting because of the weather, Democrats are free to go about their business as usual in stuffing ballot boxes. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 19:41, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
William F. Buckley called this "the Birch fallacy" — the idea that the government is so powerful that anything it does, and anything it does not do, is perfectly in furtherance of the agenda of the shadowy cabal of people who run it. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:49, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
It's a tremendous photo op. Obama gets to declare it a disaster zone, hand out government relief, and tell everybody how compassionate he is. Don't forget all the infrastructure stimulus projects that have to be rebuilt. nobsCorporations are people, too 00:41, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro. — Unsigned, by: TheoryOfPractice / talk / contribs
What? Now Obama uses his devil/Muslim powers to summon hurricane from hell just so the federal government can look good rebuilding? Rob is insane. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 23:43, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Only because that is what your god wants; isn't it he who supposed to control the weather?--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 16:41, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I am reminded of the great Lisbon earthquake of All Saints' Day in 1755; a Jesuit Father Gabriel Malagrida, opined that it was punishment for the Inquisition not being sufficiently severe in rooting out heretics, while in England John Wesley blamed the disaster on the excesses of the Inquisition. There's no pleasing some gods. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 17:16, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Ah, i found your problem. "Some godS". if you would just worship the One True God, Her ever loving Queen of the Damned, Kali then you would be fine! Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 17:49, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
God wants infrastructure projects (Genesis 1:28). nobsCorporations are people, too 18:13, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Do I get to pull hearts out of still living people?--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 22:11, 29 October 2012 (UTC)


Hat-tip to WEIT for this article in NYT. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 08:49, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Donald Trump[edit]

What a fucking numb-nuts. Daily beast is on to it. Acei9 22:20, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

So Trump's become the Larry Flynt of conservatives. Big deal. nobsCorporations are people, too 22:32, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
ewwww, I got Rob on me. Acei9 22:34, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Even the NY Daily News is on it. The best part is Fussbucket's get-out loophole where he can simply declare the documents unsatisfactory. Obama should simply ignore him some more. And I like how he's dangling $5 million over charities for political purposes. Just donate money to charity, you vacuous checkbook of a man. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 23:07, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
The Onion does it best, as always. Acei9 23:10, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
sooo...Obama wouldn't care if the needy and a charity gets $5 million or lives or dies...that's nice. — Unsigned, by: RobSmith / talk / contribs 23:29, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro.
Meanwhile, GOP supporters are withdrawing donations to the soup kitchen that Paul Ryan used in an embarassing photo-flop. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 08:04, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the correct way to donate to charity is by blackmail. Acei9 00:32, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
This is, of course, further proof that "Donald Trump" is Andy Kaufman trolling us all. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 01:42, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Ace, whatever would a Harvard graduate and Professor of Law have to hide? nobsCorporations are people, too 03:41, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
So why not ask Romney for his tax returns? Why only ask the black man for proof of legitimacy? -- Seth Peck (talk) 03:46, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Since you seem to think Obama obviously has nothing to hide, I guess there's no reason to scrutinize his records. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 03:50, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
He has nothing to hide, but the President of the USA (arguably one of, if not the most, powerful people in the world) shouldn't bother kowtowing to a media whore and property shill like Trump. he has damaged his own brand more than anyone's. Acei9 03:55, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Same reasoning as to why Dawkins won't get into a debate with, say, Comfort or Craig. -- Seth Peck (talk) 03:56, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
We got Rmoney's tax returns. He paid more than 10 times in taxes than Obama earned as president, and 10 times more in charitable contributions than Obama earned as president. BTW, anybody catch the humor in the black man telling the white boy, "It's not as big as yours"? nobsCorporations are people, too 04:08, 25 October 2012 (UTC)


How much more did he make than Obama?--Weirdstuff (talk) 07:28, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Rob, your head wand has slipped again. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:47, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
"Charitable donations" includes money he gave to the Mormon Church. Not really a charity if you ask me. How many charities hold secret ceremonies in gilded palaces? Apokalyps2547 (talk) 14:04, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
One year of tax returns is not enough, compared to what all other candidates going all the way back to his father (who, as someone was born in Mexico, wasn't even eligible to hold the office), have done. Cool story, bro. -- Seth Peck (talk) 14:13, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
C'mon, seriously. $4 million in taxes and $4 million charity in just one year. That's $8 million. Christ, Rmoney has created more jobs than Obama ever did, and paid those workers high wages out of his own pocket, simply by hiring a contractor to build him a three car garage. nobsCorporations are people, too 22:34, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Well said. It's clear he will do much more good for the country in the private sector than in the public one. Maybe in November he can put a few dozen people to work building himself a 100 room retirement home. DickTurpis (talk) 22:37, 25 October 2012 (UTC)
Christ, Rmoney has created more jobs than Obama ever did... Good joke, that. -- Seth Peck (talk) 20:20, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
The United States has experienced negative job growth under Obama; here's the figures from every Recession since the great Recession of 1974. nobsCorporations are people, too 21:17, 26 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro.
The comparison would be more useful if the present severe recession were compared to similarly severe recessions, rather than to a broad average that includes several mild and short recessions and none of comparable severity to the present one. Do you have such figures? Doctor Dark (talk) 00:41, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
The 81-82 Recession was more severe in terms of unemployment, reaching 10.8%; however the duration of unemployment was much less sustained. Likewise the 73-74 Recession was more severe than 81-82 in terms of length. The 08-09 Recession is a very short Recession in length, but the jobs never came back. Job growth since the end of the Recession barely keeps pace with population growth, but the jobs lost in 08-09 never returned. "Job growth" would only count as jobs added since the all-time laborforce peak of 138 million in 2008; it still today only stands at 134 million, plus 4 years population growth.
Now, in fairness, we could examine underlying causes. However President Obama himself, his surrogates & supporters today still wish to cite job loss under Bush. By their own standards, logic, and morality then they make themselves fairgame to stick this bad news up their ass sideways, likewise. Let's look what the Congressional Research Service stated more than a year ago: Even before Obama, "the national savings rate was insufficient to finance job creation". nobsCorporations are people, too 16:11, 27 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool story, bro.


Moving to Forum:Libertarianism,_loauv_vs_rob LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 20:37, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Attacked with a pool cue.[edit]

I was out and about on Friday night, drinking and such like at various apartments in the city then later at various bars, eventually winding up at a pool hall frequented by those in their early 20’s and younger even. I was talking to some guys in the smoking section and they couldn't believe I was over the age of 30 – some 12 years older than them and I had to hand-over my driver’s licence before they would believe me. Once they had confirmed I was as old as I said I was they looked at me as if I was going to lay some grandfatherly wisdom upon them. It was slightly disconcerting.

Anyway, the reason I was there is because we (my friends and I) had been drinking heavily and indulged in a few other vices so we were feeling on top of the world at the point and I felt like acting the fool so we went to this awful grimy pool hall to play it up a little at about 3am. I was jumping around on the dance –floor, acting wild and generally partying it up in fashion completely out of proportion to the rest of the crowd when this mad looking chick latched on to me. She was drunk but her eyes were tinged with crazy. She seemed to find my excitable nature endearing and spent a lot of time trying to ‘grind’ (for lack of a better word). While I found this entertaining as a married man nothing was going to happen so I just played with her for a bit before heading to the bar for another drink. This is when shit got creepy.

Everywhere I went her eyes would follow me and she was, sorta, everywhere. I got a bit disconcerted because she kept following and started looking crazier and crazier. I managed to lose her by going out for a cigarette and then coming back in and starting a game of pool. But she found me and walked towards our group with her eyes on me. I was trying to ignore her but she was getting scary. She picked up a pool cue and I assumed she was going to knock some balls on the table around but instead, “WHACK!” she smacked me with this fucking pool cue, in the side of the head. She then used held it in both hands horizontally used it to push me down into a table where I broke two glasses and she begun jabbering and spitting in my face.

Something about leading her on and some other demented and demonic paranoia’s.

Then she straightened up, threw the cue down, and walked coolly off and out of the building. It was fucking weird. The only reason I am telling you this is because it is a Monday morning and I am in the office and avoiding my inbox because then I’ll have to work. So, there we have it. Acei9 20:58, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

When I was under 21, people sometimes offered me drinks without carding me. Now, when I am a good deal over 21, I do get carded. Never mind that I was never actually seeking a drink. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:13, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
No one at work ask about the welt from the cue? @Lx I have the wonderful luck of only getting carded when I left my wallet at home, and someone else is paying. --Revolverman (talk) 21:14, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I got carded for the only time in my life at the age of 27. With a friend who was 29. Neither of us had ID at that moment. We eventually had to get the guy running the club to let us in. (The doorman was 20, and the club had had serious problems from underage drinkers, so we thanked him for his work protecting the place.) - David Gerard (talk) 21:44, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I saw this subject heading and my first thought was "must be Ace." The actual story is weirder than I was expecting, though - David Gerard (talk) 21:44, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Ace, have you reported your assailant to the police or anything of that sort? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 21:47, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Ace McWicked, beaten up by a girl. Hah Hah! Dude, I hope you're okay. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 21:57, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm fine and I have no bruises (a small lump). No need to report this incident to the authorities, she was just a random crazy and if you saw the state of the establishment I was at what I experienced was probably pretty tame in comparison with a normal Friday night. Acei9 22:09, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Stay away from the crazy eyes.--ADtalkModerator 23:09, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Women don't take rejection well. But this sounds more like a cover story Ace is trying to sell to Mrs. McWicked after pulling an all niter and coming home smelling like another woman after her pimp beat him up. nobsCorporations are people, too 00:46, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
It was an all-nighter but I was with Mrs McWicked's brother so there was no funny business. Besides, Mrs McWicked has nothing to fear - I don't do that. Acei9 01:46, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Don't lead girls on, you were doing that. You never know when one of the girls had done self defense or other martial arts. Proxima Centauri (talk) 07:30, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
What's that got to do with the price of fish? WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:51, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
So, men aren't allowed to lead women on, but it's okay if women do it? Also, men aren't allowed to approach women for coffee, say, in an elevator? Where do we draw the line? Jeez... -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:46, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Women are sometimes nervous of men in elevators because they're trapped inside the elevator, there are no witnesses and women can't get away if the man turns nasty. Outside of elevators when there are people around women are less afraid to be attacked but may be embarrassed if they're invited for coffee loudly so other people can hear what's going on. If you've been drinking you may make mistakes but if you're sober you're more likely to be nervous. Try asking the lady quietly so other people can't hear in a place where she feels safe. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:59, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I see the attack as possibly justifiable. Ace dances sexy with woman. She confuses his glazed over gaze with bedroom eyes. Woman finds out Ace is married. Woman: "What would I do if I was in Mrs. McWicked's shoes." </Pool Cue> Occasionaluse (talk) 15:50, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

This story is further confirmation of my belief that Ace is the reincarnation of Hunter S. Thompson. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 14:46, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

I never get asked for ID anymore. Mostly because when I get to a club, the bouncer's think I'm there to collect my daughter. Of course, they're half right... --PsyGremlinSprich! 15:01, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
The last bar I visited where they said that they reserved the right to ask for proof of age was in New Plymouth, and they wouldn't fucking ask me. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 16:08, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
@Punky - HST died long after I started behaving in such a fashion so such a reincarnation is not possible
@O.Use - I didn't dance sexy with a woman, I was just enjoying myself and she mistook my propensity towards enjoying myself as a deliberate attempt to 'woo' her. Acei9 20:01, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Ace is ace. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Is it just me...[edit]

... or are the people who comment on PZ's blog generally a bunch of humourless douchenozzels, who need to a) get laid more often and b) get drunk more often? --PsyGremlinПоговорите! 14:02, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

All people who comment on blogs--including this one--fall into one or both of those categories. Except Ace, of course. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 14:04, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I think humans, in general, need to get laid more often. Would probably resolve quite a few of the world's minor problems, like high stress/anxiety. It's hard to criticize people on an anonymous forum when you're busy getting your rocks off. -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:47, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
We should all go back to the sixties. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 15:58, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I have had very bad experiences on Pharyngula comment discussions in particular. The group think annoys the crap out of me. I was completely unable to have a reasonable discussion about abortion without being labeled a misogynist, and I was unable to have a discussion about energy policy as a lot of them drank the kool-aid of the modern green movement. I like the blog itself, but I tend to avoid the comments like the plague. I've heard it described as an echo chamber, and at least in those discussions it was. Meh. PS: I do need to kiss someone for my first time, and I never drink. What an apt description of me. ~smile~ LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 23:30, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I found that's the general feeling on the FTB. To be fair, that's true of any big community. --Revolverman (talk) 23:33, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Stat! We need to make a community of people who challenge each other's beliefs, but are generally rational and evidence based in their beliefs. What do we call it ...? Skeptics-group.com? How about rational-something... I'm sure a good name will come to me eventually. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 23:46, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
How about Atheism Plus-Minus? (Scarlet A.png±) ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:55, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Atheism -smugassholes? --Revolverman (talk) 00:06, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
"look ma, I'm a big boy now?" Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 00:13, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Everyone misses the joke. The term I was looking for was "rationalwiki.org". LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 06:08, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Doh! I completely missed that. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 12:09, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
"Community" and "that challenges each others beliefs" is a bit of an oxymoron, to be frank. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 18:45, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't think so, or at least I hope not. A community is more of a group support mechanism, people who hang out, make each other happy, group activities, etc. Nowhere in there is a requirement that you have to avoid all topics of disagreement. Hell, I wouldn't have friends if that were true. I at least have some. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 20:51, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Sad irony[edit]

Amongst all the havoc wreaked by Sandy, replica sailing vessel the Bounty has been sunk and one of the crew who lost her life was Claudene Christian. -Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator

That is indeed sad, though I don't see the irony. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 12:45, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Her name is Christian. (Mutiny on the Bounty?) Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum diseaseModerator 12:48, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
You must remember Genghis - you're from the old country, where the history comes from. But that is sad. Then again, sailing around in the ocean in a 50-year-old ship that was built for a movie... not too high up on the "bright ideas" list. --PsyGremlinTal! 13:13, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
As someone who's sailed on ships of this sort a fair amount, this hit me a bit harder than most. I've never set foot on Bounty (always wanted to, but never will now) but I know numerous people who have sailed on her, at least one of whom took her across the Atlantic, and some friends of friends were on board for this final voyage. While normally I would be very hesitant to second guess a captain, from everything I've heard about Bounty it was a ship that was notorious for having a litany of problems. Someone once related to me the story of how it was the only ship ever to pass a Coast Guard inspection while on fire. Whether its being said aloud or not, what most of the tall ship community is asking is "what was he thinking?" Since the captain himself is still missing, and most likely dead, we'll probably never know exactly, though the mate should be a good source on information at some point.
As for her last name, a friend apparently read somewhere that she was a descendant of Fletcher Christian or something, but I haven't seen that substantiated. Probably a rumor. DickTurpis (talk) 13:23, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I have been on it. Reiterate what Dick said. Evil fascistoh noez 13:53, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
As someone who spends a small part of my professional life at sea I am all too well aware of the safety risks. Most of the vessels I work on have fully enclosed lifeboats but some (even arctic class) have only inflatable life-rafts and I wouldn't want to spend any length of time in adverse weather conditions in one of those. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 14:27, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Today's Holy Daze on RC...[edit]

Is skewed to the left instead of centred. Do not know how to fix. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 14:02, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Isn't skewing to the left par for the course for RW? DickTurpis (talk) 14:05, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Fixed. Unless it was a joke in line with DT's comment and I just ruined it... rpeh •TCE 14:06, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I thought it was meant to be sinister. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 14:20, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

disturbing photos of mediums[edit]

Been reading a bit into mediumship recently. I am shocked how dishonest and disgusting mediums actually were. They would eat rolls of cheese-cloth and then pull it out in seances, or use plastic toy dolls or props and pretend they were spirits. See here

Oooh, nice puppies!

Who takes any of this seriously? I can't believe there are still mediums asking people for money and seances going on until this very day. The entire thing is fraud and filled with loons using fake props and strange erotic behavior. DinoCrisis (talk) 16:03, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I watch the show "mentalist", and fiction though it is, he made a few good points. the single time we are at our most lost, flailing for something to hold onto. the perfect time for cults, religion, or this kind of thing to swoop in, is at the death of a loved one, especially a child or spouse. You can't understand the inequality of life, so you reach for meaning. You can't handle the loss, knowing they are "gone" so you are desperate for "signs" that they are only "sorta" gone. and there are plenty of people willing to feed off that desperation.Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 16:08, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
"Feed" seems far too mild a word in these cases. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 16:51, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I recently saw an ad for a show called "Long Island Medium" and it was pretty shocking how the cold reading techniques weren't even masked by editing, down to including incorrect guesses by the medium. — Unsigned, by: ORavenhurst / talkDo You Believe That? 18:01, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The "pet psychic" who appeared on Russel Howard's Good News recently was especially hilariously bad. But I do have a feeling that the above only look a bit weird because you're looking at them in photographs, in the light of day. I imagine with context, a solid preparation beforehand and some action that shit could look quite convincing. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 18:27, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
OR, the 'medium' doesn't need to hide the bad guesses, the believers filter them out themselves. Seriously. We see, and hear, what we want to see and hear. Those who disbelieve find it hard to understand why the believers don't hear the wrong guesses but then, that raises (and doesn't beg) the question "what do we selectively see and hear because of our beliefs". Innocent Bystander (talk) 18:45, 30 October 2012 (UTC)