RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive178

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This is an archive page, last updated 11 November 2012. Please do not make edits to this page.
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People we need articles on.[edit]

I'll start sketching some stuff out tomorrow, but if you're bored tonight, think about starting some stubs on anybody we might be missing from these folks if you're interested.... Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 23:34, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

As a furriner most of these are low on my radar, but yes, knowing how the wing nuts have a loud voice in US politics lets have some authorative pieces on these, but they need to be substantial on the policy front. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 23:49, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Tom Coburn - "The diverse projects listed in the report seem only to have one thing in common: Coburn doesn't like them. The studies include a well-known nature vs. nurture experiment, a citizen science program for urban youth to study birds, and the impact of YouTube on the 2008 election". Seems sensible to me... but then again I am obviously a twotflupper. Dirk Steele (talk) 23:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

East coast friends[edit]

Looks bad out there, so please stay dry and safe. And check in when you can! Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 16:32, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. Hoping you all keep safe. Of course, you realise it's God spanking you for being filthy, baby-eating liberals. Psy 82.145.208.229 (talk) 18:41, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
With Romney up 5 pts, Gallup has suspended polling "as a result of the storm". Yah right. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:01, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the Gallup organization is out to get Romney. That's obvious from their tendency to give more favorable results for Romney than most other major polls have done. Erm, I mean...
Seriously, Rob, do you actually think before you write this stuff? RW could benefit from some thoughtful conservative voices -- it's not good to be an echo chamber. But you're doing your own cause more harm than any of the resident liberals here could hope to accomplish. Doctor Dark (talk) 00:25, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
What the hell is this? "Gallup Sued by Obama Justice Department". Call it blackmail and intimidation. nobsCorporations are people, too 00:56, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Cool Story, bro. --Revolverman (talk) 00:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Wait a minute -- you were just saying that Gallup was trying to do a dirty deal on Romney. Now you're saying the Obama administration is suing Gallup (and it's on Breitbart, so you know it's true). But if Gallup is in cahoots with Obama, why is the administration suing them? Who knows, maybe you're actually trying to make sense, but it's not working. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:33, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm saying Gallup has been cowed by a corrupt Obama Justice Dept. In the past 72 hours, Gallup reported the spread has widened from +3 Romeny to +5. with Romney surging to 51% and Obama sinking to 46%. Thank God Hurricane Sandy has given Gallup cover to stop influencing public perceptions of Obama's unpopularity while getting Eric Holder off their ass. nobsCorporations are people, too 11:21, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

So far dry and electricity filled. Still a day and a half to go. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 19:02, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Bon courage. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 19:05, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
Stay safe, and get some sump pumps friends. --Revolverman (talk) 19:18, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I'm somewhat inland, but it hasn't stopped raining all day. I checked the hydrologic forecasts and our rivers aren't supposed to crest above flood stage. I do, however, expect the wind to be howling fiercely. Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 19:23, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
An hour's drive from the coast here, and this morning we had light mizzle. Turned to gusty rain noonish, and there are picturesque sheets of water in the street, rippling across to the freely running gutters. Tree tops swirling around a bit, but nothing fun or exciting happening, except for the telenovela mexicana on boob tube. Unless things worsen considerably, we are still planning to go out to an open mic this evening. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:52, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
As this disaster approaches let us never forget that Romney believes FEMA and government relief in times of natural disaster to be 'immoral'. Acei9 20:03, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I believe Romney is immoral. Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 00:09, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Stay safe, East Coast friends! I hope no-one has much hardship from this. Refugeetalk page 00:36, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I feel pretty lucky at this point--still have power so far and basement is dry--although the winds are really picking up. The images from NJ (especially Atlantic City) and NYC (lights out, subways flooding, crane collapsing) are really dramatic. sterilesporadic heavy hitter 01:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

We're getting it now in TO. Whoever tried to downplay this storm is an idiot. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:31, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I still have power here in central Maryland, though the blinking clock I woke to this morning tells me it went out some time overnight. Storm seems to have mostly passed here. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 12:04, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I read the generators that run RationalWiki have limited lifespan. Does viewing or editing add significantly to the load? Proxima Centauri (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
They do indeed. Try and avoid editing in particular until the storm has well and truly passed. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 13:54, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
It is in fact mathematically true that the longer Proxima refrains from editing article space, the happier the servers will be - David Gerard (talk) 14:42, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
We have the all-clear on the servers (they're back on grid power) so I am very sorry to say that technically, Proxima can edit again - David Gerard (talk) 19:22, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Sandy steals spotlight from Romney Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:24, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I get the feeling natural disasters often are worse on your side of the pond than in Europe because your public sectors are smaller than ours and you haven't spent enough on protecting your communities against disasters. Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:53, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Proxie, go compare the climate of New England to the climate of the Gulf coast. I'll wait. The Northern Atlantic coast isn't used to hurricanes, their buildings aren't (usually) designed to withstand hurricanes. Conversely, everytime it snows where I live everybody freaks out. If a hurricane somehow hit the UK or mainland Europe I'm sure you'd have a pretty bad time of it. Evil fascistoh noez 16:00, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
As far as hurricanes go, Sandy wasn't that big a deal--a Category 1. The problem was that it was a rare occurrence of a hurricane hitting a Nor'Easter and a big cold front. It's pretty hard to urban plan a way to deal with that sort of confluence, weak public sector or not. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 16:07, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Checking in from a public library. There's no power in my neighborhood, but we avoided any flooding. I put a pumpkin and basket of candy on the front porch, in case of trick-or-treaters. --TheLateGatsby (talk) 20:25, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Another way of saying that Proxima was wrong -- the effects of the natural disaster were not worse. Remarkably few deaths for a cataclysmic weather event hitting a densely-populated region, there will probably not be a cholera outbreak in Brooklyn in the days and weeks to follow, and I am confident that the long-term food security in places like lower Manhattan and the Jersey shore has not been jeopardized. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 20:36, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Ethics and boots[edit]

After weeks of searching, I finally found the perfect pair of (faux) suede fringed booties, so cute, and inexpensive - within my budget and on sale! yay! They are good because no animals were used in making them (fake suede) and the style, height, and price is perfect - I love them: link to cute fringe boots HOWEVER. I cannot buy them. This is because the news carried a story today that detailed how "Forever 21" - which is the store that carries these boots, have committed gross violations of labor and human rights laws in undeveloped countries where workers are underpaid to produce these items. So it's unethical, and I refuse to buy from this store. I realize that this is insignificant to almost everyone here... just my minor complaint for the day. Darn, I really liked those boots. Refugeetalk page 00:47, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Presumably all your clothes are going to be hand sewn from now on, because you just described the entire garment industry. Unless you're carefully researching the full production history of every item you're buying, what you just did was so arbitrary as to be completely meaningless. If you actually do your due diligence, and you're committed to buying nothing where underpaid Chinese peons were involved in the production, then you're committing to buying basically nothing. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:57, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Forever 21 <---Still, would be nice to add this to our article. Kthanxbai. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 00:58, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Right Jeeves, I know. You're not the first to point this out to me. Sadly, I will probably carry it too far as usual, spamming out email links on the news story to everyone I know, start or sign an online petition, possibly even picket the store, and add this to my list of things I can't buy along with tuna that isn't dolphin-safe, most leather made goods, fur, and many other food and clothing items. Soon I may be reduced to knitting my own clothing by hand and wearing only recycled tire-tread sandals. ugh. And as you say, it will all be for naught, as one consumer (or even dozens) have virtually no effect on how big businesses conduct their activities. It won't change the world. But I still have to live in a way I think is ethical. Refugeetalk page
Hmmm.. right you are TheoryOfPractice, it would be a good addition to the article. But ever since my edits to Pit Bull were widely criticized, I have been afraid to actually write stuff in real articles... but what the heck, I may try anyway. Refugeetalk page
What you are doing is so ineffectual and wrong headed. Dolphin friendly tuna? How about tuna friendly tuna, I'm pretty sure it's getting to the point where tuna is the more endangered species. No leather? Presumably since you're still eating tuna, you're also still eating the cows. Why would you eat a cow and not wear one? You're doing things that make you feel good, regardless that they have no or even negative impact on the actual world. Stop trying to care about everything, you can't fix all the world's problems. Find one problem you really care about and focus on doing what you can to fix it effectually. If everyone did that, then we'd be a long way down the road to having no more problems to fix. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 01:22, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Ineffectual, probably so. Although if a lot of people start protesting, with numbers, change can occur. Wrong-headed, I don't know... can you define wrong-headed? True about the tuna, Japan in particular disregards the existing laws and over-fishes like crazy with no care for dolphin or whales.Or any sea life. Again, it will take a lot of voices to be heard, actions to bring about change. I don't know if your idea of concentrating on only one issue is the best... and no I don't eat cows, I'm a vegetarian. :p Refugeetalk page
Ok, I gotta go now, in my absence, feel free to bring up any other points you have. I've probably already been ridiculed about most of them, but might as well go ahead anyway. Refugeetalk page 01:32, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
You made the right decision. Facile accusations of hypocrisy are frequent because they're easy in a situation like this, but choosing to be just a little more good is the right decision, and you should feel happy about it.--ADtalkModerator 02:58, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
No, sorry, bullshit. It's feel-good hippy slacktivism. It's telling yourself you're doing something while actually doing nothing. Your decision to switch brands based on a news report you saw is just noise in their bottom line, you've communicated nothing to them and as long as exploiting third world workers to make cheap clothes is the status quo, that's what they're going to do to compete. If you feel strongly about it and really want to do something, that's good. But you have to actually do something and not just pretend that you did. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:04, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks AD. :-) It seems like it's always easier for people to find fault with something than try to be encouraging - so I appreciate it. Jeeves, did you read my post talking about other things I planned to do, i.e. online petition, informing others, possible picketing the store & etc.? If you have some concrete suggestions for activism, I'd be happy to listen. Refugeetalk page 04:09, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Well done Refugee, it is the most sophomoric of objections that your action will not immediately halt the poor working conditions of the company's employees. After all, if something can't be perfect, why try to improve it? It's lots of little decisions like this that eventually make a difference. Tielec01 (talk) 04:30, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Bleh. What's wrong with you people? Do you really go around jumping on whatever bandwagon is going and figuring you're changing the world? You're not. Here's a clue. Figure out what you care about and work to change it. Unfocused activism is useless. If you just turn up once outside a store with 40 other people, and make a little noise for an hour and then walk away, you've achieved nothing. The store manager isn't even going to mention it to their bosses up the chain. Nobody will notice. If you want to change one store's attitude, you need a focused campaign. People turning up every single day of the year to hand out leaflets to shoppers, something which they are going to notice on their balance sheet. The sort of time investment required to really make a difference means you really can't make a difference in more than one particular area. Unless you're a millionaire and can set up a foundation, the most valuable thing you have to offer is your time so pick what you want to change with care, because you really can't do much more than one thing well. You also need to recognise that there are some things you can't actually change. It sucks that garment workers in China or wherever are poorly paid, but what exactly are you going to do about it? The solution to that problem can only come from the workers themselves, they need unions and they need a non-authoritarian government that isn't going to send police to beat them if they try and organise. Unless you speak Mandarin and are willing to spend lots of time out there, then forget it. You really can't help with that. Do something personal, with people who speak the same language as you and where you can see actual results. That way you know you aren't being conned, and you aren't wasting your time. And if you've ever signed an online petition and expected something to happen, consider yourself pointed and laughed at. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:36, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Yet clearly, you waste the most time of us all in this little debate. Funny how that works. --Revolverman (talk) 04:52, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, clearly the two minutes I spent typing could have been better spent eating a fair trade chocolate bar. Then I could have ended poverty FOREVER. Oh well, I guess I just didn't care enough. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:58, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I disagree, Jeeves.
You suggest, first of all, that individual contributions to such a cause have no effect - "just noise in their bottom line." I would criticize that this argument is equivalent to the "your vote doesn't matter" argument. Just as one vote probably will not change the outcome of an election and one purchase probably won't change anything about the production process, both actions do help contribute to an aggregated crowd effect (particularly when communicated to others). In other words, no one drop of water ever filled a pool, but every pool is still full of drops of water.
Now, it would be better to get a hose to fill that pool, rather than one just drop of water. It's true that a millionaire, someone very socially connected, or another sort of pivotal direct activism could make a lot more change happen in this area than simply declining to buy and announcing it. But as you note, we have limited time and resources, and while I think it's not quite accurate that we can only really try to change one thing, we can't try to change everything. Yet neither is it good to contribute to the problem by consciously perpetuating it, nor is it bad to engage in the small effort required and boycott. Sure, it's just one drop of water and it might be better to get a hose. But rain will also fill a pool, one drop at a time.--ADtalkModerator 05:18, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I'd say the "your vote doesn't matter" situation is exactly analogous. Quite frankly, your vote doesn't matter. Even if you cast it for the winning party, you still only get an approximation of what you actually wanted. However, by working or volunteering for a political party you can essentially get yourself several order of magnitude more votes and get to the point where you're actually bringing about real change. That change needs more work than going out and casting your vote every 4 or 5 years. My vote certainly doesn't matter, I cast it every time for the losing party and I don't think it's worth my time to volunteer for them, so my vote is essentially the analogous to the silly slacktivism that says you're changing the world by buying from X company not Y. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 05:32, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
First of all, "slacktivism" has a meaning that is generally taken to mean "activism through social media." Boycotts are not considered to be slacktivism.
Secondly, if votes didn't matter, then neither would volunteering for a political party. Because political parties go after individual votes. They work to assuage their base, appeal to swing voters, and depress the opposition. But those broad efforts are composed of individual and specific votes, each of which has a quantifiable and direct impact on the outcome. In the same way, company profits are composed of customer dollars. So every person who participates in a boycott - either organized or from bad publicity - has a quantifiable and direct impact on those profits.
You can certainly magnify your efforts, and it's good to do more. But the possibility of doing more does not preclude doing something.--ADtalkModerator 05:45, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
That's just not true. An individual's voice doesn't matter, the collection of their voices does. That's why political parties exist, that's also why charities and pressure groups exist. If your only engagement with your chosen political party is to cast your vote for them every few years, then you really don't get to be surprised when they do nothing you actually wanted them to do. You can see just how little the disengaged voter matters in the current US election. There's no real labour party in the US because there's no organised voice for labour. All the money, all the lobbying and all organisation is for corporate interests, so you have a competition between an ineffectual centre-right candidate who'll do pretty much nothing in office or an unabashed corporate looter who'll actually promises to alter your tax laws so the rich pay essentially nothing, while the entire cost of running the state is shifted downwards. If you wanted anything else, well good luck with that. Who are you going to cast your vote for? Elections are more or less a side show in the political process. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 06:05, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
But you can't have collections of voices without a vast number of individual decisions.--Weirdstuff (talk) 07:56, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I think your cynicism has overtaken your (usually impeccable) good sense in this situation Jeeves. Also, how did this become an argument about wealth redistribution?Tielec01 (talk) 08:05, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I concur with Jeeves to a degree because voting is actually not rational (in an economic sense). Also if you want to be really ethical in your purchases rather than occasionally smug, then instead of just boycotting certain products you should be making proactive decisions about where you shop rather than making ad hoc choices based on recent media coverage, otherwise you are falling prey to publication bias. Rather than just purchasing from a retailer other than Forever 21 you should research sources of ethically produced, fair-trade goods and as far as possible buy from them alone, regardless of economic cost to you because that concentrates your ethical concerns positively rather than many minor negative gestures. You may also want to examine the whole nature of your purchasing decisions and how you fit into a consumerist, throw-away society; do you actually need new boots, are they a mere fashion item? Do you have and iPhone/iPod/Mac? I wonder if you are buying any Nestlé products? There used to be a lot of activism against Nestlé over its promotion of baby milk in 3rd-world countries; it's still going on but with apparently little change, because it's much harder to put pressure on corporate giants rather than fashion retailers.Forever 21 is not a brand I am familiar with but apparently it has been on the ethicists' radar since 2001 - personally I'd also be concerned about them printing "John 3:16" on the bottom of their bags because their religious message seems at odds with their corporate practices. From a pragmatic point of view you might as well buy the boots but then write to the company to express your disapproval (and encourage your friends to do the same) because you could well have bought them before you became aware of the issues (which after all, are not new) rather than merely taking your custom elsewhere. Of course what is really needed are better labour laws to ensure that employers treat their employees fairly and pay a decent living wage. [Warning! Radio 4 plug ahead.] This morning I was listening to Michael Sandel holding a discussion at Harvard about the differences between Obama (you didn't build that on your own) and Romney's core ideologies and was frankly disgusted by some of the self-centred attitudes expressed by those on the right who didn't appreciate that a free society does not depend just on protection of individual property rights but should extend into health, welfare and education. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 11:29, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I have to point out that I think this little argument here is well worth reading through. Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 18:38, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Is the argument against basically in favour of buying the boots just because not doing so is "slacktivism" or in favour of not buying the boots and simply not telling anyone about it? Because, in the former case that seems to be a petty and pathetic reason for doing something. It's like going out to spite people ("for every burger you don't eat, I'm going to eat three") while the latter is pointless because it precludes any progress being made whatsoever. It's like saying that a proportionally small amount of good isn't worth it, so let's just take the bad. Or, you only increased cancer survival rates by 0.5% this year, so I'm going to vote for more cancer. Those are the only two solutions I see against it; either needless spite or STFU Just Because.Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 18:43, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Judging from this thread, needless spite is what Jeeves is all about. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:24, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Jeeves and Genghis, I really feel as though we don't disagree on the facts. I do think that the chance of any given purchase or vote being pivotal in changing policy is extremely small. However:
  • Extremely small is not zero. Voting and boycotting take a small amount of effort and sacrifice on the part of an individual, and allow you to affect (or have a chance to affect, if that is semantically preferable phrasing for you) the decisions of a nation or a corporation. Despite a bit of overstatement, you probably even agree that there is some level of power implied in both voting and boycotting - it is simply normally going to be immensely diluted to some degree. If you're the primary customer, a boycott is devastatingly effective; somewhat less effective but still powerful if you're an important customer; and so on. So despite the fact that your power to create change through voting or boycotts is very very diluted, it is nonetheless nonzero.
  • Accordingly, there is a similarly small but nonzero moral weight to such actions. If you believe that it's wrong to illegally hunt African rhinos, then buying a contraband horn is also wrong, even though your single purchase will probably not matter much to the overall level of hunting. Examine your logic, and ask yourself when it is wrong not to vote or to buy something evil - are there such instances? If there are such instances, where do you draw the line between moral weight and meaninglessness? Isn't it more accurate to say that such weight simply becomes smaller and more dilute as we have less power to change outcomes?
  • Further, you probably underestimate your own importance. This may be a manifestation of the bystander effect - you don't feel responsible because responsibility is distributed among such a large mass of other people. But consider the example of voting. A state like Pennsylvania might ordinarily be entirely safe for President Obama. But some of his Democratic base is certain he will win the state and not overly enthused for Obama, and so his polling numbers are closer than some people have expected. This may end up forcing Obama to devote some of his resources to the state that might better be spent elsewhere, as he tries to scare people with the prospect of a Romney presidency so they will be sufficiently motivated to vote. Now this is not necessarily going to be the case with your vote, but this is just one possible example. There are thousands more, right down to the very slightly greater bargaining power the President or Romney will gain from an additional vote of support.
So... yeah. It's not wrong to do a little good.--ADtalkModerator 23:40, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
None of that matters a jot. Going out and casting your vote and then thinking you've done your job to promote whatever cause you care about is totally meaningless. It doesn't matter who actually wins or loses the election, that's just theatre. What matters is what organised voices make the winner do in the intervening years after they're elected. If votes actually did what you think they did, then the 75% of Americans who wanted universal health care, including 95% of registered Democrats, the people who controlled both houses of congress and the presidency during the healthcare debate, would have got what they wanted in the latest round of attempted heath care reform. Instead, what the Democrats actually passed was a bill that was exactly what the Republican party had been pushing for right up until they decided to be up in arms about everything Obama ever did.
Sustained pressure over the last 40 years has produced a breed of Democrat who vote like Republicans from the '70s and '80s and a bunch of Republicans who are in favour of slashing taxes that chiefly affect the rich. That's because Democrats are less and less able to rely on their traditional base of support from trade unions, which continues to shrink, so their campaign finance must come more and more either from single issue advocacy groups or corporate lobbyists. So Democrat incumbents who are willing to play ball get funded and anyone who rocks the boat gets swamped. Thus you have a thoroughly lopsided political system where both parties largely resemble each other, and play off superficial differences. Your vote literally doesn't matter since you can't back it with sustained interest and money.
Likewise, choosing to not shop at X store is silly when it's just you alone doing it. Not only is the competition likely to be just as bad, even if you don't know it, but the organisation can't tell the difference between losing your money because you don't like their product sourcing, and losing your money because you don't like their marketing. Indeed, you'll probably drift back to shopping with them in six months or a year, without ever really knowing if they've changed or not. The example above of Nestle is a good one. If you want them to change, you need an organisation who can construct measurable goals, and can sustain pressure over as long a period as it takes to achieve them. Just pretending you're doing good without actually knowing is incredibly silly. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 01:48, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
It is astonishingly false that it doesn't matter who wins or loses an election. Without getting into the politics of it all, there's a simple question of competence. Some politicians are marvelously more intelligent and capable than others. Obama and Bush, for example, are such a contrast: in my judgment and independent from their actual policy preferences, it seems to me that Bush was simply a very poor decision-maker who was not very good at assessing underlings, evaluating evidence, or anticipating consequences. Regardless of whether you think elections affect the resulting policies, they certainly affect the person who will implement whatever policies result.
But it's also untrue to suggest that voting does not effect policy. Your chosen example is one that I think is even better at proving this, when you look at it. Surveys that analyze voter support for healthcare actually reveal that people's answers shift enormously depending on the phrasing of the question. Stated in the most vague terminology, you're right - everyone is in favor. But to the best of my knowledge, once some level of mechanics is actually described, support begins to plummet. In this, as in many such similar policy debates, people prefer a really good outcome, but dislike a lot of specific paths to it. The economy is a similar sort of debate, because if you ask if people want lower taxes in general, they usually say yes. It isn't until you get specific and explain that some programs will have to be cut or that taxes will go down for most people but up for the wealthy, that you start to get meaningful results from your polling.
It is true that a lot of people really did want healthcare reform, and some uncertain percentage wanted universal healthcare. But in specifics, you will find that support for a British-style system is much, much less than your cited numbers. And opposition against it is huge from those who dislike it.
To say that election outcomes don't matter is really obviously untrue when you get specific about the current election, as well. Three liberal justices and one conservative justice are all very old and likely to retire or die soon. If Romney is elected, he will get to appoint them, and he will almost certainly appoint a young conservative justice in each position. If Obama is re-elected, he will appoint a young liberal justice in each position. And given the enormous power of SCOTUS and the longevity of such appointments, it is a farce to claim that elections don't matter even when we consider this single decision of a single election.
Even worse, you yourself seem to support more universalized healthcare and a better social safety net, yet you seem to be declaring that Obamacare isn't worthy of your support in the same breath that you note the rabid and monstrous opposition to what was a very good but essentially centrist policy. If a politician who defies polling, fights the fight, and gets results doesn't end up deserving your vote, then that might explain why you aren't getting the results you want, more often.
When speaking of the boycott, there are two elements: first, there's your personal responsibility. Then there's effecting change in the company. Even if you believe that your decision to individually join in a boycott has no effect (something that is demonstrably false, because boycotts have been effective and they are always aggregates of exactly these sorts of individual choices) then don't you have a personally responsibility not to knowingly give money to sustain an unethical practice?--ADtalkModerator 01:23, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I admit that I'm a bit of an old cynic, but I've learned that if you want to make a difference you've got to make a positive effort and there are so many ethical issues in a consumer society that denying yourself solely because of what you might have read in today's papers is not rational because you are not fully informed about the alternatives. If you really care about an issue then get involved. This whole discussion reminds me of a sketch from Alas Smith and Jones (which, unfortunately, I cannot locate on the Internet), "It was the least I could do". Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 10:07, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
The least you can do is to not vote and buy whatever pleases you. Voting on the issues and boycotting unethical products is not the most you can do, of course, but it's a lot more than nothing. At worst, making these minimal efforts of voting and boycotting is ethically neutral, whereas consciously failing to do them is endorsing the wrongdoing that results, making it an unethical and wrong choice (albeit a wrong that is almost insignificant in scope, generally). But I'm not convinced the latter is the case, because there's an opportunity cost to research, ethical consideration, and deliberate action that probably makes a failure to act the neutral choice.--ADtalkModerator 01:23, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Jacob Bronowski[edit]

Not quite WIGO:World-worthy, but Jacob Bronowski has been given a blue plaque in Hull. I don't know if yanks or youngsters have heard of him, but he made a truly ground-breaking TV series called The Ascent of Man back in the 70's. It's very dated now but it got a lot of people interested in science and scepticism back in the day. rpeh •TCE 10:16, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

The Ascent of Man was one of those series which epitomises the best of the BBC's serious output - along with Kenneth Clarke's Civilisation - produced under the auspices of David Attenborough when he was controller of BBC 2. The book of the series was one of those must-haves and still occupies a prime position in my "public" bookcase. It's disappointing that it hasn't been reshown in full since its first airing but as the Beeb remastered Civilisation in HD last year I'd hope that they might do the same with AoM as next year marks the 40th anniversary of its initial showing. It's not surprising that the some of the production/direction team emigrated to the US and produced Carl Sagan's Cosmos. According to WP, The Ascent of Man was shown on PBS in the USA back in 1975. Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum diseaseModerator 12:04, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
You can get it on DVD too. I got it when it came out, and it's a bit dated but still superb. rpeh •TCE 12:13, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
There's also a bootleg on YouTube which nobody bothered to take down yet. Great series, though it does get hard to watch sometimes. The episode that mentions the invention of agriculture and the origin of war is particularly insightful. --Tweenk (talk) 00:52, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Back when pop science documentaries didn't have to restate the problem every 5 minutes without ever stating the answer. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 16:35, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Lord Robert Winston was on the radio last night moaning about the lack of good science programming on the BBC. However he had to admit that even his programmes were recorded in 20 second chunk unlike Bronowski who would talk unscripted for minutes on end. He also gave an honorable mention to Jonathan Miller's series The Body In Question. Miller is another of those brilliant humanist minds whom we don't get enough of. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 18:29, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Um...[edit]

Ok, so my knowledge of US geography is fairly sketchy, especially where distances are concerned. So here's my question: In ep 1 of "Last Resort" 9you know the series where Obama shows his true colours by nuking Pakistan and trying to sink a US sub), they detonate a nuke 200 miles off the coast of DC. They then cut away to a shot of New York harbour, looking south, past Lady Liberty and you can see the mushroom cloud... would that be physically possible given the distances involved? (yes, I know I'm applying TV to reality) --PsyGremlinSprich! 14:21, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Probably? At sea level, the horizon is about 3 miles away. A point 200 m due east of DC would be about 129 miles from NYC. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 14:34, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
(e/c) Depends on the yield of the bomb. You'd have to be about 5 miles in the air to see ground zero from 200 miles away, so the mushroom cloud would have to be about that high to be visible at all from that distance at sea level. This graphic on WP suggests that a 100kT bomb would easily create a cloud that would be visible from 200miles. rpeh •TCE 14:36, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Oh - I didn't see the bit about different locations. Probably 10kT would be visible then. rpeh •TCE 14:37, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Definitely. IIRC from my Warning and Reporting course the top of the cloud from a 10kT weapon would reach about 20,000 feet, and that would be visible from about 190 miles. Of course the cloud would be all you'd see, not the stem of the mushroom.--Fergus Mason Thruppence I got for selling my coat, tuppence for selling my blanket. If ever I 'list for a soldier again, the Devil shall be my Sergeant. 10:17, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Also, what did it look like? If you look at the Baker shot, the 'shrooms you get over water look a little bit different to the conventional dust cloud you see from land-based explosions. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 14:25, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Shot from Washington Shot from New York. Geeks, do your thing. --PsyGremlinPraat! 15:12, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
The explosion could be visible from these locations. However, the thing in the pictures definitely looks like a land-based explosion, specifically an explosion in the desert or some other arid environment, not over the sea. There is almost no condensation cloud, which would form behind the shockwave for an explosion over or near a large body of water. See e.g. [1] for an example. The big white cloud that expands faster than than mushroom is the condensation cloud. I also suspect that the mushroom cloud would look a bit different. In the lower part of the 'cap' of the mushroom, there is some brown/black smoke obscuring a yellow glow, which looks like a cloud composed mostly of dust. There are no dust particles in the middle of the ocean. A cloud formed mostly from water vapor would look more translucent, with the darker regions letting through some red glow, as is seen e.g. the Castle Bravo and Ivy Mike tests. --Tweenk (talk) 00:27, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Hate this University sometimes...[edit]

So, the "let's work on the parking lots during the school year" thing is annoying enough; but somehow my astronomy class got listed in the "science class without a lab" requirement and the lab in the lab requirement, and... I don't even understand why that would happen -.- Also more view of my terrible choice for life.--Mikal Harass Follow 18:30, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Holy crap dude, we go to the same school! Metro does a lot of random stupid crap too. The Math 1420 is worth 5 credits at Metro which should transfer to UNO as 3.33333. But it doesn't! And like a third of the courses at Metro don't transfer anywhere, and none of the academic counselors know which ones do. It's all a big freaking headache.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 20:12, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
You have an astronomy lab? I never had an astronomy lab... Sam Tally-ho! 23:44, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
But THE astronomy lab is THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE! (zing!) Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 14:18, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

MOTHER OF GOD WHY[edit]

We suspend the New START treaty now. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:29, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I think I can hear Lucas' O-face from here. --Revolverman (talk) 20:38, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Although I've enjoyed most of the Star Wars stuff I haven't been "into it". However, not long after the first movie I do remember a colleague, who was more interested and had read the Star Wars books, telling me that George Lucas's intention was for 9 films: 3 of the original era, 3 prequels and 3 sequels. So I felt a bit short changed when he apparently stopped after 6. I don't really care dammit, but I'd been expecting 9! Redchuck.gif ГенгисpillagingModerator 20:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I feel a great disturbance in the Force...as if millions of geeks cried out in terror. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 20:51, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
(EC)You are correct, Leia was also not originally intended to be Luke's sister, and the emperor was originally a well meaning guy hampered by bureaucracy. And there are 10 films currently: the 6 main ones, the two ewok movies, the CGI thing, and that which shall not be named. Evil fascistoh noez
The Ewoks don't count as proper movies. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 21:15, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The ewok tv-series is worse. The theme song causes brain hemorrhaging. Evil fascistoh noez 21:22, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Way back before you were probably even a glint in your grandfather's eye this is what gave me a brain haemorrhage, so Walt Disney has a lot to answer for. Redchuck.gif ГенгисGum diseaseModerator 21:38, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Brb sliceing ears off. Evil fascistoh noez 21:54, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Appropriate and probably long overdue. There was something very...Mickey Mouse about Jar Jar Binks and the Ewoks anyway. George Lucas only IMO made three good films, four if you count Tucker: The Man and His Dream, and one of which was American Graffiti. YMMV, of course. Secret Squirrel (talk) 21:29, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
What, no love for Howard the Duck? --Revolverman (talk) 21:40, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
None. Secret Squirrel (talk) 21:42, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
(EC) I remember watching THX 1138 in ’74, at the time I found it quite boring and obviously wasn't alone in that view. Back then I was working in Saudi Arabia for Aramco and we used to get movies on 16mm film stock, I think it was three new ones every two weeks. In the desert we would set up a screen on the side of one trailer and watch the movie under the night sky. It was a big deal as there wasn't any other entertainment; and not just the expats would watch it, all the local labour would gather round too. I well remember that most people had buggered off in disgust and there were only a few of us left when there was a nude scene in the final reel. This was unheard of in Saudi as there is/was very strict censorship. Obviously the censors had got so bored and never bothered watching that far. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 21:57, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
THX 1138 isn't exactly my favorite either. Boooo-ring. Just sayin' the only two things out of the Star Wars franchise I liked were the original Star Wars '77 in the Han-shot-first version (and no calling it "Episode IV: A New Hope", please), and The Empire Strikes Back. Secret Squirrel (talk) 23:17, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I only found out about this through Newsnight, and even then had to check the calender to make sure it wasn't April. Disney better have the sense to at least mutter the words Timothy Zahn before teh millions of geeks stop howling out in terror and start going 66 on their arse.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 23:26, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm hoping they remake Cool Runnings IN SPACE. A team of young rebels from Yavin form a pod race team, and despite being brash outsiders earn the grudging respect of the snooty Tatooine team with their can-do attitude. o/` Some people say they know they can't believe, Yavin we have a pod race team... --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 02:04, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I'm fine with it all. -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:48, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Pseudoscience and Legitimacy[edit]

Marvelous new essay on pseudoscience in the LRB. Here's an excerpt, but you should really go read the whole thing.

When Velikovsky’s bizarre story about planetary hi-jinks was so energetically puffed up in 1950, the American scientific establishment was presented with a choice, a choice endemically faced by orthodoxy confronted by intellectual challenges from alien sources: do you ignore the heterodox? Do you invite it to sit down with you and have a calm and rational debate? Do you crush it? There were scientific voices counselling Olympian disdain but they were in general overruled. Still, pretending to take no notice of Velikovsky might have been the plan had Worlds in Collision not been published by Macmillan, a leading producer of scientific textbooks, and packaged not as an offering to, say, comparative mythology or as popular entertainment, but as a contribution to science. Elite scientists, notably at Harvard, reckoned that they might be able to control what Macmillan published when it was represented as science. A letter-writing campaign was organised to get Macmillan to withdraw from its agreement to publish the book; credible threats were made to boycott Macmillan textbooks; hostile reviews were arranged; questions were raised about whether the book had been peer-reviewed (it had); and, when Worlds in Collision was published anyway, further (successful) pressure was exerted to make Macmillan wash its hands of the thing and shift copyright to another publisher. The editor who had handled the book was let go, and a scientist who provided a blurb and planned a New York planetarium show based on Velikovsky’s theories – admittedly not the sharpest knife in the scientific drawer – was forced out of his museum position and never had a scientific job again.



From an uncharitable point of view, this looked like a conspiracy, a conspiracy contrived by dark forces bent on the suppression of free thought and different perspectives – and the Velikovskians took just that view. An establishment conspiracy centred on Harvard had sought to control scientific thought; the conspirators had closed minds and wanted to close others’ minds; they refused to engage with Velikovsky’s ideas at the level of evidence, to show exactly where he was wrong. When Velikovsky made specific predictions of what further observation and experiment would show, his enemies declined to undertake those observations and experiments. This was the way the Commies behaved, Velikovsky’s allies suggested. Analogies were drawn from the history of science seen as the history of martyrs to dogma. Velikovsky figured himself as Galileo and his opponents as Galileo’s critics, who wouldn’t even look through the telescope to see the moons of Jupiter with their own eyes. ‘Perhaps in the entire history of science,’ Velikovsky said, ‘there was not a case of a similar violent reaction on the part of the scientific world towards a published work.’ Newsweek wrote about the spectacle of scientific ‘Professors as Suppressors’ and the Saturday Evening Post made sport of the establishment reaction as ‘one of the signal events of this year’s “silly season”’. Some scientists who were utterly convinced that Velikovsky’s views were loopy had qualms about how the scientific community had treated him. Einstein, in whose Princeton house Velikovsky was a frequent visitor, was one of them. Interviewed just before his death by the Harvard historian of science I.B. Cohen, Einstein said that Worlds in Collision ‘really isn’t a bad book. The only trouble with it is, it is crazy.’ Yet he thought, as Cohen put it, that ‘bringing pressure to bear on a publisher to suppress a book was an evil thing to do.’

Find it here.--ADtalkModerator 23:20, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

We should remember that when Velikovsky wrote his books the whole idea of catastrophism was largely taboo in scientific circles as it was generally associated with creationsim, Although most of what he wrote is bullshit he did at least kick open the door to the possibility of catastrophic events in geology. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 23:58, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The worst thing to do with bullshit is suppress it. Arguably the best is simply to ignore it. That's because there's abundant evidence that directly confronting mistaken ideas simply doesn't work. See here for one example. Doctor Dark (talk) 02:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes it does, though even then it's usually just a part of a longer experience. The number of self reported "converts" from the Four Horsemen books speaks to the true of my claim. LiberalOfAnUnknownVariant (talk) 21:58, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Ratwikians from the Big Apple...[edit]

First, I hope you are all well after the events of yesterday. I need your take on things. I have a ticket to LaGuardia and a ten-day hotel reservation starting on 7 November. I will be staying in Chinatown, and doing research at NYU, Columbia, and at the Schomburg (in Harlem). I'm looking for opinions on whether I should start trying to weasel out of reservations, or if you get a sense that a reasonable degree of normalcy will be established in 8 days' time. Any and all advice welcome. Thanks. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 01:01, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

"New York City" and "reasonable degree of normalcy" are not usually regarded as strongly overlapping sets. Doctor Dark (talk) 02:40, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
I wuz jus sayin to someone today, After I hit the lottery for $176 million, I'll take $50,000 and spend a weekend in New York, too. nobsCorporations are people, too 03:12, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Do let ToP know Rob, so that he can change his plans accordingly. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 09:43, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Too? Where do you get the idea that I'm spending 3 years' worth of my annual salary in a single weekend? Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 15:56, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Scroll down, lookit the Per Diem rates for Manhattan & burroughs and compare to the rest of the USA. By my figrun, its about three times what you can afferd, not counting meals & taxi. nobsCorporations are people, too 01:52, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Dude, I go to the city often enough that I know how to get by on little money--cheap hotels or cheaper hostels, street food or make my own food, walk/bus/subway (I've not ridden in a cab but once in years of regular visits.) With the exception of stopping by the jazz clubs, we're talking less than 70 bucks a day... Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 02:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Born & raised in Queens, NY before putting down roots in NJ. There are going to be parts of the city still out of order as of November 7th, but you'll certainly be able to get here and get around by then - it's an incredibly resilient place. I don't think the storm surge reached as far north as Chinatown, and your other destinations would be fine aside from some possible power issues at NYU. You may be stuck taking buses more than subways depending on the recovery of tunnels, but overall your agenda shouldn't be affected that much. Have a great and safe trip. --DinsdaleP (talk) 19:21, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Dinsdale, you are almost Mei-like in your usefullness. Thanks! Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 21:27, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

"the rape thing"[edit]

John Koster, Tea Party Candidate talking about "the rape thing". it is the single most dismissive, dehumanizing thing I think i've heard so far in this "women are just vessels for rape babies". Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 22:25, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Holy crap. The hell is the matter with people? The hell is the matter with our society that people like this can even possibly get elected? I need a drink, all of a sudden--Logic and Empricism (talk) 22:45, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
"Women are just vessels for rape babies" - I take it that was one of the Youtube comments, as it wasn't in the video. I think it is universally accepted that the Youtube comments sections is one of the deepest, darkest cesspools of the Internet.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 22:53, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
By that, i meant the last 12 months of anti-women politics. women have no agency here, once we are pregnant, according the mess of messes that spews out. No, the comments themselves, by the speaker were the most dehumanizing i've yet heard. "if her life were at risk, i'd not make that decision". well fucking thanks for that! good to know a non medical person isn't goign to make that decision for me. "Well, crimes have consequences". yeah, but for the victim? "i know this one woman who was raped". great for you. I know about 40. sighs..... need vodka. much vodka.--Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 22:58, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
I have a fundamentalist Catholic friend and he argued along exactly the same lines - that abortion after rape is 'further evil'. And the red herring about some women keeping their rape baby - it's great if it worked out for them, but that would only be an argument if we were talking about lifting a ban on keeping rape babies. Why do these people never seem to get the distinction between legal abortion and forced abortion? --Tweenk (talk) 23:36, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Because they take the arbitrary but convenient position that abortion is "more violence" to a woman's body, plus the murder of an innocent child etc. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:49, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
No, I mean that most anti-abortionists somehow seem to mistake having the option of abortion with mandated abortion. Otherwise the typical appeal to emotion by anti-abortionist women "I would never kill my baby" would make absolutely no sense, because nobody, under no circumstances is proposing that you kill the baby you want to have. --Tweenk (talk) 00:39, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Anti-abortionists don't mistake the option of abortion for anything else because they don't see that as an option at all. You're looking at this from a pro-choice POV whereas an anti-abortionist wouldn't acknowledge that there is even a choice. They see it as an obligation to carry the baby to term, whether it's what you want or not. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:48, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Christianity began with a non-consensual pregnancy. When the volcano impregnated Mary it didn't get consent first.--Weirdstuff (talk) 08:32, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

I think it's safe to say that the entire evolution of life on Earth involved lots and lots of non-consensual pregnancies. --2.39.39.47 (talk) 11:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, if it's natural that's all right then.--Weirdstuff (talk) 11:58, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Sure, why not? I also like to eat other people's babies, after all that's also a totally natural thing to do. --2.39.39.47 (talk) 13:30, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

A million votes are up for grabs up here[edit]

If you hear wingnut outrage at the end of next week that Canuckistan waged a successful coup d'état against Mitt's presidency, here's a warning. Osaka Sun (talk) 07:33, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

More GOP "family values"[edit]

A former Delaware candidate, who is - of course - anti-gay, indicted for diddling little boys. What is wrong with these people? --PsyGremlinPrata! 13:15, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

It's clearly the liberal media attempting to destroy, good, right-thinking conservatives, of course.
Seen in the comments on another source covering that story: "Why do Republican legislators oppose gay marriage? They're afraid their boyfriends will demand rings." MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 13:19, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Anyone here up on Canadian law?[edit]

I need some serious help with something. I just got a call from a "Law Office" looking for my mother in regards to some kinda legal threat towards my brother about debt. I looked up the number and got pages and pages of people calling this thing a flat out scam, or a collection agency using illegal tactics to collect debt. I don't want to stress out my mom, and help some fucking con-artists, but if it is Legit, I also don't want her to end up paying for my suspicions. Anyone here can lend some advice, it'd be greatly appreciated. --Revolverman (talk) 18:44, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

I dunno if this is similar, but in the United States, legitimate legal notifications are delivered via mail (sometimes certified mail), not over the phone. -- Seth Peck (talk) 18:52, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I'd say contact an actual lawyer just to be sure. Or even the CRA themselves if it's a tax issue. Osaka Sun (talk) 18:58, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Just like those scam artists who call up claiming to be from Microsoft Windows support, you really need to get their details. Even if I know it's a scam, I always ask for precise details about who they represent and what is their contact phone number. If they can't (or won't) give those then they are obviously bogus. "Law Office" sounds very vague, one would expect them to say under which jurisdiction they are operating. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 19:00, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Its for a pay-day loan, and I'm 99.999% sure that those can't be co-signed. I do not know then what they would want with my mother for my brother's debt. I would have asked for more details, but I was caught complete off guard, and didn't start thinking about until after I hung up. --Revolverman (talk) 19:03, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I guess my natural scepticism makes me suspicious of ANY phone call which is about something of which I am not already aware. So I always ask for as many details as possible and ensure that I write them down and make sure that the caller knows that I am doing. Any bona fide agency will be happy to give details. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 19:17, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

I just got off the phone with my brother, and he told me when they contacted him, they threaten him with "Freezing his bank account" "Informing his place of employment his status as a maker of fraud" and "Suing your references" This is no doubt an illegal tactic they are pulling. Even the Pay-day loan place informed him that there was no way they could do this. Pure scare tactics. --Revolverman (talk) 19:20, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

So is your brother involved with pay-day loans or not? Some of these debt-collection agencies can be heavy-handed and engage in practices which are outside of their legal remit. In which case you (and your brother) need to document everything, and even record the calls if possible. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 19:26, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
He is, and he has. He is filing a complain as we speak. --Revolverman (talk) 19:28, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh dear, he really needs to get some professional help ASAP. Interest rates on pay-day loans can spiral and the fact that the loan company have handed the matter over to a debt-collection agency is not a good sign. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmaraudingModerator 19:31, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
As far as I know, he was already working something out with the payday loan company when these jackasses came out of no where, demanding more money then the pay-day loan company wants. --Revolverman (talk) 19:41, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't know about Canadian law but under British law the only thing that they can legally threaten is taking legal action against the individual who has the debt. Once they have got a judgement against you then they have other options. Of course what they can legally do and what they actually do - or threaten to do - are two different things. Typically, the less the mark seems to know about the law then the more imaginative their threats are. (I sort of used to be associated with one end of this business many years ago.)--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:16, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
The fact that he has been contacted by a debt-collection agency means that the pay-day loan have passed it on. Pay-day loan companies are already on the boundary of loan-sharks so that people they hire as enforcers are not the type you'd invite for afternoon tea. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 20:55, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I understand that. But (under British law and I assume that Canadian will be the same) it makes no difference to the legal threats they can make and who then can make the threats against. The only thing the law allows them to say is "we are going to take legal action". Anything else is just bluster or outright illegal. --Weirdstuff (talk) 21:06, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
From what I've seen on the TV consumer programmes I'm afraid you don't work something out with the pay-day loan companies. You try and get the money from elsewhere, pay them off and get the fuck out. The rates they charge are usurious. PongoOrangutans are sceptical 21:09, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

"Hate crime" laws and class oppression[edit]

As a Black revolutionary socialist, I believe that while I put my race first (by the way, Black girls have REALLY cute smiles), I support poor, oppressed lumpen-proletarians of all races. As a result, just as I oppose the oppression of poor minorities by the "war on drugs", I similarly oppose "hate crime" laws that target the most poor and oppressed of whites and do nothing but expand the prison-industrial complex. Gettign "tough" on any crime, including "hate" crime, is bourgeois, reactionary oppression. I will not support the state in its persecution of the oppressed "white trash" who commit "hate crimes", just as I will not support the oppressors who lock up blacks for the "evil" of using and selling dope. Howard McWashington (talk) 01:48, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Right on. I too am against all those things everybody hates. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 02:12, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Poe's Law?--Logic and Empricism (talk) 02:27, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
To qualify for Poe's law you have to be a less obvious troll. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:39, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

No such thing as psychics...[edit]

Psychic pair fail scientific test

Some classic whaaambulance-ready quotes from alleged medium Patrica Putt, here, basically amounting to "just because I failed miserably to demonstrate what I claim to do, doesn't mean I can't do it!!!". Scarlet A.pngnarchistModerator

Her main "defence" was that she needed to see the face of the subject to use cold reading let the psychic energy flow." Oh, yeah. Innocent Bystander (talk) 15:57, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, the other trick is to control it in a more theatrical way. Which involves some "mediums" be tested who are actually just normal people, others who are deliberately cold reading but don't claim supernatural ability and then mediums who actually claim in. Or alternatively repeat the test with volunteers who are knowledgable about cold reading techniques and briefed to give false information. Both would also easily demonstrate the facts in a way that would be far more difficult to squirm out of without admitting to the fact that you're a bullshit merchant. Scarlet A.pngpostateModerator 16:33, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Well the likes of Derren Brown and James Randi have shown that they are just as good as so called psychics. A real psychic should be able to outperform standard cold reading techniques. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 18:20, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of James Randi, there's a reason his Million Dollar Challenge has never been claimed... ~
Randi got tired of exactly the sort of thing we see here. They either won't commit to any protocol because they can't be sure that their "powers" will work except on the Ultimate Frisbee rule (Say "Watch this!" and then whatever happens it's as-if you knew it would happen) or else they commit to a protocol, even signing the protocol in front of witnesses, then when they fail they declare the protocol was unacceptable. Even if you have a video recording of them saying "I can do X" and then being unable to do X their supporters will believe them over the facts.
There isn't much we can do about it, superstition is inherently robust against mere factual debunking. Remember people kept making the wrong bet on Let's Make a Deal even after it had been demonstrated that you should switch. The mere fact that they were wrong never changed anyone's mind. But the rational do get a statistical advantage because the cold uncaring universe punishes superstition regardless of how many people believe in it. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 14:17, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Another type of election prediction[edit]

If you follow American football, the Redskins Rule states that if the Redskins win the game before the election, the party that won the popular vote in the previous election will win the electoral vote in the current election (for the presidency, of course). The Redskins (3-5) are favored by 3.5 points over the Panthers (1-6), meaning Obama will win the election on Tuesday.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the NFL (too much money taken from fans and taxpayers that could be spent in other places, like education; plus the anti-union sentiments of the owners, the tax-exempt status of the league, the horribly exhausting and painful workout routines that players undergo, and post-career medical care for players that makes the VA hospitals look like the Mayo Clinic), and I would love to see this "rule" break--specifically, Panthers blow out the Redskins, and Obama still wins. But I'll take an Obama win and not give two shits about a football score -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

tax-exempt status of the league; cite? nobsCorporations are people, too 18:00, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
They are tax exempt, same with the NHL (National Hockey League) and the PGA (Professional Golf). How do they do this? By exploiting a loophole that allows them to classify themselves as non-profit organizations, which makes them exempt from federal income taxes on earnings. This is done because the tax code allows industry and trade groups can claim non-profit status by saying they are promoting the industry as a whole. The NFL writes itself as a "trade association promoting interests of its 32 member clubs", who's purpose is to promote football; the NHL and PGA are similar. --BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 18:08, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Got it. Makes sense. The League itself probably doesn't have much revenue, enough to pay officiating and administrative costs. OTOH, wp:NFL Properties probably holds the TV rights, as TV revenues pay player salaries. That would be the big question, Who holds NFL TV rights?, cause that's where the big bucks are. And I don't see how NFL Properties could hold tax exemp0t status. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:47, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Those officially-licensed NFL logos on footballs and crap aren't CC-licensed. I don't know what sort of split there'd be between the NFL as an entity and the specific club on the license revenue for, say, a team jersey, but I'm sure they've set it up nice and comfortable for themselves. Similar to how the IOC's revenues from Olympic games (measured in billions) are tax-exempt, or at least it's my understanding that they were for London 2012. My question is, what do they need all that money for when the host nation is the one that picks up all the bills for building the venues and supporting infrastructure? Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 02:02, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Although the host city picks up all the bills for the buildings and infrastructure, it also gets to keep those afterwards. One of the key tricks to a "successful" Olympics in the big picture is ensuring that you aren't stuck with a load of buildings you can neither retain in use nor sell nor repurpose. Some IOC revenues go back to the host. The money paid by the world's TV stations for their real-time Olympic coverage will partly go to London as hosts, even though AFAIK the specialist crews filming everything work for the IOC not the host. The IOC also pumps money into local sport via the sports own bodies. So maybe your local swimming pool gets upgraded by a national charity supporting swimming as a sport, but they got half the money from a national Olympic committee who in turn got it from the IOC. I'm not claiming the IOC is an efficient organisation, and I'm certainly not going to defend them against claims of corruption, but there is more to it than one big event every couple of years. And it does seem intuitively to be as much like a charity as, say, PETA or the project to re-create BeOS, both of which are tax exempt. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 14:44, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Possible verbal error on my part[edit]

I used the phrase "as scientific as a bag of dicks" to refer to the Animus in Assassin's Creed. How off base, if at all, was I with my remark? --AmazingTechnicolorCheeseWedge (talk) 05:26, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Depends. Is a bag of dicks scientifically possible? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 10:33, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
It'd be easier if they're uncircumcised. rpeh •TCE 10:57, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
It seems like you're trying to attribute a real possibility to something that is highly suspect/unverifiable. Technically, a bag of dicks is something that could occur in reality, where as an Animus (that is, a VR device that uses genetic memory to reconstruct historical events) has no science behind it. Whether or not a bag of dicks would have any scientific purpose or value is irrelevant. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:19, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

An oldie but a goodie[edit]

This is a little over four years old, so I'm not going to put it into WIGO:Blog, but it's still very funny... (if you're a politically minded geek.)

The 2008 Presidential Election, Considered as a Game of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 16:23, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Lost it at "No! No, it's not cool! Every time you bring one of your rodeo-queen girlfriends in here she ends up playing some succubus infiltrator and killing the whole party!" -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:35, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Also, the "GAZEBO!" KoDT reference...nice. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:37, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Four years later, I still think of gazebos when I heard Kucinich's name. (Oh, and the gazebo story pre-dates KoDT. They just adapted it.) MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 16:38, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
In 2012 those are all Game of Thrones references. Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 00:03, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Vote for Jesus![edit]

Moved to WIGO:World talk... 00:03, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

How did we get to a point where Jews are defending Nazis?[edit]

The documentary

I just watched a documentary by National Geographic where they (thankfully) reiterated the fact that the Germans knew about the camps fully, supported the Holocaust, and didn't do anything to stop it. It brought me back to an argument that I had in a Holocaust "history" group with a Jewish administrator who kept fanatically defending the Nazis and making excuses for the Germans. He kept trying to say that they "didn't know" and that there "was nothing they could do" which are both bull***t claims. It's been very well established by Holocaust survivors and by Allied soldiers that the Germans saw everything and that they could smell the camps, and that bone and hair fragments from the camps would rain onto the towns. This public acceptance of Nazi sympathy really bothers me, and I don't understand how it could be so severe that Jews are adopting it and starting to defend Nazis. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 21:34, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't know that you can conflate the entirety of the Nazi party with the entirety of the German people. Granted, the Nazis were voted into power, but how many Germans really knew about the horrors of the death camps? How many Germans read about gas showers and massive crematoriums in the news paper? They surely knew that the Jews were going somewhere, but I doubt they realized the horror of the Holocaust.--"Shut up, Brx." 21:38, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I just said that they knew about the camps from seeing people go into them, seeing forced marches of Jews, and from the bone and hair that rained out of the clouds from the ovens, and the smell of the camps. The overwhelming majority of Germans knew what was going on and did not do anything when they could have. Silence is consent. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 22:16, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
You continually present yourself as someone who's here just to poke people,
So I see you're a troll. I take that as why you wrote how many Germans really knew about the horrors of the death camps? How many Germans read about gas showers and massive crematoriums in the news paper? after what I just explained. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 22:19, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
You continually present yourself as someone who's here just to poke people I didn't say that. I assumed good faith. Nowhere in my post does that appear.--"Shut up, Brx." 00:23, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Silence is not consent. Apathy is. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:23, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I think it's about the same. According to Ian Kershaw in Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution, a major cause of the Holocaust was because the Germans were apathetic and didn't do anything because they didn't care. The book also explains that this is a very significant reason why it often appears that the Germans didn't know; they cared so little even though they had extensive knowledge that they didn't create a lot of evidence to show their knowledge of the Holocaust. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 22:34, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
you've raised this kind of topic before as well, though about Christians being responsible for it. --Mikal Harass Follow 22:53, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
A mutation of the concern troll, the Holocaust troll? --Revolverman (talk) 23:04, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

" Granted, the Nazis were voted into power." That's a statement that reveals a profound ignorance of how politics was working in the late Weimar era. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 22:50, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

What's a concern troll? I agree with the above point, though it is important to remember that the Nazis were extremely popular, and we shouldn't believe all the occupation and post war claims that everyone was "against the Nazis." Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 23:17, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I just read this Concern troll.
One common tactic of concern trolls is the "a plague on both your houses" approach, where the concern troll tries to convince people that both sides of the ideological divide are just as bad as each other, and so no one can think themselves "correct" but must engage in endless hedging and caveats.
I'm familiar with those people on the Holocaust. We have a section about that sort of thinking in the Holocaust denial article where deniers try to claim that the Allies were as bad as the Germans. I've also seen it a lot of times on forums with ignorant and immature kiddies who like to tell themselves that the Germans "weren't that bad" or the Nazis "did something for their people." I don't know what their purpose is. I think they just want to feel smart or like they made some great conclusion about WWII. Standing up for mass murderers doesn't make them look smart. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 23:23, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
What?--Mikal Harass Follow 23:27, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I rambled. I realize it. Crap. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 23:31, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Obama to end campaign in Iowa[edit]

I found this particularly humorous: Republican article on Iowa saying Romney will win pushes the headline from Politico saying:

"The thrill is gone. And in Iowa, the Obama firewall is burning. Today’s headline on Politico said it all:Obama to End Campaign In Iowa."

Certainly seems to imply that Obama is pulling out of Iowa, ending his campaign there. Check the actual politico story though. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:08, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

I wouldn't much mind obama not campaigning in Iowa, the less ads i have to see the better -.- --Mikal Harass Follow 22:15, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
HA! Morons. -- Seth Peck (talk) 22:30, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Awww... that's really more sad and pathetic than anything else. The writing is on the wall.--ADtalkModerator 23:36, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Young Earth Atheism[edit]

Clearly the way to go. Why should those creationists get all the good science? I'm on board. Who's with me? --Horace (talk) 03:02, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

+1 Scream!! (talk) 04:12, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I find your ideas evanescent, and would like to know how well your newsletter fits the floor of a birdcage. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 03:10, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Darwin created the world in six days four hundred years ago. Sam Tally-ho! 03:53, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
But how do you know? Were you there?!!!--Weirdstuff (talk) 06:41, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I was. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 09:41, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Oh yes, I know this one well. A few thousand years ago, a bio-mechanical interstellar colony ship crash landed on earth, and to this day sits at the bottom of the ocean waiting for its repair sequence to complete. That repair sequence involved creating an intelligent, self-aware, multiplying energy source modeled after existing lifeforms - that is, humans. Evolution satisfies most humans' curiosities, but the reality is far more sinister. The ship waits until the day we will be populous enough to repair the damage done, when it then activates a dormant sequence of our DNA which turns most of us into mindless zombies that will be systematically absorbed as a power source. The others will, of course, be chosen to crew the ship itself. But all of that doesn't happen until the ancestors of the original two humans meet and fall in love again, we crucify some giant robot mecha, and recruit a pink rodent that can expand to city-destroying size at will. Q0 (talk) 16:32, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
When did L. Ron Hubbard get an account here? MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 16:35, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Good guess, but as far as I know no one actually believes this fantasy world is reality. Q0 (talk) 21:32, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Eric Hovind wins Crocoduck Award[edit]

Eric Hovind's acceptance speech--Cms13ca (talk) 01:23, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Hey black people, vote for Republicans, we freed the slaves![edit]

An actual Ohio ad is telling black voters that Republicans, not Democrats, are the party that helps black people. Their evidence?Lincoln!!!. Junggai (talk) 12:20, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

In fairness to them, the guy who came up with that actually arrived in our time only recently, having built a time machine in 1862. He was better-spoken and better-educated than anyone they could find from contemporary Ohioans, so they ran with it. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 15:44, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Someone should point out that Strom Thurmond and the rest of the segragationists quit the Democratic party and became Republicans because their prospects were better there. Or that the Republicans of the Lincoln era formed the Freedmen's Bureau, which was a lot like affirmative action. And let's not forget the ever present "Southern Strategy"--"Shut up, Brx." 15:52, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
http://yoisthisracist.com/post/34343839210/seriously-if-you-republicans-promise-not-to-vote-for 82.69.171.94 (talk) 16:01, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Not to be a nitpicker, but I'm gonna be anyway—of all the science fiction devices that would allow someone to survive from the mid 1800s to the present, it seems like cryonics would be more likely than a time machine; advanced anti-aging/endocrinology medicines would be even more likely. -- Seth Peck (talk) 16:22, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Time to take out our stash of Lincoln quotes:

You say you are conservative — eminently conservative — while we are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort. What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried? We stick to, contend for, the identical old policy on the point in controversy which was adopted by "our fathers who framed the Government under which we live;" while you with one accord reject, and scout, and spit upon that old policy, and insist upon substituting something new. True, you disagree among yourselves as to what that substitute shall be. You are divided on new propositions and plans, but you are unanimous in rejecting and denouncing the old policy of the fathers. Some of you are for reviving the foreign slave trade; some for a Congressional Slave-Code for the Territories; some for Congress forbidding the Territories to prohibit Slavery within their limits; some for maintaining Slavery in the Territories through the judiciary; some for the "gur-reat pur-rinciple" that "if one man would enslave another, no third man should object," fantastically called "Popular Sovereignty"; but never a man among you is in favor of federal prohibition of slavery in federal territories, according to the practice of "our fathers who framed the Government under which we live." Not one of all your various plans can show a precedent or an advocate in the century within which our Government originated. Consider, then, whether your claim of conservatism for yourselves, and your charge or destructiveness against us, are based on the most clear and stable foundations.
—February 27, 1860

Osaka Sun (talk) 16:30, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Saw Birth of a Nation for the first time in its entirety the other day, and was amazed to see this quote form he sitting Democratic President at that time, Dr. Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was only the second Democratic President the Untied States has had, among the handful of Democrats, since the Civil War. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:09, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Is there anyone who was aborted who had a name?[edit]

It's going to be hard to find, seeing as they weren't a person and therefore wouldn't be likely to have a name. I wonder though if maybe there's some example of an antiwomanist who gave a fetus a name to pressure a woman into not having an abortion. I'm going to use it as a title for a parody antiwomanist abortion song I wrote. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 00:31, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

[2]. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 00:36, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I didn't see a name there though. I could try Gianna Jessen Lied, though she did survive and is actively engaged in spewing misogynistic hate propaganda. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 00:43, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Sometimes you have to read articles all the way to the end. That might be hard for you. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 01:57, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

It's so cute how one is a boy and one is a girl. ahhhhhh the perfect little family.--Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 05:59, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Dondrekhan reported that the Antiwomanists claim that it would be wrong to abort Hitler. Not kidding. They say that he hadn't done anything wrong, and so it's the usual killing an acorn is killing a tree argument. According to them, you have to wait until Hitler kills 20 million people first, and there isn't really any point. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 07:24, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
-insert statement about beethoven or whoever the fuck it is thats used-. Don't go into that, it goes nowhere but precrime. --Mikal Harass Follow 07:41, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Whether it's aborting Hitler or killing him as a teenager or child, that argument fails because it's pretending that events hinge around a single person, and ignores the possibility that such things would have happened anyway, but different individuals would have done it because the wider political environment wouldn't be changed by such an insignificant event (Hitler died in 1945, did that prevent the Rwandan genocide, or the crimes perpetrated by Soviet Russia? No. It's a dumb-fuck argument and a dumb-fuck thought-experiment from every angle, it's spherically dumb-fuck).
On the original topic, if I remember Citizen Ruth correctly, the "pro-life" side name the baby and start protesting "Save Baby Jane" (or whatever the name was, it's been a while since I watched it) even though the mother had fuck-all to do with the naming and I don't think she was far along enough for them to know the gender at all (fucking bizarre film, though). Scarlet A.pngtheistModerator 13:49, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Shanice Denise Osbourne was aborted. I could find a few others. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:23, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Sarah Elizabeth Brown. I know of another whose mother demanded and received a funeral service in the abortion clinic. The child was given a name, whether a birth certificate was entered I'm unsure. nobsCorporations are people, too 23:40, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Probably the latter, if you know, because the first one survived until age five and isn't really what I would consider an abortion. An abortion survivor would be ok if they were killed by getting shot by a Communist in a fight over a prostitute... The yet unnamed song is called Abtrieben Opfer Lied. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 04:44, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Review essay on pseudoscience[edit]

Steven Shapin, one of the best of the STS guys, on "Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe..." Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 13:09, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

I am in the process of reading The Pseudoscience Wars. I found myself not knowing much about Velikovsky but now I feel like I want to read Worlds in Collision just to see how crazy it really is. Aboriginal Noise Oh, what a lovely tea party! 17:34, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I linked to this in another section, above. It's a great essay.--ADtalkModerator 20:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

An election prediction:[edit]

Barack Obama wins the following swing states: Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin, barely wins Virginia. 294 total Electoral votes.
Mitt Romney wins the following swing states: Colorado, barely wins Florida, North Carolina. 244 total Electoral votes.

Barack Obama garners a total of 48% of the popular vote, +/- 1.2% Mitt Romney garners a total of 49% of the popular vote, +/- 0.8%

Thoughts? ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ secret trainer of brand names! 15:09, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I think Obama will carry Colorado (just) and will also scrape a slightly higher share of the vote than Romney, but otherwise I'd go with that. He still has a chance in Florida too, but I think NC has definitely gone this time. rpeh •TCE 15:28, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Obama is ahead in all our polls here in Co. if he loses in my state, i'll start drowning the rural areas. ;-)--Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 15:48, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Romney isn't going to win here (Colorado). I'll bet a bus fare on it. -- Seth Peck (talk) 15:52, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Just bothered to check, Romney's leading here 60-38. Evil fascistoh noez 15:53, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
General feeling around is Romneys going to win all of nebraska this time, though we are close enough in numbers that obama could still possibly take omahas EV. --Mikal Harass Follow 16:02, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
I am going for the upset here and say Romney wins Virgina, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, and Colorado with the surprise of New Hampshire and manages to pull a win for 2012.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 17:34, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Romney wins Arizona, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Florida gets him to 273, leaving Ohio, Pennsylvania and Nevada toss ups. nobsCorporations are people, too 19:47, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Might work if Wi and IA weren't in the bag for Obama. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:55, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
We have RationalWiki:Predictions, you know.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:27, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Rocky Anderson wins Utah. Virgil Goode wins Virginia. Jill Stein wins Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. Gary Johnson wins New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. Obama and Romney split the rest of the states among themselves, but the general response of the public to all the media hype once the election is thrown to the House of Representatives is a monumental yawn, and when asked about Obama or Romney people say, "who?". Vermont takes advantage of all the chaos to secede from the union while nobody is looking. Secret Squirrel (talk) 10:50, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Bernie Sanders, president of the Vermont Republic? Q0 (talk) 16:43, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
Has anyone got any idea who will win? Proxima Centauri (talk) 15:49, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Barack H. Obama, unless fraud/exclusion gets some of the tighter swing states to R-Money. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 16:00, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I added both your links to the main page of Liberapedia. Thanks, I hope that will encourage a few Democrats on the crucial day. Proxima Centauri (talk) 19:35, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

New Chick Tract[edit]

Mama's Girls. He's off on his theory that Islam, Communism, Nazism and freemasonry are all the heinous progeny of the Catholic church.
(I like Nazi girl best, she's sort of sweet in a Wednesday Addams kind of way) Balaam (talk) 20:05, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Is that meant to be Bernard Hill and Jeremy Irons in panel 6? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 20:33, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Reading some more I am amused by the images of Satan, because in the early years of Christianity, Satan/Lucifer is depicted as a winged angel robed in blue. It is only during the Middle Ages that Satan gets his horns. So Chick's drawings of Satan are actually Roman Catholic iconography. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 20:41, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Is this real? Is this an actual claim or is it a parody or propaganda? Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 23:13, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Assuming you meant this Chick tract, read up about Jack Chick and, if you're not familiar with them, the practice of writing Christian "tracts" for giving out to the unsaved. If you meant the "devils look this way because some Catholics drew them that way" comment from Genghis then yeah, that's real. The way we visualise things was being influenced by big powerful organisations long before Coca-Cola had their way with Santa Claus. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 23:50, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
That isn't true just FYI. --Revolverman (talk) 06:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Wait.... why the fuck would the Pope sekritly create islam to take over Jerusalem from the Catholic crusaders!? how the flying fuck does the eastern orthodox church qualify as good to chick!!? him loving the autrocratic and violently antisemitic tzars is understandable, but I honestly want to know what the Orthodox church did to get in his good books? and the most important question, why the hell has this vile old fuck not died of old age yet? Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 23:50, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
That's got to be the first time he even acknowledges the Eastern church, and it's surprisingly positive. Also, he's wrong that Catholic doctrine says salvation lies with good works.--"Shut up, Brx." 00:37, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Those Catholics sure were patient. To take revenge on the Orthodox Church for refusing the authority of the Pope and turning to the Tsar for protection in 1204, they orchestrated a revolution in Russia more than 700 years later. --Spud (talk) 08:30, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
"You're being misled by TV, phony religions, holy books, evolution, environmentalism. Anything but Jesus." YAAAAAAH! About that Eastern Orthodox thing, I'm sure I've seen Chick defending them in some of his other anti-Catholic material, like the book Smokescreens. And I love this one: "Masonry spreads spiritual death to churches. Among Southern Baptists alone are over 1,000,000 Masons." Has Chick sekritly forsaken the Baptist faith for Eastern Orthodoxy a-la Mike Warnke? Inquiring minds want to know. Secret Squirrel (talk) 08:49, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Chick isn't Southern Baptist; he's Independent Fundamental Baptist. The IFB's make the SB's look like... Rational Wiki members. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 13:06, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
And Masons take an oath on the Q'ran. Redchuck.gif ГенгисpillagingModerator 09:37, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Ha! using a daughter to illustrate Masonry is a fail on so many levels. Yes, I know there's side orders, but really, daughters are allowed nowhere near Masonry... unless it's to prepare the festive board afterwards, or as a sacrifice to the Goat. And as for swearing secret oaths on the Quran, somebody should tell Jack that Baby Bush took the oath of office on George Washington's Masonic bible. I also like how everybody went to hell before Jesus came along. What a loving God Jehovah is. Must be because they all really like the halibut. --PsyGremlin말하십시오 10:04, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
(EC) And there is the smoking gun. YAAAAAAH! Jack Chick is right! It's all one big Vatican conspiracy. I'm half surprised Chick didn't throw Mormonism into the mix, but maybe right now isn't the right time since there's this election coming up... Secret Squirrel (talk) 10:14, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Unfortunately, this worldview is lapped up by so many rednecks who's view life is constrained to what they can observe through a toilet-roll tube.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:17, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

I assume the Roman emperor declaring himself a god is a reference to Caligula, but boy is it a stretch to call that a cause of the fall of Rome given that it came almost two centuries before that process really got rolling. Heck, it's not even certain that Caligula even did that in the first place, as much as popular culture likes the image. But I suppose it's an even further stretch to expect Chick to know the first thing about history, even the really entertaining bits. --Kels (talk) 15:14, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Wait, when did Jews become Chick Track friends? I sware in the ones we had in the 80s, jews were bad.Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 15:35, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, IIRC there was that once where Rabbi Waxman goes to hell because he's Jewish. But there's also one where he say you love love your local Jew, because they were the victims of Hitler, who was carrying out Rome's orders when he launched the Holocaust. --PsyGremlinSermā! 16:01, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I added this to the Anti-Catholicism article. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:06, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
If I recall, around about the 80s he caught wind of the fact evangelicals were falling in love with Israel and furiously attacking anyone anti-israel, so in order to not lose his biggest customers he buried his anti-semitism under a veil of "God is protecting the Jews and hates anyone who crosses Israel" and "Jesus will save the Jews during Armageddon" while subtly retaining the "All jews are christ-killers who are going to hell" thing by implication. The resulting mess is the heavy implication that the sole reason Jesus wants to protect Israel is because he wants to finish off those damn Jews personally Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 17:08, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Short name for myself[edit]

I'm thinking of creating a sig template for myself, and I wondered which sounds better: "Wedge" or "Cheese"? --AmazingTechnicolorCheeseWedge (talk) 01:46, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Whatsa matter with zingTech? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 02:30, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I vote "TechCheese." Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 05:00, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I like both Cogswell's and RNS' suggestions, so I would go with "zingTechCheese." Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:12, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I think you are still loosing something with that, how about "FTWzingTechCheese”? Redchuck.gif ГенгисpillagingModerator 08:25, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Those sound like tech blogs. Go with "ATCW." --209.129.173.98 (talk) 00:15, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Get your 538 on[edit]

Nate Silver moves Florida from light salmon to robin's-egg blue. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 02:27, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Nate described this election as an "epistemological watershed" perfect way to describe it. If the Nate Silvers and Sam Wangs of the world are proven correct pundits becoming an endangered species. I think this, more than partisan sniping, is why he is being attached by so many "experts." Tmtoulouse (talk) 02:29, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
As a friend of mine said -- I hope the winner tomorrow is "MATH." Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 02:32, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Disappointing facts about popular music[edit]

As it was linked from a WIGO, I clicked through to this - it's kinda obvious, bordering on some kind of self-fulfilling tautology, really. Popular music sold to a wider audience in a more commercially-aware age with a far larger population outsells music from 30-40 years ago to a smaller audience when distribution was more limited. That's not "disappointing", that's "no shit, Sherlock". Scarlet A.pngpatheticModerator 01:08, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Plus, the last one--I don't get the hate. He's a somewhat talented overhyped teenybopper popstar. Like there's anything new or noteworthy there. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 01:17, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
"Fluffy, trendy pop outsells music that makes demands on the listener." What a surprise. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:23, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
There's nothing like music to bring out the elitism and misbegotten sense of superiority in people. "Have you heard the garbage kids are listening to these days? What is the world coming to!" May as well sit on your porch all day yelling at people to get off your lawn. The truth is, if you like it, go ahead and listen to it. Don't shame others on their personal tastes, either (political implications and ethical labor practices excluded, naturally: if singer X gives money to or speaks for a group like the National Organization for Marriage, I'll be damned if I'm going to give them any money or even recognition; same if singer Y knowingly employs sweat shop labor for their merchandise).--"Shut up, Brx." 01:32, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Because hate is easy? It's also the best way to unite supposedly "alternative" music lovers, as that "alternative" label reaches everywhere from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Cradle of Filth and EBM to industrial trance. So Bieber-hatred is a nice way for people to rally around a flag when they'd otherwise have fuck-all in common and nothing interesting to say to each other. By any objective measure, he's a fairly average teeny-bopper (no worse than the shit I was bopping to in the '90s, I'm not too proud to say) and not a terrible songwriter for what it's worth. Twilight hate-on, however, I can understand because we can identify actual problems and potential harm it might cause - with Bieber there's no real criticism that can't be applied to at least 60% of musicians out there. His music is a bit shit? Well, find me someone who's written music that pleases everyone equally. His fans are a bit mental? You've heard of the reputation Tool fans have, right? He only got famous through YouTube? Congrats for noticing, welcome to the 21st Century, it's going to be awesome.
Also, I think "makes demands on the listener" is looking at some of that with rose-tinted glasses. Doing a full musicology study of Mahler makes demands on the listener, going through Le Nozze di Figaro in Italian makes demands of the listener, simple four-chord stuff from The Beatles does not. Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 01:34, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
What does "demands on the listener" mean, anyways? I hope it doesn't mean "music that's difficult to enjoy." Because that would just be sad. And for the record, before anybody starts accusing me of being a Justin Bieber fan, I mostly listen to acts like Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Sisters of Mercy.--"Shut up, Brx." 01:37, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Some music is more demanding than other music. When I first heard Ornette Coleman or late-period 'Trane, it made no sense to me. Now I love it. I had to learn about the music in order to be able to enjoy it. Nothing too unusual there. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 01:45, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes it just has too many notes. Scarlet A.pngbominationModerator 01:54, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Who cares if you listen? (Please don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger from 1958. They want their attitude back.) Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:57, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
ADK, I'm going to call you out on Justin Bieber as "not a terrible songwriter." One reason why everyone wants Gangnam Style to smash the 1 billion mark on YouTube is to finally usurp the verbal defecation that is "Baby." Osaka Sun (talk) 03:57, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, it's not just about being "easy", it's more about who your target audience is and why they are buying. TEEN GIRLS make up a huge amount of the album buying market. and having bought every single Shaun & David Cassidy album, i can assure it, it has almost nothign to do with music. ;-)Green mowse.pngGodotCalibrated! let the voting begin! 04:00, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, I think if the level on which you're enjoying music is "Oh, clever! I see what you did there!" then you're probably doing it wrong. That's generally why I can't really enjoy most classical music, or a lot of modern jazz. It's clever if you understand what they're doing, but it's emotionless, like listening to a pretty mathematical function being run through a sound generator. I think of lot of this kind of "high culture" music is perpetuated by snobbery rather than actual enjoyment on the part of its patrons. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 06:46, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
How do you quantify emotionlessness? Is it measured in the same units as "I don't like it"? --2.39.39.47 (talk) 11:44, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, Jeeves, for teaching me that I don't actually like this, or this but that I'm actually just being a snob. Guess I must be suffering from some sort of false consciousness, Jeeves. Here I was feeling all kinds of excitement and joy, listening to what I thought was some of my favourite music. Guess I'll sell all these CDs and use the cash to buy something I really like. Any recommendations? Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 13:21, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Music is for snobs. Go watch the shopping channel on tv. Unless you are a snob, that is. --2.39.39.47 (talk) 13:59, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
I would suggest that snobbery in music is defined more by what you don't like, rather than what you do. I think that the elitism elucidated by Jeeves is largely those who can see no merit in other forms of music than their narrow taste. Having a wide range of tastes I appreciate stuff from medieval, classical, jazz, pop, G & S through world music. You need to have variety, you can't just listen to hours of Keith Jarrett extemporising for hours on end.  Lily Inspirate me. 10:34, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Why not? --2.39.39.47 (talk) 12:15, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
All forms of snobbery derive from what you don't like. If I mention certain things on Facebook, say, Metallica or The Big Bang Theory, I know a few people who will, like Pavlov's dogs, immediately, predictably, and highly reliably comment to say how much they suck. Dance for me, puppets, dance! Scarlet A.pngssholeModerator 13:52, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Back when I made my living teaching disaffected suburban white kids how to play the guitar, I used to love when they'd bring in Metallica--even though I'm by no means a fan--because it was good and challenging music. I do not know what the "Big Bang Theory" is, but I am glad it makes you happy. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 14:02, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I remember the days when I lived without a television, just an amber monochrome 80-column screen so I could participate in usenet. You aren't missing much with Big Bang Theory. I'm not into it, but from a few glimpses it looks very much like a bunch of condescending stereotypes with an obnoxious laugh track, wearing the trade dress of a situation "comedy." Sorry, ADK, it really does suck. It plods, it does not crackle. I feel the same way about Seinfeld, the egotistical prat.
As far as music goes, I wouldn't mind an atmosphere that tends towards "musicianship more often than virtuosity" in the sense that music is something real people make, and competently, in the course of everyday life, even the disaffected youth practising away in their suburban basements and bedrooms. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:48, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, as Cogswell says Big Bang Theory is a sitcom, and actually I think considering the genre it doesn't do a bad job. The nature of network situation comedy is that you have to play to a broad audience and that means stereotypes. But actually Penny comes off by far worst, she's blonde and pretty therefore too stupid to really understand what the guys do. Rather than give the Penny character any growth other women are brought in to "balance" things, (e.g. Sara Gilbert's devious physicist Leslie Winkle). If it was pretending to be drama (like say, the CSI franchise) it would have more of an obligation to tell us something honest about the world (see e.g. The Wire, Band of Brothers) but it's harder to ask that of a sitcom (though e.g. Scrubs manages to be more honest about the nature of medicine and medics than House). 82.69.171.94 (talk) 23:47, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
See, it really is Pavlov for the 21st Century. Scarlet A.pngtheistModerator 13:25, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Ha, you said people would tell you it sucks, that was actually me praising Big Bang Theory. I guess it is pretty weak praise, but there you are. "It's not bad, for a sitcom" is the summary. If you want me to rant on demand try something like Deal or No Deal (How is this not just gambling, and why do people watch?) or that show where they give people unnecessary plastic surgery as a "prize" because that is fucked up. 82.69.171.94 (talk) 09:41, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Redskins Rule[edit]

Redskins lost to Carolina today. Romney will take the Presidency and I can't afford to flee to Sweden… — Unsigned, by: 64.125.175.26 / talk / contribs never mind I took my pills now. 64.125.175.26 (talk)

Did the game go into OT (like the 2000 election) or was it a blowout (like 1980 or 2008)? nobsCorporations are people, too 00:10, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
[3] Sam Tally-ho! 00:28, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

If the rule was foolproof, Kerry would've won in 2004. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:41, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Looks like the 2004 revision was just moving the goalposts. Don't buy into this hype, IP. --AmazingTechnicolorCheeseWedge (talk) 01:54, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
If you looked hard enough you could probably find some other insane connection. It's nothing more then coincidence.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 02:23, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Cracked's done it already. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:43, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I am linking xkcd? What has the world come to? Vulpius (talk) 02:54, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I was curious what the Weekly Reader poll predicted, but sadly, they have ceased publication. They had a 13 out of 14 prediction record; the only miss being 1992 when Bush the Elder out-polled Clinton -- but they left Perot out of the poll. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 16:38, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
There are some alternate prediction stories too, with college football games. -- Seth Peck (talk) 17:19, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Went to church today[edit]

So today; because I had to go to my nephews birthday Party and thus couldn't just "oversleep" was the first time in probably... like 4 or 5 months that I've been to church. It also happened to be communion week (Yay non-alch wine.) And it wasn't even a interesting sermon, just talking about Jesus being baptized then reading lukes genealogy. So overall... Church is honestly boring when its straight Fundamentalist preach the word. --Mikal Harass Follow 05:27, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Don't talk to me about communion... Services are no better when they're not fundimentalist, I found the creationist minister we had one week last month a nice change even. Peter Subsisting on honey 07:43, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
The last sermon I heard was just after Stephen Hawking came out as a full-on atheist (rather than his usual vague self) and said string theory precludes the need for a creator god. So, obviously, the sermon was all about religions joining together and fighting off the evils of non-belief (pretty hardcore shit for a CofE job!!). The fun part being that it actually included the line "according to String Theory, something of which I know nothing about...". Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 01:22, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
I went to a Church, and had a very interesting and enlightening conversation with someone about the extremists versus the people who are more reasonable. I'm still against the church though. Another time I brought Abtrieben Opfer Lied and asked a brainwashed woman who was running an Antiwoman display why she was promoting sexist bigotry. She didn't answer. Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 03:25, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Requesting contributions to white extinction hypothesis[edit]

I have started an article on the white extinction hypothesis, a pseudo-scientific gambit used by white supremacists. Please contribute. /Strom (talk) 12:45, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Pat Buchanan ought to be a good source. nobsCorporations are people, too 20:23, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I love white supremacist logic. It's inherently self contradictory and they never actually notice it, somehow. X Stickman (talk) 21:23, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Why do they wory about getting extinct. They'll certainly be dead when that happens. --2.39.39.47 (talk) 21:29, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
The only contribution I can think of, is that if it is happening, then it's for the better of the human race, since it'll amount to elimination of a less-fit group. If we (white people) are really so unable to adapt that we allow ourselves to be eliminated by collectively not breeding, then I think by their own logic we should be eliminated. Then again, these are the people whose ideology amounts to saying that Liberalism is superior, while still decrying it. We cannot exactly expect any sort of common sense from these people.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 22:57, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Since self-fulfilling prophecies are the highest form of logic, right. --Henk (talk) 13:49, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
What really makes me sad is that these people aren't even driving the culture they claim to protect. It doesn't even need them; it's a behemoth that shambles along without them, continuing to exclude anybody that doesn't fit its standards of beauty, safety, success, or anything you can dream of. To me this is a little like pointing to an infestation of vermin that has overtaken a park and saying 'I AM THE WILDLIFE RANGER FOR THIS RAT CESSPOOL. I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO CLEAN UP HERE BECAUSE THESE MAJESTIC CREATURES MUST BE PRESERVED." ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlavishly loquacious 13:59, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Races are temporary anyway until our wonderful transhumanist future comes into effect. Just you wait. Sen (talk) 15:18, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── But here's the question lets hope RW contributors approach with rationality: An author can cite evidence or express concern over the extinction of the so-called "white race" without being labeled "supremacist. These should be regarded as two separate issues. Russia and Germany, for example, have had low birthrates and declining populations for the past decade, and scientific evidence or discussion of this phenomenon generally is not considered racist or supremacist. To make the leap that concern or discussion of a declining birthrate and aging population makes one a "supremacist" would be pseudoscience. nobsCorporations are people, too 22:11, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Aging of the society and 'racial extinction' are two separate subjects. The former is a pragmatic one: the new generation must support the old one as it ages (this is independent of the pension system, since in a country with a severe shortage of population their money would become worthless). The latter is simply bigotry: why would a non-racist care what will be the skin color of people who will inhabit their country in the future? --Tweenk (talk) 01:23, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

A dilemma.[edit]

I love life on Earth. I love writing about it. I love RationalWiki. RationalWiki's mission does not include "general encyclopaedia". I prefer RationalWiki's style of writing to Wikipedia's. You can be snarky and laugh at idiots. I want the articles to be publicly available and *gasp* publicly editable. Any ideas? The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 02:32, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

1. Start your own blog; 2. Take it as a challenge--how can you operate within the assigned parameters and develop the ability do something that makes you happy within said parameters? (a valuable lesson to learn for when "work" becomes a thing in your life) Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 02:35, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
(WARNING: I may inadvertently seem nit-picky from this point on. I apologise in advance.) I prefer the wiki style to a blog style, and I don't know what you mean by your second point. The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 02:40, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
1. Start your own wiki, then. 2. Unless you are both unbelievably good and unbelievably lucky, you will spent most of your life faced with limitations being placed in an almost arbitrary fashion around your skills and abilities. The happiest people are those who find ways to work within and challenge the those constraints and do good meaningful and satisfying work. Theory of Practice Still tryin' to figure it all out. 02:52, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Is there any way my work can still be on this website? I'm going to create a navbar just for my taxonomic works. Is there any way to hide or minimise the "User:HeidelbergKid/" part so that, say, the title for this article will just appear be "Cyanobacteria"? Say, turn the colour of the "User:HeidelbergKid/" transparent and shrink it to size 1? I want this community to be able to access it. I want to link to articles within RationalWiki. Please help. (Sorry if I seem like an asshole.) The Heidelberg Kid (talk) 03:14, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but trying to do so will win you absolutely no friends.--Mikal Harass Follow 04:12, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
There are ways to change the title of a page, but I think that would not be a good move, especially if you create a navbox to move between your separate HKwiki within RW. It would easily create the impression that your userspace articles were actual articles.
ToP's words are crazy-wise, and you should listen to him.--ADtalkModerator 04:23, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, HeidelbergKid, | welcome to the club.--Logic and Empricism (talk) 22:39, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

A not-so-pointless poll[edit]

Alright, the big day is soon. Can the hive mind figure out what's going to happen? Theory of Practice Haters gonna hate. 17:01, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

What will the outcome of the 2012 presidential election be?
Obama wins electoral college and the popular vote75Vote
Romney wins electoral college and the popular vote3Vote
Obama wins electoral college, but loses the popular vote26Vote
Romney wins electoral college, but loses the popular vote1Vote
Electoral college tied, sending it to Congress1Vote
When will we have a winner? (all times Eastern Standard Time)
Before 10 PM, on 6 November3Vote
Between 10 PM and midnight17Vote
Sometime between midnight and 6 AM on 7 November24Vote
Later in the day on 7 November3Vote
Later in the week1Vote
Repeat of the 2000 election clusterfuck. Hanging chads, court cases, recriminations, bitterness.29Vote
This should be the so-called pointless poll, get it on there and make sure it doesn't get changed in the next two weeks.
The Beeb also has a decent Electoral College predictor, if there's any better ones link them. I'm calling 276-262 Obama. Osaka Sun (talk) 18:03, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Judging by poll averages, I'm predicting a 277-261 Obama win, which is close enough to make me consider taking up drinking, just in case. Vulpius (talk) 22:58, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Er, I'm not sure why, but when I encountered this poll widget, there were 2 votes on it, and mine seem to have already been made; when I clicked on a choice, it deducted one point from the other option. Then, on the pointless poll, same thing. My IP address hasn't changed recently and I don't run any proxy hosts, so I know nobody else has been going and voting on RW polls from my house. Weird. If this's happening to anyone else, it might be worth posting on Tech support. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 00:11, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Check tech support. There are some issues with the polls correctly identifying IPs since the front end was messed with to cope with traffic spikes. Hence votes are currently unreliable. Scarlet A.pngd hominemModerator 00:23, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Hurrr. I should've checked tech support first; that's exactly the behaviour I'm experiencing. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 01:01, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
Are polls working properly now? I didn't notice this until just now. If there's still a problem, RAISE IT AT TECH SUPPORT SO WE NOTICE - David Gerard (talk) 19:24, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Nate Silver is my homeboy - David Gerard (talk) 19:24, 30 October 2012 (UTC)


RationalWiki Proven Right (again)[edit]

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Trusworthy Encyclopedia. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 05:39, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Cool cockatoo[edit]

Quote: "A cockatoo from a species not known to use tools in the wild has been observed spontaneously making and using tools for reaching food and other objects." [4] --PsyGremlinPraat! 17:48, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

It's only a matter of time now... "I, for one, welcome our new avian overlords..." MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 17:54, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Cockatool? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 18:18, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
FSM help us all. For a minute I was thinking of cockatiels... the ones I've met have been affectionate sociable birds. Cockatoos on the other hand are obnoxious screechy stroppy destructive assholes. That said, it looks like I'm hosed, come the revolution. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:22, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
One day, parrotkind will stop eating paint, forgetting what its own eggs look like, and crapping on their own feet only to proceed to track it all over the known universe. But today is not that day. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 20:20, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
if they are using sticks thats one thing. Weaving nets, smelting bronze and making catapults is another. They need to be watched in case they start using Budgies as shock troops. Hamster (talk) 00:18, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
I'd not worry too much until they build their first Wonder. Then you need to start trying to cripple them before they're able to enter the Classical Era and begin building catapults and ballistas. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 05:58, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

"he has got the knowledge to love all people, he doesn't have the knowledge of division, that is why he has won."[edit]

Such beautiful words from Sarah Obama, Barack Obama's paternal grandmother--"Shut up, Brx." 19:19, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

I can't tell if you're being sincere, or ridiculing a 90-year-old non-native speaker for the words she's using to praise her grandson. Not that it matters. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:00, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think she was speaking in English, I think the statement was translated. And even if it wasn't translated, I very much find it a heart-warming concept.--"Shut up, Brx." 03:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
She speaks Luo, and only a little English. You can hear her here. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 04:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Another election[edit]

Some distraction from the US election, but more serious than the cockatoo: Patriarch Maxim,Wikipedia's W.svg the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, has died at the ripe old age of 98. His successor will be elected by the other senior clerics sometime these days. Whoever is the new guy, I hope he doesn't push the Church towards fundieism.--ZooGuard (talk) 20:36, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Is Fundamentalism really a current of note in the Eastern churches? All my friends from Areas it's dominant in don't seem to ever mention it.--Mikal Harass Follow 05:25, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Not so much fundamentalism itself, but their political influence is strong. Ask Pussy Riot. SophieWilder 14:23, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
There are outbursts of "let's do it by the book", such as the occasional priest railing against abortion and/or birth control in general, but the Church leaders tend to maintain a more moderate line. Not that this is saying much - Maxim pushed, mostly ineffectually, for the introduction of religious instruction in schools (that is, the state-funded, public schools). The BOC can't do much not because it doesn't want to, but because it can't. They were almost squashed during the Commie times (there are still clerics who are former agents/informers of the secret police), and they spent the 1990s and early 2000s mostly bickering amongst themselves over property and leadership (for a while, the BOC was split into two synods, each one claiming their patriarch was the only legitimate one). For the last years, as Bulgaria has recovered economically, the Church has been regaining slowly and even started to push-back against the competition (the Protestant churches, JWs, LDS and other "sects" that managed to get in during the 1990s chaos, not to mention Vanga and Petar Dunov). So yeah, there's a chance that a new, younger and more energetic patriarch will try to get more close to the government, with unpleasant consequences (e.g. ending up with the same situation as in Russia).--ZooGuard (talk) 08:27, 8 November 2012 (UTC)