RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive192

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is an archive page, last updated 15 February 2013. Please do not make edits to this page.
Archives for this talk page:
<1>, <2>, <3>, <4>, <5>, <6>, <7>, <8>, <9>, <10>, <11>, <12>, <13>, <14>, <15>, <16>, <17>, <18>, <19>, <20>, <21>, <22>, <23>, <24>, <25>, <26>, <27>, <28>, <29>, <30>, <31>, <32>, <33>, <34>, <35>, <36>, <37>, <38>, <39>, <40>, <41>, <42>, <43>, <44>, <45>, <46>, <47>, <48>, <49>, <50>, <51>, <52>, <53>, <54>, <55>, <56>, <57>, <58>, <59>, <60>, <61>, <62>, <63>, <64>, <65>, <66>, <67>, <68>, <69>, <70>, <71>, <72>, <73>, <74>, <75>, <76>, <77>, <78>, <79>, <80>, <81>, <82>, <83>, <84>, <85>, <86>, <87>, <88>, <89>, <90>, <91>, <92>, <93>, <94>, <95>, <96>, <97>, <98>, <99>, <100>, <101>, <102>, <103>, <104>, <105>, <106>, <107>, <108>, <109>, <110>, <111>, <112>, <113>, <114>, <115>, <116>, <117>, <118>, <119>, <120>, <121>, <122>, <123>, <124>, <125>, <126>, <127>, <128>, <129>, <130>, <131>, <132>, <133>, <134>, <135>, <136>, <137>, <138>, <139>, <140>, <141>, <142>, <143>, <144>, <145>, <146>, <147>, <148>, <149>, <150>, <151>, <152>, <153>, <154>, <155>, <156>, <157>, <158>, <159>, <160>, <161>, <162>, <163>, <164>, <165>, <166>, <167>, <168>, <169>, <170>, <171>, <172>, <173>, <174>, <175>, <176>, <177>, <178>, <179>, <180>, <181>, <182>, <183>, <184>, <185>, <186>, <187>, <188>, <189>, <190>, <191>, <193>, <194>, <195>, <196>, <197>, <198>, <199>, <200>, <201>, <202>, <203>, <204>, <205>, <206>, <207>, <208>, <209>, <210>, <211>, <212>, <213>, <214>, <215>, <216>, <217>, <218>, <219>, <220>, <221>, <222>, <223>, <224>, <224½>, <225>, <226>, <227>, <228>, <229>, <230>, <231>, <232>, <233>, <234>, <235>, <236>, <237>, <238>, <239>, <240>, <241>, <242>, <243>, <244>, <245>, <246>, <247>, <248>, <249>, <250>, <251>, <252>, <253>, <254>, <255>, <256>, <257>, <258>, <259>, <260>, <261>, <262>, <263>, <264>, <265>, <266>, <267>, <268>, <269>, <270>, <271>, <272>, <273>, <274>, <275>, <276>, <277>, <278>, <279>, <280>, <281>, <282>, <283>, <284>, <285>, <286>, <287>, <288>, <289>, <290>, <291>, <292>, <293>, <294>, <295>, <296>, <297>, <298>, <299>, <300>, <301>, <302>, <303>, <304>, <305>, <306>, <307>, <308>, <309>, <310>, <311>, <312>, <313>, <314>, <315>, <316>, <317>, <318>, <319>, <320>, <321>, <322>, <323>, <324>, <325>, <326>, <327>, <328>, <329>, <330>, <331>, <332>, <333>, <334>, <335>, <336>, <337>, <338>, <339>, <340>, <341>, <342>, <343>, <344>, <345>, <346>, <347>, <348>, <349>, <350>, <351>, <352>, <353>, <354>, <355>, <356>, <357>, <358>, <359>, <360>, <361>, <362>, <363>, <364>, <365>, <366>, <367>, <368>, <369>, <370>, <371>, <372>, <373>, <374>, <375>, <376>, <377>, <378>, <379>, <380>, <381>, <382>, <383>, <384>, <385>, <386>, <387>, <388>, <389>, <390>, <391>, <392>, <393>, <394>, <395>, <396>, <397>, <398>, <399>, <400>, <401>, <402>, <403>, <404>, <405>, <406>, <407>, <408>, <409>, <410>, <411>, <412>, <413>, <414>, <415>, <416>, <417>, <418>, <419>, <420>, <421>, <422>, <423>, <424>, <425>, <426>, <427>, <428>, <429>, <430>, <431>, <432>, <433>, <434>, <435>, <436>, <437>, <438>, <439>, <440>, <441>, <442>, <443>, <444>, <445>, <446>, <447>, <448>, <449>, <450>, <451>, <452>, <453>
, (new)(back)

Podcasting patent troll[edit]

Might be a bit too old to wigo, but apparently there's a group claiming a patent on any "apparatus for disseminating a series of episodes represented by media files via the Internet as said episodes become available." Bit of a dick move there—is there any chance of that succeeding, do you think? Peter mqzp 08:39, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

I would hope any judge would look at it and laugh at that. It doesn't say how it works, it basically just said "We own the rights to disseminating media files over the internet" I'd be like me going and claiming I have patent rights on the render of the Latin alphabet over webpages. --Revolverman (talk) 09:53, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Getting a patent overturned is expensive, so a patent troll can do a lot of damage even with a totally frivolous / invalid patent. --Tweenk (talk) 22:57, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Gutting on the limits of psychiatry[edit]

In The Stone. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:47, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Will somebody with the ability to do so please shut off IP editing for a while.[edit]

Nobody wants that, I know. But community members have been wasting their time for 24 hours now cleaning up after a child. To allow someone to piss all over the house and not care that community members have to clean up the mess seems unreasonable, and frankly, as though we as a community have no respect for the people doing the senseless work of cleaning up. It's bullshit. Make it stop. Theory of Practice "...and we do love you madly." 21:39, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Done. TyJFBANBSRADA 21:44, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Awesome. Theory of Practice "...and we do love you madly." 21:45, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
It's been a 1/2 hour since the filter was tripped. IPs can edit again. TyJFBANBSRADA 22:43, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't know, but this website has a ban on IP Proxys, and has something in the website's code that prevents IP Proxys from filling out captchas. And in order to register, you need to fill out a captcha. A long term solution to idiots like Brasov is to ask (or otherwise find out) how that site prevents IP Proxys from filling out captchas, and include that in this website's code, and require IP edits and users that need to be patrolled to fill out a captcha. Bam, magic. I'd ask them myself, but I left on what you could call "bad terms". Something about me being a colossal asshole.--Token Conservative (talk) 23:21, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
One problem is that it slows down the site checking that information for each edit. Peter mqzp 23:23, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't know how its done, but its worth looking at.--Token Conservative (talk) 23:32, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
@Peter - it doesn't slow down the site. It might slow down the speed at which the server processes edit requests, but the site itself is unaffected by this stuff. @Hamilton - We already have captchas for anonymous editors whenever they try to make certain edits. I don't know how, but the author of the vandalbot has managed to evade them. Maybe we could look into a) getting better captchas and b) requiring captchas for every edit for IPs and users who are not autoconfirmed. Blue (is useful) 2013-02-06T23:51:40
I remember reading something about programmers making bots that can fill out captchas. With the site I linked to, an IP Proxy prevents you from seeing the captcha, but that might not stop a bot that can fill them out.--Token Conservative (talk) 23:58, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
$wgEnableDnsBlacklist = true;
$wgDnsBlacklistUrls = array( 'xbl.spamhaus.org', 'opm.tornevall.org' );
ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 07:45, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

IP blocking poll[edit]

I can switch on blackholing, but it's a bit of a major change to site policies. I appreciate there's a ton o' crap coming down. So, mob:

Block proxy IPs for 2 days



Don't block them



I'll give it an hour or two - David Gerard (talk) 08:12, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Why just two days? Surely a committed vandal (such as Brasov) would just wait it out. David, can you tell us about the current captcha system for anonymous editing? Blue (is useful) 08:16, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Two days to see what the impact is. Our current captcha system asks "What is the nth letter of our name under the logo?" which, being completely different from the usual literally-worse-than-useless MediaWiki captcha system, completely confuses the usual spambot - they create accounts, but fail to do anything with them. So it filters out bots and restricts attacks to malicious dickheads. And unfortunately, having a wiki open to editing and that openly invites people to edit and argue with us means the malicious dickheads come along for the ride. And RW has long had a policy against restricting the right to be a dickhead on the wiki, so I'm quite reluctant to arbitrarily change that by technical fiat without serious operational reason or rough mob consensus. Nor use a two-hour poll that's first thing in the morning UK or middle of the night US to make a permanent change. We can see if it causes collateral damage - David Gerard (talk) 08:30, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
The captcha extension is QuestyCaptcha - David Gerard (talk) 08:38, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting we permanently disable proxies. But isn't there some way at least of restricting the malicious dickheads that isn't outright blocking all proxies? Maybe proxies have to do two captchas? Or have their rate restricted to like 1 every 10 minutes? Spitballing here. Blue (is useful) 08:38, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
We have the vandal brake for this sort of thing. Just stick the IPs in there. PsyGremlinParlez! 09:07, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Ah, Psy, I think you missed the vandal bot attack. Blue (pester) 09:16, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
So you're proposing that we shut the stable door after the horse has bolted and been made into burgers? rpeh •TCE 09:19, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Vandalism is easy to revert and binning them would even slow a bot down enough so the problem could be managed. If we're going to go that route, why not ban IP editing all together and force people to create accounts? PsyGremlin講話 09:45, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Not when the bot has a few thousand IPs to play with. --Revolverman (talk) 09:49, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, this bot was constantly switching IPs. Rpeh: I didn't propose anything, if you actually read my comments. Blue (pester) 09:52, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Wouldn't a more elegant solution be go give members the ability to lock the data base for a bit? That way, even his he has a zillion IPs if he can't do anything, he'll get bored and go away, and it only takes one click. (what CP calls "Siteadmin") PsyGremlinTala! 10:02, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Blue, not everything is about you. I was referring to the whole poll. Stupid idea. rpeh •TCE 10:22, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, work ate my brain. I glance back and it's 4 for, 7 against as I write this. (I was a "for", fwiw.) I don't feel this is enough for me to switch off proxy editing (not all IP editing, just via proxies) at this stage.
I do think we could do with some sort of serious discussion on the topic - how to stay ridiculously open, and invite our critics (many of whom will initially be incoherent) to engage with us, without it being a goddamn PITA to deal with malicious idiots - David Gerard (talk) 11:34, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't have any problem with blocking proxies. The only thing they're useful for is allowing people to edit from dictatorships and a convenience to people who usually use them for privacy. Anyone who is demoted would be unaffected anyway. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 16:58, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
The other thing that I would like to add is that disabling IP editing or account creation as a reaction to a vandal is a very bad idea. All it does is signal to the troll that they are winning, and it doesn't make anyone more likely to make an account or email in for an account. I think in the latter people are less likely to do that. Taking down either of those things also is harmful because it announces to everyone else that you are playing by the troll and allowing them to dictate policy. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 17:05, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
stopping trolls shows them they are wining? Total bollocks. How does this idea work? Letting him piss all over the wiki shows him he's winning. Let him gloat from his damp rustbelt apartment if he wants, as long as he can't trash the place. If I went to my local kitchen store and smashed a load of plates, they'd throw me out. How is that my victory? SophieWilder 17:23, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Hey, Sophie, this is apparently all your fault anyways. Seriously, just go with the flow. Let the BoNs shit all over the wiki, it's all good. The peons will clean up the mess. I figure I'll start reverting the reversions of the vandalism next attack, because really, it's no biggie. Theory of Practice "...and we do love you madly." 17:30, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

"Hey, this website has been attacked by a moron. Let's do absolutely nothing to prevent him from doing it in the future, so that he can continue to do absolutely anything he wants!" says 20 out of 38 RW posters. Seriously, the arguments being made against this is freaking amazing! "Oh, we cannot use basic site safety because that means the trolls win!" Hey, here's an idea, apply that to any company of country: "We cannot sue anyone who slanders the company, because that means they win!", or "We cannot arrest murderers, because that means they win!" Really, what the fuck is the matter with some of the people who are here? Are you so freaking terrified of success that you simply cannot allow for any kind of site administration? Its like this site is run by a bunch of stupid anarchic children--Token Conservative (talk) 20:25, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

seeing as there are fewer than 20 people who have taken the time to revert the child who is doing this, many of the people who voted "no" can just go eat a bag of cocks, as far as I'm concerned. Theory of Practice "...and we do love you madly." 20:29, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely. Being away from one's computer should be the single criterion on which we make this decision. You're a particularly pointless individual these days, ToP. rpeh •TCE 22:05, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I just explained how to block proxies. It's two lines in LocalSettings.php. I've used it before, and so has someone else I know who had a problem with a vandal who was extremely immature. Block their IP address and us IP blacklists to stop them from using proxies. Don't stop allowing anons to edit when it is wiki practice that anons are allowed to edit. What your suggesting is like closing down a store and requiring anyone who wants to enter to become a registered customer before they can shop. You will run out of business very fast. Also, the best approach to dealing with vandals is to deny recognition. By all means, implement new anti vandal features where needed, but don't create whole new policies because of one vandal or do anything that could give them the impression that they've altered wiki policy or structure because it's just going to encourage them. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 22:32, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

The fascination with "privacy" here has never made sense to me. Why in the world do we allow the use of proxies at all? Trent and David are the only ones with access to the Apache logs for RW and if you honestly think they care who you are unless you're doing something disruptive, you're not that cool. Your secret's safe with them. Why endure periodic vandalism sprees from people who are obviously regular editors trolling for fun? I just don't get it. I actually understand quite well. This site's lifeblood is drama. Any kind of drama at all. When things get boring, someone's going to stir some shit up to fill the silence. Looks like you've got lots of fun times ahead of you. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 00:13, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Just pointing out[edit]

Since it was set up, the filter has caught him about 1000 times, with him giving up his last run 2 minutes ago. TyCarnival time. 00:26, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

OK, that's getting to "operational reasons". Proxy filter going on - David Gerard (talk) 07:51, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Revert bot[edit]

Would it be feasible to set up some kind of revert-bot so that when we identify & block a vandal IP, we can just give the IP number to the bot & will it rollback all the IP's contributions, rather than a user sitting there & doing each one individually? ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:47, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

troll will ljsut make tons of IPs then, and it will be one edit per IP. and i don't think a bot would help much under those circumstances. I sometimes get why andy just had "no editing when i'm not around". :-) I'd never advocate that, but boy would it be easier. Could there be a tool to stop all new accounts (last 24 hours) from editing for 30 minues or one hour that someone could quietly push? Green mowse.pngGodot She was a venus demilo in her sister's jeans 22:12, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Are you suggesting... night mode? SophieWilder 22:28, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
I think this could be a good idea, but rollback could be defeated by having more than one IP or username make edits to the page. A rollback bot would then just rollback to vandalism. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 22:34, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
At least with this vandal, rolling back their edits is much faster than blocking. Just refresh here and rollback everything you see, checking after the fact to make sure you didn't hit the occasional innocent. Peter mqzp 22:40, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
A bot (like an abuse filter) would have a very hard time recognizing the type of vandalism at work here. In addition, since it uses proxies, a lot of these IPs have a history of edits to RW from multiple people, many not vandals. And finally, except between 1am and 6am EST, when there's very little activity, it would end up being faster to manually revert (as the bot would only run every minute or so like Capturebot2—we don't want it constantly pinging the API a dozen times per second). Blue (pester) 23:14, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
The bot wouldn't have to recognise the vandalism as such. One of us would notice a vandal spree in RC, block the relevant IP & then copy the IP address to the bot page. The bot could then revert every edit by that IP (say within the last 24 hours, so it doesn't pick up old edits by the same proxy) which hadn't already been reverted. It doesn't matter if there is a few minutes lag before the bot reverts the edit; it would still cut down on unnecessary manual reversion. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:40, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
But that's a huge amount of effort to replace a single-click revert. And it's still a cleanup system—we really need a way to prevent the vandalism in the first place. Peter mqzp 23:49, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
(EC) See, the way this vandal bot worked was that it made several edits from one IP and then switched to another, and so on. Copy-pasting an IP to a particular page—especially when we would have to do this for hours and hours on end—is a fair amount of work. And it probably wouldn't function during those times of day when the wiki gets only a few edits an hour. Blue (is useful) 23:52, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Copy-pasting an IP to one page is less work than doing a separate rollback on the dozen or so pages it's hit. When you do a bunch of rollbacks on this kind of vandal, then go back to RC, you usually find the vandal's struck again in the meantime from a different IP & you have to repeat the whole process (if nobody else is already on it) & so on. But if you could just block the IP & copy the number over to the bot, you could go back to RC straight away & probably catch the vandal again quicker next time it strikes. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:59, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
The same IP only hits two or three pages, and if you hit the rollback button with a middle-click you stay on the RC page and can rollback several edits in a second. Peter mqzp 00:01, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Bully for you; my laptop doesn't have a middle-click. & The same IP usually hits as many pages as it can before it gets blocked. One of the ones I blocked earlier hit 15 pages within 3 minutes. If it was a quiet time, it could probably hit a lot more. The blocking process is kindof inefficient, what with the dropdown boxes & everything, & the vandal may well hit more pages while you're sorting it out. If we could set up a bot so that you would just need to copy the IP to it, & the bot would then do the block and the reversions (&/or deleting any new pages created by the vandal IP), that would cut down the manual processes involved in dealing with vandalism quite a lot. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:15, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Does clicking both left and right buttons work? Anyway, there would be a better way of doing that option: add a link next to "(talk | contribs | block)" that blocks via javascript in a single click, using a block reason that could be picked up by the bot scanning the block log. No need for page editing. Peter mqzp 00:21, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I was kindof thinking along similar lines. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:37, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Proxy blocking is on[edit]

This is getting to the "operational reasons" level. I've switched on IP proxy blocking. Note this only blocks proxies (supposedly, we'll see if it works) - plain IPs should still work fine. Once we switch IP editing back on ... where's that switch, could someone please allow IPs again? - David Gerard (talk) 07:58, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Just disabled that filter. Blue (pester) 08:08, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Ah, it's an abusefilter! That's clever ... OK, my IP can edit. I'll hang on RC for a bit looking for fuckwits - David Gerard (talk) 08:12, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

BTW - my current idea is to leave this on for a coupla days, with rough criteria that it blocks the botlike abuse but lets indignant idiots argue with us (if they're not Brasov). I can think of ways to get new IPs with a bit of work, but it is a bit of work. Let's see what happens - David Gerard (talk) 08:34, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Note, btw, that it will also block proxies for logged-in users. Dunno if anyone here has reasonable cause for that level of paranoia. Email Trent and me if you do (we're the only ones who can see a logged-in user's IP even in principle, though in practice I've never looked and would have to work out where to) and we'll try to work out what can reasonably be done in the face of a vandalbot attack - David Gerard (talk) 08:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
So far so good ... is there anyone who has Tor browsing who could please tell me what they see when they try to edit, logged-out or logged-in? (Email me if you don't want to reveal your use publicly.) - David Gerard (talk) 10:19, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Does it block Proxima too? SophieWilder 10:52, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

If I had a "hard of thinking" filter for the Internet I'd be far too rich to be here - David Gerard (talk) 11:09, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Minnesota Moose Mystery[edit]

Moose are mysteriously dying in Minnesota.

Has anyone looked for Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale? MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 18:19, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

It's the End Times!! God's moved on from killing flocks of innocent birds. Notice the signs and repent people!! Before the Vegans come for you in 2019... --PsyGremlin講話 08:01, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
As a native Minnesotan, hunter, conservationist, I am somebody deeply concerned about this issue, and I think there are a couple of factors that the Minnesota DNR has been ignoring for years that have caused this: a hunting season on the moose (they finally decided to cancel all hunting of moose this year, even though the population has been steadily declining for over a decade according to the DNR's own numbers), coupled with the fact that the white-tailed deer have been severely over-populated for years up in the northern part of state (where most of the moose have been relegated to) are what I think they'll find the biggest factors are. These factors have been well-known to the Minnesota conservationist community for a long time, and I'm shocked the the Minnesota DNR are just now, after all this time, finally pulling their heads out of their ass to deal with it. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 09:21, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Marcus Bachmann's suffocating in the closet and needs to bugger something, perhaps? Polite Timesplitter come shout at me for being thick 17:40, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

The NYTBR on Nagel's latest.[edit]

Thomas Nagel's latest book discussed here. Theory of Practice "...and we do love you madly." 18:47, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

Shorter: Nagel pulls a Jerry Fodor. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:30, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
He's on the Templeton tit - David Gerard (talk) 09:23, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Who else gets incredibly annoyed with this?[edit]

When some event that is considered "breaking news" like this police chase in LA or sandy hook or what have you occurs, and due to expected media contradiction because human beings aren't perfect, you have a huge movement of nuts that says "they contradicted themselves! Its a hoax!". Who else gets fucking annoyed as shit when that happens?--P3A58NT86 03:14, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I just generally detest those nutbars :| Brenden (talk) 03:16, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
They're scum. They're self-aggrandizing clowns who don't know the first thing about rational thought, and they don't care who they hurt in the process of spreading their stupidity. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 04:15, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

As a media major, the only thing the news can report is information that was given to them or that they were able to gather; it is not always sloppy reporting that does this, but that there are many contradictory stories from witnesses who experienced different perspectives of the same event, withholding of information by official sources or the lack of established reports, and the problems posed by developing situations. YES, SOME bad or inaccurate stories are because of lazy or sloppy reporting. But others are because of incomplete information; if you WAIT for ALL of the story to come out, then you will have published AFTER every other news source and you will lose the story. That's just how it is; it used to be that newspapers published news twice a day and that was it, you had at least a little time to wait for a situation to develop fully. But now, if you are on the beat, YOU HAD BETTER BE on the beat or you lose the story and you end up informing nobody at all. What's important is that news sources clarify, correct, and contextualize what they have put down so the public gets the full picture of not only what happened but how the information became available to the press. The fact that news reporting is ALSO a story not just of the event, but of the reporter and what information became available and when, is lost on lots of goofballs who like to cry wolf on every single possible error.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRmore at 11 04:20, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
9/11 truthers love this type of "argument" too. Reporters had incomplete information on the morning of the attacks, therefore Dubyadiddit. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:33, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Look what happened when Anna Nicole Smith died; all day long "Breaking News" on CNN with live reporters lurking in hospital stair wells to ambush laundry attendants for the "latest news"; and when that dried up, they went to Wikipedia on air for more updates. Face it, News reporting is a profit making entity, and as long as the public's appetite for bullshit is unquenched, sponsors will continue paying the bloated salaries of reporters and anchors who masquerade as public servants. nobsSay hello to my leetle friend 07:55, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
A professor of mine said it best: "Why is it news that Anna Nicole Smith died? She was taking incredible amounts of drugs and living a very unhealthy lifestyle. She lived to die. CNN should have reported every morning she woke up." Apokalyps2547 (talk) 16:13, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
News is what sells newspapers - OK, news is what brings in viewers to TV news shows. The UK Daily Express used to see a massive (33%?) jump in circulation every time they put Lady Di on the front page. Guess what they did again and again and again and again and .... You really can't blame the news media for giving the punters what they want. Innocent Bystander (talk) 16:17, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
You can't blame them, but you should label them correctly. When they are no longer finding out what happened but simply "giving the punters what they want" that's not journalism and there's no reason it should enjoy any of the protections we would ordinarily provide for the Fourth Estate. For example, "young woman sunbathes topless" is not news in France, or indeed pretty much any of Europe. But "the punters" wanted pictures of a semi-naked future Queen and they got them. Likewise, "teenage pop star dates boy" is not news but somebody at a "newspaper" felt it was worth breaking the law to get the "story". If you want protection for an oversight role then you've got to act like oversight, not like a Peeping Tom. An example of what journalists should be doing was the MP's expenses story. Journalists went after data that they, rightly, believed was in the public's interest to be available, and then they ran a series of stories about the news that specific members had their hands in the till, and that others were complicit in that activity. You could tell if you were buying a real daily newspaper, because some days it would be very thin, due to lack of news.
What fills the rest of the space? Sadly it's almost all advertising. Firstly of course there's the overt advertising, stuff that you can't mistake for news or editorial in any way. But that's very old hat. Next up there is stuff that looks like it's a "review" or background ("Today the smart money is in bio-diesel, we investigate why"), but is actually paid placement, some newspapers are at least good enough to label this stuff, in others you may struggle to tell that it was all written by a marketing company. Somebody at the newspaper may have proofread it, that's all. Finally you have "stories" that were sold into the paper by a specialist agency. Say you're Foo Corp, and you want people to buy your latest product, Bazingles (you know, for kids). Rather than place a full page advert, you hire an agency to get Bazingles into the public consciousness. The agency calls up Barry Shitpeas, who is a second tier scientist willing to whore himself out to get money to pay for a postdoc. They email Barry some info about Bazingles, and an outline, he drops in some technical mumbo-jumbo, maybe runs some numbers through a spreadsheet and signs off on it. Few hundred pounds go in the kitty for an hour's work. The stuff he's written isn't exactly false, it's mostly just nonsense. The agency sends newspapers a short summary, a photo of Bazingles, and suggested headlines like "Kids with Bazingles are 18% happier". If nobody famous has been photographed drunkenly falling out of a taxi then it goes on page 24 of a newspaper, maybe a sub editor re-writes the headline "Happy kids love Bazingles" to fit the space better and some kid who is just discovering that "journalist" sounds good but doesn't pay very well gets the task of rewriting the body. If Foo Corp had paid more, they'd get a more impressive (but still largely bogus) story and maybe make it onto page 5 or so. Because the newspaper wrote what actually appeared they class it as "news" even though in reality it's just another advertisement and a poorly disguised one. (talk)
I hope you're not trashing the BBC now, cause honest to God, I have to watch the first 10 minutes of BBC America to find out what's happening in Washington or Mali since Diane Sawyer at ABC usually leads with the latest child obesity report. nobsSay hello to my leetle friend 18:53, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I was particularly thinking about newspapers. The BBC doesn't run any newspapers (for the general public). Regarding its news website, it has been taken to task for poor science journalism, in particular for not bothering to provide any citations (this is the web, there is never "too little space") and offering misleading "he said, she said" balance instead of actually weighing the evidence. I believe the citations thing has improved, though it still falls someway short of what a reasonable person might ask for. I don't watch TV news, haven't for years. In fact I don't watch any live television as a general rule. I do still know some people who do but they're thinning out. (talk) 21:37, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

pH measurement of DI water[edit]

This is unrelated to RW, but I know there are a fair number of scientists on here, so I figure it's worth asking. Has anyone ever had trouble getting an accurate pH reading of DI water? It should come out right around 7, but the meter in my lab is showing it as close to 8. I've tested other (buffered) solutions, and they are measuring where they should, so I'm wondering if it's just something with the lack of ions messing with the probe. I've tried two different samples of DI water from different DI systems, with the same result, so I don't think it's something wrong w/ the water system, but it is a possibility.Mcnamara12 (talk) 21:00, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Deionized water will never have a pH of exactly 7. Over time, it will dissolve CO2, making it slightly acidic. If it's stored in a glass bottle, it will leach things from the glass, which can make it slightly alkaline. If you want to check the purity of deionized water, use a conductometer, not a pH-meter. --Tweenk (talk) 00:27, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

RW editors with on-mission blogs[edit]

So who here has a blog with reasonably regular on-mission content? Ones not yet listed on WIGO:Blogs#Blogs_run_by_RationalWikians - David Gerard (talk) 11:32, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but haven't really done anything interesting with it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:36, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I have a whole series about debunking MRA planned but writing close-to-well is hard. Blue (is useful) 12:51, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm finding it hard to re-motivate myself after the festive season lay-off. I look at all the douchebaggery I've already collected this year, then have to go and lie down for a bit, until my faith in humanity is restored... --PsyGremlin講話 13:08, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
If you're willing to include politics I can write something up about Louisiana. TyCarnival time. 13:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
If you wrote it as an article would people accept its missionality? - David Gerard (talk) 16:31, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Creationism in the classroom? Most likely. I'll hack something out for this evening. TyCarnival time. 17:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
So far, in active-in-2013 and missiony, I have the blogs of Psygremlin, Skeptical Raptor, Lady Corvex, JzG and Blue. And PalMD, who's edited on RW at least five times in the past year. Any others? - David Gerard (talk) 16:31, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Is Answers in Genghis still going? SophieWilder 16:43, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
It's there, last post November, previous post 2010. Genghis, this still alive (or ever quite alive)? - David Gerard (talk) 17:13, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
It is still my intention to write a mainly geology themed blog which either debunks specific creationist claims or highlights things which prove why the Earth is old. However, it is going to require some research and at the moment my life is full with other things such as finishing my observatory, doing an online course, redecorating the house, keeping the missus happy and traveling the globe in the name of work - last month Chile and the Falkland Islands, next week Rio de Janeiro. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 09:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
If we have one idea for *a single blog, (Or if, like me, we just suck at bothering to write often enough to justify our own "blog"), there is "guest space" at the RW blogs for the now and then, pulled out of my hit, bit of rare but wonderful insights? Green mowse.pngGodot She was a venus demilo in her sister's jeans 17:29, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Totally, like the PeterL and Brendiggg posts. Write and it'll probably go up. I've been wracking my brain for things to post each day, the more from others the happier I am - David Gerard (talk) 17:39, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I do have a blog that I post in quite often. Not sure on RW mission it is and it is hardly ever viewed. Maybe if any satisfy the mission statement then a post could move over to the RW blog. L'homme de la Perspective Discusez? 22:01, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I have a blog I've updated on average once every three weeks that is about social/political philosophy, if that's on topic.--Token Conservative (talk) 22:28, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

This is what homophobia embedded in society looks like[edit]

So, well...okay, first of all there's this clip I stumbled on a couple weeks ago about the butt chugging incident. First thing out of their mouths? Boils down to "We understand your concern...but there was nothing homoerotic about this activity which can introduce fatal amounts of alcohol into the system." The other thing is just what you'll see on every sexuality forum / NSFW imageboard ever: man is aroused by very effeminate crossdressers / wants his GF / wife to do something with his ass. #1 concern? "DURR DOES THIS MAEK ME GAY". For fuck's sake, I'm quite sure that the pleasure I derive from the same thing has more to do with the fact I'm touching a ton of nerves in the right place and less to do with the fact that I'm feeling chirpy because a website with a pink background I frequent is back / I had a nice cocktail earlier / I saw a cute guy today. Have some common fucking sense.

This shit is what you get when we're stuck in a society where you're either gay or straight, either a boy or a girl, no in between, no fluidity, no spectrum, end of. I'm not 100% / 110% / 1 gorillion percent what I think I am / wish to be, therefore I'm totally the opposite. I thought of something the teeniest bit gay / thought of something associated widely with gays, SO I MUST BE GAY, AND THAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN TO ME!!!!11!!!!1 instead of thinking about if you'd treat someone well / accidentally rupturing your rectum. Fucking hell. So many people are geting bent a damn ton out of shape over something this bloody frivolous: "I'm not a sodding overflowing fountain of machismo, woe, woe!" It's so pissing hard to not reply to these ideas without using that blasted word but calm the fuck down people, it's natural, you're not the only one, and even if you aren't what you thought you are, why does it even damn matter so much? It shouldn't! It's perfectly damn fine, now shut up and go do it, fuck!

  • Cough* So...</rant>? I don't evenknow if I'm just venting with this or not. Not only is it obscenely stupid, but I'm not particularly fond of hearing that being "like me" is one of the worst things you could imagine, it's probably even worse than "it's a choice". Damn it, I hope we don't take decades to stop this black-and-white stupid prudishness. I think I need a hug. Polite Timesplitter come shout at me for being thick 17:23, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Some people will tell you that in X years, homophobia will be as publicly distasteful as racism, and they're probably right. In X years, the laws which prevent LGBT people from enjoying full civil and human rights will go the way of the laws which prevented African-Americans from doing the same, and gay jokes and slurs in polite society will be as rare as coon jokes and N-bombs--not vanished, but only told in places that are deemed safe for that sort of behavior, and probably a good reason to get called out for if uttered in public. But homophobia, like racism, will be with us forever, because gender normativity and heteronormativity, like racial hierarchies and sexism, are foundational to Western society and modernity. We'll jst find different ways to normalize those things; I just pimped this book to another editor. I think many aspects of its basic argument -- that the laws and codes which give expression to American racism have adapted to changing social and legal norms but that racial hatred remains a constant -- could probably be expanded to other kinds of marginalization. You'll be able to get married, and your adopted gay kids may be able to join the Boy Scouts, but the hatred won't necessarily go away, and society will find new ways to maintain the inequality. Theory of Practice Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 17:41, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Intuitively I don't think you're entirely right. There is a cultural force which urges discrimination against the "other", and you're right that it's perpetual. But that force doesn't have much reason to focus on race other than the visually obvious distinction which barely sets it above clothing-based tribal affiliations. It has even less reason to worry about sexuality. A person who enjoys the same activities as me, goes to the same places, hangs out with the same people, talks the same way, is clearly a member of my tribe even if they (as they probably would, statistically) have different sexual preferences. I probably won't even know what their sexual preferences are. Sexism is maybe the most powerful of the divisive forces we're talking about, just because of the sheer numbers involved and because the group differences are so noticeable though, fortunately for us from an ethical point of view, still smaller than the individual variation in almost every case. I would definitely want to see hard evidence for "racial hatred remains a constant" because that would be a surprising finding. Is it in the book you linked? (talk) 22:09, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
The book doesn't deal with survey data or anything else that gauges how people see/feel about other races. What it does do is trace how the laws and practices that give expression to American racism have shifted to suit new social realities, from enslaving black people to legally and culturally limiting their ability to participate in society through Jim Crow, through the mass incarceration (which not only puts people in jail but denies them the right to vote and serve on juries; as well, draconian drug laws deny people the right to social services and justify taking away property) that she calls "The new Jim Crow." So it's no longer okay to discriminate against people because of the colour of their skin, but some important shifts in the ways laws were written and applied have allowed us to, on a massive scale, imprison and disenfranchise a racial group without acknowledging the racial dimensions -- "colour-blind racism." So we can all go to bed with easy consciences, because they're "criminals," not "black people." Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 22:21, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm going to riff off of what ToP said. Because this is also what people completely fail to understand about nondiscrimination law in civil rights. The view is commonly presented as "you can't legislate what people think," i.e., you can't legislate racism and homophobia and all that out of existence, so why bother? Another common formulation is that trying to legislate nondiscrimination "just incites more hatred" and thus only serves to make the problem worse. But all this completely misses the point. Nondiscrimination law is as much about a statement of value in our society as it is about making meaningful policy, and I say that because it's often ineffective and inefficient at actually ending discrimination. When we say "you can't fire a worker because he's gay," we're not trying to make it illegal to be homophobic. We are saying homosexuality should not be a limiting factor in anyone's life. If you want to go to court to challenge an unlawful dismissal, the power to you - but most don't, because it is, again, hard to actually make the law work as policy.

In this way, nondiscrimination law differs significantly from things like marriage equality - but the marriage prioritisers among us shouldn't forget that same-sex couples also face discrimination as a unit, and just because you get your marriage license does not mean you get to live as fulfilled a life as heterosexual couples do. On the contrary - a homophobic landlord isn't going to let you move onto his property just because you got married; he'll refuse you housing just as eagerly as before. We're not going to beat homophobia - but we ought to address it. Similarly, we're not going to beat racism - but we still passed the damn Civil Rights Act. I just don't get the resistance to a similar legislative program for LGBT people, especially among putative progressives. </rant> Blue (pester) 22:36, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

its not so much a question prioritising its more a question of what realisticly can achieved, and when and how it is to be achieved. Marriage equality is something, even stateside, that can be legislated for in relatively short order. I'm surprised that isn't already legislation in the US against discrimination in housing, and should be looked at. Things like homophobic bullying in schools and homophobic society and culture, legislation can't directly affect these things. This requires education and shifts in attitude. Legislation that targets discrimination and provides the same rights to all, particularly marriage equality, helps with this, helps normalise things. Every piece of legislation that goes through makes gay folk more and more acceptable in society, allowing more and more gay people to be visible across all strata of society. Eventually people just get used to each other. There will still be racists and there will still be homophobes, but it will be they who are increasing marginalised AMassiveGay (talk) 21:47, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Guess so, I guess it's just "the storm before the calm" in my generation. I wonder sometimes if I'd rather have been born 20 years down the line, or if it's best to see one of the biggest waves of change happening despite its roughness (the months preceding the public vote here will more than likely be some of the toughest to mentally survive in). ". When we say "you can't fire a worker because he's gay," we're not trying to make it illegal to be homophobic. We are saying homosexuality should not be a limiting factor in anyone's life." Such a great line. Reminds me of watching a recording of a debate for such a law, which was either the one Svoboda was at or the one with the crafty liberal pastor. Someone who was against the legislation said "If you think about it, this law will hurt you, because you could be employed by someone who hates you. Without it, you can be sure you'll oly be employed by those who approve." It's like that twat who said blacks should be thankful for slavery because it got them out of Africa. If I have an employer who hates me, let that be between them and I. Let me take that risk. Let me be free to run risks. I don't want straights policing my life, telling me they know what's best for me. <3 Polite Timesplitter come shout at me for being thick 00:23, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

The more things change, the more they get even worse[edit]

So I was writing this blog about women, feminism and RW, and the women writers around here, and went back to grab links from some of the abortion relate articles i wrote/edited. so much has happened IN JUST 12 LITTLE MONTHS that they are virtually all out of date. My god my country is fucked up.Green mowse.pngGodot She was a venus demilo in her sister's jeans 22:11, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Welcome to America?--Token Conservative (talk) 22:38, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
CO Senate votes on civil unions on Monday. Not all is lost. --Seth Peck (talk) 01:36, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

We need to expand the different but equal article significantly. That dumb Fox op-ed with the gay marriage photo has led to the most illogical comments I've ever heard on the subject ("being treated as equals doesn't mean women are equals"). Can we stop judging people on muscle mass or if they have a uterus already? Osaka Sun (talk) 03:37, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

No. Because that would just be too fucking difficult. Scarlet A.pngbomination 07:47, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Neuroplasticity and Homosexuality[edit]

What do you make of this? --P3A58NT86 22:51, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

A fetching Napoleon hat - David Gerard (talk) 23:01, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Of the tl;dr repost or the derp that Tom Usher is saying about it? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 07:50, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
WTF,they reference one of CPs articles? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 09:44, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't know about other people's brains, but MINE is NOT made of plastic. -- (talk) 10:16, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Message error[edit]

Happy Chinese New Year. Enjoy the fireworks if possible.

However, the message I get on my watchlist page says "Welcome to the Year of the Dragon". Actually, the Dragon year is ending and the Snake year starting. I do not know how to fix the message, so I am mentioning it here instead. Pashley (talk) 13:30, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Fuck Apple. Are there any alternatives to my i-pod touch?[edit]

So I have a three-year-old ipod touch that refuses to play nicely with my Linux-running computer. Why, in God's name, can't I just drop files into it and then play them on the go? Why must I "sync" it? Such unbearable bullshit. So, does anyone know of a product with a touchscreen that fits in my pocket on which I can load up podcasts, play Boggle, check my e-mail, do it all with Linux and not be a telephone? I do not want a telephone. Any help appreciated. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 14:22, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

A telephone with the SIM out? Frankly, it's rare to find something that much like a phone without being a phone - David Gerard (talk) 14:54, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
"that much like a phone." What I want is nothing like a phone. A phone is a device that sits on the counter. It has a wire attaching it to the wall and I use it to talk to my mother once a month or so. I have had phones for almost half a century. They do not play podcasts, or Boggle, or have operating systems, or check e-mail. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 14:57, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Put it this way: I think of my Blackberry as a book reader and MP3 player that occasionally annoys me with humans and their "communication" thing - David Gerard (talk) 15:00, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
With iTunes wifi synching, you DO just drop your files in and go on your way. You also subscribe to podcasts and forget all about it until you look at your phone and go "oh neat another Skeptics Guide is out." It's the killer feature. But you're on Linux so you're at least not running iTunes natively. The best product I can think of that does what you want is called an iPod touch. It's like a phone that doesn't make phone calls. There are a number of ways to run iTunes on your machine to make full use of Apple's superior product. The best would be to turn it into a Hackintosh, which is basically a Linux machine that runs software you've heard of. Not what you wanted to hear. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:25, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
There are a number of alternative operating systems for iOS devices. Not really sure if they would make things any easier than just using the thing properly. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:27, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I run Linux. I-tunes only kinda sorta runs on linux, and poorly, so "using the thing properly" isn't really an option. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 16:29, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
"The best product I can think of that does what you want is called an iPod touch." Read the first line of my original post, bozo. That's my problem. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 16:31, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Read it. That's why I said it. iPod Touch is the best device for you. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:28, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Either Apple is to blame for your misery, or Linux is to blame. Perhaps your problem is that you are running an operating system that isn't good enough to work with your non-telephonic device of choice? DogP (talk) 16:43, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

While I was hoping to avoid OS dick-waving, I will point out that every other device I have ever owned besides this one has worked just fine with my OS of choice. I'm pretty sure the problem is in a corporate mindset that is somewhat unclear on what it means to "own" data. The only reason that Apple has this "sync" nonsense is to keep me from using something that I own (...and I'm talking about a library of free podcasts that I've accumulated over the years, and MP3 files of content that I have created my own damn self, not copyright violation/pirated music) in the way that I want to use it. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 16:48, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Apple doesn't care what you do with your data and the problem you're talking about has nothing to do with that. The only thing Apple will restrict you from putting on your iOS device is apps that weren't purchased through the app store and, I think, Audible audio books. Can your Linux iTunes WIFI sync or not. That's the issue. If not, get an Android device and behold the same problem with having to use an app to get shit on your device. No simple mp3 player will do what you want so get that right out of your mind. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:28, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
"Apple doesn't care what you do with your data." Of course they do. Here's how I worked around: I loaded some stuff onto my wife's Mac, and synced it to my ipod. Then, I told ITunes to delete the stuff I had just loaded onto my wife's computer. ITunes gave me a warning if I deleted my stuff from my wife's computer, it would remove it from the ipod next time I synced it up. How the hell is that free use of my data? And their are Androids that will easily work with a Linux box. My Kindle works just fine with Linux, why not the ipod? Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 17:38, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure you can guess how I have personal experience with Apple really truly not forcing any opinions on you regarding whether you're putting DRM'd music on your device. You've just got iTunes set to manage your media for you. It's a feature they haven't gotten right in nearly 10 years in my opinion. The consequences of screwing up are catastrophic. Go to the Music tab for your device and uncheck the Sync Music box. In fact, uncheck Sync __ for every media type. This will really bake your noodle, but it only happens once - it will remove everything on the device. It's not a punishment. It's not a bad idea to periodically wipe devices anyway. So go into General>Reset and get it back to specs and update iOS. I think you can use 6.0 on that thing. Then go in and add everything back exactly as you want it. You'll have to manually manage everything, which is the way you want it anyway. On the device itself you can set the podcasts app to automatically download episodes when they're available. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 18:10, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
EC I don't have itunes set up to do anything, as I've scrubbed it from my machine; like I said, it really don't work with Linux. My wife's computer may well have it set up as you describe, but I ain't about to go fucking with her shit, because the couch is really, really uncomfortable. Like I said, I got the stuff on via my wife's machine, and as long as I don't plug the damn thing into her machine again, it's good to go; I can subscribe to podcasts through the device itself, and that will have to do until I can afford an Android device or some other open-source alternative comes around. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 18:19, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, you do. You have it set up to manage your music for you. You may not have to give up just yet, but that's up to you. Look at what I said - plug the device into your wife's computer (or get wifi sync set up on your home network, which is trivially easy) and look at the music tab. $10 says the "sync music" box is checked. That's what this whole conversation is about. Once you get wifi sync set up you can drag and drop music to your device to your heart's content, but it's going to have to be on your wife's computer. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:43, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
From Googling a bit: the Samsung Galaxy Player seems like it would be good for you. (talk to a) Nihilist 18:23, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
A bit pricey, but, yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 18:37, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
They have versions that are the same or cheaper than the 16GB 4th generation iPod Touch on Amazon. (talk to a) Nihilist 18:43, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, you're not using the software or device as it's presently configured to do what they're intended to do, but you seem to want that so your alternative is to install Android or some of operating system on it. There are numerous resources out there for how to do either. You don't have to spend money on something new. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:39, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Husband has the Samsung gallaxy and is inlove with it. he's been a blackberry fan for most of his cell-using life. The new Gallaxy due out in april has some uber nice features, but it will be pricy. still, it shoudl force down the III when it comes out. — Unsigned, by: WaitingforGodot / talk / contribs 2013-02-09T19:48:22

Knights of Malta[edit]

Why on Earth does this religious order have observer status at the UN? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 21:32, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

It seems to be something about the order having sovereignty, but without any territory. So the UN recognises it as a sort of lesser Vatican (which also has observer status). WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:53, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
There are a lot of religious organizations that have some kind of observer status in the UN. I'm pretty sure the Baha'i have observer status, or something like it.--Token Conservative (talk) 21:57, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not so sure about that. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 22:03, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah I was just going through there. The only other organization that could be considered somewhat religious is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which seems like it is what it says on the tin. Although plenty of religious organizations (like that Baha'i) have been involved in various parts of the UN, with the Baha'i being the only non-state that was a part of the 2000 Millennium Forum. So, the UN having a lot of religious affiliation isn't too out of the norm. --Token Conservative (talk) 22:09, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
They better have observer status, because I was just at their absurd Lotus Temple world headquarters this past week in Delhi and they repeatedly crow about that status in all the signs. Their garden there, incidentally, has a series of a couple dozen little signs with quotes from various people proclaiming how empty life would be without God.--ADtalkModerator 15:57, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

He's baaaack.[edit]

Brasov is fucking with the wiki via proxy again. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:47, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Glorious. I'll grab the mops and rifles. --Revolverman (talk) 23:51, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Arse. Still, he had to work at it - suggestions of more proxy blackhole lists welcomed, gotta be quick to find ones not covered already - David Gerard (talk) 00:02, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, it seems like he's having far less luck then a few days ago, as he hasn't found an IP not already covered after that first one. --Revolverman (talk) 00:06, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Took him 40 hours to find that one, not bad - David Gerard (talk) 00:10, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
One upside of delaying IPv6 then! --Revolverman (talk) 00:11, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU - David Gerard (talk) 00:17, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Did... I say something wrong? --Revolverman (talk) 00:21, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Things I don't want to think about for the future - David Gerard (talk) 00:26, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Surely the worry is Carrier Grade NAT, not IPv6? CGNAT basically makes the vandals indistinguishable from thousands, maybe million of innocent bystanders, at least at the address level. In the IPv6 world the vandal can try to hide with privacy addressing and so on, but their service provider has no reason to do dynamic assignment so they're stuck in whatever subnet they were assigned and ultimately you can ban that subnet until whoever is responsible for it (in the rare case that it's not the vandal) sorts things out and you are comfortable unblocking. (talk) 04:26, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
That's a bit of a problem, but a different one. The Brasov problem is random open proxies out there on the web. I've asked around for other useful open proxy blackhole lists. But for the moment, if he can manage one ten-minute attack every two days, I don't think we have a huge problem - David Gerard (talk) 11:14, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Planes, Trains and Autobahns.[edit]

I'll be hitting Japan, UK, Singapore, Holland and Germany over the next few months. Who is around where and who can I buy a drink? Acei9 03:36, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

If don't see pics of you in an Akihabara maid cafe, there will be words... --PsyGremlinSiarad! 11:21, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
London, of course, I expect there's a bunch of us. We need to go to a pub and drink it dry. With the power of RATIONALITY - David Gerard (talk) 11:35, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm in Nottingham, but happy to travel down to London if there's gonna be a RW meetup at a weekend, although I don't think I can keep up with you guys in the drinking stakes. Where are you going in Japan? It's pretty much my favourite country. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:20, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Come to Totnes, New Age capital of Britain! SophieWilder 13:51, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Don't let the folks in Glastonbury hear you say that. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:26, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
If you want advice about Japan, feel free to drop me a message. I lived there for a year and am a Japanese speaker. Doraemon話そう!話そう! 15:10, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I land in London on ther morning of Tuesday 18 June but only in town for a couple of days. Acei9 19:49, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

The Unbelievers[edit]

This may have been brought up somewhere before, but there's a film coming out later this year with Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss called The Unbelievers. It looks pretty good. Sam Tally-ho! 06:16, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

+1 Looks really promising. Blue (is useful) 11:33, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Quite an impressive cameo list at #1.35. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:24, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
As someone who's only seen Krauss from a couple big think clips, I'll have to keep my eye on this one, especially as Minchin and Dan Dennett are in the mix. Oh, and here's a link to a non-embedded version, if you're masochistic enough to want to read the comments section. Polite Timesplitter come shout at me for being thick 12:41, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Poll: Keep the open proxy blackhole?[edit]

Over on RationalWiki:Chicken coop#Poll:_Keep_the_open_proxy_blackhole.3F - frankly, I couldn't think of a better page than the coop - David Gerard (talk) 11:35, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

John Brennan a Muslim?[edit]

The right is frothing at the mouth that Obama's nominee for CIA director is a convert to Islam. Any truth to this? --PsyGremlinPraat! 12:17, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Has anyone seen him dancing? How does he pronounce Pakistan? SophieWilder 13:48, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Did you actually link to theresareasonitsnotnewsbeforeitsnews? SophieWilder 13:49, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, the main evidence for this claim is that Brennan once visited the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca (as an escorted representative of the US Govt). During this visit he apparently said nice things about the architecture of the mosque to his Saudi hosts, rather than screaming that all Muslims are evil scum who must die, as normal people would do. This therefore proves he has become a Muslim, according to the "disgraced" FBI agent making the claim. VOXHUMANA 23:05, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Please help me find this article[edit]

I read an article once about the pharmacological mechanism of action of some herb ingredients. (Maybe Herbalife ones?) I think it was hosted by some center for integrative medicine. At the end, the author went on to rant about how evil Tylenol is because of all the deaths it caused (in the UK?), and how liver failure deaths from the herb were the patients' fault for overdosing on them. Can anyone help me find this article?--Krejtalk 15:51, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

The site's design was, I believe, like this: A plain-looking site with a white background, text, and a logo in the upper-left (I think).--Krejtalk 03:09, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Have you searched whale.to? Peter mqzp 03:18, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Quebec -- Shares a border with the US, but a world away.[edit]

"54 per cent agreed that Quebec should officially declare itself to be a secular province." Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 20:22, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

The rest of Canada is equally secular, non? Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 20:25, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't have any hard numbers, but Quebec's secularity is kind of rooted in French laïcité, so it sort of has its own flavour. Important numbers of Québecois would support a head-scarf ban, where as I think you would get less support for that kind of thing in, say, Toronto. Also, sometimes Québec secularity blurs itself into straight-up anti immigrant racism, like the time that the town of Hérouxville tried to pass a municipal ordinance banning stoning women/throwing acid in women's faces, etc (all already illegal in the Canadian criminal code, because assault and battery is against the law) because they wanted immigrants to conform to local values. Hérouxville is a little town in the middle of nowhere, totally devoid of non-white non-Québecois people. It's just the attitude. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 20:39, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
That's surprisingly close to the French attitude, actually. A desire to void the state of anything religious - at least in the language of the laws, yet oddly only being applied to women wearing hijabs, and not women wearing crosses, or nuns wearning veils. That strange line where secularism and racism blend for common (?) goals.Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 20:42, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Common ends. Not common goals. Racists want to ban headscarves because they don't like the people wearing the headscarves. Some secular people would support laws that would restrict what family and religions would mandate people wear, because no one should be forced to wear anything they don't want to wear, but if you want to wear it that's your business. Both end in less people wearing headscarves; there certainly are some people who don't wear them by choice. But the goals were very different. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 20:59, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't doubt that some people don't want to wear the headscarf and would welcome the state making it a thing of the pass. I also understand that secularists are not racists. But when the racists start cribbing their talking points from the secularists, it can have the effect of poisoning a common well, and then nobody looks good. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 21:05, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Secularism is unrelated to any particular bigotry. You can be secular and still be racist and/or homophobic. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmaraudingModerator 21:12, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
No doubt. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 21:12, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

But back to the point of this article; can you imagine any state, even commie Vermont, which shares a border and important cultural elements with Quebec getting a majority "yes" response to the question: "Doi you want this to be a secular state?" Amazing what a 20-minute drive will do. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 21:09, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

The French revolution kicked religion up the arse in a big way but France is still a pretty Catholic country. I am reminded of the joke (I'll skip all the details) where there was an argument in a pub in Glasgow between Catholics and Protestants. A stranger who was in the pub was asked which religion he followed; he replied that he was an atheist. So he was then asked "But are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?" Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 21:22, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not shocked about this. Empress Marois would rather have herself and the PQ be worshiped. --Revolverman (talk) 22:01, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Wow. That's kind of a dumb thing to say. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 22:04, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Really now? Most Fascist parties like to be worshiped. --Revolverman (talk) 22:09, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm glad you played the "fascist" card this soon, so that I can just get straight to laughing at you instead of actually having to engage with your intellectually bankrupt self. Thanks! Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 22:12, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
So, Racism, and cultural imperialism isn't fascist anymore? Good to know! Thanks for your enlightenment buddy. --Revolverman (talk) 22:18, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I've always had the impression that racism isn't really a factor of fascism, rather than nationalism. I know Mussolini only brought in anti Semitism at the urging of Hitler. Even if were, racism and cultural imperialism wouldn't be unique to fascism. AMassiveGay (talk) 22:25, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
It's more a manifestation of the extreme nationalism then overt racism I admit. However, the PQ is all about extreme nationalism, "Money and the Ethnic Vote" anyone? Or some of the more crazier plans they had if Qui won in the 90s, or what they do now. --Revolverman (talk) 22:29, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

So Parizeau's widely-criticized comment is grounds for calling Marois a wannabe "empress" almost 20 years later? Weak. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 22:33, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

No, that's more showing how rotten to the core the PQ truly are. Empress comments are more about how She's been spending money globetrotting trying build support for an independent Quebec (and being rebuffed at every turn). All the while the one of the biggest corruption hearing in Canadian history is happening in Montreal and Tuition fees are being hiked to cover the falls in the budget. Shall I go on? --Revolverman (talk) 22:39, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
So the leader of a sovereignist party is trying to promote sovereignty. Shocking. And a corruption hearing addressing stuff that happened while the Liberals were in power is taking place, so that has something to do with the PQ because, hey, the PQ, amirite? And the PQ is raising tuition, except when they're talking about not doing that. Please, do go on. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 22:48, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
She's not promoting sovereignty. She's promoting herself as the leader of leader of a independent Quebec. Perhaps you haven't noticed but that isn't exactly reality, also shoudn't you be promoting sovereignty at home first? Oh thats right, she woudn't want that, as Sovereignty support is at historic lows! Keep pushing that will of the people! Yup, all the corruption started only when the liberals took power, and there wasn't a thing of it when the PQ was in power for... oh what was it, 20 years before the Liberal? Of course. Please, go on. --Revolverman (talk) 22:55, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, there is corruption in Quebec. It dates back decades and decades and politicians of all stripes have been involved in it. That doesn't make the PQ a "fascist" party with imperial ambitions--your original argument before you started trying to railroad the onversation. It makes Quebec a place that needs to get its act together on that front. As for Marois not promoting the sovereignty project at home, maybe you're just not reading the news often enough. And again, promoting herself as the leader of an eventual independent Quebec has nothing to do with fascism, or "cultural imperialism," or racism, or any other words that I'm not entirely sure you know the meaning of.Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:02, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm the one railroading? You wanted me to explain why I call her Empress, and I did. She's acting like a Sovereign Leader, (to the point of trying to block a trade deal with the EU) when she is in fact, a premier with a weak minority government. Please don't tell me you don't see any cultural Imperialism in Quebec. Bill 101? That bill taken to the United Nations because of its violation of free speech and human rights? (Don't start with "It was the Liberals who enacted it!" The PQ could have recended it, but only made it stronger), or the laws being proposed to force all immigrant children to go to french elementary schools even if their parents want them to go to an English school. Wonderful. The Language Police. But please, keep telling me how stupid I am. --Revolverman (talk) 23:12, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
"Acting like a sovereign leader" =/= a"an empress." It means she's trying to portray herself as the leader of a sovereign polity. Not surprising coming from the leader of an independentist party, and a far cry from wanting to be "worshiped" (your words). I'm not really interested in the angry Anglos who brought Bill 101 to the UN, the overwhelming majority of the Quebec people and every democratically-elected government since 1976 has supported it. And I have no problem with people coming to Quebec being obliged to school their children in French. It's the official language, after all. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:30, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
But she ISN'T. You keep ignoring that fact. She has no more power then any other Premier in Canada, no matter how much she wants to act like that isn't the case. Yes, they were angry, their RIGHTS were being violated. To accuse them of just being "Angry Anglos" is sickening. More so when ever court, AND the UN agreed with them. No other province forces that. Why does Quebec get a pass on that? --Revolverman (talk) 23:34, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, first of all, I think you're dramatically exaggerating what Marois is doing; it's not like she's saying "Quebec is really an independent country and I'm the president." Give me some sort of evidence as to what you're talking about here. As for Bill 101, Quebec gets a pass on legislating language because the existence of the French langage needs legal protection, and the people have decided at every opportunity that this is how they want to do it. Your company has to do business in French, your signs have to have bigger French letters, newcomers have to be educated in French. It hardly rises to the level of Dachau. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:40, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Evidence? Ok. Have some Evidence. So, Quebec is Not as bad as some of greatest examples of violations of human rights means its own violations are completely justified? The Canadian Courts and UN didn't agree. Also, I ask you this. WHY does the French Language in Quebec need such strict legal protection? --Revolverman (talk) 23:47, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I see nothing of an "Empress" in those links--alos, what, you can't find Quebec/French sources to back up your arguments about

Quebec politics-- I see an elected leader looking to advance and protect the interests of her polity. As for why Quebec needs to protect its French identity through legal means? because without those legalities, the cultural forces surrounding it would most probably lead to the end of the French fact in North America in relatively short time. How eles would you do it? Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:56, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't speak french, why would I look for sources in a language I can't speak? We aren't budging on Pauline Marois so its pointless to keep quoting links at each other. I do want to ask you this though. Why is that French language and culture survived 350 years, many of those years being directly attacked and marginalized by the Government of Canada, but in the last 25-30 years, its so fragile it needs laws that violate basic human rights to keep it from dying out? --Revolverman (talk) 00:00, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Your chronology is a bit messed up here. The fragility is not a new thing arriving in the last 25-30 years. The fragility was before that, in the days through the 1960s and 70s when Francophones could not advance in corporations in their own province, when people could not expect to get served in their own language even though they constituted a majority, and when, for right or wroneg, they saw themselves as a colonized people. Nobody wants to be that. In 1976, the PQ was elected and passed Bill 101, which finally made it possible for French-speaking people to feel as though their language and culture was valued and protected by the state. French in Quebec is way less fragile than it was, and its way more possible to advance and develop as a Francophone in a Francophone society than it was in, say, my old man’s day. And now, with globalization and internet culture, the people who get paid to worry about these things see new threats to the ability of the French-speaking people of North America to continue to have a place where they can be the French-speaking people of North America. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 00:14, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
That's more an issue of the Branch Plant economy that's existed in Canada at large. I do not argue that it was shit to be forced to use English, but then your exact same argument can be flipped for how the English (or just non French) speakers are treated now? Two wrongs don't make a right. Hell, how about where English IS the majority like in Montreal, or Ottawa Valley in Quebec? --Revolverman (talk) 00:20, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Help us out now on Canadian politics: so Quebec is part of the Canadian confederation, since they "brought home the Constitution", is that right? Burnum (talk) 23:11, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
They never signed onto the Constitution. --Revolverman (talk) 23:12, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
EC Quebec is and has always been a part of Confederation, though it did not sign the 1982 constitution. The Quebecois have also been recognized as a nation within Confederation by the Parliament of Canada since 2006. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:14, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
So Canada is not getting ready to de-balkanize, again, cause opinion polls running against Quebec sovereignty are at a low, is that corrrect? Burnum (talk) 23:19, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Even if Quebec did leave the Confederation, there wouldn't be a war. Lots of yelling, perhaps violence among extremists, but nothing like the break up of Yugoslavia. --Revolverman (talk) 23:21, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
EC There's a sovereignist government (minority) in Quebec now, but they didn't get elected because of any burning desire on the part of a majority of the Quebecois people for independence right now. It's not the only issue that people care about, after all. There's a hardcore body of supporters for independence at around 23-30%, and softer nationalists who vacillate. what's interesting is a shift among younger folks away from an ethnic nationalism towards seeing independence as a way to break from Canadian conservatism and to pursue a more progressive social agenda. That's where I see myself these days--but it's not an imminent thing right now. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:26, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
So, Quebec did have to scede a certain amount of sovereignty to allow theWindsor Ottawa regime to negotiate NAFTA with foreign entities, wouldn't that be correct? Burnum (talk) 23:30, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
No. Quebec didn't secede anything; it didn't have the authority to negotiate that sort of thing in the first place. It's not a sovereign country. The US and Mexico would not have negotiated with Quebec as an equal, nor should they. When it comes to those sorts of affairs, it's a province like any other. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:33, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Ok, so there's no problem with the government of Provincial Quebec backing out of the confederation, there is a nationalist group in Quebec demanding certain rights and recognitions to be mollified, for example, the central Ottawa government tossing them a bone by printing money in two languages. Burnum (talk) 23:39, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
But the "government of Provincial Quebec" has not backed out of confederation. Printing money in two languages, and official bilingualism, is not "throwing a bone," its a recognition of the fact that Canada is a bilingualk country. There are Francophone populations across the country, and Francophones and Anglophones each played central roles in robbing the place from the Indians building the nation. Polar Bear In the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 23:44, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
The next time Canada is breaking apart again, we'll take British Columbia. 54-40 0r Fight! Burnum (talk) 06:00, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Social media strategy update[edit]

The blog is going jolly well. Well, lots of content. Running about 150 hits/day at present, with 850 the day I successfully whored it on Reddit /r/atheism (the baraminology piece, of course). I've been spending approximately all my time thinking about it, which is exhausting, but the nice thing is that others are writing. MOAR PLEASE. (I'll even fix spelling.) Currently running 1-2 posts a day; I tend to schedule things for evenings and mornings, space it out a bit.

There's some really good posts on the blog, and of course they disappear in time almost immediately. If you like a post, please spread the link around lots. Basically they're full of links back to our articles, which gets people admiring our work and/or thinking we're dicks. Which is all win. Also, we don't have a lot of commenters yet, feel free to dive in there too.

The Twitter is getting a few forwards (mostly from you lot, thank you) and slowly gaining new followers. Please keep forwarding tweets.

Any questions? - David Gerard (talk) 22:51, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

It's probably been mentioned before, but I think I missed it in the huge mass of discussion on the RW blogging, but what exactly is the focus of this? Debunking pseudoscience and the usual jazz?--Token Conservative (talk) 00:22, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Purty much missionality. Our small contribution to the battle against public stupidity. Something suitable as a public face of the wiki, (though it's still officially unofficial until it's sustainable and I say "hey, this is non-suck and RWF should bless it or something", though we may decide it's fine without that), so sorta nice. Some idea of entertainment for me. I put the mission in the sidebar earlier today. About page. I need to get around to adapting the pseudophysics piece into a wiki article, or someone else can - David Gerard (talk) 00:31, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I am loving the blog and actually find it interesting to read. Great work so far!--ADtalkModerator 15:55, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

& This grainy jpeg should be replaced by a cleaner version, or preferably a better image. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:00, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, I just grabbed the thing Armondikov did for the Facebook header and messed with it. A, you got your original document for that? If so please send it my way - David Gerard (talk) 00:10, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

BTW, if you're on Reddit and you like a blog post do feel free to post it there - David Gerard (talk) 22:22, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

blog in sidebar[edit]

The blog should be linked from more places at RW. Definitely from blogroll & WIGO:Blogs, probably the main page, & possibly the navigation sidebar (if offsite links aren't against the rules there). WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Putting http:// links in a MediaWiki sidebar (presumably under "community") is sorta doable. I may have to fiddle a bit. - David Gerard (talk) 00:13, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Blog now in sidebar! (That OK with everyone? Any strong objection?) - David Gerard (talk) 00:20, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Petroleum jelly[edit]

Does it really cause cancer?--Krejtalk 15:55, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Depends if you read the Daily Mail or not. SophieWilder 16:00, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Whether or not something causes cancer is often superfluous. Our very existence causes cancer. As our cells multiply, subsequent generations devolve, sometimes into cancer cells. When you make a copy of a copy of copy, you're bound to lose quality.
Carcinogens cause cancer by damaging cells and DNA. The damaged cell then has a chance to replicate faultily, and thus causes cancer.
Concerning petroleum jelly, it seems that in and of itself it is not carcinogenic, as it needs to have a reaction to hurt us. However, "impurities" in the manufacturing process have been linked to breast cancer.[1] So the solution would be to more tightly regulate petroleum jelly production, but not its sale.--"Shut up, Brx." 16:22, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
You're citing an "Organic Natural Health" website; probably not the last word on the subject. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:31, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Oxygen causes cancer. --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:17, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Oxygen free radicals. Big difference. It's not the O2 we know and love. @Weaseloid: that was all I could find on petroleum jelly as a carcinogen. Seems sound enough, though I doubt the risk is at all significant.--"Shut up, Brx." 17:31, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I'll write an article on PJ if anyone has a good reference I can use.--Krejtalk 17:32, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Oh yes it is the oxygen we know and love. It reacts inside Mitochondria and can be converted into oxygen free radicals.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:17, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
True. The most effective way of preventing cancer is dying younger of something else. --Tweenk (talk) 22:45, 11 February 2013 (UTC)


IP. got through. I am high as a kite unable to figure out what blacklist it was from. But that's another one. Polar Bear in the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 03:38, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

It's on this list. Peter mqzp 03:44, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Open proxies are as eternally replenished as daisies in the spring, kittens in the houses of irresponsible cat owners and sloppy sysadmins running systems on the live Internet. So there's always going to be one or two. Nice to know he still loves us and the open proxy blackhole is doing something - David Gerard (talk) 07:39, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Do the lists you're using update regularly? Peter mqzp 07:42, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I believe so. They've done pretty well for us so far.
I'd basically suggest not worrying too much - there are options to run one's own proxy list ($wgProxyList), but they apparently slow MediaWiki down quite noticeably. I think one bit of vandalbot a day is not excessive to avoid turning the site into a slug, handily lets us know the bozo is still there and the list is doing something and gives us a moment to snigger at him. I might change the captcha questions too (annoyingly, having questions be configurable on the wiki is on QuestyCaptcha's to-do list) - David Gerard (talk) 07:50, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
So long as things can't get worse. Peter mqzp 07:59, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
If he can only do his stuff for a short period each day then that's manageable, and it tells us we still need the blacklist up. SophieWilder 11:04, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
That's true. With him or any other dedicated troll, being anyone who decides to hold a grudge, there's really no waiting it out; they're always going to attack. Especially when you have vandals creating vandalbots, there isn't a lot of effort for them. If you decide to "wait them out," they'll just wait until you cancel the anti vandalism measures. This is also good in general to have. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 17:17, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Somewhat different self-help question[edit]

My question is relatively simple, but I haven't been able to figure out how to solve it, probably because I lack the required knowledge of how computers work. Is there a PC with sufficient specs to run, say, Skyrim on the "high" or "highest" graphics setting with decent FPS, that I could get and/or assemble for less than US$1,000? If not, what kind of CPUs and GPUs are good for this kind of thing? I have nobody to ask and I'm getting really confused by how to measure the quality of graphics cards and processors. Blue (is useful) 04:09, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, you can definitely pull it off. I purchased my PC a few years ago for around 700 dollars and I can run Skyrim at medium graphics. You can probably get one that runs Skyrim at highest graphics for under 1000. Try ibuypower.com --"Shut up, Brx." 04:12, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, thanks! Here's a bit more specific question: what's the relative importance of the number of cores compared to the GHz? Blue (is useful) 04:21, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Most games don't use anything more than two cores, so the processor speed is the bigger performance factor. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Tell me your budget, and I can try and point you towards something still performant. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:33, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to be below $800 but I'm willing to go to $1000... Blue (is useful) 04:41, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
The best you'll get for that budget ($800). That should be able to play Skyrim on a 1080p monitor with everything at max. My apologies for the hideous "gamer" case and Windows 8; that's what you can expect with a pre-built gaming PC. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:14, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Stabby! Definitely one to consider. Can I ask how you know that it would be able to play Skyrim "with everything at max"? Just curious.
Brx - I did look at ibuypower.com, and it was very nice to be able to basically build everything from scratch. I built a machine with an Intel i7-3770 processor and AMD Radeon HD 7870 graphics card, but it wound up totaling about $1200 with the addition of Windows 7 or 8. Bah. Blue (pester) 05:33, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
You could probably do better, but I imagine you'd need the knowledge. My brother was the one who devised my order--"Shut up, Brx." 05:48, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Benchmarks for the AMD HD 7770. Scroll down until you see the Skyrim frame rates. Anything above 30 FPS is playable, though 60 FPS is what hardcore gamers aspire to. Technically, the video card used in it is an overclocked version, so here's a review for that using Skyrim as a benchmark. The CPU (AMD A10-5800K) is kind of "meh," but realistically any recent desktop CPU can handle gaming and everyday tasks just fine; desktop Intel Core i7's are for pursuing benchmarks or doing serious heavy lifting. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:05, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. I suppose I'd like to make a "serious investment" here, which would involve a machine with the wherewithal to perform solidly not just on modern games, but for the next few generations as well. Blue (pester) 06:18, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, thanks for your help guys. I justify spending the extra $200 as an "investment", because even though it's not the best system money can buy, it's a solid system that will adequately handle anything I'll be throwing at it (including, I hope, this Star Wars 1313 game). Blue (is useful) 06:27, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Ah. In that case, you should indeed spring for a higher-end CPU and video card. However, those are almost impossible to find pre-built for under $1,000. Gaming PCs are a "specialty" market, so to speak, so PC retailers like to slather an extra $200+ of gross margins on top. Are you willing to build it yourself? I can definitely recommend you a strong set of parts in that case. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I went to iBuyPower, and I was able to configure a very good PC for $1,030. Keep in mind, a solid future-proof PC can still use upper-mid-range parts. Go to any PC forum that has people displaying their PC build in their signature, and you'll see surprisingly few people with the latest-and-greatest, but a butt-ton of people with hardware that's between one and three years old and was "only" upper-mid-range, even when it was new. That's because the sweet spot of price to performance is usually one or two rungs down from the top of the performance ladder. Spending that extra $100 for something that only yields a 5-10% performance increase often isn't worth it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:39, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Is it really cheaper to build yourself? I've heard conflicting reports on this so opinions would be welcome.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 10:14, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Build yourself can be miles cheaper, depending on your levels of patience. The trick is too pick up mid-to-high range spec stuff when it's on sale, and to look at bundled options for things like mobo/CPU/mem. To give you some idea, I run:
* Asus M5A87 Motherboard, w/8Gb Kingston HyperX Memory, Corsair A50 Cooler, & AMD Bulldozer FX-4100 3.6GHz AM3+ Black Ed Processor overclocked to 4.4Ghz - £199.95
* Asus nVIDIA 3D GeForce GTX 560 Direct CU II Graphics Card (1GB, DDR5, Overclocked 850Mhz) - £141.98
* Creative SoundBlaster X-FI Titanium Audio PCI Express - £45
* LG D2342P-PN.AEK 23 inch Backlit Wide Screen 3D Full HD LCD LED 3D Monitor - Black Glossy - £159.99.
That handles Skyrim at about 45 FPS and that kind of cost should leave plenty of money for other bits and pieces.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 11:00, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
So I finally got around to benchmarking my current system (which is a non-gaming laptop with an Intel i7-3517U and Intel HD 4000 video card). I've played 130 hours of Skyrim on "low" everything with an average of 20 frames per second. StarCraft II runs a little better, with 40-50 FPS on "low" everything. My other favorite RPG, Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning (111 hours logged!), did slightly better than Skyrim at the lowest settings with 25 FPS average.
I guess I'm very excited about my Intel i7-3770 and Radeon HD 7870. Blue (pester) 12:35, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Not Radeon! Always go Nvidia--"Shut up, Brx." 13:51, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
The Radeon is more price-efficient than the comparable Nvidia card, and delivers substantially the same performance. I'm taken to believe AMD has made significant strides in recent years overall, as well. Blue (is useful) 13:57, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
That's a great card for the money. You can get a GTX 570, which benchmarks closer to the $400 cards, for $180 at Microcenter.
You probably don't need an i7 for what you're doing. An i5 with a good video card is more than adequate and substantially cheaper. I'm running a Hackintosh with OSX 10.8 on a Gigabyte Z68, i5 2500 overclocked to 4.2, 8 gb of ram, Radeon 6870, and an SSD for the OS - it goes from power button to desktop in 22 seconds. I have no means of checking the frame rates, but it runs Skyrim inside a Wine wrapper (because it's Windows only) at max no problem. Sort of surprised me. It cost less than any premade - about $800 to build because I diligently checked the in-store circulars at MicroCenter and TigerDirect, which are half a mile from each other near Elston and Armitage. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 2013-02-11T18:42:13
My take: if you don't want to fully custom-build, get a complete office-type PC for $500-600, then buy a graphics card, preferably a used one, for $150-200. This should be cost-effective and less annoying than researching and obtaining all the components for a custom build. For choosing a graphics card, I recommend this guide. Try to get a card that blows the hot air through the back, like this - otherwise some of it will be blown on the hard drive, which will shorten its life. This is doubly important in an office-type case that typically has less ventilation than the ugly 'gamer' cases. As for the CPU, the i7 is overkill for gaming; a good i3 or i5 will do just as well. Here's a decent guide. --Tweenk (talk) 23:18, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Awesome religious bigotry[edit]

It might not be bad to help get them more members so they'll get publicity and the flak that they'll inevitably attract if they get popular. It's rather hilarious. I will restrain myself from anti-bigotry trolling; never much point in such things. Though a blog entry might not be bad. We should get this guy the attention he wants so that other people will call him out on being a bigot and and idiot. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 09:04, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

"The Crusades were a conspiracy created by atheist historians as a way of trying to discredit the hard work, dedication, and doctrine of Christianity." Yeah I think I'll go with Poe. Blue (pester) 09:07, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Great piece of Poe! Tried to find something on the "First Baptist Church of Mllford" but couldn't find anything.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 10:11, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Sasha, how the hell did you think that site was legit? It's obvious parody, and obvious parody done poorly. Polar Bear in the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 14:00, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
IE likely knew this was parody and only posted here to instigate--"Shut up, Brx." 14:07, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
It's worth a laugh, though.
"God has given us herbs, for the healing of the nation. Marijuana cures cancer. Hemp is the future of biodegradeable product. There is a plant and a prayer to cure every ailment on earth. He has given us words whose truth shines brighter than the sun.2013: 1 in 3 people has cancer. 1 in 80 children are born with autism. 1 in 3 marriages ends in divorce. The global economy, fueled by usury, teeters on the brink of collapse. Half the world, 3 billion of Gods children live in absolute poverty. Tell me again atheists, how much good has destroying religion REALLY done?"
Uhhh checkmate fellow atheists! ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlavishly loquacious 14:29, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Wow... Whoever spent money on a domain name for sth like that is an idiot. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 14:46, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Stop trolling. Polar Bear in the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 15:08, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
What? ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 16:47, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Crocodylus Pontifex[edit]

The Pope is revolting resigning by March. Charge up those fires and smoke canisters.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 11:02, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

This is not entirely unprecedented, though it has been centuries since the last time a Pope resigned, and this is the first time it was for "health reasons." Indeed, resigning for health reasons was specifically ruled out by Vatican officials for the previous Pope.
Waiting for the loons who will insist the next one will be Peter II. MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 11:37, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Back when John Paul II was around, I remember a fundie website claiming that the next pope would be second-to-last, and after him there'd be the Antichrist. Is that a common belief in fundie circles? Balaam (talk) 11:40, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
wp:Prophecy of the Popes MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 11:41, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
And with the runners and riders announced the bookie's favourite is Peter Turkson. Innocent Bystander (talk) 11:51, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Aha! I've uncovered the real reason for his resignation - he's the head of the Polish and Italian Horsemeat Mafia. He's getting out before the going gets bad. [*Warning* The previous post may not have been serious]--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 11:54, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Of course, I predicted this - David Gerard (talk) 12:34, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
The funniest reactions on Twitter (for certain values of the word "funniest"). MDB (the MD is for Maryland, the B is for Bear) 12:47, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
For the popcorn chewers, I suggest monitoring Patheos' Catolic "channel" for reactions. Our article needs expanding. :) --ZooGuard (talk) 13:12, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
An analysis by the (UK) National Secular Society Scream!! (talk) 14:51, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
And I've just spent all afternoon wikifiddling wikipedia:Papal resignation rather than e.g. doing work - David Gerard (talk) 15:41, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Bookmakers Paddy Power have just made Richard Dawkins 666/1 to become the next pope. rpeh •TCE 17:38, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

The thought of that nearly made me laugh in class. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:17, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
wp:List_of_papabili_in_the_2013_papal_conclave - So, do we have a poll going anywhere? I'm pulling for Peter Turkson on a multitude of levels. Though I'm not "pulling" on the one level you might think I am. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 18:00, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Only one thing I can say about that:
Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 19:18, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Does the fact that he resigned (rather than dying unexpectedly) mean that they'll start picking a new pope sooner? Peter mqzp 19:46, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it does. Although, officially, he hasn't resigned yet. He announced that he will resign on Feb 28. Normally, after a pope dies, there is a period of mourning before the cardinals convene to elect a new pope, but since Benedict didn't die, they won't need to have the period of mourning first. They will wait until after he's resigned before electing his successor, I think. Mcnamara12 (talk) 19:59, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Given the sudden nature of the resignation, I'm surprised we haven't seen much in the way of conspiracy theories yet, aside from a few idle comments on Twitter etc. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:20, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
John Paul issued a constitution making all the same regulations that applied upon the death of a pope also apply upon his resignation. The cardinal electors have to wait at least 15, but no more than 20 days for the rest of the cardinal electors to show up. So they'll be in conclave by the middle of March. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 21:09, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
In case you've not seen it here's Tim Minchin on the Holy Father! NSFW! Scream!! (talk) 21:56, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
When I first saw the news, I started wondering what sort of shitstorm he foresaw, and wanted to get out from under while the getting was good. Reddit did not disappoint. I suppose it's too late to call dibs on the word "shitstorm" as a service mark. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:10, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Hey Weaseloid, you want a conspiracy? Will this work? Or did you want something serious?--Token Conservative (talk) 01:19, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Wonders of Life[edit]

Brian Cox on the BBC. Similar to his previous Wonders (Solar System and Universe), it's a very beautiful look into how the simple laws of physics can create the wondrous diversity of life. Part 3 is about evolution through natural selection. OK, so it's pop science. But it's beautifully presented and Cox is a wonderfully engaging character. I love seeing specialist scientists contemplating how one specific part of science can influence, impact and meld with another. I used to get irritated that my kids' French baccalaureate combined physics and chemistry into one subject. But actually of course, chemistry is physics and biology is chemistry. It's a little muddied, but his presentation and enthusiasm will, I hope, continue to inspire the young to explore truth through science rather than mysticism, superstition and ignorance. He and his production team seemingly listened to criticisms of too much pop-star-professor-sitting-on-mountain-top and concentrated more on the subject. (Although this can perhaps be explained by the more readily available film footage of the surface of this planet than the centre of the Milky Way.) If you're a native, then catch it on iPlayer. If you're a goddamn foreigner, then catch it on DVD. And then watch Attenborough's "Africa". BBC, you rock. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:52, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

mvgroup.org has a great description of all these BBC shows. Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 22:44, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Inconsistency in the Standards re: User Talk Pages.[edit]

This discussion was moved to RationalWiki talk:Community Standards. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:50, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Good Haircuts (and science) to be honored at the State of the Union[edit]

White House announced today that NASA's Bobak Ferdowsi (of mars lander and mohawk fame) will join Michelle Obama at the state of the Union. There's a lesson in this. If you are goign to be on TV with lots of geeks and such, STAND OUT! Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 02:11, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Ego death[edit]

I'm a follower of Auguste Comte, and therefore an altruist (in the sense of fuck Ayn Rand), but also a positivist. My personal view is that the logical extension of altruism is ego death

Anyway, can we discuss this here without all the woo associated with it? I mean, seriously, Deepak Chopra talks about it a lot, but judging from the way he happily sells [bullshit]] to people, it doesn't look like he's ever experienced it.


Methods (preferably legal), ideas, refutations, arguments. EddieMonah (talk) 05:42, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Contrary to popular attitudes around here, I quite enjoyed reading Ayn Rand. Her argument that each individual life should be governed by "reason, purpose and self-esteem" is perfectly reasonable (although not exactly ground-breakingly original). Her attitude on epistomology is broadly identical to Rational Wiki's own ethos. Her argument that reality is independent of our opinion about it is a simplified version of positivism.
Of course, by using Rand's own guidance and applying reason, it's easy enough to see that her economic and social theories range from somewhat implausible to utterly whacky. Her extreme form of Laissez faire economics assumes that no "true capitalist" would ever mistreat their workforce (by unfair or exploitative labour practices) or defraud their market (by releasing shoddy or dangerous products). Hello fairy land with its Tobacco elves, Thalidomide gnomes and Bhopal bunnies.
As far as Altruism, if you use the definition of Altruism popular with current generation Objectivists then yes, it probably would lead to ego death. But apart from some religious ascetics, I don't think this extreme altruism is a major social force to worry about. To be honest the altruism presented in Atlas Shrugged is pretty tolerable: "Do nice things for others but don't kid yourself why you do it. Don't take from others when you have the capacity to provide for yourself". How it evolved into the extremist viewpoint currently held by some factions of Objectivism is a lengthy and tiresome discussion. VOXHUMANA 06:09, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

given up[edit]

Moved to Forum:Wherein_I_try_to_avoid_"whining". EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 00:05, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Charging batteries with ambient energy[edit]

So... Gizmag claims that an "Electromagnetic Harvester can charge batteries with ambient energy" given off by gadgets, power lines, vehicles, and even living things.

Geeky people... do your thing. --PsyGremlinSprich! 10:41, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Are you hoping we'll debunk it? Probably not going to happen. You can always soak little bits of power, that's how those trivial AM radios with no battery work, the power of the radio signal itself is enough to amplify an audio level output for headphones. So, it depends on the strength of the EM field you're stood in, and the precise design of the device. In strong fields like under a power line, with a well-designed device, there's no reason it couldn't charge an AA battery. For most people, in most places, something like this is essentially useless, even if it works as described. (talk) 11:51, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Nothing new - any oscillating electromagnetic field will generate electricity in a conductor. It's how radio antennae work, after all. :) But it's a gimmick, not a practical application, unless you have something with very low power requirements, like a RFID chip, or a really big antenna (like this one, though it may be a fake). Or unless you don't mind that recharging your battery takes a week. :)
Years ago, when I was a teenager, I saw a mobile phone accessory that used the spike in radio power before a call to light up several LEDs. (If you've ever used a GSM phone next to unshielded headphones or speakers, you must have noticed the characteristic series of "clicks", caused by the current the phone's signal is inducing in their coils and/or wires.)--ZooGuard (talk) 12:00, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
(EC)In principle it's possible. Conventional electricity generation involves electromagnetic fields, but it specifically involves motion through them. Either linear motion as was done in the first experiments or rotary motion that still did the job but could be hooked up to a turbine. So, in theory, if you moved it through an ambient field given off by power lines you could generate some usable energy, and indeed, that could be useful for low power devices but that would be extracting kinetic energy via the field. And as said above you can use piezoelectric materials to extract some energy from the field itself, but still it would be trivially low powered. Scarlet A.pngsshole 12:07, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Power lines are AC, so you don't need to move - alternating current generates an oscillating field. :) Piezoelectric materials generate electricity from mechanical stress, so I don't know how they are relevant to EMF power-leeching. The "crystal" in the wp:crystal radios mentioned by the BoN is a semiconductor, not a piezoelectric.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:42, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I think the key phrase in the article is "the amount of power it generates tends to be incredibly small." sterilesporadic heavy hitter 12:45, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
@ZooGuard - I think you'll find that the semiconductor is a cat's whisker. Ah, golden days. Innocent Bystander (talk) 17:05, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I was going to make a similar comment about crystal radio sets but remember visiting a power station in Iran where they hung up fluorescent light tubes which illuminated without any wiring. I also remember a guy in the UK being prosecuted for powering part of his house by sucking energy from the BBC long wave transmitter and another who did a similar thing with the electricity sub-station next to his house. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 23:13, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Is the open proxy vandal filter on?[edit]

We've had 3-4 IP attacks following his pattern today. Polar Bear in the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 22:54, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

The 'block all IPs' filter is evidently off, and will require a handy tech to reenable, while David said he was leaving the proxy filter on. Peter mqzp 22:57, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
The very nature of the proxy filter means that Brasov is going to find an unblocked proxy from time to time. However, these proxies pop up and get added to the blackhole lists constantly. Like anti-virus definitions, proxy blocking is a never-ending game of cat and mouse. MediaWiki updates automatically on a daily basis, I think. The small amount of turds that Brasov'll manage to leave behind, unless he finds a large trove of unblocked proxies, is basically a small price to pay for not completely blocking IP editing (which would shut out a number of legitimate IP editors as well as Brasov). Obviously, if the proxy filter isn't as effective as it was a few days ago, David, and us in general, will need to figure something better. Besides, the moron will get bored eventually. Ochotonaprincepsnot a pokémon 23:39, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Just to let you know, calling it the Brasov filter goes strongly against the Deny recognition method of preventing vandalism. It's fine now since we started it to block him, but perpetually calling it the "Brasov filter" is tenement to building a monument to him for his efforts. If he or anyone else sees that he can get wiki policies and constructs named after him, it's just going to make him want more notoriety. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 05:52, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
The Inquisitor is correct. "open proxy vandal" might be suitable - David Gerard (talk) 07:04, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Although the phrase Inquisitor was looking for was tantamount to, a tenement is a type of dwelling. Tialaramex (talk) 14:23, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I wrote sth like that. Please complain to spell check. ఠ_ఠ Inquisitor Sasha Ehrenstein des Sturmkrieg Sector 15:59, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

IP Blocking[edit]

So I have a question - is there a way to make a "button" (and please forgive me for knowing literally nothing about coding) that could stop IPs from editing all mainspace pages, for a set duration. Like, I can go into any specific page and choose "protect". is there a way to have a one stop "all main space" protect? Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 00:52, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

The techs have a 'button' in the form of abusefilter #19 that stops all ip editing. It could easily be changed to just block mainspace, but you would still need to be a tech. Peter mqzp 00:54, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I guess what I'm wondering then, is can we get it out of the hands of techs? Or is it the way the code (?) works that it has to be at a level us ijiots can't ruin?Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 00:55, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I get the idea that having anyone who wants to be able to edit the filters would be a bad idea, but there should be a way to make a workaround. E.g. the filter is set to only work if a certain mod-protected page contained the words "block mainspace," but I wonder how slow that would be. Peter mqzp 01:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
When we had mod elections, some people charged me with "not doing anything about the troll" meaing other editors. I said "i don't get into that, cause i really don't knwo who did what to whome". but this kind of thing, where people are fucking with main space, this is where we need mods. and there's not much we are empowered to do but sit arround (with everyone else, who has been kick ass, by the way) and hit a lot of "reverts". Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 01:05, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
In the meantime, though, we're forced to wait for the next tech to show up to bail us out. Peter mqzp 01:11, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Nods. sighs. at least "undo" or rollback or whatever is simple. i hope it's kosher (as it were) that i'm not looking at anything i'm "rolling back". if a real ip editor tries to edit, he's likely to be eaten in the mess. ;-) Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 01:13, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Kill them all. God will know His own. Polar Bear in the Jungle Peter Tosh > Bob Marley 01:14, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
[ec with some big meany face]Mmm, probably better to look first. There is a pretty distinctive look and feel to the bot's recent behavior. I usually open the diff in a new window before rolling it back. Then all the other edits from the same IP without looking. If everything gets done in its own fresh window, I can check for collateral damage after the burst has passed. It's always good to see others on the job, thanks to all. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:19, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
The chances of a misfire a pretty slim, at least so long as you only revert in mainspace. Peter mqzp 01:36, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
"revert" vs. "undo", both can be undone, right? Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 01:39, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Of course, but 'revert' is better in this situation. Peter mqzp 01:40, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Ty has turned off all IP editing for us, so we should be ok for now. Peter mqzp 02:37, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

He adds "Can you please let them know that I will be unavailable until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest." We should probably leave the filter on for a while. Peter mqzp 02:52, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Hey, if any of you want to be techs, feel free to prostrate yourself before Trent and beg his favor. Blue (is useful) 02:48, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I hear power corrupts. It's not worth it just to be able to hit vandals over the head once in a while. Peter mqzp 02:52, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Cool. how much damage can i do. ;-) I think i once did a robot moving across my screen in "basic". when there were 16 x 16 little squares. ahhh, attari computing. Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 02:53, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

What is the justification for stopping all IP edits because a few hits get through the proxy filter, easily reverted and blocked? Should not even be an option. Tmtoulouse (talk) 03:00, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

To me, it really *isn't* easy, it *isn't* necessary, and it would be something (if technically possible) so simple to do till troll gets bored. 30 minute no ip editing. Not sure why we think IP's need to edit, but that's a totally different kettle of fish that is long and happily enshrined here. Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 03:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Because it's more than a 'few.' Because it's been happening all day. Because cleaning up the mess takes far more effort than the vandal requires to do his work. Because innocent IPs are being caught up in it anyway, and at least now they are being told why. Because the chaos of reversions leads to mistakes which may not ever be picked up. And it should be an option becuase a more resourceful programmer would be able to create a way to make their vandalism very difficult indeed to simply revert. Peter mqzp 03:07, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
change the captcha so it can't be automated. -- Nx / talk 06:08, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I just changed the captcha questions slightly. This involved too much thought for 7am before caffeine - hard to think of questions that don't require an IP to know anything other than what they can see on the page. MORE GOOD QUESTIONS NEEDED. (Log out and edit RationalWiki:Sandbox as an IP if you want to test.) Time to write a special page for QuestyCaptcha so anyone (of sufficient power) can write questions - David Gerard (talk) 07:06, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
If i understand it, good questions include rather silly/easy questions that cannot be parsed by a computer?. "What has four legs, fur and says meow?" Or do they really need to relate to something visual like our logo?Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 15:45, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, that sort of thing is good too - David Gerard (talk) 16:00, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm bored and angry about something at work. So I'll send you an excel sheet with questions and answers. Green mowse.pngGodot Chúc mừng năm mới 16:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
\o/ - David Gerard (talk) 16:05, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
If someone is building a bot specifically for our site they can automate the question/answers. Not sure how you prevent that without either parts of the question/answer being randomized, pulling from such a huge array of questions they can't ever get them all, or displaying the questions in a manner that a script can't process (images?). Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:16, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, basically for the amusement value. The real value will be tracking down what list the vandal is getting these fresh proxies from, and alerting the blackhole maintainers to it - David Gerard (talk) 21:13, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

NK nuclear test confirmed[edit]

Which is to say, first there was an earthquake that looked like it was caused by an explosion, and then the North Koreans confirmed it on state TV (see also WIGO:World). Fears of WWIII aside, are we able to get better, independant confirmation than that? How would we actually know that, instead of an x-kiloton nuclear bomb, they didn't just explode x thousand tons of dynamite? I seem to remember reading a webiste that was of the opinion that they were lying about their capabilities in this manner, mentioning something about a lack of detected radioactive isotopes post-explosion, but I can't remember how reputable it was. Thoughts? Peter mqzp 07:41, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm going to say Occam's razor. It makes zero sense to fake a nuclear explosion at this point. Osaka Sun (talk) 08:08, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
From a N.Korean perspective it might make sense to fake it - we just don't know enough about their governments internal political currents to know for sure what pressures are at play. However, this morning none of the other state actors are questioning it, and I don't see any reason to doubt it. The yield is projected at 7mt, which seems a lot more what you'd expect than the smaller yeilds produced before. I'd wager that the first tests were real devices whose detonators partially failed, and this isn't actually a larger yield weapon, but a successful test of a corrected original design (or a close variant. I doubt the miniaturisation claim is true though, as there is no sense in running before you can walk properly. --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 08:34, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
I hadn't heard that they had determined the tonnage. 7 million tons of dynamite is a bit much—Occam's razor it is then. Peter mqzp 23:13, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
This is going to be extremely bad for all sides, including China. There's no reason to believe that NK will stop pushing, so there's going to be conflict. The question is who? The US/SK, or China? If its the US, it means Korean Unification. Germany is STILL sorting out the problems the GDR had when it re-unified, and the GDR was ahead of the curve when it came to Communist nations. If China moves, it means a new puppet state (It wouldn't annex NK, way too much baggage there.) Then that becomes A) who the fuck could the Chinese even install to lead NK and B) How on earth do they handle all the social and political problems that will go critical without the cult of personally of the Kim's hold it back? --Revolverman (talk) 09:17, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
China has had a disintegrating relationship with NK since 2010 and by their reaction over all of this it seems they've had enough. Either by pulling the plug on aid now or kicking the can down the road, when the regime collapses it seems inevitable of reunification. Osaka Sun (talk) 10:02, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Makes sense. I'm sure they'd love to have someone who'd at least slow the refugee problem, and give China a justification to Wall off the border. --Revolverman (talk) 10:12, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
The seismic signatures of underground nuclear explosions is something the US and USSR used to keep an eye on each other - David Gerard (talk) 13:58, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
China is caught between a rock and a hard place. It would definitely prefer to kick the problem into the long grass, along with a load of other things on their oft-ignored "To do" list of messy foreign entanglements, but reunification on USian terms is probabaly a line in the sand, that if push came to shove China would try to pre-empt by intervening first. I don't see any realistic scenario in which China would prefer 30,000 American troops on her nearest foreign border to Beijing and within spitting distance of Dalian, to intervening in NK.
Also Chiniese intervention in NK would not have to be as full on as the US. China does have friends in the current regime, and could probabaly pull of a palace coup if need be, with only modest - if any - visible commitment of forces on her part. A puppet government doesn't neeccesarily mean dismantling the Kim cult. Some old faces and structures could be preserved, much as China itself went from batshit crazy Maoism to hyper-capitalist police state, reducing the risk of massive unrest or refugee movements, and a co-operative NK regime could be safely supplied with resources and equipment needed to seal the border against any undesireable elements. In the long term a co-operative NK puppet helps fulfill the Chiniese ambition to regin naval power in the Sea of Japan. A naval base on the east coast of the Korean peninsula is essential for China to be able to counter US/Japanese/ROK and Russian naval presence there which leaves NE eastern China vulnerable to attack, and is hard to her to counter at present, especially with the US instigating a large scale build-up of forces on Jeju island. I can't see China making a move unless it looks like the US might actually try it on - but I'd be genuinely suprised if there are not plans in place to move quickly in order to pre-empt such a move if it looks like the shit is genuinely fan-bound. --Llegar a las estrellas¿Dígame? 14:42, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

The Wisdom of George Carlin[edit]

Carlin has a great bit where he talks about stupid people, closing with "Just think about stupid the average person is and remember that half of them are stupider than that." In the last few days, I've come to accept that he was right on track. In this past week, I had a discussion with a shameless racist who wasn't racist, but just understood that "black people have more advantages than white people" in America and repeatedly insisted that I acknowledge that "America is the least racist country in the world." For those interested, you can check out his pubic FB profile for a better sense of exactly how fucking stupid the man is and then I got into a lively debate about Gun control wherein my opponent laid these gems (all spelling and grammar errors in originals "how can the people form a viable militia without assault riffles?" Followed by (in a discussion whether the Roberts court is extremely conservative) "what the legal scholars say isn't as convincing to me as what I can plainly see. And as a conservative, recent decisions, most of their decisions, are not conservative because I as a conservative would disagree." Finally, "the problem is I haven't trusted the legal system since it made evolution the basis of its thinking by teaching president instead of law." Some days I just want to purchase a one room shack in Montana. Does anybody know if precedent (or president if you prefer) suggests that a Manifesto has to be hand-written or can I use my typewriter? SirChuckBBATHE THE WHALES!!!! 08:20, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

I am curious how one does determine which nation is "the least racist in the world", or even the criteria for a list from least to most racist?--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 13:39, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Typewriter. Manual. - David Gerard (talk) 14:00, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
his argument goes from just plain wrong to not even wrong when you keep in mind that USA racism is a very particular sort of racism built on our social dynamics, history, and other things over the years; racism as it goes in other countries has very different elements to it. For example, color is far more important to racism in the USA, than ethnicity is. Yet, overseas, even light-skinned ethnicities can be branded 'not white enough' and become 'ethnic others.' So not only is he demonstrating that he's wrong by placing this superlative on the USA, but he's not even wrong because he doesn't even know what racism is in OTHER countries he decries as 'more' racist than the USA. They can't be evaluated together because all cases of racism by country are singular, built on social environments sometimes centuries in the culture.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlongissimus non legeri 15:33, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
BMcp - I asked several times what his construct was for determining most or least racist status, but he was too busy trumpeting what a great nation this was and telling me I could leave for other countries, etc, etc, etc. and by strange coincidence David, I do own a manual typewriter. SirChuckBCall the FBI 20:28, 12 February 2013 (UTC)