RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive205

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This is an archive page, last updated 27 July 2013. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Janitor Powers[edit]

So what's the process for getting my magical mystical sysop merit badge? I just realized I was unable to block someone when I pondered how serious a particular vandal was only to realize I couldn't do anything about it anyways (other than revert them). Also, for something completely unrelated, I've never posted in here before. Weird. --ShadowofLords (talk) 19:27, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

TMToulouse just gave you the powers in response to this comment. See RW:SYSOP for basic guidance that might or might not be up to date. Have fun. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:40, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Gay marriage reasoning leads to polygamy?[edit]

One of the main reasons that I believe gay marriage shouldn't be illegal is that you cannot discriminate against mentally competent and consenting adults doing what they want to do. Now of course we have all heard the stupid slippery slope arguments that gay marriage will lead to all sorts of stupid things, marrying your dog, child, or a car...This is obviously ridiculous since in gay marriage we are talking about consenting adults. That being said, polygamy, which is a real thing around the world obviously, falls under, consenting adults. For those who would be against polygamy but are for gay marriage, why should one be legal and one illegal. I have tried to come up with a reason for this but I really cannot. It seems to me that if I believe that consenting adults should be allowed to marry, why not 3 or more? Obviously I can see a reductio ad absurdum argument coming, why not a thousand?! Just for the sake of argument, let's leave that out. Or if you really want to do ad absurdum, ok, I agree, a thousand people should be allowed to get married then. NetharianCubicles are prisons! 03:55, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

I think the government should basically get out of marriage and make it a private affair (obviously they still need to be involved in court cases, welfare and child support, and othersuch). — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 04:20, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Marriage between more than two people has power dynamic issues that aren't easily teased out. The poly community has certainly made a huge effort to make their case, but it's sort of difficult to separate it from more patriarchal forms of plural marriage. (Or at least it is for me. I'm sure someone else has given a lot more thought to the issue.) EVDebs (talk) 04:49, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Straight marriage without gay marriage is gender discrimination. Marriage between 2 adults but not 3 adults is not gender discrimination. If we decide that benefits can be granted for some secular purpose for 2 people, we can decide that the secular purpose will not be served by giving those benefits to groups of 3 people. At least, that's how I see it now. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 06:07, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Marriage is a legal contract in which two individuals each gain various entitlements in relation to the other (e.g. inheritance, immigration status, next of kin), most or all of which function on the principle that the marriage contains only two people. It's easy to take the existing man-woman institution of marriage and apply it to same-sex couples because there's no reason for these legalities to be any different. But you can't simply fit the same system around polyamorous couples without working out how such entitlements would work. See previous discussion here. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 06:20, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Unlike same-sex marriage, polygamy has a history of harming people. Ultimately, polygamy raises a different question than same-sex marriage and as such, it should be decided on its own respective merits and demerits, just as same-sex marriage should be decided on its own merits. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 17:28, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

The thing about gay marriage leading to polygamy is just a non sequitor designed to make gay marriage or any change marriage seem wrong. What is being advocated for is gay marriage, not polygamy. Weasloid, your argument about the establishment of marriage being between two people is very close to the argument by Jesus freaks that marriage should not be changed to include gay people. Please think about that. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 02:10, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

No it isn't. You fail reading comprehension. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:24, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
As much as it pains me, I'm agreeing with Ehrenstein/Александр. However, the christians are wrong. Gay marriage does not significantly hurt those involved, whereas polygamy has a long history of generally hurting those involved. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 21:54, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
What is it you're agreeing with Ehrenstein about & why does it pain you? WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:24, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
I do fail at reading, and attributed Apokalyps2547's comment to you. I retract my stupidity. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 23:53, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
OK then. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:38, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Though, in the current political climate of the world, we have to play along with their "moral" game at the moment to show that their arguments are bunk. Though, I think it is likely in the long run that they may be correct: removing one unjust societal barrier tends to lead to more of them falling down as society in general develops are more precise moral compass and beings to understand compassion and ethics to greater extents. I think Weaseloid is fundamentally correct in his main point: if we accept that the secular purpose for marriage includes assigning a sole loved one to have certain legal rights in conjunction with you, then polygamy provides a fundamental shift. The other argument is the "what about the kids" (which I think we should wholly reject on it's face, but I will assume for the sake of argument we "accept" it here): studies have shown the nuclear family (two parents, especially married, raising children) is the best for the children in several scores. However, hopefully we eventually just get rid of marriage as a government issue, since it seems most religions just want to use it to force their particular view on the nation for "morality's sake". --ShadowofLords (talk) 02:21, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
Citations please. I was under the impression that the more people who raise/are around a child (whether it be more than two parents, extended relatives or family friends), the better. Otherwise, i agree. — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 16:09, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

LessWrong and RW[edit]

Someone is cranky about LW and references our page. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:07, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Well-written and sensible, although I think he's tacking on too much politics to Bayes' theorem.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:05, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
It's a pity that piece is also weird and inane - David Gerard (talk) 13:07, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
LW tends to attract a lot of extreme personalities, because absolute conclusions and grandiose wording are - for good or ill - such a strong feature of the place. That also means that its critics tend to go off the deep end, as we've seen on our own talk page on the subject.--ADtalkModerator 15:16, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. Much like LW itself, this essay starts to go in the right direction and then proceeds to jump off the deep end. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:17, 12 July 2013 (UTC)


That is all. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:27, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Is there some reason I just googled "sharknado" and got a bunch of pages about Southwest Airlines?--Token Conservative (talk) 06:12, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Enough said. Redchuck.gif ГенгисunbelievingModerator 12:59, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Hey, Nough' Said convinved me to buy moonboots, this must be good! Also; Sharknado... or watch Absolute Zero for free. Tough choice./ --MikallakiM 17:08, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Anyone here studying psych at the U of New Mexico?[edit]

And if so, do you need to lose a few pounds? The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 23:43, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Man, it seems like more and more its harder to get P.hDs from Diploma mills then real schools. --Revolverman (talk) 05:19, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
They gave a good review of Pacific Rim, therefor io9 is a valuable source of knowledge to the world, because Pacific Rim is probably the greatest best action movie God ever gave man on the surface of the Earth.--Token Conservative (talk) 06:42, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I came here to make a Pacific Rim section, but apparently I'll just hijack this one. I haven't seen it yet, but I've matched most of the trailers and several short pieces of interviewing the actors and directory. I have high hopes for a good action film. Although, only sufficiently "cultured" people like myself will recognize some of the definite homages, such as synchronization levels ala neon genesis evangelion. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 07:36, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I give very few fucks about Kaiju and Giant Robot genres, but Pacific Rim is an action movie with a reasonable and consistent plot and likable characters. So, basically, it's Dark Knight with giant robots and alien sea monsters, and is therefor better.--Token Conservative (talk) 17:47, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I thought it was a porn movie. --Blunt Force Drama (talk) 17:53, 13 July 2013 (UTC)






Still using the eye argument eh? How quaint. Do keep up. SophieWilderModerator 19:34, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
Are you George512? IF YES:
FUCK YOU! --20:01, 13 July 2013 (UTC)— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
So this is a parody of a creationist. Right?--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:25, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I prefer to reserve the word "parody" for something along the line of Young Frankenstein, or if im generous, a convincing fake, not meet the spartans, personally. --MikallakiM 00:04, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Let's get kinky![edit]

Anybody have any kinks? This is a non-judging thread, but jokes that aren't just plain rude are allowed. Feel free to say whatever you want about yourself! (This message brought to you by His Reasonableness The High Chancellor Eddie Monah, Champion of Rationality. Sing songs of praise to me or simply worship my genius.) 22:48, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

Picture this if you can: B-jobs! Knotted nylons! Bamboo canes! Three unreleased recordings of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fighting in the dressing-room of the Fillmore East! An enchilada wrapped with pickle sauce shoved up and down in between a donkey's legs until he can't it stand anymore! All this and more, Howie! Including an electric-cooled pony harness, with fuel injection, fuel injection, fuel injection.... (1000 internets if you smile at this without Googling the reference...) The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 23:48, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
How many internets if I smiled without realising it included any sort of reference?
"Anybody have any kinks?" I've got a Greatest Hits CD. Waterloo Sunset, Death of a Clown, etc. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:41, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Lola! You forgot Lola. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 12:57, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
I've got tons of them in my hair. Straightening my hair is a royal pain. Zero (talk) 13:33, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm one of the site's resident perverts if you haven't heard yet. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:20, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Hah! What makes you so special? Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 20:34, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Spent a weekend at the Stay 'N Play in LA last year. Good times. Still not sure if its good or bad that I recognized the interior of the place from many, many adult films. Semipenultimate 21:22, 12 July 2013 (UTC)
Do you take huge lists? Polite Timesplitter Let's move on to some other area of sodomy! 08:18, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I didn't realise that "plant-buggery" is even a thing. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:38, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Trayvon Martin case[edit]

Be aware, the shitstorm has begun. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:18, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Riots? --DamoHi 06:45, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
My tumblr was a wave of anger til that one guy died. Now its a wave of feels. I dont worry. --MikallakiM 07:15, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Asleep on duty?[edit]

An IP editor has added some Wikipedia-style padding and a justification paragraph to the Buddhism article. Someone should have a look.--MonarchofascistBulgarian M36 Helmet side view.jpgС нами Бог! 09:24, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

I'll take a gander.--ADtalkModerator 17:46, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
We have less than 100 active sysop-type users at any one given time, at this point (roughly speaking), so things can get slipped past. Ochotona princepsnot a pokémon 22:11, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Proposed page moves[edit]

Right now credentialism is a redirect to credentials. I propose to reverse this. The article is mostly about the misuse of credentials (i.e., credentialism) rather than credentials per se. Therefore, it would better reflect the actual content of the article if we made credentialism the main article and credentials redirected to it. The lead would need to be tweaked just a little to reflect this. As a secondary point this could move the page up in Google rankings. A search for "credentialism" brings up the RW article as about the 150th or so hit and shows the content-free redirect page.

Not sure of the protocol for doing these things so thought I'd mention it here to see if anyone objects. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:00, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

most wikis follow a "is it not that contentious of an action? go ahead and do it", or "ask on its talk pagE"--MikallakiM 01:05, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the switching is a good idea - credentialism is a more well-defined term than credentials. --Tweenk (talk) 19:39, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
I did the move, and didn't even irrevocably destroy both articles or cause the server's disk drives to seize up. Pretty amazing given the level of my technical expertise. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:10, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
MediaWiki is designed not to do that. Considering the amount of vandalism Wikipedia gets, it needs to be secure. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 18:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Damn this site is slow to respond![edit]

Pet Pain-Away is a homeopathic remedy. Whatever the hell it is, I hope I remember its name while it took 5 minutes to load this page. Research. Write article. Ban brxbrx from site. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:07, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

I am unable to post on pages (other than this) -- (talk) 03:42, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
What a relief! Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 17:07, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, it's been ridiculous and almost impossible to view or edit the site since yesterday morning for me.--ADtalkModerator 17:37, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I am aware of it and actively working on it.Tmtoulouse (talk) 18:24, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

The problem should be resolved please respond if your not seeing improvement. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:12, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

The slowness is gone, but now I seem to have to purge pages repeatedly before I can see new edits. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:11, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

The Big Bang[edit]

Gigity. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 07:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)


So sometime in the last few days, I cannot see the scroll-over text on webcomics such as XKCD and Girls with Slingshots when I visit the sites with Chromium, but I can with FF. Any ideas what this weirdness is about? The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 13:32, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Both those comics (and many more) use the title attribute to achieve this effect, that is, they set the title on the image of the comic and common browsers render the title as hover over text. But nothing in the relevant standards says they should, let alone must do this. It is conceivable that Chromium has decided as a matter of policy to no longer provide titles in this way, or equally that there is a bug in your version of Chromium and it will be fixed later.
Historically some browsers used to render the alt attribute as hover text, which was arguably an abuse of that attribute since it is intended to reflect an alternative text, e.g. which can be read to the blind, or displayed on very primitive devices which can't render the image. Browsers stopped doing this, although you may find some comics have the same extra joke or commentary (or indeed another one) set as alternative text. Tialaramex (talk) 17:34, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Worse yet, Oglaf (NSFW) has different jokes in title= and alt= - David Gerard (talk) 17:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Jenny McCarthy[edit]

As if we needed more material about that moron to add to her article, she's the new co-host of ABC's 'The View.' I, for one, can't wait to see how much bullshit she starts spewing once she gets on there. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 09:23, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Just don't be too mean. Her kid has a developmental disability, and she was just trying to find a way to rationalize it. Unfortunately, it turns out being a famous nude model means the media listens to you.--"Shut up, Brx." 11:17, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Please tell me you're not being serious. Cow...Hammertime! 22:47, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The View is still on the Air? I really doubt that this will really be anything more then a blip for the very short term. --Revolverman (talk) 15:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I won't have a problem with her being on the show until she says anything close to anti-vaxxer bullshit; then she will have committed an offense more heinous than a thousand Paula Deens. --Seth Peck (talk) 20:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

"Christ in Context"[edit]

NPR interviews the author of a new book about Jesus. I may have to buy this one.--TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 20:44, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, looks interesting. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:07, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Gay marriage set to get royal assent[edit]

The Tory infighting will be glorious. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:10, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

The Tory infighting has already happened when the bill passed through the houses. "Royal assent" is a formality that converts the bill into an act; HM has no decision-making authority (in real terms). WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:05, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The Westminster system can seem a little odd to those unfamiliar with it. The final approval (be it the Queen in the UK or the Governor General in Oz and Canada) is a rubber stamp formality. Hence the "final authority" in all such countries has no actual power or authority. VOXHUMANA 08:47, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Indeed. The last time the Royal Assent was refused was around 1700 I think. So it's hardly a major barrier to legislation :) Worm (talk) 09:36, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The last withholding of assent in the UK was by Queen Anne in 1708. Lieutenant-Governors in Canada have utilized their power to withhold assent as recently as 1937. Compro01 (talk) 17:59, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Excellent news. Now it is Scotland's turn. —Tom Morris (talk) 18:50, 17 July 2013 (UTC)


Hi folks, I have come back to rationalwiki temporarily. I was interested does anyone want an article on rationalwiki on epigenetics? I could work on that, if it is needed. DinoCrisis (talk) 11:12, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Could be darned useful, yes, thank you! - David Gerard (talk) 14:17, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

A broadside upon tyranny[edit]

Please have a look at the programme for revolutionary change Marcus Cicero SPQR100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:48, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

The problem is the shtick is a little old, personally, do you think you can get co-sponsors? Like 10 RationalWiki users who have been her longer than a month that can even verify that they still care about your manifestos? Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:52, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Confirming that the shtick is now old and unfunny. Hipocrite (talk) 20:07, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I went through a similar revolutionary rhetoric phase, complete with typewritten screeds posted on various cork boards, some time around my junior or senior year in high school, so aged 16 or 17 or so. That style of hot air didn't get me anywhere. I may defend your right to say such things, but that doesn't mean I don't find them tiresome. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:32, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I have a resounding mandate to institute a programme of revolutionary change. This wiki - with its attendant and ancient ancestral liberties - has been usurped by a small oligarchic elite intent on destroying all that we find precious. The people are tired of this state of affairs and demand a complete revolutionary upheaval of the existing order, so that the likes of me can never again be persecuted and exiled as a result of their political beliefs. The incident on Human's talk page was particularly corrosive, as it in an instant eliminated the core principle upon which the entire Rationalwiki was established - A man, his talkpage, and his wiki. Never forget, never surrender, never collaborate. Resist. Always resist. Marcus Cicero SPQR100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 20:35, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Whatever. Doctor Dark (talk) 21:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
And thus continues the abuse of the term "Fascist" in the English language to mean literally anything that you disagree with.--Token Conservative (talk) 21:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Taking bets on when MC will be rebanned. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:39, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I think this calls for a show trial followed by a swift political banning. Oh, and if we can see to it that he's not allowed to speak, that would be great. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Can we oppress those who voted for him? - David Gerard (talk) 00:06, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
If that includes public exposure and shaming, then yes, please. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:08, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
What if we voted for him so he could show the userbase why he should be banned permanently?--Token Conservative (talk) 00:11, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Self-fulfilling prophecies never go down well. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:57, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

In response to Trent I will gladly co-sponsor Comerade Cicero. His 'shtick' may be well played but he raises some very valid points (with unbounded rhetorical skill to boot). Groupthink, a tendency to stifle viewpoints that we deem 'ridiculous' or 'unconscionable', the growing encroachment of bureaucracy and a desire to control editors rather than BE controlled by editors; these are the hallmarks of a maturing rational-wiki. MC is our conscience, forever reminding us that when we could have stuck to our principles we so easily abandoned them to protect the feelings of 'senior' editors. He is our Beast from Lord of the Flies or the Darkness in our Heart of Darkness - if you don't understand why we need this foil then you don't understand human behaviour. Marcus, it is good to see that the fire in your heart has not been dimmed! Tielec01 (talk) 02:24, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

So, MC wants anarchy, basically. I don't need to enumerate reasons why anarchy is stupid...EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 02:37, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
It feels more like French Revolution mobocracy. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:10, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
MC wants what you all want: a pleasant editing environment in which ideas are valued over conformity and authority serves the People. Anarchy being equal to lawlessness is a story precocious children tell each other. Marcus advocates his version of revolutionary syndicalism, or the power of the People to join arms and march on the offices and mansions and demand the workers' due in the factories where we make our words and the fora where we speak them. And we'll burn it all down if necessary. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 05:21, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Marcus wasn't "persecuted and hounded from this website for [his] political beliefs" he was blocked for being a disruptive troll and general dickhead. Steven Kavanagh (talk) 05:40, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
So now we block 'dickheads' is it? Or perhaps 'trolls'? Am I a troll for supporting MC? What about Nutty for his continuing abusive blocks of BrxBrx - who many editors surely consider a dickhead? You say these words as if they weren't synonyms with "people I don't like". The revolution is coming and semantics won't stop it. Tielec01 (talk) 05:48, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
You may not be a troll for supporting MC, but you are an idiot. You know what he is, he's a troll. Have you forgotten his antics? His "brother", his "mental illness", his "forum full of trolls." If you think he has anything serious to say about the running of this site, you're delusional. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:46, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
It is remarkable how quickly our learned friends degenerate into daily mail reading foam at the mouth reactionaries as soon as somebody comes along calling for a great upheaval. This 'hate' which I see around me everywhere, is good for nobody. I detest hatred. I hate, hate. Freedom is our birthright my dear friends, and I will burn down the entire superstructure if this is the cost of attaining freedom. Jeeves drags up incidents from years ago (most of which were fucking hilarious by the way) as some sort of proof - he is employing the rhetoric of hate, something with which he is intimately familiar. Let us not forgot my first revolutionary awakening, when I put a stop to a disgusting orgy of hatred directed against people of faith. The leader of this hate lynch mob? None other than Jeeves mark 2. J'accuse Jeeves of being a reactionary bigot! J'accuse Jeeves of being a hate riddled demon! J'accuse Jeeves of being an enemy of the people!
The people have spoken, and have elected me to represent their interests. I have informed them of the sham nature of our moderati, and how rationalwiki can only progress once this institution is consigned to the dustbin of history and a legacy of the fascism we all claim to oppose. Stand with me, and we can - we MUST - restore the mobocracy. It is within our grasp dear friends, I can feel it. Marcus Cicero SPQR100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:55, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

"I have a resounding mandate to institute a programme of revolutionary change." - Guffaw. VOXHUMANA 19:14, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

He's still got that play about RWW to finish. SophieWilderModerator 07:00, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Modern Human Evolution[edit]

Hello RW, I was wondering if anybody here could answer a question that has been in my mind for a while: Did humans evolve separately, based on the various locations early humans have migrated to and made themselves "aboriginal", or did they remain on the same evolutionary path? Why so? My personal suspicion is that humans did not diverge, because of commonly held advantages that humans have to survive, that seem applicable almost everywhere (fire), which retarded the process of selecting those who are more likely to die of natural causes prior to propagating their genes. (talk) 20:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

The human settlements outside Africa have only been around for (iirc) about 10-15,000 years. That isn't enough time for there to be distinct species. Had the isolation happened for another few millennia, sure, eventually there would have been distinct subspecies of humanity. Not to mention, the whole of the human race has less genetic diversity then a single group of monkey's.--Token Conservative (talk) 20:52, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Huh? BON didn't mention anything about species or subspecies...
I'm not sure how large a "single group of monkey's" you're comparing us to, but there's a fair amount of observable diversity within humanity, at least some of which can be attributed to adaptation to local climates and conditions: folks native to colder climates have more bodily hair; those indigenous to hotter ones tend to have less; peoples in the hottest climates have darker skin which burns less easily; those in humid climates have fewer sweat glands. Etc. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:07, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
It seemed to be what he was implying. The monkey's comment was based on something from discovery channel.--Token Conservative (talk) 21:24, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
To the first poster, the BON (bunch of numbers, ip address): It depends on what you're asking. It is at first glance plausible to the layman that there were two distinct populations of monkeys, who, remained separate, and both evolved into humans. Let me put that one to rest and say that is not what happened with a very high degree of confidence. A possible second question is as thus: after the monkey population split to "evolve" into humans, did that further split into distinct groups which then "evolved" separately? Yes. Yes it did. However, the time scales are so short for any splitting inside the human population that we should expect to see minimal differences. And that's exactly what we do see. We see some minimal differences in average height, skin color, facial structure, and so on. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 21:43, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
FFS, humans didn't evolve from any monkeys. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Under the terminology you propose that we use, that means that the most recent common ancestor of all monkeys is not a monkey. Under the terminology you propose that we use, that means "monkey" is not a monophyletic clade. I argue this should be viewed as an error in our understanding of what is a monkey. For the same reasons that it was an error to define "ape" to artificially exclude "humans" - which has since been rectified - it is an error to define "monkey" to artificially exclude "apes". Still, if you want to throw a pedantic pissing match, I will endeavor to use "simian" in the future. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 23:31, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Please do tell me more about this terminology I'm proposing. It sounds fascinating. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:43, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
"it is an error to define "monkey" to artificially exclude "apes".". Um... huh?. There are certainly numerous minor disagreements about the finer subdivisions of the primate order, but I've never heard of anyone claiming "monkey" should include apes. I've also never heard anyone insist that monkeys are a unitary (monophyletic) group, they are subdivided into Ceboidea and Cercopithecoidea, neither of which includes the homonoids. I'm happy to be referred to reliable sources which claim otherwise, naturally, but at the moment, your assertions seem somewhat out of left field. VOXHUMANA
I fully admit that it is not a mainstream position to given a proper monophyletic meaning to the word "monkey". I could give one or two layman pop-culture icons that do support such a move though. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 10:39, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

"folks native to colder climates have more bodily hair." Really? I'm thinking of various people I've met descended from people from the far Canadian north, and, say, various people I know descended frpm the Levant or the Mediterranean. No question which (admittedly non-scientifically controlled group) is hairier... The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 22:04, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

It was a pretty broad generalisation (& maybe a poor example) + I'm by no means an expert in this area. AFAIK, all the native peoples of the Americas have quite a lot of genetic heritage in common, dating from around the time they migrated from the Eurasian landmass or early, including their very low level of body hair, and this applies to those who settled in colder parts of the Americas as well as the warmer parts. While most of the Indo-European/Arabic/Semitic peoples tend to be hairier, again across differing climates. I'm sure I've read that climatic adaptation is believed to have played some role in these divergences, but maybe I've been misinformed. The whole issue of human body hair (like why we have so little compared to our closest evolutionary peers) seems to be a bit of a conundrum. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:00, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I read somewhere that we have the same numbers of body hairs as a chimp but much shorter and finer hairs. It is worth keeping it clear that humans did not descend from modern monkeys. Hamster (talk) 23:58, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

What's cooking?[edit]

A rising foodie trend, according to The Economist. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:45, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Silly Americans. Unaware of both goat and curry, so hence also goat curry. A few good goat vindaloos would do you people a world of good. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 04:29, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Nothing new under the sun department: Goat's milk has been proclaimed a healthy beverage ever since little Adelheid went to live with her uncle in the Alps, if fictional references are credible. Also, Brazilians are Americans too, and love them some tasty goat meat. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:02, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
First thing I do on arrival to the West Indies/any city with a decently-sized West Indian population -- get me some goat. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 14:06, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Go down to Florida or other places with Cuban cuisine, too, if you like some goat. It was great to go down to the Cuban shop and buy a leg of goat when I was in college. It's strong-tasting, so the best thing I found were goat fajitas. After you strip the bones, you can also use them and the scraps to make a great hearty soup (with barley).--ADtalkModerator 14:42, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

It seems Rational Wiki is not located in Dallas[edit]

http://status.linode.com/2013/07/dallas-connectivity-issues.html Sturmkrieg however is fucked. I will be lighting incense and praying to the Omnessiah. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 05:12, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

*plays nanoviolin* SophieWilderModerator 06:58, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
That's racist. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 15:24, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Dallas is in Texas. Texas seceded from the Union. You support their racist polices for choosing that Linode datacenter. I can't say I'm not a terrible bigot for being in Virginia, but at least God isn't smiting me for my insolence, so I must be a little closer to salvation. Racist. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:35, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
"Other than that, Mrs. Kennedy, how was your trip to Dallas?" Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 15:58, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Newspeak and "political correctness"[edit]

Considering the American right's recent penchant for using racist swear words in the name of "freedom" (see WIGO:Clogs), where should the limit be for not tolerating abusive language without being accused of being "Orwellian?" Osaka Sun (talk) 07:39, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

This is possibly best illustrated by the British Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he— (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.


There are many, proxy being one, who feel that this is an intollerable restriction on free speech. There are others, and I'm one, who say that the old 'sticks and stones' saying is a load of bollocks and this law is essential in a multi-cultural society like Britain. Innocent Bystander (talk) 10:38, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I think the best standard is the first amendment of the United States constitution, or the work of Voltaire, Mill, Jefferson, and other great Enlightenment thinkers. Namely, there shall be absolutely no legal penalty for merely offensive or annoying speech. Exceptions are allowed for libel and slander for mere economic reasons. Stalking and harassment exceptions exist too. But no matter how rudely or crudely I make a "your mother" joke, a rape joke, a racist joke, and so on, I argue that based on the known consequences of allowing the government to regulate stuff like is, the only acceptable option is for you to suck it up and deal with it. Addendum: Some kinds of social pressure are ok, but never legal pressure. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 10:43, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
@Innocent Bystander. Franky, I think that's complete humbug and insanity. I damned well better be able to insult someone by saying that their beliefs are noxious, harmful, and false. Again, at the very least. Being insulting, and causing distress in others, is a basic requirement of the democratic form of government whereby we can criticize public policy proposals and criticize specific representatives, etc. Again, at the very least. I would go for much, much more, for many other reasons. In fact, right now I intend to insult you, insult your beliefs, and cause you great distress. (Whether I am successful is another question.) EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 10:46, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
As I said, opinions vary. Innocent Bystander (talk) 10:53, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Something that we might never know under your system, because it would be illegal. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 11:00, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you appreciate how that language is indistinguishable in large part from modern blasphemy laws in many countries around the world, and the incredible mischief that they do, and that is done as part of belief in belief. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 11:02, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh, yes, the UK is renown for it's authoritarian and Orwellian system. My golly gosh yes. I mean the Snowden thing was completely suppressed over here, completely. It certainly wasn't a British newspaper that published the leaks, oh, no, certainly not. It wasn't the same newspaper that published the Wikileaks thing.
No, we're not allowed to speak our minds at a....
Incidentally, from your shpeel, Stalking and harassment exceptions exist too. - how does this differ from the UK law? Innocent Bystander (talk) 11:10, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
"Oh, yes, the UK is renown for it's authoritarian and Orwellian system." Not quite, but the scattershot approach our lawmakers have towards speech laws means we are reknowned for embarrassing cases like this and this. Even if you think stringent hate speech laws are essential to curb hate crimes in a multicultural society (and I would submit that there is no evidence that they are), there's just no consistency or efficiency in the British set-up. Grumblejaws (talk) 13:21, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
EL, it is my understanding that it's far from clear that the US founders would have taken such a broad approach to First Amendment freedoms and this notion of the marketplace of ideas not necessarily being a place where childrens' ears ought not be cupped and people with opposing viewpoints won't be deeply offended. Despite a de facto preference for enlarging speech rather than constricting it, SCOTUS's analysis in free speech cases always goes through whichever appropriate balancing test. I'm curious whether anyone's got insight into whether there's any great irony in the right ardently advocating very little restriction on speech and "conservative" justices giving short shrift to their professed originalism when it suits them. Just an unfounded suspicion. Someone fire up Westlaw. I've got a full plate. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:44, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Regarding SCOTUS, excepting obscenity law, which is haphazardly and very rarely enforced, you are simply wrong. For example, in recent years, SCOTUS has repeatedly struck down US congress laws banning cartoon "child sex" pictures and other obviously virtual "child sex" pictures and videos - saying that such things are protected speech. I hope that's enough to settle the debate right here about modern SCOTUS. ... As for the "founding fathers", like most issues, it depends. As usual, they were of a split opinion. For example, John Adams, the second president of the United States, IIRC had some sedition laws on the books and a few dozen people IIRC people were charged and put jail for roughly a year or two over this. When Jefferson came to the presidency afterwards, that shit was fixed, or something. I think the law merely sunsetted, and little to no one was remaining in prison(?). But Jefferson did not continue the practice. So, it was a mixed bag. However, when we look at who was largely responsible for the first amendment, the short list includes Jefferson. Jefferson once wrote: "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Right now, I can only link to someone much more read and eloquent than I will ever be. This is my favorite moment ever of Hitchens, and I miss him. [1] EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 19:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Also regarding SCOTUS, didn't they just recently also rule in favor of the Phelps with their inane bullshit? Pretty sure they did, by quite a large majority. IIRC 8 to 1(?). Of course, there's also the (in)famous SCOTUS decision protecting the right of the KKK to public marches and gathering... EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 19:42, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks EL. re: Phelps - the ACLU represented them in the district court. I don't know if they took it to SCOTUS. Re: child porn, you're referring to the simulated child porn statute, which was held to be overbroad because it prohibited conduct that was not otherwise unlawful. It didn't regulate actual child porn, which I think is uniformly considered "sexual abuse" for purposes of a statute that at least some circuits have held to be constitutional. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 20:43, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Link to SCOTUS decision about Phelps. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 03:56, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Right, child porn laws work a lot like drug laws. Nobody likes drug lords or child rapists, so prosecutors have been gradually arguing their way down the slippery slope with little opposition from judges (who wants to be the judge known for "letting off" a child rapist?) or legislators. Many of you will be familiar with the idea that possession of an arbitrary quantity of a prohibited substance is magically "intent to supply" with no further evidence. Child porn prosecutors have managed further sleight of hand. So first of all prosecutors assert that taking a photograph of a child being raped is basically the same as raping the child. That doesn't make a whole lot of philosophical sense, but it's hard to argue against without sounding like a monster. Now, obviously making a duplicate photograph is just as bad as making the original, right? OK. And a digital image is just as bad as an actual photograph. And when a digital image is converted from a compressed file into a picture on the screen, each time that happens you're making a copy... OK, so now, "raped a three year old child" and "opened a JPEG in a web browser" need the same punishment. But amazingly that wasn't enough. See, sometimes there's a picture that the prosecutor doesn't like, but there's no victim. Millions of dollars of global anti-child-porn units, and nobody knows who the kid in the picture is. Maybe there isn't a victim at all? Photoshopping images is a lot safer than raping kids. But prosecutors successfully argued that it's not their job to prove guilt in such a situation. The image looks like a child was abused, that ought to be enough. So now it's possible that you will go to jail for a long time for looking at a photoshopped image. An entirely imaginary child was protected and that makes it OK. That's where the US is on the slope, more or less. Many other countries, including the UK, have argued that now that they've agreed it's vital to protect potentially imaginary children from naughty JPEGs, they need to include children that couldn't possibly exist. That means everything from crude drawings of Lisa Simpson giving Bart a blow job through to a friend of a friend's very talented but controversial paintings, shown around the world except for those occasions when they're confiscated and destroyed as obscene. He now lives in Japan, the Japanese are pretty messed up about child sexuality, but they don't seem inclined to lock him away for making art so who is the barbarian now? Tialaramex (talk) 21:13, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
(EC) SCOTUS has repeatedly struck down US congress laws banning cartoon "child sex" pictures and other obviously virtual "child sex" pictures and videos - saying that such things are protected speech. I hope that's enough to settle the debate right here about modern SCOTUS. Not really. The free/protected speech issues surrounding pornography are completely different from those surrounding hate speech, which is the main subject of this thread. The nature of what makes pornographic materials "offensive" is likewise different to what makes bigotry "offensive". Jefferson once wrote: "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." Fair enough, but this still doesn't address hate speech. "I do not believe in my neighbours god" is very different from "my neighbour is a contemptible subhuman wretch from an inferior race & culture who deserves to be persecuted & harassed". If we agree that expressions of belief/unbelief are not "injurious to others", it doesn't necessarily follow that expressions of prejudice & bigotry aren't. I'm no expert on SCOTUS or the founding fathers & don't intend to wade far into this debate. Just pointing out a couple of false equivocations. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:17, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(Regarding statements of nonbelief as not damaging.) And that's where you're wrong. Again, I have to bring up the example of blasphemy laws, which in many countries merely expressing atheism strongly can make you run afoul of those laws. Those laws are phrased very similarly to the above UK statute. I see time and time again from today's age - this year - where people in India, Pakistan, Egypt, and so on, are punished under the blasphemy laws because merely expressing disbelief is considered offensive. Thus it is not a non-sequitir, but it is entirely on point. You may wish to categorize "I think you're stupid because you're catholic" into a separate category as "I think you're stupid because you're black" (very, very roughly), but I see absolutely no possible justification for this, except that you agree on one, and don't agree with the other. I think the Jefferson quote explicitly captures this when it compares speech to stealing and bodily injury. Jefferson is saying that merely offensive speech should never be considered legally harmful. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 03:46, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

This is a really interesting conversation to read.--ADtalkModerator 03:48, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Could societal (not legal) pressure even be attacked by the far-right (racists, anti-Semtites, etc.) as "Newspeak?" (talk) 18:15, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Only rarely, and only when it's on the grand scale. I'm thinking McCarthy era blacklists as the defacto example of going too far. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 19:36, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Ignore that. I can't read. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 19:51, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I received a strange religious letter in the mail[edit]

Basically, I got a packet in the mail from 'Saint Matthew's Church' with some religious papers and stuff, and a piece of 'prayer paper'. I didn't find anything on the wiki about them, and the papers I was sent had the usual religious stuff, with a couple funny bits. Apparently, I'm supposed to use the prayer paper to pray to God and then send it back to the church by tonight(and indicate what I want to receive in my blessing), or else someone else might not receive the paper and I won't be blessed. I took some photos of the papers, sorry about the bad quality on some:

The envelope (websites are BiblicalPrayer.com and I didn't think to write down the other one, sorry)

Back of the prayer paper (it's not a frigging mat okay)

Front of the prayer paper (I don't think Jesus' eyes are opening, guys)

Page 1 of main letter explaining the whole shebang

Page 2 of main letter (including a handy dandy checklist of stuff I might want from God!)


More testimony!

Yet more testimony!!

If I act now, I could win a FREE CROSS!!!

Best part of the whole thing. Notice how I broke the HOLY SEAL of Scotch Tape to read GOD'S PERSONAL FORM LETTER.

And here's GOD'S PERSONAL PLAN FOR MY LIFE. Seems awfully generic...

Should I send it back? With or without prayer paper? If I do, I'll apparently get a free golden prayer cross. Hey, it's free! That's almost worth propagating holy chain mail, right? I did some digging and it turns out the whole thing looks like a scam, and since I don't intend on giving them a dime of my money I figure bilking them out of a FREE HOLY PRAYER CROSS might almost be worth it. Almost. I want to know what you lot think. --Trar, the one true Scotsman (och, talk to me laddie) 18:21, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Actually, since it looks like the whole thing IS a scam, I'm going to send it anyway, sans prayer paper:
Here's the form I filled out
And the envelope, properly sealed and ready to go. I took this last night, which is why the prayer paper is still in the envelope even after I've decided not to send it. --Trar, the one true Scotsman (och, talk to me laddie) 18:28, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Why are you bothering? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:47, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Why do you want a "free golden prayer cross" ? My guess would be that it's a paper cross, but even if it's instead cheap plastic you now have some trash, that some scammer bought in bulk for say three cents. This is less useful than the "free" return address labels that some charities send out in the hope that you'll donate money or the "free" pens often included with unsolicited insurance quotes. I haven't bought any notepaper for more than a decade thanks to the willingness of advertisers to provide unlimited free envelopes for scribbling on. Tialaramex (talk) 21:21, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
If you send it back, all you're doing is signalling to them that you're a real person and you now want to receive begging letters from them in perpetuity. Prepare for a weekly letter asking you to perform some weird ritual then send the ritual object back to them along with a "love offering" or "faith donation" or some or such wording amounting to sending them pot loads of cash.
Granted, you might consider it your civic duty to get them to waste the few pennies it costs them to mail that crap to you in the full knowledge they'll never get any money back, but think of the poor suffering trees. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:56, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I guess I did this because of my ingrained sense of humor for the ridiculous and the ridiculously stupid. The influx of junk-mail I will receive doesn't bother me that much, really. And it's a FREE CROSS YOU CAN'T COMPLAIN ABOUT FREE STUFF. I might find some use for it in housecleaning or some such, at any rate. --Trar, the one true Scotsman (och, talk to me laddie) 13:56, 19 July 2013 (UTC)


Hi there. I promise I'll stop harping on about freedom and liberty (notions you all hold with thinly veiled contempt) IF the following happens:

  • A free vote to decide the future of Rationalwiki
  • A thorough and quality debate outlining the future of Rationalwiki
  • A guarantee that the regime will not ban people as a result of their political beliefs.

If the vote fails, I'll stop going on about revolution and stuff until the next election (When I will run as an abolitionist). If the vote succeeds, I'll just be a normal moderator and contribute constructively like I've always done. Deal? Marcus Cicero SPQR100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:03, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

when did rationalwiki become a democracy ? I was sure it was a mobocracy under the benign dictatorship of some canadian guy who pays the bills ? I could be wrong ... and probably am. Can I vandal bin MC ? would there be any point ? Hamster (talk) 19:24, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we should negotiate with terrorists. --Seth Peck (talk) 19:27, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Or feed trolls.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:47, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I have always questioned why some trolls linger in a place whose residents all know them to be trolls and whom are only responded to with sarcasm and reminders that everyone knows they are trolling. Say what you like about youtube trolls, at least they always strive to find fresh new minds to enrage. Then again I guess some people dont see such "talented trolls" like Kendoll as the unfunny and tedious lolcows we do, but as examples to imitate. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 20:30, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Marcus, if you're serious about this stuff why are you still talking in terms of ultimatums for other people to do stuff rather than actually taking the initiative yourself? You want a debate & a vote - then start one! It ain't rocket science. If there's community interest & support, people will weigh in on it. If there isn't, it will die on its arse. Be bold Cicero. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:24, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

If I start it, it will instant ridicule and scorn. It needs to be initiated by a respected intermediary. If I lose the vote I'll shut up. Marcus Cicero SPQR100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 21:48, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I see the predicament. As a respected intermediary, I will initiate the proposal and we will see whether the people are for tyranny or for freedom. --Titus Atticus (talk) 23:33, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I just released something. We have our own Ken DeMyer here with MC! --Revolverman (talk) 23:34, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

And out come the socks. I have a question... just how many of the socks of MC voted for him in the election? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:51, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
As I have indicated many times before, I am NOT a sock of Marcus Cicero. Frankly the accusations along these lines are getting tiresome. Titus Atticus (talk) 00:22, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure, mate, sure. You're just a guy who happens to turn up whenever MC decides to troll us. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 01:26, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I think your hate for MC clouds your judgement Jeeves. I have no doubt that Titus is a sock, but I think he is a sock of a well-established user who is not willing to risk the wrath of the moderatores. How telling; the precautions that one must take to challenge the status quo at RW. Well I refuse to hide behind pseudonyms and I urge all of those who secretly support the revolution to come forward and be counted amongst the faithful. Tielec01 (talk) 01:42, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't hate MC, I just see him for what he is: An irritating troll that we'd all be better off without. If you really don't understand that what he's doing is concern trolling, and worse you can't see that it's part of his (admitted) pattern of concern trolling then you're a fucking moron. Really, why isn't this fuckwit banned? Why as a community can't we do this one thing that is so obviously needed? I really fail to understand. Has MC ever, EVER, done anything useful? All he does is troll, year in and year out. Can't we please, please just get rid of him already? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 01:55, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Nutty sees him, I believe, as a useful idiot to help restore the more rough-and-ready RW of the past (frankly, I don't see all that much difference). While this is obviously MC's explicit goal and he will obviously fail explicitly, his presence as a troll and disruptiveness also implicitly work to the purpose more effectively. "Fuckwits like this," Nutty is saying through his support, "Are part of the fun of it."
That's my guess, anyway. Maybe he just thinks it's funny.
Certainly there's vanishingly little merit in MC's actual claims or demands, except to the extent that they are the clear result of a surprising amount of labor, yet reflect only a sort of fuzzy grasp on even the very concepts involved. If there's anything to them, it's only in the virtuousic display of his patented blend of serious clownery: he concern-trolls and makes claims about an idyllic golden age of mobocracy (a shame the tyrannical mods outlawed voting), while also being goofy enough to be able to justify it to himself and mock others, later.
He's pretty boring now, and it's getting sad that he still comes around. I actually felt a little sorry for him when he was voted as a mod... I mean, he knows well enough - or should - that it happened because enough users wanted him as a dancing monkey. I feel like I should throw him a quarter.--ADtalkModerator 03:36, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
"Hi there, I'll stop asking for freedom you if you do as I say." SophieWilderModerator 06:28, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Why do liberals love Africa so much?[edit]

Why do the liberals love the most patriarchal, religious and homophobic continent on earth? Why do liberals love Islam too? Not to mention their love of Palestine which is an entirely illiberal place. It seems like Cultural Marxists consider that anything "oppressed" people in the Third World do is okay, even though Africa and the Middle East are far more conservative in every way than even the most devout American Conservative Christian. Liberals constantly bash White Western Christians who stand up to marijuana, atheism and vile sodomites, yet they practically worship people in "oppressed nations" who do the same thing. Marxism of Moloch (talk) 02:09, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, I'll stand up for marijuana any time. Doctor Dark (talk) 03:07, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Burn! (Excuse the pun) Tielec01 (talk) 03:17, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I think it's fair to say that I have no clue what the hell Moloch is talking about. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 03:54, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
"Africa and the Middle East are far more conservative in every way than even the most devout American Conservative Christian" Funny, the most devout American fundies are increasingly sharing their values. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:41, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Why do conservatives think that when liberals defend equal treatment before the law they are endorsing an agenda? Why do conservatives assume all liberals believe the same things? Why do people ask loaded questions instead of questions that would help them learn? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 06:09, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't know, why do Liberals insist on calling every racist twat a conservative?--Token Conservative (talk) 17:33, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
We like Africans (and indeed *other" people in general) because we're capable of liking people despite their faults. Perhaps through continual good- natured communication we can get them to change a bit, and perhaps learn something ourselves. SophieWilderModerator 06:22, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
uuugh that sounds really patronising. Somebody shoot me. SophieWilderModerator 06:25, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Why do RationalWikians like feeding the troll so much? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 06:39, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Gasp! Who are these so-called liberals!--Weirdstuff (talk) 12:46, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Obviously, it's because we believe in feeding the poor, even if they're trolls. --OverworldTheme (talk) 20:23, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

I am not so keen on Africa. The climate makes it seem like hell on earth to me. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:48, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Nah, it's the constant sound of vuvuzelas that does that. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:03, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
We love Africa so much because our families all came from there. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 17:41, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

Election Rules[edit]

With the dust settled from the most recent mod election, I think a simple change could be made to improve the system. In the most recent election two nominees, ConservapediaMarkman and Ghost, were both nominated and stood for election, however they did not even meet voting requirements. This farcical situation almost led to these users going from being common users to moderators with few edits and little time spent on the project.

My proposition is for there to be criteria for someone to be nominated, in my view the criteria should be as follows:

  • 6 months registered with the wiki
  • 150 edits (any space)

I believe these are double the requirements for enfranchisement in a RationalWiki election. Thoughts? The Invisible ManI spoke to Him 13:20, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

I'd like to spread those edits over the 6 months to restrain sock accounts from voting (at least without dedication from the sock puppeteer.) I'd propose:
  • Registered for 6 months
  • At least 150 edits total
  • At least 20 edits in each of the previous 6 months.

A bit more of a pain in the arse to code, but probably worth it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:34, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

When the role of moderator acquires some actual meaning or purpose, then I would agree that it would be worthwhile setting meaningful voting parameters. Until then, why bother? I'm not being snarky, it's just that anyone who has been here for a while knows that the mod elections are largely meaningless. (The fact that MC got elected proves that the voting wasn't exactly taken seriously either :) VOXHUMANA 13:35, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I think a simpler and fairer solution -- if you are eligible to vote for an office, you are eligible to run for that office. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 13:37, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree. One should be allowed to stand so long as one has the franchise. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 14:57, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Either this or Jeeves' proposal would be acceptable to me.--ADtalkModerator 15:02, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

What about RON/NOTA - Re-open nominations/none of the above. (Might have an interesting effect in actual elections) (talk) 14:27, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

  • I oppose "At least 20 edits in each of the previous 6 months." People should not be disenfranchised if they have a medical condition or go to Africa or something. Hipocrite (talk) 14:50, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
They have the internet in Africa. We have editors from Africa. I have edited the wiki from Africa myself. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 15:09, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
If I were to go on a month long vacation in Africa and got internet access, I would not make 20 edits in that month. Hipocrite (talk) 15:17, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Trust me, Africa's not that exciting. Especially on Thursday nights. Unless Ace is around... PsyGremlinFale! 23:02, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

A completely different issue about the number of mods, credentials, etc. that Nutty raised and doesn't want to derail the original discussion[edit]

Hip, I think there should be a requirement that ensures an editor is in touch with the current ethos of the site. Putting aside that the bigger problem is that we have too many moderator positions given the lack of interest in taking on the role such that trolls like Brxbrx, and now Markman, who not only add nothing of value, or whatever they do add is greatly dwarfed by their turdness, but chip away at community, might get close to becoming moderators. Back to voting, whatever your take on the direction things have gone, I don't think you can deny things have changed. I'd also like to make it as difficult as possible for bad faith editors like Markman to have any voice at all in how this place gets run. We don't need to accommodate people whose obvious intent is to cause trouble. Anyway, I hope you'll understand my perspective even if you don't agree. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:33, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Given that I LANCBed over the false Markman win, I'm 100% in your camp on the "make it as difficult as possible for bad faith editors like Markman to have any voice at all." Hipocrite (talk) 15:44, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
"We don't need to accommodate people whose obvious intent is to cause trouble."
Nutty, I'm puzzled. Setting aside the obvious boner you have for Brx, ISTR he and markman have made some mainspace edits that could be considered useful. I do not, on the other hand, recall seeing any of Marcus's edits that were anything but flamboyant agit-prop style vaporing, and yet, you have defended him as a useful contributor. Can anyone show me something useful MC has done in mainspace? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:21, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Here. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 16:25, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
OK, that does balance some of the performance art, I suppose. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:49, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
What's puzzling. Brx and Markman's bad faith is easy as pie to see for yourself. You just had a critical look at Marcus's contributions. You don't need to agree with him, but setting the performance art aside if you can, I think it's obvious he's got something substantive to say. I regret the possibility that mentioning specific trolls may be distracting. Sorry about that. The point is we ought to also consider whether we need so many moderator positions that a troll could win simply because not enough people ran. The point sort if made itself this time around. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:10, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Goddamnit, first I was agreeing with Powder, now I'm agreeing with Nutty. This must be what madness feels like
Asshattery aside, I'm pretty much 100% in agreement with Nutty about this. It should be required that in order to hold a Mod/Board position you have to have been a member of the site for a while, and to have done something recently enough to show that you're in touch with the site, its community and any current issues. For example, if the election where being held during the attack by whats his face and all of the mod candidates were talking about ways to stop him and prevent future attacks, if you just got back on after living in the woods for the last year, well, you're going to have no idea what the hell people are talking about.--Token Conservative (talk) 17:54, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

The election of oddballs is down to decline of interest in the role, not there being too few positions. Several of the usual mods/candidates didn't stand this time, and there were relatively few serious new contenders. I actually think that if moderatorship is to continue, there should be room for be more mods rather than less, so that it can be a position most regular serious editors can aspire to, as with bureaucrats previously, rather than being an arbitrary small number of superusers which really doesn't reflect the community make-up very well. But the bottom line is mods are rarely called on to actually do anything. The biannual election kerfuffle is basically the only thing that goes on in the moderator world & the rest of the time they're largely forgotten about. It's not surprising that it's become less & less of a priority for users to stand for election. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:07, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

This is veering off topic. Sorry about that. I'm sticking the bit where I started this tangent into a separate subsection. Hope there aren't any objections to that. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 18:49, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
No objection from me. I guess I don't have the deep-seated whatever it is that keeps you on brx's case. I've seen some sensible things coming from him. The other guy, I suspect, comes from a place where the people take pride in being stiff-necked. Taking that into account, I can cut him some slack. Besides, he has made some useful uncontroversial edits. I try not to let anyone's previous actions contaminate my view of the present moment, with the possible exception of my ex, with whom I have little contact any more. Thank goodness. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:24, 19 July 2013 (UTC)


See the poll above and vote! Sterilesig.svgtalk 15:58, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

What happened with Brasov?[edit]

I wasn't here when it started, only after he started when I gave the source code for implementing the DNS blacklist after certain people were suggesting we cave to him. He seems like he was a productive user here before he started his vandalism thing. What happened? –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 00:18, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

He was an anti-vaccer if I recall correctly, couldn't figure out how to use Preview, got on a lot of people's nerves, and then threatened to and then built a vandalism bot. But let's try to leave sleeping demons unsummoned, if you know what I mean. Blue (pester) 00:48, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I think he also flirted with Anti-Pysch nuttery, and general "the medical establishment is evil and lying to you". He was never really a productive poster, but thankfully he kept most of his idiocy reserved to the talkpages.--Token Conservative (talk) 01:33, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
So he was basically worse than MarcusCicero? Does he actually have anything that he's contributed to? –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 03:07, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Who, Marcus or Brasov?--Token Conservative (talk) 03:45, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Looking for ideas[edit]

Hello, everyone. The foundation board has been brainstorming for ideas for new projects/directions, and here are some that we’ve come up with. We decided to ask for other ideas and gauge your interest for what is here. We certainly are committed to keeping the wiki going (and most here are on-wiki ideas anyway), but we thought we would see what you were interested in.

On the wiki[edit]

  • Featured content improvement drive - We market ourselves as a leading resource for our content, yet there is a lot of mission centric content that needs significant improvement. This would require us to identify the key topics and articles, and likely work at the top down (i.e., creationism, followed by young earth creationism, then go to various creationism-related topics.
  • Mobile skin - Not a new idea. Figure out what Wikipedia does, and see if we can emulate it.

Possibly on the wiki[edit]

  • Infographic project - Most people prefer visuals to text-only. The idea would be to collaboratively work on infographics branded with the brain. Easily done on the wiki with licensing. Could be done on SVG which can easily be edited (Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, Gimp). More challenging to work on collaboratively, however.
  • Ask an expert - Find the experts on the wiki and FB site, and have them answer questions, on the blog, on a podcast, etc.
  • Article for a skeptical magazine - collaboratively create an article to submit to Skeptical Inquirer. May be copyright issues.

Off wiki[edit]

  • Mobile apps and web apps- An example of this is the Skeptical Science iPhone app ([2]) Heck, even creationists have apps ([3] and [4]). Challenges: Development (who/resources) is an obvious challenge, and what would it actually be.
  • Podcasting or Google Hangout - Host either one. (See Phil Plait’s hangouts; I know he has an archive somewhere of some of them.) Hangouts are technology light, but may require better webcams. May be highly labor intensive, which is a problem. Frequency?
  • Blog expansion - Find an individual blogger who is interested and motivated enough to blog consistently.
  • There are a couple of start-ups focusing on collaborative video creation starting ... soon. (mixbit and sezion; mixbit is by Hurley bros of youtube fame but intentionally having a different feel.) Not sure of their timeline and how to manage a group account.

All the best. Sterilesig.svgtalk 18:22, 13 July 2013 (UTC)


ask an expert[edit]

Re: "Ask an Expert" --> That idea got floated around about a year or so ago. Still worth talking about, I think. Better use of server space than people daring each other to order pizzas to CP editors' homes. The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 18:39, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Almost all (if not all) of these have been discussed before. Sterilesig.svgtalk 18:48, 13 July 2013 (UTC)


Crundy was making android apps a while back, perhaps someone could give him a poke? SophieWilderModerator 19:00, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think you can tell a developer "make an app" without some idea of what the app is, but it's good to know we might have a resource. Sterilesig.svgtalk 21:15, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
I was going to float the idea of an Atheist Guide to the Ark Park this year. Make it a mobile app, I'd offer my coding expertise to produce the actual app, and we could get a couple of our yankee members to go on an expedition to do some mapping and take decent photos. Of course, that would rely on their being an actual Ark Park to go and visit, which is looking ever less likely. Maybe this idea could be adapted to something else? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:14, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
A Creation Museum self-guided tour app would be fun. It could have resources for people to read to prepare themselves for the anti science nonsense they're going to subject themselves to, and then a slick presentation and commentary on the exhibits themselves. It could let a user create an account or login through Facebook or Twitter and read others' comments regarding any particular exhibit or leave their own. Aside from content and the front end, this is an extremely extremely simple app to do in Rails. I was thinking about going to hang out with an RW editor into lives near the museum. Perhaps we will photograph it well enough to stick in a prototype. We'd need people with legit backgrounds in science to do some research to present scientific papers and give strong refutations of the deceitful claims these cultists make. It might also be interesting to add the perspective of someone educated in biblical criticism and history to discuss why creationism isn't even based in sound biblical scholarship. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:58, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
And how many people do you expect to actually use this app? Because it seems like you're talking about something that would require a large amount of work on the part of the researchers and the programmer(s), and I don't see who in the hell would $30 + travel + lodging + cost of the app to do what, make fun of the Creation Museum, when you could just as easily do the same thing on any one of a dozen New Atheist websites?--Token Conservative (talk) 20:11, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
If you're practically gleeful about RW dying, notwithstanding being dead wrong about traffic, I'm curious what you're getting out of this discussion other than satisfying your need to be a griefer.
Anyway. Such an app would be free. It would be a web app anyway. I can't think of a sensible business model that gets people paying even 99¢ for an app they'll use once. So, who in the hell would pay money beyond $zero for the app would be ... skeptics attending the museum. I could write the backend over the weekend. It's almost trivially simple. The visual design and frontend would take longer. The content is the big deal. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 21:16, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes, my idea (not a web app, eew) would be to make it essentially a fun thing that atheists who go to the Ark Park anyway could use to enhance their visit. Essentially a guided taking the piss tour with a little rebuttal thrown in for good measure. I figure I could donate my spare time for free, and we could have a whip round for a couple of our members to head down there at a convenient weekend to do the ground work for the app. Atheists went to the creation museum to take the piss out of it, and if we did the ark park at the right time it could be a nice little public relations stunt. Probably a bit late to do the creation museum itself though, timeliness is a big factor in people giving a shit. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:07, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Regardless of whether you're an anti-Rails bigot, I think this is a good idea for a web app for the Foundation. Part of its charm is that it's extensible to include resources for every creationist venue, not just the Ark Park, which will never be built anyway. Making it anything but a web app is a fucking pain in the ass. Nobody's going to write it in Objective C for the Apple Store. Nobody's going to put it on the Google Android store. I don't know how to do either. I do know how to write a decently functional Rails app and design a good looking front end. OccasionalUse and I are going to the Creation Museum soon. We'll make sure not to get kicked out before we get good enough intelligence for this. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 02:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
You're still talking about something that will require a huge amount of effort, for apparently no benefit other than further branding as "that one New Atheist website"--Token Conservative (talk) 05:38, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
No one is asking you to do anything. It's fun, it's easy, it gets a bunch of people cooperating on something, and it's the kind of thing that get you tacked on to the bottom of "controversial Bible-based theme park opens in Kentucky" news articles. I don't see the downside. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 14:08, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
A lot of work for no real benefit. Where is the upside?--Token Conservative (talk) 15:30, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
It annoys people like you who have nothing to say but "That's not going to work" and "THIS WIKI IS DYING!"? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:23, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Ok we get it, Hamilton. You're a total downer. Jeeves is right. However we do this it's relatively easy and extensible. I'd do the minimum viable product in Rails because it's so easy to get a rapid prototype up and, on the flipside, it's difficult to get people to download apps vs. simply visit a page, but whatevs. Either way I really like this idea. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:27, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
There's nothing to say that we can't do both. After all, the prime resource we need, good quality mapping of the site and photos tagged with position and direction are shared between both ideas. Of course, I have no confidence the Ark Park will ever open now, so maybe we'll never get to do it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 16:32, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

mobile skin[edit]

I just pinged mediawiki-l asking if there's a reasonably easy mobile skin solution for a site like us that runs 1.19 LTS - David Gerard (talk) 22:14, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

There's a page on MediaWiki.org with a list of various skins. I think it has a mobile skin, though the page itself isn't great. Plus you might need some sort of extension to get MW to use the mobile version. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 01:23, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

content CP[edit]

We market ourselves as a leading resource for our content...
Um, our major content, going by edits a day and size/depth of the articles, is borderline stalking of CP. Maybe the reason why RW is dying is because we've attached ourselves like a lamprey to a half dead shark? Maybe if RW wants to last more than another year or two we could purge half of the CP articles, stop having CPspace be a thing and try to focus on articles that people who aren't obsessed with Schafly would be interested in?--Token Conservative (talk) 17:31, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
That's what I said. The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 17:38, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I find myself in the very uncomfortable position of being allied with Powder... Crap--Token Conservative (talk) 18:56, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I'll be gentle with you. I want your first time to be special. The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 19:15, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
You're not helping.--Token Conservative (talk) 19:18, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I have no interest in CP-space, but volunteer effort isn't fungible and said editors won't magically decide to work on your favoured topics if you delete CP-space - David Gerard (talk) 19:18, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Based on the Alexa rankings that they love to show off, CP is dying. CP might as well be dead. At this point, the only people who really ever go to CP are a handful of editors and us. The members of this site that are only interested in stalking CP are not good for this site because they are a) keeping us attached to an organization with no future, b) pretty much the only attention CP still gets, and therefor c) their actions are causing RW to be probably the largest source of traffic to CP. The issue isn't "do we want to risk losing our CP stalkers" its "do we even want them here?" Honestly, do the members of this site have nothing better to do then archive a website that we apparently cannot go five minutes without talking about our undying hatred of?--Token Conservative (talk) 19:29, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I understand I post-CP argument, but I view the audience we want as the one that will put "creationism" into the search box and hit enter. I'm less concerned about recent changes. Yes, there probably is too much of a focus on CP, but I think the lack of focus on mission centric stuff, the important stuff, is the bigger challenge. I think it's also a difficult project.Sterilesig.svgtalk 21:23, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
As someone with sysop rights you have this really easy way of dealing with off topic content: deleting it! If you think there's a whole mess off-topic content and its so damn offensive, then delete the shit rather then just bitching about it. And getting rid of CP is not the same thing in any way as getting rid of the creationism content. --Token Conservative (talk) 00:53, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
You'd want community buy in. Work on it. And We've sorta done this before. And deleted a lot then. Sterilesig.svgtalk 02:28, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Sterile, screw the creationism stuff; it's the re-emergence of paleoconservative views (foreign policy, economic, and immigration) as the GOP mainstream should be the focus. nobsJesus loves you and I love you, but nobody else does. 01:33, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Content improvement[edit]

I think we do okay on the creationism front. I know Nutty is keen to work on the responses to Question Evolution, but frankly having read those they're just reiterating the same points or missing the criticisms to the point where it simply isn't worth anyone's time. Where I think we fall down on in many cases is thorough explanations of why things are. For instance, after privilege was jumped on by some MRAs, I took a look at it and realised it didn't actually explain the concept. I many articles, they start with "XXXXX is a batshit, stupid idea from the crazy religious right FULL-STOP", which I think is a backwards approach to article structure. Whereas we should always start with what they are. E.g, "XXXXX is an argument for the existence of God, based on blah blah blah. It is a batshit, stupid idea from the crazy religious right." IMHO, it's these minor points that are generic to everything where we can best focus improvement efforts, rather than picking a topic to expand or refine. That's not to say we shouldn't do topic-centric expansion/improvement too, but I think article writers need to get with the idea that if people are going to read and learn from articles, they need to be written based on the idea that people reading them will have zero prior knowledge of the subject, even if that sounds patronising to the "in" crowd who do already know who Answers in Genesis, or Andrew Schlafly, or Socha Faal are. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:35, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

There's also the "snark" issue. Nearly everyone agrees that RW articles should be snarky, but there's no real consensus on what that means & it does leave some entries looking like uncyclopedia or worse. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:29, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I wrote a forum post on this subject. I think you two were among the few to offer anything constructive. Needless to say, I'd love to see this discussion finally go somewhere. So basically, "bump" and +1. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 20:03, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think we necessarily need more content, but improved, really important content. Sterilesig.svgtalk 21:21, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
That's probably true. I'm surprised at how often RW comes fairly high in a search for various terms, and that we're often cited by blogs, etc. for terminology or other things. We seem to fill a niche that's different from Wikipedia, without really trying (in terms of an organized effort). Instead of having an article on everything under the sun we'd be better off with slow, natural growth while focusing on quality.
Which brings us to CP. The site started with CP as its raison d'être but over time has grown in other directions as well. Do we keep CP as a core part of RW, or spin most of it off as someone suggested above? One concern is that someone who comes here because of, say, our Gish gallop article will start nosing around, and when they see some of the mean-spirited (or even harassing) stuff related to CP they get turned off. I realize some here think that CP is fundamental to this site. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:08, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
There are a bunch of editors (like me) that don't really look at the CP stuff but once in awhile. I honestly don't see us as focused on CP as much as people think it is. The best way to not have the site focused on CP is to have people work on the mission related content. Although I suppose I "get it" from a foundation perspective. Sterilesig.svgtalk 01:57, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Add: Can we keep the CP discussion separate? It's hard to gauge people's interest in a content improvement project if the discussion gets hijacked. Sterilesig.svgtalk 02:13, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

As a basic starting point, maybe we could set up a project page for highlighting fairly important articles (or articles that should be important) that really need improving. (Theoretically there are already categories for this purpose, but I doubt anyone ever checks them.) Example: we have fairly good articles on conservatism, libertarianism, socialism etc. but our stub on liberalism is simply awful. Given how much liberals/liberalism get discussed in relation to a lot of the subjects we cover, it's quite an omission. & I'm sure there are enough politically educated folks around to put together a decent article on the subject. It would be good to draw people's attention to things like this as an area for collaboration & improvement. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:31, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Infographic project[edit]

One of the things mentioned above is an infographic project... I've had an idea I've been sitting on for a while because I didn't finish the enabling software yet... but this seems like a good time to go ahead and say something about. I really like those radial phylogenetic tree diagrams that appeared a while back. So, I was thinking if I wrote some software to convert the mediawiki list format in to a tree diagram, we could make a sort of index to RW as a "phylogeny of wingnuttery" or somesuch (I had a really good name for it, but I've now forgotten it due to how long ago I started this.) Anyway, I keep changing the way the tree was balanced and eventually got a bit depressed with how many revisions I got through trying to make it look nice, and kind of stopped working on it. But I still like the idea, and maybe saying something about it publicly will make me motivated to get back to work.

After the initial phase of builing the infographic, I had some ideas about some autogenerating some javascript readable instructions to make it clickable. Eventually it might serve as a nice opening page for site newbies. If you like the idea, say so, maybe I'll actually finish the fucking thing. I put the script in progress here on the off chance anyone gives a shit. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:36, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Do clickables work on-wiki? I know some clickable svgs get booted, but maybe I don't understand the idea. Sterilesig.svgtalk 02:33, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think MW lets you embed HTML5 objects. Letting wiki assholes put whatever JS they want on a page is sort of a bad idea anyway. But I'm sure there's a way to make it work. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 02:39, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Are we talking about something like the Venn diagram on the right side of this page on wikipedia?--Token Conservative (talk) 05:43, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Image maps are something on wiki and certainly an idea. I view that as a visual hyperlinking system. I view infographics as, well, infographics. Sterilesig.svgtalk 12:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
There's a million ways to make it work, just which one I end up using is a bit of a toss up. You can do pretty much anything with javascript, just like I did with the Dawkins weasel thing back in the day. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:56, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Editor retention[edit]

In my humble opinion, editor retention is the key to improving RW. If you retain good editors, then good content follows. My perception is that RW has not been good at retaining quality editors - the environment has been perceived by some as hostile and unwelcoming. (Meanwhile, the cranks who aren't fazed by such an environment stick around). I've spoken to a few members of the local Sydney atheists group who have attempted to join, but they left quickly. I've tried to get specifics on what drove them away, but beyond getting the classic Australian response of "that site is shit", I've been unable to get any meaningful input that I can relay back to the people here.

Regardless, I'm please to see positive action being taken by the committee, and I hope this persists. My own experience has been that if someone raises this "poor environment" issue at RW for discussion, certain people here will then berate you (...as will no doubt happen again) and the issue never gets addressed. It needs to be dealt with. As for CP - if people want to edit it, then they should be allowed to. Deleting CP content won't improve the site IMO. VOXHUMANA 23:43, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Your point is well-taken. My only experience with this is people I have a lot of regard for just sort of growing out of their interest in RW. That's going to happen anywhere. Sterile and I have been talking about approaching these issues like a startup using lean principles might: spending a lot of time talking to and surveying potential users. If anyone's got their own experience with starting a new outfit and ... figuring out who your ideal audience is and what problems they want solved, please chime in. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 00:13, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
True, and that will happen at all sites. My concern is that some potentially good people have (for whatever reason), been discouraged from developing an interest in the first place. To date I've (rightly or wrongly) had the attitude that there is no way of remedying this situation, so I haven't attempted to explore the causes. But if there is some value to it, I will put the effort in. My own experience was pretty awful - when I was a newcomer some long-term editors decided to harass me into near oblivion, and that experience still makes me approach this place with trepidation. But all situations can be rectified, naturally. VOXHUMANA 01:22, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I guess the question is how to reinforce good editing? I know we've shied away from WP-like barnstars and whatnot, but they are a thought. Some of the more media-intensive ideas will require investment of interest, which does make me nervous. Tone's a difficult thing to manage and harder to strong-arm.... Sterilesig.svgtalk 02:06, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I think some of the problem is that people sometimes expect us to be different then we turn out to be. For example, when I was working on a project for GE and Hitachi Systems not too long ago, I met a nuclear engineer who was considering coming here to debate Abd about cold fusion. After I asked him what he thought of the site, he said he wasn't sure it was a good idea because he was thinking it was more of an internet forum format than what it actually was and, moreover, he was a bit more politically conservative than this site tends to be. Another nuclear engineer I talked to about going after Abd took a good look at how our community operates (free-for-all, no active moderation in debates) and was shocked at how "unprofessionally" RWians tended to conduct themselves in debates and conversations. I don't think these are things we can or should change, but I think some of the problem in attracting editors to any internet project is that some of the ideal contributors can get turned off by not having what they expected when they showed up. It's similar in concept to the people who come here thinking we are supposed to be like Wikipedia. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 06:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I have a few friends that were thinking about joining at one point or another, they all decided they weren't interested because of the lack of effective moderation/general lack of professionalism, the often overt New Atheist leanings of many contributors, and the fetishist stalking of CP.--Token Conservative (talk) 06:27, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
On the other hand some of the 'features' bought up in this conversation are precisely the reason why I joined the wiki and feel an emotional attachment to it. Yes we appeal to a small, but growing, demographic of snarky, reality based, anti-authoritarians. Improvements can be made, but the core philosophy of mobocracy, disrepect for authority unless it is earned and desire for facts over ideology is sound. Tielec01 (talk) 07:20, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, like I said, I think some of the problem isn't so inherent in the community itself or the website itself. It's that people hear about this place and expect it to be one way, then when they do show up and look around, it's not quite to their tastes. It's like going to a Chinese restaurant and winding up with a Mexican food menu. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 08:43, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
We could avoid some friction if we didn't share so many personal details. I keep seeing people talk about things they like, their personal problems, etc. and then they have it thrown in their face. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 14:04, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
And yes, I'm aware that the less editors know about each other, the less of an attachment they might feel to the wiki. However, sharing personal details leads to people making well-crafted insults, which drives editors away anyway. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 17:41, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
We have got to come up with a strategy for running these trolls off. FFS they're intolerable. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:38, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Partly these things are the effect of site growth. The little stuff like properly welcoming new users tends to fall by the wayside. When RW was just a couple of dozen editors or so, every fresh face was a big deal. When the community is larger, there's more indifference to new editors & less patience when they edit in ways we don't like. Plus our welcome/help/guide pages also aren't all that great & really aren't well maintained, which may make it hard to new editors to fit in or find out what the site's all about. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:01, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

new ideas[edit]

Note, we are also looking for new ideas outside of the list above, which is a combo of rehashed thoughts and my semi-coherent ramblings. Thoughts welcome. Sterilesig.svgtalk 02:14, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

We could probably use a comprehensive guide to HTML for a wiki site, as an idea. I was working on a project on a wiki template that died, but I still have the HTML guide I made up, somewhere or other.--Token Conservative (talk) 05:46, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
What about an official RationalWiki youtube channel? The RMF could come up with video topics we'd like covered, and then we can let RWians submit their videos and/or commission somebody to make those videos, have the board choose which ones we like, and then post them on an official RMF youtube channel? Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 06:04, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Youtube channels are usually completely ignored by people unless they have regular update schedules. Possibly a better option would be to contact existing channels and offer to partially fund them if they mention us in their videos and leave a link. The only groups that come to my mind are Mr. Deity, Feminist Frequency, and Laci Green's network.--Token Conservative (talk) 06:24, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Can you knock it off, Hamilton? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Oh Christ, what heinous sin am I committing now?--Token Conservative (talk) 21:40, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Just what the internet needs: more pasty guys reading rants into a webcam. If we want to do videos, either they need to be well-produced, which requires expertise and cash, or we run the risk of embarassing ourselves. The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 21:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I never click on amateur talking head youtube vids. They're dull as anything. SophieWilderModerator 15:45, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not exactly... into this idea, if for no other reason than there are an abundance of atheist vloggers already, but it wouldn't be too time-intensive to adapt important articles into scripts, and perhaps provide a voice-over to a sort of powerpoint presentation? --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 17:37, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Sure, if we can find people who are capable of doing something resembling professional-quality graphics work, recording, narration and editing (of both the text and the video) on what I assume is a non-existent budget. The bus came by/and I got on.Moderator 17:45, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Okay, well, if David Gerard is writing Blog articles, who else is good at composition? If no one here is capable of writing a script for a voice-over, then it doesn't matter if the Foundation has no money for videos -there's nothing to make into a video. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 17:49, 17 July 2013 (UTC)


Which project most interests you?

featured content improvement drive



mobile skin



infographic project



ask an expert



mobile/web apps



podcasting or Google hangout



blog expansion



collaborative video creation starting



YouTube channel



Houdini would be rolling over in his grave if he hadn't already escaped from it[edit]

This sort of thing boggles the mind. In this age of the internet, when anyone can hit up Google and find out how to perform an illusion, religion is still convincing supposedly educated people that magic is real. Maybe there ought to be some sort of course and examination before people are permitted to buy a TV to ensure they can tell fact from fiction. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 18:00, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

if demons are responsible for street magicians, what kind of hellish beasts are responsible for living statues? AMassiveGay (talk) 18:51, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Mimes are surely from Hell. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 19:05, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I do not understand the hate mimes get when living statues exists. They are an abomination AMassiveGay (talk) 19:10, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I really wish I hadn't read that... how credulous must Delzell be? I can only assume he believes in Faith Healing. There's not much difference between a magician and a faith healer, when you think about it. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 19:14, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
If these MINIONS OF HELL use their powers to give some dude parlor tricks, they must not really be all that evil after all. --Revolverman (talk) 21:29, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Being moderately entertained is a trick of the devil. Raw turnips and cross stitch for all. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:43, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
I guess that if you believe people walk on water, turn water into wine or feed a multiltude with just your packed lunch then you are credulous enough to believe that magic tricks are the real deal. Steven Kavanagh (talk) 23:27, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
The funniest thing is that he doesn't make sense even in his own paradigm. If you could really gain supernatural powers by contacting demons, you would not waste your time on making money from stage magic. You would ask the demons to make you the president of the International Monetary Fund or some other obscure but wealthy financial institution. --Tweenk (talk) 09:52, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
He's saying these people don't know their power comes from demons. See the last paragraph. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:09, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Problem using Linode[edit]

Rational Wiki uses Linode, so I thought this would be a good place to ask.

How do I get the Eunuchs into my server? I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do to accomplish that. Also, are they paid adequately and compensated for their work? –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 03:30, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Not a server guy, so is the "eunuchs" remark you being funny, or a serious comment?--Token Conservative (talk) 03:47, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Cute, Sasha :^) Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 03:58, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Where do I obtain the eunuchs? Are they included with the operating system? –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 07:21, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
You mean they weren't already installed? When was the last time someone checked their cage at the data center? Ochotona princepsnot a pokémon 10:00, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
With Linode this requires a certain amount of do-it-yourself and you have to make your own eunuchs. PongoOrangutans are sceptical 10:07, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Like so? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:55, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Or like so. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 11:54, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Seriously people, buy all your computers from Dell[edit]

I can't help but continue to rhapsodise over their next business day servicing. Had yet another engineer out today to fix one of my computers that went caput. It's like magic, they ask no questions, they never so much as hint that anything you need done will cost you money, as long as your warranty is still in date they come, they fix, they go away again. Hell, I even tried pushing my luck today and asked them if they can send a guy out on Monday to take the motherboard out of my laptop so I can get the dust build-up out of it. And they actually are. No charge.

If whoever you buy your computers from wants you to return them to base for servicing, then tell them to go fuck themselves. Dell are awesome. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:51, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

If I may, I'd like to point out my Dell Inspiron 1501 is still running after 5 years and... 7 months. I confess I did have to sink a little money into it (RAM upgrade, New HDD, and battery replacements), but it's pretty solid. And yes, I am looking to replace it with another Dell. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 19:54, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
And you motherfuckers couldn't have told me this two fucking weeks ago, when I bought a goddamn Lenovo? The processor in this thing might as well be from the 90s.--Token Conservative (talk) 22:50, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
If I may, you can get a lightly used MacBook Air for $1k. They're awesome. I used my last MBP for 5 years until I got tired of replacing the battery last summer. I'm sure it could have lasted another year. The Apple hate is swelling in you now. Take your geek Linux weapon and use it. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 00:26, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't actually care much about Apple, it's all the fucking fanboys.--Token Conservative (talk) 01:30, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I own five Apple computers - four Mac Pros and a MacBook Pro. All things considered, if I could get off them and run my business entirely on Windows, I would. (The audio hardware I use only runs on OSX). They aren't bad, but are horribly overpriced for no real difference in performance or usability. And while the OSX environment is very solid (possibly slightly better than Windows, although not greatly), being locked into Apple hardware is a financial nightmare. I've had to replace four motherboards in five years, and at $1000 each, that hurts. Sure, I've had to replace hardware on my Windows machines as well over the years, but the costs were trivial by comparison. VOXHUMANA 02:04, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't know what your business is or if you care about uncertainty more or less than I do. I switched my law practice over to Mac 5 or 6 years ago and haven't looked back. I can't have computer problems. It's not just a financial issue, it's potentially malpractice. I initially ran everything off an MBP with a MacMini running Snow Leopard server headless with all my network drives. I had a catastrophic drive failure that had nothing to do with Apple, but vowed it would never happen again so I built a Hackintosh last Spring. If you're running so many Pros, I reckon you're doing digital media of some sort. You might consider a Hackintosh - no compromises whatsoever. I'm running Mountain Lion server on a z68 motherboard, overclocked i5, Radeon 6870, 5 or 6 drives, and an audio card I can't remember the make of. Pros don't do that for less than a grand. Check out the Hackintosh community. They're decently welcoming and helpful. I couldn't survive without my MBP these days now that I'm writing a ton of code for my startup. I tried working on a Windows machine but couldn't do it. No VIM, none of the other command line tools I rely on daily. Just a bunch of cobbled together compromises. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 02:54, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
What makes one a fanboy? Am I a fanboy? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 02:57, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Have you ever responded to a inquiry about how to deal with a computer problem with "get a Mac"? Do you not use a firewall because "Mac's don't get viruses"? Do you go buy the latest Mac toy when it comes out, and then gloat nonstop about how awesome/revolutionary it is without ever having actually compared it to other products in the same area (ie, "the iPhone 5 changed everything!" without actually actually touching an Android device?). Those are the assholes that mean that when the inevitable war breaks out between Apple, Microsoft, Google, and a dozen minor competitors, I'll basically become a free agent, working for whoever is hitting Apple the hardest at the time.--Token Conservative (talk) 03:44, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Mac is easier to use for laypeople. Plus UNIX operating systems are far better than Windows, as they feel like real operating systems and are easier to use and have more functionality. Windows feels like a proprietary sandbox, like iOS, except on a desktop. Literally every convenient feature of Windows was copied from Apple and is worse. Windows Live ID services are harder to use and more confusing then Apple ID related features, and I never use mine except for Xbox live. I also use tend to use Google for a lot of stuff over Apple, which happens to have plenty of good apps for iOS. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 03:26, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Wow, I can't even begin to deconstruct the endless stream of gibberish you just uttered, and I own lots of Macs. Dozens of Mac features were copied from Windows (and yes, also in reverse - they've both been stealing from each other since the early 90s). The toolbar is an obvious example, as are the heirarchical file menus. OSX is not a "Unix operating system", it is a shell over a UNIX back end. I use UNIX every day, by the way. OSX and Windows are both fine systems, each with advantages and disadvantages. VOXHUMANA 03:37, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
The tablet like feature of Windows 8 feels like a copy of Launchpad from Lion. The command line feels almost exactly like Debian Linux, though I have often used Terminal with Debian and Ubuntu. By proprietary sandbox, it feels like "we just threw this thing out to have a standard OS that everyone uses" while Mac feels like Linux, which feels open. Windows also lacks SSH. <ancient-aliens-meme>Drive letters.</ancient-aliens-meme> –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 07:35, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
No, Windows doesn't lack SSH. It's not an understatement that society as we know it wouldn't exist but for SSH on Windows (and then all the way down market shares). Vox? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:29, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

I run a commercial recording studio, hence the Macs. I also run a software development company which is entirely Windows and Linux. I got no problem with anyone who likes Macs, but I just don't like the evangelism that goes with them, they are not (in my experience) any more reliable or functional than Windows. I certainly do care about uncertainty, It's just not my experience that Macs offer any more certainty than Windows.

"What makes one a fanboi"? To be honest comments like "[Windows is]...just a bunch of cobbled together compromises" are clear indicators - you could say the same about OSX as it has more than its fair share of weaknesses (eg. file management, application stability). But I don't say either because both OSX and Windows have their pros and cons. Regardless, next year I'm going to have to move to an all-Windows environment - many of my audio clients are TV and film makers, and ever since Apple trashed Final Cut Pro they've all moved to Windows anyway, and they get annoyed when they can't connect their portable hard drives. VOXHUMANA 03:21, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

I guess I'm a fanboy according to some definitions. Will you continue running your dev shop on Apple? I'm curious if you don't understand what I mean by "cobbled together compromises" if I say I'm referring to well-documented and crowd-supported open-source development resources running beautifully on Mac and Linux and in some cases not-so-super-duper alternatives being available for Windows. Seems to me that the vast majority of Rails developers on SO and GH are on Mac. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 03:57, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I've never run my dev shop on Apple - there is no commercial demand for it within my industry (data management). I'm not disagreeing with you on whatever it is you are using Ruby on (Ruby doesn't even exist in my world, so I wouldn't know), but I could equally list dozens of essential corporate IT functions for which there are no Mac options whatsoever, such as ETL, OLAP, CRM, SAP client, etc. Ruby was developed on and optimized for Mac, so it's hardly surprising it works better. I could argue that .NET doesn't work well on Macs (and .NET is far, far more significant to the IT industry than Ruby, based on dollars spent), but that's being facetious (for the unaware, .NET is an entirely Microsoft product). VOXHUMANA 04:21, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
My Dell Inspiron 539 is still going after 5½ years. It's not flashy and it needs a lie down if I want it to open more than three tabs but it still does the job. SophieWilderModerator 21:02, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to pick your brain soon about what you do. I'm working on launching a startup this Fall and as far as I can tell our greatest cost is going to be the SMS/SIP/etc service we're using and Amazon, Heroku, Engineyard, or wherever. Do you have insight into how this stuff scales cost effectively? We're pretty tightly bootstrapped until we can get investors this Spring. No money in Chicago. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:31, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
If I can offer you a little advice, don't get seduced by "free." Aim to be profitable from launch day, or as near as possible. That probably means charging money for your product or service. You may even not need the investors. Going down the road of giving away whatever it is you're making and trying to finagle in a revenue model at a later date is a fatal mistake that seems ever more popular these days. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 00:55, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Jeeves. I'm not giving jack away and I've got contingent investors on board. It's about ... Delivering. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 05:24, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Nutty - I don't think I'd be much use to you, VOIP/SIP and the like is not my area at all. But if you ever need to implement a banking system over DB2, then I'll be glad to help. All of my company's work is with big corporates (banks, insurance companies primarily) and it's a rare thrill to use any technology that hasn't been around since the mid-90s. I'm starting to get some interest on the Hadoop platform, but it will be years before large corporates catch up to that sort of thing. VOXHUMANA 02:35, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I had an Inspiron -- it was a piece of shit. The hard drive failed and the screen hinges broke. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:56, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
The frustrating part of buying a Dell, or almost any other computer, is the knowledge that a part of the price is going towards a Microsoft operating system that will never get used, not even once, as the first thing I do after opening the box is erase it and install Ubuntu. Dell sold systems with Ubuntu pre-loaded for a while, now they do not, I believe. System 76 is my next computer, I think, or see if I can get a custom build with no OS installed. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 15:01, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

OS Wars[edit]

This was already headed there from the beginning.

Debian -> Judaism

Ubuntu -> Christianity

Linux Mint -> Islam

Accept Ubuntu!

Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 07:35, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

What? SophieWilderModerator 21:02, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Why do liberals support Keynesianism?[edit]

Moved to Forum:Why do Liberals blahdeblahdeblah SophieWilderModerator 11:18, 21 July 2013 (UTC)


There seem to have been quite a few of these "Why do liberals …" lately. Perhaps folk should stop rising to the bait? Scream!! (talk)

Good point. SophieWilderModerator 11:18, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Although I enjoyed this one - when the RW folk do rise to the challenge some interesting points get made. I learned a few things. VOXHUMANA 11:46, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Government subsidies for the arts[edit]

Looking up this issue after hearing about the controversies in the music industry, I see that there is an arguement in the U.K. and on the web relating to subsidies for artists, and artistic organisations; one side promoting that and the other private patronisation. I was wondering, as I've been unable to find any words on this matter on the site, what the thoughts were concerning this matter. I am on the former side. (talk) 13:00, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I believe that arts subsidy, as a topic, is peripheral to the RW mission, so the saloon bar is a more appropriate venue than article mainspace for such discussion. I think it's a fine idea. For example, Diego Rivera's murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts were worth a prolonged look. Not sure whether support for that came from government or the auto industry. Various subsidies have blurred the line between government and industry anyway, so... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:16, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Hey,I was just at the DIA last week and spent a couple of hours at the murals. They were a private commission -- Edsel Ford paid the bill, I believe. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 14:11, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, ordinarily I'm not fond of art with an agenda, but sometimes it works. In the prosperous days of the late middle 20th century, Detroit did OK in the arts department. In my high school days, I stayed with relatives near there over Thanksgiving holidays because reasons, and those visits always included a show at the Fisher Theater. Then as now, I haven't been fond of musical productions, but seeing Kismet and Oliver on the big stage was close enough to fun for my purposes at the time.
Does the present topic also cover arts education in public schools? Experience with drawing, painting, and sculpture is a Very Good Thing in my view, and ensemble music-making teaches kids to play well together. When I was an agnostic with children, that is to say attending UU services, our choir director said she could tell who had played in a school band or sung in a school chorus by the way they blended without ego struggle, or some such.
In the publicity surrounding the recent US election, I, along with the rest of a queasy nation, got to hear George Romney's tone-deaf kid try to sing. Dunning and Kruger would have been proud. I believe that goes along with dancing being a way to evaluate someone's personality, social skills, physical and mental health. Oh, the humanity!
How much of the Ford and Romney fortunes came from the public coffer COUGHsubsidy!COUGH by way of government support of the auto industry? Just asking... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:51, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Not many people drive Romneys these days. --Blunt Force Drama (talk) 18:00, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
True enough, but there may still be a few Hudsons and Ramblers on the road. Before being Governor of Michigan, Mitt's father, George W. RomneyWikipedia, was chairman and president of American Motors. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:45, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Quick Rebuttal Needed[edit]

Ok, everyone, I need a quick, factual, but reasonably polite rebuttal of something (reasonably polite because it’s directed at a friend of mine, who I consider misguided rather than malicious). For anyone whose missed my past mentions of this, I’m no longer Christian. I now consider myself Pagan. I have a friend whose Christian, but not really a fundamentalist (she’s gotten into fights with her mother because her mother says she should put God before EVERYTHING her children included, and she’s said that her children come first, period). Also, she’s not only on good terms with pagans, she has some practices (such as planning to build an altar) that are pagan (she’s weird, kind of a hybrid). HOWEVER, when we were going to a movie the other day, she started saying some things I regarded as truly misguided about atheists (ie, they can be good people, but if they don’t believe in a higher power, they still go to “some form of hell”).

Now, this all kind of worked into a debate about whether or not she was right to boycott Folders Coffee (a fairly pointless boycott, as she admits she hates the shit, but still…), because they’re “run by atheists, and give money to organizations that promote atheism.” I thought this was really stupid, and I told her so. This led her into saying that she didn’t expect atheists to give money to her to buy bibles for her church. I then pointed out the difference between not directly donating money to a cause, and not doing business with someone who donated money to a cause (ie if she owned a business that provided a good or service that an atheist wanted, I don’t know of a single atheist who would outright refuse to do business with her simply because some of their money might end up going to purchase copies of a religious text they didn’t believe in, for a religious organization). Now, this led into the specific claim that I need to refute: she claimed that Folders gives money to ANY atheist organization, REGARDLESS of what they promote, and that its thus the equivalent of some hypothetical Christian organization that would be equally willing to give money to Christian foodbanks, Billy Graham, and Fred Phelps. Could someone please show me some evidence that Folders, if it gives money to atheist organizations at all, screens their donations a bit more carefully than that? --Mustex (talk) 20:00, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

1) It's Folgers; 2) There's nothing I can find immediately linking Folgers to atheism; 3) She's going to need to boycott a lot more products. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:09, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I'd tell her that if atheism is the worst thing she can imagine a company promoting, she probably ought not to look too carefully in to what other companies do with her money. She might end up boycotting all food products. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:29, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I'd say that the burden of proof is on her. --OverworldTheme (talk) 22:08, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Did she just make up the link between Folgers and atheism out of thin air? — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 22:14, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
Even worse, I've heard Procter & Gamble promotes Satanism. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:31, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
I used to not buy from companies that held policies contrary to my beliefs (mainly fishing industries that killed innocent dolphins and discarded them as "waste material", and those that tested products on living animals in a harmful way) but over time came to the conclusion that a small group of consumers refusing to buy a product made little to no difference to a large business. Other methods are more effective in changing policies, such as public information campaigns and changes to laws. Still, I never buy things that I don't agree with, for instance fur products, (of course I do live in California where a fur coat is not needed), and nothing made of ivory. It's funny how it seems to really annoy people when I say things like this and I get angry comments. But I don't feel that I need to debate or defend my actions or find fault with anyone elses; we each have to live according to what we believe is right, just, and ethical. Refugeetalk page 23:49, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
you could try the "Pepsi uses aborted fetuses in their cola" , that makes mere atheism a non-starter. Its not true of course., well probably ;-) Hamster (talk) 19:01, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

Stick a fork in it, it's done: The Best of Conservapedia.[edit]

The most recent entry dates from April 2012, a year and four months ago. The second most recent entry from six months before that -- October 2011. I propose we archive it and bury it; at the very least, remove the mention of it from the top-right hand box of the main page. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 22:24, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Nope. You're reading that wrong - the ranking is based on WIGO votes, not chronological order. It provides an easy summary of CP's most batshit insane moments. I say it should stay. --PsyGremlinPrata! 22:32, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Only if we can replace it with more pointless arguing with MarcusCicero and random trolls. Vulpius (talk) 23:39, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Oh look, another "Lets kill the Conservipedia part of the site" thread. --Revolverman (talk) 00:07, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Andy has made FSTDT http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=95594 enjoy Hamster (talk) 00:37, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
@ Psy -- my bad on the ranking; @ Revolverman; you damn betcha; @ Hamster: all the more reason for us not to duplicate. Listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Baby, if I'm the bottom, you're the top" is very different after reading Dan Savage's column..Moderator 00:43, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Wow, Andy's ambivalence about teenagers continues. On the one hand, they're responsible for some of the world's greatest achievements; on the other, all it takes is a couple hours of Doom to send the little shits over the edge and turn them into mass murderers. Godspeed (talk) 02:24, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Framing the global warming debate[edit]

I see a tendency of economists (ie. Andrew Leach giving credence to a "AGW is a religion" commenter) to evoke the balance fallacy by saying that "Do you believe in global warming?" is in itself a reductive/loaded question. Why is it so difficult for climatologists and economists to get together and find a solution to mitigation? Osaka Sun (talk) 19:40, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Part of the issue with the way economists handle this issue is that economists rarely phrase things as "we should do x for reason y" because that seems too political (and therefor usually left to sociologists). Instead everything is "if we want x, we should do y". Which yes, does lead to things like "if we want to reduce unemployment without increasing inflation or reducing GDP, we should do x". --Token Conservative (talk) 20:05, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
That "believe in" is a trick phrase. It makes it sound like a faith-based position. You hear the same thing about evolution. "Do you believe in evolution?" which sounds like "Do you believe in God?"
"Do you believe that x is true?" or "Do you believe that the evidence favours X?" are are less loaded questions.--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:09, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
The issue is more "I don't believe in global warming because taking a side means we're doomed to groupthink, so we should accept any bullshit as evidence." Osaka Sun (talk) 21:41, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
There are loads of economists that are not denialists, lukewarmers, or delayers. By "economists," you mean "economists of a conservative or neoliberal stripe for whom externalities and market failure are ideologically inconvenient." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:16, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Renewable energy redux[edit]

Why is it so difficult to find a solution? Well, half the population roughly doesn't even think it's a problem. I've been taking part right now in a long discussion with a 50 something old earth creationist aerospace engineer on energyfromthorium.com forums - mostly about evolution - but it came up in the discussion that he feels - rightly - that nuclear power is the only solution to global warming. I happen to agree that nuclear is by far the best answer. The problem is when I tried to say that the Republican party is the anti-science party. He comes back with some good examples of how the Democrats in the US are part of the environmental hysteria that is crushing any possibility for nuclear and consequently any possibility for fixing this damn problem of global warming. The Democratic party is actually much worse on this particular science issue, as they don't, understand engineering at all, and they perpetuate this idiotic myth that "natural" is better, "green" (whatever the fuck that means) is better, and nuclear is dirty, dangerous, and will kill us all. I of course noted that Republicans aren't any more likely to get nuclear off the ground because of their specific stupidity, but he's right that the Democrats are more out of touch on reality with the simple engineering problems facing us when we try to solve global warming. Most solar and wind proponents annoy me, because they make it seem as though solar and wind can actually support our industrial life style and economy, without nuclear, and while significantly lowering carbon emissions. End rant. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 22:24, 15 July 2013 (UTC)

Except that solar CAN sustain our industrial energy needs, and nuclear can't in the long term. Solar is (for all practical purposes) an infinite resource, which neither nuclear nor petrochemicals are. (The "natural" argument is irrelevant, the economic argument is the only one that matters.) The Chinese and Indians are aggressively pursuing a solar based energy economy - including developing the technology for electrical energy storage, and transportable fuel sources. Grid parity has been achieved in a handful of places (far fewer than many green energy sites are claiming, but there still are some - [5]). The fact that nuclear is (potentially) dangerous is also a factor, but it's not really the driving factor (although the solar industry is happily harping away on this fact, as you'd expect). Having vast solar plants in remote deserts electrolysing hydrogen for fuel cells is not conceptually very different to remote oil wells, and the infrastructure development is already underway. Whoever controls the energy, controls the world. VOXHUMANA 23:59, 15 July 2013 (UTC)
Maybe we should make a new page dedicated to this? A couple random fact replies.
1- With breeder reactors, nuclear fuel is no longer a problem, and we have sufficient fuel for thousands, if not millions, if not billions of years. It is quite probable that we could economically mine mere granite for the thorium content, or harvest uranium from seawater. At that point, if it lasts longer than the lifetime of our sun, then it's just as renewable as solar. If we have to start worrying about the heat death of the universe, then I think we're ok for now. Keep in mind that the fuel costs of modern light water reactors is only about 1/7 of the total cost, and a lot of that is fuel fabrication costs and isotopic separation which may not be present with some new reactor designs such as LFTR.
2- Solar and wind cannot provide reliable, on-demand power. If we wish to maintain our current standard of living, we cannot have power that goes out when there are clouds, or during the night, or during windless periods. If you pursue the economic policy of allow inreliables to feed into the grid and get the same money for it as reliables, then you are setting yourself up for a grid implosion, or at the very least moving the costs as to hide the real cost of unreliables. What is happening today in Germany for example is a massive expansion of coal and natural gas plants to back up the wind and solar penetration that they have. Furthermore, because of the unreliable nature of their grid, they are talking changing the regs to increase the tolerance window of allow electricity frequency fluctuations for the grid, which let me tell you is quite bad. Other countries are already complaining about the strain that Germany is putting on the grid.
3- The energy storage problem is massive. For example, see: physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/08/nation-sized-battery/ http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/11/pump-up-the-storage/ In short, there is insufficient raw materials for most conventional chemical batteries. I'm not talking cost. I'm saying there would be problems locating enough raw lead or lithium or whatever to construct the needed electrical batteries. (I note that he does not mention sulfur sodium batteries, but those are still too expensive by an order of magnitude or more.) Pumped water storage such as at dams is no better. Other solutions aren't much better, including hydrogen fuel cells which you mentioned. You are looking at an amazingly daunting problem. You address this core problem with the pithy remark "including developing the technology for electrical energy storage". Let me know when we get that technology. Until that point, we should also be heavily investing in nuclear R&D for new breeder reactors, and when those results come back positive, which they probably will, we should begin a massive roll-out, because only that will lower our carbon emissions, provide energy security and national security, and allow us to maintain our industrial standard of living when fossil fuels "run out". EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 00:33, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Consequently, the proper way to look at solar is not comparing watt to watt, but comparing the cost of solar and sufficient backing storage or power generation. So, you would be comparing solar + storage for 7 days vs nuclear, or comparing solar + backing coal or nat gas vs nuclear. In essence, the benefit of solar without storage is the fuel cost saved, usually coal or nat gas. And nat gas is really, really cheap, meaning that solar has no value economically speaking ignoring climate change, and the actual amount of lowered carbon emissions is questionable too. In essence, the current plan locks in coal and nat gas, and keeps up dependent on these fuels. That's what we see happening Germany and every other place that is attempting this stupidity. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 00:36, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
"The energy storage problem is massive." LOL, no it isn't. 1 - use solar to make hydrogen fuel at remote locations. 2 - Transport fuel to population centres. 3 - Burn in power plants as needed. It's pretty easy to understand. It's also conceptually equivalent to the oil/gas paradigm we currently have. Sure there are technical issues that need resolving, and wholesale infrastructure both for creation and consumption of solar-generated fuels is yet to be effectively built, but it is underway.
Regardless, your point is economic and industrial viability. While you waffle away, China and India are making it work. You may as well bang on about the importance of steam engines to the economy. The countries which are most interested in winning the economic/industrial race are going down the solar path. VOXHUMANA 01:08, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I will be back later with sources, either for my point or yours. It was my understanding that doing hydrogen on that scale is quite impractical, but I have not looked into at length. Are you talking literal hydrogen pipelines like we have oil pipelines? I hope we're not shipping it by truck. That does introduce AFAIK a what, 30% inefficiency round trip to go to hydrogen then back? How are we going to burn the hydrogen? Conventional hydrogen fuel cells? It's my understanding again that they use some rather expensive and rare metals, and that could not be scaled up to the levels needed. Could you be more specific please? It sounds interesting, insofaras you avoid the usual pitfalls of solar advocates that I'm used to. It's an unusual proposal, or at least one that I haven't heard before seriously suggested, and sadly my knowledge of hydrogen as a energy container is limited. I have some reading to do. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 01:19, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Some things I'll be looking at: What is the cost and size for containers to store 7 days worth of electricity in hydrogen form. What is the cost and land area for the required photovoltaics for the US daily average, given the hydrogen there to back it up, factoring in insolation for Texas in the winter, and factoring in the hydrogen round trip inefficiency. The cost of the pipelines. Whether any of this is limited by quantity of available raw material. Exactly how can we burn the hydrogen, as I guess that fuel cells use those expensive metals to be lightweight and small which isn't a requirement for large production plants. The cost of the hydrogen burning plants. The cost of the plants to produce hydrogen, presumably from sea water electrolysis. ... Now, if this works, then we can go with synthetic hydrocarbons from atmospheric CO2 for transportation (just like we could with nuclear). I don't know of any blocking issues offhand. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 01:25, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm... I'm paraphrasing what I've heard from engineers I know socially at the UNSW here in Sydney, and I haven't researched the matter to the depth you would need. The bottom line is - Australia is a country with vast amounts of sun and desert, and research is actively looking for a way to turn that into a useful industrial asset. There is ample funding for this research coming from the Middle Eastern countries (who also have vast amounts of sun and desert). I don't know if such a strategy would be viable in the USA, but then, I don't actually care either. Regardless of its potential merit, nuclear power is politically dead here. (Ironically we have enormous uranium reserves - far more than the USA.) VOXHUMANA 01:31, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The argument "But what if it's not windy and the sun doesn't shine?" argument is commonplace in blogs and the general public but greatly overstated. In a country as large as the U.S. we can have spatially diversified solar and wind: for example, some turbines off the Atlantic coast, some in the Texas panhandle, and so on. Likewise for solar. People who know a lot more about climate than me say that the likelihood of it being dead calm and cloudy across the whole country is zero. There are lots of smart people looking at the problem from this angle, for example here. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:34, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
At some point this planet must go sustainable. Some form of solar > fuel or other storage has to be the answer. cf, [6] although Nocera probably overstates his case. Sterilesig.svgtalk 02:43, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
@Dark. I've looked at the wind data. This is just pure fantasy. For this plan to even purport to provide steady power, you need some combination of sufficient backing reliable power generation, massive overdeployment of unreliables, and/or massive amounts of storage. Please, go look at the wind data. Do the math for yourself, and see the cost of building enough wind to cover the weeks where it's relatively windless across the continental united states. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 08:27, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
@Dark. That link is shit btw. Just from reading the abstract I can see the pseudoscience. Case in point: "storing electric power in vehicle batteries". Do you have any idea how retarded this is? This is pure fantasy from people who lack basic electrical engineering knowledge and systems management knowledge. See: [7]. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 08:49, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
@Sterile. You seem to be assuming the conclusion. Why can't it be nuclear? Why are you assuming that conclusion? What evidence do you have that other solutions, specifically nuclear, cannot work? Nuclear can be just as sustainable as solar and wind, and IMHO it is probably cheaper and definitely much more environmentally friendly. I won't discount solar and wind as solutions if the math shapes up, but every time I look at it, the math simply isn't there. When I get some time tonight or tomorrow, I will try to find those numbers. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 08:27, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I've heard this, and I need to confirm it's legit, but I see no reason to doubt it: [8]. The sheer energy density of uranium and thorium could allow us to mine literal granite as nuclear fuel. Mine it, grind it up, and use chemical processes to extract the uranium or thorium for maybe 3 times the cost of conventional uranium mining, or so the link says. (Confirmation needed.) Remember that the cost of the uranium ore is less than 1/7 of the total levelized cost of electricity at conventional light water reactors. You could take that 3x uranium ore hit (again, need to double check some numbers). If that's true, we would first need to worry about the sun going out before we need to worry about running out of fuel, or it's at least in the same ballpark. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 08:38, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm not very convinced that the process of using electrolysis to convert electricity to hydrogen, pumping (or tucking) the hydrogen to a power station an then burning to turn a turbine it create electricity again is going to be very efficient.
Better to create a DC grid and use that to distribute long distances. Internationally if you like.--Weirdstuff (talk) 09:13, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
AC grid, surely? Ajkgordon (talk) 11:00, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
No I meant a High voltage DC Grid. In fact such a thing is already being planned Also see this Guardian article. High voltage super grids using DC - which it's more efficient to transmit over longer areas - answer many of the issues raised here.--Weirdstuff (talk) 12:26, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Ajkgordon (talk) 13:11, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree we shouldn't look at this as an "either-or" debate, but a "which will predominate among options debate. Nonetheless, a quote from Nocera's paper which I cited above:

Nuclear fission is one method [to produce carbon-neutral energy], but it would require widespread implementation of breeder reactors (11). Estimated terrestrial U resources are sufficient to produce ≈100 TW-yr of electricity using conventional once-through U reactor technology. Hence, if 10 TW of power were obtained from conventional nuclear fission, the terrestrial U resource base would be exhausted at that level in less than a decade (in fact, it would be exhausted after the first 30 yr of reactor construction because of the fuel consumed during the rampup phase). Moreover, construction of nuclear power plants would need to proceed at a very rapid rate by historical standards (one 1-GWe (gigawatt-electric) power plant every 1.6 days for the next 45 yr). The international tokamak (magnetic confinement fusion) experiment (ITER) is now scheduled to demonstrate an energy breakeven point in 35 yr for a few minutes of operational time. Although fusion might possibly provide significant commercial energy late in the 21st century, the ITER time line is much too far in the future to provide a credible option to make a significant contribution to the amount of cost-effective carbon-neutral energy production needed to meet any reasonable atmospheric CO2 concentration target in the next 40–50 yr.

More the point, I'd love to see the way you "regenerate" your nuclear fuel. Yes, the solar technology and storage isn't there yet, but it is an area of research for which there are options for progress. Sterilesig.svgtalk 12:03, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

Could you please read what I post? I mentioned that we can mine granite for the uranium and thorium content right now. The continental crust of the Earth is by large part made of granite. There is no nuclear fuel problem. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 18:58, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I dont see why we can't switch to nuclear power now, and then transition to solar when the tech is there to? Why does it have to be one or the other? (and what happened to fusion? That thing that GIVES us our solar power?) --Revolverman (talk) 15:56, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I also tried to emphasize that. I'm for research into everything plausible, but only rolling out what we have demonstrated to work with non-controversial stuff, like math. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 18:58, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Fusion is hard is what happened to fusion. It might be possible to build useful fusion generators and enough people still think so for a large amount of funding to be directed at the problem, but compared to a mere fission power station it has proved very tricky. The sheer quantities of energy involved, though very promising from a "too cheap to meter" point of view are also extraordinarily destructive, a problem you don't have to worry about so much with our existing fusion generator because it is over a hundred million kilometres away.
I have less confidence that I'll see fusion power plants produce a significant fraction of our energy needs in my lifetime than that, say, autonomous humanoid robots will beat a human World Cup team at soccer as per Robocup's founding challenge.
While we're here: Sterile the point is that the fuel won't run out. It's like claiming that we need to conserve speech because we might run out of it. Is the practical number of human utterances finite? Yes, depending on which research you believe. Could we conceivably use them all up? No, our species will be long gone and forgotten before we could begin to make a dent. The wind and sun are finite too, but we call them "renewable" because they won't run out in the timescale anybody has ever cared about. Tialaramex (talk) 17:51, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
Fusion requires a lot of energy since it's a thermonuclear reactions. Very high temperatures, like the sun. Fissionable uranium is certainly a limited supply, no matter how much of a peak-ist you are. And of course I get that the sun isn't entirely renewable. Duh, dipshit. But it's also true that one hour of sun could provide enough energy for our needs for a year. With water to hydrogen back to water, or mechanical storage. Mind you, energy is, and will continue to be, from multiples sources, for a very long time. Sterilesig.svgtalk 18:20, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
And: Why would you need to ship hydrogen? You electrolyze the water where it's sunny and burn it back to water. Part of the allure of hydrogen is that it could even be produced with a far less centralized grid. Meanwhile, what's your extraction process that gets ppm uranium out of granite or ppt out of seawater? How much hydrochloric acid do you need to leach it out? I'm not saying it isn't feasible, but I am saying you have shown that it is. Sterilesig.svgtalk 19:40, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

I just wanted to mention that some time ago I made this FAQ on radioactivity and nuclear technology which might be of some use... --Tweenk (talk) 22:59, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

A challenger appears[edit]

Here is my take on the arguments mentioned above. Sorry for the wall of text, but the subject is complicated.

  • VOX: Using solar electricity to generate hydrogen, then burn it. This is an extremely inefficient method of storage. The heat engine burning hydrogen would operate at 50% efficiency at most, and that's assuming we burn it at a very high temperature; production of hydrogen via electrolysis also causes losses. Another problem is that producing synfuel from solar electricity leads to very inefficient use of hydrogen factories: if you couple a factory that can soak up 1GW to a 1GW solar farm, the factory's capacity will be utilized in roughly 15-20%, the capacity factor of the farm. If you couple it to a larger farm, some of the electricity will not be used. You could also build a small 200MW nuclear reactor and produce the same amount of hydrogen with a factory that is 1/5 the size, or use the same 1GW factory with a 1GW nuclear reactor to produce 5x more hydrogen and run the factory at capacity. Due to this under-utilization, capital costs for solar hydrogen factories will be 5x higher than for nuclear hydrogen. This could make solar hydrogen uneconomical even if nuclear was more expensive than solar, which it currently isn't.
  • VOX: "Solar is (for all practical purposes) an infinite resource, which neither nuclear nor petrochemicals are." The total energy content of uranium and thorium in the Earth's crust is equivalent to 2 million years of total solar flux reaching Earth. There are 4.5 billion tons of uranium in seawater, and this is constantly replenished by rivers. This could be sufficient to power civilization until Sun turns into a red giant: [9]. Practical methods of extracting this uranium have already been demonstrated: [10]. So the nuclear fuel resources are nearly inexhaustible as well; it's only uranium-235 that can eventually run out, but even that is far into the future.
  • Sterile: I would need to do some math, but I expect that your quote about uranium running out does not take into account that reported uranium reserves are increasing as a result of exploration, which picked up from a long period of stagnation only since 2005: [11]. That being said, it's true that breeder reactors are necessary in the long term. Unlike fusion reactors, there are several breeder reactors operating today, including a commercial unit in Russia, and several more were operating in the past.
  • Sterile: "More the point, I'd love to see the way you "regenerate" your nuclear fuel." Each year rivers carry 32000 tons of uranium into the oceans, replenishing the 4.5 billion tons which are already there. This uranium flux is sufficient to generate 32 TW of electricity or 86 TW of heat in breeder reactors. Current world energy consumption from all sources is equivalent to 17 TW.
  • Doctor Dark: "In a country as large as the U.S. we can have spatially diversified solar and wind: for example, some turbines off the Atlantic coast, some in the Texas panhandle, and so on. Likewise for solar." I see this said every time wind intermittency is mentioned, but no data is ever presented to support the notion that distributing wind solves the problem. In fact, the data says quite the opposite. See for example these graphs of the total generation of wind power in Ireland, which has 2 GW of capacity installed. The Y axis is megawatts. Note that the chart is all over the place rather than smooth and the generation was next to nothing in the last week of February.
Irish wind first half 2013.png
Irish wind february 2013.png
This problem is even worse with solar, which generates nothing at night and moreover has heavy seasonal variation, which cannot be compensated for in any way (it is utterly impossible to store half a year's worth of power).
  • Tialaramex: "The sheer quantities of energy involved, though very promising from a "too cheap to meter" point of view are also extraordinarily destructive..." The energy content of water held up in dams has historically been far more destructive: 64 deaths + ~1% increase in cancer rate from Chernobyl vs 171000 deaths from Banqiao dam failure. See also too cheap to meter for some information on that quote. Oops, seems this referred to fusion. I'll leave the information in place though.

It is possible reduce the emissions from electricity supply below 100 g/kWh using nuclear power by using only known technologies. We know it can be done, because it has already been done in France and Sweden. No industrialized country has ever succeeded in reducing their emissions below 100 g/kWh without relying on either nuclear or large hydro.

One more thing - I strongly recommend this free online book to everyone interested in energy topics: Sustainable Energy - without hot air. It's very valuable not only because it lays out all the energy options and the conditions under which they add up to smoething that could work, but also because it teaches how you to do rough realistic estimates on your own. --Tweenk (talk) 00:39, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Notice that I was careful to say "In a country as large as the U.S." Last I checked the land area of the contiguous U.S. was larger than Ireland (albeit only by a factor of 90). Doctor Dark (talk) 01:01, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
True. I will try to find data for US wind generation, because I remember seeing charts for larger wind systems (10GW) which showed the same random structure. --Tweenk (talk) 01:15, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
No luck at finding US data, but here is a chart for TenneT, a grid operator in Germany and Netherlands, which has around 10-12GW of wind capacity dispersed over many sites (couldn't find the exact figure). I also found aggregate data for Germany, but they want you to download each day separately as an excel file (aargh).
TenneT wind february 2013.png
The pattern is the same as for Ireland, and there are still periods when nothing is generated. Still no evidence for geographical smoothing. --Tweenk (talk) 02:38, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, the land area of Germany is only a factor of 20 smaller than the U.S., so that's an improvement of sorts. Also your chart includes only one of Germany's several transmission networks (each of which has a specific territory). Meanwhile, on the benefits of spatially dispersed generation for reliability of power see here. The tl;dr version is "An average of 33% and a maximum of 47% of yearly averaged wind power from interconnected farms can be used as reliable, baseload electric power." And this is for sites dispersed over just a fraction of the U.S. (eyeballing it, about a couple times the area of Germany). Doctor Dark (talk) 03:32, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
@Dark. Let me see if I'm reading this paper right. It's methodology is as follows. It argues that coal plants are down for about 10% of the time from planned and unplanned reasons. It uses that as the standard when considering wind. It then argues that wind can supply a large portion of power under that standard of 90% up time. However, if I'm reading this right, and I think I am, that is hugely fallacious. The unplanned downtime of coal plants is statistically completely independent of the unplanned down time of other plants. Thus, with many plants, and slight overbuilding, you can achieve stupidly high up-time rates. However, when they try to apply "similar" reasoning to wind, it is fallacious. The downtime of wind is not independent of other wind. Instead, they are quoting good numbers using 90% up time as a standard to beat, and pretend as though this is coal's standard. This is completely dishonest. While a coal plant may have only 90% up time, it is trivial to plan and build them to get 99.99% up time in aggregate (or higher). They have not demonstrated they can do the same for wind. Instead, they are only trying to match 90% or 92% or whatever up-time. That's obscene. You're saying for 20 days of the year that wind will provide potentially no power? And we are to call this reliable? I do hope I'm misreading the paper, but I don't think so. Let me reread it. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 05:22, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, OK. The current technology requires 1 g of plastic advanced material to recover 3-4 mg of uranium (presumably unrefined) from seawater. [12] We need 2 g of uranium per person for the current energy flux. [13] And you have to make that from something--you need "stuff" and energy. The technology isn't there yet to claim a "limitless" source if you have no economical way to retrieve the uranium. Sterilesig.svgtalk 14:02, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Sterile: The technology is not yet commercially viable because there is still a lot of uranium left to mine. However, the estimated price of uranium from seawater extraction is low enough that even LWRs could use it profitably ($300/kg, whereas the price of electricity gets noticeably impacted only above $2000/kg).
Doctor Dark: Note that this paper is comparing the reliability of a single coal plant to the reliability of an entire interconnected system of wind turbines. Also note that 33% of average power corresponds to only 8% of capacity (onshore wind has a capacity factor somewhere between 15% and 30%, I'm generously assuming an average of 25%) - you need to construct 12GW of wind to replace the baseload power from just one 1GW nuclear reactor. --Tweenk (talk) 22:41, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

another bullshit anti-nuclear link[edit]

(This was originally a response to "Tweenk (talk) 22:41, 18 July 2013 (UTC)" above.)

I have no idea what your sources are, but I'm skeptical of anything that needs to be done on a scale orders of magnitude larger than it already has; that is unproven technology. Yes, it would be disruptive if it works, but it hasn't been shown to. There are unintended consequences to scaling up anything and none of you have adressed the rate at which nuclear power plants would need to be constructed; it's very fast.
Wikipedia's economics of nuclear power plants cites this 2011 "policy brief" which is far less glowingly optimistic.
To plan for long term energy solutions, fuel availability needs to be assessed beyond 2020, when future plants in Asia will be operational. The IAEA expects that primary supply of uranium (all newly mined and processed uranium ) will meet only 4-6% of total demand in 2025 and secondary supply (highly enriched uranium, enriched uranium inventories, mixed oxide fuel, reprocessed uranium and depleted uranium tails) will meet 8-11% of world demand6. The implication is clear: a huge shortfall will likely exist between uranium supply and demand. Even on optimistic assumptions of fuel availability, global reserves of uranium will only support a growth in nuclear power of 2% and only be available for 70 years.

A recent study7 showed that no new deposits of uranium have been found since the 1980’s and all increases in uranium mining have been at known deposits. China and India have very limited domestic supply of uranium and Chinese analysts expect China to be 88% dependant on foreign sources of uranium by 2020. Lack of certainty about the availability of uranium is likely to fuel price spikes which will increase the production costs of nuclear energy.
And even the global warming potential of mining could be a problem.
It is true that the carbon footprint of electricity generated by nuclear energy is less than that of coal, natural gas and oil fired facilities. However, when emissions from uranium mining, milling and spent fuel conditioning are added to the emissions associated with plant construction, operation and decommissioning, a typical reactor emits about 66g of CO2 equivalent for every kWh of electricity produced. This figure, which is more than any single source of renewable electricity, is likely to increase significantly as more energy intensive uranium enrichment is required once high quality uranium ores are exhausted.
I guess I'd urge you to look at the whole picture (and certainly not just at industry literature). Sterilesig.svgtalk 11:26, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
"I guess I'd urge you to look at the whole picture (and certainly not just at industry literature)." - Right back at you. Maybe you should try to use some halfway reliable sources. That document is nothing but outright lies, fabrications, and spin. I don't even know where to begin. Seriously, pick any part, any part at all, and you find outright lies or misinformation so extreme that it does amount to intend to willful dishonesty. 1- Cost of electricity. Estimates vary wildly, but it is true that a great part of the cost in the US is from people like the fuckers who wrote the paper who user a bullshit US law to file frivolous lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit to delay nuclear plant construction, which leads to higher prices yes. In actuality, costs competitive with coal are plausible with newer breeder reactor designs. 2- Decommissioning and the dangers and length of nuclear waste is far overrated. Again, the greens are making a mountain out of a molehill, and grossly inflating the actual prices and difficulties involved. 3- The cost of uranium ore is a negligible part of the cost of electricity. Volatility in uranium ore prices does not affect the end cost of electricity to consumers. 4- There is plenty of uranium and thorium for millions if not billions of years - see studies linked elsewhere about mining phosphate rock and granite for the uranium and thorium content. 5- Bullshit fear-mongering: "think twice: The nuclear fuel cycle involves some of the most dangerous elements known to humankind." 6- Too water intensive. It frequently uses water because that's what's available, but there are designs now for dry cooling towers. Sure, there's a hit in efficiency and thus cost, but it's manageable. As for posing a significant threat to marine life because of the water cooling intake - fuck the author. Fuck him. 7- Waste again, see earlier. 8- CO2 emissions. I'm almost certain that this uses extremely overblown costs for decommissioning, waste handling, and if I'm lucky, it links to this one study which actually fucking included the CO2 emissions from the "inevitable" nuclear wars that will happen from widespread nuclear power. If I get around to seeing this guy's sources, I swear if he uses that source... 9- Danger of nuclear accidents. It remains the fact that even if you include Chernobyl - which wasn't even a nuclear power plant but was a research reactor - the death toll of nuclear power is still amazingly less than any other energy source by far. ... tl;dr: completely dishonest shite. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 08:52, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Also, the CO2 bullshit is almost certainly assuming standard operating procedure for mining and processing of ore. Whereas, in fact, if and once we start getting synthetic hydrocrabons from atmospheric CO2 from nuclear electricity going, then it will actually be carbon neutral. But no, can't have the annoying facts get in the way of the story that needs to be told, now do we. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk)
Ok, I give that paper slightly more credit. It doesn't link to the bullshit Stanford prof who uses nuclear war in his calculations of C02 increases. The source can be found here: [14]. It just links to other sources. Down the hole I am going. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 09:05, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Yep. My memory serves me right. Most of the CO2 from nuclear is CO2 from the concrete for the plant itself, mining equipment fuel (usually diesel) and electricity for the mining operations, and similar. The fuel and electricity could come from nuclear power, thereby making those close to carbon neutral. That leaves the CO2 from the concrete for the plant itself, which is the same or less than wind's CO2 footprint according to the source. (I'm ignoring the ridiculous decommissioning costs and nuclear waste costs.) EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 09:32, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
"There are unintended consequences to scaling up anything and none of you have adressed the rate at which nuclear power plants would need to be constructed; it's very fast." - Also, this is such a stupid argument. Surely we can agree that in the challenges facing us, constructing the amount of necessary nuclear plants is far less daunting than constructing the amount of necessary photovoltaic and/or wind, right? Consider France, which has moved their grid to mostly nuclear in under 20 or 30 years. The number of nuclear plants is not that outrageous, and if it is, then solar and wind are even more outrageous. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 09:27, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Since you've taken the rhetorical low road labeling my peer reviewed sources with curse words and left most of your items citationless ("fuck the author" as a way to proceed with a discussion? really?), I have no plans to continue discussing this with you. Sterilesig.svgtalk 16:21, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
On this website, you're complaining about that? See tone trolling. Your link is complete and utter shit. Every single goddamned point. If you even cared - even a little bit - to inform yourself of the relevant facts, you would know that. Thus, I don't care if you don't want to continue, because nothing constructive would happen with conversation with you anyway. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 18:31, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
By the way - the link is by Benjamin K. Sovacool, who is rather sloppy with his sources. For instance, in this publication he gave the levelized cost of nuclear as 25 cents/kWh, cited to some popular magazine, which in turn cited this report which gives the cost as 8.3-11.1 cents/kWh. He's not the most reliable source if you ask me.
When it comes to CO2 from nuclear power plants, I recommend this link: [15]. Both this source and this IPCC report put the lifecycle CO2 footprint of nuclear at around 10-15 g/kWh. This is comparable to renewables. The 66 g/kWh claim is addressed in Sovacool's article here on RW. --Tweenk (talk) 21:33, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
"none of you have adressed the rate at which nuclear power plants would need to be constructed; it's very fast." See here. In the 80s, nuclear grew at a rate of 30GW per year, which is equivalent in average energy output to 120 GW of wind or 150 GW of solar. --Tweenk (talk) 21:41, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, Tweenk, but I learned long ago not to engage with people who characterize arguments rather than constructing them. And really, I'm not anti-nuclear; I'm just skeptical of anyone who says they have "the solution" to the world's energy problem and that it's "limitless." It's obvious he's going to keep interjecting himself and I'm not doing it. Maybe some other day. Sterilesig.svgtalk 22:21, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
You're still wrong and deluded, but if you want to have a conversation without me, you can just ask. Don't use me as an excuse. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 22:26, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Mining granite for uranium and thorium content[edit]

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Uranium-Resources/Uranium-from-Phosphates/ That link goes on to say that phosphate rock can contain 70 to 200 ppm uranium, and for several years 1990s the US obtained about 20% of its uranium from phosphate rocks. Wikipedia tells me most(?) granite has 10 to 20 ppm uranium, and "Conway granite" contains roughly 56 ppm thorium. So, I have every expectation that granite, which is IIRC the most common constituent of the crust of this planet, could be mined for its energy content. We are literally talking about "burning" your common, everyday rock for energy (to borrow one of my favorite phrases from Alvin Weinberg). We'll never run out. -- I will continue to look for additional sources on this, but this is what I've uncovered thus far. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 02:10, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Some time ago I was doing some energy density calculations and found out that when the trace amounts of uranium and thorium in one ton of average dirt (2 ppm and 6 ppm respecively) are burned in breeder reactors, they have a combined energy content equivalent to 22 tons of coal. --Tweenk (talk) 02:45, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
what is the cost of getting the material into a useable fuel ? seawater contains gold so we could all be rich but it costs more to recover than the metal is worth Hamster (talk) 16:23, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
ORNL study EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 20:32, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
Another link. Keep in mind that the EROI is AFAIK for conventional light water reactors. With an efficient breeder reactor, put that EROI up by an order of magnitude or 2. EnlightenmentLiberal (talk) 10:53, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
The Japanese teams researching this estimated 240-300$/kgU, which is about the same as the peak price of uranium during the commodities boom in the late 2000s. [16] German nuclear power plants operate with a tax of $196 per gram of fuel. [17] --Tweenk (talk) 22:54, 18 July 2013 (UTC)