RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive209

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The United States of Paranoia[edit]

It's a new book that has come out recently (ISBN 978-0062135551). Has anyone gotten they hands on it?--ZooGuard (talk) 18:34, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Evidently not available for a couple of weeks in the UK. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 20:08, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Main Page Redesign Proposal[edit]

As discussed on Talk:Main Page, I'd like to propose a change to the Main page as mocked up here. The rationale includes the following:

  • The Main Page should link content that is mission-centric and/or good, or things we would like people to work on. I think the portals proposed fit that bill. They are not random as on the nav templates, and (IHMO) I don't think they should be.
  • It provides more visuals and a more logical flow.

In addition, note:

  • WIGO World was made more globe-like.
  • On the previous talk page, people liked mixed colors. (They aren't hard to change, but I really have no desire to get into a long discussion about colors. Just pick 'em.)
  • The CSS would have to be modified such that the icons led to categories/portals and not the images. That hasn't been done yet.

Discuss. Sterilesig.svgtalk 19:11, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

I really like the redesign. It puts more focus on the articles RationalWiki has to offer, and that's a good thing. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:17, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
If we do this (and we should) "featured articles" really really needs to be revamped. right now it shows Schafley's face - hardly a "featured article" (in my view) for a grown up wiki. I'd like to make a *small* plea for a "social/psuedoscience" (?) content, too. we have some areas on things like feminism, that do lots of debunking. (ie., abortion and all the stupid science about breast cancer, pain, ect.) but it is a *small* plea, cause it's not nearly as relevant as the topics you have, i think. I like the push towards our good articles - people can go from there to find more!Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 19:22, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Our social science articles (especially the ones about gender issues) are a complete cluster fuck. My attempt at trying to get people to help fix them ended... badly.--Token Conservative (talk) 20:09, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Which articles and what would you call it? We don't really have [[a portal/nav template for that. We have econ, psych, sociology articles. Sterilesig.svgtalk 22:32, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
I really don't know, Sterlie. I just know that the same games that Conservatives use for anti-global warming, and that Christians use for creationism, are used in the anti-choice campaign, the anti women's campaign, etc. Like using psuedoscience about fetues feeling pain; finding out of context biblical references to justify their positions; lying outright about what individuals have said, or studies have said (think "abortions cause breast cancer"). I've seen the same games in the race wars, in immigration, etc. But it's a low priority, i just though, since it's "my thing" as it were, i'd toss out the idea. I do really like the new page!
Token, they really aren't a cluster fuck at all. most of the gender articles are really quite good. they just don't happen to agree with your general position.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 00:19, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Notice the long list of articles that need to be fixed in one way or another. And that was pulled entirely from the relevant pages. I didn't even get through unsourced statements either. --Token Conservative (talk) 01:13, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
That's your opinion on their being a problem, as it's YOUR project, and not something picked up by the wiki at large. I know the articles, and just like every one of our "topics" there are good and bad articles. but they are not this giant cluster fuck you seem to want them to be. Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 01:35, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I really like the redesign, I'm not really one for ideas though, but I still think it can be improved. Definitely for changing it. The Invisible ManI spoke to Him 04:13, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I generally like the new design. I would make only two tweaks:
  1. Put the WIGO section at the top, as we do now, and as Wikipedia does with the news on its main page.
  2. Remove the Saloon Bar from the WIGO list, as it is not of interest to visitors, only editors. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:21, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with what LX proposes re: Saloon Bar. For casual viewers/new comers it provides a good window in WIGO:RW which I find is an inviting step into joining the community. A discussion board, somewhere to start. Acei9 04:31, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
As someone who mostly lurks (and who lurked for some time before even registering), I concur with Ace. I found (and still find) the Saloon Bar to be a very good way to get a grasp on the community at large here. For those folks like me who wish to contribute but feel the need to come to an understanding about the site's culture first, such a window is invaluable. - GrantC (talk) 04:36, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Note that the new page has a large section marked "Participate in RationalWiki," with a prominent link to the Saloon Bar. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:57, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
None the less given RW has a particular 'brand' of humour I think the WIGO:RW/Saloon Bar is important enough to remain as a coloured button instead of a dry-link. Acei9 05:40, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I like the design very much and I'd like to see it replace the current Main Page as soon as possible. On the mock up, clicking on any of the logos, not just the Bar one, only takes you to the image's file page. I take it that wouldn't be the case on the finished page and that clicking on the logo would take you to the category page or portal or whatever. And I don't see Schlafly's face anywhere on the page. The random featured article I see is "Expelled: Leader's Guide", which, come to think of it, is the featured article I usually see. I suppose Godot raises a new point. Should we strip some featured articles of their status? I suppose we'll be discussing that soon. Spud (talk) 07:39, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Quality of featured articles is a separate discussion. Saloon Bar is important for newcomers, based on my own experience. The redesign is excellent. Kudos, Sterile. VOXHUMANA 09:41, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

  • As I said above, the "press the button to get to portal/article" means modifying the CSS, which isn't done yet. That may require a Tech, in fact.
  • It's certainly not hard to put the WIGO buttons at the top. It will require something to separate the WIGOs from the rest of the content, but that's just writing a few sentences or a heading.
  • The Featured articles are in a category; you could bring up articles to take off there or on the article page. Sterilesig.svgtalk 10:48, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


All right, let's do this. Voting for the change. Sterilesig.svgtalk 22:05, 16 August 2013 (UTC)


  1. Just make sure the front page icons are identical in colour to the actual categories. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:11, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Put up the new version, including its carefully colour coordinated logos which are not all the same as on the actual pages, as soon as possible. Spud (talk) 10:50, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
    I suppose we can change the colors, but it may require some volunteers to do so. There haven't been a lot of offers to help. Sterilesig.svgtalk 01:15, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Sure. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 13:54, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. Fuck yes - David Gerard (talk) 20:44, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  5. I'm a practicing non-conformist, but today's my day off. --PsyGremlinSermā! 20:47, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. --Token Conservative (talk) 21:06, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  7. Yes but keep the saloon bar icon. Acei9 21:22, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
    It's in the current mockup. Sterilesig.svgtalk 01:15, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  8. Absolutely. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:55, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  9. I think it would look better if the headers stood out a little more. As it is in the mockup, everything is sort of blending into each other in the same column. But other than that, it's a vast improvement over what's already there. --OverworldTheme (talk) 23:28, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
    Bigger? Darker? Not sure what else to do. Sterilesig.svgtalk 01:15, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
    We can piss about with details later. Just do the damn thing and we can fine-tune it over time. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:17, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
    Should wait a bit more. People are too trigger happy. Sterilesig.svgtalk 01:20, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
    Maybe a horizontal line under the WIGO and Portals and Articles headers? I'm with Doctor Dark on this, though. We can all nitpick the minor details later. --OverworldTheme (talk) 13:32, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  10. good work.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 23:45, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  11. Thanks for all the effort you have put into this. Doctor Dark (talk) 00:49, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  12. Much nicer than the existing design. Any chance of calling in some mid-August snow on this and just it putting into service? Compro01 (talk) 01:11, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  13. I think it looks great. - GrantC (talk) 01:16, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  14. Looks great. Too bad the "portals" are all round, but whatever, people are addicted to sameness. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:15, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  15. I like it. Polite Timesplitter Cultural loneliness is a right pain 08:39, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  16. No! Definitely not. Unless that Twitter icon is fixed; in which case you have my support. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmutatingModerator 09:54, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  17. Great redesign. --Tweenk (talk) 16:24, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  18. OK —Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:34, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  19. -Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:39, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  20. Yes, it's a nice aesthetic improvement and also shows new users what we do. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 09:35, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
  21. Definately, though do the "[What is this?]" and "[See all portals]" links really need to be superscripted? Peter mqzp 07:04, 22 August 2013 (UTC)


  1. I would reincorporate Conservapedia criticism into any redesign. Hclodge (talk) 01:11, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
    That ship has sailed. Sterilesig.svgtalk 01:36, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. I'm actually voting yes, but I want it to at least look like we don't all suffer from groupthink. VOXHUMANA 03:30, 22 August 2013 (UTC)


  1. Bahhhh. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 20:49, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Fifteen to none. Just do it already, we can paint the bike shed later. SophieWilderModerator 08:51, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Follow up[edit]

So, it does look like this is overwhelmingly supported. The CSS is being worked on behind the scenes; please be patient for a few weeks while we make the transition. Thanks for the support. Sterilesig.svgtalk 23:12, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Can the WIGO icons also be added to MediaWiki:Recentchangestext to appear at the top of RC? I'm making further suggestions on the talk page. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:54, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
As I said somewhere else, I'm not crazy about this. It just adds too much stuff at the top of RC. There's like WIGO buttons everywhere on this wiki. Sterilesig.svgtalk 00:49, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Hey, my bloodletting article's on the main page? Yay! Now I can die happy, knowing that I've actually accomplished something in my trivial, meaningless life.--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 23:12, 26 August 2013 (UTC)


Looks like the next flavor of the month for the conspiracy crowd.



Perhaps someone more deft than I in that field can separate the woo from the true. --Zipperback (talk) 10:07, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Much of the claims are problematic to evaluate given the lack of access to the current proposed terms. Even Issa's leak of the IP portions is more than a year old and the last released draft is almost 2 years old. But for their "internet freedoms" bit, their "120 years copyright" is correct. The TPP would mandate that copyright terms be life+70 years if the creator is a natural person, or if not a natural person, 95 years from first publication, or if not published within 25 years, 120 years from creation (Article 4.3). It would also basically mandate preliminary injunctions be granted without requiring any proof of harm by the plaintiff (Article 13).
It would also do other things such as mandating statutory damages for IP violations (Article 12), allow rights holders to prohibit parallel imports (reversing Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in the USA) (Article 4.2), allow rights holders to prohibit temporary copies (Article 4.1), removes the requirement that a patent on new form, use, or method of an existing product need improve the efficacy of that product (Article 8.1).
However, given what we do know (That it's basically all the worst aspects of US IP law pushed out internationally), I would personally be willing to believe just about anything negative about this "trade agreement". Compro01 (talk) 23:15, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

UFO cult 'restoring' the victims of female genital mutilation[edit]

The title says it all really. I may become Raëlian.--Weirdstuff (talk) 20:15, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Note also Dr Marci Bowers, a trans woman, who does gender reassignment surgery for a living, but clears her calendar twice a year for pro bono work for FGM victims. Nice one - David Gerard (talk) 22:27, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Seeking feedback on ad based CAPTCHA[edit]

So here is the problem:

Currently we have a choice between two CAPTCHA systems, one that doesn't work at all, and one that appears to lock out users from signing up with an account or commenting in a random unreplicatable, unfixable to-date away.

Neither of these solutions are ideal, and I have been looking into a couple different paths. An individual at Solve Media has actually contacted the foundation and proposed bringing their captcha system on board. I am hoepfully it will solve the issue regarding locking users out. It uses an ad instead of letters, and asks people to type in a slogan from the ad.

It might bring in some amount of cashflow for supporting the site as well (not sure how much really). But it does implement mild advertising on the site. Since it is CAPTCHA it would only apply to non-autoconfirmed users and user signups so it should have minimal impact on the majority of our users.

So now is your chance to offer thoughts on this. Tmtoulouse (talk) 19:25, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Sounds like a good way to scare off prospective new users using AdBlockPlus/NoScript. And yeah, yeah, I know, support what you love, but I know I blanket block because of the crap advertisers are known to pull with trackers and malware vectors. The honest sites in the middle are caught in the crossfire, but I have my own security to think about. --CoyoteSans (talk) 20:05, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
It's based around the recaptcha code, anything that blocks it will block any recaptcha we implement ads or not. Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:15, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I see. I thought it would just get ads straight from a third-party ad server or something. Or video ads, to be particularly evil. Right, this sounds much better. --CoyoteSans (talk) 20:19, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
My understanding atleast from reviewing the techs is that we can limit it to just an image display (not even a clickable image) that is pulled from the solve media servers. I will have to implement it on beta to see how it performs "in the wild." But its something I am reviewing. Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:31, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

The was this is described it sounds like RW would be overly grubby. Against. Zero (talk) 20:39, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Can you explain? Tmtoulouse (talk) 20:51, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Is there an example of the sort of ad it'll show somewhere? A lot of web abs are kind of sleazy, even the legitimate ones. I think we probably ought to keep an eye on the ad rotation if we do implement it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:29, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Try here. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:36, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
The ads don't seem bad at the moment, if entirely US-centric. The CAPTCHA part seems about as strong as limp noodle though, eminently OCRable in most cases. Not that any CAPCHA seems safe these days, I guess there's an army of wage slaves sitting their solving them all day for the spamming classes. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:42, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Yup. --CoyoteSans (talk) 22:32, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
(HRM. The audio captcha seems broken in the demo on their site. If that was a universal problem, we'd be entirely blocking anyone who was blind from the site. Probably ought to check that out, apparently blind people have enough problems with CAPTCHAs where that feature actually works, so if it's broken entirely I'd say it's a non-starter.) --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 21:48, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

I've seen this in other places. It makes the site seem slightly venal, but it might be worth it, depending on the income. I'd say anything north of $10 a month in funding would make it worthwhile. An estimate might be good, if possible.--ADtalkModerator 21:43, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

But then you'll give Trent your permission, right AD? $10 is a lot of money to walk around with. 22:05, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Income evaluation will be tough to do ahead of time. Keep in mind that this is effecting only a subset of people, new users for a short period of time and people editing from anonymous IP. I will implement it on a beta version of RW to test for things like the audio CAPTCHA. Its effectivness is also likely testable only in the wild, but I imagine there is incentive to avoid letting bots answer the questions. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:07, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

It says the minimum payment is 200 bucks, so I'd say if we aren't making at least 18-20 bucks a month they payments'll be so irregular as to be worthless. Give it a try if there are no serious objections and see if we get somewhere around that. If not, then I'd say can it. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:11, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, not worthless. Trent thinks there's great utility in having another captcha system in place. Ours really does randomly lock good faith editors out. They've complained about it. Who knows how many haven't. Seems to me that the money is gravy. Who really cares what picture is in a single box? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:28, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I'd like to add an opinion from a user point of view - and maybe it's irrelevant for a one time only thing, but SparkPeople use an 'ad capture" and it feels like I'm being told i have to watch their ad, to use their site. it's a 20 second ad, generally about nothing of any great interest to me, and there is no way to opt out of the ad. If it were not "ad based", if it were a little cute clip of kitties or a short garfield routine, fine. but i feel like it's just one more way to push ads on me, just to use a site I happen to want to use. This was a new change there, and it really feels very pushy and addy. maybe this company isn't the same, i don't know. and maybe we don't care, cause it solves our problem - but that's my two cents.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 22:37, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Keep in mind I am not implementing VIDEO ads, they are image ads, with a request type a slogan. So its no more time consuming (and probably LESS) than normal captcha. Tmtoulouse (talk) 22:40, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Their support page seems to indicate you don't get a choice in whether or not they display video or static image ads. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 22:46, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
I have implemented it at rationalbeta. So far my impression is that you rarely if ever get ANY sort of ad. Tmtoulouse (talk)
Yah. It looks like their ad pool consists exclusively of yank firms, so I wouldn't expect to get an ad in any other country. If other small firms are anything to go by, I'd expect their ad pool to be extremely thin too. You really can't give away ad space, and people want what little they do buy to be hyper-targeted. If they can't keep their ad pool decently stocked, I'd guess the chance of making any money out of them is effectively zero. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:24, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
With that said if it provides an effective CAPTCHA that doesn't lock out users randomly then I still think its better than our current cluster fuck. Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:28, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Yah, there's that. If we can find someone who actually gets an ad when they look at the CAPTCHA to report on the workingness or not of the audio alternative, that'd be nice. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:34, 21 August 2013 (UTC)
Wait, so would bots be making the site money? That seems a tad strange. Anyways, @JeevesMkII: I get an ad and the verification works fine (even with my Adblock on), but the 'switch to audio puzzle' button doesn't work for me at all. There's no indication that I clicked it when I try to. Nullahnung (talk) 00:52, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

I just tried it and got a video ad for Mr. Clean that I was supposed to watch in order to get the necessary code. I would never, ever, ever, consider watching an ad in order to sign up to edit a wiki. If that's how it works, it's a horrible solution, I'm afraid. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 02:10, 22 August 2013 (UTC) PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 02:24, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Follow-up stupid question: WP's captcha, for one, never gives any hassles. Why can't we use that one? What is it that makes our captcha suck more than all the other ones that work just fine? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 02:24, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I tried it 3 times with differnet IP, and got three differnet video ads. you only had to watch about 3 seconds of the ad, but still.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 05:39, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I would be against video ads but there again YouTube often makes you watch at least 5 seconds of an ad before you can watch a clip. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 07:56, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, but at least there you're actually wanting to watch a video, and watching a little more video isn't exactly an imposition. This seems to be turning in to a terrible idea. Image ads are one thing, but making people watch video to get in is over the line. I don't think we should touch this with a barge pole. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 12:05, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
The ad for Tide that I got was annoying. I think that despite this, we should do it, and see how much it earns.--ADtalkModerator 18:15, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

So is the video ad people's primary concern right now? I have checked into it and we can disable video ads. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:04, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

I'll ask again -- why can we not just use the CAPCHA system that WP uses, or the other standard CAPCHAs I encounter every day? Why does ours not work properly? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 21:19, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Most of what you find everyday actually doesn't work very well. Want me to turn on recaptcha the industry standard? Watch new user creation for an hour and you will see how well it works. The question captcha we currently use keeps the bots out for the most part but is malfunctioning. Newer versions might not but will require updateing the MW software, which is in the works but part of a much larger up grade scheme (including all extensions, the new LS for linux, and a clean install of everything) which is going to take time. This is a workable option for now, that also might have the benefit of providing some level of funding. Tmtoulouse (talk) 21:45, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the complete and concise answer. Still not a fan of corporate advertising in general, and on our non-profit in particular, but I understand the issues involved. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 14:02, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
To your question on video. I don't think a still ad is that bad. a bit annoying, but it's ONCE and then done. the video ad really does bite, though. You just feel "sold to". Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 02:16, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
What makes us think this new system is better, and how badly are the extra funds needed?--"Shut up, Brx." 05:42, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
I have several reasons to be hopeful that this CAPTCHA implementation will be better, most involve technical aspects of the wiki that aren't really worth getting into for both security and my own time frame. Are the extra funds needed? Well I think the Foundation is well guided in seeking alternative revenue streams then just user donations if it is relatively low impact (I am not going to splash banner ads everywhere). Our costs are only going to increase, for example the last month or so has seen another boost to our base level traffic (likely another google search update), another boost or two will likely mean needing to add another backend to our site. So right now we earned enough money in fundraising for a years service but if I have to add another database server then suddenly its a lot less. So yes, increased revenue streams from whatever source derived are useful. Tmtoulouse (talk) 16:24, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

STRONGLY AGAINST. I think the donations are enough money.For the love of Primus,man! Wasn't that enough?--The Madman (talk) 00:07, 25 August 2013 (UTC)The Madman

The current system also sometimes just locks out legitimate editors, accidentally, because it's not very good. We have to switch anyway.--ADtalkModerator 13:46, 25 August 2013 (UTC)


if the current capture is not working well, and the ad based one will work, then go for it. If it makes a little money even better. is there any way to get some stats on how often the captcha thing is used now ? Hamster (talk) 18:04, 25 August 2013 (UTC)


It's a really good anti spam extension that requires identifying cats and dogs in six pictures. It's very easy for humans and nearly impossible for bots. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 05:14, 27 August 2013 (UTC)


I am shocked that y'all do not have more content about the whole NSA spying scandal. At the very least a bunch of conspiracy nuts are using it to verify all kinds of claims. Quit your day jobs and get your shit together. Also what the fuck happened to the 'add topic' input/button that used to be in the bar? TheCheatI run on alcohol 17:25, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

The 'Add Topic' button (input is alt-shift-+) is still up there (at least for me). And yeah, I'd like some more stuff on the NSA as well. Nullahnung (talk) 17:31, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
There also used to be a link at the bottom of several large talk pages, but it was removed in the Big MediaWiki Update.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:42, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Average wages of US assembly workers[edit]

So I was speaking with my everyday vulgar libertarian (yes, we have some in Canada) about the clawback of wages in the globalized era (he was on a usual "unions killed the economy, 25$/hour for being a 'trained monkey' and are you surprised that capital is being moved to China?" rant) and I found this link suggesting that assembly line salaries in South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama and Idaho is comparable to Massachusetts.

No source included, is it bullshit or not? Osaka Sun (talk) 20:49, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I see the lowest wages are in Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and California, suggesting the real issues are a huge racial disparity, and on the border states having to keep wages low to remain competitive with the maquiladoras just to the south. If that is the reason, WV and ID are as high as MA because the workforce in all three is whiter. SC and AL may be skewed high because of automobile manufacturing, I don't know. Secret Squirrel (talk) 10:53, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Facebook friends, where you fill out a loan application, what you read in the 1/2 hour before your loan application[edit]

Are all being used as data points to decide if you are a good risk for a loan. I have real problems with this. what does being at work when I fill out a loan app, have to do with my ability to repay it? How does the credit score or job status of my facebook friends say "i'm not a good risk". should i dump friends because they were unable to pay a loan or cause they lost their job? read all about it.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 03:17, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

If it makes you feel any better, Canadian banks basically don't give out loans period, regardless of credit score. Before anyone mentions it, yes, I'm also significantly exaggerating. That said, yeah, that sucks. It doesn't entirely surprise me, as it is a somewhat common idea that the company you keep says much about you. I'm not sure how valid it is, but a lot of these loan distributors aren't held to the same standards to which major banks are held (as much as those are sort of useless too), so they can probably get away with it. - GrantC (talk) 03:23, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Facebook friends are a highly unreliable source for conclusions. People will have many many nominal friends they don't even really interact with or know personally. Besides, not everybody even really actively uses Facebook. Nullahnung (talk) 03:36, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Added to the list of reasons I don't use Stalkbook. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:01, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Coupled with the fact that Google knows everything about me (probably even some character traits I don't consciously realize I have), this makes me feel all warm and cozy about modern technology. - GrantC (talk) 04:04, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
So this is nice, I get to use two things I know a lot about, as an employee of a major credit reference agency and a supposed expert on social graphs. And also as someone being trained to teach primary school children about credit as part of the aforesaid employer's community outreach. A lot of what I'm going to say at the start is right in the article, but I actually used Slashdot back when people had six-digit user IDs so I know nobody reads articles. This is about "emerging markets" which means countries where previously nobody was providing credit reference. Either normal people couldn't get credit at all (this is weird to think about if you're from the US or UK where ordinary people live most of their lives in debt) or credit was enforced the "old fashioned way" where if you don't pay a guy comes around and beats you up and takes your stuff.
Let's sidetrack briefly. If you aren't in an "emerging market" how does credit reference work? Let's take the United Kingdom because I'm more familiar with that, and although the US is similar in many ways the existence of separate state laws makes everything annoyingly complicated. The credit reference agencies have relationships with banks, retailers, utility companies and so on who people owe money to. They collect and collate data specifically about debts. How much did you owe? Were your payments on time? Or were you late? How late? Did you eventually pay everything back? They use this information to guide future potential creditors in making a decision. This is often portrayed for simplicity as "checking a score" but actually different creditors aren't just checking if you "score high enough" they care about specific aspects of your history. Importantly though, all the information is about debt. The CRA can't tell whether you missed that electricity company payment because your bank account is empty and you can't afford it or because you were flying to Brazil on your private jet and forgot to send the money. In a sense it doesn't matter, not being paid by a billionaire is no less frustrating for the creditor.
Anyway in the emerging markets those records don't exist. Some traditional CRAs are entering those markets, beginning to collect the records, build the relationships, but obviously it can take decades before that translates into something useful. The companies portrayed in that article are trying to find a short cut, using Big Data to guess whether people are creditworthy from what they do have and can collect. The only way their approach would change anything in the existing credit markets is if it works better than what we have now, at which point it's hard to make the "Why should they care?" argument Godot has made above. We act the same way ourselves, managing risks based on past experience. It feels harsh when it happens to you, but it seems quite just when you do it to others. Tialaramex (talk) 10:39, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
These sorts of models that take in many, many different variables and then have a computer cook up a model from the available data face a couple tough issues (not that these are stopping anybody from implementing them like crazy these days). For one, they end up discriminating on the basis of things they shouldn't be, inadvertently. For example, if it takes zip code into account as a variable for assessing credit worthiness, the model is in effect going to discriminate based on race, which it isn't supposed to, simply because zip code is a very good proxy for race. Similarly, online retailers who charge more to people based on how far their IP suggests they are from a store (also common now), end up charging poor people more, simply because they tend to be far from stores. Worse, if we want some transparency in things like credit scores, and the model is made public, it is often trivially gameable. Eg for the one in the article, anyone in the know will make sure to click the right links and wait the right amount of time before submitting the web form, which of course renders it basically useless. Or I might have a good credit score, and charge people to be my facebook friend. College rankings are one model which is heavily distorted by this sort of thing. There's a nice blog, Mathbabe, by a former Goldman quant (or something like that, I forget) with a lot of posts about these issues, eg. this one. --MarkGall (talk) 14:56, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Good post! - David Gerard (talk) 16:23, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Last I checked, Facebook said they would sue the shit out of anyone who attempts to use facebook for job applications (ie, looking at their pictures and deciding whether or not to give an interview), so I doubt if this is any less likely to get your happy ass sued. I would go through FB's pages about security and print off the part where they give the "we will wreck your shit" message and have that with you.--Token Conservative (talk) 16:45, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

The would have a very hard time doing that. Public information is public. If you post, twit, blog, etc., and it's not protected, "shit too bad joe". And though I really appreciated the detailed analysis by Mark G to explain that article, the fact is, more and more companies are doing more and more data mining from you - in any form they can get that data. So while they mention "facebook" specifically, it can be anything your name is attached to. Including, if they could track back to your name here, these posts. We live in an age of digital data, and the more companies have on you, the better then can use that for good and for evil. I think it was just two years ago, where Google was showing off it's pretty new toy of how to market things directly to you, and how to predict things based on what seem like unlinked trends. This kind of data analysis might be in its infancy, but it's being used. Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 16:54, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Some of that is definitely illegal though. Hard to prosecute, but it is illegal to use political affiliation in the hiring process, and loan application process. And that's why the use of facebook would probably be illegal (atleast in the US) if it went infront of the courts: it reveals every protected status, and you cannot ask about those.--Token Conservative (talk) 17:23, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
It seems unlikely that it's illegal for a prospective employer to look at your Facebook profile before hiring you. You told us previously that you were asked for your Facebook login details at an interview, which does strike me as bizarre & legally dubious. But AFAIK checking applicants' public Facebook or LinkedIn profiles prior to interview is pretty routine, especially in professional & managerial jobs. A lot of people keep a professional FB profile for jobs & networking, separate from their private one which only friends can view. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:37, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Since then I found out that FB has stated that they will sue anyone who does that, and now they stick to looking without asking for login details. I also keep a printed copy of that statement in the binder I carry with me to interviews that has copies of my resume and certificates and crap.--Token Conservative (talk) 19:04, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm looking for work. Luckily for me I have two names. One, my single name, which is what I got my degrees under, what I've published under. The other is my married name, the one I facebook under, blog under. I just made a facebook account for Tanya Original name, which has no political affiliations, none of my adament feminism posts, none of my angry vitriol against anti-choice, etc. It's got a few pictures of me and hubby, it has some references to Civil Rights Act and how that will effect elections, some random commentary about elections (not who should be elected, but how elections should be run, how they are run in other countries). I get that it's a contrived image of me, but I also know that the world looks for what it wants to see, and I want to play that game - since I want a job!
What you put out there, even your political politions, are legal to see, and as you said, hamilton, it is illigal, but it would be hard to prove, but the reality is people might hire you or not because of your party affiliation.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 18:54, 27 August 2013 (UTC)


You know that fallacy where people think that artistic works of long ago are superior to works of today, because they're looking so far back that the only works from that period that are even still around are the best works of the period? For instance, people argue that Shakespeare's time produced superior art overall, ignoring that Shakespeare himself was the exception and that other writers of his day were probably no smarter or more talented than today's writers, since those other writers are largely lost to history. Does this have a name? Should we have an article on it? (Do we have one already?) It does seem like a sort of spotlight fallacy; perhaps a section in that article will do? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 05:14, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

It's survivorship bias, which is the bias where you judge something only by its successes, and not its failures. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:23, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Is that a case of "history is written by winners"? Not exactly, but close, I'd wager. Nullahnung (talk) 05:32, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Near as I can tell, the idea of history being written by winners is more about the "winners" portraying themselves in a good light and marketing their victory as inevitable. Survivorship bias is about people gathering data from only the most noticeable sources. The former has a moralizing component that the latter doesn't necessarily have. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:36, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the link; that's an awesome site! I'm going to add survivorship bias to the to-do list. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 05:50, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
this is all tied in with the 'the queue you're standing in moves slower' thing. We remember the notable, we forget the unremarkable. We remember the frustration of seeing the other queue move faster, we forget the time we walked straight to the cashier without waiting. Similarly, if you're my sort of age, the best year for pop singles was the one in which you were fourteen. In my case it's '67 (you do the maths) - the golden age of Motown, the Beatles still going strong, British blues at it's best, the early signs of the West Coast psychedelia - and then, if you look up the top selling UK single for the year it's Englebert Humpadink's Please Release Me - no, that can't be right, but it is.
So, what are we going to call this - the fallacy of selective memory, perhaps? Innocent Bystander (talk) 08:54, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
If this isn't called "The Good Old Days Fallacy", it bloody well should be! Spud (talk) 08:58, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
What's wrong with 'The Nostalgia Fallacy'? — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 09:07, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Um, Survivorship bias is already an actual term, so there's no point in coining a new name for it other than communal self-fellation. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:26, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Except, in a nit-picking way, we're not talking about survivorship bias - unless it's the memories that are surviving (or not). Innocent Bystander (talk) 09:57, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Survivorship bias is a common problem in palaeontology and biology. And as for the the works of Shakespeare then we are looking at what has survived because it was thought to be worth preserving, most of the dross has been discarded. When we look at the efforts of the past it's like looking at the final of a previous talent show rather than the heats we are observing in the present. Redchuck.gif ГенгисpillagingModerator 10:06, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Also a lot of what Shakespeare did was "mere" adaptation, but a line gets drawn in the sand where adaptations of his work invariably are known for that, while his plays don't get the same treatment in return. So for a production of West Side Story or a showing of Romeo + Juliet credit goes to Shakespeare, but when there's a production of The Comedy of Errors you won't see much mention of Plautus. Shakespeare was very talented, but if you let somebody take credit for their own innovations and those of predecessors they're going to come across as being superhuman. Tialaramex (talk) 11:09, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
As was pointed out above, we should probably have an article about it. Having just looked at our cognitive bias template I notice that publication bias is omitted. I would think that survivorship and publication biases are actually very closely related. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 11:37, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────See also golden age or good old days. @Stabby: Nothing wrong with re-inventing the wheel for the purposes of autofellatio. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:02, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Dino DNA[edit]

Some of you may have already watched it but last night Horizon did a programme on dinosaur DNA - I haven't watched it myself yet, just saving it now for later viewing. Also, for anyone who isn't a trained biologist, Coursera has a course on Dinosaur Palaeobiology starting next week. Redchuck.gif ГенгисpillagingModerator 10:58, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Just went looking, and we have this on the subject. I remember watching an exchange a few years ago on WP where some YEC editor was trying to use the Schweitzer collagen to cast doubt on the depth of time in paleontology. Fascinating stuff. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 12:42, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Ah, same woman. Must watch it sooner. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 15:30, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Just thinking about science triggers moral behavior[edit]

Nature article, Psychologists find deep connection between scientific method and morality which may go some way toward explaining the lack of scruples, logical rigour and common sense in arguments by various anti-science fanatics. Pashley (talk) 19:58, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Mmm, link actual paper (not in Nature, not in Scientific American, though both are anxious to harvest your clicks, actual paper is in PLOS ONE). As with most psychology research the subjects were not representative of the human population and caution is necessary in interpreting them. Basically it's very cheap and effective to experiment on psychology undergraduates because you're like "Course 259 is mandatory. You can get full credit by participating in any six of our experiments OR you can attend these boring classes we're holding on a Friday afternoon. Hint hint". One of my psych academic friends gets major props because he uses us, his circle of friends, in some types of confirmatory experiments and we're like actual people instead of undergraduates. But we're still a highly educated, ethnically homogeneous group and thus not a good approximation for "human adults" as a whole.
Note that the most powerful correlation found did not involve science "triggering" anything. Instead participants were asked to make a moral judgement (about a fictional date rape scenario) and also asked to rate their own belief in science. Those who rated themselves as strong believers in science tended to rate the date rape scenario as "more wrong" than those who rated themselves as believing less in science. But this was entirely self-reported, so it tells us there's a correlation between saying you believe in science and saying you think date rape is wrong. There could be a number of other reasons why this is so.
The "trigger" provided was hiding science related words in sentences to be unscrambled (the controls were given neutral sentences) in a pre-task. Correlation between the trigger and outcomes was weakly positive, people who'd just unscrambled sentences like "scientists explained the phenomenon" were somewhat more likely to say they would give blood, rated the date rape as slightly more wrong, and gave an unseen (and indeed imaginary) second participant a slightly larger share of a cash gift that could not be split evenly.
The last experiment's results gives us something more substantial to chew on. The effect of the science "trigger" was very tiny, as well as being weak. If it was real at all it amounts to a few cents. But gender had a much bigger effect. Regardless of "triggers" a woman (a female psych undergrad) was on average far less generous than a man (a male psych undergrad). Men see five dollar bills, keep two, pass the other three. Women split the money the other way. Not universally, but by a considerable margin. This result was not what the researchers were looking for, and not headline worthy, but it does get reported because they're scientists. Tialaramex (talk) 23:16, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I see that they were inspired by the Shariff and Norenzayan paper. I wonder if you get the same effect by substituting anything in that has some positive associations. (I'm taking for granted here that UCSB students have generally positive views of science.) Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:25, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
For those not following closely, Shariff and Norenzayan does a very similar trick but with God instead of Science. They supposed that there might be many reasons why "thinking about God triggers moral behaviour" (to paraphrase this current article). They tried to control for how the words made people feel though, so that's probably not it Neb. For Shariff and Norenzayan the effect is again fairly weak, though it's far bigger in absolute terms of dollars given perhaps because their protocol allows an even split which is the obviously "fair" choice. They did not report a gender disparity, nor did they report testing for one. Tialaramex (talk) 08:14, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Anyone know anything about...[edit]

This - "Milk depletes the calcium from your bones". "“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in old age. (“Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly”. American Journal of Epidemiology. Vol. 139, No. 5, 1994)." Seems strange to me. Scream!! (talk) 21:47, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Looks like altie misinterpretation. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:59, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
http://thatsnotscience.blogspot.com/2013/02/debunking-debunking.html might be worth a read Hamster (talk) 22:59, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

All feminism-related articles heavily biased[edit]

The heading is self-explanatory. It's pretty sad that a "rational" wiki contains such a massive heap of irrational material that is very strongly pro-feminism-biased. I don't get the impression that my potential edits would be welcome, but did want to bring it to some amount of attention so that the articles can be reviewed. (talk) 05:53, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Good.--Token Conservative (talk) 16:46, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Can you give an example of a particular statement or article you believe to be biased? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 05:58, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Everybody drink! Osaka Sun (talk) 06:17, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Please give us an example of bias that we can explore in detail BoN; of course your potential edits are welcome, if they pass muster. Tielec01 (talk) 06:44, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
The larger point is what's wrong with being "pro-feminism." I'd like for my granddaughters to have the same opportunities as my grandsons. Doctor Dark (talk) 14:22, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
The problem with building constructive dialogue in these cases is you have to agree on what feminism (or any of the other terms involved) means first, which rarely occurs, because both sides are too busy dismissing each other. Being on the same page is key. Nullahnung (talk) 14:34, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I can say that I think certain articles are unfair towards certain people labeled as "Anti-Feminist", but I typically don't edit them. I try to avoid drama though so I just don't care to get involved. As long as you avoid those bits, you can be fine with editing. Zero (talk) 15:07, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I always find it funny how amazingly feminist, and apparently fascist radical feminist we are, here, considering that we only have a handful of women who edit with any regularity. And while it's true that men can be perfectly fine feminists, even radical ones, when a site's editors are at a ratio of like 50:1 (POOMA, from observation), I'm guessing if things really were all that off balance, some of those 50 would rear up and protest.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 16:32, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Also, "rational" (bad word choice, but we are stuck with it), to me suggests you look at reality and attempt to scrape off the extremes at both ends, wash away myths and exaggerations, poke a bit, and see what you are left with. I think in that sense, we do a pretty good job. Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 16:32, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
The definition of feminism is "Forcible castration by the ghost of Andrea Dworkin." Duh. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:04, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
There does seem to me to be something of an undertone of hostility to evolutionary psychology which I think is unfortunate; this is one of the easier ways to bring the fact of evolution home, to learn to see its effects on yourself, other people, and the culture. You'd expect to see a site with atheists as a core audience to tend left; but all of the "social justice" mummery and cant, not just feminism, tends to be treated with a velvet glove; for instance, no one wants to see the link between "privilege" and Godwin's law, even though they're both signs that further conversation is not profitable. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 18:19, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
There is no link between privilege (with or without scare quotes) & Godwin's Law. & Terms like "mummery and cant" don't aid productive dialogue. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:48, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I think we might need another DF template...--ZooGuard (talk) 19:02, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
So I'm guessing Smerdis is taking the "in primitive cultures, women were sheltered to protect the child" and "women are naturally inclined to have smaller muscles" viewpoint. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:42, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm sure i'm kicking several dead things here, but talking about privilege, and mentioning that someone has it "and aught to check it", is not a shut down of conversation. it's a way to open UP the conversation - largely to people who are often ignored. Think atheist committee asking "why do no women come to our conventions", saying "no, that's not why" when women express the problems. Think an all male (and religious) body talking about the imposition of birth control on their lives (or some such. still not sure exactly WHAT they were testifying to, and i read the transcripts). anyhow... kick kick kick, dead mule.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 01:49, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
"women are naturally inclined to have smaller muscles" A google search of that inevitably leads to conversation sparked by Anita Sarkeesian's Damsels in Distress video series, how did I know? Nullahnung (talk) 02:00, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm going to put sex differences in human psychology into the to do list. It's still a significant issue that's went from "women are naturally inclinded to be emotional, not rational" in the Freud days to "eh, not really" with today's studies. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:10, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I do tend to think it's pretty well established that humans, like all our closest relatives, do have a sexual division of labor: given our pedigree it would be really, really strange if we did not. And ultimately it comes down to the fact that sperms are cheap, eggs are expensive, and so males are disposable and need to attract attention to themselves. I think this is fairly clearly true, and the idea that human behavior is not based around innate drives and shaped by evolution strikes me as human exceptionalism and magical thinking. And yes, cultures can make people act against their innate drives, temporarily and locally: it's a matter of how much surveillance and violence you're willing to use. Nature is still sexist and unjust, so we need to pick our fights with human nature with some care and realize how little we will actually accomplish.
"Privilege", in the obnoxious sense, is the rhetorical equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and sticking out your tongue. I refuse to listen to you because of who you are: you are the oppressor and will never understand. A miasma of oppression attaches to you because of your race or sex: you don't have to actually benefit from it, and you don't even recognize it. A conversation where it's dropped is one to walk away from. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:11, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Ahh, and so we arrive at the dreaded nature vs. nurture debate. I would argue personally that it's very difficult to determine either way. Anyways, just because a behaviour is natural shouldn't mean it is fitting within the parameters of our society (no, I'm NOT implying some Hobbes here). Nullahnung (talk) 03:32, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
"Privilege in the obnoxious sense, is the rhetorical equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and sticking out your tongue" Oh BS. Now you've gone from calling us evo-psych deniers to yourself denying the existence of privilege. Now you'll be telling us that racism is an innate, evolutionary-selected drive? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:09, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely not. 'Is' does not imply 'ought', and so forth. But what is, is. "Privilege" has it backwards. Our first impressions are always going to include emotional reactions that will include bias and prejudice of which we are only remotely aware. Yes, while racism is too tied to the difficult notion of race, there is an element of xenophobia, of suspicion of strangers, of the "Other", that is indeed an innate, evolutionarily selected drive, and a human universal, present to some extent in every society. These drives will always contain an admixture of moral wrong. Culture can aggravate some of the routines we become pre-programmed with, badly. We can, for instance, be instructed to direct the instinct meant to keep us away from dung, vomit, and rotting flesh against such things like bacon, or even certain of our fellow humans. What is the point of separate drinking fountains and benches for Jews or Blacks? They think it's catching.
(Aside. The U.S. government's latest anti-smoking campaign features visuals of victims of disfiguring surgeries, all the result of smoking or second hand smoke. The message is: if you so much catch a whiff of cigarette smoke, you may be contaminated by their leprosy. I want to punch through the TV and grab some idiot fanatic by the throat and scream in his face, DO YOU REALIZE THAT DYNAMITE IS NOT A TOY?) This may not be the most evil thing that the U.S. government has done recently, but it surely is evil.
There was a story referenced somewhere else here, and it's late here and I'm not about to go find it, but it supposedly revealed that thinking about science also made people more moral, or maybe just more judgmental. It's about remembering who we are, and who we want to be. It's about making time to think - and that's certainly under attack. If you, like the psych students who were apparently the majority of the pool of test subjects, value science, then thinking of science reminds you of values you are trying to uphold. Making time to do this is important. Our only chance and defense against our prejudiced and unjust innate nature starts with learning to recognize and acknowledge its presence. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 04:18, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
(ec) This point has already been hashed out. SoT is just intent on repeating it in every feminism-related thread. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:19, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
So shall we start creating relevant articles on debunking these sorts of things? I don't want him rattling on every page saying that evolution is making us suspicious of strangers without citing anything relevant. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:51, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I think there is a good case for an evolutionary origin to some kind of generalized in-group/out-group mechanism that leads to xenophobia. Racism may be an instance or manifestation of this, but obviously not directly selected for. It could also apply to Big Endians and Little Endians. However, this effect can be reduced by viewing Others in different social contexts. (e.g., [1]) I'm not sure how this is an argument against the concept of privilege, though. On the contrary, it seems to reinforce it. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:11, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Alright then. But at least we should get a larger section on evolutionary psychology addressing how the debate of its scientific legibility has been framed as a political one. It seems the notion of trying to strawman critics as lefties is scuttled when psychologists in question don't even lean conservative anyway. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:33, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I've posted a fuller version of this on a forum which I linked to Blue, but I'll repeat the key points here: there is no evidence for a sex division of labor, while reason, some extrapolation of modern physical fitness, and modern hunter gatherer tribes provide quite a lot of evidence for the view that humans are meant to have the opposite of a sex division of labor. Early human methods of hunting (persistence hunting) is extremely physically demanding, and means that early humans likely would not have actually hunted all that much. Early human tribes were of about 120-140 or smaller (based on our Dunbar Number). Figure a 50-50 sex split and estimate that about half would be of the right age to hunt and you get about 30 people being the hunters for 120 people. In other predatory social species this doesn't make much sense, because they have a larger share of the population hunting. Even with meat being a fairly small part of our diet, it is still essential and not something you'd want to screw up. Lions have nearly the whole adult pride hunting, and wolves have the entire adult pack hunt. This makes sense because more hunters means a better chance of success.
If early humans were meant to be sex-neutral when it came to resource gathering you would expect that (since persistence hunting is about running 15-20 miles) that male-female long distance run times would be similar. Interestingly, they are. The difference in current marathon (and half marathon) world record between a man and a woman is about a 30 second per mile difference. This is enough that (at the moment) there is no woman who is competitive with men at the elite level, but its a small enough difference that a running deer wouldn't notice the difference. For those who favor the aquatic ape theory of human evolution, the difference between men and women in swimming over similar distances is also very small. I'm half-working on comparing the scores at elite level between men and women in archery and marksmanship, but that could be quite a while.
Finally, there are some remaining hunter-gatherer tribes out there. Interestingly, they hunt with women making up a sizable chunk of the hunting party. It's not an even man-woman split, but it's still heavily women involved. It gets back to that whole "more hunters means better chance of success" thing.
Really, the only thing close enough to evidence for a sex division of labor is that men are better at spacial awareness and women are better at color differentiation. But that doesn't make much difference because those are both useful in hunting. Like in noticing the lion in the grass, or telling the difference between individual deer in a group of them. Oh, and if women were meant to be gatherers, you would expect them to have a much better memory, like for knowing which plants are good to eat and which are not. As far as I know, there is no evidence for any difference in this regard.--Token Conservative (talk) 17:18, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
What does all this "meant to" crap even mean? If you're still talking about evolution then it's a very cranky version of it. What evolutionary advantage could a large male-female disparity in memory capacity serve? Are there even any species where such a difference is observable? WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:32, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I meant it would be advantageous for women to have a better memory then men to be able to memorize what plants are and are not good to eat. Instead there's a similar memory for men and women because the responsibilities were supposed to be shared. Alternatively, I may not be explaining myself very well-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 23:07, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
No, you're not. If you're trying to say something about evolution, then framing it in terms of "meant to" or "supposed to" is just muddling the issue with "intent" where there is none, only natural selection. The strawman that you're presenting - that women could evolve greater memory capacity if they were primarily gatherers because of something about memorising plants while men would not - is a pretty implausible one. & The fact that's implausible doesn't prove one way or other whether there is "asposed to" be a sex division of labour. Think about your suggestion seriously: women would get a better memory capacity, which is a survival trait; men would then have a weaker memory than women - how is this a survival trait? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:46, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I see your point. That was never the crux of the argument, so I'm not concerned.-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 00:25, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
@Hamilton: There is quite a bit wrong with that, but the short of it is that there is some division of labor by sex in all cultures. What, exactly, that division consists of can vary dramatically by culture, though. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:34, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
The research I did originally focused on primitive cultures, and that modern hunter gatherer tribes don't have a significant division of labor along sex lines. I think it was something like 40% of hunting parties for such-and-such group were women and that gathering was mostly done by kids and people too old/banged up to hunt.-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 03:01, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

One direct example of a pair of statements I view as problematic: "Feminists have in the past, and continue in the present to emphasize the importance of addressing modern rape culture. Something no one but the most aggressive MRA types think is a bad goal." It seems that any article related to feminism, especially any article which discusses opposing viewpoints to some aspects of feminism (i.e. misandry) effectively say "anything that doesn't agree with feminist doctrine is (insert strong negative descriptions here)." I would also like to point out that a comment below mentions how few women edit the wiki, which logically is completely irrelevant as it has nothing to do with the content of the articles (are there articles that say "very few women have edited this article" on here?) It would be nice to see a balanced discussion, rather than the current state which is blatantly dismissive of any dissenting concepts. EDIT: Here is a whole section that is a prime example, and might as well be completely discarded (I personally believe that anyone who does NOT have a problem with how this section is presented should not be editing sociopolitical articles at all.) (talk) 03:07, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Still sticking your head in the stand. Radical feminism and related advocates aren't treated very kindly here (we've even had them stalk our own users). This is similar to discussions we've had on critiquing the far-left as well as the far-right. Osaka Sun (talk) 03:52, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
(EC)It would be nice if you could go into more detail about what exactly disturbed you. Direct reasoning is better than implicit reasoning and much more conducive to constructive discussion. Anyways, let's try to look at what problems you are implying from what little you did write.
1. According to you it is a problem that people - who think that it is a bad goal to address modern rape culture - get described in a strongly negative way. Did I get that right? If so, you need to tell us what your own stance is on people who think that it is a bad goal to address modern rape culture. It is all very well to criticise what is written, but you must then also propose what should be written instead, see.
2. According to you the fact that there are relatively few women editing the wiki is not relevant to this debate on feminism bias. Yeah, but I don't think anyone would argue that it is relevant.
3. According to you that one section in the privilege article has problems. I also think it has problems, but I don't really know which ones you're thinking about, since you didn't elaborate on it. Not elaborating is not very conducive to discussion, see. Nullahnung (talk) 04:09, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
You claim that our articles are "blatantly dismissive of any dissenting concepts," but the example you cite is about starting a dialogue, not stopping it. "The idea is that you're supposed to shut up just long enough to hear and consider the other side" hardly seems dismissive to me. Rude, maybe, but not dismissive. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 06:48, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
I find it odd that even after having it explained to you, you find "shut up and listen" to be a bad thing. It tells me either that you suffer from a serious entitlement complex, because gathering data is a basic investigative procedure, and "shut up and listen" is exactly how you start doing that. So at the very least, objecting to the concept as explained (not how you perceive it) indicates that you aren't rational at all and have no business complaining about our content. EVDebs (talk) 00:02, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
"the number of women editing the articles is is not relevant to the articles". That is actually complete bunk. Thanks to teh society we grew up in, men and women see the world differently. Men and women (at least in the same socio- economic class) have wildly different experiences. To suggest that a wiki with more women voices would not sound different, is silly. To suggest that it doesn't matter if women are commenting on articles, especially articles largely about them and their experiences is equally silly, and frankly, rather privileged. Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 02:28, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Sidebar concept[edit]

I have a question I'd like to toss out to the mob on side bars. Most of our side bars have either 1) a list of articles generated randomly, from a set category, or 2) that list plus some "key" topics. I'm really kinda curious why we do that/have done that. Many of our articles in any given category are just shit. Some are stubs, some are under researched, and some are just nothing but bad. Wouldn't sidebars be better to highlight good articles on a topic? I get using "key terms", cause those articles are ones that really matter in a topic (I'm thinking, right now, "Gender", and key terms include 'gender disphoria', and 'intersex' etc), but it seems the second set of links should be one where --even if random-- we are picking from a list of quality or almost quality articles, and not including all the stubby crappy stuff. But I don't really know why they were set up the way they were, so I'd like to see what the Mob says.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 17:38, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Is there a way of excluding anything with the stub template from the naxboxes? Or perhaps only including gold/silver/bronze pages? SophieWilderModerator 18:18, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
AFAIK page ratings are largely abandoned. I think the idea of randomising content is to showcase a changing selection of pages, including pages in need of attention as well as ones deserving of attention. It would probably be better to have some of quality control on there, or just use a fixed set of articles instead of randomising. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:52, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  • The random articles in the sidebars is generated by using the Randomarticles template, which in turn utilizes the DynamicPageList extension. AFAICT, you could screen-out the stubs by adding the notcategory parameter to DPL invocation in the random articles template and listing off all the "*-related stubs" categories. Whether this screening would be a good idea is a different matter entirely, as Weaseloid suggests. Compro01 (talk) 19:51, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
My favorite alternative would be to create *another* cat, within the larger cat, that is - "good article" or something, so that we could pull randomly (which makes some sense, to let people see things they might not have considered) but have only articles that are somewhat decent in that sub list. It would mean extra work, of course. Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 01:45, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Every time we have this discussion it always comes back to "improve the stubs." Perhaps we should see this trend as the guiding influence of almighty goat (PBUH) and perhaps buff up a stub or two. each. SophieWilderModerator 08:30, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Or delete them. It would be better if people didn't create stubs in the first place. The to do list has a lot to answer for. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:09, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
The ratings system was never really implemented well. Random people just picked random article. I picked articles on the front page because they were big concepts, were important or good, or should be good. I am not a fan of random, because it won't necessarily be there again and they aren't necessarily good. We do not to think about the content reboot, but although people voted for it, I'm not sure they want to work on it. Sterilesig.svgtalk 00:16, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
While I agree in principal that we should fix stubs, there's like a handful of editors who really have the time/energy/inclination to do major work. Usually you do one serious rewrite or destubbification - what, once a month? I actually like Weasleoids view more than i would ever though i'd admit to. Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 03:31, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

That's fine. It does make me wonder why we think of this as a wiki rather than a wiki that functions as a message board and awkward Facebook page. Sterilesig.svgtalk 00:24, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Crazy conspiracy theorists go full circle.[edit]

It used to be creationists that really bugged me but now it is conspiracy theorists. What made the difference for me is that I don't know any creationists - I could keep them at arms length, have a laugh and then 'turn them off' when I had enough. Now I see it everywhere. Friends (usually friends of friends to be honest but they are all over facebook) of mine rattle off on the dangers of vaccines, fluoride, Monsanto etc but now it has gone to far. All of them are avowed lefties but they are using WND as a source when they are arguing it wasn't Assad but the rebels in conjunction with the US that launched the chemical weapons. Fuck man, it drives me crazy. They have gone full circle - the same WND they would have, had they noticed it before, ripped into for presuming Obama is a Muslim from Kenya they now quote because it supports their preconceived POV. It is fucking infuriating. Acei9 02:38, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Horseshoe theory. When you have pacifists linking to National Review articles claiming that Obama is arming Syrian Al-Qaeda groups, you know something doesn't make sense. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:59, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I used to be able to say the same. I was arms length from anybody with radical beliefs in general, either about creationism or the various conspiracy theories out there. Sure, some people I went to school with were a bit off their rockers, but nobody I considered a friend fell within that group. That said, I did eventually meet a small group of people (a family) with whom I enjoyed spending time. As I did so, it became clear to me that this family was pretty big on creationism and pretty much every conspiracy theory known to man (and pyramid schemes, but that's another story entirely). After that experience, I started noticing that I knew more people with extreme views than I first thought. I suppose once I was faced with it so closely, it became easier for me to spot it where I once would have just glanced over it. - GrantC (talk) 05:06, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
By far the worst, though, was the Trutherism that infected the anti-war movement circa 2003. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:35, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh yes. I was still in high school back then, but nonetheless it was only a few years later that a couple former friends of mine started tossing around references to Loose Change and Zeitgeist. It was sheer stupidity. I swear though, some of this stuff the creationist family told me (about the conspiracy theories, their religious beliefs, and their pyramid scheme) absolutely blew my mind. Actually, it was looking up some of their crazy views that led me to CP and later to here... - GrantC (talk) 03:24, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Pointless poll[edit]

Are we that cynical of politicians that we can't think of anyone else that could be the least bit sane? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:55, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

RationalWiki Drinking (Responsibly) Game[edit]

Inspired by an Osaka Sun comment further up the page. Is there a RationalWiki drinking game? If not, why not! I think it would be an excellent Fun page. What rules would you like to see? I like the idea of "Scare quotes around rational" or implying it is something to the tune of "IrrationalWiki". I may just have to make the page! Thoughts, suggestions? --ShadowofLords (talk) 13:58, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Do you mean a game people could play at home - a boardgame type thing or something - or a game which involves comments on the wiki?--Weirdstuff (talk) 14:13, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
There is the overused, and somewhat groupthink, game of "I thought that this was supposed to be RATIONAL Wiki". Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 14:22, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
That's the type of rule I was trying to get at, GK. For Weirdstuff: really just a list of tropes that, when you encounter them, you are supposed to take a drink (if you happen to have a beer on you while you are browsing). So, if a newstory pops up on WIGO World about a republican being caught in a sex scandal, take a drink (being caught in a same-sex sex-scandal would be two). A BoN appears and updates their favorite woowoo peddler's or politician's page to be kinder, or perhaps even just defaces a page in general? Take a drink. If we were really crazy there could be rules using the Random Page button (and how much you need to drink if you encounter a spelling mistake on the page, or if you land on a Conservapedia related page). I think something like that would actually be fun and useful for making edits.
Though, what I was really getting at is: what are the common things we encounter a lot on RationalWiki that are injokes for the group, both the pages themselves and the talks. It'd be nice to have some of them written down, something like a cross between rationalwikiwiki and tvtropes. (What I'm really really getting at is, we should totally drink while reading RationalWiki, and we should do so every time we encounter rwtropes) --ShadowofLords (talk) 16:11, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
The game you are looking for was started here. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 17:32, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Wunderbar! I'm glad that I'm not the only person who has thought of this. I just think it needs a few more rules from other things we see around here all the time. --ShadowofLords (talk) 17:34, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
How about a drink every time that Proxima makes a Ray Comfort edit? Or very time that Godot fires off an anti-sexism rant.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:41, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
It's dated, to be sure. We should also have one where you drink until you black out any time Brxbrx shows up. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 18:05, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

After 2½ years it is done...[edit]

Legacy TBG.jpg

I have finally finished designing an idea I had for a fantasy boardgame, and an underlying mechanic that can just have the relevant data added to it to make boardgames of other genres. All that's left is waiting for the business cards to arrive so I can add them to each box I'm sending out, the boxes themselves, designing a letterhead, and writing a pitch to hopefully sell the whole thing to a games publisher; so with any luck all of this will be shipped out next week. Then I can sit back and wait for the rejection letters to arrive…--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 23:25, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Awesome. If it doesn't work out with the publisher, have you considered taking it to kickstarter and self-publishing? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:50, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
As someone else who is attempting to make a board game, congratulations. @Jeeves, that sounds like a horrible plan. There's an thing in the gaming community "How do you make a small fortune making boardgames? Start with a large fortune!"-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 00:32, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh gods, is that last statement true. The reason I'm only sending out to ten publishers is because that's the number of sets of documentation books I could afford to have printed. Thanks for the congrats. If this approach doesn't work I'm planning on saving up my pennies and see if I can tout myself around at some gaming cons next year.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 09:53, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't see what's so bad about the kickstarter idea. I thought that that was a low-risk route do doing things. Was I wrong?--Weirdstuff (talk) 10:43, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, it's pretty low risk. You aren't spending your own money on the first production run. As long as you actually get your costs right, the worst that can happen is you get stuck with a bunch of stock you can't shift. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 13:10, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
It does have basically no risk, but there's a problem: unless Stuteddwarf's real name is "Steve Jackson" there's right about zero chance a kickstarter campaign would work. He honestly is probably better off just making additional prints and sending it to different publishers until one of them buys it.-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 16:41, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
The number of RPGs and board games funded every day from obscure publishers says different. Seems like you just need good preparation and marketing and a good game. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:14, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Most of them went down that "make a small fortune/start with a large one" route.-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 17:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
So how do you lose money on a kickstarter project? I'm not saying it can't happen I'd just like to know how. From what I can see it's no cost and no risk.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:27, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
It's no cost/no risk, but there's still that "unless your name is Steve Jackson, it is almost definitely not going to work" issue.-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 17:32, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Why not? (And who is Steve Jackson?)--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:34, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Because there are a probably around a hundred existing game publishers available in the US with pretty fierce competition between them. Would you fund more competition, especially someone that has never had a game published before, and whose quality may be completely lacking? Most gamers I know roll their eyes at the thought of buying something that was self published because if you couldn't sell it to someone, it must not be very good. And Steve Jackson owns the second or third largest tabletop game company in the world and has crowd funded a few projects recently, mostly relying on "I'm Steve fucking Jackson" for donations.-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 17:44, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually, Steve Jackson is that guy who founded Games Workshop and wrote Fighting Fantasy. That yank guy is an evil imposter. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 17:55, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
(EC) Kickstarter seems like a good plan. You might not make millions that way, but can at least get your game out there & generate some interest, maybe by getting a really small batch produced and selling them at cost to the first few investors. It might leave you in a better position to approach games publishers later. You could also think about teaming up with other entrepreneurs - e.g. if you find somebody who makes fantasy/wargaming figurines in a style which could work as pieces for your game, this could give the game a more professional & appealing look. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:53, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
One of the ideas I did have originally was to go down the 'Venture' route and sell the game as a PDF download, but as development went on the game got too big for that, but looking at it, there's no reason why I can't chop it down for PDF sales if nothing else works. I want to try to avoid doing a physical production of the game myself unless there really is no other choice for the very simple reason that I've got no idea of how to go about it.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 19:40, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

James Burke - 40 years on[edit]

There was an interesting interview on Radio 4's PM programme with the great James Burke; it revisits his forecasts from 1973. The extended version is available here. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 19:51, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

What article is appropriate...[edit]

...for this quack? --Seth Peck (talk) 20:30, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Energy, New Age, Crystals, Subtle energy, Vibration, and Woo all seem to apply. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 21:23, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Is this a thing?[edit]

Been sort of paying attention to our latest insanity clown " Stop the Violence" and it occured to me: the more idiotic the opinion of a user, the less willing/able they are to sign their freaking name and the more they jack up talk pages. Seriously, look at that nightmare. Has anyone else noticed this? Is this an existing internet law?-- Token Conservative/ Feminist Bouncer 04:05, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Not really. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:11, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
He's definitely got a case of dactylorrhea to the tune of a quarter timecube. All I know is that we need to come to some kind of agreement about what to do about this petulant little shit. He's annoying, stupid, and nobody seems to be able to agree on whether to block him or not. I certainly don't give a flying fuck about looking like an authoritarian to him; his mind's made up. Fuck him. EVDebs (talk) 05:48, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
He's binned at the moment. I undid Hamilton's three-month block as excessive, figuring I'd wait and see what said little shit would do. I've waited and seen, and would not object to a cooling-off block. A day seems about right to me, and then leave him in the bin until he cheers up. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 05:56, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Ya mean I just wasted a quality ass-ripping on his talk page? Dammit... EVDebs (talk) 06:00, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
No such quality ass-ripping is ever wasted, and nicely done. Let him run free, if that amuses you. I believe the mob can handle him piecemeal, even if he gets paroled. I'm easy. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 06:05, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
You guys completely missed the point :/-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 06:19, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Nah, we just started talking about something else. If you must know, I think Osaka Sun has got it about right. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 06:22, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
What, pray tell, has this guy done to be banned? I've looked at his contributions and they mostly seem to be misguided talk post comments. Are you guys getting a little precious with challenges to your worldview? Vandal bin him, if that is necessary, but don't ban; also learn how not to feed the troll. You guys are such fucking troll-bait it's embarrassing Tielec01 (talk) 06:24, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
If it was challenges to world views, I don't think that'd be an issue. It's the fact that he's a) totally oblivious to explanations and b) persistently making changes that he can't convince anyone else are necessary. Basically, he's shitting all over the place, and it's making a mess. (Or, if you like, he suffers from an extreme lack of collegiality. That's kind of an important thing in a collaborative community. I don't see us banning Talsley when she shows up; she doesn't agree with us at all, but she isn't batshit crazy and leaving messes in her wake.) EVDebs (talk) 06:27, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh sorry, I didn't realise they weren't changing their minds immediately once presented with your air-tight cases. Carry on then. No, but seriously: Use the vandal bin; learn to recognise a troll; revert. You've been around long enough. Tielec01 (talk) 06:32, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, the horrible state he's left the talk pages in is reason enough to ban him. But otherwise, his constant demands that we provide proof of common knowledge while not even attempting to provide evidence of his anarchist hogwash that includes demanding the whole site magically become a bunch of anarchists because he says everyone else is an evil authoritarian is another good reason. I'm probably the only conservative on this site (other than Assfly's account), and I'm quite sure that the minute I start fucking around in the articles on Conservativism/Liberalism my ass is gone, and we all know it.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 07:21, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Eh, arguments aside, you don't make a mess of the joint when you disagree. (Arguably, you do not in fact fuck around, depending on how you define it.) That's why I mentioned Talsley; she's annoying as hell, but she doesn't wreck the place or harass people. EVDebs (talk) 08:05, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
While we are on the topic of people not signing posts, what is the possibility of conscripting wp:User:SineBot, or its open source equivalent to work here? Brenden (talk) 03:01, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Stan Solomon[edit]

Is Stan Solomon important enough for an article in main space? If he is please Americans give me links so I can develop the article. Proxima Centauri (talk) 12:14, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Wanting to prevent race mixing and multiculturalism and not being racist[edit]

I was discussing this issue with someone who claims to be against race mixing and people of other races living in different countries outside of their own race, who claims not to be racist and to be doing it to protect the many different cultures of the world. Is this legitimate? Or is this just some backdoor excuse for wanting to protect White people from interbreeding with other races? It has occurred to me that interracial marriage in the US could wipe out Blacks (Whites would not be in danger, no matter what racists simpletons say, as they are a majority) but I would not suggest that Blacks should not be allowed to marry who they want because it would be "genocide" against Blacks. It seems like any non racist person who realizes that would be in favor of personal freedom. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 17:12, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

If this person is a White American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealander, or South African, point out that that would mean going back to their European homeland. For a mutt, that would be... interesting.--Token Conservative (talk) 17:18, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
There is so much wrong in that, I can't really make it out. 1. No such thing as races. 2. Wipe out blacks? WTF? Nobody would die, FFS! 3. Genocide? Even more WTF? 4. Why is this even an issue? 5. From the above, I don't even know what your position is on this. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:22, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Is it legitimate? Sure, just look around you, it's standard practice for most jews and indians. Occasionaluse (talk) 17:28, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Race is a social construct, and as such is constantly evolving. You wouldn't be "eliminating" members of other races, you'd be creating more people who happen to be members of both races. It really does sound like not much more of an excuse to be a jerk. When you think about it, it's somebody's way of saying that they've decided they know what's best for every member of every other race on the planet, and it just so happens to be making sure that everyone of another race is on another continent than them. To those people: feel free to make the personal choice to not "interbreed" because of your personal biases, but don't pretend that you've found racial enlightenment. --ShadowofLords (talk) 17:33, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
You should know it's not just white people who say this or think this. Many people from many cultures are against marrying outside your culture or religion or othrwise "us" group. My mother in law, and all her siblings are just pulling out their hair cause everone of hte kids (hubby and his cousines) married non vietnamese. But it's still racist, especially when you bring it down to the individual doing the marrying. "you cannot marry the person you love, cause I forbid it". Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 17:42, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately this is a common theme, but really how do you separate a Vietnamese from a Cambodian, or a white Brit from half a dozen other Europeans? An American colleague of mine had been married to a Korean woman for 30 years or so but when she recently went back to S. Korea for a visit she was murdered by her brother for having brought shame on the family. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 17:53, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
That's a really horrible and sad story.--Weirdstuff (talk) 18:59, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I was gobsmacked when I heard it. And this was a guy who spent his vacations (with his wife) working on Jimmy Carter's Habitat For Humanity projects. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 19:47, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
"ism" amuses me, GK. my motherinlaw is North Vietname, and insisted she would or could never marry someoen from the south. "They drink too much soup". (Or the other way around, they don't like soup - i forget now). I kid you not. SOUP was her ultimate justification for why she would not marry the "enemy". (obviously, that wasn't why, and after decades if not centuries of war, i don't blame her for her bias, i just found her excuse to be - soemthing. amusing? silly? outlandish?Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 17:58, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
If he has a problem with certain people living in various places, and the sole basis for his objection is "race", then that is pretty much the definition of racism, full stop. You can be racist without believing any particular "race" is superior or inferior in any way. This is an excellent example. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 21:09, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Haven't none of you listened to Fear of a black planet?AMassiveGay (talk) 19:45, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

I've always sided with the coffee-coloured people POV. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 19:50, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
I thought for a second there you was linking to something from the national frontAMassiveGay (talk) 20:00, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, is this some kind of white genocide conspiracy theory? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:36, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
in the 70s (I think) the national front, fore runner to the BNP, did a party political broadcast saying Britain was in danger of becoming a nation of coffee coloured people. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:32, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Obviously a major concern. The only proper way forward is to become a nation of tea-coloured people, otherwise it simply wouldn't be Britain. Compro01 (talk) 15:38, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
that would just result in a civil war between the black tea coloured peoples and the green tea coloured peoples. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:11, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
And people putting the milk in first would launch a holy war against those who put the tea in first. SophieWilderModerator 21:51, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

<--"protect the many different cultures of the world" There is a difference between opposition to race mixing and opposition to multiCULTURALism. The former is plain racism, the latter can be a legitimate position.

Every single racial group has its racists. If anything I would argue that Western countries have less racism because of the influence of multiculturalism and the fact it is dealt with more overtly. In many SEA developed countries (Korea and Japan being two I've experienced personally) there is a lot of subtle racism (refusing to allow marriage with a member outside of their race, shaming people who make friends with members of a different race, refusing to provide jobs to people not of the dominant race etc) and overt racism against African/Indian/Chinese and people of mixed Asian/another race (refusing to serve them in a shop, or being very cold, harassing them on the street). Similarly in the Middle East there is significant overt racism against the Kurds. (talk) 00:02, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

I wouldn't call any of that subtle racism! Ajkgordon (talk) 15:21, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
I asked this question because of a discussion with this guy whose biography is here about whether his views are racist. Go to the political views section for a real shit show. I can see wanting to preserve different cultures, but it's very naive and doesn't take into consideration that cultures have been mixing since the beginning of civilization. It's also still wrong to tell people who they can and can't marry because you think that their idiosyncrasies should be arbitrarily preserved. I'm sure that this view is also frequently just a backdoor way of saying that White people shouldn't interbreed. "I can't tell people that White people shouldn't interbreed so I'll just add that Black people shouldn't interbreed to protect their race as well. That way I'll look not racist." It doesn't help that the closest thing I have is the dumbfuck Sturmkrieger who decided to throw the "Value of Diversity Law" into the Sturmkrieg fluff because he wanted to make sure that space Germans stay German. Jokes on him because I made them descended from Africans who left Terra in late M3. –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 03:27, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

CAPTCHA unanswerable questions[edit]

Just thought I'd point out that some of the CAPTCHA questions are nonsensical and unanswerable. While most are logical, there are a few where you have to refresh for a new question like "Where should you go for vacation?" (Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.) By the way, I didn't bother answering that one to guess. -- (talk) 01:48, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Who the fuck wrote that? –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 04:01, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I tried editing on my phone and got a captcha image that I literally couldn't understand - David Gerard (talk) 08:21, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Maybe I'm just getting old but a lot of those captchas seem illegible to me and I need to refresh several times before I can make a guess. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 12:25, 2 September 2013 (UTC)>
I'd like to know what these CAPTCHAs are, since I have yet to encounter them on either RationalWiki or Wikipedia. Not that I edit a lot in either place nowadays, but I still make a few edits per month. I would like to know when I will encounter them. What's the requirement? Dendlai (talk) 17:25, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
The requirement for encountering a CAPTCHA around here is for you to try editing as a non-autopatrolled, non-sysop user. The site will try then give you something (supposedly simple) to answer to confirm that you're a person and not a spambot. When you've answered the CAPTCHA correctly, your edit will be saved. You also encounter a CAPTCHA during accoount creation, I think. Nullahnung (talk) 17:58, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Given that this CAPTCHA is new, I felt I had to test this out. It would seem to me that the questions such as "Where would you like to go on vacation?" have no actual wrong answer, but are formatted in a way (dropdown menu or fill-in-the-bubble) that make them hard for a program to respond to. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 21:33, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Multiple tests confirm that that is, indeed, the case with the new CAPTCHA system. RNS Captcha test (talk) 21:41, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Before Stabby so kindly made me autopatrolled, I ran into a few of those drop-down menus. Clicking on any reasonable choice left the process hanging. Maybe I was too impatient. Refreshing the test eventually came to a wavy image of text, and that worked fine. Alec Sanderson (talk) 22:13, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


See:http://kfor.com/2013/08/26/strange-monument-mysteriously-shows-up-in-front-of-paseo-area-restaurant/ Has the nuclear chaos has finally made his presence known or it is the work of god tier trolls? I'm not saying it was the Outer Gods...but it was the Outer Gods.--The Madman (talk) 11:24, 2 September 2013 (UTC)The Madman

Why People Believe Weird Things and 8 Ways to Change Their Minds[edit]

Why People Believe Weird Things and 8 Ways to Change Their Minds. This page will help you understand why there is so much irrational belief and how to discourage it. Proxima Centauri (talk) 13:36, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

I happen to agree with most of what is written in the article. I'm still guessing on what exactly way 8, 'affirm identity', means, though. Nullahnung (talk) 14:21, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

And in goat-related news...[edit]

Rooftop goat "only respects one man." I can only assume that man is JC himself. DickTurpis (talk) 14:04, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


There's a new food replacement... thing around, apparantly. The website sells it really hard, and with grandiose claims, but I have a few friends who state it's actually pretty okay, and there's been some media coverage. My nutrition-related knowledge could be summed up as "put food in mouth until hunger ceases", though; I can't really evaluate this or place it in any sort of context, so I figured I should probably ask around a bit. So... thoughts? --Yukabacera (talk) 15:25, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

I won't claim to be an expert, but it would be extraordinary if humans couldn't be provided with a single custom-made foodstuff that met their nutritional needs. However, just because it's possible doesn't mean any significant number of people will start eating it on a regular basis. This stuff will be really boring. Humans seek variety. Would starving people eat this? Sure. Although it sounds far more expensive than the less boring emergency rations we'd provide to a UN aid programme. But how about regular people? Once as a gimmick like "space ice cream"? Sure. Again because you're far from home and don't trust the food available locally? Maybe. For days, weeks, months at a time? I don't see it for all but a handful of people. It's the food equivalent of buying 10 identical shirts, underwear, trousers, socks etc. and then wearing the same thing every day. Quite a few people will say it sounds a good idea, some of them might sort-of try it, hardly any will stick with it. Tialaramex (talk) 18:12, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh dear, says the man who always wears black trousers, blue shirts, black trunks, and even has 20-odd pairs of black socks of the same length so he doesn't have to match them up when they come out the washing machine. What can I say, I found a look and stuck with it.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 19:12, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Why the hell would they call it Soylent? It's a thoroughly unappetising name even without the unsavoury connotations of Soylent Green. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:56, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
It's people! Secret Squirrel (talk) 20:49, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
In the novel from which the movie is loosely derived Soylent is derived from Soya and Lentils, hence the name. In the movie Soylent Green is the last of a series of attempts to manufacture bulk food for an overpopulated planet. Earlier Soylent series products were (relatively) innocuous, it's just this last one which is "made out of people" in the movie. Soylent Green in the movie is a huge plot hole, akin to the "humans are batteries" silliness in The Matrix. Tialaramex (talk) 13:42, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
Furthermore, the naming is about a truthful as the original, as this stuff contains neither soy, nor lentils. Compro01 (talk) 15:47, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

I've read about this elsewhere. It's not a terrible idea, actually. It's cheap, lightweight food that (should) provide you with the right mixture of micro and macronutrients that requires no work on the part of the person using it. It seems like it would be useful for emergency relief, and a supplemental meal for the poor, college students, and anyone that's just plain busy with life. Not to mention campers. Really, if this developer wanted to fund this project, he should have talked to the DOD. Make it a powder and you could give everyone going into the field enough for days and have it weigh a couple of pounds. And if there is one thing that the military likes, it's cheap lightweight crap. -- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 19:31, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

What's with the claims that it's cheap? Are there long term prices announced somewhere that are many times cheaper than the funding campaign prices? Aid agencies spend pennies feeding people, not dollars. If a month's supply of this product cost $5 then you'd be in the ballpark where aid agencies would be interested, but it sounds more like that'll cost $200. And I'm pretty sure the US DoD doesn't want morale-destroying cold mush as an emergency ration. Military rations are not about fuelling a hypothetical robot, they're food for people and that affects morale. The food provided must be tasty, varied, and usually hot. MREs deliver, more or less. They are expensive, but the US Army already once tried replacing them with a cheaper cold nutritional substitute and the men didn't eat it which resulted in poor morale and malnutrition. Remember, no matter how cleverly formulated Soylent is, if you don't eat it then it doesn't function as a source of nutrition. Tialaramex (talk) 08:44, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
It may be something different, but I saw a thing about a guy who made the same basic thing and it cost him a couple of bucks a month for one meal a day. Throw in mass production and it becomes cheap. As for taste, there is nothing stopping you from putting in some flavoring like a protein shake. Or heating them.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 21:39, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
I would very much like to know what that guy was making AMassiveGay (talk) 03:06, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
That $200 is including the startup costs, such as formula testing, etc. I would imagine it gets way cheaper once you're just cranking it out in massive batches. Compro01 (talk) 15:47, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm personally skeptical that our knowledge of nutrition is sufficient to do this successfully. I mean, we only figured out that choline, which we need a rather lot of, was nutritionally important 15 years ago, and a lot of people still don't know about it. I would not be at all surprised to find we're missing some important trace nutrient that this sort of thing will end up lacking. Compro01 (talk) 15:47, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Are there not 100s of these meal replacement formulas already on the market? You can already get some prescribed on the NHS if you have difficulty eating solids through illness or eating disorders. How is this any different besides the dubious name? AMassiveGay (talk) 03:06, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

As far as I know those are meant to replace only one meal, or only be used for short periods of time, while this is meant to potentially replace all meals for long periods of time.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 19:24, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
The Radio 4 program Inside Science today had an item on menu fatigue and how to combat it on a mission to Mars. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 21:28, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

I created a script that adds a userspace link to the user links at the top[edit]

That's what it feels like every time I do some trivial thing.


Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 20:13, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

That's so awesome. You are very smart and cool. Everyone is very happy now. (talk) 03:49, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I preferred the picture of the penguin fucking the seal. Spud (talk) 14:32, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Weaseloid should know better than to try to impersonate people that way. He constantly complains about "libel" yet has no understanding of what it is and frequently does it himself. Making fun of EnlightenmentLiberal for saying he plans to rape women who won't take his virginity = libel. I could go on about what he's done and his own little double standards... –Александр(а) (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 15:11, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
you're a humourless sod. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:47, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
the picture of the whatever helping the penguin put on his socks was cute, please bring it back ! Hamster (talk) 02:26, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Demote me already[edit]

So…I've hung around here for several months. I've created a small shitload of articles that people seem to enjoy (and have even thanked me for.) In particular:

Plus…I'm quite modest. Not sure I'd even use the mop, but it'd be nice to feel like a beloved member of the RW community. - Leuders (talk) 17:27, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

I've been dipped in the goatshit. Thanks! - Leuders (talk) 18:21, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Are there any other mostly-not-insane regulars who haven't been demoted yet? - David Gerard (talk) 20:06, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

Probably loads. The done thing now seems to be to autopatrol them rather than demoting. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:26, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
I ain't looking for approbation but now you come to mention it... Steven Kavanagh (talk) 21:40, 31 August 2013 (UTC)
Demoted? I have tried to apply the ideas of Levi-Strauss, Lakoff, and Szasz to rational thinking. I have been banned continually from expressing these views. (i.e there may be deep structural 'meanings' within humans who are 'unconscious' of these hidden rules. In the same way, as evolutionary psychologists such as Pinker describe how we can use grammar in language without conscious learning) Unfortunately, every attempt as expressing these ideas has been thwarted by some dipshit user called Hamilton who having all the intellect of a sheep has banned me time and time again. Merely demoted? You are a lucky one. -- (talk) 04:55, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
You don't seem to understand what 'demoted' means in the context of this site. Also, if you have general complaints, you should make a new section below for sake of orderliness. Nullahnung (talk) 04:59, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Maybe you can elucidate further for the benefit of us newbies? -- (talk) 05:15, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
'Demoted' means 'given buttons to clean stuff up with, if you can be bothered to do so': http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki:Sysop_guide Nullahnung (talk) 05:19, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Ah thanks. I used to use new sections to express my general complaints but I have been banned so many times now (for months) that I try to hide my views within other sections..... As soon as the stalker known as user hamilton finds me... I get dumped! -- (talk) 05:34, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Want sysop?[edit]

Are you a non-admin but not a fuckwit? Sign below.

...well, that worked. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:03, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
How many non-admins non-regulars follow the Saloon Bar?
A possible solution would be running a bot detecting recently archive users that have the autopatrolled flag without being sysops.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:35, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Can someone please autopatrol me? The new CAPTCHA is mildly annoying. It took me three or four tries to post my last edit. I'm not a vandal, I promise. I would even de-red my user page... pretty please? Alec Sanderson (talk) 19:35, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Zero (talk) 17:23, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Vape and block, or just vape?[edit]

When a spammer of the "Hi, I love this site and hope to help soon. My name is Charmin Handley and my blog is..." ilk shows up, I used to delete and block for three months, marking the IP as unwanted, but lately I just delete the user page. I haven't seen one come back and try again under the same name.

Question: does it do any good to burn one single IP for three months like that, or is it just stroking the banhammer because I can? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:43, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Not sure it's worth the effort - David Gerard (talk) 15:47, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
It's good that you are wary about the power you posses, and that you are making a conscious effort not to abuse it. As for this particular kind of case, I am indifferent to whether they are banned or not. Apokalyps2547 (talk) 16:00, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Enh, it's not about abuse of janitorial power. I am confident that the mob can rein in any such overreach, smartly and promptly.
I was asking if it's worth the extra mouse clicks to "automatically block the last IP address used by this user, and any subsequent IP addresses they try to edit from" or even worth blocking them in the first place. Since different IP addresses are relatively easy to get, my sense is that it's not worth the effort.
(I do think it's worth deleting such user pages, to discourage what I believe is SEO spam. If I'm wrong about that, I bet someone will care enough to tell me so.) Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:35, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Phillip Rayment commented that he noticed one IP address creating 36 spam accounts on his wiki. That means to me that it's worth checking the box. I think they're just using proxies anyway, so who cares. People who need to will still be able to read the site. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:45, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Is there anything could be done in the abuse filter to stop these pages being created? They all follow a fixed pattern but slightly different wording. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:58, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
Chuck bits of odious URLs into a filter? Also, maybe a few days' block would be a useful time. (They'll be in the open proxy block after that for sure.) - David Gerard (talk) 21:11, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
At the moment it's not onerous enough to require fiddling with the filters. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 21:34, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
There's no point in writing and tweaking and tweaking a regex that would take much more time to administer than simply deleting this stuff. More man hours have been spent discussing this than it will take this month. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 22:03, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

On a related note[edit]

I unblocked someone recently and they told me they couldn't log back on until the original block period had ended. Is there a box I have to tick/untick to make the unblock effective? and why do I not know this after 5 years? DamoHi 00:10, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Are you making sure to unblock their IP as well? - GrantC (talk) 00:20, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
There doesn't appear to be a button to unblock IP. --DamoHi 00:24, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Avoiding that kind of annoyance is why I usually uncheck the IP-related boxes unless the block is "with prejudice." I generally go here to unblock the associated IP. There is a link to it at the top of the block log. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 02:05, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I see. Cheers. I will try to remember that next time. --DamoHi 02:22, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Tell that to the persons here who continually block my IP add for months. (hamilton mainly). Censorship rules ok here mainly administered by dumb fuckwits who have nothing better to contribute. -- (talk) 05:06, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Fuck off, Dirk - David Gerard (talk) 14:05, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Who is "Dirk", and why exactly should it fuck off? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:39, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
User:Dirk Steele, a mental illness denier who persistently tried to steer every discussion page into arguing with him about how he thinks the scientific method doesn't work for mental illness of whatever. (These tangents were eventually shoveled here. Note that that forum has four pages worth of archives attached to it.) He also tried to insert his personal brand of denialism into articles. I thought he was long gone. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:07, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Sorry I couldn't be of more help in providing specific links to the buttons in question. I'm not a sysop, so I'm working based on what I've seen from wikis in general. - GrantC (talk) 07:05, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Since I'm a bad bad boy[edit]

Could someone block this clown? He's attempting to make a mess of the article on our article on TVTropes. He's already made his second attempt. I mean, I'd do it, but I'm a bad naughty boy.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 03:40, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

I blocked him for a half hour. Someone will need to decide if he should be blocked for longer. –Aleksandr(a) Ehrenstein, Jewish Bolshevik 04:05, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Don't worry, if you keep aggressively hinting how badly you need to be demoted, someone will probably eventually do it who doesn't know about your past actions. Keep at it!--ADtalkModerator 12:18, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

I've decided to disown my sister[edit]

Bartender, a glass of wine if you would please.
My sister is a failure of a person. A systemic self-destructive force seeking to take as many people down with her as possible. A three time college drop out (she starts her fourth drop out attempt this semester), alcohol infused, drug abusing person I am begrudgingly blood related to. *Sip* I have watched her turn from promising young scholar and singer into the biggest mess of a person rivaled only by...my brother, which is a story for another time. I attribute a lot of it to my Dad (also a story for another time), Fox News, drugs and just not being a fun person to be around. At one point it was suggested she was bipolar. I just think she's a pouty wuss.
For example, *Sip* on my most recent trip to Florida eight years ago (I was 18, she was 20) for a family reunion (Dad's Mother's Mother, ethnically Greek) my sister was mad because when she got to the airport she had to throw away her cigarette lighter since it couldn't be in checked baggage on the count of it being a fire hazard. While at the airport and in the air, all she could do was pout, cry and sleep. And I should emphazize this is all over a fancy lighter (not even a Zippo). When she landed, she purposefully tripped while stepping down a curb. We went to a publix for food and she couldn't stop screaming about how her sandwich wouldn't stay together. We got back in the car she kept crying and I said "You are not ruining my vacation for me" then she cried louder. *Sip* We get to the reunion at Fort Wilderness in Disney World for the reunion and she just asked to stay in the cabin we had as a hotel room. Little did I know that she spent the time buying a one-way ticket back to Syracuse because of all this. We're in fucking Disney World! How in hell do you feel so sad and upset over a lighter when you're in fucking DISNEY WORLD. Should I mention you have been back there over 100 days in the past eight years? *Exhale, sip* She loved the place, which just doesn't explain how she can be so upset over this. I dealt with her two days on the ground in Lake Buena Vista before she took to the skies to no longer ruin my vacation (My brother was also painful, but not now).
I moved away from Utica to Syracuse for college. Contact was weak, but she was the one who convinced me to get Myspace (remember that?). Two years flew by as I had studied and graduated with a 3.74 GPA (respectable). But when I say graduated I should say "Showed up over an hour late to my own graduation ceremony because my sister was too busy picking out a card." The school waited to start the ceremony until I arrived (because I was valedictorian of my program) and I just felt embarrassed. *Sip* I threw out my speech and just apologized for my sister wasting everyone's time.
After a period of limbo where I had no real job, I attempted Army enlistment where during the intro medical examinations I had learned I had severe lung damage as a result of water. Why? My siblings had decided as I was physically frail at the time they would dunk me in pools and lakes whenever we went swimming. Little did I know that my instinct was causing me to breathe water and cause lung damage no inhaler could make me feel better about. I can hold my breath an astounding eight seconds and can't nose breathe (unrelated problem).
At a Christmas dinner she attempted to convince me that Jesus was a real person (despite being an atheist, think S. E. Cupp with a completely unlikable personality). She just slammed the table and yelled at me instead of answering my arguments. My mother broke up this argument. Later, I mentioned I was involved in Obama for America and she just kept talking about how the country is turning socialist. *Sip* I responded by "the very concept of a representative government is socialist." whereby she slammed the table, force fed herself what was left of her food in a manner that would make a professional eater blush and left the table.
When I finally had a stable footing I decided to buy my family copies of Portal because, hey, they like video games. My sister decided instead of accepting the gift that I should gift her $100 as she whined and complained about not getting the present she wanted. *Sip* I tried to make amends later with a care package of stuff from Upstate NY which she has never returned the favor about (not even a Thank you).
But this is not the worst of it.
For a few years now, my sister has bought into food woo with a crusade against GMOs and buying into the whole organic nonsense. She had been posting scare images about that long, including a dude in hazmat armor spraying (watering really, no pressure in the hose) something onto plants. It's implied to be some sort of -cide, but what the image doesn't want people to know is that it could just be chemical fertilizer, which is hazardous to humans but harmless to plants when finished absorption. I also asked which uses more chemical -cides (the answer? Organic). When presented with this information she immediately dismissed me as not knowing what I'm talking about, despite us going to the same schools. *Sip* I actually paid attention in biology and understand how genetic engineering works and can explain on the most basic level that bananas, orange carrots and cattle are not organic food. She refuses to listen. Lately however, she has been posting nothing but NaturalNews articles intertwined with pictures of metal concerts, Disney stuff and cats. She recently posted on facebook "80% of the food sold in the US is banned in other countries" (from RawFood...something, sourced from NaturalNews obviously), I pointed out that "This is nonsense. You are posting information from a 9/11 truther that thinks the government is behind the attacks. If you have any respect for the 4,000 people who gave their lives, your country, this planet and your humanity you will stop listening to this nonsense." She deleted the comment and tried to tell me that it doesn't matter since I'm not nearly as educated (for the record, I am a college graduate and have a career job, while she is a bartender). I decided I had enough at this comment. She deserves no more of my attention. *Finishes drink, Pays tab* She is a failure. Zero (talk) 16:01, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

if I disowned every family member I've had disagreements with, I would have no family members. Learn not to get involved in discussions that you know will result in arguments. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:08, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
The trouble is I feel that just knowing her is bringing down my wellbeing. I still live in Upstate NY and she is Denver Colorado, so I don't have to live with her. Zero (talk) 17:13, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
then what's the problem then? You'd only have to see her on family get togethers. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:22, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I sympathize with you (your sister seems to be reprehensible to the point of no return) but I think you might have confronted her in ways that might have exacerbated the problem. It makes sense that she would freak out at "the very concept of a representative government is socialist" because she probably associates "socialist" with Stalin or Lenin (the notion of different kinds of collectivism, even in the context of belonging to a family, is probably alien to her), not democracy. She probably thinks you're pushing some sort of "agenda" by being an Obama supporter. The notion of a historical Jesus also creates controversy today because Christians oppose the notion that a "Messiah"-like figure could exist without the miraculous events that are attributed to him. Maybe you could have framed the question from "Do you think Jesus existed?" to "Do you think it is possible that Jesus could have walked on water or risen from the dead?"
From my own experience, the best way to promote critical thinking is to encourage people to address contradictions inherent in their beliefs. It seems your sister seems to lean wingnut despite taking food/GMO woo seriously, which is (ironically) advanced primarily by moonbats. Mention that to her. Is she enrolled in a public university? Ask her who is paying for the education see keeps dropping out of. When you meet up with her again, see if you know someone in the area who is educated in the sciences and bring them along to lunch or dinner. She appears to wilfully ignore your opinions, so try to see if she's willing to do the same with a stranger. Osaka Sun (talk) 17:29, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I am trained in Computer Science, but I know a chemist that does soil analysis which could probably work. Zero (talk) 13:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
You are right to disown her. Stick to it. Your blood relationship is simply an accident of birth and doesn't oblige you to put up with crap.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:47, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
it must be great to be able pass judgement with only half the story. Sibling rivalry is never clear cut. It might be nice to remain amicable for the sake of the relations you do like. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:35, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
the issues zero raises don't seem that egregious to me. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:40, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I just feel whenever I talk to her or see stuff about her it's either "Fuck my life" or nonsense about harmless things. It's depressing. Zero (talk) 13:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

It seems really shitty to post this here. Ever think about what if someone were to dox you one day? They would know who she is as well. I propose we delete this and suppress the revisions. –Jewish Bolshevik (Talk | Contribs | Ragebox) 20:52, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Don't give up on a person that way, in such a way that you can't ever go back. You don't have to take drastic measures, because if you just refused to confront or discuss such things, they would recede to the background - especially as you slowed your level of contact. But to cut off contact in a harsh and difficult-to-reverse way... well, it's more than just unnecessary. It's unjust. You're not only judging your sister and her flaws, finding her wanting, and condemning her: you're also condemning all the people she might be, someday.

To put it frankly: you're not smart enough to successfully guess how her life might change and the person she might become. I'm not sure anyone is that smart. She might have a religious insight in a few years, and take the Golden Rule truly to heart with compassion. She might break her collarbone in a low-velocity impact, and after several months of pain she might find that she'd gain perspective. She might win the lottery with a huge pay-out, and volunteer to give you a substantial sum that makes a huge difference to you at a time of need. Or she might just grow up a little.

You're looking at a nasty little town, with nothing but a run-down Hardee's and a filthy liquor store. It's full of brambles and drunks, and you never even want to drive through it, much less go there. But it'd be foolish to put up a big wall, blocking yourself off from the town forever. The day they swept the streets and opened the museum, you'd be on the other side of that wall, wondering if it was too late to tear it down.

Unless you honestly feel like it's causing you serious harm because you must interact with her, do nothing drastic. Don't presume you can foretell the future. Visit that nasty town, with it's Hardees and liquor store, only when you have to... and hope for renewal.--ADtalkModerator 23:06, 3 September 2013 (UTC) I'll consider it, give it a decade or so. Zero (talk) 13:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

She may be ill. Someone of my acquaintance developed all sorts of weird behaviours, particulaly in relation to her teenage son, over an extended period and has only recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour. You cannot make layman's diagnoses about this stuff, but the possibility exists. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 09:57, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I mentioned before that it's been suggested she's bipolar. I am no psychologist though the person who did suggest it has a psychology degree (not a medical one) I am not entirely convinced. I can't tell you if/what meds she's ever been on or anything, but it seems her mood swings HARD. Zero (talk) 13:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Hey this is terrific! I've been looking for a place where I can post about my family troubles to get some advice and maybe a little sympathy. Saloon Bar sounds like just the place. So hey everyone, I'm Gina, age 28, I come from a small town in NY, I have 2 brothers, one older, one younger. Both can be annoying at times, but the younger one really drives me nuts. He's 2 years younger than me, the baby of us 3 kids, and he always feels like he has something to prove, tries to show us up, acts like he's smarter, superior, points out my flaws, puts me down constantly, it's really irritating. Not only that, but he is the King of resentment; he can hold grudges for years! - Case in point, several years ago our parents insisted that we kids all attend this family reunion out of town. I was not looking forward to it at all, it was a really emotional time in my life, but I decided to go to keep the folks happy. I knew travelling with my younger brother would not be fun, it never is. So anyway, it turned out to be the worst weekend of my life. I was feeling really upset and vulnerable since I had just broken up with my boyfriend two days earlier (he cheated on me - with my best friend - and moved out without paying two months overdue rent) - so not only was I feeling really unloved and unwanted (I really cared about him) and was worried about how I would pay the rent, but I had also just found out that I didn't pass a class I needed at college and was being kicked out of school. I was really dreading having to tell this to my family, especially my younger brother, who I knew from past experience would just gloat about it and mock me, and tell everyone at the reunion, so I'm sure you can see why I wasn't in the best of moods and didn't want to go. So, I admit I was a bit weepy, and it came out in weird ways, like when I had to give up my lighter at the airport - it was really cute, and was a gift my boyfriend (now ex) had given me. So it was like the final straw, the break up, the school kicking me out (my second time, by the way) the money concerns, (I would be forced to move back home), I felt like such a failure. Emotional, and did I mention... I was also worried I was pregnant. So that was on my mind too. Of course, no way I could tell my brother, and as usual he didn't care that I was obviously upset, but instead took it as a personal insult... like I had done something to him, just to ruin his vacation. I was so upset and preoccupied that I missed a step coming out of the airport, and he actually accused me of purposefully tripping on the curb - like, who does that? You think I tried to get a painful twisted ankle? But it's always been like that our whole lives, he's always attributed mal-intentions to everything I do, and makes arguments out of everything, no matter what: religion, politics, gardening, he has to be the expert and have the last word. Every single thing turns into a debate with him, and he insists he is right about everything. Anyway, we were at a cafe for lunch, and I was thinking of the sorry state of my life and what I would have to deal with when I got back home, and how I would have to walk all weekend on an injured ankle, and trying my best not to cry, when my brother said something snide to me again, and I couldn't help it, I just lost it and started weeping. Other people nearby looked concerned but not dear younger bro - I was hoping for just one kind word, just one "I see you are upset, just want you to know that I care, and am sorry for whatever is bothering you" but no, instead he accused me of trying to ruin his vacation. Yeah, like it's all about you... Anyway, after that I just wanted to be left alone so I could pull myself together for the reunion and put on a happy face for the family, so I asked to stay in the cabin by myself, but for some reason, that was also deemed a personal offense to my sibling, and after another nasty argument, I had just had enough and decided to book the next flight out immediately. It was a shame, because I usually love Disney World and if I had been with someone who I felt cared at all, I'm sure it would have helped me through all the drama of this time. I mentioned he was the King of grudge holders... can you believe this all happened 8 years ago? But he's brought it up every family gathering since, every Christmas is ruined by his petty resentments and recollection of this trying time... And you think 8 years is a long time to hold a grudge? He still brings up things that happened 20 years ago, when we were 6 and 8 years old - and claims our childhood play-fights caused permanent damage to him that stopped him from acheiving success in life... man, I can't believe this guy. But you know what, even so, I love him. He's my baby brother. Yes, most of the time he acts like an obnoxious, insensitive twerp, who does things to annoy and ridicule me, but in spite of it all, honestly I do care deeply about him - although it isn't easy at times. Like last week. I've been really getting into organic gardening and am trying to eat more healthfully, after a few years of punishing myself with destructive binge-drinking and drug use (trying to blott out the pain and stress of my sorry-ass daily life and forget about my failures and past mistakes I guess), but anyway, I'm trying to rebuild my life and make a new start, and eating healthy is important to me... but it seems like every time I post an interesting article on my facebook page, here come YB (younger bro) with some nasty comment about how I am stupid, and wrong, and ridiculous, and how I am responsible for deaths of thousands because my organic gardening is a load of crap and so forth, and it's just not pleasant to login and find nasty posts like that on my facebook every day. I login, and blam, there it is: you are stupid, irresponsible, an idiot... (thanks, just what I need to brighten up my life after a hard day at my crappy low paying job, thank you very much) and he puts down everything I am and do... even something as silly as posting cute little photos of Disney characters to cheer myself up... he has to say something about that too... you know? I mean, it would be so nice to log in and see he has posted something nice or funny... or to just get an email from him sometime saying "Hi Sis, just want to say I've been thinking of you and hope your life is looking up, remember, you are loved... " *tear* - Well, even without that last part, the loved thing, I mean, just to ever once get an email saying something nice would be such a lovely treat. He's always calling me a failure, and it's so demoralizing.. if only he could say something uplifting instead of degrading me... it feels like he hates me, just for being alive... I love my brother, really, in spite of it all I do, but he can be such an annoying creep, so aggravating, it's like he won't grow up... he is always in child mode, it's always: "you did this when I was 6 years old, and you did that when I was 18... " In fact I just found out that he posted stuff about me on some wiki board somewhere about things that happened years ago and how he wants to disown me. Like I am the root of all evil, just because I've made mistakes, messed up my life at times, apparently I am not good enough to be his sister, since he is so much smarter, better, and... whatever. I mean, it really makes me angry... and sad. We all have our problems, we all make mistakes, we all had fights as kids, but now that we are 28 (me) and 26 years old (him) I'd really like to get past all that, put it behind us and start relating to each other like adults. Why can't we be more supportive of each other, kinder, more empathetic? It's like.. well, I've said too much already, sorry for unloading all this here, it's just that I've kind of been feeling close to my breaking point recently, life seems pretty bleak right now, but anyway, I sure am glad I found this board. Take care everyone, hope your lives are better than mine, and please just do me one little favor... if you ever get annoyed at your sibling(s) and want to disown them, please, just try to look at life through their eyes one time and extend a hand in friendship instead of treating them as your enemy. Thanks for listening. - Gina Marie — Unsigned, by: Gina M / talk / contribs

+1 Scream!! (talk) 14:13, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Uh...was there a point to that? I understand you're trying to say "Look at it from her perspective" but it just seems to be made worse because of how far off it is. I won't comment on what's wrong with it. Zero (talk) 14:19, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
See, this right here (above comment) is the problem. People are gonna say stuff about what they don't understand and then the guy will say that they are far off the mark, etc. I didn't want to comment on this. I predicted there would be a bunch of sorta jumping to conclusions and attempted understanding. We don't know how much of the actual situation and the other side the brother understands, and we don't know how well he even described it to us here. Is it right for him to post all this personal stuff to all these strangers? It's a freakin' bar, people are gonna vent, because where else are they gonna vent? Then other people are gonna agree due to their supposed "understanding", and still other people are gonna try to look at it from the other side as well ... with even less supposed "understanding". Then there's assholes like me who will criticise both sides for just expressing how they feel. What we can probably conclude, though, is that a sibling relationship clearly went down the drain and it's pretty bad and ... let's just drink. Nullahnung (talk) 17:28, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
And I'm buying. Zero (talk) 17:46, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Borderline personality disorder? Run, run as fast as you can...
Actually don't disown her, you never know one day you may need her for something, and the odd email/call never hurt anyone. But keep her at arms length. (talk) 00:06, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
BPD? Could it be Oppositional Defiance Disorder? Or Multiple personality disorder? Or any of the 400 DSM 'diagnoses' as suffered by Copernicus, Darwin, Einstein, or all manner of people who do not think like you do (group think). Why not reach out and listen rather than condemn? (talk) 05:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Borderline personality disorder is a well researched phenomenon. It's not just a label to apply to someone who thinks in a different way to you, it is a well recognised pattern of emotional instability and impulsivity which can (in most cases) be traced back to childhood experiences.
The OP's sister has features which are consistent with some patients who suffer BPD (I have met a lot of them). I was not diagnosing the OP's sister with this, rather I was suggesting that it was an area which he could explore as a possible explanation. Someone's actions become a lot more understandable (and possibly bearable) if you understand that they have less control over their emotions than you do.
Unfortunately the research suggests that BPD is difficult to treat, in fact the only treatment with proven efficacy is DBT (which only reduces self harm). While it is lovely to suggest that someone "reach out and listen", this only works when the person they are reaching out to is emotionally stable. If someone does have BPD, a well recognised pattern of idealising and devaluing occurs, which can place great strain on their family members and friends. Ultimately one must protect oneself, even if this harms others.
I would speculate that if the OP is considering "disowning" his sister, then he has tried reaching out and talking to her. If there is a cause for her behaviour, then this may provide him with more strategies to approach her besides shutting her out of his life. (talk) 11:41, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I'll hang onto this advice for now. I'm not entirely in a mood to care right now if you will. Zero (talk) 14:04, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I am guessing the OP does not live in Norfolk... (talk) 19:01, 8 September 2013 (UTC)