RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive210

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This is an archive page, last updated 19 September 2013. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Spiderman 2[edit]

I just watched that movie. Man, whoever directed sure loves screaming women. Like, in every scene, with some action, there's always at least one woman in the background screaming, Also, what kind of robotic tentacle can throw a car but can't crush a man's skull? Also, there's way more than 25lb of tritium on Earth, but whatevs (it's like, do they even try to ask some sort of expert while they're writing these things?)--"Shut up, Brx." 06:04, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

I doubt Stan Lee consults scientists before drawing his comics. Nullahnung (talk) 07:50, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
So, ignoring these obvious scientific errors, do you really believe people can develop the ability to eject unlimited spider silk at speed after being bitten by a mutant arachnid? It's a frickin' movie. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 09:51, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
The only explanation for this stupidity is either that you don't understand how fiction works, or you're trolling. I'm going to hope you're trolling and punish you for it.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 10:51, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Fiction? Rubbish! It's a documentary. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:22, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
How many times "more than 25lb" of tritium do you think there is? From what I can see it's a largely uninteresting byproduct of nuclear weapons work, world consumption is a few hundred grams per year, why would we have a stockpile that could last centuries? Yes, you might need it to make a nuclear fusion power plant work, but in case you hadn't noticed we have precisely zero working nuclear fusion power plants and proposed generation concepts make the tritium on site. Tialaramex (talk) 11:41, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Woah, hold up a second. I'm not entirely sure if you're serious, but tritium is critical for helium-3 production, which is of great necessity in both dilution refrigerators and neutron detectors. Forget fusion; there are very legitimate scientific uses for helium-3, and it gets pricey too (as demand is rising while supply is dropping, costs have risen to upwards of $1000/L). - GrantC (talk) 13:47, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
How much Kryptonite do we have BrxBrx? I'm confused because in the Superman movies I think that they may be overestimating the amount. Also unobtainium.Tielec01 (talk) 12:37, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
We can't be sure if Kryptonite could be made, Krypton is real enough but the -ite suffix would refer to a compound that we haven't figured out how to make and have no reason to try. In the stories it isn't usually produced on Earth, it's found in meteorites originating from Superman's home world. Unobtanium refers to any substance that's hard or impossible to obtain - in things like Avatar the most generous interpretation is that this particular substance (a dense solid which floats in air) was initially just nick-named unobtanium and the name has stuck after a generous supply was found. Avatar sucked, but I like to think that somewhere Sigourney Weaver has a new conservatory or a yacht or something as a result, which she deserves for making the faceless "Ripley" surname from the Aliens script into Ellen Ripley, one of the best and most memorable SF leads. Tialaramex (talk) 13:37, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Holy shit! I literally just got done watching on TV from Aliens through Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection, and now people are talking about Ellen Ripley. Now that's what I call a coincidence. Nullahnung (talk) 16:04, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Krypton is a noble gas. I aint no chemist, but I'm pretty sure you can't make anything out of a noble gas--"Shut up, Brx." 16:06, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I'll send you a bottle of krypton difluouride then. Doctor Dark (talk) 17:44, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I did say I wasn't a chemist--"Shut up, Brx." 19:33, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I won't vent after seeing a crappy movie anymore--"Shut up, Brx." 14:41, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
I am disappointed that the Spiderman's behaviour does not more closely resemble that of a spider such as one might encounter in one's house or garden. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:03, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
You mean the Spiderman in the movie or Spiderman in general? What specific details in behaviour would you have liked? Nullahnung (talk) 17:06, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) I once watched a spider make its web. It was pretty cool. When I was younger I also used to feed bugs to a spider in my grandparents' yard--"Shut up, Brx." 17:07, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
25lbs is too low, but not by all that much. The USA has produced about 500lbs of tritium since they came up with the thermonuclear bomb. In 1996, about 170lbs of that still existed, most of it in the nuclear weapons inventory. 25lbs of available-for-purchase tritium sounds fairly reasonable. Compro01 (talk) 17:46, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
The other Wiki says that Ontario's power generation facilities alone produce 5.5 pounds of Tritium per year just as a byproduct of regulating their reactors with "heavy water". (It has a half-life of 12.32 years) Apokalyps2547 (talk) 18:23, 4 September 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, that's 5.5 pounds out of 18 CANDU heavy water reactors comprising some 14GW of generation capacity. As far as I'm aware, the USA has no operational heavy water reactors and light water reactors produce far, far, less tritium. There's still really not all that much of it around. Though if ITER/DEMO ever pan out, we'll be wanting lots more of it, which the reactors themselves should supply. Compro01 (talk) 01:54, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
isnt tritium used in gun sights ? there are lots of them in the world hence lots of the tritium, no ? Hamster (talk) 04:44, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Sure, lots of tritium. It's a significant fraction of the commercial use as described above. Each sight uses only a tiny amount of the gas, you need eleven thousand litresof gas to add up to just one kilogram of tritium. One thing that might confuse you is that the thing you can see actually glowing is not the (gaseous) tritium, it's a solid phase fluorescent phosphor typically coated onto the inside of a glass bead or tube that contains the tritium. The glass bead and the phosphor coating probably weigh considerably more than the tiny amount of radioactive gas. Without the phosphor to convert it into visible light the tritium's beta radiation would be unnoticeable, and would mostly be absorbed harmlessly by the glass bead. Nevertheless you should not eat tritium lighting or dispose of it improperly. Tialaramex (talk) 10:25, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
well thats an amazing letdown 8( Hamster (talk) 20:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
It's Spider-Man, not Spiderman. Jeez. Woodgod (talk) 17:49, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

This is the shit I think about[edit]

http://blog.sashaweb.net/plant-sexes/

This is why I never got into good schools. –Aleksandr(a) Ehrenstein, Jewish Bolshevik 16:49, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

You do know how many users here would cheer if you were banned, right? Osaka Sun (talk) 16:51, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
As a third party observer who has mostly watched interactions on this wiki from a distance, perhaps you (Ehr) should find someone outside of this wiki (preferably outside of the Internet) to check over posts you're thinking of making. I realize you may not be doing this on purpose, but there seems to be a cycle of promising to try to reform your behaviour, and then almost immediately making a post that either outright contradicts that promise, or at least makes it perfectly clear that you don't understand what the community is (often politely) requesting of you. - GrantC (talk) 16:54, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
You're an idiot IE. A straight-up idiot. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 17:20, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Seriously? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 17:36, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Kant. That reminds me, I should add EnlightenmentLiberal's thing about how every member of the Catholic Church is supporting an international conspiracy to molest children. –Aleksandr(a) Ehrenstein, Jewish Bolshevik 23:17, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
There's no grounds to ban him. Just ignore him (inb4 "no u!")--"Shut up, Brx." 18:40, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
^This. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:46, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Why do you even think about banning and censorship. You just embarrass yourself like a Nazi! Why not just point out http://thedarwinreport.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/dandelion-sex-or-the-lack-thereof/ and then think about why sex exists (maybe Matt Ridley - The Red Queen, and read a little ethology and stuff... 82.2.75.224 (talk) 18:44, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Cool story, Bro. --Revolverman (talk) 03:28, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Has issues, though. "ubiquitous and irritating weed" - only people with manicured lawns dislike it, it is a common salad ingredient. "Perhaps god takes a sadistic pleasure in irritating people’s allergies" - the dandelion is not a common allergen. Otherwise, yes, it is fascinating that they are sterile and self-"pollinating", yes still produce flowers. Their seeds, of course, are viable. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Dallas Buyers Club[edit]

Has anybody seen this movie? I haven't, and I'm unsure what TOW means by alternative medicine. It may be worthy of an article, if it is in fact promoting CAM--"Shut up, Brx." 18:39, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Why I want nothing to do with "Atheism +"[edit]

Bartender, a mug of (Saranac) root beer please. Since my last stir of the pot was so fun, I figure I could say a few more words based on what has been going on with some atheists I know. This is too short to put into a full fledged essay, so here we go. Lately some of my group has been latching onto Atheism+ and trying to get me to confess as being into it. While I do agree with most of the tenants (social justice being WAY too subjective for me to buy into), I just want to sit back and ask "Can I just be an Atheist and not require a label?" I want to be of independent thought. But the pressure did mount a little bit and I want to just ask... "We are the only not-a-religion sect of humanity. Why become a religious one?" Zero (talk) 17:16, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

"Tenants"? Are you sure about what you are talking about? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:41, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Atheism Plus is just secular humanism with a different name. Osaka Sun (talk) 17:38, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Surely you can take it or leave it. If it rocks your boat - cool. If not then just don't go there.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:44, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Don't you mean tenets rather than tenants? And OS, as secular humanist I don't regard A+ as the same thing. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 18:38, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm not the only one to suggest it. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:32, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't really get teh idea of atheists being in little street gangs, anyhow. atheists in and of them selves have NOTHING in common. any more than all the large variety of people who do not happen to believe in loch ness monster. or alien visitors. I get secular humanism, cause it's the humanism that is the common bond. a shared view of how people should try to interact within the world. but a lack of belief in a deity doesn't get you to a shared ANYTHING. Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 18:45, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
it gets you to a shared belief that probably a god (of this sort) does not actually exist. thats a something. Could I interest you in joining a cult with beer volcanoes and pirates ? Hamster (talk) 19:59, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Belief in which things or which sort don't exist? Or a simple lack of belief in any such silliness? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:43, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
What...kind of pirates? - Tygrehart
Thing is, A+ is just another internet community brought together by similar ideas or Atheism and something akin to humanism. If it gets you wet, go for it, if not... then why does it matter? As long as you're not attacking the site, then who gives a fuck?-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 21:30, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, it's *almost* just secular humanism. But, it seems more like secular humanism for people who also want to strongly highlight that they are Atheists, being that secular has so many different interpretations. Shadow of Lords talk 03:48, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Nah, A+ is largely whining about other atheists. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 08:23, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
When I was there is was more a support group for Atheists.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 18:09, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Does Atheism+ actually exist as anything now? It seemed to me to be a passing fancy that was dreamed up so as a bunch of people could pose themselves as better than another bunch of people rather than an actual movement. Is there an actual Atheism+ and if so, what do they do exactly? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:07, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You might as well ask that exact same question about RW. -- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 23:36, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

I like to think of Rationalwiki as less of a movement and more of a wiki. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 23:44, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
I like to think of RationalWiki as less of a wiki and more of a place to waste some time when I'm bored. Doctor Dark (talk) 01:18, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
A better formulation would be "a bunch of people pissed off at another bunch of people". I don't know how active is their forum, but some people are still using the "A+" modification of the Scarlet A. One of the reasons why RW's article on A+ sucks is because it doesn't differentiate between the (forum) community and the label. And, of course, the haters will go on hating even if it disappears, like the people who still find Reds under their beds.--ZooGuard (talk) 06:51, 8 September 2013 (UTC)--ZooGuard (talk) 06:51, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Shhh! You know better than to say that; you might summon ListenerX!  :-) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:37, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
The "a bunch of people pissed off at another bunch of people" applies to RW and A+ equally. Also, even if you don't think of RW as anything more than a wiki or a place to waste time, the IRS and RMF seems to be under the impression that this place has some goals about education or some such thing.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 17:39, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
The entire thing seems to be centered around blogospheric warfare between feminists and MRAs. (Note how little discussion there is of the anti-racist or class-related planks.) While the opposition to A+ largely consists of rabidly misogynistic fuckwits demanding the right to be rabidly misogynistic fuckwits, A+ itself has not generated much substance. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:09, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
"blogospheric warfare" with "wiki warfare", "feminists and MRAs" with "New Atheists and Religious Fundamentalists", "A+" with "RW", and you circle right back around to the whole "not all that much difference". And what the hell substance do you expect a forum to make?-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 21:16, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm so fucking Siri[edit]

I find that my iPad has something called Siri which is a PIA. When it asked me how it could help me I told it to "sod off". The rejoinder was "Goodbye would be more polite". I can't help but think that someone must have been expecting that. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 18:09, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

"Siri. If I threaten to drop kick you down some stairs, will you never answer back to me again?" --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 20:41, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
The developers appear to have spent an inordinate amount of time including smark aleck replies. Memes too. Compro01 (talk) 22:36, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Ask her where she was made... ħumanUser talk:Human 03:44, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
The only Apple product I use is a second-hand iPod Classic with a custom firmware, but judging by the replies it gives Siri sounds cool. What's so troubling about it? — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 05:43, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Could be worse. Could have been a paperclip. SophieWilderModerator 19:02, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

The title of this is a bit creepy. –Aleksandr(a) Ehrenstein, Jewish Bolshevik 23:27, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Don't be such a robophobe. — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 02:28, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Creepy? I was downright disturbed by the title. At first glance I thought it was referring to Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes 6-year-old daughter... then I realized her name is Suri. Sorry, my mistake. Refugeetalk page 09:01, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Lol. — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 15:02, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Gish[edit]

Is it just my imagination or are there a number of Gallopers around the wiki at the moment? Just a glance down RC and cursory check of one or two pages suggests it. Scream!! (talk) 23:24, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Dear god; I should have left the quantum consciousness discussion alone. What have I done!? - GrantC (talk) 00:39, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
... And a cursory check-up at Wikipedia tells me that the BoN I was discussing things with is repeating arguments that have been refuted already (with the same points I've been bringing up, no less), and thus has not been acting in good faith. Sigh, I should have checked that earlier. How do you guys put up with this kind of thing? - GrantC (talk) 01:01, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, it's good to see someone serious confirm he's just blathering -- thanks for that. Highfalutin BoN aside, the quantum consciousness article itself probably could do with a bit of improvement, if you have a chance to physics it up as needed... --MarkGall (talk) 01:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
No problem. While I normally just brush off people who act crazy and throw woo at me, I do treat my field of study passionately and don't like to see people trampling all over it. That said, I can probably add a few things to the page, but I'll ease off most of the physics since we're not really going for a technical journal here. I think there are some areas in which I can provide decent clarification, however. - GrantC (talk) 01:28, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Regret nothing. It was good to see that stuff on the talk page. As I had said on the talk page, "We haven't talked at all about the quantum physics part, so it just seems we've only been having half the conversations we should have been having in order to reach a conclusion." Then you immediately came along and provided the other half. Thanks! Nullahnung (talk) 03:41, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the kind words, and I'm glad I could be of some help! It's somewhat frustrating to assume an editor is acting in good faith only to find out that I was being strung along the entire time. That said, it did at first seem like it might have been possible to sway him, and that's what I was hoping for. It's a pity that I turned out to be wrong, but c'est la vie. - GrantC (talk) 03:45, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Diffs from Wikipedia where his points were already answered could be good if you're unusually bored - David Gerard (talk) 18:22, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
You make a good point. Perhaps later when I inevitably get sucked back into the discussion I'll trot some of those out. - GrantC (talk) 18:29, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Nah, it was just what we needed - "actually, I am a quantum mechanic" - David Gerard (talk) 15:32, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Back in undergrad one year, a friend of mine dressed up as a quantum mechanic for Halloween. He wore a lab coat with a wrench in his pocket and a huge "Q" sewed onto the front. He also carried around a little cube-shaped cat with state vectors penned on the sides and called it "Schrödinger's ket". We had a good laugh about it, but admittedly nobody outside of physics actually got the joke... - GrantC (talk) 15:47, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

History Major[edit]

So as i've known ive loved history since... 8th grade and knew ive wanted to major in it, theres always the fun, always asked question of "well what do you wanna do with it", and ultimately i want to teach it (on a college level), however i do know thats not really the most practical goal and im curious, what other sensible places can a middle eastern history major go? --Mikal | lakiM 01:54, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

I know quite a few historians who have gone into writing. Many history majors also end up doing graduate studies in library/archive management and go on to do that. - GrantC (talk) 01:58, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
If you specialize in the Middle East there's also politics, power, and the oil or armaments industries. Seriously. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:03, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
If you're entering into university (with a history department) speak with some of the faculty. The worst thing is to get pidgenholed into a specific career (seriously, the stereotype that a liberal arts degree means you'll only be able to survive in a teaching field borders on the absurd). Osaka Sun (talk) 04:24, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Journalism might also be a possibility - although you might want to brush up on your writing skills. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 08:52, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
What Human said. My brother took a BA in history, and got an administrative job with the Boy Scouts of America. I think he had fun with it; it was thanks to him that I got a couple of summer jobs at a Scout camp, teaching archery one year and smallbore marksmanship another. He then took a PhD. with a specialty in Turkish history, and made a nice career of writing reports at some government agency in the Baltimore/Washington area. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 11:48, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Museums and libraries might work. I know there's specialized degrees for them, but I kind of have a hard time imagining that those are all that popular.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 18:01, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Do not even think about an academic career in the humanities in the United States or Canada. The model of the tenure-track professor is dead, and there are literally hundreds of PhDs from top universities applying for an ever-decreasing number of jobs. Alternate career paths described above may be worth checking out. Getting a trade is probably your best bet to making a decent living. You can always read history books after work and on the weekends. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 19:49, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
You can teach history on a high-school level as well, although - again - that's a hard job to come by (if not as hard as a university position!). You should not expect a position in industry, the foreign service, or the like unless you have languages skill as well: if you read in translation, then you're going to be teaching. The language and culture background is the really valuable part of that training, and it's the sine qua non of any use of it beyond education, inasmuch as I have heard.--ADtalkModerator 21:33, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

stupid but funny[edit]

So, I was having a debate with someone over who is stupider: Miley Cyrus, an over-privileged multi-millionaire girl from a Disney TV show, raised in affluence, who is now trying to reinvent herself as a tough hood rat & gang banger (new album titled "Bangerz") for thinking anyone will take her seriously, or Dennis Rodman, for calling Kim Jong un, the evil Dictator of North Korea a "nice guy" and his "good friend" even though Kim has been threatening the U.S. with Nuclear war while millions of his people starve, and who just killed his ex-girlfriend by firing squad along with 12 people she worked with 3 days after arresting them on fake charges and sent their families to concentration camps... I gave the edge to Dennis, she says Miley, so we "googled" it, while we didn't get a definitive answer, we did find this funny link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/the-dumbest-things-that-have-ever-happened-on-facebook Refugeetalk page 09:04, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

I can top this: http://www.eatliver.com/i.php?n=9315 Nullahnung (talk) 09:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Not really, that's a "one-joke" link, while mine has stupidity in all subjects, something for everyone. hmmm, we could have a stupid debate on which is funnier... nah. Goodnight. Refugeetalk page 09:31, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, I could argue that a list of different jokes makes it hard to distinguish which ones are Poe and which ones are serious, and that a list of the same one repeated reduces probability of Poe... but whatever, good night! Nullahnung (talk) 09:38, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Need Economists for page[edit]

Hello I was wondering if any trained economists (or anyone with expertise in the area) could tackle the Thomas Sowell page. We have already recorded his crankery but were wondering if someone could go into detail about the wackiness of his more "professional" work. Thanks! ClothCoat (talk) 19:08, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Didn't RWW have a page on "RationalWikians by actual expertise" or something along those lines? It might be worth trying to recover it somewhere, to help with queries like this. I think there are doctoral types in physics, philosophy, history, math, medicine,... who hang around here, though no idea about economists. — Unsigned, by: Benod / talk / contribs 2013-09-11T10:07:49‎

So, what's new?[edit]

So I've just gotten home from basic training. What have I missed these past few months?--P3A58NT86 22:06, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

We changed the look of the front page to better emphasize our articles. We held a fundraiser, and it went exceedingly well. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:30, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Also we all got a RationalWiki tattoo. We had a vote on it & decided it should be mandatory. You can have the logo tattooed on any part of your body, but it has to be at least 5" square or bigger. Mine is on my right inner thigh. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:42, 6 September 2013 (UTC)
Mine is across both front eyes, and really fucked up my frontal vision. Luckily the middle one and the two rear ones can still see into the past and future, which is close enough for rock and roll. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:46, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
I take it that's its 666?--Weirdstuff (talk) 12:13, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Seamus Heaney died :(--ADtalkModerator 00:52, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Damned if he didn't, or did. I suspect he will be missed among certain suspects. ħumanUser talk:Human 06:49, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Marcus got elected Moderator. SophieWilderModerator 08:14, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
Then he fell in love and hasn't been seen since. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 13:36, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
 :) ħumanUser talk:Human 03:43, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
So it's true. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. SophieWilderModerator 19:01, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
I thought that was only true for those who live near Plymouth and eat the arsenic laden oysters? Am I wrong again? Oh dear.. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 19:11, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
I got my tattoo. I'm not saying where. Anywho, that was about the most useless update ever, but thanks anyways. I'm at college now, so I'll doubtless have some material to add to the site sooner or later, particularly in the Psychology and political fields. --P3A58NT86 00:33, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Meanwhile in Saudi[edit]

Goat bought for SR13m --PsyGremlinPraat! 07:07, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

“It was the largest single deal to involve the sale of a sheep in the Kingdom.” Eyebrow.gif Either something's been lost in translation or the seller pulled the old switcheroo. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:30, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Well they are closely related, as our highly educational, entertaining and entirely undeserving of funspace Bovidae article shows. SophieWilderModerator 18:24, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Thought de jour[edit]

I have only avoided being sectioned because I am so committed. --82.2.75.224 (talk) 07:49, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Badum-Tish. --Revolverman (talk) 07:52, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps It is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." 82.2.75.224 (talk) 10:00, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Full-time Mental Illness Denier[edit]

Since I have just returned from a lengthy ban thanks to dumbfuck Hamilton.. I have noticed the new change where I have to type in words to save my piece of crap. Has anyone else noticed that the two words chosen always have deep relevance to my subject matter. Or is this just my usual Bull Shit? --82.2.75.224 (talk) 19:16, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

I think we should be informed when ratWiki are monitoring our thought processes. I blame Google.... --82.2.75.224 (talk) 19:18, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
Who the fuck are you? --Revolverman (talk) 03:27, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
He's User:Dirk Steele, professional gobshite, full-time mental illness denier and regular pain. Ignore him and he still won't go away. SophieWilderModerator 09:42, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
What do you mean? I have been away for months! You also forgot to say whisky-addled drunken retard. Get your facts right Soph. Code words 'swan song! see what I mean?--82.2.75.224 (talk) 10:48, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Of course, 'full time mental illness denier' is a meaningless term. I happen to share the views of Tom Insel, head of the National Institute of Mental Health who states, “While DSM has been described as a “Bible” for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been “reliability” – each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure.”
My views are also shared with The British Psychological Society, and many many other psychiatrists - I will not name them now. Also, my opinions are the same as such skeptics as Jerry Coyne, Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Science and Bad Pharma, as well as many scientists and sociologists. I suggest that it is this site that is out of step with the current psychiatric paradigm. "It hurts!" --82.2.75.224 (talk) 13:13, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
British Psychological Society? You mean this?: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/12/psychiatrists-under-fire-mental-health
They aren't denying mental illness, btw, they are demanding a shift in how to view mental illness, away from the biomedical. You might wanna re-read that. Nullahnung (talk) 13:45, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
That is exactly what Szasz and others have been claiming for the last 60 years. No-one but no-one has ever claimed that mental illness does not 'exist' not even the most rabid anti-psychiatrists. Only that normal human conditions have been medicalized - in part for social control. See wikipedia for medicalization. It is this 'rational' site that claims this straw man argument. (words to be entered 'Nap Time' I think I will take one now.) 82.2.75.224 (talk) 14:07, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Your continued need to conflate mental health workers wanting to increase the use of brain imagining techniques in the diagnosis of mental illness with them denying the existence of mental illness remains as amusing as ever, in case you were curious.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 17:58, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Eh? Can you explain that in English for me please. Thanks. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 18:03, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Try it now.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 18:06, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I think you will find that Tom is saying that the DSM, in the words of Ben Goldacre, is actually a pile of cock and that despite thousands of papers being published using fMRI scans over the past 20 years (search PUBMED) that nothing useful has yet has been found. Or in other words (another quote from Tom) “We don’t talk much about this,but when it comes to mental illnesses, psychiatrists lag far behind their colleagues in other specialties. “Diagnosis is by observation, detection is late, prediction is poor. Etiology is unknown, prevention is undeveloped. Therapy is by trial-and-error. We have no cures, no vaccines. We’re not even working on vaccines. Prevalence has not decreased. Mortality has not decreased.” Despite over 200 years of searching! Of course the sign of a good pseudoscience is the lack of progress. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 18:18, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
You may want to quote in your 'article' the response from the American Psychiatry Association -
We support what he’s trying to do,” said John Scully, MD, the APA’s chief executive officer. “We want him to get biomarkers for us.”
Added Lieberman, head of the APA, “He was trying to exhort the biomedical research community to try to break new ground that will lead to more dynamic and fundamental changes in psychiatric diagnosis.”Yet, Kupfer suggested, the flaws in DSM-IV for daily clinical practice needed to be addressed in the short term, and an extension of the symptom-based approach remained the only alternative. “While we don’t yet have the biomarkers that we are hoping are on the edge of discovery,and we can’t keep waiting,” he said.
So the head of the NIMH and the head of the APA are now taking the position of Szasz. Ha! 82.2.75.224 (talk) 18:33, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
On another manic phase, are we?--"Shut up, Brx." 18:42, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Of course! After a few months ban I need to catch up! But do not worry... I will be taking my drugs very soon. ;-) But of course I thought the purpose of this site was to expose pseudoscience. When 20% of boys between the ages of 14-17 are diagnosed with a brain disoredr and given speed type drugs... something fishy is going on. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 18:47, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I see that after all these months, your idiotic desire to misrepresent the statements of others has not stopped.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 21:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Please explain how I have misrepresented any statement. Ta. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 21:41, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Hamilton - your silence is deafening! (Obviously a trait I have never acquired... ;-) )82.2.75.224 (talk) 04:58, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Let me try another approach. One can fall 'madly' in love and start acting 'crazy'. Despite the fact that parents, especially those who favour arranged marriages, may express deep disapproval, this condition is not yet defined as a mental disease even though it is probably possible to identify increased chemicals in the brain - oxytocin for example - that can be used as a biomarker. A biochemical imbalance in the brain? Likewise, suffering from a 'broken heart', which can result in great suffering and even suicide, is not deemed to be an 'illness'. Although I fully expect these to be included in the DSM 6 so that they be 'treated' and cured by drugs created by Bad Pharma and dished out by psychiatrists, (follow the money). On the other hand, young boys who cannot sit still for 8 hours a day, who want to 'run and climb trees inappropriately' and who do not want to pay attention or listen to the shit that teacher spouts are deemed to have a mental/brain disorder and are forced to consume speed type drugs by the 'mental health' authorities. I, being interested in evolutionary biology/psychology, feel that what may have been a favoured trait in hunter gatherer societies is now being penalised by the prevailing culture and school institutions who need to manage 'naughty' and unruly boys whose 'brain disorder' has to be cured by the medical profession - or as Szasz would say - the therapeutic state.

If this kind of thinking makes me a 'mental illness denier' and anti-scientific I can only say that this site has become irrational.

82.2.75.224 (talk) 05:30, 10 September 2013 (UTC)


I also happen to think that evolution has adapted the brain and its chemicals to be 'self regulating'. Certain chemicals can be manufactured in the brain depending on specific environmental conditions. (Depression, like physical pain, may be an evolved trait necessary to aid survival). The 'cure' may not be pump chemicals into the brain, (Brave New World anyone?), but to change the environment that is causing the suffering. No one in authority likes to have an unhappy slave so a pseudoscientic medical condition like drapetomania is invented. Unhappy with your job and pay, depressed about your disasterous marriage, hate having to go to the prison of a school, think the consumer society is unhealthy? Take a pill to change your mind! The blue one or the red? Trouble is that when you pump serotonin or whatever into your brain or suppress its re-uptake, it may be possible that the brain will suppress its own production. Then when you attempt to stop taking the drugs the brain cannot adjust and one may have the 'relapse'. Which then 'proves' that the drugs work! Psychiatry is a pseudoscientic scam. Period. If these thoughts make me a 'mental illness denier' (the ultimate ad-hominem argument) then join the debate. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 06:00, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Surely you're describing medical treatment of disease generally, aren't you? Diseases have a cause, often environmental, and are often avoidable. But we still get them and so they are then treated, with all the over diagnoses, missed diagnoses, inappropriate prescription, human error and so on that goes with it. How is mental illness in principle different? Ajkgordon (talk) 08:13, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
You make a very good point here which is at the root at the confusion of those who use the term 'mental illness denier'. Initially it involves the question of what is the definition of a disease. And I quote here from other sources... Szasz would use the Virchow criteria - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Virchow. According to Szasz, to understand the metaphorical nature of the term "disease" in psychiatry, one must first understand its literal meaning in the rest of medicine. To be a true disease, the entity must first, somehow be capable of being approached, measured, or tested in scientific fashion. Second, to be confirmed as a disease, a condition must demonstrate pathology at the cellular or molecular level. The fact is that no mental illness can cause death in the same way as a physical illness can. Also, no true physical illness can be cured by such psychiatric intervention as talk therapy such as CBT.
"A genuine disease must also be found on the autopsy table (not merely in the living person) and meet pathological definition instead of being voted into existence by members of the American Psychiatric Association. "Mental illnesses" are really problems in living. They are often "like a" disease, argued Szasz, which makes the medical metaphor understandable, but in no way validates it as an accurate description or explanation. Psychiatry is a pseudo-science that parodies medicine by using medical sounding words invented especially over the last 100 years. To be clear, heart break and heart attack, or spring fever and typhoid fever belong to two completely different logical categories, and treating one as the other constitutes a category error, that is, a myth. Psychiatrists are the successors of "soul doctors", priests who dealt and deal with the spiritual conundrums, dilemmas, and vexations – the "problems in living" – that have troubled people forever."
I urge anyone who has an interest to read this short interview with Szasz which can explain these ideas far more succinctly and with an intellect I do not possess. Thanks. http://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/thomas-szasz#section-the-therapeutic-state-and-the-medica-model. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 13:07, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's a very narrow definition of disease and doesn't encompass lots of well established symptoms, conditions and disorders caused by non-pathogenic agents. The point should not be about pedantic definitions of words but about whether something is in some way debilitating (life-threatening, dangerous, impractical, painful, stressful, undesirable, etc.) and can it be prevented and/or treated to the benefit of the patient. Dismissing something as invalid simply because of some old guy's basically arbitrary definitions is a little silly. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:36, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
If you have seen Dirk Steele's previous engagements, including the one with Steven Novella, you should know that much of his issues seem to hinge on semantics. Another common characteristics is that all of them turn to be futile.--ZooGuard (talk) 14:41, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Language, especially metaphorical or symbolic, tends to be important. Define or be defined. As Szasz says, later to be emphasised by George Lakoff, " The struggle for definition is veritably the struggle for life itself. In the typical Western two men fight desperately for the possession of a gun that has been thrown to the ground: whoever reaches the weapon first shoots and lives; his adversary is shot and dies. In ordinary life, the struggle is not for guns but for words; whoever first defines the situation is the victor; his adversary, the victim. For example, in the family, husband and wife, mother and child do not get along; who defines whom as troublesome or mentally sick?...[the one] who first seizes the word imposes reality on the other; [the one] who defines thus dominates and lives; and [the one] who is defined is subjugated and may be killed. Of course you are too stupid to know this stuff. --82.2.75.224 (talk) 17:29, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
You may have confused 'define' with 'determine'. There's a subtle but important difference. Nullahnung (talk) 17:36, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
That is possible. Please teach me. Ta. --82.2.75.224 (talk) 17:39, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
In this context that you laid out above: 'Define' would be more about filling a word with meaning. 'Determine' is about aiming a word that already came pre-packaged with meaning. Nullahnung (talk) 17:49, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Can you give me an example of a word that comes pre-packaged with meaning. (I take my knowledge from Lakoff here..) 82.2.75.224 (talk) 18:00, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
'troublesome or mentally sick'. Basically, "who defines whom as troublesome or mentally sick" should be "who determines whom to be troublesome or mentally sick". Nullahnung (talk) 18:06, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
And of course you know that Dr Novella actually rents his office from Yale. He is not a tenured professor. Which is why his Neurologica blog is mainly concered with disproving sightings of 'Bigfoot' and other creationist malarky. Wow! How cool! If you want real information on neurology you have to visit http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/#.Ui9YKj-5KS0 or http://neurocritic.blogspot.co.uk/ etc etc. Steven Novella is a scam.... ha! 82.2.75.224 (talk) 17:36, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Of course definitions are important. But what Szasz did (and by extension you do) is to arbitrarily define disease as something that can be seen in a post-mortem and that's it. No nuance, no awareness of the limits of an autopsy, dismissal of symptoms. Thankfully sensible and pragmatic physicians don't do that. They recognise disease and illness that cause distress and try to work out the best way of preventing and treating them. That's not to say that there aren't diagnoses that are labels or even social constructs - denying that would be as silly as a slavish devotion to outdated and largely discredited definitions of disease. And of course there are plenty of pedlars of woo treatments. These things should be fought against. But labelling the whole of psychiatry as pseudo-science is patently ridiculous and simply attention-seeking nonsense. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:45, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
'arbitrarily define disease as something that can be seen in a post-mortem and that's it.' A simple reading of what he has said... see above, shows this is patently false. You need me to supply the quote? As I have said above having a 'broken heart' causes suffering but is not (yet) defined as a disease. Yes, labelling the whole of homeopathy and acupuncture and astrology as a pseudoscience is, to some, ridiculous. Let us start with scientific and rational facts. Ta. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 17:52, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Simple reading but that was essentially his statement. OK, include biopsy, chemical tests and so on but his contention was that if it can't be physically seen then it's not a real disease and therefore any treatments for it are bunk. And please, enough with the fallacious comparisons of broken hearts and heart attacks and so on. No one makes those claims and it's simply hyperbole. Ajkgordon (talk) 09:47, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ajkgordon, try your best to ignore him. He's an idiot and I've cataloged all of his arguments here if you really want to know about the bullshit he spews. Otherwise, discussions with him are pointless-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 18:07, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Of course I have countered all of his arguments here http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Essay_talk:Anti-Psychiatry_Arguments Read and make up your own mind as to who is the idiot. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 18:53, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

coming out[edit]

I just did took part in survey after following a link in the guardian about being gay in in Britain today. It is being done by Julie bindel for a new book. I had no idea who she was before I took the survey else I might not have bothered.

Anyway, one of the questions was whether it was harder for gays or lesbians to come out. I genuinely didn't know as there are many different factors involved and not being a lesbian myself was not comfortable saying it was harder for one or the other. There was no 'don't know' option so I picked the 'its the same' option. I am not sure if this correct option.

What does the mob think? AMassiveGay (talk) 14:07, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

In my limited experience guys mainly see lesbians as "women who would love guys if they had sex with me" but homosexual males as a threat. I cant comment on the female dynamic though so how would women see a lesbian in the whole "wife and mother" fantasy ? Hamster (talk) 14:20, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
the other side of that is as a gay man I don't get hetero men trying to cure me with the power of their cock. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:27, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
If the question is simply "whether it [is] harder for gays or lesbians to come out" then it is a bogus question. Tabloid advice column kind of depth. Harder in what neighborhood or district, for people from what cultural background, with what social history (i.e. single, married, in a relationship, with or without kid(s), with what kind of family or peer support network, und so weiter) at what age, and so forth. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:36, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
that is my opinion also. The problem I had with question was that there was not a chance to explain my answer that was given for some of the other questions. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:40, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
The correct answer, is of course, it is harder for bisexuals. "So... what, you just can't make up your mind or something?" Shadow of Lords talk 15:23, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Pansexuals and Asexuals. --Mikal | lakiM 15:58, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Amoebae seem pretty relaxed about it. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:58, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
"Pansexual" refers to ~special snowflake~ bisexuals who want to feel really self-righteous about who they're attracted to. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:50, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I hope you're saying an stereotype.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 21:20, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Why the animosity? It's my understanding that 'pansexual' really just refers to someone who finds men, women, transsexuals, etc. roughly the same in inherent attraction. The bisexual label isn't horribly accurate for them because it can refer to people who are attracted to one sex more than the other, but not enough to be labeled hetero/homo–sexual. — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 21:52, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
No Hamilton... if I understand your broken English and it is difficult... you are a monotype. ;-) 82.2.75.224 (talk) 10:03, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Bisexuality is attraction to both sexes. Pansexuality is the dismissal of the entire concept of gender (including the concept of a binary gender) and sex as irrelevant.
To simplify :
Q: Do you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream?
Bisexual: I like both.
Pansexual: I do not consider there to be any difference between chocolate, vanilla, swirl, strawberry or any other flavour.
Compro01 (talk) 15:04, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
smoking has a similar effect. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:45, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
So pansexuality is nothing to do with Le Creuset? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 15:45, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Pansexuals don't mind who they sleep with as long as they get a fried breakfast. SophieWilderModerator 19:02, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Lol, that was funny Sophie! Although I never cared much about breakfast. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:50, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
That reminds me of Laci Green's video on Pansexuality where the preview tile is her licking a pan.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 21:04, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Bindel? Ugh. A rather determined idiot. Doesn't deserve your time. Uke Blue 16:03, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Hey, nothing says scientific like an internet survey! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:06, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

US intervention in Syria[edit]

I have been trying to figure out what I think the best thing to do about Syria might be. I kind of let the hard thinking on Libya slide, but it's time to decide how I feel about just wars and whatnot. I thought other people might double-check my reasoning.

I have some priors, which are beyond the scope of my current contemplation:

  • A preference utilitarian ethic that uses the ethic of reciprocity as the best shorthand rule for making decisions about ethical alternatives.
  • The dictator Assad has used chemical weapons on his citizens, causing mass and indiscriminate casualties among them.
  • The use of weapons of mass destruction is and should be considered unacceptable in the modern world.
  • The cost of a Tomahawk missile is about $1 million, including deployment costs.
  • There is a messy and uncertain group of rebels, and it is difficult to simply give them aid.

Given these prior beliefs, are any of the following courses of action a good idea? Is there a better idea?

1. Do not bomb Syria. Spend some fraction, up to 100%, of the cost of possible intervention on humanitarian aid.
2. Do not bomb Syria. Spend some fraction, up to 100%, of the cost of possible intervention on support for rebel groups of which we approve.
3. Bomb Syria in a limited sense as proposed by the President, in essence as direct punishment for the use of chemical weapons.
4. Bomb Syria and enact a similar scheme to the Libyan intervention, which cost about $1 billion, acting on a regime-destroying scale.

While the parallels between Libya - which had as satisfactory an outcome as one could hope for - and Syria are tempting, the fact is that there is no united opposition, and the panoply of opposition groups that exist seem (on best report) to run the gamut ideologically and in background. To intervene directly, then, and topple the regime is both to assume responsibility for extremely uncertain results, including bloody chaos, or to act to aid an even worse regime that may rise in Assad's stead. I am disinclined to favor 4, which seems like hubris, because of these reasons. There is a limit to the power even of a superpower. It is seldom that we will have enough control over events or will understand the probabilities well enough to intervene in this way and have successful results (defined improving the most human lives).

1 and 2 should perhaps be considered the baseline, with some combination enacted in the absence of military intervention, or in supplement to it. There are issues of problems of scale, however: even enormous amounts of money is going to run into rapidly diminishing returns in terms of both human lives saved and rebel forces bolstered. The transport avenues are limited, for example, and any arms shipments can't include things that could be hijacked and easily used as a force-multiplier for terrorist groups elsewhere (i.e. no SAMs that could be brought to Afghanistan).

Which reduces the question, as perhaps it has been, to whether or not 3 is specifically a wise course of action. Any thoughts?--ADtalkModerator 22:00, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

This might change things. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:15, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Delivering high explosives is a colossally disruptive thing to do, on levels all the way from the immediate shock wave and resultant crater, to the consequences echoing on through history. The US should butt the fuck out of the business of being the cops of the world, at least as a sole source of "protection." It didn't work in Southeast Asia, and it's unlikely to work now. If we must intervene, it should be in the form of humanitarian aid, with all the complications that kind of deal can bring. I've more to say, but I'll save it for later. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:25, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I spent several years living and working in Syria and like the Syrian people but hate the government. I really don't see what can be done unless you somehow target the Assad regime directly. But it would have been preferable to have exerted some influence when an economic strategy would have worked rather than some random bombing now. Redchuck.gif ГенгисmaraudingModerator 23:06, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
One of my other thoughts was about building a time machine, and sending our best and brightest back to when sitting down regularly for a glass of tea and a forthright chat could have helped. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:14, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Libya's situation is far from spotless as well (not the apocalypse the Moustache of Understanding believes it to be, though), but I digress.
Putin fucked up on this one, and I think he's starting to realize it. You had Assad cracking down on a relatively non-violent protest movement, Russia vetoed every UNSC resolution (because they didn't want to lose their Cold War-era airbase), and then the militants started popping up. Plus, the cooling of US/Russia relations with Sochi and Snowden happened at the worst possible time. Osaka Sun (talk) 00:11, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
the legitimate government of a nation used its military to put down a traiterous revolt by local terrorists. Its all how you phrase it. WHo exactly was it that dumped napalm on civilians along with chemical defoliants ? hmmm. *stir* Hamster (talk) 00:34, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

The only reason Syria is any of our business, imo, is because of the whole "Sarin gas" incident. If they voluntarily hand it over to the UN and allow UN inspectors to verify they have no more WMDs, we should stay out of it. If they don't, bomb the WMDs. If we find out later that they are making new WMDs, then it becomes our business to punish them. And yes, I do think that this should apply everywhere.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 01:09, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

you can't just bomb gas dumps - that just spreads the stuff around. You have to destroy it properly and leave it alone until you can. So any bombing will probably be "high value" point targets - military HQ's, barracks, tank parks, etc.--Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:55, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
"If we find out later that they are making new WMDs, then it becomes our business to punish them. And yes, I do think that this should apply everywhere." So countries should be bombed for making WMDs. Presumably, this includes Russia, India, Pakistan, France, the UK, and Israel? Whhy do "we" get to decide who has WMDs in the first place? Why can "we" have them, but certain kinds of "theys" can't? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 14:59, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
My first thought upon reading Luigi's "that just spreads the stuff around" was, "but isn't sarin usually packaged as a binary munition, with precursor compounds kept separate for that exact reason?" Did some reading around, and it turns out there may be some Syrian military/militant retards who actually keep the active toxin around in its pure form. (Well, maybe a racemic mixture, so about 50% concentration.) This may have helped reduce the number of casualties, since sarin degrades rapidly unless kept in cold storage.
The answer to PSaL's last question may have something to do with US "leadership" still thinking we can behave like a 900 pound (410 kg) gorilla, and sit upon whatever we choose. Tell me more about resentment echoing down through history, and asymmetrical warfare... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:20, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
@Aloysius the Gaul: Sarin gas breaks down fast enough that likely the only people affected would be the people in the actual station. I would not feel bad if they were affected by Sarin. Kind of like shooting someone who is holding a person hostage. Alternatively, I'm sure someone has found some way to counter act the effects of Sarin that could be deployed immediately after bombing the gas.
@PowderSmokeAndLeather: I see owning WMDs like private firearm ownership: There are legitimate reasons for it, but after you use it illegally, you lose the privilege. Also, the UN/International Law says that because what they did is two war crimes (using WMD and killing civilians) that we should be rounding up the upper level military and government and executing them.
@Sprocket: I was going more for "the international community has already agreed that this is a no-no, and the international community should do something about it". The US just so happens to be a member of the international community-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 18:26, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

So I was wondering, is there any way someone can justifiably have been in favor of the Iraq War but opposed to action against Syria? The alleged premise of the Iraq War was that they had weapons of mass destruction and we were worried they'd use them. For that we conducted a full on invasion and decade long war/occupation. Syria, on the other hand, has weapons of mass destruction and has used them to kill over 1,000 people. For some to oppose the launch of a few cruise missiles while supporting an invasion of Iraq makes no sense to me, though it seems to be the mindset of quite a number of people in Congress. -DickTurpis (talk) 17:44, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes. You could justify it by learning from history and therefore changing your mind. But admitting it might be problematic for a politician! Ajkgordon (talk) 17:50, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I agree. What is more difficult to understand is how some politicians can continue to support the Iraq war while arguing against Syria. Then again, that level of doublethink is fairly common in politics. - GrantC (talk) 18:33, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
It's the "Party of No," what do you expect? Osaka Sun (talk) 18:52, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I don't think the lessons of the Iraq War are terribly relevant here, as the situation is entirely different. Unless Obama has something very different in mind than I suspect he does, we're looking at limited action just so we don't have a situation in which Assad has called Obama's bluff. We're not looking at an all-out war and occupation. People's minds changed on Iraq because they saw the chaos it caused, as well as the American deaths, which sent on long after the fighting had allegedly stopped. In Syria, we won't so much as get our hair mussed, and it'll be over in no time (our involvement, that is, the civil war will continue to rage on). I don't think anyone can look at the quagmire in Iraq and foresee a similar situation in Syria. -DickTurpis (talk) 19:01, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
If any comparisons or lessons are valid then Libya would be more relevant than Iraq. --Weirdstuff (talk) 20:00, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Very true. In which case I suspect the standard Republican response is BENGHAZI!!!!!!!11!!111!!!! Because that is always a good argument. DickTurpis (talk) 20:07, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
That's partly true, Dick. The Iraq war and any proposed US military action in Syria are dissimilar. But some of the risks are comparable. Power vacuums, retaliatory attacks by regime sympathisers, laws of unintended consequences, humanitarian crises, refugees, sectarian violence, collateral damage and so on. So it's quite plausible for a politician to think back to the eve of the Iraq invasion and remember how certain everyone was that a couple of weeks of shock and awe would help the Iraqi people welcome the US-led West and implement democracy almost overnight and then realise that in fact the reality is never so simple. War, in whatever form, is dangerous, messy, violent and unpredictable and that was shown in tediously dramatic fashion by Iraq. That is a lesson that a could justifiably change a politician's mind. Having said that, we should be cynical of their motives. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:00, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
it seems like many of those risks are already a reality without our help. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:43, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Current pointless poll (obscure wingnuts)[edit]

Which of these wingnuts, despite being fairly obscure and/or insignificant, still manage to get on your nerves, and it pisses you off even more that they can get on your nerves?

I'm sorry, but that description just screams Vox Day. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 17:43, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Or else Dick Stool? (enter words 'Who am I?) --82.2.75.224 (talk) 19:12, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Charles Murray, definitely. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:36, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Naw, you've never pissed me off, DS. You're just sort of there. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 05:48, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Should we expand on anti-white discrimination?[edit]

I think this is a biggest issue and really the only real prejudice that exists today, it's bad to have prejudice against black or brown, even little things like opposing affirmative action and having pride in your heritage is apparently racist. I think this should be expanded upon, perhaps start with all the idiotic post-modernist leftist academia which makes up bullshit like white privelege and all that. — Unsigned, by: 74.14.31.85 / talk / contribs 2013-09-10T13:22:19‎

Your non-fact-based opinion is noted. Anything else you'd like to add before returning to Stormfront? Apokalyps2547 (talk) 20:30, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
You spelled privilege wrong. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:35, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I am reminded by the barrage of petitions on the White House involving White Genocide. Have a look. They keep coming back.Zero (talk) 20:41, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Come back when you can write in English. You know, correct usage of little things like spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sense. I know it may take a while but it will be worth it eventually. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 20:49, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm so white I am pink. And I am so privileged as a pink male it is not even funny. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:53, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
there is anti white discrimination. It is directed at people with albinism. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:05, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Shut your slack hole, Human. Pull the wool over your own eyes and get eternal salvation or triple your money back! Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 11:47, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

The opposite of feminist and misogynist[edit]

So a feminist is a person seeking equal protection and rights for women, is there a gender flipped term for this? And what is an abusive woman when an abusive man is a misogynist? Just seeking to expand my vocabulary. Zero (talk) 20:44, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

You must be new here. Try masculism and misandry. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:51, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
If you're interested in masculism and you're on Reddit, there's OneY.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 21:07, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Almost three months now and nah. Just looking to add some more words to my library. Zero (talk) 21:09, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Because words tend to be made for things that have a reason to be discussed, im, not sure theres a specific word for a male-version of feminist because the context for one doesnt exist. --Mikal | lakiM 01:17, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Make up an adjective for "gender equality"? Osaka Sun (talk) 04:19, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
"Equalism" - it's a term regularly trotted out by MRAs, claiming that "feminists don't really want gender equality or they wouldn't call it feminism" etc. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:41, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I do say misandrists are probably a real thing. There was an image floating around Facebook that said something to the effect of "If I have a male child he will be circumsized and get no breast milk because fuck boys." (No idea if it's from a real person) so it made me think "what is the word for this?" Zero (talk) 14:00, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Misandrists are a real thing. They just tend to call themselves RadFems.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 17:56, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
A "mysoginist" does not mean "an abusive man". It describes beliefs and attitudes held/demonstrated, not abuse.--ZooGuard (talk) 07:17, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
So, a misogynist is not necessarily one who has caused physical harm for women, but one who espouses a worldview which puts women at a disadvantage. Shadow of Lords talk 13:00, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Misogyny is hatred of women. Hatred can manifest itself in a huge variety of ways, from personal conduct towards women, beliefs held about women, to physical attacks, to the construction of social, political, and economic structures in which women as such are treated unfairly. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 14:27, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I wonder about that. I think laws also have the capability to be misogynistic (by discriminating against women), but clearly laws do not have the capability of "hating", even if the lawmakers do. But, here we encounter an essential problem of which is to be considered misogynistic: a law created by someone who hates women that isn't about women (and will have no disproportionate affect on them, all other things being equal) or a law created by someone who does not "hate" women, but created with the express intent of denying them equal rights (such a person could not hate women and not feel they are inferior, but perhaps feel that god wants to stay home instead of work, so they pass a law that makes it harder for women to join the work force)? It seems to me then that defining and limiting misogyny only to those who hate women isn't as useful as it could be. It's like having a term for someone who thinks blue is worse than red. It seems the term would be better used based on intentions towards women rather than motivations for those intentions. Thoughts and stuff. Shadow of Lords talk 18:30, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I've thought that too. But the thing is, what then to call the persons who have an ACTUAL hate problem towards people which is at least partly motivated by those people being women? We'd need a term like 'misogynist' for that. So having it limited to 'hate' has its merits. Nullahnung (talk) 18:41, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

The grumpy complaint of a scientist[edit]

Though the section heading may look misleading, my complaint has nothing to do with RationalWiki. Unfortunately for everyone with a drinking problem, myself included, I have no issue with how rational RationalWiki is (see? I get some of the in-jokes). More or less, my complaint has to do with this all-too-common habit of conflating interpretations of physical theories with the theories themselves. I see this a lot, especially in the "debate" about how quantum mechanics disproves materialism. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of researchers in quantum mechanics find discussion about interpretations to be neat, but fully acknowledge that it is not science. The physical theories themselves are sound, and fully rooted in materialism, as one would expect from a physical theory (if it's not real, and it doesn't influence matter and energy in some way, how is it physics?). I don't care if someone believes that non-materialist stuff exists out there, but this conflation between physical theories and that conclusion just get my goat. - GrantC (talk) 21:13, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, please note that I'm using the definition of "matter" and "energy" as used in physics, not pop culture. - GrantC (talk) 21:17, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

But as Deepak Chopra taught us, quantum physics means anything can happen at anytime for no reason. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:26, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
There are no words suitable for expressing how much I dislike that man. - GrantC (talk) 02:55, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing that a good dose of Popper and Feynman cannot cure.. --82.2.75.224 (talk) 04:06, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Admittedly I find Feynman far more interesting than Popper. - GrantC (talk) 04:48, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
It's the voice, right? Osaka Sun (talk) 05:00, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Every true physicist uses Feynman lectures as sleep aids. - GrantC (talk) 05:11, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, they got it wrong. Deepak Chopra clearly taught us that Quantum Mechanics means that anything you want can happen if you just want it hard enough, and if you disagree with me you are a heretic. Shadow of Lords talk 12:58, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Ah yes, of course. You know, as much as the law of attraction is full of shit, there's one point that always bugged me more than anything. I had a friend who believed in this crap, and her point of view was that attractive forces were the strongest and had the longest range in the universe. I don't get it. Gravity has a long range, yes, but it's weak as shit. The strong nuclear force is ridiculously strong, but incredibly short range (on the scale of atomic nuclei). The weak nuclear force is kind of mediocre, and all that leaves is electromagnetism, which is admittedly strong and relatively long range (comparatively), but is also equally repulsive and attractive... - GrantC (talk) 14:56, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Whenever I've read anything on quantum mechanics I am left with the impression it can be quite counter-intuitive. So it certainty is quite attractive to those who want to propose/justify their own counter-intuitive nonsense. --Weirdstuff (talk) 17:51, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Really, anything in higher level theoretical physics is counter-intuitive. Physicists build their own kind of intuition as they learn. It has been theorized (by me, late at night in a pub) that theoretical physicists have an entirely different world view to the rest of civilization! Nullahnung (talk) 18:05, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
(EC) Well that's the kicker. It also appeals to the masses that fall for these scams because a lot of people equate "counter-intuitive and hard to interpret" with "not well understood". Although the potential interpretations about what quantum mechanics are up for (entirely philosophical) debate, the mechanisms of quantum mechanics are well understood. Of course, folks like Chopra use the exact point I was complaining of above; that the average layman is often not able to separate the methodology of quantum mechanics from the philosophy that arises from it. - GrantC (talk) 18:12, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." - Richard Feynman
That was ages ago, though. I'm sure our understanding has improved a lot since then (or maybe Feynman was just referring to above-mentioned interpretationy stuff, actually that is very possible). Still have lots of things to work on, of course. Nullahnung (talk) 18:19, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
(EC) Well no, what Feynman said is still true, but not in the way that cranks like to assume. We understand quite well how most aspects of quantum theory work, but we don't understand what it means. To this day, there are many different viewpoints about what a wavefunction actually is. For example, a friend of mine likes to use an epistemic interpretation to describe wavefunctions, as that makes "collapse" fairly mundane, easily explainable, and not very interesting. There are, however, physicists who still prefer the ontological viewpoint, in which von Neumann's picture of wavefunction collapse is a very weird thing indeed. Another example is the family of broad interpretations of quantum mechanics in general (e.g. Copenhagen's interpretation). The key, however, is that all of these are interpretational issues and have very little to do with the actual math/physics. The methodology is something we understand quite well, but that's not the case for the interpretations. Cranks like to blur those distinctions to justify their crap by claiming that quantum mechanics can make their stuff work because we don't understand it. Of course, it can easily be shown that the physical methodology of quantum mechanics does not do so. - GrantC (talk) 18:27, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I realized and clarified in my post that Feynman was most likely referring to just the interpretationy stuff. Sorry. (I guess that was the cause of the EC) Nullahnung (talk) 18:37, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Haha indeed; I did notice your addition in the edit summary during the conflict, but I decided that since I had spent so much time typing it out, I was just going to post it as it was. - GrantC (talk) 18:39, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Well sort of, I guess. I would argue that some fields are actually relatively intuitive (electromagnetism is still an active field of study but is mostly fairly well understood and easy to figure out). Relativity requires wrapping your head around some fairly complex concepts (space-time as a manifold), but it's mostly a ton of math sitting on top of some interesting concepts. Sure, the concept of space-time being curved is weird, but that's mostly because we're not really programmed to think in four dimensions. It is counter-intuitive in that sense. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, is another realm entirely, mostly because it shattered most of what we thought we knew about reality. It may be hard to imagine, but abandoning locality is a huge deal. - GrantC (talk) 18:16, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I will agree that theoretical (and most experimental) physicists have a very different outlook on life. For me, I do find that I think differently than many people I know. For many people (not me), that translates into social awkwardness and in some cases an inability to interact easily with folks outside of the field. The reason I stopped going to my lab's pub nights is because interacting with a group of physicists can be quite difficult. - GrantC (talk) 18:19, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Not worth a WIGO but ...[edit]

...this has got to be the most ... ? Hat tip (read the comments) Scream!! (talk) 08:34, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

No worse than anal bleaching. That said, the comments are so full of win. --PsyGremlinTala! 08:48, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Most of the "reviews" below the product description are advertisement satire at its best! XD Nullahnung (talk) 13:18, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I'd say it's somewhat worse than anal bleaching, since the body-disgust motivating anal bleaching is at least in principle gender-neutral. Hydrogen and Time (talk) 12:26, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Certainly the most appalling product I've seen this month. The "ginger" version is still in stock - thirty-seven fucking dollars - David Gerard (talk) 13:07, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I get the sense that most denizens of this website would be so thrilled to get anywhere close to the organ in question that the very idea of having an aesthetic critique would never even cross their minds. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 16:52, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Assuming this product is not physically damaging; how is this worse than, for example, shaving of the legs? Or the chaps here all for the hirstute? AMassiveGay (talk) 19:37, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Agree: it was the comments I liked. Scream!! (talk) 08:57, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Turns out the Pope is a hippy[edit]

Well, not quite, but by uptight, old-man celibate Catholic standards, he his. To quote the headline, "Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own consciences". Love to see the CP response if they see it, I'll have to hunt down the page.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 22:36, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

This leaves us with how many hours until the church publishes another "clarification" that you still have to be Catholic and only Catholicism gives access to a "real" system of morality? Shadow of Lords talk 00:06, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm down with this Pope, he's pretty swell.--ADtalkModerator 11:51, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Better than the previous two by far. SophieWilderModerator 17:18, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Maybe its just the inner cynic but I feel a major papal-dickishness scandal coming in the not too distant future. Judge HoldenThe Judge Smiles 22:17, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
What are you guys talking about? Haven't you read Conservapedia? This is a very, very conservative pope, just like Andy predicted. DickTurpis (talk) 23:23, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Sweeping girls off their feet in college[edit]

Is it bad enough that it can be considered assault? (My opinion) Osaka Sun (talk) 22:51, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Assault or not, I would be pretty damn pissed off if someone did this to me. I very much value my personal space, and disrespecting those boundaries without my permission is deeply insulting to me. - GrantC (talk) 23:10, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I think it would be kind of funny if someone did that to me. Something about putting them in a coma would be hilarious to me.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 23:16, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Sweeping off the feet is a little extreme. A pat on the back or a poke on the shoulder is ok, but sweeping off the feet feels... disempowering (is that a word? edit: yes it is, what a silly word, it's like 'disincrease'...). Nullahnung (talk) 02:11, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
How would you put them in a coma Hamilton? Tielec01 (talk) 02:20, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
With his manly might, of course--"Shut up, Brx." 02:31, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Touché; I had completely forgotten about his manly might. Tielec01 (talk) 02:33, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Where be those false ravishers, who carry off wenches against their will? May the foul fiend fly off with me, if I am not man enough for a dozen of them.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:05, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Oh my god[edit]

I just changed all the "wilfuls" linked on the wiki to "willfull" before deciding to double-check if it's not just a foreigner spelling. Good thing I decided to wait until I finished all of them before clicking save page--"Shut up, Brx." 04:05, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Tumbleweed.gif
Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 10:08, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I must admit that as a 6 or 7-year old, "wilful" (as observed on a sign warning against WILFUL DAMAGE to government property) was a word of some confusion to me. The term seems to have dropped out of use in the UK with "vandalism" being more in vogue. However, a quick google seems to show it as common currency in Oz & NZ. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 11:53, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Leftwing bias[edit]

When I created a username called "Whites for the Survival of Our Race" it was banned immediately. Then I created a username called "Comrades of the Revolutionary Proletarian Struggle" and that was okay. Communism killed way more people than White Nationalism ever did, and is devoted to worshipping Satan, yet according to PC Cultural Marxist RationalWiki it is okay whereas White Nationalism is "hate speech". It all goes back to Herbert Marcuse, who advocated that tolerance of the Right was "repressive", whereas tolerance of the Left was "liberating". This is the Cultural Marxist policy enforced by RationalWiki and other Marxist websites. Comrade of the Revolutionary Proletarian Struggle (talk) 04:36, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

"and is devoted to worshipping Satan" All of your credibility is dead with that statement. When I saw the commie username I figured it was a joke, whereas I wouldn't find the first one to be a joke be because it's just racist and inherently disgusting/trolling. I was actually thinking about saying something to you about your name but, again, I figured it was just a joke.ClothCoat (talk) 04:51, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
"Comrade of the Revolutionary Proletarian Struggle" I mean seriously who can take that seriously. If you said "Stalin was a great man" for a username that would be terrible but the name you picked sounds like a fucking joke. Anyway I'm done arguing with crazy people, it goes nowhere. In fact, you better not be a sock puppet for the same crazy fuck I've been dealing with this week. ClothCoat (talk) 04:58, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
As mentioned over in crazification factor, a good 36% of Russians have a positive opinion of Stalin. "Was a great man" is probably an opinion held by a non-trivial portion of that 36%. Compro01 (talk) 16:17, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
This is the first time I've heard of Herbert Marcuse. And since I live in Communist Canada, where I read both Animal Farm and 1984 by the end of high school, that must mean something! Osaka Sun (talk) 04:55, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Hah, if only this was a Marxist website. The revolution is coming - yes it has stalled (where is MC anyway) - but it gathers strength with each passing day. Tielec01 (talk) 06:49, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
MC probably let all teh wonderful powerz of being a moderator drain his creative energies. As a result, he'll be back after he finishes that play about RW he was working on. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 10:12, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Nah, he's letting his cock rule the roost for the time being, as he's found "love". Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD memberModerator 11:57, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Whether or not any particular type of username was banned/changed has little to do with the prevailing ideology of the site, but in this case I'd reckon that you'd find more sympathizers of socialism than you would of racism. But to turn it back around on you: why are you advocating for socialism if it's so evil?--ADtalkModerator 11:50, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
I would definitely interpret "Comrade of the Revolutionary Proletarian Struggle" as a joke name. Virtually nobody in the English-speaking world actually talks like that. Also, what is it with far-righties raising fears over the "survival of the white race"? Speaking as a "white" guy, we're doing just fine. The "white" population is growing steadily in America, and throughout most of the world (along with pretty much every other population). Apokalyps2547 (talk) 16:24, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Reading this made me wish we had an {{unwelcome}} tag opposite to the {{welcome}} tag for use on users like this. Then, upon viewing his talk page, I discovered it exists (and someone else had already used it)! Just wanted to interrupt here to re-declare my love for this site. I get it and it gets me! Shadow of Lords talk 17:14, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
We aim to please.--ADtalkModerator 23:33, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Random question re: ghosts[edit]

I remember reading something (possibly here) about how scientists found that they could induce hallucinations in people that were similar to ghost reports (vaguely transparent person that didn't talk, acknowledge the person in the room, and then left via a wall) in people by doing... um, something. Anyone have any idea what I'm babbling about?

On an unrelated note, anyone think it's odd that when I start working on writing a story, I automatically open a bunch of RW pages?-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 22:03, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

A law to ban the wearing of most religious symbols by public employees[edit]

Surprised to see that the new law proposed in Quebec isn't being discussed here. Short version, public employes won't be able to wear obvious religious symbols on the job (headgear, big crucifixes, etc), nor will women be allowed to be veiled while receiving public services. Is this something you would want your gummint to pass? PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 23:56, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Subordinate your identity to the state. You are a generic cog in our benevolent machine.
Also, you're salaried. That means you can't criticize us on Facebook or Twitter. And we see that picture you posted where you're wearing a "Go Maple Leafs!" tie at work. You may no longer do that, it might offend an Ottawa Senators fan. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:17, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
In all seriousness, as long as they follow the policies and guidelines that actually matter (you know, enforcing civil rights, according all members of the public dignity, and doing the job you were hired to do), I don't care how public servants dress or shave their hair or whatever. (Excepting obvious stuff like police having to wear standardized uniforms). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:17, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
If people want to be public about their religion go for it. Its only an issue if they start trying to force it--Mikal | lakiM 00:18, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
This is the second of two unexpected events coming out of Canuckistan since the summer (the first being Trudeau's weed revelations).
Simply put, it's not even wrong (if Quebec really cared about ensuring secularism then they'd take the damn cross off the Assemblée nationale already) and Beverly McLachlin is probably laughing in her office right now. Also (regardless of the constitutionality):
  1. The PQ might have already doomed themselves by framing the current separatist movement from "French identity" and language to a religious/racial one; and
  2. There's a very interesting reason why the Tories are opposing it. There are already ads encouraging a brain drain from the province. Simply put, you're going to have even more Catholics, Jews, Sikhs and Muslims flocking to either Toronto or the one place where all the money is flowing out of. Osaka Sun (talk) 00:27, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
I posted about this elsewhere recently, but I find this to be a shrewd bit of politics on Marois' part. If this bill doesn't pass through the National Assembly, then she'll use it as a rallying cry to try to achieve a majority in the next election. If it does pass, then it becomes a question of whether it will pass a Charter challenge. Here there are still two options:
  1. It passes. Victory to the PQ! They have their bill and Quebec's identity is saved.
  2. It fails. Marois now has another wildfire she can use to fire up her separatist base ("Damn those federalists; we never signed the Charter!"), and to try to persuade more moderate Quebecois that a vote for federalism is a vote against Quebec's values.
Either way, I think it will be interesting to see how this pans out. Mostly, I think it hinges on what the CAQ will do (since the Liberals are sure to oppose the bill even with substantial amendments). I'm also interested to see whether Marois will manage to twist this into a victory regardless. - GrantC (talk) 00:49, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
It guaranteed won't pass a Charter challenge. The current SCC has been making quite socially libertarian judgements recently, and this is exactly why Section 27 exists. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:01, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Well no. If one of the two opposition parties consents to allowing the invocation of the notwithstanding clause (Section 33) in the bill, then it will pass. All of the rights being violated are Section 2 or Section 7-15 rights. This is where things get interesting. Will the CAQ allow it? - GrantC (talk) 01:04, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Their current position is "flirting." Osaka Sun (talk) 02:03, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Well that's what I find so savvy about Marois' decision here. The CAQ played a careful balancing act between their separatist supporters and their federalist supporters by claiming that separation wasn't on the table in the near future, but without counting it out altogether. At this point, Marois forces the CAQ to make a choice: put the bill through (with or without the notwithstanding clause and with our without amendments), or vote down the bill. Either way, they risk pissing off a chunk of their supporters. - GrantC (talk) 02:08, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Constitutionality schmonstitutionality. Quebec's government has never been shy about their use of Section 33. Hell, for the first 5 years after the Constitution was patriated, the PQ government of the time invoked it in every single law they passed. Compro01 (talk) 02:48, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
My point exactly. Section 33 makes the details around this bill (and the reactions of the opposition parties) far more interesting. - GrantC (talk) 03:04, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Kinda scary for anyone living in Quebec when the Iron law of institutions is being invoked on a province's economy. It really doesn't matter how much power Marois can squeeze out of this if most of Quebec's educatated elite set sail for Ontario/The US. --Revolverman (talk) 02:49, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Coolest. Bug. Ever.[edit]

This cute little juvenile bug looks like it's ready to give the bombardier beetle a run for its money in the irreducible complexity department. The gear teeth are lost in the final molt to the adult phase, since a broken tooth can only be repaired by installing a whole new exoskeleton. So much coolness is enough to make me break out the special sig.

Sprocket J Cogswell Talk to Sprocket 00:36, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Wow, that's a curious mechanic.
I always marvel at how the smaller creatures get to do all the superhuman things we dream about on our scale. Super strength, super speed, super endurance. Nullahnung (talk) 00:48, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
To be fair, our intelligence makes us Armageddon to most of them. --Revolverman (talk) 02:51, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

25 years ago today, we all...[edit]

missed the Rapture! This has been a public service message. You may carry on. Secret Squirrel (talk) 00:37, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Bloomberg's future[edit]

Regardless of what you thought of him before, Bloomberg's been a bit of a jerk throughout the NYC election campaign. He's likely going to run in 2016 as an Independent, but his new complaints about Dodd-Frank (which hasn't proven to be that effective anyway) and his quip that de Blasio is being "racist" for having an interracial family is going to hurt his chances if he wants the Democratic vote. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:24, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

The oddest political ad I've ever seen[edit]

"Okay, I like the script but — hear me out — I think it'd be even better if I spent part of it emerging half-naked from a river holding a coffee cup."

"Genius!"

It's the "I will not even go to the strip clubs — anymore!" line that seals it for me. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:06, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

What is the DFL drinking in Minnesota? Because I don't think any political ad can ever top this. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:35, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Dear english language experts/linguists[edit]

Why is 'great' spelled with 'ea', but pronounced 'graet'? Other words with 'ea' include 'lead', 'read', 'heat', 'seat', etc., and all of those are pronounced more consistently. Words that are pronounced like 'great' are 'mate', 'hate', 'sate', and of course 'grate', but none of them are spelled with 'ea'. English, why you so crazy? Nullahnung (talk) 16:01, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Dangit, I should have kept up my search just a little longer before posting the above...: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Vowel_Shift
Also: 'break', 'steak'. Nullahnung (talk) 16:05, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Ooh. Ooh. (raises hand). When English spelling crystallized, the 'ea' combination was used to write a sound /ɛː/ that existed in then-current English. (Think of the vowel in 'bed', and then prolong it like the vowel in 'see'. This sound was one of many that were changed or lost in the fallout of the fifteenth century Great Vowel Shift. In some areas, the sound turned into /e:/ or /ɛɪ/ ('great', 'steak'), in other areas it became /i:/ ('meat'). London, lying along the boundaries between two dialect areas, capriciously canonized one variety in some words and the different outcome in others.
A similar problem arose later, when southern British English turned the sound /æ/ ('cat', 'path') in the direction of /ɑː/ in some contexts ('path', 'sample') but not elsewhere ('trap', 'cat'). This sound change applies fairly capriciously, though it seems likelier before sonorants than stops. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 16:13, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, that is most interesting, good sir! Nullahnung (talk) 16:20, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Basically, English is what happens when you get very drunk and decide that German and Latin are really similar and just start throwing pieces together and acting like this is perfectly normal. The more time you spend reading about the idiocy of the English language the more you will realize, our English ancestors were fucking morons. Then, you'll want to learn a language that isn't an inbred retard baby.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 16:14, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Be careful about broad assertions concerning British pronunciation, there are many regional differences. My northern pronunciation of "bath" and "path" is completely different to that of my southern-born wife. If you are interested in the topic may I suggest David Crystal's Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling andThe Story of English in 100 Words. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 16:29, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, there is a LOT more local variation in UK English than there is in North America. The parts along the Atlantic coast here were the only place where any of the eighteenth century devolutions of British English took hold; they're the only areas ever subject to r-dropping, which is now in strong retreat among southern Whites and in New England also. Pretty much, the Midwestern variants fanned out and covered most of the West Coast. Most Americans struggle to distinguish between Australians and some Brits; to me, Australian English sounds to me like an exaggerated version of lower class Londonese. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 19:00, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
when you say lower class London, do you mean south London accent or cockney accents or the strange accent that urban youths have these days? AMassiveGay (talk) 08:56, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
the strange accent that urban youths have these days - isn't that "estuarine"? Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 11:16, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Got to be careful with those pesky "lower classes". They can get uppity!--Weirdstuff (talk) 09:07, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
The weird shit they talk in E17. Called "Jafaican" by obnoxious fools, but it's just the local accent around here. My daughter is showing signs of it (mixed with Australian from me). Micky on Doctor Who (Noel Clarke's natural accent) is a good example. It's an authentically native English accent and you'll just about never hear it except in real life - David Gerard (talk) 20:47, 15 September 2013 (UTC) edit: and E8.
I'm not really well positioned to become an expert on British local dialects, but from my distant perspective it seems that Australians tend to palatize consonants before the 'yod', so that 'tune' sounds like 'June'. (My Canadian based idiolect goes the other way, and merges the yod and the vowel for an umlaut, so that 'tune' becomes closer to /ty:n /.) For some Australians and some Londoners, it seems to me that the leading element of the diphthongs in 'rise' and 'rouse' is closer to /æi, æu/, with the first element being close to the vowel of 'cat'. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 21:19, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
In at least some Australian accents - and the Australian accent actually seems to have changed since I live there - "tune" and "June" would be pretty much identical except for the starting consonant. Basically, talk out your nose and don't move the front half of your tongue - David Gerard (talk) 22:17, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
I think the assertion that British English has more dialects than American English is debatable. I mean, just look at this map of American dialects. (Yes, it's one hell of an eyesore, but that entire page is practically an encyclopedia on the subject.) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:11, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Counting dialects will always be hard; what I do think is that British English dialects are more divergent than anything in North America. Nothing we have here, not deep Southern, not New England, is as strongly divergent from the standard as, say, Scots. Though local dialects everywhere tend to get bulldozed by the mass mediam a phenomenon of the last century. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 14:49, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Variance in accents is always most profound closest to the source - this holds in genetics too, where there's far more human genetic diversity per kilometre within Africa than between humans outside Africa - so you'd expect Britain to have a ridiculous diversity of accents compared to the rest of the Anglosphere. Which it still does, even after the massive smoothing caused by mass media - David Gerard (talk) 16:36, 14 September 2013 (UTC)
Just so: and North American English early underwent a homogenization process: the English speaking population of North America was gathered from widely scattered parts of the British Isles, so North American English preserved the most widely distributed features of the parent dialects and discarded outliers. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 18:30, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Voyager[edit]

Ok, so now that Voyager's reached inter-stellar space 9according to NASA) after traipsing around for umpty years, visiting a bunch of planets, here's my question: Would it have reached inter-stellar space sooner if it had traveled vertically (for want of a better term) away from Earth, and if so, how long would that have taken? Admittedly, it would have been a pretty boring journey. --PsyGremlinSnakk! 12:32, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

If the solar system (defined by the boundary that Voyager has now left) is spherical (is it?), then no. To achieve its current velocity of around 100,000mph, the spacecraft used various planets for gravity assists or slingshots. If they'd fired it up vertically out of the plane of the elliptic, it would be going much slower. (I think.) Ajkgordon (talk) 14:28, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
That is correct. I'm not even sure if we currently have the ability to launch a craft with sufficient velocity to leave the solar system. Voyager did not reach escape velocity until it used Jupiter (and later Saturn) as a gravity assist. Had it been launched perpendicular to the orbital plane, it would have ended up merely orbiting around the Sun (or perhaps plunging into it, depending on its velocity). - GrantC (talk) 14:51, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
It's also difficult to say what counts as "interstellar space" when it's conclusively shown that there's a sphere of debris from the formation of Sol's planetary disc that's perhaps 1 light year distant that's gravitationally bound to the sun but doesn't interact with the planets. If you're talking about past the outer orbits of the trans-Neptunian objects, then yeah, but it's as arbitrary as the alternative. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 19:09, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
In a sense, sure. Generally speaking, the outer edge of the solar system is often defined as the outer edge of the heliosphere, which is where the solar winds can no longer "fight the tide" against the interstellar medium. I would be wary of calling anything within the heliosphere "interstellar", as within that (admittedly nebulous) boundary, virtually all matter present has been produced by the Sun. - GrantC (talk) 20:51, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
According to latest theories, the heliosphere is spheroid and thus going perpendicular to the plane of the solar system wouldn't really be any faster. Actually because Voyager I got a gravity assist from both Jupiter and Saturn, which has allowed it to current travel at 17 km/s without using extra fuel for more thrust, it would have taken longer to send it out into interstellar space using a perpendicular path to the plane.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 22:28, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Someone else is really pissed at us.[edit]

Refutation by drinking game

Refutation by drinking game is the belief shared by many of the SJW inclined Gnu Atheists that an argument can be refuted by turning it into a drinking game. This is quite often seen on RationalWiki:

This article is highly biased and unprofessional. It's more a rant then an objectieve observation with pros and cons. So it is far from "rational". My advise: start over again with a different writer. Guess the work RNS has to undo so many comments, I'm not the only one. Wishing you pleasure with this UNrational WIKI.
Hooray for ad hominem attacks! Drink! Conservative Punk (talk)
"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! rpehTCE 13:27, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
- source

This form of "argument" can also be commonly seen as a refutation by anticipation, whereby anticipating an opponents critisism is somehow supposed to constitute a refutation. Usually seen in the form of: "and, of course, my opponents will say x...", with no attempt at an actual refutation of x. Proxima Centauri (talk) 12:45, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Okay, but you could have just linked to the page without pasting all of that. Anyhoo, while I don't think much of that wiki's POV, I do find the "RATIONALWiki! Drink!" meme tired, cliquey, & a barrier to constructive dialogue. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:55, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Hell, it's not even a drinking game or an argument, it's just a mocking comment about how many people come here with the same damn unconvincing comment. Like Weaseloid, not a fan of it and I don't think I've ever used it, but the Phawrongula guys (who are pretty worthless in the first place) are way off base on this. --Kels (talk) 14:24, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Thing is, in some cases, comments like those of the anonymous person who came by NaturalNews are not that unconvincing. He was only pointing out what's true. The article is devoid of argument. Even someone coming by to defend a crank should send a signal that the article should better explain why __ is wrong, if it is indeed wrong. The article starts with fair descriptions of the site, but like so many other articles here, assumes the reader already knows that ___ sucks and agrees with whatever he thinks RationalWIki is. I don't agree with what a lot of you apparently think RW should be about. I already know what it is. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 14:43, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Just to show how out of touch I am, I had to look up SJW - it's Social Justice Warrior, apparently. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 15:13, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

A deep thought totally not meant to spark debates.[edit]

Robot Religion.--The Madman (talk) 17:29, 15 September 2013 (UTC)The Madman

All glory to the Robot Devil. Osaka Sun (talk) 17:38, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
42. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:41, 15 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, where would all the Calculators go? --Revolverman (talk) 00:39, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Bad economy = Shit architecture?[edit]

Whenever Prince Charles and the modernists bitchfight about which buildings to tear down, just point at this. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:44, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

I think it's pretty--"Shut up, Brx." 02:57, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

live goats[edit]

holy shit--"Shut up, Brx." 02:50, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Holy shit, goats can open doors--"Shut up, Brx." 02:56, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Favourite films[edit]

Anyone else here into The Seventh Seal and Disney Spiderman movies? I guess not... ( 'goes to eleven' (Oceans I guess) I cannot wait for the sequel) 82.2.75.224 (talk) 19:30, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

The fact that this site is more interested in discussing Disney films such as Spiderman 2 rather than debate the merits of Ingmar Bergman actually depresses me. I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. Should I take the red pill or the blue? --82.2.75.224 (talk) 06:31, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
The purple. Ajkgordon (talk) 08:15, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
You mean to say I have more than a binary choice? You 'color me purple'? (words to enter 'More Chocolate'?) 82.2.75.224 (talk) 13:11, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I find that serious dramatic films are things that I can watch once and be done with. But films like Princess Bride, Barbarella, Idiocracy, Your Highness, most superhero films, John Dies at the End and MST3K fodder like Triumph of the Son of Hercules are things that I can watch over and over again and find new pleasure in every time. So that's what's in my DVD library. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 16:59, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
A modern film I thought was really well done was the French 'Intouchables'. In general I think that the French movie industry holds great promise, at least to once in a while break the international grip of Hollywood on cinemas. A guilty pleasure of mine are older Hong Kong movie industry flicks (not necessarily kung fu, I like the comedy ones, almost all movies by Stephen Chow) and Spaghetti Westerns. I'm really fond of comedy, in fact, which includes all the films by Monty Python. I'm a little surprised nobody has mentioned anything Kubrick or Fassbinder or other such directors. (also, I should probably stop switching between 'film' and 'movie'...) Nullahnung (talk) 17:13, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I find that France and Belgium produce some beautiful French language films. I very much enjoy Les Choristes, Au revoir les enfants, Le Huitième Jour, and the 1995 Claude Lelouch adaptation of Les Misérables. - GrantC (talk) 17:22, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
French films, ah yes. Jules et Jim is still a fave after all these years. But for action, you can't beat Guns of Navarone. The moment when those FUCKING HOOJ guns fall out of the mountain and the British fleet starts hooting with joy is one of the great moments of movie history. I've a soft spot for Blow-Up, too, mostly because it marked the historic moment when real pussy was glimpsed in a mainstream movie. And how nice that it was Jane Birkin's, too. Ithaca (talk) 19:37, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

....and lest you should all think I live in the sixties, I saw Magnolia twice. Mind you, that was partly just to make sure I hadn't dreamed the frogstorm. What did that cost, did I hear? $5mil? Ithaca (talk) 21:44, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

The only films that matter are Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Billy Jack, and Smokey and the Bandit. Secret Squirrel (talk) 00:10, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
an indian running around kicking people to the tune of "One tin soldier" ? really ? what of the sequel ? Hamster (talk) 19:13, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm joking of course.. Did I need to put a winking smiley there ;) Secret Squirrel (talk) 21:17, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Top 5 non fiction books that have blown your mind[edit]

I was thinking about my top 5 books that I have read which have effected my mindset/worldview the most. These are..

Schrodinger's Cat by John Gribbin. (my introduction to quantum madness)
The Manufacture of Madness by Thomas Szasz (my into to madness)
The Selfish Gene by Dawkins (altho The Extended Phenotype is a better book IMO)
Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff
The User Illusion by some guy whose name I cannot spell... (intro to consciousness and information theory.)

I could probably think of others... but what are your top 5? Any that I may have missed? 82.2.75.224 (talk) 09:33, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

The first five volumes of How To Be A Twat by Dirk Steele. SophieWilderModerator 09:43, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
I have only written the first four so far... 5th volume to be published next year. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 10:42, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Nothing by Douglas Hofstadter? For shame. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 09:55, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Ha! I wasted 30 minutes looking for the book title of Nothing! - I have really enjoyed Hofstadter's work but my reading of his books has always been subject to Hofstadter's Law! There are plenty of others I could have included but I wanted to keep the limit to 5 for conciseness. 82.2.75.224 (talk) 13:34, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
My list would probably look something like:
  • The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant. Introduced me to Schopenhauer.
  • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Fills in the gaps with data Schopenhauer didn't have.
  • The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker. An antidote to fashionable nonsense.
  • The American Heritage Dictionary and its list of Indo-European roots, a labyrinth in which I was doomed to wander the rest of my days.
  • Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott. Why all the great plans and schemes to improve the human condition always end up making things worse.
- Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 20:32, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
My list:
  1. The Bible by Jesus
  2. Glenn Beck's Common Sense by Glenn Beck
  3. Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
  4. Tax, Lies and Red Tape: Confessions of an Unreconstructed Neoliberal Fundamentalist by Dawie Roodt
  5. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
 ni ebnamuħ   21:27, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Not a fan of Gladwell? I've never read Blink, but Outliers I thought was really good.-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 01:13, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Stop joking. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:29, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel,, by Jared Diamond.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
  • Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan
  • A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
No fifth one occurs to me yet; this space saved for a later "oh yeah!"--ADtalkModerator 21:30, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
Aha! The Strategy of Conflict, by Thomas Schelling.--ADtalkModerator 23:56, 16 September 2013 (UTC)
  • The Meme machine - Susan Blackmore
  • The Ancestors' Tale - Richard Dawkins
  • LSD - My Problem Child - Albert Hoffman
  • Food of the Gods - Terrence McKenna
  • A collection of Richard Feynman essays. -PsyGremlinTala! 21:40, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

I would expect NamuH to drop either Palin or Beck from his list in favor of the 1977 edition of The Anarchist's Cookbook, keeping the other one around just for show. I like Lakoff's Metaphors We Live By, Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Feynman's Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. My list isn't necessarily mind-blowing, but here it is:

  • Clifford Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots
  • Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire
  • Edward R. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
  • Ralph Mayer, The Artist's Handbook of Materials and Techniquessee below
  • Hans Weisshaar and Margaret Shipman, Violin Restoration
List is subject to revision as it burbles around in me stew kettle. If I had to pick two to take with me on a sudden one-way trip to a sparsely populated island, they would be Shunryu Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and the collected poems of Emily Dickinson. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:56, 9 September 2013 (UTC)
After some thought, Mayer has fallen off the list, and been replaced with
  • Christopher Alexander, et al. A Pattern Language, Towns, Buildings, Construction —gives an exhaustive descriptive prescription for keeping the life in living space, at scales ranging from fractions of an inch to miles.
Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:25, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Master of the Senate by Robert Caro is a must read for anyone with an interest in US politcs and/or history. It won a bucket load of awards and is simply the finest book of political biography ever written. DamoHi 22:38, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

These books forever changed my world view, by showing me just how much we know, how far we've come, and introducing me to critical thinking:

  • 'The Ancestor's Tale' - by Richard Dawkins, just an amazing, amazing read about evolution and the wonders of life. Can't recommend it enough
  • 'The Scientists' - by John Gribbin, a history of modern science, it really shows how much we've come, and how incredibly ignorant we used to be, and the incredible amounts of things we do know
  • 'The Demon-haunted World' - By Carl Sagan, no explanation needed
  • 'The third chimpanzee' - By Jared Diamond
  • 'Your inner fish' - By Neil Shubin

All science books of course — Unsigned, by: Danoso / talk / contribs 2013-09-09T19:00:36‎

  • 'Conscripts of Modernity' -- David Scott
  • 'The Condition of Postmodernity' -- David Harvey
  • 'The Black Jacobins' -- C.L.R. James
  • 'Gay New York' -- George Chauncey
  • 'Race and the Education of Desire' -- Anne Stoler
Bonus round: 'Gender and the Politics of History' by Joan Scott, Robin Kelley's Thelonious Monk biography, Slonimsky's 'Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns,' James Scott's 'Seeing Like a State' and Volume I of Marx's 'Capital.' PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 02:18, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

I'll join in for this one I guess:

  • 'Introduction to Quantum Mechanics' by David Griffiths - Introducing me to the field I love (what can I say?)
  • 'Quantum Mechanics: A Modern Development' by Leslie Ballentine - Making me think about my field in an entirely new way
  • 'Quantum Computation and Quantum Information' by Michael Nielsen and Isaac Chuang - It's pretty much the Bible of quantum information
  • 'An Introduction to Quantum Computing' by Phillip Kaye, Raymond Laflamme, and Michele Mosca - For helping me understand what the hell the above book was talking about
  • 'Solid State Physics' by Neil Ashcroft and David Mermin - Because superconductors are freaking cool and Kittel is garbage.

Woo, physics textbooks! - GrantC (talk) 02:36, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Er, kittel? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 02:39, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, more like Kittel. It's not his fault, but the publishers have mauled his textbook beyond comprehension. - GrantC (talk) 02:45, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

My two penneth worth...

Days of War, Nights of Love by Crimethinc
The Book of Pleasure (Self Love) by Austin Osman Spare
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Arthur Wayley translation)
Rebels and Devils edited by Christopher Hyatt (including FREEDOM IS A TWO-EDGED SWORD by Jack Parsons)
1984 by George Orwell - not really fiction is it?
The Book of Lies - Aleister Crowley

OK.. I can't count. Dick Stool (talk) 07:00, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Here goes...

  • The REd QuEen by mAtT RidLeY
  • TeAchIng aS a subVersive aCTIvitY by NeIl PoStMAn
  • InTtEleCtuAl MORONS by DaNiEl j. fLYnn
  • ThE manIPulAtEd mAn by estHER vILaR
  • tHe MeDiuM iS the MESSAGE bY MaRshAlL McLuhan.

Dirk Steele (talk) 07:24, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

THe shIfT KEY iS QUite fUn, IsN't it? — (talk to) [æn əˈmɛɹɪkən ˈnaiːɪlɪst] 07:28, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
honk.
I was just bored. --82.2.75.224 (talk) 15:04, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Great stuff so far... I got quite a few I now have on my future reading list - keep em coming! Code words to enter 'Stand and Deliver! 82.2.75.224 (talk) 07:28, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Alright, now I want to actually answer.
  1. Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. (SERIOUSLY disappointed nobody else mentioned this before me.)
  2. The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson.
  3. Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein.
  4. Breaking the Spell by Daniel Dennett.
If we're allowed to repeat authors, #5 would have to be Le Ton beau de Marot, also by Hofstadter. (In case you haven't noticed, I'm a big fan of his work.) Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 08:37, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Gödel, Escher, Bach is THE most overrated book ever printed with the possible exception of The DaVinci Code. 194.75.171.33 (talk) 09:22, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
What makes you say that? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 09:43, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm not the BoN, but the usual argument made is that the entirety of GEB is just groundwork for Hofstadter's argument that the "strange loop" is the foundation of consciousness. That groundwork is itself actually pretty good, and I think sells the book on its own, but if you focus on Hofstadter's thoughts about the strange loop then it's no better than a lot of mediocre "How I discovered God" stories that are out there.
On the writing side, some people don't get along with Hofstadter's style in GEB, it pulls the same thing as Knuth, where it advises you should approach things in a set fashion, if necessary re-reading until you understand a key section before proceeding and many people don't have the patience. Whereas Knuth is writing for a very technical audience and can argue that you'll get nothing whatsoever out of the rest of the material without understanding that's a harder claim for GEB.
Anyway, my picks would be:
  1. The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
  2. Golem XIV particularly the original introduction by Irving T Creve, PhD.
  3. Die Kultur als Fehler (Culture as Mistake) by Willhelm Klopper.
I suppose it's unco-operative of me to answer a request for non-fiction books by listing a thin compilation of satirical lies, an obviously false account of a government project, and a book that never existed in any form, but there we are. Plenty of other people have listed the obvious candidates and where's the fun in that? Bierce actually existed and wrote a good deal more worth your time. Creve and Klopper are sadly figments of the imagination, but they inspire deeper thought than most real authors whose books have been published and read. "History always ends happily" says Vinge, but the events of Golem XIV (even though they never happened) should give us pause in making that assessment. Tialaramex (talk) 16:51, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
The biggest indictment of GEB came from Hofstadter himself. In an interview to celebrate the anniversary he commented that a lot of people, including many who posted glowing reviews, completely missed the point he was making. If you can't get your point across in 800+ pages, you're a bad author. The book is overly verbose, barely readable garbage. I'm convinced that most people who claim they like it only do so in order to force more people to experience the same let down they did. 194.75.171.33 (talk) 11:20, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
You have a right to your opinion, of course, but I firmly disagree. I read plenty of works which are overly verbose (I minored in philosophy as an undergraduate; it's pretty much given) and GEB is nothing like those books. Hofstadter never once struck me as using a big word for the sake of using a big word; always I knew the meaning behind what he was saying. Furthermore, I felt that he got the point across quite succinctly, and then added lots of other fun and relevant things. "Ant Fugue" is the core of the book, and he didn't need 800 pages to make it. The fact that people didn't understand it may be because the idea is very abstract, or people just aren't that bright, but I seriously doubt it's an indictment of his skill as a writer.
Tialaramex, I somewhat see where you're coming from, in that the strange loop idea, though it draws on scientific inspiration, is not itself science, and the passion with which Hofstadter discusses it can come across as religious. I personally would not go so far as to compare it to finding God, though I am aware that the author himself did cryptically refer to the book as a "statement of [his] religion," so the comparison is at least somewhat apt. (Also, Devil's Dictionary FTW!) Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 08:04, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

My picks:

  1. Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber. Everything you think about the origins of money and the evolution and mechanics of debt is probably wrong. In short, ideas about money, debt, domination, and equality are inextricably intertwined.
  2. Debunking Economics by Steve Keen. Neoliberal economics (what's taught in classrooms today) neither fits all the data available on historical economic events nor does it offer any means of predicting upcoming ones.
  3. The Accidental Empire by Gershom Gorenberg. An excellent exploration of morally grey morass that is the origins of Israeli domination over Palestine. A lesson in how apathy is rarely accidental: it is often conscious and calculated.
  4. Managers Not MBAs by Henry Mintzburg. MBA (Masters of Business Administration) degrees teach worthless things to the people least qualified to manage. It involves academics, students, and graduates masturbating over abstract strategic analysis of businesses while neglecting the actual craft of getting shit done, and unleashes legions of idiots whose only abilities involve reading pre-written business cases and analyzing spreadsheets into upper management where they promptly run things into the ground.

No number five because I don't feel anything else I've read is worthy of a top five list. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 10:31, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Oh dear. Aren't you ever so 'umble! I would stay in more if I were you... enter words..'Think create. Do. --82.2.75.224 (talk) 15:09, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

In no particular order

  • Elements of Programming Style - Kerningham and Plauger
  • Fear and Loathing on the Campain trail - Hunter Thompson
  • The Kon Tiki Expedition - Thor Heyerdahl
  • Games People Play - Eric Berne
  • The Selfish Gene - Dawkins

Innocent Bystander (talk) 12:40, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Fantastic responses everyone... keep 'em coming. I feel I am developing major psychological insights to all the individuals that frequent this site! Especially the insane ones.. 'love is automatic' 82.2.75.224 (talk) 13:16, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Is it at all possible to contribute to a post like this without appearing pretentious?AMassiveGay (talk) 13:48, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

No. But why do you worry about appearing pretentious? Enter the following words.. 'Fancy Pants!' 82.2.75.224 (talk) 13:53, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
because I am from Essex. The reading of books gets you glassed in that part of the world. This is not too much of an exaggeration. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:01, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Well move to my neck of the woods in sunny Brighton! We would welcome you with open arms..amongst other things! ;-) Enter 'many happy returns' 82.2.75.224 (talk) 14:32, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
thankfully I have already fled to London. Unfortunately I now discover I am not the genius I thought I was, just that I had been surrounded by half wits. at least i am prettyAMassiveGay (talk) 14:49, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I consider that an adequate compensation! Now just give us your top 5 books and pretend to be pretentious (like everyone else here..) Sing if you are glad and all that... Please pick 'which one does not belong?' Answer 'emo kid'! Synchronicity eh? 82.2.75.224 (talk) 14:58, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
I tend to avoid academic tomes then I realised that the following are non fiction -
  • hells angels - hunter s Thompson
  • homage to Catalonia - Orwell
  • down and out in Paris and London - Orwell
  • the people of the abyss - London
  • junkie - burroughs.

Is that pretentious enough? AMassiveGay (talk) 15:15, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Sorry you fail. Burroughs and Orwell are fine but you did not include Finnegan's Wake. Shame... But good first try there... --82.2.75.224 (talk) 15:27, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
only a rank beginner at pretention would opt for Finnegan's wake. The more discerning would have picked the third policeman by flann O'Brien AMassiveGay (talk) 16:16, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Described as 'the first post-modernist masterpiece' it has to be now first on my list! Cheers! --82.2.75.224 (talk) 17:19, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
just cos I aint never ad, no, nothing worth having

never ever, never ever you aint got no call not to think I wouldnt fall into thinking that I aint too clever and it aint not having oen thing nor another niether, either is it anything, whatever and its not not knowing that thier aint nothign showing

and I answer to the name of Trever
In case you couldn't tell. Innocent Bystander (talk) 14:05, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Very clever! Blockhead! 82.2.75.224 (talk) 14:28, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Matching the Hatch - Ernest Schwiebert
  • Nymphing - Gary Borger
  • Caddisflies - Gary Lafontaine
  • Drag Free Drift - Joe Kissane

Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:28, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

I may be a troll but you are just fishing... 82.2.75.224 (talk) 15:37, 10 September 2013 (UTC)
Wot, no Fly Fishing by J. R. Hartley? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 19:41, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Edit break[edit]

Not necessarily the best 5 I've ever read, but books that were in the right place at the right time:

  • Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
  • Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
  • Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault
  • The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell edited by Lester E. Denonn and Robert Egner
  • The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:33, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

4 out of five there at least for me. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:39, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
I guess I'd replace the Foucault with the "Joy of Sex", which blew my mind at 14. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:45, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
Mine are:
  1. The Wilding of America by Charles Derber
  2. Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution by Peter Kropotkin
  3. Incredibly Strange Music, Vols. 1 & 2 by V. Vale
  4. A People's History of the United States by Hoard Zinn
  5. All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 09:29, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

DFTT[edit]

I have the nagging feeling that RW is one of the few places left on the Internet where DS is getting any attention.--ZooGuard (talk) 14:43, 10 September 2013 (UTC)

Let me assure you, as a professional attention seeker, I have found many many other places on the internet which pander to my special needs. --82.2.75.224 (talk) 14:48, 10 September 2013 (UTC)