RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive228

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On citizenship and birthright[edit]

I decided to take a practice U.S. Citizenship test a few hours ago just because I could. Per U.S. law, there are 100 questions to chose from, of which ten the Customs Officer selects and delivers orally. The immigrant answers orally as well. This, however, was an online multi-choice quiz and I was horrified to see that I missed one (24/25 questions correct.) I know that since I was born in Seattle I am guaranteed citizenship but I feel like being a citizen by birthright alone and not knowing about your own country is a deadly sin, for lack of a better term. I read somewhere (can't remember where, but I'm certain the source was reputable) that a sizable percentage of natural-born U.S. Citizens would fail their own country's immigration test. To avoid being such a statistic, I'm challenging myself to be able to answer all 100 questions correctly. Granted, I'm finishing up AP U.S. History so the results may be skewed in my favor, but I still feel like it's the right thing for me to do. Any opinions on the matter? For those of you who are citizens of a different country, is there a similar immigration test? --Captain Wolff (talk) 04:50, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

AP euro is more interesting.--Miekal 04:57, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Euro History: Greeks, Romans, 1000 Years of Institutional Insanity, Columbus, Renaissance, Napoleon, Hitler, Commies, Eurozone.
USA History: Screw over the Natives, Screw over the Blacks, Screw over the Asians, Screw over everybody else.
Yeah, I suppose you're right. --Captain Wolff (talk) 05:18, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Ummm, the Europeans screwed over the natives, blacks and Asians pretty well. Maybe you need to take that course after all. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 15:21, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, colonialism started somewhere, after all, and it wasn't in the U.S. - Grant (talk) 15:24, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
credit where credits due, you yanks really made screwing over the natives and the naturally tanned your own. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:09, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Fucking hell, you're all missing the point Captain Wolff's trying to make. It's not the olympics of which continent (which, by the way, playing a blame-game on the scale of continents doesn't make any sense whatsoever) screwed the most people in the most painful way, it's about which history is more interesting. And obviously the European history is MUCH more interesting, since it had the ancient hellenistic history, the whole Eastern European theatre intertwined with interactions from Asia, even before the time of colonialism, then all that other stuff that Captain Wolff listed. What does America have? A few centuries, that's it.
If you want interesting, though, you should take another look at Chinese history. Now THAT'S a long timeline. Nullahnung (talk) 21:47, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
"What does America have? A few centuries, that's it." Only if you think that American history starts in 1492. If you recall that there were people here way before that and are interested in methodologies that don't rely on the documentary archive, like oral history and archeology, the history of the americas goes back a bit further than that. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 21:57, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
The US citizenship test requires a lot of dubious answers, even the Simpsons has satirised it, "Just say slavery", "Slavery it is". It's probably worth learning the official answers if your goal is to become a US citizen (and thereby reinforce the lesson that the US is about conformity, although since the ceremony includes swearing allegiance I think they've aced that anyway...) but otherwise it's just a way to learn how to make the siren go off in QI. Popular wrong (or in some cases just confused) answers to goofy questions mostly concerning history real Americans don't care about.
The UK used to be a lot better, but the usual bigotry has resulted in something closer to the US experience these days as I understand it. Here's the Guardian's version of the current test, it's a bit less obsessed with irrelevant history, probably because UK politicians realised that if they put quiz questions about history in this test they'd all get asked them by journalists, and who needs that stress? http://www.theguardian.com/uk/quiz/2013/jan/27/british-citizenship-test-quiz-new Tialaramex (talk) 07:43, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to take this test you got Captain. I got a 4/10 on the British one, what could be worse? Zero (talk) 16:56, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
I suspect immigrants know the history of there chosen countries better than most of the natives. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:09, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Woo-Hoo! 10/10! Who's limey? I'm limey! --A Real Libertarian (talk) 19:51, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
I got 8/10 on the British test, so I guess I could be a limey if I wanted to be a limey. But I ain't gon' be no stinkin' limey! I swear my allegiance to only one counrty, and that's Gawd's own United States of 'Murrica! Cue Bald Eagle and Fireworks! — Unsigned, by: Captain Wolff / talk / contribs 21:25, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
This American got 10/10. Doesn't this make me a duke or something? - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:44, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Fun tool for trolling.[edit]

I didn't put much effort into this, mostly wanted to see if it worked. We should have a contest or something. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 18:30, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Is that an anonymous proxy I'm looking at? Ikanreed (talk) 20:06, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Some kind of page-faking service.--ZooGuard (talk) 20:07, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Read about it on an NPR blog. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 20:09, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
A notable weakness is it's inability to edit https// sites. Thankfully, Ken's too dumb for that.--Madman (talk) 22:38, 28 May 2014 (UTC)The Madman
In fairness, we aren't https equipped either. Compro01 (talk) 02:05, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
My first little creation.--Madman (talk) 22:57, 28 May 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Why does Rush Limbaugh's website look like a reincarnated Cash4Gold commercial? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:12, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Hmm. Didn't take long. Firefox now flips out about anything on shrturl as being a forgery. Compro01 (talk) 02:05, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

MarcusCicero again?[edit]

Special:Contributions/AugustusCaesar? Or just an unrelated... person-with-unusual-political-views?--ZooGuard (talk) 08:28, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Why don't you ask him/her? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:00, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
You know what? I'm not even going to try.--Madman (talk) 22:34, 28 May 2014 (UTC)The Madman
What's the story about MarcusCicero? The whole "platform" on my user page is a joke btw. AugustusCaesar (talk) 05:19, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
A troll from the past of the site. Had a fixation on Ancient Rome and a weakness for making grand proclamations. Sorry for suspecting you.--ZooGuard (talk) 06:11, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know. The whole "Religion as a tool of social order" sounds like Cicero, the historical senator of the Roman republic. Are you a Roman spy, my friend?--Madman (talk) 04:38, 30 May 2014 (UTC)The Madman
If I told you, I'd have to kill you. AugustusCaesar (talk) 06:23, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Is there any medium - long term member here who doesn't know whose sock MC was by now? There shouldn't be any by now.--DamoHi 12:02, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Considering throwing the deletion book at an entire group of articles[edit]

Specifically these ones. I mean, are they going anywhere? Zero (talk) 14:26, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Before that, you have at least one question waiting for your answer on Template talk:Article for deletion discussion...--ZooGuard (talk) 14:29, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
If a challenge is missionality, it needs more than just a delete vote to fix the potential problem,--Miekal 14:31, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
So take 'em to AFD, a lotta people have it watchlisted and will actually notice and read the articles. Miekal - beware nirvana fallacy - David Gerard (talk) 15:54, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Or beware saying anything helpful. Whichever. Nutty Roux (talk) 17:30, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I commented on a few of them on why I think they should stay (with work, in some cases) ROPChain (talk) 22:26, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

"If you self-define as an MRA ... We don’t want you"[edit]

If only it were this simple. (Note: I have no idea what an "Eclipse Phase" or a "transhumanist tabletop RPG" is) Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 03:52, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

I'd say that's pretty damn refreshing. I'd love to see a greater backlash against these people--"Shut up, Brx." 04:13, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Damn straight. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg It's like human misery in video game form 04:19, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know, man. I'm gonna sound like a dick now, but, to be honest, I'm not to sure about this. For one thing, MRA is a pretty broad term when it comes to defining oneself- indeed, not every single MRA is gonna be a misogynist fuckhead, and I have encountered many who are actually very pro-feminist. However, even when it comes to blatant misogyny, then I guess it's quite a bit clearer- but, seriously, if it's some form of game (that's what it is, right?), why the fuck are people gonna be talking about gender issues anyway? The only reason I could think of is when it relates to players of the game, but in that scenario, I think it should be open to debate. In conclusion, I'm exhausted, I've had a long week, and I'm rambling about something I don't know enough about. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 10:48, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
If you care enough to label yourself MRA, then there is something wrong with you. Reasonable people who cannot see past the provocative nature of some types of online feminism are mostly young moderates who don't have a lot of experience with social justice and are just seeing the display online for the first time, and even they typically hate MRA. Nullahnung (talk) 11:48, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
I see what you're saying, but I was referring to the people who, for whatever reason, do label themselves as MRAs, and aren't silly-billies; as in, the feminists who also focus a lot on the effects that a patriarchy has on men. But you're right, for the most part, most people who do call themselves MRAs usually either a) don't have any understanding of the whole stigma behind it in feminist circles and why it exists, b) don't care about or like feminism, or c) are trying to re-define the term and its meaning. As a side note, if I ever seem too MRA-sympathetic, it's because I was, previously, a very angry and anti-feminist MRA. While I am incredibly embarrassed about it now, I can still empathise a lot with the other guys who are, hopefully just going through that phase. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 12:02, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Eh, there might be some truth to your words. Combining the rawness of being young and exposed to the internet and the fallibility of first impressions, you get naive people labeling themselves as MRA, which you should try to convince instead of shun. Young and naive may also apply to feminists who label themselves MRA on the basis of actually caring about men's issues a little bit as well, as they do not yet understand what the term has come to mean, which is a little more than just "person who is concerned with men's issues". Nullahnung (talk) 12:15, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, why is that? That the term is synonymous with something else, I mean. I wonder how it happened? -- (talk) 13:27, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It happened because "Men's rights" isn't actually a new phenomenon, and it's always been the default counter to concerns raised by feminists since way back to Chaucer's day. So the idiocy comes from actual anti-feminists agreeing with the legitimate gripes and then insinuating themselves in the culture, slowly replacing it. Ikanreed (talk) 14:16, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

"indeed, not every single MRA is gonna be a misogynist fuckhead" Messiah of Doom coins the new #NotAllMen. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 14:36, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
So it's not really MRAs you want to boot out, but everyone who is not a feminist. -- (talk) 14:41, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people, too". So, uh, yeah. Being feminist is common decency. Octo8 (talk) 14:43, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
How naive. -- (talk) 14:58, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
EC: From the original article: "Every single one of us at Posthuman Studios stands in support of feminism’s basic principle: treating women as people." So, yes. Non-feminists, like racists, need not apply. Thanks for coming. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 14:44, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Although not everyone agrees with that definition, as some people think feminism implies activism. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg We exist in different epistemological paradigms, fuckpants! 14:51, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
It does, if you do it properly. The word "treating" is a verb. That means acting. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 14:55, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
Effectively you're saying that non-activists should fire themselves from being fans of Posthuman Studios, because they aren't proper feminists. That is not the message I was reading from the article and a rather counter-productive attitude. Nullahnung (talk) 11:50, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
But activism is a particular kind of action, as well as something that eats at your mental health while annoying your neighbors. And for that matter, you can support "treating women as people" without believing that "patriarchy" or "male privilege" are useful lenses to see the world through. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:39, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Look up differences of pay and promotion for women compared to men, when both have the same level of education and experience. ROPChain (talk) 08:04, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Social injustice describes a large scale statistical disadvantage and would be dealt with most effectively via large scale strategic action, like policies. I think we as individuals should do our best to be open towards implementations of such measures and have a constructive attitude. I do not think any individual should be yelled at for not participating in on-the-streets or social media activism. As a analogy, yelling at someone because he/she is wasteful and doesn't recycle won't change his/her behaviour. Implementing a large scale policy to make it easy and reward people for recycling might. For not recycling is also a large scale problem. (Ok, it's a bad analogy, but I still hope it illustrates something.) Nullahnung (talk) 10:58, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
"As a analogy, yelling at someone because he/she is wasteful and doesn't recycle won't change his/her behaviour." That's a statement of a hypothesis. You sure it has no effect? I note the close analogy to tone arguments - David Gerard (talk) 12:55, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Ok, you made me doubt myself. Now I'm not so sure. I generally tend to be sympathetic towards tone arguments as a controlling element versus destructive antagonism, though I realize the pitfall that they don't affect what is really important, which is the cause itself. Nullahnung (talk) 13:59, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
In theory, yes, you can treat women as people even while being denialist about patriarchy and male privilege. In reality, people who deny those concepts tend to end up not treating women as ("full") people, though. Octo8 (talk) 13:30, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── When in fact, "patriarchy" and "male privilege" are ideological constructs that presuppose a particular interpretive framework, not facts about the world. The belief that acceptance of that ideology is a prerequisite for basic human decency is one of the problems with it. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 00:15, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

The laws of physics are human constructs based on observations of the natural world, and we got to the moon with them. Facts such as income/advancement disparity, medical access, chance to survive a natural disaster (cause so many countries don't encourage women to learn to swim), etc, are all problems that patriarchy and male privilege define. ROPChain (talk) 08:24, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Not really. The laws of physics are facts; the language we use to describe them (mathematics) is a construct. - Grant (talk) 15:45, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
The world runs according to the laws of physics. The world runs according to the patriarchy--"Shut up, Brx." 16:01, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
And the laws of physics are beyond our ability to change as well. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 16:34, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Thankfully, the comparison between the two is not absolute--"Shut up, Brx." 16:38, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. The laws of physics can't be changed, but I doubt the same is true for gender issues in general. - Grant (talk) 16:54, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Ya Kerry, I'm sure that will sell it.[edit]

Kerry tells Snowden to "Man up". Wonderful diplomacy. Why not show off the chair you plan on frying him in if he ever leaves Russia? --Revolverman (talk) 09:15, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

I think the U.S. has reached the point where it's too self-conscious about executing political dissidents. It makes us look like we're run by a despot.
He'll be left to rot in a prison somewhere. Forever. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:16, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
That wouldn't be legal. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 06:28, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Gov has done many things over the past 14 years that most consider illegal, but that hasn't stopped them yet ROPChain (talk) 07:55, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Snowden's fucked. He can't come back to sign a million dollar book deal and be a celebrity pundit based upon his duplicity. What kinda example would that be? nobsJesus loves you and I love you, but nobody else does. 19:23, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Why Poe's Law is a thing.[edit]

This video is pretty high up on Reddit right now, and from a certain context is pretty funny. Pity the guy in question believes killing gay people is not murder. ĵ₳¥ášÇ♠ʘ current location: beside the tescular plague 02:58, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

"Pollen Paradox", "Roraima Pollen"[edit]

Could we get a takedown on this and this? Or at least a page? Herr FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 16:26, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Here's Talk.Origins on it: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC341.html Frederick♠♣♥♦ 20:23, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Problem is that Talk.Origins is talking about contamination in the Grand Canyon, not in the Roraima Foundation in Venezuela. Herr FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 01:16, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

"I was sceptical until …[edit]

"An Avowal of Prior Scepticism Enhances the Credibility of an Account of a Paranormal Event" (via doubtful news) reads like something that RW ought to at least comment on. Is there anything anywhere here? Scream!! (talk) 18:30, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Even shitty creepypasta authors think that starting with "I was skeptical until..." is a dull, stupid cliché. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Like my hand on a Sunday afternoon: beats the shit out of me! 19:25, 31 May 2014 (UTC)–
Unless it's a testimony of conversion (that's a redlink from the to-do list), in which case crap literary style is de rigeur - David Gerard (talk) 20:26, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm always instantly suspicious of any statement which begins "I used to be an atheist, but ..."--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:35, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I used to be an atheist, but I like the free wine and bread. ·FemiliskFU 20:42, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Per Catholic doctrine, that's not bread or wine.... But my congrats on sinking from depraved atheist to depraved cannibal. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:44, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
"I used to be a skeptic, but don't read this or you'll be cursed!!! I was in my house when suddendly I felt hungy and went to my kicthen and opened my refriherator and suddendly A SKELETON POPPED OUT AND FILLED THE KICTHEN WITH TEH BLOD!!! But then 666 bats dropped a rock on him. But now that you read this, YOU'RE NEXT!!!!! And then I became a Maratrean. " |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Kyubey stares into your soul. /人◕‿‿◕人\\ 20:44, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
To be fair, there are a couple of good creepypastas with that kinda thing (Squidward's Suicide, for example). However, yes, for the most part, yes, it is lazy, cliché and dumb. That's part of why I liked Penpals so much- it avoided all of the shitty creepy pasta clichés that always used to piss me off. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 23:53, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
From what I understand, it's a bit more than saying "I used to be X" - it's about the speaker not showing any previous bias towards/familiarity with the topic.--ZooGuard (talk) 07:41, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
For a shot of this in the wild as depicted by an expert, see Louie Giglio's video Laminin. It really is a masterclass in this "prior skepticism" thing - amongst a ton of other tricks, but they're all based on the "incredulous prior ignorance" trope. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 12:06, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

A long time ago, in a People's Republic far, far away....[edit]

China's 1980 attempt at a Star Wars comic has little access to reference materials. DO NOT WANT. SophieWilderModerator 06:20, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

The original blog post has PDF files of the whole thing.--ZooGuard (talk) 07:04, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
A lot of it seems to be rip-offs (tracing?) of existing art and photographs, which is probably why the characters are not very consistent in appearance, the escape pod looks like is a Gemini capsule and there are surprising bit of English here and there. The "Kennedy Space Center" map looks like an orbit track map without any orbit tracks - the circles are the ranges of the tracking stations. Since the plot is accurate, but the visuals are not, I suspect they got it plot from the Star Wars novelizations.--ZooGuard (talk) 07:15, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I like how Uncle Owen wears a sword and a bush hat. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:46, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Cute. Nullahnung (talk) 10:44, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
Still truer to the originals than the prequel trilogy! ZING! Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 16:39, 30 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't care what anyone says, the prequels were fucking awesome. Except for Jar-Jar. That guy is the reason Anakin turned to the Dark Side. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 11:38, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I thought that The Phantom Menace was eh and Attack of the Clones kinda sucked. Revenge of the Sith was by far the best of the bunch. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg X-Men! Welcome... TO DIE!!! 15:02, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
It was marginally the best of those three, but only because of the last half hour or so. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:45, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
You all need to go fuck yourselves. TPM was way cool, AotC was not as good, but still pretty awesome, and RotS was fucking amazing. IMO, they had high points and low points, just as the originals, and while they may not be classics, they are still very good. Guess this means I'm not a true Star Wars fan. Oh well. BSG (2003) is better anyway. GØØBY PLS Don't read look every behind second you wordDolan.png 08:55, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
you are worse than hitler. Or just have very poor taste. AMassiveGay (talk) 18:07, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Red Letter Media's reviews on the three prequels are endlessly amusing. While whether a movie is good is a fairly subjective thing, it's pretty clear that in terms of cinematography, script-writing, and directing, the prequels are garbage. - Grant (talk) 18:10, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Also acting, storytelling, character creation, etc. ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:52, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Yep. They're basically bad by every objective metric. Whether you subjectively enjoy them is another question. Personally, I did not. - Grant (talk) 21:20, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh yeah! Well, um… shut up! Brutal \m/ESSIAH 22:19, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Wow, the space combat in this ripoff is trying too hard to be realistic. Starfighters are ground-launched, have their pilots wearing pressure suits and have short range seeing as they're launched from Yavin.--Madman (talk) 23:14, 30 May 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Realistic starfighters? Don't even go there. That way lies pain Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 17:59, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
MIG 105, my dear russian friend.--Madman (talk) 00:05, 2 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman


I know a guy who's a meteorologist, but we're way out of touch. So I submit this question to the community.

I know that seasons are caused because the Earth rotates on a tilted axis. The axis tilts one way, half the Earth gets more sunlight, and that makes Summer. The other half gets winter. But doesn't the Earth rotate around the sun elliptically? So, when the Earth is furthest from the sun, does this affect weather?--"Shut up, Brx." 16:16, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

[1] Wikipedia says not much, but it's neat to learn that perihelion is in January. --Marlow (talk) 16:23, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Twice in ten minutes I was made a fool of by Wikipedia. Thank you, that was informative.--"Shut up, Brx." 16:25, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
If you wanted to, you could do a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the mean solar flux over the northern and southern hemispheres in both summer and winter. From there you could get a rough handle on how much the Sun is capable of heating the Earth during these time periods. It wouldn't be accurate, but hey, what's the use of doing physics if it's not on a spherical cow? - Grant (talk) 16:47, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The only thing I know about a planets axis is changing it is the only hope we have. --Miekal 18:32, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
It is the tilt that drives the seasons rather than Earth's elliptical orbit, which has an orbital eccentricity of 0.016 (which isn't really much off of a nice circle), therefore there is almost no appreciable difference in the amount of energy we receive between aphelion and perihelion. What makes the tilt the deciding factor is that our temperature and seasons is when your hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, you receive more light (and more heat) per each square centimeter of the ground due to the sun's higher position in the sky (not to mention the fact the Sun has more time to input heat during the longer days). When the sun is lower in the sky during Winter, the light is spread out over the surface, thus less heat (per square centimeter) is absorbed.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 12:49, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Important Cosmos episode tonight[edit]

Considering the number of times AGW docs (ie. Discovery's version of Frozen Planet) have been axed on American television, deGrasse Tyson is taking on the deniers. On Fox. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:43, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Odd, didn't the original Cosmos make the impassioned plea for action in the face of human extinction in the last episode? Well, whatever, it was a good episode (aside from Neil completely ignoring nuclear power), if depressing when you think about. No idea what the finale will be now, though. --CoyoteSans (talk) 02:04, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

I enjoyed the episode where they explained the origin of the Genesis flood myth... namely, the story of Gilgamesh.Danoso (talk) 02:54, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Any idea how popular the show is/what its ratings are? ROPChain (talk) 10:32, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Maybe this will help you. Zero (talk) 13:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Most recent data from TV by the numbers says a 18-49 rating of 1.1, 3% share, and 3.24 million live/same day viewers.
I guess that means "comparable to The Simpsons", but I secretly suspect the budget on Cosmos is a bit bigger. Ikanreed (talk) 14:03, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Orphan Pages[edit]

All the current orphan pages have no links on the "what links here" thing, which makes me suspect our standards for orphaned pages are to high. How many links does a page need to have to not be an orphan? -- Corpse in the bed (talk) 06:11, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

...huh? An orphaned page is one that has zero links to it, by definition. And that definition is MediaWiki standard, not "ours" specifically. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 06:44, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Do you think we should lower our standards? Even if it is not standard practice on wikis. There are probably a lot of pages with barely any links to it without the benefit of being on the orphaned pages list. -- Corpse in the bed (talk) 07:20, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Or instead of saying there are too many orphaned articles, you could de-orphan some of them. SophieWilderModerator 07:47, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

The thing is, he/she is not complaining about there being too many orphaned pages, but that there are too few... Recall "standards for orphaned pages too high", which means to say our standard for calling a page an orphaned page should be "barely any" instead of "zero", which would maybe be more useful in terms of dealing with all somewhat isolated pages. So then he/she poses the question of "what is this higher threshold number of links we should lower our standard to". Nullahnung (talk) 11:01, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
3. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 16:05, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
The discussion is moot - Special:LonelyPages lists only pages not linked anywhere else, and there is no way to change that behavior. I've checked the MediaWiki wiki.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:22, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

RW does good work[edit]

From the latest Lounge thread on Pharyngula: someone brought up creationist introduces himself. He was brought up creationist, and came to Talk.Origins and ... RationalWiki. He was really upset (back then) that we spoke in such a disrespectful tone about creationism - " I loved the points they made, but I despised their style of writing, the constant snark towards the whole notion of even the possibility of a creation event." I know we often snark inappropriately, so I asked which articles ... he'd specifically been struck by Evidence against a recent creation and 101 evidences for a young age of the Earth and the universe (rebuttal) - both of which bend over backwards to be polite.

And which - and this is the important bit - helpfully seeded doubt fully and correctly. Which is the takeaway. FEEL GOOD - David Gerard (talk) 15:44, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I am always happy to see people eventually succumbing to persistent refutations and reasoned arguments. Nullahnung (talk) 16:10, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
David, I'm curious... are you suggesting (or am I reading into it), that the snark is less effective than the simple fact pages?One tin soldier (talk) 16:44, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I would say the snark is usually poorly done and counter productive if you wish to change peoples views. It is either preaching to the converted or pissing of those with a different view point. It is amusing that in previously posts people were bitching about 'hipsters' and their trilby's, yet have no problem with use of hipster humour, ie. Snark. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:31, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
YMMV. Being actually funny and not just stupid requires some writing ability, and good research is easier than good humour writing. Snark is like salt, to be applied sparingly and judiciously.
I have had Internet-famous people say they would love to link someone to RW on a given topic but the articles in question were not fit for non-insider consumption. And I concur, some are.
I would be against any crusade on snark, hell no. We write about stupid bullshit. I'm after a higher quality of snark.
On changing people's views, it depends. On the detailed creationism takedowns like those - they're specifically outreach with facts. On something covering Ray Comfort, he's just so bloody stupid that not snarking would require superhuman effort. Being polite on 101 Evidences was such a strain we specifically created an impolite version to let rip on.
tl;dr writing is work and editorial judgement is not Taylorisable - David Gerard (talk) 20:25, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Disagreement will always sound disrespectful. And the more intentionally polite you make it, the more you sound like you're sarcastically or cynically taking the piss. So there's really no winning. I think "snark" is a good thing in respect that colourful and interesting writing is better to read - and Wikipedia already corners the market in excruciatingly dry style. But when it slips in to crap masquerading as humour, it's obviously bad. We just need better snark, not kill it completely. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 20:26, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
We need to retain the USP of being able to actually call a spade a fucking shovel - David Gerard (talk) 20:32, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
My other problem is when snark turns into (politically correct trigger-warning!) "Pointing the stick at the retard". As you say, it's one thing to say "Dear god in heaven, Bachmann is fucking stupid". Its another to say "people who follow fundamentalism are soooo stupid". That sweet spot between snark and poke-poke gets crossed way too often here, on our religion articles. Though I also understand that when you've corrected your 10000th neckbeard comment of the day (or creationist, for those working the religion side), you just BECOME SNARK. It's a Tao thing! One tin soldier (talk) 20:51, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Do we have such an article:[edit]

About people quoting the bible as the moral basis for and against some particular action, in particularly slavery (or some other things)? I do not exactly got that much expertise on history and bible studies to make such article. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 18:54, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean. We do have articles like Slavery in the Bible and Why can't I own a Canadian?. Were you looking for something along those lines? --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 19:00, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
That's for slavery. I need the other side (against) as well. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 19:05, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I think we have an article (or at least some essays) floating around that focus on how you can prove/justify almost anything by using relevant holy books. If you are wanting to write such an article, you don't need "much expertise on history", you can just do some Google searches. There are quite a few sites that show (various) religion(s)' strengths by saying "see, here is where my holy book is against rape, slavery, etc." They should be good resources.One tin soldier (talk) 20:45, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Religious ideas played a large role in the abolition movement, but unfortunately our article on the subject is rather lacking. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:37, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Dealing with everyday bigotry[edit]

Maybe it's just the company I keep, but it seems that I run into casual and not so casual bigotry almost daily. We all know how awful geek culture tends to be these days when it comes to women, but then there's also the usual racism and even a surprising amount of homophobia floating around, all said under the guise of "I'm just joking." of course. This all from the supposedly more open-minded younger generations too.

So how the hell do you people cope with all this? I find it very exhausting having to deal with this every time some minority gets mentioned and the conversation inevitably derails to some truly loathsome opinions getting thrown around, as if I wasn't already introverted enough. Vulpius (talk) 20:20, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Personally, I just sigh and drink heavily. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 20:23, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Either get better friends or learn to enjoy dining alone. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 21:23, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I tend to come up with some of the more racist/offensive combos during Cards against humanity rounds, but whether that makes me a bigot of some kiund or just a terrible person im unsure about.--Miekal 22:23, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
Eh, that's forgivable. After all, the point of Cards Against Humanity is to be an absolute bastard. --Captain Wolff (talk) 04:35, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

for Brits of a certain age...[edit]

...here's something to tickle your nostalgia bones AMassiveGay (talk) 21:59, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

and for added joy, DO read the bottom of the internet AMassiveGay (talk) 22:01, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
A lot of these games are considered classics all around the world, why the focus on Brits of a certain age! X-Com, Tomb Raider, Goldeneye, Rome:TW, the Peter Molyneux games, the Rockstar games, Dungeon Keeper, Arkham Asylum, they're all world-famous (in the gamer community at least). Nullahnung (talk) 01:12, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
its more for the shout outs for the older games in the comments AMassiveGay (talk) 06:32, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Jet Set Willy and Skooldaze - two major time sinks from the 80s. None of the Ultimate games though. And they've put the 90s Football Manager in instead of the original. To be fair, the 90s version was better in almost every conceivable way, but the original made up for a lot by allowing you to sign players like Peter Withe and Cyrille Regis. Gomer (talk) 08:09, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Breast Cancer Prevention Institute[edit]

Ugh. Billboards for this group keep popping up in my town despite my local newspaper pretty much clubbing them to death. I can't seem to find the article (Here's the site if you want to look for it) nor a picture of the billboard. But here's the text: "31 Statistically Significant Studies Prove that... ABORTION CAUSES BREAST CANCER" (emphasis theirs). Not increases risk, not may lead to, CAUSES. Which kinda leads me to this point. Should we have an article about this group? I'll make a redirect to this page for now, but this kinda stuff makes me furious. Aside, while researching some of this, I ran across this item. Funny stuff! Zero (talk) 12:38, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I know that some groups are trying to sue such "institutes" on "truth in advertising" grounds, but it's really had, since they arguably are not advertising any "thing" for sale, and that such definitions of "truth in advertising" can only be regulated if monies are changing hands... But it's just sick and wrong to lie about such things. One tin soldier (talk) 14:28, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Time to go back in time[edit]

I need someone to find the end dates for a bunch of bet results (six of them) on our Predictions page. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:06, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

We should probably find a way to end the two proxima predictions, speaking of end dates, given only one has any kind of visible one and both are so vague as to not really be a prediction. --Miekal 02:04, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
As for this actual topic, Why can't you??--Miekal 02:05, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

YEC and expanding space[edit]

Has anyone heard of YEC people to use (much faster in the past) expanding space (with or without different speed of light) to solve the starlight problem? [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 03:47, 5 June 2014 (UTC)


Can someone familiar with somewhat older American left-wing and racial politics have a look through Special:Contributions/‎? They've written multi-KB additions to various articles, mostly concerning left-wing and identity politics, some of which sound quite suspect and in all cases need better sourcing.--ZooGuard (talk) 21:08, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

An example of his contributions

"David Thorstad, one of the gays who joined the SWP then left for more radical gay pastures in the 1970s, went on to found the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA)."

At http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Socialist_Workers_Party_(US)
ROPChain (talk) 22:38, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
The thing about Thorstad is in the first sentence of his WP article. I've read through the BoN's contributions on 60s black radicalism (MX, Panthers, etc) and it all seems factually solid. Not sure how germane it is to the mission, but that's not a debate I want to open again. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 23:02, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
The way in which that sentence is written is what I take issue with, it seems like it was written in a disparaging manner towards GLBT peoples, regardless of the infamous subject. ROPChain (talk) 23:28, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

What makes the mention of Thorstad and NAMBLA any more disparaging than the mention of LaRouche? Is the nutball gay fringe exempt from criticism while the nutball LaRouchie fringe isn't? The whole point was that for the SWP, pandering to the nutball fringe turned out to be a futile game because there was always someone truly nuttier. (talk) 08:30, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

It's a shame that the wiki software makes it so difficult to change things that one thinks could be written in a different manner. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 23:34, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

I've been poking through this editor's revisions, and he has made a lot of questionable changes. I'm going to roll back some to the previous versions, as many of the changes this editor made are blatant smear attempts on either "liberals" or the subject of the article. See for instance http://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Black_Panther_Party&diff=next&oldid=1326975 The factual historical stuff I will keep, but the subjective assertions I will remove. For the Black Panthers article, the editor more or less turned it into a sensationalized biography of Huey Newton. ROPChain (talk) 23:56, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Huey was pretty sensational, but, yeah, at least as far as that particular linked edit goes, some of that looks less fantastic on closer reading. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 00:05, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
The man clearly knows what he's talking about, but his rhetoric and ideology reads like Smerdis of Tlön meets ListenerX. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg We exist in different epistemological paradigms, fuckpants! 00:08, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Why is this now the wiki where we gossip about new editors behind their back rather than engaging them directly? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:07, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

For the glory of the motherland, the Block MIRV has been launched in order to repress all reactionary capitalistic tendencies as per your orders!--Madman (talk) 00:36, 3 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Didn't think of that. I'm not sure if the editor is actually trying to improve the articles, or just get their POV in the pages. I'll ask and see if they respond. ROPChain (talk) 01:04, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

I didn't get any response from the editor, I've gone through and fact-checked the Huey P Newton article, the editor was more or less sticking semi-close to some facts, but changing them enough to cast an even further negative light on events than was already warranted. For the crazier edits, the editor has been copy pasting http://colemantruth.net/kate8.pdf an old tabloidish article from 1978 as his citation, which itself only cites "unnamed sources" for allegations beyond the actual record of events. Is a troll or is on a hatchet job, going through all the contributions the editor has made is exhausting. ROPChain (talk) 02:51, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Good grief, sorry for not falling into the hagiography on Newton! The New Times article chronicled a turning point in how the Panthers were regarded - from an influential community group connected to Oakland's political mainstream and running community service programs to a small-time Mafia that hustled public money and beat and shot people. Read the article start to finish, you might learn something. Nothing "tabloid" about it at all. It was a well-respected left-liberalish mag - sort of the same milieu that a lot of the Panthers' supporters came from. Try googling the authors if you think they're some sort of right-wing hatchets. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Comrade, your reactionary capitalistic tendencies show no end! Please submit to the RW Secret State Police for questioning and a trial period following surveillance of subversive activity.--Madman (talk) 15:15, 3 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Nailed it. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg ̸̴͟͟H҉̴̶͘͝a̛͜͠͏͏t̷̛͢e̷̴͘҉.͟͠ ̶͜L̨͢͝ę͘͢t͘҉̢ ̵҉͢͝͝m̵̧̛͜é̢̛͝ ͏͝͏̢͟t͏̕͞e̶̛͘͘͞l̶̛͜͠͝l̵̕͠͞͝ ͏͏y̕ǫ̸̶́͠u͜͞҉́ ̴h̴̀̕͠͠o͠҉́ẃ̶̶͘͢ ̨̢m̴̢͢u̷͠ć̕͏h̵̶̴̕͘ ҉͘I̴̢̧'̶̴v̨́͏e̶̸͟ ́͟͏̧c̵̸̨͘o̸̕m̴͜͡e̢̧̡͟ ̵̧́t̢͟ò̷ ͜h͏̷á̵͘͏͝t̷͢e̢̛̕ ̸̢̛ý̢̧͜͝ó̢́̕u̵̸͞ ̡̨͜͜͝ş̶́͝͡i̵̡n̴̵̛̛͠c̴̸͘é҉̸̛͡ ̴̀I̸҉̢̢͠ ͏͞b̵̶̧̀͠e̸̢͟͠g̢̧̀á̸͞n̴̵̡͟͏ ͘͏̕͝t҉̡̛͞ò̴ ̵̀ĺ́̕į̸̕̕v̸̨̨ȩ́͢҉̶.̛͢͝ ̵̧̢ 15:29, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
That stuff should prob be in the panthers article then, instead of the newton article. Either way, thanks for replying. It may be a matter of semantics, but I think its important to actually state the facts clearly about the events; even though Newton most likely was directly involved in a lot of the violent events you listed, he was never convicted in a court. He also pled no contest to the eventual lesser charge relating to the money skimming; saying, "He embezzled $600,000 then pled to lesser charges" isn't really accurate. For that RCP artice, again, stating that the group has somehow established themselves in trendy youth culture and RATM isn't accurate. I'm still going to go through your edits and fact check, and rewrite when necessary (bad sourcing, no sourcing, or embellished facts). ROPChain (talk) 07:43, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Try fact-checking yourself, buddy! I checked current and fossil versions of the Newton/Panther pages and nowhere is it stated that, "He embezzled $600,000 then pled to lesser charges.' That is a fabricated quote. There is also a world of a difference between a statement that the RCP tried to present a face that would make them trendy in various youth subcultures and that they "established themselves in trendy youth culture." RATM also had a nontrivial relationship with RCP, one of the drawing cards at RCP front events, etc., and RCP rhetoric seeped into their lyrics. I will grant that there's no public record of actual membership in RCP among RATM. It wasn't hard to find or recognize the rhetoric of RCP writers in Maximum Rock&Roll back in the early 90s. You can buy back issues back to 98 if you want. (talk) 10:23, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I did some research on the rcp ratm thing, and from what I read, at various times either by themselves, or with other coalitions, this group participated in hosting events at which ratm, along with other bands, played. This is very different from ratm being affiliated with or members of this group. You saying so does not make it true. Again, with a random magazine that most have not heard of, your word is not enough, as the style and contents are not common knowledge to the general public. We don't know if its bullshit or not. That is why you need a source. Spurious and inaccurate shit like that are why I will keep an eye on your contributions, and roll back or change as needed. For the newton/bp embezellment, that was obviously me paraphrasing what you wrote. Here is exactly what you wrote, "n 1982 the years of fund-skimming from Panther community projects caught up with him, and he was charged with misappropriating $600,000 in State grant money. He dissolved the Party and eventually pled out to charges related to cashing a $15,000 State check, for which he was sentenced to six months in prison plus probation." Pleading no contest to the $15,000 check is very different from being charged with stealing $600,000 and then copping a lesser plea. ROPChain (talk) 11:05, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Repeatedly performing at RCP events and embracing their rhetoric is in fact a nontrivial relationship. You're practicing a form of historical denialism. Maximum RockNRoll is a well-known indy rock zine with a web presence. You use "most have not heard of" as an excuse to pretend it doesn't exist. Larry Livermore, publisher of Lookout Magazine and mogul in the Gilman Street (Berkeley) indy rock scene, took Maximum R&R to task for RCP's influence. Here's his blog. Maybe you should contact him if you wish to dispute RCP's presence in Maximum R&R. FYI, when you put something in quotation marks that is not a direct quotation that is fabricating a quote, not "obviously me paraphrasing." Get it? The initial charge of Newton embezzling $600,000 and subsequent plea to violations related to cashing a $15,000 State check is an accurate summary of that case. If you cared to read the well-sourced New Times article, you would also find out that Mayor Lionel Wilson resigned from the board of the Community School when the issues of financial irregularities and corruption became unavoidable. It's pretty clear that you want to sugarcoat certain things - the horrendous corruption of the Black Panther Party, the embarrassing relationship certain influential people in the indy rock community had with the RCP, and the influence certain fringe tendencies in feminist and gay politics had during the 1970s. Your flimsy excuses for doing so are just that - excuses. Snap out of that dishonesty before you lose the last shred of your integrity. (talk) 20:57, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
First, this is not wikipedia, for a good reason: we don't have the amount of visitors or editors that wikipedia has, making long chunks of unsourced text difficult to police for accuracy. I personally don't think many of the edits you have made contribute to the stated goals of this wiki; it seems more like you are using this place to try and document various historical "facts" and views which, by the nature of this wiki, won't really be analyzed or checked out for accuracy. For this reason, it is important for you to accurately source, and accurately state, for instance, allegations of violence by x person, or infiltration of y magazine. Linking to a random magazine is not an acceptable source for claiming that x group has infiltrated even the magazine, let alone an entire segment of of the music industry. ROPChain (talk) 03:02, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
The best source on MaximumRockNRoll's relationship with the RCP in the '90s would be Larry Livermore, and the link provided in the talk section of the RCP article allows you to contact him through his blog if you so choose. Don't blame someone else if you decline to use sources provided for fact-checking. It seems to me that you have a rather arbitrary definition of what is an appropriate source, as you attempted to discount the well-sourced article in the well-respected left-liberal publication New Times as "tabloidish." Sometimes journalistic sources are confidential, get it? (talk) 20:31, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
You do not seem to understand what a citation is. A citation is a direct link to a credible source which states your claim or facts. You saying "this magazine was infiltrated, and this guy got pissed off", then asking me to CONTACT HIM (lol) on his blog to verify it, is not a valid source!!!! Look at other articles on this wiki, and even wikipedia, to see what a valid citation is. I personally believe you when you say this group wrote articles for this magazine, but you do not yet have a valid citation to include it in the article! If I wanted to claim that human beings landed on the moon, for instance, I would link to http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/apollo11_40th.html a page like this in my ref. What I would not do, is link to a page that tells us that the moon exists, and then link to a page that says humans exist. ROPChain (talk) 23:42, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
The world doesn't revolve around point, click, copy, and paste. Oral and written accounts of participants and witnesses are accepted as historical sources. You are free to seek one such source that happens to be available, or not. But if you don't, you pretty much take yourself out of the discussion when someone relates the exchanges that transpired between Livermore and the RCP contingent writing for Maximum RockNRoll. That realization does seem to be dawning on you....maybe. Since the point of the discussion on the RCP page is about RCP's presentation to the indy rock scene, rather than the exact degree to which they penetrated Maximum RockNRoll, it suffices to say that RCPers presented their ideas through indy rock zine(s). (talk) 01:36, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
That's fine for general rock zines. But to specifically name maxrock, again, for a WIKI, you need a citation that establishes what you claim, either by directly documenting it (for example, a screenshot of a forum conversation by the subject of an article), or another source which directly establishes your claim. Ask anyone else here, check articles, check wikipedia, for examples of citations on specific people or organizations. I agree that historical anecdotes can establish facts in a non-encyclopedia setting, but you would need a page of the person saying what you are claiming, like that Larry guy posting a blog, or speaking in an interview in a paper or website about the rcp and that mag, to include it in an article in a wiki setting. If you claim rcp influenced max rock, find a citation that says so! Your belief, your experiences, your knowledge, is not enough for a citation to establish credibility for a specific claim in an article ("no original research"). I don't care either way if RCP wrote for the magazine! I've never heard of either until I read the RCP article a few days ago! By all means, find a source saying that they wrote for it, or an article from maxrock that mentions rcp, or an author for the magazine that is affiliated with rcp, and it will be acceptable to name max rock in the article. This place gets threatened all the time by people or organizations crying libel even when everything in an article is very well sourced and documented (see the Kevin Martin article for an example of this) which is why a claim about a specific mag needs to be documented at the same standard as other claims in other articles on this wiki.ROPChain (talk) 05:49, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Does anybody actually look at the essays...?[edit]

I feel like the essay portal has the best potential as part of RationalWiki's mission. I also feel like I'm the only person who's put anything on it in the past few months (Creationism in the Classroom). I feel like hiding the Essays Portal at the bottom of the front page is not doing it justice, and that the works within that overall category either should be put in the limelight more often. Alternately, the category should be dismantled altogether and the various works linked from articles they relate to. Any opinions on this? --Captain Wolff (talk) 05:37, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't know, it was my understanding that essays were a pretty big deal. If there's any space that needs more attention, in my opinion, it's debatespace. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 07:32, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I've read a few, there's some good stuff in there. A featured essay box on the main page could help boost awareness of the portal. ROPChain (talk) 07:52, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Featured essay might be nice. Quality control would need to be done. ·FemiliskFU 08:05, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I look at essays... when the title catches my eye. Krej has been adding edits constantly to his ethnicity/nationalism essay (which is really good by the way), also lately. And others have been editing their essays as well. We do link articles to essays that are reasonably good and fitting too. Nullahnung (talk) 10:38, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
The "Featured Essay" idea has come up before. But no one can get passed the idea of quality control and that such a thing might require effort, and seem to assume that anyone will just write an essay and unilaterally make it featured. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 09:53, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
We could vote! ·FemiliskFU 12:31, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

May 2014[edit]

Alledits-RationalWiki-monthly.png Monthly edits at RW by namespace
Bubbles-var-ordered-ns-20-RationalWiki-2014-5-20140601.svg Editors at RW in May 2014 (at least 20 edits)
Rw-208.svg Pages at RW in May 2014 (at least 20 edits)

--larron (talk) 13:07, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Is it just me or is Monthly edits not up to date? Occasionaluse (talk) 16:48, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
You are probably seeing a cached version of the picture --larron (talk) 21:35, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Hmm… RW:AU doesn't appear to be changed from here either, even after clearing my cache, et cetera. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 08:04, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I just talked about the first picture above. I haven't updated RW:AU (yet). --larron (talk) 20:06, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah, okay. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 01:53, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Search the scholarly archives![edit]

Speaking of our so-called "existential crisis," check this out. We've been cited by:

And, interestingly, a critical thinking textbook and a University of Rochester professor's take of our article on the euphemism treadmill. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:24, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

And none of these have to do with gender politics. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 14:47, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I should commend you on this research OS; perhaps it shows, as a niche wiki, where we should be focussing. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 15:03, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I razz OS, but this is solid and important stuff, and I'm glad he put the effort in. Any debate we have on mission/direction needs to take this seriously. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 15:06, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
The second paper specifically deals with how implicit biases in the doctor-patient relationship (using feminist theory) could encourage mothers to consider "alternatives" to vaccination without knowing the dangers. But yeah, we're just being referenced as context to the pseudoscience. Osaka Sun (talk) 19:03, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Edits you've made that you wish weren't true[edit]

After my (sourced) edit on the Focus On The Family, I was wondering if any of you have done anything similar in your edits.--Madman (talk) 07:57, 6 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman

Nobody knows or cares what you are talking about. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:24, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Stuff akin to this.--Madman (talk) 08:46, 6 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman
You missed the "or cares" part of the post. I think most people only want to talk about contentious changes, in order to make sure they're a good idea. Other edits, no matter how "hooliganish" are going to be quietly accepted without anyone caring. Ikanreed (talk) 14:19, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I really should have clarified.--Madman (talk) 23:02, 6 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman

Best sci-fi franchise?[edit]

Out of the following sci-fi franchises, which is your favourite, and why?

  • The original BSG
  • The new-ish BSG (this can include Caprica, et cetera, if you want)
  • Star Wars
  • Any of the Star Trek series
  • Alien
  • Terminator
  • Stargate

I'm gonna go with 2004 BSG. In my opinion, it's awesome because of loads of reasons, but, above all, the character development and acting. Like srsly. Baius Baltar? Bill Adama? Lee Adama? Six? Let's face it, everyone on the whole show was amazing. Of course, the space battles, storyline and ethical dilemmas were also extremely awesome, but the acting is what really stands out to me- and apart from the "let's fly all our shit into the sun" part, the ending was amazing, and I don't give a shit what anyone says. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 22:38, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Star wars because Episode 4 is my favorite movie of all time. --Miekal 23:16, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
HHGTTG. That is all. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:17, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Dammit, you beat me to the punch! --Captain Wolff (talk) 04:45, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Fuck all of the above, Gundam is king. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg The devil found it objectionable, so he banished it to Dollarama 04:53, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
That opens the far bigger question of which gundam--Miekal 05:23, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Please, we all know G, Zeta and Turn A were the best. And maybe Victory. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg It wasn't easy, but nothing is; woo hoo! 17:47, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I dunno, I really enjoyed season 1 of OO. Season 2 wasn't quite as good, but what can you do to follow up that emotional gut-punch they closed the first season with? And wasn't G referred to as "Godawful Gundam" by the fandom? --Kels (talk) 01:07, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
G Gundam was (and still is) incredibly divisive, although the fanbase eventually warmed up to it. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg "R.I.P. Kurt who agrees" "Well, no one's going to disagree that he's dead..." 01:43, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Gundam… that's the Japanese Anime thing, isn't it? Brutal \m/ESSIAH 07:27, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
No mention of Doctor Who. You fail forever. PsyGremlinSnakk! 11:12, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh, shit! I'm so sorry! Brutal \m/ESSIAH 12:06, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Dune, but not the shit that Herbert's son wrote after Frank died. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 13:03, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Dune is one of those sci-fi series I've been meaning to read for ages- same with all of those Julian May books. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 07:07, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
All of them? By the last few you could actually hear her banging her head against the keyboard, wishing she'd farmed the writing bit out to Kevin J. Anderson or something - David Gerard (talk) 12:56, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
No love for Babylon 5? My favorite Sci-Fi series of all time! Also a huge fan of the X-Files, DS9, the re-imaged BSG, Lexx, SG1, and Star Wars. The original BSG wil always have a special place in my heart as the very first Sci-Fi series I watched as a young child.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 14:09, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I used to know the guy who the Lexx was named after, way back (also Gigerotta, which made me laugh). --Kels (talk) 01:09, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I would say Doctor Who; also the classic (pre-Crisis) DC superhero universe. The Honorverse needs a film series. I am a perennial fan of the later 1960s Maciste series out of Italy, and all related entertainments. I'd also consider Conan the Barbarian part of the same genre. This is not quite fantasy but definitely not sci-fi though. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 14:13, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Also, Larry Niven's "Known Space" stuff, and Heinlein's "Future History" Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 14:17, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Honorverse is getting a film, which will hopefully become a series. They're starting with Honour of the Queen rather than OBS (the former is a simpler story and easier to translate to film as an introductory movie) and release is expected in 2016. Compro01 (talk) 15:41, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I love Babylon 5. It's my all-time favorite show. Dune was pretty great. I think I read all of them. The last ones started to get weird, though. And of course, I love the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And the other two books Adams wrote. One day I'll have to try the radio shows. Supposedly that was his favorite medium
Of the list MoD posted, I guess Stargate is my favorite, although it doesn't really move me that much. --"Shut up, Brx." 14:20, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
It's all down to the criteria you use. I wouldn't hold up Blakes's 7 as an all time classic but Servalan (shudder) was very important to this growing boy and will always have a special place in my heart. Placeholder (talk) 14:23, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
BSG, hands down. Either iteration has as much influence on space combat in sci-fi as Star Wars does.--Madman (talk) 14:32, 4 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman

... No Red Dwarf? All of you can Smeg off. --Revolverman (talk) 14:34, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

They changed it after season 2, and it was unrecognizable, so I stopped watching--"Shut up, Brx." 14:36, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

"I love the sound of copulating crickets". -Forrest J. Ackerman --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 18:46, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Deus Ex. Hey, you didn't explicitly limit it to TV or movies, and it is technically a franchise. Buried within the cyberpunk veneer and flamboyant conspiracy intrigue is a legitimate discussion on technology and its effects on human behavior and politics. Even if some of the tech is typical sci-fi futurist magic fluff. --CoyoteSans (talk) 00:49, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Limiting myself to TV, I agree with the BSG reboot. Except for the character development part. Too many of the secondary characters were sacrificed, in my opinion, in the fourth season, because "we need someone to do that without introducing yet another character or paying a new actor". Also, I resent that you didn't mention Firefly.--dx (talk) 09:40, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

It wasn't so much about the character development as in the plot (although I still think that that was pretty awesome), but more to do with the acting, and the distinctive personalities of each character. However, I do agree that there were a few too many character deaths by the time season 4 got around- I mean, like, seriously Dee, what the fuck? At that point in the show, while it wasn't the hideous atrocity some fans make it out to be, the story did start to get a little bit sort of "jerky" in some areas, if that makes sense. However, my least favourite series was probably season 3- I didn't really like the whole New Caprica thing. I mean, it was awesome from, like, a story angle and everything, the Iraq allegory was cool, and the characters had some pretty important events (Baltar signing off on the death-list, for example), I just didn't really seem to enjoy it as much, you know? I guess that makes no sense, but whatever. Either way, they shouldn't have executed Gaeta, IMO. Gaeta was cool, and it was all that bastard Zarek's fault. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 12:28, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

I am curious - has any of the posters in this thread ever lain with a woman and\or a man? AMassiveGay (talk) 16:58, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

I was semi-recumbent at a home birth when I cut the umbilical cord. Would that count? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 17:38, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, I sometimes call my hand "Alessandra"… Brutal \m/ESSIAH 07:28, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Agreed with you on the acting (and on the primary characters evolution). I was just complaining that I ended feeling the "flight by seat of pants with no clear plan" effect typical in series at the end on some characters. BTW, I don't include Dee in them, I thought that was very realistic - it happens that suicidal persons have a nice last day, whether to try to leave good memories, leave their affairs in order, or simply because having made the decision brings them some measure of peace (difficult to be sure, most of them aren't here anymore to answer).
Oh yes, I remember sleeping next to a friend one time during a camping trip. That felt so strange, I'm not sure I want to do that ever again--dx (talk) 07:43, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I know it was realistic- but it was still quite a bit of a WTF moment, you know? In addition, it was mostly shocking because of the way suicide is generally portrayed on TV- while I'm sure many IRL people get organised and feel at peace before suicide (the times I attempted, I just kinda dropped everything), but on TV, it's generally not as sudden and shocking as Dee's. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 07:59, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Star Trek, obviously. So much material and so many great philosophical episodes.NerdyWizardyou believed that why? 02:46, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Micronauts was fucking \M/etal. God, I'm a nerd.--Madman (talk) 17:10, 7 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman
Did you just capitalise the m in \m/? I have lost all respect for you. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 01:31, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Christianity and Amnesty[edit]

I was talking to some "conservative Christians" and the topic of amnesty came up. As an atheist, I'd think that "an act of forgiveness for past offenses" is fundamentally Christian. Boy was I wrong! I was amazed at how easily their political views became more important than their religious ones, but I guess I shouldn't be. Religion is truly a convenience for these kinds of people. Any Christians want to weigh in? Or throw a bar stool at me? Occasionaluse (talk) 15:29, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

The God of Abraham will hurl people into a lake of fire if they don't believe in him. Why would forgiveness for actual crimes be possible? --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 15:36, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I gather you're talking about 'amnesty' for illegal immigrants in the USA. I tend to disagree, as a Christian, myself. FWIW, "conservative Christians" are not of one mind on this; we have several Spanish and Korean churches locally that I'd consider theologically 'conservative' Christians that would likely disagree; and other Christians, Protestant and Roman Catholic, have taken the lead in hiding refugees from La Migra. I've always been in favor of more grace and less blame, personally; but you should know this makes me a terrible human being. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 15:38, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I'm talking about. Seeing as how forgiveness and compassion are fundamental to Christianity, I cannot understand how someone who says they are politically guided by Christian principles (not saying you are) could oppose amnesty. Or in WWJD terms, how any Christian could imagine Jesus turning someone who is hungry, sick, tired or wants a better life away from the border. Occasionaluse (talk) 16:35, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Forgiveness is available only if one surrenders to the guru. Having surrendered, failure to smite the infidel may well be considered a crime worthy of fire-dunking. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:44, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
If someone offends you, obviously you should turn the other cheek. Then their hearts will surely melt and everybody will live happily ever after. Nullahnung (talk) 15:47, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

The folks over at Sojourners have some fairly progressive immigration policies that are informed at least in part by theological principles. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 16:03, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

That "other cheek" business was originally given in a context of a people living under imperial occupation, unless I'm mistaken. (The Romans in the film adaptation of "Eagle of the Ninth" were given American accents for a reason.) I once worked at a site with many illegal US residents, with much nodding and winking and mostly shutting-the-fuck-up going on, with the occasional putsch from La Migra (learned a new word today, I did.) A Mayan co-worker came up to me and asked, in her own idiom, "Who does the work, me, or my papers?" I missed her steady undramatic productive style, after she left. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:36, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
The context argument is something you see a lot when a Christian doesn't want to believe something. When they don't like an idea, they narrow the context so that it doesn't include theirs. When they like an idea, it's all "Context? What context?" Occasionaluse (talk) 16:40, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Asking literalists with money about Acts 5 is hilarious - David Gerard (talk) 10:11, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Why are you so surprised at the politicization of this religion? It was practically founded under Constantine's watchful eyes.--Madman (talk) 18:52, 5 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman
A religions tend to become politicized; politicians like to tell their followers that they enjoy the favor of the local gods. On the other hand, the New Testament has absolutely zero political advice except for "don't attract the attention of the law." It was more or less assumed that government would be in the hands of godless tyrants. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 20:53, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think religions really inform political views as much as we think. People end up with a particular political view and then retrofit their religion to those views. Witness the current debate we are having about slavery and the bible. A few hundred years ago everybody - theists, deists and athiests - would have accepted slavery as a fact of life. They would have used their particular philosophies or holy books to justify that position.
Today we all agree that slavery is a bad thing. And, yet again, we use our philosophies or religious texts to justify that position. (Though it seems that our recently-joined Christian literalist is having a few problems talking round some OT verses.)--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:25, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, this has been true since the Iguvine TabletsWikipedia were written. The god of school prayers, the god of the Regent's Prayer, has no personality other than to benignly smile on every authority figure they could fit into the given space. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 19:05, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Laptop recommendation time again[edit]

It seems like only yesterday, but once again it's time for a new laptop. My current one along with other signs of its advancing age now completely refuses to charge the battery, rendering it utterly useless as a laptop. I've spent an exciting few hours backing up the many gigabytes of accumulated cruft from the last 3+ years of ownership. So, does anyone have any recommendations?

My general requirements are NOT APPLE, not styled as a gaming laptop, probably a Haswell core i7 CPU, a decent class of dedicated GPU and next day on site servicing for its predicted life. My first instinct is to get a Dell Precision M6800 which seems like I can get what I want for less than I spent last time round. Any other options? --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:32, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Are you an Ubuntu user? 'Cause I know I'll be tempted to buy one of these for my next machine, just so I don't spend money on an OS that I will erase from the hard drive the moment I open the damn box. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 03:42, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Alas, I need Windows, and return to base servicing would be a deal breaker anyway. Also, I'm not Yank. Seems reasonably priced though. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:51, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Last time I was on the hunt for a entry-level gaming / high-level work machine (6 month ago) with Windows, Dell did come first. There are more powerful machines out there, but they often lack something (e.g. a big processor but less memory, or a big graphic card bottlenecked by its processor, etc.) while Dells look quite balanced to my eyed (warning, not a specialist). The only nice ones I found elsewhere were affordable because they had no OS, but buying Windows independantly on top of it would have broken the bank. I'd think that unless you can transfer your current Windows, Dell is a good choice.--dx (talk) 07:55, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been looking around at others. HP seem underspec'd and almost ridiculously over priced. Like more than 1500 quid premium for a similar system you can buy elsewhere. Gigabyte were reluctant even to tell me how much their machines cost on their stupid website. Lenovo weren't as bad as HP at overpricing, but Dell still had them beat on both specs and price. It seems like for mobile workstations there isn't a huge amount of choice. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 08:15, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Having set up lots of them in the last year or so, Dell laptops have come on in leaps and bounds. Used to not like their build quality but they are one of the best now, especially their mid-range. And their on-site servicing is very reasonably priced. One thing though - try to like Windows 8.1. While the start page is annoying, it's a better operating system than 7. Ajkgordon (talk) 11:37, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
As for the laptop, a Dell seems fine. Nullahnung (talk) 11:59, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
After a double failure of a Sony Vaio and Toshiba netbook on the same job which caused me untold professional grief I bought a Dell E6520 which I cart round the world and has been rock solid for three years; which is a pity, as I paid for a 3-year extended NBD warranty. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 14:53, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
That list of reasons to hate W8.1 is pretty feeble. It's all about the duelling interfaces... and I agree with it - MS really screwed up there. But you can pretty much bypass all of it with some very simple setup. I hardly ever see the start screen and file associations are changed to desktop programmes. It takes about 30 minutes to get it like that and then it's pretty much identical to W7 but with a more modern look and feel. Sure, you still get the jarring dual interface silliness like whenever you want to change certain user account settings but overall it's easily bypassed. Certainly not something Jeeves would baulk at, I'm sure. And it is faster and more stable, which is good. Ajkgordon (talk) 17:12, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
In my job I need to take a lot of notes in word and then talk to people about them. That's almost the only thing I use a laptop for - everything else is desktop. So I recently bought a Surface RT. It's light, does what I want and comes with office included in the price. If you only need to take notes or create spreadsheets it's worth considering.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:24, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Left Behind gets another movie.[edit]

Why, Nicholas Cage, why?--Madman (talk) 13:55, 7 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman

I hope he does Wicker Man-level acting, would make the movie much more entertaining. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! 14:03, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
This has been in the pipeline for years. --Revolverman (talk) 14:11, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
The fact that they are making not so much an adaption of the book as much as "the first few hours of the rapture" leads me to believe I'll be disappointed in it. Looking forward to the dark dungeons movie though--Miekal 17:16, 7 June 2014 (UTC)


Did the name of the wiki change? (talk) 15:34, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

No, that was a prank by an editor who doesn't like our increasing focus on gender-related issues. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 17:06, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
It would be fabulous if someone forked RW and started GenderWiki so we could be free of these several years of off-mission distraction that very very few editors feel comfortable objecting to. Nutty Roux (talk) 17:44, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I wonder why there are so few protests against the piles of more traditionally political partisan crap, not to mention the other cruft.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:07, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it a prank, just a stupid attempt at protest-by-vandalism. And that's not an "increasing focus", just some increased activity in the topic that's noticeable only because there's not much activity anywhere else.--ZooGuard (talk) 18:07, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
The reason it's here is that it's about inane and horrible bullshit that happens to people that is actually stupid and is as eminently suited to skeptical analysis as any of the traditional skeptical issues. There are people it makes uncomfortable, apparently for the first time in their lives; I'd just like y'all to take a second and guess my level of concern for this. Fucksake, RW is one of the few skeptical spaces that isn't actively hostile to everyone who isn't a pasty white nerdboy; it'd be nice to keep that, y'know - David Gerard (talk) 18:29, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
You know what's really depressing a new member joined recently and somebody *ahem* here *cough* was actively hostile by digging up old drama on her. Let's try to not do that RW. ·FemiliskFU 15:59, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I'd sorta rather you didn't - David Gerard (talk) 18:52, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Gender related topics are not impervious to authoritarianism, fundamentalism or pseudoscience.----Dgener8 (talk) 19:47, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
...from both sides. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Put de lime in de coconut, call me in de mornin' 19:51, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
Uh... you crying misandry? ·FemiliskFU 20:15, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm saying that both conservative and otherwise-liberal people seem to be equally prone to say idiotic stuff on gender. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Advocate for the liberation of Willzyx 20:18, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
I'd like asparagus and a baked potato as my sides please.----Dgener8 (talk) 20:23, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
As an addendum to the above, I'd also include those with their hearts in the right place but their brains way off, like those who fight the terrible oppression that is men sitting with their legs open (i.e. Move the Fuck Over Bro) or the 10 people who support the "DIE CIS SCUM" slogan (even trans* people don't like the slogan ). |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Put de lime in de coconut, call me in de mornin' 03:27, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm, like, 83.787362628292936261718394042725% sure that MTFOB is Poe. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 05:42, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
It ain't so. Sapphicslut, its administrator, is dead serious. (Although it's a good deal of submissions are trolls). |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Advocate for the liberation of Willzyx 15:35, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, fuck. GØØBY PLS Don't read look every behind second you wordDolan.png 06:16, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
"Fucksake, RW is one of the few skeptical spaces that isn't actively hostile to everyone who isn't a pasty white nerdboy; it'd be nice to keep that, y'know" - This. So much this. - LucidFox (talk) 04:59, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I concur. The only other place I can think of would be Freethoughtblogs, and they just lose it when it comes to religion. I hate to say it like this, but if we want to be "Rational" wiki, and the best RationalWiki we can be, we need to take a strong feminist stance. Any use of Template:Drink as a reply to this post will be punished with a spanking--"Shut up, Brx." 12:51, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink!. Sorry, but I haven't had a good spanking in a while. Other than that, I completely agree. Brutal \m/ESSIAH 13:02, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Given the blatant misogyny that exists within the skeptic community, further analysis of gender roles and patriarchy is warranted.Lager (talk) 19:12, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Exactly. White man scared of gender. There's a first. Oh wait. ·FemiliskFU 20:15, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
We must shift this stuff to a separate wiki for those weird "gender" people! In case a normal person is in danger of getting their feeling hurt - David Gerard (talk) 20:24, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
By normal I'm assuming you mean a white man-baby that's scared of having a few pages about gender even though nobody forces him to read them. ·FemiliskFU 20:27, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
What? Women, blacks, and LGBTs are treated like crap? You're full of LIBRUL DECEITS!!! I thought this was RATIONALWiki!!!!!!!!!!! |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Masturbation masturbation pies pies Brian Cox 20:30, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Personally, I'd love to have more extensive and well-referenced discussion of gender issues in articles of RationalWiki.

(I would also appreciate if we dropped all the snark in those same articles. (Yes, I'm launching into a tone argument, so you might wanna stop reading here.) I would like to one day feel comfortable about using RW to convince people I'm arguing with about gender issues, and typically the best strategy for that is to have loads of well-referenced, solid arguments to fall back on, not make them endure a load of abrasive snark. I realize that that is not what RW is all about, whereas snark is, so consider this an ineffectual rant.) Nullahnung (talk) 22:02, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

+1 Brutal \m/ESSIAH 23:41, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Since I'm the person who made the edit that set that discussion off[edit]

Anyone who knows me through my almost-seven-years of editing RW under a variety of names will know that I have always supported pro-feminist, pro-queer, pro-trans voices in any debate in which I have particpated, and in my editing of main space articles. Look at my edit history. Maybe I am just a white man-baby, to quote Femilisk, but I'm a white-man baby who does his best to be an ally, both online, and more so, with actual IRL activism (not just Tweeting self-rightously, but actually doing stuff) even when that means just shutting up and listening for a while.

The "Genderwiki" edit was largely intended as an expression of frustration at the MRA types who are actively trying to turn a website intended to "fight the good fight" on a defined front (largely to challenge the intrusion of religious and anti-science forces in secular and scientific fields of inquiry and action) into yet another pissing ground on which to argue the very existence of an issue that should have been resolved a long time ago--the fact that we live in a heterosexist, patriarchal, cis-normative society, and all decently-minded people should be fighting that.

Add to that the justifiable reaction to that trend, which often brings about more of the negative voices, and a lot of bandwidth seems to be taken up by a single issue, one that is, paradoxically not necessarily of direct relevance to the project while, of course, being directly relevant to every field of human endeavour and activity.

There are lots of spaces online where those (anti-woman) arguments get made and, more importantly, get challenged in an effective manner. I see very little in how that process plays out here that doesn't merely echo what's being done elsewhere. (Though I should confess that my familiarity with things like the "sceptic community" referred to above is extremely limited)

RW is not a free-for-all, open forum. It has a mission and a purpose. There is zero value added to a debate or to a website by simply mirroring something that's being done somewhere else.

Is there a space for discussion of gender issues on RW? No doubt. It's debatable how big that space is -- I would argue that issues directly related to how religion and bad science overlap with gender are on-point, but that broader legalistic and political topics would 1. best be served elsewhere and 2. dilute the strong work that RW does when it turns its attention to a more narrowly-focused take on its mission statement. You might think otherwise. Right-thinking people can disagree.

Best wishes,

Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 22:04, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

+∞ --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg The rose! The rose! It's in my eyes! 22:21, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
It's for their own good! Yeah, I'm still seeing "nore narrowly-focused" and reading "my feeling twitched" - David Gerard (talk) 09:00, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Father Vivian sounded quite reasonable to me.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 09:52, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

"Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism." is a stated goal of RationalWiki. Analysis and refutation of misogynistic ideas is in line with this group's general purpose. Rational Wiki's status as a respected institution within the skeptical community renders commentary on the topic of gender issues prudent. As I noted earlier, misogyny is rampant among online skeptics, establishing Rational Wiki as a voice against MRA's and their ilk is a must. Lager (talk) 11:35, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

David, you have no idea what my feelings are, and I'd appreciate you not speculating as to their nature beyond what I have clearly stated. Lager, as I stated above, I have no doubt there is room for "analysis and refutation of misogynistic ideas," so I don't know why you're trying to argue against that. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 12:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I estimate your feelings from your behaviour. As a proportion of recent changes, the stuff you're complaining about is absolutely minimal. But you're still complaining. This strongly suggests the problem is in you - David Gerard (talk) 13:32, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Funny, isn't stating that this isn't a forum authoritarian, when there are clearly resources for such purposes?--Madman (talk) 12:56, 1 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman
I'm going to go out on a potentially dangerous limb here and suggest that perhaps the problem isn't with some focus on gender issues, but rather some subset of RW editors. This wiki can be quite intimidating for new users, and some editors have a tendency to be cruel or reflexively attack newcomers or other editors with differing views from their own. I think this extends into every field RW has something to say in, but it's perhaps more noticeable when it happens in an article on social issues. I'm not sure why; perhaps it's because social issues are things we're all intimately aware of, or perhaps it's because in terms of our pseudoscience/authoritarian articles it's much easier to determine fact from fiction (or maybe it's both; it's somewhat irrelevant). Consider as well that far more people likely have a strong opinion on social issues than on global warming or other pseudoscientific issues. Combine those two things, and you have a recipe for a subject that may not dominate recent changes, but may very well dominate discussion. BoN #1 shows up making a negative comment on our Thunderfoot article, gets attacked by other editors regardless of the subject matter of his post, then gets angry and kicks up a fuss or starts trolling.
I'm not sure what the solution to this is or if there really needs to be one. I do look at the comments of Father Vivian and don't feel it appropriate to just brush it off as prejudice, so I think that - at the very least - a problem does exist. Whether it's one that requires or warrants a solution is beyond my ken, however. - Grant (talk) 17:01, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I do look at the comments of Father Vivian and don't feel it appropriate to just brush it off as prejudice I would hope, that after seven plus years of arguing for left/progressive/identity-based political points of view here, that I don't now have to defend myself against charges of being "prejudiced" against any of the relevant categories. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 17:18, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
There's another issue as well, which makes gender issue appear overrepresented. In my opinion, there's a real deletion-mania going on here. "Delete this", "delete that", "wah! off-mission!", "we don't need articles for every single person"... geez. Why not delete the entire wiki and get it over with? But I can understand, for example, Nutty Roux' sarcasm on some AfD discussions: We're expanding the gender issue section more and more (which, IMO is fine)... while cutting down on just about anything else. So gender issues come across as getting ever more proportionally over-represented... appearing as taking over the wiki, basically. So, yeah, I propose simply being a bit more hands-off about deleting articles. Octo8 (talk) 17:58, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Can't we agree that it's perfectly reasonable for someone (like Vivian) to support progressive principles without wanting the wiki to focus on them? Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 19:11, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for putting my position into an elegant capsule. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 19:59, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. The knee-jerk reaction from some editors to come down on anyone who wants to discuss this subject doesn't help much. - Grant (talk) 20:26, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Two cents[edit]

I was going to add a few responses, but instead I condensed it to a blog post - I will keep this on speed dial for every time this comes up. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 13:30, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Please do post the entire text - David Gerard (talk) 13:34, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
If it were anyone else, dear heart, I would have stopped reading at "tow the party line". As we all should know, TGIF means "toes go in front" of the oche, the line on the floor in front of a dart board, so it's "toe the line." I'm happy to have read the whole thing, and it may have made a little change to my view of the fitness of RW for dealing with issues as yet unsettled.
About gender issues, I keep quiet, other than to say I've got no problem with queer, but bitchy and narcissistic turn me right off. Don't listen to me, though, I'm just an old white cis hetero male, oblivious to my privilege. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I always leave at least one tactical non-sequitur or error to trap people. One of my posts has "damp squid" and "up on a pedal stool" (both IT Crowd references) and yes, indeed, someone did bring those up as evidence of me being stupid. Always leave at least one simple but trivial gap for people to stick the knife in. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 14:30, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
First of all, to dispel the annoying prejudice you've set up about sticking knives in people, good job on the blog post, it reads like solid reasoning to me.
Now that I've dispelled any notion of me wanting to stick knives in you, let me quote this: "if you’re editing something called RationalWiki, or more broadly engage with the “rationalist” and “skeptical” movements, it’s because you self declare yourself to be a “rationalist” or a “skeptic”"
And point out that you've just said "self declare yourself". Pls change, pls, unless it's another one of those annoying tactical errors to trap people with, you sneaky bastard. Nullahnung (talk) 15:28, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
(PS: I'm also annoyed that you've just painted all of us, including me, as people who self-declare as "rationalist" or "skeptical". I prefer not to use such labels, thank you.) Nullahnung (talk) 15:39, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Hence the persistent use of quotes. I'm trying to use them in the descriptive sense as far as possible rather than the identity sense. But the fact remains that a) many people do use those words as identities, and b) this site is called RationalWiki, and the affliction stems from that. As members of a site called RationalWiki, we certainly identify together as something, what you call it doesn't matter, but "rationalist" with scare-quotes makes a good enough placeholder for a generic address. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 16:30, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Nullahnung (talk) 16:32, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The blog post states: "Your basic “rationalism” and “skepticism” ideas, tropes and challenges are already-solved problems."
This is simply not true. It may be true for the choir but the fact that these problems continue to exist in the world is why RW exists. (Rationalists may be towing the line forward but they are not at the finish line yet. Yes, I understand that tow and toe are different.)
I also think that you should at least publish the thing as an RW essay so that comments on it are made on site.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:55, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
For me, the problem is fairly simple. "Gender" really isn't the issue; it only becomes one because identity politics is a shackle of dogma and doctrine itself. The entire underlying ideology, with its assumption that social influence and representation are the keys to power, is prevalent nonsense needing to be debunked, as well as being censorious and aggressively moralistic. If we say anything at all about identity politics, gender, or feminist doctrine, we should say skeptical things about them. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 02:45, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
To reprise my answer last time you said "if we ignore it, it won't be a problem!" - identity politics came about as a reaction to problems, and the problems haven't gone away. Your expectation that it can just vanish is thus unlikely to fly - David Gerard (talk) 07:21, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Some other cents[edit]

  • "Your basic “rationalism” and “skepticism” ideas, tropes and challenges are already-solved problems. ..."
    • No they aren't. RW is a shambles. You will read me repeating over and over that its core material is, in some instances, grossly out of date, unfinished, or terrible.
  • "It requires next to no thought to deal with this stuff. It’s trivial and the work has been done already on it. ..."
    • Done this poorly, no, no it doesn't. Your description of how things have been is remarkably candid and descriptive of how things have been. But it's not how things should be. For example, it's not hard to go through random articles and find absolutely abysmally written and insulting "snark" in place of good analysis. I think one measure of the truth of my opinion is the lack of references to RW in all but a few instances, and most frequently for nonsense like tumbleweeds pages. It seems to me that RW has never had much collective interest in raising the bar higher than that placed by outfits whose specific theological and scientific perspectives are whacky and unsophisticated. I'm thinking Conservapedia (such an astonishingly poor resource that it's failed to attract even a fringe audience - pst. nobody's coming to RW to have our response to a position held by a tiny handful of cranks), AiG (perhaps less shrill than CMI, but at the same low level). There is a far higher level discussion among christian and secular thinkers that RW has missed altogether. Instead, RW far too often relies on exactly the kinds of flat out assertions you noted. Now that is easy. Reading the growing literature analyzing old and new theological issues, particularly with an eye toward actually debunking religion-driven pseudoscience and counter-apologetics, for example, these low-brow creationists' positions as bad theology before they even get to bad science, is hard. And that's just religion. Is it a form of groupthink when people act as you described?
  • "The problem is solved, and countless projects other than RationalWiki exist to have such a narrow scope. ..."
    • What projects? RW ranks very highly on Google because, for whatever reason, there aren't countless other projects. And I find that both surprising and occasionally disappointing when I consider that a lot of RW is shitty.
  • "But social issues are ongoing, and they are still under debate, and still out there in a sense where they can be preached to a congregation. ..."
    • Here you begin a fairly long discussion that misses the point entirely. I need you to look at RW's mission. That word doesn't appear a single time in your article. What you do discuss is something I think is quite important, but it's not what RW is about, and that all on its own doesn't seem like a controversial position. I think attempting to shoehorn gender issues unrelated to actual authoritarianism or fundamentalism distracts from the reality that RW needs to refocus on what it was founded.
  • "In short, it’s an area we ”can” preach in, and ”should” preach in, but actually we ”don’t”. It’s just that even a smidge of that sort of thing is enough to make people feel uncomfortable (“Rape Culture? But ”I’M” not a rapist!!!!”) and go on the defensive." :w
    • It doesn't make me uncomfortable. I do find some of this discussion personally insulting. I am unaware of a single person who's spoken out against the emerging divide over covering gender issues doing it because he (or she?!) feels uncomfortable or is on the defensive. The way you've stated this, and the general tone of your article as essentially implying that we need to cover this material because we can and should and we're people of conscience and it's important and there really isn't very much of it anyway, is bullshit. Someone needs to cover this material somewhere, but it's simply not within RW's mission. Again, I don't see much discussion of the mission when covering gender comes up. The fucked up part of this discussion is the treatment of people who may disagree with covering this material or with aspects of the material itself (for the record I mostly don't disagree with the material itself, to the extent I even understand it) are enemies to be insulted. RW, in its groupthink on a number of subjects, simply brooks no dissent. Femilisk wrote: "By normal I'm assuming you mean a white man-baby that's scared of having a few pages about gender even though nobody forces him to read them." Are you fucking kidding me? I'm a man-baby? Who's scared? Where's the actual analysis? I get the impression people are scared shitless of dissenting precisely because some of you are basically fucking bullies clubbing others over the head with the threat of branding them bigots. I doubt very many people even understand what you think they might be afraid of. If you want to talk about being "rational" and actually debating something, don't conflate covering the issue with the issue itself. Sure, I don't have to read anything on RW. So what? If you don't see the staggering disconnect between that and whether it should be there in the first place, what is there to discuss?
  • In short, mission. Discuss it. Perhaps the intersection of gender issues and government are addressable as aspects of authoritarianism. Moving beyond that is not within RW's wheelhouse, or if it is, I don't see anyone trying to convince anyone of that. Just a lot of assertions. Nutty Roux (talk) 18:12, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm failing to see your claimed oppression - David Gerard (talk) 21:09, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I didn't claim to be oppressed. I'm pretty lucky not to be. Nutty Roux (talk) 21:21, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
So, you don't want us to get our social issues in your skepticism? Guess what broski, science does not exist in a vacuum. It is this sort of attitude that props up the misogyny, racism, and homophobia that exists within the skeptic community. Lager (talk) 08:29, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you think that's what he was saying, since it's clearly not. Nutty's point is that the intersection between the site's mission and social issues should be relevant to us, but social issues in general should not be. Perhaps you should consider reading his post a bit more carefully before you decide to toss out accusatory rhetoric like this. - Grant (talk) 16:11, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Why should social issues not be part of Rational Wiki's focus? Maybe it is time for this page to expand/redefine its mission. Lager (talk) 01:13, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
What, specifically, do you think RW can bring to the critique of social issues that is not already being done elsewhere? Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 01:22, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I also think that before we start talking about redefining or expanding RW's mission, we should make sure we're spot on in our handling of the current mission. As Sterile and others point out in the section below, many of our main articles are outdated and/or poorly maintained. I also second Father Vivian's point (and Nutty's above). While the intersection between the mission and social issues is important for us to look at, what exactly can RW bring to the table that justifies moving away from the mission or expanding/changing the mission?
For the record, I will also add that the tone you approached this issue with (Lager, not Father Vivian) is about as far from conducive to healthy and productive discussion as it is possible to be. You may very well have some valid ideas and reasoning as to why Nutty is wrong, but if that's the case you should lay them out instead of simply attacking Nutty with a largely irrelevant and pointlessly inflammatory comment. - Grant (talk) 03:08, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

This is all irrelevant[edit]

Because, come the Singularity, Roko's Femilisk will inspect your past blog posts, judge your reaction to Tumblr social justice warriors, and treat its simulation of you according to whether you were NAUGHTY ... or NICE.

Eight arseholes will be tortured in the future for each dollar donated! Please help fund this eventuality. - David Gerard (talk) 14:20, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

But my blog is entirely reblogs of porn and cat pictures! |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Here we are now, entertain us 18:37, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
But wait! Will this affect my sworn oath to the Cylons in any legal way?--Madman (talk) 01:58, 2 June 2014 (UTC)The Madman

So what is RW for anyway?[edit]

The problem is existential angst at RW's purpose or lack thereof, with the original impetus (Conservapedia) having pretty much faded into irrelevance, and RW actually getting somewhat popular.

The "mission" is composed entirely of reactions to Conservapedia. Many of the community standards are there as direct inversions of how things worked on Conservapedia.

I submit that treating the mission as holy writ, rather than the clearly ad-hoc cobbled-together definition of what a skeptical wiki might want to cover, may possibly constitute blitheringly stupid behaviour.

There's an antipattern that Internet social sites tend to: people get nostalgic for the old times, and think that if they can just get rid of these annoying newcomers they'll get the old site back again just like they remember. The primary fallacy is that the reason it was interesting back then was that nobody knew what they were doing and what would come next; attempting to encase that in carbonite is unlikely to achieve the desired effect. The secondary fallacy is that they themselves are different people now.

It's 2014. Conservapedia is long dead. RW of 2008 isn't there any more. Specious rules fundamentalism won't get it back either - David Gerard (talk) 21:17, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Then we need to rethink the Mission, probably. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Everyone gets hugged and turns into Tang 21:25, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I think there's is a lack congruence between the audience and the editorship of RW. I would suspect that the average editor "believes" in global warming, evolution, the use of vaccines, modern medicine. That doesn't mean that the people who reads RW, especially via the way of a Google search, does. The people on the fence should really be our audience. Having good information about topics that are the targets of denialism or make bizarre but unsupportable positive claims are important, even if they seem commonplace and boring to you. I always wish people would edit the articles on Main, since those are ones that certainly seem mission-centric. Further, we really need editors who want to improve content rather than make new articles. There are a lot of core articles that need a lot of improvement. Sterilesig.svgtalk 21:49, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Great comment Sterile.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 07:55, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, that was well put, Sterile. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 20:03, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Before I came to RationalWiki (through googling some NSA stuff) I had no idea there was this much bollocks in the world. I had no idea what homeopathy even was or what to think of Ayn Rand. RationalWiki managed to punt me a little bit to one side of the fence on many issues. Nullahnung (talk) 23:57, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I would be curious to see the results of a reader survey. The Foundation should consider implementing that.--"Shut up, Brx." 22:02, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Why the Foundation? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:21, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
What exactly would we be surveying about? Gender issues or what? The editorship or the audience of the wiki? (I also agree it would be more the wiki if it's about wiki content.) Given the way that internet polls can be manipulated (and socks and problems we've had with informal polls), I'm not sure how accurate it would be. Sterile (talk) 22:36, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
@Weaseloid: The Foundation because they seem like they're in the right place to put up an onsite poll of readers. Who else would do it? Techs? @Sterile: It'd be interesting to see the demographics of the wiki's audience, and perhaps a poll could be used to gather feedback. As for a poll's susceptibility to manipulation, I have no reply. I simply don't know enough to make any suggestions or offer any analysis.--"Shut up, Brx." 14:23, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
It is a little unfortunate that Conservapedia is dead. You can't have a common direction without a common reference. There needs to be something to catch and direct people's attention. I doubt the ultimate solution lies in a rule or mission change, because those things do not create appeal. --Someon (talk) 23:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The internet is still full of cranks and fundies to refute. And I think there's a middle road between snark and seriousness that is helpful. A certain amount of snark tells people that we know we're coming at things from a POV and that we don't claim to be completely unbiased. At the same time, lots of articles need a lot of work and citations. I think a lot can be done to make RationalWiki a more reliable resource outside of the narrow mission of merely refuting Conservapedia. AugustusCaesar (talk) 23:10, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
The internet is indeed full of cranks and fundies to refute. Many of them have repressive views about gender & sexuality. I don't see any reason to shy away from refuting these guys. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:35, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
The Internet has a lot of cranks and fundies to refute and RW's sterling efforts at calling these ideas to account is what put it on my bookmarks. I know at least one friend who does the same thing (and also bought Dr. Bronner's soap because of the article). I'm just a BON, but I hope RW keeps on debunking and calling things onto account--while also explaining, to the best of its editors' ability, why something's wrong and how things really work. Like the Lunar bukkake hypothesis. Pursue the truth to the best of your ability, explain it to those who don't know better, and make fun of the people who fight it. They hate being laughed at. -- (talk) 08:30, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
Hello World! Long time reader, first time forum space. I grew up Catholic, and deconverted about 2 years ago. Rationalwiki played a big role in that. My sister came out and Rationalwiki defiantly helped me to understand more about her position. I'm of the opinion that fundamentalism not only spreads disinformation about science and history, but also social justice. If social justice is not part of the mission statement, then maybe its time for the mission statement to include it. The first place I got real information about LGBT was on rationalwiki, and the site helped me cut through a lot of bullshit. These articles have value, real tangible value. Dagorlad (talk) 14:11, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
You touch on a good point, which is that there's a real intersection between social issues and RW's stated mission. I think the real question is: do we deviate from the mission to expand to areas of social justice that don't fall under that sphere? For example, the views of radical feminists like Andrea Dworkin or MRAs with their views on subjugating women seem like they intersect with authoritarianism, and the treatment of LGBT issues in the Bible also floats under RW's mission. Similarly, pseudoscientific arguments against gay marriage also clearly fall under our mission. The question is: is there a pressing need to move beyond those types of things, and if so, why? - Grant (talk) 15:54, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Grant, I respectfully disagree that "the views of radical feminists like Andrea Dworkin or MRAs with their views on subjugating women seem like they intersect with authoritarianism." For two reasons -- first, conflating Dworkin, who holds some tendentious viewpoints but who has also done important work in advancing feminist theory and practice with MRAs, who are mostly anonymous hateful basement-dwelling neckbeards is a little sloppy. Two, the question of authority: feminists have little authority, with the possible exception of things that happen within very-narrowly confined women's/feminist spaces; similarly, MRAs are a reactionary movement that, while they reflect the patriarchy at the base of much of the way authority is exercised, on their own terms have little real "authority." They're largely bullies, and that's not really "authority." The Taliban making women's life hell, or the state bowing to capitalists refusing to insure women's pharmaceutical needs on account of a clash with their morality? That is where "explorations of authority" meets gender politics. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 16:06, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough. I believe you're correct that my choice of examples was poor. That said, as to your first point, I do want to make clear that my intention wasn't to conflate the two groups. Perhaps my statement was poorly worded, but the intent was to suggest that both groups hold views that could be considered authoritarian to some degree, not that there was any real connection or similarity beyond that. Your point that authority is a precursor to authoritarianism is a good point, however, so either way I think you're right that my examples were poorly chosen. - Grant (talk) 16:15, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
"Two, the question of authority: feminists have little authority, with the possible exception of things that happen within very-narrowly confined women's/feminist spaces" Unfortunately, this is not the case - TERFs have obtained the ear of governments and public bodies to get anti-trans discrimination into law, for example. I think you're assuming again that if you're not personally interested then something's not work knowing about - David Gerard (talk) 23:08, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
There's also the not insignificant body of woo attached at least peripherally to various 'social-justice' causes; Afrocentric pseudohistory; feminism and the Goddess movement (Do we have an article on femwashing, the shoehorning of feminist rhetoric to claim that something like veganism or anti-abortionism or vaccine denialism is a necessary part of True Feminism?), the pseudolinguistics that underlies "political correctness", the human exceptionalism inherent in most grand plans to remake human societies in the service of any ideology. All of this is as squarely within our core mission as the mystic secrets of the pickup artists. I do think our coverage of left-wing nonsense tends to be lacking. But when right wing politics intrudes on a subject, our articles tend to be not really snarky, but only dismissive. You can't really argue well against a position if you begin with the assumption that anyone of good will must already agree with you. - Smerdis of Tlön (talk) 03:52, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Fucking stop it, Miekal.[edit]

[2] AFD is over there - David Gerard (talk) 12:40, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

I don't even get why you are so trigger happy. ·FemiliskFU 12:42, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
PS: "this article is crappy and miekal doesn;'t like it. Yes I like deleting things." is not the nicest or most productive way of deleting stuff... ·FemiliskFU 12:43, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Drive by vandalism from the admins? top lel: Can you say Gulag time? (talk) 13:04, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Oh goodie. Another FBer. Nutty Roux (talk) 13:06, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Considering the rants I've heard from you about the toxicity of the wiki community ... - David Gerard (talk) 13:42, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
There's more than one way to fuck up the wiki. You can waste time laughing at cramped and insane closet-cases while articles go out of date. You can act like you're the King of the wiki and make unilateral decisions. You can avoid decisions altogether and complain about results. You can chit-chat and be generally obnoxious on the most easily-accessed face of the wiki. Hell, I'm fucking up the wiki right now just by complaining self-righteously! It's just great. It's just fucking great. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock ) 15:09, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Honest question: why are we deleting user pages? --OverworldTheme (talk) 13:28, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
"we" aren't, hence the section title - David Gerard (talk) 13:42, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Based on the names, I would wager those were spam accounts, so that's a bit different in those cases. - Grant (talk) 16:08, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Some of those might of been spam accounts and some look like articles to me. Nobody should be unilaterally deleting articles. As for the user accounts we have no policy on deleting "obviously" spam accounts. But why do it?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:30, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I was referring specifically to the user accounts. As to why we would delete them, I guess that depends on whether they managed to drop links on their user page. At that point, it's clearly in RW's best interests not to leave said links in place. Otherwise, does it matter one way or the other? - Grant (talk) 20:32, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
If it doesn't matter one way or the other it would still probably better to have consensus than not.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 20:26, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
But what about in the case of user pages that contain spam links? Generally speaking that's the first thing these spammers try to do, after all. - Grant (talk) 16:37, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Sure we should delete spam links. though it doesn't really make a whole lot of difference as we are nofollow anyway. Was that what Mikel was doing?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:57, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Several issues seem to be confused here. Changes to the edit filters (I think) a couple of months or so ago have successfully stopped userpage linkspam. A few spambot posts that don't include links, but are recognisable as spam as they follow the familiar format that the spambot uses, are still getting through. (My name is X from Y. My interests are A and B, which I will in no way avoid. Please see my website.) Some users prefer to delete as these as spam, though it's not particularly necessary and I don't think we need a policy on it one way or the other. Miekal was mostly deleting short mainspace pages, especially ones created by User:Micky12 who has a habit of creating mostly useless stubs. My approach to this is that if the created page is only a line or two long, it's of no use to site users and should be deleted. I've vaporized quite a few of these (see Forum:One-liners), several of which were by Micky12. However, some of the ones Miekal deleted had multiple paragraphs, sections or links, and should really go through a AfD/deletion nomination process. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah, I wasn't aware that the new edit filter did so well at stopping linkspam. That's good at least. Yes, I agree that the more detailed articles Miekal deleted shouldn't have been deleted unilaterally. One can argue that they weren't worthwhile contributions, but that should be done through the proper process. - Grant (talk) 17:43, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Another fucking mass shooting in US-America...[edit]

HERE. To go along with the mass shooting in Canada, which still isn't resolved. Can we all fucking well stop shooting each other for a little while? Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 23:12, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

At least there were no deaths this time around. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Flipping out the buttered fuck crumpets 23:15, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Hell, at least it wasn't up to five hundred dead in a single day, either. But still, I have had enough of this nonsense. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 23:18, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Let's just hope we pay respect to the victims this time around instead of trying to fuel a gun control debate/gender war/whatever tedious argument. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg The neural network broke the phase space!? REVERSE THE TANGENT GRAPH!!! 23:24, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Violence is political. The only solution to violence is political. "Paying respect" will do nothing to prevent future violence. Father Vivian O'Blivion (talk) 23:28, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
I said that because I think using tragedy to fuel such debates is shameless and exploitative. And also because tedious Internet arguments will do nothing to prevent future violence. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Flipping out the buttered fuck crumpets 23:36, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Violence is the reason for such debates. How can we prevent future violence if not by discussing what causes it and how to address it? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:00, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Politicization and debating is ok, as long as you take care not to give the killer too much attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uwAo8lcAC4
Ok, so it goes on about video games too, but I was trying to point to the part of the video where it says you shouldn't make the killer some kind of anti-hero if you don't want more shootings. Nullahnung (talk) 00:02, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah, the good ol' "blame the vidya" angle. Because some people don't think people can't separate fantasy from reality. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg A single piece of bread is just an open-face universe sandwich 00:16, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Raysenn, put this in your monobook.js or vector.js. It will help address your concern about a participating in a tedious and pointless argument. $('h2:has(span:contains("fucking mass shooting"))').find("span.editsection").remove(); Nutty Roux (talk) 00:25, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
I think it was specified that that's not the particular claim being advanced. It pertained toward the publicity these events generate. A big start on this problem would be a press-wide policy of not publishing statements made by such people and permanently withholding the assailants' names. To hell with fifteen minutes, don't give them fifteen microseconds of fame. Frostbyte (talk) 06:04, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, they are having problems trying to catch the guy in Moncton, New Brunswick, because people are, unintentionally, using social media to inform where the police are.--Cms13ca (talk) 23:56, 5 June 2014 (UTC)
Nice, this particular homicidal rampage is all of thirty minutes away from where I live. Allow me now to feign shock and horror whilst actually fuming at the bastard with the gun, feeling bitter about another person having to die, and raging at the jackasses who won't let some semi-sane gun laws be passed in this country. Oh well, the (not so) occasional (anymore) mass shooting is a small price to pay for your inalienable right to parade around town with a tacticool assault rifle like the big swinging dick you are (I'm talking to YOU, LaPierre!)--Captain Wolff (talk) 04:29, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
P.S. Twenty Bucks says this gun-nut will be a sociopathic white kid as well. --Captain Wolff (talk) 04:37, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
That was long established from his facebook. He was arrested alive though. I'm legit shocked by that. --Revolverman (talk) 04:53, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
Glad they did too, it already shut down half that idiot's arguments he kept posting on facebook. --Revolverman (talk) 05:02, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
True. Anyways, kudos and a Badass Award to the person who tackled the gunman. That must have taken some balls to do. --Captain Wolff (talk) 18:22, 6 June 2014 (UTC)
The pro-gun side has mocked the idea that there should be restrictions on magazine size, as if it's madness to think some people might have time to get away or take the shooter down while he's stopping to reload. Whose laughing now, gun nuts? The person who tackled the shooter while he was stopping to reload, that's who. Probably after he got done drying his pants out, at least. Huh? What's that? Crap, it was a shotgun. I'm melting! Meeeeelting... --User:PsychoGecko 10:16, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Https everywhere[edit]

Well what's the delay RW? — Unsigned, by: MLM4U / talk / contribs 09:09, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

You need RationalWiki:Technical support.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:09, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Whoa, that file looks dodgy. Better switch to HTTPS before downloading! Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 12:59, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
the NSA called. They said you are doing great work and the check is in the mail. Fucking privacy advocates. If we let them get away with https next they will infringe on your right to upload revenge porn and stolen credit card numbers to facebook. — Unsigned, by: MLM4U / talk / contribs
It'd be terrible if the NSA found out which articles you read at RW. TERRIBLE. Imagine what they could do with that information. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 15:15, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
have it you're way. There is a name for people who cross picket lines.
There's a name for people who don't know the difference between "you're" and "your"... PsyGremlinSnakk! 06:25, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
so much for this being rational wiki. — Unsigned, by: ‎MLM4U / talk / contribs
"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! Wah! People aren't leaping to do the bidding of my paranoid drive-by posts! Wah! Face it, sunshine, just by posting here, the NSA now know your name, address, phone number and the colour of your Spongebob bedding. PsyGremlinSnakk! 11:38, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
your the one whose going to be paranoid after w3 h@Xx1n& Ur p@$sW0Rdz aNd 1nI+aL1z3 uR h4Rd Dr1v3! W3 R LEG10n!
RationalWiki's IP is We are waiting. --|₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg It's dangerous to go alone! Take this. 21:50, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
U dont know who ur messging with. Just so you know. I am an astral projectionist and can hack all your passwords with psi power


Leughing is en inveluntery, physicel reectien in humens, censisting typicelly ef rhythmicel, eften eudible centrectiens ef the diephregm end ether perts ef the respiretery system. It is e respense te certein externel er internel stimuli. Leughter cen erise frem such ectivities es being tickled, er frem humereus steries er theughts. Mest cemmenly, it is censidered e visuel expressien ef e number ef pesitive emetienel stetes, such es jey, mirth, heppiness, relief, etc. en seme eccesiens, hewever, it mey be ceused by centrery emetienel stetes such es emberressment, epelegy, er cenfusien ("nerveus leughter") er ceurtesy leugh. Fecters such es ege, gender, educetien, lenguege, end culture ere determinent fecters es te whether e persen will experience leughter in e given situetien.

Leughter is e pert ef humen behevier reguleted by the brein, helping humens clerify their intentiens in seciel interectien end previding en emetienel centext te cenversetiens. Leughter is used es e signel fer being pert ef e greup — it signels ecceptence end pesitive interectiens with ethers. Leughter is semetimes seen es centegieus, end the leughter ef ene persen cen itself preveke leughter frem ethers es e pesitive feedbeck. This mey ecceunt in pert fer the pepulerity ef leugh trecks in situetien cemedy televisien shews.

The study ef humer end leughter, end its psychelegicel end physielegicel effects en the humen bedy, is celled geletelegy. Unique pinion (talk) 22:18, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

I have learned new things today. Thank you for that. --Kels (talk) 22:27, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
This post proudly sponsored by Glasgow, home of the univowel. PsyGremlinSnakk! 06:27, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
E few ef my encesters mey heve been teuchters, but net weegies. If Kels leughed eut leud, then my missien here hes been eccemplished. Unique pinion (talk) 18:07, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
TOP LEL - David Gerard (talk) 16:35, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Come back Lumenos, all is forgiven. SophieWilderModerator 17:18, 10 June 2014 (UTC)