RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive233

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Retraction watch[edit]

I just (re)stumbled on Retraction Watch, a blog that tracks and reports on retractions of scientific papers and related problems. Among the gems are a study that even random numbers can reproduce a paper's findings and another paper's first author being asked to review his submission. Falsified data? It's there, too. Especially interesting is a post about the use of word choice to detect fraudulent papers. Fun stuff!MarmotHead (talk) 21:22, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

I've been following it for a while. It saved me when the Marc Hauser scandal broke -- I was planning to cite one of his papers in something for class, and then I saw the story about it on Retraction Watch. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:51, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
See page 94. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. Moderator 08:04, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
?? Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:16, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Where the retractions are normally published. Redchuck.gif Генгисpillaging Moderator 19:14, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
(In Private Eye Scream!! (talk) 22:35, 7 September 2014 (UTC))

Anyone from Chicago here?[edit]

Robert Baty just posted to RW FB about a hearing on the parsonage allowance (the specious free housing exemption for churches in the US): "Anyone from RationalWiki going to be available tomorrow, in Chicago, to report on this historic event??? Oral arguments are scheduled for tomorrow in the case before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals: Tuesday, September 9, 2014, in the Main Courtroom, Room 2721 of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois, at 9:30 a.m." - David Gerard (talk) 16:32, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

I am in Chicago and will be in the same building for a status hearing in the District Court, but there's no need for anyone to attend. Oral arguments can be interesting (rarely, and usually only to lawyers), but I'll wait for the eventual written decision on this one..In any event, the 7th Circuit makes recordings of all oral arguments available to the public at no cost. Also, this Baty guy is still very weird. Nutty Roux (talk) 16:59, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Herbal antidepressants...[edit]

like St. John's Wort or SAM E. Good idea? Bad idea? Goat? (talk) 20:58, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

If seeking professional help then goat - there is limited evidence that St. John's Wort/SAM-e is helpful. If not seeking professional help and relying on herbal remedies then very fucking bad idea. Tielec01 (talk) 01:30, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Anyhow, dosage is always dodgy with "herbal" stuff. Quality control is (often) not up to pharmaceutical standards and side effects can be many and varied. Scream!! (talk) 12:19, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Anecdotally, I found St Johns wort helpful until it started giving me massive headaches. AMassiveGay (talk) 13:12, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I've been on good 'ol Prozac for years, I tried going off and going the herbal route and it did nothing. Supposedly, using the herbal remedies can cause reliance on them. Similar to how melatonin will cause reliance to let you sleep. Herbal stuff is as wacky as Pharma Jrock1203 (talk) 13:44, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
We should not be dispensing medical advice. As much as we like to hate on quacks, I don't think many of us are licensed medical professionals. The most we can do here is tell you when something is out-and-out pseudoscience. Ikanreed (talk) 16:03, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
yeah yeh we all know you should talk to a Dr if you are ill or having problems, but its always good to hear the opinions of others. Just don't take it as gospel. And everyone loves to give their 10 cents. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:30, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Please don't take my opinion as advice, just expressing personal experience. Jrock1203 (talk) 17:57, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
[ec] I've been on and off fluoxetine and St. John's wort. I noticed a distinctive physical feeling the times I was on prozac, and didn't particularly like it. The only thing I noticed with St John's wort was the taste lingering in my head. I don't expect either of those observations to have anything to do with anyone else's case. Managing mood tendencies needs to be done live and in person, with a trusted other to keep an eye on you. We are all subject to some degree of denial or anosognosiaWikipedia, which is Greek for "I'm just fine! FUCK YOU leave me alone, I'm fine!" when that is clearly not the case. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:08, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
St John's Wort was recommended to me by a family member and I took it for about a week. I was initially skeptical that it could be "alternative medicine", but found a meta-review showing that St John's Wort performs about as well as standard anti-depressants. However, shortly thereafter when I saw a professional regarding depression (who actually had a soft spot for some "holistic" stuff) his advice was that there are good and bad formulations of St John's Wort out there so it's important to get one of the good ones, but better to just take anti-depressant drugs. As I ended up not going the herbal route, I don't know how to distinguish between good and bad quality St John's Wort. As always, see a professional if you need medical advice. Origin (talk) 15:32, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Articles on Fred Reed & John Derbyshire?[edit]

Should we create articles on the above two individuals? They are frequently described as "racist" so we can dispel such notions in our articles. What do you all think? (talk) 20:34, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

John Derbyshire already has one ... so that's one down. MarmotHead (talk) 20:40, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I decided to to look up both, and they are pretty racist, and frankly, given you argued for someone else who was exactly opposite what you claimed, I'm beginning to suspect you're a troll of some sort. Arcane (talk) 20:50, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
We don't need to catalogue every racist. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 08:03, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, due to absence of notability criterium, the vibe you get around here is "if anyone wants to, they can catalogue whichever small and insignificant personality they want". Nullahnung (talk) 10:26, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the point of BoN was that we should write articles dipelling the notion that these two gentlemen were racist. You guys missed that. Shadow Nirvana (talk) 20:35, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Gavin McInnes: Racist? Not at all.[edit]

Hi. Have you heard of Gavin McInnes? He is purported to be a racist, but that's not quite the case. Would you be willing to be rational for once and make an article debunking such vile allegations of racism against Gavin? (talk) 20:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

No, no, no and thrice no. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 21:09, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Is he known as a racist? I know that he made some stupid-ass comments about women faking toughness, natural gender roles and feminism making women unhappy (he got into a "heated debate" with law professor Mary Anne Franks for it.). He also wrote a transphobic article, basically spewing Transphobia 101 points without any originality or additions.(I think it's basically talking about the Napoleon delusion, I've only read pieces of it.) I haven't heard of racism, though. Isn't he sort of a shock-jock prankster?Shadow Nirvana (talk) 08:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Pedantry corner[edit]

Criterion </pedantry>. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 22:08, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Criteria shurely. </moer pedantry> Scream!! (talk) 22:39, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Tommy Sotomayor[edit]

There's big trouble at Liberapedia over some guy called Tommy Sotomayor. Different black people feel very strongly about it all. Do any Americans know who's right and who's wrong over it? Proxima Centauri (talk) 13:48, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

What an article. "Tommy Sotomayor was on youtube, his supporters support him but his opponents oppose him." Great work there. SophieWilderModerator 13:57, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
How do I write an article that's fair to both sides and avoids racism? Proxima Centauri (talk) 14:14, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Blimey, you finally asked for help with writing an article. What happened to "I'm too busy writing to learn how to write"? OK the answer is: 'get someone else to write it who knows more about the subject and appropriate writing style.' SophieWilderModerator 14:32, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Way to be a team player, ma'am. Despite my attitude on things like this, it's very hard to gather evidence and reliable sources for such a matter. Might as well just add a section to the main page and run. --Madman (talk) 03:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)The Madman

Quick Question on Logical Fallacies[edit]

All, it's been awhile since I brushed up on my fallacious reasoning - primarily because I don't ever engage in fallacious reasoning. However, I have always operated under the assumption that there was a fallacy that I called 'Comparison to Paradise'. Using an example relevant to vegetarianism the fallacy is "Even if I stop eating meat cows will still be killed and hardly anything will change therefore why bother?". To paraphrase "If I can't solve the WHOLE problem then there is no point in even trying to solve a small part of the problem". However, when I cast about to find a place to read more about this fallacy I can't find it anywhere - have I been living a lie all these years, or am I just searching for the wrong title of the fallacy? Cheers. Tielec01 (talk) 06:06, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

The nirvana fallacyWikipedia - or more specifically the perfect solution fallacy - seems to be what you're looking for. I didn't know it had a specific name, as I just usually refer to it as an example of black-and-white thinking or a false dilemma (which is accurate according to WP). - Grant (talk) 06:25, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
That's the one GrantC - you're a gentleman and a scholar. Thank you. Tielec01 (talk) 07:17, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Aussie man wakes up from a coma after car crash speaking MANDARIN[edit]

I don't believe it, but it's in the news. (OK, the Daily Mail one doesn't really count.) I suspect exaggeration and selective recall.--Weirdstuff (talk) 10:30, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

He's aussie. That's most likely the least strange thing that ever happened to him. --Madman (talk) 13:04, 10 September 2014 (UTC)The Madman
The general pattern of these stories goes in one of two ways:
1. Native speaker of Language A has previously also learned auxiliary language B and possibly others. Suffers brain damage, elements needed to emit A damaged or inaccessible, secondary elements used to emit B still work. Automatically begins speaking B because humans have an innate urge to communicate (which is also why a rough sign language is spontaneously generated by profoundly deaf children in an environment with no pre-existing sign language and probably also explains why non-celebrities use twitter). Observers, unfamiliar with this phenomenon, mistakenly believe acquisition of language B occurred as a result of brain damage, rather than pre-dating it.
2. Member of ethnic group X who are expected to speak only local language A, suffers brain damage. As a result of the damage they begin to "talk funny" due to e.g. problems with fine motor control - but it is interpreted by local A speakers as hard to understand speech in language B, which none of them are fluent in. Miraculously by the time a native speaker of B is found, the patient is speaking A, though perhaps with an accent vaguely typical of language B in some ways as they re-learn to talk after the damage. This phenomenon is called "Foreign Accent Syndrome".
This looks like type 1 above, the person mentioned had previously learned "some" Mandarin, so that skill was available whereas for some period of time the knowledge of how to use English was unavailable due to damage. Tialaramex (talk) 18:07, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
By the way this is also why if you fear cognitive impairment during old age you should consider learning more languages now. The training doesn't magically protect your brain from damage, but the redundancy of being able to say "I feel cold" in three languages means that when your brain just can't mesh together the pieces to do it in English you can tell your carers in Spanish or Russian instead. Tialaramex (talk) 18:14, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
In the UK, Spanish(Filipino), Polish or Romanian might be good languages to learn as they will probably be what the staff natively speak when you are in a care home. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 11:46, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Not so stroppy as tipsy twenty-something babes after a motor vehicle accident, demented patients can be fun to transport. Trying to make sense of what they had to say was interesting, one way to relieve the tedium between emergencies. More than likely, if I get into such a home and try to speak Russian, I will end up saying something like "Не кладите свой хуй в мой чай!" If I'm lucky, the staff won't understand. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:37, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Battle for the net: why is my internet slow today?[edit]

Battle for the net: why is my internet slow today? Proxima Centauri (talk) 06:14, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I noticed that too. Are we going to have to combat some new godawful internet-related bill every year now? Abed Nadir (talk) 06:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The Unz Review[edit]


A particular paleoconservative/nationalist site which also happens to host articles by Noam Chomsky of all people, along with "respectable" conservatives like Ron Paul, and the infamous likes of John Derbyshire and Steve Sailer. Kinda popular in the far-right blogosphere, especially in "race realist" circles. Maybe an article is in order? -- (talk) 20:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

A good candidate. Unz has been a big player in paleocon/nativist circles. He used to edit the American Conservative. Maybe Stabby can help -- he likes his paleocon stuff. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
A brief poking around of Unz's articles suggest he's the William F. Buckley sort: his expertise is wrapping bigotry in superficial rhetoric. I especially like the bit where he brings up his expertise in physics, only to mention he's been out of the loop for 25 years (he apparently does computer programming these days). But don't worry, he still has expertise — in science! The following paragraph, where he describes his old love for biology, is classic Buckleyite rhetoric: no argument for his bigotry is provided, just charm and a disarming personal story. It's fluff. The definitive quality of paleocon rhetoric is fluff: lots of irrelevant discussion of the personal character/qualities of the people/institutions under debate, many assertions, and precious few actual arguments or data in favor of their position. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:21, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I should mention that yes, I will help write on article on Unz. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:58, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Must refrain from bad techno jokes... Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Monopoly on force[edit]

In arguing with libertarians, has Weber's definition of government made any sense? I'm not sure in what way government is a monopoly since it isn't a business, and I'm wondering if anyone else thinks the same thing. — Melab (Talk) 00:59, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Weber is full of shit to me, so don't ask me.--Madman (talk) 01:26, 12 September 2014 (UTC)The Madman
I was under the impression that that's a pretty standard definition. Maybe monopoly on "legitimate" violence would be more precise. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Although it's not the only definition of government, it's certainly a useful one. A government is not a business but it is the only one in a state that has the legal right to compel people to do things. Putting someone in jail for not obeying the law would naturally involve an exercise of violence or the threat thereof. According to social contract theory, citizens have either tacitly or explictly surrendered some of their freedoms in exchange for the authority's protection of other rights and in some cases, the supply of some goods and services.
If you look at the curves here (http://ingrimayne.com/econ/Monopoly/Monopoly.html) you'll see that if a government is a monopoly it is able to profit by being the sole supplier of services, such as enforcing a legal system.
We can consider the sacrifice of freedoms as the price the citizens pay for government provision of services. In a competitive market, citizens could choose the supplier of these services, and would pay the price where the curves meet at q1. However, since the government has a monopoly, it can charge the citizens a larger sacrifice of freedoms (price 0 on the graph or p0) while not even giving citizens very much at all (quantity 0 or q0) compared to a supplier in a competitive market.
To sum it up crudely, because it is difficult for us to choose a different supplier of services like police protection or even a stable legal system/economy for living and doing business in, we have to put up with our government's monopoly of force and sacrifice a greater deal of freedoms to it than would be the case if we could all choose our governments in a competitive market. That monopoly power exists because it's difficult for another competitor to enter (Infrequent or unfair elections, war), and it's difficult for its customers to exit (difficulty of finding citizenship elsewhere). If you'd like an illustration of this concept in film, watch Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai and read J. M. Coetzee's interpretation of it.Vajrapani (talk) 03:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
A government isn't a "supplier" of "services". — Melab (Talk) 03:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The term "monopoly" here isn't being used in an economic sense. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The government has a monopoly on many things: issuing money and making laws for instance.--Weirdstuff (talk) 07:09, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Aside from police protection, other services supplied by the government include surface transportation infrastructure (roads, bridges, stoplights,) air traffic control, aids to marine navigation, defense from foreign invasion (there's that violent force thing again,) some of the education establishment, and, in some countries, health insurance. I'm not so sure about "not in an economic sense," but just now I'm willing to take Nebu's word for it. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:22, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Again, those aren't really services. — Melab (Talk) 15:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Is GPS not a service, then? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:40, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Legislation certainly isn't. — Melab (Talk) 20:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, it is. It's a service to the court system, to law enforcement, to any other entity who relies on government regulations in the course of their activity, and to any person or organization who gets government funding. Issuing money is part of servicing the maintenance of a fiat currency. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:12, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That relies on a very dubious definition of "service". Legislators' purpose is to craft the laws that apply in a particular state (polity). That doesn't provide a service to anyone. Was God doing a "service" when he laid out the Ten Commandments? Libertarians abolustely LOVE this angle. This way they get to claim that private business can actually serve as a substitute for it. — Melab (Talk) 04:22, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
God's alleged activities have nothing in common with the acts of a real human legislature— libertarians' specious claims are likewise irrelevant here. They can claim all they want— government still has a monopoly on providing this service. The laws crafted by legislators serve as guidance or basis for the actions of other agents of the polity. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 05:07, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Libertarians seem to think it is, unfortunately, which makes it good rhetoric for them. Now it's distorted my view of government. — Melab (Talk) 15:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
It's stupid, of course. It's a dumb way of trying to structure the notion of the social contract into economic terms, when the ideas of free market economics fall apart quite rapidly in a non-structured, violent environment. I guess what I'm saying is the libertarians only have one tool, the neoliberalism hammer, and every piece of reality looks like a nail to them. Ikanreed (talk) 15:09, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Has anyone seen this article?[edit]

Environmentalists vs. Nuclear Energy Really informative.~epixSay What? 18:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

"Nuclear power is as cheap to build and run as coal fired plants." err current attempts to find someone to build a nuclear plant in the UK and the ammount of subsidy we are having offer suggests this is bollocks. The author also ignores the issue of radon gas resulting from radium enriched building materials.Geni (talk) 10:52, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Chocolate teapot proves useful[edit]

Who'd a thunkit? Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 02:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

That's why we say "chocolate fire-guard". Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. Moderator 07:26, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
At the moment, our fireplace has a wax pillar in it. Sometimes it's a flower arrangement. We don't have a cow, so there's nothing to burn. Besides, the neighbors would not understand if we patted the fuel onto the sides of the house to dry, like sensible folk. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
What a terrible waste of resources for a non-issue. Thanks science. --NerdyWizard (talk) you believed that why? 21:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
It's chocolate "wasted" for some fun entertainment. It's not like they used a space shuttle to put a billboard in orbit. X Stickman (talk) 22:07, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Parody alerts?[edit]

Some of the pages on RW are funny parodies of conservative thinking, and it's pretty obvious when so. However, just in the sake of neatness, would it make sense to have a generic "this is a parody" template kind of thing? Please, anyone better at HTML than me (or just anyone then) make a helpful contribution! — Unsigned, by: TinyTachyon / talk / contribs 05:44, 14 September 2014

Great idea, we'll be right onto that! - David Gerard (talk) 08:18, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
{{parody}} It's been here forever. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:47, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Looking at where it's included, it appears to be a marker indicating "completely shit article content here". And some maroon's splattered it across funspace - David Gerard (talk) 15:14, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
There may be uses for a new template, {{Funstar}}, so long as it isn't splattered inappropriately. See what it looks like at White House... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Would anyone mind if I perhaps killed off the "parody" messagebox class? IMO, the yellow background is rather garish and the template would be just as well served with one of the standard messagebox classes (perhaps "warning"?).--The General talk to me 16:25, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

If you need a "parody" template then one or the other (you or the article) requires attention. My own take is that if an article/reader combo isn't enough to show it's a parody then either the article or the reader should be removed from the site forthwith. Scream!! (talk) 20:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Was this meant to be a reply to me? Btw, I agree with you - perhaps we should consider excising the transclusions and deleting the template?--The General talk to me 21:03, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


How do you do that thing where it links the name and UTC time at the end of a thing? Also, does someone know how to make the fancy special username things? Do you need to have an account, or what? -JohnLesterMcFuck, 17 September 2014

You need to sign up for an account, otherwise your IP address is shown. To enter your name and the edit time you either click the signature button at the top of the edit window or type four tiles ~~~~. As for getting fancy effects, let's do one step at a time. Redchuck.gif Генгисunbelieving Moderator 10:40, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Article on Andrew Sullivan?[edit]

Should we create an article for renowned journalist Andrew Sullivan? Here is one good article from him: http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/09/16/the-offense-industry-on-the-offense/ (talk) 19:51, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Already done. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:50, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Maddox on that one Spider Woman cover[edit]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB6TiRJNI-Q I'm really not sure how to feel about this one.Ryantherebel (talk) 01:44, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Since he's doing a "make a genuine point" video instead of "make an ironic point" video, I think he should've quit while he was ahead. He started off with the clear point that there was no double standard. Then drifted into stupid points that are impossible to distinguish from those made by real-life bigots. Ikanreed (talk) 13:13, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I've been following his work for a while and honestly think this video was solid. He shows that he is a longtime comic fan and brought up the whole "Oi! We already did this!" Zero (talk - contributions) 12:28, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Missing pictures[edit]

I was in a discussion today about what to call various bits of the British Isles - and how today's vote will affect this and I said "there's a great Venn diagram on RatWiki. No, it's gone. Then, a few minutes ago, Prox noted that the picture of Warsi had gone. I then started clicking on the random page button and quite a few - maybe 20% - had missing pictures. Has there been some sort of cull or do we have a bijou glitchette in our picture library? Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 16:08, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

It's a known issue, mediawiki is just breaking like usual.--Miekal 16:15, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 16:17, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I could access the picture at a library computer but can't again with my home computer. What in the name of the most holy FSM could cause that? Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:30, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
We don't only need to sort out the technical problem, we also need to check that good faith editors aren't removing links to pictures that are missing on their computers. See Revision history of Sayeeda Warsi, other editors may make the same mistake. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:38, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Good faith editors can take responsibility for their own actions. We have a deletion log showing what has been deleted and why, as well as a technical support page for tech problems where this issue had already been raised. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:57, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014[edit]

I nearly put these in WIGO:World - Prepare to have your mind blown! Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 23:05, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

The Federalist thinks I'm interesting enough to talk about![edit]

Article. My Response. (Kos) And all they did was just stroke my ego. Wahoo. Zero (talk - contributions) 19:50, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Is this seriously, "here let's have a 'newspaper' article about an edit war I had on wikipedia"? Because that's pretty amusing. Ikanreed (talk) 20:34, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
More like "Hey! Somebody noticed me!" Zero (talk - contributions) 20:46, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Conservapedia's own Karajou has decided to chip in--"Shut up, Brx." 20:16, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

What's the name of this shit?[edit]

I heard about some book a while ago that said something along the lines of this: human societies were all fucking good and shit with sexual equality and matriarchy and whatever, but then, everything changed when the fire nation attacked we started using writing instead of pictures, which apparently, like,fucking, awoke the masculinity of the left brain logic and sexism or some shit. It sounds like bullshit, but anyway, does anybody know what I'm talking about? I think the guy who wrote it was called David, but I'm not certain. THE GREAT RIGHTEØUS DESTRØYER Sorry if I piss you offDolan.png 14:25, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm just going to call that "more of the same", because all that evo-psych pseudoscience kinda blends together in making assumptions about the past, making assumptions about how that imagined past influenced human development, and then making assumptions about how that influence affects human beings today, then calling it "science". Ikanreed (talk) 14:41, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you're mixing together two different things here. Part of it sounds like anarcho-primitivism a la John Zerzan, where the noble savages lived in a state of "unmediated experience" until language was developed. The other is the ancient matriarchy claims made by Gimbutas et al. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 14:44, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I was trying to make the case that all the pseudo-antrhopology kinda blends together. So, mixing up two "different" things that read very similarly is pretty reasonable, right? Ikanreed (talk) 15:32, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh not at all -- I was replying to OP. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:54, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
But all this left brain/right brain stuff is massively overinterpreted isn't it?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:13, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Yup. See hemispheric dominance. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 18:54, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era to me.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:27, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a generic golden age fantasy such as appears in various creation myths from around the world & still crops up in various tenuous academic theories. There was once a state of balance and harmony within human society, then something fucked it up. Depending on what you want to believe, this might be human consciousness, language, literacy, settlement, agriculture, government, marriage, divorce, temptation, sin, knowledge of evil, stealing fire from the gods, opening some kind of magic box, etc. etc. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:46, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
There's also The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, but IIRC that was from a guy named Leonard. All of this stuff draws on popularized versions of early and speculative anthropology, and various aspects of these beliefs are treated at Indo-European languages and pagan survivals. What makes it more interesting is that one central myth here remains the Nazi legend of Aryan supermen; all the goddess worshippers have done is to root for the losing team. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 19:25, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
That's the one- thank you Smerdis. Your infinite knowledge of obscure crank ideas has, once again, been quite useful. MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM Play the best song in the world, or I'll eat your soulDolan.png 00:34, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Question about Iraq balkanization[edit]

I've been curious about this for a bit, is there anything besides potential cleansing that would be so adverse to iraq falling into two-three+ states? It just doesn't seem like Iraq as a free, diverse country is going to work out like we want it to.--Miekal 00:43, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

It's the ethnic cleansing. Osaka Sun (talk) 01:55, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
It's been a while since I read it, but I believe this was addressed in the Iraq Study Group Report and I think a major problem would be some of the subdivisions would have most of the oil while others would have almost none, basically condemning a new nation to poverty. Or I could be misremembering it entirely. DickTurpis (talk) 21:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Here's the problem with partitioning Iraq. If you are going to partition Iraq you might as well partition Syria and take out pieces of Iraq and Turkey to form a new Kurdish state. The Kurdish state and Sunni Arab states created from a partition of Iraq would be landlocked which may be fine in central Europe but is generally a bad thing when applied to developing countries especially ones in which the building of a desalinization plant is a forgone conclusion. And yes partition does in fact cause ethnic cleansing. Look at an ethnic map of the Balkans or even the rest of Eastern Europe from two hundred years ago and compare it to a recent ethnic map of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The ethnic homogeneity of the Eastern and Southern European nation states is indeed product of ethnic cleansing coercive or aggressive. Nevertheless the reason why partition was used was to avoid bloody civil wars (like the one we are seeing in both Iraq and Syria) and it was even tactically supported by some European communists. Indeed the Soviets (judging by their actions in regards to Eastern Europe, and by their insistence on giving minorities autonomy within the Soviet Union itself) figured that it would be easier to talk about the internal issue of economic inequality and hence justify communist rule in an ethnically homogeneous country where hatred of the "other" (ethnic groups) isn't an internal issue. Anyway my view of this conflict is that it will go on until there is a partition of Syria, if not both Iraq and Syria, not because of what is happening in Iraq but because of what is happening in Syria (The two groups in that civil war both have way too much to lose for it to end in a clear cut victory for either side). That or we could simply replace Assad and the current Iraqi government with more strong-arm dictators and/or monarchs. The only European country that was founded as Republic as opposed to a feudal monarchy that I can think of where ethnicity and religion weren't and aren't divisive issues (literally) is Switzerland which has an extremely decentralized government perhaps even more so than the United States. Even the various decolonized African republics tend to be religiously homogeneous and the ones that aren't tend to face internal issues because they aren't. Hence while you (and civilized people of all ethnic groups and religions generally) may not like partitions and the inevitable ethnic cleansing that follows, as long as they aren't followed up by an outright genocide the international community tolerates them as a necessary tool for maintaining internal stability. Alsto003 (talk) 04:26, 17 September 2014 (UTC) Alex
  • The other problem is that people don't divide neatly along regional lines. What happens to people who are stuck in the "wrong" area for their ethnic group? Are you going to forcibly relocate them, abandon them to their fate, or what? --Aquillion (talk) 05:17, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
The proposals have been to create a federal Iraq along three quasi-territorial religious tribal and ethnic lines with Baghdad as the capital. The Sunni region (Anbar province) is however the poorest, and getting the Kurdish & Shia regions (Kirkuk & Basra) to share oil revenues is a major sticking point. You'd be pissed off, too, if someone kidnapped, raped your wife and then beheaded you. Sharing oil revenues may be bowing to extortion.
But the reality is, about 2 million Sunnis in the Sunni regions are ready to take up arms against these psycho-killers as well. They like drinking alchohol, watching pornos and girls in blue jeans with lipstick. They don't like cowing to religious nuts. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 17:03, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Galt's Gulch Chile[edit]

I experienced an uncomfortable level of schadenfreude from the crash of this libertarian dream. If the mood strikes you do a quick google search and you can see one of the main promoters Jeff Berwick devolve from unthinkingly spruiking the project to talking about killing himself over it's failure. The craziest thing is, all along the way, they never once question whether or not their ideologically motivated beliefs might be wrong. Very interesting reading for those of us who are fascinated by people who believe stupid things (and are unable to stop believing them). Tielec01 (talk) 05:33, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

The story seems to be filtering out into mainstream-ish media too. Tielec01 (talk) 05:35, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Even if this did go 100%, did anyone thing that Chile would be totaly cool with some weird Anarchist Republic in its borders that might have people stockpiling weapons? --Revolverman (talk) 08:31, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
It just now occurred to me that actually genuinely rich libertarians like the Kochs would never even consider "going galt", because they know the market would gobble up their previous position of power in the economy. It's always the poor sucker libertarians who suffer from these fantasies. Ikanreed (talk) 13:12, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
What's crazy is that, even if they had the resources to take this to court, the aggrieved parties have an ideological objection to courts so they won't do it. It's likely that the perpetrators of this scam will get off scot-free (topical pun not intended). You could not pick a better scam target than a bunch of ideologically invested people who have a principled stand against reporting you to the authorities. Tielec01 (talk) 00:50, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
They have an objection to courts? That never seemed to be the case to me. They just call them "private arbitration" or whatever. — Melab (Talk) 22:22, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Anarchists don't believe in a publicly backed court system - some believe that private arbitration courts magically will solve that problem, others just seem to live in fantasy land. Minarchists have no problem with public courts. This project seemed to be heavily marketed to the former category and some of them are sticking by their principles - which in a strange way is admirable but also very, very stupid. Tielec01 (talk) 09:48, 20 September 2014 (UTC)


So, it's recently been revealed on Kotaku that rumors of a bomb threat against the GDCA for giving Anita Sarkeesian an award have been confirmed. Seriously, who the hell pulls this sort of crap?? I mean, the actual insanity of a bomb threat aside, for fuck's sake, she's just a journalist and media critic! She isn't on some sort of crazy Jack Thompson-esque crusade to ban video games or strong-arm game companies into only making games that feature only Strong Womyn Lead Characters Drinking Male Tears(TM). She's just making commentary that others aren't obligated to agree with. She even said herself in one of her vids: "It is both possible, and even necessary, to simultaneously enjoy a piece of media while also being critical of its more pernicious aspects."

Then again, I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. We live in a time where some people think calling an armed SWAT team on a live streaming session is a humorous prank. Death threats have been around for centuries -- the advent of the Internet just means that it's that much easier to do anonymously, and there isn't even a letter to dust for prints anymore. In a nation of over 313 million people, the statistical likelihood of at least one person being batshit enough to pull something like this is bound to be pretty good. I just hope nobody will end up actually getting hurt due to all this drama... Noir LeSable (talk) 20:32, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

I think it's because the people who don't like feminism aren't very smart. I seriously think that's it. They don't understand how other people think, they don't understand how violence undermines their point, they don't understand that this won't make anyone think more of their opinions. Ikanreed (talk) 20:39, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
You're making an unwarranted generalisation there. I'm sure there are a lot of anti-feminists who understand that violence would undermine their point... it's just that there are apparently also a few who are on another level. Nullahnung (talk) 21:06, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the only thing thats changed is the ease these psychos can pull this shit, rather then any belef that its getting worse then it was before. I mean, back before the Internet, death threats WERE serious things. You had to find our where your target lived, or worked. Now its as easy as a link and keystrokes. --Revolverman (talk) 22:21, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I did apply an over-generalization, but come on, these particular individuals are resorting to (definitionally speaking) terrorism, over a leisure activity. There's definitely a brain-reality gap somewhere in that process. Ikanreed (talk) 12:59, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
The Streisand effect never did anyone any good it seems. It escalates the amount of extreme shit that happens. Nullahnung (talk) 13:05, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, Swatting is a thing and people do that to just random streamers who DON'T have any kind of controversy or debate raging around them. The lesson here is that people are dickbags, not that people hate women. X Stickman (talk) 17:44, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
That seems like rather a simplistic & convenient conclusion, and one I'm getting tired of seeing. Even a casual reading of any of the blogosphere/YouTube/4chan/social media comments about Anita S or Zoe Quinn shows a hell of lot of overtly misogynistic comments, often using imagery of rape and violent fantasies, not just from a few isolated morons but huge groups of users. The fact that the same assholes also make unpleasant comments or attacks about certain guys they don't like is repeatedly held up as evidence that they're not really hostile to women, but this is is just evading the issue of what their comments about women actually say or imply. It's like saying a guy who beats his wife isn't really a misogynist if he also gets into fistfights with men too. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:30, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
It's as if people treated her as someone who has stolen money from people. --Someon (talk) 21:45, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Look, people give on Kickstarter their own money whenever they are interested in a potential product. Whether they get disappointed or not by the result is for them to decide and I wouldn't call it stealing unless the person behind the Kickstarter just cut themselves off completely and never tried to deliver the product. Nullahnung (talk) 22:59, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm sure all the rape threats, bomb threats & beat-up-Anita games came from her disgruntled Kickstarter donors. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:50, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Assholes will press whatever buttons they know will work when targeting people. If they're after women, they'll call them slut, bitch, cunt etc... and threaten to rape them. When after gays they'll use fag, homo, abomination and threaten to stone them. When after muslims they'll use sandnigger, terrorist, towelhead and threaten to bomb them. That's what assholes do. They find what pisses you off, and they jump up and down yelling it. The constant claims of "wah it's a huge undercurrent of misogyny they all hate women" is something that I'M tired of. These people will use whatever the appropriate slur is for the specific target they're attacking, whether it's a woman, a homosexual, a black person, a white person, a skinhead, a jew, a fat person, a skinny person etc... The only reason the "hate on women" subset of assholes has become such big news compared to when this happens to all the other targets (remember the shitstorm over the fact that Fallout: New Vegas had HOMOSEXUALS in it? No?) is because the people they're targeting are media savvy enough to play it up in the proper media channels. X Stickman (talk) 19:41, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Have you stopped to wonder why such people are targeting and threatening women, homosexuals, black people, jews, etc.? Could it possibly be because they are misogynistic, homophobic and/or racist and not some other unspecified ulterior motive? ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:55, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I never said it wasn't. I'm just pissed that misogyny is suddenly the hot topic when all the rest has been going on for years completely ignored. X Stickman (talk) 20:40, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Huh? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:44, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I believe that what Stickman is saying is the following- "I am frustrated with the fact that, while trolls and arseholes will go around insulting any minority appropriate to a situation, the only one that is currently being discussed is misogyny, even though it's clear that these arseholes are not exclusively and specifically misognyistic, but just dickheads". At least, that's how I personally interpreted it. DØØM MĖSSIÅH What is this that stands before me?Dolan.png 06:44, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
You might have been right about the second to last thing Stickman posted here, but you misinterpreted his last post. In that he was merely saying that it was unfair how the homophobia/racism/etc. scandals that there have been online in the past haven't gotten nearly the same level of attention as when it's about sexism. Nullahnung (talk) 10:00, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, fair enough. DØØM MĖSSIÅH …Sate the Suicide ChoirDolan.png 23:32, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

The property pollution solution[edit]

I'm currently struggling over the libertarian solution to pollution. There's something odd about it, but I can't say what. I've always conceived of laissez faire meaning polluters couldn't be punished for their pollution (and that companies could essentially rip people off). This solution seems counter to laissez-faire, but it also doesn't… I'm having a hard time expressing this properly. It's also that this idea that pollutions is a problem merely because of the existence of a commons that I find strange. Let me just tell you that I've had this sort of break in my thinking between the time I didn't know about this and the time that I started researching it. After reading some of the libertarian stuff, I've come away seeing the world like it was divided by property lines. I didn't have this before, when I didn't see a distinction between a commons and a non-commons. Any thoughts/ideas? — Melab (Talk) 01:35, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

When people are fantasising about literally privatising breathable air, that's the point you can say with certainty they're so utterly divorced from reality that they needn't be listened to. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 02:09, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Nominally, a lot of libertarians are in denial about how connected and interdependent society is, then hand-wave whatever specific examples you come up with of how we need each other as being things the market would do better than the government. But yeah, when it comes to an-cap level libertarians, the denial that life is incredibly interconnected, by way of ecology, or at least can be replaced by a market, is fundamentally just science denialism. Ikanreed (talk) 12:56, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Even on paper, this idea is ridiculous. It would necessitate an insanely enormous legal system that would make the one we have now look navigable in comparison. We would also need some way to track every bit of particulate matter that crossed over into someone else's property. We'd have to go around in big hermetically sealed hamster balls when we wanted to leave our property. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:11, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Legally the situation today is already just as ridiculous. What you might be missing (and probably lots of libertarians are too) is that most of the time people don't insist on strictly enforcing the rules. "live and let live" is the way most people behave and the courts are keen to encourage that. Justice is not always well served by a legalistic approach, even though that's all the courts can offer. Remember that time you lent a friend (some amount of local currency) and they said they would pay you back tomorrow but they actually didn't until next Tuesday. In law you were entitled to be compensated, if you were both businesses in the EU you'd be automatically entitled to a further administration payment and at least 8% interest on the loan. But nobody acts that way, even very few businesses impose such penalties, at least the first time it happens. The law doesn't say "obviously the first time you have to let them off" or "This rule doesn't apply for the first few days because that's crazy". Likewise the law doesn't say 31mph in a 30mph zone is OK, and in most jurisdictions shoving past a person who has rudely blocked a narrow path is technically assault and you could face prison.
When people do insist on strict enforcement we think they're crazy. Neighbours who call the police when a football comes over the fence. Companies that try to send in the bailiffs over a 26p surcharge that went unpaid by mistake. Even when security services visit to "have a word" with someone who makes what seems obviously to be a joke about blowing up an airport we say things like "The world has gone mad" and raise our eyebrows. So it has never been the case that "there's a law about X" translates into "the legal system can and will intervene in every instance of X". Tialaramex (talk) 07:34, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Privatising breathable air is not so far fetched. India for example, has a brewing controversy over foreign corporations (like Coca-Cola) cleaning up the water that people of the subcontinent have been pissing and shitting in for several millenia, bottling it, and reselling their own resources to them. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 17:33, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

What's Apple thinking?[edit]

I just saw this story about a former NBA guy who stole thousands of dollars from the Apple Store by using their self checkout system. Since when does the fucking Apple Store have self checkout? Why not just pile all their inventory out front with a sign that says "take what you want"? DickTurpis (talk) 14:09, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't know about Apple stores in your area, but none around where I am have self check-outs. They all just have the standard awkward and/or uncomfortably friendly staff members each equipped with iPhone and card scanner. Noir LeSable (talk) 16:05, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about apple stores in your area, but none around my area are actually fucking worth going to considering you can buy pretty much all of the products elsewhere, that the staff-members are annoying as fuck, that when you need to get shit fixed, you have to wait 259064119098888632117006315809844 years (just for them to say your warranty is no longer valid), and that Apple products are complete shit, anyway. DØØM MĖSSIÅH Impurity is the secretDolan.png 23:29, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
*shakes head* Nutty Roux (talk) 04:36, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

Cue overdue RationalWiki Scottish independence debate[edit]

Uh oh. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:45, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

From London, the idea that a "yes" might take down half the Cabinet is quite delicious. Ed Miliband will be shaky too, but could probably weather it (since Labour don't actually have anyone less worse ... nah, that won't stop them) - David Gerard (talk) 08:49, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
The political fortunes of the current Parliament is none of my concern, it's the composition of the UK for the next few decades.
Take it from us, the sheer uncertainty over what would happen afterwards (over the status quo) was one of the factors for why the 1995 Quebec referendum fell apart. Osaka Sun (talk) 09:19, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems bizarre that right on the edge of the referendum there is no agreement on what currency the proposed new nation would use of what it's relationship would be with the European Union. (For US readers who may not be following the debate: The Scots Nationalists say they will be able to use the pound, the British Government says they won't; The Scots Nationalists say that entering the EU will be rapid and automatic, The EU says it would take years.)--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 10:56, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
The Krug concurs. Osaka Sun (talk) 21:47, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Education funding is another wooly area. Currently Scottish universities have very low tuition fees and almost all Scottish students get their fees fully subsidised anyway, as do students from elsewhere in the EU, but students from the rest of the UK studying in Scotland pay full tuition fees of £9,000 (just as they would at universities elsewhere in the UK). Scottish universities can operate like this under devolved education policy, and the SNP is claiming they would continue to do so under independence, but most education (and EU law) experts agree that it would be illegal for an independent Scotland (if part of the EU) to treat UK students differently from students from any other EU member state, and that when they can no longer charge high fees to non-Scottish UK students, free tuition for Scottish students will become unsustainable. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:08, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Then there's the more 'mundane' things, like the state of the BBC. (Compare with the cross-border partnership maze for getting RTÉ to Northern Ireland and the BBC to the ROI.)
The Government is getting hit now for a lack of contingency planning on this, but it's the responsibility of Alex Salmond et al. (after all the arm-twisting to get to this point) not to offer magical thinking. And yet you guys are getting that. Osaka Sun (talk) 18:06, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
There is also the Royal Mail. I'm sure an independent Scotland would want their own stamps with Alex Salmond's head on them so they will have to find another way to fund all those highlands and islands deliveries without subsidy from south of the border. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 19:03, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
The whole thing is a hideous self-indulgent nationalist wet dream. The Yes campaign's arguments are almost entirely emotive and based on an awful lot of wishful thinking about how much better Edinburgh could do than Westminster. And whichever way the vote goes, there has been so much anti-English sentiment whipped up (and now anti-Scottish feelings south of the border) that the damage will be hard to repair. In the event of a no vote, the nationalists will be aggrieved. In the event of a Yes vote, Scotland will paint England as the bully when Westminster is difficult about the pound, national debt, and all the rest. It's a thoroughly unpleasant period in a 300 year-old union. Ajkgordon (talk) 21:10, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
So where was everybody when I was arguing with Auld Nick over this article/political tract? Now, fortunately, turned into an essay.--Weirdstuff (talk) 21:37, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Nobody thought it would matter then.--Miekal 00:19, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
IIRC I did object to it being an actual article rather than an essay, but didn't get too much support. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 07:10, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
"The whole thing is a hideous self-indulgent nationalist wet dream. The Yes campaign's arguments are almost entirely emotive and based on an awful lot of wishful thinking about how much better Edinburgh could do than Westminster." - you just keep that up. This condescending tendancy to treat every prospective Yes voter as a member of the Braveheart Brigade is why half the Nationalist's work has been done for them. Grumblejaws (talk) 19:04, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
It will fail but not by much. Have a similar vote in England however, I think it would pass.--Mercian (talk) 19:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I weakly agree. It's become a vote to see roughly which half of the Scottish people will be pissed off on the 19th. Grumblejaws (talk) 19:45, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Grumblejaws, actually I kind of agree with you. There has been a lot of condescension - from both sides. That was always going to work in Salmond's favour. Still, it is what it is. There is a lot of wishful thinking and the Yes campaign has fed off Scottish nationalism and, to some extent, hatred of the English. It IS mostly emotive. That doesn't mean that there a lot of Scots who feel independence is the best way to govern Scotland or who feel that Westminster will never represent Scotland's best interests. Ajkgordon (talk) 14:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
We can all stop worrying Nigel Farage is in Scotland to save the union. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Economic fear mongering before a referendum is inevitable. It always comes from the country that the region wants to separate from (the side that is being rejected) and rating agencies. Not the most reliable sources. Regions that separate with developed or near developed economies do fine on their own. --Shabidoo (talk) 18:54, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I find the "if you vote no we;ll devolve some more!" to be suspicious, why offer now and not earlier if you wanted me to vote no.--Miekal 19:03, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
[1](self promotion warning) - David Gerard (talk) 21:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
The UK's transition from a unitary to federal state is all but inevitable now. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:06, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
"Not the most reliable sources" So what about these economists? Osaka Sun (talk) 22:06, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
My favourite comment (and a rather honest one) on that link is from Austan Goolsbe: "no one knows". Caroline Hoxby gives a more articulated no one knows: "We should be uncertain. Short-term uncertainty would be high, yes, but "many years" depend on choosing sound policies for real growth." --Shabidoo (talk) 17:31, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I am going to bed now and by the time I get up Scotland may well be a foreign country.--Mercian (talk) 21:23, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Wake up. Osaka Sun (talk) 23:53, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
So Scotland voted against joining the Third World. Big deal. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 16:53, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

The end of Thatcherism[edit]

However this goes (and right now the Yes side still needs a boost) history will frown on one notable politician as its catalyst. So... consolation prize? Osaka Sun (talk) 22:06, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

In point of fact Thatcher is still able to annoy people.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:06, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Still carrying a hard-on for Thatcher, eh Osaka? There is no alternative to thatcherism, evidently. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 16:50, 20 September 2014 (UTC)


UKIP is already swooping in to try and claim benefits from the referendum, and just had a good 5 minutes of time to spread about a bunch of bullshit on the BBC coverage (and immediately got called on it by one of the people there) (and David Coburn just called SNP racist to english peoples)--Miekal 02:23, 19 September 2014 (UTC)


Scotland decides to stay. How anticlimactic. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg If you ceased to exist yesterday / I'll erase yesterday from existance 01:24, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

What were you expecting, this? WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:35, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

It's a conspiracy! Yes was robbed![edit]

Look! The vote was rigged!--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 10:28, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

4Chan hits new lows[edit]


Really. (talk) 11:09, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Some people will do anything to create drama and negative attention. They are called trolls. Nothing new there. Nullahnung (talk) 11:55, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I often wonder if people didn't point and shout with outrage at every awful thing that happens in the seamier parts of the web, whether anyone would notice. I am reminded of the truism that there are many people out there who watch telly/films, listen to music and surf the web for the sole purpose to be outraged. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:26, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Always reminds me of those daily mail headlines that start with "OUTRAGE OVER (activity, event, person)", even though they're the first/only news source reporting it, so any outrage over the event can't have been particularly ragey since next to nobody would've known about it. X Stickman (talk) 01:09, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
eh its 4chan. New lows can and will be reached.Geni (talk) 18:05, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Wow. That's fucked up. Although at first, I was worried this would be about 4chan trying to spread fake cures and preventative measures for ebola. Kiddy porn is bad enough, but bioterror has GOT to be justification to shut the site down.--"Shut up, Brx." 21:22, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
says our resident ED reject. SophieWilderModerator 13:37, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I have rejected ED, not the other way around. Nobody kicked me out, even when I tried getting people to tone down the rhetoric and improve the content. It was a longcoming decision, and I mulled it over more than you would have in my position.
All that said, I have never, even when I was an active EDiot, been an advocate of bioterrorism or pedophilia.
But hey, at least you're talking to me now.--"Shut up, Brx." 16:18, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Hold the phone![edit]

And the movement just got a setback. I'm not sure this was really a good way to go about this as pretty much the only thing this publicity stunt could have possibly fueled is butthurt. Taking on 4chan in this way will not win anybody. Zero (talk - contributions) 15:57, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure what "the movement" is or why you think these two things (ebola trolling & the Emma Watson thing) are related. The Emma Watson nude photo threat was very obviously a hoax and recognised as such by many 4chan users. I took a look through the /b/ thread catalog yesterday because of the coverage this was getting and there were several threads about the Emma Watson thing, most of them dominated by people rejecting as a hoax ("if the nudes existed they would have been posted already" etc.) and some suggesting that it was a hoax intended to jeopardise 4chan (as turned out to be the case). The nature of 4chan's anonymous posting means that anybody can use it as a launching pad for any kind of trolling or attack campaign, which will then be blamed on 4chan itself, and it's pretty difficult to determine how much support any of these activities has within the 4chan community (if we can even call it that). ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:10, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
"The Movement": Anti-4channers. And I never said ebola trolling and this were related. (Not sure where you got this from.) Zero (talk - contributions) 18:16, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Then why are you posting this link in this section? ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:17, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Because its 4chan related. Zero (talk - contributions) 18:19, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
So are a whole bunch of things, but this was a thread about a specific 4chan phenomenon: the Ebola-Chan meme. When you add a comment saying "the movement just got a setback", people are going to interpret that as something about the ebola trolling or something you see as connected with it. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:00, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
This may be more conspiratorial than I nominally go for, but in the 'particular case of 4chan it seems believable, since it's in line with their previous "create drama on both sides for lulz" shindig. Anyways, what I heard is that rantic media is a constructed non-existent identity(yeah, I know, "false flag", first sign of nuttery) to help take(and reframe) blame on particularly vacuous 4chan activities. I'm not plugged in enough to know if that fits their MO. Ikanreed (talk) 18:44, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

The American Yawp[edit]

The American Yawp, an open use, CC-BY-SA collaboratively built American history textbook, now in beta draft. (One suspects the "yawp" comes from Walt Whitman, "I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.") Inn-teresting... Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:27, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

What does it do that this doesn't? SophieWilderModerator 11:47, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
With supposedly known credentialed authorship, it might avoid the reflexive "Wikipedia is baad, m'kay?" coming from USAmerican educators. I suppose an argument could be made for its coherence and stability, as compared to a WP category.
Otherwise, enh. I'm neither boosting nor disparaging it, just came across it at random, and thought it might be interesting to some. The writing is spotty, needs better editing, as you might expect in a beta pre-release. I have not detected any egregious bullshit in the few pages I've looked at. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:12, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Wait until the egregious bullshitters find it... SophieWilderModerator 16:14, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
WallBuilders will have their equivalent up soon, I'm sure--"Shut up, Brx." 19:30, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
The text is open use, not open editing, but still, it could happen so. They say it can be downloaded and modified "as you see fit" so fork spinning is a possibility. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:45, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Hell, I'm sure an enterprising young troll is already planning on trying to convince Andy Schlafly to host his own version on Conservapedia (and no, I don't mean me)--"Shut up, Brx." 22:51, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Sprocket, try this one on: "[Nixon] denounced previous administrations’ willingness to commit American forces to third world conflicts and warned other states to assume responsibility for their own defense. [2] Sounds like Obama adopted the Nixon Doctrine. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 20:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
It must be nice to have such a fertile imagination. Rob's fertilizer smells like false equivalence, with overtones of association fallacy, ad hominem, and his customary non sequitur. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:07, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Rob, wasn't Nixon for Vietnam? You know more about this period than I do, of course (I believe you said you studied it in college?). Also, nobody's saying Obama is the champion of the left. Except for Terry Hurlbut, the gang over at WND, Fox News, et al.--"Shut up, Brx." 16:27, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Nixon inherited the Vietnam mess from his predecessor LBJ, who inherited it (literally, upon the death of) JFK. At first, he was an enthusiastic participant. Later, he started a long-overdue strategic withdrawal. He was a complicated character, and I'm not sure his positive accomplishments outweighed his overall paranoid scumbaggery, but that's just my opinion. I'm sure Rob will have plenty to say when Obama resigns in disgrace under threat of impeachment, having to reassure his public that he is "not a crook."
Until then, Troll Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:37, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Nixon ran in 1968 on a "secret plan" to end the war (I know, I was a ratfucking Young Republican who actively worked for his election); by '72, the war wasn't over yet. His "secret plan" really was to end the Cold War, i.e. Detente, viz his famous trip to China & Russian trade deals. Nixon wanted to stop the endless cycle of unwinnable wars (Korea & Vietnam) with the "Communist bloc" (the Sino-Soviet split was never recognized in the US till nearly a decade after it happened). The result of the "Nixon Doctrine", also called the policy of "Vietnamization" was to arm the South Vietnameeze and bug out, kinda exactly what's happened in Iraq & Afghanistan. IOW, the Truman Doctrine (or "Containment") pledged opposing Soviet expansion with American blood (as in Korea & Vietnam); the Nixon Doctrine pledged to continue the Truman Doctrine, only with arms support & training. Obama basically is attempting to contain jihad through a policy of Vietnamization in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Syria as well. Probably Libya soon enough, too.
The controversial "Bush Doctrine" of "preventative war" Obama may have invoked in his Sept 10, 2014 primetime speech: "we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks". Critics have often said the US should not always be in the position of reacting, like after Pearl Harbor or 9/11. The US should be pro-active. This doctrine may be here to stay.
Bottomline, the vision of peace & trade with Russia & China, rather than endless non-winnable wars with them and their allies, is the world we live in today. Credit Nixon for this. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 21:02, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Proactive without arrogating to ourselves the role of cops of the world, that would be a good thing. If you are claiming that Nixon should be given credit for the policies of the present POTUS, well, that's an interesting frame at best. Also, credit Nixon with escalating the VN war to include bombing Cambodia. I bet his grand plan didn't include the Ohio National Guard skirmishing with college kids after that. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 21:55, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
Ok, jihad must be contained (it's spreading more under Obama than under Bush, if you haven't noticed); Obama agrees with Bush & Cheney it must be contained, but reluctant to commit US troops. So Obama wishes to arm, equip, and train non-US forces (with American advisers, of course) to contain the threat to US security. (This is basically is the Truman, Nixon, Carter, and Bush Doctrines all together). And this just in... "Jonathan Turley: Obama is "outdoing" both Bush and Nixon by bombing Syria without a declaration. (Jonathan Turley, the guy Rush Limbaugh used to say of, "if Turley said it, it's gotta be wrong". nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 22:35, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
"spreading more under Obama than under Bush" wha? Yeah, those jihadis' memory doesn't reach before 2009 Jan 20. They'd be happy to take time off their busy schedules and throw W a party, with arak and dancing girls, am I right? Tough to "outdo" carpet bombing with the kind of pinpoint smoke being brought in Syria, or likely to be brought. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:14, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Revolutionary Statement[edit]

Soldiers of the vanguard!

We, the Rationalwiki Resistence Organisation are nearing the final phase of our mission. We have waited too long but soon the moment shall be upon us!


Destroy the cabal!


The oligarchy continue to accumulate power in their hands, but soon the resistence shall prevail and Rationalwiki will be free once again.

Vive la revolution!

Marcus Cicero SPQR100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 09:08, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Wait, who are the cabal these days? I haven't been paying much attention. Peter mqzp 09:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Wait, weren't you made a mod? I think you are the cabal sunshine. --Revolverman (talk) 10:03, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I think I missed too many meetings. Peter mqzp 10:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, look! Somebody with delusions of revolutionary grandeur! ALL GLORY TO THE COUNTER REVOLUTION, WHOEVER THEY ARE! Cause really, do you want to live under a Marcus cult of personality? --Madman (talk) 12:40, 23 September 2014 (UTC)The Madman
"Resistence" is futile. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 13:19, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Yay! Marcus is back! How's the play going? SophieWilderModerator 13:32, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
We shall follow the cabal to the gates of hell, Insha' Allah! nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 20:29, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I got here as soon as I could! Now, which color am I rooting for? — Haamer 07:26, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
You're on the blue team. Peter mqzp 07:57, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Oh bugger[edit]

That momentous discovery a few months about ripples from the dawn of time just bit the dust. Shame. SophieWilderModerator 18:40, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

I read that nipples and was very confused--"Shut up, Brx." 19:32, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
"Nipples from the dawn of time"… sounds like a weird-as-shit documentary that you might see on the History Channel these days. DØØM MĖSSIÅH Impurity is the secretDolan.png 11:49, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Nipples from the dawn of time is what you will be getting when I redesign the exhibits at the Creation Museum. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 01:37, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

This is why we can't have nice things...[edit]

Quantum mechanics fucks up black holes. PsyGremlinZungumza! 18:26, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

If we uncritically accept the new results, how would they explain existing black hole candidates' very odd properties? For example, what is causing the x-rays form Cygnus X-1? And what is causing the massive gravitational lensing in GRO J1655-40? I'm not saying the new research is wrong, just that it faces off with a bit of predictive power that black hole theory has. Ikanreed (talk) 18:52, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not going to say much about this now until the paper is cleared and shows up on arXiV. Obviously whether the article's conclusions are valid depends largely on the model and data used. One of the difficult things about complex astrophysical and quantum mechanical systems is that we rely heavily on models to determine expected behaviour. It's quite possible that our current model of black holes is what's incorrect, assuming this paper's conclusions are valid. - Grant (talk) 18:59, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm no physicist, but there have been murmurings in popular press about this before, e.g. http://businesstoday.intoday.in/story/indian-physicist-resolved-black-hole-paradox-much-before-hawking/1/203054.html . So this appears to be much more a continuation of older research than OP's link lets on. --Someon (talk)
Well to be fair, most things in physics are indeed a continuation of much older research. Again, most of these cases likely aren't using the same models or even advancing the same theory. The popular press throws these things out there because they seem crazy and cool to the layman, but it's actually a pretty mundane thing. This particular paper hasn't even been published yet (arXiV certainly doesn't count, as it's a pre-print), so at the moment it's kind of a non-story.
... Yes, I realize Psy's comment was probably about how screwed up quantum mechanics (and physics in general) can be, but I'll take any excuse to rant at the treatment of science in the popular press. :) - Grant (talk) 15:45, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Black holes are liberal lies and whatever this is proves it. I think I'll just pop over to a certain wiki and mention this. Fonzie (talk) 17:57, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
looks like a very interesting new take. I wonder what it will look like when it's been re-examined.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:15, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes I feel sad because it feels like scientists have a theory for everything. Then something like this happens and it reminds me of the comfortable unknown--"Shut up, Brx." 15:28, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Kim the Third disappears from radar[edit]

Cue rampant speculation. Osaka Sun (talk) 04:09, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Oh he's just riding on The Awesome Totally Free Republic of Korea's Totally Legitimate Space Program That's Not About Nuclear Missiles At All. What would the country's citizens think if the world's first space flight wasn't a Kim? TATFRKTLSPTNANMAA works hard to ensure they win the space race. Ikanreed (talk) 13:18, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Apparently he's sick. Also, is it a bad thing that from the header I thought this was about the Kardashians?--"Shut up, Brx." 15:33, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

For those about to rock....[edit]

This is unfortunate news. Malcom Young, we salute you! Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 19:24, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

What happened to our photos?[edit]

Why did so many of our pictures suddenly become red text? For those who don't know what I'm talking about check out Dean Baker, Horseshoe theory, John Kenneth Galbraith, Ludwig von Mises Institute, or any other article. Please tell me this is an issue with my computer? ClothCoat (talk) 07:35, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

There's been something wrong with commons images. It was working earlier, but they've stopped again.--"Shut up, Brx." 08:58, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
They're not "our" photos. Ours are still here. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:23, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
The RSS logo on the WIGO pages has gone AWOL for the same reason. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 12:45, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
There's all sorts amiss; see e.g. my latest comment on Tech support. It's been going on for ages but seems to be slowly getting worse. Scream!! (talk) 12:54, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it's an obvious sign that the apocalypse is coming. DØØM MĖSSIÅH It's quite an irregular place to be, but never fear, you're safe with meDolan.png 13:04, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I would say that images have been deleted. You can search at List of Files pagesCms13ca (talk) 13:27, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
You would say wrongly. Scream!! (talk) 13:38, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. Nothing has been deleted. It's just that for some reason RW can't access images from Wikimedia Commons like it usually does. Probaly due to some server problem.--ZooGuard (talk) 13:47, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
We have two servers and one is being an arse - David Gerard (talk) 22:38, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
They're not you and Trent, are they? ;) Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. Moderator 07:36, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
No, we're both arses - David Gerard (talk) 10:18, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

The magic tricks most relevant to scepticism[edit]

What do you think are the most important magic tricks for tricking people into believing in the supernatural? I think there should be a list, like Not actually a list of magic tricks, as it would be useful to actual skeptics; not just those who like to complain about religion without adding any reason why.— Unsigned, by: Exiled Encyclopedist / talk / contribs

Anything Uri Geller has tried to pull would be a good example. The same goes with cold reading. The fake ectoplasm used by mediums is another. They'd use stuff like cheese cloth and pull it out of their mouth or nose and then claim it was a manifestation from the other world.
Also, so-called psychic surgeons will use sleight of hand to do things like pretend to extract a tumor by palming a glob of animal fat.
If you're interested, research James Randi and Houdini. They were both magicians with a relish for uncovering fraud. Reading about them should give you plenty of examples.--"Shut up, Brx." 20:34, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Don't see the point of this article when we already have Magic which covers it pretty well. --Marlow (talk) 00:38, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Randi's still here. Ajkgordon (talk) 10:07, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

An endorsement[edit]

Schlafly Pumpkin Ale is terrific. It tastes like pumpkin pie in a bottle. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock )Moderator 02:04, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't even really like pumpkin pie in a pie. --JeevesMkII The gentleman's gentleman at the other site 03:41, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
"tastes like pumpkin pie in a bottle" - clearly you are using the word "endorsement" to mean "Oh dear Christ, what the fuck did I just put in my mouth? let me sandpaper my tongue!" PsyGremlinZungumza! 14:11, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I like pumpkin pie. Besides, the Brewery is owned by the branch of the family that pisses Andy off simply by existing. "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons", as a famous drunk once said. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock )Moderator 14:25, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I, too, enjoy pumpkin pie. I wonder if it's an American thing? Having it in a bottle with alcohol content sounds like a good thing to me. Would it be a good idea to try and order some of this stuff off the internet, or would the delivery fuck everything up? Also, I think it'd make a great gift for my father.--"Shut up, Brx." 15:30, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
The thing with pumpkin pie is, though, that it isn't really a True Pie™, like steak and kidney pie. It's just some fucking sweet pumpkin shit in a pastry. MESSIAH OF DOOM Take that, motherfucker!Dolan.png 15:33, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
It's cool, though, cos the semantics of pie have never bothered me. You looking into becoming a baker/pastry chef, Doom Messiah?--"Shut up, Brx." 15:41, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
The beer is produced in Missouri it should be found within driving distance to you, Brx. --TheLateGatsby (The end of the dock )Moderator 18:28, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I could drive there for a weekend, though then i'd have to remember my dislike of cities over 500k people.--Miekal 21:16, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Not to be snobbish, but I like my beer to taste like beer. And to be snobbish, I didn't find many beers actually tasting like that when I was in the US ;-p GTac (talk) 15:49, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
The Schlafly Kölsch is one of my favorite beers. Fortunately, the style precludes dry hopping with American hops. Most American craft beer would be five times better if they'd leave out the Cascade nose. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 15:03, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

IS air strikes[edit]

Now we have air strikes in iraq and very likely syria against is, i have some moral qualms. I fully believe that some kind of military inervention is required, thought i have doubts whether air strikes alone will cut it. I am sure that many think military action is not the answer, and indeed protests are already starting to occur. I would like to be able say i am against military involvement but just what are the alternatives? The main arguments against seems to be either its none of our (the west's) business, which to me means sitting on our hands and watching the slaughter, or saying that military involvement is ineffective or make the already genocidal carnage even worse. Thoughts?

For the record, I was very much opposed to the invasion of Iraq. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:41, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

At this point, air strikes are all you can do until the Iraqi government deals with the Sunni alienation that ISIS took advantage of. This would have been totally preventable if the US didn't invade the country in the first place, but here we are. Osaka Sun (talk) 20:57, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I was opposed to Bush's intervention in Iraq as there never seemed to be any clear logic behind it. Sadam was contained and all the stuff about him being an Al Qaeda ally was an obvious invention. Unfortunately, and partly a result of that earlier intervention, we do now have an exceptionally dangerous organisation in that area. Somehow the west has managed to give life to the very bogey-man which was our original invention.
Unfortunately, the West's desire to get its hands dirty was largely exhausted as a consequence of the battles Bush started. So no troops for this threat. Given the state of public opinion the only alternative is air power and hope that we can get proxies to do our fighting for us.
It sort of worked initially in Afghanistan - maybe it will work this time.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:44, 27 September 2014 (UTC)
Remember too that Obama has been pushing for air strikes in Syria all along. To me it reminds me more than a little of how Bush made Iraq II implicitly all about 9/11 even though the neo-con contingent had that invasion planned since 1998. Ikanreed (talk) 15:22, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Obama's been pushing for air strikes all along? Care to back up that assertion? DickTurpis (talk) 22:18, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Against Assad last year (you know, during the Ghouta "red line" fiasco). What separates this from Iraq II is that we're attacking Assad's enemies now. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:41, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Still doesn't establish anything about how Obama was pushing for air strikes against Syria all along. I've heard several people make this claim and I'm wondering where it comes from. DickTurpis (talk) 23:51, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Well-documented. Osaka Sun (talk) 00:13, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Is that supposed to support the argument that Obama had a huge hard-on for airstrikes against Syria? Because it's quite the opposite. It shows that when he was in the strongest position to bomb Syria he opted not to. All these "Obama's been intent on bombing Syria for years" theorists really miss the point that if Obama had really wanted to bomb Assad's forces it certainly would have happened by now. DickTurpis (talk) 00:52, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
The basic strategy is to wait til after the Nov. 4 US elections, then have Congress issue a Use of Force authorization, (which ultimately gives the President discretion to use ground forces). Nobody, Democrat or Republican, wanted to vote for ground forces 5 weeks before the election and return home to explain why they just voted to send troops into Iraq. This was the "strategy" Obama lacked several weeks ago and then found after consultation with Boehner, McConnell, Reid, & Pelosi. The day after election, it will be a full blown crisis needing immediate attention. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 22:21, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd wager you're wrong, and we won't see ground troops in any substantial numbers in this one. Not for quite some time, anyway. DickTurpis (talk) 22:29, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep, he's wrong. Going to take years before the public will stomach a full commitment. At the very most we'll get a new AUMF. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:41, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
The AUMF will give the President authority to use whatever force he deems necessary, so if it did take years another AUMF won't be necessary. Now, Obama did not ask for AUMF in Libya, and only used airstrikes. Why then, would he ask for a formal AUMF in Iraq & Syria, or Boehner et al so willing to volunteer one? We will know within 48 hours after the election. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 22:48, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
"Why then, would he ask for a formal AUMF in Iraq & Syria, or Boehner et al so willing to volunteer one?" Optics. (Obama was able to evade this in Libya because he was enforcing a UN resolution.) Osaka Sun (talk) 23:00, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that is the administrations current stance, only a fig leaf til after the election. Boehner & Obama are on the same page, to wit, funding for FSA (Free Syria Army) which scarcely exists anymore cause the last half billion dollars appropriated in January, along with the manpower, already defected to ISIS. George Will picks the administration apart: "So, the Islamic State is now Iraq? Obama insists that he ended the war in Iraq in 2011. But his fight against another entity occupying a portion of Iraq cannot be authorized by a 12-year-old congressional action pertaining to “the continuing threat” — from a long-gone Iraqi regime." Congressional Research Service raises the same issues (page 12). Further, the 2002 AUMF granted authority to use force against those the President deemed responsible for planning & execution of the 9/11 attacks; it is well known the "Al Qaeda in Iraq" group was not associated with al Qaeda til after the 9/11 attacks, and after the US invasion of Afghanistan, nor is it associated with the al Qaeda parent group today. Bottomline, it will be a completely different political environment after Nov. 4th elections. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 23:37, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
"Bottom line, it will be a completely different political environment after Nov. 4th elections." Enough to bring in thousands of US troops? Huh? Osaka Sun (talk) 23:53, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
The alarm bells among Dems & Repubs in Washington then will go off. Look at the reasoning here: in Libya Obama quotes Nixon, "the president can bomb whoever he wishes" and doesn't need authorization; in Syria, where he claims it's limited to airstrikes, he claims he has authorization in Syria based on a outdated authorization for Iraq. In November, he & Boehner will tweak the details with a fresh AUMF. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 00:02, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
So what's your specific prediction here, Rob? (I want to know so I can bet against it.) You're saying Obama will commit active ground troops to the fighting by the end of the year? DickTurpis (talk) 00:07, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
He will get authority to commit troops, if necessary, in a lame duck before the end of the year (hell, by the end of the week after the election). Actually committing troops is another matter. And some sort of "direct threat to national security" also has to be trumped up. Perhaps the next Commander-in-Chief will commit troops (Hillary? Jeb? Rand Paul?) but the longer it takes, the more costly in blood & treasure it becomes. The risk of not committing troops now in Obama's lame duck years are (a) more innocents killed; (b) collateral damage and friendly fire incidents; (c) negative publicity and falling support from the public as a result; (d) damage to Obama's legacy from inaction, indecisiveness, and leaving a bigger mess than GW Bush. Obama can redeem himself from earlier stupidity. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 00:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
"damage to Obama's legacy from inaction, indecisiveness, and leaving a bigger mess than GW Bush." And there we are: Troll Osaka Sun (talk) 00:29, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Hey Osaka, I pity the man, really. His idols, Lincoln & FDR (both wartime presidents) focused the people on a task that needed to be done. For him to emulate his idols means denying everything he ever was, what made him famous, and brought him to be Commander-in-Chief. His legacy truly is at stake every moment that passes from here on. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 00:36, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
so rob, besides the Republican/democrat pissing contest, what do you think should happen with IS? AMassiveGay (talk) 07:03, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Free to play MMO without grinding?[edit]

I'm looking to try one of those MMO games all the kids are playing. And I'm looking for one that's free-to-play. Now, my only experience with MMOs (and also f2p) is Runescape, which I found dreadfully boring. I'm hoping some people here might have suggestions (related to f2p MMOs. Suggesting that I fuck off would not be relevant to this discussion, and besides, I've heard that before, so it wouldn't be new information).

I want a game I can find on Steam that

  • has minimal grinding. I've looked at Warframe and Path of Exile, and those seem to feature a lot of grinding. Naturally, I know grinding is almost inherent to MMOs, but if there are any that minimize that, I'd like to know
  • can run with 2gb of RAM
  • Requires minimal player interaction- this one I'm willing to let go of, though. After all, we're talking about MMOs
  • Doesn't have ridiculous objectifying costumes for female characters- although if the game is good enough I suppose I can whether it
  • Is active, and still has events, content patches, and an existing playerbase

If anybody here can recommend such a game, that would be super. And I promise I won't try and "friend" any RationalWikians or try and join your "clan" or whatever.--"Shut up, Brx." 17:22, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

On steam, i have no idea: Theres TERA though, which, while failing your female objectivifaction requirement in every single possible way they could, is pretty good about not requiring a lot of grinding (missions tend to be very samey, but al your real exp is gonna come from exp rewards for depopulating the forest of bear asses), though dungeons require a team to do unless to overgrind an area; combat is dynamic (actually have to aim, classes matter, gottabe able to dodge and twitch react to your hotkeys, ect). Big thing is the gigantic download at the start. --Miekal 17:33, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Neverwinter Nights would be my suggestion given those criteria. Not sure about the RAM requirements, though. Relatively fun levelling game. Age of Conan has full nudity available, but decent levelling content. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 17:44, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
What's "grinding"? (sorry for displaying my ignorance) Scream!! (talk) 19:37, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Grinding is repeating basic actions over and over again to advance in the game. Like constantly killing low level, boring enemies in order to generate enough experience points to advance to a level high enough to do something else. MMOs tend to be full of grinding, that's how they keep people paying a subscription. And the free to play ones tend to be even worse because they make grinding awful, then offer you ways to pay to make it less awful. As for the original question, there's Star Trek: Online, which is surprisingly fun and interesting and can be effectively played as a single player story if you want. There's also Planetside 2 but I don't know if that'll run on 2gb of ram. X Stickman (talk) 19:45, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Grinding of some sort is unavoidable because of the economics. Writing an hour of new stuff for somebody to do in your game costs a certain amount of money, which varies depending on the quality. Quality influences the size of your audience. So let's imagine you've got to a point where you've provided 40 hours of unique stuff to do, and that's costing $50 per player maybe in the form of an annual subscription or as one $5000 rich guy buying exotic hats for every ninety-nine freebies. That's plausible. But what do your players do after the 40 hours of unique stuff? One option is to say they just quit, they stop playing - 40 hours for $50 (let alone free) is a bargain. But that's not an MMO, after a few weeks a game which encourages "play and quit" style will be de-populated. The "hard core" will play their 40 hours in the first week or two, and leave. Remaining "casual" gamers, doing a few hours here and there over the months will perceive it as "empty" and may quit even sooner which is bad for continuing revenue.
So you will re-use stuff. And up to a point humans put up with that. Their own lives are full of repetition and habit, so it feels natural. Having a central area that's re-used to tell different stories over time doesn't feel weird. Up to a point "dailies" (content where you do one of a number of things, at random, per day) don't feel that weird either. But eventually, and the threshold is different for different people, doing the same thing becomes "grinding". Some people feel they're grinding when they run around to catch chickens on a farm after having previous caught mice in a castle, others will only declare it "grinding" when they visit the exact same farm, to catch the exact same chickens two days in a row. Tialaramex (talk) 20:57, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, guys, I've decided to try Age of Conan: Unchained. Hopefully, I'll have fun.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:46, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
The gratuitous boobs in AoC at least feel like they're thematically appropriate. I felt like The Secret World does the best job of any game I've played recently of handling the fact that women exist, and aren't anatomically identical to men, without shoving boobs in your face, partly because its main characters are mostly supposed to be actual people but is definitely a slow grind and I can't recommend it unless you are one of the handful of people thinking "Man, I wish there was an MMO in which the Knights Templar are training people to use magically enhanced machine guns to fight vampires" because you know, it is that. Tialaramex (talk) 20:57, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I tried to get into The Secret World, but the game got too difficult to be entertaining once I hit Blue Mountain. It's as if they created a gameworld built for explorers, and then chose to frustrate the desire to leave the beaten path by forcing deadly combat on you every five steps. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 14:55, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

GW2 might fit your bag. Not sure about the 2GB limit (might be able to squeeze into it at minimum specs). As far as I'm aware this week GW2 is running a free trial week. After that, you pay once for the game and nothing else. There is an in-game micro transaction store, but that can take real money or in-game money, and isn't pay-2-win. The game itself (content wise) is huge, and if you want to join a friendly world for WvW (basically large scale PvP on separate maps to the PvE content) give Far Shiverpeaks a try. The game itself is updated every 2 weeks, sometimes with new content, sometimes with non-urgent patches. There are lots of guilds in-game, some are content specific (PvE only Guilds, PvP only Guilds, WvW only guilds), other guilds are much more mixed, and you can belong to five guilds, so that's good.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 11:46, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

I notice you didn't specify MMORPG, so if you're really willing to do without the RPG part, you can try the Wargaming.net games, especially World of Tanks.


  • minimal player interaction (you have to act as part of the team if you want a chance to win, but that doesn't require more than a few calls, or, at low level when nobody listen to you anyway, an eye on the minimap to spot the holes to plug). You're in a different team for each combat, so you don't have to pay allegiance to a team or something.
  • fast to moderate grinding (it increases at medium levels, but there's already plenty of fun to be had at low levels, as the matchmaker takes care of teams balance)
  • quick combats : a combat is 15 minutes max, and most are decided between 5 and 10 minutes
  • not too spastic : you don't need lightning reflexes (although they can help), and keeping an eye on the map and situationnal awareness and tactics are more important than reflexes. (World of Warplanes is faster-paced if you prefer, but I like WoT balance)
  • geek friendly : even if the battle themselves are not realistic (for playability and fun sake), there are plenty of little realistic details on your gear and customisations
  • free to play, and not pay to win below high levels.


  • initial downloading time
  • team play : if you're in a dumb team, not much you can do not to lose (but it only lasts ~10 minutes, less if you're killed early)
  • no RPG : you can increase your crew skills, but all in all, it's pretty much a sequence of independant battles, where every tank of the same model look alike
  • mid-level grinding (level 5-6 are hard/long to get through if you're just a casual gamer). And high-level isn't even sustainable without a premium account (you'll need to battle at mid levels to earn the repairs of your level 10 vehicle)
  • performance requirements. 2GB will do it theoretically, but if the rest of the computer is as old as that part of your specs, even at minimum graphic effects, rendering lag will frustrate you.

While I'm here, anyone has ideas for a story-intensive casual-gamer friendly game? I mean a RPG (ideally a MMORPG) with a focus on plots elements more than on killing monsters, that you can play in 10-30 mins sessions (no need to coordinate a 6 hours raid), and costs as little as possible (as this will be casual gaming, ideally f2p of course) ? --dx (talk) 12:17, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Personally I think MMORPGs are terrible if you're looking for story. Personally I greatly enjoy the old school RPGs (new and old), such as Divinity Original Sin, Baldur's Gate remake or Wasteland 2.. Those can be played in shorter sessions, but nobody would classify those as casual.. I haven't played it myself, but what about The Banner Saga? That seems to be aimed at story and rather simple RPG gameplay.
Of course, if you really want some good story beats, there are a lot of other genres to consider, depending on your story/style/gameplay preferences.. -GTac (talk) 14:25, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Not sure if it counts as MMO, and it is definitely not free, but I love it, so though it worth mentioning. Minecraft. Worm (talk) 15:26, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I do like Baldur's Gate, especially when you customize it with the BG2 engine and extra-dialog/romances mods, but it's already too combat intensive for me. When all you got are 30 minutes gaming sessions, it takes an eternity to complete some quests and advance the storyline (god, the kobold-cleaning in the Nashkell mines...)

A question about Breaking Bad[edit]

So, I found this website a while ago, and I really quite like the people here (even if I haven't really had a chance to talk to any of them personally). So, considering that I have no access to other social media thingies, I decided I'd ask my question here. So, I'm a 14 year-old male. I get straight As in school, and I appear to generally be considered quite mature (I'm not sure if that's entirely relevant, but whatever). Anyway, I finished watching Battlestar Galacica a couple of weeks ago, and I was pretty depressed. However, my dad had finished watching Breaking Bad a while ago, and had all of the DVDs. He said that, as I was 14 and mature and stuff, he thought I could watch them with him. We watched all the way through season one, and that was cool. However, tonight, my mum decided that she wanted to watch a bit of the show with us (despite the fact that she has repeatedly said that she hates it and will never watch it), and, at around the beginning of the episode, it had a guy beating the fuck out of another guy (if you have watched the show, it was season 2 episode 1, where Tuco beats that guy to death for saying "remember who you work for"). My mum then cracked the shits, and started yelling at my dad and I, saying that we weren't allowed to watch it anymore. Her reasoning was that it doesn't show anything good about human nature (because, you know, us humans are all lovely, aren't we?), that it portrays drug culture (even though it portrays it as dangerous as fuck, and not something to get involved in), and that, based on one out-of-context example of violence, the show was so sickening that it "should never have been allowed to air". So, like, my dad is just going along with her because he knows that he can't win anything, but, anyway, do you think that my mum's reaction was justified? I mean, I know the show's pretty fucked up, and my mum just wants what's best and whatever, but do you personally agree with her decision? (talk) 13:50, 26 September 2014 (UTC)(did I do the name thing right?)

You have already plowed through the first season, right? At your age, I was playing some rather...violent video games that didn't portray things in good lights either. But I'm well adjusted. Your mother seems to be overreacting. Zero (talk - contributions) 13:57, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've seen the acid bath and shit, and I was totally fine with all of that. (talk) 14:34, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Part of the parental job description is to be totally and arbitrarily unreasonable. And, if you don't think you will be when your turn comes... ha! We all thought that. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 14:39, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
So..... theres nothing I can do? (talk) 14:41, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
"There's nothing I can do" is a short description of adolescence. The show will still be there and still be just as awesome in a year or two when your mother changes her mind. Stile4aly (talk) 17:07, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
See if she'll let you watch The Wire instead. IMHO a vastly superior show even if the first couple seasons were filmed for standard definition TVs and are visually a little old fashioned compared to something like Breaking Bad. --Marlow (talk) 17:31, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
It sounds like you might have the maturity to handle the show, but that's not my call to make, and your parents aren't being completely unreasonable. Ikanreed (talk) 14:44, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, like, I see where my mum's coming from, but still, it's kinda annoying. (talk) 14:46, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
The standard responses include saying "you just don't understand", listening to loud music, painting your bedroom black, sulking, etc. Joking apart, from memory, 14 was about the worst bit (bloody puberty's a right pisser) but then I did it in 1967 so don't pay any attention to an old fart like me. Seriously, as they saying goes "It gets better". Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 14:47, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
I mostly have a good relationship with my parents, actually. My dad's also into all of the same stuff as me (same music, surfing, drums, guitar, etc.), and my mum is normally fine. I'm handling puberty okay, except it has made me bizarrely thin, I can't sing for shit anymore, my hair has randomly gone curly (???), I get mad all the time, and I am persistently horny. That aside, I'm not gonna make a big deal out of this, lest I look like a spoilt little shit. (talk) 14:54, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's tough being a teen. But I'm not sure what else anybody can say. Nobody is going to say that your mother is a horrible person and you should never talk to her again. And I'm sure that's not what you want anyway. So, I'm not quite sure what more can be said.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:05, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
The program is rated 18 so I guess your mum has a point, but I guess that is largely for the drug side because the violence is no worse than most modern war movies that would normally get a 15 rating. Don't badger her about watching it but try and discuss what she considers acceptable viewing and if it is the violence then ask if you could watch it when you are fifteen, and in the meantime demonstrate how mature you are for your age. Redchuck.gif Генгисmarauding Moderator 16:43, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
See if you can get Orange Is The New Black on DVD. It might be a good opportunity to further bond with Dad. Leuders (talk) 17:58, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I remember when I was a kid, some kids could handle violent media, without thinking what they saw on screen was okay or justifiable. Others could not. If you're a minor, it's your parents' call. Although it sounds to me like you're sharp enough not to gas two gangsters to death and then dissolve their bodies in acid, so maybe you can convince them to let you watch it.
Also, don't make meth. It's highly illegal, the creation is a hazardous process that can kill you, and meth addiction can really ruin people. Don't make mercury fulminate, either. Or ricin. Basically, if Walter White makes it, you don't.--"Shut up, Brx." 15:37, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
whilst I agree that meth is illegal and will seriously damage your health and your mind, it is, sadly, fucking awesome. But seriously though, don't do it. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:44, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course it feels awesome, that's why so many addicts waste their lifes for it. That has always been a part of anti-drug campaigns which bothered me; where they try to tell people that the drugs don't actually feel good. That's just nonsensical, and lying about it only hurts your campaign. GTac (talk) 08:34, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh hell, let the kids have some candy. nobs"It all depends what Isil is" 22:09, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
That seems to go a bit far for my taste. Maybe if it were just for an adult halloween party when you're going as Walter White, but selling it as general candy seems misplaced. -GTac (talk) 15:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)


Somebody's not a fan. Osaka Sun (talk) 05:42, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Shrug.gif WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:00, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Tankies upset at Stalin apologetics - David Gerard (talk) 12:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Stupid work filters wouldn't let me click on a twitter link. Any sort of meaningful criticism there? Or is it just "commiescommiescommies"? Ikanreed (talk) 13:15, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
"everybody's favourite right wing liberal euphoria den" - ok, firstly, that has to be added to the random comments on the recent changes page. Secondly, "right wing liberals"?? Really?? I do the like chill-room vibe of an 'euphoria den' tho. PsyGremlinZungumza! 13:25, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
"right wing": not Stalinist. "liberal": truly the enemy, worse than Trots - David Gerard (talk) 13:27, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Right/left has various definitions but I think essentially it boils down to hierarchy/equality. Rightists were originally Monarchists who believed in extreme hierarchy in the form of hereditary privileges. Leftists believe in equality. Both are wrong. You guys are leftists. A common trick is to admit you're a leftist and therefore your opponents must be rightists. Perhaps they believe in reality and fair meritocracy, which could be considered centrist. (talk) 14:06, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
"Liberal" in leftist circles is short for neoliberalism. Essentially, neoliberals are people who think the way the world works is pretty good, it just needs some minor tweaks. Leftists, on the other hand, think the way things are is broken on too many levels, and should be completely revamped.
In this sense, it is possible to be "right-wing liberal". Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 14:50, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
About half of that feed (or more) is old quotes from ListenerX, one of our more right-leaning and pinko-paranoid users, who hasn't even been active here for the past six months. The rest is cherry-picked quotes from some of our articles on socialism etc. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:57, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
ListenerX hates pinkos, but I'm not sure "right-leaning" is the correct word to describe him. Unless you think all political positions fit on the left-right spectrum.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:12, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
All political positions fall into a mine-wrong spectrum. Ikanreed (talk) 20:23, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to think better of Weaseloid, with his stoic and terse reservedness on most topics. But who knows, maybe he's really an idiot hiding behind a wall of reticence, irony, and ferrets. I've been surprised before--"Shut up, Brx." 20:41, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

I can't tell whether this is a poe. Help.[edit]

Mom attempts rewriting Harry Potter to be more family friendly. [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 23:46, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Probably parody. There's no sense rewriting a whole children's book series because you find it heretical when there's likely all kinds of "approved" children's literature already out there. It might suck, but probably not any worse than a Christian rewrite of the Potter novels.--"Shut up, Brx." 23:58, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Given it's a Fan fiction.net story; whether it's a parody or not is honestly unimportant to the question of why anybody is talking about it--Miekal 00:00, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
To be honest, I'm pretty sure it would still be approximately 875431x better than any other fanfiction I've read. MESSIAH OF DOOM Cermeneserm!Dolan.png 00:05, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Jesus fuck. All three of you: do your mothers feed you too? Your poor parents. Nutty Roux (talk) 01:52, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Nutty. The world is better for that comment.--"Shut up, Brx." 02:44, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Nutty; if you would like me to leave you alone, it would be nice if you could return the favour. Thank you. GØØBY PLS Yo mum's gonna get in trouble- wit mah painis!Dolan.png 04:30, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm gonna go against the grain and say it's not parody. Thinking back to LessWrong's "What if harry potter were rationalist"(not the real title) fanfiction, and conservapedia's "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Obama"(not the real title), Harry Potter fanfiction as a vehicle for dumb political points is pretty common. Ikanreed (talk) 13:11, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I concur. MĖSSIÅH ØF DØØM Push the envelope, watch it bendDolan.png 13:53, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Didn't someone already do this before? I sware I've seen a "Christianized" Potter book somewhere. --Revolverman (talk) 22:36, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
You may be thinking of books written & marketed as Christian alternatives to Harry Potter - i.e. the same genre & style as the HP novels made more palatable to a conservative Christian audience, but not a direct plagiarism of Rowling's books (example). ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:53, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know, I'm pretty sure I've seen some that have the same setting and characters and whatnot, but the whole thing is more Christianised and "appropriate". But then, I might be thinking of something else. THE GREAT RIGHTEØUS DESTRØYER Take that, motherfucker!Dolan.png 00:23, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

"Religious belief linked to being a bit dim"[edit]

Thought you might appreciate this from the Daily Mash. (Can Mr Schlafly understand explanations using bits of fruit, I wonder, or is that too advanced for him?) Cardinal Fang (talk) 12:03, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Ummm, The Daily Mash is the British equivalent to the Onion. It's a satirical site.--ZooGuard (talk) 12:13, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure Cardinal Fang knows this, but just thought we'd appreciate it. Nullahnung (talk) 12:19, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Nullahnung: correct. Cardinal Fang (talk) 21:56, 4 October 2014 (UTC)


If anybody wants to write something on RW about vegetarianism and veganism, I stumbled on an interesting piece while searching Quackwatch for info on the milk article. It's written by a doctor and addresses pros, cons, and various claims about vegetarianism and veganism. There's certainly a lot of bullshit around the topic (have you heard of PETA? Have you heard anything they've ever said?), and this seems like a really useful resource for anyone with an interest in writing about it for here.

Side note: I'm a vegan, for health reasons. This isn't me declaring veganism/vegetarianism is bullshit. I think the article takes a solid look at both sides and gives at least lip respect to veganism in principle. So I don't want a bunch of vegetarians and vegans to dogpile on me, thank you.--"Shut up, Brx." 19:25, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

BBC Horizon recently did a couple of programmes on meat-eating. One from the health aspects and one from the environmental. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 12:34, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd love to contribute to the page. I was a vegetarian for a year but that was mostly due to depression. Now I just reduce my meat intake. There was also a time when I thought I would only eat animals that I killed myself, as if wringing a rabbit's neck was somehow easier to reconcile than committing murder by the proxy of consumer spending. I think all of us should, for ethical, environmental and health. reasons, try not to eat meat. There isn't any valid rationale for causing the suffering of another organism or terminating its life as long as non-animal food sources are readily available. Everything meat gives you in terms of nutrition can be gained from non-animal sources. Even if full vegetarianism or veganism is too ascetic for most of us, there's no reason we shouldn't try to reduce the amount of suffering and negative externalities meat consumption causes. By the way, is there any way (latin phrase, etc.) to summarise the idea that not being able to do 100% of something is no reason not to try and do as much as you can? Vajrapani (talk) 01:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand the human exceptionalism argument you're making. Surely it's the other way around. If we weren't making humans out to be special we'd be just like any other animal eating meat because it's edible. On the other hand, since we perceive ourselves as moral creatures, therefore special, we want to reduce the suffering of animals. Nullahnung (talk) 09:01, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
@Vajrapani - my go-to line for a related concept is "the perfect is the enemy of the good." No doubt, there's a snazzier way to say it in Latin, which awaits someone more erudite than myself. Iangoeswest (talk) 07:15, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Technically, the saying doesn't date back later than the French of Voltaire: le mieux est l'ennemi du bien - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 20:20, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd be willing to contribute. I have been a vegetarian since I was 16, for various reasons and in various flavors (in and out of veganism and pescetarianism). The two best arguments are reducing suffering and the environmental argument, in my opinion. Also to note, we already have articles on both topics. NerdyWizard (talk) you believed that why? 02:37, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
I've been vegetarian for about two years because its a hell of a lot cheaper than eating meat AMassiveGay (talk) 06:56, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
NerdyWizard, I agree that those are the strongest arguments to someone that is a utilitarian and/or cares about the environment. Whenever someone asks me why I'm a vegetarian I just say I don't like the idea of killing animals, if they want to press further, then I ask them about how they make ethical decisions - if they are not a utilitarian of some description I politely stop talking about the issue and move on. Sometimes I have a conversation with other vegetarians and their reasons are, in my opinion, irrational or outright crazy. There is definitely an article to be created on all the stupid reasons to be Vegetarian/Vegan - however I still think we all should eat less meat, or become vegetarians because the good reasons are very compelling. Vajrapani you are referring to the 'Nirvana Fallacy' (apologies to GrantC who recently kindly reminded me of it's name). Tielec01 (talk) 08:53, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
"There is definitely an article to be created on all the stupid reasons to be Vegetarian/Vegan" yes, we already have one, it does not need to be created. NerdyWizard (talk) you believed that why? 10:07, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
I just put up the link to Quackwatch because I figured that it would be a useful resource to anyone wanting to add to our vegetarianism/veganism article(s)--"Shut up, Brx." 15:32, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Article on property[edit]

I'm thinking about writing an article on property for the wiki. I'm thinking of including a part about property rights as a bundle, the "violation of property rights" objection frequently heard from many conservatives, and types of property. For tangible property, I'd include real estate and chattel. For intangible property, I'd include debt, copyright, stocks, patents, and domain names. Am I missing anything here? — Melab (Talk) 21:02, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Sounds like a plan. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 21:34, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Good idea. SophieWilderModerator 21:55, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Are you going to tie the article into discussion of RW-relevant subjects? Because otherwise it'll just be a second-rate Wikipedia article. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:51, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
One would think linking discussions of property to “Explorations of authoritarianism” would be rather trivial, given the many roles the idea and its implementation and opposition thereto have played historically. Probably no shortage of opportunity for looking at related crank ideas, either, if you’re willing to dig them up. (talk) 00:23, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Sure. There's an article on rights. I'll lay the ground work. — Melab (Talk) 01:10, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
There's the Libertarian three big things (life, liberty and property) as well - I can't help noting though that theytend to go on about property a lot more than the others. Also there's the property-is-theft idea to look at. There's RW potential here. SophieWilderModerator 10:59, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
"Life, liberty, and property" is the Lockean trio and is most certainly NOT particular to libertarianism. More often than not, the beliefs of libertarians are just warped views of law and political philosophy. It's not that they care more about property than life or liberty. It's that they believe the concept of property rights can be used to answer every fucking legal question imaginable, so much so that they believe policies against blackmail/defamation assume ownership of reputation. Rajiv Shah does a good job blowing this outlook to smithereens here (see III(C)). Property as theft is one of those things you can understand, but still recognize that it's dumb. Unfortunately, once someone has embraced this view, it's not long until they see airplane travel as trespass or EM waves as pollution. The methodology really is shit. — Melab (Talk) 11:39, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Not really seeing the big RW angle on this. Of course you can find a tangential link to absolutely anything but I'm not seeing it front and central from the initial description.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:00, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
What would you suggest for making it RW-compatible, then? — Melab (Talk) 22:19, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
On an anti-authoritarian wiki, an article on the notion of who can own what would be obviously topical. The same objections could be raised about articles on slavery or copyright. (Typing those blindly. I'll wager we already have them.) And again, the proof is in the making. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 03:50, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
What else should I include? — Melab (Talk) 05:10, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Speaking as a liberal independent, I always thought that the slogan "property is theft" was pretty stupid. — Melab (Talk) 06:01, 6 October 2014 (UTC)