RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive239

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Jesus Christ[edit]

Where the fuck is everybody going? In the past few months or so, I've noticed loads of retirements and shit. Has anybody else? Why? What's happening? (talk) 11:37, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I've noticed. Reasons are various, but I think there's a bit of a momentum effect where long-time users see less old faces around or notice their friends retiring & feel less inclined to spend time here themselves. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:12, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It's because I joined. Everybody hates me. Ikanreed (talk) 14:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Nah, you're OK. It's because MC, Brx, and Dirk Steele don't come around much any more. The old hats are staying away in solidarity. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 15:11, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps after a time people start to wonder if they still have much to contribute or gain.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 18:53, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Having nothing to contribute or gain never stops me. Fonzie (talk) 20:18, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Population decline logically happens to everything that fails to add new members faster than it's losing them. Long-term population decline is a pattern that can be observed in the majority of wikis, in fact. (talk) 22:21, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I noticed that as a kid working my families hotdog stand at the State Fair; when more people were walking thru the gate than leaving, our income and volume rose; when the crowd peaked and dissipated, activity fell off. My name is BOB,the Battery Operated Boyfriend 15:10, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Scientology has hired hitmen to take us out. X Stickman (talk) 15:26, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

No mention of social justice warriors and mission creep? Nutty Roux (talk) 19:16, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Mission creep has been a problem for more than the last few months.--ZooGuard (talk) 19:29, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Nutty, how are mission creep or SJWs decreasing the number of editors?
We've had a lot of people talking about a declining editor population. Do we have any long-term statistics on whether or not this is happening? FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 23:31, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
If LArron was still around, he could graph that out for you. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 23:37, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
His absence does make "RationalWiki:Active users" a little inactive. (If you're pointing out that old editors have left, just like LArron, I get it, but I still want stats.)
I'm asking because this is a recurring subject, yet I've never seen it proven that more people are leaving than staying. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 23:50, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Nobody is claiming that. The claim is that people who matter are leaving and being replaced by people like you. Nutty Roux (talk) 10:36, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
You mean, active new editors who give a hoot? It's a good sign that we get those, not a bad one. The old Conservapedia vandalism site isn't coming back - David Gerard (talk) 10:55, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

OP Clarifies[edit]

I didn't mean any particular demographic, like "old guard" or whatever. I just meant that a lot of people, from what I've seen, have been disappearing as of late. Some from 2008-2009, many from 2010-2012, and even a few high-profile people from 2013-2014. I say this as a former editor who has paid a small-ish amount of attention as of late. However, after reading Stabby's thing, I have realised that I'm probably just wrong so you should all ignore me. (talk) 09:44, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Actually Stabby did some more analysis and you may be partly right (but mostly wrong)... Tielec01 (talk) 09:47, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

A living person has an issue...[edit]

If anyone is familiar with the article on John Pack Lambert, an IP claiming to be the guy has some concerns. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 19:19, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

I checked and the cites don't bear out the charges in the article against the editor. I went ahead and created an AfD on that grounds. Notified creator User:Millicent in case they know something that can save it. Ikanreed (talk) 19:28, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't care what everyone else says. You're alright with me. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 19:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

A good article / analysis of American race relations[edit]

Read this article (the portion underneath the subheading of "HNU: human neurological uniformity"). I think it makes a cogent argument for the nature of modern American race relations and the problems of the black community. What do you guys think? I know you would probably disagree, but give the article a once over since it derives a good argument from a multitude of good sources that may convince you. (talk) 02:53, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Lol, get that pathetic dark enlightenment bullshit outta here. "Hey this old enlightenment era philsopher was a piece of shit racist(no really, that's an argument he uses), so you should be too, science denying weirdos, oh by the way global warming is made up". It's just so... dumb. And you're dumb for thinking anyone is going to be fooled. Moldbug is one of those people who thinks that more words means more credibility. He's dumb, and his arguments aren't supported by anyone who actually fucking studies human populations.
Moreover he's one of those IQ focused dipweeds who thinks that patterns of 20ish IQ variance can only be explained by genetics, when even a casual review of the literature shows that he's full of shit: the Flynn effect, and its temporal and regional variations, the lack of direct genetic evidence in the era of sequencing, heritability relationships having more complex factors(Why should fraternal twins be different from siblings the way they are? e.g.) and of course the big shit he glosses over: race itself is a bullshit construct used by simpletons to group people on arbitrary standards. Grow up and read actual scientific literature on intelligence, and if you can't do that, go away. Ikanreed (talk) 04:21, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Ikanreed I don't know what you are saying above, but it sounds vaguely wrong to me (I've dabbled in intelligence research). To anyone tempted to read the article posted by the OP, save your time, reads like it was written by a paranoid schizophrenic. Tielec01 (talk) 15:27, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Black person here. It's the same conservative b.s. Blacks were doing "well" in 1960 before the great society even though statistical analysis shows that black poverty has dropped and black unemployment has only dropped http://faculty.weber.edu/kmackay/great%20society.htm. It then tries to make the illogical jump that shit changing in 1968 with black and women becoming more equal means the black family was destroyed while ignoring the impact of the War on Drugs and the Prison Industrial Complex. It's the same navel gazing where these supposed "intellectuals" repackage the same crap time and time again. It has no good points.BlackProg (talk) 01:44, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Sounds wrong? Sounds wrong how? I want to clarify my position either by correcting it if it's wrong or providing support for it if you disagree. There's no doubt genetics influences intelligence(IQ in particular), but the body research I've read bears out a lot of critical non-genetic factors. Ikanreed (talk) 17:07, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Yanis Varoufakis[edit]

I heard this guy speak on a BBC podcast a couple of days ago and thought I should find out a bit more about him as he seemed like an interesting chap.

I'm about 10% through his most recent book The Global Minotaur and so far I'm quite impressed. Anybody read it?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:16, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

New Article in progress[edit]

I just wanted to throw this to the bar for comment thus far. It's in my name space and I have a lot more to do on it including some external links. I also want to know if it's possible to add screenshots to the article itself - this will be handy if the subject starts deleting links. Some of the screenies are from Facebook. Here is the article. And could an admin please deleted the John Best article from my name space now that its in the main site now? BankBox (talk) 22:14, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Comment about to be added on the requisite talk page... Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 05:34, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments and thanks also to the deleter of the other page - and to whoever made me a janitor sysop! That allowed me to delete the corresponding talk page. The conversation continues over on the talk page of the new article. BankBox (talk) 23:16, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Get a load of this stopped-clock[edit]

For once, and probably the only time, I wholeheartedly agree with the Tea Party. Reckless Noise Symphony (talk) 10:17, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Naturally, the comments are blaming immigrants for the disease and blaming vaccines for autism. At least one person cited Mercola. This supports the hypothesis that it's not just hippies who're anti-vaccine, it's anybody inclined to believe conspiracy theories. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 10:52, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
The whole left-right divide on the vaccine thing is apparently a myth. While the biggest named proponents are loosely leftish in their nature(natural news, oprah, maher) at least one study has shown that there's no real strong liberal slant to the actual opt-outs. The best predictor, and this will surprise no one here, is conspiratorial ideation. Ikanreed (talk) 17:25, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
and it just so happens a news site I was reading today mentions exactly this point Ikanreed (talk) 14:29, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
A lot of the Natural News and Mercola stuff is actively promoted by the Tea Partiers. Although some on the left have an anti-big-business stance mainly on spurious "ethical" grounds it is also a key part of the libertarian right's rugged individualism, where not only big government is over-taxing them but big-something is always ripping them off. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science. Moderator 12:09, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I dunno, sounds like big-media horse-hockey. nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 12:25, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

In the mind of conspiracy theorists[edit]

I've always wondered...there's people that are so worried about their privacy with this and that, how dare Facebook/Google/Big Brother listen/look/peer in my general direction!! But in all seriousness...what could they do with it? And I don't mean the whole "you have nothing to fear if you're doing nothing wrong" bit, that's not necessarily the case. What could someone ACTUALLY DO with an average person's daily life information? We're all just one in millions. Any truly valid info needed on a day to day basis is already accessible. If companies discriminate on personal practices then there's new things that need to be put in place. So really, what's the actual worst that could happen if Facebook has those nudes you sent in messenger? They know what you look like, my goodness! If Google "tracks where you go"? They know how boring you are! Government knows who you called? Well...they also know your social (they gave it to you), your birth records (again, they made them), and most of your purchases (tax and etc.)....what else is there, really? Trick (talk) 15:00, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

For "they" being defined as the corporations themselves:
  1. Market to you, with the intent of manipulating your personality. Using just facebook likes, a computer can generate a more accurate result on your Big Five personality index than any person taking the test in your place except your spouse. The ads know you better than your friends.
  2. Accidentally make public something you might not want. Like change a privacy setting or add a feature and let slip that you traveled somewhere your spouse might not have known. This loosely fits the "nothing to hide" argument, but you have a right to hide that.
For "They" being defined as nefarious individuals with access to the information, acting outside the best interests of their employer:
  1. Guess passwords, security questions, usernames, the sites you use, the banks you use. Troubling. Sure most of the big names have safeguards, but what if they slip up? What if one of their tech employees has a big debt to pay off, or wants revenge against their employer?
  2. Blackmail, of the simple sort.
  3. Jealous types checking up on their lovers
  4. Stalker types finding the addresses of their targets.
There's a lot to be concerned about. It's not the biggest deal ever, but it's also not nothing. Ikanreed (talk) 15:10, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
There's certainly issues where keeping info just out of circulation would be preferable to not. However, being in an analysis role with big data people vastly over estimate what can be culled from it easily. What always gets me though are the conspiracy theorists that complain about being spied on by the government on their computers and internet habits...but still spend all day posting like a manic weasel. Those same people complain how the conspiracies kill famous people with impunity for what theorist is spouting, yet has no fear the government will make them disappear as a nobody. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:17, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Preaching to the choir there, pal. We all know the conspiracy theories are stupid and nuts, but I fear you may be underestimating how much insight is even conventionally and normally mined from your browsing history. You say it's hard to cull information, but the data mining is already done at the database level. Ikanreed (talk) 15:24, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
(EC)I suppose that's more along my line of thought, the "nobody" aspect of it, coupled with the fact that I personally don't give a flying dingo about what people know about me. I think a lot of issues Ikanreed defined seem more to stem from the fact that info is sort of...."secretly" available, lending to the juicy taboo of it all, and addressing the access of information is skirting the actual problems in those situations.
And this isn't to say that certain measures shouldn't exist, more that people get so tied up in things like "Facebook should be unhackable but not see any of my personal thoughts!" rather than "my password is Kittens1" Trick (talk) 15:27, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
True, there is database mining going on...but it's not like every time you are online those people have easy access to what you do online. Large sections can be profiled, and good bits of information can be found online for the determined that are placed there...but the conspiracy theorists seem to make it out as this huge warehouse of accurate data of your life at their fingertips. Even then it can be really, laughably, wrong. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:47, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Errors may be laughable, until someone gets put on the wrong list and stuck in a terminal with no way to catch a flight home. There must be a Gogol story about that, or Kafka. See also the clerical "death" of Doc Daneeka in Catch-22.
I have an elderly friend who complains about the power company printing a bar chart of his kilowatt-hour usage in his bill, with comparison to the neighborhood average. He thinks that's a data point along with his surname (not ending in zadeh, but not too far from it) and whatever else can be gleaned and connected to him. He also complained about the local election commission sending him a "get out and vote" letter including his history of showing up at the polls, again with favorable comparison to the general population. He once asked me about Faraday cages, I guess so his iPhone wouldn't broadcast his location. Told him the best shield is three layers of aluminum foil snugly wrapped about the cranium. He still talks to me. Alec Sanderson (talk) 16:21, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I am convinced with so many people live blogging every aspect of their lives on Facebook, Instagram, tumble and twitter etc, that no one gives a shit that their privacy is non existent - every part of their lives is freely posted on line so there is no longer any privacy to invade. As result no one bats an eyelid when facebook sells all your details and google reads your emails. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:10, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
on a side note, Facebook retains all your details even when you close your account - how does that tally with data protection act (UK) ?AMassiveGay (talk) 20:13, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
It probably doesn't & doesn't have to. It's not a UK company. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:38, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I suspected this would be the case. Something else to consider when you sign up for stuff on the internet. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:56, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
It does have to tally with the DPA when Facebook does business with people located in the UK. Just as British companies are required to abide by US law when doing business with people located in the US. FB itself has made various statements claiming that it complies with the DPA when appropriate.

Has anybody else here read this?[edit]

Jesus Christ. The worst is, I don't see the problem going away anytime soon--Tanis (talk) 16:10, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

No More Page 3 (for real) (but not really)[edit]

So it looks like The Sun is set to ditch the page 3 pics of topless models following years of campaigners calling for it to end. Thoughts on the significance of this? And please, no "now we just need to work and getting the other 34 pages ditched" snark, even David Cameron's Twitter feed has already made that joke. Grumblejaws (talk) 08:28, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, if the most obvious snark is off the table... "And the oh-no-it's-a-female-body moral panic wins another battle." (talk) 08:43, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
THey should have gotten rid of pages 1&2 instead and put it on the cover. (Not for any good reason, just because.)--TiaC (talk) 09:15, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Won't someone please think of the poor Sun journalists who must now find time to write a whole extra half-page of lazy tripe? Queexchthonic murmurings 10:48, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm no great fan of the Sun but calling it 'lazy tripe' is a bit arrogant. There was, famously, a time when, for April Fools, the Sun and Guardian journalists were going to swap places. Of course management nixed the plan but the Sun journlists point was that writing popular, easy to understand stories which appeal to Sun readers is more of a skill than you think. Now, when it comes to laziness, the Mail simply makes up what it wants or copies lists from Cracked. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 11:39, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Well I always have the Internet for nude pinups, so no loss for me.--BMcP - Just an astronomy guy 13:10, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Hasn't Cameron's government repeatedly pushed to block access to internet porn in the UK? Ikanreed (talk) 13:57, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Being Tories they're obliged to at least superficially make this about choice. So they decided that ISPs have to give their customers a "choice" to filter out the porn. My ISP puts this choice in their sign up page. If you pick "Yes" it says to get a different ISP because they don't do any filtering (they also don't have the filters all the big UK ISPs have that were notionally set up for child porn but are actually used to protect Hollywood). The owner of the ISP basically lives for the opportunity to argue about that sort of thing in court. He goes after government agencies like OFCOM too and he knows they'll always let it go. From the government's point of view it's bad reverse implied odds - if they win they crush one tiny company that nobody has heard of, if they lose their whole policy is destroyed and they look like idiots. So better to turn a blind eye. Tialaramex (talk) 17:37, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Andrews & Arnold, I presume? Compro01 (talk) 09:29, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
It's editorially lazy. The angle of the article is already know, regardless of the facts. There's no time spent on analysis or reflection. No matter the skill involved in producing the actual words, I don't respect the enterprise. It's like advertising or headline-writing - it requires a very particular skillset but is ultimate using skill for evil. Like a safecracker who burgles. Queexchthonic murmurings 13:36, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I remember many years ago at school where our English teacher compared the writing styles - particularly in sports pages - between various newspapers and pointed out that the same journalist was writing different copy for the broadsheet and the tabloid. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 14:24, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
The Sun should carry on their tradition of showing tits on page 3 by printing pics of politicians.
I still can't see Merseyside rushing out to buy the rag. ProblemChimp (talk) 18:53, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
@problemchimp - very nice quip.
I don't think that pornography is a good thing, so if the Sun really did decide to take it off (heh) the lineup on their own, then good for them. If the government pressured them at all (and I certainly wouldn't put it past them given their recent anti free-speech antics), then it's reprehensible. (Agrajag (talk) 20:16, 20 January 2015 (UTC))
A purely commercial decision imo, just like closing down the News of the Screws. (TY, I thought up that quip too late to get it near the top of a Guardian CiF thread.)
By long-established tradition, the incoming British PM is ceremonially ushered into No. 10 Downing Street, and shown round the premises by the obsequious civil servants now at their beck and call. Then, they are left alone to contemplate their election victory, and the policies they will implement, in the room where supreme power resides. There, they disrobe; and spread themself across the centuries-old prime ministerial desk, replete with history, and await the entrance, by the back passage to which only he has access, of the Dirty Digger. In my opinion, the government wasn't applying pressure in this instance. ProblemChimp (talk) 22:40, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
This is sad. The world has grown greyer and more uniform; one of its colorful local features, one of its tourist attractions -- literally "one of the things to see if you visit the UK" -- has been defaced. Used to be you could tell people that there were semi-serious newspapers that printed nude pinups as well. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 02:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not convinced the Sun has been semi-serious within my lifetime. The prevailing impression is that the staff are essentially playing an elaborate practical joke at the expense of their readers. Queexchthonic murmurings 13:56, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

They should post topless cartoons of Mohamed instead.--Coffee (talk) 16:38, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Playboy article[edit]

This got me thinking. As weird as it is, Playboy is heavily entwined with feminism (no really, so is James Bond), but I wonder if there's enough to say about the whole enterprise that we could write an article about it. Zero (talk - contributions) 22:03, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Might begin by reading Hef's editorial series on the "Playboy Philosophy". I read it when I was much younger and it has been a fairly durable influence. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 02:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
285 pages. Fucking hell this is a novel! Zero (talk - contributions) 04:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Playboy's brand of feminism is little more than men trying to coax women into wearing less clothes and having more sex. The magazine's relevance to feminism largely ends with Gloria Steinem's expose, although there was a brief resurgence in interest with Ariel Levy's book Female Chauvinist Pigs--Tanis (talk) 00:34, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

She's back[edit]

After a "mammary lapse." AgingHippie (talk) 16:21, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

So is that "Hooray for press freedom of expression!" or "boo for boobs!" not? This freedom of expression thing is a bit complicated. :-( --Coffee (talk) 17:16, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Why should it be either? Just a big old publicity stunt. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:27, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Well played. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 20:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
UK tabloid the Daily Mirror prints a picture of tits on page 3. Classic! ProblemChimp (talk) 17:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Around these parts we call birds like that "chickadees". I suppose this is another of those "rooster" things. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 05:11, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
We call them mazes. Not while speaking English though. (talk) 07:21, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
They'm akymals yer in Dem. BicyclewheelModerator 20:04, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Greece election results[edit]

We all knew that it was coming, the polls haven't changed in over a year, they all said the exact same thing, that Alex Tsipras was going to be the next Prime Minister of Greece and he now is. His coalition partner is believed to give clues as to what his intentions are for dealing with what the Greeks call the "Troika" (i.e. the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund). His party is SYRIZA which from what I can tell is slightly to the right of the actual Communist Party of Greece (abbreviated KKE). He had two choices of who to form a coalition with, To Potami (they're calling it a centrist party but to an American, even a left leaning American like me, it looks like a center left party), or Independent Greeks (abbreviated ANEL) which is a right-wing eurosceptic populist party that seems to agree with SYRIZA to some extant on issues regarding economics (in particular they share a hostility toward the Troika). However the two parties are polar opposite regarding social issues, for instance ANEL supports more Church involvement in schools, despises immigration and multiculturalism and looks like an all around "traditional values" party not much different than the Religious right branch of the Republican Party in the States (the difference being that ANEL looks like it supports leftist economic policies); to compare, the leader of SYRIZA and the new Prime Minister of Greece Alex Tsipras is publicly an atheist and lives with a partner (no he's not gay, his partner is a woman), rather than a wife (because they were never married) with whom they have two sons. A coalition with Potami would indicate a willingness to work with the Troika, a coalition with ANEL on the other hand would be seen as a hostile gesture since the only issues these two parties could ever agree on would be economic. That's how I understand it, the Europeans (and yes Americans regard British people as European firstly because you are geographically as much a part of Europe as Newfoundland or Greenland is of North America, and secondly because your country is part of the European Union), may be able to explain Greek politics better than me. In any case, two days ago SYRIZA and ANEL formed a coalition government. Any thoughts? Is the Eurozone doomed? Or is just the Euro in Greece doomed? Alsto003 (talk) 21:20, 28 January 2015 (UTC) Alex

Well, I don't see the Franc making a comeback. My big guesses: 1. This is it for EU expansion. After Greece defaulting and the problems managing the crisis in Ukraine, Euroskeptism will settle in widespread for at least a decade. Probably more. 2. People in the big markets are too happy about the bull market to worry over a smallish nation's fiscal crisis recurring. The actual withdrawal will be a speedbump for everyone not in the banking industry or Greece. These guesses are both too subjective to test myself on, but they seem like a plausible direction for things to go. Ikanreed (talk) 21:33, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
The more immediate question is, of course, whether the drachma is going to make a comeback. There are some indications that the answer to that is probably "no" as well; already we see pinkos having conniption-fits because Syriza is showing signs of walking back some of its more radical proposals. Furthermore (and what is clearly much, much worse), the party is actually thinking about considering a discussion of permitting the election of a Greek President who is not a member of Syriza.
This souring process has happened much more quickly than usual; generally one can count on the "slobbering with excitement" phase lasting at least a few months before the "sniveling about betrayal" phase sets in. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:14, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
There was an article in the FT suggesting that Greece could be bailed out by the Kremlin in exchange for Greek vetoes of any further sanctions against Russia. This would be uncomfortable for the EU in many ways, but it would probably ward of Grexit. Even if Putin declines to bail out Russia, China has been very generous in helping both Argentina and Venezuela in their current difficulties (according to the Economist this week), so don't rule out Greece surviving without the Troika. Of course, this is all speculation. Leander (talk) 21:28, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I hope this will move the EU to finally reinvent itself into something average European citizens might actually support. (talk) 22:00, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
You'd first have to find/create/invent "average European citizens" or possibly even "European citizens" per se... ScepticWombat (talk) 16:46, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

So, this happened.[edit]

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/03/columbia-student-i-didn-t-rape-her.html?source=TDB&via=FB_Page Interesting case. MRA's are gonna be all over this. Necromancer 20:28, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

So long as what he says is true. I don't find the article informative enough to provide certainty on that issue. Sounds to me like he has a very well-paid criminal defense attorney and access to publicists. --Castaigne (talk) 22:58, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
That said, I doubt that some college kid and his parents have enough money to silence a rape that just happened and had gained as much attention as it did. Regarding his story, The Daily Beast usually is pretty reliable on these things, and if anything has pro-feminist bias. Moral of the story: Don't get swept up in sensationalism. Necromancer 00:14, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Also, "Access to publicists". If this guy hired any publicists, they really suck at their job. Necromancer 02:07, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Well they've got him an article that makes him look less bad than the general run of serch engine results so that probably counts as a net pluss from his POV.Geni (talk) 04:33, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
This is one article, and it's an exclusive. This is nothing compared to all the negative PR he's been getting. The New York Post actually named him as guilty, even though he got as close as you can get to proving innocence. The problem is that because of the media attention her protest has been getting, he's basically guilty in the public's eye. Necromancer 12:55, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not so sure it'd be a bad thing for people to call negative attention to a partiularly egregious smear campaign, even if it does involve some less-than-reputable individuals. While the broader topic of campus rape is obviously a major problem, Sulkowicz seems like one of the absolute last people Gillibrand and others should be casting their weight behind. (talk) 04:29, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Help wanted[edit]

Does anybody want to look through this to see if there's anything that could help the offender profiling article?--Tanis (talk) 20:31, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Also, how do I use the same reference more than once, again?--Tanis (talk) 20:44, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Use "<ref name="insert innuendo joke here">the ref goes here</ref>" in the first instance and use "<ref name="insert innuendo joke here" />" for all the other instances. (talk) 20:48, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
(It can be any instance and doesn't have to be the first, that's just standard). Ikanreed (talk) 20:50, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks--Tanis (talk) 21:01, 6 February 2015 (UTC)


Yo peeps, anyone covering the measles outbreak, like on wigo or something? -- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Trust me; I'm a doctor 17:35, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

We've been covering it as it progressed. As far as I'm aware, the small outbreaks are a continuation of a larger trend throughout 2014. Ikanreed (talk) 17:39, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Ah, it's much worse than you think. The main outbreak started at disneyland in december, spread like crazy through the unvaccinated of SoCal, and is moving all over the damned country. About 1000 ppl being observed in AZ---before the Superbowl. Could turn out to be worst outbreak in US in a long, long time. May even become endemic again. -- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Trust me; I'm a doctor 17:50, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Also saw something on a friend's FB post about a guy who travelled on Amtrak while contagious. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:52, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank god my little corner of the world still has that whole herd immunity thing going for it. Here's hoping it doesn't make it this far anyways. - Grant (talk) 17:59, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
... fuck. Got a good writeup of this anywhere? (or indeed, with your blogger hat, got one you've written?) - David Gerard (talk) 19:43, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
New article Measles needed imo, by someone with the willingness to start pulling all this together. From personal experience (1950s), measles wasn't fun to catch - even if it was marginally more fun than scarlet feverWikipedia. Or diphtheriaWikipedia, which I was vaccinated against after someone with whom I'd been in recent contact died of it. ProblemChimp (talk) 21:38, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
No worries, Joni Ernst can solve it. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:21, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Lol. (talk) 00:05, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I've got stuff up at my forbes blog and i was on cnn (briefly) 2 nights ago about it.-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Trust me; I'm a doctor 12:24, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm, someone redlinked measles five days ago and it is still untouched. Doc, you were great on TV, and I love the work you are doing to lead the battle against this flood of stupid. Vaccination is trying out for the role of "important issue in the upcoming US Presidential election" and may just get a part. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:12, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Looking forward to reading your draft of the measles article. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 01:44, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Living people stuff in "What is a RationalWiki article?"[edit]

I've just added RationalWiki:What is a RationalWiki article?#Articles_on_living_people - I'm trying to write something sensible that meets consensus, and functions like a concise useful guideline rather than hitting prospective n00bs with a series of sticks or bureaucracy. (It would be nice if we don't have to kick anyone else off for JAQing whether someone's a child molestor.) Review and editing welcomed - David Gerard (talk) 18:05, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Should that bit about Section 230 also be in the legal FAQ page & guide for individuals or companies we cover? WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:22, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Probably. (Where is that?) I could expand on it, my knowledge of its practical application is from watching it used to protect Wikipedia - David Gerard (talk) 23:26, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
RationalWiki:Legal FAQ and RationalWiki:Guide for individuals or companies we cover. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:36, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
By the way: feel free to pepper living bios with obnoxious {{fact}} tags. If you do this, they show up in Category:Living people as being living bios in need of urgent attention. (Cheers to FuzzyCatPotato for that.) - David Gerard (talk) 23:26, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I've been hesitant to do that ever since someone called me a "lazy drive-by tagger." Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:26, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

The section needs a TL;DR summary in bolded cquote to be consistent with the rest of that page. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:45, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

I like it, 24 pages of the WP MoS summarised (with a RW slant) in 7 lines. (I've created (and had accepted) a few WP BLPs, so had skimmed that bit of the MoS: my brain hurted.)
A suggested cquote, adapting the one in the "RW is not an encyclopedia" section higher up the article; it could doubtless be improved.
Why would anyone who is a rationalist care about this person?
ProblemChimp (talk) 14:59, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

GMO and other labelling[edit]

It seems that 82% of the American public want foods containing GMO's to be labelled. This compares to a mere 80% of that same public who want foods containing DNA to be labelled. Sorry if this has been brought up before.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 15:57, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Did you know that viruses like HIV create deoxyribose nucleic acids from other nucleic acids to infect the body? It's a dangerous substance.
In spite of how strongly I engage against "But this is supposed to be RATIONALWIKI" concern trolls for GMOs on related pages, I'm not actually a hard-liner against labeling. More than half of our staple crops by mass go to feed animals, and the people who benefit most from the increased yields, those facing food scarcity, are not going to be deterred by labels. I know to ignore "Organic" as a label(though straight from a farmer's market is a different matter), I'd know to ignore that label as well. Ikanreed (talk) 16:05, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I wonder what a GMO is because I can't figure out what people want to label. Everything we eat is modified from the origional source with different levels of modification. I am interested in labeling of things that change protien (adding gluten to corn per say), or concerns about roundup ready crops sprayed with unsafe amounts of pesticides, but when I talk with labeling advocates they go down the rabbit hole into nonsense. Like labeling things with DNA...every food has DNA in it (save salt)! Food is made from other living things, which is basic as it comes biology. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:25, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I think this must be the 3rd or 4th time this subject has come up so for the 3rd or 4th time I will ask why it is so controversial to be able to know what goes into our food and how it is produced. If it has any GMO in it, then I would like know just as much I weoulcd like to know pesticides were used or feed used. For the record when I say GMO, I am referring to anything that has been changed via genetically engineering. It seems american public wants this info to. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:48, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the same percentage that thinks it's important to know if their food has DNA.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:51, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Right. People are dumb. I will strive to educate against every stupid, ill-iformed statement about genetic modification I hear, but I find myself unconcerned with the damage if labeling laws. Ikanreed (talk) 19:55, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, one problem with mandatory GMO labeling is that it would *look* like a warning label, creating the impression that there is something to be concerned about, while all of the available evidence indicates GMO foods are perfectly safe. It would effectively put a government stamp of approval on unfounded concerns that GMO foods are somehow dangerous. (talk) 20:04, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Easy, create a validation process and let people label "unmodified" foods. Like organic. Meaningless, more expensive, and helps sell to a certain demographic. Ikanreed (talk) 20:07, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Which they pretty much do now with the organic labelling and it is not cheap. Just to label something as non-GMO now is not really enforced without the organic labelling, and depends on which organic standard people use. For some people it might not be enough, as they want GMO foods labeled with something scary looking while the non-GMO foods are labeled with a fuzzy bunny. I am all for making the labelling process a bit cheaper for smaller producers, and a catagory just for non-GMO that people can opt into with real meaning. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:15, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
organic is not a meaningless label, it means it has been produced free from pesticides and is strictly regulated in the EU as to who claim their product organic. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:20, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Meaningless for both health and environmental impact as far as the science is concerned. Legally meaningless is a whole other fish. Ikanreed (talk) 20:25, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
That's not what the "organic" label means, in the EU or the U.S. Crops certified as "organic" have been, among other things, produced free from "synthetic" pesticides - organic crops are usually produced with the use of plenty of "natural" pesticides. And, as far as I'm aware, the available science simply does not support the idea that "natural" pesticides are somehow safer/less toxic/healthier for the consumer than "synthetic" pesticides. On the flip side, "organic" certified foods do have to be GMO-free, or nearly so (the EU has a <0.9% threshold). So, if you want to avoid GMOs, you can just buy organic. No new certification scheme required.
I apologize that was a miscommunication. Organic can be well regulated (the term no matter where), and usually means without GMO, but I haven't seen labeling as "non-GMO" without the organic certification that has teeth. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:31, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
"foods containing DNA"... Is this a joke? O_o (talk) 20:33, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, in that he's evoking it for humor. No, in that that was a real poll result, when a pushpoll was designed to raise concerns about the Dangerous Compound "Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid" Ikanreed (talk) 20:47, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
From the link at the top: "Three new ad hoc questions were added to the survey this month. The first question asked: "“Do you support or oppose the following government policies?” 86.5% of respondents support mandatory country of origin labels for meat. A large majority (82%) support mandatory labels on GMOs, but curiously about the same amount (80%) also support mandatory labels on foods containing DNA. The least popular policies were bans on transfats, bans on sales of marijuana, and a tax on sugared sodas. Only about 39% of respondents supported a sugared soda tax. "--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 21:04, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I kinda get the impression people want any acronymized substances in their food to be pointed out by a label. >.> (talk) 21:05, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. It seems that people will say they "want" a label for anything you ask them about. I'd be prepared to guess that a large majority "wants" the label to say "Contains H2O".--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 08:52, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Calls for mandatory labelling of GMOs are generally not well thought out. The antis obviously want huge scary warning labels but foods already contain nutritional information and lists of ingredients. And while a corn cob for direct consumption may be a GMO what about when it is processed to make something else (say a piece of chocolate) which is then used as a minor ingredient or decoration. The amount of GMO in the finished product is minute but the labellers would insist that it still must be highlighted, all for something which has not been proven to be harmful but to ensure that the consumer is informed?. Polls ask the general public to make decisions about something with no information other than the hysterical demands of special-interest groups. Not a good way to formulate policy. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 10:06, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure the companies could give it a positive spin, though. "This food has been scientifically optimized! Buy now!" Resulting in all the paranoid uninformed people wanting the label buying it. Maybe two wrongs do make a right sometimes? (talk) 10:45, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
you know, it fucks me off that I get called anti-gmo purely because I support labeling, (not just of GMO products, but all kinds of information). It not a GMO issue, it is a consumer rights issue. It is about knowing where and how your food is produced and being able to make a choice based on this. No labeling means no choice. Sure people are idiots (but not us though, we are comfortable in our elitism) and might make wrong decisions if they don't understand the information but they have a right to make those wrong decisions. Its up to GMO companies to educate and advertise until they come around, not hide it and trick the proles into eating it. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:15, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
So do you support "Contains DNA" because consumers, apparently, would vote for it?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 12:27, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
the fact so many people want 'contains DNA' just highlights the need for clear labeling. You keep people in the dark about what they are eating and people will worry about everything. But yeah, stupid proles, right? AMassiveGay (talk) 12:46, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Have you looked at our E number article? E numbers are intended to simplify food labels in the EU, but the reaction of some people has been to consider them evidence of food containing evil "chemicals", while accepting the exact same ingredient under its "traditional" name. As far as labeling, what information should be required? Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc. used in the food's production? The identities of the employees who harvested it? The feng shui alignment of the fields? The house that Saturn was in during the time the food was growing? Should "asbestos-free" be allowed on labels? A lot of people who support mandatory GMO labeling paint it as a simple issue of choice: "Why don't you want people to know what they're eating?" But if one thinks about the issue, one must conclude that it is impossible to convey every possible bit of information pertaining to the food. The question thus becomes, "What information about the food I'm eating is important?" It should also be noted that compliance with labeling laws is not free. --Ymir (talk) 14:41, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
and lot of people against laberling believe people are too stupid to know whats good for them or make their own minds. It really is a simple matter of choice. the fact that some people don't understand all the information provided does not mean that it shouldn't be provided. I also doubt compliance with labeling is prohibitively expensive. And yes, I would like to know what pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, feed, etc is being used. Any company that produces food who doesn't know should not be producing food, and if they know I want to know. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:50, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
What it highlights is the need to get the people more informed, but I don't think labels are the way to educate them about what they should worry about with their food. For one thing, the companies that'd have to put these labels on the food would only be concerned with how they can convince people not to be scared of buying their product. That's not exactly an ideal situation for honest, straightforward disclosure of information. (talk) 16:16, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure what we want is an an informed populace. At the moment, unfortunately, they are being informed by people like the FoodBabe.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:20, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

An unbiased view of slavery?[edit]

PROOF!!! that RationalWiki is doing just fine[edit]

Moved to Forum:The current state of RW's community.--ZooGuard (talk) 17:18, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Roy Moore[edit]

A couple of things: first, RationalWiki's article on him is woefully outdated. Secondly, is anybody else watching his batshit craziness on display once again in Alabama? Clearly, he is the poster child of what judicial activism really means. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (talk) 06:47, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Maybe it's because someone already fixed it, but that article is described in the summary of our article. Ikanreed (talk) 14:47, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Fala português?[edit]

If so, can you take a peek at this and make sure it's cool? Obrigado. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 02:14, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

First full length article[edit]

Feel free to yell at me for being a noob Here's your internal link 'Legionwhat do you want from me 22:53, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

I cleaned up some minor things in it. If you want to unlock the Irving Berlin level of songwriting, only use the black keys on that piano. Alec Sanderson (talk) 23:24, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Really pentatonic scale. It's too fuckin easy 'Legionwhat do you want from me 04:40, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
This is the part where I display my grammar pedantry and say that an apostrophe does not mean "Oh shit, here comes an 's'!" Also you generally want to use internal links for links to other pages on the wiki. --Ymir (talk) 15:18, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Hey RW, I'm back[edit]

Hey RationalWiki, long time no see. Sort of.

I'm Wehpudicabok, a (quiet) contributor who's been here since 2008, but I'd been on a break for about half a year because I was afraid that being an openly transgender woman on a site Cathy Brennan was watching would be potentially dangerous for my career. Since that time, she hasn't spoken much about RW at all (short attention span, perhaps?) and my life has become much more stable, so I've decided to come back.

Although, full disclosure, I didn't really leave; User:Abed Nadir was my sockpuppet account, which I operated because I still wanted to contribute to the site and figured would be safe if I didn't mention being trans on it.

Anyway, nice to see you guys. Looking forward to contributing regularly again! Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 09:22, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Welcome back!--ZooGuard (talk) 10:35, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
"My name's Amy, and I'm one of you assholes."
"Hi, Amy."
"Asshole? Pfeh, you're not an asshole. I'm much more of an asshole than you."
"You sure are, asshole."
"Fuck you, asshole."
- David Gerard (talk) 10:43, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Good to have you back! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 12:00, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Good to see you again! And fuck Brennan. She's the worst. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 14:31, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
It really sucks how it's still even remotely permissible to openly target transgender people for harassment. Welcome back(I'm new since you left). Ikanreed (talk) 14:52, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Good to see you back! Marlow (talk) 17:05, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
WB. It sucks that people think that kind of behavior is okay though. I am very sorry :-( -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:18, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Welcome back! (ignore the username, this is Sophie) BicyclewheelModerator 20:37, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
WB! I'm another of them noobs around here. I don't think I know any trans people IRL, but you're at least the fourth I've met online. I'm looking forward to the day when bigots start to rely on the argument that transphobia doesn't exist because phobia = fear, but they aren't scared. I think homophobes began using it only after their every other argument was spinning towards the ground in flames - it's a sign of progress. ProblemChimp (talk) 21:23, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Is "RationalWashing" a thing?[edit]

See this ridiculous crowdfunding campaign from the "Rational Dress Society". - — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

I like the totally mathematical and completely unsourced charts. Happiness has a simple direct correlation to clothing choices! Look, we made up some numbers that show exactly that. Now do you want to buy it? Ikanreed (talk) 16:17, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
To be fair, the record shows that the female model disapproves of capes. Queexchthonic murmurings 16:56, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Anyone who would buy and wear that probably deserves to - David Gerard (talk) 17:47, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
How dare you? I'm rebelling against an overmarketted consumeristic culture by buying this product, based on the entirely reasonable claims the page makes! Ikanreed (talk) 17:51, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
I am terribly intrigued and attracted to these. It would make the perfect uniform for my eventual Totalitarian Utilitarian utopia. --Castaigne (talk) 18:24, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Obvious parody is obvious. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:38, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Obvious parody receiving real money Ikanreed (talk) 18:41, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Dude, if I had the money? I really want one. --Castaigne (talk) 18:42, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Of course, I've always wanted a Mao suit ala Hugo Drax from Moonraker too. --Castaigne (talk) 18:42, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Dude, it's just factory overalls. You can buy virtually the same thing from any workwear supplier - or on eBay - for like $30. WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:53, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
But it's tailored overalls! Clearly a cut above the usual dross worn by the plebes. Especially with this fashion designer involved. Sadly, I don't have any shits and giggles money available for that.
Also sadly, the Hugo Drax Mao suit is not really available for cheap either. --Castaigne (talk) 19:24, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
It's not tailored. It's available in 48 sizes. That's not the same thing. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:28, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Apparently, I'm too subtle. I'm taking the piss. --Castaigne (talk) 19:49, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Mr. Chait's article and the reaction to it[edit]

So I think about a week ago a writer for the New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait, wrote a controversial article on what he terms "PC culture". The reaction to it has been rather negative. Unlike most of the posts I put on this page I'm not going to really go into what I think about it (I'll probably do that later). Given recent events, discourse of this sort has become more common, not just in the USA but in the rest of the western world as well. I am interested in what others at this wiki think of it though. Alsto003 (talk) 23:30, 10 February 2015 (UTC) Alex

Not The New YorkerWikipedia but New York MagazineWikipedia .I rapidly entered tl;dr anti-clickbait mode. ProblemChimp (talk) 23:44, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Corrected, my mistake. Alsto003 (talk) 23:56, 10 February 2015 (UTC) Alex
If I were privy to the deliberations of the Illuminati, I would say it was a wonderful idea to set the academic left at odds with the genuinely economically marginalized underclasses of the rural and lower-prole population. It's also an excellent idea to let them think that real politics is about social influence, representation, imagery and etiquette rather than access to and distribution of actual material goods. That way we can get Group A screaming on the Internet about ciswhitemale privilege and otherkin rights, while Group B festoons public buildings with religious idols and demands that their children be kept away from education and health care. And we can allow them the happy illusion that the other group is their worst enemy.
Fortunately, I am privy to the deliberations of the Illuminati. So you can trust me when I say this is all a happy coincidence and we did not do it. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 01:43, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
I'll probably write in long-form my opinion on the piece later (spoiler alert: mostly agree but with several caveats). I actually added a Slate article in WIGO:Blogs that discussed this, saying that it had some pretty valid points although misguided at others. People seemed to agree with it, but anyone can vote on a WIGO regardless of RW membership or activity. There are a few things in the Slate article that make me raise an eyebrow (it's still pretty dismissive at times and the whole "sense of scale" point feels like a semi-Not as bad as argument), but I thought it was a good enough analysis to post. Noir LeSable (talk) 05:11, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


So what does everyone here do when they look around IRL and have a strong temptation to just say "Fuck it." and stride off penniless into the world, abandoning all responsibility, all attachments, and severing every tie with everyone you ever knew? (Or similar; I doubt everyone here has the same reactions I do to life's little irritations.) --Castaigne (talk) 01:10, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Been there, done that, Tshirt acquired. No difference: we all end up 6 feet under (or in an urn, of course) Scream!! (talk) 02:12, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
And maybe eleven feet under in an urn, the city you once knew having been reduced to ruins to be unearthed by an archaeologist? Narky Sawtooth (Nyar~) 06:11, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

On methods of reasoning against people engaged in motivated reasoning:[edit]

from plos one, Social Identity Threat Motivates Science-Discrediting Online Comments. The prelimary studies 1 and 2 establish things you already konw: when faced with science stories that suggest negative things about someone's self-identified in-group, they're more likely to reject it.

What's interesting here, particularly to the idea of promoting a scientific view of the world is study 3. When primed with (false) information suggesting that their in-group was special and competent, in-group members were far less likely to be inherently hostile towards scientific findings. Notably, though, it made people who don't feel a connection to the group more hostile to the information, so it's not a panacea. But I like the notion that it could be a way to breach people's preconceptions and get them to honestly engage science that challenges what they believe. Ikanreed (talk) 22:25, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

It specifies "self-identified". I wonder if the same thing happens with non-self-identified groups? (Agrajag (talk) 02:35, 5 February 2015 (UTC))
Presumably not, because, if you look at the selection process for the first studies, they grab subjects by whether they play games a substantial amount, then within the experiment classify them by the degree to which they self-idenfity. You can actually see a negative effect on the amicability of those who are very low on self-identification as gamers. Ikanreed (talk) 04:07, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I could see how primed with that information they would be less hostile, but would they be more willing to accept the criticism? They might be less hostile because it just gets pushed under the rug in their mind.
I know it works with things like evaluations at work, always say something nice before criticism, and some people incorporate it and some people forget it. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:07, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Ah, but look at their 2 experimental groups there. One was priming the subject with praise, the other was priming the in-group with praise. The distinction in measures there buttress the notion that it's limiting perceived out-group threat and not just making people happier. Ikanreed (talk) 16:15, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Huh, that's really pretty cool! -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:29, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I wonder how this connects to rationalwiki editors being a bunch of pseudoscientific racial egalitarian anti White Judeophillic PC clowns. (talk) 07:31, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Bingo! Queexchthonic murmurings 13:59, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Fuck. I guess I should get some work done on that. -- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Trust me; I'm a doctor 20:46, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Some debunking assistance?[edit]

Hi, I'm new here (long-time lurker, first-time poster) and know nothing about statistics. A Facebook friend of mine, however, does. He rather approvingly ("The best thing since Aquinas!", he says, with only a slight trace of irony) linked to a blog post informing us that the "New Atheists" are Karl Popper acolytes who know nothing about Bayesian statistics and have no "appreciation of the limits of frequentist statistics". I have the distinct feeling that something is wrong with this argument, but I don't really have the expertise to figure out what. So I came to RationalWiki for help! Anonyman (talk) 13:34, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

After the briefest of skim-readings - his invocation of Bayesian stats is not entirely off-base. If the evidence you have does not favour either of two possibilities, then your posterior probabilities will not change. So, in this context, your prior - whether or not you start out as a believer - is what gets served out as your posterior. Of course, correct selection of priors is a major issue, and he conveniently forget Occam's Razor in that part of the article. His major defect is in not considering the full probability space. He simplifies as 'god/no god', and assumes the former to be the kind of hands-off Christian god he likes. He doesn't even consider what happens with interventionist gods (the evidence is strongly against them), or when the full plethora of different religions is considered. What you'd actually end up with is an huge set of non-interventionist gods, atheism and various forms of deism. A prior that gives preference to a particular creed is not a well-selected prior. Other fallings down are in the interpretation of the rather simple statistical points: "if god is such that he makes no intervention in the world whatsoever, in what sense does he even exist?" and "the only sort of god that would survive the analysis is one at odds with what is generally described as Christianity". It's the old Apologetic bait and switch - make a logical case for a weedy, crappy little god and pretend that proves your entire edifice of religion. — Unsigned, by: Queex / talk / contribs 13:59, 11 February 2015

Help with creating a seperate article for God's Not Dead.[edit]

By consensus on the talk page for Atheist professor myth, we decided that God's Not Dead deserves it's own article. If someone could delete the redirect page so we could get started, that would be great. Let me know if you're interested in helping. Necromancer 16:17, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

You're a sysop, you should be able to do that yourself. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 16:32, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Anyone who can get to http://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=God%27s_Not_Dead&redirect=no should be able to hit "edit" - David Gerard (talk) 16:33, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Here you go 'Legionwhat do you want from me 19:49, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Necromancer 22:57, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

How often do you hear "Christian or Catholic" thrown around?[edit]

This question is my first attempt at interacting with people on RationalWiki, after just fixing typos for a few months. Yay.

For context, I go to a public high school in Southern California where Asian-Americans make up a large part of the student population, and a bit of clicking around on many of my classmates' Facebook profiles will reveal happy-looking photos of worship activities at local (Protestant) churches. They've sometimes asked "is (subject) Christian or Catholic?" as if those groups were mutually exclusive. I always think about correcting them, but the conversation tends to move past that point quickly. We've all taken somewhat comprehensive world history courses at one point, so I wonder why they make such an odd distinction if they know how things are.

Thoughts? Tortoise (talk) 20:53, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

I live in Spain and it's a distinction I hear a lot from Catholics of a certain age group. It used to surprise me at first as the implication is that the (some) Spanish think that they are Catholic but not Christian. But I guess in a society where to be religious means you are Catholic then anything else is "different".
On the other hand most younger Spanish people I know - that is to say below thirty - are completely secular or have a vanishingly small interest in any kind of religion. They are not really anti-religions - just completely indifferent.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 21:07, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
I usually associate the differentiation with Evangelicals who see Catholics/"Papists" as not "real" Christians -- it's kind of a snarl word for them. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 21:13, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
hundreds of years of European conflict and the resulting laws prohibiting Catholics any of kind power have fixed Catholics as foreign power in some parts. The is always the tedious arguments that pop now and then whether a prime minister of UK can be catholic. I believe state side, politicians of the catholic persuasion are some times a viewed with mistrust. JFK springs to mind. I susdpect its still a thing in nortern ireland AMassiveGay (talk) 21:28, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
hearing my dad talk, or indeed any other catholic friends. Protestants ardent proper Christians (in a half joking way I hasten to add.) There's also the fact that in the UK, catholic and cofe have different schools. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:32, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Catholics have statues of saints and Mary , worship by praying to Mary and other unchristian things ;-)Hamster (talk) 22:35, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
Because Mary isn't a Christian "thing". FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 22:52, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
That happens all the time in the Yahoo Answers R&S category: almost entirely from Americans so far as I can tell. In the UK (including NI), I've never heard either Papists or Prods making the false distinction between Catholics and Christians. Of course, some of the more swivel-eyed accuse the other lot of not being proper Christians and therefore destined for hellfire.
Another bugbear for me is the failure to distinguish between the "holy catholic church" in the Nicene creed and the Roman Catholic church. There's a very patient Orthodox Christian Y!A regular who keeps trying to explain the difference to people with deaf ears. (Sound guy: a rational Christian who I respect and can engage with.) ProblemChimp (talk) 23:21, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
While I'm sure it's offensive to Catholics, I don't think people talking like this are necessarily intentionally saying that Catholicism isn't a form of Christianity. Most protestants, Anglicans & Episcopalians self-identify as Christian much more than they do as whatever specific denomination of church they happen to attend, so it's kind of understandable that they sometimes use the term Christian among themselves to mean something like "people who follow a creed & form of worship pretty similar to yours & mine", as distinct from Catholicism which is sort of different. I'm sure "Christian or Mormon" is thrown around in much the same way. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 00:19, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I live in a country where almost all Christians self-identify as Catholics (though they don't necessarily adhere closely to official Roman Catholic Church doctrine), so we basically use the words "Catholic" and "Christian" as synonyms in everyday life. (talk) 00:59, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
What you're seeing is small bubbles of how the in-group/out-group situation would unfold if the hard right actually succeeded in getting rid of us atheists and other non-Christians. Just by existing, we protect them from each other. Ikanreed (talk) 14:45, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I noticed this phenomenon in common speech in the Netherlands as well, with 'Christian' (Christelijk) being attributed to Protestantism. Especially protestants themselves never call Catholics 'christian', only catholic. Being a historically protestant nation, many non-religious Dutch people make this distinction as well. (InsertOpinion) (talk) 14:49, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Where I live, its pretty much all Catholics, Baptists, and atheist/agnostics. Though it is fun to sing old English/New English anti-Catholic verses just to see what happens. Down with Rum and Romanism! (Agrajag (talk) 17:52, 9 February 2015 (UTC))
Yeeup. These idiots forgetting that the First Amendment was put into place so that one Christian sect wouldn't oppress another Christian sect. (That the rest of us get a ride on it is just excellence in design.) Secularism is to protect the religious from each other - David Gerard (talk) 17:39, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
Unless you're David Barton and just trying to rewrite history. ;) --Castaigne (talk) 18:39, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
All the time, on places like Free Republic. (I tend to hang out a lot there for the lulz.) There's nothing I like better than some "real Christian" wank. It's even more fun to stir the pot by referring to "heretic Prosties" who worship the Antichrist Luther and the Antipope Calvin. The mouth foam is just beautiful. --Castaigne (talk) 16:24, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
In New England where I live (and which I'm told is the one part of the entire country which is utterly and completely immune to any and all evangelical craziness), there really isn't any distinction between Christian and Catholic, and trying to make one immediately marks you as an evangelical Christian. On the other hand, half of the state I live in is Catholic and almost everyone else is either non-religious, Jewish, or non-evangelical mainstream protestant, so there's that. In any case if you were to imply in a hallway in my old high school that Catholics weren't Christians you would soon be met by a torrent of criticism right then and there even from Catholics who you didn't even think were that religious. Alsto003 (talk) 16:49, 12 February 2015 (UTC) Alex

Official Facebook Page help needed[edit]

I'm one of the people who can post to the official RW Facebook Page, and the main one who actually does so. Today it's misbehaving - the last post I can see is this one from last night. So (a) I've posted a buttload of duplicate posts I can't see to delete (b) I can't despam the comments. If you have powers on the page, please stop by to assist and monitor. Cheers - David Gerard (talk) 15:47, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

People marked "editor" can't see it either - seems to be a FB bug - so it'll need fixing by Trent or Justin (the page admins). How annoying - David Gerard (talk) 16:32, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Facebook glitch fixed, spill cleared - David Gerard (talk) 20:12, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Ha, "Offical". Right. Acei9 20:47, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
The page linked is actually the official RMF-endorsed RW page, there is such a thing and that's it. You're an editor on it! - David Gerard (talk) 10:26, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
you're right. I'm wrong. Acei9 12:13, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Just a test[edit]

5000 recent edits. ca. 120KByte

Does this work for your browser, links and all?--larron (talk) 15:59, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Right now, it's 404ing for me. Ikanreed (talk) 16:00, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
And it's not anymore. Seems functional, but the text does block the graph links from being clicked if that's where your pointer is. Ideally, the text would be links too? Ikanreed (talk) 16:10, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks: Ideally ;-) maybe later... --larron (talk) 17:06, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Looks good (and colorful) on my side. --Castaigne (talk) 16:52, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks: it is rather flamboyant... --larron (talk) 17:06, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Tough to read the small print, but it works. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:51, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Soil Association[edit]

The Soil Association is the UK's "Organic" food certifier. They apparently condone homeopathy!. Could be worthy of a snarticle. Scream!! (talk) 22:56, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Turn down the snark levels?[edit]

Because of something that happened on here, RW wizard Trent Toulouse is facing legal action. As a result, there's been some effort to be more risk averse (or less inflammatory), such as changes to Con artist and David Duffield. In that vein, is there reason to reconsider other categories such as Category:Batshit crazy, Category:Insufferable assholes, and/or Category:Internet kooks? In looking at some of the passionate statements of Nutty (who I think is right) and the reasoning of Grant and TiaC, I think there's a good reason to take some of the edge off the snark. Am I wrong? MarmotHead (talk) 22:57, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

You could review the forum post where that is being discussed. --Castaigne (talk) 23:06, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
And do the obvious/reasonable? OK, yeah, I missed that one. MarmotHead (talk) 23:17, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Who wants to be obvious or reasonable? ;) --Castaigne (talk) 23:21, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure where the correct place to ask this is, but...[edit]

There's a locked talk page I want to throw my 3.1418 cents into, even though I'd be about a half month late on the particular thing that made me want to comment. Can I be sysop'd, or otherwise given the ability to make contributions to locked talk pages? I'm certainly not a vandal. I also really hope I'm not cluttering up the Saloon bar with something I should have asked elsewhere. Narky Sawtooth (Nyar~) 00:59, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

I'll fix your user rights. What's the page? Maybe unlocking it is something to consider. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 01:01, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Wow, that was quick. Also, it's the talk page for GamerGate I was wanting to add something to. As for unlocking it: from what I recall, it had already gotten unlocked at some point, and then it was re-locked. Narky Sawtooth (Nyar~) 01:07, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I kinda think that page prolly is better off locked for now. Too many basement-dwelling, fedora-wearing, never-kissed-a-girl types out there. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 01:13, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

You are all evil, evil people[edit]

I have a confession: Rationalwiki genuinely has turned me from a believer into an atheistic feminist. You people corrupted my pure, innocent soul. Hail Darwin! Hail Anita Sarkeesian! *burns white christian male aborted embryo as offering to our Lord and Lady* TheEgyptian¿Dígame? 11:22, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

SOCIAL JUSTICE WARIO WREAKS EVIL ONCE AGAIN - David Gerard (talk) 12:30, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
WELCOME TO RATIONAL PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF WIKI COMRADE Queexchthonic murmurings 12:35, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I am so stealing that - David Gerard (talk) 12:38, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Now that you bring it up, it's strange how people think we're communist though, given how hostile our pages about the subject are. Ikanreed (talk) 14:10, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, if you were forced to pick a totalitarian regime, you might as well pick the one with the funny catchphrases. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:30, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
And also the scrap iron, the copper, and the fillings from your teeth. ProblemChimp (talk) 15:25, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Welcome to the dark side. Necromancer 16:24, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
To the American right, anything to the left of Ron Paul is pretty much Stalinist - so RW getting lumped together with the 4th international really isn't that suprising, tbqh. TheEgyptian¿Dígame? 17:01, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Article cleanup request: Breastfeeding[edit]

The newly created Breastfeeding needs sources and copy-editing.--ZooGuard (talk) 14:18, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Can someone explain rationalwiki's image policy? My image was removed because I used a random stock photo. It was copyleft so I'm not sure what the problem is. Could someone link the policy, I can't seem to find it. Also, I don't see how the image is random, there's a baby breastfeeding in it. Could someone help me out with image guidelines? ShabiDOO 15:04, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Most stock images aren't, possibly Zooguard didn't verify. I've restored the image after verifying that it really is CC-0, i.e. public domain, per source. Whether it's a good or bad image is a separate debate of course.
We arguably have an unexploded copyright bomb of all the gigabytes of images and unused screencaps and so forth on the wiki ... though living bios are probably a more urgent problem at this moment - David Gerard (talk) 16:14, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Re: unexploded bomb: The biggest risk is definitely stock photos, because the sites that sell them sometimes have bots that crawl the web for violators. Ikanreed (talk) 16:19, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Aren't screencaps generally considered fair-use? TheEgyptian¿Dígame? 17:02, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
If you bother stating where and how and so forth, which we rarely do ('cos capturebot doesn't by default). It's more complicated because fair use is a defence, so showing you put in good-faith effort counts. Etc etc - David Gerard (talk) 17:12, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
So it's okay to use the images...as long as I make sure it is CC (which can be done by google searching the image or confirming that the user uploaded the image directly to the site) and I clearly mention this on the file description? Are there any other guidelines I should know about? ShabiDOO 18:33, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
The main thing with copyright is that you know what the status is, and if it's reasonable fair use (e.g. it is the thing you are discussing in the article) then say so (imagine you're using your explanation as a defence in court, and unlike in Freeman land there are no legal cheat codes). That's separate from other editors thinking your image is terrible or inappropriate or whatever, that's an editorial decision - David Gerard (talk) 12:05, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

I got smote[edit]

Then I got eaten by a demon. Ikanreed (talk) 20:08, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Funny, 'cause plenty Christians (most European Christians for one) almost never go to church. (talk) 20:18, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
No! I must kill the demons! --Ymir (talk) 10:38, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I went along with the one they wanted you to do. Apparently listening to a sermon and flicking through a bible when you get bored is "having a nice time." Since my idea of a nice time in company involves food, music, debating and/or joke-telling, I am doubtful about church as a possible nice time provider. BicyclewheelModerator 11:14, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Put yourself in the mind of an extrovert(assuming you're not one). Surrounding yourself with like minded people is just one of those things 80% of people enjoy. Ikanreed (talk) 05:41, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
If an extrovert were to find like minds at a church, wouldn't they be going to one already? Oh look, I'm overthinking an internet quiz again. BicyclewheelModerator 19:49, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Beefing up the neoreactionary article[edit]

The NRx article is woefully inadequate. There are many notable people like Moldbug and maybe Anissimov and Laliberte that deserve some manner of analysis put into their writings. Most important to the RationalWiki goal is impartiality, even if we disagree with NRx, we must give them an impartial treatment without significant POV. We can start with referring to Moldbug's own writings in the article first of all instead of just detractors. We should also mention how well received he is in certain internet circles, like LW and so on. Would this be a good starting point to improving the article? Suggestions? (talk) 21:48, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Hahahaha. No. No way. Ikanreed (talk) 21:51, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
OK. I am open to discussing disagreement. Do you not think my ideas for the article are NPOV or...? (talk) 21:52, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
We're not NPOV, and backwards dumbasses using specious (if verbose) arguments for stupid shit like racism, monarchy, or suppressing of free speech don't need "fairness" in any sense other than not lying about them. Ikanreed (talk) 21:57, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Yarvin is not backwards in his arguments. In fact, a quick look through all his writings betrays a good sense of argumentation as well as reliance on trusted sources and sound evidence. I think at least these facts ought to be mentioned in the article. (talk) 21:59, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Feel free to agitate, but I doubt you're going to find any support. Ikanreed (talk) 22:03, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
...where did you get the idea that we're impartial and NPOV?
Sure you're on the right wiki here?
And if you want to mention how Moldbug is well-received in NeoReactionary, MRA, LessWrong, and more intellectual GamerGate circles, go on ahead and edit. --Castaigne (talk) 22:47, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Also warranting mention is the Moldbuggian theory of the cathedral, which seems to have quite some truth to it, but isn't explained very well in the article. (talk) 23:00, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Except that "cathedral" is a label applied to so many things it pretty much to comes to "everything a NRx doesn't like", but like I said, go ahead, edit. If people think your edits are full of crap, they'll let you know.--Castaigne (talk) 23:51, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
I find that a little of Moldbug's prose goes a long way. But I'd agree with Castaigne that the "cathedral" is an awfully vague and slippery subject, which is why the article quotes Moldbug's synopsis for want of a better explanation, and goes on mostly to comment on how broad and vague it is. Every world view is going to contain sacred cows, Moldbug's included. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 04:15, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

This video is a good example of Moldbug's deductive argumentation style and general ideology. I realize since I'm slightly pro-Moldbug and may consider myself a Moldbuggian that I should consider the opinions of others in order to preserve our rule of NPOV. So what kind of criticism would you all have in context of this video that can be used when editing the article? Thank you. (talk) 02:09, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

"Our rule of NPOV". Again, not our rule. Not "our rule" at all. Do you know what website you are on? Ikanreed (talk) 06:31, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Didn't we have this out a couple of months ago? BicyclewheelModerator 11:09, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd even wager that that BoN is the same person as this BoN. If they're going to be this active, they should probably make a real account. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 18:19, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

tl;dr yeah, no, probably not - David Gerard (talk) 12:09, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

David Gerard, would you be fine if I at least add the video to the article? Any thoughts on it? Can I add to the article, construing from the video, that Moldbug is a good interlocutor / has good argumentation etc.? (talk) 18:48, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
@@BoN do you seriously think you need permission to do something you haven't yet done? This is a wikiWikipedia, so go ahead and edit. If it's a good edit, it'll be accepted. If it's a crock of shit, we'll laugh in your face. ProTip: users who (like me) have RW accounts and use their real-life names seem to attract less suspicion. ProblemChimp (talk) 21:49, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
"Problem Chimp" is your real-life name? O_o (talk) 22:10, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Have I ever lied to you before? ProblemChimp (talk) 11:14, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

We can also add this interesting piece of Moldbug lore. He developed his ideas on the danger of living in a diverse locality when his bike was stolen. Over and over again. So it's not like he has no experience with this stuff. (talk) 02:31, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Not sure if sarcasm. Dmytry (talk) 17:07, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Stupidity. The comment is Moldbug repeating a claim from yet another person, just after asserting the superiority of personal anecdote over anything as tawdry as actual numbers - David Gerard (talk) 20:06, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
I were referring to "So it's not like he has no experience with this stuff.". We could go for a shark like this. Dmytry (talk) 21:11, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

What's with anti-LED craziness...[edit]

On another forum I frequent, some anti-LED craziness showed up, ani-vaxxing style. LED bulbs give you cancer and measles macular degeneration, because omg did you see the blue peak in the spectrum. Is that a thing now? Dmytry (talk) 14:26, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

My guess would be that it sprung out of the anti-lightbulb-efficiency laws. They had a sorta okay reason to hate CFLs but LEDs don't have that problem, so they needed a story. That's my guess. Ikanreed (talk) 14:43, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Quick question[edit]

12 milliliters of water at 20 degrees has about the same atomic mass as 10 milliliters of ethanol, right? Much appreciated--Tanis (talk) 18:27, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Atomic mass relates only to elements and not to compounds. Do you mean the number of moles (mol) in those volumes, which involves molecular weight (formula weight)?
S.G. of H20 at 20C is 0.99820. Therefore, 12 ml weighs 11.98 g. M.W. is 18, so that's 0.67 mol.
S.G. of C2H5OH at 20C is 0.78920. Therefore, 10 ml weighs 7.89 g. M.W. is 46, so that's 0.17 mol.
If you mean mass: 10 ml H20 weighs the same as 12.7 ml C2H5OH.
What comparison are you trying to make? Other calculations available at moderate prices. ProblemChimp (talk) 20:09, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Nope, you gave me everything I need. You'll have to rethink your business strategy, I'm afraid. It seems I was right, in my own ignorant way. I'm writing a story where a universal assembler turns water into ethanol, and I wanted to include that detail. Thank you very much!--Tanis (talk) 20:55, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
It's only a sideline ;-) YW :-) ProblemChimp (talk) 21:27, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Is your device going to disassemble oxygen atoms from the water to make the carbon, or will it require a feedstock of carbon and water and just rearrange the atoms? Nowhere Man (talk) 04:14, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
It'll disassemble the oxygen atoms, electrons and neutrons be damned--Tanis (talk) 04:53, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Then don't worry too much about getting the numbers right. Just make sure the characters have a typical modern prole's knowledge of modern tech – i.e., little to none – and don't be too specific with your numbers. "X grams of this stuff makes X grams of that stuff" is about all you have to specify. Fold in density if you need volume changes. Nowhere Man (talk) 00:08, 16 February 2015 (UTC).
The important thing is to use the word 'quantum' somewhere - possibly combined with the word 'uncertainty'. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 17:01, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
You could steal the idea from Charles Stross, he got the basilisk circuits that quantum observe carbon into silicon... Dmytry (talk) 17:10, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Get symmetry breakingWikipedia into your story, and Bob's your uncle. Or your aunt - you won't know which until you look. ProblemChimp (talk) 01:49, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
The story's already written. I used particle accelerators as somehow doing the work. I guess I included that little detail about the molar mass because every once in a while, I get a little obsessive over something, even if it doesn't matter.--Tanis (talk) 16:44, 17 February 2015 (UTC)


I've had this link on my desktop for a couple of days now - I don't know what to do with it (except giggle). Any ideas? The whole site's good for a laugh. Scream!! (talk) 15:26, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

So are we going to an alternate reality where our major cities are infected with beastmen and stone effigies that drop currency so old that is of interest to only one goblin on the face of the planet? Zero (talk - contributions) 16:34, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Something that may be relevant to wikis in general[edit]

wp:Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder --ZooGuard (talk) 20:03, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

<begin> I'm not sure I get the relevance? I agree, it is likely the case that the better wiki contributors will rank higher in Conscientiousness (how organised and efficient one tends to be) in the Big Five personality traits, but this is mostly a truism - like saying people at parties will tend to be higher in Extraversion. But it's important to understand, at this point, that by bringing OCPD specifically into this, you're stepping out of the psychology department and into the psychiatrist's office, which you may not have even realised.
For starters, jumping to obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders for "being a bit anal about things", although a common trope in modern society, is rather silly when you think about it; obsessive-compulsive disorders tend to involve highly rigid rituals with little pragmatic purposes - pathological excessiveness is the essence. Being very clean and tidy and annoyed at disorder by itself isn't OC(P)D, but if you're cleaning over and over and over again even when it's already very clean, to the point it interferes in your life (the metaphorical "cleaning your hands until they bleed"), you should probably see a professional. There's something called the Four D's of Psychopathology, which helps judge whether something is a mental illness by seeing if it's any of Distress, Danger, Deviance, and Dysfunction. I dislike diagnosis culture (see below), but you might benefit from using it as a litmus test - do wiki contributors run into any of these? If not, they're probably not mentally ill. Secondly, personality disorders have a rather... sketchy history, as they were often a "diagnosis of exclusion" given by psychiatrists to patients who were too difficult to treat, effectively blaming the patient for their own problems []. This has largely changed lately (at least it has here in the UK), but it still generally holds as "this patient is especially difficult", so yeah, it's quite an extreme to jump to.
We have an article on here on self-diagnosis, but I feel more caution should be taken in playing Armchair Psychiatrist too. Even if you open the ICD-10 (or DSM-V if you so desire) and use it as a checklist, you're still not a psychiatrist - I've been in the mental health system for many many things ("Transsexualism", Trichotillomania, Bipolar Disorder), and this usually results in the clinical psychologists sending me to the clinical psychiatrists to screen me first because even they cannot make diagnoses. People are complex and their cognitive processes broad; diagnoses are there to help people efficiently via the medical model, not so much to explain behaviour. If you think someone has an issue, ask them to speak to a psychiatrist, in the same way someone with a huge lump should "go see a doc, could be serious", rather than "cancer!!!!".
I apologise if you're joking! However, if you are sincerely curious from a scientific perspective, I more recommend you look at the Big Five stuff instead of psychiatric criterias - psychiatry is less science and more medical. Maybe it would be interesting for us all to do the Big Five psychometric assessment and see how we rate (I would expect significant Openness and Conscientiousness), but yeah, if it's true that we're all OCPD, well... I'm pretty disorganised for someone of that nature! </*breathes*> DarkFire (talk) 15:03, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
And self reporting gives me pretty low conscientiousness, on top of that. If I've got a mental disorder, it's not that one. Ikanreed (talk) 15:06, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that there is a fine line between a personality trait like being an Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving (INTP) creative person like me and a person with a serious mental disorder. Like the difference between being perceived as a creative perfectionist as opposed to being an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist.PragmaticStatistic (talk) 22:21, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Get with the times, Myers-Briggs isn't exactly high quality published science, and reducing yourself to a simple acronym for personality isn't fair even in the MB world. Ikanreed (talk) 22:42, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

New Geocentrists[edit]

http://www.geocentrismdebunked.org/take-the-cmb-alignment-challenge/ So apparently the geocentrism crowd has been more active as of late. Please tell me we're not going to have to address these nuts. Necromancer 13:00, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Oh please let's... BicyclewheelModerator 21:36, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
These people are so arrogant. They think they're the centre or the world! Carpetsmoker (talk) 00:35, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

TJ admits the wage gap exists (sort of)[edit]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWXrOiMdXCk go to 33:55 in the video and listen to this. So, TJ admits the wage gap exists, but it's not what feminists claim it is. That clears up a lot? I don't know what do you guys think? Necromancer 15:26, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

I think people should probably get their social, political and economic critiques from folks whose expertise and authority is not based on simply owning a webcam. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 15:29, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I meant that clears up a lot about his views, not about society. Necromancer 16:02, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Who's TJ?--Miekal 16:38, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
There's a redirect Ikanreed (talk) 16:39, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
If you don't know, you're better off not knowing. He's not worth paying much attention to. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:45, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh, him. I have to agree. --Castaigne (talk) 19:08, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Jesus, the video linked above is 2 ½ hours long. Who the hell is going to watch that? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 18:50, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
The same people who will listen to Davis Aurini blather on while fondling his fake skulls. --Castaigne (talk) 19:08, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
People frequently go to church for 2 or more hours a week to listen to people tell them things they already "know". It's much the same. Having your beliefs validated by an "authority" blathering constantly is a very human thing to want. Ikanreed (talk) 19:37, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
You don't listen to Drunken Peasants because of the points they make, you listen to them because they're entertaining. Necromancer 22:10, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Am I sad because I saw "TJ" and thought "Hooker"? BicyclewheelModerator 21:35, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Now I'm imagining what his... videos would *be* like if he... talked like... William Shatner. Narky Sawtooth (Nyar~) 10:23, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Interesting article[edit]

What do people think of this? http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/12/the-chapel-hill-shootings-and-the-benefit-of-the-doubt.html Contents include: Blaming atheism and "angry white males" for Chapel Hill, blaming "smug nerds" for school shootings, claiming that "There’s several similarly smugly snarky cartoons about the harmlessness of “militant atheists” that don’t seem so funny anymore". All from a "liberal nerd". Odd brew. Thoughts? (Agrajag (talk) 18:47, 17 February 2015 (UTC))

The Chapel Hill shooter looked like a fairly generic "Second Amendment citizen" who apparently bullied his neighbors with his allusions to guns and weapons. Tying that to Hitchens supporting the Iraq war seems quite a bit of a stretch. Then I scrolled back up and actually paid attention to the byline. Had I realized this was Arthur Chu, I'd not have gotten that far in. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 20:35, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
The guy clearly had some negative affect from some memes in our community. Regardless of whether he killed them over a parking spot or ideology, it's beyond doubt that there's some evidence of him being bigoted towards Muslims(the ones he killed). And there's very little doubt that there's some r/atheism types recurringly attacking Muslims, Islam, Religion, and Muslim extremists as all interchangeable. That's not a formula for tolerance, and it's not something that can be whitewashed or hand-waved. I'm going to continue to call bigots who do that bigots and try and push them towards a more modern belief system, but I'm not going to ignore that there are plenty who don't. Ikanreed (talk) 20:47, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I read this entire article for the fun of it, and I didn't even notice the face of every Jeopardy fan's most hated contestant until I scrolled up to close the tab. I can still hear the clicks.--Madman (talk) 20:51, 17 February 2015 (UTC)The Madman
Chu makes a lot of good points, especially re the double standards of what is considered terrorism, extremism or hate crime based on perpetrators' race or religion. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:24, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
That double standard's been noticed for so long that "isolated incident" has been a meme for quite some time now. But Chu's point was the same and only one he always makes in everything I've read from him: he's aware of this, and therefore more righteous than thee. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 01:55, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I thought Chu was all the rage with young liberal/feminist types these days. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 01:57, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Not so odd if you consider that [social] liberals tend to be more self-critical than other groups. (talk) 00:03, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I have read up on this recent case quite a bit. Although I do think it is important for atheists to be self aware-recognizing the risk of "us vs. them" thinking, to call out bigots amongst us, and acknowledge that we are not necessarily morally superior people, this particular case is not as the author of the article frames it. I am pretty sure that the level religion played was an unconscious influence (very mad about one thing, then see a reminder of something else that triggers anger to increase just that extra bit more)-some people are reading more into it than that. Craig Hicks' neighbors and ex-wives indicated that he was aggressive in general-very bitchy about parking and noise to pretty much everyone. A tow truck company banned him from calling (he called way too often) and the community he lived in once held a meeting to discuss what to do about how uncomfortable he made everyone. It also says something that after his violent rage that he turned himself in-doubt he saw his actions as justified. I think his problem was poor anger management skills. Arachne1988 (talk) 02:01, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I've seen a fair bit of "all tarred with the same brush", but refreshingly little of "no true atheist". — Unsigned, by: ProblemChimp / talk / contribs 21:18, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Christians Against Dinosaurs: Poe or Real?[edit]

So AronRa just uploaded this video talking to one of the admins of a facebook group called Christians Against Dinosaurs. As the name implies, CAD is supposedly a group of Christians that deny the existence of dinosaurs. However, I'm a member of this group, and from the content within, it's seems pretty obvious to me that the group is a poe. Take this for example. This is a pinned post in the group and is so hyperbolic, I can't see it as anything but a poe. So I leave it up to you guys: Do you think this group is satire or serious? Necromancer 00:10, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

BTW, here's a link to the group. Necromancer 00:15, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Does it matter? The whole point about Poe is that people can easily and honestly confuse satire with dead earnest idiocy. Hell, if I didn't know better, I'd think that people such as Ian Juby ("Dinosaur fleeing the Flood lays eggs in two neat, parallel rows"), Richard Kent ("Small dinosaur nostrils lead to fire-breathing aka spontaneous nasal combustion") or Jordan The Spirit Science whatever-his-last-name-is ("Jews are FROM SPACE!") were satirists. Considering that they are absolutely serious in their stupidity, it's pretty hard to make a satire that couldn't be mistaken for the real thing. For fuck's sake there are people out there (in the U.S. to judge from the accent) who think that aircraft are sky demons(!) or that the moon is a hologram(!) And then there's David Icke and his shape shifting lizard people - with those kinds of serious loons, how can anyone think of something that can easily be spotted as satire? ScepticWombat (talk) 00:26, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Did anyone here see the 50 Shades of Grey movie?[edit]

If you did, rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. Necromancer 23:52, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Why would anyone do that? To see how bad it is? (talk) 23:54, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I haven't seen it & don't plan to. If you just want ratings, try IMDb. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:56, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
I was just curious to see what the people here thought of it. Necromancer 02:28, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I, for one, was going to get really, really wasted and go see it just for the shear joy of being a drunken asshole in the theater. However, some of my best friends threatened me, should I decide to go see it, and you know how convincing a group of angry street punks can be. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (talk) 10:34, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Number scales aren't enough. I rate it one abusive relationship out of actual BDSM. Narky Sawtooth (Nyar~) 10:16, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Firstly, "Fifty Shades" is to kink, as "Flashdance" is to welding. Secondly, I download a bad cam-rip of it, so as not to give them money and to play a "drink every time you cringe" game. I was released from casualty yesterday. PsyGremlinKhuluma! 10:41, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
"Fifty Shades" is to kink, as "Flashdance" is to welding. *applause* - David Gerard (talk) 11:12, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
There is literally nothing anyone could say that would interest me in softcore porn built around a broken, abusive relationship. Ikanreed (talk) 14:25, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I already have a copy of Naked Came the Stranger.--Madman (talk) 16:28, 18 February 2015 (UTC)The Madman
Why would I see the movie? The book is already comedy gold enough. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg I'm a survivor, keep on survivin' 19:36, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Hot, hot, hot home improvements!! (self promotion warning) - David Gerard (talk) 19:55, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
But really, most of the fun in mocking 50 Shades is in the incredibly flowery yet somehow turgid prose of the book and the awful, awful characterization. Only one of those can be accurately translated to film. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg I've got canned heat in my heels tonight, baby 20:53, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

In the words of some random meme on Facebook: "Twilight: Still a better love story than 50 Shades." Trick (talk) 20:13, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

You're wrong. It is the most romantic film that has ever been made about a nervous lady getting slapped all over the place by a millionaire hunk. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:00, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Steamy movie-love with some pseudo-BDSM and abuse thrown in. Lame/10. Oxyisabitch (talk) 09:39, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

As for the actual book, read this instead. Oxyisabitch (talk) 09:41, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

What, nobody has linked to Cliff Pervocracy's chapter-by-chapter MST3King of the book yet? (Link may be NSFW, it's a BDSM blog.)--ZooGuard (talk) 10:24, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Most of my information about the book comes from there, though I think his analysis is fact-based and the excerpts he provides give an accurate picture. Calieber (talk) 20:47, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

My girlfriend made me to go see it. It was unsurprisingly pedestrian and uninteresting, and there was apparently some guy who's, like, into BDSM and shit behind us who was going "no, no, no! That's not how it works!" throughout the entire thing.Supper's Ready (talk) 20:20, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Just remember there are no irony dollars. If you buy tickets to a reprehensible movie to see how reprehensible it is, the message filmmakers get is "reprehensible movies make money." Calieber (talk) 20:47, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Cyclone in Queensland[edit]

Anybody else here in Queensland? For those of you who aren't, there's a Cat 5 cyclone, Cyclone Marcia, coming through Queensland. This is some scary shit, man. Supper's Ready (talk) 20:30, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Ugh, that does not look pretty. Best of luck from Pomland. ProblemChimp (talk) 21:08, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
BTW if you're a Genesis fan (as your username suggests), I'll take this opportunity to express my contempt. ProblemChimp (talk) 21:25, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Your cat 5s are bigger than our American cat 5s, right? Or is that only in the Northern pacific? As a multi-hurricane survior: they aren't that big a deal if you're not near water(if you are, why are you talking to us instead of evacuating?). Sleep on the bottom floor of your structure(if it's coming through at night), have basic emergency supplies(first aid, water, staple foods) and don't do anything dumb. Ikanreed (talk) 21:21, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
They use different measurements. The US uses the Saffir–Simpson scale, which goes off of 1-minute maximum sustained winds, whereas the Australian scale measures off of 10-minute maximum sustained winds. Compro01 (talk) 11:22, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
My home network is Cat 5. Redchuck.gif Генгисmarauding Moderator 21:57, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

IP block[edit]

Editing on a work phone and forgot I was logged out. Turns out my IP is banned for being a proxy which doesn't seem right. The address was . I'm not super tech savvy but I doubt that IP is used for anything malicious. What gives? Tielec01 (talk) 07:29, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

I can't see it in the logs. Nothing special about the address, unless something super weird happened. - π 10:05, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
That means that your provider's proxy has had so much spam come through it that it's been blackholed as a public hazard. Check the open proxy block lists - we use xbl.spamhaus.org and dnsbl.tornevall.org - it shows up in Spamhaus, via abuseat.org, which indicates:

IP Address is listed in the CBL. It appears to be infected with a spam sending trojan, proxy or some other form of botnet.

It was last detected at 2015-02-19 16:00 GMT (+/- 30 minutes), approximately 20 hours ago.

This IP address is infected with, or is NATting for a machine infected with the ZeroAccess botnet, also known as Sirefef. More information can be found from Wikipedia. It is most often used for bitcoin mining or click fraud, but as it contains a downloader portion, it can do anything.

If this IP address is a NAT gateway, it should be possible to find which computer on your internal network is infected by implementing a filter on your firewall to detect and log attempts to send UDP packets to the Internet with a destination port number of 16470.

So, send that abuseat.org URL to your provider, asking them to clean up their mess so you can get the service you're paying for - David Gerard (talk) 11:43, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
Very interesting DG I will send to Telstra although I don't hold high hopes about getting any response. Tielec01 (talk) 11:45, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Last call for golding NaturalNews[edit]

Talk:NaturalNews#Nominate_for_cover_article_.28sticky.29 - last call for actionable objections - David Gerard (talk) 12:04, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

From the morons that brought you God's Not Dead:[edit]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogIX2Q7tEdc Now with even more oppression fetish! Necromancer 21:58, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

A self-absorbed doctor trying to to take credit for God's miracles, an anti-Christian ACLU lawyer attacking a heroic firefighter for his evangelism, a pastor who brings only forgiveness and redemption into a world of suffering and sadness, and a bunch of people united by the path of Christ. Accurate and interesting. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 22:06, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe this time they'll have a three-act structure, or at least a Canadian-style four-act structure. Though, maybe they'll try to fit more God into it by having a twenty-act structure instead of their previous eleven-act structure. Narky Sawtooth (Nyar~) 03:15, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Personally, I'm more interested in the fact that the lead actress is most 'famous' for playing a porn star in a 90s Woody Allen movie. Change of heart, much? Dwbaker994 08:35, 23 February 2015 (UTC)


Time to answer life's most important question[edit]

When you replace a roll of toilet paper, do you have it unroll towards or away from the toilet? Discuss. Master Necomancer 03:59, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Whatever direction my hand happens to make it go--Miekal 04:55, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I just let it sit on top of the toilet tank. (WINNING!) - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 05:28, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I presume you mean facing the wall or away from it. There is only one rational way and that is with the "leading edge" away from the wall so that the next sheet is always in the most convenient position. If the paper hangs down the wall then it can be torn off so that the next sheet is hidden from view and require rotation of the roll to dispense the next sheet(s). Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic? Moderator 08:24, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
You kids and your fancy 'rolls of toilet paper,' as if squares of newspaper aren't good enough for you. PsyGremlinKhuluma! 09:16, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
There's always corn cobs.... - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 14:04, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I always use the neck of a live goose. ProblemChimp (talk) 15:19, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, and don't even think of using an embroidered handkerchief. It's too hard to tell the knots on the fabric from dingleberries. Alec Sanderson (talk) 15:31, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Such bourgeois attitudes, don't you realize there are poor, destitute victims of communism in Venezuela with no toilet paper? nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer in dadsbag. 01:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Why are there not yet voice-activated toilet paper dispensers that respond to commands such as, e.g., "Seven squares, please"? Landmartian (talk) 04:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Man, what is all this talk of toilet paper for? I'll have you know that the most important question in life is "How do I open this pickle jar?" And the answer is "put a little clockwise force on it with the hand you've been using, and then go counterclockwise with your other hand." Swap "clockwise" and "counterclockwise" where needed. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Floof!~) 09:51, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
ProblemChimp is paranoid? So would you be, if you'd been deprived of your GameBoy, and couldn't play Tetris. ProblemChimp (talk) 23:54, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I was wondering when somebody would comment on that. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Floof!~) 08:10, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Paper hanging down the wall, that way when the cat sits on the toilet and bats at it the roll doesn't unroll. --Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 12:01, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Standing on its end on a box. BicyclewheelModerator 14:35, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
That's one weird cat. ProblemChimp (talk) 02:41, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Next question: how does one tear a warm naan in half, in polite company? Alec Sanderson (talk) 15:31, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Just be thankful you've been served: I'm Waiting For The Naan. ProblemChimp (talk) 23:44, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
My weird cat ate mine. BicyclewheelModerator 09:55, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Articles on people in Portuguese[edit]

Could somebody please go to the Português category and move all the articles about people so that they have (português) on the end of their titles? For example, it shouldn't be "Marco Feliciano", it should be "Marco Feliciano (português)", just like David Icke (français) and Robert Mugabe (français). I'd do it myself but it's not possible for me to produce the character "ê" on my keyboard designed for native-speakers of Chinese. (I'm only able to produce it here because it's in the special characters box which appears when you edit pages but not when you try to move them). Spud (talk) 07:29, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

And then I instantly mess it up by moving a non-person article. Now to figure out how to undue this. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Floof!~) 08:24, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The deed is done. As mentioned in the reasons, tell me if I should remove the redirects. Also, you can pay me in cookies. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Floof!~) 08:37, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
All done except for Marisa Lobo actually. Spud (talk) 10:00, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Question for my fellow Mericans.[edit]

Do you think that comparative religion classes should be added to the public schools? If so do you think they should be required for graduation, or an elective? My opinion is that they should be added as part of the required curriculum, because there's too much ignorance on the subject of religion going around. More than that, it would help get rid of some of the xenophobic attitudes that we've been stereotyped with. Master Necomancer 01:28, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

BTW, this is assuming the classes can be kept unbiased and fair. Master Necomancer 01:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Not as a standard part of the curriculum, no. It's just not as important as math/science/reading/writing/history to education. As an elective: where it's not prohibitive. Ikanreed (talk) 01:53, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
"unbiased and fair" is an unrealistic expectation. The humanities are by definition biased (so are the science's for that matter). In any event, comparative religion is already taught in good schools and is a great subject. Nothing gets you questioning your religious beliefs better than realizing how similar they are to myths that you already found ridiculous. But as Ikanreed said, most public schools already have enough trouble with getting students to grasp the most basic of concepts. My students at decent universities are frequently almost illiterate and incapable of doing the most basic math. Marlow (talk) 02:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

No doubt they should. Religion is central to virtually all cultures; even in relatively-secular places like western Europe, Christianity is deeply woven into politics, history, art, literature, custom, and folkways--never mind how religion plays a key role in the function of places as diverse as Tuscaloosa, Tel Aviv, Tehran, and Trenchtown. Even if you are a Dawkins/Hitchens/whoever the current poster boy for the new Atheism is, you can't deny the key role religion plays in most of humanity's life, whether they prectice it or not. To not have a working knowledge of religion is to be politically and culturally illiterate. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 02:20, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Okay, I'll admit to not being a Merican, but I don't think it even has to be "comparative religion" (though I guess you may just have added it to denote non-missionary instruction). A simple bare bones introduction to the basic tenets of some of the major religions would be fine without even delving into the comparative aspects (though that probably will occur to the pupils/students). Kind of how they (presumably) have to get an introduction to the physical landscape, history and languages of other places, this would be an introduction to the mental landscapes elsewhere. I simply have to disagree with the idea that "It's just not as important as math/science/reading/writing/history to education." However, I guess that it might depend on the age bracket we're talking about.
It probably would have to be voluntary, though. Not because I don't think it ought to be mandatory (for the sake of Bildung) - but simply to avoid a huge culture war over the issue (I can already picture both MSNBC and Fox going apeshit for diametrically opposite reasons over a mandatory introductory religion course).
I've had a somewhat similar course, but it was at a later stage than I presume Greatnecor is suggesting (roughly equivalent of the U.S. high school level). We had to deal with at least two world religions and I think one had to be Christianity (world religions definitely included the Abrahamic ones, Buddhism, Hinduism, and possibly the rather more eclectic collection of Chinese religions, if I recall correctly) and I remember we got Christianity + Islam, then in addition we had a third religion which could be either another world religion on an "other" religion (in our case we got Inuit shamanism). The course was mandatory, while the education itself was not (being beyond the compulsory minimum educational level). There were other versions of such an education where the religion course was optional (e.g. a technical/science focused one, a business one etc). The course format has today been changed to Christianity + Islam + a voluntary third world religion (Judaism/Buddhism/Hinduism/Japanese (presumably Shintoism)/Chinese (whatever that means)) so it would appear that such religions as shamanism are no longer an option. ScepticWombat (talk) 02:23, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
It really should, but it can't be done without stepping into a major minefield. The way American history is conventionally taught seriously distorts religious issues in major ways. We get heroic Pilgrims who fled persecution in England. We're told they were Puritans. And what it means to be a Puritan leaves a whole bunch of important stuff out unless you want to talk about the English Civil War, the Commonwealth, and the Restoration. But that didn't happen here, so it didn't happen.

And for that matter, the shape of our institutions and the whole Whiggish ideologies that shaped our basic institutions and formed the ideology of the American Revolution was born, in large measure, out of revulsion towards the Puritans and everything they stood for. This context is generally not supplied in US history classes here. It allows right wingers to claim that the Founding Fathers were fundamentalist Christians.

And for that matter, Puritans can't be understood without the Reformation. (Pet peeve: it annoys me endlessly that the foul-mouthed "saint" Sir Thomas More, the burner of the New Testament, went on to become the star of stage and screen, while the real hero William Tyndale, who lived a life of exemplary charity in the midst of religious controversy, and had a far more film-worthy life to boot, is relatively unknown.) An honest account of that business would step on Roman Catholic toes, even as an honest account of Puritanism would step on fundamentalist toes. None of this is politically feasible, desirable though it may be. - Smerdis of Tlön, A ⇒ ¬A. 02:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Comparative religion in public schools? Nah. We oughta ban public schools. You wanna have kids? you pay to ejukate em. That's how the free market works. My name is BOB, the Battery Operated Boyfriend 04:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Articles about living people[edit]

We have a shitload of articles about named people, most of which will piss off their subjects and fans considerably. Quite a lot of these have less than excellent referencing. We seriously need to clean these up. After Kent Hovind rattled a sabre at us, that article was considerably better cited, for example.

Should we have a category "living people", like Wikipedia does? Then "related changes" on that category will catch all edits to articles about living subjects.

This is a considerable maintenance burden ... so who feels like diving in, referencing the hell out of stuff and cutting the uncited claims? - David Gerard (talk) 13:07, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

It sounds good to me. I'm in favour of a living people category. I'm also in favour of those living people articles needing references from reliable sources. That way, they can't legitimately threaten to sue us, they'll have to threaten to sue The Guardian or The New York Times instead. Spud (talk) 13:40, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I think it's a good idea. I'll create a category and start populating it from the existing categories. I don't guarantee that I'll help with more than that.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:19, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I've created Category:Living people. I've started to populate it. So far I just finished F in Category:Woo-meisters.--ZooGuard (talk) 16:51, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I AWARD YOU RW SILVER - David Gerard (talk) 16:57, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
It makes me sad to do it, but respecting even crazy peoples' right not to be libeled by a major website is important. Do we want a published standard we try to adhere to like Wikipedia's BLP? Ikanreed (talk) 16:26, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Small follow up, should I add a living people requiring review talk page category? Then we can have a progress indicator of unreviewed category size/main category size. Ikanreed (talk) 16:39, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
If people will follow and act on it, sure! - David Gerard (talk) 16:55, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd say "kids, do the bloody obvious" for now should do it, we can evolve curlicues of encrusted bureaucracy as we go - David Gerard (talk) 16:55, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
All articles about people have that "defaultsort" tag that lists them by last name, right? Is there a way to use that tag to call up a master list of articles about people that we could work through and separate the living from the less-living? AgingHippie (talk) 17:15, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I've started a progress report on Category talk:Living people. Ikanreed (talk) 17:23, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Policy: Instructions are less important than doing the work at this stage. I've put at the top of the category: "Articles about people who are still alive. Such articles should be handled carefully and well-referenced. The Wikipedia policy on bios of living people is a good start on how to be sensible. Reference contentious allegations solidly." I think that'll do for the moment, we'll see how we go - David Gerard (talk) 18:06, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Well wikipedia's BLP has a "double helping of NPOV" requirement that we should consider carefully. That particular requirement could neuter our ability to make a point about the trouble that the subject causes. Ikanreed (talk) 18:11, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
If someone is an established spreader of bullshit/woo/pseudoscience, not disclosing the nature of their practices/beliefs would be the opposite of neutral, no? (talk) 18:20, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
A person can't sue you mealy for expressing a bad opinion of them. It has to be a) false and b) detrimental to them in some way. What that means varies widely. Aim for not false and you should be safe. - π 11:36, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
What? You mean we have to say Ayman Zawahiri allegedly killed hundreds of people in the Embassy bombing's because we're afraid the head of al Qaeda may file suit in US Federal Court for defamation? nobsISIS is a thorn in the world's ass and will be removed. 18:51, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Use of words like allegedly is for journalists who are responsible as primary sources. As a secondary source, all we really have to do is say what our citations tell us. Avoiding potentially defamatory statements we have no reason to believe as substantiated is all we're aiming for here.
Honestly, I think the foundation is probably responsible for this kind of editorial guidance here more than random debate among us editors, though. Ikanreed (talk) 19:12, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
No, the Foundation doesn't set editorial policy. WẽãšẽĩõĩďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:56, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
No, that's incorrect - the Foundation only steps in if there's actually danger to the organisation, if someone's clearly posting seriously problematic stuff that could cause that, etc. See wp:Section 230. Basically, the community has to give a hoot. Which we seem to (or at least approve of someone else giving a hoot), so that's good! - David Gerard (talk) 17:25, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Maybe the best defense against libel suits is that it can be publicized that the person/entity filed a libel suit, which will make them look even worse for trying to suppress the truth? Streisand effect and all that? Also, in every country that doesn't use the American rule, the losing party pays the attorney's bills for both sides, so if they file frivolous suits, they can be held accountable. Maybe also, the RWF can respond to some suits with pro se filings? Landmartian (talk) 00:27, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Announcement to the world[edit]

I've just written a blog post (a blog post! after 8 months!) and https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1033013430046062&id=226614404019306 a post to the official RW Facebook page on the subject. These are quite low-key. Their main purpose is to tell the world "actually, we're going to take this a bit seriously henceforth."

So I would expect lots of aggrieved cranks and woo-pushers stopping by to whitewash their articles. I suggest the hard part is: don't blindly revert them. We need to consider these - David Gerard (talk) 23:27, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't think that's where most whitewashers will come from, to be entirely honest. They aren't keyed into rationalwiki the way the skeptic community is, and they tend to hear about their own articles from either googling their name or "in-universe" blog posts or twitter. Us making a public proclamation isn't going to suddenly draw them in like flies to a carcass. But your point stands about not blindly reverting BLP whitewashing, and I'll try to keep it in mind. Ikanreed (talk) 15:38, 17 February 2015 (UTC)