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The Middle East: spiral of vendetta

Hello, new user here and longtime lurker, as well as a Christian. Came to make an account soon after the announcement on TOW that D@!$h was bulldozing down the site of Nimrud.

Now, I understand that such sentiments are nowhere near new, but looking back at the issues at hand, I am paranoid enough to imagine the spiral of hatred going backwards into the past and into the future. So I just was wondering; when and how did the cycle start? Who struck first and how did it become a "We just want to do to them what they did to us" mentality? I thought I'd ask around to see what you thought; also, what do you think are the best and worst-case scenarios of how this might continue? Oh, and of course: Sean Skyhawk (talk) 17:36, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

I suspect it was one group of apes grunting it about another group of apes a few million years ago. BicyclewheelModerator 18:36, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
ISIS's actions at Nimrud aren't really a case of "we hate THEM, so let's get rid of their stuff." From what I understand, it's a purging of the region's pre-Islamic past, so, more like "this used to be us, and we have to get rid of the remainders and reminders of when we were doing it wrong..." But, yeah, looking for the "first punch" in the Middle East, or anywhere else, is a pretty futile endeavour. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:49, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Or they're just trying to rile up people that care about art and/or ancient cultures and relish in sadistic pleasure. (talk) 21:04, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
It isn't the first example in history, but C17 English puritans took pleasure in destroying religious art. ProblemChimp (talk) 01:24, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
After some lurking on various paleoanthropology sites my hypothesis is that it started 1.8 million years ago with some Homo Erectus poking each other with pointy sticks. It should end with whatever extinction event kills off whatever hominids currently inhabiting that area in the distant future. (talk) 02:22, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
If I may state the obvious, reactive retaliation is wired into the primitive saurian parts of our brains, and has been that way since before primates came along. Proactive de-escalation is a conscious choice, whose ways must be studied. See the Wikipedia article on Gene Sharp. MaillardFillmore (talk) 02:40, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps, but let us narrow the scope down to 20th century history. AgingHippie had a good point in his "out with the old/in with the new" argument, but to me it's only a symptom of some larger conflict than simply cultural denialism.
Looking at the nature of the conflict so far, it would seem to an outsider that Islam in general is an alarmingly, dare I say, cancerous culture. Now, I do not wish to generalize, but I have heard that Daesh's ideology is flat out puritanical orthodox Islam. In other words, this is concentrated undiluted ideology in its original form. Of course, I might be wrong, but the question sort of implies another: is this unrest and caliphist need for expansion and subjugation simply a product of disenfranchised vocal few, or is it based on a fundamental flaw in the faith? — Unsigned, by: Sean Skyhawk / talk / contribs
Narrowing the scope down to 20th century history ignores a few millennia of bad acting. The region in and around the triangle of Egypt, Anatolia, and Persia has been a patchwork of strife since before the Biblical begats. If you want to see if it was a chicken or an egg that came first, you have to look beyond last Thursday. MaillardFillmore (talk) 19:26, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Been that way since at least Horemheb tore down Akhenaten's holy city and Josiah broke the Asherah poles. On the other hand, Islam isn't much more inherently broken than Judaism or Christianity are. The great catastrophe to befall Islam was when the Mongols sacked Baghdad. Compared to that, the Crusades were skirmishes; unwinnable wars fought by people who thought faith an adequate substitute for supply lines, and of no lasting military consequence to Islamic expansion. I've been reading a history of mechanical devices that says that until sometime in the seventeenth century, Europeans were endlessly complaining about having to pay for Middle and Far Eastern goods with specie coin. The problem they had was that Western Europe had almost nothing to sell to the Muslim or Far Eastern world that they wanted. What changed that were clocks and guns. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 02:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
The only person I can think of who was as nihilistically destructive as Daesh is Tamerlane - the man who sacked Baghdad in 1401 CE.
"People who thought faith an adequate substitute for supply lines" - a pithy summary, I like it. ProblemChimp (talk) 21:32, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
When it comes to killing and destroying for sadistic pleasure in the name of Islam (supposedly) it is very hard to beat Tamerlane. I say "in the name of Islam" but given that most of the people he murdered were other Muslims (like the unfortunate inhabitants of Isfahan), most Muslims would justly dispute that idea that his behavior is indicative of Islam. On the other hand part of the reason why he massacred every non-Muslim in sight was so that he could sort of justify his campaigning. He was even more vicious towards non-Muslims than to other Muslims. For instance, have you ever wondered why Central Asia doesn't have any religious minorities apart from (relatively) recent Korean and Russian immigrants? Or why there are so few Zoroastrians and zero Assyrian Christians in Central Asia despite them both supposedly having been sizable minorities even after the Mongolian rampage? It is because Tamerlane in his attempt to distract Muslims at home from his campaigns against other Muslims, converted religious minorities at sword point. His foreign policy in this regard was hardly different then his domestic policy. After all, I am not exaggerating when I say that he is basically the reason why the Assyrians are a minority in their own homeland. The reason why Tamerlane did all of this because he felt that it would give him legitimacy among the Ulama (to the people he was converting at sword-point, it made no difference). Mahmud of Ghazni, the first rulers of the Almohad Dynasty, Nader Shah, and Tipu Sultan (the last two came after Tamerlane) were all a bunch of fanatics who had only tolerated opposing religious minorities if they agreed to submit to their rule. You could say that these men were tolerant and that they only conquered and massacred Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, Manichaeans, etc... for political reasons, but you could also say that about the Crusades. Alsto003 (talk) 02:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC) Alex
The strict prohibition of images taken to such extremes by ISIS isn't unique to it, but does seem characteristic of Wahhabism as similar activities have been carried out by other Wahabbi(-inspired) entities, such as the Taliban (the Buddhas of BamiyanWikipedia) and the Saudis' activities in their own country for years. However, iconoclasm is, as has already been noted, a long-standing feature of all the Abrahamic religion and has cropped up from time to time ever since the Old Testament proscribed images. Examples include Byzantine IconoclasmWikipedia as well as Protestant iconoclasm against Catholic art and architecture after the Reformation, not to mention the cultural destruction wrought against the "pagans" of the Americas and other colonised areas of the world.
Now for some corrections: "For instance, have you ever wondered why Central Asia doesn't have any religious minorities apart from (relatively) recent Korean and Russian immigrants?" No, I haven't, because Central Asia has plenty of religious minorities. And the subsequent arguments make the all too frequent mistake of treating Islam as a single monolith when, for instance, Shiites (itself a rather broad category) are among the religious minorities in Central Asia, just as Protestants are a religious minority in Italy. If you want examples of religious homogeneity, pre-modern Europe after the victory of Christianity was at least as good an example as Central Asia.
"Mahmud [...] were all a bunch of fanatics who had only tolerated opposing religious minorities if they agreed to submit to their rule. You could say that these men were tolerant and that they only conquered and massacred [...] for political reasons, but you could also say that about the Crusades." No, you couldn't say that about the Crusades and neither could you say that about Christian kingdoms where it was typically necessary to obtain a royal permit to practice anything but the dominant (version of) Christianity - unlike in Islamic countries where "only" non-Abrahamic religions tended to be illegal and Christians and Jews "only" had to pay a tax but were tolerated by default (note the difference between toleration and religious freedom, though). Think of the examples of Spain and England expelling all their Jews for, well, being Jews, not for any kind of seditious activities. No ruler of that age tolerated insurgency and all demanded submission from all their subjects (irrespective of religious beliefs), but some rulers persecuted religious minorities vigorously for holding the "wrong" beliefs while others were more tolerant (or perhaps less intolerant; nowhere was there anything resembling modern religious freedom and pluralism - at most there was some level of toleration).
Tamerlane surely was an extremely brutal and bloody conqueror, but to me it's indicative that he styled himself as the new Genghis Khan, not the new Mohammad. Tamerlane's destructive rampage through Central Asia was far more reminiscent of the Mongols than of the Islamic conquests. Btw, the Mongols is an eminent example that non-religious inspired destruction can easily rival that of religious fanatics (in the latter category I'd include "secular religions" such as extreme national chauvinism, Nazism and Communism, btw).
What I'm trying to get at is that ISIS is neither an aberration within nor characteristic of Islam as a whole, but also that Islam didn't have a markedly worse (and sometimes a better) track record than Christianity vis-a-vis religious toleration until secularism began to make headway in Christian states from the 18th century onwards. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:31, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Minor correction to your correction; the Taliban, etc, are Salafi, not Wahhabi. Wahhabis call themselves Salafi as well, but like everything else in the Mid-East, it's incredibly complicated. Or incredibly complicated in its simplicity. The Saudi religious establishment is the source of Salafism, founded by Wahhab a few centuries ago. Skipping over a bunch of history, they used their petrodollars to finance Salafi madrassas throughout the world. But the Saudis became too liberal (srsly; they banned slavery and allowed movies/television, the latter of which one of their kings was assassinated for), allied with "The West", and by the 90's the rest of the Salafi world turned on Saudi Arabia, calling them "Wahhabi". The Wahhabis are fine with Shia and other minorities existing so long as they are third class citizens. The Salafis? Nope, all must be cleansed. Daesh's goal is the same as rest of the Salafis want, with strict (Salafi) Sharia law, forced conversions or death, "re"-uniting the Islamic world, etc; they just don't like the methods. CorruptUser (talk) 14:25, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the Wahhabi/Salafi correction - I'm just happy you consider it to be a minor mistake :-)
But I agree that Saudi Arabia is seriously messed up, considering that the two main political forces currently seem to be the corrupt and extremely conservative monarchy and the even more extremist Islamists who consider the Saudi royals to be dangerous lib'ruls(!) No wonder various observers have prophesied the doom of the current Saudi state for years. I guess the regime mainly hangs on because the royals can rely on their petrodollars to buy them loyalty (internally and externally), the fear of getting an even more regressive regime in Riyadh, and probably because the various tribes and clans of Saudi Arabia are not all especially keen on the Salafist project, but one really must wonder how long that can continue. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:40, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
I made a slight error, what I was trying to say about the Crusades and the campaigns of those rulers I mentioned, is that one could argue that they conducted those campaigns and perpetrated atrocities for non-religious reasons, like political influence and greed. Alsto003 (talk) 01:12, 14 March 2015 (UTC) Alex
Lastly, the reasons for the Spaniards expelling us from Spain weren't as religious so much as they were outright delusionally paranoid about the Jews "corrupting" their Christianity (as if it wasn't already corrupted enough), though given that this is what religion tends to do to people (make them delusionally paranoid) we can still technically fault Christianity with the expulsion (even if only indirectly). Not even the Church itself was that paranoid and delusion about Jews (after all we were at least allowed to live in Rome and Avignon). But on the other hand religious bigotry in the medieval period did have a secular dimension. For instance, in 1609 King Phillip III decreed that the Moriscos be expelled from Spain. And indeed, the Spaniards basically ethnically cleansed Spain of its former Muslims (well at least supposedly). The reasons for the expulsion were not entirely religious in nature, it was done because the Spaniards thought the Moriscos would side with the Ottomans should they ever have come ashore. Essentially they thought that they could become a fifth column. This is not unprecedented, the Ottomans tended to do the same thing just with Catholics Christians specifically. For whereas Orthodox Christians followed (mostly) the Patriarch in Constantinople under Ottoman rule, Catholics followed the Pope, a leader of a foreign country and an enemy. Alsto003 (talk) 01:54, 14 March 2015 (UTC) Alex
How is expelling Jews due to being "outright delusionally paranoid about the Jews "corrupting" their Christianity" not an excellent example of out and out religious persecution? As I mentioned, England did the same, so it wasn't just about paranoid Spaniards. I do realise the possible dual motive for the expulsion of the Moriscos, which is why I did not use them as an example.
There's a problem with framing the massacres of the Crusades in terms of greed, because killing off the local population is actually pretty bad for the economy - especially when you're a crusader who can't just import some good Catholic peasants to replace the Muslims/Jewish/Orthodox locals you've just killed. Sure, non-religious motives played a part in the Crusades, but religious and religiously-inspired factors held prime place: On a grand scale to (re)conquer Jerusalem, on a personal level making an "armed pilgrimage" to earn salvation (by way of the Papal indulgence for becoming a crusader). The non-religious motives were landgrabbing (but note how few top nobs wanted to actually spend much time in the conquered lands), avoiding lawsuits and creditors (you were immune to prosecution and land forfeiture while on crusade), and, in later crusades, expectations (if you were the son of a "crusading family" you were expected to join the "family business"). ScepticWombat (talk) 06:46, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Aaaaaaand the floodgates have opened it seems. tl;dr you cannot focus exclusively on the recent political/religious situation without accounting for the vast swathes of history, so trying to find an origin is practically meaningless. Sean Skyhawk (talk) 16:23, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Why is feminism so widely misunderstood?

It seems the consensus amoung males in my age group is that feminists are group of middle-aged obese women who are sour at men because they aren't attractive. Therefor they want to wipe men off the face of the earth/Make men "slaves" to all "women-kind". Why do males my age genuinely belive this crap? It's nuttier than some of the fake illuminauti conspiracies. I mean sure, I live in a right-wing state, and I expect people to have a general negative reaction to feminism, but this is over-the-top stupidity. Bad @ splleing... (talk) 15:28, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

The answer to your question is the reactionary "Feminists" on Tumblr. They give all of us a bad name. Master Necromancer(fear me!) 11:29, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Your age group being...? Super Dude,What does mine say? Sweet! 15:33, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
16-22 Bad @ splleing... (talk) 15:36, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Mostly white, mostly non-religious, tends toward intellect, autism, and social maladroitness? --Castaigne (talk) 15:43, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I can think of exactly one moderately realistic feminist represented in popular fiction from the past 20 years. One. I can think of dozens of the sort represented in PCU. That's part of the answer. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:38, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Teenagers (and slightly older) are stupid, Americans are stupid. American teenager = stupid². Also, it's in a person's nature to put a face on a label, and if you think the label is negative (feminist, homosexual, muslim etc.), the face will be too. Although it's not so hard to challenge those beliefs, Questions like "Have you ever had a conversation with a woman claiming to be a feminist?" Super Dude,What does mine say? Sweet! 15:47, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, I am an American teenager, the face of all that is wrong with the world, and I'm on this site not being a bastard. I know plenty of American teenagers who are much less stupid than ~50% of congressional representatives, or their parents, or, frankly, just about anyone else in the world. Maybe stupid is a decimal number?(Agrajag (talk) 22:18, 11 March 2015 (UTC))
There's an odd attitude online that "If I am right about something, then literally anything I do in support of that view is okay". Which is how you get Twitter hate mobs descending on someone for a misinterpreted Tweet, or suggesting suicide for literally anything. Any cause, no matter how stupid (like MRAs and such) to very valid (like feminism) will inevitably fall into Internet Lynch Mob mentality, because outrage sells. It's also how you get websites like Jezebel, where the supposed mission ("Equality for women!") supposedly trumps all of the horrible things done in its name ("We're going to post screenshots of a woman getting raped on our website without the victim's permission! For equality!"). As these are the most vocal parts of online feminism, people are more likely to associate feminism with stupid twitter mobs and stupid clickbait sites rather than academia.
I have no idea where I'm going with this. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg I've got canned heat in my heels tonight 16:03, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, it's that thing about human nature that everyone notices about people: we're shit. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:09, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
People get so caught up in their own bubble of reality that it becomes their only source of context. One time I was casually playing some multiplayer game on the internet and someone told me they'd kill themselves if the defense on their fortress was as bad as mine was. Apparently basing the value of one's life on one's obsession with an inconsequential internet game is a totally reasonable thing to do. >.> (talk) 16:19, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
It's a depressing fact about life that people do from time to time end their own lives over what are in the end very trivial things. There was actually a case this morning of a 19 y.o. in Karond, India hanging himself because he'd been scolded by his mother for playing in the Festival of ColoursWikipedia with his friends.
Then again, words are cheap on the Internet. If death threats can be written in 10 seconds and 140 characters and read worldwide, so can stuff trivializing suicide, I guess. Noir LeSable (talk) 17:06, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
It's also a depressing fact about life that people do end other's peoples lives for over extremely trivial things, like laughing at a pastrami sandwich. not made up btw |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg withdraws coolly 17:10, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure associating with Academia is necessarily positive in terms of Feminist stereotypes. The biggest stereotype I've seen among my Interweb circles is the "Tenured Gender Studies Professor" or "Smug, Naive Sociology Student", the central point of the stereotype being that because they live in the cloistered halls of universities, they have no idea how the world works and can discuss how, I dunno, eating bananas or something equally trivial is actually secretly vastly misogynist or something. Noir LeSable (talk) 17:23, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I think location and environment might have part to do with it. I don't think I know anyone in real life who adheres to the "FEMINAZIS ARE EEEEVIL" belief (or at least, anyone who does and makes it known), but I live in a politically muddy area in America, and work in a STEM job where a significant majority of the scientific staff are female. Noir LeSable (talk) 17:06, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't see it as any difference to stereotyping based on the extreme elements. In every movement there are extremists and/or assholes. People wish to view a group through that lens in order to demonize them. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 18:42, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

I'll try to explain but I'm not sure I'll it the mark exactly. Feminism is misunderstood by these people for a couple of reasons. Allow me to explain that I am not really sharing my own views, just the views I would have if I was less adept at critical thinking than I am. The first reason is that people like those defending gamergate are determined to redefine the word a la Frank Luntz. The second reason is that feminist activism in its most readily apparent form on the internet tends to revolve around portrayals of woman in everyday culture. The second, more serious and far more important reason is that a sizable number of these guys are socially awkward nerds and geeks. They spent the first two decades of their life being made to feel inferior, hating themselves, being mocked and ridiculed, for doing what they want to do and for being what they want to be. You could be an all American WASP who is as straight as a pole with plenty of money, but when you're a nerd in a school in the USA that doesn't matter, you're still made to feel inferior. You will feel inferior because the culture you grow up in prizes masculinity that you don't have. So when these guys get lectured about how privilege they are the reaction they have is invariably negative. They could have the same privileged background as the jock who shoved them into a locker. As far as they are concerned their privilege didn't do them any good, they were still miserable. What difference would it make if they were less privileged? For them it would be like comparing death by lethal injection to death by beheading, either way the condemned dies. These guys still think in terms of hierarchy that existed in high school, and Woman do not appear to undermine that hierarchy at all, instead they appear to reinforce it. The whole protocol stuff surrounding dating is a good example of that. So when a woman criticizes the portrayal of woman in the media or something of that nature their response to her is the same response they were given when they complained: "Stop whining." While I don't subscribe to this sort of thinking for various reasons (like the lack of proportionality for one) unfortunately I probably would if I was angrier. In any case I have no idea why each individual person who goes of on tangents about "TEH EV1L FEMINAZIZ" does so but if I as a nerd had become that kind of person it would be for the reasons above. Alsto003 (talk) 15:57, 15 March 2015 (UTC) Alex


feminism is misunderstood because it behooves reactionaries to mischaracterize it and because it's a broad school of thought hosting a variety of opinions--Tanis (talk) 19:22, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
That would only explain the reactionaries. A lot of the totally generic opposition you see to feminism occurs in the "Regular Joe" subset of youth. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:30, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
The reactionaries have successfully poisoned the discourse--Tanis (talk) 19:33, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh, ok. I agree. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:38, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Painting one's ideological opponents as "Reactionaries" never sits well with me as a premise, especially considering that you yourself have expressed the view of feminism being a broad school of thought. If this was so, then one must assume some (unjustified) modern opposition to feminism may occur within it's ranks at time. Otherwise, TERFS wouldn't exist. --Madman (talk) 20:08, 11 March 2015 (UTC)The Madman
I can safely say the driving force of crafting misrepresentations of feminism have been prominent reactionaries, such as Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson. It's not just "ideological opponents" but specific major figures, who are definitely reactionary. Does this satisfy your need for not arbitrarily other "those we disagree with". Because I was talking past the core backing to the notion. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:13, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Indeed it does. I withdraw my objection.--Madman (talk) 20:15, 11 March 2015 (UTC)The Madman
Some of it, although certainly not all, is because it's also human nature to remember the bad blowups much more than ordinary events. Stuff like this (Terry O'Neill's comments on the UVA fiasco showing her shoving her head so deep in the sand she can almost see China) or this (senator Gillibrand insisting on referring to "Sulkowicz's rapist" despite the fact that 1. there's no possible way she could know what actually happened and 2. the man in question has come about as close as possible to clearing his name from a legal standpoint) is a lot more prominent than the overwhelming majority of very good work people are doing to address valid concerns. The exceptions get a lot more attention because they are exceptions and garner a lot of analysis, and for better or for worse they tend to overshadow everything else. Conversely, if someone is doing a good job there's not a whole lot to say about it besides "good job". It's the same reason why people remember the stains on a blue dress a lot better than the economic policies of the Clinton administration, and why we never hear about planes safely landing on runways. Since others have explained a lot of the other reasons I won't rehash them, I just wanted to point this out too. (talk) 21:25, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
One reason -- of many -- that feminsim is misunderstood? Because it asks a sizeable chunk of the population to give up a social advantage they were born with, and nobody likes having to do that. Once they see what the stakes of feminism are, and that it's going to cost them something, it's in the intrest of those who benefit from patriarchy to frame it in whatever negative way they can, whether that's saying it will undo the family or dehumanizing and ridiculing feminists as sexually dysfunctional hairy-armpitted-sisters-of-the-apocalypse. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 21:57, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I've long felt that the name doesn't help. We associate most "Something-ism" ideologies to be "we want Something to be triumphant over everything else," like communism or fascism. So it's easy to read "feminism" as "female supremacy." Thanos6 (talk) 20:29, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
My wife is an old-time feminist and disdains many younger women who "flaunt" themselves because she sees some of their behaviour/dress as pandering to male sexist fantasies rather than being an expression of their own self confidence. It's no longer my world, so I leave it to the younger generations to squabble over what is acceptable; and keep my head down, and my mouth shut. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. Moderator 15:59, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
One problem seems to be that there are many flavors and instances of feminism; there are rather, several feminisms. The ones that don't impress me are the ones that seem to me like bourgeois middle-class expectations, priggish and entitled, given a coating of Marxofreudian bullshit. That sort of carrying on has nothing to do with women's rights in any meaningful sense that I can figure, either. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 03:22, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Was YHWH a volcano?

Rumblings on WP indicate that the Magma God may re-awaken. The fun never stops... Alec Sanderson (talk) 14:15, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

No, YHWH was the God of War and Storm that was merged with the Creator God (El). Well, one of many War Gods. The God of the Seas' (Dagon) followers had rats infest their colons (according to Samuel 2), the God of Beauty fled to Greece (Adonis was Semitic in origin), the God of Post-Natal Abortion (Moloch) was banned. No seriously, they used to kill infants. Because if you can't afford kids, it's kill your infants, or kill someone else. What, not have sex? Hah! The ban on Moloch is probably the best explanation for all the War Gods. There were a number of Fertility Goddesses, including the Goddess of Orgasms (Qetesh). Really should've worshipped that one instead. CorruptUser (talk) 15:47, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I care very little about early Levantine theology. I meant to alert the RW community, such as it is, to the possibility that a single-purpose editor may become active here again, the one in the second link above. A sockpuppet investigation has started on WP, and if he gets shut down there, he may bring his unique viewpoint back to RW. Small potatoes, in the grander scheme of things. Alec Sanderson (talk) 17:28, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Umm... from recent change: (User creation log); 17:55 . . User account VolcanicBrimstone (Talk | contribs) was created Kill it with fire? CorruptUser (talk) 17:57, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Smother it in darkness, yes. Alec Sanderson (talk) 18:25, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Volcano (smith) gods like Hephaestus and Vulcan tend to be peaceable hard-working types, unless someone steps on their lame foot or screws their wife. ProblemChimp (talk) 20:14, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Anyone interested can find out more about the ideas being pushed here. (Hold on to your fiery chariot.) --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 08:41, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Alec, for giving us a heads up that Oh my volcano is up to his (her?) old tricks again. We certainly should keep an extra vigilant eye on the God, YHWH and Allah articles in case our volcano freak turns his attention to RW having just been banned for sockpuppetry at WP.
And for Bob, shit that site is bloody stupid, just check the weird ass backwards version of religious pareidolia involved in the post titled Did The Obsession With Making Triangles Originate In Volcano Worship?. It reminds me of the more in(s)ane forms of Jesus myth theory when these start to shade into conspiracy theory territory, e.g. Joseph Atwill's "Christianity was a Roman invention to keep the sheeple docile"-nonsense. The annoying thing about this crap is that it has a tendency to be invoked by fundies wishing to confine anything short of orthodoxy to the loony bin by tarnishing serious scholarship with the nutpicking brush. ScepticWombat (talk) 13:59, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Just doin my job, boss. He has arrived, but is keeping a low profile so far. Alec Sanderson (talk) 14:42, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Well, he only tried to insert his nonsense into YHWH once and stuck to only a brief "you're all just biased"-style whine after having it removed. I couldn't help leaving a comment on his talk page, though, after I saw he cited freakin' Immanuel Velikovsky as part of his name dropping of "people who says it's a good idea" (alongside Freud for some reason). That was simply too hilarious to pass up. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:06, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Homeopathy *as* the placebo?

How does Homeopathy fare as a placebo (Sort of like medications are expensive so "Take these and come see the doctor again if symptoms persist")? Or does that even make sense? [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 13:47, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

Probably about the same as anything else that's a placebo, sometimes with the added benefits you might get some that at-least involve old-fashioned remedy type ingredients. --Miekal 14:00, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Wouldn't all that violate the purpose of fully informed medical treatment? I could see it if you have a 4 year old (while educating the parent)...but doing it to an adult is against most countries law, most medical ethics, and potentially dangerous. It also harkens back to a time when they did medical experiments on mostly poor and uneducated (and unknowing) patients. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 14:09, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
The way I phrased that probably isn't. Most OTC medications has "Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms/effect persist for <length of time>". Also some of the illness can heal/recover naturally so actual drug while not covered by insurance may be costly to those people who are less affordable. And then there are the problem that some symptoms (like coughing) which is more ambiguous regarding the cause (common cold/flu vs very early stage cancer vs smoking vs dustmites vs allergy vs other diseases). [[User:K61824|]][[User_talk:K61824|]] 15:35, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
I would recommend this article. The benefits of homoeopathy appear to be almost entirely down to the "therapeutic context" (i.e. the interaction between provider and patient). You can provide that in the context of delivering actual medicine.--SpecialFFrog (talk) 14:19, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you can provide that in the context of delivering actual medicine, but it doesn't always happen. Profit-driven models of care sometimes have doctors seeing patients for just a few minutes each, one after another. Most docs and nurse practitioners take time to hear what the patient has to say, but rushed visits are enough of a thing that some people feel slighted by the system. That's where the woo-meisters step in to confirm the patient's biases with the eye contact, the love-bombing, and the expensive water that's been whacked on a table the ritual number of times. CamelCasePragmatist (talk) 02:01, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't think the question is very clear but (if this is what you're asking) I think that a doctor who knows that homeopathy is nonsense is very unlikely to favour homeopathy over other placebos, unless it's something the patient already believes in or is very likely to be receptive to. Homeopathic pharmaceuticals are very expensive for something that's basically just water, whereas bog standard placebos such as sugar pills cost virtually nothing, so it really wouldn't be a cost-saving measure. Plus the doctor's reputation could be jeopardised by endorsing homeopathy, whereas prescribing a placebo (in appropriate circumstances) is generally accepted. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:09, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Anti-vax activist loses bet.

So anti-vax activist Stefan Lanka says he will pay 100,000 to anybody who can prove the measles virus exists.

Doctor David Bardens took him up on the challenge and now a German court says that Lanka must pay up. Ho ho.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 19:33, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

That's why you don't bet money when you're talking out your ass, people. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 20:26, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
I really hope this is for real. --Tanis (talk) 03:20, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Looks real to me. This is a goggle search on Stefan Lanka. A quick look suggests he may be an aids denialist too. Better and better. --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 07:41, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
It's weird to me the way that some people reject really good evidence and proof then start to think various things "unprovable". ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:15, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
da....fuq.... Seriously, please tell me this is a joke, because if not, well... http://i.imgur.com/sTUyI.gif Sean Skyhawk (talk) 16:27, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Assume good faith, please!

moved to Forum:Mr 74 said something 20:03, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Name That Fallacy: "All members of set S are P, where not-P is presumably possible."

I'm trying to figure out the appropriate name for a particular fallacy that occurs when a person not only makes a hasty generalization, but provides absolutely no justification for the implied impossibility of obvious counter-examples. Here's a few species that I've observed in the wild:

"All beliefs that contradict [insert one true religion here] are the product of Satan trying to lead mankind astray." Why is it impossible for mere mortals to create "false" beliefs because of greed, mental illness, or faulty reasoning?

"All supporters of voter ID laws are racist." Why is it impossible for a non-racist person to support voter ID laws because of a belief in the existence of widespread voter fraud?

"All supporters of gay rights are gay." Why is it impossible for a person to be concerned about the rights of groups to which he/she doesn't belong?

It's seems like this fallacy should be distinct from (or a subtype of) a hasty generalization. What would you call it? Steohawk (talk) 05:16, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

All current voter ID laws in the US, regardless of the intent of supporters, are themselves racist, by virtue of their effects. The not-technically-true attack on the supporters follows from that naturally. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 06:02, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree. Unfortunately, I believe such attacks have been a big factor in causing people to support voter ID laws (and other bad stuff), because it gives the largely misinformed-but-not-malicious supporters the impression that there's nothing more to the opponents' opinion than "You guys are racist!". Meanwhile, genuinely racist individuals swoop in and fill their heads with misinformation. In fact, the only reason I oppose voter ID laws is because I asked somebody to take the time to provide me with the facts and context that most "news" articles just assumed I somehow already possessed. He did it in a just a single paragraph. Steohawk (talk) 21:59, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
While I agree with ikanreed in a "death of the author" sense re: voter ID laws, that doesn't really answer Steohawk's question. But I'm not sure what to call such a fallacy myself...
I think it's actually closer to false dilemma than hasty generalization. e.g., "everyone is either against voter ID laws or they're racist" when people can be neither. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] [留] 07:18, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking that it's some sort of poisoning the well mixed with false dilemma and strawman. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg A vain death of a plump bird. 16:12, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
If I had to stick my money down on something I'd go with false equivalance.--Stunteddwarf Spirit of the Cherry Blossom 12:12, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
It's just variations of composition and division. These are examples of spotlight fallacy, overgeneralization, and possibly some sort of inverse "no true Scotsman." Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 13:03, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I would simply call it a false premise. There is no mental illness, its all Satan and demonic possession ;-) Hamster (talk) 16:40, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, false premiseWikipedia. If you start from one you can prove anything you want. (See most politicians for toe-clenching examples.) ProblemChimp (talk) 23:42, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
It's an unfalsifiable proposition, not really a logical fallacy. You can admit the whole convection and water cycle thing and still believe that Satan is the hidden motivating cause of every raindrop that falls. You can name heretical beliefs after their human exponents and still believe Satan inspired them. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 18:26, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

The team behind the new movie "Do you believe" shows their persecution complex. Again.

http://doyoubelieve.com/blog/2015/03/faith-once-again-under-fire/ So this time they're butthurt over the US military trying to stop a chaplain from using his government funded posistion to spread his bigotry towards homosexuals. Master Necromancer(fear me!) 20:15, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Follow the link to the original Fox News story (surprise, surprise) and it gets even worse.
If anything, the good pastor Modder's own defence speech makes me suspect there's something to the allegations: "“This new generation is very secular and very open sexually,” he said. “The values that the military once held – just like the Boy Scouts of America – are changing. The culture wants this. Culture is colliding with truth. That’s at the heart of this.”" This sounds very much like the usual fundie bigotry and sexual paranoia.
Also, while one should be careful about accusing other people of lying or at least selective remembrance or presentation, I find that this anecdote from the good pastor really stretches credulity: "Modder recalled an incident that occurred when he first arrived on the base. He was about to deliver the invocation at a graduation ceremony when the captain pulled him aside. “He looked at me and said, ‘Hey chaplain – do not pray in Jesus’ name,’” he recalled." Really? Are we to believe a captain tells a chaplain not to pray ("in Jesus' name" whatever that means)? This sounds either extremely contrived, or we're not getting the entire version of events (e.g. that the chaplain wasn't supposed to deliver a sermon, but just a graduation speech, yet tried to shoehorn his preaching in anyway).
Shit, Modder even manages to pull the family values and think of the children cards out at the end. (Yeah, imagine if, gasp!, any of his four children were recruited by teh Gayz!) The end of the article is almost the worst bit with its "keeping the faith" and Moral Silent Majority asshattery. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:40, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

In light of all the lawsuits

Wouldn't it be better to focus on articles on ideas and concepts instead of people? I aint a lawyer, but it sounds to me like it'd be harder to get sued for saying creationism is full of shit than it would be for saying Bob McDumbass is full of shit.--Tanis (talk) 17:46, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Yep. It also fulfills RW's goal of debunking shit, rather than insulting it. 32℉uzzy, 0℃atPotato (talk/stalk) 22:22, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
But documenting people who are focal points of many distinct bad ideas isn't off mission at all. Both of the major lawsuits the foundation is facing relate to exactly that sort of individual, so it's not cut and dried either. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:37, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
If someone says foolish things, we can simply show and refute his folly instead of calling him names. BicyclewheelModerator 19:59, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Is it possible to sue if somebody attacks your idea/product/whatever but doesn't attack you? αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 20:23, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
erm...yes. BicyclewheelModerator 20:24, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
In the USA, you can sue for whatever reason you want. Doesn't mean you'll win, but if I want to sue, say, ikanreed because I don't like how he treats, say, Tanis, then I can do so. Frivolous litigation is an oft-used tactic by the people RW profiles. --Castaigne (talk) 20:29, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
So is there any legal-defense benefit to attacking ideas? FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ﹐ Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 20:44, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely. Sorry if I implied otherwise. I just meant having a Kent Hovind article is better for wiki organization than having an article for Creation Science Evangelism, one for the Hovind Challenge, one for Creation Seminar Series, and so on and so on. Not that we should call him names. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:27, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Having lots of redundant stubs is not so hot, yeah. FᴜᴢᴢʏCᴀᴛPᴏᴛᴀᴛᴏ﹐ Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 20:44, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I see a clear benefit in not having an article on every single crank, since I've noticed a big point of this lawsuit-avoidance thing isn't so much about successfully defending against lawsuits so much as it is about not having them filed altogether (which means that the wiki or the Foundation cares even about avoiding frivolous suits). It seems less likely that Leonard Coldwell would have tried suing us if we focused on the "science" of his cancer cures and whatnot, with a specific page detailing his theories, than on the man himself--Tanis (talk) 00:22, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

SomethingAwful thread about Ferguson situation

moved to Forum:Mr 74 said something 20:01, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Drink Like An Irishman Day

So, tomorrow, apparently, we're celebrating "Drink Like an Irishman Day". Except, by WHO figures, Ireland is pretty normal for a Western European country. By the OECD figures it features fifth (out of 34) behind both Germany and France. Isn't lazy national stereotypes part of what we're fighting against? Oh, and by the way, the Irish don't all wear green, fight at the drop of a hat, say "begorrah" all the time or live in the bogs. Nor are they thick and backward. (that's the UK stereotype - similar to the US stereotype of Mexicans) Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 14:17, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Honestly, I think it's a pretty modest proposal. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:22, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Tasty! ProblemChimp (talk) 23:55, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Would "Drink Like an Irish Stereotype Day" find mercy at the hands of the PC police? It even avoids the unflattering and unfair targeting of Irish men, thus being an example of gender-inclusive language too! ScepticWombat (talk) 14:34, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
I think the gender neutral word you're looking for is leprechaun. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 14:44, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
"Drink Like a Leprechaun Day"? I can relate (and will drink) to that. ScepticWombat (talk) 14:58, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
3 votes for leprechaun. FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 15:22, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
I live in Cedar Rapids, IA. We'll drink green beer tomorrow for St Pat's Day. We'll drink red beer Thursday for St Joe's Day (we even have a polka about that). On the weekend, we'll drink the leftovers. Because it's Iowa, dammit. (talk) 15:57, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Iowans. Now there's a group you can be prejudiced against. Why don't you build some more covered bridges, corn-eater? And if that offends you, you can take your frustration out on carving livestock from slabs of butter. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:00, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
We're hosting an exchange student from Okinawa for two weeks, and we tried to explain St Patrick's Day. Had to start with "what is a saint?" and work our way from there. Took a while, but ended up at "Americans just overdo everything." Close enough. (talk) 20:59, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Holy carp, ikanreed! Seriously...just because some of our livestock has a few love-bites.... (talk) 17:42, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
I think what I actually meant passed you by ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:26, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
You may well be right. (Also, we call it "lovestock" here.) (talk) 20:11, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
as a nebraskan I can tell you all about how terrible iowans are... its all true. --Miekal 16:25, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
In the interest of advancing RW's mission of debunking claims made in the absence of supporting evidence, especially where religion is concerned, may I suggest: "Raise a pint in honour of Saint Patrick driving out of Ireland the snakes that were never there in the first place." Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 16:41, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Who is this "Saint" Patrick of whom you speak? Don't you mean Patrick (Roman Catholic canon)? And you can add a fourth vote for "Drink Like a Leprechaun Day". Spud (talk) 06:21, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Official response to Drink Like An Irishman Day Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 12:46, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
This cartoon sums it all up pretty well. €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:31, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Reset - Modest proposal Dean Swift reference? (As Wiki means 'quickly' can someone develop the pun?) (talk) 16:26, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I blocked User:Norman for a little while

I know longish duration unilateral bans on established editors aren't normally okay, but he made his user page a link to an image whose sole purpose appeared to be harassing Ryulong. I thought a short time out was called for and no debate was needed. Just trying to be transparent about things. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:47, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Norman's imgur seems to have little, if anything, to do with the price of bananas, and imo is way off-topic. ProblemChimp (talk) 00:37, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Who can read Portuguese?

We have an editor who is creating many pages in Portuguese. That's good. The more people who can read our stuff, the better. But. Wikis are collaborative projects, and rely on some degree of collective intelligence, wisdeom, insight, knowledge and skill to work. A BON just left an note on my talk page (since rev/deleted, as it contained a link to someone's FB page) alleging the user in question was banned from Wikipedia "and other Wikimedia projects" for troublesome editing patterns. Are we sure that this user is not potentially repeating a potentially troublesome tendency here? I do not want to launch the Spanish Inquisition over dome BoN's say-so. But, as my Portuguese is limited to what I gleaned studying Brazilian guitar for a few years, I can't do any collaborating with the editor in question. Can anybody? Or do we just hope that the wiki isn't hosting erroneous or libelous information in a language none of us can read? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 23:38, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Could be put on the intercom - possibly urgent? Don't like things that no-one,except the writer, can read. Scream!! (talk) 00:36, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Google Translate can usually be used to get some sense out of the pages. I haven't looked at each of the many Portuguese pages that have been posted recently, but the ones that I did don't seem remarkably out of place. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 02:42, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
E.g. this is what Google makes out of Judith Reisman (português):
Judith Ann Reisman (* Newark, April 11, 1935), also known as Judith Ann Gelernter, is a conservative activist of the United States. [1] Judith Reisman has been engaged in legal battles against pornography, sexual harassment of women and children and since 1977 against the Kinsey Institute. In 2004, Variety magazine, the United States refused a full-page ad Judith Reisman who called Alfred Kinsey "a man who produced and directed the rape and torture of hundreds of young people and children." [2] According to Judith Reisman Alfred Kinsey and his team have abused children to reach certain Kinsey report data. This theme is not true and would have been chosen as emotional appeal to discredit Alfred Kinsey studies, McCarthyism of the victim.

In 2006 Judith Reisman said the book The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party, the authors Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams, 1995, shows that many of the top Nazi leaders were active homosexuals and protected many homosexual individuals Holocaust.

Ignored by Brazilian universities, Judith Reisman promotes hate speech against homosexuals and homophobia. His work is used as a bibliographic reference by right-wing extremists as Olavo de Carvalho.
YES YES YES. My Portuguese skillz are finally useful. I'll get around to read them. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg Get the paddles, he's having a cancer! 03:03, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
REPORT: From what I gather, they're not straight translations of the English titles. The guy making these pages seems to focus the scope of the article to current-day Brazil, which is ironic because the flag in Português displays several countries' flags. He also has some axe to grind about the politics of Brazil. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg I'm a survivor, keep on survivin' 15:09, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, if they were editing in Inglês, I have a feeling I'd object to more of their changes than I do in Portuguese. On the other hand, they seem to at least be well-meaning and make some pretty good contributions too. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:27, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Is this a situation that could be resolved by talking to this editor rather than about them? ЩєазєюіδWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 20:47, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

The user is now citing editors of Portuguese Wikipedia, even though he was reverted. The point of citing editors is none but a revenge for his past trouble on the site. If you read "Olavo de Carvalho, you will see insults and biased text dua fanatism. BTW, the hidden message left on page talk page of AggingHippie contains a link to Leandro's FB page, which is public and also linked by himself on his user page. Regards.

O.K. Eu vou corrigir os problemas. Eu conheço a missão do RationalWiki e prometo respeitar as regras e as decisões da comunidade. LeandroTelesRocha (talk) 04:22, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Esclarecimento: A Wikipédia em português foi tomada por oportunistas. Eu fui banido por criticar um notório embusteiro chamado Olavo de Carvalho. Existem usuários na administração da Wikipédia em português com 18 anos de idade. LeandroTelesRocha (talk) 04:29, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Google translate:
O.K. I will fix the problems. I know the mission of RationalWiki and promise to respect the rules and community decisions . LeandroTelesRocha ( talk) 04:22 , 18 March 2015 ( UTC )
Note: The Wikipedia in portuguese was invaded by a opportunist group. I was banned for criticizing a notorious trickster, an astrologer, known for Olavo de Carvalho. There are users in the administration of Wikipedia in portuguese with only 18 years old (born in 1997). LeandroTelesRocha ( talk) 04:29 , 18 March 2015 ( UTC )
Scream!! (talk) 07:44, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
P.S. I dont speak english very well, but I can read the english text, no problem. LeandroTelesRocha (talk) 15:04, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I dont speak english very well, sorry. LeandroTelesRocha (talk) 15:32, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Google Scholar sucks nowdays

It seems to love giving me non-papers from .org websites that have a clear bias, synonymizing exact jargon, and delivering book results that aren't remotely scholarly. Does anyone have an alternative search system that is good for searching actual science publications? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:41, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Didn't they fix that problem a while back? I thought there was a drive to purge it of creationist stuff. BicyclewheelModerator 19:56, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Maybe specifically creationist stuff, but the quality threshold is shit, and the search sucks for finding specific things that you're looking for material on. Google seems to have really given up on everything that doesn't drive ad revenue these days. I'll probably still use it for "fuzzier" searches, but I need an alternative that limits itself to broadly scientific journals. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:13, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't really surprise me. Scientific journals aren't aimed at the public at large, and their target audience is pretty much guaranteed to have access to journal subscriptions through their institutions. - Grant (talk) 20:18, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Except, of course, if you're just a rationalwiki editor, looking to establish the best scientific research available about a particular piece of woo. Then mulit-journal searching becomes crucial. I've got sources I like for following new research, but it's harder with legacy info. Publisher-by-publisher is no fun. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:22, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Maybe we should use some of the fundraiser money to get a JSTOR subscription. Dunno how that would work in practice, though. BicyclewheelModerator 20:27, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
We'd run out of money is how that'd work. Highway robbery is what JSTOR is. A one seat license is $179 a year. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:30, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
This accurately describes scientific journals in general. Institutions pay a lot of money for subscriptions. - Grant (talk) 20:31, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Gotta shout out to Plos One here, for both being free and having consistently good review process. It's absolutely the first place I check for getting a scientific analysis of whatever. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:35, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
JSTOR sez that "electronic only" access to their "Complete Current Scholarship Collection" for a Government/Not-for-profit organization in the United States costs $33,996.46 USD. FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 20:40, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
PubMed is pretty good for all things even vaguely medical.MarmotHead (talk) 18:27, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Can't we find someone here, who has a JSTOR subscription or knows someone, who has one and would be willing to help out out?--Arisboch (talk) 00:47, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
I have JSTOR. What are you looking for exactly? ShabiDOO 16:04, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Nothing right now. Sometimes I look for a subject and Google scholar has a bad signal to noise ratio when I do. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:06, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

There should be a large enough critical mass of RW editors with university library access to JSTOR and really any other database of note that any editor who lacks such access should be able to get his or her mitts on a paper with little grief. I'll turn around any request as quickly as I can...Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 16:16, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

On GamerGate

moved to Talk:Gamergate#On_GamerGate -- 15:03, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Logical fallacy clean up needed for most articles.

I have noticed that a great many articles on this wiki have logical fallacies in them which significantly reduces their credibility. This needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Mr Kalix (talk) 12:27, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

OK, we'll get on it right away. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:31, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Riveting! Most indubious! Perfectly cromulent! Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 17:06, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
I look forward to reading them after transmogrification. (Of both the articles and myself, in case you were wondering.) ProblemChimp (talk) 22:59, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Bold proclamations of reifications of the statist faith, that there are invisible non physical "juridical entities" which exist beyond the physical realm while intervening upon it through "corporationdidit" or "Statedidit", that these non-physical entities are real and not supernatural "persons" (corporate persons), that "Common Law"/Case law is an "Exception" to logic (invoking the non-overlapping magisteria between logic and "law"). Non-sequitors used to justify liberal agendas. Etc. Rationalwiki is of two (at times conflicting) agendas: Proselytizing liberal Statheism (the unspoken, unacknowledged pov of many articles) and promoting rationalism(the explicit openly acknowledged pov of many articles). It is what it is. LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:10, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Cool story, bro Revolverman (talk) 02:34, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Back! Bad dog! *gets out the broom* Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 03:01, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
We have not yet implemented the hand-optimized compiler, as this is the least typical component of Heft. We have not yet implemented the codebase of 91 ML files, as this is the least private component of Heft. Further, although we have not yet optimized for performance, this should be simple once we finish optimizing the codebase of 12 Scheme files. Heft is composed of a centralized logging facility, a collection of shell scripts, and a codebase of 85 SQL files. Our heuristic is composed of a collection of shell scripts, a centralized logging facility, and a homegrown database [15]. Overall, Heft adds only modest overhead and complexity to existing multimodal frameworks. So there!--Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 03:31, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Unified homogeneous information have led to many unproven advances, including fiber-optic cables and voice-over-IP. To put this in perspective, consider the fact that well-known computational biologists often use local-area networks to accomplish this intent. The notion that end-users agree with the refinement of extreme programming is largely adamantly opposed. On the other hand, forward-error correction alone cannot fulfill the need for peer-to-peer modalities. Tuppy Glossop (talk) 03:38, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Global Warming Conspiracy Theories

Morning (or afternoon, or night) everyone! So, I have a problem. One of my best friends, whom I'd known was a conservative for some time, but had never been much of a problem in that regard, recently became rather fixated with anthropogenic climate change. He tells me that it is all a scam made up by NOAA to get more grant money. Seriously? Not only has my friend gone full conspiracy theorist, he also refuses to listen to reason. When I ask him what proof he has of this ridiculous claim, he says that "they" keep changing the name from "global warming" to "climate change" to "climate disruption". That's it? I need advice quickly! He won't listen to reason, and he's an otherwise intelligent and rational person. What do I do about this? 107Ag 23:13, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

"Not only has my friend gone full conspiracy theorist, he also refuses to listen to reason." is tautologic. (talk) 23:22, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I assume you want to keep him as a friend. Be aware that challenging his fixation might just get him to dig in his heels and become more insistent that AGW is a fraud. Do what you can to focus your conversations on something else, maybe something you both enjoy and can agree on, or something you can spar over without getting any feathers ruffled. If other aspects of his personality have changed, then you may need to escalate things in the direction of clinical intervention. It will be nice if it doesn't come to that. David Griffiths (talk) 23:42, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Good idea. I'll try to avoid the topic, but somehow it always loops back to ACC about every other week with alarming regularity. 107Ag 00:03, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

People trying to protect artists from themselves

Anybody aware of this Batgirl #41 variant cover controversy thingy? The cover was pulled, which led to people saying the creative team and the cover artist were being censored. The creative team said that the cover had been way too much of a contrast to the book's contents, and that they had not been asked for their input on the cover. The previously mentioned people changed their stance to the cover artist being censored and thrown under the bus by the creative team. Then it became known that the creative team and the cover artist were all bestest buddies and one big happy family, and that the cover artist was the one that pulled the cover. Que the outrage over "they caved too easily!" and "self censorship!" despite the cover artist stating that he not only personally agreed with the theme complaint, but also that the people mentioning sexism were right. And then something sort of unrelated happened where someone noteworthy complained that Batgirl wasn't sexualized enough. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 18:03, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

For future reference: Que isn't an English word, queue(similarly spelled) means to line up and is often mistaken for "cue" when anticipating a specific reaction. You want cue. This is your pointless spelling/grammar advice for the day. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:28, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Speaking as a long time comic book fan, between The Killing Joke and Watchmen, Alan Moore is the cause of a lot of what's wrong with superhero comics today. Killing Joke in particular was garbage that never should have seen the light of day. It all comes from a group of mostly British comic writers who got their start in the mid-1980s and decided that they were so much cleverer than the people who actually invented the brightly colored and patriotic stalwart characters. They decided that they'd be much more interesting if they were grimier and rapier and their worlds more gray. So I don't have a problem with pulling that cover, because The Killing Joke doesn't deserve to be celebrated. Batgirl was created for the Adam West TV show (still the best live action Batman ever) and didn't deserve that. DC has a history of treating their female characters very shabbily; their current treatment of Wonder Woman is just as bad. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 19:10, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
I liked Killing Joke. Sometimes I read the shabby treatment of female comic characters as a reflection of/statement about the generally shabby treatment of actual female human beings; ie, what happened to Batgirl says something about what in all likliehood will happen to several of the women in my life. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 19:19, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
It figures you're not a fan of deconstructions. Myself, I appreciate them quite well; what I do not appreciate is what the later comic artists/writers of the 1990s (Liefeld especially) produced when it was clear that they didn't understand what the hell a deconstruction was. It's important to draw a distinction between the deconstructionists of the 1980s and the "Iron Barbarians" of the 1990s. (And don't get me started on Spawn.)
That said, you are absolutely right about DC's history of refrigerating female characters. Wonder Woman has never gotten a break.
Also, I think you would like Waid's Kingdom Come or Gary Morrison's Silver Age tributes. Might want to give those a check. --Castaigne (talk) 20:45, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
More than most other media, comic books need something like the notion of creator's moral rights. There needs to be some kind of requirement of fidelity to original creative concepts. It's wrong to turn Wonder Woman into one of Zeus's bastards, and the Amazons of Paradise Island into misandric serial rapists living in mud huts. It was wrong to turn Element Girl into a tortured figure pining for death. And it was wrong to cripple Batgirl -- a character created so that Yvonne Craig could add a bit of sex appeal to the Adam West Batman show -- even if John Ostrander somewhat redeemed that vile bit of writing by creating Oracle. Now if you're talking of Grant Morrison, most of his early stuff leaves me cold, though his runs on JLA and the Seven Soldiers of Victory were pretty good. But I'm not reading DC at all at the moment. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 22:08, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Quote - "More than most other media, comic books need something like the notion of creator's moral rights."
I would only agree with this if there were an absolute universal standard of morality that all humanity were required to adhere to universally and were forced to adhere to universally.
Without that, I would have to ask "Moral rights according to which of the thousands of moral structures? And how would we determine which is the correct moral structure?"
Quote - "There needs to be some kind of requirement of fidelity to original creative concepts."
I entirely disagree. And even if I did, it could only be enforced by extending copyright law into infinity and mercilessly enforcing it in such a way as to make the War on X look laissez-faire in conduct. It really would require Orwellian control of media.
Quote - "It's wrong to SNIP VARIOUS EXAMPLES."
Your opinion is noted that you think these things are wrong. But I disagree; they are not absolutely wrong. It is merely a matter of taste and opinion. I personally find the original Batgirl to be throw-away and I don't really care much about the Adam West show - it was off the air in Atlanta over a decade before I was born. The shooting of Batgirl in The Killing Joke and the creation of Oracle create a far more interesting character, in my opinion, and is better storytelling material. --Castaigne (talk) 23:14, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, the idea of moral rightsWikipedia isn't about some kind of universal standard of morality. It's an idea from European copyright law, where artists have the right to "object to any distortion, modification of, or other derogatory action" involving their work. It's never been in force in the USA. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 23:21, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, bugger that kind of "moral right", this just leads into stagnation. Every new generation of comic writers should be able to reinvent characters.--Arisboch (talk) 22:21, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Then we're still talking about permanent copyright enforced in an Orwellian manner, if you want it to be done in any sort of way that is practical. And it will have to be draconian in punishment; the only way to deter another Killing Joke is to publicly cut off the hands and blind the creator of one. "This is what happens if you violate the conceptions of Bob Kane! Obedience to the creator! Obedience to the original conception!"
Which also means no more Elseworlds, since that's what an Elseworld is by default. I really can't get into it. --Castaigne (talk) 04:30, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
@@Smerdis, ty. The rest of you - lighten up, and read up about what moral rights in copyright law actually involve. (1) They are personal. They are not perpetual. They do not extend beyond the author's death. (2) The principal ones are the rights: (i) to be identified as author, (ii) to object to derogatory treatment of your works, and (iii) to complain that something you didn't create has been falsely attributed to you. I can't see why anyone would complain about (i) and (iii); and as far as I know, (ii) has never been litigated.
I've got a certificate somewhere for passing an exam on the UK CDPA 1988. Knowing it used to be part of my day job.
FWIW, Killing Joke were a moderately useful band. ProblemChimp (talk) 21:26, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
DC has been screwing people who even consider being Batgirl over for years now. Many forget the Killing Joke ( and the Oracle character) was a grace compared to the "send-off" Barbara got in Batgirl Special, in that we at least got something that wasn't a absolute slap in the face. --Madman (talk) 20:10, 20 March 2015 (UTC)The Madman
I haven't read the issue, but if it were such a thematic shift in tone between the cover and the content, then I'd be inclined to agree that it may be an inappropriate cover, although I have to say that I don't think it's as massive of an issue as it's just a variant, and many thematically clashing variant covers have existed (although usually in the "darker content, lighter/cartoonier cover" direction). I wouldn't, say, demand the artist change it or get involved in a campaign against the artist or anything like that, but I'd reserve my right to voice that opinion. It might've been a better idea to have it as an inner splash page rather than a cover itself.
But eh, I don't follow much of DC anyways. I've been drifting towards some of the other publishers lately, like Image and Boom!. (Plug: The Wicked + The Divine and The Fuse are amazing series) Noir LeSable (talk) 21:49, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

I've always found farcical the idea of gritty realism and psychological angst in comic books about super powered humans and indestructible aliens. That said, if they remained the same as they were with the infantile storys and characters of the silver age then we would have given them up when we hit puberty. The real issue with the likes of big name titles like batman is that there is really nothing left to do with them but but rehash stories and characters. AMassiveGay (talk) 00:11, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

I read a lot of comics, but very, very few of the superhero genre. I'm always a little taken aback when the latter is held to be entirely representative of the former.Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 00:21, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
In the USA, comics are more or less synonymous with superhero comics. Elsewhere, not so much. We need either reasonable copyright terms; or, if the characters are going to be monopoly franchises for a century or longer, some way to designate characters like Superman and Wonder Woman as national cultural treasures whose lore and tone should be preserved like other national historic monuments. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 22:07, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
It can't be done. Your successful attempts, no matter how you contrived them, would eventually eliminate all parody and put that section of cultural media into stasis. You already see this problem with the similar attempts by the more virulent conservatives re the Founding Fathers, turning them into Christ-like Godmen who founded the Eternal Nation of Liberty. No, much as I dislike change - and I do - I prefer it to stasis. --Castaigne (talk) 04:35, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
On the other hand, some kinds of change are better than others. Again, back to the specifics. It was a very bad idea to cripple Batgirl. It is and remains a very bad idea to strip out all the utopian elements from Wonder Woman. It isn't so much change I object to as an apparent lust for ugliness. Still, when a writer uses somebody else's character, I think they owe a duty of fidelity to the original concept and, in the case of long-standing characters in a shared universe, respect for the character's history as well. If you can't do that, you can make a new character, even if it's an obvious homage. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 05:17, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Narrative change! It's no longer censorship because he's "self-censoring" (despite the pull mirroring his personal views), it's now censorship because "he dumb." Holy balls, they actually had more weight when they complained about "self-censorship." Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 16:01, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Which is why I find the Gators to be incoherent. Really, it's just because they don't like the cover being pulled, but they have to make up reasons other than "I thought the cover was cool and rad, dudebro. Joker mackin' on Batgirl like that." --Castaigne (talk) 04:35, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
No group bigger than 1 people is coherent. They proposed a cover, people complained, they folded, that's what the fuzz is about.--Arisboch (talk) 07:44, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
More specifically, they proposed a cover, people complained, the people complaining were harassed and then it was pulled. Vulpius (talk) 13:55, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Threats of violence? Sounds like nutpicking. There are lotsa wackos on the net, no reason to get your panties all in a bunch.--Arisboch (talk) 19:26, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
There's such a thing as pattern recognition. Criticizing gender issues on the internet has a pretty clear connection to being actively harassed(which is not just disagreed with vociferously, and impolitely). It's not just nutpicking. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:37, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Really? What did happen in this specific case except the usual Internet dickheadery? And even if there was harassment, that still is no reason to paint ALL critics of this self-censorship in the same colors. Is this the new kind of self-censorship after the death of the Comic Code? --Arisboch (talk) 20:36, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) If y'want some numbers, there were thirty-nine unique users tweeting #ChangeTheCover before one person was critical (calling them "fags") and then it turned into hundreds of people being all "WHY IS THIS A HUGE ISSUE?" in a very non-polite way. The hijack was mostly coordinated by TiA and KiA, and I only saw two people disagreeing with the (conspiracy-theory laden) consensus there. I saw a lot of invasions of Twitter conversations and unrelated subreddits by the people disagreeing with the hashtag. Also, to the mention about them "folding:" That word generally isn't used to describe someone's self-examination. ("Freedom of expression also means not saying what you do not want to say, and it was exactly the right that I exercised here." -Rafael Albuquerque, the cover artist) Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 20:38, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
You seriously expect him to admit, that he caved in to pressure?!--Arisboch (talk) 20:41, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) This is not "self-censorship." What we are seeing here is people attempting to force someone to "say" something that person disagrees with disagree with. And Albuquerque's original draft didn't look like that; The cover art was hardly artistic expression for him by that point. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 20:42, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
"Criticizing people for not doing X" doesn't equal to "Forcing people to do X" --Arisboch (talk) 21:04, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Shouting that you're going to boycott for it at least counts as an attempt. No free pass for incompetence. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 21:09, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
That's something completely normal, not buying stuff they don't like.Arisboch (talk) 21:18, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
The criticisms actually *do* mirror his personal beliefs, though! This isn't the first time he's expressed his opinion on this sort of thing. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 20:45, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
His opinion on using some random Internet kooks to as a justification?--Arisboch (talk) 21:04, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Can you repeat that in a complete thought? Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 21:09, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
His opinion of using some random Internet kooks as a justification for controversial editorial decisions?--Arisboch (talk) 21:18, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Much better. Anyways, I mean that his opinions actually do line up with *both* reasons for why some people wanted the cover pulled. I know I'd consider pulling a cover if people pointed out that the changes made to it by marketing did not reflect my personal values. Also, what does he even gain from pulling it if he doesn't want to? He can only gain if he wanted to pull it. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 21:29, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Retracting the cover isn't really all that controversial. Most people would think marketing the rape/sexual assault of Barbara Gordon on the front cover of a comic targeted to 14-year-olds would be a bad idea. I could have seen that cover being a splash page in an adult-targeted Batman comic - which is what The Killing Joke was. But a cover for the pre-legal teenie girls? Ah, no. Stupid maneuver. --Castaigne (talk) 21:33, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
What's with these creeps reading rape/sexual assault into everything? --Arisboch (talk) 21:38, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Um...have you actually read The Killing Joke?
If you read it, Moore implies very heavily that Barbara Gordon is sexually assaulted or raped by the Joker. Also, it is implied heavily that Jim Gordon is anally sodomized by two dwarves. Moore has confirmed this in interviews, that he meant to imply that, but kept it offscreen to pass the censors.And the cover, of course, is a reference to the implication made.
It's one of the main reasons Batgirl made the original "Women in Refrigerators" list. --Castaigne (talk) 21:46, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
In addition, she was originally supposed to be killed (for the plot of a man). Oracle was an afterthought. Moore also doesn't like the comic, and unlike Batgirl, Jim doesn't get tributes to his horror. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 22:10, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I did read it. Joker showing Gordon the photos of Barbara naked and shot through the spine sure looked sexualized, but there was nothing in the comic to suggest rape, neither of Barbara nor James Gordon.--Arisboch (talk) 22:16, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Um, sure dude. It is very much suggested; sexual assault/violence and rape is a theme of Moore's work in general. Look at the unreleased original illustrations. That is at the least sexual assault.
Really, don't try to gild the lily there. --Castaigne (talk) 23:09, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
The Joker shoot Barbara, he did not fuck her and an unreleased picture of Barbara topless doesn't prove rape, either. There seems to be some kind of feud going on between Mirrison and Moore.--Arisboch (talk) 23:24, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Arisboch, sexual violence, violation, and rape doesn't have to be fucking. I really, really wish you didn't have a simplistic and untutored view of all this. --Castaigne (talk) 14:09, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Of what "all this"? That people try to shoehorn rape into The Killing Joke to discredit it or to allow the guys around the Batgirl #41 cover to cover their asses? If you read The Killing Joke, there is no indication at all for either of the Gordons being raped (although Batgirl being crippled may still qualify her for the WiR site for wasting an awesome character, but this is another fish to fry).--Arisboch (talk) 14:31, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
(afterthought end)
....(R)ape is a theme of Moore's work in general. But I'm supposed to be some kind of trog for finding Moore's writing distasteful and for saying that he should not have been allowed to have his way with the Batgirl character, who was made to tell a different kind of story. Right. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 00:18, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Right. Copyright laws are too restrictive, as they are now, further tightening the screws serves no purpose at all.-Arisboch (talk) 00:44, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't disagree about that, either. The problems with current representations of Superman, Wonder Woman, and most of the other characters would go away if they entered the public domain within a reasonable time and were free for any writer or company to use. The stories that were most satisfying to people wanting to read about Superman would float to the top; there would not be one official Superman canon any more. But until that better world arrives, fans need to insist that writers honor core concepts, at least outside of 'Elseworlds' and 'What Ifs'. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 00:50, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
rise to the top? Ha! The comic book market is already saturated and drowning the quality with shit. AMassiveGay (talk) 07:40, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That may be true, but the glut is in bleakly melodramatic stories, told in long-form 'written for the trade' style. What the industry shows is that it can't be trusted with characters that have the quality of national monuments, like Superman, Wonder Woman, or Captain America. If we open them up to everybody, maybe somebody else will use them better. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 14:13, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Why stop here? Today's copyright is much too restrictive and hinders the development of human culture in general, not only the mistreatment of a flying guy in underwear or a loon in a bat costume.--Arisboch (talk) 14:40, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Here's a nice video. Not gonna embed it, 'cause I don't want the eyesore of a random video in the middle of the bar. As a game programmer, I must say that what he says is very accurate. People really do complain about nonsense. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 02:33, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank god for Jim Fucking Sterling Son. Noir LeSable (talk) 17:08, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


I have added the following to the newcomers guide:

  • When you wish to make an argument then you should present it in your own words. If you simply post a link to another webiste or blogpost saying the answer can be found there you will probably not be taken very seriously. An even worse mistake is posting youtube links as it is highly unlikely that people will spend half an hour listening to them. Remember - make the point yourself.

If people disagree no doubt they will remove it.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 18:24, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Nothing but thumbs here. Trick (talk) 18:26, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
That reads slightly funny to me, and when I figure out why, I might make a quick edit, but the idea is one I wholeheartedly approve of. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:29, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
My attempted rewrite:
Justify your arguments in your own words. If they're any good, they will be respected. Sources are never more than factual backup. Don't expect anyone to consider blogs or YouTube videos as in any way reliable, unless they're solidly based on fact.
On the one hand: first-hand evidence of a well-attested historical event might be considered reliable. On the other hand: a wingnut post is evidence of nothing more than the poster's wingnuttery.
That's my twopennorth, for what it's worth. ProblemChimp (talk) 23:20, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd probably change Don't expect anyone to consider blogs or YouTube videos as in any way reliable, unless they're solidly based on fact to Don't expect anyone to consider blogs or YouTube videos as in any way reliable, because anyone with Notepad/Windows Movie Maker, an Internet connection, and half a brain can make a blogpost or YouTube video, as "solidly based on fact" may elicit a response of "but it IS fact! YOU CAN'T PROVE IT'S NOT!!!!" I might post my own thoughts for the revision when I have time. Noir LeSable (talk) 17:18, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I would like to keep some words in the spirit of Bob's "unlikely that people will spend half an hour listening". With written text, taking a few seconds to skim a paragraph can usually tell me if it's worth reading more carefully. That can't be done with YouTube pieces. MaillardFillmore (talk) 23:33, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
@@Maillard, good point. The amount of your life you're going to have to waste is indeed a factor. ProblemChimp (talk) 20:57, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Google rankings and mobile-ready sites

Apparently, after April 21 Google are reducing the ranking of sites which are not mobile-friendly and RW doesn't meet that criterion. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member Moderator 23:47, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Shouldn't we have a look at how Wikipedia does implement their mobile view (you can even edit Wikipedia on a mobile device!)? MediaWiki is open source, after all.--Arisboch (talk) 23:52, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I try--I don't always succeed, but I try--not to bitch about things that I am completely unable to offer a solution for, or even a bit of useful help in finding one. That said, I'm kind of surprised that with all the hardcore geeks and coders we've attracted over the years, nobody seems to have put together a mobile version of the site. It's a pretty serious drawback to being taken seriously. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 00:03, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
As a certifiable old fart (papers available at the front desk for inspection) I say fuck that noise. I normally look at RW on a 1600x900 flat screen, but sometimes on a tablet or smart phone if bored while out and about. The default presentation suits me just fine, thank you very much. Not had a problem editing, either, other than missing my keyboard shortcuts. I can't say I care for WP's new media viewer at all, which may be a different issue.
Google is the 900 pound gorilla who sits wherever he chooses, though. If it were daytime I'd go yell at a cloud. Alec Sanderson (talk) 00:25, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I loathe mobile versionsbof the websites I frequent. They are uusually inferior to the desktop version and are a pain in the arse when they load up on my nexus. AMassiveGay (talk) 07:36, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Any decent site has the option to opt out of the mobile view.--Arisboch (talk) 10:04, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh, the site can probably up the Google-mobility-rating-thingy-ma-boop on at least some pages by auto-zooming when a mobile browser is being used. Also, it's good that it only affects mobile searches. At least, I think it only affects mobile searches. That's what it seems to say. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 04:13, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
EVERYTHING WILL BE MAGICAL FLYING UNICORN PONIES WITH 1.23!!!! Srsly, we need SSL too, and we don't have that yet either - David Gerard (talk) 11:36, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Well isn't the second part about money more than tech? As for an upgrade, is there a way the entire server can be dumped somewhere (minus the config file obviously) and I could take a stab at it? Zero (talk - contributions) 12:27, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Money? What are you talking about, WikiMedia is free and open source or does the ISP demand more money for SSL and/or subdomains (as in en.m.wikipedia.org instead of en.wikipedia.org)? If the latter is true, than it could be (probably) done with something like '/wikim/' instead of '/wiki/' or something. --Arisboch (talk) 12:33, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
You're using technical terms that flag expertise, but at the same time suggesting domains and SSL have anything to do with your ISP. No, subdomains do not cost more, at least not if you manage your own zone file(which only costs about $5-30 a year), and SSL is purely a matter of server configuration. Mobile support is a mediawiki(wikimedia is the publisher of mediawiki) setup thing. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:14, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I ain't flagging anything. I'm an absolute beginner, that's why I was asking.Arisboch (talk) 13:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
The board authorized buying an SSL cert, but the one with the green address bar is $1200. SSL IS A COMPLETE FUCKING RACKET. (Yes, you don't technically need a green address bar cert. But seriously, ordinary users take it seriously.) - David Gerard (talk) 16:34, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Imagine being paid $1200 for notarizing a document. It's exactly the same job, except on the internet. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:39, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
The green bar really isn't important at all for a site like RW that relies primarily on its visible domain name, not a real world trading name. Just get a regular SSL cert for $10 or whatever they cost these days. Yes it would be great if the CA racket died out (CNNIC's current wrist slapping by Google illustrates how useless the racket is) in favour of DANE or equivalent but that isn't happening today. So let's solve today's problems today and get a basic SSL cert and turn on https. Tialaramex (talk) 09:15, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Once upon a time this rather liberal website didn't care about its ranking on a certain search engine beginning with G. What's changed? BicyclewheelModerator 22:45, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
If that makes the administration of this site adopt some much-needed features (mobile view and SSL), that it's OK.--Arisboch (talk) 23:01, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
It turns out we're actually a useful and occasionally important resource and should really treat RW that way - David Gerard (talk) 00:34, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I second David's thoughts on the matter. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 19:05, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm just enjoying the chance to talk shop about what little tech stuff there is here. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:21, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

"And now the blackest birthday present for the most brutal of all editors …NOTHING! Go play records backwards and kill yourself."

What the fuck is this childish crap? BicyclewheelModerator 22:49, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Nutty Roux's birthday apparently. I've taken it down; we shouldn't have Holydaze shoutouts for individual editors. WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:57, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I thought it was to do with recent events. BicyclewheelModerator 22:59, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
The history of Nutty's template is quite telling. Marlow (talk) 15:27, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Invisible link

Seriously, I can't see any links to the Twitter redirect: >Twitter< Like that. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~)

And Facebook. Facebook Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 01:56, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
It looks visibly blue to me. (talk) 02:15, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Any chance this is gadget-related weirdness? PacWalker 07:51, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
I wish I couldn't see Twitter either and don't understand how this is a problem. Vulpius (talk) 10:03, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
You would win an Internet... If I knew what one was. PacWalker 10:21, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

An unsolicited testimonial

I got an email today from one of my contacts, not a RW editor:

Thank you and everyone at RationalWiki

I noticed on Face Book that a friend had commented on an article maintaining humans are a special creation, because of our fused chromosomes, among other nonsense. I couldn't find his comment, but enjoyed the many geneticists and biologists machine-gunning their New Age fluff.
So, R.Wiki to the rescue: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Collective_Evolution

I began pasting on the thread every bit of the site's woo-woo Chopra-type stuff I could find.

I can't claim any credit except for pointing him towards RW. Some of you other editors can, though :-D ProblemChimp (talk) 23:24, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

I too enjoy seeing people using rationalwiki for its intended purpose. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:42, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Trolling Andy? Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 16:32, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
There's a vast world outside Andy, and we do in fact MAKE IT SLIGHTLY BETTER! - David Gerard (talk) 23:23, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
There's a whole WORLD out there deserving of being trolled.
My contact now tells me that he knows Barbara Forrest - who, according to him, was the first to spot the cdesign proponentsists <ahem>issue</ahem> in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District. ProblemChimp (talk) 00:40, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Interview with a former employee of Kent Hovind

Blog post of an interview of with a former employee of Kent Hovind.--(Narky Sawtooth is paranoid that Cms13ca is paranoid) (talk) 23:20, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

If I'm PaRaNoId, ThEn WhY aM i ThE oNe ScRaTcHiNg My ThRoaT? *scratches* Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 02:56, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Question The Ides of March edition

Is there a philosophic, moral, maxim or proverb that states "If any world where intelligent life arises has NOT jettisoned religion by the time it develops nuclear weapons, then that intelligent life is an evolutionary DEAD END!"

Cause I am fixin' to call the above "Momper's Law of Evolution" C®ackeЯ C®ackeЯ 04:46, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Not about religion alone, but ive seen it floated about divisive things in general--Miekal 05:03, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
That maxim makes no sense. Why should nukes mean no religion? Why should religion mean evolutionary dead end? What the hell is an evolutionary dead end? Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 05:17, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
If the majority of the intelligent species of the world where this happens STILL believes in some deity or other when their culture advance science to the point of being able to conceive, develop, manufacture a working fission bomb then the science outpaced the moral/philosophical and whatever religion will bring about the end of that species.
That's what it means.
Beyond being something somebody might potentially use the bomb against somebody else over, i don't see how "religion in the nuclear age" = science outpacing morality". Take out religion and we still have plenty of other reasons to drop a nuke on somebody else, including sheer boredom. Religion isn't special here. --Miekal 05:41, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
But it is religion, rising up to crush the blasphemers that ends up killing us them!
C®ackeЯ 06:03, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Considering that the only nuclear weapons used in war were dropped by the secular United States for non-religious reasons, I'm with Miekal. Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 06:09, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Considering that Ronald Reagan, of all people, signed the first treaty to reduce the number of nuclear weapons, I'm also with Miekal. BicyclewheelModerator 14:31, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
That is a remarkably...unlearned and shallow view of religion, actually. --Castaigne (talk) 04:20, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
there was a science fiction story that said something about if a planet has not acheived a single world government (maybe like united nations) by the time it gets nuclear weapons it usually blows itself up, but nothing specific to religion. Hamster (talk) 15:26, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
WOO HOO! Anyone up for a Butlerian Jihad? In all seriousness, nuclear weapons seem to have done more to help world peace than harm it. Conventional weapons and mass drafting are more than capable of ending civilization, and our pre-nuclear ancestors knew as much. They had a particular fear of poison gas as a civilization-destroying mechanism. Even Hitler (having experienced its affects first-hand) was afraid of the stuff. The story "By the Waters of Babylon" (one of the earliest and best examples of the post-apocalyptic genre), written shortly after the destruction of Guernica, features what appear to be biological weapons, firebombing, gas, and air power creating a post-civilizational wasteland. The society in Brave New World is established following a nine-year-long war with biological weapons. People were plenty terrified of war before nukes, and nukes seem to have prevented war. Mutually assured atomic destruction preserves peace. We never went to war with the USSR, and a damn good thing it was too. Anyway, nuclear jihad/crusade doesn't seem particularly likely at this point. Neither Pakistan nor Iran have or are likely to have enough ordinance to end civilization, let alone the species. Perhaps "any civilization that discovers fossil fuels before climatology is doomed to fail"?(Agrajag (talk) 17:02, 15 March 2015 (UTC))
We seem to have gotten away from the use of military-grade pesticides, but that might be just because the action isn't in areas of leafy cover so much any more. For a while, anti-missile systems were banned by treaty, since they supposedly were a destabilizing influence. I do not know if research in that direction played a part in the winding-down of the cold war, but it sure pumped a lot of tax dollars into the likes of Martin Marietta, Raytheon, and even GTE. By the way, your spell checker may have hyper-corrected "ordnance." Alec Sanderson (talk) 18:59, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
It has to be remembered, though, that while Hitler was averse to using poison gas on the battlefield or in bombardments, as were the other combatants of WWII, the British had had no qualms about (possibly) gassing rebellous Iraqis in 1920,Wikipedia or stopped the French and Spanish from gassing Berbers in the 1920s,Wikipedia or the Italians from gassing Ethiopians in the 1930s.Wikipedia
I seem to remember reading somewhere that Hitler may have gassed a Jew or two... (talk) 02:44, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Godwin Bingo! I claim my $5. ProblemChimp (talk) 00:06, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I see the problem with WMDs as similar to the claims prior to WWI about war's increasing cost and destructiveness being a deterrent: It works fine until the day it suddenly doesn't (for whatever reason) and then all goes to hell in a handbasket. ScepticWombat (talk) 19:14, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
The nuclear weapons don't necessarily cause our extinction per se but are "used" here only as a milestone, a marker for determining how best to go forward.. Take it as a "warning" if you will. I should also mention that in my mind "religion" here means "religion that is powerful enough to inform and motivate nation-states' international actions. We're always going to have a certain percentage of the population that engage in certain irrationality. It is only when that irrationality (in the guise of "religion") trumps otherwise sound international relations that we need worry. 19:30, 15 March 2015 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
I'm with Agragag, nuclear weapons have done much for world peace. We've progressed, or evolved, to butcher knifes, beheadings, and selling female slaves. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer swirling in yur Dads' bag. 20:51, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
"It is only when that irrationality (in the guise of "religion") trumps otherwise sound international relations that we need worry." I think that's being overly optimistic and ignoring the circumstances of the actual "close calls" in terms of avoided nuclear war we've seen until now. In the various U.S./Soviet cases religion was pretty much a non-existent factor and in the case of India/Pakistan it has at most been of indirect importance (as one of the underlying factors responsible for Indo-Pakistani tensions). ScepticWombat (talk) 19:37, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Remember your lore!
In nearly every interplanetary sci-fi story (there are exceptions I think) the dominant spacefaring species has already worked out it's planetary squabbles. Even of they've kept their "religion" that religion has already crushed the opposition (religions)!
But is still follows that ANY religion that cannot accept new information will eventually conflict with reality. 20:01, 15 March 2015 (UTC) C®ackeЯ
@Cracker - Are you kidding? Remember how many fucking religions there were in Dune? The author dedicated an appendix to the religious history of the inhabited universe. Its pretty much the theme of the series. Hell, even Stargate had loonies with nukes in it.
Anyway, what I'm saying is that, while the chances of fanatics getting hold of nukes in the Middle East is not insignificant, it won't be nation-states that set the big one off. North Korea and Iran are run by lunatics, but not by suicidally insane lunatics (yet).Even if the Iranians get one (which they won't), they probably wouldn't use it. While it should be noted that both Juche and Islam embrace apocalyptic confrontation between good and evil, people in control of nation-states are generally too happy with the status quo to want to just say "fuck it, it all must go". Nuclear weapons (in the event of a Juche or Pakistani implosion/collapse) might help end the world by triggering conventional bloodbaths or exacerbating environmental degradation, but they won't be solely responsible. (On the bright side, all those great nuclear war songs may become suddenly relevant again.)(Agrajag (talk) 21:19, 15 March 2015 (UTC))
(ec) It's always struck me as fairly obvious that intelligent life will always and everywhere be a self-limiting phenomenon, with or without nukes, and with or without religions. We're still driven by programming we can't control to be fruitful and multiply. And, despite what the libertarians say, there is only so much stuff in the world. Eventually we will make oil or some other commodity so necessary for our current way of life that when we find out we're out of it and that somebody else has some, we're going to figure out a way to take it. Another nuclear war seems a certainty; when have people ever invented a weapon and failed to use it? I suspect these dynamics are common to any form of life imaginable: they're all going to reproduce and consume resources to do so. There is a simple reason for the silence of the universe; intelligent species flame out too quickly to develop interstellar travel or contacts. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 19:42, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
So we overshoot the carrying capacity. Does that mean total extinction, or maybe "just" a drastic population bottleneck at the rebound? 19:53, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Assuming the latter, the material culture of the survivors probably isn't going to include reasonable prospects for space travel, and the cultural culture of the survivors will probably strongly feature the notion that technology is inherently evil. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 01:47, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
[EC] Did somebody say "cockup before conspiracy?" Amateurs discuss tactics and strategy, while generals speak of logistics. Global reach takes a fair-sized bureaucratic system, coming with its own brand of inertial misguidance.
Still, it's worth being on the watch for nationalistic fanatics cloaking themselves in the trappings of some One True mystic system or another. As power grabbers go, they can be nasty and persistent. Alec Sanderson (talk) 19:53, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I was thinking of Hanlon's razor, but also about apparently rational decisions (almost) leading to rather nasty consequences either through mistaken assumptions, miscalculations, misinterpretations or simply bad luck. ScepticWombat (talk) 20:16, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
People have tried atheistic ideologies as proxy religions. They still ended up with tyrannical bureaucracies, personality cults, and even incorrupt bodiesWikipedia. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 01:47, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, I am mainly just fucking around

Still, we need to get rid of religion in general. SOON! 00:03, 16 March 2015 (UTC) C®ackeЯ

Fundamentalist "Our god or to hell with you" yes, but in general? Not really a priority. --Miekal 03:31, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Right. Religion that kills people and breaks things.C®ackeЯ
I have a simplification to propose: killing people and breaking things needs to go. Religion's relationship there is a weak one.
Believe me, I understand the urge to be radically anti-theistic, to take the world's ills and pile it on that one really crazy thing that almost everyone believes. But every kind of idea can be wrong, not just religious ones. And every wrong idea has ways of leading people to do irrational and harmful things. And rather than police ideas and tell people "You can't be wrong like this", I'd say a mission of education and progress is the best approach. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:22, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Any ideology can be used to kill. I'd consider racist ideologies to be more dangerous, as there's no real room for compromise there. Most religious people today (such as yours truly) don't advocate genocide or killing unbelievers. For that matter, how many people have been killed in the name of democracy? (talk) Meshakhad 18:22, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Depends on how you count.--Arisboch (talk) 00:50, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
An exception: I'm not aware of any deaths in the name of personal pacifism, even if military pacifism has a few. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:34, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
My political platform is to exterminate everyone who has a username including non-Roman characters. ProblemChimp (talk) 23:53, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't want to go to the camps... Σigma (talk) 00:55, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
What about Arabic numerals? (talk) 19:15, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Serious question here - why? Does it serve a practical purpose to eliminate religion? Also, are you willing to do what it takes to do so? Religion can be eradicated; just give me enough time to pile up bodies and wield death technology. But do you really want to do that, to do what would be required to achieve your goal? Do you have the courage of your convictions in the matter? --Castaigne (talk) 04:25, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I've toyed with the idea that the same "insanity" (let's just call it this for right now) that gives rise to creativity, (to envision how to turn a big, old log into a canoe, say) is the same as the "insanity" that sought to explain how we got here and who might be responsible, (gods). We know that these early attempts to figure out these basic queries were mostly wrong, yet there persists a remnant that takes (later) attempts totally seriously and if "you don't believe 'the truth' then my God wiill kill you, and I am the thing that She uses to do that" <<<THAT needs to stop faily soon. C®ackeЯ 17:04, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
So you're in rebellion against God. BFD. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer swirling in yur Dads' bag. 03:10, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
if I felt such a thing existed I would most certainly be in rebellion. I don't so I'm not. AMassiveGay (talk) 13:50, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
If "rebellion against God" means "wanting to see evidence before believing an invisible wizard magicked the whole universe into being" then yeah, me too. BicyclewheelModerator 14:03, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
What? Think you're special case, or something? Think you've stumbled upon a novel or unique idea? Think the human race, since its origins, has lived in darkness and ignorance until now, when you discovered and enlightened us that there is no god? Keep deceiving yourself.— Unsigned, by: someone who doesn't know what evidence means / talk / contribs 07:55, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Ted Cruz

Can somebody please explain (after all the kerfluffle over Obama) how Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, to Cuban immigrant parents, qualifies as a natural born citizen, able to run for Pres? PsyGremlinRunāt! 09:47, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Because the average Birther probably thinks that Canada is the 51st state. Vulpius (talk) 10:15, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Because he's not brown. Duh. Queexchthonic murmurings 10:18, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
His mother was a US citizen? Wiki has her born in Delaware. Worm (talk) 10:20, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
In words, if born to immigrants or otherwise citizens of the USA, the where doesn't matter anymore. I know this is dumb but roll with it. Zero (talk - contributions) 10:28, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Because the birther nonsense was BS from the get go which right wingers would never try to peddle when it comes to "one of their own". Cruz's mother was (is?) a {"a U.S. citizen who lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years as required by the Nationality Act of 1940,"Wikipedia so it doesn't matter that he was born abroad any more than does Obama's parentage or even birth place (his mother fulfilled the same criteria as far as I can see).
As a loose translation of a saying of my home country goes: "Standards are good, but double standards are twice as good". ScepticWombat (talk) 10:31, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
But I thought - parentage aside - you had to be born in the US; that that is the first criterion to qualigy to run. That's why there was some doubt about John McCain being eligible because he was born in the panama Canal, or something. The birthers only bought up parentage after the Hawaii birth certificate showed up. PsyGremlinRunāt! 10:57, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
IIRC, that 'natural born' phraseology is part of whatever text is that talks about presidential eligibility, but was not a term of art at the time (or even is now). It's not exactly clear what it's supposed to mean. It's not quite consistent with nationality, at least, as a naturalised citizen probably wouldn't qualify. Birthers tried to claim it meant whatever it needed to mean to disqualify Obama, ignoring precedent and common sense. On its face, however, it would seem to mean that anyone who has been a US citizen since birth would qualify, regardless of where their mother actually dropped sprog. Queexchthonic murmurings 11:20, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Seems the qualification for Pres only says "No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States" and here's a good breakdown of what a NBC is. Too bad Orly Taitz didn't read that bfore wasting all the money in court. PsyGremlinRunāt! 11:35, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
No, no, 'natural born' clearly refers to people born through natural means. I.e. people born through caesarian sections or, more futuristically, incubated in artificial wombs can't be presidential candidates. (talk) 19:05, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Don't go around giving the Birthers of the future any ideas.--Arisboch (talk) 19:11, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
It also helps that he's white. Well, as white as anybody named Cruz can be. - Smerdis of Tlön, If you burn with an inner fire, you are already damned. 12:18, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh, there are Birthers on Free Republic who claim he's ineligible. And then other Birthers who claim he is eligible through this or that contortion. And all of them are ignored by the Cruzites, who are don't give a damn about that because Cruz is the next coming of Reagan.
Is anyone else as happy as I am about Cruz being a nominee? I really, really hope he wins the primary. It would create the most entertaining election since 2008. --Castaigne (talk) 17:21, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I think it is great. The crazy is gonna get out of hand this cycle. I'm kinda interested in his lack of experience though. He has about as much political experience as Obama did when he ran and Republicans went crazy about that. AyzmoCheers 17:27, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Will this be any crazier than Palin or that pizza chain guy who didn't know what Uzbekistan was? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:31, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh, much more crazy. A Cruz campaign is going to be like a combination of Family Feud, Hee-Haw, Genesis' "Jesus, He Knows Me" video, and Teabagger Central all rolled into one. He's already tried out his speeches to groups outside of his base; the jokes and hoo-rah phrases that get laughs and applause from CPAC leave everyone else flat. --Castaigne (talk) 17:52, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
So, Cruzing will be crasier than Paling or Caining due to being more wingnuttery but perhaps less obviously and breathtakingly ignorant (to even the Republican faithful)? (Cue: "I can see Russia from my house" and the Pokémon President with the "Sim City tax plan") ScepticWombat (talk) 00:13, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
To answer the specific question, anybody can run for president, to serve as president is a different question. Zillions of idiots (to wit, Dennis Kucinch, Carol Mosley Braun, Orrin Hatch, Ralph Nadar, etc etc) run all the time, i.e., solicit funds for a campaign war chest which then is used for purposes other than running for president. Fundamentally, it's a loophole Congress wrote into Campaign Election Laws whereby politicians have exempted themselves from fraudulently soliciting tax-deductable donations from the public knowing there's not a snowballs chance in hell those funds will ever be used for the purposes the public was solicited for. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer swirling in yur Dads' bag. 03:29, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
I've always found the amount of money swirling around for US elections somewhat obscene. I imagine the sheer cost of running puts limits on who can realistically run and have a chance. Are there limits on how much a candidate can spend, or is it just go for broke? AMassiveGay (talk) 13:26, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
"Are there limits on how much a candidate can spend...." Why don't you move to North Korea, you fucking communist? Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:45, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
In Presidential elections, there are matching funds available from the US Treasury to a Parties nominee if he so chooses. If the nominee takes the funds there is a cap or limit. In recent decades, nominees of both parties have had no trouble raising unlimited funds. I'd be hard pressed to name which candidates in the past 30 yrs have accepted matching funds. Matching funds are not available for other federal elective office. Some municipalities and local govt have experimented with spending restrictions, but for one reason or another these laws usually fail and are repealed or overturned.
The more interesting aspect is what is done with a candidates "war chest". Fundraising is a never ending process. Candidates routinely retire from office, with millions still sitting idly which was intended for their next election. They cannot convert the money over for personal use (as in the cases of Jesse Jackson, Jr. And John Edwards, for instance). The money must used for "political purposes", meaning the person who raised the campaign donations is free to donate to other candidates for public. In my state for example, a former high-profile Cabinet Secretary returned from Washington to run for Governor. He quickly raised $8 million to run. $2 to $3 million would have been quite sufficient; $5 million would be overkill. So the candidate appeals to the public for donations for him to run for office, but then channels donations to other candidates for State House, which insures he's going to get a rubberstamp legislature, bought and paid for. There's a zillion other examples of how this system can be abused. nobsI was in Bagdad when u wer swirling in yur Dads' bag. 19:57, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

California's Drought

So does this mean that California is doomed? Cause at this point it sure looks like they are. Alsto003 (talk) 03:21, 29 March 2015 (UTC) Alex

Canada has lots of water. They will sell it to the United States. Even if they do not want to. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 03:35, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

I find this extremely entertaining binge television. It's on Netflix; it's from Tina Fey. It strongly resembles 30 Rock in many ways, and it's obliquely missional because it features a doomsday cult. It's also very quotable, and full of Firesign Theatre style detail work. If stereotypes played for laughs offend you you will not enjoy it. It's a resolutely cheerful black comedy, which is itself an achievement. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:29, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

A warning: new edit filter added

I've added a new rule to the edit filters that is supposed to prevent the conspiracy-links spammer to post again 2MB of links to some talk page. I've tested it, and so far there's been only one "true" hit (see the recent entries in Special:AbuseLog - the log message is "Conspiracy links spam"). I'll be watching it, but please keep your eyes peeled too, and report any problems to RationalWiki:Technical support - either new forms of the same user's spam that the filter is not catching, or genuine edits that are wrongly disallowed by the filter. It's supposed to affect only anonymous/non-autocomfirmed users.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:23, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

So, what's the rule on the filter? Just an upper volume limit? ℕoir LeSable (talk) 18:33, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
No. Let's just say it's more specific than that. It will also prevent that user from posting less than a kilobyte of links. :)--ZooGuard (talk) 18:51, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
What's up with the userpage spam trips? Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 21:12, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
A lot of userpage spammers? And a few unfortunate newbies that get caught between the cogs. I'm not the one to complain to about that anyway, I've created only one filtering rule so far. :)--ZooGuard (talk) 21:15, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh shit, that's my plan for world domination scuppered again. ProblemChimp (talk) 00:31, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
You know, I had wondered what the deal was with newly-registered accounts that looked like they were spammers, but never actually got around to spamming anywhere. Now I know they were all eaten by a filter with a voracious appetite. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:01, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Hey ZooGuard, I did a quick code review, and I think it looks good. redacting this too. Does the user get any explanation for why their actions are forbidden? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:12, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
The same as with the other filters - the "edit disallowed" warning box displays the name of the filter (same as the log message). Any potential warning shouldn't be too specific anyway.--ZooGuard (talk) 15:26, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't wanting them to know that you can post at I didn't think trolls would be reading this page, just enough of hint that the one in a million honest users can instead post "Oh, I can't post links, it says they're a conspiracy, help" ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 15:50, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
...You did that on purpose, didn't you?
Anyway, the default message is MediaWiki:Abusefilter-disallowed, and it gives instructions to complain on the Tech support page. So far the filter has been triggered three times, one of them a test edit.--ZooGuard (talk) 15:56, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Inappropriate manipulation of peer review

From Biomed's blog BicyclewheelModerator 19:36, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

They should've posted a list of retractions to go with it. I would've liked to see if there was an underlying connection between the papers abusing process. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:04, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
To answer my own question(this link will expire soon because it's the last 7 days of retraction). What they have in common is they were all published in by Chinese researchers. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:33, 30 March 2015 (UTC)


If I accidentally/carelessly got some large number of some fair-sized public university's students (well, at least when on university wifi) IP-blocked (account creation too) (but only for two years!) over at CP, should I feel bad or nah? PacWalker 22:23, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

You've saved them brain cells. And now they can more productively troll somebody else! Rejoice! Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 22:46, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Small beans. On another site (somewhat better known than RW), one of my mates once permablocked one-third of China for spamming. KUTGW, though - and WTG. Ego absolvo te. ProblemChimp (talk) 00:37, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Kenneth R. Miller

Does Ken MillerWikipedia deserve an RW article? a scientist who happens to be RC, and who sticks his thumb in the eyes of creationists and IDers. I think so, but it's a bit out of my field. ProblemChimp (talk) 01:01, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Well, he is cited and/or mentioned in a number of articles already. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 03:07, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Well yes but - that's not the same though, is it? And, the WP article has to comply with NPOV. ProblemChimp (talk) 00:27, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
When I said "Well, he is[...]", I meant that as in "he's certainly noteworthy enough." Narky SawtoothNarky.png (Nyar~) 01:28, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Point taken. IMAO good guys like KM deserve write-ups. ProblemChimp (talk) 22:48, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

English or Latin?

We've got Affirming the consequent and Argumentum ad hominem. Should we use the English names, like Argument by repetition instead of Argumentum ad nauseam, for consistency? FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 19:42, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Is consistency necessary? Some of these things are better known by their English names, and some by the Latin. What of it? BicyclewheelModerator 19:49, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
FCP, Is English your first language? Ad nauseam is what literate people call it. See what google has to show for "consistency" and "hobgoblin." (talk) 19:53, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Because Lating sounds cooler?--Arisboch (talk) 19:59, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Latin for "until you puke" is way cooler. (talk) 20:02, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Because it sounds less icky, being written in a dead language?--Arisboch (talk) 20:07, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Consistency isn't necessary, but it helps our articles have predictable names. Yes, English is my first language. Certainly people use argumentum ad nauseam, but that doesn't mean we should. I'll bow to the coolness factor, though. FrizzyCatPotato (talk/stalk) 20:20, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
To go way back to the most basic of answers: all terms for technically correct logical deductions(in predicate calculus) have latin names. Latin was the language of choice for logic so long that it got itself embedded in that process, just like it did for law and medicine. The terms of art, lacking good reason to change, just kinda stuck around. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:06, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I am going to have to start translating pages into Latin here, it seems.... - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 16:45, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Rident stolidi verba latina ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:48, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Redirects? Hmm? Perhaps? PacWalker 21:19, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Would work. Sir ℱ℧ℤℤϒℂᗩℑᑭƠℑᗩℑƠ (talk/stalk) 21:33, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Forgot I don't speak Latin. Also not sure how far to go with this: i.e. should argument from beauty have a redirect page at argumentum ad formam? (going by some other contributor's translation here, since no hablo.) PacWalker 23:31, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
We definitely don't every Latin version as redirect (unless the specific Latin term is popular), but we should probably have English-to-Latin redirects. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 23:33, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Then why do you keep insisting on all that rosmarinus officinalis bollocks? €₳$£ΘĪÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:47, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Not least because the Latin names for plants are single and standardized, while there are many possible (and many mistranslated and many misspelled) Latin names for logic-related things. oʇɐʇoԀʇɐϽʎzznℲ (talk/stalk) 15:44, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I think I'll walk back the "not all" Latin names point. More redirects hurt nobody, and might help somebody. FuzzyDogPotato (talk/stalk) 23:07, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
That seems like a sensible enough principle. Watch me go screw it up seventeen more times. Also does your signature do things at random...? PacWalker 23:47, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
It's not like we really need the redirects, they just might be useful. And yep. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 00:17, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."
Whether the article title is in English or Latin is unimportant. The only thing that is important - can people find it? ProblemChimp (talk) 00:42, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Exactly, some phrases are de facto English, others Latin by custom. BicyclewheelModerator 09:58, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
quidquid latine dictum sit altum sonatur (talk) 14:28, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
On the surface, yes, it sounds better in Latin, but... What Problem Chimp and Bicycle Wheel said is more to the point. To be understandable, language must cater to the majority of the audience. If you think about it, ad populum is exactly the way to coolness, unless you're aiming for a hipster coolness that only a few will get. Then, it's probably something like a paucis ad populum (talk) 15:10, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
I like redirects. If an RW article contains both English and Latin names in bold, who cares what its actual title is? Not me. The tests of an article are (1) findability and (2) good information. ProblemChimp (talk) 22:43, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Sounds about right. But if the title doesn't matter, then changing the title to English wouldn't matter, either. FuzzyDogPotato (talk/stalk) 23:07, 31 March 2015 (UTC)