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Contents

Voting tests in government[edit]

Here's an interesting idea I came up with today: Instead of traditional votes for governments, I think it would be better to have a test for voters to fill out. It can be one of the following:

  1. Voter select a candidate / choice and take a test on how well they know about their candidate / choice. If the fail, they cannot vote. If they pass, their vote is registered.
  2. Voters must take a test on issues / candidates to confirm they know about it. If they pass, they can vote.
  3. Voters fill out a test with a series of questions that are relevant to the choices. Questions about foreign policy preferences and whatnot are asked. At the end, a suitable candidate is chosen from the voter's answers.

The tests scenarios are designed in a way to prevent a situation like the Brexit elections where most of the voters had no idea what they voted for and wanted to change their votes when it was too late. Specifically the first one forces the the voter to know about their candidate.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 21:23, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

There's the problem of who'd write the questions. It would be impossible to be unbiased about it. You could make sure multiple people check it but people in that sort of job would be biased towards certain views. Good idea in theory, would never work in practice. Christopher (talk) 21:44, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Seems very easy to corrupt. First, I don't think that brexit was necessarly a bad thing (while it's true that voters had no idea what they were really voting on), and secondly, the people who'll make the tests may make harder for some choices/candidates to maintain the ruling ideology, and it could even be biased unintentionally. Corruption exists and a system like this would be dangerous. Diacelium (talk) 21:49, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, the proposal sounds nice on paper, but it can easily be abused in practice. But it comes down to this: how does one deal with misinformed voters? Is it just an evil that we have to tolerate or does it have to take a Trump for people to realize that they should take voting more seriously (and then forget the learned lesson 50 years later)?—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 22:37, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
you could just do away with the tests and just go with the end result - stop poor people voting. I guess thats a whole lot easier than candidates having to put out a clear and coherent message or having to rely on media muddying the waters with a torrent of contradictory messages. I guess its also a whole lot easier than actually trying understand why people vote the 'wrong' way when you could just write of whole sections of society as idiots for not having the same priorties as you and not voting the way youd like. Such tests to be eligible to vote are contemptuous. The thinking behind them fuels the idea of out of touch elites that the brexits and trumps of ths world feed on. AMassiveGay (talk) 02:55, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
It's similiar to old fashion Literacy testWikipedia's W.svgs (if you use esssy questions). In 2012, the Saloon bar had a link to a multiple choice poll which supposedly told you how well your views align with candidates. I agreed 67% w/Obama & 82% w/Romney, which is bullshit, cause maybe I agreed 40% w/Romney & 20% w/Obama. The candidates can skirt issues by taking multiple positions which can't be reflected in multiple choice (for example, Obama held the contradictory views of being for a balanced budget & fiscal sanity while also supporting massive stimulus and healthcare reform). And an esssy exam would be purely subjective to the interpretor. nobs 17:16, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
I distinctly remember from my history class that the literacy tests in the Jim Crow era were often brazenly biased. Black people were frequently given much harder tests filled with word puzzles and mind benders where just figuring out what they were asking for was half the challenge (even I got tripped up on some of those questions), while white people simply had to sign their name, if that (they were often let through on the grandfather clause or demonstrating "good moral character"). Requiring a test to see whether you know what the candidates stand for is a lot like a literacy test, in that it's one of those ideas that sounds great in theory, but in practice would be remarkably easy to rig in favor of the incumbent party and candidates, to the point where it's effectively turned into a test of one's ideology. ("True or false: Candidate X is a traitor who wants to sell this country out to China/Russia/Goldman Sachs/the commies. I'm sorry, you answered 'false' and the correct answer is 'true'.") KevinR1990 (talk) 19:10, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Some countries have had university constituencies, which is where university graduates get to vote twice, once for where they live and once for their university. (Or if you had degrees from multiple universities, in some cases you could vote more than twice, once for each university you graduated from.) You'd expect, on average, university graduates to be more informed than the average voter, so by giving them more votes you are weighting the average vote in favour of informedness. Personally, I think this is a good idea and it is a pity that most places that did this abolished it. (Ireland still has this for elections to the Seanad Éireann, where certain seats are reserved to be elected by graduates of Irish universities – but the Seanad is a pretty toothless body, it is a lot weaker than comparable institutions such as House of Lords or the Senate of Canada.) (((Zack Martin))) 20:42, 8 March 2017 (UTC)

i dont see how some people get to have two votes is a good idea. Particularly on the idea that folk in university are going to better informed. On matters pertaining to their subject, perhaps. On matters that concern someone on minimum wage trying earn enough to pay rent, and still have enough cash to feed their kids? Not so much. You are in effect stating that a sizable section of society are second class citizens not worthy of paying attention to. It should be noted that in the uk, university constituencies usually returned conservatives, so no surprises who tbe second class citizens are there. And thats without the arrogance of implicitly suggesting that if only people werent so stupid they'd vote the way that i, in my infinite wisdom, have decided they should vote. I am surprised that folk are so keen on democracy when its only their own votes that seem to count. Someone above wondered the effect on democracy from unimformed voters, perhaps you should consider the effect if they cannot vote. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:21, 8 March 2017 (UTC)
I know that historically the university constituencies in the UK mainly (but not exclusively) returned Conservatives, but I am unsure if they still would do that today if they still existed. Clement Attlee's government abolished them from the 1950 general election onwards. Contemporary universities are significantly more left-of-centre than they were in 1950 and earlier, so I don't think the Tories would have the same lock on their graduates if they still existed, if anything Labour might win a substantial proportion of them today. (Also, given university students certainly tend to be left-of-centre, if it is still true that graduates lean right, a way to maintain the left-right balance could be to give the universities two sets of parliamentary seats, one for graduates and the other for currently enrolled students – the student seats would be very likely to lean substantially left even if the graduate seats lean right – and the average university student is likely to be more informed than the average of the population as a whole since the uninformed are overrepresented among those who will never attend university.) I don't see why "one person one vote" needs to be held to strictly; I think it depends on why you defend democracy–as something inherently good in itself, or just as the most practical means to achieving other goods. If the later, then we can justify deviating from "one person one vote" if we think that deviation might have some benefits (e.g. an improvement in political culture.) In terms of "matters that concern someone on minimum wage trying earn enough to pay rent, and still have enough cash to feed their kids", such persons often have a very poor understanding of the broader social and economic causes of their condition–in many cases that lack of understanding of the causes of their own condition is a major contributor to their continuing in it. (((Zack Martin))) 04:30, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
they understand perfectly well cuts to services they depend on. They understand perfectly well tax raises and cuts. They understand perfectly well how fucked they are by austerity. And i vehemently disagree university educated folk are any more likely to understand. How can they when they they have a level of financial security that is impossible for minimum wagers?. You have an impossible task at the lower rungs of society. Policy that is best in the long term hurts them in the short term. Policy that works in the short term hurts them long term. All their problems are acutely short term. They dont have the luxury of taking a hit now for maybe better services and protections later. They cant tighten their belts any futher without constricting the life out them. They get the stark choice, what services can they live without? And you know, that choice is lierally all they have. The only agency they have. Having no money limits your choices, you have so little agency and you are proposing to remove that on the fantasy that betters will not only know best for them (the arrogance of which i find comtemptuous) and the fantasy that their betters wont fuck them over, especially when times are tough all round. Its the one small chance to make themselves heard. They might make a mistake but its theirs to make. The tories 'we're all in this together' was a barefaced lie if ever there was one. Considering how politicians have usually gone to all tbe best schools with all, all the best universities, cant agree what is best for us, it is no defence to being misinformed, no defence to naked self interest, no defence to being blinded by ideaology.
The running theme in this thread Is that voters are unimformed. That may be true. If your side loses out because of it, whos fault is that? its your sids for not doing enough to inform them. Not being clear enough. for failing to make yourself heard. By not exposing the lies and misinformation rampant in media. This is what i have observed since trump, and since brexit - so much condemnation of the people who voted for these things, their stupidity, their racism, their age? And its so little self reflection. so convinced are we of our causes that our failures must be someone elses fault. We learn nothing, while everyone else pays the price. You ask if i defend democracy as something inherently good in itself? I will answer with a quote from churchill 'it has been said that democracy is the worse form of government, except for all others that have been tried' and history tells us the others are horrific. AMassiveGay (talk) 11:54, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
Look at the recent US election. A lot of people in the higher socioeconomic brackets voted for Clinton; for, among other reasons, they saw "Obamacare" as something good that should be maintained. Conversely, a lot of lower income/wealth/education white folks voted for Trump, who promised to dismantle Obamacare and Medicaid expansion. Now, a dismantling of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion will hurt poorer folks much worse than the wealthier/better educated. So here we have a classic example of much of the working class voting for austerity while much of the middle class votes against it even though the working class stand to lose from it much more than the middle class do. This is the thing – a lot of poorer GOP voters (and poorer voters for Tories or UKIP in the UK, Liberals/Nationals/One Nation in Australia, etc.) are voting for the austerity which will harm them the most–in the short-term and the long-term too. Why do they do this? Because they are poorly informed about their own situation. They listen to Trump telling them that Obamacare is terrible – even if while imperfect it is actually benefiting them – and they believe his claims that the manufacturing jobs are all going to come back because they lack the sophistication to realise he is bullshitting them. (A big cause of manufacturing jobs disappearing is more automation, so even if factories come back they will employ less people and they will require much higher skills levels of those people, so many blue collar factory workers will be lacking in the necessary education level to actually take those new jobs–and these folks demand manufacturing jobs yet simultaneously expect the cheap consumer goods which are only possible by offshoring their manufacturing to poorer countries.) A poor person can't afford good healthcare, so they lack access to it, and their health suffers as a result–then they go and vote for a candidate who promises to make it even more unaffordable for them. Or similarly, in the UK, they believe some Brexiter lies that the reason they are struggling is because of the EU or the fault of Polish immigrants stealing their jobs even though Brexit is likely to lead to more austerity, more cuts to public services and less jobs than staying in the EU would – poor people voting to worsen their own poverty. Middle and upper class folks often have a much more sophisticated understanding of the EU and how it works because many of them read serious commentary on EU affairs (such as is found in serious journalism), quite a few of them have university education in aspects of the EU (anyone who studies fields like law, accounting, finance, business, politics at university in the UK is going to learn actual real hard facts about various aspects of the EU in the process), quite a few of them work in professional fields in which they can see first hand the harm that leaving the single market is going to do (e.g. most people who work in finance in the UK would understand the importance of passporting to maintaining jobs in the UK finance industry and how leaving the single market threatens those jobs as a result) – whereas most of the working class all they "know" about the EU is the crazy crap printed in the British tabloids. And, how is that the fault of pro-EU people that the tabloids print such utter tripe and the uneducated masses are stupid enough to believe them? It's not our fault. (The real fault lies with David Cameron for being dumb enough to ask them for their opinion.) (((Zack Martin))) 21:21, 9 March 2017 (UTC)
that's ultimately what it comes down to doesn't? your side loses and your answer is to stop the other side from voting. its the same mentality as literacy tests in the us,but with less racism and more classism. the same arrogant superiority that holds people you regard as inferior in contempt. that is contemptable. yes folk were lied to over brebit. yes I think they made a mistake there. but guess what its their mistake to make. and guess who it was who lied to them? a group of middle and upper class sophisticates. who did they vote against? another group of middle and upper class sophisticates, only this group have been actively fucking them years. do you know why polls before brexit showed the remain camp winning? because they didn't even bother asking them. its no surprise the remain campaign was a shambles from start to finish. mighty difficult to inform the proles if you don't speak to them. and they are still voting for Tory and ukip. you know why? labour are a fucking mess. they were officially remain and there saintly leader was missing in action throughout the campaign. the best he could manage was some lukewarm praise for the EU before fucking off. the party for the working class of UK couldn't even be bothered to talk to them. at the stoke by election, they just scraped in on what used to be a safe seat. the stupid unimformed proles, traditional labour voters, were despondent. many were saying they only voted labour because they couldn't bring themselves to vote for another party, but were still informed enough to know that labour hasn't been labour for years. as for trump, he lost the popular vote, despite the bonus of running against Hilary, who its hard to find any one who likes her. he won because of the way elections are handled over there. maybe deal with that before disenfranchising people. maybe deal with why people are so disillusioned that they are susceptible to the lies and promises of chancers and charlatans. maybe provide a real alternative. maybe try that instead of treating them with contempt. but no, that requires effort to change the systemic problems of the electoral process and government. that requires dealing with a media that actively misinforms. that requires empathy to actually understand to concerns of your 'inferiors'. that requires reaching to them, talking to them, understanding them, actually informing them. much better to shut them out of the conversation entirely, after all, grown ups are speaking and you know whats good for them. but you know what? if the UK voted to remain or trump lost, we wouldn't be having this conversation. we didn't have this conversation when Obama won. everyone was fine letting the proles loose when they voted the way you wanted. they were smart then. saw through the lies, were informed. now your side loses and they are stupid. they don't know whats good for em. they are uniformed. contemptuous. they work, they pay taxes but that's not good enough, they don't deserve to have say of how the countries they help maintain unless they can prove to you they'll vote the way you want? what was the slogan? 'no taxation without representation?' I believe wars start that way. AMassiveGay (talk) 01:44, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
You try to draw a connection between "racism" and "classism" but I don't think they are really comparable concepts. Your choices have no impact on your race. You are born the race you are now and you will die the same race you were when you were born. Your choices in very many cases do impact your social class, because class mobility is a real thing – some people born in wealth die in poverty and some people born in poverty die in wealth. Now, of course, elements of your background outside of your control are an influencing factor (it is far easier to die rich if you were born rich to begin with than if you were born poor), and just plain luck is an influencing factor too – but good or bad choices play a substantial role in class but no role at all in race. Let me tell you a story about a relative of mine. He's a really smart guy, and he has a masters degree, yet he's quite poor. Why is he so poor? Well, with his masters degree he could have got some sort of professional job and while he might not be rich he'd definitely be comfortably middle class. Instead, he decided he wanted to make his fortune selling weed. Well, he sold a lot of weed, he smoked a lot of weed, he had a few near misses with the law and almost got sent away for a long time (at one point he spent six months in prison awaiting trial, but then the case against him collapsed – he was as guilty as hell but the police had screwed up the case so they had to dismiss it). Anyway, now he lives off a mixture of social security and shitty underpaid blue collar jobs – he stopped dealing because he got too scared of going away (and his dealing never made him much money anyway–in the drug dealing pyramid, most of the money goes to the people at the top, and he never made it to that level). He struggles to get real work because prospective employers ask him "what have you been doing for the last 30 years" and he can't tell them the truth. Another relative took pity on him and hired him in a family business – his boss told me he's a good worker when he bothers to turn up and when he doesn't turn up stoned–he's lucky he works for family because if he wasn't family he'd have been let go long ago. (Oh, and I'm sure he has a drug addiction, but nobody forced him to take up smoking weed (or selling it) – he even told me his dad warned him it would fuck up his life yet he ignored his old man's advice and did it anyway – plus there are lots of services to help people overcome their drug problems but he's never shown any interest in getting help.) He is a great example of how, not all, but very many, poor people are poor because of their own poor decisions. And, I've got nothing against people who are poor but are trying hard to lift themselves out of poverty – but there are heaps of poor people who make no serious efforts to lift themselves out of their own poverty. All the poor people I know (both in my own extended family and in my wife's) are poor because of their own dumb decisions, general laziness, drug and alcohol abuse, the idea that you get places in life through selling drugs and cheating government benefits and windfalls like winning the lottery and compensation lawsuits and dodgy insurance claims rather than through education and hard work. (((Zack Martin))) 05:19, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
no racism and classism are different, but they both regarding whole groups as inferior, as unable to help themselves, as stupid, lazy, degenerate, as you clearly view the poor. prejudice is the same where ever it is found. its the old adage of the deserving poor vs the undeserving poor, only you don't seem to believe there is a deserving poor. you come out with the same tired canards as the right, the same tired cannards as the trumps and the Tories of world, the same lies sprouted as universal truths and you know a couple wastrels (some of best friends are...) so they must all be alike. I know poor people too. they are my neighbours. work mates. friends and families. most work every hour of the day. struggle to get by on not nearly enough. the poorest have health problems. mental issues. I know very few drug dealers and believe me, they are harder to find than you know know. I know even less not in employment or actively seeking it. I know a grand total of 0 people scamming the government or making dodgy insurance claims. maybe its just your friends and relatives? I know plenty who play the lottery, of course. its got nothing to do with laziness or a poor grasp of statistics - you don't need a degree in mathematics to know the odds are astronomical, they know they cant win. but it is a pipe dream brought on by desperation, seeing no way out of the pit they are in, and you begrudge them even that. my dad worked all his life making fibre glass lorry roofs. minimum wage now, but a bit less before. he never stole, never beat us, encouraged us to get an education, never did drugs, we never went hungry. an astonishing achievement considering his own father was a violent alcoholic and his growth was slightly stunted by malnutrition. I know a 60 year old women. lives with her retired blind brother, nursing her dying mother who has dementia, and her adult autistic daughter. she sleeps on the sofa as there is no where else to. oh and she she herself has been diagnosed with cancer. I believe she needs part of her bowel removed. if only she'd pull herself up by her boot straps. but all that's beside the point. she's still entitled to vote, and you nor anyone else has the right to take that away. which is a good thing considering you seem to lack the compassion and the empathy to ever 'know whats best for them' and all too much contempt for them. I really am astonished that you not keen on trump or Tories or even brexit, because everything you have said makes them a good fit for you. maybe if you can attach yourself to enough 'worthy' causes you can pretend your own ugly views are different to the ugly views of those claim to be against. you wont have to worry about me though. even though my own feckless behaviour led me to where I am, I claim no benefits and my homelessness has already disenfranchised me. I am done with you. I'll leave you to your superior intellect and contemptuous world view and I will go buy some lottery tickets.AMassiveGay (talk) 12:38, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
I never said your father, or your 60 year old female friend, were poor due to their own choices. I don't know them, I don't know what opportunities they had available in their life. I never said "all poor", I said "very many poor", but "very many" could just be a large minority. (Also, I come from multiple generations of middle class, and all of the poor folks I know well are members of my extended family–and coming from a background of large Catholic families I have lots of uncles/aunts/cousins/etc–a minority of whom are poor due to downward social mobility–maybe the situations of people who have always been poor, as opposed to people who have fallen out of the middle class, are somewhat different?) As far as cheating government benefits goes – I know a family (relatives of my wife) who do it. They rent subsidised housing from the government, then illegally relet it out to strangers at closer to market rates, pocketing the difference. (Mother and daughter both get approved to rent a house from the government separately, daughter moves in with mother, now daughter's house is freed up for illegal subletting; also, mother got custody of one of the daughter's children so she could claim a single parent pension even though the daughter is claiming one too for the other kids, and the kids have no idea they have different legal custody because they all live with their mother and grandmother anyway.) I think it is only a minority of people receiving subsidised housing do this, but I believe these in-laws are far from the only people doing it. I should also point out that there was a period in my life when I was really poor, although poverty in university students tends to be a temporary phenomenon since hopefully you graduate and then starting earning decent money. But even that episode of my own poverty was at least in part due to my own suboptimal decisions. (((Zack Martin))) 00:38, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
@Zach: They listen to Trump telling them that Obamacare is terrible – even if while imperfect it is actually benefiting them. I think you got it the other way around. Trump is reflecting the popular mood. If people liked it and wanted to fix it, he'd say and do that. Which is exactly what will happen anyway. We'll end up with Trumpcare, and people can blame him for it. But he's probably smart enuff to protect his trade name and keep his distance from it, unlike Obama the egoist and savior of mankind.
As to taxes, if you look at US govt revenues, its the payroll (social security) tax that hits lower income workers harder. It's capped at something like $80,000 (cause the govt doesn't want to payback big monthly payments). So any benefit lower income workers can screw out of higher earners basically gets taken away in the payroll tax. And this unfairness is the governments own fault for becoming so heavily dependent on the payroll tax. nobs 03:49, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
A lot of poorer folks who are most likely to benefit from Medicaid expansion – or who even if they don't need it right now are at the greatest risk of falling economically to the point that they do – go ahead and vote for GOP which has blocked Medicaid expansion in several states and might well undo it nationally. I don't get how that can be anything other than voting against one's own interests.
I support the ideal of progressive taxation. And I agree a lot of tax systems that claim to be progressive on closer inspection turn out to have lots of regressive elements, like the US payroll tax you mention. But, is Trump going to make any of this better? From what I've heard, he is exploring the idea of replacing corporation tax with a "border adjustment tax", which is a variation on a VAT/GST (like those found in the EU, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, etc.) Now, VATs/GSTs are really regressive taxes, because they are taxes on consumption, and the poor spend a much higher percentage of their income on consumption than the rich do (who consume more in absolute terms, but a smaller proporition of their income, with a lot more of their income going to savings and investment which are VAT/GST exempt.) So, I think if Trump replaces corporation tax with border adjustment tax he'll actually be making the US tax system more regressive. (((Zack Martin))) 05:37, 10 March 2017 (UTC)
Trump realy has a big hands-off approach to Obamacare repeal/reform. His pledge is to sign whatever the Congress sends to his desk. Here's what's gone: the coercive fines, IOW a person can opt out. I don't know about the employer mandate yet, but it too, as a job killer, will go. Medicaid is a state program, so ultimately it is a 10th Amendment states rights issue. If a state chooses to expand Medicaid, good. If not, good as well. Dictates from DC will not come down. The no denial of preexisting conditions likely will remain; most of them are smokers anyway, not terminal cancer patients. And their not buying life insurance. One thing that's discussed is deregulation of heath insurance sellers. Right now, there is virtually no federal regulation of health insurers, this being entirely a state function. Health insurers are not allowed to sell across state lines. Now, (follow me here closely), deregulation of insurance companies will lead to expanded federal power and bureaucracy to regulate across stateline sales. All that's gone for sure is the name, 'Obamacare', and individual mandate (i.e. penalty). Oh yah, and the tax credit, which is an income transfer payment from rich to poor and penalty payers to poor, also will go. But 'poor' here, as defined by Democrats, is voters with income under $60,000. Lastly, unlike Obamacare, the final reform bill will garner Democrat votes, a bipartisan effort. nobs 00:26, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
A note on the payroll tax which is revealing: as noted, it's capped for upper income earners. Some think this is unfair. Some think a self-employed earner who grosses $1,000,000 a year should be forced to $153,000 a year in payroll tax under the current formula (more than $10,000 a month). When you look and see the average payout is under $2000, and the average payout for rich people with their contributions capped is under $3000, that, coupled with the fact the average beneficiary receives 3-4 times more in benefits over a lifetime than what he/she ever contributed, most rich people say please please please lift the cap. They'd get $30,000-$40,000 a month under the Progressive's idea of 'fairness'. nobs 01:07, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

Changing the direction - should prospective candidates be required to take (and pass) the 'immigrant becoming citizen' tests (using a generic catch all description)? They wish to have some say in ruling the country after all. 86.191.127.117 (talk) 22:42, 12 March 2017 (UTC) Put these rules on the electoral college and I'll shake on it. Gaul Dernitt (talk) 09:10, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

Kent Hovind's Creation Series is now on a religious Satellite channel[edit]

I was surfing through the TV channels via Dish Network and his Creation Series is on a TV channel as well as another "Science" TV show that he hosts. I will ask.......WHY IN THE FUCK DOES HE GET ON NATIONAL TV TEACHING SCIENCE? Even Ken Ham would be better (not much better though).--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 23:09, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

This is one of the drawbacks of having 500 channels - they need something to fill up dead airtime with (and the cost comparatively can be pretty low). It's probably rerun 6 times daily, too. nobs 23:58, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
That is true, bet the next show will be, "Quack Preacher says Spanking it is wrong"--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 05:57, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
still better than HollyoaksAMassiveGay (talk) 12:34, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
Bet it is still better than Honey Boo Boo. I might have to watch his, religious indoctrination bullshit comedy hour science education show for a good laugh.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 02:46, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

RationalWiki Doomsday Bunker[edit]

Suppose, for an instant, that the nuclear apocalypse is upon us. We (as in, all RationalWikians,) are transported to a bunker in the Rocky Mountains with enough food, water, medical/scientific facilities, power sources, and construction equipment to last us and our descendants indefinitely. After the apocalypse happens and the bunker seals:

  • A)What should our governmental structure be like, if any?
  • B)What should our main goal post-doomsday be?
  • C)How long would we last?
  • This has been your routine random question. Cheers, RoninMacbeth (talk) 00:36, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Pretty much all of these questions seem dependent on exactly how many of "us" there are... Hentropy (talk) 05:55, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Every registered user with contributions (excluding vandals) since 2007, stuffed into a bunker. That is what I mean. RoninMacbeth (talk) 16:06, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Major Issues[edit]

For government, I think there should be a balance of strong government to maintain order and Democracy to keep freedom in tact. Post-Doomsday plan- Using scientific resources to engineer machines to lower radiation levels. As for how long we would last, I cannot really say. There is risk of infection knowing people would be jammed in one place, there would have to be some sort of cooperation to keep day-to-day operations going (Food production, Supply management, engineering, government, medical care, scientific research and everything else), enough resources for medical care (including medical professionals and supplies) and scientific research, having entertainment to keep people sane, have schools for children of RW users. I may be missing things but those are things to consider.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 01:35, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

The form of government would center around the bias aplha males would dictate, with women's rights relegated to the back burner by consensus. Whether to relocate to greener pastures (the Rocky's have cold long winters) would be the first issue to be decided. Once a settlement is agreed upon, the party would hunker down to longterm agricultural work and alcohol production in their spare time. nobs 17:30, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

An answer to every question[edit]

Given a certain definition of "indefinitely" -- ie, infinite supplies -- we could let literally everyone run around doing whatever they want, independently. I see no flaws in this plan. FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 06:16, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Goodpost.gifHamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 06:21, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
No you don't my good Sr. Have you seem /b/ 4/8chan? You do not want everyone run around doing whatever they want. I have seen the dark thoughts of man for too long to let that happen. --2d4chanfag (talk) 11:34, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Compensation methods for a collective effort would have to ironed out. Obviously job skills vary, and some technical skills from the pre-apocalyptical era would be obsolete. Organizational, leadership, and a sense of fairness skills would dominate. Everyone would have to learn basic skills with a shovel and hoe, and by consensus a person would advance to more trusted communal positions from there. Some sort of account reconning and currency would come into existence, but also a form of legal guardianship bordering on slavery would also evolve. nobs`

The correct government is tyranny of the most loquacious[edit]

Absolute authority to those who talk for the longest on the least meaningful subjects. This will guarantee that every single problem will be resolved with excessive legalism ignoring the reality of the situation. I think we can all agree this is the best possible system and what happens anyways. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:07, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

So, if I talk for 12 hours on how women should be slaves to man, that makes it a good opinion ? Diacelium (talk) 21:16, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
You have correctly identified the joke. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:35, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Oh. Sorry then. Diacelium (talk) 21:43, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
@ikanreed, is it alright with you if I use "The correct government is tyranny of the most locquacious" as my senior quote? RoninMacbeth (talk) 23:35, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Sure? I feel like you could do better than that, though. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 16:46, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Top priorities[edit]

Priority number one should be the procurement of a steady flow of water and food to survive.

Priority number two should be the conservation of existing knowledge for future use. A wiki is a good idea if enough IT hardware has survived, otherwise pen and paper will have to suffice.

Only if those top two priorities are halfway taken care of should consideration be given to the exact details of the political and economic structure. Zionist Goy (talk) 18:34, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Contamination of soil and drinking water would force everyone to relocate. There probably would be disagreement which direction to set off initially, with the loss of some personal from the main group. Anywho, of several fractured groups, there'd still be at best about a 50% chance of longterm survival. Whoever convinced the most where to move to (based on a knowledge of geography and climate conditions) would probably emerge as a nstural leader.

— Unsigned, by: RobSmith / talk / contribs

To quote Krusty the Clown[edit]

"I think, the living would envy the dead!" Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:43, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

thats not something you would need to worry about. Pretty sure i would eat you first. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:08, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
Aren't you massive enough already!? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:03, 7 March 2017 (UTC)
its comments like that that ensure your spot on the barbeque. Im not even going to wait till th e food runs out. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:58, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

Oh wow... Yeah... I like you guys, but...[edit]

I'm gonna take my chances outside. On my own. Keep the indefinite resources, those are yours.

If I don't make it, at least I never wasted post apocalypse breath arguing about ideal government structures. Woof, sounds harsh. No offense.Gaul Dernitt (talk) 09:04, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

this is how it all went wrong for Vault 42. S**t just like this, know what I'm sayin'? You gotta have yourself an Exit Strategy. MUTATE NOW!! Gadzooks (talk) 05:30, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

Factors to be considered[edit]

  • What would the local environment be like - how much work is required to make it habitable - and is the population sustainable.
  • Where are 'the nuclear no-go areas.'
  • Are there equivalent bunkers and populations elsewhere (and can communications be maintained).
  • How many survivalists, Mad Maxes and others are skulking around.

Will suggest consideration of the 1983 Doomsday sequence on Althistory Wiki [1] as a partial analogy. 82.44.143.26 (talk) 17:23, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Preppers[edit]

you all just one step away AMassiveGay (talk) 23:04, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

I just like to talk about the end of the world (I am a fan of apocalyptic fiction) not actually prep for it. Most doomsday scenarios that are thought of would be extreme enough to where nobody would survive (such as a Gamma Ray Burst).--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 19:13, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Cycles in history[edit]

The topic has come up in recent discussions, and I thought it would be interesting to say something about it. I don't really have a specific question or even a point, so maybe this is just me rambling.

I did a search on RW for the word cycle. There were too many results, but I saw a few that seemed relevant. This essay about the "skeptical life cycle" made me chuckle: I partially recognize my own experience in the first stages, although for me it is a process that has taken decades, and I am unlikely to reach the later stages (then again, I expect that few people will). I don't know if "cycle" is always appropriate: a life cycle is more like a sequence of stages because the subject has a beginning and an end, and doesn't actually come back or restart. On the other hand, history is continuous with alternating periods of war and peace. But this is a bit of an oversimplification because each country has its own history, and synchronization is not (yet?) global.

Nobody is denying business cycles, but RW users sometimes seem to adhere to ideas that are described in cyclical theory as pseudosciences (for example, references to K-waves and Elliot waves here). In addition to the explanations given in the RW article ("it is possible to construct just about any cyclical theory one wants" from observations rooted in opinion), I guess there is also a bit of superstition going on by trying to counter-jinx things by making predictions/prophecies while actually hoping to be wrong (WWIII is right around the corner).

Regarding terminology, according to Wikipedia cyclical theoryWikipedia's W.svg is actually an example of social cycle theoryWikipedia's W.svg, and was developed by historian Arthur SchlesingerWikipedia's W.svg focusing on American history, with concepts such as public purpose and private interest. Schlesinger's model is more of a spiral than a cycle, but the conclusion on WP seems to be sensible in general: "the cycle is not accurate in predicting the events of the future, because historians in the present do not have the benefit of hindsight and may lack crucial knowledge and understanding of certain trends" (sourceWikipedia's W.svg). However, it seems that contemporary mathematical models are built on the discovery that "political-demographic cycles" are "a basic feature of the dynamics of complex agrarian systems" (sourceWikipedia's W.svg).

I don't know how reliable or useful these models actually are, but I am pretty sure that this website is full of snot: they attempt to match astronomical cycles with historical events using "strict Synchronicity & Sequentiality tests", and yet "Nothing on this site is meant to suggest that planets influence us in any way" (apparently the goal is only to find mysterious correlations Eyebrow.gif). I don't know if there is a category for that, it looks like the astrological equivalent of biorhythms, so maybe astrorhythms?

Finally, in this customer review of Strauss and Howe's book Generations (which I haven't read), I find the conclusion intriguing: "Where most futurists go wrong is to assume that today's dreams (or nightmares) will inevitably become tomorrow's reality. What they fail to realize is that each generation has a different set of dreams and nightmares. Your children and grandchildren won't pursue your dreams; they'll pursue their own." --Cmonk (talk) 16:53, 15 March 2017 (UTC)

I found that Amazon review more insightful than the book it was supposedly reviewing, e.g. why attempts to find a cyclical predictor algorithm failed: "[We mistakenly tried to] model the flow of history as a simple, linear process in which the future can be extrapolated from past and present trends, rather than acknowledging that progress is often complex and non-linear. But our main failing was to give too much weight to the scientific and technological drivers of progress, and not enough to the social, political, and economic factors that shape the course of history." Leuders (talk) 19:37, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Historians generally answer this question by saying there are no cycles, human nature is unchanging. There is a minority school called, The Progressive view of history; this view holds that as time goes by, human beings get better. This view believes from the time human beings lived in caves, to the invention of the wheel, discovery of fire, invention of the printing press, microchip, and space shuttle, human beings are better and smarter than their ancestors who rubbed two sticks together to make fire. Consequently, we are also morally and spiritually superior to our ape-ancestors who dragged their nuckles. The evidence of this intellectual and moral superiority to our ignorant ancestors is things like the social contract, single-payer healthcare, etc. But the Progressive view can't explain the holocaust. nobs 19:56, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
To be fair, intellectual prowess isn't necessarily associated with moral greatness: bad people can be smart too. Quantifying intelligence is notoriously difficult, but there is actually a measured increase in population IQ over time called the Flynn effectWikipedia's W.svg. Sadly, the holocaust was possible because of scientific, technological and administrative advances allowing better logistical efficiencyWikipedia's W.svg. Related to that is the idea of logical insanity: using science and technology to maximize the number of short-term enemy civilian casualties in the hope of limiting long-term losses by shortening the war. There are actually plenty of criteria we can use to conclude that we are constantly getting "better", but ethics and morality are hard to put on the list.
Individuals obviously have their differences, and even if human nature is unchanging, it doesn't necessarily preclude cycles. For example, cycles can result from constant parameters in simple ecological models ("When seemingly competitive interactions are carefully examined, they are often in fact some forms of predator-prey interaction in disguise").
Concerning the issue of inevitability raised in your link, well, debatable is the best I can come up with. Murders could be avoided if only the murderers would choose not to kill. Do they have to pull the trigger/swing the knife? This quickly devolves into discussions about determinism, free will, quantum uncertainty and chaos theory. There is no answer there, not today at least. --Cmonk (talk) 23:02, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Humans only get better insofar as humans develop technology that allows for humans to be better. It's easy to criticize our ancestors for all the constant fighting when we live in a world where we grow enough food that we don't have to murder our neighbors just to avoid starving. It's easy to mock puritanical attitudes to sex and virginity when we live in a world where we can diagnose STD's, use DNA testing to determine paternity, have access to condoms, and have abortions. It's easy to abhor racism when we live in a world with cellphones and other forms of communication, and a military that actually ensures that the funny looking people the next hill over aren't actually going to kidnap and rape our wives and daughters (an actual threat throughout the vast, vast majority of human history).
Today, most of us eat meat from animals. But if we invent lab-grown meat that's cheaper than the traditional methods, we'd be monsters for continuing to slaughter animals for food. Trans issues are weird right now, but would those issues even be a thing in a world with pseudo-magical nanotech that makes choosing your gender each morning as difficult as choosing which socks to wear? CorruptUser (talk) 05:24, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
This debate soon gets parsed between Are human beings culturally and morally superior over time and Is life and living standards easier.
Let me refocus the question on cycles to, How do we distinguish one era from another? I always thought this is a fascinating question, and there are countless methods and controvercies connected with it. But many years ago I read a piece I found very convincing. Different eras are defined by women's dress. And today, with the wearing of the hijab in Europe or Far Eastern girls dressing like SS, has only rekindled this question in me to want to further investigate. I suspect I'll be spending some time on it. nobs 11:20, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Do people start dressing differently after a war? Or is it more of a continuous process? This is a bit like the speciation question: we are the same species as our parents, who are the same species as their parents, and so on; but go back far enough and we are confronted with "entities" genetically incompatible with us. Does clothing "evolve" in a similar manner? After a quick search, it turns out the struggle between status quo and change is more pervasive than I thought: "time is expressed in terms of continuity in anti-fashion and as change in fashion" (sourceWikipedia's W.svg).
From a purely visual perspective, the hijabWikipedia's W.svg is not all that different from some European medieval garments (plates 3, 5, 7), Catholic nun outfitWikipedia's W.svg or Indian traditional clothingWikipedia's W.svg. From a functional point of view, full-body clothing, for women and men, is probably necessary to live in countries where dehydration and sunburn are real dangers (but thisWikipedia's W.svg is overkill). Some Muslim-majority countries can either legally imposeWikipedia's W.svg or banWikipedia's W.svg the veil, so the issue is more with the law than the clothing. And some other practices are/were potentially dangerous or demeaning/objectifying like "elongating" neck ringsWikipedia's W.svg, tightlacingWikipedia's W.svg and foot bindingWikipedia's W.svg (requiring special "lotus" shoes). And lest modern Westerners feel smug about all this, expecting women to wear "makeup, heels and a skirt" is a form of discrimination.
Regarding Nazi chic in AsiaWikipedia's W.svg, it seems related to cultural relativismWikipedia's W.svg: "For East Asian countries, World War II was not about the Nazis or Hitler but rather the Imperial Japanese forces. Comparatively little time is spent in Asian countries studying World War II Germany than in Europe or North America." (source with plenty of "culturally relative" pictures). Just a guess, but an unaware Asian designer could have been responsible for the recent Forever 21 Nazi shirt.
Fashion is ordinarily assumed to be repeating because of a few forced examples (Bell-bottomsWikipedia's W.svg), but is Rococo going to make a comeback? And if it does, will it correlate with a new historical era? In my opinion, in today's connected world, clothing has more to do with slow functional and aesthetic drift, cultures influencing one another, and occasional "viral" phenomena. --Cmonk (talk) 21:18, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
if you are basing things on changing fashion, you are going to get new era on a weekly basis. AMassiveGay (talk) 00:46, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Women traditionally are more atuned to dress. I guess this is cause they were relegated to more menial positions in society and it was the one thing they could control, find self expression, and even compete with one another. And women dictate men's sytle of dress - I believe this tho some may argue otherwise. The Asian girls dressing as nazis, for example. It is an immense time of social change in the Far East, they are becoming increasingly 'Westernized'. Self expression and rebellion against women's traditional roles is a novelty. I'm not pretending I understand women at all, but in a certain logical or historical sense I can see how adolescent girls and young women today in that culture want to break out, attract attention, at low risk cause nazi regalia isn't as offense there, but still attracts controvercy. Women are good at stirring up shit, and going against convention for convention's sake, I think. nobs 08:47, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Historically, the penny farthing was one of the first cycles.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:09, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

US/Canadian Border[edit]

Just found out we take fingerprints at the Canadian border. We meaning the US.

Took 3 metric hours to get through border patrol, AND THEY GOT THROUGH NO PROBLEM BECAUSE THEY WERE HERE TO PLAY SOME TUNES...(hiccup) ok. Politics

It's insane, this is jail booking hassle.

Don't think I've ever heard Canada is dangerous, thoughts?

Doesn't the US own canada? 2d4chanfag (talk) 10:57, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Canada's too liberal. Let's in too many undesirables. Can't take any chances. Besides, you think your white privilege grants you easy access from Canada? nobs 11:47, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Kinda is considering the fact that the Canadian-US border is marked by a big giant slash that cuts through the forest. There's no wall, nothing. Just take a goddamn look at this. Ɀexcoiler Kingbolt Noooooooo! There's a roach on my Wall! 17:54, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Wow, cool. I don't even know if I'm saying cool ironically or not, I'm that baffled at the effort. I mean I hate everything it stands for but somebody is out there icing baby trees on a crazy windy 20ft wide deforestation mission? That's like the closest we can get to a real life the Joker scheme. Clue: it ain't measured in metric.Gaul Dernitt (tlk) 06:48, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
The Boundary WatersWikipedia's W.svg is just a big swamp. You get out their in a canoe harvesting wild rice, and you can't tell which side of the border you're on cause nobody knows where the border is. It was ideal for smuggling Canadian whiskey during prohibition, albeit in small quantities. nobs 09:00, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday and I came across a strange book[edit]

I saw a book called, "How to be Psychic". I didn't catch the name of the author but I saw the same book on a South Park episode, I didn't think it was real till yesterday. Though I saw some other strange books also (I was looking in the spirituality section for books on Wicca).--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 17:03, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

I once found a book at a used book sale called "Teen Witch". I actually bought it because it was so bizarre. I remember it had instructions for casting a "don't bother me on the internet" spell or something along those lines. I found it somewhat amusing, but I didn't actually see any point in reading too much of it. --Samstr (talk) 17:41, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Nearly 30 years ago, I bought a book for 99 pence called The Book of Spells. Most of the book is about how to sell your soul to the Devil and how to deal with Lucifuge RofocaleWikipedia's W.svg (the demon in charge of wealth). It also tells you how to repent after the end of your 20 years of money and sex and avoid going to Hell. Spud (talk) 17:26, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Drink like an Irishman Day[edit]

Why does RW persist in this ridiculous - and insulting - stereotype. For the record Irish consumption is less than their British neighbours and a lot less than those Frenchies. They're 21st in the world rankings according to Wikipedia. I'd edit the template myself but I haven't the wikifoo - and I'm such a stranger here nowadays I'm not sure I have the right. Love and kisses. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 18:22, 16 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree that it should be changed, I don't know what to though. If you can think of something: edit it here. Christopher (talk) 18:44, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Drink like an alcoholic day? Drink like a person who drinks a lot day? --Samstr (talk) 19:19, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
It's for St Patrick's dayWikipedia's W.svg. (The Patron Saint of Ireland) so we obviously can't remove references to Ireland Facepalm.png. Christopher (talk) 20:34, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
I think it's a harmless stereotype and made in a tongue-in-cheek way. Also, "Drink like a Belarusian Day" doesn't have the same ring or context. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:20, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
It's a harmless joke, it's funny. Stereotypes are always funny. Diacelium (talk) 21:24, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Playing devil's advocate to some degree here but it's very funny if you're not on the receiving end. Christopher (talk) 21:32, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
so is a kick in the balls AMassiveGay (talk) 22:19, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
It is well known that all Irishmen are very moderate drinkers so I am not sure why any offense would be taken. --Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 22:12, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
AFAIK St Patrick's Day is a drinking day pretty much everywhere it's celebrated, Ireland included. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:31, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
It's certainly celebrated in pretty much every pub in Sweden, if that helps! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:38, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
@Percy: And in every bar in America, apparently.RoninMacbeth (talk) 13:57, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I changed it to "It's Drink Like A Stereotypical Irishman Day!"—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 01:16, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Can I change the link to alcohol and the title to "Irish Cultural Heritage Chuggathon"? CorruptUser (talk) 01:52, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Usually I don't white knight but I saw a facepalm and I have to make a reference to this [2]. The odds that Skorea is taking notes based on this site are low. But this is one situation where I say teach the controversy. I could outdrink the entire Emerald Isle. Just, uhh, buy me the alcohol to prove the... controversy. Gaul Dernitt (talk) 07:09, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

How about "drink like a leprechaun day" instead? Bongolian (talk) 07:55, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Given that modern depictions of leprechauns are based off derogatory caricatures of the Irish, I'm not sure that is a better idea. Maybe just "Happy Saint Patrick's Day" instead? RoninMacbeth (talk) 14:05, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Hmmm "Drink like a Fake Irishman™ Day" .... --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:42, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
We like our Irish in the US. Doesn't hurt that 1/4 of the US is part Irish. Our Irish love to make fun of themselves so much it's basically ingrained in American culture (Family Guy and The Simpsons, anyone?). So don't be offended on behalf of Irish Americans. CorruptUser (talk) 00:59, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Thoughts from an Irishman[edit]

I'm Irish 🍀, and I can tell you that I don't find the stereotype to be insulting at all. When I saw "Drink like an Irishman Day" I LOL'ed. Even Irish TV in Ireland uses this stereotype: Republic Of Telly - You Know You're Irish When... or even some sketches in Every Irish Pub Ever | Republic of Telly

Or here's Family Guy visiting Ireland (sorry about the poor quality). The part I found offensive was not the plane landing in a sea of empty beer bottles, it was seeing a London Hackney carriage in the middle of Ireland.

On the January 27, 2017 episode of Real Time Bill Maher said "Liberals do this all the time, they get offended for people who themselves would not be offended". [3] I think that's what's happening here. Irish people don't get offended by this joke. We're used to it. But you seem to be getting offended for us.

"Drink Like an Irishman Day!" is funny (and I think sets the tone for the site), "It's Drink Like A Stereotypical Irishman Day!" or "Drink like a Fake Irishman Day" is unfunny PC bullshite. If you are going to go that route, then forget the joke and just say "Happy St. Patrick's day".

Now if you will excuse me I have to run out to get more Dutch Gold, I mean groceries. 80.111.160.174 (talk) 11:35, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

I agree, especially about "drink like a stereotypical Irishman. That just sounds ridiculous. Christopher (talk) 11:46, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Toward a quantum theory of humor[edit]

To be funny and not to be, that is the quantum theory. --Cmonk (talk) 15:52, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

EiK is a true "principled coservative" [sic][edit]

So I decided to take a stroll through James Wilson's (aka Elvis is King) conservative family friendly wiki, and this is what I found for a logo. Of course, it was replaced by a picture of Ronald Reagan, but this seriously was the logo of RealWiki 3.0 for a few minutes. --Taylor Swift lover (talk) 17:49, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

yawn The whole "elvis is king and friends" trolling got old a while ago. Lord Aeonian (talk) 20:26, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Just to let you know, the picture has your IP in it. Christopher (talk) 20:28, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't get this, could someone explain it to me? I was an Ameriwiki editor many moons ago, and I remember you two guys going on about stuff like this, but I just don't get it. Is this some kind of inside joke? (((Zack Martin))) 00:25, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Not sure why someone would want to make their signature look like mine (It is funny)? As for "Elvis is King" being a troll, that is so old that it could be found at an archeological dig.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 01:18, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Why do liberals hate Putin and Gaddafi and conservatives love them?[edit]

Let's start with Gaddafi. He overthrew a reactionary, pro-Western monarchy, proclaimed his country a Socialist state based on left-libertarian/anarcho-syndicalist ideas of direct democracy and worker self-management, was a fanatical enemy of Israel and supporter of Third World anti-imperialism, supported every radical leftist terror group on the planet and tried to assassinate Saint Ronnie to boot (and Ronnie tried to assassinate him). He was basically an Arab version of Castro or Chavez but perhaps even more radically on the Left. To be fair he did try to make nice with the Empire in later years but so did Castro, and while he participated in CIA torture programs Castro actually let Gitmo exist on his "socialist paradise" island. But when the rebellion against Gaddafi, which used the flag of the monarchy overthrown in 1969 as its symbol, broke out in 2011 virtually all liberals and most communists (except the despised tankies) in the developed world cheered the "people's uprising against the brutal right-wing authoritarian dictator puppet of the west and the zionists" and backed the NATO bombing of Libya (the radical leftists said "refused to oppose") and cheered the murder of Gaddafi by rebels. Keep in mind that these are mostly the same people who praised Castro as "life-long champion of anti colonial liberation who stood up to the yankee oppressors", but when Gaddafi was in a direct violent conflict with the USA (which Castro never was) they cheered the Usa. Conservatives, on the other hand, showed staunch support for Gaddafi as an "ally of America and Israel who is helping us torture alQaeda terrorists" (nevermind that his reasons for opposing Islamic fundamentalism had nothing to do with the reasons America does) and denouncing the rebels as part of a "Barack Obama/George Soros Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to promote gay marriage and Sharia law and help Iran destroy Israel and kill Christians with marijuana abortions". When nato began bombing Libya conservatives who cheered the Iraq war suddenly became pacifists, and condemned the killing of Gaddafi as proof of Obama's Marxist Muslim barbarism despite having applauded the execution of Sadam by Bush. These same people celebrated the death of Castro as a "Marxist anti-American commie dictator who supported terrorists"

Another example of this bizarre reversal of cold war positions is the progressive's pathological hatred of Russia and the Putin worship on the right. It seems like the right completely ignores Putin's support of Latin American socialists and the fact that he is a former KGB agent who says Stalin wasn't so bad, and instead believe he is a macho defender of Christian values who kicks Muslim ass and hacks Democrat e-mails, therefore Russia is the second greatest country in the world (America is third.) Meanwhile liberals hate Putin so much they support openly neo-Nazis groups in both Ukraine and Russia as part of a "democratic resistance" against Putin, because Putin is homophobic and Christian and fascist and helped install the Donald in an electoral coup. (I'm sure Svoboda and Right Sector would love to know that LGBT activists support them...try telling them that to their faces.) The only thing that remains consistent from the cold war is that the right recoil in utter terror at the very thought of Marxists in Latin America, whereas liberals see Latin American Marxists as Democratic revolutionaries who just want to be free from the Empire and, unlike Marxist regimes elsewhere, you don't have to be a Tankie to romanticized them. 174.193.134.140 (talk) 02:22, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Quiiite sure you have it backwards on Kaddhafi (may his spellings be many), in that the far left is quick to overlook his general awfulness and the right despises him. CorruptUser (talk) 04:27, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
OK. In both these cases, sentiments are not universal among conservatives and liberals, but generally follow the party line dictated by the party leadership in whatever era. For example, most people of my generation likely still view Nikita Khruschev as another Hitler, as our leaders told us c.1962. Few, if any, realize his reputation has been rehabilitated as the original proponent of Glasnost, which is why the Politburo shitcanned him. Ghaddafi is a good parallel to Khruschev - a heartless killer in his early life, only to realize he didn't want to die like Ceaușescu, he wasn't like Stalin, and he really did have the best interests of his people at heart. A 'benevolent dictatorWikipedia's W.svg', like Castro or Frederick the Great. Gaddafi became the model we would have liked to see Kim jong-un or Saddam follow, rather than disrupt 10 of millions of peoples lives to send a million man army after him to kill him (like Hitler). Once Ghaddafi made peace with the outside world, his focus was on internal enemies - the jihadis.
As to Putin, he represents two fundamental reforms we fought the Cold War over, (1) an internal reform of orderly succession, or a term-limited head of state. The Soviets continued the tradition of the Czars of having a ruler for life, who only accummuluted more power and only chance for change or reform was murder or natural death. (2) And externally, an opening of trade with the world. Rather than a ceaseless arms race, both countries are supposed to be focused on reduced defense spending, and economic development for the consumer market.
Needless to say, Hillary and Obama fucked this all up. So good luck to the next generation. Mine fought a mindless Cold War for half a century. Now it's your turn. At least until a visionary figure like Nixon comes along, and forges agreements and alliances that keep the peace between the US, Russia, and China for another 45 years. nobs 05:31, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
That's a good joke, nobs, "visionary figure like Nixon"! Perhaps you're referring to his extreme paranoid visions?! Nixon was a mere 6 or 7 on a scale of 10 for autocratic yearnings according to his reformed henchman, John Dean. Bongolian (talk) 06:10, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
Counting the Napoleanic Wars, there have been four major wars that have wracked Europe. Since 1871, each became larger and larger, engulfing more of the world. Following each of these wars, statesmen arose, with varying degrees of success, to forge alliance systems intended to last decades beyond their lifetimes. As I write this, the alliance system forged by Nixon - one of the longest running and most successful since the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleanic wars, is fraying. Frankly, as I listen to you, I take it as further evidence that system is breaking down, and another worldwide conflagration is inevitable. nobs 06:29, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
These are the five interludes between the four wars of the major hegemons, or 'Superpowers':
  • The Age of Metternich, 1815-48 (33 years)
  • The Age of Bismarck 1862-1914 (52 years)
  • The Age of Wilson 1919-39 (20 years)
  • The Age of Churchill 1945-1972 (27 years)
  • The Age of Nixon 1972-? (45 years)
Two observations are necessary: peace is not permanent and should never be taken for granted; (2) the current era is very likely coming to a close. — Unsigned, by: RobSmith / talk / contribs
Looking at any of this ideologically is naive, but something tells me you already know that. It's all about political convenience. Republicans loved the Libyan conflict and hated Gaddafi until it became an excuse to attack Obama/Clinton. Republicans accused Obama of being way too soft on Russia and being harder on Putin, until one of their own started to cozy up to them. You could see it happen in real time, between 2014 and December 2016, approval rating of Putin went up by 56 points. This had nothing to do with ideology, or because anything significant changed in relations between 2014 and 2016. People just flipped criticizing/drawing attention to Russia became a "Democrat thing to do." Nor does this ultimately have anything to do with internal right/left ideology, American voters don't know anything about internal Libyan or Russian politics so their representatives don't have to care either. It's almost like partisans can be led... a bit like some kind of amalgamation of a sheep and people... Hentropy (talk) 22:39, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
I'd agree 99%+ with that. And it is undeniable the #Resistance movement has used, and continues to use, Russophobic xenophobia since before the election to attack Trump. In fact, not only have they used it, that is only substance to any of their allegations. nobs 00:46, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Other than the first one of your "Ages" (The Age of Metternich), nobs, none of these have seem to have any recognition whatsoever among historians. "The Age of Churchill" doesn't make much sense because the British Empire began falling apart immediate after the war and was nearly complete by about 1960. So was Churchill the great decolonizer? I think not. It was Roosevelt's idea, and Churchill apparently agreed but never sent it ("The Atlantic Charter") to Parliament. The "Age of Nixon" is just a joke, right? By the way, do you have a tattoo of Nixon on your back too?[4] Bongolian (talk) 02:35, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
Churchill was the original founder of the alliance to defeat Hitler. All others, Chamberlain. Daladier, and Stalin himself, were all too willing to compromise with Hitler. FDR was isolated in isolationist America. If not for Churchill's stubbornness to resist, to aid Stalin and De Gaulle, and recruit FDR into the fight, Hitler would have been successful, or at least more successful for a longer period of time than the 6 years to defeat him.
If not for Churchill, post-1945 the Nazi regime would have more likely perished from its own internal corruption than any external enemy willing to challenge it, and God knows how long that may have taken. It was Churchill approach to Stalin in June 1941 that earns him the title as the founder of a new global alliance. FDR, the UN, and the Cold War are just the following chapters in Churchill's vision of a new alliance system to maintain world peace.
As to the tat, no. But when saw this picture I got teary-eyed, and still do. nobs 06:45, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
that's arse. Churchill was voted outed out of office in 1945 and was largely irrelevent post war as he would have been had the war not happened as he was pre war. by 1943 he was already sidelined by the us. he played little part the wave of decolonisation nor the cold war squabbles and interference in these countries that provided the battle ground for the cold war. Churchill was most prominent at the tale end end of empire which was dead by the end of the war. saying the post war period was his 'age' makes as much sense as saying it was the age of Hitler, but at least he was the cause of the war that shaped the world we live in today. if we are going to say its was the age of anyone, it was Stalin. after all, he was in charge when the soviets dominated eastern Europe and central asia and the cold war began, and was the cause of everything the US did back then AMassiveGay (talk) 13:12, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't be averse to that categorization. That's why most history texts call the era immediately after 1945 the Cold War. But a period of peace without confrontation between major world powers didn't occur on its own. It took a man (or person) to forge agreements between major powers with serious differences. 20 years before this photo was taken, Russia was a third world power that lost a war with Poland. Before the end of the decade, it was a nuclear superpower. And Churchill, looking at Stalin & Hitler, did not toss a coin who to back. Knowing full well Stalin was a monster, Churchill nonetheless realized the Russian Empire & USSR simply had more experience governing wide swaths of the planet and foreign peoples than the Nazi did, so he backed Stalin, which influenced the outcome.
Churchill's domestic policies or popularity, as Nixon, Metternich, or Bismarck, have no relevance to their role in forging understandings between powerful nations and as a world peacemaker. nobs 20:45, 15 March 2017 (UTC)
nobs PIDOOMAs it again, ignoring the fact that Hitler functionally declared war on the British Empire by overrunning France where British troops were stationed.Wikipedia's W.svg USSR did not declare war on Britain. After Hitler attacked the USSR, the enemy of Churchill's enemy became his friend. Bongolian (talk) 06:48, 16 March 2017 (UTC)
Well duh, it was a big step - and a shock for the world - when Churchill reached out to Stalin. But you're missing the point. It was one man, one man only, who had the will to resist and the vision how the world should be ordered to maintain peace. Voters had no say in Churchill's Premiership. The guys the voters elected were chickenshits. Look what Wikipedia says one month into Churchill's term,
"An element of British public and political sentiment favoured a negotiated peace with Germany, among them Halifax as Foreign Secretary. Over three days in May (26-28 May 1940), there were repeated discussions within the War Cabinet of whether the UK should associate itself with French approaches to Mussolini to use his good offices with Hitler to seek a negotiated peace..."
Unquestionably, it was Churchill that made the difference, cause the whole fucking country and cabinet wanted to throw in the towel. Here's a fact of history: Hitler until the day he blew his brains out never could understand why Britain was fighting against him. Hitler thought Imperialist Britain and Germany - racial cousins - were natural allies against the Soviet Union and communism. That's one reason he didn't slaughter the Brits on the beaches of Dunkirk, against the advice of his generals (this author cites moments before the surrender of Paris, Churchill proposed a European Union of France & UK). It was one man who kept Britain in the fight.
This is how peace, and alliances are forged. It is as if all the competing interests of the world are fused into the body of one man. Look at Franz Josef I of Austria, for example. Here's his title:
His Imperial and Apostolic Majesty, Franz Joseph I, By the Grace of God, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, King of Lombardy and Venice, of Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Lodomeria and Illyria; King of Jerusalem etc., Archduke of Austria; Grand Duke of Tuscany and Cracow, Duke of Lorraine, of Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and of the Bukovina; Grand Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Upper and Lower Silesia, of Modena, Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, of Auschwitz [Oświęcim] and Zator, of Teschen [Cieszyn/Těšín], Friuli, Ragusa [Dubrovnik] and Zara [Zadar]; Princely Count of Habsburg and Tyrol, of Kyburg, Gorizia and Gradisca; Prince of Trent [Trento] and Brixen [Bressanone]; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and in Istria; Count of Hohenems, Feldkirch, Bregenz, Sonnenberg, etc.; Lord of Trieste, of Cattaro [Kotor], and in the Wendish Mark; Grand Voivode of the Voivodina of Serbia etc. etc.
Franz Josef held all this shit together in one empire for 67 years, and when he died, it died. It is not bureacrats and technocrats, or a vanguard class, that have secured peace for decades between competing interests and world Powers, it is visionaries who can explain their vision to their fellow citizens and convince them to come along. nobs 08:05, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Nobs, where do you come up with this nonsense? I almost hesitate to ask. Churchill was Prime Minister from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. "He held all this shit together in one empire for 67 years…" is bollocks. And yet you claim "and when he died, it died" while still claiming that the "Age of Churchill" was "1945-1972". More bollocks. Bongolian (talk) 03:28, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Merkel understands, as "the last defender of the liberal world order" and "the most important leader the world has right now", these things don't happen on their own, otherwise you wouldn't need politicians. nobs 21:45, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You want to know why the post-World War II and post-Cold War peace structure is breaking down now? Global peace and stability was built on consumerismWikipedia's W.svg. From Hitler's death to Yeltsin, a global consensus emerged that world peace could best be maintained by open trade and developing domestic consumer markets, rather than heavy taxes to maintain both the capitalist and communist's military industrial complexes. The de-growth, anti-consumer, Earth First movements are daggers aimed at the heart of the established international order and world peace. nobs 22:16, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

While I take issue with the modern environmentalist movement for tolerating horribly anti-scientific views (anti-GMO, anti-nuclear, etc) and am convinced that a large amount of the funding comes from groups with ulterior motives, including some who are trying to sabotage the US, the current breakdown in world peace has little to do with that. It's because financial mismanagement of the US is causing the balance of power to shift away from it, while Russia collapsed but is doing what it can to gain it back even if it means destablizing everything else in the process, China is mostly keeping to their own region but rapid industrialization has given them a lot of power in that region, and the Islamic world has massive population growth which means that even fringe groups are not so tiny anymore. CorruptUser (talk) 03:12, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Without passing any judgement on "who's right who"s wrong", let me lay out some observation's in the post- World War II era (which we can also call, "The Nuclear Age"). From 1945 to DetenteWikipedia's W.svg, the United States fought two 'hot wars' against the communist bloc, basically Russia and China, unwinnable in the Nuclear Age. Intense ideological competition fueled the military industrial policy on all sides. High defense spending retards domestic economic growth. But under the US capitalist model, first with Marshall Plan, and in the 60s with the Space Race, War on Poverty, and Vietnam War simultaneously, the US was able to prove to the communistic bloc the superiority of capitalism. Russia and China, and their populations, wanted in on the consumer society.
This meant for them defense conversion, switching over a basically WWII perpetual wartime industrial model to producing domestic consumer goods. China was the first to embrace it, although it took Russia another decade. Consumption was king, and the solution to world peace and the threat of nuclear Armageddon.
Based on this theory, institutions were created to foster it, the IMF, the EU, NAFTA, and plans to recruit the "developing world" to the gospel of world peace and consumerism.
But there has always been an environmental movement, out of which has grown the climate change debate. And in Islam, the call to the final jihad, cites "Western secular materialism" as the biggest threat to Islam. This video which is very informative, says radical Islam is a youth movement, ages 15-25, that rejects Western values.
Again, without passing judgement on what's right or wrong, what is good or bad, these observations point to Salafism and the global warming movement travelling along parallel tracks that are critical of the foundational agreements which have avoided a direct, open, hot war between the world's three Superpowers. Unravelling these agreements, at a minimum, means a world of instability. nobs 04:38, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
I'm actually in favor of some form of containment with regards to Salafism, and don't think we should let Salafis into the West, refugee or not, while I do support letting more refugees in... so long as it's not vastly more men than women the way it is now. I just don't know how to do so without also violating the whole "freedom of religion" thing that's generally agreed to be a good idea. CorruptUser (talk) 05:23, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Here's the dilemma: the old-school Cold warriors on all sides of the tri-polar debate say peace and trade go hand-in-hand. 'Trade' being a codeword for 'consumerism'. Through this formula we've avoided nuclear war for 70 years, although we've failed at curtailing proliferation. The people of India, China, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, the EU and elsewhere all are living the Amrerican dream, success and freedom defined as driving a gas polluting vehicle. The climate change movement says consumption threatens tbe planet. The Salafis say Western consumerism threatens Islam's survival. Are the people of all tbe aforementioned countries willing to bow to these political forces, whose policy objectives are the same? This is only one problem in sorting how to find a path of continued existence on the planet, cause neither the climate change advocates, the Salafis, or Westernized mass consumers have a monopoly on the solution.
Remember George Bush's immediate advice to citizens how to respond to the 9/11 attack? "Go shopping." In theory, he was right. And that thinking sustained us another 16 years. But I see whole system breaking down fairly rapidly. nobs 05:49, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

of fake data and google[edit]

https://u.nya.is/qcvnez.png — Unsigned, by: FAMAS / talk / contribs 17:46, 17 March 2017

I'm actually more concerned that you haven't updated your Chrome browser. Keep in mind that Chrome is mostly open source so any fixed exploitable bugs are public knowledge. —HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 13:11, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
in reply to User:CheeseburgerFace, this user asserts the fact that this user never utilized the chrome browser and this user utilized firefox to discover comodo dragon and icedragon browsers and uses them from then and onwards which are regularly updated.FAMAS (Talk) (Contribs) [[5]] 13:37, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Could you STOP with the "this user asserts" stuff please. Christopher (talk) 13:46, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
@FAMAS consider checking out the Wikipedia article on Comodo Dragon.Wikipedia's W.svg
@Christopher I had to reformat your post.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 15:01, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Maybe that many <big></big> tags was a bit excessive. Christopher (talk) 15:16, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

The deep state strikes again![edit]

Ex-GOP rep blames arrest [for attempting to embezzle hundreds of thousands of dollars] on 'deep state' conspiracy. This needs a page. αδελφός ΓυζζγςατΡοτατο (talk/stalk) 23:49, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Added to the backlog. Regards, Cosmikdebris (talk) 15:49, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

AIDS denialism help needed[edit]

Attention anyone who is familiar with HIV/AIDS denialism (especially Peter Duesberg), your help is needed on the 'talk page regarding some detailed issues that a BoN has raised. Bongolian (talk) 02:07, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

this user asserts the fact that the issue has been resolvedFAMAS (Talk) (Contribs) [[6]] 11:22, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it's stupid politics stuff[edit]

The Donald Trump limerick generator. It takes real sentences from Trumptweets and at random fits their rhyming and rhythm scheme into a limerick. Sometimes quite profound.

The Wilson family should thank me.

Ask yourself.What am I pretending not to see?

An overrated clown!

Everyone else way down!

@Phil_Grech Your not free, you'll never be free.

Amusing, if occasionally depressing. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:46, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Holy crap, this is the best thing since the Deepak Chopra deepity generator (Link).
Here's what I got on my first try:

Be sure to tune in tonight at 9PM ET @NBC.

Dopey, nobody is laughing at me!

Bret is a winner!

Bartley Gala dinner.

Then ask. What am I pretending not to see?

Like the Deepak one, it's astounding how non-random random gibberish seems to us humans. We sure have the capacity to invest crazy amounts of meaning, even into noise. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:54, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
(Thank you for always knowing what type of quote template to use) ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:58, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
No problem. 50% of my job description is being anal retentive. You're welcome! Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 20:03, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

She won’t be so lucky when it comes to me!

Ask yourself.What am I pretending not to see?

Have a nice day.

What is the delay?

This is truly a guy who shouldn't be on tv.

ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:25, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I can't remember the whole limerick but I came across this tweet the man's an idiot. Christopher (talk) 12:23, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
"What am I pretending not to see?" seems to be a favorite. megalodon (talk) 15:20, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

School Of Life on the cosmopolitan mindset[edit]

A worthwhile video! Ripe for critically contrasting against a vast range of topics (beside shyness) — ranging from identity politics to othering to xenophobia and racism... Food for thought. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:12, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Layout of an ICR "science" article[edit]

  • Introduction of the issue
  • Distort the issue
  • Add no credible insults
  • Quote mine
  • Then Claim the bible is true with no citation or analysis --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 21:28, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
I tried looking at some ICR stuff but I could feel my brain cells crawling out through my ear and jumping off. BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 12:33, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Sandboxes[edit]

How can I add a sandbox for myself?Anim (Carfa) 12:29, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

User:Randir/Sandbox. BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 12:31, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Today's oxymoron: funny CSPAN-2 clip[edit]

I don't really know the context or the people involved, but I did get why people were laughing: https://mobile.twitter.com/SenSasse/status/844630468477771776/video/1 Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:54, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Can't speak for the oxy, but cspan never has any sort of shortage of morons. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:21, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Also that's the senate, so CSPAN-2, not CSPAN. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:23, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Duly noted. Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:27, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
This is good staff work - setting up the joke. Kinda like Donna Brazile getting the leaked questions in the debate. nobs 02:15, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

SolveMedia captcha not working on Firefox 52[edit]

Got a report that people using Firefox 52 can't create accounts - the SolveMedia captcha just doesn't show anything. I can reproduce this in FF 52 Ubuntu too. I can see the captcha in Chromium 56. Anyone else? Anyone know why?

(The SolveMedia thing was bodged on by Trent years ago. I'd replace it ReCaptcha, but the current ReCaptcha v2 requires MediaWiki 1.26 or higher, and the older ReCaptcha 1 is being retired at some unspecified time soon.) - David Gerard (talk) 16:09, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Aw, damnit, I need to dump my changes into a repo somewhere. It really was a small change. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:33, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Women's fashions as a signpost of changing times[edit]

For the first time ever, I found a link from CP's MPR relevent, timely, and interesting. Suffice it to say the final section sums it up wjth a quote from the editor of Teen Vogue

The foundation of Vogue’s leadership and authority is the brand’s unique role as a cultural barometer for a global audience. Vogue places fashion in the context of culture and the world we live in – how we dress, live and socialize; what we eat, listen to and watch; who leads and inspires us. Vogue immerses itself in fashion, always leading readers to what will happen next. Thought-provoking, relevant and always influential, Vogue defines the culture of fashion.

So here's an effort to marry the youth of Western civilization brainwashed by the anti-God, secular global warming movement with proponents of shariah law. All based on the gospel of consumerism. Oy vey. nobs 16:50, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

>anti-God, secular
>sharia law
You can't do both, sorry :/ Lord Aeonian (talk) 17:39, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Wrong. Sharia proponents and the anti-God, secular, pro-Science stop-global-warming movement are both anti-consumer, anti-Western materialism, anti-supply side. nobs 21:52, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
The most common and accepted literal translation of the word "Sharia" is "religious". Sharia and secular are literally opposites, you dense motherfucker. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 14:19, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
He obviously means anti his particular interpretation of a particular version of particular god. Sharia law is anti that god (just as it is anti Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Wicca, Odinism, $¢ientology and of course atheism which we all know is a religion). Christopher (talk) 15:09, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
$¢i€nto£og¥* Anim (Carfa) 15:17, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Might I say that I am very impressed by the users who actually managed to understand what on earth Nobs was going on about, and were even able to create meaningful responses to this missive from a parallel dimension. Well done.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:30, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
The translation of shariah I've always understood to be the way, in much the same sense Jesus referred to himself as the way. And in the 21st century a democratic poll (assuming shariah allows) of Shariah vs Science, Shariah wins, hands down. nobs 17:12, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Ah yes, Teen Vogue. They've had their iron fist and widespread, highly relevant influence on American culture and values for decades. For too long they've been telling teen girls what style of jeans are in fashion. You know, one of those pieces of clothing explicitly forbidden to women under Sharia law. That also happens to be a highly industrialized and relentlessly marketed product purchased and consumed by massive swaths of the American public. 71.188.73.196 (talk) 17:18, 24 March 2017 (UTC)

Yep, you got it. It will not be long before we begin hearing that joining the jihad against the House of Saud is the prime way to fight global warming. nobs 17:29, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Sincere question: do you consider people wearing shirts to be oppression? An artifact of a backwards culture requiring specific dress to maintain modesty? Occasionally even punished under law(but only for women)? Or do you see them as a normal part of your daily life? And I know this is driving at a point, but it's also a sincere question. Wherefor shirts? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:49, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Please don't make me imagine nobs as one of those stereotypical hippie naturists. Vulpius (talk) 19:17, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Actually, legend has it that if you can get nobs to imagine himself as a hippie of any kind, he'll vanish into giant mushroom cloud, akin to mixing matter and antimatter. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:46, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Really, I were a hippie back in the day, it was a phase we all went thru. Then I got stuck in juvie rehab. While on furlough, me and a couple other inmates visited George McGovern's campaign hq. He was running on a legalize marijuana platform. There was the top of a shoebox full of pennies for campaign donations. When one of my fellow inmates stole a pocketful of pennies, I realized there and then it was pointless forging political coalitions with idiots. Nixon won, with money to burn and payoff Watergate burglers. The rest is history. nobs 01:20, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
  • @Ikanread:Sincere question: do you consider people wearing shirts to be oppression?
Honest to God answer (I swear on stack of Popular Science backissues): This morning I answered the door shirtless. A property manager woke me with some important business. We spoke for about a minute and a half or two. Tbe lady whose probably a few years younger said, "Would you put on a shirt so we can talk." She was probably being distracted, or aroused. That's probably why we wear shirts, as a custom and courtesy. nobs 01:50, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

@ikanreed I think all gendered clothing is oppression in the sense that it originated in patriarchal contexts. For example, Western formal wear for women emphasizes physical features and shows lots of skin, whereas formal wear for men minimizes body appearance as much as possible to focus on other traits. While it's most obvious in formal wear, that gender disparity continues in almost all western fashion from what I can see. It's very clear that the clothing was designed in a context where women are valued for little more than their appearance, whereas men have 'more to offer,' so to speak. This isn't any different from the superficially opposite 'modesty culture' which sees women as property to be hidden and protected as one would protect valuable goods; the difference being that you're showing off the 'goods' with a woman on your arm in some high class setting rather than hiding her from others in rural Afghanistan until you trade her virginity for some social capital in a marriage agreement. In fact, I recently saw a Saudi tweet support haya and hijab by asking if one would one hide a very valuable car in a garage or covered with a tarp, as opposed to leaving it outside and uncovered for the elements to ruin it and for others to steal it. One of the responses was along the lines of "if I had a very nice car, I would drive it around all day to show off, not hide it!" You can see how the car is still property no matter what, covering it or exposing are just different ways for an owner to utilize the property.

The point is that yes, all these clothes are inherently oppressive but not definitely so. A woman can wear attractive clothing and feel confident and desirable just like another can cover up and feel like she is resisting a culture that sexualizes women. The only problems come when people confuse what gives them personal ease of mind with historical realities, and you end up with hijabis saying Islam is a 'feminist religion' because the hijab resists sexual objectification and commodification - a purpose probably not envisioned by Umar al-Khattab when he pestered the Prophet to mandate hair covering because he found himself tempted by the beautiful hair of one of Muhammad's own wives. Lord Aeonian (talk) 01:21, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Leftypol[edit]

I just wanted to know your guy's thoughts on /leftypol/ and their central idea that identity politics is both a right wing movement and that it should be destroyed along with the capitalist class structure.'Legionwhat do you want from me 01:26, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Leftypol seems to be mainly leftcom, as opposed to, say, reddit's r/Communism, which is 'tankie' and toes the ML or MLM line. Are they right about this? Well, I think it goes without saying a great deal of historical materialism is about reducing secondary aspects of the base and superstructure model into class struggle, or rather 'unveiling and exposing' class struggle as the root of other social problems, as a Marxist would phrase it. Identity politics is fundamentally opposed to the combined, unadulterated struggle of the international proletariat in Marxism proper, but I think many Marxists and wannabes also see the potential for combining various groups into a popular front through group concessions in a distinctly democratic, coalitionist form of politics. Ironically, /leftypol/ is following Lenin's line and the tankies are not in this instance. Lord Aeonian (talk) 01:56, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
/leftypol/ is 4chan being 4chan and therefore reprehensible shitheads who cannot meaningfully be spoken of as having "ideas" that rely upon anything other being voiced by anonymous arseholes. This is a bad and ill-formed question - David Gerard (talk) 02:15, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
There isn't a leftypol on 4chan btw.'Legionwhat do you want from me 02:53, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

I know of a dissertation that could be picked apart[edit]

http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2154&context=doctoral . The author (Name is Pierre Willems and he graduated from the ICR Graduate School) thinks Abiogenesis is evolution and he even mentions his extreme bias against Evolution. But I suggest you all read it and you will see why it is terrible, but it is still better than Kent Hovind's doctoral dissertations.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 17:46, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

It starts with: "The purpose of this case study was to research how science teachers balance both religion and evolution in the science classroom with as little controversy as possible."
If it had started with : "The purpose of this case study was to research how science teachers balance both magic and science in the science classroom with as little controversy as possible." then it would have been more honest - but I'm afraid I wouldn't have read much further. Does that make me a bad person?--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:58, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
TLDR. If RW covered every bullshit thesis, we'd never get anywhere. You could however include it as an example on the Liberty University page as an example of the fishy carp that they certify. Bongolian (talk) 18:29, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I actually managed to read the entire thing, I am only a high school graduate and I understood it completely. I think I might have a thick skin against bullshit? I do like the suggestion of adding it to the Pseudoscience University page though. I could put a dissection of the "Thesis" there.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 20:06, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
My bullshit alarm went off after I read "I would like to dedicate this dissertation to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whose strength and provision allowed me to finish this project". Great way for Willems to show his bias four page in.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 20:59, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Is the climate change movement saying consumption threatens the planet?[edit]

Here's the dilemma: the old-school Cold warriors on all sides of the tri-polar debate say peace and trade go hand-in-hand. 'Trade' being a codeword for 'consumerism'. Through this formula we've avoided nuclear war for 70 years, although we've failed at curtailing proliferation. The people of India, China, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, the EU and elsewhere all are living the Amrerican dream, success and freedom defined as driving a gas polluting vehicle. The climate change movement says consumption threatens tbe planet. The Salafis say Western consumerism threatens Islam's survival. Are the people of all tbe aforementioned countries willing to bow to these political forces, whose policy objectives are the same? This is only one problem in sorting how to find a path of continued existence on the planet, cause neither the climate change advocates, the Salafis, or Westernized mass consumers have a monopoly on the solution. Remember George Bush's immediate advice to citizens how to respond to the 9/11 attack? "Go shopping." In theory, he was right. And that thinking sustained us another 16 years. But I see whole system breaking down fairly rapidly. nobs 05:49, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Not sure what that conversation was about anymore, so I made a new section.

An arbitrary definition of success and freedom is such an easy way to "prove" than Indians are living the American dream. And yet, in this listWikipedia's W.svg, the US is number 3 with 797 road motor vehicles (excluding two-wheelers) per 1000 people, India is number 160 with 18... If we want to cherry pick criteria to fit our narratives, at least let's try to get some numbers.

AGW is a measurable physical phenomenon, it means that we (humans everywhere, not targeting anyone) are putting so much CO2 into the atmosphere that the planet's temperature is increasing more than it would have naturally. Magically shifting energy sources would stop our CO2 output without requiring any reduction in production or consumption. But this is a huge technological challenge, transportation is only a part of it (15% according to this, "the largest net contributor to climate change pollution" according to this), and before we get there, reducing waste overall would help (it would also help with many other things).

I don't have any two-word solution that will make the world a better place. Things are constantly changing, and ignoring the changes is the first step away from a solution. --Cmonk (talk) 12:59, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

"Climate Change Movement" there's no such thing. Only people who know what they're talking about. Christopher (talk) 13:03, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
So what is the opposite of 'global warming denier', a global warming proponent? nobs 17:10, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
The same as the opposite of 'holocaust denier' or any other kind of 'reality denier': a realist. --Cmonk (talk) 19:23, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
@Cmonk: Here's a short excerpt from a World Wildlife Fund report pg 8:

The main driver of our increased demands on the planet over the last decades is an explosion in global consumption driven by seemingly insatiable consumer wants.

However, countries have not equally benefited from this consumption growth. While there is a global consumer class – mainly based in industrialised countries – growing in extent and affluence, more and more are slipping deeper and deeper into poverty and are not able to meet their basic needs for food, water and shelter. Today the overall consumption of the richest fifth of the world’s population is nine times that of the poorest fifth (UNEP, 2002).

In line with these disparities in the global geography of consumption, the lifestyle of people in different countries poses very different demands on the planet and countries have contributed very differently to global environmental problems. While the Ecological Footprint of the average American, for example, is 9.4 gha/cap, a person in India only has a footprint of 0.9 gha/cap. The Ecological Footprint of Sweden is 5.1 gha/cap. In comparison to the recommended 2,1 gha/cap that the planet is able to cope with (WWF, 2008), we would need another 2 planets to sustain our lifestyle if everyone in the world would live like we do in Sweden.

Therefore, the world is faced with a twofold challenge. We need to reduce the overall demands on the planet while meeting our present needs more widely and to allow future generations to meet their needs. This is the idea behind the concept of sustainable development, which we hope will lead to “the fulfilment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer more prosperous future” (UN, 1992).

(Note many of these hypotheses and projected statistical conclusions take no consideration of future gains in energy efficiency, an unknown variable). nobs 17:39, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
It's the Capitalist Peace Theory that basically says that trade and capitalism cause peace because in an interdependent world economy war is too distruptive. CorruptUser (talk) 18:06, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
Hence my conclusion, that breakdown of that paradigm, which is occurring now fairly rapidly, is leading to a world of political instability. In the period of 1945-72, the only nuclear powers were the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Today they can be defied, and we're not even talking about non-state actors. There are other competing interests now. And another point still still stands: proponents of global warming theory are following a political agenda and twin track that parallels Salafism - anti-Western materialism and consumerism, without passing judgement on the merits of either. nobs 18:24, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
In my opinion, it should be expected that any entity with the will and resources could develop arbitrary levels of science and technology, simply because the laws of physics are the same for everyone; so it is almost unavoidable that nuclear proliferation would become a global issue. Back on topic, the section in the report that you link (section 1.1 "Living beyond limits") contains 2 parts, a first one about the ecological footprintWikipedia's W.svg which you cited, and a second one about global warming. The idea of ecological footprint includes concepts such as "Carbon, Food, Housing, and Goods and Services", so there is some level of guesswork involved, and it is not without its critiquesWikipedia's W.svg. But global warming is a different thing, with its own measurements and models. It would help if you could specify what you call "global warming theory", because I can't tell whether we are talking about the same thing. --Cmonk (talk) 19:19, 19 March 2017 (UTC)
That's what I'm saying. The movement is elusive. It lingers in the shadows, has a political agenda, attacks its opponents, and denies it exists (see above). Its rhetoric is vague but inspired. I have as much superficial knowledge of global warming as I do the Koran after all these many years, but I'd say it too, is a youth movement that targets the young, with a few grand imams and scholars to inspire its followers that Western values, traditions, and society are a threat to survival. These things aren't to be taken lightly, people 15-25 lack the experience and perspective to govern the planet, but they are the one's who will be called upon to kill each other in a battle of the planet's entrenched, competing interests. None of the old rules we lived by now apply. nobs`
The biggest difference being that global warming has scientific evidence behind it, whereas the Koran is a collection of the speeches of a warlord whose proof of divine inspiration was "I have an army". CorruptUser (talk) 01:27, 20 March 2017 (UTC)
I have no knowledge of such shadow movement. I trust the scientists because I can't check everything myself (no one can). If climate scientists say "AGW is a fact and here is the evidence", then that's my opinion (I do my best to check, but there is only so much I can do). If tomorrow they come out saying "we messed up because of this and that", then I will go with that too, although my trust will have been eroded. If it turns out that it was all a sick joke, then I will probably just give up. I see no rhetoric in a graph that shows temperature increasing over time; the only way to doubt it would be to argue that the individual data points are incorrect, and that is beyond my abilities. I don't have a complete understanding of all the details, but so far everything that I think I know is consistent, and the claims from scientists about the impacts of CO2 date back to the 19th centuryWikipedia's W.svg, so it's not just a new fad. In addition to instabilities caused by ideological conflicts, a changing climate would introduce an additional level of instability by affecting basic housing and food security. Models predict that business as usual should have such negative consequences. And instead of being far away in the future, they have already started: coral bleaching, ice caps melting, floods, islands disappearingWikipedia's W.svg. Is this all just scaremongering? Are these events fake news or merely coincidental? I doubt it, but if the people who dedicate their lives to the question say we should do something about it, then we probably should. --Cmonk (talk) 02:09, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

There appears to be 'at least some connection' between human activity and 'what happens to the world as a whole' - and if you use fewer resources (or use your resources more effectively) you spend less money (which you can use in other, more enjoyable areas).

Can someone come up with a succinct 'Morton's Fork style version of this? 82.44.143.26 (talk) 17:14, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

I also don't know what the "global warming movement" is. The fact is that human activity is causing the world to warm. This isn't a question of political opinion - it's a question of fact.
A possibly associated fact is that the world is a virtually closed system with finite resources. Using these resources generates waste other than CO2 and at some point we will need to move to a sustainable growth model which might even be a zero growth model. Or go to the stars using some as-yet undiscovered technology.
Another possibly associated fact is the enormous inequality in respect of the distribution of wealth between rich countries and poor countries - and also between a relatively small number of fabulously rich people and the rest of humanity.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:58, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Energy-wise, the planet isn't a closed system because energy from the sun fuels both photosynthesis and global warming. Matter-wise, we are mostly closed (good enough approximation), but even though we have more than enough raw elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen), the problem is how these elements are combined: breathable air, drinkable water, edible plants and animals. Because of continuous technological innovations (renewables, desalination, artificial meat) I find it difficult to say what, if anything, will be a long-term problem. Short-term, I am particularly concerned about coastal erosion and fresh water shortages: moving populations is costly and risky, and not even a developed country like the US can just brush off droughts. --Cmonk (talk) 00:27, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay. I've been in a two-day, highly insensitive low-level briefing on FISA. Now, here's a problem in achieving a global consensus on global peace, tranquility, while avoiding nuclear war and high levels of carbon emmisions. To achieve this consensus, one-quarter of the planet's population would have to be polled with the question: Who is the final arbiter of truth, Allah or Science? I'd be interested to see editors guesses on polling results, both within the global Muslim population and the world at large (for the remaining 75% of the earth's population, fill in the blank with the local prevailing deity of your choice). My guestimate: Islam: 83% Allah, 13% Science; Global composite aggregate (includes Islam), 75% Deity of your choice, Science 22%, Don't know 3%.
Conclusion: Science might not be ready for primetime for global leadership in the political sphere in the 21st century. nobs 05:02, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
Isn't nobs just confusing the degrowth movement (who think that mass consumption is bad) and people who believe in global warming in? Diacelium (talk) 20:20, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
This term, "sustainable growth" is a term the stop-global-warming movement hijacked from supply siders in the late '80 and early '90s, and gave it its own twist and meaning. Thatcherism, Reaganomics, and supply-side economics was all based on a theory to end stagflationWikipedia's W.svg and promote sustainable growth (i.e. no need for constant government stimulus). When Reagan & Thatcher departed the scene in 1989, they left a theory in place but the leadership (Papa Bush always called it VooDoo economics anyway) wasn't as committed. By 1992, you see the UN footnot in the quotebox above using the term, "sustainable growth" when the stop-global-warming movement was in its infancy. But they really mean something quite different from supply-siders who popularized the term. By "sustainable growth", the stop-global-warming movement realy means rationing in a zero sum society (one persons gain is another person's loss, there is no concept of mutually beneficial exchange).
This flying under the radar with a hijacked term helped make the stop-global-warming movement immensely successful. I had no idea of the corruption of a term I assumed was widely understood and accepted, until I read that report cited above a few weeks ago. nobs 22:18, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
The UN used the term "sustainable development", which was coined and first defined in the Brundtland report published in 1987 at the end of the work of the Brundtland CommissionWikipedia's W.svg started in 1983. In this document, "The satisfaction of human needs and aspirations [is] the major objective of development" and sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The EU does have a plan called sustainable growth, in which climate change is only one point of concern. Whether the naming inspiration came from Robert C. Higgins' sustainable growth rateWikipedia's W.svg (1977) or some political speech, I don't know, but it hardly matters today because of the multiple meanings and buzzwordiness.
Nothing can go "under the radar" with the global environment because it is public and borderless. As a political and social movement, environmental concerns are old, starting as early as the 17th century in the UK (sourceWikipedia's W.svg) and refining the message in the 19th century in various countries; in the US, Nixon played a major role by creating the EPA in 1970, following public concern in the decades before (sourceWikipedia's W.svg). Interviewed by Penn and Teller in 2003, the environmentalist Patrick Moore said "The environmental movement was basically hijacked by political and social activists who came in and very cleverly learned how to use green rhetoric or green language to cloak agendas that actually had more to do with anti-corporatism, anti-globalization, anti-business, and very little to do with science and ecology" and concluded "The solution side is to try and figure out how to do things better. Not to have campaigns against everything in the world, but rather to have campaigns in which you are shifting from the way you did things before into doing things in a new way that still provides the goods and services we need, but do so at less cost to the environment."
Regardless, nature doesn't care one bit about politics, economic theory and buzzwords, and it doesn't do voluntary trade either. Concepts such as mutually beneficial exchange only make sense for humans who want to justify their actions. When it comes down to it, everything is about energy and matter exchanges: energy only flows one way, and matter gets recycled. That people can value something because they believe it is beneficial to them doesn't mean it actually is, and that kind of belief is also a basis for irrationality that this site aims to counter. Despite the uncertainties, regular need for revisions and occasional errors, science is the best way we have to understand the world. Our current scientific understanding is that AGW is a fact. Arguing against that requires appropriate scientific skills. What we could or should do about it is debatable, but denying it on ideological grounds is not helpful. --Cmonk (talk) 20:04, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Vindicated. Great work, to the point, etc. It all harkens back to debates in the late 1970s and early 80s between supply-siders, best represented by Ronald Reagan, and zero-summers, best represented by Prof. Lester ThurowWikipedia's W.svg of MIT. When the zero-summers lost and the communism was discredited (the substance of their arguments being that the rich get rich at the expense of the poor), their arguments carried over to the one forum that would welcome them - the developing and undeveloped word of the UN which had not benefitted from the global Free Trade movement which was yet to occur. Hijacking what was then a commonly understood phrase, "sustainable growth and development", the zero-sum concept was reborn. nobs 01:08, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I am not quite sure I see the vindication, so let me rephrase a bit in case I was too ambiguous (the downside of trying to be fair). Humans have their agendas, but nature doesn't, so talking about this side against that side doesn't solve anything. Some people do give in to and promote alarmism/hysteria, but that by itself doesn't mean that we shouldn't be concerned about the environment. Climate change is only one part of the environmental concerns, and talking about "the climate change movement" is misleading. Climate scientists conclude that AGW is happening, so any policy discussion by non-specialists has to start with that as an assumption. Economic models don't apply to basic physics, and when it comes to ecosystems everything is complicated (they can absorb some amount of disturbance but not too much). If anything, on a human civilization timescale (how long? who knows...), burning fossil fuels is a "zero-sum game" because eventually they will run out, and we don't have any efficient means to scrub the accumulating CO2 from the atmosphere. At the level of modern-day people, those who say that it hasn't been a problem so far ignore that: (a) a lot of measures have already been taken in an attempt to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels (hybrid or fully electric cars, renewable energy, more efficient technology); (b) it actually has been, and continues to be, a problem (variations in oil price, energy dependency and conflicts, ocean acidificationWikipedia's W.svg). The warming itself means that the planet is accumulating large amounts of heat, and this matters because weather events are essentially heat transfer phenomena. --Cmonk (talk) 03:59, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
It's all moot when we're praying to Mecca 5 times a day. nobs 07:08, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
No, it isn't. (also this for a different perspective) We don't get to pick and choose our problems, they all happen at the same time. We do get to figure out what to do, but ignoring one doesn't make it disappear. --Cmonk (talk) 09:35, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Digested it all. But doesn't that corroborate my basic thesis, if not even moreso? This article is citing what we might call the 'global mainstream' of adherents to Islam, versus a more radical, if not widespread, Salafist view. In all three cases, Salafist, the 'global mainstream' Islamic scholars (if indeed such a thing exists; it's debatable), and climate crisis advocates, all adhere to an anti-consumerism, zero-sum economic theory ("limits to growth"). Isn't this a marked reversal of the pro-economic growth and development paradigm based on consumer goods and free trade that the existing global peace structure is built on? nobs 15:17, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
While there is some anti-consumerism and alarmism in the declaration, there is no mention of specific religious subgroups, and the Nature article doesn't elaborate on fundamentalism either. The website lists 27 "scholars" with various affiliations and countries (UN, Malaysia, UK, NGOs, etc.); I don't know how mainstream they are, but they certainly seem diverse. What I see is a group of people trying to convince others that AGW is a problem, arguing in favor of what they believe is a solution, with some governments apparently unwilling to listen, and others already facing the issues. To me, this looks like what is happening elsewhere, only with a religious framing; in fact, Nature points out that other faiths did the same thing, like this message by Pope Francis.
People in general are not experts in anything, be it climate science or economic theories. It is not hard to see why someone would think "to chase after unlimited economic growth in a planet that is finite and already overloaded is not viable" (from the Islamic declaration) regardless of religion or politics. Whether it is correct or incorrect is not self-evident, largely debatable, and instead of being anti-consumerist, it could also be pro-spiritual/anti-materialist.
As I see it, your "thesis" is that a proposed solution is the prime driver of a push for the recognition of an imaginary problem which serves only as a justification for the solution. Maybe this is indeed what some people want; however, the problem is real, and there is currently no widely accepted solution (in part because some people keep denying the problem). And your last sentence is like those loaded questions that are impossible to answer with a simple yes or no because of all the assumptions behind them ("have you stopped beating your spouse yet?"). What I can say is that shifting energy sources, that is replacing fossil fuels with renewables, wouldn't necessarily affect "consumer goods and free trade". On the contrary, environmental damage is destruction of valuable resources, and nobody would suggest something like a carbon tax if we weren't pumping out CO2. But we don't have such a magical solution, and the goal now is to figure out some kind of compromise, keeping in mind that while we are arguing, things keep happening. --Cmonk (talk) 21:12, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This has all been very constructive, and I think there are things we can build on. I've learned alot. Can we agree on a statement something like the following:

There are apace in the world two competing views or understanding of the phrase "sustainable growth and development." One such view interprets it to mean "sustainable economic recovery with increased employment and consumption"; another interprets it to mean "a world with finite natural resources that are depleted at a faster rate as population grows". The first group is old school, the second group are heirs of the planet. The first group control the dominant political and military alliances on the planet. The second group will be heirs of the dominant political and military alliances on the planet.

Or words to that effect. nobs 00:30, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

I also learned a lot: I don't necessarily agree with or understand all your points, but I find this kind of challenge valuable. Regarding your statement, instead of a generational difference of opinion, I think sustainable development is more about trying to avoid making the future more difficult than the present. But the official meaning has changed, and will keep changing with the state of the world and the priorities of those involved. If I had to summarize it, I would say that it is about designing long-term policies acknowledging the dynamic physical world. --Cmonk (talk) 06:09, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
Coming from a business background, in recessionary times and a falling stock market, people think "it can only go to zero." In a rising stock market, theoretically the skies the limit, because numbers are infinite. This is what supply-siders thought in the 80s, when Allen Greenspan produced the first "sustainable recovery" lasting 103 months. But the zero-summers always talked about "limits to growth", which basically people didn't want to hear.
I could write a boat load on what I've taken from this discussion, beginning with "sustainable growth" being a redirect in Wikipedia when Allen Greenspan never stopped using the phrase for 16 years as Fed Chairman, and it had nothing to do with what that page redirects to. What that page redirects to most people thought threatened "sustainable growth and development". nobs 06:37, 26 March 2017 (UTC)

Update to US and UK Politics Pages[edit]

Looking through the pages, I've noticed that sections of the UK and US are still referring to Obama as President and Cameron as PM. Could we go through and try to amend the articles? RoninMacbeth (talk) 17:15, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

Yes please! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:13, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

It's International Day Against Advertising[edit]

I just found out. Probably again an idea of the far-left degrowth hippies, however I do think advertising can be problematic (as explained by this website's page on it). Diacelium (talk) 13:04, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Ads beat a paywall, which many people oppose to.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 15:03, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I have never heard of this day. perhaps they need better advertising. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:11, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif I laugh at almost anything. Christopher (talk) 15:13, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I love selling advertising. It's the easiest thing in the world to do. You simply walk in to the guy who buys the advertising and say, "Hi! I represent (fill in the blank with the size of the market of your distribution, say 60,000 for example) potential customers." Wait for the buyers eyes to widen and light up, which usually takes about 3 seconds. He's already got all the numbers in his head on unit cost. Now it's only a matter of what percentage of those 60,000 will respond.
100 years ago, when mass advertising was in its infancy, there were ethical concerns about it. Loyal consumers felt the seller was doing everything possible in good faith to deliver a product or service at a fair margin or profit. Businesses that advertised took chances, cause many customers rebelled at the unfairness that they should have to pay the cost of convincing others to buy the same product when they themselves already were convinced its a good deal. And of course increased demand also means increased prices. But today we have the concept of marginal utilityWikipedia's W.svg, that a volume leader can produce more at less cost than mom n' pop, and no ad budget is suicide. nobs 15:41, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

If it's the 25th in your timezone it's also the "International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade".--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:26, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Life is short and DORRRRITOS EXTREME TONY HAWK holy shit am I incepted? I don't even eat chips but Ruffles are for boring poor people. Was anti-advertising day started by Ruffles? Stinks of salty conspiracy!
Slaves of what? Gaul Dernitt (talk) 07:01, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

We have left center bias according to mediabiasfactcheck.com[edit]

mediabiasfactcheck.com has us as left center but high on factual reporting. Amusingly, the site original listed as "least biased" a couple of months ago. Here's the reason for the change: "RationalWiki does have a left of center bias in what they choose to list." Do we?

According to the Go-Daddy poll linked on the site, people voted that we are "Extreme Left". Just, wow.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 05:19, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

It's done by polling, the go-daddy one that is. Online polls are worthless. CorruptUser (talk) 06:25, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
@CorruptUser Indeed. Ignore that crap.
@CBF Thanks for the link! I must say that as a board member, I'm very happy with that rating (and I agree with it). I'd also agree that we have a center-left bias in practice, but that our factual reporting remains high. Compare to Conservapedia's rating. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:09, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
"Left of center bias" can be usefully translated to "regard for facts" nowadays. That said, I demand more cultism and magical solutions to made up problems from this site! Gaul Dernitt (talk) 07:21, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:04, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Wow, this is actually a really cool website. Seems pretty spot on, for the most part.Teurastaja (talk) 03:24, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

We must be getting more realistic then, at least according to Colbert. Bongolian (talk) 07:50, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

This website is lazy. It simply defines "Left" as supporting Democrats and "Right" as Supporting Republicans. For Example They List Wikileaks as moderate right because they leaked Hillary Clinton's emails. This is despite the fact that Wikileaks is mostly just anti-establishment if not leftish. They also listed the Peterson foundation as unbiased despite the fact that it is the vehicle of a Wall Street billionaire to destroy social welfare and inflict austerity under the guise of reducing the deficit. They call it unbiased simply because it donates to both parties. They also list Naked Capitalism as as moderate right source for no discernible reason at all. — Unsigned, by: ‎68.100.169.103 / talk / contribs

Redirects[edit]

How can I create them? Thanks! Anim (Carfa) 19:14, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Use this as a referenceHamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 19:23, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Revert your congressman TODAY![edit]

Jokey headline aside; I found this mildly interesting.

It's a bot which tweets every anonymous Wikipedia edit done by someone located in the halls of Congress/the US Senate/the House of Representatives.

Please report back here if you find any particularly juicy ones. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:24, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Oh my God, do people think editing with their actual IP is a good idea? It's like an invitation to get hacked and traced.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 14:36, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
It occurs to me that it would be harder to track their edits to the halls of congress if they were logged in. Hertzy (talk) 20:30, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
More like impossible unless a) the user unwittingly reveals their location or b)you have access to IP logs on Wikipedia through elevated access privileges.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 04:49, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Mental orgasm[edit]

Hands-free orgasms (a.k.a. energetic orgasm, energy orgasm, neotantra,Wikipedia's W.svg and mental orgasm) is an orgasm that can be achieved mentally.

  1. No erotic thoughts preceded and distressing (spontaneous orgasmWikipedia's W.svg)
  2. No erotic thoughts preceded and enjoyable (???)
  3. Erotic thoughts preceded and enjoyable (???)

A video about it by playboy (NSFW):

— Unsigned, by: CheeseburgerFace / talk / contribs

Ummm...Why? RoninMacbeth (talk) 15:33, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
What? It's current year and you're not harnessing your body energy wave chakra in order to achieve satisfaction without the help of kinetic stimulation? What's wrong with you? Do you still churn your own butter as well? Hentropy (talk) 17:56, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I am at a loss for words. Samstr (talk) 18:00, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
@RoninMacbethHegel1.jpg You poor, poor lad, you.HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 19:10, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
But in all seriousness, this can be an article, right?—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 19:25, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
There used to be a guy on Russian TV who appeared every morning at 6 AM, stared into the camera for 15 minutes without speaking, and could telepathicly cause female viewers to orgasm. nobs 21:00, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
...you mean this guy? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:21, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
We've got a bronze article on Braco already if that's who you're talking about. Hands-free orgasms may not be inherently woo, but still there might be an article there. Bongolian (talk) 00:29, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
BRAAAAAACOOOOOO'Legionwhat do you want from me 01:39, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Would a mention of Rasputin be too Godwin's Law-ish? 31.49.115.137 (talk) 12:41, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

Look at this gem I just came across.[edit]

https://www.isitbadforyou.com/questions/are-gmos-bad-for-you They rate all sorts of things, and their main page shows somebody spraying crops.Teurastaja (talk) 00:17, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

That website is bad for you. Longterm risk of exposure to inflammatory information: high! Bongolian (talk) 01:03, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Do you know anything about this Dr Becky Maes or the site in general? (They say she is an expert in, among other things, toxicity. That tends to set off my bullshit alarm.) They could potentially be deserving of an article. Samstr (talk) 03:08, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm disappointed. Also, isitnormal.com is much much worse.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 04:32, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
isitnormal may be worse in some sense (like the gross-out/tease factor), but isitbadforyou is worse in that it deserves an RW page: it's got 5 MDs at the top of the staff list. isitbadforyou does not cite any references, which is a bad sign, despite also having a "researcher" (i.e., a nutritionist) on the staff. This is particularly troubling since isitbadforyou cites some "possible long-term side effects" without any substantiation (e.g., cancer and kidney disease) for some substances. Bongolian (talk) 05:06, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
I would agree. It doesn't have sources to back up its claims, thus making it a worthless site. The site also fails to acknowledge the dose makes the poison. Also measuring qualitative safety through a quantitative grade scale is not a very wise decision.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 05:16, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Their page on fluoride is truly awful.[7] "…fluoride itself essentially has no good effects on the human body, other than it can help prevent tooth decay." OK then, I'll let my teeth rot because "fluoride essentially has no good effects on the human body". They then give weight to a fluoride conspiracy theory. Bongolian (talk) 05:13, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
That's self-contradiction. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 17:53, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

I checked out Sunil, Maes, and Wavrek in their about section. Sunil was the only one I could get third party information about. He is a pulmonologist working in Tucson. So he might be the Dr. Oz of the bunch. However, the other websites give Sunil as his first name. His last name is Natrajan, the same as Kathan Natrajan, one of the two co-founders of the website. I get the feeling that they might be trying to hide a family connection, but what would be the point? I feel the conflicts of interest that would arise from this wouldn't effect the kind of set up they have for their website.Teurastaja (talk) 19:29, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Come to think of it, they might just not want them to be conflated.Teurastaja (talk) 19:32, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

You know what really grinds my gears?[edit]

When people don't add a == [TopicName] == on the first talkpage entry. This messes up archiving. More people should pay attention to this minor thing that I see as egregious.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 04:45, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Fair point! Though, it's never too late to add one, is it? Considering that most talkpages don't grow tall enough for archiving in the first place. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 15:12, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

What about[edit]

When people needlessly subtopic a discussion? ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:00, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Good news everyone! I've decided to start quoting myself more often.
Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:09, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Trump K.O.'s planet Earth; humanity going down with own ship still considered technical win by Trump[edit]

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/27/politics/trump-climate-change-executive-order/index.html Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:00, 28 March 2017 (UTC)

Sad but true. His primary motivations have been demonstrated yet again: greed and revenge. Bongolian (talk) 18:07, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
Scientists, officials and environmental campaigners in Europe said Tuesday that the United States would be damaging its own interests if it rolls back the previous administration's efforts to curb climate change. --Cmonk (talk) 19:10, 28 March 2017 (UTC)
At this point, Trump can do a lot of idiotic decisions due to the president being overpowered. Theoretically, the other two branches should be performing checks and balances. Trump really shows what's wrong with America's government and how it has decayed over the years.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 00:50, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
Too bad "theory" is not reality.-💎📀1️⃣ (talk) 03:51, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
It reminds me of an interview I heard on NPR recently. The author, Kim Stanley Robinson, called the continued use of fossil fuels a Ponzi scheme; a few people are benefiting in the short term, but the full brunt of the costs will be saddled on future generations. Samstr (talk) 20:40, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
True. Another way to look at it is the fossil fuel-related industries taking all profits while foisting most of the risks on others. Bongolian (talk) 07:48, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Consider me a tone argument person right now, but I think it's a bit extreme to consider that "humanity is going down". It's really more like people are going to suffer more. On the other hand, California has vowed to maintain strict air pollution regulation. And I'm from SoCal. I don't like dying from air pollution and seeing people die from hurricanes, diseases, heat stroke, and tornadoes because of dumbshit politicians like Trumpy, who is also antivaxxine. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:07, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Since there's been some confusion on this point (here as well as below), let me just point out that the headline I wrote in this thread was about 100% an expression of my own desire to simply write a funny-sounding, Onion-esque parody headline. It wasn't meant to be reflective of the article's contents (per se). My bad if that wasn't clear Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:59, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Okey dokey, thanks for the clarification. But it seemed to be taken at face value by others, if you notice the global warming controversey section, particularly Hentrophy's comment and I do think people outside of RationalWiki do play global warming as doomsday and as if Trump can destroy Planet Earth with a single stroke (which sounds very similar to those who scream that Obama will transform us into Communist pasta-loving baby killing lizard wolf chicken snakes). --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:25, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

How to deal with the global warming controversy?[edit]

Scott Adams says "it is mind-boggling to me that the scientific community can’t make a case for climate science that sounds convincing", ignoring that the controversy is due in large part to people (like himself) actively working to undermine the credibility of legitimate scientists. The latest event by Lamar SmithWikipedia's W.svg (Lamar Smith?) seems to do nothing but galvanize both "sides" (discussion about the video).

Looking at the tactics and the comments on various websites, it is very difficult to figure out how to tackle the problem. The main arguments have already been countered but keep being repeated anyway (like so many other topics...). And nowadays they contribute to a decentralized mixture of public and private talking points, including pseudo-scientific and ideological. I intend to write an article about Popular Technology.net because they keep turning up in my searches and seem to have some kind of international reach (unclear). It is depressing to see the videos from Richard Lindzen ([8]) and Patrick Moore ([9]) sponsored by Prager U; modern and professional design promoting carefully built misinformation messages will keep getting better, and that experience will come in handy when the next big controversy comes around. --Cmonk (talk) 18:43, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

The sequel to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is scheduled for release this year on July 28th (An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to PowerWikipedia's W.svg). Not surprisingly, it features Trump as a villain.[10] Bongolian (talk) 20:36, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Al Gore's little slideshow is one of the main reasons why the climate science argument is hard to make. The biggest part is that the science can be complicated, but rather than making arguments that people can connect with and support, the activist (not so much the scientists themselves) decided to go full-on total alarmist, to the point of being doomsayers. And doomsaying never sounds credible, even if it is. And it keeps happening, even in those Saloon Bar. "Trump K.O.s the planet!" and Van Jones' bombastic article title "Trump Just Signed Earth's Death Warrant!!" All for what exactly? Rolling back executive actions that didn't do much in the first place? It's just dumb. A much better argument from the beginning would have been to make it argument about energy independence and reducing pollution. We don't have to pump out smoggy, toxic fumes we have to buy from Saudi Arabia in order to get around or keep the lights on. Keep the air and water clean. The climate change argument should have been retained to what it was- a long-term strategy to lower Earth's temperature. Not "VOTE IN ALL DEMOCRATS TOMORROW OR YOU'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!"
The Scott Adams article is dumb overall but the central point it gets at is the credibility issue. Activists who might have also been scientists or been working off their data have been making prediction after prediction that has not come true. Every day you get bombarded with news stories about how "scientists" say this food is good for you, then it's bad for you, then it's good again. You have to work with what you're given, and in this case we're given a populace who is not super scientifically literate and don't have a whole lot of trust in the scientific community. Environmentalists only seem interested in talking to people who already agree with them and then act confused as to why they're not taken so seriously. Hentropy (talk) 00:51, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
A distressingly large portion of the environmentalist community tends to be anti scientific in general. It is unfortunate that such an important movement has almost turned into a religion. Things like GMOs and nuclear power seem to be almost instinctively opposed, despite the fact that both are not only relatively safe, but probably necessary to face some of the most important challenges of the modern era. Samstr (talk) 03:14, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
(ec)This leads to a separate question apart from a single issue, such as global warming or a cancer cure. Call it, the politicization of science. The question is, Is Science determined by democratic processes? I would argue no. You can not make science valid, accepted, or "settled" by a means that is inherently subjective and emotional. Avoiding the question that only educated elites should be able to make important political decisions, I would further argue it was improper and unscientific and to ever politicize science in the first place. nobs 03:17, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
It certainly is a bad thing when science is politicized, it's impossible to avoid though. (And to say that because science is can't be totally apolitical it can't be trusted is, I think, a blatant example of the nirvana fallacy). Christopher (talk) 10:25, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
I think politicization is more about people (scientists or not) using scientific conclusions as an ideological tool. Science itself is apolitical because politics are culture-dependent, but valid scientific conclusions can be replicated by anyone. In other words, if an experiment works one way for scientists from party A, and another way for scientists from party B, something is wrong. In the case of climate science, there is enough international involvement for this kind of bias to be unlikely. --Cmonk (talk) 12:17, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Science attempts to be apolitical but isn't in practice, for instance, if (and I really can't emphasise the if enough) there was a valid scientific study that concluded beyond reasonable doubt that women were less intelligent than men do you think it would get published? Possibly but there's a good chance it wouldn't (I really don't want to make it look like I think that this is the case, it's purely hypothetical)(I also know this is a bad example as there have probably been many studies disproving this hypothesis even if I'm too lazy to check). Christopher (talk) 12:37, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Your example is still about people (scientists here) choosing to use the scientific conclusion (pretending it doesn't exist, lying) for the sake of their ideology (equality). This may not be an issue in some other country with different cultural values. Either way, the scientific conclusion would be the same (if it is valid), and what to do with it is where the political quarrel should be. If we take the stance that we can't trust scientists because they lie, then we might as well just go with our gut. To be fair, scientists are people, and sometimes people do bad things; however, these issues are recognized and explicitly addressed. --Cmonk (talk) 13:35, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

I believe it's the Moralistic fallacy, assuming that because something should be true, it must be. Actually named for this very problem in science, where both progressives and racists have made it virtually impossible to investigate anything that could possibly link genetics and behavior/intelligence. And then there's Eugenics... CorruptUser (talk) 15:04, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Fair enough. But what to do then? The fivethirtyeight article above is a treasure trove for AGW detractors if we want to focus on the tiny chance that current climate science might be utterly wrong because of a hypothetical centuries-old multigenerational international anti-Big Oil bias. It's back to square zero, "us against them" with personal belief as sole evidence. And waiting while thinking about "doing something" vs "doing nothing" is in effect doing nothing. Can we rationalize our way out of this line of thinking? --Cmonk (talk) 17:17, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
Scientific self-monitoring in action: No publication bias found in climate change research. Now the contrarians are going to say that this research has an anti-bias bias, so we need to do a meta-meta-analysis. --Cmonk (talk) 00:23, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
One persistent issue is the lack of readability with science papers. I've tried looking at them and they're like, quoting RationalWiki, smashing my head "through a light-year of refrigerated saltwater taffy". It hinders MY ability to examine and debunk denialist points and even I can feel slightly of their sway. That's not a help at all when denialists are pseudo-scientific (while denialist sites like stupid Poopoolar Technology tries very hard to put up an air of independence and rationality and try to destroy Skeptical Science's credibility through "debunks" and character assassination (like associating Skeptical Science's founder with apparent Nazism) and put up more smokescreens to further confuse the public. Neither does it help when even the news likes to distort a bit of scientific fact ("processed meat is just as bad for you as cigarettes" when the actual story is that its carcinogenic status has been upgraded and does not increase its actual likelihood of cancer; it's a statement on its relationship to cancer) and things like headlines aren't even written by the person who writes the article. Worse, for the sake of "balance" some news like to present the denialists as "skeptics". The thing is, people rely on the news to "translate" the shit scientific papers say, and they don't do an amazing job, all while they leave global warming at the backburner when it's arguably a top-priority. issue. What we can do now is create articles like Poopoo Technology and explain why they're wrong and deserving of contempt for being a threat to public health. We can also donate to science organizations, but I don't know how much impact that will make. One more thing, someone's got to translate those papers. Ugh, such a pain to read. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 17:51, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
I entirely agree about the readability issue. That was actually the main reason for my question a while back (ironically, the paywalled paper seems to be about popular science being too easy). Given the millions of papers written every year, there could be a market for people able to translate obscure scientificum into normalspeak (but now we would pay for the paper and the translation). Or maybe an AI or something. But for now... Wall.gif --Cmonk (talk) 19:04, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

Disambiguations[edit]

Is there a way to exclude disambiguations from lonely pages and short pages? It makes looking for actual articles that need linking to/actual stubs that need improving hard to find (a similar thing was done with pages that link to disambiguations). Or is it so something no-one else cares about? Christopher (talk) 10:31, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

I don't know the answer to your question. So instead, here are the page types you ask about, rendered as popular songs:
  • "All of the lonely pages... Where DO they all come from?"
  • "Short pages got... No reason to li-ive!"
That is all. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:15, 1 April 2017 (UTC)
😀 Bongolian (talk) 02:58, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Florentin Smarandache[edit]

I saw this name in the log with the mention "deleted page" (I post here because I don't know where to discuss this). The name sounded amusing so out of curiosity I did a quick search, and according to this discussion (reddit) he seems to be a real mathematician living at the border between ok and not. If you believe his ResearchGate profile, his skills and expertise include pretty much everything. His work is referenced multiple times on MathWorld, for instance the Smarandache Paradox: "if all is A, then the non-A must also be A". The discussion page on Wikipedia fr (his English Wikipedia page was deleted) suggests that he is not accepted by mainstream mathematicians; elsewhere, people have pointed out mathematical errors in his work; it looks like he rarely gets past peer review so he mostly self-publishes. On what I assume is his official page, he is described as leading the "paradoxism" movement, he studies "superluminal and instantaneous physics", and there is also mention of "unmatter" and "Nonnovel". His neutrosophic logic is supposed to generalize everything else, including fuzzy and paraconsistent. According to this he coined the term "Outer-Art" (sample pictures, main page if you think life is too long) which "means to make art as ugly as possible, as wrong as possible, or as bad as possible... and, generally speaking, as impossible as possible!" (another exclamation mark aficionado; I am more of an ellipsis person...)

This is what paraconsistency will do to your brain... Shrug.gif --Cmonk (talk) 15:46, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

If you think he deserves a page here, go ahead and recreate it. The page that was here before kind of hinted that he was a pseudo-mathematician. But it did a piss poor job of that because it was written in language that only a real mathematician could understand. Spud (talk) 14:19, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

A skeptical resource (that's fucking metal!)[edit]

I'm talking about hoax-slayer.net! *headbangs*

But in all seriousness — the great Steven Novella recommended it (admittedly in passing) during one of his audiobook lectures.

The site seems to focus mainly on debunking chain e-mails (i.e., the fake news of the early 2000's) — but regardless, having another Snopes-type resource to cite from isn't bad.

Besides, atleast some of the old Gish gallops and whatnot we deal with have some basis in old chain e-mails.

So, anyone ever heard of hoax-slayer before? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:40, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Lovely. I've used to look at Snopes, but I think this site looks like a good resource as well. Haven't heard of it and I wish I did before being aware of total shit like Breitburp, GnattyNews, and AgeofAWWWWWRRHGHtism. Though I hope it has more than just Facebook scams and obvious fishy crap like "radiation from Mars". --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:03, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
It's pretty good, about comparable with Snopes. I follow it on farcebook. Also, this. 85.234.65.51 (talk) (Sophie) 14:29, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Has Jerry Coyne become an anti-psychiatry crank?[edit]

Original topic available here. Thoughts? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:47, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

From what I understand, the debate started with this piece in which he mentions a personal experience involving an acquaintance suffering from depression. By comparison, he wrote a year earlier "Of course researchers should continue to compare talk therapies and to determine which, if any, drugs are useful in alleviating depression". Despite his criticism of the DSM, he used it recently to speculate about a famous politician's personality, but added "personality disorders are famously resistant to therapy" which could mean anything, and he used the ambiguous word "ministrations" to describe the activity of psychiatrists. Sometimes, cynicism and distrust take root when the comfort that one expects from mental health professionals is missing in action, because doctors are also flawed human beings. I don't want to speculate too much without knowing what happened, but "crank" may be overstating it since he doesn't seem to be on some active crusade. --Cmonk (talk) 23:50, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Still, it's tiresome to see someone whose "claim to fame" is being a rationalist go over the same old ground, even once. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:01, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Rational Limerick Contest[edit]

Hey good work, Rationalwikians! Why not collect these into a limerick generator for funspace? Bongolian (talk) 05:29, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

I take that back; is my poetic meter busted or are some of you guys not following the limerick meter? Ronin looks good, but Rev??? Bongolian (talk) 05:35, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I'm the one following the Limerick meter... The sentences of a limerick are supposed to be read out at different speeds, in a non-melodic but strictly paced way, and that means you can only have a certain number of syllables in the different sections of the limerick. All my submissions nail the optimal syllable count (I've balanced them for that) and can be read out loud with a consistent tempo. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:12, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
For an example of the optimal limerick pacing (and it's also an excellent limerick), see here . Translation available here. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:55, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Good one! Bongolian (talk) 20:16, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
TBH, I'm really so surprised so many people contributed to this. I was not expecting this many people to contribute. RoninMacbeth (talk) 05:56, 31 March 2017 (UTC)

RoninMacbeth[edit]

Kind of self-explanatory. I'll start. Ahem:

There once was a man named Trump,

Who really was kind of a grump.

So he ran for the White House

And the Nazis he did rouse

So now we're all down in the dumps.

Anyone else? RoninMacbeth (talk) 20:32, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

There once was a man named Andy,

Who gave CP bans out like candy.

“The speed of light has decayed

For Earth was made in but days!”

Such statements this man thought were dandy.

I came up with this one walking home from swim practice. RoninMacbeth (talk) 00:31, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

There once was a man named Roko.

Whose theory was thought to be loco.

So LessWrong went in flames,

And Eliezer was shamed

Now nobody mentions poor Roko.

I'm less proud of this one. RoninMacbeth (talk) 00:44, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Ikanreed[edit]

A man was a highly skilled homeopath

He would mix and dilute in his bath

Only one small problem this lent

There was not one molecule of ingredient

Because this man sucked at basic math

ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:41, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

I had an infection that turned my skin bright red

I took my chiro's advice and went with alt med

Don't trust Big Pharm

Because what's the harm

And now I'm lying on my death bed

ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 20:52, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

There was this certain theory

About how everything was a conspiracy

And don't trust the news

Because it's run by the Jews

And all these coincidences are eerie

(Sorry for the slant rhyme) ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:00, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

schools will never teach intelligent design

because there's no evidence coming down the line

and complexity irreducible

can't survive the scientific crucible

No matter how much Darwin you quote mine

ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 21:15, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Reverend Black Percy[edit]

Dopey FAKE NEWS? Very sad!

I'm the best prez that we ever had!

InfoWars dares to say,

Now the frogs have turned gay,

That Pepe wants to be called Chad!

(My first attempt, I hope the references aren't too obscure) Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:17, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

The moon is a spaceship IT'S TRUE!!

How could I be misleading you?!

As I fell out of bed,

Landed right on my head,

The truth of the Matrix broke through!!

(Guess who) Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:27, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Courageous Freeman-on-the-land,

The judge forced him to take the stand!

Though they had his passport,

He remarked with a snort,

"the REAL me's in Gondwanaland!"

Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:08, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Tankies will call you "Comrade!"

Say "Stalinism wasn't that bad!"

Just don't point out

That Hegel was a kraut

Or you'll turn them stark raving mad!

Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:50, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

A long-debunked communist plot,

"The tap water is your garrotte!"

But since things are fine,

Lest you WAKE UP online,

Mike Adams will have written for naught!

Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:17, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

The denier knows his alphabet,

"AGW" means "A lie from Soviet!"

For each science report,

saves his brilliant retort,

"But I'm not even breaking a sweat!"

Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:34, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Chemtrails must turn people gay,

It's all in that deviant spray!

Some damn plane in the sky,

Must've hit a bullseye,

Cause I can't stop watching men's ballet!

I'm actually a bit proud of this one. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:45, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Things hadn't turned out as planned,

When Moses got lost in the sand!

Wandering the desert,

Not so much as a skirt,

But atleast he got quite nicely tanned!

Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:57, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Darwin claims "Man is an ape",

But there's one question he can't escape!

It's "Oh, were you there?"

Since his proof is threadbare,

We'll need monkeys transforming ON TAPE!

#ReasonableCreationistDemands Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:21, 18 March 2017 (UTC)'ll

My vote.Gaul Dernitt (talk) 07:15, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

LeftyGreenMario[edit]

Do you know the Banana Man

Who tried to find out how life began?

He literally took a slapstick fruit

And proven that scientists don't give a hoot

Aside from laughing as hard as they can!

Mom told her little Deneb

Trust no strangers on the web

But Mom embraced a random meme

That promised could fulfil her autism-free dream

Her kid is now caught in a sick web.

David Gerard[edit]

Rational rational rational

Rational rational rational

Rational rational

Rational rational

Rational rational rational

"But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink! Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:57, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Goodpost.gif--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 04:16, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

There once was a guy that I liked

I took him for being quite bright

He liked all I hated

Our paths seemed post-fated

And I got along fine with my life

Pure love Gaul Dernitt (talk) 06:49, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

Rationalzombie94[edit]

There once was a creationist

There once was a creationist, he thought his mind was spacious

He preached and preached religion

But nobody listened to the dick

He preached and preached then got an education

He learned and learned to find his God didn't exist

He cried and cried till his spirit died and ended up in Tartarus

The creationist cried and cried when he saw the smirk in Hades's eyes

Hades preached and preached Jesus was only imagination.

The creationist screamed and scream as he was tortured

The creationist was a dick, a dick, a dick he learned

But the pain would never end for the asshole creationist creationist


He was a Nazi who committed murder by proxy

He didn't care if the people were dyin

He created squads of death that took peoples breath

The Nazi by Proxy got trapped in a boxy

With no way out and with out a doubt he was dead sauerkraut.

Okay I am not good with limericks --That Undead Schizophrenic (talk) 21:37, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Goodpost.gif Know thyself. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:58, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

nobs[edit]

There once was a man named Barack

Who had a wife that looked like a jock

One night while they're sleepin'

Under the covers he's peekin'

And said, "My God, I thought it was a sock!"

nobs 03:40, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Okay, that was funny. You get brownie points for that!--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 03:45, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

There once was guy named Trump

Who could rile people on the stump

To Washington he came

And left it the same

When he ended by drowning in the swamp

nobs 06:17, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

There once was a boy named Ryan

With big ideas a-flyin'

When they told him to fix-it

He said he would nix-it

Now the poor people are cryin'

nobs 06:30, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

There once was a hag named Pelosi

Whose leadership style was lousy

When they tried to replace her

No one would face her

Cause she looked like Bela Lugosi!

nobs 10:09, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

There was an ol' putz named Schumer

Who couldm't shake off the rumor

No matter how hard he tried

Or how loud he cried

He licks the shit off his bloomers

Disclaimer: for NPOV purposes, I struggled hard to come up with a McConnell one. Anybody any ideas to get started? nobs 10:09, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

There was a young man named Bruno

Who said there is one thing I do know

A woman is fine

And a sheep is devine

But a llama is numero uno

There once was a guy named Reince Priebus

Who gave everybody the heebie jeebies

When he tried to cut costs

In healthcare he lost

Now everyone is living on government freebies

There once was a guy named James Comey

Who said Trump was Putin's homey

When they sat him to speak

The country did freak

When they saw he was a Deep State croney

There once was a guy named Bannon

Who had a mouth like a canon

When Trump asked advice

He said "stick to lies"

How to shitcan 'em both everyone's plannin'

Anybody got any ideas for Kellyanne? nobs 16:32, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
Kellyanne would you go on TV?

Tell the press there's much less than they see

Trump's a really good man

Besides the talk in the van

And you're much hotter than the VP

Gaul Dernitt (talk) 07:45, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

There once was a woman named Farkas

Who spoke up when things were their darkest

But what she did say

Could put her away

And made her a walking and breathing carcass.

There once was pressman named Spicer

Who nobody thought could be nicer

He looked like a geek

With a voice that would squeek

But the BS that came out

And the spin he would tout

Just made him another shyster

Here, somebody gimme some help....

There once was a Princess Invanka

And everyone told her 'I wancha'

She had bosoms like...

Smerdis of Tlön[edit]

Rising to the challenge

There is a Senator McConnell A foe to things floral and faunal.

Global warning he spurned

So as the world burned

The climate turned more and more saunal.

- Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 17:37, 20 March 2017 (UTC)

Onozomg.gif I missed this one, so good! Gaul Dernitt (talk) 08:33, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

DiamondDisc1[edit]

... ..... ....... ......... ....... ..... ... .

Here's one from old Percy.

Vandals on here take a risk,

This sysop might give them a frisk!

He unbuckles his belt,

And the damage is dealt,

"You WILL stare at my fucking disc!"

Th hug.gif Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:08, 21 March 2017 (UTC)
Good job RBP :p-💎📀1️⃣ (talk) 05:07, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! ^^ Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:18, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Krej[edit]

There once was a wizard named Dwight

With extrasensorial sight

But he could not foretell

At least not very well

When others would whirl and say, "Psych!"

There once was an old man named Zeke

Who thought he proved Chinese was Greek

For he could not see

In his boundless glee

That mere engineers must be meek.

Online, some dork bio class flunkees

Said, "We're not descended from monkeys!"

But to their dismay

RW came

And showed that their claims were all funky.

There are those who talk about aliens

And declare they're pure-blood Albanians

"The Earth is thus ours,

Since we are from Mars."

So they say, those crafty Albanians.

These weirdos are all contradictory

And argue oh so very bitterly

They say, "He's a crook!"

"No, he is, just look!"

And always do love to claim victory.

They say you can heal with hand-waving

It's cosmic and full-of-light bathing

But your hands get so hot

You could slice a steel pot

And you yourself might need some saving.

There is a great man with charmed hands

With powers from far distant lands

He can heal you like that

Before you can say, "Drat!

"A steep price he truly commands!"

You can't use your dreams to predict

The nonsense that fate will inflict

They do threaten you

With so many clues

But which are supposed to be picked?

A Russian did once try to mull,

"Just look at this old monkey skull!

"This surely does prove

"(And doubters does move)

"That Russians must savages cull."

Certain Turks are quite a strange lot

They will babble lots of dumb rot

They'll say, "We're the sun!

"You better not run!"

It's the only pride that they've got.

There once was a doctor named Ludwig

Who made up a tongue he could rule with

Its rules were so random

That everyone panned them

And nobody would deign to use it.

--Кřěĵ (ṫåɬк) 04:14, 1 April 2017 (UTC)

IF a Winner is Decided[edit]

Seeings as it is a "contest..." I say we are post-beat limericists (give me cancer now God) and so beats don't matter but RBP has my vote.

So I participated at best

I was oft taught in verse to invest

Got homeschooled by Percy

Y'all did great but srsly

Perce won it and kept it in jest

Gaul Dernitt (talk) 06:27, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
The winner will be decided after the contest is closed by a pointless poll. It closes April 1, midnight, UTC. RoninMacbeth (talk) 15:37, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Could there be a limerick page for these (rather than have them disappear into the limbo of Saloon Bar archives)? 31.51.113.230 (talk) 12:20, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

^ Good idea! I suggest: Essay:Limericks. The FCP Foundation (talk/stalk) 06:22, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

More philosopher pages?[edit]

As we don't have set pages for Sartre, Derrida, or Gadamer, would you guys like me to make them? I can go through and rework a lot of the philosopher pages too if you'd like (like I did with Machiavelli).

Also, has anyone else seen this site? What are your opinions on it? It looks a liiiittle (read:very) crank-y to me. Anim (Carfa) 12:38, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

That would be great!
As for the site you linked to, I didn't have time to go over much of it. I do object to the idea of separating "beginner-thinkers" (read: people who disagree with me) from their philosophy. I also read the essay, 'Truth and I'; the author seemed to brush some major problems in epistemology under the rug. No actual attempt was made to address Gödel's incompleteness theorems or quantum mechanical uncertainty, these thoughts are simply dismissed as "irrational". So yes, this site does seem crank-y to me. Samstr (talk) 13:51, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
I think that adding a lot more qualitative analysis of philosophy is an awesome idea, BUT just remember that RationalWiki is not an encyclopedia.
We cover any topic in order to catalogue, debunk, refute and correct.
With that in mind, we could certainly use coverage of more woo-laden philosophy:
  • A critical eye on mathematical platonism (as opposed to mathematical fictionalism), number mysticism and numerology generally.
  • A critical eye on ALL philosophies that clash with naturalism
  • Critical coverage of Hegel, the God-Emperor of modern Woo
  • Expansion of criticisms on the postmodernists, critical theorists, Lacanians and deconstructionists
  • Criticisms of Jungian nonsense
  • Criticism of New Age/"Eastern" thought
  • Expanding our criticisms of religious apologetics + explaining why all logical "proofs for God" fail
  • Criticism of the philosophical claims of Intelligent Design (aka William Dembski's work), e.g. their vague concept of "informatics"
  • Criticism of the great scientists who have mistakenly said "philosophy is no longer needed" (Hawking, Krauss, etc)
  • More coverage of the philosophy of skepticism (and its many tools), e.g. Shermer's Last Law, various razors, abduction/inference to the best explaination, etc
  • Updating and improving our list of logical fallacies (i.e., concepts in analytic philosophy)
  • More clear differentiation between formal and informal fallacies
  • Explaining why logical positivism fails completely
  • Criticism of Schopenhauer for his vehement misogynism + general refutations of philosophers often cited by MRA/MGTOW groups + criticisms of misogynist writings in the history of philosophy and theology
  • More critical coverage of the shitty portions of radfem theories, e.g. Andrea Dworkin in cahoots with conservative bigots (fail) vs sex-positive, LGBT-inclusive feminists (win), stuff like false consciousness, power plus prejudice, etc
  • Expanded criticisms of Stalinists, Maoists, Juche, etc = intentionalists generally, who fail to userstand both Hegel and Marx
  • Expanded criticisms of Objectivism, vulgar libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism and things like praxeology and homo economicus
  • Criticisms of the woo-laden portions of romanticism
  • Expanding our coverage on why the Enlightenment, coffee houses, "fraternite liberte egalite" matters
  • Refutations of Swinburn and the substance dualists
  • Criticism of fluoride cranks' bioethics claims that fluridation constitutes forced mass medication (it's doesn't)
  • Criticisms of the anti-psychiatry movement + criticisms of Hubbard's writings (Scientology)
  • Criticisms of STRONG social constructionism + criticisms of "ABSOLUTE objective knowledge" (as both are anti-science woo)
  • Criticisms of both naive realism and anti-realism
  • More on the philosophical problems with time travel
  • More on bio-ethics (e.g. criticisms of PETA + anarcho-primitivism/hard greens + woo portions of Deep Ecology), defense of cloning/stem cell research/abortion/in-vitro fertilization, etc
  • Criticisms of the (imo moronical) simulation hypothesis
  • Criticisms of Kurzweil's "Singularity"
  • Criticisms of Plato (where applicable), e.g. his anti-democratic arguments, his absolute knowledge/form theory, expanded coverage of Atlantis woo generally
  • Expanded positive coverage of Epicurus and the Ionian tradition
  • Explaining further why Kuhn's paradigms don't mean half of what anti-science woomeisters think they mean
I'm sure I left a lot of stuff out, but basically, this is the stuff I was able to retrieve from my "mental to-do list" at at moment's notice.
From the viewpoint of 21st century analytic philosophy, there is thankfully MUCH shoddy philosophy to warn against.
From the top of my head, the above is a list of some of what we could do for philosophy as skeptics. 14:55, 30 March 2017 (UTC)Reverend Black Percy (talk)
Schopenhauer is being read by MRA types? Perhaps there is hope for the world. Been meaning to start an article on Schopenhauer some time now, but I must admit that I agree with his thought in broad outline. He was the first major philosopher to conclude that people are not beings with rational souls, but biological organisms obeying instinctual imperatives. At any rate, I agree that many of these things should be covered. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 17:59, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Not just MRA types... "Better" still:
You can't blame Schopenhauer for who adopts his views, but he is indeed a literal God to them. Their choice of words. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 19:54, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Schopenhauer's opinions on women are often more about his biography than his philosophy; women done him wrong, starting with Mom. And he occasionally has a point, even as similarly strident critiques of masculinity sometimes do. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 03:52, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
What about stronger criticism of Utilitarianism, Solipsism, Stoics, Nihilisim, and Existentialism too? Is Futurism still considered a philosophy? Hollow (talk) 23:49, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Idea for Biology teachers being forced to teach creationism in public school[edit]

(Just a hypothetical) Lets say creationism was shoehorned into public school and Biology teachers were forced to teach it and the principle just said, "Teach creationism as fact"; have a Biology teacher start teaching the creation myth from Japanese mythology or Norse mythology as a form of protest (and to be funny). Yeah or Nay? --Rationalzombie94 (talk) 21:52, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Crafty creationist (ID proponents) often propose teaching creation myths from many world religions as a way to make it more palatable. See! We're not just Christian fundies trying to push mythology as fact in public schools! The point to them is not to necessarily paint Christianity as the only possible answer, they care much more about putting doubt in students minds about actual science. Trying to use broad "spirituality" and pointing out the prevalence of some sort of belief in God, as well as creation myths around the world, is becoming more common tactic. Again, not so much to convert people to Christianity but to make kids doubt at an early age and that science is a liar sometimes. So no, it wouldn't be terribly funny, in fact it would be what many creationists already want. Just to have actual science being drowned out by a sea of myths. Hentropy (talk) 22:51, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Damn those fundies! Taking the fun out of protesting creationism. Well, there is always the back up plan of emphasizing how stupid creationism is? Then again that might not work. I was not even aware of what you mentioned (I read about some IDiot tactics but not all of them).--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 23:21, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Just start teaching some Qur'anic variety and the Creationists will rush to repeal the law themselves. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:22, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Love the Islamic creationism idea, but I actually remember reading something like this back when intelligent design was first getting press. A Hindu man apparently sent a letter to a newspaper claiming that, if they were gonna give "equal time" to the implicitly Christian intelligent design hypothesis, then they should also give equal time to Hindu creationism. I grew up in a town in northern New Jersey that has a very large Indian American population, so it might have been (not sure) the local Daily Record that published it. Don't remember much beyond that, though. KevinR1990 (talk) 23:27, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Protest.gif "EQUAL TIME FOR XENU!" Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:28, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
And then the teachers get to the part about us all being in the Matrix. 2d4chanfag (talk) 00:44, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
This discussion needs more pasta. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 01:05, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Why not just make up a new one, e.g., Satanic Creationism? CorruptUser (talk) 01:36, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I like the idea of making a myth up. How about- Wafflistic Creationism? The universe is inside one big waffle and the universal waffle was created in the Holy Toaster!--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 01:48, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
And there is the Great Syrup Flood which trapped the bugs into rocks, which scientists found later. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 02:01, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
That might actually make more sense than the Christian Great Flood. Don't forget to worship the Goddess Aunt Jemima! This might make a good funspace article.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 02:49, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Or maybe a religion worshiping me. What? Everyone needs an ego boost once in a while!-💎📀1️⃣ (talk) 05:00, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps so, but I got to think of more breakfast related funnies related to creationism, like God likes his waffles with powdered sugar and thus cloaked the landscape with it, but he wanted powdered sugar only when he's cold since it tastes great with hot chocolate, so only wintery landscapes are dusted with fine white stuff. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 05:18, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
C'mon, there are a billion places to boost your ego, DiamondDisc1! Maybe if you say you're awesome enough times, people will believe you! It worked for our president! --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 05:18, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
Maybe the universe is just a giant pot of beef stew being cooked by God? Our galaxy is just a small piece of baby carrot among pieces of beef, potatoes and other carrots.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 22:45, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I always appreciated Kant's "mythos"; he once posited that every planet in the universe was populated, with the inhabitants getting more and more moral the further away one got from Earth (in all directions)... Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:48, 4 April 2017 (UTC)
I've always preferred H. P. Lovecraft's mythos, where inquiry into the nature of reality always leads to a truth so hideous it's always fatal to the sanity of its discoverer. - Smerdis of Tlön, LOAD "*", 8, 1. 04:51, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
Inquiry into the nature of H. P. Lovecraft's viewpoints leads to a hideous truth. Maybe the universe is just a buildup for our last joke. --Cmonk (talk) 05:01, 5 April 2017 (UTC)
<><><><><><><>-<><><><><> (talk) 05:37, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Sweet JESUS! Check out this ad for the Laser Grid GS1 Ghost Detection System[edit]

This is so fucking dumb. I mean, truly a RARE level of stupid.

I'm not even going to prep you for the ad. I'm just going to throw you at it, and I'll hear your comments when you emerge on the other side. But MAN is this dumb.

And yes, this is a real ad for a real product of a real company.

Their product bio for the Laser Grid GS1 Ghost Detection System claims the following:

NEW Laser Grid That Changes Everything! Imagine being able to map out everything you wanted to know about the physical aspects of a ghost or any anomaly that passes in front of you. Well now you can! This new laser grid system can tell us speed, dimensions and even help us make a 3D model of the anomaly. Utilizing a line grid pattern this laser system gives us more information than ever before. While dots as used by other systems are helpful in determining visual disturbances, lines can help us measure much, much more!

Just place the laser grid in an area projecting onto a solid surface. For best results, set it next to a video camera. Any anomaly with significant enough mass that passes in front of the laser will cause a visual disturbance in the pattern. With enough mass, the anomaly will reflect back a different pattern, bowing the lines along the surface of the anomaly. This reflected surface pattern will allow you to map out the anomaly in 3 dimensions - something never before done in the paranormal field. This unit includes an on/off toggle switch and a tripod mount for setting on any standard tripod.

Features

  • PATENTED System to Easily Detect Motion and Visual Disturbances Even In The Dark
  • Helps Measure Dimensions, Shape, Speed and 3-Dimensional Mass of any Visual Anomaly
  • Tripod Mount On Bottom of Unit for Easy Directional Placement (tripod not included)
  • Bright Red Laser Grid Lines Can Be Seen On Most Cameras (we especially recommend a Full Spectrum camcorder for the best quality)
  • Toggle On/Off Switch For Extended Use
  • Adjust the spread however you want by setting your own distance from the subject with a 1'/1' ratio. 12' distance from the subject results in 12' diameter, 4' distance results in 4' diameter.
  • Lasts Over 20 Hours On 2 AA Batteries

Is it even legal in the US to bullshit this hard?! How many total lies/misconceptions are IN this ad? Help me count, because my brain is seriously hurting from all this Facepalm.png Reverend Black Percy (talk) 23:42, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

They're quite careful in protecting themselves legally. All of the claims made aren't really out right false, they're just saying what the thing does. It doesn't say you'll be able to see ghosts for sure, it just says it might help you see them if they are there. And if they're never there because they don't exist, then the claim isn't really flasifiable. Illegal false advertising would be if it didn't come with a tripod mount even though it says it does. Hentropy (talk) 00:30, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
But they are lying! It seems to me, they claim (or strongly imply) that this device is some type of scanner — that it measures things or collects data. But in fact, I'm about 99.8% sure that it's just a glorified laser pointer! I mean, take a look at the device again.
It runs on 2 regular AA batteries (for "over 20 hours" nonstop) and features no ports or calibration buttons. All it has is an analog ON/OFF switch and a battery loading dock similar to that of any old TV remote.
And when they talk about 3D models and the likes, all they're really saying is someting akin to "if you FILM the grid sent out by our oversized laser pen with an actual camera, go to somebody with any old modeling program and show that person the video — they could sorta try to just offhand what they see in the video you filmed with your camera". That's a less obfuscated version of what they're really saying.
The product decription literally claims it helps to measure "dimensions", speed and "3-Dimensional Mass" (???). The FTC needs to step up their game if this isn't considered pushing it, legally. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 00:58, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
It's annoying bullshit obviously, but legal. They claim that the device "helps" you map out stuff, not that it does it all by itself. Words like "mapping", "scanning", "measuring" are very broad terms. A flashlight (or laser pointer) can be considered a "scanner" in a dark room. I do believe construction workers do use laser grids like these to measure things (the thing is probably just a normal laser projector used in other trades that has been rebranded). Using broad language and not making specific claims about the efficacy of a product is a hallmark of advertising. Particularly the language of "this will help you do something" is a pretty common trick, pretty much every "health" or weight-loss food/product does it. The only way you can falsify that statement is if you can prove that it could never help anyone ever. You also have to consider the entire advertisement and not just a single statement. If they say "this is a mapping device" and later say "it only maps when combined with a camera" then that can be considered okay.
Indeed, there does need to be more consumer protections against false and misleading advertising, but I'm not sure if you'll ever be able to fully stop BS like this, it's best just to encourage people to have a skeptical mind. At least they're not asking you to sink a shitload of money into something that does nothing. Hentropy (talk) 02:06, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Speaking of the crank love of broadness (to the point of absurdity)... On their "sister site", the exact same red flashlight laser device is being promoted as the — get this — UFO and Alien Motion Detection and Mapping Laser System. Facepalm.png Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:34, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
"DO NOT point lasers into the sky!" Catch them before they take off! I know I probably shouldn't be, but I am surprised that lasers are a common tool for ghost hunters. Meh, what do I know... --Cmonk (talk) 10:35, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm not the least bit surprised they're down with laser toys. Ghost hunters favor any device they can misuse to produce noise (both in the data- and literal sense).
They're not just snapping pictures to document things (e.g. like real crime scene investigators do). Instead, ghost hunters will illuminate dust particles with flash (often purposefully aimed against reflecting surfaces like mirrors), use "night mode" in daytime, remove the IR filters from their cameras, shoot lasers and use long exposures while twirling their cameras about.
They travel in groups, snap a million shots of a million odd angles in super weird lighting conditions, and then go through all of this junk data and keep the pictures most suceptible to pareidolia.
The same goes with their so-called EVP (electronic voice phenomenon). The ghost hunters record hundreds of hours of raw static, to later excitedly sit through every second of playback wearing high-fidelity headphones — trying to mishear the random noise as words (which is why the supposed ghosts always end up saying nonsensical stuff like "cucumber pants" and "who was phone?").
Same again with the ghost hunters' omnidirectional, uncalibrated EMF detectors... The more beeping and spikes, the better! Then add thermal cameras, AM/FM scanners, blacklights, geiger meters, motion detectors and even pseudo-electrical dowsing rods.
Ghost hunting is to 99.9% about the generation of "anomalies", not about actually documenting or measuring anything. Ghost hunting has no signal-to-noise ratio, because the noise is the signal. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:55, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Google made an AI to recognize images, and by reversing the system they can generate images from noise (or clouds or anything really). In essence, they make the machine experience pareidolia, and somehow it looks quite good (notice the funny animals). Ghost hunters could use this system to help find the ghost of the crocoduck in their static and prove ghost evolution (I suggest calling that "paleoghosting"). --Cmonk (talk) 11:37, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Why not just buy the proton pack. Leuders (talk) 13:40, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Especially considering they unironically sell "Ghostbusters Gear" to the would-be ghost hunters who frequent their site. Facepalm.png Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:46, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Another bonus of the proton pack is the product description uses plain English: "Gear up with this authentic Electronic Proton Backpack and blaster and let's go ghost hunting! Insert the included glow in the dark mini figure in your blaster and project its silhouette on the walls - see paranormal activity right before your eyes!" Leuders (talk) 16:25, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I saw "dog fish" and "camel bird" but no crocoduck? I'm disappointed. Christopher (talk) 16:44, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Speaking of that... Did you see the "Bull-frog" and "Sheep-dog" here? Give the clip about 20 seconds, if not. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:35, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
But those animals do exist, even Kirk Cameron must have heard of a bloody sheepdog! Christopher (talk) 17:52, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
At around 29:11 in this debate with Ray Comfort, Matt Dillahunty makes a nice analogy with languages: Italian and Spanish are descended from Latin, but there is no Itanish (he used a different word). Sadly, it didn't make any difference in the end. --Cmonk (talk) 19:56, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

2016 edits, graphed[edit]

Edits:

New pages:

Herr FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 04:36, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Everyone's reaction when they see RBP's edit count.HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 05:00, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
The edits by users looks like Zipf's law to me (or at least reminds me of it, though it doesn't exactly follow Zipf's perfectly) Meh (You) 16:44, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
And so does the new pages by namespace Meh (You) 16:50, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm genuinely distressed by how many of the high edit-count users were banned this year. Too much HCM :-/ ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 17:25, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
"Let my people go!" Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:27, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

I am making the transition to E-Cigarettes[edit]

I realize that my breathing is bad so I am switching over! I got the Freedom brand E-Cigs and got Margarita flavor juice for it.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 17:48, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

I won't drag you for making progress. My understanding of the research indicates that switching from cigarettes to vaping has correlations with positive outcomes from patients who smoke. It's also apparently a decent stop on the train to quitting entirely if that's a goal. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:20, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Well done, RZ! If you haven't already, make sure you check these videos out for some neat facts! Also, if you're struggling to cut out nicotine altogether (or having trouble lowering your nicotine consumption due to cravings), consider supplementing rhodiola rosea for some help along the way. Though if you do, WATCH OUT for adulterated RR supplements (and make sure you get the SHR-5 standardization, as most human studies were done on it). Note that while the nicotine-specific studies are merely preliminary, the neurology studies are not — and they are of interest to anyone trying to cut out nicotine. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:28, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I started on e-cigs a few years ago and have never looked back (until recently when I went through a bad bust up with the ex-wife so now I smoke and vape). Acei9 22:41, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
I love the flavor except when I (unintentionally) got the juice on my tongue. That burned and tasted awful.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 22:56, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Obligatory[edit]

Infinite IP bans[edit]

There have been several permanently blocked IP addresses. I personally think that this should not happen in the future, especially in regard to blocks that ban account creation. Instead, future blocks, even for the worst offences, should have a length of at most 10 years, and the current infinite blocks should be reduced to 10 years or less. KOMF 00:46, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

I thought it was a rule that we don't permaban IPs for those reasons. RoninMacbeth (talk) 01:03, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it's considered a rule. My understanding of it is: never block IP's for more than 3.6 days, but don't be afraid to block them for 3.6 days either (assuming that whatever the block reason is, it's a warranted block). 3.6 days is not long, and it's incredibly easy to return under a different IP even for a non-troll. As such, don't feel that 3.6 days is overkill — it hardly ever is — but to counterbalance that point, make sure to never block IP's for longer than 3.6 days, either. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:10, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
Can I change the infinite bans to 5-year ones, then? KOMF 02:36, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
Slightly offtopic: some trolls on this wiki thought is was wise to use Tor. Therefore, some exit node IPs give a ban message while editing on the wiki. Banned exit nodes are only encountered once in a blue moon, however, I don't think it's great to IP ban users that use Tor because not all people who use privacy software are evil. However, it's not like people can have the foreknowledge of knowing who has a Tor IP.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 02:37, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
IP blocking Tor exits? Really? Here's reasons why blocking Tor IPs are pointless:
  1. Ban evading is easy as shit. All you have to do is click "New Identity" on the onion icon. It's only present a mere inconvenience. There's a plethora of tor exits to use.
  2. RationalWiki's spam filter blocks Tor IP addresses so the anons will get caught in that. The anons in question may have gotten lucky with a new exit node, this is rare. Or the spam filter was different or nonexistent back then.
  3. Blocking Tor IPs hurts users who use Tor who have no malicious intent.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 02:53, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
We had to do it because of persistent bot vandalism via TOR (and similar things) a few years back. Don't sell the umbrella just because it's stopped raining. 159.15.128.172 (talk) (Sophie) 12:09, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

On those 'little wikis' where I have admin rights I block 'minor look-at-me-ism' IPs for a month and 'offensive' for longer. This will (theoretically) deter the nuisances but also allows reasonable IP users to contribute. 31.51.113.230 (talk) 10:14, 4 April 2017 (UTC)

Particularly troublesome ones can be banned longer IMO. As Sophie notes, don't sell the umbrella just because it's stopped raining - David Gerard (talk) 16:49, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Naked references are ugly and I hate them[edit]

A lot of editors, even experienced ones, are guilty of creating naked references. This is a plea to stop doing it. I have added this to the Manual of style page to assist anyone who wishes to reform(at):

  • ✘Do not use plain html references. They are naked and ugly and they don't tell the reader much.
  • This: <ref>http://www.mediaite.com/online/alex-jones-already-calling-orlando-a-false-flag/</ref>
produces this: http://www.mediaite.com/online/alex-jones-already-calling-orlando-a-false-flag/
  • Even worse, this: <ref>[http://www.mediaite.com/online/alex-jones-already-calling-orlando-a-false-flag/]</ref>
produces this (naked and almost invisible): [11]
  • ✔Do use references that have both links and text. This shows the reader where to find the information and also tells the reader what the source of the information is. Sometimes links disappear, and having the title, author and source of the link helps people reestablish contact with a different website.
  • This: <ref>[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25482361 Ethno-medicinal study of plants used for treatment of human ailments, with residents of the surrounding region of forest fragments of Paraná, Brazil] by M. Bolson et al. ''J. Ethnopharmacol.'' 2015 Feb 23;161:1-10. doi: 10.1016</ref>
produces this: Ethno-medicinal study of plants used for treatment of human ailments, with residents of the surrounding region of forest fragments of Paraná, Brazil by M. Bolson et al. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Feb 23;161:1-10. doi: 10.1016

Bongolian (talk) 03:16, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

This format fits with the second point, and it works well: [author name] (date of publication), external link with page title as the link name, date retrieved.
i.e. Mario, M. (March 10, 1981). RationalWiki Goats. Retrieved June 6, 2006.
--It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 04:11, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
I certainly hate seeing little blue numbers in references. In my opinion, bare URLs look slightly better than the little blue numbers. Only slightly better, though. I would prefer all references to be given a proper title instead of just the bare URL. Mind you, making it a rule creates a hell of a lot of cleaning up that's going to need to be done.Spud (talk) 06:03, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
It's not a rule; it's part of a style guide. Though I think the Cover story articles in particular should not have naked references. Bongolian (talk) 08:14, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
Probably not, but I also wouldn't bend backward to unfeature articles just because references are poorly and lazily formatted. The question, who is willing to parse through those links and reformat them all? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:26, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
On occasion people are operating in a hurry/decide to put the material on the page and come back to it but do not (there was a medieval manuscript in a museum which still had a note in a blank space to that effect by the original author) or other complications set in (Monday-itis anyone?) 86.146.100.80 (talk) 13:10, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I'll try to go back through my articles and fix my references (I'm super guilty of this one hehehe) Anim (Carfa) 14:42, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
I agree with you, LeftyGreenMario. One effort of moving articles to cover stories should be cleaning up references. Existing cover stories that get naked references added later should get cleaned up quickly. Bongolian (talk) 18:03, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Others who are more ambitious can add author names, dates, etc. but a link and the source name (e.g. this: Alex Jones Already Calling Orlando a ‘False Flag’ Mediaite.com) quickly makes a useful citation. Leuders (talk) 18:26, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm guilty. Bongolian, may I repent? Fuzzy "Cat" Potato, Jr. (talk/stalk) 06:22, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Yes of course, FCP! Bongolian (talk) 07:05, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

As perhaps the lead suspect[edit]

...I know I can be quite guilty of using naked refs at times. And first of all, let me just say that the above manual of style addition was a wonderful idea!

And Bongolian, I'm always grateful for your excellent edits, including your diligence in filing out refs. Th hug.gif

And I will try to do better — I will.

BUT.

I will argue the following, as an editor with ADHD:

If the choice stands either between:

  • Making a much-needed, quality addition referencing a solid source and pasting it as a naked ref

...or:

  • Not making the contribution at all

...then the former seems, to me, obviously favorable.

Indeed, a feature of wikis is that things can be polished up later.

Now, admittedly — it's WAY more efficient if the original editor just has everything in place from the get-go.

But for the times when it CAN'T all be in place from the get-go, lest we lose the entire edit (due to editor ADHD/lack of time/mobile editing/etc), just submit your edit anyways and (we'll) fix it later.

Again, though — I'll try to do better. As should everyone, because Bongolian has a point. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:28, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Thank you, Percy. You also have some good points. Bongolian (talk) 03:00, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

The heart of the matter[edit]

Where did the Trump-Russia/Obamagate drama begin? Here's a clue: the Magnitsky Act of 2012Wikipedia's W.svg, sponsored by John McCain. Signed into law by Barack Obama .Brought up for revisions in June 2016. Lobbied against by Ken DubersteinWikipedia's W.svg, former Reagan Chief of staff, and Fusion GPS, authors of the Steele dossier (the pee-pee memo) alleging Trump ties to Russia. You may recall when the Magnitsky Act was passed Russia retaliated by banning adoption of Russian children by Americans. The bill allowed the President to issue sanctions against certain Russian governmental officials and institutions he may designate. Russia in turn banned a list of Americans, as well. Among them Preet BhararaWikipedia's W.svg.

This act can be interpreted as a provocation among some within the United States national security establishment to start a new Cold War. Hence the US national security establishment has been divided against itself since the Russian intervention in Georgia in 2008 over this issue. The hawks, McCain, Obama, Hillary, and the predominant mood of the Intelligence Community (Brennan, Rogers, Clapper Matthis, McMaster) against the doves, Duberstein, Rohrbach, Trump, Mike Flynn and others opposed. This, at heart is the issue. nobs 07:18, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

As to FusionGPS & Christopher Steele: it is undetermined yet if FusionGPS, which was on the KGB payroll, knew that its employee Christopher Steele was at the same time on the FBI payroll. This outfit are bit players in the scheme. Steele is only an E. Howard HuntWikipedia's W.svg-type figure and not a credible witness. FusionGPS played both sides of the fence, the Kremlin side and the US Intelligence Community, and took 'em both for their money. That's what they do. They are professionals at it. Exposing their duplicity undercuts the whole Trump-Russia narrative, and lays open the wider motivations of both sides, the Cold War hawks (the US Intelligence Community) versus the Cold War doves (Putin and Trump). And the IC's big fear is once the public understands what's at stake, they will naturally be inclined to side with the doves. Who know's what stunt they are willing to try next? They're overcommitted at this point. The best way to stave off some disaster right now is for Trump to show some leadership and come to an accommodation with the IC. IOW, become a hawk, and put off any hopes for detente til a second term. Nixon did. Jack Kennedy never made it that far. nobs 12:11, 2 April 2017 (UTC)
So Trump's on board with the anti-Russian warhawks. He is now launching cruise missiles at his KGB paymasters in the Kremlin. He shitcanned Flynn per the CIA's wishes (Tillerson is the next to go). The CIA robbed him of the traditional honeymoon afforded new presidents. Can we let it begin now that the leftist/progressive anti-Putin crowd have drawn First Blood? nobs 06:23, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Suspected terrorist attack in central Stockholm, Sweden[edit]

Don't stray too far from the Swedish original reporting for the time being. I'm 40 minutes away from the epicentre; trust me on this one.

Main news post (UPDATING) here.

Additional info:

Things change fast, so stick to the main post above for the time being. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:41, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I gotta say, I'm really happy to see the limited interest in this event (considering that terrorism is a form of psychological warfare, as opposed to material warfare). So far, it's just been Paul Joseph Watson and the crazies who've really picked up on it AFAIK. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:04, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

Race for Governor (Michigan)[edit]

What are your thoughts on the candidates so far? I like Doctor Abdul El-Sayed, I know he is democrat but he would still be better than Doctor Jim Hines (Republican and Creationist who outright rejects evolution).--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 03:43, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

Not much to say, really. Pretty sure most of us here only care about sending the GOP packing from as many governor's mansions as possible. I want Walker out of Wisconsin, dammit! Blitz (Complaints Box) 06:32, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
Some of us didn't know there was a gubernatorial race in Michigan.-💎📀1️⃣ (talk) 06:43, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

Vimy Ridge 100 Years[edit]

I will be watching the Vimy Ridge 100th anniversary ceremony tomorrow. It was one of Canada's most important moments in World War I.--Cms13ca 23:31, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

An Apology[edit]

I am sorry about that Trump/WW3 diatribe. I can at times get really nervous and lose my sense of reason and let my passion take control. I offer no excuses for my immature behaviour and once again I apologize. S.H. DeLong (talk) 01:40, 8 April 2017 (UTC)

No worries, back in February I made a similar post about Trump and WW3. Paranoia got the best of me on that one.--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 03:45, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
Apology accepted. Now go to your room. nobs 11:49, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Kids, listen to our shirtless neighbour. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 14:07, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
A mild case of 'auto-suggestion "Last Trump" pareidolia'-itis: suggested cure a few cute kitten videos. 86.191.125.136 (talk) 20:27, 8 April 2017 (UTC)
The only cure for me is a good round of reading Friedrich Nietzsche and reading about Justinian I. S.H. DeLong (talk) 03:31, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
Here try this one. It may be more relavent​ to the subject at hand. nobs 09:05, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Hey, I'm new, sort of. Anything I should know?[edit]

I've been coming here for a while, off and on, and this account has existed for that time, though I've never really used it. Is there a Discord or anything? — Unsigned, by: Zednark / talk / contribs

You should probably know that you should sign your talk page posts with four tildes (~~~~) at the end. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 21:14, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Welcome! And nah, there's not really any Discord — if you take away the on-site discussions, half the point of RW goes missing ^^ Reverend Black Percy (talk) 21:17, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
There's little discord here, but there is a Dyslexicon. BicyclewheelToxic mowse.gif 11:20, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Information sources[edit]

When looking for references that everyone can access on the Internet, I tend to use anything that looks reasonable to me. But after reviewing videos and conversations on potholer54's Youtube channel, I became convinced that it would be better to prioritize articles from reputable peer-reviewed journals (I already knew that, but it seems even more important to me now).

I only know about a few scientific journals, but is there something equivalent for other fields (history, philosophy, politics)? Does RationalWiki have a page listing preferred sources? Should there be one? --Cmonk (talk) 22:14, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

Rationalwiki does not have any such list or standard. The problem you're going to face there is that there are literally thousands of academic journals, and the very standards of quality vary dramatically from field to field, even within science: a zoologist would laugh at the idea of ever getting a 7sigma result on an experiment, and many-an-astronomer would laugh at accepting anything less.
I can, however, recommend a few specific subject-agnostic journals I personally can vouch for: PloS One, an open access journal dedicated to making information widely available while maintaining rigorous standards of review, Science and Nature(and their various child journals) who tend to accept only big-impact, well verified studies that open the door for big future research, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:26, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
I know that it is not possible to build an exhaustive list, but I think it would help to have at least a few links as starting points (and maybe add to the list progressively). For instance, someone who wants to find sources for a claim in a specific category (daily news, skeptical ufology, astrophysics, ...) could start by looking there, and then expand their search on their own. I appreciate you personally vouching for your sources (and I support your suggestions), but I think combining the list with some sort of critical thinking advice regarding how to evaluate the quality of a source would be helpful to non-specialists, especially if the standards vary between fields. --Cmonk (talk) 22:53, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
The problem with what you're asking for is that experts don't tend to focus much on debunking bad ideas in peer-reviewed sources. We have rationalwiki:websites for sources that are generally useful for skepticism, but they tend to be oriented not around providing high quality improvements to human knowledge, but addressing the dumbest sources that already exist. Some are absolutely experts in their fields, for example, the primary contributors to Science-Based Medicine are doctors or medical researchers, but the intersection between skepticism and peer-review is more complex than them being one and the same.
To go point by point for your examples:
  • daily news is probably best debunked by snopes or factcheck.org, who focus on source-checking claims. A peer reviewed journal would suck at this because turn-around on high-quality research is far far far slower than the news cycle.
  • Skepticism about ufology is also hard to qualify in an academic way. What subject matter does a claim even fall into? Psychology because you want to understand why people think they see UFOs? Radio detection and and analysis because you want to be clinical and treat them with the Air Force definition of UFO? Xenobiology because you want to humor their claims of seeing specific alien life? Some things are so far outside the bounds of sane claims that there's no way to qualify them.
  • Astrophysics, well... I've seen most bullshit claims about astrophysics coming from reliable sources with shitty science writers overblowing papers. The Bad Astronomer is your friend there. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 23:27, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, rationalwiki:websites is partially what I was looking for. I agree with your point about fact checking daily news to the extent that professional journalists have access to resources unavailable to normal folks (direct reporting, whistleblowers, leaked documents) and most of the news probably doesn't make it into academic literature anyway. I also understand your point about ufology (I chose these 3 examples precisely because of the range of issues they represent). But whenever a scientific (or highly specialized) subject is involved (typically climate change) "debunking" often requires diving into the specialized literature, which is why I think an equivalent of the rationalwiki:websites page for academic journals could be useful. Regarding your first sentence (problem with peer-reviewed sources), I have a concrete example related to astrophysics on the global warming talk page where I can't figure out if a category of papers is science or astrology; do you have some advice on this subject? --Cmonk (talk) 00:21, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
In the social sciences, the best ones are pay sites, JSTOR, Taylor Francis. Routledge. Check out H-Net, it's pretty good. nobs 05:33, 12 April 2017 (UTC)
@Cmonk Since you mention philosophy (which includes political theory, ethics, theology and metaphysics, etc) — the gold standard is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is your next best bet, and while there is no need to "cross-check" them against each other (both are already peer-reviewed), they should be used to compliment each other. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 12:15, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Trump launches missiles into Syria[edit]

The nut has finally done it people!!! He has just started World War 3!!!!! S.H. DeLong (talk) 02:03, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Calm down. We're not even close to "World War 3" for chrissakes. To the contrary, let's hope Trump's connections with the Russians are actually as close and personal as everyone's been saying. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:07, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Be rational, people. Cosmikdebris (talk) 02:14, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
It won't start WWIII, but it's hard to say anything good will come of it. It would be surprising to me if it was any more than a few strikes, but I think Trump's reputation as a non-interventionist among dovish and libertarian allies is shot. Doing this and then pulling out with no changes to Assad just seems pointless. If anything it might just encourage Assad to do even more brutal things in an attempt to end this thing once and for all. Hentropy (talk) 02:20, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
You are correct, nothing good will come of this. It never does. Regards, Cosmikdebris (talk) 02:25, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I am sorry but I get extremely paranoid about stuff like this, and I feel helpless knowing that I cannot do anything. S.H. DeLong (talk) 02:17, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Earlier today, VP Pence was reported to be hard at work at the White House with a room full of aides while Trump was dining at Mar a Lago. After the missile launch was made public, Trump's statement was packed with phrases like "no child of God should ever suffer" and "we ask for God's wisdom" and "we pray for the souls of those who passed" etc. So at least we know what Pence's job is. Leuders (talk) 03:25, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Even Infowars doesn't like Trump's decision.—HamburgerPlate Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 05:25, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Well the Infowars crowd will just have to suck it up like the rest of us. Our childlike president says and does impulsive things. He found out about Syria while watching TV and got all emotional about the babies. Leuders (talk) 12:41, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Hate to say I told ya so, but... Every day that passes you see his true RINO colors. This is so Clintonesque ... when your approvals are down, fire a cruise missile....nothing like a cruise missile to bring out the true blue in everyone. What's next? The minimum wage? nobs 13:17, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Not to worry nobs. It's likely his administration won't consistently stick to any one ideology. Enjoy. Leuders (talk) 18:20, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Apparently some Russians were caught in the explosions. Can we go back to being tense? Hollow (talk) 03:28, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

It's as likely to start WW3 as Reagan's bombing of Libya would have. However Russia withdrawing from the agreement that American and Russian planes would keep out of each other's way is bit more worrying. Mistakes happen in wars (as, indeed, do "mistakes") and we have a supreme commander with a thin skin and a short fuse. 85.234.65.51 (talk) 09:04, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Russians were at the airbase but there's no confirmation that any were hurt or killed. It would be a sticky situation- but not one that I think would change much about Russia's reaction. Hentropy (talk) 05:14, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I'd call it a silver lining, but it is quite amusing that the alt-right is melting down over this, I've watched some of the stuff go down in real time on /pol/, and yeah, they're going bonkers. Not to happy for rather... deplorably racist reasons, but maybe the deplorables finally taking off their stupid red hats will be somewhat positive for the country. Hentropy (talk) 05:23, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Trump's on board with the Deep State neocons. The Trump-Russia/Obamagate scandals are a draw. Everybody relax. You got the Hillary/Obama crowd back in charge. nobs 06:06, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
World War 3 you say. Its about time! BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
The big K will be plzed.2d4chanfag (talk) 06:32, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I always figured Trump was aligned with Slaanesh. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 10:36, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Also, is it just me, or is it correct to say that Trump notified Russia — but not congress — of his missile strike? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:31, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
@RBP: Like Bannon is aligned with Malal? And it was probably wise to notify Russia, given that Moscow and Damascus are throwing fits over the attack. He still should've told Congress, though. RoninMacbeth (talk) 17:30, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Bannon and Malal? Also, don't get me wrong — I'm glad that he warned the Russians, as the point wasn't to kill Russians, but to decommision the airstrip that the weasel Bashar has been directing his gassing runs from. I even carefully harbor a certain cautious optimism about the rocket attack itself. But it just struck me as, well, "Trumpy" to hear that he'd made sure to report to the Russians before attacking — though, not to congress. Heh. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 17:47, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I had heard reports that the White House warned senior members of Congress, he just didn't ask them for their permission, which is going to get the more Paulite faction angry. Warning Russia is fairly routine, because like you said, the point was not to kill many people. Hentropy (talk) 18:25, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Tillerson is in Moscau at this moment. nobs 18:44, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Hentropy; it's what they wanted him to do, Democrats, Repunlicans, and the Intelligence Community - the three power centers in DC. Get off his Russia-Putin hobby horse which only he & Flynn were riding. A Trump-Russia investigation is pointless at this point. Like Nixon, Trump will just have to wait til his second term to make overtures to Russia. By then the IC should be behind him. nobs 18:57, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Here's how it'll play out: Listen for McCain to say something like 'he's come around" or "he:s seen the light." Then, with the House investigation nuetered (there was an ethics violation filed against Schiff, too) they'll find a way to bury it. Rice will take the fall for her boss (National Security Mike Flynn served 24 days, National Security Adviser Susan Rice gets to serve 10 years) and they all lived happily ever after. nobs 19:38, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I've missed left-leaning conspiracy theorists so much[edit]

It feels good to be vindicated that I still can recognize it when it's "my side." People alleging that a triparty agreement between Syria, US, and Russia to drop chemical weapons, then have the US engage in a vaguely ineffective bombing campaign to prop up Trump's poll numbers is basically just absurd.

In order to believe this, you have to believe:

  • The US couldn't "create" a case for war against any old tinpot dictator they wanted who wasn't the puppet state of the new president's erstwhile secret supporter.
  • Assad would seriously agree to have his military bombed to prop up Trump, no matter what Putin asked.
  • All the general bullshit that goes along with a sweeping conspiracy like this.

I'm very glad that I can see the difference between my having serious objections to credible claims of election tampering partially supported by real evidence presented by those with the wherewithal to uncover it and seeing Russian machinations in every act by a befuddled violent idiot. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 18:48, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

I don't think he is "confused" or an "idiot" personally, who knows to what extent he holds the xenophobic views he claims to. But you don't become a billionaire by being stupid (even if you do start of with a small loan of a million dollars). Christopher (talk) 19:01, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, you do. It takes more financial discipline than some people seem to be able to manage, but I seem to recall that someone did a comparison of Donald Trump's wealth over time compared to a million invested in a market index fund over the course of his lifetime, and the hypothetical index outperformed him. Painful truth: money makes money. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:09, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
(ecx2)So what do we learn from this? The next time somebody gets fired from the NSC staff the shit's gonna hit the fan the next day? or is it, Bannon was like Ed Meese overseeing staff transition (likely), or Bannon quit/got fired to minimize leaks and be absolved of planning (equally likely, and slightly moreso). And Chris, fuck you with your xenphobic crap. You don't have a clue what you're talking about. nobs 19:11, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
I didn't learn anything from this, sad to say. I wouldn't have predicted an air strike against the Syrian military, but... it's not exactly unexpected either. It's just kinda "Yep, that sure is some republican foreign policy right there" ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 19:26, 7 April 2017 (UTC)
No. The national security establishment wants sanctions upheld for Ukraine (Ukraine is the big issue, once Syria is resolved}. The plan Trump ran on - detente with Russia, accept Crimea and Eastern Ukraine a fait accompli, and respect Russia's Near abroadWikipedia's W.svg, in exchange for Russia easing away from Iran, Syria, and North Korea was vehemently opposed by Hillary & her neocon supporters (Jeb. Chertoff, Papa Bush the list is endless}. That's why Brennan, Obama, and Rice wiretapped him. They vetoed Flynn's security clearance​ which destroyed Trump's foreign policy agenda (Tillerson was only hired to be the messenger boy to Putin from Trump & Flynn; after he tells Putin in Moscow wait three years and look at the situation then, there's no more need for him).
This is a blow to Trump's ego. He's used to being his own man. He, won't be the IC & Transatlantic alliance puppet (like both Clinton's, both Bush's, and Obama were), he has just compromised with them for the remainder of his term to end the fueding. Witness. Henry Kissinger who backed Hillary, attended the meeting with the China boss in Florids to introduce Trump as 'our boy', based on agreements Kissinger negotiated X number of decades ago. nobs 19:55, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Oh. And here's his job approval index. Let's look at it in 3 days and see how many points 59 cruise missiles are worth maybe we can get LarRon to compile a graph over his term. Here's Bill coaching him how to do it. nobs 20:50, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

By now you've heard a 1000 conspiracy theories. Let's try some rational level-headed analysis. Russia has been in competition with the US for its own design and production of a missile defence system since 1986. The US system was first combat tested in the 1991 Gulf war, and has been deployed to Israel, Japan. South Korea, and Romania, possibly elsewhere. We have confidence. It works, not 100%, but it works. The Russian version was first combat tested yesterday. We know it's inferior, but now a great unknown variable (for the past 30 years) for the remainder of Trump's 8 years in office has been calculated. And both sides know precicesly the combat effective​ness, as of now, of the Russian missile defense system. IMHO, this was the purpose of the attack. I have other supporting evidence. nobs 10:24, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
the problem with much of your analysis is that it assumes that people know what they are doing. i am not convinced of this. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:48, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Just a moment ago I inserted the following Sherlock Holmes quote onto a page:
"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."
@nobs Assuming your data points are correct: I'm certainly willing to agree that taking the opportunity to gather some field data on the Russian tech could prove strategically useful. I don't doubt that this was done, either.
However, speaking as someone who has indeed "heard a thousand conspiracy theories" (as you say)...
You seem to be inferring quite a bit from cui bonoWikipedia's W.svg alone — a conspiracy theorist classic among latin sayings (which I actually picked up from none other than Alex Jones back in the day, considering he mentions it like thrice in each one of his films).
Again — I'm sure there was benefit from the attack (in one way or another); benefit that could be pointed to, certainly.
But the fact that such benefit (may have) resulted from Trump's (seemingly erratic) move does not support the conclusion that said move must've been undertaken originally so that said benefit would come to pass.
In other words, while I'm not questioning that useful data may have been collected, I don't see that the secret purpose of the original move was the collection of that same data. And for many reasons.
Divining some "necessary calculated intent" as responsible for each outcome of a highly complex event seems to me a risky mode of thought. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 13:24, 9 April 2017 (UTC)
Based on much evidence from Trump speeches and the Commander in Chief forum, we know Trump relies principally on Pentagon briefers, not the intelligence community or State Department. His National Security Adviser, while not unprecedent, briefs him daily on the Pentagon perspective, not the views of diplomats. For example, the Pentagon has known for years some al Qeada bigwig and operational headquarters resides in Yemen. Of several possible locations they had their suspect prime target and location, but Obama would never authorize a SOF (Special Operations Force) ground force to verify. Trump did his tenth day in office in which Navy Seal Ryan Owen was killed. Meeting the resistance they did, meaning they didn't send in a large enough force, verified it was indeed the right location. It was a gamble Obama was unwilling to take, but Trump did.
IOW, his National Security Adviser briefs him, " This is what we (Pentagon) think...". Then, among the unknowns, he concludes, "there's only one way to find out".
Assuming the end game is to take out Assad (or Iranian nukes, or Kim jong-un, which have their own primitive missile defense systems based on earlier Russian prototypes), it would help to know the effectiveness of the most advanced Russian missile defense system outside Russian borders. This changes the equation. There's no bluff anymore, a wide unknown calculation is apparent to all military planners worldwide. In a sense, this even help's the Russians cause now the weaknesses and flaws in their system are exposed.
This knowledge then is translated into diplomacy. Now that our capabilities and their weaknesses are known, the threat of using it hopefully should be enough, not necessarily using it in every all cases. nobs 21:31, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Approval ratings[edit]

We have some preliminary results. 59 cruise missiles were launched st a cost of $110 million to net 2% uptick in approval ratings, or approximately $55 million per approval point to the taxpayers. It's still early, we need about another 2-3 days to peak, then see if it will hold for 10-14 days.

If this formula seems cynical, talk to Bill Clinton about it. He perfected the system and routinely garnered 10 pts everytime his approvals dipped to 47%. If Trump can't get 10%, we'll need more bang for the buck. nobs 22:11, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Regardless of whether any dog wagging is going on here, there are a subset of Americans who are always behind any bombing campaign regardless of context. You can always win that group temporarily. My observation is they tend to self-describe as "centrist". ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 22:18, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Centrist yes, I'd also call them uninformed, or poorly informed. nobs 22:28, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
During the Clinton impeachment, Clinton routinely bombed Iraq and Kosovo to get ahead of the news cycle when the drip drip drip of scandal was coming out. His escapades were the subject of talk everywhere. At work, I was watching his raid on Kosovo which I regarded as a flagrant abuse of power, and was outraged. A co-worker came in who I thought we saw eye-to-eye on Clinton, and he started cheering as if the Dallas Cowboys just scored a touchdown. That's how devisive the Clinton's were - it was impossible to have rational discussion among people. Obama wasn't much better. nobs 23:27, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

Looks like we might have to nuke North Korea (at least that's how Bill and Hillary would analyze the data). nobs 22:36, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

Russians got a two hour advance notice[edit]

To underscore that this was a live fire combat test. Russian media reports they were given a two hour advance warning. Think it's fake news? Why, at a time investigation and finger pointing is happening on the Russian side, would the Russians, of all people, disclose such informstion?

What are the policy implications? Several. To begin with, our Iraqi Baghdad allies that we are presently fighting shoulder to shoulder with in Mosul, joined with Iran in condemning the attack. The Islamic State of Raqqa survives. Assad is moreless secure, unless one believes the US Deep State coup plotters, and their blackmailed and compromised puppet, Donald Trump, want World War III. Only a paranoid conspiracy kook would believe the IC & MSM line on that. nobs 23:27, 10 April 2017 (UTC)