RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive387

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Contents

Everything Being Memory[edit]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dzkKRKd820&t=336s

Interesting to see the same problem but from the point of view of science. Not sure what he meant at the end of the video by a "past that doesn't exist".Machina (talk) 04:26, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

You should probably reconsider the 336s placement and let the video play out. "That might sound like semantics, and it is... but it isn't." Gol Sarnitt (talk) 06:51, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Chauvin Guilty[edit]

...on all 3 charges. 2nd & 3rd degree murder, 2nd degree manslaughter. I turned to the livestream at the perfect time; just as the judge received the envelope from the jury. CorSock (talk) 21:12, 20 April 2021 (UTC)

It would've been a bad couple of weeks if he wasn't found guilty. Seems like this was an open-and-shut case. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:18, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
Thankfully, the prosecution was competent and knew not to try to overcharge the defendant. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 21:20, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
This is a step to changing a corrupt system. --Possible KGB Spy (Eyes Shift) (talk) 21:23, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
It’s one officer out of 700,000, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. American police officers have been convicted of murder before. Christopher (talk) 21:33, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
Convicting individual culprits is obviously very important...but it is a poor substitute for massive reform, which is what we need. A revolution in terms of policing just doesn't seem to be in the offing.-Flandres (talk) 21:35, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
Indeed. NEVER forget what the Minneapolis PD said about the murder before the video came out. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:37, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
I said it before and I'll say it again. Punish the ENTIRE department when there's a killing, even if it's a "good shoot". Not a big punishment, just something like "everyone loses a week's pay". Make it so everyone else is pissed at the cop who kills someone regardless of how "justified" it was, and soon you'll have a culture where the police don't celebrate shooting criminals. CorSock (talk) 21:39, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
Admittedly, though obviously not in the Chauvin case, I have to question how accurate some of the reports of "unarmed" people being shot are. This, in particular, is categorized by the Washington Post's database as the shooting of an "unarmed black man"; first of all the name is as Cambodian as could possibly be imagined, so we're off to a bad start, but beyond that it seems to me a person who's fought with an officer, stolen said officer's taser, and used it to attack said officer can't seriously be described as "unarmed". I'm not sure how that was supposed to play out any other way. Some things just don't have any one solution. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:09, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
IIRC, it's 9 unarmed Black men killed by the police per year. While that's miniscule in the grand scheme of things, that's not what the riots are about. Rather, it's about how Black people can't go into a store without a serious risk of having the cops called on them, how they can't walk down the street without risking a confrontation with the police. When Black people actually feel safe around cops, then BLM will be irrelevant. Cork (argue) 04:48, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
I don't get why people think it's so important to protect Chauvin in this case. His own police chief said "No, that's not what we do" and right there I was like "That's it, that's all that needs to be said. The guy's boss disowned him. America." But 9 unarmed men killed by police, versus how many unarmed nonviolent men being arrested? If you get arrested and processed, you have a bond set, and bail is 10% of that. You aren't convicted of anything, you are just in jail and until you can see a judge, you have to either have the money to walk away or spend your time in jail. $500 dollars is a LOT of dollars to a lot of people, any skin color. In areas with high arrest rates and high poverty, that's a stressful situation. Some people in those areas don't put their money in bank accounts, partly because you're not allowed to post your own bail. Imagine having 300 bucks to your name, being arrested on suspicion, being told you have a 3,000 bond, and then having a phone call at midnight to find someone who can front you 300 dollars just so you can get to work the next day. Stacking is something you do when your community gets pressed for cash. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 04:28, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
With Chauvin, we actually have a dude who killed a guy while on the job, and the scary things are the guy he killed was on drugs and defrauding legal tender? As soon as the police chief said no, that's not what we tell our guys to do, I had hope that it would stick, like, that's it. This cop's boss said that ain't right, he's done. I have a buddy who has seen more drugged out people than most people have, and he says people get scary and unpredictable when they're on opiates and uppers at the same time, and I believe that. But they don't become the Hulk, the guy was still in handcuffs, what is he going to do that you gotta keep his head flat on the ground? Gol Sarnitt (talk) 03:03, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Keeeeeeeping that in mind, just for statistical integrity, George Floyd wasn't armed and wasn't shot. Eric Garner wasn't armed and wasn't shot. Freddie Gray had a knife and wasn't shot. Philando Castille legally had a gun, was not armed with it, was shot. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 03:42, 23 April 2021 (UTC) Gol Sarnitt (talk) 03:09, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Literally my inbox for school right now[edit]

I get emails and texts about this once a day

PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 13:48, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

That's what email filters are for. Nowhere Man (talk) 19:22, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
For me it's "Missing assignments for Semester 2"; a count of all my currently unfinished school assignments that is often greatly overestimated by my perpetually-stressed mother... oh what fun... --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 00:36, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

I'll bet[edit]

That Ken and the MSM never cite this lol --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 01:08, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Yes, though when I quoted that survey to Ken his cognitive dissonance would not allow him to understand it.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:45, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Who REALLY won the war[edit]

answered AMassiveGay (talk) 14:31, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Johnson and Cummings[edit]

This - 'pot' and 'kettle' come to mind. Anna Livia (talk) 17:27, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

It's pretty funny seeing insane conservatives fight it out. Cummings on Johnson: "Mad and totally unethical". It's one of the few times I have agreed with something Cummings has said. Can't wait for the next round!Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:02, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
And this chap is more visible than the LibDems - likewise Nicola Sturgeon and Arlene Foster. Anna Livia (talk) 19:05, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

help on fallacy name[edit]

Take a case where an extreme solution is proposed for a relatively-lesser problem. Would this be some sort of fallacy?

For context, I'm working on sex segregation in public restrooms and am considering the merits of the argument "transgender harassment, therefore, all bathrooms should be unisex". Kauri0.o (talk) 03:34, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

Well, that's not exactly a fallacy, it's just a thing you have to argue. Arguments would contain fallacies, and a single argument can contain enough fallacies in its justification to be fallacious. You can't just hope an argument is a fallacy. Best I can give you is Appeal_to_emotion Gol Sarnitt (talk) 03:57, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
Every argument you don't like isn't a fallacy. Remember that fallacies aren't tools used to bludgeon over the head of your opponent. As for the point itself, consider if the person making the argument is actually saying "A, so B", as a formal point and not just "why not just B?" and work out how your points could be incompatible. 69.60.33.176 (talk) 13:24, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, a possible correct response to that kind of sentiment is "I think that's too extreme and has consequences A, B, and C, none of which are worth causing to solve problem X". ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 13:48, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
The whole bathroom thing is a bizarre over-extension of the precautionary principle. Something bad might conceivably happen somewhere under some conditions so - well - nobody should ever go the bathroom. Or get vaccinated. Or get out of bed.
Risk exists everywhere. You might be accosted by a heterosexual psychopath in a bathroom. The list of potential risks everywhere is so great that extreme extreme interpretations of the precautionary principle are absurd. But I can't think of a logical fallacy. Just a bad argument.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:55, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. Guess I'll be tackling it the old-fashioned way :) Kauri0.o (talk) 23:49, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
Meh, I always wondered if those demanding we "abolish gender" seriously suggest that we keep male and female prisoners in the same prisons.Cork (argue) 16:56, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
So... are you saying you have a made up argument that you win in the shower, or that gender identification could have nuance? "Abolish gender" is a strange take. Maybe I'm just insulated from it, but it sounds about as strange as "Gender is prescribed at conception." Not trying to call you out on things you didn't say. but beyond that, is your complaint that prisons, as they are, can never be run well enough to be unisex or like, actually shouldn't be gender integrated? You have to understand that "Meh" is a trigger and makes you look like an asshole, unless you have a take that blows the argument out of the mud.Gol Sarnitt (talk) 02:10, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
There seems to be opinion from time to time that goes something like, "your conclusion is wrong because it depends upon a fallacy." A specious proof in geometry does not invalidate a geometic theorem.UncleKrampus (talk) 18:55, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Argument from fallacy AKA Fallacy Fallacy. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 05:11, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

Looking back on a strange and succinct experience[edit]

This is a true story, I remember the first time I heard about Emmett Till. I read that he was murdered is that he had harassed a white woman. A year later, I realized that the book was written by Bill O'Reilly. Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 01:48, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Oh, Reilly? (Badum-tssh!) --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 01:52, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, I was young and stupid. Well, even more young and stupid than now. Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 01:54, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
It's okay. When I was younger I recall seeing a few tankie memes when looking for memes about North Korea, and shortly before the events leading up to my deconversion I recall being temporarily radicalized by right-wing Christian propaganda against abortion and atheists; who would've known I would one day become one of the latter myself... --Goatspeed. Fossil evidence of my evolutionCircularREmail2.gifasoningSee what I've been messing around with 23:15, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
I remember seeing a picture of Emmitt Till after the fact. I don't know who wrote the textbook, but yeah, I was taught he was tortured and his body was desecrated, maybe I just had a good AmHist teacher? I guess it was just a couple pages from a textbook. The curriculum could have featured anything, the civil rights movement was a feature. Like, because it's a real and current part of American history. Maybe I had a good AmHist teacher. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 05:14, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

Why is lethal injection used as a method of execution?[edit]

Really, why? The drugs used are expensive and difficult to procure, the only people actually qualified to administer it have to literally swear an oath not to, the failure rate is exceptionally high (6%), and the effects of botching it are brutal and inhumane. So, why the hell is it the primary method used in the US? Comrade General Pootis (talk) 19:50, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Would you prefer people be thrown off of a skyscraper?ShabiDOO 20:09, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Better question: why are there even methods of execution in the US? We should be done w/ the death penalty by now.Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 20:25, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Putting someone to sleep before killing them sounds more humane, which is why it originally used before it was known how inhumane it is in reality. Because it sounds more humane, it probably makes it easier for the executioners to live with themselves (as long as they ignore the evidence). Christopher (talk) 20:45, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I don't think there is any humane way to pointlessly murder someone. Probably the most humane thing to do...is not pointlessly murder them. Perhaps...the government should just get out of the business of pointlessly murdering its citizens? ShabiDOO 20:51, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

speaking of executioners, albert pierrepoint:

... is said to be a deterrent. I cannot agree. There have been murders since the beginning of time, and we shall go on looking for deterrents until the end of time. If death were a deterrent, I might be expected to know. It is I who have faced them last, young lads and girls, working men, grandmothers. I have been amazed to see the courage with which they take that walk into the unknown. It did not deter them then, and it had not deterred them when they committed what they were convicted for. All the men and women whom I have faced at that final moment convince me that in what I have done I have not prevented a single murder.

AMassiveGay (talk) 20:59, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

Capital punishment is certainly gravely immoral. However, abolishing it does not entirely get rid of the blood on our hands. Take Anders Breivik, a mass shooter who took 77 lives. Despite avoiding the death penalty, his prison life has no doubt permanently damaged his mental health. He sued the Norwegian government over his solitary confinement and "degrading treatment, including hundreds of strip searches and frequent searches of his cell, including at night." [1] Studies on solitary confinement certainly back his claim, so he ain't bullshitting. If we are going to abolish the death penalty, we should dream bigger: let mass shooters, pedophiles, and other heinous criminals integrate into normal prison life and take on community service rather than casting them into a dark corner. Otherwise, we are deluding ourselves by tacitly thinking a mentally deteriorated life is better than death. 136.143.215.4 (talk) 21:13, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
The US is one of only three Western democracies that murder their citizens and it has the highest murder rate by far in Western democracies (more than twice as high as the second highest). A very curious deterrent. ShabiDOO 21:56, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Oh, I actually didn't know there are two more...-Flandres (talk) 22:00, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Yeah there is Japan and Singapore. Though Japan hasn't executed anyone since 2019 and only three people that year (though three too many). Singapore hasn't executed anyone since 2019 (due to COVID) though before that they had a very high murdering people rate per-capita including for drug charges. ShabiDOO 22:06, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
There's also South Korea and Taiwan. More democratic than Singapore IMO. I understand what you meant, but I wouldn't call any of these countries "western" democracies though, even if their Constitutions are mostly based on Enlightenment values and Millian rights. GeeJayK (talk) 22:11, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Yes you are right I forgot Taiwan. South Korea has had a moratorium on death penalties for over a decade. There are several other countries which technically have it as a possible punishment but in practice don't do it (including Russia). In fact in a super technical way some developed countries still have the death penalty as a possible punishment for high treason but in effect it cannot be enacted (and wouldn't be). As for "Western" you are also right there, I should have said "Developed democracies" (even though those countries are included on some lists as Western democracies). Better to drop the Western part. I'm not going to get into a debate over how democratic Singapore is. I wouldn't put it on my list of a country with admirable healthy democratic culture, but there is nothing stopping them from voting out a terrible government so that's good enough for me. ShabiDOO 22:26, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I've posted this before, but it's among my favorites so here it is again: guillotine. Quick. Efficient. Egalitarian. Guarantee's death. The morality of capital punishment, especially in the US is a much larger discussion that is needed, but lethal injection isn't painless, and many other methods (gas chamber, electric chair, firing squad, hanging) are abominations. Clean cut, done. Then you can also harvest organs for donations.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:57, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I remember watching a program on administration of the death penalty, which included interviews with a few actual executioners who've administered lethal injections, electric chair shocks, and poison gas. They pretty much all said that if they had to pick one method they'd go with the electric chair, because it worked a lot quicker than the others. And there's actually a fairly clear black and white video of a guillotine execution, so people can see exactly how quickly it works. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:26, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

The death penalty is pretty abhorrent and it's bizarre that it still exists. Having said that, I have been under total anesthetic three or four times in my life. It's really like someone just switches off your brain. One moment the anesthetist is talking to you and the next moment - well nothing - the next moment you are awake and someone is talking to you about how things went. For me, at least, going under was pretty instantaneous. If were going to die I would chose that. Of course real doctors are not supposed to to be involved in executions so perhaps the people who actually do it in the US are incompetent, but that may be another question.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:44, 17 April 2021 (UTC)

Wow. I find it interesting how this debate exposes cultural differences between the USA and Europe. A lot of non-americans are talking about getting rid of the death penalty like it's the only moral option, whereas every time I have tried to argue that it as an American, it soon comes down to something like "You are just defending scum like pedos and murderers who deserve to die horrible deaths." Just an interesting difference.-Flandres (talk) 19:32, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
I have also had discussions with citizens of the US who respond like that too. It's like I'm some kind of a pervert for even suggesting that killing people is wrong. It results in an utter failure to communicate.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:50, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Death penalty is just revenge fantasy for them. I don't think it's proper justice. There's that ugly undercurrent of racism, sexism (against men), and classcism under the death penalty that makes me unable to support it, even for a revenge fantasy, considering the more dangerous and powerful people that routinely get away with doing offenses at a grander scale. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:21, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
In animal shelters, there is a saying “no kill is slow kill.” What is meant by that is that if an animal unfit for adoption (especially an aggressive one) comes into a truly no-kill shelter, it gets to live out its days, but it’s likely to spend those days in a cage with no quality of life at all, to the point that it would be arguably more humane to euthanize it. People who commit horrible crimes like murder are dealt with like vicious animals; they are either euthanized or they spend the rest of their days in a cage with no quality of life. Personally, if I ever get falsely accused of something I hope I get the death penalty rather than spending 50 years in a cage (as an added bonus, dearth penalty cases receive more scrutiny than “life in prison” cases, meaning if there’s any chance of my false conviction being over turned the odds are greater if I receive the death penalty... I guess the judges conscious is more okay with ruining an innocent person’s life than taking an innocent person’s life). I’m actually kind of surprised that a site with scientifically minded contributors would be so concerned with the “moral” implications of execution. 71.208.x.x (talk) 13:56, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Fuck the moral elements, it's too much of a logistics hassle (several of the drugs used in the cocktail are illegal in some areas), and in most cases the drugs are not being administered by medical personal (because you know, medical ethics), unlike in animal shelters, and honestly, this defense wallpapers over the underlying problem and acts as if its simply "how things are". The underlying problem is a lack of scrutiny and oversight in the criminal justice system as a whole, which is more or less the root cause behind most of its problems. Police running about killing people with little to no consequence? Lack of oversight and scrutiny. Overuse of the death penalty? Lack of oversight and scrutiny. Abuse of prison labor and shit wages which don't even cover basic hygiene supplies, which prisoners have to buy themselves? Lack of oversight and scrutiny. Prisoners being treated like shit by society, even after they've served their sentence and been released? That ones just moralistic essentialist nonsense, but you get my point. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:29, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Mostly, it's because Americans are too squeamish for the guillotine, which works just as well and is a lot simpler to operate. I have nothing against the death penalty myself, though I think it needs to be reserved for the most egregious cases, a McVeigh or a Breivik. In the typical case that deserves it, there will be a paper trail of manifestos and declarations from the perp that make the handwringy fear, that the wrong person might be convicted and executed, irrelevant. If elected, I would declare the drug coctails that work for the preferred method military munitions and order the Army to manufacture them and makw them available to the several states that need them. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 03:06, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Hmmm. So would you support torturing the most egregious cases like McVeigh? I mean if they aren't even human enough to be allowed to live...I don't see why torturing them (or say chaining them to their bed for the rest of their lives) is any different. ShabiDOO 04:56, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Why does being human entitle anyone to live? And execution, whether by guillotine or by injection, at least is over fairly quickly, which IMO makes it less cruel than life without parole. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 12:08, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
It’s not any quicker in practice, people spend years on death row. Christopher (talk) 12:16, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
right to life. maybe life without parole would be less cruel if american prisons or any prisons were not so fucking awful? it is also true that in parts of europe, life without parole, like the death penalty, has been abolished AMassiveGay (talk) 12:34, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
even in the uk, a whole life tariff is a rare thing. see below. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:35, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
in the states though...AMassiveGay (talk) 12:36, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Smerdis if you really think that way then answer me this question: why does being human entitle anyone to deserve not to be treated with cruel punishment or torture? ShabiDOO 14:04, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
In response to your "being human word game" I would argue that "being alive" is the most fundamental quality to "being a human". If you aren't alive then you are simply a corpse. So yes...saying a human doesn't deserve to live is "dehumanising them". It sort of is the term we use when countries mass execute prisoners of war, fail to provide a specific race or group of people adequate medical treatment and let them die or when a race is gassed in a chamber. Dehumanisation. They are considered less human and don't merit staying alive as the rest of us non-corpses (or humans) do. America is pretty far ahead in the game in the West at dehumanising people (in less extreme forms than execution) such as mass caging child-refugees, providing deplorable conditions in prisons, failing to provide medical treatment to the poor (which the country can easily afford) and in many states letting the homeless rot in the gutter for the miserable dregs that they are. So it isn't that shocking that a notable portion of the population think some criminals don't even deserve to be human. ShabiDOO 14:01, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Murderers have denied that "being alive" quality to others. As a society, we have decided that we do not have to extend the Right to Life to those who denied it to others. "Morals" aren't woven into the fabric of the universe; we decide what is right and wrong. We could decide that everyone, including murderers, have the right to life. We could decide that the right to life does not apply to people who steal cellphones. But, we have to live in the society we create. CorSock (talk) 15:29, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
I see Sockpup. So if someone in a rage smashes a bottle over a guys head and blinds him...should we have someone gouge out the criminal's eye? It is insanely disturbing how biblical some American's are re: their approach to the justice system. Go move to Iran and see how charming their "amputated hand" justice system is. I am always Amazed by how hysterical some Americans can get over a fear of their government making them wear a mask in public or controlling society and "trying to take their guns away". And yet they have no problem with them taking away certain people's right to life by murdering them. Don't take away this temporary trivial right to help society...but do pointlessly murder a person because it makes us feel better. Right. ShabiDOO 16:52, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
not all murderers face a death penalty. not all of them even face life without parole. its a crap shoot what you get it seems in the us. many convicted murderers, most i reckon (ive not checked), in the uk and in europe ultimately get released after time served. i bet a far few get released in the us too. just what is the criteria for state sanctioned murder in the us? for life with parole for that matter? AMassiveGay (talk) 17:15, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Do you think Jeffrey Epstein could be rehabilitated? What about Brenton Harrison? Bashar al-Assad? We imprison people because they are threats to public safety. We attempt to rehabilitate them so they are no longer threats to public safety. There are people who will always be threats to public safety, and what's inhumane is imprisoning someone forever solely for the purpose of punishing them. Also, the fact that there are those countries with barbaric laws is irrelevant to this discussion - just because there are those who unjustly punish does not mean that form of punishment is always inherently unjust. Comrade General Pootis (talk) 17:38, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
With the exception of people suffering from certain mental illnesses we are currently unable to treat or those who wilfully forever resist rehabilitation...nobody is beyond rehabilitation...even the biggest criminal out there or the current scum-bucket of the month. Denying a sane person can rehabilitated is simply another form of dehumanisation. We rehabilitate people both to protect ourselves and because we would expect the same opportunity for ourselves or our loved ones if they were imprisoned. Believe it or not...there are countries out there which genuinely care about the welfare and the future of society's most vulnerable and reviled people. It's a hard concept for those who who live in cynical societies to believe. ShabiDOO 20:03, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
would epstein have face the death penalty? i doubt it, even in america. he hadnt even been to trial so we'll never know. he woudnt have faced a whole life tariff in the uk i an tell you that. brenton tarrant isnt going to face a death penalty, i dont know if new zealand as a whole life tariff. i dare say he could be rehabilated in time. al-assad hasnt even been charged with anything as yet, why even speculate on punishment when his conviction isnt even assured? AMassiveGay (talk) 17:55, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
as for the death sentence being less cruel than a life in prison, what humanitarians pro death penalty folk are making that decision for someone. its not like the condemned get a choice. ypu could make prison a little less horrific. maybe even comfortable for those never to be releasedAMassiveGay (talk) 18:13, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
my flatmate is effectively a shut-in. perhaps i should smother him with a pillow while he sleeps? it would a mercy apprently. not sure that he'd agree, but we know best.AMassiveGay (talk) 18:16, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (EC)Perhaps it is true that other countries practicing cruel punishments has no bearing on whether the punishment in question can ever be just. Let us examine whether we can accept the death penalty and reject such cruel punishments, in the context of a theory of rights. It seems that the death penalty is a violation or negation of the right to life. It also seems that the right to life is the most fundamental of all rights: you cannot have rights if you are not alive. But if it is ever just to violate a person's most fundamental right, then it must be just in some cases to violate lesser rights of theirs. Otherwise, we would have a situation where it is just to violate somebody's most fundamental right, but not to violate rights which are contingent on this right. Thus, if it can be just to violate somebody's right to life, then it can be just to violate any of their other rights. Now, one other right is the right to bodily autonomy, and so this must be one of those rights which we would also have to accept could be violated. Thus, if the death penalty, which violates the right to life, is legitimate, than punishments which involve violations of bodily autonomy, such as the gouging out of eyes, the cutting off of hands, must also be legitimate in some cases. If we are not willing to accept these violations, then if we are consistent, we must also reject the death penalty. I, for one, oppose such punishments in all cases, and so I also must reject the death penalty. If it is objected that cutting off hands or gouging out eyes would be unbearably painful, we reply that if it is the pain which is objectionable, then this can be resolved with anesthetic. And we clearly cannot say that it is so bad to live without a hand, that it is better to kill somebody than to cut off their hand, or else if somebody lost their hand, we would find that we ought to kill them out of mercy, which does not seem right. Furthermore, I think almost anybody, if given the choice between losing their hand and losing their life, would choose to lose their hand, even if they had no relief from the pain. It seems that it must be better to cut off somebody's hand than to sentence them to death, even if we make no effort to reduce their pain. So, how shall we endorse the violation of the right to life, but call it barbarism to violate the right to bodily autonomy? 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 18:27, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

We could go back and fourth all day about whether or not it is truly more humane than life imprisonment, but ultimately it doesn't matter. The purpose of prisons should be to rehabilitate; if someone can't be rehabilitated then there's no point in keeping them imprisoned. Kill them; be done with it. As for Epstein, Harrison, and Assad, I wasn't saying they did/would receive the death penalty just that they are examples of people who ought to because they are too cruel to ever be rehabilitated Comrade General Pootis (talk) 18:37, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
what about psychopaths? They are literally incapable of rehabilitation and will only cause further suffering to society if kept alive. The idea that someone like Ted Bundy could be rehabilitated is just absurd LeucippusTalk 18:54, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
the us isnt the only place with serial killers you know. they dont get executed in the uk they get a whole life tariff if they have no chance for rehabilation. prison is about protecting the public as well as rehab. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:16, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
keeping people alive for life sentences who have no chance of rehabilitation seems, to me, to be a legitimate problem. It seems reasonable to ask what the point is in keeping someone alive who has no empathy or remorse, someone who thrives on people’s suffering, be that in killing, or as a corporate predator. Society would be much better off without psychopaths. LeucippusTalk 19:39, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
There are saveral reasons for the death penalty. I think, first, that nothing short of it offers the same sort of catharsis to the polis. I simply subjectively feel that nothing else would be appropriate in the case of a McVeigh or a Breivik. Dramatic crimes deserve dramatic punishments, and all the moralizing rhetoric surrounding executions is nothing if not dramatic. Also, we still live in a nominal democracy, and the death penalty remains a popular favorite, even in Europe, and certainly commands majority support in the USA. There's something more than faintly offensive about claiming to serve a higher morality than most of your neighbors, and definitely to Europeans' sniffy superiority in objecting to US executions. Let the people have their toy. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 20:07, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Where do you come up with this bullshite? Belarus is the only country that executes people in Europe (out of 50 countries). In the majority of countries support for reinstating the death penalty is extremely low. Exceptions include the most authoritarian and regressive countries like Poland and Hungary which are the embarrassments of Europe. As for your "hand wave" of criticism of America re: snooty Europeans...that's super pathetic. They aren't the only ones. The entire Western World is dismayed by the numerous faults in American society from your crime levels, abandonment of the poor and those who cannot afford insurance, brutal legal system, crime, police violence, disparity in wealth, levels of homelessness, failing democratic principles etc. America should be the utter role model for all of these things. With your wealth and history you should be beating the shit out of the rest of the developed world on all of these fronts. Your death penalty is honestly the least disturbing of America's issues. Go ahead and let the government murder your citizens. But fuck off with this feinted "offence" when literally every single other Western country has progressed on so many fronts while you haven't and point it out. ShabiDOO 21:08, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Last year Gallup found 55% support for the death penalty for murderers in the US, down from a high of 80% in the early 90s. That's a majority, but it's not exactly overwhelming. There also seems to be significant partisan division on the issue. Between that and the much more intense public executions of the middle ages, I am inclined toward skepticism of the claim that the death penalty is necessary as a catharsis of the polis. Support for dramatic punishment doesn't seem to derive from some innate and universal human cathartic need, and just as we seem to get along alright without breaking people on the wheel, I think we could get along well enough without executions (that the discussion is dramatic, I can hardly deny). 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 20:41, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
considering the uk is now out of the EU, and we have a home secretary who is pro death penalty, if there were majority support for it here, we would have it. we do not. thankfullyAMassiveGay (talk) 09:06, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
(EC) Several things. First off, what "should" we do? Step back, and acknowledge that ultimately we do whatever we want to. We want to torture people who go against us. We want people to suffer. People are in prison for decades because we want them there. But, as I said, we have to live in the society that we create. So what "should" we do? Well, we have to figure out what it is we truly want in society. The criminal justice system needs to balance many things.
  • How much money is such a system going to cost us?
  • How effective is this system at reducing the crime rate?
  • We care about our families, in the event that someone we know and love does a Bad Thing, what do we want to happen to them?
  • We also care about our families, in the event that something happens to them, what do we want to happen to the ones responsible?
For me, the Death Penalty is more expensive than life in prison, so it fails on that regard. It does nothing to prevent further crime that life in prison does not, in fact, some studies suggest that the death penalty increases the crime rate, especially when given for things like rape and such; if the penalty for rape is death, things cant get much worse for you if you eliminate the witness, can it? If our siblings committed murder, we might be upset at them but there's a non-zero chance we still want to stay in contact. So really, the death penalty fails on all points beyond "vengeance". So we really need to understand that the only reason for the death penalty is our own bloodlust, and everything else is just an excuse.
As I say a lot whenever this debate comes up, I find the idea of a prisoner spending decades beyond bars and rotting under the hell that is maximum security prison to be much more satisfying to my inner sadist than even the most gruesome death. Heck, had Che Guevarra become the disgusting old mentally-ill man in prison instead of forever immortalized as the young handsome revolutionary, he would never have sold so many t-shirts... CorSock (talk) 19:44, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

some numbers[edit]

for those who wish to use the cost of incarceration to justify murdering people, heres some numbers relating to the uk prison system.

There are in he region of 84000 people currently in chokey. of these about 5400 people are convicted murderers - about 0.6%of the prison population. of these around 65 have a whole life tariff ie. will never be released. these 65 are the ones likely to face execution. this represents about 0.08% of the prison population. the economic argument for death penalty is therefore dogshit. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:26, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

Anyone making an economic argument, is operating in bad faith. Capital punishment, like so many things humans do, is irrational and unquestionably immoral. But societies often operate outside of the normal moral framework, where rationalizing murdering someone makes sense. -RipCityLiberal (talk) 22:37, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
I haven't had to in a while, but I do take the moral argument against the death penalty. "What if we get it wrong?" and then the system lovers say "it's like less than a percent" and I ask "If we get it wrong, even once, it's state sanctioned murder." That language tends to spook the libertarian preppers out of their hidey holes. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 02:14, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
@AMassiveGay Wasn't the economic argument around the death penalty that the death penalty costs more, clogs up the legal system with appeals, and we would save money by giving people a life sentence instead of executing them? Are you saying that arguing against the death penalty on financial grounds is a dogshit argument? CorSock (talk) 13:17, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
no i am not. as the economic argument FOR the death penalty i refer to (and as presented by the twat whose comments have since been deleted which wass what i was responding to) is that whole life tariffs are somehow an intolerable burden on the taxpayer to keep people alive for the duration. i am saying compared to cost of prison overall, the cost of life imprisonment without parole is a drop in a the ocean making such arguments dogshit.
for the record, i am not interested in economic arguments for or against the death penalty. state sanctioned murder should not be a decision based on costAMassiveGay (talk) 13:31, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
The death penalty costs more in the United States because theoretically we aren't one of those dogshit authoritarian states like China or Iran or Saudi Arabia with bullshit legal systems, so we have a layer of lawyers that all death row candidates must go through prior to the government sanctioned murder. Which means the real argument here is that you have to tell me, with a straight face, that there are no asshole authoritarian judges and asshole authoritarian lawyers in the United States, and that all murder accusations in the United States are 100% correct and not something foisted on someone through either asshole malice or incompetent buffoonery. Good luck with that. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 13:32, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
There's also the 12 assholes on the jury. If the juries routinely screw up, we as a society deserve the hellscape we get. CorSock (talk) 13:41, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
I don't think arguing the finances is inherently in bad faith. The simple, uncomfortable fact is that the average American life is worth $8.4m. That is the amount the Dept of Transportation uses in determining whether it's cost-effective to build a stoplight instead of a stop sign. If the light costs $83,000 and has a 1 in 100 chance of saving 1 life, it's built, if it costs $85,000 then it's not built. If we set the value of the human life at $100m instead, every intersection gets a stoplight... and there's no money left over for schools. Anyone who has a cursory understanding of economics will tell you that defunding schools kills people in the form of higher crime, lower wages, and indirectly, a lower taxbase leading to more government programs being cut. It gets more uncomfortable when you realize that this $8.4m is the federal level for the entire country, and on a state or county level it will vary much more wildly. Rich lives really are "worth more", because they can pay for things others can't. In a poor country like Africa (snark intended), a human life could be saved with $3500 on mosuito nets. So why isn't DRC spending its own money on nets, why do Bill and Melinda Gates have to put up the cash? Because spending the money on nets is money that can't be spent on water filtration, without which even more people would die. As things improve, their lives really do become "worth more" as the life-saving measures become more and more marginally productive.
But the dirty little secret? As their lives get "worth more", so does everyone else's; at the more marginal level, "saving lives" means "spending billions on cancer research", and if there's 7 billion people who find cancer to be their most likely cause of death instead of dirty water or malaria... CorSock (talk) 13:37, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
you know what would save a heap of cash? not locking up so many people. AMassiveGay (talk) 13:41, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Yes and no. Petty criminals cost society a small fortune, far more than they steal, more serious criminals even more so. Simply locking them up at the cost of $50,000/yr may actually be cheaper, though it'd probably be cheaper and more ethical to do things like counseling and aggression replacement therapy.CorSock (talk) 13:55, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
i dont really see the 'yes and no' aspect of that response. its seems firmly 'yes' to me. i never said no one should be locked up. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:14, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
While Freakanomics claims that abortion massively reduced the crime rate, an also strong argument can be made for the mass incarceration reducing crime. The US doesn't have nearly the amount of petty crime that Europe does, in spite of Europe having things like "a functioning welfare and healthcare system for everyone". Petty criminals do cost society money, and it's not impossible that simply emptying the jails of minor petty criminals would cause a crapton more petty crimes to occur. Personally, I think there needs to be two things done to stop crime. First, better funding of CPS. Prisons are little more than warehouses for abused children, nearly all of people in there for decades never even had a chance to begin with. Before Paul Yang gives people money to sit on their ass, consider whether a better solution would be to give people money to prevent child rapes. The second solution to mass incarceration is to make it legal to hire ex-cons, so the ones that want to get their life together actually have a path to do so and stay out of prison in the future. Currently, it's de facto illegal to hire criminals, because if there is any problem the criminal record will be revealed in court and you could end up having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for something that wasn't even the employee's fault. This is the world that the attorneys have been working towards... CorSock (talk) 19:53, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
i'm having trouble finding adequate stats for european vs us crimes rates beyond murder and european isnt an homogenous mass you know. denmark has some of lowest crime rates in the world. its also true that there are huge differences between states when it comes to crime rates too. all i know for sure is you lock up more of your citizens than any other country on earth that its wonder there is anyone left to commit crime, while having a murder rate way greater than anywhere in western europe. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:25, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
crimes rates in general are getting a little off topic for death penalty and are a lot less clear cut whatever you side of things you fall on. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:28, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
The Death Penalty has no significant impact on crime. Ergo, the argument that executions "prevent crime" is bullshit. As for what we should do instead to reduce crime... Cork (argue) 23:21, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Execution and the illusion of civility[edit]

Firstly, executing someone is fundamentally uncivilized. You are taking from them the only life they're guaranteed to have, reducing them to a pile of inanimate meat. This isn't a moral condemnation, it's just stating the facts. For those who wish to preserve such an institution, might I suggest dropping the pretenses and just shooting the inmate in the head once or twice with a handgun while justifying it as "it makes us feel better about ourselves and society"? It would save so much time and energy if we as a society just dropped the bullshit and admitted that we want to kill someone to feel better about lacking control in a cruel and often chaotic world. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:36, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Absolute fire. If I knew how to do the good post emoji, I would, but this is exactly it. The only life any of us have, reduced to argue about the standards of revenge fantasy, it ultimately doesn't matter how a life is ended. Few creatures in this world get a dignified end. Throw them to the lions if you want them dead. But when it matters is where and when there's consent, including death with dignity for terminal illness, inevitable death, and then there's this backwards idea that, to make us feel better, people we want dead won't die right if we don't kill them just so. And it always leans towards a more humane execution method. Almost as if we, as a society, actually never wanted anybody to die, we just need stronger justifications to make the punishment easier to stomach. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 05:45, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Honestly, I'm more annoyed by the pretenses than anything else. "welll this is more humane!!!" whine the death penalty proponents. If that were so, you'd appose the current method, demand it be much simpler (again, shooting a bound person once or twice is pretty quick and efficient), dump the pomp and circumstance, and dump the pretenses of this being anything more than a means of lashing out at a cruel and unjust world. I lean soft no on this matter, but if I were to join the "yes" camp I wouldn't bother with all this moralistic nonsense. I'd just advocate for shooting the poor bastard and being done with it. If that sounds barbaric to those in the "yes" camp, well that's what you fucking advocate stripped of all the bullshit excuses. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:44, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Well I would argue that "being alive" is the most fundamental quality to "being a human". If you aren't alive then you are simply a corpse. So yes...saying a human doesn't deserve to live is "dehumanising them". It sort of is the term we use when countries mass execute prisoners of war, fail to provide a specific race or group of people adequate medical treatment and let them die or when a race is gassed in a chamber. Dehumanisation. They are considered less human and don't merit staying alive as the rest of us non-corpses (or humans) do. But then you knew that and you're playing stupid word games. But then America is pretty far ahead in the game in the West at dehumanising people (in less extreme forms than execution) such as mass caging child-refugees, providing deplorable conditions in prisons, failing to provide medical treatment to the poor (which the country can easily afford) and in many states letting the homeless rot in the gutter for the miserable dregs that they are. So it isn't that shocking that a notable portion of the population think some criminals don't even deserve to be human. ShabiDOO 14:01, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
@Shabidoo Why are you responding to the "yes' camp here? I'm winging about their pretensions of civility. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:26, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Executing someone for a crime is no more dehumanizing the imprisoning them or making them pay a fine. To dehumanize someone is to deny them their basic, inalienable, human rights (life, liberty, etc.); however, to violate the rights of another is to void your own (don't do unto others as you would not have done unto you). Fundamentally, all criminal laws are based on the idea of 'an eye for an eye'; it's just that most of them going about applying it in a roundabout way (the punishment for identity theft is prison, not having your own identity stolen by your victim). The primary goal of the criminal justice system should to be rehabilitation, not merely punishment; however, the simple fact of the matter is that there are some people so awful that they can't be rehabilitated. That's why we aught to have the death penalty. There ain't no point to imprisoning someone who can't be rehabilitated, so why not put a bullet in their brain and save the taxpayers some money? Comrade General Pootis (talk) 16:18, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
That sounds lovely. It would be nice if everyone was in agreement on the definition of "so awful that they can't be rehabilitated". In several countries, for instance, that definition includes people who are merely gay.Wikipedia PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 16:43, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
No. Nations with barbaric justice systems like some jurisdictions the United States is based on an eye for an eye. In most developed countries the justice system is based on rehabilitation. That doesn't mean there isn't a retributive element in their justice system (there certainly is) but the aim (which is improving in most Western countries) is prevention and rehabilitation...not to hurt people and satisfy blood lust. In any case...denying someone their freedom can have an entirely reasonable purpose (if they are a danger to others). Murdering a citizen is pointless (when temporarily denying a lesser right such as freedom of movement) meets the same goal. It is preposterous to think that people are incapable of being rehabilitated (short of severe mental illness). Most Western countries have a time limit on non-parole eligibility even for the most ghastly crimes. I would argue that the American use of the death penalty, the appalling conditions in American prisons, the excessive prison terms and the enormous prison population are a sign that something is very wrong with its justice system and the way people look at crime. For all of that...it is still BY FAR the most violent country in the West. Prisoners are a vulnerable segment of the population and the way a country treats its prisoners is a fairly good dipstick for how well the rest of the vulnerable population is treated. ShabiDOO 16:46, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Can you all take your off-sub-topic argument back up to the main section? I don't know if you've noticed but this subsection is about a very specific complaint, i.e. for all the blather about being humane and civilized and all that shit, that's all it really is, blather. At the end of the day you could just shoot the inmates in the head with a handgun like fucking cattle and it'd have the same effect, i.e. you pretend there's one and in reality you're just shitty person with shitty views. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:58, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
its a boring question answered pretty quickly - there is no humane method of execution and to argue for one means arguing for a 'humane' death penalty. fuck the origianl question - its dogshit. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:04, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
The main section was discussing lethal inject in specific, not the death penalty at large; it'd be more irrelevant there than here. Also, originally, I wasn't intending to start a discussion of the morality of lethal injection; I was asking why and what lead to it being adopted as a replacement for other forms of execution (perhaps I should have gone to Quora) Comrade General Pootis (talk) 17:28, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

I cannot make sense out of the shit you type sometimes GrammarCommie. You start this section claiming execution is uncivilised and now you are bitching about so called "blather" when someone calls something related uncivilised or not. If you don't like something getting off topic...then put it back on topic...instead of insulting users and pulling a hissy fit. ShabiDOO 17:11, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

I never claimed the death penalty was inherently uncivilized, just that specifically lethal injection was. Also, there are multiple people in this discussion with communistic usernames; be a bit more specific Comrade General Pootis (talk) 17:19, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
@Comrade General Pootis Shabidoo is talking to me. @Shabidoo@AMassiveGay You are the "Opposed" camp. Yes, the idea that execution can be civilized is tosh. That's sort of my point, alongside pointing out how if you strip away the excuses that the "support" camp bleats out you can just get the same effect by forcing people to kneel down in a row and popping them off one by one with a handgun. The "blather" in question is the "support" camp's defense of the death penalty, which is, to put this in the bluntest terms possible, shit. Which I thought was obvious from my many rather blunt condemnations of it. I'm sorry if you were too busy arguing with each other while scrolling to the bottom of the page to fucking notice that. I'm kind of annoyed that the confrontational subsection I started to whinge about how shit the "support" camp's arguments were has turned into an extension of the main section when said main section is above it, more accessible, and only requires paying attention and some use of the enter key. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:31, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
No it wasn't clear...your response was all over the place and it could easily have been taken to apply to all of us and not just the pro-camp. So be a little more careful how you word things. I realise now I copy-pasted my response into another section and forgot to delete this one. My bad. Sorry. In any case...calm the shit down and if things seem to go off topic...then just steer it back and try not to be a dick about it. ShabiDOO 17:41, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
The problem is that the premise itself is faulty. "Why are lethal injections used" -> it's to soothe the damn soul of the people arguing for the death penalty. It's not soothing the soul of the executioners even. From what I am aware, execution work in the US is a volunteer duty, drafted in part from the army. People in that system choose to be in that system. They have every opportunity to not be in that system. It's a literal choice with no extra drawbacks to it if they don't do it. That means that the people doing it are already willing to engage in a system where in the end, you just end up with a dead body. At that point, the only people who need their minds to be soothed are the cushy idiots arguing for the death penalty and "humane" executions. The most humane execution is the guillotine. Chops the head straight off, you are dead within 10 seconds. Alternatively, firing a gun in someone's cranium will do the job as well. Clean ways to die, yet the people who argue for the death penalty the hardest think this is inhumane.
Of course, the death penalty itself is a faulty concept to begin with and it is absolutely relevant to bring that up. It is the ultimate example of man's hubris and it is a belief that we are perfect judges on every matter in which we deem it applicable. We aren't. We won't ever be. We are a deeply flawed species and to think otherwise is hubris. Look at all the executions of innocents that have been carving a long bloody trail in history by now. It is the one punishment we can't roll back. Therefore we shouldn't be doing it. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 17:59, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
@Shabidoo The whole point is to be a dick, though specifically to the pseudomedical facade of the pro-camp. TL;DR This is what supporters of the death penalty support, except with tiled rooms and needles full of drugs because they're too fucking squeamish to just shoot people in the back of the head like honest people. Either way, the some limp justification of only killing "the bad people" is trotted out and propped up like a cardboard cutout in a rainstorm, except again, at least the soldiers in in the photo don't need the facade of "medical" trappings to sleep at night. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:20, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Cannot seem to choose what language I want to learn[edit]

I find myself to be interested in the following languages: Macedonian, Albanian, Greek and Romanian. So much out there but I can never stay focused. --Possible KGB Spy (Eyes Shift) (talk) 22:57, 21 April 2021 (UTC)

Modern or classical Greek? Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 03:08, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
If you have already learnt some Spanish consider making your Spanish fluent. You'll be able to travel with ease to dozens of countries, enjoy cinema and literature and even participate in Spanish online forums.
However if you are impatient and cannot focus on an entire Language you might consider Portuguese. It would be a breeze to learn it after knowing some Spanish. They have wonderful music (especially Fado and soft Brazilian music) and some fantastic literature (especially Saramago).
If you want to stick to the list of languages you seem interested in I would argue Greek would be by far the most useful as having a knowledge of modern Greek would make learning ancient Greek a whole lot easier and with Ancient Greek you'd have direct access to early Western civilisation. There aren't many advantages to learning Macedonian, Albanian or Romanian. ShabiDOO 04:14, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
This person clearly has no interest in learning a practical language. Was going to suggest Spanish until I saw their current ideas. Learning one romance language is a huge step to learning a second one, and you benefit from colonialism since your new language can be used in many different countries across the world. Otherwise, if you're married to that list, just pick the language with the biggest community in your area. For me, for example, I'd pick Albanian from your list, as we have more Albanians in my area than the other groups. This will make it easier for you to learn, since you'll have people to practice with and help you-Hastur! (talk) 05:16, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
If you know Latin, Romanian is a breeze. For some stupid reason, Romanian is closer to Latin than Italian is. Really, there's something wrong with Italy, and I can't figure out what. Cork (argue) 06:11, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Really it would be good to know why someone wants to learn a language. It their motivation is unclear then it is unlikely they will stay the course.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:44, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
My motivation is to be more educated. --Possible KGB Spy (Eyes Shift) (talk) 12:20, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
That is really non-specific. Successful language learners usually have very specific reasons along the lines of: they need it for work, they have a significant other who speaks that language, they have moved to (or are going to move to) a country which speaks that language etc. That's not to say that people with more general motivations can't also learn - it's just that they (in my experience) are more likely to drop the project. This may also explain why you state that you find it difficult to "stay focused".
But good luck with it. Nevertheless, lacking a more specific reason for learning it's difficult give suggestions about which would be the "best" to learn out of the ones you suggest.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:25, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Sort of knowing a bunch of languages cannot possibly compare with fluently speaking one. Being able to properly communicate in another language (one people actually speak) is a life changing experience and it changes your life even more the more languages you can fluently speak. I would highly recommend learning a language you've already started to a practical level. There are endless free resources online and opportunities to chat for free with speakers online. I can personally chat with you in French or Spanish via zoom or skype or whatever if you like. If being "educated" is important than choose a language with a considerable corpus of literature, art, philosophy and intellectual discourse. French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Arabic or Greek (perhaps Portuguese or Turkish). No matter what you need to dedicate at the absolute minimum 500 hours to get a general proficiency. 1000 hours to approach fluency. A whole lot more for Arabic or Japanese. ShabiDOO 12:49, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
R.e. RationalZombie’s original comment: I deeply emphasise with struggling to choose between competing intellectual interests. For me, it seems that the only way (or at least the most satisfying way) I can choose between these interests is by trying to find the “best one”, and usually this is pretty subjective. To add to what others have said, I think you should just pick one...it doesn’t matter which, and commit yourself to it, otherwise you could waste a lot of valuable time. I would suggest committing yourself to a language which is more practical e.g. Spanish, that way you can reap the benefits of a widely spoken language, and at the same time, still become more educated. Good luck with your linguistic pursuits, whatever they may be. LeucippusTalk 14:45, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Sign up for Duolingo, get stalked by that owl. Spanish or vanish! Go throughout your day, and, hey, have you done any practice yet? French or the trench! Japanese or break-your-knees! Korean or you'll be screamin'! CorSock (talk) 14:57, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
But anyway, I would only recommend Duo if you already have a basic grasp of the language. I'm learning German and Italian, my German is coming along nicely because I already understood much of the rules of grammar, counting, split verbs, etc, pronouns, the question words, etc. Italian, starting off without knowing those, well, it's much, much harder. CorSock (talk) 15:08, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

I'm currently busy learning Latin and I'm taking the AP in May. Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 21:08, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

Actually, that is pretty impressive. Anyone who has the motivation to learn a functionally dead language has my respect.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:43, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
I actually used Duolingo before and I kept wanting to learn language after language to the point that I lost track of what I was doing. I am a bit scatterbrained. I can never seem to focus on one thing. --Possible KGB Spy (Eyes Shift) (talk) 00:43, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

RW admins be like:[edit]

"But we've always been at war with Eastasia!!!11!!!!11!!!" Drink! Unclescrooge (talk) 15:14, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

Are you done with your tantrum and contrived accusations yet? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:25, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
As a general note, there's definitely an inverse correlation between people who reference 1984 and people who actually read it. Not a bad book or anything, but I can't honestly see why people find it so profound; The Heart is a Lonely Hunter or A Clockwork Orange did much more for me. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:27, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
I did read the book a few years back. Unclescrooge (talk) 21:47, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

RationalWiki should have its own language[edit]

A ConLang with the Macedonian alphabet, Spanish grammar rules and Italian based words! I call it RationalWikian. --Possible KGB Spy (Eyes Shift) (talk) 00:50, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

Get off the drugs and go back to writing zombie fanfics. VerminWiki (talk) 02:55, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
It is already a thing: RationalWiki:DysLexicon. Bongolian (talk) 07:01, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
As conlangs go, that's pretty rudimentary. Let's use Tengkolaku instead. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 15:37, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

Guys go on Biden's Twitter and check out the comments on his latest tweets.[edit]

Seriously guys just do it. These fellows make the Stop the Steal MAGA cope morons seem like kittens and young goat kids by comparison.𝔖𝔲𝔪𝔪𝔞 𝔄𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔦𝔠𝔞 (𝔮𝔲𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔦𝔰) (𝔰𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔭𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔞) 03:27, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

Which tweets? Why can't you describe them? Why are you excitedly gesturing vaguely? By the way, I did go over and look at the comments section of the most recent tweet. The first one was people from India complaining that the vaccine wasn't open source (companies copyrighted it and are now profiting from it, which seems dumb from a logistics standpoint to be honest) because (nominally) India had been one of the major testing grounds for the vaccines. That was followed by Armenian genocide denial for.... Reasons? Then by by someone armchair strategizing about what Schumer should do if the GOP filibusters the bill. (I'll get to that soon.) That in turn was followed by a mix of disjointed images and messages lacking any discernible common thread. The tweet was about rolling out high speed internet to rural Americans in case anyone was wondering. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 03:46, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
The ones I saw were saturated with Turkish whining.𝔖𝔲𝔪𝔪𝔞 𝔄𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔦𝔠𝔞 (𝔮𝔲𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔦𝔰) (𝔰𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔭𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔞) 13:24, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, tell me more about how we've always been at war with Eurasia- er, Eastasia, er, what am I doing here... Unclescrooge (talk) 03:40, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

Opinions on Gough Whitlam[edit]

I find Gough Whitlam to be a fascinating character. The progress he was able to make in Australia was truly extraordinary. I'm curious, however, about what the opinions of users on this site are — on him (that is, if you know about him). In particular, I'm interested in your opinions on his economic policies. So, to the users who are more economically literate than me: what are your opinions on his economic policies? LeucippusTalk 16:28, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

Yugozombia: the nation of zombies that will show up in my upcoming video[edit]

I am thinking of having the zombie government show up in the middle of my video. The zombies will call their government Yugozombia while humans call it the Zombie Occupational Force as an insult. --Possible KGB Spy (Eyes Shift) (talk) 20:40, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

Would the zombie govt be rudimentary or would it be some sort of advanced undead democracy? Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 16:26, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
Advanced Undead dictatorship much like North Korea. --Possible KGB Spy (Eyes Shift) (talk) 20:30, 26 April 2021 (UTC)

Who will the GOP run for president in 2024?[edit]

The Pat Robertson problem[edit]

So here's the thing, everybody is dumbfounded by Pat Robertson criticizing police reaction in the Daunte Wright case. I personally know some Evangelical tradcons, and some internet savvy... Let's call them chancons. And the same argument/joke structure came from all of them. "This is why women shouldn't be cops." I had one guy explicitly say it, via something like 'well, a police officer is supposed to be able to take hold of any situation, and a woman can't do that' and I literally and specifically told him "That's a stupid argument. There could be any dude who could beat the shit out of any cop," and he said something like 'yeah, well, the average dude could beat up the average woman' and I said "But that's stupid. They gave her a gun, they gave her a taser, just like they give to every cop," and I literally told him "Well, your point is stupid." Later in the week, we had a missed delivery, the driver was a woman, and a guy made the joke 'well, you know women, you give em two tools' and it was like "What?" and it was clear the joke was teed up, ready for any scenario involving a woman and a mistake, because Kim Potter, lolmirite.

The underlying problem with these specific conservatives agreeing that Kim Potter didn't perform her job correctly in the Daunte Wright shooting, is that they actually wanted a big strong man to stomp his head into the ground, and 'of course a woman is going to have to pull a gun because women don't belong out there' and 'welp, you can't train a woman to be a cop' At least that's what I'm getting from the grassroots. It's very safe to call Kim Potter a bad cop right now, but don't trust the conclusions the thin blue line stans are giving. Their stopped-clock moment feels weird because they are omitting a lot. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 06:07, 26 April 2021 (UTC)

I saw a 5ft 2" policewoman being dragged around like a ragdoll by a male perpetrator. Some store patrons bailed her out and tackled the guy.
Detective Callahan essentially said in the movoie Magnum Force that a person "has got to know their limitations". Mainkola445 (talk) 10:57, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
thats a dogshit opinion and you are a dogshit person. well done. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:08, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
It's a brand new account, no doubt we will know more in good time.
The "chancon" crowd has always been full of Internet tough guys and mall ninja types who are fully qualified to bullshit about Tough Guy issues based on their Call of Duty "experience". A crowd that also is not helped by the gymbro / UFC crowd many aspire to be.
Pat Robertson also criticized (now convicted murderer) Derek Chauvin. I doubt that fits into the above chancon narrative. Instead, I look forward to the chancons ignoring this in favor of a stupid 1950s style "lol women drivers" joke. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 12:11, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
I doubt this is Ken since he's sane enough to agree with the ruling. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 13:02, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
Not all new accounts with dogshit opinions are Ken, but the chances of a new account with dogshit opinions continuing to spout shit are pretty high. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 13:06, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
No Shit, we have people like Mikemikev and Raven making new accounts, but I just wanted to share how I know since it's a view he's having a argument about on CP. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 14:08, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
It's probably just some anon, let's not give him any more attention. Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 13:25, 26 April 2021 (UTC)

Joe Biden’s blunt opposition to marijuana legalization[edit]

Why is Joe Biden sticking to his opposition to marijuana legalization?Krodasrap (talk) 07:30, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Because he's a Catholic, and I know how much you hate Catholicism. 206.176.147.166 (talk) 19:52, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
I actually think it's his age. It's legal now in 17 states, including a few of the more frontier-conservative types (Montana and Alaska). Probably only a matter of time now before Congress pushes full legalization (or at least a "let the states / counties decide" approach ala alcohol), I think. North America's actually looking pretty progressive on this issue compared to the rest of the world (Europe, what's up?). PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 21:27, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
Without comment on legalization in principle, on a personal level the stench of marijuana is absolutely revolting. I have no idea why anyone would willingly breathe it in on that basis alone. Even if it is completely legal, I don't want to be anywhere near someone smoking it; far from combatting nausea its stench actively stimulates it in me, non-skunk roadkill is less off-putting to me. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:38, 18 April 2021 (UTC)
and beer tastes like piss. people still drink it, nay, savour it. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:35, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
I yield this point to your obviously more extensive experience - I have no idea what piss tastes like. Aloysius the Gaul 03:19, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
unpleasant is what it tastes like. i wouldnt recommend. AMassiveGay (talk) 06:58, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
You could say this honestly about tobacco cigarettes, stinky cheese, and durian fruit. I actually find tobacco cigs one of the most revolting smells to be honest; marijuana is stinky but it doesn't revolt me (however, the effects are meh from my point of view, neither something to embrace nor something to get hysterical over). Everyone has different tastes, smell tolerances, and recreational chemistry. (I'm one of those that savour beer, and beery products like vegemite are fine with me as well, but there's definitely many that are turned off by both). PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 15:09, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
Tobacco smoke is disgusting as fuck. I stayed in China for two weeks, where I lived in a run-of-the-mill motel. The breakfast served was OK, but the soy milk tasted like tobacco smoke, as if someone stamped out their cigarette inside the milk. I really love soy milk, so I kept drinking it for a few days to see if it was just a one-time mistake. Nope, that's just how they serve it. Eating food in China is like playing Russian roulette with your stomach. 206.176.147.166 (talk) 08:53, 20 April 2021 (UTC)
SO let's be civil here. I smoke cigarettes and I've always loved the smell of tobacco smoke. I used to smoke them on my balcony, but my neighbors complained, so I started using Juul at home. I still smoke cigarettes, but only 2 a day, while I'm driving. I used to smoke pot, until I realized it did the absolute opposite of what it was supposed to do for me. Even a couple puffs gave me anxiety so bad I regularly couldn't eat or sleep for two hours. My downstairs neighbors smoke regulars sometimes. I woke up at 4 am thinking there might be a fire somewhere, only to recognize the sceht and realize that no, there was no electrical fire, my downstairs neighbors were smoking resin. Like, I get your pain is valid, and I do what I can to respect it. Pot smells. Resin is gross. I'm not big on Libertarianism, but the "Because it smells bad" argument is kinda... not something I would build a hill on, let alone defend? It's better for me to not rip cigs on my balcony, and I stopped that over a year ago, but I enjoy smoking cigarettes daily; once on my drive to work, and once on my drive home. I don't know who my bitch-ass neighbor who hates the smell of pot is, and I literally don't care about that line of reasoning. There's a fuckin garbage truck that makes a ton of noise right outside my window before my alarm goes on Mondays, what am I supposed to whine about? The garbage truck scheduling not fitting my sleep schedule? I'm pretty much between cigarettes here, but the fuck is your actual argument, "I just don't like smelling it"? Get way in there and sniff my ass, not liking the smell is not an actual reason to be against a thing, getting way in my ass is what you chose to do. I guarantee all people who say "The smell is unbearable" will live despite. Still, I chose to respect it, I only smoke in my own car. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 05:49, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

Alert example for my YouTube video[edit]

The following message is transmitted at the request of the Italian Armed Forces. Ships containing zombies have breached the Adriatic Quarantine Area. Zombie Occupational Forces have caused outbreaks in the following regions: Apulia, Molise, Abruzzo, Marche, Calabria and Sicily. Bubonic Necrosis is the disease that create the undead. The undead can be identified by the following characteristics: scarlet eyes, torn clothing, cysts, rotting skin, blood stains, open sores, broken teeth, missing limbs and exposed bones. The undead consume the flesh of uninfected humans. Bubonic Necrosis is a bacterial disease related to the Bubonic Plague. The disease is extremely infectious. Infection is transmitted by bodily fluids, fleas and rats. Undead can only be destroyed by cutting off the head and all limbs. You must burn the body or the undead corpse will merge back together. The exact method behind this is unknown. For your survival, take the following actions: barricade your home, arm yourself with sharp objects such as a sword, hide in an interior room with no windows and blocked by several doors and walls, keep noise to a minimum, have enough essential supplies to last one month, get a battery powered radio with extra batteries to obtain updates in the event of power outage. Use of heavy artillery has been authorized. Remain in an underground location until an all clear has been given. Updates will be given every hour upon the hour. This message will now repeat.

This is an Italian alert. --Possible KGB Spy (Eyes Shift) (talk) 20:37, 26 April 2021 (UTC)

Damn good! Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 02:26, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
I like that 'torn clothes' is in there. Like, anybody could have torn clothes. I have a couple suggestions and I will try to justify them. Keep the disease explanation and transmission together, don't change a thing about either, just keep them one long thread. It's not long enough to warrant a callback, a detailed description of a zombie disjoints the power of your brief yet thorough disease warning. Honestly, you could put the disease explanation anywhere if you combine the two parts, it's solid. You know it's solid. Don't break it up to try to carry the scenario. After the disease explanation, explain how you could spot a zombie but use more vague descriptions of what the infected might be recognized by. You can ramp up from things like "sweating" "coughing" "disorientation" through cysts, rotting skin, open sores, etc. to make this something where anyone who is not infected, I.E. your viewers, would have a really scary time deciding "who would I help and who would I shut out? Which conditions are necessary for a zombie identification, what is normal for escaping a zombie ship-landing, accompanied by flea and rat transmission, and which traits are so risky I wouldn't admit a human?" Just a suggestion from what I read, if there is a larger plan, stay on course. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 04:30, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
I'm torn. Repeating the word "undead" like that is generally considered bad for the readability of the prose, but in this case it might help give the paragraph "official notice" voice. The effectiveness of voice varies from pretty good to modestly bad though. "For your survival, take the following actions" is not something you hear in real life emergency alerts. It's wordy and doesn't add context. They say things like "The saftest place to be during a tornado is in the basement".
I get that you need to do world building, so keeping the information about what kind of bacteria carry the disease is probably more important than the fact that no real world broadcast would contain that, but I'd say cut the "Undead consume the flesh of uninfected humans" line. It's just redundant "cultural" knowledge every reader knows about zombies, and gets in the way of both your custom worldbuilding and the tone of the emergency alert. "What do I, the writer, want to tell my readers and why?"(making sure they understand an upcoming scene containing a vivisection) and "what does this government want to tell their citizens and why?"(preventing unnecessary spread, saving lives, keeping battle lines clear) are different modes of constructing dialog, and you need to keep both in mind.
You're on the right track, overall. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 05:34, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

$15 per hour[edit]

Biden just announced that federal workers will now get a $15 per hour minimum wage. Of course, there's the fact that a), most people in America aren't federal workers, and b), even if the wage rises, which is doubtful, the value would stay the same due to inflation. Now, unless you're from Venezuela, inflation isn't much of an issue, but as time progresses, money loses its value, and goods and services become more expensive. Prior to 2009, the minimum wage progressively got higher and higher, meaning by now we're long overdue for raising the minimum wage, and we might even need more than just $15 dollars an hour, which is still comparatively lower to that of other countries.Jeh2ow Damn son! 14:25, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

When you raise the minimum wage, inflation occurs, but not at the same rate as the raise. Going from $10 to $15 doesn't raise the price of a burger from $4 to $6, but from $4 to $4.50, and yes, some of that is because the supply chain now has to pay higher wages. But the owner of McD's doesn't automatically give himself a raise, nor do the other hundred thousand people in corporate, or all of the people in McD's supply chain. It's a transfer from the middle and upper to the lower. If it was a perfect match to inflation, well, wouldn't that be the strongest argument ever for getting rid of high CEO salaries? If they instituted a maximum wage, surely that'd make everyone else richer from deflation, right?CorSock (talk) 14:38, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Honestly, if you're at all concerned about inflationary policy, you need to look at the literally years of near-zero fed interest rates have done to housing and land prices compared to wage inflation. The effects aren't even remotely comparable. People are getting squeezed to death on housing prices if they're renters, and continuing to functionally finance speculative landlords is a huge huge huge chunk of overall inflation.
It's gotten to the point where we only ever talk about inflation when minimum wage comes up and it reads as nothing but dishonest almost farcial feigned concern about the impact of inflation. "Smart" sounding talking points from very dumb or cruel people. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:25, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
That was painful to read Jeh2ow. Venezuela is more complicated than "they instituted very minor socio-economic reforms and that's what fucked them up". Because it isn't. There's a number of things to unpack with that disaster, including how they funded those programs, how each of the last two leaders has managed those programs and funding, and how the citizens and opposition forces reacted. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:27, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
(edit conflict) 15 dollars an hour aint shit. IDK how anybody could live off of that with the way rents and property values keep rising-Hastur! (talk) 16:28, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Depends where, rents are really cheap in places no one wants to actually live. NYC only costs so much to rent because that's where all the cute single girls are, that's where there's a different A-list artist throwing a concert every single weekend, where there's two of every major league team there, and so forth. Go 2 hours Northwest, and it will cost nothing to live there, but there's nothing to do. Cork (argue) 17:07, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Interest rates are pretty low too. A married couple, both at $15/hr full time with combined income (about $62K a year), could probably afford a $260K home based on a general "quarter of gross income" rule using some online calculators on a 30 year fixed rate loan at today's rates. That will get you pretty far in most cities. Not San Francisco, of course (average price of 1.2 million for a home in San Jose, WTF?) but there's plenty of cities where $260K is pretty close to the average. And yeah, it's cheaper in the non-trendy rural areas. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 17:31, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Regardless of how much cheaper you think "non-trendy" areas are, since 1980, across the US as a whole, average rent for a 1 bedroom home has increased by 400%, and median income and minimum wage have both increased by about 100%. That's not a fooling around difference. That's soul-crushing. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 23:08, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Again, that's being driven by NYC and SF and so forth. For everywhere else, rents are basically untouched. However, I suggest the federal government institute a luxury rent tax, say, 30% on all rental income above $1500/m, because fuck NYC landlords, and a special fuck you to the "investors" who drive up real estate prices without adding anything to the economy, that's why. Cork (argue) 23:31, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Yep. However, there certainly is an affordability problem right now for those at the bottom. Minimum wage is not $15/hr right now, it is $7.25/hr. Not many people make exactly minimum wage, but 28% people make less than $15/hr as of 2019. Two people working full time at minimum wage will only earn $30K a year. And not everyone is married with both people fully employed, which further complicates the picture. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 00:10, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
Exactly, that's the problem. The median income in America in 2018 was $61,937, more than twice than what most people living under a minimum wage earn every year. At the same time, the gap between the top 1% and everyone else has risen to the point that the inequality makes the US an outlier among other first-world nations, as it had been since the 80s.Jeh2ow Damn son! 12:03, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

@Ikanreed400% increase in property prices since 1980? shocking. over the pond its a 1145% increase. 1980 is a curious comparison point as in the uk, thats when right to buy was brought in, the root cause of todays housing crisis in the uk, allowing tenants to buy their social housing at a large discount, still in effect today. in london the median house price is over 12 times the median income. as for rent, since 1980 social housing stock has declined by 69%, while private renting increased and increased further as buyers priced out of the market and house building dropped. private rents are on average in 1980 10% of renter income went on rent. now it is 30%. A salary of £51,200 is needed to "afford" to rent a one-bed London home. we refer to those under 40 priced out the housing market 'generation rent'

this isnt just a london problem either, though more acute there. most metropolitan areas face similar rent and property hikes, the suburbs gets more and more expensive as more folk forced to move further from population centres, and the poorest get pushed further and further out. theres only so far people can go you cant build on the the greenbelt. and no work either . people buying second/holiday homes in places like cornwall mean locals cannot afford to live in the areas they were born while properties stand empty most of the year. unlike the us there is little room to expand - its not the buildings that are expensive its the land they occupy. land is at at premium when you dont have the wide open spaces of the us. no room for even trailer parks to provide low income housing.

in the uk we dnt build enough homes to meet demand, and the ones we do are luxery homes and not the needed but ever dwindling social housing. properties stand empty. the buy to let market, foreign investment, second homes all contribute to rising costs with ever rising demand. im certainly no economist (clearly) and i dunno how much of all this will apply stateside, all i can say is minimum wage, uk or us, clearly needs increasing, but it aint a magic bullet. its just one part of a solution to problems decades in the making. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:25, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

There's a simple solution to second homes; exhorbitant taxes on non-primary residences. Oh, you want a vacation home in the countryside? Be prepared to singlehandedly fund their entire social services.
It's buy-to-let that I see as the real problem in Britain. You have 200 thousand quid, you try to buy a small home, someone else buys it for more, then you find that same home for rent 2 months later. Again, I say there should be a tax on rental income. The cost of rent should always be between than the landlord's taxes and maintenance, and the taxes, maint and mortgage. If it's ever more than tax, maint and mort, well, at that point the tenant should be the one in the home. CorSock (talk) 14:36, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
In my state, rent is ridiculous even in BFE towns where there are more cow pastures than convenience stores, so it’s not just an issue in trendy places like NYC or Los Angeles. 71.208.x.x (talk) 15:34, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

More crimes against humanity[edit]

Well, it appears that Human Rights Watch has officially accused Israel of committing apartheid. This report is long overdue, considering the many human rights violations that Israel has committed, but it has finally arrived. I doubt that action will be taken as a result of this, due to Israel's standing in the international community. At the very least, it should shut zionists up about accusations of antisemitism if nothing else. Revenant Raven (talk) 15:02, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

This report is nothing new from HRW, so I don't see how this changes anything. CorSock (talk) 15:13, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Israel has been an apartheid state for a while, not sure this has the teeth you think it does.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 17:13, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

Been helping my friend with three years worth of late tax returns[edit]

jesus fuck that was a frustrating chore. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:44, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

That had better be one good friend... Cork (argue) 16:22, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Yeah AMG, you ever move, they better help. None of this 'I'll bring the pizza' nonsense, this is a bed-and-sofa level favor. Semipenultimate (talk) 16:54, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
and it still aint done. couldnt get into his online tax account for reasons so gotta go back in two weeks to finish when they send all the relevant paper forms.
its not like its that complicated but his papers are a mess and getting through to HMRC on the blower is fucking hours on hold. its such a fucking ball ache, im glad im paye. if he done it all on time and didint keep putting it all off it would have been a 5 min task. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:27, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
and his fine for late submission is going to bigger than the tax bill. he barely qualifies to pay tax at all. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:32, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
and all the thai music hes been playing just dont do it for me. AMassiveGay (talk) 17:35, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
When I lived in the UK I would go online to do my taxes. There would be this simple two page form already filled out for me. Then it asked me to confirm that everything looked right. It did. There was literally nothing I could change even if I wanted to. I'd click "submit". Easiest taxes I'd ever done. A whole lot less complicated than the 72 page Spanish tax forms (plus 12 page auxiliary forms and expenses submissions) with wildly unpredictable results. ShabiDOO 17:59, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
When I was in Boy Scouts (scouting in New England, New York, and New Jersey is very different from the rest of the country) I knew a kid whose dad was in the IRS. He said the only part of dealing with taxes that was as simple as it should be was handling sovereign citizen/redemption theory idiots, since it was basically a form letter to the FBI. He, for the record, agreed with just having the government send you a form and have you tell them if it's right, but because of TurboTax and similar I doubt that'll happen here anytime soon. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:39, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
only self employed and businesses need to file a tax return over here. wage earners get PayAsYouEarn. their employers have to deduct it from your gross wage and pay it to the tax man themselves. AMassiveGay (talk) 15:41, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
my friends should have been simple, after sorting through piles of bank statements to do online but he'd lost his login and resetting required id he didnt have (his paaport is stolen - every week it seems someone has pinched something from his flat and given him the clap). hours on hold to the tax office with my friend pushing documents into my face from the wrong year and/or no relevanceAMassiveGay (talk) 15:48, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

The problems with recycling[edit]

You know, I hear all the time about the grim statistics of what is recycled and what is land filled, and I often think to myself, why are we even still paying for landfills? But now I’m starting to get it: nobody has a straight answer as to what can go in the recycling bin and what can’t. For example, the local government says no pizza boxes, while the company that processes the recyclables says pizza boxes are okay as long as no pizza is left in them (that should be a no-brainer). Then when it comes to aerosol cans, the processing company says check locally, which is more complex than one would think as my county say no aerosol while the next county over using the same recycling processor says yes to aerosol. So obviously one of the counties is full of it. Argh. Anyone else get frustrated over stuff like this? 71.208.x.x (talk) 15:16, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

One of the major problems with recycling in practice tends to be organization and rules. As you pointed out, there's conflicting information and highly technical explanations when what people really seem to need is a (relatively) straightforward guide. Perhaps someone should make one? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:43, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
For landfills why not take the junk in it and break it down for building materials? Not a perfect solution but it would be better than having trash all over. --Agimi i Apokalipsit (talk) 16:31, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
I would agree that instructions for recycling are far from perfect and that the instructions differ between regions and towns. There really needs to be some kind of international standardization. It would also be a good idea if kitchens (or houses) were built on the assumption that owners would need to keep multiple lines of recyclable stuff separate. At the moment in terms of large stuff I'm sorting: paper, glass, cans and plastic, and compostable organic. Along with smaller stuff like batteries and bottle tops. And then there is the even bulkier stuff like expanded polystyrene. That's a lot of garbage to store and keep separate.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:42, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

Hi, stranger and new this, hopefully see this, but a reason still use landfills is land is cheap. So makes sense dump trash and build mountain of trash. When landfill is built and seen landfill get built, since drive by new landfill site each day. Site builders would install pipes to collect methane from trash compressing down on pile trash. Which use methane run sweet gas engines; methane has very sweet smell. If even been to landfill, or transfer station; place try organize items before heads over to landfill. Transfer station send certain materials to other places like scrap yard. Even scrap yard just low purity metal, pretty much shit metal be sent overseas to be melted down and made into fencing or whatever. One good thing can do with trash just burn for energy. Burn trash to boil water and use steam turn turbine for energy. stranger been around dirty environments :) — Unsigned, by: 108.2.145.13 / talk

The Guardian:Could Marine Le Pen finally triumph?[edit]

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Just_asking_questions#Betteridge.27s_law_of_headlines Revolverman (talk) 22:05, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
It's actually possible given how far right Macron and co have shifted of late. As I keep pointing out, why the fuck would the fashies vote for the diet version when they can get the real thing and then some? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 22:20, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Wait, as a french guy, did I missed something? Macron, far right? ...Why? Is it the increase in minimum retirement pension? The funding of every job that's not working due to Covid? The denunciation of those retired generals that *hint* at an armed coup as traitors? ... Oh wait, is it the trying to regulate a sexist (as written), homophobic (as practice) religion that happens to be an ideology claimed as inspiration by all the latest terror attacks in France? While not actually forbidding the religious practice, but just tryign to stamp out its worse aspects and separatism?2001:861:55C0:B790:344E:214D:25CF:7553 (talk) 06:21, 29 April 2021 (UTC)
Anything is possible and I'd never say never but it's one thing to get a third of the vote but it is another for a far-right party in Western Europe to get 51% in a second round run-off. Support for parties on the left and centre of the spectrum are well over 50%. Of course even getting a third of the vote is shameful and extremely concerning...but I think its a fairly safe bet she wouldn't win.— Unsigned, by: shabidoo / talk / contribs
Polls are putting the race a lot closer than that, for what it's worth. Also, Macron has well and truly burned bridges with the left at this point.-Flandres (talk) 23:25, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Polls have her at 25% in the first round. Do you know of a poll that puts her a lot closer? ShabiDOO 23:37, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
100,000+ Frenchmen died due to Covid-19 pandemic. Recent Ipsos Mori poll puts Emmanuel Macron's approval rate at 37%.[5] Vixmar24 (talk)
@Shabidoo I was talking about the second round.-Flandres (talk) 23:58, 23 April 2021 (UTC)
Having a low approval rating doesn't mean anything if the alternative is a far-right lunatic how has an even lower approval rating. I haven't read any second round polls in a Macron vs. Le Pen run off. Do you know of one? ShabiDOO 00:04, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
Ah the Daily Express, a sure sign that the person citing it is desperate for citations... ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:26, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
The Guardian article cited above states: "Of the 12 second-round polls published, none has Le Pen winning." 68.56.144.8 (talk) 00:34, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
Wikipedia has polling stuff. 68.56.144.8 (talk) 00:39, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
You know, I never said she would win-I just said it was a bit closer than some are saying. It probably won't be as big a margin of victory as last time if he does win.-Flandres (talk) 01:09, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, that's admittedly true. It is closer now than it was at this time in 2016. 54-46 vs 61-39 (an 8 point margin vs a 22 point margin). 68.56.144.8 (talk) 02:05, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

The Washington Post recently published the opinion piece Europe is proof that right-wing populism is here to stay. Jacobin published Right-Wing Populism May Be Wounded, But It’s Certainly Not Dead.
What is the future of right-wing populism? Vixmar24 (talk) 10:18, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
It'll die and come back and die and come back and the world will keep moving socially towards the left, economically towards libertarianism, regardless of the occasional populist movement.-Hastur! (talk) 12:51, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
Well, populism can be either of the left or right.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:51, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
"What is the future of fascism 'right wing populism'?" As Hastur said, failure, more failure, the occasional takeover of a country followed by a genocide of a bunch of people and then (hopefully, because the universe does not arc towards justice, you rose tinted oafs) more failure, followed by them scrambling to rebuild their shit reputation. Also, why are you so afraid of calling this shit by its actual name? You know, fascism. (Neo-fascism for all you pedants, but that implies they changed more than the set dressing, if that.) ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:05, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
but then we cant tar everyone slightly on the right with the same brush, silly AMassiveGay (talk) 14:42, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
Islamophobia is growing in the world according to the UN.[6] There is a rise of Islamophobia in Western countries (In Germany, there were over 120 attacks on mosques in 2020).[7]
With rising Islamophobia, there has been a concurrent rise of far right populism in Europe and in some countries.
As the Muslim populism grows in Europe and other countries, couldn't there be a concurrent rise of Islamophobia and right wing nationalism in Europe and other countries?Vixmar24 (talk) 16:01, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
(EC)There is always a spectrum in politics. But these guys on the far right are certainly a worry. This was almost certainly inspired by new right-wing Spanish party VOX. Thinking about it, VOX may need an article.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:05, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Far right-wing populists and Islamic extremists in a country correlate with each other.[8] They probably cause each other to grow.Vixmar24 (talk) 16:16, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

Ban evasion, what's that? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:29, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
Far-right populism is a serious problem in Europe (especially in parts of Eastern Europe). But it is true that it is also a constant dread every time there is an election in Western Europe. For the most part it is contained with a manageable minority. They average 15% of the national vote. Sometimes lower. Sometimes woefully higher. At a national level this isn't a problem for actual governing because all governments are coalition governments (sometimes with up to 5 parties) and governments don't want to form alliances with the far-right crazies. There have been some occasional exceptions such as in the Netherlands, Italy and in Austria. At a regional level it is a lot more of an issue where there have been coalition governments with far-right parties such as in Andalusia. It is here to stay, it is not going away and there will always be a minority of far-right racist pugnacious voters. The biggest problem is how loud they can be and how much they toxify political discourse and attempt to normalise bigotry and American style ideas on crime-and-punishment and mischaracterisations of welfare. The horror fest would be if they ever gain an absolute majority in a Western European country. This is a fairly outlandish scenario for the moment. It is of course possible but hard to imagine. Even in France where Macron is not popular it is pretty out there that the socialist and centrist base would vote in a far-right lunatic just to show their displeasure with an unpopular president. If this happens then the real panic and horror will begin. ShabiDOO 06:34, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
No, they don't vote for Le Pen, they stay home. They just have to not vote for Macron.-Flandres (talk) 16:20, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
In France, an experiment was done randomly assigning a Muslim/Christian sounding names to middle-class job applicants who had similar educational/job backgrounds. The ones with the Christian sounding names were 2.5 times more likely to get hired.[9]
Europe is creating a class of under-employed or unemployed Muslim immigrants who feel little or no connection with their host countries. Multiculturism is failing in Europe when it comes to Muslim immigrants.Nidemer (talk) 09:07, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
When I hear people making broad comments about Islamophobia in Europe (or that the Muslims are taking over) I roll my eyes. Most European countries have minimal Muslim populations (some have minimal foreign populations overall in fact). But yes, in some European countries there is a terrible problem with racism and Islamophobia (especially France, Germany, Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland). These countries aren't doing enough to fight Islamophobia. Conversely when they deal with problems like extremism and fundamentalism they are attacked as being Islamophobic making them hesitant to do anything openly. Governments have very little incentive to meaningfully deal with these issues except through lip-service and minimal effort. It doesn't help when you have grotesque far right voices screaming out stupid, manipulative bigoted bullshit. Disagreeing and contradicting loud obnoxious far-right parties doesn't help because they just repeat the same shit and it gives them a platform and attention. Ignoring them makes it seem to voters of parties on the right side of the specturm that the government doesn't care about these issues lending the far-right some legitimacy. The best way to deal with the problem is endless activism and incentivising governments to deal with racism (a difficult task). Social media makes all of this a million times more difficult. If only it was never invented. Seriously...the world would be such a better place. ShabiDOO 12:53, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
Except for all of those police violence videos that would be much less widespread and thus not call attention to the problem...-Flandres (talk) 16:19, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

France, Germany, Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland are the countries with some of the highest percentages of Muslims compared to the other European countries. They all have Muslim populations that are somewhere between 6-10% of the total population.[10] These are the countries with the most Islamophobia and racism.Nidemer (talk) 16:56, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

Shabidoo: "most countries don't have a problem with Islamophobia!"
Shabidoo: "with the except of these countries that make up literally half of Europe's population" CorSock (talk) 13:02, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
Only 1/5 of the countries have a problem with Islamophobia so...no...by definition 20% is not most. Those countries I listed make up 33% of Europe's population (not 50% like you exaggerated). So even by population 33% does not equal most. So...don't hyper generalise. Europe changes markedly from Lisbon to Moscow, Dublin to Athens and Oslo to Valletta. All you have to do is add a couple words to your sentence like "major countries in Europe" or "some countries" to avoid hyper-generalising. I live in a country with very little problem with Islamophobia. The problem with racism here is mostly against Latin-Americans (a pretty terrible problem to be honest). So don't generalise when it doesn't even equal half of anything. Generalisations that do apply to most of Europe? Positive ones: universal health care, multi-party democracies, no death penalty, welfare programs. Negative ones: Growing far right movements, problems with racism, urban planning decay, terrible vaccination delays, notable issues with either inflation or deflation, inability to deal with Russia and their trouble making, corruption/nepotism, consumer rights. I have no problem admitting to the numerous issues Europe has, including ones it won't deal with. If you are going to deal with Islamophobia (and we should) then get your facts straight. ShabiDOO 14:02, 26 April 2021 (UTC).
Here is an opinion poll the other wiki cites. Quite a bit of animosity towards Muslims in Spain, Italy, Greece and Poland. I'd say that makes for at least half of Europe. Interestingly, Russia nearly has the most positive views of Muslims in Europe, but I guess Russia has a lot more experience being a multicultural society than most other countries in Europe. CorSock (talk) 14:29, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
The most generous estimation of the Muslim population in Poland is 0.1% so...how exactly is Islamophobia a major problem in Poland? There are unfavourable attitudes towards Islam in virtually every Western country. Serious neighbourhood riots, police violence, mass unemployment and vocal-anti-Islamic political rhetoric happens in the countries I listed. In other countries racial tensions involve other people. For example in Spain and Portugal racism is mostly directed towards Latin-Americans. They don't have ghettos like Schaerbeek, St. Denis, Feijenoord, Rinkeby, Offenbach, St. Gallen and Washwood Heath. In Italy the most serious racism is towards Africans. That isn't to say that being Muslim is a ride in the park for most Muslims in Europe but when you talk about a "problem with Islamophobia" it can only be a serious problem if there is more than a minuscule minority of Muslims in those countries and when other people's deal with the brunt of racism and prejudice. Otherwise if the definition of a problem with Islamophobia is that a survey conducted shows unfavourable views towards Islam...then it is not a European problem but a most non-Muslim countries problem. ShabiDOO 17:51, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
i note the UK is at the top of the list. hows the US polling on this? AMassiveGay (talk) 15:19, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
i am unsurprised that countries on the front line of the refugee crisis dont do so well AMassiveGay (talk) 15:22, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
@SockPup are you seriously suggesting places like UK or france dont have experience with multicultural societies? eastern europe i can well agree thoughAMassiveGay (talk) 15:26, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
London (one of the most multicultural cities on the planet) is about to re-elect a Muslim mayor by a landslide AMassiveGay (talk) 15:29, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
It's not really part of Britain or France's identity the same way it is in the US or Russia. Go ahead, ask a random French person where they think Marie Curie was born, I'd be surprised if even half knew she was Polish. CorSock (talk) 16:09, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
As for the comparison to the US, I don't know of a poll with the same standard. But here's a link to a different poll. The US does better than most of Western Europe in this area. CorSock (talk) 16:19, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
EC you have any cite for that assertion? or that it tells you anymore than that they dont know where the naturalised french curie was born?
and no, UK is notmulticultural in the way US is AMassiveGay (talk) 16:22, 26 April 2021 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Like I said, I wouldn't be surprised, given from I've seen talking with people who've been to France. There aren't any specific polls asking this question, as it's rather esoteric.
Here's an interesting map of racism throughout the world, not perfect obviously, but "would you be OK with people of a different race being your neighbor" is probably a decent enough proxy of a question. Cork (argue) 17:14, 26 April 2021 (UTC)
@Shabi
I'd say Islamophobia is not a uniquely European thing. Right now, China is committing genocide against their Muslim population, and Burma hasn't made the news much but I can't imagine things are easy for the Rohingya these days. This isn't to say that this hatred came out of nowhere or that there aren't problems within Islamic culture that the "moderate majority" has failed to contain, but Muslims are hated throughout the world in ways that Buddhists are not. What makes Europe different from most other places is that Europe (and the US) allowed or invited in millions of Muslims, whereas in places like China the local Muslim populations had been there for several centuries. Europe generally had no intentions of letting the immigrants stay, the whole reason for the Gastarbeiter system was that millions of Turks would work in the German factories to make money for Germany('s shareholders) and then be sent back to Turkey, same with the Algerians and Moroccans in France, but Europe had no plans for when the workers decided they'd rather stay as second class citizens in Europe than go back to Turkey or Algeria. However, their kids grow up wondering why they have to live in the slums whereas the other Europeans seem to all be doing so much better... CorSock (talk) 18:13, 26 April 2021 (UTC)

I am going to be a bit more inactive then I already am[edit]

To tell you all the truth, I've been neglecting to do my schoolwork because of me monitoring the site. At least 75% of my contribs happened when I was in school and I was supposed to be working on something. My grades are suffering because of it and I don't want to think about time-wasting drama until I am at least caught up with my grades. I'll still be on Discord if anyone wants to chat to me for a bit. And to Ken, If you're reading this, I'm not going to "move" to Conservapedia. I need to temporarily eliminate distractions in order to at least have a life, and editing wikis is something I can sacrifice for a few weeks. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 20:42, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

Good decision. Doing well in school is more important than RW. Bongolian (talk) 06:55, 29 April 2021 (UTC)
Good luck! Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 15:50, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

Modern trends in conspiratorial and spiritual worldviews[edit]

I've read of a number of examples of individuals going from pseudo-intellectual progressive social and religious views, to pseudo-intellectual reactionary views, over the course of the Trump years (when a new flavor of American hysteria was exported to the world). Sometimes New Age people who accepted all spiritual entities indiscriminately suddenly flipped and turned into staunch Christian fundies, for example. And moonbat conspiracists have sometimes transformed into wingnut conspiracists.

I've also seen such general shifts in attitude in a few online communities about conspiratorial and spiritual matters. (Small sample size, but seems tied to big news stuff.) The related countercultures seem to have shifted from being mostly left-leaning to being in large part right-leaning in recent times. I'm currently guessing that in a few years, the recent QAnon craze may turn out roughly the peak of this development. But COVID-19 on top of that has also made for an increasing polarization between pro-science attitudes and pseudoscientific conspiracism, compared to earlier years, and more later types of craziness could unfold to take it further.

Are there articles about broader trends and themes like that and how it develops? (Most of my current thinking is fast and loose theorizing, I wonder both how much serious research there is on this and how much others a bit like myself have arrived at concerning this stuff.)

Currently, I think there may be some curious long-lasting effects of Trumpism+COVID-denialism, etc. It's as if a wider range of "alternative" stuff has all been morphing and then ended up brought together in a loose mold connected to alt-right influences and then coagulated into a pungent mess, easy to identify, and more strongly at odds with progressive and scientific views than ever before. As a result, a clearer and sharper divide appears, and lots of woo-pushers and crappy influences do half the work for the skeptics by rounding themselves up for easy spotting and rejection, having abandoned all remaining sense. While a significant portion of fringe people instead take an opposite stance which moves them closer to our side. It may somehow all end up good for progress, through unreasonableness working to undo itself, I think. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 23:44, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

I can’t help but see constancies in the “patterns” that emerge. For instance, at the turn of the 20th century, the Logical Empiricists (specifically the Vienna Circle) fought similar battles in defending the “scientific worldview” against fascism, mysticism, nationalism, and the tyranny of tradition that infected so many ideologies in the early part of the 20th century. The content of contemporary types of irrationalism may have changed, but similar undercurrents of irrationality persist in the formal structure or patterns of modern conspirational and spiritual world views. LeucippusTalk 00:39, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
The tendency to look for universals in the patterns observable in cultural histories is itself an inevitability. We try to explain what we are seeing in terms of the things we have already seen, experienced ourselves or read about in recondite journals and books. From a naturalistic view, humans are psychological hybrids. We all possess unscientific beliefs that may or may not be coherent, or empirically justifiable. To the extent that many persons hold similar bundles of irrational assumptions, they may well tend to transform societies in patterns that appear to be homomorphic to past examples of social tumult. This matter is complicated by the fact that we cannot agree with some notions of moral understanding. This moral understanding, religious or cultural, is bonded to the common sense understanding provided by empirical details of common life. The difficult part to accept is the fact that every one of us has irrational aspects to our personalities. We associate with those we find agreeable and contribute to the creation of recognizable patterns.UncleKrampus (talk) 01:31, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
I've noticed this for years, ever since the Ron Paul campaigns in 2008 and 2012. I believe that Paul was an important bridge to the far-right for a lot of "crunchy granola" liberals and New Agers, thanks to how he took themes that were popular in those circles — anti-war activism, alternative medicine, anti-vaccination, distrust of the scientific and medical "establishment" — and provided a space for them within the Republican Party, while exposing to those elements of the paleolibertarian "guns and camo" militia crowd who have long voiced similar theories. What's more, this was a time when Barack Obama was associating himself with science and technology and bringing into the Democratic Party exactly the kinds of professional workers, academics, and secularists that the New Age granola crowd always viewed with suspicion. As a result, they felt that they were growing increasingly unwelcome among the Democrats and the liberal left in general, while a new space was opening up for them on the right. A key part of the broader political realignment of the last decade, I feel, is that the right wing has become the default home of "fringe" subcultures that, in the past, could be found on both the far-left and the far-right. It isn't just that New Agers are becoming fundamentalist Christians, it's that they're becoming fundamentalist Christians while still remaining New Agers, mixing together ideas from both communities into a stew of Gnosticism that, back in the '80s or even as late as the Bush era, would've been condemned as heresy by the Christian Right. The Conspirituality podcast goes into some deep dives on this. KevinR1990 (talk) 22:24, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
There's some lefties still in American kookspace, but, yeah, I think there's been a shift in American kookspace of sorts. It's hard to think of a figure like Lyndon LaRouche who was batshit insane, notable in politics, and largely (arguably) on the left. I mean, you still have your Gwyneth Paltrow types, of course, but the granddaddy of the "bleach cures COVID-19" type bullshit today is Donald Trump. The worldview of Art Bell in the 1990s morphed into the worldview of Joe Rogan (at best) and Infowars (at worst) today. Sadly, as noted, this means the decline of what I would call the "optimistic kook" sect, those that held weird kooky views but nonetheless maintained an overall positive attitude over what humanity could become. As kooky as the New Age sect could be, e.g. believing in a bunch of strangely too perfectly Europeanish aliens that loved us and just want us to not make mistakes, it seems like, er, a better overall vision than the QAnon world to me, for some reason. I mean, the worldview of the Pleiadian crap often at least is to advocate a change, which may be of benefit for us to do anyways. The QAnon worldview involves nefarious world actors who are conspiring to... inject 5G microchips in your COVID-19 vaccine... or something. It feels like a stupid us vs. them where the goal is to attack what they do not understand, and/or do not want to understand. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 23:47, 25 April 2021 (UTC)
I think people in spiritual circles are also divided along another axis, that of valuing inner focus vs. outer focus. By inner focus, I mean everything from meditation, to prayer, contemplation, or just New Age fantasizing. By outer focus, I mean politics, events, physical trends and alternative remedies, and possibly activism. I think more outer focus tends to go along with more conspiracy thinking. More inner focus, by contrast, tends to go along with a more "chill" worldview which rejects Hollywood action-style conspirituality as too shallow, which is good as far as that goes. I think people closer to the "outer" end have drifted more to the right, while those closer to the "inner" end have tended to stay more to the left. It may have slowly grouped with left-right polarization over time. But the "inner" people don't make much noise, so they're easily forgotten unless you look for them or their writings. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 19:15, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

Idea for solution to border crisis[edit]

This idea is, of course, riddled with problems, which I'll discuss, but hear me out:

I'm actually pretty lax on illegal immigration, but you'd have to be blind or stupid to not realize that what's going on at the border is fucking nuts. So here's what I'd do: Along the wall would be "US Emergency Immigration Field Offices," so as long as an immigrant making the trek through the desert 1) can provide the necessary docs and 2) has valid reason to show up (viz. political asylum, economic opportunity, etc.), then the officials could let them through, therefore they wouldn't be illegal immigrants. Construction on the Wall™ would resume, so as to keep out criminals and smugglers. More money would be shelled out to the holding facilities for the unaccompanied minors, so they won't be sleeping in tinfoil anymore (Jen Psaki would never admit it, but this is actually still happening under Biden).

Problems: Influx of immigrants, keeping out crooks, living conditions, illness & hygiene, security, employment crisis.

What say you? Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 12:04, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

It's such a complete shitshow that there is really no whole solution to it short of somehow going back in time and preventing the US from bombing the shit out of and/or overthrowing the governments of almost every country in Central and South America. If America could just keeps its massive nose out of other people's business this would not be anywhere near as big a problem. I know that's not particularly constructive but just my two cents. Princess Mononokeradio contact 13:03, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
A lot of that is already in place. Seriously, we have multiple walls and fences along the southern boarder (our northern boarder is incredibly lax though), and despite protection our immigration system is near impossible to game (or use). Also, in the case of drug smugglers, building a wall does fuck all. They aren't a barbarian hoard, they're drug smugglers. To make this clear, Drug smugglers have been known to use tourists as unsuspecting mules. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:10, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
What about using dogs to sniff out the drugs? wait sorry, they couldn't sniff out the plastic bags in the stomachs. Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 13:15, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Most drugs also cross the border at ports of entry anyway. Something like 90%. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 14:05, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Of course they do, they aren't morons. And again, they aren't a barbarian hoard. They want to ship their product to customers, same as any other business. If a shipping route become unusable they'll find another. You can't stop them with walls, anymore than you could stop any other multinational business. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:21, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
@IRonMan The fuck? No. When I said cartels use tourists, I mean they hide drugs in their cars without the tourists' knowledge. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:29, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
In any border crossing - weather it be from Africa into Europe or South america into North america the issue is not drugs entering or criminals crossing. These are just excuses given for implementing controls. The problem is the massive disparity in wealth, opportunity and security between one region and another. This is not a problem which lends itself to easy short-term solutions.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:30, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
And when the disparity is self-inflicted? Countries that stubbornly refuse to tackle sexism and racism in their own countries or make sex education and birth control illegal cause more poverty than anything Europe/US could ever do, and while the US does bear some responsibility to, say, the Iraqis for screwing up their country, not all immigration issues are the fault of the Western world and I'm not sure it's moral to squeeze Western populations for crimes the West wasn't responsible for. CorSock (talk) 14:46, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
I am not talking about the causes of these disparities. (though others are) I am simply pointing out that that these massive disparities exist. And while they exist we will have a vast number of people who will want to move from one area to another. I am not talking about blame, or even about justice (at the moment). I am just saying that this is the root of the problem and there is no easy fix.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:11, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
An important thing to note here, a lot of countries have these problems because the West, and in Central/South America, specifically the US, destabilized countries by supporting governments that wouldn't interfere with US business interests. Including democratically elected governments, which were replaced by military juntas and despots. The key thing, is the US, and indeed the West, needs more immigration, not less. Census data released this year showed the past 10 years were the slowest in population growth since the Great Depression. Lower birthrates have a variety of factors, mostly regressive policies that disincentive women, that could be replaced and fix some of those problems. The danger however, is that the rampant nativism of the past decade, has made people less inclined to migrate to the US. What is necessary, is to increase the number of ways people can legally immigrate, which will effectively kill the people smuggling industry, especially if it's reinforced with an aggressive policy of sending people smuggled across the border, back to their home countries and a clear, consistent messaging that there are many legal ways to immigrate, and if you don't choose one of them, you'll be sent to the back of the queue.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 17:11, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
@RipCityLiberal We should also respect international law and not deport refugees. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:14, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Just the opposite. Regressive policies increase the birth rate, it's progressive policies such as education and equal rights that lower the birth rate. After all, Europe isn't suffering from a baby boom right now.
But look at it from the perspective of the lower or underclasses. There's never enough money for housing or social services for these people, there's never enough decent jobs to enable them to enter the middle classes, polluting the environment is bad so we have to reduce our consumption of resources and eat less meat and use less electricity. Yet the government is letting in millions of people from other countries, spending money to house and educate them, finding them jobs, etc. Thus the rise of the European Far-Right, the "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory, and why the Far Right tends to be view Environmentalism as a government conspiracy theory. Although in recent years, "Ecofascism" has become a thing... CorSock (talk) 17:39, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Very true. Also, @GrammarCommie, sorry, I read too fast and got the tourists confused with the immigrants. Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 18:00, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
@GrammarCommie 100%, that is legal immigration. SockPup you're argument only makes sense thru the lens of "makers-takers", a right-wing borderline fascist argument that immigrants contribute nothing to countries they immigrate to, which is completely false.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 18:45, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Not my argument, just how I believe the Far-Right sees things. It's mostly wrong, but you have to see where the nuggets of truth are in the pile of shit that is their thinking to argue with them properly.CorSock (talk) 19:52, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If their arguments are shite, based on a false premise and funny math, then those people won't be convinced by reason or logic. The West must increase immigration across the board if it wants to remain relevant in a world where the majority of the world population lives in either India or China. The risks go beyond economic, but political as well. India is the world largest democracy, is quickly taking an authoritarian turn bordering on Ethno-Nationalism. The CCP see's free society as a threat, is actively engaged in Genocide, and hopes to show other countries their surveillance-state should be the model going forward. All this right-wing racist rhetoric is working against US interests in free societies.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 17:07, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

Depends which people come in. If the US allows in all of China and India's scientists, engineers, doctors and so forth, those countries won't be in a position to dominate much of anything. Personally I say we should have unlimited student visas with them being able to jump the queue to become residents and possibly citizens; student visas are where another country pays you to indoctrinate the richest and most powerful of their next generation in American values. If they get a degree, they already prove they are smarter/healthier/harder working than the average, they already know the local language and systems and so forth, and can integrate quickly into American society with virtually no problems. They are relatively young, and they also have connections to other countries when it comes to founding businesses here and expanding those businesses over there. Really, I don't understand why we aren't promoting more student visas...CorSock (talk) 17:29, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
That is one part sure, but we need to increase all legal immigration period. We need to allow people to seek asylum by presenting themselves at a point of entry. Right now, Covid gives you a little bit of justification for limits, but currently the immigration infrastructure is not designed to encourage that.RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:25, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
Necessity is the mother of invention and it can also force people to do what they don't want to do.
A majority of Americans now disapprive of the Biden's administration's handling of the border crisis.[11] The Hill just published the opinion piece Border crisis torches Kamala Harris's presidential prospects.[12]
Will political necessity force the Biden administration to solve the border crisis? BillH (talk) 00:14, 29 April 2021 (UTC)
Will the Biden administration make the humane, moral, and smart choice and end the concentration camp program which violates national and international law? Well let's see... The GOP will oppose anything that isn't three steps from the flipping holocaust since that's want riles up their base and gets them to vote, and the Dems are spineless cowards obsessed with compromise. Call me cynical (and many people do), but I'm betting on "no, the problem will not be fixed". ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:27, 29 April 2021 (UTC)
You can't "fix" multi-factor issue. You can address the symptoms of the issue, starting with a more humane immigration process that treat migrants with dignity and respect. And you can work with countries to address the 'push' factors, like gang violence, failing infrastructure and corruption. Additionally acknowledging that many of these issues came about because of actions made by the US. The difficulty of using polling for an issue like immigration is that there are many people who just straight-up don't want immigrants, and others who don't think we are doing enough, so they have a negative perception. If you break down individual measures (i.e. Dreamers, E-Verify, Refugee Caps) they are wildly popular.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 22:46, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

Purge movies don't make sense[edit]

If you are unfamiliar with the Purge movies the idea is that all crime is legal for 12 hours once a year or quoting Cinemasins- Murder Christmas.

Anyways in the Purge films the main Purgers are fascist government death squads bent on murdering the homeless, disabled and ethnic minorities with few civilians actually doing the Purge.

I get that the main purpose is government sponsored mass murder but how many civilians attempt to loot stores, commit arson, vandalism, hack bank accounts and for that matter rob banks. Also in the Purge movies the city of Los Angeles is shown to be devoid of people. Even in Los Angeles with government death squads going around, I am sure that they would be plenty of chaos.

Just a thought. --Agimi i Apokalipsit (talk) 16:30, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

I think the purge movies made it clear that the other 364 days of the year were still miserable; 1% unemployment sounds good until you realize that means businesses can't find staff, critical services can't be done, and so forth. In short, the Purge causes much of the poverty and so forth it is allegedly there to stop, and so it becomes an endless cycle of needing more purges to undo the problems created by all the purges. CorSock (talk) 17:04, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
Extreme metaphors often don't make much sense if interpreted literally. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 17:25, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
EC i think the high value busniess like banks and what not, and wealthy areas were locked down pretty tight with security measures and mercenary armies. its meant to target the poor who cant afford bodygauds and hitech security. the reason streets are pretty empty is because its legal murder day and everybodys hiding out in their basement or designated safezones like churchs. your average ne'er do isnt is gonna risk going out to rob a cornershop of its crisps and fags after everything expensive and the days takings secured away ahead of time wen there are crazys running around looking to murder someone, or gangs of rich psycho frat boys tooled with the best kit money buy out hunting peasants. gang members are gonna stick together - safety in numbers and all, sitting it out. they'd get nothing from except maybe coming home and finding his mom firebombed while they were out doing exactly nothing. sticking together and community is how they selling the rundown areas - its tough but people try to pull together and make do. even the the gangs show community spirits - the relatives probably easy pickings for the crazees if they caught out in the open.. contrast to the wealthy folk we see paying security to capture some proles to be hunted in way that cowardly keeps them safe from any harm, as selfish and jealous, and the real animals as its mostly frat boy types going into poor neighbourhoods doing the killing. is prtty much the death squads were there precisely because not enough people were out killing. the point being just because people are poor doesnt make em animals like the wealthy thrill seekers driving round in shitty masks hunting the oiks. ignore the third installment which is all crack head stereotypes undermining the broad moral points of the first 2.
you are over thinking the central conceit to justify mildly diverting but silly thrillers. you meant to consider the human drama of people hiding in a dumpster from stereotype crazees with baseball bats not considering the economics of too many peoples wank fantasy. i imagine its very popular with alt right types who identify more with the frat boy thrill killers while probably lacking the balls to be the frat boy thrill killers if their purge fantasies came true an try to argue the merits of an actual purge pretending its not brown people they want purged. they probably think the unrealistic part of the film is that it doesnt show the poor communities as the savages but the out of town interlopers.
or not, im basing that all on vaguely remembered posts glanced at on youtube AMassiveGay (talk) 18:08, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
The first movie was supposed to be about healthcare, or something. I prefer the Rick and Morty version. "She doesn't need help, Morty, she must've survived like a dozen purges before this one!" CorSock (talk) 18:31, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
I know I am assuming without seeing the movie here, but the production credits of the Purge franchise generally doesn't give me great confidence that this has any intellectual depth whatsoever. In that:
A) Michael BayWikipedia is involved.
B) One half of the production company, Platinum DunesWikipedia, seems generally dedicated to rebooting tired 1980s slasher films that did not need rebooting (as well as rebooting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series for some reason). The films mostly have mixed to shit reviews (with A Quiet Place being the one diamond in the rough).
Generally, the Rotten Tomatoes reviews seem to confirm what I'd expect, that you'd mainly watch this for some pew-pew action sequences and explosions. Intellectually, I'd guess you'd probably get more mileage analyzing the Star Trek episodeWikipedia the series was inspired by. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 00:53, 29 April 2021 (UTC)
I agree with this assessment. The sequels and the TV show did a lot of world-building on things that were only hinted at in the first film, and one thing they indicate above all else is that the "success" of the Purge is all hype. Small businesses are struggling to stay afloat because their owners, and the insurance companies, know that they can lose everything on Purge Night. The poor are the most vulnerable to getting killed because they can't afford protection against well-armed attackers, while the rich can buy all the expensive private security and health care they need. The government secretly sends out death squads comprised of white supremacists, off-duty cops, and gangsters to drive up the murder rate. It's explicitly stated in the sequels that the Purge is an excuse to, well, purge the poor so that the rich can profit, all cloaked in populist messaging about "freedom", and that the New Founding Fathers are a corporate plutocracy. The Purge makes no sense as a tool for reducing crime or poverty, but it makes perfect sense as a tool of far-right authoritarian control. KevinR1990 (talk) 18:46, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

Question[edit]

If the Purge were real and all crime on US soil, would someone get prosecuted if they committed an act of cyber terrorism on US soil but the attack was directed towards say Canada or France? It is on a night where all crime is legal, the person was on US soil and the person is a US citizen. Said person would be considered a terrorist by international law but the person is in the place that allowed crime for 12 hours. --Agimi i Apokalipsit (talk) 00:41, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

if the purge were real, there'd be limits to what becomes legal for the day. there are limits in the films such safezones in churches and hospitals, were off limits, i think its mentioned there are limits on the weaponary allowed, like no artillary. if there were a real purge there'd limits, cyberattacks to another country would probably be a no no. if the idea of the purge is population control, all crime wouldnt have to be legal and wouldnt require to lists of exceptions. you'd have crime still illegal, except for the violent crimes like murder and assault and rape, along with looting, and arson and the like.
the purge isnt real and the rules in the film are not explicitly or comprehensively explained. the more detail is explained, the more plot holes will emerge making the central conceit more obviously ridiculous. the legal issues around a hypothetical and poorly explained purge are solved by hypothetical and poorly explained limitations and laws.
there are real world issues around things legal in one country but fine in another. if you commit a crime in france then flee to the us where what was criminal in france is not a crime. does the us extradite a us citizen to country for doing something thats crime there but not in or commited in the us? does the us extradite a us citizen to country for doing something that is crime there and the us but still hasnt committed a crime in the us? you dont need what ifs about a ridiculous movie, you have actual real world cases of such things argued in american courts. the answer is sometimes. international treaties should allow such things, treaties are not always fair. the uk - us extradition treaty 2003 is considered lop sided for example. the uk extradites british citizens all the time the us under this treaty. the us has never extradited any us citizens under said treaty. AMassiveGay (talk) 13:45, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
The UK-US extradition treaty wasn't lopsided, the UK government pretended it was lopsided. The treaty was a way for the UK to simply make problematic people disappear without having to deal with pesky things like "due process" or "human rights", and then when criticized the UK government would have the convenient excuse ready to go. CorSock (talk) 13:53, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

France to punish ex-generals for Islamist 'civil war' open letter[edit]

Josh Duggar got arrested[edit]

Arrested today in Arkansas. Why, just why am I not surprised? Aaronmichael5 02:40, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

Again? Which of his sisters did he rape this time? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:53, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
Christ, man. He's still alive?Jeh2ow Damn son! 12:29, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
Unsurprisingly, child porn possession allegations. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 01:07, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

You're not listening or I'm not saying it right[edit]

Haven't done this in a while. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRFOjLIl7G0 I don't consider myself a contributor. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 06:45, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

Spud is remembering his sister[edit]

Even more than I usual do, I will be thinking about my younger sister on 30 April, this coming Friday. It would have been her 45th birthday if she hadn't suddenly and unexpectedly died in November 2018 at the age of 42. Rather than raising a glass in her memory, I'm going to have a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar in her memory. It's what she would have wanted. If you'd like to join me in having the crisps and chocolate in her honour, preferably British brands or the closest you can get to them, that would be great. Alternatively for you Americans, my sister was lucky enough to visit New England one year and she really loved the hot food and ice cream from Dairy Queen, so you can "honor" her by going there if you like. Looking at their current menu, I'd say my sister would have chosen a cheeseburger, fries, a blue raspberry Misty Slush and a strawberry sundae. And whatever you do on 30 April, carpe diem! Spud (talk) 06:10, 27 April 2021 (UTC)

Sorry to hear about your sister man, I'm sure British chocolate would be easy for me to obtain by Friday. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 07:05, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
I'll pray for her soul and dedicate my first playthrough of Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate to her. God bless. Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 11:40, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Sorry about that. Remember her.Jeh2ow Damn son! 12:21, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
Being a lifelong New Englander, I think I can make the DQ trip happen. Haven't been in a long time, so this is as good a reason as any. Here's to that. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:21, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
200px Kevs Ping! 14:08, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
@Kevlarstar Frazzles! My sister adored Frazzles. Thank you so much. Spud (talk) 04:12, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
Like trees budding in spring, Spud is still a dedicated big brother, big love to ya and really glad to see this again. There's still a DQ in my old neighborhood. Ice cream was my grandpa's favorite, Nana and Papa always made sure there was dessert. Ice cream is the last thing I ate in Kansas, after his funeral, and I haven't had it in a long, long time. You're right, I can have some ice cream. Thank you for asking us all to treat ourselves. I don't think I'll eat any DQ hot foods, considering my age. Mixing soft-serve with grease is a no-go, I have to pick one or the other. I will do the best I can, and I will give a thought to you and your sister. Gol Sarnitt (talk) 05:18, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

@Gol Sarnitt Oh, you can rest assured that I will mention my sister's birthday every year for as long as both I and RationalWiki are still around. And if I've prompted you to treat yourself while remembering the good times with your grandpa, well, that's my pleasure. Spud (talk) 12:05, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

Sorry about your sister. I'll do my best to find some British crisps.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:14, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
You could always have some of those Spanish Bum crisps if they still make them. I had them when I went on holiday to Majorca with my sister and the rest of my family in 1982, Spud (talk) 12:05, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
There are Spanish crisps. Though they never seem to be the same as UK ones - they always seem a little greasy somehow. And you can never get salt and vinegar, though - unsurprisingly - "Jamón" flavour exist.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:55, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
I hit up my local DQ for your sister; their strawberry sundaes are really good. Stay well, Spud. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 14:12, 28 April 2021 (UTC)

Salt & vinegar McCoy's, with a Yorkie to follow. Here's to your sister, man. Helena Bonham Carter (talk) 17:25, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

@Nebuchadnezzar7658,@IRonMan, @Jeh2ow, @The Blade of the Northern Lights, @Gol Sarnitt, @Bob M, @DuceMoosolini, @Helena Bonham Carter, thank you. @Kevlarstar, thank you again. And to anybody else who marked the occasion, thank you. Spud (talk) 07:49, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

Culture clash, a product of insecure projection?[edit]

Ken (or whoever, its not like there's much difference)'s rambling about Islam being uniquely bigoted and authoritarian (as to dominionists like Ken, who have never even considered bigotry) got me to thinking. How much of this "culture clash" nonsense is purely the result of Western authoritarians seeking to create a new enemy now that the cold war is over? Further, how much of this mentality is driven by a fear that those they've put under their imperialist bootheels, justly or unjustly, might come back to bite them in the ass? The latter line of questioning make me think of the predictions of servile insurrection from antebellum southern politicians, before and during the civil war. My fellow RationalWikians, your thoughts? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:45, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

If a zombie apocalypse happened I can imagine how conspiracy theorists would respond[edit]

How it would play out when the World Health Organization announced that a disease that creates zombies.

WHO: We have confirmed the existence of a bacterial infection in Serbia. This infection causes erratic behavior. We don't know much yet but we do know that the infection is contagious.

Conspiracy theorists: Fake news

2 months later-

WHO: We have determined that the bacterium is highly contagious. It is confirmed that the infection causes severe neurological symptoms such as delirium, mood changes and cannibalistic behavior. You should remain 10 feet away from the infected. The infection is confirmed to be spreading across Europe. We expect that the disease will spread to Africa and Asia soon.

Conspiracy theorists: this is a Plandemic! I didn't see anyone die from this fake disease.

6 months later-

WHO:We have confirmed that the bacteria turns people into zombie-like creatures. You should remain indoors. The bacteria is also airborne so you should wear masks to help prevent the spread of disease. Take these precautions to protect your life.

Conspiracy theorists: This Plandemic is an International Jewish Conspiracy and NWO plot. Zombie bites are harmless.

Probably right--Agimi i Apokalipsit (talk) 00:33, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

Recruit the vampires - the zombies don't have blood. Anna Livia (talk) 18:36, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

Morality/ethics question[edit]

Hello RationalWiki, my name is Alyssa and I am a student at the University of Florida. I am doing a research project for my philosophy class, and I am trying to get input from people of various worldviews. I've come here to get a representation of the rationalist worldview, but people of other worldviews are welcome to participate. I would greatly appreciate if some contributors to this wiki could answer the questions below. Thank you in advance, and I look forward to reading your answers.

  • What are your religious beliefs?
  • How do you define life? What do you think makes humans human?
  • Do you think animals should be granted basic rights like humans?
  • What do you know about artificial intelligence? Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of artificial intelligence? Please elaborate.
  • In your opinion, should artificially intelligent devices have rights like real animals and humans?
  • In your opinion, is it okay to cause or allow artificially intelligent beings, including video game characters, personal assistants like Siri or Alexa, and complex systems like IBM's Watson, to suffer? Are there some cases in which it is okay others in which it is not? Why or why not?
  • In your opinion, is it okay to cause or allow animals, including domestic pets, farm animals, wild mammals, birds, fish, and insects, to suffer? Are there some cases in which it is okay others in which it is not? Why or why not?
  • In your opinion, is it ever okay to cause humans to suffer? Why or why not?


Again, thank you in advance. AlyssaD (talk) 23:28, 29 April 2021 (UTC)

On the subject of AI we firstly need to establish that Non-Player Characters are ultimately hollow simulacra. No matter how detailed they are, they lack the ability to make any actual decisions. They're just puppets with scripts. As for Siri and Alexa, they're just glorified search engines. Really, that's what they are past the fancy paintjob. The only actual AI listed as an example is Watson, and even that isn't very impressive once the novelty factor wears off. Again, it lacks automy and self awareness, which makes it at best nothing more than a well trained artificial dog. Finally, as to "should these or should these not suffer?" the answer is that they can't suffer in the same way humans can. Literally, they lack pain receptors and the self awareness needed for emotional trauma. Now, if a theoretical AI had those features, it would of course be unethical and immoral to cause them suffering. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:50, 29 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Atheist.
  • This is a difficult question to answer. I think it is impossible to point to a single factor without thereby excluding some people from being human, which I think would be objectionable. I'll posit that it is a combination of various factors, without trying to pick out specifics.
  • Animals should be granted some moral standing, but not as much as humans, and not the same for all animals. Not all animals have equal capacities to suffer. Humans can suffer from physical pain, emotional pain, anxieties about the future, etc. Some animals may share some (perhaps even all) these capacities, at least to a degree. A sponge, or a jellyfish, however, shares few of them, and so has fewer interests. Deliberately torturing an animal is always going to be wrong, but it might cause more total suffering to allow the mosquito to keep sucking your dog's blood than to just kill it; the mosquito has no goals or interests in the future, and so cannot suffer by the permanent loss of the potential to achieve such goals.
  • I don't know a whole lot about AI. I am neutral toward artificial intelligence in itself; at this stage, the ethical burden of AI still falls wholly on its creators. They are responsible for what it does. AI has great potential to achieve good and bad things, but as of yet it is essentially a tool.
  • As it currently stands, AI devices have no capacity to act as moral agents and have no capacity to suffer. They cannot plan for the future or have goals or interests. Currently, AI devices should have no rights. If an AI with greater capacities were developed, it should be granted rights. Creating an AI that has the capacity to suffer seems like it would be ethically dubious in itself, though.
  • I do not think that NPCs, Siri, Alexa, or Watson have the capacity to suffer. If an AI with the capacity to suffer were created, this capacity would be ethically relevant in making decisions. However, I question the ethics of developing an AI that has a capacity to suffer in the first place. Suffering is suffering, no matter who or what is experiencing it.
  • Deliberately causing animals to suffer is prima facie unethical. I do not believe we have any obligation to reduce the suffering of animals in the wild below the natural level. Causing suffering of domestic animals may be justified all-things-considered. For instance, vaccinating a dog might cause the dog pain in the moment, but there is an overriding justification that outweighs that suffering. Allowing a domestic animal to suffer, when this suffering can be alleviated or prevented, is unethical. I'll note here that I do not believe that the capacity to suffer alone is an adequate grounding for moral status. I think it is sufficient to grant moral status, but not necessary.
  • Deliberately causing humans to suffer is prima facie unethical, and thus requires an overriding consideration to justify it. Vaccination is again a good example. I also believe in ethical fixed points that restrain the permissible utilitarian strategies to maximize total utility. Even if it turned out to be true that enslaving some people would have such enormous benefits that total global utility increased, I still think it would be wrong to enslave people. Utility maximization in-itself is not necessarily a sufficient justification to cause suffering to some.
Good luck on your project! 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 00:31, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
For the last question, if someone hurt my family you can be sure that I would cause the attacker harm. --Agimi i Apokalipsit (talk) 00:44, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
If you were able to take a scientific poll of RationalWiki users, you would probably find a fairly diverse range of opinions for those questions. You can find the results of an attempt at a community-wide survey here: Forum:2017 Community Survey Results. Bongolian (talk) 05:53, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Atheist. I've never heard a convincing argument for a god and even if I were to take the assumption that a god exists, the fact that there is suffering in this world would mean two things. Either that god is an asshole and willingly lets humans suffer, or that god is impotent and incapable of doing anything. Either one means we should not worship it.
  • A complicated question. I don't have a straight answer for either. I can give the biological answer in that life is what someone or something experiences from birth until their death (and what happens after that is not something we'll know). As to what makes someone human, this is hard to define as well. I'd personally have to say it's our adaptability. We're a resilient species, having changed relatively very little in how we spread across the world, which is rather impressive. One fertile human on any place on the planet can have offspring with any other fertile human on the planet; there are no different subspecies like there are with most other animal species that had to survive in different environments.
  • No. Animals are fundamentally different from human beings. While I wouldn't mind some improvements like making domestic animal abuse an offense, saying that an animal should have the exact same basic rights as humans is not something I would agree with, mostly because of how different we are.
  • AI; I have a rather mixed view on this. I personally classify AI under "hard AI" and "soft AI" (defined per the chinese roomWikipedia experiment). Hard AI would be real intelligence, capable of thinking and making decisions on it's own and understanding it's input and being able to learn from that. Soft AI is "fake" intelligence; it's not capable of learning on it's own, you need to supply it information and tell it how to understand it before it becomes useful. As for my opinions on AI: I believe that if we can invent a "Hard AI" (which I for now believe to be impossible but let's run on the hypothetical), we have managed to basically construct a God. Computers have exceeded our own processing speed years ago, so if we constructed a Hard AI, it would have to logically end up processing beyond our understanding extremely quickly. Insofar as I have opinions on it: I don't feel like I can have opinions on it. It would be so far beyond my understanding that it is unlikely it would matter or change anything. Soft AI meanwhile I have a wide range of opinions on. I think it's an interesting thing to develop and research, but I have major problems with the application of said AI at the moment (being used for mostly Big Brother-esque shenanigans and being used to basically provide a distance from human decisions). Other "soft" AI are far less harmful; landing computers in airplanes and the like technically would count as an AI, but they have helped society. A very mixed bag and I believe that we are going to need legislation surrounding soft AIs very soon.
  • Hard AI; yes (although what we define as human rights in this case wouldn't likely have to apply to it, again see the "construct a God" part). Soft AIs; no.
  • Most of those wouldn't clear the barrier of AI to the point where ethics of suffering enter this discussion. For me to deem this as an ethical problem, it would mean that your actions would cause irreversible damage to an AIs understanding of the world for an extended period of time. In practice, videogame NPCs forget what you're doing the moment you close the game or make a new save file. They're all scripted, so any understanding they have of harm you do to them is programmed into them by the developers. Siri and Alexa are much the same; they have a limited amount of knowledge about who you are (typically not much beyond name and gender), but otherwise are scripted. The reason they seem a lot more "human" compared to NPCs is because they have a fancy voice recognition program and a TTS program that gives them a "close enough to real" constructed voice. Watson would be the closest to an AI that could clear this, but even there the AI just isn't really thinking about suffering; it's more thinking about the best way it can respond to you. Therefore, it would not logically be able to suffer.
  • A complicated question. A straight "no" would enter the discussion of "don't you eat meat" territory and quickly risks going to places like PETA-esque stances. The reality of it is that I object to causing prolonged suffering to animals. I don't object to eating meat (and enjoy a good burger myself): after all we're omnivores and that's part of our diet and what we can safely eat. Similarly, domesticated animals I don't have issue with as long as they're properly taken care of.
  • What would be suffering here? The problem with a lot of questions about suffering is that it's hard to explain what it is really supposed to be. With this being the most direct question with no distances to it, I suppose I can give you my view on what suffering is. This comes with the addition that I believe that suffering should be reduced as much as possible. Specifically, I define suffering as inflicting needless pain on someone that will affect how they look at the world. Of course, I can't say that I think no human should ever suffer. There are definite cases where I believe that suffering is the more humane thing to do (after all, theoretically speaking the death penalty causes less long-term suffering than lifetime in prison, but there are many other moral factors as to why the death penalty is a bad idea), but on a general basis, I do object to inflicting needless pain on someone.
Good luck with your research project and I hope that these answers would be useful. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 09:24, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
What are your religious beliefs? I am a skeptic. I do not believe there is sufficient evidence for gods, faeries or Bigfoot.
How do you define life? What do you think makes humans human? These are two very different questions and I'n not sure why you have classed them together. Definitions of life are very difficult and don't easily fit in one line. Human DNA makes humans human.
Do you think animals should be granted basic rights like humans? It depends on the animal. I would give rights to primates which I wouldn't give to houseflies.
What do you know about artificial intelligence? Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of artificial intelligence? Please elaborate. I know something about it. It can be very useful.
In your opinion, should artificially intelligent devices have rights like real animals and humans? No, certainly not at present.
In your opinion, is it okay to cause or allow artificially intelligent beings, including video game characters, personal assistants like Siri or Alexa, and complex systems like IBM's Watson, to suffer? Are there some cases in which it is okay others in which it is not? Why or why not? There is no reason to believe such things are capable of "suffering", so no.
In your opinion, is it okay to cause or allow animals, including domestic pets, farm animals, wild mammals, birds, fish, and insects, to suffer? Are there some cases in which it is okay others in which it is not? Why or why not? Wild animals suffer all the time whether I "allow" it or not. I would not wish to cause any animal to suffer.
In your opinion, is it ever okay to cause humans to suffer? Why or why not? Sure. Putting them in prison, for example, makes them suffer.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:17, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

  • Some religious beliefs are slightly toxic, most of it is irredeemable human damage. I'll begin to take any supernatural claims seriously after seeing one shred of evidence that withstands the most elementary scrutiny. I respect the right of the religious to believe in whatever stupidity they hold onto but I will do everything I can to stop them from imposing their nonsense on everyone else.
  • To be human is to have DNA within certain parameters and not have permanent cessation of brain activity. You almost certainly though not absolutely certainly have a range of common characteristics. There are too many of those to name.
  • Animals should be granted the basic rights that we humans have once we can work out a way to comprehensively implement them. Until then I am weary of those who get rabid over the consumption of free range eggs but call an exterminator when they have a roach infestation.
  • It is probably a mistake to allow AI to develop to the point that they have sufficient agency and feelings, desires, suffer that they would need such rights. I don't trust any human for a second to build sufficient safeguards to avoid catastrophe and you are ridiculously naive if you think it could be done
  • Why would we construct anything that could suffer?
  • No I don't think its reasonable to allow animals to "pointlessly" suffer. What is "pointless" is another question I cannot answer in one paragraph.
  • I don't think it is ever okay to be the cause of a person (or anything) to pointlessly suffer. My doctor had to set my leg after I had a complex fracture with bones sticking out of my skin. It was worse than all the pain I have ever suffered since all put together times a gazillion. Imagine the feeling of the entire universe trying to hurt you all at once. But him not doing that would have meant I would lose my foot. That's one example of non-pointless suffering. So yeah...its a complex question that requires more than a paragraph to answer. ShabiDOO 13:48, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Protestant Christian
  • Life is a chemical process that allows discrete organisms to consume resources and rweproduce more similar organisms. The defining human adaptation appears to be language use.
  • Absolutely not. Nature does not grant them any rights, and animals kept by humans want to be there. Animal rights is moreover a toxic cult of moralistic bullies.
  • Probably not as much as I should, so I don't have strong opinions on it, but it seems an interesting toy.
  • Absolutely not. Any AI created by humans is a tool, entirely at the disposal of its owner.
  • They are computer programs, I don't understand what it would mean for them to suffer.
  • I don't think we should make them suffer more than they would in the wild. But this gives us a fairly wide scope of action. Any duty we have to prevent animal suffering is not a duty owed to an animal, but rahter a duty to our higher selves.
  • In some ways, yes; institutions like prisons are designed to make humans suffer. Smerdis of Tlön, wekʷōm teḱsos. 14:04, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

(edit, making more clear for your project)

Depends on the animal. Most animals are not capable of self-awareness, certainly anything that fails the mirror test lacks enough self awareness to be considered sentient. "Consciousness" is a nebulous concept, but if you aren't conscious, well, your life has less value. It's unclear if an AI would ever be conscious and aware of its own existence even if it was capable of decision-making and other behaviors demonstrating intelligence. But if a machine was ever built that was conscious, I'd oppose its mistreatment.
Most people are in fact perfectly capable of seeing a robot as a "fellow being", as evidenced by Scooby Doo. The military had given a packbot to one of their squads, so they named it Scooby Doo. Scooby was a member of the squad, disposing of over a dozen IEDs and saving fellow squadmates. Eventually though, it succumbed to an IED. The soldiers rushed Scooby back to the repair yard and broke down in tears, and no, a replacement robot wouldn't be enough, because it wasn't their squadmate. And stories like that are not unique...CorSock (talk) 14:40, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Vaguely Jewish
  • Life is basically anything that grows and replicates itself. Human life, I'd define by our minds. A person with severe brain damage to the point of no longer being capable of conscious thought is effectively dead, even if they aren't vegetative. As for what rights that person has, that's more for what makes us feel comfortable rather than what inherent rights the now-braindead person has. I don't think going into a hospital and shooting someone in a permanent coma is "murder", but I do think someone who does such a thing is a menace to society and would have no problem convicting that person of murder.
  • I don't think rights are inherent to the universe; they are a social construct and are thus whatever we say they are, so the question isn't quite sensical. Personally, I only believe rights can exist if they can be reciprocated; if you don't respect the right to life of others, it's not a violation to kill you to save the life of someone else. Animals, as far as we are aware, don't seem to believe any other animals have rights, so, no, they don't get the same rights. That said, there are certain basics; we should ban torture of animals, for example, though less so for the sake of the animal and more because I don't feel comfortable living in a neighborhood with someone who derives pleasure from torturing animals to death.
  • I work a bit with computers and in a field related to "machine learning". I have yet to see actual artificial intelligence. But I am somewhat in favor of artificial intelligence, and don't think it's an inherently bad thing.
  • If AI ever does become a thing, and the intelligence is able to prove it is aware of itself, then there should be some basic rights. You can't create intelligence only to destroy it, at least not unless there really is a good purpose, e.g., we are sending a robot on a 1-way journey to another star system to explore.
  • Video game characters are not intelligent. In the event that AI's exist, video game characters would be proxies of the character and not the AI itself. If I'm playing chess against the AI, if I play against the AI and kill a few pawns, I didn't kill the AI, any more than meatspace chess involves me murdering my opponent when I get 'mate, at least not unless I'm playing some really screwed up game of chess. In the event that the video game characters are somehow actual AI's that get created and deleted instead of a proxy of an AI system, then yeah, that'd be uncomfortable. Don't see what the purpose of that would be though.
  • In terms of animal suffering, we should work to minimizing suffering in general, but less because of the animal and more for us. Animals in crowded unsanitary conditions are the source of so many of our diseases, including possibly this one we are dealing with right now. Poor sanitation has consequences for us. And people who are mean to animals are mean to humans. As for which animals have rights and whatnot, I also see certain "friend" animals differently. Horses and dogs fight alongside humans in war, and you don't eat your fellow soldier, so horse and dog should not be on the menu. Cows may have also been used to pull carts and work and such, but didn't fight alongside us in any significance, so they don't get the same respect.
  • Depends what you mean by suffering. Smacking a hand and causing pain is suffering, but can be useful to teach not to do something that'd create even more suffering. Really, suffering should only be allowed to prevent more suffering. If all you are doing is creating more suffering, well, no, that's not good. There's also the question of reducing suffering, but that's a long topic. Cork (argue) 03:30, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

  • Satanist
  • Life simply is the ability for an organism to go through a basic cycle consuming some sort of sustenance and convert it into energy. Humanity is defined by sentience, morality and complex society.
  • I believe that humans should begin to explicitly move away from using animals for energy skins. This will not be a quick process, but current conditions for animals threaten humans both in their production of planet warming gasses and increasing the risk that pathogens develop. I also would like to see laws put in place that specifically protect wildlife from poaching and consumption, and designate which animals can actually be domesticated. However animals lack the complex society, so they don't have "humanity".
  • I am in favor of AI developed and deployed in an equitable and anti-racist fashion. AI needs to be limited, so that it doesn't actually make any decisions, only provides information for humans to make decisions.
  • No.
  • Suffering is a trait limited to things that can feel pain, both physical and emotionally. AI should be designed without those characteristics
  • The debate here centers around the cause of the suffering. Are humans the cause of the suffering? Then it should be limited as much as possible. If other animals/insects are the cause of the suffering, what are the circumstances? Humans have a responsibility to protect animals, especially wildlife and domesticated animals, when they are threatened by other animals. Circumstances have made humans responsible for putting the threatened animal under threat. But we have no responsibility to alleviate the suffering of wildlife interacting with each other, where no human actions created the interaction.(i.e. lions hunting gazelles)
  • This is not a simple question. In the macro, the answer is yes. Human suffering is the only constant. Should suffering be limited? Certainly. There is so much preventable suffering across the globe, that is an indictment on humanity in general. But as an individual you can also bring about your own suffering, from your own actions or thoughts. Satanism in this instance addresses suffering in the most appropriate way. You should go through life treating people with dignity and respect. But when they do not reciprocate, you are free to destroy them. As a human being, you should be comfortable and safe within your mind and body. And those that threaten that, must be dealt with.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 17:42, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

  • Agnostic Catholic
  • I define it as an outcome of sexual reproduction that only becomes philosophical from the mind. When I think of what makes someone human, I think of Animal Collective's Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished. It was essentially a coming-of-age album with the theme of how difficult it is to "let go" of our childhoods. I feel like yearning for those years again is what makes us Human.
  • Animals have always been based on a food chain system, always hunting, killing, and eating the "little guy". I think the way we treat animals is the result of asserting ourselves in the animal kingdom. I do feel like we have exceeded those expectations quite a bit, so I do believe that we should treat them a little bit more fairly than we are right now.
  • As a programmer, AI to me is a series of code that can be adapted from the data it learns and how it does. I think AI is very useful in the fields of science because it gives experimentations less margin of human error, plus I find it interesting of what you can do with it to create artwork.
  • I think that's a moot question because AI to me is just a series of code that runs another series of code. If we boil it down to the basics of computer science, it's like asking is it ethical to use the buttons on a 4-function calculator.
  • See the above
  • Animals already cause other animals to suffer, but we need to set limits to ourselves since we are smart enough to do so.
  • It's the unfortunate truth that the greatest teacher to humanity is suffering. Punishments to an extent are a form of suffering, like paying a large fine for serious criminal cases and taking away a kid's toy if they draw on the wall. It's only effective if the sufferer is knowingly doing something wrong, being raped, tortured, kidnapped, trafficked, and abused makes you a victim, not the sufferer.

I'd be interested to see the data when you finish your project. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 17:48, 30 April 2021 (UTC)


  • Practicing Catholic
  • I think that human is essentially a supernatural entity; both body and soul, and the preservation of life through all stages, from the uterus to the battlefield to the grave.
  • Don't think so, animals are not capable of rational thought and logic.
  • I have a favorable view of AI, I think it's fairly safe, since again, any intelligence an AI has is rudimentary at best, so we needn't worry about an Age of Ultron.
  • No, they're mere constructs; extensions of human innovation.
  • It's absolutely OK, see above.
  • We have the right to use animal products, but the animals should be humanely killed.
  • There are some circumstances in which suffering is beneficial, but it's shaky ground and I don't really have a full answer.

Hope it helps! Roman Sionis tends to be inactive during summer 18:46, 30 April 2021 (UTC)

If you want something vaguely resembling a consensus of RW opinion on these topics, you can look at the relevant RW pages:
  1. Forum:2017 Community Survey Results#Religion
  2. Life, Human
  3. Animal rights
  4. Artificial intelligence
  5. Singularity, Roko's basilisk
  6. Human rights
There are probably people on RW who disagree with things on these pages. Also, RW is not the only rationalist community. LessWrong, for example, has a rather different view of artificial intelligence and Roko's basilisk. Bongolian (talk) 19:58, 30 April 2021 (UTC)
That is possibly the best answer here.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:52, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

Religious beliefs are one of my favorite subjects. Even atheists have them. They are ideas we have that we cannot possibly justify, yet, all the same, we have them.

  1. I define my religious beliefs as anything I believe not involving existential judgments. In this way, even atheists can hold religious beliefs. It is a very personal sort of religion unrelated to established religion. I do not mean to disrespect atheists by saying their beliefs can be religious. It is actually a disrespect of religious people, whose beliefs are no better than those of atheists.
  2. Human life is special to humans. I flee the tiger as the mouse flees from me. In order to say human life is like something else, it would first be necessary for something else to be like human life. I don't think that something exists.
  3. Can't be done because animals wouldn't recognize one another's rights. One cannot give what is not within ones gift to give.
  4. Artificial intelligence is a dubious concept. Luddites can be resentful of automation. A.I will not be more than an application for automated devices, for a very long time. It might be possible to build a nurse who could comfort one while one lies dying, at the end of ones life. It seems unnecessary to me given that they cannot possibly mean it.
  5. Yes, if they were artificial humans, with operating systems that could mimick human systems reasonably well. Maybe in ten thousand years? An A.I. that mimicked polar bears, no.
  6. I would want a person who created a servo-mechanism capable of suffering to be sanctioned. It simply should not be allowed to exist with such an extension. And it probably never will exist.
  7. If you are unaware that indifference to the suffering of animals is probably the most serious symptom of pernicious psychopathy, then let me inform you that it is so.
  8. Physical suffering? No. Never. Humans are slightly more complicated than dogs and cats. Humans can turn into riff-raff if their norms are transgressed. Many people, including many religious people, might wish harm upon you for possibly innocuous transgressions. It really makes me sick sometimes. Some people will claim to suffer at the drop of a hat.
UncleKrampus (talk) 02:39, 1 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Thank you for all of the responses, you all have been very helpful and this is very interesting to read. Feel free to keep more coming. AlyssaD (talk) 13:55, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

  • Atheist. I was born and raised without a religion in my household as well (unless you think in my past, funeral rituals based on Chinese folk religion count), though my parents have practiced in religion.
  • I guess sometimes, the distinction between life and nonlife can be blurred, particularly with viruses and other microscopic entities. But I think life is anything that fulfills criteria outlined by scientists including homeostasis and whatnot. I think what makes humans human is ultimately going to be an arbitrary species distinction, as the species definition itself is far from solid. That being said, I think what distinguishes humans from others is primarily ability to communicate as humans evolved as social animals, but I feel a lot of emotions we experience is not wholly unique to humans as emotions is just a really primal part of our brains. We are first and foremost, emotional animals not thinking. Heck I'm not even sure if the concept of morality is specific to humans either but humans generally have those concepts more complex and can organize in society, but the concepts themselves are not unique to them.
  • I believe distinction between humans and other animals are increasingly vanishing over time so I think the discussion of meat eating is only going to get more and more ethically contentious. People are noting, pigs are sweet animals. Chickens are affectionate too. I'm not 100% sure about cows but I wouldn't be surprised if they can love their owners too. I don't believe all the animal kingdom are entitled to rights because that's a hairy ethical puzzle, but I believe other animals relatively close to humans, pets and many life stock, be given a set of protections. Pets in general are widely mistreated and they seem to be an obvious step toward protection. Perhaps the protections should be different for the kinds of pets you own, but in general, pets should have access to healthcare, there should be laws applied for mistreatment of pets, and there probably should be some sort of pet registration similar to car registration or how we keep people in records. Pets I do have in mind include cats, dogs, parrots, which are three of the pets that absolutely need them but I think others like lizards, turtles, fish, and snakes should get protections too. If you cannot treat your pet well, you just should not be allowed to take care of one. I feel we have more laws on keeping cars on top shape compared to pets and that's just a weird thing to think about.
  • I have a favorable view of artificial intelligence and I think it's a tool that has a lot of potential for good. I have no idea how the thing works and there have been leaps and bounds in development for them. They're just a tool in the end and I don't really believe in robot overlords but I do have concerns over how the technology is wielded. Google is already creepy enough with their algorithms. Advertisements will do anything to bother and disturb you. But this requires adjusting the laws and keeping those up to date, and that's difficult because capitalism and lobbying as well as general complacency how the technology is handled.
  • No I don't believe artificial intelligence has capacity to suffer. I don't think there's a system that allows for suffering to be registered nor are there benefits for programmers to even induce something that can even register as suffering. Like, what even is suffering? A program is just a script and ultimately a bunch of 0s and 1s. I don't think that even goes a smidge to how pain and perception of pain works for organisms.
  • Uhhhh I get a lot of enjoyment from killing AI such as making whatever is controlling Wario's assets achieve a defined lose state in Mario Party.
  • I admit double standard on particular animals. I have little concern about mosquitoes or cockroaches or spiders, but I admit, seeing cockroaches suffer from mind-control parasites is not an easy thing to watch; same goes for spiders having wasp eggs that eat them inside out. I am slowly coming to terms with the horrors and complacency of meat eating (and meat processing/packing) across a painful bunch of the animal kingdom though, all the way to crabs and lobsters, and I'm trying my best to limit my consumption but I don't know how to get around without being sanctimonious. I don't know if I can fully rid of meat on my diet even if it's perfectly possible, but I encourage limiting meat consumption for everyone. On the other hand, I note the total hypocrisy of cat/dog lovers that try to rally to get eating meat of those animals banned but it really calls to the attention of just how horrible eating meat in general is I think. Consuming dairy and eggs also require exploiting animals, especially mass-produced eggs that require male chick culling, but I think there's a way to probably consume those products without suffering, such as people keeping pet chickens to eat eggs every once in a while.
  • Most suffering I can wish on a person is of inconvenience and discomfort or over-the-top unrealistic scenarios such as "catapulting to the sun". I cannot wish death, violence, or disease on anyone even to reviled political figures. You cannot make me do lethal injections. I'll get nightmares and nausea, and it's clear the death penalty takes a heavy toll on the workers that administer so, so I cannot mean harm to anyone. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 16:59, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

  • For me "religious" and "belief" are entirely two separate silos. One's an attribute of culture, one is what I think to be true. I don't expressly disbelieve religion, but it doesn't form the basis of why I think anything to be true.
  • Kind of reductively, life is determined by meeting most of the seven biological criteria of life. A bacteria is alive. Persons(rather than humans) are any sentient creature capable of empathy, inductive reasoning, meta-cognition, and enlightened self interest. A robot, a dog, an alien, whatever. As long as they have those qualities I'll treat them like I treat people.
  • See above answer. But also as humans we have some responsibility to treat creatures not capable of that with a modicum of decency. Not full human rights though.
  • I'm fairly competent with machine learning as a technology, though I'm still stuck in the bygone age of neural nets like it's 2018 or something, transformers are baffling magic. Regardless, we're still decades away from something that combines empathy, inductive reasoning, meta-cognition, and enlightened self-interest.
  • Again see point two.
  • Suffering as we know it is an artifact of evolution trying to push us to avoid negative outcomes. There may eventually be an analogue to that, but the closest modern AI comes to that, at a technical level, is adjusting tuning parameters. Which is not the same at all.
  • "Allow" is doing some heavy lifting here. If my dog chases a snake and gets bitten, have I allowed him to suffer, since I know the consequences better than he? Certainly causing unnecessary suffering in any creature speaks badly to your sense of empathy, and thus your quality as a person, but trying to construct a deontological law about "allowing" it seems foolhardy.
  • A just society does not unnecessarily enable hurting people. But people hurt each other for a variety of sensible and senseless reasons, and often the only avenues to prevent that also hurt people. Constructing ethical boundaries around this are an ongoing challenge. Certainly we could do better than what the US does. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 15:44, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

  • Athiest. Brought up Evangelical Christian.
  • Life? Dunno, not a biologist. My guess would be MRS GREN. As for what makes us human? Being a member of the species homo sapiensWikipedia. Duh.
  • No. See below.
  • Little knowledge about AI. Hopefully it's well-regulated and the benefits will be shared throughout all society.
  • AI is a tool; it is not alive; it is not sentient. AI does not have the capacity for emotion or suffering, and thus does not need any rights.
  • In their current state, it is perfectly ethical to treat "artificially intelligent characters" like shit, as per above. If it were somehow possible in the future, I would think it is immoral to create a sentient AI.
  • Regarding wild animals, I would suggest they should be treated as outside our domain. We don't have any responsibility to prevent suffering. Our responsibility to them lies in preserving nature in its purest form, as much as practicable. (This would allow for, for example, pest control.) Regarding domestic animals, where practicable, we have a responsibility to minimize total suffering shared between all animals, including humans. Not all suffering is equal; it might be assessed by an organism's capacity for intelligence, emotion, life, love.
  • Answer as per domestic animals, though human life is worth a lot more than that of an animal. I'm similarly unconvinced all human life is necessarily of equal value. For example, consider a young child and an elderly person; or an altruistic entrepreneur and a violent criminal. Kauri0.o (talk) 05:59, 3 May 2021 (UTC)

Site Stats[edit]

In case anybody is interested. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 01:45, 1 May 2021 (UTC)

Thanks.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:15, 1 May 2021 (UTC)
Interesting how constant the total monthly edits from accounts with less than 300 edits seems to be, having “total months” as the x axis on a graph spanning multiple years without anything to indicate year is a bit weird. Christopher (talk) 19:06, 2 May 2021 (UTC)
@Christopher Yeah, I know the x-axis is not great, but it was the fastest thing to do; I'll upload a better version with years and months marked instead. I also noticed the constancy of that edit rate. I made a separate graph of it, but didn't post it; I might do that when I get a better x-axis. Another interesting thing I noticed is that the cumulative edits according to edit count are lower than the number from special:statistics, by about 100,000. I think the difference is maybe in edits to deleted pages, but it still seems like a lot (about 6% of all edits). Another thing I noticed is that there seems to be a different overall trajectory for total monthly accounts and for monthly accounts with multiple edits, which is a bit odd. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 23:22, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

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𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 00:05, 3 May 2021 (UTC)

So this struck my mind about black holes[edit]

Based on these premises:

  • no outside observer can ever see anything cross the event horizon due to extreme time dilation
  • black holes decay via Hawking radiation

...how can anything fall into a black hole? To an outside observer, nothing will ever cross the horizon, even if they wait an infinite amount of time. Thus, if they simply wait long enough, whatever they anticipate will eventually fall into the hole simply won't because the black hole will evaporate before an endless amount of time passes by. Perhaps there are reasons to doubt the theory of relativity? Hydronium hydroxide (talk) 02:29, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

From what I know about Black Holes (not a lot, you should talk to an expert or watch a science video), after passing the event horizon the laws of physics become radically different. Keep in mind that Black Holes are extremely mysterious still. --Agimi i Apokalipsit (talk) 02:46, 2 May 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, but to an outside observer, nothing will cross an event horizon ever because the entire black hole will evaporate before an infinite amount of time passes. My point is regarding the horizon of a black hole and not what's beneath it. Hydronium hydroxide (talk) 02:52, 2 May 2021 (UTC)
An outside observer will never see an infalling object cross the event horizon. However, from the object's perspective, it will pass the event horizon in a finite amount of time. This is a consequence of relativistic time dilation. Here's an intuitive way to think about it. The light reflecting off the object is also affected by the gravity of the black hole. As the object approaches the event horizon, the time needed for the light coming off it to escape the gravity well increases, so it appears to slow down from the outside. EyeSky (talk) 03:14, 2 May 2021 (UTC)
This is also my understanding.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:38, 2 May 2021 (UTC)
You might not see it CROSS the event horizon because you can't see whatever is going on on the other side of that event horizon - so it would "simply" appear to disintegrate and/or disappear AT the event horizon. Aloysius the Gaul 04:13, 3 May 2021 (UTC)

Hope and Drowning Rats[edit]

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-examples-of-having-hope/answer/Deb-Paul-26

A pretty horrifying study to say the least suggesting that hope means people can push more than they ever thought possible. But how can that be when hope is a human concept and isn't hope belief in something good without evidence? For that matter these are rats not humans and hope doesn't mean you'll be able to do something if you don't have the baseline ability to even try it.Machina (talk) 03:03, 3 May 2021 (UTC)

I’m a lower class American, so I think I might be able to hope for a non-agonizing death. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 03:14, 3 May 2021 (UTC)

Psychology of conspiracy theory[edit]

It is obvious that the factors that draw people towards conspiratorial thinking are incredibly complex and would be difficult to dissect, but I think we can still get a good grasp. Like religion, I think that the ideas people entertain are largely determined by how much they like the idea in comparison to how plausible the idea is. Obviously, the prioritization of likes and dislikes over anything else is a serious human flaw. Many people may be drawn to conspiracy theories because they like the idea, and seek evidence for an idea they like rather than come to an idea in light of evidence. There are numerous reasons why someone would like conspiratorial thinking. The Us vs. Them tribalistic mentality is enjoyable, especially when the 'them' are responsible for everything in the world the conspiracy theorist doesn't like (NWO-genre theories). Additionally, the Grand Unified theory (also NWO-type stuff) kind of simplifies and stabilizes the world in the minds of people who entertain it, which would actually alleviate numerous anxieties. It is possible that the chaos and instability of the world is far more terrifying than a global conspiracy, and conspiratorial thinking could serve as a defence mechanism. Adding to the idea of a 'simplified' reality, grand unified theories would also allow the theorist to conceptualize the worlds problems in a way intelligible and attractive to them. Hope some of you can help me elucidate this. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 07:04, 16 April 2021 (UTC)

That's actually quite well spelled out. It's tempting to view conspiracy theorists as "crazy people" (I confess to being guilty of this in the past) but when you really start digging into the psychology it becomes clear that, as you said, there's complex psycho-social factors at play. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:11, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
The world is chaotic. Events happen chaotically without much logic behind them. Most of the logic we apply to events is applied to past events which we can "explain" easily - yet when the same logic is attempted on future events it tends to break down.
Human beings don't really like this idea, and so the idea that there is "something" guiding these events - be it god, Bill Gates or the Illuminati - is more reassuring than "stuff just happens". So, yes, there is a link between religion and conspiracy mentality as both give people the illusion that they are not actually subject to a random world.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:18, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Plus, you know, there actually being conspiracies in real life that do things. We've had this conversation recently. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 22:43, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, but there's often a difference between those and the mentalities of people who talk about them. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 23:06, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
Why would you link to a thread where you look like a dense moron? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:10, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
When evaluating the mentalities of proponents of conspiracy theories, it’s important to keep in mind that conspiracies are real things that are responsible for various things in the world, so “conspiracy theorists” are sometimes right. How would you act if someone in a position of authority told you that something you know to be true is false, and that you’re crazy for thinking the way you do? Persecution complexes, paranoia, and claims of suppression are typically downstream of perceived hostile action. And hostile actions like that do exist in real life. The question is whether the claims being made are true or not, not whether they involve conspiracies. Have you ever talked with proponents of conspiracy theories?
And if you think I look like a dense moron there, perhaps you could quote a single thing I said in that exchange which is incorrect.192․168․1․42 (talk) 23:37, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
I'm not denying that, but proponents almost always fail to understand the reality of the situation. Were the Nazis correct in their belief that Jews were responsible for the rise of the Soviet Union? Were the American theorists who proposed that the Soviet Union had infiltrated US politics and prevented the US military from helping Chiang Kai-shek win the civil war in China after the 'loss' of China to communism correct? Is Donald Trump Jr. correct in his present claims that the Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated the Democratic Party? Ideas like this are circumstantial and evolve as the world and emotions of the theorists evolve. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 01:25, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
"Have you ever talked with proponents of conspiracy theories?" Yes. I'm also well aware of the psychology behind conspiracy theories, though I don't wander into conversations about said psychology and say "but actually conspiracies actually occur!" like a poorly disguised troll or whatever. There's explaining complex issues and trying to lay out the perspectives of people, and then there's being pointlessly vague and making open ended devil's advocacy. Usually the difference is in framing so people know what the fuck you're doing. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:20, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
According to the research on the subject I've read, there are several distinct psychological profiles of conspiracy theorists. Some use conspiracy theories in a framework of motivated reasoning, often oriented around justifying and validating extreme ideological beliefs. Kinda obviously, these conspiracists are only like conspiracies with a certain political slant. Others tend towards seeking a community that validates them, and such conspiracists gladly accept anyone who says they're right. This second profile tends to correspond with feelings of failure in traditional arenas of social acceptance: local communities, family, wealth, or friends. These ones also tend to be the most drawn towards crank magnetism and grand unified conspiracies. The more "secret insight" they have others don't the better they feel.
I've not read any research that supports this, but I wonder how much both groups are exacerbated by grifters who know they're bullshitting but can get rich off selling delusional people what they want to hear. I suspect a lot. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 04:44, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
Yeah the 'access to forbidden gnosis' that makes people feel special was an appeal I forgot to mention in the main post. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 05:48, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
“Usually the difference is in framing so people know what the fuck you're doing.” I’m pointing out something that’s very basic, and which is often missing from these sorts of discussions. Let’s take a tangent that may make this clearer:
What is the psychology of dieting? It’s a topic that attracts a lot of woo, fads, and shysters. Many people have strong feelings about it, and have formed camps that reinforce their own beliefs and oppose other camps. There are numerous reasons why someone would like dieting and these related issues. It presses all sorts of psychological buttons of the sort that have been mentioned above. But why do people care about the topic of dieting at all? Because in observable reality, what people eat has significant influences over their health. Most people in the developed world eat too much, and with a poor nutrient profile, which results in a variety of negative health consequences, which incentivizes interest in the topic. There is an actual substance of importance to the topic of dieting, and despite all the woo and gnashing of teeth, it is something that reasonable, responsible people should take seriously and be informed about.
Conspiracies are much the same. There is a lot of nonsense involved to be sure, but conspiracies are real things that can have serious effects. I would remind you that this is why disputing certain conspiracy theories is illegal in much of the world. This significance is why people care about the topic, and why they direct their attention and neuroses towards it. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 09:49, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
Comrade hit the nail on the head. Not everyone who believes in a conspiracy theory is stupid. Conspiracy theories are HEAVILY driven by emotions, which can affect anyone regardless of their IQ score. Funny thing is that conspiracy theorists often pull the "You just don't want to believe it" card all the time, even though it can literally be used right back at them. Aaronmichael5 21:58, 22 April 2021 (UTC)
I've read a fair bit on this subject from a non-clinical-psych POV. Evolutionarily, there is a balance to be had between accurate assessments, but there will always be Type I errors (thinking that the duck in the reeds is a lion) and Type II errors (thinking that the lion in the reeds is a duck). Excess in either error isn't good for people as a species: a tendency to over-ascribe malice to the environment can help protect against lions, but if you think everything is a lion, you won't get anything done, much less catch and eat that duck. Obviously, thinking lions are ducks would kill humanity rather quickly. In general, there is less lost by wrongly ascribing malice, in an evolutionary setting where our ancestors lived in small groups and didn't tend to last past 30 anyway. So there will always be people with a tendency to see malicious patterns where there are none. The tradeoff must have been fine enough for our population with the conditions under which we evolved in African, but dealing with conspiracies in an environment with constant media, state and non-state propagandists, poor education, etc., with the same brain and genetics makes it much tougher. The internet has made it possible for the one lion-fearer from every small band and troop of human apes to get together in echo chambers where everyone thinks every duck is a lion. CogitoNotStirred (via telepathy) (talk) 21:12, 27 April 2021 (UTC)
That's actually really elaborate, nice one. Nebuchadnezzar7658 (talk) 02:11, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
Glad you found it interesting. Another thing a lot of literature mentions is how belief in conspiracy theory tracks inversely to faith in government and institutions. A classic if old work is Richard Hofstader's "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." CogitoNotStirred (via telepathy) (talk) 20:47, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
"Paranoid writing begins with certain broad defensible judgments. There was something to be said for the anti-Masons. After all, a secret society composed of influential men bound by special obligations could conceivable pose some kind of threat to the civil order in which they were suspended. There was also something to be said for the Protestant principles of individuality and freedom, as well as for the nativist desire to develop in North America a homogeneous civilization. Again, in our time an actual laxity in security allowed some Communists to find a place in governmental circles, and innumerable decisions of World War II and the Cold War could be faulted."
It is foolish, of course, to have faith that people with power will not abuse it if given the opportunity. That's a major impetus behind the democratic form of government, and the various checks and balances that underlie much of the structure of various governments. The idea is that there is publicly-accountable oversight in place, and if corruption is found, it can be peacefully removed. This is a rather important function of various institutions, and though it's never worked perfectly, there is a big difference between making an honest attempt and not trying at all, as seen in much of the world. Because, if given the opportunity, people will often conspire to mutual benefit at the expense of others. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 12:18, 3 May 2021 (UTC)