RationalWiki:Saloon bar/Archive409

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Non-essentials economy?[edit]

Has there ever been an economy anywhere, anytime where essentials such as healthy food, life-saving surgeries and medicine, basic education and decent homes are free and everything else isn't? How did or would it work? What were or would be its pros and cons? N. Harmonik (talk) 19:04, 27 February 2022 (UTC)

I don't think there's ever been an economy where everything is truly free. I know that's not what you're trying to convey, but in my opinion it's important to distinguish between "free" and "no costs on the front end". As far as I'm aware, most of those things are available under various European models, most notably the Nordic Model(s). ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:10, 27 February 2022 (UTC)
The Khmer Rouge abolished money,[1] which comes close to what you were suggesting. Free "essentials" may not be such a good idea. Does one give free but highly-resource intensive medical intervention that may only extend one person's life for one month? Could those resources be better used elsewhere to benefit many people for much longer periods of time? It's not always so clear what 'healthy' food is. Chocolate? It was once suggested that it was, but now the evidence now isn't so clear. Even so, lots of chocolate is not healthy. Basic education is free in lots of countries, but ultimately taxes pay for it. Bongolian (talk) 19:35, 27 February 2022 (UTC)
Subsistence-agriculture communes would come close (e.g. bloody peasants). The "everything else" bit comes in from generally not having much else, since that's not a very productive way of organizing an economy. Communes can work decently on a small scale where everyone knowing everyone can prevent issues like the free rider problem, but the small scale prevents complex developments that need larger economies, like advanced industry, modern hospitals, or a university.
Larger economies generally need some means of exchange amd market system in order to economize (direct means toward ends) effectively. Tax-supported provision of various things can work in some situations, generally in areas where large externalities prevent private markets from reaching an equilibrium that works well for society. Basic education, for example, provides general skills that can greatly increase the economic productivity of the general population, and this is difficult to capture in an arrangement between parents and schools. But some things work better in private markets due to profit motives providing incentives to produce what people want. Consider the food available in a supermarket vs. a public school, or free government housing vs. the housing available on private markets.
I suspect that the "non essential" use so far is not referring to the technical definition in economics, which does leave the question of what goes in that category. After all, nothing is essential per se. E.g. "life-saving surgeries and medicine" are obviously not "essential" before their invention by societies advanced enough to develop them. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 22:18, 27 February 2022 (UTC)
I'm going to assume 'free' means 'free for end user' in this case. Thus it could be said that any nation with a decent welfare state and social security net is perhaps the closest to this so far in RL, though that's more simply shoving the payment onto 'society' in general (As GC has pointed out).
This is in fact the idea behind the [[2]] experiments; how *do* human beings act when the 'basic needs' of us are guaranteed, when there is no longer the 'iron hand of hunger' to drive us proles to sweat it out for the bosses? KarmaPolice (talk) 19:20, 1 March 2022 (UTC)

Archiving threads[edit]

As this page is getting 'rather long' can some of the now dormant threads be sent to the (next) archive please. Anna Livia (talk) 14:24, 28 February 2022 (UTC)

The archiver does it automatically if a thread doesn't have a response after 5 days. Cortex (talk) 16:58, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
There's just been a lot of threads about the Ukraine war lately. -- Techpriest (talk) 17:10, 1 March 2022 (UTC)

Namecheap announced that they're terminating services to Russian customers[edit]

HackerNews thread, CEO in there confirming it. This is such a goddamn stupid move. They decided to terminate services to all their Russian customers (registrar in 5 days, domain hosting immediately). This is bad for so many reasons.

  • Namecheap was a good alternative for hosting websites that wasn't nic dot ru, the state-owned domain registrar. Specifically, this made namecheap popular for anti-Putin sentiments and people who just want to do things that include being themselves (remember that being gay is still illegal in Russia).
  • Their determination of "being a Russian customer" seems to have been... completely arbitrary? It seems to be a mixture of IP geolocating all historical records (yknow the thing that tells me that I live on the other end of my fucking country and what every internet ad telling me about hot singles tells me I live at) as well as just picking every customer with a vaguely Russian sounding name from the list. It's so goddamn stupid. This of course means that they targeted many people who aren't remotely Russian (a few Frenchmen got targeted by this termination as well as at least one Lithuanian company), people who fled the Putin regime years ago and so on and so forth.
  • They did this because most of their employees are currently in Ukraine. At the same time, they expect all of the collateral from the previous (and looking through their social media, there is a lot of collateral) determination to be able to get handled with their regular (Ukranian) support staff. This is of course, in addition to the fact that said support staff are in Ukraine right now and probably have every reason to be kinda stressed the fuck out right now, so all this did was create a massive burden on top of already stressed people. Not to mention that likely the overwhelming majority of people that got terminated are Russian, meaning the support staff are expected to deal with angry Russian customers... while the Russians are invading their country. Yes the irony is palpable.

On a personal level, I decided to move my domains away from them. What a fucking clownshow. Namecheap just proved to me that their entire reliability is entirely determined by the whims of their CEO. -- Techpriest (talk) 19:52, 1 March 2022 (UTC)

China and Russia are being pulled together.[edit]

China is refusing to condemn Russia on the invasion, and it's been known for a long time that the response from the US to Ukraine would be looked at with interest by the Chinese. Let's be realistic, the sanctions on Russia are utterly meaningless. Russia can subvert bank restrictions entirely with cryptocurrency, it offers a way to get around them, not only that, the only thing that you can sanction to hurt Russia would cause too much problems at home; Oil. The US won't touch the oil, even with Russia being an exporter of 10% of demand, the only clear target would hurt the real plutarchs that actually own America, so that'll never happen in your life.

But more importantly, a Chinese Russian alliance or even a hint towards such a thing is one of the worst possible outcomes of these conflicts, and the more pressure the west puts on both of these countries, the more convenient such a reciprocal relationship is becoming for them both. BumblingBuffoon (talk) 22:10, 25 February 2022 (UTC)

Cryptocurrency is fundamentally worthless. Everything about crypto and NFTs is designed to try and draw in bigger suckers so those hodling can cash out into real money. I wouldn't be surprised if the entirety of the NFT bubble was a product of Russia-based crypto whales trying to cash out while they still could. Queexchthonic murmurings 22:18, 25 February 2022 (UTC)
Not sure about the crypto thing (I don't have a lot of background there) but yes, closer Sino-Russian ties are an issue. After all, playing them of against each other/preventing them from coming together has been a cornerstone of American foreign policy for years...-Flandres (talk) 22:22, 25 February 2022 (UTC)
I think their temporary alignment is more a function of each of them wanting to recreate the international order, than them seeking the same goals. Russia has a modern military, but lacks the industrial or financial clout whether sanctions or being viewed as a pariah. China is not only militarily significant, but has such an influence over trade and industry, it ambitions cannot be ignored. I think this relationship will sour when Russia discovers that China doesn't view them as an equal.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 22:47, 25 February 2022 (UTC)
Cryptocurrencies are a bad idea because nobody guarantees their value. Rubles may become nearly worthless but in Russia they would still be accepted by law. Also. the Russo-Chinese border is over 4200 kilometers. The Chinese have been known to get over-friendly on the borders of neighboring countries. Ariel31459 (talk) 23:03, 25 February 2022 (UTC)
I'm not trying to suggest crypto is good, I'm saying that it is an option to circumvent the central authority of the US dollar, as a result, it has offered North Korea an escape in the past from sanctions and if Russia wants to abuse it, it certainly could give them relief. Not that these sanctions, again, are going to be in any way meaningful, if they don't target oil. https://www.investopedia.com/russia-may-use-cryptocurrency-to-evade-sanctions-5220265 BumblingBuffoon (talk) 23:11, 25 February 2022 (UTC)
Cryptocurrency is too unstable for economic use as there is zero regulation i.e. central bank. I am not fully against the idea of it but there is very little stability. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 01:01, 26 February 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The sanctions on Russia are not “utterly meaningless”, it’s pretty uncharitable to assume that institutions such as the EU, the UN, and NATO would apply meaningless or useless sanctions; it’s more likely that there is a strategy behind the sanctions (whether that strategy is effective is another issue). Granted, It would appear that Russia has prepared well for this conflict (that is, at least in the short term). Putin is not by certain measures insane or irrational, he has shown planning and resourcefulness, and has taken means that are coherent with his end/goal. Russia has— in comparison with some major western powers e.g. the UK—very low debt, and Russia also has amassed, over the years of Putin’s stewardship, significant funds within the Russian central bank; in addition, Russia has a major oil pipeline connecting it with China and Russia could avoid the effects of being removed from SWIFT by joining China’s alternative banking system CIP. In short, Russia has prepared well for economic isolationism and self-sufficiency (again, at least in the short term) naturally follows from this. However—to bring the point back to the thrust of my first sentence—the EU, the UN, and NATO, and major western powers such as the US, the UK, Germany, and France are aware of these facts about Russia, and the strategies they do enact will likely be based (to some degree) upon these facts. As we speak right now, the facts pertaining to this crisis are continuously evolving; and in-turn decision makers in the west, and in Russia, are having to evolve their strategies. But this is not to say that irrationality and stupidity will not effect decision making—no! what I am saying, is that I wouldn’t paint a very complex situation, like the Ukraine crisis, with such broad brushstrokes qua describing entire strategies as “utterly meaningless”. LeucippusSalva veritate 01:43, 26 February 2022 (UTC)

Wouldn't removing Russia from SWIFT be a bad idea at any rate for NATO/the west/whatever term you want to use? "Russia moving to CIPS would threaten western financial dominance" and whatnot.-Flandres (talk) 01:54, 26 February 2022 (UTC)
"The sanctions on Russia are not “utterly meaningless”, it’s pretty uncharitable to assume that institutions such as the EU, the UN, and NATO would apply meaningless or useless sanctions" Why exactly? The sanctions are failing to do anything to deter Russia, and have been used in the past, the evidence suggests that they do not give the US any control of Russian foreign policy by trying to economically strongman them, they might cause economic damage, but that is about as significant to swaying domestic policies as the damage that similar events in the UK, EU, and US have had on their economies (it didn't change anything). For example, that Brexit caused a massive economic fall for the UK did nothing to dissuade pundits from their path, and ultimately has not changed the climate or opinion on the EU in the UK. People still hate the EU. And any blame that could be put on Putin at home for domestic troubles could just as easily be spun as a unifying force for people to get behind Putin and make them view the west as the bigger threat. BumblingBuffoon (talk) 02:03, 26 February 2022 (UTC)
Russian removal from SWIFT would be a shotgun blast into the oligarch's empires - in effect, their 'Western' and 'Eastern' halves will be seperated. This is important because it means that the Eastern bits won't be able to tap the Western bits for financing etc. If oligarch assets are successfully frozen in the West, it means they'll not be able to withdraw said value to shore up their Eastern holdings, which shall soon be hurting due to the fact anything denominated in rubles [like govt debt] is now slumped in value and they might be meeting margin calls regarding debts owed etc [which is why the Russian CB has stepped in bridge the gaps].
What's more, Russia needs SWIFT to continue trading commodities with Europe; a bill which is around $240 billion a year. Now, Putin has outright 'threatened' Germany etc that No SWIFT = No Oil/Gas but that's kinda more of a statement of reality. 'Going via China' shall be pointless in this case. But this is something which we (in Europe) must discuss; every Euro/Pound we spend on Russian commodities funds Putin's war machine, we are literally feeding the beast that desires to eat us.
The 'Russian Cash Hordes' are not so large as they were some 15 years ago; the last decade has not been overly kind. Crimean sanctions, the '08 economic crash (and resulting low commodity prices), generational mass looting by oligarchs and then Covid have all taken it's toll. The main 'strength' here is that Putin is like Stalin; he don't give a crap about how poor the SoL of the narod becomes, as long as they remain docile and obedient. The oligarchs and the 'service class' around them are a different story; SoL drops will sting if they continue to decline shall really piss them off. And these are the folks Putin can't do without.
Let us remember; the USSR died because it ran out of hard cash to pay for imports to keep afloat. Putin's gamble is that our sanctions shall be temporary, that after a suitable interval we'll go back to sucking the teat for the cash, oil, gas and so on (he's literally said this).
He thinks we are too selfish and too soft to endure the hardship of telling him 'no, go fuck yourself' afterwards when he tries to gaslight us into thinking nothing important has happened. In the long run, telling the oligarchs that no children at Oxbridge, no yachts on the Riviera, no shopping sprees on Fifth Ave and no skiing at St Moritz... and that we are seizing your looted gains to boot might make continued support for Putin too much for them to pay for.
But it shall take years to work. But this is going to be one hell of a long-runner anyway. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:56, 26 February 2022 (UTC)
The SWIFT ban will make it extremely difficult to transfer those assets between Russia and the rest of the world, not impossible. It's very likely that will actually hurt Putin far more. The Russian army is running out of resources very quickly if intelligence reports are to be believed. They won't be able to continue fighting at this rate and their morale is already bad. Getting kicked out of SWIFT might just be the breaking point and cause the oligarchs and the people to lose their patience and Putin might become more of a liability than a useful public patsy. -- Techpriest (talk) 17:57, 26 February 2022 (UTC)
Russia has saved 600 Billion in a military bank to deal with the short-term consequences of any sanctions, they will do nothing. They have done nothing. The primary reason sanctions were used, the thing that they were used to threaten against in the first place, they have failed to do. The reality is that they have NOT prevented an invasion in Ukraine, and the reality is that they will NOT get him to withdraw. Ukraine may cause delays, but no way in hell is it going to 'win' against the Russian forces, that is naivety. As much economic damage as sanctions might do, they will only do economic damage, and as damaging the economy of Russia is not the true motive of using them in the first place, they have failed to do what they are meant to do, and thus they have failed completely. BumblingBuffoon (talk) 21:10, 26 February 2022 (UTC)
If you believed that sanctions would work within days to stop it all, well... your username has been kinda apt. Sanctions are more a culmative effect; that as days/weeks pass, the Russians shall have to do more stopgaps to plug the problems, and as it goes into months shortages shall worsen - which shall feed into things like Putin's war/oppression machine's capabilities.
There is also a good chance that if Russia continues this path, the sanctions will be tightened even more. Tech is right in that sanctions can be evaded, but from the looks of it China is not hugely enamoured by Putin's antics either and might choke off material support if he starts say, pounding cities flat. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:00, 1 March 2022 (UTC)
600 billion in reserves - what does that buy you these days? what does it buy if you cant access it? maqybe putin can load up a transit van with it a rock up to a cash and carry with it.
honestly, this whole 'sanctions are pointless' is entirely fatuous even if they dont or wont work. what the fuck else are able to do here? no one wants to risk nuclear powers going to war sanctions are the only option that we have. no going to war, no sanctions, what does the op suggest we try next? reverse psychology? tell putin we are not angry, just really disappointed? AMassiveGay (talk) 22:20, 1 March 2022 (UTC)
I think it's a fundimental misunderstanding here - that it's 'going to be over by Easter', that it'll go back to normal. *It will not*. This is going to be our new normal; 'The West' vs 'Third Russian Empire'. I project it shall last at a minimum 10 years, unless we're amazingly lucky (don't count on it). Time for the long-game, which I believe shall be very similar to the last one. And thus, the advice from that Cold Warrior Jeane Kirkpatrick;
'Russia is playing chess, while we are playing Monopoly. The only question is whether they will checkmate us before we bankrupt them.' KarmaPolice (talk) 06:12, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

I bet Putin will become the target of social satire.[edit]

I bet the South Park creators will be happy to insult Putin. Well Putin deserves to be insulted at every turn. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 22:37, 27 February 2022 (UTC)

I remember the time when putin was considered as a 'sigma' male. All those damn propaganda memes. This literally proves how effective memes are. Rw should use similar propaganda. Maybe we'll be able to colonize conservative pedia. Interstellar (talk) 03:02, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
No. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:07, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
All hail! Bongolian (talk) 04:29, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
I remember when the term "sigma male" didn't even exist. *shrug* PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 05:00, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
Nah, it always did for biologists. Biology has always had a rock-paper-scissors for Alphas, Betas and Sigmas, though Biologists referred to them as "Sneaky Fuckers". Alphas can smash with all the females, but can't focus on any one female leaving an opportunity for the Sigmas. Betas can focus on one female, get chased away by the Alphas but are never beaten by the Sigmas. Sigmas can smash with females while the Alpha isn't giving them enough attention, but can never get involved while a Beta is there all the time.
Or does Sigma Male mean something else? Cortex (talk) 13:43, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
Or just check out this C&H comic. Cortex (talk) 13:46, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
The "general consensus" I can Google is that "alpha male" was a term popularized in zoology, and primatology in particular, in the 1980s. With that term also came the "beta male" definition. I cannot Google anything "sigma male" related in zoology related topics.
At any rate, although a few articles exist prior to then, the "alpha male" term didn't really cross over into describing humans until the early 2000s, where it became a bit popular, particularly with those in business, who always love go-getter combative terminology. Basically it became a synonym for what used to, and still is called "type A personalities" (based on this bit of funWikipedia). The Wiki on this topicWikipedia seems to trace a lot of the popularization of the term back to Naomi WolfWikipedia back when she was a consultant for Al Gore and called him a beta to Clinton's alpha. (The Wiki on Naomi Wolf indicates that she's become a batshit insane anti-vaxxer of late, though, indicating that no one really should've listened to her advice in the first place.)
The first post of a "sigma male" concept that I can find is this manosphere-y blog post in March 2011 by Vox Day, which is some pretty shallow shit even for the manosphere. In fact, there's not only alpha, beta, and sigma, there's delta, omega, and lambda. These are all filled with the sort of stock stereotypes (and obsession with sexual conquest) you'd expect from a grade Z tier science fiction writer best known for failing to hijack the Hugo Awards. If not the origin, then this is certainly the bed the sigma male memes lie with. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 15:36, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
I can attest to hearing the term "sneaky fucker" being used by a biologist, but Ihaven't heard it associated with the word sigma. Bongolian (talk) 16:33, 28 February 2022 (UTC)
I’m completely with PanGB here. Those times I’ve been unfortunate enough to see those terms, “alpha” or “sigma”, I don’t just cringe—I wince! Talk of alpha males and sigma males is astrology for dudes.
Some boys up on Madison Avenue—no, scratch that—, some boys up in some third-rate advertising company thought those terms up as a way of making insecure males (which is a very large fraction of the male population) and nerds feel better about themselves, subscribe to Joe Rogan Podcasts, and jerk-off to Jordan Peterson speeches. LeucippusSalva veritate 16:45, 28 February 2022 (UTC)

I think that - given the way things are going - it's more likely that Putin will become a target for the Russian military. Which will perhaps be of more immediate concern to himBob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:52, 1 March 2022 (UTC)

In fanfic 'alpha/beta/omega' is a particular category of stories (which I do not write). Anna Livia (talk) 10:59, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

I swear that I am developing an unhealthy obsession with my weight[edit]

I am losing weight which is good as I have been overweight all my life. Now that I am losing weight, I keep having urges to starve myself and purging. I am going to bring it up at my next psychiatric appointment. Yes there is a history of eating disorders in my family. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 14:28, 1 March 2022 (UTC)

This afflicts many, so you're at least in good company. Also you're talking to someone on the reg, so you've also got good advice. You're two up! My mother spent basically her entire life in a state of open war with her body, going through a series of diets in an effort to hit her 'goal weight'. She ran into the same problem that everybody does - you get so far with exercise and a reasonable caloric intake and then your metabolic efficiency increases because your meatbody is a moron that still thinks it's on the veldt and is in lizard-brain terror of starvation. And if the calories go back up, even by a minor degree? The metabolism swings, sure, but not as much as it did towards efficiency, and then you're on the yo-yo. Minor changes that are sustainable and can be built into good habits is the way to go, but doesn't exactly sell books. It also does nothing for the yammering urge-beast that alternates berating you and urging you (that sucker's a gaslighting asshole) - but that's what the professional is for. Best wishes on finding peace. Semipenultimate (talk) 15:26, 1 March 2022 (UTC)
Definitely resist ALL urges to purge. Due to kidney issues I was throwing up 3 times a day for months. The result is permanent stomache issues, I lost 25kg in about 6 weeks (50 pounds), had multiple teeth crack and passed out a few times. Whether you purge on purpose or not, the results can be fairly devastating and life long. That is, of course, on top of the fact that you absolutely never ever need to purge to slowly and safely lose weight and maintain reasonable body and mental health. Losing around 2-3kg/5-8pounds a month is ideal. I know it is slow and maybe less satisfying but it is easier and healthier and safer and ultimately less painful and difficult. Having said all of this, YES, your therapist (and possibly a qualified dietician) are the BEST BEST BEST people to get advice on this from. ShabiDOO 17:29, 1 March 2022 (UTC)
I have been trying to look up resources on losing weight without doing anything dangerous and it was actually triggering thoughts of starving myself and purging to lose the weight I have to. One mental note I made is that (somehow) my gender identity ties into it. My gender identity is non-binary/demi-girl and voices in my head tell me to purge to be more feminine. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 01:40, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

Language question[edit]

What is the word here that is now to be avoided? (Not wishing to cause unintentional insult.) Anna Livia (talk) 20:06, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

This.-Flandres (talk) 20:11, 23 February 2022 (UTC)
'Not a common word in UKEnglish usage.' Anna Livia (talk) 20:23, 23 February 2022 (UTC)
Writing like the initial linked article reminds me of the lunkheads years ago who tried to rewrite the article on GadsbyWikipedia without using the letter "e", which led to the rather obvious issue (among many, many, many others) that you couldn't just say it didn't use the letter "e". As someone said at the time, the argument was that it conveyed the "spirit" of the book, but writing it like that ensured that it conveyed almost nothing else. At one point it actually described it as such: "Gadsby is famous (if not notorious) for its particular innovation: for all its 50,110 words, Gadsby is a long lipogram, a composition avoiding a particular glyph throughout. A lipogram is a form of artistic constraint that arbitrarily limits an author's vocabulary. A typical short lipogram is Carroll Bombaugh's "Bold Ostrogoths, of ghosts no horror show. On London shop-fronts no hop-blossoms grow", which contains only typographic consonants and "o"'s. Gadsby, by contrast, skips from "d" to "f" in its subvocabulary of around 4,000 valid words, thus omitting a symbol ubiquitous to Anglic-family idioms." If you can't just outright say in a news article that you're looking to rename more than 600 place names, how do you expect anyone to know what the bloody hell you're talking about if you aren't going to say you're trying to remove the word "squaw" from said place names? Just spit it out. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:13, 23 February 2022 (UTC)
I have only ever heard that word used in westerns AMassiveGay (talk) 21:50, 23 February 2022 (UTC)
The word comes from the extinct Massachusett language, meaning "young, unmarried woman". It has some cognates in other Algonquian languages of Canada and Eastern US. It became problematic because it was applied by white people to all Native American women. It's even found in Californian place names where there are no Algonquian languages. Bongolian (talk) 08:16, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
It’s a term used in my native land of AZ, too. Soon hopefully that will no longer be the caseProbliknaut (talk) 02:44, 25 February 2022 (UTC)
So why is the word being removed from place names then? It #appears# to be the equivalent of Maidenhead and Maidstone, and given that the language in question is extinct it can be treated as a neutral word, and so harmless. Or am I missing something (as a BritEnglish speaker)? Anna Livia (talk) 22:21, 25 February 2022 (UTC)

No. It's absolutely nothing like Maidenhead or Maidstone. The word doesn't just mean "woman". It's an ethnic slur with heavy sexual overtones. It cannot be treated as a neutral word because Native American women find it highly offensive. Part of the issue is that it's a word taken from languages spoken by native peoples in one part of North America and then applied to indigenous women across the continent, regardless of cultural differences. And why are those languages extinct? Not because their speakers chose to stop speaking them. Spud (talk) 15:43, 27 February 2022 (UTC)

Bearing in mind I’m using WP as a source (so take with salt), it’s not “extinct”. Multiple languages use a similar word- some are dead, some dead then revived, some existing. But I think if someone called me Scrawny White Guy in Latin I’d still be offended regardless of Latin being dead or not. Not uh that I would know that I was being called that. Probliknaut (talk) 15:47, 27 February 2022 (UTC)
Put it this way. Imagine if some people thought it was OK to call any white woman "meretrix" or "lupa" which you knew were Latin words for "whore". Spud (talk) 06:42, 28 February 2022 (UTC)

When the American frontier was still inching westward, male settlers who set up housekeeping with a local woman were pejoratively labeled "squaw men." I believe the connotations were adjacent to those of "going native" in parts of the British Empire. SmartFeller (talk) 19:26, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

The varieties of conspiracy theorists[edit]

I've already mentioned last year that I have a past in some "alternative" communities on the web, though ended up disillusioned years ago as thought and ethics declined. Though concerning conspiracy theory, I had mainly taken in what I ended up swallowing passively, with some second thoughts never going away, as merely one part of a larger idealistic message with positive features. Eventually, I realized that the most influential figures setting the tone were, at heart, the very opposite of how they preached, and that that's the explanation for why they began flirting with the alt-right over time.

Anyway, I've thought a lot about patterns, life and learning, and what's going on with those who remain stuck in a rather destructive mold, unable to learn as experience and evidence piles up for over a decade. You can still, for example, find some old New Age websites with dire channeled warnings about swine flu vaccines from the late 00s, but the fact that the covid-19 vaccine hysteria message was plainly a rehashing didn't matter for those who decided to believe it. And there's the Alex Jones crowd, for whom no number of large failed predictions of imminent disaster is cause for doubt.

I think there's a great semi-invisible divide between idealists and authoritarians. Idealists may swallow too much along with something they value, if they don't already know better. Authoritarians instead project their basic natures onto everything, simply unable to conceive of anything other than totalitarian horrors, and at heart what they fear is simply that they'll be on the wrong side, the oppressed instead of the oppressor, though many of them glibly lie and pretend to be idealists as a way of life, until they suddenly flip outward ideology when a "strong leader" candidate appears. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 17:46, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

Yeah, there's also something more specific and personal on my mind. I'm a bit bothered, but not really shocked, by how my mom, who's been into QAnon stuff for some years now (and whom I think is constitutionally incapable of ever considering herself wrong), jumped aboard the latest trendy bandwagon and now believes all and everything that suggests Putin and Trump are the action heroes on the good side against the worldwide satanic deep state on the other side (with the lizards behind the scenes, of course). The trendy authoritarian stuff is all of a piece. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:06, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

Obscurantism part 2[edit]

What is the 'W' word here?

About my previous query - did anyone explain why the word 'squaw' is being removed from US place names (when it appears, superficially, innocuous)? Anna Livia (talk) 13:06, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

Innocuous? It's a gendered racial slur for native chicks. Are you from Europe or something? 24.200.177.199 (talk) 13:23, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
@Anna Livia Please look again at your "Language question" section .We've gone into a lot of detail about it.
And "the w word" is "war", of course. Spud (talk)
I do make reference to UKEnglish/BritEnglish and spelling uses, and various of my references make my location clear.
Surely 'native chick' is not an appropriate reference (and the 'language' section is quite some way back.
Mine is a complaint about 'mealy-mouthedness as virtue signalling' in the news. Anna Livia (talk) 14:56, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
Here I was thinking “w” is for “wuss”. Probliknaut (talk) 15:00, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
The OP is in British space, and slang differs. One example of "different slang" that popped up in Google searches, for instance, was the term "paki". Apparently in the UK this is a very nasty term for people who want to be racist against Asians (some newspaper articles even dub it "p*ki"). I never heard this term in the US.
At any rate, "squaw" is similar to some actual northeast US native language words for "young woman". But, people being who they are, over time it eventually acquired derogatory, disparaging, and offensive connotations. It has similar derogatory connotations to a term like "redskin" in the United States. As people moved West, people named things after these derogatory terms, because times were different and casual ethnic insults were a-ok. "Squaw Valley" for instance is a long running (recently renamed to Palisades TahoeWikipedia) ski resort in the Lake Tahoe area. Perhaps as a more obvious demonstration of this phenomenon, at one point South Dakota had a "Nigger Creek"Wikipedia, California had a "Nigger Valley"Wikipedia, and I'm sure if I spent some more Google time I can find many more examples of things named this way. The past was, er, a bit more casually racist of a time.
In Australia, there seems to be a similar phenomenon with the terms "black gin" and "lubra", all of which seem to be terms for Aboriginal women that these days have the same offensive connotation as "squaw" does. The offensive terms nonetheless are similarly attached to certain things, and thus similar renaming campaigns occasionally occur. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 15:06, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
Taken from the article: "But just because Wang Yi has finally described the situation accurately and used the word "warfare", it does not mean that there’s been any fundamental shift in China’s position towards Russia." PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 15:22, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
@PanGalacticGargleBlaster thank you, I was literally just trying to figure out any UK slurs that I, as an American, would not be familiar with. On the topic of words and identity: I once knew a Native man (huge dude, he once pulled a fallen ice cream machine off of me) who identified as Navajo. He didn’t care much for politics and identity, but his wife was really connected with her heritage- she identified as Dine. Historically, the Dine people called themselves Dine- it’s thanks to colonialism that they were referred to, and even today, referred to as Navajo. My point being that they are both Dine/Navajo but Husband referred to himself interchangeably and Wife as Dine. Probliknaut (talk) 15:28, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
(ec)There's a BON repeatedly commenting on my use of the word "twat" in my blocking reasons. The great Sandi Toksvig has used it several times in QI (An excellent BBC prog). Here (UK) it is almost synonymous with idiot. I understand that it is rather rude elsewhere. Tough BON. Scream!! (talk) 15:35, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
Yes ‘twat’ and its first cousin ‘prick’ are very common in the UK, they’re considered pretty tame as swear words go. Scream!!, I thought you were a yank? I think QI is a bit past it now (since Fry left, that is), it’s a bit like how “Have I got news for you” is way past it since Angus Deayton left.
@Anna Livia The questions you have posed are not about obscurantism (obscurantism typically involves the use of word salads to hide the lack of rationality or intelligence in an argument—Heidegger and Derrida are classic example of this). The questions you’ve posed are about the censorship of extremely derogatory language. I believe that the mistake you are committing is one of focussing on the literal surface aspects of language— hence your “it appears superficially innocuous”—, when the reason words such as ‘squaw’ are now derogatory is to do with the intentions and attitudes of speakers that lie behind their use of the word. And hence if you want to understand why the word ‘squaw’ is considered derogatory it is more important to pay attention to the figurative, rather than literal, aspects of the word: how it is used in human behaviour, what contexts it used in, for what purposes is it used, what intonation do speakers typically use when employing this word, etc. LeucippusSalva veritate 16:54, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
For one that cuts the other way, despite occasional loud and profane shrieks to the contrary, spaz in my American English has no remarkably offensive connotation; to say someone spazzed out is just another way of saying to go crazy. Tiger Woods fell victim to this years ago, when the British press went apeshit over him saying he was a spaz on the green, and to me it doesn't seem like something that should be particularly offensive (Woods certainly didn't mean it to be). It happens. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:16, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I don't know about a dictionary definition, but spaz is certainly considered offensive among the disability rights community. 'Spaz' derives from spastic, and has been used against people with spastic paralysis (e.g., muscular dystrophy). Bongolian (talk) 19:43, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
the speed at which spaz became ubiquitous as a slur in the uk, and the relative speed it fell into unacceptable is a testament to what dreadful little shits children are. one episode of blue peter and the next morning schools are filled kids screaming spastic at each other, in the spastic voice, with the accompanying hand/arm movements and gurning to really sell the idea that it was very much not a compliment. subtlety not a strong suit for little shits. you can generally say it on occasion with no comment, but will get tuts from the odd person here or there, or maybe a 'dont say that word. its horrible'. kinda like retard in the sense it can be said without thinking (it was ubiquitous when growing, it just slips out sometimes. it happens. even the thing with your hands, and the gurning, and voice. its not my fault, i was never told its wrong and shouldnt say it, i just grew out of using the term because grown ups doing the whole pantomime it involved would be just wierd for a grown man to do everytime some one was vaguely dumb. its can be such a satisfying thing to do to really drive home the stupidity of someone though. i dont do it now. it just was. dont judge me) but no one is defending its usage.
pikey is another that was ubiquitous when i was growing that i was entirely unaware of its racist connotations until my late teens/early twenties. might have been aware of what it meant earlier but when you never hear it applied to gypsy/irish travellers it doesnt really click that it was something i really shouldnt use. it just meant, for want of a better word, something/someone chavvy, cheap and nasty. hearing someone refer to travellers as pikey, at least the first i noticed it, so much contempt and hatred conveyed in so casually a manner, maybe phase that word out of my vocabulary.
growing up, saying fuck on telly used to be a big deal. beverley hills cop had a hundred words cut from the tv edit for example. you could and probably still can get away with saying pikey and get no blowback. fuck, a word that refers to no specific group, provoked outrage if heard before the watershed. pikey is word that demeans a specific group of people still facing considerable prejudice. it werent pikey that me mum made we wash my mouth out with soap for saying. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:26, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

(reset) 'Coy' seemed to be the wrong word in both cases, so was thinking of something suitable (in a hurry). The point about the original news article was that it said 'X word is going to be removed from place names (but the readers will not be told which word and why)' - which is more offensive on some levels than actually including it. Anna Livia (talk) 22:43, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

I don't know if the original paper, being British, was not sure of the degree that the word is a problem and simply decided to play it safe. Although the Department of Interior wants to blank "squaw" in future communication, most American news outlets ran the story with the word "squaw" fully intact. From my American point of view, while squaw is clearly an offensive racial slur, it's not really at the uber-offensive level needed for blanking the word to simply report on it (the n-word is probably one of the few actually in this category). Generally we're in the day and age where many papers will have no problem printing previous "unthinkably offensive" words like "fuck" and "shit" intact if necessary. There's only a few words these days that have the custom of the underscores and asterisks. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 00:31, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
There are two issues - the use of 'words and phrases' which cause offence, annoyance or are otherwise not considered appropriate to the present conversation/the publication's standards etc (which will vary according to locality/discussion group etc ('unparliamentary language') and change over time), and then there is 'causing annoyance by pretending to protect readers by not including certain words'. The place names will appear in various publications (whether or not in print they will still circulate), Wikipedia and other reference sources will have redirects (as they will for Karl-Marx Stadt and Leningrad) etc etc.
It is the second concept that is discussion-worthy (note the 'cuss' in discussion'). Anna Livia (talk) 10:55, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

Rationalwiki's resident right-wing dipshit bringing up year-old news to shift blame for the Russia situation to Biden[edit]

Biden under fire from Congress for waiving sanctions on Russian gas pipeline company Ushit the dipshit (I shit, Ushit...) 00:38, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

Not sure which is worse, the GOP shifting between being pro-Russia or anti-Russia based on opposing whatever the Democrats are doing, or your stupid ass posting this irrelevant shit implying it has any relevance to the current crisis. 5.151.93.193 (talk) 03:01, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
Eh, there is a little relevance to the crisis, but only because Germany halting Nord Stream 2 after the invasion was a sign of how serious Europe was getting about cutting off Russia, considering how the general German public (and leaders like Merkel) were all in on the pipeline before. Prior to that the politics on that pipeline were actually pretty interesting... not that the OP troll would care too much. :p PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 03:27, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
Speaking as someone who has to drive a lot in the state with the highest gas tax in the country (if not necessarily the highest overall prices), and thanks to New York's intransigence has to deal with monstrously inefficient methods of delivery, under the circumstances I'll pay more for my gas. Easy for me to say because I'm in a situation where my heat is fixed price, but I can only speak to the circumstances I'm under. Since my work directly benefits disabled adults, I'm willing to work longer hours to pay the freight for all the driving I do. Seems fair. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:50, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

Ukrainian Anti-African Racism[edit]

So I was reading the news about the Africans, and found an interesting bit of history explaining the anti-African racism in Ukraine. Basically, the West and the USSR both viewed Africa as a backwards continent untouched by civilization. The Soviet Union brought in numerous African students starting in the 1920s for many reasons, mainly to get a better foothold into Africa. However, East European countries such Ukraine never had a choice in the matter, and this was viewed as Russia deciding for Ukraine. For a more familiar form of racism, compare this to the post-bellum South's view of the abolition of slavery without the South's consent. Worse, the Africans often referred to all of the USSR as "Russia" including the Ukraine, which given the events of the time it should be obvious just how offensive this was. Ukrainians saw the African students as yet another sign of subjugation by Russia, and, well, if you aren't allowed to express hatred towards Russia the next best thing were the African students. Flash forward a couple of decades to after the fall of the Soviet Union, and you have a bunch of kids going to university where their parents did, in the only countries that were affordable, yet the locals view this as a relic of Soviet domination. Cortex (talk) 14:45, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

Been reading about Black people being treated as unimportant in some media regarding evacuations so this is very interesting. Being drug out of trains to make way for white Ukrainians and such. Disgusting. Probliknaut (talk) 15:18, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
The whole thing is fucked. One one side, you have eastern euopre as a whole being racist, with a not-insignificant amount being attributed to exactly what you stated. On the other, you have propagandists putting stories like this on loudspeaker to try to muddy the waters, despite the fact that racism is just as bad if not worse in Russia itself. 5.151.22.147 (talk) 17:38, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
A key difference here is that Ukraine's government has condemned the racism, where Putin seems to flirt with Russian supremacy groups. One other problem I see with these reports is that, per my understanding, racism over there really is much less a skin color thing (although that certainly exists as well), so there seems to be a wee bit of a framing for American audiences. One big target of Russian racism is those in the Caucasus region, where melanin is much less a factor. Ukraine similarly has big issues with racism, but it seems like major targets include groups like the Romani and Tatars, where again melanin is much less a factor. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 18:08, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
My wife shared some social media posts from folks suggesting Ukraine doesn’t deserve to be saved due to some racist assholes. Shocking suggestions. Is racism good? Hell no. Leave a country to burn for the attitudes of a few folk? Hell no. Probliknaut (talk) 19:07, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Would she also apply that logic to the USA???? Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:53, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
@Aloysius the Gaul I should clarify. She saw these posts then showed them to me- my wife is not proposing that people should die. She just thought I’d be interested in seeing some peoples very extreme views. Probliknaut (talk) 03:59, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
Many "ordinary" people in both Russia and Ukraine are quite openly racist - was in Russia in 2018 and Ukraine in 2019 and saw it openly displayed - from not taking a taxi driven by an "Asian" (possibly someone from one of the 'stans) to comments about "those people", and comments about Chinese tourists... dunno why anyone expects them to be better than people elsewhere in this respect. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:17, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Why hate Chinese tourists? They bring in money and they generally don't commit crimes. Cortex (talk) 21:42, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Do you not understand what racism is??? :/ Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:15, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
People don't just decide to hate others for no reason. They hate for dumb reasons that aren't justifiable, but not no reason. Cortex (talk) 23:08, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
yeh hey do all the time. they invent the dumb reasons after the fact. they dont like difference. AMassiveGay (talk) 23:30, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
"I suck at life and hating other ethnicities is the only way I can demonstrate my superiority over anyone else" is technically a reason to be racist. Cortex (talk) 00:21, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
The basic rule with tourists is that while most of them behave okay (as a general rule), because humans are humans, a few will act like crap, and some travelers will show resistance to respecting the local culture etc. There will also be some genuine little culture differences that even in the best intended scenario a tourist might struggle with for a little bit. Some types love to accentuate the negative, so stereotypes form. The "ugly American" is a pretty pervasive American tourist stereotype. In the last 10 years, I think the "rude Chinese tourist" has also become a stereotype. From my perspective, the stereotypes are not terribly true (especially since they are often applied haphazardly to an entire nation's people) and mainly exist due to volume. (In Europe, for instance, the US and China usually come out as the top and second-most international arrivals in most "Tourism in (European nation)" Wikipedia page.) China's "rude tourist" stereotype seemed to form when the country started becoming rich enough where leisure travel en masse was possible. To me this is not a coincidence. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 00:47, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

I guess the same thing can be said about the Indian and Pakistani students in Ukraine. I heard that they were beaten up by a bunch of border patrols.— Unsigned, by: CorporateBrinjal / talk / contribs CorporateBrinjal (talk) 18:00, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

Racist Ukrainians? What else is new? And imagine, this "war for democracy" started during Black History Month. Dutchbag (talk)`

Russia bans Twitter and Facebook | Threatening to arrest anyone spreading false information the war with Ukraine.[edit]

This is why I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for people who complain about an automatic disclaimer being added to a Tweet here in the US. Aaronmichael5 17:08, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

The persistence of Montana's isolationist streak from Rankin to Rosendale[edit]

The establishing of a hardline isolationist reputation proves evident in a United States representative from Montana, who faces controversy and backlash. [3] Sound familiar? [4] Ushit the dipshit (I shit, Ushit...) 02:01, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

One made a principled (albeit mistaken) stand against war, the other is in the pocket of a fascist petrostate and voted accordingly. These two things are not equal. You're not too bright, are you? Inmate XIII (talk) 09:23, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
i mean, his handle is literally dipshit, so... lol G Man (talk) 01:14, 6 March 2022 (UTC)

I have one question re: Ukrainian Woman Downs Russian Drone with Jar of Cucumbers[edit]

UK folk call pickles “pickled cucumbers”?? Probliknaut (talk) 02:12, 6 March 2022 (UTC)

We usually just call then "pickles".
Now who wants a cheeky Nando's? Spud (talk) 04:41, 6 March 2022 (UTC)

Looking for a study Bible or annotated bible, but...[edit]

I know this is a weird place to ask this, but r/Christianity is a melting pot and allowed someone to tell me I'm possessed and I don't dare set foot on a more isolated religious forum right now. Never been mentally sound. Preferably "neutral", not overtly atheist like the Skeptics Annotated Bible, not biased like a denominational or fundamentalist one. If that sounds vague, that's because the word perfectly reflects my state of mind right now. Maybe something based on history for better context on what's going on. Preferably not something that creates "truth" from one or two verses. Maybe such a thing just doesn't exist and I gotta cross reference the internet with my reading. But the general idea is I wanna know "why" say, Galatians was written and I'm trying to avoid the trap of say, taking one or two things Jesus said out of context as truth or doctrine. Smth about the bigger picture?

Basically I wanna know the "message", not the "dogma". What did Jesus or Paul or Isaiah say? Not a ministry's interpretation of it.--Spoony (talk) 11:45, 17 February 2022 (UTC)

The Oxford World Classics edition of the King James Bible (ISBN 9780199535941) might be what you're looking for. Spud (talk) 13:46, 17 February 2022 (UTC)
Asimov's Guide to the Bible may be of interest to you as well. And don't worry, you're not possessed. Nowhere Man (talk) 14:06, 17 February 2022 (UTC)
If you're a complete newbie and you're trying to fathom the general 'meaning' by yourself, you can't go wrong with either the 'Good News' or 'New International Version', though I have vaguely heard that the 'revision panel' for the latter has been captured by the softer end of the fundies, so you might wish to try to find an older edition. These are known as 'paraphrase Bibles' as in they're mainly/originally designed for layperson intelligbility of the message rather than strict textual accuracy. These are perhaps the two main Bibles seen in non-fundie Protestant churches in the UK (so shall be deemed 'generally acceptable'), the third being the dense, archaic and rather indigestible 'King James Version' which is much more literal (which is why fundies like it) and I shall disagree with Spud's suggestion.
If you desire to avoid 'the dogma', study Bibles may be a bad move. I remember, for example that the NIV study was pretty fundie. I've heard decent words said about the 'Oxford Annotated Bible', but that appears to be pretty hardcore in the difficulty rating. What might work is to simply have a pair of bibles; (say) Good News to get the meaning, then the KJV to get the literal words of.
However, the issue with fundies, cranks and nuts is not really the 'version' of the Bible they're using (usually), it's the cherrypicking and 'interpretation' done. After all, it is topping 800k words and is riddled with contradictions. It's a bit like the law; look hard enough, you'll be able to find some passage somewhere which could be taken to 'mean' Whatever I Want To Justify.
On a tangent, and with my sociological hat on for a moment, one of the main reasons fundies prefer the 'literal' Bible translations is because the 'barrier to understanding' is generally speaking too high for most laypersons to surmount with any regularity. This makes the fundie Pastor all but unassailable regarding Scripture interpretation, a similar position that a mediaeval Catholic priest had when he literally had a monopoly over the Bible. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:12, 18 February 2022 (UTC)
As it is possible that my own opinions are a little to, shall we say, "developed", I think the best thing you could do is simply google " historicity of the bible". Then look for sources which look like they will take an impartial/academic look at the evidence and go from there. You may find that this is a substantially bigger issue than you might imagine.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:35, 18 February 2022 (UTC)
I do not think the OP is interested in how 'true' the thing is, they're more curious to what a (relatively) unbiased Bible says on stuff. Which makes sense if the desire is to dig under the surface of Christianity, past the fundie lies and hate to see what's really said. You don't need to believe a word of it to read it; the fact that billions of people on this planet *do* (to varying levels) believe it and it's massive shadow on our whole civilisation is the important thing. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:35, 18 February 2022 (UTC)
You read me like a book, study bibles all universally tend to have biased theology even if I agree with it and asking stuff on Christian Forums tends to make me more confused, not less. Even without Fundamentalism interpretation, which is still pretty prominent unfortunately. Complicating things though are Torah Roots guys who made me feel even worse than Fundamentalists do.--Spoony (talk) 17:31, 19 February 2022 (UTC)
you are doing atheism wrong by even caring what the bible 'says' (whatever the religiously inclined wish it to say). AMassiveGay (talk) 18:01, 19 February 2022 (UTC)
there is no version or study of the bible that is not subject to interpretation and bias. this is the nature of all religion, and all sacred texts AMassiveGay (talk) 18:06, 19 February 2022 (UTC)
I'm not atheist, where did I imply this?--Spoony (talk) 18:55, 19 February 2022 (UTC)
nowhere, i just assumed, incorrectly (as i guessed when i looked at your user page shortly after posting). i stand by the rest of what my posts declare though AMassiveGay (talk) 20:16, 19 February 2022 (UTC)

Erm... see my previous comment, Gay - you may hate or be indifferent towards the Bible, but you cannot deny it's influence on our world. What's more, it is actually a *subversive* text, containing quite a bit which fundies try to either ignore or 'talk away'. qv 'Conservative Bible Project','Liberation Theology'.

The truth about translations is quite correct; even if you're 100% literal with it, that's impossible to achieve 100% accuracy because some 'meaning' shall be lost through it. I can't be arsed to verify this, but I do think this is one of the main arguments regarding the Bible in 'original' Latin/Greek until the Reformation, and also the Koran being retained in classical Arabic. But as we don't even have a verified 'first edition' of the Bible anyway, that point seems to be kinda irrelevent anyway. In fact, that line is total BS if you're approaching the Bible merely as an 'important text' and not 'the revealed word of the Lord' - I'd argue that an agnostic should in fact seek out the most common translation as this shall be the most influential societally.

But back to the topic at hand; a little more looking at the OAB suggests this might be the best angle of attack; it seems to be well-respected a source by several denominations and agnostics (good), but disliked by fundies and 'traditional' Catholics (even better). I do expect the learning curve to be pretty steep, mind. KarmaPolice (talk) 06:40, 20 February 2022 (UTC)

All translations are bad. I sometimes used to translate between Spanish and English. These are two living languages which share a "common" European culture.
Translation at the word level can only be approximate because because virtually no two words will have the exact same meaning, there will be shades of meaning or additional senses in one language or the other. And "literal" translations are pretty impossible as a simple word substitution would often result in gibberish. Then there is the cultural context: a lot is shared but a lot is not. If a British reference is made to, the Dead Parrot Sketch from "Monty Python" then you have difficult choices to make as your Spanish audience may not understand it. For that matter a young British reader might not.
So let's consider translating something from a few hundred years ago. Most British people would not be familiar with many of the cultural references made by Shakespeare, so translating them would be an even greater challenge. And we have the additional problem that words themselves will have changed meaning since the time of Shakespeare.
Then consider the problems with translating from languages thousands of years dead. At one time these would have been living language with their own drifts in meaning.
I am sure that people who translate from dead languages do a great job. Or the best job they can. But I wouldn't bet money on them getting it right.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:49, 20 February 2022 (UTC)
Which is part of my argument that athiests *should* know the Bible (at least the main 'stories', characters etc) - even if you strip out the religious reasons from it, simply so you can understand the analogies, parodies etc so in other cultural works. I won't say athiests should read that onionskin sleeping pill (at least not for this reason alone), but perhaps have a nodding familiarity with say, a decent 'Child's Book of Bible Stories'.
Traditionally (at least in the UK) agnostics/athiests didn't 'need' to do this because we'd all have had Christianity ladled down our throats by parents, teachers and at Church. But now we've truly become 'post-Christian' meaning that this osmosis no longer really happens. So you've got to actively go out of your way to learn. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:20, 20 February 2022 (UTC)
i need only know to enough of major religions so that living in a multicultural city as i do i dont needless cause unnecessary offence ie feeding pork and booze to anyone forbidden those things - that kinda thing. i dont need to what a sacred text's 'true' message is as opposed to a true believers interpretation. a believers interpretation of such texts 'is' the true message. its irrelevant to me as an atheism. i am not bound by the laws or morality anyones elses sacred book, whether i like what it says or not, or whether or not someone cherry picks what to follow and what not to. where the bible is a 'cultural touchstone' the cliff notes are good enough.
and i will say again 'there is no version or study of the bible that is not subject to interpretation and bias. this is the nature of all religion, and all sacred texts' especially those where the origianal texts are lost to antiquity, and what we have today has been copied, edited, collated many times by many people for many reasons, with multiple interpretations at every step of the way. there is no one true message. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:52, 20 February 2022 (UTC)
Ehh. If i had to pick between the NIV or the version Jehova's witness used I'd still pick the NIV. That's why I asked, I was more looking for a version that wasn'tsubjected to that interpretation and bias but it seems the nature of the way it's translated makes it harder than I thought. I got a copy of the NASB whose goal is to make a word-for-word literal translation and put the words in footnotes that are more ambiguous, then the NIV is just to get the message to everyone and finds a balance between readability and "accuracy". Then you got the outright dishonest watchtower translation which outright decided "yeah we're gonna just add and remove to this to support our view" even though other groups who believe the same individual things were able to support their views without doing that.--Spoony (talk) 13:50, 20 February 2022 (UTC)
Anyone who tries to sell you a word by word literal translation is talking horseshit. This is WP on literal translation but even that understates the difficulties. When doing a translation you are trying to translate the intent of the author - not the literal words. I have seen many horrible translations of Spanish into English done by Spanish speakers - and I only understand their "English" translation because I understand Spanish! They have kept some of the original word order and used words which the dictionary might say are possible which are pretty meaningless in the real context.
The books of the Bible were written by many different authors during different time periods. Certainly over hundreds of years by different authors. Getting into the head of each one and translating the intent of a thousand-year-old dead author writing in a dead language in a totally alien culture is going to be challenging - remembering that the language you are translating will itself be changing over this time.
Now, a theist might argue that the author was "God" or that "god directed the translators". But if that is the case why did He allow so many different translations? If the Bible is so important to Him why wasn't He a bit more Hands On with the process?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:46, 20 February 2022 (UTC)
Simple, Bob. The other 'translators' were at best, 'mistaken' about the divine guidence, in the middle simply lying or at worst being guided/tricked by Satan (say for example, using 'corrupted' original sources). Only our Fundie Edition™ is the One And Only Truth of the Lord!
On the translation point, yeah I've seen Mandarin > English translations which were confusing word salads, clearly the work of some person armed only with a dictionary or perhaps Google Translate. There's also the issue of language drift; it's impossible for us to read an original KJV in the exact same way as they did when first published due to the simple fact our internal English dictionary is from 2022, not 1611.
As for the JWs... well, a quick search tells me that their 'New World Translation' is not accepted as canon by *any* other Christian denomination. That in itself should be a warning light. The NIV and Good News are widely accepted within Prostestantism, and the OAV is accepted by most Orthodox and Catholics too.
But there's nothing stopping you from say, reading a Good News but then turning to a KJV or NASB (had to look that one up, don't have it in the UK) to cross-check a particlar passage to see the difference(s).KarmaPolice (talk) 02:13, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
I agree with almost everything you say, and Mandarin is probably a better example than Spanish to indicate the problems involved.
I'm not sure how much benefit out hypothetical Christian would get from comparing translations though. One translation might be correct and the other wrong, or they might both be wrong. How would our Christian know? Even doing it with multiple translations would leave them with the same questions. I suspect that what most do in this situation is take whatever one they like most and go with that. The old "God always agrees with me" route".Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:09, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
Well, doing the old 'compare and contrast' (and making sure to avoid as much as possible the 'circular sourcing' issue) can help, a kind of Biblical 'stereoscope'. After all, it is/can be argued that 'well, that's just interpretation' of the more paraphrased Bibles such as the Good News. What's more, it can encourage less blinkered dogmatism regarding particular passages etc - because how *do* you know 'your' version is The Truth™ while the others aren't?
But that is the kinda hardcore level, really - I doubt even most preachers/vicars/etc bother doing this. And the possible benefits from doing this appear (in my view) to kinda minimal from my view, at least. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:05, 21 February 2022 (UTC)::
It seems to me that by looking at various different translations/interpretations (which are really the same thing) you will either fall into the balance fallacy or simply accept the interpretation which best fits your pre-existing beliefs. I suspect that most Christians go for the second. But they are both great ways to be wrong.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:12, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
Scofield is pretty good, so is WP's DispensationalismWikipedia article. Then look at Jeremiah 18:4 the vessel was marred in the potter's hand and 2 Corinthians 5:17 he is a new creature in Christ.
IOWs, you can't fix yourself. You can't remedy your flaws and imperfections. Only the potter or maker can fix you. Dutchbag (talk) 11:50, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
Dispensationalism, in its various contradictory forms, is a very complicated attempt to get around all the problems identified here. Or, now I think about it, ignore them. It is also based on the idea that "God" in some form actually exists, which means that it is starting from pretty shaky foundations.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:40, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
based on the idea that "God" in some form actually exists. Wow. That's profound. What an eyeopener. Dutchbag (talk) 09:47, 27 February 2022 (UTC)

Bob: welcome to that beautiful topic known as 'theology'. It's amazing how often after 'deep prayer/reflection' it turns out that the Lord etc 'really wanted' whatever you already desired. And if you come to a different conclusion it's because you've 'read it wrong' or worse, you're being guided by Satan.

In this case, it could be said that only an affable agnostic could approach the Bible with any true level of impartiality, as they've got no skin in the game either way. And most of them aren't interested to do the required amount of reading, for starters.

Dutch: Yes, Scofield is good if you desire to become a poisonous, bigoted fundie zealot. And studying 'Dispensationalism' is basically a waste of time (like much theology, when you get down to it). That is, unless you'd plan a career as a fundie preacher.

As to the last point, my answer is the same as Galileo's; 'I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.' I cannot stand for one second fundie fatalism and seclusionism. Utterly pointless, useless and a really bad advert for Christianity in general. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:59, 22 February 2022 (UTC)

Couldn't say I agree with this sentiment in general you gave there but I love the Galileo verse. IIRC Scofield is responsible for many an American Fundamentalist. Can't tell you my clear opinion on it after a couple sips of the lager though.--Spoony (talk) 23:57, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Eh, my jab was mainly about Fundie preachers claiming variants of 'God told me so' and trying to snag omnipotence by proxy. I don't say 'divine revelation' is impossible, just rather improbable. My default setting for encountering a self-proclaimed 'prophet' shall be deep scepticism. And when it comes to the Bible, I admit I do have a little 'skin in the game' because there's a part of me which *really* hopes the Fundie interpretation is a 'wrong' one. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:54, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
Bottomline: God is not an intellectual pursuit. He resisteth the proud. Dutchbag (talk) 01:52, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

Predictions on the Ukraine-Russia war?[edit]

I see this war being over by the end of the month, with Russian victory (don't know if they annex all of part of Ukraine). 1.152.110.150 (talk) 20:37, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

i predict an endless stream of predicting things that we'd be better served by waiting and seeing how things develop. AMassiveGay (talk) 20:44, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I predict you are right. Or maybe wrong. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:42, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I predict a drink will be had tonight. Probliknaut (talk) 22:19, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I predict few shall shall have even considered about the animals in the various zoos. Good news; Kyiv was successfully evacuated (apparently). Bad; Kharkiv wasn't and has taken several direct hits, causing animals to escape. It's bad enough for people, but animals don't have a clue on what's going on. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:42, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I predict that Russia really wants to piss off Japan (https://news.yahoo.com/japan-scrambles-jets-russia-helicopter-212232361.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall). A war that is already costing too much with one country will cost more if they piss off Japan enough. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 23:19, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I'll be surprised if the thing is over in a month. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:54, 2 March 2022 (UTC)
I think Ukraine will be largely militarily defeated in a month....the Russians will have captured Kyiv, installed a puppet, and told us they've won by then!! But the war won't be over. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 00:40, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Wowwee zowee my above prediction was correct, what are the odds. *sip* Probliknaut (talk) 00:34, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
They are the ones that aren't evens. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 00:37, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Ukrainian LGBTQ activists fought & captured a group of Russian soldiers. Pack it up Putin, the war is over. 121.214.242.250 (talk) 02:24, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I don't think it will be over till Russia eventually leaves. I have no idea how long that will take.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:22, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
That would require Putin to admit being wrong, so I'm betting on 'not until he comes down with a case of polonium'. --Gulik (talk) 19:03, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Through Google Translate, I've had a look at Psiram forum's discussions on these events, and found a few interesting articles that end up readable in auto-translation. Here's an analysis of Russian propaganda by Sascha Lobo, arguing that the authoritarian trap of believing one's own BS has been fallen into. Another reason for Russian incompetence is that Putin has, in the long term, deliberately dismantled his own military for fear that it might depose him in a coup, according to an interview with Sergei Pugachev, who used to be a close advisor to Putin. There seems to be reason to believe that a great three-way rift between Putin, his military, and reality increases Ukraine's long-term odds and also prevents nuclear war in practice. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 02:17, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

Prediction: Sanctions on Russia is like cutting off your legs to spite you face. Bend over and grease your butt - you are the one about to get rammed. Dutchbag (talk) 01:57, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
'This message brought to you by your local Kremlin apologist'.
No, it's called *sacrifice*. Y'know, when you give up stuff because it's the right thing to do? In this case, a brutal dictator is now trashing *my* continent? Because I am not a fool, understanding that an apartment fire in my block is still important, even if it's not in my own front room?'
So in conclusion; go ram yourself Dutch. My patience is exhausted with you. Just like it is with Putin. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:00, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

Crumbling value of the Russian Ruble[edit]

If any of you are keeping up with the economics of the war, you will know that the Ruble is not even worth a single US Penny. Even the Mexican Peso is worth more. Knowing that Putin cannot afford the war and the Russian civilian population is getting fed up with the war, will the protests turn to revolution like with the fall of Communism in Albania? If you wonder why I mention Albania, economic riots turned to civil war and it led to the collapse of Communism there.

A hungry population does turn desperate with the exception of North Korea for some reason. Go figure --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 22:12, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

Russians have died of starvation in their millions in the past without deposing anyone (1920's, 1930's, 1946-47) - no reason to think it will be any different now with people NOT actually dying .... especially since the hardships is all for a great crusade to restore the USSR. They might get miffed with Putin, but there wont' be anywhere enough to depose him from grass roots level, and the upper echelons all agree with him and aren't really losing anything at all - if anything they are just withdrawing into Russia where they are still filthy rich and impregnable :( Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:51, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Heh, they'll be comfortable in the country estates until they run out of supplies. Russian soldiers are already sacking Ukrainian grocery stores because the supply chains are starting to collapse. Russia doesn't make anything. They are a giant gas station with nuclear weapons. Let's how the oligarchs like chewing on beets while sitting on their warheads, with sanctions that run from now until they shoot themselves out of curiosity.Ariel31459 (talk) 00:12, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
The elite aren't going to run out of anything - they can afford to pay black market prices and will do so. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:35, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
I assume that Russia is barely importing anything. I also doubt that other countries want to take Russian money. Unless Russia can grow large amounts of crops and feed farm animals, they are screwed. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 00:16, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
In another reflection of how investors from other countries value Russian assets now, the YTD return on the Dow Jones Russia GDR Index (which tracks Russian global depositary receipts traded on London's exchange) is currently down 96.11%, with most of the crash occurring from February 21st (when Putin recognized Luhansk and Donetsk) onward. (Probably the Russian stock market would look just as bad, but it's been closed since Monday.) I am not sure how this will affect Putin's plans one way or another. Putin's invasion doesn't strike me as one born from logical, sober thinking. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 01:36, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
Putin's buddies will buy up those domestic stocks for dirt cheap and consolidate their hold over everything inside Russia. This is jsut another reason why they actually LIKE the invasion. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:35, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

As of writing, Russian stock exchanges are still closed. I'm not knowledgeable about high finance: what are the implications of this for the Russian and global economies? How do investors work around such a long shutdown? What happens as the exchanges stay closed longer and longer? 71.188.73.184 (talk) 19:38, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

I could write an essay on this, to the interest of few, if any here. But in a nutshell; Russia can weather this, perhaps indefinitely but she needs to shift to a full 'war economy'. Before she implodes economically. Off the top of my head, they will need to;
Introduce consumer price controls
Restrict imports to 'critical product classes'
Conserve hard currency at almost any cost
Reign in amount of spending power in domestic economy
Control deployments of labour/materials to vital sectors of economy
Nationalise foreign 'enemy' holdings
Russia's main cramps are a) relative lack of labour fit for military service, b) lack of high-tech industries, c) general poverty of Russian economy and d) rusted-up Soviet-era infrastructure. Oh, and e) the govt form. It appears kleptocratic regimes aren't very good at maintaining militaries in decent shape or being able to motivate soliders to fight offensively.
But Russia won't starve or run out of fuel. She's okay with that, at least. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:24, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
As with most kleptocratic regimes, the corruption starts at the top and filters all the way down. There are reports of officers stealing supplies at the front lines to sell to middlemen. There is also the question of whether Russia can manufacture equipment to sufficiently maintain its fossil fuel industry in the long run. Bongolian (talk) 18:27, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
Quite a few of the Russian Army 'problems' are down to corruption; such as lack of maintenance/repairs. If legerdemain wasn't being done for the rolls, I'll be amazed. But this has always been a problem for Russian armies since year dot; she has always made up for the lack of finesse with sheer brawn.
With the fuel industry spares; it's going to end up with a long-term gradual deteriation of capacity output - but this is somewhat irrelevant as a) it shall take months/years for this to kick in and b) I don't think Russia shall be able to export all her output for much longer. (For the wonks amongst us, this site is a jewel of trade stats.)
I'm actually more concerned about key consumer commodities, such as tobacco, coffee, tea, tropical fruit, wine, meats and cheese. Sound wierd? Ever hear of the 'East German Coffee Crisis'? And let us not forget one of the causes of the Arab Spring was food prices. If a severe inflation/price rises combo sets in, you might soon see quite a lot of angry Russians...
The other problem is that even if they can still trade with say, Brazil and Mexico, they shall have to do it in 'hard currency' which shall become increasingly scarce. We shall know that Moscow is feeling the pinch when we see a surge of 'countertrades', like the glory days of the Soviet Union. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:46, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
Is Adam Fergusson 'When Money Dies' of relevance to the discussion?
If the saying 'A fish rots from the head' applies, how much of the fish is currently 'viable'? Anna Livia (talk) 23:14, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
Yes, that is relevant. In fact, main worry of Russian economists/officials, I'm sure. You cannot run an economy without a viable currency of some form, and that viability is quite deliberately being attacked on all sides. And it's an attack which shall only step up as the war goes on.
But what's more, you cannot really have a viable currency without a viable economy; this was one of the main reasons for the USSR's death in the late 80s - they resorted to simply printing more money to mollify the masses, *without* increasing the level of 'things to buy' (thus, inflationary).
Thus, the introduction of a 'siege economy'. Good readable article from the FT on what this entails. And it's limitations. One bit it doesn't mention is the fact that the main folks to take a hit from this shall be the oligarchs. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:41, 6 March 2022 (UTC)

Gender Identity and the Motivation for Self Labeling[edit]

I like to think of myself as a pretty progressive person, but also having lived a rather sheltered keep-to-myself existence, I haven't really met a lot of people who are trans or who explicitly define pronouns they wish other people to use for them. I get and respect people's desires to be treated as the gender they feel comfortable as, but I don't quite understand the motivation. Is it sexual? Is it not wanting to be shunned for not acting "normal", and instead saying you are going to act according to the normal of a chosen label or identity? Labels also extend beyond just cis-genders and I see other labels people pick but I'm not sure why people care either way. Obviously it matters to people because some people are very loud and bully others when they don't like being asked to call others by their chosen label/pronouns, and inspite of this people bravely do it. I guess I'm confused by the whole thing and would like to understand it more. I know some of the people here self identify as particular things/labels and am curious to what your motivation is. How does it feel when people mislabeled you? How does it feel when they label you correctly? Do you think about it in every interaction you have with other people or only certain kinds of interactions ( such as introductions)? I also really hope the question isn't offensive either, if this gets troll collapsed or something I'll be pretty sad but take it as a warning not to post things like this again. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 15:42, 19 February 2022 (UTC)

You're thinking about it too hard. It's not sexual per se, but sex has something to do with it.
I'm assuming you're a cisgendered male for this (apologies if I'm wrong), but just imagine, for the sake on the argument, you were the same person you are now, but were born a woman. You have the same feelings and attachment to your identity that you do now, but don't have the body to match it. I mean you feel deeply, with every fiber in your being, that you feel that you are a man trapped in the body of a woman. You feel as if the universe/God/Vishnu/whatever made a horrid mistake when you were created and out you in the wrong body.
Would you not feel confined in a way? Would you feel suffocated and desperately desire to have those around you treat you as the person you really are inside, instead of who your body says you should be? Would you be willing to go so far as to change your body to match how you feel inside?
Many trans people would say no; for whatever reason (whether fear or denial) they are willing to suffer in silence. Or maybe their feelings are not causing them suffering, and they can live with their lot in life. The ones who ARE suffering though; the ones who feel as if embracing who they are inside is worth whatever risks are involved with it, are the ones who come out and make the changes you're talking about.
I'm cis myself, so I can't really explain it any better than that, but I hope it helped anyway. Inmate XIII (talk) 17:24, 19 February 2022 (UTC)
Yes, I am a cis-male, but I feel I gain or lose essentially nothing from the application of that label. I will say that, while it isn't the same as gender identity, I did lose many of my friends and get ostracized from my church and social circles growing up for not behaving along typical norms. I guess that "scared me straight" so to speak, and I've never pursued a relationship out of guilt for feeling the way I do, and only a single person knows how I actually feel and perceive things, and I've just come to accept things will never change. I have to put up walls to protect myself, but every-time I go to sleep I dream of my real self. Sorry for being weird about this, it's hard to type when you're crying. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 19:41, 19 February 2022 (UTC)
'I am a cis-male, but I feel I gain or lose essentially nothing from the application of that label' indeed. one would only even contemplate the idea of 'cis' if one has cause to question the label. im not sure a trans identity of some kind is something that the cis gendered can fully comprehend, and all things sex and sexuality are an aggravating factor, but i imagine other ways of 'not belonging', or being constrained by the prevalent norms and expectations of those around us can provide similar a experience, more or less keenly felt depending on what it is that is provoking such feeling and how that is viewed by those around us and indeed, ourselves.
an observation, and not a hard and fast rule by any means, is that labels are thing of youth. they are part of figuring out just who you are as a person and where you belong and who you belong with. things are felt so much more keenly when coming of age and this is when all things sex and sexuality comes to the fore - you just cannot easily remove gender from sex and sexuality. some people wear their labels lightly changing them as they change their clothes. for others they are an uncomfortable fit and will spend their entire lives insisting a label fits like a glove, denying their own nature and potential happiness in the process. often times, when one happens upon a label that fits and one fully embraces, it is liberating - whether it is chanced upon early in ones life or after years of denial and searching. when one does find such a label or when one is still testing the waters, trying it on for size, a necessary step is to say it say out loud, to see how it feels, to see if it fits, to make it real. first to one self, then to the world - 'i am gay', or 'i am trans, or 'i am an atheist', or 'i am a christian'. tentatively at first or loudly- with genuine pride or to mask anxiety, its a necessary step for many in their acceptance of themselves. even now it almost sticks in my throat to say 'i am gay'.
i generally find labels, whether i am applying them to myself or others are applying them to me, to be restrictive, particularly of how black and white/life or death they are when applied by the youths of today. however i am envious of such youths who are seemingly so confident enough to declare their sexual or gender identities so openly, or at the very least have somewhere to make such declarations, whether online or in real life, the freedom to search and explore their own identities. it is something i could have benefitted from in my formative years. previous generations would have had a harder time than i, as do current generations in other parts of the world or just in different circumstances to my own with different issues with their identity. that others have things harder in someway, in someplace or at sometime, doesnt make ones own specific issues any easier to deal with. such is progress. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:41, 19 February 2022 (UTC)
I am mostly isolated from other people due to having Autism and mental illness. Knowing that I am Non-Binary adds a little more to social isolation. I don't make friends very easily. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 00:23, 20 February 2022 (UTC)
I kinda agree with Gay here. That people get so obsessed with their 'identity', it becomes to mean *so much* about them that if anything seems to even remotely 'threaten' it their mouths start to foam and they lash out. I think this is something which needs to be understood; it's quite possible to be 100% clear that you're gay (for example) but to feel little to zero connection to the 'gay community'. This leads me to my rule of thumb; the quicker/louder a person brings up X belief, the stronger their ID'ing to that 'community', and thus their subgroup's norms.
A good non gender/sexual example here is the rise of people who follow 'plant-based diets'. It could be said it's a way of saying they're vegans without actually getting associated with all the other BS / weirdness / intensity of the 'vegan community'.
But speaking purely personally...
Q- but I don't quite understand the motivation (of identification). Is it sexual?
A- Well, the sexual one is. I know what I like (now) and it's a handy shorthand to be mentioned at the point I feel it needs to be to certain others. The gender one is not sexual, oddly enough. But understandable, as gender/sexual has been thrown together in the same acronym so folks think they must be related/same. In my case (non-binary) it's more a acceptance of non-identification with either male/female than anything else. Kinda hard to identify with a non-identification. Plus, NB has no set 'norms' yet, so there's still a fluidity to be yourself (which is a bitch; you cannot simply say 'I am NB' and leave it at that, all you've said is what you're not, not what you are).
Q- Is it not wanting to be shunned for not acting "normal", and instead saying you are going to act according to the normal of a chosen label or identity?
A- It *could* be said my previous behaviours 'make more sense in context'. Of why I was such a weird kid and moody/depressive/angry teen. Like Gay, I'm a bit jealous of kids of today; a Karma twenty years younger would still be screwed-up, but at very least I'd have two things I'd be less screwed up about.
Q- Labels also extend beyond just cis-genders and I see other labels people pick but I'm not sure why people care either way.
A- In this respect, it matters to me. They're answers to old questions, which had driven me half-nuts. To be honest, I don't really care what others think on this, and I've found most folks are so wrapped up in their 'own bubble' they're pretty unobservant, and half the time if they do notice something they're wrong on the reasons.
Q- I know some of the people here self identify as particular things/labels and am curious to what your motivation is.
A- To stop driving self half-nuts, or making self unhappy by being in mass denial, trying (and failing badly) being something I'm not.
Q- How does it feel when people mislabeled you? How does it feel when they label you correctly?
A- In this case, I accept my birth gender as 'one of convenience'. I cannot be arsed to have to explain myself every single damn time, and while I don't like it, we do live in a binary-gender world at the moment. I would prefer to be they/name (perhaps the NB majority opinion), but I am not going to push it (sign of getting old, methinks). The gender thing only gets on my nerves when someone really goes on about it and/or keeps on making loads of assumptions about me regarding it. But if that shop assistant tries to sell me generic 'guy crap' at the till? Meh. *gives a shrug*
Q- Do you think about it in every interaction you have with other people or only certain kinds of interactions ( such as introductions)?
A- Not really. I'm more curious to what crap they'll assume about me from my appearance than anything else. As I said before, we live in a he/she world and I can't pass as the latter so I get put in the former basically by default. But spaces requiring uniforms/dress codes - I imagine - would be more difficult for binary-trans folks (esp early on in transition) because there's so much less scope for displaying 'gender traits' for folks to use for ID'ing (Long-haired camp guy or early-stage transwoman? That's hard enough for some folks to sort out, let alone adding 'NB person' to the list of options...)
KarmaPolice (talk) 11:30, 20 February 2022 (UTC)
I like what AMG said, about cis people being unable to understand what it is like to be trans. And sexuality cannot be teased apart from the experience of being. It eventually implicates itself in most of our exogenous experiences. Some people will wear their label like a favorite article of clothing. Some people might claim to be trans without knowing exactly what that might entail. "Know thyself," was a basic tenant of Socratic philosophy. But philosophers are never satisfied with settled epistemes.Here is an article that claims the object of knowing oneself is not only silly, it is actively dangerous! I think it is most accurate to say that we do not use reason to determine who we are. We learn that from experience and perhaps only admit it afterwards, if at all. If ones identity could be defined by a single word we would certainly have less to say to one another. We use words to communicate what we already know to others who may never understand, but whom we hope are willing to try. Ariel31459 (talk) 23:22, 20 February 2022 (UTC)
@Ariel31459 A better way of putting that is that we use reason and logic, however imperfectly, to make sense of subjective and objective experiences. As for knowing thyself well... Doing that properly is both very difficult and very painful. You should try though, it will help you become a more fleshed out person. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:08, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
In my experience, if you don't 'define' yourself, others will do it for you. And even when their motives for sald defining are honest, it doesn't mean they're right or best for you.
As for 'cis-male ID not doing anything for me', it could be said it's not because it's the status quo norm. That despite all the changes and developments in our world in recent decades, 'Anglo' society/culture still revolves around the premise that the 'default setting' is that the inhabitant shall be straight, male, white, middle-class and with a 'conventional' lifestyle. To declare yourself gay or whatever is an act of openly defying said default setting. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:23, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
Yes. It is a sort of defiance to declare oneself socially atypical or contrary to the assumptions engendered by the so-called default settings. Thus one is actually defying ones own instinct to be publicly circumspect, which is perhaps one of the most universal of default settings. These settings are not always limited in the ways we might imagine. It always comes back to the conflict between free will and determinism, and those questions that can never be settled. Ariel31459 (talk) 02:34, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
My original query was motivated by me trying to fish for understanding of the concept in order to better facilitate my writing. Specifically I have a setting which takes place in a future inhabited entirely by intelligent machines capable of emotion. With them having no inherent sense of sexuality or biology, making the characters relatable is a constant challenge. I could have thrown in some forced gender-pride or gender-label analog, but such a thing would likely be reductionist and insulting. My hope was to get a better understanding of the motivation behind gender labeling to not-necessarily create an analog of gender identity, but to better understand the concept of identity itself and maybe use that to help form a fictional cultural structure.
Instead I find myself having old forgotten wounds from my formative years resurfacing. I'm a masochist, and I've been fighting it for most of my life. I put myself in really bad situations because I can't live without the feeling of being weak or hurt. My whole teenage-to-adult life I've wanted someone who cares about me to take control of my life, but such an openness to be controlled makes one extremely vulnerable and likely to be exploited. Because of this I put up a constant front and always live an outward lie from how I feel. Sometimes it is just too much though, and I just get really lonely. I'm too shy to really do anything about it though, so I just live in a dull status quo, like my life is on novacane. I have to hurt myself just to feel anything sometimes (don't worry, I don't do anything like cut myself. Normally I just bite my hands or cramp my muscles). I was ostracized from my church and friends for being a freak and having sinful desires, and I have had to slowly rebuild some kind of a social circle, but I've never told them any of this because I'm terrified that they would leave too if I told them and then I would be totally alone. I'm sure it's not as bad as the discrimination homosexuals or trans people face (after all, I can easily hide my feelings), but sometimes I just can't handle it.
Thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to explain their experiences. It helps a lot and has made me really think about how I feel. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 11:42, 21 February 2022 (UTC)

Being trans is not a motivation, that's the first thing to clear up. You 'are' the gender, there is a difference between crossdressing as a sexual fetish (this has also been an offensive presumption in the past for transwomen) and being trans. It's about being seen and being who you actually are, not as someone else or a stranger to yourself. Now people can argue about why that is, the cultural/biological debate on 'why' cannot change the reality of how things are, a transwoman is a woman, a trasman is a man, they want to be seen as and interacted with as if they are, because they are. They want the world to see them for who they are, not for the thing they are born as. BumblingBuffoon (talk) 15:40, 23 February 2022 (UTC)

@BumblingBuffoon Thank you for sharing. Having never experienced being mistaken for something I am not and shoved into a metaphorical box because of it (at least not to the degree that a trans person would experience), I find it difficult to understand all this. I would say that my gender identity is meaningless to me, but having never had it challenged or anyone attempt to take it from me, I cannot say how I would actually react in that situation. It could be a sort of "take it for granted" kind of thing. Alternatively, I could be functionally agender and so not really have dwelled on it for too long. I think the last time I really cared about what label people used to refer to me as was when I was really devout and into religion; I imagine I would have been offended or hurt if people didn't realize it. Again though, I feel like the connection between that and something like gender identity is tenuous at best. I guess my ultimate conclusion is that I'm not qualified to write about the topic, and should just avoid mentioning it or incorporating it where possible. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 16:46, 27 February 2022 (UTC)
being born male, identifying male and being accepted at face value as male is going to dump a whole load of expectations upon you, give you advantages in some areas disadvantages in others, impacting relations with other men, with women, with friends and family, impact your schooling, your career, it will effect how you are treated by the police, how you fare in the justice system, most every facet of life is going affected in one way or another in subtle nuanced ways and in vastly significant ways, modified even further by things like the prevailing, ethnicity, religion, the part of the world you live in. consider the life choices you have made, crises faced, your victories, your failures, your regrets, your hopes and dreams and think what might have been if you were born a woman. one might not have cause to questions one gender, you are what you are and are able to accept the hand played to you, able to meet those expectation put upon you with grace, maybe able to reject some you have no time with no significant push back or sanction. the suit fits perfectly and you wear it well. you dont need to consider your gender if it all comes naturally, you can take it for granted. you can focus on other parts of your identity, define what else you, you have the male part down pat.
it is one one thing to say gender is not something you personally need to consider, it is quite another to say you have no gender identity at all. that requires a massive amount of obliviousness, and wilfully so at that. a gender identity is not something you born with as the bon states. but it is a fatuous statement as a gender identity is thrust upon from the moment you are pulled screaming out the womb, as your will attest when handed you are over to her and is told 'its a boy'. your gender identity is unknowingly and unthinkingly absorbed in unformed stage nurtured by your parents in the name they give you, the colours they dress you in, the toys they provide you with, determined only by what genitalia you have at birth and the norms of society, gradually establishing a sense of difference between boy and girl, about expected behaviours, what they can and can not get away with. biology is still playing its part since your birth, impacting your identity as boy or girl, maturing at different ages, onset of puberty comes at different ages, in different ways, affecting you see your body, what it means to be a boy or girl, how society treats as a boy or a girl, and we've all done puberty, its just awful in so many ways. our biology effects how we see ourselves and how society sees right the get go shifting and changing through every stage of development. our gender identity, assigned at birth, are not fully formed at birth, it will never be fully formed, likely changing as we grow into old age, with our biology impacting our gender identity along side the cultural aspects. biology does not start and end with reproduction. the distinction between biological factors and cultural or philosophical factors does not severe the connection between them. of the factors that one could identify as having roles in the development of our identities, none can be set apart and considered in isolation - all parts influencing the every other part, whether biological, cultural or philosophical.
noone is solely their gender identity. noone viewed by their gender identity alone. nut it is, acknowledged or not, a significant part of our identities and has significant consequences on our lives and our place in the world. what it means to be man, what it means to be woman are questions asked since time immemorial. the answers are ever changing as the tides and even today these questions provoke considerable controversy on what it all means for each of us and the societies we live in. it will be a long long time before it need not be asked at all. AMassiveGay (talk) 04:20, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
'Newsflash: Person raised as part of the "default setting" of society and feels fine with that has no idea why "this gender thing" is important.'
Hmm... 'Cissplaining'?
Anyway, despite that, they do lead towards a question / thought experiment of sorts. To whit; if we had a society which had evolved to effectively a 'post gender' stage, we would see more, the same or less fully transitioned individuals in it? On one side it could be argued it would be less due to the fact there's no gender norms to 'sign onto', the other that it would be more because there's no stigma or (assumed) blocks for transitioning.
My own theory on this; it shall all depend on the 'window' of acceptable physical body modifications. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:57, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice I meant no disrespect. I was raised in a pretty hardcore southern Baptist church, and one of was taught to hate everyone that didn't conform to the idea of a perfect Christian patriarchal theocracy. In college people tended to just be mean to me (I was a huge asshole and very anti-social), but one person took the time to try and get to know me and showed me kindness. While I was in college they went through transition and I learned that they were a transwoman. I didn't know how to handle it, I didnt understand it, and I ended up rejecting them. I don't know what happened to them after that, but I've never forgotten the kindness they showed me. This was the better part of a decade ago, but I've never stopped worrying about them, and I often wonder what happened to them. I feel like I owe it to her to try and understand where she was coming from and change my own perspective.
The words said by people here has been very insightful though, and I thank everyone again for the experiences they've shared. (Except that one BON, he is an asshole.) MirrorIrorriM (talk) 12:16, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Last bit aimed at the comment which then got boxed as 'transphobic shit'. And I was in that cult for a bit too (though Pentecostal not Baptist), so I can get how hard deprogramming is. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:52, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

Mock Senate[edit]

If you all would like to participate in a Mock US Senate, please consider signing up to run for office here: https://t.co/VR2zvT2R4L AmericanSocialDemocrat (talk) 21:07, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

Who exactly is behind this? Vomitorium (talk) 21:24, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
We are an independently ran Mock Senate, though it arose from Election Twitter. I am one of the admins on it. It originated from a Twitter account called ET Breaking News that no longer exists under that name. That account is now ran a person account of its owner @garzatj_. The ET Senate spun off from a mock election he ran and has continued independently since. AmericanSocialDemocrat (talk) 21:30, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

When people scream "But the United States did....." when the Ukraine war is brought up[edit]

I 100% get that my country did some shady shit that was wrong but how does that excuse an invasion? People using the "United States did..." forget that Vietnam, Afghanistan and what not involved more than one nation. One thing to point out is that most other countries that has imperialistic intentions have been around longer than the United States. The invasions my country did is no excuse; I don't condone what my country did either. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 22:51, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

"Well they did it to so that makes it alright." is basically what it boils down to. That's the "Putin is an elite chad" fanclub's go-to excuse seems to be here. Aaronmichael5 22:54, 5 March 2022 (UTC).
Whataboutism is a logical fallacy that has its own page here, or you can find out all about it pretty much anywhere else. It should be pointed out as such immediately, often, and firmly. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 00:41, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
as a fellow american, my issue has more to do with the hypocrisy and implicit (covert) racism of the media and the american public (especially politicians and pundits) than justifying the invasion of ukraine. (i even posted an entry about it in WIGO Blogs.) having said that, whataboutism is just like a kindergartener saying, "but he did it too," to justify their misbehavior. the whataboutists should be reminded of russia's long history of imperialism, including when they invaded afghanistan, themselves. G Man (talk) 01:09, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Whataboutism — an ancient Soviet/Tankie tactic/fallacy. Bongolian (talk) 05:32, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
with russia invading ukraine, nato countries, most europe, and the us have all decided russia has done very bad thing. but that is a decision that each of those nations came to on their own and/or with agreement with each. the sanctions being taken are being taken with coordination with each but what sanctions each nation will apply is varying. what laws has russia actually broken though. what treaties and conventions have been invoked to show russia is in the wrong or their interpretation of particular law or agreement is flawed when russia says it allows their invasion? russia is facing sanctions not because it has broken a specific law in any legal framework that is universally accepted with consistently applied with any kind of due process. russia is facing sanctions because europe and nato, and the us in particular taking the lead, made the decision based on how those nations own individual political and moral considerations. what laws there exists that would apply here would have applied elsewhere to wars led by the us but for less than solid reasons not applied. un resolutions gained after the fact condemning russia mean little when appeals to the un are only made when the un agrees with you and is ignored. the us led wars in afghanistan and iraq where justified on shoddy intelligence and flat out lies.
none of this justifies the russian invasion. none of this means we wrong in sanctioning russia. but lets not pretend that we are doing so within any kind of rigorous legal process with due process tried and then sentenced by an impartial and respected party. we have a group of nations with a historical political alliance formed to counter the ambitions of who russia used to be deciding that they do not like what russia is doing what they have done themselves not so long ago with no sanction whatsoever, and it is this group that is essentially judge jury and executioner here.
i dont think we are wrong to take the action we are taking with russia, but i dont think it is wrong to be uncomfortable with the fact the application of international laws and sanctions only apply when powerful countries say they do and only to those they say they do. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:36, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Good post! G Man (talk) 06:35, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
1994 Budapest Memorandum providing for the territorial integrity of Ukraine in return for it giving up the nukes stationed there, Also that article of the UN charter that says thou shalt not invade they neighbors are 2 that immediately spring to mind. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 19:50, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Yes, the Budapest Memorandum (signed by Russia in 1994) explicitly guarantees the sovereignty of Ukraine. That's just last week in international treaty terms.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:21, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm one of the millions who protested against the invasion of Iraq back in 2003, and I'm not only against the Russia-Ukraine war but also think it has been Putin's biggest blunder and things are far more complicated than "good Ukrainians VS evil Russians". Panzerfaust (talk) 14:50, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

something different[edit]

lol at the pointless poll. i like how Facebook is the most popular choice for "if you could delete any one website". as of writing, it has more votes than all the other options, combined. XD G Man (talk) 17:39, 6 March 2022 (UTC)

That godawful crying with laughter backdrop alone should've spelled doom for that site. Twitter is a close second for me, I'd vote for it too. The amount of times I got lead to false and misleading information from zero context cropped screencaps is way too much. People share Twitter way more than Facebook, and it's been nails down a chalkboard to navigate without an account. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:11, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
See, I still like Facebook. I will still look at it most days. Its especially nice for when you have friends/family in different parts of the country (or different countries altogether). For me its too bad TikTok wasn't on that list, probably the only amusing videos ever to come from there are the ones that mock how others use TikTok. --RWRW (talk) 23:23, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
i haven't voted on the poll, but i agree that i would want to delete facebook. social media is not what it used to be. the fact that they profit off of misinformation and authoritarianism makes it more dangerous than the fringe hate sites. i mean, who knew that giving cranks a soapbox to amplify their kooky ideas would make their fringe and extremist views more mainstream? after all, facebook practically breathed life into qanon. other social media sites like twitter and instagram aren't much better. i've already deleted my twitter, and now my facebook and instagram accounts next are on the chopping block. G Man (talk) 06:33, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
case in point, social media is allowing for the proliferation of disinformation surrounding recent events, such as the covid-19 pandemic and the russia-ukraine war. i initially started this thread to talk about something besides the latter, but i'm certain that the kremlin is using social media to spread disinformation and whataboutisms about the conflict, which gives me yet another reason to dislike social media nowadays. G Man (talk) 06:50, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Also Facebook's Meta's beta test immediately became a platform for sexual harassment and minimal regulation of underage access.[5]] Don't worry, they will 'fix' it after they break it and make money from breaking it. Bongolian (talk) 06:57, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
I personally think FB has become the poster-child of all that is 'wrong' with social media - from the disinformation to the spying, via monestisation and scams. It's like how say, McDonalds, WalMart, Shell, Amazon etc gets a disproportionate level of flak for the sins from their whole sector. The massive backlash towards the 'Metaverse' concept (and not just from the usual suspects) made folks dislike FB even more.
I'm just old enough to remember about how social media was going to be so great, promised so much. It's now clear it's *generally* failed to achieve them. I cannot help but wonder if not only was the model impossible to achieve them, but the makers didn't intend to achieve them either. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:59, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Much of modern social media's woes stem from the corrupting influence of money and politics, a kind of cliched take in a way, but Facebook fits this cliche to a tee. I essentially dropped Facebook when it was no longer possible to simply order your feed chronologically, and the technical ways around it became too much (yeah, this was several years ago). It was clear that Facebook was valuing "engagement" over anything actual social, leading to an environment where clickbait was the favored posts (fuck your friends' status update, here's a viral outrage video!). Initially that was Buzzfeed like bullshit, but it set the stage for disinformation clickbait to profit using that platform. The early 2010s was a time where some of the Silicon Valley founder types of a more libertarian bent started drifting towards an illiberal capitalism stance (see Peter Thiel, who was on Facebook's board), and no doubt this played a part in some of Facebook's casual attitude towards security and disinformation, prioritizing profit whenever possible. There's plenty of other places that have promoted disinformation (see 4Chan and 8chan) so they are not solely to blame by any means, but to me Facebook is one of two companies where the warts of the Silicon Valley ethos were most nakedly exposed (the other, of course, being the toxic bro culture best demonstrated by Uber). PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 15:23, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
There is an inherent criminal ideology in tech startups that leads into this, such that breaking the law in a way that is highly profitable but unlikely to garner immediate criminal charges is part of the business model. Uber's circumventing taxi licensing laws in every jurisdiction it operated in was a prime example, but social media's initial non-policing of posts and thereby facilitating child endangerment was less obviously blatant but far more dangerous. Bongolian (talk) 18:10, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
That could be said to be 'normal business practice'. Basically, fob off any 'externalities' onto the public/state. Pollution, litter, obesity... wot you looking at, guv? Nawt to do with me! Plus; I think when it comes down to it the risks to children were generally less than the public believed, and the general risks to all via fraud, theft etc was higher than believed. But y'know, 'think of the children!'.
Yet there is something a little worrying about that. That for a very long time, law enforcement was basically happy to delegate it's damn job to FB, which is classic agent-principal problem, this case being the principal had zero inclination to hire any. But this shows the whole main issue with FB; we see it as a kind of 'public space' but it is as public as a shopping mall.
Anyway, on FB's decline I'll personally say the rot sunk in when folks like crooks, parents, bullies and bosses began to roam the pages. It forced people (generally) to become much more guarded, and thus less 'social'. This would have happened anyway (as the Big Public cottoned onto the level of intel on it) but FB really didn't seem to give a crap about that, sometimes actually enabling the 'stalkers' on the platform like that ban on pseudonymous / persona accounts a decade ago. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:52, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Ehhh when people say Facebook was better back then, no, it wasn't. Back as a teenager, I remember despising it back when it started in middle or high school for similar reasons today, that it was for vapid self-absorbed lonely losers who have nothing else better to do (similar to Twitter or Myspace), and anyone who had Facebook I DID judge people more negatively (again I was a teenager). I rolled my eyes hard at the whole "businesses check potential employee's Facebook", like it vindicated my negative attitude to it and those that used it. I remember absolutely refusing to make an account (I actually did try to make an account later on to try to stay in touch with favorite high school teachers and one or two old friends, but the bots didn't like my posts or something, and I needed some sort of photo verification of my driver's license... what a hassle compared to MarioWiki; I just abandoned the account). Hell I was resistant to trendy things in general; I would've hated TikTok back then too, but that might've been the "not like other girls" mindset I marched around with. Facebook was never good. Big media giants and anything else on the Internet involving extremely large gatherings of users exchanging thoughts are destined to be infested and poorly moderated; it's almost like it's by design. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 02:47, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
I used to have a Facebook account to stay in touch with friends. The more I learned about Facebook's shady practices, the more cynical of it I became. After deleting my account, I feel better about myself, even though I became more socially isolated. It's kind of similar to my experiences becoming a vegan as well. LongStylus (talk) 04:01, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
There's a difference between a subjective and objective 'that's crap', Mario. Truth be told, FB is objectively crap and has become more so in the last decade. I shall put it down to a simple fact; jack of all trades, master of none.
It's not a good place for hosting media, it's a difficult place to be actually 'social' on, it's 'law enforcement' is hugely unreliable / biased, it's terrible on the personal privacy options and it's feeds basically are so clogged with crud they're unusable. So... people have gone elsewhere. The 'decline of FB' is a lot worse than they're letting on; they may be treading water numbers-wise, but they're seriously losing 'engagement'. More and more folks keeping their accounts bland and semi-dormant; keeping it for say, if the boss checks or to be in contact with a few old relatives.
It still has value, but not as 'social media'. More as a glorified phonebook. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:55, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

I think this video sums it up pretty well. G Man (talk) 14:36, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

Anti-War protests in Russia[edit]

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/more-anti-war-protestors-were-220043431.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

I will start by saying that I will add this anti-war protest to the Russia article. Now here is the main thing I will talk about. Knowing that Russia has arrested several thousand protesters, I am beginning to think that once the war ends, there might be an uprising against Putin. With the catastrophic economic situation and sending soldiers to die for a lie, the people have likely had enough.

I will also say that those protesters have a lot of bravery knowing that they could land in prison for 15 years or just be straight up killed. This may sound weird but I want them to shout, "The whole world is watching" during the anti-war protests near the end of the Vietnam War when police beat the living shit out of protesters (no I do not support beating people). The Russian police have been beating the shit out of protesters. These protests do remind me of the Anti-War protests during Vietnam. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 00:57, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

IMO there will not be a popular uprising against Putin. A palace coup of some sort perhaps if he has damaged enough interests.... but likely not even that since he seems to have absolutely every thug in the country (and many outside it) on his side. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:16, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm reminded that both the monarchy and the republic fell in large part because Russia was getting its tail kicked in WWI. Zontar (talk) 03:03, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Protests are unlikely to amount to much in the foreseeable future due to increasing insularity of the Russian propaganda wall. Yes, the safest termination of the Russian clusterfuck is a palace coup. There are some indications of fissures within the Kremlin, but Kremlinology is a lost art. It's unclear who, even at the upper levels is able to see past their own propaganda at this point. Sergey Naryshkin is errhaps the most likely person to see beyond the BS.[6] It's likely that even Putin cannot see beyond the BS[7][8] since he surrounded himself with yes-men. Bongolian (talk) 08:36, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
One thing we need to remember is that this is *not* the USSR. The Russian ruling class are much less 'ideological'. In fact, I suspect the main gule/grease is simple desire for more loot. Like any old-school 'machine boss', Putin's power is partly defined by how deep his spoil-bucket is, and if the West sticks to their guns (and sanctions), said bucket shall be rather meager... KarmaPolice (talk) 09:53, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
He's definitely surrounded with yes-men. As early as January a retired Colonel-General[9] who has never been NATO-friendly was warning about how a war with Ukraine would mess up Gazprom/demanding Putin's resignation. Lukoil agrees, a month and a half later (CTRL+F "lukoil")[10], and one would think that oil and nat gas being Russia's main imports would elicit at least some errant doubt in his head. Kntai (talk) 10:01, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

Ukraine and nam[edit]

Can the Ukrainians hold on to their land like the Vietnamese or not? — Unsigned, by: CorporateBrinjal / talk / contribs CorporateBrinjal (talk) 17:59, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

@CorporateBrinjal On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. And stop fucking forgetting! Spud (talk) 15:25, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
Not really - Ukraine is mostly relatively open plain, whith very few places for a guerilla movement to hide other than cities, the forrests north of Kyiv, and the Carpathians in the west. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 00:42, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Not really, Aloysius. It's all a question on the 'balance of forces'. You *can* have urban/suburban insurgencies; it's all down to a) the will to resist, b) the means to resist and c) the ability to suppress/destroy the resistance. 'Resistance' does not have to be active; examples such as N Ireland where only a small % were active resisters, but they moved in a mass of 'passive resisters' who didn't inform on them to the security forces and (sometimes) provided support. We also saw this in Cyprus, Malaya, Kenya and yes, Afghanistan.
The thing is, only a small number of 'active rebels' can pin down a massive number of conventional troops, esp if said troops are mainly tied in semi-static guarding of points, such as roadblocks (example; c20,000 British troops + c5,000 police vs c1,000 active IRA members). And Ukraine is huge geographically. Lastly, if Putin tries to avoid is by intalling a puppet in any rump Ukraine, chances are he'll find he has to keep heavy Russian forces in it to prop it up as it shall lack legitimacy to the people.
Two last bits. One, big eternal garrisons are expensive. Two, if the vast majority of Ukranians make it clear that the occupiers are *not welcome* - even if they are showing an icy politeness and a bare-bones cooperation with them - it shall soon seep through to the Russian people via rotating soldiers what the hell Putin has done to their 'brothers and sisters' they came to 'liberate'. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:06, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice - that wasn't the question - the question was can they hold their land. And the answer to that is an emphatic NO. Having an ongoing insurgency is a different question. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 07:02, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
My point is still relevant. I've seen estimates that it would need 600k Russians to completely pacify Ukraine, they've got - at best - a third of this. Military types are commenting that the Russian advances look more like mass 'raids' than actual full-scale 'lets hold land' invasions, which suggests their plan is to simply trash so much, kill so many civilians that the Ukranians' will to resist is broken.
@KarmaPolice Your point is relevant to a different question. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:56, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm loathe to draw the analogy too closely (the Ukrainian propaganda arm is doing this already) but after the failure of the 'surgical strike' at the start of the war, the Russians dusted off a playbook which looks very like an updated one the Germans used in 1941 - aiming at the destruction of forces and holding of key points than 'capture land' per se. Ukraine is simply too damn big for that kind of warfare. KarmaPolice (talk) 07:42, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
That is not what htey are doing - they are reverting to the Grozny & Syria playbook as has been noted everywhere - surround the cities, indiscriminately bombard them causing civilian casualties and crushing infrastructure until they surrender. Then install a strong man with no rules of engagement to run the "country" using imported mercenaries and local thugs to terrorize the poulation. They don't need to occupy the country - they just want Ukraine to do as it's told and htey don't care how - terror is the preferred tactic because it is simple - death squads, unrestrained "police", bombing civilian centers as reprisal for any ""banditry" - they dot' give a shit about the economy of it or anything else vaguely civilized. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:06, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
There is certainly a difference between defeating an army and then controlling a country. But I would say that the comparison should be more to the French Resistance than to Viet Kong.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 09:10, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
More like Syria and Chechnya - this will not be as civilized as the French Resistance Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 21:07, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
dunno why people are still falling back to invoking the spectre of vietnam in 2022. there have been decades worth of failed military adventures and ill advised interventions since then that we could use that would be far more appropriate, but none of them ever really provide much incite into whatever conflict is being touted as 'someones vietnam'. russia's already had its own vietnam, and that was afghanistan, the us's vietnam was vietnam, and it could even be said to have had two more of 'america's vietnams', in iraq, and in afghanistan, which was also america's afghanistan. all any of these conflicts have in common is their asymetric nature and that they were drawn out and costly disasters for superpower goliathes. this war in ukraine is disastrous, all wars are, but its only been 12 days. ukraine is not going to be anyones 'vietnam'. this conflict is its own unique tragedy with its own dreadful character. it will only be understood by seeing how it is in its own time and place, not through a lens of others peoples past conflicts remembered more as pop cultural references and hollywood myth AMassiveGay (talk) 22:06, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Exactly. Lt Col Schley: "It has been said critically that there is a tendency in many armies to spend the peace time studying how to fight the last war.". I'd say that, historically, there's something similar happening with pundits trying to comment on ongoing wars. Queexchthonic murmurings 22:11, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
I think there's a risk of overfitting *any* historical example to Ukraine. The situation is truly a 'black swan' and thus, unique (it's possible that, for example Russian morale breaks entirely and the generals refuse to continue, leaving with a de facto partition). One thing is clear, though; Putin's not 'thought this through' (or more correctly, has but is unaware of his own informational bubble) and the only solution he can come up with so far is 'more blunt force'.
Problem is, there comes a point where that produces more problems than solves. If you've destroyed everything people have, they have nothing left to lose and will often fight to the death. The more unhinged the Russians appear to be, the stiffer the European resolve to oppose (and make sacrifices) shall be. There are limits to even Chinese silence on the matter; despite everything, they do try to be a remotely decent 'global citizen' (externally) and there shall come a point defending a Kremlin commiting mass war crimes in front of video screens shall become a cost they will no longer pay. Even Russian domestic opinion matters; these aren't 'terrorists', 'Muslims', 'bandits' or 'blacks', but 'fellow Slavs'. The emotional ties are strong; it's like if the USA was invading Canada and was bombing Toronto, Vancuver and Quebec flat.
But one thing is clear. This is going to be a long-runner, and might continue even after Putin's death/removal. We need to gear up with this in mind. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:58, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Depends of what you understand as a long-runner. I think Russia will finally get what Putin wanted -Crimea, independence of those regions with strong ties to them, and them being a neutral country-. However Ukrainians will not forget this war, and you can be sure whoever is put in charge by Moscow will have lots of fun dodging terrorist attacks and having to deal with civil unrest. Panzerfaust (talk) 23:21, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
I mean 'long runner' in the respect that regardless of the Ukraine 'result', this wider Russia-West conflict shall continue. To be honest, I don't see much 'let's put that behind us and get back to 'normal', yes?' boneheaded stupidity coming from the West afterwards (though I know it shall be pushed, as the more savvy apologists come out of the woodwork). KarmaPolice (talk) 12:34, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

Our Russian version[edit]

It occurs to me that we have a Russian version of the site. Russian RW.

It's not particularly active. But Google translate does not suggest there is much happening there about Ukraine. Or, al all, actually.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:36, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

i have my doubts that the russian-speaking users of this site are still active. i would contribute, if only i spoke russian. G Man (talk) 21:59, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
It looks like no one is policing edits there anymore, and someone started mass autotranslating our English language articles into Russian (a no-no as we discussed earlier on our English language side).[11] It might be a good idea, if possible to lock up the site — if possible — until someone can take responsibility for it again. Bongolian (talk) 23:23, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Definitely. Kntai (talk) 11:11, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

A...Unique perspective of Art[edit]

I knew Alan Moore was...odd but this is certainly unique if not...hedonic take on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU4xaUm_s-Q&t=324s

I'm not sure what he means at the 5:05 mark though. But it was a trip. I do like some of his comic though. — Unsigned, by: Machina / talk / contribs

FYI this is excerpted from a minor performance art / spoken word piece he did called Snakes and Ladders (the full piece is here, the excerpted part is at about 31:45 in or so). I know Moore had an interest in esotericism and magic and reviews seem to indicate that this piece is more from this side of Moore's personality. I must admit that just listening to clips, it seems too artsy-melodramatic about vague cosmic concepts for my taste, and like the clip you referenced, I am not sure that the words really mean much once you dig past the dramatic language. This is rather similar to a lot of esotericism, actually. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 14:34, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

This...[edit]

https://www.artberman.com/category/blog/

https://twitter.com/_ppmv?lang=es

(especially the last one)

Even Climate Activists are starting to acknowledge how Peak Oil is here... and how IPCC misleads us by downplaying the truth

Oil barrel is rising beyond 150$/barrel, and 4ºC of warming have been already baked up...

Nitrato de Chile (talk) 18:46, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

Cool story, Bro Revolverman (talk) 20:35, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
First link is a truther blog. Dismissed out of hand. Second link is someone's Twitter account. I have no reason to care about either. Dismissed. NEXT! ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:45, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
If only poll of the day boosted the numbers for twitter dot com in terms of obnoxiousness. At least people don't share Facebook links and pretend it's news or journalism. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:28, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
big facts. twitter is much worse than facebook. that's why i deleted my account after about 2 years. haven't looked back, since. G Man (talk) 21:55, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Both guys appear to be minor climate activists with a focus on renewable energy, and you sometimes get a wee bit of Chicken Little-ing with this crowd. I don't think adding doomsday to the IPCC reports, which are pretty sobering on their own and have a ton more scientific rigor than a tweet, is necessary or helpful. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 22:25, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

So... You can´t even read their arguments because intellectual cowardice and a gatekeeper mind. If you believe those are wrong, then DEBUNK´EM

DAMN IT, YOU HAVE THOSE FKNG PAGES. AT LEAST READ WHAT YOU´VE WRITTEN BEFORE...

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/A_Crude_Awakening:_The_Oil_Crash https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Talk:Peak_oil (debunk Gewgtweg if you think you´re correct)


BTW, both have more academic credentials than all of us and, unlike IPCC scientist, they´re completely independet. If they were lying, why would they do that? They´ve nothing to win or lose. Nitrato de Chile (talk) 19:32, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

@Nitrato de Chile No one said they were lying. "...both have more academic credentials than all of us and, unlike IPCC scientist, they´re completely independet." This is a gish gallop of assertions and implied conspiracy. "So... You can´t even read their arguments because intellectual cowardice and a gatekeeper mind. If you believe those are wrong, then DEBUNK´EM" I'm honestly not sure how to respond to these accusations. Your links are so broad that there's no claims there, therefor I can't debunk anything besides the general tone of the sources. You might as well ask me to debunk New York City. It's nonsensical. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:46, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
They aren't lying per se all the time, in my opinion though they are "Chicken LittleWikipedia"-ing. Different sort of thing. It's a framework where the sky is always falling and woe the End Times is near. Makes for some poor predictive power. After COVID-19, for instance, in an April 27 2020 post, your top blog link wrote of doom due to the oil price crash that naturally happened (with, y'know, the world pausing for a bit due to the pandemic), with the conclusion that we are "slouching toward Bethlehem". One of the tidbits mentioned was that "oil production and price are unlikely to regain late 2018 levels". Oops.
At any rate, what is not a lie is that climate change poises to be a real humdinger. There's nothing wrong about saying things along those lines. Attaching some sort of total society collapse fantasy to such though is a wee bit much. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 20:02, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

Russia is becoming the healthiest place to live in[edit]

With the cold weather for thermogenesis, coca-cola, and social media platforms suspending business there, I think I shall move there. 192.241.185.105 (talk) 13:02, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

Enjoy the starvation, neo-Nazis, and fascist dictatorship! 5.151.93.193 (talk) 13:10, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Russia has a distinct lack of Irishmen, which is they die in building fires at 10x the rate of Americans. Cortex (talk) 14:15, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
This is like when a western "communist" drinks enough koolaide that they move to China or Vietnam. It's both pathetic and hilarious. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:23, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
I encourage anyone who thinks that living in Putin's Russia is a good idea to go and do just that. They deserve it.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:42, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Russia has it's own social media. Hell, even North Korea does now. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:47, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
A few years ago I'd have liked to live in a place where LiveJournal was the only social media and Facebook was banned, but not so much now. Does North Korea have an illegal MySpace clone? --Annanoon (talk) 15:00, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Moving to Russia to get away from all the propaganda social media platforms push is just such a brilliant idea. And with Coke banned, it'll be nothing but healthy drinks for the Russians, I'm sure. Vomitorium (talk) 16:13, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
NKorea has a Facebook clone for their own 'walled garden' internet, called 'Kwangmyong'. Insert jokes now how the MSS didn't need to change any of the privacy settings on the original for use in their paranoid crapsack nation. It also appears they also have some discussion forums too. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:24, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

Pretty sure if you dont like coke or social media, you could just not drink coke and ignore social media. its not that difficult. you could just have a cup of tea and read book and maybe gain a sense of proportion (and learn the whole what sounded funny in your head might lose something in its delivery equation) AMassiveGay (talk) 18:57, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

and know your audience. with one where pedantry is so strong, the most well crafted lines will a die a death. AMassiveGay (talk) 19:02, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
If not having coca-cola available is your definition of having healthy food/diet/improving health then you're not really qualified to comment about anything in the real world. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:02, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Don't spend time on social media, it's not that hard". You might as well tell people who have spending issues to "not spend". Either way, I don't think cutting off particular food and internet sites leads to a healthier environment. I get it's supposed to be a joke too, a bit of a short quip, but it's not particularly original. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:37, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Putin spends time in the great outdoors and working out in the gym and doesn't waste his time on social media and drinking large amounts of vodka. He also eats lots of cabbage instead of Big Macs like every good Russian does. TWR (talk) 17:36, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Furthered more, no more big macs for a while. 165.227.72.24 (talk) 20:33, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
@TWR Lol, no he doesn't. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:38, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
but hes so dreamy. why else would so many internet randos be so keen to fellate him? AMassiveGay (talk) 21:35, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
@AMassiveGay Hwerm.... Err.... Hmmm.... ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 22:34, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

Introducing a WIGO: Ukraine[edit]

Considering the growing number of news articles about Ukraine, would be a good idea if there a separate page like what happen to COVID-19? Euromec (talk) 18:44, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

Well we didn’t for Afghanistan... Although I guess that wasn’t a super-duper-scary “is this WW3???” Kind of thing. Probliknaut (talk) 19:09, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm of the mind to blackball that idea. I always got the impression that the Covid one was a *very* special exception (if an old-timer wishes to tell me otherwise, speak now). On that exception, I think it's time it's folded back into WIGO. Let's say, end of month (unless something drastic happens, like a killer new variant)? KarmaPolice (talk) 21:49, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
I concur; archive WIGO COVID. I'm wary of WIGO Ukraine since there's a lot of misinformation and I don't want to get into the hassle of disseminating what is and isn't propaganda (remember that Ukraine is also running a propaganda campaign, even if it's understandable) and having the usual suspects bitch and moan about removing propaganda from a future WIGO ("if you don't like it downvote it") is not something I'm looking forward to. -- Techpriest (talk) 22:31, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
Can't those vote counters be manipulated? I haven't been around for that long, but they don't seem like the most reliable thing in the world. Vomitorium (talk) 02:18, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
Won't claim to be an old timer, like KarmaPolice's referring too, but when we did the split off WIGO:COVID in early 2020, it did feel like an unusual situation. If I'm recalling correctly, it partly occurred because there was so much happening with COVID, that it completely overwhelmed the main WIGO.--NavigatorBR (Talk) - 02:25, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I remember. The first weeks/months we were basically 'flying in the dark'; I remember having to produce vague gestimates on lethality using the outbreak onboard that cruise ship (with hindsight; was not that far off). Getting actual information (or even ponderings from learned opinion) was incredibly difficult (which was why I had to do above; couldn't find it elsewhere) which meant having a one-stop WIGO made sense. But that justification is now over, I shall argue.
Though on the other topic; what's the reasoning for the voting thing? KarmaPolice (talk) 09:09, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm in agreement with the other voices here. No to WIGO: Ukraine due to the concerns about misinformation. And now that (thankfully) not much newsworthy is gong on with it anymore, I'd be delighted to see WIDO: Covid come to an end on 31 March 2022. I imagine that WIGO: Elections started out as an offshoot of WIGO: World in the same way and for the same reason as WIGO: Covid. But I might be wrong. Spud (talk) 15:14, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
No, meant up/downvoting entries, not WIGO: Elections. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:19, 5 March 2022 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice I wasn't trying to answer your question about up and down voting before. I was just remembering that the main reason I supported a separate WIGO: Covd was because I believed it would serve a similar purpose to WIGO: Elections by stopping WIGO: World getting temporarily taken over by one topic. But I'll address that question now.
For WIDO: World, you are supposed to upvote stories if you think they are relevant to RW's mission and downvote them if you think they are not. We never did really establish what upvoting and downvoting meant for WIGO: Covid. It looks like people have upvoted the stories they thought were interesting and downvoted the ones they thought weren't. Which for that particular WIGO has been fine. Spud (talk) 00:39, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
To be fully fair, what a voting system does in theory vis-a-vis what it does in practice is very fickle. A mostly consequenceless vote system like WIGO kinda incentivizes just upvoting what you like and downvoting what you don't like. If we wanted people to actually adhere to that concept, we'd need a voting system à la StackOverflow where downvotes actually punish you by lowering your rep (albeit by an inconsequential amount, specifically to ensure that a bad actor cannot simply spam them). Which would be neat in it's own right but probably not worth the effort to actually develop given that WIGO votes might as well be completely meaningless. -- Techpriest (talk) 20:11, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Speaking of which, is there a Howto in regards to adding articles to those? Not that I'm planning to spam a load, but found a couple on my travels. But it was all too much to get the layout right... KarmaPolice (talk) 05:38, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

"Systematic Invasion"[edit]

This guy on Youtube says that Russia's invasion is systematic and justified.
He says that Russia is pursuing its national interest and Putin's actions are justified because the west is worse.
Also he says that Russians aren't really killing civilians and that the Western media is propaganda.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti6Gm-EUsf0
Is he just making shit up? — Unsigned, by: ‎CorporateBrinjal / talk / contribs

A quick scan of his video titles suggests he's a Hindu nationalist, so yes, he's full of shit. In particular, he talks about the "Aryan Invasion Myth", which is not a myth (even if it is badly named), but Hindu nationalism demands it must be. As far as I can tell he'd spout any old crap if it was suitably anti-West. I'm unsure how much of the news is on the level, but saying that everything is propaganda is not a coherent position to hold. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:01, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Heh, his Twitter is retweeting Zero Hedge / Daniel Ivandjiiski. Mr. Ivandjiiski is well known for being a Russian propagandist when he is not declaring doom about the financial markets. Also seeing lots of retweets from a "Rakesh Krishnan Simha" (a propagandist for Russian media outlet Rossiyskaya GazetaWikipedia). Big on the "but Ukrainians are Nazis!" angle, and generally anti-West to a fault. So yes, pretty much full of shit, or at least, completely unaware that propaganda flows in both directions. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 14:28, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
People will either copy what they hear from others or making up their own shit then shoehorning it into existing conspiracy ideology. Conspiracy theories do roll in plenty of dough. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 23:09, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

@CorporateBrinjal On talk pages, please sign your comments using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking on the sign button: SigButt.png on the toolbar above the edit panel. You can also indent successive talk page comments using one more colon (:) for each line. Thank you. G Man (talk) 05:57, 9 March 2022 (UTC)


Just a reminder, something being propaganda does not automatically speak to its truth value. The US coverage of Fat Man and Little Boy was propaganda, but I have yet to see anyone claim that we didn't nuke Japan. Twice. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 15:05, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Well, there's also 'white propaganda' (the truth, merely presented in a mass media style) 'black propaganda' (blatant lies) and 'grey' (something in-between). As pointed out elsewhere, Ukraine *is* operating a 'propaganda' campaign, though as far as I can tell it's mainly of the white/grey type (example, their reportage of the 'incidents' revolving nuclear locations is a bit... overhyped, as far as I can tell.). But hell, you cannot really blame them for that. If I had Putin's hordes bearing down on my cities, I think I'd be a bit 'creative' with the truth too. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:53, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice That was my point. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:22, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
I know, I was simply elaborating a bit, as 'propaganda' is such a pejorative. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:47, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
@Queex I've checked that guy's channel. I don't think he's a hindu nationalist because he thinks that Muslims/Christians are Indian so they're alright. He thinks the world revolves around India or something. So I guess you can call him an Indian supremacist. Dogma (talk) 07:33, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

Alternative website[edit]

Does anyone know about another website similar to this one? Dogma (talk) 07:39, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

Wikipedia for factual information, Uncyclopedia for humor, Conservapedia for the usage of MediaWiki as a blog. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 15:16, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
Psiram is another. Bongolian (talk) 19:02, 11 March 2022 (UTC) See also Category:Skepticism and Category:Wikis. Bongolian (talk) 19:43, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

i dont know buddy, you might be SOL besides reddit. — Unsigned, by: The kdc / talk / contribs

Doot Doot Doot Doooooot[edit]

Why is it so hard to compensate people for serious vaccine side effects?[edit]

It's Official: Putin is a madman[edit]

For those(i.e both of them) who haven't heard by now, Russia has bombed a children's hospital. This was clearly targeted, and evidently Putin has shown no remorse for this. How anyone, of any political party, could possibly defend the current president of Russia at this point is pretty much beyond my thought process capabilities. No other way to put it, Putin is THE most dangerous man in the world right now. Aaronmichael5 01:19, 12 March 2022 (UTC).

Yet next to Trump he looks quite hard. Yes. Unlike Trump he looks like the leader of the free world.Ariel31459 (talk) 01:30, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
Even Israel's right wing Prime Minister is better in comparison. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 01:54, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
@Aaronmichael5 He's not insane, he's ruthless. You do a grave injustice to the mentally ill with this equivocation. @Non-Binary EAS Creator No they aren't. Likud is in no way shape or form better than this. Putin began this sort of shit at least as far back as 2001, 2014 is when he roused NATO and the US' ire. To all, can we please stop with the emotional outburst posts where people say stupid shit to compensate for the fact that we all have fuck all power over the situation? Please? I'm getting tired of having to fact check RationalWikians, people who should know better, on an almost daily basis. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:54, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
'Ruthlessness' can in fact be the outward expressions antisocial personality disorder ('sociopathic') which is listed in the hallowed DSM-V. I've also heard it pondered that narcissistic personality disorder might be to blame. It's possible that Covid-related stresses/isolation caused a kind of 'psychotic break', putting heavy demands on a mind 'which weren't up to code in the first place'. Or is simply just warping his judgement. Lastly, the option(s) laid out by this Medium article that he's not 'gone crazy' but is not really on the level either. KarmaPolice (talk) 05:58, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
While there has been interesting discussions raised about Putin’s mental health, as mentioned by KarmaPolice, it makes no sense to connect single incidents like this one, however horrible, with Putin personally, unless there is some clear indication that a specific action was ordered directly by the Kremlin. It might have happened due to the kind of “sort of accident” that have become sanitised in the West as “collateral damage”, or it may have been a deliberate attack by a particularly vicious, local unit or commander.
Or, and this is what worryingly seems more and more likely, it is a result of the Russian invasion shifting towards the kind of warfare that was their hallmark in Chechnya and Syria, roughly “surround & pulverise into submission and/or oblivion”. Shifting to that approach, using massive firepower in the guise of artillery and especially multiple rocket launchers, not to mention cluster bombs, will inevitably cause high civilian losses in urban areas.
This approach may prove effective from a short term, narrowly military perspective (as seen in prior conflicts). However, it will further undermine Putin’s purported justification (“saving Ukrainians from Nazism”) for the invasion, not to mention further embittering the Ukrainians in the long term, solidifying Western unity, political as well as public, and making it even harder for “third parties”, such as China or India to (show) support (for) Russia. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:00, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
China and India are going to do what's in their national interest. India buys about 23% of Russia's weapons. Also, it looks like India's coal imports are pretty high right now. https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/indias-russian-coal-imports-could-be-highest-over-two-years-march-2022-03-10/
Basically what I'm trying to say is that India is neutral in this conflict. Mainly because the Indian government is trying to extract the Indian students from Ukraine. Dogma (talk) 12:09, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
its a little more than india being supplied military hardware, its that china is india's big rival in the region and has an ongoing armed border dispute with them. russia's already bff with china. probably not a great idea to piss off your weapons supplier just when they have the ear of those you might need those weapons against. its easier for some to pick a side than it is for others in this thing.
most of the global south seem to be opting for neutrality. i read most seem to condemn the russian invasion (not the usual suspects, ofcourse, they are all for russia and boo nato) while raising an eyebrow at just who is up in arms over an illegal war. and probably bears mentioning that for a lot of the world during the cold war picking a side meant the other toppled your government.
of course its ukraine that suffers here if neutrality lessens the impact of sanctions. im a 100% on the need for sanctions. but the west is indelibly stained and the hypocrisy so huge it takes a lot of the edge off its righteous fury AMassiveGay (talk) 14:14, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
'Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' Anna Livia (talk) 10:46, 13 March 2022 (UTC)

Wonder if one of you Gamergate scholars or someone plugged into a younger generation of activists than I can give me some context...[edit]

Wonder if someone can give me some background on this tweet that came across my timeline today? Thanks, kids. RagingHippie (talk) 04:04, 12 March 2022 (UTC)

WuTweet.png
looks like more twitter drama to me. i used to have multiple twitter accounts. glad i deleted my last account two months ago. haven't looked back since. G Man (talk) 04:26, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
@RagingHippie It seems Wu is urging caution in regards to a controversial book as it isn't out yet and people are engaging in wild speculation about it. Otherwise known as dumb people on Twitter being dumb people on Twitter. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:28, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, i didn't see anything on her Twitter feed that looked particularily controversial. Stay tuned, i guess...RagingHippie (talk) 04:29, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
The tweets long since dropped of the bottom of my feed but apparently the controversial book was just as bad as people had feared when someone went to the trouble of getting an ARC. Queexchthonic murmurings 12:19, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
Good to see that you're still around, (R)agingHippie! Check out the RationalWiki:Chicken coop: 72 days since the last coop! Bongolian (talk) 18:12, 12 March 2022 (UTC)

What's the opinion on Gnosticism and their texts on this website?[edit]

A bleak way of seeing things if I've ever seen one--73.42.183.211 (talk) 12:18, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

Are you commenting on the article on Gnosticism or how it it's been presented elsewhere? Kntai (talk) 12:57, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Just how it is in general. Even the overview on Gnosis is bleak. And a little arrogant, calling itself the "most sensible" view.--73.42.183.211 (talk) 15:33, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
I think Demiurge is a pretty cool guy. Eh advances the goals of the Supreme One and doesn't afraid of anything. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 10:40, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

Thoughts on "Don't Say Gay Bill" in Florida?[edit]

South Korean president[edit]

Looks like South Korea has a new president who identifies as an anti feminist. What do you guys think? Do you think that he's the South Korean equivalent of trump? Dogma (talk) 13:56, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

Although it looks like he's pro nuclear and is stepping up SK's foreign policy. Dogma (talk) 13:58, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
It'll go to shit quickly. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 14:18, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
If you think Trump's defining element was that he was a sexist, you're a moron. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:44, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
Is that aimed at me or Dogma? PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 14:54, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
I don't think that's his defining character. Trump was a right wing populist. So is this guy. — Unsigned, by: Dogma / talk / contribs
My impression of this election was that few people in South Korea cared about the two leading candidates, because they were both basically dogshit in their own way. Mr. Yoon strikes me as a "traditionalist" in the Asian society sense, not quite a Trump per se. He's like Trump in that he seems to have a gaffe-prone mouth and no policy, but the American style "culture war" that fueled Trump and has parallels in other nations does not apply as much to a very homogeneous nation like South Korea. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 16:21, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
@Rockford the Roe At the new account that just decided to drop this topic in the saloon, for some reason... @Dogma Even if that were the case, you opened with "Looks like South Korea has a new president who identifies as an anti feminist.", a single position which on its own indicates little beyond a stance on a specific topic. And thus, in isolation, that stance tells us little beyond the scope of the issue the stance addresses. So yeah, my general impression is you're trolling, trying to rile up "orange man bad" fits. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:47, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
Grammatikcommie, I couldn't care less about orange Mussolini. I was going to compare him to Nixon but he isn't relevant anymore. But yes, in a way I am trolling. I thought this community was really gung ho about these kinda topics Dogma (talk) 18:50, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
Uh huh, that's why you brought Trump up as a point of comparison, why you posted anything at all, because you don't care... Bullshit! ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:55, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
Trump trolls, some of them being good little evangelicals, should instead focus on all of the fun rumors of connections to shamanism that dogged Mr. Yoon's campaign instead! (From what I'm reading I am guessing that this was irrelevant jaw-jaw insinuating connections to Park Geun-hye's scandalWikipedia, but who knows?) PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 19:10, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
He's an anti-feminist? Me too! I'm totally a feminist for people's aunts. Cortex (talk) 16:49, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

(Preface: not Korean, currently living in Daegu [THE conservative bastion], and holding no great interest in modern Korean history or politics)

Korea is nominally a multi-party state. Nominally. A multitude of candidates ran in the last election, but their candidacies runs the gamut from "grift" to "statement." Like the U.S., two parties consistently grab 95%+ of the votes. Unlike the U.S., political parties are "personality-driven" rather than "party-driven." As far as I can tell, the oldest party in the last election is just 10 years old. (Telling a Korean that the "young" major party in the US is ~170 years old is downright shocking for them) A candidate succeeds or fails, and a new party is usually formed around the next shot. This is an interesting wrinkle in a familiar political story. (Imagine a US president ever getting the single digit polling numbers Korean presidents do, and a lot of them end up in jail) Covid restrictions, while superbly effective in Korea, are still generally unpopular. The economic malaise affecting the world is unpopular. All of this transfers (as it does everywhere) into the ruling party. But the party is more "personality-driven", and that has a larger effect on "party" continuation (recent Korean history, e.g. an electorate starting to get removed from lived experience of conservative dictatorships is also a factor) Like I said, this is an interesting wrinkle. It was almost always in the bag for Yoon, but Korean politics are still "big tent" and razor-thin. There is no mandate, only political advantage.

As King, I propose we cut Korea in half to solve this problem. TheKingofRationalWiki (talk) 19:26, 11 March 2022 (UTC)

Go away son, you bother me. For users who are unaware that feminism is very unpopular in SK there is this from WP: "Despite feminism gaining more interest amongst the public over recent years, it is clear that there is still a lack of support for the feminist movement throughout South Korea. Many continue to label feminists, and the actions of such young women, as ‘pathological’ or ‘crazy’. In addition, scholars have also suggested that feminism continues to be synonymous with female chauvinism and ‘man-hating’ within South Korea."
That is no environment to be pro feminist in SK and for a politician to claim to favor feminism would be political suicide.UncleKrampus (talk) 20:32, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
The specific issue here is that Mr. Yoon talked about abolishing the Ministry of Gender Equality and FamilyWikipedia. The DPK (Yoon's opposition) aren't terribly "feminist" by Western standards, as I see it, but from what I read they support keeping this ministry. Yoon did seem to promote this stance and anti-"feminism" as a wedge issue to explicitly court young disaffected men (sounds familiar...). South Korea is horribly unequal as far as gender inequality goes, but even that's too much for some. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 22:03, 11 March 2022 (UTC)
I only hinted at the role Korean youth played in the most recent election, but it certainly is an interesting take to say "for a politician to claim to favor feminism would be political suicide" when the last president made it a plank of his campaign. The issue might be a bit more volatile than you think, and social attitudes can change quite quickly here, for better or for worse. I also feel you didn't give my idea a fair shake. It's a classic bit of kingly wisdom!TheKingofRationalWiki (talk) 01:07, 12 March 2022 (UTC)
The other candidate seems to oppose feminism too. It sucks that feminism isn't popular in South Korea, but hopefully it'll change. LongStylus (talk) 02:41, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
Well, that ministry banned teenage video games for about 10 years(Wikipedia)
I guess that could explain why the youngsters aren't fond of that institution. Dogma (talk) 15:50, 13 March 2022 (UTC)

Looks like me and every other transgender person is demonic[edit]

https://news.yahoo.com/north-carolina-lieutenant-governor-calls-203300569.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

Got to love hate speech! Leave it to a Republican to spew hate towards LGBT+ people.

Seriously, how are we demonic? How is human rights so horrible? Thanks far-right for allowing hate and domestic terrorism to flourish. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 15:32, 10 March 2022 (UTC)

I dunno, this book is rather convincing... *hides behind sofa, waiting for the rapture* KarmaPolice (talk) 16:25, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Well, if you have a female soul trapped in a male body, I can understand how someone might confuse that for demonic possession, but generally only if you also believe that computers work through magical elves. A smarter person knows that while the early computers DID run on an army of elves, this was more a byproduct of the invasion of the North Pole, known as the "Cold War". The original computers had to be large enough to house all 200 elf-slaves, which is why they were the size of a small building. The Cold War eventually ended after Santa successfully bred smaller and smaller elves, eventually allowing for computers to be small enough to fit on a desk. Cortex (talk) 18:37, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Counterpoint; demons can be pretty neat. Why is being demonic a bad thing, as far as I can see, it sounds like a pretty good job. You've basically got job security for life and with the amount of sinners these days, it's not like you'd get bored trying to invent new ways to torture. -- Techpriest (talk) 18:40, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Ah, our valiant 'culture warriors'. On the cusp of imminent victory over the gay bowels (and it's ilk) since 1993!
In other news, I have the sudden desire to play a gay tiefling. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:17, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
He says he wants kids reading, but he sure doesn't seem to want them understanding. Vomitorium (talk) 19:37, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
If we (trans people) are demonic, when do I grow demon horns, clawed feet and a rainbow pitchfork? If I am demonic then that better happen. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 23:50, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Well, do you disagree with Christian morality, want to remove its influence from politics and social norms, and want to instruct children in your own morality and social norms? 192․168․1․42 (talk) 10:51, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
The United States (the country I live in) is supposed to be secular that allows liberty and justice for all, not for some. I get the US is not perfect but our laws are secular, not religious. If you want a country whose laws are based on a holy book, move to Iran or Saudi Arabia. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 15:52, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

Maths question[edit]

The external condom is about 98 percent effective with perfect use. With typical use, it’s about 82 percent effective. The average person has sex 5,778 times in their lifetime.

The percentage of effectiveness after using it 5778 times = (0.98)^5778 = 2.0149 ×10^(-51)

Are my calculations correct? Am I missing something? Dogma (talk) 10:59, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

The 98% figure is per year of use as the only form of contraception, i.e. per year of relying on condoms there's a 2% chance of pregnancy. Queexchthonic murmurings 11:35, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
It found that the average adult has sex 54 times a year.
Perfect use: 0.98^(54)= 0.355 ->33.5%
Typical use: 0.82^(54)= 0.0000221793 ->0.00221793%
Dogma (talk) 12:12, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
98% per year - assuming someone is sexually active for 40 years, for perfect use 0.98^40 = 0.4457 chance of zero pregnancies, over their lifetime. Working backwards from 98% and 82% and using the average figure of 54 times a year, that would be 99.96% and 99.6% effectiveness per shag BUT this does not take into account the ovulation cycle. That's another reason why it's given per year, to average that out. Queexchthonic murmurings 12:23, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
Right, got it. Thanks Dogma (talk) 12:34, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
The actual effectiveness per use of the condom is 0.98^(1/54) which is 99.96% effective on average. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 12:37, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
Are these effectiveness figures about the chance of sperm escaping in some way from the condom; or the chances of the woman becoming pregnant?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:14, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
As per the NHs website, chances of pregnancy. Queexchthonic murmurings 13:36, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
Bruh, why are you raising it to the power of 1/54? Dogma (talk) 13:22, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
If the chance of one event is p, the chance of n events it p^n. If the chance of n events is q, the chance of one event is q^(1/n). Raising something to the power of (1/n) finds the nth root of it; the inverse operation of finding the nth power of something. Queexchthonic murmurings 13:36, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
Gotcha Dogma (talk) 13:45, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
It's the chance of pregnancy, not of sperm escaping. And it's raised to 1/54 to get the per use chance of pregnancy, because 98% is the chance of being pregnant in the year, not the chance of any single use getting you pregnant.
Also, it's a bit misleading when viewing it that way. Using no protection at all only has a 20% chance of pregnancy each month (the body actually rejects most pregnancies). Assuming 4 intercourses per month, that's .8^.25, the "creampie method" is 94.6% effective in preventing pregnancy per use. Cortex (talk) 13:45, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
"Sperm escaping" just makes me picture someone charging across a hotel lobby and tackling a giant spermatozoon to the ground before it reaches the outside door. Queexchthonic murmurings 14:47, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
never mind - someone pointed it out already :) Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 19:42, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

I back Ukraine (🇺🇦)[edit]

Can we have an official support of Ukraine please here in RationalWiki? Sioa (talk) 05:22, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

I support Ukraine.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:01, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
RationalWiki does not make official support statements, per se, but we are anti-authoritarianism, which puts us squarely against Putin. Bongolian (talk) 07:47, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
We could put a Ukrainian flag on the front page.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:17, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I have no objection. Bongolian (talk) 08:34, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Слава Україні! Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 09:44, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I could add something to the sitenotice if desired. -- Techpriest (talk) 11:14, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I would certainly be in favour.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:35, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I put the flag and national anthem of Ukraine on my user page on 25 February and I will keep them prominently displayed there until all of the invading troops are gone and Ukraine is free. I would be delighted to see RationalWiki as a whole make a similar display of solidarity. Spud (talk) 12:46, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I just took a look at Conservapedia (because I hate my brain and want it to suffer) and surprise, surprise, they're sounding awfully pro-Russia. --Gulik (talk) 18:29, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Ah sure, let's go whole hog, why not also put a 'Fuck Putin!' banner too. Or preferably, "Death to Tyrants!" Cardinal Chang (talk) 13:00, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Ukraine, you have my support. Give Putin a stiff Ukrainian boot up the ass. Putin is an imperialistic asshole. Be it meddling in elections to hostile invasions. --Non-Binary EAS Creator (talk) 14:05, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Seems like lots of folks are shifting their thoughts on neutrality. I do support Ukraine and all other people of the world actively facing oppression. Probliknaut (talk) 14:12, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I don't like bullies. I don't care where they're from. к черту путина, украина будет свободна! Semipenultimate (talk) 15:56, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
This thread is stupid ass posturing. It does fuck all to help real people who even now are fighting for their freedom. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:19, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
@GrammarCommieDo you have a particular foundation or the like that you have in mind for any impactful contributions? I’ve been thinking of donating but not sure to whom. Probliknaut (talk) 20:11, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
I agree, something other than bloviation would be nice if you can point in the direction. Apart from pickup up a Kalashnikov and charging into the fray, of course. A responsible charity, yes. Semipenultimate (talk) 23:52, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
The problem is that there isn't much that external forces can do at the moment. Russian forces are trying to cut off the ports, and they're succeeding. Those are the main supply routes into Ukraine. I know it's frustrating, but we likely can do little beyond sitting and watching, maybe going after misinfo. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 01:42, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
Perhaps something on this list piques your interest. I might do UNICEF, even if it doesn’t help anyone now (which does seem to be the goal), it’s otherwise a good cause. Probliknaut (talk) 04:01, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
So.... Is the "stupid ass posturing" such a bad thing then if we can do little else? Please GC just wallow in cynicism in another thread. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:34, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────no, i agree with GC here. we already support ukraine by nature of being anti-authoritarianism and pro-democracy. we don't need to give the people of ukraine any more empty gestures just to make ourselves feel good. when afghanistan fell to the taliban last summer, i didn't see anyone change their profile pics to the old afghan flag. when terrorism happens outside of europe or north america, i've never heard anyone say "Je suis Nairobi" or "Je suis Ankara" or "Je suis Peshawar" and change their profile pics to the flags of Kenya, Turkey, and Pakistan, respectively. we only care if it happens in our neck of the woods. are the inhabitants of the rest of the world not people, too? G Man (talk) 01:37, 6 March 2022 (UTC)

Good post! ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 02:01, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Eh so why are we devoting so much energy talking about this crisis? Why not condemn this entire Saloon Bar? Why even share opinions about it when they mean nothing? Evidently something is wrong in terms of priority and I'm going to have to blame news coverage and our own powerlessness, but pointing out the fact that this is empty gesturing, making people feel bad about being selective about caring about things, it ISN'T making things better either. You're not much better than these people. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 02:12, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
While I get the point, terrorism tends to be processed through a different lens (there are a few exceptions such as 9/11, due to the sheer size and visibility, or the Charlie Hebdo attacks which IMHO carried some currency due to the press freedom implications), so those examples are not terribly comparable. I didn't see anyone change their profile pics to the American flag for the 2017 Las Vegas shootingWikipedia, nor to the Norwegian flag for the 2011 Norway attacksWikipedia, either.
To be honest, I've seen some of this posturing in various places and a lot of it strikes me as a wee bit insincere. Much of current conflict in the world involves sectarian strife, resulting in various civil wars and coups and the like. These conflicts have much less clear "narrativium". I mean, in the Somali war, what side would you "stand" with? Pick a faction, there's a Wiki with the list.Wikipedia It's pretty big. Good luck! The Ukraine invasion in contrast smacks more of old-school 19th century imperialism, a military power led by an autocrat seeking to take a country by force solely to expand territorial control. Not even America's misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan (which were also well protested) got to that level of audacity. So it's a little different than many of the things being compared to. Furthermore, I remember seeing "I Stand With Uyghurs" and "I Stand With Myanmar" type social media gestures regarding the genocide and coup respectively, which sort of undermines the "white people only care about white people conflict" narrative I'm seeing some push. There's obviously going to be national biases in every nation's media and there certainly are some big blind spots, but it's possible to oversell this point, and I think some are doing this unfortunately. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 02:58, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
My main problem is I keep seeing people getting really fired up to do performative shit. Ok, you said you stand with Ukraine, you're flying the Ukrainian flag. Great. How does this help Ukrainians again? Shit like that bugs at me. It's always bugged at me. It's purely performative shit that I openly disdain. It's not doing the hard work to provide material aide or countering propaganda, it's just putting on a pair of pom-poms and generally fuck all else. For fuck's sake, the opening post of this thread is asking for the official support of RationalWiki on the Ukraine conflict. What the fuck even is that beyond symbolic shit? What actual effect does it have on the conflict? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 05:18, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Good post! G Man (talk) 06:03, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
That's social media in a nutshell though, especially in the upvote / downvote era. :p What else can people do?
From my viewpoint, one of the biggest impacts the average American (as a whole, at least) had on this conflict occurred earlier when America elected Joe Biden over The Angry Baby. Due to The Trump's weak commitment to NATO (very weak, he reportedly discussed completely dismantling it quite a bit) and his sucking up to Russia, but considering there are still plenty of neoconservative Republicans around, I have no idea what this conflict would have looked like were Biden not elected. There would probably be a lot of yelling in the oval office, I guess, between the "neos" and the "America Firsters". I doubt most people had "stronger NATO" in mind when voting for Biden, but here we are.
At any rate, we are clearly in a propaganda cycle in social media. Caution should run both ways. I know Russia propagandists are doing their part in pushing the "what about other conflicts?" narrative, for instance. Propaganda isn't necessarily wrong, of course, just keep in mind there is a lot of narrative push from both ends. Anyways, I think any answer involving why this conflict "matters" more than others to the US and Europe starts with analyzing the geopolitics of NATO. Although Ukraine is not a NATO member, it's close to many who are, including some former Soviet Union territory (Estonia and Latvia notably). The United States certainly is involved in a lot of other conflicts around the world too and has plenty of other military alliances (same as other countries), but NATO looms pretty big in US geopolitics. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 20:02, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Good post! ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:18, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
the point is, I think we've already done our job (or, at least, we're already doing it). anything else would be just patting ourselves in the back (or, dare i say, "virtue signaling") at this point without actually helping Ukrainians. Not only that, it only seems to perpetuate what some view as a double standard: that conflicts and tragedies matter more in some regions than in others. G Man (talk) 06:08, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
People who are fired up about performative actions and virtue signaling generally don't criticize policies by entities nominally in their "camp" whether or not they help or are even related to the issue of the day. It's clear that Western media want the public fired up in "support" of Ukraine. What policies are to be justified or ignored as a result? Tracking and evaluating THAT is Rationalwiki's job here. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 09:29, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Good post! ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:53, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
One should also remember the old political spin motto, “One big fart will cover many small emissions”, and be extra vigilant about stuff being “quietly publicised”. A good illustration was the comment, made within an hour of 9/11 by Jo Moore (a spin doctor for Stephen Byers who was one of Blair’s cabinet ministers): ”It's now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.” So, keep an eye out for “inconvenient reports” and the like being dumped into a news stream overflowing with Ukraine. ScepticWombat (talk) 02:43, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Good post! True, with the current media circus surrounding Ukraine, cynical PR scum will have a lot of opportunities to deal with potential scandals. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 03:46, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm not sure 'news burying' works so well any more. The immortal line was uttered in 2001, a time in which (in the UK at least) the vast majority of folks got their news from TV, radio and the newspaper. The 'cycle' was geared for three blocks of news (7AM, Noon, 5PM) and newpaper editing deadlines (9PM, I think). And all the above had limited space; there would be often situations where you'd have finished writing 'good copy' on it, only to find it bumped off the page for the day - and often, it would 'go off' and thus, be binned and lost forever (which was the hope with the 'bad news').
These days, that 'rejected content' shall still be posted on the relevant website. Anybody can go and read say, Hansard online, company announcements etc and paw through to see what's been buried, then post it on a newsblog or whatever. Google et al shall index this reportage too, allowing all who are interested to find it. It's no longer ephemeral, like an old dead-tree paper or TV News report was. All this has made it more difficult for 'narrative control'. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:48, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Burying news doesn’t require that absolutely no one sees it, merely that it doesn’t become “an issue” in the broader, public discourse. Sure, anyone can read Hansard, just as anyone can post a tweet, but that doesn’t mean that the stuff is seen by more than a minuscule audience. Burying the news today is more akin to organisations dumping loads of information when forced to divulge something, in order to deluge the applicant. Again, this may not always work (especially if the recipient has the manpower and/or technical means to sort and identify the relevant bits from the dross), but it often still does. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:33, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
Well, I *did* say 'doesn't work so well anymore', not 'does not work at all'. The rando civilian may have little chance of getting their 'discovered scoop' picked up by anyone major, but I'd guess it's higher chance than it was in say 1992, where your options were very limited; 'letters to the editor' and photocopying leaflets with it on and handing them out at a train station, I suppose? Geographical limitations are also weakened; in 2022 I can simply trawl through Hansard online, in 1992 I would physically have to go to somewhere to inspect a copy.
Also, when it comes down to local/niche interest stories, 'minuscule audience' does not matter so much. In fact, in my experience it's *these* stories which are most commonly snuck out; the developer trying to bounce through a dodgy planning proposal, the company acting like total jerkwads towards staff or the local council doing something dodgy-looking. My rule of thumb is this; in the online world, almost everything is *noticed*, just most doesn't get further than the discoverer's hundred social media followers or something (which is why old-school blogging is better for this than social media; the former at least will come up in search engine results etc, thus leaving a better long-term footprint).
That is partly what we're seeing with the Ukraine war. I think it's the first one where almost *everyone* has the ability to produce show/tell content and get it out there almost instantly. And some these shall get picked up by more major people; partly due to the fact the Ukranians *are* playing a good campaign with this. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:57, 15 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm old enough that I remember the news cycle in the days before 9/11. It was 24/7 coverage of a senator who had an affair with a staffer that ended up being murdered. Without using google, name the senator and the murder victim. Gary Condit, Chandra Levy Cortex (talk) 13:56, 15 March 2022 (UTC)

Some facts I only learned about Ukraine/BlackSea but I'll pretend I always knew[edit]

So... a couple of things.

The Bosporus Straights in Turkey have a complicated history. By treaty, no civilian traffic can be blocked or charged a fee. The Danube and Rhine are connected by canal. This means that Europe's trade goes through the Black Sea, the Bosporus, Suez, and then to Asia, and in reverse obviously. So much trade, that ships have to wait hours or sometimes days before being allowed through. There's a quirk in the treaty regarding military vessels; no more than 9 military ships with a combined tonnage may ever pass through that straight at any one time, which technically means that with a large military vessel already in there no others may enter. Thus Russia has had a ship parked there for nearly a century, giving them more or less undisputed control of the entire Black Sea. In the meantime, Turkey is digging a massive canal around Istanbul, which would increase the volume of sea traffic but also act as an "express" lane for shipping, and once it opens anyone using the free route will be delayed constantly due to "safety concerns". However, this canal is technically not part of the treaty, which means that once open, teeechnically NATO has a new swimming pool. Obviously this would weaken Russia's position massively.

Russia is undefendable. Eastern Europe is a giant plain, and the further East you go the wider that plain becomes. If Ukraine went with NATO, Russia would have no chance of winning a conventional war. Controlling Ukraine shrinks that border massively, and while the border isn't quite a choke point, Russia would have a better chance.

Ukraine recently discovered that its coast has trillions of cubit feet of natural gas in the Black Sea. Combined with the pipes already there, they could develop their industry and provide Europe with all the gas they need for centuries. Gas they currently get from Russia. So yeah, Russia absolutely wants any possibility of that shut down ASAP. Thus, the annexation of Crimea and claiming the gas fields for themselves.

Crimea is an arid wasteland that got a giant canal built in the Soviet era. Once Russia invaded, Ukraine stopped supplying Crimea with water and it started reverting back to a wasteland. The millions of people there are NOT happy with Russian rule as a result, and it's a ticking time bomb before they start dying of thirst or moving to the rest of Russia. No people means that there's no one there to help protect their ports or operate the machinery once Russia inevitably develops the gas fields for themselves. Thus Russia needs to act sooner rather than later.

Finally, Russia is facing a demographic crisis. Russian women have 1.5 births each. It's not too much of a relative problem because the rest of Europe is in the same boat, but the rest of Europe has been solving the problem with immigration. Russia? Not so much. Now, the immigration is a potential problem if they aren't integrated into society properly (which Russia can and will use to their advantage), but it's a very big "maybe". So again, Russia needs to act soon or they won't be able to act at all. Cortex (talk) 19:00, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

Upcoming crisis.
In 2010, Ukraine/Russia suffered a massive drought. Ukraine and Russia normally supply a massive amount of wheat to the Mid-East, but with the drought, that winter, people went hungry and the price of everything went through the roof in the Mid-East. The spring of 2011, well, it became known as something called the Arab Spring...
With this war, it's unlikely that Ukraine will be growing food at peak efficiency. In the event that the war doesn't end with a matter of days, there WILL be massive food shortages again. And come winter or next spring, well... Cortex (talk) 19:07, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Regarding immigration, Russia has repeatedly been using refugees as weapons:
  1. Meddling in the Syrian civil war and increasing refugee flow
  2. As the silent hand behind Belarus' offering free visas to 'tourists' before literally shoving them over the Polish border as refugees
  3. The war of aggression on Ukraine, creating 1.5 million refugees for Europe
  4. Duplicitous negotiations for safe refugees corridors from Russian-bombed Ukrainian cities, followed by offering refugee routes into Russia where they could effectively become hostages.
Bongolian (talk) 21:21, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Interestingly, the majority of Ukrainian refugees are female, whereas the majority of African and Syrian refugees are male. That does change how I would view them coming into my country, as it's generally young men that cause trouble, not women. Yes, yes, technically the Syrian refugees were slightly more female than male, but the women stayed in Turkey and the men pressed onward. Cortex (talk) 21:34, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
I think the gender ratio reflects the different reasons - generally I think it is much more complicated for Syrians - more people to run away from, less opportunity to fight for a cause they might believe in.. No such confusion in Ukraine - it is solely to get women and children away from high explosive crimes. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 02:21, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
There were dozens of different causes in Syria. In Ukraine, there's basically two causes. Cortex (talk) 04:44, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
There are some quite prosaic, practical reasons for the difference in the refugee pattern between Syria and Ukraine beyond the ban on military age men leaving Ukraine:
In general, the reasons the younger, male refugees were more likely to seek to Europe was exactly the danger of the various routes and the vulnerability of women and children along the way. Hence, the patterns seems to (have) be(en) to send the younger men ahead and then either get them reunited with their remaining family once they had settled somewhere in Europe, or to have them support their families from Europe via remittances (similar to what many migrants do - hence the importance of remittances in many poorer countries).
By contrast, the refugees from Ukraine are viewed with far more sympathy and do not have to dodge authorities and thus have shorter and safer routes and do not have to rely on the tender mercy of traffickers and similar networks. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:03, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
As for Russia being ”undefendable” and its prospects in a conventional invasion scenario: That’s kind of pointless when you can rely on the world’s largest nuclear arsenal as a deterrent. Giving that prospective any credence is like the paranoid US fantasies of Mexican revanchism. Sure, it’s theoretically possible, but highly implausible, given the actual facts on the grounds and the military reality. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:09, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
You are assuming there will never be a good counter for nuclear weapons. Could we develop high-powered orbital lasers that can destroy missiles mid-flight? What about a device that causes nuclear weapons to detonate in their hangars, leading countries to abandon their stockpiles? Cortex (talk) 17:15, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Russia is very defendable. In fact, generally more so than many nations of Europe. Mainly due to the fact it is so *big* and it's major cities/targets are not geographically concentrated. Yes, the use of tanks, planes, missiles etc have made it less so, but amazingly enough this *also applies for everyone else*. Oddly enough, terrain etc only makes things 'easier to defend', not invasion-proof. The Ukranians are showing right now how such a defence can be mounted, and they're hugely outnumbered, outgunned *and* being attacked from around 50% of all possible angles simultaneously. So I say BS to that one.
Interestingly, the only area Russia really is on the back-foot is their Pacific half vs China. The latter have a huge quantity advantage and all signs are Russia is losing her qualitive edge too. And due to geography, the battles will basically follow the belt around the Trans-Siberian railway. Guess what? To the *real* threat, Moscow cozies up and is all smiles. KarmaPolice (talk) 05:30, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
A giant flat plain is not defensible against ground forces. There's no high ground to rain down artillery, no mountains to hide within, no difficult terrain that forces armies into certain areas. A more well equipped, trained and numerous army will always defeat a weaker army there, there's nothing like the logistics of fighting a war across the ocean that helped cause Britain to fail to defeat the Americans. And the further East you go the wider the plain is. As for China, the US has a serious defense problem with its Northern border, the only difference being that Canada is friendly. If China and Russia were as cozy as US and Canada, Russia's border is safe. The US's southern border also has the same problem, though again, Mexico is friendly enough. If that wasn't the case, the US would need to conquer all the way to Panama to ensure safety and everything. Cortex (talk) 17:53, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
The main problem with your analysis is it doesn't take into account how brutal urban warfare is in this day and age. Large cities are just as defensible if not moreso than mountains and thick forests. Plutocow (talk) 18:23, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
This! Good post! ScepticWombat (talk) 18:38, 10 March 2022 (UTC)
@Plutocow@ScepticWombat The brutality of Urban Warfare is inversely proportionate to your own brutality. Asymmetrical warfare tactics can stop an occupation, you need an army to stop a genocide. Cortex (talk) 19:00, 15 March 2022 (UTC)

Jokes to lighten the mood[edit]

What’s the difference between a starfish and Vladimir Putin?
One is brainless, spineless, and impossible to reason with.
The other one is a starfish.
What do you call it when you get cock-blocked by Vladimir Putin? Erection interference -Stolen jokes
Original one- Putin's last words: I did it for the lolz. CorporateBrinjal (talk) 16:20, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Edit: Please help. The Kremlin is sending me to the gulags. CorporateBrinjal (talk) 16:20, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

These jokes are terrible. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:21, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Good job. You have single-handedly deposed Putin and ended the war. Revenant Raven (talk) 16:27, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Wtf bruh? Aren't you the minister of praise? CorporateBrinjal (talk) 16:51, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
I want you to just think about the fact that a link to the "Ministry of Praise" leads to a page full of complaints. Just think about that. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:00, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm going to say it again, but substitute "gulag" with Nazi concentration camp and if you think the result is cringe, then try not joking about gulags. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:26, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
For me, just listening to Putin's voice is humor enough. Bonus for standing next to the elfin and somehow even less intimidating Kadyrov, or Lukashenka (Belarusian spelling) who's at least not a midget (though I'd still be looking down at him) but insists on keeping his terrible pornstache. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:31, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
What’s a pirate’s favorite kind of sock? Arrgyle. Get this topical humor outta here. Probliknaut (talk) 02:59, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Humor involves pointing out or doing something that is funny, not just restating a point of political concensus. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 10:41, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

@192.168.1.42 So True, this reddit post illustrates that article perfectly Dogma (talk) 11:12, 15 March 2022 (UTC)

Humiliation of the Russian army[edit]

By the way, this isn't the first time the Russian army has been humiliated in a war. The red army once tried to invade parts of Finland to defend Stalingrad from foreign aggression. The soviets suffered huge losses. However they did capture key area in Finland. Check out the winter war to learn more. Dogma (talk) 08:29, 13 March 2022 (UTC)

The Winter War was done to sieze Karelia to help defend Leningrad, not Stalingrad. But there are parallels, I shall admit - the Russian war machine looks like it's falling apart at the seams and is simply trying to win through sheer weight of high explosives and destruction of anything they can trash. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:12, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm sorry. Leningrad. Dogma (talk) 12:20, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
it should be noted that as humiliations go, the winter war and continuation war ended as a soviet victory, just with finland giving as good as they got. humiliation here does not mean sent packing with tail between legs and it wont as far as ukraine goes. what is does mean is just yet more war, and yet more of the pain and suffering that comes with it. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:02, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
Correct me if I am wrong, but the point of the 2nd Chechen war was for vengeance- Russia lost the first one (agreeing to a cease fire after being too mired in the fight) Probliknaut (talk) 16:33, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
The Russian army has always been about quantity over quality - Russo-Japanese War of 1905, WW1, 7 years war, Napoleonic Wars, Crimea, Narva vs Swedes under Peter the Great... occasionally htey shine under a brilliant General such as Suvarov (late 1700's to about 1801), but otherwise this is pretty much par for the course. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:34, 13 March 2022 (UTC)
The population of the Russian Republic was well over 100 million in 1940 and the USSR close to 190 million, while the Population of Finland was around 3.7 million. There is a good reason the Russians never went back to Finland. They got more than they were asking ( 9% of Finland) but paid a lot more than they wanted to pay. Ukraine's population today is 10 times larger than Finland's was in 1940, and the pop. of Russia is less than the old Soviet Union's. Ariel31459 (talk) 01:25, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
But the Soviets did go back to Finland, and they won the Continuation War - forcing Finland to attack German troops still on Finnish territory in 1944 in the Lapland War. After that they simply did not want or need Finland - it was "Finlandized" - yes that is now a word due to Finland's pragmatic nature of not pissing hte Soviets off any more! Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 09:37, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
I'd argue that the USSR didn't so much go back into Finland as that Finland went back in the USSR to get back lost territories while working with the Germans. Didn't work out entirely as expected; in the end as you said at least Finland managed to be pragmatically friendly with the USSR via the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance treaty to the point where relations were at least friendly. After that and the Treaty of Paris which dictated that there would be no right-wing parties allowed in Finland as well as further understanding that Finland would stay a buffer country, yes, no need or want—on paper. Kntai (talk) 12:43, 15 March 2022 (UTC)

My prediction on how this is gonna end: Putin will throw soldiers at the wall until it crumbles just like Stalin once did. Remember that he is an authoritarian dictator and strongman. The only way this is gonna end in a victory or draw for Ukraine is if he get's an escape hatch where he can frame it as a victory at home or if he gets murdered or disposed of in a coup. I think he'd rather take the whole world with him than lose NastyNugget (talk) 12:05, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

But what does "victory" look like for Putin? What does it look like for Russia? At the moment it looks like any "victory" is going to be rather pyrrhic.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:17, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
Problem with that is fueling, arming, and feeding that mass of soldiers. Russia can barely supply their current force, let alone a larger assault. Inmate XIII (talk) 13:56, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
Victory for Putin would be to take the Ukraine and implement a puppet regime quickly and without much ruckus. He has already lost on that end. However, he could still try to make it look like a victory at home with the help of his media dogs and his authoritarian-follower minions. If he manages to kill Zelinsky for instance, even if he does not implement a puppet regime, he can then claim he killed the Nazi leader and therefore that the objective was fulfilled somehow. Or if he manages for the Ukraine to concede on some points like joining the NATO or sth, he could then claim he disarmed the Nazis or something. If you are creative enough, you can always spin it a certain way. I agree though that any "victory" at this point would be rather pyrrhic. For the Ukraine however, Victory would be for the Russian Army to gtfo of the country without a puppet regime. Edit: One thing I learned as a WW2 buff and therefore infallible internet authority is to not rush to judgements to quickly in war. It's interesting that this thread mentions the invasion of Finland. All of Europe was laughing at the Soviets and felt supported in thinking that they were weak. This hubris of the Nazis is among other reasons why they were beaten by the Soviets. Furthermore, it is absolutely baffling to me how much hubris has changed the course of WW2 here and there, there's so many instances in that war of some higher up thinking that the enemy is weak and then getting bitten in the ass because of it, you'd think leaders learn to not underestimate the enemy. NastyNugget (talk) 14:08, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
Victory for Putin is staying in power and securing as many advantages, resources and privileges for himself/family/friends for the future. Everything else is irrelevant. Tons of Russians soldiers die? Doesn't matter as long as he stays in Power. Ukraine is occupied or just damaged? Doesn't matter as long as he stays in power. It is easy to fall prey to the narrative of "Russian leaders doing this for Russian glory" or reacting to "insults from the West" or caring about "Russian security". It is all irrelevant. It is ALL about staying in power and maintaining privileges, which obviously requires maintaining privileges for those who help him stay in power. Of course, to say he doesn't give any shit about Russia is going to far, but he clearly doesn't care much about the average Russian considering how mercilessly he has oppressed them and taken away so many basic necessities for Russians to prosper just so he can hold onto what he has and gains more. Again, the lens through which you should be seeing 90% of his actions are not about what is good for Russia or any Russian narratives but Putin's power and privileges (and those who help maintain it). This applies to every other country's leaders too (tyrannical or democratic) and the Western response. ShabiDOO 14:40, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
If that is how a "victory" would be gained by Putin then he would have gained that victory much more easily by not invading in the first place! Because none of those things were at risk when he began.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:51, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
I am really not so sure Bob. The tope "nothing reviving your career and distracting people than invading a country" has been effective (though not always) in the past. We cannot know the calculations that were made behind the invasion, but you can be fairly secure in knowing that the only reason this invasion happened was not for the glory of Russia but for the interests of Putin and those who keep him in power. We will have to find out (if we ever find out). ShabiDOO 16:48, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
I mean it worked for the Roman Empire... ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 17:14, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
What? Invading people? Sure, it worked for every empire. Until it didn't.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 21:01, 14 March 2022 (UTC)
Well, if you think about it Finland today looks like a nutsack. If Russia didn't invade those territories during the winter war Finland's shape wouldn't be as 'unique' as it is today.

Dogma (talk) 17:48, 14 March 2022 (UTC)

If you are looking for a more recent example, try the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The BBC interviewed one Ukrainian refugee who was also an Afghanistan veteran. It’s worth remembering that soldiers from all over the USSR served in Afghanistan and that this was among the reasons for the growing dissatisfaction with Moscow in what would later become independent countries.
Putin is old enough to remember the Soviet-Afghan War, as well as its internal, political consequences for the USSR and he may have just made a mistake somewhat similar to Brezhnev’s. Leonid Ilyich apparently thought he was shoring up the USSR and its position in Central Asia, but ended up in a quagmire that played a not insubstantial role in fracturing the state he led and toppling the regime he had personified.
Oh, and if the rumours about Putin’s mental health are correct, the parallel of a sick old man deciding to “roll the iron dice” would be even clearer. ScepticWombat (talk) 07:48, 15 March 2022 (UTC)