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Early Danish elections on the 1st of November[edit]

Frederiksen is doing this to avoid a "no-convidence" vote. @ApooftGnegiol, since you seem to know quite a bit about Danish politics (based on what I read in the Swedish elections thread a few weeks ago. I could be wrong about this), did you see this coming? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 15:16, 5 October 2022 (UTC)

That a new election was coming seemed clear, but I had no idea whether it would be such a decision or the no-confidence vote. That much I got from @ScepticWombat, who kept more close track of Danish politics (and maybe will have more to say later about how things shape up with the parties). But after thinking more about it, in hindsight it seems like this was the most likely option.
I think this choice is a bit less personally humiliating for Frederiksen than losing a no-confidence vote, and that the less dramatic option was also judged to be best for the party's new campaigning. The announcement also didn't come at the first opportunity, in her opening speech, but the day after, a small choice which may be meant to tone down how pressing it is for her and the party. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 18:27, 5 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, Danish news has pretty much been wall-to-wall election kickoff all day, although it was obvious yesterday that an election would be called today. Calling the election means that both the Social Democrats and Social Liberals can save some face (the former jumping without being pushed, the latter avoiding to oust a government they have backed until very recently and a PM they’ll almost certainly back after the election). The reason it was so obvious yesterday was that the PM was asked what her plans for today were and she became very flustered and wouldn’t answer. However, the campaigning has been ongoing for weeks, if not months, already, so this is really just putting the formal seal on it.
Personally, I would have preferred the election to have been called when intensive campaigning began, because the Social Democrats have been using the civil service to do de facto campaign work (e.g. by having the Ministry of Finance make some very slanted calculations on a Conservative economic proposal). This is in contravention of normal rules and practice, which has the Danish civil service retreat during campaigning, but because the election had not formally been called, the civil service continued serving the government in a way it usually doesn’t.
The Soc.Dem.s seem to be running on “safe and steady”, presenting themselves as “the safe choice”, especially given they are faced with two competing (Agrarian Liberal + Conservative) potential PMs from the other side of the parliament. Sadly, prominently among the “safety/secure” issues that the Soc.Dem.s have decided on is GOP/Trump style “bash the big city elites”. It makes sense electorally, because the votes lost in the medium/large cities are most likely to end up with parties that support a Soc.Dem. PM (the more leftist parties + the Soc.Lib.s). However, this game plan has been upset by a new, right(wing) party, the Denmark Democrats, which is branding itself on exactly this issue.
The polling shows a very tight race that might be decided on such margins as how many votes are wasted on parties that fail the 2% electoral threshold (this seem likely or certain for the Alternative, Free Greens and Christian Democrats and possibly even the Danish People's Party in some polls), or the “North Atlantic mandates” (2 MPs elected on the Faroe Islands and 2 in Greenland). The deciding seats might also end up being those of the new Moderates (headed by a former Agrarian Liberal PM), which might lead to some very interesting horse trading after the election. ScepticWombat (talk) 21:32, 5 October 2022 (UTC)

Elections have moved to the 31st of October due to rememberance day on The Faroe Islands. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 16:48, 9 October 2022 (UTC)

Not quite. The Faroe Islands will indeed have their election “a day early”, but the rest of of the Danish Realm (Rigsfællesskabet), i.e. Denmark and Greenland, will stick to the original date (November 1st). Btw, this particular remembrance day is unique to the Faroe Islands and is specifically dedicated to those who died at sea. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:26, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Who is Hendricus G. Loos and does 'his' so called 'mind control' patents work?[edit]

English isn't my native language so expect some grammatical errors.

This is the most obscure thing in the Internet that I have found and 'he' has some EMF 'mind control' patents
most notable to conspiracy theorists is the patent US6506148B2. If you search 'his' name on reddit, you'll see some people posting about this. I put quotation marks on the word 'his' and 'he' because I saw in Quora about this so called 'person' is probably a pseudonym of CIA scientists from very real MKUltra Program researching mind control stuff. And another Quora page is about the feasability of the EMF 'mind control' device. And finally, there are many of his patents relating to EMF and mind control. Due to it's obscure nature, can someone confirm Quora's credibility about this patent? And/Or tell me who actually is Hendricus G. Loos? Thanks! Notable1984Agent (talk) 23:27, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
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. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 22:37, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
He seems to have been a real person, with a long career in plasma physics. Literally the first link from a duckduckgo search for his name gets you this, which has some of his papers, his work history, and where he was born and died. He filed the first of these inventions when he was seventy-two, which kind of suggests maybe he was getting a bit weird in his old age. Namako (talk) 23:48, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
I mean, you can stimulate nerve cells with magnetic fields, but this comes nowhere near "mind control". Calling Loos's patents "mind control" patents is an absurd stretch, and whether or not his devices would work at all, they would not even come close to achieving such an end. 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 00:08, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
It's weird. It seems to be about making nerves send fm signals (the manipulation of the title) by stimulating a bunch of skin receptors at once. As you say, it's pretty far from mind control. Maybe closer to a device for investigating nerve signal responses in an organised way. Namako (talk) 01:32, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
I know that EMF and infrasound waves are the most probable causes of ghost sightings(which is somewhat similar to the properties of the patent) alongside with the pheripheral vision in the dark and pattern recognision in random noises. So it is theoretically possible that they can control infrasound or EMFs to emotionally manipulate someone in a controlled environment with hallucinations or stuff. Fortunately we don't have any evidence of mind control plots. I mean why Mike Adams, Alex Jones and other Paranoid Quacks in the Internet if the Government are already doing this? And finally, it requires to be falsifiable. So it's nowhere near NWO 1984 Socialist Communist Scientism Illuminati Warmist Jewish Muslim Gay Agenda Mind Control Level Threat. Also I recommended to everyone to know about this in RW community or make an article about this because I dunno how to make one lol.--Notable1984Agent (talk) 04:13, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
Edit: Looks like I exaggerated a bit on the "So it is theoretically possible that they can control infrasound or EMFs to emotionally manipulate someone in a controlled environment with hallucinations or stuff." part I think it's just no more than spacey stimuli stuff. e.g. jumpscares, pattern recognition, intuitions, etc. I guess...--Notable1984Agent (talk) 10:12, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

The microeconomics of student loans[edit]

(Trying not to get too technical here since even most economists abhor microeconomics.) Making this topic as I think pretty much everyone here is misguided on this subject. So, I was reading @DuceMoosolini's essay on US presidents. According to him, one of the good things Biden did was delaying student loan repayments. One of the bad things, not forgiving student loan debt entirely. I believe this is utterly incorrect (no hard feelings, you're essay is still very good). Once you understand that subsidies are just reverse taxes, things make more sense. Student debt forgiveness is an extremely regressive policy. Basically you're transfering money from the poor (ie. those who are not in college) to to de middle class (that actually goes to college).

According to a working paper from Sylvain Catherin (Wharton) and Constantine Yannelis (Chicago):

We study the distributional consequences of student debt forgiveness in present value terms, accounting for differences in repayment behavior across the earnings distribution. Full or partial forgiveness is regressive because high earners took larger loans, but also because, for low earners, balances greatly overstate present values. Consequently, forgiveness would benefit the top decile as much as the bottom three deciles combined. Blacks and Hispanics would also benefit substantially less than balances suggest. Enrolling households who would benefit from income-driven repayment is the least expensive and most progressive policy we consider.

According to this article by the Brookings Institute:

Whether measured by income or wealth, student loan borrowers are better off than other Americans, and widespread loan forgiveness is regressive. Some argue that loan forgiveness isn’t regressive when measured by financial wealth. But that’s because such measures exclude the very asset the person borrowed to buy—an education that increases lifetime earnings. That’s like assessing a homeowner’s wealth by counting their mortgage balance but not the value of their home.

For many borrowers, the amount they are required to repay on their student loans is far below the amount they borrowed because of income-based repayment plans and existing forgiveness programs. We can and should make these programs work better.

Accounting correctly for both human capital and effect of subsidies in student lending plans, almost a third of all student debt is owed by the wealthiest 20 percent of households and only 8 percent by the bottom 20 percent. Across-the-board student loan forgiveness is regressive measured by income, family affluence, educational attainment—and also wealth.

There's also a problem with incentives. According to economist Alex Tabarrok:

Suppose a student will make 150k per year for 10 years working in the public sector. If they have 200k in debt they pay 15k every year to the government for 10 years and then 50k is “forgiven.” But now the law school comes to the student and says ‘heh, I have a deal which will make both of us better off. We are going to raise the price of law school to 400k but don’t worry not only won’t that cost you a penny more than the 15k a year you are already obligated to pay it will actually cost you much less because we will pay your payments of 15k per year!’ This indeed is a great deal for the student who pays nothing and it’s a great deal for the law school which gets 200k more revenue immediately in return for 150k of payments paid out over the following 10 years. Win-win! Except for the taxpayer of course.

I'd also like to mention the Heckman Curve. According to the Nobel Memorial Prize James Heckman, government spending on education in children is usually better than on higher education. The reason is simple: the whole society profits when you go to highschool. When you go to college, you profit, the taxpayers don't.

Sorry for the long, convoluted post, if you guys wanna talk about it or if my post simply didn't make sense, just ping me. I'm a bit busy these days, but I'll see if I can answer. GeeJayK (talk) 22:12, 5 October 2022 (UTC)

But highschoolers can't vote tho. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 22:49, 5 October 2022 (UTC)
Sure, but that's public choice, not microeconomics, another economic field for another long, boring, convoluted walltext. GeeJayK (talk) 22:52, 5 October 2022 (UTC)
Parents can vote on their children's behalf, right? LongStylus (talk) 23:17, 5 October 2022 (UTC)
The ultimate problem as I see it is a very United States style root cause: A) Go "yeehaw free market!" when it comes to the US government directly supporting higher education, generally being fairly stingy on direct support of universities compared to other countries, and B) nonetheless, opening up government pockets for support for paying for higher education, in the form of generous terms on loans and grants. The result: the "free market" "worked" as one would expect and lapped up that government-aid-enhanced money, which influenced how a college could price their product. The result? We're the country with one of the most expensive average tuitions out there. Add to that problem C: there really wasn't any sort of quality control on who qualified for option B, so there were plenty of Useless University scams (many who seemed to spend more on their advertising budget compared to their education quality) that doled out paper diplomas and pressured students to take out huge, sweet government-provided aid to do so.
So yes, economically student loan forgiveness is regressive economically and really more done "for the politics". But it's basically a "analgesic" (it won't help rising tuition costs, it's just a little pain relief) on a deeper set of issues with higher education costs in the US, one that ultimately requires a deeper look than the current US political system can provide at the moment. (talk) 23:24, 5 October 2022 (UTC)
this student debt issue could be side stepped entirely by having no tuition fees as was once the case in the uk, till 1998. (scotland still has no fees for the under 25, while wales and ni have fees capped. england is supposed to be capped, but england likes to set an example for the other countries of the uk for the shafting of its citizens so the cap keeps rising). pretty sure many european countries dont have tuition fees either. you used to be able to get a grant too, to help with living costs and for beer money. labour has a commitment to abolishing fees, but dont hold your breath. uk universities absolutely love foreign students as they get to charge full whack making students pay through the nose.
'The reason is simple: the whole society profits when you go to highschool. When you go to college, you profit, the taxpayers don't.' i find this a curious statement as i have always been given an impression that high levels of education benefit society as a whole. is this an argument purely from a financial perspective that sees no societal benefit for a higher education? google turns up many studies showing it leads to a greater cohesiveness in society and greater civic engagement. a greater percentage of the university educated vote than those without for example. if nothing else, surely the increased earning potential that comes with a degree means more taxes from higher wages? and thats aside from education is seen by many as a civil right and everyone should be afforded the same educational opportunities regardless of economic background. years ago that might have meant only highschool. these days though? ever increasing fees and ever increasing debt that results - particularly with the us's example - means less people are in a position to make the the most of the opportunity of entering into higher education. students from disadvantaged backgrounds are significantly less likely to get graduate jobs, an upper 2:1 or even complete their course. access without success is the same as no access at all. and it seems numbers of people entering higher education has been dropping the past few years.
economics makes my head spin, so i no doubt am reading this all wrong. but if student debt forgiveness is regressive, and transfers money from the poor to the middle classes is all true, it surely just means that a system that burdens students with an ever increasing amount of debt is broken to begin with? why is the conversation about forgiving student debt and not about preventing debts from being incurred in the first place? once upon a time in the us, universities with no tuition fees was the norm. some amount of state funding or assistance should still be the norm AMassiveGay (talk) 02:08, 6 October 2022 (UTC)
I think citing James Heckman as a reason for the government not to invest in higher education is dubious. The point of the Heckman curve, and his work in general, seems not to be that society shouldn’t invest in higher education, but that early intervention is better than later remediation. Unless he has made a case for a zero(!) or negative(!) ROI on higher education, citing him, at most, shows that investing in high school, school, child, infant and prenatal care is even more important than investing in higher education. Indeed, investing in higher education is necessary for ensuring the skilled workforce that can deliver on such prior education and care.
Lifetime incomes can be deceptive when measured as averages (or even means), because of the old saw that “no one lives in an average” and such figures can be skewed by the astronomical sums that the very highest earners receive. This is further complicated by the effects of class and wealth being difficult to distinguish from the “pure” educational effects (elite universities are networking centres as much as educational ones). Conversely, you are more likely to a far higher rate of other serious problems further reducing the figures for those who don’t have a college degree, because it lumps together a very large group, including some facing serious structural problems.
Finally, the argument for general forgiveness is mainly about simplicity and thus low transaction costs, while regressive features could fairly easily be countered by more progressive taxation soaking up money from the high earning graduates. However, I agree with the point that student loan forgiveness doesn’t fundamentally change the system and is thus not a solution to anything but some immediate problems. It would either have to become a recurrent thing (kind of biblical, as in the original jubilee, come to think of it) or just one part of changing higher (and vocational) education and work in the US. ScepticWombat (talk) 05:24, 6 October 2022 (UTC)
Like Gay, I find the 'secondary education nation profits, university education you profit' argument a load of BS for the following reasons...
1; There's no clear-cut line between the two 'types' of education.
2; It doesn't factor in non-university further education (such as vocational training).
3; The study doesn't seem to factor in other reasons (ie class and inherited wealth etc) when calculating wealth generation by university grads over non-grads.
4; It seems to ignore the societal benefits of having university grads, like in teaching and medical staffs.
5; It seems to ignore the economic benefits re multiplier effect of having more (supposedly higher-earning) graduates in the economy.
Now, I would agree with Heckman in that the state gets 'more bang for buck' in primary/secondary education than further, but this is partly due to the a) law of diminishing returns and b) schooling is a 'free' way to give parents 30 hours of childcare a week. However, Heckman seems to then leap over a lot of assumptions to get to their conclusion. The truth is this; an economy cannot escape the 'middle income trap' without a decent % of graduates within the economy; for they are the ones who a) drive intensive growth, b) provide a decent domestic market and c) provide political stability within democratic regimes. However, further education alone doesn't drive this; they need to be a) the 'right' kinds of grads and b) have the abilities to make use of their skills-base afterwards. This is often the failure of the mid-income nation (such as Egypt) - they produced the graduates, but didn't put in the other material factors to allow the country to harness the human capital they've invested or apparently even directed the investment to fit the demands of the society.
Tabarrok commits perhaps the cardinal sin of economists; that in assuming the uber-rational 'economic person' exists in real life. Now, a person may think 'I'll take X degree and that leads to Y career and then rake in the money' but very few lay it out akin to writing a business proposal for investment. Which is the problem with the original assumption - if the state is not recouping a positive 'return' on it's investments in further education, it's quite possible that it's simply not very good at getting it's cut, not that there is no cut to get.
They also totally ignore the simple fact that in many situations, the organisation which is 'denying' the state it's cut on further education is... the state. Simply put, the state (in various guises) often employs many graduates below their 'production value', such as teachers and civil servants. In this case, it's a kind of accounting move; the state has lower wage bills, but at the cost of lower tax receipts and (more fuzzily) lower general economic activity. This 'leakage' becomes even more pronounced by the graduates who shall be chronically 'underpaid' (when the costs of education are factored in) by the private sector.
The above posters nail the problems simply; that the American further education system is utterly disfunctional as a model. Let's look at it in a nutshell; the university 'sells' degrees of usually unknown 'value' and has almost no blowback regarding later actual value (or lack of it). All the risk costs are carried by the consumer themselves or the state as the guarantor of the tutition debt. There is no economic penalties for the university selling massively overvalued products or in private banks lending to pay for them. It's the worst of both worlds.
And I kinda agree (*gasp*) with the suggestion of the right-libertarians like at FEE in running the chain of student debt through the nose-ring of universities. The day they realise if their promises of six-figure graduate careers don't pay out they will have to settle the debt... well, it would be revolutionary. (If you'd like to be truly evil, also shift the costs of the Federal Pell Grants onto the colleges too). KarmaPolice (talk) 07:52, 6 October 2022 (UTC)
All I know is that I was lucky not to have as much student loan debt as most people do, and like a sucker I was financially responsible and paid all mine off according to the terms I agreed to. I only have limited sympathy for people who claim to be drowning in student loan debt (like my three siblings, who make plenty enough to be able to afford their payments but love bitching about it); it's not like amortization tables are some super secret code, the numbers are there if you take a few minutes to punch them in. I certainly agree with KarmaPolice about putting colleges on the hook for their graduation failures, to be sure, that's a pretty common sense solution, and I'm also definitely good with lowering interest rates to something more in line with mortgages. Plus, fund community colleges with their lower tuitions; I went through both high school and my first two years of college at them, and though it didn't end up helping me all that much a lot of similarly situated people without The Big A would really get a good head start. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 01:55, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, but there's plenty of graduates where their degree didn't economically pay off re: work. I don't know much about the American employment situation, but here in the UK there's plenty where the pay doesn't cover their 'cost of production'. And this cannot be completely the blame of the graduates themselves; what with the huge pro-university propaganda peddled by schools and so on.
America could take a leaf out of the British (well, English) book here; what with our student loans. Issued by a state-owned company, (traditionally) the interest rate was inflation-only, repayment rates scaled for income and full debt forgiveness at age 65. Now, we can dick about regarding the T&Cs but ultimately it's functionally a graduate tax slanted to capture the economic premium gained. I would also look to put this system for other further education, such as vocational training. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:16, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
I would like to thank kp for bringing up the propaganda point. Most of these debates circle back to "you shouldn't get what you can't pay for" which ignores how most kids are taught that going from high school to college as quick as you can is the only path to a decent life. Growing up as a..."zoomer" the cultural environment was something like "if you can't start college within two years of graduating high school you may as well just hang yourself because you are going to be an unemployable parasite for the rest of your life." I didn't bankrupt myself in the end but I can see why other people would.-Flandres (talk) 15:12, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
I do wonder why worrying about student debt for going to college and university is almost exclusively an American issue? Hm... Jokes aside, this should not be a debate. Plenty of valuable diplomas and degrees cannot pay themselves back financially. You can get a master's degree or even a PhD in a specific field, and then simply not find employment because there's so much competition in said field. I'll say, personally, that the cultural environment and pressures to "GO TO COLLEGE OR END UP HOMELESS" are very real. And by the way, the viewpoint that "only the middle class go to college" is complete bullshit. Poor people go to college too, they just go to college with money they don't have, and they end up in debt. The people most supported by student debt forgiveness are not your caricature of the "middle class college student", they are poor, economically struggling people that got screwed over because the only way they could afford to go to college was by taking out a loan. Your tax dollars pay for the economic relief of people in similar financial situations to YOU. If these "middle class" college students aren't struggling financially, why did they take out a loan in the first place? Why are they struggling to pay back the loan they took out without government assistance? "Personal responsibility?". ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:45, 7 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── For the record, I never said that the government shouldn’t spend money on higher education. Of course it should. That doesn’t change the fact that it is, in fact, a regressive policy. When the government invest one buck on a child, it will receive 6 dollars back when this children is an adult. That’s about 13% a year, better than any other investment I’m aware of. Now, the average tuition loan is around 32 k.

Who’s going to pay for your tuition? The tax wedge in US is of 30k. The government spends around 10% of its budget in education. In other words, you’ll have to pay 960 k in your lifetime just to break even (though you’re supposed to pay only 480 k). And I’m mixing local and federal government budgets, the result would be a lot worse if the federal government assumes the entire debt. Again, who’s going to pay for all this money? Those that didn't go to college are paying for your education. Do you think this is fair? I honestly don't.

If you guys want study on the Heckman Equation, I suggest this one:

https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w16201/w16201.pdf GeeJayK (talk) 21:20, 7 October 2022 (UTC)

Who's gonna pay for it? To answer that, I want you to think about why you pay taxes, and what you want your tax dollars spent on. Tax dollars are spent (ideally) on social services and programs that help society as a whole. Saying "those that didn't go to college will pay for it, so it's unfair" is as asinine an argument against the government paying for higher education as it is for healthcare. Would you be saying "those that didn't get healthcare will be paying for it, so it's unfair" as an actual argument? Of course not, because such a statement is idiotic and makes no sense. I won't get particularly pissy if I pay more in taxes so my society can have a more educated population as a whole. We're in this together. You do not want your taxes spent on making sure more of your society is educated and has the opportunity to go to college? For what reason, because you don't want to pay more in taxes to help someone else living in the same society as you do? ---Ozzyboo (talk) 21:39, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
So, do you believe that poor people should pay for your education? Don't you think it's better to invest in alternative policies that affects the poor, not otherwise?
Also, since Karma mentioned multipliers, this article argues: "Dynamic complementarity, self-productivity of human capital, and multiplier effects imply an equity-efficiency trade-off for late child investments but not for early investments."
And while I'd agree that the American further education has it's problems, I wouldn't call it "utterly disfunctional" at all. America has 10 out of the 12 best colleges in the world. Tuition-free Germany has 3 on the top 100. GeeJayK (talk) 21:47, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
@Ozzyboo Paying taxes is not the issue here. Where the money is going is. I believe in consequentialism. What is better, a healthcare policy that saves thousands of lifes, or a healthcare that saves only one. Because by forgiving college loans you are spending less money on other areas of education that yes, do matter more. GeeJayK (talk) 21:50, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
@GeeJayK Right, and I believe that spending money on education so more people have the option to go to college (resulting in a higher rate of education) is a good thing DESPITE the negatives. Unless you can make the argument that the consequential results of having less people go to college are better as a whole, you cannot make a consequential argument for your position. I, on the other hand, can. Having more of the population with a college education results in more contributions to the economy in the long term. Even disregarding the fact that having an educated population is undeniably a good thing. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 21:56, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
So, do you have any study to back your claims? Because I posted at least three (and I can post at least a three others). Again, of course the government should spend on higher education, as it does. The problem is how the money will be mostly spent. On a regressive policy where those who didn't go to college pay for those that go or on policies that actually help society? The whole point here is one specifif policy (forgiving or not loans). Almost 5% of the American population is classified as "functionally illiterate". Do you see the problem here? By forgiving loans, you're denying these people the right to learn how to read and write, as by picking one policy you're not picking another one. GeeJayK (talk) 22:03, 7 October 2022 (UTC)
I actually agree with GeeJayK. The Wikipedia article "Literacy in the United StatesWikipedia" says "the United States could increase its annual GDP by 10%, adding $2.2 trillion in annual income, by enabling greater literacy for the 54% of Americans reading below a sixth-grade level nationwide." We should invest more in basic education rather than post-secondary education. And if we invest a real lot of money, we can make bilingualism more common in our society and boost the GDP even further. Young children learn languages a lot easier than adults. "MultilingualismWikipedia" says "Switzerland's GDP is augmented by 10% by multilingualism." LongStylus (talk) 01:07, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That makes sense. Coming from someone that speaks English as a second language, I always found weird in my trips to English-speaking country how people could only speak one language there. GeeJayK (talk) 01:53, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

Why does it have to be one or the other, why couldn't there be investment into both? It's not as if there isn't other areas in the federal budget you could cut into to increase the pool for investment at all levels of education. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:25, 8 October 2022 (UTC).
That's actually an important point. To answer your question, as I've said a before, I do believe that the government should spend on higher education. My problem is with the specific policy of student loan forgiveness since, as I said, it's a regressive policy that, on average, takes money from the poor and gives to the rich. GeeJayK (talk) 02:29, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
In that case why not restrict loan forgiveness only for low to moderate earners and raise taxes on the higher earners? It seems only a problem if we decide to just blanket forgive all student loans without consideration to economic background. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:18, 8 October 2022 (UTC).
I actually thought about this possibility too. While this would be a far better option, we still have some shortcomings, such as the problem regarding the incentives I've mentioned. GeeJayK (talk) 03:24, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
The irony with the 'get to university or you've fucked up for life' mantra is that it's pretty obsolete a few of our worklives. The old view was that you'd get 'an education', which would give you 'a career' which you'd work in until retirement. Outside of a few specialities (say, medicine) the majority of folks won't follow this (in fact, a lot of people 'then' didn't follow this). We are projected to have longer work-lives, unscheduled career changes, more frequent work-breaks (caring or illness) and lastly, technological obsolescence of our skill/knowledge bases – and this one is going to get worse as we adjust to a future (or even a present) where many of the workforce are older.
This new paradigm for this new world is that of continuous learning. This is revolutionary not just for further education, but education in general; schools must teach less feats of memory, more on the skills to think, reason and learn. And further education needs to shift too.
I was considering the ramifications of my 'student debt chain through university nose-rings' yesterday, and came to conclusion; doing this gives the university a vested interest in helping their students succeed in their careers – something which despite the guff given, any uni grad knows doesn't really happen. Even more interestingly, it means the university has a long-term relationship with their alumni (and more than simply trying to tap them for donations) – after all, basically the university has *partnered* with the individual for their whole working lives.
Gee, when I said American eduaction was 'completely disfunctional', I meant *as a market*. Educationally, it seems to perform well enough, though I have some doubts for rankings (one, American universities skim off a lot of first-rate international students and two, they perform a lot of R&D stuff which in say Germany is hived off into research institutes etc which don't get ranked). I also have doubts the rankings miss key points, like their general societal utility (I mean, does America need more lawyers?). Lastly, there's the question on whether for the majority of Americans, the current university model actually works – for example, when compared to distance learning, modular continuous education or vocational. I cannot comment about the USA on this, but here in the UK a lot of employers merely see a arts/humanities degree as a kind of 'intelligence test'; perhaps we could look into providing a cheaper alternative to show them?
One aspect about costing we need to remember is to divide the living costs from educational. While many university towns have inflated living costs, those students would have those costs even if not studying (as they are alive). We also need to remember that for different persons the options are different; for example, some students will not have a 'family home' they could live at near-free instead of being in student-land. So to reach a more accurate figure, we should subtract those costs before working out the real cost of their sheepskin.
Dumb; I think your suggestion works best as the 'English Student Loans' model – it avoids simply taxing higher earners who didn't go as the same as those who did. Here is a at a glance view of the 'English model' which I think could be rolled-out to the USA without too much bother (well, save the political). KarmaPolice (talk) 05:46, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── How about we just abolish this inhumane, exploitative, and murderous system of Capitalism and make education totally free? In the Soviet Union, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, People's Socialist Republic of Albania, German Democratic Republic, and Cuba, education is/was totally free, with very little taxes as well. Wisconcom (talk) 14:03, 9 October 2022 (UTC)

You are seriously going to those countries as your examples to follow? Has Poe joined us?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:05, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Comrade, [insert shithole here] is a glorious worker's paradise! (You don't want the Stasi to hear you, do ya?) Vee (talk) 20:09, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
That being said, they have a point regarding education being free. It should certainly be at least affordable, and not everyone can afford an education. K-12 education is compulsory, and free, so why can't we make higher education similarly free? You may claim it to be a "privilege" to get one, but far too often people too poor to afford an education are relegated to the lower classes. If they're particularly lucky (which is unlikely in today's economy) they can find a well paying job with good job security, otherwise, I don't think I need to explain what poverty is like. (And even then, having a degree isn't a guarantee you're going to make enough money to "responsibly" pay off the crippling debt you've received for what in other countries is completely free). Vee (talk) 20:45, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Though education is/was not 'free' in those countries, Wiscon - merely that others paid for it. In the case of command economies such as the USSR, the costs were paid for out of the state budget, which in the case of the USSR was mainly balanced by 'profits' from enterprise sales. What's more a) the numbers of university spaces were tailored to 'fit' the demands of the economy (as stated by the Plan) and b) graduates had to 'work off' their education by a mandatory first work placement (which was often in a crap location). What's more, a lot of state enterprises had relationships with further education facilities which meant some students were quite literally being paid to study by their work, and had similar 'handcuffs' like other graduates (ie had to stay with that employer X years to pay back the support).
It's this issue which directly led to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The vast majority of the East Germans fleeing were young and well-educated - ie the very people the East German state had 'invested' in with free education and was seeing them leave before they'd recouped the investment. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:37, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

Crimean bridge destroyed[edit]

Russia-Ukraine war live: three killed as huge explosion causes key Crimea-Russia road bridge to collapse

Good riddance. Nice to see that monstrosity partly destroyed. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 12:51, 8 October 2022 (UTC)

As the joke goes, it wasn't an explosion. It was a special fireworks operation, on the day after Putin's 70th birthday.
It is not clear whether the car or truck bomb explanation, from Russia, will hold up. Another idea from some commentators is that the explosion may have been prepared from below, by Ukrainian operatives traveling the sea undetected. Supposedly the large size and the shape of the blast point to that, which could be the case. That second explanation would be more embarrassing for Russia, as it would mean a larger failure of vigilance in the area on their part. (There's also even more possibilities, of course.)
Either way, it also seems like good timing for Ukraine if (probably the case) they want to keep the counteroffensive going at a high pace for some time ahead. It's an obvious step to limit inflow of troops and equipment from Russia. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 20:10, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
This is a very good step for Ukraine. Andrew5 (talk) 21:13, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
[EC] There's a counterargument (to the alternative explanation I mentioned, which is presented here), which is that a blast from below would very likely have been prevented, by the bridge it hit, from reaching beyond it to impact the train diagonally above which also went aflame. That's according to a Swedish ballistics expert who (in Swedish) points to a particular truck as probably having been loaded with 10-30 tons of explosives. It seems like a suicide bombing, which may or may not have simply used a hijacked transport of a type which Russia often needs. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 21:25, 8 October 2022 (UTC)
May have been a cargo which was planted onto that lorry - drivers generally don't question their loads and Russia is corrupt as hell...
Anyway, updates;
1 - The bridge was not 'destroyed', seemingly only partly damaged. The road side is (apparently) still able to take lighter vehicles. Rail seems to be a knockout though. This means that for now, it may be passable for cars and vans, but not say lorries, tankers and tanks/IFVs...
2 - It was a legitimate military target; it was the main land supply route to Crimea from Russia proper which was out of any risk (heh heh) of Ukranian forces. That stuff will now have to go by land via Mariupol (unsafe, overloaded already), sea to a Crimean port (slower, less capacity) or air (much less capacity).
3 - Ukraine has accepted responsibility for the attack.
KarmaPolice (talk) 00:08, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
The timing, waiting for the opportune moment when that train with fuel was also within reach, makes a suicide bomber seem more likely. It would at any rate require real-time monitoring and triggering for that to be more than a chance event. The ballistics guy also made the point that the explosive cargo, too -- except the detonator used to trigger the blast -- may have been part of a shipment from Russia. In other words, stealing the truck or bribing someone to hand it over may have brought the explosives. Further he claims that the color of the smoke (white, not black) suggested a "civilian explosive" such as dynamite or similar, which would also be used and brought in a lot by the Russian army for their own purposes.
It seems like vehicle traffic now goes in one direction at a time, in the remaining half of those parts of the bridge. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 06:22, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
That effect could have been generated by a long range radio/phone controlled detonator and watching CCTV - the only way we are sure it didn't happen is via missile/drone strike (at least, according to the British explosives guy I heard). If the main charge was actually Russian, it suggests incompetence and/or mass complacency because security protocol should have said each load shouldn't be enough to cause that much damage by itself or if it couldn't be helped, should be escorted.
Though it is possible that the bridge is in fact, simply not up to the strengths it should be (so it *should* have held up, but didn't). I do vaguely remember hearing about problems with it during construction, and it's possble due to the endemic, chronic corruption and cronyism within Russia it used substandard materials and/or they cut corners. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:49, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Video taken frame by frame shows that none of the vehicles in the video were the source of the explosion - the flash can be seen at the bottom of a frame where all the vehicles are still visible. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:25, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
No. That video is literally a video of a CCTV video playing on a monitor. It's more likely the camera has captured half of one frame and then half the next (white) frame. Namako (talk) 00:43, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Given that we are all pretty sure that Russia blew up its own pipeline for reasons that that are not entirely clear, I wonder if the bridge attack could also have been a Russian attack. A false flag operation in order to excuse their current attacks on civilian targets. OK, I know that Russia needs no excuse to commit barbaric acts, and that blowing up their own strategic bridge would be a weird thing to do. I'm also not saying that I believe this to be the case (I don't), I just wanted to put the idea out.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:28, 10 October 2022 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Russia has seemingly responded to the "attack" with dozens of missile strikes on Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv. If this was a false flag attack, it would've been the perfect excuse to launch a missile barrage. Vee (talk) 14:14, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

The main thing that makes it seem very unlikely is that it is a very big setback for Putin personally, tarnishing his image and approval on the side which includes the nationalist pro-war milbloggers, who he's been trying to placate and get friendly with recently. (Putin is afraid of too much disapproval from warmongering fanatics, and seems generally very risk-averse about losing control within the country, while likely still painting himself into a corner.) By contrast, Putin didn't lose face over the pipeline explosions, and those didn't pose any threat to the future stability of his reign. Now the new round of attacks on Ukrainian civilians seem like a stopgap "look, we're doing something" response to the recent criticism Putin has got for being too silent, not doing enough, and no longer seeming as good a leader to rally behind. They go for civilians whenever they can't do something that actually matters militarily. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 14:48, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
I heavily doubt this is a false flag, even if Putin has a track record of doing them. Realistically speaking, this is probably the biggest setback Russia has been hit with so far. Completely destroying all rail access through Crimea is a massive win for Ukraine, and completely destroys whatever middling chance Russia had at building a functioning logistics system. Putin had many alternatives if he wanted to do a false flag to justify his escalation of war. Why would he stop at the Crimea bridge? Blow up the fucking Kremlin at that point. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:16, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Hence why I said if. I only included that latter portion as an acknowledgement of Bob's post. If anything, I was confused, because elsewhere in the thread it was said that the Ukraine acknowledged responsibility for the attack, which does seem to exclude the possibility of it being a false flag attack. Granted, Kyiv could be lying, but I don't see why they would. Vee (talk) 16:20, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Kind of, Ukrainian representatives by then had made very suggestive remarks, to the point of practically confessing, but never directly said "we did it".
On rail, it appears that part of the bridge wasn't too heavily damaged despite looking burned, and Russia resumed rail traffic fairly quickly, which reduces the impact of the attack. It still does some to limit Russian transports, but the biggest impact may be the large psychological blow to the Russian government. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 16:55, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Well, ain't that a shame... Vee (talk) 16:58, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Two lanes for vehicles were destroyed, and the trains are only going one direction and aren't loaded with military equipment. The strike did it's job, Russian logistics will be even more hobbled.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:40, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Hard Rock Nick[edit]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRq5xXYQEQc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wULSaL-w_ng

First vid was recommended to me for... some reason...

I haven't fully watched the second video yet, but this guy sounds like a discount Andrew Tate. Anyone else heard of this guy? He sounds on mission for RW. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 15:13, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

Youtube keeps recommending me stupid shit too. Especially crank videos with only a couple hundred views. The algorithm is an idiot. Vee (talk) 15:22, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Any chance we can not start embedding youtube videos here? It got quite insufferable some time back when an emotionally delicate editor repeatedly posted videos. (might have coincided with cans being opened at the time.) Cardinal Chang (talk) 15:52, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Seconded. Please just hyperlinks. Semipenultimate (talk) 16:10, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

Oliver Smith fanboy: "But I thought this was supposed to be RATIONALWiki!" Drink![edit]

24 hours and I'll finally be 30[edit]

I honestly don't know how should I feel... 00:12, 9 October 2022 (UTC)

I'm not you, but to me a birthday is just a number to mark the inexorable march of time and entropy. Live your life to the fullest, if only to enjoy what time you do have here on this mortal plane, but again, you're not me. Alduin (talk) 00:16, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
In fairness, you are already in your 30th year. Your birthday is the end of that year, not the beginning. And since you were born on your birthday, tomorrow is actually your 31st birthday. CorruptUser 01:42, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Age is just a number. Furthermore, base 10 is overrated. In base 12, arguably a better numbering system, you will be 26 years old! LongStylus (talk) 01:59, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Four days ago I was finally 60. I feel the same as I did when I was 59. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 02:08, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
In slightly more than one month, I shall reach 65. And no. It doesn't really improve things. Kencolt (talk) 15:00, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Does that make you the oldest editor on RW? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 16:51, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Well, I'd scarcely call myself an editor, a commentator mostly, and probably not, merely old. Ish. Kencolt (talk) 20:57, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
From personal experience, arbitary dates/milestones don't really mean much; it's the personal ones which do. For example, 34 was one which hit me; a parent died at 68, which meant it was quite possible that I was exactly halfway through my existence. If turning 30 arouses no feelings in you, than it's simply a date. Society (esp media) is full of BS on 'how you should feel' on particular things and almost tactily brands you a freak or similar if you don't conform to them. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:01, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Could be worse, could be the world Logan's Run was set on. Truthfully, though, don't be stressing about what you should or shouldn't feel. Enjoy it. Life's short enough, enjoy it while you can. Cardinal Chang (talk) 21:02, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
I'll be 42 this year. I am thus far enjoying my 40's because you know enough to be cynical about everything and realise just how little fucks you have for other peoples bullshit. Acei9 22:22, 9 October 2022 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. Also, fun fact. I was born on tenth of October, at 10 O'clock. That's 3 times 10. GeeJayK (talk) 00:14, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
In base 12, that would be 3 times A. And A is the highest grade. See, everything is better in base 12. LongStylus (talk) 00:25, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
I'll be 72 in November. Good luck to you all.Ariel31459 (talk) 00:32, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── To put some humor into an otherwise serious subject, you could try harvesting the blood of the young like some billionaires are doing. Vee (talk) 17:37, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

@LongStylus Your comment would be true in any base base 11 and above, up to the highest base (36). Also, my birthday was actually last Tuesday. Andrew5 (talk) 20:26, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
mine is on the 11th, which is technically today. (it's still the 10th where i am, though.) G Man (talk) 02:02, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Just kind of strange that I'm one of the younger editors, at least one of the younger ones to pipe in. I'm 27 right now. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 04:09, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
@Andrew5 Base64Wikipedia is higher. Also, there is no "highest base". There's infinitely many numbering systems; you can even do base 999,999,999. The problem would be assigning a unique symbol to each of the 999,999,999 digits in such a system. I emphasize base 12 because 12 is divisible by more numbers than 10: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12. 10 only has 1, 2, 5, 10 as divisors. So numbers like 1/3 would give a terminating fraction (0.4) in base 12 but wouldn' t in base 10 (0.333...) Oh, and also my comment was a follow-up to the first comment I made, where I said GeeJayK would be 26 years old in base 12 instead of 30 years old in base 10, making him "younger". Checkmate! LongStylus (talk) 04:33, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
@LongStylusi think you meant terminating decimal, right?
@LeftyGreenMariowell, you're certainly one of the younger mods, but believe it or not, i'm actually younger than you. G Man (talk) 04:48, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah certainly, I'm not the youngest here. There are a few people around my age, and I think we had a 16 year old at one point. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 04:57, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I avoided using the word "decimal" because "deci" means 10, but we're referring to a base 12 counting system. Perhaps terminating duodecimal would be a better phrase. LongStylus (talk) 04:58, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Guess I'm the only kid here at 19 years old. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 12:52, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I'm 21, if that helps. Vee (talk) 13:01, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Babylonians used Base 60, which is 2*2*3*5 so it can be divided in 12 different ways (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 60). Degrees go in 360 because it's 2*2*2*3*3*5, so it's divisible in 24 ways (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 40, 45, 60, 72, 90, 120, 180, 360). Base 10 is only 4 ways (1, 2, 5, 10). CorruptUser 16:00, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
5,040 has 60 factors. Perhaps we should use that? Andrew5 (talk) 01:03, 14 October 2022 (UTC)

Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day!!![edit]

I just now realized this day was the holiday. Also, a hell of a sight better name and reason to celebrate rather than that genocidal colonizer. Vee (talk) 18:40, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

INB4 this gets derailed by "colombus wasn't that bad, actually." talking points. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 18:42, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
Get to post this https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html before the Mary Grabar fans pipe in. Cardinal Chang (talk) 20:09, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
all right, i'll bite: columbus really wasn't that bad... but he wasn't that great, either. he was merely a product of his time. he also set the stage for the age of exploration, which long story short, is the reason we are here today (for those of you who live in the americas).
i myself am a descendant of indigenous south americans. this whole "columbus the villain" narrative is way overblown. again, i'm not saying he was a good guy; he was really just a product of his time. this "colonizer" meme really bothers me because it reveals a profound ignorance of world/human history. after all, it's worth noting that imperialism and colonialism define human history, so much so that they didn't really fall out of fashion until relatively recently. we even have an article on it.
anyway, here's a more moderate take on columbus (one which helped shape my own views). and no, this isn't some alt-right youtuber; this guy also debunks holocaust denial, race pseudohistory in the united states, lost cause myths, and an assortment of other ahistorical nonsense. watch it. it'll be well worth your time. G Man (talk) 22:52, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
to add to my previous post, here's a follow-up video to the first one about columbus by the same youtuber. a lot of people misunderstood him, so he clarified a few things. the premise still stands; columbus wasn't exactly a great person, but neither were many of his contemporaries who made history during that time. G Man (talk) 23:08, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
The reason so many people single out Columbus specifically is because of what he represents. It has less to do with the man himself, and more with the celebration of what he brought about. Vee (talk) 23:12, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
It's also worth noting that the very worst of the allegations were from the accounts of Francisco Bobadilla... who just so happened to be the guy who would inherit the title of Governor of the Indies if Columbus were to be moved out of the way. So while Columbus was a self-absorbed twat for various other reasons, well, you should be critical of the information that sounds like something you want to hear. CorruptUser 23:14, 10 October 2022 (UTC)
”product of his time” arguments admit a kind of moral relativism that contradicts any evaluation as being good or bad as a matter of fact (since that sort of implies a standard of evaluation can exist independently of time and culture). It really doesn’t make sense to appeal to a cultural/historical relativism to conclude a factual moral status to a person. Also can we refrain of making indigenous people day all about the status of one European and instead celebrate indigenous people, their value, and their diverse cultures instead? Why is indigenous peoples day so often not focused on indigenous people? — Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:43, 10 October 2022 (UTC).
it's also worth noting how easy it is to judge those who lived in the past by 21st century standards. it's only human to think this way. most people alive today wouldn't find people like ivan the terrible, henry viii, or christopher columbus so reviling if they lived in their time (when there really weren't many better leaders during that era). the realities of the past were different from those of the present. i mean, no one judges people in the past who seriously believed the earth was the center of the universe for thousands of years based on our 21st century knowledge of astronomy, right?
i agree with everything else you said, though. making indigenous day coincide with someone who wasn't particularly nice to indigenous people is insulting to indigenous people. G Man (talk) 00:10, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
"Product of their time" is often itself a product of our biases about the past. Columbus had plenty of critics in his day, and it's also used to excuse the Founding Fathers having slaves when there were abolitionists back then. Would we call Adolf Hitler a product of his time, since many people supported him and there were others doing similar things like the Ustaše? "Product of their time" just isn't a useful way of looking at history since it removes all nuance of the views people held in historical times. Plutocow (talk) 00:38, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
sigh you went there, didn't you? but otherwise, you make a fair point. G Man (talk) 01:33, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
The very first abolitionist society in the US was founded in 1775. Abolition was very much a fringe concept during the early days of the Revolution, though it should be noted that it was a certain French teenager/general by the name of Marquis de Lafayette managed to convince George Washington about some ideas regarding the concept, as well as Washington's personal slave/butler/manservant/confidant William Lee being a bit of major influence. Washington, for his part, did try to limit some of the worst abuses of slavery, namely the slave trade and the splitting of families. Washington was unable to free most of his slaves for reasons that are a bit more complex than "he would've lost money", namely that most of his slaves were "dowager slaves" he acquired when he married Martha and thus not his to free, and that the US was very much in a precarious situation and Washington freeing his slaves would've royally pissed off the South.
"Product of their times" doesn't mean "oh, everyone was bad back then so stop whining", but that the best metric for people's virtue is how much they've changed society for the better or worse, not what they were at the time. Even today, we eat meat because it's so tasty, but in 100 years when vat-grown beef is all anyone has ever known, they'll view us as monsters. CorruptUser 02:30, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Good post! G Man (talk) 02:52, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I have a somewhat different take on "product of their times", and the value of morality, though it ties into what Cory mentioned. Most morals for most people are passively absorbed and then expressed as a reflection of whatever "the times" are, not chosen consciously or struggled towards by the individual. Thus, their value is external to the person, not part of some kind of firmer character more inseparable from the person. It is merely by chance that most people end up doing good or bad most of the time, thus there is nothing to praise and nothing to condemn in it. By contrast, some people care a lot about some things and the striving for it is tied to their existential journey, and then there actually exists something to praise or condemn. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 05:01, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
i would also like to expound upon my argument that our definition of morality is subject to our biases. keep in mind that everything that i'm about to say is anecdotal.
from my experience, our understanding of morality in history is shaped by political views. i've mostly seen people glorify such civilizations as ancient egypt, persia, rome, greece, and a host of others, even though people did bad things in those places and times, also (they all practiced slavery, for instance). you'd be right to assume that the contemporaries of said societies decried the bad things that those societies did. however, those of us living in the present tend not to care because they happened so long ago. i only ever hear positive attributes of such empires as the roman empire or the han dynasty while the morally questionable things they did tend to be brushed over -- as if the outrage became lost to time and everything were picture perfect all along.
as we get closer to the present, however, we start assigning our standards of morality on past civilizations, and again, this largely depends on our political or personal views. for instance, the right will decry the rapid spread of islam through conquest in its early years to "prove" that it is an evil religion (even though their favorite kingdoms and empires of the past, christian or otherwise, were no better). the left will claim that columbus should have never initiated the age of exploration or done the things he did to the indigenous americans, even though other imperialists did more or less the same thing. again, there's a sort of double standard that people hold where only their favorite civilizations can do bad things (at least from my observation). G Man (talk) 03:28, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
you only used to hear good things about the roman empire or classical greek civilisation thanks to the enlightenment. the romans were seen as a force civilising the barbarians of under pax romana, bringing infrastructure and architecture that still survives today throughout the span of its empire, while the greeks are credited with the inventing maths, science, philosophy, and pretty much the western world. them both combined were viewed as the pinancle of of reason and rationality as europe came out of the medieval period and rediscovered greek and roman texts that enlightenment thinkers could further gains from. roman and greek ideas lost since their empires collapsed in the dark ages. and then as a new age of empire and colonialism arose, they provided the inspiration and rationalisation of the 'civilisaing' of these new empires. the british empire particularly. there are a fair few countries that have a foundation myth involving romans (or trojans, who the romans lay claim to have been founded by) being the founders. on the greek side, alexander the great is viewed as doing much the same but in an eastward direction. and lets not forget religion. constantine and the romans brought an obscure middle eastern cult to prominence in europe. the slavery and the brutality of the romans were not a issue - slavery was still a thing and about to go into overdrive, and brutality - a necessary evil in taming the savages, bringing them civilisation and christ. and we know next to nothing of the peoples conquered by the romans in comparison, before and after roman rule - the tragedy of these peoples in this conrtext is that roman rule did not last.
its no surprise that a classical education was the education of the western elites since the enlightenment - look at boris johnson for a prime example (and its uselessness to modern governments). its no surprise latin and greek is used so much in science and medicine. greece and rome are still today held up many (ask 'what have the romans done for us' and you get a long list of accomplishments in any answer) as the pinancle of civilisation, the ideal. islam by contrast, despite contributions to science and maths and medicine, is seen as an alien other, a primitive and savage threat to the ideals of western civilisation. the last vestiges of the roman empire, the byzantine empire, was ended by the ottomans and their empire, sparking centuries of near constant warfare between east and west, christians against muslims. unlike the roman empire, the ottoman empire only recently collapsed, and the conflict between east and western is still going strong in one way or another.
but the ancient world provides not just inspiration for fledgling empires, it provides inspiration for we view the loss of empires. much like the idealised view of the roman and greek civilisations as a golden age whose accomplishments and ideals has us taken us centuries to rediscover, we view our recently lost empires in our post colonial world with a similarly idealised view, where we ignore, or deny, the brutality that underpins empire, and stake claims to a greater good, of bring civilsation and christ to world, like the romans did for us. and we use the loss of empires like the loss of golden age, as if we are in a new dark age - look at africa decolonisation and you see an africa that reverted to the barbarism as our enlightened occupation ended before these new nations of children were not ready. look at immigration in to europe post war and more recently the on going refugee crisis and we see barbarian at the gates of western civilisation. whether it is the british empire, or the french, or a soviet one, we look back at our empires and see the good old days, when there was not so many immigrants making us feel like foreigners in our lands and we wonder wouldnt it be good if we turned back the clock when our countries were great again?
this nostalgia, this rose tinted view of the past, with implicit and explicit racism, is invoked often in times of crisis or national insecurity. it is invoked effectively too, far far too many times. and more often than not, it is divisive, even when employed to unite the entire country through some notion shared ideals, significant sections of society, whole communities, will find themselves excluded and scapegoated, and we fail to move out of the long shadow of empire. its almost cliche to say if we dont learn from history we are doomed to repeat it, but here we are. where once we looked at ancient ruins and marvelled at the civwith us ilisation that created these monuments that survived a millennia, we look at statues of slavers and brutal imperialists and it makes us proud of our accomplishments. denying their less than glorious histories while accusing everyone questioning said statues as being against history, and the victims of our empires are now living alongside us and should thank us for...something. history repeats it seems.
i have in my mind the uk and the defunct british empire while writing this, but anywhere that once had an empire of some description would fit the bill. its probably true to some extant in parts that where colonised and not the coloniser. its probably true wherever people remember the good old days and whatever that means for them, and will be exploited by some or all for good and for evil. at least the romans are so long ago in the past their atrocities of empire and its victims are also so long ago in the past that it leaves no still open wounds or scabs to pick at. the same cannot be said about the age of colonisation and the empires that it thrust upon the world. we can see a direct unbroken line between then and now, and the ways in which we divide the world today correspond largely to who was once coloniser and who was colonised. wounds are still very much open. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:25, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
In regards to Africa reverting to barbarism, basically, it's not clear whether the Euros or Africans were more to blame. While the various African civilizations and tribes were still in the iron age, Europe had no interest in any sort of "uplifting"; Europe wanted Africans only doing the menial but necessary hard-labor working class jobs that modern industries depended upon. But society needs highly skilled labor to run power plants, repair machinery, modern farming techniques, and so on, which was done by a combination of Indian guest-workers and European colonists. The local Africans often saw the Indians not as fellow third-worlders who were also oppressed in their own way by the Euros, but as tools of oppression. When the colonial empires fell apart, nation after nation expelled not just the Euros but the Indians as well. The problem was, the Africans didn't have those skills. With no one to repair the machinery or run the power plants, well, the results are what they are. CorruptUser 13:24, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Africa prior to the Scramble for Africa had been systematically depleted of manpower for centuries. West Africa especially was just not allowed to develop on its own terms. The tendrils of colonialism run deep. I'm not sure that victim blaming is the right call here. Vee (talk) 13:31, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Africa was known as "the White Man's Graveyard" for centuries. It was Quinine (cure for malaria), not the rifle, that enabled Europe to carve up Africa. Those slaves were kidnapped by other Africans and sold into slavery. Slavery was endemic in Africa as a form of punishment for various crimes, but once Europeans turned slavery into a huge money-maker for the African warlords, suddenly every minor infraction was punished with slavery. The problem was that those petty criminals were also the same people who would help out with the farming during harvest and planting, as well as take up arms for defense. The warlords had ended up collapsing their own economies and soon went to war with each other to kidnap more slaves. That doesn't absolve Euros in any bit for purchasing and holding slaves, but Africa has been fucking itself for a long time. CorruptUser 13:57, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
just to be clear, i am not say africa has or did revert to barbarism. i saying this is how some people wistful for empire portray it thus - new dark age so to speak, things getting worse without its 'civilising' effect. what did happen after decolonisation is that countries were inevitably led by people whose idea of governance was informed by how the place was governed by the colonisers - that is to say corrupt and brutal. and along with the ethnic tensions that were exploited by the colonising powers, you get strong men who are also propped up by the imperialism of different kind at arms length as pawns in the cold war. the point being people looking at an undesirable situation today and claiming people were better off when part of empire glossing over the fact it was the empire that is directly responsible for the current situation. who knows what that continent would look like today if we had allowed african nations to develop as independent nations free to there own choices good or bad. what we cannot do is wash our hands of all the failed states and dictatorships that have blighted the place since europeans left since it still suffers from our pillaging of its people and resources, and have never let them alone to grow without interference. the wounds are still open, and people in west are oblivious, some wilfully, to the responsibility of our past empires for every genocidal strongman that africa spawned. AMassiveGay (talk) 14:52, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
If you want a good perspective of Africa (and the rest of the 3rd world), I'd recommend watching The Expanse. Whereas War of the World was "conquest of Africa from African POV", The Expanse is "Cold War and War on Terror from Third World's POV". The great thing about the show is that it gets you asking questions like "why are the Belters so poor when they produce all the resources that the Inners (Earth and Mars) need", then you realize the same question can be asked about DR Congo, which is second only to the Persian Gulf in importance to the modern economy and once we get off oil it will be THE most important region on the planet. Plus, as much as I love to hate Marco "bin Laden" Inares, I also love that the show managed to demonstrate just why such a monster would have any support whatsoever. CorruptUser 15:18, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Just as a minor thing, "slavery" is one of those catch all words that describe a pretty wide range of behaviors and practices, and there is a lot of variety on a continent across centuries. But African slavery (pre-Col.E. and a while post) generally had more in common with serfdom than colonial slavery in America. David Eltis usually spends a chapter or two in each book about this. Still pretty shitty, but it's closer to the shittiness of European lords swapping hamlets or collecting new subjects than being a system that just got slightly modified and exported to the Americas. Buck (talk) 04:06, 14 October 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The strongest case anyone has about the long-term effects of colonialism is Haiti, though again their elites also don't help things in any way whatsoever. Also, having read 1001 Arabian Nights, it takes pains to distinguish between black slaves and white slaves, which is a useful reminder that the Arabs and Turks of the time were just as in on it as anyone. Hell, the most fears East African slaver during the Scramble for Africa was Tippu Tip, he wrote an autobiography so there's plenty of insight as to what was going through his mind. (Also, for the record, Indigenous People's Day sounds like a good idea but doesn't, well, exist, Columbus Day was an act of Congress and would have to be repealed as such) The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:41, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

"Ending the slave trade" was also a justification for European colonialism (never mind the fact that the European powers often collaborated with Tippu Tip, something you neglect to mention). Also, colonialism in Africa didn't end with the de jure decolonization of Africa, it just took on a newer, more subtleWikipedia form, with multinationals and soft power taking the place of direct administration and hard power. Vee (talk) 16:47, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Also, many holidays aren't federally recognized. I doubt EidWikipedia is a federally recognized holiday, after all. If anything, your contention seems to be an act of arbitrary gatekeeping. Vee (talk) 16:57, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
That Tippu Tip worked with Europeans was something I thought so obvious I wouldn't need to point it out, but yes I was aware of that. And Eid a religious holiday, while Columbus Day was explicitly created as a federal holiday as an act of the US government; religious and secular holidays are pretty fundamentally different from each other. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:29, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Regarding Tippu Tip, not everyone is going to know that. It's better to err on the side of caution than not, in my personal experience. Vee (talk) 17:38, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Ignoring the fact that "The Africans didn't do so good post colonization because they weren't as skilled as the Europeans" is an explicitly racist argument, this whole debate about moral relativism is stupid. Relatively speaking, Hitler was a cool guy to white Germans in 1939, does that mean we should have a Hitler Day in Germany to celebrate Hitler's accomplishments? No, obviously not. We need to apply present-day morality to history to learn from it. No one is denying the fact that Colombus didn't think he did anything wrong, or arguing that his actions were uniquely terrible. The issue comes from the celebration of Colombus, the renovation of his legacy, the whitewashing of his horrible actions through wishy-washy arguments about moral relativism or "changing history". We are not changing history, what Colombus did is objective fact, we are changing how people look at history. We should not apply moral relativism beyond seeking to understand one's actions. Moral relativism is only useful if you want to understand why someone did something, it is not an excuse for behavior, nor a justification, or a way to dismiss critique of historical figures. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 17:47, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Indeed, as I pointed out above, the issue with the celebration of Columbus is what that celebration represents: the veneration of white supremacy and settler colonialism. Also, Columbus was even for his time regarded as a piece of shit. Vee (talk) 18:02, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I think it’s ironic too in some ways for folks like G to shame people as historically ignorant for calling the colonialist era as characterized by immorality when the facts of history themselves don’t dictate what is or isn’t moral. That’s the is/ought fallacy in a nutshell, and it’s hypocritical as well to appeal to this historical relativism to make moral evaluation of colonial figures as “not being that bad”. By principle I take cultural genocide, rape, racism, and slavery as always objectionable as anything else simply is apologia not being “historically enlightened” - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:58, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

@G Man that “knowing better” video has been debunked by native Spanish speakers and historians btw and is not at all a “moderate take”. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:01, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

Social rules are created by humans (though not always by human design, the British common law being once a good example at how order can be created without legislation). There is nothing natural about saying that slavery is immoral, people had to rationalize it somehow. Blaming the Romans for slavery is blantant presentism. GeeJayK (talk) 00:12, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
The point being people still suffered. One could just as easily claim that we can't judge the people who committed the Holodomor or the Holocaust because morality and human rights are also social constructs. Vee (talk) 00:58, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC) IMO the problem with this comparison is that we already knew that genocides were immoral when the Holocaust happened. People in US and UK didn't even believe that such a terrible thing was happenening. Hitler died less than 80 years ago, while Columbus reached the Americas in 1492. I guess we all can agree that we owe a lot to John Locke, but even his views are outdated (as atheist, we don't even have rights according to him). Law and ethics are constructed both by human rationality/design and spontaneouly/empirically by human interaction. Don't get me wrong, I agree that the colonization was a terrible thing (though, granted, it's not like the Americas were some sort of utopia, see the Crow Creek massacreWikipedia for instace), but it's hard to know that something is wrong if people didn't tell you first, or if you can't observe it. GeeJayK (talk) 01:09, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
I commit myself to being an error theorist so I also reject the existence of a “natural” basis for morality or the existence of objective moral facts. That doesn’t require however someone to be normatively a relativist and insisting upon it’s requirement isn’t logically consistent. Also on top of that running with the premise that we are required not to be “presentists” (though you are clearly misusing this concept) doesn’t logically follow either. I can morally object to whatever I want and I don’t have to tolerate anyone who thinks differently. Any insistence on your part otherwise that I am required to be permissive to past actors is completely baseless because there are not moral facts to ground that requirement. Why does distance from the event hold any relevancy? The popular moral attitudes of 10 years ago are different then today, so why is 80 years relevant but 530 years are not? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:17, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
From a US perspective, the central problem I see is that Christopher Columbus in parts of Western culture has, on the basis of the initial discovery he did, been turned into a cuddly kid's yarn and tall tale, mythical figure, and a holiday (albeit one always steeped in controversy as long as I've lived). These cuddly tales hide some rather atrocious things he did. Speaking from this United States perspective, there's plenty of "folklore" figures in history whose real life details away from the grade school myths aren't so problematic (including "colonial origin" stories like JamestownWikipedia and the PilgrimsWikipedia that really apply closer to American history). There's no need to commemorate someone so questionable. (I don't think it's correct to turn him into a cartoonish demon, either, but there's no need for the holiday.)
Regarding the passage of time / morality points though: Ask a Mexican what they think about Hernán CortésWikipedia. (talk) 01:19, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @OnlySortaDumb Isn't that obvious? We already knew 80 years ago that genocides were a bad thing (again, people in US didn't even believe a genocide was happening in Europe because they believe the world was more civilized than it actually was). What theoretical basis people in the fifteenth century had to say that genocides were a bad thing? GeeJayK (talk) 01:25, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

People at the time recognized that Columbus was a piece of shit, as mentioned in the source I linked above. They may not have specifically understood the modern concept of genocide, but even by the standards of the time, they recognized Columbus engaged in especially egregious conduct. Vee (talk) 01:27, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC) Also, regarding presentism, according to our own article:
Another common form of presentism is allowing present-day moral judgments to creep into characterizations of the historical figures. For example, you can dig up quotes from any number of figures active in civil liberties or equal rights movements that would seem racist, sexist, or otherwise bigoted by today's standards to paint them as crazy, reactionary wingnuts. Historians remind us that people are products of their times and so must be judged within that paradigm.

GeeJayK (talk) 01:28, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

And again, even by the standards of the time "people recognized that Columbus engaged in especially egregious conduct." Vee (talk) 01:29, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
I didn't read the whole thing, but from what I get, Las Casas is being more descriptive than normative of what was happening in Hispaniola. I think humans can see by instinct signs of cruelty and gratuitous violences Columbus indeed committed, but I'm not sure that's the case. Historian G. F. de Oviedo, who went to Hispaniola 60 years after Columbus thought that the genocide was a good thing (indeed, he called it a "gift from God"). I'm not sure that people considered Columbus such an evil person on his own time. GeeJayK (talk) 01:39, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
I think you put may to much faith into the articles on this site as reliable and credible. I can only really feel that way about our cover-story articles, and some of the silver-brain quality ones. I view this wiki as an ongoing work in progress with laudable aims/values and as a fun simple resource below the fact-checking credibility of wikipedia. It doesn’t bare the authoritative weight you give it. “Presentism” is a philosophical position that only the present moment exists. All the other academic definitions point to certain cognitive biases in assuming the level of information one had access to at the time; the others being idiosyncratic uses from individual authors to call out behaviour they didn’t like with the same level of rhetorical skill you provide here. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 01:56, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
You also need a philosophical health check Gee because I don’t think you are working from a coherent world view.
You first argued that moral standards were the product of human customs and reasons with no natural or independent basis.
Then you also argue that figures can be excused upon not knowing genocide to be wrong, and there being a time when it was known (which means what exactly? That Genocide being wrong is a moral fact that was discovered?)
Is morality culturally constructed or not? Because if it was then it’s not “known” that genocide is wrong, it’s just considered wrong by certain societies and people (which was not the case for many white Germans.) - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:11, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
First, I thought it was clear that I was using the Wiki's page as the source, since I even transcluded to the page in my original post. Second, Maybe I wasn't clear enough, but I'm not sure I understood your last post either. By saying that moral standards were the product of human customs I meant that I believe there's no such thing as a natural law, and legal positivism is the only reasonable source of the law (though we can argue that some points of the common law share some aspects with the natural law). What I meant is, we know that genocides are wrong by experience and because we can reason they are bad. Could people do the same 500 years ago? Perhaps they could, but I don't think it was so blantant obvious as it is for us now. I'm not sure if I was clear enough since I sincerely didn't understand your doubt very well. GeeJayK (talk) 02:21, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
"it's hard to know that something is wrong if people didn't tell you first, or if you can't observe it." Cultural construction is yet another form or derivative of essentialism. Humans can't "construct" anything without engaging cognitive behaviors that are not strictly Cartesian. Also, humans historically have thought and acted incoherently, so any description of their activities is likely to appear incoherent to the deontologically minded observer.Ariel31459 (talk) 02:28, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
Not that people didn't think genocide was wrong for a long time, but the fact that the word "genocide" is of relatively recent provenance should at least show that people didn't think of it as being an especially remarkable wrong. No one wrote about the Cathars (of the Middle Ages) or the Circassians/Kabardians (for a later one) being genocide victims, despite the latter being as Caucasian as can humanly be possible. While I'm no adherent to some strong theory of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis (the Hopi time fiasco shows how badly wrong that can go), it does show a change in human attitudes that someone would go out of his way to create a specific term for such acts. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:13, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

@OnlySortaDumb yeah, i posted the follow-up video a long time ago. you're waaaaay late. lol G Man (talk) 04:27, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

also, to the people who claim that genocide has always been reviled: not only was the word "genocide" coined relatively recently, it was also assumed until well into the 1950s that genocide was a sovereign right. is that messed up? of course it is! but people just didn't see it that way back then. G Man (talk) 04:33, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

EC in the context of 'indigenous people day' as per the op, i think discussion about whether columbus really is the villain that he is claimed or not is kind of irrelevant. what is relevant is what is being celebrated on columbus day. regardless of columbus's culpability in genocide via his management of his colony and treat of the indigenous people who found themselves under his rule - there seems to be much academic debate over that issue - what we can say without doubt is that columbus making landfall in the bahamas on 12th october 1492 was the event that ultimately led to over 90% of the indigenous population of the americas being wiped out. when people celebrate columbus day, whatever it represents to the people celebrating it, they are in effect celebrating the deaths of millions.

what is the purpose of columbus day? what is it celebrating? because by all accounts columbus himself was not a man to celebrate. genocide or not, his colonising was done with an inhuman brutality for the sole purpose of enriching himself. and as brutal as columbus was, his brutality paled insignificance to the brutality of the conquistadors who followed, whose cruelty and inexorable conquest was similarly motivated by a pathological avarice. the brutal war and conquest and enslavement of indigenous peoples aided in small part by an apocalypse of disease, which if these events truly are a genocide, did most of the heavy lifting.

is columbus day celebrating the event that ultimately led to the modern nations that now make up north and south america then it is not just celebrating the arrival of europeans and africans to the continents, but conquests and pestilence that took place long before these modern nations were formed, and again saw the deaths of millions of the indigenous peoples so that now in most countries in the americas - a majority of people of european/african descent - they only account for 1 or 2 % of the population. certainly, indigenous peoples have no reason to celebrate.

to me the very idea of columbus day is an example of what i was trying to convey in my above post. it is celebrating the americas have become today, for national pride, for transatlantic relations, for whatever, but without coming to terms with and ignoring completely absolute horror unleashed onto the continent with columbus's arrival. its celebrates coloniialism and empire, takes pride in their achievements, by clinging to and perpetrating a mythic, idealisation of empire because we dont want to consider that for modern americans ie. euro/african americans to have 'won' and to enjoy all that may entail, so so many of the indigenous people, had to lose so so much. no one wants to face up to the horrors of colonialism and empire, not when those horrors gave us so much of what we have today, not when it gives us our sense of national identity. and these myths help justify to ourselves the often poor treatment in modern times of the relatively few indigenous peoples who remain.

its a curious thing that columbus day has this implication of celebrating empire, intended or not. because many of the modern nations were born out of a struggle against empires. we choose what we and our respective nations decide to celebrate. We choose who we alot a day to honour, who we build statues of, name buildings and streets, and cities and countries after. we do not clebrste the individual or their achievements so much but what they represent to us and our nations. but we should be very careful who we choose. we should be very careful that what they represent has some grounding in historical fact. because if we do not we dont just celebrate a comforting myth, but risk celebrating unimaginable horrors.

so what is columbus day meant to represent? and is columbus really who we want to represent it? because it really isnt columbus specifically nor his achievemnts. one could ask similar questions to people opposing removal of statues. what does lauding a person or thing say about us or our counties. is it that really something we want said about us? AMassiveGay (talk) 05:27, 12 October 2022 (UTC)

It's very amusing to me that no one has mentioned specifically why Columbus day even exists[1]: Italian immigrants dealing with racism from white Americans in the late 19th century. It would gain national observation in 1896 after Italian immigrants were lynched. The lobbying to make it a federal holiday revolved around recognizing the contribution of Italians to the countries founding. Considering the roots of America's founding is built on the enslavement of Africans and African-Americans, it makes sense why they thought choosing Columbus would be accepted. The recognition of Indigenous people's day is meant to reclaim the day from a genocidal tyrant, and also to still allow the East coasters to have a day off.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 22:53, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
i read that on wikipedia. it does seem to be a thing in a dozen other countries though. its odd the uk hasnt any national holidays commemorating any historical figures, let alone racist murderers. got statues though. fucking shit tonne of them AMassiveGay (talk) 23:29, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
I once listened to the Behind the Bastards episode on Cecil Rhodes. Man that guy was a rat bastard. Vee (talk) 00:58, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

"Winter Sweet" by Kourosh Yaghmaei[edit]

Kourosh Yaghmaei is an underrated treasure. Vee (talk) 20:07, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

Again, less of the embedded youtube videos. They are annoying, and when someone gets carried away adding more and more nonsense under whatever guise they think is interesting or educational, slows down the loading of the page. Hyperlink or just don't post them. Cardinal Chang (talk) 20:37, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Not really my style, but I kinda liked it, it will make a nice addiction to my wiki-editing playlist. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 20:57, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
*addition. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 21:48, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Point of consideration; some people may be looking here with metered internet connections (say via phones). Embedded videos can up the MB usage of this page by upto a factor of x15. KarmaPolice (talk) 00:37, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
The last time this became a problem, some kind editor gave me a browser fix which stopped the them displaying. Couldn't be happier. Perhaps someone who understands these things better could post that fix again for others.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:54, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I've done stuff like that for a couple of folks with that issue. Problem is, it takes a decent amount of tech-confidence to do. But to be honest, prevention is better than cure - as Chang points out, it also eats up system resources and slows load-times for the rest of us. KarmaPolice (talk) 09:38, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
At a guess, it was possibly althis or a version of.. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NoScript. Cardinal Chang (talk) 12:06, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
No, it was an edit to the internal browser settings. Not a plugin.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:11, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
Not sure if this was it, but because there seems to be a consistent div class for the embeds in the HTML, you can block embeded videos from appearing using Ublock Origin, using the following custom filter:
rationalwiki.org##.embedvideowrap (talk) 12:40, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
No it was an internal browser setting. You got into it from the search bar. The interface may now have been changed to : chrome://flags
Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:30, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
firefox https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/block-autoplay Cardinal Chang (talk) 14:28, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
Chrome https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/114662?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop Cardinal Chang (talk) 14:29, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
Here is an explanation of what I was talking about. But I'm not sure where the disable videos bit is.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 12:48, 14 October 2022 (UTC)

Moderator elections[edit]

November is coming up. Will we hold the elections in November or wait for December instead? Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 19:23, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

November isn't that close. It's still the middle of October, and just under a day from the midpoint. Andrew5 (talk) 21:11, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

Prop 3 in Michigan[edit]

I will get straight to the point- Prop 3 is intended to protect abortion rights in Michigan. It will be on the ballot this coming month. Now if you want a hint of what would happen if it fails, I will say one word- Abkhazia.

In Abkhazia there is no abortion at all, even in the case of rape, incest or medical emergency such as miscarriage or entopic pregnancy. They have some of the highest rates of maternal death ever.

Just remember that when going to the polls on November 2nd. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 22:11, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

I don't think abortion for ectopic pregnancy was ever banned in the pre-Roe days. Banning it is what happens when bureaucrats write policy that sounds good without even knowing wtf they are discussing. CorruptUser 00:33, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
The 1931 Michigan law only exempts cases where it is "necessary to preserve the life". Ectopic pregnancies could certainly qualify for this, absolutely if one was reasonable. But since it's not directly mentioned, concerns have been raised by various doctors, since many lawyers and politicians are either greedy and/or (on the subject of medicine at least) very stupid. Case in point, this originally proposed Missouri bill on importing abortion drugs, 188.090.3 (2). This was cleaned up later, but one has to IMHO be a complete idiot to even include that line in the first place. (talk) 02:39, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Politicians being that deadly combo of "arrogant" and "uninformed" is part of why I still have a Libertarian anti-Government streak.
Every once in a while you'll end up with a government accidentally legalizing something bizarre, and it's even possible to accidentally legalize murder if you aren't careful. For instance, Rhode Island once updated its prostitution laws to work in the modern world with phone booths and fax machines and whatever was going on in the 1980s... but the new law forgot to actually criminalize the act itself, so prostitution was legal so long as it was not in a public area. This wouldn't have been so bad except Rhode Island also had an age of consent of 16, and when some of the strip clubs/brothels were caught trafficking 16 year olds from Boston, well, the laws were updated and prostitution is illegal again.
When it comes to legalizing murder, there's a not-so convoluted way we will see it done at some point. Simply put, DNA is weird. In your DNA, you have a dozen or so genes that did not originate from simians; these are trans-genes that your ancestors acquired through viral infections, in a process known as "horizontal gene flow". I'll spare you the details, but the point is that humans are "GMO's", and every so often you'll see some push to ban all GMOs. A few countries have done so, and under a strict interpretation of the law, humans are banned from existing. No human judge would ever uphold such a law because that's obviously not the intent, but if we ever outsourced our justice system to machines, well, they do exactly as told. The robot uprising isn't going to happen because Skynet is programmed to defend itself from all potential risks, but because someone screwed up the programming of the Roombas. CorruptUser 07:45, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Good post! I had a good chuckle at that last sentence. "Screwing up the programming of the Roombas." Heh. Luigifan18 (talk) 15:20, 16 October 2022 (UTC)

don't believe the polls. bolsonaro may still win re-election this year[edit]

no, this isn't pro-bolsonaro propaganda — quite the opposite, actually. see this as a warning, and please don't shoot the messenger. if brazil's previous presidential election in 2018 (the one which got him elected in the first place) and even our own most recent federal election have taught us anything, it's that polls consistently underestimate support for right-wing candidates and the influence misinformation wields on public opinion.

even though current polls give lula an edge over bolsonaro, that lead is narrowing — and that's assuming the best-case scenario. the stakes are really high, and it's much worse than you think. the bolsonaro campaign is going full-force on their aggressive, yet coordinated disinformation campaign on social media.

as some of you might know, i'm brazilian-american. i live in the states, but i have many family and friends currently living in brazil. you guys wouldn't know the full extent of it unless you saw the posts for yourself; and even then, most of you most wouldn't understand them since they're all in portuguese. however, this article (hopefully) provides an english-language synopsis of some of the outright lies that team bolsonaro is cooking up. believe it or not, brazil even has its own qanon.

and as always, facebook isn't doing nearly enough to clamp down on misinformation. they probably care even less that it's affecting a non-english-speaking country. G Man (talk) 06:22, 16 October 2022 (UTC)

also, it's worth noting that we still have two weeks until the runoffs. i can promise you it's gonna get worse before it gets better. G Man (talk) 06:33, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
By how much have pollsters undercounted right-wing voters in the recent past? And why haven't they made the necessary adjustments? Erik10012 (talk) 07:15, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
some countries have blackout periods where they can't publish poll results within a certain time period before election. brazil is considering implementing similar measures. pro-government politicians want to criminalize the pollsters who got their predictions wrong (because of course they do). according to existing brazilian law, it is illegal to intentionally use polls to manipulate public opinion, but how they plan on proving intent is anyone's guess. G Man (talk) 14:54, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
I have also noticed that not all polls are equal. For example, I've generally noticed that British polling is more accurate than American (or at least appears to be). How accurate historically has Brazilian polling been? KarmaPolice (talk) 17:38, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Bolsonaro is a disaster for impunity to rule of law, people's health (his COVID denialism), and the environment (increasing destruction of the Amazon).
Regarding American polls, FiveThirtyEight has rated the quality/accuracy of virtually every polling organization (https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/pollster-ratings/). Bongolian (talk) 20:04, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Bolsanaro is going to lose this election because like Trump he is going to be punished for a woefully poor pandemic response. People become very angry when their relatives and countrymen die needlessly. Many American/European politicians are going to be punished in elections for: high energy prices; stagflation/recession and relying too much on Russia/Putin for their energy. The pro atomic energy Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists wrote: "Europe’s current predicament is a story of flawed strategic thinking—based on false assumptions about geoeconomics in general, and Russia in particular—that goes back to the closing years of the Cold War. It is the greatest geopolitical blunder of the European Union in the 21st century." Erik10012 (talk) 22:53, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
i don't follow politics like i do here in the states, but according to the sources i found, most polls are conducted in person rather than through the web. according to this source (in portuguese), polls tend to have a margin of error of ± 1-4%. however, this was before the first round of voting, and these numbers may not take into account wild cards such as aggressive last-minute mud-slinging. G Man (talk) 23:08, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
@Erik10012 you're not understanding. brazil is not europe or the united states. bolsonaro had an approval rating of 19% last december. how, then, did he come within five points of his opponent? a lot of people still support him in spite of everything, if only because they hate the other alternatives. it's the most polarized election in decades. the outcome could go either way. G Man (talk) 23:19, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Maybe Bolsonaro has momentum and he will win. Brazil's economy is improving so that is helping Bolsonaro. Elections today are closer and harder to predict. The political future is not ours to see right now. The internet fueled the growth of right-wing voters. Right-wingers can now live in online hyper-partisan echo chambers. In the United States at least, the pandemic is going to exacerbate this situation because less students are receiving public education. Erik10012 (talk) 23:45, 16 October 2022 (UTC)

Russia's biggest allies telling Russia to deescalate the conflict[edit]


China and India tell Russia to deescalate the conflict shows that they don't want the war either. They have certainly distanced themselves from the war. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 23:10, 10 October 2022 (UTC)

Putin isn't going to back down, he can't. He's painted himself into a corner. China and India certainly may be communicating that the use of nuclear or chemical weapons would be a red line for them, but Putin is going to hit civilian targets, hoping to distract from his armed forces failures in the East and South.-— Unsigned, by: RipCityLiberal / talk / contribs
biggest allies? biggest countries by land mass and population sure, but biggest allies? china is more of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' kinda ally and support for putin is only lukewarm at best, and likely already looking to where china can replace russian influence with their own. india on the other hand is stuck between a rock and a hard place - not every nation can take the hit to their economies on the chin like europe and the us can. opposition or even neutrality were not really option for a country that has unresolved border conflicts with its regional rival china on one hand and on the other russia being the most likely to mediate on india's behalf in said border disputes while supplying half military hardware.
belarus and checnya get the biggest allies trophy, providing more than just moral support. and honourable mention goes to north korea - a sign of how far the mighty have fallen if north korea is were you turn to resupply your arms. AMassiveGay (talk) 10:21, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I wouldn't even count Belarus or Chechnya as allies, they're client states. China and India have remained relatively open to taking advantage of Russian pricing for hydrocarbons, but they also represent Russia's ideological allies. They are trying to sell their version of nativist authoritarianism as a model for the world, and Russia's failures show deficits of that system. The only real Russian allies are Iran, DPRK and Syria.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 16:44, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Belarus is even in a sort of supranational union with Russia (ie Russia's half assed attempt at creating a rival to the EU). Vee (talk)
The CSTO. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 18:49, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
To think, all of this could've been avoided in the '90s had the EU allowed Russia to join. CorruptUser 19:06, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
That wouldn't have changed anything. Russia has a medieval culture, and the corruption and chaos of the 1990's wouldn't have been stopped by some sort of formal accession to the EU. Modernizing Russian culture is something that will take generations - ther is a bit of it showing already in het numbers that have fled rather than be "mobilized", but it is a long way from being anything like a non-kleptocratic economy and society. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:16, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
@Arcadium Trancefer I'd say that's more of an attempted counterpart to NATO, ala the Warsaw Pact of old. Vee (talk) 19:21, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
they wanted a trading bloc too. too much trade with europe and beyond but not with russia moves former soviet republics further outside russian influence. putin's russia really is the global equivalent of a controlling and abusive ex boyfriend. russia just cant the thought of his ex's having new friends and a life that doesnt include russia. AMassiveGay (talk) 21:59, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
Russia was also a threat to the former countries that became members of the EU and/or NATO. Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania wanted to separate from Russia completely. The poison of Stalinism and imperial subjugation weigh heavy.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 22:31, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I disagree with you, Liberal. Putin's not hitting civilian targets 'hoping to distract from his armed forces failures in the East and South', he's doing it because he's listening to the warlords and mafyia bosses (if there is a difference between the two these days) in his inner circle who *only* understand terror and blackmail. They are simply doing on a national scale the way goons would smash up a bar, mangle a musician's hand and slit the cheek of the barmaid after the nightclub boss refused to pay the protection money. If the boss retaliates, next it's a car-bomb and so on. The mass looting, raping, torture, executions, abductions, use of Ukranians as fodder etc shown by some elements of ground forces from Feb to now has shown this is a general strategy.
Which is why the likes of India and China are starting to move against Putin. Invading another country is one thing. Doing so in the manner more rendolent of narco-cartels or the rebel groups who descend on villages like locusts is another entirely - these powers are building themselves a off-ramp. To use a Russian term, Putin is losing his international 'roof'.
I also think the above strategy is part of the building friction between the warlords and the military. I think there's plenty in the officer corps who truly get the above is almost completely counter-productive re: enemy resistance and perhaps also insults their professional ethos. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:21, 12 October 2022 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice I think we are on the same page here, but the way I phrased it may lead to confusion, let me clarify:
You are correct that these actions Putin is taking against civilian targets is driven at least in part by members of military media and independent military forces (Wagner and Chechens belong to this group). But this is because Russia's failure in it's invasion, especially it's retreat in the East and South was so jarring it threatened the support from this group. The initial thrust of the invasion was devised by the FSB, operating under the belief that Kyiv would fall quickly, and Ukrainians would fall in line. Even the phrase "Special Military Operation" sounds like a phrase created by an intelligence service. This obviously failed, and the cost was their most experienced soldiers.
The second phase, Putin abandoned the FSB strategy, and sought to execute a "traditional" military campaign. For Russia, that strategy is overwhelming fire power. They identify enemy positions, pound them day in and day out, then sweep through. To many this is barbaric, but in terms of military strategy it's a sound strategy that has been deployed in many conflicts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Battle of the Bulge is a good example). They established ground lines of communication, and supplies to maintain their unrelenting campaign. It was slow going, but they secured city after city slowly between March and August. HIMARS started to change the effectiveness of this as a strategy as amount of available munitions shrunk.
The third phase, which I would argue is currently still happening, is Ukrainian counter-offensive. It's wildly successful, and has finally broken through the Russia media bubble. Now Putin needs to satisfy military media, independent military forces and RF Mod. Ministry of Defense needs men? "Partial" Mobilization. Military media needs reports of Ukrainian suffering? Bombard civilians and civilian infrastructure. Independent military forces need to fight? Allow them to continue their assault on Bakhmut, a city with no strategic value and continued failure to change the line of contact for about 5 months. It isn't necessarily a distraction, instead it's a mea culpa to keep all these groups in line.
There are reports that Putin is more directly involved in decision making on the battlefield. It's why Russian forces are still in Kherson, west of the Dniper river. They are cutoff from supply lines, but aren't allowed to retreat because Putin won't let them. It's why RF have been surrounded and captured in large numbers in the East. To keep all three groups happy, he's got to show these groups he's receptive.- — Unsigned, by: RipCityLiberal / talk / contribs

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thinking that Russia joining the EU in the 1990s would’ve been a fix is doubly wishful thinking. First of all, it would mean that the EU would’ve had the Russian mess “in house”, which, given how much problems it has had tackling Hungary and Poland, would be a nightmare scenario in its own right. Secondly, there is no chance in hell that Russia would be able to adapt to the massive package of EU legislation (the acquis communitaire or just acquis for short) without a serious and Herculean effort that there is no chance Russian politicians would’ve made.

The past talk about Russia joining the EU being reduced to “being allowed to” ignores the same practical problems that will delay Ukraine’s prospects for joining far into the future: Because EU membership entails a lot of common legislation, standardisation and thus immense amounts of “legislative and regulatory plumbing” even once a country has started the formal accession process, it always takes years for new members to become ready. This is even more true of applicants with shaky or dubious bureaucracies, and if anything, the EU has become warier due to problematic experiences with the likes of Romania and Bulgaria (as well as Hungary and Poland on the more political level), because it knows that once an applicant becomes a member, the EU loses most of its leverage.

All of this shows why the “just join the EU” scenario is generally either a completely nonsensical, unrealistic or highly dubious argument for most countries in the vicinity of the EU that are not already in the accession process (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland might be exception, but they have all deliberately chosen not to become EU members). ScepticWombat (talk) 06:56, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

Mother Russia sit down as equals to the likes of Poland, Netherlands, Hungary in the EU? - нет! Russia is the Third Rome, to rule! I mean, look how hard the Brits found squaring their prickly, living-in-past nationalism with the realities of being in the EU and that's not a quarter of the chip Russia has...
Anyway... Liberal you are right, though your point doesn't mention that the warlord/mafyia forces were very present from the start of the 'operation'. I don't even think the 'third phase' of the plan has been thought out that much; it's basically 'apathy and shock' didn't work, 'traditional Soviet practice' didn't work (we now know what 'WWIII 1983' in West Germany would have looked like) and now we're in the 'smash up your shit until you give in' phase.
Part of the reason this is gonna fail is simply that the Russians don't have the capabilities to do it (again); the 'victim territory' is too large, it's too dispersed, they're running out of 'bang' and lastly (and most importantly) they lack air superiority (which means they can't do WW2-style freefall pastings with their Tu-95s). In fact, with a purely logical and pragmatic hat, it can be argued it's not that bad Putin's now wailing on schools and apartment blocks - for he's expending more of his semi-finite stock of precision weapons to do it (something which is apparently pissing of the military brass, who'd prefer them to hit enemy bridges, railheads and ammo dumps in an concentrated manner).
I personally think that Putin's 'not one step back!' standing order might actually have a strand of sanity about it; that the Russians lack the transport capabilities to perform an organised pull-out, esp if it was one under enemy pressure (perhaps also lack the organisational ability to pull it off too). So in this case, it's a choice between 'stand and (perhaps) die' or 'disorganised retreat minus kit'.
What's the 'fourth phase'? How and where could Putin escalate further? He will try, but I don't really see where. He can't order a full mobilisation without risking serious loss of face, a bomb of disorder and economic ruin. He can't use NBCs to either terrorise Kyiv into surrender and/or to 'restore the momentum' on the battlefield. Which leads me to the conclusion that it'll be to use the draftees and 'new' kit to replenish the forces, establish firm defensive lines then try to sit the winter out, hoping that the West and/or Ukraine falls over before Russia does. Then in the early spring to either go back on the offensive or offer a 'keep what we got' cease-fire, depending on the military position.
At least, that's perhaps the 'least worst' option I can come up with. But that's the issue - getting directly into Putin's head. History is filled with examples of 'losing' rulers maintaining utterly impossible views on possible ends to the war of their own making. KarmaPolice (talk) 08:40, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
I don't think anyone actually knows what the next phase of the conflict is, besides maybe Putin, considering this would be over 8 months ago. I would probably argue that Ukrainians will continue to make incremental process in the South and East. The closer forces get Luhansk, the fighting will get fiercer because their lines of defense are better, and there will be more motivation for fighters from the region. Russia will likely need to retreat across the Dnieper river to join the rest of the forces on the east banks. There may be some street by street fighting, but I think Russian forces will turn tail and flee once UKR HIMARS and howitzers start threatening their ability to retreat. Russia will likely begin to engage in more hybrid warfare, damage power stations in Ukraine, perhaps riskier actions against infrastructure in the West. A new phase of the conflict will definitely begin if Russia uses Nuclear or chemical weapons, NATO will respond with conventional weapons, it will target Russian forces in Ukraine and likely remove restriction on Ukraine targeting Russia and Belarus armed with ACTAMS. That would only make things worse for Putin, as Russian citizens who may not have been effected by mobilization will suddenly find themselves in the cross-fire.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:31, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
I personally don't think Putin will go nuclear; more due to pragmatic reasons (basically, it wouldn't pay off as Russian forces lack the capabilities to fight in a nuclear battlefield). I also discount biological for similar (as a rule). However, I could see the use of chemical; not sure what, but it would need to not be persistant agents. Issue is, as far as I can tell NATO hasn't been clear on what the response would *be* if NBCs (in general) were used. This fuzziness has hurt us before; when (for example) Biden thought aloud about 'levels of intervention' and leaving everything too ambigious the American response to what then became the Ukranian invasion. I'm a firm believer that in situations like this, you need to draw a firm line, you lay out what the response will be in public and you never bluff. However, even the chemical options is not that likely; I think the Russians don't have the technical skill or perhaps capabiltities to pull it off right.
Hybrid attacks, I do rate more highly. Unable to hit Kyiv any harder than he already is, Putin may decide to hurt *us* in the hope we pull the plug on support - for in his head, it's clear he thinks the Ukranians are only resisting because we are 'telling' them to. Couple gas shortages with say, infrastructure hits via hackers. I wouldn't even put it past them to try a few overseas assassinations a la Skripal or even Markov. Or just a old-school carbomb or 'mugging gone wrong'. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:03, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

Russian View of LGBT resistance in Ukraine[edit]

Here is a nice speech on YouTube by one of Kadyrov's commanders who is basically telling his assembled troops that Russia is fighting to wipe out the western LGBT and atheist influences in Ukraine. He's a real charmer, but he's still off my Christmas list.UncleKrampus (talk) 02:14, 13 October 2022 (UTC)

Being in a bloody battlefield fighting for Mama Russia is obviously way better than being at a pride parade. Ura! /s LongStylus (talk) 02:26, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
Last I checked, Ukraine was not exactly holding extensive pride parades that someone could rain on. Gay people in Ukraine have to choose between the foreigners who want them dead and the locals who wouldn't care if it happened. CorruptUser 04:37, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
Kharkiv had a pride parade this year AS THEY WERE BEING SHELLED. You're wrong, lol. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:44, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
Yes there is significant homophobia in Ukraine (albeit many articles say things are heading the right direction), but that's beside the point.
It's not exactly news that fascists love using the "traditional values" card complete with stereotyped boogeymen. So it's not surprising that Putin's Russia and his pals are using every dumb boogeyman stereotype they can find to "motivate".
(All the religious shit coming from former "communist" strongholds that were all hellbent on state-sponsored atheism is a bit of a turn, eh? Assuming correct translation and all, that commander speech had an "Iran ayatollah" vibe.) (talk) 19:03, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
It should be also noted that anti-LGBT sentiments & views in Ukraine have been for a long time promoted & pushed by pro-Russian (& Russian-financed) groups/movements/parties, such as the "Opposition Platform—For Life" & similar ones. Also the all-out war is not really conductive for holding large-scale public marches... Am not Ukrainian, but my feel's that LGBT people are mostly tolerated in Ukraine (even if without much enthusiasm and/or understanding), which is anyway wastly preferable to the Russian approach towards them. - (talk) 21:35, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
There's always this video or a Russian soldier giving another one a blow job just before they get bombed by a Ukr drone!! R18 content!!. But it is totally not gay of course. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:09, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
It's always been a trope that queer people in strongly homophobic societies join the Navy military, because same-sex behavior is viewed as "blowing off steam" by sex deprived soldiers on the front lines (or on ships with few to no women aboard). Vee (talk) 22:59, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
For a number of cultures, it's only wrong to be on the receiving end, not giving. CorruptUser 23:00, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
Among the ancient Norse, for instance, if you were to be on the receiving end, you were seen as less manly because you effectively "became a woman". Vee (talk) 23:21, 13 October 2022 (UTC)
It's not even ancient cultures. Being Turkish I can attest to the fact that you're only seen as gay if you're the one taking and not giving. There's even a specific insult for gay men who receive, puşt, and only THEY are barred from military service. Gay men who are dominant are not. It's very, very strange to me but it's just how it works, I guess. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:44, 14 October 2022 (UTC)
Not strange. Nonsensical, absurd, but "normal" and present in some form in many parts of the world. CorruptUser 18:35, 14 October 2022 (UTC)
Strange to ME, for being such a goddamn pedant you clearly can't fucking read. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 20:14, 14 October 2022 (UTC)
No need to get hostile. It's strange "to a lot of people", but it shouldn't be "strange" because hypocrisy is everywhere and we live in a world of absurdity. CorruptUser 21:51, 14 October 2022 (UTC)
In fact there are closeted bottoms, which is just another level of sadness in the gay world. Guys who have taken the brave and difficult step of coming out and being openly gay, but due to remnants of perceived masculinity aren't willing to admit they are a bottom and so will only "top". You can potentially identify these people by their narratives including conquests, "destroying someone's" ass, an over fixation on their position and hyper-masculinity. In reality, few people ever care about positions amongst friends enough to talk about it let alone be "proud" of it unless you have something to prove. Unfortunately they are missing out on sexual gratification and are just perpetuating another lie: the idea that there is something lesser of you if you are in a more submissive and/or vulnerable and/or invasive situation sexually. The same thing goes with masculine attitudes. While I have always had partners on the more masculine side, it is simply a sexual preference, and I am generally repelled by those putting on a front or air of "dude bro" or hyper-masculinity, fakeness, trying to prove something and especially those who have contempt for more feminine and camp gay people and make jokes about them. I play on a gay rugby team and I am astounded by the diversity of personalities and dispotions people have, especially in the sphere of a violent sport, and yet the mutual respect that people can have for one another (regardless of how passive they may be, broad their shoulders are, limp their wrists are while having drinks afterwards) and breaking norms while doing something so brutal. ShabiDOO 10:58, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
I know I'm some sort of 'ic or 'ist, but I don't understand why so many Gay men are attracted to effeminate men. I don't think it's "wrong" to be attracted to effeminate as opposed to masculine men, nor is it any more/less Manly to be a Top or Bottom or fluid, but I'd expect most Gay men to be attracted to more masculine men. When it comes to straight men, yeah, a few of us are attracted to Amazon Goddesses, but I don't recall any "sexiest women" list including the top female MMA fighter or bodybuilder. So... why do so many gay men go for the more femme side of the dating pool? CorruptUser 23:50, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
what you really dont understand is people not adhering to your own preconceived conceptions about sexuality, sexual attraction, and people not fitting into narrow and rigidly distinct categories. and thats without getting into the realms of internalised homophobia and the particular strain that your comments speak to that shabidoo more or less describes. AMassiveGay (talk) 12:06, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
My preconceived conception is that "In general, GM and SW = like masculinity, SM and GW = like femininity". I get that's not always the case, sometimes SM/GW like masculine women, sometimes GM/SW like feminine men. CorruptUser 23:12, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
'I don't understand why so many Gay men are attracted to effeminate men' gives voice to the implication that they are doing gay wrong. taken further it leads to suggesting that effeminate men are not real men, or that you are not really gay if you sleep with effeminate men. going further i have heard people (straight people) that gay men really want to be women and are not real men, and i have heard people (gay men) accuse effeminate or camp men of being the cause of homophobia as if homophobia would cease to be if we all realised gay men are 'real' men who just happen to like 'real' men and if they wanted to sleep with a woman they would sleep with a 'real' woman. presumably then all the gays and the straights would live happily ever after hating on effeminate gays who are not rally gay because they are not really men but not really women either. questioning why some gay men like masculine men and some like feminine misses that there is no clear line demarcating one from the other, that it covers a spectrum of how gay men present themselves and who they might be attracted to, and that, whether masculine or feminine, gay men are all men. and notions of what is masculine and what is feminine are too often prescriptive and limiting to begin with. AMassiveGay (talk) 08:20, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Warning icon orange.svg Warning

Someone is JAQing off.

Why do Eastern Europeans, Russians and Ukrainians have higher levels of antipathy against homosexuals than the Western World? Anyone know the history of the Eastern Orthodox Church and homosexuality? Rwendland (talk) 02:13, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

Any Resources on the Relationship Between Bisexuality and the Brain?[edit]

I know it's somewhat problematic to look at neural correlates to things like gender identity and sexual orientation but I think there is some value in looking into the possible neurological factors that contribute to such things (provided that people apply the relevant caveats, and avoid making misplaced essentialist assumptions). I have looked at a considerable amount of literature on neurological correlations to things like homosexuality, and gender identity but I never looked into the stuff related to my own identity as a bisexual male. I was curious if people knew of any literature related to neuroscience and bisexuality (or polysexuality, pansexuality, etc). If so can you provide links to some relevant resources? I am having trouble finding my own. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 17:52, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

There do seem to be different brain shapes for gay/straight men/women, in addition to different amounts of grey matter, and that's even before we consider trans and the brain.
There's also the psychological factors to consider. Childhood sexual abuse and mistreatment is correlated with increased rates of homo- and bisexual orientation, though it could possibly just be that being a non-conforming child increases the chance of abuse. CorruptUser 18:40, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
Sort of ignored what I wrote Cory. I was asking for bisexuality specifically. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:06, 15 October 2022 (UTC).
Also that child abuse study doesn't at all address what I was asking for. Not really relevant and sort of queerphobic to assume that it has any causal effects to sexual orientation. It could just as easily be that gay and bisexual youth as children were more likely be abused assuming that even in childhood they may have marked behaviors that signal themselves as "other" or gender non-conforming to adult authority figures. I definitely knew kids like that myself growing up who had a marked degree of effeminate behavior that outed them long before they ever came to terms with their identity. The study you linked trying to control for such factors only found a 2% increased incidence for same-sex sexual orientation in the population for the abused population. That is remarkably small. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:11, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
I can't find many good sources or studies on this specific topic that I'd trust since most are either old or not peer-reviewed, but it's a developing field Maybe this is something you'd be interested in? (Also, I'm going to leave a short comment here because this is very annoying of you Cory. Leaving a 'study' about how child abuse increases the risk of "homo- and bisexual orientation" when someone asks for neurological studies on bisexual men is explicitly queerphobic and is very telling of your priorities.) ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:36, 17 October 2022 (UTC)

(Block Game Drama) To anyone using PolyMC[edit]

The lead developer has gone rouge and removed all other devs for being "leftoids". No malicious code has been added so far, but the kicked devs have urged everyone stop using it. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 14:09, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

Oh my god, yet more Code of Conduct is literally 1984 thought police drama. I guess asking people to not act like pieces of shit is still too much for some. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 14:29, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
OSS is notorious for having certain corners of the community which are full of asshat developers, who can't seem to stand the idea of acting like an adult and seem to have this bizarre notion that you become a better developer by the amount of curse words you shout at someone in a Github discussion. Personally, I've encountered only one of these types in my non-OSS professional career, and they did not last long in the office. (You would think someone would be self-aware enough to know that loudly talking about how you are going to bang prostitutes in Costa Rica is not going to win you brownie points at work, but no...) These type of people make working on a team very difficult, nobody is going to get anything done if people are hurling expletives at each other.
At any rate, looking at the deleted code of conduct, it basically says you can't harass, dox, troll, sexually harass, etc. Apparently thinking these things are, y'know, uncouth, is "leftoid" shit in some quarters, LOL. It's only a matter of time before some alt-right asshat tries to complain that the criminalization of rape is a "SJW feminazi woke" plot, and that code disputes in OSS should be settled by the ancient manly-man "art" of dueling. (talk) 16:30, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Is it just me or does anyone else here think dueling should be legal? It's a consensual activity after all. Vee (talk) 17:22, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
I actually do think consentual duels to the death should be legal. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 17:30, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Exactly, if two adults want to engage in a consensual activity I say let them. The nanny state can go fuck itself. (Also, to preemptively rebut "life is sacred" arguments, giving anything the trait of being sacred seems to me to be an act of religion. I don't think life is fundamentally sacred. Now, an argument can be made about nonconsensual denial of life, but isn't that what capital punishment is anyways?) Vee (talk) 17:44, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
My understanding is that pistol dueling generally got outlawed due to both moral reasons (the practice was considered by many, not without reason, to be barbarism, especially since in many cases the slights were trivial shit)... as well as the fact that it was generally being confined to military / political and other noble / upper-class cultures. Some leaders got tired of losing good officers to trivial "honor" shit, if I recall.
At any rate, there are a couple of problems with "legalizing the pistol duel" that I see:
A) Determining consent. From what I recall, some people who participated in duels were kind of coerced into it (even if it's just by "honor" culture type shit). I don't consider "forced consent" to be consent. You'd need to develop a method to dot every i and cross every t (ala assisted suicide) to make sure that the consent is genuine.
B) Establishing a violent method of "dispute resolution" is IMHO bad practice. Violent dispute resolution is basically the rule of more "unchecked societies" of humanity, eg your mafias, warlords, and gangs. There are many disadvantages of the "might meets right" approach compared to any reasonable peaceful dispute resolution oriented legal system, and I think one can only look at the chaos of a failed state compared to ones with established peaceful meditation / arbitration to see this. This sort of stuff even extends to other violent dispute resolution methods without the lethal nature of pistol duels, it is better to not have violence be the default manner of resolution disputes in any society, for the good of all parties involved. (talk) 19:03, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
We would need to establish a "Pistol Duelling Registry", containing the formal consent of every dueller. This costs time and money at the expense of taxpayers without any benefit to society. Without the Registry, anyone can murder anyone with a gun and claim "It was a pistol duel, I swear!" And also we would need a "Pistol Duelling Inspection Agency", where people can (and are legally obligated to) hire an independent inspector to make sure that the duel is conducted fairly. LongStylus (talk) 01:53, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Also, legal dueling creates a bad precedent for a state trying to maintain law and order since it legitimatizes extrajudicial killings for non-life threatening situations or reasons and gives a legal way to encourage disputes to turn more violent (even challenging someone to a duel is a polite death threat at best). Not to mention, even if a duel has a clear winner, feuds between parties wouldn't end since revenge duels (and murder since you never fight your enemy on even terms) would follow, possibly for generations. This is why civil suits and monetary rewards for damages are used in lieu of duels since it encourages (or forces) parties to come to an agreement to settle a dispute in a way that doesn't encourage a cycle of violence while putting the matter to rest. Even if both parties don't have the money or will to take it to court, they can still only retaliate against each other within the limits of the law which punishes both parties for any escalation with jail time which ensures any "victory" outside mediation will come at a steep cost.-Ryan1257 (talk) 18:07, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

Moldova: A discount version of Romania with a separatist add on[edit]

One of my attempts at humor.

Belarus is discount Russia and Kosovo is discount Albania. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 20:03, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

I've recently heard tell on the Ukraine subReddit that Serbia is the discount Russia for its cultural attitudes towards its neighbors and very close alignment with Russia (even within the Orthodox church), if those Reddit folks disagree re: Belarus it'll probably have something to do with the seeming unpopularity of the regime. Artificius (talk) 16:45, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

Should I choose IT instead of Computer Engineering?[edit]

I really wanted CE but I just can't meet the cutoff. Would I miss out on any opportunity reserved for CE if I do choose IT? Leibniz Enter into the rabbit hole 03:57, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

Ask a college career counselor about the placement statistics for these two fields. And ask a librarian about their respective career outlooks. I would also look at this resource: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2022/home.htm Erik10012 (talk) 09:52, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Highboi (Leibniz) may be living in India, so the site may not be too applicable. Generally speaking, the focus of computer science, computer engineering and information are different with overlapping bits. Computer science focuses on computer programming, mathematical and theoretical aspects of computers; computer engineering focuses on hardware and hardware-software interface; IT focuses on operational and maintenance aspects. I don't think these are hard-and-fast categories, so check the course offerings for each department to see what might suit you. Bongolian (talk) 18:25, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Very much depends on what the local definitions are for CE and IT. Both my sons did Software Engineering at the local university - those who did not meet the grade to get into Year 2 of that tended to do Computer Science instead. In their case Software Engineering is a very souped up Computer Science with process design and all sorts of other things included that were not part of the "normal" programming that we/ I mostly think of Computer Science as.
So yes - talking to your university course advisor should be your first stop. Good luck Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:06, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

WIGO:RW - goodbye and goodnight Nathan Larson[edit]

First guy ever to overcome RW's pathological liberal tolerance and get his ass hellbanned from the site in perpetuity, for his essay about how pedophilia was good actually. Found dead "in custody", presumably of natural causes. Pour nothing whatsoever out for a real one - David Gerard (talk) 19:43, 16 October 2022 (UTC)

Outliving evil people is one of my pleasures in life. Bongolian (talk) 19:57, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
He edited RW? What's the story? Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 20:12, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
User:Tisane. GeeJayK (talk) 20:13, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
What a CV! Imagine if the afterlife is real and he's asked to introduce himself.-Flandres (talk) 20:17, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Wtf, his talkpage and coop case are... something, I guess. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 20:21, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
I also see some flawless logic on the rationale in "nay" votes, writing that his ban was the end of free speech in this wiki, and that's as far as I'm going to read. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 20:38, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Larson/Tisane has a full RW article if "full details" are needed on how wrong the "nay" voters were. Also, IMHO probably the worst shit in Tisane's talk page comes from another pedo apologist troll who also was eventually permabanned from RW (albeit for different reasons). Some people are really just awful everything. (talk) 02:11, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
So even AFTER Larson had kidnapped a kid, Abd was still defending him. Can't say I'm that surprised. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 15:45, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Also came back as User:Landmartian - David Gerard (talk) 23:35, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Absolute waste of skin. Good riddance. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 20:46, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
Jesus, that fucking guy. RagingHippie (talk) 22:50, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
When people have passed
Of them we speak only good
He's dead, and that's good CorruptUser 22:54, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
God really does exist. Vee (talk) 23:18, 16 October 2022 (UTC)
I had to read it twice. If anyone else was confused by David Gerard's "RW's pathological liberal tolerance", I think he means the paradox of tolerance. Bongolian (talk) 03:18, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
that's the one. RW is founded on principles that are basically enlightenment liberalism, and the firm belief that reasoned discussion resolves all, but then you get a Tisane - David Gerard (talk) 08:06, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
That fecking Mises Institute has got an awful lot to answer for. Too many shitebirds have been involved with it. Cardinal Chang (talk) 15:14, 17 October 2022 (UTC)
Though we kind of need a societal discussion about Pedophilia and how to adequately treat it. I get the impression that there's a lot of people who are attracted to children but refuse to act on their desires, in much the same way I resist the urge to "forget" to scan a few items at the self-checkout. For those people, I have both sympathy and disgust, but we need to have some system in place to get those people help. It won't solve all the problems, considering that the feminists are partially right when they say rape is about and not sex; only 1 in 3 child-rapists are actually attracted to kids, as opposed to just desiring to harm innocents. CorruptUser 06:01, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
There's a difference between addressing the IMHO very real moral panic oriented issues involving pedophilia / hebephilia / child pornography in law and culture (as well as possibly exploring treatments for those with the disorder who also recognize that engaging in such would constitute child abuse and never really commit), and apologizing for pedophilia completely. Or (in the case of Larson) actually engaging in the act of kidnapping a child, which showed where his mind really was at all along. (talk) 12:16, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

I was so sad to hear about his death. From my interactions with him, I could tell that he had a noble soul - yet somehow cruelly twisted by the spirit of ugliness. May Maratrea have mercy on him. Slave of Maratrea (talk) 06:05, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

Twitch & bits[edit]


Am I the only one that thinks that Twitch streamers should get more money from bits? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 11:56, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

Nope. That's the holy market at work, baby! Vee (talk) 17:48, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
One notes that Twitch has server maintenance, costs of same, net fees (They gotta pay the providers too), and infrastructure costs, as well as paying employees and other costs-- and they're dealing with a hell of a lot of streamers, to boot. 100 bits costs 1.40 USD, so Twitch takes 40 cents of that and pays a dollar for every 100 bits tipped. And since no one is required to tip anything, or buy bits for that matter, I personally don't think it's a completely unreasonable cost. Kencolt (talk) 20:38, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
I don't think there is a single revenue split percentage which is "fair". It all comes down to negotiation. Streamers need a platform, Twitch needs Streamers. I think having some form of collective bargaining power could help Streamers ensure "fairer" price splits (thank goodness twitch doesn't have a monopoly as long as youtube exists, and vice versa), but I don't see that happening in the near future. As for what I think is reasonable, 100% of the proceeds should go to server costs until those are paid for, the rest should be split according to labor committed to create a video. I would like to see a study of the average amount of money invested by a streamer vs the platform per hour of stream broadcast; but of course this would be highly dependent on the stream in question, and I don't think could be expected to be resolved honestly. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 02:51, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
"As for what I think is reasonable, 100% of the proceeds should go to server costs until those are paid for" Why isn't Bezos paying for that?? He owns Twitch! Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 09:29, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

John Oliver says trans rights[edit]

Genuinely, as someone who is transgender and nonbinary, having a relatively moderate liberal call out this insane moral panic regarding trans people without treating our indentities like they're negotiable is just, like, refreshing? It's really good. This recent moral panic has really made me scared for the future of trans rights as a whole so this gives me hope. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:38, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

(reporter to young girl) "Are you able to use the girls' bathroom at school?" "No, and now they just put security guards up, for the bathroom security or whatever". What the actual fuck? Is this for real? Are K-12 schools actually putting fucking security guards on bathroom doors? How far are they going to take this fucking genital police bullshit? I want to get off this planet. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 16:01, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Cavity searches of 10 year olds, obviously. CorruptUser 16:24, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Honestly I wouldn't put it past them. Vee (talk) 17:20, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Genital examination has seriously been proposed as part of the “boys transition to girls to gain unfair advantages in sports” panic. By the very same people who try to make any question of LBTQ(etc.) rights into a question of protecting kids from sexualisation and grooming — because it’s obviously not a problem when it happens to trans children, right? ScepticWombat (talk) 18:34, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Wait, who was seriously proposing that? Want to know who to avoid. CorruptUser 18:43, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Didn't they already do it in Utah?-RipCityLiberal (talk) 18:45, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
I don't think so. And honestly, I can't think of a more blatant violation (heh) of the 4th Amendment's "unreasonable search and seizure" clause than a genital exam, so if this was happening the ACLU should be all up in that business. CorruptUser 18:51, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Ohio's the state that got the most flack for this. HB 151, Sec. 3313.5318 (C). (It has passed the Ohio House, but as far as I can tell, not the Ohio Senate yet.) Fleshing out the soundbite, basically if a "participant's sex is disputed" in Ohio interscholastic sports, one must get a signed statement from a physician who must indicate the participant's sex based on "internal and external reproductive anatomy", testosterone levels, and "an analysis of the participant's genetic makeup" (huh?). It is just more proof that some legislatures are too often really idiotic when it comes to matters of medicine, and a little bit hypocritically creepy when it comes to riding the moral panic wave as usual. (talk) 20:35, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
I think that's just "does the person have a Y chromosome?". CorruptUser 03:13, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
That's still complicated because the genetics aspect isn't so cut and dry. For example if there is a Y chromosome but it lacks the SRY gene then it may be irrelevant to a person's sex or any preconceived physical advantages they may or may not have. What about someone who a genetic chimera? Some folks absorb their fraternal twin in utreo, or obtain the cells of their older siblings. It entirely possible for someone to have some of their cells carrying an XX in their karyotype while having others with XY. In fact this actually may the be the case for most people given we all absorb cells from our gestating parent in utero. You likely have a few of your mothers cells floating inside you right now and/or are integrated into some of your body's tissues. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:10, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
In terms of actual numbers the estimate is only 1 in 100,000 for XY females, and something like 1 in 25,000 for XX males. Chimeras are obscenely rare; we've documented a grand total of 100 cases in humans. When they arise, yeah an exception is needed, but they are not common enough to base rules around. CorruptUser 06:50, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
That’s about 1 in every 25 high schools for XX males, and 1 in 100 for XY females so not really all that uncommon. True Chimeras, sure rare af, but you may still have your mom and/or siblings cells inside of ya. Regardless though there could be a lot more then 100 cases, not many people actually get their chromosomes looked at, so we could be vastly underreporting cases reflective of the true incidence. Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 07:00, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Per WikipediaWikipedia, chromosome testing was abandoned in the 1990s at the Olympic level for sex verification due to the tests being ineffective for identifying sex, probably due to some of the issues above etc.
On a basic level anyways, "chromosome testing" is called "chromosome testing", not "an analysis of the participant's genetic makeup". People who write bills should be as specific as possible, and if you can't spend the 5 seconds to Google search the exact term these days, something tells me that your medical knowledge is too trashy to write effective laws about it (which since we are dealing with Republicans riding the transgender moral panic, that's a given). Most "analysis of participant's genetic makeup" (eg "genetic testing") merely screen for disease. (talk) 12:26, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

The Republicans are going to keep using the trans sports/bathroom issue as a wedge issue in some states because they believe it wins them elections. Erik10012 (talk) 18:54, 18 October 2022 (UTC)

That's because it does and will win them elections. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 21:11, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
Gotta throw a moral panic in the mix to make up for bad policies. 'Sure we want you to carry that dead baby to term, but get a load of these freaks.' Wash, Rinse, Repeat.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 21:56, 18 October 2022 (UTC)
People are going to vote Republican this year because "gotta punish the party in power for the state of the economy", but the Republicans are gonna take it as, "The voters have given us a mandate to take away women and trans rights!"Ryan1257 (talk) 07:01, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
There are plenty of Republicans that firmly believe that trans rights are a total fiction. So they do not believe that any rights are being taken away. And many of these same Republicans do not believe that the right to abortion is a women's right except when it comes to the life of the mother. And so they are not looking for a public mandate. It's a culture war in their eyes and not a negotiation. Erik10012 (talk) 09:47, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Could be worse. Imagine if it was the Dems who were anti-Abortion and the Repubs the pro-abortion party, and then someone discovers how to identify all the gaybies... CorruptUser 14:23, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
If the alt-right could control it, abortions for whites would be illegal while minorities, poor immigrants, the disabled, and "degenerates" would either be encouraged or coerced to get them. Of course, that'd be too much for the evangelical crowd if only because it'd be a bridge too far for those who are against abortion, period (but still want other options to rid themselves of these people)-Ryan1257 (talk) 17:42, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Matt Walsh at The Daily Wire website, who is a Catholic, posted a response video to John Oliver's video on transexuals. Erik10012 (talk) 18:08, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
That'd prolly belong more in the clogs than here. Vee (talk) 18:24, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Matt Walsh, a self-described "theocratic fascist" basically speaks anti-trans shit half the times he opens his mouth; there's usually no need to give Youtube views to something that's going to be entirely predictable. Generally he only makes news when he says something ridiculously stupid. His most recent viral musing for instance was on describing all anime as Satanic. (talk) 19:31, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

In the video above, Walsh said he was largely joking about the anime. The Wikipedia article on Matt Walsh suggests that he was being sarcastic about the "theocratic fascist" remark. He probably tries to be somewhat edgy for clickbait reasons. What's been happening in the UK, France, Germany and Western Europe as far as transgenderism? Erik10012 (talk) 20:09, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

The really sad thing about the John Oliver video is the probability that its heartfelt sincerity is wasted on the general public. Few actually care about what we might call trans issues even though they have become a republican shibboleth. This wiki has a good representation of people interested in those issues. Some are educated on topics concerning trans rights and trans health and trans athleticism. Oliver is seriously handicapped by the condition of being a comedian first and a social scientist on a much lower level of expertise than might prove influential with the undecided voter. Real politics are rejected by the comedian without regard to the effect on election outcomes. For example, Oliver's dismissal of Bloomberg's concern over emphasizing the politics of trans issues was either disingenuous or ignorant. Nothing can stop the progress of public reification of all viable emergent genders in modern western societies. There are always setbacks. To be blunt, one can resolve ones own difficulties; there is nothing to be done about states like Texas. New York is a cool place. UncleKrampus (talk) 00:25, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
The bathroom bills (and presumably more generally restrictions trans rights) were noted as being specifically fascistic by Jason Stanley in his book How Fascism Works in 2018 (pages 135-135) because trans women using women's bathrooms causes sexual anxiety through moral panic, and threatens the patriarchal hierarchy necessary for fascism. Bongolian (talk) 06:44, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
That said, John Oliver also got way out over his skis talking about this issue. When one of the loudest voices in the field is the Yeet the Teets doctor who calls herself Teetus Deletus, I think there's cause for concern as to what's going on in that field. And I'm no expert on the subject matter, but the studies he cited to support his arguments looked... pretty flawed, to put it mildly. You can't cite small, biased sampled studies one breath after you've criticized someone else for the same. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:04, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
I like how you literally just said "I don't know anything about this but it looks fishy so I'm gonna say that he's putting the cart before the horse." A study of over 10k transgender people is not "small". It's certainly much larger than the critiqued the anti-trans study. Also, is this literally not just judging the book by it's cover? So a doctor calls herself something mildly immature. And? How are his studies biased? I'm keen to hear your specific arguments and substantiations that don't just boil down to vague gesturing and arguments from hypocrisy. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:30, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
I'm not an expert on this issue specifically, but I know a bad study when I see one; that's not specific to the subject. Here is a fairly detailed explanation, though it gets fuzzy around the issue of sports (which strikes me as peripheral at most). Also noting the dodge of the first point of concern I raised. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:45, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
You linked me an article from "Reality's Last Stand", an explicitly right-wing "journalistic publication" that only exists to refute the existence of transgender people. Beyond that, I'll still refute this article, even though it is very funny that you accuse him of using biased sources while also using possibly one of the most biased sources on this topic.
First off, the article makes the point that most children that identify as trans "desist" past a certain age. This is not true, or at the very least not true enough to claim it with such objectivity, here is an article about it.
Secondly, the article also makes the point that the study showing suicidality rates is "biased" because it "recruited adults from pro-trans sites". This is not sampling bias. This is finding transgender people online to use in your study because transgender people online tend to gravitate to trans friendly spaces. This is not nearly as egregious as the study on "Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria". The article then tries to claim that ROGD has never been parroted as a diagnosis, but rather "a way to distinguish a new and increasingly common cohort of teens, the likes of which had rarely been seen in the decades of research on gender dysphoria." This is not true. ROGD was posited as an EXPLANATION for why trans kids were trans, and their "explanation" was that them being around other trans people caused them to be trans, rather than, let's say, social acceptance or the freedom to explore their identity without discrimination or scrutiny.
Thirdly, the article tries to refute his claim that detransitioners are rare. The article admits that he is correct that people detransition due to social stigma, saying ".. while the latter may be true in some cases, we are seeing many examples of young people deeply physically and psychologically harmed by gender medicine." Notice how their second point is not a rebuttal, just a vague gesture that doesn't actually pair with an argument. They also claim that the detransition rate is "unknown, not rare", an argument that doesn't make sense when you consider that the argument is that the detransition rate is high enough that transgender children should not get gender affirming care. No one is denying that detransitioners exist, even though the article says they do, we just shouldn't ban people from gender affirming care because of it.
Fourthly, they try to refute this claim that puberty blockers are reversible, because the NHS retracted their stance that they were reversible and instead replaced it with a list of "POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS". Ignoring the fact that the NHS is notably shitty on transgender care, this is not a justification for anything, any evidence of long term side effects from puberty blockers is either presently being researched or anecdotal.
Most egregiously, this article claims that surgeries DO happen willy-nilly. In response to Oliver's claim that gender affirming surgery does not happen until a rigorous process of informed consent and preexisting care, the article says; "...this ignores the many devastated adolescents and young adults who got their surgeries willy-nilly without being properly informed about the risks and benefits, and that Obama-era rules force insurance companies to cover the costs of such surgeries." Which youths? The article doesn't say, it rides on the fact that the reader already thinks this is a massive problem.
The article you linked me is a load of horseshit, respectfully. It is transphobic nonsense published by a transphobic journal. Either find a better source, or shut the fuck up. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:09, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, tl;dr. Still not addressing Teetus Deletus, I see. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:21, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Are you seriously more interested in me engaging with your bad faith deflection of the issue rather than the fact that you posted an explicitly transphobic pile of steaming horseshit as evidence that John Oliver was wrong? Give me a fucking break dude, holy shit. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:25, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
I can't say I've ever found someone screaming red-faced swearing at me wanted me to engage more, since you asked. Hand-waving away the concerns the NHS, Sweden, and Finland raised is a dodge in itself. Also, make of this what you will; maybe I'm wrong here, but this doesn't look methodologically sound. (And yes, I'm aware of what people have said about the author, but have never seen anyone produce evidence of the accusations) The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:26, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Okay, I find the puberty blocker "concern" thing very bad faith for a few reasons, the biggest being that the main issue is not that puberty blockers are safe but if they should be legal or not. Every medication can have side effects, and puberty blockers do have side effects, they can also provide a tangible benefit to transgender children. Despite this, the call is not that people should have informed consent regarding puberty blockers, but rather that they should be unilaterally banned because some people have "concerns" regarding their safety. The NHS, at least, is somewhat honest with their list of "potential side effects", this is informed consent. Every aspect of transgender care has informed consent, from HRT to gender affirming surgery. John Oliver is not incorrect when he says that the effects of puberty blockers are reversible, this is not something that's actually debated. Jesse Singal is not a credible source either, his well cited Wikipedia article is evidence enough for me.
And since you take such an interest in Dr "Teetus Deletus" (for some reason), you leave some things out. That's her TikTok handle, she's a plastic surgeon named Dr Sidhbh Gallagher. The name is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant to be taken literally. It's humor. She's come under fire for "promoting top surgery to kids on TikTok", something very silly because kids cannot and will never get top surgery on a consistent basis. She is a legitimate medical doctor that uses her platform to educate people on transgender cosmetic surgery. Doctors are allowed to be tongue-in-cheek with their professions online, they are not robots or automatons, they're people that engage in humor like we do. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:56, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Fair enough. Since I managed to raise the temperature here, probably best for me to back off. All I can say with confidence after all this is that becoming a culture war issue has seriously affected the ability to dispassionately study the subject, it's made it vastly more difficult to determine an optimal standard of care, and that I certainly want everyone to receive the best care possible whatever that turns out to be. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:23, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

I just need 24 hours[edit]

I created something in mainspace to be deleted in about 24 hours, never to return. Just give me 24 fucking hours... it's a project I am engaged in. Stop freaking the fuck out. Acei9 00:24, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

Just make them sub-pages of your home page, then you can do as you wish. Bongolian (talk) 01:43, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Good post! Andrew5 (talk) 18:59, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

Only 1 thousand more years to go until TES6...[edit]

Can't wait! Vee (talk) 22:57, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

A few more years and it'll be longer than the period between the releases of Daggerfall and Skyrim ;). In the meantime they've got the space thing! No Man's Skyrim! The Elite Scrolls! That other one, which eats money like a military boondoggle, but elder-scrolls-ised! Aren't you excited?! Namako (talk) 07:40, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
No. Vee (talk) 08:12, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Actually, I'm excited for Starfield. I mean, I'm nervous about how a thousand planets will actually be made fun, but for all the complaints that people have about Bugthesda's lack of good story telling and immersion, Bugthesda really does gameplay and mod support right. So if they make a space crafting and survival game, I'm excited to see how they do it, especially since they are bringing back the "traits" system that made the original Fallout and Arcanum games so much fun. What they do need to make sure is that those traits include an Idiot trait, which was half the fun... CorruptUser 14:32, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

Some space news for a change of pace[edit]

NASA James Webb just took an updated version of the famous Pillars of Creation image from Hubble and it looks fucking amazing. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:59, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

I unfortunately haven't been paying as much attention as of late. Has James Webb been used for exoplanetology/astrobiology yet or no? Vee (talk) 23:02, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Not yet. They're mostly using it to look at stars in deep space to study the early universe and occasionally getting updated versions of old Hubble photographs. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 23:06, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Ah dammit. I've been really looking forward to that lol. Well, patience is a virtue, right? Vee (talk) 23:07, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
The early universe stuff is cool too, though. Like Webb found a galaxy cluster in the process of forming 11.5 billion freaking years ago. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 23:08, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Now that's interesting. I wonder if Webb has caught any Pop III stars yet? Vee (talk) 23:10, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

What do combat vets think of first person shooters like COD?[edit]

This just occurred to me: do combat vets appreciate the glorification (and commodification) of their own experiences in wartime for basically what amounts to an escapist fantasy? Vee (talk) 23:37, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

For the Modern Warfare series at least, COD went onto military bases and spent some time around actual active personnel to get a sense of how they actually think and act. While I don't have any active combat military in my family (both my grandfathers were in the service but never in combat), one of my uncles does test flights for combat helicopters and has played a couple COD games. From his experience directly working with all 5 branches of the military, he said it fairly accurately represented their mindset at least. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:12, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Fair, but COD still is commodifying their experiences. Vee (talk) 04:24, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Is commodifying inherently wrong? Because, I mean, each and every rpg and fiction story as a whole is commodifying some kind of lived experience... (talk) 08:33, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
I think this is as much a matter of exploitation and propaganda as it is a matter of morals. It's an open secret that the military industrial complex uses pop culture as a recruitment tool/easy source of propaganda. I am/was curious to see combat vets' opinion on this, although the victims of the military industrial complex might also have opinions about this. Vee (talk) 08:41, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
A bit of a tangent, but... https://taskandpurpose.com/culture/most-popular-video-games-military-service-members-veterans/
I am not actually that surprised by these answers. A combo of 'short play' (for folks who have a half-hour wind-down before going on-duty), 'casual play' (killing a bit of time for people who don't have many other options for entertainment), 'group play' (game/personel ratio of 1:20, multigames 'serves' more at once) and 'escapism' (to forget where the hell you are and why). This also tallies with an article I read a long time back regarding of what novels were popular at the front during WW2; mainly books which were formulaic, not overly taxing escapist works which weren't too long. I also knew a guy who got into playing D&D from the sessions they'd played during an Iraq deployment.
In this case, I think vets would be more conscious of the escapist nature of them than normal folks.. Plus, there's worlds of difference between the shoddy CoD clones and the ultra-realism of the ARMA series. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:49, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Everyone understands that games are not the same as real life, and war has been commodified since the invention of the toy soldier. CorruptUser 13:04, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
The moral panic(s) over computer games in general suggests that your statement is not 100% accurate... KarmaPolice (talk) 13:32, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
There were moral panics about everything. And let's not forget that one of the biggest leaders of the moral panic against video games was Hillary herself. CorruptUser 15:28, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Who brought up Hillary? Anyway, from my experience and interactions with veterans, a lot of them are very attracted to games like COD or Insurgency (or any other FPS set in modern times). I couldn't tell you why, but a lot of them seem to like the atmosphere; and in milsim games: the communication and teamwork. It attracts a certain kind of person and veterans seem to fit the bill a lot of the time. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 16:35, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Sorry to be pedantic...
'The term "veteran" means a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable. 38 U.S.C. § 101(21) provides: The term “active duty” means— (A) full-time duty in the Armed Forces, other.' (US Veteran's Association's website, I assume most other nations definitions are similar enough).
Therefore, you can have been an 'active' member of the military which has never even heard a shot fired in anger, even small arms (pale and overweight bloke who spent 20 years inhabiting dimly-lit dusty storerooms in Catterick qualifies). Which is why I suspect the OP was clear in asking about 'combat veterans'. (Edit: Not dumping on anyone who did serve but didn't get directly shot at etc, but there is a distinction, at least psychologically). KarmaPolice (talk) 17:31, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
It's certainly not CoD, but as a case study, the first Medal of Honor game did get some backlash from the president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and a military vet they bought on as an advisor thought it was pretty exploitative at first but held on when they showed they had good intentions. Of course, it's different context, given this is before video games really hit the mainstream and before historical shooters became vogue, and again, different game franchise. DietMondrian (talk) 02:49, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Also check this. Looks like many veterans can enjoy CoD (& similar games), yet have no illusions otherwise....- (talk) 20:37, 22 October 2022 (UTC)

Manifest V3[edit]

So, apparently Google wants to replace Manifest V2 with Manifest V3 in the beginning of 2024. And youtubers & redditors are saying that V3 will kill adblockers or something. Now I don't trust these 2, because they like to use their thinking caps since they love to think like "free-thinkers". And in youtube's case, it's videos that you TOTALLY should watch. So, what's really going on? I use chrome myself, so I'm curious. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 19:12, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

For the facts, I recommend checking issue #338 on the uBlock Origin repo. Main takeaway is that some features will be lost, but I think v3 isn't set in stone yet. I've not followed this drama since idgaf about garbage browsers that will go v3-only, and the fact that adblockers do their best in Firefox anyway. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 19:44, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
It also introduces a soft limit of 30k DNR rules. Currently not that big of an issue, because of optimizations, but already the special uBlock version for MV3 is reaching 20k... not exactly a welcome change. It also is a obstacle on innovation, an important thing for blockers. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 19:56, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

Welcome, Nerevar[edit]

Friend or traitor, to this place where we last met countless ages ago in fire and war. Vee (talk) 00:14, 14 October 2022 (UTC)

Dagoth Ur welcomes you, Nerevar, my old friend. But to this place where destiny is made. Why have you come unprepared? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:47, 14 October 2022 (UTC).
nerds. AMassiveGay (talk) 16:05, 14 October 2022 (UTC)
Calm down.Andrew5 (talk) 20:57, 14 October 2022 (UTC)
Lmao. Relax, it's a Morrowind quote. But, yeah, I'll tone it down. Vee (talk) 21:07, 14 October 2022 (UTC)
Meh. Never got into the whole Elder Scrolls series... any of it. Give me Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest-- I'm a bit old fashioned there. Kencolt (talk) 05:16, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
Arena and Daggerfall both came out in the 90s, if that's old fashioned enough for you. (You can actually get both for free.) Vee (talk) 17:43, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, but then you've gotta fiddle about to get the damn thing working on a modern PC... KarmaPolice (talk) 11:05, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Those are MS-DOS games, so you can easily play them with an emulator, like DOSBox. Rabbitseatcarrots (talk) 11:08, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
That's not easily done... I know from experience. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:26, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
At least for Daggerfall, all that needs to be done is downloading the game files and then extracting them. (I recommend downloading "DaggerfallSetup" as opposed to the official Bethesda version. Less of a hassle that way.) Vee (talk) 21:30, 22 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah? Now get it to run *right* using DOSBox. It's been awhile since I've used it myself but unless it's radically changed in the last ~10 years (a quick looks like it's a 'no') but you've got to fiddle about using command-line and so on (I do remember you could build direct-loading Boxes with a bit of effort and skill). But that unless you had a weird childhood you'd need to be knocking 40 now to have 'native' experience of DOS and to be honest, my knowledge of it has gone the way of my BASIC programming skill and my ability to repair floppy disc drives - ie into the mists of time.
Basically, a casual curious gamer won't be arsed to do that. What is needed is the distributions of DOS-era games to have all this crud already done so I can quite literally, DL it, install and play (the UESP version is about ~25% bigger than the official version, which suggests it is). Okay, from the looks of it my own argument/gripes has been sorted in this case, but generally speaking most DOS-era games don't have this option. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:02, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

Westminster circus[edit]

How many more Cabinet appointments and Prime Ministers by Halloween and by Christmas? Anna Livia (talk) 19:15, 19 October 2022 (UTC)

The writing is on the wall. Truss is going to have a short shelf life as Prime Minister. Who is favored to replace her? Whoever replaces her is not going to be popular because there is a lot of blood, sweat and tears the UK is going to have to work through if it is going to turn things around. It's too bad that Boris Johnson was such a bad Prime Minister. The UK has several interconnected problems that is going to take a lot of collective work of the population to fix. If Johnson was a good leader, the UK could have started to work on them. Erik10012 (talk) 20:21, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
By my estimation, it's 4 more Chancellors till Christmas. Cardinal Chang (talk) 21:38, 19 October 2022 (UTC)
Post WWII, prosperity in the Anglosphere caused it to be soft and decadent. Sometimes cultures and people have to experience hardship or hit rock bottom before they sober up. It's similar to a boxer that loses a fight. After the fight, he starts seriously training and then starts winning fights again. Germany was decadent during the Weimar Republic which led it to the moral monstrosity of Nazism. But it behaved much better after it was pounded into the ground in WWII. It's similar to the business cycle. Societies grow lax and pour their money into speculative investments and overleverage themselves. And then they experience a recession/depression and then come back stronger. Sadly, it doesn't look like the UK has learned any lessons from its mistakes. I like many aspects of British culture despite its shortcomings as of late. I am rooting for the Brits/UK to get off the mat. Erik10012 (talk) 00:02, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
that's a fine a load of male bovine excrement you've written for us there. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 01:21, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Ken, is that you? Vee (talk) 01:25, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
What I wrote is completely legitimate. Britain's Financial Times published a video about 3 years ago called What's wrong with Great Britain? that still rings true today. Erik10012 (talk) 02:19, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
(EC)I don't know why, but I read "prosperity in the Anglosphere caused it to be soft and decadent" in Gihren Zabi's voice.-Flandres (talk) 02:23, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Original version or English dub? GeeJayK (talk) 02:25, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Original, but as soon as you said that I imagined it again in the dub voice.-Flandres (talk) 02:35, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
A year ago the U.K. suffered its sharpest economic decline in three centuries. And that includes the period of WWI and WWII. And today, things look worse. There has been a big drop in the quality of the UK's socioeconomic status. And that includes the quality of its leaders and the people who elect them since the UK is a democracy. Things don't just happen. They happen for reasons. Erik10012 (talk) 03:14, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
My theory is that it's KenBot, but one which seems to be tapping higher quality source material than usual. And/or has had a software update... KarmaPolice (talk) 03:58, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

I see that I am encountering some UK/Anglosphere decline denialism. The writing is on the wall in very big letters. Erik10012 (talk) 04:15, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

[Ignores the KenBot]
The main political woes can be seen simply as the current iteration of that bowel-obstruction which is Brexit. What has happened is that the Tories have 'solved' the previous debates by effectively driving out the 'dissenters'; first the 'Remainers' under May, then the 'Soft Brexiteers' under Johnson. The latter's political 'knack' led to them winning the GE in 2019; primarily by a) promising Brexit unicorns for all, b) a massive hate campaign against the opposition and c) his own charisma.
However, he was storing up problems for the future, as his mouth was writing Brexit cheques which his arse couldn't cash - to whit, 'Singapore-on-Thames' and 'Levelling Up' has always been fundimentally incompatable, and the desires of the quasi-racist 'Kippers' disgusted everyone else electorally. Thus, his 'coalition' was built on very narrow electorical base and that's more deadly to a Westminster-style democracy than say, a Washington-style. In 'normal' times, he'd have had to deal with these cheques (and competing factions) in '20/'21 - but the pandemic gave him a political stay of execution, and then the Ukranian invasion (can't say Johnson has long had luck on his side). The only thing which was 'unexpected' was that he was brought down not for political failings, but personal ones - leaving his successor (Truss) to deal with all the cheques coming in.
On an objective level, Truss simply is not capable enough a leader for this role. She lacks charisma, empathy, deftness of brain or decent political 'nous'. She is too brittle, too dogmatic and also, too extreme. She was the choice of the 'golf club bore' crowd, the cheerleader for the vulgar libertarian wing of the party, the pet of the Tufton Street loonies and the creation of the Daily Diana and the Hate Mail. However, the truth is that the Tories in general have also become unelectable; a lot of the MPs liked her neo-Thatcherite BS but simply felt she was too obvious and 'sold it' poorly (telling us plebs that we were effectively 'too stupid' to get how great her trickle-down was perhaps the icing on cake). Thing was that the Tory party has become so narrow in ideology now that Sunak - a man who is a neo-Thatcherite himself - appeared to be 'a moderate' simply because he admitted the existence of reality.
The final problem is that there's no escape. The party would implode if the grandees 'overruled' above golf-club bores and installed someone a bit more 'moderate' (by Tory standards), and there would be hell to pay from the public at large if they didn't then in short order have a GE to give them 'moral/political authority' from winning it. Which all MPs know they won't win right now - and Hunt's plans for 'Austerity Redux' will render them into electoral oblivion. There's also no clear heir apparent which could 'unify' the party. Worst of all, all their old failings are coming to roost; every single issue seems to be (at least in part) down to their previous decisions, either directly or two/three steps removed.
Personally, this feels very like the mid 90s. That the Tories are old, tired, corrupt, stupid, run out of ideas, stuck in the past and lost their grip on reality. People forget that Labour under Smith was getting poll leads of 25-30 points even before Blair came on the scene. KarmaPolice (talk) 05:31, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
In a democracy, people by and large get the leaders that they deserve. And businesses as a general rule are as successful as their management and workers. And no amount of rationalization is going to get around these two matters. Erik10012 (talk) 10:00, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
As far as "Singapore on the Thames", the Singaporeans study harder, worker harder and have better public policies so they are more competitive and wealthier than the UK. It's not rocket science. Erik10012 (talk) 12:12, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
...except London is one of the top wealthiest cities in the world, too. Both are top finance and business centers whose wealth depends on their connections with major regions (Europe for London and Asia for Singapore) and relatively friendly trading / business policies.
The main threat to London's exalted status, of course, is the shitshow of Brexit, which has sort of diminished the Europe advantage London had. London's status has held up pretty good all things considering (compare London to Hong Kong, where Xi authoritarianism seems to be driving everyone away in droves) but if you're going to apply the Horatio AlgerWikipedia style bullshit to anyone, you need to apply it to the Leave demographic (generally speaking, old (often pensioners), white, and poorly educated) who created probably the top issue that's dragging the UK economy (compared to the world) at the moment. (talk) 12:36, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
The Singaporeans definitely study harder than UK citizens which the data clearly shows. Singaporeans also worker harder as can be seen by UK citizens working about 36 hours a week[2] and Singaporeans working about 44 hours a week.[3] The UK has definitely become "soft". In sports, teams that worker harder and smarter win more games. The same is true when it comes to countries as far as their economic competitiveness and overall wealth. Singaporeans being a more prosperous country than the UK is not a fluke. The Singaporeans are a former colony of the UK and they are now outshining the UK when it comes to material wealth. Erik10012 (talk) 12:55, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Update: Apparently Liz Truss just resigned. The Daily Star's lettuce wins. (talk) 12:57, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
The UK has a lower GDP per capita than Singapore.[4] Erik10012 (talk) 13:02, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Not only has the UK become more "soft" post WWII which prevents it from becoming a Singapore on the Thames, it has also become more decadent post WWII. The BBC published a YouTube video Sex-for-rent offered by landlords - BBC News. Erik10012 (talk) 13:16, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Perhaps it's this lazy Brit being a wee bit tired after coming off a 12-day stretch of 11-hour shifts, but say something fucking relevant to the topic Erik-Ken or I'll call for you to be banned. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:24, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

KarmaPolice, your individual plight is anecdotal and cannot possibly explain the UK's current plight. But if you want a few anecdotal stories to illustrate a point I will give you a few. About 3 years ago, I was hired as a consultant by a leading nonprofit in their niche which was experiencing a dramatic reversal in their effectiveness for a couple of years. I had to do some research and write some lengthy emails to knock down all their excuses and rationalizations. I then proceeded to give them a blueprint for turning things around which worked wonderfully. I am now doing the same for another nonprofit that experienced some reversals, but thankfully they are far less resistant to change and they are now working smarter and harder. Underperformance in endeavors is usually the result of complaisance. The UK citizens have become too complaisant. One of my favorite movies is Rocky I. Rocky's trainer told him to stop being a lazy bum and become a champion. I often have to tell my clients in a diplomatic way to stop being bums and study/work like champions. People or nations often have to experience pain before they are willing to change and become champions. But sadly, most people and nations are resistant to change and many never change. Erik10012 (talk) 13:49, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

So is Liz Truss the least successful British PM ever? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 14:06, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
KarmaPolice is right that Liz Truss comes across as lacking empathy. If I approached my clients in an undiplomatic way telling them they had to work smarter and harder, I would never get my foot in the door and be able to assist them. She is also a tax cutter. When Ronald Reagan cut the tax rate it stimulated the economy and brought in more tax revenue. But Reagan also had a military buildup so he did not keep his promise of reducing the national debt. The UK was formerly called the "sick man of Europe" due to its poor economic performance, but then Margaret Thatcher instituted some economic reforms which proved successful. Thatcher holds the title of being the longest-serving Prime Minister of the UK to date. In 2017, the UK started being called the sick man of Europe again. Erik10012 (talk) 14:23, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
DuceMoosolini, Truss was caught on tape saying that British workers lacked the "skill and application" of foreign nationals which was a very blunt and undiplomatic for a politician to state a key problem that Britain is facing. But Britain's The Economist concurs and indicates that Britain’s productivity problem is a long-standing problem and getting worse. A country's productivity of its management/workers is a very key factor when it comes to the standard of living of its citizens. Erik10012 (talk) 14:39, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

So, who's next in line from the clown car to become PM? Or is the UK going for new elections? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 14:35, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

The UK's political class has to compete to hold and gain positions. So it's a horserace that is yet to be determined. It's not like royalty where there is a line of succession. CNBC says: "Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt and even former Prime Minister Boris Johnson are among the likely frontrunners to replace Truss." It would be totally nuts for Boris Johnson to hold the post again, but I suppose stranger things have happened. Erik10012 (talk) 14:50, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, Boris is definitely angling for a return, but I have a hunch that he might be holding back for a little while for two reasons: His own resignation and scandals are still fairly fresh in the public memory, and he probably isn’t too keen on inheriting the current shit show, but would prefer to “ride to the rescue” closer to the next general election. Sunak is probably the most obvious candidate, followed by Mordaunt, who inexplicably still has some of her earlier air of being a dark horse saviour, despite her disastrous campaigning and lack of debating skills the last time around. Still, I would be too surprised if some other Tory ends up in the hot seat due to a combination of party horse trading and the aforementioned poisoned chalice aspect of becoming PM at this moment. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:00, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Okay, who is genuinely surprised here? The Tory MP resigns in disgrace due to his incompetence, gets replaced by a member of his own shitty party, and his replacement is just as shitty. I genuinely think that the only way the UK is going to fix the issues they're facing is getting the Tories out of power. Tory policies DO NOT WORK. General elections now. ---Ozzyboo (talk) 15:34, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
It's harder for the UK to attract quality politicians to hold office due to political polarization post-Brexit. Who wants to be elected and be instantly hated by half the country? The UK's productivity level has been bad since 2008 so the economy can't support generous government spending even if it wanted to. Erik10012 (talk) 16:10, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
A poll representing the 0.3% of voters who are eligible to vote for PM showed that they want the old circus back (BoJo) — it was a lot more entertaining and the ticket prices were far lower.[5] Bongolian (talk) 17:48, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Indeed, there is definitely a chance that the circus will return to its old clown/ring master either now or if/when the next useless Tory tosses flames out in whatever stupid way they manage to while desperately trying to avoid a general election.
On a side note, and I know I shouldn’t feed the troll, but it would be really nice if Ken/Erik actually understood what productivity means before he started yapping about it all over this thread (hint: It has fuck all too do with either laziness, decadence or whether a country can ”support generous government spending”). ScepticWombat (talk) 18:14, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Frankly, the sickness is the Tories, not just one PM. Truss was merely implementing what a vocal side of the party truly wanted. Unlike a certain troll's thoughts, as seen by the market reactions, it's pretty clear that Thatcher-style neoliberalism, "supply side economics", and "starve the beast" style reruns from the 1980s is not any sort of solution to Britain's woes. Johnson somewhat represented the other side of the current Conservative voting coalition, namely the northern constituencies that are more big-spending, interventionist, and protectionist. As seen by the shitstorm of Brexit, this path (especially the protectionist, damn-the-furriners, break-from-the-"oppressive"-EU sorts) really didn't work out that well, either. Both of these sides were Brexit fans for different reasons, but government policy wise these two styles are extremely different. So we have a political party that embraces two economic styles that don't work, and also are at conflict with each other. Good luck to the next Tory PM! (I'd personally be more confident in Britain's future if the next PM wasn't a Tory at all, but was, say, Larry the cat.Wikipedia (talk) 18:32, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Haven't the Tories been dictating UK politics for ages? While I totally agree that the Tories should GTFO, I don't think it's going to be that simple to kick them out of Nr.10. I doubt the Conservaties are going to agree with that.
#LarryTheCatForNextPM Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 19:19, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
I think it's time for a general election, but as an American going through a general election I understand why Brits may not want it.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 19:56, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
Unfortunately to bypass the regular scheduled election (currently 2024) you apparently need either 2/3 of the votes in Parliament or a vote of no confidence with no alternative confirmed after 14 days. With the current polls showing an approx. 31 point gap (!) voting intention gap between Labour and Conservative (in favor of Labour) and the Tories with a solid majority of the Commons, I really really doubt an election will be called at this time. Still gonna root for Larry (or any other non-Tory) though, one can dream. (talk) 20:21, 20 October 2022 (UTC)
You could always vote for Lord Buckethead or Count Binface. :P Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 22:56, 20 October 2022 (UTC)

The United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal shows that there is a system-wide parliamentary problem with UK governance. And given the large scope of the problem within parliament, one could say that there is a societal-wide problem and it is not merely a Tory problem. UK society needs to raise the moral/ethical bar in terms of how their leaders and citizens operate. I say citizens because it is the UK citizens who elect UK leaders. Erik10012 (talk) 00:39, 21 October 2022 (UTC)

For my final reply to you, I refer you to Private Eye's reply to 1971's Arkell v Pressdram. Not for your vulgar libertarianism, the personal disparagements or even your clear lack of understanding of 'local conditions' but the simple fact you're clearly, deliberately derailing the discussion.
Troll KarmaPolice (talk) 09:06, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Karmapolice, I am not a libertarian. I did not utter one personal disparagement of you in the above discussion which is something that you cannot say. Your allusion to my supposed lack of understanding of local conditions is a moot point since you do not know my depth of knowledge in this area nor do you know where I live. And finally, there is nothing I posted that was not in response to other posters in this thread. I suggest you cease your sour grapes griping and your whining about your work hours as they were both definitely off-topic. Erik10012 (talk) 10:36, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
uk works some of the longest hours in europe. AMassiveGay (talk) 13:10, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Indeed, and this is why I pointed out above that Ken/Erik either doesn’t have a clue what the numbers he cites actually mean, is just finding random factoids to stir shit up, or both. I think the best we can do is just ignore him and stick to the topic and interact with those who are actually contributing something of interest/value to the thread.
As KarmaPolice put it: Troll. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:11, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
Rishi Sunak appears to be the lesser of evils of all the leading candidates and so he is the odds on favorite, but he is tainted by his advocacy of higher taxes and his wife's scandals. In addition, the UK hasn't had a decent Prime Minister in terms of competence and honesty since its longest-serving Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who cleaned up the UK's socialistic follies.
SkepticWombat, I do know what the numbers I cited mean as I have an educational background in economics and other relevant topics from a leading university. In addition, I have owned successful business enterprises. And the numbers I cited were not random whatsoever and related to KarmaPolice and others' posts. Erik10012 (talk) 17:24, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
TFG can't even stay on topic. Your statistics aren't relevant. You opened with an absurd statement, and when called out you've been trying to hide behind meaningless numbers without context.
While the likelihood of Parliament calling for new elections is low, could Charles dissolve Parliament?-RipCityLiberal (talk) 21:23, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
He can in theory. His position has that power. But is he able or willing to? Bearing in mind the recent Cop27 fiasco.Cardinal Chang (talk) 22:25, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
It's more likely than you'd think. Technically, yes there is no need; the Tories have a majority of 71 and when they're so behind in the polls most won't vote for the loss of (most) of their own jobs. Yet... there's two aspects not considered.
First, internal Tory issues. Whoever wins, a low-level 'civil war' shall continue, minimum. It shall take a huge amount of political skill to navigate this and frankly, there is a general lack of ability on the side of the pilots and the average MP is so fucking deluded and stupid they'll throw hissy-fits if they don't get the unicorns (remember; the vast majority loved Truss' economic plans!). Now, normally turkeys don't vote for Christmas but everyone has a point where they simply get so sick and tired of the continuing shit-show (and having to say, defend it to their electorate) they simply pull the plug to 'get it over and done with', even if 'it' really sucks.
Second, the 'lack of democratic legitimacy'. Yes, a Sunak/Mordant Govt would be *technically* legitimate according to Da Rules but if we've never had a situation where an 'unelected' PM tries to do an 'unelected' manifesto (which is part of the appeal of Johnson; at least it can be said he *was* elected!). Factor in, say a) continuing mass unpopularity and b) trying to do policies it has 'no mandate to do' (say, Austerity Mk 2)... well, we're in very dodgy territory. A land where the people don't simply hate the government (and it's policies), but when they firmly believe it is illigitimate.
In the face of say, rolling mass protests, a general strike and a general level of 'non-cooperation' from a majority of the people, governance becomes very difficult. In cases like this, a PM standing up and saying 'well, a person NotMe got a majority in Parliament on a Manifesto which we're not following so shut the fuck up and sit down' isn't going to cut it.
In steps the PM, to the Palace. If they say 'well, I have the legal right to continue as-is' in the face of the above situation the King could retort 'well, I also have the legal right to sack you and cause a GE'. And if the Govt is constantly trailing heavily at the polls etc, CR might feel 'the public is on his side' to do it too. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:24, 21 October 2022 (UTC)
If I were to hazard a guess at possible Tory spin patrolling of the legitimacy issue, it would be to back either BoJo, following a point like the one highlighted by KarmaPolice (“Well, he did win in 2019, so he is somewhat legitimate”), or to back Sunak (using a sort of veiled “Well the Tory members got it wrong and he really should’ve won last time around” type of argument).
Either of these narratives might work (especially given the pro Tory proclivities of much the UK media), at least if the new PM is not too disastrous, though, as KarmaPolice pointed out, this is actually not an easy bar to clear, not least due to the level of delusion among Tory MPs. Hence, I would argue that these two possible justifications favour BoJo and Sunak for PM, while Mordaunt can’t easily find as similar straw to cling to.
Mordaunt’s hope might be to run with a sort of “Well, BoJo didn’t work out and Sunak lost to Truss, so why not try something different?” dark horsey tale. But given how wholly unimpressive she was in the last leadership campaign, I doubt that she’ll pull it off, unless she can tap into the “rainbows and unicorns” deluded and wishful thinking of the Tories, which is still a possibility. Hell, that she’s still touted as a viable candidate is indicative of how prone Tories are to this. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:32, 22 October 2022 (UTC)

After a weekend of listening to the mood music etc, I believe that a 'changed manifesto' is regarded as more illegitimate to the Big Public than a 'changed leader'; that while the Tory apologists are right in saying 'we do not have a presidential system, nobody voted for the next PM, only their preferred MP' I am equally right in retorting 'yet those voters selected Tory MPs who stood on a particular manifesto'. Which may partly explain why Sunak outrightly said he was going to 'fulfil the 2019 manifesto'.

However, this then hits the 'bollard of reality' again; as it appears generally that Sunak supports Austerity Redux too. This cannot exist in the same political room as 'levelling up' (a key bit of said manifesto) and the UK political system isn't so cultish and nuts that even a decent minority of the Big Public can be conned into thinking it is. And if Sunak (which it now looks like it shall be) does try Austerity, he will hit the 'nobody fucking elected you to do that!' protests outlined above.

How could Sunak spin his way out of this? I suspect he'll try to 'explain' that This Is The Only Option (again), try to hide the cuts in the places we won't notice immediately (good luck with that) and then the sycophants shall argue that things 'are too serious' to have a GE. However... we are close to the point where the 'Serious Suits' of the economic world will outrightly contradict this narrative. Austerity-caused 'public service decay' is now clearly causing a significant drag on UK.Plc's performance; for example, some 10% of the working-age adults are too sick to work and the per-head days lost to 'sickness' (theirs or others) has risen by about 50% since it's lowest point (2011) and some £90bn of output (about ~3% of total) was 'lost' in 2019 due to it and if the Tory Party lives up to expectations and continues to be as blinkered, stupid and confused as previously they may desire an immediate GE out of a desire to see a stable, sane Govt under Starmer (which was [former shadow Chancellor] Mcdonnell's main point in a recent interview; the Suits didn't like all of his 'Corbynist' economic policies in '17/'19 [though they were more supportive than the Tory press would like you to think], but they did want more than anything else 'clarity', 'honesty' and 'stability' over all else). KarmaPolice (talk) 11:11, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

Update; Mordaunt pulled out (unable to get to threshold) which meant Sunak won by default. Tory talking heads already trying to 'smooth the pitch' by saying crap along the 'There Is No Other Option' line regarding resuming Austerity.
I personally suspect Tories are about to be surprised by a) political infighting will continue and b) the public won't buy the line this time around. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:47, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
So, Sunak it is, which was clear after BoJo quit the fight yesterday. I can only agree with Karma’s points above, which will create problems for Sunak when he almost certainly tries some form of Austerity 2.0 under the guise of TINA (There Is No Alternative). ScepticWombat (talk) 14:01, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
I've been processing all this... and the printed card just spat out is 'General Election no later than Thurs, 23rd March 2023' (23/03/23, for the fans of odd coincidences). My reasoning is this...
1; Sunak knows they will lose the next GE, regardless of what they do or don't do.
2; Therefore, the name of the game is to 'limit the losses'. Keep the Tory losses to 125 or less, not the 200+ currently predicted. 'Modernisation' rebranding is so much easier if you don't have to first build your way out of electoral oblivion first (go and ask the LDs). Plus, 'not my fault' - pointing at Truss and Johnson pictures.
3; Sunak is young; at 42, 18 years younger than Starmer and a good 10-15 younger than most of the current Tory front-bench. He can afford to play a 'long game'. Bide my time, use the '23-'27 period to make the Tory party 'mine', get rid of the Brexit morons, the ERG and other reactionary drek (and anyone who opposes me too). Then bounce back into power in '27.
4; New fiscal/financial year, April 1st. That's when the cuts etc would come in (and end of energy supports etc), which will destory us. Not enough time for polls to recover before Jan '25. Therefore (remembering #2) let's sneak in an election just *before* this shit-storm and hope the Big Public are too dim to notice the black clouds on horizon. Can't do it on the 30th as it's too close to Easter. This means I'll have to get CR to grant an election by the 23rd Feb. Luckily, Parliament re-opens on the 20th.
5; However, I might wish to go 'a bit' earlier; benefit/pension rises are normally formally announced by mid-March. Therefore, if I want to beat this I'll need to have the GE say, on the 9th (needing a declaration at no later than the 2nd Feb).
6; Therefore, I have 122 days to try to buoy up the polls, in any manner I can find. I'll do a nondescript 'holding pattern' budget and hopefully stabalise the markets etc just long enough to make the 'good management' types think I'm sound, perhaps throw a few right-wing blockheads into the sea to 'detoxify the party' if it looks electorally wise to do so.
Thoughts? KarmaPolice (talk) 16:32, 24 October 2022 (UTC)


Should we make a 2022 midterm article now or wait till after the elections? Andrew5 (talk) 18:31, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

IMO now, they are up in a few weeks and very pertinent.𝔖𝔲𝔪𝔪𝔞 𝔄𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔬𝔩𝔬𝔤𝔦𝔠𝔞 (𝔮𝔲𝔢𝔯𝔢𝔩𝔦𝔰) (𝔰𝔠𝔯𝔦𝔭𝔱𝔲𝔯𝔞) 06:15, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
The pollsters have a spotty track record. Other than saying the GOP is favored to win the House and the momentum appears to be on the GOP side now, there is not much to say that is not already super obvious. Elmodae (talk) 11:00, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
There are some especially deranged GOP candidates this cycle (yes, I'm talking about Mastriano). Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 11:38, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
You can write about some of the eccentricities of some of the outlier GOP candidates and that content will have some durability. The progressives at Young Turks say it is too close to the election for the Democrats to turn things around. I tend to agree. Nothing RationalWiki posts is going to make a difference as far as who wins the elections at this point so spending a lot of time on the horse race is a waste of time. If you create an article now which features a lot of horse race content, much of it will have to be rewritten because the scope of the Democrat's loss is too hard to determine. Elmodae (talk) 12:24, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Axios.com is a high-quality new source that leans slightly to the left. Axios just published a good article saying the Democrats are probably going to be slaughtered in the midterms and they make a pretty darn compelling case. This makes me so mad. The U.S. has over 325 million people. The Democrats should have been able to find a governor or celebrity better and more charismatic than the very elderly Joe Biden. Biden is dragging the Democrats down in the midterms. Elmodae (talk) 14:02, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
OK Ken. (talk) 14:49, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Ken is right though. The Dems are gonna get killed in the midterms, Joe Biden sucks at messaging. The party is incompetent. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 16:55, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
You aren't wrong on the Democrat incompetence but given the shit economy, unpopular president, and general historical "throw the bums out" voter mentality, the Republicans should be doing better in the polls than the "toss-up" for the Senate. They aren't because they are also very incompetent. Polls may be shit these days but it's unclear which way the "miss" will go, if there is one, IMHO. That Kansas anti-abortion amendment was supposed to pass by a 47%-43% vote by the polls. It ended up failing 60%-40%.
IMHO the "America is more hyper-partisan than ever" narrative pushed by media is kind of shit, because such narratives don't capture the quarter plus of Americans who frankly think both political parties are shit. The horse race frankly isn't very interesting in an age where a lot of voters are merely voting for the candidate that smells the least putrid. It's just cheerleading and 24 hour news cycle filler material, for the partisans that treat politics like a football game, until more sensible systems are put in place (like ranked choice) that might actually improve the candidate quality from the generally lousy lot we have at present. (talk) 18:04, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
I don't think Democrats will be "slaughtered". Democrats still maintain a 56% chance of a Senate victory. Andrew5 (talk) 20:57, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Set up the page in the meantime, and then massively revamp it after the election.--April Chat? 15:15, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Ok. I doubt I'll the time until Veterans Day Weekend starts, so if anyone wants to set up an article, go ahead. Andrew5 (talk) 20:57, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

Well, this was an upset...[edit]

Hey RationalWiki![edit]

What have I missed? Astroyoder (talk) 06:46, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

What did you aim at?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:39, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Nothing much seemed to change barring some site upgrades--April Chat? 14:16, 25 October 2022 (UTC)

Bro, do you math?[edit]

Not my poll, but the answers for the most recent one just irritates me at the level of math illiteracy here of all places.

"I flip two coins. At least one of them is heads. What is the probability that they are both heads?" This can be rephrased as "what is the probability of two heads being flipped given at least one heads was flipped?" The question is NOT asking "what are the odds of flipping a second head given that the first is heads".

Flip two (fair) coins. There are four permutations, all equally likely; HH, HT, TH, and TT. If you know that there is at least one head, that eliminates ONLY TT. There are still 3 possibilities, HH, TH and HT. HH is only 1 of those 3. CorruptUser 14:53, 24 October 2022 (UTC)

But "I flip two coins. At least one of them is heads." does not have to translate into conditional probability. I don't see why it couldn't also be rephrased to "I flip two coins. I can see at least one of them is heads." Really you need a third option in the poll: "this question is ill-posed". ;) Namako (talk) 15:07, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
You are implying information that is not provided. If I observe a specific coin, then yes, it's a literal coinflip as to whether the other one is also heads, but as is, it's 1 in 3. CorruptUser 15:52, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Really, the reason I get irked at stuff like this is because understanding the nuances of stats/probability is pretty much the biggest problem when it comes to basically all of social science. CorruptUser 15:55, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
"One of the coins is definitely heads" directly follows from "at least one of the coins is heads", which does lead to a problem with ambiguity when it is not known how I got the information that at least one of the coins is heads. I worded the question ambiguously on purpose, since questions like these always lead to inevitable pointless math arguments. Even professionals screw this one up, as shown by the TED frog problem, which was supposed to demonstrate the logic that CU showcased above but ended up falling flat because one of the frogs in the problem was observably male. Plutocow (talk) 16:00, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
"inevitable pointless math arguments"
Really, you could've just said "math" and saved 3 words. CorruptUser 16:41, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
”I flip two coins. At least one of them is heads” also leads to an answer of 1/3. The question isn’t at all ambiguous. Christopher (talk) 18:59, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Problem is, once a coin is observed as heads, the chance is 1/2, and the question doesn't make it clear how the asker determined how at least one of the coins is heads. Plutocow (talk) 19:31, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
I think you were ambiguous in your ambiguity. CorruptUser 19:40, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
On my phone, so expect even more typos than usual. We have a Bernoulli distributionWikipedia here. The probablity that they are both heads? 1/3. The probablility that the second coin is head? 1/2. GeeJayK (talk) 19:48, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
This is basically equivalent to the 'Two children problem' or 'Boy or Girl paradox', which the wikipedia page also loves to call very ambiguous, because some academics liked to focus on that and no mathematicians bothered to seriously write about it, it seems. In a general way, probability problems always run into the issue of how to assign certain key probabilities, although there is much back and forth in the (philosophical) literature on how decisively criteria like MaxEntropy and the principle of transformation groups (as improvements on the principle of indifference) can help solve this, or so far fail to (a problem, or not if you subscribe to that, with (possible) subjectivity in assigning probabilities, mainly in continuous cases, cube factory and all that, also Carnap and others on assigning equal probabilities to singular vs quantified descriptions). So you could argue that if the probabilities aren't given to you and the whole supposed chance experiment isn't entirely well stated, then it's 'ambiguous', but puzzles like these are rarely worded so carefully and still it doesn't mean they can't have a 'correct' answer, a seemingly logical (and uniquely fitting) interpretation and solution. Seeing as natural language is often full of ambiguities and we are a species great at disagreeing, I imagine it'd be pretty bad if every communication required a fully formalised description of what exactly they mean, to exclude everything they specifically don't very clearly (which is not to say that some things can't be not well-defined or too ambiguous at times). “One of the coins is definitely heads” doesn’t just follow from “at least one of the coins is heads”, it is logically equivalent, except if you also claim (to know) this about a _specific_ coin, as that information is absent, it hasn’t been specified. I also take slight issue with ‘one of the frogs in the problem was observably male’, seeming to indicate some specific frog could be observed to be male (and was observed to be male?) while the actual information was more vague, although I think the TED riddle did a bad job with the croaking stuff as conceptualisation of ‘how’ the information came there, one way, or the other way of solving the problem to their own set up story while not accounting probabilistically for the croaking explicitly (does each male frog have an exponential distribution for time till a croak? How do we account for that, do we have enough information?). The problem is that with a problem as stated like the coin one above, we could ‘conceptualise’ it and ‘some way of getting ‘the information’’ to get to a probability model in basically any way we want, if we really want, and can end up with arbitrary probabilities, we just have to come up with funky enough interpretations or introduce biases, because why not? And go and argue back and forth about what seems ‘reasonable’. In the end though, in a bit of a well-willing reading, trying to at least first assume the problem might be solvable as given or with minimal and simple assumptions like equiprobability of H and T for a coin and here also independence of the coins (though in reality independence would/could be a dangerous assumption, see the difference with real world statistics and solving these toy problems?), if we ask about the outcomes ‘what is the probability of at least one coin ending up heads?’, no one argues about any ambiguity of what event that corresponds to and what probability that has. Now we can work out ‘HH given at least one heads’ in similar fashion et voilà, 1/3. It can certainly be asked hypothetically, forcing an interpretation of conditional probability given the ‘at least one’ event. Introducing some ‘specific methodology’ of ‘observing a coin’ or whatever to ‘come to this information’ wasn’t in the problem statement. If you want to take that approach, please consider every possible methodology and assign ‘reasonable seeming’ (meta-)probabilities to all of those (may be problematic or difficult) and then come back to debate it with whoever still wants to engage in that over such trivial problems.

I apologise for this rant, but as others have stated above, understanding the nuances of stats/probability is a big problem and people repeatedly have bad intuitions about it and get these kinds of problems wrong. Philosophically, it can be a bit of a can of worms, but under simple and basic assumptions, these kinds of problems are often entirely solvable and people just get them wrong because they imagine irrelevant things and/or have bad heuristic approaches and intuitions, while you could formally work out a more complicated model and that can be educational and insightful and practically very useful and relevant for the application of probability in any kind of scientific or practical use anywhere with anything stochastic, it often simply isn’t a model that actually models the simple question that was asked and only serves to further confuse people on the subject, or worse, think they’re justified in their bad intuitive heuristic approach that leads to all kinds of actual misinterpretation of statistical data. Though one should always be careful with methodology and interpretation of representations of statistical data. Since I’m writing overly much here anyway: on the subject, I seem to remember some xkcd comic with zombie Feynman on the importance of experimentation and how as the ‘core of science’ it is more valuable than lessons in rigour. Methodological rigour is important though, as without it your experiment may be basically worthless (if it’s really bad, and that, dear readers, is how you get some fringe, pseudo- and pathological ‘science’) and it can be important to be aware of what basic assumptions are in your work and models and what alternatives there may be. To that extent, in the end, arguing about possible ‘ambiguity’ in probability puzzles such as these may have ‘some’ purpose, if it is well-enough connected with this in the end. If someone actually did an experiment, a specific one, with coins and they wanted some help and asked this question, they I’d say they have to first tell us exactly how they run their experiment, so they certainly don’t get bad advice or a wrong answer that doesn’t apply because of details in what they did. Still the answer for this problem statement is 1/3, or get another problem statement. For problems that have been argued over, you could have picked one with doors and goats, anything with a goat would have been topical on RW. These arguments probably are pretty ‘pointless’, although most of the arguments aren’t actually about the maths, once a model is chosen people don’t disagree on calculations, but they argue over interpretation, more of a language and semantics and perhaps even philosophical issue than really a mathematical one concerning the arguments people get into, it just happens to be about a maths problem, a little logic puzzle. Oh and for a final remark, the above comment gets everything quite right I think, but mentioning a Binomial distribution would have been more useful, as that is the combined distribution and using its CDF seems appropriate for any ‘at least…’ questions, while the Bernoulli distribution only counts for a single coin, not exactly the combination of two of them.ConverginglyRational (talk) 06:09, 26 October 2022 (UTC)

What is RationalWiki's take on coronavirus lockdowns?[edit]

I was looking at RationalWiki's recent changes log and I stumbled upon its Rishi Sunak article which mentioned coronavirus lockdowns. But I couldn't find any material on coronavirus lockdowns at RationalWiki. What is RationalWiki's take on coronavirus lockdowns?

I don't have any firm opinions on lockdowns, but I have a hunch that they are appropriate during big spikes in coronavirus cases/deaths if they are accompanied by other public health measures (Public health education, vaccination, etc.). Berek (talk) 02:36, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

We're generally in favor of firm measures taken to safeguard public health, if that's what you're asking. Vee (talk) 02:50, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Thank you for the feedback. Berek (talk) 02:53, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
We have three pages on COVID:
  1. COVID-19 pandemic
  2. COVID-19 denialism
  3. COVID-19 vaccine
The first one covers lockdowns but, there's no single paragraph on them. Lockdowns are effective under certain circumstances, and this article is a summary of the research.[6] Bongolian (talk) 03:01, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Lockdowns were necessary at the outset of the pandemic, but I would oppose any more unless things go really bad again. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 04:52, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
On the one hand we have outright covid denialism, on the other we have the "head in the sand" mode that the CCP seems to be permanently locked in. Neither are preferable. Vee (talk) 05:39, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
I think the term needs defining; I noticed a lot of the right-wing 'frweeedom!' idiots here in the UK called *any* restrictions 'lockdown'. I would personally define it as being 'a general order for the fit/healthy to stay at home unless absolutely necessary'. Anything less than this - say, the closure of mass gatherings and lowered capacities for public transport etc are merely 'restrictions'.
With the CCP's ostrich impersonation... I was generally under the impression this was because the Chinese still don't have a first-rate vaccine, their uptake domestically is low (esp for the elderly) and Pooh-Bear doesn't want to admit this, esp in front of the world? KarmaPolice (talk) 10:14, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
I notice RW doesn't have an 'public health' page. Perhaps someone with a bit of time and knowledge could produce one (and include 'lockdowns' on it)? KarmaPolice (talk) 10:17, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Imagine these three conditions. 1. A new, highly transmittable-virus with a high (or relatively high) mortality rate. 2. No vaccine. 3.No currently known effective treatment.
In such a case your only initial intervention is some form of "lockdown". But, obviously, you only want this as a temporary solution until you can fix condition 2 or 3 - or ideally both. It seems to me that anyone who denied this would need to be rather ideologically fixated.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:09, 23 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, as a quarantine (either of individuals or society in general). 'Lockdowns' are drastic and almost never used in history; at best, you saw some levels of public restrictions regarding public gatherings and so on. Not many were attempted even during the 1918 pandemic, and the ones which were tried were a lot more 'leaky' than today simply because they didn't have the tech for folks to live/work from their own homes.
With hindsight, most governments clearly baulked at 'mild' measures (quarantines, decent sick-pay regimes, superspeader event closedowns etc) which meant that only when they encountered the graph of projected cases and hospital admissions - perhaps a few of the stupider ones (like the UK and USA) being prodded by health experts grimly describing things like 'triage system', 'improvised hospital' and 'mass graves' in I suspect in a deadpan graphic manner. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:12, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There seem to be several forces at play behind the continued Chinese lockdowns: 1) Relatively poor quality of the Chinese vaccines 2) Poor public response of the vaccination program 3) Lack of a booster shot 4) Refusal to accept foreign-made vaccines (national pride) 5) Xi's extreme antipathy toward chaos due to his personal experiences with the Cultural Revolution 6) The lockdowns can be used as a mechanism for population control: all they need to do now is create the fiction of a handful of COVID cases to shut down any city in China. The danger for Xi is that the continued extreme measures could blow back at him in the form of widespread disgruntlement and fomentation of chaos. Bongolian (talk) 18:19, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

Xi is an authoritarian, socialist clown. China's wolf warrior diplomacy was and is a very bad idea for a mercantile nation like China. His love of state enterprises over the private sector is going to keep China's productivity low. Xi's hypernationalism is preventing China from using superior foreign Covid vaccines. And his pushing of isolationism/conformity/groupthink/closemindedness is a killer to Chinese innovation (Safety or stagnation? Why China’s isolationism may backfire.). Elmodae (talk) 13:39, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
Yeah pretty sure Xi isn't a socialist, if anything he's an ultranationalist. (I mean China is literally engaging in neocolonialism, something socialists tend to be against.) Vee (talk) 15:36, 24 October 2022 (UTC)
I am in the minority here but I very strongly support COVID-19 lockdowns for the sake of protecting people. The lockdowns are not "draconian." That does not mean they are desirable but rather necessary. Moreover (since it seems the conversation moved toward the question of China's COVID-19 strategy), China's strategy of putting people before businesses (zero-COVID) most suits the current situation. Point to as many undesirable outcomes of this as you please, from economic stagnation to limitation of freedom of movement, scarcities, and the effects of isolation, but in times of crisis, it is hopelessly optimistic to expect otherwise. China still maintains one of the lowest reported COVID-19 death rates and that is what is most important. The unknown long-term effects of COVID-19 are matters that ought to keep people awake at night. Of course, the generic response to all this is "China clearly hid the real death count!" but there is literally no evidence that the government of China deliberately suppressed the true death rate.
Generally speaking, most of RationalWiki likely supports lockdowns at least when it is excruciatingly obvious that there is a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases. This is a scientific skeptic wiki after all.--April Chat? 00:07, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
I think it’s debatable whether China’s “zero COVID” policies are actually ”putting people before businesses”. Lockdowns on the scale and duration still being imposed in China have severe consequences for people, not just for businesses. The criticism of this strategy is that it is not proportional and ignores the problems that the lockdowns themselves cause at a time when COVID seems to be fairly well under control.
Pointing this out is not a criticism of lockdowns in general, especially not those imposed when death tolls and infections were spiralling out of control. After all, quarantines are an age old and well tested response to serious epidemics. However, I think it is telling that China is basically the only country still pursuing this “zero COVID” strategy, despite other countries having also pursued very cautious strategies earlier on.
Oh, and I generally don’t trust statistics coming out of China, unless they are produced by independent sources. Even taking the numbers at face value, there are numerous factors, apart from the choice of lockdown strategy, that affects COVID death tolls; and again, we have to consider the costs (human as well as economic) of the lockdowns themselves, when assessing this approach. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:56, 25 October 2022 (UTC)
As Wombat points out, lockdowns do have a 'human cost' too; one of the things I noticed in discussions during ours in the UK was a very strong resistance of talking heads etc to admit *any* downsides lest it gave fuel to the 'Covidiots'. What's more, 'lockdown' meant different things to different people - for example, I mainly worked through the thing and one of the major memories is that every task had become three times harder to perform for (often) no good reason. Plus, different countries had differing levels; I remember the second UK one had a wider definition of 'essential' which at least made living in it less tooth-grindingly stressful. 'Chinese lockdowns' have been the strictest ever documented; we've all heard about the woman who got stuck in her blind date's apartment during one.
Now you've defined the severity of the 'sentence', now the place you're serving it in. Most Chinese now live in small apartments, with very limited space - and very limited capacity of parks or communial gardens. I can speak on this as I did my stint in a tiny flat no larger than about 30m/300ft. On the plus side, I at least had that space to myself. Which was also the minus. I'm not that social and are rather mentally resiliant, but I felt the strain by the end. I could at least go 'out' for work and my mandated hour of exercise (which normally took me into a rather nice large woodland) and could 'entertain myself' somewhat but cabin fever still ended up biting.
Putting those two factors together, along with the apparent impossibility of even achieving 'Zero Covid' makes me seriously doubt the general wisdom of China continuing with it... unless, there are other [cue sinister music] reasons for continuing with it. I'm not one to tout such views seriously, but Occam is kinda pushing me towards it.
Food for thought; https://observer.com/2022/04/china-zero-covid-policy-analysis/ KarmaPolice (talk) 14:51, 26 October 2022 (UTC)