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, (new)(back)

2022 was almost a blue wave year...[edit]

While the House did flip red, the Republicans only flipped 9 seats for a 222-213 majority, and suffered embarassing losses. They lost a seat in the Senate, and a net loss of 2 governorships (though Maryland and Massachusetts was a blue flip guarentee). Still, Republicans suffered brutal losses in Nevada's and Georgia's senate races, and the governor races in Arizona, Kansas and Wisconsin. No legislative branch flipped red on the statewide level, but 4 went blue. Andrew5 (talk) 02:35, 8 December 2022 (UTC)

This is pretty hard cope ngl. Losing the House means that the Democrats have lost any of their legislative ability and their majority in the senate is back to last time as Sinema flipped to "Independent". Democrats didn't actually do anything to campaign for themselves. The majority of their political clout came from Roe V Wade being overturned and DNC operatives on twitter. If they actually passed popular legislation, legalizing marijuana, ensuring student debt was eliminated, stopping the war in Ukraine etc., we would see a real blue wave. CaliML (talk)
Dems would've kept the House if they hadn't underperformed so badly in New York and Florida. They should be able to get the House back in 24, but the party needs figure out what the hell went wrong in those states. The Dems also need to prepare for a tough fight for the Senate in 24 too since the map is so goddamn bad for them. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 06:00, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
Florida was so gerrymandered that they did about as well as they reasonably could there. They would have had a better chance in Iowa-3, Michigan-10, or Colorado-3. Plutocow (talk) 08:43, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
That's not close to a blue wave, that's still far. If you compare that to FDR's victory in 1932...--Max Sinister (talk) 08:53, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
It was a drastic over-performance by the Democrats. Remember, Biden is very unpopular, the economy is shit, inflation is rising, gas prices were pretty bad for a long time, Republicans were energized. This had all the makings of a year where the GOP flipped the Senate, flipped a bunch of state governments, and won like 40 seats in the House. But the Dems stopped that from happening. They gained in the Senate and only lost 9 House seats, and they actually gained control of more states. That’s damn good historically. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 15:49, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
This chronic pessimism is getting rather annoying. Some of you guys were sure that the Democrats were going to lose because of "hard facts", yet you were wrong, and now you're just saying, "well, they did bad here and here, so it's bad and next election will be worse". No offense, but you're letting your doomer feelings influence how you interpret data. I do the same, so I know what that looks like. Just accept that Trump is the X-Factor that makes it harder for the GOP to elect people and that it's unlikely the Republican party will let him go since the "crazy" part of his base votes in primaries and they don't field great candidates for those outside their bubble. On the policy front, they have nothing innovative or new outside support Trump no matter what, cut taxes and spending, and culture war laws which is only good for their base and that's it. Lastly, the Democratic party did a lot better than you give them credit for since they were running in a midterm election (which typically has an inherent GOP advantage due to low voter turnout among Democrat voter demographics) where major headwinds like a Democrat presidency (which usually causes independent voters to vote opposite of what they voted for last time), a volatile economy, inflation for staple items, high gas prices, low approval ratings, Gerrymandering, media coverage, minority voters going to the GOP, and general government dissatisfaction, and yet... they picked up state chambers, governorships, and a friggin US senate seat! And while they lost the house, it was nowhere near the blow out we were told would happen and while they do hold power, they're in the same position the Democrats were in where just a handful of representatives can deny them the votes. It's not as good as good as keeping The House, but holy shit did it prove that if Trump is near the ballot (which he will be in 2024 assuming he doesn't die of an anger-induced heart attack), voters will crawl over broken glass to vote against him.-Ryan1257 (talk) 17:06, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
I think you're overstating things too. It's nice to rest on your laurels after a political victory, but there's still areas in the midterms where Democrats showed themselves to be weak, and they need to address those before 2024. Especially if the Dems want to keep their Senate majority. For instance, they need to figure out why Tim Ryan fell short against dogshit Trump candidate JD Vance for Ohio Senate if they want to save Sherrod Brown's seat. They need to think about how they can keep Tester and Manchin in the game too. And they need to figure out why they did so poorly in New York and why their statewide candidates all flopped in Florida. The midterm was a win, but that doesn't mean the Democrats can be complacent. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 17:51, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
We all know the Republican Party is decaying, and that this is probably gonna be Republican’s last time in the House, right? But to avoid one party rule, there will soon be a party to replace Republicans. This is the same as what happened to the whigs in the 1850s.Andrew5 mobile (talk) 18:06, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
Nah. What shall happen is that once MAGA suffers a serious defeat electorally or has a run of close-run losses, the uber-pragmatic conservatives shall slither in, shove the MAGAs back into a cage and slosh a lot of paint to make the 'new Republicans' who have 'zero relation' to that last lot. You can say this much for right-wingers; they care about power over everything else, the moment MAGA doesn't turn up the goods is when they're ditched. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:28, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
Personally, I think the Democrats need much better outreach towards the working class. It's pretty easy to frame the Dems as being more sympathetic to "those college educated city boys" (with the student loan forgiveness) than the "working class" (with the tepid train strike actions) at this point. It probably explains some of the "Ohio problem".
Florida (growing mainly due to retirees these days) to me is actually a demonstration of the opposite issue, the Republican demographic problem. The MAGA crazy is too tied to Boomer whites, who are "time limited". I'm not sure if the MAGA activists realize this yet. Abortion bans / restrictions was clearly one of the dominant reasons why the expected "Republican red wave" collapsed, yet some activists want to double down? Okay then. BobJohnson (talk) 18:39, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
I will say, the Democrats’ best chance at holding Congress will be GOP primary voters shooting their party in the knees by picking terrible candidates again. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 19:17, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
Trumpism does work in a few states, such as Florida and Iowa. However, even Ohio has since turned against Trump. As long as Trump is in the headlines, Democrats can and will use it to get votes. Evantually, Trump will get indicted, even without a January 6 comission. Political turmoil erupts, likely leading to a permanent political realignment.Andrew5 (talk) 20:58, 8 December 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think that, over December break (December 24-January 2), I will make an article on the midterms if no one beats me to it.Andrew5 (talk) 21:15, 8 December 2022 (UTC)

Once you get it up to at least a draft, I'll chip in to help. If I have time. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 01:09, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
With the 'time limited' nature of MAGA... I think it's realised by the leaders, but not the cult. Their policies; entrenching gerrymanders, court-stacking, mass disenfranchisement and attempted subversion of power structures - all tell of a leadership which knows it is in the minority. Their continued whining against 'woke ideology' and 'librul indoctrination' shows that they are also aware that the 'ratio of forces' are moving against them. The general signs of rot are everywhere to see; from evangelical pastors seeing 'kids' who grew up in the faith ditching the moment Mom/Pop are dead to societal surveys which show they're basically on the losing side of every argument. Even their hopes that 'Gen Z' would be the new generation of MAGAs seem to have been stillborn; that while 'they' might have some traits they think might 'attract' them (for example, self-resiliency) they promptly discover that socially they hold many social views similar to those accursed Millennials. One of the most interesting tit-bits I got recently was the group of Gen-Z pro-bump campaginers... who were doing it in the name of 'social justice' and were also campaigning for much wider financial, medical and legal supports for the women they'd like to be mothers. Hell, even when they get the message, they do it all wrong! Don't they know 'Welfare Mammas' are evil?
But I believe two things. One, America is not as polarised as it's made out to be. That instead a combination of apathy, indifference and/or desiring a quiet life has caused many people to simply withdraw from political discussion/activity period. This is very common in societies where the discorse has become poisonous, extreme and/or dangerous (for example, in Russia; stronger delving into your 'own bubble' to try to ignore the shit swirling around you which you can't do anything about).
This goes into my second 'belief' - that the thing which is going to sink MAGA is simple incompetence. Generally speaking, if they're not blinkered or stupid they're lazy or corrupt. This is poisonous to the 'low-need' floating voter demographic; the sorts who rub along in life and as long as things seem to 'be running okay' societally shall either vote for the incumbents or not bother voting at all. Which is an important aspect to remember; the polling etc for Biden may not be that good right now, but it doesn't mean a lot of those folks think say, Trump could do better. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:33, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
Alaska has sort of proved that America is not as polarized as the media makes it out, haven't they? From my experience visiting there in 2018, they are a conservative state, but in a more "frontier American" sort of way, not really in a MAGA way. In a ranked choice system, more people decided that, if Begich wasn't acceptable, the Democrat (Peltoa) was better than the Republican (Palin). One of the reasons clearly is that Palin embraced the MAGA, and before that, the "Washington circle talking points" rhetoric, which for Republicans is a whole bunch of nationalized culture war bullshit that IMHO especially doesn't fit that state very well. Not that there aren't Trump types there, but it's more like a very loud minority bloc. So much for all those shitty news reports you get where city reporters go out to play Trump-cult-rural-tourism and try to Explain Why The Simple Farmers Vote Trump. Why not write a different story, like, say, "I live in Lauren Boebert's district, am conservative, and think she's batshit crazy?" In light of this year's election I bet you can find plenty to interview for that.
The last poll I saw said 27% of Americans are disgusted with both political parties, a number that is roughly on an upward path. This is a statistic that should strike fear into the heart of every ESPN-blowhard-style political commentator, but won't. BobJohnson (talk) 15:11, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I do suspect that the 'frontier American' conservatives (which I'd guess skew in a general libertarian angle) will be part of the downfall of MAGA, partly because I think they're also seen quite strongly in the Mountain States and parts of rural New England. The sorts who'd object to both Gilead and the USSA for roughly the same reasons. KarmaPolice (talk) 15:49, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
There hasn't been a landslide victory for an American president since 1984. And the two dominant political parties of the Republicans and Democrats are now miles apart on what they deem are the important issues let alone how to solve them. And people have a lot more media and internet website choices to pick from that reinforces their current views. So political realignment through demographic change, which takes a large time to happen, is the way that the USA will cease having gridlock and short lived presidencies. A growing Hispanic population is the force that will break political polarization in the USA. BIGSNEK (talk) 17:09, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
Thing is though they're not 'miles apart'. This is partly due to the simple point that the Democrats currently and the Republicans historially are/were both 'big tent parties'. American politics has always been about the building of ad-hoc coalitions to get particular bits of legislation done - even when a full 'trifecta' is held, the ruling party still always gets issues from it's own 'awkward squad' and needs to avoid opposition derailments. What has happened is that trust between the two blocs has gradually leeched away between 1980-2016, and no the majority of blame here goes to the Republicans. That again and again they broke the unwritten rules - they abused good faith, went back on their agreements and increasingly acted like spoilt, petulant children who threw everything out of the window whenever they didn't get their way. What's happening now is that the younger cohort of Democrats simply aren't playing the sucker game anymore, and so everything is in near-constant gridlock. Which when you look at the demented cultishness of the MAGA-party, I don't honestly blame them. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:53, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
I’d argue 1988 was a landslide since Bush got 400+ and Clinton came pretty close both times. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 18:05, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
One thing which struck me; some MAGAs might be so shitty because they're too stupid to read maps correctly. Take for example the last presidential election...
Look, we so blatantly won! Deep State fix!
Umm... I'm sure if we added them all up we won. Look at the size of the Red states!
No. I refuse to accept New England is that (electorally) big. Alaska is not less important than Rhode Island!
KarmaPolice (talk) 19:18, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
I'd actually say the most recent landslide was 2008, and 1988 wasn't a landslide because of the tipping point state (7.9% in 1988, 9.0% in 2008.) Also, Obama got 365 electoral votes, and even won states that Dems hadn't won in 44 years. Andrew5 (talk) 21:59, 9 December 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────democrats won this election overall in an upset. one should not be mistaken to believe for a minute that this will guarantee a 2024 win. the headwinds will be a lot stronger by then. hey had better start planning now, and do some soul searching in new york, wisconsin, north carolina, and especially florida. given the democrats' history of letting their hubris get the best of them (see the 2021 virginia elections and the 2016 federal elections for instance), i wouldn't put it past them to flounder their way through election again, regardless of whether it's easy or difficult. The G (talk) 04:35, 10 December 2022 (UTC)

Usually Democrats tend to outperform in midterms and Republicans outperform in presidential elections, but considering the Republican running might have criminal charges, it could easily cast 2024 into a super blue wave year, the likes of which haven’t been seen since 1984. Andrew5 mobile (talk) 16:20, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
The funny thing about that "outperform in midterms / presidential elections" is, in a sign of the recent realignment, that phenomenon used to be quite reversed. BobJohnson (talk) 19:02, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
And will likely once become the case again when Trump loses his political relevance, likely upon arrest. Andrew5 mobile (talk) 19:41, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
I think the results of '24 shall hinge quite a bit on the outcome of the Ukranian War. If by that point there's been a clear win for Ukraine and the 'victory dividend' is fairly obvious (a strengthened/revitalised NATO, a cowed Russia/China and the economy on a clear upward swing) it could quite possibly be a 'Blue Wave' year. 'Make America Great Again? Yurrp, Biden did that...' KarmaPolice (talk) 20:04, 10 December 2022 (UTC)

State categorizations[edit]

After the elections, I think the following conclusions about certain states can be made.

  1. Georgia is firmly a purple state. Arizona and Wisconsin also locked themselves in as purple states.
  2. While I do still believe Pennsylvania is a purple state, it could be argued as a blue state at this point in time.
  3. Michigan is definitely a blue state.
  4. Nevada is a purple state.
  5. Minnesota is firmly a blue state. Before they were on the border, similar to where Pennsylvania lies today.
  6. Florida is a confirmed red state. North Carolina also leans red.
  7. New Hampshire continues it's weird tradition of being red on the statewide level and blue on the national level.

Andrew5 (talk) 19:59, 13 December 2022 (UTC)

Q>1 (fusion breakthrough)[edit]

So... big news in fusion. But then, not really. Basically, nuclear fusion occurs when theres enormous pressure and heat applied to hydrogen atoms, forming helium. However, the pressure and heat needed are so great that you use more heat than you gain. The quotient or Q is always below 1. Until today, where they achieved 1.19. Now, this isnt exactly proof that fusion is possible, but rather, its proof that it's not impossible. The reaction was not sustained, the materials required in the reactor are not capable of such. And even if sustainable, well, 1.19 still would be insufficient as much of the heat generated would be lost when converting to electricity. Basically, youd need around 2 just to break even in terms of energy generation. When it comes to the parts, repairs, construction, etc, youd need a Q of 10 for a reactor to even be viable. Now factor in the fuel. Sure, deuterium is unlimited but tritium ain't, we get that from breaking lithium particles in nuclear reactors. In other words, fusion simply cant replace all of nuclear. Still it's nice to see progress. CorSock (talk) 10:45, 13 December 2022 (UTC)

In point of fact we always knew fusion was possible. The sun does it and so do hydrogen bombs. What this shows is that it may be possible to carry out controlled sustainable fusion.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:12, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
The 'proof of work' has been done - fusion power is now technologically possible. Now it's up to the engineers to answer a million questions, explore possible refinements and perhaps most importantly, not just improve the efficiency of the reactions but hopefully find fuel sources which are not so damn rare... KarmaPolice (talk) 12:37, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
"Proof of work" doesnt mean all questions can be answered. A space elevator could be proven to work but even carbon nanotube might not be strong enough and its possible they are physically the highest tensile strength material even possible. CorSock (talk) 15:05, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
Here’s the important question: can we make bigger nukes with this knowledge? 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 15:57, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
Does it come shaded in pink? Vee (talk) 16:13, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
Technically we already do - fission induces fusion induces more fission. The power reactor, if it loses containment and therefore pressure, just stops reacting. Bummer, I know. Semipenultimate (talk) 16:24, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
Pink, though, is an option! Semipenultimate (talk) 16:28, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
Anything more powerful than 100 megatons and you are simply blowing bits of atmosphere into space. The Soviets did build one of those, but had to cut it down to 50 megatons in order to have a flight crew survive the bombing, and even then the aircraft got knocked out of the sky during the explosion. The real question is whether you can make the bombs smaller with the same yield, because while there's a limit of 100 megatons per bomb, that doesn't mean you can't build a MIRV with a dozen of those 100 Mt bombs. That's actually why fusion bombs replaced fission bombs, because you get more boom in a smaller warhead. CorruptUser 21:07, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
We have already got the 'net energy gain' of that test plant to +0.19. If we could get it to +0.5 and find a relatively abundant fuel and manage to work out how to build relatively cost-efficient reliable plants, that may be enough as 66% of the power generated would simply feed back into itself indefinitely. This would also allow us to crack the problems with hydrogen fuel cells for transportation. I accept this is quite a lot of ifs, but let's look at fission for comparison. It was only nine years between the first test reactor (1942) and the first dedicated fission electrical generator (1951). Six years after that (1957) we saw the first 'commerical' power station which had an energy efficency rating of about 19%. Twenty years after that (mid 70s) plants with ~33% were being built. Now plants constructed twenty-five after that (early 00s) are at about ~38%.
Other examples abound; we went from the first heavier-than-air craft to breaking the sound barrier in 44 years, the first petrol car to mass produced numbers capable of going 100mph in 41 years, around 50 years between the invention of the telegraph and the effective ringing of the globe with wire and cable and a mere 36 years between the first electronic computer and the first 'modern' PC. And it's amazing how quickly humanity can move on shit like this when we truly feel the 'need' for it. Civilisation is energy, and ours is inbetween a rock and hard place regarding the production of the latter. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:09, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
The fax machine was invented before the civil war. It's about 25 years between Morse code and images over the wire.
As for the nuke plants, the electric generation was always a cover story, they were developed for the weaponry. The military noted they could also use them as sub engines since they dont need that pesky "air" to burn, which is why the first civilian power plants were basically beached sub engines. If we were truly dedicated to peaceful uses of nuke power we would have chosen thorium instead of uranium. CorSock (talk) 00:02, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Don't hold your breath: When I was at school (1950s - 60s) we went to see Zeta which was touted as the future of energy supply. Scream!! (talk) 00:26, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
I'm from the same generation. I can't recall a single time in my life when fusion power generation wasn't "25 to 30 years away". (Edit: Now I think about it, it's a bit like the rapture or the second coming.)Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 10:02, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
'...which is why the first civilian power plants were basically beached sub engines'. Ballcrap. The first commerical nuclear plant was Calder Hall in the UK, which not only pre-dated the first British nuclear-power submarine by 6 years, but that craft used an American-designed engine! What's more, it's usually the other way around - working examples are created, then they are 'shrunk down' for more portable uses. A classic example - the steam engine. The stationary ones came along in the mid 18th, then the first marine ones from 1810, railed locomotives from 1825 and finally road-going 'traction engines' from 1860 onward - each iteration smaller and relatively more powerful/capable as they evolve. However, it is true that the Magnox reactors were designed to also generate plutonium for bombs. Yet the British also made a bit of a 'dash for nuclear' in the 60s/70s in hopes of reducing the reliance of coal plants for electricity generation, mainly to weaken the power of the mining unions. (KarmaPolice)
Also had a school trip to Calder Hall. I recall walking across a steel walkway above the actual reactor. Calder Hall isn't mentioned by name nowadays. Scream!! (talk) 18:53, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Well, I like bucking the trend. I recall visiting a nuclear plant in the late 1990s - cross-refrencing tells me that it had to be Wylfa. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:14, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
I brought that up because to quote the cliche; 'necessity is the mother of invention'. Even a decade ago, the 'need' for viable fusion energy didn't seem that pressing. Now it is. The line 'energy crisis' is in every politician's head and fusion is so promising I'd be amazed that if such projects won't get a lot more funding now the 'proof of practical work' has been shown. And money makes 'science' happen. Even a idiot like Trump undestands this. KarmaPolice (talk) 11:00, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
10-15 years ago we had an energy crisis of OPEC jacking the price of oil above $100/barrel, which is why electric cars took off as well as they did. While I would like Fusion in my lifetime, I think we should still be investing in Gen-IV nuclear reactors, or even Gen-III+ if we want proven tech. Still fund the nerds at CalTech and MIT, because even if it can't be done cold fusion will always be cool, but the nuke plants will give us the time we need now. CorruptUser 18:13, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Wrong. First, that was simply a price spike (crude went from $45 in '04 to $115 in '07). Two, that was just for oil - something not much used for electrical generation. Three, that was part of the 'global commodities boom' of the early 00s which partly corrected in the '10s ('14-'19 it was on average about $70). This current crisis much more resembles the one in 1973; and is hurting Europe way more than North America due to our relative lack of domestic production and differing energy usage patterns.
Fission power is a 'mature' technology. The vast amount of spend on it now wouldn't be in technological development, but in construction and operation. I would argue that it's quite possible to have both considerable fission construction and fusion R&D funding at the same time. To be honest, I don't see much other alternatives at the present. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:06, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Having a Q > 1 reaction is great, but at the end of the day you need to boil some water to get electricity. You can't just put water inside of a fusion reactor the way you can with fission.
I don't think we've really started to consider how to actually get power out of a fusion reactor, who knows how long it'll take. Christopher (talk) 19:45, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Oh that's like the easiest question. If there's heat generated, basically, all you need is a heat exchanger of some sort. E.g., high pressure pipes pumping a liquid (not necessarily water) near the containment field that absorb some of the heat and move it to another facility, where regular water is boiled into steam and the liquid pumped back to the tokamak. In terms of real difficulties, the biggest question is how you build the tokamak that can survive continuous operation, rather than just one that can survive temporary, tiny bursts of energy. CorruptUser 22:56, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
The breakthrough fusion tech isn't a tokamak or magnetic containment system at all. It is a laser based system which is a novel route of fusion research which is much younger (I think they were doing laser weapons testing like 3 years ago when they accidentally discovered they were really hood at caution fusion ignitions). By its very nature though, you have to shoot a solid pellet of D-T fuel with a big ol' laser array. Which means it may only be pulses and not continuous power. This isn't a deal breaker, but you would need an automatically reloading system to feed the pellets consistently. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 09:59, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
Fusion is a great idea which seems to eliminate the possible production of the worrying quantities of nuclear waste which fission creates.
But there is a problem with all fusion solutions which is not mentioned frequently enough. It's similar to the "hydrogen economy" solutions which we hear from time to time. Hydrogen, as a fuel produces only water as a waste product. So Go Hydrogen! The problem there are no hydrogen mines. And we need to obtain hydrogen from other sources which are frequently themselves polluting. (Yes, green hydrogen is possible - but it's not the major source.) So I think that hydrogen, as a clean energy energy source, is oversold.
The similarly with fusion stems from the fact that all forms of fusion (that I am aware of) need the hydrogen isotope "tritium". And in order to produce tritium we would need our existing fission reactors. Ok, possibly some future fission reactors could themselves produce tritium - but that would be yet another technical challenge to overcome.
So while I think that fusion reactors could be an absolutely fantastic solution to our energy production needs - we also need to remember that the technical challenges are enormous.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:04, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
Well, all new tech is 'oversold' to some extent - if nothing else, the vast majority of people in Western nations get a lot of their sci/tech news from journalists who usually know little about the subject themselves. Then there's some sci/tech popularisers who are too optimistic (for good reasons or not) and the content-light speculative TV shows which build unrealistic expectations. I mean, it's better than a kind of pessimistic conservatism ('nothing can get better') but the problem is it's hard to find that level where the Big Public can get excited about developments etc but not become overly cynical when the things underperform. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:39, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Tritium is produced by fission, yes, but also by neutron bombardment of lithium. Fusion of D-T fuel produces a net positive amount of high energy neutrons, which when absorbed by lithium panels produces tritium. So while you need seed tritium, a fusion reactor should be able to preserve its own tritium supply as long as you feed it the relatively far more abundant lithium. This method of tritium breeding isn't fully tested though, and that is a big part of the ITER project. Now while Tokamaks should be able to use this technology, I'm not sure how a laser ignition type system would utilize it. Perhaps impeded within the capsule? Either way, the tritium fuel can be produced as part of the fusion reaction itself, not requiring a seperate breeder reactor. MirrorIrorriM (talk) 05:51, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Indeed. That's why I wrote: "Ok, possibly some future fission reactors could themselves produce tritium - but that would be yet another technical challenge to overcome."Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:09, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Would it be possible to charge some of our more notorious trolls with criminal offenses?[edit]

What are your thoughts on the Syrian Civil War?[edit]

I know this forum is like slightly left-leaning etc. but I was curious to hear what perspectives people in this forum have on the conflict. User:CaliML User_Talk:CaliML

Geopolitics notwithstanding, it's very depressing. It's not possible to know what human potential has been and will be wasted in it, but it's almost certainly more than zero. And with a touch of geopolitics, that's one area Barack Obama really should be excoriated; the red line that wasn't really a red line did a lot of short term and long term damage. As a side note, as a bit of dark humor Assad is lucky the guillotine is out of fashion; an executioner teeing him up would have a much wider margin for error than most people. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 07:01, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Are Macs worth it?[edit]

Life long Windows user here. Is it worth the investment to learn Mac OSX? I do use iPhone because fck Google. King Bowser K. Rool (talk) 00:49, 26 November 2022 (UTC)

Macs are great for video editing and graphic designers, but they are more expensive. Windows is great for business software and has much more software in general that it works with. Windows 10/Windows 11 is a huge leap over its prior versions. Werter20 (talk) 01:00, 26 November 2022 (UTC)
Macs are not necessarily better for video editing or graphic design either, it's all dependent on your computer specs as well as the hardware ergonomics. I particularly dislike the mouse for it, do not like quiet keyboards made for it, and I particularly dislike the key that replaces Ctrl. Windows is just a general OS, not necessarily more "business" oriented; I'm a 3D modeler, and I use Windows OS; Winodws is just a popular OS and so many programs are made for it (and so are viruses but people are under mistaken impression to think Apple OS is more "secure"; it's not necessarily). Also you will pay more for a Mac with the same specs as Windows, which is crucial when it comes to that software. Maintenance too, I think is pretty hopeless with Apple products. Also I hate Apple more than I hate Google for many reasons, so I use any other product. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 20:58, 27 November 2022 (UTC)
Pointless question of the day; does this mouse have left or right-handed buttons, and is it used in the left or right hand? KarmaPolice (talk) 01:14, 28 November 2022 (UTC)
Um... which mouse? Kencolt (talk) 03:53, 28 November 2022 (UTC)
Fun:OS Wars. Bongolian (talk) 07:00, 28 November 2022 (UTC)
I retired my MacBook Pro earlier in the summer after almost 12 years of continuous use, and replaced it with an M1 MacBook Air (big discount at Microcenter). The Air is the fastest computer I have ever owned, by far, and it an absolute pleasure to work with. I splurged and got an Apple Magic Mouse with the new system; it has invisible left and right buttons and scroll all built in, and no batteries; it recharges with a cable that attaches to the Mac. The Apple stuff is much more expensive, but I would say that I got my money's worth and then some with my old Pro. I use a Dell Workstation running Windows 10 for my audio processing work, and used to think it was a very fast system, but the Air runs circles around it. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 17:10, 28 November 2022 (UTC)
The touch bar on Mac Books was a major mistake, which Apple fortunately (mostly) retired. The touch bar was too easily accidentally touched, triggering unexpected behavior. Otherwise design and performance on Macs in recent years has been superlative. Bongolian (talk) 21:31, 28 November 2022 (UTC)
Only Mac I ever owned was an Air (I think) - notebook - given as part of a course 10 yrs ago with all the notes in it. Even in the course (surrounded by people giving useful advice) I could never figure out how it worked, and the Apple ID thing was as confusing as heck and came back to bite me 10 years later when I tried to subscribe to Apple TV. So you can take Apple OS and place it some place where sunshine never reaches as far as I'm concerned! :) Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:14, 28 November 2022 (UTC)
Since we're on the topic of the M1 chip, is it true that there are emulators one can run on that to run Windows-based games smoothly? King Bowser K. Rool (talk) 14:40, 3 December 2022 (UTC)


im happy with just me chrome book AMassiveGay (talk) 20:12, 30 November 2022 (UTC)

Yuck, Chromebooks are nasty creatures. King Bowser K. Rool (talk) 14:40, 3 December 2022 (UTC)
The problem with Macs is that they don't allow "outside" technologies into their walled-garden such as non-Apple approved apps or filetypes (.webm being one big example) to be used on their computers. Hate Microsoft all you want, but compatibility has always been their selling point for me. I won't pay an overpriced amount for Tim Cook to tell me what's good for me.-Ryan1257 (talk) 17:12, 8 December 2022 (UTC)
Get a Thinkpad and throw in a Linux distro on that thing. It doesn't have to be anything ridiculous like Arch or Gentoo. PoorlyDrawnRockford.jpeg Rockford the Roe boop my snootpraise Oscar Wilde 20:40, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
That's what I have, but with Windows 10. I like it to be honest, but I've been curious about MacOS for a while now. Another thing on my bucket list is to install dual boot with Ubuntu on the ThinkPad. I had Ubuntu on an old laptop which I set up as a webserver, it was kinda cool. King Bowser K. Rool (talk) 22:20, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Trump trading cards.,[edit]

After suggesting that injecting bleach could treat Covid-19 I honestly didn't think that I would ever laugh so much at Trump again. But I was so wrong! Is this the dumbest Trump idea ever?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:25, 15 December 2022 (UTC)

And only $99.00 each. I'd love to have the collection for the historical significance and a few laughs. An omega-level grift. Ariel31459 (talk) 22:05, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
Best comment so far: "We have a nation going down the toilet, and Donald Trump is selling Pokémon cards. No thanks." Ha ha —cosmikdebris talk stalk 23:17, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
Not even Fox News can bring itself to say anything positive about the mad ideae.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:05, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
What's next? Non-fungible Trumps? LongStylus (talk) 07:26, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Not a remote equivalence, but Barack the BarbarianWikipedia exists. I cringed when I first saw it at a New York City comic book store in early 2011, but this latest effort at pumping up the orangutan is somehow even more painful. I just hope the resulting action figures only communicate in grunts and are designed to be arboreal, that would be dedication to source material. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 07:51, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Didn't you listen to Trump's announcement? He explicitly said that he was better than Lincoln, better than Washington. Who could doubt his words?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:36, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Trump explaining the appeal of his NFTs: "I'm told they're non-fungible which means they destroy fungus and probably other germs, so if you buy them you will be protected against COfefeVID for life, much better than Fauci vaccines. We love our vaccines don't we but fungicide tokens are better." FairDinkum (talk) 10:27, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Somewhat bizarrely CNET reports that they are sold out. However as Trump has his history of of buying his own stuff to make him seem more important, it wouldn't surprise me if he arranged for them to be bought to reduce his embarrassment.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 10:38, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
That article also points out that Trump isn't actually selling them himself, He just licensed his name and likeness to another firm to do so.
Who did so. And somehow that's even more disturbing. Kencolt (talk) 11:41, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Ah yes. Good point, I skimmed past that. So as they say: "Who that money goes to and how it's used remains a mystery."Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 11:48, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Can we add this dumbfuckery to his page? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 14:59, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

this one red link drives a BoN crazy! click here for more info!!1!1!11!![edit]

I keep seeing a red link to "Black people". LITERALLY EVERYWHERE. 72 [edit: 49] pages link to it according to the what links here page. I think a lot of them can be changed to African American because of how many articles here are US-based. 149.19.41.23 (talk) 17:08, 11 December 2022 (UTC)Bumpf

Just do it yourself. Andrew5 (talk) 18:24, 11 December 2022 (UTC)
Have fun! Remember, every single use needs to be checked manually for context! KarmaPolice (talk) 19:23, 11 December 2022 (UTC)
As the page shows, it *used* to redirect to African American, but was deleted by Spud, because, well, not all "black people" are American (duh). I don't see a problem with the delete reason per se, but it probably should be fixed instead of removed outright.
Currently, the "AP style media definition" for this as they explain here is Black with a capital B; on RW this currently this redirects to the African American article. The problem, of course, is that Black also is not just the American diaspora, it's both the worldwide diaspora and those native within Africa. So the same sort of problem, which can't completely be solved inner-Wiki, as RW only has an article on the African American part, I think.
I guess probably what is needed is a disambiguation page for Black, of which the Black people link can redirect to that. The Black disambiguation page can include a link to African American, and also a Wikipedia link to Black peopleWikipedia to cover the rest. Not sure what others think about this idea. BobJohnson (talk) 20:53, 11 December 2022 (UTC)
Ultimately and (I think) ideally, it should link to a RW page titled 'Black People'. If nothing else, there's call for a spot to highlight the fact the globe does not even have a common definition of this. For example, Colin Powell wouldn't generally be called this in South Africa, the UK or most Caribbean islands. I remember recently reading a speech from Obama to a group of fellow 'Third Culture Kids' in which he explained that when he was their age (so in the '70s/'80s) he basically ticked 'African-American' in boxes because there was no 'Mixed' option (quite literally, in say Census forms). KarmaPolice (talk) 21:27, 11 December 2022 (UTC)
"Black" can also refer to the indigenous peoples of Oceania, especially Melanesia and Australasia. Vee (talk) 22:51, 11 December 2022 (UTC)
I didn't know about the "Black" redirect page. I have now deleted that for the same reason. I have started cleaning up the red links. Either changing the link to "African American" if it does refer specifically to Black people from the US or removing it if (as in the case of Enoch Powell, Arab supremacy or Ancient Egyptian race controversy) it does not. Spud (talk) 05:49, 12 December 2022 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Very tangential to all this but keep in mind that we can't lowercase article names in URLs; it's a Mediawiki limitation. All articles start with an uppercase unless you modify the DISPLAYTITLE magic keyword. -- Techpriest (talk) 12:58, 12 December 2022 (UTC)

Update[edit]

I've removed all the links to the deleted "Black people" page in mainspace, funspace and a few in user space. All of the remaining red links are in pages that nobody's going to be bothered about much, most of them archives. I have started doing the same with pages that link to the deleted "Black" page. Spud (talk) 13:54, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

Thanks! 149.19.54.169 (talk) 16:51, 17 December 2022 (UTC)Bumpf

Meanwhile, deep inside Elon's Manchild Cave...[edit]

https://www.platformer.news/p/twitters-risky-plan-to-save-its-ads

This is never going to be accepted in Europe. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 12:26, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

I'm unable to read what 'this' even is. Does a non-paywall version exist? KarmaPolice (talk) 14:03, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Techcrunch reported on it here and it is not paywalled. BobJohnson (talk) 15:35, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Don't know how universal this is but paywalls can often be circumvented. On my m/c (desktop running Ubuntu) Press F12, cursor to "...",click it then "Settings", click it then scroll down to "Disable Javascript" and click it. Done Scream!! (talk) 19:02, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, but I'm lazy and didn't care enough. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:15, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Doesn't work in this case, the source code only shows the un-paywalled text. (BTW, nice touch, Substack, for posting your help wanted ad in the browser console. :) ) BobJohnson (talk) 19:47, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
And you're running for Mod? Better "pull up a goat" if you were to win the elections. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 20:26, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Elon Musk is either going to lose a lot of Twitter advertisers and sell it at a big loss or add a payment system to Twitter and turn it an American version of WeChat. Republicans and right-wingers have taken a big interest in Twitter so it is never going to be the same. Liam njr (talk) 14:39, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, they've taken a big interest is because basically, every time they try to create 'conservative' social media it either never gains traction, falls over, blunders into the swamp and drowns or has a slow death bleeding out cash. Now, that cannot be down to the 'free market' answer - that they 'fail' because of simple unpopularity, unreliability or *gasp* the simple fact their demographic is simply too small to support a 'Big Tech' platform - so it must be due to 'librul propaganda', 'coastal elites' or whatever shite excuse they'd like to cook up today. Having someone coup a big platform and then throw open the doors to them is simply going to make it a very, very expensive crash because again in a free market if the Twitter users had wanted a turd-burger they'd have bought one and corp users won't take kindly to having their ads beside poisonous right-wing shit even before they notice the falling user numbers.
As for the other bit... Arcadium, I stand by my manifesto! KarmaPolice (talk) 00:56, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
One mistake I think people super into politics make is thinking that everyone is super into politics. I actually don't think a "progressive social media" would grow that big either; for a start, it kinda narrows your scope to the Western sphere in the first place, and you narrow this further into people who want to babble about politics all the time. News and politics are popular topics, but (using Reddit group subscriber counts as an example) cute animal pics, music, jokes, food, memes, and "tidbits" are far more popular. And that's not counting the net sum of the "long tail" of more obscurities or very focused groups. If your social media is focused on culture war MAGA shit, well, that's a small slice of life in a small slice of the world. There's nothing wrong with running a focused site, but you're not going to grow Big with a narrow focus, and any claims as such should be looked at with suspicion.
At any rate, the big net result so far of Elon's "Twitter drama" so far, chaos aside, is that such has heavily contributed to Tesla's stock value decline. If nothing changes (and it seems like the chaos has only gotten worse since Musk bought it), Musk's Twitter addiction certainly has got to be the most expensive edgelord shitposting we've ever seen. BobJohnson (talk) 04:35, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
And the value of Telsa has reduced by half and Elton is no longer the World's richest man.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:07, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
So the "free speech maximalist" has unilaterally banned high-profile journalists critical of him. This, in turn, has got him into trouble with the EU who are kind of keen on journalistic freedom.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 13:06, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Nothing says "freedom of speech" like banning journalists cause they hurt your fee-fees. Vee (talk) 06:09, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

Red States banning TikTok[edit]

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tylerroush/2022/12/15/senate-approves-bill-banning-tiktok-from-federal-devices-as-gop-campaign-against-social-media-app-grows/

Is this even necessary? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 15:00, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

It makes sense to have these types of rules on government devices, especially when it comes to Chinese companies. There are essentially no legal barriers between their government and military vs. Chinese corporations because members of the Chinese Communist Party have to form a committee inside of Chinese corporations which makes that company more directly beholden to the party. So the line between private data gathering and government data gathering on Chinese based apps is very blurred and should be expected to be used for their own means whatever they are.-Ryan1257 (talk) 18:38, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Even if they didn't, I think it's not an exaggeration to say basically, any Chinese company shall cough if the CCP leans on them enough. Similar has been said (with even less evidence) towards Kaspersky Labs. Lastly, the American exploitation of the world's reliance on American software is well known and documented - China has been trying to find a replacement for Microsoft for decades.
Though I also suspect this whole thing is mainly grandstanding. From my little and somewhat dated knowledge of tech I'm inclined to say a main layer in device security is limit the numbers of 'untrusted' programs and then also ensure the end user can't install them themselves either. If Federal agencies etc didn't already have a 'No TikTok' rule for their devices I'll admit being rather surprised (in fact, I've heard reports that some of the leaks etc happen because folks use their own, unsecured devices because their official, secure ones are much more 'clunky' to use). KarmaPolice (talk) 19:10, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
It's all political, which is a shame because TikTok is a menace. CorruptUser 21:17, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
While I may live to regret asking this; but why? KarmaPolice (talk) 22:16, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
It's everything wrong with social media. It promotes the worst of humanity, and if you make content the only way to trend is to yourself become the worst of humanity. CorruptUser 00:17, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
The same can be said for Instragram. KarmaPolice (talk) 00:44, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
I would've gone with the comparison to Twitter, another cesspit of people screaming the most insane, outrageous things in order to get the most attention. Instagram seems solely focused on grooming young girls into becoming softcore porn stars, whereas TikTok is that and so much more, whether or not you trust the Chinese government to not steal your data. CorruptUser 19:04, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
That may be true, but Twitter does also have 'legitimate' uses (in this case, I define legit as 'actually beneficial to society'). I've personally chalked up the two above as the top platforms which their legit uses could be folded into others which almost zero loss. But your comment does show how individual's POV on a thing can be different - my Insta seems to be mainly populated with amateur 'influencers' trying to peddle shite. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:08, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The Weather Service for instance posts updates on Twitter. Like it or not, social media now serves a vital public function. Vee (talk) 23:14, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

I believe a few things that you say are pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. Can I edit on other topics?[edit]

I'm a young-earth creationist and believe that COVID vaccines are dangerous, but I think homeopathy and the flat-earth "theory" are absolute nonsense. Can I edit pages on topics where I agree with other people here? Dfghuytr (talk) 00:18, 9 December 2022 (UTC)

We do not require ideological purity here, but please, use the talk pages before making edits if you're not sure about how the community will react about them. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 00:23, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
Thank you! So if I read an article and agree with it but see a way it could be improved to make its point better, it's okay to edit it? Dfghuytr (talk) 00:28, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, for sure. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 01:08, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
You should probably read " What is a RationalWiki article?" If you can stay within what is outlined there then you should have no problem.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 08:25, 9 December 2022 (UTC)
You can improve articles you disagree with/are neutral towards as well - and, RW users may be interested in 'From an X point of view the interpretation is (this). Probably quite a few RW-ers have some views that others think are strange. Anna Livia (talk) 11:17, 9 December 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────as some editors on this site might know, i have my own misgivings about what is considered orthodox on this site. it's normal; we're not always going to agree with each other on everything. this isn't an echo chamber. having said that, be sure to cite your sources and use talk pages. if something is (or seems) especially contentious, wait until consensus is built before you make your edits. The G (talk) 03:23, 11 December 2022 (UTC)

No one is concerned that this is a sock? Especially to spread vaccine misinformation?-RipCityLiberal (talk) 23:44, 12 December 2022 (UTC)
i don't know about everyone else, but i don't have enough information on this account to determine whether it is a sock. i guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. The G (talk) 01:16, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
This person does have a pretty socky username. Either button mashing or this. Also, Anti-vax creationist. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 15:57, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
maybe i'm just being naive, but their views could change in due time. when i first visited this wiki (as a lurker), i was a christian fundamentalist, a yec, a global warming skeptic denier, a libertarian, and an all-around conspiracy theorist (illuminati, jesuits, 9/11, etc.). so basically, i was a paulbot. fast forward five years, and i no longer believe any of that (though my current views on religion are ambivalent). this site deserves at least some of the credit for my shift in views (though i still somewhat disagree with the politics of some users).
otherwise, i don't think i'm the person to make the call here. i'll let the more experienced users decide what to do with this self-described yec anti-vaxx user. The G (talk) 23:44, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
no call needs to be made. there is nothing they can do that cannot be reverted if need be. if they start inserting bullshit then they can be dealt with then. if they dont, there is no problem. AMassiveGay (talk) 01:43, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
With the Covid vaccines there are a range of positions which will have changed over time - one of the variants did cause problems, while 'wishing to be in the second tranche (possibly in the hope that the disease would burn out or mutate into something less unpleasant)' was an understandable position.
The username is partially a 'left hand of the Qwerty board' creation. Anna Livia (talk) 14:03, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

This isn't good for Democrats[edit]

So, Kyrsten Sinema just left the Democrats and became an independent. If she doesn't still caucus with Democrats, that will make it nearly impossible for Democrats to win the Senate for the next decade. I'm not worried about Joe Manchin right now, as even with his reelection pressures if he switched to the Republicans it would go about as well for him as it did when Arlen Specter joined the Democrats, but that's something we have to keep in mind. Still, we have three Dems in deep-red states up in 2024, and while we can try to get rid of Sinema a three-way race would only benefit Republicans. They'll probably have to supercharge their efforts in Texas, as getting rid of Ted Cruz is probably their only path to keeping the Senate. Democrats will also have to improve their standing in North Carolina and even Alaska and also put a few wild cards into play like South Carolina, Utah, and Missouri in order to have a sustainable position in the Senate. Still, I guess this is the inevitable result of states becoming more polarized (only 6 (counting Arizona) currently have a split delegation) and small rural states having disproportionate power. It seems we're headed to a scenario where Democrats are favored in the House and Presidency but Republicans are favored in the Senate, which could result in permanent gridlock unless something changes. Plutocow (talk) 23:57, 9 December 2022 (UTC)

I think I found the reason why. Polling shows that it looked like she'd lose to a primary challenge from basically, anyone not her. Leaving now would give her enough time to build her own support base in the state, if she is planning to run as an Independent in '24. KarmaPolice (talk) 00:28, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
The Arizona Republicans are the people who voted for Blake Masters to win the primary nomination. I doubt many Arizona Republicans would be interested in voting for Sinema, so unless the Democrats are cowards and don't nominate anyone she'll throw the race to the Republicans (and even then, there would probably be enough protest votes to influence the outcome). That is not a seat Dems can afford to lose when they have to defend seats in Montana and West Virginia. Plutocow (talk) 00:41, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
Shame, as Sinema looks like a fine liberal Republican. Y'know, before MAGA killed that party off. And 'that's not a seat the Dems can afford to lose' might be bit of a moot point if they calculate that the continued presence of Sinema (as an Independent) is almost as bad as having a MAGA in that seat (in fact, the fact several other viable primary candidates were clearly 'on manoeuvres' suggests they've already calculated the latter is marginally better long-term or they can cripple Sinama so much she declines to run at all). I mean from the looks of it Sinema isn't that popular with anyone - not even actual Independents. Or any ethnic group. Or demographic. I mean, it's okay to be a maverick 'conviction politician' but hell, you've supposed to build up a personal base in your constituency first. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:24, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I actually think Montana will remain blue. The Democratic senators seem to be popular, and as we saw in Kansas, voters are actually content with leaving Democrats in place when the alternative is extreme Republicans. I think West Virginia is too red to see a Democrat in office ever again, and that 2018 was the termination point, but I believe John Tester could eek out a narrow victory in Montana. Keep in mind that Montana isn't as safe as people think, and McCain only won Montana by 2.3% in the 2008 election, and had a Democratic governor until the 2020 elections. Andrew5 (talk) 01:25, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
A true politician. I'm not surprised. Vee (talk) 01:53, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
I think the Dems should call her bluff and run Gallego against her. Drive turnout by fanning the flames against Sinema. Most Dem voters hate her guts. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 02:08, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
That could backfire though, a threeway race in the general Sinema-Gallego-random GOP candidate would mean the GOP candidate would win the most votes. Arizona doesn't do runoff elections ("State executives (e.g., governor, secretary of state, etc.) are elected via plurality vote in single-winner contests. The same is true for United States Senators and United States Representatives.").[1] Bongolian (talk) 07:08, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
Considering that someone as far right as Blake Masters managed 46.5% of the vote against a relatively popular incumbent, Sinema is not likely to win the support of the GOP who are unlikely to forgive her for voting to impeach Trump twice, and if the Democrats run Sinema again and even a small percentage of voters sit out or vote third party, that would make victory for Sinema impossible anyway. Considering this, it may be in Democrats' best interest to say screw it and run a three-way, firstly because Sinema will always be a thorn in the Democrats' side as long as she is in that seat and getting rid of her will at least clear the way for someone better in 2030, and secondly because Arizona is an important swing state on the presidential level and they need to be able to inspire turnout. Nobody is motivated by Kirsten Sinema, and even if it is a hopeless fight if a Dem challenger can inspire young and minority voters to turn out then it will be worth it. Still, that means that Dems will have to win in Montana, West Virginia, and Ohio as well as any other potentially competitive seats or lose one and flip Texas while retaining the presidency, which is a tall order. Plutocow (talk) 07:45, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
Not automatically, Plutocow. I mean, if MAGA picks someone truly a carpet-chewer she might leech off some Republican voters (I mean if nothing else, MAGA is pretty shit when it comes to picking people who are actually electable) - her (dis)approval numbers between the two parties is about equal-ish. It's not inconceivable she would end up being a MAGA spoiler. KarmaPolice (talk) 10:55, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
Could the MAGAs end up, at some point, erecting their own party? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 17:47, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
Why? They've already got one. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:57, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
If the Democrats put up a candidate against Sinema, she'll have no chance of winning and she might back down from pointlessly spending on an unwinnable race. On the other hand, if Dems back Sinema, they'll lose a lot of voter enthusiasm and likely lose the seat anyways. I think they should call her bluff and run a candidate. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 18:05, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
I (partly) agree. To run for a Senate seat you need four things - money, talent, organisation and labour. She needs several million bucks, a solid 'core' of political professionals to run her campaign (including people to hustle for her) a framework to organise everyone and well, an 'everyone' to organise. Being an Independent is shit because you start out on basically, near-zero. Every party has some of all the above to tap, however small. The worst is perhaps the lack of fellow politicos to endorse/campaign for her; I'm not American but I'm sure for either a MAGA or Democrat to do this is basically, a hanging offense.
Therefore, I don't see anything wrong with the Airzona Dems to start gearing up now while watching Sinema's moves carefully. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:48, 10 December 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sinema will not caucus with the GOP and likely will caucus with democrats. Andrew5 (talk) 13:56, 11 December 2022 (UTC)

which raises the question: why did she leave the party to begin with? more than likely she is trying to avoid being primaried by her own party given her (lack of) popularity among arizona voters. The G (talk) 08:05, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
While switching parties to avoid primary does occasionally work (Liberman 2006), there are two problems. First, if Liberman ran today, he would've lost. Second, Arizona is way too purple. Arizona, alongside Georgia, Wisconsin and arguably Pennsylvania, are the most purple states in the country. (At this point I'd argue Michigan is a blue state.) Andrew5 (talk) 19:52, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
It's because it will make Democrats reconsider challenging her. If the Dem's run a progressive candidate, and Sinema runs as an independent, it is highly likely enough GOP voters stick together to win the plurality of the vote. Especially more of the corporate minded GOP. They will no longer have to settle for her.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 20:18, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
or, as uvaWikipedia eloquently put it, she switched from senator to spoiler. The G (talk) 23:37, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
The problem with Sinema is, well, lots of people in Arizona thinks she sucks. Dems, Reps, indies, you name it, they all generally dislike her. So I imagine the Dems will run a popular candidate in their backbench instead of endorsing her. The Dems probably also will hope that the Republicans are still on the Trump train and nominate The Crazy (like a Kari Lake, which isn't all that unlikely, frankly), which will help them out. But even without this, I actually wonder how much of a spoiler someone that unpopular can be. BobJohnson (talk) 00:10, 15 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah. The Democrats are helped by the fact Arizona doesn't have a 'resign to run' law. I worked it out that it meant at least one of the frontrunners can make a play for the Senate seat without having to resign from the House (thus meaning they can continue there if they fail for the upper chamber). KarmaPolice (talk) 17:45, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
At the very least I hope Schumer holds the possibility of running a candidate for her seat over her head as a threat. Maybe she’ll stop digging her heels in so hard on important policies. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 18:05, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Arizona is too purple for a spoiler candidate. All she needs is around 5-10% of the vote to throw it to Republicans. Trumpism is a big force in Arizona Republicans. Andrew5 (talk) 22:45, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah? What if she takes an (near) equal amount off the MAGAs too? She is basically as popular with their voters than she is with Democratic ones. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:12, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
The MAGAs consider Liz Cheney to be a RINO. There's no way they'd accept Sinema over one of their own. Plutocow (talk) 20:15, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
"Waste of time leaves party she was barely loyal to. This is bad because reasons." ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:30, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
The reality of the situation is quite simple. Sinema and her advisors can sense her limited viability in the current trajectory of the Democratic Party of the United States of America and, as such, she is jumping ship without openly swapping sides. In turns out being a fence sitter isn't so viable in the political sphere after all. Certain people ought to take note of this. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:33, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Red-hats would vote for a mannequin stuffed with rotten fish-guts if it had gotten the Orange One's endorsement. I was referring to the alleged 'moderate Republicans' who despite their repeated bitching, nearly invaribly end up voting for MAGA candidates because 'oh I can't vote Democrat'. But an Independent... another question entirely. Esp one which does not get the Democrat's endorsement. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:43, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice Most likely. However, I was addressing the likely reasoning for Sinema herself and taking shots at those in this thread who seem to believe this is more than a cynical ploy by a political invertebrate. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:47, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I still think Sinema will spoil the election. If it were as blue as say, New York, then it wouldn't, but really anyone can split an election. Hell, Sinema only recieved 49.97% of the vote in 2018, so "someone" might've ruined it for McSally...Andrew5 (talk) 12:30, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

Why does the Haitian Creole dialect seem easier than traditional French[edit]

I choose to look into the Haitian Creole dialect and it seems a lot easier than traditional French (my opinion). Why is that? Hell, it seems easier than Esperanto. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 20:37, 10 December 2022 (UTC)

IMO, since it's a "creole" language, it an amalgam of different tounges, and some of those tounges were probably in English. Another possibility is that since it was originally created by African slaves, they needed to keep things simple so that they could easily understand each other. An Advocate (talk) 20:53, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
The grammar and sound systems of creoles tend to be more streamlined, due to a tendency to eliminate sounds and grammatical quirks that aren't common to the primary languages it evolved from. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:15, 10 December 2022 (UTC)
As a rule, creoles and and especially pidgins have more simplified grammars than the languages from which they originated. Pidgins are mixed languages with no native speakers; they can evolve into creoles when the language becomes a group of people's first language. Bongolian (talk) 00:22, 11 December 2022 (UTC)
Learning a few creoles is a fast and easy way to become a polyglot, and might look good on a resume. LongStylus (talk) 06:53, 11 December 2022 (UTC)
Pretty much what others said; Creoles are intentionally made easy to learn, and all the inherited complexities from the parent languages are done away with. In a very minor way, American English is a not-quite-a-Creole, in that lots of words get simplified and the grammar is a tad more direct than British English. E.g., "color" instead of "colour", nobody giving a fuck about an oxford comma, etc, ending sentences with a preposition, starting sentences with a conjunction, etc. CorruptUser 16:04, 12 December 2022 (UTC)
Creoles are not intentionally made - they are a natural evolution of pidgins. To put it another way: people who speak creoles are the linguistic (and probably biological) decedents of people who spoke pidgins. There is no way that American English is anything like a creole. However English itself may well be a triple creole consisting or Old Norse, Anglo-Saxon and Norman French. (With Anglo-Saxon and Norman French themselves arguably being creoles.) But this hypothesis is controversial.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:47, 13 December 2022 (UTC)
The sound system of English is pretty rough one to learn. While certainly there are languages with a lot more sounds (look at the Northwest Caucasian and Northeast Caucasian consonatfests, or the vowels in German and Vietnamese), American English anyway has 3 of the rarest sounds in any language (the -th sounds, unlike some languages with one it has both, and rhotic vowels, which less than 1% of languages use; the only other really major one is Mandarin Chinese, and it makes much less use of it than English). Plus the auxiliary structure of English can be a nightmare for people unused to analytic languages. But if nothing else, English is a real mutt; not the only language like that (Albanian has a large Slavic, Greek, and in the case of Arvanite Romance substrate), but then it became a colonial language and picked things up from everywhere. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:42, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
When I was a child I knew this Spanish guy, I remember him complaining about how much of a pain in the ass the dental fricative was to pronounce. This post reminds me of that. Vee (talk) 08:20, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
Oh yeah? I can never manage to pronounce the alveolar trill properly. I can only do the uvular trill and a very bad alveolar trill. LongStylus (talk) 12:18, 14 December 2022 (UTC)
I cn manage a glo'al stop, but not the Northern BritEnglish vowel in 'book' (=buuk). Anna Livia (talk) 14:05, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
The alveolar trill is important in Spanish for differentiating pero (short trill, English='but') and perro (long trill, English='dog'). Bongolian (talk) 18:44, 21 December 2022 (UTC)

So it took cards for Trump's supporters to suddenly change their attitude about him?[edit]

His supporters once supported him and excused questionable things he did. Yet, he announces the cards and suddenly they are embarrassed. What is with it? What would make them turn against him.just for the cards when they once supported everything he stood for? — Unsigned, by: Neverexpectedthis / talk / contribs

Because his previous lunacy had been, mostly, something that they could argue away. "It's a political hackjob." "It's just the media." "You lefties don't understand what The Donald is trying to do." And so on and so on. Remember, his supporters... well, supported the questionable things. They believed in them. They saw his previous actions and were somehow able to adjust them into being to their benefit.
This, however, is stupid. Massively stupid. And only the most rabid, most hyper-loyal of his followers are going to follow this. Selling a wall between two continents? Sure, why not? Selling NFTs of pictures of Trump in a spacesuit at 99 bucks a pop-- and the fund don't even go to any re-election bid, but stright to Donald's pocket? Yeah, that's finally going too far even for the sort of idiot who wears a red hat stapled to his head. Kencolt (talk) 10:59, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
Trump supporter Steve Bannon's reaction the the cards was "OK, OK, I can't do this anymore," and in respect of the promotional video: "I can’t watch it again. Make it stop,". I hardly think that his reactions will be unique.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 16:39, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
It's not going to be Trump's playing cards or Biden's Dark Brandon meme that are going to be decisive determinants of who wins the 2024 election. It's going to be the economy, internal party politics in the Democrat and Republican Party, the amount/degree of scandals that Trump/Biden have and how well NATO does in the war in Ukraine. Liam njr (talk) 17:19, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

In more general terms, it's usually a relatively small thing which scuppers people like Trump. My own observation is that normally, it also scuppers a person who is already 'on the wane' in popularity. What's happening (I think) is that the rent-a-hacks have privately decided that Trump's star is dimming and unlikely to return, and so are no longer so fawning towards the Orange God. KarmaPolice (talk) 17:39, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

He certainly has negative publicity from every direction at the moment.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 18:10, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
They're already looking for reasons to dump Trump because all the Trump-endorsed candidates lost in the midterms. They want to get rid of Trump because he has the brand of a loser now. FairDinkum (talk) 07:58, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Ding ding ding! It's not that the GOP have become Good Honest Liberals(patent pending), their souls saved from some vague damnation. No. It's because supporting Trump is no longer ideologically or pragmatically expedient. The mistake commonly being made is the assumption that Trump's supporters are empty vessels, Good Honest Liberals Who Have Lost Their Way. An assumption that belongs more in a church than in the political sphere... ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:55, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

You young fuckers won't get it...[edit]

...But you Gen Xer's will. Just got back from a Pixies concert and hot damn it was great. Those fuckers still got it. For prep I spent the day at my desk tiding away admin bullshit while going deep into 90's nostalgia. Dusted off some L7, decided I still really don't like Pearl Jam and listened to Smashing Pumpkins for the first time in maybe a decade. In my management meeting I lamented to the other management team members that my staff (average age 23) don't know who Nirvana is/was. Someone piped up with "Yeah but they probably have a Nirvana T-Shirt". Sad but true. Then realised I sounded like my Dad telling me about the 60's so I slipped into morose silence for the rest of the meeting. And that's that. Acei9 13:56, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Personally, I think that the YouTube era has dampened, er, a *little* bit at least, the whole "generational" aspect of music that you had in the days of radio / MTV. Prior to Nirvana making it big, if you wanted to listen to some "alternative rock" in the US and the artist wasn't one of the few that made it decently big before then (eg REM), you had to either do the ol' tape trading thing, hope that a community radio station or college radio station was nearby that was playing that stuff, or maybe watch 120 Minutes on MTV. This was a bit of effort, of course, and similar efforts would be required for any other non-radio-friendly genre. The easiest "default course" was to go for the spoon-fed radio playlist, which was neatly divided into generations and was tempered for maximum blandness. (Including the the "oldies", meaning some of the more interesting 1960s shit wasn't played either, but I digress...)
Nowadays, with streaming radio and videos, it's... slightly less spoon-fed, I suppose. At least, if you want to hear some "old school" shit instantly, you can search, find, and click. Most probably won't, but it's good for us weirdos that do. (I'm personally on more of a classical / jazz kick of late, so it's more like, "oh, do you know who Miles Davis is?" :) ) BobJohnson (talk)
You have your own company, Ace? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 15:03, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
I disagree with the OP's premise. I've noticed (at least with music) that it's the 'same old shit' which is bigger than ever. I acutally suspect it's even crowding out the creation of new music (food for thought on topic) at least in the respect of sucking airtime and resources from it. The creative industries are an industry, and they've become hugely risk-adverse in the drive for profit - more and more mining 'known fields' (old shit) rather than looking for 'new fields' (upcoming stuff). You also see this in films and a lesser extent computer games - the only one which seems relatively immune to this is TV, and I'll put this down to first the likes of HBO shaking up the industry in the 00s and Netflix etc in the 10s injecting new money into it.
What's happened in this case is that the OP has focused on a rather 'difficult' genre to re-mine; grunge. You can't use Lithium for an advert, have Them Bones as background music in a film or use Midlife Crisis as the credits of a TV episode (exception; intentional period pieces). Hell, grunge itself arose as a reaction to and generally in spite of a music industry which was happy churning out 'Big Hair' stadium rock, vapid studio-assembled pop and watery R&B. Even more annoyingly, unlike rap it generally refused to be turned into a homogeneous product. It's why even now I might catch Black Hole Sun or Smells Like occasionally on the the vaguely 'alternative' radio station but generally they have the same old crap, carefully crafted around 'stuff which offends the least' (admittedly this does feature some stuff I do like too, which is the point). This was an aspect pointed out by Pulp's Jarvis Cocker; that 'difficult' music makes casual listeners to run away. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:46, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

I am a young fucker who owns two Pixies albums. Who has seen older acts than that live before. Where do I fit in all of this? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 17:42, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Not knowing Nirvana, eh? Honestly all your favorite shit is slowly turning irrelevant with each passing generation and you'll have to accept that. There are growing amount of young people who don't know what Tony Hawk or the Beatles are. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:54, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Ace is just expressing how irony has a way of creeping up on you: He thinks he’s observed a genuine decline in musical taste, only to realise he’s fallen into the age-old habit of lamenting the next generations ignorance of the previous gens culture (Oh, you pretty things!). In the end he’s aware of the foolishness of his argument, his pride is wounded, hence the slip into “morose silence”.

I, personally, a confirmed young fucker, when it comes to music of the Pixies’ era, favour this gem of a live album from John Cale, Dr Mudd is especially good:

LeucippusSalva veritate 19:43, 16 December 2022 (UTC)

Ah, I see. I'm more into whatever I come across myself. Metal, k-pop, 80s rock, rap, pop, "modern music", vgm, EDM, whatever, etc. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:47, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
That’s a good thing! Not pigeonhole-ing your tastes, being open to the world, these choices will enrich one’s life and individuality (which, in my opinion, can only be a good thing). LeucippusSalva veritate 19:55, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
That does make me ask the question; 'how would they find out about Nirvana?'. If they're 23, they were born in ~'98/'99. When we think about that, it's a rather dodgy point age-wise; most of them would have had parents who'd reached adulthood before grunge (and thus much less likely to like it). This means they were much less likely to be exposed to it growing up. Now, older siblings would be an alternative route - but to have been 13 when Nevermind was released would have made their sibling 22 years older than they, and quite likely no longer living at home (and how many have siblings old enough to be a parent?). Popular media? Well, a problem arises there that Nirvana doesn't really get on games, films, TV shows 'set in the era' and so on... allegedly due to Courtney Love. Officially, she 'felt it disrespectful'. I think she simply asked for too much cash for licencing rights (case in point; GTA San Andreas). But as we saw with Kate Bush getting back to #1 off the back of Stranger Things and the fact most 20-somethings may only know of Nixon from his appearance in Futurama - sometimes the only way you can 'survive' is to get into the wider pop-culture. What's more, they weren't around for long and had a limited discography.
In fact, the main way they'd have come across it would be if they are pretty into music, liked the rock genre and went to the effort to explore the 'old stuff'. That is quite a small percentage when it comes down to it. Or possibly encountering an older relative at a family do, who points out that they're dressed very similar to Kittie c1999 and if you want proof teenage angst wasn't invented in 2011, try the Pumpkins. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:58, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
I think some of those who were into the "indie pop / rock scene" (e.g. yer "hipster music" scene or those who read Pitchfork Media) may have possibly encountered Nirvana. That scene was a direct descendant of 1990s "alternative music", and that scene wasn't shy about acknowledging the past. (Plus Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters had their 2000/2010s moments). The same applies with the Pixies or L7 or Smashing Pumpkins, for that matter, they might get name-checked by the newer indie bands.
Today, that sort of "indie pop / rock" scene is still alive, but it passed its peak golden age (probably the 2000s, maybe a bit of the 10s), and has (like much of pop music) evolved away from guitars to electronics. So honestly I don't know if even the youngsters, even the ones into more non-mainstream stuff, are as influenced by their music per se. It's possible, though. Even back in the Nirvana days, the alternative crowds tended to be explorers of obscure musical delights, Cobain himself included. That probably hasn't changed.BobJohnson (talk) 23:03, 16 December 2022 (UTC)
I suspect part of the lack of 'notability' now is that grunge revolutionised the genre - that to a significant part, it's second wave became 'mainstream rock' by 2000. Without real knowledge of what came before that, you simply don't 'get it'. I don't think in this case it's much of an exaggeration to say that Nevermind was present in the album collections of almost every rock-based Anglo group which started up between ~'95 and ~'05. Another aspect not appreciated that it also influenced other genres, like nu-metal and Britpop. KarmaPolice (talk) 00:00, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
the likes of spotify and youtube gives kids today instant access to every kind of music imaginable. its never been easier to explore roads leading away from the mainstream, different genres, different time periods, etc. i am always surprised at just how eclectic my nephews spotify playlists are. all i had at his age was radio 1 and top of the pops. pretty sure kids today are aware of a broader range of music than i ever was when i was a yoof. and i bet they know more about 'my' music than i do about theirs AMassiveGay (talk) 01:06, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
I was immersed in counter-culture music in the 90s, but looking back one thing that strikes me is how many of those alternative/indie bands were obsessed with christianity. Pixies, Violent Femmes, Flaming Lips, Spacemen 3, and on and on... And so many bands with 'Jesus' in their names: Jesus and the Mary Chain, Jesus Lizard, MC900ft Jesus, Jesus Jones, etc. That's a lot of jesus! And don't forget the 'Christ' ones, Christian Death, Velvet Acid Christ, Christ Analogue, etc. And the ones with religious-sounding names: Sisters of Mercy, Faith No More, Ministry, Messiah, etc. Although a lot of that music was pretty good, it's one trend I do not miss. FairDinkum (talk) 07:41, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
\Ignoring the names that have more benign origins (eg a "Jesus lizard" is a South American lizard that can walk on water), to me this is more of a sign of just how much Christianity (the institution) has declined as a social force in the West from those days. Many of those bands come from "rebellious" genres. A lot of the ones you listed are goth/industrial, or derivatives, and half of their schtick was inspiration from horror films (many of which are swamped in Christian symbols as a Magical Solve-Everything Force) as well as pagan mythology. The Church (particularly the evangelicals) loomed large over many of the silly moral conflicts of that time (1980s-1990s) in America, ranging from the Satanic Panic to Dungeons & Dragons panic to yoga panic to the PMRC and other music panics. The American televangelist who sucked up cash from the gullible and desperate was also a really big phenomenon, big enough that even a band of Bible-named BritsWikipedia wrote a song about it. Tweaking around with Church mythos was "counter-culture cool".
These days, so much of American Christianity the institution has flat out lost any connection with their fundamentals. Parts of it are nakedly political, bouncing around proclaiming how you should Vote Republican In The Name of Jesus and obsessing over the gay, the trans, and other matters of genitalia, because there's apparently an exemption towards that Golden Rule that does not apply to gay-bashing in their Bible, I guess. The Golden Calf-esque worship of Lord Donald shows where their heart really is. Another part is more like Hillsong and is more like bland light pop with a few Jesus call-outs in the lyrics, or maybe a little bit of bland self-help. Slick "entertainment" for the easily amused, but not very spiritual. And televangelists? If you're Jim Bakker, your hawking supplements as if you are wishing you were Infowars. There's certainly plenty of songs written about politics these days. There's just less of a need to bring Jesus into the equation, now that American Christianity the institution has so clearly abandoned the Jesus and is basically just a bunch of old farts yelling at clouds, and the youth of America are losing their institutional religion faster than ever.
It also helps that some of the things, like that "Satanic" shit in metal, became overdone, to the point of parody in the 1980s and 1990s, so you see it a lot less of that today. The last metal band that got decently known with such imagery that I can think of is Ghost, and the imagery half seemed to be done as an homage to 1970s shock rock (Alice Cooper etc.). It's old hat. BobJohnson (talk) 19:30, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Now, after 12 hours sleep in recovery from the concert and a day of spastic stumbling, laughs and all round craziness, I feel good. Can tick Pixies off the list…now, who’s next I wonder? Acei9 20:24, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Going OT for a moment, the fact is that much of the 'European World' is solidly moving into the 'Post-Christian' era, with the USA perhaps about 15-20 years behind. For example, I've seen articles written by vicars etc speaking about the fact they need to change their game - that before they were preaching to 'lapsed'/'wayward' folks who'd be familiar with the outlines, now it's increasingly people who never encountered Christianity, or even worse, now associate 'Christianity' with the toxic right-wing fundies. I can't believe I'm gonna write this, but ultimately Jack Chick shall be proven right (in one way) - the need to tell kids 'who is this Jesus guy?' in the future.
And that makes hme a little sad. Not the loss of religious belief being basically forced on everyone as kids, more the fact the Bible is being lost as a cultural touchstone, after over a thousand years. Countless orators, writers, poets and artists have utilised the Bible's cadence, imagry and stories for their own 'needs' (including said rock artists), including parody and outright mockery. Lose the source, lose half the message in the later work. KarmaPolice (talk) 20:37, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
What the fuck does this have anything to do with the topic at hand? Acei9 13:19, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Nothing. Just riffing off BobJ's point. Who are you, the topic police? KarmaPolice (talk) 18:07, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Why yes, I am the topic police. And you're going to topic jail or some shit or another. Acei9 21:10, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Generational warfare is stupid. I'm a millennial and I listen to a mix of music ranging from the 1700s to 2022. King Bowser K. Rool (talk) 22:44, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Good post! as do i. The G (talk) 20:44, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

Machina topic[edit]

Warning icon orange.svg Warning
Realism conversation ahead may rot your brain!

Man photographing himself in cornered mirror to generate illusion cropped.jpg

Does Alt-right creationism exist?[edit]

Though Creationism has been irrelevant in this website since 2012.Is there such thing as Alt-right Creationism? If there is such thing? Edward the eight (talk) 07:56, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

The alt right has massive crank magnetism. Theodore Beale and Scott Adams comes to mind.Jakester499 (talk) 02:53, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
They accept evolution... but the type of evolution they believe would be closer to eugenics.-Ryan1257 (talk) 09:35, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
The alt-right barely exists. It imploded and post 2020 it is very uninfluential. Right-wing nationalism absorbed many alt-right individuals. And SCOTUS seems ready to throw out affirmative action in college admissions. Racism is going to be less common in the USA because intermarriage has seen a 500% increase since the late 1960s and it is still rising. The mainland has a 17% rate of intermarriage now and Hawaii has a 40+ percent rate of intermarriage. Love still conquers all. Terrestial (talk) 16:03, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Neo-Nazi's are still very present in the US and Canada, there have been some high-profile cases involving premilitary groups and terrorist threats in the last two years, and notable neo-Nazi's took part in such events as the Jan 6th riot, and the freedom convoy. Moral panics regarding critical race theory is definitely influenced in part by white supremacy, and mainstream figures like Tucker Carlson push white genocide conspiracy theories into the mainstream. "Racism" in any structural sense is going to be largely unchanged provided the prison-industrial complex remains, nothing is done to alleviate the black-white wealth gap, police are not defunded, reparations' are not made, efforts for decolonization are not pushed to re-legitimize indigenous political systems and land ownership, etc. etc. Racism as understood as a product of simple individual prejudice resolved through interracial marriage is sort of onaive and is in part a product of whiteness in of itself. There is an assumption that racism does not exist within interracial marriage, or that racism is not reflected or directed at the children that are the product of such marriages. This is false. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 16:55, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
To your list of actions that have not been taken, that is "nothing is done to alleviate the black-white wealth gap, police are not defunded, reparations' are not made, efforts for decolonization are not pushed to re-legitimize indigenous political systems and land ownership, etc. etc." I hesitate to examine the plausibility of any of that ever happening. None of it sounds bad at all from a certain perspective. The question is, how does one present one of those four ideas to the public and not get politically "cancelled?" Primarily because they would be costly and benefit relatively small minorities. I presume none of them would be popular as governmental programs unless they applied to the underprivileged in general, a group that continues to expand everywhere.Ariel31459 (talk) 20:46, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
I Asked: are there Alt-right Creationists? Edward the eight (talk) 22:14, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Yes. Scott Adams and Theodore Beale.Jakester499 (talk) 07:30, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, probably. Christian nationalism is a thing. Just look at Matt Walsh- Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:18, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Wouldn't Christian Identity fall into this category?

2A02:A459:4859:1:192E:F009:8DE9:A3B8 (talk) 22:47, 17 December 2022 (UTC)

I think Creationism is Alt-lite Edward the eight (talk) 13:35, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

@Ariel31459 I mean what makes a social proposal just is just is not what makes a social proposal popular. If the point is that people care more about their own material needs over social justice then yeah I would be inclined to agree. I don't think the average white person honestly gives a shit that the prison-industrial complex exists primarily as a replacement for the profitability of chattel slavery (it's how many a road get made after all.) I think that all that suggests to me is that we shouldn't kid ourselves into thinking the general public has any interest in abolishing racism or ridding the currently existing system of white supremacy. This is something that black scholars like Derrick Bell recognized. Racism isn't this aberrational character defect. It's fundamental to how a white dominant society functions. To get rid of it, you have to get rid of that white dominant society. Who is kidding themselves into thinking we can keep the dominant mode of production and systems of governance in tact and also abolish racism in our lifetimes? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)

@Ariel31459 Under the current paradigm perhaps. But, as I have pointed out in the past, the current paradigm is not the default of human social groupings. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:00, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Capitalism (and therefore white supremacy) also requires an underclass to function as the stick to the carrot of possible wealth. Vee (talk) 23:02, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Good to see you back GC. Yes, you are correct. I calculate that the production of wealth in the west, by itself, renders the current systemic conditions ineradicable. Furthermore, OSD, you are correct, and I suppose that there would be little hope in establishing the current situation is unrelated to the demographic character of the majority population. However, systemic racism would likely be a social affect no matter which races were in ascendance. Racial hatred, resentment, violence are themselves ineradicable in societies that don't even see that they are prevalent. This is because it is part of human nature to be acquisitive, and aggressive or violent out of simple greed and resentment. Today, we see that entire populations have adopted the characteristics of people holding second class status, living in fear and anxiety. Trumpists, I think, are under the impression that has already happened to them. You want a revolution? So do they.Ariel31459 (talk) 23:28, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Or maybe it's because capitalism incentivizes selfish behavior. Hoarding is taboo amongst hunter gatherer societies, so obviously that right there contradicts your statement that acquisitiveness is a human universal unaffected by culture. Vee (talk) 23:31, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
"Human nature" is a black box term used by those with zero understanding of sociopolitical dynamics to cover their ignorance of same. Further, when deployed by liberals, it acts as a tacit admission that liberalism itself is a pipe dream. I would very much advise against throwing around such a term, all things considered. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:34, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Yes, it is a black box term. Unfortunately for your argument, humans evolved into being what we are. There are things in the box. We have natures as creatures in this world. We may not quite know how to deal with them, but the box is not empty. And vee, human behaviors are not usually determined by logical arguments. And we can't be hunter-gatherers now, can we? Ariel31459 (talk) 23:42, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
@Ariel31459 "Because men are sinful, they require the guidance of the Church to achieve salvation. How do we know the Church isn't sinful as well? Trust me bro." Hardly fitting argumentation for anyone who isn't an ardent supporter of the divine right of kings. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:48, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Yes, that was a dreadful argument. I'm glad I didn't make it.Ariel31459 (talk) 23:50, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
@Ariel31459 By invoking "human nature" as an apologia for capitalism, you very much did. To argue that we must maintain capitalism because of "human nature", you necessarily undermine liberal democracy. For if, in fact, humans are wicked, then liberal democracy, with its basis in universal human suffrage based on natural rights, is necessarily condemned to the dustbin of history. Don't be a coward, just drop the use of a shit term. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:55, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
And we haven't even gotten into your essentialization of "race" as a concept, one which originates in reaction to the rise of Liberalism, ironically enough. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:57, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Never been fond of the essentialist subtext underneath that phrase either. It's too reductionist to ever be a useful term in this context. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:59, 17 December 2022 (UTC)
Let me be brief. I didn't argue "we must maintain capitalism" putting human nature aside. I argued that the economic systems of production are ineradicable because they are so successful at producing wealth. We are too greedy to forswear them. I could be wrong, but I don't see it happening. As vee points out capitalism promotes greed. I propose that any efficient form of wealth production engenders greed and predatory economic behaviors. Certainly an economic collapse in the west could lead to some form of change. In addition, race is irrelevant to this argument. Unless you mean the human race. Ariel31459 (talk) 00:07, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
@Ariel31459 Let me be blunt. You invoked "human nature" to explain the issues of racism and greed, thus, by definition, arguing that they are innate to human beings. Again, don't be a coward. I can link the edits if need be, though given they're literally right there I don't know why you would lie and deny them, beyond the moronic desire to save face. Further, unless you became an absolute monarchist in my absence, for the love of fucking Goat, stop using "human nature" as an argument. It's a moronic thought terminating cliche employed by liberals to argue against that which threatens the liberal order, little realizing that they win the battle by losing the war. It's shit argument, to be even more blunt. And, to be even blunter than I've already been, I'm sick and tired of having this discussion with you. On at least four occasions in the past, I have pointed out how shit this term is, and you insist on carting it out, thus violating presumption of good faith. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:22, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I understand if you don't like the term, but you can hardly expect me to accept that you must be in the right when I don't really think that you are correct. Here is an article that chastises certain scientific groups for disagreeing with what I believe is essentially your position, and those groups include evolutionary psychologists, and more generally, theorists working on the evolution of mind and culture. Yes there are disputes on the matter. You won't settle them here by any means I can imagine. Many ideologies have bit the dust under the unseen hand of nature.Ariel31459 (talk) 00:36, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

People still cooperate and engage in mutual aid under capitalism, so if we're going to argue that selfishness is a fundamental part of the "human condition", whatever that means, so too is altruism and solidarity. Vee (talk) 00:43, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Yes. I think some of us misunderstand the idea that we are not blank slates and imagine that means we are all governed by the same laws. That's not what I think.Ariel31459 (talk) 00:45, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
But what you implied in the initial post that started this entire affair is that humans are "naturally" selfish, and that culture plays no part in how that manifests. Ie, you universalize behaviors incentivized by capital. Vee (talk) 01:01, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
You certainly inferred that. I didn't imply that. I say that humans can be selfish and it comes naturally enough. I don't know of a culture where greed and selfishness are unknown. How you arrived at "culture plays no part in how that manifests," I don't know. Culture molds human reality for certain.Ariel31459 (talk) 16:14, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
@Ariel31459 Buddy boy. If humans are naturally wicked, then you literally have to promote dictatorship. You cannot, on the on hand, hold to universal suffrage and liberal democracy, and on the other hand invoke "human nature". The latter undermines the former. This is literally incoherent. This isn't a matter of opinion, you are just factually wrong in part of your worldview. So, pick one. Are human naturally prone to wickedness, or is liberal democracy something you wish to promote? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:44, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think that. I think humans can be wicked at times. Why democracy is better than dictatorship is bolstered by that idea. Anything else?Ariel31459 (talk) 00:47, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Lying fucking pseud. I remember now why I left this shithole of a site. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 00:50, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
OK. I don't want you to leave. So, see you later.Ariel31459 (talk) 00:53, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
(EC)The entire concept of “race” was invented by European colonizers. The idea that racism is by any means innate or natural falls flat on it’s face. The evolutionary psychologists who argue otherwise are on par with the evolutionary psychologists who argued that evolution made girls more attracted to pink and boys to blue. It’s a contentious field even among evolutionary biologists. I would argue that anthropologists who study human evolution and culture are more equipped on this area, and the expert consensus of that field basically reflects what I just said. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:55, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Yes. I don't think race was used here in any essentialist manner, at least not by me. Ariel31459 (talk) 00:59, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Who knows? Not me, because you've been accused of scrubbing your statements. FairDinkum (talk) 06:04, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
Without evidence, I suppose.Ariel31459 (talk) 16:06, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
I like how this conversation went, Supposed to be about Alt-right's giant crank magnetism but instead morphed into be about capitalism. Edward the eight (talk) 13:30, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

The elephant in the room[edit]

In order to resolve conflict between the various RationalWiki Discord instances, and the various Facebook chat groups, the board decided a while ago to rule all our social media officially unofficial. Which was probably sensible.

I run @rationalwiki, probably the most official of the unofficial social media (Trent still has the email address) and, well, bits are falling off Twitter and it's gonna stop working unpredictably. I speak as a sysadmin here who knows what happens when you just fire everyone who knows how a large and complicated site works.

The regrouping point for a lot of Twitter users has been Mastodon. The trick there is that it's a federated network of separate instances.

The recommended way for businesses and organisations to do a Mastodon is to set up their own server on a domain name they clearly control. I assure you that I am not bothering to do any such thing, and let alone the cost to RMF. (Mastodon is a fat bugger. Pleroma is a bit smaller but has an unfortunate rep as the server of choice for Nazis. The Akkoma fork of Pleroma is where the non-chud developers went. Misskey is Japanese and bizarre. Soapbox is done by a TERF who was too obnoxious for Pleroma to put up with.)

But it might be worth camping out somewhere. A scientist server maybe? I dunno. Still getting a feel for Mastodon on my personal account @davidgerard@circumstances.run.

Anyway, is anyone filled with the fire of doing some futile volunteer social media outreach?

We still have nobody who's interested in the work of running the actually-official RW Facebook Page, which I think has been unused for a few years now. There's several unofficial fan chat groups, and that's good and cool - David Gerard (talk) 23:02, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

I have a feeling there's going to be a few Twitter clones popping up to take advantage of the mess. Right now there doesn't seem to be a "right network", a lot of stuff is in beta. But it seems that several teams are anticipating and preparing for a potential Digg-style exodus from Twitter, it seems. It might be best to wait for something to "settle"; my impression is Mastodon is "too techie" to be mainstream, though it will be very valuable for academic types and groups where "techie" isn't a barrier.
Aside from Mastodon, articles have mentioned Hive Social (which seems to be struggling with security at the moment) and two upcoming platforms, Post and Spill. Musk's recent "no linkie" ban also covered Tribel and Nostr (along with, hilariously, Trump's Truth Social, probably banned because Trump snubbed Musk), which must mean that Musk is feeling a wee bit of pressure from those other platforms. BobJohnson (talk) 23:22, 18 December 2022 (UTC)
I'm on Mastodon and don't find it 'techie' at all. It's almost exactly like Titter IMHO. (Unfortunately, as write this I find that my 'instance' mastodon.scot is down! No idea why!) Scream!! (talk) 14:51, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
I remember that time me, Nutty, GooniePunk and maybe one other person banned all the admins from the FB group and staged a bloodless coup. That was fun. Acei9 23:28, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

Elon Musk to step down as Chief Twit[edit]

Or so he claimed. Basically, he put a poll asking if he should step down, and promised to abide by results. About 4 in 7 voted for him to leave. So he has 3 options.

1) Abide by the poll 2) Ignore the poll 3) Pull some bullshit by leaving for just 1 day or declaring that the CEO is not actually the highest officer

Any guesses? CorruptUser 21:28, 19 December 2022 (UTC)

If he takes option 1, it is because of a pre-existing aspiration to leave. After all, Twitter is...not profitable right now. At all. It would be a publicity stunt too.
If he takes option 2, he shall once again prove the nonexistence of "free speech absolutism" and "democracy for all."
If he takes option 3, he shall have every possible excuse at his disposal.
I predict he shall take either option 1 or 3.--April Chat? 21:55, 19 December 2022 (UTC)
Or he takes 4) appoints a 'successor' but it's a relative nonentity who in reality holds little power and defers to Musk in all things of 'interest'. Classic examples being Stalin being nominally subserviant to President Kalinin in the 1930s or Putin under 'President' Medvedev between '08-'12. KarmaPolice (talk) 01:10, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
I think that's option 3, no? CEO is not actually the top guy/gal. In fairness, as Musk is the owner then the CEO still reports to him anyway. CorruptUser 04:03, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
Org-chart wise, what Musk has done is merge the board of directors into the chairperson, then merge the chair with the CEO position. It would also appear he has also trimmed the C-level executive power significantly, thus creating a bloated 'Chief Twit' position (which tallies strongly which Musk's noted tendencies towards micromanagement, lack of ability to listen to expert advice and general control-freakery).
Organizationally, that’s autocracy. How much truth is there there to Dictators Handbook?Jakester499 (talk) 02:26, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
In this case, I made a new option because unless he decided to sell the thing he'd still have the power as an owner over any new CEO. 3) is more 'backseat driving' while 4) is a car design where the 'driver' is clearly only got toy controls. In fact, doing a variant of 3) (Musk becoming Chair and having a strong CEO who he can prod when he 'really needs to') would perhaps be the best for all long-term but Musk has a long track record of not being as good a businessman as he likes us to all believe (which is partly why the likes of Wall St have never really liked him). KarmaPolice (talk) 15:22, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
You missed option 5. Retrospectivly change the eligibility to vote criteria.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:32, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
Think that one comes under 2/3. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:41, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
Could he just simply fuck off back to what ever rock he slithered out from under? Cardinal Chang (talk) 19:41, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
If we're going to have options with impossible odds of happening, I'm putting a fiver on 'crushed to death by falling defective StarLink satellite'. KarmaPolice (talk) 19:50, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
(ec) That's up to Musk. RW didn't have much of a page on Musk before 2018, because there was nothing much to say about Musk before then that was relevant here. Despite some very visible flaws, his reputation was the Visionary CEO that kickstarted electric cars and the private space industry. It seems like in retrospect the "pedo" tweet in 2018 was the beginning of his decline into Conspiracy Gonzo Land (though there were signs of Musk's bad faults well before then, of course, but at least back then he had the ability to sell "visions" to venture capitalists, and the focus to start companies based around them). A lot of "Internet chatter" also points to Vivian Wilson (his transgender daughter) coming out as trans and cutting off ties with him as another moment which led to Musk going full-on Woke Derangement Syndrome this year, which wouldn't surprise me.
The best thing for Musk IMHO really would be to blow off Twitter, find another CEO that is *not* a puppet, cut one's losses, and let things blow over while low-key helping Tesla on several key problematic issues for them. I don't know of too many public figures that fell into Conspiracy Gonzo Land and pulled themselves out, though, at least not without something more serious than Musk's current situation. In the mean time, people like Mike Cernovich and Andy Ngo don't know shit on building electric cars (or *anything*, really) so if he's decided that anti-"woke" tweets to appease his new alt-right Twitter friends is more important than what he got rich for in the first place, well, TSLA stock might be headed for even rougher waters in the future. BobJohnson (talk) 20:12, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
Baldrick thinks there is perhaps 'a cunning plan' - Musk wishes to get out of acquiring Twitter, and 'nobody wants me there' is a sufficient 'reason' to backtrack. Anna Livia (talk) 20:22, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
Well there is a weasel to pin a tail on....... Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:55, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
Methinks Musk is a weasel? Vee (talk) 04:17, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Welp, Musk plans to step down after all. As soon as he finds a successor. Oh and he will still be involved, so its unclear how much autonomy the new CEO will have. CorSock (talk) 06:05, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
He actually wants some stooge to be CEO while he still has effective control to do his dirty work while someone else takes the blame.[2] Bongolian (talk) 18:39, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
silly netizens! "personal responsibility" is for poor people. The G (talk) 20:59, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

Ukrainian War fatigue...[edit]

So, it's now been 300 days since the invasion, and the various stripes of folks calling for either peace or at least to cut support for Kyiv are coming out of the pits they'd been hiding in (well, at least in the UK). I've been listening to various spouting such things for an hour now on talk radio and something has struck me - they have no answers. That they simply get suck in ad nausiuem loops if you confront them with cunning lines like 'what if Putin is lying when he signs the peace treaty?', 'why do you think he'll stop with just destroying Ukraine?' and 'if Putin is this super-strong chessmaster, how come he's failed in the invasion?'. In fact, I've not heard anybody save fascists, extreme tankies and the clinically myopic/idiotic argue that we should ditch the Ukrainians to their fate.

I'm just curious; has anyone encountered a serious appeasement/defeatist effort? Have they grown in strength recently? KarmaPolice (talk) 21:19, 20 December 2022 (UTC)

Just he usual seen on Twitter and various FB sites - often "Firstnamebunchofnumber" accounts opened in the last month. Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 22:59, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
It will probably come out into the open next year in Congress when the Republicans lead the House of Reps. Some of the more extreme Reps are planning to investigate where every piece of equipment went. The other investigation they're planning is the badly managed Afghanistan withdrawal, leaving out the pre-withdrawal sabotage by tRump. Bongolian (talk) 03:39, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
I earlier followed discussion on Psiram, where they criticized people visible in the German media for defeatist and anti-Ukraine-support messages. The German left wing and right wing have basically all along been united in Putin sycophancy, while the broad middle is all-in on half-hearted support and the Greens the only ones who staunchly want more. They've also railed against a certain General Erich Vad, politically appointed by Merkel beyond his competence, and then later spreading very, very bad and defeatist predictions about how the war will go throughout the German media. More recently, there was something about a TERF who claimed that Putin is the real champion of feminism, in contrast to the anti-woman West. No recent larger changes, though...
It looks a little different in different European countries. In Scandinavia, support remains strong. In Poland, likewise, and there the media is also harshly critical of Germany, and others who seem to want some kind of compromise with Russia (I go by "TVP World" in English, which I sometimes find worth watching). But I've seen some pro-appeasement messages throughout the year, and I guess they wax and wane in different places. Very early on, for example, an obscure group for women and peace and against violence debated in my local Swedish newspaper that if only EU had been more agreeable towards Russia in the final lead-up to the war, the war could have been avoided. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 06:10, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
If only our strong platitudes against Russia were to be applied consistently across the board (looking at you, America, with your continued backing of one of the most horrendous human rights disasters in the current Middle East: Yemen). Vee (talk) 07:33, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
A big factor is, how much of a threat does it seem to be? Particularly in dramatic near-future terms. Russia is quite an attention-grabber that way, even driving politicians into the arms of less-threatening evils. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 08:06, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
I don't know that that General was saying but if he was 'defeatist', the whole Western military/intelligence corps was. And the public in general. And the media. And here, at RW. I mean, I remember this very bar in the weeks before the invasion and I think I was the most 'optimistic' and even I believed the Ukrainians would be at least partly destroyed militarily and then it would go onto a long, painful insurgency in the occupied territories. (Why they screwed up that bad is another topic).
Speaking of 'future threats', I suspect three things are holding back full-blown defeatism; 'the Ukrainians have shown Russia can be resisted', 'Putin's abhorrent methods of war means he needs to be resisted' and lastly 'Putin cannot be trusted'. These between them are creating a kind of TINA; we've crossed the line with overt resistance to Putin's geopolitical goals and we'll never be able to go back (so there's no point of discussing that).
But with threats, I see two most likely; cost and recession. First, the effect of blinkered finance types looking at the supports to Ukraine like it's just another 'investment' and concluding that the cost/reward matrix says it's not worth it. Second, the effects of a Russia-caused recession on the public (basically a severe reduction of SoL) which if severe enough will short-circuit long-term thinking (who cares about ~2027 when you're cold and hungry now?). KarmaPolice (talk) 14:10, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
My summary was probably too short. The object of criticism wasn't initial predictions before beginning to see what unfolded, but predictions after fresh evidence had come in leading to a new view (of Russian and Ukrainian capabilities, etc.), and far better analyses had already been made available. The German General in question has kept up his predictions of imminent Ukrainian defeat month after month, following each major turning point, including after the first large surprising Ukrainian counteroffensive success. Similar psychological flavor to pro-Russian propaganda, basically.
On your further points, Russia also seems to have stuck to ways which gradually erode support even among its allies, while reinforcing the Western view that Russia is a threat again and again in such a way that politicians can't change track easily. On cost and investment, it's also worth looking at both 1) The current recession also having its roots in the pandemic years, and even also as an eventual consequence of things before them; while economists discuss this, it's lost from view when looking at headlines and the latest dramatic developments. 2) Current big investments go far beyond support to Ukraine, and e.g. into major energy infrastructure and military overhauls, and the whole turn-around in focus gathers momentum quickly. It becomes more difficult to try to change track as time passes and more such decisions are made, at least in Europe. --ApooftGnegiol (talk) 15:40, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Which is why I called them 'blinkered finance types'. I mean, quite literally nobody wants to go to war with some desiccated accountant at your side, questioning the 'cost/benefit ratio' of every item sent and droning on about the 'current bill'. Even worse is when that accountant is in control of affairs.
That's the major risk, the siren-song which calls every finance minister. A 'Goldman Dashboard' is useful, but does not tell you the ultimate price if 'support' is not more then rhetorical or the number of dead and maimed people which may be caused by a niggardly attitude. What's more, we have to remember there is a 'vested interest' in finance circles to allow Russian cash back in as soon as possible. KarmaPolice (talk) 16:21, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
It is relevant to note that the mass devastation the Ukrainians suffered under the Stalin regime has its own name in the history of mass murder: Holodomor, " a man-made famine engineered by the Soviet government of Joseph Stalin." This disaster has been estimated to have cost 3.5 to 7 million Ukrainian lives. Given that we cannot assert in good faith that Vladimir Putin would be more responsible than Stalin no one could, in good faith, assert that a Ukrainian surrender or weak accommodation of Russian demands would bring peace and tranquility to Ukraine. The Russian ability to tolerate exceptionally large mass murders has never been fully documented.Ariel31459 (talk) 19:20, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
It seems to me the worst is behind us. I agree that when the GOP controls the House, there will be more open grumblings about supporting Ukraine, but continued battlefield success I think will blunt much of it. A ceasefire or pause of the conflict will only help Russia, and wouldn't have the support of the Pentagon. The pressure more likely will come from Europe, especially if the conflict drags into late 2023. European countries have done an excellent job finding alternatives to Russian oil and gas, but that process would still take years to wholly cut off all Russian hydrocarbons. More likely I think Ukraine will continue to push Russian forces back towards 2014 lines, and threatening Crimea directly will likely result in more frenzied diplomacy efforts.-RipCityLiberal (talk) 00:23, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Once again, we have a new account posting a link to an article which on the surface agrees with them but if you read the damn thing it's partly otherwise. While saying quite a few things which are sense (but a few which are swallowing Moscow's propaganda, like the crap about it 'feeling threatened' by NATO and needing 'guarantees' and other shit), it misses out several critical points, of which I shall point out only one – Putin's preliminary demands for Ukraine are too much for the Ukrainians to accept (let alone even more to be given in the treaty itself). These come from a mind which still firmly believes it can decisively win in the long run. So no, General – Putin needs to be 'defeated' so the Russian ruling classes accept that Ukraine is not 'theirs'. In fact, I think this is part of Putin's gamble; that Western 'experts' shall argue that 'no, the Bear cannot be humiliated' so the Kremlin butcher deliberately puts Russia in a position where she will be 'humiliated' if their opponents don't cave.
As for the other new account... well, the idea that the (implied) return of the Orange One will make a cease-fire to happen because they'll strongarm Kyiv in accepting a shit deal is well, shit. If nothing else, that's not any earlier than Jan 2025 and... well, the way things are going I don't think the Russians can hold on that long at the current (much reduced) tempo. Liberal is right in pointing out that if nothing else the Pentagon (and State Departments) will do their nut too. However, the crystal ball becomes very opaque by this point – wars more than anything else have the vagaries of whole flocks of black swans flying over the place. KarmaPolice (talk) 12:35, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Donald Trump has so many obstacles to overcome to be the next president of the United States. It seems improbable at best. Ron DeSantis, other than blame Biden for the Russo-Ukrainian War, hasn't said what he thinks should be done to end the war. He is purposefully not saying anything to rock the boat while he waits for Trump to implode. DeSantis seems the type to put his finger in the air to see which way the political wind is blowing and then agree with that position. Jeditrainer (talk) 14:20, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
The America first virus has infected the Republican Party. And American politicians often ignore what the people want so one can't go strictly by the polls. But Ukraine fatigue is a problem in the USA. "A plurality — 40 percent — said the United States should continue its current levels of support to Ukraine indefinitely. Fifty-three percent of Democrats favor this approach. In July, however, 58 percent of American respondents said the United States should help Ukraine for as long as it takes, even if that meant higher gas and food prices for American consumers. Now, 47 percent say Washington should push Kyiv to reach a peace settlement soon." Podhadam (talk)
Phrasing matters here. In this CNN article on Ukraine polls just simply making sure the framing includes "Putin invaded Ukraine" was enough to give a bump to the response.
A lot of the polls ultimately phrase this as some indefinite pocketbook, which probably further dampens response; wars usually eventually end, even if it's a long time sometimes. Ultimately, from what I see in the polls, US support for Ukraine is still in general pretty bipartisan solid. The exception is the unfortunately sizable "America First" type of Republican addicted to Tucker Carlson, or maybe the less sizable bloc aligned with contrarian jack-off anti-West reporters like Glenn Greenwald. Those who are Putin's "useful idiots", in other words. (Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz certainly looked like an idiot yesterday, that's for sure.) BobJohnson (talk) 16:11, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

Interesting, there was a 13% affect on how the question was worded when it comes to the polling on supporting Ukraine. One's political party or lack thereof has a big effect too. The CNN article you cited says "In the latest poll, 33% of Republicans agreed with that prolonged support, compared to 61% of Democrats and 46% of independents." Jeditrainer (talk) 16:36, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

CNN also conveniently linked to the PDF from Marquette, as well as a PDF to the Global Affairs survey. This shows a significant detail omitted from the byline: essentially, roughly 20-25% of members of both Democrats and Republicans actually think we should do more.
There definitely are "dove" Democrats, but the ~20% of Democrat "doves" is much less significant of a bloc than the ~40-50% Republican "America Firsters". Combine everything and support for Ukraine is still solid, but the Republicans definitely have a wider division between the all-in neocon types and the Tucker Carlson bloc. There's a "consensus prediction" I am seeing that the upcoming Republican majority House of Representatives is going to be even more chaotic and ungovernable than the Tea Party years, as the "America First" types dig in and yell and scream and essentially attempt to shut down the government over trivialities this crowd uses to obsfucate their nativism, racism, and xenophobia (that bogus "OMG Zelensky is wearing a sweatshirt" bullshit floating around the right-wing was yet another example of such). Seems like a good prediction to me. *shrug* BobJohnson (talk) 17:19, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
People love to support scrappy underdogs and "winners". What's limiting Ukraine fatigue and keeping the funding flowing is Ukrainian successes on the battlefield.
There is the military war and then there is the information war. The key group the information war is targeting is political independents in the USA since America is providing the most military support in terms of money spent and independents are more persuadable than people who are members of a political party. The latest Gallup November-December 2022 polling shows that 42% of Americans are independents, 30% are Republicans and 26% are Democrats. And The CNN poll said that 46% of independents agree with prolonged support to the Ukrainians.
Another key target in terms of thought leadership is big corporation management type of people since most media is owned by major corporations and a key group that advertisers target in influential media outlets like The New York Times is wealthy people and upper managers in corporations. Jeditrainer (talk) 18:26, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, in the UK there is a clear pacifist strain on 'the left' - not automatically 'tankies' but clearly at a 'war is bad, m'kay' level. However, I have noticed that firstly #2 statement ('Putin's abhorrent methods of war means he needs to be resisted') do often cripple argument and then a lot then fall over when confronted by the simple fact that at this point 'peace' would be one where we actively throw Kyiv under the Russian bus.
Which I think hits to the core of the impotence of the British Left. It's happy to be 'pure', to talk in theoreticals and impracticals knowing full damn well it has zero effect on anything. Yet when actively confronted with a 'real choice' between two clearly shit options (for war is shit), they shirk, deflect and waffle. They fail the 'test of leadership' either way - because leadership is taking the right decision, which is often not the popular or easy decision.
And that's partly why I don't fear 'the appeasers' in the UK at least. They don't have the guts to be such an open skunk to state that the Ukrainians should be sold out to Moscow. This means while they'll bitch and wring their hands you know whatever 'suggestion' they come out with will either be either nuts, stupid and/or unworkable (and thus, ignorable). However, they do run the risk in spreading defeatism through segments of the civilian population, which might give other politicians etc some 'cover' in scaling back the help. KarmaPolice (talk) 18:40, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
The USA which has a big population for a developed country by far supplied the lion's share of military support to the Ukrainians up until October of 2022. And another $40+ billion of U.S. military aid was just appropriated by the lame duck 2022 Congress session. The other Western nations didn't come close in funding unfortunately - even though some could have given more like the Germans.
It's concerning that the Republicans are taking over the House of Representatives in 2023 and that 46% of U.S. independents agree with prolonged support to the Ukrainians. And there is a growing trend of isolationism in the USA. The data shows that isolationist beliefs in the US have increased steadily from 28% of respondents in 2019 to 40% at the end of 2021. The way the Afghanistan War ended has caused some Americans to sour on international affairs. Besides preventing Ukrainians from being overrun by the Russians recently, the last time America was successful militarily was in the 1990–1991 Gulf War which was a generation ago.
It's vital for the Ukrainians have to overcome all of this by winning on the battlefield so the $40+ billion in additional American military aid is coming at a good time.
Putin and the Kremlin knows all of this plus they have to show successes on the battlefield because Russians respect strength. So Putin was forced to do a partial mobiliation of reservists. The lengths that Russians are willing to go in the war may be a big unknown to U.S. intelligence. Putin recently gave a speech where he talked about spies and collaborators so what the U.S knows about his intentions is a big concern of his. Jeditrainer (talk) 20:06, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Putin actually using the word 'war' I think will help this along.[3]-RipCityLiberal (talk) 22:52, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Simple fact; the USA would have to provide the 'lion's share' of the military aid because it's the only member which actually has the massive stockpiles, boneyards etc of gear to donate in the first place - in some areas, it is the only 'immediate supplier' of weaponry (for example, fighter aircraft). It is also the country with the largest arms industry. Lastly, it is quite possible that it is supplying mainly 'high-end' kit which has big price-tags (like MRLS's), while smaller allies are focusing more on lower-end gear (say, body armour). Credit where it was due; Trump was right in respect that Europe was spending too little on defence and by association, allowed their military production capacities and stockpiles to shrivel. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:48, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

Moderators[edit]

Just looked at the result of the election - no surprises there but: only thirty-six voters? Is that the core of RW? Scream!! (talk) 22:03, 20 December 2022 (UTC)

No. LGM did not vote. LongStylus (talk) 22:41, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
There's an election?Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 23:01, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
The ADHD got the better of me. I forgot to vote. 🙃 --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:25, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
Technically, my vote shouldn't have been counted as it was after 19.00 UTC (only by 15mins or so, but still)... KarmaPolice (talk) 23:33, 20 December 2022 (UTC)
I almost didn't vote, and I got so frustrated I didn't put a vote for #11. Andrew5 🎄 (talk) 02:14, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
I can't vote yet. Vee (talk) 02:43, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
I forgot to vote with my socks. CorruptUser 03:44, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This was a highly irregular election in that it had to be redone. I'm sure there were people who voted the first time and forgot or just didn't realize they had to do it again. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 03:48, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Good post! That too. Andrew5 🎄 (talk) 20:23, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Just looked through the archives, and voter turnout has fluctuated between the mid 30's and high 40's for the last 5 or 6 years. And yeah, I'm guessing that at least a couple of people missed the revote. --RWRW (talk) 02:57, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Are we voting again? Ghenghis Khan and his hairy unmentionables!! This is getting to be like Ireland and the Nice/Lisbon Treaties Cardinal Chang (talk) 21:10, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Let’s do a vote to redo the elections. I want more lurkers to sign up and start editing if they have something relevant to a rationalwiki. We definitely need to expand and mobilize as much as possible.Jakester499 (talk) 04:10, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Let's do a vote to vote on redoing the elections. Anyone who is tangentially relevant to anything can vote. The more lurkers, the better. Hey, tor contributors, now's your chance. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 04:15, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Obviously not tor users, but sensible readers who are academics, skeptics, or know have something to our mission to contribute and become core users. I used to believe in aliens, ufos, ghosts, psychics, rationalwiki (somewhat) changed that. So did Penn and Teller change me too.Jakester499 (talk) 04:39, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Sorry to be rude or assertive. I certainly dont mean that. Jakester499 (talk) 05:07, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
I more talking about someone in good faith stumbling upon our wiki, agreeing with its mission statement and content , and collectively adding more mission relevant information that could further the mission, as long as they arguing in good faith and are reasonable.Jakester499 (talk) 05:07, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Last community post for a while, I am feeling like hanging on thread on this wiki socially with no one to help me. Community originally meant saloon talk pages, but now reconsidering. Jakester499 (talk) 05:07, 24 December 2022 (UTC)

It seems that an old acquaintance of us is also concerned about this. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 12:26, 24 December 2022 (UTC)

Jesus Christ, Ken. Get a fucking life. Vee (talk) 12:45, 24 December 2022 (UTC)

In defence of the gold standard for currency[edit]

Three cheers from the Convention! A sound money man through and through!

I am not a gold-bug. I don't think it's a good idea to invest in gold over, say, stock in Walmart. But I will say there's a good reason currency should be back by gold, or silver, or something.

Imagine for a moment you are given an allowance, a metaphor for taxes, to spend how you will. Under a gold standard, this is all you get. But life happens, and sometimes you need more money that month because of a flat tire, a hospital visit, or a death in the family, etc. Ideally you'd save up, but again, life. So you get a credit card, or a metaphor for a combination of borrowing or printing money, which lets you pay for those emergencies with the extra funds from good years. All economists agree this is a good thing.

Except now, you have a sibling, possible multiple siblings, a metaphor for multiple political parties, but there's only one credit card. Every few months, who gets to hold the card changes. Worse still, the more you spend on the card can increase the length you get to hold the card. So of course you will max out the credit card as soon as it's your turn to hold it. And the limit on the credit card is set by you, so of course you will increase that limit to the amount you expect to spend before handing it over to your sibling.

This is why we are $31T in debt with no way out that doesn't involve massive inflation. And while I don't think gold is the way to go, I don't know how you design a system that actually punishes the people who spend like drunken sailors the moment they hold the credit card, so I don't know that there should be a card in the first place. CorruptUser 20:10, 21 December 2022 (UTC)

There is nowhere near enough gold in the entire world to cover the existing value of just the US currency. There is even less possibility that the the US itself would have enough. It simply can not be done.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:16, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Or maybe we should institute a stronger safety net so people don't get into this sort of situation in the first place. Also maybe not "punish" people when they are incentivized to consume under the all encompassing gaze of the Spectacle. Punish the people, the systems, who benefit from consumerism. Vee (talk) 20:25, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Stupid analogy with no actual connection to reality. Also one-dimensional and posits none of the ACTUALLY important limitations of any finite standard on the world economy. F for "yes you really are a gold bug and in denial about it" Aloysius the Gaul (talk) 20:42, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
@Vee
We kind of agree on a lot, but not quite. My problem with the current system isn't the lack of safety nets, my problem is when the person who does have a decent job is still poor. Home prices are beyond what the working and middle classes can afford. Health care has doubled in cost since the 1980s. Education has also doubled after adjusting for inflation. Something has gone horribly, horribly wrong, when people are making more money AND are poorer than before. For me, what I want is the following;
  • The home mortgage deduction should be capped at the insurance value of the home; if it costs $200k to build the home, the loan doesn't need to be much more than $200k to turn an empty field into a new home, anything more just jacks up the price of the home while producing no new homes
  • Only the primary home gets the home mortgage deduction, and anything other than your primary residence gets more taxes; your second home is a luxury that takes a plot of land away from someone else
  • A version of the GI bill where 4-5 years in CIVIL service pays off your student loans
  • Dividends and Capital Gains should NOT be taxed lower than Income CorruptUser 21:43, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
The problem with gold=money is the same problem as crypto=money. Gold is a finite resource, requiring mining and negative environmental consequences (deforestation, spreading mercury in the environment, displacement of indigenous people). The finiteness of the resource means that there is a built-in encouragement of hoarding. Hoarding is bad for economic growth because it does not make productive use of wealth by investment. Bongolian (talk) 22:36, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Gold standard is deflationary, which is pretty bad. Seriously, I spent two weeks editing our article on the Great Depression, I thought at least someone was going to read it...
Regarding the Baumol effect, I'd recommend this paperwork. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 23:42, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't advocate gold per se. But I want something where the government does not have the ability to simply print money or spend without any oversight whatsoever. Gold is bad. Spending like drunken sailors is worse. CorruptUser 12:44, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
But, Cory, you don't need the gold standard for that. A constitutional amendment can also work. Nobel Memorial Prize James M Buchanan advocated for this. You can see some of his ideas here. If you wanna know more, read Democracy in Deficit, a book by him. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 12:53, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
I thought he was considered the crappiest president of all time? *checks notes* Oh different person. Might be interesting. CorruptUser 13:34, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
The idea that the affairs of government is in any way comparable to the affairs of a small household is laughable. "Spending like drunken sailors is bad." Perhaps we should take some of the budget out of the overinflated military and tax the rich more then? Also Democracy in Chains is a critical examination of Buchanan's work. If we're gonna be citing this right wing piece of shit (he contributed to Pinochet's dictatorship for instance), we should also be citing criticism of his work. Kochonomics: The Racist Roots of Public Choice Theory". Vee (talk) 13:42, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I read Democracy in Chains. It's laughable. If you want a critical review from people on the left, check this article on Vox. [4]. Anyway, this doesn't say anything about his proposal. Nancy Maclean doesn't even cite Democracy in Deficit on that book, possibly because it shows how much Buchanan loved Democracy. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:50, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Or, if you want to see how professor Maclean doesn't know what she's talking about, just let her speak: This is her opinion on why Buchanan wanted to undermine democracy in America. [5] GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 13:53, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

So many things... well, I'll try via bullet points.
1/ National Debts predate the ending of the Gold Standard. Therefore, going back to it wouldn't help a damn thing. Really, you're confused between two completely different concepts.
2/ Governments basically 'live out of their overdraft' for much of the year anyway, because their income isn't regular – for example, UKGov gets about 35% of it's annual income in March and another 45% quarterly.
3/ If you remove the ability for deficit spending, governments resort to legerdemain to do it anyway. Classic example; Nazi Germany 'MEFO' scrip (which as used to fund rearmament 'off book' so foreigners didn't notice).
4/ However, this ignores the simple fact that eternal 'balanced budgets' is frigging stupid. Demanding that say, during a war 'spending is reduced' because the tax take has? Or to decline to help disaster relief and rebuilding because the economy took a nose-dive and 'there's no money left'.
5/ Never, ever look at the baseline numbers of national debt. Instead, look at debt as a percentage of national GDP. It gives less 'sticker shock' and more accurate the nation's ability to carry said debt. However, you should also look at the current rate of debt interest (as in the points above the inflation rate) being paid on it too.
6/ If you ever hear an economist use the 'household analogy' seriously, you can quit listening because for starters, households to not have the ability to print their own money.
7/ You're getting confused between 'deficit spending' (spending money you don't have) and 'money creation' ('printing' more money and putting it into the economy). Now, the latter can be used to fund the former but almost all advanced nations know the good reasons not to do this and thus, don't (most of the time).
8/ A critical issue with the Gold Standard is that it's supply is unstable. Currencies need to be relatively stable in price long-term to make it usable as a currency. This is why crypto is shite for this. I mean, really look at how the influx of gold/silver bullion destroyed the Spanish Empire's economy. The good thing about fiat money is that the central banks can contract money supply when demand-inflation hits and expand it when demand-deflation happens. You cannot do this with 'asset-based' currencies (or at least, easily).
9/ The US government does have oversight, Corrupt. It's just in this case it's shit because it's malfunctioning. The Republicans refuse to raise taxes (in fact desire to cut them due to Laffer Curve BS) while the Democrats don't want to cut social spending. The political system is set up in such a way where getting consensus is vital and well, MAGA is too fucking nuts/stupid for any sane agreement to be made.
10/ The US government is a special case – it is the only nation on earth which controls the 'minting' of new USD, which is the de facto world currency. This, coupled with it's stranglehold on world finance means it can pull shit which wouldn't work anywhere else (qw: Liz Truss with the UK). It could be said this is the ultimate 'oversight' – that of the markets.
KarmaPolice (talk) 14:18, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Forgive me from only focusing on #9, but MAGA isn't the only group of boneheads in positions of power, nor were they ever close to the first. As soon as Biden took office, he implemented his "build back better" boondoggle, initially $3.5T which was halved to $1.7T. When Trump took over, his tax cuts cost $1.5T. When Obama took over, his TARP cost half a T. When Bush took over, he also began spending.
Every time someone takes over, the first thing they do is raid the treasury. It's not sustainable, at some point the piper is going to come calling. CorruptUser 20:28, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Gold has been on roller coaster in terms of its price for the last 20 years. It doesn't make sense to have a gold backed currency. But the fall in global currency is the highest in 20 years. Maybe the solution is for countries to have their currencies backed by a broad basket of commodities or to have laws that limit the amount of currency growth by a certain annual percentage to limit the damage that can be done in a year.
The 2 longest last currencies are the British Pound and the US Dollar - both of which have lost the vast majority of their original value. Since the end of the Gold Standard in 1971 by Nixon, the US dollar has lost over 80 percent of its purchasing power due to money creation of the Federal Reserve. Jeditrainer (talk)
We already have inflation targets, and sometimes monetary expansion is needed. Yeah, The dollar lost much of its value, but losing only 2% a year is not that much, it's just an effect of Compound interest. MIT economist Olivier Blanchard even suggested a 3% inflation target a few days ago on FT. [6] Let's not forget, it's not only the money supply that causes inflation, but also the velocity of moneyWikipedia. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:00, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
The key word being sometimes, not the moment a new person gets in power. I don't know what the solution is, but I want something structural that will prevent the government from spending unlimited amounts of money. CorruptUser 21:03, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
I believe that maybe you're mistaking fiscal for monetary policy (can be wrong). To quote the FED's site: "Monetary policy refers to the actions of central banks to achieve macroeconomic policy objectives such as price stability, full employment, and stable economic growth. Fiscal policy refers to the tax and spending policies of the federal government. Fiscal policy decisions are determined by the Congress and the Administration; the Fed plays no role in determining fiscal policy.
The U.S. Congress established maximum employment and price stability as the macroeconomic objectives for the Federal Reserve; they are sometimes referred to as the Federal Reserve's dual mandate. Apart from these overarching objectives, the Congress determined that operational conduct of monetary policy should be free from political influence. As a result, the Federal Reserve is an independent agency of the federal government."
We don't want to give up our ability to take care of the monetary policy with gold standard as a drop in the money supply can happen and trigger deflation and recession. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 21:13, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
The Glass-Steagall Act was passed as a result of the Great Depression. It was a big mistake for Sections 20 and 32 of the act to have been repealed. As a result, the U.S. payed a price in the 2007/2008 housing crisis and recession and it may pay an even bigger price in the future. User:CorruptUser is right because America's Social Security and Medicare unfunded liabilities may cause a rash of money printing. Preventive legislation is worth a pound of cure in this case. But I don't see anything happening to change things because the politicians and other people in power don't want to change things. America still has the world's reserve currency and can pass some of its inflation burden onto the backs of other countries. It will take a "Glass-Steagall like event" for any legislative protections from excessive currency printing. Jeditrainer (talk) 21:29, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Are really suggesting the absence of the gold standard is partially responsible for the harmful effects of the 2008/2009 housing crisis? That seems on the face of things a massive hot take. You are going to give Gee a stroke, he doesn't deserve that. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:43, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
I don't think Jedi said that at all, but rather the removal of regulation caused the 2007 collapse. It's a bit more complicated than that, but essentially, yes. The scary bit about 2007 is that we had a near-identical banking crisis in the 1970s; local banks sold the mortgages to commercial banks and re-lent the money out, and quickly realized that they were not the ones holding any bit of risk so there was no need to make sure the homeowners could actually afford the loans, and it all blew up in the bankers' faces. But G-S had created a limit on the amount of money involved, so it did its job well. Too well, in fact, because people forgot about it. Come the 1990s, nobody remembered that crisis, and government repealed the relevant sections of code, allowing the commercial banks to sell the mortgages to the hedge funds and the like, leading to a global catastrophe. And in the 1920s, well, it wasn't mortgages but it was indeed improper loans via excessive margin buys which led to the stock market collapse dragging the entire system down with it. But the lesson to take from all of this is that every 40 or so years, when the people running all the financial systems were still in diapers during the last major crisis, they will lend to people who can't pay the money back because the mathamancy says easy money. And without something in place to contain this crisis, it will turn into a catastrophe. CorruptUser 21:57, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
I think this is an even hotter take. Not only is it partially responsible, it's not fully responsible because it caused it. That's not a weaker more defensible claim. That would make my initial allegation too charitable if anything. Also given the empirical nature of this argument, I think sources are needed in this context. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:31, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Corrupt, part of the problem is doing an equivalence between investment and simple tax cuts. 'Build Back Better' is partly designed to stimulate the economy, by providing new jobs, new orders for capital goods, new infrastructure to provide other business oppotunites and so on. It is hoped that ultimately, the increased debt burden for it will be more than offset by the increased tax takes. And here I point you to 5/.
TARP was something entirely different, and the fact you lumped it in with the above shows you don't know what it was. Let me enlighten you. TARP was the mechanism where the Govt basically took on 'bad debt' from the banks (caused by their own damn greed and hubris) in the hope that it would allow the banks to resume 'normal' lending. This program was done with the eye on the Japanese 'Lost Decade' in the 1990s, which had bad-debt saddled banks chronically under-lending and thus, hurting the recovery. Again, the calculation was done with the view that the cost of not doing TARP would ultimately be higher to the USA than doing it. So again, a variant of 5/ again (though admittedly a more negative one).
Comparing both of these to Republican tax cuts is stupid, because these are simply cuts to the very rich. You know what they do with that? Sit on it, salt it away or possibly buy more assets (like property) with it. If you want to actually stimulate the economy, giving the already rich more money is perhaps the least effective 'ratio of return' you can think of. Even cuts to large companies is fairly ineffective, because a) tax rates hardly never figure in investment choices, b) they play the tax codes like a harp and c) they're normally are the biggest 'welfare mammas' in the world. In short, right-wing tax cuts are basically, the Underpants Gnomes in level of planning - 'cut taxes' > ??? > 'increased tax takes and prosperity!'. KarmaPolice (talk) 22:57, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
@KarmaPolice Well duh. Like I said, this shit is economically illiterate. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:18, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, but you didn't really offer reasons why, did you? Plus, wasn't that hard to write either. KarmaPolice (talk) 23:50, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

People are reacting badly to this but have any of you considered...[edit]

That gold is really shiny and pretty? 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 21:56, 21 December 2022 (UTC)

So are a lot of metals. Bongolian (talk) 22:37, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Why do people keep re-electing this guy as mod? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:14, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
I've no idea. But I didn't vote for him. Voted for everyone else Cardinal Chang (talk) 20:23, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
It's obvious that the gold standard is old fashioned anyways, The Future Commodity Standard is clearly NFTs. Who would desire to have that tired old shiny foil after experiencing the joys of personally "owning" a low-quality 4chan meme jpg? No one, that's who! Getting scammed by shady gold ads on Fox News is passe, getting scammed riding the crypto wave is what's hip! 2607:FB90:7CAF:2AB:56CD:4130:B89B:1EF2 (talk) 23:38, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
Copper, gold and silver are all a type of Transition metalWikipedia. In addition, they are all in Group 11, meaning their chemical properties are all extremely similar. Andrew5 🎄 (talk) 02:24, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
I assert the only currency with true intrinsic value is goats. All else is fiat garbage that is situationally useful at best. We should return the dollar to the Goat Standard! MirrorIrorriM (talk) 05:06, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Actually, hear me out on this, let’s put our currency on the Uranium Standard. That’s sound money. That’s American prosperity. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 07:50, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Even better, that is a great way to ensure the currency will never accumulate too much in the same place! CorruptUser 12:42, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
You are economically illiterate. No further ink need be spilled on this topic. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:32, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Welcome back. CorruptUser 21:44, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Only Sort of Dumb: I don't know. I anti-endorsed him for mod. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 23:30, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
He was supported by the silent majority on this wiki, who watched on with broken hearts as our beloved Cory almost fell victim to a political hit-job orchestrated by the deep state. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 02:09, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Deep state? Hardly, that's just a fake cover story created by our insect overlords. CorruptUser 03:08, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
maybe i should actually start voting in these elections. The G (talk) 20:55, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah. More voters is usually a better thing. CorSock (talk) 00:07, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
…Okay, Duce Moosoloni made a section title suggesting that he was going to offer a controversial opinion, and then made a statement that, while not quite a non sequitur, doesn't really contribute to the discussion, if only because it's both a "no duh" statement and somewhat off the mark. Yes, gold is shiny, pretty, and attention-drawing, but those qualities alone aren't what has made it valuable. They certainly helped, don't get me wrong, but lots of shiny things have been seen as merely novelties that most people don't go absolutely gaga over. For the most part, gold has been especially valuable throughout history and across multiple cultures because it's rare and hard to find or collect. Thus, being able to obtain any gold at all is something that a person could brag about to their neighbors ("look at me, I have gold, look at how important I am!"), and accumulating a large stockpile of it conferred even greater bragging rights. Then we entered the digital age and discovered that gold is a really, really good conductor of electricity, but the real reason that gold is seen as ultra-valuable has always boiled down to scarcity. Luigifan18 (talk) 02:50, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Other reasons that gold has been relatively 'popular' in history is because it is pretty inert and malleable. The former means it effectively 'lasts' forever and the latter means it's good to be worked - for example, it's rather soft as a metal and has a low melt point. This means it's suitable for uses of not just making jewellery and such, but things like dental work. No other metal has all these qualities in one element. KarmaPolice (talk) 13:06, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
I see Luigifan can't tell a joke if it slaps him across the lips. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 04:15, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Some of you need to learn about the google machine. For example, when I google "why did ancient people value gold I get "Gold does not corrode and so it became a symbol of immortality and power in many ancient cultures. Its rarity and aesthetic qualities made it an ideal material for ruling classes to demonstrate their power and position." I suppose Gold is still valued for those things. The big Moose is right.UncleKrampus (talk) 14:18, 26 December 2022 (UTC)

Would Taiwan count as a separatist state?[edit]

Technically it could as the People's Republic of China is recognized by the UN as the the sole government of China. There is also the fact that most countries recognize Taiwan as a mere province of China. There is also the Taiwanese Independence Movement which formally calls for independence despite being de facto independent.

On the flip side, the Chinese Civil War did not formally end. The People's Republic of China never actually gained control of Taiwan when the conflict was at it's height. There is also the fact that the Republic of China government never dissolved.

I am not sure if Taiwan would be considered a separatist state? --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 22:27, 21 December 2022 (UTC)

The government of Taiwan still officially claims to be the legitimate rulers of all of China as the Republic of China (see e.g. this Wikipedia article) - obviously this claim isn't recognised by many other nations, if any. So it's not a separatist state in that way. Even if it renounced that claim, it's hard to argue it's separatist rather than independent, given it's been independent for over 70 years, but that's another story and I'm not sure where the cut-off would be. (I can't see it renouncing its claim to mainland China except as part of a wider deal with the PRC.) --Annanoon (talk) 13:37, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Legally, the ROC is still extant and has an 'unbroken line' back to the foundation of the Republic in 1911 (for example, the govt relocated there along with elements of the civil service around '48/'49). Therefore, it shall be considered a 'rump state'. The PRC claims to be the legal successor to the ROC, which they claim 'collaped' in '49. It is why they continue to peddle the argument that the island of Taiwan isn't actually 'China' (long and boring argument) because then it would technically make the ROC a government in 'exile' and thus not 'real'. KarmaPolice (talk) 14:59, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
No. The ROC, to my knowledge, currently still maintains the line that it is the rightful governing body of China. So unless the KMT reversed that stance when I wasn't looking, and the ROC took a hostile stance towards the mainland, then no, it would not be separatist. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:44, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

Unilateral "ban" of Ledlecreeper27 by Wisconcom[edit]

This discussion was moved to RationalWiki talk:All things in moderation.

Timestamp for archiving Christopher (talk) 17:41, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

Cheap vegan foods[edit]

Anyone know any cheap vegan foods? I wanna try vegan cuisine but am on a budget. Vee (talk) 14:05, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

Lentils, peas, beans, etc. Spices are your friends, learn what goes with what. CorruptUser 14:22, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Well, the first question is - can you actually cook? KarmaPolice (talk) 14:49, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
As long as you get vegan pasta, there is an awful lot you can do there. Years ago a friend pointed out that the tomato sauce I used to make from scratch was vegan - unintentionally. You don't really get much cheaper than noodles and sauce - and you can adjust the sauce to taste and put in whatever "add-ins" you think are appropriate. Another good place to start is to think of a vegetarian recipe and work backwards - what animal products are in it? Are they essential, or can they be taken out or changed for a vegan alternative? AcidTrial (talk) 15:07, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
An awful lot of Indian culture encourages vegetarian (usually lacto-vegetarian) to some degree, up to JainismWikipedia which requires a strict lacto-vegetarian diet. Many of the fusion Indian dishes you see in the West aren't vegan or even lacto-vegetarian, but the historical example shows how you could fairly easily create something along these lines. At minimum, it's easier than it used to be at least to find "curry powder" or "garam masala" prepared spice mixtures in the West, which will allow one to create a nice vegetable-oriented curry. BobJohnson (talk) 15:34, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
@Vee Root vegetables such as yams, potatoes, turnips, and beets, in broth made from water and vegetable oil and seasonings should be pretty straightforward to make into a stew if you have a decent sized soup pot and a ladle or cooking spoon. If you want premade vegan food, that's going to be a pain, all things considered. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:16, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
Not a cook, and I don't do the shopping in my household - but wouldn't a diet consisting of fruit and vegetable products naturally be cheaper than a meat-heavy one? No doubt if I'm being naive someone will tell me. Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:33, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
I understand that some of the B vitamins are difficult with vegan diets. Some mainstream processed foods are actually vegetarian or vegan (but it can be surprising where gelatine and carmine (crushed insect red) turn up). It is also possible to make vegan bread of various kinds (depending in part upon attitudes towards yeast). Anna Livia (talk) 20:38, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
@Bob M It depends on locations, brands, and just how much cooking you're willing/able to do. For example, I went to the store the other day, and a bag of vegan chicken patties were 3 for $8.39, while Tyson sold the conventional chicken patties at a bag of 10 for $7.19. This doesn't seem like much, but the cost/size difference really adds up over time, especially for poorer households. Hence why I said premade stuff was going to be a pain to deal with. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:41, 22 December 2022 (UTC)
B vitamins and complete proteins can be found in many a soy product, so if you can get your hands on soy milk and some relatively inexpensive tofu that should meet your protein and B12 and B6 needs. The other thing you should focus on is Iron, and Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. The later can be found in most cooking oils, the former however is usually fortified in many cereals. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:46, 22 December 2022 (UTC).
My own (UK) experiences are this (I've been flexi for perhaps 3 year now, and well shit like this interests me anyway).
1/ A decent % of vegan 'fakeries' are not nutritional 'swaps' for their animal-based edition. For example, vegan cheese which lacks both calcium and protein content (I encountered one which was nutritionally more akin to bread). You also have to be vary wary of sodium content too (which is to be expected from things which are much more processed). However, I shall grant that they've become a hell of a lot better recently and there are particular fakeries which I actually prefer to the original due to taste/nutrition reasons.
2/ That if you're lucky, the fakeries shall be the same price as the animal edition (per kilo/litre). But don't expect it. Now, the difference has become a lot narrower in even the last 2-3 years but it's still there in most things. I'd guess that fakeries are perhaps 25% more expensive on average, minimum.
3/ The two above is why the vast majority of vegans don't really eat many fakeries. I would say the best way to look at them is for situations where a fakery is vital for a dish - for example, a jacket potato with cheese. One area I'd argue avoiding fakeries is almost impossible is the realm of sandwiches - unless you're happy eating falafel and hummous wraps forever.
4/ I'd disagree with GC, the premade stuff is easy - it's vegan scratch which is the true pain in the arse. You have to pay a lot more attention to not just nutrition, but shit like actual taste. And real cooking. It's a easier to produce an inedible vegan meal than an animal-based one (however, harder to end up with food poisoning. So swings and roundabouts). Vegans do end up eating a lot more spicy food - now you know why.
5/ Speaking of nutrition, no you can't simply take out all the animal products and survive on what's left (well, not if you're a Westerner). I know people who tried it and the nice doctor told them to quit it before it did permanent damage to them. In the West, the vast majority of protein comes from animal-based, so other sources will need to be found. Personally, I go in with a lot of chickpeas, baked beans (low salt/sugar ones), peanuts (blanched) other nuts (ditto) and oats (with the occasional fakery as/when I encounter them). One handy standby I have is unflavoured protein powder; pea/rice/soya, you can add it to sauces etc to balance out the nutritional profile of the dish (I often do this to stir-fries).
6/ If cash is tight, chances are it would be cheaper to take a generic multivitamin to cover the possible lack of iron, calcium, B6 and B12, and then a Omega one too than try to find vegan-suitable foods which have been fortified or locating relatively expensive 'natural' sources.
7/ There is ultimately no real 'vegan cuisine' - at least not in the conventional sense of the term. I would posit that every cuisine sits on a sliding scale of 'suitability' of conversion to a vegan one. I shall personally testify, English and other 'Germanic' cultures pretty much suck (thus the fakeries having a place), while Mid-Eastern and particulary foods from the Indian sub-cont are very suitable.
KarmaPolice (talk) 22:27, 22 December 2022 (UTC)

<reset> Probably 'the vegan end of vegetarian' is a more viable option (at least until personal-preference substitutes are found). Also many 'vegetarians of various flavours' don't want bought processed foods (ie things which are too complicated to make yourself) that are 'no meat/fish/fowl whatevers ('no fish fishfingers' etc)) - they are being treated as second-class citizens. Anna Livia (talk) 14:33, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

I’ve Been kind of an asshole to leftists[edit]

Basically as the title says. We need to be a coalition against conservatism, nationalism, bigotry and bullshit.Jakester499 (talk) 01:50, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

Not lancb, but need to become less narrow minded on compromise. Should I take a break? Too much information on my mind happening need to relax. Apologies for concern trolling. This is very good community.Jakester499 (talk) 01:56, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Eh, depends on the form of nationalism. Ethno-supremacy? No thanks. Patriotism? Yes please. The key difference is that Patriotism is not exclusive; true Patriots welcome the immigrant and are proud of foreign cultural contributions. As for Conservatism, it's also a mixed bag, even if usually bad. Tradition for the sake of Tradition is just peer pressure from the dead, but "new" isn't always "better". CorruptUser 03:50, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
I'm not really sure who the title of this thread is aimed at. The world, RW, the the thread creator, some other entity?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:15, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Jakester499 vs the Marvel Universe. Vee (talk) 15:34, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Ummm ... maybe? We have some users who are, shall we say, punctuation minimalists. But, in this case, dropping the subject leaves everything open to interpretation. The possible meanings: "I have been", "You (singular or plural) have been" and "We have been" suggest quite different subjects and invite different responses. And, even those interpretations leave out the possibility that the real idea was "Being kind of an asshole to leftists ..." was actually meant to be the subject. I honestly don't know and, without clarification from the OP, nobody could know.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 15:53, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Pretty sure there's an obvious "I've" left out there. This isn't some dissertation. Vee (talk) 16:18, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
I see that the ambiguity currently seems to have been resolved by the subsequent addition of "I've" by someone.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 19:56, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it’s Rationalwiki Sysop editor man /sarcasm. Just clearing things up. Source: Monty Python: Bicycle Repair Man. Jakester499 (talk) 02:42, 24 December 2022 (UTC)

Happy Christmas Eve my fellow evil atheist liberal communists[edit]

Have a happy holiday and continue that war on Christmas. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 20:24, 24 December 2022 (UTC)

I have already summoned The Kraken & Cthulhu. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 20:41, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Happy Holidays!Jakester499 (talk) 03:17, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
Happy holidays, everyone-!--April Chat? 03:28, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
It's MERRY HANUKAH KWANZA FESTIVUS RAMADAN DONGZHI. 1984 much!? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 04:08, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
"Big brother?" More like..happy holidays--April Chat? 05:37, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
Ramadan 2023 will start in March. Anyway, cheers, everybody and yippee-ki-yay. Spud (talk) 14:06, 25 December 2022 (UTC)

Idiot MAGAs never learn[edit]

What a joke. "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."— Unsigned, by: Mental sharpener / talk / contribs

Kari Lake is not going to give up until there is zero chance of deposing Katie Hobbs. She is like the T1000 in the movie Terminator 2. She is going to lead a recall effort in 6 months because Arizona law says recalls can be launched 6 months after a public official is elected without any specific grounds. Kari Lake's zeal surpasses the zeal of temperance leader Carrie Nation who went into saloons singing and praying while smashing bar fixtures and stock with a hatchet. GuardianD (talk) 22:00, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Reap what you sow. A referendum means Lake will be defeated even harder by peeved AZ voters lol Mental sharpener (talk) 22:06, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
MAGAs are already starting to talk about leading a recall effort to depose Katie Hobbs.
"...to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! And since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!" - Captain Ahab, Herman Mellville's book Moby Dick. GuardianD (talk) 22:26, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
expedient kook- i mean kirk at it again Mental sharpener (talk) 22:28, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
@GuardianD ”All Nations Are Welcome, Except Carrie” — an apparently quite popular sign in US bars and saloons of her era, according to Daniel Okrent’s Last Round. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:16, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
American politics in miniature here. On the one hand, and over-confident liberal. On the other hand, a petulant conservative. Neither has much to offer and both are quite immature. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 14:27, 25 December 2022 (UTC)

RW New Year Resolutions 2023[edit]

(humour)

1. Keep up the good work.

2. Reach 7777 articles (upon which the goal post moves to 8888, 9999, 'and all amusing numbers thereafter'). Anna Livia (talk) 19:47, 25 December 2022 (UTC)

Nihilism is, effectively, a core aspect of rationalism and materialism[edit]

Whilst in most vulgar circles, the term "nihilism" invokes thoughts of aimless depression and malaise, nihilism is, in actuality, a fundamental feature of rationalism and particularly materialism.

Nihilism, in the philosophical regard, simply means the lack of belief in dogma or other, metaphysical world views or belief systems. Thus, the very act of being non-theistic itself resonates with being a nihilist. Further, being a materialist (viewing material conditions as being hegemonic over cognitive ideals) over an idealist is similarly nihilistic.

As somebody who rejects the concept of "eternal moralitiy", something which is prevalent in nearly all religions, I can clearly indentify myself as having nihilistic aspects of my philosophy. It should be understood that nihilism is not merely a hyponym for "sadness", but a core concept which aids us universally in attaining materialistic and rationalistic worldviews. Wisconcom 01:30, 26 December 2022 (UTC)

Nihilism has taken on too much baggage. Especially when the German philosophers came along and gave the impression that nihilism goes hand in hand with pessimism. Calling yourself a rational atheist, will carry with it a fairly strong supposition that you are also a nihilist, in the sense that you do not believe in any inherent meaning or morality in or written into the fabric of the universe. I, unfortunately, avoid labelling myself as a nihilist simply because of general ignorance of the term and the baggage it carries. ShabiDOO 01:53, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Who is this guy? Why does he keep coming up? I saw Tankie and Nazi infiltration happen all across Reddit? They essentially took it. Populism and contrarianism is a drug, reality isn’t. Nihilism is a privileged position taken when you have nothing to lose. Especially in this country, which is a global superpower most capable of spreading the doctrine of human rights globally, even if not practice. The alternative is authoritarianism, as Cuba and North Korea have stuck with Russia. Cuba plans on making Chinese style reforms. Jakester499 (talk) 06:44, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
My brain is rotting, apologies personally to Wisconcom. Fine otherwise.Seriously what the hell is going on with this guy it’s like a clusterfuck. In animal Farm I’m the cat not to insult the mobocracy but it reminds me of co-op like animal farm was originally.Jakester499 (talk)06:56, 26 December 2022 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────May I speak about philosophical topics once without seeing others embarking on insane anti-communist diatribes and bringing out Animal Farm? (Ironically, George Orwell himself was as an anti-semite and Nazi sympathizer who turned Communists into the British secret police, despite his literature invoking calls of action against "big-brother") Wisconcom 18:10, 26 December 2022 (UTC)

It's WisConmancom do you expect Rationality from him . Edward the eight (talk) 07:06, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, being unprincipled to the degree you think mass murderers are good people at the least implies a total nihilistic apathy. One million, twenty million? It doesn't matter!51.52.92.16 (talk) 09:07, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Robert Conquest or any other anti-communist propaganist you heed is not a vaild source. Meanwhile, the Liberal idealists you likely uphold such as Winston Churchill killed many times more people than Stalin. Wisconcom 18:13, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
The tankie who shovelled that dogshit into your brain isn't a valid source, see? Anyone can do this.51.52.92.16 (talk) 04:48, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I believe that ML's exagerate Conquest's influence on the anti-communist historiography. Same with Richard Pipes (though Pipes is a lot more reliable than Conquest). Even the Black Book of Communism is overrated by them. Robert Service, Robert Gellately, Martin Malia, Archie Brown, Orlando Figes, David Priestland... All are better authors than Conquest and Courtois (I admit I love Pipes' work on the Russian Revolution though). GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 18:46, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Say, Wiscontankie. Didn't you say that "you have more pressing matters to attend to" and that you wanted to get off of this LiBurAl cesspool in haste? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 09:37, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
I suppose it should be evident to some readers here that all the claims of belonging to a group that professes this class or that class of ideas is really just a very tribalist way to go about ones life. No one is, for example, really a nihilist. I don't like to pay my taxes, but I believe I must pay my taxes. We all believe there are ways that must be followed to stay alive and reasonably well kempt. Calling these ways "ideologies" makes us sound like we know what we are doing, at least to folks who don't really know or care what the words actually mean. Some people, perhaps more scholarly than myself, can actually represent what it means to be, for example, a Marxist. That can mean a variety of things, from "I once heard a talk on the subject and generally agreed with it", to " I am assiduously trying to oppose movements and social tendencies I see as being capitalistic." My own dear father called that "shoveling shit against the tide."UncleKrampus (talk) 15:06, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
"We all believe there are ways that must be followed to stay alive and reasonably well kempt." Is this why some people over here worship goats? Because they must follow "The Way Of The Goat"? Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 16:11, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Once again, I must ask, which form of Nihilism are we speaking of here? Epistemological? Moral? Political? Existential? Ontological? Based on the context, I'm guessing either moral or existential, but it would be nice if this were confirmed. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 18:51, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
yee GC beat me to what I wanted ask. I was about to say that not all forms of nihilism are equal to what it is they reject, and some are definitely more objectionable then others. I’d consider myself a type of moral and existential nihilist, but I would argue positions like ontological and epistemological nihilism is incoherent. Logical nihilism is also pretty poorly conceived imo, and linguistic nihilism is self-refuting. I personally do align with the existentialists that atheism implies a life without any objective purpose but I don’t know if any of the other nihilisms really apply as a consequence to materialism and “rationalism”. Rationalism itself is probably the most historically incompatible with ontological and epistemic nihilism. It’s sort of ambiguous to moral and religious nihilism, though historically rationalism has been deeply intertwined with religious philosophies. I would however argue that a ontologically naturalist philosophy does entail moral nihilism, but I am not naive enough to think that isn’t a controversial stance. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:48, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
I am going with the Nietzchean definition, one where there is no objective meaning or objective morality. I completely disagree that just because I think it is wrong to murder someone that I cannot be a nihilist in this sense. Moral judgement is rooted in a moral system, on which I simply accept the axioms on which that moral system is based. That could be because I find that system the most efficient, or best suited for the human condition or for my own interests, but by no means do I hold that it is objectively true, that somehow I can prove some universal truth that murder is wrong or that it is written somehow into the fabric of the universe. The same goes with what I think should be with my preference for humanism, modern European welfare socialism, a preference for personal development or even a fairly uncontroversial claim: don't be pointlessly cruel to people. Makes sense but I cannot possibly justify this as some objective truth. Having forceful opinions about something, preferring one ideology over another, reacting strongly emotionally to something doesn't necessarily infer that you hold any of it to be universal truths, that you can rationally prove beyond any doubt that what you believe is true or that it is part of some greater meaning. Being a Nihilist in this sense is simply being honest that your moral system, your ideologies, your view of the world is based on, at least at some level, foundation(s) that cannot be demonstrated as true or the correct one. It should be liberating, despite the danger. ShabiDOO 02:26, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
The given moral and ethical standards of a society, to a large extent, are dynamic; based on the level of development (economic, technological, etc.). With the example of murder (along with other acts which are uncontestably rapine and retrogressive for society, such as rape), it is clear that no functional society in all of history has ever tolerated this act under normal circumstances, why is this the case? Because murdering one's own, from the paleolithic to the present, has always in some way harmed the collective in general. If one member of the tribe dies, that limits the ablity for all of the others to hunt and procure sustenance, thus making the whole tribe moribund. Examples such as this, murder that is, can be found even before society was born. People who are of a philosophically nihilistic worldview may still harbor convictions, zeals, etc., even if they understand that all of this will be meaningless in a billion years, and is null and void. I myself hold strong convictions, and being a nihilist does not in any manner impede those. Wisconcom 02:51, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I mean, here's where we need to distinguish between "morals" (a highly fraught term with a lot of baggage) and Interests, both material and social. So, Smith would argue that murder doesn't just offend our moral sentiments, but also goes against our Self Interest. Marx would likewise argue that it would go against our group and self interests, but would likely be more skeptical of the moral claim. Kropotkin would argue that such an act imperils the community. Now, I on the other hand, would want to differentiate "murder" from "senseless killing", as outside of loaded language, the former is strictly a legal term, while the latter underlies and goes beyond the law. Morality and Interest would thus be predicated on the latter, not the former. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 03:15, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

@Shabidoo it should be said that Nietzche rejected both but still saw himself as not a nihilist. Nietzche intended his philosophy as a rejection of nihilism. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:42, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

Nietsche was a nihilist in his rejection of objective meaning and objective morality. What set him apart from others was the rejection of any meaning at all or for example Schopenhauer's "will to nothingness". Nietzsche actively encouraged the search/creation/imposition/development of man-made meaning in a struggle to overcome our own nature/existence. Yeah, Nihilism is a complex term I happily avoid. ShabiDOO 21:51, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
In that vein are moral relativists moral nihilists then? Vee (talk) 03:12, 28 December 2022 (UTC)
Nietzsche was an existentialist, which is considered a response and rejection of nihilism. The distinction is that existentialists believe you can create meaning for your own life to which being born in a godless world the world provides you with none, nihilists in the context of existential nihilism do not think you can do this. For the niihilist you can not even create meaning for yourself because meaning does not exist. As Vee is alluding to Nietzsche was a not even a moral nihilist but a perspectivist; something akin to moral relativism and/or cultural relativism. There are still realist stances as opposed to moral nihilism. It's the distinction between moral claims being meaningless or just simply false, and that of moral claims being true on the basis of one's subjective attitudes attitudes or cultural upbringing. They shouldn't be confused. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 05:09, 28 December 2022 (UTC)

us msm just as fanatically ultranationalist as right-wing nutjobs[edit]

I'm going to see Richard Dawkins speak in February. What questions should I ask him?[edit]

I know this community is quite into this sort of stuff that Dawkins talks about.HelloStranger (talk) 12:08, 24 December 2022 (UTC)

I'm sure everyone here is ecstatic to hear from a disgraced bigot who openly courts the alt-right. Vee (talk) 12:14, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Ask him why he hates trans women so much. Arcadium Trancefer (talk) 12:16, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Ask him if he still mistakes clocks for bombs - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
Dawkins can piss up a rope. Ask him why he is ableist trash. --Trans Zombie Queen (talk) 20:25, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Ask him what he thinks about Conservapedia's articles on him lol Mental sharpener (talk) 20:29, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
You are late by approximately 13 years. Edward the eight (talk) 20:31, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Am I out of the loop? What's with the hate for Dawkins? 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 20:58, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Richard Dawkins still deserves the condemnation we give him, in fact he needs more. He once was a respected evolutionary biologist, (still) a leading figure in the new atheist movement, and when people think of atheism, rather than communism as they used too, they think his arrogant arsehole. Many people are abandoning religion, they’re probably still going be attracted to the words Richard Dawkins wrote as we once were. If atheism is authoritarian without progressivism, then we need investigate the implicit authoritarianism in his views and words and figure out a supposedly intelligent “critical thinker” became this way, and how we can learn from his mistakes. More importantly, we must figure how and why new atheism in particular became this monster, and how we can figuratively slay it before it leads a newly secular nation to the outdated political religion of his associates even if he isn’t exactly one himself. Humanism must replace Christianity, not Marxism or Fascism, in the west. This is not call anyone else but self described social darwinists, eugenicists, sexists, misogynists, “cultural Christianity’s”, Islamophobes, Racialists, etc “fascist” for seems like a very strong coincidence but if that’s what’s accompanying so called “ new atheism”, then it’s not secular at all nor is it theistic, but simply a medium for a particular ghost from the 20th century born out of the rubble of the long 19th left behind for all of us to clean up. When you hear that utter tripe, just remember he’s alive. As long as people continue to preach the things he preached, he’ll never die. He’ll come back in new forms but he always will he be himself. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B3ID7k0_xn4 Jakester499 (talk) 20:01, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
To tell the truth, I think he is alt right, or at the very least alt lite at this point just afraid of libel lawsuits. My personal opinion, those views are very familiar, and seem to suggest the conclusions that a certain man came to in November of 1918 in a military hospital suffering from hysterical blindness and it’s this sense of national humiliation that powers fascism whether it’s November 1918 or September 2001. Hitchens describes that man in his review of Ian Kershaw in vanity fair, and it seems that Dawkins while maybe he thinks he’s not that way, I think he’s going down the same rabbit hole, and my personal opinion, you don’t do much believe fascism but you act fascist. Any self respecting “atheist” should see that this ideology or rather worldview has been has been tried, and the suffering it caused is incalculable, the death toll approximately (from the death toll of ww2) 70 million and counting. This man needs more attention from people whose job it is to watch the spread of hatred be it the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and/or ourselves. Another thing Hitchens said was this man was grown, much like the butterflies he compares him to in Silence of the Lambs. This site, while I’m not sure it references Richard Dawkins in particular but it follows the money on islamophobia throughout the world.Jakester499 (talk) 20:21, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
One last thing, no Richard Dawkins isn’t literally Hitler nor is he going to be the next Hitler, he just sounds a lot like him. An ideologue, but certainly not the “messianic” psychopathic god Germany followed from 1933-1945.Jakester499 (talk) 20:26, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
Forgot the link https://islamophobia.org/Jakester499 (talk) 01:36, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
That's kooky shit you are talking. I don't think you know what Hitler sounded like.UncleKrampus (talk) 02:01, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
The community is more left wing than it used to be Edward the eight (talk) 21:04, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Dawkins is a reactionary piece of shit. Vee (talk) 21:06, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
New atheism was a giant scam that rationalwiki fell for thankfully we grew out of it Edward the eight (talk) 21:33, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
@DuceMoosolini I mean our own article isn't exactly favorable of the man. The man has a history of harassing women-skeptics like Rebecca Watson, he appeals to the cultural "superiority" of Christianity over Islam, white-washes eugenics and tries to claim it's "legitimate science", believes there is a place for racialism in biological science, flirts openly with biological determinism, and is now more recently spending time on twitter siding with TERF's. Where have you been for the last literal decade of Dawkins hot takes? That man has been disavowed by the not-fascist adjacent side of the skeptic movement for awhile now. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:51, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
I've never paid much attention to Dawkins or internet atheism in general. As far as I knew, Dawkins was that one atheist dude Conservapedia gets mad about. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 21:53, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The ordeal around Rebecca Watson is generally resolved as Dawkins apologized but it was enough for me to have a sour taste in my mouth and it's just a reminder that atheist spaces are painfully chauvinistic. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 21:54, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
atheists are reactionaries even though reactionary ideology comes from clerical French monarchists, like wow Mental sharpener (talk) 22:09, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
Even as an atheist, I think Atheism leads to authoritarianism unless it is progressive Edward the eight (talk) 22:14, 24 December 2022 (UTC)
By that logic I can't be a leftist because "leftist ideology comes from the left wing of the National Assembly of Revolutionary France, and clearly I'm not an 18th century Jacobin, like wow." Nice non-sequitur there, bud. Vee (talk) 00:41, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
exactly you aren't a real leftist™℠®© just like how fascists aren't real socialists right? Mental sharpener (talk) 02:46, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
the problem with 'new atheism', or 'atheism+' or any attempts at hanging an identity on a disbelief in god, is that atheism is just that - a disbelief in god. it is no more than that. you dont believe in god? thats nice. what do you believe in? it is not a political ideology of any kind, it is not of left nor of the right and the label 'atheist' tells us nothing about a person with that label except their disbelief in god. it is idiotic to form an identity around and attempts to do so like new atheism must conflate atheism with ideological positions that go beyond and have nothing to do with a mere a disbelief in god - its not enough on its own to bring people together or provide any sense of a shared view of the world. what ever gets added to the pot, whether toxic or benign, becomes the defining trait not the atheism, and absolutely will not be fundamental to or representative of atheism as any kind of movement. new atheism had a lot added that was toxic and played right into religious apologists hands wishing to characterise atheists as dogmatic and as zealous as any true believer.
and as for mental sharpeners comments - unvarnished bullshit. dnftt AMassiveGay (talk) 11:12, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Idiot season is early, I see... KarmaPolice (talk) 11:21, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
As you can tell, there is a diversity of opinion about Dawkins, but as far as I know, none of it touches on the ideas he is generally known to have advanced in his books. Read one of his books. You should get plenty of questions out of it. Ariel31459 (talk) 18:31, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
Dawkins is a great biologist, it's his everything else that's the problem. Vee (talk) 22:56, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
He’s incredibly relevant to the perspective of the gene centred view of evolution that’s still very much relevant to the field of evolutionary biology and the philosophy of biology (mainly to the question to what level “selection” happens), but even in biology he can have some controversial hot takes. His professional disagreements with Lewontin regarding if races were genetically meaningful was telling, he spent a good amount of time using his status as a biologist to delegitimize trans women, and he also made some factually inaccurate takes about the history of eugenics. It doesn’t surprise me that many researchers within his field don’t actually like him. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 00:36, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Since this is in part a social site, I guess it makes sense that some people think the likability of an intellectual is somehow important. "Race" is genetically meaningful in some ways, for example the characteristics that allow uneducated folks to recognize the evidence of race, like the amounts of melanin in our skin, tend to be heritable. That is related to genetics, but has no negative implications on a similarity group referred to as a race. Taboo subjects are kind of hard to handle if you are into politics. Some people, unlike OSD, are really very dumb. UncleKrampus (talk) 14:33, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
If skin color was evidence of race then Africa would be a monolithic grouping. it's not. Africans are the most genetically diverse people on the planet. This has nothing to do with politics. Similarly, if race was a biological reality and not a social construct, then the Irish would have never been considered to be a separate "race" from British folk, despite the overwhelming genetic similarity between the two populations. Vee (talk) 15:09, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
Now be careful. Skin color is one characteristic that, among a group of characteristics, ordinary people experience a construction of the mind on the occasion of sense that is referred to as "racial." You can call that a social construct, but I would be more explicit, and call it a generic sort of mental construct. UncleKrampus (talk) 15:20, 26 December 2022 (UTC)
We literally have a cover-story article debunking this entire notion called racialism. Race is not genetically meaningful, this is the overwhelming consensus of population geneticists and physical anthropologists. To argue otherwise is just changing the goalposts to what can be defined as a “race”. What need is there to biologically reify human races (arbitrarily, I may add)for no other reason than to clarify and rank people biologically? The motivation there is incredibly difficult to detangle from racism. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 22:48, 26 December 2022 (UTC)

This hate towards Dawkins is really over the top. I can truly understand more than a small number of just criticisms of him, and he has certainly proved a disappointment in some ways, but to then ridicule someone for showing interest in attending a talk by the person, that there is little value in asking them a question is fucking absurd. He is still, despite what anyone here has said so far, an extremely influential figure in the world of humanism, rationalism, spreading a love of science, atheism and more notably in his own field biology/evolution. While I cringe at some of the things he has said and I wish he would relent and take back some of things he has said or done, I would happily go to a talk if there was one near where I lived and I would struggle to pick the one of many many questions I would be excited to ask him. ShabiDOO 02:34, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

Nah, shit is deserved. You having a crush on the man does not change that. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:57, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
If this kind of behaviour is just a “disappointment” and not a dealbreaker all it says to me is that you yourself are complacent with it. No one owes your personal hero praise. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 04:02, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Can you lay off the aggressive tone? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 07:20, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
just read in it a nice voice. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 08:38, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I'm being serious. If you want to disagree with Shabidoo, do it, but be civil, leave off the "you having a crush on the man" and the "personal hero praise". You want to provide insightful comments so Shabidoo can reconsider his position, change his stance. Anything conductive to good-faith discussion. He did acknowledge the severe wrongdoing by Dawkins so it's not like those retorts are warranted either. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 09:00, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
If you genuinely believe that then you would be consistent about it and be calling Shabi off for describing the above reactions as “fucking absurd”. You wouldn’t tolerate ace McWicked’s general posting if this was a real thing you cared about. There is no reason why I should be the one disproportionately subject to tone policing more then other editors. I don’t care to “change Shabi’s stance” I care about calling a duck, a duck. Anyone who thinks explicit transphobia is worth overlooking to support the platform of a influential bigot, to put that a side to ask the “real” questions has already been decidedly uncivil to queer people. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 09:19, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
And I will. But first off, Shabi articulated his point. What you've done is assume bad faith and accuse him of "having a crush on Dawkins" and "your personal hero praise" which are ad homeniums ("fucking absurd" describes a general reaction, it is not a personal attack although not civil). Right in the article you linked: "First, make sure that you are participating in an actual rhetorical debate that both you and your opponent have consented to. Then, make sure that you either have your arguments together or the opponent is not debating in good faith. " Focus on the latter. Dawkins has spewed disgusting transphobic garbage and went to bat for transphobic garbage people. You did that! So emphasize that! You know what's REALLY absurd? Dawkins's unabashed endorsement of Debra Soh's bile. If you want to call a duck a duck, focus on good argument not personal attacks. We're a community, we need to try to work on common terms and try our best to see eye-to-eye on issues; I know Shabidoo is the kind of person who doesn't tolerate transphobia either. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 09:48, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
But I already have made the argument listing my problems with Dawkins earlier in the thread why do I have reiterate a point I already made over and over again? If you want to talk good faith you can at least try to interpret what the actual point is in the responses I made. Just because someone uses sas in the argument doesn’t mean an implicit point isn’t being made. If you applied the principle of charity to my posts you would infer that the point is the level of influence Dawkin’s has in his circles of atheism and humanism is not relevant as a some sort of balance to his bigotry. To call these things mistakes or merely disappointing but get excited by the prospect of seeing him platformed illustrates the priority of values in this context. The work done to support atheism is greater then the harm he has causes for trans and muslim people, so far as to say “he doesn’t deserve” this level of criticism. This just apologia. You ignore my point about complacency to focus on tone not seeing how in this context when arguing the wrongness of someone’s attitude or behaviour the subject of their character becomes relevant to the argument. This is some serious concern troll bullshit. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:04, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Personally I would have liked to hear more information from this person about why it thought "I know this community is quite into this sort of stuff that Dawkins talks about". Honestly it sounded vaguely troll-y to me, because a casual glance at Richard Dawkins would show that "this community" has a mixed view of Dawkins. But maybe I'm being too sensitive.
The problem with Dawkins, and I'll exclude his notorious "incidents" like Elevatorgate from the conversation for the moment, is... well, Twitter. Now that his biology work is behind him, and New Atheism is dead, if Dawkins is known for anything contemporary, he's known for the politics he tweets. Now, a lot of his Twitter feed actually aligns with the general RW political bias (he's negative on Tories, Republicans, and Putin, for instance). But, perhaps hamstrung a bit by his IMHO somewhat outdated gene-based viewpoint, he seems to be quite go against not only the RW grain, but on the current scientific consensus, on certain subjects, notably transsexuals and race, which involve social and/or mental elements that are not fully explained by genetics. Which leads to a touch of "Woke Derangement Syndrome" in moments (at least, he's awfully fond of re-Tweeting Jerry Coyne of late, who has a very nice blog full of cute user-submitted wildlife pictures that unfortunately gets interrupted with nutpicking outrage bait over academia).
TBH the most notable news I see about the New Atheist crowd of late is Sam Harris quitting Twitter. According to a Conor Friedersdorf article, Harris quit because Twitter was "distorting (his) perception of humanity", "giving (him) a very dark view of other people." Wisest thoughts I've heard in a while about social media, Dawkins should take note. BobJohnson (talk) 04:29, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I didn't put words in your mouth onlysortofdumb nor insult you, I called the position of laughing at someone because they are excited to see someone speak and ridiculing them wondering what question to ask, as well as the general dismissing the intellectual value of a person because they've behaved like a dipshit recently, fucking absurd, and this position is fucking absurd. Diminishing the past and current intellectual value of someone, let alone those who engage in those ideas, because of stupid shit they've said, is an extremely toxic form of intellectualism. I would strongly recommend revaluating this approach to ideas, and even more so, the way you've double downed and put words in my mouth and misconstrued my own position on Dawkins. He is hardly my hero, but you knew that when you were deliberately mischaracterising my position on Dawkins to score a cheap point. The world is not remotely as black and white as this. Consider the possibility of not taking an all or nothing approach to things sometimes and embracing nuance, complexity and positions which do things such as, say: admitting an intellectually influential person has contributed and still does contribute important ideas but has also done and said ridiculous shit. A full out dismissal of him is fucking absurd and I stand by that no matter what childish tactics you use to attack it. ShabiDOO 14:54, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Kent Hovind is anti-flat earth. So what? I don't think figures are beyond criticism because of how "influential" they are to our pet fields and movements of interest. It honestly resembles a personality cult. "They made a few mistakes." I don't think bigotry is merely a "mistake." As for Dawkins, he hasn't said anything of value to the skeptical or atheist movements that wasn't said better by somebody who was not a racist piece of shit. Emma Goldman made a lot of the same points that Dawkins has made regarding religion all the way back in the 1910s, and in her time validated gay people and people who we would today call trans, unlike Dawkins, and didn't indulge in the same racist bullshit Dawkins has done. There really is no excuse for him. Vee (talk) 17:27, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah. I agree with this too. Yes I don't think Only Sort of Dumb made a good argument but consider emotions of people who DO strongly dislike him. I suspect several people are trans. I lose tracks sometimes specifcially who is queer or not, but consider, trans people are having a very difficult time worldwide. This guy indulges in harming them. He hasn't made it his personality the way JK Rowling has, but he has still advocated basically harm to trans people by aligning himself a few time with a movement dedicated to nullifying them which also has threatening political power. He said extremely damaging things to them and failed to consider exactly why his honor was stripped, just shrugging it off as "I didn't care about it anyway", as if the honor was the issue and not the fact he advocated harm. I can see why various users in this thread have a dim view of him. That being said, you can't deny he's prolific and has advanced viewpoints that atheists would use. It is definitely a good thing you found Emma Goldman but unfortunately, probably partially due to being a woman who faded into obscurity after death and despite the reinvigorated interest in her, she doesn't have high profile that Dawkins does. Just look at our two articles. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 18:41, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
As an advocate for the contrary view, we may say we dislike, or some of us dislike Dawkins, because of his expressed opinions on non scientific subjects. But does he actually cause any sort of quantifiable damage to people who are offended by offensive claims? I keep hearing that such people as Dawkins, curmudgeon though he is, is actually harming people. If so, then one would be well motivated to cause him a variety of harm in return. I am not inclined to take a third party's word for a general sort of harm. All sorts of people oppress me to the point of near depression with their untoward nonsense. I have had to learn to tolerate it in my life. Are the people offended by Dawkins deserving of special treatment? One might say yes, and you probably could convince me of something of the kind. But On the whole, people with no interest in such matters, that is a large majority, want nothing more than for others to be kind. The idea that there can be an excuse for unkindness has some currency here.UncleKrampus (talk) 19:16, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I can't provide a direct answer. I tried to provide a reasonable explanation for why other people may react this way. Otherwise, I don't have much stake in what I think about the guy. Worst feeling I have for him is that I don't care about him. I have some sour taste left by his bad treatment of Rebecca Watson (which is resolved now, no need to hold a grudge for that) and his few transphobic actions also made me sour somewhat on him, but I have little emotional investment otherwise. I use his arguments if I find them useful, and probably the rest of his opinions I discard. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:28, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

Vee, you are using ridiculous arguments to diminish the influence that Dawkins has had. Your distaste and disklike for him, however justified it may be, does not justify disingenuously putting forth dubious arguments that attempt to dismiss his impact. Yes, people have made similar arguments before, perhaps better than he has. Funny I have never heard of them, while a generation of new atheists have and were inspired directly by the New Atheists, despite their flaws. Is the stupid shit he said justified? No. Does that deserve ridiculing someone who would like to go see him speak and ask questions? No, I think that is a very extreme argument. Worse, comparing the influence of Dawkins to a flat-earther is just sad. Really? Are you letting your distaste of someone take you that far as to reach out for any clumsy argument you can? It would be like saying that Jung had little influence because he repackaged other peoples ideas, because Freud and others said what Jung did better, because some of his ideas are now quite dated and even discredited and because he was a raging misogynist and bigot that somehow, magically his influence and impact on others no longer exists. Huh? I would still, despite all of these flaws, want to see him speak were he alive and ask him questions, and wouldn't talk to someone with contempt if they expressed interest in doing the same. ShabiDOO 19:37, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

“funny how I never heard of them” to imply they are not influential is on par with a child saying they never heard of the Beatles so they must not have been that influential. It isn’t a valid argument as the conclusion doesn’t follow from “I have not heard of x” there is logical possibility you are just ignorant to it. A long history of atheist arguments within phlosophy existed prior to Dawkins from Russell, Hume, Sartre, Beauvoir, etc. Dawkins influence in biology can never be understated as the gene centred view of evolution will be scientifically relevant for decades to come. Still with James Watson’s racism scientist didn’t think him having helped discovered the structure of DNA was enough to redeem him to continue having academic power within the field. A lot of what Dawkin’s argued was re-hashing what was said before within religious philosophy. You also to account for the sociological reasons why for his time Dawkin’s was influential. The new atheist movement rose out of the aftermath of 9/11. The chauvinistic western attitudes and attacks on muslim people was at the time cathartic to many americans who were leaning into a reactionary bent. I don’t think the movement itself was an inherent value, and if anything helped introduce and normalize “race science” and islamaphobia into athiest communities. Though I would argue that Sam Harris did most of the grunt work for that. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 20:22, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Public intellectuals rehash. That's what they do. Don't be so pedantic.UncleKrampus (talk) 21:00, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I don't remember claiming that because I haven't heard of someone that they weren't influential. In fact, I haven't made any claims of anyone not being influential. Last thing I would ever want to do is pretend that someone was not influential, especially because I dislike them for reasons other than their reach and influence. This would be ridiculous. I disagree with your opinion that his contribution was not valuable, it simply didn't fit your own agenda. And I find your over simplistic buttonholing of his and other new atheists into western chauvinism and islamophobia extreme, to put it mildly. That is so over the top I wonder if you are able to read things through anything other than your own narrow lens. Note I am capable of admitting a long series of faults in new atheism, with all of the four horsemen and can admit that part of their ideas and influence were damaging. Things though, aren't remotely as black and white as you often paint them. Again, nuance, complexity...consider them before your hyper generalisations and hyper simplifications. ShabiDOO 21:39, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

UTC)

(EC) @UncleKrampus The standards of academia is different. You are expected to actually make an original contribution. Regardless though this is why I dislike the whole consumer market of “public intellectuals”. They seem more often then not to fulfill a political purpose then to genuinely educate and inform. You see this with Dawkins, Pinker, Harris, Peterson, Hickel, Lewontin, Gould, etc. For better or for worse. I at least respect the ones who seem willing to acknowledge that their work is political and can acknowledge the ways to which ideology creeps into supposedly “scientific” discourse. I respect the ones who remain provisional to new evidence and information. The folks who seem from the outset pushing a kind of political ideology but frame it simply as being “rational” and “objective” only really serve to validate what the so called “post-modern” intellectuals have been arguing about for decades. If you already decided you are objectively correct, why would you litsen to other voices and change your mind? Especially why would you care what the so-called “oppressed” have to say? Surely, they don’t have the knowledge and critical judgement to determine objectivity as you do. When we are not willing to interrogate how political power shapes the messages we receive, the values we get socialized with, and the figures we put on pedestals we lose out on our ability to engage critically with what we are told, and correct false narratives. If skepticism includes “no sacred cows” that should include the very people we perceive as influential to us. What does minimizing the faults of a “public intellectually” really do in service to society as a whole? Natural selection happening on a genetic level doesn’t suddenly became an invalid premise simply because Dawkins is a sack of shit. It’s not as if acknowledging the racism of say Darwin disproves evolution. I think y’all let creationist so control the narrative as if the premise of discrediting an individual has any bearing on the credibility of the ideas themselves. The context of discovery does not rule out latter justification. If discoveries are found, then they will always be there to be found. Who ever finds them isn’t actually all that important. — Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:46, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Shabi I shouldn’t have to explain basic social implicature to you. When you respond to someone else’s point about other influential figures and you respond with “funny how I never heard of them” that only bear relevancy if it somehow suggests something about their influence. “Funny” typically would be used in such a linguistic context to suggest “peculiar” or “doubtful”. You can deny it all you want but that is how the social customs of the language we share works hon. No other interpretation makes sense in this context. Unless you want to commit to never saying what you mean or meaning what you say. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 21:54, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Nope, you might reconsider not putting words into another person's mouth and adding more meaning than intended. I simply haven't heard of the "influential" person quoted. That doesn't mean that their work hasn't had an influence or that they were NOT influential. How influential they were is another story, one I don't care about because the topic here was whether someone is influential or not. Onlysortofdumb, I'm tired of reading you put words in my mouth nor watching you and your incapacity to concede a single a point (have you ever done that here ever?). Consider...toning it down a level with your everything or nothing approach to things. And please don't call me hon. ShabiDOO 22:21, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I’ll copy and paste what you said verbatim “Funny I have never heard of them, while a generation of new atheists have and were inspired directly by the New Atheists, despite their flaws.” What the fuck does this mean in this context if not contesting the level of influence that said previous writers have? This isn’t putting words in your mouth this is interpreting your language in the most conversationally relevant way. If this intended as an argument (which if it wasn’t why even say it?) then the implied conclusion is that whatever this influence may be it is negligible compared to the influence of thinkers who impacted the new atheist movement. There would be no need to make it “funny that...” and make a explicit comparison to new atheist figures if this wasn’t the intention to make said comparison to begin with. There is no “putting words” here this exactly what is stated and is implicated via conversational maxims. This is borderline gaslighting at this point. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:25, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Have I ever conceded a point ever? Yes. I do so daily. My boyfriend and co-workers correct me on matters I am uneducated in all the time. My relevant knowledgeable background is in logic, philosophy, and psychology. My fijian co-worker has educated me on matters related to the Indian diaspora and in matters related to her job in analytical chemistry. My boyfriend is a history buff who corrects me on historical, geographical, and anthropological misconceptions all the time. He also has a degree in biochemistry and molecular biology and corrects me on those matters as well. Not conceding a point to you doesn’t mean I don’t concede points regularly. You just need to make a genuine compelling point to begin with, which frankly you haven’t. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:31, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
I don’t have to respect someone who decides that racism, sexism, pedophillia apologia, and transphobia are only merely “disappointing” or simple “mistakes”, and that people who espouse such things “don’t deserve the hate” solely because they hold some degree of social influence and political influence. These descriptions of “mistakes” and desert are not moral facts, they serve a social purpose.A purpose that I can not tolerate or endorse as one of the wiki’s seemingly only remaining queer feminist voices. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 23:39, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The whole thing about civility is kind of a two-faced crock of shit considering we have people on here I won't name who are allowed to be as uncivil as they like but the moment someone calls them out on it they're the one in the wrong. Vee (talk) 23:52, 27 December 2022 (UTC)

And I'm tired of the tone policing accusations (I've been now accused a concern troll, which is again my point on Only Sort of Dumb assuming bad faith on my end because I was focused criticizing both their needlessly aggressive argument AND their style which was IMO disproportionate to Shabi's general condemnation of people's reactions?) which are used as excuses to drop these absurdly strong and one-sided condemnations. This thread has devolved into foul Twitter discourse. A lot of argumentation tactics reminds me a lot of a typical conversation between two disagreeing people there: assume the absolute worst possible character flaw of a person who disagrees with your position, run with it. Also, an entire opinion on a controversial figure has been warped by constant exposure to angry histrionic Twitter spit after spit, especially amplified by the limited nature of the medium and the algorithms that emphasize sound-bites and "clout" over complex opinions. Which then you form a final judgement SEEMS sound, validated, and for the cause of All Good and to Hold the Evil Accountable, but to someone off Twitter, it sounds completely unhinged, one-sided, and inflammatory. I mean continue on it but I am not going to try to get more engaged in a conversation that I believe is now unsalvageable, on a subject I don't really care about to begin with as much as I care about people getting along (in spite of being accused of possible concern trolling), and I also believe it could've been prevented had people listened. Dawkins's issue is INDEED Twitter, as said earlier in this thread but I have so little energy concerning whatever is spilled on Twitter to muster any sort of reaction to him aside "toss him aside" and "I don't like him". --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 00:57, 28 December 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, this conversation has been a shitfest. I deeply regret participating in it and elevating it to ridiculous levels. I'm definitely done with it, and lessons learnt. ShabiDOO 01:29, 28 December 2022 (UTC)

I am so happy for the two of you. It such a important social phenomena how little you care about racism and transphobia. How will you ever recover knowing a stranger on the internet has a low opinion of you? Honestly can’t imagine anything worse. I for one would never think that the internet being a source for violent radicalization would ever require us to take what is happening on it seriously. It’s not as if public figures on the internet have inspired murders or the criminalization of queer people or anything. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)

Spare us the sanctimonious bullshit. People here speak their minds and usually get it right. Don't let the digital door hit you on the way out.UncleKrampus (talk) 02:33, 28 December 2022 (UTC)
I am not going anywhere. Also when the "assume the absolute worst possible character flaw of a person who disagrees with your position, run with it." turns out to be complacent with another person's bigotry the bar for "worst possible character flaw" is remarkably unimaginative. (or alternative be accused of tone policing, the horror!!) If that was actually happening here we would all be calling each other genocidal baby rapists. The "assumptions" being made here are barely assumptions when they are evidenced by the behavior one is responding to. If the closest cultural analog you can think of to what is happening here is fit into the most trendy moral panic regarding "woke twitter discourse" against users who don't even use twitter (you really think posts like mine could fit in those character limits?). You already are sort of confessing you don't think of yourself as dealing with three-dimensional human beings, but a cultural stereotype. Where is the nuance in accusing people who don't like your behaviour of simply being a caricature you can put into a box and not have to take seriously? Because by god why would you ever even possibly think about the possibility that may actually have a point and that your perception of yourself and your role isn't what you take it to be. I am just saying entertaining the possibility, not even committing to it actually being the case. We can't all get along when all have different stakes in the game and there is no way we can all be satisfied. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 02:55, 28 December 2022 (UTC).
"Most people speak there mind and usually get it right" is kind of odd because it's like you never been in the saloon bar before. People are constantly fighting in here. Regardless people often still say stupid and slightly bigoted shit that no one bats an eye too, but it's always the leftists who say " hey that maybe helps support racism" or something equivilant to being called a booterlicker and that takes shit too far. Be like Cory and say some vaguely transphobic or reactionary shit all the time and no one fucking cares, but the minute you accuse someone of being infatuated with a bigot -- that's too aggressive. Hey you can even pull a Duce and goes as far as openly using slurs, but oddly no LGM is here to tell them off. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 03:05, 28 December 2022 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── All hail Saint Dawkins and the Blessed Four Horsemen. Hallowed be thy names. Any and all criticism of these figures is heresy and whoever dares to blaspheme their names shall be deemed a heretic as per the Word of Dawkins. Also I must reiterate, if we're going to take civility as a rule seriously there are people on here far more deserving of being called out than us: people merely calling out bigotry and excusing of bigotry as "mere mistakes." To accuse us of "Twitterifying" this thread is fucking gold considering Shabidoo was the one who took issue with the fact we aren't practically kissing Dawkins' feet in the first place. Vee (talk) 03:02, 28 December 2022 (UTC)

Only Sort of Dumb has accused LGM of not caring about transphobia or racism as well as accusing her of being a concern troll. That's an unhinged attitude to take towards a respected mod who's only trying to calm shit down. 🎄Chef Moosolini’s Ristorante Italiano🎄Ask about our holiday specials! 03:08, 28 December 2022 (UTC)
The standard of "unhinged" here would probably land most of the american population in a psychiatric ward if that was the case. LGM said and I will copy and paste again
"I mean continue on it but I am not going to try to get more engaged in a conversation that I believe is now unsalvageable,on a subject I don't really care about to begin with as much as I care about people getting along (in spite of being accused of possible concern trolling), and I also believe it could've been prevented had people listened. Dawkins's issue is INDEED Twitter, as said earlier in this thread but I have so little energy concerning whatever is spilled on Twitter to muster any sort of reaction to him aside 'toss him aside' and 'I don't like him'."
This frames this expressed bigotry from Dawkins as not a big deal because it happened on twitter (which isn't strictly speaking true), not worth the effort of seriously engaging with or calling it out. It's a kind of condescending placation to marginalized people affected by his bigotry. It even blames twitter rather than Dawkins' as being the problem. I don't think trans women and muslim people really can afford having such a privileged perspective, sorry. Richard Spencer also advocated white nationalism on twitter was that grounds to say the only thing the alt-right deserved was a statement of personal dislike. Fuck no. This kind of "not a big deal", "not worth the effort" attitude is barely a stone's throw from "this isn't worth caring about" and when the allegations in question are about things like racism and transphobia...yes that means you are communicating that these sort of things aren't worth caring about (at the very least it is sometimes not worth carrying about). Which ultimately means it's okay to ignore bigotry (at least sometimes). It's probably not how LGM thinks of herself, I am sure she thinks she is a great ally but she like many a liberal prioritizes "civil discourse" over social justice. Violent bigotry is not trivial. This is an extremely bizzare attitude for a website that celebrates the banning of a peodphillia apologist that we just decide that civility includes being polite to those who defend the character of other popular pedophillia apologists. What was the conversation really "for" to begin with as to make it "salvageable"? Are we supposed to deeply reconsider the value of a man who thinks it's not a big deal to fiddle kids, and that trans women are not real women? I'm lost to what the goal is here? Why should I even assume that when Shabi comes in with a post like theirs they have any interest what so ever in seeing my side of things. Why do I have to have this aim of "changing the hearts and souls" of people who in all probability is not going to change their mind no matter what I say? We are just going to pretend belief bias and confirmation bias does not apply to ratwiki users? - Only Sort of Dumb (talk)
Violent bigotry is not trivial. There is no violent bigotry involved in the matter at hand. The kind of gross exaggeration and self-righteous nonsense you spout gives one pause. What we are not going to do is question each others integrity based on your interpretations of the right way to go about the administration of this wiki. We have moderators and other administrators for that. I think Dawkins is just on the negative side of the acceptable scale for social justice. No big deal. I disapprove of Islamism for the same reason the word "Chistendom" has gone out of fashion. You don't have to be happy about it. Frankly I could care less if you don't like it. I think many people here disagree on many subjects related to SJ. They aren't changing their minds because you throw a fit and act like a renown authority.UncleKrampus (talk) 16:27, 28 December 2022 (UTC)
I like how we're conveniently ignoring the fact that Dawkins, unlike your average 4chan idiot, has a platform. As Shabi says, Dawkins is "influential." He has an audience, and what he says matters. Vee (talk) 17:16, 28 December 2022 (UTC)
To add to that it’s just a matter of fact that TERFism has been a motivating ideology behind discriminatory policies, harassment, and death threats against queer and trans people. To not include that as “violence” in one’s analysis only communicates to me that one works from such a narrow conception of violence as to be useless. Also there is a huge difference between criticizing islam, and openly engaging in harassment of muslim people to which Dawkins has done. You also have to keep in mind the ways to which the characterization of islam and muslim people does inform people’s willingness to support policies related to racial profiling, foreign intervention, migrant bans, restricting refugees etc. If it destroys human lives and bodies then that is a type of violence. I also I didn’t say jack shit about this sites moderation and administration so going off on that is completely irrelevant. - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 17:27, 28 December 2022 (UTC)
This isn't even addressing the child molestation apologia, which I swear to god if we are not willing to call child molestation violence... - Only Sort of Dumb (talk) 19:19, 28 December 2022 (UTC)